Two weeks later, Julian winced as the turbolift lurched to a stop. The doors opened and the Bashir-Garak family stepped out. Rochosh sprinted ahead of his parents but came to a stop when he realized they weren't following. Running back, the little boy looked up at his fathers.

  "Daddy, okay?" he asked with a slight quiver in his voice.

  Julian looked down at his son and longed to be able to pick Rochosh up and hug him. "Daddy will be fine, darling. You go on ahead, Yanna and Grandpa are probably already there."

  Rochosh looked up at his Jayta, seeking his permission also. He had to tug on his older father's pants to get him to look down. Garak had been preoccupied watching Julian. "Jayta?" the little boy questioned.

  "Go ahead, Rochosh, but don't run. Jayta and Daddy will be coming soon."

  With one last worried look at his daddy, the little boy hurried down the corridor towards Uncle Ben's quarters.

  "Jahkim, are you sure you want to go? You don't have to, they will understand." The Cardassian put an arm around his husband's waist and held him steady.

  "I'll be fine, Elim," Julian replied. Then noticing the worried look in his love's eyes he added, "Really, I will. All I need to do is sit down and put my feet up. Besides, this is the first time since they got back together that my parents are making a 'public' appearance together. I don't want to miss this."

  Garak did not respond verbally. He simply nodded, he knew how stubborn his husband could get and now was not the time to test it. They started walking again, but Elim's arm never left Julian's back.

  They were nearly to their destination, when they were met by an extremely anxious group of family and friends.

  "Jules," his mother began. "Are you all right? Rochosh said that you weren't well." Amsha stepped closer and felt her son's flushed face.

  Richard came up along side of his wife and son. Supporting Julian on one side, while Garak held him on the other, the elder Bashir escorted his son into the captain's quarters.

  They led him directly to an open spot on the soft cushioned sofa. Julian was promptly settled in by all three of the women present. Amsha, Jadzia, and Kira began stuffing pillows behind the young man's back, under his legs, and behind his head. Not quite satisfied, Dax pulled some more pillows from the other chairs and continued to make a warm, comfy haven for the pregnant doctor.

  Garak couldn't help but smile as he sat next to Julian and several of the pillows slipped out of place. As the women once again began to descend upon him, Julian spoke up.

  "No, thank you. I'm fine. Elim is right here, he's all the comfort I need." He patted his husband's hand for emphasis.

  "Daddy!" Little Rochosh came running over. "Jayta, Daddy, look at all the presents!" Excitement was showing in the boy's eyes as he looked over at the stacks of gifts. "They all for baby sister?" he asked while gently patting his daddy's stomach.

  "Well," Sisko began. "Some are for the baby and some are for your Daddy. But I do believe that I saw some grandparents putting some presents there for somebody named 'Rochosh'." The captain laughed as the little boy's eyes grew even bigger.

  "Let's get this party going!" Dax announced as she retrieved the top two presents. "This one is for you, Rochosh." She handed the little boy his present. "This one is for the baby." She handed the second present to Julian.

  Garak leaned over the pillows and opened the card as Julian unwrapped the gift. "This is from Worf and Jadzia," the tailor announced quietly.

  Julian opened the box and pulled out some various colored tights with ruffled bottoms, two dresses, one in white and pink lace, and the other in a midnight blue velvet, with white lace along the collar and sleeve edges.

  "They're beautiful," Julian whispered.

  Garak's tailoring eyes took over as he inspected each garment. He smiled and nodded his approval to Dax and Worf.

  Rochosh was busy playing with his new building set. He had been joined by Molly and Kirayoshi. The three children played, while the adults continued to admire the gifts.

  Selecting another gift from the stack, Dax handed a new box to Julian. This time Julian read the card while Elim unwrapped the present. "This is from the captain." Julian flashed a smile towards his commanding officer.

  The hearty laughter Garak was producing drew everyone's attention to the opened box. "Captain, you will never cease to amaze me," the tailor said with respect.

  Handing the contents of the gift to Julian, Garak first pulled out, a pink and white stripped baseball uniform.

  "Sir, does this mean that you're planning on taking my son and daughter to those games in the holosuite, and stuffing them both with hot dogs and cotton candy?" Julian's eyes shone with laughter as he spoke.

  "Oh yes, it does," Sisko agreed. "I do intend to spoil her just as much as I have Rochosh!" he announced with glee.

  Everyone laughed as Garak continued to pull some items out, including a tiny silver charm bracelet, complete with a charm representing DS9. And finally, the customary note, volunteering the baby-sitting services of "Uncle Ben" as needed.

  "Thank you," Julian and Elim said together.

  The O'Briens' gift came next. "Molly and Yoshi picked out the gifts," Miles proudly stated.

  Inside were some flowery pajamas, a few games, and a crib mobile that depicted various Earth animals and played a lullaby, when turned on.

  "We'll make good use of all of these, thank you, Miles, Molly, and Yoshi." At the mention of their names, the children stopped playing and came over to see what was happening.

  Rochosh looked in the open boxes, and then at his parents, "Baby get toys? Rochosh have toys too." His eyes took in everything in the boxes.

  Amsha pulled out another package and handed it to Rochosh. "Here you go, sweetheart. Here's another one for you."

  Molly ushered the two little boys back to the play area, while the adults smiled and shook their heads with soft sighs.

  Picking up the next box, Dax carefully felt it's weight. "Hmm, this one is from Odo, must be a book."

  As everyone laughed, Odo drew himself up higher in his seat. "For you information, Commander, it is not a book," he stated in a huff.

  "Well, whatever it is, I'm sure we'll make good use of it," Julian diffused the situation quickly. When he had finished opening the present, Julian looked over at the Chief of Security and flashed a broad smile.

  "Odo, they're beautiful, What a perfect gift, I hadn't even thought of them! Thank you." Julian showed the box to his husband, who also thanked the constable.

  "Well, don't keep us in suspense," Kira demanded. "What did he get?"

  Carefully, Julian pulled out the pearl-handled comb and brush set. The brush's bristles were made of the firm yet soft quill of the Rigalian Tasarian, similar to the Terran porcupine. Also included in the box were various colored silk hair ribbons as well as several matching sets of barrettes.

  Kira glanced over at Odo, who was sitting back with a smug look on his face. "Odo, how did you think of such a gift?" she asked in surprise.

  "They're beautiful, Odo!" Jadzia exclaimed. "Yes, tell us, how did you come up with this idea?"

  Odo merely shook his head. "I have my ways. Besides after the reaction from the my gift at the last baby shower, I figured I needed to change."

  Both Kira and Dax continued to stare at him in amazement. Odo took a certain amount of pleasure in surprising the two of them. He would never let on that he had consulted Leeta when he couldn't think of anything to get for the baby girl.

  "My granddaughter will certainly need these," Amsha spoke directly to the constable. "After all she's bound to have beautiful hair, judging by her parents." She couldn't resist the temptation to ruffle her son's hair.

  Since Dax was still staring at Odo, Kira produced the next present. "This one is from me. I hope you like it." She handed the gift to Julian.

  Opening the small package, Julian removed an intricately crafted jeweled metal Bajoran earring. Holding it up for Elim to see, it sparkled in the light.

  "Seeing that she's to be my goddaughter, I had the earring made with my family crest as well as some other symbols," the Major explained.

  Garak took the earring from Julian's hand, and Kira held her breath. "I see that the jewels are all Cardassian and you also included a charm depicting the Bajoran symbol for a healer." Garak slowly turned the earring in his hand.

  Kira released her breath, "I wasn't sure what Terran symbols were used to indicate a healer, so I just used the Bajoran sign. Is that all right?"

  Julian smiled, "It's lovely, Nerys. Thank you." He looked at his Cardassian husband, hoping that this symbol of Bajoran beliefs would not upset him.

  "I am honored to have my daughter accepted into your family, Major. I'm sure that she will wear this with pride. Thank you." The tailor's eyes also showed their acceptance of the unusual gift.

  Worf shifted uneasily in his seat. Getting up he moved past Julian. As he passed, Julian began his bout of sneezing that was the case whenever the Klingon had come near him lately.

  "Worf!!" A chorus of voices echoed through the room.

  "Worf, what are you doing?" his wife demanded. "You know that you're supposed to stay away from Julian."

  With a deep sigh, the Klingon moved back away from the doctor who was now beginning to scratch. "I was just getting something to drink. I am thirsty," Worf stated forlornly.

  "Well you could ask, you know," Jadzia got up and returned with a drink for Julian and Worf. Giving Julian his first and then her husband's. . Worf sighed once again. "I do not understand why he becomes ill whenever I pass by him. It does not make any sense." He settled back in his seat with a grunt.

  Watching the entire episode from where he played, Rochosh got up and came over to check out what was happening.

  "Uncle Worf, why you make my Daddy sick? Little Worf no make Daddy sick." He leaned forward onto the Klingon's legs and looked up at the man with his eyes wide and innocent.

  Worf shifted again as the sounds of muffled laughter filled the room. Once again he grunted and placed his drink down and crossed his arms about his massive chest.

  "Uh oh, Uncle Worf not happy," Rochosh said as he now turned his attention to Dax.

  "Auntie Jadzia, you help Uncle Worf make happy noises. Jayta show you how. He helps Daddy make happy sounds."

  "What are you talking about Rochosh?" the Trill asked.

  "Oh, first Jayta get on top Daddy. Daddy have no clothes on and. . ." The little boy never finished as he was scooped up into his Jayta's arms. Julian was sliding further down in his seat, trying to bury his head in the back of Garak's shoulder, as the older man tried to silence their son.

  "Jayta, Jayta, look Daddy turn red! You take Daddy home and make him happy again," Rochosh ordered. "That's how Jayta and Daddy make baby," he announced proudly.

  "Rochosh," Garak's voice was stern. "That is enough."

  Little hazel eyes grew wide and a lower lip came out to form a pout. Garak sighed at how much the boy could imitate Julian's characteristics, including talking too much.

  Settling his son on his lap, the tailor shifted so as to bring his husband's head towards his chest. Rochosh sat and watched as Garak gently stroked Julian's hair while he whispered in the rounded human ear.

  Silence had settled among the group. Amsha gently nudged Richard, who promptly closed his opened mouth.

  "Excuse me, Son," Amsha spoke directly to Garak. "But how did. . .I mean. . .well, just how did Rochosh come up with. . ." her words faltered as she looked about the small group for assistance.

  The Cardassian cleared his throat before beginning all the while fixing a venomous glare at O'Brien. "It seems that our son was the recipient of some misinformation concerning the facts of life, and when he interrupted us one evening, his mind just jumped to conclusions."

  Miles, remembering the previous conversation Julian had with him, shifted uncomfortably in his seat as all eyes turned towards him. 'Well, Yoshi's just a little boy, also. He didn't understand."

  "Interrupted what?" Richard interjected.

  Amsha rolled her eyes, and poked him in the ribs with her elbow just as Julian let out a soft moan. "Oh," was all Richard could think to say.

  Sisko leaned forward and took the now subdued three-year-old from his father. "Not to be nosy, but don't you have soundproofing?"

  Regaining his composure, Julian sat up and looked over at the captain. "We never really thought about it, I guess we should check into it." He reached across to take hold of his son.

  "Daddy mad at Rochosh?" Tears began to form in his little eyes.

  "No, darling. Daddy's not mad." He hugged his son close for emphasis. The little boy smiled broadly and hugged his daddy tightly.

  "Jayta mad?" he asked of his older father.

  Garak leaned over to place a kiss on the boy's forehead. "No, Rochosh. Jayta is not mad at you."

  With a laugh the boy slid down off Julian's almost nonexistent lap and ran off to play with some of the toys his grandparents had brought.

  "Captain," Richard began. "Just how does one go about arranging for soundproofing? I believe the sooner, the better."

  With the tension easing, the two men moved off to talk over the soundproofing, while Dax and Amsha made the attempt to get the party going once again.

