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seraphtrevs ([personal profile] seraphtrevs) wrote2012-03-29 02:24 pm

FIC: A Light in the Mirror (4/?)

Fic: A Light in the Mirror (4/?)
Author: [personal profile] seraphtrevs (My Fic Masterlist) 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): ~4600
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.

WARNING: This chapter is heavy on the slavery, and includes a (brief) sexual assault.

Previous parts:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three




The party was being held in the bar run by the Ferengi, Quark. It was still relatively uncrowded when the arrived. Terran servants milled around, setting up tables of food and drink and putting the final touches on some garish decorations. A Bajoran musician was playing the flute in one corner. A few of the Intendant's Bajoran lackeys were there, as well as some of the lower-ranking Klingon officers. Telok, Garak's Klingon ally, and the officers who pledged their loyalty to him had not arrived yet. This didn't surprise him; Telok did not approve of frivolity and decadence, which was part of the reason he hated the Intendant as much as he did. Garak was sure he'd see him later in the evening, however; as a high ranking officer, he would be expected to make an appearance.

Garak headed for an empty table towards the back of the room; he resisted the urge to look back to see if Julian was following him. A real master assumed obedience. He sat down; Julian went to sit down as well, but Garak shook his head. “Bring me something to drink,” he told him. “From the bar. Ask the Ferengi; he knows what I like.”

“Your wish is my command, master,” Julian said with flourish and the hint of a smile.

“A simple 'yes, sir' will suffice,” Garak said as severely as he could manage. Julian shouldn't be treating this like a game; the stakes were too high. Still, he couldn't help but smile a little in return. Perhaps they would get through this after all.

When Julian got to the bar, Quark was busy giving orders to his serving girls; it looked as though he would have to wait. More people began to stream in through the doors, but not the Intendant or her double. Garak imagined that she would wait to make a grand entrance.

He was hoping to be left alone for at least a little while, but unfortunately, Glinn Dukat came through the front door and immediately spotted him. He was the only other Cardassian officer on the station; the Intendant hated Cardassians, but an Alliance treaty required that she keep at least two Cardassian officers in her ranks. Dukat was new, having arrived a few months ago to replace the previous glinn, who had suffered a nervous breakdown. Garak couldn't stand the man, which was probably why the Intendant had selected him. He was fairly certain the feeling was mutual, but Dukat still attempted to get in his good graces.

“Gul Garak!” he said, clapping him on the back. “May I?” He sat down beside him without waiting for a response. “It's good to see you. I feel like we never really get the chance to talk.”

“If you spent more time attending to your duties and less time at the Dabo wheel, perhaps we would run into each other more often,” Garak said.

Dukat's smile froze on his face. Normally, Garak would be savoring his discomfort, but half of his attention was on the other side of the room. Julian was still waiting to speak to Quark. “That's not entirely fair, sir,” Dukat said. "I've been very diligent about my duties. I haven't even been to Quark's in a month - can't really afford it on my salary, what with the way they've been squeezing us lately."

Garak didn't really want to discuss his finances with the glinn, but he was sympathetic. With every year, the Cardassian military cut their salaries further and further. Entering into the Alliance was supposed to have brought their planet greater prosperity, but it hadn't worked out that way.

“So,” Dukat said, trying for conversation again. Garak had hoped his disparaging remark would have scared Dukat off before Julian returned, but Dukat seemed determined to stay and annoy him. “Another party. Doesn't seem quite fair, does it? We slave away for these Bajorans for a pittance while they wallow in luxury. Ah well, I suppose I shouldn't complain – the kanar is always free.”

Garak made a non-committal grunt in response. Dukat appeared at a loss as to how to further the conversation until Sisko and his Terran crew walked through the door. “The Intendant's pet Terran and his crew,” Dukat said, shaking his head in disgust. “I shouldn't be surprised that they're here, but somehow I am. Why she grants him so much freedom is beyond me.”

On the other side of the room, Julian was finally speaking to Quark. Quark gave him a tray and a glass, but was distracted by Sisko's men before he could give Julian the kanar. “Yes, they are highly annoying,” Garak said with feeling.

Dukat seemed pleased to have stumbled upon a conversation Garak was willing to engage in. “Of course, I myself am not immune to the charms of a good-looking Terran, but she lets him and his people run about as if they're our equals. I think it sends a very confusing message to the other Terrans. That makes our jobs more difficult, doesn't it?”

“Are you having trouble performing your duties?”

