Once again he became aware
that soft delicate fingers were
caressing his hair, an instead of jumping up, he opened his senses to
make sure where the movement was coming from, and not too much to
his surprise it was from Tom. He also realized that once more he had
cured up to Tom and was using the young man's chest as a
pillow. //Well, he has the only one available,// his mind replied
half heartedly. He took a waking breath that was accompanied by a
growl from his stomach.
"Seems someone is hungry," Tom teased lightly.
Chakotay opened his eyes and
was taken back by the bright
warmth Tom's eyes shinned in his direction that he had to lower his
own or be overpowered by them. He cleared his throat, "Well, we
didn't get much of a meal yesterday," he replied and slowly shifted
to his back and turned to sit up and was stunned by the mess in the
room. "What happened?"
"Emergency landing, from what
it felt like, though not too
rough and B'Elanna placed a secure force field around us, but it's
down and it's been rather quiet for the last half hour or so," Tom
replied as easily as he could. "From what I felt and can hear and
feel, though it was unexpected, it was a rather routine landing," he
added, seeing Chakotay's concern.
"I.I slept through an emergency?"
he asked, surprised and a
bit bothered by it.
Tom gave a gentle smile, "Tay,
you're exhausted, and like I
said, it was rather routine, if it had been bad, you would have felt
it. I did mostly because.well, I'm sensitive to these kinds of
Chakotay took a moment and
shook the sleep from his head and
gently stood up and tried the doors, they were still locked, then he
moved to the console, the EMH was off line, but the replicator was
still functioning, so he replicated some food for Tom and himself,
and brought over a tray to where Tom had managed to sit up on the
side of the bunk. "I take it you are feeling better?"
"Yeah, but still weak, and
I ache all over, but better," Tom
replied, excepting the food from Chakotay. "I don't really recall all
that happened. I was about to contact Voyager when all hell broke
out, then.nothing, but seeing you looking over me in sickbay, then
here. Talking about weird turn of events," Tom jests, trying to keep
Chakotay did give a light
laugh, but concentrated on Tom's
condition while they both ate. "During all that time you said we were
landed, it's been quiet, do you think B'Elanna is hurt?" he asked in
concern, not only because they could be locked back here, but because
B'Elanna, even loony was still their friend and needed help.
"I don't know, like I said,
it's been quiet, but I didn't
smell any smoke or heard any crackling, but no Klingon swearwords
either," Tom replied with his own concern.
Chakotay took the tray and
put it aside, and moved to the
door, and staying calm he banged on the door, calling out for
B'Elanna to at least acknowledge she was all right, if she wouldn't
open the door. After several attempts, Chakotay sat back next to Tom,
just as the doors opened, revealing a flustered B'Elanna, still
holding a phaser in their direction.
"I am glad that you both are
well," she stated, not like
herself. "I encountered alien crafts and they engaged me in battle,
and I did manage to lose them, but I was forced to land on another
planet than designated. I have only been able to determine that we
can survive for it is a M-class, but nothing more, the sensors fried
out quickly and will take some time to fix. There is other minor
damage, but nothing for you to concern yourself, my dear," she
replied, her eyes glassy as she looked at Chakotay.
"Are you going to keep us
in here forever?" Chakotay asked, a
wave of dizziness crossing him. //Damn, keep calm, and all will be
well,// he reminded himself.
"No, that is why I am here.
I made sure that Voyager would
not be able to detect us, and set up a parameter to keep us secure,
for there is a possibility that we are not alone on this planet. I
have also taken the liberty to lock you both out of everything but
the replicator. If I have your word that you will not do anything
foolish, I can place my phaser away and tend to the unloading, since
it appears here is where we will wait out our month," she stated, a
bit of a growl creeping into her tone as she looked at Tom.
Chakotay looked at Tom, and
knew it was better at the moment
to go along, their opportunity to do more would come later. "Very
well, you have my word," he stated.
"Aren't you going to ask me
for mine?" Tom asked, with a mock
tone of hurt.
B'Elanna growled, "I would,
but patock like you don't have
honor, so it would be a waste of breath," she hissed, looking more
Klingon by the moment. "Besides, I am sure you would not do anything
foolish, for it would pain us both if something were to happen to
Chakotay because of it.yes?"
