reflectedeve: black & white photo of two white girls, 1920s-era, snuggling with a book. (book love - shared experience)
[personal profile] reflectedeve
I seem, for the most part, to have run out of Garak/Bashir fic (cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth) … and I feel compelled to make a recs list. As you do (although I haven’t in many years).

I may be procrastinating on both(!) my own fic. Shhh.

Mid-series canon-compliant
(Roughly in order of the point in the show where they’re set/start.)

Literacy, by thehoyden (Mature, 5,581 words)
Post-The Wire story, in which Garak gets Bashir to start reading a book to him in Kardasi, promising to teach him the language as he goes … but his definitions of some of the terms are, ah, deliberately misleading. Just damn delightful.

Your Love Is My Drug, by tinsnip (Teen, 16,973 words)
A sequel, but I think it works all right on its own. Bashir, having picked up a tip about Cardassian flirting (the fic takes its cue, as the fandom often does, from misunderstandings between Gilora and O’Brien in "Destiny"), tries to “court” Garak using Cardassian literature as his guide. Silly and ridiculous and fun.

From Shadows to Sunlight, by Jade_Waters (Explicit, 5,473 words)
Fills in the gaps: Garak and Bashir have an off-again, on-again secret sexual relationship throughout the show. Hot and a bit sweet; ends post-canon.

Measurements, by Isagel (Explicit, 2,203 words)
A brief dressing room assignation: hot, hot, hot, and has some good character bits to boot.

Something More, by thesadchicken (Explicit, 2,768 words)
A pleasantly creative, kinky established-relationship PWP. This fandom has a thing for playing with language, translation and of course the characters’ shared love of the written word, which I wholeheartedly approve of!

The Policy of Truth, by Prevailing (Explicit, 70,497 words and counting)
… okay, this one’s a little AU? But not dramatically so. Garak and Bashir embark on a D/s relationship. Set during the first half of season three; it’s a WiP, but I’m fairly confident she’ll finish it eventually, and what’s there already is substantial and enjoyable. Also, absurdly hot. I did an illustration of the suspension scene from chapter 7 (NSFW, obviously).

When the Farsei Blooms, by prairiecrow (Explicit, 143,387 words, unfinished)
Bashir and Garak crash-land a runabout on an unknown planet, destroying their communications equipment in the process.. They quickly discover that the planet is inhabited by the descendents of a group of Cardassian refugees who follow a religious order with anti-technological tenets, and who have enslaved the planet’s native sentient species, who bear some superficial resemblance to humans … all of which leads the doctor to have to rely on his plain, simple friend as they try to navigate their way to some means of getting a distress call out to Starfleet. It’s a dense and enjoyable adventure story, so much so that I’m recommending it even though it’s unfinished and almost certainly abandoned. Sigh.

Eyes; of Storms and Needles, by sallysorrell (Teen, 13,260 words)
Garak assists on an exploratory mission to a newly-discovered planet in the Gamma Quadrant. Reads rather like the plot of an original third-season episode, with a take on the interplay between Garak and Bashir that is rife with ambiguity, innuendo, and (sometimes deliberate) failures to communicate effectively. The ending is a little unsatisfying, from both a shipping and a plot point of view, but I found the take on their dynamic fresh and intriguing all the same. And I just enjoy them teaming up.

Fairy Tales in Deep Space, by airandangels (gen, General Audiences, 21,555 words)
Bashir makes a cultural research project out of telling Garak various classic fairy tales, and asking him what the “moral” is. (Inspired, naturally, by the conversation about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in Improbable Cause.) It’s unfinished, but each chapter stands fine on its own anyway, and the Garak dialogue made me giggle out loud on the bus more than once.

Locked Inside, by airandangels (Mature, 6,516 words)
In which Garak is trapped in a destructive loop inside his own mind, and Bashir needs to rescue him, with the help of Lwaxana Troi. Who I love, right down to her lack of patience for other peoples’ dithering about their emotions. (Also, while I generally don’t buy Bashir being aggressively self-identified as straight, this handles it all right and with humor.)

Supply and Demand, by prairiecrow (Explicit, 3,120 words)
A PWP set aboard the Defiant during the events of A Time to Stand, with sharp-edged banter that I find very appealing (and which, incidentally, tries to explain their somewhat inconsistent dynamic in that episode).

Romance is Ridiculous (But We Like A Little Anyway), by Jade_Waters (Explicit, 3,364 words)
Technically a sequel, but works fine on its own, and I actually read it first by mistake. I like the first story--a kinky PWP--as well, but this one (which is also really a PWP) stands out in particular. Garak has trust issues. Bashir tries to work with them.

