Disclaimer, No, they don't belong to me

Standing Up For A Friend.
By Isabelle S.

Commander Chakotay and Lieutenant Tom Paris materialized on
Voyager's transporter platform.  The moment the older man felt
whole again, he purposefully stepped down without saying a word.

"Now, *that* did not impress me."  He heard Paris called from
behind him.  Chakotay tried to control his anger as he turned to
face Paris.  "What the hell did you think you were doing down

"Careful, Lieutenant," the Commander warned, not liking the tone
of the younger man.  He was walking along the line of
insubordination and Chakotay did not want to here anything  of
what Paris had to say.

"*Careful?!* Now, lets here your definition of careful,
Commander, because careful was not what you were down there."

"Paris, I would refrain from making any comments if I were you,"
Chakotay said coming closer to the man.  He did not like his own
tone either.  It was resentful, even a bit hateful.  It was
unbelievable just how much Paris could bring the worse out of

"Well, I'm not you and like hell I am going to shut up!  That
stunt you just pulled was right down stupid."

"I don't think that you're the one to talk.  If there is someone
on board who should be lock up because of his reckless behaviour,
it's you, Paris."

"At least, I know what I can do and what I cannot do.  I already
died twice, Commander, and I am pretty sure that next time I will
remain that way.  So I do my damn best to remain alive.  Now, if
*you* want to get me kill.  I'll step back on that platform and
let you space me yourself.  Just don't put me through this kind a
shit again.  I lost enough friends as it is."

Chakotay blinked.  Had Tom Paris just called him a friend?  "I
don't want to get you killed," he told Paris, a bit at lost.

"That's good to hear," Tom said with mock relief.  "Now, when
you'll find yourself wandering the Spirits Plains because you got
yourself kill doing a stunt like you just did, I hope  that Spirit Guide of 
yours will tell you that you should have listening to that man who risked being put in the brig for insubordination, he might just have been right."

"You care," Chakotay said, somewhat amazed.

"And you're surprised?" Tom replied, shaking his head. as if him
caring had been obvious all along.  Maybe it had, Chakotay

"Tom, thank you."

"Forget about it," Paris dismissed.  He started making his way towards the doors.

Chakotay stopped him by putting a hand on his shoulder.  "No, I won't.  You were right.  What I did down there was reckless and stupid.  It could have gotten us killed."

Tom shook his head again. "Chakotay, with Harry gone on that one-
week mission and you going AWOL, who else is going to be here to
teach me to be careful?  I already know that I can't count on the
Captain for that," he finished with a small grin.

Chakotay could not repress his chuckle.  "I can see your problem."

"Good," Tom said, still smiling.

"Let's report to Captain before she comes looking for us,"
Chakotay suggested.

"What are you going to tell her?" Tom wondered.

"That you just dressed down your superior officer as you stood up for a 
friend," Chakotay replied leading them both out of the room.

"Who said we were friends?"  Tom asked him.

"You just did."

"Oh, it must be true then," Tom confirmed.

The transporter chief allowed himself both a sigh a relief and a small
chuckle  as the doors closed behind his two superior officer.  As he not 
have been there, he would never had believed what had just happened.