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and I'm the king of fools cause baby you're the queen of white lies

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Elim Garak was not above admitting - if only to himself - when he might've made an error in judgment. 

If he'd just minded his own business.

If he'd just let Julian have his fun. 

The mishap would still have happened, most likely. But at least Garak wouldn't be trapped in here too, trying to understand why Julian was so willing to risk his own life on the off-chance that the holosuite program would "collapse" (what did that even mean?

He'd insisted they had to find Lieutenant Dax, so they went willingly to the villain's lair. 

The way Julian visibly relaxed when he saw Lt. Dax in that ridiculous outfit - the white coat, those enormous glasses, none of it was doing anything for her admittedly striking good looks. 

Garak sighed. 

But she was here, she was alive. Julian was relieved and Garak should be too. Now that they knew everyone was safe, they could end the program. 

Couldn't they?

"Doctor," he muttered, as Dr. Hippocrates Noah waxed poetic. "Surely we can -"

Julian held up a hand to silence him, and Garak obeyed. 

After all, he was supposed to be playing along. 

When Dr. Noah signaled for his guards, Julian finally turned to Garak, grabbing him by the lapels and pulling him in close. 

"Doctor?" Garak's eyes were on the door, focused on the very real threat in spite of Julian's rather fascinating behavior. They weren't actually standing any closer than they had been before, when Garak had first broken in, but that was different. 

"Take off your jacket," said Julian firmly. "I want to try something."

The guards should have been on them by now. Where were they?

Garak locked eyes with the doctor and began to shuck off his jacket, one sleeve at a time. 

Julian broke the eye contact first, scanning the room as he pulled his own jacket off. 

"It's working," he muttered, seemingly more to himself than to Garak. The corner of his mouth twitched. "Well done, Felix."

Garak followed his gaze, only to see the other characters seemingly absorbed in mundane tasks. Captain Sisko as Dr. Noah was hanging over Dax's shoulder at the console, absorbed in whatever he was seeing on the screen, while the Colonel busied herself with a dossier in a briefcase. The henchmen were, by the sounds of it, still patrolling the hallway.

"What did you do?" Garak asked his friend, who was busily pulling down and unfastening his suspenders. 

"Certain holosuite programs have a feature," Julian explained, as he gathered up the suspenders in both hands and snapped them experimentally. "Tie me up."

" Doctor ?" Garak was beginning to feel mildly alarmed. 

" Do it ," Julian ordered, sharply. "Trust me, Garak."

Garak trusted him. Mostly. 

"I'm not sure I understand," he admitted. 

"I'm buying us time," Julian said. "Time that we desperately need. Tie my arms behind my back. Do it ."

"I have to admit I'm not certain how this is buying us time," said Garak, walking around to the back of him. "But it does seem to be working."

"It won't work for long if you don't start acting like you're enjoying this," Julian said. "Please, Garak. I need time to think. I can figure this out, but not while they're all yammering at me."

Garak stepped closer, so that he was breathing down Julian's neck. "How much am I supposed to be enjoying this, exactly?"

"That's a start," Julian replied. "Remember how Caprice walked away earlier? It's because you were standing so close. The program has certain parameters that trigger an idling feature for the NPCs whenever it looks like players are getting physically intimate."

Garak's grip on the suspenders faltered slightly. "I'm sorry ?"

"You heard me."

"And this is what you came up with? You could've simply asked me to kiss you, doctor. In the interest of saving your friends, I'd be happy to oblige."

"Thanks very much, but it's not necessary at the moment. Bondage is something the program should immediately recognize as potentially sexual in nature, so it buys us time."

With one suspender around his elbows and another around his wrists, Julian made a pretty picture. The black straps against the crisp white of his shirt, beginning to come untucked. He hadn't tied Julian up very tightly, thinking it would be best if he could slip free in case things got iffy again. 

"Now what?" Garak asked, reaching around to loosen Julian's bowtie. "Will they keep ignoring us as long as you're restrained?"

"I don't know. It's not a feature I've ever paid much attention to." Julian let out a frustrated huff. "Okay, try backing off now - see what happens."

Garak took a step back, then two, then three.

Suddenly, Dr. Noah's stony gaze turned to them once more. The door began to creak.

Julian whirled around and stepped into Garak's space once again, so their noses almost touched. Dr. Noah stopped, and so did the henchmen, but they didn't turn away. 

And then Julian kissed him. 

It was…enthusiastic, but chaste. His lips parted only a little, and Garak reminded himself that it would be unhinged to feel anything like disappointment.

Julian pulled away a little. But only a little.

