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 34


As the young man turned and limped away, his dignified words belied
by the dejected hunching of his shoulders, I could feel Chakotay
trembling slightly under my arm as though he was having to physically
restrain himself from following. I didn't need a diagram to
understand that the stranger had obviously been Chakotay's lover
until my unexpected arrival.

The offer to remove his "things" was as blatant a clue as a slap in
the face, but even without his words I had seen the naked pain and
longing on the young man's face as he looked at Chakotay. I would
have recognised that look anywhere - I had seen it in the mirror
enough times.

Voyager had been lost for many years. It was unrealistic to think
that my beloved would have remained faithful to me for all this time,
although I had never considered betraying HIM. I knew my feelings of
hurt were unreasonable under the strange circumstances but the
accompanying feeling of fear was very real.

The stranger had an ethereal beauty that had fixated me instantly. He
was pale and sickly looking, his body tall by human standards yet so
thin that I imagined he could be blown over by a sharp word. His
haunted eyes were the piercing blue of a clear summer sky, his young
face delicately etched with faint lines of both laughter and sorrow.
It was an expressive, interesting, beautiful face in sharp comparison
to my own monotonously symmetrical features.

He made me feel monstrous in comparison. My hulking form seemed
graceless next to his. I felt like a gross, lumbering, overgrown oaf
in contrast. I could visualize his slender body wrapped securely in
Chakotay's arms, small and delicate enough to fulfill my beloved's
all consuming need to care and protect. I could imagine how perfectly
his frail body would mould with Chakotay's denser frame. They simply
looked as though they were designed for each other.

How could I compete with his fragile, exquisite charm?

I couldn't help a small moan of distress escaping my lips. Hearing
me, Chakotay turned in my arms to face me, although he couldn't quite
meet my eyes.

"I'm sorry" he whispered

"Who is he?" I asked quietly "Other than your lover, I mean."

We both flinched at the bitterness of my words.

"His name is Tom, Tom Paris." Chakotay mumbled

"Paris?" I queried my misery slightly distracted as the name reminded
me of my promise to the families of Voyager's crew. I turned to the
Captain, who had been quietly waiting with surprising patience.

"I have messages for all of you." I told her

"Admiral Owen Paris contacted me before I set off. He has been co-
ordinating the Starfleet efforts to rescue you. In the hope that I
would succeed in finding you, he supplied me with vids and tapes from
all of your families. I have also brought a large supply of
replacement power cells, general spare parts and a schematic for a
new enhanced warp-drive."

"The artificial worm-hole that you used to get here, can it take
Voyager home?"

"Not in its current state. It is far too narrow at the moment and its
Verteron fields are subject to quantum fluctuations. Without careful
navigation we would be likely to arrive in a completely different

"I understand, we've experienced that phenomena before" the Captain
said thoughtfully. I remembered that Admiral Paris had commended
Captain Janeway's scientific acumen and realised that it might be
easier to explain the difficulties than I had expected.

"It will have to be widened from this side by some exotic matter."

"Such as a warp-core breach." The Captain murmured, her brow creased
in concentration

"Indeed, although I suggest using a shuttle for that part of the
operation." I grinned.

"Well I was hardly suggesting that we blew up Voyager, it would be
rather counterproductive" The Captain laughed delightedly

"There is a considerable gravometric pressure inside the tunnel.
Voyager will need to move faster than she was originally designed
for, just to get through before her hull buckles under the strain,
even with the considerable enhanced shield adjustments that I can

"But it will work?"

"Oh, yes. With just a few more weeks of work you will all be back in
the Alpha Quadrant." I replied confidently. There was little point in
telling her that the odds of Voyager surviving the journey were
significantly lower than my words suggested.

The chirping of her comm badge interrupted us.

"Janeway here"

"Could you come to sickbay please, Captain" An oddly precise male
voice asked her.

"Can it wait, Doctor?" The Captain asked in exasperation, obviously
keen to continue our discussion.

"No, Captain, it is imperative that you come immediately."

"What's the problem?"

"I'd rather not discuss it over an open comm link."

"Very well, I'm on my way." She tapped her badge to end the
communication and then turned to me ruefully.

"We'll have to discuss this later. Perhaps in the meantime you can
arrange for the download of your messages. And then I suggest that
you both take the opportunity for a private discussion. I believe
that there are personal issues that you need to address." And she
nodded significantly at Chakotay, who had stood silently through our

I noted his dark skin flush at the Captain's words and I was
overwhelmed with dread again. Surely I hadn't come this far only to
lose him again.

It wasn't fair.

"Let's go somewhere more comfortable to talk" Chakotay murmured,
still refusing to look me in the eye.

I followed him silently, plagued by doubts and insecurities. I had
felt him respond to me like always, swept away by my physical
presence, but at the same time I was dreadfully aware that he was
keeping his soul locked away. His refusal to look into my eyes proved
his feelings of guilt. I could only hope that they didn't also hide
his intention to reject me.

