Disclaimers: See Part 0
If you haven't read the warnings in Part 0, please do so.
I knew we were supposed to transport in near Shetar's table. I knew we
were going to be close to where Chakotay and I usually knelt. What I
wasn't expecting was to appear almost exactly where we knelt. To
suddenly look around and see that, to be assaulted by the noises, to see
both of them sitting there, definitely rocked my confidence.
"Everyone Freeze!" Chakotay ordered.
Three people stood up. They hit the floor unconscious. Shetar and
Reigh were both standing, but considering they were staring down the
business end of a Chakotay's phaser, or maybe it was the look on
Chakotay's face, they decided to sit back down, very slowly.
I shook myself and stepped up to them. I saw Reigh finger the control
she had used on us so often. As I got closer, she pointed it at me, and
I took great joy in kicking her arm much harder than necessary and
watching the hated device arc through the air. Then I pointed the
tricorder at her and laughed when she flinched.
"Worried, Reigh?" I asked, as I made some adjustments. "Worried we
might do to you what you did to us."
"I'm not afraid of you." Although her tone was still imperious, you
could see she was frightened. So frightened her hands were shaking as
she supported the wrist I had kicked. Nonetheless, I wanted to slap
that look off her face. That look of 'I'm better than you.' or maybe it
was just the look of 'you male slime.' Now I knew how Chakotay felt
when I got all snide with Commander. I didn't like it.
Chakotay strode forward. He grabbed her by her arms and lifted her
clear of the floor.
"You should be afraid," Chakotay hissed in her face. "Very fucking
"Chak, you're messing with the readings." He pushed her roughly back
into the chair. I started over. In a moment, I looked up, relief
flooding through me.
"She's not, Chakotay."
We exchanged a look that was almost happy, Chakotay, at least, seemed
very relieved. Then anger and outrage and hurt and a burning filled his
eyes, like I had never seen before. I stepped back as he reached out
and grabbed Reigh by her hair and lifted her face to his.
"Meet me face to face, you heartless bitch. No control devices, no
leashes, no collars."
I enjoyed the stark terror in Reigh's face as Chakotay shifted his grip
and lifted her off the ground and then threw her onto the table. Women
screamed and fled from the table. Shetar being one of them. I grabbed
her arm and threw her back into her chair.
"Not leaving so soon, are you, Shetar?" I asked acidly. "B'El if she
moves, shoot her."
As I saw Chakotay drag Reigh off the table, I assumed he had her
contained, and I focused on the female in front of me. Shetar sat
regally while I took my readings. I sighed heavily.
He came to my side. I took the hypo out and looked at him.
"Are you sure?"
His eyes were full of pain. He leaned on a chair like he had just taken
a stomach blow. "Spirits forgive me. Yes, Tom I'm sure."
I gave her the shot.
"What have you done? Was it poison?" she asked shaking.
"It should have been," B'Elanna said. Another phaser fired, but I
"Are we done?" Chakotay asked.
"Let's make sure."
I continued to scan her until the readout told me Shetar was miscarrying
the child. I looked at Chakotay and softly said, "It's taken care of."
"Am I going to die?" Shetar's voice had a panicked tone.
"No, my child will," he growled low and deep in her face.
Then I watched something I hoped I never see again. Chakotay lifted her
clear of the chair by her arms and slapped her to the floor. But it was
the animalistic rage and pain that scared me to death. He turned back
towards me and I almost flinched at his glare alone.
Then he hit his comm badge.
"Target and fire."
"Targeting, Captain," Harry said. Then there was an explosion. Women
screamed and the lights faded. Another explosion, and another.
"Captain, we have destroyed their power plant, their communications
system, and main storage area. You need to clear that building."
"Aye, Mr. Kim." Chakotay turned to Shetar who still lay on the floor,
blood at her lip. "Hopefully, Shetar you will come to understand that
men are more than just work animals for your amusement as you rebuild
your city. I would suggest that you and your friends leave this
building." He hit his comm badge. "Mr. Kim make sure the lower areas
of this building are empty before you fire."
