project goodwill

2

Truly surprised by the outcome in tonight’s Project Goodwill show. My very first award and it’s first place ♡ huge shout out to my beautiful model @honeytoastie for making this a reality

Our challenge was to create a look using only items from goodwill, and we were urged to include nontriditional items. Using a pair of trousers, a curtain, scarf, lampshade and a few wreths I made my first award winning look

Hey, this is not a translation, but do you know Alia Jackson?

Just another one of us in this vast, vast fandom, no biggie, but one I’ve gotten to know, admire and cherish dearly over the past year. 

I first met Alia over this Hope & Legacy analysis video. We were almost done with the editing and, being outreach dodo birds, needed help with its roll-out. And help she did. This was Alia – resourceful and supportive throughout, going above and beyond for a project she’d just joined:

Suffice to say, the reception to said video at Golden Skate was so interesting that, well, like there was a big bang and a new planet was created… Through brainstorm spreadsheets (she really likes them ✨✨), her experience at project management, plus goodwill built up over the years of dedication to the fandom, she made sure that people were heard, options were weighed, and that things proceeded smoothly during confusing, challenging times. The initial 48 hours seemed like the worst of times, but thanks to Alia, it also seemed to be the seed for the best of times. 

Quietly but steadfastly, she’s always been about connecting people - all of us - in our mutual appreciation for Yuzu. Right after Boston, she (alongside Beca) collected messages from all the fans and made sure the goodwill was sent to Yuzu. She did it again for Yuzu’s 22nd birthday (700+ wishes, 70 countries!), and compiled her encounters along the way into a demographics survey of 813 of us.

Back when @pamigena​ started a Media-Only thread to extract media, translations, etc posted to the Yuzu Fanfest on GS, Alia and ShiroKJ quickly offered to help out. For four whole years, 2014-2017, the girls kept up this curation effort. As a new fan, it was such a great resource to me, and surely many of you, but I have to admit I was only vaguely aware of who was behind it until more recently.

TL;DR, if you didn’t know Alia (@aliajackson​), you should. She wrote this post on her hysterectomy journey a while back, and it’s been on my mind since.

Alia, 💪💪💪 + ❤️❤️❤️ and I’ll meet you at Pyeongchang! ✨

anonymous asked:

Prompt Garashir; 27, 31, 37, 40, 41, 50

Whoo! Sorry these took a bit! But wow, these were some of my absolute favorites to do! Btw, I took a very different interpretation than is probably expected for #40 and I think I’m going to turn it into a longer series on ao3 t some point because I’m really interested in where it could go.

Thank you for these great prompts!


27 “I’m with you, okay? Always”

I’m with you, okay? Always. Garak read that last line over and over again. He would have thought he was just being hopeful, wishing that Julian could ever feel the same way about him as he did. But the way the letter ended had shattered that. Love, Julian

Garak found himself reading the entire letter again:

My dear, Garak

That comma placement alone had gotten Garak’s heart beating rapidly. Surely it was a grammatical error, although out of character for Julian Bashir, it wasn’t unlikely. Furthermore, it could be a simple show of platonic affection. After exchanging letter after letter, even Garak had to realize he was indeed held dear in the doctor’s heart.

My heart ached reading your last letter, as it has for every letter prior.

The details of Cardassia being rebuilt were not easy to swallow, so it was no surprise Julian found them upsetting. Still, this was the first time he admitted it instead of offering suggestions and words of encouragement.

I won’t come to Cardassia if you don’t want me to and since you haven’t asked me to join you, I’ve stayed put, but please let me do something for you.

The idea that Julian would even consider moving to Cardassia hadn’t even crossed Garak’s mind. It had been a fantasy, that Starfleet would send him to Cardassia as a part of a goodwill project or something, but Garak had never thought it could be a reality. And yet here Julian was, saying he would join him if Garak asked.

I don’t know what I can send you, what I can say, what I need to do to help you. And I’m talking about you Garak, not Cardassia.

That had made Garak confused. Why would Garak, one man, get special consideration over an entire suffering population. Sure, Julian actually knew Garak, but familiarity was hardly necessary when it came to that young man’s bleeding heart.

