See part 1 for disclaimer

'Oh, Spirits' by JJ


Slowly, Chakotay began to recount what had happened.  How he shot the man
that meant so much to him.  He told how he fell, and how the phaser must
have shifted settings.  He explained how Tom could have contacted him by
calling on his comm badge.  How Tom could have, in fact, should have called
out when he tripped the perimeter alarm.  How Chakotay had no reason to
think it was a person, they all knew what a perimeter alarm was.

"If he had just called out, it wouldn't have happened.  I thought he was an
animal," Chakotay said quietly, once more stroking the blond hair back,
running the back of his hand on Tom's cheek.  He fought to keep the tears
in check, how could he live without Tom.  The home he thought was so
perfect, was only a planet in the Delta Quadrant without Tom.

"Are you saying it's his fault?" The bird above Chakotay's spirit guide
asked.  It was a Condor, a beautiful bird of flight.

"No," Chakotay denied sadly, "but if he'd done any one of those things he
wouldn't be dead."  Chakotay cradled Tom in his lap.  "I wouldn't have
killed him."  Chakotay's throat tightened as he choked the words out.  "I
wasn't trying to kill anyone.  I was only trying to stun what I thought was
an animal.  It was an accident."  Chakotay heard the raw emotion in his
hoarse voice.

"A man is dead because of that accident," the stag stated plainly.

"He wouldn't have killed Tom on purpose," his guide said.  "I believe him.
I know his heart."

The other animals looked between the two of them and then turned to the
Condor.  It lifted and stretched its gigantic wings and then resettled
them.  Chakotay stared openly at the bird.  He knew it was a predator by
the curved beak, but its size was awesome.

"Do you know me?" the bird asked Chakotay.  The dark eyes hooded and then
opened as the bird studied Chakotay.

Chakotay thought long and hard.  "I know what you represent.  You're a
condor, a bird of prey."

"No," it said.  "Do you know me?"

"You''re Tom's Spirit Guide."  It all fit.  His own spirit guide
reflected his wild heart, his nature, and this was Tom's nature.  To fly.

The condor nodded.  "He loves you very much, Chakotay.  He was going to
surprise you and then leave."

"I don't doubt that."  Chakotay looked at the animals.  The time to make a
decision was at hand.  He looked up at the stag, and held Tom close to his
chest.  "I have no defense.  I love him with all my heart.  I shot him in
what I thought was self-defense, but I never meant to kill him or anything
else.  What can I say or do to convince you of that?  I would give my own
life to restore his.  He is all that matters to me.  My spirit guide used
to tell me that I had to find balance.  I found that balance in Tom's love,
and now I have destroyed it."

The animals looked to the owl and the stag.  The owl left his perch and
flew a short distance away.  The stag followed, and slowly the other
animals went as well.  Chakotay stayed where he was.  He looked at Tom,
still in his arms.

"I'm sorry, Tom.  I never meant to hurt you."  The tears that had been held
in check slowly coursed down his cheeks.  "But if they give me a chance, I
swear to you, I will do whatever I have to do to restore your life.  I love
you."  He leaned down and kissed his lips, holding the still body to him

How long he sat there trying to memorize Tom's face, he didn't know.  Then
the Spirits returned and once more formed a ring around him.  Chakotay
looked at the Stag and the owl.

"We will restore his life.  But!" the stag said as Chakotay almost jumped
to his feet.  "The price must be paid."

"Anything!  What do I have to do."

"We must change the course of time, change it to where you do not reach
this point."  The sky was suddenly a blur of Chakotay's life.  He saw
moments that he cherished.  Their anniversary here on this planet.  Tom
tearfully explaining he had to look like a traitor, begging Chakotay's
forgiveness.  The day they got married, Tom looking so handsome in his
dress uniform.  Tom's hand wrapped around his on the Ocampa homeworld.  The
first time Tom ever said 'I love you'.  That first kiss on Voyager.  The
night he met Tom, pointing the phasers at the men trying to drag him into
the alley.  Then suddenly it stopped.  The picture emblazoned across the
sky was as he faced Seska in the corridors of the Crazy Horse, just before
he had beamed down.

"This is what must change."

"What do you mean?" Chakotay asked suddenly fearful.  He had expected some
act to be performed, some sacrifice, but not this.

"This is where history must change."

