Well, well, well! Just to set the record straight, I did not mean to tease you (much) by leaving poor Chakotay hanging at the end of "Sweet Dreams". I wrote the story simply to see if I could do a reasonable m/m, and I wasn‘t sure if anyone would particularly care if I wrote the sequel or not; that‘s why I asked. Call me insecure, if you will, but I honestly did not intend to have you all grovel at my feet. Really!

But ... now that you have all groveled, (quite nicely, too), I must confess it was a great ego boost! C/P fans are an extremely vociferous group. And since you all asked so nicely, and since I‘m really not a mean person, here is the sequel (well, the first part, at any rate. It turned out to be a little longer than I‘d expected).

by Margaret Berger (MaisieRita@aol.com)

Disclaimer: Same as usual. PARAMOUNT = GOD, at least as far as the Star Trek universe is concerned. I‘m just a lowly acolyte at the Voyager altar.

"Commander, forgive me for saying this, but you look awful."

"You‘re forgiven, Kathryn. I feel awful." Chakotay shook his head to clear the cobwebs. "I didn‘t get a lot of sleep last night."

Janeway looked at him sympathetically. "You should just tell

him. If you get it out in the open-"

"I did tell him."

"What? When?" Janeway stared at him in disbelief. She‘d never thought he‘d actually go through with it.

"Last night, at Sandrine‘s. After you left."

"I can‘t believe it," Janeway said incredulously.

"I know, I can‘t believe it either." Chakotay‘s voice was rueful.

"No, I can‘t believe you‘re telling me this now, with a staff meeting in five minutes!" Janeway sat down at the conference table and patted the chair next to her. "Sit. Talk. Give me the executive summary, and save the juicy details for later."

Chakotay took the proffered seat and grinned. "I think you‘re displaying a bit too much of a prurient interest in my sex life, Kathryn."

"That‘s because I don‘t have one. Stop wasting time. What happened last night?"

"Not much. You left, and Tom let Harry beat him at a game of pool." Janeway raised an eyebrow at that, and Chakotay chuckled. "I‘m sure it‘s all part of some devious plan. Anyway, Harry left right after he won the game, but Tom stayed behind, supposedly to practice. We were the only two left, and I didn‘t know when I was going to get a better opportunity to talk to himprivately, so—"

"So you told him. What did you say?"

"That I was interested in him."

"Did he laugh?"

"No. He dropped his cue stick, though." Chakotay remembered Tom‘s amazed expression. "Then he decided it was a set-up, planned by B‘Elanna for some unknown purpose."

"So what did you do?"

"I kissed him."

"You kissed him? Oh, Chakotay, I wish I‘d been there to see his face. What did he do?"

"I think he was a little stunned. Then he decided it really was a set-up, and practically dared me to kiss him again." Chakotay sighed. "So I did."

"Then what?" Janeway was leaning forward, elbows on the table.

"Then nothing. He left. He wished me sweet dreams on his way out the door." Chakotay ran his fingers through his hair. "If he only knew..."

"You mean—"

"Let‘s just say I needed to recycle the sheets this morning." Chakotay dropped his head miserably onto the table, and when he spoke, his voice was muffled by the wood. "Now it‘s worse than ever! I‘ll tell you one thing, Kathryn, that man can kiss."

"Mmmm. So could his father. Must be an inherited talent." Janeway quirked an eyebrow at Chakotay‘s astonished expression. "Oh, don‘t pretend to be shocked, Chakotay. I wasn‘t always the Ice Queen, you know." She grinned conspiratorially. "So what are you going to say to him this morning?"

Chakotay groaned. "I have no idea."

At that moment, the door to the conference room swished open, and Harry and B‘Elanna filed in, closely followed by Tom and Tuvok. Tom‘s eyes went immediately to Chakotay, and a blush started creeping up his neck when he saw Chakotay looking back. Harry noticed the exchange, and gave Tom a puzzled look, which Tom avoided. Unfortunately, he avoided it by glancing at Janeway, and whatever he saw in her face made him even more embarassed, so his blush spread clear to the tips of his ears. Even Tuvok noticed, and he quirked an eyebrow in wonder.

Janeway almost lost it right there; she had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing. The morning briefing was routine, but Janeway hadn‘t enjoyed one so much in quite some time. Oh, the undercurrents were marvelous!

After far too short a time (or far too long a time, depending on who was keeping track) the meeting was over. Tom practically ran out the door to get to the safe haven of the conn, and Janeway had to bite the inside of her cheek again. She was not going to laugh on the bridge, she told herself sternly, but it was going to be hard, with Tom shifting nervously in his seat every few minutes, and Chakotay looking like he just wanted to die right then, right there, and Harry and B‘Elanna exchanging puzzled glances across the bridge.

After an absolutely uneventful morning, the relief shift arrived, and the bridge crew filed out for lunch.

Chakotay stood in the crowded turbolift, almost shoulder to shoulder with Tom, and sighed to himself. What a nightmare. What had he been thinking? It was all Kathryn‘s fault. He‘d been driving himself crazy, sure, but he probably would have gotten over it. Eventually. Until he‘d had the bright idea to get Kathryn‘s advice, and she kept pushing him to tell Tom until he‘d actually gone ahead and done it, and now he‘d kissed the man, and couldn‘t stop thinking about it, how those lips felt under his, how he‘d held onto those firm shoulders and wrapped his fingers in the soft, soft blonde hair, how—Spirits, stop it Chakotay! Gods. He looked up at the ceiling, down at the floor, anywhere but at the sharp, beautiful profile mere inches away from his. Eyes so blue, you could just drown in them, you could stare into them and get lost forever and—aargh! Stop stop stop! Thankfully, they arrived at their destination.

The turbolift doors opened, and Tom accidentally bumped past Chakotay on his way out. At least, Chakotay thought it was an accident. Tom turned to him and said, with a faint blush pinking his cheeks, "Excuse me, Commander." Chakotay couldn‘t tell if Tom was serious or teasing, again. Maybe he just enjoys torturing me, he thought with despair. His thigh was tingling where Tom had touched him.

