Title:As One Door Closes
Part: 4/4
Author: Chuckles

For rating, disclaimer etc. See part one.

When Tom woke up the next morning, he found Chakotay by his side, staring
the ceiling. He could tell the older man was still feeling guilty. He moved over
to him and kissed his cheek, softly. "Morning," he smiled. "And, before

you say anything, I'm still fine about what we did."

Chakotay gave a relieved sigh, then hugged Tom tightly. "Thanks. I was
worried about how you would feel this morning. I didn't want you to think
that I've been helping you for selfish reasons. I haven't. Although, there's
no point in me denying the fact that it's you I'm attracted to. I'm sure
you've worked that one out."

"Yeah, the other day, actually," Tom admitted.

"Does it bother you?" Chakotay asked nervously.

Tom snorted. "If it did, I wouldn't be here cuddling with you, would I?"

"No, I suppose not," Chakotay grinned.

"We never got round to taking that shower last night," Tom mused. "Shall we
grab one now?"

"Yeah. Do you want to go first?" Chakotay asked.

"Actually, I was thinking perhaps we could share one," Tom said, looking
into Chakotay's eyes.

Chakotay took a couple of deep breaths before answering. "Tom, if we share a
shower, I'm not going to be responsible for my actions. I just *know* my
mind will shut down as soon as I step into the bathroom. So, it might not be
such a good idea. Besides, have you forgotten that you're straight?"

"I definitely forgot last night," Tom grinned. "And it was great. I want
more. I want to shower with you." He leaned over to give Chakotay a
lingering kiss.

Chakotay got up from the bed and grabbed Tom by the hand, pulling urgently
at him. "Come on," he whispered, then led Tom to the bathroom.

He turned the shower on and pulled Tom to stand under the warm water,
wrapping his arms around him and kissing him slowly and deeply. Tom returned
the kiss wholeheartedly, and Chakotay could feel the evidence of Tom's
arousal pressed hard against his own.

He growled and pushed Tom back against the wall, kissing him harder while
exploring his body with eager hands. He reached for the soap and began to
gently and sensually lather Tom up.

Tom moaned in pleasure and closed his eyes, his head tilted slightly back as
he gave in to sensation.

Chakotay couldn't resist the temptation of Tom's neck, and began to nip and
suck at the soft skin. He knew he was leaving marks, but he couldn't stop.
It was intoxicating. This was a dream come true. He'd wanted Tom for so
long. His hands roamed everywhere, caressing and stroking, squeezing and

Tom couldn't believe it, he felt like he was floating. He ran his hands over
Chakotay's body, returning the touches, and it added even more to his highly
aroused state. He took a handful of soap and grasped the other man's
erection. Chakotay began to pump slowly into Tom's hand, letting his own
hands travel down Tom's back to begin a massage of his cheeks.

"Cha, that feels so good," Tom gasped against the big man's neck.

Their mouths met and they kissed passionately, one powerful kiss after
another. As their tongues met again, Tom felt Chakotay's questing fingers
slip between his cheeks, probing him gently. Another hand worked its way
into the hair at the back of his head, holding him in place.

He continued to stroke Chakotay's erection and, as intense feelings of
pleasure washed over him, he was unaware that a finger had slid inside him.
It only registered when it began to move, sliding in and out, over and over.

"Oh, God, Cha! Oh, God!" Tom moaned breathily. "More, please! More!"

Chakotay obliged with two soapy fingers, probing and twisting, sliding
slowly in and out. Tom was so aroused that he didn't tense up at all, not
even when two fingers became three and stretched him open further. A fourth
finger joined the others in their explorations and Tom moaned loudly.

"Please!" he implored. "Cha, please!"

Chakotay pressed against him. "What do you want, Tom? Tell me," he growled.
"What do you want?"

"You! Please, I want you! Come inside me. Please!" he begged.

Chakotay kissed Tom hungrily, then turned him to face the wall. He ran his
hands possessively down Tom's back to grasp his cheeks, rubbing his erection
between them as he did. He spread Tom's legs wide, then pulled at him until
he was bent at the waist, his hands against the wall.

Tom moaned, trying to connect with the warmth behind him as Chakotay probed
him again with soapy fingers. The big man coated his own erection with lots
of the creamy soap, then lined himself up with Tom's opening.

