"What!" Janeway exclaimed
at hearing the new that her former
First Officer and Chief Helmsmen were now legally married. She wanted
to scream untrue, liar, anything to make it not true or illegal, but
the truth was, Tom didn't lie to her, though he did manipulate her,
he didn't break any laws, but she seriously wanted to smack that
smirk off his face.
"According to regulations,
he is now my dependant, and
entitled to full benefits," Tom stated easily as if there was no
revelation going on here. "And as I'm sure you know, Tuvok has
declined to move stating it was illogical, and we are entitled to
larger quarters, Tuvok and I thought it best for me to simply take
the quarters already occupied by Chakotay," he continued with ease,
not that he was really feeling any at the moment, for he could see
Janeway was close to bursting a gasket.
She took in a deep breath,
and remained silent for a
moment, //as a dependant he wouldn't be leaving, that in itself is
good…but still,// she though to herself. //but I need him as XO not a
pregnant housewife,// she growled inwardly, having to admit that her
bluff to leave the man was taken seriously and the crew had moved to
drastic measure to keep in line with regulations and assure Chakotay
stay on board, he had to commend them for that. //Well, at least you
don't have to string him along anymore,// she mused seeing that as
long as Tom was in the picture playing safe wall, Chakotay would stay
away from her, plus, though the child was unwanted, it would keep
Chakotay on board too, so she had to admit, this at least bought her
time to work on the situation. "Very well," she said flatly. "As your
dependant, he will be entitled to full medical care, but know, that
so long as he is not `working' he and you will be sharing `your'
ration's account, though I will make the adjustment in accordance to
regulations seeing that you are now married and will be supporting a
Tom was taken back by her
capitulating so easily and his
suspicions grew, but he only nodded and left, heading to his new
quarters to let everyone know all was well.
"Janeway to sickbay"
"Go ahead, Captain," the EMH stated.
"I'm sure your going to hear
sooner or later, Com… Chakotay
and Tom Paris have married, thus entitling Chakotay to full medical
benefits as Tom's dependant. Though, I do want you to report to me if
this marriage is…real or not."
"Pardon? What do you mean real or not?"
"Simple, Doctor, I want to
know if they have consummated the
marriage, for if they have not within forty-eight hours, the marriage
will be annulled, and you may `not' inform them of this, you
"Clearly, Captain," The Doctor
stated, his disapproval clear
in his tone and closed the link.
"Computer, open personal log:
Well, Tom Paris has surprised
me by getting involved and marrying Chakotay to keep him on board,
which means my having to trump up charges to place Chakotay in the
brig does not have to occur. I have no intentions of letting him
leave, the Maquis, though settled into their Starfleet roles wouldn't
stand for it and I'm not a total fool, they out number us, plus,
Chakotay has won many of the Fleet loyalties over the years, thus
becoming vital to Voyager. I admit once again that becoming his lover
was not high on my list, he's not my type, but he was so dead set on
me and no one was able to take his fancy away, and I needed to keep
him put, especially when the only women that came close to turning
Chakotay's head was alien. I couldn't let him leave, nor can I let
him remain a civilian, but the child…damn those aliens! I am glad
they brought him back, if he had died, but he won't be as much use to
me or the ship pregnant, but…I may have little choice. I'm not too
keen on staging an accident where the fetus would be lost, for I am
unsure how Chakotay would react. One thing at a time, he's on board,
and that has given me time to straighten this unwanted mess up. End
Tom stood in his new quarters
getting his things unpacked,
having just come from taking Chakotay to sickbay for a checkup, where
he was quietly pleased that his strange efforts to make it look like
the marriage was real was well used, as the Doc tried to secretly
scan him and saw him arch his brow at the results.
Tom tried not to impose too
much of his stuff on Chakotay's
space, but he didn't have much and neither did Tom, so there was no
conflict of belongings. Tom unpacked his cloths taking half the
closet, and using the new set of draws placed in for him. He then sat
down on the twin bed placed in the room, knowing that the Captain had
no reason to come in here unless she did a full out inspection, and
she hadn't done that in years. He sat quietly recalling how the
Doctor officially changed Chakotay's records to state, Mr. Chakotay
Paris, husband to Lieutenant Tom Paris. Tom got a goofy grin on his
face, it was almost like a dream come true, except, that it was not a
real marriage and Chakotay would be sleeping alone. //But that's all
you'll be doing alone,// Tom promised himself again. Then he got up
and exited out to the main room where Chakotay was unpacking his
belongings since he did not have to stay behind as he originally
thought. "Need a hand?"
