Title: The Gift of Love - Part 2
Author: Kim Riley a.k.a. MYSTIC
Pairing: C/P
Rating: Pretty Gentle if your over 13 (PG-13)
Archive: Please, just let me know where.
Feedback: Yes please!

The Gift of Love - Part 2

As strange as it seems for a man in prison, forever denied a
way home, and stuck on an alien planet, I couldn't be happier. Well,
perhaps a bit.but I wouldn't dare push my luck. Having being sentenced
originally to three years in prison, to find after three months that
even though Voyager had continued its journey, the man I love, even if
he is as straight as an arrow - sexually, stayed behind.

I know he did it because he felt guilty that I chose to take
his place, not that I gave him any say, but he had to have it anyway,
by choosing to stay with me. To top it off, Tom even got my sentence
commuted down to 18 months. It turns out that when Tom chose to stay,
much to Kathryn's disapproval, the first thing he did was go see my
representative. From what Tom has told me, Hardesen, is a good man,
for he informed Tom that if he aided in paying the state for my keep,
they would reduce my sentence. The man also gave Tom a part time
internship in exchange for room and board. So now, Tom works all sort
of odd jobs during the day and for Hardesen at night.poor thing is

I should feel guilty, but I can't. Tom is amazing. Normal
visiting privileges are once a week, but leave it to Tom Paris to make
things work his way. No one was more surprised than me to find out I
had another visitor.Tom, the next day. Tom then told me that during
his three months of pre-lawyership, he discovered that if prisoners
were denied privileges due to misunderstandings, like a change in time
to be serve, that they had to be made up to the satisfaction of the
representative. Tom told me he had to talk with the judge a few times,
which means, knowing Tom, he pestered the poor guy every day. The
result, Tom could visit me everyday for the next 18 months if he wants
too. This of course meant that the Judge wanted to make sure he never
had to lay eyes on Tom ever again.he loss, for I can't get tired of
that face.ever.

That was six months ago. I count every second of the day till
I can spend that hour with him, and every second at night till the
next day. He's always there, and no matter how tired he looks, his
eyes are always filled with warmth, and I think.some love. I know,
it's silly of me, but if you could have monitored our conversations
over the months, they first were Lieutenant to Commander, then Paris
to Chakotay, to Tom and Cha, and as of the last week I took notice I
started calling him Pooka and him calling me babe, I could scream.for
joy of course. I so love that man. I know this doesn't sound like the
all-calm Commander, but who ever took the time to look inside, besides
Tom as of late? If they did, then they'd know this is very much me.I
just hide it well.

Plus, for the last three months we sit and talk, that stupid
glass between us.oh how I wish I could just touch his hand.his
fingers; but the glass is there and I noticed that we have gotten use
to sitting there with my left hand pressed against the glass with his
resting equal on the otherside. He's so wonderful, but getting a bit
thin for my liking. He works all day, travels all the way out here to
the prison, a forty-five minute ride one way, to spend an hour with me
and repeat it to go home, and work for Hardesen.

I tried to tell him he should not come once.the devastation in his
eyes made me regret even the suggestion. I told him it was not because
I didn't want to see him, but because he looked so tired. This helped,
and the devastation was gone from his eyes, but Tom just brushed the
idea aside. Thinking about it now, I should have been more insistent,
I wouldn't be so worried now.

You see, Tom hasn't come today, and soon visiting hours will
be over, any minute now. I fear Tom may have pushed himself too hard
and got sick or worse hurt. I'd like to think if something was wrong
Hardesen will look after him and let me know, but. Shit! Visiting
hours is now over and Tom didn't show. I kick myself as I get up and
get ready to walk back to the main area, I feel.disappointed that he
didn't show, but I can't help it. He's been my light, my saving grace
in this hell, and not seeing him, beside bringing me worry, makes my
soul ache.

I'm walking across the crosswalk that leads from the visiting
center to the prison; it's secure, but open, so when I think I hear
something, I stop. Thankfully the guard is nice and doesn't do
anything other then tells me to get moving. I was just about to when I
heard it.Tom's voice. I look out and see down below a silhouette that
looks like him. He's yelling.sorry. I smile ear to ear.he came! I try
to yell its okay, but I don't know if he can hear me, so I wave, but
then the guard gives me a physical reminder to get moving and I have
to go, but Tom came.

I of course go report to where I'm suppose to be today. My
mind whirling a million miles a second, glad that Tom is okay and that
he came, but knowing he'll be upset.Tom's the sensitive type, no
matter how smart ass he comes off. It then occurs to me, some of the
others have mentioned that if you have enough privilege points,
something you get from extra work, good behavior, and things like
that, you can send out communiqués. After I'm done here I'm going to
see if I have any, and if I'm lucky, enough to send Tom a note to let
him know all is okay.


Damn it! It's my own fault! Chakotay had mentioned that I was
overdoing it, but.damn! I overslept this morning and was late to the
current job I have, shoveling fish guts.yuck! But it's a fair paying
job and they let me do it, so I can't really complain. But late to
work meant late getting off, which meant late getting to the prison.I
just missed, seeing him. Well I sort of saw him, he waved, but it's
not the same.

