by Lianne Burwell
Commander Chakotay stepped from the turbolift onto Voyager‘s bridge, a smile on his lips and a song in his heart. His stomach was grumbling, since he‘d missed breakfast, but he didn‘t care.
Captain Janeway looked up and her lips curved into what was probably supposed to be a smile, but was more a smirk. Maybe even a leer.
"Mr. Paris is going to be a couple minutes late, I take it?"
Chakotay‘s smile widened into a grin as he contemplated the husband that had put the smile there, and just how he had put it there. "He‘s on his way. He let me take the first shower."
Janeway‘s smirk was now definitely a leer. "Don‘t trust yourself in a shower with him?" she asked in a mild tone.
Chakotay just kept grinning, and didn‘t answer the question. He sat down and started going though his notes for the day.
Five minutes later, the turbolift door wooshed open and Tom Paris strode down the ramp to relieve the conn. Chakotay found himself watching his husband‘s ass as Tom sat in his seat, wincing slightly. He realized that he had lost track of what he should be doing when the Captain‘s hand waved in front of his face.
Hey, he was entitled. He‘d only been married for twenty-seven days, eighteen hours and... thirty-four minutes.
But who was counting?
* * * * *
Not long after that peaceful morning, Voyager entered a nearly empty region of space. As day followed day, nothing new was happening.
At first, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. They were still repairing the damage from a series of encounters with a race whose territory they had just left behind.
But then the repairs were finished. Now they could finally catalogue and analyze several years worth of readings, left untouched due to more pressing matters (like survival).
But even that can‘t fill everyone‘s time. First it started with hints of boredom. Then there were the temper flare-ups. Then the fights. After weeks without any outside trouble it got to the point where there wasn‘t a single duty rotation where there was not at least one crewmember cooling their heels in the brig.
They needed a distraction.
* * * * *
Tom Paris, ship‘s pilot and (gasp) happily married man, headed into the messhall to find himself some breakfast. Normally, he‘d be eating with his ‚Cuddles‘, but Chakotay had to get to his office early, to go over the crew assignments for the next duty rotation. Tom was looking forward to having a rotation away from sickbay. He‘d put in for hydroponics this time, and was pretty sure he‘d get it (and, no, not because he was sleeping with the first officer).
He nodded to Neelix, as he collected his breakfast (don‘t look to closely, Tom m‘boy), then went to join Harry.
Harry looked at him and shook his head. "If I had known that getting married was going to scramble your brains this way..."
Tom smirked. "I‘m sure I don‘t know what you mean, Harry. Are you saying I was a gloomy gus before getting together with Chakotay?"
"Nope. You just weren‘t so... chipper."
Tom just snickered, and started eating his (don‘t look and don‘t taste) breakfast.
As he ate (don‘t think about what it might be), Tom picked up the PADD sitting on the table. Another one of Neelix‘s ‚great‘ ideas, to go along with his ‚Briefing with Neelix‘.
During their stop in the twentieth century, Neelix had also (unfortunately) gotten a hold of a copy of a tabloid newspaper, full of rumors and gossip. The result was a weekly report on PADD - for those who managed to avoid ‚Briefing‘ - that combined newsletter, gossip and (shudder) advice column.
Tom was flipping through sections when he suddenly choked on his (don‘t look, don‘t taste and don‘t hurl) breakfast. In the gossip section he was looking at a picture of himself.
Dressed in a harem outfit. Lying on a bed. Very obviously aroused, even if decently covered. It was from the anniversary program he‘d put together for Chakotay.
But how had Neelix got it? And how many people had seen it?
Tom took a quick look around, and soon had his answer. There were clusters of people around each of the PADDs, and about half of them were looking in his directions. Some were smirking. Some were blushing. Several were leering.
Tom got to his feet, and stormed towards the kitchen. "Neelix, what the hell is this?"
Neelix wiped his hands on his apron. "Ah yes! The new issue of ‚Briefing in Print‘. I‘m quite proud of this one."