“What? Oh, no, no – not at all!” Dukat said, scrambling. “The Terrans of my section are always well-behaved. I don't have any trouble. And when I do, I simply have to mention your name, and the trouble is resolved right away. You have an amazing talent for keeping them in line – it truly is an honor working under you. I know your last glinn wasn't able to take the pressure, but I want to assure you that I fully understand that this kind of work involves embracing some...unpleasantness when dealing with discipline. You can depend on me.”

Unpleasantness. That was one way to put it. Garak watched the Terran servants scurry around the room. This station was the end of the line for most Terrans. Most were here because they'd caused trouble for their previous masters. A few simply had the misfortune of belonging to masters who were bad with their finances and had to sell them to pay off debts. Regardless of how they came to be here, most didn't live more than five or ten years. And Garak was a part of that. One of the main parts of that, if he was being honest with himself. It had never bothered him before.

Before he had too long to reflect on that, Julian started to make his way back across the room. When he got to the table, he shot Dukat a surprised look before casting his gaze downward. He put the tray on the table.

“Ah, perfect timing!” Dukat said, but frowned when he noticed only one glass. “You – boy,” he said, addressing Julian. “Fetch another glass. And tell Quark to send Katy over.”

Julian shot Garak a questioning look; Garak nodded his assent. He left for the bar again.

“So have you met the guest of honor – this mysterious woman from another universe?”

Garak nodded.

“Eerie, isn't it? I only got a look at her, but the resemblance really is uncanny. Is she at all like the Intendant?”

“No.”

“Thank goodness for that.”

Julian returned with a tray of glasses and food. He was accompanied by the Terran slave woman Dukat had requested, a curvaceous blonde in a low-cut black dress. All the women Quark kept were lovely to look at, but he'd never been with any of them. It was a moot point to begin with since he wasn't interested in women, but even if he had been, he would not seek out their services. There was something disquieting about them. Of all the Terrans on the station, they probably had the easiest life in certain respects. There was no hard labor. They always had enough to eat. Quark seemed to treat them kindly, even if some of their patrons did not. But in spite of that, the fact that they smiled and flirted even though they were as dead inside as the others unnerved Garak. Sleeping with one of them was about as attractive as sleeping with a corpse.

“Katy!” Dukat said, opening his arms. “A vision of loveliness, as always.” He patted his lap. “Come, sit.” The woman complied, placing an arm around his shoulder. “Have you missed me?”

“I've missed your wages,” she said, teasing. Or at least, it was a good approximation of teasing; there was no real affection there.

He laughed. “That's why I like you best – you're an honest whore.” He kissed her shoulder and ran a finger along the decolletage of her dress. “You can't be doing too badly without me; this is a new dress, isn't it? Quark doesn't waste his coin on unsuccessful whores.”

“Successful, perhaps,” she said. “But unhappy without you.”

“Perhaps not so honest, after all,” Garak couldn't help but observe.

“Oh, no, I'm sure it's true,” Dukat said, giving her a squeeze. “You do love me, don't you Katy? You have to at least like me more than the Klingons. Tell me – do they beat you before they fuck you, or during?”

Katy shifted her gaze to some invisible point in the distance. “A little of both,” she said quietly. Her smile never once faltered.

Dukat put a finger on her chin and tilted her face. “And never a scratch on you; Quark's medic is an artist.” Dukat turned his attention to Julian. “And what are you waiting for? Pour us our drinks, and one for my Katy as well,” Dukat said.

Garak ventured a glance up at Julian. His jaw was clenched, but he dutifully poured the drinks. Katy took hers immediately and drained it.

“And now you can leave us,” Dukat said. “I don't like the look of you. Have Quark send us someone less sour.”

“He isn't going anywhere,” Garak said, more sharply than he intended. “This one is mine.”

Dukat looked surprised for a moment, then broke out into a grin, as if he just figured out something important. “Oh, I see! Well, in that case, pour yourself one as well, boy, and have a seat.”

Garak had a feeling that forcing Julian to sit on his lap might push him a little too far. “No – I'd rather he rub my neck.”

Julian poured himself a glass of kanar, but left it untouched. He put his hands on Garak's ridges. He didn't rub very hard, for which Garak was grateful. Even that light pressure sent waves of pleasure running through him, and he didn't want to lose control of himself.

Dukat took a sip of his drink, still grinning like an idiot. “Katy, why has it taken your boss so long to acquire some boys? I'm afraid that the poor Gul here has been left rather lonely.”