Just ask me for anything and it’s yours. You’re working so hard to take care of all of Cardassia, you’ve neglected to take care of yourself. Let me take care of you then, please, I’m begging you.

Did Julian know that was essentially a proposal in Cardassian culture?

Being there for you never has been and never could be an imposition or a burden, since my heart’s always with you no matter what.

I’m with you, okay? Always.

Love,

Julian

The young man had somehow rendered Garak, who was never at a loss for words, speechless. How could he respond to this letter? Admit that he ached for Julian every day? Or simply ask that he join him as a friend? He could decline but thank Julian for his offer of assistance, that would be the wisest way for Garak to keep himself from getting hurt.

Still, the entire world that Garak loved had fallen apart. He had essentially no one to truly depend on and he had grown so tired and so hopeless. Would it be so wrong for him to want something nice for himself? To dream again? To desire?

My dearest, Julian

I await your arrival with baited breath.

Love,

Garak


31 “You’re alive?!”

“You’re alive?!” Garak couldn’t believe the doctor had just walked into his shop to see why he wasn’t at lunch. Why would Garak go to lunch with a ghost?

“No one told you…” Julian breathed in shock before chuckling. “I suppose that explains why you didn’t meet me at the infirmary.” He shot Garak an apologetic smile. “Sorry about the scare.”

“I watched footage of you being killed by the Harvesters,” Garak began, trying to regain his footing. “I’m not angry to see that it was obviously a forgery, however shocked I may be.”

“‘Not angry’ isn’t the same as being happy.” Julian smirked. “Come on, Garak, you can’t tell me you were upset over one Starfleet member.”

“Two Starfleet members.” Garak corrected. “I believed the Chief had also been killed.”

“Ah, yes, and you two are close, I’m sure.” Julian scoffed. “How many other people still think I’m dead?” Garak shrugged, as he truly didn’t know. “Well, how did you find out? We weren’t gone so long that news would really have been spread outside of personnel and family. Did Professor O’Brien tell people or something?” Garak said nothing. “Well? Am I going to terrify everyone I see if I walk into Quark’s?”

“I doubt that, my dear.” Garak said with a wave of his hand.

“Garak…” Julian had a mischievous smile on his face. “You weren’t supposed to have watched the footage, were you?” Garak was silent again. “You watched a classified transmission, risking your status on this station…” His grin only grew wider. “Were you really that worried about me when my return was delayed?”

“Well,” Garak said with a click of his tongue. “It’s not as if I haven’t openly shown my fondness for you.”

“Oh, don’t act ashamed, Garak.” Julian laughed as he walked up to Garak. “You’re not the first person to develop a crush on me and you won’t be the last.”

“I said nothing about romantic feelings!” Garak protested a little too quickly. Julian looked back with wide-eyed hurt.

“So…” He bit his lip and looked away. “You don’t feel that way about me?” It was maybe only a few seconds of silence, but it felt like an eternity for Garak before Julian burst into laughter. “Alright, but seriously, Garak, are we going to get lunch or not?” Garak was relieved that he didn’t have to answer the other question. While he was used to lying, he hardly wanted to deny his feelings for the beautiful young doctor that he was now walking to the replimat with.

.

37 “Because I love you god damn it!”

“Because I love you, god damn it!” Julian was absolutely seething at Garak so he didn’t even stop to register what he’d just confessed. “Do you know how much it hurts to watch you sacrifice yourself so much for someone who never deserved your loyalty?” If Garak were not behind a force field, he would have embraced Julian in an instant. “You think I sympathize with the Founders? Of course not! But you would have tried to kill anyone if you thought they had a hand in killing Tain!” Julian shook his head in rage. “That man was not just a monster in general, he was a monster to you!”

“Doctor…” Garak breathed. There was so much being said, words Garak thought he’d never hear. He never thought someone would be critical of his father’s treatment of him and he certainly never thought Julian Bashir could love him.

