A Gentle Touch by Bronte

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Disclaimers: Paramount makes a heck of a lot of money off these guys...I don’t. Yada, Yada....you know the drill.


Late at night in the Chakotay-Paris household.....

“It’s about time you came home,” Tom chided, clearly irritated that his husband was two
hours late. “It’s 2200 hours. Is your comm badge broken?” Tom kept his face directed
at the old-fashioned book he was attempting to read, purposely not making eye contact
with the older man.

“Tom, baby, I’m sorry,” Chakotay began apologetically, “I completely lost track of time.”

“No kidding,” Tom replied sarcastically, his blue eyes continuing to stare at the pages of
the book.

Tom was in no mood to hear Chakotay’s excuses. The younger man’s body language
spoke volumes as to his current state of mind. Tom hadn’t moved from his present prone
position on the couch. To a casual observer, he appeared to be relaxed. But Chakotay
could tell that his lover was tense and hiding behind the barrier that the young man raised
when he’s upset. Chakotay had his work cut out for him if he was going to improve
Tom’s mood before bedtime.

“Let me make it up to you, Tommy,” Chakotay said with a suggestive smile, a smile that
Tom didn’t see. Chakotay moved to the end of the couch, motioned for Tom to lift his
legs so he could sit down. Tom didn’t budge.

“Tom, honey,” Chakotay pleaded, “Can I sit down by you......please?”

Tom didn’t say a word, but lifted his legs, glancing briefly at his husband. Chakotay sat
down and guided the younger man’s lower legs and feet to rest on his lap. He felt better
now that Tom had finally looked at him. Chakotay removed Tom’s socks and began
massaging his feet, trying to lessen the tension that permeated his husband’s body.

“Did you have dinner with Harry as you planned?” Chakotay asked benignly, continuing
the gentle massage of his husband’s feet and lower legs.

“Yep,” Tom replied crisply, making it clear that he didn’t want to talk.

Chakotay didn’t say anything for a couple of minutes, letting only his touch try to soothe
Tom’s hostility. He had been late several times in the past week and, up until today, Tom
had taken his inattentiveness in stride, or so he thought. Clearly, Tom had reached the
limit to his tolerance.

Chakotay continued the massage. He could tell that Tom was beginning to relax by the
way he was responding to the steady, deliberate strokes. He waited patiently for Tom to
resume the conversation, hoping that his husband would talk to him about it instead of
shutting him out. Chakotay knew that in the long run, Tom only ended up hurting himself
through the isolation that the emotional barrier provided...and he vowed to himself a long
time ago that he would do anything in his power to protect his love from that pain...any
pain. The problem was that he was only human, a workaholic, and prone to screwing up,
especially when it came to leaving work on time. ‘Maybe it’s genetic,’ he thought grimly
to himself. ‘Why do I want to work when I have this loving, adorable man waiting for me
at home?’ Chakotay had no answers, but promised himself that he would make it up to

Eventually, Tom broke the silence. “Chakotay,” he asked sadly, “why don’t you want to
be with me anymore?”

“Oh, Tom,” Chakotay responded, his eyes filling with unshed tears. “I want you more
than anyone or anything else in the universe. I always have and I always will.”

“You say the words, but your actions speak differently,” Tom contended, as he put the
book to rest on the coffee table. “What am I supposed to think when you ignore me like
this. If you would only call and tell me that you’re busy, that you’ll be late...anything! If
I’d known that you were going to work late, I could have stayed out with Harry instead of
waiting here, alone, for you. If you thought at all about me, you’d do it.”

Chakotay sat quietly as he let the words sink in. He always thought about Tom. He was
constantly in his thoughts and daydreams. But he had to admit that he sometimes failed to
consider what Tom felt...how his actions affected the younger man. Chakotay reached
over, pulling Tom into a sitting position beside him. He wrapped his arms around his
husband, gently, so that Tom’s head rested on his shoulder.