"Oh, really? Well you better have a good explanation for this," Tom said, thrusting the PADD at him. Neelix looked at the screen and gasped.
"Oh dear!" he said in what looked like horror. It was a little hard to tell with a Talaxian. "I did not put that in. I‘m not sure how it got there. I‘ll take care of it right away, Tom."
Tom watched Neelix hurry off to collect the PADDs from all the tables, and realized that everyone in the room was looking at him. Suddenly his appetite was gone, and he decided that he better get to the sickbay for his shift. And quickly.
He wasn‘t sure who pinched his butt, as he made his way to the door, and he wasn‘t sure he wanted to know.
* * * * *
It took a couple of days for things to settle down, but Chakotay had thought his husband would go insane first. Tom couldn‘t walk down the corridor without wolf-whistles, or someone pinching him, or making an obscene suggestion.
Okay, Tom had gone through the same thing after the original kidnapping - the one that started their relationship - but there was a difference between hearing about the outfit, seeing it. Several people had seen him walk through the corridors to his quarters in the harem outfit, but there was no permanent record, and most of the crew had only heard about it second-hand. This time... Well, Neelix had done his best, but a large number of people had already downloaded the image to personal PADDs, and even a request from the Captain that they delete them didn‘t seem to do much good, other than to embarrass Tom further.
And then there were the anonymous gifts and messages. Replicated chocolates and flowers. Offers of back-rubs. Offers of... more, often described in graphic detail. Chakotay had even used a few of those descriptions. Mushy cards left on Tom‘s seat at the start of his shift, which everyone denied having seen placed there. Paper hearts stuck to the doors of their quarters. Chakotay found it all rather amusing, but valued his skin too much to let Tom know that.
In the back of his mind was also the secret relief that it had been Tom, and not himself.
* * * * *
Chakotay had just entered the Captain‘s ready room, PADD with the details on how the cross-training program was proceeding in hand, when he heard her gasp. He looked over to where the Captain was standing, next to the replicator. In one hand has a cup of coffee (what else would it be?) and in the other she was holding a square object. It looked like paper. In fact, it looked like...
Chakotay pulled the square from the grinning woman‘s grasp. Yep. It was a photograph, on old-style paper. More to the point, it was a photograph of himself. In a loincloth. A very small loincloth, which barely covered his... assets. He was wearing the teeny loincloth and paint, and giving the camera a come-hither look.
Chakotay felt the blood rush to his groin, for a moment, remembering the circumstances of Tom taking that picture. Then common sense reasserted itself.
"Where did you get this?" he demanded. The Captain was snickering now.
"I ordered a cup of coffee, and when it appeared that was propped up against it."
Somehow, Chakotay had a sneaking suspicion that this was not the only replicator that was going to be handing out party favors that day.
* * * * *
Unfortunately, he was right. It didn‘t take long to remove this little... bonus from the replicator system, but in the meantime, the replicators had been used twenty-six times. Only five copies of the picture were recovered.
This time it was Chakotay‘s turn to be pinched and propositioned, which pleased Tom to no end. After all, he pointed out, why should he be the only one to suffer?
The Captain assigned Tuvok to track down how the extra command had gotten into the replicator system. While no harm was done (except to the first officer‘s dignity), the fact that someone was able to do it was disturbing.
For once, Tuvok‘s investigations came up empty.
* * * * *
Over the next few weeks, more of the pictures showed up, in unlikely spots. A picture of Tom and Chakotay, kissing passionately while dressed as the Lone Ranger and Tonto, was discovered in one of stellar cartography‘s reports on a star they had passed by six months earlier. The Delaney sisters were thrilled with their find. A picture of Tom Paris, half-dressed in a twentieth-century Marine dress uniform, licking his lips in a suggestive way, was found enlarged to double life-size, and mounted on the wall of one of the currently unused shuttlebays. A picture of Chakotay, lying facedown on a beach wearing only a thong bathing suit, caused winces and glee when discovered in a posting about the state of the gell-packs in jefferies tube eight on the ship‘s public bulletin board area of the computer.
