"She's what?" Garak asked.
"Asexual. Meaning she's not interested in sexual relations of any kind," Bashir replied calmly while sipping his tea.
Garak pondered this for a moment. "Is this common in Humans?"
Bashir frowned. "I don't know. But I suspect it's more common than we think."
"If it's so common, one has to wonder how you keep breeding like voles." Garak quipped with a twinkle in his eye.
Bashir raised an eyebrow and replied lightly: "I don't think a member of a species who court by fighting has anything to say about how we Humans do or do not conduct our romantic affairs."
Garak sniffed. "I'll have you know that we could have rivalled you Humans in numbers if we hadn't been somewhat more focussed on conquering enough worlds to have space and resources for all those new loyal subjects of the State we would have produced from our time-honored courtship rituals!"
"Whatever you say, Garak," Bashir said, throwing up his hands. "I just think that it's odd initiating romantic relationships by being as aggravating as I've seen some of your kind be when approaching a potential partner."
"My dear doctor, has it ever occurred to you that a little rousing argument or mutually satisfactory tussle could perhaps be just the thing these so-called 'asexual' Humans would need to get the blood rushing?" Garak asked, his eyes wide as saucers, like they always were when he was up to no good.
"It doesn't work like that, Garak," Bashir sighed. "It's like any other sexual preference. Just not involving actual sex. They're still attracted to people, but not sexually so."
Garak shrugged and drained his rokassa juice. "If you ask me, it all sounds dreadfully boring."
Bashir squinted at his lunch companion, who was now occupied with folding his napkin, as if it was a vital task. "That's an interesting statement from a man, who has been trying for years to convince me that immersing oneself in literature is the only true way to really live."
Finally deciding that the napkin was perfectly folded, Garak replied: "True, but one wouldn't want to marry a book. As great as erotica might be as a genre, it does tend to get a little dull as a bedmate."
Bashir sputtered and tried unsuccessfully to form some sort of reply to that.
"And we mustn't forget that the whole purpose of the sexual act by nature is to produce offspring. Now, if you - as a physician- know of a way to accomplish that with a book, I'll gladly marry The Never-ending Sacrifice to convince you."
Garak smirked and Bashir frowned.
"That's not funny, Garak. "
"Oh, I think it is! Being asexual, on the other hand, I imagine can't be pleasant as a member of one of the most promiscuous races in the known universe," Garak replied casually.
"Hey!" Bashir protested. "Do I have to remind you that Gul Dukat was a Cardassian the last time I checked? How many children has he fathered with different women now?"
Garak made a face of disgust. "Eurgh. Please don't bring him into it. He's far from the best example of our kind. Especially when it comes to romantic exploits."
Bashir rested his head in the palm of his hand and smirked at Garak. "Maybe what you Cardassians need are a few asexuals to even the score?"
"I doubt it, Doctor. No, what we need is to get back to the business of copulating and repopulating. This war has simply depleted our numbers! there is no room for asexual Cardassians in such a dire state of affairs!" Garak said loudly, punctuating every word with expressive gestures.
Bashir was on to him and wasn't fazed. "If that is true, my dear Mr. Garak, then why aren't you currently back on Cardassia, producing more loyal Cardassians?"
Garak's lips tightened and he didn't reply, so Bashir plowed on. "In fact, would I be right in assuming that whatever gets your blood rushing isn't found on Cardassia?" he grinned.
Garak sniffed again. "You always do assume too much. In fact, you couldn't even know for sure if I myself was asexual at heart. Perhaps I have simply no interest in humping like voles-"
Garak jumped in his seat when a soft foot suddenly stroked his ankle and he sat rigidly in his chair as Bashir smirked and toed his boot back on.
"Nope. Definitely not asexual."