The Wild Stallion by Cassatt

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Disclaimer: Paramount owns them.
Rating: PG-13

Summary: C/P. Part Seven: The boyz have an unwelcome adventure.
Copyright September 2001 Cassatt

The Wild Stallion

As they stepped off the turbolift and onto the bridge, a number of heads turned in their direction. Tom glanced at Chakotay, and with mutual understanding, they separated quickly and walked to their seats. Tom relieved the pilot, sitting heavily with a snort of exasperation. The First Officer also sat with a heavy sigh and slumped in his command chair.

"Commander, is everything all right? I'm afraid I owe you an apology," Captain Janeway said, loudly enough for Tom to hear as well.

"Oh? And why's that? By the way, there was absolutely nothing wrong with any conduit in that tube," Chakotay said.

"Well, it seems as though there was a slight malfunction of the computer. I got a faulty report."

Chakotay looked at her and then turned around to address Harry. "How did that happen, Ensign Kim?" Tom spun in his chair quickly to see what his friend would answer.

Harry looked contrite. "Well, I haven't tracked the bug down yet, Commander, but it appears to have only affected that portion of deck ten. Which explains why your combadges didn't work. I tried hailing you but nothing happened."

"And caused the jefferies tube to lock without responding to my command codes," Chakotay said seriously.

"Yes, that seems to be the case, sir. I'm still investigating," Harry said.

Tom stole a look at the captain, but she wouldn't meet his eyes. Harry did, however, without flinching.

"Let me know when you find out what happened, Harry," Chakotay responded. He then turned to his console and began to pull up reports of one sort or another, slumping once more in his chair, radiating an air of depression.

Tom went back to fiddling at the helm, checking course headings, making sure the relief pilot hadn't changed things so drastically that he couldn't follow them. He waited to see what would happen next.

Nothing did until after lunch.


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Chakotay and Tom had decided in the 'lift ride to the bridge that they wouldn't stage a scene in the mess hall. After the disastrous laughing fit in the jefferies tube during 'rehearsal', they didn't think they could pull it off. They would just pretend indifference, anger, depression, and despair as best they could. Then meet back in the commander's quarters for ten minutes of necking before returning to duty.

Little did they know that as their mouths were moving together, giving and taking an incredible sweetness of taste and sensation, the captain was making final arrangements for their afternoon.


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"...so I'd like the two of you to take the Delta Flyer and investigate. It's the perfect opportunity, given this part of space is so devoid of alien races. It should only take a few hours at the most," the captain finished. Her hands on her hips, looking at both her First Officer and Chief Pilot, she didn't miss the glances they shot each other. She was pleased to see that her order was making them both uncomfortable. Good, she thought, as it should be. You'll work this out if I have to lock you in your quarters for a week, damn it.

They both stood and gave their assent, and once Tom's replacement arrived, they left the bridge together, walking slowly back into the turbolift.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tom sputtered out a laugh as soon as the 'lift doors swooshed shut. "I told you, Chak, she did it again!"

"What kind of lame excuse was that, anyway?" Chakotay muttered under his breath, shaking his head. "You know," he said, meeting Tom's eyes, "I would have thought she could have come up with something better. Checking out some debris field that only the Flyer can navigate through? Spirits..."

They grinned widely, then began to laugh in earnest. Chakotay tried to calm down, calling for the 'lift to halt.

"Listen, Tom, I've had it. I can't take any more of this. I say, she wants to put us in a shuttle, then let's at least enjoy ourselves. So why don't you stop at your quarters, pick up some lube, grab a nice blanket or two and meet me at the Flyer. Whaddya say?"

"Commander! I'm shocked..." Tom answered, putting his arms around Chakotay's shoulders and nibbling on his earlobe.

"Me, too, Lieutenant, me too," the older man said, kissing him deeply before resuming the 'lift.


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Kathryn sent a message to Harry's station. "Confirm - comm link off-line five minutes post launch. Life support systems to show malfunction fifteen minutes post launch. Thirty minutes post launch warp drive goes off-line in Flyer."

