Title: Two Steps Back
Author: Cheryl Forbes
Fandom: Star Trek: Voyager
Pairing: Chakotay/Tom Paris
Rating: NC 17
Series: 1 of ?
Email for feedback:
Disclaimer: Voyager and her crew belong to Paramount and not me.

Summary: Tom makes a sacrifice for Harry so the ensign can get what
he desires and as a reward gets something he desires back but didn't
know he did.

Timeline: Just after Harry captains the Kraylor ship briefly in the
episode "Nightingale".

"Well if it isn't Captain Harry Kim."

Tom raised his mug and motioned for his friend to take a seat across
from him at a well-worn table marked with glass rings and the
occasional name etched in its surface. Ordering another jug of cold
beer from Sandrine, the lieutenant kicked out a chair for Harry. The
younger man sighed and took the offered seat.

"It's still just Ensign but thanks for the thought."

"Hey why so glum?" Sandrine brought the beer and extra mug. Tom
poured, expertly tipping the glass to avoid a foam head, and handed
over the drink to Harry. "You should be happy. We're celebrating
your first command, Har."

"My last command you mean." He wrapped his hands around the beer but
didn't drink.

"Excuse me?"

"As long as were stuck here in the Delta quadrant, I'm never going to
get that chance again."

"I wouldn't say that."

"No 'you' wouldn't 'Lieutenant'." His face reddened as anger infused
his voice. "Face it Tom, ensigns don't get that many opportunities
to head away teams or command missions. No we're here to do the
grunt work. The fetching and carrying and not much else."

Tom was flabbergasted and then ashamed. He hadn't looked at it quite
that way before but now that he had; he could see his friend's point.

Harry's whole life, before and after the Academy had been geared to
moving up in the ranks and to one day commanding a ship of his own.
Their little side trip to the Delta quadrant via the Badlands had
stalled Harry's plans and had as a result created a promotion
freeze. Voyager had her quota of Ensigns, Lieutenants and
Commanders. The only way Harry would get ahead now was if the ship
lost a senior officer and since transfers didn't happen when you were
the only ship in the fleet, the ensign was pretty much stuck being an

"Sorry Har." Tom squeezed his friend's arm. "Sometimes I can be as
thick as the bulkhead and just about as sensitive."

The ensign's natural good nature reasserted itself and he gave Tom an
apologetic smile.

"No I'm sorry. It's not your fault or anyone's really." He tested
his beer with his finger. "I guess it just it gets to me sometimes.
I didn't mean to take it out on you Tom."

"Hey that's what friends are for. Don't sweat it."

Smiling now in earnest, Harry raised his mug in salute.

"Well here's to Lieutenants and friends."

Tom seeing the pain through Harry's bravado returned the gesture.

"Best friends Harry."

As they both drank from their frosty mugs, Tom tried to think of a
way of living up to his words.


"You want to do what?"

Chakotay gaped at the fair-haired man sitting on the other side the
desk in his office.

"You heard me. I want to resign my commission."

"But you can't." Unfamiliar desperation tinged his normally even

"Why?" Tom was the picture of innocence.

"This isn't the Alpha quadrant, Lieutenant." Chakotay couldn't
believe he was having this conversation. "Voyager is alone out here
and she needs her officers."

"You need me to fly the ship."

"Among other things, yes."

Tom gave him a knowing look. "Well I don't need pips on my collar to
do that, Commander."

"No but you do need to be a part of the command structure." There
that sounded good, top that Tommy Boy.

"Which brings me back to my original question. Why?"

Damn! Truth be told Chakotay didn't really know why Paris couldn't
fly the ship without rank. He also didn't know why he was taking the
pilot's request so personally. It wasn't as if Tom was asking to
leave him, spirits they didn't even have a relationship where that
would matter. They were fellow officers and that was all. So why
the hell did it bother him so much? Not wanting to travel down that
avenue any further, Chakotay turned the question around.

"Why do you want out?"

"It's private."

"Private?" Unable to sit still any longer, Chakotay rose from his
chair, rounded his desk and perched on its edge inches away from the
reluctant lieutenant. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"Just what I said." Tom sat back in his chair as far as he could
go. "The reasons don't matter to anyone except me and I'd rather not
share them."

