by Maisie (MaisieRita@aol.com)
(Voy, C/Pish, angst, R/NC-17)
Disclaimer: Tom and the rest are not mine. Not only that, I
am borrowing Miguel as Ayala's first name from whichever
fanfic writer first used it, ages ago. Thanks, whoever you are.
And thanks as always to Sapphire and Monica for their usual
exemplary beta services.
Warning: Violence and angst, though not terribly explicit.
Tom-angst clichés galore. A little slashy. Can't decide whether
this should be R or NC-17.
Archive: Sure, but let me know first.
Feedback: Please! All constructive comments welcomed at
Notes: This is set during the first few months in the DQ, and
is entirely from Ayala's POV, which is not clear from much in
the story itself. It was also written during one of those
feverish spells that used to strike me regularly way back when,
but are distressingly rare these days. Clearly inspired by
reading a gazillion angst-fics over the past couple of weeks.
All of I sudden I wanted to hurt Tom again. Go figure. ;)
I never really liked him. I feel I ought to confess it, just for
the record, just to be clear. I never really liked him, and I
didn't really care what happened to him. Maybe that's because
I didn't know him, not that I ever took the time to try. I don't
know. He's a nice enough guy. Can be one when he wants, at
any rate. Back then, I'm not so sure that was true. He smiled
and laughed a lot, in public at least, but the laughter sounded
hollow and the smiles never reached his eyes. Not that you
could blame him.
But, see, it wasn't because I liked him that I was watching
him. Not because I disliked him, either. It was just something
to do to pass the time, help me not think about home. I
watched a lot of people. Anyway, I knew Dalby and his
crowd, knew what they were likely to do, and I wanted to see
how Paris dealt with it.
I noticed the bruises first in the gym, in the showers. He
wasn't alone, of course; it would have been suicide for him to
hit the showers alone and he knew it. He and Harry Kim had
just finished a game of Parrisis Squares. Kim had won, 15 to
9, which I found improbable given that Paris had been asked
to play on the Academy team as an underclassman. So either
he was letting Kim win, or else that stiffness I'd noticed in him
was a sign of something more than a simple sore neck.
I studied him in the mirror and noted the bruises -- or rather,
the absolute absence of bruises, the places where his skin
glowed just a little too pinkly. Kim didn't notice, that was
clear, or else he didn't recognize the shiny patches of skin for
what they were. And why would he? He wasn't Maquis, had
probably never had to use a low-powered regenerator to
handle a job that needed more power, had never needed to
over-stimulate the skin to heal the deeper injuries beneath it.
The bruises didn't bother me particularly. As I said, I didn't
really like him. But still, the extent of the bruising was
excessive. All right, I was as angry as Chakotay to see Paris
on Voyager's bridge, maybe more so. As I recall, Chakotay
had to hold me back from attacking him. But I got over it
pretty quickly. Sure, he sold us out for a ticket out of
Auckland, but God, from what I heard of the place later, I can't
really blame him.
Unfortunately (for Paris, at any rate), most of the other Maquis
felt otherwise. But hell, it wasn't his fault we got stranded out
here. Jeez, even if he hadn't led Janeway to our coordinates,
we'd still have gotten stuck out here -- the Caretaker wasn't
planning on sending us back home anyway -- but we'd be on
the Liberty instead of Voyager, and B'Elanna would probably
be dead. I don't suppose we'd have lasted too long in that rust
bucket without her to hold it together.
I heard later that Paris had saved her life back in the Maquis,
and then again on Ocampa, so maybe that's why she tolerated
him. Not that they were friends, not in the beginning, but she
never blamed him for the mess we were in, and she was a hell
of a lot smarter than me and I trusted her judgment. So when I
saw the bruises I felt ... I don't know, guilty is much too strong
a word for it, but I felt bad. I guess I just felt kind of bad for
So I watched him. The signs of abuse were easy to spot, if
you knew what they were and bothered to look for them. I
guess no one else bothered ... no, that's not fair. I think the
Captain looked, and Tuvok, maybe even Chakotay, though I
doubt it. But they didn't see anything because Paris went to a
lot of trouble to hide it from them. He didn't bother hiding
anything from me because, well, why should he? He'd no
reason to suspect I was watching.
