Vis a Vis Alternative Ending
SUMMARY: Vis a Vis ended with several unresolved plot issues: What happened if Janeway woke up looking like Tom Paris? Why was Tom acting so badly before the alien took him over? This story shows that there are very good reasons why we didn't see the former and no good reason at all why we didn't see the latter. It's an alternative ending to the episode. Very alternative.
DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns 'em. The story is mine. Copyright 1998.
WARNING: R for adult situations and language. Chakotay and Janeway have a lustful encounter but there are no explicit descriptions. The reader should note that, because of the alien Steth, Janeway's body looks like Tom's. If the description of this story doesn't appeal to you, please read elsewhere. The story assumes a prior sexual relationship between Janeway and Chakotay.
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The last thing I remember before the phaser beam zapped me was me choking me. When I woke up in sickbay it was only natural that I felt confused by that last image. For some reason I didn't open my eyes right away. Perhaps I suspected what I would find when I opened them.
When I put my hand to my forehead, I was startled by the size of the hand: large, wide, long fingers. That got my attention and my eyes flew open. The first thing I saw was blond hair on my forearms, lots of blond hair! Undeniably, a terrible disorder had befallen me while I was out cold.
Then I felt my throat, it was a little sore to the touch. Funny, I thought I was the one that did the throttling. But my distress increased when I felt the size and shape of the neck. There was an Adam's apple and the roughness of a late-in-the-day beard as my hand moved up to my chin.
"Ah-h!" I screamed. And it was not my voice. I put my hands to my head and found that my hair had been butchered.
It was time to explore the rest of my body, but I was tense with apprehension. It took a moment to gain the courage to conduct that investigation. It was as bad as I feared. No breasts to speak of. A very long distance from there to my groin. And, oh, dear no. Absolutely not my body. This body had male equipment!!! I couldn't look. I closed my eyes tight.
The doctor had heard my scream and stood over me. I was finally able to open my eyes when he called me Lt. Paris!
"No!" I said and then stopped, absolutely silenced by the sound of my own voice, or rather someone's voice, but not mine. The voice I heard coming out of my mouth was that of Tom Paris!
"I see you've decided to rejoin us, Lt." The doctor had that smug smirk on his face that made me want to deactivate his program immediately. But he was my only source of information at this point. When I felt my chest, there was no comm badge there (no breast either, but I guess I said that). "Doctor, what happened?"
"Don't you remember? You were doing your best to choke the captain. I realize your inferiority complex has led to displaced aggression, but really, Lt. . . ."
"No!" I protested. "I *am* the captain!"
"Of course you are. Hm-m. The tricorder showed no signs of serious injury, but you were unconscious for a considerable period of time. Perhaps . . . "
"Doctor," I grated out as best as I could using Tom's tenor, "I am Captain Janeway."
Sitting up was an interesting experience. My weight was in all the wrong places and the doctor had to help me. "I need to see a mirror."
"Follow me, Lt."
"Captain," I insisted stubbornly.
"As you wish."
This time he didn't use any rank at all. I stared at this body in the mirror. Dear gods. Taller, heavier, male, younger, much younger. Tom Paris. "Thank you very much for this cosmic joke. Given Tom's behavior lately, I wouldn't put it past him to create this illusion. Now," I demanded in my best command voice, "I want my body back. Game's over."
"There is no game," he said with surprising gentleness for the doctor.
"You're right about that," I said grimly. How strange to continue to hear Tom's voice say my words. I touched my hair as I gazed into the mirror. Awful. Didn't that man know anything about fixing his hair? This would never do, but until I could get my body back I figured I was stuck with this monstrosity of a hair cut.
I was about to ask the doctor to get Chakotay down here when B'Elanna Torres stormed into sickbay. The woman seemed so tiny from the advantage of my newfound height.
"Tom Paris, what the hell did you think you were doing! You acted like a total jerk in the transporter room and now I hear you tried to choke the captain! If I didn't know you any better I'd say you'd lost your mind. But then we both know it's not your mind that's been doing your thinking lately."
"Lt.," I interrupted her tirade. She was one furious woman.
"I'm not finished yet!"
I used that command voice they'd taught us and fixed the 'Death Glare' on her. I hoped Paris' baby blue eyes could carry it off. "Lt!" She finally subside in shocked silence. "I am not Tom Paris. I am Kathryn Janeway."
"Yeah, sure. This isn't funny, Tom. If I wasn't so mad at you, I'd . . ."
The doctor had been scanning me, but directed his comments at B'Elanna. "Lt. He could be right. I'll have to do some further genetic tests, but an earlier scan found the presence of DNA from two people."
"Doctor, I hope you're not in on this with Tom," she warned.
While they sparred I was forced to pay attention to this body. I felt a distinct discomfort in the body's *equipment*. Apparently, proximity to an angry half-Klingon was an arousing stimulus to Tom Paris' body. Gods knows how he developed such reactions. I had absolutely no desire to know. (All right, honesty compels me to admit that I did have considerable curiosity about this phenomenon, but I was not about to let the doctor know that. He was far too smug as it was.) I felt a certain tightness to my uniform pants. This was exquisitely embarrassing. Did men's bodies really react like this? No thought what-so-ever, just reaction?
I turned away and whispered to the doctor, "I need something for *this*." I really didn't want to have to spell it out in front of B'Elanna.
"You mean for your excited physical state?" the doctor asked merrily. The man was a sadist. My appreciation for Tom's dissatisfaction with his sickbay assignment grew considerably. The doctor continued fatuously, "It will disappear when Lt. Torres leaves." Pointedly, he looked at her. "Lt."
I blushed. I could feel it. This hot flush spread up from my neck through my cheeks and inflamed my entire face. I cursed Tom's fair complexion. For her part, Torres smirked.
"Nice going, Tom. Whenever you want to stop thinking with your hormones, let me know," she teased. "Helmboy."
So she still thought I was Paris and she was still angry with him. Given the betrayal of Tom's body, about which I wished to hear nothing further, I let her go. The blush cooled down, the other physical reaction subsided, and I wanted to crawl into the nearest Jeffries tube and never emerge. Al least not until I had my body back.
"Where's my body?" I demanded but my voice cracked and my authority faded as fast as Tom's reaction. (That's right, I was going to blame all that on Tom, after all, it was his body.)
The doctor beeped for Chakotay and asked him for Janeway's whereabouts. Chakotay's calm voice replied, "She's here on the bridge. Is she needed in sickbay?"
"Perhaps not, Commander, but I believe you are."
The commander was there in record time. Something in the doctor's voice must have clued him in that he was really needed. Although I realized he probably thought it involved Tom Paris, I was glad to see him. If I'd had my own body, I'm sure there would have been a physiological reaction that the doctor could have gleefully commented upon.
When Chakotay saw me standing up, he barked, "See here, Paris, if you're awake you're going to the brig. You've caused enough problems for yourself. I'd like to throttle you myself."
Oh-h. Chakotay, my (Janeway's) protector? From the perspective of Tom's height, he wasn't quite as tall as I remembered, but he certainly looked - -fierce. On my behalf. I was touched. I watched as he checked that security was still inside the sick bay doors. Grabbing my arm roughly, oh-h-h, I think I liked that, he growled (yes, he growled), "Let's go, Paris."
"Chakotay. It's me. Kathryn."
He said the same thing B'Elanna had said. "This isn't funny, Tom."
And once again the doctor intervened to talk about the dual patterns of DNA. Apparently, the doctor had time to run some tests. "Commander. I've run a thorough analysis. This appears to be Paris' body. But this is Captain Janeway."
I moved closer to him, putting up my hand to touch him as I often did. He blanched and started to back away. "Chakotay?"
"Hold it, please. That's Tom's hand touching me."
I stopped in mid caress. I decided to play up to his protector mode. "Oh, Chakotay. That's not him. It's me. I feel so disoriented right now. I could use a hug?" I put the question in my voice in hopes that he would find me in need of his manly strength.
He looked shocked and sputtered, "Uh . . . K--Ka . . . uh, maybe another time?"
"Please, Chakotay," I put abject begging into Tom's voice. "I feel so alone."
Carefully, I took a step closer and he stood rigidly still, hands pressed to his sides. No hug there, obviously. I wasn't sure if his lack of response was because I was in a male body or because I was in Tom Paris' male body. I almost cried. "So. That's how it is."
He did look torn, but about what I couldn't be sure. I think it was revenge for his nonresponsiveness that made me do it. Or maybe some mischievous residue of Tom was responsible. Solemnly, I said, "I need your help with something."
"Yes?" It was clear he didn't know what to call me, Captain, Kathryn, or Tom or what.
"I've never used this body before. . . "
"Yes?" What a delicious look of dread appeared on his stern face.
"Could you show me how to make it use the bathroom?"
I thought he was going to hit me. He sputtered a few times and then I saw a glint in his eyes and a dimple that played hide and seek on his face. The commander was recovering rather quickly from his initial shock. "Now I know you're Tom Paris. No one else who was in so much trouble would dig himself in so much deeper. Doctor, are you finished with this charade? I have better things to do than to help Tom play with himself."
Oh, my. I laughed. "Chakotay, it really is me."
With no levity at all I used a word from a story that he had told only me. "Scorpion."
"Oh, no," he breathed in sharply as the truth hit him.
I closed the distance that had built up between us and put my hand on his cheek. "It is me."
Clearly he wasn't sure if my touch was welcome, not if it came from the rough hand of Tom Paris. I asked, "Is the problem Paris?"
In response, he pulled me to him and kissed me roughly. This was very strange. Here we were on almost the same level, I was even slightly taller. I didn't have to lean upwards as I usually did. And my mouth was wider than usual and my nose longer and this seemed a little awkward and incredibly exciting.
The doctor cleared his throat. "Ahem. I suggest you take this to your quarters. Chakotay's would suffice until we decide who belongs in the Captain's quarters and who belongs in Paris' quarters." He raised his tricorder on us and firmly suggested, "Your physiological levels indicate the need to engage the ship to ship transport now."
Safely in Chakotay's quarters, we picked up where we left off in sick bay. Chakotay's mouth was all over mine, his hands were all over my body as if feeling it for the first time. Considering Chakotay was supposed to be in love with *me*, I hoped it was for the first time. He told me, "This is so exciting, Kathryn. To have you here and Tom's body under my hands."
He was breathless with excitement and I felt that excitement as he pressed against me. "Yes," I moaned under his hands when he gave my mouth a chance to breathe. "Yes."
We undressed each other with a speed I wouldn't have thought possible. I gasped when I looked down and saw my naked body, the flat chest, the red-blonde curls, and all the rest. Our only sounds were moans and groans of lust. Dizzy, I leaned into Chakotay. He caught my arms and led me to his bed. It was a familiar bed. We'd lain there often, had sex there, slept there spooned together. But now my body took up all this space and Chakotay looked so different through Tom's eyes, through Tom's reactions, Tom's remarkably responsive body.
Fire burned through him as if he needed a consummation before common sense or reality or whatever doused the flames. His mouth was once again on mine and he was moaning my name and Tom's as if we had one name between us. I felt as if there was no other universe than the one in his bed, in his arms.
After our frantic lovemaking, his hands trailed across my hair and light kisses feathered my rough cheeks. Softly, he murmured, "Kathryn, Tom, Kathryn."
"Chakotay. That was . . . " I had no words to describe the sensations that had gone through me.
Normally, I would want to talk after sex, but this time my body felt so drained and depleted I couldn't find any strength to speak. I let my eyes close and plopped a languid arm across his back. My other hand fell across a part of my chest not covered by his body. Once again, I startled at the sprinkling of hair. I had almost forgotten about this body in the heat of its lovemaking with Chakotay.
Chakotay moved slowly onto his side, his arm across my chest, his hand on top of mine, the fingers weaving slow patterns on the hair he found on the back of my hand. Those hairs would be disturbing if I didn't feel so wonderful.
It felt great, a total depletion of the body in sex. My thoughts idled as I considered the ramifications of sex in this body. I regarded him from under hooded eyes. He looked so satisfied, so sated. I trailed fingers across his face, down his chest, down and down.
I'm not sure at what point he caught on that I was doing my best to initiate lovemaking once again, but his hand landed on mine as if to keep it still. "What are you doing?" he grinned.
"I have plans for your body," I told him.
"Hmm, what kind of plans?"
I leaned over him and whispered in his ear. He froze, his body went absolutely rigid and I thought I had perhaps gone too quickly. Chakotay told me, "I'm too old for this. . . "
"Oh-h, I don't think so," I challenged him back.
"But . . ." he spluttered.
"Dammit, you look like Tom Paris! You sound like him. I don't know if I can . . . " He cast about for another reason. "Besides, I should be on the bridge."
"Tuvok's there keeping an eye on the alien," I said dismissively. I swear I don't know what possessed me to forsake duty for sex. The novelty? The exquisite physical sensations? But I wasn't thinking then with my brain. I purred. I rubbed against him and he seemed to lose all powers of speech.
I concentrated on keeping him that way. With Tom's strength I was able to roll him onto his back, not that he put up any resistence. Before too long all I heard from him were moans and sounds of encouragement.
I felt so deliciously languid afterwards. If Tom didn't get his body back, maybe it would not be so terrible. I had to admit that I was kind of impressed with this body's abilities. From the look of bliss on Chakotay's face he might have been thinking the same thing. Although I'm not sure that a tricorder would actually detect measurable levels of thought in either of our brains.
Before we could fall asleep or say anything he was beeped to the bridge. We listened together as Tuvok told him that the Captain had said she was going to sick bay but instead had taken the shuttle with the newly installed coaxial warp drive. Chakotay groaned as his spent body protested the necessity of moving and thinking. Finally, he asked Tuvok, "What does she say?"
"She is not answering our hail just now." Tuvok's voice was muffled as he was called away. When he returned he said, "Steth's ship has just approached. Steth claims to be Tom Paris."
"I'll be right there," Chakotay said.
"I need to be on the bridge," I told him as we both cleaned up and dressed hurriedly.
He looked at me as if realizing I was Kathryn after all, not his fantasy lover that somehow combined Tom and me. It was something we would both need to talk about when I regained my own body. I wondered what Tom would think if he knew. Actually, I intended to keep this our secret and I hoped that Chakotay felt the same way.