“I suppose I just don’t understand.” Julian sighed. “I don’t know who Tain really was to you, but I know who he was to me. I met him once and he mocked and belittled the man I love.” There it was again, Julian saying he loved Garak. “I wanted to wring his thick scaly neck and wipe that arrogant smile off his face.”

“All on my behalf?” Garak couldn’t fathom Julian’s affection for him.

“And I suppose my own jealous motivations.” Julian crossed his arms in a huff. “I don’t know what the nature of your relationship was…” Julian blushed slightly and looked away.

“Doctor, you speak as if you and I are romantically involved.” Julian’s eyes snapped to focus.

“Aren’t we?” Julian asked in surprise. “I mean, I researched Cardassian courtship and, well, I’ve tried to follow all of the customs.” This was not something Garak had expected. “The shoulder touch you first gave me was a proposition and I accepted.”

“You’re telling me that all this time you’ve believed that we were a couple?” Had Garak missed the potential of a million kisses somehow? There was heartbreak and confusion in Julian’s eyes so Garak quickly spoke again. “I’m hardly opposed to the idea, but nothing was ever made official. Not to mention our physical intimacy has been….” Non-existent was the word, but that didn’t feel right. It wasn’t that Garak was just pointing out that they hadn’t been intimate, it was that he wished they had been. “Lacking…”

“‘Innuendo and subtlety are what make a true romance,’” Julian quoted, “‘To be blunt and direct would be to lose any chance.’” Illoja of Prim’s poem To Lovers, With Love which was essentially an instructional piece on Cardassian courtship told in the loveliest of verse. “I wasn’t about to spell out the nature of our relationship and have you disgusted by being so brazen.” It was true, on Cardassia, for anyone to openly claim they were romantically involved without announcing a marriage would be scandalous. “And I wasn’t about to lay a finger on you until you made the first move.”

“Why did you have to be so chivalrous?” Garak sighed and brought his hand to his forehead. “If you had just kissed me, or made some other recognizable move…” Garak shook his head. “Do you realize how long I’ve lusted after you?”

“Well, you’ll have to lust just a bit longer.” Julian huffed. “You got yourself thrown in jail, remember?”

“Believe me, if this barrier were not here, this conversation would be going very differently.” Garak sighed again as he looked at Julian with new wonder. “I would have embraced you and told you how long I have loved you.”

“I’m still mad at you.” Julian looked away with a smirk. “I’m a bit madder since apparently I’ve been single all these years without knowing.”

“At least you got to have the illusion of romance!” Garak protested. “I’ve been pining over you and certain you could never feel the same way.”

“Well, you were wrong about that.” Julian clicked his tongue and looked back at Garak with a strong glare. “And you were wrong to have tried to kill all the Founders.”

“I’ll admit that it was rash.” Garak conceded. “And I’ll endeavor to be worthy of you.” He gave a small bow and was surprised to hear the force field brought down. “There’s no way you have the authority to release me.”

“I’m not releasing you.” Julian grinned. He then firmly embraced Garak and kissed him. It was strong and passionate but not forceful. Garak allowed himself to be led and for his eyes to close only for Julian to pull away. Garak looked at him through hazy blinking. “I’m just making sure you realize what you’re missing out on while you’re in here.” With that, Julian exited the cell and then pressed the keypad so the force field went back up.

“You are cruel.” Garak breathed with a smirk.

“But I bet you’ll never do anything like this again, hmm?” Julian’s smile faded and he bit his lip. “You’ll be back in a month. I’ll still be here for you.”

“I’ll count the moments.”


40 “I could hold you forever”

“I could hold you forever.” Garak said as he tapped his fingers against his desk. “Truly, I have all the time in the world and no one cares what happens to you.” Julian wanted to believe someone would come for him. That Starfleet, The Klingons, The Tal’Shiar, anyone would save him, but who would go against the Obsidian Order for an augment? For a freak?

