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13 April 2011 @ 03:28 am
Fic Preview - Garak/Bashir  
Wrote a short part of a future chapter of my Garak/Bashir fic, in case anyone is interested (or just wish to point and laugh at my awkward grammar). I'm calling this lovely abomination “Witch Hunt” and it's all under the cut:


Okay, so these are the “adjustments” I've made. Chapter 1 starts with Bashir + Jack & co stealing a ship and ends with them in space, fleeing from a Federation vessel that's trying to board and arrest them – they've gotten desperate enough to enter Cardassian space (this being two years before the Bajoran emancipation) but the crew of the Federation ship is overall quite young and seeking glory, so they're stupid enough to follow.

At the same time, in chapter two, Garak hasn't quite been exiled yet, but he's definitely not welcome on Cardassia Prime anymore. He's very sick of Dukat and thus helps a few workers escape (without their knowledge of his involvement and purely to make Dukat look incompetent, of course) – or at least that was his plan. A Starfleet ship is spotted within range of the station and the workers panic as Dukat orders the shields to be raised, which ends with Garak trapped on the escape shuttle the workers have crammed themselves into, rushing towards the protection of the Starfleet ship.

Long story short, the Starfleet ship outmaneuvers the Cardassians, the Bajoran workers (after a lot of ado) end up with Starfleet and Garak ends up unconscious and badly burned on Bashir & co's ship, who manage to escape Starfleet in the chaos.

The snippet below takes place about six months after that. Garak's been recovering, slowly, since Bashir doesn't have access to much technology, other than the few machines Jack & co can scrape together out of scavenged pieces of wrecks they've come across, so he's only been up and walking around for a month or two, and has just gotten well enough to be let out of sight. The relationship between Garak and the rest of the crew (ie. Bashir and the other four enhanced humans) is still very tentative, though they have had their share of trust building adventures, but nothing earth-shattering so far.

The premise here is that their ship, having already been damaged in an altercation with Dukat, is ambushed and boarded by a group of Bajoran pirates – escapees from the occupation who don't trust the Federation anymore than the Cardassians. Their leader, Kalre, promises to leave them unharmed on the next inhabited world they come across...until he finds out one of their crew is a Cardassian.

Bashir tries to negotiate for their freedom, sympathizing with the Bajorans' situation and fear of Cardassians, even going so far as to offer to trade himself and his services as a doctor for the safety of his crew. Kalre, having remained on his own to guard the prisoners while two of his men search for Garak and the rest carry things over to his ship, refuses to listen and decides to finally just shoot Bashir and the others, so he can go help look for Garak.

Meanwhile Garak sneaks up behind him and promptly snaps his neck, then orders Jack (who's been making repairs and thinks this is all hilarious fun) to disengage them from the pirate ship. They all escape unharmed – well, save for Kalre and the two guards that were looking for Garak.

This scene takes place half an hour later, in Bashir's cabin.


The room was still in the same manner as the air could be moments before transforming into storm gales. Garak didn't seem to notice, however. He was as genial as ever, helping in cleaning up the PADDs the intruders had knocked to the floor while making light conversation, skillfully keeping up a cheerful monologue that was almost calming.

Until:

“You are lucky I'm still in need of a physician or I would have let that oaf strike you dead. Really doctor, what were you thinking?”

At first all Bashir could do in answer was blink repeatedly, gaping without making a sound. Then the dam broke.

“What was I thinking? What were you thinking?!” he shouted, glaring and fisting his hands, resisting the urge to slam them both down on his desk. After a moment of inner struggle he managed to uncurl his fingers and leaned forward to rest his weight on his open palms, the rough wood under them grounding him. “That man had children!”

In reply he got a thoughtful nod, as if they merely were discussing different views on the interpretation of a poem. “Yes, and so do you, in a manner of speaking.”

A joke. Bashir felt his knees threaten to buckle. One moment the bastard's breaking the neck of a father of three and the next he's telling jokes?

