Garak sat on the narrow bunk watching as Dukat sat huddled on the floor, tears streaming down his face in an incessant flow.
He rocked back and forth, weeping, fists to his mouth as he whimpered. "Ziyal." He moaned over and over. "Ziyal...Ziyal..."
None of the doctors had been able to get anything else out of him, it was as if he had closed himself to everything around him. Nothing seemed to exist to him any more. He was utterly alone in his grief.
Finally Julian had come to Garak.
"None of us can reach him." The young doctor had told him, standing in Garak's tailor shop watching while Garak hemmed a woman's dress. "We thought that being another Cardassian, you might be able to establish some sort of contact with him."
That was how Garak found himself sitting on the narrow bunk in the holding cell, watching as Dukat, a once proud Commander...a Gul no less had been reduced Garak had reluctantly agreed and now he found himself sitting in the holding to this whimpering pathetic wreck sitting on the cold metal floor.
Garak did not like Dukat, that was certainly no secret. Dukat had always blamed Garak for his father's death. He had made life very difficult for the ex Obsidian Order agent, finally stranding him on Deep Space Nine as the ultimate punishment. Banishment from his planet...from his home.
"I doubt that I will be of any help to you Dr Bashir. After all, Dukat and I are enemies." Garak had said.
"I know Garak, but we have tried everything else. We can't break through this...this wall that Dukat has erected around himself." Bashir had replied. He looked tired, dark shadows like smudges under his eyes.
"Starfleet has sent the best psychiatrists, but to no avail, to be honest Garak, we just don't know where else to turn."
"Very well then Doctor." Garak had agreed, more out of friendship to Dr Bashir, then the desire to help Skrain Dukat.
Dukat moaned and shook his head from side to side, as if trying to wake himself from this nightmare that he had found himself in.
Garak sighed. How was he supposed to get through to this once proud arrogant man? How was he suppose to bring him back from whatever dark place he was traveling right now?
It was impossible. No, Dukat needed therapy, therapy from a medical professional, not a disgraced ex operative, an assassin, a spy.
He stood up to leave, the sudden movement seemed to catch Dukat's attention. He looked up at Garak with red rimmed eyes.
"Garak? He whispered
Garak knelt down beside Dukat. "Yes, it's me...it's Garak."
"She loved you, you know. She loved you more than anything." Dukat said, his eyes gazing into the distance.
"And I loved her." Garak replied. "I loved Ziyal more than anything Dukat, she was like a light that shone in the darkness."
Dukat smiled gently. "Yes...yes she was."
"She was a kind and loving soul." Garak replied. Dukat closed his eyes. "My life is nothing without her."
"Do you think this is the way she would want you to be Dukat?" Garak suddenly asked. "Do you think that someone with as much zest for life would want to see her beloved father like this?"
He swept his hand around the small barren cell. Dukat stared at the other man for a moment, then hung his head. Something resembling sanity had returned to him.
Suddenly Garak laid his arm around Dukat's shoulders. "Please Dukat...please, please come back. Cardassia needs you, we need you. We need someone that can lead us to victory against the Dominion."
Dukat shook his head, the very gesture filled with defeat. "I can't Garak." He whispered. "I just...I can't."
Suddenly Garak gripped Dukat's arms hard. "Yes Dukat, yes you can. You must. Cardassia has suffered under the Dominion, we have lost whole cities, millions of innocent Cardassians dead. The Federation and their allies have been fighting, and winning some battles, but things are grim Dukat. I don't think that this is a war that we are going to win."
Dukat stared at Garak for a moment, then dropped his eyes. His hands had started to shake.
"She's dead Dukat, but you are still alive." Garak told him. "And while you are still alive, there is a chance for Cardassia, for you."
"Cardassia." Dukat said numbly. "I can still help... after all the damage that I have done?"
"The people still believe in you Dukat." Garak replied. "You can still marshall them together to fight the Dominion. Right now our people are dying, they are being thrown into the very midst of battle while at home, our women and children are being slaughtered."
"All my fault." Dukat said. "It's all my fault. I thought that I could make a deal with the Dominion. I wanted to make our people strong once more. After the war with the Klingons, we became weak, a third world power. I wanted us to be strong again. To be truly feared once more."
"And we will be." Garak replied quietly. His blue eyes shone with a fierce light. "We can be Dukat, but we need you to lead us. Damar is trying, but he's no leader, and he knows it. Come back to us Dukat and perhaps we can right some of these wrongs."
