Title: The Prince
Author: Leone
Rating: [G]
Codes: C/P, K/T, AU
Archive: Yes, if you want to
Feedback: tarrashenna@yahoo.com
Disclaimer: Everything Star Trek belongs to Paramount, not me.
This story along with any other characters belongs to me,
though. Oh, and I'm not making any money on this.

Summary: See part 1

Dedicated to Ped because she reminded me that Tarra would
need a 'sibling-bond' and suggested who should be Tarra's sib-

Warning: This is about a relationship between two men. If you
don't like that, don't read it.


The Prince
By Leone

Part 16

Tom was thinking. He and Chakotay had taken Tarra to the
mess hall and introduced the little girl to Neelix and the alpha
shift, who was on their lunch-break.

Tarra was charming and sweet, and everyone was fussing over
her, so Tom had time to think about what Chakotay had said
earlier. {Damn,} Tom thought. {I can *not* believe that I forgot
about getting Tarra a 'sibling-bond', if it turns out that she *is*
Darrbakhian.} Tom sighed quietly. {Where has my mind been?}
he wondered.

His silent musings were interrupted by the soft familiar touch of
his sister's mind. Knowing that Rhiannon wouldn't disturb him
unless it was important, Tom caught his husband's eyes and
cocked his head slightly, wordlessly communicating his need for
privacy. Chakotay nodded almost imperceptively in understand-
ing, and Tom left the mess hall unnoticed.

Tom walked down the corridor to the nearest observation
lounge. After checking that it was empty, he entered and called
for a privacy lock. Once the door was locked, Tom walked over
to the couch and sat down. He closed his eyes and opened his
link to Rhiannon. #Did you find out anything?# he asked her.

#Yes, Ishaan, I did. I spoke to the Royal Historian, and she told
me that our people originate from somewhere in the Delta Quad-
rant,# Rhiannon said.

Tom felt his sister hesitate. #What is it, Rhinon,# he asked, us-
ing the nickname he gave her when they were children.

#About the child, Tarra? The Royal Historian said that accord-
ing to legend, our ancestors left their birth planet because of a...
disagreement between the two queens. One of the queens, Ri-
nora, left along with most of her people and ended up on Darr-
bakh. After they settled on our planet, Rinora had twin daugh-
ters, which is why we still have the tradition of having two
queens.# Rhiannon stopped talking, waiting for realization to
dawn on her brother. It didn't take long.

#And since I'm related to the Darrbakhian queens by blood, and
Tarra's medical test showed that she could be my daughter, that
would mean that she is a blood relative to the queen of our an-
cestors' planet,# Tom concluded.

#Yes,# Rhiannon agreed.

Tom cursed silently. When he felt his sister's curiosity, he
sighed and answered her unspoken question. #That means that
I... We need to find Tarra a brother or sister.#

#And this is a problem because...?#

Tom sighed again. #Because there aren't many kids on Voyager,
and of those there *are*, only one is about Tarra's age.#

#I still don't see the problem,# Rhiannon said. #You talk to this
child's mother and explain the 'sibling-bond', and why Tarra
needs one. Things like that.#

#Yeah, I'll have to, I guess. But you know that I'm not that good
with explaining things like that,# Tom said.

This time Rhiannon sighed. #So, get Talishen to help you,# she
said in exasperation.

#I will,# Tom promised. #I'll also have him help me when I
explain the 'sibling-bond' to Harry and B'Elanna,# he added.

Rhiannon was clearly surprised. #Why would you tell Harry and
B'Elanna about it?# she asked.

#Well, B'Elanna's pregnant,# Tom explained. #And their child
will be the only one to be the same age as mine and Talishen's.#

#You and Talishen are expecting a baby?# Rhiannon asked.

