Author: Regann PM
Loneliness, letters and literature; Julian's life in the wake of the Dominion War. Set post finaleRated: Fiction T - English - Drama - J. Bashir & E. Garak - Words: 930 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Published: 02-22-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4088487
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Julian hates to admit it but he's lonely. It bothers him that it bothers him, being on his own once again; before he'd come to Deep Space Nine, he'd always been lonely but it hadn't bothered him at all. He hadn't even thought of it as lonely -- it had been more like alone and he'd been that way by design.
But now, he's just lonely.
He misses Miles who's on Earth and Sisko, who's with the Prophets, and Odo, gone back to the Great Link but it's a transient kind of feeling, tied to fixed things like Quark's or Ops or the Security office. When he tries hard enough, he can forget about them most of the time and it's not until something reminds him that he remembers. But still, he knows he misses them.
Julian hates to admit it but he doesn't really miss Ezri.
Oh, he misses having someone to distract him for the other people he misses -- a holosuite partner, a dinner companion, a friendly coworker, but he's shocked at how much he doesn't think about her once she's gone away, too. He wonders if perhaps she's too new for him to miss that way, too much a part of that last chaotic year; his nostalgia is too firmly rooted in the years before he knew her. In some ways, he misses Jadzia more but it's a friendly kind of ache, nothing like longing or regret. It's his friend he misses in Dax, not the lover, real or imagined that she was or might've been.
He figures that's because all of those desperate parts of him are tied up in missing someone else.
Garak writes him letters -- long, meandering letters that remind him of the winding, intricate patterns that had once characterized their conversations. Julian is past wondering -- or worrying -- if the words he reads are truth; he simply absorbs them, lets the nuance of them wash over him, seeping in through some secret understanding he's gained over the years. He hears the fear and the sadness and the worry, the devastation for a Cardassia that's lost and sometimes he hears loneliness, too -- a loneliness that, like his own, wants for something specific to ease it.
But he doesn't dare guess what it could be.
Julian carries the letters around with him, the PADDs always some place nearby, as if he needs to remind himself that they exist; he feels a bit foolish, always slipping one or another into a pocket or a sleeve but he can't help himself and he doesn't see the harm, anyway. In some honest corner of his enhanced mind, he's glad that they aren't ancient-style missives, written on paper because they'd be creased and yellowed from handling, from the re-readings, from the way he always has them tucked close. He's never been one for real sentimentality before but it's starting to suit him as he gets older and his desk has become strewn with useless, valueless items that remind him of people, places and moments that have passed him by.
It's just one of many silly things he does to fill his time.
He's started reading Cardassian literature again, even though his opinion of it hasn't changed over the years. He still hates the repetitive epic because nothing ever changes from one generation to another but he also envies them because he's lived through too much change lately. He'd like to see a few years of stability, he decides, a string of months without death or war or violence. When he can't take any more of it, he turns to his favorites, the old classics that he once tried to share but there's a certain shadow over them now. Shakespeare seems terribly Cardassian or not Cardassian enough and he finds he can't enjoy them the way he used to. He even tries to find some echo of home in Singh el Bashir's poems but he finds that Jack was right to call them derivative.
He ends up reading another of Shoggoth's enigma tales.
Julian answers the letters that Garak sends him, of course. He writes tomes of his own about work, about the station, about the people they both knew once. Every so often he strays into feelings and thoughts and he wonders if Garak still knows how to fill in the spaces he leaves behind. He could see them himself as he writes: I miss you is there in an anecdote about the Klingon restaurant, and Don't lose hope hovers behind the banal platitudes that he knows are inadequate. The loudest thing never said is I wish things were different and Julian's never sure what he means by it but he knows he does. Sometimes he wants to say more, to speak plainly but that's never been a tactic that worked when it came to Garak and Julian doesn't see it working now, not when what he wants is more than a honest answer or a shortened hem. But he's not hiding from it, either, as much as he's unable to express it, at least in the way he wants to, in a way that'll make a difference, that'll make things different.
He drowns in the words he can't find, can't understand and can't escape.