All characters owned by Paramount. I'm just borrowing them :) I ask that you PLEASE not pass this story along without my permission. This story contains m/m sex, so if that ain't your cup of tea, don't read it! Thank you, and enjoy!

Star Trek - Deep Space Nine: Truth Or Dare (MM)
by Jennifer Shipp

"This is the third time this month, Garak. I take it business is booming?"

Doctor Julian Bashir was at the customary table he and the resident Cardassian usually ate lunch at. Unfortunately for Doctor Bashir, Garak had just cancelled their meal. Again.

Garak sighed plaintively. "I'm afraid so. It's the changing of the seasons on Bajor, and those on their way to vacation realize they didn't bring the appropriate apparel. And I must supply it." He bowed slightly to the Human. "I hope we can meet next week, doctor."

Julian stifled the frustrated sigh he felt welling up. "Of course," was all he said, all he trusted himself to say at the present time. As he watched Garak cross the Promenade, a wave of wistfulness washed over him. He returned his attention to the plate of food in front of him, his appetite gone.

* * *

"Does anyone know what's wrong with Julian?" Major Kira Nerys asked of her friends.

Chief of Operations Miles O'Brien popped out from underneath his console, where he was trying to chase down a short circuit. "I don't know, but he's been talking about joining me and Odo on our kayaking expedition. And I've been making excuses to keep him out."

"Why would you do that Chief?" Lieutenant Jadzia Dax admonished him, fixing him with her blue-eyed stare. When she wanted to, she could make *anyone* feel about two years old, and that's about the
rough age the Chief felt now.

"Um - well, this is a private thing between me and Odo. Julian and I play darts every night; I just need some time away from him, that's all," he protested under Dax's steely gaze.

Dax took a breath before commenting. "I know Garak hasn't been able to meet with him for lunch for about a month. It's entirely possible Julian feels a little lonely."

"And I don't?" O'Brien muttered under his breath, putting his tools away with vigor.

"Sorry Chief," Dax said softly, offering him a small smile.

He glanced over to the science station, meeting her eyes. He nodded slightly, continuing to put his tools away with less enthusiasm than before.

Kira nodded in O'Brien's direction. "How often have you had lunch with him?"

His shoulders seemed to sag. "I lost count. All I know is, he won't leave me alone about it. And when we do try to have lunch, all he wants to do is talk. It's driving me batty," he admitted in a whisper.

Dax almost smiled in sympathy. "I know. He's asked me about four times in the past two weeks, and I relented once. That was enough, thank you."

"He talked endlessly?" Kira sighed.

"Yes," Dax and O'Brien chorused, drawing smiles from all three.

"I guess he is lonely," O'Brien relented, his thoughts miles away -- about the distance from the station to Bajor.

* * *

Julian Bashir couldn't take it anymore. He had already inventoried the Infirmary, updated all his files, and caught up on the latest medical journals. He had run out of things to occupy his time. When he had actually given thought to running that holosuite program Garak had given him for his 30th birthday, then he knew he was in trouble. Stifling a sigh, he stretched out on his couch, uncertain what to do with himself. He had finally come to the conclusion that Chief O'Brien was tired of darts, and wasn't thrilled with his suggestion that he join him and Odo on their kayaking expedition. Even Dax and Kira had been less than enthusiastic about spending time with him. The stifled sigh finally escaped.

"You're losing it, Julian," he remarked to his empty quarters, folding his hands behind his head.

* * *

A month later . . .

"He's been getting worse lately, Benjamin. He may appear cheerful, but I can tell he's depressed. He needs to be cheered up," Dax confided in Sisko.

Sisko sat up, leaning his elbows on his desk. "Dax, I know how you feel, but I don't think it's our place to cheer him up. He's come to us many times -- numerous times -- in the past two months, and we've done all we could. He'll just have to work this out for himself."

* * *

He was restless, he was irritable, and it was driving him crazy. Julian didn't know what was wrong with him; he wasn't overworked, in fact it had been slower than normal. He was bored, plain and simple. That phrase echoed in his mind, and he frowned. He missed Garak's company. He missed their lunches, the repartee, the in-depth conversations about literature. He had missed that from home, and
now he missed it here.

Sighing deeply, Julian flopped onto his couch, his chin resting on the arm, his arms dangling over the side. He contemplated making shadow puppets for a brief minute, then collected himself. *This
won't do* he chided himself. *Surely there's something for me to do.*

His gaze swept over his quarters, noting with a hint of pride his new surroundings. His trunk had finally arrived from Earth, and he had immediately unpacked his belongings. A colorful tapestry now hung on the wall between the portals. Trinkets from all the planets he had visited as a child decorated the shelving. His collection of history book-padds nearly filled one of the floor-to-ceiling shelves. A Persian rug now brightened the floor, a deep, rich blue interlaced with gold. A
few large, overstuffed pillows were tossed casually against the wall under the portals. He could lay there and gaze at the stars, or view the wormhole when it flared into existence. The place certainly looked more like home, but something didn't feel quite right.

He still couldn't think of anything else except how much he missed his lunches with Garak.

* * *

Garak sighed and locked his business up for the night. Today had been slower than he had anticipated, and was a welcomed relief. Though he was glad people still patronized his little tailoring shop, he couldn't believe the rush of the past two months. Especially after he had blown his own business up. A wry smile painted the Cardassian's features. Odo had seen right through that; he was impressed. The Constable certainly kept his eyes focused, that was for certain. And now Garak looked forward to just
relaxing for one evening.

Entering his quarters, he started to undo the fastenings on his outfit.

Ordering a glass of Rokassa juice and some finger foods, he stretched out on his couch, sighing with contentment. He was relaxed, his mind completely free of worries. Until the memory came back. Of Tain, and his stout refusal to accept defeat. To acknowledge that it was over, that they had lost. And Garak's own refusal, to accept that Tain didn't want to leave the abandoning ship; that Tain would rather die out there than return home in disgrace. That memory would haunt Garak until his dying day. Which, thanks to the good doctor, might not be for decades.

