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)
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