Epilogue

Julian Bashir fidgeted impatiently at the airlock as the senior staff bid farewells to the

senior staff of the Persephone. Beside him, Dax nudged him and gave him an

encouraging smile, which he returned.

After careful consideration, Julian had decided to relate a few memories to Dax. The

Trill had been shocked at the revelation, but had given strong support to her friend, for

which Julian was very grateful. It would take some time before he felt comfortable

talking about everything he could remember, but it was a start.

Hawk held out his hand to Julian, who shook it heartily. The two men had become fast

friends in the remaining two days the Persephone had been docked, and Julian was sad to

see him go.

"Thank you for everything, Nick," Julian said.

Hawk slapped him on the arm. "My pleasure, Julian. I'm looking for a rematch the next

time we're docked."

"You're on," Julian grinned.

Richard Bashir stepped forward and shook the commander's hand. "I'm sorry we didn't

see eye to eye on that matter we discussed, Commander. Perhaps someday."

Sisko's face was devoid of any expression. "Perhaps," he echoed absently.

As Bashir made his way down the line, Julian began to feel tension knotting in his

stomach. Despite the fact that he was coming to terms with his father's treatment, he still

felt nervous around the man. Part of Julian knew it was because he never knew what to

expect from his father, and that was one thing that was holding true, especially now.

Bashir shook hands with Dax, then stepped back. His eyes passed over Julian as if the

young man wasn't even standing there, then he turned and walked through the airlock

without another word. The rest of the crew followed, leaving the DS9 senior staff

standing, stunned, in their wake.

"What the . . . did he just . . ." Kira spluttered.

"He acted like . . . like you weren't even there!" O'Brien exclaimed.

Julian shrugged. A part of him felt relief, another part sadness. "He acted like he always

does."

"But that's wrong!" Dax protested.

"Doesn't matter," Julian told her. "To him, it was the right thing to do."

With that, he turned on his heel and left the docking ring, oblivious to the shocked eyes

that followed him.

The End