By Karahkwa Ross
Codes: ST Voy, C/K
Disclaimer: All things Trek belong to Paramount. The situations are purely my own. I mean no copyright infringement.
Summary: Sequel to “Uninterrupted Sleep” and “Unwanted Memories.” Things are still not perfect in Chakotay and Harry’s relationship but it’s getting better.
Harry Kim pushed Neelix’s latest culinary disaster around his plate. He hadn’t even tried it but from the looks on Tom and B’Elanna’s faces when they had… He was glad he hadn’t had an appetite.
He sighed. What had he done to pissed off the Gods? Why were they so determined to make his life hell?
Last night had been his first date with Chakotay. Everything had gone perfect. The food, the chitchat, everything.
Until they’d started fooling around a bit.
“Shit,” he mumbled under his breath, drawing looks from his table companions.
“Harry? Is something wrong?”
He snorted. “Oh no. Everything’s perfect. The gods are reeking havoc on my life but otherwise everything’s fine.”
Tom and B’Elanna shared a look. They seemed to be trying to figure out what had the normally cheerful ensign so upset.
“Do you wanna talk about it?”
He didn’t want to talk about it but he could help remembering…
Harry was sitting on the couch. Chakotay was on his knees in front of him. He had opened his shirt and was nibbling on his nipples. Harry had loved it.
“Mmmm. Cha… You’re so good at that.”
Chakotay had answered by biting just a bit harder. Harry had jerked and cupped the back of the older man’s head as well as groaning.
“Where did you learn how to do this?”
Chakotay slid his open mouth across the hairless chest to the other nipple. As he did, he replied, “Practice.”
Harry moaned softly as Chakotay began his assault on the other nipple. “Then I should be glad you’ve had so many lovers.”
Chakotay had pushed him away so fast one would think the words had burned him. “Where the hell did you hear that!”
Harry was pulled back to the present by a throat clearing right beside him. He looked up to see a rather sheepish looking Greg Ayala.
“Hear you’re in the dog house. And it’s all my fault.”
Harry shook his head quickly. “Oh no, Greg. Don’t talk like that. It’s my fault. I’m the one who couldn’t keep my damn mouth shut.”
“Yeah, well. I still got reamed out majorly this morning.”
Harry frowned. He hadn’t wanted Greg to get in trouble. Hell, he owed the man for helping him get hooked up with Chakotay. He may have blown it but that wasn’t Greg’s fault. “I’m sure after things simmer down, you’ll be forgiven.”
Greg nodded. “Look, Harry. If you want or need any advice, I’m here, okay. I don’t know if it’ll help but…”
Tom and B’Elanna looked from Harry to Greg’s retreating back to each other to Harry again. They were both definitely out of the loop about something.
“Harry? Want to tell us, your best friends, what that was all about?”
“No. Not right now anyway. Our lunch break is nearly over.”
With that Harry took his tray and dumped it. He was waiting for the turbolift before his friends even got over the shock of a secretive Harry Kim.
He prayed to every god he’d ever heard of, and obviously annoyed, that the rest of the shift would be uneventful so he could think of some way to make things up to Chakotay. It was either that or cut both of his feet off to keep them out of his big mouth.
The end of the shift came too soon for Harry. He still hadn’t figured out how to fix things up with Chakotay. He was pacing in his quarters trying to think of something.
Only his brain seemed to be fried. Or it had jumped ship like (a rat on a drowning boat).
Chakotay sat in his office. He’d spent the day supposedly getting ready for yearly reviews but…
Well, he hadn’t gotten much accomplished.
Harry was all he could think about.
Chakotay sighed. What was he to do now? Ayala had admitted to telling Harry everything. That meant he knew his deepest, darkest secret…
And had still wanted him. Had thought they could be serious.
Chakotay smiled. Maybe things weren’t so bad after all.
As soon as that thought formed, it vanished, replaced by darker thoughts. How could someone so young be able to accept his past? What if he was only using this as practice before he went after someone more suiting? Someone younger and with less issues to deal with; someone like Tom Paris?
Some one easier “to settle down with”?
He jerked away from his desk where he’d been staring into space for the better part of the day. His feet beat a hard path up and down the middle of the room. His anxiety didn’t show on his face, but in his posture and clinched fists.
His hand absently moved to push the collar of his turtleneck down. He slowly fingered the mark that Harry had left. The instant he realized what he was doing, anger welled up inside him.
With stiff, furious motions, he removed his dermal regenerator from his desk drawer. He stormed into the bathroom. He stood before the mirror and slowly raised the instrument.
His hand paused in mid-air. How could Harry not be using him? Wasn’t that what he always known? Wasn’t that the type of men he always seemed to draw? He laughed bitterly. Greg Ayala was the exception that proved the rule.
Chakotay of Dorvan had lousy taste when it came to men. He sighed tiredly. He rested his forehead against his reflection as he recalled the first person he’d ever been with.
Felipe Preston had at first seemed like Chakotay’s dream come true. He’d been kind and sweet and he hadn’t acted as though he was upset with any reluctance that the younger man had shown.
