by Mandragora


DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns everything. I own nothing, except for this story.

WARNING: this is not a ‘pleasant’ story. Lot’s of nasty things happen, including (rape, torture, angst (in spades) and a gratuitous sheep reference. Definitely no snugglebunnies. And no, this is not a h/c story (or at least not in the traditional sense). If the above upsets you, then don’t read it!

I’m not sure whom I should blame for this! Smara definitely deserves a lot of the ‘credit’, for a conversation we had regarding Chakotay, which provided a moment of ‘inspiration’. I must also mention a wonderful TOS story called “Remirrored” by P B Wrapper and Skazitelnitsky, which set me wondering “What if ... ”

Many thanks also to my beta readers Jane and Smara, for all their help and input. Extra thanks to Smara who performed well above and beyond the call of duty in revising the story for grammatical errors (any remaining ones are my sole responsibility), “Britishisms” and for her valiant efforts to persuade me to adopt American spelling (no, *of course* it didn’t work! ).

Lieutenant Tom Paris was flying the Shuttle Cochrane through a particularly tricky asteroid field in the Delta Quadrant. He was concentrating hard, as the shuttle interwove its way through the field. Seeing that the end was in sight, he grinned fiercely and touched the communicator panel.

“Paris to Chakotay.”

“Chakotay here,” was the reply, “is something up?”

“Just thought I’d let you know that I’ll be exiting the field in, oh, 30 seconds and counting,” Tom said, casually.

On the Shuttle Garibaldi, Chakotay shook his head, half in resignation, half in amusement. Paris had traversed the asteroid field in exceptional time; the Commander himself was more than four minutes away from the exit. “Show off!” was all he said, to which Tom’s response was a laugh.

The Commander and the Lieutenant were both on their way back to Voyager, bearing supplies. The nearby star system had orbiting its sun a planet inhabited by a friendly race called the Lrycians. Unfortunately, there was an extremely large, very dense asteroid field, which completely surrounded the system, too dense for Voyager to traverse without risking damage, but small enough for a shuttle to get through. In order to take on as many supplies as possible, Captain Janeway had decided to send two shuttles, which were each filled to the brim with foodstuffs, technical supplies and raw materials. As the asteroid field was tricky to navigate, even for the smaller and more manoeuvrable shuttles, she had decided to send Voyager’s best pilots, Paris and Chakotay.

As the Cochrane exited the field, Tom frowned at his instruments, noting that there was some sort of disturbance ahead. As he attempted to determine precisely what it was, with a suddenness that took him completely by surprise, a yawning wormhole opened directly in front of him. Paris frantically attempted to reverse course, away from the wormhole, but felt the shuttle being pulled irrevocably into its gaping maw. He attempted to raise Chakotay, to warn him of the obstacle ahead, before Cochrane was sucked into the wormhole, but was only able to state, “Chakotay, wormhole ahead,” before the shuttle was pulled inexorably into the entrance.

The shuttle was buffeted on all sides as Tom attempted to control the flight. He was thrown out of his seat on several occasions, at one point gashing his forehead, swiping impatiently at the blood that threatened to fall into his eyes. Then came a particularly violent knock to the shuttle, which sent Tom flying out of the seat, to once more hit his head, but this time inducing unconsciousness. When he awoke, groggy with concussion, he staggered to the instrument panel to determine his new heading. According to the instrument readings his disbelieving eyes beheld he was in the Alpha Quadrant! He sat there stunned for several minutes, checking and rechecking the readings. Yes, he was definitely in the Alpha Quadrant.

Tom gulped and attempted to hail Starfleet, but got no response on standard channels. He frowned in puzzlement, as according to the charts he wasn’t that far from Deep Space 9. Why weren’t they answering? He had the sudden, horrible thought that maybe something disastrous had happened to the Federation since Voyager had been thrown into the Delta Quadrant. He decided to point the shuttle towards Deep Space 9, but be cautious about raising the station, he would see the way the land lay (so to speak) before attempting to raise them again. He was also worried about Chakotay, had he been sucked in as well? He attempted to raise Chakotay’s shuttle, but with no success.

Tom got the med-kit from the back of the shuttle, cleaned himself up, and treated his mild concussion. //OK, Tommy-boy,// he thought to himself, //slow and easy, that’s the way to go.// Suddenly, without warning, a large ship shimmered into view above him, it’s size and bulk dwarfing the much smaller shuttle. Tom frowned at the ship in puzzlement, the design was vaguely reminiscent of a Federation design, but somehow ... twisted, this ship looked positively threatening, the normal clean lines of Federation design were distorted, so that the ship bore a distinct resemblance to a predator, its two warp nacelles were curved, to resemble talons and the ship was dark green in colour, not the usual white or grey. The name written on the hull in Federation Standard was ISS Extreme.

The ship hailed him: “Extreme to unknown vehicle. State your name and designation.”

“This is Lieutenant Tom Paris on the Shuttle Cochrane. Assigned to Voyager.”

“Stand by Cochrane,” was the response.

Tom was beginning to get a very uneasy feeling about this; the abrupt termination of the conversation did not instil confidence and what was with the ISS designation? His comm unit beeped again.

“Cochrane, fly into shuttle bay 2, here are the co-ordinates,” was the terse order.

Tom examined his sensor readings of the Extreme. They showed, as he had expected, that there was no possibility of making a run for it, as he was vastly outgunned and outclassed, there was no way he could get away from this ship. With an inward sigh he acknowledged the order and complied.

On landing, once the shuttle bay had pressurised, Tom sat still in his chair for a while, reluctant to move. All his well-developed instincts for danger were screaming at him, but he couldn’t sit here forever. He rose from the chair and opened the door. As he stepped out from the shuttle he froze. There, standing with what he assumed were phasers pointed at him, were four security guards, Tom recognised the type, they all looked vaguely Klingon, but they were not wearing any type of Klingon uniform he recognised, and the phasers&ldots;they were black, large, and distinctly threatening. The security guards were all dressed in black, with a good deal of dark grey body armour on top. These people were not taking any chances.

Tom had a very uncomfortable feeling about this, he remembered reading at the Academy about alternate universes which various members of Starfleet had interacted with over the years. Either there had been a vast change in Starfleet policy and design over the four years Voyager had been in the Delta Quadrant, or else this was an alternate universe, and, from the indications to date, not a very pleasant one. He felt his heart sink, oh shit, what was he to do now, stranded not just in another quadrant, but possibly in another universe?

As Tom stood just outside the shuttle, concentrating on not making any threatening moves, the door to the corridor opened and five humans walked in. Tom’s jaw dropped; one of them was Chakotay.

He was dressed in stark, unrelieved black, his jump suit was form fitting, showing off his powerful physique, and he wore four pips. //He’s a Captain// Tom thought numbly. This was not the Chakotay he knew; his whole demeanour was that of a man who knew he was feared, whereas the Chakotay Tom was familiar with demanded respect, not fear. And the tattoo, it was different somehow, larger, and the design, Tom couldn’t put his finger on it, but again it had been twisted, so that it appeared as vaguely unpleasant. It had the effect of making Chakotay’s darkly handsome features appear sinister. Chakotay smiled. It was not a pleasant smile.

“This must be my lucky day,” he said mockingly, the tenor voice more edged than Tom was used to hearing. “I never thought I’d again get the opportunity to get my ... hands on Tom Paris. Lieutenant Tom Paris, hmm, last I heard you were a Captain. Oh, but you’re not my Tom Paris are you, not dressed like that. So I’d have been guessing alternate universe, even if the quantum signature didn’t confirm it. You’re not the first visitor we’ve had from an alternate universe, but you’re surely one of the most ... welcome.”

Tom stood frozen, thinking frantically what to say. His guess was evidently right, but he was not happy about it. All indications were that these people bore little resemblance to their counterparts in his universe.

“Nothing to say?” Chakotay continued, when it became obvious that the Lieutenant was not going to say anything immediately. “And that’s so unlike you too. Oh, but you’re not you, are you? Don’t worry though, you’re the next best thing.”

Tom found his voice. “Perhaps you can fill me in. You say my, er, counterpart’s a Captain. In what service?”

“Why in the service of our glorious Empire of course. And your counterpart isn’t *just* a Captain, no, no he’s a member of the aristocracy, one of the elite, a cousin to the Empress no less! But *you*” Chakotay moved close to Paris. “Well, I don’t know who you are in your universe but in this one, you’re mine.”

The irreverent part of Tom couldn’t help thinking that this version of Chakotay sounded just like a villain in a bad holodeck programme, but the rest of him was shit scared. He was totally in this man’s power, and somehow he got the distinct impression that this Chakotay was none too well disposed to Paris’ counterpart. Whatever had happened here, it was obvious that neither the Paris or Chakotay of this universe was in the Delta Quadrant.

“I need to get back to my universe ... ” Tom began, thinking inwardly, //Shit, I might as well ask, see what the reaction is.//

“No, no,” Chakotay interrupted. “First rule, you don’t speak unless spoken to or unless you’ve been given permission. Now I realise that you’ll find this difficult to remember, but believe me, we’ll get along much better the quicker you learn this little rule.”

“What?” Tom exclaimed.


Tom found himself sitting on the floor, his ears ringing and blood trickling from his mouth, staring up at Chakotay, who was shaking his head in disgust.

“A slow learner,” he said, observing with pleasure the look of anger on Tom’s face as he got to his feet. “Defiant too. Oh believe me, taming you is going to be a pleasure!” He turned to one of the men standing near him, a lieutenant whom Tom now realised he recognised as a member of the Maquis on Voyager, a normally pleasant, gregarious man, who spoke with a British accent, called Miller. “Prepare him, and bring him to my quarters at 20.00 hours.” With that Chakotay turned on his heels and left the shuttle bay.

“You, Paris,” Miller said. “Come with me.”

When Tom made no move, the nearest guard prodded him with his rifle and he reluctantly moved. What ever happened next, Tom had a feeling that it was not going to be pleasant.


In the Delta Quadrant Chakotay had noted with alarm Tom’s message. He attempted to slow his exit from the asteroid field, but without success, the force exerted by the wormhole was sufficient to pull both the shuttle and some small asteroids into the wormhole. It was a rough ride, although the wormhole was a little more stable than when the Cochrane had been pulled in. Chakotay’s shuttle and several asteroids were spat out into the Alpha Quadrant, not far from where the Cochrane had exited. Chakotay too checked his readings in disbelief, attempted to raise Tom, but was similarly unsuccessful. His attempts to raise Starfleet met with no response and he too, noting the co-ordinates, set off for Deep Space 9. He frowned as he noticed that the chronometer appeared to be not working properly, it seemed to be frozen.

Chakotay checked his sensor readings; there was a ship approaching. He looked at the shape revealed as it came into range in admiration; it was beautiful, sleek and graceful, like a bird. He did not recognise the design.

The ship hailed him: “Voice of the Prophets to unknown vessel. Please state your course and designation.”

“I’m Commander Chakotay of the Federation starship Voyager, presently on shuttle Garibaldi.”

There was a pause and then the voice from the ship said, “Commander Chakotay, you said?”

“That’s right.”

“Please stand by.”

Chakotay’s viewscreen lit up and he gasped at the sight that he saw, it was Ro Laren, who he had last seen as a member of the Maquis. “Laren, is that you?”

The woman looked surprised at the familiar address. “You know me?”

“Of course. Laren it’s me, Chakotay. We’ve been lost in the Delta Quadrant. But what’re you doing on that ship?”

“I’m Captain Ro Laren, commanding officer of the Voice of the Prophets, of the Alliance.”

“The Alliance? What’s that? And what’s happened to the Maquis?”

“The what? Why’s a Captain of the Empire on his own in a shuttlecraft? And I don’t recognise the insignia.”


The two of them stared at one another in equal bewilderment, until one of the officers on the bridge of Ro’s ship said something to her in a low voice. She asked Chakotay to stand by, and muted the sound as she had a discussion with her officers. Communications were reopened as Ro said: “Commander. We believe that you’ve come from a different universe. The quantum signature is different from ours. You say that you know me?”

“That’s right,” Chakotay responded, still trying to take in the fact that he was in the Alpha Quadrant, but not his Alpha Quadrant. “We’re friends, have fought together in the Maquis.”

Captain Ro hesitated. “It looks like there’s a lot of differences between the universes. Would you like to come on board, I think that we need to talk.”

Chakotay accepted her invitation, and manoeuvred the shuttle on board the lovely ship. As he exited he became uneasily aware that there were several security guards present. They did not have their weapons drawn, but held themselves ready. Ro was also there to greet him. She welcomed him on board and asked him to follow her, attended by a couple of security guards, and her First Officer, who, to Chakotay’s shock, was a Cardassian called Dukat. //Ro with a Cardassian and Dukat at that!// he thought incredulously, but said nothing. They exchanged pleasantries, as Chakotay walked with Ro through the corridors of the ship. He admired what he saw. The crew was multi-species, some of which Chakotay didn’t recognise, the decor was both beautiful and functional, more pleasing to the eye than Federation design, which could be a little spartan. Many of the people he passed nodded or smiled, others looked at him warily. There were many Bajorans and not a few Cardassians traversing the corridors, which made Chakotay blink more than a little. Wherever he was, it was self evident that matters were very different here than in his own universe. He followed Ro and Dukat into a conference room; the security guards remained outside. Ro was a cordial host, asking Chakotay if he wanted refreshments. He accepted a glass of water and sat down at the table, joined by the two officers.

“I take it that you haven’t heard of the Empire?” Ro questioned.

“That’s right,” Chakotay confirmed. “I’m from the Federation, the United Federation of Planets.”

“What kind of an organisation is that?” Dukat asked.

Chakotay explained the rationale of the Federation, that it consisted of many planets and races, in peaceful co-existence, which also supported one another. He said that it had originally been founded by Humans and Vulcans and spoke with pride about the Federation’s attempts to explore, to make contact with other races and, if sufficiently advanced, invite then to join them. He explained that he was in the exploration and military branch of the Federation, called Starfleet, and the basis of the Prime Directive.

Both Ro and Dukat had nodded in agreement with much that Chakotay had said.

“Your Federation sounds much like our Alliance,” Ro said, although of course Humans are not part of the Alliance.”

“They’re not?”

“No, the Human civilisation, and I use the word loosely, is the Empire” She sighed. “And I regret to tell you that it is not a pleasant organisation. The Empire’s rationale is conquest, dominion, over others.”

“The Federation has had contact with other universes before, one of which similarly had an Empire, maybe this very universe,” Chakotay said thoughtfully. “From what I heard, it wasn’t a great place to visit.”

“You said that we have fought together?” Ro questioned.

“Hmm, your counterpart and I, I guess, but yes, that’s correct.”

“So in your universe we’re not enemies?”

“No, we’re not. Does this mean that in this universe we are?”

“Your counterpart is a particularly ruthless Captain of the Empire. He commands a destroyer class starship. I think it’s safe to say that we’re not friends.”

“I see,” Chakotay said slowly. This was disturbing news.

“You mentioned the Maquis earlier. What is it?” Ro questioned.

Chakotay sighed. “In my universe, the Cardassians have an empire of sorts. They’re in conflict with the Federation. A peace treaty was signed which gave several planets settled by Federation citizens in the disputed zone to the control of the Cardassians. My home planet was one of them. The Maquis was formed to fight the Cardassians, you and I were both members.”

Dukat laughed. “That’s ironic, in this universe, Cardassia was assimilated by the Empire. We’re rebelling against it with the assistance of the Alliance, which was formed initially by the Bajorans.”

“In my universe, Cardassia and Bajor are bitter enemies. Cardassia assimilated Bajor, but the Bajorans recently won their freedom. The Federation is trying to help them get back on their feet. The Cardassian occupation left the planet in a mess. In my universe it would be very unlikely to see a Bajoran and a Cardassian working together.”

“Hmm,” pondered Ro. “It’s almost as if every thing is the other way round. Now then,” she said briskly, “we need to see how to get you back.”

“Thank you,” Chakotay said. “Although I’m surprised that you’re willing to help me so readily, given what you’ve told me.”

“It’s what we do,” explained Ro. “Help people. Besides, we checked your shuttle’s records while you were coming aboard. They were in accordance with what you’ve told us. Although I am a little confused. You said you and I were in the Maquis, but you’re also a member of Starfleet.”

Chakotay sighed. “That’s also a long story,” he said, explaining how he had come to serve on Voyager.

“So the two crews melded together?” Dukat questioned.

“Yes,” confirmed Chakotay. “But I have to say that that was possible only because it was a Federation ship. It wouldn’t have happened if it was Cardassian.”

“And you resigned from Starfleet to join the Maquis?”

Chakotay nodded. “It was the hardest decision I had to make, but ... ”

Ro nodded. “I understand. About getting you back ... ”

“I’m concerned that a colleague of mine may also have been brought to this universe,” Chakotay interrupted.

“By the wormhole?” asked Dukat.

“Yes. How did you know?”

“That’s why we’re here now,” the First Officer explained. “To study the wormhole. Your flight log shows that you came through it. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, not only are there temporal shifts but also shifts in location. For example last time it opened it was in Empire space. We’re pretty close to the border here, but this time it was in Alliance territory.”

“When was this?”

“About two weeks ago.”

“Paris, that’s my colleague, entered the wormhole only minutes before me, so he wouldn’t have exited then.”

“But there’s temporal variations, as I said,” Dukat explained. “He may well have exited then, with the time dilation, but he certainly didn’t exit just now, we’d have picked up on that. If he did exit a couple of weeks ago, then he would have been in Empire territory. We’ll check our sources, see who was in the area back then. We’ll also try and find out if there are any records. What’s his full name?”

“Tom Paris. Lieutenant Thomas Eugene Paris.”

Ro and Dukat exchanged glances.

“What!” Chakotay explained. “You know him too?”

“Captain Thomas Paris is fairly well known to us,” Ro said. “He’s a member of the Imperial Family in the Empire, cousin to the Empress. Our intelligence sources keep fairly close tabs on Imperial family members.”

Chakotay shook his head ruefully. “I might have known. Paris comes from a well known Starfleet family in my universe as well.”

“This isn’t necessarily good,” warned Dukat. “Being who he is, your crewmate’s counterpart will have enemies. If one of them gets hold of your Paris ... ” He sighed.

“Look,” Ro said. “We’ll do what we can. In the meantime, I’ll assign you guest quarters here if that is all right with you.”

“That’s fine. Thank you.”


At precisely 20.00 hours Tom was led into Chakotay’s quarters by Lieutenant Miller. Tom was enveloped in a dark blue cloak that covered him from head to foot, but his feet were bare. Tom gasped at the sybaritic luxury that met his eyes, the Captain’s quarters were decked out in heavy satins, velvets and silks, all in earth tones. They were also extremely large, and there were several doors, indicating other rooms. Chakotay entered from one of those doors, dressed in a heavy silk robe, brown in colour, with patterning in gold thread. He smiled when he saw Paris. It was not a pleasant smile.

Miller removed the cloak, revealing that Tom was practically naked under it. His attire consisted only of a blue loincloth round his slender hips and encircling his neck was a thin collar, which was gold in colour. Tom closed his eyes in humiliation at the look that crossed Chakotay’s face when he saw Tom’s appearance.

Miller had earlier taken Tom to a room in which there were several couches, some instruments he didn’t recognise, with a bathroom adjoining. There Miller had bid a couple of the guards to stay, until he had fastened the collar around Tom’s neck. At that point he had quietly explained that the collars were controlled by wristbands and that those worn by he and Chakotay were set for Tom’s collar. He had efficiently given Paris a demonstration of the pain that could be induced by the collar. Tom was shaken by the searing agony he had just experienced, especially after Miller explained that that was the lowest setting.

Miller had then ordered Tom to strip. He hesitated, but when Miller’s hand went warningly to his wristband, sighed and acceded. Miller walked around him, Tom flushing miserably at his perusal.

“So it’s true,” Miller had said, “Thomas Paris is as beautiful as they say. Of course, he’s known as being one of the beauties of the Imperial Family, but how nice to know that for once rumour hasn’t exaggerated. The Captain will be pleased.”

“What does Chakotay want,” Tom drawled, putting on a brave face, although he was very much afraid that he knew the answer.

Miller had laughed. “Oh my dear, I should have thought that was obvious. You’re to serve his pleasure of course, as his personal um, attendant.”

Tom went white at hearing his fears confirmed.

“It really is too delicious,” Miller was continuing. “You see, our noble Captain and your counterpart are enemies, great enemies at that,” he smiled. “At one time they were ... involved, shall we say, but your counterpart spurned Chakotay in public, and our Captain is not one to forget, or forgive, public humiliation. As if that wasn’t enough, Captain Paris then took Chakotay’s new lover off him, a rather passionate half-Klingon, called B’Elanna Torres.”

Tom’s head jerked at the familiar name, even as his heart sank at what Miller was telling him, thinking to himself, //Oh shit, this is not good.//

“Chakotay wasn’t anywhere near ready to let her go, but he couldn’t compete with the Emperor’s cousin, she was no fool, and accepted Paris’ offer. Although,” he confided, “I’m not certain whether the Captain was more upset at losing a lover or the best Chief Engineer he’s ever had. But he was *very* upset at losing anything to your counterpart.”

“She wasn’t a slave, then?” Paris asked.

“Of course not, she was far too valued an officer for that. And of course one doesn’t normally enslave a Human, or a Klingon for that matter. They are valued allies of the Empire. But in your case you’re outside of the law. Although I imagine,” he mused, “that if the Imperial Family find out about you there’ll be hell to pay. But, none of us are going to be saying anything, we’re all *completely* loyal to the Captain and once Chakotay gets you on to his estates, well suffice it to say that once there you won’t be going any where.”

“Look,” Tom began earnestly. “I can’t stay here. Surely my being here will have consequences, mess up the time and space continuum, that sort of thing.”

Miller shrugged. “I wouldn’t know. But it never has before.”

“So there’ve been others, from other universes I mean?”

“Oh yes. But to my knowledge none of them ever left here. We learned about them in training; there’s standing orders not to let them go. We don’t want an invasion from another universe or anything like that. This is the best way to ensure that doesn’t happen. Now,” he continued efficiently, “a bath, I think and then we’ll get you ready to serve ... ”

Chakotay walked slowly around Tom, and then nodded to Miller and told him to go. Tom kept his eyes on the floor, conscious of Chakotay’s perusal, knowing that he would not be able to conceal either his anger or his apprehension should he meet Chakotay’s eyes. At the moment Chakotay had every advantage, and Tom was trying to restrain himself, but he wasn’t finding it easy.

“Do you know,” Chakotay said softly, “how long I’ve dreamt of this moment. From the first time I saw you, oh not you, I suppose, but your counterpart, I wanted him. He decided that he was too good for me, once he had me, but *you*, you’re going to serve me any way I like, any time I like.”

If Tom had looked up then he would have been even more frightened at the look of hatred in Chakotay’s eyes. But then he raised his head and glared at Chakotay.

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” he said. “I’ll make a pretty poor servant, I’m not exactly known for my ability to be respectful and I’m naturally untidy,” he drawled.

Chakotay smiled. “Don’t worry,” he purred. “You’ll be trained to please me.”

Tom rolled his eyes. “Oh very original! You sound just like a holodeck villain and ... ” he began as Chakotay’s face darkened in anger. Tom choked as the collar was activated, oh gods the pain!

“No, no, no,” Chakotay chided. “You’ve forgotten already, no speaking until spoken to. I know,” he continued with mock sympathy, “that that’s going to be particularly difficult for *you*, but I’ll be on hand to assist, I assure you.”

Chakotay smiled. “Strip,” he ordered. Tom hesitated. “Let me remind you,” Chakotay said, pleasantly, “that I have control of your collar.”

Tom reluctantly removed the loincloth, thinking to himself that, OK, he could stand a little nakedness, but as to what might happen next ... “Verrry nice,” smiled Chakotay, admiring the long elegant penis that was revealed, even in its un-aroused state. “I’m glad to see that you’re just like him, in every detail, that is going to make our time together even more ... enjoyable.”

//Shit// Tom thought to himself, //I was right, his dialogue is crap. OK, keep thinking like that, don’t lose your sense of humour!//

“Kneel,” he ordered. Tom hesitated, but Chakotay did not; he touched his wristband and Tom ended up on the floor as the agony of the collar hit him.

Chakotay shook his head sadly. “Hmm, you are going to be stubborn I see.” He smiled widely. “How unfortunate, for you. You really must learn to appreciate your place here, you do what I tell you, when I tell you. Whatever you were before, forget, you now belong to me and I do not tolerate disobedience in my slaves. Your counterpart has never had any self-discipline, but you’ll learn to obey me, you can be very sure of that. Now,” he barked. “To your knees.”

Tom didn’t move; he was too angry at the treatment he was receiving to go to his knees of his own volition. He staggered to his feet and looked at the Captain defiantly, thinking to himself that he must be mad, but he just couldn’t bring himself to kneel in front of Chakotay, not him of all people. “Go to hell!”

“A challenge, I see,” Chakotay smiled. “I love a challenge! Miller said you were uncooperative.”

Chakotay gave him another dose of the collar this time at a higher setting. He waited patiently while Tom recovered and ordered him to his knees again. Paris again got to his feet. Chakotay used the collar again, at a higher setting yet. This time Tom was not able to move for several minutes, lying there panting and exhausted. Chakotay knelt down beside him and pulled his head back.

“Listen to me,” he said quietly. “You have a choice, obey me, or I will make you feel pain beyond what you can comprehend. Your collar can be set in continuous loop, like so.” He touched his wristband and watched with detached interest while Tom’s body spasmed for several minutes. Chakotay deliberately did not use the highest setting that the collar was capable of; he wanted to reserve that in case it became necessary in the future. When he finally switched the collar off, Tom lay on the floor where he had fallen, unable to feel anything other than the blessed surcease of pain. Stubborn though he was, he knew that he could not take more of this, it was unbelievable, the pain had been so intense that he could not even scream, all he had been able to do was endure. He had never been so afraid, how could he resist this? The collar did not actually cause any physical damage; thus Chakotay could use it on him indefinitely. Chakotay waited until he judged that Tom was capable of movement.

“Now,” Chakotay said, “let’s try this again. To your knees.”

Tom hauled himself to his knees, inwardly cursing at himself for complying, telling himself he was pathetic, a coward, but, oh gods, he couldn’t take another dose of the pain, not at this moment. Chakotay moved to a richly appointed chair.

“Come here,” he said. Tom started to get to his feet. “I didn’t tell you to rise,” Chakotay said. “Come here, on your hands and knees.”

Tom hesitated; Chakotay activated the wristband. Chakotay moved to where Tom lay gasping on the floor, and stirred at him with his foot.

“You are even more stubborn than I thought,” he commented, “but I know you’re not stupid. You *will* obey me.”

He then turned the collar up to a higher setting; Tom could not believe the pain, surely he couldn’t feel such agony and be physically undamaged? When, at last, the pain ceased, Chakotay ordered Tom to him again and this time Tom obeyed, feeling a rich vein of humiliation course through him, flushing in shame as he crawled to Chakotay’s chair.

When he reached Chakotay, the Captain reached out and raised Tom’s chin, forcing him to look at him, taking in the delicately flushed countenance with pleasure. “You really are lovely,” he said admiringly.

Chakotay leaned back in the chair, and loosened the tie to his robe. The sides fell away, revealing Chakotay’s cock, jutting up with arousal. He seized Tom’s head and forced it down. “Now,” he said, “put that smart mouth of yours to good use. Please me.”


The next morning Tom lay chained face down on Chakotay’s bed. He was covered in bruises, scratches and bite marks; some of the latter were still oozing blood. He looked up as he heard footsteps and saw Miller.

“Well it looks like the Captain enjoyed himself last night,” he said, injecting Tom with a painkiller. “I can see that I’m going to be doing this a lot, the Captain has been known to get rather carried away on occasion. And I see he used the chains the first night too. Hmm, he usually waits a while before using those. You *must* have inspired him. Of course,” he continued chattily, releasing Tom from the chains as he spoke, “that’s not surprising, you being who you are and all. After all, how often is it that a Captain of obscure family, although personally I find him most attractive, gets to chain one of the great beauties of the Empire to his bed. Now, let’s get you cleaned up, that’s right, move to the bathroom.”

He slipped an arm round Tom, who staggered and almost fell, as he tried to get to his feet. Miller ran the dermal regenerator over Tom’s skin and ran a bath for him. He had to help Tom into the bath. Once there Tom lay back and closed his eyes. He was close to tears, but was not going to give in to them, not in front of Miller. Last night was like nothing he had before experienced. This Chakotay was a sadist of the highest order, indefatigable as well. Tom had not dared to refuse to pleasure Chakotay with his mouth. He had cursed at himself inwardly, but complied, telling himself that it wasn’t as if he hadn’t done this before after all. He might have had more female lovers than male, but he was not exactly inexperienced. Chakotay had pronounced himself most satisfied with Tom’s performance, noting that he had a definite talent for it, that he was “even better” than his counterpart.

