Starting Over 2/?

Pairing: P/T C/7 (implied) C/P eventually

Major Character death: In the beginning. 

Rated R for language and a good punch or two.

It is too long? Too much chatter? Too slow moving?

Feedback is welcome

Starting Over- Part 2
By Maxine

Tom slowly woke up to the comforting feeling of warmth and snuggled 
closer. He loved waking up with B'Elanna like this. Then came the 
realization that B'Elanna wasn't here anymore. Opening his eyes he 
found himself curled up against Chakotay's back. Getting up quickly, 
making sure he didn't wake the other man he grabbed clothes and went into the bathroom.

"What in hell were you thinking?" He asked himself. "I just bet Chakotay would have loved to have woken up with you wrapped 
around him." Shaking the cobwebs out of his brain. "Well can't really 
fault yourself for something you did in your sleep." Feeling better 
he stepped into the shower and began his morning routine. When he was finished and dressed Tom went to get his daughter. Finding her awake and playing in her crib. Tom picked her up kissed her good morning and got her dressed. As he finished he heard the shower running and made his way downstairs to start breakfast.

Chakotay, meanwhile, was in the shower thinking about the 
fact that he woke up in Tom's bed and by the looks of it Tom had been it all night too. He really couldn't recall lying down and falling 
asleep. The most he could remember was sitting with Tom and talking. 

He truly hoped that Tom had not been too upset when he woke and found himself in bed with his former commander officer. "Best go and face him." Chakotay thought as he finished his daily routine and got 
dressed. He followed the noises he heard ending up in the kitchen he 
found Miral in her highchair and Tom making breakfast.

"Good Morning Miral." Chakotay smiled at the baby and she smiled back "Morning Tom."

"Morning Cha, did you sleep okay?"

"Yes thanks sorry I feel asleep in your bed. I hope I didn't put you out of it."

"Nah, I didn't notice anyone there. I was so tired." False bravado was the best way to handle this Tom thought.

"Okay. Can I help with anything?"

"Sure grab a couple of plates out of the cabinet, it's almost done. Would you like some tea or juice with your omelet?"

"Tea would be great, I will get it." Chakotay said as he set the table.

"Nonsense you are my guest just sit there I will get it in a minute."
Chakotay sat next to Miral and began playing with her making her 

"Hey don't distract her from her food I will never get her to finish if you keep that up."

"Sorry my sisters yell at me for doing the same thing all the time. I like the kids to have fun when they are eating make them enjoy the food more especially if they aren't too thrilled about what is in front of them. Although she does seem to like those Cheerios."

"She loves them! B'Elanna swore for a while that she would turn into one. It was all she would eat." Tom placed half of the omelet on Chakotay's plate and half on his own.

"Sorry but all that's in the house is eggs, cheese, bread and some vegetables. Though I threw those out I couldn't identify them."

"This is just fine thanks."

"I guess I need to go to the store huh? I never paid attention to even what kind of diapers Miral wears. B'Elanna dealt with it all, probably more because I let her then she really wanted to do it."

"You will figure it all out I am sure. Don't get too anxious over everything at once. You will overwhelm yourself. Just take one day at a time, I know you know how to do that. We lived that way for seven years, you couldn't have forgotten it all that quickly." Tom knew Chakotay had a point he would just go with the flow. They ate in 
silently both seemingly in lost in their own thoughts. Miral decided 
that either it was too quiet or she was done because Tom was brought 
back to the present when he was hit with a Cheerio. He laughed and 
took her out of her highchair and placed her in his lap. Chakotay 
watched as father and daughter cooed and giggled together. He wasn't sure if he had ever seen Tom look more content than at that moment. He decided that it looked good on him.

"When do you have to report back to Starfleet?"

"I am suppose to go back on Monday. I have to see about daycare for Miral."

"Well I am not scheduled to leave until late this afternoon, would you like me to go around with you. You know as a second pair of eyes, might help in your decision."