He turned to Reigh. "If you don't clear those pits, I will do it myself
personally, and leave you tied up here while we bring the building down
around your ears."
"You are an animal!" Reigh hissed. I touched Chak's arm. I was really
afraid he was going to kill her.
"We're animals? You treated him like a piece of meat. Listen to me all
of you. Men are not below you, to be owned. Each gender has its good
points and its bad points. Learn to get along with men, instead of just
controlling them. You may find this world a pleasant place to live in,
once you rebuild it. Now if you will kindly exit the building, we will
finish what we started and leave you alone."
When Harry said it was clear, we walked outside. Chakotay paused and
looked at the gathering of men and women. The air was filled with
smoke. Women huddled in groups here and there. Men looked around lost,
wondering what to do.
"Chak, we need to gather up the control devices."
He nodded and soon there was a pile of them. We found out it was
basically only the richer women that had them.
"Tuvok, will we hurt anyone if we disintegrate these?" I asked
He snapped his tricorder shut. "Using the highest setting should not
cause anyone harm."
The pile glowed a bright white and then disappeared. Men looked
surprised, women cried out in fear.
Then we walked out into the market area and Chakotay turned his phaser
up and blew up the first column. I followed suit. The others spread
out and blew up the rest of them. The men stared around blankly.
"Why have you done this?" a man asked.
"You are not an animal or just a pit slave to be bred. You are equal
with them, to come and go, make a life. Now you are free."
The big man laughed. "You always were a strange one."
I looked at Chakotay, he was watching the men move past the columns.
The big one moved towards the women, and they cringed in fear. It
wasn't perfect, but he had given the men a chance. He tapped his comm
We watched the main governmental complex disintegrate under Voyager's
Moments later, I watched him stride from the transporter room, and I
felt my heart die a small death for the proud man. The other Maquis
looked among themselves. B'El put her hand on my shoulder.
"You did the right thing, Tom."
I handed Greg my phaser, and left the transporter room. I went to
sickbay and put the equipment up.
Then I went to my quarters. I sat down on the couch and tried not to
think. I finally put on my jeans, turned up some music and curled up in
a small ball in the corner of the couch. I can't explain how I felt, if
I felt anything. There was just this horrible cold emptiness inside me.
They had cleaned her shit, out of the Captain's quarters and the ready
room, but I stood in my quarters and looked out the viewport. We were
already out of orbit, heading for the Alpha, but I didn't really care.
I didn't really care about anything.
My door chimes rang.
B'Elanna walked in. She stopped inside the door.
"Chakotay, B'El. I don't want to hear that for a while."
She nodded quickly, and took a step into the room. "Is there anything I
Most people thought B'Elanna was a hard ass. A half-breed Klingon
trying to prove herself. I knew B'Elanna had a very human side and
cared deeply for anyone she let in. I turned to her.
"No. This is something I have to work out."
"Okay. If you need anything, let me know."
"I will." She turned to leave. "How's Tom?"
"I was going to see him next."
"Warn me if he starts drinking."
"I will, Chakotay."
B'El came to see me. She sat down next to me and held my hand. We just
looked at each other for a few minutes. I didn't think I could hurt any
worse than what I had been feeling, but I was so wrong.
"Harry," she said quietly. "Tom, we never..."
I put my fingers over her lips. Then I leaned over and kissed her.
"Be happy, B'El."
"Tom, please. I never meant..."
I did it again, half expecting her to bite me, but she didn't.
"I understand. Like I said, be happy, both of you."
She sat there for a minute and then stood up and left my quarters. That
was when I replicated the bottle of whiskey. As I cracked the seal, I
saluted myself for being one hell of a computer hacker.