"Confirmed, Captain."

She smiled with satisfaction.


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"Delta Flyer out," Tom said. He flipped the toggle turning off the comm link, and checked the readout for the debris field once more. "I wonder where they got this - it looks pretty real."

"Got what," Chakotay called from the upper level of the cockpit. He was busy spreading the blankets out on the floor, fitting them between the stations, calculating how much room they'd need, and whether they should move to the lower deck. He decided here was just fine.

"Wish I had the Doc's holoimager," Tom said with a chuckle. "Never thought I'd live to see the day when my commanding officer was arranging for a romantic interlude on my shuttle, much less with me."

Chakotay turned, smiled, and came down to the helm. He braced himself with his hands on either side of Tom and leaned in, kissing him lightly on the mouth, then the cheek, then the ear and down to what neck he could get to above the regulation turtleneck. "At the moment," he said between kisses, "I am not your commanding officer, I am your lover." He licked Tom's neck. "And I confess to being quite turned on by that thought, and by the chance to make love with you here..." He moved back to Tom's mouth and took it intensely.

Tom gave a little moan and stood, wrapping himself around Chakotay, never breaking the lip lock. They began to move against each other, not holding back this time.

"Warning. Alien vessel off starboard side." Just as they pulled away and met each other's eyes, the small ship was rocked, hard.

"What the hell...," they said simultaneously, as Tom sat down in the pilot's seat and Chakotay dashed back to the tactical station.

"Delta Flyer to Voyager," Tom said, flipping the toggle back to 'on'. There was no response. "Shit, that figures..." He began evasive maneuvers.

"Direct hit, shields down to eighty-five percent. Vessel approaching at impulse. Another one is approaching Voyager. Readying phaser bank..." Chakotay called out.

"Evasive maneuver alpha twelve..." Tom answered. He heard a strangled noise behind him and turned around rapidly. His heart stopped. An alien reminiscent of a large lizard had Chakotay in a choke hold, his lover's brown eyes were rolling up to his forehead and he wasn't fighting back. "NO!" screamed Tom. He jumped up, spinning, hit the autopilot lever and looked frantically for a phaser, aware on some level there wasn't one available.

He leapt up to the tactical station, screaming, "Leave him ALONE!" and attacked the alien, kicking him where he thought kneecaps should be, hitting and punching him in the head with unleashed, adrenaline fueled power. The lizard-faced being pulled an instrument away from Chakotay's arm and let him go in an effort to deflect the blows Tom was landing. Chakotay slumped to the floor in a heap, unmoving. Tom was out of control and continued to pummel the alien who, surprisingly, did nothing but try to keep Tom away from him. Finally hitting something on his arm, he shimmered out of existence, leaving Tom shaking.


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Voyager took another hit, rocking the ship and sending Janeway to the deck. "Tuvok - prepare torpedoes!" She dragged herself back to her chair. "Harry, try hailing again!"

After a moment, Harry called out, "They're not responding!"

"Well, where did they come from?!"

"Captain, there was a cloaking device in place that has left a signature our computer does not recognize," Tuvok intoned.

The ship was hit again.

"Damage on decks eleven and thirteen," Harry said loudly.

"Shields at seventy percent."

Another hit, followed by another rocked the ship, now surrounded by three alien vessels.

"Warning. Intruder alert. Deck eleven..."


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Tom dropped to his knees and quickly felt for Chakotay's pulse. There was one. He dashed down to the helm, his Starfleet training kicking in, past the panic and the confusion. He knew he had no chance fighting off aliens by himself and without communications he had no choice. He put in Voyager's last known course heading for the AQ and went to warp four. Per regulations, he stopped the Flyer after one minute, the longest minute he'd ever had to endure.

