So you want to know about my husband.
Julian Bashir, the Great Traitor.
Oh you didn't know I knew about that did you?
You think I am oblivious to the whispers, the stares, the conversations that stop just as I enter the room?
Well I'm not.
I know what you all think of him, and of me for protecting him for so long.
But you know what?
I loved him then and I love him now.
So I will tell you about him and you can put it in your little 'news paper' but only if you do not edit my words. I will tell you the story of his 'Great Betrayal' or more accurately, the story of his love...
I met Julian 4 months after the war with the Dominion ended. I was transferred to Deep Space Nine right after the Academy, my family was so proud. Imagine it, my first assignment was on the hub of exploration, the 'gateway to the Delta Quadrant'.
He and I met on my 3rd day there.
I was at Quark's playing dabo when a Klingon accused me of cheating. Now I am normally a very calm person but I will not be called a cheater. You might as well spit in my face.
After the fight I went to the Infirmary to have my wrist set as it had been broken in 2 places.
We started talking and I asked him out but he refused.
See he was already *involved* with someone, Ezri Dax, DS9s counselor.
So, I was so heartbroken I accepted our status as *Just Friends*.
After a few months on DS9 I realized something about Julian.
He was *In Love*.
Deeply, passionately, all-consumingly in love.
But not with Ezri like you might be thinking. He was in love with someone he was sure he couldn't have.
He was in love with DS9's resident tailor and former spy, Elim Garak.
The infamous Garak.
Known through out the quadrant.
Leader of the Cardassian people.
'Xenophobic' ruler who has allowed only a handful of outsiders on Cardassia in decades.
And now you think you understand, you think Julian 'betrayed' the Federation out of some misguided infatuation. You think he accept the rejection and hatred of his entire race over some *crush*.
Well, you're a fool if you do.
But let me get back to the story. Where was I?
Julian was hopelessly in love with Garak but was so afraid of being rejected and ruining their friendship that he would not allow himself to act on his feelings. Instead he was trying to focus his attraction on to Ezri.
Ezri you see was... vulnerable. She was a recently joined Trill and emotionally overloaded.
Easy prey basically.
So Julian tried to make her fall in love with him and more importantly tried to make *himself* fall in love with her.
It took only Garak's leaving to end that notion.
See one day Garak was just... gone. The only thing that kept Julian from launching a full scale force to track him down was a message received the next day.
I am on Cardassia. Do not try to find me. I have to help put the pieces back together. Good-bye my idealistic young friend.
The look on Julian's face.
I've never seen such pain on the face of a living man.
He looked... worse than dead.
My poor Julian just collapsed in on himself. He lost his spirit with that good-bye.
Over the course of only a few days he became hostile, belligerant, even petulant. He argued with nurses. He fought with Quark over prices. He even questioned Kira authority.
Then suddenly he wasn't.
Wasn't happy. Wasn't sad. Wasn't angry.
He just... wasn't anymore.
His relationship with Ezri also wasn't anymore. He gave nothing, and she hadn't been ready for a relationship anyway.
They just stopped getting together.
No one was really surprised.
After a few months I was the only one who even attempted to socialize with him. We had dinner together almost every night.
We were married 7 months after Garak left. It was a simple thing, not even a ceremony. Just filling out the proper papers and moving my things into his quarters.
It sounds cold hearted but really it wasn't. I loved him and he... needed someone.
Our marriage was calm, and safe, and totally wrong.
I realized that on our 6 month anniversary, which both of us had forgotten.
We were eating at Quark's when Kira, Ezri and Julian's other 'friends' appeared with a cake. When we finally understood why they had a cake Julian ran.
I found him in our quarters after making the proper excuses to his 'friends'. He was curled up on our couch clutching something so tightly in his fist I thought he would draw blood. I wrapped my arms around him and held him for hours until sleep finally claimed him and what he'd been clutching finally fell from his grasp.
It was Garak. Or more accurately a __ST version of a photo__ of Garak.
I held my husband for the rest of the night as I wept.
For me. For him. Even for Garak.
Over he next few weeks I made my plans. I contacted some old friends and found out what had happened to Garak.
Yes, I'm sure you do know this part but it's important that I tell it.
