|Rating: R for language and sex |
Pairing: Chakotay/Bashir/Paris (all AU versions)
Beta: QsMistress (Thanks)
Summary: Garak and O'Brien get caught up in an anomaly that sends them on a journey with a long way home. They discover more than they bargained for, and a few surprises along the way as they pass from one universe to another
"Wild, Wild, West Style"
by: Kim R.Mysticmcknight@hotmail.com
"Chief O'Brien, it's not my intention to die in a shuttle accident due to your lack of skill, do something!" Garak shouted, as the tiny shuttle around him shook violently.
"If you would shut your grey scaled face for one minute, you'd see that I'm doing all that I can. The damn controls are shot due to that electrical anomaly!" Miles shot back, as more sparks flew from the console before him, forcing him to cover his face.
"This is probably not the time to tell you, but we're having a huge electrical magnetic build up around the hull, and there are tachyon waves off the scale," Garak stated.
Just then there was a bright flash of light, the passengers within the lone shuttle were blinded before the sheer force of the vibration that followed, knocked them both unconscious.
"Ah!" Miles shouted as he tried to move from the floor of the tiny ship. They had landed on an obviously inhabitable planet, judging from the breathable air that was coming thru the huge gap where the shuttle windows had been. Looking around, he found Garak still strapped into his seat, and was relieved to find him still breathing. "Damn it!" he cried out again, releasing his anger and frustration from having crashed the shuttle, and being stuck where ever they were with Garak. He lifted himself from the floor slowly, glad that there didn't seem to be anything broken, and moved to fetch the emergency medical kit. He carried the case over to Garak and pulled out the tricorder, but it didn't work. He then tried the tissue regenerator, but it didn't work either. "Ah, just great!" Miles snapped.
"What's so great?" Elim asked as he slowly stirred from his dark sleep, feeling the pain of a huge headache.
"None of the medical equipment is working," Miles replied.
"Great," Garak returned, slowly sitting up. He noticed the huge hole where shuttle windows had been and was grateful to be alive, though he wasn't going to mention that to Chief O'Brien. "I'll be find, Chief, thank you. Do you know where we are?"
"Not a clue," Miles said, moving over to the burnt out console. "And this hunk of fried wires isn't going to tell us either!" O'Brien looked through the ship from where he was and realized that it was sheer luck that they survived at all, much less with as few injuries as they had received. "I'll go get some of the tools from the back, and see what else I can get running around this hunk of space metal. If you're up to it, take a look out side, but BE careful, okay?"
"Your concern for me is overwhelming, Chief. But regardless, I shall be careful."
Miles moved to the back of the shuttle as Garak tried the door, and found that it was not working. He turned to the open gap, taking a deep sigh before climbing up on the console and out the front to the outside. The area didn't look familiar, for the sky was a bright blue with white clouds. The surrounding ground was rocky; mountain like, but he could see a mix of desert and grasslands from where he now stood on top of the shuttle. There was a warm wind that blew past him, and he turned around to see in the far distance what looked like a town. He'd have to get the telelenses to see further away. He moved carefully back into the shuttle just in time to witness O'Brien's tantrum.
"Geez, bloody hell!" Miles shouted throwing the tool set down. "Not one bloody thing is working, not one! I don't understand it!"
Garak did the wise thing, and ignored O'Brien as he moved to get the telelenses. Because of the medical kit and now the tools, he checked to see if they were working, no they were not. They were not damaged, so he checked the charger unit, it was empty. "Chief, I may have an answer to your inquiry," Garak stated with a touch of amusement.
"Oh, and what is that?" Miles snapped at the Cardassian.
"There is no electricity in the charger unit. Whatever happened to us, it drained all the power out of everything."
"Bloody hell!" Miles shouted with a growl. "That means that the emergency transponder isn't working either. What else could go wrong?" O'Brien asked, then regretted even thinking the words, much less uttering them for now something most definitely was going to go wrong. He growled, "Do you know where we are?"
"No, my dear Chief, I do not. But we were not far from the station, so we couldn't have been thrown that far off course. Perhaps you might recognize something? Though I believe I did spot a town east of our location."
"Could you tell who lived there?"
"No, it was too far, that is why I came to get the lenses. However, it would seem we'll have to find out first hand, won't we?"
Miles grumbled, "We best get cleaned up a bit, then make note of what we have just in case the town is off limits."
"And why would the town be off limits, Chief?"
"If we've landed on a place that isn't familiar with the Federation, the Prime Directive will apply. First, before we start snipping at one another, lets get patched up, see what's survived the crash, then we'll take a looksy and make our decisions after that, Okay?"
Garak nodded his agreement. "Very well, Chief. I'll check for rations, and you can check for the rest."
Three hours later, the two survivors made their way down the mountain, glad to see that they must of crashed at night, for no one seemed to notice them or didn't seem to care. They carefully made their way towards the large town. The closer they got, they were able to spot lots of homes, ranches, and other dwelling areas spread out. The town looked like a cross between modern times and the old west from Earth. The only thing that brought any relief to O'Brien and Garak was the fact that they spotted a vast variety of alien life forms, including Human and Cardassian. That in itself made this place even stranger to behold. Even the clothes everyone wore was a cross mix.
"Well, we may stand out a bit, but at least we'll be able to get some answers, and hopefully some help." Miles said before starting his way towards town.
Garak followed silently behind, a nagging sensation that something was not right, continued to be present as they made their way into town. The sign just outside of town read, 'Welcome to Phoenix'. Perhaps jumping to the conclusion about this place not being familiar to him, was too soon. The more he looked around, seeing some of the shops and faces of the people, the more he though that perhaps he had been here before. Garak decided to ask a passing Cardassian a few questions.
"Excuse me? But could you tell me where we are?" He asked giving his most charming smile.
The Cardassian looked at him, pointed to the sign, laughing, "Phoenix, can't you read?"
Garak took the remark in stride. "Yes, that I can do. What I meant was, were are we? You see, we just got here, and we're lost," he added.
The strange Cardassian looked at Garak, still smiling, when he noticed the cuts and bruises, and a thought overcame him as his smile faded to sympathy. "Oh, you survived, did you? Some folks wanted to send a rescue party, but more didn't think anyone could have survived. Hope you took anything of value with you, for it'll be picked clean by scavengers sure enough."
Miles was annoyed. They saw the crash and did nothing about it, and now their shuttle was going to become pickings for thieves. "Bloody hell, man. Just tell us where we are and how we can get out of here!"
The Cardassian shook his head with sorry, even more sympathy filling his eyes. "You really don't get it, do you? This is Titus Seven, and you've had the favorable fortune to land in New Arizona. Phoenix to be precise."
"Titus Seven?" Garak asked with some surprise. He had been there, but it didn't even come close to looking like this. "That's in the Bad Lands near the boarder between the Cardassian and Federation territories," Garak replied for the benefit of O'Brien in case he didn't know.
"Hell, that isn't so bad. We'll just need access to a comm unit and contact the Captain, and he'll send the Defiant to pick us up. No sweat," O'Brien smiled till he saw the strange Cardassian begin laughing at him, as if he said something funny. "What's with you?"
"I thought you understood. You're on Titus Seven."
"Yeah, so?" Miles asked.
"Don't they teach you anything out there?" the stranger quipped. The stranger exhaled a bit of exasperation than began, "Look, we've been cut off from the rest of the galaxy for years now, ever since that anomaly settled around this planet. No electronics function here, none. Most star ships can't even stay in orbit for more than twenty minutes and they can't beam anyone up. Alive that is. They can only drop stuff off, and they haven't bothered with that in quite awhile. Those who were caught here when it all happened were stuck here, and those who got too close, like you folks, got stuck here too."
The stranger could see that it didn't quite sink into the two new comers, but he had things to do, they'd figure it out soon enough. "Well, I'd send you to see Doc, but he's with the pack cleaning up some trouble on the West Side, which means there isn't any one at the sheriff's office neither. Go to the bar over there, tell them up front your situation, and Charlie will look out for you till the pack returns. Keep your head low, and out of trouble, this place isn't as safe as it looks," he smirked. Then headed off, shouting over his shoulder, "Welcome to Phoenix!"
Garak looked at O'Brien, who was looking at him just as puzzled. "I don't remember hearing about any anomaly effecting Titus Seven, did you?" O'Brien asked.
"No, I didn't. But I was at Titus Seven a couple of years ago, to New Arizona and come to think of it Phoenix as well, and it didn't look anything like this."
That didn't help ease O'Brien any, in fact, it gave him a bad feeling inside. "Maybe it hasn't been as long as he said. Which means that the Federation must be working on it, right?"
"Right," Garak replied, not believing it for a minute. "Shall we?"
The two new comers, as they were called, moved to the building marked 'Charlie's Bar' and entered through double swinging doors, much like the old west. It started to make some sense why things were a mix of modern and the old west, for New Arizona was designed to be a frontier town, and the people took on some of its traits. From the interior of the bar, to bar girls with plums in their hair, and guys wearing cowboy hats. The only thing that Garak noticed right off was that there was no electrical power anywhere. This world really was suddenly thrown back in its technological evolution. Though unlike the old earth Vids that he watched with Julian once in awhile, no one here carried guns, but swords of all different types and shapes. Just about everyone was armed, including the bar girls that had daggers in their boots.
"A new twist on Earths Wild West," Garak mused as he and O'Brien moved to the bartender.
The bartender looked up after serving a customer and groaned, the look in his face showed that he knew who Garak and O'Brien was, even though the three never met before. "Let me guess, you 'just' got here, right?"
Miles annoyance hadn't been eleviated and now had a roaring headache. "Yeah, that's right. We were told to come here," he snapped as he absently rubbed his eyes.
The bartender took pity on the two new stranded strangers. "Here, have a drink on the house, and have a seat. When the pack is back, I'll send someone to fetch Doc. He'll fix you up as best he can. Fortunate for you, that if you had to crash, you picked the best place to do it," he smiled. Then poured two whiskies. "Enjoy," he said, leaving the two to sit and wait.
Garak and O'Brien sat quietly and observed the harsh environment they were in. Miles was relieved to see that not all women that were in this place were bar girls, as Garak was relieved to see that not all the floozies were women, though neither expressed these opinions to the other. The room was filled with drinking, gambling, small arguments, but when ever the possibility of a large brawl might spring up, someone just had to mention bringing the Pack down on their heads, and all became calm again.
Garak had heard this group mentioned several times and decided to turn to the bartender, "Excuse me, but just who or what is the Pack?" he asked politely.
"Ah, you must be new," a woman said behind the two strangers to Phoenix.
Miles and Garak turned to see a tall lanky older woman, dressed like most of the people, in cowboy fashion. She pulled her hat down to reveal her dark brown and gray hair. Then she pulled off some thick leather gloves, as she looked to the bartender, "My usual, Charlie," she smiled.
"Ah, gentlemen, this is our Mayor, Josephine McCulla. Josie, these two as you've already know got stranded late last night. They're waiting to see the Doc and the sheriff." Charlie said as he moved off to get the Mayor her drink.
"Well, welcome to Phoenix, gentleman," she said offering her hand, which both Miles and Garak accepted. "I'm sorry too, but since there is nothing anyone can do about it, might as well move on. Charlie, are there any room upstairs?"
"Yeah, one," Charlie replied as he placed a glass of brandy down for the Mayor. "But they haven't talked with…"
"It's okay, Charlie. I'll cover it till he gets back. Besides, I'm sure the Doc will take one look at those cuts and bruises and insist they take it easy for at least a day or two," she smiled.
"Very well, I'll get someone to get it ready," he said as he moved off from behind the bar.
"Miles O'Brien. Chief engineer with DS9," Miles said realizing he hadn't introduced himself.
"Ah, too bad," she said softly. "I hope your skill can do you service without power. We can barely make a spark since that damn anomaly surrounded this place," she frowned. "But hey, we're always looking for new ways of improving things around here." She then turned to the Cardassian.
"Garak," he replied smoothly, "I'm just a tailor who happened to be in the wrong shuttle at the wrong time," he chuckled easily.
"Well, if your any good, I'm sure we could use one around here," she smiled warmly. She took a heavy sigh. "I hope none of you have any family back home," she stated simply, not meeting either of their eyes.
"I do," Miles replied now concerned. "My wife and two children are on Bajor, why?"
"Charlie, another round, for all of us," she shouted then finding some inner nerve met O'Brien square in the eye. "No one has ever managed to leave here for the past seven years," she stated flatly.
"What!?" O'Brien shouted, not caring about the looks he got from many of the people in the bar. "Seven years!? No, bloody way am I staying any longer than I have too," he snapped.
No one seemed to take offense to the big Irishman's outburst, they all understood too well what he was going through, having gone through it themselves at one time or another. Garak remained calm, "My dear Mayor, are you positive there is no way off this planet?"
"Oh, believe me," she stated. "We've been looking for a way for years now, but with Cardassia and the Federation not paying us much heed anymore, well…"
"Wait a second," O'Brien snapped then looked at Garak. "Didn't you just tell me that you were here only a couple of years ago?"
"Yes," Garak replied with sudden realization. The nagging sensation was now running high through his veins. "But there was no problem then, so…are you sure it's been seven years?"
Josie looked at the two like they were both daft, "Yeah, I'm sure. There is no way you were here a year ago, or you'd have known what was what," she added.
"Chief, I do sense a bigger problem," Garak said softly, seeing recognition enter the engineer's eyes.
"Ah, bloody hell," Miles said weakly.
Just then someone ran into the bar screaming, "Dukat and his boy's are coming!"
Garak and Miles watched as most of the people in the bar decided to make a hasty retreat. "What's going on?" Miles asked, seeing the Mayor getting very nervous.
"Dukat!" she snapped, like that should be enough of an answer in itself, but then she remembered. "It's just like the old days of Earth here. We've got good guys, like the Pack and we've got bad guys like Dukat. The only problem is, that damn Cardassian, um…no offense, but he gets others to do his dirty work, so we can't arrest him." She turned towards the bar entrance to the sound of horses riding up. Then she looked back to the two newcomers. "Play it smart, keep your mouths shut and stay out of their way. We have the Sheriff and his deputies, and I'm sure word is on it's way. Bastards always seem to know when they're out of town," she complained just before the double doors swung open.
Half a dozen men walked in, a mixture of Cardassian, Human, and Klingon. Dukat came in last, watching his 'boy's' pan out grabbing up some of the bar workers, and began reaking havoc. Looking over to the bar he glared at the Mayor, but paid little attention to the two men sitting behind her. He moved towards the bar, walking much like the cowboys of old would, but with an arrogant stride. "Mayor," he acknowledged, giving her a nod. "'Keep!" he shouted, "see to it that my boys are well taken care of, will you?"
"Who's paying?" Charlie dared to ask.
"Why, no one of course." Dukat gave a wicked glare to the bartender and the Mayor. He then noticed the two strangers that didn't have the common sense to leave the area. "Well, well, who do we have here, Mayor? Newbies?"
"Leave them alone, Dukat!" Josie snapped, stepping in between the gang leader and the two newcomers. "If I were you…" she started to say before being cut off.
"Ah, my dear, but you're not me." He then looked past her, "Welcome to hell boy's," he chuckled, while grabbing a bottle off the bar that had been sitting there for someone else earlier. Dukat walked over to a table in the far corner, placed his feet up letting two willing ladies sit on his lap, and watched as his followers began to get out of control.
One of the Klingons decided that he liked the Mayor. Walking up to her, he picked her up like she was a sack of flour. "You'll do just fine," he growled.
Miles was up on his feet in seconds to render assistance to the woman, but before he could get close enough, he was back handed by the Klingon who roared his delight.
Garak not sure what to do, helped the Chief up, who proceeded to go after the Klingon only to be knocked across the floor once again. "STOP THIS!" he shouted to Dukat, who was ignoring the incident.
Those who were not willing, were kicking and screaming as they were being dragged towards the stairs that led up to the bedrooms. Though not a sound outside of the shouts was heard, a presence came over the room. Everyone froze in place looking towards the double doors. Only Miles and Garak were still moving, but only to see what caused a room full of thugs to suddenly go quiet.
The double doors swung open, revealing a large, broad man dressed in black leather pants, which matched his boots, white button down shirt, a red bandana on his head, and a badge. The thick man wore a long, flowing, black trench coat that moved easily, revealing two very well designed hand axes. The dark red skin glowed under the hot noon sun, showing off the dark tattoo over his left eye. He moved in slowly, holding the doors open for another to follow.
Behind the man entered a tall drink of water. His full blond hair stood out underneath the black cowboy hat he was wearing. His blue eyes and fair skin shined intently as he looked into the bar room. The man was dressed with a similar flowing black trench coat, but his shirt was a rich dark red, along with black leather pants that also matched his boots. Unlike the big man in front of him, he carried two weapons that looked like mini tridents with the center blade twice as long as the others, they were Sai. They were on his hips in the place of where guns would have been. He too wore a badge. He held the door open as he moved in. It looked as if there would be another following, he then moved to the big guy's right.
The third person to enter gave Garak and Miles a shock. It was Julian. He was dressed in matching black leather pants, boots, a flowing trench coat like the other two, a black button down shirt, a white bandana around his neck, and a badge. His long hair was tied tightly behind his head. He wore a belt of small, thin, daggers around his waist and cross wise, like the old western ammo belts. When he moved in he didn't hold the door open, there would be no one else coming in. He moved to the left of the big guy, his dark eyes intently glaring at those before him in the room.
The strong Indian in the middle spoke, his voice calm, but commanding. "I suggest you leave while you still can, before things get ugly."
Miles and Garak stood where they were, watching as time seemed to freeze, waiting to see what would happen next. If they had any doubts about this being an alternate universe, seeing Julian playing lawman, was enough to convince them. The moment was broken when Dukat began laughing, followed by the rest of his men, as if whatever reason they were concerned about in regards to these lawmen was no longer important.
The two newcomers slowly moved back to the bar, as they saw the blond flank right, slowly, placing his jacket behind his sword belt, his hand reaching in a pocket pulling out a pair of old fashion sunglasses and placed them on. "If you want to dance," he drawled, "So be it." He then reached for his two trident-like swords and whirled them in his hands like gun fighters would do in the old earth days to show off.
Julian flanked left, as he pulled out a pair of black leather gloves from an inner coat pocket, and slipped them on, with a smirk. Fitting each one tightly, then stretching his fingers, "You play, you pay," he whispered, the threat evident in his tone.
