Disclaimer and summary: See part 1

Dedicated to my angel, Isabelle S, who wrote the start of this
part, just because I asked her to. Well, it was her suggestion, so I
figured that it was only fair that she write it herself. And as the
wonderful person she is, she actually did it. Just for that, angel,
I'll have to work on your story next

Part Thirty-Two

Lieutenant Commander Tom Paris: Personal log - Stardate

"We held a memorial service for Captain Janeway today. We
thought it was appropriate to do it on the bridge of her ship; a
ship she had lived for. Regardless of the events of the last few
months, we all remembered what she did for this crew.  She
made sure that despite this difficult situation, we would never
lack anything; that we would be safe out here in the Delta

Being the only Starfleet captain here must have been a very
difficult thing. She had to make important decisions without the
support of Starfleet command. She must have been very lonely,
and I can understand if her loneliness drove her to madness. That
is, if she ever became insane in the first place.

I prefer to think that she did. It is easier to accept than believing
that what she revealed in our last personal conversation was what
she really thought of me. It's just too hard to believe. This
woman who got me out of prison, who gave me a ship to fly,
who became my friend.... Could she really have faked her
friendship and think I was only a whore?

I don't want to believe that she was a cold woman inside. I prefer
to remember the good part. If I have to believe that she became
insane, so be it.

To you, Captain Janeway, I wish you a good journey home.

End log."


Tom turned his viewer off and leaned back in his chair,
considering the past couple of days.

After the doctor had explained about the parasites he'd
discovered in Janeway's brain, they had commed Samantha
Wildman and asked her to come to sickbay. When she arrived,
the doctor asked about Janeway's illness while on the planet.

It had been an unpleasant story, and despite his recent problems
with her, Tom had felt sorry for Janeway. Headaches, nausea,
stomach cramps, fever, blindness, fever cramps, paralysis. Tom
wouldn't wish that fate on his worst enemy, let alone someone
who had trusted him enough to give him a second chance.

When the doctor was satisfied that he'd gotten all the
information he needed, the three of them had proceeded to
examine every member of the crew for signs of infection.
Amazingly, no one else was infected, which was fortunate since
the doctor had no idea how to remove the parasites without
causing any brain damage.

The hands that settled on his shoulders interrupted Tom's
thoughts. When they began a gentle massage, he smiled and let
out a soft sigh. "You done for today?" he asked, without opening
his eyes.

"Yes, I am," Chakotay replied quietly. "And barring a red alert,
I'm all yours until Alpha shift tomorrow." Deepening the
massage, he asked, "Thinking about Captain Janeway?"

"Her too," Tom admitted.

"Wanna talk about it?"

Tom considered it for a moment, then shook his head 'no'.
"Maybe later. Right now, I need to get over to Harry's. He wants
my advice about something, so I promised to have dinner with
him." His voice was apologetic.

"That's okay," Chakotay said as he removed his hands from
Tom's shoulders, then stepped back so the younger man could
get up from his chair. "I'll just have dinner in the mess hall, and
then go back to my cabin and take care of a few things."

Tom turned his head to look at his lover. "Not ship's business, I

Chakotay grinned. "No. Like I said, I'm done for today. I'll
probably just meditate a bit. It's been a while since I've had the
time and opportunity to meditate properly."

Tom smiled in relief. "All right. I'll comm you when Harry and I
are finished talking. We can go socialize in Sandrine's or
something," he suggested as they left his quarters and walked
down the corridor to the turbolift.

Chakotay nodded in agreement. "Sounds like a good idea."

The 'lift arrived, and as the two men entered it, something
occurred to Tom. After calling out their destinations, he turned to
look at the older man. "Chakotay," he said quietly.

Chakotay gave Tom his full attention, realizing from the other
man's tone of voice that he had something important to say.
"Yes, Tom?"

"What's the *real* reason you stayed behind when Janeway
ordered the evacuation?"

Chakotay blinked, surprised it had taken Tom this long to ask.
He had known that the younger man didn't believe the excuse he
had given at the time. "I couldn't abandon you," he finally

Tom was silent as he digested this, then asked, "Why?"

Chakotay lifted a hand and put it against Tom's cheek, pleased
when the other man leaned into the caress. "I love you too much
to contemplate a life without you in it," he admitted quietly.

Tom was speechless. He had known that Chakotay loved him, it
was obvious every time the older man looked at him, but this was

Before Tom could say anything, the 'lift arrived at deck five.
Chakotay removed his hand, moved closer to his lover and gave
him a gentle kiss. Then he stepped back and moved out of the
turbolift. "I'll see you later," he said with a smile.

"Yeah. Later," Tom murmured as the door closed. He was still in
a daze when the 'lift arrived on deck seven. Only when he stood
in front of Harry's quarters did he come out of it. He shook his
head and pushed Chakotay's words into the back of his mind.
Then he entered the code to Harry's cabin and walked inside,
wondering what his best friend wanted his advice about this time.


Captain Chakotay: Personal log - Stardate 50362

"Tom is worried that what happened to Captain Janeway might
happen to me too. He hasn't said so, but to me, it's quite obvious.

When asked, the doctor told us that our situation, out here with
no contact to Starfleet, could have adversely affected Janeway.
She had to make a lot of hard decisions on her own. Oh, she had
the senior staff, but the final decision was always hers. And if
she made the wrong choice.... Well, who was going to hold her

Is it any wonder if she developed a god-complex?

The fact that she felt responsible for all of us being stranded here
in the Delta Quadrant probably didn't help.

She also kept herself apart from the crew to some extent. She
didn't socialize much, and didn't really have anyone to talk to.
Once in awhile she would speak with me, but it was never about
anything too personal.

The only one she might have spoken to is Tuvok, but I just can't
see her discussing her feelings with him. He's Vulcan and thus
logical. Emotions aren't, and I don't think many Humans would
be comfortable sharing their feelings with a Vulcan.

And Janeway being the Captain, I don't think she'd discuss
something like that with Tuvok, no matter how good a friend he
was. He was her subordinate, and from what I observed of their
relationship, that always came first, for both of them.

She isolated herself from the crew. Oh, she was available to them
if they needed her, but it was always as Captain Janeway, never
as Kathryn. I never once saw her completely relax around the
crew, and that, I think, was a mistake.

As the First Officer, I had much more day-to-day contact with
everyone, and not just on-duty. The first few months were
difficult, but after things settled down some, the Starfleet crew
began to trust me and, I think, really considered me the First

Also, contrary to Kathryn Janeway, I socialized with the crew
when I was off-duty, and never kept them at arms-length. I was
available to talk, or just listen if they needed it, and it didn't
matter whether I was on duty or not. The Maquis part of the crew
knew that, and it didn't take the Starfleet part long to figure it

I have no intention of changing that just because I'm now the
Captain, and I'm going to make sure everyone knows this. Of
course, there will be a few unavoidable changes, but I believe
that the crew will take care of that themselves when they realize
that I'm involved with Tom.

We haven't kept our relationship secret, but we've been so busy
the last couple of days that we haven't really had much time to
be together, even off-duty. That will change now that the doctor
has checked the crew's health and doesn't need Tom in sickbay.

In fact, knowing Tom, he's probably planning on us 'going
public' with our relationship tonight. I think that's the reason he
suggested that we go to Sandrine's later. I wonder if he's going
to do something extremely obvious and possibly embarrassing,
or if he plans to be subtle about it.

I'll have to ask him about that.

Right now, though, I better get ready for our date. It's late
enough that Tom should be calling me soon.

End log."

The End