And now...the conclusion:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The Cleanest Food To Find
Julian Bashir sat down at his regular table at Quark’s, waiting for Ezri. When he finally saw her enter, he saw that she was not alone. Simon Tarses was following her…and, Julian saw, the man was fine
, at long last. His posture was straighter, his shoulders held high, and his eyes…showed a new sense of dedication, of purpose, of strength
They walked over to the table. Julian smiled. “Well…I trust you’ve been busy.”
Ezri beamed. “Julian…I think Dr. Tarses will agree that we can write this up as a success.”
Tarses nodded. “I…Is it all right if I sit down with you two again?”
Julian spread out his hands in invitation. “By all means!”
Simon did so, as Ezri took a seat next to Julian’s own.
Quark came by, this time. “All right—what can I get you three?”
Julian smiled, “Quark, we’re in a rather festive mood, so…three martinis. Mix them—”
Quark nodded quickly, smirking. “I…memorized it, Doctor. Gordon’s gin…vodka….Lily Blank—”
Quark held up his hands. “—whatever
—lemon peel, and shaken-not-stirred. I got
Bashir narrowed his eyes. “And…you remember the exact
Quark looked hurt. “Perfectly
“Good. Now get to it, man!”
Quark snickered, and rushed off. “Broik
* * *
Ezri laughed, and shook her head. “I think they’ll get it right this time.”
Julian scoffed. “I hope
He turned to Simon. “So…how are you holding up?”
Simon leaned back…and smiled. “I’m all right, Doctor. I feel…alive
, somehow…like I haven’t felt in a long
time. I feel…like I can face the world, again.”
Ezri looked at him. She knew that this wouldn’t be the end—there were still some problems in his life that needed to be cleared up. But…Simon was taking a big first step—and for this man, she knew, the road would be sure…and steady.
Simon turned to Ezri. “Thank you….”
Ezri smiled back, and nodded.
The man turned to Julian. “Both
Julian blinked. "Me? What did I
Simon shook his head. "You're kidding.
But Julian kept his innocent look, causing Simon to sigh, and continue:
"Doctor...I had truly thought...that my career was really over--no matter how long I stayed. I was sure that no one would want me for my work...ever again. But you...both of you...you made me feel wanted
, for the first time in...what seems like forever. You hired me, not because you felt sorry for me...but because you wanted
me--my talents...my abilities...."
He paused, and looked to Ezri, who nodded to him in encouragement. He went on:
"You...were willing to look beyond
what I did...all those years ago. And...I thank you for that, Doctor."
Julian smiled. "You don't need to thank me, Simon. I wantyou on my team--and I need you at your best for that."
Simon's smile grew. "That's
why I'm thanking you, Doctor--because you want
me on your team."
Julian nodded—as Broik arrived at the table with the drinks. The Ferengi set them down, and rushed off.
Simon leaned forward. “Doctor Bashir…can I ask something?”
Julian shrugged. “Of course.”
“Last night…you were telling me about…when you first came here.”
“You told me that…whatever your feelings when you accepted this assignment…popularity and fame were not
your motives for…becoming a doctor.”
“That’s right. I'd wanted
to be famous, don’t misunderstand—but it wasn’t why I became a doctor.”
Julian looked down. After a moment, he replied, “Because…I’d been around doctors for much of my life. It was a doctor who gave me the genetic enhancements…that saved my mind. It was a doctor…who helped me adjust to life after that.
He looked up. “You see…I saw these…men and women…I saw them work…I saw them love
their work…and above all, I saw them make a difference
—not just in my life…not just in the lives of those they help…but in their own lives. I saw…greatness…nobility. I saw…” and he gave a little smile, “…heroes
. I was…inspired by them. And…I suppose…I wanted to follow their example.”
Simon chuckled. “You know…most people don’t talk that way.”
Julian’s smile widened. “Well…I do.” He nodded to Ezri. “She
Ezri nodded, and returned the smile.
Julian turned back to Simon. “And…I’m sure you do, too. Or at least…I’m sure you think
Simon sighed, and looked down. “I don’t know….”
Ezri put a hand on his shoulder. “You do…believe me. You’re capable of a lot, Simon. All you have to do…is to take the chances you’re given. You do that—and you will
succeed. Now…the question is: can you do that?”
Simon nodded, and looked up, meeting her gaze. “Yes…I can.”
Ezri nodded, as she released his shoulder, and took her glass. “Julian…what do you say we toast?”
Julian took his glass, as Simon did the same. “To what?”
Ezri raised her glass a little. “To…Simon Tarses: no matter what happens in this life…may he prevail against it all.”
Simon nodded, tilted his glass in Ezri’s direction—and drank.
Ezri and Julian followed suit—and, though she knew that none of them could possibly know what the future would hold, still, Ezri knew
…that all three of them would be ready to face it. And she knew…that they could find the spirit and the courage—to last for a lifetime….
* * *
And the adventure continues….