But looks can be deceiving. It had taken shore leave on an exotic world for Felipe’s true colors to show.
They had been allowed to be the first ship to take shore leave on Ganya, a planet that had just joined the Federation.
Felipe had been so excited. He couldn’t wait for the two of them to spend their first vacation together.
Chakotay had been excited too but for some reason he’d felt this inexplicable unease the minute they materialized on the lush planet. Nothing had happened when they’d arrived but the longer they were there, the worse he felt about being there.
For the first time, his seemingly sensitive lover ignored his feelings. However, it wasn’t until hours into their stay that the danger he’d been sensing came to a head.
For the better part of the afternoon, they’d been shopping. About sun down, Felipe had caught sight of something he just had to have. Before, Chakotay knew what was happening they were in the dank interior of a decidedly disreputable-looking shop.
He could all but see his spirit guide tugging at his pant leg. He so wanted out of there. However, he knew how bad that would look to their hosts, not just the merchant.
Whispering mental entreaties to the spirits to let this be over quickly, he loitered near the doorway. The haggling over price never even made him take notice as he nervously glanced repeatedly at the waning daylight.
Suddenly, hands grabbed him from behind. A dirty cloth stifled his cry of fear. He looked wildly about. Shock replaced his fear when he caught sight of Felipe’s bland expression, as he was dragged kicking and clawing from the room.
“He’s a fighter; I like that.” His skin crawled at the Ganyan’s words. Oh Spirits, what had he gotten into?
His heart broke when he heard the harsh response of his lover. “He won’t fight long. Touch him for a while before you fuck him and he’ll enjoy it.”
Chakotay hadn’t. The next morning it was a very withdrawn, broken man that Felipe picked up. He hadn’t even fought when they’d gone back to their hotel and Felipe had fucked him all the while asking him questions about the bruises that covered his body; telling him how much it excited him to see the blood they drawn not yet dry on his body.
Involuntarily, the commander shuttered. He’d never be able to show his gratitude to Star Fleet for transferring him three weeks later. It had taken him a long time to get over what had happened.
Sometimes he wondered if he really had. He most certainly hadn’t learned to be a better judge of character. If anything, his next relationship had been worse. He had been so sure that this one was going to be different that he’d refused to see the signs of the affair that everyone else knew about.
It had taken his catching them in his own bed for him to finally see the truth. Even then it had been hard for him not to listen to the promises that it would never happen again. He’d come close to taking him back so many times.
At least, he was smart enough only to let things happen once.
He snorted at his unhappy visage in the mirror. He laid the regenerator down. He couldn’t just hide from this situation with Harry. If all he could have with the younger man was physical, it was better than frustrated dreams.
He’d had just sex relationships. In fact, the most successful of his disasters had been of that type. He’d tried women but even at the worst it was always better to be with a man. It had been hard for him to take that risk again. It had been worth it with Gregor Ayala and one or two others.
He sat down slowly on the edge of the tub. Ayala. It wasn’t right to say that they had a relationship. They’d had sex. But they’d been friends too and not being paid had helped Chakotay get a little of his self-respect back.
Thinking of how far he’d fallen when he’d begun prostituting himself had him rubbing his face like a man on the way to an execution. He’d never forget how he’d gotten started.
The Maquis had been badly in need of money. He’d come to this seedy bar to cheat at some cards and get some cash for medical supplies. He never made it to the gaming table.
He’d been at the bar, looking for any possible traps, when a man had bought him a drink. He’d never felt such an instant attraction to anyone. Somewhere, in the very back of his mind, was a voice warning him not to do this, but a few drinks later and they were up in his room.
It was incredible. He’d had lots of practice with the few men he’d been with but this was the absolute best he’d ever been with. He fell asleep with a huge smile on his face, sure that he’d found something lasting.
What he found was five hundred credits on the cold pillow next to him when he’d woken up. It was more money than he’d hoped to make at cards but…
He’d simply been too practical to not take the money. It hadn’t been long though before the money had run out and he was back in that seedy bar but this time he didn’t even bother to head for the poker game in the back.
What was wrong with him that he could proposition men in dirty little bars but he couldn’t make one relationship work?
Chakotay sighed and then walked out into the main room of his office. He looked around and realized that he’d never get anything done. With a shake of that head that could have been either sad or angry, he headed back to his quarters.
Harry flopped down on his couch. The situation with Chakotay just wasn’t working itself out in his head. He didn’t know what to do. Part of him wanted to get on his knees and beg for another chance. The other was so worried he wasn’t worthy of the commander that it wasn’t much help.
Just then his door chimed.
His heart leapt into his throat. What if it was Chakotay? He rose to his feet and then called out softly, “Enter.”
Harry sighed when Gerron entered. If it was with relief or disappointment, he wasn’t sure.
“Hello, Gerron. What can I do for you?”
“No. I want to help you. With Chakotay. Greg told me. I thought you could use some help.”
