Title:  Promotion, Part Six
Author:  Cheryl Forbes
Fandom:  Star Trek: Voyager
Paring:  Chakotay/Tom Paris
Rating:  NC 17
E-mail Address for feedback: forbesc@skyia.com
Series: 6 of 6
Disclaimer:  Voyager and her crew are the property of Paramount and
not me.  Whatever.
Spoilers:  Imperfection.

Summary:  Chakotay buys Tom a gift.
 

"Hey Chak over here!  You gotta see this!"

They were in the Artisan's Market on Beltran, a planet rich in metal
alloys.   The Captain had negotiated a deal with the planet's council
for pure ore to aid in their repairs to the ship's hull.  They been
here a couple of days and would probably leave tomorrow after most of
the major damage had been attended to.  Until then limited shore
leave had been granted to the crew.

Tom had already flitted over to another stall before Chakotay had a
chance to view last marvel he had found.  He was like a kid in a
candy store.  It was a delight for the commander to see this
previously hidden facet of the man's personality.

He smiled and shook his head.  The last couple of days they had been
spending all of their off duty time together and he had
been "delighted" the whole time.  Though he hadn't mentioned it to
the commitment shy Lieutenant, he was more convinced than ever that
Tom was his future lifemate.  He could wait a little longer for the
formalities of their bond.

Trying to catch up, Chak weeded through the stalls admiring what
these people could do with metal.  There displays of musical
instruments, sculptures and jewelry.  He saw Tom at stall up ahead
speaking to one of the vendors.  Maybe he had finally stopped his
wanderings long enough to buy something.  The captain had made
provisions in their deal with the council to provide the crew with
some local currency.  But again before the commander could reach him
he was off to the next discovery.

The commander stopped at the stall that had distracted his lover.
Laid over black velvet were beautiful rings, bracelets and necklaces
made of a gold alloy of some kind.  He traced his fingers over some
of the more exquisite pieces.

"Can I interest you in something?"

From the beaming features, Chakotay guessed that this man behind the
table must be the artist.

"Thank you no.  I really don't think I would be able to select only
one of these beautiful pieces."

It was the truth; they were all so lovely.  Tom however didn't seem
to have had that problem.  He wondered which trinket had caught the
pilot's eye.

"However the last gentleman that was here, he found something he
liked didn't he?"

"Oh yes, the excited one.  Yes he did seem attracted to one of my
earlier works but he wasn't interested in buying either."

Chakotay knew it wasn't because he wasn't interested, it was because
he was broke.  Tom had spent most of his money on the local food and
drink, treating himself to a break from Nelix's culinary creations.

The vendor showed the commander the item Tom had liked.  He found he
had enough money and so he bought it.

It was a simple gold ring, what Chakotay's tribe would call a wedding
band.  He would give it to his lover tonight.  Tom wouldn't have to
know what it meant, not yet anyway.

He thanked the vendor and went in search of his errant lover.

*******

It was the ring.  Tom sat up straighter in Chakotay's bed.  After a
fantastic session of love making Chak had presented him with this
gift.  He had noticed it today in the bazaar because it had been just
like the one his mother used to wear.  To her it had been a symbol of
love and fidelity, an old earth custom she believed in.  His father
had given it to her on their wedding day.

"Do you like it, Poocuh?"

Tom looked down at the big teddy bear wrapped around his torso.
Gods, Chak probably had no idea what it meant giving this to him.  He
slipped the ring onto the third finger of his left hand.  Forever he
thought.  He'd tell the big guy about "forever" later.

"Yeah Chak I love it."  He scooted back down so he was eye level with
his love.  "And I love you big guy."

"Good now come here and show me how much."

Tom lined his body up with Chakotay's and then began torturing him
with kisses.  The first time when they made love was always hard and
fast but the second was generally more gentle and teasing.  His hands
caressed the length of the commander's back, squeezing when he
reached his firm bronze ass.  Gods he loved that ass.

Chakotay pressed closer into Tom relishing his talented mouth and
losing himself in the sensation.  It wasn't until he registered the
insistent poking of Tom erection in his stomach that he broke from
his revelry and took action.

Freeing his left arm from underneath his lover's body, he reached
down and grasped both erections, rubbing them together leisurely.
His right hand he brought around and clasped Tom's left clearly
feeling the ring there.  His ring.  The thought of his beloved
wearing his ring moved him to increase the speed of his stroking.
Tom began pumping into his hand in earnest. Twisted in bed sheets
both men came, sealing both their bodies and their hearts together.

Later after cleaning up a bit and obtaining new sheets from the
fresher Tom lay in Chakotay's arms his head resting on his chest.
The big guy was already fast asleep, snoring quietly and Tom was
following his lead quickly, but before he lost awareness he kissed
that smooth bronze chest and whispered "I do."

********

"Well then gentlemen, I guess you're with me."

As the lieutenant brushed past him he gave the commander a smile
usually reserved for their moments alone.  It was the smile he had
seen every morning for the last week when he woke.  He repressed a
smile of his own and returned to his seat on the bridge.

********

He found Tom in Sickbay, sitting on a bio-bed watching over Seven and
Icheb.  His contemplative countenance broke into one of pleasure when
he saw the commander.  Chakotay hopped up on the bed beside Tom,
their arms and thighs touching.

"How are they?"

"Fine.  In a couple hours, when she's stabilized, we'll move Seven to
her regeneration alcove for the rest of her recovery."

Tom fell back into his previous somber state.  Chakotay took his left
hand in his right.  The other he used to turn the pilot's face to his.

