Overall Rating: NC-17
Chakotay looked up in surprise at the familiar yet completely unexpected drawl. He managed only a confused nod as Tom Paris placed his drink on the table, drew out the seat opposite, turned it around so that the back was facing the table and then straddled it.
Chakotay's eyes were inexorably drawn over the table ledge to the gap between the chair's back and seat. He swallowed dryly.
"That doesn't look very comfortable," he murmured, trying not to stare at the way Tom's crotch seemed to be straining against the whitened denim.
"What doesn't?" Tom asked innocently.
Chakotay coughed and stared into his drink before adopting his professional face.
"Chairs were designed to be sat on, not straddled like a horse," he said, wondering whether there was any blood circulation in Tom's legs. He had seen how tightly Tom's jeans caressed his ass when he had been playing pool. Which was admittedly one of the reasons he had dawdled in Sandrine's himself.
Tom Paris's ass deserved nomination as one of the official wonders of the planet Earth, in his opinion. Forget the Taj Mahal and the Hanging Gardens, Chakotay had long since decided that perfection resided somewhere inside Tom Paris's perpetually over-tight pants.
Sometimes, when the call of duty gave him perspective, Chakotay contemplated taking Tom aside and explaining exactly *why* it wasn't healthy for a man to wear such tight, restrictive clothing.
But then, as now, he would contemplate life on Voyager without Tom's nightly floor show and would sigh in defeat.
Tom folded his arms over the chair back, leant his chin over his cupped hands and sucked thoughtfully on his straw.
Swallowing as convulsively as if it was himself drinking, Chakotay's eyes were pinned by the way Tom's sensuous mouth pursed around the straw. When Tom's eyes closed blissfully, Chakotay shuddered in reaction. How the hell could Tom turn something as innocent as a glass of orange juice into an almost sexual experience?
Speaking of which, what *was* Tom doing with a glass of orange instead of his usual beer?
"That's a change for you, isn't it?" Chakotay tried to ask casually, although he winced at the way his own usually low tones squeaked alarmingly as Tom gave a deep moan of satisfaction, releasing the straw and licking at his lips with a satisfied purr.
"Well, it's good to have a change sometimes, isn't it?" Tom replied. "Don't *you* ever get bored of the same old, same old, Commander?"
"Cha-," cough, "Chakotay."
"We're off duty, Tom. Call me Chakotay," he snapped, flushing furiously at the way his voice had almost broken again. What the hell was Tom trying to do to him?
"Chakotay," Tom purred. "It's a nice name. Don't think I ever told you that, did I?"
Chakotay rubbed his eyes tiredly. He couldn't deal with this right now. Maybe the pilot got some kick out of flirting with him like this, but even the wonderful view wasn't worth the price to his soul.
"Your *friends* are waiting for you, Ensign," he snapped, gesturing towards the pool table.
Tom's eyes flicked disinterestedly to watch Harry and the Delaney Twins who were still at the pool table where he had abandoned them. He gave a dismissive shrug.
"Like I said, Chakotay," and again he drawled the name so that it emerged like warm treacle through his pursed lips, "I'm fed up with the same old, same old."
Chakotay felt his cock stiffen and batter eagerly at the material of his own pants. He threw his shoulders back angrily and jerked to his feet.
"It's late. If you don't mind, I'm going to retire now," he hissed angrily. He was furious that he was letting Tom's harmless flirting affect him so badly. Only it hurt too damn much. He should never have come here to watch Tom play.
It had been the third week in a row that he had spent Friday night nursing a solitary beer in Sandrine's and trying not to be transparent about the reason for his presence. Obviously Tom had seen through him and had decided to come over and taunt him.
"What if I say I *do* mind?" Tom asked softly.
It wasn't so much Tom's words that stopped Chakotay from storming away, as the hesitant tone of his voice. Chakotay turned to see something that he would have placed odds against ever seeing on Tom's cocky face; a genuine blush beneath eyes that were suddenly uncertain, their clear blue muddied by swirling currents of self- doubt.
As though the question had suddenly dried his mouth, Tom's tongue snaked along his lips until they glistened in the low flickering bar lights.
Chakotay felt an unpleasant ache in his stomach as he forced himself to joke lightly.
"What exactly *is* in that orange juice, Tom?"
To his surprise, Tom ducked his head and played nervously with the straw.
"Oh, just a double-measure of regret, I guess," he whispered.
Chakotay felt his knees weaken and he sat down again abruptly.
"What's wrong, Tom?" he asked solicitously.
Damn, here he had been letting his own subconscious interpret Tom's behaviour as flirting, when evidently the pilot had been approaching him professionally.
"Are you still having nightmares? I know you had a hard time in the brig, and your demotion must have been a serious blow to your self- esteem, but you *are* a valued member of this crew. Beating yourself up about what happened isn't going to help matters."
"You just don't get it, do you?" Tom said bitterly.
"Don't get what, Tom?"
"Forget it, I shouldn't have said anything, I shouldn't have come over. Just go to bed, Commander. Like you said, it's late, I'm tired, and I just made a fool of myself, that's all."
"Made a fool of yourself how?" Chakotay asked in genuine puzzlement.
"Look I said forget it, alright?" he spat, beginning to rise from his chair.
Chakotay's hand flew out and encircled Tom's wrist, trapping him in place.
"Not alright, Tom," he insisted.
"Oh shit," Tom cursed miserably.
Tom's head jerked up and his eyes flashed furiously over his red- stained cheekbones.
"I made a mistake, okay? I fucked up. I thought, I thought, oh fuck, what the hell does it matter what I thought? You obviously aren't interested in me that way. My mistake, okay? Just forget about it."
Chakotay gave a stunned gasp before he forced his voice to remain relatively calm as he answered.
"What made you think I *was* interested in you, Tom?" he asked carefully.
"You've been watching me, haven't you?" Tom snapped back defensively. "I mean what was I supposed to think when every time I turned around I found your eyes on my ass?"
"I – "
"No, don't bother saying it, Commander. I realise now that it was my own imagination. I just saw what I wanted to see, obviously. I mean why the hell would you want anything to do with a loser like me? Shit, I should have realised that the only thing you wanted to do with my ass was kick it," Tom said bitterly.
"Tom, I – "
"Please let me go, Commander," Tom begged, twisting his wrist against Chakotay's firm grasp, his eyes suspiciously bright.
"I'm only letting you go on one condition, Tom," Chakotay replied softly, his face unreadable.
"What condition," Tom asked, flinching.
"That you have dinner with me tomorrow night," Chakotay replied.
It seemed to take a few moments for Chakotay's words to sink in, then the misery on Tom's face was chased away by dawning hope.
"You, you mean like a, a date kind of dinner?" he asked nervously..
"Yes, a date kind of dinner," Chakotay confirmed, his own heart soaring.
A tear dripped from one of Tom's glistening eyes, but the smile on his face was radiant.
"I'd like that," he said with shy simplicity.
Chakotay released Tom's wrist and stood up.
"2030, my quarters. Don't be late, Ensign."
"No, Sir, Commander, Sir," Tom replied with a cocky mock-salute. "Do you want me to bring anything?" he added more seriously.
Chakotay paused, reached down and ran the tip of his index finger gently under one of Tom's tear-filled eyes. Then, bringing his wet finger to his own lips, he sucked on the salt-taste with the same display of sensuous pleasure that Tom had with his orange juice.
"Ummm," he purred. "Just dessert, I think."
Tom's eyes widened in shock as Chakotay gave him a wink, turned and prowled out of the bar.
He was still sitting in stunned contemplation of how sexy Chakotay's finger sucking had been when Harry slid into the seat vacated by the Commander.
"Well?" he demanded.
Tom's expression transformed into a triumphant smirk. It was answer enough for Harry.
"Shit, you really went ahead with it?"
"I told you I would," Tom drawled carelessly.
"You're playing with fire, Tom. I've seen the way he looks at you. This isn't just a casual thing for him. He'll kill you if he finds out."
"Why the hell will he ever find out, Harry? He wants my ass, I want my rank back. It's business, that's all. Once I've got what I wanted, I'll let him down nicely. Hell, I can probably get him to finish with me instead. Cleaner that way."
Harry bit his lower lip.
"I don't think it's going to be that easy, Tom. The Commander doesn't take relationships lightly. You're biting off more than you can chew here."
"Look, I've kept my nose clean for months and the Captain hasn't even suggested that I will *ever* get my rank back. I know how these things work, Harry. So either I sleep with *her* or I sleep with him. Either way, I end up getting that pip back on my shoulder, and given the choice, I reckon Chakotay is probably the better fuck."
Harry's mouth gaped.
"I can't believe you said that, Tom, and I really don't see why the hell it matters anyway. You're still Chief Pilot, you kept your Lieutenant's quarters, nothing's changed at all except your title. Are you sure you aren't just using this as an excuse to do something that you subconsciously want to do anyway?"
"Get real, Harry," Tom scoffed. "It's just a game. It's like poker, that's all. Whoever bluffs the best, wins the pot."
