Title: The Image of a Man
Author:  Cheryl Forbes
Fandom:  Star Trek:  Voyager
Paring:  Chakotay/Tom Paris
Rating:  NC 17 or at least getting there.
Series:  1 of ?
Email Address for feedback:  forbesc@skyia.com 
Disclaimer:  Voyager and her crew belong to Paramount and not me.  
Summary:   Life is but a dream.
Mocha Fudge a la Chakotay.  Perfect!
Tom walked along the corridor lost in his thoughts, not noticing the 
odd looks Voyager's night shift crew gave him as he passed.  Not that 
he would have cared.  Especially when he was indulging himself in his 
favorite daydream of making out with the commander.
The melting ice cream would pool in the well between Chak's 
collarbones and dribble around the base of his pectoral muscles down 
his sides and on to the bed.  Leaning over the recumbent commander, 
Tom would snake out his tongue and lap up the sticky mess relishing 
the exquisite mixture of sweetness and saltiness.  Chak would groan, 
no he'd growl for more and then they would fuck until neither one of 
them could say their name.
In his imagination, Tom hadn't yet decided whether he liked topping 
or letting the big hunky commander top him since both positions had 
their appeal.  Usually he just alternated back and forth with a 
creativity that would be impossible to achieve in real life.
Tom pulled out of his fantasy for only for a moment to navigate a 
corner but it was long enough and he lost the thread of the dream. 
Returning to reality, he worried over the frequency of his mental 
escapes that until recently had only been confined to the privacy of 
his quarters.   However, the pilot's confusion didn't mean that he 
was going to give them up, because one thing he did understand was 
that he needed them desperately. 
Tom Paris was lonely.  He'd found no solace or true companionship 
with anyone aboard Voyager and had turned to his fantasies for 
company.  They gave him some measure of comfort even if they weren't 
real and probably never would be.
He was fully aware that his relationship with Chak would never expand 
beyond its present professional level.  It couldn't, because in real 
life the commander liked women and not sexually frustrated chief 
pilots.  Since there wasn't much Tom could do about that, he'd 
retreated into his imagination.
Many a night Tom had fallen asleep with his hand on his dick after 
pretending he'd just blown his load deep in the commander's bowels.  
So what if it wasn't real, it felt pretty damn good and that's what 
mattered, wasn't it?
Reaching his destination, Tom reached up and pressed the chime on the 
door pad.  After about ten seconds the panels swished opened and he 
heard the rumbling voice of his dream lover speak.
"What the hell are you doing here?"
Ignoring the less than enthusiastic welcome, the pilot slipped around 
Chakotay and entered.  The commander left the doorway allowing the 
doors to close and followed the lieutenant into the interior of his 
cabin.  When Tom turned around, a half-naked first officer stood 
before him.  Wearing only his sleep pants and a disgruntled face, 
Chakotay waited.
"I brought you those navigational recommendations you asked for." Tom 
extended his arm and held out a PADD.
"Now?"  Chakotay rubbed his hand down his face.  "It must be after 
midnight Lieutenant."
"Just."  Tom offered the PADD again.
"What?"  The big man sighed heavily and held his hand out palm 
up.  "Fine, give."
Tom placed the slim instrument in Chak's hand carefully trying to 
avoid touching any of the dusky skin.  It was bad enough just seeing 
its velvet smoothness without becoming physically aroused.  The 
commander walked over to lounge and with his back to Tom, placed a 
hand at the base of his skull and stretched.  As Chakotay's body 
extended, the top of his sleep pants slipped lower on his hips 
exposing the dimples at the base of his spine.
Holy mother of god, the man was gorgeous and watching the unconscious 
way Chak moved, Tom bet he didn't have a clue as to how horny he was 
making his junior officer. Thankful for the dimness of the cabin, the 
pilot quickly moved to take a seat on the couch and placed his hands 
over his straining erection.
Chakotay raised a brow to him, crinkling his tattoo.  
"You're staying?"
"Yeah for the feedback."
"I hadn't planned on reading it tonight."
"No?"  He bit back his disappointment.  Tom wasn't ready to leave the 
sight of that incredible body just yet.  
Interpreting the pilot's crestfallen look incorrectly, the commander 
picked up the PADD.  "All right but only if you don't make a habit of 
dropping by my quarters in the dead of night."
"Whatever you say big guy."  He gave the commander his brightest 
Using his thumb to bring the PADD to life, Chakotay sat within inches 
of him on the lounge.  Blowing his breath out through his mouth, Tom 
tried to ignore the man's earthy scent as it permeated his sinuses.  
Chakotay took no notice of Tom's discomfort and began to read the 
document illuminated on the small screen.