  "There are still some more presents to open. Come on people, let's control ourselves," Jadzia announced.

  Amsha handed a large package to her sons. "This one is from me," she said softly.

  Elim opened the present as Julian sipped from the cool drink Jadzia had provided. All embarrassment was temporarily forgotten as Garak pulled out one of Amsha Bashir's beautifully handmade quilts. Made in more pastel colors than the one for Rochosh, this one had different scraps of material also. As the two expectant parents looked over the quilt, they began to identify the pieces as items that belonged to either one of them, and Rochosh also.

  "I thought that she would like to have something that would represent the three men in her life," Amsha explained.

  "Mother," Elim began, "I would hire you in an instant to work in my shop." He was obviously impressed with the craftsmanship.

  Blushing, Amsha picked up another present and handed it to Julian. "This is from your father," she said, glancing over to where Richard and Sisko stood talking.

  Julian opened the gift and smiled broadly as he pulled out a slightly different but still recognizable teddy bear. Around the teddy bear's neck was a gold chain and locket. Opening the locket, Julian was surprised to find on one side a miniature picture of his parents. On the other side was a picture of Garak's mother Mila.

  Garak sat back shaking his head. "Is this to become a family tradition, Jahkim?" he jokingly questioned his husband, referring to the teddy bear. "When do I get mine?"

  All laughed, but Julian looked up at his husband and responded in a low voice meant for Garak ears only. "I thought that you would prefer to cuddle me?"

  "All right you two," Kira interrupted. "There are children present in the room."

  Garak smiled and gently squeezed Julian's shoulders. Julian laughed softly.

  "Thank you, Dad," the doctor said as his father and Benjamin returned to the rest of the group.

  Richard smiled fondly at his only child. "I thought she should have her grandparents close to her heart. But for right now, Captain Sisko and I have been talking, Jules. We have joined together to give you and Elim another present."

  "Your father and I are more than a little concerned about the lack of soundproofing in your quarters." Sisko paused as the red blush returned to Julian. "We thought about providing the soundproofing, but then we realized something else."

  "What is that?" Garak asked leaning forward with interest.

  "Well, your quarters are obviously too small for your growing family," Richard supplied. "Were you planning on having the children share a room?"

  "Well, yes," Julian answered. "For a little while, until we could portion off another section for one of them.'

  "Nonsense," Sisko exclaimed. "Children need room. That's why I've decide to give you some larger quarters, already soundproofed, I might add."

  Everyone expressed their agreement at the arrangement.

  "Captain?" Garak started. "Pardon me, but Julian is hardly in any condition to be moving."

  Sisko smiled as he gazed at the doctor's protruding stomach. "Don't worry, we are going to help you move." His eyes met every person in the room as he spoke, each nodding their assent.

  "Looks like we're all going to need some nourishment if we're going to be making plans for moving," Dax declared. "Let's eat!"

  The next day, Julian was rousing slowly from his much needed sleep. Turning over in bed, not quite ready to get up just yet, Julian reached over for his husband. His hand landed on the empty mattress. Opening his eyes, the doctor searched the room for the Cardassian. When he couldn't see him, Julian languidly raised himself up in the bed.

  "Elim?" the young man called softly. When there was no response, Julian carefully swung his legs over the side of the bed. He felt the baby move inside of him and moaned as she delivered a powerful kick.

  "Darling, it's all right. Daddy just wants to get up for a while." Julian gently rubbed his extended abdomen. He found his robe and slipped it on and then looked down for his slippers. Sighing when all he saw was his stomach, Julian rose precariously from the bed and padded towards the bathroom barefooted.

  When he returned to the bedroom, Julian heard voices coming from the other room. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he walked slowly towards the door. He stopped short, mouth open in surprise, as he stared at the near empty living area.

  "Elim?" he called once again.

  "Julian, what are you doing out of bed?" Amsha scolded her son.

  Coming forward, she took a gentle hold on her son's shoulders and started to turn him back towards the bedroom.

  "Mother," Julian protested. "What's going on? Where's Elim?" The young man resisted his mother's hold.

  "Everyone has come by to help you move into your new quarters. Elim is busy right now, and you should still be in bed," Amsha gently chided her boy once again.

  "What time is it?" Julian questioned as he moved away from his mother's grip. He had no intention of going back to bed.

  "Julian, what are you doing out of bed?" The young man groaned as he saw Jadzia Dax coming forward. "Everything is under control, there's nothing for you to worry about. Now back to bed," the Trill ordered.

  "I just got out of bed," Julian lamented. "Can't I just get something to eat, first?" Julian hoped to stall the two women until he could find his husband.

  Amsha answered her son's question. "Jules, there's no more furniture here. You have to get back into bed. Jadzia and I will bring you something to eat."

  Julian looked around his quarters, they were right, there was no more furniture. He heard sounds coming from Rochosh's room and started to move towards the room.

  Two pairs of hands drew him back. "Where's Rochosh?" he asked desperately. Just then they heard a loud crash and the sound of Miles O'Brien letting loose with some very colorful language.

  Dax laughed. "It's okay, Julian. Rochosh is with Kira. We're almost done, except for what's left in Rochosh's room and your bedroom."

  "Then I should get dressed, and help get our things ready to be moved," Julian suggested. "Mother, why don't you and Jadzia get some breakfast, and I'll be right out to join you." He started back towards the bedroom.

  Entering the room, Julian moved to the closet to get his clothes. As he started to remove his robe, he stopped when the realization that he wasn't alone hit. Amsha and Jadzia had both followed him into the room. Jadzia was straightening the bed, while Amsha took hold of her son once again and led him back to the bed.

  "Jules, first of all it is lunch time, and secondly, you are to be in bed. Dr. Slovik made that quite clear to all of us this morning. You were not to be disturbed and should not attempt to assist with the moving in any way." Amsha nudged Julian to the edge of the bed, as Jadzia took hold of his shoulders and forced him down.

  The doctor immediately sat up and took a deep breath. "Mother, I am not an invalid. I am perfectly capable of moving about. I am a doctor and I know what I should or should not be doing. So I would appreciate it if the two of you would just leave me alone." Julian glared at both his mother and Dax. When neither moved away, he wrapped his arms about himself and moaned, "I don't want to be in bed."

  Amsha sat next him on the bed and took him in her arms. "All right, Jules. How about a compromise?" She paused as Julian looked up at her with a slight smile on his lips. "We'll allow you to get dressed, while we find some food for you. Then we'll have a little picnic lunch right here on the bed, just like we used to do when you were little, remember?"

  "But, my things. . ." Julian began.

  His mother shook her head. "No, Jules. You cannot help. Elim will be here soon. When they finish moving everything else, then they'll transport the bed, with you in it. Do you understand?"

  Julian frowned, and nodded his head.

  "Now, get dressed," Amsha ordered. "Do you need any help?"

  The young man looked at her in shock. "Mother!" he argued. "I haven't needed help getting dressed for a very long time!" He looked up reproachfully at Jadzia as she giggled.

  Both women were laughing as they left the room. Julian sighed loudly and then got up to get dressed. He was sitting on the bed when his mother and Dax returned with a tray of food.

  Midway through the meal, Julian looked up and smiled as his father and Garak entered the room.

  "Elim!" the doctor practically shouted with relief. "Where have you been?"

  The Cardassian sat down on the bed and gave his pregnant husband a hug and kiss. "Arranging our new quarters. Although I'm sure you will find something to rearrange later." He smiled as Julian stared at him with huge innocent eyes.

  Amsha gave Richard a kiss. "Are they ready for this room?" she asked.

  "Just about," he replied. Then looking over at Julian, Richard added, "Only don't ask O'Brien to move anything from a top shelf. He'll be complaining of a headache for the rest of the day!"

  Sisko and Worf entered. "Okay, Garak we're ready. Where do we start?" Sisko asked with vigor. "Julian, you're up. Good, now don't you move. We'll take care of everything. When we're ready, we'll just transport you along with the bed."

  Julian frowned and mumbled, "I can walk, you know."

  Garak leaned over to kiss his pouting young husband. "Jahkim, I'll be right here with you, all right?" Grudgingly Julian nodded.

  "Captain, if you and Mr. Worf would take care of things here, I'll go help Mr. O'Brien set things up in the new quarters. I'll also make sure he doesn't hit his head on anything either," Garak informed the group. "I'll be back to be with you, Jahkim." He kissed the doctor once again and left the room.

  Jadzia and Amsha started to clear away the food. Both left the room temporarily. Sisko and Worf began to clear the closet, while Julian sat sulking on the bed.

  "There is something stuck under this shelf," Worf said as he began working loose the object in question.

  Julian glanced up at the words and then realized what the Klingon was pulling on. "Worf, no. . . " he shouted.

  The warning came too late as the shelf and all of it's contents came crashing down on Worf.

  ". . .that's holding the shelf up," Julian concluded his warning.

  Jadzia and Amsha came rushing back into the room.

  "Worf!" Jadzia cried, rushing to her husband. The crash had caused a laceration on the Klingon's arm as well as some other abrasions. Jadzia grabbed a towel from the bathroom to wrap the Klingon's arm.

  Sisko hit his com badge, "Sisko to Slovik," he called.

  "Slovik here," came the reply.

  "We have a minor medical problem here, are you through treating the injuries from that cargo accident?" Sisko inquired.

  "Not as of yet, Captain. All other available medical personnel are also assisting me. If the injury is not too severe, perhaps the patient could wait in the Infirmary until I can send someone," Slovik answered.

  "Very well," Sisko responded. He turned to Worf. "How is it, Commander?"

  "It is a minor scratch, Captain. Nothing that I cannot deal with. There is no need for a doctor," the Klingon replied proudly.

  Julian had been sitting and watching the entire scene, when a small smile crept across his face. Quickly replacing it with a serious look, he slowly lifted his body from the bed. As the doctor neared the Klingon, he began sneezing.

  "Julian!" everyone's voice blended in.

  "Julian," Dax stated again, "Worf is fine, just go on back and have a seat."

  The young man continued forward despite the sneezes. "I am a doctor," he managed to get out. "Let me have a look at that, Commander," he requested through the sneezing. Carefully checking out the gash, Julian shook his head.

  "What? What's wrong, Julian?" Jadzia asked, concerned over the serious look the doctor had on his face.

  Sneezing a few more times, Julian then answered. "Looks like you nicked an artery, Worf."

  Jadzia looked closer. "It's not bleeding that bad, Julian. Are you sure?"

  Continuing to sneeze, Julian responded. "Just who's the doctor here?" he asked indignantly. "Of course, I'm sure. I said he nicked it, not split it open. If that's not taken care of immediately, he could very well tear it open further, and then you'd see your blood."

  The others stood around looking at the seemingly minor cut, deep, yes, but hardly what looked like a serious cut. Julian saw his opportunity and grasped at it. Hitting his com badge, he announced, "Two to beam to the Infirmary, now."

  The group had to step back as the transporter took away Worf and the doctor. Jadzia left immediately and head towards the Infirmary.

  Richard and Amsha began picking up everything that had fallen from the shelf, while Sisko readied them for the move.

  Rematerializing in the Infirmary, Julian smiled and stretched his muscles. "Ahhh, peace," he said softly.

  Worf looked at him curiously. "Doctor, shouldn't you be repairing my arm?"

  "Hmm? Oh yes, Commander, let's get you all fixed up now, shall we?" As Julian led the Klingon into a back room, he began sneezing once again. Searching through his supplies, the doctor pulled out an air- filter mask and placed it over his nose and mouth. "That's much better," he declared as he was now able to approach Worf without sneezing.

  Jadzia came running into the Infirmary. "Worf? Julian?" she called out.

  "We are in here," Worf responded.

  Julian stepped up to the doorway. "I'm sorry, Jadzia, but you'll have to wait out there. It won't be long." Smiling beneath his mask, the young man returned to his patient.

