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Garak/Bashir is the main slash pairing in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fandom. As with any ensemble, favorite characters and pairings were varied, but the subfandom for slash with Julian Bashir (played by Alexander Siddig) and Elim Garak (Andrew Robinson) was quite large, and remains active as of today.
Bashir was first presented as an eager and naive young Federation doctor assigned as the chief medical officer of the station. The mysterious Garak, the Cardassian tailor on the station who may be a spy, introduces himself to Bashir in the first episode as "plain and simple Garak," though he is obviously anything but. Their relationship throughout the series changes, but seems the main touchpoint for Garak until the finale.
The onscreen relationship between the two characters was most intense during the first two seasons of the show, but cooled off considerably afterwards. Andrew Robinson stated in an interview that he played Garak as neither gay nor straight, but "inclusive". Of Garak's sexuality, he elaborated, "I loved the man's absolute fearlessness about presenting himself to an attractive human being. The fact that the attractive human being is a man (Bashir) doesn't make any difference to him". Robinson said this portrayal was later toned down due to a lack of writer support.
Blossom Morphine writes:
What made me and thousands of others think that these two belong together? For all purposes, they couldn't be more unalike. One upholds the enlightened and open principles of the Federation and has dedicated his life to healing. The other moves in a world of political intrigue, assassinations, and had made a reputation for literally breaking people into submission by merely looking at them. However, upon meeting, there is an instant attraction. ... They are mentor and apprentice, foes and friends, and many suspected more. In every encounter, there is a touch that lasts too long, a glance that holds more than friendliness, and deeper meanings in what they say.
Regann considers Bashir's secretiveness about his genetically enhanced nature makes the couple ideally suited:
Garak and Bashir share something that, I think, makes them compatible for each other, something that gives them a unique basis for understanding one another and, ultimately, plays a huge role in why I think they are right for each other. / Garak and Bashir are kindred spirits from the beginning because they are both men who have built their lives -- and their selves -- on a core of deception.
Recent Fandom Revival
DS9 as a whole seems to be enjoying a resurgence of participation in the fandom. This is possibly due to the whole series being available on Netflix instant, granting easy access to people who might have missed it the first time around. Since it remains the most popular ship in the fandom, Garak/Bashir has been having its own revival as well. Tumblr has been instrumental in this. People posting pics, GIFS and meta have drawn others' interest and with the canon freely available whole new waves of people are discovering the pairing and collectively gnashing their teeth at the period homophobia that prevented a romantic relationship between the characters from being fully explored in the show.
The *Garak/Bashir tag on AO3 (AO3 being a relatively recent thing compared to the start of the DS9 fandom) is the best bet for finding new fics and the tag is quite active, with new content posted every day or every other day.
Garak/Bashir fanfiction takes many forms -- from drabbles to novels, from fluff to darkfic often involving Garak's history as a torturer, and from flirting not much more direct than canon to explicit erotica which explores Cardassian sexuality.
Well-known classic G/B writers include Ainzfern, Arcady, BGM (aka bgmanic), JA Chapman (aka JA Ingram), Karen Colohan (aka Yavanna), crowdog66 (aka prairiecrow), dilly (aka babel), Terri Drummonds, Elizabeth Helena, Karmen Ghia, The Hoyden, Invicta, Lady Drace, Olivia Monteith, Mosca, mrs260, Plaid Adder, Prelocandkanar, Kathryn Ramage, Regann and many others.
- Acts Of Kindness, by JA Chapman -- closer to canonical relationship than many
- Converse Symmetry, by Terri Drummonds -- award-winning novel
- Letters from the Northern Continent, by The Hoyden -- widely recommended story from a newer author
- Mr. Garrick Resumes the Stage, by Kathryn Ramage -- historical setting
- Nom de Plume, Roman a Clef & Folie a Deux by Arcady -- series by one of the pairing's best-known exponents
- Paths Not Taken, by Selena -- Five Things meme
- The Traitor, by dilly -- dark alternate universe
- A Treatise on the Principles of Relativity, by Mosca -- example of pushing aside Julian's canonical relationship with Ezri to write G/B
- When the Lights Go on Again, by Penknife -- bleak futurefic
- Marked by prelocandkanar - a well-executed fuck-or-die fic in an interesting revenge scenario, with speculative Cardassian anatomy
- 31 favorite Garak/Bashir fics: part 1, part 2 & part 3, by Prelocandkanar
- Big Fat Garak/Bashir Fanfic Recs list! by Lady Drace
- mrs260's G/B recommendations
- Different Odds (1996)
- Doctor, Tailor, Officer, Spy (2 issues; 1997-8)
- No Holds Barred - multimedia zine with several all-Garak/Bashir issues
- The Plain and Simple Zine (10 issues, 1995-6)
- Strange Fits of Passion (e-zine; 1999)
- Tarkalean Tea (1996)
Most of these have gone to the wall over the years, but some remain up, including:
- Cardie-ologist (mix of pairings)
- Charlene Vickers
- Diana and Joanne's Slash Sensation (multifandom)
- Elizabeth Helena
- Evacuee Sanctum (fanfiction & fan art by BGM)
- Henrietta Wotton (mix of Garak pairings)
- Lady Drace
- Tales of A. Kite (multifandom)
- Una McCormack (mainly Garak gen)
- Dekara Central (fan art by BGM)
The #garak, #garak x bashir, #garakbashir and somewhat dubious portmanteau #garashir tags are all fairly active.
- doctor-tailor -- for Any and all fanworks which deal with, focus on, even reference the relationship (canon, fanon, platonic, romantic, whatever your cup of tea may be) between Garak and Bashir.
- cardassian-lust -- Cardassian-centric LJ comm with substantial Garak/Bashir presence
On Yahoo Groups
- Garak/Bashir -- an adult list for discussion of Garak/Bashir fiction, on-screen interaction and the characters of Garak and Bashir.
- Especially the Lies: Garak/Bashir, by Blossom Morphine at Ship Manifesto
- Liars Make the Best Lovers (Garak/Bashir, DS9), by Regann
- Robinson, Andrew. Interview with Liz Sourbut. "Tailor Made." Amazon.co.uk. No date. (Accessed 12 February 2009.)
- Ship Manifesto: Especially the Lies: Garak/Bashir(accessed 7 October 2011)
- Liars Make the Best Lovers (Garak/Bashir, DS9) (accessed 7 October 2011)
- doctor-tailor Community Profile (accessed 7 October 2011)
- Yahoo Groups: Garak/Bashir (accessed 7 October 2011)