Title: Garak and the Moment of Jealousy
Author: mrs260
Contact: mrs-fanfic@nym.hush.com
Series: DS9
Part: 1/1
Rating: PG
Codes: G/B
Feedback: Any and all. Constructive crit welcome.
Summary: Garak gets jealous and reads Wodehouse.

~~~

Garak and the Moment of Jealousy
by mrs260

~~~

When Dr. Bashir entered the Replimat with Chief O'Brien, Garak felt a stab of jealousy and resentment.

When Dr. Bashir made eye contact and smiled brightly, he rolled the feelings around his mind for a moment, amused by them. Until now, he would have said their friendship--and Dr. Bashir's beauty--had no power over him. It had been some time since he'd managed to overlook his own weaknesses like this.

Still, knowing one's weaknesses allowed one to control them. Him.

"Garak!" Bashir greeted as he approached, Chief O'Brien in tow. "Miles and I were about to grab tea. May we join you?"

Garak glanced at the Chief, who looked as wary as he felt.

"I... really should get back," O'Brien offered.

"I understand, Chief. Perhaps some other time." Garak turned back to Bashir and indicated a chair. "Please do join me, my dear Doctor."

~~~

It was difficult to say what made the young doctor so captivating. He was intelligent and attractive, but Garak had entertained the affections of intelligent, attractive young men and women before with no ill effects.

Devotion and dedication was certainly some part of it. He'd known people willing to risk their lives for their duty, of course, but none willing to risk facing Enabran Tain for him.

Not that Dr. Bashir had comprehended what that meant.

Perhaps, in the end, his own loneliness was catching up with him.

"Garak," the doctor scolded suddenly, breaking off from what he'd been talking about, "are you even listening to me?"

Garak could have gone back over the conversation and recalled what Bashir had been saying, but... "Truthfully, no, Doctor." He glanced around theatrically, placed his fingers on the doctor's wrist, and leaned in. "I was wondering what it is about you that makes you so enchanting."

Bashir blushed and averted his eyes for a moment, laughing with surprise. "Garak!"

When he looked back, Garak held eye contact until he blushed harder and squirmed a little. He shook his head and patted Garak's hand.

"If I start again," Bashir said, "will you listen this time?"

"Of course. And I do apologize, Doctor." He squeezed the doctor's wrist and left his hand there, curious about how long Bashir would allow it.

"There's a series of stories I've been thinking of giving you. I must say I'm not certain what you'll think."

"Oh?"

"There's one character in particular whom I hope you'll like, but I'm afraid you might approve of the antagonists more."

Garak smiled. "There is always that danger."

The doctor handed him an isolinear rod. "I thought I'd start you off with Jeeves Takes Charge. It's the first in the series, and the first I read."

Garak took the rod, making sure to put his fingers back on Bashir's wrist. Bashir continued.

"The language is closer to contemporary English than Shakespeare is, but I will warn you that some of the stories contain some truly astonishing slang. We can go over it when we talk about it."

"Of course."

~~~

The story was a rather short one, the tale of a young man finding a suitable mentor in his valet. It was actually rather charming.

There were, of course, certain points Garak could mention that were bound to annoy the doctor. Garak smiled and indulged himself in a thrill of arousal as he contemplated the memories of Julian's put-upon sigh and despairing gaze.

He laid aside his morning's work and headed to lunch.

~~~

"I do understand that young Mr. Wooster's new valet very deftly deceived and manipulated him in order to defeat the previous, unsuitable mentor. What I don't understand is what Mr. Wooster ultimately hopes to contribute to the State."

Bashir took a frustrated breath and started to respond, then stopped himself. Instead, he smirked and replied, "Well, he does keep a tailor in business."

Garak smirked back. "Not, apparently, one with his best interests at heart."

Dr. Bashir sat back and gave him a long look. "Garak, has something happened?"

He widened his eyes innocently. "What do you mean?"

Bashir patted the hand Garak had laid on his arm. "I've never seen you so affectionate."

"Nonsense, my dear Doctor. I always feel affection for you."

"So demonstrative, then." Garak opened his mouth to reply, but Bashir interrupted. "And you were just trying to irritate me! Miles said Cardassians--"

"Come now, Doctor," Garak interrupted back. Bashir hesitated, uncertain, and Garak continued. "Do I really have to try to irritate you, my dear?"

Bashir laughed. "No, I suppose not." He squeezed Garak's hand again. "So, have you come to some sort of realization I should know about?"

A stab of longing took Garak by surprise, just as the jealousy had yesterday. Loneliness certainly was catching up with him: it was corroding his detachment.

Temptation clouds the mind, Tain had always said. Take what you want or move on.

Well, he certainly didn't care to move on.

He lifted Julian's hand to his lips. Julian smiled.

"Come to my quarters tonight," Julian said, "and we can start on Jeeves in the Springtime." He blushed quite magnificently and straightened his spine, continuing almost defiantly, "I can read it to you in bed if you like."

Garak smiled back and stroked Julian's forearm with his thumb. "And how many stories are in this series?"

"Forty-five," Julian said, then leaned in and whispered gleefully, "but after that we can start on Sherlock Holmes."

~~~

END
mrs260