After the Dominion War ended, Elim Garak found himself in the Andak mountain range, hands shoved deep into a coat of dubious origin. The ever threatening clouds were starting to thin, the climate was changing, and all he could do was wait. Now though, Keiko O'Brien had good news -- new that he braved the frigid winter of Andak to hear.
He hurried no faster than he should have, already sluggish from the cold, but this was much too important. He had survived worse than this damnable cold and he would survive worse still. Tain would have laughed and laughed to see him bundled up like a present, wrapped and stuffed so he didn't freeze, but Tain was dead. He walked, hunched forward against the wind and gritted his teeth.
Parmak was right, in the end it was the future one needed to find. Dwelling on the past was always so...disheartening. He pulled at the collar of his coat as he caught sight of the small compound, eyes narrowed as if he could drag it to him through sheer force of will. It was miles O'Brein who met him at the door and beyond, clustered around a heater was Alon Ghemor, Doctor Parmak, Julian Bashir, and Keiko herself.
Ghemor grinned that wide hopelessly expressive grin and Garak allowed himself a thin smile back.
And then he saw it.
From the rocky soil in a planter, he saw it, and he closed his eyes just for a brief moment. The same Cardassian soil that had failed countless times to bear life under so many trials held a single blade of bright green grass.
"That was worth the cold, wasn't it, my dear Garak," Parmak murmured.
"It was," he said in a quiet voice. "I do believe it was."