Tom laughed softly. #No, not yet. But I want to have his child
and Talishen agreed, but said that I would have to carry it,# Tom

#Oh. Okay,# Rhiannon said. She hesitated for a moment, then
asked, #So, are you going to use the Darrbakhian technique for
male pregnancy?#

Tom blinked in surprise. #The Darrbakhian technique?# he re-
peated questioningly. #What *is* the Darrbakhian method?#

Rhiannon laughed and told him. When Tom asked how it was
done, she showed him. #I take it that you're going to use this
procedure, then?# she asked.

#Oh, definitely,# Tom answered. #Now I'd better get back to
my husband and daughter in the mess hall before anyone misses
me,# he added.

#All right,# Rhiannon said. #Give Talishen my love.#

#I will, and you give mine to our family,# Tom answered.

#Of course. Take care, and don't get killed. You're a family-
man now,# Rhiannon said.

#I plan on it,# Tom informed her, then he closed the connection
to his sister and sat down in the couch. Talking to Rhiannon
over this distance was always strenuous, so they didn't speak
often. When he had recovered, Tom rose to his feet and left the
observation lounge to return to the mess hall where his family
and friends were.


Later in the afternoon, after the alpha shift was finished, Tom
commed Samantha Wildman and asked her to come to his and
Chakotay's quarters. He'd told Chakotay about most of his con-
versation with Rhiannon, and Chakotay had agreed to help Tom
explain the 'sibling-bond' and it's purpose to Samantha.

Half an hour after Tom had talked to Samantha, the door to the
First Officer's quarters chimed. As Tom was in the bathroom,
washing Tarra's face after having fed her, Chakotay called out

When the door opened, Samantha Wildman walked in, carrying
her daughter. She stopped just inside the door and looked at
Chakotay apologetically. "I hope you don't mind that I brought
Naomi with me, but she insisted on coming," Samantha said.

Chakotay motioned for Samantha to come in. "No, we don't
mind at all. That way Tarra has someone to play with while we
talk," he answered. He smiled at Samantha's obvious relief, then
added, "Have a seat. Would you like anything to drink?"

Samantha returned the smile and sat down in the couch, saying,
"Thank you, I'd like a cup of coffee."

"And Naomi?" Chakotay asked, walking over to the replicator.

Samantha looked at her daughter, then turned back to Chakotay.
"Just half a glass of juice," she said.

Chakotay nodded and placed the order, adding an order for an-
other glass of juice for Tarra and two cups of tea for himself and
Tom. When the beverages appeared, Chakotay picked up the
tray and carried it over to the coffee table. As he put the tray
down, Tom and Tarra came in.

Tom moved over and sat down beside Samantha, settling Tarra
in his lap. He leaned slightly forward and picked up one of the
glasses, handing it to Samantha before picking up the second
glass and giving it to Tarra.

Tarra took the glass with both hands and drank about half it's
contents, then handed it back to Tom before she turned to study
Naomi Wildman. Naomi was the first child that Tarra had seen,
and she was curious.

Naomi, having refused the juice for now, looked back at Tarra,
equally as curious. Suddenly her eyes widened and then she
chuckled, delighted.

The three adults looked at Naomi, then Tarra. Samantha was
puzzled, but Tom knew what had happened, and Chakotay had a
good idea. It was obvious that Tarra had communicated tele-
pathically with Naomi. It was also clear that it hadn't frightened

Samantha looked questioningly from Tom to Chakotay and back
again. Tom smiled gently at her. "I'll explain in a moment," he
promised. "But first, let's make sure the girls are entertained."
With that, he set Tarra down on the floor, then rose and went
into the bedroom to get some of the toys he and Chakotay had
replicated the day before.

When he returned to the living room and put the toys down on
the floor, Tarra held out her hand to Naomi, who climbed down
from her mother's lap and over to take Tarra's hand. Together
the two girls walked over and sat on the floor beside the toys.

For a moment, the three adults watched as Tarra and Naomi
played, then Tom and Chakotay looked at each other and then at
Samantha. "Samantha," Tom said quietly. When she turned to-
wards him, he smiled. He walked over and sat down in the arm
chair beside his husband. With a quick glance at Chakotay for
reassurance, Tom turned back to Samantha. "You're probably
wondering why I asked you to come here," he said.

