by whitecrow

The first story I ever wrote.

This story owes its inception to a marvellous story by L R Bowen, "Rain Dance". I recommend that you read that story first, as the events that happened there need to be known for this story to make any sense. Paramount, however, owns the boys and girls, and Voyager, and just about everything else. LRBowen owns the plot, I own the angst. I can assure you that neither of us are making any money from this.

Warning: this story is rated NC-17 for homoerotic content, aka Slash (yum!) If such things offend, or if it is illegal for you to read this in your part of the world, please leave now! You have been warned!

Please keep this disclaimer and my name intact. Comments and gentle criticism welcome at

With Chakotay's words still ringing in his ears, Tom stumbled slightly as he materialised in sickbay. There was no time to speak, as the EMH, Harry, Kes, Captain Janeway and Tuvok surrounded them, reaching out to help the two men. Tom could see the flash of disgust in their eyes as they registered the smell of their unwashed bodies, the ragged state of their clothing.

"Please move aside" said the Doctor, in his slightly pompous voice. I need to get to my patients."

Obediently, the captain and crew fell back, leaving Kes and the Doctor. "As you can see, they do not appear to be in any danger. I will let you know my findings after a complete examination. There is no need for all of you to stay. Please leave."

"I want to know their condition as soon as you have anything to tell me, Doctor." Janeway said forcefully. "Immediately."

"Of course" replied the EMH. "Now please let me get on with my examination." The others filed out of the room, Harry giving Tom's arm a quick squeeze and flashing him a sympathetic smile as he left.

The doctor turned to Kes, who had been running a medical scanner over Chakotay and Paris. He looked at the display. "As I suspected, merely mild dehydration and exposure. Kes, 10cc each of ergothium and kalethanol. Then, I think, a shower." He wrinkled his nose slightly, and Kes smiled gently at the two men.

Tom glanced at Chakotay, who seemed to be keeping his eyes firmly fixed on any point that wasn't his desert companion. He wondered what the commander was thinking. His thoughts were whirling, the events of last night, the rain, the sudden rescue, all swirling together chaotically. More than anything he wanted to be alone. He tensed slightly at the cold sharp pain in his neck, then relaxed as Kes moved away from him.

"The doctor says you can go to your quarters now," she said softly. "A shower, sleep, and you can return to duty tomorrow."

He nodded, then turned towards the door. As he left, he glanced back at Chakotay. The doctor was speaking softly to him, and Kes was resetting the hypospray. Perhaps Chakotay hadn't got off as lightly as he himself had.

Thanks to Chakotay.

The thought echoed in his mind as he headed towards his quarters, nodding and smiling as friends clapped him on the back, congratulating him on his return.

Harry was waiting. "Tom, am I glad to see you! Thought you weren't going to make it this time, buddy." he followed Tom into his quarters, and the lieutenant could hear the genuine warmth in his voice.

"Almost didn't, Harry" he said shortly. "If it hadn't been for Chakotay....."

Harry cocked his head, sensing a story. His silence invited Tom to continue.

But somehow Tom couldn't. He wasn't particularly proud of the way he'd behaved, didn't want to admit how scared he had been, how sure he was that he was going to die. That it was only Chakotay's strength that had kept them both going, and in the end it was Chakotay's compassion that had reinforced his own tenuous grip on life.

These thoughts and emotions tumbled across his face, too fast and too complex for Harry to follow. Then Tom raised his eyes to Harry's face, and shook his head. "Later, Harry, OK? I just want a shower and a sleep. Why don't you come by at..." he glanced over that the chrono beside his bed "say, 1900? Should be up by then."

"Sure thing, Tom," Harry said softly, sensing his friend's need to be alone. "See you then."

Tom was already pulling off the shreds of his uniform as the door slid shut behind Harry. He let them lay where they fell, and headed straight for the shower. As the water hissed onto his skin, hot and strong, he felt more than just dirt and sweat wash away. He was back home, back in the safety of Voyager, surrounded by people, complex technology, small pleasures like hot water. It was no longer Tom Paris against the universe. That was a game he failed at far too often.


"But I can't just let it go!" Tom repeated to Harry, as they strode along the corridor towards the mess hall three days later. "It's really gotten under my skin; it's all I can think about."

"Yeah, I sorta noticed" said Harry, irony heavy in his voice. "But if it's getting to you so much you've got to speak to him. It's no good complaining to me, I can't do anything."

"I know, I know, you're right. It's just.... What do I say?" he struck a pose, halting so suddenly that Harry had to turn and walk back a step. "'Look, Chakotay, just what did you mean when you said "Your life is mine?'" How do you think that sounds? Pretty dumb, huh?"

"Then think of something else. Heavens, Tom, you're the one with the gift of the gab. You always know what to say."

"Yeah, especially when I open my mouth to change feet. He's already off-side enough, thinks I'm just a waste of space. Then why does he want my life? What does he want from me?"

"Tom, just *ask* him." Harry sighed heavily. "Stop flogging yourself and just go ask him."

"Yeah, sure, Harry. I'll think about it." said Tom dejectedly.

They entered the mess hall, collected trays and some stiff purple mass from Neelix, then sat down. Tom was silent, thinking. Harry tried to change the subject.

"Look, Tom, lighten up. You haven't let up about this for the last two days. So Chakotay saved your life, although I can't see what he did that was so special, beyond changing pee to water. It isn't as if he personally arranged the rain or anything. He says he saved your life, you seem to think so too. So now you no longer own his life, he owns yours. Not too much different to the last six months, is it?"

"Maybe that's it, Harry. Maybe he wants to rub my nose in it. Now *he* calls the shots, *he* gets to lord it over me."

"Is that what you did to him? Lord it over him?"

Startled, Tom looked up from pushing the purple stuff around his plate. "No, honest. I hardly ever mentioned it. Well, maybe once or twice..... Do you think that's what I did, rubbed it in too much?"

"*I* don't know. I wasn't around all the time to hear what you said to him. *I* don't know what gets him angry. Why don't you *ask* him?"

Abruptly Tom pushed his plate away. He sat up straight, squaring his shoulders. "You're absolutely right, Harry. It's pointless trying to second guess him like this. I'll ask him, tonight, I promise."

"Good. Now maybe we can get to the bridge before our shift starts, instead of after." Harry and Tom left the mess hall at a run.

The only thought that niggled at Tom was that he hadn't completely told Harry everything about his stay on the desert planet. He'd left out one vital piece of information. There was one extremely good reason for Chakotay to think he owned Tom. And that was because he did, body and soul.


At 1930 hours Lieutenant Tom Paris stood outside Commander Chakotay's quarters, deck 2, room 279. He had been standing here for 5 minutes, and was no closer to pressing the buzzer. Another crewmember came around the corner, and Tom bent down to adjust his left boot, for the 3rd time.

As the crewmember disappeared around the curve, Tom took a deep breath, then resolutely leaned on the buzzer. A few seconds later the door slid open, and he stepped inside.

Chakotay was seated at his desk, but he looked up briefly when Tom entered. He gestured towards the lounge with his data padd. "I'll be with you shortly, Lieutenant."

Tom sat down on the edge of the seat, wondering whether this was some ploy to take the edge off any anger he might have. Because as he waited he felt his carefully rehearsed speech disappearing. He tried to re-capture the words, but found his attention wandering. This was the first time he had been alone with Chakotay since their rescue.