Chakotay’s recovery time had been startlingly fast; in fact Tom suspected it was drug fuelled. He had then ordered the younger man to the bedroom, where Tom had been unable to prevent his instincts to fight from taking over again, for an instant forgetting about the collar. He had hit Chakotay in the gut, as the Captain moved to embrace him, but the older man’s response had been to immediately activate the collar. As Tom collapsed to the floor again, in agony, Chakotay had taken advantage of Tom’s weakness to rape him for the first time. Tom had regained full consciousness from the excruciating pain of the collar, to find himself stretched out face down on the floor, Chakotay on top of him, roughly penetrating him. Tom found himself thankful at that moment that Miller, knowing what was to happen, had prepared him, humiliating though that moment had been, because great though the pain was, it was not as bad as it otherwise would have been. It had not taken long for Chakotay to climax and he had lain on top of Tom, tracing patterns on his back and licking at the oozing teeth marks on his shoulder where Chakotay had bitten him.

“At last,” Chakotay had whispered. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long.”

He got up and ordered Tom to lie down on his back on the bed, which was enormous and richly appointed with luxurious covers, including a fur counterpane. Tom hauled himself unsteadily to his feet and obeyed, not daring to say a word for fear of the collar. Chakotay seized Tom’s wrists and chained his arms above his head to the bed. He reached to the table by the side of the bed and removed a substance, which looked like jelly.

He told Tom to open his mouth. Tom’s mouth set into a stubborn line as he instinctively clamped his jaw shut. Chakotay’s hand went to his wristband warningly and Tom reluctantly complied with Chakotay’s order. He prevented himself from swallowing, but the jelly dissolved quickly in his mouth. Chakotay pleasantly informed him that the substance was an aphrodisiac. Tom shut his eyes as he heard this; it seemed that Chakotay was determined to have his pleasure no matter what.

Chakotay ran a finger lightly down Tom’s arm. Tom gasped, that single touch had felt like fire! Chakotay smiled.

“You’re a sensitive one aren’t you,” he commented. “Maybe it’s that which makes you, oh sorry, your *counterpart*, such a good lover.”

Chakotay ran his hands down Tom’s torso, noting with pleasure the younger man’s choked intake of breath as he did so. His mouth took the same path as his hands; he kissed, licked and bit his way down Tom’s body, watching the young man’s involuntary response, hearing the moans that Tom was unable to stifle. Chakotay reached his goal; his hand fondled Tom’s shaft, which was already erect, as he ran his fingers slowly round the head. Tom was horrified at the way his body was reacting, he desperately tried to prevent his response, but every touch was unbearably arousing, the very air itself as it slid across his sweat soaked skin was a torment. Tom doubted that he had ever been harder in his life, this despite the fact that he had never wanted to have sex with anyone less, not this charade of the Chakotay he knew, the Chakotay he had hoped, he had hoped ... He choked, unable to think, unable to do anything except feel, as Chakotay licked at his erection. Tom’s hips lifted involuntarily from the bed, seeking more ... seeking what? Chakotay lifted his head, enjoying the moan Tom was unable to prevent at the loss of sensation. Tom was rigid in the restraints; his whole body was quivering.

Tom was already desperate for release, but Chakotay ordered him not to come, warning him that if he did, he would use the collar on him. Chakotay smiled as he said that and without warning gave Tom a further jolt, “as a reminder”. But even this dose of pain did not diminish the effects of the aphrodisiac. Chakotay continued to fondle Tom, enjoying the response he was not able to prevent as his wrists moved in the restraints, hands clenching and unclenching. Chakotay looked critically at Tom’s erection, at the drop of pre-cum straining at the head, yes, he was ready.

Chakotay took Tom’s shaft fully into his mouth, and sucked. Tom’s body arched desperately up from the bed, this was torture, this was impossible, he couldn’t resist this, no one could. Oh gods he was, he was going to, to, no, no, no! Tom’s body stiffened as he lost control, starting to spasm ... Aaargh!!

Chakotay enjoyed Tom’s scream of agony as he touched his wristband. Inwardly Chakotay was pleased; he had done his utmost to ensure that Tom would not be able to prevent himself from climaxing and had enforced the lesson nicely, he thought. And it was so delicious to hear the arrogant Tom Paris scream. Chakotay could not count the times he had dreamed of taking revenge on his former lover, now all those dreams were going to come true. Revenge was *so* sweet. His new slave’s counterpart had been the best lover Chakotay had ever had, *when* the arrogant bastard had deigned to exert himself to please Chakotay. The Captain remembered bitterly that all too often it had been the other way round, Paris taking full advantage of his superior social standing to call the shots. But now, Chakotay was in control and he intended to take full advantage of it. He was going to particularly enjoy what he was going to force his new possession to do next.

Chakotay waited patiently until the effects of the pain had worn off and Tom’s body once more reacted to the effects of the aphrodisiac. It was a drug he had used many times before; he found it useful in breaking his slaves, although none had been as delicious as Paris, he mused to himself. He knew that after the first orgasm the effects would actually intensify; he was counting on that in order to take the next step in taming Tom. He started to caress Tom’s body once more, enjoying the feel of the pale skin under his hand, tangling his fingers in Tom’s chest hair, so different from his own smooth brown skin. He noted how Tom’s breathing had harshened as his body writhed in the restraints.

“If you want to come,” he said, “you’re going to have to beg me for permission, but first you’re going to beg me to fuck you. You should address me as ‘my lord’,” he said loftily. “And only if you please me will you be permitted release, you must learn that you are *mine*, to do with as I please.”

Chakotay licked his way down Tom’s body once more, paying particular attention to the nipples, sucking at them roughly, biting and twisting them. Tom felt as if the stimulus was going directly to his cock and that, if possible, he was now even harder, so hard that it hurt. Chakotay’s mouth hovered close to the younger man’s shaft. He touched his tongue to the head and then blew gently on it. Tom whimpered, unable to do anything but feel in response to the stimulus. Then Chakotay licked his way up from the base to the head, causing Tom’s body to once more arch up from the bed as he screamed incoherently. The effects of the stimulation combined with the aphrodisiac were such that Tom had never needed to come more, his whole skin felt sensitised, the lightest touch was enough to arouse him and what Chakotay was doing to him was unprecedented, he had *never* been so desperate, but he knew that if he came without permission he would be rewarded with another jolt of pain from the collar. All his nerve endings were screaming at him and he was helpless to prevent himself writhing on the bed, whimpering. Dimly, he was aware at the back of his mind that nothing had ever been as bad as this, forced to cooperate in his own degradation as he was. But for now he didn’t care, he needed to come so badly, he would do anything, say anything, because he couldn’t bear this, this was intolerable, unbearable. Oh gods, please, please ...

Chakotay leaned over him and in a soft voice reminded Tom that if he wanted release he had to beg Chakotay to use him. Tom was barely capable of speech by this point, but managed to whisper:


“Please what?”

“Please ... my lord ... please, fuck me, use me, please.”

“I don’t think I quite heard you, say that again.”

“Please,” Tom was crying at this point, so great was his need. “Please ... fuck me, please, fuck me, please, now, please.” Tom brought up his knees to his chest as he spoke, raising his ass imploringly. His head tossed from side to side and his eyes were squeezed shut.

“Look at me,” Chakotay said quietly. Tom opened his eyes, they were all pupils with desire, no trace of their normal piercing blue could be seen. “Keep your eyes open,” Chakotay ordered. “ I want you to see, to remember that you belong to me.”

He seized Tom’s thighs, pulled them further apart and smoothly entered the young man’s body, all the while enforcing his domination by staring into Tom’s eyes, his own darkly dilated with desire. Tom cried out with relief at the moment of entry, welcoming Chakotay’s cock as it slid over the spot in his ass that marked the prostate.

“Be still,” Chakotay ordered. “You’re not allowed to move until I give you permission,” Chakotay said, still in that damnable soft voice. “Do you understand?”

“Yes,” wept Tom.

“Yes *what*?”

“Yes, my lord.”

Chakotay had still not moved, remaining still inside Tom.

He leaned down to Tom. “Do you want me to move,” he whispered.

“Yes, please, oh please, my lord,” Tom was in agony, his body was screaming at him for further stimulation.

Chakotay smiled at Tom and started to thrust, Tom holding himself still as he had not been given permission to move. His head thrashed from side to side as he held his lower body immobile. “You may move, Thomas,” Chakotay said and with a glad cry Tom started to thrust back against the man possessing him. He was almost ... there ... he was about to ... No, no, think of the pain, the collar, don’t come, don’t come ...

“Please,” he begged, “please my lord, let me come, please.” His whole body shook with the force of his sobs. He had never known such agony, such *need*, he couldn’t comprehend that it was possible to make him want so much, to degrade himself this way, but oh gods, he needed, he needed ...

Chakotay smiled cruelly down at Tom, enjoying his abject pleading, his torment. “You’re mine,” he panted. “Say it! Tell me you belong to me. Say it!” he threatened.

“I’m yours, I belong to you,” Tom cried, through his agony.

Chakotay smiled. “And don’t you ever forget it. You belong to me, I’m your master,” he panted, as he neared completion. He climaxed, head thrown back, bellowing his satisfaction, Tom still holding himself back, tears trickling from his eyes as he fought not to climax.

Chakotay said: “In a moment I’m going to allow you to come, but remember everything you are belongs to me, you come only as I allow it, when I allow it. Come now!” Tom threw his head back and screamed and sobbed through the most welcome, most painful, orgasm of his life.

When he quietened Chakotay had leaned over him, looking into his tearful eyes, enjoying the sight of his flushed, tearstained face. Inwardly Chakotay was savouring his sense of triumph, he had had Tom Paris begging him, pleading with him, he couldn’t believe how satisfying he had found it. He brushed a hand across Tom’s face, murmuring “So beautiful.”

Tom looked up at him, shattered, aghast at his abject surrender. He had been unable to help himself; Chakotay had defeated him. But, even at this moment he was conscious that deep within him there was still a hard knot of resistance. Even as he lay in his conqueror’s arms, he vowed to himself that he would escape and pay back this bastard for everything that he had done to him.

“The effects of the aphrodisiac will last for quite a few hours yet,” Chakotay informed Tom matter of factly. However, I’ve taken denedrexidine. Have you heard of it?”

Tom shook his head. “No matter, the effects are decreased recovery time and increased libido, but they also help me to last longer.” He glanced down Tom’s body noticing with approval that Tom’s erection was already returning.

“I see that you’re recovering”, he smiled. Chakotay idly caressed Tom’s body, enjoying the moans the young man was unable to keep from vocalising at the stimulus. He unchained Tom and ordered him to lie face down on the bed. Tom rolled over, pressing his aching erection deeper into the bed as Chakotay chained him again in this position. “Hmm,” he mused. “I haven’t decided whether you’ll be allowed to come this time, it depends on how well you beg me for it.”

However, this time Chakotay did not allow Tom release, deeming that, although Tom’s begging was satisfactory, his earlier behaviour was such that Chakotay was not minded to “reward” him this time, and that he trusted that Tom “would remember this in the future”. Chakotay had of course never had any intention of allowing Tom completion; this was all part of his plan to break him. Chakotay withdrew from Tom’s body, stretched in post coital satisfaction and then went to sleep next to Tom, leaving him chained in position. Tom’s body clamoured at him, aching and unsatisfied, preventing him from sleeping all night, but he did not dare to rub against the bedclothes in an attempt to find satisfaction, not with Chakotay lying next to him. Tom’s eyes went unwillingly to the wristband, that insidious device controlling his collar. //How the fuck can I resist it?// he wondered despairingly.

The next morning when Chakotay had awakened, he had smiled with pleasure at the sight that awaited him. He informed Tom that he was beautiful first thing in the morning and had observed the swollen state of Tom’s penis with satisfaction. He had then used Tom once again, for his own pleasure only, pulling Tom’s hips towards him, parting his buttocks and entering him abruptly. However, Tom was unable to prevent himself from whimpering in need, even through the agony of Chakotay’s rough possession, inflamed and swollen as he was after so much use. Once Chakotay had climaxed, he climbed off the bed, regarded Tom thoughtfully, noting how he was twisting in the chains, sighed at himself for an indulgent master and allowed Tom to come. Tom had collapsed into the bed, not able to move, even if the chains had not prevented him, reflecting bitterly that it was going to be difficult to maintain any sense of independence, to not surrender to Chakotay completely, when even his own body could be used against him.

Chakotay went to bathe and dress and then exited his quarters leaving Tom chained to the bed

Tom could have held out under outright torture more readily than the insidious feelings of last night. It had only been one night so far, but already he had been humiliated into begging Chakotay several times. But Tom Paris was nothing if not a survivor. He ordered himself to concentrate on his feelings of intense hatred for this Chakotay and think of escape. He might not be able to get back to his Voyager, but he might be able to get back to his own universe, in the Alpha Quadrant. He must not allow himself to believe it was hopeless, but try and learn as much about the Empire as possible, remind himself he was a Starfleet officer, albeit one with a field commission, and that members of Starfleet did not just give up. //Also Tommy-boy,// he told himself, //Just think about how much pleasure you’ll get from killing Chakotay. Shit,// he thought in dismay, //Chakotay, my Chakotay, I wonder what’s happened to him? Pray to the gods that he isn’t here too.//

He reflected on the differences between the two Chakotays. One he admired and respected and, yes, had even lusted after in a distant, no-way-in-hell-that’s-ever-gonna-happen way. Tom reflected wistfully that from the moment he first saw Chakotay he had been attracted to him, but knew that the other despised him, perhaps even hated him. However he thought that he and the Commander had at last been making strides towards a real friendship, even if that was all they ever would be too one another. But *this* Chakotay, the other, he loathed, detested&ldots;and feared. His dreams of making love with Chakotay tasted bitter in his mouth, he had had Chakotay all right, or rather, Chakotay had had him, and it was quite possibly the worst experience of his life.

Oh, perhaps not the worst. His mind flashed back to the accident at Caldik Prime, the day he had been dishonourably discharged from the Fleet, his father’s face, both then and on the day he was sentenced to prison, but last night, last night had been the most painfully humiliating in his life. His fists clenched in the restraints even as he became aware of the myriad cuts, scratches and bruises adorning his form. //Concentrate Tom,// he told himself. //You can’t afford to give in, whatever happens you can’t let this bastard break you, you’re a Starfleet officer and you will escape.// He laughed at the irony, he was pretty far from escape, chained as he was to the Captain’s bed, but he was relieved to find that he was thinking in this way, it meant he was not broken yet. However, he was realistic enough to know that no one (or at least no Human) could hold out forever under this kind of treatment.

//Better escape soon,// he thought to himself grimly, not least because he feared that once he was on Chakotay’s family estates, it would be next to impossible to escape, difficult though it might be in the present circumstances. Miller had informed him that Chakotay owned a large chunk of a planet “acquired” by Chakotay’s ancestors approximately 200 years ago. //OK,// he thought, //Resisting him will get you precisely nowhere, so play along until you can get out of here. Oh gods, let that be soon!// Inwardly, Tom had to admit to himself that he was terrified of what the collar could do too him, but he knew that, his resolve to cooperate notwithstanding, there might be times that he simply could not force himself to play along. He shivered at the remembrance of the pain and then ordered himself to not think about it, to concentrate on escape. The first thing he needed to figure out was how to get the damn collar off!


Captain Chakotay bounded on to the bridge of the Extreme that morning, exuding energy. His First Officer, a human called Commander Seska stood up as he entered, yielding command to him. Chakotay looked at her appreciatively; she was a fine looking woman, he reflected, but she was an even better First Officer and for that reason he had made a decision not to become involved with her, having learned his lesson with Torres. He pondered to himself that, as with all his crew, he knew she was loyal to him, as he had made very sure that he had some hold over every member of his crew. He had not risen to become Captain of a destroyer class starship without taking that little precaution. In Seska’s case she had rather ‘exotic’ tastes in bed-partners even for a member of the Empire, where mating with non-sentient life forms was frowned upon. Chakotay had the evidence safely stored away.

“You look invigorated this morning Captain. I take it this Lieutenant Paris pleased you?” she enquired.

Chakotay smiled, remembering just *how* Paris had pleased him. “You take it correctly,” he affirmed. He discussed with the Commander their course heading and destination, pleased to see that everything was proceeding smoothly. His mouth curved into a self-satisfied smile as he recalled the previous night.

Possessing Paris had proved to be even more satisfying than he had anticipated, he had proven to be very skilled, even better than his counterpart; Chakotay could not remember a bed partner whose mouth had pleased him more. In addition, the sense of satisfaction he felt at possessing Tom was incalculable. Chakotay had long been tormented by dreams of he and Captain Paris together, since Paris had so publicly terminated their relationship. Chakotay had always writhed inwardly when he remembered that humiliation, but *now*, he smiled as he remembered how he had taken Tom last night; for the first time the memory of Paris spurning him no longer held its usual sting. The hatred Tom was not able to conceal added an extra fillip to Chakotay’s pleasure as he forced the young man to beg him to use him. He intended to keep this Paris forever. //Hmm,// he pondered, //I think I’ll call him Thomas, to distinguish him from his counterpart//, even after he was tamed, oh, he was going to enjoy the taming perhaps more than anything, but Chakotay was not a fool. One did not dispose of a lovely and talented bed-partner, even when the pleasure of breaking him was over.

Seska glanced over at Chakotay. “I’d like to meet this new acquisition of yours,” she said.

Chakotay surprised himself at his feeling of possessiveness; he had on occasion rewarded his senior staff by giving them one of his personal attendants for the night, but he had no intention of doing this with Thomas. Thomas was his, and his alone. “And so you shall, Commander,” he replied, “but I’m afraid that I’ll be keeping this one to myself, at least for the time being.”

Seska made a disappointed moue. “Pity,” she said lightly. “Captain Paris does have a certain&ldots; reputation. I was curious to see if it was deserved.”

“Oh it’s deserved all right. Why do you think I’m not lending him out?”

“Hmm, I envy you then,” she said in response.


Miller returned as Tom was falling asleep in the bath; having slept little the night before he was exhausted, and could not stay awake, in spite of the circumstances. The relief he felt just by being out of Chakotay’s presence was immense. Miller informed Tom that he had spoken to the Captain, who had given Miller his orders as far as Tom was concerned. Tom was to be Chakotay’s only attendant, at least at present. Miller bitched at the fact that he had had to redistribute Chakotay’s other slaves on board the ship to other officers, bemoaning that he was bound to get complaints as to why a particular officer had or had not received a particular slave.

Miller took Tom to another room, commenting that he would show Tom the rest of Chakotay’s quarters later. The room was beautifully decorated in colours of green and gold and in the centre there was a massage table. Miller told Tom to get onto it and then proceeded to oil and massage the young man, commenting as he did so that Chakotay expected his attendants to be maintained in good condition. Tom was unable to avoid luxuriating in the massage, feeling his tense muscles relax. Miller said that he would teach Tom how to massage, so that he could please Chakotay.

As he was providing the massage, Miller also detailed the circumstances of Tom’s captivity. He was not to leave Chakotay’s quarters without permission. If he attempted to do so, his collar would prevent him from getting far, as it was set to activate automatically upon exiting the entrance. The collar would kill him if he left the ship without permission. Tom’s heart sank at this news; his vague idea of stealing a shuttle having been scuppered. Miller showed Tom to a small closet where he was to keep a selection of clothing to wear. If Tom did leave Chakotay’s quarters he was to wear a tunic that had been, Miller informed him, replicated for him in the usual livery for Chakotay’s slaves. It was dark blue in colour, with the same gold patterning on Chakotay’s robe of last night. He showed Tom a selection of tunics that Miller had replicated last night for the young man. They were in varying colours and styles, but were all very short.

Tom’s duties included waiting on Chakotay, seeing to his personal toilette, serving him food and, of course, pleasing him. In addition he was to keep the quarters clean and tidy; Miller showed him where the spare bedding was and directed Tom to remove the stained bedding and replace it with fresh. He was to be allowed to use the computer, as the Captain preferred his bed slaves to be well informed, in case Chakotay was in the mood for conversation. He showed Paris Chakotay’s personal gym, which Paris should use to keep himself in shape; his duties included maintaining his personal appearance, and Chakotay would not be pleased if he did not retain his present beauty. What really chilled Tom was that Miller said matter of factly that when Chakotay injured him, he should ask for Miller, who was capable of tending to all but the most serious injuries. Tom knew from Miller’s words that the treatment he had received last night was no isolated occurrence.

Miller ordered Tom to eat, commenting that Chakotay would not be pleased if he became weak. Tom was not hungry, feeling sick to his stomach, but knowing that Miller could, and would, use the collar on him if he didn’t comply, forced himself to eat some of the sumptuous repast that was breakfast, even for slaves, in the Empire.

After Miller had left, Tom sat down in front of one of the computer terminals, in order to find out as much about his present circumstances as he could. The Empire in which he had ended up was enormous, but, Tom thought, unstable. His knowledge of history led him to see many similarities between this Empire and the Roman Empire in its decline. The Empire encompassed most of the Federation, but most races were subsumed into it as servants or slaves, although there were exceptions, such as Vulcans. Tom shuddered at the thought of what the Vulcans of this universe were like. Humans were at the top of the Empire; the Imperial Family was Human. The Empress was unquestionably the most powerful person in the Empire and appeared to be greatly feared. She was quite old, in her nineties and had several children, all of whom were vying to be named her heir. It seemed to be quite acceptable to advance by way of murder, it was seen as a sign of initiative. Tom whistled when he saw that Miller was quite correct; his counterpart was a member of the Imperial Family. He suddenly realised that the Empress was his cousin Magdalene, who he was related to through his mother’s side of the family. In his universe she was a highly moral, but kind person. This Empress was neither. Tom accessed his counterpart’s service record (having decided to look at his first and work his way up to Chakotay’s) and was sickened by what he found. It was customary in the Empire to use other races, other peoples, to take what one wanted with no compunction. Tom’s counterpart seldom used direct force, preferring to persuade by threat of force; he was commended for that, for being less wasteful.

He ascertained that there was a Voyager in this universe, commanded by Kathryn Janeway, who was described as “highly efficient”; by now Tom knew that was a euphemism for ruthless. The ship had disappeared in the Badlands a few years ago, chasing a ship of Cardassian rebels. He checked the crew complement; it was the same as originally carried by his Voyager, minus one Thomas E. Paris. //So,// he mused, //Harry, the Delaneys, Carey, Sam and the other Starfleet crew are on that ship.// He thought of his friends, remembering that Miller had told him that in this universe he and B’Elanna Torres were lovers. Back on Voyager B’Elanna and Harry Kim had recently got married. Tom had been best man, and he had been happy for them both, although wistfully aware that he was attracted to both of them, but by the time he had realised that they had found one another. He had settled for both of them being the best friends he had ever had. //But of course, in this universe,// he thought, //there is no Maquis, or at least no Human Maquis, so B’Elanna, Chakotay and the other Human, or part Human Maquis, would not have been in the Badlands.// He checked the status of the Klingons and discovered that they were, as Miller had said, allies of the Empire. From what Tom could ascertain, the Klingons in this universe had forgotten about honour.

Finally, with some trepidation, he turned to Chakotay’s service record. This Chakotay had been decorated several times by the Empire, for example for ruthlessly putting down an uprising of Trills, by executing all the leaders and the head of each individual family on Trill. He had “persuaded” Ferenginar to increase it’s annual tribute, leaving most Ferengi living in abject poverty and was an effective battle commander, being responsible for wiping out several groups of rebels. When captured, the rebels were routinely executed, although some were held back for torture first. Tom reflected grimly that this appeared to be universal throughout the Empire. When he had finished the records, Tom sat back with a sigh. This Chakotay was even more dangerous than he had thought. Tom was conscious that there was a cold pit of fear congealing in his stomach at the realisation that he was in the man’s power, that Chakotay held a grudge against his counterpart and was determined to make Tom pay. This man would stop at nothing in order to achieve his goal. Tom reinforced his earlier determination that he must attempt to play along, persuade Chakotay that he would co-operate, galling though it was, until he could figure out how to escape. Although Tom was reluctant to admit it, even to himself, he was terrified. He had sublimated his fear into thoughts of escape, but he was all alone, captured by one of the most ruthless Captains of the Empire, who was determined to break him. Starfleet training, and, more importantly, Tom’s own courage and determination, which Tom did not even recognise he had, could only do so much in the circumstances.

He gritted his teeth, and set out to learn all that he could about the ship he was presently on. It was large, with a crew complement of 1,500, plus slaves, numbering about 750. The crew was largely Human, but with a scattering of other races. He discovered that there were several Maquis members on Voyager who were crew on the ship, including Seska and Dalby, as First and Second Officer respectively. Tom wondered whether this Seska was actually Cardassian, but could not think of any way to use this to his advantage, even if she was. Most of the ship’s schematics weren’t available to him, but he ascertained the general layout of the ship, which he memorised in the event he got the chance to escape.

That evening when Chakotay came off shift, Tom was on his knees in the main room, as instructed by Miller, wearing a grey and silver tunic Miller had “suggested” he wear that day. He had already prepared himself for Chakotay’s use, knowing that to do otherwise was to invite extra pain. Chakotay had smiled in pleasure at the sight of Tom and then ordered him to take off the tunic. Tom did so, miserably aware that wearing the tunic he looked exactly like what he was, a pretty plaything, but wishing for some clothing, anything, to hide him at least partially from Chakotay’s gaze.

Chakotay for his part was enjoying seeing the colour stain Tom’s skin, as he was unable to keep from flushing in embarrassment. Chakotay reflected that with all that lovely fair skin, his Thomas coloured up beautifully. It was certainly much easier to make him blush than his counterpart.

“Now serve me dinner,” Chakotay ordered quietly. Tom had noticed that this Chakotay shared this trait in common with Voyager’s Chakotay, he seldom raised his voice. However, rather than this indicating that he was a man who was in control of himself, in this Chakotay’s case the unpleasant edge to his voice which was always present, was threatening.

Tom turned to the replicator; he had already set up the table where Chakotay was to eat at Miller’s direction and Chakotay had sent his menu choice, as was his habit, to the terminal in his quarters. Tom for his part, had already eaten, having been warned by Miller that it was as well to do so before Chakotay came back. Tom served the Captain the plate of bloody meat, of Tyrgan beef, a delicacy, noting that this Chakotay was not a vegetarian, accompanied by vegetables. The Captain washed it down with a glass of vintage red wine. Another difference from Voyager’s counterpart; the Commander seldom drank.

“Come here,” Chakotay ordered as he ate. Tom moved close to Chakotay’s chair, where the older man placed an arm round his waist, running his hand over Tom’s hip, enjoying the feel of the smooth skin under his hand. Chakotay’s hand drifted lower and started to caress Tom’s shaft and balls. Tom shifted uncomfortably, beginning to get hard under Chakotay’s ministrations. Chakotay smiled evilly, well aware of what he was doing to the young man. He finished his meal and pushed his chair away from the table, enjoying the sight of Tom’s flushed countenance, deciding critically that it really did increase his beauty.

“Undress me,” Chakotay ordered, raising one leg as he spoke in order that Tom could remove his boots. Tom knelt in front of him and pulled off both boots. Chakotay stood up to allow Tom to remove the rest of his uniform, Tom noting as he did so that Chakotay was already partially erect. Chakotay strode to the bathroom ordering Tom to follow, and bathe him. Chakotay entered the huge bath, followed by Tom who grabbed the bathing utensils from the side. He washed the Captain thoroughly, careful to keep his movements gentle. Chakotay for his part was continually touching Tom, ensuring that his erection did not flag. Tom gritted his teeth and tried to ignore the insistent hands stroking him. The Captain climbed out of the bath and ordered Tom to dry him off, enjoying once more the sight of the young man kneeling in front of him.

Once dry, he ordered Tom to the bed. This time he did not force Tom to take the aphrodisiac, but Tom, resolve to cooperate until he could escape notwithstanding, could not force himself to respond to Chakotay, he hated him too much to do that. Tom lay there passively, ignoring his insistent erection, not moving or making a sound as Chakotay caressed him.

Chakotay was not pleased at this lack of enthusiasm on the part of his slave and ordered him to respond. When Tom did not immediately do his bidding Chakotay was incensed; he would show the rebellious slave! He pushed Tom to the floor and touched his wristband vindictively, enjoying the scream of agony this produced.

It took Tom over an hour to recover from the jolt the collar gave him, the highest setting he had yet experienced. He was unable to do anything but lie on the floor where he had fallen, feeling the aftershocks running through him, muscles twitching helplessly. When the effects had finally worn off Chakotay quietly explained to him that he was here to please Chakotay; that resistance of whatever kind would not be permitted. He ordered Tom to clean himself up and then come back to bed.

When Tom did so, Chakotay seized his head and kissed him for the first time; no lover’s kiss this, but a kiss designed to enforce his domination over Tom. His tongue explored Tom’s mouth thoroughly, raping the interior. At the same time, his hands were sliding down Tom’s body, reaching and fondling Tom’s shaft and balls. Tom’s virile young body reacted predictably to the stimulus, as Chakotay released his mouth, noting with satisfaction the humiliated tears in Tom’s eyes. This time Tom was no passive partner; he had learnt that lesson too well, moaning under the stimulation Chakotay provided as he used hands, lips and teeth to thoroughly explore Tom’s body.

