Title: A Kiss Before Dying

Pairing: Garak/Bashir

Rating/Warnings: PG-13

Word Count: 500

Summary: On a space station there is, of course, no wind, except under one catastrophic set of circumstances.

Notes: (a) Set toward the end of Season Two. (b) Written for the "Wind" prompt over at the LJ community "slashthedrabble", where submissions must be 100, 200, 300, 400, or 500 words exactly.


On a space station there is, of course, no wind, except under one catastrophic set of circumstances.

They are in the middle of their weekly lunch when the Promenade experiences explosive decompression, the nearby airlock cycling open with an apocalyptic howl of lost atmosphere. The resulting gale sweeps up everything in the vicinity, including the table they're sitting at and all of the nearby pedestrians - but not Garak and the good Doctor. Garak, who was trained long ago to react without hesitation in such an event, seizes hold of the pylon beside his chair with one hand and grabs the collar of Bashir's uniform with the other. Cardassian strength does the rest.

Through the sound of alarms going off and the screams of people being swept to their dooms he hears emergency energy shields hissing into existence ten meters in either direction from the breach, which is all well and good for the people on the other side of them but does nothing to contain the air where he is. Bashir grabs back as he's lifted off his feet - the gravity controls also having apparently failed - and spares one alarmed glance toward the breach before looking back at Garak and raising his other hand to his combadge.

"Bashir to Ops!" He has to shout over the wind, but his voice sounds oddly thin, like the atmosphere itself. There is no response. He tries again: "Bashir to Ops!" Even less volume, and Garak automatically exhales all the air left in his lungs: the best strategy for surviving in a vacuum. He sees Bashir do the same as Ops continues to fail to respond.

The wind is dying and Garak can almost feel frost forming on his already reptilian skin. In less than twenty seconds he will be dead too, along with Bashir. He looks down the length of his arm at the Human as they float, reading the determination and the fear warring in those hazel eyes. With nothing left to lose, he pulls the Doctor close to him with the ease of zero-g maneuvers, putting the full force of the question he's always wanted to ask into his breathless gaze.

Bashir gazes back, confused, then comprehending. The dark eyes close, a golden hand curves behind Garak's head, and he leans in to snatch a single desperate kiss before death claims them both.

Garak closes his eyes in turn, luxuriating in the heat of the Human's open mouth and thinking that if he has to die, he can think of worse notes to go out on.

Then the shimmer of a transporter beam deposits them in the air two feet above the Ops pad and they fall hard enough to bring Garak back to reality with a loud and literal thud. They roll apart, wincing and gulping air.

Looking up into the stunned eyes of Chief O'Brien, who's obviously seen the position they were in when they materialized, Garak reflects that life is about to get very interesting indeed.

THE END