Thinking of Bashir caused Garak a slight twinge of guilt. He had not been able to dine with him for almost two months; had only had a handful of short conversations with him in the interim. That fact was a sore spot on an otherwise pleasant evening. Garak decided he could live with that; after all, it wasn't like the doctor missed him.

* * *

*Garak. I miss Garak* whispered through Julian's mind. He forced that thought out of his mind. Finally out of options, he had created this elaborate scheme as to why Garak had been exiled. Sifting back through all his memories of their lunches together, from Garak's initial contact, to his implant withdrawals, to his departure with Odo three months ago. Garak never spoke about it; never brought up what had happened out there in the Gamma Quadrant. But Julian was a resourceful young man; he had read all the reports, had remembered every detail of his own meeting with Tain, and measured Garak's
expression upon his return. Something very important had happened over there. And Garak couldn't trust him enough to tell him.

Julian sighed. This whole scenario was getting him nowhere. Feeling uneasy, he went to the replicator and ordered himself a Danubian Floater. *Now why did I ask for that?* Julian thought to himself. The concoction was sticky, had the consistency of syrup, and was sickly sweet. Of its own volition, his hand picked up the strawberry colored drink and unthinking, he took a sip.

"Gah!" he spluttered, trying to wipe it off his lips. It was certainly sticky -- now his fingers were as well. Sucking on his fingers offered no solution -- the stuff was there to stay. Setting the glass down on the nearest surface, he went to the fresher to try to get it off his hands.

Scrubbing seemed futile; it only served to spread the stuff more. Growling in frustration, Julian grabbed a towel and began rubbing his hands furiously. To his surprise, the sticky concoction grew warm, and started to melt. Thinking quickly, he warmed the water as much as he could stand, and placed his hands in the sink. Immediately, the drink turned to a liquid, sliding off his hands easily.

"So that's the secret," he noted with surprise. Now he knew to warm the drink before actually *drinking* it. He tossed the towel in the reclamator and stepped out into his bedroom.

He flexed his fingers, noting with concern that he had taken a bit of skin off with his actions. Mentally going through his quarters, he remembered he had taken his medkit to the Infirmary. Stepping into his shoes, he headed for the turbolift to the Promenade.

* * *

Garak couldn't stop that persistent voice, telling him that he should at least talk to Julian. He had avoided it up until now; his conscious, he supposed, rearing its ugly head again. Another sore point surrounding "the incident." His torture of Odo, and how he had come to disgust himself. He didn't think it was possible -- Tain was right, he used to *enjoy* his work. But something had changed, something he knew had started the minute a certain naive young Starfleet officer had come on board. So here he was, outside said officer's quarters, not entirely sure why, but here nonetheless.

"Garak," a familiarly accented voice called him.

Turning, Garak's face lit up at the unexpected form of Doctor Bashir coming toward him. "Why doctor, I thought you would be in your quarters."

Julian smiled broadly, thumbing the keypad. "Come on in. I was just down at the Infirmary." He entered and kicked his shoes toward the bedroom.

Stepping inside, Garak absently noted the new acquisitions positioned with care on the shelving. "I hope nothing was wrong," Garak mused as he took a proffered seat, his eyes sweeping the newly decorated room.

Not comprehending for a second, Julian shook his head. "No. Nothing wrong. I just had a... slight accident," he admitted, feeling heat rush to his cheeks.

Garak's eyes widened in concern. "I trust you were not hurt too badly," he observed, assessing the doctor's physical condition. "You look fine to me."

Julian again felt his face flaming, but this was different. He knew this feeling... *oh gods*. "Yes, well, it was just a mishap. I should learn to read about foodstuffs before I actually partake of them," he tried to lighten the mood.

Garak studied the Human before him, noting his heightened color, his avoidance of his eyes, his nervous finger twitching. He hadn't seen him this nervous since they had first met. "Whatever are you talking about, my dear doctor?" He watched Julian's expression carefully, noting the slight widening of his eyes, the small lift of the corner of his mouth.

Julian laughed nervously, "It's nothing. Just forget I mentioned it." He shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He tried to relax, but his body couldn't get comfortable. The sudden image of him in Garak's arms, curving his back against his strong chest, caused him to sit bolt upright.

"What is wrong, doctor? You're not looking at all well," Garak leaned forward, concern reflecting from the depths of his pale blue eyes.

Julian's breathing grew unsteady, and his flush was spreading. His eyes were now locked on Garak's; wide, unfocused. Garak peered intently at the younger man, flustering him more. "I'm fine Garak.
Would you like something? To drink, I mean," he added hastily, his composure completely gone. He bounded out of his chair and practically ran to the replicator. "Some Kanaar, perhaps?"

"That would be nice." Garak had been watching Julian's actions with silent amusement. *I guess he missed me after all*. "Doctor, I think it's about time I told you something about Cardassians," he was saying when Julian placed a glass of Kanaar in his hand. "Why, thank you. Now, as I was saying, I think there's something you should know..."

"Garak?" Julian interrupted him, his hands fluttering nervously in his lap.

"Yes doctor," Garak replied patiently.

"I'm afraid I'm going to kiss you now." And with that, he fell across the table, right into Garak's startled arms.

Garak didn't have time to protest the drink being knocked out of his hand, or being pushed deeper into the chair. Not that he would have wanted to. Julian's warm, full lips had found his. Garak groaned as Julian's initial demanding pressure segued into a slow, tantalizing exploration of his mouth.

"Doctor," Garak murmured, his fingers catching in his soft, brown hair.

"What," Julian breathed, leaving Garak's mouth to kiss along his jaw.

Garak shuddered. "Doctor, please don't do that. You don't know what you're doing."

"Yes I do," he whispered in his ear, right before he started nibbling down the Cardassian's thick neck ridges.

Garak grabbed his head and pulled him to face him. The tailor's face was flushed, almost as much as the doctor's. The Cardassian's shallow breathing matched Julian's, but where the Human's eyes reflected desire, Garak's reflected anger.

"Doctor, get ahold of yourself. You don't understand what's going on."

