Relationship: Kira Nerys/Jadzia Dax
Warnings/Content: Discussion of malnutrition and death during the Occupation of Bajor. Contains breast-play and biting during sex.
Summary: Home is sweat and smoke and starvation, Nerys thought, and threw the perfume bottle against the wall. Nerys struggles with her memories of the Occupation and the loss of her family. Jadzia does her best to help her out. Contains angst and comfort sex.
Author's Note: Continuation of From a Small Moon. It's not necessary to read the first part to follow this, but it probably works better in context.
Nerys picked up the bottle: a single white flower on a narrow, white label. She traced her fingers over it. It was simple, but looked expensive.
“Meadowsweet,” Jadzia said. “It's a flower from Earth, that's why you don't recognise it.”
“I only recognise plants you can eat.” Nerys handed the bottle to Jadzia and she sprayed it on her wrists, touched it to the hollow of her throat. She leant forward as Jadzia brushed back her long hair, breathing in.
It was a subtle scent, fresh and unobtrusive. “I like the way you smell after we've been rock-climbing in the holosuit. Or when you've had a long day doing a planet survey, and I press my nose against your armpit and I can taste you in the back of my throat.”
Jadzia laughed. “You're such a hedonist.” She straightened her uniform tunic, and turned around. “How do I look?”
Nerys pretended to consider it. Jadzia was wearing her dress uniform: she'd look better, Nerys thought, in something simpler, something that showed off her shoulders, and something looser, so she wouldn't look hemmed in. But she wore her uniform with frank authority and total dignity, and Nerys couldn't argue with that. “Beautiful,” she said at last, and put her hands on Jadzia's hips. “But you'd look better naked.”
“You always say that.”
“I'm always right.”
“Are you sure you're not coming?” Jadzia stepped closer to Nerys, and dipped her head slightly, so they were on eye-level.
“I'll be bored.”
“I know, so will I, but I'd rather be bored with you than without you.”
“I can't stand another hour listening to overfed, naïve humans going on and on about exploration and potential and how their quarters aren't comfortable and the station is too dark. I might shoot one of them.”
Jadzia kissed her nose, then her cheek. “And that would make for a wonderful diversion.”
“I'm going to meditate and maybe get drunk.”
“That sounds like you.” Jadzia went to her dressing-table and picked up a clip, sweeping back her hair and tying it up in one easy, practised motion. Oh, she was beautiful, Nerys thought with the sudden rush of pleasure that sometimes filled her when she looked at Jadzia. She imagined Jadzia on Bajor watching the sunrise from the mountains.
That was what you did, wasn't it, in the end? Take the person you loved home. Only there wasn't a home, not really: there was the vast, broken, beautiful planet, but no one house she could call her own. The refugee camp was overgrown now, anything worth taking long gone. There were only bare places in the ground where fires had been built, and the plants would not yet grow. And after that, there had only been wilderness, full of fear and discomfort and pain and the beauty of wide skies.
Jadzia kissed her before she went out, mouth gentle and tasting of spearmint. “Don't get too drunk. I want to fuck you before I go to sleep.”
If I had a home, Nerys thought, watching as Jadzia straightened her tunic one last time, could I bring you there? Would my mother approve of my beautiful, alien lover?
Her mother. Nerys didn't remember her mother dying, but she remembered other deaths from malnutrition. It sounded clean, somehow, better than dying from heat or radiation in the mines, but Nerys knew it was vicious too. The pain of muscles being eaten away, of the heart slowing, the bloated organs, being unable to stand up, or piss or shit. Starvation was relentless. She remembered, too, how eyes went blank, how the person stopped responding to the world around them.
She'd seen mothers like that with half-sized toddlers. She'd seen mothers feeding them their last morsels, she'd seen them feed their children breast-milk when they had no tissue left to make it from. She'd seen them with skin gone papery and dry, and their underfed children left teeth-marks on their flat breasts.
