Like most Ferengi, Quark takes rejection in stride.
It happens so often and in so many ways, in public and private, by men and women alike, that Quark’s learned to accept rejection as a simple part of his everyday life.
(Indeed, Quark may very well be a pioneer of getting rejected by genders outside the typical humanoid binary. It’s not exactly a badge of honor, but he does like knowing he’s exceptional at something.)
Admittedly, tonight’s rejection involved a little more outraged yelling than usual, and perhaps more of a threat to take things up with Gul Dukat than he’d prefer, but Quark doesn’t let that get to him.
It also helps that one of the most affable Cardassians on the station intervenes on his behalf, before the affronted glinn could get too affronted.
Quark’s heart pounds as he watches Dal Boheeka smoothly step in between him and the irate glinn, easily charming the other Cardassian into a more temperate mood.
Dals rank below glinns, but Boheeka’s charm knows no rank. Barely any time passes before Glinn Ba’Kar’s already agreeing that it’d be foolish to bother Gul Dukat with such a trivial matter. Of course Quark misunderstood the finer points of Cardassian flirting, and of course Quark was an idiot for presuming that such a respectable glinn would be interested at all. But could you blame the Ferengi for admiring such a noble specimen of Cardassian manhood? Absolutely not! Why, if Boheeka thought he stood even the merest fraction of a chance, he would have attempted to strike up a spirited debate with the glinn himself - and then where would they be?
Glinn Ba’Kar chuckles, somewhat mollified, and exchanges a few more pleasantries with Boheeka before he makes his departure.
Quark exhales in relief as he watches the glinn walk away.
No more furniture upended, no further threats made to his person.
All in all, one of the less painful rejections he’s had on Terok Nor so far.
Boheeka turns to him and claps him heartily on the shoulder. “Better luck next time, Quark.”
“Thanks, Boheeka.” It’ll take a moment for his pulse to return to normal, but he’s already calming down. “You know,” Quark adds, “I honestly thought he was flirting back.”
“Sometimes an argument’s just an argument,” Boheeka replies chipperly, if a tad patronizingly. He pats Quark on the shoulder for good measure. “It’s not always easy for a non-Cardassian to tell the difference.”
“Ha! You can say that again.” Quark shakes his head at himself. “Maybe I should take a break from Cardassians for a while.”
He returns to his usual place behind the counter, rummaging around for a certain bottle, and Boheeka sits down nearby.
“Perhaps not all Cardassians,” Boheeka suggests, leaning on the countertop. “Just that particular type.”
Quark knits his browridges. “What type?”
“I don’t, actually.”
“Your type. The stern-looking ones.”
Quark snorts. “Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t have a type.”
“You do,” Boheeka insists. He leans closer. “I’ve noticed.”
“Have you, now.”
Boheeka replies with a nod and what Quark guess is meant to be a knowing sort of pout. “I’m very observant, Quark.”
“Really.” Quark leans on the counter as well, grinning. “Go on, then. Tell me. What have you been observing?”
He patiently listens to Boheeka’s disclaimers about limited sample sizes and personal biases. He listens less patiently to Boheeka’s summary of his propositions and how they all seem to share a similar physique and disciplinarian temperament.
“Is that the appeal?” Boheeka asks, almost conspiratorially, an impish glint in his eye. “Someone who looks like he can hold you down and make you take it?”
Quark’s ears burn. He almost drops the bottle he’s holding, and quickly glances back down to keep an eye on it. “Not so loud, okay?”
“Sorry,” Boheeka says quickly, and he does sound sorry when he obligingly lowers his voice. “But am I right? Did I figure it out?”
“There’s nothing to figure out.” Quark primly removes the stopper from the bottle, then nods to the empty glass on the counter. “Want a refill of that kanar?”
Boheeka grins. “You’re not just trying to change the subject, are you, Quark?”
“No,” Quark lies, grinning back. “But I’ll have to put the stopper back in the bottle if you don’t answer me soon, and I’d hate for this 2327 vintage to get overexposed.”
