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2000-02-15 00:00:00 - Another Conspiracy? - (-Sir Matthew Good- <m_g_b_f_c@hotmail.com>)


Kathryn Janeway snuggled closer to the warmth of her companion and slowly realized that she didn't have any idea what time it was. Suddenly, everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours came flooding back to her. She'd fallen asleep in Tom's quarters after they had talked and made love. She groaned when she realized it was probably past time to be up and on the bridge. She shouldn't have stayed the night, she should have gotten herself up and been her normal punctual self. Kathryn slowly pulled herself out of Tom's arms and dragged herself off the bed. She bent over the edge of the bed and started to pick up her scattered clothes. When she straightened up, she gasped and her hand flew up to her chest. Tom was now awake and watching her intently. Kathryn tried to nonchalantly move her hand back down to her waist and look calm and composed, but he smirked at her and laughed. "I didn't mean to startle you, Kathryn, but," Tom said as he pulled her bra out from underneath the covers, "you forgot something." "Good morning to you too," she said back to him as she grabbed the bra away from him. "And you didn't startle me. Starfleet captains are never startled." Tom started laughing again and she started laughing too. "I wasn't expecting you to wake up so soon, Tom. You need to rest up so you can get back to normal." "I think I'll be back to normal very soon with all this special attention I'm getting from my captain," he said as he reached up and took her hand in his. Tom pulled her back down on the bed and kissed her hand carefully and tenderly. Then he looked up at her with a very earnest look and said, "Thank you for everything you did last night, especially for having the courage to tell me how you feel. I was afraid you would reject me, so I didn't say anything when I should have. Forgive me?" His eyes blazed with all the love he had shown her last night. "Only if you forgive me too. We both should have been honest with each other before it came to the point of you getting sick," Kathryn said as she lay down next to him and moved into his embrace. "OK, we're even then," Tom whispered in her ear. Their lips met and opened to each other and they kissed with a new understanding of what they meant to each other. When they pulled away and ended the kiss, they told each other "I love you" and looked into each other's eyes and smiled. Before they could do anything else, they were interrupted by Lt. Tuvok on the comm link. "I am sorry to intrude on your privacy Captain, but the Commander is looking for you. To give you time to leave, I've sent him to various parts of the ship. I can not keep doing this much longer, he is becoming suspicious. Apparently, Captain, you did not set an alarm." Captain Janeway listened to the polite reprimand Tuvok gave her, and apologized to Tuvok for covering for her. "I'm sorry Tuvok, I did neglect to set an alarm. Next time I'll be better prepared. I'll be on the bridge in ten minutes. Janeway out." "Tom," she said and stood up, "I have to leave. I'll get in touch with you later, and you rest. OK?" "Aye aye, Captain," he said and smiled at her. She was back to business again. As he watched her dress, he realized that he could get used to waking up in bed with her and he eventually hoped he'd get a chance to do it every day. Commander Chakotay was fuming, the computer wouldn't tell him the captain's location and he felt as if he was in the middle of a wild goose chase. This was the third place he'd gone to this morning and he still couldn't find her. Tuvok had sent him to Engineering and Sickbay earlier and now the captain wasn't in the mess hall either. Chakotay gave up and decided to drop by Paris's quarters and check on the pilot's condition. Harry Kim told him yesterday that when he'd gone to check on Tom before breakfast, Harry had found Paris sprawled out on his bed asleep and still in his uniform. After the doctor examined him, Lt. Paris had been put on indefinite sick leave. And even though the commander and the pilot weren't close friends, Chakotay hoped Tom would recover and be back at the conn soon. As he rounded the corner, Chakotay saw the captain emerge from Paris's cabin and look furtively around the hallway. Chakotay scooted back out of sight for a moment until he heard the turbolift door close. The commander continued to move toward Lt. Paris's door and even started to ring the door chime before he stopped in his tracks. Why had the computer told him Captain Janeway's location was unavailable? Why was it necessary to cover up her visit to a sick member of the crew? Chakotay dropped his arm and turned to look at the turbolift door the captain had just gone through. An odd sense of deja vu assailed him and Chakotay felt as if he'd better leave Paris alone now and go to his office. All the way there the commander's thoughts kept bouncing around his head as he tried to think of a logical answer for his questions. When he went into his office, Chakotay sat down and looked out at the stars. The captain was slinking around corners, Paris was acting strangely, and Tuvok was covering for the captain. He collected his thoughts and came to an undeniable conclusion. The three of them were up to something again. A slow smoldering anger built up inside him and threatened to spill out in a flash fire. Chakotay tried to calm down, but he was too agitated. He paced for a while until he slowed down and thought he'd better