She remembered, distantly, hands thin as spider's legs on her scalp, her mother's hair coming away. She remembered pressing her face into her mother's neck, her breast. She knew her mother had fed her with her own body when she had nothing else to give. She'd grown up strong and wiry; she'd grown muscles and breasts and hips. She took supplements now: her bones, the doctor said, were good, and would recover easily from mild osteoporosis. She didn't know, really, who her mother was, or what her mother had wished for her. She knew her mother had died to keep her fed and strong.
To know that was a crushing pressure; a terrible responsibility. She went to Jadzia's dresser and picked up the perfume bottle, and smelt its faint, expensive fragrance. Jadzia didn't need to take supplements to make her bones strong; Jadzia's feet were white and delicate and without callouses; Jadzia excelled at everything she touched.
I excelled too, Nerys thought firmly, dismissing that line of thought. I know more about staying alive than any Starfleet officer could understand.
The bottle was so small and fragile in her hand. She ran her fingers over the single flower on the white label, and played the word in her mind: meadowsweet. She remembered her mother in a cave on some forsaken moon on Bajor, praying until her voice gave out. She didn't remember the words. In a different world, her mother would have had perfume like this, would have shown Nerys how to put on make-up; and would she have been happy when she met Jadzia?
No one would have been good enough for me in her eyes, Nerys decided. She'd think Jadzia was too accomplished, and she'd want her to follow the teachings of the prophets. But she'd come around. She and Jadzia could walk in a meadow and talk about...
Talk about what, meadowsweet and Trill history and Bajoran music? What did her mother like? What was left of her mother except the angry child she'd died for?
Nerys closed her eyes, remembering firelight on cave walls, husky voices, the endless cold. The hunger. The musky smell of her mother's unwashed skin, the scent of too many bodies in a small space, and woodsmoke.
Home is sweat and smoke and starvation, Nerys thought, and threw the perfume bottle against the wall.
She was surprised at the gesture, at her own anger and the splintered glass. The smell rose up, no longer subtle, floral and heavy in the room. Nerys felt her throat tighten, and she didn't know whether she wanted to cry or shout.
She thought: I should have just gone to the reception with Dax.
She cut her finger cleaning up the glass. She was nursing it and a glass of voodai when Jadzia got back. “I broke your perfume,” Nerys said.
“I can smell it.” Jadzia didn't look surprised or upset. “The reception was dull: I was glad you didn't come. There was no reason for both of us to suffer. Unless you really were going to shoot someone? I think even Benjamin would have thanked you.”
“Is it still on? I can go now, if you like.” Nerys swallowed the rest of the glass. She'd gained a taste for this in the last few months, now that she could indulge in the luxury of alcohol. Bajoran ale was a speciality: even the Cardassians liked it. She'd tried it for the first time a week after the Occupation ended.
“Hardly anyone is left. Just some diplomats, and Julian.” Jadzia took off her tunic and shimmied out of her pants in one smooth gesture. She stretched, muscles in her long legs tensing. “Those flowers are strong suddenly, aren't they?”
“I broke it on purpose. But I wasn't thinking.”
“You should break a glass next time.” Jadzia pulled at the hem of her shirt, but she didn't take it off. “Was it a bad night, Nerys?”
“I should have gone with you. I thought too much.” Flowers and malnutrition and mothers. She put the glass down, and thought about standing up, going over to Jadzia and accepting her warmth and comfort, but she stayed where she was.
“Did you meditate?”
Nerys shook her head. She didn't think she had anything inside her to give to the prophets today. “I wish I could.” She sighed. “I'm so angry, sometimes, Jadzia. It...” She swallowed, unsure of how to express this, uncertain, even, if she should. “I feel broken. I'm not like you.”
Jadzia picked up the bottle of voodai and poured another two glasses. She came and sat beside Nerys and handed her one. Her face revealed little; it was insular and distant, as thought she was listening to a voice from far away. She probably was, Nerys thought. Why did you need a relationship when you had seven lifetimes' worth of voices to keep you company?
“You're not broken,” she said. “You're brittle, sometimes. What you feel is very close to the surface. You don't try to force it down. You don't have time for the impersonal, for things that don't matter to you. I feel like that too. It draws me to you. I'm too old to listen to anything other than honesty and passion.”