Ever since I got that damn judge to 'give in' and let me visit
Chakotay more, all I want really, was because he was fed up with me
hounding him or the promise I would, ever free minute I had. I think
he saw best to keep me busy with seeing Chakotay than him.smart man,
for I've done just that. Everyday, almost like clockwork. The hour may
be earlier or later, but till today I never missed a day where I could
look into those deep dark eyes.

Again, it's my own fault. I work from sun up to late noon, I
always make sure I have time to see Cha, I usually don't blow it, like
today. But, at night, between keeping Hardesen's books, I've been
reading them too. First to see if I could commute Cha's sentence even
more, but seeing I got the best deal I was going to get him, I moved
on to the next thing.getting closer.

I know, he's straight, but, I don't care, I don't think he
even cares anymore. When he started calling me Pooka last week, my
heart and soul became all a flame. When I slipped and called him babe,
he smiled that two dimple one that melts my soul and hardens my groin.
Plus, even just to touch his hand, I know he would like that two, for
I can't be reading all the signs wrong, he sits everyday with his hand
pressed to the glass and I press back, knowing that we are sharing
something even if that damn glass is there. But I want more, but as I
discovered last night, the only way would be if we were married, and
that would entitle us to intimate visits.

Damn, if I thought he would say yes, even if it was only to
get close to play cards, hell I'd do it in a heartbeat. I know without
a doubt how much I'm in love with him, and I vowed when I decided to
stay behind, no matter how much protest I got, that I would find a way
to make that man as happy as possible. I don't ever want him to regret
more than he may already does that he has to spend the rest of his
life here.

I tell myself over and over again on my way back to Hardesen's
place of business, where I have a room in the basement, that I'll take
advantage of this mishap and get some much needed rest so it doesn't
happen again. But I can't help but feel like I let Chakotay down some
how. I can see it in his eyes, he's glad to see me, I mean I know it
sounds crazy, but I would swear his eyes light up when he sees me.
Things must be a lot worse in prison than he's letting on, that he
would consider me the highlight of his day, but I can't complain.
We've become so close over the last six months, that even if I do
shovel fish guts to hauling fertilizer around, I couldn't be more
happier.well, perhaps more, but I'm not going to push my luck.

By the time I get back to the city and run all of Hardesen's
errands that I do daily, It's nearly dark. When I get in, I see that
not only is there the typical meal his wife leaves for me, sweet woman
and a great cook, but a package. Curiosity gets the better of me and I
open it and see a cross between a sky blue stuffed teddy bear and a
pig. It's kind of cute and I smirk, so I take it out of the box and
see a letter underneath it. I pull it out and it's addressed to me.I
open it.it's from Chakotay!

In the letter he explains that prisoners can earn privilege
points to send letters and if they have enough, even packages, but are
limited to what they could send. He was surprised to see how many he
had, and the Tuffy (the bear pig) was the only thing he thought I
might like, besides roses, but he wanted to send something that would
last. Then he tells me how he knew I'd be beating myself up over
today and not too! That he knew I was doing more than my best, and he
appreciated every bit of it. That he was proud of me and wanted me to
know it. Then he said my visits were special to him, but he would
never be angry if I couldn't come, for he would rather me not come
then something happen to me from overwork. I feel tears well up in my
eyes, for I can feel how much he cares!

I don't know if it was just habit, but I can't make myself
believe it, for the Tuffy has a heart shape stomach, for he signed the
card, Love Always, Chakotay. I cry with joy and hug that stupid lovely
stuffed animal with all my heart.he loves me, I know it! That's it!
Tomorrow when I see him, I'm going to make the suggestion of marriage.
Hell, maybe I'll just propose! My heart is soaring and my mind is
whirling and I so badly want to run back to that stupid prison and
demand to see Cha, but I have to wait.and waiting has always been it's
own hell, tonight it will seem like an eternity.

You want to hear pathetic, I named the stupid thing, little
Cha', and everything I've done tonight (well practically everything)
I've done with it tucked under my arm, and yes, I plan on taking it to
bed with me. It's suddenly become the most precious thing in the
universe, next to the real thing of course. I finished early, and
force myself to bed.I won't be late tomorrow and I will see Cha!


I'm nervous. When I found out that I could not only send Tom a
letter but a package, since I earned so many points, turned out all
that extra work I did just to keep busy has paid off big time in that
department, that I was beside myself with choices. Most stuff was
either too impersonal or for spouses, and don't ask me, but that
stupid blue thing just leaped out at me. It was the color of Tom's
eyes, and I couldn't resist. Then I realized that after sending things
on its way that I signed the card, love always, which is true, but I
don't know how Tom will react. So that's why I'm nervous.

I'm going to see him any second now, and I hope he isn't upset
or anything negative. I see him, spirits he looks good! He's smiling,
can't be all that bad.unless he didn't get it? I take a deep breath
and sit down and smile, "Tom," I say warmly.

"Cha," he says, grinning ear to ear and as usual places his
hand to that damn glass, and I respond immediately in kind.

"I got the package last night, thank you so much."

"You're welcome, I.I wanted to let you know I understood about
yesterday, I.I didn't want you to beat yourself up over it."

Tom smiles again, "I was you know. But.that made me stop." Tom
stops and looks down, suddenly nervous. "Babe, can I ask you something
without you getting upset at me?"