find proof of a conspiracy before he accused them of anything. It could be a coincidence he thought, but he was just cynical enough to bet the doctor would tell him about a miracle cure that he had discovered for Paris's condition. Chakotay went to his desk, turned on the monitor and contacted the doctor. "Doctor," the commander asked with a concerned look on his face, "how is Lt. Paris this morning?" The doctor smiled at the commander and said, "You will be happy to know that the lieutenant is making good progress and he will be able to return to duty soon. I came up with a unique new treatment plan for Mr. Paris's condition and with another day or two of rest he'll be back piloting the ship." The Doctor studied Commander Chakotay and waited for the commander to tell him 'good work, Doctor' as the doctor assumed he would. Instead the doctor noticed that Commander Chakotay's demeanor had changed from concern to anger. "Care to tell me about this miracle cure Doctor?" The commander inquired sharply. "I'm sorry but that's confidential Commander," the doctor responded and frowned at Chakotay. "Is there a problem Commander? I have been programmed to observe human body language and I can see that my comments about Lt. Paris have made you agitated." Chakotay sighed, struggled to compose himself and said to the doctor, "I am glad Paris is going to be all right Doctor, I just have other things on my mind now. Thank you for the information." As the video connection was broken, the doctor wondered if he should contact the captain. But before he could follow through on his thought, a patient walked into Sickbay and the doctor was soon immersed in healing a broken arm. Chakotay drummed his fingers on his desk and pondered his next step. Before he could form a coherent plan in his mind, the door chime sounded and he automatically said enter. Captain Janeway walked into his office. "Commander, I'd like to apologize for being unavailable this morning, I was involved in something and lost track of the time. Now what did you want to talk to me about?" The captain said. "I wanted to confer with you about a slight course correction. It's nothing big, just a small gravitational eddy we should avoid. I'm not sure if it's anything really important and I wanted your scientific opinion on whether to send a probe to investigate," the commander asked. Kathryn could sense that something else was bothering her first officer and she took her time thinking about his question so she could watch him. Chakotay looked as if he was trying very hard to stay calm. She'd only seen him this way a few times and she was concerned. She decided he would tell her if it was important and answered his query. "I think we can spare a probe, Commander. Who knows, maybe something important is hidden in the middle of the phenomenon that we can't pick up with the sensors," the captain replied with enthusiasm in her voice at the prospect of a harmless scientific investigation. "Is there anything else Chakotay?" Her first officer started to pace as he tried to decide if now was the time to bring up his suspicions. Finally Chakotay turned around and decided to confront her and he hoped he was getting worked up for nothing. "Captain," he began hesitantly, "I'm having trouble trying to figure out something, and I keep coming up with a conclusion that I don't want to believe. I think you, Paris and Tuvok are involved in another undercover operation. Over the last month I've noticed something different about the way you've been interacting with Paris and now Tuvok is covering for you. I saw you leave Paris's quarters this morning, quietly sneaking around corners and hiding your location from the computer. Captain, tell me I'm wrong and that it's my overactive imagination." Chakotay watched her with a plea in his eyes as he said the last sentence. He tensed as he saw her reaction. Kathryn's eyes widened, she flushed slightly and she couldn't look him in the eye. He clenched his jaw tightly and he swung around to looked out at the stars. Chakotay didn't want her to see his reaction to her confirmation of his suspicions. They had done it again, he thought. He vaguely wondered what the problem was, but he felt drained now that he knew he was right and he wanted to be alone. "Please leave, Captain," Chakotay said in a low, and very controlled voice. "Chakotay I'm sorry. I assure you it's nothing that affects the ship's business. We'll talk later." Captain Janeway said in a resigned tone of voice, having forgotten all about a possible scientific discovery. Before she left, she paused and looked at her first officer momentarily. Chakotay looked calm and serene while he gazed out the window, but he was anything but calm and serene inside. To help calm himself down, Chakotay decided to try to contact his spirit guide. He was sure some spiritual guidance from the she-wolf would do wonders for his attitude. As he entered the vision world he saw the two lizards sunning on the rocks again. They had been showing up in his visions for quite a while now. The wolf had been leading him to the rock often lately, and he wondered what it meant. She wouldn't say anything when he questioned her, the wolf just tilted her head to indicate that he should look at the animals. Since his guide wasn't providing any answers to his questions, Chakotay decided this was only wasting his time. Before he turned to leave, he heard the sad howl of a lone wolf. The vision faded and Chakotay came back to reality. While he'd been meditating, the captain had left a message for him to join her in her