As time went by, the crew was spending more and more time trying to be the first to discover one of these little tidbits. In fact, they were spending so much time on the improntu scavenger hunt that the fights had stopped, and the brig was empty.
Morale was at an all-time high, except for in the Chakotay-Paris quarters. The residents there were stuck in a state of permanent embarrassment.
Finally, they decided that enough was enough. Time to find the culprit and extract revenge.
* * * * *
"All right. Who are the possibilities?"
Tom and Chakotay were seated on the sofa in their quarters, PADDs in hand.
Chakotay looked up in surprise. "Neelix? You‘ve got to be joking."
"No. After all, ‚Briefing in Print‘ was the first place one of the images appeared."
"If he thought it would raise morale, he‘d do it in a second."
"Okay, I‘ll give you that. But how would he get them? We keep them on a PADD, with a backup. The PADD has never left our quarters, and the backup is still in the back of the closet. Neelix hasn‘t been in our quarters. No, I think we should limit ourselves to people who have been in our quarters and left alone long enough to make a copy."
Tom frowned. Part of him wanted to nail Neelix for this. It wasn‘t rational, but still... However, Chakotay was right. "Okay. Harry."
"Sure. Whenever you have to work late, I go to Sandrine‘s or the resort with Harry. A couple times, I‘ve been in the bedroom, changing out of my uniform, while he was in here."
"Maybe, but I have a hard time picturing Harry doing something like this."
"Why? He has the computer skills to do it, and trust me, he‘s not as innocent as he looks."
"Okay. I‘d suggest that you be the one to talk to him, though. Okay, let‘s see. B‘Elanna." Tom raised an eyebrow. "You were working on a project with her. She came by when you weren‘t here, and I let her wait. I was in the shower."
Tom‘s eyes narrowed. "And it‘s just the sort of thing that would appeal to her sense of humor. Just look at what she did for our wedding night."
Both men paused a moment to remember. Chakotay snickered. In retrospect, the whole ‚whoopie incident‘ was becoming funnier all the time.
"Okay, she‘s definitely at the top of the list. Anyone else that you can think of?"
Tom‘s forehead wrinkled as he thought. "Nooo... but..."
"The Captain, Tuvok and the Doctor all have over-rides that would let them get in while we weren‘t here. As well, the Captain and Tuvok have the rank to cover it up in the computer."
Chakotay thought about it for a moment. "All right. I can certainly see Kathryn doing it, especially if she thought it would be good for morale. But somehow I don‘t think that either Tuvok or the Doc would do this."
"Agreed. Okay, that leaves us with Harry, B‘Elanna and the Captain."
Chakotay nodded. "I‘ll check the Captain. You talk to Harry. And B‘Elanna..."
"I‘ll talk to B‘Elanna."
Chakotay winced a little at the smile on Tom‘s face.
* * * * *
Tom waited until he was off-duty to track down B‘Elanna. He just knew that she was the one behind the pictures being plastered all over the ship. After all, who else would be twisted enough to do it?
She was in Engineering when he went to confront her. It didn‘t matter that she was in the middle of a conversation with Vorik and Kendry. Needless to say, Tom was beyond caring by that point.
"Tom! What brings you down here? I thought you‘d be off-duty by now."
"You know exactly why I‘m here," he said with a glower. "I don‘t know how you got those images, but this stops now!"
He expected a lot of things from her, but not the blank look followed by gales of laughter.
"Tom, why would you think it was me?" she said, wiping her eyes as the laughter died down.
"Three words. Whoopie. Cushion. Mattress."
B‘Elanna snickered. "That was a good one, wasn‘t it? But, sorry Tom. I‘m not behind the visual history of your relationship."
"Riiight," he drawled, crossing his arms over his chest. She snickered again.
