The following story contains reasonably graphic sex between two women. If that offends you, please stop reading. If that doesn't, please leave your name and number, and Senator Exon will return your call in the morning.

Star Trek - Deep Space Nine: Intimate Betrayals (FF)
by Mercutio

"Are you sure you won't come with us?" Jadzia Dax looked at her smaller friend.

Major Kira Nerys shook her head slightly, looking at Dax and Bashir. She didn't feel up to a round of socializing. Particularly not with the competent, ontrolled Trill. Bashir was nothing, a charming puppy who had to be watched to make sure he didn't piddle on the floor, but Dax disturbed Kira in a way she didn't want to think about.

"Maybe some other time. I have some things I need to do." It wasn't true, but Kira could always find things to do.

Dax turned away with a regretful look, towing Bashir in her wake, and something in that look made Kira think of an incident that had happened years before, during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. She'd been young, barely out of adolescence, but no Bajoran born during that time was truly young. They were all born old. Kira had done her best to bury the memory, but the way Dax had looked at her reminded her of Jermyn.

* * *

They deposited her bloody, broken, naked body on the floor and kicked the door shut.

Kira could not even muster the strength to spit a curse after them. Her attention was all drawn inward, into the pain her body had become. She was a member of the Resistance, and although it sounded fine and grand when it was said or chanted or passed from hopeful mouth to receptive ear, all it really
meant was being marked as an enemy to the Cardassians and the Cardie sympathizers.

She'd been captured by this bunch and tortured. It had gained them nothing. She wasn't just some scared kid anymore. If they'd wanted information and nothing but that, they'd have had it; there were drugs that could take any information from anyone, no matter how prepared. But it hadn't been information they were after. This time. They'd just wanted to hurt her and to punish her for being a Bajoran, when they'd forgotten what being loyal to their own selves truly meant.

She lay there for a long time where she'd been dropped, unable to move and despising herself for the weakness, when she heard a sound from outside.

The door opened, and in stepped a fine Bajoran lady, dressed simply in a flowing robe that far outstripped in quality any of the rags which the Resistance clothed its members in.

The garb marked her for what she was, and Kira found she did have the energy to curse after all. "Cardie whore!"

Mon Jermyn did not flinch. She set down the bundle of medical supplies she was carrying, and looked coolly down at Kira, eyes betraying nothing of what she felt. She'd been sent here by her owner, and owner was certainly the right word for it, given their relative degrees of status and how he could crush her if he
chose, to tend to the prisoner, to keep her alive. This one was to be turned over to the Cardassians, if she lived. However, the captive's current physical state was a source of great embarrassment to Jermyn's owner, lover and sometime power in what remained of the Bajoran government. The captive was to be turned over in good condition, not half-dead, and although the Cardassians would do doubt do worse to her, he had to allay that error before it was discovered.

And so Jermyn had been sent. She knelt next to Kira. "I'm going to put you on the bed now," Jermyn said in a quiet, controlled voice.

Kira turned her head painfully. "You are not."

Without paying any attention to that protest, Jermyn lifted Kira and transferred her the few small feet to the bed. Kira was a light weight in her arms, a fragile, half-starved thing compared to the larger, healthier Jermyn.

Jermyn turned away to get her things. Kira looked up at her, face grimaced with pain. "You're a fool."

In a rustle of heavy silk, Jermyn knelt down at Kira's side, setting a basin of water on the floor, and dipping a cloth in it. She wrung it out, then began to wash Kira who, much to her own helpless fury, was unable to prevent her.

Kira glared at her tormentor, that much fight still remaining in her, but little else. She'd been captured the previous day, on a routine foray. The people who had caught her were Bajoran, despicable sympathizers who would betray their own mothers to the Cardies, and who had had much less mercy for her. She'd fought them, but her skills were no use when she was greatly outnumbered. They'd restrained her, and then the real nightmare began. It was not the first time Kira had been tortured. It would not be the last. But no time was a good time
to be thrown in the dirt and raped, then beaten until your bones snapped under the relentless pounding.

