Title:  More than Friends
Author:  JJ-
Pairing:  C/P, Voyager
Rating:  NC-17
Archive: Please ask first
Feedback:  Welcomed.

Summary:  Can Tom and Chakotay get past everything and everyone against

Disclaimer:  I don't own them, I don't make any money from this.  I think
Paramount owns them.  I'm just taking them out for their monthly exercise.


"Commander, my ready room,"  Captain Janeway ordered when she had caught
Chakotay daydreaming for the fourth time on shift.  "Tuvok, you have the

'Shit!' Chakotay thought as he followed the Captain into her office.  He
could almost hear Tom laughing at him.

The Captain sat at her desk, while Chakotay settled his big frame into the
seat on the other side.

"Spill it."  The Captain demanded petulantly.  "What has the Lieutenant
done to upset you this time?  You were staring holes in his back most of
the shift."

"Tom hasn't done anything, Captain,"  Chakotay denied quickly, too quickly,
he realized.

"Tom?"  Janeway questioned, immediately catching the change in his use of
titles.  Chakotay inwardly flinched, he hadn't meant to do that.  To admit
to Janeway that two of her senior officers were considering a relationship
would send her to Warp 10 and not in a good way.

"Lieutenant Paris,"  Chakotay amended.

Janeway's eyes narrowed trying to figure out what was going on.

"Then what is it?"  She stood up and went to the replicator.  "Would you
like some tea?"

'Great,' Chakotay thought.  'She's going for the friend approach.'

"No, thank you."

Janeway got herself some coffee and sat back down.

"Captain, you're right, I was daydreaming and I apologize.  It won't happen
again,"  Chakotay said quietly, trying to end the conversation as quickly
as possible.

"So, you don't want to tell me what's happening?"

"No, Captain.  It's a private matter.  I'll deal with it."

"If that's what you want, but remember my door is open," Janeway said
obviously leaving the avenue open for future discussions.  Chakotay nodded
and left.

He went to his own office to try to get some work done.  He sat there until
late in the evening.  Tomorrow was his date with Tom and he was as nervous
as a teenager on his first date.  He couldn't concentrate on fuel
consumption and shift rotations.  He dropped the padd, irritated at himself
for his own lack of control.

He had meditated that morning.  His Spirit Guide had just smiled at him
with her wolfish smile and sat beside him as he tried to explain how he

He was thinking of Tom again when he was commed.

"Chakotay here,"  he responded.

"Commander, we have a situation in the mess hall.  The Captain has
requested your presence."

"On my way,"  Chakotay said as he quickly stood and went to the mess hall.

'Great,'  he thought.  If the Captain had just approved the down time,
Chakotay was pretty sure this wouldn't have happened.  The crew was just
too tired and too strung out from the stress lately.

He met up with the Captain just outside the mess hall.  She nodded,
acknowledging his presence.  They walked in side by side.  However,
Chakotay's heart skipped a beat and his step faltered when he took in the
scene before him.

Tom was being restrained by two security officers and so was Greg Ayala,
one of his Maquis crew members.  Tom had a split lip and Greg was probably
going to have a black eye in the morning.  Several chairs and tables were
knocked over and both men's uniforms were disturbed.  To Chakotay it looked
like an old fashioned bare-knuckle brawl had taken place.

"Report!"  Janeway barked, coming to a standstill.  Chakotay paused behind

"It seems the Lieutenant Paris and Crewmen Ayala were discussing certain
arrangements on board and came to blows over a disagreement."

Chakotay bit his lip letting the Captain run this show.  He was too
involved here.  Greg Ayala was one of his oldest friends and Tom, well, he
hoped he and Tom had a chance at something.

"What arrangements?"  Janeway asked, her hands on her hips.

"Neither of them is willing to disclose that matter,"  Tuvok said.

"Did anyone else witness what led up to this fight?"  Janeway asked.  Harry
Kim, Tom's best friend and B'Elanna Torres, an ex-maquis, were standing in
the back of the crowd.  Janeway turned to them.  "Harry, B'Elanna did you
see what happened?"

"Yes, Ma'am,"  Harry replied.

"Would you care to enlighten me?"

Harry blushed, and stared at the floor.  "Uh, no Ma'am."

"You're refusing to answer me?"  Janeway asked shocked.  Harry looked at
Chakotay and then the Captain.

"Yes, Ma'am."


The half Klingon woman also glanced at Chakotay and then at Janeway.

"I - I'm sorry, Captain.  I can't tell you."

Janeway was mad enough to chew durasteel, Chakotay could see it in her
stance.  Her head snapped to Tom.

"Lieutenant Paris, you have a choice.  Tell me what this argument was about
or you will do some time in the brig."

Tom stared at Greg Ayala and an agreement was made in a glance.  Chakotay
could see it and he guessed the Captain had as well.

"I guess I do brig time, Captain,"  Tom responded firmly.

Janeway jerked slightly, Chakotay heard her breathing catch.  Chakotay
almost groaned out loud.  That was not the answer she wanted.  The
Commander was surprised too, Tom hated the brig.  Whatever it was that they
were fighting over was really important.

"Crewman Ayala?  Same choice."  Janeway's voice was as sharp as a blade.

He met Chakotay's eyes and then said.  "I'm afraid, Captain, that I am also
going to choose the brig."

"Tuvok, take the Lieutenant, and Crewman Ayala to the Brig.  Ensign Kim and
Lieutenant Torres will be confined to their quarters for a week during off
shift periods.  Crewman Ayala will serve a week in the brig, but Lieutenant
Paris, because he is senior staff, will do two weeks as an example to the
rest of the crew."  The Captain turned smartly.  The Commander moved out of
her way, knowing better than to even try to slow her down in such a public

"Yes, Captain,"  Tuvok responded, gesturing to the men holding the two men.

"Captain, that isn't fair,"  Tom cried, setting his feet.  "Harry and
B'Elanna had nothing to do with the fight."  The Captain was almost to the
door, when she stopped for a moment and then turned to face the Lieutenant.

"Unless you care to take their sentences on top of your own, in the brig;
or perhaps, tell me what caused this fight, I have no choice.  They are
guilty of insubordination."

