| Title: The Mix-up Mambo
Author: Cait N.
Series: DS9 (AU)
Copyright: August 2002
Feedback: Please! email@example.com
Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters; I just let 'em have
a bit of fun every now and then.
Summary: Garak is a wealthy Cardassian national at a peace
convention on Earth who is in need of an escort for a ball.
Author's Note: This comes from a challenge from Carola and is
part of the GBFF. Probably the most AU I've ever done. In
my universe some sort of money is still used by the Federation,
and education is even more expensive than it is now. *g*
= = = = = = = = =
Garak leaned back in his leather chair and rubbed a tired hand
over his eyes. He couldn't wait until the peace conference was
over and he could return to Cardassia. Earth was a nice place to
visit every year, but he wouldn't want to live there. The view
from his office window overlooking the San Francisco Bridge was
nothing compared to the view he had back home. The Nesturick
Valley was one of the most beautiful areas on Cardassia, and his
home was situated in the heart of it.
He sighed and leaned forward again. With the weight of the
impending grand ball on his shoulders, time for daydreaming was
at a minimum. It was that night, and he still hadn't found a
date. There were any number of women in the Cardassian
Embassy who would kill to be seen on the arm of the youngest
Ambassador in Cardassian history, but for political reasons, it
had been decided he would be better off with a human for his
Tired and wanting nothing more than a long bath and a few hours
peace and quiet, he rang his secretary. He'd leave the
acquisition of his date in her capable hands. "Miss Millhour."
He rang again.
Still no answer.
With a growl of frustration he strode out of his office and to
the small reception area beyond. His secretary, an aging human
of indeterminate ethnicity was entering in the information from
a padd into the central computer core.
He was getting aggravated.
Garak strode forward and tapped the woman none too gently on
the shoulder. She gave a start and turned around with a puzzled
expression on her face. Garak gestured to the device attached to
her ear. Leaning in close he yelled, "I think your hearing aid
is out of dilithium!"
Her mouth formed a silent 'O' and she fiddled with the device
in question. "I'm sorry, Mr. Garak. It's been a mite dodgy here
lately. I'll change it out as soon as I get home." Her smile was
the of goodness and innocence. "Now, what did you need?"
"I need you to find me a date for this evening's grand ball,"
he explained, still in a louder than normal voice. "You can
check the comm directory to find a suitable escort agency." He
checked the chronometer on his wrist. "I'll meet her in the
lobby of the hotel at twenty-hundred."
"How will you know what she looks like?"
"Just tell her to look for the Cardassian in a charcoal gray
tuxedo with the scowl on his face." He gathered up his
briefcase, and looked over his shoulder. "And make sure she's
not some idiotic who can't string two sentences together."
Miss Millhour nodded her head, and set her padd aside. She
contacted the comm database to find escort services, but there
were so many of them she had no idea where to start.
She scrolled through the listings again, her eyes lighting on
one particular write-up:
Fleet's Finest - Need a date for that boring political
function? Don't want to go to another tedious reunion on
your own? Tired of sitting by yourself in the movies? Well, we
have just what you're looking for! Respectable and
women available as escorts for any function. Most are Starfleet
cadets, brave souls looking to broaden their horizons and put
themselves through the Academy. We cater to all species, all
sexes, so give us a comm at 800-ESCORTU.
That sounded perfect! Miss Millhour put the comm through
immediately. It wasn't long before an sounding woman
answered. "Fleet's Finest."
"Yes, hello dear, I need to hire an escort for my employer,"
Miss Millhour explained.
"Very good, now would you like a human or perhaps a different
"Okay, male or female?"
Miss Millhour inwardly cursed her troublesome hearing aid.
She'd caught no more than part of that last question. If only
she'd gone with the aural implants instead of the cheaper,
dilithium-powered model. She gave it a couple of taps and hoped
it would hold out. "Um, give me the first choice, dearie."
"Very well. Now, what type of event is it? An art function, a
celebration, a grand opening?"
Why was the woman asking her about farts? Was there some sort
of farting contest going on that weekend? people were more
and more decadent and perverse, in Miss Millhour's opinion.
Decent manners seemed a thing of past. "Well, yes, lovely. It's
for a grand ball, to celebrate the ending of the Cardassian-
Bajoran Peace Conference."