With great control, he began to press very slowly, and steadily, in. He
growled and moaned almost continuously as he watched himself sliding into
that place he never thought he would go.

Tom had never experienced such intense sensations before, it was almost
overwhelming. He wished he could see Chakotay entering him, filling him.
"Cha," he breathed. "Oh, oh. Mmm." Words failed him as the First Officer
began to move inside him.

Chakotay held onto Tom's hips as he pushed all the way in, then draped
himself over Tom's back. "So good, Tom. So, so good," he chanted as he
gently started to thrust in and out.

Tom was breathing heavily, his head tipped back, and he could feel Chakotay
panting against his neck as his movements began to speed up. It couldn't
last much longer, both men approaching the point of no return.

An arm moved around Tom's waist and practised fingers pumped his erection.
The men moved together, wildly, until Tom felt teeth marking his throat and
he came with a long, shuddering cry. His muscles tightened around Chakotay
and took him over the edge, too. The big man growled loudly and exploded
inside Tom's body, and Tom could feel the warmth spread through him.

They collapsed against the wall, panting heavily as the water continued to
wash over them. Chakotay turned Tom in his arms and they kissed, tenderly. A
gentle, loving kiss that neither wanted to break too soon.

"God, Chakotay," Tom finally said. "I can honestly say, that was the best
experience of my life. Wow!"

Chakotay smiled, then kissed him lightly. "And I can honestly say, the
reality of you was far superior to my dreams." He pulled Tom to him and
hugged him. "Thank you," he whispered. "That was the best experience of my
life, too."

"Let's dry off and go back to bed," Tom suggested, quietly.

"Sounds good to me. Fancy a cuddle session?" Chakotay grinned.

"Yeah, I do. My batteries need recharging again," Tom replied, handing
Chakotay a towel.

Chakotay gently began to rub Tom dry, and Tom returned the favour with
another towel. They were soon settling back down in the bed.

They checked the time and found it was 1131 hours.

"We've missed breakfast again," Chakotay laughed. "Neelix will think we're
avoiding him. He won't be too happy."

"Maybe not," Tom said. "But *I'm* very happy."

Chakotay lay quiet for a while, then spoke softly. "Tom, what happens now?
What do you want? Is this something you want to pursue, or are we still just

"I don't want to be just friends, Cha. I'd like to explore this further. I
think we could have something really good. I'd like to give it a try, if
you'll have me," Tom explained.

"Are you sure, Tom?" Chakotay asked, gazing intently at Tom's face. "This is
all very new to you, are you sure this is what you want?"

"Yes, it is. Being with you is incredible. And I don't just mean the sex
part. I really enjoy your company. I love your sense of humour, and the way
you're strong on the outside and a complete softy inside.

"You're fun, caring, compassionate and the Cuddling Champion of the
Universe. And I want to be with you, even if it does seem far too soon. I
don't want to spend weeks waiting, for appearances sake, when we could be
spending the time together." Tom snuggled closely to Chakotay. "Besides, you
said yourself, I need someone stronger and more dominant as a partner. Who
better than you? Do you want me, Cha?"

Chakotay smiled and gently stroked Tom's hair. "I want you, Tom Paris.
You're a keeper."

Tom gazed up at him, hopefully. "Keep me, then. Please?"

Chakotay held Tom tightly to him, kissing him over and over with all the
love in his heart, before finally whispering to him.

"I claim you, Tom Paris. You're mine."


Chakotay and Tom had been back on duty for ten days.

Tom hadn't slept in 'Lilliput', and most of his clothes were now residing in
the First Officer's closet. He kept the small cabin as a front, the two men
having decided that their private life should stay private a little while

Harry and B'Elanna had moved in together, and most of the crew had deduced
correctly why Tom had asked for a divorce. So, for once Tom wasn't the
gossips' main target.

It was an hour into their duty shift, when Janeway called Chakotay to her
ready room.

"Have a seat, Commander. Would you like a drink?"

"No, I'm fine, thank you. What can I do for you, Captain?"