"Captain, if I could without involving -"  Tom struggled with how to phrase
his thoughts.  "Captain, I would tell you, but - they had nothing to with

Chak caught the sidelong glance from Tom, pleading for help, but he knew to
interfere at this point wouldn't do Tom any good.  He would talk to her
later, in private, when she had calmed down - hopefully.

"Then I guess they are confined to quarters."  Her tone brooked no

"Captain, please listen to me,"  Tom said, struggling against having his
arm twisted up behind his back.  It took control for Chakotay not to order
his release.  Finally the Captain looked at the two men and they released
the pilot.  "It'll only cause more problems."  The Captain shrugged.  Then
Tom set his shoulders and stated.  "Well, if the only thing I can do is
their time in the brig, I'll do it.  They don't deserve to be punished
because I got in a fight."

"You're offering to take their time on top of yours and still refusing to
tell me what you were fighting about?"  Janeway's voice was shocked.

Chakotay wanted to cover his eyes.  This was getting worse by the moment.

"Yes, Captain.  Regretfully, I am."

The Commander offered a silent prayer for Tom.

"We'll see you in a month Lieutenant Paris,"  Janeway said shortly exiting
the mess hall.

Chakotay felt his stomach tighten as Tom walked proudly out of the mess
hall escorted by security.  They didn't put their hands back on him.
Chakotay exited next, followed by Tuvok.

He and Janeway had a short meeting.  He assured her he would find out what
was going on and asked the Captain to try to keep an open mind.

"You know Chakotay, it's the Maquis/Star fleet split that's bothering me.
We haven't had that kind of problem in a long time.  And I can't believe
Tom refused to tell me what was going on.  That's not like him."  Kathryn
complained, sipping her ever present cup of coffee.

"Give me some time, Captain.  Perhaps it was the public setting that was
keeping Greg and Tom from telling you what happened."

Janeway lifted an eyebrow.  "Maybe you're right.  I leave the investigation
to you, but I want to know what brought those two to blows."

"Aye, Captain,"  Chakotay said and then exited her office.

'What had happened?'  Chakotay asked himself as he strode down the halls to
B'Elanna's quarters.  'Why would Tom and Ayala even be talking to each
other?  Ayala was Engineering and Tom was Bridge.  They had nothing in
common, didn't spend time together and the way they all kept glancing at
him while Janeway was - Uh oh.'

He pushed the chimes to B'Elanna's door.

"Come,"  she called and the door swished open.  "Oh, Chief.  Guess you want
to know what happened?"

Chakotay took several steps into the room.  He noticed Harry was there off
to one side.

"That would be nice,"  Chakotay said.  He turned to look at Harry and
greeted him with a small nod.  Harry swallow nervously.  B'Elanna and Harry
looked at each other.

"Will it get Tom off the hook?"  Harry asked quietly.

"I doubt it.  The Captain isn't happy."

Harry and B'El both sighed heavily.  "Greg started it.  He told Tom to stay
away from you.  You didn't need - anyone else jerking you around."
B'Elanna said looking straight ahead as if on report.

Chak knew it was hard for her to betray any of the Maquis and since she
didn't know what was going on with him and Tom, even harder.  Then he
*heard* what she had said.  Chakotay couldn't believe it.

"What?!  How did Greg find out about Tom and me,"  Chakotay blurted out,
but then he realized how.  He turned to Harry, who seemed to shrink under
the Commander's stare.

"Sandrine told me; and, B'Ela and I were discussing it in line at mess,"
Harry said staring at the floor.

"The holoprogram gossips?!"

"Oh yeah, but she's restricted about ship's business, but personal
relationships are okay,"  Harry explained.

Chakotay took several deep breaths to calm down.  Scaring Harry to death
wouldn't get him anywhere.  "Then what?"

"Greg heard us and he went ballistic,"  B'Elanna said.  "You know how he
is.  He went over to Tom and basically announced that you no more needed
Tom chasing after you than the Risa plague, and for Tom to go look for some
other one night stand."

"He what?"  Chakotay felt an anger building in his gut.  'Oh, he and Greg
were going to have a long talk after this.  Who did he think he was
sticking his nose in Chakotay's business.'

"Yeah.  Then Tom told him to cast off.  It was none of his business," Harry

"At which point in time, Greg lifted him clear of the floor, and told Tom
if he wanted to remain healthy, he would forget trying to make a play for
you,"  B'Elanna finished.

"He called Tom a whore and a Star Fleet Brat,"  Harry said very quietly.

"Well, Tom saying Greg wasn't your Mommy and that you were old enough to
make your own decisions, didn't help at all."  B'Elanna countered.  "He's
been worried about you Chakotay.  All of the Maquis have been since Seska."

Chakotay knew he was staring.  He knew he looked like a fool, a shocked
look on his face, his jaw hanging lax, but for the life of him, he just
couldn't get his mind to function.  Greg was protecting his honor because
Seska had jerked him around and made him look like a fool in front of the
entire crew.  Greg had warned Tom off because he thought Tom was just
trying to use him.  This was a royal mess and to get it straightened out,
he was going to have to tell the Captain what was going on.  Great!

Chakotay finally closed his mouth, and asked too quietly, "Anything else?"

"Tom really tried to keep it from being a fight, but Greg lost his temper,"
 B'Elanna said.

Chakotay nodded shortly and left.

He went to the brig and found the two of them in adjoining cells.  He
dismissed the guard and looked at both of them.  He paced as both men
alternately stared at the floor and glanced at the First Officer nervously.
 while Chakotay desperately tried to figure out how to handle this
situation.  Finally, he stopped and stared at both of them for a moment.

"I don't believe you did this, either of you."

"Cha, he's a fucking whore.  You deserve better!"

"Shut up, Greg.  You've gone way over any lines we had.  If I want to go
out with Tom, I will.  It is not your place to threaten people into leaving
me alone."

"He's a traitor!  He was going to help 'Fleet bring us in!"

"I was not!"  Tom cried.  "All I was going to do was wander around the DMZ
for a while and hope you all stayed in the badlands."

"Right!  And you suddenly just care about Chakotay and want to express your
undying love."

"Fuck you, Ayala!"

"That's your job, brat!"

"Both of you shut up!"  Chakotay ordered.  "Greg, I asked Tom out, not the
other way around.  If I find out you or any other Maquis has laid a hand on
him, I will *personally* deal with it."  The threat in the Commander's
voice was clear and his glare at his former crewman meant business as he
continued.  "And I'll start with you."