  Carefully, cutting away the cloth, Julian cleansed the wound with antiseptic. Worf squirmed uncomfortably as the stinging fluid was applied.

  "Now, Commander," Julian teased. "Surely a little sting wouldn't bother a Klingon Warrior?"

  "I was not expecting it," replied the Klingon in a gruff voice. Worf continued staring at Julian, eyes uncertain as to just what the doctor was up to. "Doctor, just moments ago, you indicated that this was an emergency, but now you appear to be unworried. Are you going to repair the artery?"

  "Of course, Commander. I was just trying to relax myself. You know, being pregnant does play havoc with one's nerves. Now let's see, where did I keep that regenerator?" Julian was barely able to restrain his laughter after noticing the intense look on Worf's face as he went about the room searching for his equipment. Of course, Julian knew where everything was, but this was too great of an opportunity to let it pass.

  After he had taken his time gathering all he would need, Julian turned to face his patient. "Now, Worf, this is a very tricky procedure. It's a very tiny nick on the artery and I must be very careful not to damage it any further." Julian purposefully dropped the scalpel he was holding, "Oh dear, how clumsy of me." He went to find another.

  "Doctor, I do not appear to be in any danger at the moment. Perhaps I should wait for Dr. Slovik," Worf voiced his insecurity over Julian's current abilities.

  "Oh, but Worf, this could be a matter of life or death. I couldn't live with myself, if I let anything happen to you." Julian leaned in closer to the Klingon. "Here let me give you something to help you relax, you're so tense."

  Worf took a deep breath, and grabbed hold of Julian's hand. "Doctor, I believe I will wait for Dr. Slovik to arrive."

  "Oh, very well, Commander. However, I must insist that you lie back and not move until he does arrive. Also, I will allow no visitors, I wouldn't want someone jarring you accidentally. I'll just be over here doing some work if you need anything." Julian moved off to the medical console.

  "Julian?" Jadzia called. "Is everything all right?"

  Julian glanced over a Worf, before heading out to talk with Dax. "Jadzia, everything is just fine. Worf has elected to wait for Dr. Slovik. I will keep an eye on his vitals until Slovik arrives. Why don't you just go and have a seat."

  "Oh, Julian, you really shouldn't be doing all of this in your condition," Jadzia replied.

  "Don't worry, it's all right. I'm sure I'll get all the rest I need tonight. Right now we should be concerned about Worf," Julian responded smiling under the filter mask he still wore. 'And I'll get some peace and quiet,' he added to himself.

  Jadzia nodded her head. "I'll just let Benjamin know what's happening. Thank you, Julian."

  Just for an instant, Julian felt a twinge of guilt about his little charade. Of course, there was nothing wrong with Worf. He had already taken care of it by applying the antiseptic. It was just a minor cut, after all. Then he remembered being forced to stay in bed by Jadzia, and then there was that so called bachelor's party of Worf's, not to mention that fiasco when Worf accused him of having an affair with Jadzia. The guilt came and went. Julian returned happily to his computer and busied himself with some much neglected research.

  Julian was still there some time later, when he heard new voices and the approaching footsteps. Garak and Dr. Slovik both appeared at the same time, Slovik going over to check on Worf and Garak going to Julian's side.

  "Jahkim, are you all right?" Garak asked as he pressed a kiss to the doctor's forehead.

  They were soon joined by Dr. Slovik. The Vulcan looked down at Julian. "Commander Dax informed me that her husband had a cut on his arm and that you diagnosed a nick on an artery." Slovik's brows raised slightly as he spoke. "I will treat Mr. Worf, however, you, Julian, will stay. I want to speak with you."

  Slovik returned to the Klingon, a short while later Worf and Jadzia left to return to their own quarters.

  Elim watched Julian's reactions, he noticed the breath being held as Slovik checked out Worf, and when Slovik was talking to Jadzia. The Cardassian gently removed the air filtered mask from his spouse. Julian was biting his lower lip, a habit that-after six years of marriage the Cardassian had learned--usually indicated the young doctor had done something he shouldn't have.

  "Julian," he said in his warning voice. "What 'have' you done?"

  "N-n-nothing," came the stammered reply. Julian lowered his head, refusing to look at his husband.

  When Slovik returned, Julian looked up at two faces, one unreadable, the other with stern blue eyes, but also showing a slight smile.

  "Commander Worf's arm is just fine. He only sustained a minor cut," Slovik began. "I explained to them that your judgment has been impaired by your 'delicate' condition and the excessive amounts of hormones you have been taking."

  Garak glanced over at the Vulcan. "You told them a lie?" he questioned.

  Slovik raised an eyebrow. "Let us say, a half-truth. Julian's judgment is obviously impaired, or he wouldn't have pulled such a prank. Perhaps he would care to enlighten us as to the reasoning behind his actions."

  Julian swallowed nervously as both the Vulcan and the Cardassian pulled up stools to sit facing him. He smiled weakly and shrugged his shoulders.

  "It was the only way I could think of to get out of there," he told them truthfully.

  "Jahkim, what are you talking about?" Garak questioned him further.

  Slovik sat quietly and watched the exchange between the two men.

  Julian lowered his head and continued in a quiet voice. "Everyone is so concerned about me, but no one thinks to ask how I really feel." He looked up with eyes beseeching understanding. "I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I don't need to be constantly reminded of what I should or shouldn't be doing. I can't work any more, I can't take care of my own son by myself any more, I can't seem to be allowed to do anything any more. At least that's what everyone keeps harping on me about. I just needed to get away from it all for a while."

  Garak laughed as he thought of the beautifully executed deception his Julian had pulled off. He couldn't have done any better himself. "Well, I will admit that we have been pushing you to do what we felt best, especially myself and Commander Dax. But why use Commander Worf like that?"

  Julian shrugged and let a smile play on his lips. "I owed him one," he replied.

  Slovik cleared his throat. "Doctor, while I do not condone your actions, I understand them. However, as 'your' doctor, I must say that it was a very risky ruse. You are very near the delivery date and I caution you to think before you do something as rash again. Though considering your feelings, I will do this much for you. If you will promise to remain at home, I will provide you with some research material to keep you busy. You may be up and about, however, you are to do no lifting or any other strenuous activities. Visitors will be limited in their stay, and you will not have to follow any directions from anyone else, excluding myself, your husband, and of course, Captain Sisko. Will that satisfy your needs for the next week?"

  "Well, I would like to get around a bit more," Julian cautiously suggested.

  "Only if accompanied. I do not wish for you to go anywhere unescorted," Dr. Slovik ordered. When finished, he rose from his seat and began to clear away the equipment Julian had previously brought out.

  Garak laughed as he helped the struggling Julian to his feet. "Well, my dear Doctor, may I escort you to our new home?"

  Julian smiled mischievously. "Will you carry me over the threshold?"

  Garak snorted, "I believe that custom is for newlyweds. We hardly qualify as such." Taking hold of his pregnant husband, Garak led him from the Infirmary. When they reached their new quarters, the Cardassian bent down and swept his beloved into his arms and carried him inside.

  Garak then carried his speechless, although grinning, cargo into their new bedroom and laid him on the bed. When Julian tried to sit up, Garak instantly took his shoulders and urged him back down again.

  "Elim! What are you doing?" Julian exclaimed, trying once again to sit up.

  "I still want you to stay in bed for a little while," the tailor replied gently.

  "Now I thought you knew how I felt about being ordered about. I've told you that I'm more than capable of taking care of myself! Even Slovik said I could be up and move about if I'd like!" the younger man fumed. Julian finally managed to sit up on the side of the bed with his legs dangling over.

  Garak knelt down onto the floor in front of him and took the doctor's hands in his. "Jahkim, I know it sounds like I'm pushing, and I don't want to, but it's hard not worrying. Will you please do what I ask of you?"

  Julian regarded his husband silently, his mind working. Finally, he spoke. "Okay, I'll make a deal, I'll stay in bed for a while, on one condition."

  "Which is?" Garak asked.

  "That you stay in bed with me," Julian replied with a lazy smile. "After all, Rochosh is with Kira, your shop is closed for the day, so there's no reason why you couldn't rest with me."

  Garak rose, crossed his arms over his chest and looked down at his spouse doubtfully. "Julian, the whole point of this is for you to get rested."

  Julian's eyes glinted playfully, "Come on, Love, you know I sleep better when you're next to me."

  Garak kept silent, then with a grudging sigh, started removing his own apparel. Julian smiled in satisfaction, as he too, started to remove the clothing he was wearing, one of the handsome outfits that Elim had created for him when his uniform grew too tight to manage it's purpose. Garak took both their outfits and laid them on a nearby chair. He then turned back to the bed where his husband was already lying covered under the sheets. Garak climbed into the bed and pulled Julian close to him, taking in the scent of his body, feeling the warmth of his skin. Shutting his eyes, the tailor curled up and prepared to go to sleep.

  Julian snuggled up, as well as he could, to the Cardassian's body. Holding him close, the doctor sighed contentedly and laid still for several minutes before his hand came up to start rubbing the tailor's chest and stomach.

  "Jahkim, I thought we were going to sleep," Garak commented, taking the roving hand in his to still it.

  "Am I doing something to keep you from sleeping?" Julian asked innocently, as he pulled his hand free again and started traveling lower over Garak's body. The agile fingers grazed over the tailor's hip, down over the muscular thighs, and lower still.

  "Julian. . ." Garak growled. "Sleep, remember?" Although he was still concerned for his spouse, he couldn't deny that his body was reacting to Julian's ministrations. . .and the younger man knew that full well!

  "Can I help it if I have a special craving that only you can take care of?" Julian whispered, leaning over to give his spouse a full opened mouth kiss, his fingers below finally finding the prize it sought. Slowly, he worked the column of flesh, stroking, teasing it to firmness.

  Garak let out a low moan, but didn't do anything to stop the wandering hand that knew how to play him so well. Garak, unable to resist, wrapped his arm tenderly around Julian's waist and kissed him back fervently. Garak's other hand came in between them to gently cup and fondle the heavy sac of Julian's scrotum. He could feel the younger man's arousal and his fingers brushed over the heated flesh of Julian's groin, feeling the bobbing presence that wouldn't be ignored. Julian let out a soft moan, feeling grateful for the new soundproofing, knowing he'd not have to tame his reactions any longer.

  Garak captured Julian's hands and linked his fingers with the doctor's, holding them still at the younger man's sides. The tailor then swung his legs over to straddle his spouse, being heedful to not putting any pressure on Julian's bulging abdomen. Being supported by his arms, Garak leaned over to taste the sweetness of his lover's lips again, suckling and nibbling at the bottom lip before thrusting his tongue in and out in a mimic of another movement he wanted enact. . .a little later. If this was what his Julian was craving, he was going to do his best to satisfy it. . .slowly and thoroughly!

  The tailor started his assault on the younger man's throat, gliding his rough tongue over the smooth textured skin, that was pulled taut with Julian's head arched back. Julian twisted his head this way and that, allowing the nips and kisses that grazed across his neck. Garak followed the trail of muscles down to the hollowed junction that met Julian's shoulder and zealously began sucking hard, taking a bit of skin in between his teeth. He couldn't help it, even after all this time, he still got a secret satisfaction when Julian wore the brand of their lovemaking, knowing he was marked as Garak's.

  Leaving the reddened skin, the tailor trailed hot kisses and nibbles down the doctor's sternum where his lips wrapped around one of the pert chocolate peaks, licking and suckling gently at the nipple, teasing it to hardness that way instead of biting more firmly. . .well remembering the predicament he had gotten them in last time the doctor was on vast amounts of hormones. He smiled to himself as he switched his attention to the other nub of flesh, working it with his tongue as well. Julian was moaning and moving restlessly under him, his breathing turning into more panting the lower his Cardassian mate traveled. Julian felt on fire, incredible heat and passion buidling from the center of his being. . .radiating and pulsing upwards and outwards. He nearly felt his skin scorched with each brush of the tailor's moist lips.