Chakotay turned to see Tom
walk up next to him, "Ah, I've
got it, thanks."
"Nonsense," Tom smiled and
gently took some of the heavier
stuff from their containers. "Just tell me where you want it?"
Chakotay straightened up and
gave Tom a small smile, seeing
that the young man was determined to be helpful. "Over there by the
bookshelf if you please." He watched Tom take the heavy items and
place them where he was directed. "By the way, I want to thank you,
Tom laughed, "It wasn't that heavy."
"No, I mean…for all you've
done to help me," Chakotay
replied, seeing that Tom knew exactly what he had meant.
"I really haven't done anything
yet, so no sweat. Just take
it easy and listen to what the Doc has to say and keep you and that
kid healthy, and that will be thanks enough, okay?"
Chakotay nodded, "Okay."
Tom moved another semi-heavy
item to where Chakotay directed
him. "Well, that's the last of it. Why don't you grab a shower and
get comfortable, I'll take care of these boxes. Then afterwards we
can sit and discuss our budget."
"Yeah, Janeway may have increased
my earnings, but this is a
single income household still," Tom smiled warmly as he gathered up
the moving boxes. "I know what I need on a regular basis, but not
what you need, so we need to set a budget, especially in the next few
months your anything like my sisters…boy when the cravings hit…look
"Cravings? Do you really think
I'll go through all that?"
Chakotay asked, while in the bedroom, the door open, grabbing some
clothes to change into after a shower.
Tom heard the nervousness
in Chakotay's voice and placed down
the boxes and moved inside the bedroom and next to Chakotay, "I don't
know, but we'll be prepared just in case," he said, trying to be as
reassuring as possible. "And not to worry, you have the best medical
care around in the Doc, just ask him." Tom's joke worked and got
Chakotay to laugh and saw the tension ease away. "Now, I believe you
were about to take a shower, sir," he said in a warm teasing voice
heading toward the living room.
"And I believe you were getting
rid of those boxes and making
dinner," Chakotay replied then slipped into the bathroom.
Tom turned to correct Chakotay,
but the man was gone, and had
to laugh, "Not even married a whole day and he's got me in the
kitchen cooking," though to Tom it was a wonderful thought.
//Board, board, board,// was
all he could think of, as he sat
on the sofa staring at his immaculate quarters. It had been three
weeks since Tom and he married so he could stay on board Voyager, and
he sat here now, board out of his skull. He had walked the halls to
and fro at least a hundred times, and read more than his eyes could
stand, and cleaned the quarters that Tom commented on being either
being afraid to bring in dust or going to bring in dust simply to
give him something to do. He had read all he was cleared to read on
the ship wide report, which of course was next to nothing, and with
everyone busy, there was little to no one to hang out with, and when
there was, it was ships business and ships gossip.
The only think keeping him
sane was that the Doc had
medically prescribed the use of the holodeck for exercise, "essential
to a healthy growing child," he stated for the record. The fact that
Chakotay could take his hour on the days he was given, since Tom and
he couldn't afford to use the holodeck, not on what Tom was making
and to keep up with their basic needs, and Chakotay's `extra' medical
care, thanks to the Captain, and use it for mental or physical
exercise was entirely his choice. But even with that, going from too
much to do where one can hardly breath to too much time on ones hands
was now classified a torture in Chakotay's book.
He got up and went over the
list of books he could read and
found none appealing, and looked at the chronometer, still and hour
till lunch with Tom…Tom. The thought of the young man placed a warm
smile on Chakotay's face, for Tom had been wonderful, and patient
throughout all this time, more so than he probably would have been if
roles had been reversed. He knew Tom was a good person, and had seen
over the years how Tom became a good officer, and now he could truly
appreciate how kind Tom really was. For he was a man who totally
turned his world upside down to accommodate another and he had no
invested interest in doing so, other than helping a friend in need,
that was rare, and Chakotay could not deny he was touched.
//Tom is defiantly not a morning
person, but he hasn't
complained once about my puttering around first thing in the morning,
since I like to get up early. He goes out of his way to give me space
when I do my evening meditation, and he had gone the extra mile to
keep me company…// Chakotay suddenly realized that Tom had been
spending all his free time with him and not with his friends like he
use too. //Sheesh, how pathetic have you become, old man,// he
thought as he moved and stared out the window.