"I can't!" The cry was ripped from his very heart. He leaned his head against his drawn up knees, the sobs making his slender frame shake. Garak suddenly felt his heart go out to this broken weeping man. The once great Gul Skrain Dukat, reduced to this.
He gathered the sobbing man into his arms, rocking him back and forth as though he were a small child.
That was the way that Ben Sisko found them a couple of hours later, Dukat,leaning against Garak, eyes half closed, while the other Cardassian stroked his smooth black hair, murmuring nonsense words in Kardasi, soothing his grief away.
Damar had been more than happy to hand leadership back over to Dukat. Damar had always been completely loyal to his Gul, even to the point of killing Ziyal because of her perceived disloyalty to her father, and to Cardassia itself. Dukat had managed to forgive the former Glinn. As much as he had loved his daughter, he knew that Damar had only acted in the best interest of not only Dukat, but Cardassia itself.
The Federation had been more reluctant to accept Gul Skrain Dukat as Legate once more, they were worried about both his state of mind, and his loyalty to the Allies.
Sisko had been the hardest to convince. He simply did not trust the Cardassian. The Barjoran of course had been fit to be tied. Kai Winn had immediately lodged a protest with both the Federation and the Cardassian Council, but to no avail.
Weyoun and the female shape shifter had both been more than happy to have Dukat back, holding the reins, as it were. Until he withdrew all military support and ordered the Dominion off Cardassia Prime, and all the colony worlds as well.
The Federation had been delighted, and the Dominion incensed. They had immediately declared war on the Cardassians and they in return had been more than delighted to return the favour, fighting ferociously. Even though the Cardassian people were weakened, they resisted with a fevour that even the Changelings could never had though possible.
The Dominion refused to budge from the hard won planets they were ensconced in, until the combined might of the Federation, Romulan, Klingon and all the other allied worlds poured into Cardassian space.
The battle had been bloody, both sides taking heavy casualties, but finally the Dominion conceded defeat and retreated to Breen space.
Dukat sat behind his huge desk, studying the console in front of him. He was still recovering from the breakdown that he'd had. His long frame was still twenty pounds underweight. Dark shadows encircled his eyes, making them look deeper set than normal.
The door hissed open and he looked up as both Damar and Garak entered his office.
"Yes?" He asked, his vice distant as he watched both of his now must trusted officers approach his desk.
"Here are the reports from the battle front Gul Dukat." Damar said as he handed several information discs over to him.
For reasons known only to Dukat, he had decided not to take the title of Legate, and stayed with his title rank of Gul instead.
"Thank you Damar." He replied as he accepted the discs. Then he turned to Garak.
"What have you to report Garak?"
"I need to meet with you to brief you on the latest updates from my operatives on the battle front." Garak replied.
Dukat nodded, only half listening. He laid the information discs down onto the desktop, then he looked up at Damar, who was still awaiting new orders.
"Thank you Damar, you are dismissed. Please return to your regular duties."
Damar inclined his head, then left. Garak watched the younger man leave, then turned back to Dukat.
"I have information on another Ketrasel White facility, it's just on the other side of..."
"Yes, very good Garak, take care of it." Dukat replied impatiently.
Garak stopped, he stared at Dukat for a moment, then replied. "Don't you want to hear the details?"
"No, I am sure that you can keep everything under control." Dukat replied. He stared past Garak, his eyes, usually sharp and perceptive, held a blankness that was terrifying.
"Just take care of it Garak!" Dukat snapped. "Now leave me in peace."
Garak hesitated, for a moment he was tempted to grab Dukat by the front of his uniform, drag him from behind his desk and shake him until he could see some light behind those dull blue eyes.
Instead, he restrained himself. "Very well then Dukat." He replied stiffly. With that, he turned and left Dukat's office.
Dukat watched him go, disinterest heavy in his eyes. Then he reached into a desk drawer, taking out a holograph of his daughter Ziyal.
Sitting it on the desk top, he pressed the switch and the picture sprang to life.
Ziyal laughed up at him, her blue eyes, so much like his, dancing with youth and the sheer joy of life.
He stared down at her image, tears gathering in his eyes. Then after a while, he switched the holograph off and tucked it away in his drawer once more.
Garak sat in his quarters, finishing an evening meal, he spooned some Ga'the soup into his mouth, not really tasting it, his mind was on other things.
Finally he pushed the half empty bowl of soup away from him. Getting up from the table, he walked over to the door, his mind was finally made up.
He would go to Dukat, the man that was his most hated enemy, the man that had stranded him on Deep Space Nine, the man that still blamed him for the death of his father.