Janeway took a seat opposite him. "I've just finished speaking with the
representative of the Kaltan home-world. They've agreed to negotiate with
us. It seems they may be willing to trade technology as well as materials.
In any case, they're happy to let us have as much food as we want,
regardless of the outcome of the talks."

"That's good news. How long until we meet with them?" Chakotay asked.

"Unfortunately, the Kaltanians do not allow warp travel through their space,
so it's going to be impulse engines only. We're looking to arrive at their
home-world in about three and a half days."

"Do you want me to conduct the negotiations?"

"Actually, no, Commander," Janeway replied. "Tuvok and I will handle that,
this time. I have another assignment for you. The Kaltanians' territory
includes an M-class planet that we're about a days journey from. That's
where they say we can restock our food supplies. I want to leave an away
team there while Voyager continues on to the negotiations.

"Because of the restrictions on warp travel, and certain ceremonies we're
expected to take part in, the group will be on their own for between seven
to ten days. As you are the most qualified for a stay of this sort, I'd like
you to lead the away team."

"Shuttle or transporters?"

"Transporters. I'd like to send about eight people down. We should be able
to replenish supplies quite well with that number. And, I want to kill two
birds with one stone. The size of the group should mean shorter working
hours and there are one or two crew members that could do with a break. This
way we can combine the two."

"A sort of working holiday?" Chakotay smiled.

"Exactly. I'll leave you to work out what equipment you'll need, but I have
a few ideas about who I'd like to send," Janeway said, sitting back in her

"And who do you want to send?"

"Well, first up, there's Neelix," she began. "He will obviously enjoy food
gathering, and he definitely needs some down time. Then, there's Tom. We
won't really need him on the ship as we'll only be travelling at impulse.
He'd be bored to death with that." She paused, looking thoughtful. "I was
wondering if we could send Sam and Naomi. Do you think Naomi would be okay?
Sam really needs time off and Neelix would enjoy their company. What's your

"I think they'll be fine. Naomi's a sensible girl, and it would do her good
to run around outdoors for awhile. We'll take a complete med-kit and, with
Tom there, the health side will be well taken care of. And, I think you're
right, Neelix will enjoy their company," Chakotay offered. "So who else?"

"Well, I thought Tom could do with some company, as well. I know he seems
fine when he's on duty, but that's the only time anyone ever sees him
lately. He doesn't seem to socialise anymore. I thought I'd send Megan and
Jenny Delaney along. If anyone can get Tom back to normal, those two can."

Janeway looked across at Chakotay, but couldn't determine the expression on
his face; it seemed to be a mixture of annoyance and humour. "The last
place, I'll leave up to you," she said as her mind drifted back to the
previous evening.

She'd been sitting in bed, reading a novel, when a sudden thump on the wall
behind her made her jump. The noise was from the cabin next door, the First
Officer's quarters.

She'd tried to go back to reading, but there were a few more muffled thuds
and then, she had definitely heard someone moaning. Two people moaning, for
almost half an hour.

She'd been very surprised, and curious, too. Although she *had* refrained
from asking the computer the identity of the Commander's guest, deciding to
do some old fashioned detective work instead. She'd thought it could prove
to be an interesting distraction. "Perhaps there's someone *you* would
especially like to take along for company?" Janeway probed.

Chakotay smiled and looked at her appraisingly, thinking, 'She's up to

"No, Captain," he said. "I don't need anyone else for company. But, another
strong pair of arms for fetching and carrying wouldn't go amiss. Ayala would
be a good choice for that, I think."

Janeway looked slightly puzzled. "Are you sure, Chakotay?"

"Yes, I'm sure," he said, still smiling.

"Okay then. That's the eight. Well, seven and a half, anyway."

"I'll go and start organising equipment, shall I?" Chakotay asked, standing

Janeway stood as well. "Yes. I'll inform the relevant crew members," she
said, before they headed back out to the bridge.

Tom turned as they entered, and caught the Commander's eye. Chakotay looked
amused. He crossed to the helm and bent to whisper in Tom's ear, Janeway
watching from the command chair.

"We're going on an away mission," he started. "The Captain thinks you need
time with the Delaney sisters to get you back to normal."

"What?"  Tom shouted, looking mortified.