He looked curiously at the intelligent head, intent on inserting a data cube into his data padd. The light from the desklamp was completely swallowed by the incredible inky blackness of the cropped head. Only part of the tattoo on his forehead was visible, the rest in shadow. A thought that Tom hadn't even known he'd had at the time flashed through his mind, how much he had wanted to trace that tattoo, with his fingers, his mouth. He shook that thought away, wondering where it had come from, just as Chakotay looked up.

"What is it, Lieutenant?" his voice was calm, but as always Paris heard the faint sneer of disapproval.

All Tom's carefully rehearsed words had deserted him.

He burst out "What's this all about, Chakotay? What do you want from me? Why did you save my life if you despise me so much? What do I owe you?"

Chakotay was silent, then answered, as quiet as Tom had been loud. "You owe me your life, lieutenant, no more and no less." He pushed back his chair and stood up, then came around the desk. He stopped a few paces from Tom, and regarded the younger man, face flushed and eyes wide open.

"I don't despise you. Dislike, maybe. Disapprove of, certainly. But despise? No, I don't think so." He turned and walked around his desk again. He leant back in his chair, and his face was almost wholly in shadow.

"I want you to do one thing for me, Lieutenant. I want you to think what it must have meant to me, to know that my life was owned by someone like you. For six months, for as long as we've been on Voyager together, you owned me. Think about it. How do you think that made *me* feel?"

Tom stood, unmoving. He had blurted out the words burning in his heart and mind, and could no longer think coherently. He was completely at the mercy of the man in front of him.

Chakotay was silent, waiting. He had said all he wanted to say. Still Tom did not move, then finally Chakotay spoke again, and this time his voice was gentle, and even Tom did not hear any disapproval in it.

"Dismissed, lieutenant."

On automatic, Tom's feet walked him out of Chakotay's quarters. He went straight to his own, and lay down on his bed. The commander's words burned in the black space at the front of his brain.


Over the next few months Tom did what Chakotay asked of him. He thought a lot about just what it would have meant to a strong, independent person like Chakotay to be continually reminded, verbally, and visually by Tom's presence, that he owed his life to the younger, weaker man. As Tom thought about this, he realised that there were nuances of character that he would never know or understand about Chakotay.

Tom knew so little about Chakotay's life before the Maquis, just rumours and stories dropped by the Maquis crew when he had been a member for such a brief period. He remembered his anger when Chakotay gave him that piss-weak ship to fly, *that* was what got him caught and back in the hands of Starfleet. Shit, his bid for independence had lasted barely a few months. If Chakotay had only trusted him a bit more.... and that was the problem. What was there about Tom Paris that inspired trust? Especially back then. He'd joined the Maquis in an attempt to be anywhere he could fly. He didn't care about their fight for freedom, he didn't really care about the Cardassians, he didn't care about anything except flying. So he'd used their need for pilots to get what he wanted. He supposed Chakotay had had no reason to trust him at all.

First mission for Chakotay and he'd got caught. No wonder the Maquis had suspected a trap. They figured he'd been set up by Fleet Intelligence to lead the Maquis fighters into a trap. No one had bothered to ask his side of the story, and they sure as hell weren't going to follow him to prison in New Zealand just to find out that he couldn't have been a plant.

Or maybe they even thought a prison term was a good cover, and the whole story was just a media event to gain him credibility so he could be used against the Maquis another time. Plots within plots, wheels within wheels, and everyone only looking out for themselves. Only person to look out for little Tommy Paris was Tommy Paris himself. Until Captain Janeway. Sure, he'd have leapt at a chance out of prison, who wouldn't? To fly again. Because he knew he wouldn't have been able to live if he'd thought he couldn't fly again. And a trap to get back at those Maquis who thought so badly of him was an added bonus. Then he found out it was Chakotay's crew they were after. Hell, he owed them no allegiance, they hadn't stood by him, why should he care? So he shut away any self-doubts he'd had about his actions and went ahead anyway.

New rule - don't think, just do it and move on.

Now here they were. At least no one was blaming him for this stuff-up, or he hadn't heard they were, anyway. No telling what those Maquis assholes thought. But he knew with certainty that whatever else Chakotay held against him, getting stuck in the Delta quadrant wasn't one of them.

Hell, here he was back thinking about himself again. What did Chakotay think? Did Chakotay know why Tom had accepted Starfleet's offer to come after him? No-one, except maybe Captain Janeway, knew how much he needed to fly. Chakotay probably never gave it a thought. Who knew what the Indian thought, always so controlled, so quiet. Even in the Maquis keeping himself to himself, totally self-sufficient. Tom had heard rumours that he and B'Elanna had been an item, but if so it was long over. Chakotay had been discreet with Seska, it was she who had made sure everyone knew who her latest conquest was. Not that she hadn't tried with Tom, in fact with every man, and woman, in the crew. She wasn't his type, though, and he didn't like women who bragged about their prowess. He grinned as he remembered a memorable brush-off when she'd tried her tricks on B'Elanna.

He dragged his thoughts back to Chakaotay. "Mystical Indian" he'd heard B'Elanna describe him once, and he thought it fitted. What did it take to get through his exterior calm? Tom didn't know for sure, but he knew he'd cracked it back there in the desert. An open appeal to Chakotay's humanity? Tom wasn't sure now if he'd screamed aloud when he'd been yelling at Chakotay for leaving him alone, begging for Chakotay to treat him like a human being instead of a piece of shit. He shivered, uncomfortable with the memory. Chakotay had come back, and they'd touched, more than touched, affirmed their humanity in the face of indifference, acknowledged their need for each other in the face of death. Janeway, now, *she* would be something that cracked Chakotay's impassive exterior. Tom had seen the way he'd mooned over her picture on his datapadd, how long it had taken him to hit the delete key when he'd decided to play the hero and wander off into the desert.

Tom sighed. This kind of thinking never got him anywhere. He hated self-analysis, showed him too many things he didn't want to think about.

And now that the tables were turned, just what did it mean to him, Tom Paris, Admiral Eugene's oldest, to be owned? To be honest, it was kind of comforting. He might not be Chakotay's favourite person, but the commander was one hell of a person to have around in a tight spot, looking out for you. As well, Chakotay kept it pretty quiet. Tom could fool himself that if no-one else knew then it wasn't really true. Some days he hardly even thought about it.

Other days, it consumed him. Was Chakotay measuring him, to see if he was worthy of being owned? Did he measure up? Did Chakotay regret saving his life? How much of an invasion of Chakotay's personal space had Tom's desire for life, and love, been? One part of his mind knew that Chakotay had welcomed it, had been an equal participant in the act of life, another part of his brain could twist it all around so that it appeared he had seduced an unwilling Chakotay.

Some of it he discussed with Harry, but he still hadn't told his friend just what it was that he and Chakotay had done. So he had to watch what he said, how much he moaned and groaned about the commander in front of Harry.

When he had told Harry what Chakotay had said, the ensign was surprised. "I expected something more concrete, like "You take my turn at mess hall duties for ever", that sort of thing. Not, "How do you think I feel?" I wonder what game He's playing?" Harry had wondered.

"My thoughts exactly" Tom had said, heartfelt emotion colouring his words. "Does it seem like some sort of test to you? What answer does he expect me to give him?"

Harry had been silent for some time, then looked at Tom, his face serious. "Perhaps he wants just what he said. Perhaps he wants you to understand, from someone else's point of view, just what it feels like to know you're owned."

"Yeah, well now I *know*, from firsthand."