Julian stared at him uncomprehendingly. "Maybe I don't care what's going on," he murmured, his fingers dancing over the tough cords along Garak's shoulders.

Garak suppressed a gasp and said a bit sharply, "Yes, you do. Have you been feeling restless lately? Unable to concentrate?" Garak shook

him a bit, trying to get his attention.

"Um," was all Julian could say, eyeing the ridge along Garak's jaw hungrily.

"I take that as a yes," Garak commented dryly. "Doctor, what you have been experiencing are withdrawal symptoms."

That snapped Julian out of his lust. "What did you say?" He pushed back a bit from the tailor.

Garak sighed as his hands fell to his lap. "Doctor, I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but Cardassians evolved from a reptilian type of creature. We still maintain some of the physical
characteristics," he gestured at his ridges. "In addition to this, we also have a secondary gland. I'm sure if you had reviewed my medical file, you would have spotted it. It produces pheromones."

Dead silence descended over the pair. Garak was waiting to hear the doctor's reaction, while Julian was too stunned to do more than blink.

Finally, Julian focused on his friend. "Garak, are you telling me you've been pumping pheromones into the air? Natural pheromones? How much? How often?" he demanded, his voice rising as he jumped up and began to pace.

Garak's eyes followed him. "Doctor, do sit down. I'll explain everything."

Julian glared at him. "You better," he threatened warily, and sat across from him, at a greater distance than before.

Garak watched this with faint amusement. But now was not the time to show it. "First of all, yes, they are quite natural, we believe leftovers from our ancestors. They are only emitted at certain times.

Very specific times."

"When?" Julian asked suspiciously.

"When we eat," Garak dropped his bombshell. He ignored Julian's scathing stare and continued, "We believe the pheromones were released to let our ancestors know where the food was. They were used, to put it simply, as a homing device."

Julian stared at him in utter astonishment. He remained that way for a few minutes, and just when Garak was starting to worry about him, he jumped up.

"Garak, why didn't you tell me sooner? How could you let this happen? If you knew you should have said something!" Julian stomped around his quarters, his face a mask of rage.

Garak put on an amiable smile. "Doctor, calm yourself. The effects are quite harmless to Humans."

"You've tested this?" Julian asked disbelievingly. "You've conducted tests to see how much other species are affected?"

"Yes. Don't look so surprised, doctor. We're not brutal savages; if our pheromones would have caused harm to anyone, we would not have sought out other intelligent life. It's just . . . a natural quirk," he finished, spreading his hands in a helpless gesture.

Julian felt he could smack that smug grin right off his face. "Garak,"

his teeth grinding together, "Why didn't you tell me three years ago?"

The tailor blinked once. "Why didn't you find out as much as you could about the 'spy'?" Garak countered.

Julian fell silent, glaring dangerously at him. He was furious, embarrassed, and hurt. "Garak," his voice tightly controlled, "Just how seriously have I been affected?"

"Not to worry, doctor. The effects are mild; usually they just fade away in a few months." Garak fixed him with his blue eyes, still reading doubt there. "Doctor, would you like to go to the Infirmary? Check yourself out? I assure you, no harm has befallen you because of this."

"Oh, no," Julian countered sarcastically. "I've just been acting like a fool in front of everyone. Do the others know about this? Does Dax? O'Brien?"

Garak's face fell. "Doctor, I assure you, I told no one about this. I only told you because you . . . well, you threw yourself at me," he finished lamely, unable to completely hide his smile or twinkling eyes.

Julian groaned, wiping his face with one hand. "Don't remind me. I mean that Garak. Don't you breathe a word of this to anyone, do you understand me? ANYONE." Julian got in his face, his eyes flashing
gold, green, and mahogany.

Garak felt a flush starting along his ridges. "I will not tell another living soul," he promised, feeling lightheaded. "But doctor, I should mention one other thing."

Julian straightened, looking down at Garak. "What now?" he asked warily.

Garak looked up at him, his pale eyes bright. "Well, these pheromones affect humans, as you found out, in a sexual way. Well, those pheromones are amplified back to... the originator... and..."

Julian's eyes widened. "Are you telling me that you were getting off every time we had lunch?!" he fumed.

Garak averted his eyes. "In a manner of speaking. Why do you think I always encouraged you to take your time eating? Yes, I worried about you getting indigestion, but you were missing out on a most pleasant experience," he sighed slightly.

Julian felt slightly sick. "I don't want to hear this. Garak, please, just leave." He turned his back to the tailor and went to the portals, looking out at the stars.

Garak stood, watching the doctor's tense back. "Doctor, I don't know why you're upset. Deltans pump out as many sexual endorphins as we Cardassians do, and you don't have a problem with them."

"Yes, but they didn't hide that fact from me," Julian said quietly, his hurt and anger reflected back at the tailor.

Garak was at a loss for words. He certainly didn't mean to upset the doctor, all he wanted was to have a little fun with him. And now he would consider himself lucky if he spoke to him again. "Doctor, I am sorry. I should have told you sooner, but when we first met, I didn't think we would still be having lunch, did you?"

Garak saw the slight shake of Julian's head and continued. "Neither did I. So at that time, I saw no reason to tell you. And as the weeks went by, and we continued to meet for lunch, it slipped my mind. I hadn't been asked by many Humanoids, much less a Human, to dine with them lately," he finished quietly.

Julian heard a world of pain in that last sentence, and felt his anger dissipating. Of course Garak wouldn't have told him when they first met. They didn't know each other, and it was probably not something that the tailor would want broadcasted throughout the station. Suddenly, Julian felt ashamed for blowing up at his friend. "Garak," he called softly, his voice thick. He cleared his throat and tried again. "Garak."

"Yes doctor?" Garak's voice sounded very far away to Julian.

"Garak, I'd like to apologize. The shock of it all caused me to act irrationally. Of course you wouldn't have just blurted this out at our first meeting, and I can understand how easy it could be to forget," Julian turned to face him then, "especially after that person became a friend." His eyes locked with Garak's across the room.

Garak made his way slowly across the room to stand directly in front of the doctor. "A friend," he echoed, his eyes solemn.

