Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Spoilers: The entire series!
Note 1: I'd like to thank speccygeekgrrl for originally inspiring me to write what I love about this pairing, and for everyone on doctor_tailor for giving me the push I needed to finish this as well as helping me find quotes and sources for this. I love you all! ♥
Note 2: The first time I posted this, something was wrong with the html coding. Hopefully, I have fixed this.
Careful, Elim. You know perfectly well that the surest way to your heart is through conversation. - A Stitch In Time by Andrew Robinson, the actor who played Garak.
Garak/Bashir: My lifelong OTP, even though the show has been over for nine years. What has made me keep the faith for so long? For those of you who don't know, these are characters from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In the Trekverse, Deep Space Nine, formerly known as Terok Nor, is a space station close to the planet Bajor, which for the last fifty years, had been under the tyrannical rule of the Cardassian Union, who exploited their resources and enslaved the populace. The series begins when the Bajoran people overthrow the regime and re-assert home rule, and to assure the Cardassians don't return, the provisional government invites the Federation of Planets to set up a Starfleet presence on DS9 and to explore the possibility of Bajor being admitted to the Federation.
Enter Julian Bashir, the newly appointed Chief Medical Officer, fresh from the Academy and eager for adventure, and Elim Garak the mysterious Cardassian who befriended him, and their chemistry is present from the start, when they agree to meet for lunch on a weekly basis, something they do throughout the entire series.
Bashir was a kind but conceited character at the start, who came to the station to practice 'frontier medicine'. The writers created him to be an imperfect character, someone who would grow throughout his time on the station instead of starting out being the perfect officer. Bashir was brilliant, beautiful, kind, and wanted adventure. He fancied himself someone capable of handling any situation, and was very talented in many areas, both physically and mentally, but socially inept. He was by no means a pure character, but he was still rather naive, especially for being part of a military organization, not to mention a little arrogant. He also hid a dark secret that would not only ruin his career but his entire life: as a child, he had been genetically enhanced both physically and mentally, an operation illegal in the Federation. Since then, he has kept a part of himself hidden from those around him, resulting in a sense of loneliness and a deep desire to be liked by those around him, while trying not to let his friends get too curious or close to his past.
By official accounts, Garak was the local tailor, with a friendly smile and a gift for gab. Though his people, the Cardassians, were despised for having recently conquered the local Bajorans, he nevertheless maintained a magnanimous front, always ready to humor his customers with station gossip and a cup of tea. However, he was in truth a former torturer for the Obsidian Order, a KGB-like insitution that was known throughout the quadrant for their ruthless efficiency and constant vigilance in rooting out all perceived traitors to the state. Garak obfuscated or outright lied to those around him, and what he said wasn't what you heard. He wouldn't blink an eye at genocide to accomplish a mission. To Garak, loyalty and duty to his home was his entire life, even after his exile by former head of the Order, the greatly feared Enabrain Tain, Garak's mentor.
What made me and thousands of others think that these two belong together? For all purposes, they couldn't be more unalike. One upholds the enlightened and open principles of the Federation and has dedicated his life to healing. The other moves in a world of political intrigue, assassinations, and had made a reputation for literally breaking people into submission by merely looking at them. However, upon meeting, there is an instant attraction.
They come to spend time together, discussing literature, politics, and ethics. Garak spins pretty lies for his companion, while Bashir tries to infer and interpret the conspiracies and plots that often affect entire empires. They are mentor and apprentice, foes and friends, and many suspected more. In every encounter, there is a touch that lasts too long, a glance that holds more than friendliness, and deeper meanings in what they say. Garak challenges Bashir's faith in Federation morality while Bashir makes Garak question his people's political dogma, all the while coming to trust the other despite their differences. Garak is drawn to Bashir's mercy, even towards enemies, and feels that Bashir is the best that humanity has to offer. Bashir is drawn to the enigma that surrounds Garak, the thrill of adventure and the challenge Garak presents to his intellect. While Garak has his own sense of romanticism buried under years of betrayal and cynicism, Bashir has a cunning that belies his idealism, from hiding his greatest secret from everyone in Starfleet on down for half his life.
They become something more when Garak succumbs to an addiction's crippling side effects and is at death's door. Bashir stays with him, trying to rehabilitate him, often facing his wrath and deadly mood swings. In that moment, Bashir admits that Garak means more to him than a afternoon's entertainment, while Garak allows Bashir to peer past the veil of lies and half-truths that he has worn all his life. Bashir saves Garak's life, and they seem on the verge of becoming more than friends.
