Title: Loving a Lie
Author: Kim Riley a.k.a. MYSTIC
Summary: Wedded bliss is on the horizon…or is it?
Disclaimer: Ok, as usual, none of these characters, besides Nolan Osgood, belong to me, they belong to Paramount, and again I'm getting them out of the 'closet' to let them be happy.
"Loving a Lie"
"Congratulation!" Harry shouts as he slaps Tom on the back. "I never would have thought it," he says.
"Thought what?" Tom asks warmly as other of his friends congratulate him on his good news. "That I'd be getting married?"
"No, that you would be marrying Chakotay of all people," Harry states, still stunned by the joyous news.
Tom moves a little to catch a breather and stands near his best friend and spots his fiancée across the room, being given the same treatment from his friend. "Yeah," Tom says in a warm loving tone, " who would of thought."
Harry sees the glow in his best friend and is relieved to see that Tom is really in love, and knowing the Commander, so is Chakotay. He watches his best friend and the Commander meet up in the middle of the sudden celebration that broke out in the mess hall when the announcement was given and give each other a small kiss, at the prodding of everyone around them, but they didn't seem to mind one bit.
Harry turned to see the Captain enter the mess hall, and by the prideful look on her face, word was spreading fast. He saw Janeway walk up to the soon to be couple and gave them both a huge hug and congratulations.
"So, when do I get to tie the knot for you two?" she teased.
Tom and Chakotay look at each other warmly. "How about next week," Tom says, seeing Chakotay's smile of agreement.
"Ah, that's not leaving us much time to plan anything big," she says, a tiny pout on her face.
"That's the whole point," Chakotay chuckles back. "Simple is find by us."
"Very well, Gentlemen. Next week at this time, we'll be having a wedding."
Tom and Chakotay hug again as more people come up and congratulate them.
"It is kind of interesting how you and Chakotay have managed to turn your feelings for each other around like this," B'Elanna says as the three friends walk to the mess hall.
"That's not true," Tom states. "I've always been in love with Chakotay, just…bad at expressing it," he says softly.
"I told you all that fuss was heat and not hate," Harry states. "Though you have to admit, Tom. I did think the Commander was going to kill you a year ago. I mean the two of you were at each others throats almost every second," he laughs.
"Seems the Captain's idea of sending the two of you on a little 'food gathering' mission really did the trick," B'Elanna teased.
Tom stopped in the hall and looked at his friends seriously, "it wasn't the mission, it was almost losing him," he states softly.
"Gee, Tom. I forgot how close the Commander came to dying; he had one hell of a head injury when you guys got here. But the Doc said it wasn't all that bad…and besides, its all in the past, in six more days you'll be…what?"
"He's insisted that he'll take my last name, though I think we should hyphen it. You know, Chakotay-Paris?"
"Tom Chakotay-Paris, Tom Paris-Chakotay," B'Elanna says for practice. "Chakotay Chakotay-Paris? Nah. Chakotay Paris works for him, but I do like Tom Chakotay-Paris," she laughs.
"Hardy har har," Tom states as they three friends walk into the mess hall.
"So?" Harry asks as the three of them grab trays.
"So…what?" Tom asks easily as he gathers something pink than purple for breakfast.
"Have you chosen a best man yet?" Harry asks.
"Oh, of course I have, Harry. Sheesh, you didn't think I'd forget something like that would you?" Tom asks as he moves off toward a table leaving Harry in a lurch.
Tom and B'Elanna laugh. "Harry, you know without a doubt that it'll be you, so stop whining will you?"
"Really, thanks, Tom! Hey, I don't whine!"
The three friends laugh again, then see Chakotay walk in with the Captain. Tom gives his lover a huge smile and receives one in return.
"If you glow any brighter, flyboy, and I'm going to cut the lights off on what ever deck your on to save energy," Torres teased.
Tom blushed, "hey, can I help it that I happen to luck out and am landing the best catch on the ship?"
