Pairing: C/P C/others P/other
NC-17 ***WARNING*** This is NOT a nice story; there is rape and pain and psychological torture.
Set shortly after the Jonas incident.
Archive: Cha-club, TPDorm, and Paris Nights only.
Disclaimer: The boyz don't belong to me (all hail mighty paramount) but this story does!
Hostage by Morticia
Kathryn listened to Chakotay with a growing sense of excitement. Tom had finally pushed Chakotay a step too far. The big, strong, vulnerable Commander had gone to Tom with his heart on his sleeve and it had been crushed.
This was her chance to step in.
In Chakotayís distraught state of mind it would take little persuasion to get him to seek comfort in her own arms. A little nudging and he would crumble. After two months of finding comfort in constant sexual activity, it didnít matter that the physical imperative had been removed, the emotional need for human contact was still there and he would react blindly wherever she led him.
Yet it would be Chakotay, the man, who woke the next morning and looked her in the eyes. He would be unable to turn his back on her and deny their night of passion. He would feel bound to her and then he would be hers.
Perhaps that had been Harryís realisation too. He had probably taken the same advantage of Tomís confused vulnerability as she was planning to do with Chakotay. He had seen his opportunity and had taken it.
She knew that Harry genuinely cared for Tom. Perhaps his opportunism had been a little heartless but then again, as they said, all was fair in love and war.
"Tom never cared about me. He even said as much. He told me that when we were cured we should just shake hands and move on. I shouldnít be angry with him, I donít have the right," Chakotay mumbled in a voice numb with pain.
Kathryn looked at this wonderful man who she had finally begun to appreciate. She contemplated his strange sexy mix of power and compassion, strength and softness, wisdom and foolishness and she imagined him sharing the rest of his life with her. She knew that with him at her side and in her bed there was no mountain she couldnít climb, no challenge she couldnít face.
For a moment she allowed herself to wallow in the fantasy, and then she pulled back out of his arms, planted her hands on her hips and spoke.
"What a load of self-pitying BULLSHIT!"
Chakotay actually flinched in shock at her contemptuous words. Before he could find a reply in the resultant jumble of his brain, Kathryn continued.
"You are SO pathetic, Chakotay. You never had the guts to tell him the truth, have you? Youíve wasted God knows how many years using the excuse that Tom is only interested in women. That made you safe, didnít it? As long as he was only sleeping with Sue and Megan and the rest of the Voyager Slut Brigade you could tell yourself it wasnít your fault that he ignored you.
"Then you both get infected by this disease. It must have been awful for both of you. I canít even begin to imagine what you both went through, but even so, surely it would have been better if you had admitted to him that you had always found him attractive? Donít you think his humiliation and distress was increased by the thought that you hated him?"
Even in the dim light Kathryn could see the wounded look on Chakotayís face.
"Youíre wrong, I was trying to spare his feelings, Kathryn. He already had the worst part of the infection. He was raped and put on a bloody menu. He had to sit and listen to Ikton discussing whether a bit of lean meat would make a nice change and then he was forced to have sex with me just to save his life. How could I possibly have said, oh, by the way Tom, Iíve always fancied your ass anyway?"
Kathryn was unmoved by his excuse.
"You should have told him the truth, that you loved him. He left this ship believing that we were all going on without him. He left his home, his Ďfamilyí and set off alone, knowing he would probably die, not knowing for sure whether you were alive at all. He was so alone, Chakotay and then he found you and he was STILL alone until the disease forced you to stop pretending you didnít care about him.
"And then he is cured, and guess what? Heís alone again. You donít see him, you donít talk to him, you just discard him like used rubbish and then you have the bloody cheek to condemn him for finding comfort in someone elseís arms?"
"I know," Chakotay finally admitted, " I had my chance and I blew it, I should have had the nerve to face him. I should have stayed in sickbay until he woke up, but even so, if he truly cared for me, how the hell could he just jump in bed with someone else?"
"Look at what youíve both been through, Chakotay. You know yourself that Tom has never been attracted to men. For some reason he loves you and so it doesnít matter that you are a man. If he had deliberately set out to put you out of his system you would have found him in bed with a woman.
"Tom didnít turn to Harry to forget you, he turned to Harry because he needed YOU and you werenít there for him. You have just spent weeks building an emotional and physical need for each other. The disease has gone but the emotions, the needs are still there.
"Besides, for you sex has always been something that went hand in hand with a relationship. Youíd rather be celibate than have meaningless sex. The horror of the Bírechík infection for you was probably the way it forced you to act completely against your true nature. I also think it helped you deal with it. You never completely gave in to the infection. You even managed to help the Doctor find your own cure.