  Garak could feel the heat, desire. . .the raw need radiating off the younger man, the vibrations humming in sync with his own. Beads of sweat began forming on the doctor's golden tinted skin. He tasted the salty residue as his tongue skimmed across, and continued southward. Tender kisses rained freely over the younger man's expansive abdomen. Garak smiled as he felt his baby girl move and shift inside of his spouse, reacting to their loving.

  "Mmm, my sweet desirable Jahkim," he murmured against the stretched satin skin, still amazed at the fact that before long this incredible, wildly intoxicating, loving man was going to be bringing their child into being. He took a moment to stare in reverent awe as he drank in the sight of his spouse. Long, lean limbs spread invitingly before him, offering him the sanctuary he felt when wrapped around him; smoky dark eyes shone with hunger and want; moist, swollen, pouty lips smiled tenderly at him, encouraging him. He became so lost in the exquisite beauty of this amazing younger man. . .his cherished treasure. . .that only the touch of Julian's cool hand on his cheek brought him out of his musing.

  "Something wrong, lover?" he whispered, his fingers gently brushing across the smooth gray skin.

  Garak moved up carefully to plant another firm kiss to the swollen lips he never tired of tasting. "Absolutely nothing," he whispered assuringly into the rounded shell of Julian's ear before moving back down again. Garak moved to sit back on his knees in between Julian's spread legs. His hands stroked the doctor's legs, kneading and massaging the muscles as he worked his way up slowly. Julian's firm sex jutted out from his body, announcing the need building inside his younger mate. Pearly viscid moisture leaked and pooled at the swollen, crimson tip. The Cardassian bent forward and heard Julian gasp and then sigh as he ran the tip of his tongue over the head of the hard shaft, lapping at the fluid.

  Julian moaned softly as his sex was licked up and down from the base covered by fine, tightly curled dark hair, to the inflamed and engorged tip before finally being taken completely into the warm haven of the tailor's mouth. Julian's body moved and squirmed as his husband's teeth gently scraped across the sensitive shaft with just enough pressure to heighten his ardor.

  Julian groaned, mumbling incoherent half-words, as his hands stroked the soft ebony hair of his older spouse, tangling his fingers in the silken strands. Elim stopped for a moment and Julian could feel the hot breath that was coming in pants against his taut scrotum before his testicles were suckled and bathed with the tailor's warm, insistent tongue.

  As Garak's tongue reeked havoc on Julian's senses, the doctor also felt the skillful fingers of the tailor joining in the effort. He felt the agile finger dip in between the hot crevice of his cheeks until finding the muscular ring surrounding the opening to his body. Julian moaned out loud as Elim gently rubbed and teased the puckered ring, merely massaging it while his mouth continued it's assault on Julian's groin. Julian's heart was beating furiously, blood pounded in his ears, and he wasn't sure how much longer he could last at this.

  "Gods Elim, I want inside of you so badly!" Julian moaned out as his hands left the Cardassian's hair to stroke the rock hard ridges of Garak's neck.

  The tailor stopped his oral stimulation to answer. "Love, you know you can't exert yourself this close to the due date," the Cardassian reminded him, nuzzling his nose against the doctor's glistening groin and taking in the heady scent of his arousal. "Lay and let me pleasure you."

  "But I. . ." the doctor started to protest, but quickly forgot whatever he was going to say when the tailor moved his mouth back to his aching sex and his finger dipped inside his body simultaneously. Moaning his delight, Julian started small thrusting movements with his hips, feeling helpless against the dual stimulation.

  Garak's thrusting mouth matched the movements of his finger inside Julian's body. A second digit was introduced to Julian's opening, then a third. The doctor was writhing on the bed now, sheets twisting and bunching underneath him, as Garak's fingers and mouth were actively bringing him pleasure, the fingers plunging in deeper and deeper, stretching and filling him

  Julian thrashed his head from side to side. "Elim, oh please! I need. . .I need. . ." Julian was past the point of coherent thought, but his spouse knew what he was trying to express.

  Garak stopped his motions long enough to reach over to the bedside table and grab the present bottle of oil. Swiftly covering his own hard shaft with the liquid, Garak then quickly coated the rosy entrance to Julian's body. Julian restlessly clutched at him, not wanting to wait a second longer and Garak had to still him long enough to align their bodies. Still on his knees, he angled himself just so, and soon he was ready to easily slide into the doctor's fervid depths. Julian sighed at the feeling of completion he felt as the tailor's rigid length began filling him endlessly and soothing him. Garak felt like he slid into Julian's warmth forever until he finally felt himself nestled so deep inside that he could go no further.

  Garak started with long, deliberate strokes as Julian cried out his pleasure. It wasn't long though before his ardent younger lover began making moves himself, encouraging the tailor to increase his speed. Holding the fidgety hips still, the Cardassian began swiveling and twisting his own hips driving the doctor even closer to the edge. As he plunged into the moist, warm, oasis of Julian's body deeper and deeper, Elim felt some of his own control escaping him, he felt himself on the knife's edge. Faster and faster his pumping became, the more Julian's body thrashed beneath him. Knowing that they were both close, so close, to the abyss, Garak wrapped his capable fingers around the solid shaft of the doctor's, determined to reach the peak that was only a hairs- breadth away together. Stroking and thrusting, Garak felt his mate's muscles tighten and contract, until finally feeling his lover's body spasm under him as Julian cried out loudly, riding the pleasure as his seed came forth covering both of them. Garak thrusted a couple of more times until his own body convulsed, filling Julian's body with his seed while electric waves of delight warped through his body and flashes of color exploded behind his closed eyes.

  Garak rode out the storm of pleasure before finally separating their joined bodies and collapsed in a heap next to his younger mate. Julian's arms came around him as he whispered endearments into the Cardassian's hidden ear and laid kisses at the soft dark hair of his temple.

  They laid there quietly, holding each other tightly. After a while of listening to his Human mate's steady breathing, Garak smiled wickedly as he thought that he 'finally' managed to get the doctor to go to sleep.

  For the next week, Elim stayed with his husband, rarely leaving his side. Julian was so close to the time when he would give life to their daughter, Elim wanted to be there with him, protecting, loving his dear sweet doctor. When the message came from Captain Sisko, summoning Garak for a meeting, the tailor had expressed his desire to see the captain alone, and promised he would return quickly. He had been just about ready to contact the Bashirs to come stay with Julian, when the young man announced his intention to come along.

  "Rochosh is with Molly. Mom and Dad are just getting back together again so there's no sense disturbing them. I'll be fine, Elim. Besides what could go wrong, you'll be right there with me," Julian had pleaded using his huge expressive doe eyes and full pouty lips to help persuade his husband.

  Reluctantly, the Cardassian led his young husband to the turbolift.

  "You should be home, with your feet up, relaxing. Not gallivanting around making matters worse," Elim muttered to his younger husband as they entered the turbolift.

  "Really, Elim, I'm fine. I have to keep moving or I'll go crazy. Besides going anywhere with you is a pleasure," Julian responded, wincing slightly as the turbolift moved.

  "Why would Captain Sisko request to see me?" Garak was able to hide his nervousness but not his discomfort from his husband.

  Julian considered his Cardassian husband for a moment. "Maybe he's going to officially apologize for having kept you locked up for so long. Or maybe he wants to know why you didn't choose him to be our daughter's Dahora." Julian smiled as Elim's eyes flickered.

  "You are no help at all," Garak mumbled. "Plus, I still say that 'you' should have stayed home."

  The turbolift came to an abrupt stop at Ops. Julian nearly stumbled as the lift didn't completely rest evenly with the floor they had stepped out onto. Garak held the doctor tightly as they crossed over to the steps leading to Captain Benjamin Sisko's office.

  "Julian, just what do you think you're doing here?" Major Kira's voice boomed throughout Ops. "You should be home, resting."

  Garak gave Julian that 'told you so' look. "Exactly what I've been telling him, Major. He's in one of his stubborn moods today, I'm afraid."

  "We'll just see about that," Kira responded, while taking hold of the pregnant young man. "Come, have a seat right here, where I can keep an eye on you."

  Turning back towards Garak, Kira indicated the upstairs office. "Captain Sisko is waiting for you, Garak."

  The tailor watched for a moment longer as Kira went about fussing over Julian. Looking around Ops, he noted O'Brien holding back the laughter as he too watched the Major and his friend. Worf gave a grudging nod as Garak's eyes met his. For some reason, Ops appeared deserted today. Gazing upward at the closed office door, Garak took in a deep breath, squared his shoulders and went into Sisko's office.

  Sisko was standing at the window also watching as Kira was now making Julian put his feet up on one of the Chief's toolboxes.

  "Garak, why is Julian here? He needs to be resting, isn't it nearly time?" The captain turned to face the Cardassian.

  "You know Julian, Captain. I'm afraid that once he gets it into his head to do something, there is no stopping him." Garak smiled fondly at the image of his husband being forced to do exactly what he wouldn't have done if he had stayed home.

  "Have a seat, Mr. Bashir-Garak," Sisko commanded in his deep resonating voice.

  The use of his formally name caused Garak to raise an eyeridge, other than that he showed no expression as he took a seat opposite the captain.

  "First, let me begin by telling you how deeply sorry I am that you were arrested and held for so long. I know the severity of the pain it caused both you and Julian." Benjamin paused to look at the man sitting across from him.

  Garak merely nodded his head, but remained silent. Sisko continued, "I'm not sure if you are aware of this or not, but during your incarceration several members of the business community, including many Bajorans, came forward in your defense."

  Again Sisko paused, Garak continued to stare intently at the captain, but again remained silent.

  "Garak, it took a lot of respect and admiration for those Bajorans to come forward in defense of a Cardassian. It proves to me that the wounds of war are on the mend. You are quite a man to have been rewarded with such loyalty of a former enemy." Sisko gauged the Cardassian reaction and then continued. "Garak, I need someone who can command that respect and loyalty, who can act as a diplomat between the Federation and other species, who is able to think fast and react with good judgment for all concerned."

  "You think that I am such a person?" Garak asked quietly.

  "I don't think such a thing at all," Sisko responded. "I 'know' it. Will you do it?" Then considering the growing family, he added "It is a paying position."

  Garak smiled and considered the proposition. "Captain, the idea appeals to me. However, may I confer with Julian over this and give you my answer later?"

  "Of course, Garak. By the way, the official title is Station Liaison Officer. Just thought you'd like to know. Oh, and tell Julian that it will involve being an ambassador of the station and as your spouse he will have to attend all those boring parties along with you."

  The computer on Sisko's desk beeped, indicating an incoming message. "If you'll excuse me," Sisko returned to his desk as Garak left the office.

  "Elim, I'm glad you're back. May we leave now?" Julian was all too ready to get back home now. His back was killing him, and Kira's endless fussing was giving him a headache. Julian wouldn't admit it, but he had the feeling that it would have been better to stay home. The thought of walking all that way back made his stomach feel worse than it already did. He got up slowly from his seat and walked over to meet his husband as the tailor descended from the stairs.

  "Are you ready to listen to me now?" Garak asked teasingly. He reached out and pulled Julian in closer, then began to rub the small of Julian's back, much to the young man's relief.

  "Just get me home," Julian requested.

  They turned to leave, just as Sisko came out from his office. "Garak, could I see you for just a while longer. I'm sorry, Julian, but this can't wait. Chief, would you see that Julian gets home safely?"

  "Captain, I'd love to, but we've been having some power outages all over the station. I'm trying to coordinate my teams from here. Perhaps the Major has some time? Sorry, Julian." Chief O'Brien produced a sad quirk of the mouth towards his friend.

  Kira looked up from her station, "Oh, I'm sorry Julian, but I've been waiting for this message to come in for hours. I've got to be here to respond, or Kai Winn will have my head."

  Sisko turned his gaze towards Commander Worf. The Klingon made a show of trying to work at his station. When the captain cleared his throat, Worf finally looked up.

