Worf began his day as any other, by checking for recent communications while enjoying a strong raktajino. This day he had one from Dr. Bashir. Curious, Worf played that message first.
“Hello Worf. You might’ve heard by now that Garak and I are expected a baby. Truth be told, we’re having fraternal twin girls, though we haven’t announced that it’s a multiple birth. Anyway, Cardassians have recently brought back an old tradition of giving a child the middle name of a late friend or family member. I’d like to honor Jadzia that way. We were thinking of Acelle Jadzia Bashir… the babies are going to have my surname.
“Jadzia was one of the best friends I ever expect to have and I like to think she’d have approved, but I won’t do this without your blessing.
“I hope you’re well. Take care.”
Worf required very little time to consider the proposition. Bashir had been the first to volunteer for the mission to ensure Jadzia’s entrance to Sto’vo’kor, which meant that he had earned the privilege of bestowing Jadzia’s name on his child. He was correct, as well, that Jadzia would have approved. Worf would tell her when they were one day reunited in Sto'vo'kor and he supposed she would be delighted to hear of the news.
It was less desirable that the child was also Garak’s, but that could not be helped. He began to record his reply.
The babies were by all measures thriving in the artificial womb. There had been no guarantee of success on the first try, since they were the first documented human-Cardassian children, and it was somewhat surprising that not one but two embryos took. Julian and Elim visited regularly and the babies heard their recorded voices for hours each day.
Returning from their latest visit Julian checked his messages and noted he had one from Worf. This he played immediately.
“Doctor. You earned the right to give your child Jadzia’s name, and I am sure that when I inform her in Sto’vo’kor she will be very pleased. I ask only that when your daughter is an appropriate age you tell her of the woman whose name she bears, and I offer my congratulations.”
“It appears we have one name,” said Elim.
“Acelle Jadzia Bashir. I like it.”
“As do I. Now we must decide on her sister’s name.”
“Have you thought about that?” Acelle Jadzia was Julian’s choice and their last conversation had ended with Elim mulling over names.
“What do you think of Diana Kahlen?”
“A human name?”
“Well, it seems fair, since Acelle is Cardassian.”
“Yes, but Bashir is human.”
“I quite like Diana. And we’ve already determined to pass on your family name.”
Since Julian was an ambassador and thus of higher status, Cardassian etiquette demanded they give their children his surname. Julian was fine with that – he liked it, actually – but he thought that Cardassian first names were therefore in order.
“It is a nice name.”
“I’m glad you think so.”
“I thought you might want Mila for a middle name.”
Elim gave a slight sigh. “Mila adopted me after Tain killed my birth mother.”
“I figured that was a possibility.” Julian made a point not to ask about his husband’s childhood because Elim didn’t tend to enjoy the topic.
“Despite my best efforts, I was never able to learn more about my birth mother than her first name.”
“We could – and we don’t have to, this is only an idea – honor them both, if you want. Kahlen Mila is a very good name.”
Elim smiled. “It is, isn’t it? Kahlen Mila Bashir.”
“Does that mean we’ve decided on both names?” It had only taken months.
“I believe it does. And with thirty-four days to spare, no less.”
They would, as Worf requested, someday tell their daughters about the women for whom they were named. Kahlen would hear from Elim, and Julian would speak of Jadzia to Acelle. This was as close to an afterlife as Julian had any confidence in – living on in the memories of those left behind.
“I like this revived custom, you know. It’s a beautiful tribute.”
“Yes,” agreed Elim. “I’m glad Worf consented, since it means so much to you.”
“So am I,” said Julian. He decided that when Acelle was old enough, he’d introduce her to the Trill cheesecake Jadzia had liked so much. Worf would probably send some Klingon opera, too.
Worf once again had a message from Bashir, this time text with a photo of two small grey-brown infants with faint Cardassian ridges.
Introducing our daughters Acelle Jadzia Bashir (left) and Kahlen Mila Bashir (right). Give us a few years and we’ll be introducing them to Trill cheesecake, perhaps some Klingon opera.
Thank you, Worf. I appreciate your blessing to remember Jadzia this way.
Trill cheesecake and Klingon opera, two things Jadzia had enjoyed. Worf felt confident that Bashir would honor Jadzia’s memory to her namesake, and this pleased him greatly.
He began to compile Jadzia’s favorite operas, along with several other pieces of music of which she’d been fond. It was good to inculcate music appreciation from a young age.