By Morticia


ST: Voyager C/P

Rating. SLASH, m/m NC-17

Archive: Anywhere, just let me know, please
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al are Paramount's (lucky devils) Angel is
mine (yippee!)

Part 30


Naturally I was interested to see Chakotay leave the Captain's ready
room in an obvious state of emotional distress and then concerned
when my security console indicated that he had transported off the

Therefore, when the Captain emerged and stated that Voyager should
lift off immediately, I had no choice but to challenge her orders.

Had I still been acting only in my position as Chief of Security, I
would simply have advised her that Commander Chakotay was not on
board and might have accepted her explanation without question.

But as her husband, with the benefit of my tenuous mind-link, I was
aware that Kathryn was in a highly emotional state and I doubted that
her order to leave was entirely based on logic.

I had been aware of Kathryn's somewhat disturbed mental state for
some weeks but since she had avoided all physical contact with me, I
did not have sufficient facts to deduce the reason why.

It was evident to me that Chakotay and the Captain had disagreed
about something, and given the Commander's subsequent actions, it was
logical to assume that the disagreement was due to Tom's decision to
stay behind.

Kathryn had advised me privately of Tom's choice that morning. I had
been somewhat mystified by his decision. I could only see one logical
reason for him refusing to accompany us and that was if he was
emotionally too damaged by his recent parting with Chakotay to be
able to cope with resuming our journey to the Alpha Quadrant.

Because of my mind meld with him after the accident, I had no doubt
at all of the intensity of Tom's love for Chakotay. Although I did
not suffer from the emotional excesses of humans I was able to
accurately interpret them. The Commander's self-imposed exile in his
quarters for the last two weeks left me with the conclusion that his
love for Tom was equally real.

It was therefore completely illogical that they had decided to
separate. There was obviously a factor in the equation that I was
unaware of.

As Kathryn gave the order to leave V'rakn, the pieces of the puzzle
suddenly fitted together perfectly and I knew that, in some as yet
unclear way, my wife held the clue to the mystery.

"I would like to speak with you privately before we leave V'rakn,
Captain." I said firmly and was interested to note a flicker of fear
in Kathryn's eyes before her face set in her familiar firm haughty
mask of command.

"We can speak after the liftoff, Mr. Tuvok" she snapped angrily "We
have wasted enough time here already!"

"I'm sorry, Captain, but the matter I wish to discuss with you cannot
wait. We can discuss it here on the Bridge if you would prefer." I
warned emotionlessly and saw it again, that darting of her eyes like
a trapped animal.

My suspicions solidified and I struggled briefly against a surprising
stab of anger before my iron self-control slammed a door on the
unwelcome emotion.

It is possible that Kathryn saw my momentary loss of composure
because she sagged slightly in her chair and a look of guilty
resignation flashed briefly across her proud face.

"Very well. All hands stand down take-off. Mr. Kim you have the
bridge" She sighed and then silently led me back to her ready room.

The doors closed behind us, but she did not turn to look at me. Her
back was rigid, her shoulders stiff, her whole frame trembling
slightly as though expecting a blow.

I stated the obvious "The Commander is still on the surface."

"I know." Was her tense reply

"Then why are you preparing to leave him behind?"

"How do you know he isn't planning on transporting up to us once we
are in orbit?" She challenged, still refusing to face me

"Is he?"

"No, Chakotay will not be returning to Voyager." She admitted.

"I would like to know why you are prepared to leave two members of
your crew on an alien planet in the Delta Quadrant"

"It's their choice. That's the end of the matter."

I knew that she would not voluntarily tell me anymore. It is anathema
to a Vulcan to invade an unwilling mind, but this was my wife and
that gave me certain liberties so I stepped forward and touched her
shoulder lightly.

Her thoughts, her memories, and her guilt assailed me. I recoiled;
releasing her as though burnt by the flood of emotion that engulfed

Aware of my horror, she spun around desperately to touch me but I
stepped back swiftly out of reach. It was intolerable that I should
be subjected again to such naked, ugly emotion.

"Your behavior in this matter has been reprehensible, Kathryn" I
said, "Your intention to abandon the Commander and flee the scene of
your crime surprises me even more than the act itself."