"Come on, eat or we'll be late for shift. I don't think even you can sweet talk your way out of trouble if we're late," Harry smirked.
"Who said anything about talking my way out," Tom smirked back with a knowing smile.
Tom had hoped to be heading to his and Chakotay's quarters after shift, not to sickbay where is lover was after being hurt on the bridge from another stupid alien attack. He got word that Chakotay was going to be all right, but he was not too relaxed since the Captain had been called down to sickbay just minutes before he was free to come down himself.
He walked in to see the Captain and the EMH in the office and Chakotay unconscious on a biobed. By the signs showing, his love was strong and stable. He moved to the office to find out what was going on.
"Are you sure?" is what he heard the Captain say as he walked in.
"Sure of what?" Tom asked, noting he startled the Captain.
"Tom…I…" Janeway turned to the EMH and then back toward him. "Tom, you better sit down," she says.
"He's going to be all right, isn't he?" Tom asks, not even bothering to sit.
"The Commander is going to be just fine," the Doc states.
"Tom, please," Janeway says, and escorts Tom to a seat. She waits till Tom is seated. "There's no easy way for me to tell you this. We…we should of caught this some time ago…I don't know why we didn't but…"
"Catch what? You said he's going to be fine, what?" Tom states, wanting to know what was going on.
"Tom…Chakotay…he's…he's a clone." There she said it. "I'm sorry, Tom. I don't' know why we didn't catch this sooner," she says as if knowing what lay on the biobed wasn't really Chakotay was going to hurt the young man.
Tom looked wide eyes at Janeway and the EMH, "Who…who all knows this?" he asks softly.
"No one, Tom. We…we just found out ourselves," she says.
She tries offer a comforting hand but Tom moves from the chair to the EMH. "Are you sure?" he says softly.
"I'm quite sure, Mr. Paris. Though I am still concerned how I did not detect this sooner. The Commander has been in here fourteen times in the last year."
"Tom, the clone is a year old. He…" Janeway is speechless.
"What are you going to do?" Tom asks as he moves past the EMH to the computer board on the far wall.
"I'm not sure. I'd like to know where the real Chakotay is, and if that…clone has had anything to do with him being harmed…"
Tom looks at Janeway; " The crew thinks he's the real one…why…say anything? Why even tell Chakotay?" he says softly.
"That's assuming he doesn't already know," Janeway states coolly. Then she notes the panic in Tom's face. "I know this is devastating, Tom…but…"
"He doesn't know," Tom states quietly as he reaches up and punches a few keys in the computer console. "And I don't want him to know," he says as he turns to face Janeway, now alone.
Kathryn takes note that the EMH has suddenly gone off line. Then she notes the look on Tom's face, " You knew?"
Tom looks determined as well as guilty, "Yes, I knew. The 'real' Chakotay died over year ago on that 'mission' you sent us on. As always we were arguing, at each others throats, so he was too upset to take notice of the unstable ground we were walking on and he fell as did I. But I landed on him and he…he died."
"When we fell, it was into the underground city of the populace there, that was hidden from our sensors. It was then that told me they could clone him, bring him back, but he would have memory difficulty for a while, but would soon be able to function as normal. That unless told, he wouldn't even know he was a clone. I staged the head injury to account for the memory loss he was going to have."
Janeway felt her hackles rise, "You knew and said nothing. You…what else did you do?" she asked in an accusing tone. "Did you get him programmed some how?"
Tom's guilt flashed to anger, "No! It was a clean slate as far as I and the Commander was concerned. I've always loved him, I just swore that since I had a second chance I wasn't going to blow it!"
Janeway was silent at this confession for a moment. "You did reprogram the EMH at some time to over look this, didn't you?" she accused softly.
"Yes, and I just reactivated that program again. I don't know how it came off line, but as far as the EMH is now concerned, he'll never be able to prove Chakotay is anything but real," he said in a cool calculated voice. "This doesn't have to go poorly, Captain. If you want to take your anger out, take it out on me. Just leave Chakotay out of this. Plus, think of how the crew will react? They don't have a clue, and why should they? He's every bit Chakotay and we both know it!"