"But, if this changes, Tom will be...NO!"  Chakotay stood up, gently laying
Tom on the ground.  "If I do that, then everything will change.  Tom will
be raped by them and he and I won't..."

Chakotay saw himself as a younger man, facing Tom in that same bar, but Tom
was disheveled, drunk or maybe drugged.  Chakotay could see that he was
angry because Tom was late, and unhappy with his condition.  Tom said
something and he saw himself angrily rip the kid's head off.  Chakotay
wanted to slap himself, tell him what Tom had just been through, but Tom's
sarcastic smile set his younger, angrier self, off.  Chakotay lowered his
head in his hands.

"You want me to give Tom up?"

"He isn't as stupid as I thought," the magpie quipped.

"Peace," the stag said turning on the magpie.

"How can you ask me to do this?  He helped me find balance, peace."

"We never said life would be easier, only that we would restore it and that
there would be a price."

He saw himself facing Tom on the bridge of Voyager, angry words thrown back
and forth.  Knowing Tom the way he did now, he knew Tom was hurt by his
attack, but Chakotay watched himself stalk off.  That one meeting made a
difference in everything.  That one stream feeding into his life, a window
of maybe 5 minutes, made a complete difference in their lives.

"It is your decision, Son of Kolopak," the owl said.  "You can choose."

"If I do this.  Will he ever be happy?"

"He will find happiness."  Pictures of Tom and B'Elanna holding hands
entering a ship, flying off together, on what Chakotay knew to be their
honeymoon, flashed across the sky.  His heart shrank at the thought of Tom
and B'Elanna, but if Tom was happy that way, he could do it.

"Will I remember this?"  Chakotay gestured around him.

"After you make the initial change, the streams of the future you know will
no longer be; therefore, you won't have the memories.  Well, maybe
glimpses, but nothing concrete," his spirit guide told him.

"He'll live and be happy?"

"Eventually, in fact, you may even make it home," the stag said.

Chakotay saw Voyager landing on the pad at Star Fleet HQ on Earth, with
thousands of people standing there cheering.  He saw the entire Alpha crew
disembark, with Tom's arm around B'Elanna's waist.  He walked in the
background, much older.  He saw his older self flinch lightly when Tom and
B'Elanna kissed.  It hurt even after that many years.

Chakotay stood there agonizing over the decision.  If he didn't get to the
planet, Tom would be raped in an alley.  Who knew what other changes would
occur after that moment.  But if he didn't, Tom would die.  Would Tom want
to live like that?  It had been hard enough on him being in prison, but to
be pushed into an alley and raped...Oh Spirits what should he do!

Chakotay looked at his own guide.

"It is your decision, Chakotay.  I cannot help you, except to say do what
you know is right."

Chakotay's eyes shifted to Tom's Spirit Guide.

"He trusts you.  Do what you know is right."

He looked at the sky, once more seeing Seska's sneering face.  He realized
that somehow she had something to do with what had happened that day.
Somehow she knew what was going to happen.

"How long will I remember?"

"Until history changes, you will remember," the stag said.  Chakotay took
several deep breaths, calming himself.

"Does it have to be what you have shown me?"

"Is a river held by its banks or does the river set its own course?" the
owl asked.

"Beware, son of Kolopak, you impact the lives of many."  The rabbit warned.
 The sky changed and Tom lay dead outside the shelter, the blanket still
laying there.  "Or worse."

He saw Voyager explode into bits of nothing.  He saw himself taken into a
room full of Cadassians.  His screams immediately echoing down the halls.
Another picture of himself led into a prison in full chains.  Chakotay
looked at Tom's body laying in the soft grass.  He looked at the sky, at
Seska's face.  Anger rose up in him at what she had done.  What she had

Chakotay had an idea.

"I'll pay the price."  He looked at Tom's spirit guide and said, "If this
doesn't work, let him know that he isn't alone.  As long as I live, Tom is
not alone."

The condor nodded sagely.  Chakotay looked at his own Spirit Guide and saw
the glimpse of a smile, and an encouraging nod.  He took several deep
breaths.  He only had moments to set things in motion.  The changes he was
about to make were sweeping.  The sky filled with his vision of a river,
and the waterfall.  He was going to be beat to death, but it was worth it!

"I love you, Tom Paris."

