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The hours passed along in excruciating doubt in the doctor's quarters. Would he have a visitor or not? And more importantly, what would happen if Garak did show up? Julian prepared himself to wing it from there.

The doorchime went off, making him practically squeak with shock. Fidgeting and sweating he answered the door. He couldn't decide if the sight of Garak was more a relief or a shock, but he was dizzyingly happy to see the tailor outside the door. Garak did want him. The thought made him warm and tingling from head to toe, until he realized that his guest did not look happy. At all. On the contrary, he looked absolutely livid with barely contained fury. Garak indeed looked ready to kill whoever offended him first, so Julian kept his mouth shut, sincerely worried about what reaction he might trigger if he spoke. So he settled for simply stepping aside and let Garak stomp past him into his quarters.

His bewilderment only increased as Garak kept stomping back and forth in apparent violent agitation. Had he stepped so thoroughly in it that he had seriously offended his friend? No. He wouldn't be here at all if he was really offended. But on the other hand, Julian had never seen Garak look as angry as this. And knowing all too well how strong the Cardassian was by nature, he thought it best not to provoke any reaction, that might lead to violent outbursts.

Finally Garak stopped pacing and fixed Julian with a withering stare. It was so intense that the doctor had to fight to suppress a sudden desire to run for cover.

“Doctor Bashir.... you are without comparison the most arrogant bastard of a human I've ever had the misfortune to meet!”

Absolutely tongue tied, Julian simply stood there with wide open eyes, unsure of what to make of his friend's outburst.

“You claim to know me and, dare I say it, even like me, and still you decide to put me through such a humiliating spectacle! I can't belive you would ever do that to me!”

Oh God... he really HAD stepped in it...

“I'm... I'm sorry...”

Wrong reply. Very wrong.

“Sorry..? You're SORRY?! Oh my dear doctor, if you think I will let you walk away with a pathetic excuse after what you put me through today, you are sorely mistaken! You know, I never thought you had it in you to be so cruel. And after all I've tried to teach you about respect for those of more age and experience than yourself, you simply go ahead and make an absolute fool of the silly, old Cardassian!”

“I.. I was just trying to... ”

“Trying to do what exactly? Make me look foolish? Toy with my feelings? Or even worse, try to seduce me so you could have your night with the ageing alien spy?! In either case I don't appreciate it. You can take your depraved sexual needs elsewhere thank you!”

Depraved... what was he talking about? As Garak seemingly tried to kill him by looks alone, Julian was thoroughly confused. This made no sense. Garak had come to him, and still he seemed about to explo...

Suddenly it made terrifyingly much sense! If Cardassian gentle lunch flirting was what humans considered a heated debate, then serious advances would probably be nothing short of a screaming, flailing argument in Julian's eyes. And Garak was still simply standing there, murder in his eyes, apparently waiting for him to respond. So this was the game. And it was far too late to back out.

Taking a deep breath, Julian steeled himself for 'combat' and drew himself up to his most impressive height.

“Who are you calling depraved, you old moth eaten tailor?! If you actually think I wanted anything to do with a slack, old sack of stale kanar like you, then you are the one sorely mistaken!”

Garak suddenly grabbed him hard by the shoulders and kneaded them roughly while yelling him in the face.

“You presumptuous little tease! Giving just enough encouragement to keep me coming back for years, and then simply shutting down as soon as I make a serious move! Well no more! I'll teach you to regret the day you had the idiotic idea of making a fool of Elim Garak!”

Nose to nose, Julian snarled at his aggressive companion.

“Go ahead! Gimme your best shot, you sorry excuse for a Cardassian...”

And then he was being kissed. It was absolutely nothing like he imagined. It was rough, bordering on violent. A battle for dominance. And he liked it. His shoulders protested to the vice like grip of the grey hands and he felt his teeth scraping harshly against Garak's. His blood was pounding in his ears with the ancient instinctive fight or flight reaction awakened by the painful grip. But at the same time, he felt a serious tingle of pleasure at the feeling of the hard body pressed tightly against his own, pushing him against the cold wall behind him.