“I didn't know he had,” she said.

“He's not one of Quark's,” Garak said.

“Then where did he come from? He looks much too soft to be from the mines.”

Garak suppressed a sigh of irritation. He didn't really want to discuss Julian with Dukat at all, but once the Intendant arrived, the truth would come out anyway. “He came through with the Intendant's double from the other universe. I took a liking to him and decided to keep him for my own amusement.”

Dukat sighed. “The privileges of rank – and here I have to save up my meager wages just to afford some company every now and then.” He turned to Julian. “And you are certainly fortunate, too, aren't you? It doesn't look like you would have lasted long in the processing center.”

“Oh yes, very fortunate,” Julian said. “I honestly can't believe my incredible good luck to have ended up here.”

Dukat didn't seem to notice the sarcasm. “I'm curious – is it true the Terrans are free there?”

"Yes."

At that, Katy looked up. Something flashed across her face, disturbing her normally detached expression.

"And what do you do there?" Dukat continued.

“I'm a doctor.”

“A doctor, really?” Dukat said. “This is quite a career change for you, then, isn't it?” He turned to Garak. “I can't believe you have him this well-behaved in such a short amount of time.”

“I've found that Terrans have a natural submissiveness, no matter where they're from,” Garak said. “It's just a matter of tapping into it.” At that, Julian gave him a hard pinch on one of his ridges. Garak managed to suppress a cry of pain.

“Too true,” Dukat said. “It's one of their race's chief charms.” He gave Katy's leg a pat before addressing Julian again. “And what does my Katy do in your universe, doctor?”

Instead of answering Dukat directly, Julian turned to Katy. “You're an engineer,” he said quietly.

Dukat laughed uproariously. “I suppose next you'll tell me in your universe, dogs walk on their hind legs. Can you even imagine?”

And with that, the mask slipped back onto Katy's face. She smiled, and managed a sound that passed for a laugh. "No," she said. "I can't."

“And what about me?” Dukat said to Julian. “What do I do?”

“You were commander of this station at one point, but you were forced to retreat. Last I heard, you'd been demoted and were putting around in a small freighter. It turns out that you had a habit of sleeping with slave women and occasionally impregnating them; you had a momentary lapse into decency and decided to take responsibility for one of your illegitimate children, and it cost you your career. But as you've noted, our universes are quite different – I'm sure you'd never do something so reckless.” *

Garak laughed; he couldn't help it. The look on Dukat's face was too amusing. However, Garak couldn't let Julian's insolence go by without some sort of response. He pulled Julian into his lap. “That's quite enough out of you,” he said with an air of amused indulgence. He ran a hand along Julian's flank – not quite a grope, but a very proprietary caress. He met Julian's gaze and willed him to play along.

Julian tensed for a moment; thankfully, he relented. “I was only answering his question.” He managed to change his tone from disrespectful to playfully petulant. “I can't help but do what I'm told; it's my naturally submissive nature.”

Dukat was smiling again. “I see you like them feisty,” he said to Garak. “We have more in common than I thought! I have to admit that surprises me, given your reputation – ”

“As someone humorless?” Garak filled in quickly. He didn't want Dukat making mention of his reputation for brutality in front of Julian. “I take my work seriously, but that doesn't mean I'm incapable of amusement.”

“Of course. I didn't mean to suggest – ”

Thankfully, Dukat's blathering was interrupted when Kira walked through the door. A hush fell over the room as everyone attempted to figure out which Kira it was. Garak determined that it was the other Kira; she was wearing the purple dress Garak had seen her with earlier, and she was missing the crown the Intendant usually wore.

His suspicions were confirmed when a moment later, the Intendant arrived with her Vulcan slaves. She was wearing the same dress as the other Kira, but there was no mistaking who was who, even without the crown. Garak frowned; they were going to have to work on that if his plan was to succeed.

Everyone in the room burst into applause. The Bajoran musician stopped his playing and called out to her. “What is your pleasure, Intendant?”

She smiled radiantly. “Play something bright – I'm in a happy mood!”

As the musician began to play again, the Intendant embraced the other Kira. They spoke for a moment, then the Intendant scanned the room until she spotted Garak and Julian. She pointed them out with a delighted look on her face. The other Kira didn't look so pleased; in fact, she looked downright ill. The Kiras began to make their way over to their table.

