The Unwanted

by Layton Colt

Tom gets caught up with a notorious band of thieves - led by a dangerous swindler and his old flame - Nea Clent on the ship 'Unwanted.'

Author's Notes: A.U. shortly after the episode, 'Displaced,' Voyager gets sent home by the Caretaker's mate. I don't write that part - actually, I cut it out because I didn't like it, so it starts with Voyager being home. The maquis rebellion has ended, and the Cardassians are honoring their side of the treaty to remain clear of the DMZ.

Familiarity with 'Sleeping Beauty' is recommended. Ah, just kidding, though Tom's obsession with the 20th century does cause him to quote Disney, one of my original characters does too. I don't know why, it just seemed like something he would do. And because I wrote this after watching the movie with my little cousin.

Part One: Nea's Gang

Tom swung his duffle bag over his shoulder and lowered his head. He walked through the halls of Deep Space Nine and tried to make himself inconspicuous. He was looking for a transport to Mars, somewhere to get away.

Voyager was home, but he didn't plan on going to Earth. Even if he was born there, it could never be home to him. So he decided to leave. He'd been told, like the rest of the maquis that he could stay and serve on Voyager, but now that he had a choice, he couldn't stay on that ship.

It wasn't that he didn't want to. He did. But he knew everything would be different here. In the Delta Quadrant the crew had to accept him because he was all they had and they had needed to stick together. Now that they were home, though, he just couldn't remain.

This would be Starfleet, not Starfleet as seen by Kathryn Janeway, and he couldn't handle that. He felt bad about leaving his friends without so much as a goodbye but he didn't delude himself into believing they'd actually miss him. He wouldn't let himself believe they might actually care.

He was about to turn a corner when someone caught his attention - young woman in a blue cloak. She was mysterious but familiar. Her fingers barely peeked out from the sleeve of the thick blue cloth but they were adorned with rubies and gold.

Intrigued he followed, he was sure he'd seen her somewhere before. He was about to call out to her, to see if he knew who she was when she slipped in- between two stores into an ally of sorts. Wondering what she could be doing, he decided he should investigate.

With narrowed eyes he cautiously entered the ally. No one was there.

He was about to turn around when someone grabbed him from behind and pushed him against the wall. It was a Bajoran, who looked to be in his mid thirties. He had a slightly goofy expression and Tom wasn't exactly infused with fear. As he looked behind the Bajoran holding him, he saw the woman in the cloak watching him.

The only part of her face he could make out were her eyes.

It was enough.

He knew those black eyes - knew them well. The betazoid removed the hood and grinned at him. Nea Clent.

"Well, this is a pleasant surprise," she purred. "I set my trap for a peasant and lo' I catch a prince."

"A maquis renegade who can quote 'Sleeping Beauty.' Now I've seen everything."

Nea smiled, "It's been a long time, Tom. I heard Voyager had returned."

Tom pulled out of the grip of the bajoran. "Yea," he said. "Last night we docked."

"Where were you going? Until you began following me you seemed in quite a hurry."

"I'm trying to hop a transport to Mars," Tom told her reluctantly. He had loved Nea once, but he didn't trust her. He never had.

"Really?" Nea asked interestedly. "I thought you'd stay with Voyager. Why are you going to Mars?"


"You know, I have a ship now. I could take you to Mars," Nea offered casually.

Tom smiled, "Thank you, no. The last time I got involved with you, I ended up in prison. See ya around, Nea," Tom said as he began to walk away.

Nea snapped her fingers and the Bajoran took out a phaser. He aimed it at Tom and shot the young pilot before he had reached the end of the ally.

Nea smiled and took out a tricorder, her fingers danced across the small device and the three were whisked away by a transporter.

* * * *

Tom woke up disoriented. For a moment he couldn't recall what had happened. There were four strange people hovering over him, and one that he knew all too well.

He quickly sat up, "Nea, where have you brought me?"

Nea smiled with pride, "Welcome to my ship, 'The Unwanted.'"

"An appropriate name," Tom mumbled. Nea ignored him.

"Allow me to introduce you to my gang. This is Jork," she said motioning to the goofy bajoran that had been with her earlier. "This is Kladie Drake,"

A young girl smiled at him, "Call me Kladie."

"This is Spera," Nea continued motioning to a Vulcan woman who merely nodded. "She keeps us all logical and this. this is Cole."