Harry just shrugged and hid his worry behind a reluctant smile. Just as he had seen Chakotay checking out Tom's ass, he hadn't failed to notice Tom's evident fascination with the Commander.
He had a horrible feeling that the only person who would end up really hurt at the end of this "game" was Tom.
"Oh god, you feel so good," Tom groaned, pistoning his hips so that he slid deeper into the velvet heat of the firm ass beneath him.
"Oh yeah, baby," he added, as he felt his cock squeezed by the muscular contractions of his lover's own orgasm. "Milk me, baby, come on, oh god that's good, that's soooooooo nice, oh yeah, oh, oh, god, YES!"
He wailed as his balls tightened. His cum was violently ripped out of him by the undulating muscles that greedily squeezed the length of his shaft so tightly that the pleasure was almost agonising in its intensity.
"Shit. That was great," he gasped as he crashed down on top of the muscular back, burying his face into the other man's black hair. "You have a seriously talented ass, you know?"
A mumbled, "Don't you EVER stop talking, Tom?" emerged from the depths of the pillow.
Tom chuckled happily. "Nah, it just adds to the oral pleasure, doesn't it? All part of the Paris service."
"If you say so," the muffled voice griped. "You gonna get off me now and let me breathe?"
Tom ran his fingers affectionately through the thick dark hair and bent down to kiss the darker skin of the now boneless muscular shoulders.
"You're not as tense now, are you?" he sniggered and was rewarded by a low chuckle of agreement.
"It was wonderful, Tom. You were wonderful, as always. Thank you."
"You're welcome," Tom smirked, rolling off and heading for the bathroom.
"Aren't you going to stay? Maybe just hold me for a while? Please, Tom?"
"No time, I need a shower. I don't want to turn up for my date stinking like a cat on heat, Harry."
Harry paused in his act of turning over and instead buried his face back into the pillow, biting into the material to stop himself from replying.
He knew he had no right to complain. It wasn't like he and Tom were an item. Tom had never pretended he was anything other than a mercy fuck, after all.
Why the hell would it be any different? It wasn't like he had anything to offer Tom himself. He understood that life had hardened Tom, that he had been taught from an early age that everything, and everyone, had a price.
Yet, underneath Tom's layers of self-protection, Harry had seen enough of the Tom who might have existed, given a different upbringing, without the layers of armor from his experiences at Caldik Prime and Auckland, to have hoped that one day he might have broken through Tom's outer defences and found the key to his heart.
He had given up on that hope years ago. Tom was willing to be his friend, a damned good friend, and occasionally was willing to fuck him, and he was a damned good lover. Harry had no right to complain. Tom had never pretended they were any more than fuck buddies, and Harry had realised that they never would be.
Maybe Chakotay would succeed where he had failed.
He hoped so. He wanted Tom to be happy. Even if it meant losing what little of Tom that he himself possessed.
Knowing Tom, though, he doubted it.
If anyone would have stood a chance with Tom, it was B'Elanna, in his opinion. He had actually thought that Tom was really serious about the engineer. When Tom had dated B'Elanna it had been the first time since they arrived in the Delta Quadrant that Tom had relegated Harry to the sidelines.
For the first time in Harry's memory, Tom hadn't tried to fit Harry around the edges of his relationship, and that had proven to Harry that Tom was serious.
He had been almost disappointed on the night that Tom had walked him home from Sandrines, followed him into his quarters and casually said "Wanna fuck, Haz?".
His heart had contracted painfully at the lost look in Tom's eyes, and he had known, instantly, that for whatever reason, Tom and B'Elanna were over.
In retrospect, he probably should have refused, should have had some pride. But he had felt so damned sorry for Tom, and besides, his body had screamed out for Tom's touch.
In the months since then, although Tom had dated the occassional person, he had never again suggested that their own relationship should end, and despite his sorrow that Tom was lonely, Harry was selfish enough to treasure the reprieve that he had been awarded himself.
Three weeks ago, however, he had seen danger beginning to lurk on the horizon from a completely unexpected direction.
Of course, he had always suspected that the Commander's problem with Tom stemmed from sexual attraction, but he had put his own suspicions down to the undeniable fact that he couldn't imagine anyone *not* finding Tom irresistible.
And when Tom's own radar had picked up on Chakotay's interest and had confirmed his suspicions, by hatching his plot to get his rank back, Harry had tried desperately to be sure that his own words of warning weren't tainted by his own fear.
Because Chakotay was another B'Elanna. Someone he instinctively knew had the power to crash through Tom's barriers, someone who had the potential to achieve what he himself had never managed.
As much as Tom was denying it to himself, Harry had the horrible feeling that Chakotay was someone who Tom might actually fall in love with.
Not that he was jealous of the big Maquis, well not uncontrollably so anyway. Since he wasn't even in the running himself, since he understood that Tom only ever offered him the booby prize, he admittedly envied Chakotay but didn't wish him to fail.
The problem was, that Harry was pretty damned sure that Tom would only get himself hurt.
Self-destructive. That was Tom Paris. He had no respect for people like Harry who threw themselves at him and let him walk all over them, which was hardly surprising, after all.
No, Tom was attracted to people stronger than him, people who would try to control him, who wouldn't put up with his behaviour. He only felt love was worth having if people forced him to chase *them*.
Yet, like a wild creature, Tom battled against the very restraints he yearned for until he shattered them irrevocably by some senseless act of defiance.
Like he had with B'Elanna.
Like he inevitably would with Chakotay.
And good old Harry would have to be here to pick up the pieces again and glue Tom's ego back together until he felt strong enough to do it to himself all over again.
A blanket of oppressive helplessness smothered Harry as he lay in bed and listened to Tom cheerfully whistling to himself in the shower.
He could see his own future mapped out in all its stark misery. A lifetime as Tom's emotional crutch. Endless years of waiting for Tom to come back to him, and then waiting for him to leave again.
He should put his foot down, should grow a backbone, should learn some pride.
But he wouldn't.
He'd be here always, as faithful and unquestioning as ever, to stop Tom from floundering in the storms of his own creation.
He was Tom's anchor.
It was enough.
Chakotay looked in the mirror again and sighed. Maybe he should wear the black shirt after all. He had thought that this russet would match his eyes and would compliment his skin tones, but somehow it just seemed to emphasize the lines on his face.
He was getting older. It was inescapable. No matter how fit he kept his body, the years of laughter and sorrow had etched his face.
"You're mature," he told his reflection firmly. "That's all. You're not *that* much older than him. Hell, at least *your* hair isn't thinning."
Then he winced at his own cruel thought. As if *anything* could make Tom less attractive. Spirits, Tom could be bald and he'd still be a walking sex machine.
Which was another thing.
Tom had put himself on the line, had been brave enough to approach him in Sandrines, and he himself had reduced their date into something sordid by that stupid "dessert" comment.
Hell, Tom probably thought that he only saw him as a sex object now.
He was a stupid, insensitive idiot. It would serve him right if Tom had second thoughts about turning up at all.
Unless sex was all that Tom was interested in.
It was possible. Tom wasn't known for being particularly choosey about his bed-partners. The rumor was he had cut quite a swathe through the unattached crewmembers, and more than a couple of the attached ones.
So maybe Tom had been honest with his "same old, same old" comment. Perhaps he was simply looking for a different "taste".
He shuddered at the thought of being just another notch on Tom's bedpost. Hell, he knew he didn't deserve any more than that and he should probably be grateful for the opportunity to finally taste Tom's forbidden fruit, even if it was only once.
Yet the idea made him feel suddenly ill.
For the first time, he hoped Tom wouldn't turn up.
This had been a seriously bad idea, he realised. He had fantasised about Tom Paris for so many years that the reality would probably turn out to be a disappointment anyway, he told himself.
The alternative was worse. What if Tom really was all he had dreamt him to be? What if one taste addicted him and he spent the rest of his life yearning for something that he would never experience again?
He looked in disgust at the table that he had spent all afternoon preparing. The candles and flowers had seemed such a good idea before. Now he saw them as Tom would undoubtedly see them, the pathetic attempts of a middle-aged fool to turn the offer of a quick fuck into a romantic date.
Angrily he swept them off the table and into the recycler until nothing remained but a plainly set table. He turned off the low music selection that he had spent an hour agonising over, and changed back into an old shirt and well-worn pants.
When Tom arrived, *if* he arrived, he would feed him, share some pleasant conversation and then would firmly escort him to the door.
The best way to avoid being burnt by fire was not to strike the match in the first place, he decided.
As the door to Chakotay's cabin opened, Tom nearly dropped the bottle of Chardonay that he was carrying. Chakotay had obviously made no effort to dress up and instead of the low-lit ambience of the romantic dinner Tom had been expecting, Chakotay's quarters were spartan and uninviting.
Completely confused, Tom shuffled nervously from foot to foot before brandishing the bottle at the older man.
"I know you said don't bring anything," he said awkwardly. "But since it's a date, I thought, ummm, it *is* a date, isn't it?"
As an embarrassed flush spread across Tom's face and his fingers whitened around the neck of the bottle, Chakotay felt like the most insensitive bastard of all time.