It wasn't anything so obvious as circles under his eyes, but
rather deep shadows in them. Tension in his back, his neck,
always there but some days worse than others, when he knew
or suspected they were coming for him. Stiffness afterwards
that he'd try to hide, but which would show itself in his walk,
his posture at the conn, even the way he'd stand in the
And I saw him once outside his quarters, shoulders tight,
mouth grim, one hand hesitating over the entry console, and I
knew then with a kind of sick certainty that they came for him
in his quarters, that he had not even one safe place to call his
own. Though I imagine he was used to that, after Auckland.
I'd heard enough by then to know what it must have been like
there. They said he hadn't fought, that he'd even liked it. That
he hadn't fought, I believed -- I'm not sure I'd have fought
either -- but that he'd liked it? I was never delusional enough
to believe *that*.
I kept watching him, more out of morbid curiosity than
anything else, even monitored his quarters for a few nights. I
caught it the instant they switched the security feed to replay.
It was an old Maquis trick, perfected long ago for Starfleet
systems, and it was smoothly done. After all, they were
Maquis. But so was I, and I'd been waiting for it.
I don't think he was expecting them to be there that night, but
it wasn't exactly a surprise, either. Something flashed hot in
his eyes, anger, fear, reluctant and exhausted acceptance. I
was surprised to see him take up a defensive position,
surprised to see him fight when he apparently hadn't in prison.
But maybe he knew that these guys wouldn't kill him, that
here, unlike Auckland, he could afford to resist. Still, as good
as he was -- and he was damn good -- one guy can't best five,
except in fairy tales and holonovels. It didn't take too long
before they had him down.
The violence of the subsequent assault, hot on the heels of the
beating they'd just delivered, was shocking even to me, even
after everything I'd seen in the Maquis. I guess I'd been naïve,
but I hadn't really considered rape. In Auckland, yeah, sure ...
but not here in the sterile, antiseptic Starfleet atmosphere of
Voyager. Even worse than the vicious and humiliating assault
was the weary resignation with which Paris took it, took
*them*, one after the other after the other.
They left him lying there on the floor in his quarters, covered
in blood and semen and filth, and I watched him lie still for a
long time before he got slowly to his feet. His whole body
was trembling, and the first thing he did was to stagger to the
replicator, still nude and filthy, and order a bottle of something
alcoholic. He downed three drinks in rapid succession, and it
was only after he let them settle for a minute that he gathered
enough strength to turn around and face the wreckage of his
quarters. I saw the shudder run through him, saw him swallow
the bile, and then saw him clench his jaw and get to work. He
cleaned his quarters with brutal efficiency, obviously a task at
which he'd had a lot of practice. It was only when all evidence
of the attack had been obliterated that he allowed himself the
shower he clearly so desperately wanted. He was in there for
a long time, and after he emerged he spent equally long with a
regenerator he fished out of his closet. When he was done he
was all Starfleet tidy and proper again, except for those
patches of too-shiny skin. It was almost two in the morning,
and his shift started at eight. I wondered if he'd get any sleep
I don't know; in retrospect maybe I should have done
something about it then, but as I said, I didn't really like him
and I didn't think it was my problem. If he didn't want to
report it for reasons of his own, I wasn't about to. He could
have had Chakotay's protection in a heartbeat if he'd wanted it,
had it nominally in fact, but I guess he was reluctant to call in
the favor. Their relationship had always been complicated,
and the previous few months hadn't made it any easier. They'd
had a fling back in the Maquis, a few noisy nights together
when Chakotay had been horny and Paris had been tall, blond,
and very very easy, but then he had been captured and that had
been the end of that. Prison had changed him, not for the
better, and by all accounts he hadn't been easy to get along
with in the first place.