"I can't ask you to do that Chakotay."

" I offered, I don't mind really."

"Alright how about we just see how the day goes. I am not sure if I am ready to have to explain why I have to put my daughter in daycare." Tom felt his eyes well up with tears.

"Can your mom watch Miral for a while? Just until you figure out what you really want to do?"

"You know I hadn't thought of that. I could ask her, she is always saying she doesn't have enough to occupy her time."

The sound of the comm beeping stopped all goings on as Tom stood and handed Chakotay Miral and he went to answer the beep. It was his mother.

"Good Morning Tom. I wanted to see how you and Miral were holding up this morning."

"Morning mom, we are okay thanks. We were just finishing up 

"Well I was thinking, Chakotay has to leave this afternoon 
and the two of you haven't had much of a chance to talk and catch up. 

I would like to come and get Miral, maybe take her to the park or 

"We were going to go and check out daycare for Miral before 
Chakotay left."

"Daycare? Whatever for?"

"Mom I have to work and I can't see Starfleet letting me bring Miral with me in a backpack."

"Thomas Eugene Paris! How dare you think that I would allow my granddaughter be watched by strangers. I will take care of her while you are at work. End of discussion."

"Yes mother!" Tom snapped his hand to his forehead and saluted his mother.

"Don't you be a wiseass with me young man." She smiled "Now I 
will be there in about fifteen minutes to pick up Miral."

"Okay mom thanks. Oh by the way how are you? Has dad been 
around since the other day?"

"He may have stopped by but I changed the locks on the doors. 
He couldn't get passed the front steps. He can sleep at Starfleet for 
all I care." Tom thanked the gods that his mother was the person she 
was. Ever a source of strength and straightforwardness. He knew that 
the admiral would most likely not show up at the house. Probably 
thinking he would give his wife some time to calm down and come to 
her senses. Tom knew that his mother would not back down this time. 
The admiral had gone too far this time.

"Mom you never cease to amaze me. I will see you when you get 
here. And thanks for offering to take care of Miral for me. I love 

"No need to thank you son, family help each other out. 
Regardless of what your father believes. I love you too. See you in 
fifteen minutes."

Signing off Tom went back to the kitchen to find Chakotay and Miral 
still sitting at the table. Miral was pulling at Chakotay's ear while 
he tried to finish his breakfast. Taking the baby from Chakotay.

"So princess would you like to go to the park with your grandmother today?"

"Park! Gamma play!" Miral giggled as Tom tickled her belly."Yes play with grandma at the park. You would like that wouldn't you?"
"YES!" she squealed 

Chakotay just laughed "Well she seems to know exactly what she wants. A very determined young lady, just like her mother." Suddenly saddened by the thought of B'Elanna not being around to watch her daughter grow up and noticing that Tom stiffened at his words. Tears welled up in both men's eyes.

"I am sorry Tom I wasn't thinking."

"It's okay Cha don't worry. It's going take some time to get 
over the fact that B'El won't be here anymore." He wiped his eyes 
with a napkin from the table.

"Can I ask you to entertain Miral while I get her bag ready?"

"Sure pumpkin and I will just play in the living room until her granny gets here." Chakotay stood and took Miral from Tom.

"Come on sweetie you and Uncle Tay can play while daddy gets 
your stuff together." He carried her into the other room placed her 
on the floor and sat down beside her.

"You know if my mother hears you call her granny she will probably skin you alive. It's grandma or grandmother only." 

"I will keep that in mind I promise. My nieces and nephews 
call my mother granny or grammy."

Tom took a moment to watch the two of them play together. Chakotay would make a great father he thought to himself. Tom felt sad once 
again that his friend didn't have someone special in his life. He 
shouldn't be alone, but Chakotay didn't seem to be in a hurry.
"You know Cha you never did tell me if I dragged you away from something or someone important." Getting right to the heart of 
the matter. 

