Not at Fault

Discalimers: I don't own them I wish I did... but the ideas at least are mine.

Author's notes:This story is PG at best... I mean there's a WHOLE kiss and a cuddle in it... but it is P/K for that whole kiss and cuddle so if you don't like those boys or two boys together then don't read this story.

And finally I wrote this in about 45 minutes... hence i haven't edited it... no beta readers touched it... the best it got was spell check.

We got home last week.

It was amazing... exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. For me anyway. Well me and the former Maquis. We didn't know what sort of welcome to expect. If any at all.

And here we are today. Today they tell us what they're going to o with us. It's actually just us 'bad guys.' It's the whole crew. Files have been reviewed. Decisions have been made.

I'm scared to death. What if they lock me up again? Or they boot me out again. I know that might not seem so bad. But if the boot me out... I don't know what I'll do. I'll have to leave Harry. It'll kill him and me. But he won't exactly get very far in his career with Starfleet with a lying, court marshaled, ex-Maquis, failure for a lover. I can't hold him back like that. Especially after he told me how much he wanted to stay with the fleet. He said he couldn't imagine doing anything else.

My name's called. I get a few shaky attempts at reassuring smiles from those yet to be called. They don't help.

I enter the small room. The board is seated at their table staring at me. Oh God. Half these fogies were on the panel that Court marshaled me. And I've known most of them through my father since I was a child. Darrkin. Shit. He was on the court Marshal. And he never liked me much. Of course since this day that couldn't possibly get worse of course has to get worse he rises. Wonderful, so much for an impartial decision.

"Tomas Eugene Paris?"

"Yes." I reply.

"Why did you join the Maquis after your Court Marshal?" I blink what does that have to do with this? Oh well.

"I needed to fly."

"And that is the only reason? You do not share any of their ideologies."

"I understand why they were trying to do what they are. But I don't believe they are going about in the right way."

"Thank you Mr. Paris."

They huddle around. There are a few whispers, a few padds shuffled back and forth.

"Star Fleet owes you an enormous apology." Admiral Darrkin says.

It think my jaw drops, and I know my eyes were bugging out. "Huh?" I chock in utter shock.

"A great many things have come to light in the years Voyager has been lost."

My eyes are still bugging out.

"At ease Mr. Paris." I try to relax. "About three years ago there was another inquiry in to the incident at Caldik Prime. It was found despite you were not at fault for the crash."

"What?" I gasp. I know I was responsible... I made a mistake. I killed them... I confessed.

"You were not at fault. It would has seemed you were. Even to your self. You flew in to the magnetic disturbance because you thought it was weak enough you could have flown through it. You were wrong. But so were your sensors. They were sabotaged. A similar incident happened a few years ago. But one of those responsible was caught. In a plea bargain he sold out his co-conspirators implicating them in the Caldik Prime incidents as well as several other unexplained accidents."

I felt my knees weaken. I think a nearly fell. I wasn't at fault? I hadn't killed them? Oh my god. Oh my god.

"And so we would like to offer to reinstate you. At the rank of full Lieutenant if you'll accept."

I stared.

"Mr. Paris? Would you like to return to the fleet? Everything pertaining to your Court Marshal has already been removed from your records."

I blinked. "But Sir... I joined the Maquis... I was convicted of treason." I didn't really want to remind them... I should just take this and run. But I had to.

"You've already told us you do not sympathize with the Maquis. You didn't joint the Maquis to fight the Federation or it's Allies. You joined to fly. That *is* correct?"

"Yes... but..."

"Mr. Paris. Tom. You never would have joined if you hadn't been Court Marshaled. You had to fly no one else would take you. Besides you were to be released for helping Captain Janeway find Chakotay's ship. They were found you're a free man."

I didn't like that... it didn't sound good for Chakotay and the rest of his former crew.

"Now do you wish to be reinstated in the Fleet?"

I worried for an instant then on thing crossed my mind. Harry. "Hell yes." I almost shouted drawing smiles from every last one of them.

"In that case welcome back Lt. Paris." Darrkin grinned at me as he stepped around the table and came to stand beside me. Raising his hands to my collar he pined on the full Lieutenant's pips. And shook my hand smiling all the while. Maybe he didn't hate me after all.

I shook the rest of their hands and was dismissed. He walked out of the room through the door in the opposite walk. Every one who had already been through was there. The room went quiet I think we all expected I would be hauled off to Auckland.

Harry was the first to move. He came to stand right in front of me. One hand stoked my cheek then slid down. And he fingered the pips on my collar. "Oh Tom." He whispered and then we were in each other's arms mouths locked together.

The room erupted in to cheers. We parted. Harry laughed I blushed.

*** *** *** **** ***

"Are you still up?"

Tom whipped around to face his husband.

"You said you'd come to bed soon." Harry pouted. "It's been three hours."

"I was just reading love I forgot the time."

The younger man glanced over Tom's shoulder. "That one again?"

"Sometimes I need to remind myself."

"I know. But Tom you are free, it wasn't your fault. You are married to me and piloting a beautiful ship and a Lieutenant Commander in Star Fleet who could possibly pull yet another promotion next round of evals."

Tom rose and wrapped his arms and his much-loved husband. "Thanks Har. I needed that."

"I know. Now will you come to bed? I don't sleep well alone these days.

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