The Charade
  Author: Leone
  Part: 1/3
  Rating: PG
  Codes: P, VOY/X: WP
  Archive: Got my other stories? Go ahead. Otherwise, ask

  Disclaimer: Nothing but the story belongs to me. Star Trek
  belongs to Paramount and any characters from Xena: Warrior
  Princess belongs to Renaissance Pictures. (Except the gods, they
  belong to themselves)

  Summary: Sequel to "The Choice". If you have read that one,
  this won't make much sense.

  Part One

  Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay and Voyager's EMH
  watched in surprise as several women appeared in bright flashes
  of light. Well, considering that Ares, the God of War was
  standing in the other side of Tom's biobed, the three of them
  supposed that the new arrivals were goddesses.

  They were right, as they discovered when Tom greeted each
  female by name, then introduced them to his commanding
  officers and the CMO.

  The first was a blue-eyed blond, dressed in a pink dress. She
  came over, pushed Ares aside and bent to kiss Tom. Then She
  straightened and smiled. "Hi, Blondie," She said.

  Tom rolled his eyes. "Look who's talking," he chuckled. "Hi
  'Dite. How's Heph?"

  "Hephy's fine," 'Dite replied. "Busy as always, though."

  "He isn't neglecting You, is He?" Tom asked.

  'Dite shook Her head. "He would never do that to Me."

  Tom smiled. He knew 'Dite was right. Her husband was very
  much in love with Her, and wouldn't ever ignore Her. Then he
  shook off his thoughts and turned to Janeway and the two others.
  "Captain, Commander, Doctor, allow me to introduce you to
  Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love." He turned back to the goddess.
  "'Dite, this is Captain Kathryn Janeway, Commander Chakotay
  and Voyager's Emergency Medical Holographic program," he
  indicated each person as he mentioned them.

  'Dite gave the three of them a charming smile, and looked
  intently at each as She acknowledged them, starting with
  Janeway. "Captain Janeway. I'm delighted to meet the person
  responsible for getting My Blondie out of prison."

  Janeway just nodded, too overwhelmed to say anything for a
  moment. Then she pulled herself together. She *was* the captain
  of Voyager, and these were her guests. It would be impolite not
  to reply to Aphrodite's kind words. "It was my pleasure,

  'Dite smiled with joy. Kathryn was wonderfully polite. Then She
  turned to look at Chakotay. Suddenly She frowned slightly and
  cast a sideway glance at Tom. He met her eyes with a quizzical
  expression. 'Dite shook Her head slightly and returned Her
  attention to the first officer. "Commander Chakotay," She said
  by way of greeting. Her tone of voice was subtly different from
  when She had spoken to Janeway.

  Chakotay answered Her in the same way as She had addressed
  him. "Aphrodite," he said and inclined his head slightly.

  'Dite flashed the commander another smile, determined to talk to
  him later, in private. Then She looked at the EMH. "Doctor," She
  said. "I want to thank you for taking such good care of Blondie."
  She knew exactly how to thank him properly, but that would
  have to wait.

  "I'm programmed to do my best with all my patients," the doctor
  said. "But, I must admit that Mr. Paris is in here more than any
  other crewmember."

  'Dite dismissed this with a shake of Her head. "I know you do,
  but that's not what I meant," She said and smiled to him. "I know
  that Tom thinks of you as one of his closest friends," She told

  The doctor seemed surprised. "He does?" he asked, then turned
  and glanced at Tom for confirmation. "You consider *me* one
  of your friends?" When Tom nodded 'yes', the hologram smiled
  happily. "I also regard us as friends," he said. "You are
  annoying, sarcastic and accident prone. But, you're also kind,
  compassionate and have a heroic streak a mile wide. You were
  also one of the first crewmembers on this ship to treat me as a
  real person."

  Amazingly, the doctor's kind words made Tom blush. Janeway
  and Chakotay stared at him in surprise. That was something
  they'd never seen before. Neither of them had thought Tom was
  even capable of that act. However, 'Dite laughed in delight.
  "And he blushes so easily," She said.

  Before anyone could comment on that remark, another female
  voice interrupted. "'Dite, quit monopolizing Tommy."

  The five of them turned towards the speaker and saw a dark-
  haired goddess with a remarkable similarity to Ares. She came
  over and bent down to kiss Tom's cheek. "How are you feeling,
  Tommy?" She asked as She straightened.

  Tom smiled to Her. "I feel fine. *He*," he nodded towards Ares,
  who had moved away to make room for the goddesses.
  "Transferred some of His energy to me, so I'm not in any pain
  right now."

  The dark-haired goddess smiled in satisfaction. "Good," She
  said. "Strife sends His regards," She added as and afterthought.

  "How is Your son?" Tom asked.

  "Getting into trouble as always," the goddess answered with a
  proud smile.

  Tom laughed. "I'm not surprised," he said. "After all, Strife *is*
  the God of Mischief. And one of my favorites," he added with a
  sly smile.

  "And you're one of His favorite mortals," the goddess laughed.

  Tom laughed for a moment longer, then got his amusement under
  control and proceeded to introduce this goddess to Janeway,
  Chakotay and the doctor. "This is Eris, the Goddess of Discord,
  and Ares' twin sister," he said formally.

  The meeting between Voyager's two most senior officers, her
  EMH and the Goddess of Discord was very similar to the
  meeting with Aphrodite.

  After Eris came Athena, Goddess of Education, Science and
  Virginity, then Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon. The
  last was Persephone, the Goddess of Spring and wife of Hades,
  the God of the Underworld.

  When the introductions were finished, the goddesses moved
  aside to let Ares talk to Tom for a moment before the change was

  The God of War went over to stand beside Tom's bed once more.
  Seeing the slight apprehension in the mortal's eyes, Ares smiled
  reassuringly. "Don't worry, Tom," He said. "I'll be here when
  you wake up."

  Tom smiled in gratitude as War laid His hand on his forehead to
  make him fall asleep. As Ares' silent command to sleep went
  into his subconscious, Tom fought it long enough to whisper,
  "Thanks, dad."  With that, he finally closed his eyes and slept.

  Janeway, Chakotay and the doctor all turned to stare at Ares in
  surprise. It was the doctor who spoke, as the other two seemed to
  have lost their voices. "Dad?"

  Ares sighed quietly and removed His hand from His son's
  forehead before turning His attention to the two mortals and the
  hologram. "Yes, Tom is My son," He said, then lifted a hand to
  forestall their questions. "Let's go somewhere more private.
  Then I'll answer your questions while the goddesses take care of
  Tom's change."

  "We can talk in the doctor's office," Janeway said, accepting on
  the behalf of all three.

  Ares nodded and lead the way to the office, followed by
  Janeway, Chakotay and the doctor.

  The five goddesses moved to stand around Tom's biobed. Then
  They closed Their eyes in concentration, beginning the process
  that would transform War's son into a woman.