seraphtrevs: (Default)
[personal profile] seraphtrevs
Fic: A Light in the Mirror (3/?)
Author: [personal profile] seraphtrevs My fic can also be found over at Archive of Our Own
Pairing: Julian Bashir/Elim Garak
Rating: NC-17 (eventually)
Word Count (this part): ~3000
Warnings: Slavery (but not non-con, surprisingly. However, things get dark up ahead, so proceed with caution.)
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit made, etc.
Summary: Mirrorverse AU. Gul Elim Garak has always been hated and feared, but when a strange Terran from another universe mistakes him for his lover, Garak gets a glimpse of a life he might have led.

A/N: I'm back! So sorry for the delay - hopefully the next chapter won't quite so long in coming!

Previous parts:
Chapter One
Chapter Two



The walk back to Garak's quarters was a long one; the corridors seemed to have gotten longer since that morning. He moved as quickly as he could without appearing to be in a hurry, but he paused before he made the turn down the last corridor. He didn't want to appear as if any of this meant a great deal to him. He had to be casual. When he felt properly composed, he made that last turn. There was a Klingon diligently standing guard in front of his door, just as he'd instructed. After questioning him and determining that there had been no trouble, Garak dismissed him and entered his quarters.

Julian was sitting at the table, reading the padd Garak had given him. His chin was propped up in one hand. One finger was curled along the side of his face, seeming to point to a faint bruise on his temple that Garak must have missed when he had healed him. He looked up and smiled. “Oh good, you're back,” he said, putting aside his padd. “I thought I was going to lose my mind waiting for you.”

Waiting, for him. Garak felt a twinge in his chest. He regarded Julian for a moment. Every feature seemed even more lovely than he had remembered – his golden skin, his dark hair, the slope of his nose, the curve of his lips...how had Garak ever considered his looks unremarkable? It baffled him that he'd been so blind.

“So how did it go?” Julian asked.

It took Garak a moment to remember what he was referring to; the whole ugly business with the Intendant and her double and Garak's various schemes seemed far away. “She's reluctant,” he said. “I don't think she trusts me.”

“If only I could talk to her,” Julian said. “I know I'd be able to convince her to agree to it.”

“The Intendant has her under constant surveillance,” Garak said. “I was able to steal a moment with her, but smuggling you in to see her would be too risky. Don't worry. I'm sure she'll come around.”

Julian didn't look too happy, but seemed to acquiesce. “What's in the basket?”

“See for yourself,” Garak said, handing it to him.

Julian set it on the table and opened it. He took out the bottle of wine and some of the candies. “Is this chocolate?”

“Yes. I thought you might appreciate something familiar.”

“What, no flowers?” he said.

Garak cocked his head in puzzlement. “Is that something you traditionally eat with chocolates?”

Julian started laughing. “Oh – no, I'm sorry,” he said. “It was a bad attempt at a joke. In some Human cultures, giving someone chocolates and flowers is a romantic gesture. The flowers are just for decoration, however.”

Garak wasn't quite sure how to react. The fact that he'd accidentally already made a romantic gesture threw his plans off balance. The gift was supposed to have the effect of making Julian feel more warmly toward him, but he hadn't wanted to tip his hat this early about his intentions. Of course, he hadn't known about the romantic connotation of the chocolates, and Julian knew that he hadn't known, but now Garak was standing there, awkward and silent; Julian must be picking up on his discomfort, and from that he'd be able to infer Garak's feelings toward him...

And Julian was, in fact, giving him a curious look. “I've embarrassed you, haven't I?” Julian said. “I'm sorry – I have a knack for ruining things. It was a nice gesture – thank you.” He smiled. It was very disarming – Julian in general was disarming, capable of stripping away his hard-earned defenses with only a look.

“Dinner,” Garak mumbled, turning to the replicator. “We should have dinner.”

Julian sat down at the table while Garak replicated their meal. They began eating in silence. Julian was still giving him that curious look; it was making Garak nervous. Had he figured it out? What would he say if Julian confronted him? Finally, Julian opened his mouth to say something. Garak tensed.

“Did you solve the thorium containment problem?” Julian asked.

“Yes,” he said, relieved to have something neutral to talk about. “There's a Terran who's very good at solving technical problems; he was able to fix it.”

“Is his name by any chance Miles O'Brien?”

“Yes, it is,” Garak said, surprised. “How did you know?”

“Just a guess. The Miles O'Brien on my side is a genius at that sort of thing, too. What else is he like - his personality, I mean?”

“He's very obedient. Keeps his head down and does what he's asked.”

“Well, that's not quite the same. My Miles follows orders, but I don't think I'd ever call him 'obedient,' and he certainly doesn't keep his head down. He's chief of operations; he's also my best friend.” A grim look crossed his face. “And here he's a slave.” Julian rubbed his face and let out a sigh. “It should probably be the last thing on my mind, but I can't help but be intrigued by the differences and similarities between our universes. It's like a natural experiment in the role that environment plays in the development of personality. The people here seem genetically identical to their doubles in my universe, but the Human, Vulcan and Bajoran cultures are vastly different. That would explain the personality differences of the people of those races. However, from what I've read about the Klingon and Cardassian cultures, they seem to be similar to ours...”