"Tom you didn't drag me here. There was no where else I would 
want to be. Not after what happened. There is nothing pressing at 
work and there is no one special person waiting at home. My family 
yes but if you are asking if I am "dating" the answer is no." 
Chakotay didn't look up as he spoke. He didn't want Tom to see the 
sadness he was sure was in his eyes.

"So no lady pining away for you while you dig up bones?"

"Nope, I figured after two failed attempts and several meaningless encounters it just wasn't in the cards for me to have someone in my life like that." Chakotay hated to admit that to anyone, not even his mother knew that he had given up all hope of ever being with someone. His thinking was if he found someone they would be cheated because he could never give them everything of himself. Tom took up too much room in his heart for anyone else to fit.

"Oh come on Cha don't think that way, you will find someone special." Tom's heart was breaking. He didn't want to think of Chakotay living alone for the rest of his life. 

"I use to think so Tom but that special someone came and went 
and I missed out." He prayed that Tom would drop the subject. 
Chakotay had revealed more than he had wanted to. He didn't want pity from anyone especially not from Tom.

"I am sorry that things didn't work out for you and Kathryn."

"Kathryn and I knew along time ago that we would never last once we got back to the Alpha Quadrant. We both wanted totally different things. We spent many nights talking about it. She said without a doubt she would remain in Starfleet and I had no desire to do so. I knew I wanted to go back to Dorvan and help rebuild. Staying on earth that first six months back was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. But I thought Seven would be more at home in a technologically advanced society. And you see how that turned out."
"Still I am sorry. I would have thought that maybe Kathryn would have compromised and based herself on Dorvan."

"Honestly Tom, we both knew we weren't the right people for 
each other. We wouldn't have been able to give each other what we 
needed or wanted out of a relationship. Besides we make better 
friends than we would have as lovers. We are too much alike."

"Yea demanding and ruthless when necessary and kindhearted 
and caring needed."

"Cranky and Bitchy at all times too."

"Cha I am shocked that you would say that Kathryn was bitchy. 
At least out loud."

"Hell, I was talking about me being the bitchy one." They both laughed.

"Well I had better go and get Miral's things my mom should be 
here any minute."

Tom turned and went upstairs as Chakotay went back to playing with 


After Miriam picked up Miral, Tom and Chakotay decided to tackle 
getting food and diapers in the house. They talked and laughed while 
they were on what they called their newest away mission. To anyone 
who cared to notice they actually looked like they were a couple. 
Arguing the merits of one brand of peanut butter over the other. In 
the end Chakotay conceded that Tom was in fact the expert and picked up the brand that Tom said was the best, even if it had too many preservatives in it for Chakotay's taste.

While checking out the diapers Tom was lost, he didn't even know what size he should get let alone what brand.

"Just pick one Tom, it can't be that hard!" Chakotay couldn't 
help but laugh at the perplexed look on his friend's face.

"But what if she doesn't like the way it feels?"

"Well you could always use cloth diaper."

"And just who is going to clean them? NOT ME that's for sure!" Frustrated Tom pulled the closed package off the shelf and tossed it in the basket. 

"If my daughter ends up being cranky because her butt hurts I 
am calling you!"

"Okay!" Their task done and paid for they left for their next 
stop, Lunch!

"I'm hungry, let's go get something to eat. After that you can help me get everything back to the house and put away. It should be time for you to leave by then."

"That's fine. Are you sure you don't want me to stay another day? I told you I have anything pressing to get back to."

"Nah, I have to get started on learning how to do this on my own. Thanks for the offer though."

"Alright but if you need to talk you have my comm frequency!" 

Chakotay smiled, he knew that Tom didn't really need to be coddled. 
He also Tom would ask if help when and if he needed it. 

"I got it alright. Now there is a Mexican place not far from the house we can have lunch there."