"Crime?" Kathryn screeched in outrage "You don't understand Tuvok.
Chakotay is being a fool. Tom will destroy him. I had to stop them
from getting back together."

"You tried, you failed. Why are you leaving them behind?"

"I can't face him." She sobbed, "I can't face them being together! If
Chakotay is stupid enough, if they want each other so damned much,
they can have each other, but I won't have them parading themselves
in front of me! I can't just stand by and watch Tom destroy him"

"What gives you the right to interfere? What omniscient powers have
you gained that give you such a clear picture of Tom's motivations in
this relationship? You know NOTHING."

"I KNOW Tom doesn't love Chakotay." Kathryn screamed

"Peculiar, I KNOW that he does" I replied and reaching forwards I
grasped her wrist and held her tightly as I sent her my intimate
knowledge of the truth of Tom Paris's heart.

Perhaps I should not have done it. Tom's thoughts had been given to
me in trust. By sharing them I was breaking a sacred oath. But the
most important thing at that moment was for Kathryn to realise the
enormity of her crime against him.

She staggered as the images hit her, as the reality of Tom's feelings
for Chakotay were stamped irrefutably into her consciousness.

As I released her she staggered back and collapsed heavily into a

"Oh my God, Tuvok. I was so very wrong. " She gasped, her
eyes wide with horror.

"Yes, Kathryn. You were." I said coldly

"What have I done?" She cried piteously "What can I do to put things

"I suggest you do nothing. Your interference has already caused them
enough pain. Do not compound your mistake. Let them resolve their
problems alone if it is not too late. Do not ask or expect Chakotay's
forgiveness. He is unlikely to be able to give it."

"What about you, Tuvok? You must know I meant well. You know that I
only wanted to help Chakotay. Can YOU forgive me?" she begged me
desperately, tears pouring down her pale cheeks.

"My forgiveness is irrelevant, Kathryn. You have not harmed ME in
this matter."

"Then you are not angry with me?" she pleaded hopefully

"I am a Vulcan. I do not feel anger. I am not jealous of your
feelings for the Commander and since he has not reciprocated your
emotion there is no reason for me to challenge him in this matter."

"Then you won't leave me?" She gasped with relief.

"You misunderstand me Kathryn. The vows you made to me were obviously
false. You were not truthful when you said that your feelings for
Chakotay were platonic. It is not possible for me to continue our
relationship. When The Commander and, hopefully, Tom have returned
and Voyager is under way, I will move my belongings out of our
quarters, Kathryn. Our marriage is over."


I cursed Kathryn to the seven hells as I fought desperately through
the almost impenetrable walls of the V'rakn'hal bureaucracy.

It took several hours to even find out where Tom was staying and then
I was still prevented from entering the building by some smug son-of-
a-bitch officials. By which time I was ready to rip the uncooperative
purple-faced aliens apart.

Fully satisfied by the `deal' they had made the previously helpful
V `rakn' hal obviously had no intention of letting me blithely walk
off with their new acquisition.

Well, tough. Their `acquisition' was my fiancé and I was not leaving
without him.

I planted myself firmly in the doorway of Tom's new `home' until one
of the V'rakn'hal finally agreed to tell Tom that I was here. He
returned with indecent haste and informed me gleefully that Tom had
refused to see me.

The little bastard smirked at me until I picked him up by the throat
and shook him into submission.

"I am not leaving unless I see him, and if I have to take apart every
room, and every PERSON in this building to find him, I will. DO YOU

The small alien quaked in terror.

"I will take you to him, but then you will know he does not want to
leave and you must go away."

"Okay." I replied calmly and set him down. There was nothing to be
gained at this point by my admitting that Tom was going to come back
with me to Voyager even if I had to carry him kicking and screaming
all the way.


The V'rakn'hal had lied. The thought popped into my head but it was
nebulous and I wondered vaguely what it was they had lied about. It
was so much effort to catch my stray thoughts that I preferred to let
them waft around my head.

I rocked slowly on my seat, my fingers playing endlessly with a small
heavy object. What was it? I wondered vacantly. Oh yes. I looked down
at the gold shape in my hands and a wave of misery began to cloud my
head so I shut my eyes and wished it away and it was gone.