A wave of anger came over
him, and he was unsure if it was
toward himself or Janeway, //face it, it's become painfully obvious
that she never loved you. You were a blind love sick fool and she
used it against you every step of the way to keep you in line, and
now she's reduced you to a shadow because you won't play the game by
For some reason he wasn't
surprised when the com unit chimed
and it was Tom. "Go ahead," he said, almost knowing what Tom was
going to say, for it was now so clear.
"I'm sorry, Tay, but I have to…"
"Work through lunch, I understand,"
He said, for that was
what he was expecting. "That's okay, Tom. You do what you have to,
and I'll be fine." He was going to end the comment there, but he knew
Janeway was listening. "I'll catch up with you at dinner, take it
"I will, again sorry."
Chakotay closed the channel,
anger and determination in his
eyes, "Okay, Kathryn, you want to play games…we'll play games. You
obviously know you need me, now it's time to make you admit it," and
with that he got an awfully wicked grin on his face and exited out of
his quarters, no longer board, for he had a plan.
By the time Tom got home,
he was surprised to see that
Chakotay was not there and that their quarters showed no sign of him
being there any time soon. "Computer location of Comm…er…Mr. Chakotay
<Mr. Chakotay Paris is in holodeck 2>
//Sardines?// Tom thought,
then hoped Chakotay wasn't
drinking and smirked, //Chakotay doesn't drink.// Then he was
curiouse as to why Chakotay was there and not here, for the older man
had always been home when Tom got of shift, it was almost an
unwritten law; not that Tom expected it, it just was and had been for
the past three weeks. He shrugged and changed his clothes, forgoing
the sonic shower, wanting to see if Chakotay was all right, but he
didn't want Chakotay to think he was being checked upon, so tried to
keep his attitude casual as he entered in side the bar.
He spotted Chakotay sitting
with Alaya, Dalby, B'Elanna, and
Geron, and Tom knew, by the gleam in his husband's eyes that Chakotay
was up to something; for he had not seen such a look since their days
in the Maquis, and Tom never forgot it, for it always led…//Ah there
is it,// he thought, //the two dimple smile that could melt any
living heart. Which of course excludes Janeway, for I bet her and the
Borg Queen were separated at birth,// he mused as he walked up to the
table only to be viewed with some suspicion by Ken Dalby. "Is
everything okay?" he asked, trying to keep his voice light.
Chakotay looked up with some
surprise, "I'm sorry, Tom, I
didn't realize how late it was or I would have either left a note or
Tom was glad that Chakotay
had not forgotten him on
purpose, "That's okay. Glad to see you out and about," he smiled,
wondering if he was going to be offered a seat or stand here all day.
"Thanks," Chakotay replied.
"Hey, I've got some things I like
to discuss here, why don't you spend some time with Harry, I know
you've been neglecting him for me over the last few weeks," Chakotay
Tom heard that the tone was
light, but his heart felt like it
was punched. //Harry? I want to spend time with you…you dolt!// he
thought, but then it occurred to him that Chakotay had spent all his
time with him over the last three weeks and obviously needed a
break. "Oh, okay," he said, trying to keep the hurt out of his
tone. "Catch you later," he said, and did a half turn then turned
back, "You ate dinner didn't you?" Seeing the glint of guilt he knew
Chakotay had not and simply gave him `the look' as Chakotay referred
"I'll go eat as soon as I'm done here, Okay?"
"Why don't we take this to
the mess hall," B'Elanna
suggested, seeing that Tom wouldn't be happy otherwise, knowing her
friend as she did.
"Sounds good by me," the other two men replied.
"Happy?" Chakotay asked as
he stood up to leave with his
friend, giving a teasing mock glare at Tom.
"Very," Tom replied, his arms
folded around his chest. "And
don't think I won't ask Neelix what you ate," he replied, a teasing
gleam in eyes as well.
"Sheesh, you two sound like your married," Ken stated.
"News flash, Ken…we are,"
Tom replied and then moved off,
feeling very happy at saying that and joined Harry in a game of pool.