Chakotay laughed loudly, while Janeway sat completely mystified. "I'll tell
you everything later," he chuckled, then added very quietly. "She doesn't


A day and a half later, the away team stood on the planet that would be
their home for at least the next week. A large storage unit had been
erected, containing empty packing crates that would all need to be filled.

The team was to gather as much food, and as many plant specimens as they
could, and these would be held in the storage unit, awaiting Voyager's

Because Janeway wanted the away mission to be relaxed, uniforms had been put
aside in favour of off-duty clothes.

"Okay, let's get the tents put up and everything stowed, then we'll take an
hour off," Chakotay instructed.

The tents were soon erected. Sam and Naomi had requested that Neelix share
their tent and Chakotay had agreed. The team had increased by one, with the
addition of Gerron, and he and Ayala had agreed to share another tent.

Megan was trying to get Tom to share with her and Jenny. "Come on, Tom,
it'll be fun. There's plenty of room," she argued. "You'll have to share
with the Commander, otherwise."

"I don't mind sharing with Chakotay," Tom answered. "If I don't, he'll be on
his own for a week."

"He's always on his own, he should be used to it by now," Jenny piped up.
"Besides, he'll just want to meditate, or do other boring stuff."

"Tom!" Chakotay called across the clearing. "I've put your things in the end
tent, with mine," he said, walking over to where the three were standing.
"You two can have the tent next door to ours," he continued, turning to
Megan and Jenny.

"Yes, Commander," Megan sighed, and she and Jenny left to stow their

"Thanks, Cha," Tom said, when the women had left. "They were starting to get
insistent that I share with them. I'm not sure I can stand a whole week of
those two coming on to me."

Chakotay snorted. "I don't think *I* can stand them coming on to you,
either. If it gets too much, then perhaps we should make our relationship

Tom nodded. "It's gonna come out sooner or later, anyway," he agreed.
"Perhaps it should be sooner. We could both enjoy this mission more, then."

Chakotay looked thoughtful. "I think you're right. If we keep quiet, you're
just going to be propositioned mercilessly until you're completely stressed,
and I'm going to get angry and jealous."

Tom grinned. "Jealous?"

"Yes, very jealous," Chakotay said seriously, taking hold of Tom's
shoulders. "I don't want anyone else near you, Tom. I don't want them even
*thinking* about you," he continued, looking into Tom's eyes. "You're mine."

"Only yours, Cha," Tom agreed, gazing back.

Chakotay pulled him close and hugged him. "Mine," he repeated softly.


The first day proved very productive, with the team managing to fill almost
a quarter of the crates with fruit and vegetables. An easy feat due to the
abundance and variety. Even Naomi had been a big help as a lot of the
vegetables were easy for her to harvest. She'd enjoyed herself immensely,
but was now tucked up, fast asleep.

It was late evening. Ayala had built a fire and the adults sat on the ground
around it, talking quietly. Megan and Jenny had tried to sit on either side
of Tom, but he'd excused himself and gone to his tent.

"What do we do tomorrow, Captain?" Gerron asked Chakotay. "We filled a lot
of crates today, do you think we'll do as well tomorrow?"

Chakotay smiled warmly at him. "You still can't call me Commander, can you?"

"Sorry, Sir," Gerron apologised.

"It's okay, Gerron. And besides, off-duty, it's just Chakotay. You know
that." He paused a moment, thinking. "You're right, we did get a lot done
today. And, if we work hard, we should have everything we need within two to
three days. That gives us at least three days to enjoy shore leave, before
Voyager gets back."

The others had been listening and looked approving.

Tom came out of his tent and Megan was instantly on her feet, walking
towards him. Tom looked imploringly at Chakotay as he walked to where the
older man was sitting.

"Come here, Tom," Chakotay invited, just before Megan could intercept him.

Tom sat down and Chakotay put his arm around Tom's shoulder, pulling him
close. "You okay?" he asked softly, looking into the younger man's eyes.

"Yeah, Cha, I am now," Tom replied, smiling.

Megan had stopped dead in her tracks, and now watched in amazement as
Chakotay and Tom shared a lingering kiss. There was total silence from their
stunned audience.

Eventually, Tom pulled away slightly and looked pointedly at Megan. "So, now
you know," he said, before turning back to Chakotay for another kiss.

