Red Alert
by Lianne Burwell

October 1998
 

Tom Paris rolled over in bed, drifting in that lovely haze that exists between sleeping and waking on those days when waking is a choice, not a necessity. He snuggled in closer to his husband, Chakotay, who had oh-so-kindly arranged the schedule so that their days off coincided. There were some perks to being married to the first officer.

Besides the really hot sex, that is.

Tom was felt Chakotay stir next to him, and smiled. A lazy morning, with several bouts of that hot sex, followed by lunch in bed sounded good. Maybe some time on the holodeck, and an evening of pool at Sandrine‘s.

Suddenly, Tom tensed. Something didn‘t feel right.

"Wassit?" Chakotay asked, still sleep befuddled, but obviously feeling the change in Tom‘s manner. Tom frowned, trying to pin down the feeling.

"We‘re maneuvering. Sudden changes in direction." Inertial dampers prevented the average crew-member from feeling those sorts of changes, but a good pilot (and Tom was the best) could sense these movements. It was one of the things that made them good pilots.

Chakotay sat up in the bed, and Tom pushed himself up onto his elbows. Chakotay was obviously considering calling the bridge, when the red alert started blaring. The red alert was followed almost immediately by an explosion, which rocked the ship enough that the inertial dampers couldn‘t compensate in time.

When Tom recovered, he was on his back on the floor, Chakotay on top of him. While he usually enjoyed being in that sort of position, this wasn‘t the right time for it. They both staggered to their feet, heading for the closet and their clothes.

"Chakotay to the bridge."

The response was almost immediate, but unusually fuzzed by static. "We‘re a little busy right now, Commander."

Another blast nearly took Tom off his feet, but he managed to brace himself and ride out the movement. A thud and curse behind him said that Chakotay hadn‘t been so lucky.

"So we noticed. We can be there in five minutes."

Briefly, they heard the Captain calling orders to both Tuvok and the helm before she answered. "Good. We could use the two of you."

"Chakotay, out."

By this point, Tom was half-dressed. He started tossing pieces of uniform to Chakotay, who pulled them on as fast as he could. Once fully dressed, they headed for the door.

Only Chakotay slammed right into it, and Tom into him.

"Oh, great," Tom said, picking himself up off the floor. "Try the override."

Chakotay opened the panel next to the door, and punched the override code. Nothing happened. He grabbed the manual lever, but it refused to budge. He growled, and slapped his communicator.

"Chakotay to the bridge."

The response was even more loaded with static than before. "Where are you?"

"The door to our quarters won‘t open, even with the manual override. Can you transport us?"

They could dimly hear the sound of a question being asked and answered, but couldn‘t understand the words.

"Sorry. The transporters are having trouble. You‘d better just sit tight."

"Understood. Chakotay, out."

Tom threw himself on the couch with a groan. "This is ridiculous. The ship is under attack, and we‘re stuck here." Another blast knocked him off the couch. He pulled himself back up and looked out their viewport (after all, rank doth have its privileges).

From their angle, they could see that there were at least two ships attacking them. A moment later, figuring out vectors in his head, Tom upped that total to three.

From a theoretical point of view, it was quite interesting. Usually, during an attack, Tom was on the bridge at the helm, most of his attention focused on his display and the helm controls. And even if he did look up at the main viewscreen, it was designed to filter out a lot of unnecessary information. From their quarters, though, they could see the shimmer of phaser blasts hitting Voyager‘s shields, the force spreading along the shields, dissipating away from the ship. It was both a scary sight, and a fascinating one.

Then a phaser beam leapt away from Voyager, zeroing in on one of the attacking ships. The ship disappeared in an explosion, quickly extinguished as all the air on the other ship was consumed by the flames. Tom gave a cheer, but next to him Chakotay breathed a small prayer. Tom gave him a look of ‚are you nuts?‘.