By the defiant tilt to his blond head, Chakotay knew that grilling
the man wasn't going get him anywhere but maybe pointing out the
disadvantages of his decision would. The pilot was extremely
hedonistic and might miss the privileges of rank.

"You do realize as a crewman, you would have to give up your quarters
and would incur a reduction in replicator rations."

"A crewman? No Commander when I said I was quitting, I meant all the
way. I want to be a civilian again just like when I boarded
Voyager. No more uniforms, no more yes sirs, no sirs, no more
anything. I'll be just a regular guy."

Tom escaped from his chair to stand in the middle of the office,
brushing against the commander's shoulder as he did so. "I know I'll
lose the fancy cabin and the extra rations but that's OK I'll get
by. I've done it before and I can do it again."

"And you're not going tell me why."

"No." The pilot placed his hands on hips and waited for an answer.

Thomas Eugene Paris wanted to be a regular guy, like anything the
pilot did could be classified as 'regular'. If Chakotay weren't
choking on his heart right now he would have laughed aloud.

Tom was special. His spirit traveled in an exclusive place somewhere
between heaven and hell where only an intrepid few dared to tread.
The commander for a long time now had considered himself fortunate to
be in his realm even during times of betrayal. He had hated Tom for
his treachery in the Maquis and with Suder but still had found ways
to keep him close. He'd had even gone so far as to hand his life
over to the young lieutenant.

It wasn't love, it wasn't even sexual but Chakotay supposed it was
something and it might be the reason behind his reluctance to accept
Tom's resignation. It would be a step back.

"Commander you can't force me to be Fleet."

The lieutenant had taken his quiet contemplation as a refusal to his
request and as much as he wanted to do just that, Chakotay found he
couldn't. Not without explaining 'his' reasons anyway and he wasn't
sure yet what those reasons really were.

"All right, I'll take your request to the Captain."



Tom rubbed his shin where it had come into contact with the bedpost.
You'd think that after two weeks in this closet impersonating a cabin
he'd remember that there was only a meter from the corner of the bed
to door of the head. He finished drying his hair with the towel and
tossed it backhanded over his shoulder into the fresher.

Opting for the bed over the sole chair in the small room, Tom fell
back buck-naked over the top of the duvet and closed his eyes in

It was late and as usual he'd closed Sandrine's. Being a civilian
was expensive. Tom needed to work the pool table at the seedy french
bar after his shift at the helm every night just for his wardrobe
alone. Gone were free uniforms and standard issue undergarments that
had become the staple to his clothing repertoire. If he didn't want
to wear the same pair of tattered jeans everyday and the same old
boxers it was necessary to sacrifice a few hours sleep to supplement
his income at Sandrine's.

It was tough but it was in his eyes respectable enough employment.
There were easier, not so honorable ways to earn extra credits in the
bar, as he'd found his first night on pool duty.

He'd playing the newly promoted Ensign Geron for a day's worth of
replicator rations when he had been not so subtlety propositioned by
Crewman Dalby.

"I hear you're a free agent now and that you're available for hire."
The crewman had said in a low slimy voice.

The man had been breathing hot and heavy down his neck while he been
making the winning shot against Geron and Tom had been more concerned
about eating tomorrow than the crewman's lecherous advances. It
hadn't occurred to him what exactly Dalby had been talking about
until after Tem had credited his replicator account and he had
approached him again.

"For a little action on your knees, I'd give you twice as many
credits, Flyboy."

"Really?" This wasn't the first time someone had offered to pay for
his sexual services and he knew how to play the game. Only this time
he wasn't desperate enough or hated himself enough to follow
through. Tom was just plain insulted and supremely pissed off.

He knew his second mysterious cashiering out of the ranks had caused
some major speculation in the ship's grapevine and most of it wasn't
good. Tom had heard rumors that he'd been busted because he'd made a
pass at the captain or unbelievably at Chakotay for fuck's sake. So
if he didn't want a nightly repeat of this performance, he have to
put a stop to it now.

"And how much for a fuck Ken?" He lowered his eyes and batted his
blond lashes at Dalby. "Would that get me a week's worth of
credits?" Tom said it loud enough so the man's cronies could hear.