I sat down at the table and started to drink like I hadn't drank since
the Maquis. When I was about half-way through the bottle, I wondered if
I should invite someone to join me. Drinking by yourself was a bad
sign. Then I decided not to. I hated to get sloppy drunk around other
The next morning, I called a senior staff meeting, and everyone was
there but Tom. Irritated, I commed him and got no answer. I called for
a location check. He was in his quarters. I commed him again but there
was still no answer. I looked around the table and then left.
I worked up a full head of steam on my way to his quarters. I was
running this ship now, and I was not going to let Tom Paris "float by on
the Paris smile." Or whatever it was he had said. I was so angry that
he had tried this. I stopped outside his door. He never opened it.
"Computer override," I ordered.
The door slid open and that was when I lost it. Tom was passed out
drunk in the middle of his quarters. I sniffed the bottle. How had he
gotten his hands on this. Every bit of rage and anger came bubbling to
the surface and I took it out on Tom Paris.
How dare he do this to me? I was going to make him my first officer. I
was going to treat him with dignity and respect and he pulls this crap.
Did he think going through that bought him so special privileges? He
was about to learn what I was like as a Captain. I'd needed him in the
Maquis, but I had Batehart now. Tom was not in the luxurious position
he had been in then.
I picked him up by his collar and dragged him to my quarters, calling
down every curse I knew upon his head. I roughly shoved him into my
shower and turned the cold water on full blast. He came up swinging.
When he tried to climb out, I shoved him back in.
He tried to hit me, I gladly blocked and gave him a stiff shot to the
belly. I almost took joy when he threw up and then developed the dry
heaves. I was standing there gloating as Tom retched in my shower.
"Chakotay!" B'Elanna screamed. "No, you don't know what happened."
She pushed past me, turned the water off and held Tom's head.
"He was passed out drunk. You know how I feel about that," I snarled.
"He had every right to get drunk last night, Captain," Harry said from
"I managed to stay sober," I growled
"Harry, help me." B'Elanna cried. I was surprised when Harry pushed
past me and pulled a towel out and helped B'El get Tom to standing.
"Give me your robe, Chakotay."
I stood there staring at her like she was insane, until she snarled at
me. I reached behind the door and handed it to her. When she and Harry
had him sitting on the toilet, she shooed us both out, and began to
"What do you two think you are doing?"
That was when Harry hit me. To say I was shocked was an
understatement. The Harry Kim I knew didn't have the guts to raise his
voice to me, let alone hit me. I stumbled back a few steps, awed.
"Do you know what happened to him last night?"
I shook my head. We both looked back as B'Elanna supported Tom out of
the bathroom. Harry immediately went to his other side and helped
B'Elanna support him to the couch. They laid him down.
"Take care of him, Harry," B'Elanna said stroking the side of his face.
She stood up and turned on me in full Klingon. That was enough to get
me to pay attention. Then her eyes filled with tears.
"I went to talk to him, like I said. And when I sat down next to him.
He knew Chakotay. It didn't take him 2 minutes to know."
"That..." She pulled herself together. "That Harry and I are seeing
each other. And, despite everything that you two went through, he told
me to be happy. He didn't get angry, he didn't call me any names. He
just kissed me and told me to be happy."
"We should have checked on him last night," Harry murmured.
I felt my stomach hit the floor. "You broke up with him, last night?"
"No, Harry and I had talked about it, and I wasn't going to tell him. I
wasn't going to lie or anything like that. But I wasn't going to go to
bed with him, but I'd be there. Then when everything was straightened
out. I was going to tell him then, but he saw it when he looked in my
I felt guilt and disgust at what I had done twist in my stomach. I
stared aghast at Tom, who lay unconscious on my couch. What in the fuck
had I done?
I stood there stunned for a minute. B'Elanna and Harry were seeing each
other. When B'El had gone to see Tom, he had guessed. My words to Tom
when he tried to touch me after the market. I had almost condemned him
for touching me, for not being faithful to her and all that time, she
had been with Harry. Then to be slapped in the face with it the first
I felt my throat tighten, because I hadn't really been concerned about
Tom and B'El when I had said that. I'd felt dirty and ashamed with how
I had clung to Tom in the market. I was mad at myself that after going
through that type of degradation I could react to him so quickly. I was
dying inside and so I was shutting the world out. It was the only way I
could think of to get him to leave me alone.
