CPR: The Chakotay/Paris Realm

Title: Stone Fortress
Note: Part IV of the Stone Heart Series
Author: Kim Riley aka MYSTIC / MysticMcknight
Pairing: C/P
Rated: R
Summary: sequel to Stepping Stone:
Disclaimer: Everything but the idea and the talent that went into this is Paramounts, the rest is all mine.
Feedback: Please! Mysticmcknight@hotmail.com

"Stone Fortress"

"There has been an accident." Those words still echo in my head even after all this time. I was sitting on the bride after the attack when the Doctor contacted me letting me no there was a problem with Chakotay and I was needed in sickbay right away. I don't even think I asked to leave, I was up out of my seat and in the lift so fast. My heart pounded with frantic worry that once the doors had opened I ran at top speed to the infirmary. I entered and came face to face with the Doctor who was expecting me and grabbed a hold of me to stop me in front of him. All I could do was scan the area and look for my husband, but I couldn't see him anywhere.

"Where is he?" I demanded.

But the damn subroutine remained silent till the Captain showed up a moment behind me. Then he proceeded to tell me how my life was now shattered. Chakotay was in the lift when the attack occurred and basically all the safety measures failed and the lift plumed downward. There was little he could do all was happening so fast and he had forgotten his com badge, so all he really could do was curl up on the floor and pray. I'm not sure how they, who ever they are, thought they were answering the prayer, but it wasn't what he would have wanted.

All I could remember is going numb, hearing it all, but not able to react. Chakotay was smashed very badly, especially his back, and now was in a full regeneration tank. He'd live, but he wouldn't walk. The possibility of fixing his spine was small, but the Doctor was hopeful. I found my voice, knowing I didn't want to hear what I knew was the answer.

"The children?"

The look alone was all I needed. They had died, and the last thing I remember was wondering how Chakotay would take this before I passed out. I awoke on a biobed with Janeway giving her best comfort smile, though there was no comfort to be found. I sat up and looked around to see Harry and B'Elanna there and watched them try to give support, but it was wasted on me. I only wanted three things, my husband, my children, and revenge. My children were lost to me because of these aliens. My husband was out of reach for he was fighting for his life in a regeneration tank, so I was focused on revenge. I looked at Harry and asked if those aliens who attacked us had been identified yet. Before Janeway could cut him off he responded that they were a race called the Illtalseph. Then the Captain cut in and said that I shouldn't concern myself with that now. She didn't realize that was all I had to concern myself with at the moment, for I needed to know about them so that I could make them pay.

Just then the Doctor came in and asked me if I wanted to see Chakotay, of course I answered by jumping down off the biobed and followed him into to another room. There was a tank filled with green bubbling liquid and inside it was a battered, though now human looking body with an oxygen mask strapped tightly to his face. I moved next to the tank and knelt down and placed my hands on the glass of the tank, taking in every cut and bruises on my husband's face, and body. My body began to tremble as tears started flowing down my face. "If only I had gone with you!" I cried. I just know that I would have put on my com badge and would have been able to save them, all of them. I failed my husband and my children for I placed a trivial thing such as sleep over them, and now they were gone. It didn't matter that Chakotay had insisted that he could take care of himself, I was the one that was to make sure, and I didn't.

That day was the worst day of my life. A thousand times more horrible than Caldik Prime, and of course I thought things couldn't get more worse that this, I was wrong. The next two days for me were a blur of crying and waiting for Chakotay to revive from the tank. The Doctor had to sedate me several times for I wasn't budging from my husband's side no matter what anyone said. I didn't care if it had been a direct order, I wasn't moving. Though Janeway never did, she did let the Doctor sedate me off and on, but once I was awake again I was off the biobed and next to my love in a heartbeat. I do sort of remember being asked about the children and saying that I'd wait till I talked with Chakotay, for I knew he'd have something he'd want in regards to the spirits of our lost children.

