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Pairing: Garak/Bashir
Alternative name(s): G/B, Garashir
Gender category: M/M, Slash
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Prevalence: large subfandom
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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.[1]

It is rumored that TPTB ordered the actors Alexander Siddig and Andrew Robinson to stop engaging in ribald speculation about their characters' true feelings for each other at fan conventions.[2]

Fan Perspectives

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. [3]

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. [4]

grammarsaveslives comments:

I read a lot of Trek slash and mostly it was hot as hell. Sidenote: Kirk/Spock or Spock/McCoy never did it for me, but the DS9 stories were great. Ton of those with Julian Bashir and Garak. Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, but I don’t recall a lot of angst. Tons of banging, though. [5]

out-there-on-the-maroon comments:

Oh dear, I’m only just getting into DS9, my first Star Trek ever, and it’s exactly as old as I am. I’m sorry if my posts about the show make you feel even more like I’m a kid on your lawn. I’m SO EXCITED to start reading the Julian/Garak fics, but I’m waiting because I need to watch the show because I’m trying to avoid like, major spoilers as best I can. [6]

2020s 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.

In 2023, the relationship won 3rd place in the third MLM Ship Bracket Tournament out of 32 entrants.

Some Examples of Fanart


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 (aka Spacechick), Mosca, mrs260, Plaid Adder, Prelocandkanar, Kathryn Ramage, Regann and many others.

New wave authors include misereremolly, bmouse tinsnip, Vyc, Queriana(Prevailing), black_tea and many others found on the AO3 tag for the pairing.

Example Fanfiction

Fanfiction Recommendations



Personal sites

Most of these have gone to the wall over the years, but some remain up, including:

Now offline:

  • Dekara Central (fan art by BGM)


On Tumblr

The #garak, #garak x bashir, #garakbashir and somewhat dubious portmanteau #garashir tags are all fairly active.

On livejournal

  • 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.[9]
  • 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.[10]

Meta/Further Reading


  1. ^ Robinson, Andrew. Interview with Liz Sourbut. "Tailor Made." No date. (Accessed 12 February 2009.)
  2. ^ mentioned in Vulcan Love Slave: Fan fiction on the Internet allows viewers to project their darkest fantasies onto their favorite shows (1998), perhaps other places?
  3. ^ Ship Manifesto: Especially the Lies: Garak/Bashir(accessed 7 October 2011)
  4. ^ Liars Make the Best Lovers (Garak/Bashir, DS9) (accessed 7 October 2011)
  5. ^ Tumblr post by grammarsaveslives, Archived version, January 25, 2015
  6. ^ Tumblr post by out-there-on-the-maroon, January 26, 2015
  7. ^ "Arcady". 2007-06-19. Archived from the original on 2013-10-18.
  8. ^ "Tales of A. Kite". 2013-06-20. Archived from the original on 2013-06-20.
  9. ^ doctor-tailor Community Profile (accessed 7 October 2011)
  10. ^ Yahoo Groups: Garak/Bashir (accessed 7 October 2011)