Disclaimer: Paramount owns them. I'm just playing.
Rating: NC-17 Contains graphic scene of consensual adult M/M sex
Summary: C/P, J/C, P/T Chapter Three: Chakotay tries to clear the air around him.
Copyright July 2001 Cassatt
The Fantasy of Tom
You could cut the tension on the Delta Flyer with a knife. That was a phrase Chakotay had heard throughout his Academy days. He'd certainly experienced his share of it, particularly on Voyager and particularly with a certain captain. But this? This was almost unbearable.
They'd gotten the shuttle launched, reciting the standard sequences to each other and going over the mission plan. Tom was almost speaking only when spoken to, and only addressing Chakotay by rank. Sprinkle in some Yes, sir's and, well, there you had it. The tension was thick. Chakotay sighed. They had hours ahead of them like this. He was tired of it already.
"Tom, why don't you just let me have it? Get it out of your system," he said.
Tom turned and looked at him for a moment then went back to checking some controls that didn't need to be checked.
"You have permission to speak freely," he tried again. And got the same response. "Okay, how 'bout this? You tell me the thing that's uppermost in your mind, right now."
Tom turned to him a third time. "Is that one of your infamous counseling techniques?" His tone was only slightly sarcastic. Chakotay was grateful for anything by that point.
"Infamous?" he said with a slight grin.
"Yeah," Tom retorted, "the ones that get all the women on the ship to open up and tell you their deepest troubles. You know, the one that's supposed to get me to tell you what a shit I think you're being." This time his tone held the edge of anger Chakotay was expecting.
"Good. Why don't you tell me what a shit you think I'm being then." He tried to give Tom the calmest look he could.
Tom stared intently at him for another moment, then shook his head and returned to studying the controls.
Chakotay snapped. "Stop the shuttle," he said sharply.
"Stop the shuttle?"
"Stop the shuttle, Tom, that's an order," he repeated with more force.
The pilot hesitated a moment, then with a shrug brought the Flyer to a stop. "Full stop, sir."
"Voyager to Delta Flyer. Is there a problem?" Again, Kathryn's voice hung in the air between them.
Chakotay tapped the controls. "Not for long, Captain. We're showing a fluctuation in the power packs we'd like to check before proceeding into the nebula. Chakotay out." He cut communication.
"Very cool, Commander," Tom said wryly.
Chakotay crossed his arms over his chest and studied the man next to him. "Look. I can't take this bullshit any more. You're angry with me, then tell me, damn it. Get it out in the open."
Tom slapped his thighs, hard. "Okay! You want me to tell you? Jesus, Chakotay. In all the years I've known you, I never ever would have pegged you for a liar. But that's exactly what you are. A liar."
He was slightly confused. "You mean about stopping the shuttle? At the moment, this is more important. The nebula can wait five minutes," he said, his voice rising slightly.
"Not what you said to the captain," Tom replied, his voice also rising. "What you said to me. Me. What you told me in your office. It was a lie. A shit-faced lie."
"I never lied to you..."
"What do you call it then, when you tell me one thing and then take it back a half hour later?!" Tom stood up and began to pace the small space, but finding that nearly impossible, walked up a level and paced there.
Chakotay stood as well. "Tom, I didn't lie to you," he said sharply. But Tom was ignoring him, pacing and glowering, in full anger mode. Chakotay went up to his level and tried to stop the pacing, standing in his path.
"Get out of my way, Commander." Tom stared at him.
Chakotay didn't move. "Cut the rank crap, Tom."
"Get out of my way," Tom said in a low voice, making a move to pass by.
Chakotay reached out and grabbed him by the upper arms, but this time, Tom struggled.
"Don't touch me unless you mean it," Tom shouted.
"Listen to me..."
They were at a standoff, Chakotay not willing to let him go, and Tom suddenly not willing to physically fight his way out. The air was electric. They stared at each other, eyes blazing, breathing heavily.
"I said, don't touch me unless you mean it..." This time Tom tossed the words at Chakotay as a challenge.
"Mean it?" Chakotay's heart was pounding. He started to push hard, moving Tom backwards easily. Tom didn't answer, just continued to stare, though he could see the anger had changed to something quite different. Chakotay's heart was now reverberating in his ears. "Mean it, how?" Tom's back hit the hull.
"Mean it the way you claimed you wanted to touch me..." Tom's voice had lowered again, barely above a whisper. He licked his lips.
Chakotay moaned softly, giving up the internal battle. He didn't exactly understand what was happening, he only knew that he wanted this man and he had absolutely no resistance. At least not right then. He moved closer. "It wasn't a claim, Tom. And I didn't lie." He closed the final distance and took Tom's mouth with force, their tongues meeting frantically. Tom's hands moved to Chakotay's ass, pulling him close, their pelvises rotating, rapidly forming erections straining against each other, the feel of hardness on hardness making them both groan ...