He ran downstairs, grabbed the medkit from the storage unit and half-ran, half-crawled back to Chakotay, opening the kit along the way, taking out the tricorder with unsteady hands. Calm down, Tom. Chakotay was alive, but the readings made Tom's blood run cold. He'd been injected in the forearm with an unidentifiable poison, which was spreading slowly up the man's right arm. Tom's mind raced. Most of the poison was still at the point of injection. He took the laser scalpel out and cut off Chakotay's sleeves, using one as a tourniquet, tying it around his biceps as tightly as he could, using the other one similarly at his elbow. He found the hole which was already closing up and reopened it, making a large incision, allowing it to bleed, hopefully letting the poison leech out.

Chakotay began to moan softly and move. Tom knew this wasn't good, he had to keep the man's heart from pumping more rapidly, to keep the circulation slowed.

"Sorry, Chak," he said softly, taking out a hypospray, filling it with an anesthetic and administering it with a hiss. Chakotay stopped moving within seconds and seemed to be handling the drug well, his respiration slowing along with his heart rate. Tom checked the incision and opened it again, allowing more blood to seep, seeing from the tricorder that the poison level had decreased somewhat. The only other thing he could do was repair the bruises on his neck and make sure his larynx and esophagus were unharmed. Some deeper bruises were detected and he ran the regenerator to fix them, too.

"Please, God, don't let him die on me," Tom whispered.

"Warning. Life support failure detected. Oxygen levels at eighty percent. Warning..."

"Computer, identify specific system failure." Tom's heart began to pound.

"Unable to comply."

"Damn it!" He jumped up and checked the nearest console. The damned computer was right, there was nothing identifiable to work on. He wondered if this was one of the captain's little tricks, thinking it would be just like her. But could he take the chance? He had to get Chakotay back to Voyager either way, aliens or no aliens, he was not going to let the man he loved die, not for lack of trying anyhow.

After making one last check of his lover's respiration, heart rate, and poison level, he opened the wound again, leaned over him on his elbows and whispered in his ear, "I love you, Chakotay, don't give up, I'm gonna get you home just as fast as I can." He kissed the unresponsive lips and left for the helm, before his emotions could completely overwhelm him.

Disengaging the full stop, pulling the lever, he felt a sharp stab of pain in his wrist. "Shit." He hadn't even noticed it before and had no time to deal with it now. Gingerly moving his hand, he realized he had no motion in one direction and judging by the pain level, he surmised it might be slightly broken. He dashed back to the medkit and injected himself with a painkiller then returned to his post.

"Warning. Oxygen levels at seventy-five percent."

"Fuck you!" He wasn't entirely sure who he was yelling at, but the temporary release felt good. He sent up another prayer, entered the last coordinates for Voyager, turned the Flyer around and sent the shuttle into warp four.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Voyager was still surrounded by three alien vessels when the Flyer came out of warp. Tom quickly maneuvered the small ship, dipping and turning it in an attempt to get closer to home without becoming a target. The concussive force of a detonation nearby sent a small shock wave through the shuttle and he prayed it hadn't hurt Chakotay's condition.

"Delta Flyer to Voyager," he called after opening up communications. Silence. "Damn it!"

He took them up to the shuttle bay doors and tried to open them himself, but there was no response. After watching another weapon blast Voyager's shields he knew what to do. Leaving the Flyer hovering he went to tactical and aimed the phaser bank at the shuttle bay. He fired.


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"Captain, phaser fire has been detected on the aft portion of the shields, directly at the shuttle bay. Starfleet phaser fire." Tuvok said loudly.

"It's Tom and Chakotay!" Janeway replied. "Drop shields, get them in..."


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The shuttle bay doors opening was about the prettiest sight Tom had seen in a long time. He zipped the Flyer in and landed her softly. Hitting his chest quickly, dashing back to check on Chakotay, he called the transporter room for an emergency medical beam-out.

"Lieutenant, transporters are temporarily off-line," the crew member answered.

"Damn it!" Tom replied, only just then realizing that he had a communications link. He called the Doctor and told him of Chakotay's condition to prepare him. The Doctor reassured him that the commander would be taken care of, if he could get him to sick bay.