"Listen, fly-boy. When you asked me if I was the one who doctored your mattress, did I deny it? No. When you asked if I was the one who started the rumor that you and Chakotay had been caught having sex in the captain‘s ready room, did I deny it? No. When you asked if I was the one who programmed the helm to make a wolf-whistle every time you started your shift, did I deny it? Well... yes. But Harry was the one behind that one. But I have never denied anything when confronted, so believe me. I am not the culprit this time."
Tom sighed. She was right. She‘d never denied anything that he‘d linked to her. Tom had to fight a blush, though. What would she think if she knew her little ‚rumor‘ was actually true?
"If it isn‘t you, then who is it? B‘Elanna, this has got to stop."
"Let me do some checking. I‘ll see what I can find. But I am not the one behind this little prank."
Tom sagged a little. "Thanks, B‘Elanna," he said, before turning to leave.
Just before he reached the doors, though, she called out something that made him turn beet-red.
"Besides, if I‘d gotten my hands on those pictures, I wouldn‘t be giving them away. I could make a fortune in replicator rations selling them."
* * * * *
"Kathryn, can I talk to you?"
The Captain looked up at Chakotay, who was standing at the door of her ready-room. "Of course. What can I do for you?" Chakotay felt his face heat up, suddenly feeling the urge to shift from foot to foot, like a guilty schoolchild.
"About these pictures..."
The Captain burst into a wide smile. "They are great, aren‘t they?
Those costumes... You know, I might have expected them from Tom, not you. But seeing you dressed up in that Shakespearean outfit with the doublet and very tight tights..."
She got a dreamy look in her eyes, and for a moment Chakotay thought he was going to have to offer her a bucket to catch the drool. Then she gave a little shake, and refocused on him.
"So. What about them?"
Chakotay hemmed and hawed, not quite sure what he was going to say. After all, he couldn‘t just come out and suggest that she was behind his face (not to mention body) being plastered all over the ship, could he? Luckily, she beat him to it.
"You think I might be behind them, don‘t you?" She started to giggle in a very unCaptain-like way. As he turned red, the giggles became laughter, until she was brushing tears away. "I‘m sorry to disappoint you, Chakotay, but I‘m not your culprit. But Tuvok is still working on it. I‘m sure he‘ll find out who it is."
Chakotay rolled his eyes. Tuvok hadn‘t had much luck so far. Scratch the Captain from the list of suspects. Hopefully Tom would have better luck.
* * * * *
"B‘Elanna laughed herself silly, then denied it. I believe her."
"I got the same reaction from the Captain. Harry?"
"Exact same thing. In fact, he actually fell of the couch in his quarters, he was laughing so hard."
"So where does that leave us?"
"Beats me, Cuddles."
* * * * *
Nearly two months after entering the quiet area of space, Voyager left it, moving into the territory of a species that decided that Voyager‘s existence offended the sensibilities of their God, and set out to do something about it. Everyone took a deep breath, then got back to work.
Within weeks, the scavenger hunt had been dropped, and no new images had turned up. No one had the time to think about it, but two men breathed deep sighs of relief.
* * * * *
Tom groaned, aroused by the gentle touch, and rolled towards it. Or, he tried to roll towards it. He quickly woke up when he realized that he had been tied to the bed frame.
The gentle touch turned out to have been his grinning husband, who had been painting him with edible body paints. Looking down at himself, he saw swirls of red (cherry, from the scent) and blue (blueberry) decorating his torso and further. A spiral circled his navel. Sunbursts spread out from his nipples. Symbols that looked deliberate, but unfamiliar, decorated his arms and legs. His erect cock was completely covered in random squiggles.
And his significant other was standing on the other side of the room, camera in hand.
"Chakotay, this is how we got in trouble last time!"
"What can I say? You bring out the artist in me."
"I‘d rather bring out the animal in you," Tom replied, trying his sexiest pout.
It worked. Chakotay took one more image, then tossed the camera away. He climbed onto the bed and lay down next to Tom.