If he was lucky, he could win some extra rations and perhaps make a
special dinner for him and Chakotay, since their first month
anniversary was coming up. All he heard of the conversation between
the group was Ken asking if it would work and Chakotay saying with
confidence that it would. //knowing Tay, whatever it is, it'll
work,// he mused, though a part of him was irked that he was not
included in whatever it was, but he chose to push it aside and
concentrate on wining a vegetarian lasagna dinner for his husband.
Tom was not a happy camper.
Today was their one month
anniversary and Chakotay was no where to be seen. "Things to do," was
all the note left on the table said. Tom dropped into the chair,
feeling hurt and made, not sure which was more. Hurt that Chakotay
for got what today was, or angry that perhaps it didn't really matter
to him what today was. //In name only,// he reminded himself, but in
his heart it was more than that and he knew it. He gave a heavy sigh,
glad that he had not been given the time off liked he requested to
fix the big dinner that he had been saving up for, and decided to
simply call it a night, for he was in no mood to go out.
He finished his shower and
dressed in his pajamas, though he
liked to sleep nude, he couldn't exactly do that around Chakotay, so
he found some flannel jammies that felt good and wore them instead.
He decided to add to his personal log and stopped dead in his track
as he entered the living room. There on the table was dinner for two
and Chakotay placing the glasses in their place.
Chakotay looked up and smiled,
"Hope you don't mind, but I
wanted to do something nice, after all it is technically our
anniversary," he said and moved to the replicator and gathered up the
hot soup. "It's not much, but I thought a real meal would be nice."
Tom felt the grin grow across
his face, //he remembered,// he
thought, and then smelling the tomato soup realized that he also
recalled that this was his favorite soup. "Thank you," he said softly
and moved to take a seat. "I…thought you were going to be out, so I
was going to call it a night," he stated to explain why he was in his
Chakotay didn't seem to mind,
"That's okay, I was unsure if I
could get back here on time, I am sorry about that," he said, placing
down the soup and then got the platter of grilled cheese sandwiches,
another of Tom's favorites, and not too expensive ration wise.
"That's all right," Tom replied,
not going to pry to
much, "You've been very busy this past week."
Chakotay offered Tom a sandwich,
"I know I should tell you
what I've been up to, but I sort of don't want you involved if
things…go wrong," he said softly.
"Wrong?" This made Tom think
a moment, then placed down his
spoon and looked at the man across from him, "I'm not pushing,
Chakotay, but just know; no matter what happens I'm with you in this.
Besides, I don't think Janeway would think me innocent no matter
what," he joked, knowing this was the truth.
Chakotay sat quietly for a
moment then looked up at
Tom, "I've had the Maquis place some extra pressure on Tuvok, so he
would be…overwhelmed and make mention of it to her. I…know she wants
me back up there, but she doesn't want to concede that she was wrong,
and that I could do my job and still have my daughter. See, if she
does make a public concession, than we don't have to remain married
anymore, and you won't have to continue to put up with me and my all
to set ways."
Tom wasn't sure how to respond
to this. Sure he wanted
Chakotay back to being XO, but he didn't want to end their marriage,
he wanted a real chance to win the guy over and he was sure with
time… He cleared his throat, "Don't think like that, your not a
burden to me," he said, his eyes not meeting Chakotay's afraid his
emotions would give him away, and the last thing he wanted was
Chakotay knowing how much he loved him; it would send the guy
packing. "I like having you here," he added sincerely.
"I like having you here too,
Tom, and you've been terrific,
but I know you had a life before I interfered with it…"
"You didn't interfere with
my life…I…chose to do this…
remember?" he stated, realizing that he was going to say he wanted to
marry Chakotay, for he loved him, but caught himself in time. He saw
that Chakotay only saw a person being a good friend, and not all
there was to the situation, //your own doing, Tommyboy,// he mused
silently. "But, if things do go your way, than, I'm sure a quick
divorce won't be a problem," he added, looking at his plate, suddenly
not too hungry, but since Chakotay had gone to so much trouble, he
There was some small talk,
but Tom didn't feel over
conversational, thinking that most likely Chakotay would get what he
wanted and his chances of winning over his love would be gone. He
volunteered to clean up after dinner when the door chimed. He
continued to clean up as he saw Tuvok enter.
"Lieutenant Pairs, Mr. Paris," he stated.
Tom was going to comment on
why the Vulcan said it twice,
when he realized Mr. Paris was Chakotay and he felt a mixture of
pride and heartache at the same time, "Commander," he nodded.
