Tom's efforts to recover his memories after a severe attack. And his romance and marriage to the Big Guy.
Chakotay figures out what he really wants. But will he get get to keep it after Tom is almost killed. (Your basic sex, angst, humor)
Categories: Chakotay/Paris Fanfiction Characters: None
Chapters: 3 Completed: Yes
Word count: 33758 Read: 10408
Published: 10/09/03 Updated: 11/09/03
1. Part 1 by KarenS
2. Part 2 by KarenS
3. Part 3 by KarenS
Notes: Many thanks to Helmboy for her beta reading, advice and abundant encouragement.
Memories (Part 1)
Tom smiled to himself and enjoyed the little anticipatory tickle of freedom.
Four days alone with Chakotay, down on an uncharted planet searching out the supplies on B'Elanna and Neelix's 'scavenger' lists. During that time, they would be virtually stranded while communications and transporters were taken
off-line for much needed maintenance. Everyone else was involved in some way in the repairs needed after a series of hit-and-run attacks by what could best be described as pirates.
The planet they now orbited appeared to be uninhabited, safely off the beaten path and according to the occupants of the last M-class they had passed; it should have much of what they needed.
Best of all, the Captain had caved in to Tom's lost-puppy look and OK'd the use of civvies due to the heat and humidity. So here he stood in faded jeans, tee-shirt and hiking boots, wondering what the next few days alone with the Big Guy would be like. Paradise or purgatory?
Chakotay blew through the doors and mounted the transporter pad. Tom recognized the form-fitting burgundy denim shirt and the chocolate brown pants and boots from their all-too-brief time together in the Maquis.
Adjusting his pack, the Commander fixed his dark gaze on Tom. "Any time, Paris."
*Purgatory, here we come*, thought his unfortunate companion as he joined Chakotay on the pad.
24 hours into their away mission and the Commander's mood was no better. What deuterium they had discovered was low grade, what little food stuffs they had found made leola root look positively delicious and the rest of the items on their list didn't exist at all.
Tom sat on a rock and considered the pros and cons of ritual suicide. *Now how to talk the Big Guy into it.* Chakotay had set up camp and seemed to be attempting to meditate. *Well, at least the muttering under his breath has stopped.*
*Shit.* Tom couldn't decide which was worse, the Commander "pre-Kathryn" and hating Tom, or this new version who seemed to spend a large part of his time pissed at everyone.
When Chakotay and the Captain had begun their discreet relationship, everyone had been pleased. Well, almost everyone. Tom's daydreams of being smothered in the warmth of the Maquis' arms now left a bitter aftertaste.
At least before, Tom had been able to pretend that Chakotay might one day wake up to the fact that "Paris" wasn't quite the arrogant little rich boy that he used to be. Now, the Big Guy was in love with the Captain and she had finally decided to take a chance on a relationship.
Hard to keep pretending when you had seen that warmth wrapped around someone else in a darkened observation lounge.
Equally hard to deal with was the uncertainty of whether all would be well on the bridge with laughter and the usual banter, or the new silence- the product of one of the couple's personal "discussions".
Warmth against his back, lips against his neck and a pleasant fullness in his nether regions signaled to Tom that his current wet dream had taken a turn towards reality.
"Commander, what the hell do you think you're doing?"
A large hand slid over Tom's left shoulder to pinch his nipple into hardness. *Gods.* Tom was tempted to forget the demand for an explanation as two fingers on Chakotay's other hand found his prostate.
"Can't you just go with it, Paris?" finally came from over his shoulder.
The sarcastic use of his last name brought Tom to his senses. Reluctantly pulling away from Chakotay, he adjusted his clothing and moved to the other side of the fire. The Commander sighed loudly and sat up.
"Do you think that it's fair to use me just because you're pissed at the Captain?"
"Drop it, Paris."
"No, I won't *drop* it. You've been pissed off ever since we left the ship. You haven't said more than twenty words to me in two days, and yet I seem to be more than adequate for 'working off a little frustration'. You make me feel like a whore," Tom finished in a rush.
Chakotay had no answer. Tom gave up and spent the remainder of the night alternately staring into the fire and watching the other man pretend to sleep.
Morning finally came and with it the silence of the day before. Chakotay had found a piece of what looked to be onyx and was carving an intricate swirl on one side.
Tom sighed. Ritual suicide was definitely the way to go, but perhaps he should take the trip *himself*.
"You were right last night."
Tom looked up in confusion. At the look on his face, the Commander elaborated.
"I guess I was using you. Kathryn decided that we should break everything off about five minutes before I had to leave on this mission. No discussion, just another 'command decision'.
"That doesn't explain trying to.......you know."
"That's because I can't explain it. I went to sleep going over the whole conversation with Kathryn. I woke up and I had rolled over behind you. All of a sudden, I was wondering if your hair was as soft as it looked and what you tasted like and how you would feel pressed up against my chest." A small grin. "I guess that I just decided to find out."
Tom was speechless. Whatever he had expected from Chakotay, it certainly wasn't this. Without comment, he rose and walked towards a grove of trees a short distance away.
An hour later and Tom still had no reply. He knew that Chakotay was watching him. And somehow a cup of coffee and a meal had appeared next to him as he stared up blindly through the trees.
A warmth at his side.
"You need to eat."
Tom nodded but made no move towards the food. A rustling of leaves, and Chakotay settled onto the ground next to him.
"I really am sorry, Tom."
*Tom. This was different. Lieutenant, yes. Paris, yes. *Mr.* Paris, yes. But Tom??*
"I'm not a whore to be used, Chakotay."
"I know what kind of reputation I have on the ship. The prison party toy who'd sleep with anyone. The traitor that would do
anything to get ahead. It's not true. I kept my back to the wall in prison and joined the first block gang that would take
me. It meant a lot of solitary for fighting, but it definitely beat getting slammed in the ass."
"No, let me finish. I know how I acted when you first came on board Voyager. I realize that you felt you had a lot of
reasons to hate me. In your eyes, I sold you out. But the truth is, I never thought they had a rat's chance in finding you.
Once we got out there, I gave them some information about one of the less usable routes through the badlands and that was it. I knew I was pissing the Captain off, but I told her back at Auckland that after a year everything was pretty confused. You have to believe that there was no way that I would have helped to send you and your whole crew into the hell I was trying so damned hard to get out of."
"You could have gotten parole."
"No way. My esteemed daddy let me know that I was in for the duration. Hell, it was his fault that I was in Auckland in the first place. I was all set for eighteen months at Livermore, but the 'Admiral' said that I needed to learn to take accountability for my actions and to throw the book at me."
Chakotay walked away in a daze. He knew from comments both in the Maquis and later on Voyager, that Tom's relationship with his father was at best strained. But to volunteer his only son for eight years in maximum security spoke of a deep-seated cruelty.
The rest of the day was quiet. Chakotay carved on his stone and wondered just what Tom's childhood was actually like.
Tom stayed amongst his trees, trying to remember just when his world had gone so bad.
Fortunately for both, the Voyager crew finished their repairs early.
Tom returned to his routine. Flying Voyager during the day, playing pool with Harry and occasionally flirting with Megan and Jenny at Sandrine's. But now, he had the real memory of a brief pleasurable time in Chakotay's arms to add to his nightly dreams.
As for Chakotay, he convinced Kathryn to give it another try. More days of alternating between laughter and silence. Each too stubborn to admit failure. Chakotay spent more and more nights alone. But instead of dreaming of Kathryn, he spent them remembering that soft red-gold hair that went all the way down. The smooth silky skin covering masculine strength and the small quiet moan of pleasure pulled from the sleeping man that he had held.
"Okay, who is she?"
Tom blinked and then blushed at B'Elanna's obvious frustration. His glib answer was forgotten at Torres', "Don't try to tell me that a woman isn't involved. You weren't even in this quadrant when I asked that question."
Tom shrugged. Technically there was a woman involved. Chakotay *was* still with the Captain.
Seeing that no answer was forthcoming, Harry decided to try another direction. He had seen Tom's side-long glances at the Commander while they were all playing pool in Sandrine's. And if Chakotay was the object of Paris' thoughts, all hell could break loose should it become public.
Harry spoke. "We're coming up on another M-class. Maybe this one will have some of the things we need." *Oh yeah, a definite flinch on that one. What happened on that planet?*
Curiosity forgotten, B'Elanna Torres launched into her favorite topic, the state of Voyager. The woman lived, breathed, and ate engineering. Most of the time Harry was just as bad, but this funk that Tom seemed to be in had lasted for over a month. Megan Delaney was telling everyone that Tom Paris was obviously ill--no jokes, no passes, no bets. Obviously ill. Harry tended to agree, except that in his opinion it was a disease of the spirit, not the body. And he intended to get Tom to open up.
In retrospect, Harry had to admit that he hadn't used the best tactics to get Tom to confide in him. Still, ending up wearing his lunch and flat on his back on the floor from Tom's headlong flight out of the room was a bit extreme.
Actually, it wasn't even Tom's fault. Harry had waited until B'Elanna went to get another cup of coffee, and then he pounced. "Tom, what's going on with you and Chakotay?" Paris had gone white, jumped to his feet and fled the room. It was Harry's determination to stop him that had led to his overbalancing in his chair and falling backwards onto the carpeting carrying his lunch tray.
Now, sitting in the Captain's ready-room listening as she questioned why two of her senior staff were seen fighting in the mess hall, Harry began to wonder if perhaps he shouldn't have waited and invited Tom to dinner in his quarters and questioned him there.
Kathryn Janeway was a frustrated woman. During a long night of deliberation, she had realized that she wanted out of her relationship with Chakotay. It had started well, both passionate and cerebral. But, in the long run, she was first and foremost the Captain of the Voyager and that had to come first.
Chakotay had understood in the beginning. But where she was cerebral with an underlying passion, the big Maquis allowed his feelings to taint his thought processes. At least, that's what she had tried to explain to Chakotay last night. At the word, taint, he had turned beet red and gotten out of bed. A couple of moments later, she was alone. Now, she was sitting
here waiting for an explanation as to why her senior Ops officer and helmsman were fighting in the mess. A headache didn't start to describe what she was feeling.
Harry finally spoke up. "Captain, we weren't fighting. I made a joke that Tom took the wrong way and when he jumped up to leave, I fell out of my chair trying to stop him. He didn't touch me." *Did she buy that? It was at least eighty percent truthful.*
*Shit. I don't need this now.* A sigh. "Mr. Paris, is that what happened?" *There, that was fairly civil.*
"Yes, Captain. I wasn't in the mood for Mr. Kim's rather dubious sense of humor and left the mess hall."
*Not now!!!!!!!!!!* "Enter."
The temperature in the room seemed to go up about ten degrees with Chakotay's entrance. The Captain turned red, Tom turned white, Chakotay did his best to do both, and Harry fought desperately to keep from laughing.
"Gentlemen, you're dismissed. Mr. Kim, work on your jokes. Mr. Paris, I didn't think I'd ever say this, but lighten up a little. You've got everyone wondering if you're going around the bend." A slight inclination of the head. "Yes, Commander?"
Tom almost ran out onto the bridge. Harry took it more slowly, smiling like the Cheshire Cat. The Captain wondering at the role-reversal, turned her attention to her second-in-command. He looked like his head hurt worse than hers. And what was
that look on his face when he saw Tom Paris?
The rest of the day had been only slightly easier to deal with. Commander Chakotay retired to his office to work on the monthly reports, leaving Tom , Harry and the Captain to be watched with much eyebrow raising by the resident Vulcan.
Now, in the next morning's briefing, B'Elanna was doing her level best to explain why the initial reconn team for this new planet should consist solely of herself, Tom Paris and Harry Kim. So far, it was a no-go.
It was obvious to all that B'Elanna had something on her mind besides deuterium.
The Captain and the Commander mistakenly assumed that she had finally decided that she *was* interested in Tom after all, and Harry was going along as a quasi-chaperon. Tuvok had decided that perhaps Lt. Torres and Ens. Kim were *both* interested in Lt. Paris and were planning to use the change in territory to discuss the possibility with the helmsman. Harry *knew* that B'Elanna planned to grill Tom until he broke regarding what was currently going on and felt sorry for him.
Tom wasn't sure what to think. He knew that B'Elanna had told him a few months ago, in no uncertain terms, that she wasn't interested. Maybe she and Harry were getting together and wanted to break it to him away from everyone else. They certainly seemed chummy at breakfast this morning and had stopped talking when he walked up. But no, Harry was absolutely transparent in his admiration for their newest crew member, Seven-of-Nine.
It turned out that no one had to worry what her plans had been. The Captain chose Neelix, Tom and Chakotay. B'Elanna had thrown a fit, saying that she *had* to be included due to the engineering materials needed. The Captain said that she was needed on the ship to evaluate the results and coordinate any resulting mining. Chakotay offered to stay and was turned down. Tom offered to remain and was turned down. Neelix just want to get off of the blasted ship for a while and didn't care who went along.
The Captain's choices stood.
All-in-all, it was a successful mission. No annoying inhabitants from which to seek permission. Perfect tropical weather and
scenery to rival Risa. No one killed or mutated. Deuterium in abundance. So much so, that they could now have traveled for the next three years at warp nine with no problem. Neelix was in heaven. Fruits, vegetables and grains grew everywhere and a large detail of crewmen were assigned for harvesting. Chakotay took one team, Tom took the other. Two days later with storage full to bursting, shore leave was announced for all.
Tom had finally managed to elude B'Elanna by leaving the main beach party. He headed towards the woody foothills a couple of kilometers inland. A brief walk through the trees brought him to a pool with a small waterfall. It reminded Tom of a place he had once found while vacationing on Earth. Stripping, he pushed off from the edge of the pool and floated in the cool water.
Chakotay was speechless. He had found the same pool a while earlier and was quietly attempting to seek his animal guide. It had been too long since he had talked to her. A small splash broke his concentration. Frowning, he opened his eyes to see Tom lay back into the pool approximately five meters to his left. Spirits! Hair shining like gold and skin like cream pulled him from his niche, removing his clothes as he went.
Tom felt a movement in the water and opened his eyes to find Chakotay standing chest deep in the water next to him. Silently, Chakotay pulled Tom into his arms and they kissed while moving towards the far shore. Tom caught the Commander's hands and led him to a sunlit patch of grass. Chakotay knelt and pulled Tom down onto his chest as he
Their kisses began to heat up and Tom moaned as Chakotay ran his hands down Tom's flanks to clasp possessively at his hips. "So beautiful," the larger man whispered as he began to move down the other's body.
At the first touch of that hot, wet mouth, Tom wailed. He felt Chakotay smile and the suction increased. It had been far too long between relationships for Tom to last very long. Chakotay quickly pulled back and Tom came into his lover's waiting hands; it was then spread over Chakotay's sex and trailed down Tom's cleft. As he began to prepare Tom, the Commander
crooned softly, "Only you. Only you."
Tom felt his chest tighten at the older man's gentle touch and obvious caring. Chakotay pulled Tom's hips up onto his thighs and slowly pressed into the hot channel waiting before him. Tom wrapped his legs around the Commander's waist to pull him closer.
Chakotay laughed at Tom's gasp of surprise as he lifted him bodily from the grass. The younger man wrapped himself tightly around the Commander and then fell sideways, rolling to end up astride the larger man and somehow still connected. Chakotay grabbed his lover's hips in a grasp that would leave marks and began to arch up into the Tom's body. Their rhythm changed, sped up, as the first shudders ran through their bodies. Tom cried out and clenched around Chakotay, his seed covering both their bellies. Chakotay rolled them onto their sides and continued to thrust, finally crying, "Love you, love you, love you..." as he came in Tom's body. Holding the older man's head against his shoulder, Tom relaxed into sleep.
Tom woke a short time later to find Chakotay sitting next to him and staring off into the distance.
"I don't know what to tell Kathryn."
*Oh, shit.* Tom eased up into a seated position and placed a careful hand on Chakotay's shoulder. Relieved that the other man didn't pull away, he spoke. "Just what is the situation with you and the Captain? I know you wouldn't do anything like this if there wasn't something very wrong."
"We ended it a few days ago, but I really don't know how she'd take it if I showed up so soon in Sandrine's with you on my arm. But I have to tell her as soon as I return to the ship. It's only fair that she's the first to know."
Tom warmed at the thought of Chakotay wanting to go anywhere with him 'on his arm', and then grew cold at the thought of the crew's reaction.
"Chakotay, we can't tell anyone right now. A lot of the crew still think that I'm shit and if they think that I broke the two of you up, it'll make the problems when we first got out here seem small!"
The Commander turned and pulled Tom into his arms and ran a slow, comforting hand up and down the younger man's back. Tom turned slightly and then relaxed back against his lover's chest. The two watched the sun slowly move towards the hills above them and then bathed and began to dress. With one last kiss, Tom watched Chakotay fade as he beamed back to
the ship. Tom began his walk back to the beach. And Megan Delaney stood watching in thoughtful silence for a long time.
"I couldn't hear what they were talking about, but I'm telling you what I *saw *, and it was the Commander and Tom Paris 'doin' the nasty' down on that planet."
Dalby and Chell said nothing, but you could see the wheels turning as they thought over this piece of news. Megan waited impatiently for a comment and seeing none forthcoming, decided to give her own theory. "Those two have always fought like two cats. Apparently, they turned out to be cats 'in heat'."
Chell smiled. Glancing at Ken Dalby, he was a little worried at the venomous look on his face. "You know that everyone has been talking about the fact that the Captain and Chakotay haven't been seen together in the resort for a couple of weeks.
That started before shore leave."
Megan smiled nastily. "But not before Tom and the Commander's away mission."
"Neelix was with them the whole time."
"No. The away mission about a month ago. They spent several days alone that time. And I know *personally* that Tom has been really quiet since that trip."
Chell began to wonder just what sort of stake Megan Delaney had in this whole affair, but still, good gossip was good gossip.
"Shit, Tom. What have you done now?" whispered Harry at the sudden silence as the two entered the mess hall. Conversation quickly resumed, but it was obvious that it was all about Tom and/or Harry from the covert glances in their direction.
"Harry, I've been so good lately that even Tuvok has commented on it. Just ignore'em. Come on, I don't see anyone lying on the floor groaning. Maybe lunch is better than usual."
*I definitely should have been paying more attention to the signs at lunch.* Tom's stomach seemed to be making a serious attempt to leave his abdominal cavity as he hugged the toilet. He had entered his darkened quarters to be met with a rain of fists and boots. Now he was paying the price for not being more vigilant. He leaned back against the shower divider and thought hazily about comming the Holodoc. *Blood really clashes with that hot pink pasta that Neelix served at lunch,*
was his last thought before slowly sliding into unconsciousness.
Harry, Tuvok, Chakotay and the Captain stood to one side as the doctor worked efficiently over Tom.
"I can't tell you anything more, Captain. I noticed yesterday at lunch that everyone seemed to be talking about Tom, but he didn't seem worried. After our bridge shift, we had dinner and then played some pool. Tom seemed a little distracted, but said that he was just tired." Harry paused. "I should have gone with him to his quarters....."
"Most likely, both of you would be lying there, instead of just Mr. Paris," Tuvok pointed out.
The Captain smiled and gently clasped Harry's shoulder. "He's right. Why don't you go ahead and go to the bridge. I'll contact you as soon as we know anything."
"Actually, Captain, it will be quite some time until I can tell you anything. I have most of the intercranial bleeding under control and will be starting on his chest and abdomen now. Unless one of you has recently gotten your doctorate in internal medicine, you're of no help standing here."
The doctor began draping Tom for further surgery. *Gods, he looks horrible,* thought Kathryn as she took in the multitude of bruises and contusions on his face, abdomen and chest. The injury list read more like the index for a surgical text. Fractured skull and ribs, internal hemorrhaging in the brain, left kidney, liver and both lungs. How he had managed to last until Harry had found him lying in his quarters, curled around the toilet, was a miracle.
