Exclusively written for FCANON
SLASH m/m Chakotay/Paris
Chakotay had taken two hours to reach the rendezvous with his contact. Most of that time had been spent in travelling half way around the planet and back again, switching directions and methods of transport more than a dozen times. By the time he arrived at the quiet tavern on a deserted back street he was certain that even the most stealthy and intrepid pursuit had been shaken.
As he entered the dim bar his eyes took a moment to adjust and then he peered into the shadowy alcoves looking for his contact. In a far corner he saw a big cloaked figure hunched over a table and sighed internally with relief.
Grabbing a pitcher of ale and two glasses from the fat, bored barkeep he made his way discretely to the big stranger and plonked the drinks down as he took the chair opposite.
The figure looked up and in the gloom Chakotay could barely make out the features of the manís face but the thick beard and dancing eyes were unmistakable
"Will," Chakotay grinned "I canít tell you how good it is to see your face."
Will Riker smiled back at the big Indian even as he noted with concern that the other manís hair was grayer and his face was drawn and unusually pale.
"You too. What happened, Chakotay? We heard a rumor that your ship was captured. We thought you were dead. I couldnít believe it when I got your message. The Enterprise must have broken warp 10 to get me here in time."
"Where is she?"
"Hidden behind the dark side of the second moon. I came down by shuttle so no one will have detected her presence. Anyway tell me your news. Were you really captured?"
"We were. We escaped." Chakotay replied simply but Will noticed the grimace of remembered horror that flashed across the older manís face.
"It was bad then" Will stated in understanding, "How did you get away?"
"Luck, chance, or maybeÖ" and suddenly Chakotayís niggling doubts coalesced "Maybe he LET us escape. But why the hell would he do that?"
"I suspect he has infiltrated your ship, Chakotay. One of your crew must be a Cardassian agent." Will said and was surprised by Chakotayís rueful chuckle
"Yes, why not? After all the whole bloody Maquis is full of imposters - like me!"
"I know you think your mission goes against your own principles Chakotay, that you genuinely believe that the Maquis are fighting a righteous war, but Starfleet isnít using you to betray the Maquis, all we need you to do is root out our own traitors before they can rip the peace treaty apart with their meddling."
"I just donít understand why it canít be handled at HQ. Everybody knows that the Intelligence Agency is corrupt. Why canít we just take down the heads of that department? Without their spy masters the intelligence operatives will be cut off and harmless."
"Because the rot goes deeper than we first suspected, right into the heart of Starfleet. It is impossible to tell who has been corrupted. The treachery reaches right into the highest positions. No one knows who to trust anymore. By capturing the agents we can gather proof against the ringleaders. Without evidence our hands are tied."
"How did you know my ship had been captured?" Chakotay asked suddenly.
"The rumor came from Intelligence of course."
"Of course," Chakotay repeated dryly. "Then they have an operative either on Dukatís station or my ship!"
"So I am possibly harboring a Cardassian Spy and an Intelligence Operative and I am myself a Starfleet Plant." Chakotay mused miserably. "Perhaps it would have been better for the Maquis if we HAD been killed by Dukat."
"Do you have any idea who the spies might be?" Will questioned gently, ignoring Chakotayís last comment since he couldnít think of a suitable reply.
"I have a new engineer, half-Klingon, ex-Starfleet, she is a possibility as an intelligence plantÖ Thereís a Vulcan who joined us a few months back but I canít imagine him being a spy for either Cardassia or the Federation. Thereís a Bajoran woman, Seska, who escaped a Cardassian camp recently Ö sheís a possibility for the Cardassian leak. Who knows what they could have done to her? She might have subliminal programming that even she is unaware ofÖ." Chakotay mused
"Any other new crew members?" Will asked as he digested Chakotayís words thoughtfully
"Just my pilot, Tom Paris, heís just a kid. Heís clean." Chakotay said and smiled softly as he remembered Tomís beautifully passionate response to him the night before. He couldnít wait to get back on board and continue where they had left off.
"Not Tom Paris, son of Admiral Owen Paris?" Will asked in horror.
"Yes" Chakotay replied, puzzled at Willís tone
"Jesus, Chakotay, and youíve fallen for his angelic poor-little-me routine?" Will gasped incredulously "Wow, they must really be training them well at intelligence these days, no wonder we canít catch the bastards."
