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 32


"I really think that we should add more flavour, I don't want
everyone to think that I couldn't be bothered to do my culinary best
for Tom and Chakotay's wedding." Neelix whined plaintively as I
forcefully removed the chili powder from his hands yet again.

"I've told you, Neelix. This is Tom's favourite recipe, he likes his
pizza EXACTLY as the recipe states." I said firmly for the umpteenth

"Well perhaps I could just `pep' the salad up with a little powdered
leola." Neelix suggested slyly

"NO. Don't you dare. Absolutely no leola ANYTHING." I snapped in
exasperation. Given free rein Neelix would turn the whole thing into
a disaster. The last thing I wanted was for tomorrow's reception to
turn into a farce.

"It's just not fair, Harry, with the replicators off-line I am having
to make do with what is in the stores and what little we have grown
in the hydroponics bay. You'd think the V'rakn'hal would at least
have supplied us with enough real food to replace the energy they
took." Neelix huffed miserably

"It was worth the price." I snapped, just in case he had any doubts.
Neelix blinked at me, obviously confused by my uncharacteristically
sharp tone.

"OF COURSE IT WAS" he stated emphatically. "Nobody could be happier
than me about Tom's return to health. That's why I want his wedding
reception to be the best."

"It will be Neelix. Everyone donated enough rations before we went to
V'rakn to make sure that we could make a cake and some fancy entrees.
All you need to do is `bulk it out'."

"Perhaps just a pinch of leola in the cake then?"

"NO! I swear Neelix, if you don't behave yourself I'll call B'Elanna.
She's spent weeks planning this wedding and she'll kill you if you
make the guests ill."

"Well really, I don't see why you have to be so rude about it Mr.
Kim" Neelix huffed and I felt guilty at being so blunt. The little
Talaxian had never grasped the concept of the comparative blandness
of Alpha Quadrant appetites.

"I just meant that because we are without access to synthale, Jim
Carey has re-installed his bootleg still and is brewing some kind of
lethal potato-whisky for the toasts. I don't think that it will mix
very well with rich food, Neelix." I soothed.

"Oh, in that case, I suppose I'll just have to make it the way you
said - although I'm sure that just a LITTLE more flavour wouldn't
hurt." the Talaxian grumbled but I was reasonably certain that he
would behave himself with the rest of the food preparation.

It was time to deal with B'Elanna.

I hurried down the corridor to B'Elanna and Seven's quarters. I could
hear B'Elanna's screaming through the door and therefore was not
surprised that it took several moments for the occupants to hear my
request to enter.

Finally, the door whooshed open and I was struck in the chest by a
flying vase. I staggered, slightly, feeling more shocked than hurt.

"Stupid idiot" B'Elanna yelled at me "What did you get in the way

I had to grin at her words. Only B'Elanna could accidentally throw
something at a guest and then blame HIM for getting in the way.

"What's wrong now?" I asked and Seven answered me in her cool, Nordic

"It appears that the replicator rations that were donated for the
reception have been confiscated against the cost of Tom's cure."

"WHAT?" I yelled in fury

"Exactly, Starfleet. That fucking bitch has emptied the account."
B'Elanna howled, scrabbling for another `weapon'.

"Bitch? Umm do you mean the Captain?" I asked nervously, not sure
that the term should be applied to a Starfleet Captain, whatever the

"Well I don't mean the fucking tooth fairy!" B'Elanna screamed,
throwing a picture frame in my general direction. Both Seven and I
ducked reflexively as it shattered on the wall behind us.

"Have you asked her about it?" I asked, "Perhaps it's an error. After
all, the replicators were all taken off line when we left V'rakn so
all the accounts were probably automatically emptied. That doesn't
mean she doesn't intend to give them back."

"That is a logical premise," Seven said quietly

"She'd damn well better. Those weren't general ship's supplies they
were private. A lot of people not only gave up replicator rations
they also gave up hours of holodec time to increase their donations.
Considering the fact that it could be months before they get another
chance on the holodecs, I don't think they'll be happy to find out
that they made their sacrifices in vain." B'Elanna snarled.

Not to mention Sue's ring, I thought, remembering my own donation
after Tom and I returned from Y'ndoria.

"I suggest that we ask the Captain for an explanation before you
completely re-decorate our quarters, B'Elanna" Seven said with cool
poise "Perhaps you would go and see her, Harry?"

I swallowed nervously. The Captain had been strangely aloof for the
past fortnight, ever since the strange scenes on the Bridge. There
had been a lot of speculation as to what had gone on but no facts had
emerged and the general consensus had become that Tom and Chakotay
had fought over something and the Captain had been caught in the

I had asked Tom about it and he had admitted that he had asked the
Captain to leave him behind. Chakotay was obviously furious with her
for agreeing to Tom's request.  To be honest, I wasn't that pleased
with her decision either, but then I had never been able to say no to
Tom myself so I couldn't blame her for giving in.