As if reading her mind, the doctor spoke. "I'm firmly convinced that Mr. Paris isn't human. How he has managed to come back from things such as this, time after time. As soon as I finish here, I'll do the cosmetic clean-up." More gently, "It will be several hours before I'm through."
"How long before he can be questioned?"
"That remains to be seen, Mr. Tuvok. Brain injuries are curious things. Partial or even full temporary amnesia is quite common. Sometimes a patient never recovers the memories surrounding the injury." A series of hyposprays punctuated his
Chakotay spoke quietly. "Doctor, you said that he managed to come back from things such as this "time after time". This is by far the worst I have ever seen him." Kathryn cast a worried glance at him. He was much too quiet for someone whose lover was lying in that condition.
Not slowing his movements, the doctor appeared to be considering his next statement. "I would be at risk of doctor/patient privilege if I were to say much more; but let's just say that another person with skeletal and tissue scans similar to the
Lieutenant's would possibly have been physically abused from the age of approximately two until late adolescence."
Chakotay and Kathryn had cornered Tuvok and informed him of the Commander and the younger man's relationship. The Vulcan's expression as he quickly glanced from the Captain to Chakotay would have been comical in another situation.
He recovered almost immediately. "You believe that the lieutenant's attack may have stemmed from one of the crew holding him accountable for the ending of your relationship." This was said more to the Captain than Chakotay.
"It's not impossible. I would have said that Chakotay and Tom's relationship was unknown to anyone but the three of us, but that might be incorrect. Harry did say that there was a lot of interest yesterday in the mess." A pause. "But he also said that Tom didn't seem worried."
Chakotay spoke up. "We've been very discreet, more out of consideration for you than anything else. I don't think that Tom even told Harry. He was almost paranoid about the reactions of the crew when we discussed going public."
Tuvok raised one agile eyebrow. "It looks as though Mr. Paris had excellent reason to be worried."
A briefing that evening brought little news. Preliminary DNA scans showed no one but Tom, Chakotay and Harry had been in Paris' quarters. Questioning of those quartered nearby determined that there had been no sounds of argument. The only real news was that Tom's vital signs had improved and he was beginning to respond to outside stimuli. The doctor said that barring problems, he should emerge from the coma by mid-evening.
The whole meeting had an almost funereal quality. No one sat in Tom's usual chair, and it's emptiness matched the feeling in Chakotay's chest. Immediately following dismissal they had all followed Chakotay straight to sickbay; the Commander no longer caring who knew about them.
Tom just looked like he was sleeping. A single small monitor blinked silently on the young man's forehead. There was nothing left to do but wait for him to wake up. The doctor moved to stand by the Captain and they all watched as the big man very gently slid the too-still body into his arms and carried it into the doctor's office. Carefully sitting down on the couch, Chakotay cradled Tom against his chest. The doctor spread a blanket over the two and reduced the lights. There were still times when medicine couldn't match a simple human touch.
Chakotay awoke to the feeling of a cool hand cupping his cheek. Opening his eyes, he looked down into a pair of weary but beautiful blue ones.
Tom didn't speak, but continued to touch him with a look of curiosity. The Commander initiated the holodoc and the two of them got the young man back to the biobed. A thorough exam showed everything well on it's way towards healing, but no reason for Tom's continued silence.
The rest of the senior staff arrived within minutes of being notified of Tom's awakening and watched as various attempts were made to induce the lieutenant to speak.
"There is nothing medically wrong with Mr. Paris. Amnesia tends to be temporary, but it is rarely this extensive. I should keep him here in sickbay to assess his level of understanding and development."
Chakotay and Tom returned from the bathroom. "Well, the good news is that he's apparently potty trained," Chakotay said wryly.
Once it had become apparent that there was nothing wrong with Tom's hearing, they had begun to worry at his obviously shortened attention span. He resembled a big, beautiful, silent toddler. He walked. He sat when directed. And according to the Commander, he knew what a toilet was for.
That appeared to be it. There was no recognition of those present or that he comprehended language; no spark of understanding when shown implements that should have been familiar.
But oh, the curiosity! Once he was fully awake, he started to take in his surroundings. At first, taking medical instruments out of his hands did no good. He simply picked them back up. However, it was soon discovered that he obeyed Chakotay's gestures and tone of voice more readily than anyone else's.
Their charge was finally ensconced on a biobed as far from the door and any equipment as possible. Leaving B'Elanna and Harry to try and keep him occupied, Janeway, Tuvok and Chakotay had a quick conference with the doctor.
"Captain, it's obvious that Mr. Paris will have to
have 24 hour supervision and I've decided that *my* sickbay is not the safest place for the job," the doctor huffed as he reattached the power source to a slightly battered tricorder. Tom just smiled beatifically and tried to remove the control panel from his bed. B'Elanna slapped at his hands impatiently and then looked mortified at the tears that suddenly appeared in the blue eyes before her. When his lower lip began to quiver, Torres panicked.
The big man clucked and soothed much as if Tom really was just a toddler, and soon the young man was smiling again. Chakotay sighed. "I think I've been drafted for baby-sitting duty."
B'Elanna smirked. "Think of the fringe benefits."
The Commander looked shocked. "Are you kidding?! That would be too much like pedophelia in his present condition." He groaned as Tom sat down on the floor and leaned against his legs.
Kathryn was highly amused. "Don't worry. We'll all take turns spelling you, but you're right. I think you have been adopted as primary caregiver."
"I wonder how Tom would have ended up if he had been raised in a stable environment," Harry mused as he walked down the corridor with the Captain a week later.
"I mean just watching him; he's bright, affectionate, and has enough curiosity for three people. Even before the attack, when B'Elanna and I would talk about engineering, he would come out with some really great ideas. I once asked him why he hadn't picked that as a secondary specialty at the academy and he just said that he had never had the option."
Kathryn nodded. "I first met Tom when he was about eight years old. He was already flying rings around most of the cadets and had such a thirst for any kind of information regarding starship mechanics and flight. But he was so moody. He would be up and laughing one moment and in the next almost catatonic in his shyness. With what the doctor told us after his attack, I have been going over all of my interactions with Tom as a child and teen. The signs were there, but no one would have believed that something like child abuse would occur in the Paris household."
"I wonder if he will regain all of his memory. It would be kind of nice if some of the crappier memories never came back." Harry sighed and stopped in front of Chakotay's quarters. Music could be heard from inside.
Kathryn smiled, a bit sadly. "Even if he does regain all of his memories, I think that this whole experience may change him a bit."
The door opened and Harry and Kathryn entered to find B'Elanna seated on the couch. "You've missed quite a show," she said gleefully. "Chakotay has had the devil's own time trying to convince Tom that there is more than one word in the Standard language."
Just then a resounding "No!" came echoing from the bedroom. Chakotay walked wearily into the living room as he finished fastening his shirt.
"I am having a slight problem convincing a certain young lieutenant that clothing is not optional." Tom came around the corner; barefoot and with the top buttons of his jeans undone. His shirt dangled from his wrists; the only thing that kept it on was the fact that the cuffs were buttoned.
"You're losing ground there, Poocuh. Like this." The big man patiently pulled the shirt back onto the younger man's shoulders and began to fasten the buttons. Tom sighed as if he were dealing with an idiot and grabbed Chakotay's hands.
Harry took pity on the older man and led Tom back into the bedroom to finish the job. B'Elanna looked bemused. "I kind of liked his outfit the way he had it."
Chakotay's eyes narrowed and Kathryn held back a laugh at the obvious jealousy. "I think not. We don't want to start a riot in the mess hall."
At that moment, Harry and Tom re-entered. Dressed, even down to a pair of old moccasins; Tom acted as if he had broken Warp 10 again. "Good!"
The Captain laughed and then took his arm. "Yes, Tom. Very good."
Lunch was fairly uneventful. Tom had turned out to be a very careful eater. He closely watched the others and attempted to mimic their actions.
He also seemed oblivious to the attention he was drawing. He just smiled at everyone and seemed very pleased when Megan Delaney gave him a kiss that would have melted his fillings had there been any. Chakotay growled something about over-stimulating someone just out of sickbay, but he didn't fool anyone.
Conversation had turned to the upcoming EPS maintenance when a quiet voice cut through their words. "Cha?" Tom was holding a piece of fruit towards the Commander and smiling diffidently.
At their surprise, Chakotay smiled. "He just started calling me that this morning. We've been working on a few things." The Commander split the fruit, handing half to Tom and then pointed across the table, quizzing Tom as to their names.
A deep breath and, "Cap-tin Kathhhhhrynn."
The last met with applause from around the mess hall and Tom blushed sweetly and ducked his head against Chakotay's shoulder. The others present seemed to relax somewhat and several made their way over to the table to introduce themselves to 'Taahmm' as he proudly proclaimed himself.
Making their way to the turbolift took some time because Tom found *everything* fascinating. Obviously, he and Chakotay had been working because Neelix was met with a smile, a hug and a 'Hi there!'. Jenny Delaney's hair was 'red!' and Crewman Ayala was 'big!'
While the others laughed themselves silly the restof the way to the bridge, Tom and Chakotay settled down for a nap. It wasn't that Tom needed one but Chakotay was definitely beginning to feel the strain of sleeping with one eye open to make sure his charge stayed in bed. Twice he had taken a hike. The first time he showed up at Harry's door at 0300; the second found him replicating 'syooop'.
It was also somewhat distracting that Tom was a snuggler; preferring to sleep tucked into Chakotay's right side with arm and leg slung over the Commander's body. He felt way too good for this to go on too long without a problem arising.
And arise it did. That afternoon, Chakotay was awakened by a gentle poke and a muffled giggle. Looking down, he was horrified to find Tom gently stroking his cock which was tenting out his boxers.
"Cha! Big!" *Oh, spirits....*
"Baby, don't do that. That's....." *That's what? I'm trying to explain that you shouldn't play with someone else's equipment to a two year old!*
Chakotay issued a privacy lock, removable only by himself. Gently extricating himself from Tom's grasp, he beat a hasty retreat to the bathroom to take care of 'business'.
Stripping and stepping into the shower, the big man leaned back against the wall and allowed the warm water to run down his chest. He began a slow rhythmic squeezing and pulling on his cock with one hand and massaged his balls with the other. It had been way too long since he and Tom had made love and he came quickly and profusely.
Smiling, Chakotay slowly opened his eyes and almost had a stroke. Tom stood less than a footaway. His eyes were as round as saucers and he had an erection that rivaled the one Chakotay had just relieved.
"Cha???" *Oh, fuck...*
Chakotay searched the ceiling for an answer and when there was none forthcoming, he simply shrugged and pulled Tom into the stall. Carefully guiding Tom in his endeavors, Chakotay saw that he was well on the way and removed himself from the shower.
Drying off and praying to the spirits for forgiveness for leading to the delinquency of a 'minor', Chakotay waited for the telltale sounds that Tom was through.
Chakotay helped him finish showering and then handed him a towel. Tom was quiet, but smiling. The Commander hoped that he hadn't just created a monster.
To the older man's immense relief, Tom seemed to realize that you didn't play 'Touch, Cha! Touch!' except in the privacy of your own shower. Chakotay still couldn't bring himself to make love to Tom. There was still something so childlike about the young man that it didn't seem right. They had graduated to giving each other gentle kisses and Tom *loved* cuddling on the couch while Chakotay taught him to read.
Tuvok was still no closer to finding out who had attacked Tom, but rumors pointed to the obvious-- Crewman Dalby. When questioned about his whereabouts that night, Dalby insisted that he had been in his quarters. The security logs showed that his commbadge had been there, and without any evidence to prove otherwise, Tuvok had to place the report on hold until Tom regained his memory of the night.
*If Tom regained his memory of that night,* the Captain told herself. Tom was now reading and creating simple sentences, but it was as if his life had begun the moment he came out of the coma.
"At the rate that Lt. Paris is progressing, we should be able to certify him for duty in twelve to eighteen months."
Following the doctor's pronouncement, there was a collective gasp. They had run into trouble again and had survived only through sheer luck and an incredible shot with a photon torpedo by Tuvok. They desperately needed Tom back at the helm.
"Doctor, isn't there any kind of therapy that can be done to help? Hypnosis?"
"Captain, I don't think Mr. Paris is anywhere near advanced enough to understand hypnosis or to be able to keep quiet enough to lapse into an hypnotic state." The last was said with a rather fond smile.
One thing that this had brought about was a change in most people's attitude towards Tom Paris. People were beginning to see what was inside the young man and had begun to accept his relationship with the Commander.
*Such as it is,* Kathryn mused. It was obvious that as Tom was 'maturing' and so was his relationship with Chakotay. It wasn't unusual to enter their quarters to find them cozily reading. Tom's interests ranged from the colonization of the New France colonies to Winnie the Pooh. Kathryn laughed out loud, drawing some strange glances from the others seated at the table. *Oh, hell, let'em wonder.*
Chakotay was exhausted. It had taken much to calm Tom after the attack earlier that day.
Harry had just arrived to take over when the aliens hit. Both the Ensign and the Commander were required on the bridge and there was simply no time to deliver Tom to the safety of the sickbay. Once the trio arrived on the bridge, the Captain had ordered Chakotay to place Tom in her ready room.
With directions to sit quietly, Chakotay had hurried back out to his position to do what he could to help save Voyager. Forty-five minutes later everything was quiet. Peering towards the conn through the smoke from an exploded console, the Commander suddenly remembered the young man waiting in the next room.
Kathryn and Chakotay hurried through the doors into the darkened room. There was no sight of Tom, only the immense ports through which the wreckage of the alien ship could be seen floating off to starboard. The big man's heart sank as he heard a quiet sob from the far corner.
In their haste, they had placed Tom alone in a room that had a bird's eye view of the battle. Kathryn reached the huddled figure first and pulled him up to hold his head against her chest. Her eyes were wet with tears as she looked at Chakotay. The doctor had been called and Tom was sedated before being transported back to quarters. Sam Wildman stayed with him until Chakotay was free to leave the bridge.
"He hasn't moved." Tom was curled in the center of the bed with Samantha's daughter asleep against his back. "I didn't really have a problem with her, "gesturing towards her half leeping duo. "Actually it's a little sad when you think about it. My daughter has grown up so used to violence that the explosions and alarms don't phase her."
B'Elanna looked at Harry and sighed. Tom had practically sat in Chakotay's lap the entire meal and had jumped at every sound. The Captain wanted to hold some attack drills but everyone dreaded the effect they might have on Tom. *Although, Chakotay doesn't look too sad at having Tom wrapped around him that tightly.*
Chakotay sat running warp equations through his mind to try and forget the warmth pressed up against his side. Risking a glance at the younger man, he nearly groaned out loud when Tom whispered, "Touch, Cha?"
*Blessed spirits!* "Well, Tom and I are heading back to bed, uhm, I mean to our quarters, my quarters......"
The big man grabbed his lover by the wrist and quickly left the mess. The others politely waited until the doors had closed before erupting into guffaws.
"This is getting harder and harder on the Commander," Harry said with a grin.
"Something's getting harder and harder on him...."
"B'Elanna!!" said Harry and Kathryn in unison.
Chakotay ran his soapy hands over his chest and sighed. His erection was as hot and hard as newly forged durasteel. Tom next to that pool during their last shore leave. Yesssss. Pulling his favorite memory out to play, Chakotay prepared to bring himself off. Closing his eyes, he began to stroke.
Tom quietly opened the door to the bathroom and removed his clothing. His "Cha" was playing 'Touch' and he wanted to play too. So intent was he upon his pleasure, the Commander didn't even notice as the slighter man slid into the shower stall in front of him. That changed quickly when Tom gently pulled his hands away and pressed him tightly to the wall.
Their kiss grew and Tom learned for the first time just how much fun having two tongues instead of one could be. Chakotay lathered Tom's back and then lowered his hands to the beautiful tight ass just below.
Tom groaned into Chakotay's mouth and began to slowly rub against the big man's chest and groin like a large cat. *I swear he's purring,* thought the Commander as a warm tongue licked him just below the left ear.
Their movements sped up and Tom clutched Chakotay tightly. He grunted softly and then erupted with a yell. "Good, Cha! Good!" The hot wetness against his stomach brought Chakotay into orgasm. Tom was exactly right. It *was* good.
*I hate crew evals. I *hate* crew evals. I HATE CREW EVALS!* thought Chakotay as he labored through his share of the yearly reports. Why did Kathryn stick him with Seven? Granted the Borg (ex-Borg), he thought tiredly, had improved. But she had taken things into her own hands a couple of times and the consequences had been chaotic.
Probably the same reason that she was writing up Tom's evaluation. Show no favoritism. Yeah, right. She was just as motherly towards Tom as she was Seven. Always had been.
Chakotay had originally thought that she was out of her mind when she kept insisting that he was command material; he just needed some tempering. But as usual, she was right. He really had come a long way.
And gone all the way back. Chakotay had a rare moment of fear that he would never again see the Tom that he had fallen in love with. This one was gentle, sweet, smart........but the spark was gone. The smart aleck, the tease.....gods! Everything he used to ride Tom for was what he missed the most.
Even with his improvements in the last five weeks, he was still far from ready to be on his own for any real length of time.
1900 hours. Shoving the padds into the top drawer of his desk, Chakotay stood and stretched. Enough is enough. Harry was with Tom tonight and he was two hours overdue to relieve him.
Chakotay opened the door to find Harry asleep on the couch and Tom nowhere in sight. Loathe to wake the young man, he first checked the bathroom and bedroom for his lover.
"Harry, where's Tom?"
"He's right....." Harry quickly sat up and looked wildly around the room. "He was sitting right there watching a vid! You checked the other room?"
"Computer, location of Lt. Paris."
"Lt. Paris is on Deck 3, Corridor 5."
Chakotay tried comming Tom from the turbolift, but there was no answer. "He knows how to acknowledge; something's wrong."
The answer was lying on the floor just a few meters from the lift. A small silver and gold badge.
Tom looked around the room in interest. He hadn't noticed when the other man removed his badge and quietly dropped it in the corridor behind them. He was too busy listening as the man explained that Chakotay had asked him to watch Tom for a while.
This certainly wasn't what Tom expected. Harry had fallen asleep, the vid finished and he was bored. A walk! He would find Cha! Tom found the turbolift easy enough but before he could give the command, 'bridge', the other man had slipped through the doors........
Now they were sitting in his semi-dark quarters drinking some....juice the man had called it, but it didn't taste like any juice that he remembered........
Tired. So tired. But he had a nap that day just like Cha told him to. Maybe the other man would let him rest for a while.
"We've checked everything on this deck. Tuvok has set up three teams to take decks eight through fifteen. I thought we would split up one through seven." B'Elanna paused.
The two men before her were trying to hide their worry, but it was evident in their every move. "We'll find him, Chakotay. With the shipwide message, everybody knows."
Ayala and Chell sat brooding over their synthales. "You don't really think that Dalby would try something, do you?"
Chell frowned. "He was pretty damn drunk."
"I think I'll take a walk."
Tom didn't like this touching game at all. The other man didn't feel or smell anything like Cha, and he was touching places that his Cha never touched. *Oh, it hurt!* "No...nonononononononono.........."
As Tom's voice grew louder, Dalby panicked. He didn't mind his sex rough. In fact, that was just what he wanted to give this smart ass prick, a real rough ride. But if the noise kept up, someone was gonna hear the little shit.
Tom began to buck against the weight on his back, trying to drive the other man away. A sharp pain in his shoulder and blood running told him that the other man had bitten him. Dalby pressed Tom's face into the blanket and continued his preparations. A roar behind him accompanied two large hands that ripped him from the bed and threw him across the room.
"Baby?" A soft sob and Tom literally climbed into his lover's lap. "Oh, Poocuh, it'll be okay. I've got you." Chakotay rocked Tom gently and called for an emergency medical beam out.