The big guy in the middle stayed put. His eyes scanned the room, then landed on Dukat. "Call them off Dukat and leave while you can. You know you're not allowed in town," he said.
"My dear, Chakotay," Dukat said, addressing the strong attractive man in the middle. "I'm not responsible, as you already know, for what grown men decide to do with their time." He smiled, sitting back to watch what he knew was going to be a good fight.
The half dozen men dropped what they were doing or who they were holding, as if on some silent cue, then charged the three lawmen, swords, daggers all a blaze. A Klingon and a Cardassian went after the big man in the middle, as a Cardassian and a human went after the blond, and a human and a Klingon after Julian. Before Garak or Miles could even think, the three lawmen moved into action with skill and speed.
The blond whirled his weapons at first to block the onslaughter of blades from his two attackers, then turned to use the long metal hilts of his blades as a blunt weapon to land a blow to the face of both the Human and the Cardassian. This caused them to wheel back in pain, leaving them open to receive another blow of the hilt to their chests, and a sweep kick to the human causing him to fall down. This gave the blond a one on one fight, till the human managed to get back up.
The one known as Chakotay reached to his sides, pulling his strong axes, throwing one hard at the incoming Klingon's Bat'leth, causing the Klingon's weapon to crack, throwing off his fighting technique. With the second axe, Chakotay blocked the blow from the Cardassian, then with his free hand, the big guy grabbed the wrist of his attacker and flipped him over his shoulder giving him a one on one with the annoyed Klingon till the Cardassian got up.
Julian crouched then leaped at his two attackers doing a summersault in the air, landing with his feet into their chests, sending them flying backwards, as he flipped again to land on his feet like a cat, and gave a wicked grin. The first to recover was the Klingon who charged with even more fury, but Julian dodged easily striking with inhuman speed to certain parts of the Klingon's body with his hands, causing a great deal of pain and paralysis to shoot throughout. Then without hesitation grabbed a dagger and threw it without error to pin the sleeve of the human behind him to the wall, so he'd have to waist time freeing himself if he wanted to attack the lawman. Then Julian did a sweep kick knocking the Klingon down, still vibrating in a painful paralysis, giving him a one on one with the Human.
"Tom!" Chakotay shouted, letting his friend and partner know that the human behind him was not only getting up, but also going to attack from behind. The warning was enough for Tom who whirled around while moving into a crouch to pummel with his blade hilts into the human's stomach. Then turned just in time to block the down coming blade of the Cardassian whose face was looking very shabby. Tom pushed the Cardassian back as he stood up, then gave a kick to his stomach before moving back to deal with the human.
Chakotay heard the whiz of a blade buzzing by his head, but didn't turn for he saw it came from Julian, who throw it to stop what ever the Cardassian was doing behind him. The big man used the blunt side of his axe to land a few blows to the Klingon's face, then grabbing his wrist flipped him over his shoulder to land on top of the Cardassian, who was pulling the dagger from his arm, still on the ground. A loud "Omph!" came from both of them.
The human, seeing what Julian had done to the big Klingon, had no intentions of letting the lilth man near him. He had a long sword, swinging it in front of him, but not leaving any openings for the lawman to get close. Julian had to stumble back a bit, then unexpectantly he leaped sideways, cart-wheeling on top of the bar. He then leaped up as the sword swung towards him, landing his feet on the blade, and coming down with his hands to both sides of the humans neck knocking him out. Julian then looked over to see that Tom was teasing his poor attackers by not taking them out as quickly as he could. "Tom?" he asked, a small smile creeping over his face, "Didn't you get enough out on Ryan's ranch?"
The blond looked over to see the warm grin crossing his friend and partner's face then saw the disapproving look by Chak. "Oh, all right," he sighed. He then gave his attackers a final blow, knocking them both out. He looked at Chakotay, "There, are you satisfied?" he smiled.
The big man's eyes were warm, but his face remained stoic. He turned to see that Julian was okay, his eyes warming even more. Then he turned to Dukat, who was now getting up from his table, a charming look on his face, though major disappointment in his eyes. "Well, I do believe I'll be going," he said moving towards the door.
"Where do you think you're going?" Chakotay asked coolly.
"My, my sheriff. You don't have any cause to stop me from leaving, I haven't done anything, now have I?" he asked, knowing full well that he walked a thin line, but one that the sheriff couldn't cross.
"One of these days, Dukat, we'll catch you red handed!" Tom shouted, his anger brimming in his eyes as he tore off his sunglasses to glare at the Cardassian.
Dukat only smiled at the blond, knowing it would irritate him further, he than turned to face Julian. "I take it Doc, that you'll see to it that my 'boy's' are patched up before locking them away?" He asked smugly, not bothering to wait for an answer he knew wasn't coming. "Excuse me, Sheriff. But I have things to do," he said, waving off Chakotay as he moved by him, tossing a coin onto the bar before walking out the door.
"How can you just let him get away with that?" Miles shouted, finally finding his voice after the battle was over. "He's incharge of these hooligans!"
The three lawmen turned to see who was shouting at them and saw for the first time, the large Irish man, who stood by a strange Cardassian. "Just who the hell are you?" Tom snapped defensively.
"You're new here, aren't you?" asked Chakotay.
"As much as we'd love to arrest him, the law is clear. He didn't order these men to attack us, so he's not responsible, even though we know better, we can't prove it." Julian said, as he suddenly sprang into action by whizzing a dagger to the Klingon behind Chakotay, landing it in his lower leg, giving just enough pain to cause the attacker to pass out.
"Oh, Sheriff!" Josie shouted with relief. "I was worried there for a moment with all three of you being out of town, I knew something like this would happen." The Mayor moved over to the frantic Miles and stunned Garak. "These two just got stuck here late last night," she stated.
"Must have been that crash we saw last night," Tom mused.
"I'm sorry for the crummy welcome," Chakotay said, with sympathy in his eyes.
"This one, um…Miles right? He's also from DS9, like you were, Doc." Josie said.
"Hmm, must have been assigned after I got stuck here. How's Captain Janeway doing?" he asked as he gathered his daggers from the downed attackers, checking them out to make sure they weren't hurt too badly.
"Janeway? Um…she's…um…" Miles stammered, not sure whether to mention they were from another universe or not.
"She's fine," Garak replied easily. "Doctor, may I ask why…um…if you're a doctor why are you…?" Garak tried to ask as he gestured to the badge Julian wore. He was still stunned at seeing the young man move so fast and with deadly accuracy.
"Oh, why am I a deputy? That's easy, I got tired of patching up innocent people, and when the Sheriff here asked if I'd help him, I decided to do so. But I'm a doctor first and foremost, that hasn't changed." Julian said as he moved over to examine the two new arrivals. "You're both lucky your injuries weren't worse. It's a hundred times harder to fix people up without the use of modern technology," he stated flatly, but with an undertone of pain and anguish, that those who knew him would hear and understand. Julian always took death personally.
"Oh, were are my manners," Josie stated. "This is our Sheriff, Chakotay," she said referring to the big Indian who was now cuffing the aliens lying on the floor.
"Nice to meet you," he said over his shoulder.
"The blond is Tom Paris, one of our deputies, and you've already met our other deputy and resident doctor, or 'Doc' to his friends. All in all, the Pack," she grinned proudly.
"Julian Bashir," the young doctor stated giving a warm smile.
"Garak, how do you do," he charmingly stated.
"I'm going to get the cart," Tom stated, still giving a defensive look to the newcomers as he moved out of the bar.
When Chakotay was done cuffing all the offenders and removing all the hidden weapons and known weapons from their bodies, he joined Julian, who was pulling some bandages from his pouch bag from under his jacket. "Will they live?" he asked warmly, a smile coming to his lips as well as his eyes.
"Them or them?" Julian asked, indicating the newcomers or the ones cuffed.
"Both," the Sheriff mused.
"Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Garak will be fine with a good hot bath and some rest. As for the others…they'll be find too," he replied coolly.
The sheriff placed a protective arm around the young doctor as he smiled at the new arrivals. "Well, if you've meet Josie, and Charlie, I'm sure you know most of the deal here. Yeah, it's a raw one, but that's the way it is. The planetary government has made arrangements for local law enforcement offices to cover expenses for those who get stuck here for about two weeks. Then it'll be up to you to find work or whatever it is you want to do to pay your way around here. When the Doc here gives you the okay, come to the office, either Tom or myself will fill you in on the do's and don'ts around here. All right?" He saw both newcomers nod their heads in understanding.
"Chak, I've agreed to cover a room here for a couple of days till you can help get them settled in," the Mayor said, then looked over to Charlie who was coming out from behind his bar, shock and anger filling his face. "Looks like I've got an emergency funding meeting to call," she said, knowing that the town had to cover the damages since criminals usually didn't carry any currency. She turned to Miles and Garak. "I'm sorry your first day here was so rough, and I really hope, for your sake," she said looking at Miles. "That we do find a way for you to get home to your family soon. Till then, listen to what the Pack has to say, I'll see ya'll later," Josie said then left the bar.
Julian finished looking over the newcomers, "Well, that should do for now. My recommendation is to take a bath, get lots of rest, and come by my office tomorrow, then I'll take you over to the Sheriff's office. If there is any sign of an infection I'll give you a shot. I'd give you one anyway, but medical supplies along with everything else needs to be rationed," he smiled.
"Sure," Miles replied, a weariness overtaking him not only from the wounds, but the knowledge that they were stuck…in another universe, on a planet without power.
"Honey, you're not going to be working too late at the office are you? You've had a full couple of days just like the rest of us," Chakotay asked Julian giving him a half hug.
Julian gave a tired smile, his eyes dancing as he looked at the big man next to him, "Unfortunately, I have to patch up those guys in the holding cells, and check in with Jabara, to make sure she's got everything under control. Then I'll be home," he smiled then looked at the two strangers, "Until tomorrow," he said giving a nod. Then as he moved past the Sheriff, he planted a kiss on the big man's cheek. Heading out the door, he meet Tom who was coming in.
"Hey, where you running off too?" Paris asked Julian.
"To get my medical supplies so I can patch those guys up," Julian mused gesturing his head toward the pile of criminals who were either knocked out or moaning wishing they were.
"Aren't you going to help carry them?" Tom inquired.
"Are you going to help me patch them up?" Julian replied, his eyes twinkling at the blond.
"Um…all right, see you over there," he said leaning in to give a chaste kiss on Julian's lips then moved in as Julian moved out. "Hey, you want to give me a hand here?" Tom shouted over to Chakotay and the two strangers.
Garak just moved silently off the barstool to follow behind the big Indian, stopping only to see if O'Brien was going to follow as well. He saw Miles make a face of disgust then turned to see what he was looking at, the blond and the big man gave each other a kiss then started picking up their prisoners. "I take it you have a problem with same sex relationships?" Garak asked quietly.
"Hey, what people want to do with their private lives are their own business, but they should keep it just that, private!" Miles stated flatly.
Garak just sighed and moved to lift one of the humans, since he could do so on his own. As he moved out to place the man in a wagon, being pulled by a horse, he felt a warm wind blow past him. He realized that he didn't know how to take all this. The crash, being stuck, an alternative universe, and Julian…the beautiful doctor liking men. This could either be interesting or as Dukat said, hell. The good part was that the Dukat in this universe didn't seem to know him, and that was the second good thing, after discovering Julian liked men, to occur, so far.
The light was on in the large two-story house that was of equal distance from the medical office and the Sheriff's office, as Julian climbed the front stairs dragging himself. He was tired from two days of dealing with criminals and patients. He walked in to be greeted with the smell of good, hot food coming from the kitchen. "Honey, I'm home!" he chuckled. He hung his coat up on a hook that had two other black coats already there. He moved in towards the kitchen to see the table set for three, he was so glad he didn't miss dinner.
Chakotay came out of the kitchen brining a large iron pot filled with soup and placed it in the middle of the table. "Hey, I'm glad you could make it. I was tempted to send Tom to go fetch you," he mused moving towards the young man then wrapping his arms around him giving him a deep loving kiss. "You look tired, sweetheart," he smiled.
"Hmm, well, coming home to you, Tom, and a hot dinner makes it all worth wild," he purred back. "By the way, where is lover boy?"
"He was worried about you, so when he spotted you heading home he bolted out back to heat up some water so you could have a hot bath," the big man smiled.
"You guys spoil me, you know that, don't you?" Julian mused, his love full in his eyes.
"And you don't spoil us?" Tom mused himself as he walked into the dining room to where his two loves were standing in each other's arms. He walked up and also gave Julian a deep kiss. "You look so tired," he said seriously.
Julian laughed, "All right, all right. A bath, dinner, bed, sound okay by you?" he smirked as he moved out of Chakotay's arms passing Tom who smacked his butt as he passed. "Hey!"
"Don't fall asleep in the tub," Tom teased, "or I won't save you any of Chakotay's famous vegetable soup." His face shining warmly till the dark beauty exited from view. Tom turned to Chakotay, "I'm worried about him. I thought you were bad when it came to pushing it so much, but Julian does the work of two men, and he never sees that it's more than enough."
The big man placed an arm around his love pulling him in for a hug. "I know how you feel, Tom. But we both know that Julian still believes that he has to prove himself because of his enhancements."
"Then what should we do?"
"We do what we've always done, Tom. We love him, and constantly remind him that he needs to take it easy and that he is more than good enough. It took you a while to believe us, as it did me to believe you two, so it's going to take him a while for him to believe us." Chakotay stated lovingly.
"Yeah, but you'd think he'd listen to his own advise that he was dishing out to me all these years about being more than good enough," Tom replied.
"You know as well as I, that it's easier to cure another than to fix oneself. He's coming around though, I mean face it. Last year he 'never' made it home for dinner," Chakotay laughed.
"Don't worry, we'll keep an eye on him, as he watches over us. Now, go wash up, get the salad, and tell Julian to hurry up," he said smacking Tom on his butt. "Now, mister!" he teased.
About an hour later, Julian walked into the dining room towel drying his hair. Seeing that the others had started without him, but had saved him more than enough. "Sorry," he said shyly, "But the bath felt so good," he smiled.
"Well, you look better," Tom teased.
"Better start with the salad, I'll go heat up your soup," Chak said, as he rose from his chair grabbing the large iron pot and heading to the kitchen.
Julian took a seat, then tied his long wet hair behind him with a string of black leather. "Hey, who has the fort tonight?" he asked loud enough for Chakotay to hear as well as Tom.
"Dallson, Webber, and the new guy, um…" Tom replied.
"KerChek!" the big guy hollered from the kitchen as he was warming up the soup over a wood stove.
"Well, I'm just glad we've started getting some help around here. Remember how it use to be? One of us always had to be there," Julian retorted before digging into his warm salad.
"Yeah, now if only we could get you some more help at the clinic," Tom added.
"Jabara and I have done pretty well over the last seven years, thank you," Julian quipped defensively, a smile edging on his lips.
"That's not what he means, Julian, and you know it," Chak stated bringing back the soup and serving some to the young doctor. "You're working too hard…"
"I know, I know, and I've proved myself already," Julian finished for his older love, having heard the same speech several times this month alone. Julian placed his fork down, "You know how I feel about this," anguish was in his eyes. "I'm a doctor, always will be if I have any say in the matter, but…"
"But nothing, Julian" Tom chimed in. "You're right, you're a doctor and a damn good one. Everyone, and I do mean everyone says so. You're also a damn good lawman, almost as good as me," Tom smiled trying to lesson the tension. "And you have a lot more to offer, but working yourself into an early grave isn't going to benefit anyone. If you won't think of your self then think of us," Tom said, gesturing to Chakotay and himself. "We love you."
"Julian, honey," Chakotay said, as he placed the pot down then moved to stand behind Julian, rubbing his shoulders to ease the apparent tension being upset was building there. "The three of us have something very, very special. Do you remember that night on the plateau, four years ago?"
Julian couldn't help but smile as he looked at Tom then up at the big man behind him. "Oh, yes," he replied softly. "When we decided that if the law wouldn't recognize clan marriages that we would have a private bonding ceremony," he smiled as his eyes misted over in remembrance of that night.
"You looked so beautiful that night," Tom said, as he reached over to grab Julian's hand.
"So did you," he replied, "and you looked so handsome I though my heart would stop," Julian added looking up at Chakotay.
"We made a vow to each other to love, honor, and cherish one another till death do us part, remember?" Chak asked.
Julian nodded his head yes, as a tear fell from his eyes. His emotions were raw from being so tired and over worked, and the love he was feeling from his husbands was overwhelming. "I remember."
"You are the jewel of my heart, I expect to live a long, healthy, and happy life with you and Chakotay. But the way you've been pushing it…"
"I'll cut back," Julian replied understanding what he was being told. "I promise, it's just… well, I have to be at the clinic and sometimes your job…"
"I know you don't like the idea of being left behind when Tom and I have to go out of town, believe me, we don't like it one bit, but…you do need to cut back a little, till the new doctor arrives."
"New doctor?" Julian said his eyes opening wide, but not filled with pleasure.
"Don't get the wrong idea, I told you a while ago that I was sending word to the capital to get you some more help out here. It took damn near a year but they're finally sending us one. You'll still be in charge, and this will give you more choices as to how you want to spend your time, okay?" Chakotay soothed.
Julian eased under the shoulder rub, and the caresses he was receiving from Tom. He let out a breath, "Your right, I'm sorry. I guess I didn't know just how on edge I've been lately, I shouldn't have jumped to any conclusions."
"It's all right, honey. Now, eat cause I'm not heating up the soup a second time," the big guy teased. "Tom, don't forget you have dishes."
"No, I have dishes," Julian replied.
"No, I do. The last time we were all home was your turn, but you had that medical emergency, remember?"
"Right, that's why it's now my turn, and no more babying," Julian snapped with a grin.
"Alright," Chak said. "I'm going over to check on our clientele," he joked, "I'll be back within the hour. Try to stay out of trouble, hmm?"
The two younger men laughed than gave the older man their best innocent looks', "Us?"
"I'm really getting tired of those three getting in my way every where I turn!" Dukat shouted while throwing a glass across his stone work-study toward the fireplace. "I have one of the most prominent land shares on New Arizona, and where I should be running things, that trio has interfered every step of the way. I want them eliminated! I want them dead!" he shouted at another Cardassian in the room.
