Title: Sanctuary
Author: mrs260
Contact: mrs-fanfic@nym.hush.com
Series: DS9
Part: 1/1
Rating: R
Codes: G/B, Garak/Bashir Fuh-q Fest challenge response
Challenge answered: Write a story that uses Kukalaka for some sexual purpose. (Mosca)
Summary: Julian is distressed after the events of Past Tense.
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the property of Paramount. No profit is made from this fan fiction. Written in 2004.
Feedback: Any and all. Criticism welcome.

"Causing people to suffer because you hate them is terrible. But causing people to suffer because you have forgotten how to care... that's really hard to understand." -- Julian Bashir, in Past Tense.

~~~

Sanctuary
by mrs260

~~~

Julian Bashir awoke with a gasp.

Garak, not Sisko, was sleeping beside him; he was warm, clean, and safe. He and the Commander had saved the hostages, and they had been rescued. History had proceeded without them.

Garak spoke without opening his eyes. "Doctor?"

Julian sighed and laughed softly. "How many times do I have to tell you not to call me 'Doctor' while we're in bed?"

"Julian, then," Garak said, a hint of accent in his normally accentless speech when he spoke the name. "You can tell me what happened, if you wish. I can keep a secret."

"So can I," Julian quipped.

"Very well." Garak opened his eyes and smiled conspiratorially. "Shall I tell you what I've surmised?"

"I'd rather not discuss this at all. It is classified." He tensed when Garak touched his hip, and Garak caressed him soothingly.

"About how it's affected you, then. Don't pretend it hasn't." Garak's hand moved to his face, to his forehead. "It was violent, I think, wasn't it? You've experienced some of the cruelty the universe has to offer."

"Elim--"

"You needn't confirm or deny it, my dear. I will admit to some curiosity, but I don't need to know in order to help." Garak began to stroke him, long, soothing touches over his whole torso. "You are home now, and as safe as anyone in your position can be."

Garak had some odd ideas about comfort. But it was comforting, and Julian relented.

"I just... I've seen what sentient beings can do to each other. But it's never been--it's never been so personal before." Julian sighed in frustration and gave Garak a quick, firm kiss. "If I explained why, I'd have to tell you why it's classified."

"It had a deep effect on you in a very short time," Garak murmured, kissing him back, then moving to kiss his throat and his clavicles. He relaxed, closing his eyes, sinking into the bed and letting Garak's mouth and hands move over him. "When you sleep, you dream of it."

"Yes."

"I have an idea," Garak whispered, nipping his earlobe, then moved off the bed. He was back before Julian even thought to open his eyes and look.

Garak placed something furry on his chest, near his face, and held it there. Julian inhaled the scent of well-worn plush and smiled. Childhood, medical school, even the growing comfort with his own bedroom on the station filled his thoughts. "Kukalaka!" He opened his eyes and grinned at Garak.

"Since you didn't take him with you, perhaps he will remind you that you are home."

"It's certainly worth a try. Thank you."

~~~

Julian tried not to fidget as he waited for Commander Sisko to open his office door. He was nervous, despite their shared experience.

Sisko opened the door and gestured to a chair with a smile. "Sorry to keep you waiting, Doctor. What can I do for you?"

"I need some advice."

"I'll do what I can."

"I--Garak and I have been seeing each other. For a few months."

Sisko nodded. "So Dax told me."

Of course she had.

"Go on," Sisko said.

"I've been having trouble sleeping since we got back from... from Earth. Garak knows something's happened, and I want to talk about it, but of course I can't."

"It's a difficult situation. Especially with Garak." Sisko sighed. "You can't tell him as much as most officers can tell their partners."

"That's part of the difficulty, actually..." Sisko looked up sharply and Julian felt himself blushing. "This is the first time something's happened to me and Garak hasn't known all about it. It's difficult for both of us."

"I see."

"I--I don't tell him, sir; he just... finds out. And half the time he's directly involved--"

"Never mind, Julian. I wasn't accusing you of anything."

Julian cut himself off. "Sorry."

"Don't mention it." Sisko picked up his baseball and looked at it. "When I saw Jake, he knew right away that something had happened. I told him that I'd had to deal with a hostage situation, that I'd been injured and a civilian had died, and that the details were classified. That was enough to help him understand, and enough to ease my own mind."

"I could tell Garak that much," Julian said, "but it wouldn't help. That's not what's bothering me."

Sisko nodded, understanding. "'Causing people to suffer because you hate them is terrible. But causing people to suffer because you have forgotten how to care...'"

Julian sighed. "Exactly. I still don't understand it. Seeing my own species behave that way..."

"Would it have been different if it were another species doing the same thing?" Sisko asked.

"I..." Julian paused, thinking of discarded Cardassian orphans, the hope on a young girl's face, the pity and guilt that Garak had tried to mask. "No, I don't think it would."

"Don't talk to him about what happened," Sisko said. "Talk to him about suffering."

~~~

"You've done things in your life," Julian ventured as they lay together that evening. "Things you don't want me to know about."

"I have," Garak said, looking at him warily.

"I've seen things recently. Things I can't talk about. But we can talk about concepts."

Garak nodded.

"I want to talk about the orphans."

Garak stiffened, but nodded again.

"I was caught up in the mystery at the time, but you're right, I was upset. I don't understand."

"I'm not certain I can explain."

"I don't expect you to; I just want to talk about it. How can a society discard its own people? How can people cause others to suffer because they've forgotten how to care?"

Garak sighed and drew him close. "I don't know, my dear. I have caused a lot of suffering in my life, but never because I didn't care."

Julian felt his eyes sting and squeezed them shut, laughing shakily. "I know." He clung to Garak's chest and said nothing more.

~~~

They rolled apart after a time; Julian wiped at his eyes and sniffled a bit. Garak kissed his hair, his forehead, and his throat. His shoulder brushed against Kukalaka where the bear lay against the pillow. Garak smiled, picked Kukalaka up, and used him to stroke Julian's chest and arms.

The long embrace had left Julian feeling dizzy and warm. He reached up to kiss Garak again, and felt his cock growing heavy. He ran his fingers over the bony ridges on Garak's face, and his heart sped at Garak's gasping response.

Garak drew Kukalaka's body lower over his stomach, until he blushed and tugged Garak's wrist back up. "All right, now, that's enough," Julian murmured with a fond smile and another kiss. "He's not a sex toy."

Garak smiled innocently and ran his hand along the same path.

"Mmm, much better."

As Garak kissed his chest and stomach and took his cock in his mouth, Julian let the warmth wash over him. It was enough to help Garak understand; it was enough to ease his mind.

~~~

END
mrs260