"Thank god Ayala got suspicious when Dalby didn't join them at Sandrine's." The Captain looked from Harry to Chakotay, but neither man would meet her eyes.
"Harry, this is not your fault-"
"Yes, it is! He was my responsibility and I just let him walk out the door!" Harry was openly crying now.
Chakotay placed his arm around the young man's shoulders. "Harry, if we're going to assign blame, then it's my fault for being late."
The doctor crossed to where they were standing. "There was some minor tearing and bleeding. I repaired that and the bite to his shoulder. It doesn't look as if penetration actually occurred." A brief pause.
Just for the record, Mr. Paris was drugged with a mild sedative. It appears to have been ingested with juice." He looked at the figure lying quietly on the biobed. "Under the circumstances, Commander, I think that it would be best if he spent the night in more familiar surroundings."
"That's no problem. I don't plan to let him out of my sight for quite a while-" Harry whirled and ran towards the bathroom. The sounds of vomiting could soon be heard. Kathryn sighed.
"I think that we have more than one victim of this attack."
The doctor and the Captain watched as Chakotay crossed to the biobed and kissed Tom softly. The doctor cleared his throat. "Speaking of the attack, Captain, what will happen to Crewman Dalby?"
"I imagine it will be much the same as Lon Suder. There will be a court martial and if (*when*, she thought), he is convicted, we will determine length of sentence. That time would be spent locked down in his quarters. I know I've said it a hundred times, but I wish we had a counselor." Kathryn looked over at the big man gently helping his lover from the biobed, "I can't ask Chakotay to counsel the man. I just can't."
They were saved the trouble. Two hours before the court martial was due to begin, Kenneth Dalby hung himself in his closet using a sheet.
"Cha, when do we get to go down to the planet?" Tom was busily pulling on his best indigo suede boots.
"1100 hours." Chakotay watched as his love ran a comb through his hair. Caught staring, he just grinned. "Lookin' good, Poocuh."
Tom looked down at his clothing. "Not too much blue?"
*Gods, no.* Tom was dressed in a simple pastel blue cotton shirt, tight indigo jeans and matching knee-high boots. In Chakotay's eyes, he was perfection.
"Uh, no. No, you look perfect."
The younger man just looked at him knowingly, and crossed over to kneel down beside Chakotay's chair. "We could wait...." The big man groaned and then kissed the lips so near.
The doctor had no answer for Tom's sudden acceleration in development. In the past two months Tom had matured at an amazing rate. He had finished his secondary schooling and Chakotay figured that he would be ready for helm certification within a month or so. He had become a fascinating mixture of naivete and raw sensuality. But with no memories of his life before.
Chakotay and the others had finally sat down with him and explained about his attack and subsequent memory loss. Tom seemed largely unconcerned. His only question, "Were we together then, too?" At the affirmation, he simply smiled.
Chakotay had also tried to beg off making love with the young man, feeling that it would just remind him of the trauma. But Tom would have none of that. If anything, he wanted more. Chakotay finally realized that their sexual relationship was not only deeply satisfying to his lover, but also reassuring.
Chakotay had always allowed Tom to be the initiator of their encounters. Part of him had still felt a little perverse at the seeming innocence of his partner. But in the weeks following, he began to understand that in some ways Tom was far from a child and resented being treated as one. From that point on, Chakotay set out to show his lover just how cherished and desired he was.
While Chakotay was debating whether they really needed to beam down to the planet *right then*, the door was triggered.
Harry and B'Elanna stepped just inside the door. "Gods, will you two give it a rest? Some of us aren't getting any, you know!"
Harry turned deep red. "B'Elanna......."
"Well, are you?" Chakotay was sure that you could have toasted marshmallows with the heat coming from Harry's face.
"Cut him a break, Lieutenant. Shall we?" This said as the big man held out a hand to help Tom to his feet.
"Gods! I may have a young brain, but I have old knees...."
Harry and Tom sat at a table and watched B'Elanna haggling with a street vendor over a red and gold tapestry.
"Doesn't she already have something like that hanging in her quarters?"
Tom took a sip of his drink. "Who knows...Cha says that B'Ela just likes to shop."
Harry stared at the other man, wide eyed. "You sounded just like yourself for a minute!"
"I am myself, Harry."
"You know what I mean."
"Yeah." Tom looked somberly across the square to where Chakotay was talking to a merchant. "I sometimes catch Cha watching me. I know he's looking for the guy he really fell in love with."
"Tom, Chakotay adores you! Sure, you're sort of different to what you were but you're still you!" Harry was sure that he was babbling, but the look in Tom's eyes frightened him. He tried another tack. "You two are so much in love that you're almost painful to be around!"
Tom threw back his head and laughed. "Okay, Harry, I can take a hint. I'll talk to the big guy about behaving in public."
"You called him the big guy."
"You haven't call him that since you lost your memory."
"I probably just heard someone else call him that."
"Cha, how did we first meet?"
"Love, I thought we agreed that we were going to let your memories come back naturally."
"But nothing's coming *back*! It's like my life started when I woke up in sickbay four months ago." Tom left the couch to stand looking out at the stars.
"That's not completely accurate. You could fly Voyager the first time we ran the sims."
Chakotay had learned that he had to be very careful while discussing this subject. Harry had told him of his and Tom's conversation while planetside. Since then, the older man had gone out of his way to make sure that Tom knew that *this Tom* was just as loved as the one before.
"Chakotay, I need to know." He quickly glanced at his lover over his shoulder. "I've been having some dreams. They're not good."
"Then let's discuss the dreams. I don't want to help you create false memories by telling you what *I* remember."
"Don't turn counselor on me, Big Man."
*God, he sounded so like his old self just then.*
"Tom, I'm not going to counsel or coddle you. We all agreed, including the doc, that you need to remember these on your own. Now, I will sit down with you and tell you if your dreams match up with any occurrences that I know of, but that's
all I'll do. Please understand that it's for the best."
"For *whose* best! You're not the one running around with this big dark hole in his life. You're not the one waking up gagging because of dreaming about crashing in a big fireball. You're not the one pinned there looking at three people dead and dying, blood everywhere, her head in my lap and her body three feet away!"
Chakotay was appalled. While familiar with the fact that Tom had been court-martialed following the shuttle crash on Caldik Prime, he knew none of the real facts. If these were the memories that his lover had lived with every day, did he really want him to remember?
"I don't know what to do. He had told me that he was having bad dreams and from the one and only conversation we have had on the subject, they certainly sound like memories."
Chakotay ran his hands through his hair. He found himself waking during the night to find his lover lying staring up at the ceiling. When questioned, he said that he couldn't sleep. The older man thought that it was probably more accurate to say that he didn't want to sleep.
Kathryn was looking at a man in pain. She had been pleasantly surprised at the depths of their feelings for each other. She had originally thought that the relationship would flame out within weeks. Tom's injuries and fight to come back had strengthened their bond. But from what she was hearing, Kathryn was worried that the stress would tear both of them and their relationship apart after all.
"Chakotay, you may have to go ahead and tell him things or at least release his personal logs to him. I realize that the earlier ones will probably be most unpleasant. And unfortunately, this most likely will not be a case where what he is imagining is worse than the truth. You'll need to be there for him every step of the way. We all will."
"Forgive me Kathryn, but I think this is one case where you're dead wrong. Those logs were written by a Tom that existed years ago, not the one that recently lost his memory. I think that would be a bigger mistake than just telling him what we know."
Tom was finally certified as helmsman. Ensign Batehart, who had been sitting in for Tom as acting senior helmsman was surprisingly enthusiastic about giving Tom back his old job. "Gods, those reports! And I never knew if I was doin'em right. Commander Tuvok would just sit there silently and take turns raising first one freaking eyebrow and then the other at me!"
Tom burst out laughing. "Oh, Rick. Thank you very much. That is the one thing that I *do* remember about the job!"
Chakotay finally broke down. After dinner one night, he led Tom to the terminal in their quarters and accessed the official records for the accident on Caldik Prime and his subsequent court martial. Tom read in silence and then flew out through the door of the cabin.
The Commander waited several minutes and then requested Tom's location. Following him to the main observation lounge, he found his lover rocking in the corner of the room, much as he had after the alien attack several months earlier.
He simply sat down on the floor next to Tom and waited. He knew that this was something that Tom needed to work out for himself but as Kathryn said, they needed to be there for him every step of the way.
Finally, "Cha, I don't remember any of that stuff. I just remember the actual crash and then waiting there for what seemed like hours until they pulled me out of the wreckage." Tom looked at the older man and then closed his eyes in pain. "Why in god's name did I lie in that report? They weren't even investigating the crash!"
"I don't know, Poocuh. We do strange things under stress."
"What stress, Cha? According to the medical report, I was lying in a hospital bed going in and out of consciousness."
Chakotay raised his head and looked at Tom. "What did you just say?"
"My medical records were filed as evidence. I had to have filed that report while I was still in the hospital. They discharged me from the hospital the morning of the hearing."
"Then how did you file the report?"
"Hell, I don't know. I probably got one of the nurses to get me a terminal. All I know is that my thumbprint is on that report so I had to have filed it."
"Why would they have considered that a valid report? You could have simply argued that you were injured and confused. They probably had you drugged to the eyeballs!"
"Big Man, why are you asking me? I'm the one with amnesia, remember?"
Tom felt the pain and shock of finding out what had happened ebbing from his mind. He stood and held out a hand to Chakotay. "Let's go back to the cabin. I need either a big bowl of tomato soup or some really wild sex."
"I'll let you guess which one I vote for."
Tom lay on his back staring up at his lover. Chakotay was so beautiful like this, flushed and sweating, straining as he pistoned in and out of Tom's body. Wanting to go deeper, the big man released one of Tom's legs and let it slide from his
The first time that Chakotay had shown him this position, Tom had felt idiotic, splayed open like a Christmas turkey. The pleasure he had received quickly overshadowed any awkwardness that he had felt.
That was the big man's signal to begin pumping his lover's cock. Not that it took much when his lover was in this state. *Gods, he's beautiful.*
Tom arched, froze and then shook as he came; spurting hard enough to hit himself in the chin. Chakotay gasped as the pressure on his cock became almost painful with the intensity of the young man's orgasm.
The sound of deep breathing. The rustling of sheets as Chakotay moved from his lover's body to collapse at his side.
"Life...is good." A weak chuckle.
"Glad to hear you say that, baby. I was a little worried earlier."
"I've decided that what's done is done. If and when I remember it, I'll deal with it. But it *is* all in the past." A sigh. "Now, if I can just keep that in mind with the next piece of shit that rolls through."
"How poetic, my love."
"Yeah, I'm nothing if not colorful."
Chakotay entered the cabin after alpha shift to find Tom lying red-eyed on the couch.
"I started reading my personal logs today. God, I was so bitter. Most of it was about dealing with the crew's hatred........"
"and yours." Tom raised to a sitting position and pulled Chakotay down next to him. "How in the name of the gods did we ever get together?"
"Isn't it in your logs?"
"I've only gotten up to Akriteria."
*Fuck.* Taking Tom in his arms, he placed his chin on top of the red-gold curls. "We've both mellowed quite a bit over the last couple of years. But actually we didn't get together until a few weeks before you were attacked."
"Were we at least friends?"
"Ouch. You don't believe in asking easy questions, do you, babe? I respected you; you had done way too much for this ship and crew for me to keep my hatred intact."
"So you don't really know when your feelings for me changed?"
A chuckle. "I know exactly when they changed. Oh, it wasn't a split-second thing. But in the space of a couple of weeks I realized that more than anything I wanted to be with you."
"And then we got together?"
"No, I had to break up with the Captain first."
"What!!!!!" Chakotay found a pair of wide blue eyes centimeters from his.
"Yeah, but she was going to break up with me anyway. In fact, she didn't even know about my feelings for you when we broke up."
"Shit. Your life's even more of a holo-novel than mine."
"When I stop and think about the last year, I'd have to agree. You know, I think it's time."
"Do I get to pick what it's time for?" A leer.
"Nope. Wait here." Chakotay got up from the couch and disappeared into the other room. He returned shortly with both hands behind his back. Sitting on the coffee table before Tom, he smiled.
"Remember when you and I and Harry and B'Elanna went to the bazaar during our last shore leave?"
"Do I! Remember that double-jointed fire swallower? That was one beautiful pair of--"
"Just kidding, Big Guy. You are sooooooo easy to tease."
"ANYWAY, to get back to what I was saying, while you and Harry sat there knocking back those fruit drinks, I was doing some shopping of my own."
"I remember. You were across the market place talking to some old geezer in a purple sheet."
A very large sigh. "Baby, you are so fucking romantic; I'm trying to say something here."
A soft, "Sorry, Cha."
"Now where was I? Oh yeah....."
Chakotay lowered himself to one knee and took Tom's left hand. Tom's eyes got even bigger than usual and he started to speak.
Tom took his right hand and acted as if he were sealing his lips closed.
Chakotay chuckled and then said, "Thomas Eugene Paris, will you marry me?"
Tom said nothing, just looked at the wonderful man before him.
"Oh, I get to talk now?"
"Smart ass. I'm waiting for an answer."
"Well, in that case. Yeah, I guess so."
Chakotay just shook his head. "Close your eyes."
The young man before him complied and then gasped as he felt something slip onto the ring finger of his left hand.
Looking down at the long pale hand whose ring finger now sported an ornately woven band, "I'm just letting you see what that is going to look like once we're married. You can't actually have it until after the ceremony."
"Afraid that I'll use it as an ante in poker?"
"You are such a little shit."
"But you love me."
"Well, there is that, I suppose."
"Cha, I don't have a ring for you."
Chakotay smiled. "Don't worry. I bought the set. So, whattaya say, one month from today if Kathryn gives her OK?"
"I think I'm free that day."
A rather intense kiss. "Not for long."
c1998 Karen (Ksoren0626@aol.com)
Disclaimer: Paramount owns them. I imply no
copyright infringement. The song 'Oh, Father' is
on Madonna's CD "Something To Remember".
Poetry used in vows by Robert Browning and
By Karen (Ksoren0626@aol.com)
"You might want to hold your wrist a little straighter.
You won't get as tired that way. Concentrate just on
Tom fell sideways onto the grass. "Cha, are you
giving me lessons in sketching or fellatio?"
Chakotay thought over his previous comments
and then blushed furiously. "I think that we'd
better stick to sketching for now, Poocuh."
Huskily, "Besides, you're the one that could give
lessons on the other."
Tom laid his sketch pad down and climbed onto
his lover's lap. "Let's take a break, Big Guy."
A searing kiss met this request.
*Gods* "Computer, initiate privacy lock. I've
think I've changed my mind, Cha. I'm in the
mood for some life drawing. Take off your clothes."
"I'm not that kind of guy."
"Sure you are. I distinctly remember a big burly
dude, a turbolift, and a small container of pudding...."
"Or was that Miguel Ayala..."
Tom found himself quickly flipped onto his back
and systematically stripped by a suddenly green-eyed
"Gods, Cha, a little bit jealous are we?"
Chakotay slowed his movements and then stopped.
"Sorry, Baby. I know that you don't remember
much about your time in the Maquis."
*Oh, shit!* Tom was almost in tears. "Chakotay,
you know that I would never have said anything like
that if I had known!"
"I'm not mad, Baby." The older man was obviously
struggling with something. "It's just that there is so
much that you haven't remembered yet, and sometimes
I worry that it could affect our relationship." *Things
like Megan Delaney, Miguel Ayala, Jenny Delaney,
"I know that I haven't remembered us being together,
but it's still there. And I'm sure that there are other
people that I was *friendly* with before we got
together that I don't remember either." A pause.
"Do you trust me?"
"Of course I do-"
"Did you trust me before I lost my memory?"
"Shit!" Tom stood and walked down towards
the lake below them. *It looks so real...*
He turned to find Chakotay standing directly
"I'm sorry, Baby. That was unfair. You've
never done anything while we've been together
to make me distrust you."
"I take it that things were a bit different BC."
The Commander laughed and took the young
man into his arms. "I'm going to handle this
just the way you said that you were. What is in
the past is in the past. We'll deal with things as
they come along. But be gentle with me, I'm an
"You're not old. You're seasoned."
"Thank you, Poocuh. You make me feel like a
piece of oak."
Tom's fingers skittered down Chakotay's chest
toward his groin. You definitely feel like oak
to me." A kiss. "Now, I'm standing here naked,
and I seem to recall requesting a privacy lock..."
"B'Ela, I need your help." Tom took a sip of his
coffee and looked around. "I need to know who
I might have dated here on Voyager."
"I know. I'm supposed to remember on my own.
But this morning I blew it big time with Chakotay
by accidentally teasing him with someone that I
really did date."
"Yeah, big oops. Anyway, if you could let me
know so that I don't mention any of them, even
in joking. The big guy is kind of insecure right
"I'm sure that he'll relax after the wedding."
"Maybe....so will you help?"
"Yeah. To tell you the truth there were only six
or seven in the last five years. But you were one
*hell* of a flirt. You flirted with anyone and
anything." A long look.
*Shit. The Baneans.* "Well if you're talking
about what I think you are, I did a little more
than flirting. I actually learned something
from that you know." A grin. "No one night
stands while dirtside." A bigger grin. "No
anything while dirtside."
"How come you can remember that but you
can't remember who you went with on Voyager?"
"Well, having a group of aliens play with the
memories in my head and then having Tuvok
wandering around in there would probably
be a little more prominent than my average
"What else do you remember?"
Clinched fists on the table. "Caldik Prime
and my court martial. Akriteria." A very
big grin. "A pair of engineers and something
about Pon Farr." Tom ducked as a metal
coffee mug sailed over his head.
"I take back every nice thought that I had
about you. You're still a pig, Thomas Eugene
Paris!" Everyone smiled as Torres spun on
her heel and marched out of the mess hall.
Including the *pig* in question.
But Tom sat and thought about her last
statement. Making a side trip to engineering,
he found B'Elanna at a console.
"B'Elanna, you don't really think that I'm a
pig, do you? I'd hate to think that I'd really
hurt your feelings."
B'Elanna smiled. This Tom would be so easy
to love. "Yes, I think you're a pig. But you're
the nicest pig I've ever known."
Tom roared with laughter. "Thanks, I think.
You know, we didn't talk about the people that
I dated. Can we still do that later? Maybe at
"OK. 2000 hours?"
Fortunately Sandrine's was fairly empty that
evening. Tom and B'Elanna had no trouble
finding a quiet corner table.
Some time later. "That's everyone?" With some
hesitance, "No guys?"
"No. I didn't even know you liked guys until
everyone found out about you and Chakotay."
B'Elanna squinted up at Tom. "Do you know
of any guys?"
*Shit.* "Um, yeah. Chakotay told me about
one that he knew of."
"No shit! Who?"
"B'Elanna, that's no one's business."
"That would be me."
They looked up to find Miguel Ayala standing
at their table. Had B'Elanna's mouth fallen open
any farther, they could have used it for a shuttle
Ayala pulled out a chair and sat down. "I didn't
mean to eavesdrop." To Tom, "Chakotay told
"Yes. Don't take this the wrong way but I was
"Well, you give the impression of being pretty
Miguel grinned. "I just haven't found anyone
B'Elanna's mouth was still wide open. *Had
every freaking eligible guy on this ship gone
"Uh, Miguel, if you don't mind my asking, what
happened? Chakotay said that we were together
in the Maquis. Did it just not work out?"
"I suppose it might have, but then you got caught
and thrown in pri-"
"Miguel!" B'Elanna almost screamed in her haste
to stop him.
"Pri-son?" Quietly stunned. Chakotay started
toward the table with a scowl.
"Oh, god, you haven't remembered! Damn,
Tommy, I'm so sorry. Someone said that you were
reading your personal logs." No one noticed the
nickname but the Commander.
"I didn't start at the beginning. B'Ela?" Very quiet.
B'Elanna looked ill. "Tom, I think you'd better
talk to Chakotay." Tom looked up to see his lover
next to the table.
