No Way Out (Voy/others, 3/?, C/P, A/U, h/c, NC-15)
Disclaimer: I don‘t own any character of Star Trek. I just borrow them for my own stories. I don‘t get paid for this. It‘s just for fun, to let my fantasies go wild.
Fandom: Voyager/Star Trek
Rating: NC-15 for this part for light m/m eroticism
Summary: After 10 years in the Delta quadrant Voyager gets home. The crew is split up. Tom gets a new assignment as the pilot of the new warship U.S.S.Colossus as a lieutenant (if Paramount doesn‘t want to promote Tom again, I will! Hehe). Colossus was developed to fight against the "New Collective" [a new alliance between Borg and Breen], and especially to resist the new weapon of the Breen. Tom has to deal with the new captain, Captain Lee Warren. Warren is the father of Charlie Warren, Tom‘s best friend at Caldik Prime, who was killed by an accident Tom caused. Now Tom has to suffer under the new captain, but he gets help from Chakotay who‘s the new first officer on U.S.S. Colossus.
Feedback: Always! But please be gentle, this is my very first story. Melvp77@freenet.de
Archive: ATPS, CPSG, ParisNights, The Tom Paris Dorm. Otherwise only with permission.
Note: This story deals with Voyager only at the very first part. The story plays on a new warship in the Alpha quadrant after Voyager gets home.
Warnings: The story will content violence and bad language as well as a relationship between two men (no graphical sex). Tom will be in sickbay and close to death very often. The story will also contain humiliation and lots of Tom angst. If you can‘t cope with this, don‘t even think about reading this story.
Spoiler warning: Threshold
Dedication: To the ATPS members, you inspired me to write my first story. To Jean and Elli. To Isabelle big wave.
Special thanks to Carolyn, Kim and Monica, my beta readers. You are great! :)
When Tom rematerialized on the biobed, the doctors froze in shock. Dr. Blank was the first who recovered from the shock and hurried towards the biobed. He ran a tricorder over Tom‘s body and made the diagnosis.
He stopped abruptly when the tricorder displayed no life-signs.
"No life-signs. I need 10 ml cordazine. Gemelli, bring me the cortical stimulator. Hurry!"
Just when the doctors tried to reanimate Tom, Chakotay entered sickbay.
"No!" Chakotay screamed. He ran to Tom‘s biobed, but was held back by Dr. Keller and his assistant.
"I‘m sorry, Commander. I cannot let you go there. We‘re fighting to safe the Lieutenant‘s life. He is in a very bad condition, and it will not help if you prevent us from doing our work."
"Is he... Is he... Don‘t tell me he is..."
"Calm down, Commander. We are trying what we can. Now, please excuse me."
Dr. Keller went back to Tom, who still had no life-signs. Chakotay could see how Tom‘s body moved with every new shock the doctors gave his body to bring him back. Chakotay could feel that his face was wet. He licked some drops that slid over his lips. They tasted salty. Only then did Chakotay realize he was crying.
He stepped closer to the biobed once more, this time not close enough to attract the doctor‘s attention again.
He tried to look down at Tom‘s face, but several shoulders blocked his view. He heard one doctor saying that they had a weak pulse. Just a few seconds later, they lost it again. In his shock Chakotay could only hear fractions of what the doctors said.
"...more cordazine, 10 ml..."
"...no pulse, one more dose..."
"...weak brain activity..."
"...still no pulse..."
"...one more shock..."
Chakotay jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Dr. Keller again.
"Commander, we have life-signs. He is still in a critical condition, but, for now, we have him back."
Chakotay sighed in relief, but he was still worried when he realized that the doctors were still working frantically on Tom‘s body. Chakotay went to the bed next to Tom and listened to the doctors.
"His lungs are heavily injured; we cannot hold him if we don‘t operate him."
"Prepare for the operation. Give him 20 ml of lectrazine and 15 ml trioxin. I‘m going to replicate a new left lobe of the lungs. His own lobe is practically useless. We can save the other one if we operate now."
"His heartbeat is erratic, we better hurry, Doctor."
"All right, let‘s begin. We have to treat the other injuries later. Commander Chakotay, I must ask you to leave. We need a sterile environment during the operation. Mr. Ruby will call you when we‘re finished."