"What is it, Poocuh?"

"It's nothing really.  I was just thinking how lucky Seven is to have
someone like Icheb care about her so much that he would risk his
existence for her.  I guess I was feeling a little envious."

Chakotay watched as Tom's gaze returned to the two people sleeping on
the bio-beds.  He realized that under all that bravado was a man who
was vulnerable and had a deep seated need to feel loved.  The
commander hadn't actually said the words to Tom yet but he felt them
with all that he was.  He had held his tongue for fear of scaring off
the emotionally erratic lieutenant.  Perhaps now was the time to take
the chance to reveal his feelings.  He began to twirl the ring on Tom
finger.  Tom looked down at his hand.

"You know among my tribe when a man gives his beloved a gold band it
is more than just a gift.  It is a promise to love, cherish and
honour that person for the rest of their life.  During my lifetime I
have had issues with many of my people's customs but never with that
one.  I believe in the promise of the ring."

Tom's blue eyes traveled from his hand up to Chakotay ebony ones, his
features displayed a mixed look of disbelief and wonder.

"If I didn't know better I'd think that you were proposing to me
commander."

With his hand still on Tom's face, Chakotay brushed the pilot's
cheekbone with his thumb.

"I am.  I love you Tom Paris.  Will you be my lifemate?"

Before the lieutenant could speak Chakotay place a light kiss on his
mouth.  This was a serious decision.  He wanted to give Tom time to
think about it.  As Tom tried to speak, Chakotay moved his thumb over
his lips.

"No Poocuh.  I don't want an answer right now.  Think about this and
tonight in my cabin we'll talk.  Deal?"

Tom nodded his head up and down.

"Deal."

Chakotay kissed him once more, slipped down from the bio-bed and left
Sickbay.

After watching the commander leave, Tom brought his left hand up and
looked at the band of gold on his finger.

"Holy shit."

********

Tonight!  How the hell was he supposed to wait until tonight?  Tom
absently played with ring as he looked at the crono on console at the
Conn.  Time was dragging by.  This particularly boring section of
space and the absence of the commander behind him were not enough to
distract him from the seemingly slow passage of time.

He still could hardly believe the commander had asked him to marry
him.  He had wanted to jump up on the bio-bed and scream yes and then
proceed to ravish the big guy on said bio-bed.  Ravish, yeah he liked
that.  Chakotay was in for one major ravishing once he got him
alone.  His eyes went involuntarily for the chrono again.  Shit how
was he ever going to be able wait until tonight to tell him yes let
alone do any serious ravishing?

When Tom heard the turbo-lift doors behind him swish open, he turned
slightly in his chair.  He saw Chakotay enter the bridge and sit
beside the Captain.  They began to discuss ship's business.  Now that
Chakotay was here, the wait became intolerable.  Tom lifted his
eyebrows and shoulders in tandem.  So why wait?  He turned his chair
around to face his senior officers.

"Yes."

The Captain and Chakotay halted their conversation and looked
expectantly at Tom.  The Captain spoke first.

"Yes what Mr. Paris?"

Standing and settling into the standard at ease position with his
arms behind his back, Tom angled his sight directly on Chakotay.

"Yes Chak.  I'll marry you."

Silence.  Tom looked around the bridge.  Tuvok's eyebrow was raised,
Harry had stopped breathing and a knowing smile graced the lips of
the Captain.   He looked back to Chakotay waiting for him to say
something, anything.  He didn't.

Before the lieutenant could remark on the man's silence, he found
himself in a strong bear hug with full lips against his.  After
recovering from the initial shock of being kissed on the bridge, Tom
brought his hands up and framed Chakotay's face.  It was a long deep
kiss that wasn't broken until they heard the sound of the Captain
clearing her throat behind them.  Chakotay spoke over his shoulder.

"Permission to leave the bridge, Captain?"

"Permission granted and congratulations as well."

Both men turned to look at her.  The Captain was trying not too
successfully to appear professional and calm.  The sparkle in her
eyes gave her away.   When they didn't move, she rolled her eyes and
made a shooing motion with her hands.

"Oh for heaven's sake go!"

Galvanized into action, the commander grabbed his intended's arm and
whisked them into the turbo lift.

********

"Computer, halt turbo lift."

Chakotay rounded on Tom, his hands on his hips and a frown creasing
his brow.  All Tom noticed what the cute way the expression made the
big guy's tattoo crinkle.

"Why in the spirits made you decide to give me my answer on the
bridge?  There's a time and a place for our personal relationship and
in front of the Alpha shift isn't one of them!"

Nothing could make Tom angry at this moment.  He was going to be
married to the hunkiest guy on Voyager and he was ecstatic.  He
wrapped his arms around his beloved and molded his body to his.
Licking the tattoo he whispered.

"Are we having a fight?  Cause if we are I'm sorry.  Now can we go
home and have some earth-shattering make up sex?  Please baby can we
go home?"  He licked the tattoo again and then trailed his tongue to
the commander's ear.

Chakotay sighed.  This what life with Tom Paris was going to be
like.  No matter how many plans he made or scenarios he came up with
he'd never be able to properly figure in the "Paris" factor.  But it
was all part and parcel of what he loved about this man.  And he did
love this man, dearly.  He resigned himself to living a rollercoaster
of a life and pulled Tom's forehead to his.

"OK Poocuh we'll go home but no more public displays of affection on
the bridge?  Deal?"

Tom made as if to think about it and then pulled Chakotay in for a
hug.

"Deal."

"Computer, resume."

And they went home and lived happily ever after, well for the most
part anyway.

End