Greg swallowed nervously and nodded.  He knew he had gone too far this

Chakotay turned to Tom's cell.  "Tom, my only choice is to tell the
Captain, and you know how she will react."

"Leave it alone, Chakotay.  Just leave it alone.  I'll do my month."  Tom
looked so - lost and hurt sitting in there.  Chakotay wanted to deactivate
the force field and let him out.  However, he doubted Janeway would
understand his reasoning.  He stepped closer to Tom's cell.

"Tom, you could loose your rank."

"Chakotay, I'll probably loose it anyhow,"  Tom replied, turning his head
away from the Commander.  "Just let me do this.  I'm sorry this happened
and tell B'Elanna and Harry, thanks for not saying anything to Janeway."

"Tom,"  Chakotay started gently, but he could see with the way Tom was
curled up on his bunk and with Greg listening, this was not the place to
try to assure the pilot of his intentions.

"Promise me, Chakotay, promise me, you won't tell Janeway.  Just let it
go."  Those blue eyes met his and Chakotay nodded but he gave Greg a very
angry look.


"It was a personal matter that neither man wished you to know about."

"Seems there's a lot of that going around," Janeway said suspiciously.

"Yes, Ma'am,"  Chakotay said, hoping the formal tone would put her off

"Very well, Commander.  I will notate both men's records."

Chakotay purposefully kept his face neutral although he wanted to argue.
He had reviewed Tom's records earlier.  Many more strikes and Janeway would
bust him back down to Ensign.  If Tom would just let him say something, he
could probably get this smoothed over and get him out of the brig, but he
had been very clear.  He didn't want Chakotay's to say anything.

Later that day, while he was in his office, Harry Kim came to see him.

"What can I do for you, Harry?"  Chakotay asked.

"Um, first off, I'm sorry.  I didn't know Greg was behind me when I told

"Lesson learned,"  Chakotay said calmly, suppressing the desire to scream
at the man and call him an idiot.

"Second, I went to see Tom during break and he asked me to tell you not to
do anything or come see him or anything like that.  Just let him do his

Chakotay nodded, turning his back on the young Ensign, who took the hint
and left.


The month dragged by for Chakotay.  Every time he sat on the bridge and saw
a replacement pilot at the con, he was reminded.  Janeway was cold, she
suspected that he knew what was going on, but wasn't going to tell her.
The banter was gone, the friendly atmosphere was gone, and Chakotay felt
strangely bereft.  Greg had cut a wide path around Chakotay, but he did

"I just thought he was out to make points, Cha,"  Greg explained.

"I understand, Greg,"  Chakotay said quietly.  He was still very angry at
his best friend.  "But don't mess with my personal life like that again."


Harry and B'Elanna kept him updated on Tom's condition, which was not
encouraging.  Greg called the Maquis off and told them to leave Tom alone
when he got out.  The Captain started tapping her fingers angrily on any
flat surface within arm's reach and Chakotay could only wonder how Tom
would be when he got out.

Everyone knew Tom hated the brig, but Chakotay had reason to believe Tom
was afraid of it, due to his time in New Zealand.  He did a little
surreptitious digging and found that Tom was not sleeping well, was
beginning to refuse visitors.  He scanned the security log and found that
tonight a former Maquis was standing guard and on the security panel.

At 23:50 hours he went to the brig and dismissed the guard.  No questions
were asked and no explanations given.  Chakotay walked towards Tom's cell.
He almost gasped out loud when he saw Tom.  He wasn't prepared for the
weight loss, the haggard look, the dark circles under his eyes, but what
made it worse was, Tom was asleep.  People looked younger and peaceful in
their sleep.  Tom looked ten years older.

"Tom,"  Chakotay said quietly.  The man stirred.

"Don't make me go, I'm sorry."  Tom whispered still sound asleep.

Chakotay broke every reg he could think of when he deactivated the force
field on Tom's cell.  He walked up to the sleeping figure and crouched
beside his bunk.

"No, I'm sorry Tom, and no matter what, I'm here for you."  Chakotay gently
kissed the man's cheek and stroked the unkempt hair back.  Tom stirred
restlessly.  Better to let him sleep, Chakotay thought.

He exited the cell, reactivated the force field.  The guard came back and
said there had been a strange problem with Security, the system had failed
in the Brig and Engineering Section.  The guard also informed him that
B'Elanna herself would personally check on the problem.  Chakotay nodded
and went back to his cabin.


The day before Tom was supposed to get out, Chakotay went to the pilot's
quarters.  With studious care, he cleaned the quarters and changed the
sheets on the bed and just straightened up.  Not something Chakotay usually
did, but he wanted Tom to be able to relax when he got out.

He left a note on a padd on the table.  He had the replicator set to
replicate what Harry said was Tom's favorite comfort foods the moment Tom
came in his room.  Tomato soup, a grilled cheese sandwich and something
called potato chips.  Then he left Tom's quarters.

The next morning, he was with the Captain when Tom was released.  It tore
at Chakotay when Tom wouldn't even look at him.  Janeway melted when she
saw what Tom looked like, so did Chakotay, not that anyone noticed.  There
were bags under his eyes, his eyes were flat and dull.

"Lieutenant, you have two days off to adjust, and then I expect to see you
back at the con,"  Janeway said gently, not completely breaking out of the
Captain role, but getting surprisingly close considering the number of
people there.

"Yes, Ma'am,"  Tom responded dully.

Chakotay tried to hang back to talk to him, but Tuvok also stayed.  Tom
turned and walked out of the brig without even looking at Chakotay.  The
Commander sighed heavily, but he understood.  He hoped the message would


It had been a week since Tom had gotten out of the brig and although he was
at his station every day, the bright, smart-assed Lieutenant wasn't.  Tom
did his duty rotations and left the bridge.  He didn't go to Sandrine's, he
didn't go to the resort, he barely went to the mess hall.  He never
contacted Chakotay.

"Chakotay, I'm worried about Tom,"  Janeway said one day in her office.

"I am, too,"  he conceded.

"Can you - do you think you could talk to him?"  The Captain asked quietly.

"Captain, I think I am the last person Tom Paris wants to see right now."