Chakotay got his lunch (orange with a purple sauce, spirits save us), and looked around the room. Ah, an empty table. Perfect. No way was he sitting with Tom, he‘d never make it through lunch—

"Commander, why don‘t you join us?" B‘Elanna. What was that peculiar expression on her face? Oh gods, does she know? Did he tell her? They‘ve been pretty chummy lately; maybe he left Sandrine‘s and went straight to her cabin and told her the whole story! Maybe they spent the night laughing about it. "Chakotay? You in there?" B‘Elanna was waving a hand in front of his face. He snapped back to reality with a start. "Come on, Chakotay, I haven‘t talked to you in ages. Have a seat."

Dammit, there was no way to get out of it without being rude. Muttering dark, inaudible imprecations to himself, Chakotay sat down next to B‘Elanna. Right across from Tom, who was deeply involved in a serious discussion with Harry. When Chakotay placed his tray on the table, Tom looked up, and nearly choked on his food. He snapped a sharp, almost hostile glance at B‘Elanna, and then an equally sharp, less hostile glance at Chakotay. Checking them out. Chakotay realized suddenly that Tom was still not entirely convinced that the prior evening hadn‘t been a set-up. "So ... " Chakotay began, "how‘s the food?" Very smooth, Big Man. Now, that was original.

"Barely edible. Which is an improvement over yesterday‘s entree." At least Tom‘s sense of humor was still intact.

"Mmm," Chakotay agreed. "What was that, anyway?"

"I could tell you," Tom said seriously, "but then I‘d have to kill you."

"Will you knock it off, Paris?" Harry said with exasperation. "I‘m trying to eat this stuff. It would be easier if you weren‘t always complaining about it."

"If I didn‘t complain about it, we wouldn‘t have anything to talk about."

"That‘s not true," Harry said, and a faint note of pride crept into his voice. "Did you tell B‘Elanna about last night at Sandrine‘s?"

This time Tom did choke on his food. "What?" He coughed furiously, and gulped down some water. "What about last night?"

"How I beat you at pool." Harry looked at him curiously. "What else would I be talking about?"

"Huh?" The relief in Tom‘s voice was palpable. "Nothing. Nothing at all. And we don‘t really need to talk about the pool game, do we?"

"Sure, we do." Harry was grinning from ear to ear. "B‘Elanna, I wish you had been there! I actually beat him. All by myself."

"It‘s bad enough you won, Harry," Tom said sternly. "You don‘t need to humiliate me in public about it." He looked down at his plate to spear a forkful of food, and Chakotay could just barely see the way one corner of Tom‘s mouth was trying to quirk up in a smile. Tom controlled it, of course, and when he looked back up, his expression was perfectly deadpan.

Oh, he‘s up to something, all right, Chakotay thought to himself.

Poor Harry. Up against the master, and he doesn‘t even know it.

Tom swallowed his mouthful, and the requisite gulp of water, before he spoke again. "I need a rematch, Harry. What are you doing tonight?"

"I actually thought I might read-"

"Read? Are you crazy? Reading is for those nights when you can‘t go shoot pool. C‘mon, come to Sandrine‘s. We‘ll play. I‘ll win. It‘ll be fun. Trust me."

Harry snorted. "Last time you said that-"

"Don‘t remind me."

At that moment, a loud "boom" sounded from the galley, and all conversation ceased. Seconds later, Neelix came bustling out of the kitchen, wearing an apologetic smile and a lot of flour. "Nothing to worry about folks. Just a minor mishap with the oven. Lieutenant Torres, could I possibly trouble you to take a look in the kitchen?"

B‘Elanna sighed, and pushed her tray away. "An engineer‘s work is never done. I‘ll be right there, Neelix." She stood up. "Let‘s go, Starfleet."

"Me?" Harry looked at her, affronted. "Why me?"

"I might need help recalibrating the heating elements."

"So draft an engineering detail. I‘m eating."

"Not anymore. Consider yourself drafted." At Harry‘s irritated glare, B‘Elanna said, "The sooner we start the sooner we‘ll be finished. Up on your feet." Harry still didn‘t move. "Come on, Starfleet, let‘s leave these two lovebirds alone."



Tom and Chakotay exploded into angry spluttering at the same time, and only subsided when they realized B‘Elanna was laughing at them. "You two have no sense of humor. Guys, I was kidding. Lighten up." She left, dragging a still-protesting Harry behind her. An uncomfortable silence followed their departure.

"Well!" Chakotay said heartily, with false cheer, after several long minutes.

"Well," Tom agreed affably. He looked around the room, searching for something to say. "Sleep well?"

"Well enough," Chakotay lied. "You?"

"Oh, yeah. Great." A gloomy silence descended. Finally, at the

same moment, both men spoke. "Chakotay-"


They laughed, uneasily. "You first," Chakotay insisted.


Tom picked nervously at his food. "Look, Chakotay, about last

night. I—"


"I‘m sorry. I thought it was a joke. I‘m still not sure it wasn‘t."

"It wasn‘t."

"No, I guess I didn‘t really think it was. Not ... not after, you know, the second one." He sighed. "It‘s not that I‘m not flattered, but..." he trailed off.

"You‘re not interested."

"I‘m sorry," Tom said sadly. "I feel awful. I should never have, you know," he lowered his voice to a whisper, "kissed you. It‘s just that, well, you‘re a guy."

"And you‘re not attracted to men."

"Hell, I don‘t know. I‘ve never thought about it."

Chakotay leaned back in his chair. "I find that a little hard to believe. Tom, you must realize that you‘re incredibly attractive. Surely I‘m not the first man to express an interest."

"Fuck no. Jeez, my physics teacher in high school asked me out when I was 16." He shook his head. "I guess he was the first. But when I was in Auckland—shit, I could have had anyone I wanted." He paused. "More or less."

"But you didn‘t want anyone?"