On the third day I was on pins and needles waiting for him to wake up, and yet dreaded it for I knew what he was going to ask me, and I knew what I had to say. His skin was the lightest I had ever seen it, for it was mostly new skin and muscle tissue, as well as new bone. He wouldn't be awake for long, but it would be happening any moment, for that was what the doctor had told me. I remember holding my breath as I saw his eyes start to flutter and let it out in a sigh of happiness seeing into those dark gems and see him know I was there with him.

"I'm here, love" I said taking his hand, not sure if he'd feel it right away.


I knew. "You were in an accident, love. The lift lost cohesion and…" I didn't need to say anymore, I could see from the look on his face he now remembered.


Again I knew, and now I dreaded it. "Chak," I stated, though I could see him mentally bracing himself as he looked into my face. "I'm sorry, love. They didn't make it." I felt myself start to cry all over again at their loss and expected to see grief, remorse, guilt, and anger…something in his eyes, but they just went blank. It was like at that moment he just…spiritually died. And in truth that was what happened. He never spoke another word from that moment on.

According to the Doctor, he was physically fine, and so to him he couldn't fathom why the First Officer of Voyager was simply wasting away. Chakotay didn't respond to anyone, wouldn't eat anything. I had to make the funeral arrangements myself, and since I didn't know what Chakotay wanted, for he wouldn't even respond to me, I went with a traditional Starfleet and the Captain Okayed it. The sad part is that we never did settle on names and now I regret that for they were sent into the spirit world only as the Chakotay-Paris children.

I don't know why, but I insisted that Chakotay attend the funeral, even if he did just sit in his wheelchair and stare out to no where in particular. I needed him there, and I think some how I had hoped by seeing our children off he'd be able to find his way back and grieve. But again I was wrong. He didn't respond, and he continued to do so over the next several months. The Doctor had him hooked up to nutritional drips, but it was clear to us all that Chakotay had just given up and walled himself in waiting to die. I had cried more that month than I had in my entire life, as I continued to try and reach my love that was now looking thinned. Liquid food was not a real substitute for food, and I tried everything I could, from begging, pleading to down right screaming yelling and threatening…. nothing.

I was beside myself, I had lost my children and now I was losing my husband. I had failed them once and it seemed like I was failing again. I think it was then that I went over the edge, though a man crazed doesn't realize it. I only remember it was about then that I decided that if I couldn't have the two most precious things I wanted in my life, I'd have the third…revenge. Though I was off duty till further notice so I could be with Chakotay, that didn't mean I didn't know how to get information. I made sure to have lunch with Harry and dinner with B'Elanna. They didn't know that the information they were giving me served any other purpose than small talk.

We were in the Illtalseph's system and near their home planet. Captain Janeway had contacted them and informed them that we would destroy any vessel that came near Voyager without hesitation. That as far as she was concerned they had declared war on us and we would defend ourselves. That wasn't good enough for me. They took away my life; they needed to know how that felt. I tapped into Harry's reports, easy since it was of my security level. They had civilian and military population segments, much like Earth. I made my plans and set to work. By the time we were with in an hour from the Illtalseph's home planet I was ready. The Illtalsephs did make a few runs at Voyager and the Captain kept her promise and blew them to hell, but it wasn't enough…they needed to pay.

I had prepped a shuttle to carry the device that would literally rock their world, and then it occurred to me. That perhaps my love should witness justice finally being served on the bastards that killed our children and stole my love's soul. I walked right into the infirmary, deactivated the EMH and took my husband to the shuttle with me. I overridden the shuttle bay doors and was off to bring down the hammer of retribution on the Illtalseph's. I had to make sure Voyager didn't stop me so I had to temporarily shut them down. It was only transporters, tractor beams, weapons, and engines, and it wasn't for very long, but it was long enough for the Captain to feel I betrayed my uniform. But I felt the uniform had betrayed me when my life was shattered all those months ago.