"Sir, you've hired dozens and dozens of…"
"Imbeciles, morons, idiots! I want someone competent. Someone…" Dukat stopped in his packing. "Damar, I think I figured out what I've been doing wrong all these years," he grinned.
"What do you think it is?" he asked carefully.
"I've just been hiring flunkies, when I should have been hiring professionals. One to match or better each of those Pack rats. Then instead of making a hit on them all in one shot, I should take them out one at a time."
"But they're never…" Damar started.
"Ah, that's not true. Doc gets left behind from time to time. If we take him out, it'll strike deep to the core of the other two, driving a wedge between them. What is that old earth saying about defeating ones enemy?"
"Divide and conquer," Damar stated with a small grin.
"Yes, divide and conquer. Damar, I need you to take a trip…"
Garak could sense the misery filling the chief engineer as he paced the small room the two had to share. Garak thought about what he could say, even the idea of shouting at the man didn't seem right, for their situation seemed pretty poor indeed.
"With no power I can't get the tools to work, no tools equals no shuttle, no shuttle equals no advance instruments or space travel, which means no going home," Miles stated, exasperation evident in his voice. He turned to the Cardassian, knowing that the tailor was the only one he had to talk with about the matter. "I can't stay here, Keiko, Molly, Kirayoshi…"
"Chief, remain clam. You may be working with limited resources…"
"Limited!? We're back in the bloody Stone Age!" Miles shouted.
"That is not accurate…Mr. O'Brien." Garak said trying to sooth the frantic human. "They have modern equipment, they are just lacking a way to power it. Perhaps all you need is another method of powering things up. I mean, what did your people do in the first place before electricity was found?"
"Garak! It took years, I don't…" he growled. Miles knew that Garak was only trying to help. "I'm sorry, Garak."
Garak was taken back by the apology, "There is no need to apologize, Chief. Your situation is perfectly understandable. However, there is nothing we can do about it tonight. Perhaps with some sleep and exploration of our surroundings, we may find answers that others may have overlooked." It sounded good; even Garak almost believed it. "Now, if you don't mind, try to get some sleep, I for one am tired."
"Perhaps. I just know I don't like this place, and I want to go home." The big Irish man stated flopping himself on his bed. "I mean, did you see how Julian was acting?"
Garak smiled from his bed, he did indeed see the luscious man act today. He kept his voice neutral. "You mean the way he was fighting?" Garak asked.
"Well, that too. Did you see how fast he was moving? Our Julian even with all his 'enhancements' never moved that fast, damn!" Miles stated; the fact he was impressed vibrated through his voice. "But that's not what I meant."
"Oh, you mean how he was with his boyfriends?" Garak flatly asked, knowing that while Miles was lying down he couldn't see the mocking look in the Cardassian's face.
"Jeezzsh man! You really think…? Creeps me out," Miles said as he rolled to his side placing his back towards the Cardassian tailor.
"Well, from what I've overheard when people were discussing the Pack, they said that the three of them live together, and they are extremely tight. Taking this information and the display of affection they showed each other today, it is an obvious conclusion that they are seeing each other in an intimate capacity," Garak stated, again flatly as possible, watching the engineer squirm at the idea. "I thought you said you didn't have a problem with same sex relationships, Chief."
"I don't, its…its… ah hell, I just never thought of Julian that way. I mean with him and Ezri getting along so well…ah, never mind. Go to bed," Miles snapped wanting to drop the matter.
"Well, if it's any consolation, Chief. I never thought of Julian that way either," Garak said. Hoped maybe, but never thought of him that way, //But perhaps that may change when we get home,// the tailor thought to himself. //And if we don't get home, I could always see how open this Julian is; though that blond is enticing too. Come to think of it, all three of them are very desirable,// Garak mused to himself wishing he had his own room at the moment, for he was having a pressing time keeping himself under control from his hormones.
Julian was sitting in front of a vanity brushing his long dark hair as Tom entered the large bedroom. Julian smiled at the blond through the mirror's reflection as he watched him tighten up the towel around his waist and towel drying his full blond hair. Julian noticed some bruises on Tom's back. "Hey, why didn't you tell me you got hit?" Julian asked as he got up from his seat, his long whit nightshirt flowing down to his knees. He moved over to Tom and checked out his back; one of them was very dark.
"I'm okay, Jewel," Tom eased using his pet name for his husband and lover.
"I'm the doctor here, and don't forget that. I'll let you know when your fine, and this large hemotoma is not acceptable," Julian snapped. Then moved to his vanity and pulled a jar of stuff from one of the drawers. He opened it and took some of the ointment then moved back to behind the blond. "Here, this will feel a bit cold, but it'll take care of that wound," he soothed as he gently started rubbing the suave on Tom's back.
"Ooh, that 'is' cold!" Tom jumped. Then relaxed into the gentle ministrations of his husband's hands on his back. "Hmmm, that feels good. You ever consider being a message therapist?" he teased.
"Only to those I love," Julian purred into his younger husband's ear. He turned to see that Chakotay was standing in the doorway watching silently. Julian knew that big man was a first class voyeur, especially with his two husbands.
Once the suave was completely rubbed in and the bruise shrunk in size, Julian started nibbling on his husband's smooth creamy neck as he reached down to wipe his hands on the towel around Tom's waist. Then moved them around and started slowly bringing them up, caressing his sculptured stomach up to his carved chest that was drizzled lightly with hair. Julian moved his own body closer to spoon right up behind his husband, tracing a path along Tom's shoulder with kisses. "I love you, Tom" he whispered.
"Oh!" Tom cried softly. "You know how much I love you too," he replied as he closed his eyes to feel the touches of his husband's skilled hands.
Chakotay stood silently, knowing that Julian had seen him there. His loves knew how it turned him on to watch them go at it for awhile. But there was more to it than just sexual gratification watching Julian and Tom touch and make love to one another. It was like a reconfirmation that the three of them belonged together. The way Chakotay could describe it was in terms of the whole. As much as Chakotay prided himself on being a spiritual man, he knew that Tom was the fire that burned the brightest, and was the spirit among the three. He had to admit he was more of the logical voice of reason when the spirit burned too bright for their own good, so he was the mind. That made without a doubt Julian the heart. The young man had more love, compassion, and honor than one could imagine. Individually they were all special, but together they were not only strong, they were whole.
A moan of ecstasy from Tom brought Chakotay back to the present. Julian was grinding himself slowly into Tom's cleft while sucking on his left ear lob as his hands were playing with the light pink nubs on Tom's chest that were now hard as rocks. Chak. could see his blond beauty's arousal peeking through the towel around his waist as Julian continued his assault.
Then Julian reached down and removed the towel allowing it to fall to the ground and turned Tom to face him so the two of them could kiss each other deeply. Tom reached down Julian's left side, caressing his way down to his hip then his thigh then reached around lifting it up to his side while his other hand pulled Julian in closer. The two kissed, their tongues dancing with wild passion for one another. Then Tom broke the kiss by brining his mouth to slide his way from the firm lips it was tasting to the tangy golden skin of Julian's neck as he took his left hand to start pulling off the nightshirt his love was wearing and tossed it to the ground.
Within moments Chakotay watched his two sexually divine temptations intertwine themselves as they fell sideways on the large king-size bed. He moved in slowly, taking his own clothes off as he watched his husbands kiss, touch, and grind on each other with relentless passion, knowing that at anytime if he were to interfere he'd be welcomed. The actions before him and the thought of being part of it excited him to new high's that only these two could do to him. As he stood naked, his own member aching with need from watching golden skin mesh with flustered cream, he moved to the nightstand where they kept a good supply of lubricant. He opened the jar and with each hand on two fingers grabbed some up, then moved to the foot of the bed.
They could feel the heat from one another's body, the taste of the others sweat and they knew that their other husband was watching, being intently turned on. Where Chakotay was a first class voyeur, Tom was an outright exhibitionist. Julian found he was somewhere in the middle, on more than one occasion. He loved to turn his older husband on by making love to Tom so he could watch, but found when he watched Tom and Chak making love it made his blood boil with desire. They could feel Chakotay climbing on the foot of the bed straddling both their legs since they were on their sides. They both could feel a strong hand move along their cleft and with moist fingers find their entrance to be followed by two fingers entering them each.
"Oh, fuck yes!" Tom cried as he felt the older man's fingers begin fucking him as he continued to grind his swollen cock against Julian's slick hard member.
"Oh, yes! Harder love, harder!" Julian cried as he too felt himself being finger fucked by his older husband while being pressed against by Tom.
Chakotay watched as his two loves writhed under his touch as they continued to hump each other, kiss each other, with sounds of pure ecstasy escaping from both their lips. Just watching them, seeing the build up, knowing he was causing it, knowing they knew he was there and was doing it just for him, only for him, he thought, was feeding his own build up. First Tom screamed out as his body convulsed into pure pleasure followed seconds later by Julian, whose mixture of cries was enough to send Chakotay over the edge, himself.
It was early the next morning, Garak and Miles were not too happy to discover they were still in Phoenix, New Arizona on Titus Seven, and in an Alternate Universe. Charlie was kind enough to offer them a small meal before giving them directions to the clinic where Doc worked. After they ate they headed off.
The large one story building was divided into several areas, small front office, and a back area for patients, and a few other areas that they couldn't see from the front room. The door was open, so someone had to be there, but when no one came to their call they moved on back looking for someone, anyone to help them, tell them when Julian might be at.
Garak was the first to notice the incense burning and moved in that direction with Miles moving closely behind. They heard slow steady movement, and controlled breathing. Slowly they turned the corner to see that this particular area was redesigned as a gym, where a good portion of it resembled a dojo of ancient earth. There in the middle, wearing only a pair of grey sweat pants was Julian practicing his morning kata.
"Our Julian definitely doesn't know anything like that," Miles stated quietly.
"Our Julian, as you put it, never had the need," Garak mused in returned then suddenly realized that they were now being watched.
"Your Julian?" the young doctor asked.
"I forgot, all his senses, including hearing," Miles snapped with embarrassment.
"Would you two like to elaborate, your Julian?" the young man asked again, this time grabbing up a towel to wipe the sweat off his face and smooth chest.
"Well," Garak said, realizing that it was going to have to come out sooner or later. "I guess we'd best be direct with this, don't you think, Chief?" Garak said throwing the ball into the human's court.
"Bloody hell, Garak," Miles snapped. Then he looked at the Julian standing before him as he tied his long hair behind him. "It took us a while to figure out, but were not only from the Federation but another time or to be precise another universe. Ya see, where I'm from you are still a doctor on DS9, and Captain Sisko is in charge, and we've served together for almost seven years."
Julian looked at the two in front of him and then started to laugh, "You expect me to believe that?" he chuckled. "You must of hit your heads harder than I thought."
"As humorous as it may sound, my dear Doctor, it happens to be the truth." Garak replied.
"How else would we know about your enhancement?" Miles snapped.
It was the right thing to say to stop Julian from laughing, but the wrong thing to say for it brought Julian into their face with lightening speed. "How the hell did you know about that!" he ordered.
Garak could see the danger lurking in this young man's eyes, and was glad to see that the chief did too as he decided to reply. "I told you, we're from another universe. Starfleet found out about you a few years ago, you shared the entire story with us, we happen to be your friends on the station."
Julian's eyes narrowed, "All right, prove it. How old was I?" he asked coolly.
Garak knew about alternate universes so spoke carefully, "In our universe you were seven years old when you and your teddy bear named Kukalaka went into the hospital." By the reaction in Julian's eyes it must have been the same in this universe too.
He backed off, wiping his face with the towel. Then turned to face the two strangers that seemed to know more about him than he cared for. "Look," he snapped. "There are only two other people in this 'world' that know about me. Because what you say is the 'only' way you could know, I'm going to believe that you're from another universe. But get this straight; we are not friends here, till you prove otherwise, do you understand? If anyone finds out, I'll know who told, and before I get carted away and lose everything I'll come looking for the both of you, do I make myself clear?" Julian said just above a threating whisper. His dark eyes were filled with anger and fear as he looked at the two strangers that now held his fate in their hands.
"Look, Julian. I told you, in the other universe we're good friends," Miles replied.
"And I'm sure with time we will prove to be so here too," Garak added seeing the mix of emotions playing over the good doctors face.
Julian turned his back on the newcomers; he needed time to breathe, to think. They seemed sincere enough, but could he really trust them. Part of him wanted to believe them, but another that fed the fear did not. He didn't want to lose his practice, but he was more afraid of what would happen to Tom and Chakotay if people found out that their precious doctor was a genetic mutant. Tom and Chakotay, he had to talk with them. He turned back to face the ones called Garak and Miles. "You came here to be checked out, so let me check you out," he said, unsure if his voice betrayed his concern or not.
A little soap and water, clean bandages, and a shot each, Julian was going to send the two men packing, telling them anything to get them out of here when Miles reminded him that he promised to take them to the Sheriff's office. Julian being a man of his word cleaned up himself then after Jabara showed up he quietly escorted them to see Chakotay and Tom.
"Rise and shine boys!" Tom shouted as he banged on a metal pot with a wooden spoon. "It's breakfast time. I sure hope you like oatmeal, cause we've got lots and lots of it," he grinned, knowing just how true those words were. Those who had been in prison before groaned, for they knew it was oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Those who didn't know any better were already chowing down.
"You're in luck boys," Chakotay said as he walked in grinning ear to ear. "The circuit Judge will be here the day after tomorrow. With luck like that, you'll be out of here by…oh say, the end of the month." He chuckled then moved back into the front office with Tom in time to see Garak, Miles, and a very solemn Julian.
Tom greeted them, not catching Julian's mood. "Good morning," he chimed.
Chakotay however did notice that Julian wanted to talk and privately. "Good morning," he added with a smile. "Tom, why don't you help these two out, I want to talk with Doc for a minute, alright?"
"No problem, Chak," the blond deputy smiled. "Step this way and lets see what we have behind door number two," he mused, not caring if anyone understood his joke or not.
"What wrong?" the big man asked quietly of Julian.
"Not here," he replied. "Tom, we're going to head home for a bit, do you want anything?"
"Yeah, but it can wait till tonight," he teased back, still not catching Julian's mood for he was still flying high from last night. He waved good bye to his husbands and turned to Garak and Miles. "Okay, here is a booklet, it contains the basic laws here. Any questions after you've read it, and I do suggest you read it, then ask." Tom opened a large filing cabinet draw pulling out old fashion paper in files. "Let's see here. Here is a list of people willing to hire and how much they'll pay, and oh yeah. Here's a book of general prices so you know what you'll need to make a living here. If you have skills that you think may come in use, that you don't see on the list you can ask around or post them on the main board in the town square." Then Tom sat down behind the wooden desk and sat in a comfortable plush chair. "As I'm sure you've been told. The room and board at Charlie's bar is for two weeks, after that you're on your own. Sorry, but that's the law. But you guys look like bright fellows, I'm sure you can get work, and if your really in a jam, and Chakotay thinks he can trust you, we're always looking for extra deputies. It's a really big town," he grinned, hoping to see some reaction in the newcomers eyes.
To his disappointment Garak only smiled, "I've been told that there could be use for a tailor, a good one at that. I happen to be he."
"I'm an engineer. I know there is a problem with power and such, but I did study a bit on ancient methods of running things, perhaps that could be of some use here?"
"Really?" Tom asked, a bit excited. "Well, you've met the Mayor. She's the one you should talk too. As for you Mr. Garak, we could use a good tailor; you too should talk with the Mayor. She has some emergency funding that could help you get started. Not much, but something is better than nothing."
"Okay than, that's what we'll do," Miles said as he stood up.
"Oh, and one piece of advice on the house," Tom smiled; though his eyes were serious. "Stay away from Dukat. He happens to be very wealthy, and he tends to hire those down on their luck or make those he thinks could be useful to him, offers they can't refuse, as it were. My advice is to avoid him or refuse him, because he's nothing but trouble."
"That is very, very sound advise, deputy," Garak said, understanding the human all to well when it came to his arch nemesis.
As soon as the door was closed to their home Julian wrapped himself in his husband's strong arms shacking. "They know," he mumbled.
Chakotay could feel the fear and concern his Julian felt but didn't understand. "Who knows? What do they know?" he asked hugging his love tightly.
Julian took a few minutes filling himself with the warmth and strength he got from his love before daring to speak. "Garak, and O'Brien. They know about me."
"How?" the big man asked in surprise. If it was not for what he saw on his love's face and felt in his arms, he'd not have believed it. "No one on this planet know but me and Tom, and I know…"
"They're not from here!" he snapped then buried his face in the strong man's face.
Chakotay held his love tightly for a few moments till the shaking eased then leaned back just enough so he could cup Julian's face and look into his eyes. "Tell me," was all he softly said. Julian explained everything, he was so upset that he didn't take notice, nor did Chakotay, of the shadowed figure that was lurking under their window overhearing the entire conversation.
"Do you think we can trust them?" Chakotay asked.
"I…I don't know, that's why I had to talk with you," Julian replied still holding his husband tightly. "As I said, they stated that we were friends in the other universe, but…"
"Your concerned. Well, I think for one that you should really stop worrying so much about what others think about you, cause you know Tom and I will stick by you no matter what."
"But Chak, you know what could happen as well as I do!" Julian injected.
"Julian, love. Folks around here have seen what you've done for them over the past seven years first hand. If they could still be capable of holding anything against you after all this time, well, then they don't deserve you or us. As for Garak and Miles, I'll have a talk with them, and if they seem as okay as they have so far, then we'll give them a chance, okay?"
"Okay," Julian said, cuddling up into his strong husband's arms his youth digressing to that of a child for a moment. Then when he felt the fire of arousal burn in his body from Chakotay's ministrations, he matured quickly looking upward to see the face of his love. Julian raised his right hand to pull Chakotay's lips to his own, locking in a deep-throated kiss.
After a long few minutes of the fiery kiss the big man broke away, a huge grin on his face. "Sweetheart, Tom is all alone at the office," he protested weakly.
"Oh, I don't think he'll begrudge me a little loving from our big man," Julian purred, all thoughts of his concerns dissipated by the fires of passion. "I want you," he purred again, licking Chakotay's skin around his neck then slowly down his chest after he opened each button revealing the strong smooth dark chest. "I want you to take me," Julian purred some more, as he continued to kiss his way down to the belt buckle. With skilled hands he undid the belt as his talented mouth sucked and nipped all over Chakotay's chest and stomach, causing moans to escape the big man's throat.
