Title: The Adventures of Stark Manley
Author: mrs260
Contact: mrs-fanfic@nym.hush.com
Series: DS9
Part: 1/1
Rating: PG
Codes: G/B, humour, challenge response
Summary: Stark Manley, blatant Marky Sue, teams up with his old roommate Ezri to get Garak and Bashir to see how much they love each other.
Warning: contains song lyrics
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the property of Paramount. This story, written in 2000, never has been and never will be sold.
Feedback: Any and all. Criticism welcome.

~~~

The Adventures of Stark Manley
by mrs260

~~~

Stark Manley, tailor's assistant extraordinaire, tugged his duffel bag more firmly onto his shoulder. He was nervous, accepting a job on the frontier after only one subspace interview. But he had wanted to come here anyway, ever since --

"Stark!!!"

That girlish squeal could only come from his old roommate. Stark dropped his bag. "Ezzie! DARLING!!!" Giggling, she threw herself at him, and he barely managed to keep them from toppling over. "My GOD, girl, how've you been?!"

"AWFUL! Did you hear?"

"Yeah, you're joined! Did it hurt?"

"No, but it's so confusing! I'm actually into guys now. Ick."

"Cool! You can be my fag hag!" He laughed and ducked as she smacked him. "Oh, come on, it's not so bad. We can braid each other's hair, listen to ABBA stalker songs, and bitch about boys."

"Whatever."

"It's fun! 'See that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the dancing queen!'" He burst into another fit of laughter as she hit him again. "Really, Ezri, I'd've thought a Starfleet officer could at least take out a tailor!"

She groaned. "You obviously haven't met our local tailor."

Stark paled a little. "What do you mean? He seemed like a nice guy on subspace..."

"You talked to him?"

"I start working for him tomorrow. C'mon, spill, what's wrong with him?"

"Nothing. He's a very nice man. Don't worry."

"WHAT?!?!" Stark screeched, attracting stares from half the Promenade.

"He's just got a bit of a past," she told him, shrugging and looking over at one of the shop signs. "He was a spy when he lived on Cardassia, and now he's working for the Federation against the Dominion."

So that explained why Garak needed more time away from his business. "Oh, that's just great! I thought I was going to be working for a nice old opera queen looking to cut back on his hours."

"That's a pretty good description of his general persona around here, Stark. You'll like him, he's a great conversationalist and he tells wonderful stories. Just don't believe a word he says, and don't let Dr. Bashir see you socializing with him outside of work."

"Why not?"

"They have a thing. It's a very weird thing and neither one of them knows it yet."

"Gotcha." He picked up his bag and offered her his arm.

"Your quarters are down this corridor..."

~~~

Later that night, somewhat reassured by an actual, albeit brief, introduction to Garak and Dr. Bashir, Stark sat in the bar with Ezri and the flaming contingent of the DS9 family.

"They've been doing that for years," Bubba confided, speaking a bit too loudly considering how close "they" were sitting, and causing the others to shush him as discreetly as possible.

Garak shot their table a questioning look, causing Bubba to pale as the rest of them started talking loudly about Fred's nasty feet and the need to steer him towards some alternate grooming facility, preferably on Qo'Nos. When Garak turned his attention back to his dining companion, Bubba continued much more quietly. "They flirt like crazy, and some people swear they've been doing the wild thing for years, but I happen to know that they never have, not even once."

"That's because I told you they haven't, Bubba," Ezri sighed. The peanut gallery tittered. "Anyway, we just have to do something. Julian's getting more miserable by the day, and so's Garak. And we can't leave poor Stark to a cranky, sex-deprived boss!"

"No kidding. If the boss is cranky, Stark is not happy," Stark agreed emphatically. "You were talking about the dance tomorrow night... I have an idea..."

~~~

Stark was amazed how easily Garak agreed to go to the dance. Just a casual mention and a seemingly disinterested question about whether Garak was busy that night...

"I have heard about the preparations -- I was under the impression that it was in celebration of a human holiday."