Nerys swallowed her drink quickly so she wouldn't have to look at Jadzia. “Dax,” she said. “You can't tell me things like that. That's too much, all at once.”
“No, it's not. It's not even really enough. Trust an old woman on that.”
“I can't think of you as old.” Nerys put the glass down and looked at the bright liquid in Jadzia's. She hadn't even tasted it yet. The synthehol, she thought, should fill her with a warm glow, but she didn't feel different. She felt like Jadzia's description was apt: there was too much inside her, pressing up against her skin.
“How do you think of me?”
“Like when I first saw you,” Nerys said, “I just think, that is one hot piece of ass.”
Jadzia laughed. She moved the glass to her other hand so she could slide her arm around Nerys. “That's why I like you. You say such terrible things.”
“Look at you.” Nerys shifted so she could tug Jadzia's feet into her lap. Jadzia didn't resist. Nerys ran her fingers over soft skin, impossibly pale and not marred or marked by anything other than the tiny, perfect spots. Nerys traced these too, and pressed her palm against Jadzia's sole. “You are so perfect. You can't be old. Jadzia isn't old, whatever about Dax. When I first saw you, I could only think about how beautiful you are. It was just physical attraction—I didn't think about how clever you are, or how self-contained, nothing. I was like Bashir, only more subtle.”
“You weren't more subtle,” Jadzia said, running her toes over Nerys's wrist. “Just more interesting.” She sipped her drink, wrinkled her nose, and put it down. “I am old, though, even if this skin isn't. This body lets other people forget, but I don't forget.”
“What's it like?”
“Being old? Long.”
“Of course not. It's hard to explain, especially to someone who isn't Trill.” She stretched her legs out, calves in Nerys's lap, and looked into the middle distance. For a moment, it seemed as though she wouldn't talk any more, and then she said, “There's so much inside me, all the time. That's bad, and that's good. There are so many different voices, different thoughts all at once, it can be hard to listen, to know what I think. But then, when the balance is right, I'm just one person, but one person who has been so much. It hurts and it's wonderful, both at the same time.” She paused, expression distant. Then she said, “If I've learnt anything, it's that most wonderful things hurt.”
Nerys stroked the warm calves in her lap for comfort. She wanted to tell Jadzia that she often felt like there were too many things inside her, but she thought Jadzia probably didn't mean it that way. “In my experience,” she said, “Mostly things just hurt.”
“Oh, sweetheart.” Jadzia reached for her, and ran her fingers over Nerys's cheek and throat. “Can I take your boots off? And your pants? I want to massage your feet too.”
She slid her feet out of her boots and stood up to undo her pants. Then she stopped with the pants around her thighs and said, “I'm sorry, I didn't shave my legs.” She felt embarrassed, and then thought shaving or the lack thereof was a stupid thing to worry about anyway.
“I'm sure your feet will appreciate being rubbed whether or not you have stubble,” Jadzia said, and when Nerys's pants were off she arranged her with her feet in Jadzia's lap, leaning back on the couch. Nerys looked up at the ceiling, feeling oddly disconnected from the room.
“Mmm, scratchy,” Jadzia said, running her hand along Nerys's calf.
“Don't make fun of me.”
“I'm not, I like it. You could stop shaving. I like your pubic hair so much. It would grow down your thighs, too, wouldn't it? Pale and soft.”
“Dark and soft,” Nerys corrected her. “I only just started shaving, really. I never had time before.”
“Trills don't grown much hair. I wish I did though: I like yours. You're a little bit furry. Do you grow hair in your armpits too?”
“Yes, lots. I always shave it.”
“Maybe one day you'll grow that in for me too.”
“Do you really want me to be weird and hairy?”
Jadzia picked up her left foot and brought it to her mouth. She kissed the instep, and then bit the callous beneath Nerys's big toe, hard enough to make her shudder slightly. “Yes,” Jadzia said. “Yes, both.”
Nerys curled her toes. “It still smells like flowers in here.”
“Next time, I won't wear perfume. I'll just go as I am. Or I'll go sweaty: you like that. Or I'll go just after I've given you head, and I'll taste you in my mouth, and on my lips while I talk to the diplomats.”
