important note: the blue on Garak’s chufa got wiped off in the infirmary
important note: the blue on Garak’s chufa got wiped off in the infirmary
FÚTBOOOOOOOOLLLLLL BBBBYYYYY ⚽️🥅🔥🔥
Me working on A Traitors Epitaph, writing cracked shit and crying and making notes at my desk job about it…
New chapter up btw:
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Julian was not crying. He refused to cry over an ancient film in front of Garak, no matter how high the quality of said film.
"If he truly believes Chino has killed Maria, would not the appropriate course of action be to plan Chino's demise, rather than his own?" Garak murmured as Tony ran desperately through the streets of New York, begging for Chino to kill him too.
"...Not now, Garak." Julian forced out. He would happily debate Garak on the merits of decisions made by broken-hearted men once the movie was over, and he was certain he wouldn't sniffle through his arguments... Not that he was crying.
On the screen, Tony caught sight of Maria, not dead. Maria smiled and called out to him.
"Hope," Garak murmured as the pair ran towards each other, only for the fateful gunshot to ring out as they met, "is an awful thing to give someone."
"No." Julian said, blinking to clear his blurry vision. "It's the only thing."
In the film, cradled in Maria's arms, Tony apologized for not believing hard enough. Maria assured him that loving is enough. Tony lamented that the world wouldn't let them be. Maria told him that they would get away. Tony smiled.
In Julian's mind, quite unbidden, came the vision of a Garak who never was. Garak from the Dominion simulation, reaching out to him. Apologizing for having to miss lunch as the light left his eyes.
*Hold my hand and we're halfway there. Hold my hand and I'll take you there. Somehow, someday, some...*
Julian surrendered, allowing a sob to escape him. Garak, to his credit, said nothing. Nothing about what he no doubt considered to be a foolish action on Chino's part (giving the gun to Maria) nor what he might have called a better reaction on Maria's part as she pointed the gun at Chino and then at the members of both gangs.
*You all killed him! Not with bullets and guns. But with hate. Well, I can kill too, because now I have hate! So how many bullets, Chino? How many can I kill, and still have one left for me?*
Julian hadn't wanted to leave Garak in the simulation. He'd clung to his arms, to his hands, and Sisko had had to pull him away. He'd wanted to stay with Garak-- or better yet, to carry him away with them, even though his heart had stopped pumping.
*DON'T YOU TOUCH HIM!* Maria cried, stopping Officer Krupke (as culpable as any of them) from moving Tony's body.
Julian was aware now that he was shaking. He was also aware of Garak's arm sliding around his back, of Garak's hand covering his on his knee. They stayed that way as the Jets and Sharks carried Tony off together, as Maria followed the odd funeral procession. By the time the credits began rolling, Julian felt more in control of himself.
"So." Julian rolled his shoulders, silently lamenting that the gesture prompted Garak to pull his arm back. "West Side Story."
"It wasn't the most subtle of works." Garak said thoughtfully. "Though I will credit its characters with being generally more intelligent than those in Romeo and Juliet-- not that that is a great leap to make."
"I agree with you there. I think the whole story and world feels more realistic as well. What did you think of the music?"
"Some of it was too saccharine for my tastes, particularly any time Maria sang. However, the composer did an excellent job of carrying the themes through, even as the music was unaccompanied by lyrics. I think, given that the viewer is willing to suspend a great amount of disbelief, there may be some... merit... to your musicals."
Julian blinked-- this was kinder than Garak had ever been to a piece of Earth media.
"At any rate, the creators of this film achieved their desired effect, with you." Garak lifted a hand and touched the tear tracks left on Julian's cheek. "You cried, even though you knew the ending."
"Yes, well... a thing doesn't stop being effective or important just because you know how it ends." Julian willed himself not to blush at the mention of his emotional display. "And don't pretend you disagree. Not when you read 'The Never Ending Sacrifice' every year."
"I wasn't going to disagree." Garak insisted. "Rather, I was going to remark on something else entirely- the character of Anita. Standing in for the role of the Nurse."
"She is an interesting character, isn't she? In a way, I think she's the most important character besides Maria and Tony."
"Indeed. Without her, the ending may not have been so tragic for our heroes." Garak said.
"It's hard to blame her for saying Maria was dead, though. After the Jets assaulted her like that, for no reason besides their blind hate, when she had come to help!" Julian leaned forward, warming to the topic. "That's the message, don't you see? It was the senseless hate that infected all their lives that is the real driving force behind the tragedy. The cycle of pain. Tony killed Bernardo, because Bernardo killed Riff. And then, when Maria convinced Anita to help her and Tony elope anyway, she is repaid by that vile treatment at the hands of the Jets. So she decided to inflict the same pain on Tony that was inflicted on her-- without, of course, actually killing anyone herself."