"That doesn't mean everyone's not welcome! The whole point of Pride Day is that everyone is accepted and loved. Dr. Bashir was saying at my physical that he was hoping you'd be able to find the time to get there."

He cringed inwardly as Garak raised an amused eyeridge at him. Smooth, Stark. But the older man seemed to let the comment pass without suspicion, and he let out a little sigh of relief.

"Anyway, it's a whole lot of fun. Even the most reserved person can get a little wild and nobody thinks anything of it."

"I will make time to look in on it," Garak promised.

"Great!"

~~~

Stark met Ezri just outside the ballroom, just over an hour after festivities were officially underway. They followed a dozen other fashionably late citizens into the loud, dimly lit ballroom, and began scoping the room for a good table.

Bashir and Garak were seated in the corner, shouting in one another's ears. Bashir was wearing a very historically accurate "slutty club boy" shirt, and black jeans so tight that underwear was a complete impossibility. Garak was in a flame-red tunic and matching trousers; conservative, but then he would surely look ridiculous in more traditional garb.

Ezri nodded at the stage where the DJ was taking requests, and headed to Bashir and Garak's table herself. Stark made the prearranged request to the DJ, and sat back to watch the plan go into motion.

To Garak's obvious annoyance, Ezri was tugging insistently on Bashir's arm when the music changed, but when the first chords of the song played, Garak swept her aside to lead a suddenly willing Bashir onto the dance floor... Bashir started writhing to the music, and Garak was most certainly enjoying providing him with a firm body to writhe against.

"Hi Barbie - Hi Ken - You wanna go for a ride - Sure Ken - Jump in!

I'm a Barbie girl - in a Barbie world - life in plastic - it's fantastic
You can brush my hair - undress me everywhere - imagination - life is your creation

Come on Barbie - let's go party

I'm a blond bimbo girl in a fantasy world
Dress me up- make it tight - I'm your dolly

You're my doll - "rock and roll" - feel the glamour in pink
Kiss me here, touch me there - hanky panky

You can touch - you can play - if you say - I'm always yours

Come on Barbie - let's go party - Come on Barbie - let's go party
Come on Barbie - let's go party - Come on Barbie - let's go party

Make me walk - make me talk - do whatever you please
I can act like a star - I can beg on my knees

Come jump in - bimbo friend - let us do it again
Hit the town - fool around - let's go party

You can touch - you can play - If you say - I'm always yours
You can touch - you can play - If you say - I'm always yours

Come on Barbie - let's go party - Come on Barbie - let's go party
Come on Barbie - let's go party - Come on Barbie - let's go party
Come on Barbie - let's go party - Come on Barbie - let's go party
Come on Barbie - let's go party - Come on Barbie - let's go party

Oh I'm having so much fun - Well Barbie we're just getting started - Oh I love you Ken!"

Bashir laughed as the music ended, whispering something in Garak's ear. They kissed, and hurried out.

Ezri grinned at Stark. "I don't think your boss will be cranky and sex-deprived tomorrow."

"Fabulous! Now let's see about me not being cranky and sex-deprived, shall we?"

"I know just the guy, Stark... hey, Odo!"

~~~

END
mrs260

E) A short but cute young human named Stark Manley becomes Garak's shop assistant and secretly plots with my -- uh, his -- old roomate Ezri to get Garak and Bashir to see how much they luv each other.

Check

I hereby challenge Mark to write the above story using the following plot pickles:

A) Someone from Duarto's House of Hair must have a cameo appearance.

Check

B) Song lyrics must also make a brief appearance.

hehe, you thought the ABBA was it, didn'tcha? ;0)

and C) A reference to men and hair braids must be used

Check

Attribution: "See that girl, watch that scene digging the dancing queen!" is a line from ABBA's "Dancing Queen." Used without permission in a work of satire.

Attribution: "Barbie Girl" by Aqua. Lyrics quoted in their entirety without permission in a work of satire. Lyrics copied from Aqua's official website.