"No. I mean, I was in prison. Fucking the other convicts was not on my top ten list of ‚Things To Do While Incarcerated‘. You know, once you start doing that there, you‘re screwed for the rest of your sentence." He laughed. "Literally. Then, when Janeway got me out, I hadn‘t seen a woman in so long, I wasn‘t about to waste my time on men." He played absently with his fork. "I‘m sorry."

"Don‘t be. It‘s not your fault. You‘re not interested and I‘ll survive." Somehow.

Now Tom was uncomfortable again, and he leaned across the table, towards Chakotay. "The only thing is ... I had these dreams last night." He was blushing ferociously, and though he was close enough to touch the Commander, he wasn‘t looking at him.

"Oh?" Steady now, Big Man.

"About you. Us."

"Did they frighten you?" Great. Now I‘ve traumatized him.

"No. They kind of ... " Tom lowered his voice again, "got me curious."

"Curious?" Oh spirits, please tell me I didn‘t just squeak!

"Yeah. You know, about what it would be like. With a guy."

He looked anywhere but at Chakotay. "With you."

"I thought you just got finished telling me you weren‘t interested."

"I‘m not. Not in the way ... the way you probably want me to be. I mean, I‘m not looking to get into a relationship with a man, and you don‘t sound like you‘re looking for casual sex."

Chakotay fought to keep his voice level. "Let me see if I understand this. You‘re telling me, essentially, that you‘re not interested in getting into a relationship with me, but you‘re curious about having sex with a man, so you‘re willing to sleep with me?"

"Will you keep your voice down?" Tom was lobster pink, and his voice was barely above a whisper. "It sounds so cheap when you say it that way. I prefer to think of it as controlled experimentation."

"But I‘ve got it right?"

"More or less. More, I guess. Yes, you‘ve got it right. I‘m sorry."

"You keep saying that."

"I know. I feel like I have to. I‘ve probably just made things worse. I know you‘re not interested in sex without a relationship, and all I‘m interested in is sex, no relationship, and actually, I‘m not really sure I‘d be able to go through with it anyway, so I don‘t know why I even brought it up." He fell silent.



Chakotay cleared his throat. "You‘re probably going to think this is really awful of me, but," he paused, his throat muscles moving convulsively, "you might be able to convince me to forgo the relationship. Maybe just this once." Tom looked at him incredulously, and Chakotay sighed. "I can‘t help it. I think about you all the time. I mean constantly. What it would be like to hold you, touch you, make love to you. And now that I‘ve kissed you, it‘s almost unbearable. If you‘re not interested in me, romantically that is, I guess there‘s nothing I can do about it.

But if you say you‘re willing to sleep with me, even if it‘s only

once, how can I say no? I‘ll be kicking myself for the rest of my

life. Besides which," and he added a touch of humor to his

voice, "it‘s been a very long time since I‘ve been with anybody,

and I‘m kind of, well—"



"Me too."

"Ah. Yes, well, you said that last night, to Harry." Tom nodded, and Chakotay paused, unclear as to what to say next. "So."

"So." Tom chuckled. "Chakotay, I believe we‘re about to set up a date."

"I guess we are."

"You‘ll have to wine and dine me first. I don‘t want you to think I‘m easy."

"No. I‘d never think that." Chakotay laughed, then coughed, needlessly. "So, when are you free?"

"Whenever." Tom waited a heartbeat before continuing, "Tonight."

"I thought you and Harry were going to play pool?"

"I‘ll cancel. He wants to read, anyway."

"All right. 1900 hours o.k.?"

"Sure. Where?"

"My quarters."

"O.k. Hey, it‘s getting late. I‘ve got to get back to the bridge."

"Go ahead. I‘m not on duy again until later this afternoon."



"This is really stupid, but—I‘m kind of nervous."

Chakotay smiled. "Me too. First date jitters."

"I‘m glad it‘s not only me. See you later."

"See you later," Chakotay echoed. He watched Tom silently, then collapsed back against his chair. He checked the chronometer. 6 more hours to go. Sigh. You are in serious trouble now, Big Man. Serious, serious trouble. And you‘re loving every awful minute of it. He grinned to himself as he went off to clean his quarters, and kept grinning all afternoon. Maybe this wouldn‘t work out so badly after all.

1600 hours. All was calm on the bridge. The third duty shift had just taken their places, and Harry and Tom had left together, deep in conversation. Chakotay tracked their progress off the bridge, then turned to find Janeway staring at him intently. He flushed, and looked down at his work station.

Janeway wasn‘t going to let it rest. "Mr. Rollins, you have the bridge. Commander, may I see you in my Ready Room for a minute?" She was already standing up.

"Of course, Captain." He chuckled silently to himself. It was no use trying to hide anything from this woman. She noticed everything. Of course, that‘s why he‘d told in her in the first place; she‘d noticed him giving one too many longing glances at the back of Tom‘s head. Chakotay rose to his feet gracefully and followed Kathryn off the bridge.

The door had barely shut behind him when she accosted him, saying, "So? What happened? You look like an Altratian silk worm."

"What?" Chakotay didn‘t catch the reference.

"You‘ve been glowing all afternoon."

Chakotay laughed. "We talked at lunch."


"And we have a date tonight."

Janeway stared at him, flabbergasted. "A date? Did I misunderstand you this morning? I thought he wasn‘t interested."

"He‘s not, exactly."

"Then why ... "

Chakotay gave Janeway his most solemn gaze. "Kathryn, you have to swear by your animal guide that you will never tell another soul what I‘m about to tell you."

"I‘d never betray a confidence, Chakotay." She leaned in closer.

"So what‘s with this date?"

"He just wants to have sex."


"He‘s never had sex with a man before and he‘s curious about it. So he offered. No commitments. No relationship. Just sex. A one-shot deal."

"And you agreed to this ... arrangement? Chakotay, I always thought you had more self respect than that."

Chakotay looked at her, and humor was dancing in his eyes. "Self-respect has nothing to do with it. Everyone seems to think that I‘m some kind of super-human creature, without any of mankind‘s baser animal instincts." He snorted. "I enjoy sex as much as the next guy, and I don‘t necessarily need to be deeply involved with my lover. Sometimes it‘s just for fun."

