First Minister Shakaar arrives at Deep Space Nine to negotiate for Bajor's early admittance into the Federation. The dignitary creates quite a stir around the station — especially with Kira, a friend since she worked for him in the Resistance. Soon after his arrival, Odo learns that "The True Way," a Cardassian extremist group, is planning to assassinate Shakaar. Security is beefed up throughout the station, and Odo personally shadows him. But when Shakaar takes a leisurely stroll with Kira, Odo's hidden affection for her leaves him with an uncomfortable feeling.

After a tough round of negotiations, Shakaar asks Odo to accompany him back to his quarters. Once there, Shakaar awkwardly admits that he's falling in love with Kira, and wonders if Kira has any similar thoughts about him. Since Odo's own feelings for Kira go beyond mere friendship, he realizes that he now has a rival for her affections.

At their weekly security meeting, Kira is distracted, which concerns Odo. She begs off early to give Shakaar a tour of the station, and Odo has to follow them as part of his security duties. He sees the two grow closer and almost kiss before remembering they're not exactly alone. Soon after, the three enter the turbolift, and Worf announces over the com that they must be re-routed. Odo asks Worf to verify his security code before control is transferred — just as Shakaar makes a dinner date with Kira. Distracted, Odo releases the turbolift before verifying Worf's code, and the turbolift suddenly goes into freefall.

Thinking quickly, Odo is able to morph into metal rods and stops the turbolift, saving their lives. Afterwards, he admits to Sisko with embarrassment that he allowed the saboteur to act by turning over control of the turbolift without verification. Realizing that he has to do something, Odo heads for Kira's quarters and guards reveal that Shakaar has been inside with her since returning from dinner — three hours ago. Odo relieves a guard and stands outside her door until morning, when Shakaar finally departs. She happily tells Odo of her developing relationship with Shakaar, after which Odo leaves, only to discover that Worf has apprehended the saboteur without his help. Hurt and frustrated, Odo returns to his quarters and in an uncharacteristic fit of rage, demolishes everything.

Disturbed by the noise, Quark comes to Odo's quarters and is surprised by what he sees. He tells Odo that he has to resolve his feelings for Kira one way or another in order to regain control of his life. Odo returns to Kira's quarters and tells her he wants to stop their weekly meetings. She's puzzled, but doesn't push him, and Odo forces himself to get his mind back on his job — and nothing else.