Weeks passed, then months. He and the captain set up the ruse to flush the traitor, and in doing so he alienated Chakotay even further. The sneer was more pronounced, Chakotay found reasons never to be alone in Tom's company, the two officers had almost come to blows in Sandrine's over the scam.

And Tom could see why Chakotay was angry. The commander's test, to think inside the skin of another, paid off here too. Tom could see that his apology to Chakotay, on Neelix' show, was half-hearted at best, inflammatory at worst. He understood why the First Officer was angered at being left out by both Janeway and Paris himself, at being made out to be a fool who couldn't be trusted to act responsibly.

What the hell, thought Tom. *He* couldn't do anything about it. Chakotay had to learn to live with it. His life, his loss. The lieutenant had ceased to spend any more time thinking about the commander.

Life was back to normal, as normal as it could get out here in the delta quadrant, Chakotay was his usual insufferable self, Tuvok as boring as all Vulcans. Harry was his friend, and someone he could win replicator points off, B'Elanna added a piquant spice, an untouchable closeness, if there was such an expression. Megan, Jenny and Sue were great playmates. All in all, life wasn't too bad, and he wasn't in such a great hurry to get back home. Prison waited for him there, and he didn't know if he could take that again now that he had flown Voyager.

And Voyager was the one great and selfless love of Tom's life. If a person and a machine could be in symbiosis then Voyager and Tom Paris were. Nothing like a Borg synthesis, this was a fluid joining where each brought their own self to the union and remained whole and individual, but somehow more than oneself. It sometimes felt to him as if Voyager flew by the power of his mind, far beyond such mundanities as dilithium crystals and warp coils. His hands on the helm felt as if they touched a physical manifestation of Voyager, the smoothness of his console like the skin of the ship. He played her body, caressed her, as he would any woman, except this was a woman with the power to totally annihilate star systems. With Voyager, he was a different Tom Paris. He never joked with her, never kidded around when he was on the bridge, flying Voyager. And he knew he was the best pilot who flew her.


There had been a problem with the shuttle Franklin. The warp drive had refused to come on line, and B'Elanna and Carey had worked many hours to fix the problem, which was a simple blockage in the dilithium feed lines coupled with a comms problem between the impulse drive and the warp drive.

Now Janeway had asked Tom to check it out. He was looking forward to the trip, life had been pretty boring on the bridge over the last few days. He'd tried to make it more interesting by executing some slow loops and rolls around a mythical neutron star, until boring old Chakotay had reprimanded him. Didn't that guy *ever* lighten up?

He entered Shuttle Bay 3, and walked over to B'Elanna. He rested his hand lightly on the hull of the small ship, almost as if he was quieting a restive animal. "How is she?"

"Fine, as far as we can tell," replied B'Elanna. She looked over at Carey, one eyebrow raised, and he nodded in confirmation. "Trouble is, we won't know until you actually shift into warp. We're going to keep a transporter lock on you, and the captain's requested that you keep within transporter range, about 10 light seconds. Keep close to us, Paris, and you'll be OK."

"I love to keep close to you, B'Elanna. When you ask so nicely, how can I refuse?"

"Shove it, hot shot. Just fly the damn thing. And bring it back in one piece."

He bowed elaborately. "Your wish is my command."

"I'll be joining you on this trip, Lieutenant," said a voice behind him, and he turned to see Chakotay peering into the dilithium access chamber that B'Elanna had not yet closed. "Things are a little quiet on the bridge so I thought I'd come along for the ride."

"Unnh.... sure, Commander." Tom groaned inwardly. What had he done to deserve this? Maybe he could make it unappealing. "I'll be gone for a while, though, are you sure you can spare the time?"

"Oh, I can find the time, lieutenant. Or were you going to drop in at the local bar and check out the natives, maybe teach them a little pool? If you pass that one up, I'm sure the trip won't take too long."

Tom flushed. Why did Chakotay have to make fun at his expense? That was Tom's role, to needle the straight-laced Chakotay. But by the time he'd thought of a retort the commander had swung into the shuttle craft and seated himself at auxiliary control.

"Better get moving, Paris, or he'll leave without you," quipped B'Elanna, always glad to see someone get the better of Tom.

In a bad mood he entered the shuttle craft and seated himself at the main console. In this shuttle the two control stations were at right angles to each other, instead of side by side. Chakotay was behind Tom's right shoulder, making conversation difficult.

Tom waited until B'Elanna thumped on the hull and spoke to him via the commbadge. "She's all yours, Paris. Remember, just stay close."

"As a lover," he replied, still teasing her, and he gently eased the small ship out the vacuum lock.

He peeled away on Voyager's ecliptic, using impulse engines, until he was about 8 light seconds away. He confirmed that Voyager had transporter locks on himself and Chakotay, then nudged the ship into warp. The engines responded without hesitation.

Chakotay watched as Paris leaned forward, hands caressing the console, head cocked as if he could hear the warp engines, feel the flow from the dilithium crystals into the coils, hold in his hands the power of the anti-matter matrix. Then Tom sat back, a smile of triumph on his face. "She's OK. She's responding well, no problem."

"Thanks to Carey and B'Elanna," said Chakotay, reminding Tom that he had played no part in the little ship's repairs.

"Yeah, yeah, thanks for reminding me." Why state the obvious? Just to bring Tom down a peg or two?

There was silence in the shuttle. Tom hovered over his controls, checking the performance of the shuttle, and Chakotay watched him quietly.

After about 30 minutes Tom began to get nervous. Enforced silence did that to him. He wondered what Chakotay was doing, but didn't want to turn around to check. His attention began to wander. He counted to 60, then again. Amazing how long a minute could be.

Finally, he swung his chair around. Chakotay was looking at the holotank at his console, which displayed a representation of the star system around them. From his seat Tom could see the pulsing light that indicated Voyager.

He said the first thing that popped into his mind, anything to break the silence.

"Unnh, commander?"

Chakotay looked up.

"Do you remember the last time we were in a shuttle together, we crashed on that desert planet? We thought we were going to die, and...." he trailed off, realising where the conversation was headed.

"I remember, Paris." came the laconic reply. "That was when your life became mine."

"Gods, Chakotay, did you have to bring that up?" Tom was angry. He hadn't wanted to remember that part.

"Just thought you needed reminding." said Chakotay mildly.

"Yeah, well, why now, of all the times to pick. Here we are in a shuttle again..."

"You mentioned it, not me."

"Well, I'm sorry I did. Can't we change the subject?"

"What do you want to talk about, lieutenant?"

"You choose."

"Do you ever think about it?"

"About what in particular?"

"About that planet. About what we did together."

Tom looked at Chakotay. In the bright lights his eyes were totally unreadable, dark and deep.

"Unnh... sometimes" he was on guard now. "Do you?"

"Yes, Paris, I think about it a lot."


"Because I wonder if it'll ever happen again. I keep hoping it might."

Tom was speechless, then struggled to say something quickly because he didn't want to let on that Chakotay had surprised him. "Well, why didn't you say something?"

"I just did."

"I mean, before..."

Whatever Tom had been going to say was lost in chaos. The Franklin suddenly dropped out of warp, and every light on both consoles lit up. The main stabiliser warning lights came on as the overloaded system tried valiantly to control the sudden deceleration, and then failed immediately. The two officers yelled status commands at each other as, one after the other, the ships systems failed. Then both men faded into incorporeality as the transporter drew them back to Voyager.

Janeway raced in to the transporter room as they materialised aboard the ship, reassuring herself that they were both alright.