"He has the right to know the truth about himself," she states with conviction. Her anger clear on her face.
"There is absolutely no reason to tell anyone outside of this room. Who will it benefit? I can tell you who it will hurt? Chakotay being the first, but the rest of the crew and their relationship with the Commander a good second. It doesn't benefit the ship to bring this to light, does it, Captain?" Tom found himself pleading.
"What else have you done on my ship?" she snarls.
"Nothing. I only did what was needed to protect Chakotay. I meant it, Captain. I loved him then, and I do now. I'll do what ever it takes to keep him safe and happy, even go to the brig for the rest of my life if it'll mean you'll keep silent about this…please?"
Seeing the love and desperation in Tom's eyes served to ease some of the hurt, anger, and betrayal she was feeling. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do with you, but it's clear that we can't tell anyone outside of this room, perhaps Tuvok…"
"No one, please, Captain?"
"Alright, no one. But I reserve the right to tell Chakotay. I still think he has the right to know, and as far as you are concerned…." She felt herself start to seethe again and became silent to calm herself.
"It will only hurt him," he pleaded.
Janeway snapped her head up to look at him, anger full in her eyes. "He has the right to know the truth, that's all there is too it. And if he decides to tell the crew, I'll respect his wish," she said. She never expected to see Tom drop to his knees pleading with her, as tears came down his face. She wanted to smack the young man, but she couldn't take this anymore, she didn't want to hurt the man out there anymore than Tom did. "That's enough, Lieutenant!" she snapped.
Tom got up and wiped his face, "It could destroy him, Captain. You know how he is? Please, just think about this some more…please?"
Janeway moved to look at the sleeping man on the biobed. Had the Doc not said anything, she would not have had a clue that this was not her best friend and First Officer. In fact, the two of them did become even closer friends over the year, and Tom had a point, Chakotay was a naturalist, this would not sit well with him at all.
Then she turned to face Tom. The man tampered with the ship's computer and kept this a secret for over a year, but again, Tom was right. The crew would not respond well to the truth, and there was no reason for anyone to know the truth…except Chakotay…and that was a separate issue. How could she punish Tom for what he did and not draw suspicion to any of this?
The more she thought over the last year, Tom had become one of her best officers, a close second to Chakotay, and the crew was in best of shape emotionally as well as physically than it ever has been. She then thought about all the guilt and pressure the young man had to be going through everyday, but this didn't excuse what he did. She looked at him, still holding his breath, fugitively. "Okay, we'll keep it from the crew and I'll think about whether or not to tell Chakotay. As for you…you and I will discuss this matter later and I promise you, a suitable punishment will be found."
"Anything you want, Captain. So long as Chakotay is safe, and happy, that's all I care about," Tom said in a relieved tone. He stood silent till a nod from the Captain indicated that he could move out.
She watched him move to Chakotay's side; again she saw the love and desperation in his eyes. He really did love the man on the table, so did it really matter that it wasn't the original? She wasn't too sure of her answer.
"I can't believe you volunteered for all this extra duty, just before our wedding," Chakotay said as he wrapped his arms around his lover's waist as Tom was getting dressed to back out to work. He leaned in and nuzzled Tom's soft neck. "You know, I have a great rapport with the First Officer, I think I could get him to let you relax your schedule a bit," he purred as he teased Tom's body with his strong hands and nipped along his neck.
Tom gave a soft moan, "Ooh, love that feels good, but…the First Officer is a tough man, he doesn't go for any play," Tom smiled, hoping to get through this. His volunteering was to cover up the fact that it was his punishment for what he did. It took him a lot of fast talking to keep the Captain from disallowing the wedding.
"Oh, I happen to know he likes being played with very much," Chakotay whispers in Tom's ear then licks it, smiling at the deep moan he received from his lover. Tom had been so busy the past few days, Chakotay was sure he'd implode if he didn't take Tom soon. "I want you, baby."
