Big Kid

Timeline: after "Dr Bashir, I Presume".
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the other DS9 characters. They belong to Paramount.
Dedication: for nostalgia. She made me write it and therefore all the blame should be laid at her door.


You've never understood his hate of the Cardassians. You understand why he hates them, of course, you know logically that his experiences have led him to where he is now, but at the same time it seems too obvious, too simple, to hate Cardassians simply because of your past experiences with him. It seems too like never growing up. Never changing.

You sometimes wonder whether Miles will ever grow up. Oh, sure, he's a great parent. You can't take that away from him. He loves his kids, even if he doesn't always know the best way to deal with them. (But then how would he, you think with just a hint of bitterness. He's always working, and you're the one who has to combine a job with parenting.) And he loves you, and he doesn't like it when he thinks that any other man might be interested in you, or that you might be interested in someone else, or even mention someone that could be a threat, because he's a big kid. He's a big kid who doesn't want to share his most precious toy (that's you, Keiko, and you know you are, and you love the way his eyes travel up and down your body appreciatively when you're wearing something sleek and tight) despite the fact that he has a toy of his own.

Your beloved husband has been sleeping with the station's doctor for four years. You think it's four years, anyway. You're not sure. You think that they were probably sleeping together before they could even admit they were friends. You know that there was a sexual attraction of some kind from almost the beginning. Maybe it's only been three. Maybe he waited until you were on Bajor before he began this little affair of his.

He doesn't know that you know. He thinks that if he pretends nothing's happening, you'll believe him. If he covers his face with his hands, you won't be able to see him. The logic of a child. The logic of the man you are married to.

He truly despises Garak. You know this is not only because Garak is a Cardassian, but because Garak got to Julian first. You suspect Miles can't even articulate this properly, that he just has a feeling.

You wish he'd grow up.

***

Julian was in your quarters last night. It's the first time you've known him to be there at night, a secret visit. They're usually more discreet. They probably go back to Julian's, you think, or perhaps it all happens in the holosuite. You're not sure you really want to dwell on the ins and outs of their involvement.

He was apologising to Miles for lying to him. You figured out it had something to do with the arrival of Dr Zimmerman and then Julian's parents on the station, and through the whispers and murmurs you put the pieces together. Julian, genetically engineered. Miles made some joke about being in bed with him, and at that point you covered your ears, not wanting to hear any more.

It was different from all those other times, different from the computer constantly telling you that Miles was in Dr Bashir's quarters, different from seeing them when you passed by Quark's and observing the casual touches during their games of darts, different from him gazing into space sometimes. Different because it was here, in your own home, and it was close and real and suddenly you were angry.

How dare they? You thought of Molly and Kirayoshi and most of all yourself, his wife, his fucking wife, lying in the bed you share with your ears covered because Miles and his boyfriend were in the next room.

And that's why you're here.

***

You are tracing the ridges of his neck and shoulders with your fingers, and then your tongue. He is smirking slightly. He knows. He knows the way you do; he watches people the way you do. And he watches them. And he isn't stopping you, because he hasn't won anything in all of this. He's lost something, not quite as much as you have, but he's lost something.

He is smirking slightly, but he is also responding. Murmurs, and then his hands around your waist, and his mouth on yours.

Miles once made some comment about how kissing a Cardassian would be like kissing a lizard. He imagines them with slimy, forked tongues, but Garak's tongue is nothing like that. It's a little odd, a little rougher than you're used to, but interesting.

You wonder what Julian thinks, whether you two could compare notes. On Garak. On Miles. You think that perhaps Garak will tell Julian. Let it slip, on purpose. Julian will tell Miles, because they have promised, now, to not keep secrets from one another, and you suspect he would tell even if that wasn't the case.

Miles will be angry, you think, as angry with you as you are with him. Ah, but then you will point out that he has no right to be. That he has a toy of his very own. And then you will point out that he's really annoyed because you've chosen a Cardassian, you've chosen an ex-spy, you've chosen his boyfriend's ex-lover, you've selected the one person who will truly hurt him.

Besides, it's been a while since you've had sex, even if Garak is more blasé about it than you'd like.

***

He doesn't get angry. You thought he would. You thought you had him all figured out. He doesn't get angry. He says that it's your choice.

He doesn't seem to care. He goes out and plays darts with Julian, and doesn't come home until the next morning, and then only to be there while the kids are having breakfast.

And you know that you can't question this. That you can't criticise it. That you're not in a position to be the moral authority in this relationship anymore.

You thought that things would change for the better, somehow. That you with another man, a Cardassian, would shake him out of it.

Instead you've given him a reason to stop pretending, and you slowly begin to realise that you've underestimated your husband, that he has been changing, and you're the one who's been squeezing her eyes shut in the hope that it'll all just disappear.

Time to grow up, Keiko.

fin