But there was something far worse than torture, and Kira was surprised that these brutes had the subtlety to find it and use it. And that was kindness.

With a sense of horror and shame far greater than anything she'd felt the night before, Kira felt emotion well up in her as Jermyn's gentle hands moved over her body, cleaning away the dirt and the blood.

A tear leaked down Kira's cheek. The soft hands easing her discomfort, the silent woman bending over her, working with such care... this had to be yet another phase in the torture they had planned for her.

Jermyn ignored Kira's tears, giving the smaller woman the respite she needed. She wrung the cloth out again, and continued, giving no sign at being uncomfortable at any of this, not Kira's tears, not intimately handling a naked, conscious woman's body, nothing. She lifted Kira's leg slightly, repositioning it with gentle hands to get at the dried blood on the inside of her thighs.

Kira flinched at that gesture, but had no strength left to refuse anything. Jermyn ignored that small resistance and continued, working her way down to Kira's shattered knee.

Kira bit her lip in anticipation of the pain that would follow, but there was none. Jermyn was very careful.

"Why are you doing this?" Kira finally asked, her voice tight. "I don't need your pity."

Jermyn looked up. "I was told to do it. I'll be taking care of you until you get well."

"And then what? You'll throw me to the Cardassians?"

Jermyn looked back at Kira, her face blank, eyes level. It was a look that said more than words ever could, an acknowledgment that this was the way things were on Bajor, and that Kira was, or should be, old enough to know that.

Kira's lip curled slightly. "You *are* on their side. You're making a very foolish mistake, you know that."

Jermyn finished with her first task, and turned away, getting out the rest of the medical supplies. Even with the directive to restore Kira's health, they wouldn't waste valuable medical resources on a Resistance fighter. All Jermyn had to work with were the kind of basic first aid supplies that every household
stocked. She could bandage and splint, and that was about it.

"You have to face reality," Jermyn said levelly, bandaging a gash on Kira's arm. "I have. The glory of greater Bajor is a wonderful ideal, but the Cardassians are here, and there's nothing that can be done about that."

The smooth phrases angered Kira. "Face reality? The reality is that Cardassia is raping our land, killing our people and taking what's rightfully ours."

Jermyn shrugged slightly, with a world weary air, as if to say, that's just the way things are.

Kira dropped her head back into the pillow, releasing the little tension she'd used to pull it up, and feeling thwarted. This woman was the kind of person that the Resistance needed to convince in order to win this war. She wasn't on the
Cardassians's side for anything other than expediency and survival, motives Kira understood very well. Expediency and survival were everything on Bajor, and children learned those lessons very quickly if they ever hoped to live to be adults. All she lacked were the ideals and beliefs that Kira could not live

The knee was hopeless. Jermyn did her best to immobilize it, but if Kira ever wanted to walk again, she'd need real medical attention for it. Everything else would heal in its own time, although much more slowly than if Kira had received real care.

Jermyn sat back. "I'm done."


Jermyn took a white tunic from the pile of things she'd brought with her, and shook it out. She turned to Kira. "I'll put you in a sitting position. If you could hold that while I put this on, it would make things easier."

If? Kira didn't want to think about what that degree of weakness meant.

Jermyn put her hands under Kira's shoulders and lifted her up gently, levering her into a sitting position, which only made more places hurt.

Jermyn looked levelly into Kira's eyes. "Do you think you can sit?"

Kira nodded once, eyes hard. "I can do it."

The other woman nodded, then took the tunic, and slipped it over Kira's head, pulling her arms through it with difficulty. The tunic was large, or it would never have worked.

Jermyn took Kira's shoulders again, and carefully lowered her to the bed.

Kira ignored her, or tried to ignore her as Jermyn packed up her things and left, her own body shaking and weak from what should have been minor physical exertion.