The older man held out a hand. "I'll tell you
everything that I can."
Tom was lying curled against Chakotay's side
on the couch. This was their favorite position
and had been since Tom first started his recovery.
"Do you remember anything about being in the
"I remember you calling me a mercenary and
being so mad that I asked for some ridiculous
amount of credits to do a job. I remember an
old space dock and moving something like a
million containers of supplies. I remember
working my butt off and always being tired."
Tom stretched up and kissed Chakotay on the
nose. "I remember thinking that you were the
most handsome thing that I'd ever seen.....even
after you opened your mouth and blasted me."
Chakotay nodded. "The feeling was mutual.
I remember thinking that you were a beautiful
man and that a relationship with you would
be suicide. Then you and Miguel got together
and I just backed off."
"How did I end up in prison?"
"I sent you on a mission and somehow you got
caught. Due to your family's position and your
previous service in Starfleet, it was pretty messy."
Chakotay wondered whether he should tell Tom
everything, such as his father's involvement in
the whole affair. He decided that the truth might
be painful but that it was necessary for their
"You told me that you had been sentenced to
approximately two years in a minimum security
facility when your father told them to throw the
book at you."
"Just how big was the book." There was no
emotion on the young man's face.
"Eight years in a maximum security prison."
"Did my father hate me that much?"
"Tom, you and I had only one conversation
on the subject. Actually, we had only been
together a few weeks when you were hurt.
We were still in the 'lust now, talk later' stage
of our relationship."
Tom sat up and began to unfasten his lover's
tunic. "I think that we will be in the 'lust now'
stage when we're in our nineties."
"I don't think that either of us exactly qualify
to wear white, Big Guy."
Chakotay looked over from the terminal where he
was creating a design for the front of his wedding
tunic. He had wanted to combine both of their
heritages. Tom was being his usual outrageous self,
suggesting a simple barefoot beach wedding in jeans
and Hawaiian shirts.
"Think about it, Cha. We've already got the
clothes. We can even have it at the resort."
A mischievous glint appeared in the beautiful
blue eyes. Topless hula girls singing the Hawaiian
Wedding Song with big brawny guys handing out
"The only 'lei'ing that's gonna occur will be after
the reception .....in our own cabin."
Tom insinuated himself between the big man and
the desk and eased down onto his lap. "Is that
'lei'ing or 'lay'ing?" Tom punctuated his statements
with corresponding gestures.
A kiss. "No matter how you spell it, it's going to
be fun." Chakotay stood and started to pull Tom
toward the bedroom, both of them shedding clothes
as they went.
"You know, I spoke to the Captain about reserving
a holosuite for a few days. There's no problem
and I even have a program in mind."
"Where, Baby? The Pleasure Palace on Risa?"
Tom shuddered as his neck received special
attention. A tongue in his ear almost derailed
"N-n-nooo, oh god, I was, uh, I was........Oh yeahhhh!"
Tom was gently rolled onto his stomach as Chakotay
turned his attention to lower regions.
"Um, actually I have a-a-a, oooh, a program that
includes camping and hik-k-k-ing in one of the
older National parks, Yosemiteeee." Chakotay was
highly amused with the fact that Tom was still talking.
"I found the travel-, ohhh Chaaa...the travelogue in
the computer and I've been addingafewthings...so that
we c-c-could either stay in a private cabin or camp
near a sec-c-cluded l-lake."
Chakotay laughed at his lover's attempts at speech.
"Sounds interesting, Love." *In more ways than one!*
"Let's take a look at it later." Chakotay placed a
couple of pillows under Tom and leaned over to kiss
him on the back of the neck. "I was just kidding
about Risa, though. If you want to do something like
that, I wouldn't complain. I doubt if we'll leave our
Tom sighed as Chakotay began to slowly enter
his body. "At least if we're camping, we'll get
some sun. Even if it is holographic."
"Mmmmmmm." Now Chakotay was beyond
speech. Recognizing this, Tom grinned and
began to apply himself to the older man's pleasure.
"Ahhhhh, Baby, don't do that or it'll be over
before we really get started."
"You mean this?" Tom tightened a few choice
muscles and his lover moaned beautifully.
"Or this..." Pushing back to meet Chakotay, the
younger man soon had him deep inside.
"Two can play that game, blondie." Chakotay
began to slowly move in and out, adding a small
circular twist to his hips. Tom purred deep in
"I bet you can do a mean samba, Big Guy."
"A week and a half to go and I don't have my
vows written! I haven't even decided what to
wear!" Tom shrugged and looked disdainfully
at his breakfast which looked more like it could
have been used to seal the plasma conduits.
"Are these supposed to be eggs or potatoes?"
"That's supposedly biscuits and gravy."
"You have got to be kidding! It's green!"
B'Elanna sat her tray down with a crash.
"We have got to get some more supplies at
this next planet. That last fruit was great,
but when we were attacked the stasis units
were off line long enough to start spoilage."
She tasted the pseudo biscuits and gravy.
"Kahless! I think I'll just go gnaw on a gel
pack. It's got to taste better."
Harry chewed thoughtfully. "It's really not
that bad. I added some pepper sauce and
some sliced gangii fruit."
"Ghaaaaaaaaa!" The others pushed their
plates away simultaneously. "Toast?"
Tom said to B'Elanna.
"Please. In fact, I'll go get it." Torres walked
into the galley. Raised voices could soon be
heard. She soon returned smiling with several
slices of toast and what looked to be jam. "The
little mutt had some kiwi jam hidden back there."
"That's not exactly a nice way to refer to the
ship's cook and morale officer," Harry said
as he took another bite.
"Don't give me that. I heard you talking to
Cathy in Stellar Cartography a couple of days
ago and you called him a polka dot salamander."
"I did not! She did."
Tom smiled and applied himself to his toast.
Since Harry had begun to pay attention to Seven,
B'Elanna seemed to have taken notice of what
had been right under her nose all along. Seven
was nice, but Tom had a feeling that she was a
bit much for the young Mr. Kim. *Not that
B'Ela's exactly shy and retiring......*
"Harry, you're so full of shit, your breath stinks!"
With that delicate remark, B'Elanna popped the
rest of her toast into her mouth and stomped out.
"I think I missed something there. What got her
Harry frowned. "She asked me where I was last
night. I told her that I had worked late in the lab
with Seven and she went off on me!"
"Were you really in the lab?"
*Oooh, a little defensive there, Har.* "Were you
A pause. "Most of the time."
"Most of the time? Harry, are you and Seven
getting, uh, *friendly*?"
"Depends on what you mean by friendly. We
worked on the map translation modules for a
while and then we talked about my family
for a while andthenwehadsex."
"Excuse me, what was that last part?"
"WE HAD SEX!"
Silence. Silence at their table; in fact silence
in the entire mess hall. Tom wouldn't have
been surprised if everyone on Voyager had
"Well, I can see two rumors starting over this.
You and Seven *and* you and B'Elanna.
Either way you're dead unless you talk
to B'Ela before she hears it from anyone else."
"There's nothing going on between me and
"Did she act like she was totally uninterested
in your whereabouts last night? I don't think
that she would have been that pissed if she
just wanted your help reconfiguring the Ops
"You think so?"
"That wasn't simple concern for a friend if
you ask me."
"Well, shit. I spend years wishing that I had
the guts to see if she was interested, and when
I give up, she acts like this." Harry studied the
bottom of his coffee mug. "I always thought that
you two would get together. You sure seemed
interested for a while."
"Yeah, well there isn't much I can tell you
about that." Tom frowned. "There are still
some *really* big holes in my memory, Har."
Tom smiled gently. "I do remember Akriteria.
You saved me."
"I almost killed you."
"No. You stopped yourself. Even with that
damned clamp in your head, you were one of
the most humane people I've ever seen. You
took such good care of me when I couldn't do
a thing for myself." Placing his hand on Harry's
arm, "I don't know if I ever really thanked you,
Harry, but you'll always be my dearest friend."
Harry was speechless. The Captain had been
right. When Tom had first been injured, she
said that even if he regained his memory, he
would probably be somewhat different. And
he was. The old Tom would have found it
very difficult to say something such as this.
"Thanks, Tom." Harry blushed. "Is this
where we get a group hug going?"
Tom laughed. "Yeah. You start with
Jerron and Chell, and I'll go with Donna
Henley and Michael Lykissas."
"Just where are you planning on going with
Donna and Michael," Chakotay growled,
although his smirk gave him away.
"Oh, nowhere. Harry and I were just trying
to figure out who is going to jump out of the
cake at our bachelor party."
"Jerron and Chell????"
The three men laughed. "Well, that may not
have been exactly what we were talking about."
Harry stood. "I had better go find a certain
"No kidding. And play nice, Harry. You've
got three strikes against you. She's female,
she's mad, and she's half Klingon."
"Gods....thanks for reminding me."
"Today is a good day to die." Harry looked
like anything but a warrior as he slouched
off towards the door.
Chakotay filched Tom's last bit of toast.
"What's with all of that?" Tom explained
and the Commander laughed until he was
breathless. "I always say still waters run deep.
What kind of flowers does Harry like? We can
take him some in sickbay."
The younger man grinned. "I don't think it'll
go that far, but I wish I had a reason to go down
to Engineering about now."
Tom stood next to Harry's biobed as the holodoctor
went to fetch the dermal regenerator. "Harry, I
distinctly remember saying to play nice."
"*I* played nice." Harry touched his eye and
groaned. At the small smirk from the doctor, he
shrugged his shoulders. "Be thankful that your
holowife isn't half Klingon."
"I would never have this problem, Ensign Kim.
I do not play the field."
"I'm not playing the field!! B'Elanna and I have
never done anything and I was only with Seven
the one ti-" Harry ground to a halt. "How did
you do that?"
"Do what, Ensign?" Seeming casual indifference.
Harry found himself staring at the ceiling as the
doctor cleared the area under his eye. "I wasn't
going to say anything and the next thing I know,
I'm pouring my guts out."
Tom snickered. "He's been practicing. Uh-uh,
Doc, you know it's true." This to the sputtering
holoprogram. "I saw you do the same thing to
Ensign Carlosten when he came in with rug burn
on his shoulders." Tom turned to Harry. "Doc was
ever-so-quiet, full of concern and then bam! 'Ensign,
if I were you, I'd stick to the bed.' The next thing you
know, Carlosten is babbling that it's not his fault,
they started on the bed-"
"Lieutenant, you're skating dangerously close to
violating doctor- patient confidentiality." The
doctor spun and headed for his office.
Harry slipped off the biobed and led Tom by the
arm out into the corridor. "So what happened next?"
"You heard the doc, I can't say any more."
Harry stopped mid-corridor and glared. "The first
good gossip I hear in days and you won't finish?
Tom continued to walk. "You're wrong, Harry.
The really *good* gossip is about you and B'Elanna
"Do you still care for the Captain?"
Tom sat up in his fiance's arms and realized
that the big man was still asleep. He turned
around on the couch until he was facing
"Bwaa??" Tom waited patiently as the older
man rubbed both hands across his eyes like
a child. "Did you say something?"
The younger man snorted and stood, crossing
to the replicator. "Oolong tea. Hot. One sugar."
It smelled so nice that he replicated a second
cup for himself.
"I just asked if you still cared for the Captain."
"Well, of course I do, but not in the way that
you're asking about. She's to me what Harry
is to you."
"A somewhat naive young Asian?"
"Smart ass." Sipping the tea, Chakotay continued.
"I liked Kathryn the first time I met her and yes,
I was highly attracted to her. She's a beautiful
"What went wrong between you two?" Intense
"We just weren't cut out to be lovers. She's
completely devoted to this ship and it's crew.
We came second and after a while it wasn't
enough." A small smile. "She also tried to run
our relationship the same way she does the ship."
Tom giggled. "I never did take you for the
Chakotay sat his cup on the coffee table. "I'm not.
I may be second-in-command on this ship, but a
relationship has to be *at least* a partnership for me."
Tom sat his tea cup down and moved across the
couch on his hands and knees. It reminded the
older man of an Eldavian panther he had once
seen in a wildlife habitat. *I'm definitely being
"I noticed you put emphasis on the 'at least' in
your last sentence, Big Man. You feel like
dominating *me*?" A warm tongue addressed
his neck. "Is that why I'm always the bottom?"
A bite to the lower jaw.
*Gods.* Forcing himself into the conversation,
Chakotay took Tom by the shoulders. "It never
occurred to me, Baby. I will tell you that there
is very little difference in the way we make love
now and our lovemaking before you lost your
"I'm not accusing you of anything, Love.
I *really do* wonder, though. Are you more
comfortable being the dominant partner? Would
it bother you to let me take you?"
In answer, Chakotay took Tom's hand and led
him into the bedroom. He stood quietly as the
younger man removed their clothing.
Tom pressed Chakotay backwards until he was
lying across the bed. "Place your hands over your
head and don't move them." Tom covered the
Commander's body with his own.
The next few minutes had the big man sure
that he was going to die from pleasure. A warm,
gentle tongue was run over his tattoo and then
down to swirl inside his left ear. A not-so-gentle
suck on the ear lobe and then a trail of nips and
soothing kisses led down to his left nipple.
Tom hands were far from quiescent. Fingertips
were running circular patterns over the larger
man's shoulders, then up his arms and quickly
down to assist his lips and teeth with the teasing
of his lover's chest.
One nipple was sucked, licked and bitten until
Chakotay hips were thrusting in need. A soothing
kiss and cool air was blown over the reddened nub,
and then the same intense care was given to it's twin.
"Pleasepleasepleaseplease...." Chakotay wasn't
even aware he was speaking, he only knew that
he was going to scream if something wasn't done
and done soon!
Rising, Tom smiled down at his lover. The Big Guy
was absolutely gorgeous; sweaty, flushed and with eyes
black as night. Taking the lubricant, Tom nudged
Chakotay's knees apart and settled down. He placed a
tender kiss on the tip of the older man's erection and
received a deep groan in return. Arranging Chakotay's
hips on a couple of pillows, Tom began to tease at the
other man's core.
"Baby, please!" Tom grinned while pouring out a
generous amount of lube and beginning to carefully
prepare them both. *Now you see how I feel.*
Pausing at his lover's entrance, "Chakotay, have
you ever been on the bottom before?"
*Spirits, he wants to talk!* "No, but believe me,
I want it more than anything. FUCK ME!"
Tom snorted and began to slowly press into Chakotay.
At the bigger man's gasp, he stopped; waited. A nod.
Short, slow strokes. *Patience, Tommy.*
At last, he was pressed tightly against his lover.
"Oh, Cha. Is this how I feel to you?" *Gods,
"I was just thinking the same thing, Baby."
Chakotay wrapped his legs around Tom's waist to
coax him into movement. Tom took very little
Sweat, gasping moans and a sweet pleasure/pain.
Too good to believe. "Harder, Baby."
"I don't want to hurt you."
"You won't, sweetheart." A gasp. "I need this."
Chakotay was again reminded of the panther as a
deep growl was forced from his lover's throat.
Faster and faster and then the two men were
gripped by orgasm.
Chakotay felt heat pulsing between them. Tom
roared and then froze as his lover's inner muscles
tightened down on him. He then fell forward onto
his lover's chest and lay panting.
"My gods, Cha! That's amazing! Now wonder
you're so damned careful that I come first."
"You got it, blondie. I'm not quite as generous
a lover as you thought."
Tom carefully withdrew and frowned at a small
spot of blood on the sheets. "I hurt you."
"I'll be fine. Like I said, I needed it."
Tom cleaned them both with a dampened towel
and lay down next to Chakotay. "You keep
saying that. What was that, a penance?"
Taking Tom into his arms, he sighed. "I don't
think so. Hell, maybe just a little bit. You sort
of hit me between the eyes with your questions
"I didn't mean to."
The big man pulled his lover tighter and pressed
his head to his chest. "Don't worry about it.
If anything, I think we'll be better for discussing
Tom snuggled deeper into Chakotay's embrace.
"I think we need to *discuss* things as often as
Chakotay chuckled. "You're insatiable. We're already
*discussing* twice a day." Tom's hand began it's own
conversation. "You know, you're right. It pays to
"You know, when B'Elanna was saying that we
needed supplies, I was kind of hoping that we could
wait until after the wedding."
Tom sat about six feet from the ground in a fruit
tree. Standing below, Harry caught the nectarine-like
fruit, which Tom picked and then tossed, and placed
them into containers to be transported. Wiping the
sweat from his eyes, Tom looked down the slope to
see small groups of two and three gathering fruit,
tubers and assorted vegetables.
Harry grunted and straightened, rubbing his
lower back. "You should be glad we got
permission from the inhabitants to do this.
You could have ended up with a wedding
banquet consisting of leola root soup."
Blue eyes peered from amongst the leaves.
"A leola root wedding cake."
Harry snickered. "Leola root finger
sandwiches and leola root punch."
Tom shook his head. "I'll tell you what I
want to tell Neelix to do with a leola root."
"Paris, you are one hundred percent perverted.
Give me those last two pieces that you have in
your hands and this container will be full."
Tom tossed down the fruit and began to
carefully climb from the tree. "You are
besmirching my reputation. I never said
what I wanted him to do with the leola root.
You just took it for granted that it was going
to be disgusting."
"Puh-leeze. This from the man who once gave
Jenny Delaney a black leather cat-o-nine tails
for her birthday."
"I did?!" Tom eyes were huge. A sudden grin.
"I guess I can believe that. I was going through
my old quarters and found some interesting
things. Maybe I'll turn'em over to you and
Seven now that I'm going to be a sedately
"Seven and I won't need them." Tom turned
to see Harry busily stacking containers in
preparation for transport. "She's seeing
"Oh, my god! They'll eat each other alive!"
Harry guffawed as Tom realized the truth in
the statement. "I know. That's probably the plan."
Tom waggled his eyebrows. "C'mon, Har, let's
get this stuff back to Voyager. If you're a good
boy I'll show you a little surprise I have for
Chakotay for our honeymoon."
Chakotay was beginning to wonder if he'd
ever see his soon-to-be spouse again. Tom
was spending all of his spare time sequestered,
either in one of the holodecks or most recently,
in Kathryn's ready room.
When questioned as to the secrecy, she just
smiled and said that it would be more than
worth the wait. Knowing the one he loved,
Chakotay feared the worst.
2300 hours. A warm body. "Mmmmmm.
I was beginning to wonder if you were
coming home tonight."
"I had a few loose ends to tie up." A brief
kiss and a hug. "Less than seventy-two hours,
Big Guy, and we'll tie-the-knot. We'll be hitched.
Wed. Husband and........husband. You can call
me 'the old ball and chain.' Mmmph."
Coming up from a more than satisfying kiss,
the older man pulled his lover up onto his chest.
Settling down with his legs to either side of
Chakotay's, Tom sighed with gratification.
"You feel so good, Cha. But you know what
my favorite position is?"
Taking hold of the bigger man's shoulders and
wrapping his legs around the Commander's,
Tom rolled until he was on his back. Chakotay
slid his arms under his lover's shoulders until
he could balance the younger man's head in his
"Perfect." Another long kiss. "I feel so safe like
this. The warp core could blow and I know that
somehow everything would end up OK, with me
in your arms."
Chakotay smiled. "I feel the same way, but
Kathryn might frown if we tried this the next
time we go to red alert." Tom nibbled at his
chin. "Then again, it might be worth the
"Reprimand, hell. We'd be doing brig time
for sure. And as snarky as she can be, we'd get
separate cells." Tom pulled the bigger man's
head down to meet his own. A giggle. "Can you
see Harry's face? I started to say Tuvok, but he'd
just lift an eyebrow and fire the photons."
"Hopefully not at us." Tom giggled again.
"I can see a problem with this position.
Obviously, the blood has left your brain."
Chakotay grinned in return. "Would you like
me to tell you where it went?"
"Oh, I can tell."