He had invited Tom to dinner and then, because of his own cowardice, Tom now looked so humiliated that he wanted to turn tail and run.
"Come in," he urged. "I'm sorry I'm not dressed, something came up and I just got home," he lied. "Sit down and pour yourself a drink while I get changed."
Tom gave him a beaming smile of relief.
"Sure, I know how busy you are, Chakotay," he agreed cheerfully. "I don't mind waiting."
He waited until Chakotay disappeared into the bedroom before he let a frown descend over his features. He knew damn well Chakotay had just lied to him. He had checked Chakotay's whereabouts before visiting Harry.
Chakotay had been in his quarters all afternoon and evening, so why the hell hadn't he bothered to change? Besides, he wasn't a stupid man, he knew full well that Tom would easily be able to disprove his lie. So why had he done it?
A slow smile began to creep across Tom's features and he cocked his glass towards the closed door in a salute.
It was a message, obviously. Chakotay was warning him not to take him for granted. He was playing hard to get.
Tom took a deep draught of his wine and considered how he felt about that.
Sure, it would slow things down, Tom realised. He would probably have to amend his own mental timescale for the seduction of Chakotay. Obviously a quick fuck wasn't going to do it, after all.
On the other hand, it had been a long time since someone had truly surprised him like this. He had expected Chakotay to fall on him like a ravaging beast and then be so grateful afterwards that Tom could twist him easily around his little finger.
Chakotay's "Mr Cool" act was unexpected, but not entirely unwelcome.
The game had just become a hell of a lot more interesting, he decided.
Harry was jerked awake by the sensation of his mattress depressing as Tom crawled into bed behind him, wrapped his arms around his chest and nuzzled into the back of his neck.
For a moment he contemplated pretending he was still asleep, but his conscience pricked him. It was only just gone midnight and the fact that Tom was here so early, and had come to his quarters rather than gone home, clearly indicated that his date with Chakotay hadn't gone as well as he had expected.
"What's wrong, Tom?" he asked quietly.
"Shit," Tom cursed. "I'm sorry Haz, I didn't mean to wake you up."
"It's okay, Tom," Harry lied, "I wasn't asleep yet anyway."
"Oh, okay," Tom replied happily. "I remembered that I still owed you a hug. Didn't expect you to be in bed this early."
Since Harry hadn't gotten *out* of bed since Tom had left him just before 2030, he refrained from comment. At least his pillow had dried off now so Tom wouldn't guess he had spent most of the evening crying his eyes out like a baby.
"I didn't expect you to be leaving Chakotay's so early, either," Harry said quietly. He regretted the comment as soon as Tom released him abruptly and turned on his back to gaze at the ceiling.
Harry turned over and snuggled into Tom's chest apologetically.
"Shit I've got the worst case of ball-ache ever, Haz," Tom griped.
"You mean he didn't?" Harry asked in complete disbelief.
He had assumed Tom's presence in his bed had meant the sex had sucked, not that it hadn't even happened.
"No, he fucking didn't," Tom snarled. "We ate, we talked and then , then, you just ain't gonna believe this Haz, he asked me if I wanted to play chess! Chess! Fucking Chess, Haz."
"Shit, Tom. He must have ice in his veins," Harry replied loyally.
Tom laughed bitterly.
"He's a fucking walking refrigerator unit, Haz."
"He's unnatural," Harry agreed.
"I mean, I'm sitting there, all over him, my tongue practically hanging out, my ass for the taking, and he wants to play a fucking board game with me?" Tom demanded in outrage.
"Well maybe he just wants to take things slow, Tom," Harry offered hesitantly.
"Slow? If he moved any slower I'd have called a medical emergency. There's slow, Harry, and there's dead. I swear, it was like spending the evening with Tuvok. He was so unresponsive, I nearly checked to see if rigor mortis had set in."
"So you're going to give up on your plan?" Harry asked hopefully.
"I know his game, Harry. He thinks he's being cool. Well, by the time I'm finished with him, he won't remember what cool is. He wants me Harry, I can see it in his eyes. By the time I'm finished with him his whole world is gonna revolve around me. You just wait and see."
Harry closed his eyes in despair. *Was* Chakotay deliberately playing with Tom? It seemed so, because Harry couldn't imagine a better way to keep Tom interested than to give him the cold shoulder. That was why he had always believed B'Elanna had the pilot just where she wanted him.
Her continual refusal of his advances had been like a red rag to a bull for Tom. Now Chakotay was playing the same game, it seemed.
Tom was certainly agitated. Not only was he being uncharacteristically bitter, but Harry could see that his cock was lying hard and angry on his stomach, and he wasn't so foolish as to think that Tom's interest was in him at the moment.
"He really upset you, didn't he?" Harry said sympathetically.
Had it been daylight, had they been face to face rather than sharing a bed, no doubt Tom would have simply shrugged and lied. As it was, Tom gave a stifled sob of agreement.
Warmth flooded Harry's heart. *This* was why he put up with Tom, he suddenly realised. It was in moments like this, when Tom's defences were down and he finally revealed himself in all his vulnerability, that Harry knew why he loved Tom enough to put up with the rest of the crap.
Because he knew, beyond doubt, whatever anyone else would think of their relationship if they knew about it, that Tom trusted him.
And the trust of Tom Paris was more valuable to Harry than any riches and was perhaps even a more precious gift than Tom's love.
So he moved lower down Tom's body, pausing to kiss his stomach and then he stroked the angry hardness of Tom's erection with his tongue.
"That look's painful, Tom," he murmured. "Let me take care of it, let me take the pain away."
And as Harry swallowed him into his generous mouth and began to soothe his shaft with an eager tongue, Tom's eyes filled with tears and he wished, not for the first time, that he could love Harry back.
Yet, as Harry bobbed up and down, his hot mouth draining the tension and hurt out of Tom's body until he erupted with a scream of relief, it was another black-haired man that filled his mind.
After Harry had licked him clean and had climbed back up to cuddle in his arms, Tom spent a long time petting and caressing him in gratitude. Harry was the best friend a guy could have, in his opinion.
With Harry there were no messy emotional scenes, no senseless jealousy, no need to play games. Harry simply accepted him as he was and asked for no more than he was willing to give.
Unfortunately, there was no passion either. No danger, no thrill, no feeling of walking on the edge like he felt whenever he crossed glances with Chakotay.
Chakotay was dangerous, of that he was certain. Fire smouldered in *those* brown eyes. Chakotay was obviously going to be a worthy adversary, who would fight tooth and nail not to be defeated.
Yet, it would happen. It always did. The fire would quench, the danger would be averted, and eventually Chakotay's eyes would cloud with that all too familiar look of obsession. That would be the point at which Tom would be able to get away with anything and still be forgiven. That would be when he would get his lieutenant's pip back, and anything else he demanded as the price of his continued interest.
Oh yeah, he knew the game well. He was a Grand Master at it and Chakotay was going to lose. It was a done deal.
"Who is she?" Kathryn asked finally, as she saw Chakotay's eyes glaze over again as he grinned inanely into his coffee, as they shared their usual peaceful Sunday breakfast in her ready room.
"Huh? What?" he said as her voice pulled him back into reality.
"I know that look, Chakotay. It's the "all's right in the world because I'm in love" look. I admit I've never seen it on *your* face before, but it's unmistakable nevertheless."
Chakotay blushed. It was a good look for him, she decided.
"So, spill the beans, Chakotay. We're friends aren't we? Who is she?" Kathryn teased.
"I'd rather not say, at the moment, and it's not a she," Chakotay mumbled.
Kathryn gave a bellowing laugh.
"So *that's* why all your smouldering glances came to absolutely nothing when we finally had the opportunity to do something about them?"
Chakotay gave her an apologetic nod.
"I never anticipated "New Earth", Kathryn. I thought that as long as everyone thought I was holding a torch for you they wouldn't question the fact that I avoided other relationships."
Kathryn took a thoughtful sip of her coffee.
"Hmmmn, so that means you have been interested in someone else all along, and you thought that person was out of your reach but you've changed your mind?"
Chakotay's mouth dropped open in surprise.
"Okay, fess up Kathryn. Your bond with Tuvok has given you telepathic powers, hasn't it?"
She laughed delightedly.
"Unfortunately not, it's only Tuvok's thoughts that I can read. My relationship has, however, opened my eyes to a few things I was too blind to see before. Like the importance of love and companionship. I guess the truth is that now I am so happy, I want everyone else to be happy too."
Chakotay gave a self-depreciating smile.
"Well it's early days, Kathryn. We've only had one date and I was a perfect gentleman all night. This is too important to me to rush, Kathryn. This person is special, so special that I don't care how long it takes for our relationship to develop."
"So he's shy? Physically I mean?" Kathryn asked, intrigued.
Chakotay bit his lip uncertainly.
"No, quite the opposite, only it's not his body I'm in love with, Kathryn. Well, it is, of course, but there's more to him than that, a lot more. I don't think he even realises that himself."
