I was inspired by Yvette's story The Slave' to write this. That story can no longer be found on the web, not even in the Wayback Machine. But I ran across this story on an old disk and decided that enough background was included in the story, and to post it.

Paramount owns all the Trek Stuff and People names.

A Shivering of Foundations

Chakotay hurried to the shuttle bay. Lt. Paris had landed only moments ago and instead of him reporting to the ready room for a debrief a call had come from the security officer in the bay asking him to come down right away.

He entered the shuttle bay searching for the problem and saw Paris. Chakotay froze, looking at the man leaning against the side of the shuttle. He was Paris. Definitely Paris. Except there was a faded scar that ran diagonally from the bridge of his nose down to the right side of his jaw. And the expression on his face was wrong, the way he stood. This man was hardened by life, toughened and didn't care if others knew it. Paris looked back at him and said, "I'm guessing I didn't make it home to my Voyager."

"No, you didn't"

"So do we see the Captain first, or security?"

Harry arrived for his workout in the gym. The alternate Paris was there too, working out more intensely than Tom ever did. The workout clothes revealed hard cut muscles and scars on his body as well as the one on his face. Old signs of restraints on his wrists, lash marks peering out from the sleeveless shoulders, and twin scars along his arms from a long ago suicide attempt. Paris looked up and saw Harry and a small smile lit his face.

"Hey Harry!" he frowned then at the troubled look on Harry's face and asked, "What is it? Aren't we friends here?"

"Yes, we are. You're - Toms my best friend. He was the first person aboard to assume that I got my position because I deserved it, not just because I'm Tuvok's slave."

In his nervousness over the question he was about to ask he didn't notice the sudden shock on Tom's face and blurted out, "I just wanted to ask, why do you keep all those scars?" and blushed.

The shock was swiftly wiped from Paris' face and he looked so thoughtfully at Harry that the Ensign started to squirm, wishing that he had never asked the question.

"I got most of them because using a regenerator on me was a waste of energy, or they weren't available. By the time I was in Federation hands and they offered to erase them I felt like they were a part of me. My life written on my skin. They wanted to change who I was, removing the scars was just part of their plan. So I wouldn't give medical consent. It drove my therapists nuts."


Paris shrugged, "They were typical Federation idealists. They wanted to convince me that the world was a beautiful place full of nice people; the scars were tangible proof that they were wrong. People like Kes, like you are rare. The Scum-suckers far outnumber you." Then he broke the solemn mood with a quick grin, "They also save explanations about what kind of guy I am. I've lived a hard life, Harry." He smiled the more familiar, charming Paris smile and asked, "So, let's work out together. You can tell me about your Voyager and I'll tell you about mine. We could hit the Holodeck later."

In the showers after their workout the next day Paris confronted his friend. "Tell me about the bruise Harry." He said in a low dangerous voice.

Harry looked at Paris nervously, "It's nothing, really."

"Tell me."

"It was my own fault, I lost track of time when we were talking yesterday. I didn't get Tuvok's and my quarters prepared for the evening." Harry shrugged, embarrassed, "It's nothing."

Much to Harry's relief Paris dropped it and abruptly changed the subject.

"So do you want to go to Sandrine's for a game of pool?" But the situation ate at Paris' mind and made the scar on his face itch with memory.

Tom moved smoothly down the hallway, weapon in hand. His mark would be there soon. He tensed, ready for the moment. Now. Tuvok came around the curve of the hall and was caught totally by surprise by the dye pellet stinging the side of his face. His face froze into the lines of a Vulcan gaining perfect control of his emotions before asking, "Lt. Paris what is the meaning of this attack?"

Cool blue eyes as apparently empty of emotion as his own regarded him calmly and answered, "I don't like the way you treat Harry. Since you felt it necessary to register your displeasure with Harry in such a physical and ... apparent fashion, I felt it only logical to respond in kind."

"My relationship with my slave should be of no concern to you, Lieutenant."

"I disagree, Tuvok." A cold chill ran across Paris' face. "Even if slavery weren't immoral in and of itself, Harry deserves better than that."

Tuvok met the cold regard with calm and simply stated, "This incident will be reported to the Captain." And continued on his path.

"Lieutenant Paris, all of us here understand that Vulcans do not keep slaves in your reality, and that this is disturbing to you. We have made allowances; however, I cannot tolerate your attitude towards Commander Tuvok. It is unprofessional and prejudicial to discipline on this ship." She sat like a judge behind her desk, Tuvok in the chair to the side of her and Harry Kim standing at his Master's side.