He was tempted to simply give in and be dominated, but somehow he realized that was not what Garak wanted. So he put up a fight. He tried to walk the line gently at first, but it was only a matter of seconds before he was pinned so thoroughly he was forced to fight in earnest to be able to breathe. Hoping he wouldn't hurt his companion, he finally resorted to pinching the sensitive neckridges hard, which had the desired effect of slacking the grip enough for him to twist out of the painful embrace.

Gasping for breath and feeling a very insistent thumping in his sore shoulders, he did his best to keep at a distance from the incensed older man slowly advancing on him.

“Ah, the child learns...”

Julian kept backing away and spat out with venom:

“Child indeed... now who's depraved?”

Garak stopped in his tracks for a second, once again, making Julian fear he had gone too far. Then a down right terrifying smile spread on Garak's face.

“Oh my dear doctor, you have no idea...”

And then he pounced with a speed Julian was completely unprepared for. Locked in a steel grip, arms pinned to his sides, he had no choice but to surrender his neck for rough nibbling and biting, just shy of breaking the skin. The pain and pleasure melded together in an all consuming haze, the likes of which he had never felt before. Even the smell of Garak seemed suddenly different, like it had a more spicy peak to it, and it did nothing to still the fire spreading rapidly through his mind and body. The scent and feel of Garak was intoxicating and the combined effect of all the sensory input was mind blowing. The result was that he completely forgot he was supposed to be resisting, and couldn't suppress a loud moan when a searing hot breath washed over his ear.

The grip suddenly loosened and for a moment, Garak seemed to stop dead. The abrupt absence of pleasure awoke Julian from his haze and reminded him that the game was still on. Struck with sudden inspiration he let himself go completely limb, and the result was perfect. Garak was surprised enough to let go and Julian simply slid downwards and out of his grip. As soon as he was free, he flung himself around Garak's knees and jerked them sideways as hard as he could, while flinging himself away. Garak stumbled and almost fell, giving Julian plenty of time to put himself well out of reach again.

This game was much more to his liking than he had imagined and he couldn't stop himself from laughing when Garak turned to face him again, with a look that could have broken down grown men in interrogation rooms... and probably had.

“Having fun?”

The aggressive growl only stoked the bubbling amusement taking over Julian's actions and he decided to let himself display it with a wide grin and twinkling eyes.

“Actually, yes.”

Garak advanced slowly like a prowling lion.

“Not for long my young, na´ve friend.”

Julian giggled in a way not unlike the way a child does when a parent approaches with tickling fingers and considering that Garak was still advancing he must be doing something right.

“You're too slow old man... if you want me, you'll have to catch me!”

With that he blew a kiss to the lion on his heels and hightailed to the other end of his quarters, Garak in close pursuit. The chase was dizzying and wreaked havoc in Julian's quarters, but frankly he couldn't care less as he jumped over his couch and feigned a move to the right, only to slide left and feel the wind as Garak passed no more than an inch away.

The quarters were small and Julian had to employ all he had in way of inventiveness to find new ways to go to escape his pursuer. He giggled madly all the time and very nearly squealed in delight as he felt Garak's hand almost closing on his uniform, without getting enough of a grip to slow him down.

The chase came to an abrupt end when Garak decided playtime was over and practically threw the couch between them to the side, leaving Julian no escape route but the bedroom behind him. His last attempt to escape from the doorway was futile and Garak trapped him thoroughly in his arms again, pushing them both into the room towards the bed.

And then suddenly the game changed. Going from aggressive hunter to passionate lover in the blink of an eye, Garak swept Julian completely off his feet. Literally. And Julian was all too happy to let Garak assume dominance. All there was in his world at that moment, were those searing lips, firm hands, strong arms and that very special spicy smell that was Garak and yet different. Completely absorbed by kisses more passionate than any he could remember having experienced ever before, the sound of his uniform ripping at the seams was distant and insignificant.