Nerys smiled. “You say the most romantic things.”
“My old age and wisdom make me an expert at seduction.” Jadzia kissed her ankle, then her calf. She bit the skin below Nerys's knee, sucking slightly.
“That's a strange place for a love-bite.”
Jadzia nipped her further up, just at the place where her thigh began. Nerys felt the little blunt teeth, Jadzia's lips and tongue on sensitive flesh, and blood blooming just below the surface of her skin. “You like it.”
“I do: keep going. I suggest you keep going upwards.”
Slowly, up her thigh. Teeth and lips and the soft, agonising sucking motion. She was getting wet, the dampness spreading in her underwear. She flexed her toes, enjoying the sweet flush of arousal.
She bucked her hips slightly, wanting friction. Jadzia pressed her hands against Nerys's thighs, stilling her, and kept going upwards. She licked Nerys's skin with her warm tongue, and then blew on the wet patches, the slight cold making Nerys shiver. Her dark hair fell around her face as she leant over Nerys's thighs, tonguing her stubble. She nibbled further up the thigh, biting at the places so close to the junction of her pubis, tongue so close to her vulva, but never, never quite there.
Nerys shuddered, feeling teeth sink into her thigh, hard enough to send an ache through her. She was already so wet.
“Now I'm all bruised and horny, instead of... Instead of what I was before. I don't know if it's an improvement.”
She felt Jadzia's nose against the crotch of her panties, imagined Jadzia's face as she inhaled. “It definitely is,” Jadzia said, and pushed Nerys's shirt up so she could lick her stomach, so she could suck another red mark into the pale skin beneath her navel.
“If you're going to bite me, bite me harder,” Nerys said.
Jadzia obeyed, sucking soft skin up against her teeth and then nipping, sliding skin between teeth. It made Nerys buck and gasp, the soft pain radiating across her skin and sending tremors through her crotch. “Everything wonderful hurts,” Jadzia said, and sank teeth into the skin beside her navel.
She squirmed her hips again: the pain travelling through her was almost like the tremor right before orgasm. She felt Jadzia's hand against her vulva suddenly, and she ground down on it, her slick pussy sliding easily against Jadzia's fingers, her wet underwear providing delicious friction.
Jadzia took her hand away, and Nerys groaned, hips twitching. Jadzia tugged at her thighs, and pulled her further down on the couch so she was almost lying flat. She straddled her, long, warm legs bracketing Nerys's own.
“You're wearing way too many clothes,” she said. She pulled Nerys's shirt up, tugging it over her head, and then let it go when her hands were still tangled in it above her head, resting against the couch-cushion. “Leave them there.”
“Yes, Lieutenant. But I'm getting impatient.”
Her bra fastened at the back: there was a brief struggled as Jadzia reached round to undo it, and then it was free. Jadzia tugged it off her breasts and left it with the shirt: tangled around her hands, over her head. “Lovely,” Jadzia said, and leant over Nerys's breasts, lightly licking the sensitive skin, the soft, dark aureoles. The sensation, as ever, went straight to her vulva, her clit stinging with arousal.
Jadzia kissed her breasts softly, tongue too gentle, and then she fastened onto the side of Nerys's right breast, sucking the skin against her teeth. It hurt and it was too much and it was just right all at the same time. Nerys heard herself gasping, but distantly, as though it wasn't really her making that sound.
“You like it?”
“For fuck's sake, keep going.”
Jadzia laughed softly and nipped her other breast, just below the nipple. She sucked the nipple into her mouth, rolling it against her teeth, and Nerys felt a white-hot thread of sensation travelling through her breast, down her spine, to her trembling thighs, to her cunt.
She heard herself make an embarrassing, needy sound, and tried to grind her vulva against the couch-cushions. It was hard to do that in her position though, and her pussy just met empty air. Jadzia didn't even look up from her breasts, torturing them with little nips, sucking the skin against her teeth, drawing the blood to their sensitive, rosy surface. “Beautiful,” Jadzia murmured. “I love how much you enjoy this.”