It had never been much of a relationship, but it was enough to
make them uneasy around each other now that circumstances
had changed so dramatically. For obvious reasons, Chakotay
didn't want it too look like he was favoring Tom with too
much attention, the end result being that he completely missed
the violence. And Paris was afraid, I guess, that people would
misread the situation if Chakotay put him overtly under his
protection. Better to take the abuse in private than to have
people think he was a whore in public.
I kept watching Paris, though I stopped monitoring his
quarters after that one night. I didn't really want to know how
often he came home to find he wasn't alone, how often he had
to clear away the filthy residue of assault, naked and drunk
and trembling in his quarters. I didn't really like him, but still,
I didn't want to know.
He'd lost some weight, but not enough to draw anyone's
attention, and I think he was having trouble sleeping. He
looked tired, and finally even Captain Janeway noticed that.
She assigned him to an away mission, overnight, a chance to
get away from the day-to-day routine. She probably thought
she was doing him a favor. Or maybe she was a sadistic bitch
who wasn't as clueless as I thought. Whichever was the truth,
I paled as I read the duty roster for the mission. Four of them
to the planet, Paris plus three Maquis, all of them part of
Dalby's little clique.
Unaccountably, I panicked. I had watched him for so long, I'd
begun to feel a strange sense of responsibility for him, even if
no one else did. He'd been pale but stoic when the mission
roster was posted, and I knew he knew as well as I that his
survival chances were slim. Stubborn bastard, he'd die before
he asked for help, and if he wouldn't, how could I?
I read the mission report again and again, scrutinized it, found
a detail I could use, and barged into Janeway's office and
requested permission to accompany the Away Team, spouting
evidence of my familiarity with similar flora and fauna back
from my University days. I pleaded cabin fever, pleaded
scientific curiosity, pleaded for the sake of pleading, and
Janeway grinned at me and said she'd add me to the roster if
only I'd leave her office and let her get some work done.
I don't know exactly what I was thinking, probably that they'd
never attack him if I were there, that my mere presence would
be enough to save him. And it might have been, at that, if
Paris had known I was on his side, but to him I was just
another Maquis, certainly not someone he could trust. He
steered clear of all of us as best he could, and I couldn't think
of a plausible excuse to track him down once he'd left the
Still I thought he'd be safe, because the others wouldn't attack
him with me there. Surely they weren't stupid enough to think
I'd stand by and let them assault him.
I was right, they weren't that stupid. They weren't that stupid
at all, and it was only blind luck I didn't sleep through the
whole thing. They drugged my drink, a mild sedative, enough
to keep me out of it until dawn, enough to let me sleep through
any screaming they couldn't muffle ... but I don't much care
for synthehol and I guess they didn't notice I dumped half the
They'd gagged him, so I wouldn't have heard the screaming
anyway, but when I woke at one o'clock, head groggy and
mouth fuzzy, I heard them laughing, thick and drunk, and had
just enough presence of mind to grab my phaser before
stumbling through the brush in belated rescue. I'm still not
sure how they subdued him -- he won't talk about it, even now
-- but I found out later that they'd rigged his phaser on the
shuttle, so he hadn't been able to defend himself when they
There was blood everywhere, ¡Dios!, so much blood, and it
covered him so thickly I couldn't tell where the individual
injuries were. He wasn't conscious, thank God, but it didn't
seem to be stopping them any. There was way too much
damage to hide, no way they could heal him with the
regenerator on the shuttle, and I wondered dimly if they'd
actually planned to rape him to death, or whether it was just
working out that way.
And so I was standing there, enraged, fighting the urge to kill
them, and all of a sudden there was this horrible screaming
and I only realized later that it was me. They stared at me,
startled, and Suder even took a step towards me before I shot
him. I collected the rest of the weapons and ordered the other
two away, then dropped to my knees beside Paris and checked
him out as best I could.
I was shaking with rage by the time I'd finished, furious at
them, furious at him, furious at myself, furious at the whole
damn universe. "He's not a Cardassian," I spat at the two who
were conscious, and was gratified to see them flinch back.
