The garish bar pulsed with a myriad of colours, the diversity of the alien life-forms contributing to the bizarre ensemble that was Quark's Bar; a bizarre ensemble that was perfectly normal to the inhabitants and visitors of the Ferengi's establishment, and of the space station now designated with the name of Deep Space Nine.
The once Terok Nor, an ex-Cardassian dilapidated mining-ore facility on the rim of known-space, was now a busy port of call for traders, scientists, explorers and just the plain curious, who, jaded by the paradisiacal boredom of Earth and the older Federation worlds, were attracted by the chaos, danger and lure of the unknown, and of the opportunity to gain fame and fortune.
The discovery of a stable wormhole leading to the unexplored Gamma Quadrant had given the station a new lease of life and in consequence, elevated the previously unimportant planet Bajor to a m:ajor player in Federation politics.
DS9 was a haven for all of the afore-mentioned, but sometimes, just sometimes, the unexpected would rear its head and stand out amongst the motley beings that graced Quark's establishment.
When the two humans entered, many heads, female, male and androgynous turned towards them, some because of the handsomeness of their features, others because of the old-fashioned cut of their clothes and others again out of the natural curiosity that arises when strangers walk into a room.
They made their way to the counter and settled down, shoulder to shoulder, giving Quark the unequivocal certainty that these two never wandered very far the one from the other.
He closed the few steps to where the two were sitting and launched into his standard refrain, "Welcome to Quark's. What can I get you, hu-mans?"
The shorter of the two lifted his eyes and the Ferengi felt a rare uneasiness permeate him as he encountered them. The green eyes were old, very old, belying the young, attractive, athletic body housing them.
"You got Earth beer?" a husky voice enquired calmly.
"Quark's prides itself on catering to all the needs of its clientele." The Ferengi leaned in closer and lowered his voice. "So if you need anything shall we say, a little particular…"
"Is that so?" replied the human with a smirk. "But I think we'll settle for the beers. I doubt you have anything so "particular" that it could surprise me."
Quark's attention turned to green eyes' companion.
"How about you? My holosuites have some of the most entertaining programmes in the entire quadrant. There's plenty to interest a strapping young hu-man like yourself."
The young man's wide eyes caught his own and once again the Ferengi was taken aback by the sensation of gazing into two ancient pools, completely at odds with the youthfulness of the body they were encased in.
"Maybe some other time. Right now we're fine with just the beers, thanks," a soft voice replied.
The bartender found it difficult to pull his gaze away from the curiously mesmerising eyes of the youth, when an amused snort from the other man pulled him from his reverie.
"Sammy," he heard him say, "Keep those puppy-eyes under control."
"I don't do it on purpose, Dean," was the huffed reply.
"I know, Sammy, I know!"
As Quark fetched the beers, he wondered just whom he had seated at his bar. Whoever they were, they weren't your usual run-of-the-mill hu-mans.
He was a businessman, not given to flights of fantasy, but there was something unique about these two, and his natural curiosity had been tickled.
"So, you gents here on business or just passing through?" he asked, coming back with the beers.
"Well it's really none of YOUR business, but for the sake of intergalactic good relations, I'll just say we're taking a little pleasure trip.
Sammy here, has been pestering me about coming to see the stable wormhole everyone's talking about and so to keep him from driving me mad, I decided to make a little detour to satisfy his curiosity, in the hope that he'll stop his bitching," Green eyes finished with an infectious smirk, turning his head towards "Sammy" who repaid him with a series of intriguing facial expressions and the word, "Jerk!"
"Do you know when the wormhole will be activated?" Sam asked.
"There's a Bolian ship due through from the Gamma Quadrant in a few minutes. If you want to see the wormhole opening, you'll get a good view from the upper level of the bar" Quark volunteered.
"Come on, Dean. I don't want to miss it!" The younger man's face suddenly illuminated itself with anticipation.
"There, you see what I've got to put up with?" was the answering reply, but it contained no censure just amusement for the puppy-like enthusiasm of his brother.
"I should have seen it right away," Quark mused to himself, "That they couldn't have been anything else but brothers."
He shook his head as he contemplated his own "pain in the ass" brother Rom and he softened towards the plight of the elder of the two siblings who were now making their way up the steps to the observation deck, beers in hand.
He continued to watch them as they stationed themselves next to the large oval window, their eyes glued to the panorama of the stars twinkling in the blackness of space.
Suddenly with an unexpected cascade of blues, pinks and violets the wormhole opened up in all its breathtaking glory allowing the Bolian ship access into the Alpha system.
The two brothers watched hypnotised as the colours erupted and then disappeared, leaving only the blackness of space once more.
"Oh God, Dean, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?" Sam's eyes were shiny with emotion and wonder.
Dean was moved by his brother's reaction. He'd thought that with the passing of the centuries, they'd seen and done everything, but he was wrong. There were still wonders lying in wait for the Winchesters and he was going to make sure his little brother got to experience them all.
"So, was it worth it to drag my ass out to the back of beyond just for this?" Dean joked.
"Shut up, Dean!" was the huffed reply. "You can act the 'been everywhere, seen it all' role if you like, but I know that you were just as moved as me by the wormhole."
"Can't get anything by you anymore, Sasquatch, can I?" was the fond rejoinder.
"Okay, Sam. What do you say if we fraternise with the inhabitants of DS9 for a few days. Maybe hustle some Latinum. I see the Bar has a Dabo table complete with hot chicks, and I think I saw a dart-board too.
Afterwards, bro, there's nothing to stop us taking the Impala and flying ourselves through that inviting wormhole and checking out what's on the other side," Dean grinned.
"Great minds think alike!" Sam replied, his hazel eyes brimming with eagerness to explore new wonders.
"You got it, bitch!"
"You better believe it, Jerk!" was the affectionate reply.