"Because the sexual imperative was so diametrically opposed to the real you, you always managed to keep a spark of yourself alive and fighting it."
"Except when I was with Tom," Chakotay reminded her.
"But that proves my point, you didnít fight the infection when you were with Tom because it was what you wanted. Tom NEVER fought the infection. He never had that conflict of interest because apart from the original rape that infected him he was never forced into a situation he didnít subconsciously want."
"And now he wants Harry Kim, presumably," Chakotay spat bitterly.
"So fight for him. Go and lay your cards on the table. Tell him how you really feel about him and let him choose between you. Or donít you care about him enough to do that? If you arenít prepared to fight for him you donít deserve him."
"But he SLEPT with Harry," Chakotay moaned.
"Tomís slept with dozens of people. It never seemed to bother you before. You were never jealous of the women Tom slept with, you never loved him less because of them. Why is this any different?"
Chakotay was quiet for a long time as he searched through his feelings of hurt and pain for the answer.
"Because I never saw them as my rivals, I suppose," he admitted thoughtfully. "Since I never expected Tom to ever look at me in THAT way, his affairs never hurt me. To be honest, I just wanted him to be happy and safe. It was never about me and my needs."
"Youíre a good man, Chakotay. Not many people can put aside their own desires and instead just strive to make the person they love happy. Itís difficult not to be selfish in these things."
"Then youíre a good woman, Kathryn," Chakotay replied softly.
"You know?" Kathryn asked in shock.
"I never realised before tonight. Perhaps I still have enough Bírechík in me to sense these things. I felt your desire for me when you entered. Thank you for being my friend instead."
A tear escaped the corner of Kathrynís eye, but all she said was "Youíre welcome."
Chakotay stared silently at the stars for a long time.
"Iíve changed, Kathryn. Not just the way I look, but everything about me," he finally commented.
"I think it would be impossible for anyone to have gone through your experience with the Bírechík and remain unaffected," she replied.
"I spent hours here before you came, thinking things through, thinking about Tom. I honestly believe he is still acting under the influence of his kítech conditioning. Perhaps to an extent he always will. He will put it behind him and move on but he will never be the old Tom Paris again any more than I will be the old Chakotay.
"What we went through has changed us both. No matter how much we heal we will always bear scars. I had decided that even in the unlikely event that Tom agreed to come back to me that I would refuse to take him. I will never know what is Tom and what is kítech."
"Now I think I am no longer as selfless as I used to be. I love him and he loves me. Does it really matter WHY?"
"Not as long as you make each other happy, Chakotay."
They were silent again for a long time and then Chakotay bent down and gave her a tender kiss on the forehead.
"Thank you, Kathryn," he said softly and he left.
She sat in the view port for a long time, unable to see the passing stars for the tears rolling down her cheeks.
Tom was brooding quietly over his coffee. He had picked at his breakfast half-heartedly when Harry had insisted but had replaced his fork on the table every time Harry dropped the subject.
Harry himself was near tears. He KNEW he shouldnít have done it but he couldnít honestly say he had regretted it until he had come face to face with Tomís morning-after depression.
Spending the night with Tom in his bed had been a dream come true. Even in his wildest fantasies, and some of them had been pretty wild indeed; he had never imagined Tom to be as generous, passionate and responsive a lover as he had turned out to be.
Tom had agreed to anything and everything he had wanted. Harry had come so many times that his groin actually ached now as he sat opposite the quiet blond.
Yet now, looking at Tomís quiet misery, he hated himself. Given Tomís enthusiasm of the night before he couldnít understand the bitter regret that emanated from his friend. He resented Tomís silent reproach. It made him feel as though he had taken advantage, and yet he didnít see how that was true. Tom had thrown himself at him, had begged him to take him.
"Whatís wrong, Tom?" Harry finally blurted when he couldnít take the silence any longer.
Tom looked up at his friend, his blue eyes full of confused misery.
"Nothing, Harry, Iím just tired," he lied.
He couldnít imagine why he had slept with Harry. He had a vague memory of thinking Harry was a Bírechík but that was ridiculous, wasnít it? He was cured. He didnít have to think that way anymore.
Still, whenever Harry had told him to eat he had found himself unable to deny the request, and even now, Harryís look of hurt at his silence forced him to try to make conversation.
"I guess youíre working today?"
"Look, if you want me to leave, Tom, just say so," Harry replied with a look of hurt.
Panic filled Tom. His new Bírechík was leaving him. Terror flooded his face.
