by Susan P.
  Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine     Pairing: Odo/Kira  
  Rating, etc.: 13+, m/f with heavy angst.  
  Spoilers: nothing specific.  
  Summary: Love turns to need and need turns ugly.  
  Author's Notes: Written in a white heat, online, and in the space of about two and a half hours. Not beta'd. Not happy. Not resolved. No spoilers of note. No specific timeline in mind, but would fit in well with the Dominion Occupation/War arc (or "Crossfire" or "Heart of Stone" or "Children of Time"...). I've no sequel planned. You want a happy ending, feel free to write it...  
  Disclaimers: These characters belong to Paramount. This particular story is mine, and was written for fun, not for profit.  
  Permission to Archive: I can't remember whether I posted this anywhere other that the RAFL list, so it may not be archived anywhere else, although it did appear in one volume of the Love " Justice O/K fanzine.  If you'd like to archive it, please ask first.  

No control.

I hate 'losing' control.  But, at this moment, I wish I could lose it utterly.  Surrender to the forces trying to tear me apart--from within and without--and melt away into nothingness.  To collapse into myself.  Or spread myself thin--stretching farther and farther until my substance evaporates into the very air.  Sleep.  Death.  Something as yet unnameable and unquantifiable.  Whatever such an end might be, or might be called, surely there would be some measure of peace in it.  Better that than to tear myself apart figuratively on an almost daily basis.  Over you.

Not just over you, of course.  There are...circumstances...that stand between us.  Not the least of which is your seeming blindness, my painful reluctance and uncertainty.

This lover or that.  Distance--real and imagined.  The business of our daily lives.  Schedules.  Obligations.  Work.  Recreation.  All have come between us at some time or other.

Some of these things have even brought us together.  But not enough.  And not close enough.

I need more.  And yet, perhaps, I fear it.  If I loosed my tongue--let it speak the words of my perpetual, silent litany--how would the landscape of my life change before me?  Would there be new shapes, colors, textures to discover?  Could I navigate through such previously-unexplored terrain?  Or would it all simply crash down around me?

If you suddenly opened your eyes and saw me.  Saw through to the love and the need and the pain and the fear.  Would you open yourself to me?  Could you?  If you did, what would I see?  Could I accept such a gift, much as I believe I would want it?  Would I have the strength to accept from you that which I most want from you?

Sometimes, I am almost sorry that I love you.  Because it hurts.  Because it strips away the facade of my need.  My need makes me vulnerable.  Weak.  I would like to believe I am neither.  To have it laid bare to my own eyes is shameful enough.  To have it exposed to another, even--especially--you...  The thought is almost too much to bear.

Let the most trivial of everyday details come between us, and I am reduced to a quivering, ineffectual mass of thought and emotion.  A virtual child shaking its fist at the heavens, crying, "It's not fair!"  Internally, that is.  On the surface, there is my mask.  I created it, and I fight to retain it.  I wear it well.  Most of the time.  I struggle to keep it up in your presence.  Sometimes, it is as much a relief to leave you as it is a joy to see and spend time with you.  Once I walk away, however, I am free to let the mask slip.  Just a little.  Not so much that anyone else would notice.  Sometimes I wonder if even you could detect it.

Sometimes I am almost sorry that I love you.  That I need you.  Almost.  Even in my most desperate, painful moments, I cannot quite wish my feelings away.  They are--as you are--too much a part of me for me too denounce, or renounce, them so easily.  Even if I could separate out the parts of me that love you and tuck that part away in some corner, I know I could not survive without it.  So much of who I am, who I have become, is tied up with you.  With knowing, and loving you.  And I loved you from the first, although I didn't know it then.  My very existence is inextricably bound to yours.  Whether or not you know it.  Whether or not I care to admit it openly.  It is you that ties me to this place.  To this life.  Without you there would be no spark, no color.  My life would be all shadow, no substance.  As would I.

© June 1999