Disclaimer: Not mine. No, seriously – not mine. Read my lips people. Oh, and the quote from Book of Night with Moon isn't mine either, okay? So – this grew out of a plotbunny that popped into my head when my SO told me that he'd always pictured Julian as restating the Eugenics Wars one day… it grew and sprouted from there. I thrive off of feedback – review, please?
Julian Bashir burst from the holosuite, face like a thunderstorm as he roughly shouldered his way through the afternoon crowd. Low moans of protest and a trail of outraged shouts followed in his wake as he forced his way between various customers. Garak trailed sedately behind the CMO, arms clasped behind his back and an expression of mild interest on his face as he observed the younger man's progress.
The look of mingled anger and outrage on the doctor's features deterred any and all inquiries as he lunged through the bar door – few had had the pleasure of seeing Julian Bashir in a towering rage, and fewer still wished to experience it.
Miles O'Brien's eyes were wide as they took in the trail of destruction marking the doctor's passage. "What was tha' all about?" Bemusedly, he took a sip of his drink.
Garak paused, shooing away a blustering Quark as he turned his head to the side and spotting the engineer. The tailor maneuvered through the crowd with the ease of long practice, sidestepping various irate individuals as he walked towards the human's table. The Cardassian stopped a few steps away, sighed, and leaned against the bar in apparent fatigue. "The good doctor must not have liked my new holo-program."
"Julian? Not like a program?" O'Brien snorted. "That'd be something to see. What was it, anyway?" He waved a hand absently towards the empty chair next to him, his usual distaste for the Cardassian forgotten.
Garak gratefully took the offered seat. "A historical re-enactment of your Eugenics Wars."
O'Brien choked. "You did what?"
Garak held his hands up in a conciliatory gesture. "Chief O'Brien – I swear to you it was only meant as a joke. Nothing more. I thought it would be a splendid irony – and, perhaps, an efficient stress relief for the good doctor. It would seem he didn't quite understand my intentions."
"Well, I can certainly see why he stormed out of there!" Miles snapped, glaring at the Cardassian. "Why on earth would you do such a thing?"
Garak shrugged. "As I said, chief, it was supposed to be a joke."
"It's a joke in rather bad taste then." Miles snorted. "Try again, Garak, and this time try and make it a bit more believable. Can't you tell a better story then that?" He sipped his drink cautiously, eying the Cardassian warily.
Garak sighed, face sobering slightly. His voice was quiet. "I wanted to see how he would react. Julian has always been – touchy about his genetic enhancements." The tailor tilted his head to the side. "It's an issue he's not addressed for the majority of his lifespan, and quite frankly, one he's yet to come to terms with. It is, in short, an exploitable weakness that various nefarious individuals won't hesitate to exploit."
"Such as section 31." O'Brien nodded slowly, turning his mug between his hands.
"Precisely." The Cardassian affected a sniff of scorn. "Crude operators, true, but effective – and they've taken a personal interest in the good doctor. Do you really think they won't take his genetic restructuring into account? It's better he face it now, before someone forces the issue." The tailor settled backwards, voice taking on the odd tonal echo of a quotation. "'The same poison cannot puncture your skin twice. You begin to develop an immunity.'"
Miles swirled his beer thoughtfully. "I can't say I like it, but I understand your reasoning." He took a long drink.
Garak's eyes glittered in mocking amusement. "Your opinion, Chief, means the world to me."
Miles attempted to ignore him, focusing on the issue of his friend. "Your program might actually be beneficial for Julian. He's feared people's reactions to his enhancements for a long time – it'd do him good to have an outlet of some sort. And I suppose that fighting against the real Augments in the Wars would do the trick." He nodded decisively.
"On the contrary, Chief." Garak laced his fingers together. "He was rather insistent that I play the part of your pre-Federation protagonist. A little revenge, I suppose, for springing the program on him."
Miles stared at him. "Then Julian…"
"Played an individual by the name of one Khan Noonien Singh." Garak looked thoughtful. "A most intriguing man by all accounts. I really must try to learn more about him. You can't help but admire the scope of vision he possessed."
Miles groaned, resting his head on the table. "Garak… You really have the worst taste of anyone I've ever known." He thumped his forehead lightly against the bar. "You had him play the part of a genetically engineered megalomaniac that's the Federation's textbook reason as to why Augments are illegal! I'm surprised he didn't try and take your head off your shoulders!" The engineer cradled his head in his hands. "Julian must have been fuming by the time he surrendered."
Garak frowned. "Pardon?"
"Khan loses, Garak; it's in the history books." O'Brien groaned again. "And to top it all off, Julian hates to lose – oh, he'll be in a snit for days about this…"
"Chief – " Garak looked at him strangely "He's not upset about losing."
"He's upset because he won."