Tom’s mind was in agony throughout, in some ways this was worse than the night before; then the effects of the aphrodisiac were such that he had had no choice but to react to the stimulation, but this time he was forcing himself to actively cooperate because of the pain he would receive if he didn’t. But the inevitable effect was that Tom genuinely began to want Chakotay to take him, to assuage the growing ache he felt inside. He felt such shame, how could he want this, he hated Chakotay, but he did want him, for this moment at least. When Chakotay ordered Tom to his knees and elbows, preparatory to entering him, he was aware that part of him was eager to obey, craving the feel of Chakotay inside him. When Chakotay thrust into him, he was unable to stop himself from pushing back against the older man, causing Chakotay to laugh at him, gloating at his triumph, knowing that he had made Tom respond to him without being drugged. He seized Tom’s cock, timing his strokes along it with his thrusts, ensuring that they came together, Chakotay falling on top of Tom, who collapsed on the bed.

When his breathing had slowed, Chakotay rolled off Tom, still savouring his triumph. Tom had turned his head away from Chakotay, lest the older man see the tears he had been unable to prevent coming to his eyes. He felt even more violated than the night before; Chakotay had not needed to use drugs this time. Tom called himself names, cursed at himself, how could he have been so weak, forgetting in his agony of self recrimination that Chakotay held every advantage, that he had resisted until the combination of agonising pain and healthy young body had defeated him. Chakotay seized Tom’s face and turned his head to look at him. He smiled at the tears shining in Tom’s eyes, but said nothing other than to order Tom to clean them both up. Tom went to the bathroom, fetched a cloth and wiped down Chakotay first and then himself. Chakotay was by this time already beginning to get hard again; he possessed awesome powers of recovery for a man of his age, even without any drugs. He ordered Tom to pleasure him by using only his mouth, lying back on the bed as Tom did so, the very picture of a magnificent male animal and one that Tom cordially hated. Afterwards, Chakotay settled down for sleep, pulling Tom against him possessively, an arm wrapped around his waist. Chakotay soon fell asleep, but Tom lay there for half the night, not daring to move, feeling deep loathing and hatred, mixed with fear, for the man lying beside him. As the night passed Tom’s natural resilience, which had already enabled him to endure so much pain in his life, re-asserted itself. Perhaps Chakotay could make Tom want him physically, perhaps the man was able to command his body, but not, he was determined, his soul. He would not surrender the most precious part of him to this monster, but would continue to think of escape, recognising instinctively that if he ceased to think of that, he was lost. Eventually, his exhaustion got the better of him, and he slept.


On the Voice of the Prophets, Chakotay was waiting impatiently for news of Paris. He admitted to himself that he was very worried about the young man and had decided that he couldn’t even attempt to leave this universe until he knew whether Tom was also here. He was surprised at the depth of his concern for that smart-ass, annoying, Paris, but told himself that he would have been equally worried about any other crewmember. So far it had been a couple of weeks with no news. He was enjoying his stay on the ship, he found that the crew was very congenial. He hadn’t quite got over his unease around the Cardassian members, although he saw that they were quite different from any Cardassians he’d ever known. He still smiled at the irony that Ro’s First Officer should be Dukat of all people. He’d never met Dukat’s counterpart in his universe, but he was notorious among the Maquis. Although he was not, of course, given access to any classified information, he was allowed to access the ship’s library. He had taken the opportunity to study the history of the Alliance and the Empire. His initial impression that the Alliance was very like the Federation had proved to be correct, but as for the Empire ... It made Chakotay ashamed to be Human.

He had also spent much time discussing with the science department how best to get back to his own universe. The tentative conclusion was that the best way was to re-enter the wormhole, but they had not been able to determine when it would next open, although they were hopeful that the results of their research would be able to predict this with some degree of accuracy.

Chakotay was in the ship’s equivalent of a Starfleet stellar cartography lab when the commbadge he had been given beeped. It was Captain Ro, asking to see him in her office. She smiled at him when he arrived, but her expression was troubled.

“I’ve news of Lieutenant Paris,” she stated without preamble. Chakotay looked at her expectantly. “As we suspected he is here. Unfortunately he’s in the hands of the Empire.”

“So, what happens next? Is he being held as a prisoner or what?”

“Yes, he’s a prisoner. The really bad news is who has him.”

“Who?” Chakotay asked impatiently, noting that a distinct reluctance on Ro’s part.

“Your counterpart.”

Chakotay blinked. “Well, surely that’s not so bad.”

“Isn’t it?” Ro asked sceptically. “Didn’t you read the records we have on your counterpart and Paris?”

“Yes, I realise he’s not exactly a knight in shining armour&ldots;”

Ro looked at him quizzically, not understanding the reference.

“Oh, sorry. I meant not a great person, but surely ... ”

“He has a grudge against the Tom Paris of this universe,” Ro interrupted.

“What kind of grudge?”

“The worst kind. They were lovers, Paris dumped Chakotay, humiliated him in public. Chakotay’s not the type to forgive this.”

Chakotay was silent. He was very disturbed by what he’d heard, not just the grudge, but the reasons for it. He was puzzled just why it should bother him so much that his and Paris’ counterparts had been lovers, but it did. He drew a breath. “So, we can assume that Tom’s not being treated well.”

“We know that that’s the case. Our informant tells us that Chakotay has enslaved Paris.”

“What do you mean by enslaved?” Chakotay asked carefully.

“It’s customary in the Empire to keep slaves as you know.” Chakotay nodded. “They can serve many functions from simple servants to even providing scientific knowledge, but one of their most popular uses is as ... bedmates.”

Chakotay swallowed heavily. “So you’re saying that my counterpart is ... is ... ”

“Using Paris sexually? Yes, there’s no doubt about it. And I think I should warn you that he’s not known for being lenient with his slaves. Your Paris is ... I guess what I’m trying to say is that he’s likely being hurt, a lot.”

Chakotay felt sick. “I have to rescue him.”

“Agreed. But it’s not going to be easy. Security in the Empire is very tight.”

“What about your informant? Can he help?”

“Maybe. But it’s going to take time.”

“I can’t leave Tom there. He may be killed at any minute.”

Ro shook her head. “That’s most unlikely. From what I’ve heard Chakotay enjoys Paris far too much to kill him. No, any damage is more likely to be psychological.”

As Chakotay opened his mouth to protest the seriousness of this, she held up a hand. “I know, that’s bad, very bad, but as long as he’s alive, he can recover. The important thing is to concentrate on the possibility of a successful rescue.”

“All right,” Chakotay reluctantly agreed. “So what do we do now.”

“Get you to Bajor. You should be able to meet our contact there, hopefully agree a plan to rescue Paris.”

However, it was not until a couple of weeks later that the Voice of the Prophets finally reached Bajor, having been diverted to Antares IV to provide some urgently needed medical supplies. Chakotay had chafed at the delay, but could hardly protest, not when there was a plague there, which might kill millions. Chakotay had asked if he might take a shuttle to Bajor, but Ro refused, saying that she would prefer if he visited Bajor with her. When Chakotay finally beamed down to Bajor, in the company of Ro Laren, he looked round appreciatively. He had visited Bajor in his own universe, but this version was what Bajor might have been like if the Cardassians hadn’t invaded. It was breathtaking. They materialised onto a plateau with a view of some gardens, which were, Ro informed him famed throughout the Alpha Quadrant. In the foreground was a city, but the architecture had been designed to blend in harmoniously with the surrounding vegetation. Bajor’s history and reputation as a most artistic race was amply borne out by the view awaiting him.

Behind them was the Alliance Fleet Headquarters, where they were to meet Ro’s contact. They moved swiftly to the designated meeting room, Chakotay noting en route that here too the décor was beautiful. Left to themselves it was apparent that the Bajorans were concerned that anything they made should be both functional and pleasing to the eye. As they entered the meeting room, the contact swung round. It was Seska! Chakotay blinked but managed to not show his amazement in any other fashion, he had realised that the people in this universe might be very different from their counterparts. He noted that she looked fully Human, but wondered whether she was actually Cardassian. That would make sense, given what he knew of her in his universe.

She smiled at him warmly. “I have to say that the resemblance is startling, although I think&ldots; yes, the tattoo’s different, and so is the personality from what Laren tells me,” she said after they had been introduced. “Do you know my counterpart in your universe?”

“Yes. Yes I did,” was all he said.

“And?” she was looking at him expectantly.

“Well, she’s dead now.”

“Oh. Well, perhaps we can talk about that later,” she said, clearly taken aback, but all business none the less. “I haven’t got much time at the moment. I’m the First Officer on Chakotay’s, er, your counterpart’s ship.”

At Chakotay’s raised eyebrows, she explained: “I’m not actually Human, I’m a Cardassian surgically altered to look Human.”

“That I’d guessed.”

“Oh. Oh of course, my counterpart.”

Chakotay nodded.

“As you may have gathered I’m undercover, I provide information to the Alliance and Cardassia. That’s how we were able to tell you that Chakotay has your Paris.”

“How is he?” Chakotay asked eagerly.

Seska sighed. “I haven’t actually seen him. Chakotay is being very possessive, but I’ve talked to Lieutenant Miller, who looks after Chakotay’s slaves. Physically, Chakotay has been careful not to damage him too much. Mentally ... ” her voice trailed off.

“I know, Ro filled me in.”

She nodded. “I’ll do what I can to help you rescue him, but I understand you’ve been told that there’s a timing problem.”

Chakotay grimaced in agreement. A couple of days ago he had been briefed by Ro, Dukat and her chief science officer, Commander Rece Haron, that by far the best chance of him returning to his own universe was by the wormhole, which opened erratically. Any other method stood a 70% chance of actually depositing him in yet another universe. They were not able to predict exactly when the wormhole would next open, but had got the timing down to a few days for error. The trouble was the wormhole wasn’t due to open for several weeks yet.

“I know about the wormhole, but couldn’t we rescue Tom anyway.”

“The trouble is that the only way I can think of to rescue him will blow my cover irrevocably, and I need to remain there for a while yet. There’s some information we need which I’m best placed to collect. I understand your concern,” she said earnestly, and I promise you that if I think he’s about to suffer serious physical injury or death I’ll move then anyway, but in the meantime, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.”

Chakotay frowned. He understood her reasons, but didn’t like them.

“In the meantime you’re most welcome to stay here,” Ro said. “My ship is going on a mission that is likely to take some time, so it’s not a good idea if you come with us.”

“Thank you,” Chakotay said as graciously as he could manage in the circumstances. “Where will I stay, here at headquarters?”

“No, I thought one of our monasteries would be better,” Ro said. “I’ll introduce you to a friend of mine, I know she’ll take good care of you.”

“I must leave now, before I’m missed. I’m supposed to be at a conference” Seska explained. “I’ll be in touch, nearer the time, I promise you.”

After she left, Ro looked at him shrewdly. “You don’t trust her.”

“No. No, it’s not that. I appreciate she’s a different person than her counterpart,” he said, savouring the irony that in this universe it might be Seska of all people who would help him and Paris.

“I don’t know what she was like in your universe but in this one she’s one of my best friends and one of the bravest people I’ve ever met. She won’t let you down, I assure you. Now, how about I introduce you to my friend before I have to go.”

Chakotay smiled at her. “I’d like that.”

Half an hour later, Chakotay was looking appreciatively at his surroundings in one of the most famous monasteries on Bajor, called Darkheen. He saw Ro approaching with another woman; she had asked him to wait while she collected her friend. As they grew nearer, he thought he recognised the woman dressed in Vedek’s robes, was it? Yes it was, Kira Nerys! Chakotay had met her counterpart once or twice back in his Maquis days, although she had no idea he was Maquis. //Major Kira’s counterpart is a Vedek!// he thought incredulously, knowing her formidable reputation. //Oh well, stranger things have happened.//

Kira smiled at him warmly and bade him welcome. He smiled back, thinking not for the first time what a lovely woman she was. She told him he was welcome to stay for as long as he liked, asked him to call her Nerys, and said that she would love to discuss the differences between the two universes with him, if he was willing. He confirmed that he was and she offered to show him round. Ro explained that she must be leaving and unexpectedly hugged him.

“I wish all the Humans of our universe were like you. It’s been a real pleasure meeting you.” She saluted as she was beamed to her ship. Kira took his arm, and led him away for the tour. Chakotay thought to himself that if he wasn’t so worried about Tom he would really have enjoyed his stay in this universe.


While Chakotay was getting to know the crew of the Voice of the Prophets and the people of the Darkheen monastery on Bajor, in the meantime his counterpart was enjoying himself training Tom. The Captain reflected that Thomas was quite possibly the most stubborn young man he’d ever encountered, certainly he had taken longer to tame than any other slave Chakotay had ever had. Initially Chakotay had thought that Tom would break relatively quickly. The older man regarded Tom’s counterpart as a spoiled brat who was badly in need of discipline, and was of the opinion that he would crumble under it. As a consequence he had been surprised at the amount of resistance Tom had shown.

For example, Chakotay mused to himself, it had taken Tom an inordinately long time to learn not to speak unless given permission, or in response to Chakotay’s words. True to what Miller had said, Chakotay did expect Tom to converse with him, but *only* when given permission, at all other times Tom was not to speak unless spoken to. Chakotay was aware that this was a particular torment for Tom, knowing from his previous contact with Tom’s counterpart how difficult he found it to be silent. Tom had received so doses of pain from the collar, combined with, as the mood took Chakotay, beatings or whippings, before he learned to be silent, that Chakotay had lost count. Tom was conditioned so that it became second nature to him *not* to speak except on command. Chakotay glanced over at Tom, kneeling silently by Chakotay’s desk as the captain attended to his administrative duties. He smiled, taking pleasure in the sight, enjoying the man’s beauty and reached out to caress Tom’s face, ruffling his hair, which was longer than it had been, curling round itself.

Chakotay stretched lazily and smiled at Tom. “I’ve got a surprise for you,” he said. Tom was unable to prevent himself from tensing up; Chakotay’s “surprises” could be extremely unpleasant. “Go to my dressing room, and bring back the box on the side,” he ordered. Tom got silently to his feet and moved as directed, Chakotay’s eyes following him admiringly. He returned with a small box, which he handed to Chakotay after kneeling at his feet. Chakotay opened the box and held up a pair of Rigalian ruby earrings. They were exquisite and highly prized, being exceptionally rare. He pulled Tom towards him, removed a gold earring Tom wore in one ear and inserted the rubies. Chakotay smiled in approval, bent down and kissed Tom thoroughly. “You look beautiful,” he said, “come see.”

Tom followed Chakotay obediently to the dressing room and stood in front of the full-length mirror. He fought to prevent tears from appearing in his eyes at his appearance; this was not the Chief Pilot of Voyager, a senior officer, a member of Starfleet, this man was a slave, scented, oiled, dressed in a revealing tunic of dark green silk, having had just been adorned by his master. Chakotay loomed behind him, his dark handsome looks a contrast to Tom’s fairness. Chakotay placed his arms around Tom and pulled him back against his chest. He sucked at Tom’s neck, above the collar and then pulled away to admire the mark he’d left on the young man’s fair skin.

“Do you know how much you excite me?” Chakotay whispered, watching as his hands went to the ties of Tom’s tunic, loosening it until it slid from his body to land at his feet. Tom, as always, was naked under the tunic. Chakotay slid his hands down Tom’s body slowly, enjoying the contrast between his brown skin and Tom’s much lighter complexion. He caressed Tom’s pink nipples, fingers tangling in the golden chest hair, till Tom arched back against him, unable to prevent his conditioned response to Chakotay’s caresses. Chakotay continued to watch in the mirror through half hooded eyes, before spinning the young man round and kissing him demandingly. He loved this, adorning Tom with new jewellery or clothes, the latter of which inevitably Chakotay would quickly remove. He had replicated many tunics for Tom to wear, sometimes directing him which one he should wear on a particular day, sometimes leaving the choice to Tom. Chakotay noted with amusement that if he left the choice to Tom, the younger man invariably chose the most modest attire he could find, but modest in this case was a relative term; all the tunics were very skimpy. Chakotay scolded Tom that he really should dress more to show off his looks.

Chakotay himself often wore jewellery when off duty, nothing gaudy, but pieces that emphasised his darkly handsome masculinity. By contrast, the pieces of jewellery Tom was given were delicate in design, Chakotay finding the contrast between Tom’s wiry physique and the adornments to be very exciting. Chakotay had pierced Tom’s ears himself, enjoying the intimacy of the moment, inserting two large sapphires, which he told Tom were, “not as bright as your eyes,” into the lobes. Another particular favourite of Chakotay’s was a delicate gold ankle chain, which he ordered Tom never to remove.

Chakotay pulled the young man to the bedroom, having decided that tonight he would use the chains. He recalled that he had swiftly taught Tom that Chakotay’s pleasure was paramount, that Tom’s mattered not at all. Chakotay remembered all the times Tom’s counterpart had subtly enforced the fact that he was the dominant partner in their relationship, taking advantage of his status as a member of the Imperial Family. This had been an unaccustomed state of affairs for Chakotay who was normally dominant in any relationship he had, including with those who were his equals. He reflected that he really should not have put up with the situation for so long, not admitting, even to himself, that he had done so because he did not want Paris to leave him. But now that he had Paris’ counterpart in his power he was going to make certain that he would redress the balance. And he was enjoying every minute of it.

Chakotay had particularly loved training Tom how to pleasure Chakotay sexually. Again, he thought, Tom had been inordinately stubborn, but the collar had prevailed in the end. Tom was taught what Chakotay most enjoyed and also that certain types of response from Tom were not acceptable, that there were certain acts and responses which Tom was not to be permitted, because Chakotay did not wish it. If Tom forgot himself, his reward was excruciating pain.

 As a consequence, Tom became incapable of carrying out those acts, or responding in any way which Chakotay did not desire. But a smile curved Chakotay’s mouth as he recalled the skill that Tom exhibited when he was ordered to pleasure Chakotay, or when Chakotay was using him. Chakotay had told him often that he was a natural whore, a slut, that he was exactly where he was most suited to be, at Chakotay’s feet, enjoying the fact that this counterpart of the aristocratic, arrogant, Tom Paris was his, performing for Chakotay on command. He quickly chained Tom into position on the bed, and bent to enjoy the young man, tonight Tom was going to beg!


Tom’s life on board the Extreme was, quite simply, hell. Chakotay’s moods were mercurial; beneath the surface calmness that he had in common with his counterpart, Tom could never be sure just how this Chakotay would react, when he would decide that Tom had not been sufficiently pleasing and punish him, or sometimes inflict pain or humiliation on Tom just because he could. Initially Tom could not help but compare the two Chakotays, marvelling at the differences between them. Captain Chakotay also used meditation as a way of getting in touch with his spirit guide, but the effects of the meditation were actually to increase Chakotay’s aggression. Chakotay explained matter of factly that the purpose of meditation was to increase strength. Tom compared this Chakotay’s fierce aggression, cloaked beneath a surface calm and the Commander’s real serenity. Tom knew that he was one of the few people who could make Commander Chakotay genuinely angry, normally the man was in control at all times. This Chakotay appeared to be in control, but lost that appearance all too readily, on the slightest provocation.

Tom was afraid the whole time; living with fear became second nature to him. He had almost surrendered completely to Chakotay, his initial resistance having been eroded by the continual pain Chakotay inflicted, using the collar, or beating Tom, sometimes whipping him, or raping him and humiliating him. Tom was an extremely stubborn young man, with a great deal of courage, which he did not recognise he had, but he was only Human, he could be broken and he was perilously near that point. He now obeyed Chakotay immediately, because he was too afraid not too. But he never ceased to dream of escape, to learn all that he could about the Empire in the hope of freedom. Tom clung to this thought, while he still thought of freedom he had not been completely conquered.

Sometimes, however, when Tom was at his most despairing, he would dizzily begin to think that maybe Chakotay was right, that his proper place in life was as Chakotay’s slave. But then he would remind himself that he had had another life where he was a respected and valued senior officer on Voyager and the best damn pilot there was! However Chakotay’s constant comments had an inevitable effect on Tom. His self-esteem had never been particularly strong to begin with and the only person he saw on a regular basis, who constantly told him that he was most suited to be a plaything, was Chakotay. At times it was difficult for Tom not to believe Chakotay was right, in his heart he could never quite see why anyone would want to be his friend, to spend time with him, worthless coward as he was. But, no matter what Chakotay did to him, he never forgot his piloting skills, Tom clung to that thought with grim determination; this was one area where he knew he had value no matter what Chakotay said. But there were times when his former life appeared fuzzy and unreal to him, he was very afraid at those times, forcing himself to remember Voyager, the people whom he considered to be his friends there and freedom. He would also reflect on his life to date, and took a kind of perverse pleasure in remembering his troubled relationship with his father. At least this proved he had had a life before becoming Chakotay’s captive.


Kira came up to Chakotay one evening when he was sitting in the gardens, looking up at the stars wistfully. He smiled at her, happy to see her. She had proven to be an exemplary host, concerned that he was not bored, introducing him to other denizens of the monastery, some permanent, others visiting like himself. Many of the people there were scientists, artists or scholars. Entertaining company was never hard to find, although his constant worry about Paris was always at the back of his mind. He was also missing Voyager, particularly Kathryn, whom he now accounted one of his closest friends and B’Elanna. He was even missing Tuvok. However, he had resolved to make the most of his stay in this universe, to learn as much as he could, explorer at heart that he was. He was amused to note that the Vedek possessed quite a temper, having seen her lay into someone who she considered had been cruel to another. She had caught sight of his amused face and asked him, rather testily, what was so funny.

“Oh, nothing. Just that you remind me of your counterpart.”

She made a face. “I still find it difficult to accept that she’s a terrorist.”

“Freedom fighter,” Chakotay corrected. “And last I heard she was second in command on DS9.”

“But still in the military. Here I was thinking my calling’s so strong, that whatever else I am, I’d always be a Vedek.”

“Who knows. But here, from what I can see, you’re a wonderful Vedek.”

She smiled. “Thank you. I think I’m blushing!”

On the whole the peaceful atmosphere should have been conducive to meditation, but unfortunately, Chakotay’s spirit guide was not co-operating, his meditations were invariably unsuccessful, his mind being consumed by worry for Tom. Kira sat by him, joining him in looking at the stars for a while, before saying: “Still not able to relax?”

He nodded. Chakotay and Kira had enjoyed their discussions on their respective religions, finding that they had much in common. Kira especially had been fascinated by the concept of the spirit guide, finding echoes of the Prophets there. “I was wondering ... ” she began.

“Ye-es,” he grinned at her.

“I’ve told you about the Eye of the Prophets, well, would you like to have a look into it, see if the Prophets can help you with what’s been troubling you.”

“I’d be honoured,” he gasped. “But isn’t it reserved for Bajorans only, followers of the Prophets?”

She gave him a surprised look. “Of course not, the Prophets will help anyone in need. The Eye has been used for thousands of years, when we made contact with other races, we extended it to them.”

“From what I’ve heard, the Eye was lost by Bajor for a while in my universe, maybe that’s why it’s different there.”

“Maybe,” agreed Kira, clearly disapproving of the concept that the Eye wasn’t available to anyone, of whatever race, in need. She stood up and took his hand. “Come with me.”

In her office, Chakotay paused to admire the casing which held the Eye of the Prophets. “Isn’t it usually held in the main hall?” he asked.

“Yes, unless it’s being used. I hoped you would want to look into it, so I brought it here. I’ll leave you alone now. Take as long as you want.”

“Wait! What do I do.”

“Just open it and look,” she replied.

Chakotay settled himself into a seat, the Eye opposite him and opened the casing. The bright light of the Eye hit him, but even as he squinted, there was a flash. Suddenly he was seeing Tom Paris for the first time, spying the beautiful young man across the room. He recalled how his groin had tightened at the sight of him, before his companion had pointed out that that was their contact, Paris. The desire had changed to contempt, for the liar, the screw up, the Admiral’s son who had had everything, but thrown it all away.

Flash, there were he and Paris yelling at one another, Paris protesting that the ship they were giving him to fly wasn’t spaceworthy, him ordering Paris to fly it anyway, if he wanted to be a Maquis.

Flash, there he was again, when first transported to Voyager, squaring up to fight Paris, before Janeway had intervened.

Flash, there was Paris risking his life to rescue him on the Ocampa homeworld. Flash, there he was watching Paris playing pool, uniform stretching over his ass as he leaned over to take a shot.

Flash, there Paris was again, provoking him, mouthing off at him, all in an attempt to make everyone believe he wanted to leave Voyager.

Flash, there they both were, laughing over a joke the young man had made.

Flash, there was Tom, naked, kissing him, making love to him.

Flash, there he was holding Tom, naked in his arms, watching him sleep.

Flash; he was back in Kira’s office again.

Chakotay sat there, stunned. Was *that* what it was, all that hostility towards Paris. //Admit it,// he told himself. //You want him, you always have, from the first time you saw him. So, I want him, so what. It’s not like I’m ever going to have him, not the way our relationship is now. That must be why I’m so disturbed that it’s my counterpart that has him.// Chakotay sighed, OK now he knew why he was so worried. Then he remembered the last image, the one where he was holding Tom, as he slept. That image had nothing to do with lust, but everything to do with ... love? Chakotay slumped back into the seat, realising at last that he loved Tom Paris, not just lusted after him. That was why the hostility, because he didn’t want to admit it even to himself that he was in love with a man who had seemed to be without morals, without ideals, a coward. //But that’s not true,// he told himself, //it took guts to own up after Caldik Prime. His courage can’t be faulted,// he thought remembering all the times Tom had put himself on the line for his ship mates, even in the early days when he had been almost universally despised. //And he does have morals, he just doesn’t like to admit it. He’s actually a fine person, deny it though he might.// But even when most of the rest of the crew had long since come round, Chakotay had held onto his feelings of distrust, as a shield he now realised, because he hadn’t thought, after all that had happened between them, that Tom would ever want him too.

He sighed heavily. //OK, now I know. Now I have to concentrate on rescuing him, that’s the important thing. Spirits,// he thought in dismay, //rescue him from being abused by my counterpart. Now he’ll never ... never want me.// He buried his head in his hands as the full irony of the situation struck him.


As the weeks of his captivity lengthened, Tom grew more and more worried about his ability to hold out against Chakotay, to not surrender to him completely by ceasing to think of escape. His situation was not helped by the fact that he was not allowed to leave Chakotay’s quarters. The only person he saw other than Chakotay was Miller and that was only when he came to fix Tom’s injuries when Chakotay hurt him physically. His isolation was quite deliberate on Chakotay’s part, as a method of making Tom even more dependent on him. The crew were forbidden to enter Chakotay’s quarters without permission. On the rare occasions when the Captain did invite a member of the crew back to his quarters, Tom was confined to another room, usually the bedroom, where Chakotay would chain him naked to the bed, invariably coming to him once the crew member had left and using him vigorously.

Paradoxically, however, Tom did not find it most difficult to resist when Chakotay was at his most brutal. Tom shuddered remembering a time when Chakotay had come into his quarters in a foul mood. Tom had been kneeling there, waiting for him, as usual. Chakotay had said nothing but seized Tom by the arm, dragged him to his feet, torn off his tunic and chained him standing upright to the wall, arms above his head. He had stripped off his own uniform and then whipped Tom until the blood had run freely down his back, Tom biting his lip till it bled to avoid crying out, but his silence had only spurred Chakotay to greater brutality until Tom had been unable to restrain his screams. Once Tom had voiced his pain, Chakotay had kicked Tom’s legs apart and fucked the young man violently as he hung in the chains, grinding his torso into the blood on Tom’s back, increasing Tom’s agony. When Chakotay had finished he left Tom hanging there for a while, enjoying the sight, excited by the blood on Tom’s back and also leaking from his anus, together with Tom’s groans that he was unable to keep from vocalising.

But when Chakotay had eventually let Tom free he had tended to the younger man’s wounds himself, rather than calling Miller, tenderly bathing Tom and using the regenerator to heal his injuries, concerned that Tom should not be permanently marked, that nothing should mar his beauty. Later, Tom had learned from accessing the publicly available ships logs, that that day Chakotay had had contact with Captain Paris’ ship and had spoken to his counterpart. He had then taken out his ill humour on Tom.

Chakotay would sometimes order Tom to beg Chakotay to fuck him. Although Tom had initially refused, the collar had soon taught him otherwise, and now he obeyed immediately. But the only times that Tom begged Chakotay to take him without being ordered to do so were when Chakotay forced him to ingest the aphrodisiac. Then, Tom could not help himself; it was impossible to resist the aphrodisiac’s insidious effects.

The Captain particularly enjoyed himself at these times, this was even more satisfying than raping Tom, or chaining him, or whipping him. This was when Tom felt most degraded and Chakotay knew it. He would laugh at Tom mockingly, calling him a slut, telling him he was born to the collar, before he would accede to Tom’s pleading, or not, as the mood took him. However Chakotay himself was usually too excited by Tom’s humiliation to resist taking the young man. He also taught Tom that if he wanted to come then he must please Chakotay completely. Tom became very inventive at these times, desperate for release as he was. But fortunately for Tom the older man simply could not use the aphrodisiac too much on him, because frequent use could damage the user irrevocably, and Chakotay was very careful that this did not happen to him. Chakotay tended to save the aphrodisiac for “special occasions”. But Tom hated these times the most, he preferred the pain of being raped with no preparation, or being chained and whipped, to the effects of the aphrodisiac.