Chakotay, on the other hand, had spent the last two weeks avoiding
her socially and being extremely formal on the bridge.

You could cut the atmosphere between them with a knife.  The only
good point in the whole fortnight had been when Tom had passed his
flight simulation tests and been allowed back on duty. Neither the
Captain nor Chakotay had been willing to show their antipathy in
front of Tom, so an illusion of normality had slowly returned.

I was not looking forward to the idea of bearding the lion in her
den, so to speak, over the `lost' rations. However, I certainly
didn't want B'Elanna to do it and it was obvious that unless Seven
stayed with her she would get out of control again. So, I nodded
glumly and headed for the Captain's quarters.

When the door opened, the Captain looked momentarily disappointed as
though she had hoped to see someone else.

"What can I do for you, Mr. Kim?" She asked formally

"I - Um - I wanted to talk to you about a personal matter, Captain."

For a moment I could have sworn she flinched, but it was probably my
imagination because she immediately smiled and invited me in.

"What is it, Harry?" She asked, indicating that I should sit down.  I
perched nervously on the edge of one of her easy chairs.

"Well, I - um - I don't know how to put this, Captain.  I - um, I
wanted to ask about Tom and Chakotay."

The Captain stiffened dangerously,

"What exactly do you mean?" She hissed

"Their reception, Captain." I stuttered nervously, unsure of exactly
what sensitive topic I had obviously touched on.

She seemed to relax again at my words

"What about the reception?" she queried, her voice back to normal.

"Well, I know that we had to pay a huge price for Tom's recovery, and
we all understand that the replicators are off line indefinitely but
still, we all donated a lot of credits towards the reception and it
wouldn't seem fair if we couldn't have at least some of them towards
the wedding. I mean, I know that it will make things even more
difficult for Voyager, but like you always say, Voyager is a family
as well as a ship, and some things are more important than warp

My words trailed off and I braced myself for her anger. The ship was
already limping along at half-power. She would probably be furious at
the idea of giving even more energy just to make Tom happy.

I nearly fell off my chair at her response.

"You're right, Harry. Of course the reception will go as planned. I
never intended to refuse to allow the donated credits to be used. In
fact, I am intending to supplement them personally as much as I can,
although admittedly we have very little to spare, at the moment." The
Captain said, with a small twist to her mouth that on anyone else I
would interpret as hurt.

I was ashamed that I had ever doubted her.

"Thank you Captain, everybody will be really pleased to hear that."

"By everyone, I assume you mean B'Elanna." The Captain said wryly

I attempted to look innocent but she laughed gently

"I've had several security reports of the sounds of breaking crockery
on the Officer's deck, Harry."

"Oh, well, I'll make sure she knows what you've said."

"Good," The Captain said

I was almost out of the door when she stopped me

"Oh, and Harry."

"Yes, Ma'am?"

"Perhaps you would mention my decision to Mr. Tuvok, too"

I looked at her questioningly, but her face was unreadable.

"Of course, Captain." I said

As I walked down the corridor, I considered her last request. She had
sounded so sad, so defeated, and so un-captain-like despite her
granite expression.

Obviously Tom's situation had caused more division than I was aware
of. Now I thought about it, I realised that Tuvok had been
conspicuously absent from the Captain's presence since V'rakn. I
decided that as soon as I had calmed B'Elanna down I would track down
Tuvok and do whatever was necessary to heal the rift between them.

I was determined that nothing would mar Tom's happiness tomorrow.



The last fortnight had gone by in a blur. I couldn't remember ever
being so happy. Chakotay and I had spent every hour we could locked
alone in our quarters, getting intimately re-acquainted.

I was so sore I could hardly pull up the trousers of my dress uniform
and the pain was simply wonderful. Every twitch reminded me that
Chakotay had touched me, had loved me, had filled me with his
presence and the fact that he found me worthy of his attentions re-
iterated my own new feelings of self-worth.

I hadn't spent the whole two weeks just being well and truly fucked,
although my ass protested the contrary. I had also spent the first
week doing flight SIMMs on the holodec.  Although the holodec
facility had been closed to general use, it had been judged that the
amount of energy required allowing me to get back up to speed and
into the pilot's seat was worth the price.

By the second week I was back at Voyager's helm, torn between ecstasy
at flying again and guilt that Voyager's sluggish response was down
to the extortionate cost of my cure.

There was a long way to go before I would be fully recovered. My leg
muscles had wasted despite the care both Chakotay and the Doctor had
taken to keep me toned. I found walking painful and difficult but the
very fact that I WAS walking made the suffering worth while.

I had expected a natural resentment from the crew, after all it had
been my own recklessness that had caused my injury and everyone had
paid the price for my cure. But all I experienced, as I slowly
meandered around the ship amazed at the changed perspective of seeing
things from six-foot rather than a sitting position, was numerous
expressions of genuine happiness at my recovery.

It was truly humbling and heart-warming. I had never had much self-
esteem. I had hidden my insecurities behind a mask of cocky
confidence but at some level had always been aware that my very
presence had been enough for most people to sigh with displeasure or
even hate.