"Chakotay, I'm surprised at you.  You agreed to be the counselor for this
ship and I think Tom needs your help.  His past is behind him, do you still
hold grudges against him for what he did?"  Janeway paced her office.
"Honestly, I think he was leading us on a wild goose chase.  From one end
of the DMZ to the other.  We ran into more Cardassians than Maquis."

"It has nothing to do with Tom's time in the Maquis or the beginning of
this voyage.  I just don't think the Lieutenant wants to see me."

"Okay, Chakotay, I have been patient as long as I am going to be.  You need
to get whatever it is between you and Tom Paris straightened out NOW,"
Janeway said leaning over her desk.  "I have had enough of you two snipping
at each other, the rabid delight in catching each other screwing up and
this reticence on either of your parts to help the other.  Now get off your
ass, Mister, and get this straightened out."

"Captain, with all due respect, I believe at this point in time, my
contacting Tom might be counterproductive."

"Strange, that didn't sound like a request to me, it sounded like an
*order*."  She met Chakotay's eyes.  "Questions?"

"No, Captain,"  Chakotay said with a deep sigh.  "Message received and

Chakotay, slowly, made his way to Tom's quarters.  According to the
computer, that's where he was.  He rang and requested entrance.

"Go away, Chakotay."

"I would but I'm under orders to talk to you,"  Chakotay said, figuring the
truth was going to be the only way Tom was going to let him in.  Luckily,
the door opened.

"Under orders?"  Tom questioned in disbelief.

"The Captain thinks this is a Star Fleet/Maquis problem, and she's mad
because we don't get along."  It was so far from the truth, it was comical.

"You're kidding."

"No, I'm not."

Tom dropped onto his couch, staring blankly at the far wall.  "What else
can go wrong?  Great, now I can expect some of your Maquis cronies to beat
the crap out of me."

"No!"  Chakotay exclaimed.  "I made it clear to Greg that you were to be
left alone.  If one of the Maquis even looks at you funny, you let me

Tom stared at him strangely and then said,  "Commander, I can fight my own
battles.  Thank you."

"Tom, don't do this."

"Do what?"  Tom asked as he stood up and went to his viewport, staring out
at space.

"Pull away from me like this.  I understand why you did it and I appreciate
it, but Tom I thought we had a chance."

"Why?!  Ayala was right.  Why should you have dead weight like me hanging
around your neck.  I'll only slow you down, get you in trouble with the
Captain, make your old crew hate you for dating a 'Fleet brat'.  It's too
much and I won't be someone else's reclamation project.  No way."

The next thing Chakotay knew, he had Tom by the front of his uniform.
"Don't you ever say that again," he growled.  "None of that is true, and I
won't hear you talk like that.  You would rather phaser your own foot off
than go to the brig and you took an extra two weeks for your friends.  I
don't want a reclamation project either, but I sure as hell don't want a
man that wallows in self-pity either."  Chakotay released Tom's uniform.
"I tell you what, that date offer still stands, but not until you set the
time and the date.  And if you chicken out on me Paris, there will never be
anything between us, never!"  Chakotay strode angrily from his quarters,
leaving a very shocked Tom Paris standing in front of his viewport.

Late that evening, Chakotay paced his quarters.  What did he think he was
doing.  Tom could file assault charges.  And grabbing him like that, that
was smooth, just what the guy needed a little tender loving compassion
mixed liberally with a dose of accusations and violence.  Where did he ever
get the idea he could be a counselor?

He turned for the thousandth time around his quarters and saw the message
light blinking.  He went to the computer and read it.  He didn't know
whether to laugh, cry or do a dance.  It said "Friday, 20:00 hours"


The next morning he was called into the Captain's office.

"Well?"  she asked with that eyebrow going up.

"Lieutenant Paris and I spoke briefly last night, and have another meeting
scheduled for later this week, Captain,"  he replied calmly.  It had taken
him a few minutes to think that up.  It was the truth, but wouldn't raise
the Captain's suspicions.  It sounded like they had a counseling session,
that was all.  However, he didn't know whether Tom had reported his putting
his hands on him.

"Very good, Chakotay.  Dismissed,"  she said, but amended that.  "Oh,
B'Elanna asked if you could help out with something in Engineering.  Seems
she almost has everything repaired from that last battle but needs an extra
hand to finish it."

"Not a problem, Captain."  Chakotay said.  He left for engineering,
breathing a sigh of relief that he wasn't on his way to the brig on assault


He was working in a Jeffries tube when he heard someone calling him.  He
started down the tube.  He drew a breath to respond, when he heard.

"What do you want, Brat?"  someone said insultingly, just before Chakotay

"Shut up, Jamison.  I'm looking for the Commander.  Have you seen him?"

That was Tom's voice.  Jamison, he was a Star fleet security officer. A
real cretin, even according to Maquis standards.

'What was he doing down here? What were either of them doing down here?'
Chakotay thought.  He started to move down the tube again.

"He's not here, or are you blind, too.  What the Commander wants a quick
fuck on shift.  He sure picked a good little whore for him.  How much will
it cost me, Paris."

Chakotay stopped, shocked that he had just heard that.  No one had a right
to talk to another person like that.  Did everyone treat Tom like Greg and
Jamison were?  No wonder Tom was so hard to get to.  Chakotay would be if
people treated him this way.

He slowly made his way down the tube, Chakotay thought that they were
standing a distance from the entrance, probably around the corner.  That
would explain why Tom hadn't figured out where he was.  He silently slipped
to deck and turned the corner.

"I don't need your shit, Jamison.  I have to find the Commander."  Tom
tried to move past the shorter man, but Jamison stepped into his path.

"Here, kitty, kitty, kitty,"  Jamison taunted, blocking his path as Tom
tried to go the other way.  "Too bad they don't put the women in the short
little skirts they used to.  I think you have the legs for it Paris."

Chakotay felt an anger rise up in him.  One he hadn't felt in a long time.
It was one of the few characteristics that he had had to battle with to
keep it in check, and hearing Tom being abused over and over was doing
nothing to help with his control.

"Oh really?"  Chakotay said in the deepest, angriest voice he could use.
Jamison jumped slightly, and then turned with disbelief written all over
his face with a large amount of fear mixed in.

"Oh, uh Commander, uh - I didn't know you were here,"  Jamison stammered,
as Tom smiled gleefully.