While they ate they talked about Chakotay work and all the things he 
had discovered since he started. They reminisced about their travels 
through the DQ but only the good times, no fire fights or alien invasions. They talked about the rebuilding going on at Dorvan. After 
they finished they made the short drive to Tom's and unloaded the 
car. Putting everything away, at least in the places Tom thought they 
should go. Chakotay went and packed his bag. Both men seemed 
reluctant to end the banter and plain old good feeling they had in 
each other's company. As they walked to the door Tom heard voices; 
well one voice and one roar. He knew who was on the other side. 
Opening the door he found his mother standing with her back to the 
house holding Miral and his father on the walkway.

"Owen just go away and leave Tom alone. He doesn't need you 
coming here and demanding anything from him. He is not a child 

"I am his father damn it and I want answers."

"Why? Since when have you ever cared what he does with his life? As long as it doesn't tarnish." Tom interrupted her "Mom don't, Take Miral in the house I will deal with him." 

Chakotay stood next to Tom ready to pounce on the son of a bitch if 
need be. Tom turned to his father rage welling up inside.

"Admiral you have two seconds to get your ass away from my house or I will call Starfleet security to have you removed." 

"I want to know who in hell you think you are resigning your commission! You have no idea the strings I had to pull to get you 
that commission." Owen Paris had forgotten himself for he was yelling 
in a manor he would never had outside of his home. 

"That is exactly why I am leaving. I want nothing from YOU nothing to do with your or Starfleet! I don't need them and I sure as hell don't need you!" Tom knew he was yelling too but at this point he didn't care. Chakotay stood in front of Tom so he couldn't see his father's face.

"Tom don't make a screen out in front of your home. He isn't worth it. Go back inside with your mother and Miral. The Admiral and I have a few things to discuss. I will give you a call when I get home. Okay?" Chakotay hoped that Tom would just walk away. He would take care of the admiral himself. Again he worried that Tom would resent him for trying to arrange his life for him. But Chakotay also promised himself that by the time he was done with the admiral he would know that if he didn't back down he would end up far worse off then his son had all those years ago.

"Fine Cha but only because you asked me. Personally I don't care if my neighbors know that my father is a bastard." He turned and 
walked into the house. Turning back to Chakotay "I will talk to you 
tomorrow right?"

"Yes Tom I will call you as soon as I get in. I promise. Now you go and take care of that beautiful little girl and don't forget to ask for help if you need it."

"Alright I will I promise. I am sorry I couldn't walk you to the hub."

"That's okay Tom the admiral will walk me. Bye Tom, Bye Mrs. Paris it was a pleasure to see you again." Looking down at Miral "Good bye sweetie you be a good girl for your daddy." Chakotay turned to see one very irate admiral and glared back at him.

"Come on Admiral you can walk me to the hub while we talk." 
Not giving the older man a chance to argue Chakotay grabbed hold of 
his arm and led him towards the transport hub.

"Get your hands off of me Maquis! Just who in hell do you think you are? I should have had you arrested for assaulting me the other day." Arrogance seeping out of every pore or so it seemed to Chakotay.

"I am the person that is going to save your sorry ass from certain destruction, that is who I am. Although for the life of me I can't figure out why I would do that." Chakotay growled at him "Oh I remember why now, I am doing this because Tom is my friend and B'Elanna was my friend too. Neither of them deserves to have their names dragged through the mud on account of YOU. Now this is the way it is going to go, you will leave Tom and Miral alone. You will not fight Tom if he decides to leave Starfleet. You will do this because while the Maquis gathered a lot of information on the Cardassians they also gathered quite a bit of information on key Starfleet and Federation personnel.

I have access to that information. Guess what Admiral Paris, we have 
a very large file on YOU and your secrets. Now if you don't want that 
information to come out and I am sure you don't. I would strongly 
suggest that you listen to me and leave both your son and your wife 
alone. Do you understand me?"

"Once scum always scum Maquis."