"So, you hope that by taking things slowly, you can prove to him that it's a real relationship that you are after, rather than just sex?" Kathryn asked.
"Something like that, yeah," Chakotay confirmed.
"But you *do* fancy him too?"
"Oh Spirits, yes," Chakotay replied fervently.
"Then I bet you had a serious case of ball-ache last night," Kathryn laughed.
Chakotay choked on his coffee.
"I see married life is definitely not improving your language, Kathryn," he complained,
"I'm a Starfleet brat, Chakotay. We aren't known for delicacy over sexual matters. If you don't believe me, ask Tom Paris."
Chakotay blushed an even deeper shade of purple.
"Oh no, tell me it's not true. You're in love with Tom?"
"And if I am?" Chakotay snapped so defensively that she knew she had hit the nail on the head.
"Then you've got excellent taste, Chakotay, and I don't just mean physically," she said sincerely. "However, I don't think he's the settling down type. He tried it with B'Elanna and it ended in tears. *Her* tears."
"Like I said, we're taking it slow. We only had our first date last night, and I didn't even kiss him," Chakotay replied.
"You mean to tell me you spent a date with Tom Paris without even managing to get your tongue down his throat? Hell, Chakotay, I've gone further than that with him myself," Kathryn choked.
"Which is *exactly* my point, Kathryn," Chakotay replied in a tone of injured pride. "I intend to treat Tom with the respect he deserves."
Kathryn contemplated his words solemnly.
"So you love him?"
"Yes," Chakotay confessed.
"And so you want to take it slow?"
"Despite the fact that he will sashay his ass in your face like a cat on heat until he gets what he wants?"
"Then all I can say, Chakotay, is that you'd better go see the Doctor and see if he can prescribe anything to relieve the symptoms."
"Chronic ball-ache," Kathryn sniggered.
As Tom passed the command chairs at warp speed and dived onto his chair with scant seconds to spare, Kathryn's words about Tom sashaying his ass made Chakotay shift uncomfortably on his seat as his long-neglected cock made a futile attempt to attract his attention.
Spirits, surely Tom's uniform had never been *that* tight before, he asked himself.
It had been bad enough last night when Tom had spent the whole of their second date accidentally dropping his chess pieces on the floor and then having to bend over and pick them up.
Tom had explained that chess made him nervous because of the way the Admiral had always turned it into a blood-sport. His face had been so white, and his fingers so trembling, every time that he made a move, that not only had Chakotay concluded that Tom genuinely couldn't help dropping his pieces, and the consequent sex show that resulted, but that he would never suggest chess as a pastime again.
Chakotay knew that Tom lived almost his whole off-duty life in those damned jeans that were so tight he could only imagine Tom pouring himself into them, so he had tried just to enjoy the view and not let them distract him *too* much.
For Tom to arrive on the bridge in a uniform that nearly cut the crack of his ass in two, however, was almost too much to cope with.
He figured Tom was sending him a message and as much as his head wanted to ignore the signal, his cock wasn't feeling so restrained. Tonight he would at least kiss Tom goodnight, he decided abruptly, and prayed that one taste of those honeyed lips wouldn't rip away his self-control. He had spent the last two nights in the shower after Tom had left, re-acquainting himself with mother thumb and her four agile daughters.
Tom shifted uncomfortably on his seat. Shit, his ass felt like it was going to split in half. After he had left Chakotay's quarters in disgust, he had gone to Harry's place. Harry had been so understanding, not to mention accommodating, that Tom had spent the night, waking far too late to get back to his own quarters unseen to change before shift.
Too canny to risk using Harry's replicator for a uniform, he had borrowed one of Harry's, trusting that his high-ankle black boots would conceal the shortness of the pants legs. It had never occurred to him that Harry's ass was so damned small though. Tight, yes, small, no.
He hadn't been able to even fasten them without discarding his boxers first, so the seam was biting into his ass. Shit, Harry would probably never wash them again once he had given them back, he figured. Knowing Harry, he'd keep them as some kind of trophy.
He sat, and shuffled, and prayed for lunch-time so that he could finally get back to his own quarters and change.
"Thanks, Haz," he said, emerging naked from his bedroom with the pants in one hand while the other hand rubbed antiseptic cream into the sore red skin of his ass.
With typical Paris luck, they had encountered a large asteroid field mid-morning and as Chief Pilot he had been forced to man his post until they were safely clear. He hadn't managed to remove his sore ass from the helm until gone 1800.
"Oh, don't bother," Harry squeaked as Tom headed for the refresher with the pants. "I'll sort that out later."
Tom sighed and handed over the pants. Just as he had suspected, Harry obviously wanted to keep them. Probably was jealous of them for getting that close to his ass, which was something Harry himself had never accomplished.
"Owch, that *does* look sore, Tom," Harry gasped, as Tom bent over to retrieve his boots from where he had kicked them off in his panic to get the pants off. "Since I'm kind of responsible, I probably ought to help you with that cream, Tom," Harry added with a sly smile.
Tom shook his head firmly. Hell, it wouldn't hurt him to throw Harry a bone, he figured, but he was determined that tonight was the night with Chakotay, whether the big man was ready or not. Maybe he could ask Chakotay to rub his ass for him.
It would certainly help to break the ice.
Since it was their third date, and chess had been ruled out as an activity, Chakotay decided to spend a large portion of his replicator credits on some quality holodec time.
He had taken advantage of his position, and Kathryn's romantic nature, to book a four-hour time slot. Knowing Tom's preference for all things French, he had programmed an exclusive restaurant on the craggy Normandy shoreline, complete with a panoramic view of an atmospheric storm that caused the waves to crash against the sea wall and send their spray against the windows.
The contrast of the warm fire and good food inside, with the raging storm outside, gave an ambience that reminded him oddly of Tom himself. The pilot was equally wild on the surface, yet surprisingly warm and welcoming underneath. In a way, by highlighting his appreciation of the beauty of the untamed sea, he hoped to portray his intention to accept Tom as he was, rather than try to mold him into a more generally acceptable persona.
There was beauty in diversity, strength in uniqueness, and something precious about Tom's need for independence. Chakotay didn't want to tame Tom, he just wanted to be allowed to adore him for what he already was.
"Shit," Tom muttered under his breath, shuffling on his chair, and pushing his fork listlessly around his plate, destroying the complex pattern of culinary delight that had cost Chakotay a week's worth of rations.
Chakotay swallowed miserably. Although Tom had *seemed* to appreciate the program when they first entered, he had spent the last hour looking increasingly uncomfortable.
"If you want, we can change the program, Tom," he offered, inwardly flinching at the cost to his rapidly depleting rations but desperate to put the smile back on Tom's face.
Tom gave him a brave smile.
"Sorry, Chak. It's not the program. The program's great. Thank you."
"Then what's wrong? Is it me? Have I upset you somehow? What have I done?" Chakotay asked.
Since Tom could hardly reply "You haven't fucked me yet," without sounding like a slut, he moved swiftly to plan B.
"It's, ummm, it's personal Chak, nothing to do with you, honest," he whispered miserably.
Chakotay leaned over, took his hand and squeezed it encouragingly.
"What is it? What's wrong?"
"It's, ummm, it's too embarrassing to talk about," Tom replied, the intense blue of his eyes deepened by the hot flush that spread across his cheeks.
"Please tell me," Chakotay asked, beginning to feel decidedly concerned.
"It's kind of medical, that's all," Tom said, trying to shrug nonchalantly.
Chakotay surged to his feet.
"That's it, we're going to Sickbay," he announced firmly.
Poor Tom was obviously unwell but hadn't wanted to break the date with him. The realisation warmed his heart, but enough was enough. If Tom was ill, he needed a Doctor, not a romantic dinner.
"I can't," Tom wailed in horror. "It's too embarrassing, I'd never be able to look the Doc in the face again."
"I don't understand, Tom. What could possibly be too embarrassing for you to see the Doctor about?" Chakotay demanded.
In a near whisper, Tom reluctantly confessed,
"It's my ass."
"My ass," Tom sniffed miserably.
"What's wrong with your ass, Tom?"
Tom flushed again.
"It's a bit raw. I don't wear underwear," he saw Chakotay color a little and grinned inwardly, "and something went wrong with my replicator this morning. My uniform came out too small."
"I noticed," Chakotay managed to reply before the memory of Tom's ass tightly sheathed in black, caused him to lose his voice.
"Anyway," Tom resumed doggedly, "the seam of the pants rubbed me and I couldn't reach the spot with my personal regenerator, and I couldn't possibly go to Sickbay, and it's not something you can exactly ask someone for help with, is it?"
"No, I guess not," Chakotay choked.
"I mean it's not like I'm in a relationship, is it? Shit, I didn't mean to say it like that, I mean we *are* in a kind of relationship, at least I hope we are, `cos I do want us to be, but we aren't in *that* kind of relationship yet, so I couldn't ask you, only I couldn't ask anyone else, either, cos you might find out and take it the wrong way, and oh hell, I just don't know what to do," Tom gasped, finally running out of breath.