The superior officer somehow found the will to pull back and attempt to calm down. He didn't want yet another hail from the ship to interrupt them, causing more guilt and recriminations. He convinced Tom, gently, that they had to proceed with their work, as difficult as that would be. That there would be time, somehow, somewhere, for them to quench their desire for each other. No further mention was made of either Kathryn or B'Elanna, though Chakotay had already made his half of that decision.
He stood under the hot water in the captain's quarters, hoping to ease the tension that had settled in his shoulders and back. He reviewed this most bizarre of days, that started with wonderful love making with Kathryn and ended with him sexually connected to Tom, too. He didn't feel any deep emotional attachment to the young man, not at all. Friendship, yes, sometimes, and definately moreso after today. Chakotay was never one for emotionless sex, though Seska had certainly pushed that boundary with him. Perhaps, he thought, that's why he ended up hating her so. He cared for Tom and now knew that he really did not want him to feel hurt. His emotions were just more on the surface with Tom. His sexual need for him was immense and overwhelming. He prayed Kathryn would understand. Then prayed again. He would kill himself before losing her.
He got out, dried himself off, wrapped a towel around his waist and walked through her quarters to the replicator. He had never needed a cup of his mother's herbal tea as much as that night. Returning to the bedroom, he plopped himself down on his half and smiled as Kathryn put her book on the bedside table than turned to face him. He sipped his tea and tried, for the hundredth time at least, to find an opening sentence somewhere in his mind.
"You know," she broke the silence, "there was something a little bit odd about the problems you were having with the Flyer."
He wondered why she decided to wait until now to say anything. "Oh?" Choosing a look of innocence, he left it up to her to direct this conversation.
"Tuvok checked, as he always does, and didn't seem to find a problem with the power packs. I, of course, told him that perhaps the sensors on the Flyer were malfunctioning. You never did say what the problem was. I assume it all got fixed, though, since you completed the mission and came home." Kathryn, uncharacteristically, fiddled with a loose thread on the comforter.
He took another sip of his tea. "And so, you're wondering if there was another reason we put her in full stop..."
"Well, I can't imagine you wouldn't say." She met his eyes - he could read her so easily, the questions were there. He had the answers. But he wasn't sure he had the nerve.
He steeled himself by taking a very deep breath. "I ordered the stop. I needed Tom's complete and undivided attention. We had to talk."
"He was still upset?"
"Yes. He was angry. With me."
"With you?" She looked at him as only Kathryn could. Looking past what he was saying, analyzing, coming to some decision on her own. "Okay, I'm ready."
He laughed a quick, loud laugh. "I don't know that I am, Kathryn." After putting his tea down, he picked up her hand in both of his and stroked it. "You, and us, are the most important things in my life. I need you to remember that."
"Now you're scaring me, Chakotay."
"I'm sorry, I don't mean to," he said quietly. He took another fortifying breath. "Okay, I'll start at the beginning, which actually isn't all that long ago. My birthday. The holodeck. Your present of a holographic Tom for me to play with?"
She nodded, a confused look on her face.
He hadn't imagined it was going to be this hard. He plunged ahead. "Well, it turns out that wasn't a hologram. It was really Tom. He told me today..." he faltered, waiting for her reaction.
"What? How the hell did he do that?"
He almost laughed again. He had no idea, he realized - he never asked. "I, well, I don't know. I didn't ask. It never came up..."
She interrupted him. "Wait. That was him, really? Are you certain?"
Gods, Kathryn, don't ask me that. He sighed. "Yes, I'm certain."
She stared hard at him. "I see, I think. You know because, what, you had sex with him?"
"Kathryn. Can we start over here? I've been telling you for as long as we've been together about my fantasies with Tom. You understand that. I'm not in love with him, hell, half the time I want to kill him. Somehow he found out about your holoprogram, somehow he got himself on the holodeck for the express purpose of having sex with me. He finally got the nerve up to tell me that, today. He sent me a message to that effect, and asked to see me. I was completely shocked. And, I confess, I was interested in what he was going to say. You know what the experience on the holodeck was like for me, you were there, you even reaped some of the rewards..." he said, giving her a knowing smile and a wink.
She smiled back. "I know, but, he wasn't supposed to be real..."
"Even if he had really been a hologram, the experience still would have been real on some level, for me. I've only had fantasies in my mind before this. Never something with form."
"I suppose. So what happened when he came to see you?"
He had already decided to give her a short version, leaving out details unless she wanted them for prurient interest only. "He apologized for the deception. He told me he didn't want that to be the only time. And yes, we engaged in some sexual activity." His heart started to thud, waiting, again, for her reaction.
She was quiet, suddenly fascinated with the loose thread. "It sounds very clinical when you say it like that."