He trailed off and gave Garak a sideways look. The possible implications of his last statement were not lost on Garak – did that mean that he and his double were more similar than they were different? Garak was hoping he would continue along those lines, but it appeared that Julian was reluctant to discuss it. Instead, he said, “I'm almost afraid to ask about my other friends. I'm sure none of them have fared much better.”

“Maybe I know some of them,” Garak said. “What are their names?”

“Have you heard of anyone named Jadzia Dax? Or Leeta?”

Garak shook his head.

“How about Benjamin Sisko?”

“That name is unfortunately familiar,” Garak said. “He's the leader of a crew of Terran pirates. He works for the Intendant, collecting 'duties' from passing ships.”

“A pirate?” Julian said. “Well, I suppose the fact that he's in command fits with his double on my side.”

“What does he do in your universe?”

“He's the commanding officer of this station.” At Garak skeptical scoff, Julian added, “I take it he's not the inspiring, vaguely paternal man that I know?”

“He's a savage, unstable brute with a sadistic streak.”

“Ah. I'll file him alongside Kira and Odo in the 'polar opposite personality' category, then.”

“If he's the commanding officer, does that mean the Terrans control this station?” Garak asked.

“Sort of. The station was originally created by the Cardassians as an ore-processing center, like it is in this universe. As I mentioned earlier, the Cardassians had enslaved the Bajorans and forced them to do the work that the Terrans do here. The Bajorans managed to drive the Cardassians out, and once they were gone, they petitioned the Federation – er, that's the United Federation of Planets – for membership. The Federation agreed to come help sort things out with the station, but it belongs to Bajor.”

“And this Federation – that's your universe's Terran Empire?”

“No – the Terrans were one of the founding races of the Federation, but it's not ours, and it certainly isn't an 'empire.' Planets join willingly, and it's all democratic.”

“And this station is not used as an ore-processing center anymore?”

“No. Shortly after the Federation arrived, a stable wormhole was discovered in Bajor's system.”

“A stable wormhole?”

“Yes – it connects us to the Gamma Quadrant. I'm sure I don't have to explain the enormity of that discovery. The station was moved to orbit the wormhole, and now it's a nexus of trade and cultural exchange – a very exciting place to be stationed. ”

“You're a doctor with the Federation's military, then.” Julian nodded. “How interesting that a peaceful, democratic organization should need a military.”

Julian rolled his eyes. “It's called Starfleet, and it's not a military in the sense you're thinking. Our main objective is exploration, but yes, we are called upon to defend the Federation when needed.”

“From the Cardassians.”

“Sometimes.”

“Were you conscripted into service, or was it your choice?”

“Starfleet doesn't conscript people; it was my choice.”

“Why?”

“I always wanted to see the galaxy. I had some romantic notions about life on the frontier, most of which have been squashed rather thoroughly,” he said with a self-deprecating smile. “What about you? Was it your choice to be in the military?”

“No. All Cardassian citizens are required to serve some time in the military. I suppose I could have left after I'd put in my time, but there was nothing for me in civilian life. And at least I don't have to live on Cardassia.”

“How ironic,” Julian said. “There's nothing my Elim would like more than to return to Cardassia.”

“Why? It's a complete shithole.”

Julian burst out laughing.

“I suppose you're going to tell me that in your universe, Cardassia is a paradise.”

Julian shook his head, still laughing. “No. But my Elim is very attached to it – it's very disconcerting to hear disparaging remarks about Cardassia come from any Elim Garak, alternate dimension or not. I'm not sure he'll believe me when I tell him.”

And there was the other Elim again. Julian had seemed reluctant to address the subject directly, but Garak was dying to know. “So,” he said, taking a sip of his drink. “Your Elim – how would you describe his opposite?”

The indirect tactic worked; Julian seemed amused at the question. He thought for a moment. “He'd be an uncomplicated man – a little literal minded, with a tendency to wear his heart on his sleeve. He'd be someone content to live in the present, without obsessing over wrongs done in the past, or ways to shape the future.”

“If that's true, then I'm afraid your hypothesis of Cardassians being similar in both universes is incorrect,” Garak said, his tone ironic. “That describes me perfectly – just plain, simple Garak.”

Julian stared at him. “Now that's just eerie,” he said, but he seemed pleased. It had apparently been the right thing to say.

“Is he really a tailor?” Garak asked.

“You sound so disappointed!” Julian said with the hint of a grin. “There's nothing wrong with being a tailor, you know.”

“I never said there was. It's just a bit – surprising.”

“Well,” Julian said. “He's also a spy.”

“Now that's a bit more exciting. Is that what got him exiled from Cardassia?”

“No - he was a spy for Cardassia, not against it. I don't really know what got him exiled.”

“He won't tell you?”