He needed to talk to him, to try and see if he could get behind the wall that he had built up around himself. Garak needed to see a spark behind those lifeless blue eyes once more.
Dukat was in his quarters sitting in the darkened room. He was neither eating, or reading, he was just sitting, staring into space his long frame settled into the comfortable contours of the padded chair.
He did not look up when the door chime sounded, or when the door slid open to allow Garak to step through into the Spartan living room.
It took Garak a couple of seconds for his eyes to adjust to the darkness of the room. Finally he made out a shape slumped in a chair.
He took a step forward "Dukat?"
"What do you want Garak?" His voice sounded infinitely weary.
"I came to speak with you." Garak replied.
"You have no right to barge into my private quarters." Dukat replied, but his words held no trace of anger, only a tired defeat, as though none of it mattered any more. Garak would have felt much better if his intrusion had angered the Gul, it was this...disinterest that frightened Garak the most.
"Actually I do." Garak replied, his voice calm, belying his true feelings.
There was no answer, the figure did not stir.
"Dukat, why do you sit here alone..in the dark?" Garak inched closer, peering into the room.
"Because it is my wish."
"To sit here like a injured animal, licking it's wounds?"
"What is it you want Garak?"
"Some light might be nice for a start." Garak replied, irony in his voice.
"Oh very well." Dukat sounded irritated now, that was a good sign. At an order, the lights sprang to life, low red lights as Cardassian preferred, not the harsher white light that the Federation and the Bajorans seemed to like.
"Ah that's better, now perhaps I can cross the room without doing serious injury to anyone. Garak joked, but it fell flat in the silence of the room.
Dukat observed the other man with reddened eyes. Garak realized that he had been sitting alone in this sparsely furnished darkened room weeping.
"Dukat..." Garak faltered what could he say to this man, their hatred for each other was so deep, so...intense. That was the only word Garak could find to describe it. Intense...bitter.
"Garak, is there something that you want?" Dukat could not hide the impatience any longer.
Garak stared at the taller man for a moment, wondering if there was anything he could say that would not send the Gul into a ballistic rage. Dukat's moods could be capricious at best. One never really knew how the man, famed for his arrogance and ego would react.
After a moment's hesitation, Garak decided, to hell with tact and diplomacy, he decided to plunge right in.
"Gul Dukat, I have come here to speak to you regarding your ability in making decisions..."
"What?" Dukat stared at the other man for a moment, not sure if he was hearing correctly.
"Dukat am trying to tell you that I am concerned about you." Garak said.
"Concerned, about what?" Dukat asked, his eyes were beginning to flash with real anger.
"About you!" Garak replied forcefully. "It's as though there is nothing left inside of you now. You barely take an interest in the day to day running of things, you sit here all alone in the dark weeping like a forlorn schoolgirl sobbing over a lost crush. Dukat, I know what you are going through, losing Ziyal, remember I lost her too!"
"You!" Dukat hissed the words, his face coloured with fury. "How would you know what it is to lose someone that you truly loved, someone that you adored, that was your whole and entire life."
The words, spat with such rage stung Garak. He stared at Dukat for a moment, blue eye icy with anger.
"You loved her Dukat? And yet the only reason you ever went looking for her, was to kill her so that she could not turn up one day and compromise you and your precious career."
"And did I kill her Garak?" Dukat replied, his hands were bunched into fists at his sides.
"I did not kill her, but bought her back to Cardassia, where that little exercise cost me my wife, my family, my position, but I never wavered in my love for her, not once."
"Oh how very noble of you Dukat, considering that it was your decision to ally yourself with the enemy in the first place. Perhaps if you had not done that, Ziyal might still be alive."
Dukat had got to his feet now, he stood, his body trembling.
For Garak's part, he stood, facing Dukat, not quite able to believe that he had just said what he'd had. To accuse a father of being responsible for the tragic death of a child was cruel at best. And in Dukat's case, unfair as well.
"Get out!" The words were delivered in a low hiss. Garak shook his head. "No Dukat, I will not."
"Then I shall call security and have them arrest you."
Garak allowed himself a small smile at that. "What's wrong Dukat, you have no wish to throw me out bodily yourself?"
A chilling smile reached across Dukat's face. "You are right Garak." His voice was a low purr. "I would like nothing better than to grab you by your throat and throw you out of the door."
Garak chuckled. "Dukat, may I remind you that I was once an operative for the Obsidian Order, I am more than capable of defending myself against an underweight Gul who sits who has spent much of his life sitting behind desks."
