A/N: Wow, I'm actually back to writing another DS9. I didn't think this day would come again. Happy it has though, I've missed writing in this fandom.
Prompt from SilverChrysanth: Basically, the occupation on Bajor is still going on, and Garak is still in the Order. And Bashir is sent to help in some camps, or on the station, or whatever. I'm not sure the Cardassians would allow a Starfleet doctor anywhere near BAjor, but maybe he could be a random, human doctor they held prisoner - the reason id pretty open, really. It could then go from there, whether Garak just meets Bashir or even needs his aid.
Julian licks his lower lip. The room somehow tastes stale – the kind of sour that only synthetic, recycled air can bring. Other than the steady wheeze from the air unit, there is no sound. And, contrary to what he expected, there is not a bright light being shone in his eyes – the room is, in fact, pleasantly lit and warm. No, deafening sounds being blared at all hours of the night and day – the eerie silence that dominates might be worse. Nor are there bruises on his person…yet.
Julian knows it will come eventually.
With the Cardassians, it always does.
There is a shuffle as the Obsidian Order interrogator, opposite him at the black table, leans forward.
"Let's go over this again, shall we?" the dark-haired agent says, lacing his fingers together in a casual manner. A plastic smile thins his grey lips. "Why are you here on Bajor?"
"To help the sick and injured."
Agent Garak glances at the pad to his right. "Of both sides."
It's said bitingly, sarcastic even.
Julian straightens his shoulders. "Yes."
"How very…altruistic of you."
"Medicine sees no sides."
"Ah, but the doctors do, isn't that right, Lieutenant Bashir? Graduated second of your class. Won quite a few awards for your advancements in frontier medicine." Garak's grin shows off all his teeth. "Tell me, Federation, what side do you prefer?"
A small tingle of fear runs up Julian's spine. He'd known the risks when he volunteered for this mission. Known he might not make it back. His mother had thrown a fit when she'd found out.
"Bajor!" The video does nothing to mute his mother's shrill cry. She whirls round in her chair. "Richard!"
Julian hears his father stumble into the room at his mother's panicked cry. "What? What's he done?"
"He's volunteered for Bajor! Talk to him, Richard! Tell him!" Tears brim in his mother's eyes, and she flees the room.
Julian's throat squeezes tighter. He knew this would be a tough call to make. "Father –"
"No, boy, you listen." His father's hands clasp and unclasp. He takes a few calming breaths. "Enough. Enough of this, Jules –"
"Julian," he hisses back.
His father narrows his eyes. "Enough."
"It was bad when you went with Starfleet. That was stupid. Dangerous. But Bajor will rip you apart, boy." His father leans in. "This isn't the wild west. No damsels to rescue and kiss. You'll be found out within a week, and then tortured for months, before they throw you into some dank hole."
"Blast it, boy! Stop this foolishness. You'll kill your mother."
"Mother will be fine." Julian swallows. "I'm going, father. I'm sorry if that upsets your plans for the family future."
"Will you stop –"
"No, I will not!" Julian almost shakes the pad. "Those people need doctors. I'm the best of the best – you made sure of that. It makes sense for me to go."
"You do this…" his father hesitates. "Julian…you won't survive this."
It's one of the few times Julian's ever seen his father come close to expressing his love and worry for him.
He doesn't let that sway him.
"I'm going," he says, and ends the transmission.
"I am on no one's side," he tells the Cardassian.
Garak raises a ridged brow. "What a rarity. A Federation officer who isn't on his own fleet's side. Tell me, have you deserted your post?"
"I was sent to aid the sick and injured."
"Of course." Garak pulls his pad closer to him. "But then, there is the fact that you have been seeing many of the Insurgents' captains and spies…who were uninjured at those times. It does not paint a very convincing picture, Lieutenant."
"They were seeing to their dead, their family." Julian scowls. "You might remember it was right after that widespread bombing you did on the temple. Hundreds were killed. It only makes sense that some of the Resistance would surface to pay their respects to their loved ones."
"Let me guess, you would never stoop to such measures, were the situation reversed." Julian winces internally. That won't help his case.
Garak, however, grins wider. "Aren't we sure of ourselves. Tell me, Doctor, do you antagonize all your interrogators?"
Julian refuses to rise to the bait.
Garak shrugs. "No matter. I'm sure you have many interesting things I can learn from you."
"I'm sure," Julian agrees. "I can tell you all about the cure to the Ferengi blood fever. Or, perhaps, you want to know my tennis score."
It's not at all by the book, his responses, but Julian knows he's in too deep. It's time to change the game.
Garak's eyes tighten. "I don't think that will be necessary."
Julian waits, thousands of images of Cardassian tortures flying through his brain. He wants to believe he can withstand that. He wants to. But…he's not delusional. He's untrained for this type of situation. And once they find out about his genetic enhancements…
Garak stands, rounds the table, and goes behind Julian. Two scaled hands lay themselves gently on his shoulders. Julian shudders.
"Are you afraid, Doctor?"
"I'd be a fool not to be."
"Only the guilty fear us."
"I'm sure the thousands of innocents you've murdered might disagree."
Garak chuckles, runs his hands down Julian's arms, and digs his nails into flesh above his elbows. Hot breath tickles Julian's ear. "There are no innocents here."
"Always time for a first."
Garak laughs. "You truly believe that, don't you?"
Julian keeps to himself.
Garak's nails dig in deeper. "Don't you."
"An optimist, on Bajor." Garak leans in closer. "Alice and the Rabbit at tea tonight."
Garak releases his grasp. Julian can't breathe. That phrase is a code for the Resistance undercover agents. No one but they know it. Nerys had whispered it to him one time, said he needed to know who was safe.
A second later, Garak enters Julian's field of view again. "Are you sure you don't want this to go another way, Doctor? I'd hate to taint that silly, rose-colored view of yours."
"I'm here to take care of the sick and injured," Julian says firmly.
Garak sighs. "Very well."
The Cardassian pushes something on his pad, the door opens. Two well-built Cardassians march in. Garak nods to them.
"Take him to cell 5, on level 2."
Julian is roughly grabbed and dragged out of the room.
Garak watches the human leave.
"You really think this will work," a voice says from behind him.
He turns to face Tain. "Yes."
"Other agents have tried to infiltrate the 'Resistance' circles. Need I remind you of what happened to your brother?"
Garak's teeth clench. "You do not."
"It wasn't pretty. A lot of blood, from what I remember."
Garak remembers the aftermath well. He also remembers who it was who sent his brother on that suicide mission. Both are ever present in his mind. "They will pay for each drop."
"So, this is revenge then."
"This," Garak stresses, "is for the good of the State."
"And only the State?"
"If it also facilitates my revenge…" Garak shrugs one shoulder.
"Indeed." Tain chuckles. "Very well. The State will await your success."
"I will not fail."
Tain nods, his coat fluttering as he also leaves the room.
No, Garak thinks, I will not fail.
Echoes of promises and dark meetings follow in his wake as he plans his next move for the glory of Cardassia.
I'm sure this isn't quite how they saw the prompt being taken. Ah well. And yes, I know, this is very open ended. Not sure if there'll be a sequel. Maybe? Dunno.