"Captain I can't help what I know is true and I can't ignore it."

"Harry is content with his life," Tuvok answered calmly, "I would know if it were otherwise."

"So's the Captain's dog, but she isn't a sentient being and Harry is. Harry's love for you and your caring about him makes him something different than a slave Tuvok; it makes him your pet. Your loyal companion animal. Good enough to stay with you, work for you, and good enough to fuck. But you're too much of a bigot to accept him as your equal. You think you're too good to have a human as your bond mate. You're selfish, and using Harry like you do has taken away his chance to be loved and respected the way he loves and respects you." Paris' pain filled gaze fell on Harry, "He deserves more than your leftovers."

Harry shifted restlessly under Paris' eyes, rejecting his words. Tuvok's hand touched his briefly, calming him. "You cannot logically assess the relationship between Mr. Kim and me," Tuvok stated, "You lack the proper frame of reference."

"Yes Tuvok, I can and I do. In my own reality I've been a runaway, a whore, a pilot for hire, a slave, and a Maquis. I've survived Cardassian prison camps and Federation Max Security. Right now I'm an Officer in Starfleet and the Chief Conn Officer of Voyager. But that's not what defines me. I am the Tuvok's bond mate; he was the first taste of real sanity I ever knew. Your 'relationship' with Harry, him being your slave, is a betrayal and a perversion of everything the bond should be.

The stunned gaze of every human in the room fixed on Tom Paris, even Tuvok appeared more attentive.

If I see anything as sacred it's my bond with Tuvok. Even here, so separate from him I can feel where it should be. Tuvok, you are the center of Harry's life but because you value the opinion of other Vulcans more than Harry, you won't bond with him. It's not cause you can't, it's because you won't. You don't love him enough to do it," Paris' eyes became very solemn, his face as still as stone, "You don't respect him enough to do it."

"That's not the way it is!" Harry burst out.

Tom locked hard eyes with Harry, "That's exactly the way it is Harry. You're good enough to fuck, but not good enough to be his bond-mate or even to be called his lover. He has taken away your chance to be for someone else what he is to you. I can't forgive him for that."

Paris turned his gaze to Janeway. I don't think much of the Federation, but I respect my Captain, but I can't respect you, I can-t trust you. I don't know if it is blindness or expedience but I can't serve it." He took the pips from his uniform collar and laid them on her desk. "I won't wear this uniform here and if you can't find a way to send me home I'm not traveling with you."

The Captain's brows knitted, feeling as if her world had been flipped on its head, "Mr. Paris, surely.."

"I won't travel with you," he broke in, "looking at them is like looking at my worst nightmares made flesh. It's my life made twisted and sick." He turned and strode from the room leaving a heavy silence behind.

It was broken almost immediately broken by B'Elanna's triumphant voice, "Captain, we've found a way to send him home. If Harry can help me I think we can have the shuttle ready to go by the start of Alpha shift tomorrow."

The Captain sent up a silent prayer of thanks giving before saying to Harry, "Report to the shuttle bay and help B'Elanna.

"Captain", broke in Tuvok, "if Lt. Paris is suffering the effects of a severed bond is potentially unstable, he should not have free access to the ship."

She nodded, "Tuvok, relieve Chakotay on the bridge and send him to me."

Chakotay stepped into the Turbo lift and asked, "Computer location of Lt. Paris?

"Lt. Paris is located on level 5, corridor section 25."

"Turbo lift, level 5."

A thudding noise led him down the curving hall until he saw the source. Lt. Paris was plastered against the wall pounding it with his fist. Chakotay spoke up.

"They've found a way to send you home." No acknowledgment. Chakotay watched for a moment, recalling the replay of the meeting. "You won't change his mind you know."

Paris did not move or pause his rhythm, "I know, that's why I'm pounding the wall."

Seeking to distract the man Chakotay asked curiously, "How did you ever wind up bonded to Tuvok? I just don't see it."

Paris stopped pounding and tilted his head back a little. "By accident, of course."

"Tell me about it on the way to Sandrine's."


"One, it will keep you out of the brig, and two, my mind can be changed."

Chakotay slid onto the stool next to Tom in Sandrine's. They were a few drinks down the road when Paris said, "My Chakotay would never have broken out the real stuff."

