Title:  Too Much to Take (20/20)
Author:  CatHeights
Pairing:  C/P
Rating:   R --This is a slash story.  If reading about a
relationship between two men disturbs you, read no further.
Feedback:  CatHeights@yahoo.com
Archive:  Cha_Club, ATPS, Paris Nights, TPD. Anywhere else, just
ask first.
Spoiler Warning: Barge of the Dead; Extreme Risk; Nothing Human;
One Small Step
Disclaimer: Paramount owns all rights to Star Trek Voyager, its
characters, and the Voyager episodes referred to in this story.
The story idea is mine, but I am doing this just for fun, no
money to be made.
If you're missing a part, you can find it on my website,
Thanks to Tigger, Elf'n, and Pug for all their help throughout,
and to everyone who kept encouraging me to finish the story.
End of Part 19:

"Round 2," Chakotay agreed, pressing Tom back down onto the
sheets.  Mind, no he couldn't say that he did.  If Tom felt
better knowing that Chakotay would have time off to rest after
their exploits, he had no objections.   He looked down into Tom's
mischievous eyes, smiled, and then pressed his lips against his
lover's.  Mind?  No, not in the least.

And now...

Part 20

His heart was pounding, and he gasped for breath as he sat up.
Disoriented, Tom tried to figure out where he was.  The answer
came to him in a second, Chakotay's quarters.  He took a deep
breath and lay back down, waiting for his heart to stop its
frantic pounding.

Within a few minutes, the thudding in his chest had calmed, and
he stretched, turning onto his side to face Chakotay's back.  Tom
lifted the sheet up slightly and moved closer.  He draped his arm
lightly over Chakotay and smiled when his lover pressed back
against him.  He stayed like that for a while enjoying the warmth
and the closeness, but eventually he started to grow restless.
He slipped quietly out of bed.

Every so often, he would wake like he did tonight, his heart
pounding for no reason.  Tom had never been able to figure out
why it happened, and he had given up long ago searching for an
explanation.  After the initial shock of being suddenly awakened,
he would calm down quickly, all anxiety dissipating almost
instantly.  The only problem was that once he was awake, he had
trouble falling back to sleep.  Lying in bed thinking about it
only made things worse.

If he was in his own quarters, he would have gotten up and read a
novel or worked on a new holoprogram.  Sometimes working on
something for a bit actually made him tired enough to return to
bed.  If he didn't get back to sleep, Tom never panicked.  He
didn't really need much sleep anyway.  He functioned fine on a
few hours.   Not wanting to wake Chakotay, and unsure of what to
do to occupy himself here, he wandered into the living area.

Tom stretched out on the couch, finding the darkness and silence
to be calming.  It was so quiet.  He was surprised at how
comfortable he felt in Chakotay's quarters.  Normally he hated
being awake and alone in someone else's place. When he and
B'Elanna had spent nights together it had usually been in his
quarters.  He just preferred it that way, but tonight he found he
really didn't mind being alone in Chakotay's living room.  Rather
than feeling strange, it felt like the most natural place to be.

Tom ran his hand along his arm, touching the goosebumps there.
The air was chilly against his skin, but he didn't feel like
going to find a blanket or even getting dressed.  He decided he
really wasn't cold enough at the moment to want to do anything
about it.  Why disturb this feeling of peace by getting up?  No
reason came to his mind.

It was rare for him to be able to say that he was content, and as
it was the state he was in now, all he wanted to do was revel in
it.  Everything seemed perfect, a strange thing in his life.   He
smiled in the darkness; Chakotay was his lover.  He liked that
thought, a lot.  Tom waited for the doubts to crowd his mind, but
this time they didn't come.   For the moment, there were no
lurking insecurities to prey upon his mind, just a sense of
rightness filling his thoughts.    He yawned and closed his eyes
for a minute; maybe he would be able to fall back to sleep after

His mind drifted, flitting through thoughts and eventually
focusing on the new holoprogram he had been designing.  It was
just about finished.  He had spent hours searching through
Voyager's database, trying to decide which type of ship to
program.  He weighed the advantages of a big ship with a large
crew compliment against those of a smaller vessel.  Finally, he
had decided on going with one of the larger ships, as they seemed
so powerful and elegant.    While he still had to finish
programming her crew, the ship was already designed and
downloaded into the program.  She was a beauty with her sails
raised and billowing in the wind.  Maybe tomorrow he would show
her off to Chakotay.  Even though the program was unfinished,
they could still walk along her deck.   When the program was
done, they could take her out on the high seas, Tom thought

Caught up in picturing the wind and the smell of the sea, Tom
didn't hear Chakotay enter the room. "Tom, are you all right?"
The soft voice startled Tom, and he jumped and then laughed.

"Fine. I just didn't hear you sneak up on me," Tom said sitting
up.  "I'm sorry.  Did I wake you?"

