Title: Holodiction P8forbesc@skyia.com
Author: Cheryl Forbes
Fandom: Star Trek: Voyager
Pairing: Chakotay/Tom Paris
Rating: NC 17
Series: 8 of ?
Email for feedback:
Disclaimer: Voyager and her crew are property of Paramount and not
Summary: Voyager comes to the aid of the Delta Flyer but will it be
"Is that a game?" A shy voice asked.
He tore his eyes away from the small digital screen of his PADD and
looked up at the young Metier of maybe six or seven years standing
beside his chair.
With the help of Samantha Wildman on the bridge he used the slim
instrument as an interface to keep an eye on Tom's progress in the
Delta Flyer and for extra measure his bio readouts. His Poocuh was
only one system away and within minutes of help should he need it but
Chakotay felt better knowing his precise coordinates and his physical
status at a glance.
"No it's a monitoring device." He smiled at the boy. "I'm watching a
friend of mine fly."
"He's a pilot?" The small fair-haired boy squeezed in beside him on
the overstuffed chair. "I wanna be a pilot."
Chakotay shifted over and lowered the PADD so the fledgling helmsman
could see the display.
"Yes. See that red dot," He pointed to the flashing blip orbiting a
larger blue one. "That's Tom."
The boy watched the screen mesmerized. "He's good isn't he?"
"Most of the time." This time the smile was mostly for himself. "Do
you want to watch over him with me?"
"Chakotay." He offered.
"Jaro." The boy offered in return.
Chakotay relinquished the PADD to the small hands and Jaro settled in
further at his side to keep vigil with him. Now that Tom had a
second pair of eyes on him, Chakotay took a moment to survey the
Voyager was playing host to a large trading family from the fourth
planet in this system the natives called Metia. They were a friendly
species, all tall and blond haired with strong communal values.
Husbands, wives, in-laws, close friends and children all worked
together in symphony as a business group. Some negotiated, some
handled importing, some piloted freighters and some like his new
young friend here, were in public relations he guessed. They'd had
to expand Kathryn's study program on the holodeck to accommodate them
all for the reception.
It was common practice for the Metiers to get to know their
prospective clients first before conducting trade so thus the reason
for the party. Chakotay liked the affable race and suspected that
this would be one of Voyager's more pleasant alien encounters.
"Your friend has stopped moving."
Stopped? No that couldn't be right, he retrieved the PADD. Tom and
Seven should either be orbiting one of the gaseous plants or on their
way back to Voyager. There was no reason for them to stop unless
they'd encountered trouble. He bolted from the chair and crossed the
room to where the captain was chatting with one of the older
Metiers. Jaro trailed behind him.
She turned smiling at his approach. "Ah Chakotay there you are. I'd
like to you meet the head of the Bietro family, Tasso."
He nodded curtly to the tall gentleman whose golden hair was shot
more with silver before handing the PADD to Kathryn without
explanation. It wasn't necessary. Like many of the crew, she'd
become a jack of trades while marooned in the Delta quadrant and had
no problem deciphering the data.
Her brow furrowed and she turned to the metallic haired alien.
"Tasso I'm afraid we'll have to delay our negotiations and transfer
you back to your planet."
"This isn't very sociable of you Captain." The older Metier remarked
The captain opened her mouth to speak but Jaro beat her to the punch.
"Chakotay's friend Tom is in trouble in the Stilos system
"Actually it may be nothing at all." She countered and handed Tasso
the PADD. "But Lieutenant Paris, Tom, has a medical condition that
may have developed complications. Just to be safe we'd like to check
"He's pregnant?" Tasso remarked somewhat shocked.
Chakotay was surprised the older man could understand the readouts on
the thin device and added exceptional intelligence to his previous
assessment of his race. He turned to Tasso and spoke gravely.
"Yes and it's our first." He said honestly and hoped the Metiers
were tolerant as well as smart. Chakotay had noted that there were
no same sex pairings within their generous clan.