Julian dropped to his knees using his mouth to release the object of his desire from its cloth confines. The large thick member was already swollen with desire, weeping for more touching. Julian did as was expected, he took the thick erection into his mouth sucking on it lovingly, as he started to remove his own clothes. His intent was to lube this up then take a wild ride on his stud of a husband. As his mouth made quick work of his husbands member, he made quick work of removing his clothes.
Both young men had very talented mouths, both knew what they were doing, and both were an experience all to their own. Chakotay reached down with his thick hands running his fingers through Julian's dark hair, pulling out the tie, so he was free to play with those dark strands more easily. "Oh, Julian!" he cried. He couldn't deny his husbands anything, and if Julian wanted him here and now, he'd have it. He'd make it up to Tom later; they always made it up to the other if the three couldn't be together.
When Julian felt that the erection in his mouth was more than ready, he moved up with kisses till his lips locked again with his older husband. Then he leaped up in his arms wrapping his feet around his waist. "Take me," he purred.
Chakotay moved Julian to the floor, his member already in place, so once the young man was in position, Chakotay started his descent into the hot tight depths of his dark erotic beauty. Slowly at first, then when he felt he was all the way in, and at Julian's insistence, he started to fuck him thoroughly into the ground, Julian screaming in delight with every thrust.
"Make me yours!" he cried out as his body filled with the heat of his love filling him, possessing him.
"You are mine, always have been, always will be," Chakotay grunted in return.
Then the two were lost in the moment, only feeling, hearing; smelling the other for any thought was gone. The lovers continued to build the fire between them till their passion exploded, first the young man then the older one. Then the two laid intertwined with one another letting the world pass them by as they basked in the after glow of their lovemaking.
"Mayor McCulla!" Miles shouted as he saw the older woman exiting a building marked City Hall. "Mayor McCulla!" he shouted again as he hurried forward, till he could see that she spotted them and was waiting.
"Ah, Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Garak, good morning," Josie smiled. "What can I do for you?"
"The deputy…um, Tom said that we should speak to you about getting a bit more settled in. I do have some background on ancient methods of powering things, and I'm offering my services if you could use them?"
"Well, that is a horse of a different color," she smirked happily. "I just happen to be off to meet with some folks that are working on the problem as well, would you like to come along?" The Mayor inquired.
Miles looked at Garak who answered for them. "We'd be delighted," he said giving a gracious bow that stimulated a warm laugh from the older woman.
"Talented and charming," she mused. "Rick, get two more horses!" she shouted to a young boy near by.
"Um…horses?" Miles asked unsure. "Um…. we're really not expected to ride those beasties are we?"
"Oh, that's right. You probably don't even know how, sorry." She shouted over her shoulder, "Rick never mind, just hitch up the wagon, I'll drive."
About an hour later Miles and Garak were experiencing their first real wagon ride. It was just like the type one saw in the old earth vids, but much more rougher of a ride compared to the ones he and Julian would use during their Alamo program. "Why the horses?" Miles inquired.
Josie laughed. "Being an engineer I'd think it would have been obvious," she chuckled harder. "Without power, we still need to get around, and walking has more limitations. Though some folks have bikes that are people powered, it's quite taxing for everyday life. We're lacking a lot of resources that other planets have, like sulfur. Of course that also has been a good thing."
"Why is the lack of sulfur considered a good thing?" Garak asked.
"Because it's a main ingredient to gun powder. It's bad enough with outlaws having weapons as it is, imagine if they had projectile weapons?" she said giving a shiver at the thought.
"I see your point, madam," Garak conceded. "At least with the more primitive weapons, those who wish to fight have to rely on their own skill and not that of a metal pellet going into one's chest."
"You know, Julian and I…" Miles started. Thinking about their times defending the Alamo.
"Oh, you and Doc getting along?" she asked with unexpected good timing.
"Yes, Chief. You and 'Doc' getting along?" t he Cardassian mused to remind Miles of the slip he almost made.
"Um…yeah. We were just discussing why he became a lawman as well as a doctor," O'Brien stated to cover for his error.
"Ah," the older woman replied, her smile fading a bit. "That was a painful decision for him, I remember."
"Why?" Garak asked from a deep curiosity about the young doctor of this universe.
"What did he tell you?" she asked back.
"Only that he got tired of trying to patch up innocent people," Miles replied.
"Well, that pretty much covers it," she returned. "You see, not only is Doc a good man, but he takes a lot too personally. When all this happened, it took us about a year to get organized and I asked Chakotay to be our Sheriff, which thankfully for us he accepted. He was stranded here like most of us. If you thought the other day was bad, imagine that day and times it by a hundred and you have a small clue to how crazy things were. Within the second year Tom came into town, by then sword play was the standard method of defense, since these weapons could be forged, and it made a few people very wealthy, like Dukat who owns a large Iron mine. Well, to make a long story short, the two bumped heads, but worked out their differences, and sure enough Tom joined up as a deputy. Doc had been here from the beginning, doing his best to deal with all the sick and injured he could without the aid of modern technology. He even came up with a way to power the tissue regenerator for a few moments, but only for big emergencies," she stated.
"Wait! I thought you couldn't even get a spark?" Miles asked, wondering what he missed.
"I should be more accurate. We can generate power, but if it goes over a certain voltage, and that's a very low amount, it not only gets sucked up, but the area gets hit by heat lightening, causing more damage than is worth the trouble. Most of the few times when Doc has had to use the tissue regenerator, he avoided the lightening, but a few times we were not so lucky, but no one was hurt."
"Any way," Garak interrupted wanting to hear the rest of the story, the tech talk could come later. "What happened?"
"Oh, sorry. Well, like I said, Doc was here from the start doing his best. He made a lot of friends, one of which became his Sensei or teacher in the martial arts he uses. The older man, Torro Samuru, was a kind, warm soul, much like Julian. I think that's why the old man took him on as a student," she smiled. "Well, as you can figure out, one day there was a big brawl, lots of people were going crazy, taking the law into their own hands, or stealing, just going nuts. Chakotay and Tom had their hands full, and not too many were willing to help them out, even now it's hard for them to get help."
"The old man got killed?" Miles guest.
"Yeah, while defending a family that wouldn't surrender their oldest daughter to some scum," Josie growled. "Julian did his best to patch up the old man, but I don't think it was his death that pushed him over the edge though. I think it was when the family brought them their oldest daughter who was only twelve, she had been raped."
"What happened next?" Garak inquired hanging onto every word the woman was saying.
"Well, after he was done doing what he could for her, I was told by his nurse that he had a dark look in his eyes. Without a word he changed clothes and headed out the door. The next thing anyone knew was the group of creeps had their asses royally kicked and were tied up on the stairs of the jail with Julian sitting on top of them, much like a bounty hunter who had his bounty. When Chakotay and Tom showed up, Julian didn't say a word just headed back to the clinic. Doc didn't say a word to anyone for about a week. Dukat was getting a hand on the town, though the Sheriff and his deputy were doing a good job, they were still short handed in help, and that creep Dukat knew it. Though we could never prove it we know he sent his boys to town to dispatch Chak and Tom. It all came down in old west style; there was the challenge between the bad guys and the good guys at high noon. There were three against two, for no one else would step up to face the challenge with the good guys. As the hour came to pass the Sheriff and Tom faced off against the three thugs, but just before the town clock struck twelve Julian stepped out of the clinic dressed for a fight. Without a word he stood next to Chakotay and Tom glaring at the challengers." Josie wiped the sweat off her brow with a white kerchief.
"The fight was spectacular, though the three never fought together they managed to keep in step with each others movements. The Doc's technique of taking out his opponents with a touch quickly spread, as Chakotay with his axes and Tom with his Sai's. The fight was over in minutes. Doc checked the men on the ground then silently headed back to the clinic when Chakotay stopped him. They talked, though I don't know what was said, the next day Doc had a deputy's badge and the Pack was born. Over the years the pack have become almost legendary," she smiled with pride.
The wagon was driving up a small dirt path that led to the farthest part of town where there were a few buildings, and several signs that read 'KEEP OUT, THIS MEANS YOU!' But this obviously didn't apply to the Mayor for she continued right in, "Ah here we are. This is were we've set up a lab. It needs to be towards the outside of the city, for like I told you, too much of a spark and lightening starts to strike, though we've gotten better at predicting when it's coming so folks have some warning. Which reminds me, if you hear chapel bells, and it's not Sunday morning, run for cover," she smiled though her look was serious. "I'll introduce you guys to Milford, he's the best we have, so don't be too hard on him if he doesn't measure up to Federation standards, okay?"
"Hey, I'm not here to judge anyone," Miles said warmly, though his mind was reeling at the scraps of useless technology he saw laying around, and lots of burnt earth.
"Are you sure about that?" Garak quipped quietly so only O'Brien heard him.
Miles glared at the Cardassian. If only he wasn't such a good Starfleet non-com, he'd zap the bloody Cardi or better still, leave him behind. He let out a deep sigh, no he couldn't do that, at least now, but if Garak kept it up, he just might forget himself.
"Ah, Deputy Tom," Dukat smiled as he shifted in the wooden seat he had been sitting in across from the blond human. "I'm sure that under the circumstances we can come to an agreement. After all, they're not going anywhere." The older Cardassian was saying, using all his charm.
"Well, you have 'that' right, Dukat. They're 'not' going anywhere," Tom smiled smugly. He could see that the Cardassian was at his wit's end and wanted his men out of prison. He'd tried to bully Paris, but that failed, then he tried subtle bribery, that failed, and now he was using charm. Tom mused that either this guy was incredibly dense of he just didn't get it, Tom totally disliked him, and loved his husband who despised Dukat. There was nothing this guy could do or offer that would sway him away from his duty to his husband or his job. But Tom couldn't help but string along the wealthy Cardassian, who didn't have enough sense to make change for a nickel, to realize it. "Perhaps if you said please with sugar on top, I might consider talking with Chakotay," he smiled giving his most charming, which he knew would infuriate the Cardassian, which it almost did when Damar shot in the door.
"Dukat!" he shot in between a smile and panting to catch his breath. "We need to talk," he said lowering his voice.
Dukat stood up looking over to his second in charge then back at Tom, realizing that he was wasting his time. "Very well," he replied then looked back at the human. "I apologize for wasting both your time and mine, deputy. Good day." He tipped his hat then exited with Damar. The two remained silent till they both reached the bottom of the stairs. "What is it!" Dukat snapped, his irritation showing.
"I just found out something that will please you very much," Damar grinned. "I spotted the Sheriff and Doc heading home, and Doc looked upset so I followed and listened into a very, very private conversation." Damar's face glowed with a wicked light. "I learned something that will bring down the Pack in one swipe."
"Well?" Dukat asked as he stopped in his tracks in the middle of town glaring at Damar.
"It wouldn't be wise for us to discuss it here," he said moving to a side street then to an ally way.
"Tell me, Damar. And it better be good cause I don't feel like playing games," he growled.
"It seems that our good Doc has a dirty secret," the Cardassian teased his boss.
"And the would be?" Dukat asked taking the bait.
"It turns out that he's a genetic mutant," Damar said, his wicked grin spreading across his face to be reflected by Dukat. "I over heard him telling the Sheriff, who knows as does the deputy, and that the two newcomers not only are they not from this universe but knew about his secret too."
Dukat couldn't suppress his nasty laughter that most villains have when things go in their favor. "Ah, Damar. If all goes as it should, you will be handsomely rewarded for this little bit of news," he grinned. His bright eyes filled with dark mischief. "Though it would have been nice to keep the Doc around, he is the weak link in their trio and therefor must be destroyed; pity though," Dukat mused.
"Is there anything I can do?" Damar asked reflecting his eagerness to assist.
"No, you have done more than enough," Dukat smiled. "With the little package arriving soon, and this bit of news; Doctor Julian Bashir will be history to this town by the end of the week," he chuckled then gave another villainous laugh, which was joined by Damar.
Days turned into nights, and soon a week had passed for the stranded twosome. They had managed not to kill one another, and with lots of effort, gained Chakotay, Tom, and Julian's trust in the matter of the enhancements, and they're being from another universe. Garak helped Miles at the lab, or the barn as O'Brien affectionately called it. It took effort to keep from strangling the big Irish man, but then Garak would remember that Miles was under more stress having the possibility of leaving his family behind.
They both experienced first hand what the Mayor meant about lightening and voltage limits. When O'Brien was tinkering around with a steam-powered generator to store current in a battery, all hell broke loose in the area. Though no one was hurt, amazing as it sounded, but a good section of the barn where Miles had been working was destroyed. There were injured, Miles being one of them as they were taken to the clinic.
Julian was doing his best to handle the sudden overflow that always occurred during these experiments, but again was grateful that no one was killed. He moved to O'Brien. "That's a nasty cut on your cheek," he said softly. He cleaned the wound and placed on a bandage. "When I'm done with everyone else, facial wounds fall into Oscars realm," he smiled.
"Oh, you'll see soon enough, just relax." Julian said.
As the doctor was about the leave the treatment room the Sheriff and his deputy walked in. "I'm sorry, honey," Chakotay said warmly. "But there's been reports of cattle rustling on Ryan's Ranch again. We're going to have to check it out."
"I should be ready to go in about an hour," Julian replied till he saw the look "What?"
Tom stepped forward giving O'Brien the look that the stranger could get the hint and leave, but only said, "Sweetheart, you've been working too much as it is, plus…."
"You don't want me to go, do you?" he asked softly, a touch of disappointment in his voice, then with a glance at Miles he stepped into the hall.
"Ah, honey, you know that's not true. But Tom is right. You have worked twice as much as you did last week, and you promised to cut back," Chakotay added trying to ease the disappointment his young husband was feeling.
"Yeah, well I thought they were sending another doctor to help me?" he snapped then looked guilty, he knew better. "I'm sorry. You're right. Plus, with you guys gone, I know there'll be trouble and I don't think the new guys can handle it," he mused softly.
The three had a group hug, "We'll be back in two days, I promise," the big man stated as he placed a loving kiss on Julian's lips.
"Don't worry, I'll keep him out of trouble," Tom teased also giving Julian a loving kiss.
"Yeah, but whose going to keep you out of trouble," the young doctor joked, sadness already setting in his eyes. "See you in two days."
Miles was still sitting in the treatment room an hour and a half later when Julian wheeled in a large cart that had a contraption under a white cloth, which was attached to a tissue regenerator. "What is that?" he asked, wondering what the young doctor had done, for he was told by Josie that he found a way to use the regenerator in emergencies.
"This," Julian said pulling off the cover to reveal a small battery, and a mouse cage with an enclosed running wheel attached to some other wires, "Is how I power the regenerator, and this," he said pulling out another small cage revealing a small white mouse, "is Oscar." Julian gently pulled out the small rodent and stroked its fur lovingly. "I'm sure you can see how I do it. Oscar runs, it causes a small charge, the battery and the magnetic field I generate with the magnets amplify the output, together I can power the unit and measure the voltage build up. I can do small burst, so I do it for emergencies and deep facial wounds, no reason for serious scaring if I can avoid it," he replied a bit of pride in his tone. Then Julian placed Oscar in the wheel; a half an hour later Miles was healed, and poor little Oscar was tuckered out. Julian babied the little mouse, cooing to it like a small child who he was very grateful too.
"I was starting to wonder if you'd ever be finished," Garak stated as he wondered in looking at the chief, then stopped to see Julian cooing a mouse. He raised an eyeridge then shook his head; he didn't want to know. "I found out some interesting news."
"What?" Julian and Miles asked eagerly.
"It took me a while, but I noticed a pattern in the lightening strikes," Garak said beaming with a touch of pride.
"A pattern? You mean outside of just being generated by the high voltage?" Julian asked.
"Well, it's just a theory, and I'll need you Chief O'Brien to help me test it, but I don't think the strikes are generated by the voltage, but a reaction to them." Garak replied.
"A reaction? What kind of reaction?" Miles asked wondering what the Cardassian was up too.
"Well, by looking at the past records, and the areas hit, I realized that the odds that no one was directly hit by what we assumed was random lightening bolts had more than surpassed being only a coincidence. So, they can not be as random as they seem, so there for it is a reaction not a cause."
"That sounds a bit of a jump there, Garak," Miles mused.
"But in a odd way makes sense. I have treated injures, but they were from the explosions of stuff around the injured parities and they do tend to be only where the voltage is generated. But if they are not caused but a 'reaction' as you put it, then that would mean giving some intelligence behind them," Julian mused.
"Indeed it does, but it is the only theory that I can come up with that makes any sense," Garak returned.
"Well, we're a long way from proving it one way or another," Miles stated.
"Doc?" Jabara's voice rang from down the hall. "There's a gentleman here with his daughter who is not feeling too well."
"If you'll excuse me," Julian said then headed down the hall.
Miles and Garak were only a few seconds behind the young man, so arrived just as a scene broke out.
"I know what you are! Get the fuck away from us, freak!" the man shouted with disgust as he pulled his daughter close to him.
Julian was stunned with disbelief as was everyone else sitting in the waiting room. "What…what are you talking about," he stuttered out, fear gripping his heart.
"If I knew you were here I'd never have come!" the stranger shouted again then looked at the others in the room. "The Federation declared genetic freaks illegal for a reason, they're psychotic, and manipulating deceivers! You're a freak! I heard about you! You just stay away from me and my daughter or I'll kill you," the irrational man cried then picked up his daughter and started out the door. "If any of you have any sense, you wouldn't let that genetic mutant freak show touch you either!" he snapped then was out the door.
Miles and Garak were standing protectively by the young doctor as he watched his waiting room empty in seconds flat.
"How can they believe such nonsense!" Jabara snapped with anger at seeing how the people had reacted.
Julian just stared endlessly at the empty seats that had only been filled moments ago, till the word was out on him. They didn't even need proof, the accusation was enough, and why not, he had given them enough proof in his fighting techniques. He was a freak, and now they would all know. He wanted to be angry, to blame someone, but as his eyes looked at Garak and Miles, he could see the horror in their eyes at how the people reacted, so no, they didn't tell. It must have leaked out back home and as he knew it always would; it just caught up with him.