ready room. As he walked to the bridge, Chakotay began to think about what the captain, Paris and Tuvok could possibly have in common that was personal. Once he was on the bridge, Chakotay rang the door chime and was admitted to the captain's ready room. Besides the captain, Lts. Tuvok and Paris were also present for this little tete-a-tete. Tuvok looked his usual calm self, a model of vulcan control, but Paris looked pale and nervous. It did look as if he'd been sick though, Chakotay thought. "Come in Commander, have a seat," the captain said as she indicated he should sit. Kathryn Janeway remained standing and turned to look at her officers. Chakotay didn't want to put this off any longer so he came right to the point with his question. "What's going on Captain," the commander asked. "Commander, I have become romantically involved with someone on the ship and I wanted to keep it quiet," the captain explained, "Tuvok has been helping." The implications of who had been left out did not go unnoticed by the commander. Chakotay's mouth dropped open and he looked at Paris. The Captain and The Convict, like the title of an old style romance novel, popped into his mind at that moment. That was the one thing he wouldn't have come up with in a thousand years. Captain Janeway nodded at her first officer to confirm his assumption. "Tom and I had been seeing each other privately on the holodeck for a while when Tuvok found out and helped us hide our time together," the captain said softly and continued. "I needed someone Chakotay, but I'm having trouble accepting the fact that I deserve to have a private life like everyone else on the ship. Please understand that this was not meant to fool you like the deception before. I was just stubborn enough to want to keep it a secret from everyone." Chakotay couldn't come up with anything to say about the two of them, he was still in shock. Instead of making a comment, Chakotay decided to put off a response by asking Paris a question. "Were you really sick?" Chakotay inquired. "Yes," Tom replied, "the captain and I had a... misunderstanding and I thought she was leaving me. I don't handle rejection in love affairs well and I got physically sick. I was tired, I couldn't eat and I was sleeping a lot. I'm feeling better about everything now that I know the captain feels the same way I do," Tom responded to the commander. Tom and Kathryn shared a warm look before they turned their attention back to the first officer. "And you've cleared up the misunderstanding?" Chakotay said as he directed this question to Captain Janeway. "Yes Commander, I've decided to be with Tom." Kathryn said decisively. "I think we should be open with the crew, but Tuvok thinks we should keep it a secret from them." "Captain," Tuvok said as he interrupted to clarify his position, "I thought that would be best if the liaison was brief and temporary. Now that you want to form a long term relationship, I would advise you to proceed with caution when you reveal your situation to the crew." Chakotay paused for a minute and somewhere in the back of his mind, the scene of the two lizards in his vision manifested itself. With a new understanding, he remembered a similar scene on a swampy planet light-years away from here, two large evolved humans together as mates. If he'd only been able to make the connection first, then he wouldn't have been so shocked. This was meant to be. Chakotay would have to accept the fact that he and the captain wouldn't be together, even if he waited for her forever. Once he realized Tom and Kathryn were a couple, he pulled himself together and put his Starfleet training to good use by covering up his disappointment. Seeing that they were waiting for him to say something, Chakotay smiled calmly and professionally at Voyager's newest couple and offered his good wishes. "I hope everything works out for you two, Good Luck, and next time I'll ask if I sense something wrong, instead of thinking the worst," Chakotay said. "I'm sorry that you had to figure this out yourself Chakotay." The captain said apologetically. "It was unfortunate that you mistook the situation Commander," Tuvok said in the way of an apology, "humans often come to the wrong conclusions with inadequate data." Before the conversation could continue, Harry Kim's voice came over the comm channel. "Captain, the information from the probe is coming through now and it's very interesting." "I'll be right out Mr. Kim," the captain said enthusiastically as she moved toward the door, "have we covered this topic adequately for now gentlemen?" The three men all answered 'yes' as they followed her out onto the bridge. Commander Chakotay and Lt. Tuvok assumed their stations and Tom got on the turbolift to return to his quarters and rest. Soon everyone on the bridge was engrossed in the study and analysis of the new gravitational phenomenon. Kathryn was in her quarters trying to relax when she heard the door chime. As she wondered who it could be, she wished it was Tom. But, she knew he was resting up for his return to duty tomorrow. She'd wanted him to take another day off, but he insisted that he was about back to normal and the doctor concurred. "Come in," she said. Tom Paris walked into her quarters, went up to her and gave her a very passionate kiss. Kathryn melted into his embrace and decided to save the lecture on following doctor's orders until later, much later. He pulled away from her and took her hand so he could guide her over to the couch. They leaned into each other and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders as they lay back against the cushions. Tom and Kathryn sat like that for several minutes, just happy to be together, before he started a conversation. "It's been a while since I've been here," Tom said. "I know," she said back to him, "and I can tell you're more comfortable here now." "You knew?" Tom said with a surprised look on his face. "How could I not be able to tell Tom? You always looked like you'd rather be anywhere else in the universe but here. I realized when we started to see each other on the holodeck that you seemed happier. I was glad it was my quarters and not me that made you tense." Kathryn said. "Speaking of tense," Tom said to change the subject, "you look a little that way yourself. How about a massage to limber up those tight muscles?" "Sounds good to me, Tom." She replied and smiled at him. They went into her bedroom and she went into the bathroom and brought out a couple of towels. Tom moved her afghan down the bed and positioned the towels on the bed to protect the bedspread from the massage oil. She undressed and lay stomach down on the towels while he replicated a sweet smelling massage oil. He gently started to rub the oil into her shoulders. "You can work the muscles harder than that Tom, I'm really stiff," she said. "That's supposed to be my line Kathryn," he responded. He could see her back rise and fall with a chuckle, "Tom you're such a smart ass sometimes" she stated. "I can't help it, sometimes things just slip out before I can stop them, sorry," but his voice still held that cocky tone that told her he wasn't really sorry. He had started rubbing her shoulders a bit harder and she moaned in appreciation of his skill with his hands. Her mind drifted off into other areas where his hands were skilled and that combined with the skin on skin contact started to warm her up considerably. Finding her shoulders sufficiently relaxed, Tom moved down to her back and took several more minutes to unknot all the kinks there. Then he put more massage oil on her legs and concentrated on them. By this time, Kathryn was ready for another kind of attention and she was vocal about it. "Tom, I think I'm relaxed now, how about ....." She said in a husky tone of voice. He interrupted her with "No, Kathryn, I'll tell you when I'm done. Relax. Think about your favorite things." "I have been Tom, that's why I want you now," she replied impatiently. "Turn over now Kathryn and I'll massage the front." He said and then watched her roll over with a very appreciate gleam in his eyes. It's about time she thought, but he wasn't going to give in to her suggestions yet. As he drizzled more oil on her chest, Tom made a spiral pattern around the mounds of her breasts. He started kneading on the outside of the pattern and worked his way inward, closer and closer to the center. He moved a little bit a time and she thought he was torturing her with pleasure. When he reached the apex of the pattern, Kathryn was moaning and writhing under his expert hands. "Tom, please would you at least get undressed?" "All right, Kathryn, wait for me?" He teased her. "I'm definitely not going anywhere without you" she teased back. As she watched, he undressed and moved towards her. Tom grabbed the oil again and started to squeeze out some more when she questioned him again. "Aren't you done yet?" "Patience, Kathryn, patience. You do know its a virtue, don't you?" He replied and lay down on the bed next to her. "I'm not feeling very virtuous right now, Tom," she whispered in her ear. "You don't feel very virtuous to me either," he whispered back to her as his oiled fingers moved down her body and slipped into her moist warmth. She moaned as he gently kneaded the entire region very thoroughly. Suddenly, she decided to take matters into her own hands and reached down and started to massage him too. "You don't fight fair Kathryn," Tom breathed out unsteadily. "All's fair in love and war," she replied. "I guess it's all right then, because I love you." He said softly to her before he nipped lightly at her neck. "I love you too, but you'd better finish what you started or it's going to be war." Kathryn said in her best command tone. "Yes ma'am" he replied as he covered her body with his and then kissed her thoroughly. He finally completed their union as Kathryn wrapped her arms around him and sighed. He started to move slowly, but she moved up against him and impatiently started her own rhythm. It was too much for him because he had enjoyed drawing out her massage too, and he started moving faster and faster. Instead of letting him do all the work, she continued her movements against him. His face was nestled in the curve of her neck and he kissed her there while he drove them both toward completion. They reached the pinnacle and hung there for a few wondrous moments before they tumbled down the other side in sated fulfillment. Tom rolled off of her and collapsed on the bed next to her in exhaustion. Kathryn turned to him and watched as he quietly drifted off into a light sleep. She hoped he hadn't suffered a relapse and that he would be able to work tomorrow. She ordered the computer to raise the temperature in her room and then she curled up next to him. Before she fell asleep, Kathryn kicked the towels off the bed, set the alarm and managed to pull the afghan over them. Her last thoughts before she drifted off to sleep were of Tom and how wonderful he made her feel. ---------------------------- VICTORY THROUGH SHEER VOLUME ---------------------------- Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ Before you buy.