"Not with her own hands, at any rate." Garak tilted his head. "But Doctor, I was referring to an earlier point in the film, when Anita caught Maria and Tony in the bridal shop. That is the scene where I find she makes her mistakes."
"Wha-- surely you cannot mean that she should have turned Tony in to the Sharks?"
"But of course, Doctor! Or found some other way to remove Tony from the equation. Ah, but I see that is too harsh for your sensibilities. Perhaps instead she should have given Maria a proper education about cleaving to one's family."
"But they were in love!" Julian cried. "They were in love and they wanted to escape the cycle of hate and violence together."
"And in doing so, turn their backs on their people." Garak said seriously. "The height of shortsighted selfishness."
"They didn't want to turn their backs." Julian said. "It's why Maria sent Tony to try and stop the fighting."
"The vapid idealism of the young. Nothing could have stopped that fight. Certainly not Tony alone. They were determined-- you yourself pointed out, Doctor, that the Jets and Sharks only worked well together in the interests of furthering their feud, not stopping it. If Maria had perhaps gone with her paramour... the sight of his sister may have given Bernardo pause, if only for a few moments. But she did not. And then, when Tony has killed Bernardo (fulfilling, at least, his duty to his fallen comrade), it is the duty of both Anita AND Maria to turn him in. But they do not."
"Maria could never have turned Tony over to be slaughtered. Even if he'd done something awful." Julian said quietly. "It would have only been another death. And Maria would have been left alone."
"She would have Anita. And her intended, Chino." Garak replied just as quietly, his bright blue eyes searching Julian's face. Julian felt his mouth go dry under such scrutiny.
"She didn't want Chino. She wanted Tony. She loved Tony, and he loved her. When they were together, the conflict between their two peoples faded away, because there was nothing but their love for each other."
"Ah, but Doctor, you make my point for me. As much as they wished it so, their love-- and I struggle to call it that, with their entire relationship only occurring over a few days!-- is not enough. Love on it's own never is, as Maria learned." Garak twitched a brow ridge. "If their sentimental feelings for each other didn't, as you say, make everything else fade away, perhaps Tony could have seen Chino coming. Perhaps he could have seen the broader scope of the situation at the dance, and known he should not pursue Maria further. Perhaps Maria would have been content among her own kind, as Anita said she should."
"But once their connection was made, it would have grieved them both to lose it. And in a way, isn't their relationship proof that their two peoples don't have to be at odds? That their COULD be a resolution to the conflict, if only the Jets and the Sharks could let go of their hate?" Julian bit his lip, eyes flickering away for a moment before turning back to Garak. "Aren't... aren't WE proof that it's possible?"
Garak gave an exaggerated blink as though surprised.
"But of course, we aren't talking about us, my dear. We have time yet, before our peoples, ah, rumble again."
"That's not a forgone conclusion."
"Ever the optimist. I hope you're right, but one can never tell. These are uncertain times. And should it come to pass..."
"Yes?" Julian found himself leaning closer again. There were barely two inches between them now.
"I enjoy our time together- very much. More, perhaps, than is wise." Garak says softly. "But after all this time, I hope you would know... my loyalty must--"
"Be to Cardassia. To the State." Julian pulled away again, though there knees still touched, their hands less than a hair's breadth apart. "Whether you think it's right or not."
"I cannot think in such broad terms as universal rightness, my dear." Garak's voice had taken on an odd tone. If he were anyone else, Julian would call it pleading. "I can only consider what is right for Cardassia, and hope that it will be right for you as well, or at the very least safe. For a Cardassian, loyalty must be first to the State, second to the family, and last to himself. Something," And here Garak pulled back as well, "Maria and Tony would have done well to consider."
"I think they considered it. Well, the family part, not the state. And they tried for their own happiness anyway. I think because they hoped they could break the cycle. That one day their peoples could unite under a common banner." Julian looked down at his lap. "It took decades. Centuries, even. But they did, Garak. Resolution was possible after all. Their relationship didn't have to be doomed."
"Perhaps, then, the real tragedy is that they fell in love at the wrong time." Garak mused.
"Perhaps." Julian said, and fell quiet. The holoscreen had lapsed into a menu screen, giving options for various translations and iterations of the film. Bits of the score played over top.
*There's a time for us... Some day a time for us....*
What do you think is on the playlist?
