CHAOS . . .
By Layla V. <>
[November 28, 2000]


Chakotay, Tom Paris, and any other Voyager regulars mentioned in this
story belong to Paramount. I make no money with this story. I am
merely playing with the characters.

This is a C/P slash fiction. The rating is PG-13. If you are offended
by the idea of two guys being together, read no further. This is the
only warning you will get as far as I am concerned. ;-)

Have fun!!!


Author's note: How did I come up with this idea? Well, to tell you the
truth, we had a power breakdown this morning, and I was just lying on
my bed, thinking of what to do about this other C/P story I am
currently stuck with, when all of a sudden, this idea hits me. I
always like a vulnerable, breathless and confused Chakotay in some
sort of discomfort. Yep, I am really sweet like that. ;-)

Thanks a bunch to Morticia for reading through this and beta-ing this
first story of mine. Feedback is always welcome! Thanks. :-)


Darkness. All encompassing. Debilitating. Darkness.

Unfathomable. Unrelenting. Blackness. All around.

No fear. Neither in his heart, nor in his soul. Not in his senses
either. That was the crux of it. He could not smell his own fear
anymore. He had a distinct memory of feeling fear, in a recent past.
But that feeling faded as soon as his ability to smell fear was
snatched away. And his ability to smell walked out, hand in hand, with
his ability to breathe. Right! No oxygen, remember? Not in this
cavern. Not anymore.

Ah yes. Air. He remembered how that used to feel. Taking air in.
Pumping air out. The most basic function of his lungs. His lifeline.
His ability to breathe. Lungs? Were his lungs still functioning?
Somehow that thought brought a sense of hilarity to his rapidly
closing brain. If his lungs were still working, he would still be able
to smell his fear right? A chuckle rose from his belly, up his
diaphragm, into his throat, but instead of coming out of his open,
quivering lips, slammed into the spasming walls of his throat and he
choked. Yet again.

Damn. He was tired of choking. He had done a lot of that since being
trapped into this dusty, dark, god-forsaken cavern. As he had watched
the boulders of rock falling down and trapping his exit. As he had
felt his air slowly, painfully, run out. As his throat had constricted
with the lack of air, and his lungs had screamed at the lack of air
and his nose had complained at the lack of air and -

He felt like laughing again. Lack of air. Dammit. It was becoming old,
very fast.

He probably would've tried that chuckle thing again, if only he was
not choking so badly. No air. No air. Can't breathe. No light. All
dark. So black. It hurts. Oh Spirits. It hurts.

Darkness. Yes. Concentrate on the darkness. He was not afraid. Calm
down. Just relax. Think of the Spirit Plain. Blackness. All dark. Look
for the light. On the Spirit Plain. Search for the light. Just relax.
Take a long, deep breath. Huh? That's really funny. He really was a
clown, wasn't he? No wonder his spirit guide had been ignoring him the
last few times he had tried contacting her. She probably knew he was
losing his mind.

Yes. Losing his mind. Maybe. Not losing his faith. At least not yet.
He had to get on the Spirit Plain. He had to concentrate on the
calmness of his surroundings. That's right. Think of the calm. Hardly
any noise. No sound. Not even a peep. Perfect for a spirit journey. A
long, permanent one at that. He felt a smile creeping on his face.
Finally. It would all be peaceful. No chaos. Order out of disorder. A
harmony after utter turmoil.

He found he was choking no more. Another level of calmness descended
upon him. It was all over. There was no fear. No pain. He would
welcome death with open arms. He could die in peace. Tranquility. His
life had been good. Not perfect by any means. But a good life it had
been. There were almost no regrets. Almost.

Dear Spirits. There would always be one eternal regret at not having
the courage to say the words he should have said a long time ago. At
not telling his beloved how he had felt all these years. His beloved.
The most loved, most cherished person in his life. A calming peace
settled into his mind. Beautiful. Yes. That was what his beloved was.
An alluring, exciting presence, full of life and laughter, the mere
thought of whom turned the corners of his full lips into a ghost of
one of his usually heart-rending smiles.

Yes. That was the image he wanted to keep in his mind as he went
through to the other side. A small part of him wished he had told this
beautiful, strong person how he had felt, because, now he would never
get a chance. But maybe, it was for the better, since surely his
feelings could never be returned. Could they? Still. He wished he had
had the courage, even to face rejection. At least he would have spoken
the words.

Peace. Yes. Think of those beautiful eyes. That soft, curling hair.
That long, slender neck and beautiful, artistic, skilled fingers. Yes.
Think of that sweet smile and yearn for peace.

Voices. He could hear voices. Yes. His forefathers. The ancient
spirits. They were all calling to him. He was going on his eternal
journey. The final spirit walk. Where he would be joined by the
spirits of his ancestors.

More voices. Louder. Chanting. Closer. Was that light he saw? A warmth
surrounded him. A faint light breaking through the pitch-black
darkness. Urgent voices calling his name. Frantic.