"Get that tractor beam lined up *NOW*" yelled B'Elanna at the hapless transporter technician, Colli. "Try and stop that spin. I want that shuttle in one piece, not thousands!"

"Yessir!" he muttered under his breath, and his hands swept over the controls.

"Where?" Tom shouted at B'Elanna.

"Bay 3, she's coming in now. Let's go!"

Tom and B'Elanna left the room at a run, while Chakotay and Janeway made their way back to the bridge. On the way each man told his companion what had happened.

Carey and a team of engineers met them in Shuttlebay 3. After a few minutes Tom realised he was superfluous. He had recounted his story twice, and the engineering crew were deep in technospeak. He wandered away, and made his way up to the mess hall.

He sat alone, brooding over a cup of coffee and Chakotay.

Where in hell had that come from? Yeah, he'd thought about it, about how he and Chakotay had fucked in the face of their imminent death. At the time it had seemed the right thing to do. There was no hope of rescue, no way out of the situation. No water, no ship. It had been one way of saying goodbye. Chakotay had chosen to see it as a transfer of Tom's life, and at the time it made sense. Chakotay had saved his life, by being one of the few Voyager officers best equipped to deal with the circumstances they had found themselves in. But Chakotay had saved his life in another way, by acknowledging Tom as a human being. The act of love was the one way they could make obeisance to the spirit of life, the only means they had of honouring the humanity in each other.

But wasn't it a one-time thing? Chakotay had said he disliked Tom, and he sure made no effort to hide it. True, he'd lightened up a little lately, and Tom was feeling much more confident and relaxed the longer the trip lasted. But that didn't mean that Chakotay had had a complete change of heart. So why did he now, after all this time... and how long had it been, anyway? Eight months, nine? So why say something after all this time? Tom shook his head, unable to figure him out.

But, of course, now that Chakotay had brought it back to Tom's mind, it began to consume him. That night, Tom had awoken, aroused, hard with need and want, dreaming of Chakotay's hands on his skin, his mouth surrounding Tom's erection. He had lain in the dark, hands rigidly by his side, re-living the single act... of love? of desperation? that they had shared together.

The memory alone had been enough to make him come, shaking with reaction at the power of his climax, awed by the knowledge that thought alone had triggered it.

But Tom didn't want to remember it. He didn't want to have his dreams interrupted by Chakotay. Why couldn't the damned Indian leave him alone?


That had been three weeks ago, and Tom had had the same dream four times now. He stood inside the blister at the end of the sensor inspection tunnel, high up in the starboard nacelle, as far away from his fellow travellers as it was possible to get, short of the holodeck. The wall directly in front of him was clear durasteel, and the entire starfield was spread before him. From here he could have seen the sensor array housing, if he had been in the mood to inspect it, but he saw nothing, not even the awesome impartiality of the starfield.

He had no idea how long he had been there. He had come straight from his shift, needing to be alone. In the past he had come here many times, to see the space he flew in, to know it more intimately, to understand the substance and the fabric of the starstuff that was his element. And to reflect on the insignificance of Voyager and all who flew in her, to acknowledge the thought that their fall would not even register in the ebb and flow of the cosmos, that the total annihilation of Voyager would be merely atoms returning to their origin.

Tonight it was the unconcern he sought. The stars could not answer him, he had to solve this problem for himself.

Why did he dream of Chakotay?

At first, the fact that Chakotay owned Tom's life had weighed heavily with him. He was surprised - he had barely thought of it when the debt was the other way. Chakotay's feelings in the matter had not caused him one sleepless night, not one a fleeting moment of guilt. But now that the situation was reversed, Tom was unable to just shrug it off, he wanted to know *why*.

And now these dreams! Sure, he'd had sex with other men, in that regard Chakotay was neither better or worse than many. He preferred women, at least, he'd always thought he preferred women. But he didn't dream about Jenny or Megan Delaney the way he dreamed about Chakotay! It wasn't just the sex, it was something about the man. Yet Tom knew Chakotay disliked him, hell, the commander had admitted it! He just had to convince his body of that.

He sighed, his breath misting the cool durasteel, then idly he rubbed the condensation away. Did he even want a relationship with Chakotay? He ran through the crew members. B'Elanna? Nah, too Klingon. Harry? He needed a friend too much to ruin it by turning Harry into his lover. Janeway? Too caught up in the need to be strong and in command to ever turn to another person; that would be her idea of weakness. Tuvok? Tom, be serious! Jenny or Megan Delaney, Sue Nicoletti, Sam Wildman even? Sometime lovers, playmates, definitely not for the long haul. But all he was after was a bit of fun. Why did this all have to get so serious?

He looked out at the starfield. "Why me, why him?" he asked softly.

He made his way slowly back to his quarters. He undressed, and got into bed. He lay awake, thoughts twisting, dreading sleep in case Chakotay intruded into his dreams again.

Finally he got up and dressed swiftly, throwing on a loose pair of black workout pants and a t-shirt.


He padded in bare feet along the corridor to Chakotay's quarters, and rang the buzzer before he let himself think what he was doing. There was a pause, then the door slid open, and he entered. The lights were dimmed to half, and Chakotay was waiting, arms crossed, blinking sleepily in the low light. He was wearing only a plain black robe, obviously hastily donned when the door chime rang.

"Who... Paris..., Tom, do you know what time it is? What do you want?"

"Yeah, I know. But I can't sleep. I want... I want to know.... I can't stop thinking about it since you...." he shrugged helplessly.

Chakotay took a step closer, and his arms dropped to his side. He looked at Tom steadily, but his eyes were unreadable in the half-light.

"What is it you want, Tom?"

"You," breathed Tom, barely aware that he had spoken. His thoughts were whirling, he was totally unprepared for the effect that the physical presence of Chakotay was having on his self-control. "I want to know if its the same, what its like with you&ldots;even if we're not dying..." he trailed off, running short of breath. He pulled air in through his mouth, overwhelmed by Chakotay's nearness, then the older man moved closer, so close that he could feel the heat from Tom's skin, feel the breath as it brushed against his face. Then he was kissing Tom, and his mouth was hot and demanding, his tongue tasting Tom's lips, forcing entry. Their tongues met, and the groan from Tom's throat was echoed by Chakotay.

Tom's knees were suddenly weak, and he would have fallen if Chakotay's strong arms hadn't held him up while they kissed. He didn't know how long they stood there, a minute, a year, then Chakotay lifted his head and looked down at Tom. "Is this what you want, Tom?"

Tom couldn't answer, he was almost past speech. Instead, he reached for Chakotay and returned the kiss, devouring Chakotay's mouth and tongue with his own.

Then they were stumbling towards the bedroom, and Chakotay had dropped his robe. He was kissing Tom, and gently removing his clothing. He grinned when he saw that Tom had omitted to put on underwear. Suddenly they were both naked. Chakotay looked deep into Tom's eyes. The younger man was shaking with desire, all self-control had gone. He was completely submerged in his need for Chakotay. His eyes were wide, dark with passion, the sapphire blue a deeper shade than Chakotay had ever seen. He could hardly believe that Tom was so aroused so quickly.

He knew what Tom was waiting for. With last suck at Tom's lower lip, he leant back slightly. "You first, Paris." he said, and was rewarded with a breathy "Yes..." as Tom slid down his body, and took Chakotay's aching erection in his mouth. Once, twice, the exquisite warmth moved up the length of his cock and down again, Tom's teeth barely grazing the underside, and Chakotay knew that was about all he could take.