I looked at him lying there on my couch. He had big circles under his
eyes, he was pale and shaking from the cold shower I had thrown him
into. I knew his stomach had to be killing him. I numbly stared as
Harry and B'El stood over him protectively. What had I done? I had
lost my temper, blaming Tom for everything that had gone wrong. Let my
minor irritation at him boil over into this huge ball of anger and I'd
hit him. I'd hit him. Spirits, less than 24 hours and we were back to
the Commander and the Lieutenant. What kind of fool was I?
Moment upon moment played through my mind. The way he took care of me.
The way he kept me going when I wanted to quit. The way he'd always
been the first thing there when they were done with me. And I had done
this to him. I turned away. He'd offered me everything, and what did I
do? He'd given me all that he was and I...turned it into mincemeat.
B'El looked at me closely.
"It's okay, B'El," I assured her, softening my tone considerably.
For a moment longer, she stared at me and then took Harry's arm and led
him out of my quarters.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Harry asked.
"I'm positive, Harry."
When the door slid shut, I went to my bathroom, my bedroom gathering
supplies. I got a tricorder, a warm blanket, I replicated a cup of
restorative tea and a pitcher of water. Then I sat down next to Tom, I
shook the blanket out and then tucked it in around him. Then I scanned
him. As I did, I realized where saying someone was green around the
gills came from: blonds. Tom literally had a greenish tinge to his
skin. Man, he had done himself up good according to the readings I was
getting. He was drunk even for Maquis standard. Hell, he was drunk for
Klingon standards. I replicated a hypo, and gave it to him. I had to
admit I was pleased when his skin turned pink again.
I sat there, and for a moment I watched him until his eyes fluttered
"Hey there," I said quietly.
I saw panic flash through his eyes, and he sat up. I caught him by the
shoulders. His arms wrapped around me, and I didn't object, in fact, I
held him against me.
"Whoa, easy, Tom."
"Shit! Voyager, we're on Voyager." The panic in his voice explained
"Yeah, Tom. We're on Voyager. Can't you tell? We have clothes on," I
said with attempted levity. I sat him back up and looked at him. "I'm
sorry, Tom. I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions."
"You...you hit me. You threw me in a cold shower," he accused, pulling
back. "Why'd you do that, Commander?"
"First of all, I have no excuse. I called a meeting, you didn't show.
I thought you were sluffing. But when I found you drunk in your
quarters, I...uh, I lost my temper. I'm sorry."
"Yeah, right. Chuck me in a cold shower, beat the shit out of me, and
then say you're sorry. Get a grip, Chak." He looked around. "How'd I
"Uh, I brought you here," I said. I didn't really want to tell him I
dragged him down the hall, but the suspicious look I got confirmed that
He sat up in the corner of the couch. He looked at the cup sitting on
the coffee table. "That for me?"
"Yeah, it'll help restore some of the fluids you...lost."
"Can I have it?"
I handed it to him and he took a sip.
"Tom, I think we need to talk."
"Not until my head feels normal. Right now, it still feels like it's
about three sizes too big."
"Give that hypo and the tea a few minutes to kick in. You'll be feeling
better," I said with a smile.
We sat there quietly for a few minutes. "So, you know?"
"Yeah, B'Elanna and Harry told me. You will be glad to know Harry
belted me a good one, and I got the distinct impression B'Elanna wanted
to rip certain parts of my anatomy off with no anesthesia."
"Good," Tom replied somewhat snidely.
"Look Tom, I'm not good at words. Never have been, but I'll tell you
this much. Today I was wrong, and on the planet when I pushed you away
that day, I was wrong then too." I got up and started pacing.