"Your friendship is important to us Tasso but as alone as we are here
in the Delta quadrant and in need of goodwill, Tom is more. I'm
afraid I'll have to ask you leave." The captain said adding her
voice in support.
The Metier stood somberly and scanned the room as if counting his
people with his green eyes before speaking again.
"Then this is about family Captain?" Tasso said, his focus now back
"Then we can't leave."
"We'll go with you." The older Metier smiled, shaving years of his
worn face. "We would like to meet this Tom."
His sweet song was silent.
Tom didn't have to lift his hands from the bio-bed to his stomach to
know Bevin was gone. He felt empty, no more than that. A void the
size of the Nekrit expanse filled the space where his baby boy once
"How are you feeling."
Pulling himself up from the depths of his misery, Tom opened his eyes
and looked up into the Doc's concerned face.
"Well Lieutenant I'm pleased to inform you that you're still with
us. Thanks to Seven of course."
Oh fuck Seven. Tom hoped dearly that she'd survived and hadn't
sacrificed herself for nothing.
"She's not, not.-"
"She's fine Mr Paris."
"But she gave up all her nanites in an effort to save us."
"No she didn't. She couldn't and it would be physically impossible
for her to do so."
"I don't get it." Tom tried to prop himself up on his elbows. The
Doc gently but firmly pushed him back down on the bio-bed.
"Of course you don't Lieutenant. I'll try to put it terms even you
"Oh don't go out of you fucking way for me."
The Doc ignored his foul humour and continued.
"What Seven tried to do would be like you trying to cough up lung in
an attempt to help someone who was having difficulty breathing. You
can't do that and neither can Seven with her nanoprobes. Its called
autonomic self preservation."
"But she said she could." Tom said defensively.
"I'm sure she thought she could. Seven is a bright girl Mr Paris but
she doesn't know everything. Even ex-borgs have their limits."
"Where is she now?"
"In her regeneration alcove. Commander Chakotay is with her."
Oh that was fucking rich. Anger flared in Tom's heart and burned hot
behind his eyes. Here he was up in Sickbay with a dead baby and
Chakotay was down in the cargo hold with the woman that had failed to
save it. What was wrong with this picture?
"I'll contact him and tell him you're awake."
The holodoc moved to his computer console.
"Don't fucking bother."
Rising slowly, Tom swung his legs over the side of the bed. Feeling
only slightly nauseous from the movement, he dared further and
slipped off the bed.
"Where do you think you're going Mr Paris?"
"Am I in anymore danger?" He white knuckled the edge of the bio-bed
to keep from tipping over and looked daggers at the hologram.
"Then I'm going home." He had just about enough of the Doc's bedside
Giving himself a push off from the hard bed, he headed for the doors
of Sickbay on weak legs.
"What!" Stopping his progress he faced the annoying hologram. His
anger was aching for a target and the Doc was as good as anybody in
absence of the real person he was infuriated with.
"Aren't you forgetting something?"
"What that life sucks or that people only want me for what they can
get out of me? Yeah maybe I did! Call me a romantic or better yet
call me a fucking idiot because I started to believe that happily
ever afters could really happen!"
"They do Mr Paris. You're not an idiot and that was not
the 'something' I was referring to."
The Doc was smiling and he couldn't fucking believe it. It was
incredibly inappropriate behavior to exhibit to someone who had just
lost the light of his life 'and' the one who had ignited it in the
first place. When he was done hating the universe Tom decided the
first thing he was going to do was rewrite the Doc's bedside manner
"Then what then? What the hell did I forget?"
"Bevin." The hologram said softly gesturing back over his shoulder.
For the first time since waking Tom noticed the plexi-glass bassinet
a short distance from the bio-bed he'd just vacated. Tufted within
its well was a pale blue blanket that covered a small bundle.
Move, oh dear god, please move. Rooted to the metal plating of
Sickbay's floor, Tom prayed to a god he wasn't even sure he believed
Through the transparent wall at the end of the crib he could see a
small pale foot poking out from the blanket. After subconsciously
counting the digits, Tom focused his entire being on it. In that
moment, nothing existed for him other than those five tiny toes.