Tom couldn't resist anymore; he didn't even want too. He melted into Chakotay's arms and let his strong hands undress him and caress his skin as Chakotay's hot mouth took his own. "Love me, Cha," he whispered.
"Always, baby, always!" Chakotay says as he lifts Tom up into his arms and carries him to their bed. He lays Tom down on his back and finishes taking off the rest of Tom's clothes. He then climbs on top of the slender body and allows his own to cover every inch of Tom's creamy flesh. His mouth covering Tom's as his hands caress and stroke every inch in their reach.
Tom arched under Chakotay's ministrations, and shouted in pleasure, "Yes!" when their erection's touched and started sliding up and down on each other. "Harder, love, harder! Yes!"
Chakotay did as his lover wanted, he thrusted his hips deeper down so they would rub harder against each other. "Oh Spirits, Baby you feel so good!" He looked down to see his lover's beautiful flush face that he was responsible for and it send even more fire throughout him. "Come for me, baby," he said as he pressed down again.
Tom's body was Chakotay's to command, so when his lover wanted him to come, the electric charge that sounded in his brain from Chakotay's words shot through out his body and soon he was arching, his body exploding onto his lover, who he could feel also exploding onto him.
After a few minutes, the two lovers rolled to their sides, and embraced each other. "I'd do anything for you, Cha," Tom whispered. "I love you so much."
"I love you, baby," Chakotay smiled. Then got a teasing gleam in his eyes, "even enough to buy you enough time to shower and get dressed so you're not late reporting to your duty assignment."
Tom whacked him good on the shoulder, then kissed him hard. "I love you," he growled playfully, "but I don't have to like you!" he states as he gets up to gather his clothes and head for the bathroom.
"Well, I hope you still like me enough to still marry me in two days?"
Tom pokes his head out; "I'll always love you enough for that. The liking bit, you'll have to work on," he smiled and ducked back in the bathroom to grab a quick shower and then gave Chakotay a quick kiss and ducked out to head for extra work.
Chakotay walked out of the bathroom, all a glow with life, being it was his day off, and wrapped his robe around him tightly. He saw he had a message waiting for him. He checked it and saw it was from the Captain. She wanted to meet for lunch in her quarters. "Probably want's to see if I'm having a case of cold feet," he joked as he got dressed.
Chakotay entered into the Captain's quarters, he saw that she looked apprehensive, but that seemed to be the par as of the last few days. "Captain?" he said warmly.
"Ah, Commander, glad you could make it," she smiled and offered him a seat on the sofa.
Chakotay saw that this was more than lunch by the tension he was feeling, "What seems to be the problem?" he asked getting right to the heart of the matter.
He watches as Janeway sat down across from him and uncustomary fidgeted with her hands. "Kathryn?"
She took a deep breath. "There's no easy way to tell you this, and to be honest I was close to not telling you, but I can't keep this a secret, not from you…it's your life…you have a right to know the truth."
Chakotay sat up and looked at his friend, "What truth?"
Kathryn took a deep breath, "I can prove it if you need me too, but…Chakotay, you're…you're a…a clone." She watched her friend's face; It remained still as he sat back.
"Who all knows this?"
"Just me, and…" here was the second hard part. "Oh, Chakotay, I don't want this to hurt you, but…Tom knows too. In fact, he's known all along. It seems you died a year back and Tom arranged everything so no one would find out. My finding out was pure accidental, for the EMH discovered it when he was on a back up program, which Tom has made sure won't repeat that discovery. But I'm capable of running the test if you need me too," she says.
"Long story short, I've decided to agree with Tom and keep it from them. It won't hurt them not to know, but…it may if they do. But what ever you want to do…?"
"Does Tom know you're telling me this?"
Janeway looks at her First officer and it strikes her, that he's no where as upset as she thought he should be. "Chakotay, did you hear me? Is this getting through to you?"
"I understand that you and Tom both know I'm a clone or the real Chakotay that died over a year ago, yes, Kathryn I understand. What I want to know is, does Tom know you're telling me this?"
