I think it’s interesting how in Civil Defense when Odo and Quark thought they might die they had complimented each other. Odo flattered Quark’s sense of cleverness and criminal business dealings. Quark blamed Odo for their current plight because he was too honorable of a person not to do the right thing, which would be considered a threat to the Cardassians.
But in the Ascent their time is filled with angry sentiments and arguments. Lots of hate flowing in those conversations, as they trekked up the mountain and faced the very likely scenario that they were going to die, even if they succeeded.
I mean, a lot has happened between Quark and Odo, and to the characters individually since Civil Defense. Odo has become a solid. Quark has had several misfortunes in his dealings. Odo has been lording it over Quark that he’s finally got him that entire trip, and then Quark snatches that away.
Not sure where I’m going with this, but it’s interesting to see the different ways they comforted each other in times of peril. Similar to how, in the TV show Firefly when Mal and Wash were captured and tortured on the train job, and Mal kept making insulting statements meant to make Wash focus on his anger/jealousy to keep going (and not die), Quark and Odo are making inflammatory statements to each other in motivation to keep going on. Arguing over who’s wearing the bio suit, telling the other how much they hate them. Complaining about the other. It’s the best they can do to keep themselves going. Focusing on an aspect of their relationship that’s familiar and energizing.