"Iím sorry, Iím sorry, donít go, please," he begged, grabbing Harryís hand pleadingly.
The first alarm bells finally sounded in Harryís head. There was something seriously wrong with Tom, he belatedly realised. He had been too eager to get his leg over to notice the signs before. He really hated himself.
"Iím not going anywhere, Tom. I think perhaps we should go and see the Doctor."
Tom relaxed and gave a coy smile, "Can I wear the Kítechínar then?"
"Sure, Tom," Harry agreed. He had no idea what Tom was talking about but at that point just wanted to keep him happy.
His agreement was enough, apparently because Tom gave an ecstatic cry and leapt to his feet. He raced around the table and jumped into Harryís lap.
"Well, thatís a pleasant picture," Chakotayís voice drawled from the doorway. He had arrived in time to hear Tom plead for the Kítechínar and had been too stunned to react at first.
Obviously his first reaction was concern that Tom was still so evidently lost in his kítech identity but then as Tom had leapt onto Harry a deeper, darker reaction began to bubble under the surface.
Harry shot him a guilty look.
"I donít think heís well," he admitted to the Commander. He had heard about Chakotayís change of appearance but seeing him in the flesh like this was terrifying, particularly given the way the black eyes were beginning to flash in the decidedly pissed off face.
"Heís obviously well enough to FUCK though," Chakotay snarled at Harry.
Oh Jesus, Harry thought, as he realised that Chakotay was obviously not as indifferent to Tom as the pilot had indicated.
Tom was wide-eyed, his gaze flickering uncertainly between the two Bírechík.
"Tom said you didnít want him anymore, " Harry said defensively, unconsciously blaming his own actions on Tom.
The accusation wasnít lost on Chakotay and he bristled with rage at the Bírechík who would not only steal his property but would be too cowardly to face the consequences.
"Tom was mistaken," he spat but his anger was soothed a little by the hope that leapt into Tomís face at his words.
"Come," he demanded, putting out an imperious hand to his wayward kítech.
Tom scrambled off Harryís lap like it was a hot stove. He ignored the outstretched hand and instead flung himself into Chakotayís arms.
"Chak," he whispered in bliss and tucked his head into Chakotayís chest.
Chakotay felt the tide of Bírechík anger recede as his arms wrapped around Tomís slender frame. His head cleared enough for him to look at Harry, who was still frozen in fear, and say, "GO!" and Harry fled.
Chakotay waited until the door swished shut behind his back and then he led Tom into the bedroom to reclaim him as his own.
"You understand that we are home, donít you?" Chakotay asked gently as he stroked Tomís wet hair.
They were lying in bed together; Tom snuggled into his chest in post-coital contentment.
"Weíre on Voyager, yes." Tom replied eventually.
"And you understand that you arenít kítech any more and Iím no longer Bírechík?" Chakotay queried softly
"I forget sometimes," Tom confessed, "I get confused."
"I know," Chakotay said sadly and bent to kiss Tomís forehead.
"Will it go away?" Tom asked in a small voice.
"In time, Tom. I think thatís all we need. Just time."
"And each other," Tom reminded him bravely and then stiffened a little in fear of rejection.
"And each other," Chakotay agreed, giving him another kiss of reassurance.
"Iím sorry about Harry," Tom whispered.
"Iím sorry I wasnít here for you when you needed me," Chakotay replied forgivingly before giving Tom a sharp slap on the butt "Donít do it again," he growled.
Tom gave a sigh of contentment and snuggled tighter into his arms.
"I love you, Tom Paris. Donít you ever forget it."
Tom twisted so that he could look Chakotay in the eye.
"Can I wear the Kítechínar then?" he asked in innocent hope.
Chakotayís heart wrenched with sadness as he looked into Tomís confused face.
Time, he reminded himself; all they needed was time and each other. He looked into Tomís beautiful blue eyes and gave a brave smile.
"Sure, honey, anything you want."
Tom gave another huge sigh and relaxed contentedly back onto his chest. He played his fingers idly over Chakotayís skin for several moments and then he twisted again to look into Chakotayís face
"So I get to fly again?" he asked with the cheeky grin that Chakotay had feared had left forever.
And Chakotay started to laugh as relief flooded him.
He knew they faced months of counselling and corrective surgery. He suspected that there might always be times when the Bírechík and kítech behaviour re-asserted itself.
But somehow, he knew they would get through this together.
"I love you, Tom Paris," he repeated.
"Youíre mine," Tom replied triumphantly.
"Yes," Chakotay agreed contentedly, "Iím yours."