"A good friend," Julian emphasized, pitching his voice low.

"Are you happy with that arrangement?" Garak murmured, his eyes sweeping the doctor's flushed face.

"I thought I was. I don't think I am anymore," Julian answered, leaning in closer. He placed his hands on Garak's biceps, Garak's hands automatically coming up to grasp the doctor's elbows.

"Doctor, do you know what you're doing?" Garak protested weakly as he watched the doctor's lips closing in on his.

Julian flashed a quick smile. "No," he whispered as his lips brushed the Cardassian's.

Garak held his gaze, watching the colors dance in his eyes. "Doctor, I don't think I've ever looked this deeply into your eyes before," he murmured.

Garak saw the flicker of mischief highlight the golds and greens as Julian murmured back, "Oh really? And what do you see?"

The doctor's merriment died away at Garak's answer: "Myself." Julian heard the honesty there, and it nearly melted his heart.

Garak met his gaze steadily, waiting for him to make the first move. When he saw the tears form, to say he was astonished was an understatement. "Doctor, what's wrong?"

"I'm so sorry," he said quietly, running one finger along Garak's jawline.

"Whatever for? You've done nothing to be sorry about," Garak insisted, baffled at the doctor's abrupt change of mood.

Julian shook his head. "I'm sorry that Tain wouldn't come back with you. I'm sorry you missed your chance to return home."

Garak cleared his throat. "Well. That is in the past. No one is sorrier than I am that Tain wouldn't return with me. And as for my exile -- well, there's always lunch to look forward to," he joked lightly.

Julian's eyes narrowed. "Garak -- Elim, don't joke about this. You don't have to hide anything from me."

Hearing those two names together again jarred the tailor. "Doctor, please." His hands tightened into fierce grips on Julian's elbows.

"What?" Julian could sense Garak pulling away, and wondered what he had said. "Is it Tain?"

"He's part of it, yes," Garak admitted. "It's just that... I hadn't heard my given name in the longest time. And the last time I heard it was on that Romulan ship, as Tain sat there, refusing to leave."

"I'm sorry," Julian said again.

"Don't be sorry," Garak snapped. His expression softened as he sighed.

"Now I'm the one who's sorry, doctor."

Despite the seriousness of their conversation, Julian smiled. "If we both keep being sorry, we'll become extremely boring."

Garak smiled faintly. "Then we'll stop. There's nothing for you to apologize for..."

Julian interrupted him. "Garak, I wasn't just apologizing. I was trying -- apparently unsuccessfully -- to tell you that I understand. And that I would be here, to listen to you if you wanted to talk."

"Thank you, doctor." Garak smiled invitingly at the younger man. "I will keep that in mind, I promise." He shifted closer to the doctor. "Now that we have that settled..."

"One more thing, Garak," Julian announced, his tone forceful.

"Yes?" Garak asked a bit hesitantly.

"I'm going to have to teach you what my first name is," he remarked coyly.

Garak's booming laugh mixed with Julian's lighter laughter. "Oh, my dear doctor, you do delight me." Seeing the doctor's expression, Garak quickly added, "Julian."

"Better," Julian acquiesced. His mood sobered. "But what shall I call you? Would you rather I not call you Elim?" Julian asked quietly.

Garak took a quick breath. "Coming from you, I think I rather enjoy hearing it again." He offered a shaky smile as he pulled the doctor against his broad chest. "Say it again."

Smiling warmly at the tailor, Julian obliged. "Elim," he whispered in the tailor's ear, and was rewarded with a flicker of a warm tongue on his own ear. A light moan escaped his parted lips.

"Music to my ears, Julian," Garak murmured in his ear, continuing to nibble on the lobe. He felt Julian's grip on his arms tighten, and smiled. "I take it you're enjoying this?" he inquired.

Julian's answer was to call out, "Lights, off," bathing them in only the cold starlight from the portals.

"Why did you do that?" Garak asked, raising his eye ridges questioningly.

"Haven't you ever wanted to make love by starlight?" Julian purred, eyes glowing in the semi-darkness.

Garak managed to force a wry grin through his desire. "Doctor -- Julian, it has been awhile since I've made love with anyone. Going on six years now. By starlight or sunlight, I don't particularly have a preference."

"Well I do." With that, Julian grasped two handfuls of Garak's tunic and started to pull him to the floor.

"Julian, what..." the tailor asked, startled.

"Garak, if what you said is true, then I've been horny for the past two months, waiting for you. Do you really want to keep me waiting?" Julian asked huskily, the feral look in his eyes causing a jolt of emotion coursing through the other man's body.

"Julian, don't forget, that pheromone works both ways. I've been wanting you, too," Garak admitted hoarsely, tenderly stroking Julian's smooth cheek. "For far longer than you could possibly know," he
whispered, kissing him softly.

Julian leaned into the kiss, trying to prolong it, but Garak had other ideas. He started kissing along Julian's jawline, back to his ear. Pausing at the earlobe, Garak whispered, "I'm not quite sure of Human erogenous zones, but I believe this is one," before he kissed behind the doctor's ear. He was rewarded with a purring moan.

"That would be one of them," Julian agreed, his hands releasing their grip on Garak's tunic and beginning to search for the fasteners while his lips caressed the ridges along the tailor's neck.

Garak continued his exploration of Julian's neck, kissing down the pulse he felt there until he reached the top of the purple turtleneck.

"Can we do something about this?" he asked breathlessly. "It's in my path."

"How do you think I feel?" Julian growled, tugging uselessly at Garak's jumper. "I can't get the damn fasteners undone."

Pulling Julian's hands gently away from them, Garak whipped the fasteners apart with lightening speed and dropped the tunic to the floor. "Better?" he inquired, his pale blue eyes sparkling.

"Much," Julian breathed, his eyes drinking up the sight of Garak's solid chest. The reptilian scales along his shoulders and upper chest gave way to smooth-looking skin at his stomach. His body was more muscular than Julian's own, broader, and he imagined himself once again with his back rubbing against that hard-looking stomach. Julian licked his lips seductively and made a move towards the tailor.