"Yeah," Megan echoed, looking across at Jenny. "Now, I know." She moved to
sit next to her sister, who was shaking her head.

"Who'd have believed it?" Jenny said quietly, still watching Chakotay and
Tom. "B'Elanna must've really scrambled Tom's brain."

Sam yawned, then stood up. "I'm off to bed. I'll see all of you in the
morning. Goodnight, Commander," she called out to Chakotay.

Chakotay smiled. "Goodnight, Samantha."

"I'm tired as well," Tom said, getting to his feet and holding his hand out
to Chakotay. "Come on, Cha, let's turn in."

Everyone else quickly followed suit and they were all soon in their
respective tents, each with their own views about what they'd witnessed.
Megan and Jenny were still stunned.

"I didn't think Tom liked men," Megan said, bemused by the events.

Jenny snorted. "Yeah, and I didn't think the Commander liked anyone."

"Well, they obviously like each other," Megan commented.  "But what a blow.
I mean there aren't that many attractive men on the ship, and now two of
them have got together. It's not very fair on us women."

"You think Chakotay's attractive?" Jenny asked.

"Definitely. Don't you?" Megan retorted.

"Not really. I mean, he *is* gorgeous to look at, but his personality
doesn't do anything for me. He's too dull and boring."


In the tent next door, Tom and Chakotay were naked and laying in each
other's arms. Chakotay ran his fingers through Tom's hair and smiled at him.

"So, do you think the girls will leave you alone now?"

"Yeah, unless they decide to try and teach me the error of my ways," Tom

Chakotay studied Tom's face thoughtfully. "You don't think being with me is
a mistake, do you?"

"God, no!" Tom stated with certainty. "You're the best thing that's ever
happened to me, Chakotay. No way is this a mistake."

Chakotay gave a relieved sigh. "Good," he said. "Because I don't want to be
without you, Tom."

He moved to cover Tom's body with his own, biting the pale skin of his neck,
then kissing his way slowly up, and along, Tom's jaw until he reached his
mouth. "You're mine, and I love you," he stated, before capturing Tom's lips
with his own.

They kissed slowly and deeply, gently rubbing against each other until Tom

"Shhh, Tom," Chakotay whispered. "We've got to be quiet," he said, kissing
Tom's neck.

"I'm not sure I can be," Tom whispered back.

"Yes, you can. We're going to make love, and we're not going to make a

"Just the thought of that makes me want to moan," Tom breathed into
Chakotay's ear.

"I love you, Tom."

"I love you too, Cha. Make love to me."


The next morning, the team had an early breakfast, then started their food
collecting with vigour. They were all keen to get the work over with as
quickly as possible, to enjoy as much free time as they could.

No one spoke of the previous evening's events, concentrating instead on the
task at hand. Chakotay was very pleased with the effort being shown and made
sure everyone received due praise. By lunch time, they'd collected an equal
amount to the day before.

"I think that's enough work for today," Chakotay announced as Neelix served
up lunch. "You've all worked exceptionally hard and we're well ahead of
schedule. You're all off duty now until tomorrow morning. So, go and enjoy
yourselves. Just remember to let the others know where you'll be, though,
for safety reasons."

Everyone settled down to an enjoyable lunch, discussing what they would do
with the free time. Neelix decided to stay with Sam and Naomi at their base
and just explore around the edges of the camp. They would be keeping track
of where the others were going.

"What do you want to do, Cha?" Tom asked as they sat together under a large

"How about a swim? The lake's safe, I scanned it earlier," Chakotay

"Sounds good. It'll be nice to cool down a bit. Let's go put some shorts on
and head off."

When they reached the lake they stripped, leaving their clothes in a pile on
the shore, away from the water's edge.

"Come on," Tom shouted and raced into the water.

Chakotay wasn't far behind him and dived at him, knocking him over. Tom
emerged from the water, spluttering, and looking wildly around. There was no
sign of Chakotay.

Suddenly, a hand grabbed at his ankle and Tom was pulled down. He opened his
eyes, underwater, to see Chakotay's grinning face just inches from his own.
They rose to the surface together, laughing, each trying to push the other
back under, tussling playfully. They didn't realise the noise they were
creating had attracted an audience.