"Come, Chakotay," his spirit guide said.  Chakotay stood up and moved to
beside his spirit guide.

As they got a distance from the others, Chakotay asked quietly, "Can you
help me in this?"

"Perhaps," came the amused answer.

Then Chakotay was facing Seska.

"Chakotay, this is very important."

"Okay, Seska.  Tell you what, you come with me to the planet and we'll talk
about whatever it is while we're looking for Paris."  He gestured, but she
tried to stall.

"Let him wait a few minutes.  It won't kill him."

*No, but it might destroy him.*  Chakotay started to walk, desperate to
meet Tom and save him from those men.  Seska finally started to follow him.

"I don't see why you think he's so important.  Pilots are a dime a dozen."

"I have a feeling about this one, Seska.  Now, what did you want to talk to
me about."  Chakotay asked as he entered the transporter room.

"Nothing," she finally gave in.  "I'll talk to you when you get back."

"Fine."  Chakotay beamed down and hurried to the place he met Tom.  As he
moved towards the bar and the alley, he commed Greg.

"Find Seska and put her through a full DNA scan.  She's going to fight you,
but I want it done before I get back up there."

"Right, Chakotay."

Strangely enough, Chakotay was thrilled to see Tom being wrestled into the
alley.  Once more he pulled his phaser and stopped the attack.  He almost
gathered Tom in his arms and kissed him, until he remembered Tom had no
idea who he was.

"Thanks," Tom said with that small smile again.

"Tom Paris?" Chakotay asked moving closer to him.

"Yeah.  Who are you?" Tom asked as Chakotay put his phaser up.

"Chakotay.  Come with me."  He took Tom's arm, and hit his comm badge.
"Crazy Horse, two to beam up."  He could feel it changing, he could feel
memories fading away.  He had to hurry.  He had to get Tom to sign on with
Crazy Horse, somehow he was sure everything else between them would happen.

He turned to Tom when they materialized.  "Paris, if you want to fly I have
a position for you.  Do you want it or not?"

The flabbergasted youth looked around.  "Yeah, I want to fly."

"Welcome aboard." Chakotay said, stretching his hand out.  Tom took it and
they shook hands.  As they shook hands, Chakotay had no idea why he had
done what he had, but soon his instincts proved correct.


Ten years later, Chakotay sat on a mountain top on Dorvan V.  He was
meditating.  For a long time, his mind wandered over the past, back to that
day so long ago when he had met Tom Paris.

Seska was a Cardassian spy, that he turned over to Maquis.  Tom was the
best pilot he had ever seen.  Together, they had managed to turn the tide
on the war.  For some reason when the Federation sent Voyager after them,
Chakotay was able to talk to the Captain, a fiery red-head named Janeway.
He had been confused when his spirit guide told him to take Greg to the
meeting, but his presence seemed to keep people calm.

Janeway had proved to be an important liaison between the Maquis and the
Federation.  Chakotay hadn't even been too upset with Tuvok and being
duped.  Kathryn had even helped mend bridges between Admiral Paris and his
now renegade son.

But the turning point in the war had been the war with the Dominion and the
attack on DS9.  When the call had gone out, Crazy Horse was in the area,
and had gone in to assist.  That had been another day his spirit guide had
advised him specifically.  Both the Enterprise and Voyager had joined in to
assist repelling the attack and it had brought about a treaty and the
Maquis aligning themselves with the Federation against the Cardassians and
the Dominion.

Chakotay looked around, and saw his spirit guide beside him, but instead of
leading him somewhere, his guide sat beside him.

"Today is an important day," his guide said.


"Because many years ago, on this very day, you became a waterfall.
Everything that you were came together in a mighty crashing; but in the
end, you were the same river only changing the course of your destiny

Chakotay opened his eyes to his comm badge beeping.  Automatically, he
reched up and tapped it. "Chakotay."

"Oh, Ambassador, there's a front coming in.  Is it okay if I pop into your
spiritual moment and bring you another blanket and a thermal unit?"

Chakotay smiled at Tom's sarcastic voice.  "Sure, Admiral, come ahead."  He
looked out over the plains of Dorvan wondering what in the heck his spirit
guide meant.

Ah well, another mystery to solve.  Chakotay sighed as he stood up, and
took his lover and husband into his arms and kissing him.

Somehow,Chakotay felt like perhaps today was a special day.

The End