After the other woman's departure, there was only silence to fill the room, which was preternaturally quiet and not lit by any external source. Kira deduced easily that she was far underground, isolated from any simple escape route, and that, since she couldn't hear any outside noises, no one outside would be able to hear her either. The only way out would be through the main building. Kira had been only semiconscious during the trip here, and the only mental picture she retained of the building was that of endless dark corridors, and more guards
than she could ever overcome on her own, if she were even strong enough to get to the door on her own, which she was not.

In silent, helpless fury, she cursed her weakness.

* * *

The silence had lasted an eternity, a time which Kira had no way of marking. The artificial lights never dimmed, and without any external time referent, she was lost. It could have been an hour, a day, or even longer.

But then the door creaked open, and Jermyn stepped into the room.

Kira resisted an urge to ask her where she'd been. She didn't know, didn't want to know and didn't care. The other woman was the enemy, and Kira didn't even want to know her name.

With a gentle, swaying walk, Jermyn came over to Kira, carrying a tray. "Do you feel like eating?"

"And if I don't?" Kira spat out. She hated this woman, dressed in her expensive clothing, with her obviously well-kept figure. The woman was born to her profession, a perfectly conformed body, not neat or small, but curved in a way that Kira, with her own soldier's body, could never be. And Kira hated her for
that, for being well-fed and prosperous when so many were going hungry and dying.

Jermyn shrugged slightly and sat the tray down. "Will a hunger strike make you feel any better? Do you have no plans to overpower me and escape?"

The woman's tone was faintly mocking, and Kira resented it greatly. "Just leave it."

"You aren't capable of feeding yourself," Jermyn observed quietly. "You won't be able to use your arms for days yet."

Kira tried to prove her wrong, tried to lever herself up, but she couldn't even make her arms bend in the right places. They'd been tied behind her back for too long, and that loss of circulation combined with the other injuries she'd suffered made it impossible for her to help herself.

Jermyn didn't wait for Kira to acknowledge her defeat and helplessness. She set the tray on a nearby table and sat on the edge of the bed. "I'm going to raise you up now," Jermyn said, then pulled Kira up, and readjusted her pillow so she was almost comfortably supported in a half-reclining, half-sitting position.

With silent rage, Kira accepted this action, and being spoon-fed. She was helpless, and there was nothing she hated more. But she had to accept it in order to regain her strength, in order to have any chance of escaping from here.

When she was finished, Jermyn readjusted her so that she was once again lying comfortably, then rose and left.

Kira fell into a light doze almost immediately, just the simple act of eating having exhausted her.

When she awoke, her bladder was pressing painfully, urgently for attention. Kira opened her eyes. Across the room was a primitive refresher. She wasn't tied down or restrained in any way. She should have been able to make it, except that she
couldn't get up. Yet another humiliation piled on her by her captors. Was it deliberate? Quite possibly.

Knowing it was hopeless, Kira struggled to sit up. Her arms were useless, her hands like numb blocks of ice. The best she could do was to brace her elbows into the bed. With great effort, she was able to lift her head. But that was all. Without additional leverage, she was stuck there.

Kira laid her head back down. Now what? Did she try to crawl over there and then humiliate herself worse by being unable to use the device? Or did she just relieve herself right here like the animal they obviously wanted to turn her into?

Before she could make a decision, fatigue swam over her, and she dropped into a light sleep once again.

Jermyn opened the door and walked in, to find Kira lying asleep in the bed. She came over to her, and sat down, resting her load on the table. With calm hands, she began removing a bandage from Kira's arm, checking the condition of the

Kira came awake instantly, trained reflexes acting instinctively. She threw herself at the intruder's throat - or tried to - finding herself instead feebly lurching onto her side.

"Good morning," Jermyn said quietly.

"Morning? Is that what time it is?"

"Do you need to relieve yourself?"

The question hung starkly in the air for a long moment before Kira answered. "Yes."

Jermyn stood up and knelt over Kira, pulling her up to a sitting position on the bed. "Lean on me," she instructed, putting an arm under Kira's and supporting her as she stood or tried to stand.

The motion sent a wave of pain through Kira's knee, but she would have ignored far worse than that. Her muscles were all weak from inaction, and her legs would have buckled if Jermyn had not been taking most of her weight.