“Stop teasing me,” Nerys said, even as she groaned in appreciation when Jadzia tugged a nipple into her mouth, pressing it against blunt teeth. She nipped and sucked until the sensation was almost too much, and Nerys was keening. Then she let go, blowing cool air against the sore skin, and licking it softly.
Nerys trembled, wanting Jadzia to bite her again, and not wanting it. She felt her suck the side of her breast, tugging a mouthful of tender tissue between her lips and sucking, sucking, sucking until Nerys was moaning, quivering. She felt her thighs trembling, her breath coming quick in her throat. Jadzia slid her hands over her hips and dug her teeth into the left breasts, soft and then harder, harder, harder, harder until it was too close to pain.
Jadzia slid her hands over Nerys's thighs, still sucking, biting, and then finally, finally, pressed the heel of her hand against Nerys's crotch, so Nerys could grind against her, could finally ease the pressure in her crotch. She rubbed her stinging clit through wet cotton against her lover's fingers.
Nerys felt her Jadzia's mouth leave her breast, and she moaned, uncertain whether she wanted more stimulation or less. Then Jadzia ducked down again, biting a different place, hard, teeth digging into already sore skin. Nerys ground against her hand rhythmically, again and again, until she was shuddering and gasping and coming.
It took some long breaths before she came back to herself. Jadzia was pulling her shirt off her arms, and Nerys registered, for the first time, the pain in her shoulders from holding them above her head. Jadzia leant her head on Nerys, and arranged Nerys's arms so that they were around her.
“My nipples hurt,” Nerys said.
“You loved it.”
“I did.” She stroked Jadzia's soft hair, vaguely, without really looking. She felt very tired, suddenly, drained of animation.
“We were having a serious conversation before we started fucking.”
Nerys's head felt fuzzy. “I can't even remember what it was about now.”
“That was the plan. We can talk about it in the morning.”
“Mm.” That sounded fine. She was willing to agree to anything Jadzia wanted right now. She caressed Jadzia's cheek.
“We should go to bed.”
“OK,” Nerys agreed, not moving.
Jadzia turned her head so she could kiss her throat. Very softly, she said, “Lovely Nerys. You are so young.”
She'd woken, before, with broken bones. She'd woken with frost on her clothes. She'd woken starving, she'd woken sick. She woke this morning with a dry mouth, a crick in her neck, and Jadzia's sharp knee pressed into her full bladder. She also woke feeling very, very content.
She blinked carefully. No real headache—had she drunk much last night? She could smell flowers in the room, still, but more faintly now, the life support system filtering out the scent. She kissed Jadzia's shoulder, thinking she had rarely woken in a better position, and then shifted, bladder forcing her out of Jadzia's arms.
“Time's it?” Jadzia murmured, burrowing into the couch.
“Early. Go back to sleep.”
And hot water—the hot shower was delicious. She knew she would never stop finding it a luxury. Even sonic showers, warm and fast, were pleasant, but hot water—oh, hot water. She dipped her head back, letting the heat run over her face and lips, and also urinated, hot pee flowing down the drain along with the water.
Feeling better, she looked down at her chest and thighs, and ran her fingers over the mottled bruises, the dark indents of teeth. She pressed down on the marks, relishing the slight sting. She could have got out a medikit to heal them, but she didn't want to. She wanted them to heal slowly, the bright marks to linger on her skin.
Jadzia was awake when she came back into the living room, stretching her shoulders out. “Why did we sleep on the couch when we have a bed? I've never been more uncomfortable in my life.”
Nerys didn't comment on that. Instead, she said, “You ate me last night.”
Her skin bruised easily, and the marks, especially around her nipples, were impressive. Jadzia grinned. “I did, didn't I? Are you sore?”
“I like it.” She'd meant to tease Jadzia about it, but she couldn't. She could only smile.
“You look beautiful. Debauched.” Jadzia rubbed her neck. “Next time we're doing it on a bed, though.”
“If you say so.” Nerys went to the replicator and ordered coffee for both of them. She didn't usually like to walk around naked, but today she enjoyed Jadzia's eyes following her. “Do you think my mother would like you?”