Kathryn took a sip of coffee and sighed. "If you're
so worried about what he's got planned, why'd you
leave the honeymoon to him?"
"I just want him to be happy. Six months ago,
marriage was a virtual impossibility. He had no
memory, no real way of communicating. All I
could do was tell myself that at least he was alive
and we'd just adapt. But he has come so far. He's
almost the person that I first fell in love with. Oh,
I'm not complaining." This to a pair of quizzically
raised eyebrows. "He's not as cynical and he seems
to be calmer than he was."
Drawing patterns on the table with his fingers,
"Personally, I wouldn't care if he never got the rest
of his memories back. Granted there are some great
ones; our first time together," grinning, "a midnight
raid on the mess hall and a very creative use for fudge
"But there's also everything else. The memories that
go with the abuse that the Doc suggested to us. Dalby's
first attack." Chakotay closed his eyes. "All the
humiliation that I put him through when we first got
"He hasn't remembered that?"
"I don't think so. If he has, he's never mentioned it.
That would be like Tom though, or at least the new Tom."
The big man smiled.
"To tell you the truth, the line between the old Tom
and the new Tom is beginning to blur. I look back
now and I can see that some of the traits that I have
been attributing to 'new-Tom' were there before,
but he made sure that very few people saw them.
Trust wasn't an easy thing for him."
"You should have seen him in Auckland. You
would have decked him. But behind the facade,
I could see the fear that I would leave him. And
even with that fear, he still couldn't bring himself
to just say yes. He had to give me a ration."
Kethryn smiled and placed a hand over Chakotay's.
"Oh, I had a gut feeling that I was going to get the
short end of the stick. I knew him well enough and
had heard his refusal to testify against the Maquis
at his trial to know that any information that I got
might be worthless; but like I said, I could see the fear.
And I knew that even if it ended up being nothing more
than a three week pleasure cruise to the Badlands,
I had to get him out of there."
During lunch break. "What do you think?" Tom asked
as he saved and exited the holo-program.
"I think that surprised is going to be an understatement.
You're an evil young man, you know that?" Janeway
was amazed at the imagination that had run rampant
in the previous scenes.
Tom chuckled and unlocked the holodeck. Directing
the Captain out and towards the lift, "Well, you noticed
that the initial entry into the program lasted less than a
minute. That's just enough time to freak him out, and
then the real honeymoon program will begin."
"You realize, don't you, that one minute is plenty
of time to wring someone's neck?"
Another relaxed afternoon, traveling in the general
direction of the Alpha quadrant. Harry and Seven
had recently recalculated their trajectory using the
new astrometrics lab, but the shortest distance
between two points was still a straight line.
"So, Captain....I take it you're still wearing your
dress uniform to the ceremony." Tom tapped a
few keys, initiated a diagnostic and sighed.
"Yes, Mr. Paris, although I do appreciate you
input on my formal wear."
*Spirits.* "And what input might that be?"
Chakotay was afraid to find out.
"Let's just say that it was dark blue, silk, strapless,
and *very* tight."
"Chakotay, I didn't actually give her the dress.
I just showed her the example." Tom omitted the
fact that it had been on the holodeck and he had
used an simulacrum of the Captain herself.
"I can just imagine."
Harry grinned. A little over two days to go and
the Commander was a mess. Paris just smiled
enigmatically when the poor man pled for hints
as to what was to come. Occasionally, he would
hug Chakotay and tell him that it would be far
from painful and that a big, bad former Maquis
captain like 'his own fine self', shouldn't be so
Harry's eyes caught a change in the star field.
"Lieutenant, bring Voyager to impulse. I see it,
Mr. Kim. What are your instruments reading?"
"Nothing really." Janeway turned in her chair
and stared at the young man. "Excuse me,
Captain, what I meant was that the variances are
minuscule. I'm still trying to decipher them."
"Seven to bridge." Harry rolled his eyes.
*Trust her to be on top of things.*
"Captain, we have what appears to be a cloaked
alien ship approximately teo hundred and fifty
kilometers off the starboard bow."
"Helm, all stop."
"Aye, Captain." Tom felt Janeway come forward
to stand just behind his right shoulder. Glancing up,
he suddenly had a mental image of a hunting dog
"Gentlemen, I would appreciate some information
on our visitor right about now."
Tuvok spoke. "Seven is correct. I am detecting
resonance patterns that would indicate a cloaked
shuttle sized craft."
"Open hailing frequenc-."
Voyager shuddered slightly as a beam was fired
across her port bow.
"Shields holding, Captain. Beam appears to be
similar to old-style Federation phasers."
"Obviously a 'shoot first, ask questions later'
kind of guy."
"Obviously, Mr. Paris." As the smaller ship
de-cloaked, "Maybe now that they see they can't
hurt us, they'll start with the questions. Mr. Kim,
let's try hailing our *friend* again."
This proved unnecessary as the receivers crackled
with, "-ship Casteen. You are in V'rain territory.
We do not welcome visitors, please turn your ship
and leave our space." The view screen suddenly
came alive with the vision of two young men, very
similar to Neelix.
"Mr. Kim, cut audio. Bridge to Neelix."
"Yes, Captain." A blender could be heard in the
"Neelix, I realize we are out of your territory,
but have you heard of the V'rain?"
"No, Captain. I'm not familiar with the name
"Please report to the bridge. Ensign Kim, audio."
"Gentlemen, I am Captain Kathryn Janeway and
this is the Starship Voyag-"
"Captain Janeway, we are not concerned with
who and what you are; you are violating V'rain
space and must leave immediately. Casteen out."
"Captain, they're powering up their phasers again."
The lift opened and Neelix erupted onto the bridge.
"I came as soon as I could, Captain. Can I be of
"We'll see. Mr. Kim. Hail the Casteen, please."
Their hail was met with a volley of phaser fire.
This time, Voyager didn't even shudder.
"This is getting tedious, Captain. Why don't
we just fly toward them at half-impulse. They
would almost *have* to talk to us then."
"Good idea, Commander. But let's try one-quarter
impulse." A devious grin. "We wouldn't want to
run over our hosts. Mr. Paris?"
"One-quarter impulse, Captain."
The V'rain seemed to panic. Flying first to
Voyager's port side and then diving to fire on
her belly, Kathryn was reminded of a sparrow she
had once seen trying to keep a crow from it's nest.
"Captain, we are being hailed."
"Excellent." Janeway smiled briefly at her
second-in-command and then called for
"Captain Janeway! We have told you that you
must leave!" A muffled intake of breath at her
side told the Captain that Neelix had noticed the
similarities between himself and those in the
"Who is that standing beside you?"
At the Captain's nod, Neelix stepped forward.
"I am Neelix of Talaxia. You are firing on a
peaceful ship that wants nothing more than to
pass through your space on it's way home."
"Talaxia is not in this direction. You lie!"
*Gods.* Kathryn touched Neelix's shoulder
and continued herself. "We are not headed for
Talaxia. Mr. Neelix joined our crew during our
journey. We are originally from the Alpha
"The Alpha quadrant of what?"
*Good Lord help us.* Our people use the system
of quadrants for the basic mapping of space. We
come from approximately fifty-five light years
from here in the direction that we were traveling.
*All we WANT--*" Kathryn had to practically
shout to speak over god-knows-what statement
that they were preparing, "*TO DO* is travel
through your space on our voyage home. Can
you tell us the approximate size of your territory?"
"We own *everything*!" We are the V'rain!"
Janeway couldn't contain her disgust. "How do
you expect us to leave your space if you own
everything? And why haven't we encountered you
"Captain, an adversarial approach might not be
"At this point, I don't care, Mr. Tuvok."
The elder of the two V'rain looked confused.
"You've never met the V'rain before?"
"I can assure you, gentlemen, that you would
have been quite memorable." Muffled snickers
were heard throughout the bridge. Even Tuvok
could be heard sighing.
"We must contact our home planet for further
orders. Captain Janeway, you will wait here."
The little ship fled to port.
Kathryn just shook her head. "Mr. Paris, we're
*not* waiting here. Resume course at warp seven."
Twinkling eyes. "Aye, Captain Janeway."
An innocent glance at his lover. "You know, Cha,
that maneuver that we discussed last night might
have worked better with these guys that the talking
Tuvok looked up from his console. "You have a
first contact procedure that you wish to add to our
Chakotay could be heard quietly choking. Kathryn
smiled. "Perhaps we could add it to the staff meeting
agenda for tomorrow morning."
"Of course, Captain. The Commander and I could
Forty-nine hours to go.
1900 hours. Chakotay sat at his desk, plowing through
the last of the monthly reports. He knew it was silly,
but he wanted to be able to go on his honeymoon with
nothing hanging over his head. Tom had just rolled
his eyes, brought him dinner, and left to watch vids
"Kim to Chakotay." Soft. Intense.
"Commander, I think you had better come to your
quarters. Tom is pretty upset, and I'm not sure what
"I'll be right there."
Chakotay ran down the corridor towards his quarters.
It was a testament to the determination on his face,
as silent crew men simply stepped back to hug the
bulkheads as he barreled through.
He entered his quarters to find something he hadn't
seen in a while, but was no less disturbing. Tom was
kneeling on the couch staring out at the stars. Tears
coursed down his cheeks and from the dampness
staining the back of the couch, he had been crying for
Glancing towards Harry, the older man gestured with
his head towards the door. The young man didn't need
to be told twice.
"Baby?" Chakotay crouched next to him, knowing
from previous experience that Tom needed to become
aware of his presence before he touched him.
Tom shuddered and closed his eyes. "Have you
ever heard of a twentieth century singer named
"No, Love." The Commander was nonplused as
to where the conversation was going but knew that
it was essential not to distract the young man.
"I was going through my vid and audio collection
while cleaning." Chakotay waited in silence.
"Computer, initialize audio playback. Performer
Madonna, song 'Oh, Father'. The older man's
stomach fell to his boots.
A quiet introduction of piano and violin and then
a soft soprano:
"It's funny the way
You can get used to the tears and the pain.
What a child will believe, you never loved me."
"You can't hurt me now.
I got away from you, I never thought I would.
You can't make me cry.
You once had the power,
I've never felt so good, about myself."
"Seems like yesterday
I lay down next to your boots and I prayed,
For your anger to end; oh, Father, I have sinned."
"You can't hurt me now.
I got away from you, I never thought I would.
You can't make me cry.
You once had the power,
I've never felt so good, about myself."
"Oh, Father, you never wanted to live that way.
You never wanted to hurt me.
Why am I running away?"
"Oh, Father, you never wanted to live that way.
You never wanted to hurt me.
Why am I running away?"
"Maybe some day when I look back,
I'll be able to say, 'You didn't mean to be cruel.
Somebody hurt you too.'"
"You can't hurt me now.
I got away from you, I never thought I would.
You can't make me cry.
You once had the power,
I've never felt so good...."
"You can't hurt me now.
I got away from you, I never thought I would.
You can't make me cry.
You once had the power,
I've never felt so good,
As the song ended, Tom sobbed once and then
turned to his lover.
"I don't remember all of it, just fragments.
Fists....yelling....crying. Pain and blood, and then
more pain because I had gotten blood stains on the
"I remember sleeping anywhere but my bed; the first
place that he'd look for me. Listening for his footsteps
on the stairs. If they turned and went towards their
bedroom, I was okay. If they stopped......" A shudder.
"Years of it, Cha. I'm not the same size in all of the
memories. In some, I'm so small that I can't reach
the knob to my bedroom door." Tom's eyes were
focused inward at some long forgotten horror.
"-was too afraid to stop him. My first memory is
of him throwing me at her during an argument.
He beat her just as badly. Gods! As far as I know,
she's still with that bastard!"
Tom flung himself from the couch and began to
pace. "We never said a word! When he would
drag us to some function to show us off as the
'perfect' Starfleet family, we just went. I never told
"How in the hell did he manage not to be discovered?
With injuries like you're describing, he had to have
taken you to the hospital."
"Cha, we're talking about Admiral Owen Paris!
He had connections anywhere and everywhere.
I'm sure that he owned some doctor somewhere
who would do his bidding."
"Are you going to tell Kathryn? She knows that
something such as this happened from what the
doctor found after your attack."
"Maybe one of these days. Right now, I need to
get a handle on it. Like I said, I just remember
bits and pieces of my childhood. Shit, if it's all
like that, I'd just as soon stop remembering right
Tom stopped and looked at the older man. "What is
most important right now, is us. We're getting
married in less than forty-eight hours and I *refuse*
to let that son of a bitch steal any more happiness
from my life."
Chakotay smiled and pulled Tom into his arms.
"Spirits! I remember thinking to myself when you
were first injured that I would always be there for you,
lending you my will, giving you my strength to fall
back on. What an idiot! You are the strongest man
"The smart remarks, the slick facade. I can see
now that they were all defense mechanisms that you
developed to survive." Tom looked up to see tears
running down the big man's face. "Tom, forgive me
for refusing to take the time to see what was behind
that. I treated you terribly."
"I can't believe that. Anyway, from what I read in
my logs last night, I gave as good as I got. We were
both beyond stubborn. I loved you and treated you
like shit to hide it."
"That's where you were last night? Reading your
"That was part of it." Chakotay watched as Tom
made an effort to shrug off the pain and hurt.
"I *also* finished my trousseau," this said with a
smirk, "*and* our honeymoon holoprogram."
"Are you at least going to give me a hint as to
what it is?"
"Nope. I want to witness your pure and unadulterated
amazement as we initiate the program together."
1130 hours. Twenty-nine and a half hours to go.
Chakotay was sure that he wasn't going to make it.
Tom's method of dealing with nerves was to jump the
older man every chance that he got.
He knew that Kathryn was aware of what was going
on. Tom had the day off and was calling his fiance for
*consultations* every hour or so.
It would have been one thing if Tom had waited until
the Commander got to their quarters; but so far this
morning, Tom had *shown him the music selections
for the ceremony* in the turbolift. They had *discussed
the reception menu* in the maintenance closet outside
of the mess hall, and even *polished their wedding bands*
in Jefferies tube eight.
Chakotay was exhausted and Janeway's sides hurt from
holding back her laughter every time he returned to
"Paris to bridge." The big man groaned audibly and
"Yes, Tom." Everybody waited to hear what this
excuse would be.
"Um, could I borrow Crewman Ayala for a while?"
Chakotay's eyebrows crawled off his forehead.
*Uh-oh.* Kathryn had heard the accounts of what
had happened during Tom and B'Elanna's discussion
in Sandrine's and the revelation that Paris and Ayala
were once an item.
"Tom, if it's just conversation, you could use my
ready room." Ayala's eyes were bouncing from the
Captain to the Commander and back. Chakotay's
were boring a hole in the other man's forehead.
"Actually, I need him to meet me in holodeck one."
Chakotay frowned, opened his mouth, and then felt
like an ass at Tom's next sentence.
"He's playing the flute for the wedding and I need
to integrate the song into the holoprogram."
The Commander sent a silent apology towards his
friend who just smiled and shrugged. As Ayala left
the bridge, Chakotay looked towards the ceiling.
"I have officially lost it." The resulting laughter
restored the equilibrium of the bridge.
Tom and Chakotay met for lunch and the big man
confessed his sin. The younger man just laughed,
kissed his lover, and then replicated a large hot fudge
sundae and took it over to Miguel.
After lunch, Chakotay returned to the bridge.
Kathryn met him next to Ops, took him by the
elbow and escorted him back to the lift. "You are
officially off duty for the next week."
The big man didn't argue. He had already come to
the conclusion that he was certifiably insane.
However, he could use some company in his lunacy.
"Chakotay to Paris."
1400 hours. Twenty-seven hours to go.
1930 hours. "You ready, Big Man?"
Chakotay looked at the gorgeous package beside
him and seriously considering ditching their
Tom was dressed in a teal v-necked cashmere sweater
and black jeans that looked like they could have
seriously impaired his child producing capabilities
if he sat down too fast. From somewhere he had dug
up a pair of black cowboy boots. The topper was the
small gold hoop in his left ear. To his lover, he looked
good enough to eat. *That will come later.*
The Commander was saved from answering by the
opening of the holodeck doors.
"We've been waiting in here for almost five minutes
for you two to quit making out and come in!" B'Elanna
handed each man a beer and dragged Chakotay into the
room by his elbow.
The Captain and Tuvok had arranged for a skeleton crew
that evening and the next, in order to allow everyone a
chance to attend both the bachelor party and the reception.
Tom looked around the plaza and whistled. "Who created
The Captain and the Commander smiled at one another.
Trust Tom to look at a luxurious Mediterranean resort
and admire the programming rather than the surroundings.
"I believe it was Harry and B'Elanna."
"It's great!" Tom wandered over to the two in question
and hugged them in thanks. Kathryn turned to Chakotay.
"You look better than you did earlier."
Chakotay sighed. "I've got to look up Miguel and
apologize. I know that there is nothing to worry about,
but sometimes I almost panic. Look at him, Kathryn.
He's nearly ten years younger than me and could have
just about anyone in here."
"First of all, age has nothing to do with it. Second, he
adores you. That was something that didn't change,
even when he completely lost his memory. Don't you
remember the first few hours after he came out of the
coma? The only person that he would really respond
to was you."
"I know. But you know the worst thing? He has given
me absolutely no reason to feel this way since we've
gotten together. I said that it was insecurity, but it's
just plain old jealousy."
"It's so nice to know that you're not as perfect as
everyone seems to think." Kathryn chuckled. "But I
think they got the hint this morning on the bridge."
"Spirits!" Chakotay stood. "I've got to go find Ayala."
Ayala looked up and smiled. Gesturing towards the
lounge next to him, he spoke. "Some party, huh?"
Both men smiled to see Tom in a semi-serious
attempt to teach Seven the art of 'slow dancing'.
From the look on her face, success was not imminent.
"I came over to apologize." Ayala shook his head
"Chakotay, there's nothing to apologize for. If he
loved me, I'd be the same way."
Something in his voice made the older man nervous.
"You love him."
"I *care* for him. It could have become more."
Miguel looked straight at the Commander. "Truthfully,
I wish I had had the guts to make it more. Instead, I
bowed to popular belief and avoided him like everyone
else on the ship." A pause. "Except Harry and B'Elanna.
They had the guts to be his friends. You know, I always
expected him to end up with one or the other of them."
Chakotay nodded. "Me too. When Tom and I first got
together, I dreaded letting everyone know. Not because
I was so much worried about popular opinion, although
that was a consideration, but I half way expected one of
them to make a serious play for him when they found out.
And then when he was attacked....."
"Yeah. Gods, I felt sorry for you two when that happened.
Chell had told me how Ken reacted when Megan told them
about your relationship, but I blew it off. I figured it was
just talk. Hell, you knew Dalby. I had never known him
to be anything but talk unless he had a bunch of other
people to back him up."
"Don't feel guilty, I would have blown it off too." Chakotay
smiled as he saw his lover dancing with the Captain.
"Hey, Big Man, it's your bachelor party too." The
Commander looked back at the man sitting next
"You're right. I'm going to go have some fun.
And you are too." He grabbed Miguel by the arm
and dragged him into the midst of the dancers.
Tapping Tom on the shoulder, he gestured towards
Ayala. The young man raised his eyebrows and
As the pair danced off, Chakotay took Kathryn into
his arms. "This should cause some interesting
conversation. Both of you dancing with your ex-lovers."
0100 hours. Chakotay and Tom were lying side-by-side
on the bed. B'Elanna and Harry had made a serious
attempt to force Tom to spend the night in Harry's
quarters. Tom had just waggled his eyebrows and
suggested that B'Elanna spend the night there instead.
Now the two men were laughing over the night's
"Did you see Harry's face when B'Elanna started
dancing with Seven and Donna.....both at the same
time?" Tom chuckled.
"Do you think that there is any possibility of the
three of them...."
"No. B'Ela told me she was going to pull Harry's
chain a few times to get back at him for sleeping
with Seven. I think that they'll get together
"You really think so?" Chakotay stretched and
pulled his lover into his arms.