Megan and Jenny, having completely given up on Tom, had set their sights on
Ayala and Gerron, and had persuaded the two men to accompany them on a walk.

They had all been admiring and commenting on their surroundings, when they
had heard the commotion coming from the lake. It was still hidden from view
by a group of trees but, as they walked around them, they were treated to
the sight of a naked First Officer being grabbed around the waist and
dragged underwater by an equally naked Chief Helmsman.

The group stood transfixed, watching the horseplay between the two senior
officers who were laughing and shouting to each other, totally oblivious to
the watching eyes.

"Well," Jenny commented to Megan. "I take back everything I said about the
Commander last night. Who would've believed he would behave like that?"

Gerron looked at the two women. "Our Captain's a great guy. Most people on
Voyager have never seen the real him."

"Yeah," Ayala agreed. "Only his friends know what he's really like."

"And you're both his friends?" Jenny asked.

"Always have been, always will be," Ayala stated, proudly.

"He's our captain," Geron said. "But he's much more. He's a true friend.
He'd do anything for us and we'd happily die for him, if we had to."

"He inspires that much loyalty in you?" Megan asked, amazed.

"Yes," Ayala answered simply.

They became aware that all the noise had stopped and, when they turned to
look back at the lake, they saw the reason why. Tom and Chakotay were
standing in waist-high water and wrapped in a tight embrace, kissing

"I think that's our cue to leave," Megan said, and they resumed their walk.


The next two days passed quickly, with the work being done enthusiastically.
By the evening of their fourth day on the planet, the team had filled all
the storage containers, and the rest of their time was now shore leave.

"How about a game of cards?" Tom suggested as they all, with the exception
of the sleeping Naomi, gathered near the fire.

"I'm in," Ayala said.

Gerron nodded his assent as did Neelix and the three women.

"How about you, Cha? You up for it?" Tom asked.

Chakotay grinned cheekily at him. "I'm always up for it, Tom. You should
know that by now."

"Cards, Chakotay." Tom laughed, hitting him playfully. "Cards. Go fetch!"

"Yes, Sir, Lieutenant," he replied as he went to their tent.

"Tom?" Neelix looked worried. "Do you really think you ought to talk to the
Commander like that?"

Tom laughed. "Don't worry, Neelix, I wasn't talking to the Commander."

"You weren't?" Neelix asked, puzzled. "Who were you talking to, then?"

Tom grinned. "My boyfriend."


Voyager contacted the away team four days later.

"The ship will be here in approximately two hours," Chakotay informed the
others as he looked around at them.

"You all worked very hard and I know the Captain will be pleased. I hope you
all enjoyed yourselves, as well, in the free time you had. I know I did," he
said, smiling at Tom. "Anyway, let's get packed up now. I'd like everything
ready for when they arrive."

They worked steadily, taking down their tents and stacking everything ready
for transport.

"Chakotay," Tom said looking pensive

"What is it, Tom?"

"I think we should go see the Captain as soon as we get back to the ship."

"You mean about us?" Chakotay asked.

"Yeah," Tom replied. "I think she should hear about us, from us. Not pick up
on it from any gossip."

"You're right, Tom," Chakotay said, standing to face him and placing his
hands on Tom's shoulders. "But, do you think you'll be okay with the

"Yes, I will be. I mean, Megan, Jenny and the others here are already used
to us being together. I know they were a bit astonished to start with, but
they seem to accept us now. I think that will work in our favour."

"And if it doesn't? If we encounter hostility, what then?" Chakotay asked

"I don't care, Cha. If people have a problem with us being together, then
tough! I want to be with you and I won't let anyone come between us. I'm
yours," Tom stated. "For as long as you want me."

"I love you, Tom Paris," Chakotay said, smiling. "And, you're definitely a
keeper. I'm going to keep you for as long as I live. Come here," he said,
pulling Tom behind a nearby bush and away from prying eyes.

Chakotay drew Tom in, close to his body, his hands gripping possessively as
he hungrily kissed him.

"I love you, Chakotay," Tom gasped as his neck was sucked, then bitten,
hard. "I want to stay with you. I'm yours."

"Mine," Chakotay agreed.


