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Mirror Pain

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by A. Kite (Oct 2001)

The doctor entered his quarters. So tired, so weary, the grit from the ore chafing his skin under the uniform. Shower. He must get clean. But there was no washing away the shame.

The door chime rang. Who could it be? Too tired to care. He plodded on toward the bathroom, shedding the dirty uniform as he went. The door slid open despite his ignoring the chime.

Garak. It was the Cardassian at his door. The Cardassian now coming toward him. The doctor trembled in fear. Not the same Garak, he told himself. Not the one that put such a stain on my soul.

The other exclaimed his concern. Carried the exhausted human to the shower. Hot, hot water beat down. Strong hands cleansed his skin, his hair, but couldn't reach inside. He hissed at the pain when Garak, his friend, his real friend touched him there.

Only trying to help of course, but the pain. The ripped, shredded tissue from a brutal rape. He was angry now, his friend, cursing in Kardasi at himself really. Or another self. One that would take another so cruelly. He shied away, afraid that the anger would be turned to him again. The cursing stopped and soothing words came again. Words of comfort, of love.

Could Garak really love him? No. He was damaged now. The water stopped, and his skin was gently dried. Carried again, put on the bed. Now the torment would recommence.

Garak walked away. The doctor didn't quite understand the command that was given to the replicator, but it worked. Hands so tender, turned him to his side. Something slick, something healing applied there where it hurt so badly. More soft words, a hand stroked down his back.

Two strong arms encircled him, but the body behind him was fully clothed. Too tired to fight, too weary to wonder what was next, the doctor slept.

Waking in the same position that he'd fallen asleep. Strange. Garak here with him, still holding on. Stranger still. How could he tell his friend who it was that hurt him? How could he say even as the other ripped into him that it excited him? That he had writhed there on the floor and begged for it though the pain was overwhelming.

Tears came, though the doctor fought them. Sobs shook his body and woke his companion. Fingers tightened causing him to panic. He shouldn't have. Words of apology followed. This Garak would never hurt him. This Garak assured him of the fact. No need to tell him at all. He already knew.

Slowly, the friend disengaged himself. "Sleep, Julian," he was told, but the doctor waited until the door closed again before obeying.