Somewhere he heard a gurgle and cry but even though it sounded very
far away, it pulled at parts of his heart he didn't even know where
there. As he inched towards the muted song the small foot in the
"Oh god." He choked and fell still.
"He's waiting for you Lieutenant. Go to him."
Tom peeled his eyes from the bassinet to the doctor. Could this
really be happening? It would be a miracle if it were. A fear so
incredible gripped him when he remembered that Sickbay was outfitted
"Is he real?" Tom asked in a sudden panic.
"Yes, yes, yes." He repeated to convince himself as he reached the
A wash of love and rightness filled him at the first sight of his
child. No hologram or spectre could ever manage to infuse his being
so totally. In that one glance, he felt something he'd experienced
just once before, his own worthiness and his place in the cosmos.
The only other time had been when he realized Chakotay loved him. He
stared at his child in awe.
"He's fine. Seven issued enough nanites into your system to stem
your bleeding until I could get you here and transport him out."
Tom heard the Doc creep up behind him.
"Do you know how to hold him?"
He replied in the affirmative but made no move to pick up his baby.
Tom was still too stunned to believe that the small miracle was
"Here let me."
Moving around him, the doctor lifted Bevin, blanket and all into his
holographic arms. The baby protested his removal from the warm
confines of the miniature bio-bed and began to scream. The needy
wails provoked Tom into action.
"Give him to me."
Hunching forward, the Doc eased the blue bundle into his arms. Being
careful to support the small body in all the right places, Tom pulled
Bevin to his breast. The baby's crying stopped as his started.
"Oh fuck Doc. I can't believe I did this." He said as tears streamed
down his face.
"Tell me about it Mr Paris. I've been struggling with that one for
the last eight months myself."
The good-natured jab soared completely over his head as Tom rocked
his baby to his chest and sang softly words of nonsense into his
"You should go."
Chakotay pushed away from the cargo bay's utility console he'd been
leaning against and approached her.
"I will but I need to know you understand first."
Seven backed away from the handsome first officer and positioned
herself in her alcove. He couldn't get close to her here.
"I understand. Now go."
Before she could protest the uncalled for, no matter how true
accusation, the commander reached back to console and terminated the
power to her regeneration chamber.
"I wanted to love you Seven."
He looked up at her and his brown eyes soften in sympathy. Because of
the height of her unit, he appeared a foot shorter than her, but his
integrity made him a Titan. She hated him for that.
The removal of her cortical blocking allowed her feel that that dark
emotion as strongly as she felt the love that had binded her to him
in the first place.
It was supposed to be a trial. When she had first programmed the
holodeck to simulate a relationship between them it had been just
that, an experiment. She had been fully unprepared for the ensuing
attraction she'd developed for the smoldering first officer.
She had chosen him because he was what was typically known as the
alpha male. He was strong, committed and had a faith in community
that was close to the Borg hive perspective she was familiar with and
he was icredibly beautiful.
He was older than most of his species on Voyager but he was
meticulously maintained. His body was densely packed and well
muscled. He was shorter than she was but with the exception of Tuvok
and Tom Paris, so was most of the crew on Voyager. However his
frame, for her had never been his most outstanding feature so his
height was irrelevant. What were most significant were his eyes.
She had read in some arbitrary Terren poetry that they were supposed
to be the windows to the soul. If that was true then no one she'd
ever met in her recollection, and she had a lot of memories thanks to
the collective could be more esthetic. His deep brown eyes were deep
and were more magnificent because they mirrored a cacophony of hurts
and loves. Much like her own.
"Talk to me Seven. Tell me what you're feeling."
"There is no purpose to this conversation. It is irrelevant."
"Oh no? You tried to kill yourself Seven." He grabbed her hand and
brought her down to his level. "I would't say that was irrelevant."
"I was trying to help Tom and the baby."
"Yes, that what you're epitaph would have read but it not the real
reason, is it."
"Why do you care?"