Chakotay didn‘t say a word when he left sickbay. He stood in the corridor, not knowing what to do next. Several crewmembers walked by and looked confusedly at Chakotay, who stared at the ground without any movement. Chakotay then started to stumble forward to the opposite wall. When he reached the wall he turned around and leaned against it. Covering his face with both hands he started to cry silently. >>It‘s my fault. I should have beamed him up earlier. It‘s all my...<< Chakotay hadn’t finished his thought when he was hailed by the Captain.
"Warren to Commander Chakotay, how‘s the Lieutenant?"
"He‘s alive, but in critical condition. The doctors are operating on his lungs at the moment." Chakotay tried to steady his voice, he didn‘t want Warren to realize that he just had cried.
"Will he survive?"
"I certainly hope so, we all hope so, don‘t we?"
It was suddenly quiet. Chakotay could feel that he had hit the bulls-eye.
>>Spirits, Tom was right.<<
After a while Warren got his voice back.
"Meet me in the ready room, I guess we have to talk, Commander."
"On my way."
Chakotay was now very worried about Tom; but not only because he was still in a very critical condition. He hurried to the ready room. He had to talk to Warren right now, before everything got worse than it had already been.
He pushed the door chime.
Chakotay entered the ready room. He placed himself right in front of Warren. He wanted to look in Warren‘s eyes during the conversation, but Warren didn‘t give him that satisfaction. He stood up from his chair and went to the window, his back now to Chakotay.
"Commander, do you really think I‘d risk the Head Praetor‘s life to take revenge on Lieutenant Paris?"
Chakotay was surprised by this direct question.
"Permission to speak freely, Captain."
"How would you feel if Tom Paris died?"
Now Warren turned around to face Chakotay.
"Commander, I‘m the Captain of this ship. Our mission is very important. I‘ve worked hard to get my rank, I‘m not going to throw everything away because of revenge. But to tell you the truth, I wouldn‘t be surprised if Lieutenant Paris screws up again and kills himself. And I wouldn‘t be very sad if that happens."
"Captain, it would not be good for the crew if they were to find out that you don‘t trust your chief pilot."
"That‘s not your business, Commander."
"I think it is. I can release you from your Captain‘s chair if you behave..."
Chakotay was cut off by Warren, who was now in a rage.
"Don‘t ever threaten me again, Commander! I suggest you go now before this gets even worse."
Warren turned around to look out of the window. Chakotay could read from the Captain‘s posture that the discussion was over for him. Chakotay swallowed, then turned around and left the ready room. When he entered the corridor again, he hailed sickbay.
"Chakotay to Dr.Keller."
"Dr.Keller here. Commander, I‘m happy to tell you that the operation was a success."
"May I come back to sickbay now?"
"Yes, but Lieutenant Paris is still unconscious."
"Understood. I‘ll come anyway. Chakotay out."
Chakotay fell tiredly into his bed. Seven hours, it took seven hours until the doctors treated all of Tom‘s injuries. They said it was a miracle that Tom survived. Tom‘s lungs were both injured. His left lung was torn from the artery and totally crushed. Nearly all ribs were broken. He had a fractured skull and several hematoma. His left leg, both arms and his left shoulder were broken. His left knee was so splintered that the doctors had to insert a new synthetic knee-joint. Tom also had several contusions in his spine and some
nerves had to be connected again. The doctors did their very best to regenerate Tom‘s skin where the broken bones had pierced through.
Chakotay spent the whole day in sickbay. He hoped that he could talk to Tom when the doctors were finished, but they said they had to pump Tom full of so many different drugs that they wanted to keep Tom sedated for at least 24 hours. So, Chakotay went to his quarters to sleep a bit. He couldn‘t do anything now, he was just exhausted, but also happy that Tom would be okay, at least physically...
Tom moaned when he woke up. His head hurt like hell. He tried to move his right hand to cover his eyes from the bright light, when a gentle hand brought his down again.
"Easy Tom, don‘t move too fast."
Although he felt groggy, Tom recognized the voice.
"Yes, it‘s me, Tom. Take your time."
Tom opened his eyes slowly. Everything looked blurry for the first seconds, then he recognized Chakotay‘s brownish face. He stared for a while into Chakotay‘s eyes, not knowing what had happened in the last few days. Then he remembered everything. He started to shiver.