With the feelings he held for Chakotay, it was dangerous for him to 
be here. Bit by bit Tom could feel himself losing control of his 
sexually charged body and his over stimulated brain. Tom knew he 
should leave before he did something stupid but was unable to tear 
himself away.
"Through the nebula here?"  Chakotay pointed to a passage on the PADD.
Swinging his arm up along the back of the couch behind the commander, 
Tom leaned forward.  "Uh yeah."  He moved a little closer so he could 
tap at the screen and their legs touched.  "Voyager and I can handle 
the rougher ride and it'll save us a few days traveling time."
"Good work Lieutenant."
"Just a walk in the park, Commander."  He moved his head back but 
left his arm and his thigh where they were.  "You can call me Tom you 
"All right.  Good work Tom."  Chakotay gave him a curious look and 
went back to his reading.
To maintain the body contact, Tom pretended to read long with the 
commander. It was a foolish thing to do but it didn't matter because 
it was all ready too late.  By now his body was displaying all the 
classic signs of arousal.  Flushed cheeks, laboured breathing, 
dilated pupils and raging hard on trying to escape the confines of 
his pants.  The next time Chakotay looked up, he'd see a horny 
lieutenant and not an efficient one and then it would be game over.  
Chakotay would kick his ass out of his quarters so fast his blond 
head would spin and he would lose the opportunity of ever touching 
the handsome man again.  Gazing down at Chak's smooth muscled chest, 
Tom decided if he was going to be kicked out anyway, he might as well 
go out with a bang.
Curling his elevated hand around Chakotay far shoulder, Tom dipped 
his head down to touch the closer one with his lips.
Stopping his oral exploration of the commander's brown velvet 
shoulder, Tom looked up into his stunned face. 
"Chak I know you're going to punch my lights outs for this but I 
can't help it."
Using his free hand, the pilot grasped the lower portion of the 
commander's face and dived in for a kiss.  Chak didn't move and Tom 
took advantage of his immobility to deepen the contact.  It wasn't 
until he tried to breach Chakotay's full soft lips with his tongue 
did he encounter resistance.    
With an incredible amount of force, Chakotay pushed at Tom's chest 
and he was thrown backwards into the glass coffee table.  As Tom 
blacked out, he heard the sound of something breaking and hoped it 
wasn't him.
"Will he be all right?"
"He did experience severe traumatic injury to his right temporal lobe 
but I've repaired that and quite creatively too I might add."
"But will he be all right?"  The captain folded her arms and looked 
at him as if he was a wayward child and not a skilled surgeon.  She 
wanted an answer to her question, unfortunately the EMH didn't know 
quite how to give her one.
"I think so, there was no permanent damage."
"You think so?"
"Well I've done all I can and now it's up to the lieutenant."
"Tom's in a coma, what the hell is he supposed to do in that 
condition!"  The previously uncommunicative commander broke his 
silence for the first time since beaming the lieutenant to Sickbay.  
"He could come back!"
The EMH hadn't meant to yell. He could see that the first officer was 
stressed but damn it so was he.  He had done everything possible and 
impossible to save the lieutenant's life.  It wasn't his fault if the 
young man refused to co-operate.
The captain pulled the commander aside.  "I'm sure what the doctor 
means is that he's done what he can and it's only matter of time 
before the lieutenant wakes up from the coma."  She ran her hand 
soothingly over Chakotay's arm. "In essence the rest is up to Tom. 
He'll come back to us when he's ready."
"No Captain that's not what I meant.  Tom's not in a coma."
She rounded on him. "Then why isn't he awake?  You said there was no 
permanent damage."
"There isn't. If and when the lieutenant decides to return to his 
body, it will function as before."
Her brows furrowed. "If and when? You've lost me Doctor."
"You have to first understand that Tom's injury was complicated. A 
glass shard had bisected the temporal lobe region of his brain where 
both long and short-term memories are controlled.  Essentially that's 
where your id or your personality would reside.  Understand?"
"Yes. Go on."
"I realized that if I operated on the damaged area he would live but 
his behavior would be affected.  Tom would have trouble remembering 
and very likely become aggressively unstable."
"But you found a way around this."
"Yes Captain.  To avoid damage to his personality, I removed its 
engrams before surgery."
"And put them where?"
Unconsciously the EMH's eyes moved to his medical console.
Abhorrence filled Janeway's face.  "You downloaded my chief pilot 
into the computer?" 
"Yes where he would be safe.  I've done it successfully before and I 
had no reason to believe it wouldn't work this time.  Unfortunately 
when I went back to the file where I saved the lieutenant he wasn't 
Chakotay's booming voice filled Sickbay.  "Where the hell is he then!"
