Disclaimer:I don't own or have invented any of these characters or the fictional Universe they live in.

Summary: A letter, to be delivered after Ziyal's burial.

Author's note: Ziyal is not a nice girl. At least not as I see her.

Edit upon posting ch. 2: as an afterthought, I added the lyrics to losing my religion. After all, they inspired at least the title of this fic, and they do seem quite appropriate otherwise. This is not a songfic, though.

Review:Yes, please. Although this is just a piece of nothing. Garak is such a tragic figure, he deserves a good love, doesn't he?

Consider this


Life is bigger
It's bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no I've said too much
I set it up

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no I've said too much
I haven't said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper
Of every waking hour I'm
Choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no I've said too much
I set it up

Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I've said too much
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

REM, "Losing my religion"

You are a private man. Polite. Keeping a prudent distance from a girl prone to romantic exaggeration.

There are things you know, but the words have not been spoken between us. These are dark and dangerous times, Elim, and I don't want to leave them unsaid. Consider this my voice, see my face looking up to you from between these lines.

The rumours. Yes, I have heard them. I have heard them all. No one here, except maybe for Dr. Bashir, cares for you at all (although they have put their lives in your hands, and recieved it from thence, more than once), and it would seem only natural. Murderer, assassin. Cruel, cold-hearted torturer. Spy, traitor. Someone who would sell out anyone, lovers, friends, family, to save his own skin, or to gain some power. Someone who has done so, repeatedly.

I accept all this as a fact. I am willing and more than ready to look at the world and say: "This man, who has killed hundreds, who has tortured innocents, who has betrayed friends and lovers, this man is my love, and to him I devote my life."

I imagine you know, equally shocked and guitily relieved that I never did declare such an outrageous thing in public. Wondering, surely, why? Being such a nice girl. With such good friends to care for me, to give me advice.

Well, this may come as a surprise, both to you and to my friends. I am not such a nice girl. I am not a romantic. Or, I am, but I have been more than that, and there is more than that inside me.

I have lived out most of my childhood motherless, abandoned, in slavery, starved, cold to the core and the marrow of my bones. I was ready to die, or to be killed by my father whenever he found me. I have done things for one scrap of putrid food, for one hour of lukewarm shelter, that I have never told anyone. There is blood on my hands, Elim, and vicious hatred in my heart.

I have come to know the heart. And that is how I know that you never took pleasure in any of it. Even though you would deny it, I know that you remember the faces of the people you killed and tortured.

And I don't ask why you did those things. I don't ask why you sought power so desperately. Maybe it was just security you needed, maybe it was a subsitute for the real kindness no one had ever shown you. Maybe it was just what you had seen and what had been taught to you, and you knew no better.

I am not interested, do you understand? Not interested.

I know you as an honourable man. A patriot. Brave. Forgiving. Clever, witty. Tender. Willing to sacrifice himself for what he believes in, for friends and comrades. With courage to face his darkest demons. That is how you have shown yourself to me. And so I have come to love you, and cannot unlove you now.

You already knew I, as romantic literature so quaintly insists in calling it, "had feelings" for you. (What feelings are those? Desire. Tenderness. Posession. Fury. Agony. Loss.) You didn't understand the reasons. Probably you won't understand them now.

Ultimately, there is no reason for love. One day it stands there, demanding, blocking the way, and it has to be dealt with. I have decided to walk with it, to take it to my heart. I have decided to love you, and this is not an easy-made decision, because my love is deep and enduring. It grows steadily, it consumes. It eats and changes the shape of the earth, like fire.

Only lately have I discovered my capacity for love. I love my father, though he has become a ruthless tyrant. I love major Kira, though she is prejudiced and fights hard to pretend she isn't as flawed as the rest of us. I have even learned to love myself, in spite of- in spite of it all. And you, you fill my heart. It is too late now, there is nothing I can do about it.

I am still waiting for the right moment to say all this into your unbelieving, distressed face. I don't have hopes, one way or the other. I just believe that these things have to be said.

If this reaches you, I am dead. Know then that this was in my heart, that I died loving you, and this love of mine is a good thing. It is big and powerful, so maybe, just maybe, it can stay with you.

I don't know if I believe in the Prophets, I don't know what I believe in. Whatever powers of protection the Universe has to offer, I conjure them to your side.