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Those Billy Wilder Blues

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Brunt still couldn't believe his eyes. He had despised Quark from the day they had met, and every subsequent encounter had confirmed his opinion. The entire family was composed of deviants, but the others at least admitted to their lack of Ferengi ethics; Quark had the gall to proclaim himself a good Ferengi and profaned the Rules of Acquisition by quoting them constantly.

Still, he had never expected the bartender to sink that low. Pretending to be a female, down to acquiring breasts, and doing who knew what with Nilva, and all so that senile traitor Zek could degrade the office of Grand Nagus a bit longer?

Suddenly Brunt realized there was one way in which he could at least have some revenge on Quark for keeping him again out of the profitable glory that should be his. With some luck, this might even embarrass Quark into admitting the truth after all. He spun around and raced after Quark and Nilva, catching up with the couple just before Quark's quarters.

"What is it, Brunt?" Nilva asked impatiently. "Not any more of these ridiculous accusations about Lumba being a man, I hope?" Quark didn't say anything. He - Brunt refused to even think of him as a "she" - just smiled coyly.

"Not at all," Brunt replied, his face showing the widest smile he was capable of. "I have to admit the truth, Nilva. Everything I said was simply caused by jealousy. You see, this… female and I are engaged. Her father has already signed the contract, and I can't stand the thought of her in the arms of another man."

Quark stared at him.

"Now, now," Brunt continued, feeling better with every second, "the former Nagus might have allowed you to wear clothes, but a contract is still a contract."

Nilva's eyes wandered between him and Quark.

"I did sense something going on between the two of you…" he said slowly, sadness creeping up in his eyes.

"Ancient history," Quark said hastily. "You see, Lobekins, Brunt could never afford a woman like me. He's too narrow-minded, and that's why he never signed that contract himself." Quark's voice sounded almost normal now, and more self-assured with every word. "Which makes me the luckiest Ferengi in the galaxy. I mean, just look at him. Do you think anyone could fall in love with that?"

"Well," Nilva said doubtingly, "he is something of a cold slug, but a rich one, and he is the Acting Grand Nagus."

"Some women like that," Brunt commented smugly.

Stepping closer towards Brunt, Quark hissed: "For your information, some like it hot!"

Then he turned towards Nilva again, and threw him against the wall and kissed him passionately. The fact this was the second time his were offended by this sight did not make it any easier for Brunt to watch. Instinctively, he raised his hands to protect himself from the ghastly spectacle. This proved to be a mistake. When he looked again, Quark and Nilva had disappeared into Quark's quarters. For a moment, Brunt considered going after them and stopping whatever horror would now ensue, until he recalled that Zek was the present occupant of said quarters, which made any immediate orgy unlikely. Which was undoubtedly what Quark had counted on.

With a grimace, Brunt limited himself to one final shot.

"She'll never have children!" he shouted. For a moment, there was silence, and then Nilva yelled something back which showed that he, too, had been infected by the odious aura of benign behaviour exuding from Quark and his family.

"Nobody is perfect!"