"And with Tom?"

"I figure it will be a lot of fun." He smiled at her. "We should really get back to the bridge."

"Oh, I think I‘ll stay in here for a while."


"Because you‘re going to be wearing that goofy grin all afternoon and I don‘t think I could stand sitting next to you for the next 2 hours."

"You‘re just jealous."

"Darn right." She shooed him to the door. "Now go on, get out of here. And have a good time later."

"That‘s the plan, Kathryn," Chakotay said as he sauntered out the door.

He barely made it through his shift. He didn‘t want to be there, dammit. He wanted to be in his quarters, cleaning up, planning dinner, arranging things, picking out an outfit—spirits, what was he going to wear? Not his uniform, that was clear. Blue? Not really his color. Blue was Tom‘s color; it brought out the color of his eyes. Gods. If Tom wore blue, Chakotay wasn‘t sure he‘d be able to get through dinner. He‘d probably get lost, sitting there, staring at the shirt, counting the seconds until he could rip it off... whoa, there, Big Man. Let‘s get a grip. You‘re on duty, here, remember?

Chakotay didn‘t get a lot of work done that afternoon.

His shift ended at 1800, and he practically sprinted to his quarters. He‘d made a half-hearted attempt to clean up earlier in the day, between his two shifts, but he‘d spent most of that time daydreaming, and now he only had one hour to finish cleaning, get showered, shaved, dressed, and order dinner. Gods, his quarters were a disaster. He hadn‘t had someone over in so long, he‘d forgotten how long it took to clean. No time to do a thorough job now; he just shoved everything in the bottom of the closet and shut the door.

1845, and he was still standing, paralyzed, in front of his wardrobe. Tan? Too boring. Black? Too serious. What the hell was this thing? Oh, right, Neelix gave it to him for his birthday. It was awful. Purple and orange and hot pink. Ooof. Stripes? No way. This suit he‘d worn in the 20th century? Too bizarre, and he‘d never liked the pale color, anyway. Oh gods. He had a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. Now he understood what his sister had been complaining about for all those years. Wait ... what was this? A red shirt? He looked good in red. O.k. We‘ll take this one. Oh shit, it‘s all wrinkled. Just enough time to throw it in the ‚fresher and get it ironed, assuming Tom doesn‘t show up early. He won‘t. He‘s always late, right?

1853. Chakotay was frantically punching his order into the replicator. Gods, I hope I have enough rations for this! That would be pretty embarassing, to invite a guy over for dinner and then not be able to feed him. A soft chime made him jump. Tom? No. The ‚fresher. His shirt was done. He didn‘t remember it having this many buttons. Oh no, he‘d buttoned it wrong. Calm down, Chakotay. It‘s just a date; you‘re not asking him to marry you or anything! He took a few deep breaths to calm himself, and was eventually able to get his pulse back under control, and his shirt buttoned.

1856. The door. He is early. "Come in."

The door swished open, and Tom stepped in. He didn‘t seem to be the least bit nervous. "Hi, Chakotay. I‘m not too early, am I?"

Chakotay couldn‘t answer for a minute. Tom was wearing blue, a royal blue soft silk weave that hung gracefully on his torso, and was left unbuttoned at the neck, displaying just a hint of light blonde curls on his chest. Tight black jeans and casual black shoes completed the outfit. Oh. My. Chakotay was just barely able to refrain from throwing himself at Tom‘s feet and shouting ‚Take me!‘ Just barely. Tom was staring at him curiously. What was the question? Oh. "No, you‘re not too early. I was just putting the food on the table. I hope you‘re hungry."

"Starved. I didn‘t eat too much at lunch."

"You should have replicated a snack."

"If I had any rations left, I would have."

"Is that why you‘re scamming Harry? To get his rations?"

Tom threw an insulted look onto his face. "Why do you assume I‘m scamming Harry? I already told you he‘s my best friend."

"Tom. You let him beat you at pool. You even let him brag about it at lunch to B‘Elanna. Don‘t try to tell me you‘re not up to something."

"Don‘t you trust me, Chakotay?" Tom was teasing him, again, his favorite pastime, it seemed.

"I don‘t think you really want to know the answer to that question."

Tom laughed, and Chakotay‘s breath caught in his throat. Gods, but he was stunning. "You‘re probably, right."

"Why don‘t you have a seat? I thought we‘d start with some soup."


"Of course." For a second Chakotay was panicked. "You‘re not sick of tomato soup, are you?"

"Are you kidding?" Tom looked at him, sapphire eyes sparkling with laughter.

"Good. Would you like some wine?"

"Real, or synthehol?"

"Real." Tom‘s eyebrows went up a notch. "I picked some up during my last shore leave. It‘s brewed from a fruit relatively similar to grapes. It will probably be a little bit sweeter than you‘re used to."

"Hell, I don‘t care. I haven‘t had real alcohol in ages. I‘ll try anything, so long as it‘s not distilled from leola root." Chakotay filled his glass and Tom took a tentative sip. "Mmm. Nice. You have a lot of this stuff?"

"No. Just the one bottle. I was saving it for a sp-" He stopped short.

"This is your only bottle?" Chakotay nodded and Tom grinned.

"I‘m flattered."

Chakotay ignored the implied dig, and put a bowl of soup down in front of Tom. "Here you go. I hope you like it. My grandmother used to make an excellent spicy tomato soup, and I think I‘ve got it just about right." He placed a matching bowl down in front of his seat, and sat down. "Try it."

Tom took a tentative mouthful, and a smile like a sunrise spread across his face. "Hey, this is great!"

"Glad you like it." Chakotay paused, spoon poised over his bowl. Gods. Those eyes. That smile. He was dreaming—it was the only plausible explanation. This couldn‘t possibly be happening;

Tom couldn‘t possibly be sitting there, smiling at him, wearing that shirt ... stop staring and eat, Big Man, before he notices!

"You‘re staring."