"I assumed as much from your previous comments,"  Chakotay growled,
crossing his massive arms over his chest.  He turned his attention to Tom.
"You needed me?"

"Uh, yeah.  We've been comming you for about a half hour, and there was no
answer.  I found this in Jeffries Tube 12.  Where the computer said you
were."  Tom held up Chakotay's com badge.

He looked at his shirt and saw where it was ripped.  "Thank you
Lieutenant."  He took the com badge and hit it.  "Chakotay to Janeway."

"Ah, Tom found you.  Good, we were getting concerned Commander.  Report to
Engineering and then the bridge."

"Affirmative, Chakotay out."  He looked at Jamison.  "Did you need
something else, Jamison?"

"Uh, uh, no sir."  Jamison left with an ill concealed haste.

He and Tom's eye's met.  "Sorry about that."

"Chak, that's been going on since day one."

Chakotay felt the muscles in his shoulders tighten at that revelation.
"Doesn't mean you deserve it.  No one deserves to be talked to like that."

"Sorry, but in some people's eyes - once scum, always scum."

Tom froze as Chakotay grabbed his arm, spinning him around to face him.  "I
told you, I didn't want to hear that anymore."

"Right, sorry.  I forgot,"  Tom said.

Chakotay let go of him when he saw the Tom wince.  He hadn't meant to
squeeze his arm that hard, and then the Commander realized he had once more
accosted a junior officer.  "I'm sorry.  I shouldn't be putting my hands on
you like that."

"Better you doing that, than Jamison putting his hands on me,"  Tom
conceded as he rubbed his upper arm.  "At least yours serves a purpose, - I

"Jamison ever touches you, you let me know.  The man will discover why the
Maquis got a reputation as being blood thirsty,"  Chakotay threatened
darkly.  He saw Tom smile, and he chuckled himself.


The next night, Chakotay was once more pacing.  He was irritated, excited
and downright nervous.  He had tried to meditate, but he was really getting
a little put out with his Spirit Guide.  She laughed at him today when he
tried to explain his feelings once more.  How at one moment, he wanted to
hold Tom and comfort him, but the next was putting his hands on him
angrily.  She had showed him a wolf with cubs, with a male standing guard.
A female eagle with a nest of eaglets, the male bringing fish to the nest.
Then a lone doe moving through a forest in fear, never relaxing, and a
female cat having to leave her nest of kittens to hunt.  What was she
showing him?

His thoughts were interrupted as his door chimed.  Tom came in the door.

"Am I early?"

"No, you're right on time,"  Chakotay said, smoothing his shirt again.  He
handed Tom a glass of wine and gestured to the couch.  They both sat down.
"Thanks for coming, Tom, and I wanted to apologize for putting my hands on
you again."

"You know Chak, I don't think anyone but you, has ever really done that for
my own good."  Chakotay looked at him strangely.  What did that mean?

"It's not something I usually do, but somehow Tom you always seem to bring
out a side of me I'm not particularly proud of."

"What? You mean the strong warrior?"  Tom joked.

"Unfortunately, yes.  Do you remember when you first came on board the
Crazy Horse and I threatened to airlock you?"

"Uh, yeah, vividly in fact,"  Tom responded with a smile.

"That isn't the way I usually command."  Chakotay stood up and began to
pace again.  He was trying to say something but couldn't phrase it the way
he wanted to say it.

"Uh, Commander, can I say something here,"  Tom said setting his glass of
wine down.

"Of course.  In my quarters, Tom, it's Chakotay, or Chak."

"Okay,"  Tom said gently planting himself in front of the First Officer and
met his eyes.  "Chak, I am going to make this easy for both of us.  I
appreciate the time you have spent with me, the way you have supported me
in this, but this isn't going to work.  Call it fate, call it destiny,
whatever you like.  But the truth of the matter is, I am a flunky and you
have a chance and I won't screw it up for you.  Thanks for the dinner
invitation.  I hope we can still shoot some pool at Sandrine's sometimes."

Chakotay stood there numbly as Tom Paris walked out the door.  It took a
moment before he realized what had happened.  His stomach tightened, his
heart ached and his breath grew short, he had left.  Tom had left him.

"No!"  he headed to the door, but at that moment, a red alert sounded.
"Not now!"  Chakotay screamed.

"Chakotay, just make sure you have clothes on, this is a step above a red
alert,"  Janeway's voice echoed through his cabin.

Chakotay sprinted for the turbolift.  He knew Tom would be on the bridge.
He would talk to him when the red alert was over, but Chak's heart sank as
he saw seven of the alien spacecraft that had almost destroyed Voyager just
a short week ago.  Then life turned into a blur.

He took his seat and began to rattle off reports to the Captain.  It was
almost surreal as Voyager was buffeted by the weapons that could tear her
apart.  Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realized this might be the
end for them.

Although it registered on a subconscious level, everyone was too involved
in their own jobs to realize what anyone else was doing.  But, he felt
Voyager respond to Tom.  He heard the chatter between Tom and Tuvok as they
tried to maneuver to even the odds.  He watched ship after ship explode,
but still Voyager was hit and damaged.

"Chakotay - Ops!"  Janeway ordered as she reached for the fire extinguisher
to put out the fire.

He took the device and put the fire out, manning Ops as Harry was
transported to sickbay.  Chakotay looked up as Voyager was hit.  He watched
the Captain thrown against a bulkhead and slide to the floor.  He heard the
reports pouring in, casualties, damages.  They were being ripped apart.

"Tom, at your discretion!"  Chakotay barked as he knelt over Kathryn
Janeway.  "Sickbay, the Captain has been hurt, emergency beam out."

He continued to route and reroute, trying to give B'Elanna all the support
he could as the crew desperately tried to save Voyager and their own lives.
 There was no time to think, no time to consider, only react.

"Shields thirty-five percent, one more hit and --"  Another explosion.

"B'El transfer weapons to the con,"  Chakotay heard Tom order.  He looked
up to see Tuvok motionless on the floor.

"No way, Tom!"  B'Elanna answered, her voice even hinting at fear.

"Chak, I need you!"

"I'm there!  Sickbay, Tuvok.  B'El get me some help up here!'  Chakotay
yelled moving across the remnants of the bridge.  He manned the weapons.