On the trip I started talking to Chakotay as if he heard me, and even was arguing with him, or so the records showed for I don't remember all of it. I do remember rattling on about how they would feel the pain of losing their children and the loss of loved ones without any reason. That they would know suffering as I have known it and that they will pay. I had ignored the communiqués from Voyager. I only let the channel open for I did want to take one from the planet. As I got closer, dodging their vessels I targeted one of their cities that I had determined had a large youth population so yes they would pay. When they contacted me I told them they would pay for killing our children and shut off communications. I also remember telling Chakotay just how many youths I estimated was in the city I targeted as I fired.

"Not the children."

It was the first thing he said in over four months since he asked me about our children. I was stunned, but his words was the only thing that brought any form of sanity back into me as I realized what I was about to do…or was doing. I frantically worked the console and wasn't able to destroy the device, I had put too much into it to make sure it would reach it's target, I didn't even bother about a self destruct aspect. So, I did what I could…I redirected it. There wasn't time to divert it to an unpopulated section, so having only two choices at this point diverted it to the closest though most isolated military base. The device did what it was suppose to…blow it to hell and back. I sat back and for the first time in weeks, perhaps a couple of months cried, this time for what I had done…I had just murdered.

I remember my body began shaking as I sobbed and let my self go limp over the console, the emotional pain of all of this was just too much for me to take anymore, and I couldn't take anymore. I too wanted to crawl away inside myself and die. I even started contemplating crashing the shuttle and let us both be put out of our misery when I felt something on my arm. I looked up and between pained and tear stained eyes, saw my husband's hand on my arm. Though he didn't say anything, I looked into his eyes and for the first time saw a spark of him in them. That he was still in there, and was trying to come out, so if I killed us now, I really would lose him, and I couldn't do that. I jumped out of my chair and was on my knees with my head in his lap crying, begging for his forgiveness for failing him and the children, for killing all those innocent people. I didn't even notice that Voyager had locked a tractor beam on us, I didn't care. Chakotay did say one more thing before security arrived to take him back to sick bay and me to the brig.

"They weren't innocent."

Now…. Well now I'm here sitting in the brig awaiting trial for my actions. The only time I'm allowed out of the brig is when I have to feed Chakotay. I don't mind one bit. My love has somehow communicated to them, though he really hasn't said another word since the shuttle that he'll eat for no one else but me, so three times a day I get to see him. Though he still looks miles away, he is at least looking a tiny bit better. I think it's his way of making sure I don't get spaced or something. The Captain has been in talks with the Illtalseph's since this happened a week ago and no one is allowed to see me or even speak to me except the Doctor, and he's only allowed to discuss my husband's condition. When I'm done feeding Chakotay, and he eats slow, again I think he does this on purpose, I say my good-byes give him a kiss and back to the brig. Today I was given access to the computer so I could make this personal log. I know it's because they hope to get some inside information as to what possessed me to do what I did. There is no logical reasoning…none what so ever. My world shattered and so did I. They had hurt me in a way that no one, and I do mean no one had ever managed to do, not even my father or prison. I'd rather be beaten and raped a million times than go through what I did this last several months, and having been through both, I know that I mean it. Some one is coming, must be feeding time…

Close personal log.

Tom Paris sat up and fixed his jumpsuit, since they took his uniform away and was startled to not see the security detail he was expecting but Captain Janeway and one of the Illtalseph's. His eyes narrowed and without thinking he charged the force field, praying that this once it wouldn't hold, but it did. "YOU BASTARD!" he shouted as all the anger reemerged all over again.

"Mr. Paris!" Janeway shouted back in attempts to calm Tom down. She was glad to see that the pilot was still responsive to her as Captain, at least in person. "You will remain silent and listen, understood?" It wasn't a question and again she was glad that Tom followed her orders, it gave her hope. "This is Quatorial B'Skall, ruler of the Illtalseph's world. He is here to speak with you, I strongly advise you hear him out before you say another word."

