Title: Sigh No More, Act I
Author: The Plaid Adder
Rating/Pairing(s): PG, G/B
Disclaimer: All rights reserved except for the ones Paramount owns already.  Adapted from "Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare, who was born too early to reap the benefits of copyright law and therefore has no legal recourse. Heh heh.
Story Notes/Comments: Like all of my stories, this was written before the introduction of Ziyal, and does not reflect developments in the canon universe after that point. Ophidia is a character I made up. Ostensibly, she's a singer from Caledonia who's an old friend of Dax's. 
Website: http://www.io.com/~villyard/plaidder/lair.html

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(The scene is Quark's. DAX and SISKO are sitting at one table having a working lunch, GARAK and BASHIR at another. KIRA enters and walks very quickly toward SISKO)

SISKO: Good afternoon, Major. (She leans over the table confrontationally)

KIRA: Why is it that every time I turn around there's another shipload of Cardassians crawling the Promenade?

SISKO: Very well, thank you. And you?

KIRA: This is still a Bajoran station, so far as I know, unless it was sold to Cardassia as a tourist resort and someone forgot to brief me.

SISKO: Major--

KIRA: Especially considering the traffic we're about to get for the Greenwood Songfest I would think you might want to at least reschedule--

SISKO: Major. (KIRA stops) The Bajoran government has organized an academic exchange with Cardassia. A team of Bajoran archaeologists is on its way to Cardassia to excavate the recently discovered crash site--

KIRA: Oh, right, recently discovered.

SISKO: --and a team of Cardassian historians is coming here to study the late Cardassian empire. They're academics, Major. They're harmless.

KIRA: They'd just better not try studying me. (Tromps off in a huff)

SISKO: Was it something I said?

DAX: The Songfest starts in a few days.

SISKO: But I thought the Songfest was supposed to make people happy.

DAX: Yes, but that's because it's traditionally a lovers' festival.

SISKO: Ah. Bareil.

DAX: Plus, Kai Wynn is officiating.

SISKO: Oh dear

(The camera pans to GARAK and BASHIR's table, where they are engaged in a heated and gesticulating discussion.)

GARAK: No. No more Terran novels.  I refuse.

BASHIR: You cannot reject an entire genre on the basis of "Pride and Prejudice."

GARAK: My dear Doctor, I would never dream of generalizing from such a small sample. Since we last spoke I have been through "Wuthering Heights," "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," and "The Golden Bowl," and I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the Terran narrative holds no interest for me.

BASHIR: Now I know you're lying. You can't possibly have read all that in two weeks.

GARAK: My reading skills are highly disciplined.

BASHIR: Your Obsidian Order training?

GARAK: (laughs) Not exactly. You've clearly never visited a Cardassian primary school.

BASHIR: I'm sure they're very efficient.

GARAK: A literate empire is a healthy empire. But I simply cannot get interested in a literary form in which the only issue of any importance is whether or not two people marry each other. It amazes me that a plot so banal can still fascinate you after all this time.

BASHIR: Garak, love is one of the most profound mysteries of the human psyche. After six hundred years we haven't even scratched the surface.  That's what's so intriguing!

GARAK: You find this intriguing? This self-indulgent whining over whether the hero finds his soulmate or whether the heroine has to marry someone she likes slightly less well than someone else? It's fatuous! The authors make no attempt to convince the reader that this romance will have any impact on the state--

BASHIR: What has the state got to do with it?

GARAK: Everything! If it's not going to affect the state, how can it possibly affect me? Whether someone is happy or unhappy is immaterial unless the community as a whole is changed by it. That's what real fiction is about.

BASHIR: Garak—

(back to the table with SISKO and DAX)

SISKO: I see they're at it again.

DAX: Julian has been trying to get him interested in Victorian novels. I told him he'd have better luck with Thomas Pynchon or John LeCarre—even Dostoyevski, but you can't tell him anything when it comes to Garak. 

(From across the room:)

BASHIR: But it is relevant! What could be more relevant than trying to understand the workings of the human heart?

GARAK: Doctor! I'm surprised that after all this time you haven't figured them out. I have.

BASHIR: Enlighten me.

GARAK: The human heart is a four-chambered organ whose main function is the circulation of—

(BASHIR groans. Back to DAX and SISKO)

DAX: All I want to know is when one of them is going to make the move.

(O'BRIEN enters and get a cup of coffee from the bar)

SISKO: Move to where? 

(O'BRIEN approaches the table and sits)

DAX: The big one. From platonic to passionate.

O'BRIEN: What's all this now?

SISKO: Dax was just saying she's waiting for Garak and the doctor to--

DAX: Get physical.

O'BRIEN: Ah, God, the sooner the better. If I have to play one more game of midnight darts--

DAX: I always thought the darts were for you, Chief.