Together, he and Tom began to attack.  He watched the dizzying images as
Tom made Voyager barrel roll and a wild dip and almost straight up.
Chakotay had to grip the station to maintain his footing.

"Fire, Chak, Fire,"  Tom screamed and another of the enemy ships blew
apart.  Tom threw Voyager into a hard reverse turn and Chakotay laid down a
wide field of both phasers and photon torpedoes.  Several more aliens were
blown up.  Then Tom gave a nervous laugh.  Chakotay looked up.

"They're leaving,"  Chakotay stated.  "You did it, Tom, you did it!"

"No, we did it Chak, without you on weapons, we didn't stand a chance."
There was a nervous quality to his voice, a shaking laugh.  "Nice shooting,

"Better piloting, Lieutenant,"  Chakotay smiled, his own nervous laughter
joining Tom's.  "Now get us the hell out of here."  He went to the command
chair and began to deal with the aftermath of the attack.

The Captain had a concussion, Tuvok had had his Vulcan system jump started
by several thousand volts of energy, and Harry's hands were badly burnt.
They had lost 4 crewmen, and had to open one of the cargo bays to house the
injured.  Tom handed the con over to another pilot and spent 2 days in
sickbay helping with the wounded, while Chakotay tried to get everything
straightened out while the Captain was down.


Four days later, Chakotay was commed by the Captain and she asked him to
join her at Sandrine's for an impromptu meeting and victory drink - 'her
treat.'  He grudgingly agreed to go.  As he got off the turbolift, he saw
Tom a few steps in front of him.

"Tom,"  he called gently.  Tom flinched, but stopped.  Chakotay stood next
to him taking in the blue eyes, the sculpted face.  "Tom, you saved Voyager
and all of our lives.  I want you to know I personally am proud of you.
There is no finer officer on board this ship."

"Thank you Commander,"  Tom said quietly.  There was a look in his eyes for
a moment.  A longing, a desire.  "I can't tell you what that means to me."

"Are you sure you don't want to at least try?"  Chakotay asked quietly.

"Co - Chakotay, this will fade from memory, and once more, the crew will
see me as Tom Paris, the whore, the traitor, the Star fleet brat.  It isn't
going to change, Big Man."

"I'm not giving up on you Tom.  I'll wait, but I want you to know.  You are
a man worthy of the term Warrior, friend, beloved."  Chakotay gently
touched Tom's arm.  "I care about you."

"Thanks, Commander,"  Tom replied husky, but pulled back and Chakotay sadly
let him go.  Years of abuse had made Tom unable to accept anything more
than a casual friendship.  It hurt deep inside.

They entered Sandrine's together and came to a dead stop.

"What timing!  The two men of the hour!"  B'Elanna cried loudly.  "Chakotay
and Tom Paris, the men who saved our lives."  A cheer went up.  Drinks were
pressed into their hands.  It looked like most everyone from Voyager was
there and it also looked like they were drinking something other than

Janeway came forward, and called for quiet.  The noise level dropped.

"Chakotay and Tom.  You two saved Voyager.  Be it from questionable command
decisions to give this hot shot a free hand at the con,"  Laughter sounded
throughout the room.  "To a pilot who made this ship do things she wasn't
meant to do.  However, you did it, we all owe you our lives."  Another
cheer went up.  "And so I want you both to know, I have entered
commendations in both of your service records.  However, Lieutenant Paris,"
 she stressed those words and Chakotay watched a veil drop over Tom's face,
he was expecting the worst.  "I want you to know after all the actions you
have taken in the last several weeks, you are no longer an acting
Lieutenant Commander."

Not another blow, not another strike, Chakotay thought.  The Captain's tone
was not cheerful.  What had Tom done this time to have Janeway reprimand
him publicly.

"Captain, I told you the fight was my --"

"I know why you got in the fight, seems someone needed to clear their
conscience,"  Janeway said quietly.  Tom and Chakotay both followed her
pointed stare to see Greg Ayala.  He cringed and then saluted Tom.  Janeway
continued in a louder tone of voice.  "Tom, you have given of yourself for
this ship.  You have demonstrated friendship, loyalty, or bravery.  That's
what Star fleet looks for in their officers.  Therefore, Ladies and
Gentlemen, may I present, Lieutenant Commander Thomas Eugene Paris!"

Tom stood there dumbfounded.  Chakotay who stood next to him, saw the tears
flooding the young pilot's eyes, while the Commander fought with his own.
She had given him the full rank of Lieutenant Commander.  Chakotay started
to applaud and it was taken up through out the holodeck.

"Speech!"  Someone called.

"I'm no good at talking,"  Tom said bashfully.  "I've only done what I
could to help, the same as anyone else on board."

"Chakotay, Speech!"  The crowd once more yelled.  Chakotay looked around
until the room grew silent again.  He looked at the Captain and saw
understanding, he looked at B'Elanna and she winked.  He looked at Greg and
the friends spoke to each other with a glance.  Then he looked at Tom, who
was trying to melt into the crowd.  The Commander caught his arm and pulled
him back to his side.  Tom looked surprised, even afraid.

"I want you to know, I don't think I deserve this.  I am being asked to
stand with a man that has been branded a traitor.  A traitor not only to
Star Fleet but also the Maquis.  I'm being asked to stand with a man that
we all thought had betrayed us.  I want everyone in this room to know, I
don't deserve this treatment!"  He saw Tom cringe, the look of shock and
then anger on the Captain's face, B'Elanna looked like she was about to
kill him, but Chakotay continued.  "I don't deserve it because none of that
is true.  Tom never betrayed the Federation or the Maquis.  The Captain
herself said Tom took them through the DMZ in safe areas, but at the same
time, not divulging any information on the Maquis.  Tom cut all ties with
everyone on this ship and played the traitor to save us and this ship.  And
above and beyond that, Tom, through his piloting skills and all of his
other skills, has kept us all alive many times and just a little happier
during our voyage.  Therefore, I do not belong the honor of standing beside
this man.  Lieutenant Commander Thomas Eugene Paris, I salute you."

Chakotay raised his glass and everyone in the holodeck but one or two
joined him.

"Here, Here!"

"To Voyager and her crew!"  Tom said.  A cheer went up again.

