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Family Dinner

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Odo makes a point of keeping track of Quark’s activities. He makes a point of keeping track of everyone’s activities, but Quark requires special attention. It frequently pays off.

When Quark discovers that his family are coming to visit – not Moogie, thankfully, but several uncles and cousins, all tremendously successful – Odo finds out mere minutes later.

It doesn’t surprise him that Quark would rather Odo not know that his family are visiting. Several of them are worth keeping an eye on. He’s planning to assign extra security when they get here; make sure there’s no smuggling or other illicit activities going on.

What does surprise him is that Quark is panicking over not having a wife to show off.

***

There’s a human expression he’s heard, to kill two birds with one stone. It pops into his mind as he looks in the mirror and shifts his way towards something that looks a little more feminine.

“Frin, Gaila, Stol – this is my wife, Odette,” Quark says proudly, as Odo tilts his head demurely in acknowledgement. Some hair falls into his face – he’s not used to having it long, but long hair is one of the easier ways of trying to look like a woman. His face is more or less the same, although Quark suggested a few tips based on the makeup his Dabo girls wear, so Odette, unlike Odo, has red lips and a girlish rosiness to his cheeks.

All in all, it’s not the worst night he’s ever had. There’s something delightful about pouring more Romulan ale for the Ferengi and waiting for them to slip up and mention something illegal. There’s also something rather pleasing – though he’d never admit it – on the way they all begin to flirt with him as the night progresses. He never thought he could be a convincing woman.

“You’ve got a fine wife here,” Frin says to Quark as he leaves, patting him on the back. “Though I do hope you don’t let her wear clothing all the time.”

Quark chuckles and waves goodbye to them all, then slumps into a chair. “It’s over.”

Odo shifts back to his usual form. It’s something of a relief, even though he’s learned how to be someone else tonight.

“I wish I had my own moon,” Quark says wearily. He, too, has been drinking the Romulan ale all night.

“You have the bar,” Odo says, trying to reassure. It’s not the first time he’s felt like he’s on the same side as Quark. Their alliances tend to be short-lived, but not infrequent.

“Frin has thirty of them,” Quark replies gloomily.

“You have a charming wife,” Odo offers.

Quark eyes him up. “Not anymore.”

Odo considers the situation. Tomorrow morning, he’ll haul a couple of the younger cousins in for questioning. Gaila’s too clever, even when drunk, but Odo doesn’t think the night has been a complete waste of time.

It’s a humanoid concept, the idea of politeness, but perhaps he should try it out.

He shifts back into Odette, and Quark grins.