Mind the Past

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Mind the Past
by templemarker

Notes: For 2009’s [info]st_santa, a present for idanianspice. Takes place roughly three years post-series finale. Originally posted here.


a glimpse, in the corridor, mid-afternoon

"Hello, Ambassador."

Garak stilled, and turned slowly. He nodded to his assistant, Talzil, to continue on, and looked behind him. "Julian," he said, allaying the surprise from his voice. "It has been some time."

"It has," Julian said, smile lighting his face. "It’s very strange to see you here in San Francisco, rather than on Deep Space Nine. Or Cardassia."

Garak allowed himself the vice of looking Julian over. Still tall, and not so dangerously thin as he had been when he was younger. Thirty-eight was still quite young as humans reckoned their lifespans, but Julian had changed so much in the time Garak had known him on the station. Now he seemed more at peace with himself, none of that gangly uncertainty that had so charmed Garak when they first had met. "It is a strange pleasure to see you at all, Julian, though not one I am thankless for. Come–do you have time to spend the afternoon with me? I shall clear my schedule."

Julian’s smile dimmed slightly. "I’m afraid I’m needed at Starfleet Medical for a lecture," he said. "Since they’ve revisited the eugenics ban in the Terran legislature, I’ve been in something of a demand for my intimate knowledge of the subject."

"I see," Garak said, not bothering to hide his disappointment.

"But perhaps we could have dinner?" Julian asked. "There is a place I’ve been told is quite good, only one Muni stop away. Have you had the opportunity to try Moroccan food yet? I’m told lamb has the consistency of zabo, and this restaurant is well known for its lamb and date tagine."

"That would be lovely," Garak said. "You can reach me at the comm unit in my suite; the Mandela wing, I believe. Section Alpha. I’ll be working, so please feel free to call at any time."

"I shall," Julian said. He stepped forward and extended his hand; Garak knew this odd human tradition of the "handshake" all too well from his hours spent in ambassadorial assemblage, and extended his own in return. Julian’s hand was warm; humans were always so shockingly warm. That warmth, and Julian himself, called to Garak as it always had. He had always enjoyed the simple act of embracing Julian, basking in that heat, not unlike a desert winter.

"Elim," Julian said, using the name he so rarely spoke, catching Garak’s eyes with his own. "I am very happy to have seen you."

"And I you, Julian," Garak said. "I look forward to it once again."

That smile, and Julian was gone.

a reminder, in a restaurant, late evening

"And so I told her, ‘My dear, that is not an intestine,’ and she turned the colour of a ripe mango," Julian said, laughing hard enough to miss placing his fork in his mouth, tumbling couscous and lamb onto the tablecloth.

Garak, laughing as well, proffered his napkin. Julian tucked the lost forkful inside and put it on the table.

"This was a wonderful idea, Julian," Garak said. "I very much missed your conversation."

"And other things, I hope," Julian said, raising an eyebrow. "I may not be the young man I once was, but I’m told I still carry some charm about me."

Garak tilted his head, surprised. He did not recall Julian being so forward, but war, age, and espionage would change a person. "And other things," Garak acknowledged.

"Tell me, have you mated?" Julian asked, continuing in his forthrightness. "Since Ziyal. And myself, of course."

"No," Garak said. "I have not. And I must say, this unfettered, plain side of you is quite intriguing. Are you often so honest as this?"

"Spying has given me a great taste for the truth," Julian said thoughtfully. "I suppose I tend to refrain from dissembling." He tapped his fingers against the table. "It does seem to have a disarming affect on my conversations, though."

"It poses a unique challenge," Garak said. "Your honesty makes me want to be nothing less than so, yet I find my education runs perhaps too deep. There are things I cannot help but shadow away."

"Even to me," Julian acknowledged. "Well, I suppose some honesty is better than none. Certainly better than many times before."

"There is that," Garak said. He carefully laid his hand lightly over Julian’s, stilling his movement. "Are you not paired?"

"I took this temporary position as a lecturer primarily as a method of engineering our earlier encounter," Julian said, linking his fingers with Garak’s. "I hope I’ve succeeded in convincing you of my intentions."

"Perhaps some one-on-one tutoring is in order," Garak said, bringing Julian’s hand to his own lips. "Simply to convey your thesis, of course."

a promise, in a bed-nest, a very long weekend

"Julian," Garak said, running his hand along Julian’s spine; it was still so strangely smooth, bowing beneath his touch. It had not changed in the eight years since he’d had the gratification of touching it last.

"Garak," came the reply, as Julian stretched, face pressed into the pillow.

"How can you stand having a blanket cover you?" Garak asked, turning his hand to rub his scales along Julian’s skin. It provoked such an interesting reaction. "I am nearly overheated, and you seem to be as hot as the Orion sun, but still you pull the duvet closer. It’s quite baffling to me."

"I am not falling for one of your prods," Julian informed him, turning his head to the side as he yawned. His hair fell in his face, making him appear younger, remnants of the Julian Garak had once known like this. "I am not going to go on about core temperature variations between Class M hominid species just so you might hear me speak."

"Whyever not?" Garak said, lowering his mouth to the skin that had prickled in his wake. "Your boundless ability to orate on a subject is one of the things that delights me about you."

"And here I thought it was my surpassing motor skills," Julian said dryly.

"Those are pleasing, too," Garak said, drawing Julian atop him, reveling in the unabating warmth. "How long is your lecture post, at Starfleet Medical?"

"Until the end of term," Julian said, voice muffled. His lips were twin points of heat that traveled up and down Garak’s torso, landing wherever Julian desired to put them.

"I see," Garak said, mentally calculating the time. It was not much, all told. Perhaps Garak could conceive of some clever excuse to detain Julian further.

"However," Julian said, raising his head–he did have such oddly coloured eyes–"I could be persuaded to take some of my substantial vacation time, and perhaps following that pursue a sabbatical to better research, oh, say, the physiological effects of Terran-Cardassian cohabitation."

"Ah," Garak said, resting his hand once more on the slope of Julian’s back. "Well, it does sound like an intriguing case study. I do support you in your constant efforts to further educate yourself."

"I suspect it will be slightly biased," Julian said, ducking his mouth down to bite at Garak’s lower lip, another point of fire. "But it will certainly be thorough."

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