As we approached the door, it opened from the other side and a small
oriental man burst through. I noted from his uniform that he was an
ensign and I struggled to remember him from the list of crew that
Admiral Paris had given me. Kim, that was it, Ensign Harry Kim. I had
messages for him from his parents.

"Hello, Harry Kim" I said with a friendly smile.  He looked at me and
stopped mesmerized, his angry face suddenly confused. It was an
effect on people that I had become used to, the first moment when
they realise that they are looking at someone not-quite human. It's
odd, no matter how well people deal with aliens of all shapes and
sizes, they never can quite stomach Herans. We are both too human and
yet too obviously artificial for comfort.

Then Mr. Kim shook his head and turned to Chakotay. Rage infused his
features again and forgetting me completely he sprang forwards.

"You fucking BASTARD!" he screamed at my beloved and Chakotay just
blinked in complete shock. He evidently didn't see the fist coming
because the younger man's punch to his jaw completely pole-axed him.

I felt the familiar weakness in my limbs as adrenaline shot through
my veins and had the affect on my strange physiology of making me as
weak as a day-old kitten. I could only watch in horror as Chakotay
struggled back to his feet only to be pummeled by the young man's
furious fists.

All the time Harry Kim was striking Chakotay, he was screaming
torrents of abuse and tears were pouring down his face.

"Fucker, Bastard" he howled, over and over, punctuating his words
with blows as Chakotay, still stunned by the first good punch,
struggled to keep his feet and block the younger man's fists.

To my relief the air shimmered and half a dozen security people
beamed into the room and quickly separated the two men. I ran to grab
Chakotay who was swaying drunkenly. As he sagged against me, one of
the rescuers stepped forwards, he was a Vulcan.

"Please escort Mr. Kim to his quarters" he said quietly to the guards
who were restraining the furious young man.

I was shocked. Why hadn't he been hauled to the brig? Surely
discipline had not broken down so much on Voyager that an ensign
could strike a superior officer with impunity?

"Chakotay needs your Sick bay" I said to the Vulcan. He turned his
gaze on me and considered for a long moment before replying.

"Sick bay is occupied, right now. I will have you both transported to
the Commander's quarters. I am sure that there is a medical kit in

"I think he's concussed." I protested.

The Vulcan merely raised one eyebrow dispassionately

"Indeed" he said coldly and before I could question his evident lack
of concern at Chakotay's injuries I felt the familiar tingle of a
transporter beam and Chakotay and I materialized in his quarters.

I helped Chakotay to the couch and looking frantically around,
finally identified the door to the bathroom and hurried to find a
med.-kit. I was terrified to find him passed out, but thankfully the
medical tricorder only registered a mild but not dangerous
concussion. It was not until I had wiped the blood from his split
lips and judiciously applied a regenerator to his swollen jaw, that I
took the time to consider the disaster that was Chakotay's quarters.

While he had never been the neatest of people to live with, I did not
believe that the desecration of his room could be anything but the
revenge of a furious spurned lover.

Everywhere I could see wanton destruction. Vids were scattered on the
floor from a broken shelf. Several pictures were smashed. A photo had
been so badly slashed that I could barely make out the images in it.

Slowly, however, I realised that the destruction was not total. The
picture of Chakotay's family had been untouched. A shelf of what I
identified as copies of his favourite vids was unscathed. His
medicine bundle was safely sitting on a small table.

That's when I realised that it was Tom's own possessions that had
been destroyed. Instead of taking his things he had destroyed them,
leaving all of Chakotay's possessions unharmed.

With a sinking feeling of dread, I began to understand the hostility
of Harry Kim and the Vulcan. There was only one reason I could think
of why Tom Paris would have destroyed his belongings...because he
didn't need them anymore. I remembered the Vulcan saying that Sickbay
was occupied, and I had a terrible feeling that I knew who by.

For a moment I was filled with pity for the fragile young man. He had
seen Chakotay choose me, or to be honest to at least APPEAR to choose
me and had decided that he didn't want to survive the abandonment.  I
empathized. Had Chakotay informed me that he had chosen Tom, I would
have done the same.

Then desperate anger began to fill me. If he was in sickbay then he
had presumably failed. When Chakotay found out what he had done, he
would be overcome with guilt. He would undoubtedly decide that Tom
needed him more than I did. I began to tremble in fear and from my
fear, hate blossomed for the man who would steal my beloved from me.

"Die" I hissed, sending my mental hatred to wherever Tom was
lying, "Just die, damn it. He's mine. I won't ever let you have him.
Die, damn you. Please just die."

Then shame overwhelmed me and I sank onto the couch next to Chakotay
and gathered his sleeping body into my arms, hugging him desperately,
wishing that I never had to let go of him again.

A mad desperate plan formed in my head. I could just grab his
unconscious body and take him back to my ship. My ship was fitted
with sophisticated cloaking devices. We would be through the wormhole
and back in the Alpha Quadrant before anyone even knew we had gone
and without my help Voyager would be unable to widen the wormhole
enough to follow.

Tom Paris, if he survived, would be an old man before he got a chance
to steal Chakotay away again.