Title: The Prince
Author: Leone
Series: Voyager
Part: 4/?
Rating: [PG]
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.

Author's notes1: Flashbacks are marked with //
      Thoughts are marked with {}
      Telepathic conversations are marked with #

Author's notes2: Still no sex. Sorry.

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


The Prince
By Leone

Part 4

Tom Paris sat in sickbay, holding his lover's hand. Captain
Janeway had just left, being commed while they were talking
about his marriage to the man on the biobed.

So now he sat here, remembering the night Chakotay had pro-
posed to him. It was one of his favorite memories of their time
together. He'd told the Captain that Chakotay had surprised him
with the proposal. And he had. Tom had been so stunned that for
a while he couldn't say a word.

* * * * *

//Tom stared in stunned silence at his lover, who knelt on the
floor in front of him. Had Chakotay just asked him to marry
him? After a moment of stunned silence, Tom finally found his
voice. "What did you say?" he asked breathless, not really be-
lieving his ears.

"Will you marry me?" Chakotay repeated softly.

{That's what I thought he said,} Tom thought. {But he can't
really mean it. Can he?}

"You want to marry me?" Tom asked, his unsteady voice be-
traying his obvious disbelief.

"More than anything."

Tom stared at the man who'd been his lover for the last six
months, the man who was his Captain. Chakotay's eyes were
deadly serious. He meant it.

Tom felt his heart sing with joy. Chakotay wanted to marry him!

"Yes, I'll marry you," Tom's voice trembled slightly and his eyes
glowed with happiness.

Chakotay laughed in delight. He'd been nervous about propos-
ing. He wasn't sure if Tom wanted to get married, especially to
someone so much older than himself.

"When?" the Big Man asked.

"When what?"

"When do you want to get married? I'll let you pick the date.
Just don't make me wait too long. It's taken me two months to
get up the courage to propose to you, so the sooner we get mar-
ried the better." Chakotay looked up into his young lover's
glowing eyes.

When he finished speaking Tom frowned slightly and the glow
in his eyes faded as he thought of something. {Uh oh. How am I
gonna tell him about the Darrbakhian marriage ceremony?
What'll he say?} Tom thought anxiously.

"Baby, what's wrong? Whatever it is, you can tell me," Chako-
tay said softly, instantly picking up on Tom's panic.

"It's just. I need to tell you something and I'm not sure how
you'll react," Tom said, almost inaudibly.

Chakotay got up from his kneeling position at Tom's feet and sat
beside him on the couch, taking the younger man's hand in his

"Six months ago when the situation was reversed and I was
nervous about your reaction to something I wanted to tell you,
you made a promise to me. Do you remember that?"

"Yeah. I said that I wouldn't react badly to anything you were
gonna tell me."

"That's right, Baby. I'm going to promise you the same. I won't
react badly to anything you tell me." Chakotay's voice was sin-

Tom drew a deep breath. "All right. First I want to ask you
something. It'll make it easier." Tom hesitated for a heartbeat
and then continued. "Do you remember what I told you about
my mother?"

"Let's see. She was a Darrbakhian princess and married your
father against her family's wishes. When you were ten, she real-
ized that marrying your father had been a mistake, so she re-
turned to Darrbakh, taking you with her. She died when you
were sixteen and you returned to your father on Earth."

Tom nodded. "I never told you why mama's family didn't want
her to marry my father, did I?" It was more of a statement than a

"No, you didn't. I just assumed that they didn't like him," Cha-
kotay answered.

Tom shook his head. "No. That wasn't the problem. The prob-
lem was that he refused a Darrbakhian marriage ceremony. Dad
wanted to get married on Earth. He didn't want a Darrbakhian
marriage. He wanted mama to become human." Tom's voice
was sad.

The Big Man was shocked. "How can anyone expect a non-
human to become human?"

"I don't know, but he tried. For twelve years he tried to make
mama human. Of course, when I was born he watched me like a
hawk, making sure I didn't show any signs of being anything but
human. He never saw any. Mama made sure of that. When I was
old enough to understand what was happening, I helped her."