When they materialised on Voyager, Janeway was waiting for them in the
transporter room. She greeted them all warmly, then checked them all out as
they left the room.

'They all look happy and rested,' she thought.

She spotted the dark love-bite on Tom's neck and smiled inwardly, silently
congratulating herself for sending the Delaneys as company for him. "Well,
Commander," she addressed Chakotay. "It looks like everything went to plan.
How did you fare? Plenty of time for meditation?"

"Not really," he said, then looked her in the eye. "There's something I need
to inform you of privately, if you have the time."

"Yes, I have time," Janeway answered, concern on her face. "Meet me in my
ready room in half an hour. We'll talk then."

"This involves Tom," Chakotay said, nodding towards the Lieutenant who was
waiting nearby. "He will need to come along, as well."

Janeway was puzzled now, as well as concerned. "Very well, gentlemen," she
said, looking from one to the other. "I'll see both of you in half an hour."

"Thank you, Captain," Chakotay said, giving her a small smile.


By the time Chakotay and Tom entered her ready room, both having showered
and changed, Janeway had convinced herself that something awful had
happened. "Come in, gentlemen, have a seat," she said, pointing to the

They sat side by side and Janeway sat in the chair opposite them, looking
worried. "Now, Chakotay," she began. "What did you want to tell me?"

"Something you probably should have known about before the away mission," he

"Go on," she prompted.

Chakotay looked at Tom. "How should I put this, Tom?" he asked.

"Well, Cha," Tom answered, looking him squarely in the eye. "You just say,
'Captain, Tom and I are lovers and have been since his divorce'."


Chakotay looked across at a stunned Janeway. "Captain, Tom and I are lovers,
and have been since his divorce."


Chakotay chuckled as he helped Tom unpack the last of the boxes they'd just
retrieved from 'Lilliput'. The front was no longer needed as Tom would now
be living permanently with the First Officer.

"You're still thinking about Janeway, aren't you?" Tom grinned.

Chakotay smiled broadly. "Yes," he said. "I've never before seen anyone open
and close their mouth so much without needing medical attention."

Tom laughed. "Yeah," he agreed. "She looked like a crazed goldfish."

"I wonder what other reactions we'll get?" Chakotay mused. "We could have
fun with this."

Tom grinned and shook his head. "God, Chakotay, you're crazy! Why don't you
just take me on the pool table in Sandrine's? See what people think to

"Would you mind if I did?" Chakotay asked, a strange glint in his eyes as he
stroked Tom's arm.

"Yes! I would mind. You exhibitionistic madman!"

"Oh, all right. We'll skip that, then," Chakotay sighed, then laughed at
Tom's expression. "You don't think I would, do you?" he grinned.

"I'm not really sure," Tom smiled. "I wouldn't be surprised if you *did* try

"Would you stop me?" Chakotay asked, pulling Tom close, then slipping his
arms around his waist and rubbing sensuously against him.

"That's the really scary part," Tom said, looking into Chakotay's eyes. "I
don't think I would."

"Let's go to Sandrine's now," Chakotay murmured against Tom's neck. "I'll
show you a new variation of pool."

"Tell me about it first," Tom said, softly kissing Chakotay on the lips.

"Okay. Well, it all starts with the first ball that's sunk. If you pot a
stripe, then the *other* person plays stripes."

"Why?" Tom asked, looking puzzled.

"Because of the name of the game."

"And, what *is* the name of the game?" Tom asked, intrigued.

Chakotay grinned. "It's called, 'You play with my balls, and I'll play with

Tom burst out laughing. "Wait 'till I ask the Captain to play *that* with

"She doesn't have the requirements for that game," Chakotay chuckled.

Tom smiled again and gazed fondly at the big man.

If anyone had told Tom, a few weeks ago, that he would divorce his pregnant
wife and fall in love with a man, he would have laughed and sent them to the
Doc for a check up.

But here he stood, in the arms of Chakotay, of all people, and he realised
that what he had felt for B'Elanna paled into insignificance in comparison
to what he felt for this man.

He loved Chakotay. He really did. With everything he had. And, he had a new
life now. Another door had opened for him.

"I'm so lucky to have you," Tom whispered, then kissed Chakotay with all the
love in his heart.

The end