Slowly, Jermyn assisted Kira across the room, then sat her down, holding onto her shoulders to keep her upright.

Kira glared at her. "Aren't you going to give me some privacy?"

Jermyn looked calmly back at her. "Can you sit on your own?" She backed away for a moment, to test, and Kira wobbled, nearly falling over.

Without saying a word, Jermyn moved back to her, stepping close and letting Kira balance herself against Jermyn's thigh.

It was tremendously humiliating, but Kira had known worse, and after a moment, was able to make the necessary response and relieve her painfully full bladder. Then she was left with an even greater problem.

Jermyn looked down at her with calm eyes, and Kira sneered. "Just put it in my hand. I can clean myself."

She nodded, and closed Kira's cold, nerveless hand around the tissue. With jerky motions, Kira took care of it, then nodded.

Jermyn assisted Kira back to the bed, and helped her to lie down. Kira was shaking all over, but triumphant. Each action she made, even one as feeble as that stumbling parody of a walk, helped her get stronger. She had to get stronger in order to escape.

Jermyn checked each dressing as Kira laid there, unable to resist. Perversely, her very helplessness made her want to strike out even more. And there was an easy target sitting there.

"Tell me, whose whore are you?"

Jermyn stiffened slightly, then acknowledged the remark with a droop of her head. Whore *was* one of the kinder ways to put it, after all, and not something she hadn't called herself many times in her head. And the information was not especially critical. "Rees Zimon."

Kira drew a sharp breath. "Rees?"

Jermyn nodded, and continued with her work. The splint she'd put on Kira's knee was holding as well as something jury-rigged could.

Kira studied the woman in front of her consideringly. Identifying with one's captor was a common problem for hostages, and Kira was as capable of falling into it as anyone else, although she wasn't about to admit that. However, she
had something far more subversive in mind. "What's someone like you doing with Rees? He's an old, dried up, slimy..."

"Politician," Jermyn finished for Kira, who seemed able to go on forever with the defamatory adjectives. "Zimon is a politician, and he's managed to stay afloat when many others have gone down."

"Been gunned down, you mean. There's no future in this for you."

Jermyn shrugged slightly, a gesture made elegant by her fine bone structure. "What future is there for Bajor? I merely intend to stay alive and well, however I can."

Kira looked intently at her. "Bajor's future is to live free, without Cardassia and its influence."

"Perhaps. But I prefer to live in the meantime," Jermyn said as she looked pointedly at Kira and her broken body.

Kira winced as Jermyn's hands touched a particularly sore spot, but didn't move. "Is fucking an old man like Rees living?"

Jermyn didn't answer that. There was no answer she could give. It wasn't living, but it was. It was a far better life than Kira's hardscrabble one, offering Jermyn fine food and a soft bed to sleep in. But the things she had to do to keep that existence weren't pretty. Rees had his sexual demands to make of her, even at his age, but far worse were the times when he loaned her out as a toy or a present to a visiting dignitary or someone in his ranks who had pleased him. Sometimes she came away with bruises from those, and sometimes a little more. There was more to who she was and what she did than Kira could imagine, and more than Jermyn would ever willingly tell. She was good enough at what she did, far better than she had been as a frightened pubescent, plucked out of the camps
and taken to the dark confines of a stranger's bed to be raped and tossed aside to cry silently on the floor until morning. She'd learned many things; her ability to please a man was unquestionable. She rarely suffered any harm at their hands except when the man in question enjoyed making a woman suffer for his own pleasure. Generally, such men were Bajoran. The occasional Cardassian who indulged in such a perversion as having sexual encounters with Bajorans generally was satisfied with just that, or if not, an elaborate show of begging and submission. Jermyn was quite good at that as well. She was quite good at everything that kept her alive.

Jermyn finished her work, then left Kira alone again, shutting the door quietly behind herself.