“Oh!” Boheeka’s delighted. “A most excellent vintage.” His delight fades somewhat as he tries to justify the expense to himself. “Quite the indulgence for a dal, but…”
“It’s on the house,” Quark explains. “Consider it a thank you, for earlier. What do you say?”
“Well, if you insist,” Boheeka says, like he’s not already eagerly pushing the glass forward along the counter.
As Quark pours the kanar, he tells himself it doesn’t really matter. He’s been overcharging all the Cardassian officers since his first day on Terok Nor, so the glass has already been paid for, multiple times over. Might as well give Boheeka one of the better vintages while he’s at it.
Boheeka takes a leisurely sip of the kanar, and Quark lets his gaze run along the other man’s hands and arms.
Not bad, he thinks.
Average, for a Cardassian, but not bad at all. Toned as a military man should be, but not intimidatingly so.
Quite agreeable, really. Even if he’s not Quark’s ‘type.’
“Like what you see?” Boheeka asks, waggling his scaled brows at Quark. It’s a silly gesture, yet strangely endearing. Completely devoid of the smarm that Quark himself would have employed.
“Maybe,” Quark replies. He tilts his head and scans Boheeka with an appraising eye.
“Only maybe?” Boheeka’s shoulders sag slightly. He seems genuinely disappointed.
Quark smirks a little. “Maybe, leaning towards a yes.”
“What can I do to turn that ‘maybe’ into something more definite?” Boheeka leans forward eagerly, then immediately changes his expression to something more glowering.
Quark can’t help chuckling as he asks, “What are you doing?”
“Looking stern,” Boheeka explains in that good-natured voice of his, completely ruining the effect. “Or trying to, at least.”
Quark rolls his eyes. “You don’t have to do that.”
“You sure?” Boheeka continues glowering, but the corners of his mouth twitch upwards, warming the tone of his bedroom eyes. “Thought it’d help.”
“Well.” Quark can’t help smiling back. “You don’t need the extra help. I’m not locked into a ‘type,’ Boheeka.”
The glowering relaxes into a full-blown smile. Boheeka looks better when he’s smiling.
“Feel like proving it?” Boheeka asks, and his smile curves into something dirtier, and Quark’s imagination is already running away from him.
A familiar warmth spreads through his lobes as he contemplates the different ways he can prove himself.
Quark swallows and realizes his mouth is dry. “Yeah. I do.”
“Excellent.” Boheeka takes a hearty sip from his glass, never once breaking eye contact with Quark. His lips glisten with kanar before he licks them clean. “When’s your shift end?”
“Now,” Quark says.
It’s not strictly true, but he’ll make it true enough.
Boheeka beams at him, delighted. “Your quarters or mine?”
Call it a hunch, but Quark figures Boheeka might let him stay the night, and he’d much rather wake up next to someone in the morning. Certainly beats feeling abandoned in his own bed.
“Yours,” Quark replies.
There’s still a little kanar left in Boheeka’s glass. Quark lightly flicks the side of it to catch Boheeka’s attention.
“Finish your drink,” Quark tells him. “I’ll go find my brother.”
Boheeka nods. He raises his glass to Quark in an exaggeratedly theatrical toast, and for a second, Quark wonders how he’d react if Boheeka sang his praises in front of everyone -
But the Cardassian merely smiles at him before obediently tossing back the rest of the kanar.
Chuckling, Quark shakes his head at himself, then scampers off to find Rom.
The walk to Boheeka’s quarters is an adventure in and of itself. Boheeka is a remarkably affectionate drunk, slipping his hands around Quark as they make their way through the corridors, stealing kisses and a slow fondle whenever possible. He keeps thinking of another observation he simply must inform Quark about immediately, and Quark keeps wanting to swoon against the wall whenever the Cardassian’s nose ridges brush against his lobes.
They almost don’t make it out of the turbolift with their clothes intact, and Quark would like to regret giving Boheeka that extra glass of kanar, but he hasn’t been groped like that in ages - most people he’s been with tend to skip foreplay altogether, settling for a quick pattern of goading, friction, and a release of tension into his quivering body.
Not Boheeka, who keeps asking him where he likes to be touched, and how hard, and how long.
What a tease.