Jadzia spluttered and took the coffee. She sipped it, coughed, and swallowed hard. “I've never been asked that by a woman when she's naked and covered in bruises.”
“I'm glad I can surprise you.”
Jadzia curled her hands around the mug. “I don't know. I don't know your mother.”
“Neither do I.”
“I know.” Jadzia drank, and brushed a loose strand of hair back from her face. Her eyes looked inward, distant, and then her face resolved into the calm expression she wore when fully awake. “I'm sorry,” she said. “If she were alive, Nerys, I'd happily meet her. And people often like me.”
“Yes.” Nerys picked up her shirt from where she'd discarded it yesterday, sniffed it, and pulled it back on. “You're easy to like.”
“I've been a mother, and a daughter.”
That never stopped sounding strange. “And?”
“She'd be suspicious of me, I think. She might like me eventually, but she wouldn't ever be sure I was good enough for you.” Jadzia sighed softly. “If she were sensible, she'd trust you. She'd trust you to know what made you happy. But it's hard for a mother to be sensible.”
Nerys smiled. “I kind of hoped that. I was thinking about this last night, and I hoped she'd think you weren't good enough for me.”
“So you want me her to be difficult and disapprove of me? That's not very kind.”
She shrugged. She suddenly wished she were wearing pants while having this conversation. “In my head, she was kind of traditional. She might want me to marry a nice boy who followed the teachings of the prophets, and was good at carpentry. But I don't really know what she was like. She couldn't survive in the camps—a lot of people couldn't.”
“She'd want you to be happy,” Jadzia said, softly. “I wasn't a very good mother, but I was good enough to know that.”
“She died, and I'm still here. That's a lot of pressure, Jadzia. Is being happy enough? How can anything I do make up for what happened to her?”
Nerys sighed, and came and sat beside her. She tugged her shirt down so it covered her groin. “It can't make up for anything,” Jadzia said. “You can only be you.”
“That's not much.”
“If I were your mother, I'd be proud of the way you are.”
That sounded trite, to Nerys, and unworthy of Jadzia. “I'm angry and difficult and horny and a former terrorist and I forgot to shave my legs again.”
Jadzia rested her head against Nerys's shoulder. “And I've lived seven lifetimes, and I still find you the most exciting person I ever met.” She paused, and nuzzled against Nerys's neck. “And one of the best.”
Nerys sighed. Her breath came out with a hitch in it, the hitch that comes before crying begins. She swallowed hard, disappointed in herself, and said, “I feel so alone, sometimes. I can't imagine what it's like to have somewhere you can go and be at home. I try to imagine what my mother's house would have been like. Plants on the windowsills; the family shrine in the kitchen. Maybe she'd drive me crazy.”
Jadzia traced her finger over Nerys's hand, up to the pulse-point. “I'll try my best to make you feel less alone.”
“Oh, Dax,” Nerys sighed, the hitch coming properly now. “You are everything. And you can't be everything.”
“I know.” Jadzia said it gently, and she was holding Nerys in her arms before she started crying properly. The shudders ran through her, brief and painful. Tears barely came: her eyes just felt raw, and there was an ache in her throat. She gasped, and it eased.
She pulled away, then kissed Jadzia's cheek, and then the place where her spots crept into her hairline. Jadzia smiled, touched her cheek delicately, and said, “That was good. I didn't have to coax that out of you.”
“Don't make me feel like my emotional break-down is just another thing on your duty rota.” Nerys gave a shaky laugh.
“If it makes you feel better, it's right at the top.” Jadzia caressed her damp hair gently. “I'd like a shower, and to get dressed. Are you going to be OK?”
“Yeah, I'll put some pants on, and finish my coffee.”
Jadzia stood up, and found her discarded uniform from the previous day. She went to the bathroom door, and stopped, and looked back at her. “Nerys,” she said. “It's selfish, but I kind of like being everything.”
Nerys felt warmth spreading through her, from the back of her throat to her knees. She wanted to laugh and kiss Jadzia, but instead she said, “Appreciate it while you can. Maybe I'll adopt some Bajoran orphans and be too busy to give you head.”