"My apologies for interrupting
at so late an hour, but I had
wished to speak with Mr. Paris a moment if I may."
"Of course," Tom said, knowing
Tuvok was referring to
Chakotay and after placing in the last of the dishes was heading to
"Anything you wish to discuss
with me you can discuss in
front of Tom," Chakotay stated easily.
Tom stopped, unsure if it
was a tactical maneuver or if
Chakotay really wanted him there, but he stayed none the less, taking
a chair at the far end of the room.
"Very well. I have spoken
to the Captain, and have request an…
assistant, for it would seem that my task of First Officer has
increased forty-five percent in the last week alone," he stated,
almost insinuating he knew he was being set up. "I have also pointed
out to the Captain that anyone qualified to assist me has no time to
spare from their appointed duties and that they are much needed where
they are placed. For the sake of order, the most logical person to
suggest for the position was you. She has allowed me to offer you
this position," he stated, handing Chakotay a pad, "and the following
compensations if you decide to accept it."
Chakotay took the pad but
didn't look at it, "I'll talk it
over with Tom and get back to you will that be all right?"
"That would be acceptable,
good day," he stated and then
Tom watched as Chakotay tossed
the pad on the table, "First
Officer, civilian, now secretary…not bad for a months work if I do
say so myself," he chuckled.
"So, are you going to take
it?" Tom inquired, knowing that he
didn't really have that much say in the matter.
"I don't know. If I do, I'd
get to do all I was doing, to a
degree, but not what I should be doing. But if I don't I'd need a
good reason," he stated as he moved past Tom into the bedroom, and
started gathering his clothes. Suddenly he dropped his cloths and
dashed to the bathroom.
Tom was out of his chair in
seconds and moved right into the
bathroom in time to see Chakotay become sick. The medication the Doc
had him on should have prevented this, so Tom contacted the EMH.
"What seems to be the problem, Lieutenant?"
"It's Chakotay, we just had
dinner, nothing that we have not
had before and he's seriously vomiting as we speak."
"I'm on my way," The Doc said and closed the channel.
Tom moved to Chakotay's side
who now looked very pale and
held him up as he continued to empty his stomach of its contents. It
didn't take long for the EMH to arrive and moved in quickly and
scanned Chakotay and looked concerned. "What did you have for
dinner?" he asked as he continued his scan.
"Grilled cheese sandwiches
and tomato soup, that's all, why?"
Tom inquired, still holding Chakotay up as he now suffered from dry
The Doc gave Chakotay a hypo,
"Medical emergency, transport
all in this location to sickbay," he stated.
Before Tom could ask why he
was caught up in the beam and
then in sickbay, helping the Doc get Chakotay up on the biobed. "Doc,
what's going on?"
"It seems, Lieutenant that
Ms. Torres will have to do a check
on your replicator, for I am detecting elements of green onions in
the Comm...Chakotay's system," he stated. "Something that he is
highly allergic to, though it would not kill him, it could have had
server consequences had we not caught it on time," he stated while
administering another hypo, sending Chakotay into the void of sleep.
"Are you saying he could have…lost
the baby…because of this?"
Tom asked in shock.
"That would be an extreme
case, but yes, that is what I am
saying. Though I am surprised neither of you could not taste it?"
"I don't like anything in
my soup, and no I didn't taste
anything funny, and well, I think I would have noticed if here were
onions in the cheese sandwiches, so no, there didn't appear to be
anything out of the ordinary…" he stopped talking, //could it really
been an accident?// he thought, not sure if he wanted to pursue this
line of thinking.
"As I said, I'll have Lieutenant
Torres check out your
replicator. In the mean time, I'm going to flush out his system and
keep him over night for observations, but I do believe any crisis has
been successfully avoided, thanks to your quick thinking to contact
me. Then I'm going to assign you a medical tricorder just to be on
the safe side," he stated. "The baby is fine, and there is nothing
you can do at the moment…"
"If you don't mind, Doc, I'd
like to stay for a little bit. I
promise to get some rest, I…"
"I understand," he said, and
gave an understanding smile and
then left Tom alone with his sleeping husband.
Tom pulled up a chair, and
took Chakotay's hand in his, "I
can't get my mind to wrap around the fact that it was a simple
accident, but I can't seem to accept it was done on purpose either,"
he said softly to Chakotay. "I know she doesn't want you to have this
baby, but really…would she go that far? Plus, what would it do to
you?" he laid his head down on Chakotay's chest, listening to the
steady heart beat, glad that he would be okay, and closed his eyes,
not thinking, just accepting that all was well for the moment…not
realizing he fell asleep.