But the absolutely worst time had been when, about ten weeks into Tom’s captivity, the Extreme had captured a rebel ship. The unfortunate Cardassians and scattering of other races who crewed the vessel had not been able to self destruct the ship before it was boarded and many of them had been captured alive. Following this victory, Chakotay had entered his quarters in a jubilant mood, telling Tom that he had a surprise for him. A few moments later Miller had pushed a beautiful female Trill, who was very young, only just out of her teens, into the room. She had been arrayed as Chakotay liked in a skimpy semi-transparent tunic. She was obviously terrified. The Captain had gloated at her fear and pulled her towards Tom, telling him to fuck her while he watched, but to pull out before he came, warning him that he didn’t want his slave to expend himself on her. Tom was unable to become aroused in the face of her terror, causing Chakotay to threaten Tom with punishment with the collar if he didn’t comply. Tom stroked himself to hardness and approached the cowering woman. He tried to be as gentle with her as possible, which didn’t please Chakotay, who pushed Tom impatiently aside and raped her.

All that night he forced Tom and the young woman, whose name Tom never knew, to pleasure him and also each other, but with their hands and mouths only, Tom was not permitted to enter her again, while the older man watched or joined in as the mood took him.

When morning came, he casually slit the woman’s throat in front of a disbelieving Tom, who was unable to prevent it, chained as he was to the bed. Chakotay had then stretched casually, and left to clean himself up, telling Tom that he would get Miller to “clean up the mess,” and tend to Tom’s injuries, as Chakotay admitted that he, “had got a tad carried away again, but it’s really your fault, you inspire me,” as he left his quarters. Tom looked at the body of the young woman sprawled in death on the floor, looked at the wreckage of what had been a living, breathing intelligent being, whose life Chakotay had snuffed out without a second thought, and buried his face in the pillows on the bed, his whole body shaking with a mixture of grief, anger and fear.

However, what Tom feared more than the times Chakotay was at his most brutal, or sadistic, humiliating Tom, was when Chakotay was tender with him, arousing Tom slowly and entering him gently, concerned that Tom should experience pleasure as well as himself. After these sessions, Chakotay would frequently hold him, stroking his pale skin, telling him how beautiful he was, how Chakotay would always take care of him, discussing his hopes and dreams for the future, telling Tom about himself.

Tom learned that the Captain had had a “difficult” relationship with his father, and felt a shock of unwilling empathy as a result. However, although Tom and his father had had their problems and the memories were still sharp, even now in captivity, Chakotay had actually been abused by his father. Chakotay didn’t put it like that, seemed to think the way he had been treated was normal (and maybe in this universe it was, Tom wondered), but by Tom’s standards, the regular beatings and other punishments Chakotay had received if he was not first in all of his classes counted as abuse. Chakotay, however was approving of his father’s behaviour, because he was of the opinion that he would not have risen to his present position, nor increased his family’s wealth and estates, without that discipline. He was incapable of considering that it was possible to succeed through self-discipline and gentle encouragement. Tom asked if his father had loved him, to which Chakotay had sneered in response, love? “It doesn’t exist”, he told Tom, but he knew that his father was proud of him, *that* was what counted, the increase in his family’s fortunes that Chakotay had achieved was what mattered. Tom discerned that this Chakotay, in common with his counterpart, had a strong sense of family, he considered himself as the head of his family, in which he included all those on his vast estates.

At other times Chakotay would reminisce fondly about his first slaves. He had been brought up primarily by the household slaves, both of his parents pursuing their own pleasures. The family back then had not been particularly rich, but Tom discovered that this was a relative term. Certainly Chakotay had grown up with tremendous power over the household servants, who lived in fear of displeasing him once he reached the age of 14, which was accounted a sufficient age for being able to personally own slaves. However, he had also been taught to be thrifty, and did not usually dispose of slaves for no reason. Tom was silent at this, thinking of the female prisoner whom Chakotay had so casually murdered, but Chakotay explained that as a rebel she was under sentence of death in any event. He had not had her executed immediately because she was beautiful and he had been, “in the mood to play”. The casual callousness of that statement filled Tom with horror.

After Chakotay had made this brutal statement however he had rolled over in the bed from where he had been lying on his back, idly caressing Tom’s body with his hand. He took Tom in his arms.

“You don’t need to fear that I would ever do that to you, you know,” he said, almost ... tenderly. “I have no intention of ever letting you go, you please me far too much. In fact,” he mused, “you please me more than any slave I have ever had.” He ran his hand wonderingly down Tom’s face and whispered “You’re so beautiful,” seizing the young man’s head in his hands and kissing him gently. “No,” he continued “I’m never letting you go. When we get back to my estates, you’ll accompany me on the hunt; you’ll like that won’t you. I know that you’re cooped up here, I can’t help that, but when we’re there, the hunting is superb. You’ll attend me, you’ll love the countryside and the fresh air.” Chakotay enthused on, while Tom, with a sick feeling in his gut, was wondering exactly what it was that Chakotay hunted, please god, nothing intelligent.

The hell of it was that Chakotay was right, he *was* incredibly bored, even with the ever present undercurrent of fear which he lived with, he lacked stimulus. Tom’s greatest fear continued to be that one day he would come to accept his captivity; he sometimes had trouble really remembering what it was like to be free, to be something other than Chakotay’s plaything. But then he would glance at the stars, visible through the large view screens in Chakotay’s quarters. No, he would never accept captivity, not when he so longed to fly.

Tom was most afraid at these times because Chakotay actually succeeded in making him feel almost&ldots; loved, treating him like a lover, rather than a possession or a conquest. It was also at these times that the boundaries Tom maintained in his mind between this Chakotay and Voyager’s Chakotay were at their most blurred. He sometimes wondered whether his former life had been a dream, whether this had always been the reality. Fortunately for Tom’s peace of mind, however, Chakotay was never consistent, and following a bout of tenderness, he could then be outright brutal, whipping or beating Tom, or sadistic, forcing Tom to take the aphrodisiac and then laughing at Tom’s degradation. Tom wondered whether Chakotay felt that showing the slightest sign of tenderness was a weakness that should be avoided, whether he was determined to exorcise it by tormenting Tom, or whether this was all part of Chakotay’s strategy, to deliberately keep Tom off balance.


On Bajor, Chakotay was waiting impatiently for news from Seska. Now that he finally realised the truth of his feelings for the young pilot his longing to rescue him had, if anything, intensified. He was not sleeping well, dreams of making love with Tom interspersed with nightmares of Tom screaming, injured and in pain, as a man wearing his own face tortured the young man. Kira had observed the symptoms of sleeplessness with concern, noting the dark circles under his eyes. At first she said nothing, but as they were walking together in the gardens one day she tackled him about it.

“I haven’t asked you what you saw, when you looked into the Eye,” she began. “That’s your business alone, but, I am concerned that it doesn’t seem to have helped you. If anything you’re less relaxed than when you arrived.” She held up a hand to still his protest. “I know you’re worried about your ship mate, but this goes beyond that.”

He shook his head. “Actually, it doesn’t. When I looked into the Eye, I realised something. I’m in love with him.”

“Who? Tom Paris.”

“Uh huh. It’s&ldots; difficult, knowing that he’s being held, being hurt by my counterpart. I ... ” he sighed. “I’m having nightmares about it.”

Kira looked at him with compassion. “I’m sorry. That must be hard to deal with.” She placed her hand on his arm. “If you like I’ll see if I can get a message to Seska, see if you can rescue him now.”

“Seska sent me a message last week. Short of the Alliance declaring war, at present she can get me on board, but not off it again, and I can’t do it alone. I know that she’d like to help now, but she says when she does she’s not going to be able to go back and that she needs to find out this information first.”

“What information?”

“I don’t know. It’s classified. But I believe her that she’d like to help now but can’t.” He laughed ruefully. “It’s funny, I used to think I was so in control. I’d meditate the hostile feelings, the anxiety away. But where Tom’s concerned I can’t seem to do that, can’t even subdue my anxiety enough to allow me to function properly.”

“Have you ever thought that might be one reason you love him? The fact that you are out of control where he’s concerned.”

Chakotay looked startled. “Hmm, no I hadn’t. I’ll have to think about that. I do know that at times he irritates the hell out of me. Maybe there’s something in what you say.”

She smiled at him. “Let me tell you about a man I loved. Rennis Berel. We used to argue all the time, but Prophets, the making up was fun! I never felt so alive as when I was with him&ldots;” She trailed off, a reflective smile on her face.

“What happened?” Chakotay asked.

“He died, several years ago, shortly after I became a Vedek. He was saving a bunch of idiotic tourists who were where they shouldn’t be, too near a star gone nova. That was so typical of him.”

“Sounds like Tom.”

“Really. Then I envy you.”

“You shouldn’t. I don’t expect that he’ll ever love me. Not now. Not after what’s happened.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. Try not to give up hope. I have faith that you’ll rescue him and then who knows.”

As they walked, Chakotay caught sight of a familiar face, as the man hurried past, eyes on the ground. “Who was that?”

“A refugee. Name’s Lon Suder.”

“Suder!” Chakotay echoed, startled.

“You know him? His counterpart?”

“Yes.” He hesitated. “I think I should tell you that his counterpart was a killer, wasn’t able to help himself.”

“I’ll keep an eye on him, but I doubt that poor man will kill anyone. He’s Betazoid you see.”

At Chakotay’s uncomprehending look, she explained that the Empire considered Betazoids to be a threat because of their telepathic abilities, and had ordered that all Betazoids be killed on sight. However, Human/Betazoid hybrids were highly prized, because their empathy could be used, twisted to control others without actually being able to read minds. The Empire was involved in a eugenics programme to breed Human/Betazoid hybrids. Chakotay listened to this silently, dismayed at yet more evidence of the Empire’s infamy.


As time passed, Captain Chakotay found that his feelings for his slave changed. He ceased to think of Tom in comparison with his counterpart and focussed more and more on Tom alone. In the back of his mind Chakotay knew that he was becoming obsessed with his latest acquisition (not realising that he had transferred his obsession with Captain Paris to Tom, but in so doing it had, if anything, intensified). He had never spent so much time thinking about one of his slaves, or indeed any bed partner he’d ever had, including Tom’s counterpart.

While on the bridge, when not busy, he would find himself dwelling on Tom, savouring the thought of what he was going to do to him when he came off shift. He would fantasise about licking the lovely pale skin, driving Tom into screaming surrender, possessing him. But it was not just Tom’s body that Chakotay enjoyed; he liked talking to Tom, finding him to be intelligent, erudite and well informed. Chakotay was particularly impressed with Tom’s knowledge of history, although of course the Empire’s was very different from that of the Federation. Chakotay had remembered sourly Captain Paris’ tendency to sarcasm, which had frequently been turned on him. He had made sure that he trained Tom out of that habit very quickly, he mused, the boy had as a consequence become someone who he really found to be a pleasure to talk to. Chakotay much enjoyed their discussions, having giving Tom permission to vocalise freely, being genuinely interested in his opinions.

Tom also actually found some satisfaction in their discussions, because while they lasted he had some surcease from the hell that was usually his life. He could pretend that he was discussing these issues with Voyager’s Chakotay, rather than his master, although he never forgot himself so completely as to give free rein to what had been his normal casual style; he could not joke with this Chakotay and did not dare to offer up any comment that could be interpreted as disrespectful. In the early days of his captivity he had sometimes been unable to restrain himself from making a sarcastic comment. But this, more than anything else Tom did, seemed to infuriate Chakotay, and had earned him the most vicious punishment, so much so that Tom was unable to avoid shuddering at the memory. He was now no longer even tempted to make a smart remark; the fear of punishment was too great. Tom also realised that the conversations were a good way of making sure that his mind remained active and would even argue a political point with Chakotay, when the Captain indicated that he should do so. But then the Captain would say something jarring that Tom knew his Chakotay would never say. Perhaps about how using force was always the right solution, or scoffing at the idea of being willing to sacrifice himself for the common good, and Tom would be thrown right back into the living nightmare that was his life.

Chakotay was becoming worried about this obsession; he knew that it was not healthy, but it had not affected his performance as Captain to date, and even if it did, he doubted he would be able to do the sensible thing and dispose of Tom. //Of course what I should do if I lose my edge as Captain,// he mused to himself, //is sell Thomas//; he would no doubt bring a high price, there would be collectors who would be willing to pay for Tom because of his beauty, intelligence and undoubted talent as a bed partner, but in addition there would be those who would relish the undoubted fillip of his resemblance to Captain Paris. He would bring a high price indeed, but Chakotay knew that he would never sell him; no one would ever possess Tom but him. He would kill him before he would sell him.

Chakotay had insisted from the beginning that Tom slept with him every night, sometimes chained to the bed, as Chakotay’s mood took him, by a wrist or an ankle, but always held in Chakotay’s arms. Chakotay loved to wake up to the feel of holding Tom and would sometimes watch Tom while he slept, marvelling at his beauty, at how young and innocent he looked. Chakotay would often curse at himself for a self-indulgent fool, mooning over a slave like that and frequently would then take Tom without preliminaries, Tom sometimes waking out of sleep to the feel of Chakotay sharply penetrating him. Although he didn’t recognise it, Chakotay’s feelings for Tom were in fact a twisted kind of love, or as close to it as the man was capable of, in his case manifesting itself as an obsession, a need to possess. But he was determined that no one should hurt Tom (not even subconsciously recognising that he was, in fact, the one person who was hurting him); he would kill to protect Tom, as well as to possess him. Chakotay knew only one thing; he would never let Tom go.

The rest of the officers had noticed Chakotay’s extreme possessiveness. They questioned Miller about Tom, although most of them knew what he looked like, as Captain Paris, being a scion of the Imperial Family, was well known in the Empire, famed for his good looks, piloting skills and also known as having a certain skill in command. It was recognised that even if Captain Paris had been a hopeless commander, he would still have been given command of a ship because of his familial connections, but in this case the young man did actually have some talent, having acquitted himself well in battle. Most of the crew on the Extreme were aware of Chakotay’s past relationship with Captain Paris (their break-up having become public knowledge) and agreed good-humouredly that this no doubt gave an extra fillip to his possession of Tom.

But they were not accustomed to the fact that Chakotay did not let Tom out of his quarters; it had previously been Chakotay’s habit to dine with his officers on a rotation basis, to get to know them (and thus maintain control over them). On these occasions he would be attended by at least one, sometimes more, of his personal attendants, who were invariably beautiful, whether male or female, and most skilled. It had also been his custom to reward an officer who had performed particularly well with the services of one of his slaves, but none of the crew, with the exception of Miller, and the crew who had seen Tom before he was first taken to Chakotay’s quarters, got the slightest glimpse of Tom. The fact that Chakotay’s former slaves had been distributed (on loan, Chakotay was not fool enough to give away his slaves, unless as an exceptional reward) to some of the senior officers did help to assuage their disappointment at not seeing Tom, but most were in agreement that the fact that he was the double of Captain Paris and a Human to boot, added an extra fillip to his desirability. The fact that Chakotay was so possessive led to several crude jokes about his undoubted talents at pleasing his owner.


On Bajor, Chakotay was still waiting, but his patience was wearing thin and he was looking more and more haunted. The enforced inactivity was getting to him as well, notwithstanding his pleasure in his surroundings and the company. He was in the midst of a discussion about lucid dreaming, when a messenger asked him to come to Vedek Kira’s office. Once there, he discovered Seska waiting for him. His face lit up – at last! She squirmed uncomfortably when she saw his joyful expression.

“I’m sorry, I’m not here to tell you that we’re ready to rescue him,” she said without preamble. Chakotay’s face fell. “Have you been told that the wormhole won’t open for another six weeks?”

“Yes, but I hoped we could get Tom now.”

“I’m sorry, but I actually came here to ask for your help in respect of my mission. Once it’s been completed I promise you that we’ll go get Paris then.”

“I see. And if I don’t help you, then no rescue mission, right.”

She looked shocked. “Of course not! We’ll go to get your man no matter what. But if you were prepared to help us, it’ll mean my chances of success are much greater. I won’t lie to you though. It’s risky, very risky.”

Chakotay though furiously. Would him helping them violate the Prime Directive? They weren’t a less advanced culture after all. He made his decision quickly, these were good people, they had shown him every hospitality and had expressed themselves willing to risk themselves to help him and Tom. How could he not help them?

“OK, tell me what you want me to do.”

Her expression lightened. “You’ll help us, without even knowing what we want?”

“So long as you promise me that whatever happens, you’ll free Tom.”

“I promise. How about if I brief you over dinner ... ”


Tom was, as usual, in Chakotay’s quarter’s one day approximately three and a half months after he was captured. He was working out in the gym, which he did for at least a couple of hours every day, injuries permitting, more out of boredom than anything else. He was reflecting ruefully to himself that he was probably in the best shape he’d been in years, when he felt the ship shudder; they were under attack! Tom felt a stirring of hope; maybe the rebels would prevail, in which case, in which case, possibly there would be an end to his captivity. He held his breath hardly daring to hope. The battle was soon over; shortly he heard the Captain’s voice proclaiming victory. He shuddered in disappointment and turned back to his exercises, throwing himself into them in an attempt to assuage his dismay, when the door opened.

He turned, startled, to see Chakotay standing there, eyes gleaming. Tom immediately dropped to his knees as he had been taught. Chakotay approached him swiftly, unzipping his trousers as he did so. He tore Tom’s exercise singlet and shorts off him, forced him to his hands and knees and entered his slave immediately. Tom bit his lip to avoid vocalising his pain as Chakotay thrust into him roughly, the force of the penetration sending him to his elbows, Chakotay bellowing into his climax, collapsing on top of Tom, forcing him to the floor. Chakotay licked at Tom’s neck, tasting the sweat from his exercises.

“Tonight,” he panted, still recovering his breath, “we feast to celebrate our victory. You’ll serve me at the feast.” Tom lay there half-crushed under Chakotay’s sturdy weight, disbelieving what he had heard. Did this mean that he was finally to be allowed out of Chakotay’s quarters? Then he thought with sudden unease as to what serving might mean in this context.

That evening at 20.30 hours Tom left Chakotay’s quarters for the first time since being brought there when first captured. Four of Chakotay’s part-Klingon bodyguards fell in silently behind. Chakotay initially strode ahead, but then stopped and ordered Tom to precede him, enjoying the view as the younger man moved gracefully along the corridors, dressed in a short tunic of Chakotay’s dark blue and gold livery. They passed no-one as they moved to the messhall, the rest of the crew, and their servants, if chosen to accompany their masters, confined to quarters if not, were already in place, awaiting their Captain. Tom concentrated on looking at the décor and layout of the ship, in an attempt to alleviate the anxiety he felt twisting inside him. He was afraid of what was to happen next, and apprehensive at being in an unfamiliar place after so long in Chakotay’s quarters. Tom noted that the corridors were richly appointed, but not so much that the décor would impede efficiency.

As they reached the enormous doors that were the entrance to the messhall, Chakotay strode in ahead of Tom, an enormous cheer going up as the crew recognised their Captain; now the feast could begin. Chakotay made his way to the dais where his senior officers were awaiting him, Tom following self-consciously behind, feeling himself to be the centre of all eyes. Tom was correct; everyone in the room was avidly watching the young man, curious to see the slave who had so entranced their Captain. Tom dizzily recognised several of the faces as members of the Maquis who had accompanied Chakotay onto Voyager, although their presence here was no surprise to him, as he had studied the crew complement which was easily available to him from the computer, not being classified information.

When Chakotay reached the podium he took the centre seat, an enormous throne like chair, flanked by Seska and Dalby, who was the Second Officer. Tom stood behind Chakotay’s chair, recognising that several other slaves were similarly standing behind various officers. Chakotay indicated that the crew should sit and the feast begin. Tom was almost overwhelmed by the sight before him, no one was in uniform, all were wearing rich clothing, of various colours. The crew, mostly Human, tended to be in sombre colours, but the materials were very rich. By contrast their non-Human slaves were dressed in skimpy, brightly coloured attire, resembling a flock of brightly plumed birds. Tom stood out even from the other slaves, not just because he was Human, but also because his tunic was dark in colour. He was very easily spotted, and knew that he was being frequently stared at, unable to keep from blushing in response, cursing his fair skin.

Tom knew that he was meant to go the serving hatch to bring back the delicacies to be enjoyed by the senior officers, as Miller had explained to him that afternoon. Chakotay glanced over at Seska who was unaccompanied by a servant.

“Where’s that pretty boy of yours?” he enquired. “What’s his name? Geron?”

“In my quarters,” Seska replied casually. “He’s been a bad boy recently, he’s being punished and isn’t, er, able to attend.”

Chakotay nodded knowingly. “Well I can’t have you with no one to look after you. Thomas here will wait on us both, but,” he said warningly, “only during dinner.”

“I understand,” Seska said in reply. Chakotay took Paris’ arm and pulled him down to his knees between Seska and Chakotay. Although Tom knew that Seska was the First Officer of the Extreme he had not, of course, met her before. He was curious as to whether she really was Cardassian, in which case she might be a spy, but he did not entertain any hopes that she would help him, even if that were the case, remembering the Seska on Voyager.

“This is Commander Seska,” Chakotay said. “You’ll wait on her as well as me tonight. You will address her as Commander.”

Tom nodded. “Yes, my lord,” was all he said. He got to his feet and went to the serving hatch.

Seska watched him appreciatively. “He’s beautiful Captain,” she said. Chakotay simply smiled at her in agreement.

On his other side, Dalby whistled. “*Very* nice, Captain,” he said, following Tom’s movements with hooded eyes. “And bearing such a striking resemblance to Captain Paris as he does, well, it must add some spice so to speak.”

Chakotay frowned as he grunted in agreement. Dalby was a brutal thug, with no refinement that Chakotay had ever been able to determine, but he was useful. No one in the crew would dream about assassinating either he or Seska if Dalby was next in line, plus he was most efficient at installing terror when required. No subtlety or imagination, but that also made him less of a threat.

The feast was not an enjoyable experience for Tom. On one hand he was at last out of Chakotay’s quarters, but on the other ... He knew he was being stared at by the crew, that comments were being made about his appearance, his body, how he moved, how good he was sexually. At last the crew could indulge their curiosity about the slave who had so enthralled their Captain.

As for the other slaves, most of them ignored him, intent on serving their own masters, but there was one very beautiful woman, of a race that he didn’t recognise, who stared at him in hatred. Tom had no idea why, until she deliberately tripped him, sending him flying on his way to deposit some used plates to the serving hatch. Fortunately, the noise level in the room was such that the clatter of dishes as they fell to the floor, rolling and bouncing, was not heard. Tom jumped to his feet, eyes blazing, to encounter a triumphant smirk on her face. He started towards her angrily, only to find Miller blocking his way. Miller turned to the woman and sharply told her to watch her behaviour, or he would report her to the Captain who would *not* be pleased. The woman turned pale and retreated hastily to the serving hatch.

Tom turned to Miller, who was watching her, hands on hips. Tom folded his arms and, in his annoyance forgetting his status, said indignantly, “What was that all about?”

Miller turned to look at Tom. He raised an eyebrow at Tom’s stance, thinking to himself //The Captain thinks that this one’s tamed does he? Better think again.// However, Miller had no intention of saying anything to Chakotay, what and miss all the fun? “She used to be Chakotay’s favourite until you came along. She resents the loss of position,” was all that Miller said. Tom couldn’t help reflecting on the irony of the situation. Here he was desperate to escape and she *wanted* Chakotay. He felt a sudden urge to laugh, but simply nodded, and bent down to clear away the mess.

As the feast wore on, the crew became drunk. The wine was flowing freely, of exquisite quality, none of it replicated. The Humans of the Empire lived in high style indeed. Tom thought of other societies he had read about, which wallowed in decadence as all the evidence he had seen indicated that the Empire did. They had not lasted and Tom hoped vindictively that neither would this one, thinking to himself, //and if there’s anything I can do to speed it along, just let me know.// Tom was unconsciously revelling in the freedom of being out of Chakotay’s quarters, even in these circumstances. The effect was to bring more of his suppressed character closer to the surface; he was thinking and acting more like his old self. The crew was now grabbing freely at the slaves. By no means all of the crew had a personal slave, although all of the officers had at least one. As Tom watched in disbelief a couple of the crew, a man and a woman, swept the table near them clean, the beautiful china and glass falling unheeded to the floor, and grabbed one of the slaves and threw her on the table. The man tore off the woman’s tunic and mounted her, to the accompaniment of cheers from the surrounding crew. This seemed to be some sort of signal. As Tom watched in frozen horror, more and more of the crew accosted the slaves, who sometimes feebly made an effort to resist, but more often acquiesced meekly to their fate.

He instinctively felt that someone was watching him and turned to see Chakotay’s glittering eyes on him. The officers on the dais were not joining in the orgy, but were watching with indulgent approval; the crew had done well today, let them have their fun. Chakotay beckoned to Tom, who moved towards him slowly, fearing what was to come next. Chakotay grabbed Tom and pulled his lips down to his, where he thoroughly, and at his leisure, kissed the young man, raping the inside of Tom’s mouth with his tongue, to the accompaniment of cheers and whistles from the nearby crew. Chakotay’s lips parted from Tom’s at last. The Captain looked up, his face was flushed and his eyes were dilated with desire. He pulled the young man into his arms, running his hand up Tom’s thigh, as he kissed him again. The crew were enjoying the display, but Chakotay reluctantly released Tom and adjusted the collar’s distance setting, using the wristband.

“Go to my quarters,” he ordered. “Prepare yourself and wait for me.” Tom nodded wordlessly and left the room, thankful to be out of there, even knowing what was to happen next. Several pairs of eyes watched him as he moved gracefully out of the room, although Chakotay appeared to have turned his attention elsewhere. Seska watched thoughtfully as Dalby, accompanied by his bodyguards, shortly afterwards also left the room.

Tom did not hurry back. He did not think that Chakotay would be following soon, from the conversation he had overheard it was traditional for the Captain to make a speech, which Chakotay hadn’t given yet. Tom didn’t know why Chakotay had sent him away, but decided to be thankful for small mercies, wincing to himself, //and that’s a dreadful cliché. Mind you,// he thought to himself, //the whole Empire is one big cliché. If I weren’t in the middle of it, I’d be tempted to laugh at it.// Then he sobered, thinking sombrely //But it’s definitely *not* funny if you are in the middle of it.// As he turned down an access corridor, thankful that he had memorised the ship’s layout, there was a sound from a nearby alcove, as Dalby stepped into his path. Tom recoiled from the stink of alcohol on Dalby’s breath. He was obviously drunk. Flanking Dalby was a couple of the largest men Paris had ever seen. They evidently were at least part Klingon from their brow ridges. Tom had a sudden fleeting thought of B’Elanna.

Dalby grabbed his arm. “Come with me.”

“I’m sorry Commander,” replied Tom, determined to try and reason with the man, “but the Captain ordered me to his quarters.”

Dalby looked Tom up and down. “Pity,” he said, “well I guess I’ll have to make do with here then.” He stated to paw at Tom, reaching for the fastening of his tunic, eyes glittering with a combination of alcohol and arousal. Tom shoved him away, Dalby falling to the ground as he did so from the force of Tom’s push.

 “Seize him,” Dalby yelled to his bodyguards. Tom found himself to be helpless in their grip as each grabbed him by an arm. Dalby got to his feet and approached Tom, leaning into his face. Tom turned his face away from the stink of alcohol on Dalby’s breath. Dalby was evidently too far-gone in drink to be reasoned with and Tom was very much afraid he knew what was going to happen next. Dalby slapped him, knocking Tom’s head to one side. Tom looked at him, murder in his eyes, blood trickling from his split lip. He might have to put up with Chakotay abusing him. But he was not going to tamely accept being raped by Dalby, of all people.

“You’ll pay for that,” Dalby said leaning forward to lick at the blood on Tom’s lips. Tom thought wearily, //Shit. Can’t any of these people speak except in clichés?// Dalby’s breath really was foul, he thought, as he attempted to turn his head away.

“Stretch out his arms,” Dalby ordered his bodyguards. He regarded Tom with satisfaction, arms spread-eagled against the wall, reached for Tom’s tunic and tore, baring Tom to the waist where the tunic was tied. Dalby reached out a hand to caress Tom’s chest when another voice said coolly:

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” It was Seska. She was leaning against the wall, arms crossed over her breasts, accompanied by four Klingon/Human hybrids. Dalby whirled to face her, saying belligerently:

“It’s none of your business!”

“Oh but it is,” was the rejoinder. “It is my business if the Captain kills the Second Officer. I then have to break in a new one and I could really do without the inconvenience.”