Tom purred and started some pulling of his own,
ending with Chakotay lying on top of him. "I think
that Harry and B'Ela have too much in common not
to be good together." The younger man wriggled to
get just the right parts aligned. "Besides, if we can
get together, those two should be a piece of cake."
"Speaking of together....." Chakotay begin to gently
move against Tom.
"Oh, yeah, together is good." Bending as if to kiss
Tom's lips, Chakotay suddenly veered lower and
suckled one of his lover's nipples.
"Gods, that gets me every time!"
The older man took him at his word and moved to
give the other nipple the same care. Tom arched,
moaned and pulled Chakotay's face up to meet his
own while speeding up their thrusts.
"Love me, Cha!" Tom cried out and came, murmuring
in what sounded like French to the other man.
To Chakotay, it was the hottest thing that he had
ever heard. He thrust twice more and then groaned
as orgasm overtook him.
Minutes later. "If you don't move, we're going to
be stuck like this for the wedding tomorrow."
Chakotay laughed and collapsed next to his lover.
"You said that you wanted a memorable ceremony.
That would certainly do it."
The big man pulled a towel from the night stand
and wiped himself and his lover dry. "Was that
French you were speaking earlier?"
"Might have been. That or Spanish. Gods,
Chakotay clutched his hand in the darkness.
Tom smiled in the semi-darkness. "All of it.
My mother's parents were European. Grand-mere
Sophie was French and Grand-pere Tomas was
Spanish. I learned French before I learned Standard."
"I bet that didn't go over well with the Admiral."
Chakotay could have bitten his tongue out. "Baby-"
"It's OK, Cha. You're right. I remember my dad
throwing fits and furniture whenever I would forget
and speak something other than Standard in front of
him. It got to where Mom and I kept it our little
secret. I only spoke the others to her."
Tom grinned. "Of course, after I was a teenager,
I took to learning everything that I could about
both Spain and France. My Mom and I used to slip
off to see her family when 'The Admiral' was away.
Those were the good times."
"You'll have to tell me about them some time."
Hugging Tom, he called for lights out.
"You know I have something that belonged to
my grand-pere. I'll have to find it tomorrow...."
Tom rearranged himself until his face was pressed
against the big man's neck.
"What is it?"
"I'll show it to you tomorrow." Tom hummed deep in
his throat and then kissed his lover's neck. "This time
tomorrow, we'll be doing this too, but as spouses."
Chakotay hugged Tom until he yelped. "This time
tomorrow, we'll be doing a hell of a lot more than this."
0800 hours. Nine hours to go. Chakotay was forced
to drag Tom to the mess hall.
"Cha, I swear if I eat, I'll throw up. I'm too nervous!"
"It's just toast, Baby. I don't want you passing out
during our vows." Chakotay on the other hand had
helped himself to a large portion of oatmeal, melon,
juice, toast and coffee.
"You eat all that, Chakotay, and you won't fit into
your wedding tunic." Tom's eyes were almost bulging
at the amount of food on his lover's tray.
"Very funny. I ate very little last night and I plan to
meditate at noon. 'Eshije, I pwa- oo er ih awh oo-iih.' "
"Gods, you wanna swallow that mess and try again
The Commander swallowed and took a large sip of
coffee when that proved ineffective. "I *said*, 'Besides,
I plan to work it off tonight'."
Tom cracked up. "You could have fooled me. You
sounded like a Trabe without a universal translator."
Chakotay just looked at his lover and continued with
The morning went slowly. Chakotay typed madly at the
terminal, trying to finish up some last minute reports.
Oddly enough, the closer to the ceremony it got, the calmer
"Geez, Paris, it's my people that are supposed to be serene
about things like this, not yours. Did the Doc sedate you?"
Tom just looked back at Harry and slowly smiled.
"I'm not drugged, I'm just drunk on happiness.
I never thought that we'd get to today. I thought
some big hand would come out of the stars and strike
me with some of that famous Paris luck."
"You've still got six hours to go. Don't jinx yourself."
Tom shook his head. "I *know* that everything will
be okay." He leaned towards his friend. "Chakotay
helped me find my animal guide this morning. It says
that Cha and I have earned a long life of happiness
together." At Harry's look, "Oh, it won't all be fluffy
clouds and candy canes, I know that. But I really
believe that we're going to grow old together."
"This will sound terrible, but I'm jealous."
Tom looked at the young man sitting on the other
end of the couch. "I think that you have a chance
for the same thing if you and B'Ela will get your
Harry opened his mouth, closed it, and then opened it
again. When nothing issued forth, Tom laughed.
The younger man just shook his head and walked
over to where his clarinet sat. Picking it up, he
studied the dark wood for some time and then
"I do love her, you know."
"I wouldn't have said anything otherwise, Harry."
Harry leaned against the wall and sighed.
"I don't know if I have the guts to try again.
I was so happy with Libby and it took forever
to give up on that. I tried dating but no one
really seemed to be *the one*." Harry looked
out at the stars.
"Then Seven came on board and I don't know
if I really cared for her or was just fascinated by
her. And *then*, B'Elanna threw that fit in the
mess hall and all of a sudden I realize, maybe there
*is* a chance with her. I'm so damned confused."
Tom stood and crossed to his friend. Placing his
hand gently on the other man's shoulder, "Then for
God's sakes, don't do anything right now. Take it
slow. Talk to B'Ela. Not about love and relationships.
Talk shop." Tom pulled Harry back to the couch
and forced him to sit down.
"Invite her for dinner. Play pool. Let her see by
your actions that you're interested and let her make
the first move. I think she will, Harry, and when she
does, whatever it is, your feelings will become clear."
Tom grinned. "Actually, I think that you already have
a pretty good idea what they are."
Harry laughed. "You're right. I love her. I just
don't want to screw it up."
Tom hugged the man before him. "You won't."
1400 hours. Three hours to go. Chakotay came
out of his meditation refreshed. His animal guide
had told him much the same as Tom's had told him.
He put out the birch wood incense and carefully
re-wrapped his Akoona.
Putting everything away, the Commander debated
on whether to go find his lover. They had already
flouted tradition by spending the night and early
morning together, and the big man decided not to
tempt fate no matter what his guide had told him.
"Chakotay to Janeway."
"This was a good idea." The Captain and the
Commander were sitting in Da Vinci's workshop,
watching the master at work and sipping coffee.
"Your dark friend here is the one who is getting
"Yes. We had a few hours before the ceremony
and thought that we would spend them quietly,
talking of pleasant memories."
"A wise choice. If one must dwell on one's past,
one would be wise to choose the pleasant and not
Chakotay smiled. "I think that I'm going to pass
that advice on to someone I love." The big man
stood. "I had better go get dressed. See you in
Zero hour. Chakotay, B'Elanna and Kathryn stood
underneath a large bower. The holodeck had been
programmed to represent a clearing in a rain forest.
Sunlight filtered through the trees. Water dripping
from a recent rain could be heard along with the
soft calling of a number of different species of birds.
Those present had been asked to dress casually and
were sitting on blankets in small groups. The Captain
had surprised everyone by arriving in a simple rose
cotton dress and sandals. From her ears dangled a
pair of gold hoops.
"He's late," Chakotay whispered. He was a panic
attack waiting to happen.
"Chakotay, we're not due to start for another three
minutes." B'Elanna patted his arm and grinned at
Flute music began to play softly in the background;
a melody that seemed to answer and enhance the
bird calls. The holodeck doors opened, and Tom and
Harry walked up the center aisle to join the rest of
the wedding party.
Harry and B'Elanna had chosen to dress the same.
Black linen pants, and shirts and sandals that were
just a shade darker than the Captain's clothing.
Chakotay suspected that the two women had
conspired regarding their outfits.
Tom however, had managed to surprise and delight
his husband-to-be. Obviously, he had paid more
attention to his fiance's preparations than the older
man had thought.
Chakotay was barefoot, dressed in a sleeveless
white tunic and pants. On the front of the tunic
was an embroidered design that closely resembled
their current surroundings.
Tom was wearing a similar outfit, but in a blue so
dark as to be almost black. The scene on his chest
was a field of stars. In the center hung an eerily
realistic copy of Voyager. Above and to the right,
a small nebula.
And on his right bicep, a silver arm band bearing
the name, 'Tomas'.
Taking Chakotay's hands, Tom spoke. "The other
night, you told me that the design on your tunic
signified the location that you became a man."
A wry smile. "Well, I finally grew up on Voyager.
Here with the only family that I've ever really had,
I want to wed the only person who has ever *really*
loved me." He placed a gentle kiss on the big man's
lips and then both men turned to face the Captain.
Kathryn smiled at the two and then looked out at
the crowd. "I can't tell you how pleased I am to be
performing this ceremony, and it's not just because
my second-in-command has been a nervous wreck
for the last month." She paused to let the resultant
laughter die down.
"If you had told me when we first started this journey
that Tom and Chakotay would turn out to be so akin
in spirit, I would have laughed and ordered you to a
psych eval. But here we are this afternoon, and I have
to agree with Ensign Kim. These two are so much in love
that they're almost painful to be around." Looking to
the pair before her, "Gentlemen, I believe that you have
written your own vows?"
Chakotay looked in Tom's eyes and grinned. "A very
wise man recently told me that what's done, is done.
That is the past." Tom returned the grin and squeezed
his hands. "I believe that it's whether we simply keep
the past relegated to occasional memories or allow it to
rule our present and future that is truly the mark of our
"Thomas Eugene Paris, you have become my present
and future. You are my strength. I've heard others
refer to themselves as two halves of the same whole.
In our case, I disagree. You *are* my heart and soul."
Chakotay smiled through his tears.
"Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be."
Tom closed his eyes and the tears ran down his cheeks.
Taking a deep breath, he looked up and spoke. "The last
six months have been interesting to say the least." Soft
chuckles could be heard. "I have been given a rare
gift, that of a literal second childhood. Granted, not all
of it was pleasant; but through it all I have been given the
gifts of love and friendship and compassion."
"The man that stands before me had every reason to
hate me. Yet he set that aside and took the time to see
through my posturing and games, and to love me all
the same." Tom closed his eyes.
"Yes, Cha, I remember it all. I've had several sessions
with the Doc and the poor man talked me through the
self-hatred and disgust. More than ever, I realize just
what a gift my memory loss and ensuing recovery has
"I've been allowed to heal." Tom straightened and
looked deeply into his lover's eyes. "Chakotay, to
paraphrase a passage from the Christian bible;
'Whither thou goest, I will go.
Where thou lodgest, I will lodge.
Thy people shall be my people,
And thy Spirits, my Spirits.'
Kathryn cleared her throat and unashamedly wiped
her eyes. The same action could be seen all over the
"Thomas Eugene Paris, do you take Chakotay as your
spouse; to love, honor and cherish from this day forward?"
"Chakotay, do you take Thomas as your spouse; to love,
honor and cherish from this day forward?"
"The rings." Harry and B'Elanna stepped forward
and handed the bands to Tom and Chakotay. Kathryn
looked to Tom. "Place the symbol of your love on his
finger and repeat after me; 'With this ring, I thee wed.'
The young man spoke the words with a slight tremor.
Looking to the older man, "Chakotay, if you would do
the same for Tom."
"With this ring, I thee wed." The interwoven gold, rose
and silver metals of the band seem to glow on Tom's hand.
Kathryn grinned. "Then in the power given me as Captain
of the Starship Voyager, I now pronounce you wed.
Gentlemen, you may kiss your groom."
Considering what these two were known to be capable of,
the kiss was sedate, almost chaste.
Janeway stepped forward. "Everyone, I would like to
present Commander Chakotay and Lieutenant Thomas
Paris-Chakotay." Applause floated around the clearing.
Chakotay looked at his husband in surprise. Tom spoke.
"Do you mind me doing that? I wanted to start my new
life with a new name."
The big man shook his head. "It's the best gift that you
could give me." The others began to come forward.
"Well, Baby, our public awaits."
The reception was in full swing. Neelix, Weston and
Chell had outdone themselves with a buffet that contained
a multitude of Terran dishes, including Chinese,
Southwestern, French and Cajun.
"Neelix, you've got to give me the recipe for this barbecue
sauce," the Captain said as she put down her pork rib.
"We've got Tom to thank for most of these recipes. He told
me that I could basically do whatever I wanted, but to try to
keep it to the selections on the data disk that he loaned me."
Neelix shrugged. "Not an ounce of leola root anywhere."
Kathryn hid her grin with a cough. "Well, no matter whose
recipes they are, you did wonders with them."
Neelix beamed. "Thank you, Captain." Chell called the
little man back to the buffet. Kathryn was preparing to take
another bite when Chakotay and Tom strolled up, arm in arm.
"I get the feeling that you two are getting ready to sneak out."
Chakotay smiled. "Everything is just wonderful but there's a
holodeck next door with our name on it."
Kathryn smiled. "I wondered why you cut the cake before the
Tom just smiled serenely. "Good night, Captain." As the two
men turned to leave, he tossed an evil grin over his shoulder.
"Wish us luck."
Chakotay stopped, looked at his spouse and then at his captain.
"Why am I suddenly frightened?"
Kathryn laughed. "Wedding night jitters. You're a big boy;
go have fun."
Once outside the holodeck, the two men made their way
"Cha, I promise you a honeymoon you won't forget."
"Now, I'm sure that I'm frightened."
"Buck up, Big Guy." Tom kissed his husband of three hours.
"Close your eyes."
Chakotay heard the doors open and allowed himself to be
led inside. "You can open your eyes now, Love."
-The End (or at least until the boys get back from their
honeymoon and can share the tale.)
c1998 Karen (Ksoren0626@aol.com)
Chakotay gradually surfaced to the sensation of warmth
and gentle pressure in one of his favorite areas.
"What are you doing, babe?"
Tom inhaled deeply and let out a sigh.
"Mmmmm. Rich and refined with a robust bouquet."
An agile tongue traveled the length of his cock and then
took a leisurely tour around its tip.
"I detect the light taste of pear and possibly? Yes, definitely
a touch of honey." Tom licked his lips and grinned. "I would
have to guess 'Chateau de Cha 2370'. Possibly the Vintner's
Chakotay pulled the younger man up to lie at his side.
"Considering what we did half an hour ago, I'd say the vintage
is a bit newer than that."
Blue eyes sparkled. "Really. It has such a mature, positively
"You're insane. You know that, don't you?"
Tom laughed. "No, I'm not. I was remembering that winery
we visited while on shore leave last month. They were very
accommodating even if we did keep getting *separated* from the
rest of the tour group."
"I think they got amused after the third or fourth time."
Chakotay sighed as a long, lanky body blanketed his own.
"I think what really amused them, big guy, was you trying to
fasten your shirt and suddenly realizing it was mine. Didn't
the shoulders give you a hint?"
The older man groaned at the sudden attack on his left nipple.
"Gods, Tom, I think you have an oral fixation."
"Only where your body is concerned."
Chakotay gasped as a warm, wet mouth trailed kisses
down his abdomen, but stayed still.
"C'mon, Cha, I'm in the mood to play."
"There's nothing left, Tommy." He moaned at the loss
of sensation but left his eyes closed. Breathing slowed as
Chakotay drifted closer to sleep. He barely felt the dip of
the bed when his lover rejoined him.
Then there was the warmth of whispering lips against his
ear. The heat of slick fingers engulfing his cock.
"Touch, Cha, touch..."
Gods, the brat was going to kill him off yet....
Fortunately, the Captain found his repeated yawns during
the morning meeting amusing.
"Burning the midnight oil, Commander?"
Chakotay shifted in his chair and shrugged at the grins
around the table. Tom was innocence personified. His
halo was almost visible. The older man grinned.
"I occasionally suffer from insomnia... someone else's."
Kathryn nodded seriously.
"Have you considered a sleep aid? Say, restraints?"
Tom sat up straighter. "As a matter of fact, Captain, I was
just telling him the other ni--" A large brown hand covered
his mouth. Its owner sighed and the meeting was completed
without further incident.
"I think we have our 'old Tom' back."
Chakotay looked up from his screen at Kathryn's murmured
comment. "To tell you the truth, I hadn't thought about that
for a while. The nightmares have stopped and there are a
few things that he still doesn't remember, the night of the
attack being one, but we haven't talked about any of that
Janeway grinned. "I hear newlyweds are like that." Chakotay
turned red, but smiled in return.
"You're right. We can't get enough of each other and even
though we were living together before, he still had his own
quarters. Combining our things in one set of quarters has
"You know, Chakotay, as a married couple, you qualify for
larger quarters. Talk to Tuvok."
The big man rolled his eyes. "We just got the last of Tom's
things situated and the furniture arranged to where we don't
have to use a trapeze to enter our quarters."
Kathryn chuckled at the mental picture.
"It's up to you, but the longer we're out here, the more things
you are going to acquire."
Chakotay sighed. "I know. I think it's some little known
law of physics. It's like your expenses growing to fit your
wages; no matter how much more they give you. It just
Kathryn grinned in response.
"Captain, we are picking up what appears to be some sort of
a distress beacon." She turned to look at Tuvok.
"Not far. Approximately half an hour's distance at our current
speed of warp three. It would, however, require a course change
of three degrees to port."
Tom grinned. "So...that would be fifteen minutes at warp six?"
The Vulcan all but rolled his eyes. "No. Accounting for
certain variables, we would incur--"
"--I'm kidding, Tuvok."
"That would be my sincerest hope."
Kathryn cut off any further remarks. "Warp six sounds
good, Tom. Heading, Mr. Tuvok?"
Tom gave a brief nod. "Already laid in, Captain."
"Then put it in gear and let's go, Lieutenant."
Chakotay snorted and leaned toward Kathryn.
"I think most of the Admiralty would have a stroke if they
heard our bridge chatter. Definitely not 'by-the-book'."
Janeway smiled serenely. "We've become a sort of extended
family. We follow protocol as much as possible. But face it,
with as little chance to get away from one another as we have
being stuck on one small ship, we'd kill each other if we
didn't make allowances for personalities." She gestured with
her head towards Tom. "Take our bratty little brother over
The brat swiveled in his seat and raised one eyebrow.
"You two should be aware that your voices carry very
effectively. Isn't that correct, Lt. Tuvok?"
"That is correct. I believe Ensign Kim will confirm that as
well, once he has recovered sufficient decorum."
Harry slowly rose to stand behind Ops. Whether he was
trying to smother a laugh or attempting to choke to death
Kathryn raised an eyebrow to match Tom and Tuvok.
"Make that three bratty little brothers. Helm, increase speed
to warp seven. We have a distress beacon to check out."
Tom turned slowly in a circle, tricorder held high. The falling
snow was rapidly turning into a full-fledged blizzard.
"Chakotay, tell me again, please, why I am standing here in
a snowsuit and mask with my balls attempting to disappear
inside my body?" His voice sounded tinny over his helmet's
The older man pointed off into the distance and they began
to move again. Slowly.
"We couldn't transport through the atmosphere safely and
decided not to wait to see if this would clear up." Chakotay
made a sudden grab at his mate as a gust of wind threatened
to send the younger man sprawling. "You know all of this."
Tom straightened. "Thanks. Yes, I know all of this...I was
just bitching. And I'm not kidding, I think everything I have
has tried to crawl up and hide."
Chakotay grinned and looped his arm through Tom's.
"You're not alone. Mine may need a map to find their way
back out." The resulting laughter warmed him a bit. Tom
stopped suddenly and pointed.
"According to the readings, the ship should be about fifty
meters beyond that rise. It's a shame that this terrain is so
uneven. It's going to be a hell of a walk back to the shuttle
with any survivors, maybe impossible if we have to carry
The alien craft was similar in shape to a federation shuttle
and with a certain amount of digging, they were able to
uncover the hatch.
They took turns pounding on the ship for some time, but there
was no response. Using his tricorder, Chakotay was able to
find and activate the external controls. The hatch slowly slid
up into the roof of the ship.