The EMH came in forty minutes
later and saw a sleeping Tom
Paris, and walked up to him, and saw Chakotay was awake, "I thought
you would be asleep?" he inquired. "Oh, yes, the flush, probably
reduced the sedative," he thought out loud to himself.
Chakotay was surprised to
see Tom sleeping on him, but was
touched by his concern. He looked up at the Doc, "What happened?"
"It seems that the replicator
malfunctioned and the base
elements of green onions had gotten into your food, though apparently
not the taste of it, and you had a severe allergic reaction.
Thankfully between the medications I have you on and Tom's quick
action to contact me, there was no serious side effects. I'm keeping
you overnight for observation, and then assigning you a medical
tricorder to prevent this from happening again, not that it should."
//Not if it was an accident,
it shouldn't,// Chakotay thought
to himself. "I understand" he replied and then gently shook Tom
awake. "Hey," he smiled at the sleepy eyes that were looking up at
him, and the saw the sparkle of recognition fill them and they filled
with joy, and Chakotay was taken off guard by this, but simply gave
Tom a small smile.
"I'm glad you're okay," Tom said, stifling a yawn.
"I'm fine, thanks to you and
the Doc. Now you should go home
and get some rest, seems that I'm stuck here for the night," Chakotay
replied, still looking into bright blue eyes that were transfixed on
him, and he felt the smile cross his face at the concern he saw there
for him. "I'm fine, honestly," he added.
"As I have informed you, Lieutenant,
now, if you please, my
patient needs his rest as do you," the Doc stated, gently giving Tom
a slight push in the direction of the door.
"I'm going I'm going," he
said to the Doc, then looked at
Chakotay. "I'm going to talk with B'Elanna to give the replicator the
once over, okay?" he stated softly. Seeing Chakotay nod yes, he
started for the door, and then stopped. "Ah, Doc, do you think I
could get beamed back, I don't relish walking the halls dressed like
this," he said gesturing to his flannel pajamas.
"Certainly," the EMH stated
and called for the site to site
transport. Then he administered a muscle relaxant to Chakotay, "I
don't want too much in your system, but this will help you rest," he
stated, then lowered the lights to five percent and exited.
Back in his quarters, Tom
got changed as he contacted
B'Elanna and let her know what happened. She told him the odds of
that occurring were astronomical, and Tom had to agree, but let her
rant at the machinery, for he didn't want any stray thoughts of this
being done on purpose floating around, it would only cause problems;
though he himself couldn't stop thinking it.
After B'Elanna assured him
that she would inspect the
replicator herself, Tom had made a decision, and hoped that Chakotay
would understand, as he exited out and headed to see the Captain. He
pushed the chime on her quarters, for he knew she was there, and
rumpled his hair, before the door opened…he had to play this just
Tom gently poked his eyes
when he rubbed them, making them
tear up as he moved in, "Captain, do you have a moment?" he asked as
he walked in, knowing he looked upset.
"Tom, what's the matter?"
she inquired, still in uniform,
drinking coffee, even this late into the day.
"I just came from sickbay,
Chakotay…it could have been really
bad," he said, taking a seat before being offered, to show how upset
"What happened?" he asked,
placing down her coffee and looked
at him with interest.
//At least you have the decency
to act like you care,// he
thought. "Apparently the replicator malfunctioned and Chakotay ate
something he was highly allergic too and he couldn't detect it. B'El
is checking it out…but…it could have been bad, Captain, real bad. He…
he could have…" he took a deep breath to emphasize his next
point. "He could have lost the baby, and if that happened…" he
covered his face, letting his farthest thumb away from Janeway to rub
his eyes hard, sending more tears to his irritated eyes. He then
looked up, "It would destroy him, Captain, I don't think…" he sighed,
trying to make it look like he was gathering his emotions.
"Everything's okay thought, right?" she asked softly.
"Thankfully, yes. But, Chakotay
was so upset, he told me that
if he lost the baby, he would…" Tom closed his eyes and gave a tiny
shiver for affect.
"He would what?"
Tom knew he was pushing this,
but he had to make sure that if
Janeway was behind the `accident' since she was the only one who
outwardly didn't want Chakotay to have the baby, know that if she
continue she would lose what she wanted most…Chakotay back in
line. "He said that he would follow her."