A striking man around thirty stepped forward with a smile and a deadly charm.

"Nice to meet you," he said holding out his hand.

Tom shook hands with him using the hand with out a watch. He didn't trust guys like Cole. He should know not to - he was one of them.

Handsome, charming, a smile to die for and always -always- hiding something. Striking up pointless conversations while plotting behind their eyes.

"So, what's this about?" Tom asked.

"How about you and I make a deal?" Nea asked.

"I'd like to keep my soul, thank you," Tom responded seriously. All present spare Nea and Spera stifled a chuckle.

"Where else have you got to go, Tom?" Nea asked. Her voice was tinged with anger. "You're just like us now, lost and alone. An unwanted."

Tom sighed. She had a point but he had a feeling this group was headed for trouble and he didn't particularly feel like sticking around for the show.

"You don't do well alone, Tom, stay with us."

The idea was becoming more and more appealing. Life at the moment wasn't holding many prospects. Part of him was remembering that Nea was trouble.

He'd been devastated and heartbroken the first time he had met her, and she had recruited him into the maquis. Seducing him into compliance - she had abandoned him in Chakotay's cell. Still inexperienced and use to the rigid structure of Starfeleet, he'd been left with a Captain who despised him and he'd been caught only three months later.

But he wasn't inexperienced anymore, and he wasn't distraught and vulnerable from Caldik Prime. He could take care of himself now - most days, anyway.

So he could leave or he could stay. It was his choice, not Nea's.

"It doesn't have to be anything permanent," Nea purred. "If we get too much for you, you can always leave."

Tom smiled. She was right. he could just stay here until he found somewhere else to go. "Alright, I'll stay on for a while, but I'm not making any deals."

Like always, Nea had clouded his thinking. He'd forgotten how she had gotten him on her ship in the first place, and never thought for a moment she might not so easily let him go.

* * * *

B'Elanna angrily stormed out of her temporary quarters on Deep Space Nine. Voyager had already had its maintenance begun but it wouldn't be ready for three months.

Three months. And she wasn't allowed to help with the refit. Take some time off they said - you deserve it, they said.

What would she do for three months and who with? She hadn't seen Tom since they got back and Harry would be leaving for Earth in a few minutes.

"Harry," she called, glad to see she hadn't missed him before he left.

Harry turned around, and he looked like he'd lost his best friend. "Harry, what's wrong?" she demanded rather than asked.

"Tom's gone," he said brokenly.

"Gone?" B'Elanna echoed in disbelief. "Gone where?"

Harry shrugged, "He just left, he didn't tell anyone where he was going. Janeway found his resignation this morning."

"Why would he leave?" she asked, using anger to disguise her panic.

Harry shrugged, "How should I know? I'm only his best friend."

"I've got to find him, Harry? Will you help?"

"Of course, what do you want me to do?" he asked quickly. He was worried about Tom as well.

"Just ask around, someone has to know where he is."

Harry nodded, "When I get to Earth, I'll ask around Starfleet headquarters, maybe I'll go to Sandrines."

B'Elanna nodded, "I'll ask around here."

"You think he's going to get himself into trouble," It was more of a statement than a question but B'Elanna responded anyway.

"Tom has a habit of getting into bad situations. I just want to find him and make sure he's alright."

Harry nodded, "We will."

* * * *

Tom lay back on the bed in his new quarters. Nea sat down next to him. "So," Tom began. "How did you and this gang get together?"

Nea laughed, "Well, when the maquis broke up most went back to their homes and families. As you know, I never had either. Jork's home on Bajor was destroyed, his family killed. Kladie had joined the maquis to get away from her family,"

A fond smile graced Nea's features. "Kladies a bright kid. She's a brilliant engineer, not exactly your average runaway. You wouldn't believe everything she can do with an old fashioned lock pick."

"As for Spera, she wasn't wanted back at her home. Her parents had forbidden her from joining the maquis and she'd done it anyway. She's a typical Vulcan. She's my ammunitions officer and is an expert at explosives and weapons. We all had no place to go, so we stuck together."

"What about Cole?" Tom asked, fascinated by this strange group despite himself.

Nea laughed, "Oh he came in latter. He wasn't in the maquis. Cole Marshall is a top notch con artist."

Tom smiled. He knew it.

"I met him because he was supposed to sell me a ship. He conned me wonderfully. He ended up with my money and me a holographic ship."