Chakotay thinks the worst, but remains calm, "Anything, Pooka,
you know that. I don't think I could really be mad at you," he smiles,
"Not long any way," he teases.

Tom takes a deep breath and decides to go for broke; "Will you
marry me?"

Chakotay's eyes go wide! He blinks twice and shakes his head,
"Um, what did you say?" he asks, unsure if he heard right.

Tom starts to sweat, "Cha, I love you, very much, and.well."
he was losing his nerve.

"You love me?"

"Yes," Tom replied softly, shying his eyes down but smiling
warmly, bashfully.

"Oh Spirits, Tom! I love you too!" Chakotay's confession is
met with bright shining blue eyes that look absolutely aglow.

"Does that mean you'll marry me?" Tom asks hopefully.

"Marriage? Tom are you sure, I'm in prison.we.I love you with
all my heart and soul, but are you sure?" Chakotay stutters.

"Babe, I love you just as much, and yes I'm sure. Plus, the
reason I decided not to wait till after your out is purely selfish,"
Tom states grinning.

"Selfish? You?"

Tom blushes, "Married couples are allowed intimate visits," he

Chakotay couldn't help grinning himself. The though of
touching Tom at all was appealing, but to be able to hold, kiss and
make love to him.he felt the hardening already responding to the
possibility. "If you're selfish for wanting that, then so am I, Pooka.
So am I," he purrs.

"So is that a yes?"

"Oh Spirits, Pooka, YES!" Chakotay shouts, receiving looks
from some of the other prisoners and their visitors and the guards.
"Yes, Tom Paris, I'd be honored to be your husband."

"I swear," Tom states suddenly serious, "That you won't regret
it. I love you, Cha, and I promise to make you happy."

"Tom, I don't think you can make me much more happier than I
am this moment, but if anyone can, it would only be you, love. Only

"I'll have to talk to a few people to arrange things.um, you
mind a quick wedding?"

Chakotay could see the impatience in his loves eyes, the
desire to touch was just as strong in his own soul, "Not one bit. The
sooner the better." Then he leaned in closer; "I want to kiss you so
badly right now."

Tom chuckles with a slight flush to his cheeks, "That's nothing to
what I want to do to you right now,'' he whispered back.

Chakotay sits back, "better stop, or I'll never be able to
walk back." They both laugh.

The rest of the hour was spent sharing feelings of love and
impatience to their being together soon.


Chakotay was amazed but not surprised that Tom got everything
arranged in just under four days, and didn't miss one visit to do it
either. Today, the two of them stood hand in hand, touching for the
first time in almost a year, in front of the same judge that sentenced
Chakotay. It seemed ironic somehow that the man who was responsible
for his misery would now be responsible for his ultimate joy, sealing
the bonds between him and Tom.

Tom wore a simple blue silk shirt and white pants, and
Chakotay.he had no choice, a black prison jumpsuit, which on him
looked rather good. They exchanged vows, and rings, even if it wasn't
customary for the Kallations to do so, it was what they both wanted.
Then the moment of truth.they said they do, and they were allowed to
kiss, their first kiss ever would be the one that sealed them together
on their wedding day.

Tom felt strong arms embrace him and his body started to melt
into them. Then he felt Chakotay's warm breath as his lips closed in
on his and when they touched, his soul exploded in passionate joy.
What was to be a chaste kiss was deep, passionate, and loving, lasting
a good ten minutes, to the displeasure of the judge.

The Judge's present was that the happy couple wouldn't have to
wait for their first 'visit', that they would be allowed to spend the
night together in one of the privet rooms downstairs in the visiting
center, after Tom was searched of course. Then the couple would be
allowed to meet personally once a week, Tom had no maneuvering room on
this, and since he had so much to be grateful for, didn't push his

Once in the room, the door locked, and the two were alone,
they just stared at each other. Taking in the moment, trying to
believe it was all-real, and get over the fact that they were both
suddenly scared as hell. This would be their first time together and
their honeymoon.talk about pressure.

It was Tom that made the first move, by suddenly jumping into
Chakotay's arms and kissing him madly. The next thing Tom knew the
hottest mouth and strongest hands in the universe were on his body
ravishing him. His body responded to every touch, wanting more, oh so
much more!

Spirits, he's so beautiful! His taste, his smell, the very
feel of him is better than I could imagine, and believe me, I imagined
often. I lean up for a moment and see him laying there, his face
flushed, his sky blue eyes all a storm with love and desire, because
of me, for me! Spirits I want him!

Before I knew it I just ripped open his shirt to expose his
chest. The gasp he makes startles me a bit and I hesitate, but when he
looks at me so aroused and whispers "yes" I lose all control, I have
to have him, NOW!

OH YES! I can feel how much he loves and wants me in every
touch of his strong hands. I want to melt into him, take him inside
me, what ever it takes to be one with him! Chakotay wants me.me! Then
he stops and looks at me, his breathing labored like my own, his dark
eyes now all black with desire staring at me.hungry and I'm thrilled
to know I'm the main course.

Suddenly he rips open my shirt. I see a wild streak I never
knew was there, and I gasp, for I find I not only like the idea of it,
but also suddenly crave it! I then see him hesitate, his eyes asking
permission to lose control, to take me .oh heavens, this turns me on.
Yes, I whisper, and my world then explodes into pure bliss!