"He's not our enemy!" God, Paris was filthy and I felt filthy
too, tainted and corrupted, because I was a Maquis and so
were they, and this was what had become of my cause.
Paris was still unconscious. He'd lost a lot of blood and the
internal injuries were probably severe; he'd die if we did
nothing. And yet to take him back to the ship for treatment, to
bring him into Sickbay like this, to acknowledge that the
Maquis had done this to him, that it had been habitual, that I'd
known about it and had done nothing ... it would destroy
everything we'd worked so hard for. And so I commed
Chakotay, and told him the weather was a little chilly, and
waited impatiently for the five minutes it took him to get to a
secure comm line.
"What is it?" he asked, and I could hear the tension in his
voice. Maybe he'd been worried about Paris after all.
I rarely hear him curse, but he erupted into vulgarities when I
explained the situation, and I was glad I was safely out of
range of his fists. Sometimes he hits first and thinks later.
This time he thought for a good five minutes before coming up
with a plan.
Chakotay and B'Elanna met us in the shuttle bay, and they
both went grim and silent at seeing Paris's battered body. "He
needs the Doctor," B'Elanna said, and her eyes turned dark
with fury. "I don't care how long-"
"Quiet," Chakotay said, cutting her off. He reached hesitantly
to touch Paris, but pulled back before he made contact and
flicked his eyes towards his three crewmembers who sat mute
and manacled in the back of the shuttle. "Miguel. You say
this sort of thing has been going on since we got here?"
I nodded, uncomfortable, but Chakotay was not interested in
any complicity in the abuse on my part, deliberate or not. He
turned back to Paris, beaten and bloody and mercifully
unconscious. "He never said anything."
"Maybe he was afraid to," B'Elanna suggested.
Chakotay dismissed it with a curt, "No." He glared again at
the other Maquis, and set his jaw. "He obviously didn't want
this made public, and we have to respect that. You deal with
them," he ordered me, and I was only too happy to oblige,
already having planned who I'd ask to assist me. Maquis
justice, swift and brutal, would be quicker and infinitely more
satisfying than a Starfleet trial. He and B'Elanna were already
gathering up Paris, Chakotay surprisingly gentle in his
ministrations, and I heard him mutter distractedly, "You're
sure you can reprogram him?"
I don't know how they fudged the mission logs, and I don't
know how they reprogrammed the Doctor so he didn't
remember any of the patients he treated in the holodecks, or
how Chakotay fixed it so that Dalby and the others were off-
duty for the few days they needed to recuperate. As for Paris,
the official story was that he'd been bitten by some nasty bug
down on the surface, and needed to rest up in his quarters for a
few days. I don't know how Chakotay pulled that one over on
Janeway, either. I visited him once, and he watched me warily
the whole time, obviously uncomfortable and relieved when I
cut the visit short. He didn't thank me for saving his life, and I
didn't ask his forgiveness for not intervening sooner.
Chakotay visited him every day, and to hell with what the rest
of the ship thought. I'm still not sure what their relationship
is; if it's more than professional they keep it damn quiet, but
B'Elanna tells me it's none of my business and I suppose she's
right. It's just hard to get out of the habit.
I kept on watching him for a little while after that. I don't
know how he dealt with it, knowing they were still on the
ship, knowing they'd have killed him if they'd had the chance.
Maybe it was enough for him to know they spent a day
suffering all they'd made him suffer, that Chakotay had
personally made sure they understood exactly what they'd
I don't know how he dealt with me, knowing that I knew
everything, had seen it, and had done nothing until it was
almost too late. Maybe it was enough for him that it hadn't
been too late, in the end.
Or maybe he was just far stronger than any of us had
suspected, and he dealt with it because he had no other choice.
All I know is that as I watched him, the shadows in his eyes
slowly vanished, and the tension in his shoulders gradually
disappeared. And sometimes now, even the laughter sounds