That proved to be too much for Dukat. With a strangled cry, he launched himself at Garak.
The ex Obsidian operative was just as quick. Garak sidestepped, allowing Dukat to miss him by inches.
"Fool." He sneered as Dukat spun around, preparing for another attack.
That only served to anger Dukat even more, reaching out, he made a grab for Garak, managing to snag a handful of material.
Garak cursed, he had to remember that he was not as young or as fast as he used to be, it had been quite sometime since he had found himself in a had to hand combat situation, let alone an all out brawl.
In return he swung a punch that landed squarely on Dukat's jaw. Garak watched his head snap back with satisfaction. But Dukat as just as quick, drawing his arm back, he landed Garak a blow to his stomach that doubled the other man over.
Another punch followed and Garak found himself knocked to the floor, completely winded. Dukat took a step back, waiting for his opponent to get back up again.
Slowly, Garak did stagger back to his feet, his breath coming in and out in harsh whoops. Sweat trickled down his face, running down his neck ridges.
"Had enough have you Garak?"
"Not nearly enough Dukat." Garak replied with a wisp of a grin.
"Then perhaps you need another lesson in manners."
"No...no, I do believe that this is quite enough."
Dukat chuckled at that. Then the smile faded. Suddenly he reached out to steady that other man.
"I should not have hit you like that Garak." He said, the words coming out stiffly. Dukat was a proud man and Garak realized that this was as close to an apology as he was going to get.
"Well I did provoke you." He replied with a shrug, then winced at the pain of the sudden movement.
"I'll call a physician." Dukat went to walk over to his console to contact the infirmary, but Garak stopped him.
"There's no need for a doctor Dukat, apart from a few bruises and a somewhat wounded pride, I'm fine."
Dukat looked doubtful, but finally nodded. "Very well then," he replied somewhat coolly. He was embarrassed at his sudden loss of self control, never before had he been driven to attack someone like that. He looked over at Garak now, wondering what might be going through the other Cardassian's mind.
"Well I see that I chose a bad time to try and talk to you Dukat." Garak said, a faint ironic smile touching his lips. "I had hoped to be able to make you see what has been going on around you but..." He let the rest of the sentence trail off.
Dukat frowned, troubled. "I know that have not been...myself lately Garak," he found himself saying. "I realize that perhaps I have been somewhat...remote, and that in a leader is inexcusable."
Garak nodded solemnly, listening.
"Perhaps you are right." Dukat continued. "As much as I loved Ziyal, I have to let her go. I must concentrate on healing Cardassia, on making us strong once more."
"Grieve for your daughter Dukat." Garak told him, his voice gentle. "Grieve for your daughter, but don't set up a permanent wake."
"A permanent what?"
"Wake." Garak replied. "An old Irish tradition that Chief O'Brian once told me about. It's like a period of mourning observed for the one that has died.
Usually accompanied by a great deal of singing and drinking."
Dukat nodded thoughtfully, pursing his lips. "Drinking you say?"
"And singing, it must be quite a spectacle if you ask me." Garak replied.
"Well then, perhaps a small wake, for Ziyal." With that, Dukat pulled out a bottle of Kanar. Unstoppering it, he poured them both a drink.
Garak raised his glass. "I believe we make a toast." He said. "To Ziyal."
Dukat echoed his words. "To Ziyal."
The bottle was nearly empty, Unsteadily, Dukat reached over to pick it up, nearly dropping it.
"Anot...her g...glass?" He slurred, lifting the bottle up.
Garak shook his head, peering out at Dukat with red rimmed eyes. "Nuh...no thank you." He mumbled. "I think that I m...may have h....had a leedle too mush."
"Nuh...nonsense." Dukat tipped the bottle over Garak's glass, and missed by about three centimeters. The amber liquid splashed onto the polished surface of the table."
"Oh shit." Dukat muttered. Garak laughed drunkenly. "I think that you have had too much as well old friend."
Dukat glared over at the other man sitting opposite him.
"May I r...remind you that we are n...not old friends."
"Enemy then, who cares." Garak flapped a hand at him impatiently. "After all Dukat, haven't we p...put aside our difer...difer...oh you know what I mean."
Dukat peered at the three Garak's sitting in front of him, wondering which was the real one.
"I suppose you are right, after all, the old Cardassia has been swept away, making way for a new and stronger one, and with it, all the old hatreds and prejudices that had weakened us for so long." He stopped then suddenly started looking around for something.
