Ignorance Is Bliss

Rating Tame N/C 13

Spoilers for Unforgettable.





Chakotay sat staring at the blonde figure that wordlessly ate his breakfast in front of him.

"Tom," he said softly "is there something wrong? You have hardly said a word to me since we got up."

Tom lifted his head and put down the cup he had been drinking from, a soft sigh escaping from his lips as he gazed into the dark brown eyes of his lover and friend.

"Who is Kellin Cha?"

"Kellin?" Chakotay repeated.

"Yes Kellin," Tom said almost in a whisper. "You have called out the name on a number of occasions but last night…"

Tom stopped short of ending the sentence.

"Last night?" Chakotay pushed while feeling like his heart was about to explode in his chest.

"Last night you told this Kellin you loved him."

Chakotay found himself swallowing hard trying to moisten his mouth enough to speak. He felt sick to his stomach. Reaching out across the table he took Tom's hands into his own.

"Her," he sighed, "Kellin was, is a woman I got to know and fell in love with."

"You said you had told me about all of your lovers Chakotay but you never mentioned any woman called Kellin."

"Because I don't remember her Tom."

Tom pulled his hands out of Chakotay's grip.

"What? What do you mean you don't remember her? You have mentioned her name practically every bloody night in your sleep for the last week. Come on Chakotay I want to know I need to know about her. We should have no secrets from each other, your words not mine."

"Tom," Chakotay started, he searched desperately for the words to tell his lover about Kellin but could find none.

Quietly he got up from the table and made his way to his desk. After unlocking the top drawer he removed a leather notebook.

"I think you will find the answers in here." He said dropping the book in front of the pilot.

"What's this a diary? I don't want to read your diary." Tom protested.

"It's not a diary Tom it’s a written log detailing the time I spent with Kellin."

Tom moved to the couch and started to read Chakotay's account of Voyager's encounter with Kellin and her people. Kellin's planet did not welcome outsiders nor did they allow any of the inhabitants of their planet to leave. Kellin was a tracer who had followed a runner to Voyager. She had asked for assistance in finding him and Chakotay had been assigned to work with her.

Not only did her people have the ability to cloak their ships and themselves but they also had the ability to cloak their planet from wandering space travellers.

As Tom read on he discovered that Kellin's people produced a type of pheromone, which caused all those that they came in contact with to forget their meeting. A computer programme was also downloaded to destroy any evidence of a meeting stored within the computer memory banks.

When she had caught the runner she had left Voyager. She returned though a few weeks later and told Chakotay of the relationship they had developed.

Kellin was now a runner and a tracer was sent after her.

Chakotay sat silently at the table as Tom read on. He rested his head in his hands. There was no other way out of this he thought to himself. I would have had to tell him eventually.

"They caught your friend Kellin and erased her memory?" Tom said trying to hide the hurt in his voice.

"They erased her memory after you two had fallen in love again. No one else on board the ship remembers anything about this encounter only you?"

Chakotay merely nodded.

Tears silently rolled down Tom's face,

"Chakotay this all happened ten months ago. We have been together for two years. You left me twice for this woman. I, I thought you loved me?"

"I do love you, you know I do."

Chakotay moved and knelt in front Tom; he lifted his hand to brush away the tears.

"Don't, don't touch me Chakotay OK? Just don't fucking touch me."

"Tom, I don't remember her, I don't remember why I fell in love with her. I don't remember any of it."

"What are you trying to say Chakotay, 'ignorance is bliss' is that it?

As long as no one knows you're in the clear. Well that god damned Indian conscience of your must have had other ideas because you are obviously thinking about her when you sleep.

Do you get your kicks out of fucking me then dreaming about her is that it? Is it her you want to be inside? Answer me you fucking prick.

Tell me how much you love me now. You left me for her twice in four weeks. What was it? Did she give better blow jobs than I do or maybe she played the little games you like to play with more enthusiasm. Yeah that's probably it, you and your little D/s games."