I certainly thought so when I first watched, "The Wire", when Spike would put on reruns. I remember sitting on the couch wondering if there was fic, doubting it since it had been off the air for a while. Instead, the next day when I googled it, I found entire websites devoted to fic for this pairing, and that it was one of the most popular ships of the franchise. I was absolutely delighted, and hunted down which episodes to watch where these two all but made-out on screen. I even managed to write a few fics myself, and have finally come to write this manifesto, I am that devoted to this pairing.
However, Paramount/Viacom/The Powers That Be didn't want to have gay characters on the show, no matter how popular the support for it (from fans, actors, and writers alike), so they forbade the writers from giving the characters real interactions between them after Season Five and the actors were told to not speculate about a romantic relationship between the characters.
This, on a show that is about humanity overcoming its prejudices, foibles, and embraces diversity in all its forms. Star Trek missed an opportunity to have a same-sex couple and instead had to write two new different relationships for Garak and Bashir just to replace the other.
"Originally, in that very first episode, I loved the man's absolute fearlessness about presenting himself to an attractive human being. The fact that the attractive human being is a man (Bashir) doesn't make any difference to him, but that was a little too sophisticated I think."
Andrew Robinson on the matter
"The way I wrote him (and I think the way Andy so wonderfully played him), Garak was attracted to Bashir. He knew that attraction was not going to be returned (or even particularly noticed) and that was okay. He considered Bashir a friend and a protegee. There's nothing overt, there's no big flags waving or anything. It's all subtext. So maybe "clearly" is an overstatement.
How about, 'It would not be wrong to interpret Garak as bisexual."
Robert Hewitt Wolfe on the matter
At doctor_tailor, my fellow G/B fans still write fanfics dedicated to this pairing, and they are some of the best writers I have ever come across. From endearing drabbles to sweeping epic, we got it all!
Memory Alpha, the official Star Trek wiki. any of the links here are articles fro this site
Trekiverse (the G/B section), and home to a LOT of other pairings throughout Trekdom.
Cardassia Sutra, dedicated exclusively to Garak/Bashir.
Better Living Through Trek A great source of G/B fic, but you will have to search through this index until December 1st.
doctor_tailor Of course!
ds9agogo A community for all things DS9 and has plenty of fic for Garak/Bashir.
othertrek_kink A kink meme, where you can post G/B prompts as well as other Trek pairings. /shameless pimping
mrs260's Shed is my favorite of his, and it is so cute! He has his own G/B website with his own stories and favorites here.
bgmanic In Waiting is very... steamy, and others like it can be found here.
JA Ingram's Honeymoon Series is fluffy and silly, light-hearted and sweet: The Honeymoon's Over, More from The Honeymoon's Over, You Better Believe "The Honeymoon's Over". She also has the Garak/Bashir Mysteries, a very in-depth AU which she co-wrote with Charlene Vickers: Cheap Date, Sinless, The Never Ending Sacrifice, and Meditations on A Crimson Shadow.
Kathryn Ramage has her Claiming Series, and has a delightful touch of bondage and domination, as well as heart-felt.
Arcardy's story, is the Site Namer for Cardassia Sutra, and is well worth it.
Olivia Monteith has a wistfully sweet story called The Waltz.
prelocandkanar's master list. She has a great story, Sacrifice, which I highly recommend to anyone just starting out in this fandom.
babel's master list. Oblivious is very witty and The Traitor is just devestating.
lady_drace's master list. Lady Drace quotes snippets from various fics daily. Also, Bachelor's Wife is excellent!
dark_sinestra has an ongoing series, that will span the entire show's run. Start here.
snowlight's master list has the sensually brilliant The Dragon Charmer.
regann has Cultural Miscues, absolutely endearing and other stories.
thehoyden has a slew of lovely stories, with Letters from the Northern Continent and Exile.
Make sure to check out their other stories!
... and possibly my own. >>.>>
Goodnight, Mr Garak by jozpierce
The Greek Upon the Stars by isagel
Comfortable and Numb by crabapplered
Of Love and Family by pookaseraph
It Might Have Happened Like This by slytherin_gypsy
Paths Not Taken by Selena
The Snow Doll by jemisard
Converse Symmetry by Terrie H. Drummonds
Random Acts and Calculated Risk by Pam Buickel
All by MUKOUDA Tessen, translated bysnowlight
Addicted to you
A Play List with as many Garak/Bashir scenes I could find on YouTube in chronological order and Bonus fan vid I made!.