"Just because their ship is attacking us, doesn‘t mean everyone on it wished us harm," Chakotay explained. "Everyone on that ship probably left someone behind who will grieve. A parent, spouse, child..."

Tom felt the small thrill of victory go cold. "I never thought of it that way. It‘s... easier, just viewing it as a ship, crewed by faceless beings, without considering who they are."

Chakotay nodded. "A lot of people feel that way. They probably feel that way. But someone should remember. After we are in a battle, I usually find a few minutes to perform a ceremony for the dead and the living."

Tom thought about it for a moment. Looking back, he realized that while he had never wondered why, Chakotay had usually disappeared for an hour after the end of a shift where a battle had been fought. "Would you mind if I joined you from now on?" he asked, a little tentative.

Chakotay smiled. "I‘d like that a lot."

They turned back to the viewport, just in time to see a phaser blast heading straight towards them. Chakotay immediately tackled Tom, knocking them both to the floor in front of the couch. The ship shook again. They poked their heads back up, just in time to see that last of the blast energy dissipating along the ship‘s shields. Chakotay gave a little laugh.

"Sorry about that."

"Don‘t worry," Tom said with a wave of the hand. "I like being tackled to the floor by you. Remember?"

Chakotay gave him a small leer in response, then sat down on the couch. He reached out a hand to grab Tom, and Tom suddenly found himself on the couch, between Chakotay‘s legs and leaning back against him. He relaxed back against the broad chest, and sighed as arms wrapped around his chest. He let his head fall back onto a shoulder. In one corner of his mind, he noted that Chakotay had let one leg drop over the edge of the couch to brace against the floor in case another jolt tried to dislodge him.

For a while, they just watched the flash of lights, and the dizzying movement of the stars outside the viewport. A couple of times, Chakotay tried to comm the bridge, but static was the only answer. Somewhere in the system, something had been damaged, and until it was fixed, they were stuck, incommunicado. Tom sighed, fingers twitching as the ship maneuvered again.

"You want to be on the bridge, don‘t you." It wasn‘t a question.

"Yeah. It‘s not just that I‘m the best pilot on board, which I am..." Chakotay made a grunt of agreement. It wasn‘t ego, it was the simple truth, proven in simulator tests and re-life situation. "I just don‘t like being stuck, unable to do anything about it. Sometimes I wonder how you deal with it."

"Deal with what?"

"Well, if we were on the bridge, I‘d be at the helm. No time to think, just react. But you have to sit in your chair, keep an eye on displays and make suggestions, but it‘s the captain who gives the orders. You have to be ready in case she can‘t give the order, or misses seeing something. Of course, you do provide great support. Sometime it helps, just knowing you‘re there. But I think I‘d go nuts in your place."

"No ambition to be a first officer, huh?"

Tom shuddered. "No way. I want to be a pilot. That‘s where I‘m happy. Maybe I‘ll eventually move to development, and help design better engines, better ships, for me to pilot. That was always a big disappointment for my dad. He wanted me to be another Admiral Paris, like him, and his father, and his uncle and his grandfather and... well, you get the idea."

"Family traditions. My father wanted me to be a holy man, so I headed in the opposite direction as fast as I could. It took his death to turn me around again, then being swept into the Delta Quadrant to firm up that role."

"Ship‘s counselor slash chaplain."

"In a way. I‘m still not a holy man, nor do I intend to be, but I have a greater respect for my people‘s beliefs now, and, I hope, a greater respect for other people‘s beliefs."

"That‘s why everyone looks for you as an advisor. A confessor, too. Hell, a father figure." Tom paused. "You‘d make a great father. Have you ever considered having kids?"

* * * * *

Chakotay was a little surprised at the question. Tom had tensed, ever so slightly, in his arms on asking the question. Chakotay thought hard about it.