Thanks, Doc, I hadn't thought of that, Tom muttered to himself.

"Paris to the bridge," he called, feeling frantic again. He knew he couldn't carry the man...

Please fucking answer.

"Welcome home, Tom," Captain Janeways' pleasant and slightly stressed voice answered him.

He had no time. "I need some help down here - Chakotay's badly injured and I can't carry him, transporters are down! I need four or five people and please tell me the lifts are working," he shouted. He ran the tricorder over his lover's body.

"Understood. Janeway out."

Tom's battle to keep the poison from spreading was beginning to fail. He gritted his teeth and pulled the upper tourniquet even tighter, ignoring the stabbing pain in his wrist. Jumping up he punched the helm to open the Flyer's doors and waited, running his hands through Chakotay's soft black hair, speaking quietly to him, praying intensely. He had never felt so helpless.

"Tom!"

"Up here! Hurry!"

He didn't have to say anything else to his crew mates. Luckily, Chakotay had landed on their blankets, and whether anyone thought that odd, he had no idea and could've cared less. Four men picked up the blankets, blood and all, and carried their commander out of the shuttle bay and into the nearest lift.

Tom couldn't take his eyes off Chakotay's face. Please God, don't let him die on me, not now. With his good hand he continued caressing the black hair, ignoring the stares of the others.


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"Mr. Paris, fix that wrist now," the Doctor practically bellowed at him.

In the lab, waiting for the analysis of the poison to be completed, Tom ignored the directive. The next thing he knew an osteogenic stimulator was shoved into his good hand and he was unceremoniously pulled away from the analyzer.

"Sit." The Doctor worked rapidly with the results of the analysis, talking to himself.

Tom returned to Chakotay's side and sat heavily, exhaustion beginning to overtake him, as he ran the stimulator over his broken wrist. He'd just finished when the Doctor returned, with a hypospray and two vials in his hands.

"Got it!"

Watching his lover get the antidote was more than he could handle. He got up slowly and retrieved an anti-edema medication and injected himself, then went back to the biobed, sat, and lay his head on Chakotay's good, left arm, tears threatening his composure.

"Mr. Paris. Tom. You did an excellent job, you saved his life," the Doctor said quietly, squeezing Tom's shoulder with affection.

He could only nod. I saved my life, too, Doc.


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In between asleep and awake, Chakotay felt someone holding him around the waist. Tom? He tried to lift his right hand to check - it was like a dead weight, but he managed to make contact, feeling the strong arm through the fabric. His left arm was almost asleep. Pulling his left hand out from under, he now recognized the sensation of a head moving off his arm to lie on his chest. He reached for it, felt the short, silky hair and sighed. Tom. Without opening his eyes, he fell back under.


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Tom woke slightly to feel Chakotay's hand running through his hair, then simply clasp his head gently. He's awake. He smiled to himself and listened to the strong, steady heart beat under his ear. He let the sound of it lull him back to sleep.


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B'Elanna and Harry approached sick bay, guilt weighing them down like the heavy force it could be. They hadn't said much to each other. They didn't have to. Both knew their culpability, and how it had almost cost Chakotay his life. They figured that was why the captain had allowed them away from their duty stations. Even though the alien encounter was over, repairs were needed and they should be in the thick of them. Their forward motion stopped outside the doors.

"Come on, Harry, let's get this over with. We'll decide whether or not to make a true confession after we see him. And Tom." B'Elanna tugged Harry's sleeve.

"I would have spaced myself if he'd died," Harry said quietly.

"Sh-h, I know, believe me, I know," she said, still tugging. He allowed it and they walked in together.

The Doctor stopped their progress again, coming to stand in front of them just inside sick bay. "I'm afraid the commander has not awakened yet. You'll need to come back later to visit."

"Please, Doc, can't we just take a look at him?" B'Elanna implored with her eyes. She figured begging was better than brute force at this point.

"Maybe we could just talk to Tom?" Harry added.