Chakotay took a deep breath as he pondered Tom's panicked monologue. Tom was right, he *would* take it the wrong way if Tom dropped his pants in front of someone else, whatever the reason. Hell, no one was looking at Tom's ass except him, he decided.
"Come on," he said firmly, rising to his feet again and offering Tom his hand.
"We going to Sick bay?" Tom asked miserably.
"No, we're going back to my quarters. I've got a regenerator, and if that doesn't do the trick, there's a few old remedies in my med-kit that will sort the problem," he said kindly.
"I'm SO embarrassed," Tom whispered as they left the holodec and limped towards Chakotay's quarters.
Chakotay hauled him to a halt, pulled him in for a hug and then placed a chaste kiss on Tom's forehead.
"Don't be," he chided softly. "You're special to me, Tom Paris. There isn't an inch of your body that isn't special to me because it is part of you. I promise I won't act any differently than if I was applying the regenerator to your arm or leg," he promised.
Harry listened in growing disbelief.
"And he meant it?" he demanded.
"Yeah. The guy is fucking unbelievable, Haz," Tom spat.
"I'm lying on his bed, my pants round my ankles, my ass in the air, and he's running his fingers up and down my crack with this thick gel on his hands, and I'm so fucking turned on that my ass is practically winking at him, and he just fucking gets up, tells me to be careful about wearing tight trousers for a couple of days, pulls me to my feet and helps me to get dressed again."
"Didn't you say anything to him?" Harry asked.
"What the fuck was I supposed to say, Haz? Shit the guy had just poked his finger up my asshole just in case I needed any medicine there too, and when I moaned my head off to let him know how good it felt, the bastard just apologised for hurting me."
"Shit Tom, he *has* got ice in his veins," Harry stated in disbelief, grasping his hands tightly to stop them trembling. Oh shit, if only Tom had let *him* put the medicine on, he thought. *He* wouldn't have wasted the opportunity. What the fuck was wrong with Chakotay, anyway?
"You wanna stay tonight, Tom?" he offered, figuring the best way to break Tom out of his self-pity would be to let him fuck him through the mattress. If he couldn't touch Tom's ass, the second best thing was always to offer his own.
"Nah, thanks Haz, but I'm tired. I'm going to have an early night," Tom said miserably.
As Tom left his quarters, Harry's heart lurched.
Fuck. There *was* nothing wrong with Chakotay after all. The bastard had obviously sussed Tom out and was stringing him along. Tom had turned down Harry's ass, and that was serious, that meant Tom *was* falling for Chakotay big time.
On the other hand, as clever as Chakotay was being, his campaign was doomed to failure, because eventually he would claim Tom's ass and would then finally fall under the pilot's spell.
And as soon as it happened, Tom would lose interest in him.
Leopards didn't change their spots.
"Oh fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, oh TOM!" Chakotay screamed, his hand sliding up and down his cock, greased by the same gel that his fingers had applied to Tom's reddened ass.
It had been no wonder the pilot had been unable to eat his dinner. The crack of his ass had been raw. Chakotay had tried so hard to be professional, knowing that taking advantage of Tom's injury would be tantamount to abuse, yet he hadn't been able to resist snaking his well-greased pinky finger into Tom's rosy pucker to supposedly apply medicine there too.
Tom's moan of discomfort had shocked him to his senses, and ashamed of himself, he had rapidly finished the treatment, had dressed Tom and sent him home before he lost control of himself again.
It was probably just as abusive to be doing this though, even if the pilot was unaware that he was jerking off in his shower, deliberately using the same gel to recapture the feeling of Tom's flesh beneath his fingers.
Hell, as soon as Tom was feeling better, he was going to make a real move on him, he decided. Now he had seen what Tom's tight jeans barely concealed, he wasn't going to be able to rest until he had worshipped Tom's ass as it had been designed to be worshipped.
From the inside.
"I love you Tom Paris," Chakotay said, his voice choking with emotion. "I want to worship your body with mine, I want to show you what you mean to me. I want to prove to you that you are where my world begins and ends. I want to, oh fuck, what a load of trite crap. He'll laugh his head off, you old fool."
He gazed at himself in the mirror, his dark eyes filled with self- disgust. He just couldn't find the words that would assure Tom that it wasn't just his body he was after, but his soul.
Maybe it was just too soon, after all. Just because he couldn't control the ache in his own groin was no excuse to treat Tom like this. Spirits, he had yearned from afar for enough years, surely he could wait another few days or even weeks, rather than take the chance of frightening Tom off for good.
Tom was definitely responding well to his lack of sexual attention, as far as he could see. It was practically unheard of for Tom to see the same person regularly, yet Tom had gone out with him every night for a week. Tom hadn't even been seeing Harry and Chakotay knew that the pair usually hung out together most evenings.
And tonight was Friday night, he had been dating Tom for exactly a week, and as much as he had wanted to celebrate the fact, he had been reluctant to interfere with Tom's ritual of playing Pool with Harry and the Delaneys.
He had assured Tom that he would be perfectly happy to watch as usual, especially since his medicine seemed to have worked and Tom was back in his favorite jeans.
To his surprise and intense satisfaction, though, Tom had shyly whispered that he'd rather be alone with him tonight instead.
Which was why he had changed his sheets, cleaned his bedroom, put a fresh container of lube in the bedside drawer, spent a good hour in the shower ensuring he was spotlessly clean himself, and had agonised for hours over what to wear that would be sexy, practical and easy to remove.
Only now it didn't seem such a good idea, after all. He was taking Tom for granted, wasn't he? Maybe Tom would take his preparations the wrong way, as though after a week of dating, Chakotay was preparing to demand a return on the cost of their dates.
Shit, he felt like a teenager again. He hadn't felt this nervous about a relationship since his first ever boyfriend. He'd been a Starfleet brat too, he recalled, and Chakotay had felt like a bumbling backwards fool next to the polished grace of someone brought up in the echelons of Starfleet.
Maybe that was the truth of the matter after all. He just didn't feel good enough for Tom. Not only was the blond gorgeous enough to pick up anyone who took his fancy, but he was better educated and better bred. It didn't matter how badly Tom had screwed his life up in the past, it didn't detract from the basic truth that he was Starfleet nobility, born with a silver-spoon in his mouth, and far too good for a middle-aged, Dorvanian ex-maquis.
Chakotay had long ago lost the insecurity he had borne in the academy. With maturity, he had learned to be proud of his heritage and be sure of his own strengths and abilities. Yet something about Tom Paris seemed to strip away those years of experience, leaving him vulnerable and afraid.
"You're in love, you fool, that's all," he told his reflection.
It was true. He loved Tom Paris and the feeling was both wonderful and terrifying. The more so because he honestly couldn't believe that Tom would ever feel the same way about him.
"But we *always* play pool together on Fridays," Harry whined.
It was bad enough that Tom had stopped coming to his bed, but even when Tom was with B'Elanna, he had never failed to keep his weekly pool session with Harry and the Delaney Twins.
"I know, Haz, and I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you, I promise," Tom assured him absently, rummaging through his wardrobe to find the white silk shirt that he knew was lurking somewhere within. He wanted to look angelic and virginal tonight.
He had tried subtle, had tried seductive and had even tried playing "doctors" with Chakotay. Tonight he was going to try a completely new approach, tonight he would be Tom the coy and misunderstood virgin.
So okay, it would take a bit of work to be convincing, but he had a feeling that the key to Chakotay's soul was to tap into the Commander's feelings of protectiveness. He would exploit Chakotay's own strengths and turn them into weaknesses.
Chakotay had played a good game, but it was time for Tom to move in for the kill.
"It's not a very exciting program. It's a bit, well, juvenile, I guess. I hope you don't mind," Tom said hesitantly, as they paused at the entrance to the holodec.
"I asked you to show me your favorite personal program, Tom. It doesn't matter *what* it is, I just want to get to know you better," Chakotay replied softly.
Tom flushed, dropping his chin onto his chest so that he could avoid Chakotay's eyes.
"It's probably not what you're expecting," he whispered. "It's my private place. Nobody else has ever been here."
Which was true, at least, since Tom had only written the program that morning. He had started it as soon as he had hatched his new plot to break through Chakotay's resistance.
Chakotay felt ridiculously touched.
"Thank you, Tom. It means a lot to me that you trust me enough to share something so private with me," he said.
Tom turned towards the control panel to hide his irrepressible grin of sweet triumph.
"Computer, play Paris program Omega241."
The door slid open and Chakotay's jaw dropped in wonder. He stepped forward over the soft grass and then waited for Tom to join him and the arch to disappear.
"I can't believe it," Chakotay said in wonder, as his eyes scanned his surroundings.
Tom kicked nervously at the grass under his feet. "I knew you'd think it was stupid," he sniffed sulkily, his voice filled with hurt.
Chakotay turned towards him in astonishment only to be momentarily distracted by the way Tom's white shirt, so incongruous in the corridors of Voyager, now showed Tom to perfection in this setting. He drew Tom into his arms, ignoring the stiffness in Tom's shoulders, and hugged him fiercely.
