"What in the hell were you thinking?" Garak muttered, and Siobhan rolled her eyes. He was seated, leaning against the wall nearest her cell; she was seated against the adjoining wall, a foot or so away from the security field.

"He spat on me," Siobhan said hotly. "I wasn't thinking, I was furious!"

"So you tried to kill him?" Garak asked peevishly. Siobhan scoffed.

"If I'd wanted him dead, he would be," Siobhan muttered darkly. It was Garak's turn to roll his eyes.

"What were you doing lurking around Quark's, anyway?" Garak asked ill-temperedly. "Don't you have better things to do?"

Siobhan stared at him, shocked at the nerve. She gained her feet and spat her words venomously, stabbing her finger in the air for emphasis.

"I wasn't lurking anywhere! I was having a drink! Minding my Own BUSINESS!" She heaved an exasperated sigh, twirling around. When she spun again to look out of her cell, Garak was also on his feet.

Siobhan halted in her tracks at the sight of his expression-it was a confused mash-up of heated anger, desperate frustration, and an undercurrent of desire.

Siobhan paled as she realized what was going on-Cardassians flirted by yelling at each other. An odd custom to Siobhan, but it was the way of Garak's people, and she had walked right into this pitfall.

Siobhan whirled to face the wall as the color rushed furiously back into her face. Inside of her, anger warred with confusion warred with something she couldn't identify. Siobhan pressed a hand to her mouth to hold back a hysterical giggle.

"Go away," she said, her voice muffled into her palm.

"Siobhan," Garak said in a carefully level voice.

Siobhan shook her head, and she didn't turn around. She let her hand fall back to her side.

"Please leave," she restated more plainly. Garak released an exasperated sigh, but Siobhan heard his heavy steps fade as he walked out of the room.

Siobhan felt her face flush even hotter, and she screwed her eyes shut. It had been about seventeen hundred years since her last romance, and she had become quite unaccustomed to being...desired.

*Scene Break*

Sisko hunched over his desk, reading intently from the padd in his hands. A plate of food had grown stone cold, pushed aside and forgotten hours ago. Sisko wiped his eyes, disgruntled to find them sandy, and he scowled down at the report in front of him.

Over the last few hours, he'd managed to slog through about four months of paperwork. Most of it ended up being obsolete, but protocol insisted he fulfill the entirety of his duties that he'd missed while he was able.

Starfleet captains disappearing into spacetime anomalies for great lengths was apparently an unnervingly common phenomena, and there were strict regulations about the administrative duties required of persons under such influence. Because Sisko was in his original spacetime format for more than 24 hours (one Earth Day), he was required to complete as many reports owed from his position(s) as he was able.

Sisko swore virulently, and he dropped the padd onto his desk. He leaned back and covered his face with his hands, breathing deeply in search of a small moment of peace.

The door chime interrupted his reverie.

"Perfect," Sisko muttered into his hands sarcastically. He dropped his hands to his lap and called out without opening his eyes, "Enter."

The door hissed open and his guest walked in. Sisko opened his eyes, and his face cracked into a splitting grin as he shoved to his feet. Sisko offered a hand to Martok, the head of the Klingon Empire and a personal friend of his.

"Martok!" Sisko said jovially. "I'll be damned if it's not good to see you!"

Martok walked past Sisko's hand and drew the other man into a back-squeezing hug. Martok drew back, laughing, with his hands on Sisko's shoulders.

"Benjamin Sisko, Emissary of the Prophets," Martok said with a wry grin.

"Guilty as charged," Sisko said, a mischievous light in his eye.

Martok chuckled, and he said, "So, you've finally decided to pay us a little visit, eh? I'm honored that you considered us worthy of your time."

Sisko might have been offended, but they shared a similar streak of wicked humor.

Martok finally shook Sisko's outstretched hand, and they grinned fiercely at each other.

"So," Sisko said as they sat down, "on a bit of business. I don't know if you've heard of the incident that happened at Quark's a few days ago."

Martok nodded, a mildly disgusted look on his face.

"Aye," he muttered. "I heard a once proud warrior made a fool of himself. He disrespected the wrong person and got his ass sorely handed to him."

Sisko grinned at the off-the-cuff Federation slang Martok had adopted.

"Yes, that's about the sum of it," Sisko agreed. "Or it should have been."

"Oh?" Martok said. He reached into a pocket somewhere and withdrew a flask. He offered it to Sisko, who demurred with a grateful gesture.

"Yes," Sisko continued. "It seems that the person in question, a visitor by the name of Siobhan, is here as a personal guest of the Cardassian Empire. At least, that is the case Mr. Garak has presented to me."

At the name drop, Martok regarded Sisko with a mild stare.

"Garak," Martok repeated.

"Yes," Sisko affirmed with a nod. "Evidently, she and Garak became aquainted on Cardassia Prime, and she accompanied him to Deep Space Nine."

Martok stared at Sisko for a few long moments before he spoke.

"Who the hell is Siobhan?" Martok asked.

Sisko paused, and he sighed.

"Friend," Sisko began, "there's not an easy way to tell you this, so I'll just say it plain. I can't tell you. The events leading to her arrival and the nature of her stay are highly classified."

Martok blinked, judging the sincerity in Sisko's eyes. Martok's own eyes narrowed, and then he shrugged.

"It is what it is, Captain," Martok said. "Now, tell me about this wormhole. What was it like?"

Sisko grinned, and he began to tell Martok, as best he could, bits and pieces of his life with the Prophets.

XXXI END CHAPTER XXXI

Author's Notes: New chapter, hecka soon, cause I feel terribad about leaving you guys hanging for literally months with several chapters still ready to goooo.So, for a bit of an insight as to why I took so long: I work at a grocery store. In Louisiana. This has been...a very interesting year. Kind of like watching ants swarm your feet might be interesting.Also: I did NOT want so much irl research into a deadly virus slowly spreading over a planet. Waaaaaaaah!As always, thank you, thank you, thank you for reading, following, favoriting, or reviewing! You guys are the best!