Part Two - Mirrors
"I don't believe I've seen you on DS9 before, sir," Garak said, not quite asking the man's name.
Methos smiled his most amiable smile. "I just arrived two days ago. I'm here to work on some research into Bajoran spirituality – their Celestial Temple. My name is Adam, Adam Benjamin."
"Garak, resident tailor."
"So I've heard," Methos replied. His words had their intended effect.
Garak's face lost much of its former politeness. He knew this was coming the moment the man approached him. I offer him a seat and now he thinks he can interrogate me. "I'm pleased my reputation for offering fine apparel travels so quickly," he replied coolly.
Methos gave the Cardassian a wry grin. "I've heard your store is quite popular … though its owner," he glanced at the two empty chairs, "is less well received."
"I admit that past unpleasantness between my people and the Bajorans does not endear me to the local population."
"Or to Federation citizens, I'd imagine." Methos took a bite of his dinner.
"You didn't seem to take account of my social standing when you asked for that seat."
Methos shrugged, a long-practiced gesture that suited 'Adam' well. "I suppose I really don't care." Methos continued to eat his meal, ignoring the Cardassian with practiced ease.
Despite himself, Garak was intrigued. He'd expected the young man to be plying him with questions by now, but the Terran seemed quite comfortable ignoring him. "Why is that?" he asked.
Methos' lips curled into a small, enigmatic smile. "I was a tailor, once, a long time ago."
It was not the response Garak had been expecting and it took him a moment to come up with an appropriate reply. "You don't appear old enough to have been anything a long time ago."
Methos wiped his mouth with a napkin. "I should think you of all people would know how deceiving appearances can be."
Garak wasn't sure what to make of that particular comment, so he turned to another topic. "So, have you come to study Bajoran mysticism or are you merely interested in the wormhole?"
Methos said nothing regarding the change of subject, choosing instead to answer the Cardassian's question. "A bit of both, actually. I've booked passage on a science ship performing a survey of the wormhole. I don't really care about photometric readouts. I'm hoping to speak with the prophets."
"I didn't think Terrans were a particularly religious race," Garak commented.
"It varies with individuals, and cultures," Methos said.
"So, what are your opinions on prophets and pah wraiths?" Garak asked.
Methos leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms casually. "How do you mean?"
"Do you believe there are forces of good and evil at work in the galaxy?" Garak wondered what the Terran's response to that might be.
Methos' thoughts raced back across ages of memory. He fixed the Cardassian with a cool, level gaze. "I've seen evil – monsters, clothed in flesh, haven't you?"
There was something in the young man's eyes when he spoke those words that gave Garak pause. Those eyes looked right through him. They were like his father's eyes, fathomless and cold. It seemed as though the man knew every one of his darkest thoughts and deeds. Garak wasn't sure exactly when the tables had turned, but there was a moment when he was absolutely certain that the young Terran who sat across from him was neither young nor Terran.
"I have," Garak answered.
"In the mirror as well as the battlefield," Methos added.
Anger rose in Garak in response to the stranger's presumption, "You know nothing of me, to make such an accusation."
"I was not referring to you," Methos replied, unfazed by the Cardassian's anger.
It was the second time in their short conversation that Garak was thrown by the man's words. One voice hissed that the Terran mocked him, while another warned of the danger lurking behind the stranger's eyes.
"If you believe in evil then you believe in good as well," Garak said when no other thought came to him.
"Absolutely," Methos replied. "I see that, too, in the mirror – from time to time."
"And what will the prophets see when they look upon you?"
"That's what I've come to find out." Methos replied. "Would you care to join me for the ride? I'm sure there's room for another passenger."
"Why would I want to commune with the prophets?"
Methos shrugged. "Maybe they can help you figure out who you are … assassin, spy, tailor. You have quite a lot to reconcile."
"And what about you? Who are you?" Garak asked, for once not trusting his own ability to read the motives of another.
"I told you. I'm Adam … religious historian, tailor, warrior chief … I have documents to cover it all. As for what I want. I wanted a seat and a bit of company. I thank you for providing me with both."
With that Methos stood, and Garak watched him depart. The latter spent much of the evening pondering their strange conversation, disturbed by the suspicion that he was no longer the most dangerous man on the station.
A/N: Reviews are my food.