The party turned from the two men.  Janeway leaned over to Chakotay and
said, "Glad you pulled that off, I thought I was going to have to deck you
for a minute."

Chakotay snorted into his glass, and Janeway smiled happily at him.

Tom was once more trying to melt into a crowd, but this time, Chakotay
touched his arm.  Tom turned back once more.  Chakotay stepped up next to
him, he leaned in and whispered,

"I won't let them forget, Tom.  Come on, Flyboy, take the chance."

Tom nervously glanced down at his drink and then back at the Commander.
Then the pilot of the Voyager nodded.  Chakotay's smile deepened until his
dimples showed prominently.

"Let's blow this joint,"  Tom said wanting to be away from the crowd.
Chakotay nodded and the two men left.

A few moments later, Tom and Chakotay were standing in Chakotay's quarters.
 Tom stood still as Chak reached out and touched his cheek.  He started
laughing nervously.

"What's so funny, Paris?"  Chakotay asked as he moved until their frames
were barely brushing against each other.

"I'm nervous,"  Tom said quietly.

"Me, too.  So let's just take it slow."  Chakotay lifted Tom's face and
gently pressed his lips to his, and for a moment that worked.  They were
both in civvies, and as the two came together, their hard erections pressed
against the other.  Then a small explosion erupted between them.  Chakotay
sank his hand into the back of Tom's hair and kissed him forcefully, his
cock hardening even more as Tom not only answered but greeted him. Chak
pushed his hardness against Tom, rubbing them across each other and pushing
up against Tom.  His hand tightened in Tom's hair.

"Oh, Chak,"  Tom moaned as the Commander attacked the column of throat as
Tom's head fell back.  Chakotay's arm went around the small of Tom's back,
pulling him even closer.  Chak wasn't even aware of Tom's hands on his
back.  All he was aware of was the shivers, and movements as he attacked
Tom Paris.

Chakotay felt a heat and a need rip through him like he hadn't felt in
years.  He wanted, no he needed Tom Paris.  He couldn't get enough of him.
He pulled the pliant man tighter into his arms, taking everything the
Lieutenant was offering.  He hadn't been this strong with a lover since
before the Delta Quadrant.  He took what Tom offered, this wasn't a sharing
in the normal sense of the word.  He was taking and Tom was giving and both
men were happy with it.

A moment later, he pulled away from Tom.

"What's wrong?"  The blond panted.

"Nothing, I just don't want to do this on the floor in the middle of my
quarters.  Bedroom."  He ordered his own breath coming in short gasps.

They made their way to the bedroom, where Chakotay started to unbutton
Tom's shirt.  Tom, finally swatted the big fingers out of his way and
unbuttoned it.  Then he caught Chakotay's eyes and slowly began to remove
the piece of clothing.  Chak took in each square millimeter of flesh
exposed.  He may have even groaned when Tom slid his hand over his chest,
stopping to caress his own nipples until it stood hard.

"Like what you see, Big Man?"  Tom whispered.

Chakotay realized his hands were in fists, his cock aching, confined, his
eyes feasting hungrily as the shirt dropped to the floor.  But Tom wasn't
finished with him yet.  His hands, those long fingers slid over his belly
to the waistband of his pants and slowly slid just inside, as the other
reached down and caressed the hard length confined within them.

"Are you trying to drive me insane?"  Chakotay asked breathlessly.

"Oh yeah,"  Tom responded.

Chakotay took a step forward intent on getting his hands on the pilot, but
Tom moved back a matching step.

"Gotta wait for it, Chak,"  Tom said as his hands went to the opening of
his pants.  He slowly opened them, and once more his hand slid inside a
stroked his hard cock.

"I want you.  I don't care if it's just for tonight, I want your hands on
me,"  Tom whispered.  He closed his eyes as he ran his hand up and down,
the other still roaming over his chest and belly.  Chakotay could see he
was enjoying this.  Tom was enjoying showing himself off for him.  The
Commander's breathing was harsh in his own ears.  Tom's eyes opened and
they were dark, inviting.

"I want to feel you cover me, I want to feel you push yourself deep inside
me and I want your hands on my cock making me scream as I cum.  Do you like
that idea?"

Chak nodded as he watched Tom's hand slide to the waistband of his pants,
sliding all of his clothing off.  He bent over giving Chakotay a sideways
view of his ass, tight and muscled, as he removed the rest of his cloths.
Tom moved to Chakotay and whispered,

"Keep your hands to yourself, Big Man."  Then he kissed Chakotay, opening
his mouth to him and slowly exploring Chak's mouth.  It took every ounce of
self-control the Commander had not to grab the man, throw him to the bed
and rape him, but he didn't.  He stood there, still fully dressed as a
naked Tom Paris offered himself to him.

He groaned as Tom's hands slid down his sides and to the opening of his own
pants, nimble fingers easing the confining material.  The sound he made as
Tom gracefully slid to his knees in front of him was animalistic.

"Tom,"  Chakotay said, trying to tell him he didn't have to do this.

"Sh, I want to,"  Tom answered the unspoken question, as he freed and
lightly stroked Chakotay's cock.

Chakotay lost his ability to protest or even think clearly as Tom took his
cock in his mouth.  He held himself still, he didn't grab his head and
begin to stroke into the warm haven, he let Tom run the show.  And the
reward was the most erotic blow job he had ever had in his life.  Although
exciting, the motions never brought him close to coming, they only
increased his desire.

When Tom stopped and looked up at him, Chakotay's hands purposefully went
to the buttons on his shirt.  Tom smiled and began to remove Chak's pants.
Trying to concentrate on how to unbutton small buttons and how to toe his
boots off were almost too much in the way of higher brain functions for his
lust filled mind.

Tom finished first and stood up.  He gently pushed Chak's shirt off his
shoulders, his lips grazing the shoulder ridge and his tongue tracing
Chakotay's collarbones, his hands sliding down and tracing the muscles of
Chak's arms.  Chakotay lifted Tom's head and claimed the pilot's lips.
This time, their naked cocks came together.