Tom saw she knew him too well and simply nodded.
"Anything over fifteen pounds
I will carry, you may assist
with lighter if you wish or you may rest. I strongly urge you not to
go beyond the perimeter, for I set it up for a high frequency signal
that could hurt you ears and the child, if directly caught in it.
Chakotay nodded his understanding,
then watched B'Elanna put
the phaser away, and secured it to her hip, so it would not be so
easily snatched, and started grabbing some of the heavier gear and
took it out. Chakotay looked at Tom and gave him an appreciating
look, "Want to go outside, take a quick look around?"
"Yeah, why not," Tom said,
and took Chakotay's arm to stable
him, since he was still a bit weak. He walked with Chakotay to the
front, and saw that it looked dead, and they didn't bother to check,
they knew it was.to them. They both moved to the open shuttle door
and saw that they had landed on a large hill that over looked a
beautiful valley of trees and flowers, and a river was not that far
off. Though the clouds were low, they could see for a few miles and
it was beautiful.
"I can think of worse places
to spend a month," Chakotay
stated easily, being won over by the beauty of the nature before him.
"Well, it is beautiful, but
as you said, the Captain will
find us soon," Tom stated, not able to fully enjoy the view due to
his lacking health. "Though, under different circumstances.it would
be a nice place to visit."
Chakotay looked over to his
husband, and saw the paleness
return to his face, "I think you've had enough, back to bed," he said
as he started taking Tom back to the back where the bunk was.
"No, let me just sit for awhile."
Tom tried to plead, but was
override when Chakotay moved him back to bed and proceeded to tuck
"Next time, perhaps, but no
husband of mine is going to
confront the wiles of nature till better suite, now rest," Chakotay
smiled, and muffed Tom's hair gently, then catching himself,
emotionally pulled back, and then nodded and exited.
Tom was too taken by the gentle
act of kindness and the
concern and the touch, that he missed the retreat in Chakotay's eyes.
He also had to admit, he was tired, and found sleep easy to achieve.
It had been two days since
they landed on this strange new
planet, and Chakotay was now helping Tom out of the shuttle to a
shelter he had set up for them to stay in.
"Now will you tell me why
we are taking a shelter instead of
staying in the shuttle?" Tom asked as he walked with Chakotay's
assistance, not as weak as he was a few days ago.
Chakotay looked over his shoulder
and saw in the far distance
that B'Elanna had the EMH busy, with his holo emitter, doing all the
heavy work, that Chakotay or Tom was not able to do at the moment,
and then turned back to Tom and whispered. "It took me awhile, but
she has the entire shuttle wired to spy on us and our conversations,
as well as the Doc, so if we are to make any plans on getting out of
here, it has to be in private."
Tom nodded that this made
sense; "So, where's the Captain?
It's been two days, surely by now.?"
"I've discovered that B'Elanna
has set up a filter to mask
our signal, and since I can't get to it, you my dear friend will be
busy in our `private' shelter building a signal to punch through the
block so Kathryn can find us. Otherwise, she has a lot of area to
cover, and if she can't do a scan, after some more time, she'll be
reduced to landing parties and, well you see the problem."
Tom took a seat just at the
edge of the entrance to their
shelter and looked inside, and saw one bed. Inside he glowed, for he
was enjoying waking up to Chakotay curled up to him. //Who would have
thought the man likes to cuddle,// Tom thought happily. Then he got
his mind back on focus, "Ah, yeah, I can see the problem."
Chakotay got him some food
and water and sat in a chair
placed near Tom since the ground was out of the question at the
moment. "I've managed to slip the parts I think you will need inside
the shelter underneath the bed. Sorry about only one, but I didn't
want to cause any suspicions on B'Elanna's part if you know what I
Tom took the food and smile,
"Yeah. I'll see what I can do,
and now I know about the Doc, I'll be careful to make sure he doesn't
suspect anything either." Tom was quiet for a little bit, eating his
meal, watching Chakotay rest and sip on his water, looking good, just
tired. "I've been meaning to ask you, how did you know about the
Klingon and Vulcan customs, and that they would work with her?" Tom
saw Chakotay look at him, a tiny mischievous glint in his eyes.