They’re on Boheeka’s bed, and Quark’s trousers have already been shoved off onto the floor, and he’s squirming underneath Boheeka’s gaze.
Ordinarily, Quark would have been plenty distracted by the sight of Boheeka’s body hovering above him, gloriously naked and muscular in the room’s dimmed light.
It’s not bad at all, and Quark’s eager to get things going, more than willing to find out how those muscles feel when they’re in action, but Boheeka seems uninterested in speeding things along.
Instead, the Cardassian slowly trails his fingertips along the dark lingerie hugging Quark’s hips, tracing the intricate lace and sheer fabric with great interest, and Quark can’t understand why he’s taking his time.
They’re just panties.
“What’s all this?” Boheeka asks in wonder.
“Nothing special,” Quark says. It’s just another part of his everyday outfit, and most people tended to focus on stripping them off instead of paying attention to what they were stripping off.
“I beg to differ, Quark.” Boheeka continues gazing, an intense expression on his face as he bends down to examine Quark more closely. “Was this for the glinn?”
An idle thought flashes through Quark’s mind - Glinn Ba’Kar shoving him against a wall, snarling in his ear about his Ferengi perversities, erection rubbing hard against his lace-enclosed parts.
“Not him specifically.” Quark cranes his neck around to look at Boheeka, but the Cardassian’s too busy marveling to look back up at him. “I’m guessing Cardassia Prime doesn’t have a booming lingerie industry?”
“Not that I’m aware of,” Boheeka murmurs. He runs a finger along the lacy edges with a gentle pressure, making Quark shiver slightly. “Probably for the best. How would we get anything done?”
The slow fondling is starting to drive Quark to distraction. He arches up into Boheeka’s touch, more than a little insistently. “Well, I’m glad you like them, but -”
“Mm.” Boheeka makes an amused sound, then slips his fingers inside the delicate waistband, applying a pressure that’s no longer so gentle. “Want me to show you how much I like them?”
A soft moan escapes Quark as he slowly rocks into Boheeka’s palm, torn between wanting to cross his legs tightly or spread them wide open.
“Yes, please, yes,” he babbles, bucking into the Cardassian’s touch.
Boheeka’s slow in all the right ways as he slides Quark’s panties lower and lower, teasing Quark with his own luxurious fabric as it slithers along the skin.
What the Cardassian lacks in finesse, he more than makes up for in enthusiasm, lavishing Quark in attentive caresses and squeezing touches along his bare flesh, until Quark’s so busy responding to the litany of foreplay that he belatedly realizes he’s completely naked from the waist down.
Such nudity would normally give Quark pause, but it’s hard to remember exactly why Ferengi men were supposed to avoid nudity, not when Boheeka’s making nudity feel so good.
A random glinn would have already abandoned him by now, pleasure taken and taken until Quark’s left alone and sore and covered in a mess of fluids, finishing himself off with a round of self-administered oo-mox to fall asleep.
He’s glad he won’t be needing to oo-mox himself to sleep tonight.
It doesn’t seem like Boheeka’s going to let him sleep anytime soon.
Quark’s about to whine at Boheeka to speed things up when the Cardassian shoves his shirt up and exposes even more of his skin to the air, to Boheeka’s eager mouth.
“Oh,” Quark says faintly, startled by the unfamiliar sensation of Cardassian facial ridges trailing down his stomach. He reaches down to place his hands on Boheeka’s head, fingers idly ruffling through the Cardassian’s slick hair. “What are you -”
Quark gasps loudly as Boheeka’s mouth, warm and wet, wraps around him.
His hands clutch at Boheeka’s head and he starts whimpering uncontrollably.
“Wait,” Quark tries to say, fingers gently tangled up in Boheeka’s hair as he tries to get the Cardassian’s attention, “I don’t usually -”
Boheeka licks him forcefully, tongue swirling around a central core of jutting hard nerves, and Quark cuts himself off with a loud and incoherent howl.