Post-Canon (Cardassia)

Letters from the Northern Continent, by thehoyden (Mature, 7,966 words)
Ah, the story everyone and their sister recommended to me when I started looking for G/B recs! A gentle, understated post-Cardassia getting-together story. Just the right balm after watching What You Leave Behind the first (or any) time.

Learning to Speak, by tinsnip (General Audiences, 20,163 words)
Bashir is living on Cardassia Prime post-war, with Garak, and is trying to settle into both the culture and their newly redefined relationship. Garak has insisted that, as part of his efforts to learn Kardasi, he turn off his universal translator for a day. In-depth worldbuilding, excellent language play (tinsnip’s Kardasi conlang makes me wish so hard that I were better with linguistics), and some really fantastic, difficult communication/relationship processing. One of my favorites..

The Better Part of Worry, by katiemariie (Teen, 4,589 words)
Bashir is living on Cardassia with Garak when he gets some news that sets him off on a clandestine mission to help his fellow genetically enhanced Humans. This story isn’t really about the mission, which it covers the before and after of; it’s really a character/relationship sketch, understated and quiet and affecting. Two people with troubled pasts building a life together.

Altering Course, by AuroraNova (Teen, 72,076 words)
Another story in which Bashir comes to Cardassia to help with the relief efforts, and Garak winds up finally making a move. Structured around a heavily formalized courtship process, with thoughtful worldbuilding; I find some of it a little less than plausible wrt my own ideas about character and canon, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable, satisfying read.

Revolutionary Etude, by Ololon (Mature, 65,397 words)
Bashir and Garak are making a life together on Cardassia, but a chance run-in with Natima Lang opens some questions about Garak’s past that neither of them can escape trying to untangle. Slow, almost dreamy at times, often rather dark, and heavily laden with literary allusions (it’s certainly no surprise that the writer was completing her PhD program around the same time, nor is it hard to guess what her subject must be). Deals with, among other things, this question of the differences between Cardassian and human memory, Garak’s psychological development, and … my biggest question about his characterization: we know he’s absolutely dedicated and loyal to Cardassia, but which Cardassia? (In particular: WHY did Garak, the formerly foremost agent of a repressive intelligence agency and staunch defender of rigid glorification of the State above all individual concerns or freedoms REPEATEDLY help to rescue Cardassian dissidents, usually killing representatives of the established order in the process?)

Another Line of Work Presents Itself, by bmouse (Teen, 2,884 words)
A short and delightful established relationship story: the new Cardassian government occasionally utilizes Garak’s old investigative skills (if in a rather less lethal and repressive context), and Bashir gives in to the temptation to stop by and look in on him at work.

The Spirit of Christmas, by Altariel (General Audiences, 7,641 words)
A DS9 Christmas Carol, with post-canon Garak as Scrooge and Q as all the spirits rolled into one. Often rather grim, and contains fairly painful accounts of unrequited feelings and the dissolution of friendship set during canon, but ends on a hopeful note. Just.

AU

Stubborn Mouths: Humans in Translation, by Hannah (Mature, 62,940 words)
An absolutely gorgeous AU in which Bashir was never “genetically enhanced.” Commentary on disability and identity interwoven with fantastic, nuanced character voices (various characters have chapters in their perspective, and all are engaging, in-depth explorations) and lovely relationship-building. So so good; can’t recommend highly enough.

Inside Out (Mature, 141,174 words) and Foreign Bodies (Mature, 79,631 words and counting), by Prevailing
In which Elim Garak is a sleeper agent, living undercover as a Bajoran tailor … who meets and falls in love with a certain young Starfleet doctor, while entirely unaware of his own true origins. Does some fascinating things with the nature of memory and identity (not to mention characterization), and is, as you might imagine, rather painful and gripping. The second story is an active work in progress.

Exile, by thehoyden (Mature, 8,949 words)
Set prior to the Cardassian withdrawal from Bajor: Julian Bashir, exiled from the Federation for his genetic status, is working as a doctor on Terok Nor, doing what he can to alleviate the suffering of the Bajoran workers and making the acquaintance of one mysterious Mr. Garak. I love a well-thought-out role reversal story, and the ethical complexity of the scenario is handled with a light but deft touch.

Tinker Tailor Gardener Spy, by TheoMiller (gen, General Audiences, 4,509 words)
Two-part series, and I hope there will be more. What if Elim Garak really was just a multitalented tailor, followed around by persistent rumors?

I tried to be pretty selective about this, so there’s definitely plenty of other work out there worth reading … it’s quite intimidating, really. But at the same time, not enough.
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reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (Default)
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