All Is Right

A Star Trek: Deep Space Nine story by Cait N.

A couple reaches across
the years that divide them, their hands forming a bridge
for tired immigrants and abandoned children.
No one finds it a tribulation to a human.
  - from To Utopia by Samn Stockwell


Codes: Garak/Bashir
Rating: G/PG
Copyright: November 30, 2003
Beta: Thanks to John for his quick work on this!
Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters, the words are mine.
Summary: Post "What You Leave Behind." Sometimes, just when you least expect it...


"I'm so glad you could get some time away and have lunch with me." Garak took a sip of his Tarkalean Tea, grimacing slightly. Even after two years, kanar was in short supply; one had to make do with what was available.

"I was just surprised you called me," Julian replied. There were few things that amazed him anymore; Garak's offer was one of them.

The outdoor cafe was moderately respectable, and a short distances walk from the downtown district. Cardassia Prime was still a shadow of the world it had been before the Dominion War. After two years, buildings were still in need of repair, foodstuffs were in short supply, and the people were a race divided. Some favored Federation intervention and help, while others believed that isolationism was the only way the Cardassian people would regain their former glory.

"I just got back from Betazed," Julian continued, "and found your message waiting for me. My visit was supposed to be a short one, but I ran into some bureaucratic nonsense and had to stay two extra days."

Garak waved a hand. "No excuses are necessary, Doctor."

"Julian, it's just plain Julian." He smiled.

"Very well, Julian," Garak acquiesced.

"So tell me what you've been up to. I want to hear everything."

Garak laughed. "Everything would be boring and tedious. Suffice to say that I've been a liaison of sorts between the present government and other governments. It's kept me busy and I've had a chance to hone certain skills that lay dormant on Deep Space Nine."

"Dormant?" Julian looked skeptical. "You'll never convince me you were a simple tailor."

"Enough about me," Garak changed the subject, an old and tired one, "tell me about you. I know what you're doing on Cardassia, but how and why? Last I knew, you and Dax were inseparable."

"Yes, well." Julian fiddled with his teacup. "Things change. Dax accepted a post on the Monitor, and we grew apart. I know it sounds trite, but it's true." He looked Garak directly in the eyes. "She never was Jadzia and I realized she never could be."

Garak was silent at his old friend's honesty.

A self-conscious laugh. "Well, that was that. I was left adrift, not liking who I was or what I was doing anymore. So I thought a change of scenery, and occupation was in order."

"And that's when you started The Children's Alliance."

"Yes, with some help from the Federation Peace Corps and the Vulcan Embassy, of all agencies." He leaned forward, clearly excited and passionate about his new work. "It all made sense -- hundreds of orphaned children from the war; Terran, Cardassian, Vulcan, Betazoid. There was a need since many families lost their children in the war whether in combat or by planetary attacks from Dominions ships." He shrugged. "It just made sense to put the two together. Every child deserves a home."

"I agree, but what amazes me is that you don't necessarily place Terrans with Terrans, Cardassians with Cardassians..."

"No, it's not about 'keeping races together', it's about need." Julian's eyes lit up with animation. "It's based on in the individual child's needs, and personality. The families are screened to make sure no one is doing it out of retribution, of course, but I'm happy to say in the year that we've been running, we've placed 170 orphans with families, and not one has turned out to be a failure."

"So there IS a follow up?"

"Of course, it'd be irresponsible not to do one. That's one of the reasons I was on Betazed - running an organization like this takes many people and many resources. I don't like the politicking, but it's all part of the job."

Garak was quiet.

"I'm sorry," Julian apologized after a while. "Sometimes I just go on and on, and don't know when to shut up --"

"I miss you."

Julian's turn to be silent now; Garak's admission had caught him off guard. "I miss you, too."

"What ever happened to us?"

Julian's lips twisted into a wry smile. He reached across the table and laid his hand atop Garak's. "I was mourning for Jadzia and you had a war to fight. We grew apart."

"What about now?"

"Well," Julian faltered. Whatever he'd been expecting from the lunch date, this line of questioning wasn't it. "We keep in touch, see each other more often, get together sometimes --"


Julian wasn't sure what was going on. "No?"

"No." Garak turned his hand over and took Julian's hand in his. "I won't settle for sometime-friends, Julian. I want it to be us again, I want you again."

Julian was shaking his head. "So many things have changed. We're different people now, Garak."

"I know that things have changed, Julian, but you're still the same person I fell in love with years ago. You were sitting there, and I couldn't help but toy with you." His eyes were dark and intense. "I'm not toying anymore. I want to share my life with you."

"It's not just me --"

"I know," Garak said, a smile on his face. "There's Jessik, the Cardassian boy you adopted two months ago."

"How did --"

"I've been following you and your work for some time now," Garak admitted. "I've been trying to work up the nerve to ask you out."

Julian was flabbergasted. Never in his wildest dreams could he have ever thought that he'd be sitting in a small cafe on Cardassia Prime, two years after the war ended, not only with a new son, but with Garak wanting him. Wanting both of them, he corrected himself. And not just for a dalliance, like they'd had on DS9, but something deeper, more permanent.

"Take your time," Garak was saying, "I understand it's a lot, especially coming from someone as hard-hearted and cynical as me, but I'm hoping --"

"Yes," Julian said. "Yes," he said again, more forcefully.


Julian nodded his head. "Yes." He leaned across the table and laid his lips gently on Garak's. Somehow, it all felt right. Work, his family life, and now his love life. Soon, all three would intertwine. Bridges burned and bridges built. All was right in his world. Finally.



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