There is an unfortunate process in which nice young men lose their innocence.
I've watched it happen on numerous occasions.
Julian Bashir's naivety shined like a beacon the second I stepped into the replimat, he seemed lost, even as he sat motionless. How could I not be drawn to him? My entire past was a kaleidoscope of treachery and violence, my future, a interminable exile from home. These things would grate on any psyche, and to see Bashir sitting there... his biggest worry being how well Jadzia Dax liked him, I felt a soothing confidence. With Julian, everything was on the surface.
For awhile, anyway.
I was only planning on having a little fun. It was highly doubtful that this nice young man would be interested in a much older tailor, although I was flattered by how flustered he seemed by speaking with me. He was an easy target, not something I had run into for a long time. spending most of your adult life as a Cardassian spy can make one appreciate the fleeting moments with normal people. Becoming friends... that was unforeseen.
Frankly, I wish we hadn't. When the chip in my brain began malfunctioning, I feared Julian for the first time. He was no longer charmed by my half-lies, no longer found the verbal game play interesting, but rather... tiresome. I was starting to disappoint him. Because we were friends, he expected more from me. Instead, I lashed out.
I was disappointed with myself, especially for falling for him. What a torturous experience, knowing he embraced me as friend, cared for me, but drew the line at anything more. I became possessive, a trait I find most embarrassing.
When Julian Bashir shot me, I knew the pendulum had completely swung in the opposite direction. In that moment, I could choose to be sad, or I could continue on with the game. "There's hope for you yet," I said, and I knew it was over. The look in his eyes were so different from the first time I said that joking line. He was tolerating me now, as I clung on to how he used to be.
When I had to make the choice between leaving DS9, or returning to Cardassia, I knew leaving was the only possible option. Nothing remained for me on the station besides watching Bashir continue on with his life while I remained stagnant. Besides, the fun was gone. Too much had happened. The only reason I found Julian so interesting was that he was a clean slate, but now he too carried so much on his shoulders. The last thing I needed was an old friend with as many war wounds as I had.
Maybe he will be sad at my leaving, but I doubt it. His tepid reassurance that we would see each other again was the final death knell of our friendship.
There is an unfortunate process in which nice young men lose their innocence. I've watched it on numerous occasions.
But why did it have to happen to him?