“Then you would spend forever learning nothing.” Julian said with a weary chuckle. “I’ve told your men everything I know so any further torture would just be for your own sadistic pleasure at this point.” When he’d been discovered at Starfleet Medical, Julian decided his best course of action was to run away to somewhere that wouldn’t question his identity out of desperation. He’d gotten surgically altered to appear Bajoran and created an identity and earring for himself. He told himself that he would neither join the resistance or the collaborators. He would just keep his head down and treat anyone who needed medical attention. Eventually, when Bajor got less desperate, he’d be able to live more like himself and no one would be suspicious since he’d be a familiar face.

Julian now realized how naive he’d been. The slaughter of Bajorans didn’t simply happen behind the scenes or away from prying eyes, it happened right on the streets for everyone to see. Every action was politicized. Treating a Bajoran meant you weren’t using supplies on a Cardassian and vice versa. Julian found himself picking a side quicker than expected, the Bajoran side. It seemed natural to everyone. A Bajoran smuggling resources for other Bajorans, but Julian wasn’t really a Bajoran. Unfortunately, this man from the Obsidian Order had found that out.

“You think I enjoy this?” Garak sighed. “Truly, my dear, I have no desire to see you suffer. I told my men to bring you to me unharmed.” Julian scoffed. “How do you think I discovered you weren’t Bajoran?”

“A medical scan of some sort?” Julian guessed. “Hidden in a device so I wouldn’t notice?”

“You remember when we first met?” Garak asked. Julian nodded. “I didn’t like the idea of being treated by a Bajoran doctor, but the prefect of Bajor seems to think it’s polite to have a few around.” Garak had an amused smirk. “But I must say, you healed my wounds more efficiently than any Cardassian I’ve ever been to.”

“So you decided I couldn’t be Bajoran?” Julian scoffed. “That wouldn’t fit your idea of them being inferior?”

“Oh, please, I’m not so close-minded.” Garak waved his hand. “In truth, I was essentially told the truth, by the orb.” Julian blinked. “Even though you’re not actually Bajoran, I’m sure you know about orb experiences.” Julian nodded. “Yes, well, while the silly fairy tales of Bajor are mostly a waste of time, the orbs seem to create a lucid type of dreaming. It can allow you to discover what your subconscious has already learned.” Julian said nothing. “Have I lost you?”

“No,” Julian shook his head. “You’re saying you realized I was human because of the orb?”

“It also showed me some other things about you.” Garak got up and moved toward Julian.

“It showed you that I was smuggling medical supplies.” Julian clicked his tongue. Of course there would be some bizarre and seemingly fantastical device that would expose Julian.

“That, and the fact that I need to keep your from getting yourself killed.” Garak moved to touch Julian’s shoulder, but stopped his hand when Julian flinched. “You’re a very precious creature, Julian Bashir.” Julian looked up in horror at the use of his real name. “Don’t worry, not even Central Command knows who you really are. I imagine they’d love to use you as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the Federation.”

“But you intend to use me in some other way?” Julian supplied. “Let me guess, you want an augmented agent who, not being Cardassian, can gain the trust of Bajorans.”

“That is a charming idea.” Garak smiled. “But truly, I have no intention of forcing you into anything.”

“So I can cooperate or rot in a cell?” Julian rolled his eyes. “That’s still manipulation of power and extortion, even if you try and fool me into it being something else.” Garak glanced down and pursed his lips.

“I don’t really know how to go about this…” He sighed. “I have reason to believe you and I are intended for one another.”

“I’m sorry?” Julian asked, not really knowing what that meant.

“The orb,” Garak explained, “it showed you and I together… intimately.” Julian’s eyes grew wide.

“So your subconscious had some sick fantasy about me?” Julian was horrified. If only the light beam wasn’t keeping him trapped to the chair, he would run. “If you’re going to rape me, at least be honest about it. Don’t pretend some illusion of romance is involved.” He spat. What else did Julian have but insults? He could refuse to cooperate with anything, but he couldn’t stop Garak from doing whatever he pleased.

“My dear doctor,” Garak looked almost remorseful. “If I thought this was some fleeting desire or lust, I would ignore it easily.” He shook his head. “You think I want to lie with a non-Cardassian? An enemy of the state?”

“You wouldn’t be the first.” Julian squirmed under the restraining light. “I had to heal countless Bajorans that were given special treatment.”