"It's not stupid at all. It's the most wonderful thing I have ever seen," he assured the younger man.
"Really?" Tom gasped in amazement, "You aren't just saying that?"
"Really, Tom. I admit that I *am* surprised. I never saw you as a romantic."
"It's not meant to be romantic," he said gruffly. "No-one was ever supposed to see it, but me."
Chakotay laughed gently.
"Maybe so, Tom, but a fairy-tale castle, unicorns, elves, fairy rings and rainbows, they seem pretty romantic to me."
"I just liked them when I was a kid, wanted them to be real. Now, I'm no longer a kid, but I can *make* them real. They talk, you know, the animals, I mean. There's even a winged horse, and she can fly, and she'll sometimes let me ride her, if I ask really nicely, but she's shy so I don't suppose she'll come out."
"And are there dragons and witches and goblins here too?" Chakotay asked, enchanted by Tom's program.
Tom shuddered violently.
"No," he spat. "There's nothing bad here, nothing bad at all. This is MY place. There's nothing bad here," he repeated, then he swung towards Chakotay in alarm.
"Why did you think there would be?" he demanded furiously.
"I'm sorry Tom, I didn't mean anything by it. It's just that most fairy tales have goblins and dragons and wicked step-mothers as well as fairy castles," Chakotay explained.
"WELL MINE DON'T!" Tom screamed, wrenching himself out of Chakotay's arms and racing away towards the trees, his wild flight causing a family of rabbits to leap out of his way with angry curses.
"Watch where you're going, young man," one of the rabbits squeaked in protest, only to be bowled over by Chakotay who was charging after him.
"Sorry," Chakotay yelled back, before he remembered the rabbit was only a projection of light.
He eventually found Tom sitting in a tiny copse, his arms wrapped around his knees, his tear-filled eyes oblivious to the tiny fairies that floated around him like concerned butterflies.
"I'm sorry, Tom. The last thing I wanted to do was to upset you. This *is* a special, magical place and you're right, there's nothing bad here," Chakotay soothed, carefully seating himself next to Tom and draping his arm over his shoulders.
Tom sniffed and rubbed at his tears with his forearm.
"Why, Chak?" he whispered.
"Why what?" Chakotay asked softly.
"Why do people always think the worst of me?" Tom asked plaintively. "Why is it so impossible to believe that all I want is this," and he gestured helplessly around him, "instead of believing that I *want* the bad things too?"
For a split-second, Chakotay was angry that Tom should have so badly misjudged his comments, then, as the thin shoulders shook in misery under his embrace, compassion took the place of his anger.
Tom *was* right in a way. Had he placed bets on what Tom's favorite program would be, he would have expected a bordello, a bar or Captain Proton. It was one of the reasons he had been so shocked when Tom had arrived in loose white silk, rather than a leather jacket.
Chakotay was also honest enough to understand that while Tom had over- reacted to his innocent statement, Tom's interpretation of his opinion was also a little too close to the bone.
For a week, Tom had been open and honest with him, eagerly pursuing a relationship with him, and how had he reacted?
His doubts had been more related to his own feelings of inadequacy than any distrust of Tom's motivations, yet did it really make any difference?
The bottom line was that he *had* been waiting for something bad to happen, for a "goblin" or "witch" to emerge.
He had no more taken Tom at face value than he had taken this program.
Just as Tom had taken the risk of bringing him here to this secret place, so Tom had been taking risks all week long, since he had approached him in Sandrines.
It was time to take a risk himself, he decided.
"I love this program, Tom, and I love you."
For a long while Tom was silent, and the sounds of birdsong and the beating of fairy wings was drowned by the thudding beat of Chakotay's heat.
Then, still refusing to turn and face him, Tom finally spoke.
"Please, Chakotay," he begged brokenly. "Don't say that if you don't mean it. I couldn't bear it if you didn't really mean it."
"Oh Spirits, Tom, how could I possibly *not* mean it," Chakotay replied, twisting his body until he was facing Tom's tear-stained face.
"You don't have any idea how beautiful you are, do you?" he asked Tom in wonder. "I don't just mean your face, Tom, I mean your soul. You *are* as beautiful and unexpected and wonderful as this secret place, and I *do* love you."
Tom's eyes widened in disbelief and Chakotay drowned in the glistening blue pools.
"I love you," Chakotay repeated firmly.
A hesitant smile began to creep across Tom's face until it finally emerged in such brilliance that it rivalled the radiance of the sun.
"Love me," Tom whispered, and Chakotay was lost.
He pressed his lips lightly against Tom's, feeling a momentary resistance and then Tom's mouth opened and welcomed him in. He ran his tongue over Tom's, sampling his essence, savoring the sweet taste of his breath.
With a groan, Chakotay leant into the kiss, distracting Tom with his tongue as his fingers fumbled with the old fashioned button fastenings of his white shirt. He pushed the silken material back over Tom's shoulders, revealing the firm muscles of Tom's chest and the surprisingly dark areola of Tom's nipples.
He squeezed one between his forefinger and thumb, teasing it to a hard nub. Tom arched and gasped, his tongue flicking desperately into Chakotay's mouth to deepen the kiss, yet Chakotay pulled his mouth away, ignoring Tom's sob of abandonment, and lowering his mouth to Tom's chest he sucked on Tom's erect tit.
He teased the flesh with his teeth, sucking hard enough to leave an angry red mark, then transferred his attentions to Tom's other nipple, this time biting down hard enough to make Tom squeal.
Placing his hands firmly on Tom's shoulders, he pushed the younger man down until he was prone on the soft grass, his hips straddled by Chakotay's thighs.
Chakotay lowered his head to Tom's stomach and laved his tongue into Tom's belly-button. Tom bucked beneath him, his crotch leaping to meet Chakotay's own. As Chakotay felt the solid hardness of Tom's interest touching his own, he lost any remaining self-control.
"Do you want me, Tom?" he gasped, already beginning to unbutton Tom's white jeans.
"Oh god, YES," Tom wept shamelessly. His chest was on fire from Chakotay's bites and his cock was straining eagerly against its fabric cage. If Chakotay didn't hurry up and release it from its restraint, Tom was going to have to replicate a clean pair of pants just to walk back to his quarters.
Chakotay snapped open the buttons of Tom's fly, and began to peel the material down Tom's hips.
"Beautiful," he purred in appreciation, as Tom's elegant cock and heavy balls were revealed, nestled in a nest of red-gold hair.
He snaked out his tongue and ran it delicately over the weeping glans, then, as Tom bucked in reaction, he slid back up Tom's body and pushed his tongue into Tom's mouth so that the pilot could taste himself.
His blue eyes glazed and almost black with desire, Tom's hands began to rip frantically at Chakotay's own shirt.
"No, Tom, not here. I want to fuck you, Tom, if I may?"
"Oh Gods, yes, fuck me, fuck me NOW!"
For a moment, Chakotay was almost swayed by the evident, shameless need in Tom's husky voice, but fortunately common sense asserted itself.
"We don't have time, Tom. We barely have another ten minutes left before we have to leave the holodec, and I can assure you that ten minutes is not enough for the way that I intend to fuck you," he promised. "Besides, I don't have any lube, and I'd rather cut my cock off than ever hurt you with it, Tom. Let's take this back to my quarters, okay?"
Tom sighed in reluctant acceptance.
"Sure," he said. "Only I've got a problem."
"What's wrong, Tom?" Chakotay asked in alarm.
"I don't think I can get my pants back on," Tom moaned, pointing sheepishly at his jutting cock.
Chakotay smiled broadly.
"Oh, believe me, Tom. That's *no* problem," he snickered.
As Chakotay's mouth swallowed him, Tom grunted in ecstasy and sank back on the grass, opening his legs wide enough for Chakotay's fingers to caress his ass, while his talented mouth siphoned at his cock.
"Game, set and match, Chakotay," he whispered softly, then relaxed back to enjoy the ride.
"Um, would you like a drink, Tom?" Chakotay asked nervously, when they arrived back in his quarters.
He had led Tom through the corridors at almost a run, the taste of Tom filling his mouth, the pressure in his groin so intense that it had actually been painful to walk, yet now, as the door whispered shut behind them, his impetus slowed and he was suddenly afraid.
They were no longer in that magical glade, the passion that had swept through him, and that was still raging in his blood, suddenly seemed a little sordid in the ordinary setting of his quarters.
What if it had just been the heat of the moment for Tom?
What if the pilot was already having second thoughts?
Tom groaned inwardly as he saw the sudden confusion on the older man's face.
Fuck. The bastard was changing his mind again. Well, too damned bad. He hadn't gotten this far just to let the fish off the hook now.
Chakotay's peculiar sense of, what was word he was looking for? Chivalry, that was it, Chakotay's old-fashioned chivalry was beginning to seriously piss him off. But, whatever it took, he shrugged. He decided to play Chakotay's game tonight. Hell, if the big guy wanted to pretend to be a knight errant, Tom could do damsel in distress.
