Swallow
by Julad

This isn't a particularly nice one, folks. Just a bitter little POV with liberal splashings of bad language and unpleasant imagery. This is how I make sense of third- and fourth-season Harry.
Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page to get the end.
Thanks to Anagi and envoy for commenting on several versions. Feedback of all kinds is craved.


It's ridiculous. That I do this to myself. It's just fucking absurd.

I look at myself in the mirror and wonder, what happened to me? And I want to say, the Delta Quadrant happened to me, but I can't. It wasn't that, not really. *I* happened to me first.

And I'm still "happening" to me. I just can't stop myself.

So it's not fair to blame her. She knows the precise physiology of what I want from her but can't begin to understand the meaning of it all. And yet... precisely... that is why I want it from her.

I must *want* to be this babbling fool who hates himself for babbling and hates himself for being a fool. With her icy self-sufficiency she illuminates my desperation and my loneliness in a way nobody else can. So I persist, willfully impaling myself over and over on the sharp spikes of her indifference.

Or do I ultimately seek salvation? Maybe, for me. Maybe even for her. But for him? For him not at all, and therein, my friend, lies the heart of my absurdity. Because my salvation from my absurdity, my endless humiliation and my utter rejection, removes the only impediment to his happiness. So I cling forlornly to my foolishness, struggling to keep some tattered remnant of his attention focussed on me.

Even his guilt. Or his profound embarrassment.

Even his condescending pity.

Little pieces of him that prove I'm not entirely forgotten.

And I can't blame him, either, because it all started with my naivete: a rookie and a scam, a smile that wound up between the sheets. I was a shining starfleet fledgling with a loving family and goddamn beautiful girlfriend who, the night before his first mission, fucked his brains out with a disgraced, disreputable jailbird nine years his senior.

In other words, I was a fool. I can say that now; I admit it freely. He raised an eyebrow at me and I shrugged and smiled, and within minutes I was naked in a room somewhere, pressing my face into a blank wall and howling with pleasure as a stranger rammed his cock in my ass.

Yes, I built an ivory tower with my foolishness and it dissolved into ashes when the breeze of his opportunity blew. Because back then, when we smiled as we exited a dodgy bar, when we dragged ourselves out of a filthy bed and reported for duty together, I had everything to live for and he was nothing without me.

Fucking *nothing*.

I listened to him and laughed with him and trusted him. And with my attention, my amusement, my faith, I made him wise and funny and true.

How ironic, then. How ironic that I gave him my stupidity and his life. And when he had his life, he didn't want my stupidity. I was the bridge he crossed to acceptance and here I am, my friend, charred and smoking behind him while he flies into the sunset, sparing me the occasional shame-faced glance over his shoulder.

I was generous with myself because I still thought I had something to give; I hadn't realised that half a galaxy would always separate us from the things which made me priveleged and him an outcast. I didn't know until it was too late that I had everything to lose, he had everything to gain, and now we have.

But how can I blame him? It was my fault. My mistake. My arrogant, idiotic fucking *gift* to a despised starfleet observer.

And the cruel thing is... one of the many cruel things is, that the memories have faded so quickly. As if my memories must be shared or else die, alone, lacking validation and thus reality. I can't even remember how long it lasted. That glorious honeymoon, when I was his champion and he adored me for just being with him? A month or two, maybe; no more. Less than half a year when we were equals, partners, best friends and lovers, standing together in a strange and frightening universe. Then the slow unstoppable unraveling, when those little insignificant details like his past life as a traitor and convict were forgotten in favour of the *important* things, like the astonishing fact that he, too, was capable of flying a fucking ship or completing a fucking away mission.

Then another misfit climbed my friendship to find him there waiting for her. And who do I have to blame for that? I introduced them. Recognised their similarities, reconciled their differences. Taught them to respect one another. I made those two outcasts into my best friends, back in the days when friends were something I thought I could choose. So now there they stand, loved and valued and happy, trying not to notice that their feet are standing in the spattered pulp of my heart, cut out of me with shards of my own fucking stupidity.

Sour grapes? Just call me vinegar, my friend.

Just call me Harry Read-me-like-a-book Use-me Mock-me fucking Ignore-me-unless-you-need-me Kim. Leave me alone, not because I want you to, but because you can't stand being reminded of what I gave you and how you thanked me for it. Because you hate realising that I have nobody now - no lover, no confidante, no playmate, *nobody* to care at all. Alone, I go through the motions of my pathetic imitation of a life. Just endless work, and the endless empty hours between one shift and the next.

Empty hours which inevitably bring me to this. Bringing up my bile over and over, and chewing on it. The private bile of a public clown. Trying to swallow it back down because this ship is too small for me to spit my petty dissatisfactions around. But, as well you know, my friend, sometimes my stomach lurches. Occasionally he'll want me to do something, *expect* it, take my co-operation and my friendship as if it were his god-given right, as if he'd fucking *earned* it, and I swallow swallow swallow and smile while my throat constricts and my mouth turns sour and sooner or later it all comes spewing out in a fountain of repulsive, disgusting, bitter words, all the more so because they're just words, just choppy little sounds I make to myself with no meaning, no effect, no results. They make no fucking difference at all.

Which, I suppose, is a good reason for me to stop talking to a fucking computer and go meet her for lunch. It took so much persuasion to coax an hour of her free time, I really shouldn't miss one minute of it.

How pathetic that the only highlight of my day will be having my ego kicked around by a heartless drone.

And here's where my foolishness reaches unforeseen extremes. It's no longer about my pathetic attempts to make him jealous. He has it all now, what does it mean to him if I throw myself hopelessly at the feet of a mechanical bitch? Nothing but the uncomfortable prickling of shame, or not even that.

I can admit he may no longer care, because the reality of my obsession with this ethereal automaton is even worse. I think I love her.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, I *know*.

But apart from her appearance, and I admit that one glance at her makes my mouth dry and my breath catch, but *apart* from that... She's honest. Artless. Devastatingly direct. I need that so bad right now.

She's got a mind filled with wonders from a million other species and I would sell my soul to explore it.

She's utterly desirable. Perfectly innocent. Completely self-sufficient. Hopelessly impenetrable. She sums up everything that I want and can't have. She's everything I want to be, but am not.

And I want desperately to be the one for her: make the lost drone truly human, wake the lifeless doll with a kiss.

But more than that, I want to be the one *she* chooses. I want the ultimate validation of being with a woman who desires nothing but perfection, who wouldn't even acknowledge my existence unless I was *good*. I could make her my everything; if I had her I could have it all once more.

And through all this humiliation, I can only wish fervently that by the time she's capable of greeting others with something other than razor-sharp ridicule or blinding indifference, I'll be able to offer something better than blustering idiocy and corrosive self-hatred.

So maybe this *is* about my salvation, and hers, and even his... If that time ever comes, if I ever have everything again, maybe letting him be completely happy will be the thing that makes me completely happy.

It's a nice fucking dream, isn't it, my friend? But I won't give in to it. That dream is merely the wistful delusion of a bitter, disappointed young fool.

The truth is, there's a whole galaxy out there, waiting to fuck up my silly hope of happiness in ways I can't even begin to imagine. Fuck it up even more, that is. Even more than *I* already have.

 

 

 

 

Computer?


Delete fucking log entry.



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