"Maybe. It depends on how good you are."

"Oh I'm good Ken, real good. In fact I'm not sure you can afford me
on a crewman's allotment." Tom curled a finger under the repulsive
man's chin. "You see I'm more of a Commander's whore and a little
out of your league."

"Fuck you." The now humiliated man said through his bared teeth.

"No problem, if you get a promotion, give me a call."

It had been a great exit line and he would have made a greater exit
if he hadn't run smack dab into Chakotay's broad chest as he'd turned
to leave.

Lying now alone in the dark, he remembered the look of distain the
commander had given him. Chakotay hadn't said a word but had pulled
back quickly severing their body contact so Tom could make his way to
the holodeck's arch. His face had burned red all the way to his new

Since then Chakotay had refused to speak to him outside the confines
of the bridge while he was working. Shit the commander didn't even
say hello to him when they saw each other at Sandrine's. All he ever
got from the man was an ominous stare and that was only when he
thought Tom wasn't looking.

He had said he was only good enough to be a commander's whore but
apparently not this commander. Which was unfortunate because since
that night the thought of performing for Chakotay was oddly
titillating. It had been along time since Tom had given his body
over to someone's else's will and for the first time since that
terrible time before the Maquis and after Caldik Prime, he found
incredibly he missed it.

Shaking his head at his degression, Tom got beneath the covers of his
twin bed and thought about having lunch with Lieutenant Harry Kim
tomorrow as he drifted off to sleep.

He was almost there when he heard the chime to his door beep.


A commander's whore.

Every night when he lay his head down to sleep Chakotay heard those

He was too good for a crewman and he was too good for an ensign or a
lieutenant but he was good enough for a commander and Chakotay was a

On a Klingon ship or even a Cardassian one, it was regular practice
for the commanding officers to have a courtesan to service their
needs while on extended patrols. Would this be so different? It
would be his chance to touch the intangible and if cost him a few
credits it would be worth the price.

The commander's fascination with his spirit hadn't been sexual. Well
at least it hadn't been until the he had voiced the words but now
they were out there it was all Chakotay could think about.

As a lieutenant he was inaccessible but now that he was a civilian,
the possibilities were endless. Gone was the threat of
fraternization that could erode the chain of command. He answered to
no one now but to himself and if he was willing he could choose to be
Chakotay's own private comfort and Kathryn couldn't do a damn thing
about it. Nobody could.

He had to have him and he couldn't wait another night to do so.

By this time tomorrow, Thomas Eugene Paris resident and passenger of
the Starship Voyager would belong to Commander Chakotay.


Fuck, fuck, fuck. Who the hell could that be this time of night?

Wrapping the comforter from his narrow bed around his waist, Tom
lumbered to the door of his cabin to lean against its frame.


The doors swished opened at his command and standing in the corridor
was Chakotay. The commander didn't wait for invitation to enter and
barged past him.

Still half asleep, Tom stood looking out at the now empty hallway a
moment before turning to his late night guest.


Looking totally out of place, the commander stood by the side of his

"How much?"


"Dalby couldn't afford you but maybe I can. I want to know how much."

"You want to buy me?"


Someone once said be careful what you wish for you may just get it.
Tom was getting what he'd asked for and now he didn't quite know what
do to with it. He wasn't sure if he'd wanted a Chakotay that wanted
to possess him the same way some low life like Dalby did.

"Why Chakotay?"

"You don't have to know that."

He was right. You didn't ask the john the reason why they wanted to
fuck you. You just did your job and made sure they got their money's
worth. Questions weren't part of the bargain. The problem was
Chakotay was just any other john. You weren't supposed to want them
as much as they wanted you. That part didn't matter as long as you
got paid.

"Tell me how much Tom and I'll pay it."

Who the hell was this guy standing in the middle of his cabin
offering him credits to fuck him? This certainly wasn't the stoic
commander he'd served beside these last seven years. Confusion
battled lust as Tom tried to make sense of things.

"Please Tom, tell me."

Undid by the pleading tone of his former superior officer's voice,
Tom dropped the blanket slung around his waist.

"Nothing Chakotay. The first time's for free."