You young people seem to think that Garak was always the head of the Caradassian government. You act like he magically appeared there instead of pulling his way to the top using what ever tactics he could.
So shut up and listen young man or you'll lose the 'scoop of the century' as you called it.
Garak had in a matter of a mere year become one of the most powerful men of Cardassia. Mainly by focusing on something usually ignored by Cardassian politicians : the public.
He called the people to arms and in the same week I began looking for him launched an easily won rebellion against the military government. I say 'easily won' because the government, such as it was, now existed in name only. The war, but more importantly the quick surrender to the Dominion, lost the government it's most important asset. The loyalty of the citizens and soldiers who had created it.
My search it turned out had been useless. If I had waited only one week I would not have needed to bother.
Garak's name was on every piece of news, on every person's lips.
Everyone but Julian's. He steadfastly ignored speaking of his former 'friend' for weeks. 'Til one day when he just couldn't take it anymore.
A 'journalist' had purposely ingured herself in order to 'question' Julian. He realized this quickly and, with out even thinking about it I think, he began to physically reset her injury without even sedating her.
You could hear her screaming though the entire Promanade.
After his 'breakdown' Julian was confined to quarters and Ezri began to visit every day.
He was not crazy! You little twit!
Now I'm willing to do this but if you interupt me again you are gone!
And I'm keeping your equiptment.
I realized what I had to do.
And after getting Ezri and Kira, who had begun dating soon after Julian and Ezri had broken up, to promise me that they would look after Julian I did it.
I went to Cardassia.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I just booked a seat on a ship, packed a bag, told Julian I had to visit some old friends and left.
And once again finding Garak was *much* easier than expected. I just asked someone where he was.
He was in Treshar Nor so that's where I went.
It took me longer to get permission to see him than the trip fro DS9 had taken but I was finally granted an audience after some *very* creative storytelling.
Now he'd been on the station when I arrived but I had never really met him so this was my first real look.
When I saw him I finally understood Julian's love, I think, he was... frantic is the only word. Never still, going from one task to another, never stopping. He barely paused when I entered the room and I knew I would have to catch his attention quickly if I wanted to keep it.
So I did the only thing I could thing of, I introduced myself.
As Cara Bashir, Julian's wife.
To say he was shocked would have been an understatement. He completely stopped for a moment before ordering everyone from the room.
He began firing questions at me as soon as they left.
Why was I there? Where was Julian? Was he ok? Why wasn't I with him?
But I'd had enough. I'd dealt with Julian wanting to be just friends, and his being with Ezri, and his collapse when Garak left, and our passionless marriage, and even his recent violence.
So being verbally attacked by Garak was the final straw.
After nearly a year of being the 'strong one' for Julian I collapsed. I fell to the floor. I might have hit my head or I may just have fainted.
But when I regained conciousness Garak had become much more in control and allowed me to talk.
I don't remember exactly what I said but it was along the lines of :
You have to go get him. He's falling apart. He needs you. I'm not enough. You're the one he loves.
Now remember I had just had a minor breakdown. Again I had the dubious pleasure of seeing Elim Garak shocked. Few people can honestly say that.
But Garak couldn't just drop everything to go get the husband of some crazy human who appeared on his doorstep one day, even if he was in love with said husband. So we decided that I would bring a message to Julian from Garak.
I didn't ask about the message, and to this day I'm not sure what it said.
All I know is that when I got back to DS9 and showed it to Julian he looked at me with the most joyful expression I had ever seen, until he saw me. His face fell as he realized that though the man he loved wanted him he was still married to a woman he, I hope, considered a good friend. But I wasn't going to do that to him, I kissed him on the cheek and told him to go on.
And well you know the rest...
Julian went to Cardassia and his marriage to Garak and official 'conversion' to the Cardassian life became the biggest story for a time.
He was seen as an outsider by most Cardassians and a traitor by most of the Federation. But not once did he waiver. Not once. My Julian loved that man with all his heart.
It's always surprised me that the Cardassians were more willing to accept a complete outsider as the mate of their leader than the Federation has been willing to accept a man willing to give up everything for love. Did you know that the Cardassian people have voted to make Julian's birthday a legal holiday?
You see they've realized something you people obviously haven't...
My husband... is a good man.