With a low strangled groan he sat up, and pushed Tom down, sliding down the younger man's body to nestle between his thighs. "Ohhh....yesss.." sighed Tom, and thrust up and into Chakotay's mouth. Then, as he had done eight months ago, Chakotay took Tom's cock deep into his throat, closing his lips around Tom and drawing the shaft up and out, his tongue caressing the underside. Tom's hips thrust involuntarily, and he felt the orgasm build so quickly that he could only clutch at Chakotay's cropped head, feeling again the wiry hair that was so inextricably linked to this deep pleasure. This time there was no concentrated waiting, this time it was so fast, too fast, and Tom was arching backwards as he thrust deep into Chakotay's mouth, screaming as the white fire exploded through him and out, pouring more than fluid into Chakotay's throat, pouring his life, again, into Chakotay.

And as before, this climax wasn't enough, he needed more of Chakotay. His cries became ragged, breathy sobs, and he pulled at Chakotay's arms and body, until the older man slid up and kissed Tom once more, letting Tom taste himself in Chakotay's mouth. He reached up into the recessed shelf above the bed and brought down a tube, and Tom felt the coolness between his buttocks. Chakotay sat back, waiting for Tom.

The orgasm had barely touched him, he was shivering again, craving Chakotay, his body on fire with wanting. He smoothed cool ointment onto Chakotay's huge erection, and his eyes closed as he let the thought sweep through him that soon Chakotay would be inside him, this would be inside him, and he couldn't wait any more, couldn't bear the separateness, and he pulled Chakotay's cock towards him, lifting his legs, his voice was pleading, begging, cursing as he gulped in air, his throat dry.

Chakotay held the slender hips in his broad hands, cradling Tom, remembering, then he leaned forward slightly, letting their natural shapes come together, and he was entering Tom, slowly, tiny thrusts, but it wasn't enough, and Tom was crying out, begging, and he moved, pushing forward so that Chakotay had no choice but to slide in all the way, and it was hot, and tight, and so much better than his dreams, and the sound of Tom's voice pleading, calling his name, was more than he had imagined, and he could feel his control going, and he didn't want to lose it, didn't want to hurt Tom as he surely would if he let himself go. But he couldn't hold it, couldn't stop, and then he was deep, so deep, and Tom's hands were digging into his biceps, holding onto his arms and cursing and crying in the same breath, and he was where he wanted to be more than anything and then it was there and he gave into it and as he held himself deep in Tom's body all the suns in the galaxy exploded in his brain and he fell into the ecstasy, pulsing, whirling, crying out loud, oblivious to Tom's echoing shout.

Gradually his breathing slowed, and his heartbeat fell back to a mere canter instead of a flat gallop. He moved slightly, disengaging himself from Tom's body, then raised himself to look at Tom. As their skin parted he felt the sticky fluid that had pooled on the younger man's chest. Tom was still breathing heavily, his eyes closed. Chakotay slumped to one side, feeling boneless and weak. He watched Tom.

It was some minutes before Tom's breathing began to slow. His eyes fluttered open, then closed again. Gently Chakotay gathered him into his arms, holding Tom stretched full against his length. He stroked the younger man's hair, sweeping his hand along Tom's cheek, up and around, shaping his head. He crooned softly to Tom, "Hush, it's alright Tom, it's all right. I'm here, it's all right, hush now," mindless soothing noises, until he felt Tom stir in his arms, and begin to kiss lightly against the underside of Chakotay's jaw. Tom rubbed his body slowly, sensuously, against Chakotay's, touching him along his full length.

Chakotay drew back slightly so that he could see Tom's face. "I'm an old man, Tom, once a night is about all I can manage." Tom grinned, his smile wide and unbelievably mischievous.

"Oh, yeah?" he raised an eyebrow. "Told your body that lately?" and Chakotay could feel the effect that Tom was having on him, as, impossibly, his penis stirred again. Tom bent his head and rubbed his chin against Chakotay's left nipple, taking the small nub of flesh into his mouth. The heat raced straight to Chakotay's groin, and he groaned in pleasure. Tom raised his head to look into Chakotay's eyes. "I want it all, Chakotay, I want to fuck you now."

"Ohhh, yes..." breathed Chakotay, unconsciously echoing Tom, and he felt his skin begin to burn in anticipation, his heart beat speeding up. He moaned, his head tossing, as Tom suckled again at his nipples, first one then the other, then he felt the cool ointment on Tom's fingers, gently entering him, stretching him, stroking him, and his hips thrust up involuntarily. Tom's other hand, slippery with lubricant, encircled Chakotay's erection, gripping and sliding, and Chakotay felt his senses beginning to overload. He was not aware that he was begging Tom, he only knew when he felt Tom's cock sliding into him, just one smooth slow thrust. He moaned, low in his throat, for one long breath, then he was completely silent, forgetting to breathe, as he relaxed bonelessly, letting Tom in so deep, taking Tom completely into himself. Tom's hand was still sliding up and down Chakotay's cock, in time with his thrusts, and Chakotay was drowning in sensation, his body taut as a bowstring, as he held Tom deep inside him. Despite two earlier orgasms, in only a few strokes Tom was crying out, shouting aloud, one syllable repeated over and over, his voice meshing with Chakotay's as they climaxed together in ultimate fulfilment.

Their breathing sounded loud and ragged in the room, as Tom rolled gently away from Chakotay, to rest on his back. Chakotay could feel the chill on his skin as Tom's heated body was removed. Every nerve in his skin was alive, sensitive to the slightest touch. He felt drained, weak, and unspeakably content. Tom rolled back slightly, so that he could see Chakotay, then slowly he began to stroke the copper skin, his hand following a long sweeping course from shoulder to thigh. Chakotay wondered if it was possible to pass out simply from being stroked, then he gave himself up to the feelings and just floated in bliss. Soon he and Tom were asleep.


Chakotay's internal alarm always woke him at least an hour before the ship's chrono, and despite the exertions of last night, this morning was no exception. He felt sore all over, muscles aching, joints stretched, and a deep internal ache that reminded him that last night was no dream. He looked over at Tom, still asleep. He wished he could stop time forever, to keep the perfection of just this moment. Tom lay slightly turned towards Chakotay, his body uncovered to the waist. His chest was covered with a light dusting of golden hair, and his skin was almost luminescent. His face was young, younger than his real age, sleep smoothed and innocent. Chakotay had known for months now that most of Tom Paris' exterior was a mask. To see Paris like this merely confirmed what Chakotay had already guessed. Tom slept silently, his breathing barely audible.

Chakotay wondered what they would say to each other. *He* wasn't nervous, he had wanted this for months now, but he had no idea what Tom's morning after reaction was going to be. Actually, he was content not to think too much. He was perfectly happy just to lie and look at Tom, letting his eyes wander over that beautiful body, remember what it felt like to hold Tom in his hands, in his eyes, and deep inside him. His eyes closed involuntarily as memory swept through him, and he had to stifle a groan. When he was calm again he looked once more at Tom. The younger man hadn't stirred, but he moved now, stretching a little, and it was that motion that brought him awake, and he looked at Chakotay, startled.

"Unnh.... Chakotay, unnh...."

"Morning, Tom."

"Uh, what time is it?"

""Bout 6.30. Why, you got a date?"

"Promised I'd meet Harry for breakfast, gotta dash... sorry," and Tom was out of bed, pulling on his clothes, moving swiftly to distance himself from Chakotay.

The older man rose up on his elbow. "Tom, I think we need to talk about this..."

"Another time, Chakotay. Sorry...." and he bolted from the room.