"I‘m alive? I thought..."
A single tear ran down Tom‘s cheek.
"Tom, you‘re alive and back on Colossus. The doctors did a fantastic job. You‘re not dead and you‘re not a Borg drone. Do you understand me?"
Tom looked up, still confused, but Chakotay could see that Tom started to realize that he was back in reality.
"My leg hurts."
"It was badly injured. You got a new synthetic knee-joint. It will hurt until your body has accepted the foreign body. Dr.Keller will give you some painkillers. He also said that you have to be very careful with your first steps. You must learn to walk with your new knee before you can go back to the bridge."
"Oh. What other injuries did I have?"
"A lot, Tom. I‘ll tell you later. I‘m so glad that you‘re alive."
Suddenly Tom covered his mouth and nose with his hands and rose his eyes in shock, as if he remembered something horrible.
"Tom? What is with you? Please, tell me! Maybe I can help."
It was a soft whisper, but Chakotay still could understand him.
"Oh God, I died again."
"I thought I‘d never endure it again. I don‘t wanna die, Chakotay."
"Tom, you aren‘t dead."
"You don‘t understand. I was dead. I know it. I know how it is to be dead. I already died one time after I flew with Warp 10, I know when I‘m dead. I can‘t describe the feeling, I just know that I hate it. I could see you but I couldn‘t talk to you. I could see my own dead body. I saw how the doctors tried to save my life, but always when I tried to get back to my body, the Chasers held me back."
"Yes, they already caught me after my Warp 10 incident, and they caught me again this time."
"How did you break free?"
"I heard you screaming. I saw how upset you were when you saw me, saw my dead body. It was then that I realized how much I needed you. I always wanted to tell you about my feelings for you, and it made me angry that I missed my chance."
"Your feelings for me? Oh, Tom. Why didn‘t you come to me earlier? I thought you were... I also had... Why didn‘t you come to me?"
"I always wanted to. But I didn‘t find the right time to tell you. Then we got home and everything happened so fast. When I saw you crying I started to struggle against the Chasers. It wasn‘t easy. Whenever I broke free, they caught me again by an arm, a leg; there were hands everywhere. When I was almost close enough to reach my body, they threw me to the ground. I thought I would never get up again, dozens of hands held me down."
"That was when the doctors got a pulse and then lost it again."
"Yes, I thought I‘d lose the fight this time when they pinned me to the ground. But then I saw you crying, and that made me even more angry. The last thing I didn‘t want to see when I died was you being so sad. I don‘t know how, but I was able to get up again. I beat the Chasers several times. They didn‘t seem to weaken, so instead of fighting them I tried to reach my body. I could touch one arm of my body and then everything went black. The next thing I saw was your face when I woke up again."
Chakotay sighed heavily. What he saw made him anxious. He saw a tall man that looked like a small, frightened child, shivering, insecure and so vulnerable. Chakotay suddenly felt a tremendous need to embrace Tom.
"Tom, I... I don‘t know what to say. I can‘t even imagine what you went through."
Tom looked down.
"It was so horrible, Chakotay."
Chakotay stroked Tom‘s hand gently. Tom tried to get up with his upper body. He felt better when Chakotay supported him with his strong hands. When Tom sat upright on the biobed, he instinctively tried to go into his typical protective position. He wanted to bring his legs up to his chin to wrap his arms around them, but he cried out in pain when his left knee seemed to explode.
Chakotay grabbed Tom‘s leg and stretched it again.
"I told you to take your time."
"Oh shit, it hurts like hell, Chakotay."
"I know. That‘s why you have to train your knee slow and easy. You can already walk now, but please, don‘t do such abrupt and extreme movements again for the next days, okay?"
Chakotay had to laugh. It was a good feeling to see Tom smile again. That was a good basis to heal his psychological wounds.
"Chakotay, what happens with me now?"
"Let‘s ask the doc."
Chakotay called for Dr. Keller.
"Doctor, what rehabilitation program did you develop for Lieutenant Paris?"