"Well, I severed on a few
Klingon vessels during the exchange
programs that Starfleet and the Empire had going while I was still a
crewman, so that's where I learned about that. As for the Vulcan."
his mischievous look now matched the smirk on his face, as he made
sure the two of them were alone. "After hearing about the
KunaKallifei from Tuvok in regards to B'Elanna and Vorik, I suddenly
saw a similarity between the two cultures, and so.I made up a Vulcan
equal to the Widow's remorse."
Tom grinned, "You sly son-of-a."
he laughed, and kept it down
so not to bring any unwanted attention their way. "You bluffed!"
Chakotay chuckled, "Only some
what. I knew she would have
known about the Widow's remorse vow, and it was a gamble that she
would not have heard of the Vulcan, since let's face it, she may act
like one due to the influence of the madness set in, but she isn't.
Also, B'Elanna is an honorable person, and honor is ingrained into
Klingon culture, so, I used it against her. I figured if I couldn't
take her on physically, not only because of the baby, but because of
this.drug in my system, I could take her on in other ways."
"Damn glad you're on our side,"
Tom teased, deep down truly
meaning it. "But do you think that will keep her at bay for as long
as we need? I mean, the way she looks at you, her eyes along." he
trailed off seeing that his words were making Chakotay
uncomfortable. "Sorry, I'm just concerned for you and the baby,
that's all. You might say in away, I think of her as sort of mine, to
a degree," Tom smiled, trying to explain his over protectiveness of
Chakotay. He didn't understand why his words would make Chakotay pale
and stare at him so, "Tay, are you okay? Did I say something wrong, I
Chakotay recovered from the
surprise words, realizing that
Tom didn't know the truth, and as the truth flooded back to
Chakotay's mind, he was unsure if Tom ever should. Then the concern
and slight panic in Tom's voice brought him back to the moment, "Ah,
no, I.I was lost in thought and I got startled," he lied, knowing it
was a poor one at that. He had to change the subject, "As far as
B'Elanna is concerned, she has found another way to deal with her
aggression towards me. Seems there are nasties on this world, and
she's already taken out seven in the last two days. So, I'm sure, her
honor will keep her in check. Just don't go bounding around here, so
she thinks you're up for a fight, and we have time to get out of this
mess, okay?" he said as he pushed himself up and stood up, not even
looking at Tom any more. "I better go make nice, this too seems to
keep her on an even keel," he stated and headed off.
Tom sat there wondering just
what it was he said that set
Chakotay off the way it did, and what prompted the man to lie to him,
but nothing that made any sense came to him. Feeling upset that he
upset Chakotay, he moved into the shelter, and closed the flap, just
enough for privacy, but open enough so he could detect if company was
coming. Even with whatever nasty creature was out there, the
perimeter was keeping them safe, for he knew B'Elanna would have not
let Chakotay out of the shuttle otherwise, him yes, but not
Chakotay. //She may be nuts, but at least she has good taste,// he
thought with a teasing tone.
He found the random equipment
under the bed like Chakotay
said, and started shifting thought it seeing what he could do to make
the signal transponder that would break through whatever B'Elanna was
using to mask their life signs. He wasn't an engineer like her or
Harry, but he was skilled and he wasn't about to let Chakotay down.
He gave a low snort, "If I have too, I'll kick her sorry ass so she
knows that Chakotay is mine." Then he sat still at hearing his own
words and heartache filled him, "Well, till the baby is born," he
added softly, then decided not to go that way with his thoughts and
focused on the job at hand.
"You knew, didn't you?" Chakotay
asked of his Father, who sat
quietly across from him by the fire on the spirit world. "You knew
and didn't tell me, why?"
Kolopack looked up at his
son, a touch of sadness in his
eyes, "Have you forgotten all of my teachings? An answer easily given
"An answer easily dismissed,"
Chakotay replied, recalling the
lesson well. Then he sighed. "But Tom.why Tom Paris? Why a guy?"