Kira felt almost sorry that she'd said such a thing. She was wide awake now, her body aching and sore. There was no one else to talk to except herself, and even though the woman was the epitome of what Bajor had become, Kira would have
welcomed any conversation. She was a person of action, not introspective. Being alone and immobilized was the one of the worst possible ways she could imagine being confined. Even being able to pace would have offered some relief. But instead, her own body was her prison, and the very lack of external restraints only served to ridicule her helplessness.

Too weak to move, Kira accordingly practiced moving, practiced it until she shook with the strain. She had to regain her strength as soon as possible. It was the only weapon she had.

* **

Kira had no way to mark the passage of time in that grim little room. She had fallen asleep once since she'd seen Jermyn last, which had been the morning then, if Jermyn had been telling the truth.

Through grim determination, Kira had managed to get herself upright once. That was the hard part. Her knee was the only component of her legs that was really damaged. Only residual weakness from lack of use kept her shaky once she was
standing, and Kira intended to remedy that very quickly. But her hands and arms were still almost useless, and once she laid back down, Kira found herself unable to get up again. The effort required was just too great.

Escape plans continued to move through her head, even though Kira was convinced of their futility. She would try because she had to try, but that was all. She had some ideas. The door was locked from the outside, except when Jermyn was in the room. That was evident, because Jermyn did not have to signal to anyone to let her out. However, that could mean almost anything. Kira chose to believe the worst case scenario, that there was a guard right outside the door and thus, no escape was seen as likely. It didn't make too much sense to send Jermyn in, since Kira could use her as a hostage, but perhaps this Rees didn't see Jermyn as valuable enough to be a hostage.

Even so, getting out of this room was the easy part. Getting out of this house, and into friendly territory, that was the difficult bit. And doing it before whatever time she had ran out... now there was a challenge.

* * *

Much later, Jermyn returned with another tray of food.

"Why do they have you bringing me my meals and not a guard?" Kira asked, even as she allowed herself to be propped up to eat.

Jermyn held out the spoon. "Do you feel well enough to feed yourself?"

Kira took it, gripping it clumsily in numb fingers. "Why?"

Jermyn held the bowl for Kira. "The idea is for you to get well. To have the guards take care of you would not be... wise."

Kira almost smiled at that wry tone, but caught herself. "And then you'll sell me to the Cardies, who'll kill me. Why not just do it now and save yourself a lot of work?"

"I'm not the one doing this to you," Jermyn said, her words and the inflection of her voice tacitly acknowledging the truth of Kira's statement.

"You are," Kira said flatly. "You can try to hide behind Rees, try to blame him for this, but you're just as guilty as he is."

Jermyn lifted an eyebrow. "If you don't eat your soup, you won't get better."

Kira glared at her, but reapplied herself to the food. When she was done, and Jermyn was rearranging the empty dishes on the tray, she spoke again. "You are equally guilty. You can't escape it."

Jermyn's face was turned away. "Guilty of what? Being kind to a prisoner?"

"You know better than that," Kira said bitterly. "You know what they'll do to me. I'll be dead as soon as the Cardassians have what precious little data they can wring from me with their drugs."

Jermyn hesitated in her packing up of the tray, face turning towards Kira's. Words hung on the edge of her mouth, and Kira read something in her face that she didn't quite understand. Almost like Jermyn was trying to say that wasn't going to happen.

Jermyn rested a hand very briefly on Kira's, but before Kira could make any move or say something, Jermyn pulled away, and left the room.

Kira immediately started trying to sit up, working on exercising her body. Jermyn hadn't removed the pillow from behind her back, which helped considerably. Kira stretched and moved, ignoring the cries of overstrained muscles. She couldn't just sit there. She had to *do* something. Particularly in the light of Jermyn's last revelation.

Kira didn't know whether she could believe Jermyn. She knew she didn't trust her. In any case, Jermyn had not said anything outright. But Kira could interpret looks, had had a lot of experience in reading people's intentions in their body language. And what Jermyn had said just then was that Kira was not going to be turned over to the Cardassians, that something else was going to happen, something Jermyn was reluctant to speak of.

Probably some worse fate even than being handed to the Cardies, although Kira couldn't imagine what that was.