Luckily for him the corridor was deserted, and he was able to gain the safety of his own quarters without being seen by anyone. Once inside, he stopped, uncertain what to do, now that his initial reaction to flee had been accomplished. Slowly he peeled off his clothes, then turned the shower on as hot and strong as he could take it. He simply stood under the water, hands pressed flat against the wall in front of him, head hanging down between his shoulders. Why had he run away? More importantly, why had he gone there in the first place? Just the thought of Chakotay's hands on his body, the memory of Chakotay's lips on his own, was enough to make him moan softly. He didn't want to think about anything, especially what Chakotay had done to him last night, how he had melted in Chakotay's presence, wanting him more than he remembered wanting anyone for a very long time. He *still* couldn't believe the effect Chakotay had had on him. He hadn't known he was going there until he found himself inside, and facing Chakotay. He sure as hell hadn't been prepared for the need and desire that had flooded through him, leaving him weak, aching, desperate for Chakotay's touch.

Like now. As he recalled last night, the same tidal wave of anticipation and desire broke over him, and he moaned aloud, whispering Chakotay's name. His hands moved over his own body, touching, teasing, and he stroked himself, one hand braced against the wall, letting the water drown out the sounds of his cries. When it was over he sagged bonelessly against the shower stall, shaking, his body yearning for something more, as the warm water gently sluiced over his trembling shoulders.

He skipped breakfast, wanting to be alone with his uncontrolled emotions. Gods, it was like he was sixteen again, a walking, rampaging hormone factory. How was he going to last a whole shift, a whole 8 hours, knowing Chakotay was sitting just behind him, looking at him, remembering last night?

But for once the cosmic jokers were on Tom's side. No Chakotay at morning briefing, and not in the command chair. Tom checked the crew schedule when he returned to his helm position, and found that Chakotay was on a rostered day off. He felt his shoulders relax - at least he was spared *that*.

He couldn't stop thinking about the commander. Three times Janeway had to repeat her orders to Tom, and he detected a distinct coolness in her voice the third time she reprimanded him.

He was adrift in daydreams. Chakotay was off-duty, alone in his quarters, so Tom would make an excuse, say, a visit to Engineering, call at the commander's cabin, and find Chakotay waiting for him, naked. Or maybe Janeway would be called away, and Chakotay would come onto the bridge in her absence. He would request that Paris come to the captain's ready room and they would fuck themselves stupid on her desk. Or maybe.....

He shook himself like a wet dog. He had to stop thinking like this! He wasn't an adolescent any more, surely he had learnt *some* control. Perhaps he should emulate Tuvok, and suppress all his emotions. He practised that for a while, and it certainly seemed to help, at least he didn't think about fucking Chakotay quite so much.

Finally the shift was over. Without waiting for Harry Tom bolted off the bridge, first into the turbolift and straight into his quarters. He stripped off his uniform and lay on his bed, rubbing his naked body sensuously against the sheets. He was ready again, hot and throbbing, aching with desire for Chakotay. He couldn't believe it.

How was he going to last, how was he going to get through this? Surely Chakotay didn't mean this to continue, even if he *had* said he wondered if he and Tom would get together again like on the desert planet. Just what did Chakotay want? And how could a one-night stand with Chakotay leave him, Tom Paris, like a teenager on his first date? All he wanted to do was lie here and remember how it had been last night, re-live the excitement, the anticipation of touching and being touched by Chakotay.

Perhaps he should just bring himself off quickly, then go up to Sandrine's for a bit of company. Hell, he didn't feel like company. Except Chakotay's. But then, he wanted more than just Chakotay's company. He wanted to stroke that coppery skin, feel the smooth hairlessness of his body against his own, the complex structure of hard muscles pressing against him......

"ohhhh..gods.... here we go again....ohhh yeahhhh.... ohhh Chakotay, yes, yes ohhhh.....oh, oh, Cha..ko..taaaay......." Breathing out "Unnnh....."

*Now what? Sandrine's? Or sleep? Too early for that. What if Chakotay's in Sandrine's? Better stay here.*

Eventually he slept.


He was able to sleep in next morning, as he was rostered off duty. He had purposefully omitted to set the chrono alarm, so he slept in way past his usual late rising time, and consequently was able to have a long quiet breakfast in absolute privacy, in the deserted mess hall.

Coffee was the only thing he insisted in having from the replicators, as Neelix' leola root rubbish wasn't even worth washing up in, let alone drinking. Even the replicators couldn't make decent coffee. That was something he'd give all his rations for, decent coffee.

He sat for some time nursing his one cup. He didn't want to go back to his quarters, because all he'd do once he got there was indulge himself again in daydreams of Chakotay. He had to stay around people, at least that forced him to keep some kind of discipline. So even though it was his day off he decided to go up to the holodeck and work on that helm simulation he was setting up for the pilot's training program.

That kept him busy until early evening. He'd skipped lunch, in case Chakotay was in the mess hall, but he was getting hungry now. He decided to risk it.

As he entered the mess hall the noise level rose. It seemed at least half the ship was there for dinner.

"Hey, Tom, over here." called Bateheart. "We need you to settle this bet. Dalby says..." but whatever he was going to say was drowned out by an enormous bang from the kitchen, and a frightened shout from Neelix.

B'Elanna, Harry, and various other crewmembers rushed to see what was happening, leaving Tom still in the doorway, watching a healthy and almost terrifying tongue of flame spurt from the preparation area. As quickly as it had started the drama was over. Neelix, B'Elanna, Harry and Vorik emerged from the kitchen, lightly covered in white crystals. As B'Elanna passed him he ran his finger down her shoulder, grinning as she threw her best Klingon scowl at him, and tasted sugar. That explained the flame, then.

"Sweets for the sweet..." he smiled at B'Elanna "What happened to Neelix?"

"Singed eyebrows" responded Harry laconically.

"Some experiment with powdered leola root, ground lorb, and some other unpronounceable spice." she shuddered delicately. "Sounds like a recipe for gunpowder. Which it obviously was."

"What's gunpowder?" asked Harry.

"Potassium nitrate, sulphur and charcoal - don't they teach you anything at the Academy?" she replied, astonished.

"Which class - Klingon culture 401?" laughed Tom. "We made it in chemistry at junior school, I remember. I must have been about 10. We broke a window, I recall, and singed all our eyebrows!" absently he rubbed his right eyebrow, recalling that misspent youth.

"Yeah, me too." said B'Elanna. "Though we burnt the ends of our ponytails."

"That must be a human characteristic - unthinking, misdirected curiosity," said Vorik primly. "I'm surprised you have all survived this long."

"Yeah, well there's always tomorrow, Vorik. We might kill ourselves then, you never know." responded B'Elanna, always quick to rise at Vorik's pontificating. "But we'll try and include you too." she added graciously.

The vulcan raised an eyebrow, but forbore to comment. He was learning that B'Elanna often said things just to see what he would say in return. Tom decided to move the conversation along. "Well, apart from sugar crystals, what's to eat?"

This time Harry shuddered. "You don't want to know, Tom, believe me. It's better to eat in ignorance than go hungry, knowing."

"That good, huh?"

Harry nodded. Then he brightened. "Dessert's good, though. I followed my own advice, didn't ask what it was. That's where all the sugar came from," he added by way of further explanation.

"Well, excuse me while I go help myself. Perhaps bread...." Tom wandered off. At least his primary problem was solved, Chakotay wasn't here. He helped himself to bread, a green leafy raw vegetable, politely declined the hot something with a smile at Kes, and took a plate of something else green and cold, hoping it was Harry's dessert.