A pressure on his ribcage. What was going on? What kind of a joke were
the spirits playing with him now? Peace. He wanted peace. Oh Spirits.
There was more pressure and something hot, sweet and insistent pressed
down on his... mouth? Was that his mouth? He wasn't sure. He couldn't
really feel his mouth anymore. He couldn't feel much of his body
anymore. Then a pang of searing pain in his body, like needles beating
down his middle, harsh, pointed, as if breaking his skin. And a loud
thundering noise crashed onto his eardrums. No! He wanted peace. Not
chaos. Please, father, help me! It hurts!

Quiet again. Yes. He wanted the calm. No noise. Please give me peace.
But no! There was more pressure around his ribcage. As if someone was
pressing a heavy weight down below his chest. Not once. Not twice.
Again and again. Oh Spirits. He was supposed to be leaving this shell.
Not feeling fresh pain inflicted upon it. That same hot sweetness
descended upon his mouth, forcing his lips open. That same thunder in
his ears. And this time it distinctly sounded familiar. Like something
he had felt and heard all his life. The sound of a beating heart. His
heart. Beating. Erratic. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then all quiet.

Spirits. It hurts. No more, please, no more. Let me go. Let me stay in
peace. But here it was again. That unrelenting pressure back on his
ribcage. This time he counted the pushes. One. Two. Three. Four. The
heat returned on his mouth, forcing his lips open, heat inside his
mouth. Air. Yes. That was what it was. Air. He could breathe. The
heartbeat thundering back in his ears. One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
All quiet.

He couldn't breathe anymore. He felt the pangs of recurring fear
hitting him. Please. Need air. Have to breathe. Can't breathe. He
needed that warmth. That sweetness on his mouth. Needed air. Oh
Spirits, please help me. Someone called his name. Softly. He couldn't
judge the direction from which the voice came. It was surreal. Between
light and darkness. A voice calling through the void.

"Chakotay! Breathe, Chakotay! Stay with me!"

He knew that voice. He knew that presence. Such warmth. He could cling
to that lifeline barehanded and not need anything else. But oh
Spirits. It hurt.

Pressure on his ribcage. One. Two. Three. Four. The hot sweetness on
his mouth, opening his lips, breathing for him, giving him air. The
heartbeat back in his ears. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. This
time, it was not so loud. More tolerable. Almost like a faint
whistling in his ears. But then it was quiet again. But not so quiet.
He couldn't hear the heartbeat but he could still hear the voice.
Urgent and frenetic.

"Dammit Commander. Breathe!!!"

Pain. Intense pain. Couldn't breathe. His chest ached. His throat
spasmed. He needed air. Oh Spirits. He needed to breathe. The same
weight pressing down on his ribcage. He realized, even in his
delirium, the mechanic repetitiveness of the procedure, as he counted
the pushes. One. Two. Three. Four. Then the hot sweetness returning to
his mouth, tugging it open, forcing air inside. Air. He felt his lungs
fill with air. As the whistling returned to his ears, his heartbeat
audible again. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. This time it
didn't stop. The sweetness back on his mouth. More air. He could
breathe. He could breathe. The darkness receded. It was so bright.


He squinted his eyes. It was so damn bright. Where was he? Cautiously,
he opened his eyes again. Blue sky above. So he was no longer in the
cavern. There were some people standing around. But his eyes rested on
the golden vision sitting right before him. Beautiful blue eyes wide
with worry, full lips parted, so close to his own.

"Chakotay, can you hear me?" he could hear the depth of concern in
that soft, husky voice.


Was that his voice? It sounded a little rusty, didn't it? Ah well. At
least he could make any sound at all.

"Oh, thank God! We were so worried we might have lost you." He felt
warm hands on his face. "You got me scared, Chief."

From the depths of his tired, aching body, somehow, he found the
strength to move his hands. Slowly, he rested his shaking hands on the
other's shoulders and urged him to come closer.

"Tom..." He rasped.

"Yes, Chakotay?"

He moved his hands to cradle the golden head and pulled him even
closer until their foreheads touched.

"I love you."

He saw the blue eyes go wide with shock, as he finally said the words
he had previously denied himself the courage to say. There you go.
Come hell or high water. He could face rejection now. He had been
given a second chance at life. He could face anything.

He stared into those azure eyes, slowly starting to move his hands
off, conceding defeat with a heavy heart, when he noticed something
that made him freeze. Something he couldn't believe he was seeing. A
slow, lazy smile breaking over those beloved features, and then he
felt fingers run through his cropped hair, hesitantly, and Tom, his
Tom, drew a warm, shaky breath that he could feel fanning on his face.

"Oh, Cha!" He could hear the incredulity, the awe in those words. "I
love you too."

Oh how his spirit soared and how his heart sang. He moaned, as that
sweet mouth descended on his own and he thought he would cry with joy.

"I love you so much!"

He heard his beloved repeating those words, as he was kissed again and
again. He couldn't hear anything else. Just those words. Everything
else was filtered. His heart was hammering in his chest so hard, he
couldn't even hear his own thoughts. The commotion within was

But, oh the joy. He smiled inwardly, as they were caught in the
transporter beam. He could do with this kind of chaos any day.