"Well... Id be lying if I said no. I was raised as part of a large family, and there was always the expectation that I would marry and have kids. But after a while, I didn‘t think about it much - and not just because I married a man. My brothers and sisters all had large families, so I have plenty of nieces and nephews to satisfy my paternal urges with. Not to mention that seeing them at their worst told me that I wouldn‘t have the patience for it. But if you ever told me that you wanted kids, I‘d say yes without any hesitation. Do you want kids?"

Tom snorted. "Not really. I‘m an only son, and my father was an only son. Even before I hit puberty, I was already getting the lectures about how it was my duty to marry and have sons to carry on the Paris name. Hell, I was getting them practically until the day I went on trial, and was sentenced to Auckland. My dad even offered several times to find me an ‚appropriate‘ wife who would let me do what I wanted, as long as I fathered children on her. Let me tell you, the idea of marrying a woman just to be a brood mare turned my stomach. No, I don‘t really plan on having kids, if only to annoy my father."

Chakotay also found the idea distasteful. A marriage should be a partnership, where children were only conceived if both members were in agreement. "And if you change your mind?"

"C‘mon, Chakotay. You might be the one to change his mind. we do, lets make sure that it‘s a girl."

Chakotay closed his eyes for a moment, and pictured a little girl with Tom‘s strawberry-blonde hair. Or maybe his own dark hair, but with Tom‘s blue eyes and wide grin. It was a nice picture, but not yet overly compelling.

"Sounds good to me. Maybe someday."

"Maybe. Chakotay?"

"Hmm?"

"How did we end up talking about rugrats?"

Chakotay laughed. "Fight or flight. When a body gets into a situation where it might die, the reaction afterwards is to reproduce. Pass on the genes before the next situation comes along. That‘s why a battle leaves people with the urge to screw like crazy after. It‘s also why there were so many births, nine months after the Kazon took the ship, and left us on that desert planet."

"What, people were off in the bushes, relieving the tension?"

"Something like that."

"Damn. And I missed it."

Chakotay snorted at the mock-pout on Tom‘s face. On the other hand, those lips pushed out, along with the expression, were irresistible, and he promptly went to work sucking on them. Tom melted against him, and he took advantage of the pliancy to twist them around on the couch so that he was lying on top of Tom.

Tom smiled up at him, the ‚now that you‘ve got me, what are you going to do with me‘ smile that always got his pulse racing. Levering himself up on one elbow, Chakotay reached down, and opened the front of Tom‘s uniform jacket. The jacket was quickly removed, and dropped to floor, followed by Chakotay‘s. Next, the grey undershirt was rolled up Tom‘s body, and over his head. Grinning, Chakotay left it wrapped around Tom‘s elbows, holding his arms together. Tom just grinned back, and kept his arms where they were, above his head.

Next, he reached down to undo Tom‘s pants, just lowering them enough to release an already hard cock. He blew a gust of warm air across the sensitive flesh, and was rewarded by a further hardening of the cock, and a lush moan. Still grinning, he lowered his head to engulf the erection, as it began to weep beads of liquid.

* * * * *

Attacking ship, number one, had been destroyed, but there were still two left, and they were both doing there best to turn Voyager into a piece of floating space debris. Kathryn barked out orders to the poor ensign at the helm, which he was trying, valiantly, to keep up with. She wished that Tom was in the seat, instead. He always reacted to her commands instantly. Hell, half the time he either anticipated them, or came up with something better. With Tom at the helm, she could let him take over the maneuvering decisions, and concentrate on other things.

"What‘s the word on the transporters?" she called out. B‘Elanna lifted her head from the Engineering station, where she‘d been when the attack started. Normally, she would have been in Engineering.

"Working on it. Give me a couple more minutes."

Kathryn turned back to the view screen, and ordered another change of vector. It wasn‘t just Tom that she wanted on the bridge. She also wanted Chakotay there. He often picked up on things that she might miss in the heat of the moment, and his suggestions were always useful, even when she disagreed vehemently. But more than that, just his rock-solid presence and a calming influence on the bridge crew, leaving them better able to focus on their tasks. Then Tom would make a joke, and the mood would lighten. Together, they were an integral part of her team, and a very necessary part.