He was surprised when he felt cool sheets against his suddenly bare back and even more so, when shockingly hot scaly skin connected with his own, as his lover lowered them both onto the bed. Where had their clothes gone? The thought lasted all of two seconds before it was utterly unimportant.

The only thing that mattered was the way his whole body shivered from firm, fiery caresses. He could have sworn that Garak had grown a few extra hands, because it felt like he was being touched everywhere at once. His own hands were useless and simply opened and closed wherever they landed randomly on the back, in the hair or on the shoulders of his partner.

Moaning and crying out at every breath, it took a while for Julian to register that Garak was letting out a low hum, without ever seeming to need to draw breath. The sound drummed against his neck as teeth grazed and tongue soothed over the hypersensitive skin there. Any doubts he might have had were now only noticeable by their absence. And frankly there was very little room in his passion-fogged brain for any thought besides 'yes please, more'.

Whatever he had expected or imagined of the act itself it was nothing like reality. It was more passionate and yet more gentle, wilder and yet under stricter control by his experienced partner than he ever dreamed of. And just when he expected to be penetrated and finally claimed, he was surprised again, when Garak simply locked both their arousals between them, creating friction in a way that was immediately effective. Julian felt the hard body above him shudder violently, and promptly his vision exploded in colors and patterns on the back of his eyelids. He climaxed so sharply that he screamed soundlessly and dug his nails into the tough scaled back he was holding on to for dear life.

As he came back to the surface of his sex-drowned mind, by the aid of his now very sore areas of 'foreplay', he found that the surprises were by no means over. Garak was not even out of breath, but simply lay there over Julian, not letting his full weight rest on him, while looking at him with a tender kind of look he had never seen on his friend's face before. Wriggling slightly he found he was wet. Very wet. More so that he would have thought. That new spicy smell was very thick in the smaller room and feeling some of the hot wetness dribble down on the side of his hip where Garak's groin was lightly resting, he could only conclude that it was not only himself who had reached climax from the passionate exchange, despite the lack of penetration.

His first reaction was to apologize. He was quickly becoming aware that he had done very little to return the wonderful caresses bestowed on him and he felt bad that he had just taken and not given.

“Garak... Elim... I'm sorry, I should have paid more attention to your needs...”

And then another surprise. Garak started to laugh. Quietly at first, but soon rising to a roaring, howling laugh that echoed through the war zone that was now Julian's quarters. Julian was stunned and simply let Garak laugh until he rolled over to his side and settled down next to him, propped up on one elbow, still chuckling.

“My dear, dear doctor. Every time I think we've reached another level of realisation in our interactions, you surprise me with your na´ve conclusions and make me wonder if our races are simply too different for true understanding.”

Julian frowned, not entirely sure if it was one of Garak's usual insults or a completely valid point. Garak noticed his lover's doubt and leaned in to place the softest kiss on the now rather swollen lips of the younger man.

“I don't want to hear you apologize for your efforts in bed ever again. I'm sorry I laughed, but It's unfathomable to me how you can be the perfect lover – at least from a Cardassian point of view – and then still doubt yourself. Judging from your frankly amazing performance of thoroughly seducing me in the classical Cardassian manner, I was simply taken aback by the realisation that it was not as planned as it felt.”

Julian's eyebrows all but disappeared in his hairline. Was this Cardassian lovemaking? Could he simply have made all the right lucky guesses? It seemed almost too unlikely.

“Well... I'm very glad you liked it, but... I must confess I had no idea what I was doing most of the time after you showed up.”

Again Garak chuckled.

“Maybe so, but after your surprising and very effective move at lunch, you could have reacted practically any way you liked and it would have produced the same delightful end result. It's the Cardassain way after all. The conversation is half the act itself. Everything you did after I arrived was more or less just added spice. And my dear, I can honestly say this night has no equal in anything I've experienced before in my considerably longer life.”

Garak's words made Julian blush hotly and avoid the blazing look now directed at him. He was flattered and happy. But he had to ask...

“This might be a silly question... but why didn't you... take me?”