Kira sat upright, then let herself fall back to the pillow, where she raised herself up again, inch by painful inch. What was Jermyn? Who was she? What game was she playing?

The answer was deductively obvious. Kira had known of many Bajoran women who'd taken the route Jermyn had. It was an easy way out of the labor camps, or it seemed that way. Kira had also seen the dead bodies of those fancy women, looking not nearly as beautiful in death as they had in life.

But something in Jermyn's self-controlled stillness both intrigued and bothered Kira. Jermyn didn't have to lead this kind of life. She was stronger and more intelligent than that. Even in the little Kira had seen of her, she could tell that. The silences and the hesitations, the learned calmness... these were not the trappings of a shallow pleasure toy. They were tools, ones Kira knew well, and respected, even as she knew her own fiery temper frequently caused her trouble in that arena.

Jermyn was more, and yet she chose to live as a prostitute to a Cardie sympathizer. Why?

Kira sat up again, sweat beading her forehead with the effort. It made no sense. Normally, she wouldn't have cared. There were many people who chose the wrong side of the argument, and Kira condemned them all with a passion. But Jermyn was
different. She'd chosen the wrong side, yes, but she wasn't the same. All Jermyn lacked were the ideals. And that was a small lack. World-weariness afflicted everyone; the war had gone on much too long and too many people had lost too much. Even Kira felt it sometimes.

But worse, Kira was attracted to Jermyn. That fine self-control, the quiet strength and imperturbality -- all qualities Kira wished for herself, and admired in others. And on top of that was the woman's sheer physical beauty. Kira hung there for a moment, sitting up, stomach muscles clenching with the effort. Her long dark hair, piled on her head; smooth, perfect skin; and always,
that graceful, flowing walk...

Flopping back down, Kira banished the thoughts. She was getting fixated on her captor, that was all. She had no interest in Jermyn. The woman was a whore. She couldn't have any interest in Jermyn. It was impossible.

* * *

Kira did her exercises all through the empty hours, pushing herself to the point of exhaustion and beyond. Whatever was going to happen to her would happen soon. She was more than well enough for any kind of prisoner transfer.

Should she make her escape attempt now? She could hobble around the room, but with her knee out of commission, she was in no shape to outrun anyone, much less trained guards. A second hesitation hit her: it would have to be Jermyn she
attacked first, Jermyn who would walk through that door and be knocked unconscious. To wound or kill an enemy was nothing to Kira. She'd done it many times before, and would do so again. To hurt someone who was almost a friend, that was harder. But she would do it anyway. To escape was the first duty of any prisoner.

However, she didn't have to do it yet. She could wait a little longer.

The door opened and Jermyn stepped through. This was a different costume, a red silk robe over a black tunic and soft heavy trousers, an outfit more suited for lounging than visiting prison cells.

Kira looked up, unaware how her face lit up as Jermyn entered the room. If she had been, she would have explained it away as a natural consequence of enforced aloneness. Any change was a welcome one.

Jermyn set her supplies down. She was very careful to always remove what she brought. There could be no accusation that she had been careless and allowed the captive to escape.

"How are you feeling?" Jermyn asked quietly. It had been a long day for her, and tending Kira was an additional duty. Her life seemed simple from the outside, but it was not. To live her life above suspicion, and yet betray her masters, that was a difficult thing. To do all of that and pretend she liked it, to enjoy this kind of life was even more difficult. In essence, she *had* to enjoy it, had to embrace each aspect of it fully. Any insincerity, any true pretense would have been detected immediately. So the act was, on many levels, the reality. She
did care for Zimon, did understand why it was that her people gave in to Cardassia, and even sometimes believed that submission was the correct choice. She had, after all, grown up in the camps as so many others like her had. She knew what the alternatives were, and what the Resistance faced. There were many good reasons to give into the Cardassians, to live a comfortable life with some hope of a future. And Jermyn lived that silk-clad lie, while even at the same time, furtively passing information to her contact in the Resistance, someone she did not know, and who she hoped did not know her. Lies within lies, and all it took was the presence of this one idealist to tear a hole in that thin tissue that held her together.