He waited until Chakotay's back was turned towards the replicator and then savagely squeezed his left nipple. Already bruised from Chakotay's bite of passion, the skin was tender and sensitive, so it only took a fierce wrench for tears of pain to well up in his eyes.
Then he approached Chakotay's back and hesitantly tapped him on the shoulder.
Staring sightlessly at the replicator controls, trying to control his breathing, and wondering how the hell he could get Tom into the bedroom without giving the impression that all he wanted to do was screw Tom through the mattress, which was admittedly true, Chakotay nearly leapt out of his skin as Tom's fingers touched his shoulder.
He spun around in surprise, only to see the pilot's blue eyes drowning in tears.
Oh, Spirits, what had he done? He felt like a monster. He had accidentally upset Tom with his clumsy words, then had taken advantage of Tom's need for comfort.
He knew Tom had been genuinely turned on, but that hadn't meant it was something he had really wanted, had it? Tom's body obviously wanted him, but he was beginning to suspect that Tom's mind was too confused to know what it wanted.
"I'm sorry, Tom. So sorry," he whispered, wiping at Tom's confused tears. "I think you should go home now."
Tom nearly collapsed in shock.
The bastard. The fucking cock-teasing BASTARD.
For the first time in his memory, he was completely at a loss for words.
He had scurried here after Chakotay, his ass already aching in anticipation of a fuck to end all fucks after the way that Chakotay had bitten him, with an animal passion that had completely taken his breath away. Chakotay's touch had screamed a promise of such wild, rough and abandoned sex to come, that he had shot his own load the moment Chakotay's lips had touched his cock.
Hell, he had seen the fire in Chakotay's eyes and had interpreted it as danger, he had never anticipated the volcanic passion under the Commander's stoic fašade.
And now the bastard was just telling him to go home?
What a fucking prick tease!
He couldn't stop a whimper of disappointment from bubbling through his furious lips.
"I – I thought, I mean you said, you said you loved me!" he snivelled, letting the tears flow down his cheeks to emphasize his misery.
Through the watery film, his eyes saw Chakotay's face soften into an expression of adoration, and Tom's ass wiggled in sudden excitement as Chakotay's arms wrapped themselves around him in a fierce bear-hug.
He went limp in Chakotay's embrace and closed his eyes in anticipation of being swept up in Chakotay's arms, carried into the bedroom and ravaged within an inch of his life.
As soon as Tom uttered the words, "You said you loved me!" Chakotay knew his doubts were correct.
Poor Tom *did* think that he had to sleep with him just to keep his love.
As much as he was sure that Tom would enjoy the experience, despite the fact that he was positive that Tom's responsive body would cheerfully dance to his tune, Chakotay couldn't in all conscience sleep with anyone if they saw the sex as emotional blackmail.
It was too important. Tom was too important. Chakotay couldn't possibly risk the possibility that Tom would wake up the next day feeling used.
Tom had been upset on the holodec, just as he was obviously emotionally over-wrought now, and no matter how much his own body was screaming at him to simply give in and accept Tom's offer, his conscience refused.
He wouldn't do it.
He wouldn't take advantage like this.
Maybe he was fooling himself. Perhaps Tom didn't have the same deep convictions about the sanctity of the physical expression of love. Yet, it didn't matter. It was his own conscience that he would have to answer to, and his gut feeling was that it would be wrong to go through with it tonight.
He was relieved that he had at least dealt with Tom's own arousal. It would have been cruel and unfair to leave Tom unsatisfied after he had driven him to such a frenzy. But Tom wasn't responsible for the hard-on he himself was sporting and he'd be damned if he used Tom just to slake his own lust.
"I do love you, Tom," he whispered. "I love you more than I thought it was possible to love another person."
Tom moaned and pressed against him, his lighter frame melting against his chest, his head bowed into Chakotay's neck so that his hot tears stung Chakotay's flesh like accusations.
It was the feel of Tom's tears trickling down his neck that hardened his resolve.
When he and Tom slept together, and spirits it had better be soon or he would explode, he had to be *sure* it was really what Tom wanted. Tom had to be smiling, and happy, not crying in fear of abandonment.
"I love you, Tom," Chakotay repeated. "Now dry your eyes, go home and get some sleep, okay?"
Tom pulled back out of his arms and looked at him with such astonishment that Chakotay was sure he had done the right thing.
"You don't, don't want, I mean, aren't you going to, to, umm, fuck me?" Tom stuttered. "You, you, umm, you said you wanted to fuck me."
Chakotay smiled softly in apology.
"No, Tom, I was wrong. I don't want to "fuck" you. When we sleep together I want us to be making love," he explained gently. "So, for now, I think it's best if you go home."
Harry choked on his whiskey.
As soon as Tom had stormed into Sandrines and attacked the pool table like a vengeful demon, Harry had realised that something had gone seriously wrong with Tom's date.
Harry hadn't even managed to touch the table. From the moment he broke, until the last ball was violently rammed into a pocket, the only sound in the bar was the savage crack of cue against ball.
Then Tom had slammed the cue down, grabbed Harry by the shoulder and propelled him towards the bar with a curt "Your round, Haz."
Too desperate to hear the juicy details to risk interruption, Harry had suggested they returned to his quarters instead. Tom had started to refuse, until Harry had slyly reminded him that he still had an unopened bottle of genuine scotch whiskey.
Harry had been saving it for years, for one very special occasion, and he had an odd feeling, looking at Tom's face, that tonight could be *the* night.
"So, he sucked you off, told you he loved you, then threw you out of his quarter's," Harry gasped, his throat burning as the whiskey went down the wrong way.
Tom's eyes blazed as he stared endlessly into his own glass, as though the amber liquid held the answer to the mystery that was Commander Chakotay.
For a long time, he ignored Harry's question, before finally raising his face, his features etched with miserable confusion.
"I thought I had him, Haz," he spat. "He was in my sights, Haz, a clear target, I cocked my gun, I aimed, I fired, I fucking missed!"
"He's clever," Harry commiserated with a burp.
"He played me, Haz. He fucking played me again!" Tom hissed, taking another gulp of his drink.
"Well, at least he blew you," Harry said. "That's progress, at least."
"Yeah, I guess," Tom agreed miserably.
"Was he good?" Harry asked.
A grin crept over Tom's drunken face.
"Yeah, he was *hot*," he chuckled. "Look," and he ripped his shirt open to show his swollen nipples. He tried to look down himself, but moving his head made him feel too dizzy, so he closed his eyes and let his head fall backwards instead.
Harry gulped at the sight of Tom sprawled half-naked on his couch. He could see dark bruises around Tom's areolae and definite teeth-marks on the left nipple.
He bit his own lips, then slid down off his chair, swaying a little at the change of altitude, then crawled between Tom's open legs so that his head was level with Tom's chest.
As Harry's mouth closed around his right nipple, hard enough to leave his own mark, Tom jerked awake.
"What you doin' Haz?" he slurred.
Harry sucked harder, drawing a deep moan out of Tom's throat.
"You like this, don't you?" Harry murmured, as Tom bucked helplessly under his teeth.
"Oh, fuck, yeah!" Tom agreed, as Harry's mouth drove him wild.
He felt Harry fumbling with his trousers and he instinctively lifted his hips to help, then shuddered as he felt the cold air on his groin.
"Cold," he slurred, "I'm cold, Haz."
"I know, Tom. Try and get up, we can go to bed, it's warm in bed."
Tom staggered to his feet, then lurched as his feet tangled with his trousers. Harry contemplated pulling them back up, decided it would be a waste of time and instead removed Tom's boots so he could slide the jeans off completely.
Then Harry rose, threw Tom's left arm over his own shoulders, wrapped his right hand around Tom's waist, half-dragged, half-carried him to the bedroom and dropped him face down on the bed.
Quickly stripping, he scrambled onto the bed next to Tom, hesitated nervously, then dropped his head to Tom's firm ass cheeks and finally did the thing that had consumed his fantasies for years.
He bit Tom's ass.
"I can't believe you bit my fucking bum, Haz!" Tom spat, wriggling uncomfortably as Harry ran the regenerator over his ass with trembling fingers.
"I'm sorry, Tom," Harry snivelled.
"You'd better make damned sure there isn't a mark left," Tom warned. "What the hell will Chakotay think?"
The words "If he even tries to look," crossed Harry's mind but he bit his tongue. He was in enough shit with Tom already.
"I swear, Tom. There's no mark left. It's gone."
"So why the hell does it still hurt like fuck?" Tom demanded.
"I, um, I got a bit carried away, I think. I guess I tore a muscle or two under the skin," Harry confessed guiltily.
"Fuck, Harry. What the hell were you trying to do?" Tom asked in astonishment.
Harry mumbled something under his breath.
"What?" Tom demanded, rolling onto his back with a pained wince so that he could look Harry in the face.
"Fuck you," Harry whispered guiltily. "I was trying to fuck you, Tom."
He waited for the explosion.
Instead, all Tom asked was, "Did you?"
"No," Harry replied miserably.
"Why not?" Tom asked in a tone of genuine interest. "I mean I was so out of my face I wouldn't have stopped you. Hell, I might even have enjoyed it, who knows?"