Julian just turned quietly around and walked into the back of the empty clinic in silent defeat. Miles looked at Garak, then at Jabara who was starting to figure out that it was not just an ugly rumor after all. But to her credit, she only gave a crooked grin and said, "If they're that stupid, they don't deserve him." Then moved off to clean up the treatment rooms, giving Doc some space.
"I don't like it," Garak said flatly. "Some how someone found out, it is just too coincidental that this situation would arise several hours after Tom and the Sheriff left town."
"Well, that may be so, but it's not our business," Miles added.
Garak looked at the Irish engineer with puzzlement. "Since when is helping our friends 'not' our business?"
"Look, Garak. We don't belong in this universe, and they may be nice but they are 'not' our friends, well, I mean they are, but…ah you know what I mean! We need to get home!"
"Well, until we pull a razor beast out of a hat, we're stuck here and our 'friend' is in trouble. I'm going to see what I can find out, I would suggest you do the same, though quietly?" Garak asked, hoping the good nature that brewed under that loud exterior would come through.
"Bloody hell," Miles replied indicating that he would.
They didn't get two steps to the door when a brick came smashing through the window followed by loud slurs against genetic mutants. Jabara ran out to see what happened, and was grabbed by Garak just in time so as not to be hit by another brick that came flying in. An angry crowd had quickly stirred outside the clinic.
"We better get Chakotay and Tom!" she shouted.
"But they left," Garak replied as they ducked some rocks that were now flying in faster.
"They're heading to a place called 'Ryan Ranch'," Miles quipped as he ducked another brick. "Why isn't Julian doing anything!" Miles shouted.
Then the rock throwing stopped and the crowd was reduced to angry shouts as the Mayor moved inside, looking unsettled and scared. "What the hell is going on?" she demanded. "There is an angry mob shouting genetic slurs, and no one is stopping it. Where is Doc? The Sheriff left him in charge!" she snapped.
"If you haven't notice," Garak snapped back, "Those slurs you're talking about happen to be at the good Doctor. If he goes out there he's sure to be assaulted, and though he is good, I don't think even he is that good."
"Well, the other deputies have it a bit more quiet, but something needs to be done. And what is all this genetic mutant stuff about?" Josie demanded.
"Genetic enhancements are highly illegal in the Federation as well as most of the quadrant," Julian stated as he entered the room quietly. "Because of the genetic wars, people have strongly feared the possibility of it happening again. So between fear, ignorance, and the law, those who are in such a state are considered unnatural, mutants…freaks," his face withdrawn, his eyes dark with regret.
"But what does this have to do with you?" Josie asked confused.
"Everything," Julian replied in a whisper.
"But you're…you're not…one of them, are you?" she asked with disbelief.
Julian's eyes darkened with anger that covered the pain in his heart. "Oh no," he stated sarcastically. "I only leap around like any human can," he snapped. Then his face drew colder, tighter, "I'll leave quietly, just don't drag the others into this, they didn't know," Julian lied.
"Leave?" Jabara asked. "You can't do that! You're the best doctor around, and I don't mean it just because you're the only one either! You can't leave, these people just have to open their eyes to see what you've done for them!" the Bajoran woman interjected.
"She's right, Julian," Miles added.
"The crowd is being manipulated," Garak stated, "This I am sure. If you leave than this town will be totally unprotected, and you'd be playing right into their hands."
"And whose hand would that be?" Damar said as he walked into the front door taking off his cowboy hat. "Ah, Mayor. I'm glad you're here. I see that you understand you have a dilemma, because it is illegal for unidentified genetic mutants to inhabit New Arizona much less work as a doctor or a lawman. I'm here to file an official protest being a citizen of Phoenix. I like many others want this matter handled quickly or there 'will' be a new mayor who will handle it," Damar said indicating the threat openly. Then he gave a bow to the Mayor, Jabara then started to move out the door. He stopped and turned around, "Oh, and it is illegal to aid and abede mutants either, so this protest will be covering the Sheriff and his top deputy too," he added.
"They didn't know anything!" Julian protested trying to protect his husbands from further disgrace.
"Hmm," Damar only said then left.
"Look, Mayor. I'll leave, you'll never see me again, I swear. Just don't dragging Chakotay and Tom into this, please!" the young man pleaded.
Josie just stared at Julian, a mixture of emotions playing in her face. Finally she spoke, "I hate what I'm about to say, but you know the law as well as I. I have to investigate the matter before formal charges can be filed. I can give you twenty-four hours, and with out a confession from Tom or Chakotay, I'm sure no one can prove they knew anything." Her eyes were filled with regret and sorrow. " I know I still hold some of the foolishness associated with the ignorant rumors about genetic mutants…um people," she corrected. "I've known you for seven years Julian, and you're one of the best people I could have ever known, and this is a shock to me. Those who don't…." she could say anymore, tears were filling her eyes.
"I understand," the young doctor said quietly.
"Well I don't!" Jabara snapped. "He's given seven years of his life dedicated to healing and protecting this damn city, and when he needs them, they're out to lynch him. Well, if that's the case, you can find yourself another nurse too, cause I'm going with Dr. Bashir!"
Julian had a small twinkle in his eyes at seeing the loyalty of his long time friend and nurse. "Thank you, but…I don't think it's a good idea. The sooner I'm gone and away from here the better." Without another word he turned and left the room.
"We need to get Chakotay and Tom back here and quick!" Jabara snapped.
"They only left a couple of hours ago, they couldn't have gone far, they're heading to Ryan's Ranch," Miles said. "But don't look at me, I don't do horses," he added.
"I can't go, I have to keep this town from going over the top," Josie quipped.
"I would go, but like the good Chief here, I can't ride what you guys call a horse," Garak stated.
"Ah hell," Jabara replied. "I'll go, but someone needs to keep Julian from disappearing, all right?"
"The Chief can do that," Garak responded.
"And what will you be doing?" Miles asked annoyed
"I have a plan to get to the bottom of this," Garak smiled then moved to stand by the Mayor. "Try to stall the investigation as long as possible," then looked to Miles, "and don't let him leave," he added then moved out the door with great swiftness.
"I best be off," Jabara stated grabbing her coat and hat.
"Here, take my horse," Josie offered as she left with the Bajoran, leaving Miles alone in the clinic.
When Chakotay, Tom, and Jabara returned, they found that the clinic had been vandalized on the outside, and all the windows shattered. The newer deputies were about to quit for the crowd was growing and filling with hysteria.
The presence of the Sheriff and Tom brought a calm over the crowd. Chakotay looked at the abused building and the people, his temper wanting to flare, but he could school it to serve him. He glared darkly at everyone, making them believe that he was eyeing just them alone. The crowed started to disperse. Though a few people he didn't recognize kept up some of the slurs and protest, they were losing momentum and became quiet and left with the crowd.
Chakotay and Tom ran in the clinic shouting for Julian, but there was no answer. They separated and it was Tom that shouted, "Over here!"
Tom was helping a sore O'Brien to his feet. "Where's Doc?"
"What happened?" Chakotay asked as he moved over to help the big Irishman to his feet.
"I was attempting to talk the damn fool out of leaving. I thought I had convinced him when he gave me some of his stuff to put back, when I turned he…"
"He zapped you," Tom mused. "Just great."
"Do you have any idea where he was going?" Chakotay asked with hope.
"No, he didn't say much of anything other than he wasn't about to drag you guys down with him. He made a deal and he'd stick to it." Miles replied taking a seat for his head was spinning.
"A deal?" Tom inquired.
"Umm…" Jabara stared. "He told the Mayor he'd leave quietly if she left the two of you out of it. He said you guys didn't know about it, but I can see that's not true, is it?"
"Julian wouldn't enter into a serious relationship without there being truth between him and those he loved," Chakotay responded.
"Josie said she'd stall the investigation for twenty-four hours and short of a confession no one could pin anything on the two of you," Miles added. "I'm sorry, I really don't know how this happened."
"This is ridiculous!" Tom shouted. "We have to go find him, he couldn't have that much time a head of us," he finished.
"The both of you can't leave, not with the town in such disarray," Jabara insisted.
"He could have gone anywhere, Tom. But don't worry, we'll find him, I swear it. And when we do, boy, will he get an ear full," the big man promised, anger mixed with concern for his missing love.
"Where is Garak?" the Sheriff asked.
"He said he had a plan to get to the bottom of this, but he didn't say much more other than keep Julian here and asked the Mayor to stall as long as she could," Jabara answered.
"Okay, this is what we'll do. Jabara, help Miles here and clean up this mess as much as you can, and stay out of trouble. Tom, you and I will quiet this place down, and see if anyone saw Julian leave. Then I'm leaving you in charge, and I'll go after him."
"Chak, you should stay here, I should go after him," the young blond protested.
"I would normally agree, but Julian is on the run, he won't be sticking to roads and we both know that I can track him where you can't."
"You have a point. Okay, but lets get this on the road." The deputy insisted.
Several hours later Chakotay and Tom where checking in on Miles and Jabara. "Anything?" Miles asked.
"No, you?" Tom returned, his concern filling his eyes and face.
"I heard Mr. Jenkins say he saw Doc heading east, but…"
"There's no town or city east of here, it's open desert for hundreds of miles. Why would he go east?" Tom pondered.
"East?" Chakotay said softly, wondering the same thing as Tom.
"Would he just go that way to throw off those who might follow him?" Miles inquired.
"I don't see why," Tom replied. "I mean, Doc could go any direction and keep most folks from following him, it's one of the tricks Chak taught us," he smiled.
"East," the big Indian whispered again knowing the answer was on the tip of his tongue, when he looked up to see Tom's smile he knew, "East!" he snapped his fingers.
"What?" Tom wondered eagerly.
"The plateau," Chak smiled. "Julian was always the sentimental type".
"I should have known he wouldn't just up and leave without saying goodbye," Tom returned understanding what was so special about east.
"Plateau?" Miles inquired.
"Um, don't worry about it," Tom responded.
"Okay, I'm heading out. Hold down the fort while I'm gone, love." Chak gave his blond love a kiss, not caring if Miles cringed or not. Then turned to the engineer. "I hope Garak does find out who's to blame for this, cause if he doesn't I will, and I don't think this town could handle it." Then turned to move out the door to find his other husband.
Julian tethered his horse to the side of the path that led to the top of the plateau where he, Tom and Chakotay had held their sacred ceremony four years ago. He knew that he could hold out up here for several days, and his husbands would figure out where he was and come to fetch him. Though he only planned on saying goodbye, no matter how hard they pressed him otherwise. He loved them too much to let them be dragged down in the mud by his affliction. He also knew that he should just leave all together, but he couldn't be that heartless, it would be difficult as it was leaving his loves and his life behind.
The remnants of where a fire pit had been years ago still remained. Julian took some time to place his supplies by a large rock so they didn't blow away by the night wind and started to make a fire. When he had the fire going, a small shelter up by the large rocks, and his horse well tended too, he sat down watching the colors of the sky change as night approached. The wind picked up slightly blowing around the young man in a caressing manner.
Julian closed his eyes as he sat by the fire remembering his wedding night, relaxing his mind and body to drink in the essence of this place, just like his Sensei and Chakotay had taught him. These relaxing techniques had come in handy many times over the stressful years, it helped him to keep focus when his emotions would run ramped like Tom's, or from giving up hope when all seemed so overwhelming, like it did now.
After a few minutes of relaxing, clearing his mind his eyes snapped open. He looked around, swearing he heard something. He slowly stood and moved cautiously towards the only path up to the plateau but didn't see anything. He looked towards his horse that was becoming jittery, something was wrong. Than he heard it again, this time it sounded more like a voice on the wind, that was picking up.
Julian whirled around trying to see where the voice was coming from, but he couldn't see or tell its direction. "Who's out there?" he shouted. The wind picked up even more and felt like a small storm was brewing.
"I hear you, what do you want?" he shouted again, his stomach clenching for dark clouds were forming above, and his tiny shelter wasn't enough to sustain an outright thunderstorm, which in itself was odd since they had had bad storms before and they had never rolled in this quickly. Julian than felt his skin tingle, he started to rub his arms. He could see by the hair on his arm and on his head that there was a build up of static electricity surrounding him. This plus the storm and the strange voice were becoming too much. "What do you want!" he shouted.
The wind blew harder, the sky grew darker and the voice became insistent. <Hear me
Julian was about to grab his horse and head down when he turned his eyes sky ward, "Oh Shit!"
Damar entered the living room of the large ranch house that belonged to Dukat pulling his coat around him. The temperature had suddenly dropped by thirty degrees when the cold wind started up and the storm moved in. Though there was no sign of rain, the wind and cold was enough to concern any Cardassian who despised cold. He was grateful for the warmth of the fire that was roaring in the room he just entered. He saw Dukat enjoying a drink with his feet perched up on footstool reading some papers. The older Cardassian looked up and smiled at the second in charge.
"Well?" he mused.
"Well, though things have not gone exactly according to plan, they are still moving in a desirable direction," Damar replied.
"What do you mean?" Dukat inquired sitting up further.
"First off, Doc didn't put up a struggle that you though he would. He's left town already. The Sheriff and Tom have returned, but I saw the Sheriff leaving in a hurry. I'm sure he went after Doc leaving the deputy in charge and technically alone," the Cardassian smiled.
"Hmm, not quite how I pictured it, but it'll do. Good thing we arranged for various possibilities," Dukat mused. "Send Carlson in the morning. I'd do it tonight, but I want a front row seat and tonight isn't fit for man nor beast."
"I'll see to it," Damar replied. "How are things going in the mine?" he inquired.
Dukat's smiled even wider. "Everything is on schedule. In the next few days we'll have that thing fired up and we'll be the only power source on this miserable planet, and shortly after that I'll be running this hell hole," he laughed. "Between that little bit of news about the Doc you overheard and the little surprise we've got planned, the Pack is history!" he laughed harder.
//So, that's how it happened. That weasel Damar must of overheard our conversation with Julian and he and Dukat outraged the folks in town after Tom and Chakotay left,// Garak thought silently standing near a window outside Dukat's living room. //This mine, it sounds like a problem too. I best go check this out too before heading back into town, though this storm isn't something I wish to be out in,// he mused quietly to himself.
Garak dressed like some of the other Cardassian ranch hands. He moved quietly away from the main house heading in the direction of the mine. The sound of thunder and lightening echoing in the distance took his attention toward the east for a few moments then he hurried to find what secret Dukat was hiding.
Almost as fast as the storm arrived it dissipated. Garak reached the iron mine and found it heavily guarded. He watched as the Klingon guards made silent glares at the human and Bajoran workers that moved in and out. Then he noticed that they paid even less attention to the handful of Cardassians that came and went. Garak saw an opportunity, and moved in. Grabbing up a cloak like he saw a few of the other Cardassians wearing he moved towards the entrance, holding his head down. He was silently amazed that he was able to walk right in.
In no time he found himself lost in the twist and turns of the tunnel system. He never had been in a mine before, even during the occupation of Bajor, he had no reason to visit them. He never knew how close and tight spaced these things were. His claustrophobia was starting to rear its ugly head. He closed his eyes and did what he was counseled to do, he took slow steady breaths, but it was not Ezri's voice he heard echo through his head, but Julian's. The words he spoke the first time the young doctor discovered that he suffered from this problem were soft, soothing, and sincere. The Doctor's sexy voice was always enough to take his mind off of things, one of the many reasons he loved to have lunch with him and listen to him carry on so.
The tailor opened his eyes feeling a bit better then noticed the sound of heavy activity coming from his right. He moved in that direction. He found a large opening where dozens of workers were hard at work uncovering what looked like a large solid silver globe. There were groups that were uncovering the item from the mass of dirt surrounding it, while others were running some type of test on it. He observed that with little effort they could generate electrical current from the thing at high levels of voltage without there being any direct sign of lightening crashing around them. Indeed, if Dukat did find the ultimate source of power he'd take over Titus Seven easily, for people would just hand it over to him, fools!
The next morning Tom moved out among the streets to see folks cleaning up after the terrible windstorm from last night. He was concerned that Chakotay and Julian had not come home yet. The plateau wasn't that far, but perhaps they decided to find shelter, the storm was pretty bad even if it didn't last that long. The strangers that seemed to be instigating the town into an angry riot had disappeared and between Josie, Jabara, and himself, people were being reminded first hand what Julian had done for this town. The looks of guilt were only somewhat satisfying, but would it be enough?
He started to cross the street when he heard a gravely voice, "Reach for it!"
Tom turned to see a tall, wide built black man standing before him. The strong stranger had a short sword at his left and a whip on his right. The hard look on his face was evidence enough that this was someone of experience and he was looking for a fight.
"No," Tom replied easily. "If you're that eager to get your self killed, I'm sure there are plenty of fools outside of town more than willing to help you out," he smiled.
"I said reach for it, deputy. This is going to be a fair fight. I won't have anyone accusing me of taking advantage of a coward like you," the stranger stated coldly.
Tom hated being called a coward, but he knew if he kept his cool he could avoid a fight, and didn't Chakotay always tell him, if one fights smart one doesn't have to fight at all. Though Tom had to admit he enjoyed the battles, maybe more than he should or would admit to his husband, either of them. "I'm not a coward, and your poor attempts at goading me into fighting you are a waste of time," he smiled. "Now, why don't you be on your way."
The dark stranger grinned. "I see, not only are you a coward but I heard you were a mutant freak lover too, is that true?" the dark eyes gleamed for he saw that he touched a nerve in the blond deputy.
"I'd watch your mouth if I were you," Tom slurred trying to hold back his temper.
"So it 'is' true. Tell me, how did the manipulative mutant manage to take your sweet ass?" he asked with nagging disgust. "I heard the freak was fair on the eyes, I wonder how popular he'll be in the prison box he'll be put in?"
Tom's temper was flaring. "Shut the fuck up!" he shouted. "If you're so itching to fight, so be it!" he retorted pulling his Sai's; before he had them whirling in his hands as was his style a whip snapped from nowhere and wrapped around his right wrist forcing him to drop one of his weapons. His eyes cut sideways to see that it was the stranger that had been responsible and this guy was now pulling on the leather whip pulling him off balance. Tom took his other Sai and sliced throw the whip, grateful he kept them sharp, once his hand was free he just had enough time to roll with the kick that landed in his midsection.
The dark stranger watched the blond roll with the kick as he pulled out his sword, "This is going to be easier than I thought," he smirked while walking forward raising his blade high for a downward strike.