Shit. "Sorry." I can‘t help it, you‘re just so damned beautiful. No, he wasn‘t about to blurt that out. "I like your shirt."

"Yeah? Thanks. It‘s new." This time it was Tom who stopped short, and a faint blush crept up his neck. He looked back down at his soup, and took another few mouthfuls. When he looked back up, the blush was gone, and the teasing expression was back. "So tell me, Chakotay, when did it happen?"

"When did what happen?"

"When did I go from figuring in your nightmares to figuring in your fantasies?" His voice held a mocking tone, but the expression in his eyes said he really wanted to know the answer.

"You were never in my nightmares."

"Bullshit. You hated me from the time we first met back in the DMZ."

"Well, you were an arrogant little prick."

"Granted. Like I said, you hated me. Now you don‘t, obviously, or I wouldn‘t be here eating this soup. So when did it happen?" Chakotay was silent for a while, and Tom got impatient. "Come on, you‘re supposed to be trying to seduce me. Whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Tell me when you stopped hating me, or you will never get me in your bed."

"Give me a minute. I‘m trying to remember." Chakotay thought for a few seconds. "Well, do you want to know when it first happened, or when I finally realized it?"

"They weren‘t at the same time? This is better than I thought." Tom leaned back in his chair with his glass of wine and took a deep drink. "I want to know it all. Spill it."

"Fine. Hey, are you done with your soup?"

"Yes. Don‘t change the topic."

"I‘m not. I‘ll tell you. I just thought you might like your main course. Pasta primavera with Kildavian olive and pepper sauce."

"How ... how did you know I liked Kildavian olives?"

"I‘m the First Officer. I know everything. Here." Chakotay had risen and cleared the soup bowls, and returned with the pasta. He placed a plate in front of Tom, and waved at him to start eating.

Tom took a few mouthfuls and sighed happily. "Boy, I missed these." He took a sip of wine and straightened up, staring at Chakotay forcefully. "So? I‘m still waiting to hear the story."

"All right. Let‘s see. I think I realized I ... cared ... for you after the incident with the Kazon."

"That‘s really specific. Thanks." His voice fairly dripped with sarcasm. "*Which* incident with the Kazon?"

"When you went undercover to find the spy."

"Are you serious? After all the shit I put you through?"

"Yeah. After you came back, after I understood everything, I realized what you had risked." Chakotay played idly with his food. "You could have been killed."

"I kind of expected I would be."

"So why did you do it?"

"Someone had to. We were out of other options. And Captain Janeway asked me to." Tom was silent for a few seconds. "I owe her everything. I had to do it for her. For her and for the ship."

"That‘s what I figured. So, anyway, when I understood it all, somehow it just cleared things up for me. I realized you weren‘t the shallow self-centered bastard I thought you were."

"Ouch." Tom grimaced. "Is that supposed to be a compliment?"

"In a way. Like I said, it took me a while to admit it to myself."

"Which was when?"

"Truthfully, it was during—hey, you‘re not eating your pasta."

"I‘m not that hungry any more. Answer the question."

"I slaved over a hot replicator for that pasta. Eat up. You‘ll need the carbohydrates for energy." Tom raised his eyebrows at that, and Chakotay winked, and took a big forkful of pasta himself. At Tom‘s insistent stare, he sighed and wiped his mouth off with a napkin. "O.k., o.k. It was during the ponn farr incident with B‘Elanna. I couldn‘t understand it, but when the two of you went off into the woods to ... err, relieve B‘Elanna‘s fever, I got insanely jealous. Gods, I couldn‘t even see straight, I was so mad."

"You were jealous of her?"

"Yes, but the funny thing is, I got it all mixed up. You know that she and I were once sort of a couple, right?"

"Yeah, back in the Maquis."

"Right. So, I of course figured I was jealous of you. But then Vorick came charging in, and you were going to fight him." He broke off and fixed Tom with an accusatory glare. "Are you insane? You were going to fight a Vulcan who had lost all emotional control? He would have killed you."

"Awww, you know me. It was just hot-headed macho shit."

Chakotay snorted. "I figured as much. Anway, when you were all set to fight him, I knew he‘d kill you, and I was so petrified at the thought, I knew in an instant that it was you I wanted, not B‘Elanna." He smiled ruefully. "I‘ll tell you, I needed some pretty long meditation sessions with my spirit guide after that particular revelation."

"I can imagine." They ate in silence for a few more minutes, until Tom pushed back away from the table. "That‘s it. I‘m done."

"I‘ve got dessert."

"Maybe later. I don‘t like to eat too much before ... umm ... well, you know." He blushed scarlet, and Chakotay had to swallow hard, several times, before he could speak. All that fair, beautiful skin. Gods, he wanted to taste it.

He breathed in deeply. "So, you‘re still willing to do this?" Wow. That was actually a sentence, Big Man. Amazing, under the circumstances.

"Yeah. I think so. Take it slow, o.k.? It‘s ... a little strange. More because it‘s you, I think, than because you‘re a man, you know? I mean, a couple of days ago, I thought you hated me, and now I‘m here and we‘re going to ..."

Chakotay‘s tone was gentle. "We‘re going to have fun, Tom. Trust me."

"That‘s my line." Tom was speaking in his usual jaunty tone, but a slight tremor in his voice betrayed his nervousness.

"Not tonight. Come here." Chakotay stood up and walked into the bedroom, waiting until Tom followed, hesitantly. He sat down on the bad, and patted a spot next to him. Tom milled uncomfortably around the room, until Chakotay finally said, "Look, I don‘t want you to feel like you have to do this. There‘s no obligation, Tom. I had a very nice time eating dinner with you, and if you want, we‘ll just go back outside and have dessert and that will be the end of it. I don‘t want to force you to do something you don‘t want to do."

"No, no. I do want to. It‘s just that—I didn‘t expect it to feel like this."

"Like what?"

"Like ... a date. I know I said it was, and all, but I still kind of figured we‘d just eat, and then, well, we‘d fuck, and then I‘d get dressed and go home and not think about it. You know, kind of get it out of my system."