  "Very well, I will escort Doctor Bashir to his quarters." He moved around towards the turbolift and waited for Julian to come forward.

  Giving Julian a hug, Garak assured him that it wouldn't take long. Julian nodded and went towards Worf. He felt some trepidation as to what the Klingon would do once they were alone. He was always getting on the wrong side of Worf, even when he tried to make things go right.

  "Do not worry, Doctor, I will stand far away from you so you don't sneeze," Worf said as he stepped back to allow Julian to pass onto the turbolift without coming in contact with the Klingon.

  The turbolift doors closed with a metallic clang and they began to move. Just as Julian leaned back to rest against the wall, there was a loud screech and the lift came to a grinding halt. To make matters worse, the lights flickered on and off several times before finally settling them in darkness.

  "Doctor, are you all right?" Worf queried.

  Julian swallowed down the momentary fear of darkness before responding, "I'm fine, Commander. What happened?"

  "Worf to Ops" Silence. "Worf to Ops." The silence was overbearing to Julian, who struggled to stifle the cry building in his throat.

  "Doctor, we seem to have lost power and communications. Perhaps it would be best if you sat down, while I try to see if there's a way out of here." Worf edged his way closer to where he felt the young man stood.

  Julian sensed the Klingon's presence and gratefully reached out to hold onto the offered arm as he lowered himself to the floor. He felt a throb in his abdomen as he sat and again tried to stifle the moan.

  "Doctor, are you all right?" Worf asked once again, this time with a touch of concern in his voice.

  "I'm not sure yet, Commander. I'm just feeling some aches, possibly from all the walking and standing I've been doing today. Let me rest for a while," Julian voice quivered with the renewed pangs in his abdomen.

  The lights flickered again and this time stayed on. Julian breath a sigh of relief.

  Worf was at the control box as soon as the lights were back on. He was trying to manually punch in the codes necessary to get the turbolift moving. "Communications are still down, I will try to get us moving as quickly as possible." The Klingon glanced down at Julian who had his head back against the wall breathing deeply.

  "Doctor, you do not look well. Are you sure that you are all right?" Worf stopped what he was doing to kneel next to the doctor.

  Julian gripped Worf's hand as another pain hit him. He squeezed tightly, the skin of his own hand appearing white. His breathing quickened and he let out a cry.

  "Oh no, not now, please not now," Julian panted. Sweat began to form on his brow.

  "What is it, Doctor? What is wrong?" Worf felt a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, deep down he knew.

  "La-la-labor," the young man managed to get out in between breaths. "Worf, I'm having contractions, the sac must be ready to detach. It's stopped for right now. You have to get me out of here, soon."

  The Klingon nodded his head briskly and resumed trying the controls with the manual override. Nothing seemed to be working.

  "Doctor, we can always try to get out through the escape hatch," Worf noted while eyeing Julian with some concern.

  "Commander, somehow I don't think I could manage to climb through the hatch and then up or down the ladders. Maybe you could go for help." Julian had managed to remove his tunic and use it as a makeshift pillow under his back. He grimaced as another bout of contractions racked his body.

  Worf considered his options carefully. If he left and something went wrong, Jadzia would never forgive him and he'd have to deal with that Cardassian, not to mention the Captain. If he stayed he'd have to deal with the ranting of a pregnant young man in the throes of labor, and possibly have to. . . . He looked back at the doctor.

  "Doctor, just how. . .how do you. . ." he paused not sure how to ask.

  "What Worf, how do I plan to what?" Julian asked innocently, knowing full well what the Klingon was thinking.

  "When the time comes, just how. . .," Worf indicated with his hands at Julian's stomach.

  Julian smiled, "Well, if you don't get me out of here soon, you'll find out first hand now won't you?" He laughed, but the delightful peal turned into another scream as the pains came again. Sweating more profusely now, and breathing with more difficulty, Julian added "Don't worry, Commander. Unless you know how to do a Cesarean, you won't be delivering this baby. And unless we get to Dr. Slovik, my baby may not survive to be delivered. Please Worf, get me out of here."

  The decision was made. Worf could not, would not leave the young man alone. He would just have to find a way out of the turbolift for both of them. He would also have to make the doctor more comfortable. Removing his uniform jacket, he rolled it up into a ball and placed it under Julian's head. Tearing a section of his shirt, he used it to wipe the young man's face from sweat.

  Julian gratefully acknowledge the gesture. Noticing the questioning look upon Julian's face, Worf asked "Is there another problem?"

  "Well, yes. I mean no. I-I-I'm not sneezing," Julian noted with surprise.

  "Perhaps, you are over that particular allergy that you developed," Worf suggested.

  "Perhaps," Julian agreed. He grabbed Worf's strong hands in an vise-like grip as another series of contractions hit.

  "Gods, I can't believe how much this hurts," Julian gasped. "I want Elim, I need Elim!"

  Released from Julian's hold, Worf moved quickly to the manual controls once again. "If I can get this to work, I may be able to open the doors. If we are near an exit, we can get help to manually move the lift to the opening."

  Julian was crying now. His tears flowing freely down his face, mixing with the sweat.

  "Doctor, I am working as fast as I can. I will get you out of here and to some medical assistance as soon as possible."

  Julian sniffed. "I know, I just want Elim. It wouldn't hurt so much if he was here."

  Not understanding how a Cardassian tailor could ease the pain of labor, Worf just grunted. The manual override was stuck. The Chief was going to have a field day trying to fix this worthless piece of junk.

  Defeated momentarily, Worf returned to sit next to the doctor. Looking at the uncomfortable position Julian was in, Worf attempted to move the young man.

  "Commander, what are you doing?" Julian demanded.

  "Relax, Doctor. I am merely trying to place you in a more comfortable position." Worf placed the softer tunic under Julian head, and moved his sturdier jacket to support the young man's back. Then he moved Julian's knees up and placed the feet flat on the floor. Moving up behind Julian he raised the upper body, slid his knees underneath him and supported Julian's head on his massive chest.

  "You should be able to breath better in this position." As Julian's body convulsed with another contraction, Worf took some deep breaths of his own. "Breathe, Doctor," Worf commanded as Julian squeezed his hand with an iron grip Worf never knew the young man had in him.

  "I am breathing, don't tell me what to do, I'm a doctor," Julian responded through clenched teeth. As he slid down, Julian reached up and grasped the large Klingon by the shoulders forcing him down. "Get me out of here, Worf. I want my husband, NOW!"

  Another contraction gripped the doctor. "Believe me, Doctor, I want your husband here now too, or anyone else for that matter." Worf flexed his shoulders and tested his fingers upon being released from the near death hold Julian had held him in.

  As Julian started crying again, Worf was seriously reconsidering his options. Jadzia would get over it, as would the Captain. The only real menace was Garak, but he could handle a Cardassian. Then in his mind flashed the image of another Cardassian, well, half-Cardassian. With pouting lips the image of Rochosh asked "Why you leave my Daddy, Uncle Worf?" With a sigh, Worf held Julian in a gentle embrace, feeling as helpless as a man could get under the circumstances.

  The turbolift gave a jerk and but then stopped once again. "Sisko to Worf. Worf come in, is everything all right?"

  "Captain, Doctor Bashir has gone into labor. Request emergency transport to the Infirmary," Worf practically shouted the request.

  "I'm sorry, Mr. Worf. The only thing that the Chief has up and running is the communication line to the turbolift," Sisko's voice expressed his worry.

  Everyone fell silent as Julian's screams echoed throughout Ops.

  "Commander," Garak spoke as the cries subsided. "You must get Julian to relax. The pains are coming from the sac detaching itself from the wall of his abdomen. It is a perfectly normal process but extremely painful."

  "Mr. Garak," the Klingon sounded tired. "I have tried, however, the doctor is not in the most cooperative mood. He insist. . ."

  "Elim!" Julian shouted. "Elim, I need you NOW! Please Worf, please get me out of here!"

  "Jahkim," the Cardassian struggled to keep his voice calm. "Jahkim, you must listen to the commander. You must try to relax your muscles. Don't fight the pain."

  "I can't. Oh gods, Elim, it hurts so much," the doctor was crying once again.

  The tailor's heart constricted as he listened to the sobs of his husband. Then as the sobs turned into cries of pain once again, Garak's hands gripped the console tightly, feeling the pain of his beloved.

  "Chief, you have to get the transporter up," Sisko's usually commanding voice had turned into a pleading one. He was just as affected by the cries of his young friend as anyone else.

  "I'm working on it as fast as I dare, Sir," O'Brien responded briskly his fingers flying over the controls. "Too bad he can't use the escape route."

  At the mention of an escape route, Garak's head jerked upward and he stared at O'Brien. The Chief stared back, then with his hand indicated the grate on the far side of the wall near the turbolift.

  The Cardassian ran towards the hatch, removing it from the wall without bothering to loosen the couplings. O'Brien winced at the sound of the metal being ripped from the wall. As Garak entered the crawlway, Sisko was right behind him.

  "Chief, I want that transporter up and running, then make sure that the Infirmary has all the power it needs." The captain entered the enclosed space. "Garak, wait! I'll show you the way."

  Kira let out the breath she had unconsciously held. "O'Brien, you work on the transporter. I'll check the auxiliary power to the Infirmary and then get the rest of the communications back up." She looked over at Dax, who had just entered Ops from the subsidiary passage. "Jadzia, you head down to the Infirmary and inform Dr. Slovik to get ready. I'll notify the Bashirs as soon as I have the station-wide communications up."

  Dax was off in a flash. Kira and O'Brien worked in determined silence, pausing only briefly as the wails of the their friend filled the room once again.

  Garak was quickly making his way in the emergency tunnel. He tried to ignore the sudden feeling of the walls collapsing about him, closing in on him, trapping him. He continued with the resolve to get to his husband as soon as possible. Making the turn that would lead him to the turbolift, he encountered an even smaller crawlspace. With quickening breaths the Cardassian continued, until he could go no further.

  "Garak, what's wrong? Why are we stopping?" Sisko questioned from behind the tailor.

  Garak shut his eyes determined to fight off the burning sensation of being trapped.

  "Garak, we have to keep moving." Captain Sisko was nudging the Cardassian's back, trying to get some kind of a response from the man. Then in a gentler voice, as he realized what was happening, Benjamin added, "We're so close, Elim. We'll reach Julian soon. He needs you."

  At that moment they heard the screams of pain from the young man. The echoing cries filled the enclosed area with a deafening roar. Garak took a deep breath.

  "Jahkim!" he shouted. "I'm coming, Jahkim." With renewed vigor, the Cardassian bustled forward.

  "Worf," Sisko called. "Get the hatch open, we're almost there."

  The Klingon replied a while later, "Captain, it will not move. I believe that there is something blocking it from the other side."

  As Garak and Sisko approached the larger space, they paused as each noticed that the hatch door was blocked by a support beam. The lift had stopped in the most unreachable section of the shaft.

  Climbing down the ladder towards the turbolift, Garak braced himself with his legs. Then leaning forward he grasped the iron bars of the lift. Taking a deep breath the Cardassian pulled with all of his strength.

  Sisko watched in amazement as the turbolift slowly moved. Moving down the ladder and swinging over to the side of Garak, he too braced himself and added his strength along with the Cardassian's. Together, with an extraordinary effort, they pulled. The lift produced a loud screeching sound as it was manually moved away from the beam.

  Not waiting for Worf to push open the escape hatch, Garak pulled at the door, ripping it off completely. He then swung inside and rushed to the side of his Jahkim.

  Sisko again watched in amazement, as this man-who had just displayed a tremendous amount of strength-gently lifted the slight body of the doctor into his arms and cradled the young man as one would a child. For the first time, since finding out about Julian and Garak, Benjamin witnessed the profound love they held for each other.

  Elim rocked his husband, whispering tender words of encouragement. Julian gripped the older man's arms as another pain racked his body. He did not scream this time and rode out the pain, as his stomach muscles began to relax.