Dalby laughed. “The captain won’t kill me ... ”

“For taking one of his slaves?” Seska finished. “Ordinarily I might agree with you, but he’s inordinately possessive about this one. *Think* Dalby,” she finished impatiently. She waited while what she was saying permeated Dalby’s brain, through the haze of alcohol and lust.

He recalled that, contrary to his usual custom, the Captain had kept this slave to himself for weeks and finally stepped away from Tom, hands raised defensively, saying, “OK, OK.”

Dalby’s bodyguards released Tom and Dalby turned to go, Seska saying as he did so:

“Oh and Dalby,” he turned to face her. “You do realise I’m going to have to report this to the Captain, but I’ll tell him you didn’t hurt his slave, much, so you’ll probably get away with a beating.” Dalby said nothing, but his eyes glittered with resentment as he turned to leave.

Seska looked at Tom. “Are you all right?” she asked. Tom nodded. “Good,” she said briskly. “Then I suggest you get to the Captain’s quarters right away.”

Tom started to move away, then turned; “Commander,” he said. Seska looked at him expectantly. “Thank you,” he said.

“Don’t. I was just doing my job,” was the reply. Tom shook his head, but said nothing more.

When Tom reached Chakotay’s quarters, he froze, noting that the Captain’s bodyguards were standing either side of the entrance. Shit! Chakotay had reached his quarters before Tom. He took a deep breath and entered, as an irate Chakotay whirled to face him.

“Where have you been,” Chakotay spat, then took in Tom’s dishevelled appearance and his eyes narrowed. “What happened?” he demanded, just as his combadge beeped.

“Captain, it’s Seska. I have to report an incident.”

“Go ahead.”

“It’s Dalby, he assaulted your slave, but I stopped him before he did any real damage.”

“I see,” said Chakotay tightly. “Thank you Commander. I’ll deal with it. Chakotay out.”

He stepped forward and took Tom’s chin in his hand, examining the damage to his face. “Are you OK?” he asked softly. “Dalby didn’t hurt you?”

Tom felt an urge to laugh. Here was Chakotay, who had tortured, beaten, raped and humiliated him, asking him if he was all right, over a split lip! “I’m fine my lord,” was all he said.

Chakotay nodded curtly. “Can you clean yourself up, or do you need help?” he asked.

“I think I can manage,” Tom said gravely with vast sarcasm, which fortunately went over Chakotay’s head, as Tom remembered the much worse injuries inflicted by Chakotay which Tom had healed without any one else’s help.

“Good. I’ve got some business to take care of,” said Chakotay as he left the cabin abruptly. He moved swiftly through the corridors of the Extreme filled with a vast and awful rage, his bodyguards hurrying to keep pace. He reached Dalby’s quarters and looked significantly at Dalby’s bodyguards flanking the entrance. They moved away and Chakotay entered without preamble. He found Dalby sprawled on the bed, snoring. Chakotay filled a glass of water in the bathroom, returned to the bedroom and threw it over Dalby who spluttered awake, filled with rage, only to recoil when he saw his Captain leaning over him. Chakotay spoke in a very soft voice, filling Dalby with fear, he’d heard that tone before.

“I’ve just received a very disturbing report from Seska. Apparently you accosted my slave, without permission. Is this true?” Dalby didn’t move, frozen with fear. “Is it?” repeated Chakotay.

Dalby nodded. “But Captain ... ” he started to say.

“Shut up! I don’t want to hear it. You don’t touch anything of mine, ever, without permission. Is that clear?”

Dalby nodded.


Chakotay turned, as if to walk out of the room, then whirled round, grabbed Dalby and hit him, over and over. Dalby was stunned by the assault, unable to protect himself. He fell to the floor, curled into a ball, where Chakotay kicked him several times, observing with satisfaction that Dalby was bleeding onto the floor. He paused and removed the agoniser from his belt, it was a little old fashioned, but old did not necessarily mean obsolete. He touched it to Dalby’s neck, enjoying the resulting scream. He was shaking with rage. How *dare* Dalby lay a finger on Thomas. Thomas was his and his alone! Chakotay felt an almost irresistible urge to kill Dalby, for touching his Thomas, for hurting his Thomas. He used the agoniser again, this time not stopping until Dalby lost consciousness. He took a deep breath, saying to himself, //calm, calm,// and exited, saying to Dalby’s bodyguards, “I suggest you call the Doctor”, before hurrying back to his own quarters anxious to see Tom.


After the feast, Chakotay often required Tom to attend him around the ship, although not when he was on duty. The Captain resumed dining with his officers, expecting Tom to wait on him as he did so. There were no more attempts on Tom; the whole crew had heard what had happened to Dalby. The Second Officer gazed after Tom with resentful eyes, but did not approach him. These meals did not usually degenerate into orgies, as the feast with the crew had, but on occasion, a slave would be subject to public use. Chakotay would usually avidly watch the performance before hurrying Tom back to his quarters, or ordering him to go down on him in the relative privacy of the turbolift, watched only by Chakotay’s ever present bodyguards. Tom grew used to this, so that after the first few times he accepted his fate with a sense of weary inevitability.

However there was one particularly unpleasant occasion when Chakotay decided to use Tom to taunt Dalby. The Captain had invited Seska, Dalby and the ship’s CMO, Commander Pulaski to his quarters. Tom was the only slave present. Chakotay seized him by the arm as he knelt by Chakotay’s chair. There was an unpleasant gleam in the Captain’s eye, as he turned to Dalby, who was sitting on his left.

“How’s that new girl of yours working out?” Chakotay enquired.

Dalby shrugged. “Fine.”

“Got her trained yet have you?”

“She’s coming along.”

“Good, good. A highly trained slave, they’re almost worth their weight in latinum. Now take Thomas here, he’s *very* skilled I assure you, but stubborn, spirits yes. I think that the stubborn ones make the best slaves once tamed though. Hmmm, maybe a little demonstration.” He looked down at Tom, whose arm was still held in his grip. “Stand up,” he ordered. Tom obeyed silently; dreading what he feared was to happen next. “Strip,” Chakotay demanded. Tom did not dare disobey and loosened his tunic. “Turn round, slowly.” Tom obeyed, as Chakotay glanced with glee at Dalby’s face, the lust barely hidden.

Chakotay pondered to himself, should he really infuriate Dalby? Hell yes, this was fun! “Kneel before me,” he ordered his slave, watching as Tom complied. “A small demonstration of Thomas’ talents. Please me,” he ordered Tom. The young man knew exactly what this command meant and opened Chakotay’s trousers and took his semi erect shaft in his mouth. He ‘pleased’ Chakotay as he had done so many times before, Chakotay keeping his eyes on Dalby’s face, enjoying the envy and lust on the man’s face, mixed with fear of his Captain. Once he had climaxed, Chakotay smiled at Dalby. “He’s really quite the best at this that I’ve ever had you know,” he remarked conversationally. “Pity that you’ll never get the chance to find out.”

Dalby reddened with barely suppressed rage, but said nothing. Throughout the whole performance, Seska had watched with a cool expression on her face, whereas the Doctor had quite evidently enjoyed the show. She asked to be excused, saying quite openly that after *that*, she was going to her quarters to enjoy one of her slaves.

Seska left soon afterwards as well, but Chakotay quite deliberately kept Dalby there, talking to him while he idly caressed his slave, knowing that this was annoying Dalby. Once he had finally dismissed Dalby, he bent Tom over the table and took him roughly, watching as bruises formed on the fair skin of the young man he was abusing.

Tom could not believe the humiliation he felt, knowing that Chakotay had used him to annoy Dalby, that he hadn’t even been trying to degrade Tom, that he now regarded the young man as totally tamed. He knew that it had not even entered Chakotay’s head that he would consider refusing his command, else he would not have ordered Tom to suck him off in public. Even as he tried not to show his pain at the now familiar sensation of the Captain’s hard penetration, as he was feeling the bruises forming, slammed repeatedly as he was against the sharp edge of the table, he was writhing inwardly, knowing that he had not dared refuse, or even hesitate to obey, the Captain’s commands.


Commander Chakotay sat with Seska in the shuttle on the way to Starbase Tekanis, an Empire base. He was nervous and making conversation with Seska in an attempt to alleviate his nerves. He’d spent the last few weeks studying hard for this mission, and just hoped that he was sufficiently prepared.

“So what’s my counterpart like to serve under?” he enquired.

“Not as bad as some. He obtained his position through merit, not family connections, so at least he’s competent. He’s unpredictable, but doesn’t often discipline someone for no reason. Of course it helps that he’s sure of the loyalty of his crew.”

“Oh? How did he achieve that?”

“By making sure that he’s got something to blackmail every member of his crew with.”

“What’s he got on you?”

Her face twitched. “He thinks that I ... ” she started to laugh, “enjoy having s ... sex with non ... non-sentients.”


“Yes. And I can’t tell you what fun that was to fake, specially the ... the Alderian sheep.”

Chakotay took one look at her face and lost it! The two of them roared with laughter for several minutes.

“So,” Chakotay gasped, “how was it? And for the sheep!”

That set them off into fresh giggles, but eventually they quietened. “I’ve seen Tom, you know,” Seska said quietly. Chakotay looked at her sharply. “The Captain lets him out of his quarters now. Deems him sufficiently tamed I guess.”

Chakotay winced. “But from what I’ve seen, I don’t think he’s completely given up yet,” she said remembering the fight he had put up with Dalby. “I’ve seen slaves who’ve surrendered completely and he doesn’t look like that yet, but I won’t lie to you, he’s not in good shape. He’s all right physically, but I dread to think what his mental state is. Y’know when we get him out, don’t expect him to be like he was before he was captured. He won’t be. I’ve known enough people before and after to know that.”

Chakotay swallowed heavily. “I understand,” he said huskily.

“Personally, I can’t wait to get Geron and myself out of there.”

“Geron?” Chakotay questioned, wondering if it could possibly be the young man he knew.

“He’s a young Bajoran, who was captured. He’s meant to be my slave. I’ve tried to protect him as much as I can, but the strain is starting to show. He’s another reason why I won’t be sorry to end this charade.” She glanced at the instrument panel. “We’ll be there in another thirty minutes, are you ready?”

“As I’ll ever be I guess.”

Chakotay was dressed as a Captain of the Empire. His tattoo had been altered, to be an exact duplicate of his counterpart’s, the idea being that he was to play his counterpart. There was a gathering of Empire Fleet Admirals and Captains on the Starbase. Captain Chakotay had decided not to attend, still avoiding his fellow Captains who were likely to bring up the unwelcome topic of his former relationship with Captain Paris, and had told Seska to send his regrets, but instead she had sent a message that both Chakotay and she (as it was customary for the Captains to be attended by their First Officers) would attend. Of course, eventually Chakotay would find out about the deception, which was why Seska would shortly cease her position as an officer of the Empire. The purpose of the talks was to discuss strategy and tactics but was actually an excuse for a pissing session. All bodyguards and weapons were strictly forbidden.

However, there would be classified information available, which Chakotay with his security clearance could access, whereas Seska could not. The Alliance suspected that the Empire was planning a pre-emptive strike; now was their chance to learn the details. Although the Empire would learn about Commander Chakotay and Seska’s deception eventually, they would as a consequence have to postpone their plans, giving the Alliance a chance to build up their armaments for the war that was looking increasingly inevitable. Chakotay had learned all he could about the Captains and Admirals who were likely to attend, had studied his counterpart’s record, which Seska had made available, and had been coached by her how to act as his counterpart. Following the (hopefully) successful completion of the mission, Seska and Chakotay would then rescue Tom. By a serendipitous coincidence, the wormhole was expected to open shortly too, providing the means for Tom and Chakotay to get back to their own universe.

Chakotay took a deep breath. They had arrived and the show was about to begin.

As he and Seska walked along the corridors together, Chakotay trying to strut like his counterpart, the first Captain they came across was Will Riker, who Seska had described as a “brutal thug, with brains”. He had his arm around a beautiful woman, who Chakotay didn’t know, but was informed was likely to be Beverly Howard, Riker’s First Officer. “Hey Chak!” he hailed him. “And your lovely First Officer as well. Seska isn’t it?” She simpered at him.

That’s right. I didn’t expect you to remember me, Sir.”

“Never forget a beautiful woman. Didn’t expect you to be here,” he said turning to Chakotay. “What with Paris and what’s her name, Torres being here.”

Chakotay froze. Neither he nor Seska had known that those two would be there. Paris knew Captain Chakotay pretty well, bearing in mind their past relationship, but there again maybe Chakotay could just refuse to speak to him. He affected a laugh. “Who cares! I’ve got enough to keep me busy.”

Riker leered at Seska. “I can imagine.”

“No, no. I’ve got a new slave. He’s a definite handful. Don’t have time for anything else.”

Riker smiled knowingly. “Well, we’ve all been there. See you later,” he said as he departed down the corridor. Seska and Chakotay both sighed in relief. So far, so good, but it was early yet and the news about Paris was not good.

They continued on to the main meeting room, occasionally stopping to exchange pleasantries along the way. Admiral Necheyev definitely gave Chakotay the creeps, that woman was a menace and she liked to flirt, running predatory eyes over Chakotay. She had a great deal of power and the word was that she had sampled the charms of most of the Captains in Starfleet (Chakotay included), both male and female. As for Admiral Picard, that man had the coldest, most calculating eyes Chakotay had ever seen. He had never met Picard’s counterpart, but had nothing but respect for the man’s reputation; he was definitely one of the great starship captains in Chakotay’s own universe. From what he had read of his counterpart, however, this Picard would do anything, use anyone, to further his own ends. Picard was attended by Commander Troi, who Seska had identified as one of the most dangerous people there, because of her empathic abilities. Chakotay could discern a cruel enjoyment of another’s pain on her lovely face and deliberately tried to keep his emotions low key around her, tinged with a little fear, which Seska said was normal around half-Betazoids.

As the entered the meeting room, Chakotay noted that it was almost empty, but there, he stiffened, oh shit! There were Paris and Torres. B’Elanna had never looked so sensual, so aware of her own beauty, or so determined to use it to her best advantage. The Torres that Chakotay knew was oblivious to her looks, in fact Chakotay suspected that she thought of herself as being ugly. As for Paris, he wore an expression of exquisite boredom. Chakotay had never seen him look so arrogant, not even when Tom had been at his worst. But for all that Chakotay was wholly unable to prevent the joy he felt at seeing Tom again, even knowing that it wasn’t really him. Here he was, the man he loved, standing there looking absolutely gorgeous. Paris looked round. He smirked, that expression Chakotay had seen so often on Tom in the early days, and which he had always ached to slap off his face.

“Chakotay and the lovely Seska. What a surprise to see you here.”

Chakotay smiled back, equally falsely. “It’s great to see you too Tom. And B’Elanna of course, looking as beautiful as ever.”

Paris bent down to Torres and kissed her lightly, a curiously affectionate gesture Chakotay thought. “She is, isn’t she? Oh, but of course you’d know just how beautiful she is,” Paris drawled.

“I do indeed. You as well.” Chakotay smiled as a brief expression of shock crossed the young man’s face. He hadn’t expected Chakotay to acknowledge their liaison. He recovered quickly though.

“I’m glad that you remember,” he said sweetly. “After all they do say that the memory’s the first thing to go.”

Chakotay scowled at being reminded of the age difference between him and Tom, but said: “You must excuse me, we old men need our afternoon nap you know.”

He and Seska left to find their quarters, she saying as they did so that it had gone better than expected. Later that night there was a dinner for all the visitors. Chakotay and Seska were seated well away from Paris and Torres, much to Chakotay’s relief. They were also nowhere near Commander Troi, which he also found to be an immense relief. That woman was downright sinister. He was actually seated next to Captain Sisko; his aide was a Commander Bashir, who was, Seska whispered to him, known to be genetically enhanced. This technology was risky and therefore not often used, but when it worked the recipients usually advanced rapidly, being brought up in dormitories as they were, they had no familial connections or sentimental feelings to hold them back. As for Sisko, he appeared friendly enough on the surface, being obviously acquainted with Chakotay’s counterpart, but he could not disguise the coldness lurking at the back of his eyes.

The talk at dinner was all about the threat to the Empire that the Alliance posited, how soft the Alliance was, but paradoxically, which none of the Empire’s officers seemed to notice, they were still considered a threat. One Captain, Elizabeth Shelby commented peevishly that they had all the inferior races running to them for protection, instead of benefiting from the Empire’s discipline. Chakotay listened as much as he could, agreed with the prevailing trend of conversation and tried to fit in as much as possible.

As the meal wore on the talk became increasingly ribald, no slaves were present but that didn’t stop the assembled officers from reminiscing about which races made the best slaves. Orion slave girls were acknowledged to have a definite edge, their centuries old reputation was, it was generally agreed, very well deserved. Chakotay could not remember a meal that he had been glad to escape more. He contrasted the crude behaviour and conversation with the meals he had enjoyed on the Voice of the Prophets and Bajor with his experience tonight. It was apparent that some, at least, of the officers were well educated, but their outwardly civilised behaviour soon degenerated. However, Picard, he noted, didn’t drink alcohol and seemed to maintain a rigid control at all times. He shuddered, remembering what Seska had told him, that Picard, in particular, was known to obtain sexual gratification from torture.

Later, after the base was quiet, all the officers having retired to bed, some alone, some not, Chakotay decided to try and obtain the information they had come here to get. If challenged he was going to explain that he was trying to catch up before the meeting the next day. He moved quietly through the darkened corridors reciting to himself the access codes Seska had obtained, which would only work at the rank of Captain or beyond. He slipped quietly into the main meeting room, in order to make for the terminals that were in a room beyond that, but froze when he realised that there was someone in the room. He heard a familiar voice say “Captain Chakotay, as I live and breath.” It was Paris.

“What are you doing here?” Chakotay asked.

“What’re you?” was the response. Paris called for quarter lights. In the dim light, Chakotay saw him rise smoothly from the couch where he’d been sitting, looking at the stars.

“I asked first,” Chakotay said, then winced when he realised how childish it sounded.

“So you did,” the other man replied. “What am I doing?” he mused. “What are any of us doing?” Chakotay shifted uneasily. This Paris seemed to be in a strange mood. “D’you ever stop to think what it is we’re all doing, why we struggle for advantage, what the point of it is?”

Chakotay thought frantically, what would his counterpart say? “No. I don’t,” was the response he finally settled on.

“No, of course not. You’ve always been so ... determined. So sure of yourself.”

“Maybe because I had to work for what I’ve got, didn’t get it all handed to me like you.” //And where did *that* come from,// Chakotay thought to himself. //I thought I’d got over that so far as Tom’s concerned.//

Paris laughed. “You always said that. Nothing changes I see.” He moved closer to the Commander, close enough that Chakotay could catch his scent, that uniquely Tom Paris smell which until now he hadn’t realised he’d memorised, overlaid with cologne. “Except us,” Paris said softly. “Sometimes I wish ... ”

“What!” Chakotay choked out, unable to stop his arousal. Intellectually he knew that this man wasn’t his Paris, but emotionally ... he looked the same, he smelled the same. Here was the object of Chakotay’s fantasies, coming on to him; he was totally unable to prevent his response.

“That ... ” the other man said, leaning even closer, sliding a fingertip down the side of Chakotay’s face. The Commander’s arousal jumped to new heights, he was so hard he hurt.

“You and I ... ” Paris’ finger slid lower, slid down Chakotay’s torso.

“Hadn’t ... ” the finger brushed against Chakotay’s erect shaft. He was unable to stop the moan that arose in his throat.

“Broken up.” Paris’ beautiful hand grasped Chakotay’s erection, through his trousers. Chakotay choked, as Paris slid his hand up and down slowly.

“But then ... ” Paris continued, still in the same soft voice, touching his lips lightly against Chakotay’s. The older man wanted nothing more than to grasp the young man, kiss him passionately, throw him to the floor, but found himself wholly unable to interrupt the seductive spell being woven around him. His breathing quickened.

“I wouldn’t ... ” the younger man continued, as his hand speeded up slightly.

“Have gotten together with B’Elanna.” Rubbing faster.

“And I would ... ” And faster.

“Have missed out ... ” Even faster.

“On the best relationship of my life.” His hand stopped abruptly, and was removed, just as Chakotay was on the verge of orgasm.

Paris smiled at him mockingly, noting that way the other man was breathing, looking pointedly at his erection. “So nice to see that you missed me,” he said and left the room.

Chakotay felt himself trembling, gulping down huge mouthfuls of air. He had been so close. He tried to compose himself, willed his erection to subside as he collapsed onto the couch. //That *bastard*. Fucking prick tease,// he though vindictively. //No, no, steady, calm, calm. That isn’t Tom, he wouldn’t do that. Well OK, maybe he would,// he thought with sudden humour, //but he wouldn’t have stopped at the crucial moment!//

It took Chakotay a while to settle himself, but drawing on the discipline of years, he finally rose and went into the adjacent room, sat down at one of the terminals and keyed in the authorisation. There was no problem, he was identified as Captain Chakotay. He leaned forward, downloading the information into a tiny disc, which was designed to simulate one of his rank pips. He was almost done, tension dissipating, when he heard a female voice behind him:

“Good evening, Captain.”

He was unable to prevent his start of surprise and whirled round in his chair, his heart sinking when he realised it was Troi. She raised her eyebrows at his startled expression.

“Commander,” he responded. “You startled me.”

“Evidently,” she responded dryly. “You’re up late.”


She smiled wryly, acknowledging the hit. Chakotay wasn’t certain what the parameters of her abilities were, whether she was suspicious. He desperately tried to call on all the serenity he had managed to achieve during his years of meditation, to slow his fast beating heart, so that she would put his nervousness down to mere startlement.

“Couldn’t sleep?” she enquired casually.

“Not sleepy yet. You?”

“The same. Doing some late night reading?”

“Trying to prepare for tomorrow. I’ve been a little out of it recently, on the border. Thought I’d check the latest reports.”

“A wise precaution. Have you finished?”

“Well, yes, just now. Why?”

“Oh, I wondered whether you’d like to join me in a drink. I have some fine Saurian brandy in my room.”

//Is she coming onto me?// Chakotay wondered incredulously. He definitely did not want to accept her invitation, but wondered how he could get out of it.

“Thank you, but Seska’s waiting for me.”

“Oh” she looked at him sceptically. “I didn’t think you had an ... intimate relationship.”

He smiled at her. “We don’t. Yet.”

“Aaah. Perhaps we can have that drink if ... matters don’t develop with your First Officer?”

“You can count on it.”

She smiled at him and left. He tried to maintain a calm air. Seska was not certain of the range of Troi’s abilities, but thought they were generally diffused when she got a few hundred metres away. Luckily his quarters were on the other side of the station to hers. He got up, vaguely surprised to find that his legs were unsteady and made his way back to his quarters where Seska awaited him. Conscious that the room might be bugged, he indicated success only by a nod of his head. They made inconsequential small talk for a while before she left for her own room.

Next morning, Chakotay attended the strategic planning session. Seska and the other aides waited outside. He seated himself in his designated seat, cursing when he realised that Paris was sitting directly opposite him. He wondered whether the young man had arranged that himself or whether it some Admiral’s idea of a joke. Paris smirked at him, and ran a finger down the side of his face, drawing attention to the Klingon mating bite adorning his cheek. Chakotay’s lips tightened, if he needed more evidence that this Paris was not Tom his behaviour this morning confirmed it, he knew that Tom would never have taunted an ex-lover like this. His Tom Paris had a kind heart, deny it though he might. Admiral Picard was presiding at the meeting. That man made Chakotay deeply uneasy, he resolved to adopt his strategy of last night, stay in the background as much as possible, and not draw attention to himself.

As the meeting wore on, Chakotay making mental notes of anything, which might help the Alliance, he was surprised at how active a role Paris took in the discussions. Tom often was involved in planning sessions on Voyager but this was a meeting of the brass! He saw how many of the Captains deferred to the young man, and came to the conclusion that it must be because of his familial connections as Paris was the youngest person there. He was pleasantly surprised by how good some of Captain Paris’ suggestions were, thinking that Tom presumably similarly had talent in this area as well, which should be encouraged. He then smiled to himself at the irony; he was commending Captain Paris for suggestions against the Alliance. Chakotay heaved an internal sigh of relief when, after several hours, the meeting finally ended. Now he and Seska could leave.

As he exited the room, he saw Paris ostentatiously kissing Torres, who was returning his kiss with enthusiasm. Paris looked across at Chakotay and smiled at him, gloatingly. Torres by contrast looked defiant. Chakotay said nothing, just turned on his heel, and went to fetch his belongings. Seska had already loaded hers and was waiting on the shuttle for him as he passed an open door, hearing a familiar laugh inside, it was Torres. She and Paris were kissing, not for show this time but with the ease of long established lovers. Chakotay shook his head in disbelief, if he didn’t know better, he would have thought that there was genuine affection there.

As the shuttle drew away from the Starbase, he and Seska exchanged identical grins of elation and relief. They had done it!

“It won’t be long until Chakotay finds out that he supposedly attended the conference in my company,” she commented. “I’ll return to the Extreme and you follow a couple of days later. I think we have that long until he finds out. You’ll need to get access to Tom.”

“How about if I act glad that Tom’s been captured, let Chakotay think I dislike him? You know him better than I do, even if he is me. What do you think?”

“Hmm,” she pondered. “I think that might work. I think he’ll be intrigued by you, who wouldn’t be at meeting their counterpart. As he lets Tom out around the ship now, I think he probably will let you meet him. I’ll disable weapons and the warp drive, although there’s so many failsafes it won’t last for long. When I’ve done so, I’ll activate a transponder we’ll put into your arm, so you know to get to the shuttle bay.”

They spent much time on the trip back to Bajor, exchanging vehicles along the way so the black box did not reflect their course, discussing the variables of their plan, Seska informing him of everything she hoped he would need to know. Another factor in their plan was that the wormhole that should take Chakotay and Tom back to their own universe, and probably also the Delta Quadrant, was due to open shortly. With any luck Paris and Chakotay would be back through the wormhole before the Extreme got back warp drive.


Three days later, Chakotay hailed the Extreme: “Commander Chakotay to the Extreme.”

There was a moment’s silence, then came hesitantly, “Did you say Chakotay?”

“That’s correct.” The viewscreen came up and Chakotay found himself gazing at the countenance of his counterpart.

“This is an unexpected ... pleasure,” Captain Chakotay said.

“May I come on board?” Chakotay asked. His counterpart laughed.

“Why not? I must admit that I’m curious to meet you.”

Chakotay was given directions to fly his shuttle to the hangar bay. Once there he took a deep breath, thinking, //Now the show starts,// and alighted. He was met by his counterpart, who had only a couple of security guards in attendance. The two men exchanged pleasantries for a moment, each secretly fascinated by the other. Chakotay considered he had the advantage, having read all of his counterpart’s service records, whereas the Captain knew little about him.

“What can I do for you?” the Captain enquired.

“I’m on my way back to my own universe, and I must admit that I was curious to meet you.”

“You’re not worried that I’ll prevent you from returning?”

“Why should you, it benefits you nothing. And two of us is a luxury that I’m not sure this universe can afford, but I can see the benefits of mutual co-operation between us if this situation arises in the future.”

The Captain’s eyes gleamed; he was highly intelligent but constrained by his lack of empathy; he simply could not conceive that his counterpart was not necessarily the same person as himself. He was not in fact minded to detain his counterpart here, because he could see no value in doing so, but could see the value of an alliance in the future. Moreover as Tom had been careful to tell him next to nothing about the situation in his universe, he really thought that this Chakotay was to all intents and purposes the same person as himself.

“And” Chakotay said casually, “I’m looking for a crewmate of mine, Lieutenant Tom Paris. He exited into your space at the same time as me and your ship was in the area where he would have entered. I was wondering if you’ve any news of him.”

Captain Chakotay scowled. “Why are you so concerned?” he growled. “What’s he to you?”

Chakotay grimaced. “He is a fine pilot,” he said, “although annoying as hell on a personal level, but as I’m his commanding officer I suppose I have a duty towards him. If he’s dead at least I’ll be able to report back.” Chakotay made certain that he sounded as though this prospect would not upset him the least, thanking the spirits for his practice at dissembling in his Maquis days.

“You don’t get along then?”

Chakotay snorted. “Hardly, he was insubordinate, insolent, no I think it’s fair to say that we ‘didn’t get along’.”

Captain Chakotay considered whether he could, in effect, trust himself, and made his decision abruptly. “He’s here,” he said.

Chakotay raised his eyebrows. “Really? Well I trust he didn’t give you too much trouble?”

“No, no trouble at all. In fact you might say that he’s made himself useful.”


“Yes, he ... serves me.”

“Serves you. How?”

The Captain smiled. “In all things.”

“In all things? You don’t mean ... ” Chakotay let an unpleasant smile cross his face that Tom would have recognised as an expression he often saw on the Captain’s features.

His counterpart let the same smile illuminate his face. “In that case,” Chakotay said, “I think that he should be left just where he is. I’m sorry to have bothered you. I’ll be on my way, although ... ” he hesitated.


“I would like a tour of your ship before I go. It looks magnificent,” he said admiringly.