Just the Two of Us by Bill Withers and Blue Moon by Julie London
Someone please write a fic about Garak having a spa day.
Mud bath, shine the scales, buff the claws...
What else would he have?
pov: you’re watching lower decks and the two most irritating people in the known universe show up
deep space nine + monster factory quotes
the cinematography of ds9 5X24 Empok Nor
images from trekcore
Part 2 Part 1 Part 4
Julian sipped his root beer as the Jets and the Sharks met for their war council. Garak had refused to partake of the drink, instead replicating some red leaf tea to go with their popcorn.
"It's interesting, isn't it?"
"What is, dear?"
"This bit." Julian gestured at the holo-screen. "They work so well together to hide their plans to fight. They can act friendly. Tony and Maria were able to fall in love. But they are more concerned with hating each other than resolving their problems."
"Ah, such is often the case in life. People are often loathe to let go of their prejudices when left to their own devices. And, you see, the shop keeper is complicit as well. He allows them to use his shop to plan their battles." Garak sipped his tea daintily. "And there is Krupke again. Incompetent as ever. He ought to arrest them all."
"Based on what?" Julian queried. "There's no proof of anything, both gangs make sure of that."
"And yet Krupke knows that they are planning something. Agents of the State must be free to ACT on their knowledge if they are to keep the peace."
"But then Krupke would be free to act on his prejudices- he is not objective, we know he favors the Jets. The burden of proof MUST be met, in order to preserve the basic freedoms of the people--"
"And there you go again with those Federation ideals." Garak shook his head at Julian in disapproval.
Julian opened his mouth to argue again, but the scene on the screen changed, and his companion turned his attention forward once more. Julian did as well, and felt a smile creep onto his face. This scene. This was why he'd wanted to watch this film with Garak. Impatiently, Julian waited for Anita to tell Maria about the rumble, to warn the star-crossed lovers of Bernardo's wrath should he find out about them.
As Tony and Maria wondered through the clothing shop, Maria getting her veil and Tony his hat, the both of them kneeling side by side... Julian's hand grew warm at his side. He chanced a look at Garak as Tony and Maria began to say their vows, his heart pounding in his chest. Garak was watching with interest, one ridged brow raised-- incredulous, perhaps, at the mock-ceremony and the state of the clothes in the shop. Julian licked his lips and turned back to the screen as the song began.
*Make of our hands, one hand. Make of our hearts, one heart. Make of our vows, one last vow. Only death will part us now...*
Julian became aware of Garak's eyes on him as the song went on. He drained his root beer resolutely and set it aside. Without looking at Garak, he raised his hand, palm out.
*Now it begins, now we start. One hand... one heart.*
Garak's cool palm met his own. Julian breathed out a shuddering breath, finally turning to meet his friend's gaze, cursing his face for flushing as he did. Garak's bright blue eyes held an uncharacteristic warmth, a smile on his grey lips that was almost fond.
"You know, my dear Doctor... this gesture is appropriate to many things, but not to wedding vows."
"Oh?" Julian squeaked out. "Is there a different--"
"Like this." Garak slid his fingers between Julian's, his thumb moving to gently rest against the pulse in Julian's wrist. Julian closed his eyes for a moment-- his hands weren't as sensitive as Garak's but even to him this felt overwhelming. Intimate. He moved his fingers to slide against Garak's, nudging his thumb under the long sleeve of Garak's tunic to rest against the corresponding point on Garak's wrist.
"Like this." Julian repeated. They drew closer together, Julian's heart soaring as Garak gripped his fingers tighter.
On the holo-screen, the Rumble began.
"This won't end well, I think." Garak said, lowering their hands and pulling back. He resumed watching the film, as unruffled as ever, as though he hadn't just made Julian's heart leap out of his chest and then sent it plummeting down to his stomach.
"It is a tragedy, after all." Julian said after a few beats, watching Tony approach the rumble in his vain attempt to stop it. His hand is tingling, still close to Garak's on the couch.
"It is." Garak said.
Garak being a lovable rat bastard
Part 1 Part 3
"There does seem to be a lot of dancing. And finger-snapping."
"It's all about communicating feeling. There's an old principle of musical theatre- When talking isn't enough, you sing. When singing isn't enough, you dance. I couldn't explain the snapping, other than that it looks very cool."
"Interesting. We're running out of popcorn, my dear."
"That's your fault." Julian got up to replicate more. "We're barely five minutes in."
"It's a strangely addictive treat." Garak raised his brows at the holo-screen as the film played on. "These are law-enforcement officers, yes?"