Coming back to Voyager after V'rakn, was like being reborn.

And the greatest of my confidence came from the knowledge that
Chakotay surely loved me. Knowing that in a few short hours I would
be his husband. My heart beat a wild tattoo every time I considered
the fact. Me, Tom Paris, general fuck-up, was going to marry the most
wonderful man in the whole universe.

I could have just exploded with happiness.

It was as though my life up to this point had been a shabby dress
rehearsal but at exactly 1500 I would be Lieutenant Tom Paris-
Chakotay and my real life would begin.

Then nothing could ever hurt me again.


I had pictured myself getting married in white, on the shores of the
holodec resort program. I had imagined walking bare-footed across the
sand to Tom; his long red-blonde hair tussled by the wind, his chest
bare under a loose silk shirt.

I regretted that we would instead be married in the mess hall in
dress uniforms, but the fact that Tom would be standing tall and
proud at my side was worth more than any scenery.

We had spent the last two weeks sharing our bodies and slowly
repairing the terrible rips in our souls. I wasn't foolish enough to
think that it would be plain sailing from now on. At some point every
night I had woken to the sound of Tom crying in his sleep and each
time I woke him he looked around wildly until he registered my
presence and then he clung to me desperately. At those times I
suspected that if he could have crawled right under my skin for
comfort he would have.

As I walked slowly through the Mess Hall doors with Tuvok, who had
seemed inordinately pleased to be my Best Man, and saw the back of
Tom's glossy blonde head, his hair spilling in soft waves down his
shoulders, I knew that I would never leave him again.

All but a handful of crew was packed tightly into the mess hall.
Those few who had drawn short-straws to man the ship were no-doubt
glued to the monitors to watch the ceremony. It was as though the
hope inspired by my wedding to Tom had infected everyone on Voyager,
even Kathryn.

On this wonderful day I could almost forgive her for her actions. She
had spared no effort in ensuring that the reception could be as good
as our meager resources allowed and as I approached Tom's side in
front of her she gave me a wry apologetic smile and I was gracious
enough to nod back. It would be a long time, if ever, before I would
be able to reach out to her in friendship but since her meddling had
caused no permanent damage, I could at least put my anger away.

As though invigorated by my lack of ire, a wide relieved smile
appeared on her face and she began the ceremony, which would finally
make Tom mine forever.


I had wanted to be the one who walked `down the aisle' to Chakotay,
but had finally agreed with Harry that the joy of the ceremony would
be somewhat dampened by my halting, limping shuffle down the middle
of the mess hall. So I had arrived first and waited for Chakotay's

I can't describe how terrified I was for those few minutes before he
arrived. I experienced a thousand images of Chakotay simply failing
to turn up. I actually enacted a whole scenario in my head of how I
would try to maintain my composure, as I had to face the whole crew
in the wake of his abandonment. I was actually trying to concoct a
snappy throw-away comment to say as people realised I had been stood
up, when I heard his footsteps softly approaching and I looked over
my shoulder and my breath caught in my throat.

He was resplendent in his dress uniform, his black hair slick, his
proud bronze face serene but his dark eyes flashing with obvious
appreciation at my appearance.

I had been wearing my over-long hair in a ponytail for bridge duty,
but despite dress codes I had left it flowing for my wedding. As he
reached my side, his right hand snuck up behind my back and caressed
the back of my neck, his fingers gliding adoringly through my hair. I
didn't know why he found my long hair such a turn on, but since it
evidently did something for him, it was fine by me.

The beginning of the ceremony was a complete haze to me. I was so
blissfully aware of his secret caresses, of his very presence, that
the Captain's words were a just a background hum, until Harry jabbed
me in the ribs and then passed me the ring.

"Do you, Thomas Eugene Paris, take Chakotay to be your husband,
forsaking all others, for as long as you both shall live?" The
Captain asked.

I turned to Chakotay with a huge grin

"I do," I said firmly and grasping his left hand I slid the ring over
his third finger. He looked down at his hand and gasped in pleasure
at the beautiful piece of jewelry.

I held my breath for a minute, watching the `eyes' of the `wolf'.
Harry had explained the reactions of these crystals to me. This was
the moment I would truly know Chakotay's feelings.

For a terrible moment the crystals stayed a dull red and then just as
I thought I might faint from fright, they glared into a blue

I gasped with relief. It was true, then. Chakotay loved me. He truly
was happy to be marrying me. If only I could have frozen that moment
in time.

That one perfect moment.

"Do you Chakotay.." The Captain said and then all hell broke loose.

The mess hall became a flash of red lights and the deafening klaxon
of Red Alert drowned any further speech.

For a moment we stood in a tableau of confusion, Chakotay's eyes
meeting mine in sorrow and bitter disappointment, the Captain staring
at us in horrified pity, then we spun silently away from each other,
rushing like well-trained robots to our stations, the wedding