"In the computer, somewhere.  I tried to retrieve him but whenever I 
get close to the lieutenant, he transfers himself to another 
directory and another system.  Tom doesn't want to come back 
"Why not?"
Tired of being in the hot seat, the EMH fired back. "You're the 
councilor Commander, you tell me."
Chakotay's faced reddened and his tone softened.  "Can we talk to 
"I suppose so but I'm not sure if he'll listen.  He's not the same 
Tom you're used to. He's a collection of thoughts, feelings and 
memories now and I'm not sure of his capacity to reason."
"He's like a child." Captain Janeway added.
"A child with memories of being a man."  Chakotay touched the hand of 
the young man lying on the bio-bed.  "So what do we do Doctor?"
"Wait until he wants to grow up."  
He was flying!
Gone were the corporal instruments of navigation, with just a thought 
he was able to soar and sweep through the starry expanse of the 
cosmos. It was glorious and incredibly liberating which was a 
definite improvement over terrifying and confusing.
When Tom had first come to, he had found himself incarcerated in a 
narrow cell.  His first reaction had been panic.  Auckland had burned 
some very deep emotional scars into his psyche, the fear of small 
places being one of them.  It was only after his anxiety had gone 
down a notch or two, did he realized that he had the power to leave 
and he did.  Fast. When he had gotten far enough away, Tom had 
stopped to take stock of his surroundings.
Everything was made of sparkling light and energy or at least he 
thought so.  He didn't actually see or feel here, no nothing as 
substantial as that.  It was more like sensing or just knowing.  Now 
all he had to do was figure out where the fuck 'here' was.
He had no body so maybe he was in heaven. No that couldn't right 
because Tom was pretty sure if there was such a place it would have 
been a lot harder for 'him' to get in.  Maybe he was dreaming or 
maybe this was something like Chakotay's spirit world.  Oh fuck 
All at once the memories came crashing back into Tom's 
consciousness.  He had kissed the commander and the commander had hit 
him hard enough to land him in Sickbay but that's not where he was, 
well not entirely anyway. Like watching a vid screen, Tom saw in his 
mind's eye what had transpired and what his current location was.
He was in Voyager's computer or at least the thinking part of him 
was.  The Doc had transferred him here so he could fix the damage 
caused by the glass fragment.  Easily accessing the medical database, 
Tom saw the surgery and the EMH's attempts to retrieve his 
consciousness after his flight from the cell.  Cool.
Flexing his new mental muscles further, Tom manipulated Voyager's 
video monitors to view the scene in the infirmary.  Seeing his 
motionless body lying on a bio-bed was a bit disturbing but seeing 
Chakotay was worse.  The commander was royally pissed and why not?  
His junior officer had made an unsolicited play for him, totally 
trampling the chain of command and offending his heterosexual 
sensibilities.  This was not a party the pilot was in any hurry to 
return to.  
Tom decided to take a lap around Voyager's matrix first before 
returning to face the music.  After visiting the messhall, Harry's 
quarters and a few other familiar locals, Tom had found his way to 
the bridge and to his most favorite place on the ship, the helm.
While banking to the left to avoid the gravity well of an over large 
asteroid before Baytart had a chance to adjust the ship's course, Tom 
spied the ultimate joy ride, the nebula.
"Tom made a pass at you?"
Kathryn said the last word incredulously.  Chakotay sat forward in 
his chair and rested his elbows on the captain's desk in her ready 
"Yes me.  Is that so hard to believe?"
"Frankly yes.  Personally I thought it would be the other way 
around."  Her voice was light and playful.  Chakotay's was not.
"Men aren't my thing Kathryn."
"Yes, yes I know but Tom isn't just a man to you and you know it."
He did know it but he hadn't known the captain did.  Tom stimulated 
Chakotay's awareness more than any other officer had in his long 
career in and out of Starfleet had but that didn't mean he wanted to 
kiss the lieutenant.  Hurling a prospective lover into a glass table 
wasn't his usual mode of seduction.  The captain's voice broke into 
his brooding.
"It was an accident Chakotay and that's how I intend to record it in 
my log."
"No you can't. I hurt him and I deserve a reprimand or some kind of 
punishment for my actions."
Kathryn stood up and rounded her desk to stand beside him.  Chakotay 
sat back in his chair and gave his captain a sideways glance.
"It's all ready done Commander and as for punishment, I think your 
unfounded guilt will do that for you enough."
"But he's not coming back because of me.  I refused him."
"You can't know that.  The doctor said he's emotionally impaired not 
heart broken.  Maybe he's just busy playing."
"Either way it's still my fault."
"Oh for crying out loud Chakotay get over yourself.  All Tom did was 
try to kiss you. You're the one with the fixation not him remember?"  