He didn't look at her for
a moment, then when he did it was
from the corner of his eye, for he wanted to appear distraught, and
so was rewarded to see Janeway truly speechless about this. "I know
it was the emotions of the situation, but if he was serious…" he
sighed again. "Captain, I want your permission to go over the
replicator…every inch, I don't want something like this to happen
again. I mean, what if he was…" he trailed his words, seeing that
Janeway was only now half listening to him, and was not sure if this
made him happy that he was succeeding or angry that perhaps she was
behind it and is only now realizing that she would have lost out big
time. "So will that be okay?" he asked, knowing he was breaking her
out of her thoughts.
"Ah, yes, check it out, Lieutenant,"
she replied, still half
caught up in her own thoughts. "I want you to take tomorrow off and
make sure all is well with the replicator, and Chakotay," she added.
"I will," he said softly,
and rose and exited, leaving the
Captain deep in thought. He didn't want to dwell on the fact that she
was looking awfully guilty at the moment, but he was sure that he had
planted the seed that it would be a huge mistake to harm the baby to
get Chakotay back in line.
He entered back in his quarters
and once more got ready for
bed when he saw the pad, and knew it was the Captain's offer of an
assistant position. He opened it and saw the measly pay she was
offering and Chakotay was right, he would be doing a great deal of
what he had been doing before. If Chakotay was smart, which he was,
he wouldn't take it, though…//if he did take it, she wouldn't push to
get him back as XO, and then perhaps he would stay married…// he let
that thought go, for the reality was, Chakotay didn't want to be
married to him, and Tom would just have to accept that things were
going to change sooner than he would desire. //But you knew this
would happen,// he told himself. //But I really thought it would not
be for a while and that I could…// //What, win him over…get real
Paris. Just take what you can get and be happy with it, all
right?// "All right" he said to himself, and dropped the pad, and
decided to go to bed, knowing he had a long day before him the next
Tom wasn't surprised to hear
that Chakotay didn't take the
position, using his latest medical crisis as a reason, and of course
with Tom's permission, also stated that Tom didn't want him to over
do it, "For why should he work like the XO if he was not allowed to
be one, since he was `not' capable of being one," he stated to Tuvok,
knowing that his words would get back to Janeway.
That afternoon, Chakotay told
him that if all went well, he'd
be back in uniform and in the XO seat by the end of the week, and
thought Tom tried to remain cheery, he was far from happy about it.
"Are you okay, Tom?" Chakotay inquired.
"Yes, just tired," Tom lied.
Chakotay remained silent,
for he knew Tom was lying, he just
didn't know why or why he was so upset. He let Tom finish his lunch,
and didn't even complain when Tom checked his food with the medical
scanner three times, to make sure it was safe. He watched Tom get up
and was only half present in his actions, and so was taken by
surprise when Tom had absently leaned in and kissed him on the cheek
before moving away, dumping his tray and leaving the mess hall,
totally unaware of his actions.
"Ah, how sweet," B'Elanna
stated as she sat down next to
Chakotay who was still stunned. "You two do make a cute couple," she
"What?" he said only catching
the last bit of what she was
"I said, you two make a cute
couple, though I must say, you
both suddenly look rather gloomy…lover's quarrel?"
"B'Elanna please," he stated
with some annoyance, and would
have said more, but Janeway had joined him at the table, thus
bringing their discussion to a quick close.
"Mind if I join you?" she
asked, looking more toward Chakotay
"I got warp core to check
on," B'Elanna stated, leaving the
two alone to talk, knowing she would get filled in later.
"Sure, your ship," Chakotay stated flatly.
"Please, Chakotay, I know
things have been…strained between
us, but can't we get passed this?"
Chakotay looked up and met
her gaze, "I don't know, can we?
You know where I stand in the matter of my child, so if you can
accept the fact that I'm going to have her, than perhaps, if not…"
"Uncle," she stated in a soft
tone and a tiny
smile. "Regardless of what I like or don't like, the fact is…your
going to be a parent. I was just wondering, do you think you'll ever
be a Starfleet officer again?"
"That kind of depends on you,
now doesn't it," he said,
looking at his meal, trying to keep his anger in check. "After all,
it was you who said I couldn't do both, are you now saying I might be
able to do both?"