"But I had a really nice time over dinner, and maybe this will mean something more than just the usual one night stand. I don‘t know. Fuck it, I‘m really confused."

"You‘re nervous. Actually, I‘m kind of relieved to see it."


"I was beginning to think nothing ever got to you."

"Right. That‘s me, iron-man Paris. The pilot with nerves of steel." Tom laughed cynically. "Shit, Chakotay, it took me 20 minutes just to get dressed this afternoon. I was so nervous, I almost called and cancelled." He sat down heavily on the bed. "I know I said I‘m not interested in a relationship, and I don‘t think I am, but, well, you‘re not exactly Megan Delaney. I mean, with her, I know there‘s nothing more going on than sex."

"Tom." Chakotay‘s voice was serious. "This doesn‘t have to be anything other than sex. If that‘s all you want, that‘s fine. I mean, it‘s not my preferred situation, but, gods, Tom, having you this way is better than not having you at all."

"You really want me, don‘t you?" Tom asked, and there was no small amount of awe in his voice. "It‘s not just some sort of game?"

Chakotay growled in frustration. "What will it take to prove it to you?" He stared at Tom, and his eyes were wild. Suddenly, without warning, he leaned over and kissed Tom, hard, on the mouth. Tom was startled for a second, but then his lips parted and he began to return the kiss. In an instant, it grew wild and passionate, and Chakotay let his hands start to roam Tom‘s body.

They broke apart, both breathing heavily, and Tom laughed breathlessly, "I‘m beginning to believe you."

"I want you, Tom," Chakotay ground out. "I want you and unless you tell me to stop, I‘m going to have you." He waited for only an instant. "Are you going to tell me to stop?"

Tom stared back at him, blue eyes dark with arousal. "No, I‘m not. Kiss me like that a few more times and I won‘t be in any condition to tell you anything."

That was an offer Chakotay just could not refuse. He grabbed Tom by the shoulders and pulled him close, and they were kissing again. And this was it, it was everything Chakotay had wanted for the past few months, it was really happening and he couldn‘t believe it. He had to prove it to himself, that Tom was really here, so he let his hands rove all over Tom‘s body with a feverish intensity. They were kissing and kissing, now lying down on the bed, and he was unbuttoning Tom‘s shirt, and then Tom‘s chest was bare and Chakotay had to stroke it, it was so perfect.

His fingers wandered idly through the soft curls on Tom‘s chest, until he almost accidentally stumbled across a nipple. Without thinking, he squeezed it lightly and was rewarded with a moan. Smiling slightly to himself, Chakotay traced circles on Tom‘s chest with his fingernail, then tore his mouth away from Tom‘s and fastened on to the same nipple.

Tom groaned and arched his back up. "Oh, shit," he gasped out. "No one ... ever did that ... before." It was hard to speak with Chakotay suckling at him.

Chakotay stopped what he was doing for a split second. "Damn. I thought you wouldn‘t be able to talk by now."

"It‘s ... pretty fucking difficult." Chakotay leaned down for another suck, and Tom moaned again. "You‘re really ... good at that, you know?"

This time Chakotay didn‘t answer; instead he switched his attention to the other nipple, and felt a jolt run straight to his groin when Tom moaned uncontrollably. The man was so responsive, he wanted to touch him everywhere and see what would happen.

He didn‘t want to interrupt what he was doing, but all of a sudden he had to get Tom‘s clothes off, completely, so with a sigh he lifted himself off of Tom‘s chest. He managed to get the younger man‘s shoes off in mere seconds, but when he reached to undo Tom‘s pants, his hands brushed against Tom‘s swelling erection and they both gasped. It was like an electric shock. "Oh hell," Chakotay forced out from between clenched teeth, "It‘s going to be pretty damn hard to restrain myself."

"So don‘t," Tom answered. The look in his eyes was so aroused, Chakotay almost lost it right there. He managed to control himself, and pulled Tom‘s pants and briefs off in one quick motion. Then Tom was completely naked and in a few more seconds, so was Chakotay.

With a groan, Chakotay thrust himself back down on the bed, covering Tom‘s body with his own, and the feel of skin on skin was almost unbearable. "You‘re so damned perfect, Tom, I can‘t believe you‘d even look at me."

Tom laughed again, a deep throaty laugh that Chakotay had never heard before. "I‘m not here to look at you, Chakotay." His hands snaked down around Chakotay‘s legs, and without warning he gripped Chakotay‘s erection, hard.

"Oh gods," Chakotay moaned. "I don‘t—I can‘t—please, Tom!"

"What, you don‘t like it?"

Damn him, the man was teasing him again. Chakotay wasn‘t going to take it this time, and he reached his own hand down and gripped Tom‘s erection. His experienced fingers ran up and down Tom‘s length, squeezing gently, touching and teasing until Tom was groaning.

"You ... do that like you‘ve ... had some practice." Tom‘s fingers‘ grip on Chakotay‘s cock had loosened, and with a subtle shift, Chakotay pulled himself away.

"*I‘m* doing this for you, remember, hotshot?" he said. "So just lie back and relax." He shifted position and moved down Tom‘s legs, then leaned down and began kissing Tom‘s chest again. Slowly, torturously slowly, he moved down towards his stomach, stopping to lick slowly at Tom‘s navel, and to trace wet trails down towards his thighs. It took him several minutes to reach Tom‘s groin, by which time Tom was gasping and moaning, totally out of control.

"Please, oh please," he moaned, thrusting his hips gently.

Chakotay grinned, extremely pleased with himself, and in one swift motion, took Tom‘s cock into his mouth. Tom jerked up and gasped, then fell back on the bed moaning, "Oh shit. Oh gods, please!"

Chakotay began to lick up and down Tom‘s length, but very slowly, he didn‘t want Tom to come too soon. Tom was gasping and sobbing, and his hands were clenching the sheets. Chakotay‘s hands had not been idle; he‘d been tracing gentle patterns on Tom‘s ass, every once in a while dipping in to brush against Tom‘s anus. Now was the perfect time, when Tom was so focused on his cock. Very, very carefully, Chakotay let one finger dip in to caress the tight ring of muscle. Tom moaned, aware but not really aware of what was happening.

