TITLE: Bloodheart
AUTHOR:  The Plaid Adder
SUMMARY: Garak and Bashir are still dealing with the fallout of the events of "The Chair," while Kira pursues prosecution of Garak's kidnappers.
DISCLAIMERS: All rights reserved except for the ones Paramount owns already.
COMMENTS: This story is a sequel to "The Horror, The Horror," and will make more sense if you read the preceding stories...

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(Interior of one of the conference rooms on the station. GARAK is sitting at the table; KIRA is standing and leaning over it. Neither is in a good mood.)

KIRA: *Why* do you find it so hard to cooperate with--

GARAK: You have the blood analysis and you have the culprits in custody. What else do you need?

KIRA: The blood only incriminates Telpar. We have no physical evidence placing Dantac on the scene.

GARAK: But Telpar's confession incriminates him.

KIRA: Yes, but--

GARAK: So why do you need me?

KIRA: Because strange as it may seem we like to establish the suspect's *guilt* before we convict him. I know that's a little different from Cardassian jurisprudence--

GARAK: The confession establishes guilt.

KIRA: No it *doesn't.* Telpar could be lying, he could be shielding someone else--

GARAK: Statistically speaking, though, it's unlikely.

KIRA: This is a civil society, Garak, and "unlikely" isn't good enough.

GARAK: Then nothing ever will be. If you won't accept a confession as proof I fail to see what else would satisfy you.

KIRA: If you could identify--

GARAK: (standing) It would make no difference. If your system is designed to make it impossible to convict, there's nothing I can do to--

KIRA: Our system is designed to ensure that the innocent are not--

GARAK: (laughing) Ah, that *priceless* Bajoran naiivete.

KIRA: (now thoroughly angry) Garak, would you care to explain that comment so that my tiny Bajoran brain can grasp your meaning?

GARAK: Major, everyone's guilty of something.

KIRA: So we just punish people indiscriminately on the theory that if they're innocent of this particular crime they probably committed another one we don't know about?

GARAK: Statistically speaking--

KIRA: Statistically speaking, unless we have more to go on than a confession obtained after Telpar's arrest Dantac is going to walk so we need you to come to the holding cell and--

GARAK: I'm sorry, Major, I can't help you. (Starts exiting)

KIRA: All we want you to do is to look at a group of potential suspects and see if any of them could be your second attacker. *Why* is that such a problem? (GARAK is still ignoring her as he moves toward the door. ) Don't walk away from me! (In a moment of frustration, she grabs his arm as he passes her and turns him around) We're not done!

(In one quick, almost involuntary movement, GARAK breaks her grip, gets her turned around with an arm twisted behind her back, and slams her into the nearest wall. KIRA is clearly surprised; she is also clearly in pain and frightened that she can't seem to break his hold.)

GARAK: (crushing her into the wall) Be more careful, Major. There's a lot you don't know about me. (KIRA makes an involuntary noise of pain; he seems to realize what's happening suddenly, lets go of her and beats a hasty retreat. KIRA takes a moment to collect herself, then barrels out of the room)

(The infirmary. KIRA is sitting on one of the examination tables and having her arm treated by BASHIR. She is hopping mad, and also a little shaken.)

KIRA: You tell him if he thinks that just because he's married to a Starfleet officer people are going to overlook this kind of aggression he's dead wrong. He's not at home any more and he can't treat people this way

BASHIR: Try flexing your wrist now. (KIRA does) Does it still hurt?

KIRA: We fought a revolution to stop people like him from torturing and brutalizing us and I'm not about to let that continue in any form, by any body, I don't care who. It's not *enough* I'm working to try to prosecute
Bajorans for a crime against a Cardassian which certainly goes against my natural inclincations, I have to be insulted and abused by the one person who should be thanking me and all of us for risking our lives and careers to bring him back here instead of letting his sorry carcass rot on Cardassia the way we maybe should have!

BASHIR: (dropping the pretense of professional detachment) Major! (KIRA stops) I understand you're upset, but you are talking about--(takes a minute to get a hold of himself) I know you've never gotten along--

KIRA: It's not that I haven't tried! I have, for your sake, but as far as I'm concerned this just shows that you don't know what he's capable of or what he's using you for. (She shakes her arm; it seems to be all right now)

BASHIR: (angry, but trying to control it) I think we're finished here, Major.

KIRA: (grudgingly) Thank you. (She exits. BASHIR sighs and walks away.)

(The interior of Garak's shop; GARAK is in the workroom doing alterations on a complicated dress. BASHIR sits in a chair watching him)

BASHIR: (after a short silence) So. I saw Major Kira in the infirmary this morning.

GARAK: Really.

BASHIR: She had a stress fracture in her radius and a pulled tricep. (GARAK turns his back on BASHIR as he moves around to continue working) Are you going to tell me what happened?

GARAK: It sounds to me like you already know.

BASHIR: I've heard Kira's version. I'd like to hear yours.

GARAK: I'm sure hers is both comprehensive and accurate. Mine would be superfluous.

BASHIR: The factual details I'm aware of. I'm asking you why.

GARAK: I'm sure she has a theory about that too.

BASHIR: I'm more interested in yours.

GARAK: (snapping) I wish I had one! (BASHIR realizes he's upset and approaches him. GARAK leans over his worktable; BASHIR stands behind him, stroking the back of his bowed shoulders)

BASHIR: (uncomfortably) You still, you know, you still...(GARAK shakes his head; BASHIR puts his arms around him from behind) It happens like that sometimes with me, Garak, I'll be talking to Odo or watching Miles show me some new gadget he's working on and it'll--or I'll be treating someone with burn or laceration injuries--even during the show sometimes when I heard Ophidia shouting directions at me it would bring it all back in a cold sweat. (GARAK turns to face him) It was because she touched you, wasn't it?

GARAK: I don't know. Perhaps. I don't know what was going through me--she said "We're not done," and then everything went up in flames and there suddenly we were.

BASHIR: It's not gone. We have to...we have to expect this to happen, sometimes. Be ready for it.

GARAK: (frustrated) *When* will they be through with me?

BASHIR: I don't know. We have to wait.

GARAK: Or perhaps not. (Starts leaving)

BASHIR: Where are you going?

GARAK: To talk to Major Kira. (Putting his jacket on) If you don't hear from me by 1800 hours contact station security. (BASHIR smiles; GARAK exits grimly.)


On to Act I