I'm not surprised that our first.three times were fast and
passionate. Spirits, we've only desired each other for so long that
when the opportunity to touch arrived, it was like opening a damn, the
water pressure was bursting. The rest of the night, for neither of us
wanted to sleep, for it would be a whole week before we could be
together again, was spent in each other's arms, slowly making love.

I told Tom that he should rest, but he tells me.forget it.
Plus, he took the next day off, leave it to my husband to think far
enough a head to know I'd exhaust him. "So, how do you feel, Mr.
Paris?" I ask him, knowing that if possible I'd be orbiting this

Tom smiles, "Wonderful! And you, Mr."

I see him hesitate, for we never discussed this. "Paris. Mr.
Chakotay Paris," I smile. "You should meet my husband," I tease. "He's
the most beautiful man in the universe," I say.

"Really?" Tom says. "Have you been all through out the
universe to know this?" he asks.

I grin, "He's the most beautiful man all through out 'my'
universe," I respond. "And not just on the out side," I say as I
stroke his smooth creamy cheek. "But inside as well. Plus, he's
intelligent, quick witted, and has one hell of a personality." I'm
pleased to see Tom blush, but it's all true, and he needs to know
this. Then I see tears in his eyes and I become concerned, did I say
something wrong? "Tom?"

"I love you so much, Cha," he whispers.

"And I love you," I say as I kiss his tears away. Then I look
into he eyes; I see his soul and know mine is so intermingled with his
that I would die if I ever lost him. "My beautiful, Tom," I purr as I
stroke his cheek again.

A wave of regret fills me, and since we promised to be honest
with each other months ago, I have to tell him. "I only regret keeping
you from being able to go home, but." he stops me with a finger to my

"I had nothing back in the Alpha quadrant, but a possible
prison sentence myself. You've become my life, Chakotay. I only regret
that it took.this, for us to find one another," he says.

I kiss his finger, "Then neither of us have any regrets then,
for I wouldn't trade anything that has occurred, for being here with
you is what I want more than life its self. Though I have family back
in the Alpha quadrant, you, Tom.you are my life and there is no were I
want to be but by your side. This I can't regret, and don't you. I
love you!" After a moment we both see in the other's eyes that we
both have what we want.each other.

Tom and I start to make love again, the eight, ninth time, I
lost track, but it's beautiful. I'm not sure what happened, since
we're way down in the basement of the visitor building, but what ever
it was, it had to be big. It felt like an explosion, and it rocked Tom
and me out of the bed. Instinctually I scrambled to get Tom and myself
under the bed; there was nothing else to use to keep the falling
cement off of us. What ever happened, it rocked the place again and

Tired is not the word for how I feel. It's been almost 2 years since I
lost my best friend and First Officer and our best pilot, though it's
felt like twelve if you ask me. I kept my promise to Chakotay, like
he knew I would, but it's been hell. I mean I knew things would be
hard, but damn.not this hard!

I don't think anyone appreciated just how important Chakotay
was to this ship, he.he was the heart, as Tom, dear Tom was the
spirit. Both men's loss has taken its toll over the years. I have had
more brawls, arguments, and nearly one mutiny! I never had a problem
like this in all the five years we were together, Chakotay by my side
and Tom at the helm, but the last two?

I never knew how much Tom's fiery spirit affected the crew,
but Mr. Neelix has made a point to inform me, over and over again over
the many months. I'm to the point where I find myself wanting to space
my entire crew, but fortunately, Tuvok has enough control for both of
us, but even he is feeling the pressure of Chakotay's loss.

Talk about suddenly becoming religious, when we found the
wormhole, though it wasn't the discovery of it that was my revelation.
It was a disappointment to find a steady wormhole that led light-years
behind us.two years, that was the revelation.

I didn't say anything right away, for I wanted to be sure of
everything first. This crew couldn't take another disappointment, and
really neither could I. I ordered us to hold position while I ran some
test, and I'm now sure my idea will work. I've called for a senior
staff meeting.

I sit in my chair looking at them, Tuvok, Greg Alaya who's
taken tactical, Betaheart who's taken chief pilot, and wonder if
they'd be okay with what I'm about to propose, since it will affect
them most. But I decide to proceed anyway, "I have studied the
wormhole, and it's stable from this side. With some additional
readings, I am convinced that we can maintain it to use as an open
doorway," I state.

The looks of puzzlement annoy me. Didn't anyone else
understand but me? Thank fully Harry suddenly got it. His exclamation
of Tom filled the air, and I could see everyone finally got it. "Yes,"
I say. "If we stabilize the wormhole, we can go through and go back to
the Kallation's home world and retrieve Lieutenant Paris and Commander

"The infamous Tom Paris and Commander Chakotay," our newest
member, Seven of Nine states. They may as well be infamous, not a day
has gone by with one or the others name being spoken in reverence.

"He was sentenced to three years," B'Elanna states.

I want to smack her. It's bad enough I had to reduce her in
rank due to her poor attitude, but this really gets my goat. But I
take a note from my former first officer and just breath. "Three years
with early release for good behavior. I'm 'sure' that has been the
case. And even if not, I have no intentions of leaving without them
this time," I state, daring anyone to challenge me over this.I really
could use the spacing practice.