  Worf was easing towards the hatch door. As the captain turned towards him, he explained, "Perhaps it would be best if I went back to Ops and assisted the Chief."

  Sisko smiled and produced a short laugh. "Yes, Worf, why don't you do just that."

  The Klingon was quickly out of the turbolift and on his way back to Ops. Sisko could have sworn that he heard the loudest sigh of relief as the Klingon left the turbolift.

  "O'Brien, tell me that you have the transporter on line," Sisko requested.

  "Just about, Sir. Give me a few more minutes," came the reply.

  The captain dropped to his knees beside the couple. Julian looked over at his commanding officer with sweat soaked hair in his eyes. Sisko gently brushed back the hair, as the doctor smiled at him.

  "Captain?" Garak asked. Sisko looked over at him. "May I make a suggestion?"

  "What is it, Garak?" The captain gave his full attention to the Cardassian.

  "It would be best if we transported at a time when Julian is not in pain, when both he and the baby are relaxed," Garak suggested.

  Sisko nodded in agreement. "Chief, let me know when you are ready. Do not transport until I tell you."

  "Yes, Sir," O'Brien responded.

  A few minutes later, O'Brien announced that the transporter was up and running.

  As another series of pains gripped Julian, he was held firmly by two sets of strong arms and soothed by two gentle voices. The young man relaxed and closed his eyes knowing that he was safe, his baby was safe.

  "Now, Chief," Sisko commanded as Julian lay relaxed in his arms. He then felt the familiar tingling sensation of the transporter in operation.

  As soon as all three men were transported safely, the Infirmary became alive with activity. The nurses were still preparing the necessary equipment that would be needed by Slovik while Garak and Sisko both helped to lay Julian down onto the bio-bed.

  Kira came running into the room, nearly crashing into Dax, who was moving towards the bio-bed. "Captain, O'Brien managed to get the auxiliary power supply back online, and communications are now back station wide," the out of breath Major informed Benjamin.

  "How are you doing?" Jadzia asked, looking at Julian with concern showing in her eyes.

  "Much better now," Julian informed her as he gently squeezed Garak's hand that he was holding and Dax gave him a reassuring smile. The tailor tenderly smiled at his love as his free hand smoothed back a lock of damp hair off of the doctor's forehead.

  "Jules, Jules, are you all right?" Julian heard his mother's calls before she had even entered the Infirmary. As soon as she spotted her son and son-in-law, she made a beeline for them, followed closely by her husband.

  "I'm all right Mother, our little girl just couldn't wait any longer," Julian said with a smile which quickly left his face as the force of a another contraction hit. Richard watched with concern as his son grabbed his husband's hand and squeezed it firmly. He was surprised when Garak didn't flinch in the least and merely held on while talking soothingly to Julian until it was over.

  Slovik entered, already covered with a Starfleet surgical gown and a mask that hid the lower half of his face. "Attention everyone, we need to perform this delivery very quickly, so I would appreciate it if everyone with the exception of Mr. Bashir-Garak would now leave the room," the Vulcan doctor announced. As soon as he felt it was all right to do so, Elim slipped away to prepare for the operation.

  Dax and Kira gave Julian one final look before doing as the doctor had asked.

  Amsha pulled on the sleeve of her husband and tried to get him to follow her out. "No, I need to be in here if Jules needs me," Richard said stubbornly, not budging from his place.

  "Sweetheart, unless you know how to perform the operation, you're just going to be in Doctor Slovik's way," Amsha remarked, giving another determined tug on her husband's arm. "Besides, he's in capable hands. . .he delivered Rochosh after all."

  "But. . ." Richard didn't get very far when he saw the determined look in Amsha's eyes that told him she wasn't going to be argued with. He went over to his son and took his hand in his and looked deeply into the hazel eyes. "Don't worry Jules, everything is going to be fine." He then turned and reluctantly followed Amsha out of the Infirmary.

  Slovik pulled the face mask up and in place as Nurse Jabara finished setting up the rest of the equipment.

  "Julian, because of the risk to the baby, you do realize that you will not be put completely under. We will be administering a spinal block instead, so you will be aware of everything that is happening to you," the Vulcan doctor informed him.

  "Yes, I know. Let's get started then shall we?" Julian stated with a calm that he didn't quite feel. He looked up at Elim, who was now also dressed in a standard Infirmary gown and was holding his hand tightly.

  Garak didn't like the idea of what was about to happen. He couldn't stand the thought of a laser scalpel opening the inside of his love's body. . .especially with Julian awake, but he knew there was no other way. Their daughter was ready to make her presence known to the world.

  As Jabara administered the anesthetic to Julian's system with the hypospray, Julian could see the concern in Garak's eyes and squeezed his hand tightly. "No worries, Love, I'm not going to feel anything. Everything's been fine so far, don't give up on me now, all right?"

  "As if I ever could," the Cardassian answered with a tender smile as he squeezed back on Julian's hand and gently stroked his sweaty forehead.

  The tailor watched as a calm, serene look came over the doctor's features. He could see no fear, no apprehension at all in the hazel depths of Julian's eyes. He took strength in the doctor's conviction that there was no reason to worry, that their daughter was safe.

  Doctor Slovik watched the silent exchange between the couple before raising the laser scalpel to make the initial incision.

  In the hallway, Amsha and Richard joined Sisko, Kira, and Dax. Miles came rushing over with Rochosh held tightly in his arms. "Molly was watching the boy, so I stopped by and picked him up," the Chief explained, out of breath. "What'd I miss?"

  "Nothing yet," Sisko answered, taking the little lad out O'Brien's arms to hold him himself. "Slovik is performing the Cesarean as we speak." With the boy still in his arms, he began pacing back and forth.

  "Daddy have baby?" Rochosh asked, his eyes wide with anticipation.

  "That's right, little one, your daddy is going to have a baby soon," Amsha replied with a smile, coming over to ruffle the child's hair.

  Rochosh smiled brightly at her. "Rochosh get baby sister! Want to see! Want to see!!" he exclaimed, trying to wiggle out of Uncle Ben's strong grip.

  "She hasn't been born yet, sweetie," Jadzia informed her godson.

  "He'd better be all right," Richard muttered plainly enough to be heard. "If anything happens to him. . ." The elder Bashir didn't finish his thought aloud.

  "Slovik is a very capable doctor," Dax told him softly. "There's no one better he could have gotten."

  "Besides, Garak isn't going to let anything happen to him if he can help it," Kira added, as she leaned back against the wall opposite the door.

  "I still can't believe he waited so long just to tell me about it. After all, I thought I was suppose to be his best friend," Miles said as he too began pacing in the opposite direction of the Captain.

  "Miles, you know the reason behind that. Julian didn't do it intentionally, he just didn't want everyone to know and then feel sorry for him if he had a miscarriage," Dax replied, coming to stand by Kira.

  "Then why did everyone else know before me?" Miles sulked.

  Jadzia couldn't help smiling at O'Brien's pouting. "I just guessed, Julian was forced to tell Sisko, and Garak was so worried when he was being held that he told Kira." Looking Miles in the eyes, she continued. "Don't worry, I was a little hurt at first too, when I found out that they hadn't told me."

  "I was not hurt!" O'Brien interjected. "Just a little disappointed is all."

  Kira and Dax smiled at each other, but remained quiet.

  "Well, I still think it's wonderful that Jules and Elim wanted another child, after all, why wouldn't any grandmother not want more grandchildren just like my favorite grandson?" she asked as she came over to take Rochosh out of Sisko's arms. Both Sisko and Richard had stopped pacing for the moment and were peeking inside the door to the Infirmary.

  "Yanna, Daddy okay?" the little boy asked.

  "Yes, honey, your Daddy is going to be just fine," Amsha assured him.

  Richard turned and gave her a doubtful look. He then turned his attention back to the door. "This baby means so much to him. . .to both of them, I hope you're right," he said, sounding very tired.

  Sisko turned and placed a hand on the older man's shoulders. "Julian is safe and in good hands. I can promise you that," he said solemnly.

  Richard's hazel eyes sought Sisko's coffee brown eyes. "Captain, I just want to thank you for watching over Jules and the children. I can't always be around and I do worry about him, so it means a lot to know he has someone looking out for him."

  "As a father myself, I know what it's like to worry about your children. I know I'll always worry about Jake, but don't forget that Julian and Elim have always looked out for each other," he gently reminded the older man. He knew that after all this time, the elder Bashir still had a problem when it came to completely trusting his son-in-law.

  Richard was silent, only nodding his head in understanding. He knew deep down that Elim was a good man, there were no doubts that the tailor was a good father, but he would always worry about his only boy.

  Dax decided to break the silence that had fallen over the group when she turned to Kira. "So, do you have any idea what they're going to name the new baby?"

  "If they've come up with anything yet, they haven't let me in on it," Kira remarked. She felt a tugging on her pants leg. Looking down, she noticed Rochosh had managed to get out of his Yanna's' arms. "Know what Auntie Kira?" the boy asked.

  Kira knelt down to the boys level. "What is it, hon?"

  "Rochosh still want baby bother!" the little boyannounced with a happy and earnest grin.

  Kira couldn't help chucking softly at him. "Rochosh, after yourdaddy has this baby, it just may be quite a while before he wants tohave any more babies." She reached out and stroked his ebony hair asthe boy pushed out his bottom lip, apparently not satisfied with thatanswer.

  "Oh, I don't know, regardless of what he says, I think Julian actually enjoyed being pregnant," Dax remarked with a small smile and gave her godson a wink.

  "Has anyone contacted Mila about what's going on?" Amsha asked, looking at the major and Dax. "She should know about this."

  "Don't worry, I think Worf is handling that right now as we speak," Dax replied with a mischievous smile. "Somehow, I don't think he minded being anywhere except here right now."

  "You should have seen how fast he moved out of that turbolift!" Sisko exclaimed, flashing his wide grin. "You would have sworn Julian's condition was contagious by the way he was acting."

  "Who knows, I mean if Julian could do it. . ." the Trill let her voice trail off and then burst out in giggles at the look on Bejamin's face.

  The small group fell into silence again for a few minutes before it was shattered by an ear-piercing wail of a cry. Sighs of relief were expelled and smiles were exchanged as the newest member of the station made her arrival.

  "That baby sister?" Rochosh asked, looking up at his grandfather.

  "Yes, yes I believe it is!" Richard answered with a relieved laugh, as he swung his grandson up into the air and into his arms for a hug.

  Minutes passed as slowly as hours for the group as they waited on news of Julian and the baby's condition. It seemed like the wait was endless until finally Doctor Slovik came out to address them.

  "Doctor Garak-Bashir and his daughter are both doing very well. The operation went through with no problems whatsoever. The immediate family can come in for a few minutes if they wish," the Vulcan announced and then turned to go back in to check on his patients.

  Richard, with Rochosh still in his arms, and Amsha both started to head for the Infirmary doors. Richard stopped for a moment and looked back at the others. His eyes then sought his wife's, and she nodded her head happily in agreement. Looking back at the others once again, he announced with a smile, "Well, you heard the doctor, family can go in, come on now."

  The 'family' entered the room quietly. Julian was lying on the bio- bed gazing with wide eyes at his Cardassian husband, who was cradling their newborn daughter in his arms. Garak was all smiles as he talked softly to his little girl, holding the baby tenderly against his chest he leaned over and placed a kiss on his young husband's forehead. Their daughter chose that moment to let out another loud wail.

  Rochosh, still in his grandfathers arms, covered his ears. "Baby sister too loud," he said over the cries.

  Garak carefully handed Julian his baby girl and came over to retrieve his son. "Come, Rochosh, come meet your little sister." The Cardassian carried his son over to the bio-bed.

  Julian gingerly held his daughter so that Rochosh could see her face. The baby's cries subsided, as she lay in her daddy's arms. "Isn't she beautiful, Rochosh?" Julian asked his boy. The proud parent, gently ran his fingertips over the baby's face, soothing her with his melodious voice.