O'BRIEN: No, the racquetball is for me. The darts are for him. Three times a week, at least, he's outside my door in the wee hours with a handful of pointy objects wanting to go down to Quark's and try for the bull's eye.  Now, I'm no Freudian, but if you ask me...

SISKO: So you really think they'll get together.

O'BRIEN: They'll talk each other to death first.

DAX: I'm afraid you're right. Julian's a good doctor but when it comes to his own chemistry he really doesn't understand much.

SISKO: So the move will never be made. Unless...

DAX: Unless what, Benjamin?

SISKO: Well, the Songfest is coming upon us. What more appropriate time to give a pair of lovers a little...help? 

(SISKO grins. DAX and O'BRIEN look over at BASHIR and GARAK, then back at SISKO, then all laugh conspiratorially. ODO approaches)

ODO: Is there a reason you're all cackling like Ferengi at an estate auction, or is this just one of those humanoid things I'll never understand?

(Back to BASHIR and GARAK)

GARAK: All I can tell you is that I find the entire subject thoroughly uninteresting.

BASHIR: Oh, please. I don't believe that for a moment.

GARAK: Well, Doctor, you tell me. You're thirty and you obviously haven't met your one true love--do you feel as if you've been denied the highest form of existence?

BASHIR: Well, I--

GARAK: Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be in no hurry to enter this state of nuptial bliss yourself.

BASHIR: Oh good Lord no.

GARAK: In fact, just mentioning it seems to throw you into a veritable tizzy. (BASHIR pushes his chair out and throws his napkin on the table)
What's the matter? Have I spoiled your digestion?

BASHIR: On the contrary. I've just remembered I'm expecting an important communique from my sister.

GARAK: Your sister! Why Doctor! This is almost worth slogging through Jane Austen. In all this time I don't believe I've ever heard you admit to having a family. I thought until now you'd been found growing in the wild. 

(They both rise and walk out together. Back to Sisko's table)

SISKO: So I can count on you, then?

DAX: I wouldn't miss it. It's about time poor Julian raised his standards.  Did you see that Dabo bimbo he was hitting on the other night?

SISKO: What about you, Chief?

O'BRIEN: If it'll keep him out of my hair I'm up for anything.


ODO: I'd prefer not to be involved. I don't know much about what you call love but I don't think even Garak deserves Dr. Bashir. And frankly,
Commander, I'm surprised to see you organizing something so due platypus.

(SISKO blinks. DAX and O'BRIEN both look at ODO)

SISKO: I beg your pardon?

ODO: I merely said that your plan is a little too duplicitous for me to--

SISKO: Oh, duplicitous.  I thought you said...due platypus.

ODO: I don't think I did, Commander.

DAX: No, I heard platypus too, Constable.

ODO: Platypus?

SISKO: Chief?

O'BRIEN: Platypus here too.

ODO: This is very strange.

SISKO: It happens to all of us, Odo.

ODO: But--

SISKO: So you won't help.

ODO: Commander, my entire senior staff is on leave to Bajor for the Songfest, seven hundred and thirty-two entertainers from five hundred and
ninety-three different planetary systems are arriving here over the next three days, a shipload of Cardassians with inflated egos and poor social
skills docks here tomorrow, and Quark is running himself ragged trying to take advantage of them all simultaneously. You may have time to play stupid but I don't. (Awkward pause)

O'BRIEN: Cupid, I think you mean.

ODO: Why, what did I say?

SISKO: Never mind.

(Cut to BASHIR and GARAK entering sickbay.)

BASHIR: I got a note from her yesterday saying she would write today with an important request. I have no idea what it could possibly be. We're
actually not biologically related. She's Phrenellian.

GARAK: Phrenellian? This is a day of surprises. What were you doing so close to the Demilitarized Zone?

BASHIR: It was all long before this business with the Maquis, back when Phrenellia was considering joining the Federation. I was on their homeworld for a year between college and medical school working on a Federation research project. Computer, are there any messages for me?

COMPUTER: Affirmative.

BASHIR: On screen. (Continues talking to GARAK while reading the message) Anyway, I lived with a Phrenellian family that had a daughter, and their rules about female conduct are very strict. Unmarried women are supposed to have almost no contact with males outside the family. In order to live in their house I had to be formally adopted.

GARAK: They trusted her with you?

BASHIR: They take the adoption ceremony very seriously, Garak, and so do I.  Besides, she was a child then. I've regarded her ever since as my next of kin. She's really all the family I have.

GARAK: But clearly she doesn't contact you often.

BASHIR: The past couple years she's been very busy. When a Phrenellian girl hits marriageable age there are great demands on her time--(stops short as he reads a particular passage; long pause while he goes back over it)

GARAK : Is something wrong?

BASHIR: Well...that depends. (Turns to him) She's getting married. And she wants to have the wedding here.

*end Act I*

On to Act II