Title: Rainbows and Flames
Author: mrs260
Series: DS9
Rating: PG
Codes: G/B
Summary: Garak suffers through The Wizard of Oz.
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the property of Paramount. This story, written in 2000, never has been and never will be sold.
Feedback: Any and all. Criticism welcome.

Rainbows and Flames
by mrs260

Garak restrained a groan as he entered his quarters -- the sappy sentimental strains of some twentieth century song filtered from the bedroom. Even worse, Julian seemed to be singing along.

"Sooomewheeeeeeeeeere over the raaainbooooow..."

"My dear, whoever told you you could sing was either tone deaf or insane."

"Hush, Garak, I'm trying to watch this!"

"At least she's on pitch. Though she ought to pull herself together -- what's she going on about?"

"She's dreaming about a better life. Hush."

Garak rolled his eyes. "I'll get dinner ready."

Bashir nodded absently, his eyes glued to the black and white images on his screen.

A little later he heard Bashir singing along again, but this time he was obviously corrupting the words. "Ding dong, the bitch is dead! Which old bitch? The wicked bitch!..."

"Really, Doctor! Language!"

"That's what they were singing!"

"They were not! They very distinctly said 'witch', not 'bitch'." He poked his head in to confirm that fact by listening to the rest of the song.

Bashir looked up and smiled, and patted the bed beside him. "You should watch this. It's classic queer culture. And they did say 'bitch' during the original filming. They're all little people, you see, and little people weren't respected in those days. The studio treated them horribly, so in revenge they changed that word when they sang, and it wasn't caught until the editing stage. It cost the studio a fortune to go back and rerecord." The young human grinned broadly at him, wrapping a possessive arm around his waist and leaning into his side. "Mmm, this is lovely."

Garak sighed and resigned himself to a late dinner.

The wicked witch was entertaining, but Garak noted that she had every right to be angry after her sister had been crushed by a house. "Is this the sole basis for labelling her 'wicked'? She is unattractive and swears revenge for the death of her sister?"

Bashir sighed. "Garak, please don't think about the plot. If you do, neither of us will enjoy it."

When she disappeared in a burst of flames, Bashir noted, rather more gleefully than became a physician, "That stunt went wrong and the actress was terribly burned -- they had to delay filming for ages."

Garak decided over the course of the film that the wicked witch was the only character he liked. She had a delightful sense of humour, while all the others seemed dreadfully earnest about the whole ridiculous situation. The girl actually reminded him of Bashir in some respects, and he took a great deal of pleasure from the expression on Bashir's face when he suggested the resemblance.

"I can see why this film is seen as a classic work of homosexual culture," he said when it had concluded.

Bashir gaped for a moment. "You can?" he asked faintly. "I thought I'd have to explain it... it's more cultural than textual."

"Of course! It was refreshingly subtle, actually. Since homosexuality was historically repressed in your culture, any story which involved the corruption of innocence could be said to be a metaphor for it."

"I suppose, yes."

"It's only too bad that the witch was not allowed to succeed in her seduction of Dorothy."

"Dear Lord, give me strength," Bashir sighed. "That is not an image I want in my head!"

Garak chuckled.

"So what's for dinner?"

"As I recall, you like both oysters and snails..."