Okay, this wasn't the right reaction, "No," she said softly. "I…I just couldn't let you two get married with something like this…I…" she looked at Chakotay, again, something not right. "Why are you not upset by this?"
"I'm sorry to bust your bubble, Kathryn, but I already know I'm a clone. I have for over eight months, so…I've had lots of time to accept it. I'm just concerned about Tom. He's gone to so much trouble to keep this from me, I…I don't want to upset him. He's really a delicate soul," Chakotay says warmly.
Janeway sits back, "I can't believe this? You knew? You didn't say anything? And you still want to marry Tom?"
"Kathryn, at first I was upset, but then I realized what happened. I also felt that there was little point in saying anything, what would it benefit? I was me, and even if my body to some degree is point one percent off from the original, which is how I found out, I was in sick bay when the first DNA test came back before the reprogram made the Doc fix it. I ran the test on my own, and soon put the pieces together."
"I need a drink," she says as she moves and replicates herself a double scotch. She slams it down, "and Tom?"
"Kathryn, I've always been attracted to Tom, I just couldn't seem to get passed all my anger and hurt from my past with him, but as it stood now, it was so easy to do so now. Plus, when I discovered how much trouble he's gone too, for me…I knew he loved me too. The rest they say is history," he smiles.
"So why not tell Tom you know?" she asks as she slams another drink down.
"He's gone to so much trouble to keep this from me, and I know it's important to him on a deep level that I think I'm the original me. It doesn't bother me, but it's important to him. Someday, I'll let him know I know, but when he's ready."
Janeway sat down hard, "I accused him of taking advantage of you, now I'm not so sure here," she states.
"Just one second, Kathryn. I love Tom and I'm not taking advantage of him. He just happens to need the illusion, for he is too insecure that our relationship won't stand the test of the truth. I love him enough to go along with this, and when the time is right, I'll show him the truth. Besides, what is between him and me is our business, and bottom line…we love each other."
"Fine," she says softly, her head spinning from all the twist and turns the last few days have shown her. "I just have one question," she says.
"Do you, Thomas Eugene Paris take Chakotay of Dovan V to be your lawful wedded husband through sickness and health, through good times and bad, till death do you part?"
"I do," Tom says, holding his soon to be husband's hand. He was all a glow looking at how dashing Chakotay was in his dress uniform as they stood together in the Captain's ready room, Harry by his side, and Greg by Chakotay's.
"Do you, Chakotay of Dovan V take Thomas Eugene Paris to be your lawful wedded husband through sickness and health, through good times and bad, till death do you part?"
"I do," Chakotay states joyfully, giving Tom's hand a squeeze.
"By the power invested in me, I pronounce you wed, you may now kiss the groom," Janeway states formally.
The crowd cheered loudly as the two men kissed.
Harry watched as his best friend and his new husband moved off to the reception. He knew all about what was going on, Tom couldn't keep a secret from him even if he tried, which in this case he didn't. He even knew that Chakotay knew the full truth, but if the two men were so happy with the illusion between them, who was he to say anything.
He smiled as he moved to gather a drink for him and the Captain, he knew she knew and was handling it fairly well, at least she let them marry. He only wondered how she'd react if she found out that Tom was also a clone? That Tom also died on the planet and both men knew about the other, just wanted to keep it quiet, so the other continued to think they were real. Harry thought again that this was stupid, since they both knew the full truth, just not that the other did, but again, if they were happy, who was he to mess things up. He thought about telling Janeway, but only for a moment…it took him a while to get it all straight, he could see the Captain was in no position for more…truth.
"Captain?" he said offering her a drink
"Thank you, Harry," she said taking the drink and slamming it down, and then regretted it, it was the real stuff. "Ensign?" she said in a hoarse voice.
"Sorry, Captain. I guess we don't know how much we like the simulation till we are reminded just how harsh the real stuff is," he says and them moves off sipping his drink, not paying attention to the odd look he was getting from the Captain.