Subject: Hmmm, that's a tricky one.
Posted on: 2021-04-16 04:58:32 UTC

The part that most rubs me the wrong way is when the Kriosian ambassador tells Sisko to let the four guys do whatever they want because it's important for their development to get a wide variety of experiences before bonding with someone, and Sisko pretty much just goes along with it. In fairness, the fic DOES say the guys are heavily guarded and it's all tightly controlled, but then it also says "They were given tours of the station and all the delights of the promenade, where they flirted and seduced like mad" and "Alone in their room, they were asked select three women to mate with per day." UM, excuse me, did the rest of the station consent to this? Dax does, fine, great, but what about the rest?

But, giving it the benefit of the doubt and assuming that anyone they actually slept with was into it? The rest of the story doesn't bother me much. Responding to your concerns particularly:

  1. That's explained as being potentially harmful to the four empaths who are at a delicate stage of social development. I don't know if that's canon, but it seems plausible.

  2. I haven't seen that episode (at least not recently enough to remember), but it doesn't matter, because "I think it's stupid" isn't an objective criticism. Why would that be inconsistent with canon, and why is that a bad thing in this case? I rather liked that the fic gave them a connection without making them insta-super-speshul-soulmates-4evar. It gives the empath guys some agency, and it made for a fairly touching ending, IMO.

  3. To be fair, pretty much anything is gross when the Grand Nagus does it. {= P And, more seriously, sneezing yourself is not the same as seeing someone else sneeze, whether you're into it or not. A good sneeze can feel great, and a bad one or a whole bunch in a row can be awful. A cat sneezing a few times in a row can be adorable, and a cat flinging snot everywhere can be nasty (not to mention a cause for medical concern). These things are subjective, dependent on circumstances, and not mutually exclusive.

  4. Catchphrase? She says it three times. Arguably two too many for a fic that short, but it's hardly a criminal offense.

  5. "Everyone pressuring Kira" looks like just Dax recommending the experience and Golu hitting on her to me. Even if you count Dax multiple times 'cause of the extra personalities, that's far from "everyone," and it's not much pressure, either. (What I actually question is Kira not sticking to her guns and turning the guy down despite being turned on. Kira is not short on willpower.)

  6. ... Okay, yeah, that's a bit cringey. But it's also a fair rendering of how the word would come out with a stuffy nose, and it's only once, so, eh.

Another factor to consider is that this was written for a prompt, and generally speaking we give prompt-fic a pass. Not always, because the author still made choices about how to interpret the prompt—and in this case they admit to writing it quickly and posting without bothering much about quality, so I might in fact make an exception here—but still, anything included specifically to fill the prompt would have to be given some slack.

Finally, on a completely arbitrary note, this line from Bashir made me laugh:

> "Ah, I'm so bloody jealous..." he sighed. He wished he was gay.

{X D Julian, don't you know there are plenty of Bashir/Garak shippers who are pretty sure you are at least bi? Kinda wonder if that line was a deliberate nod to that bit of fandom. (FYI, I am in that bit of fandom. One of my few actual ships. ^_^ )

TL;DR: I think there are enough questionable choices here that it could make for an entertaining spork if it were done with a light heart, but I don't think it's bad enough to get angry about.


PS. Amusingly, golu means "wisdom" in Sindarin; I remember this from the SIELU flash patch. /snrk/

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