"Hmmm, where is my padd, that was so good I want to write that down before I forget it."
Garak nodded with exaggerated care. "That was very good indeed Gul Dukat, and that is why Cardassia needs you."
"Cardassia needs me." Dukat echoed. "And what about you Garak, do you need me as well?"
Garak stared at him for a moment, then without even realizing what he was doing, he kissed Dukat deeply on the mouth.
Dukat was completely taken by surprise, he could feel the other man's lips pressing against his own. he could smell the Kanar on his breath, that and something else, something faintly sweet.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, the kiss was broken, Garak was sitting back in his chair once more, looking quite smug.
"Does that answer your question Skrain?"
Dukat stared at Garak speechless, then gathering his wits about him, he replied. "Yes, I believe that does."
"Good." Suddenly Garak got to his feet, then reached over to drag a suddenly sober Dukat to his.
Dukat found himself being led into the bedroom, and before he could protest, Garak had stripped him of his uniform and laid him down on the soft warm covers.
Dukat closed his eyes as he felt the soft pressure of Garak's hands run down his lean body, the skillfull fingers touching and probing his most sensitive areas. The fingers explored, feeling the scaly ridges that adorned his body, making him gasp out loud in pleasure as sensation rippled through him.
Garak had stripped himself of his own uniform and naked, he stretched out beside the stunned Gul.
"Shhh my love, let me do all the work now." Garak whispered as his mouth began to explore his soon-to-be lover's body.
Dukat laid his head back on a pillow, arching as Garak's tongue probed and tasted.
"By the great Gul..." He moaned as a particularly vunerable spot was teased.
Suddenly Dukat's legs were lifted up and parted, exposing his most private opening. He felt Garak's tongue flicking over his anus, making Dukat groan and arch his back, offering himself to the other man.
He felt rather than saw Garak enter him, after having moistened his rectum with his own fluid.
Dukat cried out in a mixture of pleasure and discomfort as Garak penis thrust deep.
"Oh...oohhh, Guls, that's...good." He moaned, sweat trickled down his body, making him even more slick as Garak's thrusts became harder, more eager.
Several moments after, the climax grew until Garak could no longer contain it and he spurt his pink seed deep into Dukat's body.
Cock flaccid now, Garak withdrew, only to find himself flung onto his stomach. Dukat grasped his arse and thrust it up, drawing Garak onto his knees, then shoved a couple of thick pillows under his belly.
Thus positioned, Dukat moistened Garak's anus with his pre cum, then smoothly thrust his own weeping cock deep inside the ex Obsidian Order spy.
Garak cries mingled with his own as Dukat moved inside the other man. He clutched at Garak's well rounded arse cheeks and he thrust until he reached his own climax. Crying out, he felt his cock ejaculate and he collapsed, utterly exhausted onto the bed beside Garak.
After a few moments to get his breath back more than anything else, Dukat lifted himself up on one elbow, staring straight at Garak, his new found lover.
"Tell me Garak...has all this been some sort of ploy to get me into bed with you?"
"Why Dukat, what would make you think that?" Garak asked, his face the picture of innocence.
"Hmmm." Dukat regarded the other man with undisguised suspicion.
Garak looked back at him, blue eyes sparkling. "Dukat, I know that we have always been enemies, after all, we do have a certain history together, but did you not say yourself that it was time to shed the old ways, bring in the new. And besides that, you are an incredibly sexy and beautiful creature that I have always hungered after."
A smile quirked the corners of Dukat's shapely mouth. "Well since you put it that way..." He bent his head down to plant a kiss on the corner of Garak's lips.
"A fresh start is you want my love." He said, his smile widening. "A fresh start is what you shall have."
Garak melted into Dukat's arms, satisfied that now perhaps Dukat could find some kind of peace from his grief, something to live for once more. It had been a risky plan, initiating the fight, then making sure that Dukat got good and drunk, he himself had taken an alcohol suppresser just before he arrived at Dukat's quarters.
Garak could not have been sure that it all would have worked, but it had, and for that he was grateful. It was true, he had lusted after Dukat for some time now, especialy when they had been younger, but things had happened... well best not to dwell on that.
Garak had been planning for some weeks now, on how to seduce the other man, and in one way, he was amazed that it had worked so well.
Dukat had snuggled down beside him, his head resting on Garak's shoulder. Best not to question good fortune, Garak told himself, best to just accept his luck and make the most of it.
"A fresh start indeed." he whispered as slowly sleep overtook him, beside him, Dukat had already closed his eyes, his face restful and younger looking in repose.