"Apparently she couldn't take it any longer, since she moved

"I'm not sure about that. The reason she returned to Darrbakh
with me was that Darrbakhian children start their education
when they're ten. At least, that's the reason mama gave me when
I asked why we were going to live on Darrbakh. There might've
been other reasons as well." Tom was silent for a moment.

"*Do* Darrbakhian children start their education at the age of
ten?" Chakotay asked quietly.

Tom nodded, indicating that it was true. "That's not what's im-
portant right *now*. What do you know about Darrbakhian mar-
riages?" he asked.

Chakotay frowned and thought about it. "Not much, really. The
only thing I know for sure is that Darrbakhian marriages usually
lasts for life. I've heard that Darrbakhians bond mentally, like
Vulcans do. Is that true?"

Tom looked thoughtful. "Do we bond mentally, like Vulcans?
Yes. and no. Darrbakhians have two kinds of mental bonds -
The 'sibling-bond' and the 'marriage-bond.' When a Darrbakhian
child is a week old, they are bonded to another child born on the
same day. They become siblings and can't marry each other. This
bond is like the Vulcan mating-bond in that it can only be bro-
ken by death," Tom explained.

"Were you bonded when you were born? I mean, your father
would've objected to that, wouldn't he?" Chakotay asked.

"Yes, and he did. Mama's older sister arranged it without Dad
knowing. He never found out that I have a sister." Tom smiled.

"Sneaky. So, you have a sister. What's her name?"

"Her name is Rhiannon Eleiva. She's the daughter of the Sa-
wann, the most powerful mind-healer on Darrbakh and the only
other child born on the same day as me. I was actually born on
Darrbakh, you know. Mama and Dad were visiting mama's fam-
ily when she went into labor."

"No, I didn't know that. It must've made things easier for your
aunt," the Big Man said.

"It did."

"You were telling me about the Darrbakhian mental bonds,"
Chakotay reminded him.

"So I was. Where was I? Oh yeah. The 'marriage-bond' is differ-
ent from the 'sibling-bond'. A Darrbakhian chooses their own
mate and bond mentally with them. This can be done privately
or during a wedding ceremony. If it's done in private, there will
be a different ceremony later to confirm the marriage."

"So, we can actually get married now and then have a ceremony
to confirm it when we arrive at Darrbakh in two weeks?" Cha-
kotay asked, delighted.

"Yes, but there are some things that you need to know about the
'marriage-bond' first, and when you've heard it you might not
want one," Tom said seriously.

"I can't imagine why I wouldn't, but tell me what I need to
know," the Big Man said gently.

"First of all, the 'marriage-bond' is so strong that we'll know eve-
rything about each other. I mean *everything*." Tom gave his
lover a serious look. "There will be *no* secrets between us,
Chakotay. *None*."

Chakotay looked at Tom, just as seriously. "Will we share every
thought, all the time?"

Tom shook his head. "No. I can shield my thoughts and I'll teach
you how to do that. We'll be able to communicate mentally, but
we won't share our thoughts once the bond is established," Tom
explained. "At least not unless we choose to, and then we have
to agree to do it."

"All right. I can live with that," Chakotay said. He smiled softly
at Tom, and then added, "Actually I think it sounds wonderful."

Tom smiled back, relieved that Chakotay didn't have any prob-
lems with *this*. Then the smile disappeared as he continued
explaining about the way of his people.

"Secondly, the 'marriage-bond' can *never* be broken. Not even
by death. When one dies, the other follows within seconds.
Nothing can stop it." Tom bit his lip, worried how his lover
would react to this information.

Chakotay looked at him. "That's fine by me. I wouldn't want to
live if you died," he said quietly.

Tom stared at him. "Are you sure about that?"

"It's how I feel now. The bond won't change that. It'll only make
sure I don't have to kill myself if you die. That's what I would do
if you died now," Chakotay told him, deadly serious.

Searching the Big Man's face, he saw the truth of that statement
in the dark eyes, in the firm setting of the jaw. It was how he felt

Tom nodded his acceptance and continued. "Third, a Darrbak-
hian male, or a male who are bonded to a Darrbakhian, is physi-
cally unable to be unfaithful. He can flirt, if he chooses to, but
that's all."

"You mean, I don't have to worry about someone else seducing
you?" Chakotay teased.

