Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 1 / 12
Rating: NC-17, warning
Codes: P/K; C
Summary: It's the twelve days after Christmas on Voyager, counted in an arbitrary fashion by me from Christmas Day forward. But don't be fooled by the title. This story traces the ups and downs and sideways turns of Tom and Harry's relationship as Tom recovers from the alien bacteria that caused him to spend most of Christmas Eve in sickbay. Please heed the warning below.
Series: This is the fourth in a Holiday Series, Harry's Halloween Dance Date was first, Harry's Stuffed Tom was second, Harry's Holiday Angel was third. I believe there's enough background for this story to stand alone, but reading the earlier stories would help. Both Harry's Halloween Dance Date and Harry's Thanksgiving Tom, R rated versions, are available on my web site (yes, the second story in the series has two different titles depending upon the version, R or NC-17; I haven't figured out an R version for the third story in the series).
Disclaimer: The Ensign and the Lieutenant (sigh), and everything, belong to Paramount. The story is mine. Thanks go to Britta for her advice when I was stuck, to Amirin for her questions, and to Briony for her encouragement. Since most of this was written before the episode "Thirty Days", Tom is still a lieutenant. Copyright 1998.
Warning: Explicit male-male sex, some BDSM, some kinky stuff, language. Lots of angst. If male-male relationships and sex and discipline bother you, if the thought of Harry spanking Tom bothers you, please read elsewhere. If Tom or Harry or both making relationship mistakes bothers you, then this may not be for you. If you can get past all that, there's a story here. If you are under 18, don't even think about reading it.
Archive/List: ASCEM, BLTS, R'Rain's, Allslash. Others please ask.
Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Remembering Day 1: December 25
I have to say, it felt good to be alive. All that upset over the medical procedures that I had to go through so that I wouldn't die, I found out I could take it. That didn't mean I had to like it, but I learned some stuff about myself. Shit, I hate learning about myself, usually it's such bad news. But I found out this: I'd do almost anything for Harry. Gods, I love that man. You know what he said to me? We were there in my bed, post great lovemaking. He'd taken off of me that silk robe I'd worn special just to make him think I was an angel. And it'd worked. The look on his face. It was great. He'd pulled me into his arms, one hand moving down my back to my ass that still flamed from the hairbrush he'd so lovingly applied to my rear. And he'd whispered to me, "Tommy, my red assed angel."
I had just about melted into his arms. I'd snuffled my face against his shoulder and he'd patted me on the back of my head, kissing me with passion. If I could stay this way forever, in his arms, his cock so recently inside me, my ass on fire, I'd think I'd really died and gone to heaven. Tears even came to my eyes.
I have to say it shook me up a lot to realize that I wouldn't die unloved. Never thought it'd happen. But there it was. Harry loved me. I wondered how I could pay him back for all he'd done for me. Harry wiped my face and kissed me on the nose and told me to go to sleep. Snuggled next to him, I let myself drift off on this, my first happy Christmas in decades.
Day 2 December 26
In the morning, I woke up to Harry's hand heavy on my butt, with the sensation that his head was nearing my own. Sleepily, I opened my eyes. He was Starfleet dressed and ready to go to work. As he bent down, more of his weight rested on my ass and I thought of how much more I wanted from him on that same ass. "Hmm, Harry?"
"I'm on my way to work, you have just a slight fever. So go back to sleep. I'll check on you later."
I saw a dermal regenerator in his free hand.
"No," I told him. I wanted to feel again the emotional high I'd felt last night. His hand on my ass reminded me of those feelings.
I rummaged around and found the hairbrush and held it out to him.
"Tom," his tone said 'what the hell am I going to do with you?' but instead of those words he invoked the security chief's name. "You heard what Tuvok said. And you're not recovered from that alien infection."
"I feel fine," I grumped. Although he was saying no, I thought I heard a possibility there. I gave him my best wheedling voice, "Just a few?"
"Tom. . . "
"Look, I'm not going out of this cabin today. Hell, I won't even be back to work tomorrow. It'll be okay, Harry." I think he was weakening. Time for another wheedle. "I want to be able to remember last night all day . . . just a reminder?"
