Delta Suite series by Kiff

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Rest by Kiff
(VOY, C/P, R)

Disclaimer: They belong to Paramount. I'm letting them out for some fresh air.

Feedback: Gratefully accepted at: Kiff47@yahoo.com

Archiving: Okay for my webpage, ASCEM, BLTS, CPSG, TPDorm. Anyone else, please ask.

Dedication: For Jonathan: March, 1982

Summary: Rhapsody in blue eyes. This is the sixth story in my "Delta" Suite and follows "Overtures," "Crescendo," "Accelerando," "Joyous Sounds," and "New Vibrations." Previous stories can be found at http://members.tripod.com/~TSU_Campus/kiffscott.html

Rest is the quiet between the notes, the silence between the sounds.

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0300 hours. It's late. Or early, if you want to look at it that way. I punch in the code to Chakotay's quarters, and the door opens.

It's dark inside. Chakotay's been asleep for hours. I've just finished a partial shift at the helm. Culhane had taken some hours for me while I was working on the coffeehouse program in the holodeck. Now I've finally paid off my debt to him. I sure as hell hope that Chakotay was telling the truth when he said he would be rearranging the duty shifts so that we could spend more time together.

Of course, after tonight, I just want to be with him more and more. What we did together was special. And it was fun, sharing some old tunes with the rest of the crew. I'll never forget the look on Chakotay's face after we finished the first song and did it so well. I fell in love with him all over again.

Now I raise the lights a little so I can see where I'm going. I'm not quite familiar enough with Chakotay's quarters to find my way in the dark without tripping over something. He's left things pretty well in order. Not that we've had much time lately to make a mess.

I make my way towards the bathroom, stripping off my uniform as I do so. I'm dirty and sweaty, and I need a shower. But first I peek in on Cha. He's sound asleep, hugging my pillow to his chest as if it were me. I bend down and kiss his forehead. He mumbles something but doesn't release the pillow.

God, he's so beautiful. Just being near him steadies and calms me. He's my anchor, my rock.

I kiss him again. Then I go take a quick shower. Strangely enough, I don't feel sleepy at the moment.

I go back into the bedroom, slip my pajama pants on, and slide into bed. Cha doesn't move. The man is a heavy sleeper. I think it's because of all the meditating he does. He's trained his brain well. Me, I'm usually awake two or three times during the night, sometimes to pee, but more often to sit up and worry about things.

I've thought about asking Cha if he'd teach me to meditate, or maybe even help me find my spirit guide. I haven't mentioned it yet. I get the feeling it's a very private kind of ritual, and maybe I'm not ready for something like that yet.

On the other hand, learning how to consciously adjust my brain waves might help me sleep better. And Cha has never come out and said I couldn't do it, or that I'm not allowed to try. I think B'Elanna tried it once. So maybe I should just ask him.

I lean my back up against the headboard, draw my knees up, and rest my arms on my thighs. This is actually quite comfortable. Cha still has my pillow, but I don't feel like I need to lie down right now.

I watch him sleep, and I think about how good it feels to be with him. He's not only my lover, he's my friend. We work together, we play together, and we sleep together. Yet I don't feel like he owns me, nor do I own him. When I'm with him, I'm completely myself. I don't just feel loved, I feel cherished.

Cherished. That's it. I'm loved, held, treasured, but let go when the time is right. Cha understands when I want to be with Harry. In fact, he encourages it. He knows what makes me happy. And he has his own friendships with the Captain and B'Elanna. I'd never get in the way of those, either. We do our best for the ship. We play whenever we can. And at the end of the day, when we rest and replenish ourselves, we do it together, in our bed.

Chakotay knows my body. He knows what turns me on, what sends me over the edge. He loves to go down on me, loves it when I shout, loves to swallow me, take my essence into himself. And he loves it when I fuck him. He holds back his release, and when he finally lets go, the man is painfully beautiful to watch. Just witnessing his ecstasy is enough to send me right after him, because I want to be where he is, right at that moment.

And then there's our music. I still don't think Cha completely understands the gift he has. In some people, I suppose, talent matures later in life. And he shouldn't hide it from the rest of the crew.

Every day I thank whatever gods there are that I was able to find the strength to rescue him from the Ocampan pit. In spite of all his sarcastic remarks to me at the time, I know he was scared, and he didn't want to die. Something rose up in me then -- I guess you could call it courage. I finally started to grow up and take some responsibility for things. It took awhile, but I think I'm a better person for what happened.

One thing's for sure. I'm a happier person. The security I feel with Chakotay is spilling over into my other relationships on Voyager. I don't go around acting like I have to prove myself to people. I'm just Tom Paris, who, I'm beginning to discover, is a pretty good guy, in spite of some of the mistakes I've made in the past.

There's nothing better than starting over. I'm still many light-years away from the Alpha Quadrant, but right now, at this moment, I am home. And I am not alone.

I reach over to Chakotay, brush my hand across his bristly hair. This time his eyes flutter open. "Hey."

"Sorry," I say.

He catches my hand before I can pull it away. "Don't stop."

So I stroke his head some more, kneading my fingers into his scalp, rubbing the tops of his ears. He sighs, pushing my pillow away from him. I fill the space, sliding down beside him, tucking the pillow under my neck. I look into his eyes as I continue to caress his head. His hand goes behind me and strokes the back of my neck.

"You should get some sleep," he says after a few minutes.

"I will." I bring my hand down to his face and trace his tattoo, his cheekbones, and his jawline. "I just want to tell you something first."

"What?"

"I love you, Cha." Before he can answer, I lean in and kiss him on the mouth. He stops stroking me to give his full attention to the kiss. When I finally am able to pull away, I feel dizzy and more than a little aroused.

"I love you, too," he says, taking me into his arms. "Sleep now, Sunny."

"Good night."

Chakotay falls back asleep right away. I listen to him breathe, feel his chest rise and fall, and let his quiet rhythm take me under.

End - Series to be continued...