Samantha smiled slightly. "Yes, I am," she answered. "But be-
fore you tell me, I'd like to offer my congratulations. I under-
stand that your fifth wedding anniversary is coming up in a few

"Yes it is," Tom said with a soft smile. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," Samantha answered. "And I must say, it's
about time the two of you told the rest of the crew about your

The two men blinked. "How did you know?" Chakotay asked,
his surprise evident.

Samantha laughed. "Actually, the signs are rather obvious if you
know what to look for," she said. Smiling at Tom and Chako-
tay's confusion, she explained. "The way you both seem to
know the instant the other enters a room. The way you some-
times seem to be communicating without words and without
looking at each other. Your body language..." Samantha's voice
trailed off when she saw Tom's puzzled frown. "What?"

Tom looked at her. "How do you know what to look for?" he

Samantha smiled again. "One of my best friends is Darr-
bakhian," she answered. "She got married about ten years ago,
and the first time she visited me after her wedding, she'd
brought her husband with her. She wanted me to meet him, so
they stayed for two weeks and I saw them every day. After a
while, I started to notice these things, and asked my friend about
it. She explained that it was unconscious, and the signs of a
bonded couple."

"Oh. That explains it," Tom said. He ran a hand trough his hair
as he gathered his thoughts, then asked, "Did your friend tell
you about the 'sibling-bond'?"

Samantha nodded. "A bit," she answered. "I know that Darr-
bakhian children are bonded as siblings soon after they're born,
and that it's necessary. That's all."

Tom nodded, relieved that he didn't have to explain *that*. "I
don't suppose she told you *why* it's necessary?" It was partly
a question and partly a statement. When Samantha shook her
head, Tom sighed and explained. "Well, a 'sibling-bond' centers
us, stabilizes us. Makes us whole. Once, a very long time ago,
the daughter of a healer wasn't bonded after birth. It was an..."
An expression of anger and disgust crossed Tom's face and he
couldn't continue.

Chakotay reached over and took Tom's hand. Then he looked at
Samantha and continued the story. "It was an experiment. They
wanted to know what would happen to a child who wasn't
bonded." The same expression of anger and disgust crossed
Chakotay's face. He tightened his jaw for a moment, then con-
tinued. "At first there didn't seem to be any consequences. As
the girl grew up, she was kept under constant observation. For
years the girl seemed normal, but shortly after her seventh birth-
day, she started to show signs of... instability. As the years
passed, the girl grew more and more instable until her twelfth
birthday. By then it was obvious that she was slowly going in-
sane." Chakotay stopped talking at Samantha's sharp inhalation.

"Didn't anyone *do* anything," Samantha asked incredulously.

Chakotay shook his head and looked sad. "No, not really. She
was sent to a mind-healer for a test to see exactly *how* crazy
she was, and why. The mind-healer found that the girl wasn't
completely insane, yet, and that the reason for her growing
madness was the lack of a 'sibling-bond'. Her mind was con-
stantly crying out another and the lack of an answer was causing
the girl to slowly lose all reason." Chakotay went silent.

Tom sighed softly and continued the story. "The mind-healer
told the people behind the experiment of his findings. When one
suggested that they link the girl in a 'sibling-bond', the mind-
healer told them that it was too late, that nothing could help her
now. They just shrugged and left, unconcerned with the girl and
her suffering. For them, the experiment was over." Tom stopped
talking for a moment. Then he sighed deeply and finished the
story. "The mind-healer went to the Darrbakhian queens and
told them everything he knew. He hadn't participated in the ex-
periment, and had only been told about it when the girl was
brought to him for the examination. The queens had the people
involved arrested and executed for their crimes." Tom looked at
Samantha. "That was the last time anyone on Darrbakh was exe-
cuted, by the way. It hasn't been necessary since, and this hap-
pened six or seven hundred years ago," he added.

Samantha nodded, then asked, "What happened to the girl?"