"You should know Admiral. Now again do we understand each other?"
"You will not get away with this Maquis."

"Oh I am sure that you think I can't but I say I will. If you don't want Starfleet to find out about all your side dealings you will listen and understand." Chakotay was sure that the admiral had no idea to what extent the Maquis had dug. But he was certain that the admiral didn't want anyone to know half of what he had been involved with over the years. He was banking on that.

"I will make you pay Maquis." The admiral's wheels were turning trying to figure out what the Maquis had actually found out about him. But he was going to get this scum for threatening him.

"You can try Admiral, you can try. Oh and if you think you can figure out what I have and where it is, forget it. Not even the infamous Admiral Paris can get at my information. And if something should happen to me, say an unfortunately accident or even if it looks like I died of natural causes, this information will be made public as long as you are alive." Chakotay looked feral as he pronounced his final threat. Silently glad that he had left all the information he had in the trusted hands of Neelix back in the DQ. The transport operator motioned to Chakotay that it was his turn.

"My turn to go admiral. I am going to assume that you understand me, you will stay out of Tom's life. And you will give your wife the divorce she wants, give her everything she wants. She is a great lady and I for one have no idea how she put up with your bullshit for all these years. She has my respect and admiration. You on the other hand provide me with nothing but loathing and disgust. Than again I know I provide you with the same so we are even. Good Bye MR. Paris, Enjoy your pitiful lonely life." 

Chakotay stepped on the pad and nodded to the operator. As his felt 
the familiar tingle of the transporter come over his body he took one 
last look at the man who had caused Tom so much pain and anguish. 
When he reappeared at the shuttle port's main terminal he was secure in the fact that never again would Tom have to deal with his father 
unless he wanted to. He may no be able to give Tom the love he had 
for him but he could at least give him some peace of mind. Climbing 
into the shuttlecraft that would take him away from earth and Tom he 
felt the loneliness he hadn't felt in six days suddenly wash over him 
again. He sighed as he made himself comfortable in his compartment. 

Thinking back over the last six days he went through a series of 
emotions. Sadness over losing B'Elanna, he would miss her terribly. 
He prayed that B'Elanna knew that he would do everything in his power to make sure Tom and Miral were safe and happy. He felt joy for 
having the chance to spend time with Miral she was a wonderful child. 
The perfect combination of both her parents. The spitfire attitude of 
B'Elanna and Tom's sense of humor and sensitivity, yes the best of 
both parents. 

Chakotay had also felt happiness and sereneness he hadn't felt in 
years just being around Tom. Talking to him. Laughing with him. Even 
crying with him. The friendly banter, all the things Chakotay wanted 
in his life for so long. He sighed to himself "I guess it's back to 
solitude and calm. I will not feel lonely.' He promised himself. Sleep fell upon him and he dreamt of blonde hair and blue eyes, warmth and peace. 


Back on Dorvan he went to see his mother, letting her know he was 
back thanking her for watering his plants and for keeping the dust at 
bay. Arriving at home he looked around and noticed just how quiet it 
was here. Frowning to himself, he was use to it it won't bother him 
after a day or two. He went and commed Tom.

"Hey Cha I see you made it home okay. Good."

"Yeah the trip was uneventful thanks."

"Cha my father didn't give you too much shit did he?"

"Nope none, we talked or rather I talked and he listened."

"Cha please tell me you didn't do anything that will make him want to come after you. I don't want to be the cause of any problems for you."

"Tom trust me your father will not be a problem for me or you for that matter. I just explained that it would be in everyone's best interest if he slipped quietly out of your life and allowed you to be the man and father I know you are."

"Oh I am sure he had a few words to say about what kind of man I am."

"Actually he didn't say a word about you at all. Although he had a few not so nice words to say about me." Chakotay's sarcasm came 
through loud and clear.

"I am sure he did. Well listen I will let you go. I am sure you are tired from your trip and you need to get rest before you do back to digging up bones and pieces of pottery. Thank you again for being here for me and Miral. Thank you for being such a great friend."