The looks of hope and approval fill my soul as well as the
room. I set everyone to their task. By this time tomorrow, we'll be
back over the Kallation's world, and I hope have our two missing
lambs.home where they belong.


My heart constricts as I hear soft gasps from some of the
bridge crew. The Kallation's planet is almost grey with
destruction.what the hell happened! "Any life signs?" I snap, praying
to every force in the universe.

When Harry say's yes, I take a breath, noting I was it. Then
comes the next part, "Any human life signs?" Since we were not
planning to come back, neither Tom or Chakotay had com badges, but
they are the only two humans around.please let them be around.

After a few minutes I swivel in my seat to see Harry is
sweating, "what?" I ask.

"Captain," he states in a hesitant voice. "I'm still
searching, but most life signs are underground, and." he swallows
hard. "It was the Borg."

I know I pale at the sound of that name, and know so does
everyone else. It's Tuvok that breaks the tension by stating that it
is unlike them to leave anything alive behind. I'm not sure if I want
to hit him, or not. I know Harry wouldn't say it unless he was sure,
but the fact that there was life, meant.Gods, please!

"I can't explain it, Commander," Harry states, but there's
Borg signatures all over the planet. But there is life, and no current
sign of the Borg."

"Like they came it fast and dirty," I say to myself, not sure
what to make of it. I know we'd all rather Tom and Chakotay dead
then.I can't let myself even think about it.

"That would not be far from accurate," Seven states. "With the
situation with species 87642, the collective may have been down drones
and was called away before full assimilation could transpire."

Since we know how that mess worked out, things make a bit more
sense, but.

The minutes drag even more, and I see Harry straining, but
when the corner of his lips begin to turn up everyone feels it. "Yes!"
he shouts, and I congratulate him before he can apologize for his
outburst, he's only expressing what I know we all feel.

"Care to join me, Ensign?" I ask him as I get up. "Mr. Tuvok,
you have the con till I bring our wayward children home," I smile;
though inside I'm concerned for them. It couldn't have been easy.

Harry, B'Elanna and myself beam down to the coordinates that
lead to the underground passage where Harry picked up the two human
life signs. The place is located where the prison use to stand, now a
pile of rubble. We see that the devastation was not as complete as the
Borg usually are, for this I can't help be grateful for.

There are areas that have been cultivated and plants are
growing, under heavy guard. We are met with a bit of hostility, but I
assure them that we mean no harm, that were only here to look for two
human, thinking this should ease thing, I'm wrong. They get very

For a moment I think we may have to fight them, but a familiar
voice calls them off. I look and see a lanky tall man, long blond
hair, tired back, with a goatee walking toward us. The eyes.it's Tom!
Damn, even scruffy, he looks good.

"Tom!" Harry yells, and before we know it he's hugging his
best friend once again.

Tom hugs Harry back and then looks at us, his eyes tired, but
no where as miserable as I would have thought. "What the hell are you
doing here?" he asks, amazed to see us.

"We found a stable wormhole that would let us come back and
get you guys and not lose any ground," Harry states excitedly.

Tom's eyes looked warmed, "You came back." he whispers. It
seems for a moment he may cry, but he pulls himself together, and hugs
B'Elanna, even me. "I know Cha will be thrilled to see you all," he
says. "But as for leaving? Well," he hesitates.

"You can't possibly want to stay?" Harry says for me.

Tom looks at us seriously, "We thought this was going to be
our home, for life. When the Borg came, and heaven only knows why they
left so sudden, it's been a daily struggle to survive," he says. Then
he looks at me, pride shining in his eyes, "Cha has performed
miracles, pulling survivors together, forming communities, food
resources.damn if he doesn't run the place," he smiles. Then he gets
serious, "People depend on him," he says as he starts to lead us down
the passage that will take us below.

I'm not sure what surprises me more, the fact the we've been
led into an underground city that is actually thriving or the way Tom
walks up to Chakotay, who's hair is also long, some grey, and tied
back, and kisses him square on the lips. It's then that I suddenly
become aware that Tom is wearing a wedding ring, and after a close
look, so is Chakotay. Damn, things 'have' changed.


Why the Borg came and left so quickly is a mystery, but I
really can't complain, for Tom and I are still here, and human. Though
life has been a nightmarish struggle, I couldn't pray for anything
more than a healthy, happy Tom by my side. Of course we've had our ups
and downs, for harsh decisions needed to be made, and Tom.well he may
be a rebel at heart, but he's also the biggest softy I know. So it
fell to me, I've done it before, and so I did it again, I took charge
of a rag tag group and made something out of them.

Before I knew it, that group was growing, too large, so I had
to make another decision, to break them up and send them out to start
colonies. Tom wasn't happy about this, but I explained, with food
being so minimal, if I didn't do this, there would be worse fights
then there was and then people would start to starve. I didn't send
them out with nothing. I scouted ahead, and found places were the soil
would grow food, and gave them food to start off with and seeds. Every
week for months, it felt like I was giving farming lessons. I can't
help but wonder what my Father would think, the boy who craved modern
technology is the savior of a world that embraced it and now is lost
without it. Me.native boy of Dovan V held a vital key.

