"I can't believe I'm doing this."
Sisko smiled wryly. "I'm finding it hard to believe myself, old man."
Jadzia Dax put her raktajino on Sisko's coffee table and leaned forward. "Don't get me wrong. He has a lot of wonderful qualities. He's good-looking, intelligent, loyal, much more careful than your typical Klingon..."
"I hear a 'but' at the end of that sentence."
She laughed. "But, why am I marrying him? He's also repressed, possessive and really immature in a lot of ways. When I started seeing him, I thought it was just going to be fun and games, you know?"
"You should know it doesn't always work that way. Some men need more."
"Oh, I know, Benjamin. Some women do too. Remember the Targuelian ambassador's daughter?"
"How could I forget? You nearly got us both killed that time."
"She was worth it, though."
"Maybe you think Worf is worth it."
"Well, obviously I think Worf is worth it or I wouldn't be going through with this. What I'm trying to figure out is why."
"Because you have a thing for Klingons?"
"He's really a very unKlingonlike Klingon. You know, I have never met a Klingon before who would rather stay on guard duty instead of tossing down the bloodwine and having a big party. If it was just that I wanted a Klingon, there are really better Klingons out there."
"So he's special to you."
"Yeah. I guess so."
"Isn't someone special worth marrying?"
"I... of course I think so, but then there's a part of me going, 'What, are you nuts? Don't tie yourself down! You're too young to marry!'"
"That would be the Curzon part, I'd bet."
She laughed. "Probably."
"Listen. Jadzia. You're not Curzon. Dax isn't even Curzon. He was larger than life and you were with him for 80 years; of course he's had a profound impact on you. But just because he was the type to play the field until his dying day doesn't mean that's what's right for Jadzia. If you feel like marrying Worf is the right thing to do, then it probably is. Ignore Curzon if he says differently. He's not you."
"He is me."
"He's not all of you. You've been married before."
"Yeah, a long time ago."
"How did it feel then?"
"Sometimes it was the only thing I could do because I couldn't imagine living without the person I was marrying. Sometimes it was for all the wrong reasons and it ended up horribly. How am I supposed to know which it is this time?"
"Well, why are you marrying him?"
"That's what I'm trying to figure out."
"That's not what I mean. What made you decide to do this? Now?"
"It's what he wanted. He said... You know, he doesn't talk about his feelings much, but it's obvious it hurt him when K'Ehleyr turned him down. He wants this. He's wanted it for pretty much ever."
"And you want to give it to him."
"Yeah. That's pretty much it. If I said no, I'd be as much as admitting I still want to play the field. And if I say that, then I say that I don't love him as much as he loves me. And that would hurt him terribly. I don't want to do that to him."
"Is it true, though?"
"Is what true?"
"Do you love him less than he loves you?"
"...I don't know." She picked up her drink again and sipped it. "For him it's so pure. Like something straight out of an opera. I'm so much older than he is. I don't know if I could ever feel that love is something so pure, so straightforward, so total. Opera is all very well and good as a fantasy, but it's not real life."
"Just because your feelings are more complex doesn't mean they're less strong than his, though."
"It's just that he's so totally monolithic about it. He's made our love into some sort of grand passion and here I am going, where did this come from? I just wanted a little bit of fun."
"But it turned into something more."
"Old man, I can't imagine you marrying anyone for anything less than love. If you only considered him a fun little bit on the side, you'd have let him know a long time ago."
"I just don't know if I feel it. Certainly not as much as he does."
"You're marrying him because it would hurt him if you said you didn't love him?"
"More or less."
"And you'd lose him then, wouldn't you? I think I understand Worf in that respect, maybe better than you. I wouldn't have accepted anything less than love from a woman I wanted to be with; if Jennifer hadn't loved me, if Kasidy didn't love me, I wouldn't have wanted to marry either of them. Or stay with them, for that matter. It would... hurt, too much."
"And you think that's how Worf would feel."
"I won't pretend to know him as well as you do, old man. But I do know what it's like to be a man who wants one woman, and wants that one woman to want him to be her one man. I think Worf would leave you if you did tell him you didn't want to marry him. And I think you know it."
"I've thought so, yes."
"So. If you're marrying him because you'll lose him if you don't, and you can't bear the thought of losing him... that's all love needs to be. You don't need to be blind to his faults, you don't need to see yourselves as the destined hero and heroine of a Klingon opera. If you can't bear to lose him, then you love him. And if you love him, you may as well marry him."
"I never thought of it like that."
"See? You can learn something new even when you're three hundred years old."
She laughed again. "That is the whole point to the Joining, you know. Learning new things, no matter how old you are." She stood up. "Thanks, Benjamin. That's actually a big help."
"Always happy to help a friend. You know that."
"Yes, I do."