My Journal. By Jules B.

I don't know what it will mean to say goodbye to Amy. I haven't been back at school very long, but it's already different without her. I thought about that a lot, and I think that maybe - perhaps - she might have been my best, best friend.

There was something resting on the palm of Amy's hand - the dark, hollow shell of a butterfly chrysalis.

"I found it on the tree," she told him. "The butterfly's all grown up. I bet he's already off having adventures."

Instead of looking down as she passed it to him, Jules found his gaze lingering on the way that her fringe fell over her pale blue eyes. "How do you know it's a he?"

She shrugged. "I don't."

"Amy." It was yet another Starfleet woman - slightly shorter than Miss Tolok, and her uniform was a little more tight-fitting than most of the others they'd seen on that day. She called from in front of a softly chirruping console. "It's time."

Sadness passed across Amy's face, and Jules was sure that her expression was reflected in his own. Leaning forward, she took his hand. "Bye."

He wanted to say something poetic, or at the very least, something meaningful. People in books and holonovels always seemed to know just the right words. But all he could do was to look down at where their hands still touched, and barely whisper, "Bye."

Amy sighed, and got to her feet, and then her touch was gone. "Ready?" asked the woman. Reluctant but resolved, Amy Tanner nodded.

"Let's go, then."

She took the girl's hand as they walked together to the transporter pad. Jules pushed himself upright and watched. Directing Amy to stand beside her, the Starfleet woman leaned across and whispered in her ear. "Don't worry. I'm sure you'll find new friends."

But Jules Bashir was far slower to move. He skirted around the edge of the control panel, careful to avoid the scrutiny of the young man who worked the controls, and kept his gaze tightly locked with his friend's. Neither of them looked away, even as the woman called, "Energise," and she and Amy shimmered out of sight.

Deep Space Nine, 2376

"And you never found out what happened after that?" asked Ezri. She had placed her head onto Julian's shoulder, listening in silence as he told his tale. Now she finally looked up. "Or why she had to leave in the first place?"

"Apparently her father - her real father, that is - had been in prison for three or four years at least. He was some kind of small time crook. Smuggler or something, I'm not sure exactly what. But he'd been informing on the Orion Syndicate to get his sentence reduced, and they thought he might also have been passing on some of his secrets to Amy. They would have gone after her either way, but of course that meant she was in extra danger. Dorian Tanner's retired as far as I know. And Kurt - Commander Dobbin, I should say - well he was killed in the war. As for the others, I have no idea. I was just too young to stay in touch."

"You could find out what happened to her," Ezri suggested. "There has to be a record somewhere."

Julian shook his head. "'Tanner' wasn't even her real name. I'm not even that sure about 'Amy'."

"But you could try…" she persisted. "I think you should."

"Not this time, Counsellor. Even if there was anything to find, I'm not all that sure I'd want to see it." Quietly thoughtful, Julian looked down at his right palm. "Strange… We honestly thought we'd be friends forever."

"Well," said Ezri. Straddling his thighs, she wrapped the already tangled sheets around them both - like a cacoon, Julian thought - just before she kissed him on the mouth. "We could make the same promise right now. But if you expect me to spit on my hand, you've got another thing coming."

Julian grinned. "Come here, you." And his quarters soon filled with the sound of their laughter.