Harry flushed miserably.
"You threw up," he admitted. "I bit your ass and you screamed and threw up all over the place. By the time I'd cleaned you and the bed up, you were snoring your head off and I'd kind of sobered up myself."
Unbelievably, Tom started to chuckle. The sound deepened until he was nearly roaring with laughter, tears of amusement rolling down his cheeks. After Harry's first embarrassed flush, he found Tom's laughter contagious. Now he knew that Tom wasn't going to kill him, after all, he began to see the funny side too. When Tom finally regained his self-control, he beckoned Harry to climb back in bed.
"Come here, you," he said gruffly.
His heart leaping, Harry scrambled into Tom's arms and snuggled into his chest with a whimper of relief. For a long time they just both lay there, Tom staring at the ceiling and Harry contemplating the beauty of Tom's dick.
"Oh, Harry," Tom eventually sighed. "I'm such a bastard to you, aren't I?"
For a moment, Harry wondered whether he had woken in an alternate universe. Then he had the horrid suspicion that he hadn't woken at all. He was still asleep, dreaming that he had dealt with the problem of the bite, and that was why he was still alive, because Tom hadn't really woken up yet either.
"I'm so sorry, Harry," Tom whispered, bending down to kiss the top of Harry's head.
Harry pinched himself. Nothing changed. Shit, this was *real*.
"It's not your fault, Tom. You never led me on. I always knew exactly where I stood with you. It's not your fault that I want more," he murmured. "And what I did last night was wrong. It wasn't the whiskey, well it was, but not the way you think."
"What do you mean?" Tom asked.
Harry flinched and closed his eyes before replying.
"I did it on purpose. I deliberately got you drunk. I pretended to drink as much as you, but I didn't. I knew exactly what I was doing. If you hadn't thrown up, I would have raped you, Tom."
As the air rang with his terrible confession, Harry waited for Tom to knock him across the room. He deserved it, he knew. Hell, he wouldn't even try to defend himself, he decided.
Tom let his breath out in an exhalation of surprise. Shit, Harry really had it bad for him, and he had never even realised. Well, he had, of course, but he hadn't understood, hadn't empathised because he had never in his life been in the position of wanting someone sexually and being denied until this thing with Chakotay.
He wondered vaguely whether he could get Chakotay drunk, then dismissed the thought angrily. He didn't want to fuck the bastard, he wanted Chakotay to fuck *him* and a drunken dick wasn't much use to anyone.
He was belatedly aware that Harry was shivering in his arms, obviously expecting him to go crazy or something.
"Harry, Harry, Harry. We've been fucking for years, haven't we? I think we're long past the point that either of us could cry rape. I'm kind of sorry you didn't do it, if it meant that much to you, although knowing you you'd have felt too guilty to enjoy it."
"You're not mad with me?" Harry asked in a small voice.
"Of course not, and if, well, if this thing with Chakotay doesn't work out, then maybe, and I'm not promising anything, but maybe, we could try it properly some time, okay?"
"Okay, Tom," Harry sighed in ecstasy.
Tom wasn't angry. Hell, Tom had even offered his ass to him sober. Well, okay, he'd said it depended on Chakotay, but Harry knew that just meant it was only a matter of time.
"I love you, Tom," he mumbled.
"I know," Tom replied sadly, wishing he could lie and say he loved Harry too.
It was weird how the lie refused to leave his lips. He didn't have any problem lying to Chakotay, after all. He could look Chakotay straight in the face and say the words without them even feeling wrong to himself.
Maybe it was just because Harry was his friend, he decided.
Because it was a quiet day in the Delta Quadrant, the forward scans bare of all Spacial anomalies, Borg cubes, Kazon warships, asteroid fields, black holes or the other usual day to day dross of life on Voyager, Chakotay didn't feel too guilty about requesting that he was relieved of bridge duty to "catch up on paperwork" in his office.
Catch up on his sleep was a more apt description, of course. He had spent the night tossing and turning, alternating between congratulating himself for his self-control and cursing himself for being a fool. Well he had spent half the night tossing and turning, the rest of the time he had spent simply tossing himself off.
He had tried to comm Tom once, in the early hours of the morning, when he had jerked awake suddenly sure he had made the biggest mistake of his life when he had sent Tom home.
He had discovered that Tom had spent the night at Harry's place. It was one of the reasons he couldn't face the bridge. He had obviously upset Tom enough that he had needed a friend so badly that he had spent the night on Harry's couch.
The idea of the lanky legged pilot trying to sleep on the tiny couch in the Ensign's quarters made his own neck feel stiff in sympathy. Poor Tom would be knotted like an old rope this morning.
He wondered whether it would be taken the wrong way if he offered Tom a massage.
His thoughts were interrupted by his entry chime.
"Come in," he called softly, regretting his "open door" policy since he really didn't feel up to counselling anyone right now.
The door slid open to reveal Tom Paris bearing a tray and wearing a beaming, open smile.
"Neelix said you didn't go to the Mess this morning, and I figured you probably hadn't replicated yourself anything, so I decided to bring breakfast to you," Tom said cheerfully, dropping the tray on the table and folding himself elegantly into the seat opposite, although he gave a visible wince as his ass met the chair.
Unable to conceal his own bright smile of relief at Tom's cheerfulness, Chakotay reached eagerly for his coffee.
"Thanks, Tom. You're a lifesaver. I can't think of anything nicer than breakfast delivered in my office by the man I love."
Tom blushed prettily.
"Well, I think delivering breakfast in bed to you would have been nicer," he muttered bashfully.
Chakotay groaned at the truth of Tom's words.
"About last night, Tom. I know you slept with Harry and it's my fault you're feeling so sore," Chakotay apologised.
Tom turned an interesting shade of scarlet.
"You know? Oh shit, I can explain, honest, just give me a chance, okay?" he garbled desperately.
"Look, there's nothing to explain, Tom. I know you were confused and needed a friend. I'm rather concerned that you spent the night though. You're far too tall to sleep on a couch. It's no wonder you are feeling stiff this morning."
Tom felt suddenly dizzy. He didn't know what the hell was going on here. Was Chakotay playing with his head or was he really that fucking na´ve? He didn't know. He didn't know anything anymore. Every time he thought he was back in control of the game, Chakotay changed the rules again.
"What are you doing here anyway, Tom?" Chakotay asked suddenly. "Aren't you supposed to be on the bridge?"
"Yeah," Tom muttered, suddenly wondering whether his brilliant plan had been such a good idea after all. He had intended to come in here, sweep Chakotay off his feet and hopefully convince him to fuck him over his desk. Instead, he was beginning to feel like a naughty schoolboy or something and he had a horrible feeling that the only reason Chakotay would want to fold him over his desk would be to spank his ass.
"So?" Chakotay asked.
"I, um, I told the Captain that I needed some counselling," Tom confessed.
Chakotay narrowed his eyes in thought, then chuckled. Obviously Kathryn had seen through his own request to be relieved bridge duty, and in her new self-appointed role as Cupid, she had agreed to let Tom come to see him.
"Well, you probably do need some counselling, Tom. But there's nothing I can do about it, under the circumstances, since I seem to be most of your problem," Chakotay said guiltily.
"You're not mad then?" Tom asked nervously.
"Only if being in love is considered madness," Chakotay replied, deliberately misunderstanding Tom's question.
Tom gave a relieved bark of laughter before his face became serious and he gave Chakotay a sideways glance over the lip of his own coffee cup.
"What did you want to talk to me about, Tom?" Chakotay asked quietly.
"I just wanted to say thank you," Tom answered solemnly.
"Thank you for what, exactly?" Chakotay asked in bemusement.
"For sending me home last night. I mean, I was pretty mad at you at the time, but I thought about it last night, and realised *why* you did it, so thanks," Tom muttered.
"I wasn't sure you had thought everything through properly, Tom," Chakotay explained. "I didn't want you to do anything you'd regret."
"Yeah, you're right. I would have regretted it," Tom replied, hiding his satisfaction when Chakotay blanched at his words. He paused just long enough to make Chakotay squirm a little, just a taste of payback, then he let him off the hook again.
"Because I don't want to sleep with you unless you trust me, Chakotay. I know our views on sex aren't the same, but like you said last night, you and me, well it's different, isn't it? It's not about fucking, it's about making love. So I thought about it a lot last night and I decided you're right. So I've come here to ask you whether you would please make love to me," Tom finished.
"Now?" Chakotay squeaked.
Although that *had* been Tom's original plan, he reluctantly shook his head. The edges of Chakotay's desk looked far too sharp in real life, his hips would never recover from the experience, he decided.
"I thought that maybe you'd come to my place for dinner tonight," he said bashfully, quickly deciding that Harry owed him the cost of a decent meal.
"I'd be honoured, Tom," Chakotay replied.
Tom smiled radiantly and stood up.
"Do you want me to bring anything?" Chakotay asked, grinning like a fool.
Tom paused at the doorway, turned his head cheekily and drawled, "Yeah. Lots of lube."
And, with a wink, he was gone.