A Night at Quark's

 DebraT2695@aol.com

 

(This story is based on the Enterprise's visit to DS-9 during the TNG episode "Birthright", and refers to

events to that were later described in the TNG episode "Firstborn" and the DS-9 episode "Defiant".)

 

 

Will Riker leaned back in his chair and savored the moment.  After a series of long and tiring missions,

finally a chance to relax.  Better yet, a chance to relax with friends.  He cracked his fifth joke of the night,

watched Deanna, Miles and Keiko split their sides in laughter, and leaned back, savoring the moment.

 

The Enterprise had stopped at DS-9 so the Captain could take care of some diplomatic and technical

business with new Bajoran provisional government.  At last sightings, the Captain was preparing a lecture

on water supply problems for a group of Bajoran officials ("I fear this will be a bit boring, Number One")

while Bev was treating herself to a holosuite.  Worf was off doing some sort of very serious personal

business ("No Commander, you cannot assist me here.  This is something I must do alone"), and Geordi

and Data had teamed up with the Starbase doctor to do dream research (!?) on dear old Data's positronic

matrix.  That left Riker and Troi, who had found old friends and shipmates Miles and Keiko O'Brien, and

were hoping to catch up on the news concerning the O'Briens' new life on DS-9.

 

At Miles's suggestion, the quartet had headed for the Starbase bar and casino, known simply as Quark's,

after the name of the Ferengi proprietor. By the time they got to the O'Briens' favorite balcony table, the

gaming was in full swing on the main floor below.  They sat for over two hours, listening to O'Brien's tales of

the station's miserable Cardassian infrastructure and Troi's story of her days "undercover" as a member of

the Romulan Tal Shiar.  Gradually, Quark's spinning dabo wheel commanded more and more of Riker's

attention.

 

"I think, my friends," Riker exhaled slowly, "I would like to try my hand at that dabo wheel".

 

"And I think we need to get back to Molly" Keiko returned.

 

"Aw, come on, folks, just a few tries" Riker pleaded.

 

Miles came his wife's rescue.  "Keiko's, right, Commander, Counselor.  We need to get back to our

daughter.  But go ahead, you two, go have some fun.  Just a word of warning, though.  The owner's a

typical Ferengi, crooked as a snake.  Don't believe a word he says."

 

"Wouldn't dream of it" Riker smiled back.  He turned to Troi.  "So it looks like me and you, Deanna.  You

game?"

 

Troi gazed at the cheering crowd below them.  It did look kind of fun, and they had planned to relax.  "Sure,

but I didn't bring any latinum, and don't ask me to pawn any of my mother's jewelry.  She kill us both if she

found out we gambled away my inheritance as a daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed."

 

                              xxxxx

 

Things were not going too well.  Riker was losing.  Okay, he KNEW the Ferengi had a rigged Dabo wheel,

but even so, he should be doing better than he was.  Damn!  Outsmarted by a conniving troll!

 

Suddenly Troi felt a gentle squeeze on her elbow.  Turning, she found herself smiling at a Trill female, who

was wearing a blue Starfleet uniform.

 

"Hi, I'm Lt. Jadzia Dax, the science officer here on Deep Space 9" the stranger introduced herself.  "Your

friend looks like he could use a little help."

 

Troi shook her head.  "Will knows what he's doing. He loves to win, but he rolls with the punches.  A dabo


game won't depress him for long."  Troi smiled "I'm Counselor Deanna Troi of the Enterprise."

 

Riker stepped back from the wheel.  He spread his arms to rest of the players.  "Well, folks, I think I've lost

enough latinum for one party.  I think It's time to call it a night."

 

At that signal, Dax scurried up with Troi on her flank.  "Not so fast, commander.  I'm Jadzia Dax, science

officer here on DS-9.  If I gave you a couple of my lucky latinum chips, would you consider another spin?"

 

Delicious, Riker contemplated, in more ways than one.  Sensing Deanna sensing him, Riker quickly added

another thought:  The offer about the chips, I mean!

 

Deanna chuckled, and then muffled it when she realized people were wondering if they'd just missed a

good joke.

 

"Okay, Lt. Dax, just what makes those chips so lucky?" Riker challenged.

 

"Oh, I won them from the proprietor, Quark, at last week's tongo game.  My luck always runs in streaks, and

lately I'm on a roll.  I just thought I might share my good fortune." Dax returned.

 

"Okay, Lieutenant, you're on." He turned to Rom, who had been manning the wheel.  "One more pull, and

make this a good one!"

 

Rom tried to catch his brother's eye from across the room.  He thought he saw Quark give him a little nod.  I

think I'll take the safeties off, Rom decided.  I think my brother wants to keep these Starfleeters here for a

while.  Unobtrusively, Rom flicked the switch under the wheel, and then sent the Dabo wheel twirling.

 

The ball fell perfectly.

 

"DABO!" the cheer went up from the crowd as Rom scooped up eight chips and dropped them in Riker's

hand, who just as quickly placed four of them back down on the table's edge.  Rom rotated the wheel

again, smiling to himself.

 

The ball fell perfectly again.

 

"DABO!" The bar crowd was starting to gather around the wheel, to join in the fun and get a better look at

the charming Starfleet commander who was fast becoming the center of attention.