"You are most welcome Tom. It was my pleasure. I want you to know that I meant it when I said you two were welcome here anytime. I do expect to hear from you once in a while and I want lots of pictures of Miral."

"I will remember and don't be surprised if you get a call telling you we are on our way. I will give you a call in a couple of days. My mom is taking Miral tomorrow so I can see about a job outside Starfleet."

"So you have given your notice already? I wasn't sure how your father knew of your plans."

"Actually I sent my notice first thing yesterday morning. I am not going to change my mind either. I meant it when I said I couldn't work for people who just follow orders anymore." 

"I can understand that Tom. That was exactly how I felt and why I didn't expect the commission when we got back. Even though Starfleet had "seen the error of their ways" I just couldn't get passed what had happened before.

"I know and that is just one more thing I respect you for, your conviction and your principles. I want to be just like you when I grow up." Tom grinned and Chakotay laughed.

"You are crazy Tom."  `I love you!' Chakotay wanted desperately to add that out loud.

"That's me crazy Tom Paris. HMM I wonder if I could get away 
with dropping my last name. You know like you go around with just one name."

"You can do whatever you want but what name would you go by 
Tom or Thomas?"

"Gods not Thomas! That reminds me of the admiral. The only 
one who ever called me Thomas and it didn't make my blood boil was 

"Well you are Tom to me, I don't think I could call you Thomas." `Babe works' Chakotay thought to himself.

"This is a silly conversation you know I think we are both 
just tired." What Tom wanted to say was `you can call me anything you want'. In the next thought came B'Elanna and Tom frowned. What was 
wrong with him his wife wasn't even dead a week and he is thinking 
about someone else already. Maybe he was as fucked up as his father always claimed. Chakotay noticed the frown.

"You okay Tom?"

"Yeah sorry B'Elanna just popped in my head. I miss her so much Cha." The tears ran down his face. He didn't even try to stop them. Not after all the times he had cried on Chakotay in the past week.

"I know you do Tom, I miss her too. It will take some time but the pain of the loss will subside. She will always be in your thoughts but someday those thoughts won't hurt so much."

"I'm sure you are right, just doesn't feel that way right now."

"It will Tom one day it will."

"I am trusting that you are telling the me the truth. Now it's time we signed off you have work in the morning and I have to get Miral ready for bed."

"Good Night Tom. I will talk to you soon."

"Night Cha Sleep Well Dream Sweet"

"You too Tom." Chakotay signed off.

Getting up he went about putting his things away. His mind wandering 
to so many different places. Wondering about what he could do when 
Tom and Miral came for a visit. He would have to entertain them. 
There wasn't too much to do on Dorvan right now. He will have to make sure he was at a point in his work where he would be able to leave it for a couple of days. How long would Tom stay? How long would he be able to handle being close to Tom without wanting to jump his bones? 

`Gods old man you haven't thought like that in a couple of years.' He stopped fantasizing about Tom after he and B'Elanna got together. He felt like he was betraying B'Elanna. He couldn't do that. Now within six days of her death he is having fantasies about her husband again. Chakotay snorted to himself. "Well tonight's sleep should be interesting. I am probably going to dream about Tom and B'El is going to come and kick my sorry old ass." He spoke out loud. 

Chakotay climbed into bed and prayed he didn't dream at all. Back in San Francisco, Tom was crawling into bed himself and saying a 
similar prayer. He didn't want to dream about the man who had filled 
his soul for the past six days. Filled it in a way that hadn't happened in a long time. Tom felt like he was betraying B'Elanna's memory. He hoped she didn't know what he was thinking or if she did she would forgive him. He really didn't want her coming to him in any dream and kicking his ass for forgetting her so quickly, not that he could. He fell asleep with `Good Night Beauty' on his lips. It was something he had said to B'El every night for years.