AN: This is a sequel to It's Best to Be Alone Together, also written in 2010. I recommend you read that first.
I do not own Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
His voice startles me, I was barely aware anyone was here, let alone him. Julian doesn't often venture into the station core. I used to think he just didn't like to climb down here, now I know it's because the amount of noise - tolerable to a normal human - gives him splitting headaches due to his enhanced hearing. It must be important if he's come here instead of calling on the comm.
"I checked the weather for the last 48 hours."
Ah. That. I pause in my work, waiting for him to continue. I'm not disappointed.
"There was no plasma storm."
I tense sure that an explosion is about to happen. But it never does. Instead, I feel his hand on my shoulder. I turn at his touch, smiling sheepishly, and shrug. There's a warmth in his eyes that's been absent for quite a while.
"Thank you, Miles."
"It was Keiko's idea, Julian. I just mentioned you could use a friend."
"You didn't have to, Miles. You should have been with her."
"I was. But you've been there for us too often to leave you moping."
He smiles his first that I've seen in ages. One of those small shy ones he uses when he's just a bit embarrassed, but is okay with it because he feels comfortable. Good, actually, if the way he slept on my couch a couple nights ago is any indication.
"Thank you, Miles. And tell Keiko I said the same."
"She knows, Julian." I say, pulling him into a brief hug. When he breaks away, I can just see the blush on his cheeks in the dim lighting. He's smiling again, and I suspect more gratitude is in the works.
"Don't say it, yeh rip." I scold as he opens his mouth.
He blushes even deeper and pauses, mouth still open.
"Darts tonight?" He offers after a moments thought. I offer him a grin to match the awkward smile he's now sporting.
"Wouldn't miss it, lad."
He nods and then turns on his heel, leaving the core behind.
No lad, wild horses couldn't drag me away.