Praying that the occupants were still alive and friendly, Tom
never-the-less pulled his phaser before entering. Moving
quickly to get out of the older man's way, he scanned the
dimly lit shuttle.
Chakotay followed and hurried to close the hatch. He turned
to find Tom leaning over a control panel with his tricorder.
There was obviously still power, but the lights flickered
"I'm reading one lifesign aft. Atmosphere, a little more
oxygen than we're used to, but OK to breathe. Temperature,
10 C." Tom turned to look at Chakotay. "Warmer than I
The older man nodded and then removed his helmet. Cool,
but doable. Tom removed his gloves and helmet, and shivered.
Chakotay patted him on the shoulder.
"Let's go find our survivor."
Silence. Chakotay gestured for Tom to check the bunks
on one side of the darkened room while he took the other.
Finishing his side, Chakotay moved to join Tom and almost
stumbled over the body of a humanoid male. Tom knelt and
pulled out a medical tricorder.
"Dead less than an hour from the looks of things. Massive
internal injuries. From the extent, he should have died almost
immediately." Tom's eyes were red. "He fought hard to stay
alive." A small moan drew the men to the last bunk.
"Gods..." Tom sighed, and then smiled at the pale woman
lying before him. "We're here to help you. My name is
Lt. Tom Chakotay-Paris and this is Commander Chakotay.
We're here from the Federation Starship Voyager." Tom
kept a soft running patter as he ran various diagnostics.
Chakotay watched as his spouse paled and grew silent.
"I am K'Shaan. My mate...?"
Chakotay drew closer. "I'm sorry. Your mate was too
severely injured to survive." He stopped as Tom touched
his arm and gestured towards the door. "Just lie still
and we'll be right back." He turned to follow Tom.
"Can she be moved?"
Tom shook his head. He was white to the lips. Chakotay
hugged him tightly and whispered again.
"Tommy, what is it? Is she dying?"
Tom sighed. "There is nothing that we can do. Her spine
is shattered and there is some intercranial bleeding. I am
amazed that she isn't in a coma. It's a good thing that her
pain is minimal because I can't give her anything without
possibly harming the baby."
"Shhhh! She's terrified as it is!" Tom ran a shaking hand
over his face. "I've got to get back to her, she's in early
labor and the baby looks to be full-term, you just can't tell
with her bundled under all those blankets. God, it's an
absolute miracle, but the baby appears to be completely
uninjured." He shook his head. "The big problem is that
her injuries appear to have stopped any movement of the
baby into the birth canal. I'll have to do a cesarean."
Chakotay blanched. "Do you know how?"
Tom nodded slowly and began to move back towards the
room. "Holo sims. Dozens of them. But never on anyone
this badly injured."
Tom stood at the door to the ship and felt more fear than
he had in his entire life. Chakotay had gone into the near
white-out to try and bring the shuttle closer. It was most
likely impossible but they had to try.
Gods. It had taken them an hour just to get from the shuttle
to the ship, and K'Shaan's life signs had begun to dip badly.
Saying a silent prayer to whatever deities were listening for
all of them, Tom headed back to his patient.
Thirty minutes later, Tom smoothed a tendril of hair out of
the young woman's eyes and leaned into her line of sight.
"I'm going to have to begin now. Can you feel this?" Tom
touched her stomach and smiled as it moved.
K'Shaan's eyes were sad. "No." A labored breath. "I am
dying, this is true?"
Tom closed his eyes briefly and then forced himself to look
at the brave young woman.
"I can't help you and we can't get you back to the ship in
time. I'm sorry."
"You can save my son?"
Tom nodded. "The baby doesn't appear to be injured. How
soon were you to have given birth?"
K'Shaan smiled. "Mere days. K'Eiran...my mate was a
healer. He was to have delivered K'Ethyn."
Tom bared the distended belly and cleaned the incision site.
He started at a rattling cough, and moaned as the tricorder
began to flat line. He worked rapidly, but K'Shaan was gone.
Closing off his grief, Tom reset the tricorder for the fetus and
quickly began the procedure. He had just opened the uterus
when he heard Chakotay call his name.
"Back here. Scrub up before you come closer." Tom gave
a slightly hysterical giggle. "Not that it will harm her any
more, but there's still the baby to consider." His statement
wobbled and ended with what could have been a small sob.
"Tom?" Chakotay moved closer and blanched at the sight.
Tom's hand disappeared and then returned to sight with a
small head of wet curls balanced carefully.
"Get a towel and get ready to take K'Ethyn when I sever
the cord." Chakotay was too in awe to question the name.
Immersing himself in the safety of caring for the child,
Chakotay bathed, diapered and dressed the little boy,
all the while cooing nonsense.
He greatly resembled his mother with a tiny heart-shaped
face. Curly black fuzz covered the child's head. Chakotay
grinned at the tiny pointed ears, thinking that they would
have to ask Tuvok to be the child's godfather. He sat up
with a start.
//Don't get too attached, Chak. Tom might not be that
thrilled to become a parent less than two months after being
The big man gently placed the swaddled infant on his side
in the tiny cradle, and grinned as large violet-blue eyes blinked
drowsily at him.
"A hell of a way to start life, eh, kiddo?" Chakotay
murmured and then returned to Tom's side.
The older man's heart wanted to break as he watched his
mate painstakingly regenerate the incision. The quiet
blond worked calmly, his intense trauma only shown by
the glistening trail of tears down each cheek.
"Tommy..." Chakotay placed a gentle hand on the other
"I know she's gone, Chakotay, but I can't leave her like
she was some experimental cadaver. She had such dignity,
even as she was dying." Tom carefully drew the edges
of her gown together and turned.
"Did you bring the shuttle back?"
The Commander frowned. "The terrain was just too
rough. The snow is still pretty bad, and from the looks
of things could go on for days. We have to get whatever
we need for the baby and get out of here." He ran a
frustrated hand through already tousled hair.
"I've already used a phaser to dig a large grave for them,
and as much as it pains me to do it, we're not going to
have time to give these people the memorial they deserve."
Tom finished cleaning his hands and looked towards
"I think that in their eyes, saving their son would be
more than sufficient." Tom hugged his husband. "Why
don't you take the father out now. I don't think you want
to be here for what I have to do next."
Chakotay grew concerned at Tom's careful lack of
"I have to withdraw as much of her milk as I can for the
child and as soon as possible. I have no idea whether
our replicated formula will be sufficient for his species."
Chakotay didn't argue. He carefully wrapped the young
father's body and carried him outside. Tom went about
his tasks; removing as much milk as possible and placing
it in containers. He was pleased to find that there was
a bottle among the child's things. It was carefully sterilized
and filled for the first feeding.
Tom began packing what he could. He had removed all but
one of several pictures of K'Eiran and K'Shaan from their
frames when Chakotay returned. Holding up the remaining
picture surrounded by a beautiful silver frame, he smiled and
then placed it and the other pictures in the duffle.
"I think we'll take one of these intact. I hate to leave *any*
of this behind, but I think we need to pack as lightly as possible.
There is also a lot of clothing here that is obviously handmade.
I want us to be able to show him some of his heritage when he
Chakotay was pleased to hear the 'us'.
"Sounds good, Poocuh, but we better get out of here. I'll
take care of K'Shaan while you bundle the little one up
for the trip."
Tom nodded. "I want to give him his first feeding before
we leave, too. It shouldn't take long as young as he is."
Fifteen minutes later, a tall blond was struggling to place
a cap over a head of black curls without bending a pair
of tiny pointed ears. It was to this sight Chakotay returned.
"I managed to download the part of their databanks that
were still functioning. Hopefully it contains data on their
physiology. You two ready?" Tom nodded and began to
unzip his tunic.
"Tommy, what are you doing?"
"Chakotay, it's twenty degrees below freezing out there
and dropping. He has no snow suit. This is the best that
I can do."
Tom carefully placed the blanketed body inside his shirt,
zipping it up until only the child's head showed. His
husband smiled as he carefully checked that the baby was
comfortable and breathing well, and then helped him
to don his parka. Tom took his gloves from his pocket
and picked up his helmet.
"Lay on, MacDuff."
"Any sign of our honeymooning couple?"
Harry grinned. "Sorry, Captain. I'm reading the shuttle,
sort of. And I'm reading the other ship...again, sort of.
The atmosphere of this planet leaves a lot to be desired."
Kathryn nodded and walked towards her chair. "It's
still two hours until the deadline for communication. I
hope that no news is definitely good news."
Tom peered around Chakotay's shoulder for any sign
of the shuttle. It was growing almost too dark to see,
and it had already taken a half hour longer than their
And still no sight of the shuttle.
They were moving against the wind, and progress had
been small to none for the last few minutes. Both men
knelt in the deepening snow while the Commander took
their harnesses and connected them, keeping Tom behind
him to reduce the buffeting of the wind.
Tom pulled the tricorder from his pack and began to
"According to this we're still on course, Chakotay.
The shuttle is about one hundred meters dead ahead,
even if we can't see it." He shivered as a particularly
heavy wind battered them.
"OK. I've got these double hitched. Try and stay behind
me as much as possible." Chakotay turned and peered
at Tom. "How's the little guy?"
Tom traded for the medical tricorder and ran a quick
"Looking good. Temperature and respiration are fine,
and I felt him moving a bit ago."
Chakotay nodded and pulled Tom to his feet. A brief
hug and they were on the move again.
"One step at a time, Tommy boy... One step at a time."
Chakotay smiled at his spouse's self-exhortations. He
knew how Tom felt. Hypothermia wasn't really a
problem...They were both OK, but as the snow deepened
so did the effort needed to move forward.
"Cha, is there a lot of snow on Dorvan V?"
Chakotay laughed aloud at the small whine in his
"Actually, baby, I was feeling right at home when you
spoke." He smiled at the groan that came over the comm.
"That does it. We're settling in Arizona when we get
back. I don't care if I ever see snow again."
"I thought you were going to teach me downhill
skiing and snowboarding."
Tom grunted and stopped for a brief rest. "I've
decided that they're both highly overrated. Ow!"
Chakotay moved closer to block any wind. "Your
Tom pulled his parka open a bit and fished inside.
Finally, he sighed and grinned.
"The little shit managed to get a handful of chest
Harry shook his head. "The shuttle is still in the same
position, Captain. However, the storm seems to be
letting up some."
Kathryn glanced over at Tuvok. "Suggestions?"
"The Commander and the Lieutenant are very resourceful
men. Commander Chakotay's own homeworld has a
season during which the conditions are quite similar."
"In other words, I'm probably worrying for nothing."
"That is a possibility...an excellent one."
Janeway grinned at her friend and then turned to Harry.
"Let's give them another thirty minutes. In the mean time,
have B'Elanna ready another shuttle and find a pair of
volunteers." She glanced at Tuvok.
"Just in case."
Chakotay pulled the phaser from his belt, setting it on low
in the same motion. He quickly melted the snow surrounding
the shuttle door while Tom huddled nearby checking the
child. A thin cry could be heard over Tom's helmet comm
and Chakotay sped up his efforts.
Triggering the entry, Chakotay reached for Tom and pulled
him into the shuttle. He helped the younger man remove his
gloves and helmet, and then began on the parka. The baby
was crying steadily now and sounded very healthy in his
While Chakotay removed his own foul-weather gear, Tom
quickly unfastened his tunic and undershirt. A red face
"I bet someone's hungry, huh?"
Chakotay looked up to see Tom fishing the bottle out of
his pack while gently swaying from side to side.
"Let's get this heated and then you can eat to your heart's
content, baby boy. Cha, when you get a chance, take the
rest of that milk and get it refrigerated."
The Commander grinned. Tom might be easier to persuade
than he thought. He placed the containers in a cooling unit
and headed for the pilot's chair.
"**Cochrane to Voyager. Come in, please.**"
"Captain, receiving audio only from the Cochrane."
Kathryn sat straighter. "About time, gentlemen. What is
A bit of static and then Chakotay cut in. "**We have one
survivor, Captain. A child. Both parents are dead.**"
Janeway sighed. "Do you know how old the child is?"
The amusement came through clearly. "**About four hours.
Tom delivered him.**"
Kathryn chuckled. "Give our budding physician's assistant
a 'well done' and then get on back here, Commander."
"**Will do, Captain. Cochrane out.**"
Kathryn stood and faced the rest of the bridge crew.
"It sounds like we have another junior crewman." She
turned and walked briskly to the door of her ready room.
Just before she disappeared, she called out:
"Call me when they return. I'll be replicating cigars."
Kathryn watched in amusement as the holoDoc, Tom and
Chakotay fussed around their charge like a group of hens.
The doctor finally looked up. "Well done, Lieutenant. The
infant is in excellent condition and with the breast milk
you brought back we should have no problem replicating a
substitute. I will advise you later of what information we
retrieve from the data chip."
Harry nudged B'Elanna as the group watched Tom re-dressing
K'Ethyn. "I told you that Tom would make a good mommy."
The mommy in question kissed a small button of a nose and
then smiled at the infant's attempt to suck on whatever came
near. Scooping up what he hoped to be his new son, he crossed
to his friends.
"Actually, that brings up a good question, Captain. Are we
going to be allowed to keep the child?"
Janeway smiled. "I think that is only fitting if that is what
you both want. Chakotay?"
The big man looked up from the tiny fingers that he had
been nuzzling. "I'm game. Tom?"
"I'm scared spitless at the thought, but yeah. I dunno what
it is, but I feel like he's part of me already."
A small mew from the corner of the cabin was greeted with
two groans. Tom placed a hand in the middle of his spouse's
chest and pushed.
"It's your turn."
The older man retaliated by taking Tom in his arms and rolling.
After a brief bout of vertigo, Tom found himself sitting rather
precariously on the edge of the bed.
"I fed him last," came from under a pillow.
Outweighed and outranked, Tom stood and made his way to
the wooden cradle. He was greeted with silence. K'Ethyn
was asleep. The younger man returned to the bed and crawled
far-from-gently over his husband.
"Gods, Tom, that used to be my kidney." Consciousness returned
with a rush. "Are you nuts? You could hurt the baby doing that!"
"Only if I'm carrying the little elf while I'm doin' it. Relax, Papa,
it was a false alarm."
"Are you sure?"
Tom lay back with a groan and began to 'rescue' his share of the
covers. "I may not be an expert on the subject, but I would imagine
that feeding him while he is asleep could result in drowning."
The younger man shook his head and settled in. "Nothing, babe.
Go back to sleep. You're going to be up in about an hour."
"Huh-uh. You didn't feed him, you just looked at him."
"Nice try. It still counts."
"Fine. Just stick to that story when you find yourself *just getting
looked at* without *getting fed*..."
Breakfast was an interesting affair with Tom feeding the
baby and Chakotay feeding Tom and himself. The older
man sat back and grinned at the conversation between
"Tom, how much of that do you think he understands?"
Tom grinned and wiped a froth of milk bubbles from the
tiny lips. He sing-songed, "It doesn't matter how much
he understands, we're bonding. I can say anything and
as long as I smile and coo a bit, he's happier than hell."
Chakotay watched the pair in bemusement and was forced
to agree. Tom had stopped speaking and two pairs of
blue eyes, one set sapphire, the other violet-blue, stared
intently at one another.
Tom blinked several times rapidly and looked up.
"Chakotay, we need to talk to Tuvok. I think K'Ethyn may
The older man smiled. "Tom, he's less than twenty-four
hours old. What could he possibly tell you?"
Tom frowned. "He's not *telling* me anything. But I keep
getting these...well, flashes of emotion. Warmth. Curiosity.
Just now I got a feeling of being sleepy and content." He
looked down at the child who was now asleep. "Maybe I
*am* nuts, Cha, but--"
Chakotay shook his head.
"Let's go see what the doctor has managed to get from the
"Well, there are elevated levels of electrical activity in
Tom grinned. "His name is K'Ethyn. K'Ethyn Kolopak
Chakotay-Paris to be exact."
The doctor straightened. "I'm well aware of the patient's
name, Lieutenant. I'm merely maintaining an adequate
level of professionalism."
Tom rolled his eyes. "He won't understand professionalism,
but he'll understand his name sooner if we use it."
"There are no studies that indicate--"
Chakotay cleared his throat and the hostilities suddenly
ceased. "Elevated electrical activity in what portion of
K'Ethyn's brain, Doctor?"
If the holoDoctor noticed the Commander's slight stressing
of the baby's name, he ignored it.
"Yes. There doesn't appear to be much in the medical
portion to the database that you brought back, but the
increased activity is in a location that corresponds with
known telepathic races."
Tom nodded. "But we'll have to wait until he is older to
find out what level, right?"
"That is correct."
Chakotay wrapped an arm around his mate. "Do you want
to go ahead and ask Tuvok to check K'Ethyn out?"
"Why not? He might have some suggestions if the baby
"It would seem that you are correct in your supposition,
Lieutenant. The infant does appear to have telepathic
Chakotay and Tom glanced at one another and smothered
smiles as the Vulcan tenderly stroked K'Ethyn's cheek
with one long finger. Tom finally voiced his chief concern.
"Will it hinder his abilities to be raised by non-telepaths?"
"There are a number of telepaths in Voyager's crew. It is
doubtful that you will have any problem if you find someone
to tutor the child once he becomes older."
Chakotay reached out to receive the baby from Tuvok.
"What about yourself? Would you be willing to train him?"
"I would be honored. I was merely attempting to give
you the option of another crew member should you take
exception to my participation in the child's training."
Tom looked up from the tiny ear that he was caressing.
"The honor would be ours, Tuvok. I can't think of anyone
that I would rather have involved. Cha?"
The Commander smiled. "Sounds like the job is yours
if you'll accept, Tuvok."
The Vulcan merely nodded, but Tom was sure that he
had seen a gleam of satisfaction in the older man's eyes.
The Captain gave the two men a week to settle in with
the new addition to their family. Upon the realization
of just what it took to keep an infant comfortable,
Chakotay had taken Kathryn's advice and sought out
Tuvok for larger quarters.
There had been a number of volunteers to 'baby-sit',
but most of the actual transfer of possessions had
been done by Tom and Chakotay.
"Gods. I think that's everything."
Tom lay sprawled in one corner of the couch, K'Ethyn
firmly ensconced on his daddy's chest. 'Papa' set the
last container of clothing on the counter in the bedroom,
and then claimed the other end of the sofa.
"I'm sure that Tuvok will return anything that he finds,
if there are leftovers." Chakotay had been surprised
when the other man had stated his intention to move
into their former quarters.
Tom grinned. "I can imagine his reaction if we've left
"I think the man can deal with a rattle or two."
"I was talking about 'our' toys."
Chakotay closed his eyes and chuckled. "I bet he
wouldn't react at all."
Tom sat up, kissing K'Ethyn's forehead. "Maybe not
externally." He cocked his head. "The short one is
Chakotay opened one eye and glanced at the pair.
"He is or you are?"
Tom looked surprised. "You know, I'd never really
considered that. I mean, some of it is a given...things
like suddenly feeling sleepy are obviously K'Ethyn.
But with the other stuff...I just know. It's like I am
hungry, but it's more of a head thing-- I *want* to
eat rather than real hunger pains."
Chakotay pushed himself up and off the couch.
"I was just wondering. For some reason he doesn't
do that with me."
"That's odd. You feed him as often as I do, and he
definitely likes you to hold him," Tom mused, smiling
as he thought of the bath he had walked in on that
morning. It was a toss-up as to who was wetter, the
occupant of the bathroom sink or the big man carefully
juggling his delicate burden.
Chakotay re-crossed the room and handed Tom the bottle
of replicated milk. They had been pleased at how well the
infant had taken to it, the only real upset caused by a bit of
over-exuberant burping by Papa.
"He's doing it again, isn't he?"
Tom slowly turned his head to look at his lover.
"He was *talking* to you again, wasn't he?"