He bucks desperately into Boheeka’s mouth and simultaneously tries to pull Boheeka’s head away from him but the Cardassian holds him down hard against the mattress, fingers digging into his hips to keep him pinned, and Boheeka makes a low growl that sends a shocking series of pleasurable vibrations coursing through Quark’s trembling body, traveling upwards from his hot and wet center, and he feels like he’s about to collapse in upon himself like a dying star.
It makes him want to cry, so he does.
Tears start forming and Quark whips his head around to bury his face into Boheeka’s pillow, reaching up to pull the pillow close to him and muffle his noises in it.
Boheeka pauses for a moment, clearly surprised by the sounds, and Quark kicks at him lightly with a frustrated whine.
“Don’t stop,” Quark gasps out breathlessly, every nerve taut and tense.
He hears the Cardassian chuckle in relief before resuming.
It’s the most drawn-out oral sex Quark has ever had, making his toes curl as he clenches his thighs around Boheeka’s head, and his fingers claw at the pillow pressed against his open mouth, and he bites hard into the pillow as he comes.
Shaking and trembling, Quark takes a moment before he removes the pillow from his face.
Boheeka’s moved back up to hover above him, bracing himself on the mattress by placing his hands on either side of Quark’s head.
“You’re loud,” Boheeka says with a self-satisfied smirk, but his tone is so earnest and appreciative that Quark can’t help smiling dopily back up at him.
Quark’s too dazed to come up with the words for a reply, so he simply reaches up and caresses Boheeka’s face, fingers trailing along the Cardassian’s facial ridges with a lazy playfulness, and he uses his thumb to wipe off the last traces of his own wetness from Boheeka’s mouth.
Boheeka smiles. He licks his lips, and Quark supposes he’s already swallowed everything else.
His face grows warm. The rest of him feels very warm as well, and Quark realizes his shirt’s still on, damp with sweat.
And other things.
Boheeka glances down, seemingly reading his mind.
“Your shirt’s still on,” the Cardassian observes, and Quark kind of wants to kick him again for stating the obvious, but he’s still too exhausted by his afterglow to do anything but nod. “Need help taking it off?”
Quark nods again, lifting his arms up so Boheeka can help slide his shirt off and drop it on the floor.
A small part of him wants to cover himself up immediately, Ferengi instincts kicking in, but he fights the urge.
It helps that Boheeka keeps gazing at him like he's some kind of exotic treat.
A pricey one, Quark hopes.
“Sorry about your pillow,” Quark says later, once he’s managed to regain the ability to speak.
He’s lying sprawled on top of Boheeka’s reclining form, and now he can see the tears his teeth made in the pillow underneath, and the smeared eyeshadow staining the fabric.
Boheeka shrugs. He lets his hand trail down Quark’s naked back and gives him a playful squeeze. “I’ll get another one. Easy thing to requisition.”
It’s simultaneously annoying and alluring, knowing he was in bed with someone who could afford to be so careless with his possessions.
Quark thinks about it for a moment.
Annoying, but potentially useful.
He files the information away for later, and gently nips at one of the more prominent scales on Boheeka’s neckridges, earning himself a pleased slap on the ass for his efforts.
Soon enough, Boheeka’s lazy touches grow more fervent and his fingers more insistent, and it’s mere moments before he’s rolled them over, Quark pinned underneath him.
Finally, Quark thinks. He doesn’t know how much more overstimulation he can take.
He wriggles against the Cardassian’s hardened muscles, anticipation welling up inside of him, and makes a pleased noise when he feels Boheeka’s thick erection press against his stomach.
Quark dips a hand down to stroke the length of it with a light-fingered touch, relieved that Cardassian erections were naturally self-lubricating and slick.
He smirks to himself as Boheeka leans into his hand with a groan.
The Cardassian gazes down at him with a half-lidded smirk of his own, and Quark wonders what he’s thinking about.
“All this time,” Boheeka begins, a dirty smile playing at the corners of his lips, “you’ve been walking around with those exquisite little things underneath your clothes?”
His hands travel down to Quark’s naked waist.
Quark answers him with a dirty smile of his own. “Every day.”
Boheeka inhales sharply. His fingers dig into Quark’s hips. “I wish I had known.”
“Yeah?” Quark tilts his head as he gazes up into Boheeka’s lustful stare. “What would you have done?”