“And I, like you, find that distasteful.” Garak took a step back and leaned against his desk now. “What do you know about Cardassian culture?”

“You don’t want to hear my thoughts on Central Command.” Julian scoffed. “I assure you, I’m not a fan.”

“Your disapproval of my government is not my concern.” Garak dismissed. “I’m talking about the culture, outside of politics.” Julian thought for a moment.

“You value family.” Garak nodded. “And you were once a spiritual and peaceful people.”

“Yes, and with that sentimentality came weakness and poverty.” Garak said cooly. “Unfortunately, there are still elements of our old beliefs that resonate even in myself.” Julian watched Garak carefully. He seemed sincere and relatively respectful of Julian’s desire to not be touched, but that could easily be an act to convince Julian to submit. “There’s a belief that people are intertwined and destined to fall in love.”

“And you believe that’s what’s going to happen to us?” Julian said in disbelief.

“I believe that is what’s going to happen to me.” Garak said with a click of his tongue. “But I’m not pleased by it.” He sighed. “The vision ended with you stabbing me in the heart.”

“I’m beginning to like this fantasy.” Julian smiled. Garak returned his smile with his own sad one. Without another word, Garak pressed a button on his desk and Julian was released from the light beam. He immediately stood up and tried to back away, but his wounds from earlier hit him with a stabbing pain and he fell to the ground.

“Stay still.” Garak tsked as he moved over to Julian. “I’m going to fix you up.”

“You wouldn’t want me bleeding all over you as you molest me?” Julian coughed out. Garak said nothing as he ran a dermal regenerator over most of Julian’s injuries.

“Better?” Garak said with a warm smile. Julian glared at him.

“I see you only know how to hurt people, not heal them.” He bit back. “A dermal regenerator hardly solves everything.”

“What else is wrong?” Garak asked with concern.

“I think…” Julian looked at his leg and bit his lip. “I think my ankle is fractured.”

“How do I fix that?” Julian eyed Garak suspiciously. If this Cardassian was only healing him in order to rape him, it would be in Julian’s best interest to not tell Garak what to do. Then again, there was almost no way Julian would be able to escape with a fractured ankle.

“Twist it back into place to start.” Julian bit his lip as he prepared himself for the pain and Garak frowned and stood up. “Where are you going?”

“I’m not about to subject you to more pain.” Garak explained as he began rifling through his desk. “My med kit should have a localized anesthetic.” Garak pulled out the medical kit and returned to Julian’s side. He opened it up and took out a hypospray. “Where should I inject this?”

“Just a little bit above the ankle.” Julian winced when Garak touched the pained spot but when the burst from the hypo was released, Julian sighed at the numbing sensation.

“Well, that smile’s a good sign.” Garak grinned. Julian gulped uncomfortably at the display of affection. Garak seemed to be a bit embarrassed himself and looked back at Julian’s ankle. “I’m going to reset it now, alright?” Julian nodded. Garak hesitated before taking Julian’s ankle. He twisted it back into place but he immediately glanced with worry at Julian. “Did that hurt you?” Julian shook his head. “Now what?”

“There should be a Marrow Threader in your med kit.” Garak searched inside the case for a moment before pulling it out. “Run that over it three or four times.” Garak did as he was was told and then looked at Julian again curiously.

“Did it work?” Garak asked. He was acting so innocent and child-like. Julian nearly forgot he should be frightened.

“I can’t really tell since it’s still numb.” Julian reached out his hand. “Here, help me up. If I can stand on my own, it worked.” Garak pulled Julian to his feet and then steadied him with care. Julian smiled as he felt stable again.

“That’s a relief.” Garak sighed.

“Thanks.” Julian smiled happily at Garak before remembering who he was talking to. “What…” Julian licked his lips. It had been foolish to try to run away in the first place, he wouldn’t get far with or without a fractured ankle. “What are you going to do with me?”

“I’m going to keep you safe, my dear.” Garak put a gentle hand on Julian’s cheek. Julian froze but then allowed himself to relax. It wouldn’t do to show fear. “I have no doubt that you will one day kill me, but I can’t seem to find it within myself to kill you first.” Julian searched Garak’s blue eyes for any sign of a lie.