"Dear doctor, I believe I asked for your assistance as well," Garak motioned to Julian's uniform.

Smiling knowingly, the doctor's nimble fingers opened the front of his own uniform and pushed it aside. In one fluid motion, his hands went from his uniform to his turtleneck, yanking it over his head quickly, tousling his brown hair. "Better?" Julian inquired, shaking his hair back into

"Much," Garak breathed as he took in the slim, toned muscles of the doctor's chest and arms, the starlight turning his dusky skin almost black. A small sigh escaped from his parted lips as he moved toward Julian. With a glint in his eye, matched by Julian, Garak tugged the doctor's jumpsuit to the floor and Julian stumbled, stepping out of it.

Garak toed off his shoes and with a little help from Julian's feet, his pants joined the doctor's on the floor.

Both stared at the other, neither moving save for the rising and falling of their chests with their increasingly labored breathing. Instinctively, Julian fell into Garak's embrace, crushing his mouth against the older man's. Garak pulled him closer, his hands sliding down to grasp the doctor's pert little ass and thrusting his hips firmly against his, his now-hard erection prodding Julian's to life.

Julian tore his mouth from Garak's, groaning and thrusting back in earnest, arching away from Garak's chest. His hands gripped the Cardassian's neckridges, drawing a guttural moan from the other man.
Julian tossed his head back, his eyes closing against the intense sensations wracking his body.

Garak slid one hand up Julian's sweat-slicked back, urging his head back up. He kissed the doctor lightly on the lips, along his jaw, anywhere he could reach, until Julian finally opened his eyes,
their brown depths sparkling with desire.

"Elim," Julian whispered hoarsely, just before his knees gave out. Holding Julian loosely in his arms, Garak laid him gently back on the pillows, caressing his face. He drew in a quick breath at the
sight the young doctor presented. Starlight reflected off his shining body, his sex now straining, begging the tailor to finish what he had started.

Gazing up at Garak with half-lidded eyes, Julian whispered, "Come here, Elim."

Garak's own sex pulsed with need, and he dropped to his knees next to Julian. Sliding his broad body along the doctor's lean form, Garak kissed him, long and slow, taking special delight in teasing the
younger man's questing tongue.

Julian's fingers tangled in the Cardassian's slicked-back hair, holding him firmly so he could delve even deeper into that mouth that infuriated him, that always differed with him, always lied to him. But not now. Julian was determined to learn all its secrets, all its truths. There would be no half-truths here.

Garak moaned lightly, shifting against the Human. Julian gasped as their erections brushed, sending a jolt of pleasure through to his core. He finally let the tailor's mouth go, breathing deeply of the
Cardassian's spicy scent.

Panting heavily, Garak shifted again, bringing more of his skin in contact with Julian's. He set to nuzzling Julian's long, slender neck, losing himself in his musky scent. Brushing his fingers through
Julian's thick hair, he kissed along his forehead, his eyelids, his cheeks, leaving not an inch of skin untouched by his lips.

Julian reciprocated in kind, lightly nipping at the tough ridges along Garak's shoulders, up his neck to just behind his ear. Following the smaller ridges along his jaw, Julian brushed Garak's swollen lips before tracing an eyeridge with his tongue.

Garak gasped, digging his fingers into Julian's shoulders, thrusting heavily against the young Human. Squeezing his eyes shut, he fought his own body's responses.

He barely felt Julian's ragged breath in his ear. "Was that too much?"

"No," the tailor answered, though a bit shakily. "You just caught me off-guard. No one's done that in ages . . ." his voice faltered as Julian's tongue began to trace the other eyeridge.

"Julian," Garak groaned, feeling the tingling beginning. "Julian, please..." he tried desperately to control himself, but his hips moved against the doctor's, rubbing his painfully swollen sex against his, exciting him further.

The doctor switched from his tongue to his lips, kissing gently along the ridges, his thumb running back and forth across the ridges of his neck. So intent was he on his arousal of the tailor that he failed to notice the change on Garak's face, or his erratic breathing.

Grunting, Garak thrust one, twice, trying desperately to stop his climax, but it was too late... with a strangled cry, he came, spilling his semen over Julian's own sex. Finally spent, he fell against the younger man, drawing deep breaths.

"Julian," he gasped, "I'm so sorry."

Julian ran his hands along his back, hugging him. "Garak, you couldn't help it. If it has been as long as you say, I understand." He kissed the ridge in the center of Garak's forehead.

Lifting himself off of the younger man, Garak studied his face intently. "It has." He glanced down at Julian's still erect member, covered in his own body's fluid. "But that's no excuse to allow this to

Before Julian could ask what he was doing, Garak's hand was sliding down his chest, his lips caressing the skin in its wake.

Julian groaned, letting his head fall back against the pillow. "Elim..." he whispered hoarsely, feeling Garak moving closer to his straining member. "Garak," he cried louder, but still the tailor continued to kiss around it, avoided it, instead flicking his tongue over the doctor's abdomen, tasting himself mixed with the saltiness of Julian's skin.

Julian was thrusting gently against him now, his skin flushing an even deeper shade of rose. As Garak continued to tease him, Julian's thrusts became more urgent, trying to come into contact with him. Finally, Garak's hand lovingly gripped him, sliding confidently along his shaft with long, sure strokes.

"Oh gods," Julian moaned, his eyes closing briefly against the agonizing, delicious pain.

Garak leaned closer to him, keeping up a steady rhythm. "I've had plenty of practice at this, Julian. Just relax," he murmured.

Julian's hands grasped at Garak's back, searching desperately for something to grab on to. His nails scraped along the rough texture of his shoulders, causing Garak to inhale sharply through his teeth. One hand found the back of Garak's thigh and squeezed tightly. The other grasped the back of his neck and pulled him down, his mouth searching out Garak's warm, nimble tongue. Julian devoured his mouth, as if he were a dying man in search of water.