Tom saw the blade coming and rolled right just in time and continued three more rolls before somersaulting upward to his feet. Luck was with him for he stood next to his missing weapon and grabbed it, his temper all afire in his eyes. He charged his enemy as his left Sai moved up to catch the sword blade from coming at him and his right was about to strike when the stranger grabbed his wrist and with bone crushing strength snapped it.
Tom screamed from the searing pain that shot from his wrist as his weapon dropped to the ground. The hand that had snapped his wrist was now piling several blows to his face, the last one knocking Tom back half a dozen steps. Tom shook his head to clear it as best he could, it had been awhile since he took such a beating and he realized that he had become way to cocky as of late, and if he didn't wise up fast he was dead. Tom flipped the Sai in his hand so he could use it as a block the on coming blade that was striking at him with a deadly fury. Block after block, step after step he was forced back when he tripped over something but still managed to block the downward strike of the sharp blade just inches from his face.
Tom pulled his legs up quickly and gave the stranger a strong kick to the midsection pushing him back enough so the young lawman had time to regain his footing. Again the two went blow for blow, Tom was lucky enough to land a few on the stranger but his body was taking two for every one he was dishing out, this guy knew his moves, then it dawned on him.
His body shifted into auto pilot blocking the onslaughter of this guy as his mind triggered a memory of how Julian insisted he learn what the other two knew, 'one never knows when we're going to be forced to change tactics.' Chakotay saw the wisdom; 'It could never hurt not to be too predictable.' Predictable, that was exactly what he had become, this guy was proving it as the stranger faked a move that Tom was used to making himself but then back swung and the sword raked across the young man's chest as Tom gave a slight yelp jumping back.
Time to change tactics. He wasn't as strong as Chakotay or as fast as Julian, but he did know some of their moves. The pain of his wrist and chest made it almost difficult to think, but Tom clenched his teeth glad that Julian had showed him how to focus during times like these. He saw the enemy stepping closer to launch another wave of blade attacks, but this time Tom only held his ground waiting. The blade was whirling in a vicious circle as the stranger's grin could be seen behind it as it came closer. Just before the blade was close enough to touch, Tom did a cartwheel to his left on to a step of a porch then once there he flipped quickly behind the stranger. The dark man whirled in response bringing his blade around but it was caught in the Sai. But before he could bring it free, Tom suddenly released his weapon to grab the man's wrist and like Chakotay, flipped the stranger over his shoulder with all his might leaving the enemy dazed.
Tom was breathing hard and heavy, he felt lucky that this battle didn't go the other way, for he knew he was close to losing. //Mental note, give Julian and Chakotay huge kiss for teaching me these moves,// he mused as he moved to gather up his own weapons. Just then there was a shout.
"Tom, look out!"
Tom turned in time to see that the stranger had not been as dazed as he had thought and was now inches away from bringing down his blade on top of him. Blue eyes widened before he had a chance to react, then he saw the dark man's eyes roll into his head then drop to the ground. It took another second for Tom to register that Miles O'Brien had clobbered this guy on the head with a pipe that had been lying around.
"Are you all right?" The big Irishman asked stepping over the attacker to help Tom to his feet.
"Thank you, I owe you my life," Tom gasped.
"I can't believe nobody did anything to help you," Miles snarled looking at all the on lookers that would have watched this young man die and do nothing about it. "I'm only glad I came looking for you when I did."
"Me too," Tom smiled then felt himself wobble from the loss of blood.
"I think we best let Jabara take a look at you," Miles said helping the blond to lean on him so they could walk. Miles turned to see one of the newer deputies arrive, knowing that his poor excuse of help was late on purpose. "Put that scum in jail and see to it he stays there and I may forget to tell the Sheriff about how you were not around to help," he snapped as he moved off with Tom, uncaring if the other deputy liked what he said or not.
"Tom!" Jabara cried seeing the blond deputy being helped into the damaged clinic by Miles. "What happened?"
"Oh, the usual," Tom joked, "Just some hot shot thinking he could take down one of the Pack," he mused for the benefit of easing those around him. Tom was fully aware of how close he came to being taken down but now was not the time to think about that.
"Take him to the back," Jabara was saying, "I'll do what I can for him.
Half an hour later Tom was cleaned up, patched up as best as could be done, and his wrist was splinted and throbbing mercifully. With some effort, he was putting his torn shirt back on when he saw Chakotay rushing into the room.
"Babe, are you all right?" he asked with great concern as he rushed to hold his husband. "Miles told me what happened," he continued as he embraced his love first tightly but when Tom flinched he eased his hold on him. "Sorry," he whispered as he gave a soft kiss to Tom's forehead.
"I'm okay, though my wrist is out of commission for awhile," he teased though he was glad to feel the warmth of his older husband's body around him, then it occurred to him. "Julian?" his eyes snapped awake then he pulled back with concern. Surly Julian would have come in too, "Where's Julian? Did you find him?"
The Sheriff's eyes shifted from relief to deep concern. "I found him," he said softly, "and…he seems okay, but…"
Chakotay informed Tom that he found their husband on top of the plateau after the huge storm that came and went with sudden furry, unconscious. He aided Tom into the treatment room where the young dark man was lying as if in a deep peaceful sleep. "I've tried to wake him several times to no avail."
"What's wrong with him?" Tom asked as he moved to his lover's side taking his hand with Tom's only good hand and caressing it to his own face.
"I don't know and neither does Jabara. She says his vital signs are all normal so why he's still out…I don't know," Chak replied softly, seeing the pain in his other husband's eyes.
"Jewel," Tom whispered in Julian's ear. "Jewel, it's Tom. Wake up honey, it's time to wake up now," he urged. Tom stared at the beautiful face of his young husband seeing it remaining still. "Jewel, wake up," he urged again a bit louder. Still Tom saw no response. "Jewel!"
"Tom!" Chak said moving around to embrace his frantic lover. "It's going to be okay, you'll see," he soothed holding Tom tightly to himself. "Julian won't leave us," he continued.
The surge of emotion from nearly dying himself to seeing his love so vulnerable became too much for the young deputy as tears fell down his cheeks. While keeping a hold of Julian's hand he buried his face into Chakotay's strong chest and sobbed silently.
It was just past noon when Garak entered the desolate remains of the clinic seeing with personal satisfaction that Miles O'Brien was concerned for him. He would never admit that he had a difficult time exiting the mine and several bouts with his claustrophobia didn't help matters. He was sad however to discover the turn of events that occurred during his absence as he reported all he had uncovered.
"If you got back here sooner you could of warned Tom," The Sheriff snapped.
"Sheriff, I returned as quickly a I could, I assure you," Garak returned easily. "I had no idea what Dukat exactly had in mind and as I reported to you, I needed to discover what he was hiding in his Iron mine."
"He's right, Chak," Tom replied softly as he sat next to his big husband on top of what was once a desk used for patients to sign in and out of the clinic.
Josie had shown up after hearing about the fight and Julian's return. She had informed the remaining Pack that most of the folks were not backing the investigation, which was a good thing, for without proof the charges could be dropped. "I'm even more sure that once folks know that it was Dukat behind all this they'll wake up a bit more and take notice," she replied warmly.
"Not soon enough," Chakotay snapped. He was still angry that people had turned on his love in the first place and stood by when Tom was getting hurt. "I'm tempted to take Julian and Tom away from this sorry excuse…"
"Hey!" Tom interjected. "This is our home, hon." He then wrapped his good arm around his husband's shoulder. "I know just how angry you feel, I feel the same way, but as I was walking through town this morning reminding folks how much Julian did for this place, I also remembered how much this place has done for us," he smiled. "Nobody's perfect, not even us," he teased to ease his love's mood.
"Look," Josie said, as she looked guilty that the town didn't back their own as she though they should have. "Tom's right. This 'is' your home, and majority of folks around his know that and wouldn't want it anyway, we're behind you, even if we don't always show it the way we should." The older woman wiped her face from sweat of the afternoon heat. "You guys need to take a rest, I'm going to see what I can do to get this clinic back on track as well as a warrant so you guys can legally go check out what's going on out there on Dukat's land. He may not be a resident, but I'm sure I can find something that will allow us some legal jurisdiction."
"Okay," Chakotay replied. "Tom, honey, you should go home and get some rest you look beat."
"What about you?" he replied see that his older husband too looked tired.
"He's going with you," Garak interjected. Seeing the older man about to object and knowing why, "I'll keep an eye on Julian and will send for you if he wakes up."
"That won't be necessary," Jabara replied. "I can look after him," she smiled warmly.
"I have no doubt, but you have you hands filled with other patient, as I don't have any other responsibilities at the moment. Plus between you and Mr. O'Brien getting this place back up will not be an easy task," Garak returned giving his most charming smile. He did his best to make sure no one knew how concerned he was for the young doctor that lay unconscious in the next room.
"He's right," the Mayor stated. "Chakotay, if Dukat is up to no good, you'll need to be at your best and without rest that's not going to happen. Besides, I think you and Tom need some time to deal with all that's happened here the past few days." Then Josie turned to Miles and Jabara. "I'll send some help and what ever supplies I can get my hands on. I'm sure folks will agree that Julian doesn't deserve to awake to his clinic being in such a state. Though from what I can determine, all the damage done was not from town folks, but…"
"Outsiders," Garak finished for her. "Yes, I see the picture now. Dukat having learned about Julian not only sent for a professional hit man, but some instigators to panic the town forcing a problem in hopes that if the town's folks saw others doing it they'd follow along."
"Well, to some degree it worked," Chakotay snapped, again his anger at the town showing.
"But they didn't have anything to do with the damage," Tom retorted in defense of his town. "We've seen folks panic over stupid stuff before, and when we pointed it out things worked out. Wasn't it you that told me, we grow stronger from our mistakes." Tom smiled.
The Sheriff pressed his lips together, not used to hearing his own words being used against him, well not by Tom anyway. A small smile crept to his lips. "Nice to know you were listening."
"Enough," Josie smiled. "Go home."
Smack! "Hey, what was that for?" Damar shouted at Dukat after taking the back of the older Cardassian's hand in the face.
"Because you were convenient," he snarled. "I can't believe Carlson was taken down by that sniveling blond," Dukat growled. "I thought you told me that Carlson was more than adept in taking on Paris!"
"He was, but…" Damar stuttered.
Damar had watched the entire fight from afar, "Well, Carlson had Tom where he wanted, but instead of taking him out quickly he…toyed with him, though at first that didn't seem to be a problem," Damar added.
"Then what the hell happened to change things?" Dukat inquired his voice dangerously quiet.
"Um…he changed techniques," the second in charge said quickly.
"He didn't follow his own format, at the last minute he changed his moves just enough to catch Carlson off guard. Though Carlson still could have taken out the deputy when he had his back turned if some human hadn't interfered." Damar finished.
"Things are not going well, and I don't like it!" The older Cardassian yelled thrashing the stuff on his desk off in various directions.
Damar, feeling the danger building threw out some information that could be helpful. "Well, Tom's wrist was broken during the battle, and word is that even though the Sheriff and Doc have returned, Doc was found out cold and nothing seems to be able to wake him up, so technically that only leaves Chakotay," he added in hopes this would ease the situation.
Dukat's outburst of violence stopped as he turned to his second in charge. Taking in the information he was just now given a dark smile moved into his eyes. "Yes, technically that does leave Chakotay on his own, for Paris is of little use with an arm in a sling, and if Doc is out of the picture for whatever reason. Yes, perhaps things are going according to plan after all, even if it does need just a bit of tweaking," he smirked. "Get some of the boys and break Carlson and the others out of that stupid holding box tonight and get them back here. The other two little surprises I had planned are ready and the three of them can pay Chakotay a little visit tomorrow morning. By tomorrow afternoon I not only will be rid of the Pack, if only their leader, I'll also have my natural generator ready for its first test run." The Cardassian smiled wickedly as he moved over to a wet bar and poured two glasses of Kanar handing one to Damar. "To the end of the Pack and the beginning of my reign on this dust bowl," he toasted.
Garak had dozens of visitors all concerned about the young Doctor's well being. Chakotay and Tom came back to the clinic a dozen times each before Garak convinced them that Julian's conditions hadn't changed and that 'he would' notify them if it does, plus the exhaustion both were feeling helped the Cardassian to persuade them to get some rest.
That night was quiet as he rested on a cot he dragged into the medical treatment room where Julian was still 'sleeping'. Garak couldn't but help himself, he sat up and stared at the beautiful face he had been in love with for almost seven years now. He knew this Julian was different, but only in the surroundings. No one was there so he braved a gentle touch on the smooth olive skin to know what it felt like. Seeing that Julian didn't stir he took a bolder caress of the young man's face and lips. Garak lost himself in the fantasy that was playing in his head that he actually leaned down and stole a kiss from the lips he had desired to taste for so long. When he realized what he was doing he snapped up and a mixture of relief and disappointment filled him, for he was glad that Julian didn't wake up, yet disappointed that he didn't respond either.
"I have been for far too long a coward, my love," Garak whispered. "I know things are vastly different from one universe to another, but perhaps when I get home to mine…" Garak just let the words trail off as if to speak them he'd jinx whatever slim chance he might have with his hearts desire.
some quiet time in the bathroom to handle pressing matters he returned and tucked Julian in and eventually found sleep. Since the jail was on the other side of town he didn't hear the small ruckus that occurred. Though by morning the fact that the prisoners had been freed from the jail at the cost of two lives didn't set well with anyone, especially Garak.
"It means Dukat is planning something and he needs this…whatever he was called," Garak said irritably.
"Carlson," Tom answered.
"Two deputies dead and no witnesses," Chakotay snarled, as he drank some coffee offered to him by Jabara as Mayor McCulla entered the clinic.
"I just heard, sorry," she offered. "Who was it?"
"Dallson and Webber," replied Tom quietly. "They didn't stand a chance, the bastards sneaked up behind them and killed them!" he shouted as his coffee cup flew through the air to the opposite wall.
"At least to KerChek's credit, he didn't quite like some of the others in the past have," Chakotay snorted.
"Where is he?" Josie inquired, "for there was no one at the Jail that's why I came over here."
"I sent him to the Capital to hurry up that new doctor we were promised a while back. With Julian…still out, we'll need another healer for a while," Chakotay replied still keeping hope mixed in his voice though it was still filled with anger.
The older Mayor gave a deep-tired sigh. "Well, I had the investigation officially dropped, even though most of us know that the 'rumor' is true, we unofficially decided we didn't care," she smiled. "Plus, there was a huge push from many of the town folks," she smiled wider feeling that finally she could feel some pride in her people in this matter. "I just thought you'd like to know."
"See," Tom smiled slightly allowing his anger to be sidetracked by the good news. "I told you this was home and folks would remember what Julian has done for them."
"I only hope he'll be able to do that for them again," Josie said softly, not quiet as hopeful as the others. "Do you have a clue as to what happened to him?"
Jabara handed a cup of coffee to the Mayor then was refilling Garak's and her own. "I examined him three times, the only injury he has is a small burn on his right palm and that is almost healed. His vitals are all normal, so…no I don't have a clue." Jabara gave a defeated sigh and sat down looking at Tom who still had bandages on his face and chest from the fight the other day and his wrist was still splinted and in a sling. "I'm only sorry I can't 'charm' Oscar the way Doc can," she said in a teasing though apologetic manner. "I only hope I can before those wounds scar."
"Don't worry about it," Tom smiled. "Our Jewel will be up and around with his sparkling personality soon enough," the blond said encouraging hope. //Or so I pray,// he finished in his thoughts.
Just then Miles came rushing in. "We've got a problem! There are three men in the Town Square demanding a one on one with the Pack, and one of the bastards is the same creep that broke out of jail last night." O'Brien's face was flush from running over to notify the lawmen.
"Carlson's either very brave or very stupid," Chakotay replied calmly, too calmly though is eyes suggested otherwise.
"I vote for the latter," Tom piped in.
"Dukat!" Garak growled. "He must have heard about Doc's condition, and with Tom's arm in a sling…"
Tom figured it out immediately, "There is no way in hell, Chakotay, that you're going out there by yourself!" he replied standing defiantly to face his husband.
"Tom, it's not like I have a choice here," the big man replied quietly, understanding how upset Tom was. "I can't, not, face them, and with KerChek out of town, and the two of you out of commission…"
"My wrist may be broken but I can still fight," Tom protested.
"I may not know sword play," Miles chimed in, "But I'll be damned before I let you go out there alone."
"Surly there must be another way, get some others to help," Garak offered, knowing his lack of sword use wouldn't be of any help.
Chakotay smiled at those whose concern for him was flowing strongly in his direction. "I'm am touched by the offers, but lets face it. Most of the town folk aren't the fighting type, never have been or I'd not be as needed. And Miles, thank you for wanting to help, but this is a deadly matter, you'd only be in the way." Then Chakotay stood up and placed placid fingers over his husband's lips stifling the oncoming protest. "You are in no condition to fight, my love. If it is my destiny to die, then I must meet it head on."
"It is not your destiny to die today," an altered version of a familiar voice replied.
Everyone in the room turned in the direction of the voice and their eyes were fixed on Julian who walked rather slow and stiff in the room. His eyes were like a stranger's though still dark and inviting. His face was contorted with sorrow, anger, and determination. Everyone watched as Doc made his way from the entrance over towards where Tom and Chakotay were staring at the man that was their husband.
"Julian?" Jabara asked meagerly, noticing the odd behavior in the young man she had served for so long with.
Julian didn't bother to acknowledge Jabara as his dark eyes continued to take in Tom and Chakotay. "It is not your destiny to die today," the strange though familiar voice replied again.
Garak had been around enough strange things to know this was not Julian, "Who are you and what have you done to Julian!" he demanded.
To Garak the being that looked like Julian turned to face him. "I am...I am that which lives though your species do not know me. My…" the being looked like it was struggling for words, "People," it continued. "Live on and inbetween dimensions. We are that which keeps them apart, but now there is a problem."
"I say there bloody hell is!" Miles snapped, feeling that this thing was responsible for his being here.
"What do you want!" Chakotay demanded.
"And what do you want with Julian's body? Release him!" Tom shouted.