Garak nudged Julian from his lap so he could stand. Dukat stood as well. “Intendant!” Dukat said. “How radiant you look this evening! When you entered the room, it was as if a new star had suddenly burst into existence right before my eyes. And now, with your guest here, it's like twin novas; I don't know if my poor eyes can stand the strain of such brilliance.”

“You are such a shameless bootlicker, Dukat,” the Intendant said, giving him a playful pat on the shoulder. “That's what I love about you. You look like you're having a good time. Why don't you take your girl here and go enjoy the rest of the party? I have some things I need to discuss with the gul.”

Dukat looked simaltaneously disappointed and relieved by the dismissal. He took Katy by the arm and led her away. Once he was gone, the Intendant turned her attention to Julian. “Why, hello, Julian,” she said with a sly smile. “So, I'm dying to know – what do you think of my outfit?” She twirled around.

“It looks better on her,” he said.

The Intendant laughed. “Is that so? Well, I think that you look fantastic – I just knew this would be a good look for you. Although, hmmm, it feels like there's something missing.” She tapped her finger to her lips, pretending to think. “Oh yes, I remember now. Solak,” she said, turning to one of her Vulcans. “Did you bring that thing I asked you to?”

The Vulcan produced a box from inside his robe. The Intendant gave it to Julian. “Go on,” she said. “Open it.” Julian hesitated for a moment before pulling the lid off. Inside was an intricately decorated gold collar and a long chain with clips at both ends. Julian's fingers fumbled and the box dropped to the floor.

“How clumsy of you!” the Intendant scolded. The Vulcan picked the box up and handed it back to the Intendant. She took the collar out of the box. “Here – since you're so clumsy tonight, allow me.” She fastened the collar around Julian neck, then clipped one end of the chain to the loop in the front. She ran her fingers along the chain, grinning, before affixing the other end of it to the front of his trousers. “There. Now you look like a proper slave. Because that's what you are, Julian – a slave. I don't think you really appreciate the reality of your situation quite yet. You aren't going back to your universe – our transporters won't take you there, because they can't. I don't know what sort of rift in space brought you here, but my guess is that it was a fluke you won't be able to catch again. You aren't a doctor anymore. You aren't a person anymore. You're a body, and that body belongs to me.”

A fine tremor ran through Julian's body. The Intendant's smile broadened; she practically radiated glee. “Now,” she continued. “You're good-looking and amusing; as long as Garak wants to fuck you and you keep me entertained, you should be able to live a long, comfortable life. But if you make yourself a nuisance – well, let's just hope you don't, hmmm?” She gave him a pat on his ass. “Garak isn't going to need his cock sucked for at least a couple of hours, so why don't you go make yourself useful and serve my guests? Quark should be able to think of a few ways to keep you busy.”

Garak recognized the look on Julian's face. It was a look he watched for when he was interrogating a Terran – that moment when whatever wall they'd managed to put around themselves to protect them from what was happening began to crack. He left without saying a word.

He'd use a dull knife, Garak decided, when he cut out her tongue.

The Intendant turned to the other Kira and quirked an eyebrow. “Well? Do you think he was properly humbled?”

The other Kira had been watching what was happening with a look of disgust and horror, but the moment the Intendant turned to her, her expression shifted. She couldn't quite manage to look pleased, but she at least looked neutral. Perhaps there was hope for Garak's plan after all. “That's the first time I've ever seen him at a loss for words.”

The Intendant laughed. “I hope I haven't crushed him too badly – I really do find him entertaining.” She sat down in the seat Dukat had vacated. After a moment's reluctance, the other Kira sat down as well. The Intendant turned to Garak. “And now, I'm afraid, I really do have some things to go over with you.”

And then she started talking about the most mundane details concerning the running of the station. Garak couldn't figure out why she wanted to go over these things now. It was several minutes later that he realized what she was doing – she was testing him to see how much of his attention was on Julian. He did his best to appear unconcerned about what Julian was doing; if she knew how strongly Garak felt about him, she would use that weakness against him in a heartbeat. It was more difficult than he thought. The other Kira was also attempting to keep an eye on Julian without appearing as if she cared. Fortunately, she wasn't doing as good of a job as Garak, so he was able to gauge Julian's safety by watching her reactions.

It was a good twenty minutes before the Intendant was done with him. She might have kept him longer, but he was saved when Telok finally arrived. She called him over, claiming she needed to talk some business with him as well. It might even had been true.