The tailor's hand slowed as Julian's tongue became more insistent, his mouth more demanding. Julian groaned in protest, his hips coming up off the pillow as he thrust against Garak's hand. Garak could feel himself growing hard again, and pumped Julian's own sex harder, faster, not giving the doctor any chance of exciting him further.

Julian's arms tightened around the Cardassian's neck, burying his face in the pocket of his ridges and moaning deeply. His entire body was on fire; he could feel his blood pounding through his veins...

Tears sprang to Garak's eyes as Julian's beautiful voice cried, "Elim," as he climaxed, digging his nails into the tailor's back, his semen spurting onto the tailor's hand and leg. He collapsed weakly against Garak's broad chest; too spent to do more than allow the sensations to wash over him.

"Julian, never has my name sounded better," Garak whispered as he held the younger man loosely in his arms. He kissed his sweat-soaked hair, smoothing it back gently from his face.

The Human raised his head finally, swallowing with difficulty as his breathing evened out. "Elim, I..." his throat tightened; Julian found he couldn't say the words; instead, he kissed him tenderly, allowing his lips to say what his voice could not.

They sat in the wash of starlight, Julian in Garak's arms, kissing languidly, savoring each other, for an indefinite amount of time; time was a concept long forgotten in their newfound desire.

Suddenly, the wormhole flared into existence, bathing the two lovers in a parade of glorious colors. Julian pulled back from Garak, watching the colors flashing across the tailor's face. Staring deeply
into the icy blue depths of Garak's eyes, he whispered, "It's beautiful."

"Yes, it is," the tailor agreed huskily, his blue eyes staring back into Julian's sparkling brown. Leaning closer, Garak touched his lips softly to the doctor's. "And so are you," he whispered, kissing him again and closing his eyes, before Julian could see his tears forming.

"Elim?" Julian whispered, pulling back and staring hard at the Cardassian. He hadn't missed the tears, or the slight veil that had clouded his eyes. "What's wrong?"

Garak's eyes remained closed for a moment, while he carefully controlled his emotions. "Nothing," he answered finally, daring to look straight into Julian's eyes.

The doctor's expression darkened. "Dammit Garak, after what we just shared, you still can't trust me?" His voice wasn't hard, wasn't censuring, but it cut right through Garak just the same.

"Please Julian, there are things I'd rather not talk about..." Garak began, but the hurt reflected in the younger man's eyes stopped him. Taking what he hoped was a steadying breath, the tailor said, "I didn't want to tell you this. I thought it would hurt you." He licked his suddenly dry lips. "A memory of someone popped into my thoughts just then."

"Someone close to you?" Julian asked softly.

The Cardassian nodded. "Someone I had to leave behind when I was exiled. A lover," Garak uttered in a voice so low, Julian had to bend closer to him to hear him.

A finger under Garak's chin gently lifted his head. Julian's soft voice asked, "Please Elim, look at me." Swallowing hard, the Cardassian raised his eyes to Julian's, and saw understanding reflected there.

Julian smiled faintly. "Garak, I've no misconceptions about that part of your past. I realize you probably had to leave family or loved ones behind on Cardassia. I don't hold anything against you for thinking about them." His eyes dropped a fraction. "And I had always hoped you had someone to love."

"Oh, I did," Garak breathed. Seeing the doctor's startled expression quickly change to hurt, he crushed him against his chest in a massive hug. "Julian, I'm sorry I didn't mean it that way." His voice dropped to a whisper. "There's something you should know about him. He was the reason I was exiled. I gave up everything I had, everything I was, to protect him." Garak snuffled, bending his head to Julian's shoulder. "And he betrayed me," he murmured.

Julian felt the wetness against his shoulder and hugged him tightly, stroking his back. "And then he offered to bring you back, to forgive all past sins," the doctor whispered into Garak's ear as he rocked him gently.

"Yes," the tailor choked out. He lifted his tear-stained face, wiping ineffectually at the tears. "Tain offered me my life back, but not everything. I don't think he would have ever taken me back," he admitted to himself, letting out a shuddering breath. "I never betrayed him in my heart, do you know that?" he asked rhetorically, his eyes reflecting back into himself.

"And you felt you were now," Julian said quietly, withdrawing from the tailor, feeling like he had been kicked in the stomach.

Garak stared at him in horror. "No! Oh no," he cried, pulling the doctor back to him. "I was just thankful that he didn't take me back; didn't trust me. If he had, I wouldn't be here with you, right now." He kissed the mop of brown hair. "And right here is where I want to be."

"Are you sure?" Julian's muffled voice called from against Garak's chest.

Despite not having the best hearing, Garak still picked up the worry, the fear, and the desperate hope in those three words. Smiling to himself, Garak turned Julian's face up to his. "I fear I've become used to you, doctor," he announced quietly, bending his head down to brush Julian's lips.

A wicked smile flashed across the doctor's features. "In more ways than one," he mused, his eyes twinkling. Seeing the tailor's eyes widen, Julian kissed him quickly. "Elim, with or without your
pheromones and my raging hormones, I missed our lunches together. I missed the conversation, the discussions, the debates. I missed *you*," he stated plainly.

Not quite sure what to say, Garak blurted out, "But I teased you. Mislead you at every turn. How could you miss that?"

Julian smiled, shrugging a shoulder negligibly. "That's part of your charm. I've come to realize that it's also a part of you; and if that changed, if *you* changed, I would miss it." His teasing tone dropped to a serious one.

"I guess I've become used to you too, Elim."

Doctor and tailor stared at one another, feeling uneasy about opening up as they just had, especially Garak.

"Julian, I hope you realize that I've never told this much about myself to anyone. Ever. Not even Tain," the tailor said quietly, his voice dropping to a pained whisper.

"Elim, I care about you too much to want to hurt you. I would never tell anyone anything that you've told me. I trust you," Julian said, his eyes as solemn as his voice.

"But do I trust you? That is the question you want an answer to, isn't it?" Garak smiled affectionately at the young human. "One of your charms, dear doctor, is your completely readable expression."

Julian raised an eyebrow, trying to bite back a smirk. "And you have the unique ability to not answer any of my questions. Instead, you turn them back around to me," he countered.