 

Troi smirked at Riker from across the Dabo table.  Will certainly likes being on the mainstage, Troi

reflected.  She turned to Dax.  "Thanks for the "lucky latinum".  You seem to know your business."

 

Dax was getting fired up.  "And the night is just beginning!" she sung in reply.

 

Quark contemplated the Dabo wheel crowd from across the bar.  Well, time to captilize on this Starfleeter's

sudden success.  He signalled two of his "girls" over, one to bring a round of drinks to the dabo players, and

other to, well, DISTRACT.

 

"DABO!"  Riker was raking it in.  Yeah, sure, the table was probably rigged, but what the hell?  For now, he

was winning and winning big.  One waitress had settled across the wheel of him, her dress barely covering

some of her more prominent features.  Riker gave her his most devilish grin.  Don't worry, Deanna, I'm a big

boy, I CAN do two things at once.

 

Just don't come crying to me if you lose do to a sudden attack of bad concentration Troi's thoughts warned

him icily.

 

As if she had the ability to tune into their empathic conversation, Dax tapped Troi on the shoulder and

shared a bit of wisdom.  "Don't worry, Counselor.  Your friend doesn't look the kind of man that distracts that


easily."

 

                              xxxxxx

 

"DABO!"  After another twenty minutes of steady luck, Riker's picks were still hot.  He was killing.  He was

cruising.  He had parlayed Dax's two strips into a mound that threatened to spill off the table onto the floor.

"One more time!"  he called to the cheering crowd.

 

Enough is enough, Quark thought.  That idiot Rom is enjoying the game so much that he's lost track of MY

profits. What does the 194th Rule of Acquisition say?  It's always good business to know about new

customers before they walk in your door?  Well, if my idiot brother could size up the customer right in front

of his tiny lobes, he'd know that that customer has had quite enough charity for one night.  Anger building,

Quark made for the dabo table.

 

Spying Quark's approach, Dax pouted. Oh, here he comes, ready to end our fun.  Suddenly, a devious plan

began to form in Dax's brain.  She grabbed Troi's arm.  "Deanna, I have an idea."  It was easy to talk so no

one but Troi could hear her, given all the noise in the bar.  Dax pointed.  "That's Quark, the owner.  Mark my

words, in one, maybe two more spins, he's going to grab that wheel himself, set his "sure loser" button, and

the night will be over.  I suggest we give him a little of his own medicine!"  Dax eyed Troi's low-cut lavender

jumpsuit.

 

Following Dax's glance, Troi questioned warily "His own medicine?".

 

"Yes, get ready.  Get over next to him.  When he goes for the bottom of the wheel, stroke his ear a bit, lean

over and SMILE.  I know Quark.  He'll fall for it."

 

"Oh, I don't know" Troi felt herself shrinking back.  "This just isn't my style."

 

"Sure it is!"  Dax encouraged.  She put her hand on Troi's shoulder and pushed her forward, whispering

"NOW!".

 

Troi slid up next to Quark, caught Riker's eye, and winked.

 

"Put in all in!" Riker crowed.  "This time we're going for the big one!"

 

Quark's hand moved for the underside of the wheel.

 

Troi reached for Quark's ear, leaned over -----

 

And smiled -----

 

Just in time for Quark's finger to miss the wheel's "stop on low" button.

 

"DABO!  DABO!  DABO!"  The cheer was thunderous.  Riker, both fists in the air, hooted back, "It is a

PERFECT night for winning!"  He scooped all the latinum off of Rom's operator's pile, and gestured to

Quark and Rom.  "And you two can go rustle up the other 2000 strips!"  Turning to Troi, he swept her up

and kissed her, dropped her back on her feet, and plopped some 100 pieces of latinum into her arms, half

of it ending up on the floor.

 

"Watch it, you nut, you're going to lose all your hard-earned wealth" Troi teased back, not meaning a word

of what she said.  "Or should I say, OUR hard-earned wealth!"

 

Riker grinned at Troi again, and then turned to Dax, scooping a double handful of chips out of his enormous

hoard and presenting it to her.  "And now, some reward for the Queen of the Lucky Latinum!"  Dax returned

his grin with a knowing twinkle in her eye.

 


Riker started tossing latinum chips in the air, with the crowd screaming and diving for each piece.  "When

the train comes in, everybody rides!  Here, have some, it's a night for fun!"  Riker was handing out latinum

strips to everyone in the bar.

 

Cringing, Rom glanced at Quark.  "Don't worry, brother.  We'll win it back tomorrow night."

 

"TOMORROW NIGHT!" Quark roared.  "That hu-man triple-dot-daboed!.  NO ONE HAS EVER DONE

THAT HERE BEFORE!  Come with me, you small-eared fool, we need to open the safe!"  Quark turned on

his heel, dragging Rom behind him.

 

Still relishing both the defeated Ferengi and the exuberant Riker, Dax snatched two glasses from a passing

(and grinning) waitresses' tray.  She presented one to Troi.  "Well, counselor, welcome to Deep Space 9

and welcome to Quark's".

 

Troi smiled at her new friend and raised her glass.  "Cheers?"

 

Dax beamed back.  "Cheers!"

 

                            xxxxxxxxx