"Just sharing his approval of his repast." Tom smiled
at the baby. "It's sort of a strange feeling. I can see
where we may have to get Tuvok to teach him some
manners when he gets a bit older. Otherwise, he may
start doing this to everyone and I don't think that the
crew would appreciate it."
"I'd be happy if it happened just once."
Tom missed the slight frown that accompanied the
The week went quickly and Chakotay returned to his
duties. Kathryn had decided to give Tom the standard
two months of maternity leave, much to the amusement
of Harry Kim.
"Hey, Mama! You two finally decided to brave the
mess hall, huh?"
Tom rolled his eyes at his friend's attempt at levity,
and placed the infant seat on one side of the table
"You two get to know each other while I go get
something to eat." It hadn't gone unnoticed that
Harry had kept himself scarce since K'Ethyn had
been on board.
Tom didn't wait for an answer. Nodding at Sam
Wildman as she gestured that she would watch the
pair, he took his place in line at the counter.
"Motherhood becomes you."
Gods, everyone was a comedian today. Tom turned
to face Miguel Ayala.
"It may take a while to get my figure back."
Geron leaned around Ayala and grinned. "I think
most everyone on the ship would agree that your
figure is just fine."
Tom laughed. "Miguel, are you corrupting this young
Ayala reached behind him and drew the smaller man
to his side. "Daily," he said, winking.
Everyone had been surprised when the two had begun
to see each other. Tom had come in one evening to
find a troubled Ayala talking to Chakotay. The age
difference, the fact that Geron had never had a male
lover-- Tom secretly suspected that Geron had never
had a lover, period, but he kept that to himself...all
served to worry the quiet man. So far, everything
seemed fine. In fact, Geron seemed much more
outgoing and happy than anyone had ever seen him.
His joke was definite evidence.
The trio turned to find Harry holding K'Ethyn at
"I think he did something. He smells...funny."
"Harry, at his age it's not that bad."
From the look on his friend's face, he wasn't convinced.
Tom sighed. Apparently, today wasn't the day for eating
in the company of friends. Tom squeezed Miguel's
shoulder and then patted Geron on the back.
"A mother's work is never done..." Laughter followed
him back over to Harry and the now-crying baby.
"Uh, Har, he probably wouldn't cry if you held him
in your arms."
Kim shook his head. "No way. I have to be on the
bridge in ten minutes, and there's no way I'm calling
the captain and telling her that I'm going to be late
because I have baby poop on my uniform."
"Oh, yeah, right there, Cha...."
Tom lay with his hips propped on a couple of pillows, legs
spread to heaven to accommodate his lover kneeling between
them. The full effect was gorgeous-- flushed pink, grinning
and completely unselfconscious. Chakotay growled his
"You know, I bet we could find something much more
interesting for you to stick in my ass than those fingers."
The older man chuckled. "Such a delicate way of putting it,
"Just stating the facts, big guy. Now, you're ready, I'm
ready...in fact, if I were much more ready the game would
"OK, OK...I can take a hint. Brace for impact, Helmboy."
Tom laughed and then moaned into his mate's searing kiss.
Chakotay straightened and pushed Tom's knees up and
back. Eyes closed, the younger man gasped as he was filled
with delicious heat. Squeezing the other man's hand, he
waited for Chakotay to begin his thrusts.
Opening his eyes, he looked up to see Chakotay staring
across the bedroom.
"Chakotay, now is not the time to go on a vision quest.
"He's looking at us," the older man whispered.
"Wha--?" Tom turned his head to find a pair of intent
eyes peering from the cradle. "Oh, for-- Chakotay, he's
not even a month old! I doubt that we are going to scar
him for life. We'll just turn off the lights if it bothers you
Chakotay didn't move. "Shhh. Tom, look at him. He's
staring right at us. Do you feel anything?"
Tom punched the mattress with his fist and furiously
whispered, "Hell, yes, I feel something! I'm getting
cramps in my thighs from standing on my head with
my legs spread!" He spoke up, "Computer, lights off."
Chakotay leaned forward and muttered in his ear, "You know
what I meant. Can you feel anything from K'Ethyn?"
"Cha--" Tom lightly bit the fingers that pressed down over
his mouth. Acceding to his husband's silent request, Tom
lowered his voice. "I only pick up on his emotions when I'm
holding him. We're not going to give the little guy some sort
of sexual vibes by making love. Now c'moooooonnnn!"
Tom groaned as his husband pulled slowly out and then
released his legs. "Chakotay--"
"I can't do it. I *know* that he's laying over there staring
"Chakotay, I can barely see you and I'm directly under you.
I doubt that K'Ethyn is going to be able to see anything."
He sighed at the other man's silence. "I know we were going
to wait until he was older, but do you want to move the cradle
into his bedroom?"
"No. I don't think either one of us could sleep with him all the
way in the next room."
Tom groaned. "Chakotay, I'm not talking about later, I'm talking
about now. We can always move him back in here when we're
done." He was feeling more ridiculous by the moment whispering
furiously due to the presence of a three-week-old infant.
It was Chakotay's turn to sigh. "No, we can't keep moving him
in and out of the room every time we want to have sex. What
about the couch?"
Kathryn did a double take as Chakotay eased into the
chair next to her the following morning. He was obviously
uncomfortable, but there were no discernible injuries.
"Mr. Tuvok, you have the bridge. Commander...my ready
Kathryn grinned furiously into her coffee cup, well aware
of the effect that her amusement was having on her second-
"So, the couch was a bad idea..."
Chakotay groaned and leaned back into his chair. "It was
a fine idea until I sort of forgot where we were. Tom still
wasn't speaking to me when I left the cabin."
"Well, you realize the nature of his injury will go on his
medical record. Yours was minor enough that Tom could
take care of it for you."
The big man growled. "I don't know what he was
complaining about. I was the one that got the lecture
about spousal abuse."
"B'Elanna, I really appreciate you watching K'Ethyn for
a few hours." Chakotay pulled off a burgundy tunic and
reached for a vee-necked sweater of dark mocha.
"Chakotay, you look fine. Kahless, what is with you
tonight? It's not like you two are dating or anything."
The Commander turned and slumped down onto the edge of
the bed. "This morning Tom and I had a sort of falling-out."
He suddenly grinned. "Actually, it was more of a falling off."
//I knew it.// "Ohhh, this sounds like a good one! Spill it."
"I--" He stopped at the sound of the main cabin door opening.
Tom walked into the bedroom and looked amused to find his
husband and close friend sitting together on the bed.
"Is there something you two want to tell me?"
Torres grinned. "No, but I think I was really close to finding
out why a certain someone has been limping around the ship
Tom laughed. "Not if all he wants to do is limp."
Chakotay glanced at his love's face and saw that the comment
was only partly in jest.
"B'Elanna is going to watch K'Ethyn for a bit. I've reserved
some time on the holodeck, and thought you might want to
go for dinner and maybe a little dancing."
Tom looked doubtful. "Are you sure you want to go dancing?
I mean, we could just stay here and cuddle on the *couch*."
B'Elanna snorted at the older man's flinch. Oh, yeah. There
was a story here, somewhere. Maybe Harry had gotten it
out of Tom.
"This is much better than dinner and dancing. I'm glad
you thought of it."
Tom grinned down at the man lying next to him. Reaching
across Chakotay, he picked up the bowl of melon and grapes
and placed it on the other man's bare stomach.
"Sorry." Tom picked up a sliver of melon and ran it gently
up the length of his husband's cock. "Better?"
Chakotay shivered and then grinned. "Oh, yes. That certainly
did the trick."
Tom placed the strip of melon between his own lips and
sucked it slowly into his mouth. "I wonder what else that
Chakotay moved the bowl and pulled Tom over to lie
on top of him. Taking another piece of the fruit, he placed
it in his lover's mouth and then pulled him into a lengthy
kiss, sharing the melon. "Hiccups maybe?"
"Well, we have a lot of fruit left and two more hours here
in Tahiti, I say we test our theories fully."
"That wasn't so bad."
Harry looked at B'Elanna in disbelief. "That's because
*I* changed his diaper! You haven't touched him since
we got here."
"I have, too. I held him while you heated his bottle, and
I burped him. That was the gross part, not one measly
The two adults looked at the sleeping infant who quietly
lay between them on the couch.
Harry sighed. "Don't ever tell Tom I said this, but I
can't believe how good he seems with the baby."
B'Elanna grinned. "About nine months ago they were
about the same age, at least mentally."
Harry grinned and then sobered abruptly. "You know,
there were times that I never thought we would get our
Torres silently nodded. Looking down at K'Ethyn, she
smiled sweetly. "But he is back, Harry. Maybe a little
softer around the edges, not as sarcastic or cynical, but
he is our Tom."
Harry watched B'Elanna carefully pick up the baby and
place his cheek against hers.
"You look good like that, B'Ela. I bet you would make
a good mother."
B'Elanna's eyes shot open and moved the baby down to lie
against her chest. "I don't think so. I'd probably end up
just like my mother."
"You really think so?"
The young woman studied the infant in her arms. "I don't
know. Sometimes I think about it." She looked up into her
friend's eyes. "Truthfully, when I used to imagine having a
child, it had blue eyes."
Harry slid over and slowly slipped his arm around B'Elanna's
shoulders. "Do you still love Tom?"
B'Elanna smiled. "Maybe...if Tom and Chakotay hadn't
fallen in love there would have been a chance. But Tom
and I were never in love, we were just friends."
"Then why imagine yourself with his baby?"
Torres laughed. "Harry, in all the time we've been out here,
the only men that have come on to me were Tom, Vorik, and
Freddy Bristow. Which one would you choose to daydream
Harry grinned. "Umm, none of them?" He got a swat on
the arm for his trouble, and then both of them froze as
K'Ethyn stirred and yawned.
"Wow. I thought Tom's eyes were blue."
B'Elanna smiled at the baby, and gently kissed his cheek.
"It's a different kind of blue. That's right. You've got
Harry looked agog as the woman fawned over the baby.
He opened his mouth and then realized that he would
prefer to live another day.
"Cha, we're taking him to Sickbay for his well-baby
check-up, not skiing in the Alps."
"Tom, the ambient temperature on the ship is only 20
degrees. Since we keep it warmer in here, he could
get chilled very easily."
"That might be preferable to heat stroke, big guy."
Tom leaned past his husband and removed one of two
receiving blankets and K'Ethyn's thermal cap. The infant
wriggled in seeming appreciation.
"There! He still has on his booties, diaper, undershirt
and gown. With this lighter blanket that will be plenty."
He took in the older man's look of concern.
"Chakotay, he has to get used to the temperature on the
ship or he'll be sick all the time."
A big sigh. "I know you're right, but he's so little."
Both men just stood and looked at K'Ethyn for a moment.
Finally, Tom slipped an arm around his lover's waist.
"Every once in a while it just hits me. That's our kid.
Our son." He hugged Chakotay tightly. "Are we nuts for
trying to raise him ourselves?"
The older man hugged Tom tightly to his chest and then
kissed him thoroughly.
"There are other people on the ship with more experience
with children, but I don't think that necessarily means that
they would do any better at raising K'Ethyn. Anyway if
you ask me, the little one has already made his choice.
Lots of people hold him, but you are the only one that he
has really bonded with."
"That bothers you a little, doesn't it?"
Turning slightly in one another's arms, the two men
embraced and gazed at the little boy who was making
some interesting changes in their lives.
Finally, Tom straightened and gestured for Chakotay to
take the infant carrier while he grabbed the diaper bag.
The younger man shook his head in wonder.
"Chakotay, look at us. We look so...domestic. You're
wearing a wedding ring and carrying a kid. I'm carrying
a bag stuffed to the gills with diapers, wipes, bottles,
ointments, powders...shit. All we need is one of those
holocubes of baby pics and we'll be all set."
Chakotay frowned. "You knew when we started this
that we would have to make a lot of allowances for the
fact that we would be raising a child."
Tom smiled. "I'm not really complaining, it's just so
different to what I imagined our lives would be like."
The older man triggered the door and led the way
to the lift.
Chakotay smiled as he watched Tom making faces
at K'Ethyn. "My mom used to say that my face would
stick that way."
"So did mine. I think we did OK, though."
Tom chuckled. "Did you happen to catch the faces
that B'Ela was making at him last night? I think
that deep down inside she would love to have a kid
Chakotay studied Tom. "Did you ever hope that it
would be your child she carried?"
Tom leaned over and pressed his lips to K'Ethyn's
forehead and then did the same to Chakotay. "Yeah,
for a while." He smiled rather diffidently.
"Don't be embarrassed. I had some of the same
ideas about my relationship with Kathryn, but I knew
that it was completely out of the question until we
got Voyager safely home."
"Well? How is my godson?"
Tom smiled over Kathryn's head as she plucked
K'Ethyn out of her first officer's arms.
"Doing good. He has gained a bit, his lungs are clear,
and in general, is one healthy baby boy."
Kathryn ran a gentle finger over the tip of a tiny ear,
and beamed at the wriggling smile she received.
"You like that, don't you? Yes, you do!" She looked
up and pretended to frown at the snort coming from
across the table. "You'd better be choking, Mister."
Chakotay swallowed a grin and replied. "I was just
trying to picture some of the crew if they heard you
talking like that."
Kathryn smiled in return. "I don't think that's going
to be a problem. None of them have the same effect
Chakotay entered their quarters and stopped dead.
"Uhm...hello." Tom's face was red, but composed.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Tom set down the padd that he had been reading and
attempted to answer casually. "He's already eaten
and I tried the pacifier, but he just kept spitting it out."
Chakotay fumbled his way into a chair across from the
couch and just stared. And stared. Finally, gesturing
with his head at the rather unusual sight,
"So you decided to let him nurse?"
"No! Shit... No, I didn't *let* him nurse. It just sort
Chakotay realized that he was still nodding, and stopped.
"I'm all ears, Tommy."
Tom rolled his eyes and sighed. "I went in and took a
shower." That explained why he was sitting in the
living room wearing nothing but a towel. "I heard him
fussing, so I came in here and picked him up. I checked
his diaper...nothing. I offered him the bottle again...no.
I tried the pacifier...he spit it at me. I even checked him
with the tricorder. He was just fine.
"I sat down on the couch and tried rocking him and all
of a sudden he latched onto my...uh, nipple and started
sucking away." Tom grinned. "A real interesting
sensation, I tell you."
"I've had my nipples sucked on a time or two, thank you."
"This is a bit different. I think this is one of the reasons
that he bonded with me so quickly. I had him inside my
shirt while we hiked to the shuttle." Tom looked down at
the tiny face pressed against his chest. "I think it comforts
him, being this close to me."
Chakotay moved over to sit next to the pair.
"I can see where the bare skin might make a difference.
After all, your scent is probably stronger. But, nursing?"
He grinned in amusement and reached for K'Ethyn.
There was a soft, wet pop...and a wail.
Chakotay quickly handed the baby to his mate and watched
K'Ethyn nuzzle and then begin to suck.
Tom raised one eyebrow and smiled.
Chakotay shrugged and looked at the contented infant.
"I hope he doesn't get hairballs."
Chakotay slowly raised his head and grinned.
"I can see where K'Ethyn might find sucking comforting."
Tom dropped his head back onto the pillow with a groan.
"Since he was attached to something entirely different, I'm
not sure that we can compare the two."
Allowing Tom's penis to ease from his mouth, Chakotay
rose and pulled his lover onto his knees. Tom moaned at
the loss of sensation, but quickly turned to kneel at the head
of the bed. Spreading his thighs, he thrust his hips back in
offering. Chakotay hastily oiled his throbbing cock and
pressed forward, sliding deeply into the hot grasping flesh.
Oh, yes! All thought was quickly driven from his brain, as
he drove himself into Tom's body, again and again. His
lover was in no better condition, any brain function beyond
the ability to moan, "Harder, Cha...Gods, Harder!" seemed
to be gone.
Finally remembering to reach around his mate's hips, Chakotay
closed his fist around hot, hard flesh and began a massaging
motion. With a groan, Tom bucked first into the tight hand and
then back to grind his hips tightly against his lover's groin,
his hot seed splattering against the head of the bed.
The feeling of Tom tightening on his cock was exquisite.
He let go of the younger man's softening cock and wrapped
both arms around Tom's writhing body. With a heavy shudder,
Chakotay roared out his release and then pulled Tom down
onto the bed.
"Chakotay, you woke the baby."
Tom rolled his eyes. Post-orgasm had never been the big guy's
finest moment, but--
"Nice try, Cha. Go get the baby."
Chakotay grinned into his pillow and then rolled onto his side.
"It *is* your turn, you know."
Tom returned his grin in spades. "It was also my turn to top.
Either go get the elf or prepare to be boarded."
"You'd let the baby cry just so you could have your way with
me?" Both men were laughing by now.
Tom shook his head and sat up. "No, that's not what I said, but
don't worry about it. I'll go take care of our son and then I'm
going to take care of you."
Chakotay sighed as his favorite pieces of his lover's anatomy
disappeared under a heavy silk robe. He lay back and listened
to Tom soothe their son back to sleep over the nursery commlink.
Five years ago, all he had wanted was to get his fellow Maquis
back to the Alpha Quadrant and back into the war to save their
home worlds. Now, he had friends, family and happiness beyond
He still worried about his loved ones back home, and over the
war against Cardassia. He still wondered how they would be
treated if and when they finally returned. However, these
were no longer the first things he thought of in the morning,
nor the last things at night.
Chakotay grinned as a certain blue-eyed blond re-entered the
room and removed his robe. Opening his arms, he pulled his
husband's lean body to lie against his own and just shook his
head at the questioning look he received. Tom seemed to
understand, though, and drew him into a deep kiss.
Their lives had certainly changed. Two bitterly angry men
had managed to set aside their differences. The road had been
long and frequently hard. But that same hard road had also
strengthened and matured them to the point that they could
become comrades, hesitant friends, and then finally lovers.
Chakotay looked up and smiled. Life with one Thomas Paris-
Chakotay would never be dull. Adding the little pointy-eared
bundle in the next room had also proved interesting. He chuckled
and squeezed Tom until he yelped. A wail rose and then grew
in the nursery.
With a small sigh, Chakotay crawled across his lover and headed
for the next room, grabbing a clean diaper along the way. At his
appearance K'Ethyn abruptly quieted and then grinned, arms
and legs flailing wildly.
Diaper changed, belly full and comfortable, the newest Paris-Chakotay
settled into the rocker on his Papa's chest.
"You two, OK?"
Chakotay looked up and nodded.
"Just a bit of quality time," he whispered.
Tom crouched next to the rocking chair and ran a finger over the
dark curls surrounding one tiny ear.
"More like spoiling time, Papa. He has us both wrapped around
his little finger." Tom stood and then leaned to kiss Chakotay's
love swollen lips. "And it's exactly where we both want to be,
Chakotay smiled. "You're absolutely right. The only person
that has me wrapped tighter than this little one, is you."
"I doubt that."
Chakotay reached up and pulled Tom back down to his level.
With a small grunt and a grin, Tom settled back onto his knees
and looked into his husband's eyes.
"Was there something you wanted to say, Big Man?"
"Just one thing. If you only believe one thing in the rest of
your life, believe this. I love you. I love you and would
do anything to keep you safe."
Tom blushed. "That's two things, but I'll cut you a break.
Sort of a two for the price of one sale."
The older man closed his eyes and gently shoved his lover
so that he flopped backwards onto his ass.
"I try to be romantic and what do I get? Lip."
Tom rolled onto his hands and knees and crawled towards
Chakotay. He reminded his husband of a lazy cat. He
certainly purred like one when you got him going.
"Let's put the short one back to bed and I'll show you
what else I can do with these lips."
"It's a deal."
Chakotay rose and followed his mate, smiling as he watched
the roll and sway of the creamy hips and ass. Gods, he
loved this man.
And *that* was something that would never change.
c1999 Karen /s (CP4Karen@aol.com)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.