“This isn't funny!” There was an edge of hysteria in his tone, a small break in his voice bordering on the falsetto register, but he couldn't make himself care.

“No. No it isn't.” Garak's jovial, almost nonchalant smile disappeared into a blank mask, as if someone had hit a reset button. In an instant he seemed to shift, the body language of a humble tailor giving way to something much darker and military, before settling somewhere in-between. He took a step closer, which Bashir instinctively backed away from, circling left to put the desk between them.

Garak's eyes, when they met his, were nothing but ice. “This is not Federation space, doctor,” he spoke curtly, as if to an insubordinate child, but Bashir was too busy remembering the swift manner in which Garak had snapped Kalre's neck to feel offended. “You cannot stay here and expect to live by Federation rules.“

A flame of defiance lit at that comment and Bashir found himself squaring his shoulders, leaning forward over the desk to meet Garak's piercing stare head on with a glare of his own. “Morals aren't something you just cast off as soon as they inconvenience you! I don't expect you to understand that, but you can't expect me to ignore everything I've ever been taught just because-”

“Even your famed Starfleet officers murder in self-defense.” The comment cut like a knife through Bashir's building rant, leaving him gaping once more, rage forced into silence.

Garak took the opportunity to continue speaking, leaning close enough for their foreheads to nearly touch, eyes narrowed into slits.

“That Bajoran made a choice,” he said, voice steady and cold as steel. “He boarded our ship and he pointed a phaser at you. He also didn't listen to your attempts at negotiation, which I'm sure you'd have been self-sacrificing enough to go through with, had he given you the chance. He made a choice and he chose wrong.”

Bashir was shaking, every nerve and muscle in his body bracing, making ready for a chance to interrupt. If only he could think of something to say.

“There is no law out here,” Garak continued, his gaze unwavering. “No one will come to your aid but you yourself and whatever allies you can scrape together – and they will only remain loyal as long as you're useful to them.” He paused and straightened up, distancing himself from Bashir as if in demonstration. “You are naive and idealistic and that is as good as a death wish. This is where you live now and unless you realize that, this will be where you die.”

This time Bashir's knees did buckle. All the pent-up rage bled out of him as if his throat had been cut, leaving only heart stopping grief in its wake. He ended up almost falling into the chair by his desk, elbows resting on his thighs and face hidden in his hands.

To his mortification he found himself biting back a sob.

The half-stifled noise broke the hostile atmosphere of the room. Although he couldn't see him, Bashir sensed Garak letting go of his deadlier side, returning to the mild mannered tailor once more. He heard footsteps coming closer and started as he felt two warm, soothing hands on his shoulders.

He should have pulled away or at least felt a stab of fear, having hands that could end his life in a second so near his throat. Instead he found himself relaxing.

“Now, now, none of that.” Cold lecturing had turned into comforting murmuring and Bashir couldn't find strength enough to be surprised by it or to reject it.

“Don't,” he managed to say, hands still pressed to his face and tears burning behind his eyelids.

“Accepting reality doesn't have to be the same as accepting defeat, my dear,” Garak said, hands still steadily planted on Bashir's shoulders, thumbs rubbing small circles on the back of his neck. “Accept your fate, for the moment, but also remember that it isn't forever. There might not be a time limit, but if you put your mind to it, if you're patient and clever, one day you will return to Earth in triumph.”

Another sob escaped, followed by a curse and yet another sob. Bashir dug his fingers into his forehead and cheeks, willing the faint pain to distract him, to give him time to compose himself, but to no avail. He soon found himself crying in earnest, gasping for breath, tears wetting his palms.

Garak remained in place behind him all the way through. After what must have been a few minutes – though Bashir had honestly lost track of time at that point – a soft hissing began, loud enough to match the racket Bashir was making and occasionally punctuated by a click of tongue hitting teeth.