Still my fingers fiddled with the ring. Ring? Oh God! No! I didn't
want to think about that. Didn't want to remember about - about what?
I stopped in confusion as the tail end of the thought span away into
the distance.

Lied? What was the lie? Don't know. Don't remember. Don't want to
remember. I wanted to - what did I want? Just rock, that's it, that's
nice.that's good.just let those thoughts go away, like everything
goes away, like Chak.No, no, rock, that's it, that's better.

I let the fog swirl around my head. It felt so nice just to drift.
Not to think. Think. Think about what? The lie. I suddenly remembered
the lie. They said that if my mind did not survive the cure I would
not have to live with a healthy body and a dead brain.

But I was dead. My body could move but I was gone. Whatever had
existed before was no longer alive, didn't want to be alive. I was
just an empty shell with no hope, no feelings, no anything. I walked
and talked and breathed but that was all.

Desperately I pushed the thought away, felt the fog blurring its
edges and dissolving it until I was disconnected again. Just rock.
Rock. That's it. That's nice. That's better.

A face appeared in front of me. Purple face. Who? Don't know. Don't
care. The face spoke.

"Chakotay is here to see you."

"Who?" I asked vaguely, my cotton-wool brain struggling with the
name. A picture flashed in my brain but the resultant hurt was so
intense that I clamped down on the memory and it faded back into the
distance and I floated again in my serene state of hazy contentment.

"Shall I tell him to go away?" the voice persisted

"Who? What? Oh.yes.go away" Go away, who was going away? Away.
Voyager was going away. PAIN. No, go away. Just rock, rock, and rock.


I followed the V'rakn'hal's slow meandering footsteps, struggling
with the urge to shove him bodily forwards. When the reluctant
official reached what was obviously Tom's room, my patience finally
snapped and I pushed him out of my way and burst through the door.

Tom was sitting on the far side of the room; his body swathed in a
loose white gown. His hair was uncombed. He looked all of 12 years

"Tom" I cried as I rushed forwards but he did not react at all. He
was swaying slowly in his chair, his blue eyes unfocused, and his
mouth moving with some silent internal dialogue.

Furiously I turned on the alien.

"What have you done to him? What drug have you given him?"

"Drug? Drug?" The V'rakn'hal stammered fearfully "No drug. I swear.
He has been like this for hours. Since your Captain left him this
morning. We have done nothing. It is shock, perhaps."

I turned back to Tom in confusion. Still he rocked quietly, his face
serene, his fingers playing endlessly with some small gold object.
Spirits, I thought, Tom's mind had finally snapped. It had all been
too much for him to deal with. I had left him and he had literally
gone mad.

I dropped to my knees in front of him and grabbed his restless hands
in mine, registering the icy coldness of his skin.

"He's freezing, fetch a blanket" I shouted at the V'rakn'hal and
turned back to Tom without waiting to find out whether the alien
would comply.

"Tom, Tom, it's me, it's Chakotay. I'm here. I've come to take you

Still Tom's blue eyes stared into some unfathomable distance, and his
face failed to register my words. The V'rakn'hal hurried over and
draped a blanket around Tom's thin shoulders and then backed off

"TOM" I screamed in panic, and I saw a tiny flicker in one of his
eyes before he started to rock again.

Insane with terror, I slapped Tom so hard across his face that my
hand left a deep impression in his skin. His eyes blinked and widened
as he focused on me for a second, then terror flooded his face and he
began to struggle wildly.

"Nonononononononononononononononono" he moaned

"Tom, I'm so sorry Tom, I love you. I've come to take you home" I
repeated desperately

"NO" he howled and yanking his hands out of my loose grip he shot to
his feet and tried to run from me. Blinded by panic he crashed into
the wall and slid down into a heap on the floor. He made no effort to
get up again; he just curled into a ball of misery and sobbed.

Almost blinded by my own tears I rushed to his side and pulled his
unresisting body into my arms.

"Go `way, go `way" He sobbed even as he tucked his face into my neck
and clung on to me desperately.

"Tom, I love you. I'm sorry. Come home with me." I begged

"You left me" he whispered and although his words ripped at my heart
I was elated at his ability to say them. I wasn't too late. I had
arrived in time. Tom was still capable of rational thought.

