Title:  Who Cares?  © November, 2000 
Author: Bridget Cochran
Part:  1/2
Fandom:  Star Trek Voyager
Series: Maquis Daze
Pairing:  Chakotay/Paris
Rating:  NC-17
Archive:  No where, thank you.
Feedback Addy: bjcochran@aol.com
Web Addy if applicable: no website at this time. 
Warnings: I don't own them, Paramount does.  I own the ideas. 
Feedback:  Constructive please.   Flames are mean spirited. 
Acknowledgements:  For Cathy, who loves the Maquis Daze.  For Karen/s and Anita who are always there to give things a look.  Any typos, etc reflect on me.

Summary:  Tom gets through prison, Chakotay keeps marauding.  They meet again in the Delta Quadrant.  This story involves a good deal of Caretaker canon.


Tom wasn't sure what he expected when he and Chakotay met on 
Voyager's  bridge.  It certainly wasn't the time for a teary 
reunion.  He just wished Chakotay hadn't come after him, looking like 
he wanted to pound him into the deck.  And Ayala.  He'd never had 
trouble with that taciturn asshole, but he was backing Chakotay right

He couldn't help taunting the son of a bitch.  Of course, he was 
believing the worst of him.  Everybody did, why the hell wouldn't 
Chakotay?  Had Tom ever lied to Chakotay?  Nope.  Had Tom done 
anything other than give everything he had to give?  No.  But, there 
he was, the much maligned Maquis warrior pissed at the universe.  A 
universe that could be narrowed to down to Tom Paris.


Harry Kim had been a bright point after getting out of jail.  Strong 
kid who stuck out his jaw in defiance of conventional wisdom and 
offered Tom friendship.  That no strings attached friendship that 
came so rarely in life, accepting Tom at face value like people so 
rarely did.  Chakotay hadn't.  Tom had to force his way into his 
arms.  It was a fight all the way.

Tom didn't know if he had that kind of fight left in him.

He frowned.  The Captain--Janeway and Chakotay were moving toward the lift.  "Captain, I want to go with you."

"Tom, if this has to do with what Chakotay said--"

"It's Harry.  I would hate for anything to happen to him."

Well, it wasn't a total lie.  He would hate for anything to happen to 
the kid.  Feeling protective of another was something that surprised 
him.  He didn't ever remember feeling that way.  But, he **was** 
really going because of Chakotay.

To see him again, even knowing that he was bound to, floored him. 
Punched him right in the gut.  Never, ever had he let anyone get to 
him like this.  Christ, even his miserable father didn't have this 
effect on him.  Tom was the last one in the turbolift.

Chakotay didn't look at him, but his nostrils were flaring.  Was that 
anger or did Tom actually smell?  It honestly could be both.  He 
still smelled of burnt hair from the trip across the galaxy, and 
whatever that entity did to them, it didn't come with a shower and 
shampoo afterwards.  But, considering the circumstances, pissed off 
at him was probably the best explanation. 

Tom let out a huge sigh as he disembarked for the transporter room. 
Tuvok was handing out phaser compression rifles.  When Tom went to 
get his, the Vulcan hesitated and looked over his shoulder.  Tom 
turned in time to see the tight nod from Janeway.  Dipping his chin, 
he turned a steely gaze back to Tuvok.  He received the rifle without 
a word.

So, Janeway trusted him.  Now there was something to chew on.  He 
stepped up on the transporter pad stepping to the rear, to stand 
behind the captain and Chakotay.  Looking at the back of the dark 
head brought memories that were not best remembered, not at this 
minute, in this situation, but the memory of time spent with his nose 
in that hair.  Nope.  Lousy time to remember that.

"You're with me," Janeway said to Tom as she moved toward around 
the faux garden.  Chakotay didn't say a word, didn't look in his 
direction.  Tom couldn't risk another sigh. 

It was easy to give control of this situation over to Chakotay and 
the captain.  Let them hold on to this mind boggling situation, take 
responsibility for it.  He was just an observer.

Like he could just observe.  Not when there was work to be done.  Not 
when he could do something, rather than nothing.  Some observer he 

He could observe the loathing Chakotay felt for him, though.  That 
was easy to see, and very easy to accept.  There wasn't much about 
him that was likeable.  He wasn't reliable or trustable.  Well, 
that's what his record showed.  Nothing about him worth much except 
his piloting skill.  Well, he also gave pretty decent head when 

But, it didn't look like he would be pressed. 

Then Chakotay broke his leg on the way to the surface of Ocampa.  The Caretaker's guilt was making it hard to get to the surface.  A 
jarring pulse of energy wracked the ancient passageways like a core-
centered earthquake.  Neelix and Janeway dragged Tuvok to the 
surface, but Tom stayed behind to get Chakotay.

Wasn't one iota of doubt as to what Chakotay thought about Tom 
rescuing him.  Nope, not a scintilla.  The man actually seemed to 
prefer death.  Tom was just perverse enough to be the hero and save 
his sorry ass.

His beautiful ass.  Christ, he'd been scared as he grabbed Chakotay. 
Made stupid ass remarks all the time he wanted to scream.  Nearly 
soiled himself on that rolling staircase.  When it fell out from under them, only a nano from them and death, Tom nearly vomited. There they were, tangled up in each other's limbs, Chakotay on top for a change, both breathing like they thought they'd never breathe again. 

Tom's arms were so tight around Chakotay that he was afraid he'd 
broken ribs, too.  He rubbed his face on Chakotay's, just so glad 
that they were both alive.  It was a long time before either of them 

Then Chakotay pushed himself up, rolling off of Tom.  The grimace of 
pain turned Tom's stomach.  It was time to get to the surface and to 
Voyager.  It was long and it was grueling, but they finally made it 
out of the hole in the ground.  "Paris to Voyager."

"Voyager, here."

"If you can manage it, two to beam directly to sick bay."

Then the array blew up.  And the Crazy Horse.  Tom was honestly sorry to see it go, but he'd have been a lot sorrier if Chakotay had gone 
with it.  He nearly soiled himself again when the damn thing blew, 
his heart stopped until he heard the Maquis captain's voice on the 
transporter comm. 

Go to Part 2.