Captain Kanril Eleya of the Galaxy-class starship USS Bajor is diverted from a course to join Allied forces in the Delta Quadrant after being personally requested by for a classified mission. The mission turns out to be a project to develop a new form of Faster-Than-Light Travel, headed by her old flame, Commander Jerrod Dalton. As things Go Horribly Wrong, Eleya is forced to deal with her lingering feelings for him while trying to save the lives of everyone involved in the project.
The first half of Two Sides of a Coin was originally written for Unofficial Literary Challenge 9: "In Memory of Spock", but the author became distracted by other endeavors and didn't finish the second half until almost two years later.
- Big Damn Kiss: After meeting Dalton, Gaarra gets called back to Bajor to deal with a Holodeck Malfunction (amusingly, one caused by off-duty Destiny crew members trying to tamper with a program). As he goes to leave, Eleya plants one on him "to piss off Dalton", much to Tess's amusement.
- Bilingual Bonus: There's a mostly untranslated conversation in Diane Duane's Romulan Conlang in part two. Some of it is translated by Eleya for Senior Chief Athezra's benefit, but one line in particular stands out:Tal Shiar soldier: Urru Areinneye, susse-thrai Bah’jor. (spits on her) Oi ihhaonn’hrhae’edh hwai rayha.note
Eleya: (narrating) Okay, that second one stings a bit.
- Boarding Party: The Romulans board USS Destiny trying to get the interwarp technology. Eleya leads her assault team to counterattack them.
- Bond One-Liner: From Eleya, after using a Tractor Beam to slam two warbirds into each other."Bean ball, take your base."
- Cluster F-Bomb: From Lieutenant Kate McMillan, as a Minor Injury Overreaction."Sweet mother of holy fuck, asswipe hobgoblin shot my goddamn leg!"
- Drowning My Sorrows: Eleya gets wasted on Romulan ale after Dalton dies and complains that "it takesh a lot to get me good and drunk theshe daysh."
- Dying Declaration of Love: Dalton flatlines while telling Eleya, "I love you. I never stopped loving..."
- Epigraph: The original version of part one used "A Matter of Trust" by Billy Joel. The rerelease uses "Brave Enough" by Lindsey Stirling for part one, and "Love/Hate Heartbreak" by Halestorm for part two.
- Fast-Killing Radiation: When the interwarp engine is damaged, Jerrod Dalton incurs a dose of "somewhere north of forty [grays]" of triolic radiation, beyond the ability of even Starfleet medicine to treat, and dies within hours of the incident. This is a massive dose, enough that it really could kill nearly that fast.
- From Bad to Worse: Lampshaded after Eleya realizes just how totally screwed they all are. A Romulan collaborator triggers the interwarp drive, a warp bubble fifty kilometers across that drags an Asteroid Thicket along with Eleya's ship. Oh, and it's invisible to sensors.Eleya: (looks skyward) Right! Because the Prophets just couldn’t be done phekk’sha mab sor’ah! You phekk’ta built a giant, invisible phekk’ta warp drive!?
Dalton: I didn’t know for sure, damn it! The math wasn’t exact, El, any number of real-world conditions could’ve factored in. I needed to test it to see what would happen… before I knew. But that means we have to shut it down, and fast,or we could end up on the other side of the quadrant before anyone realizes we’re missing.
Eleya: Oh, right, this thing is also slipstream-fast, because of course it is. (facepalm)
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Eleya reintroduces herself to Dalton with tap on the shoulder, then a right cross that breaks one of her fingers and sends him flying.
- Holodeck Malfunction: Defied and Played for Laughs. Eleya allows some off-duty USS Destiny crew to come over to USS Bajor to take advantage of its more luxurious facilities, only for Gaarra to be paged back to the ship within the hour because somebody messed with a program and tripped the holodeck safeties.
- How Dare You Die on Me!: When Dalton starts showing symptoms of fatal radiation poisoning, he and Eleya have this exchange as she carries him clear of an expected explosion:Dalton: Carrying me over the threshold?
Eleya: Shut up, I'm not finished with you. You stay alive, you damn fool.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Eleya in her Internal Monologue while interrogating a wounded Romulan (in untranslated Rihan).Eleya: Ve hwi yhfev, lloi’dhohh hwi arhem.note
Romulan: Urru Areinneye, susse-thrai Bah’jor. (spits on Eleya's breastplate) Oi ihhaonn’hrhae’edh hwai rayha.note
Eleya: (thinking) Okay, that second one stings a bit.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Played for Drama. Dalton threatens Gaarra while dying of massive radiation poisoning that if he breaks Eleya's heart like he did, Dalton will come back and haunt him.
- Mauve Shirt: Petty Officer zh'Planathalian survived the Breen in "Frostbite". She doesn't survive the Romulans here.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: From Lt. Kate McMillan, after being shot in the leg. The prosthetic leg."Sweet mother of holy fuck, asswipe hobgoblin shot my goddamn leg!"
- Old Flame: Eleya and Dalton met at the Academy in From Bajor to the Black but he left her so he could take early graduation and a plum assignment. Several years later in this story, he specifically requests her because despite their confused feelings for each other, he knows she's completely trustworthy.
- Shout-Out: As Eleya bitterly narrates in the epilogue:"Back to Bajor. Back to the war. There’s always the war, the endless struggle for one more stupid chunk of rock in one more stupid sector, the killing, the dying, the laughter of thirsting gods."
- Slashed Throat: Eleya kills a Romulan with a bayonet across the throat.
- Sniping the Cockpit: An exaggerated example. After battering down IRW Javelin's forward shields, Tess lands a pinpoint phaser shot that barely slips through the edge of a shield hole before it can bring fresh shields around and wipes out the bridge. Javelin crashes into an asteroid before the engineering crew can regain control.
- Tractor Beam: Eleya uses a tractor beam to throw a Romulan warbird into another, taking them both out.
- Tsundere: Eleya comes off tsun-tsun towards Dalton due to their history, punching him out the first time they meet and being fairly curt with him elsewhere. It's also very clear she's still carrying a torch for him despite being in a relationship with Gaarra right now.