"Ah good, let me check who we have available tonight, won't
take but a second. . . here we go, Julian Bashir."
Julie N. Bashir. Sounded like a lovely girl. "Now she's not all
tarty looking is she? My employer wants class and good taste."
"Julian is one of our finest escorts. He's a student at
Starfleet Medical, studying to be a doctor. Smart as a whip!"
This Julie person liked to play doctor? And was good with
whips? She doubted that Mr. Garak would consider those
respectable qualities, but whatever the decided to do
in the privacy of her own bedroom was none of Miss Millhour's
concern. "Lovely, I'm sure, dearie. Now, Julie N. Bashir is to
meet Mr. Garak in the lobby of the Edgewater Hotel, downtown San
Francisco, at twenty-hundred."
"What will your employer be wearing?"
"Will he be swearing? No, he's really not into that, at least
not that I've ever heard. He said to look for the Cardassian
dressed in a charcoal gray tuxedo."
"Great! How will you be paying?"
"How should I know how long he'll be staying. He never told me.
Now, about payment, it will be latinum. I'm keying in the
account number now," Miss Millhour completed the transaction and
sat back in her chair, smile of satisfaction on her face. She
had a feeling Mr. Garak was about to have the night of his life.
=^= =^= =^=
Garak straightened the lapels of his tux, perhaps for the tenth
time in as many minutes. He would be lying to himself if he said
he wasn't nervous. As a rule, he didn't date humans, preferring
to have one of the embassy staff as his escort to various
functions. There was safety in that; no serious fraternizing
with the staff, which meant he didn't run the risk of letting
anyone get too close. He'd had a disastrous relationship during
his stint in the Obsidian Order, and he had yet to met anyone
who could erase that pain from his mind and heart.
A rapid tap on his shoulder spun him around. He found himself
staring into the most guileless brown eyes he'd ever seen. "Are
you Mr. Garak?"
A smile lit up his face. "Finally! I was worried that you'd
gone on in without me, and then I'd have the devil of a time
finding you in that crush!"
"Who are you?" Garak didn't mean to be so abrupt, but the human's effervescent personality and devilishly innocent smile
had knocked him for a loop.
"I'm your escort for the evening, Julian Bashir."
"Huh?" It wasn't the most eloquent thing that had ever come out
of Garak's mouth, but it was all he could manage at the moment.
"Your escort." A hesitant note crept into his voice. "You did
ask for an escort tonight, didn't you?"
"My secretary was supposed to arrange it," Garak explained,
"but evidently there's been some mistake."
"I was expecting Julie N. Bashir." He enunciated every
syllable. "I wanted a female escort."
"Oooohhhhh." Julian's eyes widened. "Yes, I'd say there was a
mix up somewhere." A faint blush colored his cheeks. "Well, you
could try and arrange for a different escort. I realize that
it's late, but there might be someone still available."
Garak glanced at the stylish chronometer attached to his wrist,
and then at the ballroom in the distance, laughter and music
spilling forth from the open doors. "It's too late."
"Oh, okay." Julian stuck his hands in his pockets. "I'll have
the agency refund your credits in the morning." He turned to
Garak stepped in front of him. "Wait." For some reason he was
either unable to unwilling to define, he didn't want the human to leave.
Julian stared, waiting for him to say something.
Garak suddenly felt tongue-tied. He was intrigued, he admitted
to himself. Julian, with his wide, innocent eyes, and friendly,
easy-going manner had captivated his interest like no one had in
a long time. "Since you're already here, and I *am* in need of
an escort. . . ."
A slow smile spread across Julian's face. "I'd like that."
Garak gestured to the ballroom, and Julian fell into step
beside him. "So, Julian, what made you decide to be an escort."
"Oh, it's not what I want to do for the rest of my life,"
Julian hastened to correct. His face lit with pride and
excitement. "I'm a third year student at Starfleet Medical. The
Academy isn't cheap, especially with the extra years that
Medical adds on, so I needed a way to bring in some extra
income." He shrugged. "It's not so bad."
"So, a doctor?"
They entered the ballroom and were engulfed in a sea of color
and a cacophony of voices.
Julian continued on in a raised voice, clearly dedicated and
enthusiastic about his chosen profession. "Oh yes, the first in
my family. I'm hoping to break into frontier medicine. See the
universe, be on the cutting edge. . . ."