Title: A Real Bow Tie and Dinner at the Celestial Cafe
Summary: Two men with rather good memories arrange a long-awaited date.
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the property of Paramount. This story, written in 2015, never has been and never will be sold.
Feedback: Any and all. Criticism welcome.
"Garak said that wearing a fake bow tie was like taking someone on a date to the Replimat. You might as well not bother."
--Julian Bashir (Hollow Men, a Star Trek DS9 novel by Una McCormack)
A Real Bow Tie and Dinner at the Celestial Cafe
He recognized the sound of Bashir's footsteps and looked up from his work, but his young friend was already exclaiming, "Do you mean to tell me that I could have had you ages ago?"
At least the shop was otherwise empty.
A number of responses occured to him -- of course, Doctor; what are you talking about; I do not go to bed merely for a real bow tie and dinner at the Celestial Cafe -- but he settled on drawing out the denouement. "I beg your pardon, Doctor?"
"Just before the Romulans entered the war, you told me--"
"I thought you were just criticizing my tie. We always eat at the Replimat!" He was still speaking rather loudly; Garak pressed the button that closed and locked the shop door.
Then he stood and faced Julian properly. "We always eat at the Replimat," he conceded. "And we never walk arm in arm along the upper level of the Promenade after our meal; you never hold me as we gaze at the stars; you never invite me into your bed for a bit of enjoyable company despite my many urgent hints."
The other man smiled wryly at that. "Who needs an invitation when you can pick my lock whenever you want?"
"Doctor, I would never break into your quarters without utterly honourable motives. How sordid!" Julian's smile broadened at his feigned shock, and he continued, stiff and scolding. "If you wish to 'have me,' as you say, you cannot expect to woo me in such an uninspiring fashion. That includes your pyjamas, my dear."
Julian raised an eyebrow and his smile turned charming. "So are you really saying we could--"
Garak let his mask soften. "I'm saying that perhaps you could not have had me 'ages ago', but that if you wish to court me properly now, I believe I would be receptive to any invitation you might make."
"So... a real bow tie; dinner someplace with real food that's not noisy, crowded, and vulgar; a romantic walk; stargazing; inspiring pyjamas... have I forgotten anything?"
"Perhaps you could buy me a jumja stick as we enjoy our stroll?"
"You hate jumja sticks," Julian pointed out.
"A Holana River lily?"
"No poisonous flowers," he grumbled softly, smiling affectionately, letting Garak edge closer.
"Kiss me when the wormhole opens?"
"You've told me eighty seven times you think that's superstitious nonsense," Julian breathed. Garak was close enough now to feel it against his lips.
"In that case, I don't believe you've forgotten anything."
"Well then, my dear plain and simple Garak, will you accompany me to dinner at 2000 hours this evening?"
"I'd be delighted."
It was difficult to resist kissing him. If he'd asked now, Garak would have bedded him without a single romantic gesture. Instead, they stepped away from each other -- Julian looked as flushed and ridiculous as Garak felt. Julian grinned at him then turned to leave, only to be confounded by the locked door.
Garak slipped behind the counter to release the lock. Julian sheepishly grinned at him again, then once again turned to leave, this time successfully.
It appeared that he would, in fact, soon go to bed for a real bow tie and dinner at the Celestial Cafe.