Tom of course, held another. We make a great team. Where I
have to play hardball, Tom keeps people together by running
interference, much like what I did when I was First Officer for
Janeway. Though I know Tom misses flying, he's thrived at helping so
many people, and if you ask me, he's just as skilled at that as he is
at flying. Together we've helped rebuilt a sense of society in just
over a year. My biggest fear, next to losing my life (Tom) is that the
damn Borg will come back to finish the job.

I never expected what just happened. Tom walks up to me,
kisses me.that's wonderfully normal, but then smiles and points behind
him. I turn and see them.they're back. Voyager is back, and I'm not
sure how I feel about it. Tom and I have worked so hard to build a
home here, never thinking about the possibility of going back, that
seeing them again, though good, is.strangely.unwelcome.

"Kathryn?" I say softly, still not believing she's here. She's
cut her hair, hate to admit it, but it looks terrible, but I smile
anyway, for seeing her is good. I move and hug her tightly, and feel
her hug me just as tight.

"I can't believe your still wearing that stupid jumpsuit," she
say with tears in her eyes and a laugh on her lips.

"Me neither," I replied. "But there was a large number of them
in the storage facilities under the prison, and it's cloths," I say.
Of course, it no longer has the same stigma of prison, for just about
everyone has at least one in this city. Plus, they're practical, and
we need as much basic as possible.

"What.how?" I find myself stuttering.

She then tells me about the wormhole. I decide it best to take
the group to the area Tom and I have called home for the past fourteen
months since that fateful night. Strangely, it's the same room, for it
like other visitor rooms were far enough underground that it survived
the initial blast and we were so out of the main stream that the Borg
just never got to us. They concentrated on heavily populated areas,
then suddenly as they arrived, left.

Talk about timing, I just get them inside when she mentions
about us coming home. I want to say I just walked into my home, but.I
knew what she meant, and I'm not so sure that's what I want, but I'll
have to talk with Tom. His happiness means everything, and as poorly
as it may sound, yes even over everyone else in this world. Tom is my
life, without him, I'm nothing.

I offer them all a seat and Tom moves in and plays good host.
We don't have much, for we have just as much as everyone else, for I
may run things, but I don't think I'm any better than anyone else, nor
should I. Sure I may take a few liberties here and there, but I'm
only human and I know I give back a thousand percent compared to what
little I may take.

I move close to Tom, to get a sense of how he feels about all
this, but his mask is up, which either means he's unhappy about it as
me, or he's thrilled and doesn't want to place me in bad light. I hand
out the drinks to everyone and ask what's been going on. It makes for
a good distraction from the initial subject of our returning to
Voyager, till I can talk with Tom.

I listen to all the changes, and I have to admit, I'm
disappointed to hear that things have been so bad, and not because of
outsiders, but the crew itself. I can see the slight desperation in
Kathryn's eyes, but even that doesn't compare to the hundreds that
depend on me to help them survive. Spirits, I need to talk with Tom.

I let Tom take Harry and B'Elanna, sheesh an ensign.we're
going to have to talk about that, on a tour of our city. I take
Kathryn. She tells me about Seven of Nine, interesting, but I'm more
relieved to know that the damn Borg won't be back or bothering anyone
for awhile. Then she asks me about me and Tom. I tell her the whole
wonderful story, she smiles, she was always a sucker for a true
romantic tale, and I do think ours applies.

Then she hits me square, "How soon do you think you and Tom
will be ready to come back?" She doesn't even see it as an option that
I may not want to go back.

I counter by telling her of life here. From digging our way
out of being buried in the basement, to hiding again once we
discovered it was the Borg. Then when they left, it was every man for
themselves attitude for awhile. The main prison area was taken up,
but left the storage areas, so there was food, clothing, and weapons.
Tom and I made use of them, and after pushing out dozens, for they
tired to come in with force, I made the decision that order was

I made deals with those that had the intelligence to talk
first and not demand stuff. If they agreed to follow orders and become
part of a community, they were welcomed. The first four months, I
thought Tom was going to divorce me, for I had to be a real bastard! I
had too. There was too much chaos and these people only responded to a
firm hand and fear. But as soon as things started to resemble some
sense of order, I could relax and win back Tom's heart. Though he told
me I could never lose it, I wasn't so sure for a while.

Then I told her of how I planned out the communities, how they
worked together to aid in the overall prosperity of the people. It was
no longer an 'I' mentality, but a 'we'. Since food was getting
scarce, we put our heads together and found a way to excellerate the
natural growth process, naturally. This was the real life savior of us
all, and it was all thanks to Tom, but he's to modest to take the

The only side effect we have been able to see is body hair. It
grows at twice the speed. I also found I love Tom's long hair, and he
mine. So we agreed not to cut it. Then Tom decided he wanted that
goatee. I didn't like it at first, but Tom's been working very hard to
persway me otherwise. I started liking it months ago, but I'm not
going to tell him that.till he asks. As promised, no secrets between
us, but his efforts are wonderful. But I don't mention any of this to
Kathryn, just the food part.

She tells me how impressed she is, and I know it's sincere,
but.she still only sees me coming back. I have to talk with Tom.


It's good to have Harry and B'Elanna around again! I have
missed them so, but.I've changed and so have they. They asked me about
life here and I tell them it's been hard. But when I say I still very
happy, they gawk at me. It was then B'Elanna that speaks up first.

