(Sequel to "Rationing")
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al belong to Paramount. I am only playing with them and promise to put them back relatively unscathed
Chakotay was pretty damn sure that Tom was correct in his assumption that the "shit had hit the fan". He had fully expected an adverse reaction to his decision to take the offensive where Tom was concerned, but the rape had convinced him that it was time to stop pussy-footing around and take some serious action.
So he entered the Captainís ready room prepared for battle.
"Come in Chakotay." Kathryn smiled, "Would you like some tea? Coffee?"
So she wanted to play it that way, did she? He thought bitterly, thoroughly sick of playing games with people. If he was even losing patience with Tomís acting today, the Captain didnít stand a chance in hell of wrapping him around her finger.
"No thank you, Captain, I have just finished dinner." He replied smoothly.
Kathrynís eyes narrowed at his formal address. He obviously didnít want to be Ďcivilisedí about this.
"Have a seat." She said, her words obviously not a Ďsuggestioní.
Chakotay sighed and sat down heavily in the chair she indicated. "What can I do for you, Captain?" he asked.
She took the seat opposite and pursed her lips as she considered her reply.
"It has been brought to my attention that you have embarked on a personal relationship with Tom Paris."
"So?" Chakotay replied stonily
Kathryn flashed a look of annoyance at his deliberate obtuseness.
"I would like to understand the nature of your relationship, I have heard some disturbing rumors."
"Oh?" Chakotay answered, determined to make her squirm.
Realising that Chakotay was obviously going to restrain his replies to one syllable unless she lay her cards on the table, the Captain decided to be blunt. It wasnít as though there would be any witnesses to the conversation, after all.
"Is it true that you are planning to keep Tom to yourself, Chakotay?"
"Yes" He replied firmly
"You canít DO that! It is an abuse of your position and I wonít stand for it."
"An abuse of my position to have a relationship with one of the crew? I understood that we had an open policy of shipboard fraternization." Chakotay said in apparent bewilderment
"Donít be obtuse, Chakotay. We arenít talking about a normal member of the crew, we are talking about Tom Paris!" She spat in exasperation.
"Who is Voyagerís pilot and a Senior Officer. I see no impropriety in our relationship."
"Damnit, Chakotay, you KNOW what I am talking about!" Kathryn hissed
Chakotay just looked at her with a blank expression.
"You donít seem to understand the ramifications of this SELFISHNESS, Chakotay, Voyager has been lost in the Delta Quadrant for six years, people are lonely. Tom is a vital part of keeping the crew happy."
"Iím confused, Captain. I realise that Tom has been promiscuous in the past and that this is the first REAL relationship he has entered into. Of course some people are bound to be upset by that but it is hardly an issue that WE need to discuss."
"Grow up, Chakotay, Tom isnít promiscuous, heís a whore, a bloody useful whore and I wonít have you pissing off the whole crew just because as First Officer you can afford to keep him for yourself!"
"I donít understand, Captain. You yourself told me only last week that Tom just had a healthy sex-drive and when I called it whoring you said it was only reciprocation."
"For Godís sake, Chakotay, we were in the bloody MESS HALL, what did you want me to say?"
Chakotay mimed confusion
"You mean, you mean Tom really IS a whore?"
"Well I didnít choose him in Auckland because of his BRAINS, Chakotay, and his piloting skills have come as an amazing unexpected bonus I admit, but after we were stuck out here, what the hell else was I going to do with an over-sexed ex-convict? "
"Then you have deliberately used him to keep morale up?" Chakotay asked, his voice full of admiration
Kathryn smirked as she looked at her First Officer
"Not to mention supplies. Iím sorry Chakotay if you actually thought he loved you. Youíve evidently fallen for his smooth seduction routine. He will have checked your ration account thoroughly before bothering, I assure you. Why not save yourself a lot of grief AND credits, just do what I do"
"And whatís that?" Chakotay asked despondently
"As Captain, I donít pay, obviously, and neither should you!"
"So in addition to encouraging him in prostitution, you also sample the goods yourself? That makes you a Pimp, Captain. You should be ashamed of yourself, youíre a disgrace to the uniform you wear." Chakotay said coldly
Janeway flinched at his unexpected condemnation.
"Let me explain myself very clearly, Kathryn. Tom is now under my protection. From now on NOBODY touches him or even looks at him, and that includes you."
The Captain stiffened angrily and her eyes flashed fire
"You bloody fool, youíve been swept off your feet by a pretty face. Donít cross me Chakotay, Tomís well-used ass isnít worth it."
"I believe it is, Captain. I believe that Tom is worth far more than any of you give him credit for." Chakotay said staunchly
"Chakotay, you are my right-hand. Donít letís fall out over a two-credit whore. Think of your own reputation. What will the crew think of you when they realise you have been stupid enough to fall in love with the slut who has sold himself to half the Delta Quadrant? They will laugh at you, Chakotay as a middle-aged fool who thinks with his dick." She snarled
"Let me explain this to you simply, Captain, in words of one syllable. I LOVE TOM. Thereís nothing more to be said. He is no longer available to hire by the hour. Understand that and there will be no need for us to fall out at all."
"I wonít allow it, Commander. Tom is too valuable an asset to the ship. He is MINE to do with as I choose and I choose to keep him." Kathryn said firmly.
"I donít think so, Captain. I think that you will support me fully in this matter."
"And why the hell would I do that?"
"Because you would prefer that our conversation remained private."
Kathryn looked at him in amazement.
"You wouldnít DARE!" She spat, "Besides, no one would believe your word against mine."
A wide shit-eating grin spread across Chakotayís face
"Possibly not, but the fact that I have had our entire conversation recorded on a remote vid is probably a factor you should consider before you make your final decision."
Chakotay shrugged "I told you, Kathryn, I love him."
For a long moment the Captainís glare was full of hatred and then slowly her mouth began to twitch and her furious expression began to transmute into genuine amusement
"By God!" she chortled "You mean it, you actually really HAVE fallen for the little tramp, you poor fool."
"So you WILL support me?" Chakotay demanded
"For what itís worth, yes, except you are wasting your time, Chakotay. The minute you turn your back on him he will be turning tricks again. Once a whore, always a whore. But for as long as you CAN keep him, I wonít interfere." She conceded.
She let Chakotay get as far as the door
"Oh, and Commander?"
"I want that tape."
"What tape?" Chakotay smirked "How the hell would I tape a conversation in your Ready Room?"
"You bastard, you really had me going then." Kathryn laughed in relief "Mind you, I would never have forgiven you."
"I just hope he doesnít break your heart." She said "Dismissed".
Chakotay hurried back towards his quarters, praying he would still find Tom waiting and reminding himself to find a secure hiding place for the tape, just in case.