"Hm?" Julian sat with the new bowl of pocorn, larger this time. "Ah, yes. Officer Krupke."
"Not very effective, is he? He imposes no consequences for either group, and only antagonizes the, ah, Sharks, by insisting that they leave rather than sending both groups away. A Cardassian officer would have arrested the lot of them."
"But, see that's part of the point! He's meant to be impartial, but he is really on the side of the Jets. He contributes to the hate between the two groups with his own bias."
Garak shook his head.
"An unfortunate failing in an agent of the State, Doctor, to let his own prejudices influence his carriage of justice."
"Cardassian justice is hardly unbiased, Garak! It doesn't allow for failings of the State itself--"
"Because the State itself does not fail." Garak said firmly. "Hush now, Doctor, I'm listening to the many bonuses of being a 'Jet'."
"I assume Tony and this sweet young Maria will be our Romeo and Juliet?"
"You assume correctly." Julian replied, moving closer to Garak to better share the popcorn.
"I will say this much for it-- at least Tony is not flitting from one love to the next as Romeo was."
"Mm, not a Rosealie in sight."
"Oh, I do enjoy this metaphor, Doctor. Dance in place of diplomacy. Talks between enemy parties are often just so like a complicated dance."
"I thought you might. And see how the man running the dance tries to integrate them to dance together, but they won't?"
"Ah, the thankless job of the arbiter of peace. Is this style of dance common among humans? There seems to be a good deal of... well. Displaying one's undergarments. At least for the females."
"Their dresses are designed to flare out and up like that-- we humans aren't quite so prudish as Cardassians!"
"Prudish! Really, my dear."
"Don't 'my dear' me, I've barely seen so much as your wrist outside of a medical context." Julian gestured with his own arms, which were covered in loose sleeves that easily slid up to reveal his own wrists.
"It's a matter of propriety." Garak sniffed. Then he looked slyly at Julian. "Are you implying you've wished to see my wrists outside of a medical context?"
"Look, they've just seen each other for the first time."
"And the rest of the world fades away. How trite." Garak looked from the screen back to Julian again. "Though I suppose the sight of a handsome, singular young man might narrow one's vision. If only for a moment."
Julian hid his smile behind a handful of popcorn.
"A few moments connection hardly warrants an entire song dedicated to the young lady-- however captivating she may seem on the surface." Garak observed.
"But it's MORE than a surface connection, Garak. Didn't you listen to them talking? It's as though they've met before, they're connected by their very souls!"
"A very romantic, very HUMAN notion, Doctor. They haven't yet spoken of anything of substance! They've not argued over literature or food or spoken of matters of State! How can there be anything BUT a surface connection without substance?"
Julian tilted his head, not quite conceding Garak's point.
"It's potential, Garak. Haven't you ever met someone and known right off, even if you'd only met them for a few moments, that if you met them again you would enjoy yourselves and BUILD substance? Haven't you ever looked across a room and seen someone and known immediately that you wanted to get to know them better?"
Garak paused for a moment, a greater concession than he usually granted Julian.
"Spoken like the young man you are, my dear. Perhaps such moments are possible. But as I said-- without those next meetings to follow through on this 'potential', I would hardly say someone is worthy of a song."
"Now, this Anita and Bernardo. Their love seems more clear. See how they argue and play with each other? See how they speak and sing of important things such as their culture and their survival? How Anita cares for Maria as her own, because she is dedicated to her lover's family? THIS is the love story worth singing of, Doctor."
"I do love this song." Julian conceded, waving his fingers along to the beat of 'America.' "Though I am curious, who do you think is in the right here, Garak? Bernardo and the men or Anita and the women?"
"I think I may lack a certain amount of cultural context. I think they both make salient points about their experiences- though I must say, Bernardo is certainly more proud of their homeland! But look, how the end the song together! That is the pinnacle of romance, my dear Doctor-- to argue, and not to force the other into submission, but to thrill on the fight and come together anyway, secure that any disagreements they have are not strong enough to truly stand between them."
Julian blinked, surprised.
"And where does the State enter into this pinnacle of romance?" He asked.
"A strong couple can serve the State together. However, in the world of this film, the State seems to be altogether too distant. One would almost say uninvolved. A typical downfall of human media, I've found, but not one I will hold against you on this particular night, Doctor."
"And this is why I cannot look to your media to represent the State. They mock Officer Krupke-- perhaps rightfully so, given that he is a poor agent indeed, but he is, as you said, on their side."
"The State, at this point in history, was failing its people, leading to tragedies such as these."
