See part 1 for disclaimer

'Oh, Spirits' by JJ


Chakotay reached the small niche where he took his week long spirit walks.
A practice that had begun when Ken Dalby had been found.  Ken Dalby had
never fit in.  He was the one person who Chakotay always knew, no matter
where they were, would always cause problems.

Dalby had stolen something they really couldn't afford to loose.  It wasn't
food, or clothing or anything like that; he had, in a way, taken their
trust.  He had gotten drunk one night and stolen a shuttle.  In the
process, he crashed it.  Repairing the shuttle had put a drain on their
limited resources, but with the dilithium on the planet, it wasn't a major
loss.  But having to put a guard on the shuttle and other limited resources
they needed had been a blow to the family view of the community.

Then there was Dalby himself.  He had broken both of his legs in the crash.
 When they brought him back, Chakotay had sadly helped face off the angry
crowd that screamed he shouldn't get medical care, that he should be put
out of the community.  It was an ugly moment in their history, but he was
sure it wasn't the last.  It had taken several hours before people had
calmed down enough to discuss the matter in the hall.

The matter had been brought to the council.  It had been serious enough,
and tempers were high enough, that a compromise had been put to the people:
 give the council a week to decide his punishment.  Dalby was treated and
put in the brig in Voyager, completely cut off, with Tuvok heading up the
team responsible for guarding him.

Chakotay had taken his first spirit walk to this very place to decide Ken
Dalby's punishment.  Chakotay moved around the little camp, lighting a
fire, and putting his supplies in the hut that he and Tom had built.
Lovingly, Chakotay touched the structure.  Tom had insisted on helping him
when he had gotten sick the last time.  Chakotay would never forget the
look of outrage on Tom's face when he had walked in the door soaking wet,
shivering with fever, and coughing.  He had been up here in 3 days of
torrential downpours.  Oh, how Tom had fussed at him.  A smile lit his face
as he remembered some of the rather colorful terms Tom had thrown at him.

Chakotay sat down on a flat rock, overlooking their home, turning himself
so he faced the soon to be rising sun.  He removed his shirt, despite the
slight chill in the air.  He placed his medicine bundle in front of him,
ran his hand over his phaser and set his staff well within reach.  Tom's
warning rang out in his mind.

"Chak, be careful up there, would you?  You know the Achee are getting
ready for winter, and are dangerous."

The Achee were a local predator that caused problems.  It was large, a
biped, and carnivorous.  That was how they had lost Neelix.  He had been
out foraging and had been attacked.  The Achee stood about seven feet, but
they were fast and strong.

The council had ordered that anyone venturing from the settlement area have
a phaser with them and wear a comm badge.  Both of which, Tom had doubled
checked for him before he left early this morning.  Then with a deep kiss,
and a gentle stroke to his face, Tom had stepped back.

"See you, Nature Boy."

Chak still smiled at that ridiculous name.

As the sun began to peek over the opposing mountains, Chakotay began to
clear his mind.  There was no great punishment to weigh or decision to
make, just a trip to settle himself, balance himself, and pay honor to his
father.  The late summer sun lit the valley below him with a glorious
radiance.  It sparkled off the lake surface, defined the fields that would
soon be harvested, and reflected warmly off the roofs of their homes.
Chakotay's eyes settled upon his home, as he sent a prayer of thanks to the
Spirits for his spouse.

As he sat there, his mind went back to Dalby.  They had decided that
corporal punishment was not applicable since no life was taken.  Ken was
taken to the far side of the planet, to a very habitable area.  They gave
him his personal supplies, a building, a replicator, and a phaser, but no
communicator and they left him there.  Tom had woken up for several days
after he had gotten back with nightmares of Ken beating on the sides of the
shuttle craft, begging he not be left alone.

"Don't make me do that again, Chak.  I can't do it," Tom had whispered from
within his arms.

And luckily, they hadn't had too.  Anyone else that was discontent, settled
down, deciding that life wasn't too bad after all; and, they could play by
the rules.  Chakotay slowly pushed all thoughts from his mind and descended
into a trance.  He stayed there for hours and when he woke up, he felt
clean, whole and refreshed.

It was early afternoon, and he went to the hut for lunch.  He opened the
pack containing his food supplies and found a surprise.  Tom had sent along
a container of tomato soup.  That was one of their big indulgences.  Yes,
they had tomatoes, but somehow the soup they produced didn't come close to
the recipe they both loved.  And so, every now and then, they would splurge
and replicate some.

Chakotay leaned back against the wall and began to eat his salad and drink
his soup, all the while contemplating Tom Paris.  It was the Spirits that
had brought them together, and without Tom in his life, Chakotay wasn't
sure he wanted to live.