Tom only glared at the Illtalsephian, then at Janeway, though not long for her look made him feel guilty. He reaffirmed his gaze back at what he believed was the enemy and started, wondering why Janeway had bothered to bring this guy here. Surely neither of them could expect him to apologize, and he wouldn't no matter what they did to him; well perhaps depending on what they would do to him but he wouldn't mean it. He saw the alien hesitate, but he wouldn't take his gaze off the creature, he was daring the thing to try and ask for an apology or worse.

"On behalf of my people, Mr. Paris. We are truly and sincerely sorry that our foolish actions have caused you the loss of your children. Had we known there was young ones on board we would never had done what we had, not that is much of an excuse for our actions as it is. We prize our offspring and know that your people do as well. I also realize what you could have done and what you finally chose to do in the end. Though there are many that still grieve the loss of loved ones, they were all military and death in war is expected. It has been determined that we were at war with Voyager and under our laws you were acting in accordance with such and no charges from our world will be pressed, though I think under the circumstances I would see that none were pressed anyway. I…I am a father and would not have been as merciful as you were," he finally finished.

Janeway watched as Tom just continued his dark gaze at the Illtalsephian ruler. "Tom, are you going to say anything?" she asked. It was her way of telling Tom that a good portion of his ass was off the hook.

"It won't bring them back," Tom said in a whisper. "No apology or act of revenge. My children are gone and I have to live with that, as you have too live with the fact you killed them."

"Tom," Janeway said in response.

"It is all right, Captain. I understand, and he is right. There is nothing my people can do to bring back the tiny lives stolen here, and my people will have to live with what they did and what had occurred from it." Quatorial B'Skall gave a bow to Tom and moved out of the brig giving Tom and the Captain time to talk.

"Off the record, I'm not sure how I would react in your shoes, Tom," Janeway said, her eyes mixed with sorrow and anger. "I'm sorry, but by Starfleet regulations a trial still needs to take place. If your found guilty you will be stripped from your commission and I'm not sure what I'll do, for I can't conceive locking you up in the brig for the rest of your life. I've placed Tuvok in charge of the trial, for I know I'm too emotionally involved, though if a sentence is required I'll be handling it."

Tom looked at Janeway, and let his gaze waver to guilt and sorrow. "I understand, Captain. I'm not too worried about myself, only Chakotay."

"Somehow I knew you'd say that," she smiled weakly though sincerely. "I don't know what's going to happen, but I'll do my best to keep you guys together. I'm not totally blind, so I can see that you both need each other. Oh, Tom," she said, letting out a tried and frustrated sigh. Janeway turned to see the security detail that would escort Tom to the infirmary enter. She stepped back so they could do their job.

As Tom stepped out of the cell he raised his hands for the cuffs they used and was surprised to hear Janeway order that they were no longer needed. That Lt. Paris wouldn't give them any trouble, and asked for his confirmation. //Even after all I've done, she still believes in me…just like my love does. // He gave a small sincere smile. "You won't have any trouble from me, Captain. I give you my word."


(part 2)

"So, the Captain said I didn't need the cuffs anymore," Tom said as he was relaying today's turn of events to his husband who he was feeding some vegetable soup. He had been doing this for about a week, and Chakotay was starting to look a bit better. He was offering another spoon full when the Commanders hand came up and gently grabbed Tom's hand and held it still.

"Not hungry anymore?" Tom asked with a bit concern, since his husband had barely eaten half of it.

"Tom," Chakotay said in a low hoarse voice.

Tom's eyes lit up; his husband was speaking to him. "Yes, love?"

"I'm sorry."

Tom felt his eyes fill again with tears, his love was blaming himself for what happened. "No, don't be sorry. You have nothing to be sorry for…nothing," Tom insisted. But all Chakotay did was let go of his hand and eat the food. Tom wanted to scream at him for being foolish, but he could see that Chakotay was off again, but now it was worse, for now he knew where his husband was. He was in another world paying pennance for a sin that wasn't his, but Tom's. "It wasn't your fault," Tom said softly as he continued to feed his husband, "it was mine."