"Touche," Garak remarked. "But in answer to your unasked question... yes. You are probably the only person left in this universe who I would trust with my life. Whom I have trusted." Taking the doctor's face in his hands, he kissed him lightly.

"Elim, I know how hard it is for you to trust, and I'm honoured that you feel comfortable enough with me to trust me. I promise you, I will never betray that trust," Julian pledged, sealing it with a kiss.

"I know you won't, Julian. And I promise you, you will always have a bit of mystery about me," Garak murmured, kissing him back, lingering over the doctor's pliant lips. His arms slipped around the
younger man, drawing him closer as their kiss deepened.

Julian's hand slid down the tailor's textured chest, stroking his smooth stomach, finally grasping his partially erect sex. His hand immediately slipped off. He pulled back, surprised. "Elim, what...?"

Garak chuckled. "My dear doctor, don't tell me you didn't know," he said meaningfully.

Julian's brow furrowed as he tried to remember Cardassian physiology... he felt the red-hot blush sweep from his neck to his hairline. "Oh, gods, do I feel stupid," he murmured. "I can't believe I forgot." A slow smile flashed across his features, and he stood up abruptly.

Startled, Garak called out, "Julian, where are you going?"

Striding over to the table where the Danubian Floater rested, Julian picked up the glass and returned to Garak's arms without a word. Holding the glass by the rim, he said, "This is the reason I went to the Infirmary. It's called a Danubian Floater. As you can see," Julian dipped a finger in it,
both he and Garak watching it slowly drip off, "it's very sticky. It retains that consistency until it is warmed, where it turns into a smooth liquid." He stuck his finger in his mouth, scraping along his teeth to get most of it off.

Garak's pale eyes watched every movement, the gentle sucking of the doctor's mouth on his own finger, and felt his ache increase tenfold. "Warmed, you say?" he asked, his breath becoming ragged.

"Mmm-hmm," Julian mumbled around his finger, his eyes sparkling. Holding the Cardassian's gaze, the doctor held up the glass. "Want some?" he whispered, running his finger along his own lips seductively.

Flashing Julian a knowing smile, Garak took the glass and raised it in a toast before allowing a small portion to fall on his tongue. With a wicked glint in his eye, he set the glass on the floor and reached for the Human.

"You wouldn't," Julian protested, seeing the look in the tailor's eye. He groaned as Garak's lips closed on his, tasting the sweetness as the tailor's tongue swirled around his. The doctor pushed harder against Garak's lips, trying to cause as much friction as possible. Their mouths grew hotter; the concoction started to warm up. Finally they broke apart, taking in air, swallowing what was left of the drink.

"Best drink I've ever had," Garak complimented the doctor, licking what was left of it off his lips.

"I thought you'd enjoy it," Julian retorted, dipping his fingers in it again and sliding up close to the Cardassian. His eyes twinkled wickedly.

Garak saw this, and immediately his guard went up. "Julian..." he threatened mildly.

Widening his eyes ever-so-innocently, the Human leaned close to Garak, kissing him lightly. "Whatever do you mean, Elim?" he said breathlessly, as his hand curved around the tailor's erection and started to stroke him slowly.

Garak inhaled sharply, his eyes closing as Julian's hand, along with the concoction, pulled slightly at him. "Julian," he uttered hoarsely, choking back a groan as he felt the doctor's hand growing warm.

Julian watched Garak's face, watched the desire flush his skin, his neckridges turning almost completely black. Feeling a bit lightheaded, he kissed along his cheek to nibble at the tailor's ear. "What if I were to tell you," he murmured into Garak's ear, "that all the while you were here, all I could think about was you inside me. Me in your arms, arching back against you. Your throbbing, pulsing sex inside me, your chest rubbing against my back, your weight on me, pushing into me..."

Growling from deep in his chest, Garak grabbed both of Julian's wrists, holding his hands away from him. Staring deeply into the Human's eyes, he saw desire, need, and a hint of daring, and his breath caught.

He was already achingly hard, the doctor's ministrations had taken care of that. "Julian," he breathed hoarsely, "Gods, Julian, you don't know how long I've wanted to..." his mouth closed over the doctor's, too caught up in emotion and need to continue.

Julian broke away from the tailor, breathing heavily. "Elim, I want you now," he whispered, twisting around until he could lay back against the Cardassian's broad chest. Garak's erection brushed
against his ass; a moan caught in his throat and he gripped the Cardassian's thighs tightly.

The tailor's arms encircled him, kissing along the back of his neck. Julian groaned softly, his head rolling back to the tailor's shoulder, exposing more of his neck and shoulder to Garak's lips. Slowly, Garak leaned forward, kissing down the Human's back, following his spine with his tongue. Soon, Julian was on his hands and knees, his hands clenching the pillow underneath him. Garak's tongue was continuing to assault the younger man's senses, his hands lightly stroking along his narrow waist.

"Elim, if you don't do something soon, I'm going to hurt you," Julian threatened, his voice strangled with desire. He shot a glance over his shoulder, seeing Garak smiling impishly back at him.

"You wouldn't dare," Garak murmured, running a finger along Julian's cleft.

Inhaling sharply, Julian was incapable of speech for a moment. But the minute he got himself under control again, he peeked demurely over his shoulder, fixing the Cardassian with a wide-eyed, knowing
stare. "I know you want me too. I know you want to lose yourself in me. But are you man enough to do it, Elim?" he said as calmly as he could, one corner of his mouth lifting in a smile.

"Ooh, was that a dare, Julian?" Garak asked breathlessly; leaning over Julian's lithe body and just touching his opening with his slick erection. His lips nibbled at the doctor's neck, feeling him shiver under him.

Julian pushed upward gently, bringing more of the tailor's sex in contact with him. "Maybe. Maybe not," the doctor whispered, smiling coyly at Garak. "The question still stands; what are you going to do?"

The tailor looked down at Julian, matching his coy smile with one of his own. Leaning closer, he brushed his lips against the back of Julian's ear. "What I am going to do, my dear Julian, is give you exactly what you want," he whispered, sending a shiver of anticipation down the doctor's back.