He joined the others at their table, and was informed by Harry that he had picked the dessert correctly, and why was he being such a coward and opting out of the main course? He smiled and shook his head, eating slowly and enjoying the uncomplicated company of his friends.

They all left together, as luck would have it, just as Chakotay entered. Tom looked at him, unable not to, and they made brief eye contact just as someone called Chakotay's name. He turned his head briefly to register, and when he looked back Paris was gone. By common consent they wandered up to Sandrine's. Tom spent an enjoyable few hours playing pool and trading one-liners with B'Elanna and Harry.

He though he was doing well, putting on a good show, until Harry said "Why do you keep looking at the door? Just who are you waiting for - the Delaney sisters? Can't be Sue, she's already here." He looked around. "Hey, B'Elanna, where're the twins, d'you know?"

"Aren't they on gamma shift this week? They'll just be coming on duty now. No use waiting for them, Tom, not tonight."

"What's up? Can't wait?" teased Harry. "I thought you'd be used to subtle brush-offs?"

"Nah, Starfleet, you've got it backwards. *He* wants to make *them* beg for it."

He let them tease him, preferring that to the truth. He'd been startled when Harry asked him who he was looking for, he hadn't even been aware that part of his attention was focussed on people arriving and departing. He tried to concentrate even harder on the game, and managed to beat Harry this time. He racked his cue and decided to call it a night.

At that moment Chakotay entered. He looked straight at Tom, then turned to the bar to get a dink from Sandrine. Tom decided to leave quickly, while his attention was diverted. But as he passed Chakotay the commander called to him, and Tom had no choice but to wait.

Harry watched as Chakotay went over to Tom. Harry could see that Tom was standing stiffly, tensed up, and wondered what Tom could have done that Chakotay had to call him on it in Sandrine's, even when he was off duty. It was just typical of Chakotay to chastise Tom where everyone could see, Harry fumed. Tom seemed intent on whatever Chakotay was saying, although whatever it was it didn't take long. He saw Tom nod, once, then leave quickly.

While he played his next game against B'Elanna he watched Chakotay. The commander finished his beer quickly, then left. Harry was sure he was going to give Tom another earful, so he let B'Elanna win the game, endured some good-natured teasing, then made an excuse and left.

He made his way to the officer's deck, then passed his quarters and kept on going. Harry was sure Chakotay had gone to Tom's cabin.


Tom had headed for his quarters, knowing that Chakotay was on his way. The commander had asked Tom if they could talk, saying he'd have a quick drink, then follow Tom.

Tom was nervous. He tried to guess what Chakotay wanted to say. Call it all off as a big mistake? How would Tom feel about that? He didn't want to even think about it. Ask for a lifetime commitment? Who was he kidding? He wanted, and didn't want, to be alone with the commander. He kicked off his shoes, then took up a position behind a chair, safety behind a barrier. The chime rang, and Chakotay entered.

"Hi, Tom," he said quietly. "Thanks for seeing me. I really think we need to talk."

"Sure," said Tom, with a bravado he did not feel. "What about in particular?" *Gods, what a stupid thing to say.*

Chakotay was silent, weighing Tom's flippancy. Did he want to have this talk, now, when Tom was obviously going to be unreceptive? He wondered briefly to himself if Tom would ever be receptive, so now was probably as good a time as any. He moved further into the room, noting Tom's protective stance behind the chair. In order to make Tom feel at ease he kept some distance between them and sat down on the lounge.

"Us, Tom, if there is an "us"."

At that moment the doorchime rang again.

Tom looked startled, then instructed the computer to open the door. Harry entered.

"Thought I'd drop in for a nightcap," he said, then with a glance at Chakotay, "Sorry, commander, am I interrupting something?"

Chakotay was not sure how much Harry might know about he and Tom. If he said "Yes" hinting that Harry should leave, would Tom take that as a sign of possessiveness? He hedged, "Unnh, no, ensign, I mean, Harry," just as Tom said "Yes, Harry. Can't it wait?"

Harry looked from one to the other. He suddenly didn't feel that Chakotay was chewing Tom out over some imagined misdemeanour. In fact, he didn't feel that Chakotay was in command of this situation at all. "Tom, uhh, are you OK?"

"Yeah, sure, Harry. Chakotay, I mean, the commander, just stopped by to ask me something."

"Oh, OK then. So I'll see you for breakfast, shall I, say, about 8?"

Tom nodded. "Sure thing. See you then."

Harry looked again at Tom, then back at Chakotay. Something was definitely going on here, and he didn't know what. With a last nod at the commander, he left.

Tom took a fresh hold of the back of the chair. "You were saying?"

Chakotay took a deep breath. "I want to tell you how I feel, Tom. I want you. I want you in my bed, and in my life. I want everyone on this ship to know that you belong to me, as much as I belong to you. I want to spend the rest of my life exploring my relationship with you. I need to know you want the same."

Tom stood still, hearing exactly what he wanted and suddenly panicking. "I... I'm not ready for this conversation, Chakotay. I'm not ready for this relationship... I need time.., I need, uhhh...."

"Its OK, Tom, I understand. Take your time." He stood up, and looked at Tom. "But I won't wait for ever." He turned to leave, and Tom watched him take a step towards the door, then another, and another.

Suddenly he couldn't bear it that Chakotay was going to leave him alone, and he cried out, "No, no, don't go, don't.... Chakotay, don't leave me..." and even as he spoke he was moving across the room, moving towards the older man. Then he was in front of Chakotay, panting, breathing hard as if he had run a long distance, incapable of further action now that he had stopped the commander from leaving.

Chakotay looked at him, deep into his eyes. He could feel Tom's breath hot on his face, could see need and desire warring with fear. Even as he leaned forward to cover Tom's mouth with his own the younger man was reaching up, hands on either side of Chakotay's head, rising to meet his lips, and then they were kissing, deep, violent, ravaging kisses, and he could feel Tom's mouth moving under his. One groaned, or maybe both, sucking air in around each other's mouths, whispering each other's name even as their mouths clung together.

It was some time later when Tom threw his head back, gasping for air, his hands stroking Chakotay's arms, clenching and unclenching around his biceps. "Ohhh Chakotay," he whispered softly, "why did you stay away so long?" and he bent forward to kiss his lover again. Their bodies were moving together, hip pressing into hip, erection against erection. Tom arched backward, exposing his throat to Chakotay's mouth, and the commander obligingly trailed kisses downwards. Then Chakotay lifted his head. "Tom," he said, "I need to...." but Tom's hands were pulling at his shirt, his fingernails running up Chakotay's ribs, and it was hard to concentrate. For now Tom was sucking at his tongue, and his hand was sliding inside the waistband of Chakotay's trousers, and it was getting harder to think, because he wanted this as much as Tom, he was as desperate for Tom as Tom was for him, and then Tom touched him, wrapping his hand around Chakotay's throbbing erection, and he groaned aloud, exhaling into Tom's mouth, drawing back to gasp for breath.

Then they were stumbling out of clothes, helping each other into the bedroom, and they fell together on Tom's bed, limbs tangled, the weight of one pressing deliciously against the other, skin sliding, touching, burning with anticipation.