The Cardassian purses his lips as he thinks, and his hands slip around Quark’s hips to cradle his ass, lifting him up until his legs are spread wide around Boheeka’s torso.
“Not sure,” Boheeka says genially, as if they’re merely chatting away at the bar and he’s not readjusting Quark’s trembling thighs around his waist. “Maybe I’d have talked with you more, interfered whenever I saw you making eyes at someone else.”
Satisfied with their arrangement, Boheeka gently pulls Quark’s hand away from his erection, and Quark whines in complaint - he had been ready to guide it in.
“Impatient,” Boheeka chides with a smile, and he reaches down between them, teasing along Quark’s entrance for so long that Quark gears himself up for another complaint.
“Wouldn’t be so impatient if you -”
Boheeka inserts two fingers inside of him at once, and Quark gasps, bucking forward until he’s riding the length of them, and he wants more immediately.
“I’d have tried to do this more often,” Boheeka tells him. “Steal you away to your stockroom, bend you over a…” He chuckles to himself, shaking his head. “No, that wouldn’t do.”
“It wouldn’t?” Quark asks breathlessly, because he honestly thinks it would, and he grinds against Boheeka’s fingers with desperation.
“Those delicate fabrics?” Boheeka stares at him, eyes bright, voice going breathy. “Caught against those filthy shipping crates?”
They fall silent, both contemplating the mental image, and Quark’s inner muscles start clenching around Boheeka’s fingers.
Boheeka eyes him for a moment, then slowly withdraws.
“No,” Quark protests, almost ready to cry from frustration. “Boheeka, put them back.”
“But if I do,” Boheeka teases, “there won’t be any room.”
And he lines himself up with Quark’s entrance, somehow still not putting it in right away, and Quark thinks he actually will cry from frustration.
He wriggles as enticingly as he can. “Boheeka, please?”
The Cardassian chuckles, then leans in for a kiss, catching Quark by surprise.
Whimpering into the kiss, Quark throws his arms around Boheeka’s neck, rubbing hard against the Cardassian’s neckridges, and finally, finally, he feels Boheeka push inside of him, stretching him wider and wider the further he goes.
He kisses Boheeka harder, all manner of surrendering noises catching in his throat as Boheeka bottoms out, fully seated and buried to the hilt.
Quark groans in relief, trembling and pulsing around the hard thickness twisting and grinding inside of him, relishing the heaviness of Boheeka’s hands on his waist, holding him down, holding him close.
He would have been content with just that, the room silent except for the sounds of skin slapping against skin, but Boheeka starts speaking lowly in his ear.
“I’m still thinking about how you looked,” Boheeka murmurs, voice roughening with desire. His fingers massage Quark’s waist, rubbing slow circles on the skin. “What a pretty sight you’d make at the dabo tables.”
Quark bites back a shuddering gasp, bucking backwards against the hard thrusts Boheeka’s rhythmically pumping into him.
“Do you like that, Quark?” Boheeka’s smiling against his jaw, tickling his cheek with his nose. “Are you thinking about it? You in those scandalously sheer underthings, leaving barely anything to the imagination, and me in my uniform, reaching over for you in front of everyone?”
Quark inhales sharply. Tears spring to his eyes.
He can imagine it, and it’s too much -
“Because I can see it now,” Boheeka rasps, and his voice is getting rougher, and so are his thrusts. “I’d pull you on my lap, ask you to teach me all your tricks. Coax them out of you, one by one.”
Boheeka’s fucking him hard against the mattress now, provoking a low moan out of Quark with each impaling movement.
It’s a small mercy that he always keeps his nails trimmed and neat, otherwise he’d be raking bloody trails along Boheeka’s shoulderblades right about now, almost at his peak.
He thinks about being fucked at the dabo table, Boheeka pushing the fabric of his panties aside to thrust into him -
And Quark’s sobbing brokenly as he comes, and everything about him seems to clench hard, then release.
He spasms and twitches around the base of Boheeka’s member, until he feels the Cardassian rock into him one last time, groaning lewdly into his ear.