“You’re serious, aren’t you?” He said in surprise. “You actually think I’m your soulmate or something?” Garak nodded. “All because of what the orb showed you?”

“And because when I first met you, I already wanted you.” Garak admitted. “I ignored it at first. Even after the orb experience I tried to rid my mind of you…” Garak dropped his hand and looked away. “But I suppose I never really had a choice in the end.” Julian looked Garak over. The man had never actually hurt him and he had to admit he’d shown Julian only kindness. There was a part of Julian that found Garak attractive as well, a feeling that had first awakened when Garak had come into his infirmary. The Cardassian was a fascinating mystery and here he was seeming so vulnerable in front of Julian.

“Neither did I.” Julian breathed as he placed a delicate hand on Garak’s shoulder. He knew what that motion meant, he’d lived among Cardassians long enough to pick up a few things. Garak looked at him in surprise. “If I kiss you…” Julian said, licking his lips, “you won’t hurt me?”

“I swear on my life.” Garak said as he let his eyes fall closed. Julian brought his lips to Garak’s and lay a long and passionate kiss there. He would tell himself later that it was a ploy, that this was simply to fulfill the end of that fantasy where he at last would stab Garak. However, in this moment he simply enjoyed the kiss.


41 “Everytime I see you, I fall in love with you all over again”

“Everytime I see you, I fall in love with you all over again.” Garak smiled when Julian’s face appeared on the screen.

“I know distance makes the heart grow fonder, but honestly, Elim,” Julian shook his head with a smile. “Do you have to be so romantic when you’re too far away to hold?”

“It’s merely the first thing that came to mind.” Garak sighed. “Being so far away from you is frustrating.”

“Believe me,” Julian leaned back in his chair and exhaled. “I am also frustrated.”

“Now that was just cruel.” Garak said. “You realize that I’m now picturing you taking matters into your own hands.”

“When are you coming home?” Julian said sadly. “The news from Loval hasn’t been good.”

“Unfortunately it’s accurate though.” Garak sighed. “It’s hard enough to unite our peoples on Cardassia Prime, let alone planets outside of the Cardassian system.” He shook his head. “Many people here still view Dukat as a hero due to his business with K’Temang.”

“Have the riots stopped at least?” Garak said nothing. “I see…” Julian bit his lip. “I should have gone with you.”

“Do not berate yourself, dear.” Garak said, wagging a finger. “The hospital is in desperate need of your expertise. While the situation here is politically dire, there are significantly less wounded.”

“Not to mention it wouldn’t do for a human to accompany you.” Julian mumbled.

“I wish it were different.” Garak said.

“No, I understand.” Julian sighed. “You’re attempting to unify these people and interspecies mingling is a highly divisive issue.” He rubbed some weariness from his eyes. “I miss you, but mostly I worry about you.”

“I’m very safe, Julian.” Garak smiled. “Truly, I’m out of harm’s way. No one’s going to hurt me.”

“You’re your own worst enemy.” Julian responded. “I don’t want you blaming yourself for all the troubles you see and thinking you’ve somehow failed Cardassia.” Garak couldn’t argue with that as Julian had had to reassure him often that things would improve. “You’re going to do more for Loval than anyone else would have been able to and then you’re going to come back to me, understand?”

“Yes, doctor.” Garak smirked. “I’ll return to you as soon as I am able.”

“Good.” Julian nodded firmly before smiling. “Now, I’m free for the rest of the evening and would like to just talk to you about Jake Sisko’s new book.”

“Ah, yes,” Garak said, shaking his head. Long-distance meant flirting was really all they had as far as romance. A good debate was essentially their love-making while they were apart. “He’s a talented young writer, it’s a shame about his Federation bias making the Maquis rebel seem sympathetic.”

“You found Jacobi sympathetic!?”

50 “Please… I need you”

“Please… I need you.” Julian whimpered. He felt so pathetic and childish. It had only been a nightmare, it wasn’t a good enough reason to wake Garak up in the middle of the night. Still, Julian had already used the comm and asked him to come to his quarters, it was too late to save face.