Tom Paris stood at attention before the review board, consisting of Lt. Commander Tuvok, Lt. Wildman, and Lt. Dalby. Paris felt that it was really going to be a deciding vote on Tuvok's behalf for he was sure Wildman would understand his behavior, even if to some degree Tom didn't understand it himself. He also felt that Dalby would take full advantage to get back at him for all the years of rivalry between them, so it would be Tuvok that really held his fate.

"Lt. Thomas Eugene Paris. This review board has been ordered to investigate the charges of premeditated murder of 1,325 Illtalsephian's at a strategic military base during war time between the Federation representatives, that being Voyager and the Illtalseph people," Tuvok stated. "It was the charge of this review board to see if you are to stand trial for these charges, instead of moving directly into a trial. It was petitioned by Captain Janeway that you were not acting in accordance behavior due to the loss of your children and the potential loss of your husband Commander Chakotay."

//Bless her heart for trying, // Tom thought, but stood still as best as he could showing that he did remember how to be an officer.

Tuvok continued. "After several days of investigation and deliberation it was a unanimous opinion that you did not commit any premeditated activities due to your mental instability at the time. Also, in accordance to Starfleet regulations during declared war, actions on a strategic military instillation, even if not ordered to, but not ordered against, is not a criminal offense. It is there fore the unanimous decision of this board that all charges be dropped. That you are to be released into the custody of your Commanding officer, Captain Janeway under the stipulation the strict stipulation that you receive counseling and go through a full medical review before being placed back to any further duties. Do you have any questions, comment's or disagreements with this decision or this review board?"

Tom stood frozen in disbelief. He didn't expect this, to not be charged, much less hear that not only he wasn't being charged but he was being supported in the only way his friends legally could. Then to hear it was unanimous must have been Tuvok's way of letting Tom know that all of them agreed with this, and it was important for Tom to know this. //Dalby, you son-of-a-bitch, I'll let you win the next six games of pool for this! // "No, sir," was all Tom could find words for since sentiment wouldn't be welcomed at this moment.

"Very well, this investigation is officially closed and this review board is now officially disbanded," Tuvok said, then it was over. "Congratulations, Lt." Tuvok said as he stood up and moved to stand next to Captain Janeway who had been near by.

"Thank you," Tom said, looking at all of them, even Dalby who walked up to him, his hand extended.

"I know we don't see eye to eye on much of anything," he said. "But…well, lets just say I'm not that blind."

Tom took Dalby's hand and shook it, grateful for his understanding as surprising as it was. He then hugged Wildman who whispered her sorrow to him and that she was glad that Tuvok found a legal loophole so this ending could be possible. Then Tom turned to Tuvok and smiled his thanks, for he knew the Vulcan wouldn't want it said or expressed any other way.

"Lt. Paris. You and I will have a long discussion in my office at 21:00 hrs," the Captain said. "Until that time, you're a free man, Tom," she said smiling.

Tom thanked them all again and was out the door heading for sickbay to let his husband know what had happened, as Janeway turned to face the former members of the review board. "Thank you," she said sincerely.

"Don't thank us, Captain" Wildman said. "If it wasn't for Tuvok, we may still would have had to have a trial if he didn't find that regulation," she said.

"But it would not have mattered if you had not petitioned for his competency and an investigation into the matter in the first place, Captain," Tuvok responded.

"Off the record, Captain. If it had been me, there wouldn't be a planet left," Dalby said quietly.

"Off the record, if it was me there wouldn't be a system left," Wildman added softly.

Janeway only gave a look as if she agreed, but her position as Captain prevented her from doing so, but she didn't say a word to disagree with them either. "Thank you," she said and left back to the bridge.


It was three months before Tom was allowed back on the bridge as Chief pilot again. During that time, the young pilot had his hands full with counseling, flight simulators, and trying to help his husband come back from the land of the dead. It was a long hard fight, and he wasn't sure, even with the progress he saw, he was winning. After the news that Tom wasn't going to stand trial and the matter was officially over, Chakotay did start doing little things for himself, but that was about it. He was emotionally unresponsive, though after about a month of hard work on Tom's part, his love would give small responses to direct questions or precise actions asked of him, but that was it.