Soon enough, they’re both collapsed along each other on the bed, Boheeka rolling over so he’s no longer pinning Quark down into the mattress, and Quark can’t stop crying into Boheeka’s neck.
He’s still crying, and he can’t speak -
“Quark, are you all right?”
He nods, sobbing still, turning the sobs into an exhausted sort of groan when Boheeka slides out of him.
Boheeka holds him close, and his voice sounds subdued with concern. “I’ve never made anyone cry during sex before.”
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Quark mumbles. He could see Boheeka making him cry on a regular basis. "With that cock?"
He feels Boheeka’s chest shake with laughter.
“So you are all right,” Boheeka says in relief. He ducks to nuzzle Quark’s tear-stained cheek with affection. “Scared me for a second, Quark. I thought I went too far.”
Quark shakes his head. His breathing’s starting to return to normal. “No. Just far enough.”
“Good.” Boheeka strokes his back.
“Mm.” The backrubs are hypnotic, and Quark’s eyelids are growing heavy with sleepiness.
He tenses, hoping the Cardassian won’t kick him out of bed.
“Do you want a towel, or the sonic shower, or…?”
Quark makes a sleepy, noncommittal sound. “Courteous host.”
“I try.” Boheeka continues stroking his back. “So, what’ll it be, Quark?”
He’d like to answer Boheeka - the Cardassian’s so nice, one of the nicest people Quark’s ever been with, but words require too much energy, and he’s already falling asleep.
Boheeka lets him use the shower first in the morning, and there’s a fluffy, oversized bathrobe waiting for him when he steps back out.
“It’s mine,” Boheeka explains, stifling a chuckle at how the hem immediately hits the floor when Quark puts it on. “Sorry it’s so large - none of my clothes are quite your size.”
Quark considers joking about sizes, but it’s too early to think of anything witty.
“Thanks,” he says instead. “You didn’t have to lend me anything.”
Boheeka shrugs. “My pleasure.” He nods back towards the bedroom. “Made an extra red leaf tea, if you want.” His face falls slightly. “Do you like red leaf tea? I know you have your bar, but I figured you might want something for breakfast before you went back to work.”
A warm feeling spreads throughout Quark. “I love it.”
“Oh, good.” Boheeka smiles. “Well.”
“Well.” Quark waits for Boheeka to go inside the shower, but the Cardassian just keeps smiling at him.
“Last night was nice,” Boheeka says. “Very nice.”
Quark grins. “Yeah. It was.”
“I enjoyed myself tremendously, Quark.”
“I bet you did.”
And Boheeka steps closer to him. “We should do this again sometime.”
Quark nods, clutching the robe around his shoulders to prevent it from slipping off. “Definitely.”
And Boheeka’s standing very close to him now, hands at his shoulders, fingering the robe.
Heat rushes through Quark as he remembers the events of last night, and the way Boheeka looked at him, and he swallows hard.
Boheeka gazes at him for a moment, then breaks into a grin.
“Do you really wear those kinds of lingerie everyday?”
Quark rolls his eyes. “Yes, Boheeka, you pervert.”
“Mm.” Boheeka keeps grinning at him. “Glinn Ba’Kar doesn’t know what he’s missing.”
“Yeah, well.” Quark grins back. “Guess he’ll just have to keep living in ignorance.”
“Poor me, really.” Quark tilts his head up at Boheeka, thinking of all the one-night stands he’s had with other Cardassians, and how he could have had more mornings like these all along.
Boheeka leans in to steal a kiss, and it’s sober, and it’s lovely.
“Poor us,” Boheeka murmurs as he leans away.
Quark stares up at him, lips tingling.
“Well.” Boheeka lets go of his shoulders, looking embarrassed. “I’d better go take that shower. You enjoy your tea. I’ll walk you to the bar on my way out.”
Quark nods. “Sure.”
And Boheeka looks at Quark like he wants to say something else, but can’t think of what to say.
So he smiles instead, and Quark smiles back.
Boheeka turns away from him to walk into the shower, and Quark turns to walk back into the bedroom.
The mug’s still warm when he picks it up.
What a guy.
And that warmth lingers within him long after he finishes the tea.