  The three-year-old twisted about in his father's hold, "Sister too small," he observed.

  Amsha and Richard had come up behind Garak, the others took their places along the opposite side of the bed. Richard peeked over the tailor's shoulder to take his first look at his granddaughter. "Yes, Rochosh, she is small and she is very beautiful." Richard smiled at his son as Julian turned the baby so his parents could get a better look.

  Amsha stared at the baby girl, through tear-filled eyes she saw a beautiful little girl. The child's Cardassian heritage was very evident with the neck ridges and eye ridges, however, the skin tone was a lovely golden shade so much like Julian's. The girl had Julian's nose and cheekbone structure, but the eyes, those two huge orbs, possessed the most exquisite tint of blue. The full head of reddish-brown hair made the eyes appear even more appealing. Amsha stepped closer and Julian held up the baby for his mother to hold.

  "She is indeed very beautiful, Jules. Look, Rochosh," Amsha requested. "Look at how she smiles!"

  The little boy leaned forward from his fathers arms. Turning back, he looked up, "Jayta?"

  "Yes, Rochosh," the tailor answered.

  "Baby come play?" the boy asked.

  Garak and Julian both smiled. Hugging his son Elim replied, "No, not yet, my son. I'm afraid that your baby sister is still too small to go play with you. There will be plenty of time for the two of you to play together."

  The little boy's bottom lip formed a pout. "I want to play with baby sister. When she get big? Rochosh want baby brother instead."

  Garak hugged his son once again, and moved off to the side to have a quiet father and son talk.

  Amsha placed the baby in Richard's arms as the others began to gather closer around. O'Brien and Kira stepped around the bed to get a closer look at DS9's newest resident. Sisko and Dax both turned towards Julian.

  "How are you feeling?" Dax asked, taking Julian's hand in hers.

  Julian winced as he shifted positions on the bed. Handing Rochosh to Amsha, Garak was right at Julian's side, helping his husband to raise up slightly.

  "The anesthetic is wearing off and my stomach feels like someone is pushing little pins into it," the doctor replied. He sank back down onto the bed, emitting a low painful moan. Julian held Jadzia's hand tightly as he tried to get more comfortable on the bed.

  "Doctor Slovik," Sisko called out. When the Vulcan appeared, the captain continued, "Isn't there something you can do for Julian?"

  "Doctor Garak-Bashir will be provided with a mild sedative in a short while. It would not be wise for him to receive too much medication, as he will be nursing his daughter. The area around Julian's abdomen will remain sensitive and painful for several days. However, he is in excellent health and should recover nicely." With that said, the doctor returned to his other duties.

  "I'll be fine, Captain," Julian said with a weak smile.

  Richard walked over to Sisko. "Captain, would you like to hold her?" he asked as he began to place his granddaughter into Benjamin's eager arms. The child appeared diminutive when wrapped in the large protective arms of the captain.

  Dax released Julian and turned her attention to the little girl now in her old friend's embrace. With Amsha holding onto Rochosh while talking with O'Brien and Kira, Richard transferred his attention to his son.

  "Jules, I am so happy for you," he stated simply, while caressing his only child's face. "I was worried about you, with the pain and all, but you pulled through as usual." Julian smiled up at his father, and then once again grimaced from the awakening soreness in his stomach.

  Slovik stepped forward with a hypospray and applied it to the younger doctor's neck. Julian smiled again as he began to relax under the calming affects of the sedative.

  "I am going to ask all but one of you to leave," Slovik announced. "Doctor Garak-Bashir needs his rest and the baby has had enough excitement for her first day."

  Reluctantly, the captain handed the baby back to Garak as the others began to drift slowly towards the door. Amsha kissed her granddaughter, her son-in-law, and Julian before heading out. Sisko stopped to pick up Rochosh, and followed the others out. Only Garak and Richard remained by Julian's side.

  "You look tired, Garak," Richard stated. "Why don't you get some rest and spend some time with Rochosh. I'll stay with Jules until you return."

  The Cardassian looked down at his newborn child and then at his husband. Julian slowly nodded his agreement, while reaching up for his baby. Garak tenderly kissed his daughter and then placed her in Julian's waiting arms. "I love you," he asserted to Julian before kissing him also.

  After Garak had left, Julian held his baby close, marveling over the fact that he had given life to this beautiful tiny baby girl. Richard stepped nearer and placed his arm under Julian to raise him up slightly. He stood for several minutes silently embracing his son and baby granddaughter. With tears streaming down his face, Richard leaned forward and kissed his son's forehead. "I love you too, Jules," he managed to choke out between the tears. Glancing down, the elder Bashir noticed that his granddaughter was sound asleep as was her father. As Dr. Slovik had predicted, Julian was indeed recovering quickly from the surgery. Two days after her birth, the baby girl and her father headed home.

  "I can't wait to get back home," Julian remarked to his spouse as they entered the turbolift.

  Garak was carrying their daughter in one arm and had the other hooked around Julian's waist. He arched one eyeridge as he responded. "I seem to recall that you couldn't wait to get out and about just a few days ago. I do wish that you would make up your mind, Julian."

  Both men laughed softly. Soon they were home, greeted by an enthusiastic Rochosh and excited grandparents.

  Julian sat down on the sofa as Garak handed their daughter to him. Rochosh climbed up to kneel next to his daddy.

  "Sister sleep?" the little boy questioned softly. He leaned forward to watch Julian remove the outer blanket wrapped around his little sister.

  Amsha and Richard had come up behind the couch and were peering at the baby over Julian's shoulders. "Look at how she scrunches her eyes!" Amsha exclaimed. She sighed softly as the baby now opened her tiny mouth to yawn, all the while keeping her eyes closed.

  "She's so beautiful," Richard added. "I bet she'll break more than a few hearts when she gets older."

  Garak politely cleared his throat at that thought. "We will handle that, when the time comes," he replied.

  Amsha gently nudged Richard as she herded them both towards the door. "We'll just leave you alone for now. Don't forget, dinner tonight," Amsha spoke in a whispered tone so as not to wake the baby.

  When the couple had left, Rochosh resumed his silent scrutiny of the tiny baby in his daddy's arms. Julian was gently combing back the reddish-brown hair from his daughter's face. Every so often he would stroke the side of her face with his fingers. Garak had sat down next to the little boy and leaned forward to gaze at his new offspring.

  "Jayta, when sister wake up? Want to play." The young boy leaned against his older father, his eyes remaining on the tiny bundle in his younger parent's arms.

  Rochosh, you and I have talked about this before," Garak spoke quietly. He brought his arm around his son and held him lightly. "Your little sister is too small to play with you. When she gets bigger, your daddy and I will teach you how to play with her."

  Lips forming a pout, the boy continued, "Daddy come play."

  Smiling, Julian reached out to touch his son. "Rochosh, I will play with you later. As for now, would you like to hold your baby sister?"

  Garak nodded his approval as he brought his son into a sitting position. Rochosh looked up at his Jayta, then back at his daddy. "Baby still sleep?" he asked.

  "That's all right, darling," Julian responded. ""It's almost time for her to be waking up anyway. I have to feed her soon."

  Rochosh sat back as Julian carefully placed the baby in the boy's arms. Garak kept one arm around Rochosh's shoulder, while his other hand came up to help his son brace the baby's head.

  "Rochosh Richard Bashir-Garak," Julian said in a serious tone. "This is your sister, Jynell Jatara Garak-Bashir." The doctor then kissed both of his children.

  Jynell chose that moment to stretch her tiny body and open her eyes. Vivid blue eyes stared into the soft hazel eyes of her older brother. Cooing softly, her tiny hands reached upward.

  "Jayta, Daddy, little sister wake up, what do now?" the boy's voice quivered with excitement.

  While Garak supported both of his children in his arms, Julian freed one of Rochosh's hands. "Here, give her your hand, Rochosh. Let's see what she does," the younger father suggested.

  Rochosh held out his hand to his little sister. Jynell's tiny fingers closed around one of her brothers. "Look Daddy!" the boy exclaimed in a voice a bit too loud.

  Cries filled the room, as Rochosh sank back against his Jayta. "Sister crying! What do wrong?" he cried.

  "You didn't do anything wrong, Rochosh," Julian responded as he bent to retrieve his wailing daughter.

  Garak raised Rochosh onto his lap and responded in kind, "It's all right, son. You did nothing wrong. Babies will cry like that, just as you did when you were a baby." Then looking at his husband and daughter, Garak asked, "Isn't it near her feeding time?"

  Nodding his head, Julian started to get up from the sofa. The tailor's hand reached out to stop his mate from standing. "Where are you going?" he asked.

  As he inclined his head towards Rochosh, Julian answered, "I thought I'd go somewhere a bit more private."

  "Julian, what would you do if I were not here to watch him?" the Cardassian asked.

  Julian considered what his spouse had just asked. Then sat back to make himself more comfortable on the sofa. Holding Jynell in one arm, he freed his other hand to open his tunic and unsnap one side of his undershirt. When he was ready, Julian brought his daughter up a little higher and helped her to locate the offered nipple. Cries were soon replaced with the smacking sounds of the girl's feeding.

  Rochosh had observed all with huge wide eyes. "Jayta, what Daddy doing?"

  "Your daddy is feeding your baby sister," Garak responded.

  "What Daddy feed sister?" the boy persisted.

  "Daddy is giving Jynell some milk," Garak answered.

  The little boy shifted slightly forward and stared at his younger father. Julian was tenderly stroking his daughter's back as she suckled hungrily. Frowning, Rochosh leaned back once again.

  "Daddy, Rochosh hungry too," the boy announced.

  Elim looked at Julian, who just shrugged. "Rochosh would you like me to get you something to eat?" Garak asked his son.

  Rochosh pouted as he looked at his Jayta, "Want Daddy to feed Rochosh. Want milk."

  Julian looked at Elim wondering just how he was going to handle this outburst. Garak calmly hugged his little boy.

  "Rochosh, your Daddy's milk is only for babies. You are a big boy now and can drink other milk," Garak gently admonished the boy.

  "NO, Rochosh want Daddy's milk," the boy cried.

  Carefully, Julian moved closer to his son and placed his hand on the boy's head. "Rochosh," he spoke softly. "I need your help. Will you do something for me?"

  The ebony hair bounced as the little boy nodded his head vigorously. "I help Daddy," he sobbed.

  Julian smiled. "That's my big boy. Daddy is very thirsty and hungry too. Will you go with Jayta to get me something to drink and maybe some cookies to eat?"

  Rochosh's stopped crying and looked at his daddy. "Cookies?" he asked. When Julian nodded yes, Rochosh smiled broadly.

  "What Daddy want drink?" he asked.

  "Will you get me some milk?" Julian requested.

  Rochosh was off his fathers lap and heading towards the kitchen area before Garak was up. While they were busy, Jynell finished her meal and was now dozing off in Julian's arms. After straightening his clothes, Julian rose from his seat and headed towards the nursery.

  When Julian returned to the room, Rochosh and Garak had laid out the cookies and milk on the table in front of the sofa. Julian came and sat down next to Garak, and lifted his son onto his lap.

  Rochosh cuddled against his daddy, repositioning himself to get comfortable. When he was finally satisfied, Rochosh patted his daddy's arms. "Daddy feed Rochosh now," he demanded.

  Julian calmly reached for a glass of milk and handed it to his son.

  The boy pushed away the glass and leaned into his daddy's chest. "Want Daddy's milk," he whined.

  Garak had moved closer to Julian. Taking the glass of milk from his husband, Elim reached over with his other hand to transfer Rochosh onto his lap. By now the little boy was crying.

  "Daddy no love Rochosh. Daddy love baby," he sobbed loudly.

  "Rochosh," Garak spoke the name quietly yet firmly in his no nonsense voice.

  The boy sobbed a few more times before looking up at his older father. Huge tear filled eyes and pouty lips met with stern eyes and pursed lips. "Rochosh, here is your milk." Garak held up the glass of milk.