The counseling helped him deal with the fact that it was an accident and there was no way he could of prevented it, though he knew there would always be a part of him that wouldn't agree to that. The only thing that helped him cope was the flying simulations, for he could just allow himself to forget for a little bit before stepping back into reality and facing the barricaded strong hold known as his husband. It took every trick in the book and then some to get his love to respond to things, but if he didn't make Chakotay react then he would be in danger of being lost forever, and Tom couldn't bare that. So every night and day when he was free he was with Chakotay pouring it on, pushing, pulling, and prodding. It was only a week before his return to the bridge did Chakotay gave and talked.

"Tom, I do not wish to keep you from your life, please just let me be," he said in a flat tone.

Tom was internally jumping for joy. "Chakotay, have you forgotten, you are my life," he said kneeling down in front of his love so he could look into his face. "You are my soul, how can I leave it behind?"

"I'm sorry, Tom. But I don't have anything left to offer you," he said just as flatly as his first sentence as he blinked and looked coldly at Tom.

Tom felt the shiver down his spine. He saw the emptiness and could understand that. He saw the anger and sorrow and could understand that. He saw the distance and understood that as well, but this coldness was new and he didn't understand at all. "Chakotay?"

"I want a divorce," he said, again flatly.

"What!" Tom exclaimed as he stood up in shock. "Why?"

"We only got married for we were going to be parents together and it was the right thing to do. Since that is no longer an issue, there is no longer any reason for us to remain married," he stated in a cool dry tone.

Tom's eyes went wide with anger and dismay. "How can you sit there and say that?" he asked feeling his temper growing as the hurt in his chest boiled.

"I say it for it is the truth," Chakotay replied unblinking as he looked at Tom, his eyes cold and distant.

Tom thought about telling just fine, but inside a tiny voice told him that was exactly what Chakotay was trying to do, push him away. //Well, we'll both be damned if I'm letting you push me away after all I've done for you…you son-of-a-bitch! // "Well, too damn bad for you!" he shouted back. "For we're legally married and I won't grant you a divorce…so there!" he finished and stood akimbo.

"Whatever," Chakotay replied unmoved by Tom's display and since he could move himself around and didn't need anyone's help, he reached out and touched the controls of his chair and turned it to leave.

"Where the hell do you think your going!" Tom shouted.

"Back to the infirmary, and that is were I'll stay till either you move out of my quarters or I get new ones," he stated then left.

Tom was devastated. He couldn't believe that the man he loved, and knew had loved him just did this to him. Chakotay was not pushing him out of his life; his was throwing him out. He didn't know what to do so hit his com badge. "Paris to Janeway."

"Yes, Mr. Paris, what can I do for you?"

"Ah, Captain…do you have a few minutes," he asked, trying to keep his voice steady, but he could tell she heard his distress.

"Yes, Mr. Paris. Where should I meet you?" she responded easily.

"I'm on the observation deck, area C," Tom said then let the channel close. He turned numbly to the window and looked into the stars wondering why…why this was happening. Wasn't the loss of his little ones enough? He had fought so hard to get his love back, but that was not who left here a moment ago.

A week passed and Tom was back on the bridge, and per the Captain's advice, he stayed right where he was and so Chakotay stayed in the infirmary, for he flatly refused to go back to his cabin if Tom was still there. The man had even had Tom barred from sickbay, but Janeway said this was only part of Chakotay's way of pushing Tom away. The problem was, that Tom felt it was working, but then he reminded himself about his long road to recovery and he wasn't the one who carried them and almost died. He let out a deep breath and refocused on his job, grateful again to the Captain for clearing him fit for duty once more.

"Captain?" Harry stated from operations. "I'm picking up a distress signal."

"Where from, Ensign?" she replied.

"About twenty minutes from our location, near the asteroid belt. The signals weak, but I have traced it back and can give you exact coordinates." He returned promptly.

"Mr. Paris," she said knowing her chief pilot knew the rest.