"Does it matter?"

Jermyn inclined her head slightly, with a cynical twist to her lips. "It matters to me."

Kira looked steadily at her, then gave the lie. "How do you expect me to feel? Those bastards broke my knee and gangraped me."

Jermyn didn't reply, just gazed steadily at Kira, eyes dark and shadowed. There was nothing she could say. She was in the position of captor, and Kira couldn't be honest with her. They both recognized that; it was there in the silence with them.

Jermyn sat on the edge of the bed for a long while, then sighed. "I wanted to check your dressings. Some of the lesser wounds should have healed by now."

The first time Jermyn had placed her hands on her, Kira had been semiconscious. Even then, the thoroughness of her touch had been disturbing. But this time, Kira was fully awake, her body almost completely under her control, and the gentle hands repositioning her, moving against her skin, seemed more than just gentle.

But Jermyn never offered any kind of insult, only checking each wound, cleaning it out when necessary, and replacing the dressings which needed replacing.

Kira found it hard to look at the woman, kneeling next to the bed, knowing who and what she was, and still keep control. She was a Cardie sympathizer, and moreover, she traded her body for her safekeeping. But the soft touches on her skin, the care being paid her spoke of something different.

Without words, because there weren't any words for this, and neither of them were the kind of people who needed words, Kira reached down to Jermyn, her hand going to the woman's dark hair, now hanging loosely around her shoulders.

Jermyn looked up at that gesture. The room was very quiet, and she thought she could hear her heart beating. She searched Kira's eyes, assuring herself that this wasn't a trick or some misguided attempt to curry pity. What she saw there reassured her, and she covered Kira's hand with her own, bringing it down to the level of her heart.

Kira tugged on her hand, and Jermyn rose up, half-sitting, half-lying on the edge of the bed.

This was an easy thing for Jermyn. She'd exercised her considerable skills on any number of people. She had no body modesty, no remaining prejudices, nothing she wouldn't do. Sex was not exciting or even particularly interesting anymore,
except when her well-being was on the line. But this encounter was different, and she didn't quite know why. She felt fluttery inside and shyer than she'd ever been, even the first time.

She bent over Kira, kissing her softly on the forehead, then on the bridge of her nose. Then her lips settled on Kira's, and Jermyn was surprised by the depth of passion hidden in the small, guarded woman. Jermyn responded to it, letting Kira take control.

Jermyn's hand came up to Kira's side, resting against the soft fabric of the tunic, and she looked at Kira, asking permission with her eyes. Finding assent there, Jermyn stroked Kira through the thick cloth, molding it over the naked form underneath.

Pushing the soft fabric up, Jermyn slowly exposed Kira to the harsh light of the room. All she had was the short white garment. Without saying a word, Jermyn moved down, mouth and hands both touching the other woman, sensitizing her body
to that touch.

Kira felt it all happening, and was unable to stop it. Her helplessness should have kept her from being excited by this at all. Kira hated being helpless in any situation. But Jermyn had paid such thorough care to her during each stage of her convalescence that Kira couldn't help but want to know what it would feel like to have that thoroughness be applied not to care but to sex.

Jermyn obliged her, attentively addressed each of her breasts with fingers then tongue and finally her whole mouth, suckling on each and sending a wave of desire through Kira's body. Kira reached up with jerky motions, hand resting on Jermyn's long hair, careful not to tangle it. Even in this passion, both women were intimately aware of the dangers they were running and what they could not risk.

Then Jermyn was moving down, hands smoothing along Kira's sides, stroking her hips, mouth and tongue finding their own way down.

Jermyn shifted to kneel between Kira's legs, then paused, one hand still gently caressing her thigh. She sought for Kira's glance, asking wordlessly whether this was what she wanted, only days after a brutal rape. Kira met her glance
unflinchingly, and Jermyn nodded, sliding down with practiced grace, careful not to rumple her fragile silk robe.