“He's told me several possible scenarios, all of them wildly contradictory. The truth's in there somewhere, I'm sure, but I haven't figured it out yet.”

“He lies to you?” he asked, surprised. “And you stand for it?”

Julian gave him a sheepish look. “I know that must sound terrible, but I promise it isn't. His status as an exiled spy is an open secret on the station – everyone talks about it, but he refuses to confirm anything. As we became friends, I'd try to suss out exactly what had happened in his past. He'd give me little clues, I'd make guesses – it became a game of sorts.”

“But now that you're more than friends, he still won't tell you? Doesn't he trust you?”

The question seemed to catch Julian off guard. “He trusts me in his own way,” he said eventually, but he didn't sound sure of himself.

Garak was secretly pleased to hear that Julian's relationship with the other Elim had some weaknesses. “Does it bother you that he keeps secrets?”

“Well – yes, if I'm being completely honest, but I'm willing to put up with it for now. I knew that he had issues with trust before I became involved with him.” He added under his breath, “An issue that seems to transcend universes.”

Garak considered him for a moment. He stood up and walked around the table, then knelt in front of Julian's chair. He lifted Julian's foot from the floor. After fishing the key out of his pocket, he unlocked the restraint. He looked up until he met Julian's gaze. “You should still wear it when I'm gone,” he said. “But when we're together, I don't think it's necessary.”

“Oh,” Julian said, taken aback. “Thank you.”

Garak realized that he had absently started to caress his foot; he let it go hastily. Julian was giving him that curious look again. He seemed about to say something when the buzzer on the door rang. Their heads both turned to the door. Garak rose to his feet. “Get in the bedroom and wait for me there,” he said.

Garak made his way to the living area and answered the door. It was one of Kira's Vulcan slaves, holding a rectangular box. “A gift for your Terran,” he said, bowing slightly. Garak accepted the box and dismissed him with a curt nod. He hated interacting with Vulcans; their stony demeanor unnerved him. The Vulcan bowed again and left.

“What is it?”

Garak spun around and saw that Julian had followed him. He was slightly annoyed that Julian had ignored his order to stay in the bedroom, but he brushed it aside. “A gift for you from the Intendant, apparently.”

“That sounds rather ominous,” Julian said. He sat down on the sofa. “Well, bring it over here and let's have a look.”

Garak handed the box to Julian and sat down beside him. Julian opened the lid. Inside, there was a pair of silken gold trousers and a pair of sandals. As Julian pulled the trousers out of the box, a card fluttered to the floor. Garak picked it up and read it. “It says this is your outfit for the party.”

“But where's the rest of – ” he started to ask, but stopped when realization dawned on him. “Oh. Right.”

The humiliated look on Julian's face at that moment filled Garak with a cold fury, which is of course the effect the Intendant had wanted. Garak took the trousers and stuffed them back in the box. “Forget it. You're not going.”

Julian raised an eyebrow. “Won't that cause trouble?”

“I don't care,” he said fiercely. “This is another one of her games, designed to humiliate and degrade us both, and I won't play it!” He threw the box to the floor.

Julian said nothing for a moment while Garak seethed. When Garak had calmed down, Julian said, “Have you considered that your refusal might be the response she's looking for? That she's just looking for an excuse to make your life miserable?”

Damn him, he was right. There was no way out of it – no matter what reaction he gave, he was a pawn in her games, and would be until either she was dead or he was. “All right,” he said at last. “We'll both go.”

Julian gave him an encouraging smile. “She can only embarrass us if we let her, you know. And I, for one, refuse to give her the satisfaction.” He picked up the box and disappeared into the bedroom.

Garak cleaned up their dinner dishes while Julian changed. He had his back to the bedroom when he heard Julian return. He turned – and the sight took his breath away. The golden trousers hung loosely from his hips, and every movement he made caused the fabric to contour briefly to his skin, creating tantalizing outlines of his body that would disappear the moment he moved again. And his bare chest, so taut and toned...

Garak knew he was staring; he couldn't help it. Julian started to cross his arms over his chest but stopped himself. “How do I look?” he asked with sarcastic flourish, but quickly added, “Never mind, I don't want to know. Let's just get this over with.” He marched towards the front door; Garak followed him.

Julian was about to step outside when Garak stopped him with a touch to his arm. “You should walk behind me,” he said almost apologetically.

Julian looked confused for a moment. “Oh. Because I'm your slave.”

Garak nodded. He also didn't think he could watch the way those trousers hung off of Julian's ass without being driven mad with lust, but didn't add that.

“I suppose I'm just not naturally submissive - which is going to make this a rather interesting night.” Julian sighed. “You know, if I had known that I'd someday end up masquerading as a sex slave in an alternate dimension, I might not have been so keen on working on the frontier.”

“It shouldn't be that difficult,” Garak said. “Just keep your head down and don't speak.”

Julian laughed a little. “Two things that I'm terrible at. I'll try my best.” Julian stepped away from the door. “After you, then.”

And with that, they were on their way.

Onto Chapter Four
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

seraphtrevs

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags