Title: Phoenix Fire

Pairing: C/P (predominantly)

Chapter Nine (9/?)

Summary: Tom dreams and awakes. He confronts Julian.

Dreams are the projections of the mind. They come bubbling up from the subconscious like streams of water moving under a thick layer of ice. Sometimes, these streams break free and find expression in vivid images or soundless pictures. These dreams, these projections, are the manifestations of our own innate desires and needs; sometimes, they become the medium for something unspeakable. Sometimes, these dreams take the form of premonitions and prophecies. At worse, they become twisted and darkened as nightmares. 

I feel that we should pay more attention to dreams because they are the psychical embodiment of our inner selves, the ones we have kept so sacred deep within us. Our society has denounced the validity of dreams and placed our nocturnal journeys under the umbrella term of 'the unknown'. 

--- Dr. Kaoru Tokugawa, 24th century Jungian analyst.

In the great white silence, the being known as Tom Paris floated, light as a dust particle. He drifted along, carried by an unknown buoyancy that seemed natural and uncomfortable at the same time. It was as if he was filled with an energy of sorts and he moved, highly aware of the white silence, the sense of eternal noiseless peace.

He knew that he wasn't dead. No. 

Could a dead person get to see things? Could he or she get to touch objects? He knew that he hadn’t died and gone to heaven because he was still able to use his senses…which was odd indeed. 

Tom looked around and as he did, he began to see movement all around him. Powerful images washed over him. Words, sounds and colors swirled about his being. He simply absorbed the flood of stimuli.

He saw Chakotay striding towards him. The big man was nude, his tanned skin shining with a sheen of perspiration. He didn't seem ashamed about his nudity at all. Muscles rippled along the bare arms as Chakotay gathered him into his arms. Amused, Tom glanced further down to see the straining erection, covered with pre-cum. 

Then, Chakotay kissed him hard on the lips. [Do I have lips? Tom mused.]

The intensity of the encounter tore into him and he gasped with the sudden pain/pleasure. His entire being was afire with sensations he thought impossible. But he welcomed it, laughing as Chakotay's mouth burned a visible trail down his body. 

Tom was aflame with ecstacy. 

He hadn't felt like this for a long time.

Suddenly, the hot kisses were gone. Tom realized that he was looking down at wisps of white cloud and it seemed that there was land dotted with myriad colors beneath him. He was moving. Something was. Chakotay was right next beside him and this time, the big man was dressed in gleaming silver. As his lover moved, the silver took on a fluidity that reminded Tom of fickle mercury. 

He was coated with the same substance. [Uniform? Jumpsuit? Tom asked.]

Chakotay's dark eyes glimmered at him, a knowing, reassuring look. "Let's go," the man spoke with an odd rich timbre. Tom seemed to have agreed for the man suddenly grabbed hold of him, wrapping his arms around his body tightly ---

They were…


Wind shrieked past him. He didn't seem to be afraid. It was as if he knew what he was doing and was confident about it. Chakotay's breath felt warm on his nape and the arms tightened about him. They were falling fast. But he wasn't frightened at all. The roar of air, the feeling of exhilaration and power stirred something primeval in him…

He watched the contrails of the shuttle as it climbed into the stratosphere. The white lines streaked across the blue sky as if an artist had given two quick strokes with his brush. It was a beautiful sight. Next to the ever-widening contrails was one single bright speck. The speck grew larger until it assumed the form of a fireball. The fireball radiated with a brilliant sunburst and as it fell, wings appeared…

"The patient will awake in five minutes' time."

The voice was hollow and Tom grew disturbed. The great white silence was shattered with the solemn voice. Where it came from, Tom didn't care. It only spoiled the beauty of these flowing images.

He ached to see the white contrails and the beautiful fireball. Yet, something hid his view and he felt sadness welling in his being. A figure strode towards him. It was not Chakotay. It was…

His father.

Admiral Owen Paris.

Tom gasped and didn't know what to say. For a brief moment, he truly hated himself. He could only watch the older man walk closer to him. The Paris blue eyes were there. Owen was prim and proper in his Starfleet uniform. Even his boots shone. 

Owen leaned over and hugged him.

"Doctor, I think he's regaining consciousness."

The voice again. Tom didn't care about it. He stared at his father who had just hugged him. The old man had tears in his eyes and they glistened. 

"My son. You are my son."

This time, Tom screamed.

*** *** ***

Julian Bashir's face was the first he saw when he opened his eyes. The white light blinded him and he swore. He made a gesture to shield his eyes from the glare but he was strangely weak. 

His mouth tasted as if someone had pissed in it and left the puddle alone. Tom swallowed with difficulty. He gazed up at the man watching him with professional interest ---

Everything came back at once.

The only thing he could say was: "Damn you, Julian."

Surprisingly, the doctor seemed taken back. "I see you are back to the world of the living. "

"You drugged me," Tom forced the words out from unresponsive vocal chords. 

Julian ignored him. 

"You drugged me, you lying bastard," he was becoming more and more alert as the medication wore off. The fact that he was made immobile and helpless by a simple drug caused Tom's innards to turn with shame and fury. 

"I have no choice."

"I am sick of you saying that you have no choice."

Julian smiled slightly. He placed something on the lower half of Tom's body which was covered with a beige blanket. Immediately, the pilot felt something. Cold. Metallic. 

"Yes, you have regained feeling back in your legs," the young doctor nodded with approval. "The operation was a success."

Two things warred in Tom's hazy consciousness. Feeling back in your legs. Operation. He didn't know how to respond. 

Fuck, I can walk! A voice shouted but he chose to ignore it. Instead, he rolled to his side and glared at Julian. 

"What about my crew? What about Captain Janeway, Voyager and her crewmembers?" He demanded fiercely. "I don't care if I can walk again because my ship mates are still imprisoned. I want an answer and I want it now." 

"Tom, you need to rest," Julian was being evasive again. "You had an operation."

"My crew?"

"You might have to go for physio and occupational therapy," Julian spoke as if he was prescribing medication. 

"Dammit Julian…what will happen to my crew and Seven?"

"The more you haggle, the less you will know," the doctor hissed. "Watch out, Thomas, for the walls truly have ears."

Tom groaned. He closed his eyes, listening to his heartbeat. Somewhere he knew, Chakotay waited. 

He sought comfort from his drugged dreams of sex and flying. 

Owen Paris's face was blotted out.

*** *** ***

"More synthenol?" Quark said, his tone sweet and pleading. It was the tone he used normally when he smelled a profit in seconds.

Julian Bashir waved a 'No' and the Ferengi didn't press the medical officer. The Hu'Mon appeared unduly 'stressed' and the usual cheerfulness was gone. Instead, Quark refilled the bowl of peanuts (freshly salted) and placed it before Julian who didn't seem to see it at all. 

Lt-Commander Jadzia Dax walked in, looked around and her gaze finally rested on Julian. Without a word, she strode over and put her hand on his shoulder. He didn't bother to look up. Dax sat down next to him, speaking in a quiet voice. 

Quark shrugged and went back to his business.