The being inhabiting Julian's body turned so he could look at the two in front of him, Garak and Miles, and the two behind him, Tom and Chakotay. "I want what is mine," it said calmly. "When my people need to rest we do so in multiple universes that are connected together by similar threads. When one part of us is tampered with in one part it affects all the rest. One of my people has a part of themselves here at rest and is about to be destroyed. If that happens this universe will cease to exist, however, since it is only part of a whole, the other dimensions that it occupies will also be destroyed."
"Then why don't you stop it? Why…" Miles started but was cut off.
"I have tried more times than your mind could comprehend. It is more complex than you think. In my true form I can do very little, so I have found the only form on this planet that I can temporarily inhabit without damaging the mind. He could hear me, he could understand, and yes," the being turned once more towards Chakotay and Tom, "he agreed to help me. Though the transfer from my form to this one was slow it was necessary so no damage was done. His mind can comprehend the multiple facades of me though he does not understand them, so there for he will live through the joining."
"You're telling me he…he agreed to this?" Tom asked in disbelief.
"Actually, it sounds alot like Julian to offer himself up for anyone in need," Garak replied. "But why are we here?"
"As I have said," The being turned so he could see the four in question. "I have found the form that could be of use, but I can only be in one place at one time. In several scenarios I have saved the part of my people that was in danger but discovered another danger. The thread that connects the similar universes were destroyed and so in the end the being I seek was torn apart and the destruction occurred anyway."
"Wait a minute. If this destruction has already occured then how…" Miles tried to ask but was cut off again.
"My people have the power to contain vast amounts of time for it is an element that we can mold, but this vast amount also must cover the multitude of universes that are effected. I could not reform the element to a point in preventing the one from taking their slumber here, but I could reform it till I found the key."
"The key?" Chakotay asked.
"Yes, the key. I could either save the one or the thread; I could not save both, no matter how many different scenarios I played out. I needed to find a key that would change things so the same disaster would not occur. That is where you two come in," The being said looking at Garak and O'Brien. "The two of you do not exist in any of the threaded universes, there for you are free agents, or a unique element to add to the mixture that will bring balance. With you, I can save the thread and the one."
"You mean, we…we don't exist…at all? Miles asked, finally able to finish a question.
"Whether or not you ever existed or never existed is not important. What is, is that you do not at this time in any of the multiple universes involved. If you did, than you would not be an unknown element, but an addition of the same. Therefore your presence would unbalance things further."
"I don't get it?" Tom asked.
The being looked at Tom. "It is not for you or any of you to 'get' just accept. Time is an element I can control to some degree, though mostly through repetition. I do not wish to repeat these events anymore than I have too."
"So what do you want?" Chakotay asked sternly.
"I want the two of you," looking at Miles and Garak "To find the one, you have already located it, and awaken it before it is too late. In the open its form is vulnerable. That which you call electricity can harm it, even though it can also be generated from its body. Though to do so it draws on the energies of the universe around it, thus once it is started the universe will be sucked into the one of my people and all will be destroyed."
"The silver globe I saw in the mine shaft," Garak said. "But how do we wake it?"
"Yeah, it's not like we could just walk up to it say, 'hello it's time to get up now'," Miles retorted sarcastically.
"Like this," the being replied as it took several steps to Miles and touched his hand. The big Irish man jumped back from the shock of the voltage that surged through him doing no damage but tingled like crazy. "Touch them, they will wake." Then the being moved toward Tom and Chakotay.
"They are the key to saving the one, you are the key to the thread that must be strengthened," he said then reached out and touched Tom. No one could move as the blue hue of electricity surrounded the young blonde's body. After a long minute the hue stopped and all of Tom's obvious wounds were gone."
Tom reached up to his face then realized he was using the hand that was still in a splint. He then quickly unwrapped it and found his wrist was completely healed. "Oh wow!"
The being looked at the four of them. "I have over taxed my power to hold time, so I could explain to you what must be done and heal all that I could. In a moment all will continue, and you," looking at Garak and Miles, "must hurry to save the one, as you," looking at Tom and Chakotay, "must take the one known as Julian and live. Also know, that when the one is awake and has left here, the ability to use electricity shall no longer be held from you." Then the being moved closer to Garak and Miles so only the two of them could hear him speak. "Listen carefully. I had to pull you through many dimensions, and it will be challenging to return you, though I shall. But heed my warning. What changes you make in one universe are like a vibration that will be felt in anothers. This could be good and bad. And remember, one must know the darkness of what is lost before one can appreciate the light of what one had or may have again."
After these quiet words of wisdom Julian's body sunk toward the floor only to be caught by Garak. "Doctor?" he asked softly.
"Julian?" Chakotay asked, as he and Tom both moved over to grab up their husband.
"Give me a second," Julian replied softly, his eyes still trying to fixate on things around him.
Tom and Chakotay smiled with joy and relief to hear that their husband was going to be all right. They helped him to his feet and hugged him. "You stupid shit!" Tom said while hugging Julian intensely.
"Yeah, what the hell where you thinking?" Chakotay chided as he too hugged his love tightly.
"Umm, I don't mean to be a pest, but…WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?" Josie asked as she just now could process the matter.
"I'll fill you in later," Chakotay replied.
The door to the clinic swung open as one of the town folk ran in. "Sheriff! The three strangers in the square are threating to harm the town folk if you don't go out there. What do we do?"
Chakotay looked at his husbands, both looking strong and refreshed. Even Julian was looking energized. "Go home. We'll handle it, right?"
"Right!" Julian and Tom said with fire.
"Well, since you guys have the town under control, I believe that Mr. O'Brien and I have a date with a mine shaft," Garak retorted with an amusing smirk. "This way, Chief," he said as he led O'Brien out the door.
"Hey, unless you're planning on a long walk, your going to need the wagon," Josie offered. "I'll drive," she smiled then turned to the others. "I expect a 'full' explanation when this is over with, hear me?" She saw that everyone nodded, "Doc, glad to have you back," she smiled warmly than was out the door with Miles and Garak.
"Doc, I'm glad your okay," Jabara stated, still stunned by the alien visit.
"Me too," Julian smiled.
"The three of us are going to have a 'very' long talk later," Chakotay stated in his most authoritative parental tone. "However, right now, lets kick some ASS!"
The three men gave what could be best described as tribal yell, gathered their weapons and jackets and where out the door.
The town folks hid from the three dangerous strangers, but morbid curiosity kept them near a window or a view of what was going to transpire shortly. The tension was high but there was no sign of the Pack anywhere. They all heard about Doc's condition and Tom's broken wrist, no one would blame Chakotay, too much if he didn't want to face these villains alone.
The dark stranger from the other day stood silently stretching his neck, shoulders, and other body parts for the up coming battle. There were two other men to his left. The one in the middle could pass for a bear with all the facial and body hair the huge humanoid had. He was twice the size of Chakotay in width, and just as tall. This stranger also had several axes on his hip plus he wore metal bear claws that added to the illusion. He paced with anticipation of the blood shed to come, giving off several growls as if he was more animal than humanoid. The one to the far left was a small Asian man of slim build. Except for the distinct almond eyes, his face was covered and he wore a thin black body suite. He didn't appear to have any weapons, but looks always prove to be deceiving. He didn't pace or stretch, he stood silent and still, waiting.
"I'm getting damn tired of waiting!" Carlson shouted in the air.
"Keep your shirt on," the Sheriff replied as he walk down the main strip alone in his determination.
Many folks felt for the lawman, but not enough to leave their hiding places and interfere, for they could tell these strangers meant business and they were not ready to pay.
Two of the three laughed when they saw the lone lawman stop twenty feet away. The bear roared with amusement. "Oh, this shall be way too easy," he bellowed.
"Let's get this show on the road, shall we?" Carlson smirked.
"You boy's weren't thinking of starting without me, were you?" Tom mused as he stepped out of the shadows, flexing his Sai's showing he was perfectly all right to fight.
"What the…?" Carlson stuttered.
"I thought you said the blond was crippled," a soft voice behind the dark mask spoke.
"But…he was…I…" Carlson tried to reply while trying to comprehend why Tom was as good as new.
"Thought you broke my wrist?" Tom smiled then whirled his Sai in his right hand then his left. "Nope, seems okay to me," he smirked back.
"Ah ha, ah ha!" The big bear roared with glee. "This will spice it up a bit!"
"Oh, I don't know, two to three doesn't sound fair one bit," Julian replied as he now came out of the shadows. He had his knife belts in place and had his black leather gloves in hand as he was slowly placing them on, while Tom was donning his sunglasses. "Wouldn't you agree?" he asked looking straight at the Asian male.
Their eyes locked, both aware that the other understood the skills of the other to some degree. Without explanation the two gave a slight bow to each other then Julian took his place next to Chakotay. The three lawmen were facing the three outlaws sent to kill them, and the town took a deep breath and held it.
Garak and Miles O'Brien held on for dear life as Josie McCulla tore through the landscape with the wagon that was hitched up to a team of six horses. The excitement and the adrenaline were pouring from her face as she shouted for the horses to go even faster. The two newcomers just laid back in the wagon and prayed for it to stop soon, with them still alive.
Soon enough their prayers were answered as the wagon came to a stop, "Whoa, whoa guys, whoa!" she shouted bringing the team to a slow shuffle than to a stop. The older woman turned to see the condition of her passengers and smiled ear to ear at the sight. "Space lovers," she teased. "Gods love ya, now pull yourselves together. The mine is just on the other side of that ridge. This is as far as I can bring you without being spotted."
Garak was the first to find his strength to crawl out of the wooden box he was in and was internally grateful for solid ground at the moment. He turned to help Miles who was doing just as poorly as he was, but not able to hide it as well. "Come on, Chief. We have a job to do, pull yourself together as the lady requested," he mused with a slight teasing smile.
"Don't think I don't appreciate the lift, but…" Miles bit his lower lip to keep from saying something offensive about horses and people who used them. He leaned on his own knees as he caught his breath.
Josie smiled. "I'll wait here incase you guys need a 'quick' lift home," she smirked then let her expression turn serious. "Be careful, and good luck."
"Thank you," both Garak and Miles replied as they moved off towards the ridge.
After placing some distance between the wagon and themselves, the tailor turned to O'Brien as they walked up the ridge. "Perhaps this would be a good time to remind you of something," he said quietly.
"What would that be?"
"That I don't do 'well' in closed tight spaces."
"Holy angels of mercy!" O'Brien snapped with surprise. "I totally forgot about your claustrophobia," then realization dawned on him, "That's why it took you so long to get back here wasn't it?"
Garak had his pride, but a bit of the truth would serve better than prideful lies. "Let me put it this way," the tailor replied. "I had no idea what it would be like in a mine shaft, finding out first hand was…difficult to say the least. I may have found the globe but I couldn't tell you where, and I don't even remember how I got out, so I'm afraid you're going to be on your own to locating it."
"You expect me to go in there by myself?" O'Brien returned with dismay.
"Unfortunately I do. However, I can easily provide a distraction for you. The only guards are at the entrance, and they don't pay too much attention to Cardassians. I guess we all look alike to them," he smiled. "But once you're inside, there is no one to stop you from moving about so long as you keep a low profile. I do remember it is deep in the mine, but that is all."
"Ah bloody hell!" Miles stated with quiet anger.
"I wonder," Garak mused.
"Can hell be bloody if the universe it's in doesn't exist?"
Miles growled and glared at his Cardassian companion indicating he didn't find the attempt at humor a bit welcomed. "Let's get this over with," he snapped and the two moved to the edge of the ridge. They noticed that Josie had brought them to the backside of the mine shaft entrance. They spotted a small trail leading down and were glad to see that security was minimal. "I guess Dukat doesn't think much about people snooping does he?"
"Dukat was always too arrogant for his own good," Garak replied, "and in this case it shall be to our benefit."
The two men moved down the side trail that led to the entrance of the shaft. Garak stole another set of rag clothes and led Miles to a section where he could put some miner's clothes on himself. Then Garak led Miles, who was four steps behind the Cardassian, head down toward the entrance.
The two Klingons were about to stop the human when Garak stepped up and engaged them in a conversation while gesturing that Miles take the hint and slip in. After seeing Miles was gone beyond sight he relented his argument and moved away wishing the human all the luck in the universe.
Without a word the battle began. Carlson charged Tom with his sword in hand as the bear targeted Chakotay. The small man slowly stalked toward Julian their eyes still locked on one another. Though Tom was prepared for this battle with Carlson, he was still surprised to feel every one of his blows being met and matched. In the corner of his eye he could see that Chokotay was experiencing the same thing. Only Julian and his enemy had not engaged in fighting as of yet.
Two sets of dark eyes were taking in the other, studying what the other's body had to reveal about their opponent. Quietly they both noted the other one's discipline and form, there would be little to learn from this tactic. The small man moved first, his hand blurred to his back then with grace and speed flung several metal objects in Julian's direction.
To the Doc's credit, he flipped out of the way of the sheirkuns that was sent barreling in his directions. In mid air he returned two of his daggers towards the Asian, to see as he landed that his opponent also avoided the assault. This was going to be very challenging, Julian thought as he steeled his mind to focus.
Chakotay realized that he hadn't dealt with someone with this much strength ever before. Even Klingons and Cardassians could be considered domestic beasts compared to this guy. Any blow he landed was like a feather to a pillow, useless, and it took all of his own strength to hold off the on coming blows to his own body from this thing. This guy's mass was too much that he couldn't flip it, he could barely push this guy back to keep those metal claws away from him. Finally he resorted to survival technique one, if all else fails, go for the groin. He kneed the son-of-a-bitch bring such a howl that gave Chakotay some satisfaction and the time he needed to get some space between this thing and himself. Close hand to hand was not going to work; his axes were going to have to serve him now.
This time Tom and Carlson were evenly matched, if any blows made it pass the one it was pass the other. The wound count was one to one, as the fury of the battle built between the two enemies. Tom wasn't sure if he could continue to block this guy forever, but he had to try. Things were not going well for it took more than he though he had to control his temper, that which almost cost him his life the last time. He needed to focus, that was what Julian and Chakotay had taught him, to focus and think. He blocked several more blows as were several of his own blocked by his enemy. He had to think.
To those who were watching the Doc and the Asian man, it was like watching one of the old martial arts vids. The two were flipping, jumping, ducking, whirling in mid air, hands and feet flying at each other only to land breathing hard and equally matched. The only thing that was different was that the Asian was breathing twice as hard as Doc was.
"You are well skilled," the small man spoke.
"I should be, I had an excellent teacher," Julian replied. "Why are you doing this?"
"Why else? First it was the money, now it will be for the challenge of defeating you as well," the dark eyes gleamed from behind his mask.
Julian's look turned arrogant, "Greed and Pride cometh before the fall," he snapped, then the two were at it again.
Miles had moved through the dark shafts as quickly as he could, not knowing which direction to travel in. Fortunately there were no guards as Garak had said, and when the loud noises of workers reached his ears he decided to check it out. Seeing a large open area where the large silver globe like substance was being uncovered, rewarded his decision. The men were almost finished with their task and Miles could see Damar and several other Cardassians he didn't recognize standing by with wires and other forms of equipment.
First O'Brien wondered why they would bother since there was no way of powering those things, then he remembered, this substance could be used as a natural power source and that was what they wanted. What they didn't know was that if they tried to use it to its full compacity they would destroy not only this world but also the universe and several other universes that wouldn't have a clue as to what happened. Miles needed to find a way down there and to the creature before those damn Cardassians wired it up. He saw a path that led down, he would have to take a chance that there were too many humans and other races for him to be singled out in the open. It was the only way he was going to be able to get close enough.
Moving from his hiding spot and donning a miner's helmet he moved down the path casually to the bottom and moved in between the men hard at work. Every step moving closer to the sleeping creature. He was almost there; he only had to touch it…
"You! Who are you!" Damar shouted and pointed at O'Brien. "Seize him!"
The battle was still a draw, neither side giving way to the other. Then the unthinkable happened as Chakotay gave a painful yelp as metal bear claws penetrated his chest, then he was thrown back like he was a sack of luggage.
"No!" Tom cried, his distraction causing him to take several blows, but he still managed to block the blade and push Carlson back with enough fury that he could move himself to his love's side.
"Chakotay! Julian had cried out as well, seeing his love seriously hurt. His eye darkened with a long lost cloud of hate. His face contorted to fit his mood as his eyes narrowed. He charged, but not the Asian man who was coming after him, but the larger man. Giving a sweep kick to knock the big guy to the grown, he then flipped, and threw several daggers at Carlson that landed in his leg. Julian then felt the sting of several blows in his back and his body being sent on a short flight not far from where Tom and Chakotay were.
"Tom look out!" Julian shouted seeing that his opponent was going to take advantage of the situation an attack Tom whose back was to him.
Tom whirled in time to block the hand striking at him with his Sia and managed to land a blow to the Asians midsection that sent him flying back to his semi wounded group.
Julian had gotten to his feet and moved over to Tom and Chakotay, keeping his eyes on their opponents they were also regrouping. Then he looked down to see how bad his older husband was. "Love, can you hear me?" he asked with great concern.
Chakotay felt the sting through his chest, breathing was difficult if not next too impossible. All he could do was look at the faces of the two men he loved and prayed that the spirits would take care of them, for he felt him self-slipping away. "I love you," he mouthed, as blood oozed from his lips.
"Chakotay!" Tom cried as tears fell down his face, trying to keep the enemy in mind as he was watching the man he loved slipping away. "Jewel do something! Please!" he pleaded.
Julian's mind raced, if he could operate perhaps there would be a chance, but even now he could see the enemy getting ready to strike at them again. He too felt the sting of tears on his face. He looked at his hands; they were suppose to be healer's hands, not death's. He looked up at Tom about to apologize when he looked back at his hands; his right one was tingling. He pulled off his glove, and though there was no sign of anything, he felt it…he knew what he could do. He looked at his loves, then whispered to Chakotay, "It is not your destiny to die today."
"What's the meaning of this?" Miles tried bluffing as several Cardassians dragged him to Damar.
"Who are you?" Damar demanded.
"I'm a worker just like everyone else, what's the meaning of this? I didn't do anything wrong," he said trying to continue his bluff in hopes that Damar didn't pay too much attention to his workers.
"I didn't hire you, though you 'do' look familiar," The young Cardassian said suspiciously. "Who hired you?"
Miles could feel that this wasn't going well, but he continued anyway, though there was only one name he could use. "Dukat of course," he snapped in reply.
"Oh, really?" Damar mused. "And why would he hire the likes of you? Hmm?"