But there was no time for further speculation as we sped to the bridge. I found myself swinging my arms as I usually did, but the motion felt wrong with Tom's long arms and I almost stumbled as I momentarily thought about walking. It was almost impossible to walk in this body and think about walking at the same time.
Well, in true Voyager fashion, Tom, in Steth's body, caught Steth in Janeway's body. Of course, it turned out it wasn't really Steth. The real Steth was a woman. Fortunately, the doctor was able to restore us all to our rightful bodies. He said he beamed out the DNA that was not ours and put it in the person that it belonged to.
A few days later, Tom Paris was in my ready room. He looked sheepish and a little afraid. I tried not to think about making love to Chakotay in his body but it was very difficult to keep an impassive look on my face.
"Uh . . . Captain. I need to apologize."
"Yes?" I wasn't going to make this easy for him. After all, before Steth arrived he'd been acting out in ways that had been noticed by just about everyone, including me. He shuffled his feet and looked a little green as he stood there. Given the sick look on his face, I finally relented a little and invited him to sit down.
"I want to explain. I've already apologized to B'Elanna . . . " his voice trailed off and he looked off to the side. "I know I was screwing up before Steth arrived on the scene and made things worse. But I . . ."
I softened my voice, "You were on your way to undoing a lot of your good work of the past four years."
"I know. Something happened, something that I had a hard time with."
I looked into the blue eyes I had so recently looked out of and wondered what he was talking about. He seemed pale and sweat had popped out on his forehead. "Tom?"
"It's nothing. I just have to get this out. And it's hard, 'cause you knew . . . you worked with . . . my father."
"This is about your father?"
He nodded. "It was awhile back. At first, when everyone was getting letters, I didn't want to hear from him. I was afraid of what he would say."
This was a very vulnerable Tom Paris, one with no trace of the bravado with which he often tried to meet the world. Softly, I remembered, "But you didn't hear from him."
He looked away again, then returned his gaze to my face. This was difficult for him and I no longer wanted to make him pay for the acting out we'd seen not so long before. "It's all right, Tom."
"Thanks, Captain. But I'm not sure it is. You see, there was a letter from the Admiral. B'Elanna hid it from me. She didn't want me to see it." He sighed and looked miserable. "Harry found it when he ran a check on his communications back-ups. Harry didn't even look at it, just got all excited as if it had been from his parents, and gave it to me."
"I take it that it wasn't good news."
He snorted. "That's an understatement. He . . . my father . . . holds everything against me. All my mistakes, the effects on the family, on him." Taking a deep breath he continued, "And B'Elanna didn't tell me. I . . . I just wanted to run away and hide. I couldn't face her, I couldn't tell anyone what it said. Harry just assumed it was good news and I let him think it. I didn't want to disappoint him. I didn't want B'Elanna to know that I knew."
His eyes had filled with tears, magnifying the pain in them. "Oh, Tom. I am so sorry."
"So am I, Captain. I'm disappointed in myself. I thought . . . I thought I had grown up, that I could deal with things, with him. I let you down, I let the ship down. I let myself down. I am so sorry, Captain."
He wiped the perspiration off his forehead but, if anything, his face turned whiter than it had been. I wanted to reassure him but I was concerned about how he looked. "Are you all right, Tom?"
He seemed to choke and put his hand up to his mouth. He whirled and ran to the sink, vomiting into it. I came up behind him as he rinsed out his mouth. He looked as ill as he'd sounded. I was puzzled, but before he could say anything I had us beamed to sick bay.
The doctor wanted me, Chakotay, and B'Elanna to join him around the biobed where Tom lay still. His color had returned but he didn't look well at all.
He asked the doctor, "What's wrong?"
Smiling widely, the doctor said, "As I told you all, restoring your DNA was done by taking out of you the DNA that was not your own and then putting that DNA into the appropriate body. Then your body returned to its normal state when its own DNA was restored to it. However, there was a small glitch. I should have more carefully checked what I removed and more carefully noted Steth's abilities to get around security arrangements."
After that speech, all eyes were on the doctor.
"I don't understand," Tom said, trying awkwardly to sit up. Chakotay gave him a hand and I raised an eyebrow over the length of time his hand lingered on Tom's arm. Was it just a millisecond too long? Tom, however, seemed oblivious to such subtleties. In fact, the act of sitting up seemed to drain Tom and he looked ill once again.
"Lt. Paris?" The doctor waved the tricorder at Tom and said, "You're all right, Lt."
"All right?" Tom protested. "I feel like shit."
B'Elanna gave the doctor her own version of the Death Glare. Maybe she had forgiven Tom.
"You are all right, Lt.," the doctor reassured him. "However, you are pregnant."
At that point all hell broke loose.