"The mind-healer had told the queens that she was in so much
mental pain that it would be torture for her to live, so they gave
her a quick and painless death, using one of the strongest poi-
sons on Darrbakh," Chakotay said quietly.

When Chakotay stopped speaking, the three adults sat quietly
for a while, deep in their own thoughts. Finally Samantha
looked up. "Why did you tell me this?" she asked. "I can't imag-
ine that it's something you tell many non-Darrbakhians."

Tom grimaced. "No, it's not. The reason we told you..." Tom
trailed off with a sigh. He ran a hand through his hair while he
gathered his thoughts. "Well, when Tarra came aboard, the doc-
tor ran all kinds of tests on her, both to find out what was wrong
with her and also to see if he could determine what race she is.
Much to our surprise, the tests showed that Tarra could be my
biological daughter." Tom smiled at Samantha's startled gasp,
then continued. "It puzzled me because that shouldn't be possi-
ble. After I told Chakotay about it, this memory of how it
*could* be possible teased at the edge of my mind. When I was
unable to remember what it was, I contacted my sister and told
her about Tarra. My sister promised to find out how Tarra's
DNA was so similar to mine." Tom reached out and took his cup
and sipped his tea before he finished. "A couple of hours ago,
my sister contacted me and told me that we, the Darrbakhians,
originate from the Delta Quadrant..."

While Tom told Samantha Wildman about what his sister had
said on the subject, Chakotay rose from his chair and went over
to see how Tarra and Naomi was doing. He stood for a moment
and watched as the two girls played. Every once in awhile,
Naomi would get a delighted expression on her face, and Chako-
tay knew that Tarra was 'talking' to her telepathically. After a
few minutes, Chakotay walked back to his chair, just as Tom
finished talking.

"... close to Tarra's age," Tom said. "Of course, we'll let you
think about it, and you don't have to say yes," he added.

Samantha looked at him. "What happens if I don't?" she asked.

Tom sighed. "We'll have to choose another child," he said qui-
etly. "But, as I said, Naomi is closest to Tarra in age, so it would
work better with her than with anyone else."

Samantha nodded in understanding, then leaned back in the
couch, considering Tom's request. After a while she looked up
and smiled. "All right," she said mildly. "What do we do?"

Tom's face expressed relief. "You agree?" he asked softly.
When Samantha nodded, he smiled. "Thank you, Samantha." He
looked around for a moment, then said, "Well, usually there's a
priestess present, but it's not really necessary, so we might as
well do it now." He rose and gestured to Samantha and Chako-
tay to follow him as he walked over to Tarra and Naomi.

Tom sat down between the two girls and smiled at them when
they looked at him. "Tarra, Naomi, come here for a moment," he
said softly, holding a hand out to both. As the girls rose and
moved closer to Tom, he felt Samantha and Chakotay stand be-
hind him, watching intently.

When Naomi and Tarra stood beside Tom, he looked at them for
a long moment before he let go of their hands again. With a gen-
tle smile, he lifted a hand and brushed it across Tarra's temple,
creating the light mental link necessary. The girl projected puz-
zlement, but accepted the link without fear and Tom sent her a
wave of reassurance and approval. Then he turned to Naomi and
brushed his hand across *her* temple, creating the other end of
the link.

Naomi reacted with surprise and a slight fear, and Tom hastened
to send her a strong wave of reassurance and safety. When
Naomi had calmed down and her fear had dissipated, Tom pro-
ceeded to draw the two girls mind closer together, creating a
'sibling-bond' between them. When he felt that the bond was
strong enough, Tom withdrew carefully, breaking the light links
with both girls.

Taking a deep breath, Tom rose to his feet and turned to face
Samantha and Chakotay with a slight smile. "It is done," he an-
nounced softly. "Now, we should leave them alone for a while
so they can get used to their bond."

With that, the three adults moved back to the couch and arm
chairs. While Tom answered Samantha's questions, Chakotay
cleared the table and then replicated a fresh cup of coffee for
Samantha and more tea for Tom and himself.

To be continued