The Doctor gazed at them, assessing correctly their anxiety levels. Increased pulse and respiration, dilated pupils, slightly agitated vocal tonality, all the signs were there. He sighed. "Very well, but I request that you keep silent."

They did not understand his comment until they followed him to a biobed with a privacy screen erected. He stepped back and they peered around it. There was Tom, sleeping with his head on Chakotay's chest, being half-embraced by the man on the bed, also sleeping.

They both felt such relief they turned to each other and hugged silently, then pulled back, almost embarrassed.

"Now, I trust that you two understand the privacy of sick bay?" the Doctor whispered.

Harry patted him on the arm. "It's okay, Doc, we knew something had changed between the two of them, we're really just so happy about it," he said quietly. "The commander is going to be fine, isn't he?"

"Yes, he is. But I'm afraid Mr. Paris might need some support from his friends. He saved the commander's life, but it could have gone the other way, quite easily. And, obviously, that would have been quite traumatic for him."

"We'll take care of them both, Doctor, I promise," B'Elanna said softly.

"Now, if you've seen enough, my patients need to recover." The Doctor brooked no arguments, and with one last glance at the sleeping pair, they followed him to the exit.

The door opened and in walked Captain Janeway. "Hello, Doctor, how is Commander Chakotay doing? Is he awake yet?"

Harry and B'Elanna looked at each other with trepidation. How to stop the unstoppable?

"No, I'm sorry, he's not. Neither is Lieutenant Paris. I can contact you when the commander is able to speak if you wish."

The captain looked around sick bay, her eyes landing on the privacy screen. Without another word, she headed in that direction. The three left behind shared a nervous glance, watching as she walked behind the screen. Which one of them was more surprised to see her return with a large smile on her face was difficult to judge.

B'Elanna realized her mouth must be hanging open and promptly shut it with a snap. Harry had no thought in his head whatsoever. And the Doctor merely peered at her, assessing the veracity of her reaction.

"B'Elanna, Harry, perhaps we should talk outside?" Janeway said significantly. They nodded and let her lead them to the corridor. Before they exited, she turned. "Doctor, please contact me when they wake up, either one of them. And good job. I will be certain to put a commendation in Mr. Paris' personnel file."

"Very good, Captain," he said.

The doors swooshed shut behind them. The corridor was empty.

"Well, you two, it looks as though our plan was a rousing success, don't you agree?" the captain said with a smile. "They've obviously worked out whatever snags their relationship had hit." She waited for a reaction but was only getting stared at. "Well? Don't you agree?"

Harry shook himself out of immobility. "But Captain, you mean you knew all this time?"

"Of course I knew. A captain keeps her eyes and ears open," she said, almost laughing out loud at the pictures that came to her.

"I don't see how we can claim any sort of victory here. It was the alien who almost killed Chakotay, we had nothing to do with that," B'Elanna said, praying that was true.

Captain Janeway put her arms around both of their shoulders and started to lead them down the corridor. "One thing you learn in this job - never look a gift horse in the mouth. Now. We're going to go and raise a little toast to them both, wishing them all the best. And when we see them again, awake, we'll do the same, so they know we support this one hundred percent. Okay?"

They could only nod numbly and enter the turbolift.


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Chakotay woke up fully and looked around him, trying to figure out what was going on. Sick bay? He'd been dreaming he and Tom were on the shuttle, sleeping on the floor after having made love. His last memory was.... being attacked, seeing Tom at the helm.

"You're awake, Commander, that's excellent."

He turned his head and saw the Doctor looming over him. He was speaking so quietly, however. That's when he realized Tom was in his arms, sleeping on his chest.

"I'll try not to wake Mr. Paris," the Doctor said, giving Chakotay a warm smile.

He relaxed. "What happened to me?"

"Well, that's a long story...." The Doctor filled him in on everything he knew, everything Tom had yelled out to him as Chakotay was carried in on the makeshift stretcher. His heart ached to think of what Tom had gone through, then filled almost to bursting by the fact that his lover had saved his life, again. He closed his eyes against the torrent of emotion that was threatening to bubble up, and caressed the blond head on his chest. Spirits, what a fucked day they'd had...