A moment later, Tuvok destroyed attacking ship, number two, but Harry was calling out the approach of two more vessels. They needed to get away from the one ship still firing on them, and get out of the area before the next batch got there.

"I‘ve got the transporters up!"

Kathryn looked up at B‘Elanna‘s shout. "How about communications?"

"Not yet. I‘m still working on it."

"Fine. Lock onto Chakotay and Tom, and beam them to the bridge."

"Right."

The air in front of her shimmered, as the two men came into view. Then her jaw dropped, hitting her chest.

Oh. My.

* * * * *

Tom was more than willing to play along with Chakotay. He kept his arms where they were, and watched as Chakotay prepared to blow his mind into oblivion. The man obviously was too up on adrenaline to waste time with foreplay.

As the air blew past his cock, Tom‘s eyes fluttered shut, and his hips thrust upwards. When Chakotay‘s lips wrapped around his erection, he groaned. Hell, for a moment it felt like the universe moved.

Up and down, Chakotay‘s head bobbed. Tom responded with sighs and moans of approval, since Chakotay hadn‘t been shy about telling him how much he enjoyed a vocal lover, back when they‘d first started together. Then Chakotay did that trick with his tongue that Tom loved so much, and he writhed, grinding his hips down into the cushions beneath him.

Suddenly he froze. The surface underneath him was too hard to be the cushions. And the texture was wrong. He opened his eyes, cautiously, and looked around.

He was lying on the floor of the bridge, right in front of the captain‘s chair. The Captain‘s face had an expression of shock. Over at Ops, Harry was fighting to suppress a snicker. At the engineering station, B‘Elanna was watching with a gleeful expression, like the cat with a yellow feather sticking out the side of the mouth.

The sudden wilting of Tom‘s erection was obviously what alerted Chakotay. He lifted his head, and took a look around. His dark skin meant that he rarely showed a blush, but he was turning crimson.

For long moments, there wasn‘t a sound. Then another blast rocked the ship. The captain called out an order to fire to Tuvok, then ordered B‘Elanna to beam the two men back to their quarters in a slightly strangled voice.

The last thing Tom saw, as the bridge faded away, was the grin on the Captain‘s face.

* * * * *

Back in their quarters, Chakotay groaned and hid his face. He could hear the frantic sounds of Tom restoring his uniform, cursing the entire time. Chakotay felt a laugh trying to force its way out, but tried to suppress it. Partly it was hysteria, but it was also a healthy sense of the absurd. Unfortunately, he didn‘t think that Tom would see it that way.

"I swear, I may just stay here for the rest of the trip back to the Alpha Quadrant," Tom said, fastening his uniform jacket and running his fingers through his hair to try and tidy up the curls. It wasn‘t working.

"Sorry, Tom. Can‘t do that. You‘re needed on the bridge."

"Chakooo-taaaaay! How can I go back there when they all saw..."

"The same why that I will."

"I swear, one of these days I‘m going to get her. Someday I‘m going to figure out just the right way to get back at B‘Elanna. You‘ll help me, won‘t you?"

Chakotay looked at Tom‘s earnest expression. "Of course I will," he said in a soothing tone of voice. "Anything you come up with, I‘ll help."

He saw that Tom was as decent as he was going to get, so he tapped his comm badge. "Chakotay to the bridge."

For a few moment, all they got was static, but the Captain‘s voice finally formed out of the background. "Are you decent?" Even through the heavy static, he could hear the grin in her voice. Tom groaned, and turned an even darker shade of red.

"Yes, Captain. We‘re ready for transport."

"Good. We still could use you. Transporting now."

Their quarters started to fade away. Like Tom, he was tempted to just hide out for a month or two until the rumor mill got tired of the story, but there was still a battle to win. There was always something going on.

THE END