"Son, I may have many answers
before me here on the spirit
plane, but do not think that I have them all. Perhaps you should ask
Tom, he may know."
Chakotay paled, "Ask Tom?"
The thought of telling him that he
was the father of the baby didn't settle well with him. "I can't do
Kolopack settled himself before
the fire, still working the
long strip of wood that was now thinned out before him, "Why not?
What are you afraid of my son, that fact that he may have an answer
or the fact that you are not ready to hear it?"
Chakotay shook his head not
ready to face this, "why are the
spirits doing this to me? Have I not been faithful, have I done some
great wrong.?" He question was like any whining child, but the look
his father suddenly gave him made his blood freeze.
"You look at the gift of a child as a punishment?"
"N.no, I love my daughter.
I was talking about." the words
left him, his Father's stare silencing him.
"The spirits will are beyond
us, and you should not question
them so, especially when they have blessed you so, for they can
become angry and show you what a punishment truly is."
"Father, I didn't mean.I."
he was stunned, his Father was
getting up and walking away from him. "I'm sorry, I just don't
"That is correct, Son, you
don't understand, but sadly you
will," Kolopack said, and then faded away.
Chakotay jumped, he was back
in his body, inside the shuttle,
the only place B'Elanna would allow him to do his meditation
undisturbed. He wiped the sweat from his face, feeling that things
had gone poorly indeed. He slowly stood up and gathered his shirt and
placed on the T-shirt, using a towel to wipe more sweat away. He then
gathered his belongings and headed outside, and felt a mixture of
irritation and relief when Tom came walking toward him, his smile
sunny, and his face close to normal, only a tiny tinge of redness
where the scars had been. It was hard to believe they had been here
almost two weeks, and no sign of Kathryn or Voyager.
"You okay?" Tom inquired as
he helped Chakotay down the ramp,
seeing the older man look tired.
"Physically I'm fine, mentally."
he snorted, letting Tom know
that the spirit walk didn't go so well.
"Well, it could be you're
out of practice," Tom replied, not
totally understanding the situation. He then was quiet seeing
Chakotay was lost in his thoughts, and waited till they were far from
everyone. "I double checked, the signal is going through, I'm not
sure what else to do but start training to kick her butt."
This brought Chakotay back
from wherever he was, "I can't
believe she has not found us yet," Chakotay growled, and then clasped
Tom's arm. "Damn that drug, I swear the Doc is slipping it in either
with the so called Vitamin shots or the food."
"I tried to get my hands on
a medical tricorder last week, we
both know that didn't bold well with the queen there," Tom said,
gesturing to B'Elanna who was carrying a spear, a phaser on her hip,
and looked like she went native, as did the Doc. "Maybe if we get
lucky, she'll fix the Doc up to be her perfect mate and leave us out
"No such luck, she groped
me this morning," Chakotay stated,
a bit of irritation in his voice. He noticed that Tom was taking him
back to their shelter. //Their shelter,// the words echoed in his
head. Over the two weeks, he took care of Tom's injuries, and Tom
still looked out for him. They also had to share a bed, and though
Tom was a perfect gentlemen, it never failed that by morning, he
would wake to Tom's delicate fingers caressing his hair, and his body
curled up to Tom's. Plus, the man was good at back massages, for it
eased the stress on the muscles of carrying the baby. He gave a small
sigh, //Tom's a terrific person.just why couldn't he be a she?// he
asked for the umpteenth time.
"Seems someone is a bit cranky
too," Tom teased lightly.
Before Chakotay could say a word in the defensive, Tom produced a
chocolate bar and was rewarded with a nova of delight in the dark
eyes he adored.
"Were did you get that?" Chakotay
asked, his eyes locked on
the temptation his body had been craving for the past two weeks.
"I know the Doc and B'Elanna
have you on a strict diet, but
they don't monitor me so much. So, when I was getting lunch, I rigged
the replicator to override the limitations on my account. This way
when they check up on you, since I've discovered they do it
constantly, they will see you are being a good boy," he grinned and
handed the bar over to Chakotay who took it like a starving man
offered bread. "Hey, don't scarf, it'll make you sick, and I
replicated more than one, so relax," Tom teased lovingly.