Tom snorted in amusement, then became serious. "You never
had to worry about that. I haven't been attracted to anyone else
since I first saw you, and I never will be."

"Since I feel the same way, there shouldn't be any problems
there either. What else?"

"That's about it. Oh, one more thing. You'll get a Darrbakhian
name, or two actually, when we get to Darrbakh in two weeks.
That is, if you want to do this," Tom added.

"Oh, I do. Two Darrbakhian names, hmm?"

"Yes. They'll be used during the wedding ceremony, and by any
Darrbakhians you meet on the planet or anywhere else. I might
also use it in private or in our mental conversations."

"I can get used to that," the Big Man said. "I suppose that you
have Darrbakhian names as well. Or will you get that when we
arrive at Darrbakh?"

"No, I already have a Darrbakhian name. I got that before the
'sibling-bond' with Rhiannon was established."

"So what is it?"

"My Darrbakhian name is Ishaan Kawal. Actually, if you want
my full title, I'm Prince Ishaan Kawal of Khenat," Tom told him.

"So, I'm marrying a prince, am I?"

Tom nodded, looking uncertain. "Does that bother you? If it
does I can renounce the title," he offered.

"Would you really do that if it bothered me?" the Big Man
asked, amazed.

"Yeah, I would. I love you. I would rather renounce my title
than lose you because of something I rarely use," Tom said seri-

"You don't have to do that. Your title doesn't bother me. In fact,
I suspect that it can be useful at times."

"Oh, it can. It was how I got that background check on you. But
that was the last time I used it," Tom said.

"Ok. So, when can we get bonded?" Chakotay asked.

"We can do it now if you like, but it would probably be best if
we waited till we arrived at Darrbakh. Once the bond is estab-
lished, we'll need a week to get used to it so you can learn to
shield your thoughts. For the first four days, we *have* to be
alone and undisturbed. That's because for those four days, we'll
mostly be in each other's minds. It can't be controlled in the be-
ginning. In a couple of days, when we've become more accus-
tomed to each other mentally, I'll start teaching you to shield
your thoughts from me so we can function normally. Usually,
during the first week after a 'marriage-bond', the couple can't
stand to be separated for any length of time," Tom explained.

"I'm not sure that I can wait two weeks to marry you," Chakotay
said, and meant it.

"I think we're going to *have* to, unless you think the ship can
do without us for a week. We won't be able to concentrate on
anything but eachother for the first few days after the bonding. It
will be slightly better after a few days, but neither of us will be
able to concentrate properly for a week."

"I guess I *will* have to wait until we get to Darrbakh then. We
have to be available in case of an emergency," the Big Man said
in resignation.

"You're right. In the meantime, we can get used to each other's
minds so it won't be a shock when we go through the wedding
ceremony," Tom said.

"How do we do that?"

"With what Vulcans calls a mind-meld. We call it a mind-link,"
Tom explained.//

* * * * *

Tom's reverie was interrupted by a soft voice in his mind.

#That was some night, Baby.#

#Chakotay!! When did you wake up?# Tom asked.

#I woke up when you started remembering that night,# Chako-
tay answered.

#The Captain asked me about our relationship, and I told her
that our fifth anniversary is next week. I also told her that you
surprised me when you proposed to me. After she left, I thought
back to that night. It's one of my favorite memories of us.#

#Mine too.#

#Then why did you interrupt me?# Tom asked his lover.

#Because I know what comes next. And it really isn't something
to think about when you're sitting in sickbay.#

#You have a point,# Tom admitted. #It probably *wouldn't* be
a good idea to sit in sickbay and get an erection.#

Tom smiled at Chakotay's soft mental laughter, then opened his
eyes so he could look at his spouse.

Chakotay eyes fluttered open, and turned his head towards Tom.

"Welcome back," the younger man said softly.

"Thank you. How long have I been unconscious?"

"Oh, about twenty four hours. And now that you're awake I bet-
ter go get the Doc," Tom said.

Getting up from the chair, he hesitated, then bent down to kiss
his lover's mouth softly. He needed to tell the doctor that Com-
mander Chakotay had regained consciousness, but the news
could wait a moment. This couldn't. It had been too long since
he and Chakotay had shared a kiss.