Well, he didn't out right call him a liar; perhaps he could carry this off after all. "Because…I used to be an engineer, and I needed work."
"Engineer?" Damar repeated his eyes narrowing with dark suspicion. Then realization filled his face. "I remember you, you're one of the newcomers aren't you?"
//Damn,// O'Brien thought. "Yeah, that's why I need the work."
"Well, lets just see how much use you can be, shall we?" the Cardassian stated in a quite threating manner. He gestured and the two Cardassians that held O'Brien moved the human as they followed the Second in charge towards the silvery substance. Damar turned towards O'Brien. "What do you make of this?" he asked coolly.
//It's now or never,// he thought. "I'd have to have a better look before I could tell you," he replied. He was relieved to feel the hold on him released at Damar's gesture and he stepped closer to the creature and hesitantly reached his hand out. He wasn't sure what was going to happen as his fingers touched the gelatin-like substance and felt his body surge forth several vibrations that paralyzed him. He could see, hear, and feel his surroundings, he just couldn't move. He could hear Damar shouting to his men to grab the human, he could see a blue pulse of light shimmer through the silvery substance and he could feel the life stir underneath his fingertips.
The ground shook, the earth was shifting and falling all around them, the Cardassians and the workers no longer cared about anything but getting out of the mine with their lives. Only Miles and Damar were left facing each other as the earth continued to stir around them.
"What have you done!?" the Cardassian shouted.
"Just woke the beasty up," Miles mused; though he too was thinking about getting out of the cave as soon as he could move his body again. As if on cue, his hand was released and he stepped back. He could see the blue pulse becoming faster and faster as the ground shook more. Miles didn't hesitate as he turned and ran for the exit, "Come on, this place is going to cave in!" he shouted over his shoulder. He reached the top of the path to see Damar was trying to either attack it or possess it, but whatever he was trying to do, all Miles could see was the Cardassian grabbing his head in sheer pain and drop to the ground. Miles continued his way out of the mine before it completely collapsed.
As Julian spoke the ground shook violently. This sent the three outlaws to their knees, as Tom held onto Chakotay covering his body from falling debris. Julian reached down with his right hand and placed in on top of the chest wound and saw a glow leaving his hand into Chakotay's chest. He could feel the energy leaving his body healing his lover's form and returning like an endless current. After a moment the bluish hue was gone and Chokotay opened his eyes taking in a deep breath.
He had felt his life slipping away, heard his lovers' voices calling to him to stay. He heard Julian's voice telling him what the alien had said, 'it is not your destiny to die today,' and felt a strong wave of resistance from the spirits, then felt a hand grab his soul and bring him back. He then felt air fill his lungs and his body renewed. The sight that greeted him was the face of two angels, his lovers, his husbands, his soul mates.
"Welcome back," Julian smiled.
"Oh, Chakotay," Tom cried softly.
"We don't have time for a reunion," Julian chided as he gestured to their enemies who were finding their feet as the earthquake was subsiding.
"What the hell was that? An earthquake?" the Sheriff asked now feeling the tremors.
"I think they were successful in waking the thing up," Tom replied now shifting to help Chakotay up to his feet so the three could be ready for the next round. "Because if they weren't, we wouldn't be here."
"You have a point," Chakotay said. "That big son-of-a-bitch is strong," he cursed.
"They were hired to match our skills," Julian said, his eyes locking onto the Asian man again. "However, if we did a few switch ups, we could throw them off balance."
"I sense you have a plan, love," Chakotay smiled stealing a hug from both his loves.
"I do, listen carefully," Julian said softly.
Garak watched as dozens of people came running out of the mineshaft, but no Miles O'Brien. He cured himself for a second time for being too weak to face his fear of closed spaces, but he almost didn't make it out the last time and thought the risk too great to chance it again. Now the damn thing was collapsing and Miles was going to be trapped inside.
Though the shaking became less, the falling earth remained a constant. After another few minutes Garak couldn't stand it and ran into the shaft with the words 'Don't think about it,' repeating on his lips. He moved in fast and followed the flow of oncoming miners that were struggling to get out. After a few minutes he passed them and still no sign of O'Brien.
//Damn that human,// he thought. //Didn't he have the common sense to exit with the rest?// He continued his decent till he found a rock slide blocked his path. Without thinking he started to move the heavy rocks that laid in his way then he heard it, scrapping from the otherside. "Hello?" he called.
"Bloody hell, Garak is that you?" Miles shouted back.
"I do believe that is your most favorite colorful expression, is it not?" the tailor mused as he doubled his efforts, trying his best not to think about where he was.
"Oh, shut the hell up and get me out of this damn place," O'Brien replied, though deep down he was overwhelmed that the Cardassian had risked so much to come down to rescue him.
After a couple of minutes there was enough space for O'Brien to crawl through and Garak helped him out the other side. "Thanks," Miles replied quietly.
"Save your gratitude, Chief. We're not out of this yet," Garak replied indicating the continuous mounds of rock and earth still falling, though with slower speed. "I suggest a hasty retreat."
"I couldn't agree with you more," O'Brien smiled and the two headed for the exit as fast as their feet could carry them.
The ground shaking had stopped and the six paired off again, Carlson with Tom, the Bear with Chakotay and the Asian with Julian. They all faced each other, though the outlaws were stunned to see the Sheriff standing as if he was not even injured.
"How you do that!" the humanoid bear shouted.
"I'm a damn good healer," Julian smirked back in replied.
"Impossible," the Asian man retorted.
"No more than this," Tom replied whirling his Sai's showing off his perfectly good wrist.
"I knew you were a freak, but this is something I wouldn't have expected. No matter, when I'm done with your fuck buddies, I'm going to drag your sweet ass to a lab and they can see what makes you tick," Carlson said, hoping to light a fire under Tom so the blond would lose control again, it almost worked.
"Tom," Julian interjected. "He's just jealous of us, since he wants you for himself," glad to see his words brought a smile to Tom easing his temper and angering the dark man.
"I'm feeling in a generous mood," Chakotay stated with a wicked grin on his face. "I'm going to let you guys surrender before you get hurt, how about it?"
The three attackers found it amusing and laughed. Then as if on cue the three charged the Sheriff and his deputies with blood lust in their eyes.
"Now!" Chakotay shouted.
At the signal Tom ran first forward toward Carlson then quickly turned toward Chakotay who was knelt down hand out waiting for Tom. The blond stepped into the waiting hand and allowed himself to be thrown like a projectile toward the Asian man who had his attention locked on Julian so he didn't see it coming. Tom hit the small man with great force then rolled off immediately landing blow after blow with his Sai's, only half being blocked by his new opponent.
Once Tom had his new opponent, Julian flipped in front of Chakotay facing the Bear like humanoid, leaving Chak to take on Carlson. "I happen to have a thing for Teddy bears," Julian quipped with a dark smile then sent several daggers into the limbs of the big guy before turning himself into a flipping blur that was heading right for his opponent.
"Let's dance," Chakotay smirked, more so for he always wanted to use Tom's line and now seemed very appropriate. He saw the whip come at him and with his smaller ax, he sliced it in mid air then met Carlson's eyes with a triumph smile. Chakotay used the larger of his axes to block the blade that was coming at him and realized that like Tom his blows were being met equally, but like Julian stated, he had something Tom didn't, superior strength over this guy, and he used it. He stopped throwing blows, only blocking, getting in closer so the sword Carlson had would be of little use, then when he was close enough he moved in for hand to hand combat he started tossing this guy around like a rag doll.
Tom did what Chakotay and Julian had suggested, take the initiative and don't let up. He got his opponent off guard then started pummeling him left and right, never letting up. When a small sharp dagger appeared, it changed the tune of the battle but not his position. Tom usually fought like the others did, to knock out the attacker, but this was somehow different. It was a battle of survival and all three of them knew there could be only one ending. Tom was the first, he whirled his Sai to block the dagger, shifting it from his chest to striking his shoulder, but he ignored the pain as he plunged his other Sai into the stomach of the Asian man in front of him. Seeing the blood drain from his face, he was quick to tell that he had killed the man.
Chakotay and Carlson wrestled on the ground, but soon Chak had the advantage, but Carlson still used his mouth to try and mess with the Sheriff's mind so he'd loose control leaving him open to attacks. "I bet it makes you mad as hell that the Doc gets to fuck the blond while you don't," he smirked, glad to see he struck a nerve.
"You leave my husbands out of this!" he shouted as he punched Carlson in the face, but by doing so he had to let go of his hold.
Carlson took advantage of the lose grip, after recovering from the blow to the face he brought his own hand up and hit Chakotay in the face as well sending him flying to the side. "Well, the Pack is married, how sweet," he snarled. "But I don't think the town coroner gives family discounts," he mused as he pulled a knife from his boot. He lunged at the big Indian.
Chakotay saw the blade and whirled, but the knife still found its way into his thigh. He grabbed the dark man and again the two of them wrestled, but now Chakotay was blind with fury that he didn't stop to think what he was doing till after he heard the snapping of bones. He then realized that he had broken Carlson's neck, the man was dead in his arms.
Julian had launched himself into the big humanoid, it was not enough to push him back, but drive the blades he had put there deeper into the wounds he had created. This caused the Bear individual to go crazy with fury. This guy was strong but compared to Julian, as slow as a snail in winter. Julian flipped and tumbled around this guy as if he was standing still, too bad his strikes were doing very little to put this humanoid down. It was like striking rock; his blows couldn't reach the nerve endings he was hoping for.
He backed off to catch his breath attempting to reconfigure what he was going to do with this thing. If he couldn't knock it out he'd have to put it down, and it then occurred to Julian that in all his years as a lawman, he never had to kill anyone. Chakotay and Tom had, unfortunately, but he never did. It was against what he believed in as a healer, but if he didn't stop this thing…then what. He thought of how he could take this thing out easily, two daggers in the eyes; he could do it, he could always hit his mark. But to him that was murder. He couldn't do it, even if this thing almost killed Chakotay…Chakotay…would he even be considering this if this thing had killed his husband.
Julian flipped away keeping the big humanoid busy trying to catch him as he took in the sights around him. Tom had just finished off the Asian fighter, "Before the fall," he spoke quietly, then flipped again away from the growling, snarling attacker. He saw that Chakotay had lost his temper and took out Carlson, though he could see regret on his lover's face, he knew it was for the best. A man like Carlson would never leave them with any peace. Finally Julian had enough. He did a double flip back then leaped into the air and landed on the shoulders of his opponent, to its amazement.
"Your comrades are dead. Unless you wish to join them, surrender now. I do 'not' wish to kill you," he insisted.
"But I do," Tom snarled stepping in view of the big humanoid, "So I'd listen to him if I were you."
Chakotay stood next to Tom his axes ready, his steel gaze daring the fighter to attack Julian or either of them giving him an excuse to attack. In fact, Chakotay was so filled with anger he suddenly felt he didn't need a reason and started to step forward to finish the job followed by Tom when…
"NO!" Julian shouted, still perched on top of the humanoid, who was shifting from side to side confused.
Julian's voice was enough to bring them both back to their senses and they stopped in their tracks, looking from the bear-like being to Julian on top of it.
"It's your choice," Julian stated. "I can't hold them off forever, you did try and kill us. Surrender now and I give you my word that no more harm will come to you. You will go to jail, but you'll be alive. Chose, and chose now!"
The bear-like being looked around, seeing the dead bodies of those who had been fighting with him, then over to Chakotay seeing no wound were he knew he put one. These were not a typical band of fighters, and he was outmatched. He dropped his metal bear claws and his axes. "I surrender," he said simply.
Julian then flipped down and quickly kicked away the weapons from the fighter and took the cuffs from his back pocket and cuffed the being before moving over to Tom and Chakotay. "I couldn't do it," he said softly. "I'm sorry."
Both the Sheriff and Tom knew what Julian was referring to. "It's all right," Chak said giving Julian a big hug, keeping an eye on his prisoner.
"Yeah, it's not who you are," Tom mused also giving his younger husband a hug. "I'm just glad this is over."
"Me too," Chak and Julian replied in unison.
A week had passed and a small group of people was standing around a newly fixed shuttlecraft. Garak and O'Brien were loading the last of their supplies when they came out to say goodbye to the friends they had made during their stay.
Tom was staring up at the crafts that were now flying in the sky, feeling the draw of his old occupation.
"Do you think you'll go back?" Miles inquired to Tom snapping the young blond out of his daydream.
"Hmm, me?" he smiled.
The others laughed. Josie, Jabara, Chakotay and Julian were there to give a warm send off to those that not only offered a strong friendship, but also helped save the universe, should anyone believe their story. Chakotay had his arm around Tom and Julian as he spoke. "It's up to you babe what you want to do," he replied easily. "Now that the power is back, the Federation and Starfleet are back in full swing, they don't have much use for a sheriff and a couple of deputies," he smiled.
"Oh, I wouldn't go that far," Josie replied defensively. "There will always be a need for law and order around here. In fact, we could use someone of your skill, Chakotay, to keep the position you already have. Plus, it would even mean a pay raise, since the economy is on the up rise again," she smiled.
"And what about you, my dear Doctor," Garak mused looking at the beautiful dark human with admiration. "Now that anyone can come and go, I'm sure Starfleet will be waiting for your return."
Julian looked at Tom and Chakotay then smiled back at Garak, "I'm sure they will be." Then he looked over to the Mayor, "Since communications are still limited to officials only, could you do me the favor and render Starfleet my resignation?" he asked warmly.
"Are you sure, Jewel?" Tom inquired with a touch of concern.
Julian only smiled warmer, "I think this town still needs a doctor, plus, I have no intentions of leaving the two men I love most in this universe, that just so happens to be my husbands."
"Ah," Chakotay said a touch of realization in his voice as he looked over to the Mayor. "I think I should inform you that we…"
Josie smiled a knowing smile, "I'll have that stupid law revised by morning and just name the date and time and I'd be honored to officially marry you three," she beamed proudly. "Oh, and Tom. I happen to know of a large freighter that works out of Phoenix in need of a pilot slash Captain. I know it's not the same, but if you're interested…"
"Hell yeah!" he replied with joy. "Anything that keeps me with my strength," he said hugging Chakotay, "and my Jewel," hugging Julian, "And flying is more than all right with me."
"I'm glad your staying, doctor," Jabara said. "I had already planned on it too, but I'm still going to visit home for a while, but I promise to be back."
"Couldn't run this place without you," Doc joked. Then looked at the two who he would never see again. "I'm only sorry that you two don't have counter parts here. I know I'd have enjoyed their friendships too," he said with a touch of remorse as he held his hand out to Miles, "goodbye and take care of that family of yours," he smiled.
"I will," Miles smiled back, "you take care of yours as well."
"It's been a pleasure meeting all of you," Garak said, offering his hand to everyone in human custom. He was only a bit taken aback by the hug Jabara and Josie gave him and Miles. Then he shook Tom and Chakotay's hand. "It's a shame that we didn't know each other in our universe, perhaps I shall remedy that once we return," he smiled.
"You do that," Chakotay smiled back, as did Tom.
When Julian took the Cardassian's hand, their eyes locked for a brief moment. Then it surprised everyone when Julian leaned forward and hugged Garak good bye. "I don't know what's between the two of us in your universe, but I have a feeling he's a lucky man," he whispered then stepped back to stand with his husbands.
Garak's eyes went wide then soft at the words and the hope it filled him. "Thank you," was all he could say; then the two of them moved into the shuttlecraft and seated themselves as they strapped themselves in and saw their friends step back as the engines started to roar.
"Well, let's be off, shall we?" Garak mused to O'Brien.
"I only hope that damn thing keeps its word and sends us home," Miles growled, but not at Garak.
"Julian said that he was given the information that all we need to do is get into the atmosphere and find the anomaly, it'll be waiting for us and it will try and send us home."
"It's that word 'try' that has me bothered." Miles complained as he maneuvered the shuttle into the atmosphere.
"Well, what other choice do we have, except to stay here…"
"No, that is 'not' an option," O'Brien replied as stars filled the screen before them. "Have you got a reading on that thing?"
"Yes," Garak replied easily. "Sending you the coordinates, now."
O'Brien adjusted their course to head for the anomaly. It only took a couple of minutes for them to reach it and be engulfed by it. The shuttle began to shake and shimmy violently, "Ah, Shit! Here we go again," he snapped as the controls of the ship started to spark and catch on fire just like the last time.
Garak did his best to keep control of his panels but just like the first time it was of no use. "I only hope this time we have a much smoother landing," he jested in hopes of lifting the tension he knew both were feeling.
Then just as quickly as the shaking started it stopped, but instead of space that should of greeted them when the whirling lights of the anomaly left them, it was again blue sky and the shuttle was going down.
"Hold on!" Miles shouted as he fought with the controls. He was glad that there was some power in the ship and did his best to land the tiny craft. He saw a plateau and headed for it. "You don't think…" he started to ask seeing the desert terrain.
"No, it's not Titus Seven," Garak replied looking over his sensor then his face looked puzzled.
"What?" Miles growled as he let out a deep breath after landing the shuttle on the plateau with great effort.
"Umm…according to the computer, start navigation's have us located…um…"
"Earth? Are you sure?" Miles asked moving from his seat to check for himself. He stood akimbo looking over the Cardassian, his lips pressed together. "Well, Earth isn't that far," he started.
"Um, Chief. I hate to be the pessimist in this group, but what if it is not 'our' earth?"
"Jeez Louise! You could be right; we better check it out. There is some power left. Look for a place where we can hide this thing, while I check communications and see if I can get a handle on where we are."
After about an hour they had located a large cavern they could fly the tiny shuttle in to hide. They didn't find any trace of Starfleet or Federation signals. By all star charts and a computer analysis they were on earth, but they were a long way off not only from their universe, they believed, but their time period.
"Bloody hell! According to these star locations, we're back in the tail end of the bloody twentieth century!" Miles shouted.
"I'm afraid it's much worse than that," Garak replied.
"Oh, and how is that?"
"Well, while you were running star navigation I was running current signal communications and comparing them to our historical data banks to see if things matched up…"
"And let me guess, they didn't, right?"
"Correct. This is not 'our' twentieth century, or to be more precise, yours. I also don't detect any indication of alien life on this planet…so you're going to be on your own if we need anything."
"Ah Bloody Hell!"
(Continued in Bad Boys- Federa(tion) Bureau of Investigation)