"The Captain told me about the meeting you had with herself, Tuvok, and Harry. Would you really have asked to be abandoned here?"

Tom's slightly glazed eyes met his with more openness than he had ever seen in the Paris of his own reality.

"You know a little bit of what my life has been like Chakotay. A harder one than your Paris lived I think. That people like Harry and Kes even existed was a revelation to me. They thought I was important outside of being a great pilot. I never thought I was though until I bonded with Tuvok, and I saw myself through his eyes. And the way I saw other people changed too." His mouth twitched, "It was like having a whole new nav and sensor array installed in my head." He sighed. "Harry sees himself through Tuvok's eyes too. And this Tuvok has shown him a slave unworthy of total commitment. Only valuable because he is useful, a comfortable necessity instead of someone who's loved for who he is. I couldn't have stayed here and watched that. It's a lie, and if this Tuvok can twist your Harry so far from who he really is, is what my Tuvok shows me the truth, or just another lie?"

"Harry means a lot to Tuvok. I've known them a long time, in the Maquis, and here on Voyager. Whatever else he lied about or concealed, that was always apparent. And Harry trained hard from childhood to be what he is. He chose it." Chakotay's chocolate eyes were intense, willing Tom to acknowledge his point.

Paris' mouth twisted into a bitter smile. "You know," he said in a non sequitur, "They used to start training elephants when they were very young. They grew to be so large and strong that order to use them it was absolutely imperative that they never realize that there is a life outside of doing what they were told." Paris shook his head, "Harry was trained the same way, that's what really sucks, he can't see and won't ever know how much he could have had. I was trained that way too." He snorted, "I meant a lot to my father, Chakotay, the future of the Paris name and all that. And you know what? HE fucked and beat me just like Tuvok does to Harry. And I wanted to to please him so bad." He looked into Chakotay's shocked gaze, "I ran away from home when I was 16. I didn't run because I thought he was wrong, I ran because I couldn't please him."

Chakotay was left incapable of giving Paris a comment. So instead he sighed and said, "There won't be any disciplinary action. You'll be going home tomorrow and Tuvok thinks that you are suffering the effects of a severed bond. They should have the shuttle ready by the start of Alpha shift tomorrow. Belanna and Harry are going to work on it all night."

They sat a moment and Paris said, "Well then, in that case I'd better hit my rack."

Chakotay walked Paris to his quarters silent, disturbed by the conversation, and feeling an urgent need for contact with his spirit guide.

Paris waited for a half hour and then asked for Tuvok's location. He was soon in front of Tuvok's door. One last chance. He owed it to Harry and he didn't think that he could face his bond mate if he did not make the attempt. The situation was a wrongness that ate at his gut, undermining everything that his Tuvok had made him believe. He put on his most solemn face and rang.

The door opened and Tuvok regarded him with a hint of displeasure. "You are not welcome here Mr. Paris."

"I've been talking to Chakotay about things and I've come to apologize. It was illogical of me to expect you to change your life without providing all the facts. It was also illogical to attack you without trying to see you and Harry's point of view. I know that you are not my bond mate here, and I can bear the separation. Tuvok once told me that, that aspect of my psychosis made me a particularly suitable partner for him. But being so opposed to you is driving me nuts, I'm leaving tomorrow but I can't leave it like this. I offer you tal-tor yeht shaukaush, the truth of my view. I know that I'm not your bonded here, but please?" His blue eyes begged.

It was a request no Vulcan could refuse his bonded mate, Tom was not his but he was in that other world. As he had needed that other Harry, this Tom now needed him. The Vulcan stood aside and allowed Paris to enter. The Pilot moved over to the area Tuvok reserved for meditation and knelt, waiting for the meld. Wanting to show this Tuvok, so different and so like his own, all that he was denying himself and Harry.

"I'm glad he has been sent safely home," Captain Janeway leaned her head back and rubbed her neck, "and our own Paris has returned."

Chakotay sipped the cup of coffee in silent contemplation, thinking about the strange Paris and the earlier switch with the Kims and sighed.

"That sigh sounded ominous," came the wry voice of his Captain.

He looked into her tired eyes feeling the old gulf yawn wide between them.

"When the universe speaks, twice no less, I can hardly avoid the message."

Captain Janeway shrugged.

"It's the way things have been for over a hundred years."

"And that makes it less wrong?"