"I'm sorry Tom I don't remember being with her, touching her or anything else. Please believe me Tom."

"That's just it though Chakotay you wanted to remember if you hadn't you wouldn't have written this log. And do you know something that's what hurts the most, I'm glad I can't remember the last time you betrayed me."

Tom got to his feet and dropped the notebook in front of Chakotay.

"Here they're your memories. I hope you find them comforting. Now I'm due on duty in half an hour I'll be round after my shift to move out my stuff."

"Here they're your memories. I hope you find them comforting. Now I'm due on duty in half an hour I'll be round after my shift to move out my stuff."

Chakotay watched as his lover wiped the tears from his face, straightened his back and walked out the door without a backward glance.

Alone now in their quarters he picked up the leather bound book and sighed.

"Why? Why?"

With a roar he threw the book from one side of the room to the other. It hit the far wall with such force that the pages were torn from their binding and they fluttered silently to the floor.

Tears poured in an unending stream from Chakotay's eyes as he sobbed; hardly able to take a breath at times so great was his distress.

"Kellin you bitch." He screamed. "Why could you not have left me alone, why did you choose me? Why me?"

He slumped down onto the floor, pulled his knees up to his chin and lowered his head.

"Why me?" he said again quietly. "What did you use to make me leave the only person I have ever truly loved?"

An hour later an emergency demanded that Chakotay make his way to the bridge. Still dressed in his jeans and white shirt he entered the turbo lift.

"Bridge." He croaked his throat raw with trying to swallow back the tears.

"We have some company." Janeway stated as he moved from the lift and took his usual position at her side.

Two ships had appeared from nowhere and were positioned directly in front of the Federation ship.

"Looks like it's going to be two against one." She said turning to face Chakotay. For the first time she noticed the swollen face and blood shot eyes.

"Chakotay?" She didn't have to say anything else.

"I'm fine captain, just a little tired. Tuvok weapons status of the two ships. Can we out gun them?"

"Their fire power combined will equally match our own." Tuvok replied.

"Well it appears we have a bit of a Mexican stand off." Janeway declared.

"Harry hail the ships again."

"I have them captain, switching to main view screen." Harry replied with a hint of tension edging his voice.

"I am Kathryn Janeway captain of the USS Voyager. Why have you blocked our way." All five feet two inches of her stood poker straight and equally still.

"I am Sion captain of the traveller Reail, surrender your vessel. You are out numbered and out gunned."

"We may be out numbered but out gunned," Janeway shook her head, "I don't think so. And we won't be out numbered for long."

"Ensign Kim how long until our sister ship arrives?" She demanded.

Chakotay stared hard at Harry willing him not to move a muscle. He punched a short message into his console.

"Eh, she should be here in about three minutes captain." Harry stuttered while his attention remained focussed on the note from Chakotay. All it said was three minutes.

"Sion remained stony faced. There is no sign of any ship on our sensors captain, would it be possible you are lying to me."

"Cut link." Janeway demanded.

All eyes turned towards her and Chakotay.

"The Piquard manoeuvre?" Chakotay said quietly.

"The Piquard manoeuvre." Janeway confirmed. "Tom move us back, we need room."

Tom remained transfixed for a moment staring into the dark eyes of the man who had been his world, his life, for the last two years. He wanted to go to him and hold him when he observed the swollen features and eyes red with crying. And then the Paris self-preservation mode kicked in.

{{He did this not me.}}

"Yes Ma'am," he said turning again to view the ships in front of them. His hands danced lightly over the controls in front of him and the sleek white ship moved slowly back.

"Now Mr. Paris. Warp 9."

Voyager suddenly accelerated to warp 9 while simultaneously changing direction. Moving in a figure of eight then doubling back on itself Voyager succeeded in folding the space surrounding it to create a warp bubble which acting like a giant mirror in space it gave the illusion of two Voyagers – one heading normally and one branching off and heading straight up.

"Let's hope if they fire they choose the wrong ship and give us a chance to disable one of theirs." Chakotay said to Janeway while staring at Tom.