"Your not going to make this
easy for me are you," she
"Well, you didn't make it
easy for me, now did you," he
"I guess not," she said, looking
into her coffee. "Well, if I
did make a concession, would you come back?"
Chakotay could barely contain
the smile of triumph from
crossing is lips, "Perhaps," was all he said, still determined not to
make it easy on her.
"Then you and Tom won't have
to continue this charade of a
marriage any more," she quipped, feeling confident that Chakotay
would take is rightful place by her side again.
He didn't know why, but there
was something in the way she
said it that made Chakotay suddenly cautious in his reaction to her
words, for where he would have simply said `you're right' he now
looked up at her with surprise, "What do you mean charade? Tom and I
have been legally married for just over a month."
"Chakotay, please, this is
me you're talking to," she smiled
a knowing smile.
This didn't bold well with
Chakotay, for he didn't like the
idea that she thought she knew him so well, for that was how she
manipulated him in the first place…wasn't it. "Did it ever occur to
you, Kathryn that perhaps you don't know me as well as you think?" he
stated coolly, placing down his utensils, for he was through with
lunch and this conversation. He was pleased to see that Kathryn was
shocked by his reaction.
"I…um…perhaps," she conceded.
She cleared her throat, "So,
will you come back?"
"I'll let you know, I need
to talk to my husband first," he
stated and then got up dumped his tray and left the mess hall,
seeking out Tom. He was glad that Harry and Tom had gotten caught up
in a conversation by the lift, a typical thing for the two young
men. "Tom, can I talk with you a moment, it's important," he stated,
letting his eyes apologize to Harry for interrupting them.
Tom was surprised at seeing
the seriouness in Chakotay's eyes
and so agreed, telling Harry he would meet up with him later, and
followed Chakotay into one of the empty confrance rooms. "What's the
Chakotay leaned against the
table not looking too
pleased, "Janeway just offered me bck my full Commission."
Tom felt a lump in his throat
and his stomach, but then
noticed that Chakotay didn't seem to happy about it, "Ah, am I
missing something? This is what you wanted, right?"
Chakotay looked up at Tom, "yes, but…"
"Tom I hate to continue to
place you in the middle of this,
but…I don't trust her. I got the distinct feeling that she was
counting on us divorcing once I accepted my commission back, and I
don't know why, and I don't like not knowing why."
Tom could see how concerned
Chakotay was, and suddenly felt
it too, "Well, then don't divorce me, till the baby is born," he
said, still leaving Chakotay the out he would need, though Tom's
heart was soaring for the extra time to be with the man he loved.
"But I've dragged you through…"
"Ah, excuse me…Mr. Paris,"
Tom stated, "But who asked whom to
get married, I did, right? So, you are not dragging me through
anything" He moved closer to Chakotay, knowing he was going to have
to make a small risk here, but it was important, "Tay, I want to be
here for you, so please, stop thinking I'm miserable or being over
Chakotay looked up at the
amazing friend he had in Tom
Paris, "If I knew half of what I know now about you, back in the
Maquis, I would have never let you have that stupid ship, much less
given you that stupid mission."
Tom arched a brow, "why's that?"
"I wouldn't want to risk losing
such a great friend,"
Chakotay smiled, not realizing he was giving Tom his two dimple one
that melted his heart.
Tom felt a blush fill his
cheeks and turned aside, "I've got
to go, can't be late," he stated. "So, is this settled for you?"
"Yes, if it's okay by you,
I'd like to take my commission
back, and stay married…till the baby comes."
"It's fine by me," Tom said,
trying to contain his smile to a
small one instead of the huge one dying to get out. "I'll see you at
dinner and we can talk about this some more, get organized, for you
will have to take it a bit easy, and as your husband, I insist," he
"Duly noted, Lieutenant," Chakotay teased back.
"Then till later…Commander…Paris,"
he grinned, liking the
sound of it as he headed out the door.
"Commander Paris," Chakotay
mused, and then gave another
wicked smile as he thought of Kathryn addressing him so. //yes, I
must admit, I like that idea a lot,// he said to himself, knowing
that it was his darker side that would make Kathryn suffer, even in
the tiniest of ways. He exited out of the room, knowing his decision,
but he would let her sweat it out and tell her in the morning, for he
wanted to rest in before being tossed back into the mix, and he knew
she would do just that.
TBC in Unwanted Emotions.