"I know I shouldn't be surprised, really, I mean, given the circumstances. I don't know how I feel about it... not yet anyway. What's the rest of the story? Why was he angry with you?" She looked at him sideways. "It's because he wants to continue, isn't it? And you told him no."
He sighed, getting the clear message that's what she wanted him to say. "It's a little more complicated than that. But I need to ask you something. Do you know why I'm telling you?"
It was her turn to sigh as she looked at him directly in the eye. "Because we promised each other total honesty. And I appreciate that, Chakotay, I do..."
"I know, Kathryn. And I know this is hard to hear. Please just remember that I love you. With my entire soul. I love you, I lust after you, I want to be with you for the rest of my life."
She smiled. He returned it.
"Thank you," he said sincerely.
"Okay. Tell me the complication."
He took yet another deep breath. "Well, he got angry with me because I told him, in my office, before we ... had sex, that I wanted it to continue, too. Then in the lift on the way to the bridge, we talked. About you, and 'Lanna, and I decided that we should stop things before anyone got hurt. He could tell I wasn't being completely honest about what I wanted. He was furious. I sent us to the bridge and apologized to him. Then, well, you know what you did. You ordered us to spend hours together in a shuttle."
She dropped her head into her hands. He didn't think she was crying, so he took the opportunity to drink some now lukewarm tea. The taste of it, however, still gave him a sense of peace. He sent up another prayer that this would all be okay in the end. He desperately needed to trust that. She rubbed her face slowly, finally sitting back upright. He prepared to continue.
"So, Tom was furious with me, but he wouldn't say anything. He didn't say much of anything at all, and the tension in the Flyer was more than I could take. I tried to talk to him, he kept acting as though the helm needed attention, when it didn't. So I ordered the full stop."
"And then you lied to me about it." The steel edge in her voice was clear.
"Yes, Kathryn, I lied to you, I made up something in a fit of frustration. I'm not perfect. I didn't think taking five minutes to clear the air so that the mission could proceed effectively was so terrible." The edge in his voice was clear, too, and he instantly regretted it. "I'm sorry."
She shook her head. "No, I'm sorry, that's really irrelevant, I know that. Then what happened?"
Gods, please be kind to me... "I practically had to order him to talk to me. He finally did, we had sort of an argument..." He faltered, not knowing how much to tell her. Not wanting to hurt her, so desperately wanting her to understand, when he really didn't even understand.
"And what, you had sex again?"
"No. But, well, we almost did." He met her eyes. "I'm sorry, Kathryn," he said with a sigh. "And then I told him that we had to get back to work. But... I also told him that I hoped something could be worked out, I just didn't know how that would happen. Not yet. I didn't tell him that I was planning on discussing all of this with you," he said, relieved that he had finally finished the narrative. He waited, his heart in his throat.
Sighing deeply, she ran her fingers through her hair. "Jesus..." she muttered.
"Kathryn, Tom's afraid you're going to have him cleaning out conduits with a toothbrush."
She looked at him head on and began to laugh out loud and, after a shocked moment, he joined her. "You know, I should. I mean, I should give him the order, just as a joke, just to see what he'd do. Make him quake in his boots..." Her laughter died down, after his already had. She looked at him again, this time seriously, carefully, intently. "How are you?"
"I think I'm the one who's supposed to ask you that," he said quietly.
"I'm asking you. This has been quite a day for you, honey. How do you feel about it all?" She reached out and took his hand in hers.
"How do I feel. Confused. My reality turned upside down today. I kept wanting to talk to you, so that you could reassure me that everything was still okay. I know that's an unfair thing to expect." He pulled their joined hands to his mouth and kissed hers softly. "Look. All I know is that there is some very intense chemical reaction, or something, between Tom and me that I don't seem to be able to control. And after tonight I don't know that I want to. But I'll do anything rather than hurt you. Anything. And I'm not willing to risk losing you. Nothing is worth that."
She pulled one hand out of his grasp and stroked his face softly. "Oh, Chakotay. Are we strong enough for this? I hope so.... I would like to think so, but I'm only human. I want to give you everything and anything you want. Can I handle the fact that the everything you want is to have sex with someone else? Much less a friend? Will I end up feeling that I'm losing something, or will it not matter because I know how much you love me? I don't know. I know that I have no intention of going anywhere, and I think I could be willing to give you this. But it's really not in my control...."
"Actually, in a very big way, it is, Kathryn. If you can't handle it, then I need to make a decision about the risk I'm willing to take. And like I said, weighing sex with Tom versus my life with you -- that's a no brainer..."
They continued to talk further into the night, curling up together, holding each other tightly. He tried to express more clearly his feelings for Tom, such as they were, to reassure her that she had nothing much to feel threatened by. They talked a little about B'Elanna. They talked about each other and their relationship. Eventually, they made love, intense, soul-stirring love, after which he cried and she cried. The following morning, she told him she was willing to give this situation a try.
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