"They are moving away captain." Tuvok announced in his usual dispassionate tone.

"Yesss!" Harry practically squealed.

Tuvok raised a disapproving eyebrow.

"Ensign, may I remind you that you are a star fleet officer and as such you will restrain your emotions wile on duty."

Harry felt the colour rush into his cheeks.

"Aw come on Tuvok cut Harry some slack that was what I would call a close thing."

"At ease gentlemen." Janeway intervened. "Harry keep scanning the area just in case they decide to have another peek at us. Chakotay, enjoy what remains of your day off. Stand down red alert."

Chakotay made his way his way slowly back to his quarters. When he entered the living area he glanced at Tom's treasured stack of history books, video's and music files. A picture of the two of them sat on the desk that they shared. The remains of Tom's breakfast were still on the table. He moved towards the desk intending to lift the picture but as he did so he glanced into the bedroom. The bed lay unmade and the remains of a tube of lubricant lay on the bed table. The images of the night before came flooding back into Chakotay's mind. Tom moaning with pleasure as he had kissed his way down his body. He had rested his head on Tom's abdomen as he gently took him into his mouth and began to suck. His fingers had caressed the insides of Tom's thighs and when his gentle preparation of Tom had begun his young lover had moaned and cried out his name before exploding into his mouth.

Chakotay closed his eyes in an attempt to shut off the memories and stem the tears again running down his cheeks.

{{In two hours all that is his will have been taken}}

Chakotay lifted the picture from the desk and made his way to the bedroom. He lay down amidst the tangled bedding and after calling for the computer to turn off the lights; he sobbed as though his heart was about to burst.

 

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Harry Kim sat across from Tom watching him as he sipped from the large glass of brandy he had given him when they first entered his quarters.

"He cheated on me Harry, I can't believe he cheated on me."

Silent tears rolled down his face and he turned the glass round and round in his hand. Slowly he raised the glass again to take another sip.

"Tom," Harry said gently, "Chakotay does not even remember who this woman was. He does not remember being with her. He does not remember loving her. There is nothing, no feelings, just what you saw written in that log."

Tom stared at his friend. "He cheated on me, not once but twice. It was all there written in black and white."

"What was Tom?" Harry pushed, "what was written exactly? Tell me."

Tom sighed and then proceeded to tell Harry of Chakotay's account of Kellin and her people. How they kept themselves out of reach of travellers by cloaking their planet and their ships. She had told him that she was a tracer for her government, someone who hunted those who wanted to leave the planet and explore. She had told him she had visited Voyager before and that he had loved her.

Harry sat quietly and listened. When Tom had finished giving him the details of the log he got up and lifted the now empty glass from him. Walking over to the replicator he returned the glass and ordered another drink.

He handed the second glass of brandy to Tom and sat down beside him.

"Tom, think carefully for a minute, you and Chakotay have been lovers for years, the last two of which you have been living together. Do you really want to throw it all away on a few written words that could be pure fiction?

Tom you don't even know, that Chakotay wanted to write this stuff. He could have been forced to. None of us have any recollection of what happened. You are condemning the man you love on a few words written in a book. And Tom nowhere in that book does Chakotay actually come right out and say he loved her. What he did say was that she told him he loved her. She told him they had been lovers. She brainwashed him Tom somehow some way she made him believe her. She wanted to escape her planet. What better way to do it than forming a relationship with the first officer of the starship you want to take sanctuary in?"

"Tom," Harry continued, "Chakotay loves you and you know it. And you love him. What are you doing here? Go back to your quarters and talk to him."

Harry took the glass out of Tom's hands. He hadn't touched the drink, Tom rarely drank alcohol at all since he and Chakotay got together. Setting it down on the floor he stood, he took Tom's hands and pulled him to his feet.

"You'll never know Tom that what you are doing is right unless you talk to him. If things don't work out I'm here for you and you can stay here until we get quarters for you OK?"

Tom had listened in silence to Harry's speech. He knew inside that he was right. He had just needed someone to give him reason to lower his defences. Harry had given him that reason.