After a slight pause Garak's trademark wicked smile appeared and there was a definite twinkle in his eye.

“Would you rather have me attempt an unflattering lie about our physiological differences or would you prefer a much more flattering one perhaps even closer to the truth you so na´vely pursue?”

Julian rolled his eyes, but couldn't help but smile. The familiarity and yet the novelty of the situation was a powerful feeling and he snuggled up against the ridged patterns of his lover with a deeply contented sigh.

“Why don't you choose? I'll never know the truth anyway. And frankly I don't care. The truth isn't all it's cracked up to be sometimes.”

The scaly chest against his cheek suddenly rippled as if shivering with cold. Looking up at Garak's face he saw myriads of emotions flowing across the usually masked Cardassian features.

“I must be getting old and confused... I thought I was here with Doctor Julian Bashir, a rather na´ve, young terran. Who is this Cardassian in human disguise, and what have you done with my dear doctor?”

Julian poked Garak in the ribs, making him giggle uncharacteristically.

“Don't tease me... unless you mean it.”

The giggles subsided to a soft murmur against his hair.

“I'm sorry doctor. I just cannot get used to your newfound understanding. I have tried to explain these things to your for years and after one week at a medical conference, you suddenly understand everything. If I didn't know any better, I would suspect you of not having been to the conference at all...”

Julian raised himself up on one elbow, fixing his brown eyes on the smiling blue ones.

“First of all, unless you plan on having a physical examination right here and now, then stop calling me doctor. Secondly, this newfound understanding you claim I have is as much a lie as any you tell me every day. At this moment here with you, I'm sorry to say that I really don't care. You came to me. That's all the truth I need right now.”

Snuggling back into the loving embrace gladly offered he smiled to himself.

“Now... tell me a good old lie. A big fat one, meant to flatter me shamelessly so you can have your way with me all night.”

The arms around him tightened and he clearly felt the ridges on his lover's face as he rubbed them against his scalp.

“Who needs lies for that? You know as well as I do that I can have you either way.”

The ridges rubbed delightfully against his ear and he heard himself whimper.

“...true... but I would like one anyway. Tell me you love me.”

The rubbing stopped and the voice above him was suddenly hoarse.

“Thats... a very big lie...”

Julian nodded against the chest and nibbled a ridge, making Garak gasp quietly.

“I know. Tell me anyway. I want nothing but the very best lies from you.”

Garak pulled him up to face him and the blues eyes were very serious.

“Believe me my dear doctor, you deserve nothing but the very best.”

Julian frowned.

“What did I tell you about calling me doctor?”

The old wicked smile was back in a flash.

“What if I wanted a physical? No tricorder. The old fashioned way... the hands on approach.”

A giggle bubbled out before Julian could stop it.

“Well... I suppose this is an emergency. There just isn't enough time to go to my medical bag, is there?”

They rolled together playfully, until Julian lay on top and made a very big issue of 'applying vital oral pulse massage' to Garak's 'obviously fatal blood flow defect' on his shoulder ridges.

“Now... how about that lie?”

Garak's eyes were closed and he seemed to not hear a word. So the doctor stopped his 'treatment' until the blue eyes opened with a puzzled look.

“Tell me you love me.”

His lover's voice was husky and low.

“I... I don't want to hurt you.”

Julian leaned in with a knowing smile and nibbled the full, grey lower lip.

“That's why I want a lie...”

Garak's eyes fluttered closed again and his voice was all but inaudible with shivering pleasure as the nibbling continued down his neck.

“You devious human... who knew -”

“Tell me.”

For the longest time the only sound was ragged breaths and rustle of linen. Julian's tongue was busy making a pleasurable trail down his lover's abdomen when he stopped again and once more whispered:

“Tell... me...”

Feeling the very hot breath so close to his most intimate place Garak revelled in the delicious torture of waiting for delight and he drew out the moment for as long as possible before ending it.

“Yes... I love you.”

With a glowing smile Julian finally continued his journey downwards.

“I know...”


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