Chakotay ever-so-slightly intensified his efforts on Tom‘s cock, just barely scraping the tender skin with his teeth. Tom gasped and shuddered, crying out incoherently. Gently, Chakotay slipped a finger deep inside Tom‘s ass, and began to slide it in and out, stretching the tight muscle. It was only after Chakotay had worked up to three fingers that Tom could separately identify the sensations coming from his cock and his ass, and by then he was so turned on he didn‘t even care.

It took great care to keep Tom on the knife‘s edge of arousal without sending him into orgasm, but this was one of Chakotay‘s favorite things, and he‘d been very careful. He stroked in and out of Tom gently until Tom finally gasped out, "Shit. Do something, already. I can‘t take this, I need ... something, I need more, gods, please!"

"Do you want me to fuck you, Tom?"

"Oh yes, gods, please, please fuck me. Now, please, Chakotay, please!" Tom was wildly aroused, beyond caring what he said or what he was asking for. The feel of those fingers, and Chakotay‘s mouth on his cock, gods, he was going to go insane. He was so close to coming, he felt like he‘d been that way for hours;

Chakotay was torturing him, it was payback for all the smartass comments, that must be it. Gods. He shivered when Chakotay‘s fingers returned to his ass, this time coated with something slick and oily.

"Tom," Chakotay whispered. "I don‘t want to hurt you. If it gets to be too much, just tell me and I‘ll stop."

"You have got to be kidding," Tom gasped out. "Don‘t stop, please, please, don‘t stop." He thrust against Chakotay‘s fingers impatiently, and Chakotay shuddered in anticipation.

He gently turned Tom over, and maneuvered a pillow underneath his hips. At Tom‘s muted protest he whispered, "It will be easier for you this way." He placed his hands firmly on Tom‘s hips and moved his cock so its head was just barely touching Tom‘s cleft. Gods. Oh gods, this was like all his dreams, but the feel of it was so real, he knew it was happening, not a dream. Tom moaned impatiently and raised his ass and, oh spirits, this was it, he was inside Tom.

The feeling was indescribable. It had been so long since he‘d wanted someone this badly, and to finally have him, gods, it was unbearable. He thrust in slowly, not wanting to cause Tom any pain, and was surprised when Tom groaned and shifted his hips, driving Chakotay‘s cock in deeper. Oh, it was tight, it was so perfect, better than he‘d dared to dream, and dammit, he had to fuck him, now.

Chakotay began to slowly thrust in and out of Tom, barely able to restrain himself from fucking the man senseless. Tom was silent for a few long seconds, then he began to moan, and his breathy cries matched the tempo of Chakotay‘s thrusts. "Gods, yes, please, oh please, don‘t stop, please. Gods!" Tom‘s talk degenerated into incoherent groans, and he was thrusting back against Chakotay, sobbing and pleading.

The remaining, tiny part of Chakotay‘s mind that was able to form rational thoughts told him there was something he was forgetting, and he brought his hands around Tom‘s body and grabbed his cock. Tom moaned and jerked in his hands. Damn, the man was hard. Chakotay‘s hands were still coated with lubricant, and he ran them up and down Tom‘s length, massaging him in time with his thrusts.

Now they were both sobbing and someone yelled, "Gods yes";

Chakotay couldn‘t tell who it was, but he repeated it, over and over, like a mantra, and it was also in time with his thrusts. "Gods yes gods yes gods yes, oh shit, Tom, you‘re so perfect, I want you so much!" The pressure was building behind his eyes and in his chest and most of all in his cock, so that when Tom cried out, "Fuck me," Chakotay plunged in wildly and exploded deep, deep within him. The feel of Chakotay‘s semen bursting into his ass drove Tom right over the edge and he shouted as he came explosively all over Chakotay‘s hands, while his ass muscles clenched around the older man‘s cock and milked him dry.

Chakotay collapsed onto Tom‘s back for a minute, utterly exhausted, and could hear the younger man murmuring, "Damn damn damn damn damn." Chakotay rolled off Tom, onto his side, and turned Tom so they were facing each other. He wasn‘t sure what emotion he expected to see in Tom‘s face, but it sure as hell wasn‘t the barely suppressed humor he found there.

Tom laughed at his expression, and then said, "Shit."


"I‘m just cursing myself for being such an idiot. You wouldn‘t believe how many offers I‘ve turned down." He shook his head and giggled, and Chakotay was enchanted with the sound. "If I‘d known it would be like that, you can bet my answers would have been different." He sighed melodramatically. "All those wasted nights spent alone, when I could have had a lusty man in my bed."

"You‘re pretty calm about it."

"Calm? My heart‘s racing at warp 10. Want to feel?" He grabbed Chakotay‘s hand at placed in on his chest, so that the older man could feel the pounding of his heart.

"Mmmm. Pretty impressive." Chakotay felt great, knowing he‘d pleased Tom, and he kissed him firmly on the lips. They lay there quietly for a few moments, then Chakotay said lightly, "You shouldn‘t let that stuff dry on you. It‘s hell to get it off. I‘ll clean you up." He lowered his head down to Tom‘s chest and gently began licking up the sticky semen he found there. He did it slowly, sensually, enjoying the feel of Tom‘s firm stomach muscles rippling beneath him. He moved slowly down Tom‘s abdomen, repeating the path he‘d taken earlier, and began, very gently, to clean the semen off Tom‘s cock.

Somewhere during his ministrations, Tom‘s breathing became heavier, more labored, and Chakotay gave an inaudible grunt of approval when he saw that Tom was beginning to get hard again. "Chakotay, please," Tom pleaded, "I‘m exhausted."

"It‘s all in your mind, Tom," Chakotay said in the instant before he reached down and took Tom fully in his mouth.

"Oh shit," Tom gasped out, and Chakotay smiled to himself. When Tom was sufficiently hard, Chakotay stopped, and moved off to one side. Tom moaned in frustration, but Chakotay shook his head.