"Can I use your bathroom to wash up Har? I can't go back there like this, I'm a mess."

"Sure Tom." Harry said, his voice still reflecting the sympathy he felt for his friend.

"There are clean sweats in the drawer and one of your T-shirts from that time you spilled red wine all down your front. Take a shower and change, and while you are doing that take some time to think about what you want to say to Chakotay."

Harry waited until Tom had moved into the bedroom and then went to his desk to start the report that Tuvok had asked him to write on the two alien ships.

An hour later washed, changed and shaking slightly Tom stood outside the door to the quarters he shared with Chakotay. Taking a deep breath he keyed in his access code and the door slid open. The living area was in darkness, Tom called for the computer to bring the lights up to fifty percent. Everything was as he had left it that morning. The remains of their breakfast still on the table. Tom noticed the book that Chakotay had used to record the incident with Kellin. It lay on the floor at the far wall of the living area pages torn from inside and scattered around it.

He made his way to the bedroom, the door slid quietly open. It too was in darkness lit only by the light from the other room. Chakotay lay curled in a ball in the middle of their bed. He had finally fallen asleep emotionally exhausted.

As Tom moved nearer he saw the picture of the two of them lying on the bed. It had been taken while they had enjoyed a few days shore leave on a virtually uninhabited planet. A smile came to Tom's lips when he remembered that it was then that they decided they should have a more permanent relationship. When they had returned to the ship Tom moved in with Chakotay and he could not have been happier.

Harry's words ran repeatedly in his head. "Do you really want to throw it all away on a few written words that could be pure fiction?"

Tom sat on the edge of the bed he stared hard at the man he loved. He had never known Chakotay in all their seven years on board this ship to betray anyone in any way. Could Harry be right? Could Kellin have tricked him into loving her or believing that he had loved her.

Unconsciously he reached out and gently stroked the face of the sleeping form in front of him. Chakotay stirred mumbling Tom's name as he did so.

"I'm here baby," Tom said quietly, "I'm here."

Chakotay's eyes sprang open and he sat up in the bed. Even in this dim light Tom noted the tear stained cheeks and eyes reddened with crying.

With his heart pounding Chakotay finally found the courage to speak,

"Are you here to collect your things?"

Tom did not reply to the question, instead he asked one of his own.

"Do you love me Chakotay? I mean really love me."

"More than life itself." Chakotay immediately answered.

"Would you have told me about Kellin?"

"Yes." Chakotay said quietly, "but first I wanted to see if I could remember what happened. I found the log about two months ago lying in my office. Tom she is just a name. I don't know what she looks like. I can't believe that I would leave you for someone I had just met. I would never have been able to live with myself on this ship knowing how much I had hurt you. I've been looking for answers myself. That is probably why I have been mentioning her name in my sleep. I was afraid. I am afraid. You are my reason for being now. If we never got home it would not matter to me. I have, had you, you are all I need."

"So you love me?" Tom asked again.

"Yes I love you Tom Paris and only you." Chakotay answered.

"Then prove it Chakotay," Tom continued while taking Chakotay's hand in his and rubbing them gently.

"Anything," Chakotay practically sobbed, "just tell me what you want me to do."

"Three things, I want you to do three things for me Cha."

"Destroy the book and promise you will never keep anything from me again."

"I'll never keep anything from you again baby I promise, and the log, you can watch me destroy it."

Chakotay paused and stared into the deep blue eyes, "The third thing baby, what do you want me to do?" his voice was filled with emotion.

"Marry me." Tom said, pulling Chakotay to him. "Marry me and I'll know that we will be together until the Gods decree otherwise."

Chakotay placed a light kiss on Tom's forehead and then buried his head in Tom's shoulder.

"I love you Tom Paris," he whispered, "and I want to be with you always, your husband, your friend, your lover, until the God's themselves separate us."

"Until the God's themselves separate us." Tom repeated quietly while wrapping his arms round Chakotay.