Harry smiled softly. He sank back onto the couch. “I don’t know what I need. He was so angry.”
“Why is that?”
“I lied to him. I told him that all I knew about his past was him and Greg… but I know everything.”
Gerron nodded. “Why would it bother him, though? It’s a secret he doesn’t have to keep.”
“He’s not proud of it, Gerron. Would you be?”
“No. But I wouldn’t keep it from a lover either.”
“You don’t understand. He was never allowed to express that part of himself. It’s the ultimate evil in his mind.”
Gregor Ayala had a death wish. Chakotay was sure of that. The man had stopped by to “talk.”
Get me to forgive Harry, you mean. Well it’s not going to work.
“Greg, I’m tired and I don’t want to spend any more time talking about Harry. He lied to me. He used me.”
“Used you? Chakotay, he knew everything about your past. Everything. And he came to you to ask for a relationship.”
“No. He just wanted some practice with someone who…”
Greg shook his head. “Funny he didn’t look like someone who didn’t care a lunch today. He was staring off into space with a look on his face like his world had crumpled around him.”
“He did?” Chakotay couldn’t keep the hint of hope out of his voice.
“Yes. Chakotay, you need to talk to him. It’s the only way you can find out the truth.”
The commander sighed. He hated it when Greg was right.
Greg set it up. He commed Gerron who promised to bring Harry to the deck ten observation lounge. Then he drug Chakotay’s reluctant butt down there.
They arrived just seconds before Gerron and Harry. Greg smiled, pushed them into the room and then sat down in front of the door. Gerron sank down next to him. He leaned his head on the strong shoulder.
“Think this will work?” Gerron had a soft spot for their former captain and Harry was a good friend. He wanted them to be happy together.
“It has to. I don’t have any other ideas.”
Chakotay swallowed. Harry wore sweat pants and a t-shirt, with his hair all a mess and his eyes red-rimmed and blood shot. He looked like hell. He was also so damn sexy.
Silence stretched indefinitely. Finally, Chakotay stopped staring and moved to sit. Harry followed but sat on a different couch. Neither man seemed to know what to say.
Harry fidgeted for a second. He was so nervous. This was the most important conversation of his life and he didn’t have any idea of what to do. He had made such a mess of his relationship with Chakotay. He wasn’t even sure if they could repair the damage.
Finally, a soft “How do I fix this?” broke the air.
Chakotay stopped watching the stars and turned to look at Harry. “Do you really want to?”
“Chakotay, I sought you out, remember? Yes, I want this to work.”
The other man nodded. But there was no emotion in his voice as he replied, “For how long?”
Harry’s mind reeled. Surely he hadn’t heard right. “Excuse me?”
“How long do you want this to work?”
He froze. This man really didn’t know that he wanted forever, that he wanted marriage and a family and everything. “Chakotay…”
“I have to know because I don’t want to get settled into anything that will just end. How long?”
Harry stared at his would-be lover. What had happened to this beautiful, wonderful man to make him react like this? He rose slowly and moved to sit next to Chaktoay. Taking his hands he looked deeply into his eyes and smiled ever so softly.
“If you’ll forgive me for being a stupid idiot and believe me when I say I’ll never lie to you again, then I’d like you and me to last until I die.”
Chakotay’s eyes clouded over. “Until we die?” he asked in disbelief.
“Longer if possible but I can only control until I die. What do you say?”
Harry’s heart lurched when Chakotay pulled his hands away and rose to stand by the window. He didn’t know what to say. He’d made all the promises he could. It had to be enough. He had nothing more to…
Harry’s thoughts were shattered when he realized Chakotay was crying. He stared for a moment before moving to console the man. It took several moments to calm the tears and get the older man’s breathing to return somewhat to normal.
They slowly returned to the couch. For a long while, Harry simply rubbed Chakotay’s back. Finally, he pulled away.
“What was all that about?”
“You really want me for the rest of your life? No one has ever- Harry, that’s a long time.”
He nodded. “I know. Chakotay, for the last six years, I’ve been lusting after you and imagining what it would be like. Believe me, I’ve thought this over. Are you sure that you want me? If you’d rather be with someone else-“
“No, Harry, I want you.”
“Do you forgive me for lying to you? I know I shouldn’t have but I just didn’t want you to be embarrassed.”
“I was afraid that you only sought me out because you wanted someone to practice on before going after the person you really wanted.”
Harry pulled away slightly. “I would never do that to you, to anyone.”
“I know that, I do. I’ve just had such bad luck that I guess I just forgot for a while why I care so much for you.”
Harry smiled. “So are we okay again?”
Chakotay nodded and then leaned in for a kiss. It was much like their very first kiss. There was the right amount of lust, newness, and caring. They surfaced only when they both feared passing out from lack of air.
“As much as I like these kisses, let’s not have to kiss and make up so often.”
Chakotay smiled. “You’ve got a deal.” He sighed as he rested his head on Harry’s shoulder. This felt right for the first time. Maybe his dreams weren’t so unrealistic after all.
The End (for now)