Please see the Disclaimer in Part One!
Benjamin Sisko stood in the doorway to his office, looking out over the controlled bustle of OPS. He watched Lieutenant Jadzia Dax stifle a yawn. As the spasm passed, Sisko's eyes slid from Dax to Major Kira Nerys, halfway across the room from Dax. As if on cue, Kira covered her mouth as her cheek muscles contorted. Sisko looked to Doctor Julian Bashir, who was spending an inordinate amount of time in OPS lately, and sure enough, no sooner had Kira finished controlling her yawn than the doctor was off. Sisko shook his head in bemusement. "Dax," he said, pitching his voice to carry. The young Trill looked up and caught his eye. With a slight motion of his head, Sisko summoned her over. He was uncomfortably aware of Kira's gaze as he ordered the door shut behind Dax.
As the commander and the Trill disappeared from view, Doctor Bashir lowered his head, eyes darting sideways to the impassive figure of Major Kira. Her face remained blank, although she couldn't help but be aware of the silent question in the doctor's glance.
Miles O'Brien unknowingly shattered the tension of the moment with his overly jocular Irish cheer. "Vedek Bareil go back to Bajor so soon already, Major?" he observed insinuatingly. Julian continued to watch from under lowered brows as Kira considered several possible modes of reply, finally settling on mischievous.
"I guess this latest trip to the station really wore him out," she said, her face solemn as her eyes betrayed her with a twinkle. Miles chuckled, and Julian dared to raise his head as a boyish grin made its slow way across his face: mischievous was by far his favorite of Kira's moods.
"A lot of that going around, eh, Doctor?" Miles said teasingly. A flash of panic crossed Julian's face, but he controlled himself quickly.
"What do you mean, Miles?" he asked innocently.
"You don't have to play dumb with me, I saw the way that ensign from the Andorian trader was looking at you," O'Brien said. "Have dinner with her, did you?"
"Yes," Julian said, relieved. Major Kira laughed out loud. Ensign Sulak, manning the weapons array, noted with Vulcan dispassion that there was a certain positive aesthetic value to the curve described by Kira's breasts when she laughed. Kira patted Julian on the shoulder in a friendly way.
"Our young doctor is easy to embarrass, you'll have to go easy on him, Chief," she said to O'Brien, heading for the lift. "I'm off to lunch."
"See you later, Major," O'Brien said, fully oblivious to the way Kira's slightest touch had brought "our young doctor" to a heightened state of tingling arousal. Ensign Sulak, on the other hand, noticed everything and missed nothing. He turned to regard the closed door to Sisko's office with a speculative eye.
"All right, old man, out with it," Sisko said. "What is going on? I'm gone for a week on station business and when I come back, it's like my senior staff has been replaced by strangers."
"I'm not sure what you mean, Benjamin," Dax said calmly, folding her hands on her knees. "We're the same people we were when you left."
Sisko rolled his eyes and tried a different tactic. "The computer records no unusual events of a serious nature while I was gone. So how come you, Major Kira, and Doctor Bashir look like you haven't slept in a month?"
Dax pulled her lower lip through her teeth before replying. "I can't be responsible for the doctor's extra-curricular activities."
"Oh? But the major -- you can be responsible for hers?" Sisko pounced on the discrepancy.
"That's not what I meant, Benjamin. I thought you were accusing me of keeping Julian up at night?" She fixed him with a steady, inquisitive gaze. Sisko squirmed as he remembered that this was, yet was not, the same being with whom he had shared many bedroom tales....
"Your personal life is your business," he said at last, "and the same goes for Kira and Bashir. But if you know why they're so tired, I wish you'd tell me."
"Do you perceive their sleepiness as detrimental to the performance of their duties?"
"Well, no, they can always take a caffeine stimulant," Sisko began, and Dax cut him off smoothly, rising to her feet.
"Then there's no reason for you to be concerned, is there? I have to get back to the science station. If there's nothing else?"
"No, go ahead." Sisko sighed. Somehow he had lost again -- the strong determination he'd felt to get the bottom of this mystery had melted under Dax's calm, rational gaze. It was infuriating. "Bad enough she always beats me at chess," he muttered to the empty air.
Ensign Sulak watched Lieutenant Dax reemerge from Sisko's office and look around. The Vulcan correctly calculated that Dax was searching for the departed Kira. Dax descended the stairs and approached Julian. He looked at her with some apprehension, but she said merely, "Lunchtime, Doctor. Care to join me at the replimat?"
"Oh, uh...yes, sure," Julian said, fumblingly. "We'll be back later, Chief."
"Take your time," said Miles O'Brien, who figured Julian was suffering aresurgence of his old crush on Dax. Ensign Sulak missed nothing as Dax put a seemingly casual hand on Julian's shoulder and they walked to the lift together.
"Promenade," Dax said, and turned to Julian as the lift began to move. "Julian, you really have to learn how to control yourself. I bet you'd be terrible at poker. Do you want everyone in OPS to know your business?"
"I'm sorry, Jadzia," Julian said contritely. "I'm just not very good at this clandestine stuff. I hope Major Kira isn't mad at me."
