Disclaimer: Not mine. Didn't invent. Who cares, you're still making money, aren't you. Stop bickering.

Summary: Garak's response to Ziyal's letter.

Author's note: He doesn't strike me as the type who would actually write this down, so maybe you should picture him saying this words to her tombstone... or something entirely different. I'll leave that to you. The lyrics, again, are there because they are referred to in the title, and they could be appropriate. You may also disregard them. This is not a songfic.

Review: I would be especially interested in your reaction to the lyrics. Do they belong where they are, do they make sense, or did they bother you? I also would really like ideas as to in what situation you think Garak would actually say or write something like this, and in that case, to whom? And, of course, tell me if you liked it! :-))

Like anyone would be
I am flattered by your fascination with me
Like any hot-blooded woman
I have simply wanted an object to crave
But you, you're not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight

Must be strangely exciting
To watch the stoic squirm
Must be somewhat heartening
To watch shepherd need shepherd
But you you're not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight

Like any uncharted territory
I must seem greatly intriguing
You speak of my love like
You have experienced love like mine before
But this is not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight

I don't think you unworthy
I need a moment to deliberate

Alanis Morissette, "Uninvited"


Forgive me.

It is strange to ask forgiveness of the dead. Irrational, illogical. Yet we do it all the time. We have special ceremonies for it. It is easy, after all. They cannot reject our pleas. We imagine them smiling gently, finally reaching out, making everything all right from beyond the grave. Of course, we don't want them to be at peace- it is our peace we seek, and so we bestow other people's forgiveness on ourselves, and carry on.

Even someone like myself needs forgiveness, needs to be forgiven. Even someone like myself needs a certain, basic amount of peace of mind. So I ask you, I will beg you if it is necessary- for what? For not loving you? Ah, if only it were that simple! For what if I did love you?

It simply is a question I never aked myself. Others, I have observed, avidly look for the signs. There is a continual asking themselves "how am I? How do I feel?" Thus, the symptoms of love would be easily detected. I, for my part, have stopped asking myself anything a long time ago. Frankly, I no longer care "how" I am. I survive as best I can, because that is the goal I have set myself.

Not that I was not open to the possibility. I always am. That is part of the strategy. The possibility of friendship, that is, of a certain- attachment, to people, smaller goals, even sympathy for the ideals and goals of others. But love? That seemed to remote, just not- applicable.

What you felt for me, oh yes, how well you knew. Holding hands, moonlit picnics in the holosuite, flowers and the omnipresent slightly stupefied smile... I believed your feelings to be of that nature, a product of youth and inexperience. Like everyone else, I assumed you were that: foolish and innocent and inexperienced. Like everyone else, I only saw the surface, the open, happy smile, the warmth you radiated. That was enough, that was all I needed, what we all needed, perhaps.

To penetrate the thoughts, feelings and motivations of others, that has always been my hobby. A fascinating one, and quite useful, since it allows me to always be one step ahead of everyone. Except for you. Once I was sure that it wasn't your intention to kill me, I lost interest in you as an individual. I kept you apart. I needed you to stay a surface, nothing beneath those eyes, no intricacies of any kind, no motivation. No past, no future. A smile out of nowhere. Just like a miracle. A gift.

And now I hold this gift in my hands, as you intended. You speak to me, you look at me. And it pains me to behold you in this way. You hurt me by being a person, by refusing to stay mute, by unwrapping the gift and showing me it was not a nice, empty box after all, and pouring its contents into my lap (what are they? Desire. Tenderness. Posession. Fury. Agony. Loss.).

I do not want it. Let me go. Go away. You have come in here, into this heart I had already put aside, and thrust it right back into my breast, to ache there.

Tell me, Ziyal, girl, little girl, were we something akin after all?