"Yes, Ma'am, "he smiled and set course for the asteroid belt.

As they got closer, "Captain, I'm only reading one life sign. From what I can tell it must be in some kind of life support chamber, but the power to the tiny vessel is fluctuating all over the place."

"Captain, I'm reading heavy radiation levels on all levels of the ship. It appears that everyone else died from radiation poisoning except the individual in the chamber," Tuvok added.

"Captain, the ships warp core has gone critical," Harry replied with urgency in his voice.

"Are we within transporter range?" Janeway asked.

"We will be in five minutes," Tom replied.

"Warp core overload in six," Harry stated.

"I can do it, Captain," Tom said, knowing what Janeway would be considering.

"Very well, Mr. Paris. For all our sakes, I hope you can. Once we're in transporter range lock onto that chamber and beam it directly to sickbay. Notify them of the radiation situation so proper precautions can be taken," Janeway ordered then sat back and let her crew do their job.

Tom did as he had promised. He got Voyager into transporter range and once word was given that the chamber had been successfully transported to sickbay got the ship out of range of the warp core explosion, though the ship did take a bit of battering from the debris.


Since Commander Chakotay had flatly refused to return to his quarters and remained in sick bay, and he wasn't fit to return to any real duty, the Doctor felt compelled to put him to work. "I don't believe in free loaders," he said, hoping to anger the Commander into some action, but it didn't work. The commander only agreed and in that flat tone offered to help as best as he could around the infirmary. He could reach most stuff from his wheel chair, and his practical mental faculties were in perfect working order. It was the rest of his mental state that had the Doctor concerned.

Chakotay had picked up very quickly on what he could and couldn't do to help out in the infirmary. During the entire time he never raised his voice, nor get emotional over anything, though his eyes always seemed to be cold and distant. He was there now as the small chamber was beamed in and he worked the barriers and monitored the situation as the Doctor moved inside, since being a hologram he wasn't affected by most forms of radiation. The chamber wasn't very big, about four feet in length.

He watched as the Doctor ran his scans then proceeded to open the chamber. "You sure that's a wise idea?" the Commander asked flatly.

"Though the boy has not been exposed to any of the radiation, he had been injured and is in need of treatment. So yes, I think it's a very good idea," the Doctor said as the hiss of the chamber indicated the lid was ready to be opened. The Doctor lifted out the small child; the boy had a rich dark complexion, and bright blond hair. The Doctor ordered Chakotay to beam away the chamber and when it was gone laid the boy back down on the bio bed and ran another scan."You can lower shields, there is no longer any danger of radiation exposure," he said as he started treatment on the boy.

Chakotay did as he was told, then moved and brought the medical tray he knew the Doctor would be asking for. He received a simple nod of appreciation and stayed there looking at the child and waiting for any further instructions. The child looked human enough from the commander's point of view, and from what he heard of the Doctors tendency to mumble to himself, that the child was compatible to most human medicines.

The Doctor was just finishing fixing the mild internal damage the child had received when the doors to the infirmary opened to reveal Captain Janeway and Tom. Chakotay just moved off not wanting to deal with either one of them, and found something in another room to keep him busy.

The Captain saw her friend and first officer move off like, not even giving her or his husband a second glance. But first thing first. "So, how are they?" she asked wanting to know about the new person she just let on board her ship.

"Though I'm not familiar with the race, the boy does seem very compatible to human medicines, and from all I can make out will be just fine," the Doctor replied.

"Boy?" Tom asked.

"Yes, he's about the human equivalent of eight years old," the Doctor answered. "He should be waking up soon. Are his parents about?"

"I'm afraid he's the only survivor from the ship we just left," Janeway replied wondering how this small boy would take to waking in a room of aliens. She prayed he would be able to understand her as she moved up to be next to the boy when he woke up.