Tom was begging him again, unable to wait for any foreplay, needing Chakotay inside him, needing to be owned, filled, made real, made complete. Chakotay could feel how close Tom was, his voice almost incoherent with need, and he quickly spread lubricant between Tom's buttocks and on his own erection. Tom knocked his hand away when he tried to gently stretch him in readiness, saying "No.... no, just... just you....please....please...fuck me now, please...." His hips strained towards Chakotay's cock, and the bigger man leant forward and began to enter him.

The breath sighed out of Tom as Chakotay moved gently into Tom's body, small thrusts in and out, letting Tom grow used to him, although the heat and the tightness were undermining Chakotay's control. He wanted to ram himself into Tom, to be completely surrounded and held along all his length, but at the same time he wanted to be as gentle as possible with his lover.

Tom pushed against the wall above his head, using it to thrust himself downwards so that he was impaled on Chakotay's hard cock, and Chakotay's balls pressed tight against his buttocks. Then the only sound was Chakotay's voice groaning in pleasure, calling out Tom's name, crying aloud in ecstasy. Tom was silent, his eyes dilated with passion, air pulled tight into his lungs as he tensed against Chakotay's ravaging thrusts, forgetting to breathe as he received Chakotay into his body, until he suddenly exhaled with a shuddering cry. Then their voices entwined, tenor and tenor, as they strained towards completion. Tom thought his lungs would burst as he gasped in air, the rhythm of breathing forgotten. Then he felt Chakotay begin to shake, an urgency in his movements, and he exploded in Tom's body, pouring himself into Tom, one, two, three final thrusts as he emptied himself, and Tom's arms slid around him holding the commander tight to him, hearts beating together, as Chakotay slumped forward, relaxing completely. His weight came suddenly onto Tom, and he grunted "Ooof".

Chakotay moved slightly, withdrawing from Tom and sagging bonelessly onto his stomach.

Tom held him, listening as Chakotay's gasps eased into long slow shuddering breaths, and finally deep pulls of oxygen. All the time his hands traced patterns around Chakotay's shoulders and back, and he rubbed his aching cock gently against Chakotay's thigh, keeping himself poised on the edge, waiting.

As he felt Chakotay come back to awareness he increased the movements of his hips, sliding gently up and down Chakotay's leg, his erection pressing into the delicate skin below Chakotay's hip, then pulling away.

"My turn..." he whispered into Chakotay's ear, licking the whorls gently, and he pushed Chakotay onto his back. Using one knee he spread Chakotay's legs, then knelt inside his thighs. He leant forward, his weight on taut arms, hands either side of Chakotay's head. His mouth came down, sucking hungrily on Chakotay's own, drinking kisses as if he could physically swallow them, breathing into Chakotay's mouth, whispering soft words between his nips and sucks.

Then he began to trace his way down Chakotay's body, pausing to taste and kiss, lick and stroke the hard and soft parts of Chakotay, in the way he had wanted to do since yesterday, teasing nipples, whirling his tongue inside Chakotay's navel, licking the tender skin below it.

Chakotay was absolute incoherent with ecstasy. He could only groan, deep, shuddering groans, breathily crying Tom's name as his senses overloaded, hands clenching and unclenching uncontrollably on the sheets. Finally, when Tom knew that he himself was at the limit of his endurance, he slid two fingers, moistened with Chakotay's own semen, into his lover's body.

Chakotay almost passed out from the pleasure radiating out from the centre of his being. With one hand Tom was gently stroking his cock, and the other was gently moving in and out of Chakotay's body, every touch sending seismic shocks through him. Then Tom leaned forward and replaced his fingers with something velvet soft and hard as iron.

As he slid himself into Chakotay's body he knew he was lost. He had no more chance of trying to control this than stopping Voyager in space with a whisper. The last thing he was aware of was the sight of Chakotay's face, eyes fluttering as he looked up at Tom, mouth parted as he strained for air, his body raised from the bed in ecstasy. Then the love and lust and desire and need overtook him completely and he slammed himself into Chakotay's body, deep, deeper than he would have believed. He was on fire, desperate for consummation, almost contorted in an agony of want, craving fulfilment. He stroked in and out of Chakotay's body, revelling in the tightness, the heat, the sounds of Chakotay's rapture, and their voices rose together, louder, and then he was crying out, senses unable to distinguish between pleasure and pain, unbearable joy and unbelievable sorrow, and his body exploded into Chakotay's, pure, searing pleasure, absolute, beyond imagining, beyond bearing.

He passed out.


Tom woke up fairly soon. He had shrunk inside Chakotay, and now lay between his thighs, penis limp against Chakotay's balls. He raised himself from Chakotay's chest with the sort of effort he would normally reserve for parisi squares, and looked down at his lover.

Chakotay was unconscious. His heartbeat was still slightly elevated, so Tom knew that he himself hadn't been out for too long, but he couldn't raise the older man. He sat back on his heels and wondered what to do. Should he call the doctor? How would he explain this? "Hi, doc, Chakotay's out of it. We fucked so hard his brains fell out." He didn't think the holodoc would appreciate his sense of humour. He'd give Chakotay 5 more minutes to come around, then he was definitely calling the doctor.

He stepped over Chakotay's legs, and wandered into the bathroom. He wrung out a towel, then came back and gently began to clean his lover's body. As he neared the end of his ministrations, and his self-imposed time limit, Chakotay's eyes flickered and then opened.

"Tom..." he whispered, his voice hoarse.

"You gave me a bit of a scare," Tom said seriously. "You planning on doing that often?"

Chakotay laughed, and already his voice was stronger. "You should take it as a compliment. There aren't too many lovers who've knocked me out. In bed, I mean."

"Yeah, well, I hope I'm the last."

"Oh, Tom," said Chakotay, pulling Tom down onto his chest. "Do you really mean that?"

"Mean what?" Tom rested his elbow on Chakotay's chest and looked down into the dark, dark eyes. It was so obvious, Chakotay's love for him beaming out of those expressive eyes. How could he have thought they hid anything? For a moment he forgot what he had said, and Chakotay was too busy devouring Tom's face with his eyes to continue the conversation.

"How come you're so beautiful?" he asked.

"Huh?" said Tom, unromantically.

Chakotay suddenly flipped Tom over, so he was pinned beneath the big man. With his fingers he gently began to trace Tom's features, thumb moving across the mobile lips, fingertips pulling at the soft hair, index finger smoothing along the fine arched brows. The palms of his broad hands pressed momentarily against Tom's cheekbones, then slid down to cup the back of his head and tilt the jaw slightly upwards. Gently he brushed his lips against Tom's, eyes half closed, his touch light and delicate. Then he lifted his head again and looked down at Tom. "I love you, Tom." he said simply.

Tom looked back steadily, although he wanted to run far away. It took an effort for him to lie still under Chakotay's radiant elation, but he knew inside him that even though this terrified him, it was something he needed, something he wanted, and something he might just possibly be able to stand for the rest of his life.

He cleared his throat. "You planning to crush me to death or stroke me to death?"

"Uh-uh, you're not getting out of it that easily. You don't think one lousy joke is going to deter me, do you? I want you to hear me, to listen to what I'm saying." Chakotay paused briefly, to impress on Tom his utter seriousness. "I love you, Tom Paris. Completely, absolutely, ridiculously. I want to spout soppy poetry and look at you forever. I want to make love to you by moonlight and on a deserted beach. I want to cover you with caramel sauce and lick you all over. Got it bad, huh?" Tom drew a shaky breath. "Yeah. What's the cure?"

"You, Tom, you forever, for all my life, for all your life." He brushed his lips against Tom's again. His voice sank to a whisper, then he grinned. "What do you say?"


Spetember 1997