It stopped once the worst was over. As soon as Bashir could breathe evenly again, wracked only by a few shivers, like aftershocks following a great earthquake, Garak fell silent.

Bashir stayed seated until he was sure there were no more tears coming, no gut-wrenching wails left. The hands on his shoulders felt heavy all of a sudden, keeping him in place as much as steadying him.

“Do you remember that charming Terran metaphor you taught me, oh, last month I believe?”

The question was so abrupt and random Bashir only blinked into the darkness of his hands in answer. Garak went on without waiting for a reply:

“The one about a glass of water. You accused me of being a pessimist because I insisted the glass always was in need of more liquid.”

Bashir managed a weak nod.

“As interesting a look into the Human psyche as it was, I must say it's a quite faulty metaphor. Clearly the person who sees the glass as half empty is a realist, but that doesn't necessarily make him more negative than someone who sees it as half full.”

Against his better judgment he found himself getting curious. “How so?”

Another pause, followed by the removal of the hands from his shoulders. He felt the sudden urge to hit his head against something hard and unyielding, because the moment they were gone he missed them.

“Optimists are people who look at a situation and seek a way to improve it for themselves. All lives are half empty, my dear,” Garak said, back to being playful and distant. “It's only through realizing this that we can ever hope to fill them.”

Bashir gave a laugh – or something close to one. “You're just saying that to make me feel better.”

“Would I do that?” The wide-eyed innocent look was positively audible.

Footsteps moved away from him, stopping briefly to wait for the door to open.

Bashir let his hands fall from his face, leaving them to rest in his lap, spattered with his tears as they were. He looked up. “Garak.”

The man in question stood framed by the open door, the bright contrast between the lights in the hallway and the dimness of Bashir's room hiding his face in shadows. “Yes?”

“Thank you.”

The answer took a moment to follow. Was that hesitation? “You're quite welcome, doctor. I think I shall lie down for a bit. This has been quite an exhausting afternoon.” He gave a quick bow. “Until later.”

Bashir watched him go with a thoughtful frown. Then he turned his attention to the mess that was his room. He gave his bed a quick, wistful glance, before sighing and rising – better finish cleaning before anyone else decided to help.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Listening to: Star Trek theme
 
 
 
crowdog66: garak smilecrowdog66 on April 13th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was lovely!

First, both of the Boys are completely in character, and Bashir's showing his "IDEALS, DAMMIT!" backbone, which is always wonderful. And Garak was perfect in his unwavering embrace of moral relativism and pragmatism as a guiding force for personal conduct, which of course just outraged Bashir even more. Beautiful, beautiful conflict --

-- which turned into a scene of companionable sympathy, indeed, almost of tenderness. The sound Garak was making while Bashir cried -- what is the significance of it? It seemed very culturally specific, although I couldn't discern its meaning.

That Bashir welcomed Garak's touch and then missed it, even though he'd just seen him kill without compunction, was both chilling and warming. The contrast between breaking a neck and applying a comforting massage was... mmm, delicious.


“Optimists are people who look at a situation and seek a way to improve it for themselves. All lives are half empty, my dear,” Garak said, back to being playful and distant. “It's only through realizing this that we can ever hope to fill them.”


How perfect, and how perfectly Garak. I love how you showcased both sides of his personality -- the steel-cold assassin and the genial tailor -- in such a short period of time it's whiplash-inducing. It demonstrated Garak's mercurial masking ability, which to me is one of his most charming and enthralling features.

This whole passage gave me happy little chills. I'd love to see anything else you come up with in this 'verse. It's... it's as fabulous as chocolate! More, please!
Nonesane: Bloody long booknonesane on April 13th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
First, both of the Boys are completely in character, and Bashir's showing his "IDEALS, DAMMIT!" backbone, which is always wonderful.

