Title: Who Cares? © November, 2000
Author: Bridget Cochran
Fandom: Star Trek Voyager
Series: Maquis Daze
Archive: No where, thank you.
Feedback Addy: email@example.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
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."
"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
Go to Part 2.