The Captain hesitated. “Oh we can do much better than that” he said. “How about a tour and dinner? That will give you the opportunity to see my Thomas at work as it were, possibly experience some of that ... service yourself.”

“Great idea. I accept with pleasure.” The two men exchanged identical grins.

“After you, my dear Chakotay,” the Captain said, gesturing towards the door.

Approximately one hour later the two men paused outside Chakotay’s quarters. Chakotay was sickened to his stomach. The Captain had proudly shown off the features of a ship designed for one purpose only; to threaten, to use force, to kill. Scientific exploration, except in so far as it benefited the Empire, was not a priority; there was no joy in exploration, only in conquest.

“I took the liberty of informing Thomas that there would be another person for dinner, but not who, I didn’t want to ruin the surprise,” the Captain was saying. The doors opened and Chakotay beheld the Captain’s luxurious quarters illuminated by masses of candles in heavy candelabra. His gaze fell on Tom kneeling in his usual place in the middle of the floor, eyes lowered. He was not able to prevent himself from gasping aloud; Tom looked so beautiful there in the candlelight, his skin was luminous and his hair gleamed golden. Much of his body was revealed by the skimpy deep red tunic he wore, which clung to Tom’s skin, outlining his slender form.

“Look up,” the Captain ordered. When Tom obeyed, his expression showed his amazement at seeing two Chakotays standing before him, but he did not speak. His gaze slid from one to the other, probing, determining that one of them probably *was* his Chakotay.

“He’s so quiet,” Chakotay commented.

“He hasn’t been given permission to speak,” was the reply. “And I can’t begin to tell you how long it took him to learn that lesson.”

Chakotay smiled. “Oh I can imagine. And I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to see you here, like this Paris,” he said mockingly. “What nothing to say?”

The Captain gestured impatiently: “You may speak Thomas,” he said.

“Is it really you, Commander?” Tom said slowly.

“Yes, it’s me,” was the reply. “I followed you into the wormhole, but exited into a different part of space. I’m on my way back to our universe, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit. I’ll give your regards to the Captain if you like.”

Tom paled. “You mean you’re not going--”

“To take you with me?” Chakotay interrupted. “I’m afraid not. I couldn’t possibly take you away from all this,” he gestured at the room as he spoke, “not when you’ve so obviously found your proper place at last.”

Tom lowered his head, part of him couldn’t believe what he was hearing, he couldn’t believe that the Commander would abandon him like this. He knew that they had had their differences in the past, but he had thought they were over those, were becoming friends, in fact part of him before his enslavement had hoped that maybe one day they might be more than friends. But the other part of him had discerned desire in the Commander’s eyes and an enjoyment of seeing Tom kneeling before him. He was very much afraid that the Commander meant what he said, had not come to rescue him, but to exult in his degradation. Before his captivity, and even when relations between him and Chakotay had been at their worse, Paris would not have doubted that Chakotay was attempting to rescue him, but now ... he was simply not certain, it had been so long since he had met anyone with a shred of decency that he could not conceive of anyone risking their life for him. And of course this was *Chakotay*, whose counterpart had done his best to break him, who possessed him. It was difficult for Tom to maintain in his mind the differences between the two men; inevitably, as a result of having been in Captain Chakotay’s company so much, he had begun to forget what the other Chakotay was like.

He found it difficult to comprehend that he and Chakotay had actually enjoyed a drink or a game of pool together, had socialised as equals, had laughed together, but then Tom couldn’t remember what it was like to laugh. Oh, he had heard Chakotay laugh often enough, but it was usually a cruel laughter, often at Tom’s expense. Although, sometimes Chakotay had been genuinely amused at something Tom had said on the occasions when he was in the mood for discussion; Tom had not lost his ability to be witty, but could not find any joy or laughter for himself.

Tom knew that the Captain would not let him go easily, that he might be sufficiently obsessed with him to risk his neck to keep him. He could not comprehend that Chakotay would be willing to court danger by attempting to rescue him, but deep within, where Tom had placed his determination to resist Captain Chakotay there was a tiny shred of hope that Chakotay was putting on an act to lull the Captain into a false sense of security.

“Look up,” the Captain commanded. Tom obeyed and the Captain seized his chin, turning his head so that Chakotay might admire his profile. “Look at this,” the Captain said to his counterpart, “exquisite isn’t it.”

“I’ve always thought so,” Chakotay agreed. “Particularly when so uncharacteristically silent,” he smirked. The Captain seized Tom by his hair, which Chakotay noted was longer than he was used to seeing it, curling round itself in charming disarray, pulling Tom’s head back to show off the lovely, long, line of his throat, encircled by the golden collar. The Captain ran his finger down Tom’s throat; throughout it all Tom didn’t make a sound. Chakotay found his silence, the fact that he made no protest at this treatment, almost too much to bear; what had been done to him to make him like this?

“You want him, don’t you?” the captain asked abruptly. “You always have.”

“I can’t lie to you,” Chakotay admitted. “Yes I do, but he’s yours.” All the while he was thinking to himself, //and you don’t know how true it is, that I want him, although I’ve only recently realised it.//

“I might be&ldots; persuaded to lend him out.”


“Yes, I like the idea of watching myself, so to speak, with him.”

“Sounds good to me,” was the enthusiastic response. Head bent back by the Captain who was still holding his hair, Tom was miserably taking all this in. //No. No,// he was thinking, //they can’t mean ... please no, gods *no*! //

The Captain finally released Tom’s head. “Stand up,” he ordered. Tom gracefully complied. Chakotay was not able to take his eyes off him. It had been a revelation to him when he realised just why he had been so hostile to Tom for so long and he could not prevent his eyes from drinking in the sight before him, even though he wanted to spare Tom embarrassment. Then he thought to himself grimly that if he had a chance of pulling this off and rescuing Tom, he must play along, at least until he received the signal from Seska and if that included collaborating in Tom’s humiliation, then so be it.

“Strip,” the Captain ordered Tom, who loosened the fastening of his tunic and let it fall to the floor, head down as he did so. He was flushed red in embarrassment; he was used to being naked in front of the Captain, (and there was the horrible incident with Dalby) but this was the Commander. Chakotay was unable to stop himself from drinking in avidly the golden beauty revealed to him, realising that he had never seen Tom naked before. He noted that Tom was wearing a ruby earring in one ear and that there was a gold chain around one ankle; the adornments served only to emphasis his nakedness. To his horror, Chakotay realised that he was becoming aroused. He desperately tried to control his erection, but the Captain noticed and smiled at him knowingly.

“Look up,” the Captain ordered. Tom did so; his eyes were wide with distress. “Beautiful, isn’t he,” the Captain remarked conversationally.

Chakotay cleared his throat: “Yes he is,” he agreed.

“Later,” murmured the Captain. “For now let’s eat!”

He led the way to the table, Chakotay and Tom following. There the Captain directed Chakotay to a chair at the table, taking the other himself. It was the most uncomfortable meal Chakotay had ever partaken in, the food was exquisite, although he refused the wine, explaining to his counterpart that he didn’t drink. But all the time he was conscious of Tom, naked, serving perfectly, kneeling by the side of the Captain’s chair when his services were not required, attentive to both his and the Captain’s every move, jumping up to refill the glasses with wine or water, or to remove a finished plate of food. Every so often the Captain would reach out and caress Tom’s face or run his fingers through his hair. Chakotay found this almost too much to bear, seeing that Tom endured these attentions passively. Conversely, however he dreaded the end of the meal and what was to happen next, but a small part of him, which Chakotay was ashamed to admit he possessed, was ... excited at that thought. Chakotay was waiting impatiently for the signal from Seska; would it never come!

At last the meal was finished, Chakotay had spun it out for as long as he dared without rousing his counterpart’s suspicions. The Captain indicated that they should move to a couple of high-backed chairs to the side of the room, cradling a glass of the finest Aldarian brandy as he did so. Tom was still kneeling by the dinner table, not having been ordered to move. The Captain looked over thoughtfully at the young man, watching as the candlelight flickered on his skin, sipping his brandy as he did so.

 “Now there’s a thought,” the Captain murmured.

“What?” Chakotay asked.

“Did you know that Thomas is particularly skilled at pleasing with his mouth?” was the response. “No, of course not. Well, I think you’ve now got the chance to find out.” He gestured abruptly to Tom. “Come here and please him,” he ordered, “you know how.”

Tom started to get to his feet, but the Captain raised an eyebrow. “Did I tell you to get up? No, I thought not. Hands and knees,” he barked.

Tom obeyed his order silently, crawling over to Chakotay, head held low, skin flushed, holding back his humiliated tears at being so forced to degrade himself in front of the Commander. As for Chakotay, he was fighting hard to prevent his horrified reaction to this sight. What had been done to the young man he had known to make him obey even this order without protest? But another part of the Commander, anticipating what was going to happen next, knowing that he must join in with the Captain in Tom’s humiliation, was unable to control the rush of blood to his groin. Oh spirits, he shouldn’t want this, not under these circumstances, but he couldn’t help himself. Spirits help him; he wanted Tom, but&ldots; not like this. So why couldn’t he control his aberrant body?

Once Tom reached Chakotay he knelt before him frozen for a second. //Shit! Oh gods, not this, please the gods not this, not with *him*.//

“Please him. Now!” the Captain prompted, his hand going warningly to his wrist bracelet. Tom opened Chakotay’s fly, noting that he was not wearing any underwear and that he was already erect. Startled, he looked up at Chakotay, spying for an instant what he thought was an expression of anguish and regret in the Commander’s eyes, before his face went blank. Tom bent his head and licked Chakotay’s erection, then bathed Chakotay’s balls with his tongue. Chakotay shifted restlessly in his chair, he couldn’t believe how wonderful this felt, to feel Tom’s beautiful lips on him. Tom swirled his tongue round the head, kissing and licking it, before taking him in deep. Chakotay gasped, this felt so good, so right, it had never been this good, never. His mind blanked out, he forgot the obscene circumstances they were in, forgot the fact that his counterpart was watching them avidly, there was only this sensation, this feeling, oh this was so good, Tom was so good at this. He thrust in and out of Tom’s mouth, feeling that sweet tongue, the gentle sting of Tom’s teeth, this was perfect, this was&ldots;he was.. coming, he was pulsing, he was ... Chakotay threw his head back, feeling the waves of his orgasm washing through him, erupting into Tom’s mouth, which stayed on him throughout. As he finished climaxing, he felt Tom’s tongue on him washing him clean before Tom let go of his shaft and sat back on his heels. Both men were breathing deeply.

“You see,” the Captain said smugly, “I told you he’s good at this.”

“Good, yes, good,” Chakotay panted.

“And just wait, there’s a lot more you have to experience. I assure you that you’ll really enjoy him begging you to fuck him, he begs so beautifully,” the Captain said lasciviously. Tom lowered his head in shame.

Chakotay looked over at his counterpart sharply. “I’ve decided to be generous and allow you to take him,” said the Captain. “Besides, I enjoyed watching that. Do you know you’re the only person I’d ever consider lending him to, but then of course, you are me.”

“Come here,” he ordered Tom sharply. Tom hastened to obey knowing that to delay when Chakotay used that tone would mean punishment. The Captain fed Tom the aphrodisiac, Tom’s heart sinking as he ingested it. The Captain intended to allow him no dignity at all, to force him to beg his counterpart to use him, oh gods how could he bear this, knowing what was to happen.

“What’s that you’ve given him?” Chakotay demanded.

“A little inducement to cooperate,” was the response. “He really won’t be able to help himself. And I’d advise you to take this,” he said holding out a tab of denedrexidrine. “Oh don’t worry, it’s not the same thing I gave young Thomas here, this just aids recovery and adds stamina.” Seeing that his counterpart’s eyes were on him, Chakotay swallowed the tab.

“Now,” the Captain said pleasantly, “I suggest we adjourn to the bedroom, yes see, Thomas is becoming rather agitated.”

 Chakotay looked at Tom who was on his knees by the Captain’s chair, he was moving restlessly, his fists repeatedly clenching and unclenching and he was fully erect.

Once in the bedroom, the Captain suggested that Tom undress Chakotay, who stood passively, allowing Tom to tend to him, all the while thinking: //Where the *hell* is Seska?// Chakotay himself was also erect; he could not help but react to Tom’s obvious arousal, in spite of the avid look of greedy enjoyment in his counterpart’s eyes. Tom undressed Chakotay efficiently, with the ease of long practice. Chakotay marvelled at his ability to remain graceful, even under these circumstances; at the same time he was desperately hoping that the bracelet he wore would vibrate with Seska’s signal soon.

When Chakotay was naked, he took Tom in his arms and kissed him, trying to convey with his mouth his sorrow, his abhorrence for the situation they were in, but also fighting not to crush Tom against him, devour his mouth with his own. Tom was responding eagerly, the aphrodisiac turning his blood to fire, rubbing up and down against Chakotay’s body. Chakotay was distressed to note that Tom did not seek to take the initiative, in spite of his obvious need, having been trained to respond only to the other’s pleasure, unless otherwise specifically directed. //That’s one more score to settle on Tom’s behalf,// Chakotay raged even as he held Tom in his arms, making a vow to himself to protect Tom, no matter what it took. They collapsed together onto the bed, still kissing. Chakotay was seriously worried that he would not be able to control himself, not with Tom writhing against him like this, then he felt the buzz against his skin. Seska’s signal!

Chakotay rolled off the bed, to find his counterpart looking at him in surprise. He leapt, and punched. The Captain went down as if pole-axed, but rolled over, grabbed at Chakotay and pulled him off balance. The two men struggled together, Chakotay feeling a sense of immense satisfaction as each blow landed, whereas the Captain was fighting quite desperately to keep what was his. Neither man had the advantage, they were too evenly matched, but the Captain was the dirtier fighter. Chakotay grunted as a blow knocked the breath out of him, and felt the Captain place his hands round Chakotay’s neck, and squeeze. Chakotay gasped for breath, his vision dimming, no, no, he couldn’t lose this fight, he had to win, for Tom, then he felt his opponent convulse, and his hands loosen. Chakotay threw the Captain off, saw Tom standing above them, having hit the Captain, watched him grab the Captain, giving Chakotay a clear shot. Chakotay dealt the Captain a knockout blow, as the other man lapsed into unconsciousness. Tom smiled at him, as Chakotay hauled himself to his feet, panting.

“I take it that we’re escaping,” Tom said. Chakotay nodded and grinned.

“We are indeed,” he confirmed.

“I thought, I thought ... ” Tom began hesitantly.

“Oh Tom, I’m sorry,” Chakotay said remorsefully. “I had to play along to get you out of here.” As he spoke, he was looking around for something to tie the Captain up with, only to find that Tom was silently holding out a couple of pairs of handcuffs. Chakotay grabbed them, manhandled the unconscious Captain to a chair, with Tom’s assistance, and cuffed each hand to the side of the chair. He removed the Captain’s commbadge. “Now we leave,” he said, even as the Captain began to stir.

“I can’t,” Tom said.

“Why not?”

“The collar. It’s set so that I can’t leave the ship, barring an emergency, not unless I’m close to the wristband. It can be adjusted, but it takes a while.”

Someone laughed unpleasantly.

Chakotay frowned and glanced over at his counterpart, to find that the man was watching him gloatingly, having already come round. He appeared to be awake and alert with no sign of concussion. “So,” the Captain sneered. “It’s not going to be as easy as you thought. I told you, he’s mine and no one else is going to have him, not even you.”

Chakotay flushed. “I don’t ... ” he started to say.

“Want him,” his counterpart finished. “Liar! Or is it that you’ve been lying to yourself? No matter, you want him, you always have, since the first time you saw him. You can’t lie to me of all people.”

“Maybe that’s so,” Chakotay said doggedly, while Tom stared at him in surprise, “but only if he wants me. I would never do what you’ve done. I can’t tell me you how much you disgust me.”

“Of *course* you wouldn’t,” the Captain snickered. “Keep telling yourself that and maybe you’ll come to believe it. Not that you’ll have very long. No one takes what’s mine and lives, not even you. So I suggest you try and get out of here now, but it won’t be with Thomas. He’s not going anywhere, not unless he’s close to me, not with that collar.” Chakotay fumbled with the wristband his counterpart wore, having been briefed that the bracelet controlled the collar. He was unable to open it while the Captain laughed at him.

“It won’t come off,” he said. It’s designed to be worn to the grave.”

Chakotay’s eyes fell on a sword, displayed on the wall. “Get dressed,” he ordered Tom. “Better put on what you’d normally wear around the ship.” The young man silently obeyed, pulling on the dark blue livery. “Where does the Captain keep his clothes?” Chakotay asked Tom, “because ... ”

“You’re going to pretend to be him,” Paris finished.

“Exactly” Chakotay said, pleased that Tom was on the ball. Tom showed him where the closet was and Chakotay swiftly dressed in his counterpart’s uniform. He also cleaned up the marks of the fight, regenerating his split lip and visible bruises. He then turned back to the Captain, who had been watching with a supercilious expression on his face.

“I don’t know why you’re bothering,” the Captain said. “Thomas isn’t going anywhere. That’s if he even wants to. He knows he belongs to me, don’t you Thomas?”

Chakotay looked at the man incredulously, he couldn’t possibly think that Tom would *want* to stay with him, could he? He couldn’t be that deluded? The Commander looked at Tom, who was standing with his fists clenched, but his head was down.

“Don’t you?” the Captain repeated.

Tom looked up. His eyes flashed fire. “Belong to you,” he said, then began to laugh. “If you only knew, knew how much I ... how much I hate you, loathe you, detest you. You sick fuck, you’re seriously disturbed if you think that I ... that I ... ” He choked, drew a breath and continued, speaking more calmly. “What you’ve done to me, well, I’m gonna do everything I can to get over it, because I know that I’ll never have to see you again. Oh, some small part of me pities you, you’re really so pathetic, you’ll never know love, or even friendship, all you’ll ever do is play your games! I used to like games once, but not any more.” The Captain said nothing in response to Tom’s tirade. He had thought he’d completely tamed the young man. He’d been wrong. Tom whirled to face Chakotay. “Let’s get the hell out of here,” he said. “I’d rather be dead than spend one more minute with *him*!”

Chakotay set his jaw and strode over to the Captain. “What you said, about Tom having to be close to you,” he said. “That’s not strictly true, it’s not you he needs to be close to, it’s your wristband.”

Chakotay raised the sword and swiftly brought it down. The months of waiting, worrying about Tom, his knowledge of what his counterpart had done to the man he loved, all contributed to the sense of satisfaction he felt as the sword fell. It was razor sharp and cut easily through the Captain’s wrist. The man’s scream of agony echoed through the cabin as he lapsed into unconsciousness. Tom stared at Chakotay with disbelieving eyes; to see this man who he had always believed to be essentially so civilised deliberately carry out such a ruthless action was a shock. Part of Tom acknowledged that Chakotay was trying to save their lives, but he had not realised that *this* Chakotay could be so ruthless. He shuddered inwardly as he thought that the two Chakotay’s might have more in common that he had thought. Chakotay said nothing, but removed the bracelet from the severed wrist, the catch falling open easily as he did so and calmly placed it around his own wrist, after wiping off the blood. He used the medkit to staunch the bleeding.

“Come on,” Chakotay said. “Let’s go.”

The two men walked out of the cabin, the bodyguards automatically falling into step behind. Chakotay waved two of them off, telling them to stay to keep an eye on his counterpart, who was still in the cabin, but not to disturb him. Chakotay strode through the ship, trying to match the Captain’s self-confident swagger, Tom heeling him as was normal when he accompanied the Captain round the ship. Chakotay headed unerringly for the shuttle bay, thankful that he had studied the ship’s specs given to him by Seska. When the group reached the shuttle bay, they found Seska and Geron waiting for them, but unaccompanied by bodyguards. Tom tensed as he saw who was there, but Chakotay grabbed him and pulled him down, as Seska and Geron both raised a phaser that each had held concealed and fired at the guards. Both men dropped silently, it had happened so quickly there had been no time for them to react.

“You are Cardassian then?” Tom asked.

Seska nodded. “We haven’t got much time, “she said. “I’ve managed to disable the warp drive and the armaments, but they build so many fail-safes into these things that they’ll be up very soon. Your shuttle’s ready to go. Good luck.” She and Geron ran towards their own shuttle, the one Chakotay had arrived in, as Chakotay called after her:

“Thank you.” She turned and smiled at him. “You’re very welcome,” was all she said, as she and Geron entered their shuttle.

“Come on,” Chakotay ordered, but Tom was already entering the Cochrane. Tom sat down in the pilot’s chair, his fingers dancing over the control panel.

“Tom,” Chakotay started, “you haven’t flown for five months. Maybe I ... ”

“No!” Tom interrupted fiercely. “No offence Commander, but I’m still more qualified to fly this thing than you! Now if you’ll just tell me where we’re going ... ”

Chakotay shrugged, pleased at this show of assertiveness from Tom, and punched in the co-ordinates hurriedly. “We’re going back to where we came from, the wormhole should be opening shortly. It gives us the chance to get back to our universe, probably the Delta Quadrant.”

Tom raised an eyebrow. “Probably,” he echoed. “Well, that’s, er, great”. Even as he spoke, he was starting up the engines, following the other shuttle out the opening shuttle bay doors, even as internal sirens started to wail in the Extreme. “And even if that’s so, it’s been five months. Voyager won’t still be there.”

Chakotay shook his head. “The Bajoran Alliance scientists who’ve studied the wormhole say that there’s a time dilation. We should get back not too long after we left, hopefully we’ll be able to catch up with Voyager.”

“That’s a lot of probablys and shoulds,” Tom commented.

“Do you want to stay here?” Chakotay asked anxiously. “Because we could go to the Alliance you know.”

Tom threw him a fierce, wild grin. “Hell no,” he drawled. “I’ve always been a gambler, this is just the biggest one I’ve ever taken, is all!”

He locked the shuttle onto the co-ordinates, away from Seska’s shuttle, which was making good time away from the Extreme, even as the ship attempted to hail them, telling them to halt or they would be fired upon. They ignored the hail. The next moment the little shuttle rocked as Tom threw it to one side in order to avoid a phaser blast.

“I hate to worry you,” Tom said, “but we’re not going to able to out run it for long.”

“Seska fixed it, or at least I hope she fixed it, so that even when the warp comes back online, they won’t have full power.”

“Well that’s a comfort,” Tom said dryly, fingers dancing as he manoeuvred the shuttle to avoid another phaser blast.

“Damn,” Chakotay breathed. “They’re going after us rather than Seska.”

Tom shook his head. “Figures,” was all he said.

“I was afraid of this, Seska hasn’t got so far to go until she’s safe, but we’re the obvious target, not being from the Empire.”

“Why’d she help us anyway?”

“It’s a long story,” Chakotay shrugged. “I’ll tell you later.”

The shuttle increased the distance between it and the Extreme, Chakotay watching in awe as Tom coaxed every possible bit of speed out of the little vehicle, continuously rocked by phaser fire as they were, Tom somehow managing to avoid taking a direct hit. Chakotay had never seen piloting like it, but noted with concern the look of grim determination and fixed concentration on Tom’s face. //He wasn’t kidding when he said he’d rather be dead than with my counterpart,// Chakotay thought in dismay. //Spirits, just how bad was it?//

Just then the shuttle was rocked by a blast that Tom had been unable to dodge. “We’re hit,” he yelled. “Check out the damage will you.”

Chakotay sighed in relief. “It’s not too bad, shouldn’t affect our speed, but shields are down to 47%.”

“OK, noted,” was all Tom said. “The wormhole’s almost&ldots;yes. There!”

Chakotay looked with relief at the welcome sight, there it was, maw gaping wide.

“Shit!” Tom said. “Sensors show it’s beginning to close. We’re cutting it fine. Our ETA shows 2 minutes 30 seconds. We’ve got *maybe* that long before it shuts.”

Chakotay frowned in concern. The Bajoran scientists had thought the wormhole would remain open for another couple of days. This was not good.

Tom’s whole body was thrown forward, yearning towards the wormhole; his normal relaxed piloting posture was quite absent. Chakotay stole a glance at him and made up his mind. If they didn’t make the wormhole and were captured by the Extreme, he would blow up the shuttle. He was not going to let Tom fall back into his counterpart’s hands! He shuddered as he thought about what his counterpart might do to him.

“Nearly there,” Tom muttered, watching as the wormhole steadily shrank in size. “Nearly there.” The shuttle was rocked by another blast of phaser fire.

“Shields down to 23%,” Chakotay reported. Tom said nothing, his whole attention on the wormhole, which was shrinking rapidly. Suddenly, Chakotay felt the wormhole’s pull; they were being sucked in, just in time, as the entrance was now too small for anything but a shuttle to pass through. They were in!

This time both men welcomed the buffeting the shuttle received, they were on their way!

At last they reached the other end and were spat out into normal space. Tom checked the co-ordinates and was silent.

“Well?” Chakotay demanded.

“It’s the Delta Quadrant, our universe, and the time is&ldots; two weeks after we left.” Tom turned to face Chakotay an expression of pure joy on his face, which died as he saw who he was looking at. He recoiled slightly. Chakotay had been bedazzled by Tom’s expression, he had a big beaming smile on his own face, which faded as he saw Tom’s involuntary reaction.

“Let’s see if we can raise Voyager,” he said, with forced calm. Tom nodded as Chakotay opened hailing frequencies.

“Cochrane to Voyager.”

There was a short pause. Then, “Voyager here,” came the welcome tones of Captain Janeway. “Chakotay is that really you? And where’s Tom?”

“He’s right here.”

“Thank the gods. We’ve been worried about you both. Figured you got sucked into the wormhole. Where’ve you been? And what’s happened to the Garibaldi?”

“It’s a long story, Captain. I’ll tell you later. For now, let’s just say it’s good to be back,” Chakotay smiled.

“Noted Commander, I’ll look forward to it. We calculate that you should be in range in seven hours, if we come to meet you. We’ve been waiting in the area for the wormhole to open, but its location varies pretty widely.”

“Agreed,” Chakotay said.

They discussed a rendezvous point, but before Janeway signed off she said, “Oh Tom ... ”

“Yes Captain,” he replied, startled.

“Just checking you really are there. You’ve been uncharacteristically silent,” she laughed.

“I’m really here,” Tom quietly replied, his smile of pleasure at hearing her voice fading as the adrenaline of their flight faded and the memories threatened to overwhelm him. He also groaned inwardly as he became aware of the demands of his body. That damned aphrodisiac!

“Good. I’ll look forward to seeing you both. Janeway out.”

Chakotay turned to Tom with a smile; they were on their way back to Voyager, but his smile faded at the look of distress on Tom’s face, he was flushed and breathing deeply.

“What is it?” he enquired in alarm.

Tom shifted restlessly, biting his lip, his eyes were downcast. “I ... ” he began. “I need ... ”


“I, oh gods” he said. “It’s this aphrodisiac, I need ... please.”

Chakotay’s heart sank. He supposed that while they had been escaping and Tom was flying the shuttle, he had sublimated the effects of the aphrodisiac, but now they had returned in full force. “I, I,” he stuttered, uncharacteristically. He took a deep breath. “Why don’t you go to the back of the shuttle and um, take care of it,” he said, trying to be as delicate as possible.

Tom lowered his head and mumbled something.

“I’m sorry,” Chakotay said. “I didn’t hear what you said.”

“I *can’t*,” Tom burst out. “I’m not allowed to, to touch myself, my pleasure, it’s not for me, it’s for him.”

Chakotay swallowed. “But you’re free now,” he said. “Surely ... ”

“You don’t understand,” Tom said when his voice died away. “I can’t! He trained me, like a dog. If I attempted to, to ... the collar, it ... ” He squeezed his eyes shut, but tears escaped to trickle down his face, while Chakotay sat there in horror stricken silence. Deep within the Commander, the pool of rage which he had not thought could get any deeper, intensified; he wanted to tear his counterpart with his bare hands, for what he had done to Tom. He moved to Tom and put his arms round him, with some difficulty, as Tom was still in the pilot’s chair.

“Shush, shush,” he soothed. “It’s all right, I’ll help you, shush.”

He placed the ship on autopilot and gently persuaded Tom to come to the back of the shuttle. He seated them on the floor, on the standard issue Starfleet blankets. “It’ll be easier if you take off your tunic,” he said awkwardly, watching while Tom stripped himself naked.

“I think it best if I, well I’ll just, er, masturbate you,” he said, gently putting his hand on Tom’s erection, massaging him to completion. It didn’t take long. Chakotay reached out for the cloth he had placed by the side of the blankets, and gently cleaned Tom up, dismayed to see that he was already hard again by the time he had finished. He jerked Tom off again, but again Tom’s erection returned quickly. //What the hell was in that stuff my alternate forced him to eat?// Chakotay wondered.

“OK,” Chakotay said. “We’re going to have to try something else.” He bent down to take Tom’s shaft into his mouth, only to be violently pushed away.

“No,” Tom cried. “I’m ... I’m not allowed to come when he does that!”

Chakotay felt tears pricking at the back of his lids. “How about if we, er, if you come inside me then?” he suggested huskily, excited by the idea in spite of himself. Tom drew up his knees to his chest and buried his face in his hands. He was trembling violently.