I'm so relieved to hear that; it means a lot coming from a writer like you! This is my first attempt at DS9 fic, so I wasn't sure I had the voices down yet. Bashir standing up for his beliefs is always fun to both write and read – the man is capable of making small talk with Enabran Tain in his home and snipes at secret agents who invade his bedroom; the world needs more of Bashir being BAMF :)

Garak is equal amounts of fun to write though. At this point in the story he's not quite on Bashir's side yet. At first he stuck around because he had to (plasma burns aren't exactly something you walk off), then he started making evil plans on how to befriend and finally sell Bashir out to the Federation to get in their good graces, so he can spy on them and get back in Cardassia's (read: Tain's) good graces.

This, however, is the turning point. Garak's become more and more fascinated by Bashir the longer they've spent time together, partly due to Bashir's many skills, but mostly because of his unwavering loyalty and honesty; traits Garak naturally criticizes like crazy, but he can't help being impressed by a man who's a horrible liar, yet can keep secrets like a locked vault when properly motivated. The conversation skills don't hurt either ;)

Bashir breaking down (because up to this moment he's been too busy keeping himself and everyone around him alive to stop and really think about his situation) is the final nail in the coffin, so to speak. For Garak, Bashir is the closest to a kindred spirit as he can get – a fellow exile. And seeing evidence that Bashir truly grieves his isolation as much as Garak grieves his own has made a dent in his mental armor. The friendship, which already has shifted from fake to tentatively true earlier in the story, is slowly cementing into simply true friendship and loyalty, as well as attraction (and Garak hates it!)

The sound Garak was making while Bashir cried -- what is the significance of it? It seemed very culturally specific, although I couldn't discern its meaning.

The hissing has cultural importance and Garak really didn't mean to indulge in it XD

It will be addressed in later chapters, but since you're curious I'll explain. It could be equaled with Human singing or humming, but not quite. It's a repetitive, calming noise that Cardassians make when someone they care about is in distress, to sooth them – most commonly used when comforting young children or very close family (so yeah, Garak hasn't heard others use it much to comfort him, poor thing; possibly Mila when he was very young).

Garak sort of lost himself in his sympathy for Bashir's situation (which he really shouldn't be feeling – he'll be cursing himself over this for weeks) and the hissing just...started. When Bashir calmed down a little Garak became aware of what exactly he was doing and stopped immediately.

In short, I'm having way too much fun torturing the boys!

Garak's dual nature (or well, dual is too simple a way to put it) is ever so interesting to play around with. He's been in full tailor mode for the most part until now, occasionally showing his deadlier side when necessary (and boy was Bashir shocked the first time that happened – Garak managed to smooth talk himself out of the worst of it, of course), so finally getting to go all out while stalking foolish Bajoran pirates is going to be a treat to write.

And yes, Garak's fluid personality is quite whiplash-inducing – which is so much fun to play around with!

This whole passage gave me happy little chills. I'd love to see anything else you come up with in this 'verse. It's... it's as fabulous as chocolate! More, please!

*blushes and preens* Why thank you kindly! I've got most of the plot line sorted out – just trying to sort out Dukat's appearance in all this, as well as fighting to not make the other GEs annoying or unbelievable – so there will be more!
Lady Dracelady_drace on August 14th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is amazing! I'm glad you provided background, because on its own it might not have made a lot of sense. But even in circumstances very different from the show you managed to get them very much in character, even while doing something we never saw them doing on the show.

Let's just say... I bought it. Every last word. I do how you manage to write this monster some day.
Nonesane: Bloody long booknonesane on August 16th, 2012 12:47 pm (UTC)
I happy to hear it sounds like an interesting story and that Garak and Bashir were IC! Glad the background helped; wasn't sure I'd explained my mad ravings well enough.

Once I'm done with the whole NaNo thing (whyyyy did I sign up for June, July & August Camp? Oh, right, present for my sister...) I might give this fic another shot - provided I still have the energy to write it, once I really get started on my Master Thesis ;_;