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A Thousand Different Reasons

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It was purely circumstantial. Garak knew it, and Damar probably knew it, too. But the tension that had been growing in between them was unmistakable. During their time with Commander (or was it Colonel?) Kira in the Cardassian Liberation Front, the two men, Garak and Damar, had been working closely together. It was only natural that tension of a sort would develop between them... right?

Aside from when they were working on strict Cardassian Liberation Front business, they hardly even talked. But they exchanged glances. Sometimes even a little bit of what one might call 'banter'. Garak was beginning to appreciate the man. He was efficient if anything, and when he picked a cause, he was dedicated to it. Garak could get behind that, as humans might say.

Now, they were stuck in the most inopportune of places: his mother's basement. This was hardly the time for encounters of any sort. This place dredged up all sorts of memories for Garak, memories of his childhood, some that he would rather forget.

It was late at night. Kira was asleep in the corner. Garak was on a mat on the floor, curled up under a blanket, trying to sleep. Damar was supposed to be keeping watch. It was a futile exercise, both Garak trying to sleep and Damar trying to keep watch. How were you supposed to sleep when your life was in danger, and how were you supposed to keep watch from the bottom of a cellar?

Eventually, Garak couldn't stand it. He stood, stretching his limbs. The air felt tight, the basement too small. He had a sudden urge to burst out of the cellar into the rest of the house, to go out and look at the stars. But he knew he could never do that. He would be endangering Kira and Damar. Most of all, he would be endangering Mila. And he couldn't bear to do that.

"Can't sleep?" came Damar's voice.

"No," Garak said quietly. "Keep your voice down, you'll wake the commander."

"She's a heavy sleeper," said Damar.

"You're probably right," Garak said.

"And besides, you and I both know that she's only a commander in name," said Damar. "That Starfleet only gave her that rank so she could-"

"Maybe," Garak interrupted him, "but I don't see how that's going to help you keep watch, or to help me sleep."

They were silent for a moment. Garak stood there, arms crossed, wishing for a change of clothes. He was the type of man who felt uncomfortable if he didn't sleep in pajamas. He supposed he couldn't have that luxury now.

"Worried?" asked Damar.

"Of course I'm worried," Garak said. "What is there NOT to worry about?"

Damar shrugged. "True enough," he said.

"I wish you wouldn't be like this," Garak burst out.

"What do you mean, Garak?" Damar asked. "Do you wish I would argue with you?"

"It would give me something to do," said Garak.

"Fine," said Damar. "You want to know what I think about you?" He stalked over to Garak, his eyes flashing in the low light. "I think you can't be trusted. I think you have a very smug smile, and it irritates me, and if we weren't on the same side, I would... I would..."

"Can't think of something bad enough to do to me?" Garak asked.

"There's that smile again," said Damar with a glare.

"You know, there's an old human expression that a friend of mine taught me," said Garak. "It's 'I can't trust him as far as I can throw him'."

"I could probably throw you pretty far," said Damar, "but I don't trust you enough to get close enough to do that."

"I suppose you want to know what I think about you," said Garak.

"Very well," said Damar. "Tell me."

"I think you're a self-serving, ignorant vole of a man who ran away from the Dominion because they didn't sing his praises often enough," said Garak. "If we weren't on the same side, I would interrogate you until I'm sure you've told me every single secret you've ever had."

"Oh, really?" said Damar. "Try me."

Garak couldn't tell if he or Damar took the step forward or if he himself did, but the next thing he knew, their lips were pressed together in a kiss. The kiss was hungry and demanding, and Damar's tongue was searching, his mouth hot. As they kissed, their hands locked, fingers intertwined.

Eventually, they both came up for air, gasping. "We shouldn't be doing this," said Garak. "We're in the middle of a war and we're shut in a basement with a Bajoran."

"You weren't protesting a moment ago," said Damar, his lips curving into a smile. "Come on, Garak. You want this. And I want you. Why not just... give in?"

"I can think of a thousand different reasons," Garak said.

"Tell them to me in the morning," said Damar, and then they were kissing again. This time, when they broke apart, Damar began placing kisses down Garak's neck ridges until he came to Garak's kinat'hU, which he bit, first tenderly, then harder, until Garak was groaning with pleasure, beginning to feel arousal in the pit of his stomach. Damar sucked on Garak's kinat'hU, which was an incredible sensation especially after the bite. Garak felt weak.

Damar broke off. "This is the part where you get on your knees," he informed Garak.

"Are you always so direct?" Garak asked.

"No, not usually. But I'm making an exception for you," said Damar.

Garak resented that, but he sunk down to his knees anyway. He undid Damar's belt and slid down his pants and underwear, revealing his ajan. His prUt was beginning to poke out between the lips of the slit. Garak took the tip into his mouth, coaxing the full length out, his head bobbing slightly as he sucked at it. With his hands, he was undoing his own pants, and as he sucked Damar's prUt, he slipped his fingers in and out of his own ajan.

"Getting yourself ready for me?" Damar remarked.

Garak took him out of his mouth. "Damar!" he said.

"Sorry," said Damar. "It's just... this is usually what... never mind. Lay down on that mat right there, but be quiet about it. This wouldn't be a very opportune moment for Commander Kira to wake up."

"Agreed." Garak went to stand up.

"No," said Damar. "Crawl."

Fine, be like that, Garak thought, but he did as Damar ordered, crawling toward the mat that he had been trying to sleep on. He lay on his back.

"Now, pull down your pants," Damar instructed. "Let me... see you completely." Garak slid down his pants very, very slowly. "Garak, come on. Don't be so slow about it. Commander Kira could wake up any moment now."

