Major Kira was on the other side of the Replimat. She'd ordered a hot drink and some sort of Bajoran snack that she was letting get cold while she pored over a stack of PADDs. She was always working. Unless she was yelling.
Jadzia had been wondering for a while about making friends with Major Kira. She was naturally shy - or at least, part of her was - and it didn't help that Kira never really smiled, and she seemed angry a lot, especially in meetings. Jadzia had made a couple of timid attempts at small talk in quieter moments, but either Kira had been distracted or she just didn't think Jadzia was worth her time.
But in spite of her grumpy demeanour and the fact that she hadn't really shown any interest in making friends with, well, anyone, Jadzia wanted to get to know her. Perhaps it was because she was curious about whether there was anything more to her than anger and impatience. Perhaps it was because she'd always liked a challenge, even before she had been Dax. Certainly part of her wanted to make Kira smile. It might even have been a little because sometimes, you just needed another woman around. On her less together days, Jadzia thought the presence of another female person, a friend, might help her to keep her fragile grasp on her fluctuating identity.
It was a problem. She woke up in the morning and sometimes it took her two or three tries to remember exactly who she was. At the replicator just now, she'd ordered something she hated without noticing, and only remembered when she almost spat it out that it was Tobin who liked Denobulan sausage, and not Jadzia.
She was resisting integration, she knew. She hadn't thought it would happen to her, although they said it was normal. She had always succeeded at everything she tried, and so although they had warned her that it would take a while for her new personality to settle, she had still expected that she would leave the Symbiosis Commission a perfectly-blended and fully-rounded Jadzia Dax.
She wasn't perfectly blended at all. She was all bits and pieces, and different parts floated to the surface on different days, with different people. With Benjamin she was more Curzon, because how could she help it? With Julian she was Jadzia's shyness behind a veil of Audrid's calm self-assurance. Torias made inappropriate comments during meetings that she had to fight not to say aloud.
Curzon was the worst. Curzon wanted her to go out drinking with strangers. Curzon didn't believe in following proper procedure. (Neither did Lela, but Lela wasn't flippant or mocking.)
There had been mutterings, when people heard she was getting Dax. About how Curzon hadn't behaved in a manner befitting a joined Trill. He was a wild card. A troublemaker. He was frivolous.
Some part of her that was Lela said: Ha! The Dax symbiont was a troublemaker before any of us got involved!
But the Symbiosis Commission didn't see it that way. Frivolous Curzon Dax had been on the edge of acceptable. She wondered sometimes if dedicated, studious Jadzia hadn't been their attempt to balance his influence a little. Well, it wasn't working. She'd been joined for months now and the Jadzia part of her was run ragged trying to keep the Curzon part under control. She was pulled taut from the effort of behaving like a proper Trill.
As if anyone here knows what a proper Trill is supposed to act like, said a not-exactly-voice inside her. Probably Curzon again. Especially not Major Kira. You don't need to impress her, you know.
You worry too much, said another voice. Audrid. It isn't the host's job to keep the symbiont in check, or vice versa. Don't fight your impulses so hard.
And don't be so serious all the time, someone added, perhaps Torias.
The voices blurred into a chorus.
That was always your problem. Too serious. So ambitious, so afraid of failure that you never had time to think about anything else. Working, working, working, all the time, never having any fun. Like Major Kira. Has she cracked a smile since you arrived on the station? Doesn't she look tired?
You think she doesn't look like she's having much fun, have you looked at yourself lately? When do you ever smile? When do you let your hair down? Maybe she is afraid to approach you?
Jadzia peered across to where the major still hadn't touched her food. She was frowning over the PADDs.
You can stop now, said the voice. You've made it. You earned premier distinctions in four sciences, you made history by successfully reapplying to be joined, you've risen incredibly quickly to be the chief science officer of one of the most strategically and scientifically important outposts in the entire quadrant.
It might be time to relax a little bit.
She hadn't noticed when it happened, but the voice that spoke was her own.
Besides, it continued, I think the Major needs some frivolity in her life right now, maybe even more than you do. And nobody parties like Dax.
'You're right,' Jadzia said, aloud.
A few people looked at her, confused. She grinned at them. And then she got up, picked up her torte, and went to join Major Kira.