  The child's lower lip quivered and tears continued to roll down his cheeks. He watched as Julian silently picked up his own glass of milk and began to drink. Then Julian took a bite of a cookie.

  Smiling at his little boy, Julian reached over to gently wipe the tear stained face. "Do you want to have some milk and cookies with me, Rochosh?"

  "Daddy still love me?" Rochosh's voice was scarcely audible.

  Again Julian smiled and leaned in to give his boy a kiss. "Daddy will always love you, darling. Always."

  "Daddy no feed Rochosh like baby sister," the voice was slowly getting stronger. Rochosh felt his Jayta's arms tighten slightly about him and he looked back at his father.

  Julian ran his hand down the boy's back, as he tried to think of an explanation a three-year-old would understand. "Rochosh," he began. "Daddy did feed you just like your sister, when you were just as tiny as she is now."

  Still looking at his older parent, Rochosh questioned. "Jayta, when Rochosh baby, Daddy feed?"

  "Yes, Rochosh. Daddy fed you when you were a baby," the tailor responded.

  The boy sat quietly on his Jayta's lap, the tears stopped flowing and now his eye ridges were scrunched together in thought. "Daddy's milk only for babies?" he inquired of his parents.

  "Yes, dear, Daddy's milk is only for babies," Julian responded as he continued to stroke his son's back.

  "Rochosh three years old now, not a baby," the boy announced proudly. He reached for the glass his father continued to hold and took a sip of milk. "Rochosh drink other milk, just like Daddy."

  "That's my big boy," Julian responded.

  "Daddy hold me?" Rochosh asked softly.

  In reply, Julian once again took possession of his son. Cradling the boy in his arms, the two drank their milk and ate cookies.

  "Daddy?" the boy asked suddenly.

  "Yes, sweetheart," Julian replied.

  "Daddy give sister cookie with Daddy's milk?" Rochosh asked innocently.

  Garak flashed a grin at his spouse and waited to hear the reply.

  Julian gave his son a hug and kissed his forehead. "No, Rochosh," he answered. "Jynell is just a baby, she can't have a cookie."

  Giggling, the boy showed a broad smile to match his older father's. "Rochosh can eat cookies. Sister get Daddy's milk, Rochosh get cookies." The boy snuggled closer to Julian to enjoy the last few bites of his cookie.

  The cries from the nursery brought Garak to his feet. "I'll check on her, you two enjoy your milk and cookies."

  A short while later, Elim came back into the room carrying a freshly diapered Jynell. As he sat down next to Julian and Rochosh, the baby's tiny arms reached out towards her brother.

  "No, Rochosh's cookie, you too little," the boy told his sister. He patted her gently on the arm with his free hand. Jynell gurgled and stretched her body out, still reaching towards her sibling.

  Handing Julian his half-eaten cookie, Rochosh slid down off his father's lap and headed towards his bedroom. When he returned he climbed back up onto his daddy's lap.

  "Rochosh busy with Daddy now. Here you play with this," the boy told his sister as he handed her his beloved teddy bear, Little Worf. "No keep, just play with," he reminded her. Settling back into Julian's embrace, Rochosh retrieved his cookie and began to nibble at it once more. Both fathers beamed with pride. Julian further expressed his affection by hugging his son closer.

  Two days later, Julian was rushing about their quarters trying to get his two rowdy children ready for Jynell's Naming Ceremony. Cradled in her father's arms, Jynell cried loudly at the lack of attention, while Julian tried to get Rochosh to change his clothes. The frustrated young man looked up as he heard the door to their quarters swish open. Soon Garak was standing in the doorway leading to Rochosh's bedroom.

  "You look like you could use some help," Elim stated matter-of- factly.

  Rolling his eyes upward, Julian responded, "What gave it away?"

  Chuckling softly, the Cardassian moved forward into the room. Taking hold of his son, Garak proceeded to assist the boy with his dressing. "Take care of Jynell, I can handle things in here," he suggested to his harried spouse.

  Julian took the baby into her own room to get her ready for this important ceremony. When Jynell was ready he carried her back into the living area, and smiled at how handsome both his husband and son looked, dressed in their finest clothes.

  "Not to be critical, Julian, but were you planning on wearing your robe to the ceremony?" Garak asked indicating the doctor's lack of appropriate attire.

  Sighing, Julian handed the baby over to her older father and rushed back into his own bedroom to prepare. A short while later, he reemerged wearing a beautiful teal and purple tunic and pants suit that Garak had designed for the occasion. The entire family wore the tailor's creations, all in matching colors.

  "Ready?" Elim questioned.

  Looking around the room and then inspecting his children and husband, Julian finally nodded his approval. "Ready as I'll ever be. Let's go."

  With Julian carrying Jynell and Garak carrying Rochosh, the Bashir-Garak family made their way to the boardroom, which was once again transformed to accommodate the Cardassain ceremony. On the table in front of the viewport, stood the lit silver candle that had been used at their wedding. To one side of it was the smaller gold candle, also lit, which was used for Rochosh's Naming Ceremony. To the other side lay a new unlit golden candle for Jynell.

  Sisko stood in front of the table, wearing the golden robes of a Cardassian cleric, while Doctor Slovik and Major Kira stood off to the side, both dressed in the royal blue robes of the Dahora and Dehara.

  The guests parted to allow the family to approach Sisko. As the ceremony began, Julian couldn't help but to feel the pride build inside of his chest. This was his family, his friends, and his home. Who would have thought, so many years ago, that he would be standing here so completely happy and content with life. Uttering the words and performing the motions along side of his spouse, Julian went through the ceremony in a daze.

  Tears filled the doctor's eyes as he heard Captain Sisko proclaim, "To all who are present here and to all who will meet this child, we avow that she shall be hereafter known as Jynell Jatara Garak-Bashir. Welcome, Jynell, and may you have a joyful and productive life."

  As the crowd of family and friends applauded, Julian took hold of his daughter once again. He had given life to this child, had nutured her within his body, what more could he ever ask for.

  "Jahkim." Julian heard his spouse whisper in his ear. "Are you all right?"

  Wiping his tears and smiling broadly, Julian placed a kiss upon his husband's lips. "Oh yes, I'm all right. I'm just so happy," he exclaimed.

  Garak gently hugged his life's companion, and both returned their attention to the party now beginning.

  "Jules," Amsha started, coming up behind her son.

  When Julian turned around, he could see the tears forming in his mother's eyes. "Mom, what is it? What's wrong?"

  "I'm just so happy," his mother responded. "You named her after me, darling, I'm just so, so. . ." words failed her as Richard came over to place his arm around her shoulders.

  Garak smiled as he couldn't help but notice the striking similarities between mother and son. "We are honored to have your name, as well as my own mother's name, to be carried by our daughter," he stated.

  Richard hugged Amsha once again as he replied. "Well, it's going to be interesting to see what names you'll come up with if you have any more children." His eyes flickered as he felt the silent stares. "What?" he said looking at his wife and son. "A grandfather can hope can't he?" With that he pulled Julian over into a hug also, placing a kiss on his newest grandchild.

  Later on that evening, Garak and Julian were sitting alone in the living room. It had been a tiring day and Julian was comfortably sitting in Garak's lap, legs dangling over the side of Elim's favorite chair. Garak was stroking his younger spouse's soft mahogany hair.

  "Jahkim, now that things have settled down a bit, there's something I need to discuss with you," Garak mentioned, fingers coming down to gently massage the back of Julian's slender neck.

  "Hmm? Julian murmured, stretching out like a contented feline.

  "Remember the day you went into labor? Well, right before that, when I was called into Captain Sisko's office, he made me an offer that could affect the entire family," Garak replied.

  Julian's full attention was know focused on his husband. "What was it?"

  "Seems as though when I was incarcerated quite a number of people in the business community here on the station came to my defense." Garak noticed Julian's proud smile. "Anyhow, because of this, Captain Sisko seems to believe that with my diplomatic skills I would be the perfect person to become the Station Liaison Officer."

  Julian hugged the Cardassian tightly. "Elim, that's wonderful!! What did you tell him?" he asked.

  "I told him that I wanted to talk it over with you before coming to any decision," Garak replied honestly.

  Julian looked into Elim's cornflower blue eyes, trying to read the thoughts going on in his spouse's mind. "Well, I know it's going to mean a lot of changes in our lives in addition to the ones we've already had to make, but you know, don't you, that I would want you to take it if it's something you want?"

  Julian watched as doubt filled Elim's eyes. "I don't know, Julian. As much as I would like to think the contrary, and I don't think it's intentional on his part, but I can't help feeling like the captain only offered me the position out of guilt for having detained me in custody," Garak replied.

  Julian nodded his head, as he could understand why Garak would feel that way. "Well, you don't have to accept the position right away. You can give it some time to think about it and then when you feel comfortable with it, if you do, you can accept it then," Julian suggested. "I don't think the captain is going to rescind the offer anytime soon."

  Garak squeezed Julian a little tighter. "Yes, you're right. I think that will indeed be what I'll tell him."

  Julian was about to say something when he cocked his head to one side, listening intently on something. "Do you hear that, Love?" he asked.

  Garak listened, but didn't hear anything. "No, I don't hear anything," he answered, of course his hearing wasn't as acute as his spouse's.

  Julian got up off of Garak's lap and took his hand and pulled him to his feet. With a finger of silence placed over his lips, he led his Cardassian husband in the direction of the nursery.

  When they came to the doorway, Garak wrapped an arm around Julian's waist as they both watched in silence the scene in front of them. There standing beside his sister's cradle, the one he himself had used as a baby, Rochosh stood gently rocking his sibling as he sang the lullaby that his Jayta had sung him to sleep with. Both fathers smiled and watched until the little boy had finished his song.

  "Jayta, Daddy, sung sissy to sleep," Rochosh whispered, as not to wake the little girl. A wide grin spread across his little face.

  "You certainly did," Julian agreed, hoisting the little boy into his arms and looking down at the sleeping infant, who had her fingers contentedly shoved into her mouth busily sucking away on them while her other hand held the paw of her replica of her big brother's, and her daddy's teddy bears.

  Garak looked down at the beautiful little girl. It still took his breath away every time he looked down into that tiny, delicate face with the etchings of her Cardassian heritage in the golden shade of his beloved. He wouldn't admit it aloud at the time, but Julian's father was accurate. This little darling was indeed going to be the cause of many broken hearts in her lifetime.

  "You know, I wish Mila could have been here for her naming ceremony. It just didn't feel right not having her there," Julian remarked, drawing Garak out of his musing.

  "Yes, I do believe she wanted to be here as well. In the communiqué she sent me, she was very regretful for having to miss, but she sent her love," Garak replied.

  "Daddy, we go see Yanna Mila?" Rochosh asked turning in his father's arms.

  Julian looked at Garak who answered, "Darling, it isn't really safe for us to go visit Yanna right now, but maybe one day we might be able to visit your Yanna. I know she would adore it."

  Julian saw the longing hidden in his lover's eyes. The same passion that always surfaced when he thought about being able to visit his homeworld again. "That's right, Rochosh, maybe someday we will be able to visit Yanna and you can finally see where your Jayta was born," he responded, knowing that Garak would like nothing better. Garak's arm tightened around him in response and he leaned in to give his younger spouse a warm kiss.

  As Jynell slept the peaceful sleep of the innocent, surrounded by the three men in her life--the men who would serve as her comforters, confidants, and guardians with unconditional love--both of her fathers were lost in thoughts of future dreams and feeling thankful for two precious treasures that fortune had granted them. Julian turned and kissed Garak deeply and passionately, allowing all of his joy show through in that kiss as his arms were filled with both of the men he loved more than life itself, and looked back down at the baby girl who had stolen all of their hearts. A love of a lifetime, a family. . .life was good, Julian decided, hugging both son and spouse close to him and never wanting to let go.    

The End