"The next three days may be very unpleasant for you, Mr. Paris. If your body doesn‘t accept the new synthetic organ, your immune system will try to reject it. That can be very painful and exhausting for you. That‘s why I‘d like to keep you in sickbay for the next three days. You‘ll already start to train your new knee here. When the next three days are over, I can release you to your own quarters, but only if you do your training."
"When do I get back on duty?"
"In a week, if everything works well for us."
Tom made a face, he hated nothing more than being in sickbay. All he wanted was to be alone. There were too many things he had to think about.
Chakotay noticed Tom‘s distress and tried to cheer him up a bit.
"Tom, I‘m going off duty the next three days to keep you company."
"Thank you, Chakotay, but you don‘t have to do this."
"I don‘t think so. You need to talk."
Tom crossed his arms, defensive.
"I don‘t wanna talk. Everything is just fine."
Chakotay gave Tom a warning look.
"Tom, do I have to make it an order? It‘s not only that you need to talk, WE need to talk, too."
Tom looked into Chakotay‘s eyes. He put his arms down again and relaxed, a clear sign that Tom just let the shields drop down.
"I think you‘re right, Chakotay. We really need to talk."
"We should have talked earlier. But now, what do you want to eat? You must be very hungry."
"Hell, yes. I‘m starving."
"Okay, let‘s eat now. And then I‘m going to ask the Captain to release me from duty the next three days."
"Wishful thinking, Cha."
Chakotay was touched by Tom‘s use of his nickname. It had been a very long time ago since somebody had called him that.
"Keep your fingers crossed."
Chakotay sat nervously in the ready room. The first reaction of the Captain, when Chakotay asked to be released from duty, was an awful grin. The Captain sat down in front of Chakotay and started to ask him very unpleasant questions.
"Commander, you know we are in a war at the moment. What makes you think that I can release you from duty just like that?"
"Well, Captain, at the moment we‘re not in a combat. The Borg and Breen withdrew behind their lines. I can go back on duty when we‘re on red alert again."
"Sure, you can. But why? Why do you want to be off duty, especially the next three days?"
Chakotay was now pissed off at Warren.
>>You damn bastard. You know very well why I need to be off duty the next three days.<<
"I have private reasons."
"Captain, I‘d prefer to..."
"No, Commander. If you want me to release you from duty, you have to give me a good reason."
Chakotay sighed heavily.
"I‘d like to keep Lieutenant Paris company. He has to go through a difficult time and I have experiences in counseling."
Warren now gave Chakotay a stern look.
"Do you love him?"
Chakotay‘s mouth flew open. He was stunned and anger grew in him.
"Captain, I think that‘s not your..."
"Do you want to have the next three days off duty or not? So, tell me. I want to hear it from you."
Chakotay stood up in an instant, his face full of rage. Through gritted teeth he hissed "Yes, I‘m in love with him. You‘re happy now?"
"That‘s all I wanted to know, Commander. Was it so difficult to say? Okay, I‘ll release you from duty for the next three days. But I‘ll call you back as soon as we need you. Dismissed."
Chakotay said nothing. He turned on his heels and stormed out of the ready room. He realized that he had to calm down before he met Tom in sickbay. >>That boy is in a bad shape, to see me like this wouldn‘t help him.<<
Chakotay had to walk a while to reach sickbay, enough time to calm himself down. While he walked, he thought about Tom, how they met the first time. He fell in love with him right from the first time he saw him. But Tom always had his shields up. He made bad jokes if a topic got too serious for him. He was an arrogant and cocky pig, as Tom‘s former love B‘Elanna had always said.
But Tom had changed a lot since he came on board Voyager. B‘Elanna and Chakotay had often talked about Tom. She still trusted Chakotay completely, she knew she could tell him everything without fearing that he‘d tell it the whole crew. Sometimes she even couldn‘t resist telling Chakotay about a hot love night.
Chakotay was always envious of B‘Elanna when she told him how good and responsive Tom was and how he could fit in with her Klingon mood so easily. Chakotay always wished that he could switch into B‘Elanna‘s body, but he never told her that, of course. He was glad that the couple was happy together, and that was all he could get from Tom those days.
His hopes to win Tom‘s heart grew when he heard that B‘Elanna had ended their relationship because she had fallen in love with an alien men from the Delta quadrant, and they then decided to live together. Tom was devastated, and Chakotay had tried to comfort him. But Tom was always together with his friend Harry. Soon Chakotay believed that Tom and Harry loved each other, and that he had no chance to win Tom‘s heart.