"It has to do with you can the Commander, doesn't it?" she

I mean how could they missed the kiss I gave him, I think, "Yeah.
Though life has presented us our share of hardship, I still wouldn't
trade one personal day of our fourteen months of marriage," I state

It's Harry's expression that make s me laugh. He looks at me like I
grew another head. "You're married? To the Commander?" he asks.

I tell him yes, and show off my wedding ring. It looks like someone
took a gold rope and a silver one and braided them together. Cha's
looks the same, and it fits us, two different type of people made one.
I then tell them about how things led up to me asking him to marry me,
and Harry's look of disbelief is priceless.

B'Elanna congratulates me, and then states that the crew will have a
field day with this when we get back. Though I would love to fly
again, I like Cha, have put my heart and soul in this place. We've
rebuilt not only buildings, but spirits, hope.a future. There is only
one thing that that keeps me considering returning, besides
flying.medical technology. I know that if we returned we, me and Cha
could have a family.our family. Though in a way we have cities full of
family, it's not the same.

He's mentioned adopting, not that there would be any paperwork
involved, but we're so busy here, we know we don't have time for a
child. But I see it in his eyes, he wants one, and though I'm weary of
what kind of parent I'd be, I want one too, I want Chakotay's. But I
have to talk with him first. I'm sure he'll want to stay, he'd
sacrifice everything for these people, that's one of the many reasons
I love him. But, if he's taught me anything, sometimes one has to play
the bad guy to achieve the best results for everyone. If I insist on
going, I know he'll do it, and then we can have our family, but.I know
he'll feel guilty too. Spirits!

Yes, Cha has me walking and talking with the Spirits too! It's
wonderful. My guide is a hawk, and she is so cool, wise, and can match
me word for word when I get too cocky. She's great. Ah, I have to talk
with Cha!


"Tom as much as Voyage may want me back, this place needs me," I say
to Tom. I know I'm going to try to be open about this, but it is how I
feel. Perhaps it is some deep seeded power thing, for technically I
am in charge over all the colonies, but I do believe they need me

I listen to Tom, who feels a lot of what I do, but he then makes a
good point, his flying and a chance of a family.between us. Voyager
has that technology and facilities this place can no longer hold. But
as much as I want Tom's children I.I know this is the reason I was
meant to be here.

I was given the blessing of Tom in my life, as my life, I can't run
out now when life calls in that debt. It's not who I am. Don't get me
wrong, I do feel for Kathryn, and the crew; they were my family long
before this place, but I've come to be a man of duty, and duty calls
me here. I just hope Tom will agree; though if he really insists.I'll
given in. I just hope he won't insist, too much.


I knew it! I knew Chakotay would want to stay because he feels
obligated to stay, just like I know how he wants a family. But the two
options are not possible, for this planet is now too far gone to
maintain such a medical facility.probably.

I know Cha is going to try and sweet talk the Captain for some aid,
and I can't see the Prime Directive being a stumbling block. Hell, if
it weren't for Cha, a lot of these people would be dead now, so
whatever interference we would do, we've done.

I've got to talk with the EMH. See if I can make Chakotay's wish come
true. I vowed that I would not let him regret being here with me, and
I honestly believe he doesn't.being with me anyway. For the Borg
things sucked! And life has been a constant struggle, and for a while
for us too.
In the beginning, Cha was worse then his Maquis days, and at first I
didn't understand why. It took time and a lot of patience on my part
to not drag him off and whack him one. But, he did explain to me his
reasons, they just didn't come clear right away, but when they did.he
was right. Like usual, he did what needed to be done. Damn that man is

He's sacrificed so much for me, this world.he deserves what he wants.a


Damn the Bitch! I love the Captain like an aunt, but this is
damn unfair! I know she's desperate to get Cha back, and for some
reason, besides me being married to the big guy, me too; but this is
wrong! She'll only give limited supplies and technology, since Cha is
capable of keeping the people going so well.

I'm not stupid! What she really saying is if you want the
people to have more, than you have to come with me, but I don't want
to look like the BITCH I really am! What really gets me is that
without the extra supplies and medical technology, I won't be able to
maintain having Cha's children!

Yes, I decided I would carry them, since Cha is so much busier
than me, and lets face it, I am a bit younger than he is, and not
insecure of my masculinity. Not meaning Cha is, just he's such the
man's man, if you know what I mean.

I tried to find some maneuvering room, manipulate the
situation, but the only real thing we have that the Captain wants is
us and Cha is not going for that.yet. I'm not exactly keen on the
idea of pushing Cha back on to Voyager, but.I know he'll regret not
having a family. I just know he will, and I promised that would never
happen. I promise! Sadly I already know how I'm going to go about
doing it, so it seems like his decision. I feel guilty about this.but
he's worth it. After helping install the new power source, I'm going
to see the EMH and put my plan into action!


NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spirits, I swear I did everything you
wanted from me.why! Voyager returning was to be a blessing, not this!
Oh, Gods, please, not this! No you can't take my Tom from


The sedative has worn off and I lay here on a familiar biobed
staring at the ceiling, trying to grasp things, but I don't want too.
Tom was helping B'Elanna install a power generator, a simple
task.simple. What went wrong? How did it blow up? With all my love of
B'Elanna, why.why did it have to be Tom? Tom's gone..gone.