"Well, since I‘ve made a mess, I guess I‘d better clean it up," he said in a purr before leaning down to lick one of the patterns on Tom‘s closest arm.
Tom moaned at the slight roughness of Chakotay‘s tongue as it meandered across his skin. Chakotay was nothing if not focused. All his attention was on cleaning the one arm. When he was done, he moved to the other side of the bed, and repeated the process on the other.
"Chakoooo-taaayyyy..." Tom whined, tugging at the restraints holding his arms. There was almost no give. His legs had a little more slack to play with, but not enough to get Chakotay to pay attention to what he really wanted to have licked.
When both arms were clean of everything except a faint sheen of saliva, Chakotay moved his torture to Tom‘s legs. Each symbol was carefully cleaned away, one by one, starting at the calves and working up. But Chakotay skipped over the groin, ignoring the protests from his frustrated lover.
The protests quickly became cries of a different sort when he cleaned away the area around one nipple, then fastened on. A steady sucking raised it up, even harder than it had already been. Just as the sensation was about to cross over from pleasure to pain, he abandoned it to go to its twin.
The only thing left now, other than the weeping erection, was the navel, and Chakotay started with the outermost part of the spiral, and followed it in, until he reached Tom‘s navel. He dipped his tongue in to clean out the small pool that had collected inside the hollow.
By this time, Tom was about to go nuts. All he could do was lie there and take it. Of course, if he really wanted Chakotay to stop, he would, but it was all too exhilarating (infuriating) to want that. He resolved to surprise his husband this way some night in the future. After all, what was good for the gander was good for the other gander (to mangle a cliche).
Suddenly, he realized that he wasn‘t being touched anymore, even though he could feel the warmth of his lover‘s body between his legs. He forced open eyes that he hadn‘t realized he had shut, and looked down. Chakotay‘s grinning face was poised above Tom‘s erecting. Dribbles of pre-cum had run down his cock, destroying the perfection of the red and blue lines. Tom moaned.
"Damnit, Chakotay, if you don‘t finish I swear I‘ll program the replicator to only supply you with underwear made from sackcloth!"
Chakotay grinned. "I would just have to go without underwear, then."
Tom almost came just from the image that the statement conjured in his mind. Then that talented tongue was cleaning his erection, and he couldn‘t stop himself. He whimpered as Chakotay, semen dripping from his chin, finished the job, licking the over-sensitive skin clean.
Sparks were still going off behind his eyelids as he heard the sound of his husband taking a few more images. Then Chakotay undid the bindings, and pulled him into his arms.
"Damnit, Cuddles, you better lock up those pictures good. I don‘t want to see them plastered all over the ship."
A warm, earthy chuckle was his reply, and he couldn‘t help joining in.
"Actually," Chakotay finally said, once the laughter had faded. "I noticed that the only pictures used were the ones where we were decently covered."
"I suppose," Tom said with a shrug. "I still want to know who was behind it, though."
"We eliminated all the likely suspects."
"So it was someone a little less likely. Hey, maybe it was Tuvok."
"Why not? He had the means, and being the investigator meant he could cover up. After all, he isn‘t going to find evidence proving he was the guilty party, is he?"
Chakotay laughed. "Very true. Let‘s confront him right now." He started to get up, but Tom pulled him back down.
"Go to sleep, big guy. Who knows. Maybe, someday, we will find out who it was. Just make sure those pictures are someplace well-hidden. I don‘t want to be Voyager pinup boy again, thank you."
"Will do, Love."
* * * * *
Tuvok sat in his office, going over the security reports from the last duty cycle. Other than the brief rise in disciplinary actions two months ago, there was little to report. He glanced at the data-cube sitting on his desk. The pictures had been an inspired idea, and getting them from the Chakotay-Paris quarters had been quite simple, if a little unethical. Still, it had been in the best interests of the ship, and its crew.
He dropped the data-cube in his desk drawer and set the lock. You never knew when it might be useful again.