"Thank you, Tom" Chakotay
mumbled his mouth full of chocolate
as he just reached out and hugged him. As Chakotay leaned back, he
realized, he owned Tom nothing but the truth and sighed, hoping this
would go well, but somehow he didn't think it would. "Tom," he said
after he emptied his mouth, "We need to talk."
Tom could see the seriousness
in Chakotay's eyes, "um, sure."
He followed Chakotay to their shelter, and helped Chakotay sit on the
bed as he took the floor. "Okay," he prompted, not liking the
seriousness Chakotay was projecting.
Chakotay once more didn't
know how to discuss this, so once
more had only the direct method to choose from. "I need to discuss
the parentage of the baby with you," he stated evenly.
Tom arched a brow, this was
not even close to what he was
thinking was the topic of choice here. "Ah, okay, if you think you
Chakotay took a deep breath
and looked down at Tom, trying to
keep his nerve. "The Doc told me a few weeks ago who the other parent
was, and I finally realized they had a right to know."
Tom still looked puzzled,
"Okay, if you think its best. I'm
not sure how.she.who ever she is, will take it, but."
"It's not a she, it's a he,"
Chakotay clarified. //Just be
direct, get it over with,// his mind said, for he couldn't find a way
to be tactful at the moment. "It's you, Tom. You `are' the Father of
my child." He sighed, //there it's said.//
Tom sat there silent for a
moment, and then started
laughing, "Tay, this is no time for jokes; though I must admit you
had me there for a moment." He continued laughing till he noticed
that Chakotay wasn't, and that he looked very serious. "Are you
serious?" he finally asked, feeling that what he was told was the
"Yes, Tom, I am. I didn't
want to tell you, for really I
didn't know how to take the news myself. Then I simply couldn't
imagine why the aliens chose you? I.in my spirit walk, I was told to
ask you, that you would know."
Tom paled, //This can not
be happening,// he thought. "How.
how would I know? I mean, they were aliens, how.I don't know!" he
snapped, his defense modes jumping into place. Tom needed some air;
this was not what he was expecting. Sure he thought of the child as
his, but to find out it really was his, was an entirely different
matter. Before he knew it, he realized that Chakotay was standing up,
and had some stuff gathered in his hand, "What.?"
"I'm sorry, Tom. I should
have kept my mouth shut," Chakotay
stated, feeling unsure, his emotions mixed. On one hand he was
relieved to finally tell Tom and on the other hand disappointed that
Tom was taking this so poorly, //which I don't know why this should
bother you,// he told himself, but his emotions and his head once
more were not functioning as one. "I'm going to stay in the shuttle
for a while, give you time to.think," he said, and left before Tom
Tom sat on the floor, stunned,
that not only was he a father,
Chakotay just left.even so, he could do nothing but sit and wait till
he could think again.
It was late that afternoon
when B'Elanna came storming up to
Tom, "since you are up and about, you can help in the hunting and
gathering that is required to keep this tribe alive," she snarled.
//Tribe, boy that thing really
is messing with your head,//
Tom thought. But he was in no condition to take her on, and he did
need something to do besides sit and think on how to make things
right between Chakotay and himself. He had sent a pad earlier to
Chakotay, but there had been no reply. He told Chakotay that he was
simply stunned, and that he was glad that he was told the truth. That
he was thrilled to be a father and he wanted more than anything to
continue to be there for Chakotay and the baby. He didn't mention
that he did think he knew why he was chosen, since he was sure it had
something to do with the fact that he had been thinking about giving
Chakotay a baby that day, and the aliens probably read his mind along
with Chakotay's; no, he wasn't ready to admit that or the fact that
he loved Chakotay more than life itself.he couldn't bare the
rejection he saw coming his way.
"Okay, what do you want me to do?"
"Simple, the Doc and I are
going hunting, here is a list of
herbs to gather," she said handing him a pad, and a knife. "You will
have to go out of the perimeter, but not too far, the creatures have
learned to stay away," she smirked. "But just in case," she said, and
then turned toward the Doctor who, like her, looked rather
native. "Come," she ordered, and gestured for Tom to follow.