"I'm sorry," he muttered, his hands sliding up Garak's back. 

"Don't apologize," said Garak quietly. "As you said…it seems to be working."

"Yes. But I was hoping to avoid…" The warm hands were untucking his shirt. "...this."

Garak took a deep breath. The warring sensations of what Julian was doing to him physically, and his soft, apologetic voice admitting that he didn't want to do this - were enough to drive someone to madness. 

"Doctor - I think you should stop -"

Julian froze, his hands on the small of Garak's back. Their bodies were only inches apart, and in spite of himself, Garak swayed, driven by millions of years of evolution to seek the closest source of heat, and then, oh -

Julian gasped a little as the gap between them closed. Bodies pressed together seemingly of their own accord. Something twitched against Garak's thigh. 

Garak was hardly an expert in human anatomy, but he was pretty sure he knew what it was, and what it signified. 

"If you want me to stop you'll have to let go." Julian sounded faintly amused, breath gusting by Garak's ear. 

Garak realized his arms were clasped around Julian's waist. 

How embarrassing. 

"Do you want me to let go?"

"I -" Julian sighed. "No, not particularly -"

"Then why did you say you were trying to avoid this -"

Suddenly they were both speaking so quickly, sharp and eager, that neither one could finish a sentence before the other began. 

"Because it's not the way I wanted to do this -"

"Does it matter now? This is life or death -"

"I suppose it doesn't but I -"

"Wait - what were you about to say?"

"About what?"

"That this wasn't the way you wanted it? I mean - what did you want?"

Julian swallowed audibly. "I don't know," he said, sounding irritated. "Nice dinner, a bottle of red, a rousing literary debate? No sense of obligation? No looming threat of annihilation?"

Dr. Noah was turning to look at them again. "Doctor!" Garak hissed, and was rewarded with a gentle bite on his neck ridge. 

He did not whimper. It was…a sound. But certainly not a whimper, nor, Guls forbid, a breathy moan. 

The hot, hard length prodding his leg twitched again and this time he was sure it was exactly what he thought it was. 

"Doctor, are you saying -"

"You know exactly what I'm saying, please stop making this difficult." 

"I am not -" Another judicious application of the teeth, and he bit back a groan. "Fine. It's not how I imagined it either. But considering the circumstances - I'm at your disposal, Doctor."

Julian groaned softly in his ear, hips grinding just a little. "You mean it?"

"I wouldn't lie to you."

"Alright. I think if we keep on…doing this, we can get closer to the console. I don't think they'll notice."

"You don't sound certain."

"Well, we have to try. Come on." Another kiss, this time with abandon, plundering Garak's mouth with his tongue. They moved together, slowly, but with purpose, until Julian's ass bumped against the console. 

"Okay," he said, breaking away, breathless. "I think - yes, that's good -" this seemed to be in response to Garak beginning to unbutton his shirt "- I think I can try to override it from here and get the safeties re-engaged - but I need to be able to see - so if you could -"

He twisted them around so he was facing the console and licked his lips, looking at Garak pointedly. "You're rather in the way," he said, politely. 

"I suppose I ought to -" Garak lowered himself down onto his knees, watching Dr. Noah and Lt. Dax carefully. Their backs were still turned.

"Yes, perfect," said Julian fervently, stroking Garak's glossy hair with one hand while the other reached for the old-fashioned keyboard. "You've got exactly the right idea."

Garak busied himself with unfastening the tuxedo trousers he'd so painstakingly crafted. And yes, there it was, obscenely tenting Julian's flimsy replicated briefs, Garak's mouth wasn't watering, it wasn't -

He hadn't been prepared for the hot, heady scent of arousal that would accompany the release of Julian's sot'l from his clothes. Garak was overwhelmed as it was, and now he was throbbing . His inner thighs were wet with his slick and his vent ached to let his own swollen sot'l out of its containment. 

But this wasn't about him. It wasn't even about Julian - not really - this was a distraction, and he'd do well to remember it. 

He closed his mouth around the tip and sucked gently. 

"Guh -" Julian's hips jerked. " Fuck . Garak -"

He didn't know if that was a good fuck or a bad fuck . Humans seemed to rely entirely on context for that sort of thing. But Julian wasn't pushing him away, so he took in a deep breath through his nose and swallowed the doctor down deeper. 

Julian was gripping the edge of the console with one hand and typing with the other. His eyes stayed resolutely glued to the little display screen, because of course , and Garak refused to let himself be disappointed. 