"I want you to experience it all, Tom. I want you to fuck me."

Tom gaped at him. "I wouldn‘t know how to begin," he said hesitantly.

Chakotay laughed. "What, you weren‘t paying attention before? Just do to me what I did to you. Here, I‘ll help you." He reached for Tom‘s hand, and brought it around to his ass, placing one finger near his anus. "Poke it up my ass, Tom, and just stretch the muscle out slowly, one finger at a time."

Tom complied, hesitantly at first, then with growing sureness and Chakotay began to moan and tremble. By the time Tom was up to three fingers, Chakotay was in such a frenzy he thought he might go crazy. He lay down on the bed, on his back, and stared at Tom through lust-ridden eyes. Tom stared back, confused. "How ... ... is it going to work like this?"

Chakotay chuckled. "Trust me. Come here and kneel down." Tom did as he was told, and now his erect cock was thrusting towards Chakotay‘s, and their balls were touching. Chakotay spread lubricant liberally all over Tom‘s cock, then threw his legs up, around Tom‘s neck, and now Tom understood what he was supposed to do. He entered slowly, eyes half-closed.

"Shit, Chakotay. It‘s not how I imagined it at all."

"Hmmm?" Chakotay couldn‘t really talk. Spirits, it was so wonderful, so perfect. So absolutely right.

"For one thing, it‘s a lot tighter than with a wo--- uggh, gods!" Chakotay had started to move underneath him, forcing Tom in deeper, and then all conversation ceased. There were just moans and sighs and desperate sobs. Chakotay forced his eyes open after an eternity of bliss and saw Tom shaking over him. Oh, the man was beautiful. Just gorgeous. Especially now, in that instant before orgasm, his head thrown back, his face totally unguarded. Chakotay wanted to make Tom come, wanted to hear him shout his release again, so he placed his arms beneath him for leverage and levered himself up, hard, to match Tom‘s thrust and force him in far deeper than the younger man had been risking.

Tom let out a strangled cry and screamed, his cock pulsing deep within Chakotay for what seemed like hours "Oh gods," he sobbed, after a minute, "that was perfect." Tom pulled himself out, and glanced down at Chakotay‘s cock, which was still erect. There was a moment of silence in the room, then Tom grinned and said, "Aw hell, I always wondered what it would be like," and he swallowed Chakotay whole.

Chakotay was so startled he couldn‘t speak, and after a few seconds, he was unable to do more than gasp and moan. The man‘s a natural, he thought to himself, deliriously, as he was confidently sucked and nipped at. A tentative tongue swirled around the tip of his cock, and firm lips pulled along his length, and before he knew it he could feel the explosion building inside him.

"Tom, stop, I‘m going to come," he warned, but Tom just shook his head, and sucked a little harder, and let his fingers play gently with Chakotay‘s balls. One more firm suck, and Chakotay was lost; the blinding pleasure tore through him like a phaser blast and he screamed and shook so hard, he thought he‘d fall apart.

He came back to himself slowly, to feel himself being kissed expertly. The taste of his own semen in Tom‘s mouth surprised him, and he pulled away. "You didn‘t need to do that, Tom."

"What, swallow?" Tom grinned. "I always like it when they do that. It‘s kind of interesting, actually. Have you ever done it?"

"Of course. But not my first time giving head. You just keep surprising me."

"Hey, that‘s my goal in life. Keep on surprising the Big Man." Tom fell back into bed and rested for a few minutes, before calling out, "Computer, what‘s the time?"

"The time is 2215 hours," the pleasantly neutral female voice answered him.

"Shit. I‘ve only got 45 minutes."

"Until what?" Chakotay was filled with the delicious lassitude that followed an intense coupling, and could barely raise his head off the pillow to ask the question.

"I didn‘t actually cancel my pool session with Harry. I told him I‘d meet him in Sandrine‘s at 2300 for a couple of rounds."

Chakotay was stunned. "You are going to go play pool, after all this?"

"Sure. Why not? It‘s too early to go to sleep." He lifted himself out of bed. "Mind if I use your shower?"

"No. Not at all. Tom, how do you have the energy to move?"

"Don‘t know. I‘m just naturally spunky, I guess." He flashed an infuriating grin in Chakotay‘s direction, and disappeared into the shower, reemerging mere minutes later wrapped in a towel. He started to get dressed efficiently, pulling on briefs, socks, pants and shirt in a few quick movements.

A time check revealed it to be only 2225. "I‘ve got a half an hour, Chakotay. What‘d you get us for dessert?"

"Ummm, chocolate cake." He could still barely think. Tom was going to eat, now?

Apparently so. "Great. My favorite." Tom disappeared into the outer room, and Chakotay followed, minutes later, wrapped in a robe. Tom was sitting at the dinner table, slicing up the cake. Chakotay sat down rather gingerly in the chair, and managed to swallow a few mouthfuls of cake, watching in disbelief as Tom demolished his piece and a second one. Tom kept up a running conversation between mouthfuls, mostly gossip about the various relationships forming amongst the crew.

At 2250, Tom pushed away from the table. "Thanks for the evening, Chakotay. It was ... great. Really wonderful. Thanks. " His voice was gentle just for a moment, but then the familiar smartass tone returned. "Now, if you‘ll excuse me, I‘ve got to go let Harry beat me at pool again."

Chakotay chuckled. He knew it was a scam. "Be gentle with him, Tom. He‘s just a kid." Tom grinned back at him. "I just have to ask you one question before you leave. Are you always this hyped up after sex?"

"Not always. It was probably the olives. Next time, if you want me to stay and snuggle longer, leave ‚em out of the pasta."

Chakotay‘s mind froze. Next time?

Tom walked to the door, whistling jauntily to himself. The door swished open for him, and he paused in the doorway. "Oh, and Chakotay?" Just before he walked out the door, Tom smiled, and Chakotay‘s heart leapt to his throat. "Sweet dreams."

The end! Finally!