Garak wasn't sure what move to make next. He scanned the room until he spotted Julian; he seemed all right, serving drinks to the guests. It was probably safe for Garak to seek him out again. However, he didn't want to rush to Julian's side immediately, lest he appear over-eager. While he was thinking, the other Kira stood up and started to head in Julian's direction. Garak stood up as well – he couldn't have her talking to Julian, not after how their last conversation had ended. “Is there something that you require, Major?” he asked.

“I just thought I'd get a drink,” she said.

“Oh, but you're the guest of honor! You shouldn't have to fetch things for yourself.”

The Intendant broke off her conversation with Telok for a moment. “How rude of me! You must be parched. And Garak is right – don't trouble yourself! That's what servants are for.” She sent her Vulcans off to the bar. “I'm very sorry, my Nierys – you must be bored out of your mind. I'll only be a few more minutes – just relax and enjoy yourself.”

The other Kira glared at Garak and sat back down stiffly. Garak sat back down as well. The Intendant resumed her conversation with Telok. “Enjoying yourself?” the other Kira said through a forced smile.

“About as much as you are, I expect,” Garak said.

She turned away with a derisive scoff. Her eyes widened suddenly in alarm. Garak followed her gaze across the room. A Bajoran man had Julian backed into a corner. Garak recognized him – Buran, one of the Intendant's lackeys. Julian was attempting to get away, but Buran blocked him each time. Julian made one last lunge to get away, but Buran grabbed him and slammed him against the wall. He pinned him there with his body, forcing a knee between his legs while he began to grope him.

Garak was halfway across the room before he was aware that he'd made the decision to move. He pulled Buran off of Julian and shoved him away; it was all he could to stop himself from hitting him.

Buran caught his balance. “Something the matter, Gul?” He smiled unpleasantly. He didn't seem particularly surprised by the interruption.

“I thought your taste generally ran to little girls,” Garak said, dodging the question.

“It does,” he said. “But when I heard that there was a Terran slave that had inflamed the passions of our normally stoic second-in-command, I had to see for myself what the fuss was about. Does that bother you?”

Garak realized he'd been set up. He turned around, and sure enough, the Intendant was watching and laughing so hard she was clutching her sides. Telok and the other Kira were staring at him with perplexed looks.

Garak turned back to Buran. “You can leave now – you've played your part,” he growled.

Buran gave him a mocking little bow before walking away.

Garak turned his attention to Julian, who seemed shaken but otherwise unharmed. “Are you all right?” he asked lowly. There was little point now in pretending he didn't care.

Julian nodded. Garak looked back at the the Intendant; she was talking to the other Kira now. He didn't know what they were saying, but they were looking right at them. Being under the scrutiny of twin pairs of eyes was unnerving. There was nowhere in the room they could escape from them, or from the increasingly drunken and ugly crowd. They had to get away. But would the Intendant let them leave? Perhaps not, but maybe there was another way to escape at least long enough to catch their breath.

“Come with me,” Garak said. Julian followed him to the bar; after a few minutes, Quark approached them.

“Can I help you?” Quark asked.

“I would like to book a private holosuite for an hour,” Garak said.

“Of course,” Quark said. “Which program?”

Garak hesitated. He didn't frequent the holosuites. “I don't know – anything. Something nice.”

Quark considered him for a moment. “I've got just the thing. Come with me.”

They followed Quark up the stairs to the suites. The Intendant and her double were still watching them. The Intendant gave Garak a knowing smirk and turned away to speak to Telok again, seemingly content to let them be for the moment. The other Kira looked alarmed; for a moment, Garak thought that she might follow them. Julian mouthed “I'm all right,” to her. She still looked upset, but she stayed where she was.

Quark stopped at one of the holosuite doors and pushed a few buttons. “There you are,” he said. “Opoki's Palace, one of our most luxurious programs. I'll just charge it to your account, then?”

Garak nodded curtly. The door opened and he stepped in. Julian started to follow him, but Quark stopped him. “I have a medic on staff,” he said quietly to him. “You just come see me when it's over, and – ”

“That won't be necessary,” Garak interrupted.

Quark bowed and backed away. “As you say, sir.” Still, he made sure he met Julian's gaze one more time before he left. Julian gave him a little nod.

After Quark was gone, Julian stepped inside. The doors shut. They were alone.

________________________

*A/N: I know that Dukat's fall from grace doesn't occur until later in the series, but for the sake of the joke, let's say it happened earlier. We're already in AU-land, after all.

Onto Chapter Five!