"What the hell do you mean?" Chakotay snarled in fury, ready to defend Tom to the death
"When I told you the rot had spread right to the highest levels, who do you think I was referring to? Admiral Paris is the ringleader of the whole bloody operation and youíve taken the old wolfís cub right into your own den."
"Tom is not responsible for his fatherís actions. Anyway, Owen disowned him after his accident at Caldik Prime." Chakotay snapped hotly, even as a niggle of doubt began to rip viciously into his heart.
"Tom didnít have an accident. It was a set up. Tom wasnít even on the shuttle until after the crash. The files were altered. He is an agent for Intelligence and the so-called accident was just a way to give him an excuse to join the Maquis."
"I donít believe it." Chakotay moaned although he had seen Tom fly. He had seen the boyís skill first hand and had never been able to reconcile Tomís obvious ability with the rumor of his fatal pilot error at Caldik Prime.
"Iím sorry, Chakotay, obviously the boy means a lot to you, but heís not what you think. Heís a cuckoo in the nest. We realised that he had been activated but lost track of him until three months ago when he was spotted on a planet near the conflict, plying his trade as a mercenary. We knew he had managed to infiltrate a Maquis cell but I had no idea he had got into yours."
"Are you sure, Will? Really sure?" Chakotay asked desperately
Will Riker looked at the older man in pity. They had been close once, very close, and he recognised the heart-broken look in Chakotayís eyes.
Obviously Tom Paris had seduced Chakotay to further his nefarious plans. Will wanted to rip the little bastard apart with his own hands for hurting his old friend so badly with his deception.
"Iím so sorry, Chakotay" he whispered softly, running his palm comfortingly over the other manís trembling fingers.
For a few long moments Chakotay allowed himself to wallow in regret for the loss of his beautiful, precious lover, a lover who it now turned out had never even existed, a lover whose every word and action had been a lie. Then he straightened himself and Will saw the fire of hate and vengeance burning in his eyes.
Despite his own disgust at the boyís deceit, Will felt a small pang of sympathy for him. He wouldnít wish for anyone to be on the receiving end of the deathly wrath that Chakotay was beginning to radiate.
"Well, wellÖwhat shall I do with the little fucker?" Chakotay snarled viciously, his pain transformed to red-hot fury
Will gulped nervously at Chakotayís murderous look.
"Donít kill him, Chakotay. He may be useful if we ever get enough evidence against his father!"
"You want him? Iíll beam him over!" Chakotay snarled "After Iíve Ďdiscussedí a few things with him."
Will swallowed as he imagined what pathetic beaten wreck would appear on the Enterpriseís transporter. He was almost glad that he had to refuse Chakotayís offer.
"No, Chakotay, itís too early to show our hand and if we try to keep him secretly until heís of use to us, there is bound to be a leak. I suggest you send him on a mission alone in a shuttle and we will capture him and try him as a Maquis. That way we can publicly jail him and Intelligence wonít be able to save him without revealing that heís been working for them all along."
"They could break him out of jail" Chakotay argued
"Not if heís in Maximum Security at Auckland"
"You canít put a boy who looks like Tom into that den of animals" Chakotay whispered, his anger momentarily shaken by his memory of Tom being raped by Dukat. That at least had been no illusion.
"Make a change for an Intelligence Agent to get fucked. They are usually the ones fucking things up for all the rest of us!" Will replied cruelly, refusing to consider the consequences to Tom. After all the son of Owen Paris was obviously as much a bastard as his father and deserved no mercy.
He saw the big manís internal conflict between decency and vengeance playing openly across Chakotayís face.
"Okay" Chakotay said grimly, "Iíll set it up and signal you where you can catch the little bastard. But first I have my own score to settle with him." And the evil smile that played across his face chilled Will to the bone.
"Donít damage him too much, Chakotay, think of the public trial!" Will warned
"Oh, donít worry, I wonít mark his FACE!" Chakotay snapped and rising abruptly stormed out of the bar.
As Will watched Chakotay disappear he had to suppress his own guilt at the hurricane he had deliberately unleashed against Tom Paris. After all, with Admiral Owen Paris for a father, the boy had probably never stood a chance.