"You ought to hope she is mad," Dax said, with a wicked curve to her lip. "Stop," she added, and the lift hung motionless. Dax slid up against Julian and bit his earlobe. He closed his eyes and reached for her, but in an instant she was gone again, out of his grasp and halfway across the lift. She observed his flushed state and the distorted outline of his uniform, and said, "Resume." Julian glared at her.
"You're very cruel, Jadzia," he said, but his tone was playful. They grinned at each other and stepped onto the Promenade.
Julian and Dax were about halfway through their lunch when her commbadge chirped. "OPS to Lieutenant Dax," said the staid Vulcan voice of Ensign Sulak.
"Lieutenant, we're experiencing difficulties with the sensor arrays. Chief O'Brien requests you return to OPS and verify his data."
Dax sighed and looked at Julian. He shrugged helplessly. "On my way," she said. "Dax out." She rose and tossed her tray into the dispenser. "Sorry," was all she said, but her eyes spoke volumes as they locked with Julian's just before she left. He pursed his lips, pressed his legs together and concentrated on his food.
Julian was so absorbed in the tray of food before him that he didn't notice his friend Garak until the Cardassian had pulled out the seat vacated by Dax and sat down. "Something on your mind, Doctor?" he asked amiably.
"Oh...good afternoon, Garak. I was just thinking about a patient."
"That's interesting to hear, considering you've been spending almost no time in sickbay these days," Garak said slyly.
Julian looked up and fully met his friend's eyes. "What do you mean? Of course I've been in sickbay. Where else would I be?"
"Where indeed? All I know is, I went there earlier today to invite you to an early lunch, and the nurse on duty said you've been spending most of your time in OPS lately. Is something going on? Would you like to talk about it?"
"No," Julian said shortly, but he felt a blush beginning to spread and knew that he wouldn't be able to withstand his friend's questions for very long. An idea hit him with the force of one of Major Kira's whips -- his eyes sparkled and his skin began to tingle. "Actually..." he said carefully, meeting Garak's eyes again, "Garak, you must promise to keep this a complete secret."
"But of course," Garak said, leaning forward interestedly.
The shift ended and Julian found himself in Kira's quarters again, where indeed he'd been spending much more time than in his own quarters of late. He arrived after Dax, and found her already naked on the bed with Kira. As Julian was removing his clothing he listened to the two women talking.
"I think our young doctor needs a lesson or two in keeping a straight face, Jadzia," Kira said, stroking Dax's hair idly like a cat. Dax lifted her head from Kira's breast and looked over at Julian.
"I spoke with him this afternoon," she replied. "He will do better."
"Speaking is all very well and good," Kira said, directing Dax's mouth back toward her breast, "but actions speak louder than words, so they say. Isn't that right, Doctor?"
"Yes, Major," Julian said obediently, crawling across the bed toward the two of them. His cinnamon-colored skin glistened with anticipational sweat and his full lips were parted, his breathing already laborious. Kira couldn't resist reaching to kiss him, twining her tongue around his as she pulled him under her.
"Let the fun begin..." she whispered silkily.
The three lovers had reached a resting point in their activities and were lying back on the bed to recover when the door chimed. Dax looked startled, and even Kira's eyes widened. "Who could that be?" she asked.
"Just someone I invited along," Julian said cheerfully, tracing the line of spots across Dax's torso with his fingers.
Kira ran a speculative tongue over her lips, then pulled a sheet across her naked form and called, "Enter."
The door swooshed open and Garak entered, his Cardassian features suffused with arousal and interest. "Good evening, ladies," he said gallantly. "Doctor."
"Garak! Your timing is impeccable," Julian cried delightedly as a look of shock made its way across Kira's face. Dax's mouth opened, then quickly closed again.
"Doctor Bashir," Kira said sternly, "who authorized you to invite a Cardassian into my quarters?"
"Major," said Garak quickly, before Julian could respond, "may I say that you are as lovely as ever, recent surgery notwithstanding. Although you do make a ravishing Cardassian, as I believe I've mentioned." Kira flushed as she recalled the evident lust with which Garak had regarded her Cardassian features on the Defiant as they returned to DS9 from Cardassia. She had been relieved to see her face back to Bajoran-normal by Julian's skill, but her days as a Cardassian lingered in recent memory. She also realized that she was buck naked before Garak's appreciative eyes.
"Enough talk," said Dax, shoving Julian to the edge of the bed. He tumbled off with a yelp and bounced to his feet, his lean, lithe body displayed in all its glory to his tailor friend. Dax took the opportunity to climb on top of the still-surprised Kira, and Garak took a step toward Julian, appreciation shining in his eyes.
"You are full of surprises, aren't you, Doctor?" he said, his voice much softer than usual. Julian looked into Garak's eyes and each saw the other's thoughts mirrored. Slowly they moved together until their bodies touched, and then Julian's nimble fingers found the buttons on Garak's suit, and Garak's hands found the doctor's waist. They sank to the floor as Kira and Dax watched from the bed. The last coherent thought in the room was Kira's amazed "Is that thing for real?"...
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