His mind drifted back even farther to the first night they had met.  It was
ancient history now.  He was a Captain in the Maquis, Tom was on the skids
after being drummed out of Starfleet.  They were supposed to meet  up in a
bar in some sleazy dive somewhere in the DMZ.  He needed a pilot and Tom
was a pilot, rumored to be one of the best out there.  Chakotay remembered
Seska trying to stop him in the corridor to talk to him about something,
right before he beamed down.  Although he and Seska were lovers, they were
all but over and they both knew it.

Seska, that bitch.  But she had gotten what she deserved, Chakotay had seen
to that.  It was one of the few murders on his hands that he felt
absolutely no regret for.  Anyway, he had brushed her off and beamed down.
As he moved through the streets, he had seen a young man being surrounded
by a bunch of thugs.

"Come on, pretty boy," one big man said, as he took the young man's arm,
trying to muscle him into an alley.

"Get your hands off me!"

"Ah, don't worry, Baby, we'll pay you for it," another man growled, moving
behind the blond.

Chakotay immediately recognized him.  That was Tom Paris.  He moved
forward, and with a quick flash of a phaser, the bullies left.

Tom had looked at him and with a small smile said, "Thanks."

"You're welcome," he said as he put his phaser back on his belt.  "Even I
have my limits."

"Even you?" Tom had questioned the phrasing.

"Most Maquis would have just turned a blind eye to that."  He gestured to
the alley with his head.

"You're Maquis?"

Chak had nodded.  Then Tom stepped forward and looked at him closely.  His
eyes straying to the tattoo.

"You're Chakotay?"  He had nodded, the blond extended his hand.  "Tom

"I already figured that out," Chakotay replied as he shook the other man's
hand.  "Come on, let's get out of the street."

Somehow they had managed to spend the entire night together down there.  He
had fallen for Tom immediately, but Tom had been kicked around quite a bit
in his young life and wasn't so eager to love.  Chakotay had had Seska
removed from his quarters by a quick call to the ship.  Soon he asked Tom
to move in.  Tom seemed much more at ease with the concept of lovers than
anything else, and Chakotay thought he had time.  He had been wrong though.
 Tom was just beginning to open up to him, when he had been caught.  That
was one of Chakotay's few reoccurring nightmares.

Tom had been goofing off in their quarters, literally goofing off.  He was
doing an electro magnetic scan of the ship.  The kid must have really been
bored to do that; although he claimed to like the patterns the warp engines
put out.  When he had called Chakotay to his quarters, the tone he used had
set Chakotay's teeth on edge.  Tom showed him the message he had found with
another message piggy backed on top of it.  They were in the process of
tracing it, when Tom had to leave for his mission.  With a quick kiss on
his cheek, Tom left.  A half hour later, Chakotay was running for the

"Tom, stop.  Turn around.  It's a trap!"

"Too late, Big Man.  I don't think I can shake three starships."

"No!  Tuvok set in a course...."

"Tuvok, I'm overriding that command," Tom's voice said.  "Chak, don't you
dare throw yourself away for me.  I'll get out, sooner or later.  I'll find
you, Big Man."

"Tom..." Chakotay had cried as his heart withered in his chest.

"I love you, Chak.  Take care.  Tuvok, get him the hell out of here."

One hour later, Seska beat on the doors of the airlock screaming as the
outer doors opened.  Chakotay had stood at the small viewport the entire
time.  She had sent the message to the Cardassians, pinning down Tom's
flight pattern.

For a week, he was a zombie.  B'El and Greg took care of him.  He didn't
eat, he didn't sleep and he became dangerous.  Once they found out where
Tom was being incarcerated, Chakotay, through the Maquis, had gotten a
message to their people there.  Tom would be cared for and well.

The Cardassians, however, suffered a much worse fate.  Chakotay pushed
everyone on Crazy Horse until they were ready to drop, but they had managed
to destroy four Cardie freighters, and three Cardie outposts.

Thus bringing Kathryn Janeway into the picture.  Chakotay had gotten word
that she was going to try to get Tom to lead her to the Crazy Horse.  He
had gotten word to Tom to go along, and he would get him out.  However, the
caretaker had messed that little plan up.  Instead they had ended up in the
Delta Quadrant.  He could still remember the shocked look on Kathryn's face
as he had kissed Tom right there on her bridge.  They had managed to join
crews and had made it here.

He would always remember when Tom had saved him on Ocampa.  Chakotay wasn't
afraid of dying, but he was afraid he was going to pull Tom in with him.
They hadn't had a chance to talk since they had been reunited.  When Tom
had piped up with:

"Move it, Nature Boy.  I ain't got all day."

That was all it had taken, and he had pulled Chakotay to safety.  If it
hadn't been for the collapsing cave they were in, Chakotay would have
kissed him.  They had been married exactly one year later.

And, Chakotay thought, everyday had been worth it.