Something inside me was screaming that if I didn't lay it all on the
line, Tom might one day be my friend, but the friendship we had
developed on the planet would be gone. "You don't know how I felt that
day. It was so humiliating, so degrading, and then you touched me
and...Spirits Tom, you were checking my neck for bruises and I started
getting excited. I...."
"You felt like you were what they said you were," he said quietly.
"No, I felt like I should have never wanted to be touched sexually
again, and here I was...getting a hard on from you stroking my neck."
"Chak, when we were in the baths that day, and I watched you, I was
getting hard. After *her* and them, what do you think that made me feel
A whore. Spirits, is that what I had done? "And I just about called you
one." I lowered my head. "I'm sorry, Tom."
I expected some sort of acceptance of my apology, instead, Tom came off
the couch like a shot, growling. "Pick your fucking head up, Chakotay!
I got so sick and tired of you dropping your head like a beat down dog.
You have no reason to be ashamed. Damn it, they were twice as bad to
you as they were to me, and you made it."
"I made it because of you, Paris!"
"So what?! I made it because of you. That's what they wanted! They
used us against each other. You stayed alive because of me, I stayed
alive because of you."
"No, Tom. They used you to keep me alive. They used you to control
me. I was so sick and tired of getting you hurt. It was all because of
"Oh, please, as if they didn't do the same thing to me. But then again,
I'm not *Chakotay*. I'm not as important as you! God reincarnate. The
man who knows *his* crew won't leave *him* behind. Fuck Tom Paris and
how he feels or whether anyone will come back for him. You are the
almighty Chakotay!" He was stalking around my quarters gesturing
wildly. The boy was going to get himself seriously hurt if he didn't
"Get off my back, Tom! I don't need this shit, and I don't need it from
you. I got a room full of senior staff waiting for me all because you
had to pull a binge! How did you get real alcohol anyway."
"Well, forgive me!" Tom started to advance on me. His voice got low
and dangerous, and he started poking a finger at me. "Who do you think
you are, Chak? Get off *my* back! I just went through a month of
living hell, helped blow up a freaking civilization and found out my
girlfriend and my best friend were getting it on all that time. I don't
care if you have the great guru of the Maquis sitting in the conference
I grabbed him by the front of my robe. "You listen to me, Tom Paris. I
know you have a right to hurt, but right now we got a crew to pull
together, Janeway to deal and what in the hell do you mean, whether
anyone would come back for you?"
I saw something break behind Tom's angry blue eyes, then the Paris mask
dropped into place. "Well, you were so sure they were coming back for
you, they wouldn't leave you. Would they have gone through all of that
for just me?"
I let go of my robe and he stumbled back. He was staring at the floor
and rewrapped the robe around his body. The look on his face was...so
damned cocky, and so damned sad. Did he really think we wou...Yes,
that's exactly what he thought. Always expendable, Tom Paris. I cussed
and walked up to him.
"Yes, I can guarantee you, we would have," I growled. "Because I would
have been up here and I can promise you I would have." I put my hand on
"Yeah, right. Just like you did in the Maquis, right?"
I almost hit him again, how he could piss me off so quickly was
amazing. "That was cheap."
"So's hitting someone when they're drunk."
We stood there staring at each other for a minute. We had to get past
this. Tom was hurt, I was hurt, but we had made it through that planet
together, we could get through this together.
"Tom, I would have come back for you."
"I never thought of you as a whore on Nagor."
"You did other times," he accused.
"I thought you were overtly promiscuous."
"Listen up, Brat! I'm not going to keep this up if you don't back off."
His head snapped up, and then he smiled. "Okay, Commander."
"That's Captain, get it straight. Now, Commander Paris, get out of my
quarters, get dressed and meet me in the conference room in 20 minutes."
He looked at me suspiciously, a small smile paying around the corners of
his mouth. I nodded, daring him with my eyes. He relaxed, took a deep
breath and then said, "Make it thirty. I really need to brush my