“No,” he mumbled. “That’s ... I can’t, it’s forbidden. He never wanted that, so ... I can’t!”

Chakotay fought back tears. The full horror of what had been done to Tom, the way his sexuality had been perverted, was only now becoming clear. He moved closer to the younger man. “Then I’ll take you, if that’s OK”, he said.

Tom nodded wordlessly, not moving from his curled up position. Chakotay stripped off his clothes. As much as he wanted Tom, he could not bring himself to desire this, not now, under these circumstances, not with Tom wounded as he was, but he could not stand by and watch Tom suffer; long tremors were running through his body now. Chakotay stroked himself to hardness and then gently placed his hand on Tom’s shoulder.

“How do you want to do this?” he asked gently.

“Whatever pleases you,” was the reply. Chakotay gulped. Tom could not react in any way on the sexual level as an equal; it had all been taken from him.

“I think it’ll be easier for you if you’re on your front,” Chakotay suggested. Tom said nothing, but moved silently into position. Chakotay stroked down his long back gently and then with slight touches moved Tom onto his hands and knees. He parted the pale buttocks and reached inside with one finger, to find that Tom had already been prepared. //Of course,// Chakotay thought bitterly. //Of course.// Tom was moving restlessly at the stimulus and pushing back against Chakotay’s finger. Chakotay placed another finger in him, and then another. Tom was whimpering by now, his head was down. Chakotay felt around for the lubricant, which he had placed by the side of the blankets just in case it was needed, and greased his erection carefully. He removed his hand from Tom, who moaned in disappointment as he did so, his whole body begging wordlessly. Chakotay grasped Tom’s hips, kneeling behind him, and quickly entered him. He remained still for a moment, his eyes closed, feeling Tom surrounding him, so hot and tight. How many times had he dreamed of this moment, but, spirits, not like this, not like this ... He gently thrust into Tom, who met his strokes with enthusiasm.

“Please,” Tom said softly.

“Please what, Tom?”

“Please, harder, I need ... please!”

Chakotay sped up his stokes thrusting harder into Tom who was thrusting back with equal vigour, the force of Chakotay’s thrusts sending him to his elbows, and then Tom was coming, with no further stimulation than that, Chakotay had not needed to lay a hand on his shaft. Chakotay quickly followed suit, the feel of Tom’s muscles clenching around him sending him over the edge. Tom collapsed to the floor, Chakotay tumbling heavily on top of him. He rolled off Tom to give him room to breathe and gathered the young man into his arms.

“Oh Tom,” he said, “I am so sorry, for what that bastard’s done to you. I wish I had killed him. I, oh spirits, knowing that it was my counterpart who did this ... ” he choked, unable to continue.

Tom’s eyes were closed. “It was him, not you, Chakotay. We both have to try and remember that, although I don’t know if I *can*,” he said, unhappily.

Chakotay marvelled at the generosity of spirit that led Tom to try and comfort him, even in these circumstances. If possible he fell even deeper in love with Tom at that moment, in the midst of unhappiness and despair.


A few hours later Chakotay woke up with Tom’s head pillowed on his shoulder. He lay still, savouring the feel of him in his arms, bitterly aware that this was probably the only time that he would ever be able to do this. He had had to take Tom a couple of more times, thankful that he had taken the drug the Captain recommended, because otherwise he would not have been able to do this, until the effects of the aphrodisiac had at last worn off and Tom had slept. Chakotay had lain awake for a long time, unable to sleep through the rage that consumed him. Before his enslavement Tom had been a laughing, irrepressible, relatively carefree young man, scarred by his part experiences, but still one of the most vibrant, alive, people Chakotay had ever met. His ability in the bedroom was well known on Voyager; Chakotay had not, of course, slept with Tom, but he had heard the gossip; that Paris was a playful inventive lover, who was known for taking the initiative in a charming manner.

But the person he had rescued from his counterpart was silent and subdued, incapable of seeing to his own pleasure; trained to pleasure others only. Chakotay had persuaded Tom to tell him in more detail what the Captain had done to him, although Chakotay worried that Tom had only co-operated with him because he was, at least on a subconscious level, afraid of what Chakotay would do to him if he didn’t. Part of him had been broken and Chakotay’s greatest fear was that he would not mend.

He remembered hopefully how desperate Tom had been to escape and how he had taken the initiative in his rescue. He had not given in completely then, in spite of the torture he had received. Chakotay wanted to tell Tom how proud of him he was for that, but doubted that he would ever get the chance. It was obscene what had been done to him and Chakotay wanted to make someone pay, to rend, to kill, but the man whom he wanted to pay back for what he had done to Tom was a universe away. Still, Chakotay contemplated with satisfaction the memory of cutting off the alternate Chakotay’s hand. He knew that he should not be taking such pleasure in the memory, but oh, it had been so satisfying, to hurt that bastard, pay back at least a little what he had done to Tom.

Voyager would be with them shortly and he gently shook Tom awake. When Tom saw who was leaning over him, an expression of fear crossed his face and his body tensed, although he did not attempt to move away; he had swiftly learned that he would be punished if he did so. For a moment Tom had thought that the escape had all been in vain, that he was back on the Extreme, in Captain Chakotay’s quarters. Inside, Chakotay felt deep hurt at this reaction, which Tom was obviously not able to control, because as soon as he remembered who this Chakotay was, he wiped his face clean of expression and consciously relaxed his body. But it was too late, Chakotay knew that Tom feared him, at a level too deep for him to control, and that he possibly always would. Chakotay valiantly battled to keep his emotions from showing on his face; he must be strong for Tom, but he was mourning the loss of hope regarding the man he loved, who he feared would now never be able to return his affections.

Then they heard once more the sound of Janeway’s voice hailing them. Chakotay dove to the helm to answer her, smiling in pleasure at seeing her after so long. Her face lit up at the sight of him, but then a frown crossed her face.

“Where’s Tom?” she enquired. Chakotay motioned to Tom to stay where he was.

“He’s been injured Captain.” At her sharp intake of breath, he hastened to add, “Not terminally, but I think it’s best he stays where he is for now.” Chakotay was concerned to protect Tom, to not allow everyone on the bridge to see him dressed as he was now. He suspected that Tom was going to need a lot of therapy and Chakotay did not think it would be beneficial if the whole ship was speculating as to why Tom wore a collar and skimpy tunic.

“I see,” Janeway said slowly.

“In fact Captain, I think it would be best if I fly the shuttle in and then we’re both beamed directly to sickbay. Perhaps you could meet us there.”

Janeway was no fool. She nodded in assent and once the channel had been closed went to her ready room, where she called the Doctor and asked him to clear sickbay. Then she sat and waited, worried as to what was wrong with Tom. Finally she received word that the shuttle was on board and set off for sickbay. As she entered, her eyes drank in the sight of her First Officer and Chief Pilot standing in sickbay, rejoicing to see that Tom didn’t look injured although, she frowned, what was that he was wearing? As Tom and Chakotay turned round to face her, Tom automatically dropped to his knees, unable to prevent himself from reacting to her presence as his superior officer, in this way. Janeway gasped and took a step back; the horrible truth of what Tom had suffered beginning to dawn on her.

“Tom, Lieutenant,” she said in dismay. “Please get up.”

Tom did so, flushing in embarrassment as he realised what he had just done. Chakotay had not had a chance to say anything to the Doctor before the Captain’s arrival, but he too had drawn his own conclusions by what he had seen and from Mr. Paris’ attire. The Doctor would not admit it but he was very fond of the young lieutenant, who, annoying though he could be, was one of the first people on Voyager to treat him as a person, and had given him his support on more than one occasion. In addition he had been shaping up as a fine assistant in sickbay.

“Lie down Lieutenant,” he said, “I need to examine you.” He was expecting the usual moans from Tom, something along the lines of ‘Why? I’m not sick, do I look sick, I’m perfectly fine!’, and was surprised and, truth be told, dismayed, when Tom obeyed him silently.

Janeway cleared her throat. “I’ll let the Doctor examine you now Tom. We’ll talk after he’s done OK?”

Tom spoke in a low voice: “Yes Captain,” was all he said.

Janeway went into the Doctor’s office, nodding to Chakotay to follow her, calling for a privacy lock once they were both inside.

“Chakotay,” she started hesitantly, “it’s good to have you back, to have you both back. But, what happened to Tom?”

Chakotay sighed and sat down on the edge of the desk heavily. “It’s a long story, but the gist of it was that we were in an alternate universe, where Humans maintain an Empire in which they rule by fear. Tom was captured by an Empire vessel upon arrival in the alternate universe&ldots; and enslaved.”

Kathryn’s eyes were wide. “How enslaved exactly?” she asked carefully.

“He was the personal attendant to the Captain,” Chakotay said reluctantly, he didn’t want to have to tell anyone of this, but knew that he must.

Janeway drew a breath. “I think I see. And who was this Captain?”

Chakotay gulped: “He was my counterpart Captain.”

Janeway stood there in silence not knowing what to say. “That must have been rough on both of you,” she finally ventured. Chakotay made a strangled noise, almost like a laugh.

“Not me, but Tom, for him it was ... ” Words failed him. “My counterpart and his are enemies. Captain Chakotay couldn’t believe his luck when he captured Tom. He did his utmost to break him and I’m very much afraid that he almost succeeded.” Chakotay was unaware that tears had escaped from his eyes, to fall down his face as he said this, but Kathryn was observing him unhappily, seeing how upset he was.

“I don’t mean to pry,” she said, “but he doesn’t appear to be physically hurt.”

“No, the damage is psychological. My counterpart was far too careful to mark him permanently, wouldn’t want to mar his looks,” Chakotay said bitterly. The Captain’s eyes widened at the implications behind that statement. “He trained him to be the perfect slave, using that collar round his neck, it can give agonising pain as the owner desires, by using this,” Chakotay held up his arm, showing her the wristband. “I ... took it off my counterpart, because Tom couldn’t leave his quarters without being close to it.” He took a breath and continued. “Oh and Kathryn, what’s been done to him ... ” His chest heaved, he didn’t want to have to tell her this, but, as the Captain, Janeway needed to know the full extent of the damage inflicted on the young lieutenant. “He, he, well you saw how he reacted when you walked in. That’s part of his training too, he can’t help himself. He’s been trained not to speak unless given permission, and to, to give pleasure, sexually. But, but--” Chakotay choked.

Janeway’s face was twisted with pain. “What is it?” she said gently. “You don’t have to tell me.”

“No, no, you need to know how deep the damage runs. I found out that he’s been trained so that he can’t give pleasure to himself. He’s incapable of masturbating, or, or” Chakotay squirmed, “or of entering another man. I asked him about women and he said he didn’t know, that Chakotay,” he choked as he said the name, “forced him to have sex with a female prisoner, but didn’t allow him to come within her. What I do know is that he’s incapable of taking the initiative sexually, even when he’s desperate.”

Janeway swallowed heavily, gulping back tears. //Oh Tom,// she mourned. //My fine young lieutenant. How did I let this happen to you?// “And your counterpart did all this to him in two weeks?” she asked, wondering at the procedures that must have been used to reduce Tom to this in that period of time.

Chakotay shook his head. “There was a time dilation effect in the wormhole. Kathryn, my counterpart didn’t have Tom for two weeks, it was five months!”

Janeway was silent, realising how long the young lieutenant had been held, imagining what he must have suffered. She hesitated and then spoke: “And you think that this will affect his ability to perform his duties as well?” she asked, concentrating on the ship to avoid giving way to her emotions. Chakotay’s expression lightened slightly.

“That’s the one thing that gives me hope,” he said. “When we were escaping, Tom was almost like his old self, he took over the helm of the shuttle and flew us out of danger brilliantly, used his initiative. I don’t know about the rest of it, but I think he’ll be able to fly again, in time act as a senior officer again, or at least I hope so.”

“That’s encouraging,” Janeway said, “but he’s going to need therapy. I’ll talk to the Doctor about downloading some appropriate sub-routines. I think that that’s the best thing because there’s no one qualified on board who could counsel him about this. You’re the closest thing we’ve got to a counsellor, but in the circumstances ... ” Her voice trailed off.

“He’s afraid of me,” Chakotay choked out. “Terrified, and you’ve no idea how much that hurts, when I love him so much.” He buried his head in his hands as Kathryn laid her hand on his shoulder, now beginning to realise the depth of pain carried by the Commander, as well as Tom. She could not see anything good in this situation at all, she though in great unhappiness.

Janeway left Chakotay in the Doctor’s office as she went to talk to Paris. He was now wearing the sickbay uniform rather than the tunic and the jewellery had also gone, but he was still wearing the collar. Kathryn smiled at him, a smile that he tentatively returned. He looked very vulnerable right now; there was no trace of any of his usual cockiness, which Janeway knew from experience tended to manifest itself when he was nervous. But now, all Tom’s hidden vulnerability was dangerously close to the surface.

“How’re you feeling, Tom?” Kathryn asked.

He took a breath. “I don’t know. Relieved I guess. Glad to be back. But I ... ” He hesitated.

“But what?” she prompted.

“I don’t know how much use I’m going to be. I mean ... ”

“Tom,” she interrupted. “You’ve been through a terrible experience. Chakotay ... ” Kathryn observed worriedly the barely perceptible flinch at the mention of his name. “He filled me in somewhat,” she continued. “Take as much time as you need to recover before you return to the helm, and sickbay.” She smiled at the face Tom made at the latter statement. “And when you’re recovered, and you *will* recover lieutenant, I have the utmost faith in that, we’ll all bevery glad to have you back, but I want you to get well first. At some point I’ll need you to debrief me on what’s necessary for me to know, but there’s no hurry. Now,” she continued briskly, “I’ll just have a word with the Doctor and then we’ll get that collar off.”

Tom’s hand went involuntarily to touch the collar, he was so used to wearing it, it almost felt like part of him, notwithstanding that he hated it. Janeway motioned to the Doctor to follow her to a corner of sickbay away from Tom’s biobed and asked him in a low voice what he’d learned. The doctor replied in an equally hushed voice.

“Physically, he’s not too bad. He’s been subjected to systematic physical abuse, but it’s usually quickly been taken care of. Mentally,” the Doctor sighed. “Well, what he’s gone through is nothing less than torture. I anticipate nightmares, emotional disturbances, possible flashbacks, exacerbated by the situation he was in.”

“He told you then?”

“Some of it. Enough for me to guess the rest,” the Doctor said grimly. “He’s going to need intensive therapy, I thought perhaps I should download some psychiatric sub-routines, although I’m not sure how qualified I am to help him,” he said with uncharacteristic humility.

Janeway smiled at him warmly. “I was going to suggest the same thing,” she said pleased that the Doctor had suggested it.

“I can’t say how long it will take, but I do know that Mr Paris is a lot stronger than he thinks he is. I’m hopeful that he will eventually make a full recovery.”

“That’s good news, Doctor.” She hesitated. “Are you aware of the sexual dysfunction he’s experiencing?”

“No, he didn’t mention anything about that.”

Janeway sighed and told him what Chakotay had told her. The Doctor looked grave at this news. "I see,” he said slowly. “Well I can’t pretend that this doesn’t complicate matters. For a man, particularly a young one, and it being Mr Paris at that, with his, er, reputation, to suffer this.” He shook his head. “But I still hope that he’ll recover even from this.”

“I hope so,” said the Captain. “We need to get this collar off. I was thinking of calling B’Elanna to deal with it, but do you think that that will distress Tom?”

“I think we ought to ask him. He’s certainly rational. He may react badly when he sees her, but we can at least see how he takes the idea.”

Janeway approached Tom. “About the collar,” she began, “I think we’re going to need B’Elanna’s help. Is that all right with you?”

Tom closed his eyes. “I don’t mind her knowing, I guess. B’Elanna, Harry, they’re going to know something’s wrong anyway. But, I don’t really want the whole crew to know the details. I don’t think I could stand the sympathy,” he said wearily.

“There’s no question of that,” Janeway reassured him. “No one will be told who doesn’t need to know.”

“Like Tuvok,” Tom grimaced. “Oh well, at least he won’t be offering tea and sympathy.”

Janeway smiled at this typical Tom comment. This seemed to her to be a good sign. She called B’Elanna to come to sickbay, but intercepted her as Torres burst through the doors, anxious to see both Chakotay and Paris. Janeway took her to one side and quickly explained that Tom was wearing a collar, which had been used to control him. B’Elanna was horror-stricken. As she was about to approach Tom, Chakotay exited from the Doctor’s office.

“It’s great to see you Chakotay,” she said, conscious of his strained expression and reddened eyes.

“You too,” he said wanly. “Captain, I’m not certain whether it would be best for me to stay or go right now.”

“I think that maybe in the circumstances it would be better if you left,” Janeway said reluctantly. He nodded and left, going towards his quarters.

B’Elanna turned to Tom, who was resting with his eyes closed. “Hello Tom, it’s good to see you,” she said gently, pleased to see that he did not look much different physically. He opened his eyes at the sound of her voice and smiled at seeing her.

“You too. And how’s Harry?”

“He’s fine. We’ve missed you.”

“That’s nice to hear. I guess five months is quite a time.”

“Five months!” she exclaimed startled. “But it’s only been two weeks!”

“There was a time dilation effect,” Janeway explained. “For Tom and Chakotay it’s been five months.” She looked closely at Tom as she said Chakotay’s name. Yes, there it was again; Tom flinched at his name.

“Well, OK,” B’Elanna said concentrating with typical efficiency on the problem at hand. “Hmm,” she muttered. “I think maybe if I try this I’ll get the collar off ... ”

Once B’Elanna removed it, Tom grabbed it out of her hand, twisting it in his. “Can you destroy it?” he asked.

“I can disperse it into space if you like.”

He nodded. “Please.”

“Fine.” As she turned to go, she whirled round and asked: “Tom, is it all right if Harry and I, or just Harry if you prefer, come and see you later. We really have missed you.”

Tom nodded and turned a genuinely sweet smile on her. “I’d like that. But, maybe give Harry and I a little while alone first OK?”

“OK,” B’Elanna beamed, as she left sickbay.

“Well Mr Paris,” the Doctor said, “I suggest you rest for a while. We need to talk, but later I think.”

“Thanks Doc,” Tom said swinging his legs off the biobed.

“I’ll come with you as far as your quarters if I may,” Janeway said. Tom gave her an exasperated look.

“I *can* still find my way to my quarters you know. It may have been a while, but my memory isn’t that bad!”

Janeway shrugged. “I know, but well, I’m glad to have you back you know.” Janeway didn’t want Tom exposed to the welcome of his crewmates without anyone there to act as a buffer. Once she got Tom back to his quarters, she was then going to have a talk with Chakotay.

Tom shrugged and started to follow her out of sickbay, but she slowed to allow him to walk beside her. He looked uncomfortable, but carried on gamely. They arrived back at Tom’s quarters without incident, although all the crew they saw greeted Tom warmly. He was overwhelmed by their good wishes and Janeway, who was watching him closely noticed the lines of strain round his mouth. She followed him in to his quarters, ordered a bowl of tomato soup for him from the replicator using her rations and settled him on the couch. It was only when Tom, with a gleam of humour in his eyes accused her of acting like his mother that she desisted in her attentions, looking somewhat sheepish, and left him alone.

When she had gone, Tom leaned back on the couch and closed his eyes. He was trembling. He had managed to put up something of a façade while in the company of others, but now that he was alone, reaction had set in with a vengeance. He pulled his feet up onto the couch and wrapped his hands round his knees. It was just beginning to sink in that he was free, but he was not able to rejoice in it. He felt numb. Tom sat there unmoving for several hours, still in his sickbay attire. Now that he could do what he liked, without fear, he didn’t know what to do. Dimly he was aware that he should be alarmed at this uncharacteristic apathy, but the strain he had been under for several months had taken its toll.

He raised his head when he heard the doorbell beep for admittance.

“Come in.”

The door opened and Harry walked in, his broad smile fading when he saw Tom’s posture on the couch.

“Are you OK?” he enquired anxiously.

“Never better Har. Please sit down.” Tom indicated the seat next to him. Harry sat in silence. Tom stirred.

“I’m sorry,” he said softly. “I don’t think that I’m very good company right now.”

“B’Elanna told me what happened,” Harry said awkwardly. “I just wanted you to know that we’re both here for you, anytime, really, whenever you need us.”

“Thanks Harry. I’ll remember that.”

“Would you like to be alone?”

“No, no, I don’t think so. I’d like you to stay. Why don’t you fill me in on all the good gossip.”

Harry smiled and started to talk, hoping that it wasn’t going to be so hard after all. Forty minutes later he knew that something was dreadfully wrong. Tom hadn’t laughed once. Oh, he had smiled in all the right places, but had hardly said a word. His subdued demeanour was noticeable. //Well of course, idiot!// Harry thought to himself. //He’s been raped, beaten and tortured by someone who he admired and respected, maybe more, or at least his counterpart. How did you expect him to react?//

The doorbell rang. It was B’Elanna. She entered and started talking in her normal manner, determined to carry on as usual. It was only while she was in the middle of complaining about something Seven had done that she realised that Tom was crying. She broke off in concern.

“Are you OK?” Harry enquired, having spotted Tom’s tears at the same time as B’Elanna.

Tom wiped at his eyes with his hands, looking about twelve as he did so. “I’m sorry,” he sniffled. “It’s just, just that I didn’t think I’d ever see any of you again. I didn’t think I’d see anyone again, no one that I care about. I ... I ... I’m sorry,” he gasped, as he began to sob in earnest. “I can’t seem to stop crying.”

Harry and B’Elanna exchanged glances and as one moved to hold him, telling him that they were there for him, to let it go, they’d catch him. They held Tom, until he at last fell into a fitful sleep. Then B’Elanna picked him up and carried him to bed. “I don’t think we ought to leave him alone,” she said. Harry nodded.

“How about we both take the couch. It won’t be comfortable but ... ”

Later that night, both Harry and B’Elanna were awakened from where they had fallen into an uneasy dose by the sound of Tom’s voice. He was pleading with someone who he referred to as “my lord” not to hurt him.

“That must be Chakotay’s counterpart,” Harry said, through the enormous lump in his throat. He and B’Elanna moved into the bedroom, to see Tom tossing and turning, crying out.

“Do you think we ought to wake him?” asked B’Elanna. Harry nodded.

“I don’t think we ought to let him suffer this,” he said as he moved to lay a hand on Tom’s shoulder.

Tom sat upright with a gasp, crying out, “No! Please!” He suddenly realised where he was as he took in B’Elanna and Harry’s concerned faces. “I’m sorry,” he gasped. “I, I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“It’s OK, it’s OK,” B’Elanna said quickly. “We weren’t asleep anyway.” She noticed that Tom was trembling, fine tremors were running through his body as he sat up, hugging his knees protectively. “Tom,” she said hesitantly, “I don’t know what to say, but if you need to talk about it&ldots;”

Tom laughed bitterly. “Talk! I think I don’t know how any more. I know, I know, me, Tom Paris with nothing to say, but he, he didn’t want me to talk, ‘cept when he wanted me too. So, so he trained me not to. And y’know what, you have enough pain, then you don’t even feel like it anymore, because you’re so afraid. You’re afraid all the time.”

Harry and B’Elanna looked on in appalled silence at Tom’s words.

“I’m sorry,” he said again, “you didn’t need to know what a fucking coward I really am.”

“No!” Harry exclaimed, followed simultaneously by B’Elanna’s, “You’re not a coward. Never. You’ve put yourself on the line so many times for all of us.”

Harry nodded in agreement. “You’re one of the bravest people I’ve ever met.”

Tom shook his head. “You wouldn’t say that if you knew, if you knew ... what he made me do, how I crawled to him, how I begged. I did anything, anything he wanted because I was too afraid not too ... ” His voice trailed off as he buried his head in his hands, hiding his face from them, not wanting them to see the shamed tears that were cascading down his face. Now they’d leave, now that they knew. He wasn’t fit to be their friend, Chakotay was right, he was worthless. Then he felt two pairs of arms encircle him, holding him tightly.

“Tom,” came B’Elanna’s voice. “I meant what I said, you are brave and honourable and you’re my friend and I hope you always will be no matter what, because I’ll always be yours.”

“Mine too,” said Harry. “Please Tom, don’t be angry, but we’ve talked to the Captain and Chakotay. We know what happened there in that universe, that you were, were ... ”

“Chakotay’s slave,” Tom finished for him. “It’s OK you can say it. It’s nothing but the truth after all,” he finished bitterly.

“No, it’s not,” Harry said passionately. “Yes, he captured you. Yes, he tortured you. Yes, he may have forced you to, to service him,” he said awkwardly. “But Tom, no one could have held up under what you experienced, no one! Not me, not B’Elanna, not the Captain, or Picard, or Kirk. No one!”

“But I could have, I could have ... ”

“What! What could you have done?”

“I don’t know. Something!”

“No,” B’Elanna exclaimed. “Harry’s right. Don’t you see, you couldn’t do anything then, but you can now. You can let us help you, so that you’re back where you belong at the helm as quickly as possible. Please Tom, we love you, don’t shut us out.”

At last Tom raised his head and looked at them with reddened eyes. “You really mean that?” he asked slowly.

They both nodded. “And I don’t ... I don’t disgust you then?”

“Never!” “No, of course not!” they both exclaimed.

Tom essayed a watery smile. “Thanks guys, you’re the best.”

None of then said anything for several minutes, then Harry said hesitantly: “Tom, if you ever want to talk about it ... we’re here for you. Nothing you say will ever make us not want to be your friend. You know that, don’t you?”

Tom was silent for a long moment and then said in a dreamlike voice: “I couldn’t believe it at first, that it was really happening y’know ... ”

Several hours later a ravaged Harry and B’Elanna entered their own quarters. They had left Tom sleeping peacefully, the nightmares temporarily held at bay. B’Elanna had called Janeway once Tom had fallen asleep and asked for time off, explaining the situation to her. Janeway had readily granted their request from her position in Chakotay’s quarters, where she had been debriefing him all night, but more importantly been there for him as a friend. Kim and Torres looked at each other and then they were in each other’s arms, hugging one another tight. Both were crying. What Tom had told them had been so appalling, so difficult to hear that each had forced themselves to remain there, knowing that Tom needed them. He had told them everything, the words spilling from him once he started to talk. More than once they had each had to forcibly hold back tears, for Tom’s sake. They would be strong, because they had to be, for Tom’s sake, but it had been so hard.

B’Elanna was the first to let go. “I’d like to kill him, that, that ... ” she couldn’t find an epithet vile enough and took a breath and continued. “What he did ... ”

“I know. If I hadn’t heard it, well, torture is one thing, it’s a risk we run, but this!”

B’Elanna had a sudden horrible thought. “If we feel like this, how must *Chakotay* be feeling?”

Harry stared at her in appalled silence. “Oh, gods,” was all he said.


After a couple of days Chakotay returned to duty. He had not been sleeping well, tormented as he was by images of Tom, and he was having nightmares about his counterpart, but was determined to get back to some sort of routine as quickly as possible. He had not seen Paris since their return to the ship, knowing that it was unlikely Tom would want to see him. He had determined to try and concentrate on his duties, anything other than Tom. He had now told the Captain everything, including how he had got the wristband off his counterpart. Janeway had been privately appalled by this action from her civilised Commander, but had realised the immense strain he had been under. The crew in general knew only the bare details of what had happened to the First Officer and Chief Pilot, but were aware that Paris in particular had been mistreated and would not be back on duty for a while. However, they were glad that Chakotay was back on duty, managing the staff. To all intents and purposes in the next few weeks, Chakotay appeared to be his usual self, only the Captain, the Doctor (who was monitoring his emotional equilibrium) and to a lesser extent B’Elanna knew that this was a façade.

As for Paris, in the first few days back on Voyager, he spent a lot of time just talking, to the Doctor, to Janeway and to his friends, Harry and B’Elanna in particular. True to his word, the Doctor had downloaded some routines designed to assist the young man. Tom’s emotional equilibrium was almost non-existent; he swung perilously from one extreme to another. He made good progress in the early days, recovering to the extent that he was now capable of anger, but this emotion could manifest itself quickly and without warning. At these times, in order to avoid burdening anyone else, he would disappear to the holodeck, in order to work off some of his rage. There he would beat the shit out of an opponent, sometimes several, and if often they wore Chakotay’s face Tom never said. In the early days he would often override the safeties, receiving a scolding from the Doctor each time he had to patch him up. However the Doctor knew that this was a normal part of the healing process.

But Tom, reassurance from Harry and B’Elanna notwithstanding, continued to have problems living with himself. He was tormented by thoughts of how he had obeyed Chakotay, how he had humiliated him, the fact that he had been so afraid. Rationally, he knew that there was nothing he could have done, not if he wanted to live, but his self-image had been irrevocably battered. This was one more reason why he was glad he had not seen Chakotay, the one person on board Voyager who had seen his humiliation, even participated in it. Again, he knew that Chakotay had had no choice, that he had only done it in order to rescue him, but emotionally, he could not help resenting him for it, aside from the fact that it had been Chakotay’s counterpart who had degraded him.