Tom knew that Janeway asked him to come along, for then Chakotay couldn't say a word about him being in sick bay with the 'supposed' restraining order…which was never officially filed by Lt. Tuvok, in accordance to Harry. He moved toward the back room to see his love busy at sorting supplies and his heart ached, but he didn't move into the room he just went back to stand by the Captain. "Doctor, how is he," Tom asked gesturing to the back room.

"Physically he's getting better and in a few weeks he may be up to the surgery that may get him walking again. As for the rest…as you yourself have once put Mr. Paris. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. He has all the opportunities to get better; he just won't use any of them. Mr. Tuvok states that Chakotay won't say a word during their sessions so as of this morning is considering canceling them. In short, Mr. Paris... Chakotay may walk again long before he'll be First officer again, if ever."

Tom didn't know how to take this, so he just blinked in silence for a moment, "If you don't need me anymore, Captain?" he asked hoping to go back to the bridge.

Janeway saw this, "No, Tom. Not at the moment." She watched as her young friend and chief pilot moved out of sickbay, knowing his heart was on fire and prayed for the millionth time that things would start working out for them. Just then the boy moaned. "It's all right," she said soothingly. "Your safe."

The boy opened his eyes; they were a rich deep silver. When the boy saw his surroundings he roared and leaped with such speed off the bed that neither Janeway or the Doctor could prevent it. The Doctor sealed the area so the boy couldn't get out of sickbay as he scrambled for a place to hide from the aliens.

"It's all right," Janeway soothed again, slowly trying to approach the child. "We're not going to hurt you," he said.

The child didn't understand her or didn't believe her for as she got a few steps closer he roared like an animal and dashed away. In his hurry to get away from the strange aliens ran smack into Chakotay that was coming in the room to see what was happening. The boy ran so hard into the chair it knocked Chakotay over to the ground and the boy tumbled over him to the other room, then only scrambled backwards on his hands and butt scared at what was happening. He saw the dark skinned man push himself up, and when Janeway had tired to help him up, swipe at her to let him do it. He watched the same man right his chair and then with great effort lift himself into it then got himself situated.

Janeway was torn between being livid that Chakotay had literally swiped at her to make her let go of him or glad to see that independent determination that was so the former Chakotay back, even for a moment, and even if it only showed in a burst of temper. But considering how unemotional he had been, this was a sign that there was something still beating inside waiting to come out. She then looked over to see the Doctor trying to approach the boy and the child finding things to throw at him, and since it didn't hurt he could keep going, but the child was becoming more and more petrified that it started howling and whining. She was going to tell the doctor to back off…"

"Knock it off!" Chakotay snapped and glared over his shoulder at the boy.

To everyone's surprise the boy did, and just stared at Chakotay, not moving. The Doctor moved next to the boy and scanned him. "No additional damage. He leaned down to grab for the boy when he dashed again, but this time right next to Chakotay and hid behind his chair like it was a place of safety.

"What is he doing?" Chakotay asked his annoyance profound in his voice.

Janeway wasn't sure if she liked this angry Chakotay one bit, but then it was an emotion, a huge step to the lacking one he had been for months now. "He for some reason finds you to be a source of security, commander. Deal with it," she ordered. //If he wants to be an ass, I can be a bitch. //

Chakotay started moving out of the room in his wheelchair and looked to see the boy was staying right behind him. He moved to the biobed. "Get up there," he snapped and pointed at the bed. Again, both Janeway and the Doctor were surprised to see the child obey the Commander's orders with swiftness. The child scrambled up and perched himself on the bed, ready to leap to safety if he had to.

The Doctor got a small grin on his face then whispered something to Captain Janeway, who also smiled and nodded her approval. Then the Doctor looked back at the Commander who was glaring at the child and the others in the room. "Commander, since you're here for a undetermined duration, I'm giving you and the additional responsibility of watching over our new addition till we can contact his home world."

"No, I…"

"That's a direct order, mister," Janeway snapped and silenced any further protest. "Doctor, I'm sure you and 'Commander' Chakotay, can handle things from here. If you need any more help, I'm sure you know who you can contact," she grinned then exited back to the bridge.

TBC in The Walls of Jericho

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