Now Chakotay couldn‘t believe how wrong he had been. Tom was interested in him, but for some reason he hadn’t told him. It was time to talk.
The next morning Chakotay hurried to sickbay. The rest of the last day Tom was only allowed to lie and relax. Tom still felt groggy, so he didn‘t protest. Chakotay thought it hadn’t been the right time for a talk yesterday. But this morning would be a better day.
He entered sickbay and his heart jumped with joy when he saw that Tom was already training his knee. He walked slowly on a treadmill, several machines were connected with cables to his knee, chest and temples to collect data. Dr.Keller sat at the controls, his face satisfied. Obviously, Tom was making great progress.
Tom‘s face was full of pain, but Chakotay could also recognize Tom‘s strong will to get through this. He admired Tom‘s power and strength, his unwillingness to give up. No matter how deep Tom fell, he always got up again.
When Tom recognized Chakotay standing in the doorway, he abruptly stopped walking and wanted to greet him happily, but realized that the treadmill was still moving. He stumbled forward to steady himself.
Before he could fall, Dr.Keller had already stopped the tape. Chakotay sprinted over to Tom to help him. Tom gratefully accepted Chakotay‘s help and put his arm around his neck. He let himself be led to the biobed again. He chuckled the whole way back.
"What is so funny, Tom?"
"Hey, don‘t tell me I didn‘t look funny!"
Suddenly Chakotay joined in. He burst out in laughter when he remembered what Tom looked like when he stumbled on the treadmill.
Still chuckling, he helped Tom back on the bed. It took a while until they both calmed down again.
Looking at each other, they both knew what would come now.
"Tom, we have to talk."
"Yes, but you know I‘m not very good at this."
"That‘s okay, Tom."
Chakotay sat down on Tom‘s biobed, close enough to look Tom more deeply into Tom’s eyes but still far enough away to give Tom enough space. Chakotay decided to make the first step.
"How do you feel today?"
"Hmmm, okay, I think."
"Now that you have had time to sleep on it, what do you feel about what had happened to you on the planet and then with the Chasers?" Chakotay tried to say the words as gently as he could to prevent Tom from getting too uncomfortable.
"On the planet, I was just frightened. I panicked when I saw all the drones advancing. There were more and more of them, they encircled me and I thought the only way out was to attack. I saw a gap and ran. I fell down when one Borg grabbed my arm, but I could stand up and ran away. Oh Cha, I ran for my life. I didn‘t know that I could run so fast!"
"Did they follow you?"
"Yes, but very slowly. They didn‘t run, they just walked. I realized too late that I ran into a trap. I felt so... so... like a caged animal. They didn‘t need to run after me because the knew they would get me anyway. They were too many, too many..."
Chakotay put a hand on Tom‘s shoulder when he noticed that Tom started to panic again, lost in his memories.
"Easy, Tom. You don‘t have to tell me everything now."
"No. I want to let it out. I would go mad if I don‘t tell it to somebody."
Chakotay was glad that Tom was opening up more to him. Tom often refused to be counseled by him when they were still in the Delta quadrant. Softly he said: "Okay, move on when you‘re ready."
"I was very angry that I was such a fool to run into the trap."
"But you couldn‘t know it! You had only a few seconds to decide what to do."
"I was also angry because I felt so helpless. I couldn‘t do anything. When there was no way to beam me up, I thought that was it. I thought I had no choice, there was no place to go. But then I realized that I had a choice. Before the Borg could assimilate me, I let myself fall down the cliff."
Chakotay swallowed hard. He thought Tom fell down the cliff in a fight, he didn‘t know that it was Tom‘s own will. How much afraid of the Borg must this man be that he preferred death to being assimilated? He knew that humans have a strong survival instinct. He realized now that he could never understand what Tom went through. It must have been so horrible that Tom was able to subdue his survival instinct. Tom continued after a short moment, his voice now low and sad.
"When I fell... People who have survived a similar accident often say when the fell they saw their whole life passing by again."
"Did you see the same?"
"No. The only thing I saw was... was you."
Chakotay opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but he closed it again when he saw that Tom wasn‘t finished.
