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15 December 2010 @ 06:49 pm
Star Trek: DS9 ficlet: Mimesis  
Fandom: Star Trek: DS9
Title: Mimesis
Characters: Bashir, Odo
Summary: A glimpse at Julian Bashir right after the "In Purgatory's Shadow /By Inferno's Light" two-parter
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: To selenak, because it was just after re-reading some of Selena's older DS9 stories when inspiration suddenly struck... :). I also would very much like to thank my betas tli and revdorothyl for doing such a great job :)

by Bimo

"Odo, why are you doing this?"

"I wish I could be of help, Doctor. Unfortunately there's nothing I could tell you that isn't already contained in my reports to Starfleet Intelligence."

Julian has no reason to doubt the Constable's motives. So he just nods, quietly acknowledging the thin ice they are both treading on and the sincerity, even intimacy, of Odo's offer. Dealing with the realities of DS9's infiltration must be as difficult and personal to Odo as it is to him. Two people horrified and spooked to their core by the very same thing, just from opposite angles, and neither of them daring to speak out the one essential fact occupying their thoughts.

The Bashir Changeling -- it's fascinating, isn't it?

While the words are already fully formed in Julian's mind, they somehow won't find their way over his lips. After two or three breaths, he picks up his PADD again to continue where he had stopped when the Constable had approached him, sitting in one of the bar's less exposed corners.

"Thank you anyway, Constable. Now, I hope you’ll excuse me, but I need to read up on this bio-enzymatic protein supplement."

"I see."

With these words the conversation gets nipped in the bud. As Odo heads straight out of Quark's, Julian can't help but look after him from over the rim of his PADD, observing the Constable's stiff yet at the same time oddly fluid movements. Something so unique, so unchangeably "Odo" that any deeper, rational thought related to what the more experienced members of Odo's species are capable of instantly strikes Julian as profoundly wrong.

He hopes he can keep it that way; keep a clear, distinct line between Odo and the Founders, at least for the moment.

The very essence of shape-shifting? The full implications -- including the metaphysical ones -- of mimicking another sentient being so perfectly that not even his friends over a period of four whole weeks were able to tell any difference? Of course, Julian would be dying to discuss that, especially with Odo. Not now, though, he admonishes himself. Not at such an early point when he can't even safely tell what falls under justified scientific interest and which questions, which sensitivities, are merely derived from his own bruised and trampled-on ego.

There are reasons why Julian has put himself on light duties for the time being -- the most important issue, of course, is the one that he can never admit to anyone. From a certain perspective it's almost as if the good old times of his teenage and early Academy years have come back to haunt him. Genetically enhanced miracle boy, flying all on his own, wondering how far his physical and behavioural long-term reactions will deviate from human standards. Knowing all too well that if they do so too obviously, in either direction, he's done.

There's no point denying the truth. The 20th century Augments, the one true group of reference Julian will ever have, probably would have bounced back from last month's events just like over-accelerated racket balls, likely to come back with a vengeance.

So he's playing it slowly and carefully, questioning every thought, every move. Essentially it's spin control. No serious tasks except taking turns with Ziyal to check on Garak, his heart heavy with every visit. But otherwise it's just dusting off a few old research projects of his and saying hello to young Kirayoshi O'Brien.

His Bajoran colleagues have already commented on how remarkably sensible Julian Bashir behaves for a doctor, as he's making a point of sticking firmly to their advice. Regular, well-balanced meals, plenty of rest, a randomly selected preventative shot of antibiotics. So far there have been three rather longish sessions with Counselor Telnorri, which of course helps as far as dealing with the horrors of Dominion Internment Camp 371 is concerned, but seems utterly pointless, even dangerous, in regard to the underlying larger personal issues.

"Son, you are doing yourself no favours. Freaking out over not freaking out, just because you feel that you should at some point. Please be kind to yourself, yes?" Telnorri's voice still echoes in Julian's ear.