I hear the Captain and the Doc talking to me, but I just don't
want to respond, I don't want this to be real.it can't be real! I feel
like my soul has been ripped from my body.that's when I know it 'is'
real.my life is gone.really gone!

In what's left of my heart I pray that life will take me.now!
I don't want to exist anymore without him.I can't! I don't even want
to try! But I can feel the Spirit world rejecting me, at least for the
moment, for I know there are a few things here that need
finishing.then Tom and I will be together.forever!

I suddenly look at the two people around me, doing my best to
keep control. The knowledge that I won't be parted from Tom long helps
me to find some strength and I sit up. I nod a bit as Kathryn gives
her sincere attempts of comfort. Then she asks me if I want her to
come back to discuss Tom's funeral.Spirits!

I don't know what Tom may have wanted, so I go with my peoples
custom, knowing that Tom won't be too upset, for he did start to adopt
those ways. Plus, I can apologize to him once I get there if he is.
Tom and I are destined.I know this!


The funeral was held down on the planet. After I said the
parting words, Tom's body was cremated to release his soul from his
body, as is the way of my people. Most of his remains will be buried
to mix with the mother's essence and some I will carry in a tiny bag
around my neck, just like my Grandmother did for Grandfather after his
passing. So when my time comes, our essences will again be mingled.

With this done I see to it that all things are tied up as best
I can. Kathryn has been wonderful about this. She's given the people
so much that I know they will be able to carry on with out me now. For
even if they don't know it.I'm already gone. I left in the same smoke
that took my life's (Tom) soul away. Soon I tell myself.

An hour after Kathryn has given word that Voyager will be
leaving soon, I get a call from the Doc. I've just arrived and he
looks.apprehensive. He hands me a PADD, telling me that Tom did
survive long enough to write a letter for me. For when the generator
blew, it collapsed part of the city, and I was stuck there for a
while.I wasn't able to say goodbye.

I take the PADD as Kathryn walks in to see what I'm doing
here. I take the PADD and move to sit at the Doc's desk and sit down.
I turn it on and start reading it, then I start to cry. Kathryn comes
to place a comforting hand on my shoulder. She tells me she hates to
leave me when she knows how bad I'm hurting, but the wormhole won't
stay open forever.

"That's all right, Kathryn," I say softly. "I'm staying.if
you'll have me?" I say.

She looks at me surprised, but pleased, and tells me that I
would be very welcomed. I nod and ask to be alone. I read the letter


My dearest Chakotay.

If your reading this, then I lost this one. I know you would
be here if you could.I have no doubts, never did when it came to you.
I want you to know how much I love you and how happy you made me, and
happy is definitely what you made me, love.

You have been everything to me! I don't think I ever told you
before, but I knew I loved you, without anymore doubts, that crazy day
when you got sentenced in my place. It was then I decided I was going
to stay, for if you were going to give your life for mine, it was the
very lest I could do. Then you go doing it again my marrying me.giving
your life, this time to me.

I made a vow that you would never regret your decision on my behalf,
and being with me. I'm not sure, but I hope I kept that promise. I
know I don't have any regrets. You were worth every ache, every pain,
every tear, for I was rewarded a million times over with your every
laugh, every smile, and all your love. I wouldn't trade a thing if it
meant never to have been with you. You gave me the greatest gift of
all.your love.

I know I'm dying, Cha. So I've asked the Doc to take some of
my DNA and keep it on storage for you. Why? Why else? I don't want you
to regret not having that family we talked about, so, if you want it,
it's there for you. If you decide not too, I'll understand, but if
you do, know that I'll be with you in spirit all the way. I know you
would make a great father/mother. I just want to give you that option.
I am only sorry that this is the last gift of love I can offer you.

Forever my love. Forever!


"Ah, read it again, Father of mine," Thomasina cries in her dramatic

I look up from the PADD and smirk. "You're such a little drama
queen," I tease. "But I believe it is bed time. Besides, it's not like
I haven't read this several hundred times before," I say warmly.

"Read it again, Daddy," Tom says softly.

I look down at my children, and thank genetic coding, for this
way they all look like Tom, with a caramel complexion, instead of me
as nature would have done. I scruff Tom's blond hair, "Another night,"
I say. "Now, all children under the age of seven have to go to bed."

"That means you have to go to be too, Sina" Gene teases his
older sister.

All the children are as bright as I know Tom would have been
at their age. Thomasina Kathryn Paris is the oldest, just about to
turn six, followed by Tom Eugene Paris jr., who is five. Gene Thomas
Paris is four, and of course little Jean Marie, after my mother, Paris
is almost two. "As it does for you too, Gene. Now off to bed and I'll
be in to tuck you in, in a few minutes. Uncle Neelix will be here
while I'm on the bridge, now off with you," I smile as I see them
scurry off, and Tom, so like his father takes Jean by the hand to look
after her.

I look at the PADD on my lap as my left hand, still bearing my
wedding ring, gently touches the tiny bag I still wear around my neck.
Then I move it down to my abdomen in time to feel a kick, "Far from
your last gift my love."

<The end>