“Tom, I am so sorry. You’re right. I am inconsiderate and thoughtless a lot of the time,”
Chakotay declared. “But don’t think for one minute that I don’t love you or care for you.
I do think about you all of the time, and I miss you desperately when I’m not near you.
But I have to admit that I get wrapped up in my work...I lose track of time.” Chakotay
sighed, completely at a loss, not knowing what to do next. Maybe Tom had an idea.
“How can I fix this, Tom? What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?”

It was Tom’s turn to let out a deep sigh. He loved Chakotay with all his heart, but
sometimes he didn’t like the way he acted and the past week was a prime example of that.
On the other hand, Chakotay’s tender touches, his apologies, and his thoughtfulness now
certainly made up for a lot of the older man’s inattentiveness. “Chak, I don’t know what
to do either. I try so hard to not let it bother me, but there is only so much I can take,”
Tom explained.

“I understand, and I’ll try to be better from now on,” Chakotay vowed.

“But you’ve said that before,” Tom said dejectedly.

“I know,” Chakotay admitted, “but I don’t know what else to say.”

Tom paused and took a deep breath, thinking about what to do. “Let’s not decide on
anything tonight,” Tom stated. “Tomorrow is another day...maybe a good night’s sleep
will inspire us. Let’s just go to bed.”

“Okay, I guess that’s best,” Chakotay replied. The two men rose from the couch and
walked to the bedroom hand-in-hand. They silently got undressed and climbed under the
covers, both lying on their backs facing the ceiling. “Computer, lights at 5%,” Chakotay
ordered. The computer obeyed. The silence continued.

After a few moments, Tom rolled over, draping half of his body over his husband, his head
resuming its position on the older man’s shoulder. “I love you, Chak,” Tom whispered.

“Do you forgive me, Tommy?” Chakotay asked quietly.

“Of course I do,” Tom declared. “I forgave you the minute I looked into your eyes...I
always do. Why do you think I never look at you when we’re fighting?”

“And that is one of your best fighting tools,” Chakotay confirmed. “It really rattles me
when you won’t look at me.”

“I know,” Tom responded with a chuckle.

Chakotay growled, rolling on top of his husband, pinning him to the mattress in one
forceful move. “Are you teasing me, Tommy?” Chakotay sneered, playfully.

“No....of course not....I wouldn’t do that,” Tom snickered, relishing the change in their
somber moods.

Chakotay leaned down and captured his husband’s mouth in a hot, bruising kiss. Tom’s
lips parted hungrily, allowing Chakotay’s tongue to explore his mouth unchecked. It had
been far too long since they last touched like this. Both men needed to release their
pent-up emotions and instantly became lost in sensation, neither conscious of their rapidly
hardening cocks, nor aware of the nearness of their impending orgasms. Chakotay began
instinctively moving his hips forcefully against Tom, with his partner responding in kind.
Their frantic movements all too quickly caused the friction their erections needed for

“Chak, I’m coming...” Tom screamed suddenly into his lover’s mouth, as his seed
splattered between the two men’s stomachs.

“Tommy....I can’t hold on...,” Chakotay shouted at the same time, as his own climax
quickly overtook him.

After a few moments, Chakotay rolled off of his lover and reached for the towel that was
kept in the drawer at the side of the bed. He cleaned both of their bodies, tossed the towel
to the side and drew his lover into his arms. “Tom,” Chakotay said seriously, “I hate it
when you get so upset, especially over something that I should be able to change. What
can I do?”

“Don’t worry, Chak. We’ll figure something out.” Tom replied, not convinced that
anything would change. “Let’s just get some sleep and worry about it in the morning.
Goodnight, Chak.”

“Goodnight, my love.”


The next day.....2000 hours....

“It is 2000 hours. Do you know where your Tommy is?” the computer chimed.

“What?!” Chakotay said aloud, as he looked up from the datapad containing the latest
operations report. ‘Spirits,’ he thought, ‘it’s time to go home!’ The commander broke
into a wide grin and reached for his comm badge. “Chakotay to Paris.”

“Paris, here.”

“Tom, I’m coming home...now. Thanks for understanding.”

“I’ll be waiting,” Tom replied happily.

“Oh, and Tom,” Chakotay said sincerely, “I love you...always.”


Copyright March 2002