“I’m on my way.” Garak said that with more alertness than his initial response to being hailed at whatever hour this was. He sounded worried and serious. Julian had no idea what he was going to tell Garak when he was asked what was so urgent. I’m sorry to have disturbed you, Garak but, you see, I dreamt I was in solitary again except this time I was lying on a biobed in the room and my parents were there. Julian shuddered at the memory. That hadn’t been the particularly unsettling part of the dream, what had shaken Julian was when a Changeling appeared and took his form. That was when his parents happily embraced the Changeling as their son. The Changeling smiled at Julian as he looked on in horror and whispered, “goodbye, Jules.” And suddenly Julian was awake in a cold sweat.

“Enter.” Julian mumbled when he heard his door chime. How could he tell Garak that nothing had really happened? It was all just ghosts. Ghosts that were probably nothing compared to the kinds that haunted Garak. Julian almost considered making up a different reason for needing him. He thought about claiming he thought he saw the Changeling still in his quarters. Of course, if that were true, Garak knew that Julian would have contacted security first. Julian had gotten so lost in his thoughts, he jumped when he felt Garak’s hand gently touch his back.

“I’m sorry, my dear.” Garak said soothingly.

“No, no, it’s alright.” Julian shook his head. “I was just startled, is all.” He looked at Garak and chuckled a bit. “I really shouldn’t have bothered you so late.”

“Not at all,” Garak smiled, “what happened?” The question Julian had been dreading.

“It’s honestly silly.” Julian shrugged with an apologetic smile. “I was still half asleep when I called you, I’m really fine now.”

“Silly?” Garak asked skeptically. “Well, I could use a little humor.” That was an invitation to share as much as it was a challenge. Garak knew there was something really bothering Julian.

“I had a nightmare.” Julian whispered. He felt like he was too small for his own pajamas with how foolish he sounded.

“I see…” Garak nodded and was quiet for a moment. He seemed to be thinking about it as if Julian had stated some complicated philosophy. “Do you want to talk about it?” Julian did not want to talk about it so he shook his head. “Do you want to go back to sleep?” Julian didn’t know how to respond to that question. He welcomed rest, but he was afraid of what lay behind his eyelids. “Personally, I’m wide awake now and wouldn’t mind some company if I’m going to be up.”

“I really am sorry about waking you.” Julian looked away.

“Don’t be.” Garak said, shaking his head. “You said that you needed me. Being needed is the most important part of life and I haven’t been needed in a long time.” Garak had a sad, distant smile on his face.

“I do need you, Garak.” It was said instinctively, but Julian knew he meant it. “I mean, I called you for a reason.”

“That is actually something I’m curious about.” Garak said, raising an eye ridge. “I assumed you’d require some sort of…” He glanced around the room as he always did before he told a lie that was meant to be seen as one, “tailoring work. However, while I don’t mind being emotional support, I’m not exactly the obvious choice.”

“I didn’t really think about it.” Julian admitted. “You were just the person I wanted to see most.” Julian hadn’t meant to phrase it quite like that, but it was the truth. He wanted comfort and there were few things as comforting to him as Garak. The rest of the station would probably be revolted at the fact that Julian felt safe with the obvious Carddassian spy, but Julian knew it was true.

“I’m flattered.” Garak bowed his head slightly. “Anything I can do to help you, I will do.”

“You being here is plenty.” Julian sighed. He felt so tired and drowsy but every time he let his eyelids grow heavy, he snapped his eyes open out of fear.

“Lie down, my dear.” Garak directed. Julian didn’t resist and let himself be slowly lowered back again. “You do need your rest. I’ll keep watch and be here in case you begin to have nightmares again.”

“Thank you…” Julian breathed. It was both a small and huge favor at the same time. Julian allowed his eyes to close and tried to breathe deeply. There was a warmth that came with Garak being near him, even if the Cardassian was technically cold. Julian found himself lie in that warmth and finally submit to the exhaustion that came over him.