"I know Tom. It was my fault, I misunderstood. I thought you didn't
need me anymore. I thought now you were cured you wouldn't want to be
with me."

"You left me." He repeated brokenly.

"But I came back."

Tom struggled in my arms until he could pull back and look into my
face. His eyes were dark with misery but at least he was actually
looking at me, really seeing me. His face was defenseless; all his
protective masks had been stripped away. I saw hurt and anger chasing
confusion and misery across his pallid features. For a long time his
mouth struggled with the effort to form a coherent sentence. When he
finally spoke his bitter words broke my heart

"How long for, this time, Chakotay?"

I dropped my head in shame. He was right. How many promises had I
broken already? What could I possibly say to make him believe me now?

"I'm a fool, Tom and I don't deserve you. I have thrown away our
happiness so many times that I know you have every right to reject
me. There is nothing I can do if you don't love me anymore. But I
know it's not true. I saw how you were when I came in here. I KNOW
that you still love me and although I don't understand why, I'm not
throwing it away again!"

I stared deeply into his eyes, trying to force him to believe my
words. In response he simply looked away.

"Come back to Voyager with me, Tom. Come home and marry me." I
pleaded, new tears pouring down my face.

"No" he whispered "Go away, Chakotay. Please, just go away."

I jerked as though slapped by his words. I couldn't believe he had
said no. I had seen the state he was in because I had left. I
couldn't believe he would let me go again. Furiously I shook him by
the shoulders, so hard that his teeth rattled.

"I'm not leaving you, Tom. You're coming back with me." I shouted and
he flinched at my anger.

"No." he mumbled "I don't love you."

"I don't believe you." I snapped and grabbing the back of his head I
pulled his face towards me and dove for his mouth. My tongue met
scant resistance as it plunged in and pillaged. With my other hand I
pulled Tom into my embrace, crushing him against my body. As he
moaned into my kiss, I felt his obvious erection pressing into my
thigh. He struggled futilely against his own body's betrayal but I
would not release my grip and I felt his tongue thrust past mine and
his sweet taste filled my mouth.

How the hell had I thought I could live without this? I asked myself
as I caressed the tense muscles of his back.

Finally, gasping for breath I pulled back and stared into Tom's face,
which was red with a combination of desire and fury.

"Come home, Tom" I whispered gently

For a moment longing hovered nakedly on his face, then fear and hurt
returned "No" he spat.

That was it. I'd had enough. I wasn't angry with Tom. He had every
reason to say no. Despite his undeniable love for me, in spite of his
body's desire for me, he had lost the ability to trust me. He was too
raw, too damaged. If I spent the rest of my life pleading and begging
with him on this floor he would not agree to return with me.

Decision made, I stood up. Tom's naked face flashed with relief, pain
and disappointment.

"So you won't agree to come back to Voyager?" I asked, to clarify the

"No" Tom mumbled

"And you want to stay here, alone."

"Yes" he whispered, even more quietly

"And there's nothing I can say that will make you come back with me?"

This time I could barely hear Tom's "No"

"Then you leave me no choice." I snapped

I hauled Tom to his feet in a sudden movement that caught him so much
by surprise that it took little extra effort to grab him round the
waist and throw him over my shoulder. He began to struggle and kick
so I gave him a firm slap on the backside. The shock made him forget
to struggle long enough for me to tell the amazed V'rakn'hal that I
would arrange for compensation, then I opened my com badge and
requested Voyager to beam us up.

I was a little surprised to hear Tuvok's voice respond to my hail,
and even more amazed when we materialized straight into my quarters
although, given Tom's undignified position slung over my shoulder, it
was probably just as well.

I staggered into the bedroom, realising that Tom was definitely
putting on some much needed weight, and dumped him unceremoniously
onto my newly restored double-bed.

Tom hit the covers and came up spluttering indignation

"You have no right." he began to scream

"I have every right, Tom. I love you." I replied firmly and pushed
him back onto the bed, my weight pinning him down quite effectively.

For a couple more moments he struggled and then collapsed back in
submission. I lay on top of him, heaving for breath. His dull eyes
looked at me for a long time, weighing the situation, evaluating my
actions and then something sparkled in the blue depths.

"Chakotay the Caveman" he muttered and a reluctant smile cracked his