As ever, he clung to the one thing he was good, no great, at. The one thing that no one could take away from him, his flying ability. His dreams of flying had immeasurably helped him during captivity, ensured that he did not, quite, surrender to Captain Chakotay. In this he would accept no compromises and demanded that he be allowed to practice flight sims, insisting that he needed to keep his hand in until he was back at the conn. When Janeway saw how passionate he was about this, she acceded readily, realising that a great deal of Tom’s sense of self worth, which had been so damaged during his time in the Empire, was bound up with his piloting abilities.

Initially, Tom didn’t like to be alone, so the Captain ensured that someone who knew the situation was always with him. She asked Chakotay to arrange the shifts to ensure that either she, Harry, B’Elanna or the Doctor was always with him. Janeway recalled holding Tom in her arms as he cried, watched him rage, when his anger became too much for him. They forged a close friendship, independent of rank; Kathryn had always had a soft spot for Tom and was fiercely protective of him. She was distressed to see the wreck of what had once been her fast-talking, smart mouthed, impudent pilot

Tom at first found it strange to be sleeping alone. He had been so used to Captain Chakotay holding him possessively that he couldn’t luxuriate in the unaccustomed freedom. He also had to adjust to waking up without feeling fear, that had become an emotion he lived with all the time. When he finally realised that he could at long last relax, he felt almost light-headed, freedom was a heady brew. At first he had frequent nightmares about his captivity, but eventually they did decrease. In the beginning he had had at least one every night, till it got to the point where he was afraid to sleep, even though there was always someone in his quarters with him. As they lessened and as he became confident enough to ask to be left to try and sleep alone, the Doctor gave him dream suppressers, warning him that he could not use them indefinitely, but Tom was relieved at being able to go a whole night alone without a nightmare. When he had exhausted the supply, he had found that although he still had nightmares, they were less frequent. Initially all he had dreamed about were the worse times, Chakotay whipping him, chaining him and raping him, or forcing him to beg Chakotay to use him. Frequently he would awaken from these nightmares shaking with rage and would go to the holodeck, to which Janeway had ordered that he should be given access whenever he wanted it.

One night he was just about to exit from the holodeck, when he bumped into Chakotay, who had thought that the holodeck was free and had been unable to sleep. The Commander had tried meditation, but without success. Neither man had seen the other since their return. Paris in particular had kept largely to his quarters or the holodeck, feeling too emotionally fragile to see many people. He recoiled upon seeing Chakotay, but then nodded and made to pass on by, his face carefully blank of expression, although inside his heart was hammering. However Chakotay stopped him, with a touch to the arm. Tom looked pointedly at the Commander’s hand. Flushing, Chakotay removed it.

“How’re you doing, Tom?” he asked awkwardly.

“Oh, just fine,” Paris drawled, wary of the other man and desperately trying to control the instinctive fear he felt at seeing the familiar features. He attempted to concentrate on the differences between the two Chakotays, namely the differing tattoos, the Commander having restored his tattoo to its former shape on his return to Voyager.

“That’s good.” Chakotay took a breath. “I gather that you’re making good progress, the Doctor hopes it won’t be too long till you’re back on duty.”

Tom stiffened. “I didn’t know he’d been discussing me with you.”

“Well, he had to. I need to know as First Officer when you may be back on duty after all,” Chakotay said reasonably.

“I see.” Tom turned to leave and then whirled round. “So have you been enjoying his reports?”


“You’ve never made it a secret that you don’t like me. I’m sure you must have really got a kick out of me spilling my guts to him like that. Had a good laugh about it.”

“Tom! No, I never ... ”

But Paris didn’t listen, the pent-up feelings of bitterness overwhelming him. He was so sick of being afraid, of trying to be in control, not exploding in front of the people who were trying to help him, of living with the feeling of humiliation that was choking him. His self esteem had never been lower, he *knew* that he was a worthless coward, no matter what anyone told him, but just now, he was going to say what he wanted, he really didn’t care what he said, not right now. “And I guess you must’ve really enjoyed seeing me like that on the Extreme, seeing me crawl, watching me beg. Hell, I know you enjoyed fucking me! And the blow job. I know I’m good at that. *He* told me often enough. So, was that sufficient payback for that spy thing Commander, or the fact that I was on Voyager when it tracked you to the Badlands? Was it!”

“Stop it! Stop it,” Chakotay repeated in a quieter tone. “I never felt like that, what kind of person d’you think I am, that I would *enjoy* that?”

“I know what kind of person you are. You’re the person who made me crawl, who enjoyed raping me and torturing ... ”

“That wasn’t me!” Chakotay yelled. He was breathing hard. “Spirits Tom, I’d give anything for it not to have been my counterpart that did that to you, you must believe me.”

“Yeah right!”

“Please, come on, you know me. D’you really think that I’m that kind of person, not my counterpart, me!

Tom was silent. “I guess not,” he said finally, but then: “How you must despise me.”

“What! What makes you think I despise you?”

“How couldn’t you? I know I do.”

“Tom, no. Why?”

“Because he broke me,” Tom choked out. “You were there, you saw. What I became, how I, I--” he broke off, unable to continue.

Chakotay took a breath, and then another. “No one could have held out under that kind of treatment, no one.”

“That’s what they all say, but, but ... ”


“The Captain, Harry, B’Elanna, Doc.”

“Well they’re right. You know what I remember, I remember how desperate you were to escape. You practically ordered me out of that chair on the Cochrane, flew us out of danger. As for the rest of it, I hated it! I hated what I had to do and I hate *him*, just as much as you believe me. But hate you? I don’t hate you, I lov&ldots;.like you. And he didn’t break you. Did you ever give up on escape, did you?”

“Well, no, but ... ”

“But nothing. You survived. Many others, most others, wouldn’t. And I admire you for that.”

“You admire me!” Tom started to laugh, but broke off when he realised was beginning to sob. “Thanks for that, I guess.”

“Tom,” Chakotay began hesitantly. Paris looked at him expectantly. “D’you think we’ll ever be able to work together again?”

“Oh sure,” the young man returned lightly.

“No, really.”

Paris sighed. “To tell you the truth, I don’t know. I don’t think that I’m as afraid as I was, but ... I don’t really want to see you. Not now. Shit, you probably feel the same way, right?”

“Uh, yes, right.” Chakotay watched him leave silently, neither man saying another word. Inwardly Chakotay was hurting, badly. How could he cope with this when he loved the other man so much?

Kathryn was there steadfastly for Chakotay when he needed to vent his feelings, his distress at what his counterpart had done to Tom, his loathing of the man, his bewilderment because at some level the man was him, which transmuted at times into self-loathing, because if that Chakotay was capable of such atrocities, then maybe he was too. Kathryn had listened patiently to him, reminding him that they were all capable of such behaviour, but in this universe at least, they did not indulge in it. She reminded Chakotay what Tom had learned about the man’s horrific childhood, the fact that the Empire positively encouraged such behaviour in its denizens. But most of all she was there for Chakotay when his despair threatened to overwhelm him, at his hopeless love for Tom, his rage at his counterpart, whose fault it was that Tom would never be able to return his feelings. His guilt that he had not been able to rescue Tom earlier, and his guilt that it should be him, albeit a different him, who had so tormented Tom. Every time Tom flinched away from Chakotay, Kathryn was there. Holding him. Comforting him when his emotions became too much for him to bear alone.


As the months passed, Tom began to regain his emotional equilibrium. He managed to return to bridge duty relatively quickly, both Kathryn and the Doctor deciding that a return to routine as soon as Tom was capable would assist in his recovery. He did not, however, work the same shifts as Chakotay, although he attended staff briefings where the Commander was present. Both men studiously did not look at the other, Tom because at times he could not control his involuntary recoil and Chakotay because the sight of Tom in the circumstances was almost painful to him. The more observant members of the senior staff noticed Chakotay’s unease when Tom was present and drew their own conclusions.

Tom’s flying was as good as ever, but initially his demeanour was noticeably subdued, he did not make any cracks or comments. The crew as a whole noticed the change in him and were careful in their treatment of him, which annoyed Tom no end. But a chance comment by one of the male Humans in the messhall, in typically male boastful style, that he’d “have her begging for it” set off a bad memory, which caused Tom to rush to his cabin, where he threw up.

He was distressed at his own fragility, it was no good that the Doctor assured him that this was only normal, he hadn’t been this bad when he came out of prison, so why had he now fallen to pieces? The Doctor explained that although prison had been a bad experience, no one there had specifically set out to break him; that was the difference from his treatment at the hands of Captain Chakotay. He reassured the Lieutenant that in time he expected Tom to make a full recovery, that Tom was actually much stronger than he realised, because he had already recovered from so much distress in his life. Why he was back at the conn already, didn’t he realise what good progress he was making? Tom would argue with the Doctor about that, which actually pleased the Doctor, the arguments in themselves were a sign of progress. He had not attempted to resume his duties in sick-bay as well, the Doctor deeming that one shift was all he should be asked to handle, and, knowing how much he loved flying, recommended that he should be at the conn.

However Tom was pleased to find that he weathered well his initial meetings with both Miller and Dalby, maintaining a pleasant image in public. He paid later, though, with a resumption of violent nightmares, but refused to let them get the better of him. He made a conscious effort and neither man was ever aware of any difference in the pilot’s attitude towards them.

Harry and B’Elanna continued to spend a lot of time with Tom, which didn’t change even when B’Elanna became pregnant. Tom had been delighted when they had told him that B’Elanna was pregnant, exulting that he was going to be an uncle. For a moment the pain that never quite went away from his eyes lifted, and he looked more like the Tom of old. Chakotay had eventually told B’Elanna that her counterpart and Tom’s were involved in the alternate universe. She had immediately tackled Tom about this, finding him sitting alone, as he had been a lot since he came back unless she, Harry or the Captain were available, sitting in the observation lounge watching the stars go by.

She had waded in without preliminaries, although pleased to see that Tom seemed to genuinely welcome her presence. “Chakotay tells me that you and I were ... involved in the alternate universe.”

“So I believe,” Tom agreed, “although I never actually got to meet them, as Chakotay did.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well, it’s not like you and I were ever going to get together so I couldn’t see the point,” Tom shrugged.

B’Elanna looked at him in exasperation: “Still it would have been nice to know. Hmmm,” she said thoughtfully, “Chakotay said that they really seemed to care for each other, as much as anybody did in that universe anyway.”

Tom gave her a genuinely sweet smile, the one that was seen seldom, but took your breath away when he used it. “I’m glad,” he said simply. “And who knows maybe in some universe we’re together on Voyager, one where I got to you first before Harry did.”

She gave him a searching look. “Maybe,” she agreed, “one where you stopped being a pig earlier than here.”

“Ouch!” Tom proclaimed in wounded tones, “You sure know how to wound a guy Torres!”

“I pride myself on it,” she returned lightly, then leaned over and kissed Tom on the cheek. “See you later tonight flyboy?”

“You can count on it,” said Tom pleased at this rare show of tenderness from B’Elanna.

Kim and Torres had got into the habit of keeping an eye on both men. B’Elanna was of the opinion that Chakotay was in love with Tom; Harry was not so sure. He put Chakotay’s unease around Tom to guilt, but B’Elanna who knew Chakotay better, and who had also spent sometime talking to him about his experiences in the other universe, was sure he was in love with Tom. Harry was sceptical, pointing out that Chakotay and Tom had never exactly got on, however B’Elanna pointed out that this might be the very reason *why* they hadn’t got on.

When Harry continued to express his doubts, B’Elanna told him that she knew that Chakotay was attracted to Tom, as he had admitted it to her, on a rare occasion when he had drunk some alcohol one shore leave in the first year they had joined Voyager. B’Elanna had been sounding off about Paris’ behaviour, Chakotay had agreed with her, but both had agreed that Paris’ exterior was a pleasure to look at, and it was a pity about his personality. Harry had seized this opportunity to tease his wife, but later when they had both surfaced for air, he admitted that he knew that Tom had been attracted to Chakotay. They had both agreed that the real tragedy, if Chakotay was desperately in love with Tom, was that in the circumstances there was little chance the two of them would ever get together.

“And the worst of it is,” Harry said to his wife, “is that ... before, I think that Tom would have liked a relationship with Chakotay, but now ... ” His voice trailed off as he sighed.

B’Elanna moved closer to him. “I know,” she said softly. “Poor Chakotay, he’s really suffering.”


Gradually, so gradually that it was almost imperceptible, there began to be glimpses of the Tom Paris of old. The first time he cracked a joke, while eating lunch with Harry, his friend laughed and then stopped and stared.

“What?” asked Tom defensively.


“No, what?”

“Well, it’s just that I didn’t think I’d ever be glad to hear you whine about Neelix’ cooking.”

“Whine. Whine! I’ll have you know I don’t whine. I critique, I complain, I criticise, I ... ”


“Maybe,” Tom grinned.

Harry shook his head, but he was secretly delighted.

As for Janeway, the first time Tom called her “Ma’am” on the bridge, in that special tone reserved just for her, she felt tears pricking the back of her eyelids, she had her young lieutenant back again. Eventually, as both the nightmares and the mood swings decreased, Paris became more like the young man who had set off on the away mission to the Lrycians so light-heartedly all those months ago. He would never be completely the same person, would always be marked by what had happened, a little more serious, more aware of his strengths and weaknesses. But the jokes had returned; he was making comments on the bridge again.

The crew in general agreed that Tom Paris was back, only a select few knew that Tom’s healing was by no means over, that some deep routed sexual problems in particular still remained. However, even those were improving, the Doctor was pleased to note. He had been there steadfastly for Tom, curbing his sarcastic tongue when it was apparent that Tom was too fragile to deal with it. He encouraged Tom, when the young man was at his most despondent that he would enjoy sex again, would experience sexual desire.

Tom found that as the months went by that he would sometimes dream of the times when Captain Chakotay had treated him well, made love to him slowly, the times they had talked, but in those dreams Captain Chakotay wore the face of Voyager’s Chakotay, with his tattoo, rather than the alternate Chakotay’s version. And Tom was pleased to see that at last his libido had returned. Oh, he didn’t find himself aroused from the dreams of Chakotay, but he was dreaming of sex with Megan, with Sue, even with B’Elanna, //Not that I’m going to tell her that,// he thought. Then came the day when he found himself glancing admiringly at the scantily clad men as well as the women in the resort holodeck programme, and laughed aloud when he realised what he was doing. //I’m really getting better,// he thought happily.

A wonderful day was when Tom was able to masturbate for the first time since his captivity. He had woken up from a particularly erotic dream, something to do with both Megan and Sue. He was not fully awake when he realised he was fondling himself absently. Rather than removing his hand as he had automatically done in the past, this time he made a conscious effort and stroked himself to completion. When it was over, he reflected ruefully on the irony of being ecstatic at actually being able to masturbate again, but knew that this meant he was on the road to making some sort of recovery sexually. The Doctor was delighted with the news when Tom told him at their usual regular therapy session. Tom joked with him about his reaction, who ever would have thought that the Doctor would be happy that *Tom Paris* was getting horny!

Megan Delaney had remained a good friend of his notwithstanding their past relationship. She and Geron had recently split up ‘by mutual agreement’ and she had spent much time talking to Tom about his experiences, as he knew that in this he could trust her to maintain his confidences. Several weeks after Tom had first masturbated (which he had been doing regularly ever since, encouraged by the Doctor), Megan was bemoaning the lack of available men on Voyager. When Tom admitted that he was thinking about sex again, she had suggested that he should have sex with her, ‘“just to check all parts are in working order”’. Tom had looked at the sly smile on her face as she said this and burst out laughing.

“But seriously,” she said, when their laughter had wound down. “I think it might be a good idea, no strings attached.”

Tom had looked at her affectionately. “You’re a good friend, Megan, but I don’t think so.”

“I do,” she returned firmly. “And besides you could be helping me out. C’mon Tom, I haven’t had sex in weeks and I am soooo frustrated!”

Tom had eventually acquiesced to her pleas and they had retired to his quarters, at Megan’s insistence, because she claimed hers were a mess. In reality she wanted to ensure that Tom felt as secure as possible, hence home territory was in order. They had taken it gently and slowly, but when Tom had climaxed inside her he had burst into tears.

She had held him through the storm of weeping and then suggested they did it again, “for luck”, and again. Eventually Tom was able to get beyond gentle to passionate to, as Megan put it, “incandescence”.

They were together again frequently for a few months until they agreed to see one another less often. Tom felt gratitude and affection towards Megan; he was now even able to be playful during sex, and had reclaimed joy. As for Megan, she told him that he was far too good at this, but as they weren’t going to be together permanently, she needed to find someone else, but that she would always have feelings for him, love him as a friend. He assured her that the feeling was mutual.

Finally came the day, not long after Tom and Megan stopped seeing one another, when Tom came to see Captain Janeway and requested to be put back on duty the same time as Chakotay. She had looked at him searchingly and asked if he was sure he could handle it.

“I’m sure. I’ve discussed it with the Doctor and he agrees,” he confirmed.

“Very well Tom, you start tomorrow.”

Kathryn called Chakotay into her ready room, to tell him the news. He was delighted that Tom felt that he could work with him, although also apprehensive. He had hardly seen anything of the young pilot, catching glimpses of him outside staff meetings but that was all. However, his love for Tom remained as strong as ever and he had come to the conclusion, after much meditation, that he would always love him, much though part of him wished that this was not the case. His guilt at what his counterpart had done had not eased, but what he really wanted was for Tom to be happy, although he had not been able to prevent his feelings of jealousy when he realised Paris and Delaney were together. He reflected ruefully that he was just a man, not a shaman, after all.

The first day that Chakotay and Paris worked the same shift, if there was slightly increased tension on the bridge, it was not immediately apparent and if the Captain, Tuvok and Harry Kim watched both Lieutenant Paris and Commander Chakotay more searchingly than normal, no one else commented on it. The shift passed without incident, Tom even cracked a few jokes. From that time Tom and Chakotay were scheduled together as frequently as before their visit to the Empire. They even went on away missions together, but not just the two of them.

Janeway scheduled both of them on a food gathering expedition for some urgently needed supplies on a planet that was inhabited by aboriginal life forms, but there was no real civilisation. Chakotay was in overall command of a team of thirty, with Tom as his number two. The planet was beautiful, primeval, as Chakotay commented appreciatively.

Tom looked at him with raised eyebrows. “Remind you of home?” he asked.

“As a matter of fact, yes.”

“So, you must love heat, humidity and ouch!” he slapped at his neck as an insect bit at it. “Insects!”


Paris shook his head in disgust. “I’m a city boy myself.”

“Really,” Chakotay teased. “I’d never have guessed!”

“It’s OK for you,” Tom groused. “You’re built for this type of environment. Not melanin impaired. Shit!” he looked at his hand in disgust. “I’m beginning to get sunburnt too!”

“I thought the Doctor was supposed to give you something to protect against that?”

“He did, but I&ldots;er, forgot it.”

“Great! I think you better go back to the shuttle to catalogue supplies.”

Tom grinned at him. “That’s fine by me.”

Chakotay watched him go, frowning. He wouldn’t put it past Paris to manufacture this situation to get out of the actual food gathering. Chakotay recalled he had never expressed any enthusiasm for this task in the past.

Back in the shuttle, Tom hummed to himself happily, pleased that his plan had worked. //After all,// he thought defensively, //someone needed to do this, so why not me?// He was also pleased that he was coping OK with Chakotay on a one to one basis.

The constraint he felt in the Commander’s presence hadn’t completely subsided. He had his doubts that it ever would, but he put up a pretty good front, he thought, and the more he pretended, the easier it got. However, he still felt acute embarrassment when he recalled that Chakotay had witnessed his humiliation, even participated in it. Although he mostly didn’t think of Chakotay as his counterpart, he still had occasional moments when he would mistake the Commander for Captain Chakotay, and would momentarily freeze, afraid. He would curse at himself as a coward at these moments. In spite of all the reassurance he had received, his deep routed feeling of inadequacy, which Captain Chakotay had done so much to build up, still persisted.

He checked the supplies off as each team called in its stock, shaking his head in disbelief as he realised that he was ... not exactly enjoying it, but ... //It sure beats being out there though,// he thought, wondering longingly whether there might be some cooler weather further away from the equator. Scans had indicated that the particularly nutritious foodstuffs grew here, but there was snow (and skiing!) further north, or south. Whatever, he was certain that he was not built for tropical climates.

His commbadge beeped. Chakotay informed him that he was on the way back to dump his latest load and check how much more they would need to gather. Tom informed him sweetly that he could tell him the latest figures right away, no need to bother to come back, but Chakotay insisted. //In other words nature-boy wants a break, too,// Tom thought, grinning. He was bending to sniff dubiously at something one of the other teams had brought in about 30 minutes ago, thinking that it bore an uncomfortable resemblance to leola root, when he heard a scream!

He grabbed a phaser and swiftly left the shuttlecraft moving towards the source of the disturbance. There were four or five large aboriginal inhabitants, bending over someone who was prone on the floor. Chakotay! Fuck! Tom cursed; the aborigines were not supposed to be in this area, but their sensors had not been able to be too specific, there was some background radiation that caused interference.

He raised the phaser and took careful aim, figuring that a brief spell of unconsciousness should not cause any undue harm to the native lifeforms. He pressed the button.


Nothing happened. He tried again. Still nothing. The natives appeared to be jabbing at Chakotay with a spear. Tom took a deep breath, hit his commbadge, and ordered everyone within range to get his location as quickly as possible, yelled and charged. The aborigines looked round startled by this action. Surely the peculiar looking whatever coming towards them couldn’t be alone? Tom reached the nearest, and tackled him. The native went flying! And then another!

But he was heavily outnumbered, all the aborigines were larger than he was, it was only a matter of time before he went down. Tom was grappling with another native, and losing, when someone hit the native from behind, Neelix!

The aborigines saw that more and more of the peculiar looking whatever’s were running towards them, and, proving that the concept discretion is the better part of valour is universal, ran! Tom dropped to his knees beside Chakotay, panting, to find that the Commander was conscious, but wounded in the side.

“We need to get you back to the shuttle,” Paris said. “The medkit’s there.”

“You’re insane Paris,” Chakotay said, clearly in pain, but game none the less.

“Excuse me?”

“You charged those natives, unaided.”

“Well, I had no choice, the phaser wasn’t working.”

“I know, why do you think they caught me? I haven’t seen anything so foolhardy for a long time.”

“Gee thanks!”

“Or so courageous”. Tom reddened. “Thank you, for my life. That’s another one I owe you.”

“I guess that makes us quits then, y’know, for the alternate universe,” Tom said awkwardly.

Chakotay shook his head. “No, you’re still ahead on points.”

“You’d have been OK, the others would have been along soon anyway.”

“No, they were about to kill me. Without you I’d be dead.”

Tom shook his head, but directed Ensigns Rawlins and Parsons to pick up Chakotay, “Carefully, you idiots!” and carry him back to the shuttle.

Once there, Tom made a quick examination, determined that the injuries were not life threatening, but decided that Chakotay would be better off back on Voyager.

As for Chakotay, he was revelling in being so close to Tom, looking up at the beloved face bending over him, enjoying the feel of his long fingers gently lifting up his uniform, particularly as Tom had injected him with pain relief so he was not in discomfort.

Tom’s whole attention was on Chakotay as his patient, in his preoccupation not even realising that this was by far the closest he’d come to the man since their return from the other universe. The transporters were not operative through the background interference, but as the supplies were largely collected, Tom decided to fly this shuttle up to Voyager. He gave out orders with a calm confidence; his normal self-doubts wholly absent in the circumstances.

Approximately one and a half-hours later Chakotay was resting in sickbay, having been fixed up by the Doctor.

“Excellent job, Mr Paris,” the doctor commented. He had perforce had to train up other medical assistants during Tom’s absence, but had missed the young man’s presence as his assistant. “You wouldn’t like to resume some shifts in sickbay would you?”

Tom looked thoughtful. “Actually, I might,” he said, much to the Doctor’s surprise. “Let me think about it, OK.”

“Of course,” said the Doctor, hopeful that he would actually accede to the Doctor’s request.

Tom smiled at Chakotay. “Glad that you’re OK,” was all he said as he left.

“Thanks again,” Chakotay called after him, but the young man did not turn round.

Later that day, after Paris had gone off shift, he was in his quarters reading when someone requested admittance. "Come in." In walked Janeway.

“Kathryn, hi. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

She sat down on the couch beside him, their friendship having long since developed to the point where it was not necessary to ask for permission.

“Chakotay told me what happened today.”

“Oh that,” he said dismissively.

“Yes that. Tom, what you did today was incredibly brave, you know that.”

“To tell you the truth, I didn’t have time to think about it.”

She shook her head. “That’s not true, you called for assistance, took over leadership of the away mission. Tom, I’m very proud of you.”

He felt tears pricking the back of his eyelids; her good opinion meant so much to him. “Anyone would’ve done the same.”

“Chakotay doesn’t think so and nor do I. I’m putting you in for a commendation.” She hesitated. “I know that you still have problems because of what happened in that other universe, but my good opinion of you has never wavered, you know that. Perhaps what I say, what we all say, won’t make any difference, but you are one of the bravest people I’ve ever met and I can’t tell you how happy I am to have you here on Voyager.” She saw that Tom was fighting back tears, patted him on the arm and left.

Tom sat there thinking. He still couldn’t see what the big deal was, but was pleased that he had not once recoiled from Chakotay. And maybe, just maybe, they were right. Maybe he wasn’t a total coward after all.

Several weeks later, Tom challenged Chakotay for the first time since their return to Voyager to a game of pool in Sandrines. Tom had been relaxed at being in the same room as Chakotay off duty since the incident with the aborigines, but had not socialised with him. The Captain and Paris had been playing and she had just narrowly beaten him. He had commented that he needed to look for easier prey, and looked over to where Chakotay was sitting at a table talking to Carey and Wildman.

“How about it Commander?” Tom challenged.

Chakotay looked up in surprise, hearing Tom’s words, and then he had smiled, a wide beaming smile. “You’re on,” he returned, “but I warn you that I’ve not got any intention of going easy on you, unlike the Captain!”

From that time, Tom and Chakotay occasionally socialised together, but only when other people were present. Chakotay was grateful for what he could get, unconscious of his longing glances at the young man, not admitting to anyone how his dreams tormented him, teasing him that he and were Tom together making love, unable to forget that time in the shuttlecraft. More times than he could count he had woken up to Tom’s name on his lips feeling his own seed drying cold on him. Perhaps even worse were the times he dreamed of simply holding Tom, or laughing with him, or talking to him. He had hoped that his longing for Tom would decrease as time went on, but that was not the case.

One day, about a year after they had returned to Voyager, Chakotay walked into Sandrines to find that Tom was the only other person there. He had hesitated and turned to walk out, when Tom’s soft tenor had halted him.

“Don’t go,” Tom said. “Have a drink with me.”

Chakotay examined Tom’s face; his expression was open and easy. “OK,” he said slowly. He and Tom sat down at a table, ordered their drinks and let the holographic waiter bring them over. Silence fell, eventually broken by Tom.

“So, how’ve you been?” he ventured.

“Oh fine. You?”

“Yeah, I’m OK, really ... OK.” Tom inhaled deeply. “Y’know” he said quietly “I didn’t think it would ever happen, but when I look at you I don’t see him any more.”

Chakotay took a breath. “You have no idea how happy that makes me,” he said.

“I think ... I think I know. I’m not blind, Chakotay and I think that I know how you feel about me.”

Chakotay winced. “I didn’t want you to know,” he admitted. “I didn’t want to add to your problems. I know that there’s no possibility you could ever return my feelings, not after what happened, but ... ”

“I also know how much you did for me, what you risked, you saved my sanity, gave me my freedom. And I can imagine how much it hurts you to know that it was your counterpart who, who hurt me, but who’s to say if it had been my counterpart who captured you, that he wouldn’t have done the same thing.”

Chakotay shook his head. “Don’t forget I met your counterpart. I don’t think that he felt the same rage or need to dominate that Chakotay did.”

“Maybe not” admitted Tom, “but then he had everything handed to him, whereas Chakotay, well, he had to fight for what he had.”

“That doesn’t even begin to excuse what he did--”

“You know,” Tom interrupted, “it wasn’t all bad.”

“It wasn’t?” Chakotay asked in bewilderment.

“No, there were times when he could be almost ... tender, when he acted like he really cared. It was at those times he most reminded me of you, of how we might have been together, if ... ”

Chakotay felt tears pricking at the back of his eyes. “Thank you,” he said unsteadily, “for telling me this.”

Tom smiled at him sadly. “I think that if ... it, hadn’t happened we could have had a chance, but now, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have a relationship again with a man, let alone you, but ... ” he took a breath. “All I’m saying is that never is a long time and I’m not planning on going anywhere.” He paused at the hopeful look on Chakotay’s face. “But, I have to say that the odds are against us and that if you decide, if someone comes along, well don’t wait for me is all I’m saying.”

Chakotay looked at him tenderly: “I’ll take those odds,” he said, “after all we’ve beaten the odds before.”

Tom smiled. “We have at that,” he said, “we have at that.”