Tom did, for the sake of peace,
than any other reason, plus
the alarm would sound if there was trouble. He took the pad and
opened it, seeing the extensive list, "Sheesh, are we storing for
"Yes," The doc replied. "It
seems that this planet has a long
winter cycle, and B'Elanna wants us to get a head start before it
Tom gave a tiny smirk, //B'Elanna.heh?//
Program or not, the
Doc seemed very happy about what he was doing, stalking next to the
Klingon warrior like he too was a proud warrior. //Maybe it wouldn't
be so far fetched an idea after all, getting the two of them hooked
up instead,// he thought as he followed quietly.
Chakotay watches from the
shuttle as the group leaves, and he
fingered the pad in his hand. He slowly walked to the shelter and sat
on the edge of the bed, and entered his response. His head and heart
seemed to be at war, "How can I even consider this?" he asked,
knowing his attachment to Tom, but yet, he wasn't in to me, it wasn't
right for him to mislead Tom. //But Tom has been not only good to you
but for you,// his mind replied. "True, but Tom will one day want
more.he deserves more.and I can't give that to him." Chakotay's
father's words echoed back, //Not everyone is enlightened enough to
love the spirit beyond the package it come in.// Chakotay
growled, "Okay, so I'm still a primal monkey that is attracted to
flesh and blood," and he tossed the pad half done on the bed. He
lowered his head in his hands when he heard a sound.footsteps. He
took a cleansing breath as he stood up, //Tom must have forgotten
something,// he thought as he moved to the shelter entrance.
Tom was digging in the dirt,
getting overly aggressive with
the stubborn root, when he heard footsteps. It was too noisy to be
the Doc and B'Elanna, for they were moving with stealth and
constantly telling him he was like an elephant in a balloon patch. He
slowly stood up, and made ready, when the figure came into
Janeway turned toward the
voice, her phaser in hand, and then
relaxed, "Lieutenant," she smiled and lowered her weapon. She put
rank aside for the moment as she walked up to Tom and gave him a
sincere hug. "I'm glad you are all right. We found B'Elanna and the
"She's nuts, Captain, you
have to look out for her," Tom
"We already know about her
problem and have it under control,
though we still have difficulty getting any readings on this planet.
How is Chakotay, do you know where he is?"
Tom grinned, for he was glad
to see Janeway was being open
and sincere in her concern for a change. "He's back this way," he
points, and then sees the look of concern on Janeway's face. "What's
"I'm afraid we are not the
only one to have picked up your
signal, Lieutenant," she said, then tapped her com badge. "I've got
Tom, and we're heading north, anything?" she said, as she moved with
Tom in a hurried pace.
Tuvok's voice replied, "The
Bentar has been detected north of
your position, Captain, though I can not tell if they have discovered
the Commander, that area is still difficult to read."
Tom didn't even wait, he started
running as fast as his feet
could take him, Janeway on his heels, and he broke past the trees to
where the perimeter should have been, but it was broken. Tom moved
quickly to the camp and stopped short, it had been torn up, and
whoever had been here had looted the place. "Chakotay!" he shouted,
fear filling his voice.
"You take that way, I'll go
this way," Kathryn stated. She
hit her com bade, "Were at the camp and it's been hit. Have the
others head this way and look for the Bentar, they may have
Chakotay," she ordered.
Tom moved and looked, first
the shuttle, it had been ransack,
and then he ran to the shelter, it too had been hit, though he did
see a pad on the floor where the bed had been tossed. He knelt and
picked it up, it was still on.
I do want you to be apart of the baby's life as well
as my own, I just don't know how.]
There was nothing more. //He
was here,// his mind replied. He
took the pad and met up with Janeway. "They have him," he said, his
voice weak with anguish.
"Captain, the Bentar are leaving
orbit," Tuvok reported over
the com badge.
"Get a fix on them, and beam
us up. They have the Commander,"
Janeway ordered. Then stood next to Tom, seeing the truth more
clearly than she wanted too, "We'll get him back don't worry."
Tom may have heard her, but
his thoughts were miles away, as
the tingling of the transporter beam swept him and the Captain away.
TBC in Unwanted Tears