"I know that," Garak said. "It's just fun to tease you." He pulled his pants down to his feet. "Better?"

"Much better," said Damar, his voice almost a purr. Damar lowered himself to the ground on top of Garak. Garak longed for the warmth of his skin. In moments, he got his wish, as Damar penetrated him. Garak let out a gasp as Damar's prUt filled his ajan.

"Ohhh, my," Garak moaned.

"Tell me you want me to fuck you," Damar hissed.

"I want you to fuck me," Garak said. (He would have said anything at this point.) "I want you to fuck me hard."

"Say 'please'," Damar instructed him.

"Damar, really, why are you putting me through this?" Garak asked. "You know I want you; we've made that clear."

"I like hearing 'please'," said Damar. "Say it."

Garak sighed. "Please," he said. "Please fuck me."

"That's better," said Damar, satisfied. He began to wriggle his hips. Garak bit his lip to bite back a moan. Damar's prUt felt so good instead of him. It had been too long since someone had fucked him. Garak wriggled his hips against Damar's, their skin pressing together, hot and needy, scales rubbing up against each other. Garak felt a throbbing sensation as Damar fucked him, and he couldn't help but start to moan.

"Shh, Commander Kira will hear you," Damar said. In response, Garak thrusted his hips against Damar's. Damar groaned.

"'Shh, Commander Kira will hear you'," Garak said mockingly.

"Fuck you," said Damar, but he was still going at it.

"That's exactly what you're doing," said Garak.

They went at it for a while longer. Garak didn't know how long. They were breathing heavily, on the verge of moaning, and occasionally Damar would bite at Garak's kinat'hU.

"I'm getting close," Damar said into Garak's ear.

"Keep fucking me," Garak breathed. Damar kept going. "No, harder."

"Are you sure?" Damar asked. "I might hurt you."

"Hurt me," Garak said. "Please."

Damar went at it even harder. Garak's breaths were hitched. "Yes, yes, yesss," Garak moaned. "I'm going to come..."

"Me, too," Damar said. He paused for a second and wiped his brow. Then he started to thrust faster, and Garak felt the pressure build up inside him, and he couldn't contain himself any longer, and when he opened his mouth he blurted out,

"Julian!"

And at the same time, Damar groaned, "Dukat!"

Both of them froze, halfway through now-ruined orgasm. "Oh, damn it," Damar said, a bit out of breath. He pulled out of Garak. "Damn it, damn it, damn it."

"You and Dukat...?" Garak said, horrified.

"Yes, and?" Damar said. He sighed. "I didn't mean to say it. I really didn't." Clearly trying to get the attention off himself, he said, "So who's Julian?"

"Chief medical officer of Deep Space Nine," Garak said. He felt like he owed Damar the truth (after all, the man had just admitted to having had sex with Gul Dukat).

"Not a Cardassian," Damar said.

"Yes, and?" Garak said a bit mockingly. "I apologize. No, he's not a Cardassian. He's a human." Garak sat up.

"How long have you been...?" Damar said. His voice trailed off.

Garak sighed. "We aren't together. I've known him for years, liked him that whole time, and I just... didn't have the courage to tell him. And now maybe it's too late."

"You never know," Damar said. "Do you miss him?"

"Yes," Garak said. "I miss him. A lot. Do you miss Dukat?"

"I don't want to talk about it," Damar said. "It doesn't matter. What matters is Cardassia. Just because I happen to have been involved with Gul Dukat... well. It just doesn't matter."

"Does this matter?" Garak asked. "What we just did?"

Damar didn't speak for a moment. Then he said, "No. We're both under a lot of stress. There's been a lot of tension between us. And we were both... thinking of someone else. It doesn't matter. It's nothing."

"Exactly right," said Garak as he pulled his pants back on. "It means nothing. It's nothing. I should try to sleep."

"Yeah," said Damar. "You sleep, I'll keep watch."

Garak grabbed his blanket and covered himself up. He rolled over so he didn't have to watch Damar putting his clothes back on.

Then, Damar said, "You should tell Julian."

"What?" Garak asked, rolling back over. Damar was standing there, now fully clothed.

"You should tell him you like him," Damar said. "If we ever get out of this damn basement, I mean... you should tell him. It sounds like you care about him a lot."

"I might," Garak said. "I might not. Right now, I just want to sleep." He could hear Damar's footsteps walking away.

Garak didn't want to dwell on the fact that Damar and Dukat had been... together. So he thought about Julian. Dear Julian, back on Deep Space Nine. They had known each other for years, but Garak had always been too hesitant to actually admit his feelings for him. Now, maybe, he would die here on Cardassia, never to see Julian again.

It was funny. He had always thought of dying on Cardassia as something noble. But if it meant dying without saying he loved Julian, he didn't want it.

Eventually, he managed to fall asleep.

What felt like minutes later, Commander Kira shook him awake. "Get up, Garak," she said. "Mila's brought food."

"Where is she?" Garak asked, rubbing his eyes.

"She already went back upstairs," Kira said. "I tried to wake you up when she was down here, but you were sleeping too soundly."

"Oh," said Garak. He sat up. "I do hope you slept all right, Commander."

"I woke up once in the middle of the night," said Kira. "I thought I heard people talking."

"Damar and I were having a conversation," said Garak. Across the room, he saw that Damar was sleeping on a mat, his face calm in slumber.

"I couldn't tell what you were saying," Kira said.

"Ah," Garak said. He thought about their encounter last night. How Damar's touch had felt so welcome, yet so different from what he imagined Julian would feel like. "It wasn't anything important."