"...but I do need to tell you, Commander, that you've had a few visitors while you've been sleeping."

Well, this could top it all off. "Who?"

"First it was just Lieutenant Torres and Ensign Kim, who insisted on seeing you for themselves. As they are your closest friends, I thought it would be fine, and, indeed, it was."

Chakotay smiled. "Yes, it would have been." Tom's not going to like that our plans just went out the window. Oh well, I guess we're public. Then he saw the look on the Doctor's face. "And?"

"The Captain. She, well, I couldn't stop her. She came to visit."

No, actually, that topped it off. He sighed. "It's okay, Doctor, she had to know sooner or later. How did she react?"

"She was surprisingly pleased. Almost content. Not at all what I expected."

Tom stirred, clutched Chakotay's waist more tightly, sighed, and slowly opened his eyes. They opened even wider to see the Doctor standing over them. He sat up quickly, but Chakotay stopped him from moving away altogether.

"It's okay, Tom, relax, everything is fine," Chakotay said softly.

"It's true, Lieutenant, all is well on Voyager, even with the two of you being a couple," the Doctor said, smiling. Chakotay chuckled.

"How is he doing, Doc?" Tom asked, ignoring the topic completely.

"He's just fine. In fact, now that he's awake and his vital signs are normal, I'm releasing him. To your care, of course. If that's agreeable with you."

"Did you just make a joke, Doctor?" Chakotay said, grinning.

"What did I miss?" Tom said, looking back and forth between the two.

"I think that's my cue to disappear. Commander, you can go, but I expect you to come back in the morning for a checkup. Your right arm may be a little sore, so try not to exercise it too harshly. In fact, try and take it easy tonight." He looked down his nose.

"I promise I'll do my best. However, perhaps you should release me into someone else's care then...."

"I think I might just lose my best medic if I were to do that. I'll go and replicate you something to wear home."

"Thank you Doctor, really, thank you."

He nodded and left them alone.

Tom half-stood and threw his upper body on top of Chakotay, putting his face into the older man's neck, getting hugged tightly as he kissed the skin he found, over and over.

"Help me sit up, Tom," Chakotay whispered. Tom pulled back and did just that, and when Chakotay swung his legs over the side he grabbed Tom's waist and they embraced closely.

"Oh, God, Chak, don't ever do that to me again," Tom moaned.

"Well, from what I hear, if you hadn't been there, I'd be dead. So I guess you own me twice..."

"I'd gladly give one of those up. Gladly."

"You can talk to me all you want about it, Tom, anything you need, you just tell me. Promise? All I ask is that I get home."

"Okay, we'll talk, later... besides I have a feeling that something happened while I was asleep?"

"Oh yeah, Tom, something happened. We're no longer a secret."

Tom only held him more tightly. "You know what? I can't say I'm sorry. Any more of this and one of us would have ended up dead."

"Or the captain would have ended up spaced."

Chakotay watched as Tom pulled back and stared at him. They both began to laugh at the same time, reveling in the joy of it.


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As penance, B'Elanna and Harry took it upon themselves to do the post-flight check of the Delta Flyer. They cleaned up the blood stain, from where Chakotay's life essence seeped through the blanket and onto the deck. The medkit would be taken to sick bay to be restocked and as Harry, on his hands and knees, gathered empty vials, hyposprays and the laser scalpel, he saw a small bottle a few feet away, under one of the consoles.

He picked it up, opened it, and sniffed. A smile broke across his face. Lube.

"What's that, Harry?" B'Elanna called from the helm where she was doing a check of fuel levels.

He put the bottle in his pocket. "Nothing, really. Must have been leftover from a previous flight."

She shrugged and returned to her task.

Those two sneaky men. They knew all along. Harry chuckled to himself, feeling better, already figuring out a way he could embarrass Tom with the little bottle.



End part 7 - TBC in Epilogue