She padded his shoulder.  "He'll come back."
"He didn't try Kathryn, he 'did' kiss me and he told me he couldn't 
help it."
Before she could come back with another meaningless rationalization, 
the ship rocked.
"Captain to the bridge."
"The helm's not responding Captain."
"Bypass auxiliary control and transfer to manual."
"I tried that.  It didn't work."  Baytart didn't look up as his 
fingers flew in constant motion across Voyager's helm. "We're still 
heading for the nebula."
"Is that going to be a problem Ensign?"
Voyager's present helmsman turned to the captain.  "If I can't access 
navigation control it could be."  Without embarrassment Ensign Pablo 
Baytart continued.  "I'm not sure if I have the experience or the 
talent to take us through but I do know that on its own, Voyager 
definitely doesn't.  The autopilot won't be able to adjust to the 
nebula's gravitational fluxes fast enough.  We'll break apart."
A bad day just got worse.  Kathryn was about to contact Engineering 
to order the warp core off line when Chakotay rose from his seat 
beside her to approach Baytart.
"You're relieved Ensign."
"Sir?"  Not relinquishing his post, the dark haired junior officer 
looked from his first officer to his captain.  
With his hand on the back the helm's chair, Chakotay looked at 
her.  "It's Tom."
"You're sure?"
"Yes."  Urgency tinged his voice.  "Trust me, please."
In the span of a instant, the captain considered how many times her 
first officer had asked that of her and of how many times she had 
regretted doing so.  
"Ensign you're dismissed." She tipped her head in Chakotay's 
direction.  "Do it."
In one fluid motion Chakotay's body replaced Pablo's at the helm.  As 
the ship slipped into the realm of the nebula, her first officer 
reigned in Voyager like a wrangler taming a wild horse.
With firm but gentle hands, Chakotay steadied the big ship's 
course while still allowing it to kick up its heels.  The inertia 
dampers and external shields strained at the bit but held.  They 
emerged from the celestial body with minimal damage.  When her 
stomach stopped its flip-flopping, Janeway addressed her first 
officer cum spaceship cowboy.
"Good work Commander."
Chakotay ran his hands over the navigational console tenderly before 
swinging around in his chair.  The panel lit up like a rainbow.
"Just a walk in the park, Captain."
"Where are you?"
"Everywhere, I think."
In the darkness of his bedroom, Chakotay sat up.  The brightly woven 
replica of his grandmother's wedding blanket fell around his waist.  
He spoke again in hope to hear again that familiar but disembodied 
"Are you OK?"
"I think so."  There was a pause. "I'm sorry."
"For the nebula?"  Chakotay shifted his pillow behind his 
back.  "It's OK.  No harm, no foul.  You were right, it did shave 
days off our journey."
"I'm not talking about the nebula."
"Then I suppose I'm the one that should be the apologizing."
"No you didn't do anything wrong, I did."
"I overreacted and hurt you."
"Yeah baby you did do that but under the circumstances, I suppose I 
would have done the same thing."
"Well no maybe not really.  I think I would have kissed you back just 
to see."
"You're biased."
"Hell yes I am.  Fuck Chakotay do you know how sexy you are to me?"
"Tom, I'm not into men."
"And you know that how?"
"I just know it."
"Have you ever been with a man?  Just to see what it's like?"
"That's personal."
"Oh fuck Chak, give me a break. I'm hanging out here in the 
netherworld because I got personal with you."
"OK then yes.  It wasn't anything spectacular."
"He didn't turn you on?"
"Tell me what he did."
"He kissed me and touched me.  It left me cold."
"Is that how you felt when I kissed you?  Cold?"
A pause.  "No, not exactly."  Another pause.  "Tom you have to come 
"I will but first you have to do something for me."
"Give me a chance to make you feel spectacular."
"What are you afraid of Chakotay?"
"Nothing.  Come back Tom."
A silence quieter than the dead of space, infiltrated the room so 
long the commander thought that maybe the pilot had left.
"Tom are you still there?"
"Are you coming back?"
"I'm not sure. Meet me on holodeck two and we'll talk."
The room went silent and this time Chakotay knew Tom was really 
gone.  He threw back the covers of his bed and began to dress.  There 
was no question of meeting the pilot on the holodeck. Voyager, the 
captain and the crew needed the pilot back at his post and if that 
meant meeting the pilot in a battle of wits in virtual reality, 
Chakotay had his answer and knew his duty. 
Chakotay would show the young man that he couldn't be blackmailed by 
his passions.  That he couldn't tantalized be a pretty face and a 
lithesome body.  It would be easy or as Tom would say, it would be a 
walk in the park.  
So OK if it was only that, then why were his hands trembling and his 
palms sweating?