Title: Destructive Patterns
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Summary: An alien reflects on Human holidays
Archive: yes, RSA only
Disclaimer: The Station, the characters and everything Trek is the sole
property of Paramount, and I make no claims to any of it.
Warnings: none, other than it's a little depressing. And odd. I guess I'm
just feeling down :)
Posted: Rareslash, early 2000. GBX/Fuh-Q, feb 2000
Author's note: - this was originally posted under an earlier pseudonym, Sapphi.
I hate Christmas.
For a long time after the Humans came to the station, I ignored it. From the
outside, it appears to be just another Human holiday. They have so many of
them, you have to be born to them to tell the difference, as the joke goes.
It's not particularly funny, but it's often repeated. Not in their hearing,
of course, but then, there really aren't as many of them around here as
you'd think. Starfleet may control the station now, but there are still
mostly Bajoran personnel doing the less glamorous, behind the scenes work -
repairs, things that are still greasy and grimy no matter how advanced the
The ownership may have changed, but it doesn't really affect the long-time
residents. Less chance of one's place of residence being broken in to,
perhaps, fewer random beatings. But overall, life goes on regardless.
But I digress. Consider one of the unique facets of the Human species... the
conglomeration of human subcultures somehow managed to occur without losing
any of it's lesser components - translated into everyday language, that
means that each and every human celebrates the holidays of every ethnic
group and religion without knowing or even thinking about the history behind
the event in question.
One time in the bar, during one of our long and frequent conversations, I
asked Julian about this. He tried to explain that Christmas was different,
though it sounded just the same to me. He explained about fellowship, and
the spirit of giving, and the need to feast on roast birds and rich food and
drink and have friends and family around you. He even nodded briefly at the
origins of the holiday, though I later had to check the databanks for the
full story. It surprised me, really, but of course the Humans must have some
kind of spiritual past. Only in a few rare species - the Bajorans are a good
example - has their religion co-existed with their technology. Most abandon
belief systems once they discover science, but humans kept their holy days,
just leaving behind the beliefs surrounding them.
My species is rare here. It's unusual even to see another face like mine...
Humans, especially, know very little about us. So I know he wasn't aware
that I hear every word he says as he walks away, that I hear what he says
about me to his Starfleet friends. He doesn't mean to be cruel, it's not in
his nature to be malicious. Just thoughtless. He's too polite to say
anything to my face, but is of the impression that once he's walked away, I
am no longer a part of his world. Yet I persist, push it to the back of my
mind and pretend I haven't heard. And the next time we meet, I talk as if
nothing had happened, talk about anything and everything just to keep him in
my company for those few extra seconds. It's something I've spent countless
hours trying to analyse why I continue in spite of his obvious views. And my
He draws people to him, and doesn't even realise it. Everyone feels it, even
those who avoid him, for their own reasons. But I'm probably the only one
who allows myself to be taken in by it.
And it's all futile.
I know this. It must be a self-destructive streak in me, that I can
*acknowledge* that it's hopeless and still hope.
There is no hope.
I'm much older than him. I hardly have a compelling personality. By Human
standards, I'm far from attractive. Come to think of it, by the standards of
my race, he'd probably be considered ugly by even the politest of people.
And yet.... There is a Human expression I learned from him. Hope springs
I'm an educated man, though few see that. I have a past, had a family once
... but it's all irrelevant. I'm a background figure on this station.
People don't even notice me anymore. Julian Bashir was one of the few people
to actually sit with me a while and talk, and even though I knew he was just
a curious, young Human, it touched me. I started noticing him above all the
other faceless aliens that inhabit this place.
I know I'm a joke here. I'm from far away, I look different, even my social
habits and dress are different. I cling to the hope that one day, someone
will come here who can truly look beyond this. I doubt others of my kind
will ever make a home here. Why would they? What is there for them here,
other than the company of one lonely old exile? Nothing. So I continue to
hope that he is the open-minded alien I long for, though I know that he
isn't. This isn't the contradiction that it sounds. Hope can exist, even
with nothing to feed it on. I'm living proof.
The Terran year is a little over 365 24-hour days long. Other holidays are
acknowledged, many of them, but Christmas is the only one that takes over
peoples lives, becomes almost an obsession. And the same thing happens every
cycle in the weeks leading up to the big day - Julian appears less and less
often in the bar and around the various public places I look for him,
eventually disappearing for days as preparations overwhelm normal routine.
And my alcohol intake and depression increase with equal regularity.
I'm not blind. I can see the pattern.
A soft clink wakes me from my dismal thoughts and I focus on the slightly
fuzzy orange face in front of me, then on the clearer mug of unidentifiable
brown liquid that has replaced my empty one.
Quark nods at me, leaning on the bar. We've been through this before,
yesterday, the day before. I know what he's going to ask me. And he'll ask
me again tomorrow. Last year it was the same, and the year before that.
"Morn, are you sure you want this? Your tab's exceeded this time last year's
by almost thirty percent. Are you going to tell me what's so special about
this time of year?"
I shrug, and he goes away. He knows I pay my tab, regularly, or regular by
my native calendar at least. The Orange Barkeep has sympathy, though he
doesn't know why I drink, only that, like everyone, I have problems. I'm his
best customer. He looks out for me because it would make a dent in his profits
if I disappeared. For his race, that's close to friendship.
I turn my attention as always to the part of the bar set aside for the
dartboard, in the vague hope that Julian will be over there, playing against
the Chief Engineer, but they're both away at some private Human celebration,
or maybe preparations for one. It's silly to expect him to be there. Once
more I long for something I know is impossible.
A familiar feeling of despondency washes over me and I down the alien ale,
accustomed to the bitter aftertaste after so many years of drinking the foul
stuff. It's cheap, strong and always in stock. That's enough for me.
Everyone knows I spend all my time drinking myself into oblivion. No one
ever asks why.
* [Lord of the Rings]
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