Garak sat back on his heels and tried to focus on the task at hand, ignoring the insistent thrum of his own arousal. With his thighs squeezed together, it was no real trouble to keep from everting, but the pressure was becoming…troublesome. In more ways than one. 

After a while he seemed to have found a rhythm that was suited to Julian's tastes. The doctor was still focused on his task, but when Garak curled his tongue just-so Julian's eyelids fluttered and he took in a deep, shaky breath. 

"Good," he murmured, reaching down to stroke along Garak's neck ridge. "That's very good. You're doing so well."

He squeezed the ridge between his thumb and forefinger, and the shock of pleasure went straight down Garak's spine, to his core, where it erupted into hot, pulsing bliss. 

His whole body trembled with it, but Julian was too absorbed in his work to notice, thank the state. Absolutely mortifying to come like that, with next to no stimulation, without even letting his sot'l out of its sheath -

But it was achingly good. The relief flooded his body even as he kept the idling characters in his peripheral vision. 

They won't remember this, will they?

No - it was too late to think about that. 

"Garak!" Julian grabbed his hair urgently, pulling him back. 

He obeyed. 

Julian's eyes were so dark. "Sorry," he exhaled. "I just don't - I don't know what happens if I -" 

Garak was still trying to catch his breath. 

"Just give me a moment," Julian said. "Come here - kiss me -"

Garak had to grab the console to pull himself up, still slightly weak at the knees. Julian didn't seem to notice. 

Julian kissed him desperately, pulling him in roughly and rutting against him before letting out a little groan of frustration, which Garak swallowed. 

"I'm sure it will be fine," Garak murmured persuasively. He had good reason to believe it, though he wasn't about to admit that. "My dear doctor, you can't focus like this."

"Fine," Julian hissed, grabbing hold of himself and stroking roughly before Garak could suggest going back to his previous ministrations. "Ah - fuck -"

He grabbed Garak's shoulder as if to steady himself, but then his grip loosened and took hold of the fabric of his shirt instead, ripping it open. Garak let out a little noise of outrage as the buttons went flying, and then Julian's beautiful mouth twisted into a snarl of pleasure as the first long spurt of alien fluid hit the scales on Garak's chest. 

Julian's eyes seemed to close involuntarily for a moment as his climax peaked, but he quickly recovered, glancing over at the ops crew who had become nothing more than disinterested background players in their lovely filthy little game. 

They did not stir. 

"Mmm." Julian dragged his long, elegant fingers through the mess he'd made, pulling some of his cum into the inverse teardrop over Garak's sternum and swirling it into the divot. "Ah, you have no idea how long I've wanted to do that -"

Garak moved in fast as a snake, seizing a mouthful of gorgeous warm human shoulder and biting down - gently, but enough to make a point. 

Julian yelped and pinched the ridges running down the sides of Garak's torso. 

"Dr. Bashir," Eddington's voice cut through the room. "I think we've almost got it. Are you alright? What's your status?"

Julian reached over and tapped something on the console. "We're fine - for now - what's your ETA?"

"I think we can attempt to rematerialize their patterns in about five minutes. Can you stall things a little longer?"

"Absolutely. Bashir out." His fingers were already pulling at the fastenings of Garak's trousers. "Only five minutes. What a shame."

"Given up on your brilliant plan to hack the console?" Garak regarded the deep purple marks his teeth had left on Julian's shoulder, then leaned in and licked the spot as if to apologize. 

Julian's fingers quested between his legs, and he made a quiet sound of pleasure at finding Garak bloomed open for him. 

"You're so wet…" Julian murmured, grinning as he crooked his fingers and coaxed Garak's half-hard sot'l out. "And relaxed . Suspiciously so, one might say."

"Hmm?" Garak elected to play dumb.

"Did you think I didn't notice? You were quivering all over and you moaned around my cock like a -"

" Careful , Doctor."

"Oh, alright. But I'm not wrong."

"They won't -" Garak hissed as the fingers slipped in deeper. His eyes briefly flicked to the comically hyperfocused pair that stood alarmingly close to them. "They won't remember this, will they?"

Julian shook his head. "There's not enough room in the holosuite memory for their consciousness. This is just their bodies. There's nothing for them to remember because they're not really here . Well - they are. But they're not conscious. They're not aware ."

"If you're wrong - I'll -"

"You'll what?" Julian's eyes glittered with amusement. 

Garak exhaled in a rush as Julian withdrew his fingers with an obscene squelch . "Be…very cross with you, I suppose."

"No," said Julian, "you wouldn't."

And he was wrong, but Garak couldn't find the breath to argue as he was swept into a bruising kiss.