Garak's hands moved swiftly over the doctor's form, brushing lightly over his hips, his thumbs outlining his opening. Julian chewed on his lower lip, fighting the impulse to thrust upward as Garak's hands massaging his ass. Julian was panting by now, his own sex pulsing with need. "Elim," he
gasped, closing his eyes, "Please..."

Kissing him between his shoulder blades, Garak pushed back slightly from the doctor, running two fingers along his own sex, coating them. Gently, he slid first one, then the other inside Julian's cleft.

Julian moaned loudly, pushing back against Garak's fingers. The tailor's own sex was throbbing painfully; he needed this as much as Julian did. He extracted his hand, Julian groaning in protest.
Lifting the doctor up slightly, Garak began to push his straining sex into his cleft, stopping when he heard Julian gasp.

"Are you all right?" Garak asked, his voice shaky but concerned.

Julian was breathing in gasps, his hands pushing against the pillows. "I'm fine, Elim. Don't stop. Gods, don't stop," he begged, rocking slightly backward against him. His knees parted, allowing the tailor better leverage.

Garak inched forward, pushing steadily into Julian until his abdomen rested against Julian's ass. Groaning, he thrust quickly, drawing a moan from both. "Julian," the tailor gasped, "I didn't know you were so hot inside." He rocked his hips, pushing himself deeper into the doctor's warmth.

"Consider it," Julian grunted, pushing his hips back against Garak, "one of those mysteries you love to find out for yourself," he gasped.

The Cardassian fell into a rhythm, rocking slowly against Julian, lowering his body down on his. "Is this what you wanted?" Garak whispered, one arm around his waist, his other hand on the floor, steadying himself.

Julian felt Garak's weight on his back, the gentle rocking of their bodies, felt the tailor stretching him. His arms strained with the effort of keeping himself off the floor and his own thrusting in counterpoint to Garak's. Julian felt himself slipping forward, his head touched the pillows as the tailor buried himself deeper inside him. Groaning loudly, the doctor hissed, "More," bracing himself with his elbows and thrusting back as hard as he could. His breath caught as Garak touched him deeper than anyone else ever had.

Garak was seeing stars, buried deeply in the doctor. He gasped for air, sweat falling into his eyes as he thrust back, pushing Julian back into the pillows. His full weight was on the doctor now, almost lying completely on top of him. They were both panting from the exertion.

"Julian, I don't know if I can keep this up," Garak admitted shakily, his hands moving until they covered Julian's clenched in the pillow.

A wicked smile curved Julian's lips as he clenched himself around the tailor. "You don't have to," he grunted, rocking his hips upward into Garak's.

The tailor gasped; feeling himself near the breaking point. Determined that he would take the younger man with him this time, his hand searched out Julian's rock-hard erection and began stroking him swiftly. Letting out a shuddered moan, Julian rocked against him wildly, sending Garak over the edge. The Cardassian's hand gripped Julian tightly, triggering his climax. Together, they rode the crest, falling back in each other's arms. Both were slick with sweat, taking huge gulps of air.

Garak fell back on the pillows, his limbs sprawled bonelessly around him. Julian sat up on one elbow, watching the tailor regain his composure.

"Julian, remind me to start exercising," Garak asked, wiping at his forehead.

The doctor gave him an affectionate smile. "I think I can work out some sort of program for you," he said lightly, the look in his eyes telling the tailor exactly what sort of exercise he had in mind.

Garak saw it, and laughed quietly. "Oho, no, Julian. I do need some sleep, thank you."

"You're loss," Julian said quietly, though his eyes twinkled. "Well, my loss too."

The tailor rolled his eyes. "I can't believe you, Julian. I never knew you had a wicked streak. Or this terrible sense of humor."

"It's not terrible," the doctor protested half-heartedly, leaning over to give Garak a kiss. "As for the wicked streak, well, I guess you bring it out in me," he whispered, kissing the tailor lazily.

"Mm," Garak murmured, his eyes closing. His breathing evened out, and Julian felt his lips slacken.

"Elim, you're falling asleep," Julian whispered with a grin, watching the Cardassian's features smooth out and a slight smile curve his lips.

"Julian, mashta peaol," Garak muttered before drifting off to sleep.

Julian realized what he said with a start, and he felt tears spring to his eyes.

"You are my beloved too, Elim," he whispered to the sleeping Cardassian, kissing his forehead before snuggling up next to him, his head resting on his broad chest. Soon, he joined the tailor in sleep, the stars still bathing them in their pale light.

* * *

"Well Julian, you certainly are in a better mood this morning," Dax noted with amusement as she caught up with him at the turbolift.

Julian grinned at her as she stepped inside. "I am," he remarked as she turned to face him.

"I take it you had a pleasant evening?" she prodded with a sweet smile.

"That I did." Julian knew Dax hated cryptic answers, but was determined that she wouldn't learn how he spent his evening.

"So who was she?" Dax asked with a smirk.

Julian looked at her with indignant shock. "Jadzia, how could you even think such a thing? I was not with a woman last night."

Dax peered intently at the young doctor, trying to see if he was telling the truth. He looked too relaxed, too at ease, and his eyes were twinkling. She toyed with the idea of challenging him, but she was sure he wouldn't tell her anything. Her eyes widened as she realized just who Julian might have spent the night with.

Quickly masking it, she apologized. "I'm sorry Julian," she said sincerely, offering him a small smile.

The lift stopped on the Promenade, and Julian stepped off. "That's all right," Julian's grin was firmly back in place, oblivious to Jadzia's discovery. "Duty calls. See you later." He turned on his heel toward the Infirmary.

"Hey Julian," Dax called.

He turned around, "Yes?"

"Did you want to meet for lunch?" she asked. She bit back a grin as the doctor graced her with a blinding smile.

"I'm sorry. I already have a lunch date." With a jaunty salute, he wove his way through the early morning crowds.

Shaking her head with a knowing smile on her lips, Dax continued up to OPS, glad the doctor and tailor had finally gotten back around to having lunch again.



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