"Because on three occasions now you have given me my life. First
when you let me go, second when you gave Tom the gift of a child with
the artificial womb you created and lastly when you saved them both
by infusing them with your nanites. I care Seven. I care a lot."
"But as you've said, you don't love me."
"No the same way I do Tom, I'm sorry."
"Then you have your answer."
"Then it's the wrong answer Seven." He touched her face with his
hands. She tried not to tremble but failed. He took no notice. "Do
you know how many people on Voyager are truly in love with you?"
"Now I believe it is you that are lying."
"I don't lie Seven." His touch traveled from her face to her
shoulders. He held her firmly. "Spirits, there's so many. There's
Ayala, Harry and one other person that the confidentially of
friendship prevents me from naming. I don't even think she knows how
much she cares for you."
Ah but would they have heart enough to console a past lover while
their present waits for them with the bounty of their child. She
thought not but left herself open to the possibility. It was
Chakotay after all that had suggested it. She resolved to get over
"I will consider your words. Will that be sufficient?"
His smile spread across his face, awaking his dimples. Resolve or
not, he was still beautiful to her.
"Yes that will do Seven. Just remember that life is always harder
than death but it's not near as much fun."
"Very well Commander, now if you will just resume power to my alcove,
I'll will get some much needed rest."
As she was about to step back up to her chamber, the commander
stopped her. Pulling her forward he touched his lips to hers lightly
once, turned his head and then spoke softly into her ear.
"Thank you for saving them. If my life wasn't already his, it would
Knowing he'd never say anything he didn't mean, she took the apology
to heart and fell back into her regeneration chamber feeling much
better than she had an hour ago.
Life was better than death and as a Borg, she'd already survived both
so surviving Chakotay should be simple. It could be at least be
The commander had mentioned a 'she'. It was now her life's mission
to find out who this mysterious she was. Seven adjusted her
parameters to include an alpha female. When she did, the answer was
"Can we speak to him?"
"No not yet. Let them be a little while longer yet. Chakotay is on
his way up."
Tasso bled back into the sidelines with her along the walls of
Side by side they watched as Tom sat crossed legged on a bio-bed
crooning and rocking his newborn son. His tenderness was heart
wrenching but not surprising. Kathryn had seen him perform this same
scene with her puppies but only with one iota of the same depth.
If she didn't know better, she'd say the pilot had been reborn with
the birth of his child. This depth of caring was anathema to his
usual cocky veneer but that's all it was, a mask, a sham. This was
the Tom she had seen all those years ago in Auckland when she had
gone to recruit him.
Truth be known she had been fully prepared to reject him out right
after seeing him. Hell the only reason she'd gone there in there in
the first place was politics. He was an admiral's son and deserved
exception she'd been told. Kathryn didn't give a shit that the
reckless youth was Owen's son, which was not a strong selling point
for her. The man was a bastard and had probably raised one too. So
if he didn't fit, she didn't want him. Fortunately for her he had.
A caring that surpassed the hard shell of his wealth of abuse had
risen to the top. Not that he wanted her to see that, oh no. The
twice incarcerated young blond had played the hard-edged criminal
with all his heart despite the fact that everything about him
She supposed that was the day he'd become her personal reclamation
project, as Chakotay liked to call him. From the moment he set foot
on Voyager's bridge, he'd known of her special relationship with the
The somber dedicated first officer could read her like a book. Most
of the time that was okay. When they agreed on something, they were
an awesome force to be reckoned with but otherwise it was trouble in
Chakotay never pulled punches. He stated his opinion, not afraid if
it contradicted her own. If he felt it was for the good of the ship,
Starfleet protocols be damned, he would bring it forward. It was
often against her training but his Maquis tactics had saved their
asses more than once.
He could be a hard-ass to the ninth degree and she couldn't wait to
see the big scary first officer melt at the first sight of his son
and lover rocking together on a bed in Sickbay. It would absolutely
rock his world. Kathryn wiped away the tears rolling down her cheeks.
She would make a romantic of Chakotay if it killed her.