After a brief sigh he reaches for his tea, only to find that apart from a few dregs, by now lukewarm and bitter, left at the bottom, he must have emptied the whole mug without even noticing. Well, time to leave anyway, he thinks. Better to do so now, before Quark's fills again with the first rush of after-shift customers. He doesn't feel like bumping into Miles or, even worse, Jadzia, who, in his estimation, is by far the likeliest person to finally drop the smiles, excuses and pretences to at least try coming clean. Old Man Dax -- beautiful, witty, charming, intelligent and actually a quite merciless advocate of all things you just don't want to hear.

He can almost imagine her looking at him, one eyebrow raised, her ink-blue eyes distant. "You're forgetting that we live in interesting times, Julian. Tell me, do you really believe that people are watching this closely over anyone who isn't their immediate kin?"

But of course, Julian does.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
(Deleted comment)
Bimo: Christian_Sean_Christmasbimo on December 15th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
Trust me, it's good to be back again, especially with something creative! :-)

I spent the last months mostly reading what was going on in other people's (fannish) lives and not really feeling all that fannish myself. It's a great relief to know that the muse (and also the joy) are still there.

As for DS9: I already enjoyed it when it first aired during the 1990s. In my impression it's one of the rare shows that age well with time. Great characters, wonderful actors, its scripts possessing a surprising amount of depth and complexity. Also not afraid of being rather dark for a Star Trek show while conveying a strong humanist message.

(Deleted comment)
Bimo: Swann_oldbiebimo on December 16th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, Next Generation is a gem in its own right (and also one of the first shows I ever watched in English as a teenager ;-)). I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Picard and his crew!

Kathyh: Kathyh Christmaskathyh on December 15th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Very nice little ficlet. I really need to rewatch DS9!

Lovely to see you writing again :)
Bimo: Cornelius_Fudgebimo on December 16th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed! :-)

Also, I can wholeheartedly recommend rewatching DS9. Based on what Cavendish and I've seen so far (season 1-5), it's safe to say that the show is standing the text of time extremely well. I think I'm even enjoying it far more now than during its original airing, probably because can simply lean back and appreciate, instead of constantly dividing my fannish and love attention between DS9 and a certain other arc-heavy space station show... ;-)
Selena: Spacepants - Sabineselenak on December 16th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC)
THANK YOU. I really love what you did there, combining the changeling event, the way Founder!Bashir fooled people, with Julian's own backstory as having to hide the truth about himself to everyone around him. Inspired!
Bimo: Best_of_Timelordsbimo on December 16th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
Aw, so glad you enjoyed! :-)

combining the changeling event, the way Founder!Bashir fooled people, with Julian's own backstory

I guess that's really one of the advantages of rewatching the entire series at a rate of about five episodes per week in the correct chronological order. "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" comes right after "Inferno's Light", so combining the events of those eps seemed just like the natural thing to do.

Trust me, back in the 1990s when I was still dependent on rather sporadically arriving boxes with videotapes from various sources, I would never have noticed ;-)

Yo: DS9:  Bashir wistfuldreamlittleyo on December 16th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
*adores* This is BEAUTIFULLY done. I love the writing, I love the insight into Julian's character and all the attention to canon details... Thank you for a gorgeous read!
Bimo: Fivey_bookishbimo on December 16th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed! :-)

I must admit, though, that if it hadn't been for the Memory Alpha Database, I would never have found out the name of DS9's Counselor pre-Ezri ;-)
songfire3: sid + mesongfire3 on December 17th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
Spot-on characterisation! I'd love to read more! :)
Bimo: Best_of_Timelordsbimo on December 17th, 2010 06:52 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you!
smirnoffmule on December 17th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
I read this yesterday, and have just come back to read it again. This is so good. I love all the underlying complexities here, such an interesting moment.
Bimo: Fivey_bookishbimo on December 19th, 2010 10:55 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed! Comments like this totally make my day :)
crackemodcrackemod on April 22nd, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
Hi there! Your story has been recced here on crackenterprise.
Bimo: Julian_gaghbimo on April 22nd, 2011 10:03 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you!

Glad you found this little ficlet rec-worthy :-)
Kattakattahj on July 10th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
Lovely fic, very thoughtful and a most satisfying read for someone like me, just finished with the show and looking for fic that's as lush and complicated. Which this definitely was.