"I saw your face. You looked worried and angry."
"I looked angry? Why?"
"I don‘t know. Maybe because I didn‘t tell you that..."
"What? What didn‘t you tell me?"
"That I fell in love with you."
"Spirits, Tom. Then you should be angry as well, because I feel the same and didn‘t tell you either."
"Cha, we‘re idiots, you know that?"
"Yes, I think we will make a good couple, two idiots who don‘t see what‘s so obvious. - Why didn‘t you tell me earlier?"
"Why didn‘t you?"
"I thought after your break up with B‘Elanna that you were together with Harry, that you weren‘t interested in me."
"Harry? He‘s my best friend, but that‘s all. I don‘t even think that he is interested in men."
"You never gave me a clue that you are interested in me, Tom."
"I guess I was a coward. I had the fear that you would refuse. I knew I could never bear it if you had refused me. That‘s why I never tried to tell you."
"Since when you had feelings for me?"
"First I hated you in the Maquis ship. You didn‘t trust me. I wanted you to like me, to trust me, but all you gave me was mistrust."
"I thought you were a Starfleet spy, because I knew your family background. I didn‘t buy your story about the accident and your dishonorable discharge."
"However, that is history now. Don‘t think about it anymore, Cha."
Chakotay was overwhelmed by how much Tom was able to forgive. He listened when Tom continued.
"My feelings for you increased when we were on Voyager. You started to believe me, to trust me. Soon I realized that your opinion about me meant a lot to me. I watched you a lot and when you got involved with the Captain, I realized that I was jealous. That was the moment I realized that I had fallen in love with you. I was so depressed that I had been so stupid not to realize it earlier and that I had missed my chance. And then there was B‘Elanna. She way always kind to me,... well most of the time. She helped me through it."
"She knew about your feelings?"
"I never told her. She comforted me without knowing it, I guess."
Chakotay took Tom‘s hand and looked at it. He stroked Tom‘s fingers, one after another. Tom almost lost his mind from that unexpected touch. He closed his eyes and sighed deeply, trying to clear his mind.
"Look at me Tom!"
Tom opened his eyes again. He looked Chakotay directly in his warm brown eyes, full of desire. Chakotay took Tom‘s head in both hands and drew him up so that their eyes were level, then he whispered slowly: "I love you, Tom. And I‘ll never, never leave you."
With that, not giving Tom a chance to say something, he bent down and caught Tom‘s lips with his own. He kissed Tom passionately. He moaned when he felt Tom respond to the kiss. Tom parted his lips to let Chakotay probe his mouth with his tongue. They both didn‘t notice Dr.Keller watching the whole scene.
Chakotay abruptly stopped the kiss when he heard Keller‘s voice, while Tom almost jumped out of his skin.
Chuckling Dr.Keller approached the fresh couple.
"A-ehm. I‘m sorry to interrupt you, but I fear Lieutenant Paris is not in the condition to...um...just take it easy, okay? At least until tomorrow."
Tom and Chakotay looked at each other; they knew exactly what the Doctor meant. Tom looked down, biting his upper lip while he smiled archly. Chakotay looked apologizingly back to Keller, almost giving him a puppy look. Keller turned around smiling.
"Well, I’ll leave you alone now."
With that, Dr. Keller entered his office.
"Move over a bit, Tom."
Chakotay shoved Tom a bit to one side so that he could join him on the biobed. He lay down next to Tom and took him in his arms. Tom laid his hand down on Chakotay‘s chest. He was unbelievably happy and peaceful now.
>>Oh God, thank you. I don‘t know what I did to deserve this man, but thank you anyway.<<
They didn‘t say a word, they just lay together on the bed. Tom felt himself calming down. He could hear Chakotay‘s breathing and heartbeat. Yes, now he was sure that he lived.
>>I will never let you go, Cha.<<
Tom cuddled himself more on to Chakotay‘s chest, almost embracing him with his right arm. Chakotay smiled when Tom curled up on him. He watched the now still body. >>So peaceful now...<<
He placed his right hand on Tom‘s head and gently pressed it to his chest to hold it there. He stroked through the thin golden hair while he heard how Tom‘s breathing became slower. Tom fell asleep. A short moment later, Chakotay followed him.