"No, I just realized you weren't in the bed and got confused when
I found you sitting out here.  Are you sure everything is fine?"
Chakotay asked.  He walked over to the couch and sat down beside

"Nothing's wrong, really.  I just woke up and couldn't get back
to sleep, so I decided to come out here for a little bit.  I'm a
light sleeper and sometimes I just find myself wide-awake.  If
I'm not sleeping, I can't just lay there.  I probably should have
warned you earlier, but I had other things on my mind."

Chakotay chuckled, but then grew serious again.  "Was it a dream
that woke you up?"

Tom shook his head.  It was nice to know that Chakotay was
concerned, but he knew that too much unnecessary concern would
drive him nuts.  He couldn't have Chakotay getting upset every
time he couldn't sleep.  He moved closer to the other man and
said, "No dreams.  I just woke up, no reason.  If something was
really bothering me, I'd talk to you about it, just as I hope you
would talk to me if something was bothering you.  Honestly, all
my thoughts have been pleasant ones."  He leaned in and kissed

"How pleasant?"  Chakotay asked tracing his finger down Tom's

"You need to ask.  Weren't you there a few hours ago in bed with
me?  Surely you haven't forgotten already," Tom teased.

"Not a moment of it."

"Good."  Tom paused a moment before continuing. "Chakotay, I am a
light sleeper, and there will be nights where I will wake up and
just not be able to get back to sleep.  When that happens,
staying in bed is frustrating, so I usually get up.  It's
something you'll have to get used to because I plan on sleeping
with you a lot."

Chakotay laughed.  "I like the sleeping with me a lot part.  The
other bit, I guess eventually I will get used to it.  It just
startled me tonight, that's all."  He remembered B'Elanna telling
him that Tom rarely slept all the way through the night.  Was
this what she meant?

"I can imagine.  It's nothing to be concerned about though.  I
get enough sleep. I rarely need more than a few hours," Tom said.

Chakotay could tell that Tom really believed it was not a big
deal and was asking him to accept it as such.  He had to trust
that if something was really bothering Tom, he would mention it.
Maybe he was just looking for problems where they didn't exist.

"All right then, I guess I'll head back to bed.  Unless you want
some company," Chakotay asked.

"Actually, I had just been thinking about going back to bed, so
I'll join you," Tom said with yawn.

"Great," Chakotay replied with such enthusiasm that Tom had to

"I take it you have no objections."

"None whatsoever," Chakotay said as he stood and extended a hand
to pull Tom up of the couch.  When his hand touched Tom's, he
said, "You're freezing.  Why didn't you grab a blanket or put
some clothes on?"

"Laziness.  Too much effort."

Chakotay shook his head in exasperation, as they headed back into
the bedroom.  They each climbed under the covers.  When they were
settled in the bed, Chakotay pulled Tom toward him, resting an
arm across his chest.

Tom yawned again and asked, "Do you like to sail?"

"Yes. I haven't done it often, but when I have, I've enjoyed it.

"I've been working on this holoprogram, and I was wondering if
you might like to go sailing sometime?"

"Sure, I'd love to go out on a sailboat with you."

Tom chuckled.  "It's not a boat; it's a ship.  She's 114 meters
long with four masts and a steel hull."

"114 meters?"

"Yep.  Plus she's got three upper decks all connected by
catwalks.  She'll hold a crew of about 200.  I don't have all the
crew programmed yet, and I need to program in some additional
background, but the ship's done.  Want to take a look at her with
me tomorrow?"  Tom asked eagerly.

"Definitely.  So, you weren't thinking of a quiet sail on a lake,
huh?  I've never been sailing on something that large.  I don't
think I've ever seen a ship like you're describing."

"She's a beauty.  I'll have the computer make sure you see her
with her sails unfurled.  It's a wondrous sight.  The brilliance
of the white contrasting with the blue of the ocean."

Chakotay smiled at the awe he heard in Tom's voice.  He bet the
ship was truly a wonderful sight.  He tried to picture a ship
that size with all those sails, but he knew his mind probably
wasn't even coming close to imagining it.  Well, he'd see it
tomorrow.  He started to ask Tom if he'd chosen a port for the
ship, when he noticed Tom's even breathing.  Good, he thought,
he's fallen back to sleep.  There would be plenty of time
tomorrow to ask questions about the ship.  He closed his eyes.

Tom wasn't quite asleep, but he was close to it.  He was
picturing his program once it was finished.  He would be the
ship's captain, of course, and he was pretty sure that he could
convince Chakotay to be the merchant who hired his ship.  Who
knew what adventures could take place?  So many possibilities, he
thought, as he imagined himself kissing Chakotay underneath the
stars on a deep black ocean, while the night breeze blew.  Tom
drifted off to sleep, a smile curving his lips.

The End