Tom laughed, imagining Nea's reaction when she'd learned she'd been had. "What did you do?"

"Tracked him down. Since he never gave me the ship I paid for, I decided to steal his. We pulled it off flawlessly, too. Got the ship off Mars without a hitch. We only over looked one minor detail."

"What?" Tom asked curious.

"Cole had been asleep in his quarters all the time!" Nea laughed. "We were pretty shocked. I was just going to leave him somewhere but he talked me into letting him stay. That was when we named the ship 'Unwanted,' in honor of Cole."

"What about Jork? What does he do?"

"Jork is a clueless genius. He's too intelligent for his own good, it makes him inane."

"This is quite a group you have here," Tom said with a grin.

"Yes, but it's missing something."


"A pilot."

Tom grinned wider, "Temporary, remember?"

"You love me," she stated.

"Yes, I love you," he admitted, realizing it was pointless to lie to a betazoid.

"Then join me."

"It took me a long time to pull my life back together, Nea. I'm not going to just throw it all away."

"Why keep this new life, Tom? What good is it doing you?" Nea demanded.

"I mean it, Nea! I'm grateful for a place to stay, but whatever you're up to, keep me out of it or tell me now so I can leave."

"You can't leave, Tom," Nea pleaded. "I need you help!"

Tom laughed, "So that's what this is all about? You -need- me. I should have known." Tom grabbed his bag and hefted it over his shoulder. "Goodbye, Nea, thanks for the ride. It's not Mars but Earth will have to suffice."

"You're not going anywhere," Nea said pulling a phaser from her waistband.

Tom rolled his eyes, "I'll be leaving now."

"I have the power to kill you."

Tom turned around, "Yes, but you also have the heart that won't allow you to."

"You're right," Nea said as she pulled the trigger. Tom fell unceremoniously to the floor. "That's why I keep my phaser on stun."

* * * *

"Nea Clent."

B'Elanna froze when she heard the name. Three hours of asking questions and she'd finally caught a break. Someone who had seen Tom.

Granted, it was the Ferengi but he seemed to be telling the truth. When she'd asked if he was alone, Quark had said 'no,' when she asked who he was with he said, 'Nea Clent.'

She'd always clashed with Nea. They met in the maquis, she was constantly bringing in new recruits. Mostly men. Mostly young.

One time, she'd brought Tom.

He'd been all attitude, trying his best to cover a vulnerability B'Elanna hadn't missed.

They'd been together, B'Elanna could tell. She couldn't explain it but it had ignited a jealousy in her that had made her rude to both Tom and Nea. One of them, though, had deserved her hostility.

To think he'd gone off with the two bit swindler made her skin crawl. And it wasn't all jealously. Nea was dangerous. Tom could be in more trouble than even he could handle.

She ran across Deep Space Nine, hoping to catch the next transport to Earth. If she was going to find Tom, she was going to need help.

* * * *

Tom woke up on the floor, his hands tightly bound together. He cursed and started at the ropes. Nea had gone too far.

He wondered what she was planning that made her desperate enough to tie him up. He suspected he was supposed to be the pilot for her latest scheme. But he was more certain that ever that he wouldn't go along with it.

Nea had her life and he had his. H e was tired of being nothing but an ex- con and a good pilot. He wanted to be more. If he let Nea drag him into this, he knew he'd be less.

"You're up."

Tom looked up to where Nea stood. "Untie me, Nea. You can't just force me to help you."

"I can. I just wish I didn't have to. You'd fit in well here. Just another outcast."

"I'm tired of being an outcast," Tom said angrily.

"You always will be - out there. But you could belong here, Tom. You're the last piece of the puzzle. Believe it or not, the 'Unwanted' is the best of the best. A genius, an engineer, a planner, a tactical strategist, and me, a leader, all we need is a pilot."

"Well, find another one."

"You're the best. You don't belong out there, Tom," she said again.

"I won't help you."

"You'll change your mind," Nea said with certainty.

"I won't."

A smile played across Nea's lips. "We'll see."

to be continued . . .

There will be two more parts to this. Both are already written, though the ending needs to be changed.

How fast I type them up depends on the response I get. It's not blackmail -- well, maybe a little bit. I just don't want to type the whole thing up and make my poor fingers suffer if no one wants to know what happens.

If people don't care I can always focus on my Stargate stories and forget about Voyager.