"What an odd thing to allow yourselves to record."
garak my dude what the actual fuck was this outfit
"What is that smell, Doctor?"
"Popcorn, Garak! An Earth tradition going back generations- eating popcorn with butter when watching a film." Julian removed the large bowl from the replicator. "Of course, replicated popcorn has nothing on the real thing, being freshly popped in a skillet... but, well, it's what we have."
"I see." Garak delicately picked a piece from the bowl with the tips of his claws and popped it into his mouth. "What an interesting texture. What are you inflicting on me today?"
"Inflicting, honestly..." Julian shook his head and Garak raised his brow ridges, the picture of innocence. Ha. "Well, this is two-fold, actually. I wanted to introduce you to the human concept of the musical--"
"Humans are hardly the only species with operas, my dear."
"Well, I didn't say opera, did I? I said musical!"
"...I'm afraid that didn't quite translate. I assume you're saying two different words?"
Julian tapped his Universal Translator into education mode. "Musical. Which is a different thing from opera, though there are similarities."
"The similarities being, I imagine, that both involve music. Very well, dear Doctor. What is different about a, ah, music-al?" Garak took another piece of popcorn.
"Well, uh... There are many, I'm sure, that I couldn't say. But here are the main ones: operatic songs and musical theater songs tend to have different sounds to them. That, and musicals usually have some talking involved as well. Dialogue and what not in between songs."
"I see. And what are we viewing today? You mentioned this being a two-fold experience, Doctor."
"Ah-- we are viewing one of the greatest musicals of the 20th century--"
"A favorite era of yours, it seems."
"Everyone has their preferences. Anyway, do you remember our discussion of Romeo and Juliet?"
Garak made a dismissive huffing sound, all but rolling his eyes.
"Please don't tell me I am being made to endure that trite mess through song. Six people dying for children's infatuation, the lack of care either character had for their own families, the abject stupidity-"
"Yes, Garak, I know you hated the play. But I was referring to our discussion of it, how the real tragedy isn't the love story-"
"If you could call it that."
"-but the hate between the Capulets and Montagues that created the situation in which all that pain happened."
"Ah, that was your point. Compelling, perhaps, if not naive. The true travesty is the idiocy of every character involved."
"That too." Julian allowed. "It's not my favorite of Shakespeare's works. But what we are going to watch now is not directly Romeo and Juliet. I told you that the play was and still is incredibly popular-"
"For reasons that remain a MYSTERY to me." Garak sniffed. Julian rolled his eyes, yanking the popcorn bowl away before Garak could take any more.
"Save some for the film. Anyway, as I was SAYING, various aspects of Romeo and Juliet have been adapted many, many times over the centuries. The star-crossed lovers. The hatred between two groups. Love, loss, and so on. The film I have selected for us, West Side Story, I believe illustrates the more salient points of that play better than any direct interpretation of the play itself."
Garak furrowed his brow as he and Julian both took their seats on Julian's couch.
"Is it common, then, for humans to harp on old stories rather than creating something new?"
"Don't you start." Julian stared at Garak incredulously. "You can hardly talk, with your repetitive epics and your enigma tales which all have the same outcome--"
"Each repetitive epic has its own author and ideas! And as always, my dear, you miss the point of enigma tales--"
"Alright, alright, let's not have this argument again." Julian gave a beleaguered sigh, noting the quirk of Garak's lips and fighting the urge to answer with a smile of his own. "Yes, humans often take old works and recontextualize the stories to suit the time they are living in, or to emphasize a different aspect of them. It's how we grow. At any rate..." Julian toggled the holoscreen on. "This takes place in the mid-20th century, in an American city called New York. New York was a hub for immigration, and there was a lot of tension between the non-white immigrants- in this case they came from Puerto Rico, which was a commonwealth of America- and the white people. White meaning people who look like Miles." Julian added to assuage Garak's confusion. "There was a lot of discrimination towards different ethnicities then. Unfortunately it would take another century and a half before it really began to be phased out, as we began to explore space and recognize all humans as, well, humans."
"Disturbing that it took so long."
"It is. Anyway, are you ready?"
Garak stole another piece of popcorn.
"Whenever you are, my dear."
I’m not sure if we would have survived if Q and Garak had run into each other on DS9 mostly I think because Garak is who Q is desperate to be, mysterious and aloof yet so charming people can’t help to include him in things, so it would have been the cattiest bitch fight that station had ever seen
doctor bashir? more like doctor twink-
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to think about Christmas decorations!! 🎨🖌🦎💚
We love a casual little brush during a prisoner exchange