Without a word, Chakotay pulled back and motioned to the bed.  Tom climbed
onto it, and Chakotay joined him.  He pushed Tom down, on his stomach,
arranging the man the way he wanted him.  Spreading some oil he retrieved
from the bed stand onto his hands, he began to stroke and rub the pilot's
back.  He felt himself harden as Tom hissed and jumped at his touch, but
what he found even more pleasing was Tom wasn't scared.  His back was

Slowly Chakotay worked his way down Tom's back.  He had started at his neck
and was now down to Tom's butt.  He put more oil on his hands and slowly
began to rub, digging his fingers into the firm flesh of Tom's backside.
Then he allowed a finger to run between the pilot's cheeks.  Tom tried to
spread his legs for Chak, but the older man, straddled Tom's legs, holding
them in place.

"Gotta wait for it, flyboy,"  he whispered in Tom's ears.

Slowly, oh so slowly, he began to push at the opening to Tom's body, until
Tom began to squirm in anticipation.  Just before Tom said something,
Chakotay exerted enough pressure to slowly sink his entire finger into Tom.
 He heard the deep groan and hiss.  Tom tried to lift his ass to allow and
urge Chakotay to finish with him.  Chakotay lowered his body weight onto
the pilot's legs.  He would be as still as Chak had been.

Slowly and sensually he opened the pilot, stilling his thrusts, not
allowing Tom to become a participant.  This would be done to Tom.  Chakotay
slid his fingers over that sensitive spot inside Tom until he saw him
grabbing at the sheets, his back tense as he tried to twist and get more

"Chak, please."

"Ready for me, Tom?"

"Yes," came the desperate plea.

Chakotay lifted his weight off Tom's legs and the pilot rose to his hands
and knees.  He leaned over the pilot, covering him, like Tom had said.
Chakotay positioned himself and slowly began to push.  He heard Tom whimper
as he adjusted himself, spreading himself widely.  As Chakotay entered Tom,
he purposefully slid into him in one long slow stroke.

"Oh gods, Chak," Tom groaned, his head dropping.

Chakotay bit at his shoulders, trying to control himself.  "Is that what
you want?  Me, buried up to my balls in you?"

"Yeah,"  Tom said.  "Come on, Chak do me."  Tom whispered experimentally
gripping with his ass muscles.

Chakotay slid out slowly and then pushed back up into the pilot.  Tom was
not a quiet lover.  He hissed and groaned and moved.  He tried to move a
hand, but with Chakotay over him, he caught the movement and stopped him.

"My show now, flyboy,"

Slowly he drove Tom to incoherent noises.  His own cock screamed for
release, but Chakotay held back until Tom was covered in sweat, his back
bowed, desperate for release.  Then he straightened up and took Tom's cock
in his hand and began to stroke it.  The pilot twisted beneath him, driving
between the two stimulations.  Chak was unable to stop himself as he felt
his own orgasm building.  He was driving into Tom, and Tom was meeting each

"Close,"  Tom grit out.  "More, please more!"

"Come for me, Tom, come for me,"  Chakotay ordered.  And with a hoarse cry,
Tom fountained in his hand, his tightening sending Chakotay over the edge.
The both came hard and long, collapsing to the bed.


A moment later, Chakotay opened his eyes to a very mussed Tom Paris.  His
lips were swollen, his neck bruised, his eyes dilated.  Chakotay gently
kissed him.

"So much for romance, and taking it slow," Tom pointed out.

They both laughed breathily.

"At least, I don't have to worry about the Captain as a chaperone,"  Tom
smiled.  "That was great, Chak."

Chakotay puffed up a little, but then said, "I wanted it to be."

He got out of the bed and retrieved a towel to clean them up.

Tom was sitting with his back to him when he came back into the bedroom.
Chakotay paused.

"What's wrong, Tom?"  The shoulders shrugged.  Chakotay sat behind him and
touched his shoulders.  "Tom, this isn't a one night stand.  I'll be here
tomorrow and the day after."

"Why?"  came the rough question.

"I told you, I believe in you."

"But why?  No one else does, well except the Captain.  You've seen me at my
worst, and after that little show I just put on.  Hell, I need a sign that
says - Tom Paris, Bottom Boy extraordinaire."

And suddenly it all became clear to Chakotay.  His Spirit Guide had shown
him a pair of eagles and wolves being there for each other, bonded for
life.  They helped each other in the hard times, were dedicated to each
other.  Then the doe and the cat.  They were afraid, having to make it on
their own, no one to rely on, unprotected.

He had a choice, he and Tom could continue, alone, afraid with no one to
depend on or they could bond for life and be there for each other.
Chakotay reached out and touched his medicine bundle and something his
father said played through his mind.

"Chakotay, a best friend is someone who loves you when you forget to love

He nodded at the wisdom of the words and drew the pilot into his arms.

"Not only do I want to be your lover Tom, I want to be your best friend,
and I want you to be mine,"  Chakotay soothed.  "And as to your other
comment, which is stronger, the nut or the bolt."


"A nut or a bolt, which one is stronger?"

"Neither, they work together."  Tom said.  "Nice analogy, but you ought to
try being the nut - all the time."

Chakotay sighed.  How to get Tom to understand.

"Want to know why the Captain and I never got together?"

"No bottom boy?"  Tom asked with a sarcastic laugh.

"More or less.  Two sexually dominant people have a hard time in the
bedroom together.  But you're dominant in your own areas.  You don't take
any crap when you're flying.  You are the best holographic programmer on
board, the best pool player.  So does that mean I'm weak?  That I should
hate myself?"

"Chak, you are anything but weak."

"Look Tom, you've taken a lot of abuse.  Abuse you don't deserve and I can
understand you're gun shy about being used.  However, I won't do it and I
don't think your weak because you like to take the bottom.  In fact, that
would make me weak for only wanting to top.  Neither instance is a
weakness, it's just the way we are.  Would you say B'Elanna is weak?"

"Not if I wanted to live,"  Tom jested.

"Did you know B'El has a romantic streak a mile wide?"


"Give her something for no reason and watch her eyes.  You'll see it."


Chakotay nodded.  "Tom, you aren't a traitor, you aren't weak, you aren't a
brat, most of the time."  He caught a pillow upside the head for that
comment.  "To be honest, because you're willing to take the crap people
dish out, you make yourself a target.  So I suggest that we curl up, get a
good night's rest and tomorrow we go and face this quadrant together.  You
watch my back and I'll watch yours.  Together."

Tom looked up into Chakotay's eyes, and kissed his lips very gently.  "I'd
like that, Chak."

The End