Kira closed her eyes, trying to relax. Despite her outward confidence, she couldn't help but be somewhat scared by this. But she would never back down from something because she was scared of it. She waited in suspenseful agony for the first touch, muscles unconsciously tensed in anticipation of pain.

A gentle hand stroked her at the junction of her legs, smoothing down to the already damp hair between them.

Kira looked up, but Jermyn's face was intent, expression elsewhere.

And then knowledgeable fingers were parting her, and a sleek, hot caress was inside, right where she most wanted it, nowhere near the site of the burning, tearing pain that had been inflicted on her by Rees' bully boys.

Kira's fingers clenched into the thin padding of the mattress under her, knowing she didn't dare trust herself to touch Jermyn and not disarray her perfectly arranged appearance. The feeling went on and on forever, as Jermyn showed no inclination to stop, only an uncanny sense of how to tease and how to make her want this even more.

Kira bit her lip against any accidental outcry, the sharp pain only accenting the melting pleasure she felt. With a single sharp intake of breath, she came, her body shuddering in the release of deeply held tensions.

As Kira lay on the bed, still shaking, body subsiding from that fevered pitch, Jermyn smoothed the soft white fabric of the tunic back down Kira's body, tugging it gently under her hips.

She was leaving, Kira realized. She'd done her part, and she was going to leave. Kira stopped her with a raised hand, pulling feebly on Jermyn's arm.

Jermyn came reluctantly down to Kira's side. She'd given Kira what she needed and wanted, and Jermyn hadn't minded, which was a gift all in itself. To give was her life, and everything she ever did, but this had been a pleasure as well, which was more than Jermyn expected it to be.

Kira raised her hand to Jermyn's breast, stroking the black tunic clumsily.

Jermyn took Kira's cold hand in her own, rubbing at it for a moment, then shook her head ever so slightly in negation and replaced Kira's hand at her side.

Kira's eyes flashed. She didn't like being dismissed so easily. She reached up to Jermyn again.

"Please. Don't," Jermyn said quietly, in an undertone of a whisper. She truly was what Kira had named her, a whore, and she didn't want this unmasking, this opening of herself to vulnerability and pain. To give was easy, to receive an
intrusion on the only private self she had left.

Jermyn pulled away from Kira, looking down at her once more, eyes thoughtful and sad, then left, closing the door behind her.

Kira shut her eyes, and drew in a deep breath. Sexual encounters were a common hazard of Resistance life. The stress, the short life expectancies, the danger, all of these forced people together. But Jermyn wasn't a member of the
Resistance. She was an enemy, and one Kira was going to have to betray in order to escape. And that betrayal could mean Jermyn's life. Her lover might very well have her killed for her failure to properly secure the prisoner. Kira didn't want that. On the other hand, Jermyn might very well be using sex to keep
her prisoner under control. It was a possibility, and one that made Kira's skin crawl. But she didn't believe it. She knew people better than that. Jermyn was as much a victim as she was.

However, Kira would have to render Jermyn unconscious in order to escape. Kira's chin firmed. No matter what it took, she would escape. And she knew that Jermyn understood that.

When the door opened next, hours later, Kira was ready. But it wasn't Jermyn who came through the door. It was a man, someone she didn't know, and he disabled her clumsy attempt easily.

"Nerys, we're here to get you out."

Surprised and shocked, she'd gone with the man. Somehow, the Resistance had learned of her captivity, and had mounted a rescue attempt.

She'd never seen Jermyn again.

* * *

The bright, painful memories hung in the stillness of her mind. What had Jermyn been? Had Jermyn actually cared for her in any way? Did it still matter after all these years? Kira stood there, lost in her thoughts. People had done and been many things during the Cardassian occupation. While Kira despised traitors, she could not find it in her to condemn Jermyn for who she'd been. If she were even still alive.

Shaking the recriminations and might-have-beens from her, Kira strode after Jadzia and that impertinent little snip of a doctor. Maybe Dax would like to share a drink. She knew something about the power of old memories as well.

-the end-


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