He still looked against the idea, so I added, "For your angel?"
His dark eyes were very expressive. At first they said no, then maybe, then there was a light in his eyes. Yes. He put down the regenerator and took the hairbrush offering from my hand. With a smile, he said, "I'm beginning to think you've gotten addicted to this."
I grinned up at him, pleased that he'd given in. Then I closed my eyes as his warm hand left my butt. The back of the hairbrush replaced the hand, first as a soft caress, then it left momentarily and returned with a crack. I cried out at the fire that shot through me. The next blow landed on top of a place that still burned some from last night and I jumped. Harry's fingers massaged my shoulder. I cried out again as the brush came down once more, setting my ass totally on fire. The pleasure that hid inside the pain emerged so quickly this time, my morning erection throbbed, overjoyed at this turn of events. I put my hand under my hips and let my fingers snuggle around my cock. Three more cracks of the brush and I was so turned on I was close to coming.
Harry bent down and flipped me over onto my back, flaming ass or no. He batted away my hand and through half closed eyes I saw him kneel down on the bed. I felt his mouth, hot and wet, close around my throbbing cock. His suction almost pulled me off the bed and when he released the pressure I surged up into that hungry mouth of his. He sucked hard and with a full throated scream, I spurted into him. When I opened my eyes I could see my cum dribbling from his mouth as his tongue worked around licking his face, bringing the cum inside. Then he licked me until I was polished smooth.
When he kissed me, I smiled at him, as if we shared a secret. Maybe we did. He pulled a blanket over me and grinned, "You are one sick puppy, Paris. Think you can go back to sleep now?"
"What about you? You just going to spank and run?" I figured I had gotten all the pleasure this morning.
"There's always lunch, baby," he chuckled.
Now there was a thought to sleep on.
Damn, if I didn't need the rest. And it wasn't just from the early morning activity. After all, I'd done nothing but lay there as he gave me all that pleasure. No, I was just really tired. Maybe it was from the low grade fever Harry mentioned. Later that morning, I found out that just taking a shower wore me down and I spent a few hours napping on the couch to recover. That's where he found me at lunch.
I heard him enter and I could tell he was trying to be quiet, but I said, "Hey, I'm awake."
After I struggled to sit up, I realized I had nothing on under the blanket that was half on, half off of me. The damp towel was still on the floor where I'd dropped it. I ran a hand over my face, trying to wipe out the sleep and smooth down my hair. Harry looked at me as if I were his lunch entree. He told me, "You look so . . . inviting like that, Tom."
After I realized that only my upper back and knees were covered by the blanket, I blushed, but, truth? I loved the glint in his eyes.
"Hmm," I said, then gave him a big grin. "You had me for breakfast. Is it time for lunch?"
"Wise ass." Harry placed his palm against my forehead and must have thought I was okay. He bent down and kissed me on the lips and didn't even pull away from what I assumed, on my part, had to be a vile case of morning breath. "Feeling better?"
"Uh, yeah, but let me . . . " I just kind of bolted up and headed for the bathroom. Closing the door behind me, I hurriedly washed up and brushed my teeth. The face in the mirror looked a sickly pale. I'd shaved earlier in the shower, but my hair was all askew from sleeping on it wet. In the midst of this self-reflection, Harry opened the door and came in. For a moment he just stood in the doorway, watching me. "Harry?"
He shook his head. "You don't need to close the door, Tom."
A little startled, I wondered where that had come from. "Well, I was about to pee here."
"You want to watch?"
He smiled a little enigmatically. I shrugged and held my dick to follow through on my stated intention. Then he did something strange. Harry moved quietly behind me and reached his arms around my waist. He placed his hands on top of mine and together we held my penis in place. It felt strange and sort of exciting at the same time. His clothed body pressed against my naked back from my shoulder blades to my feet. He whispered, "Let me hold it."
I wasn't sure I was going to be able to keep peeing when he said that but I felt my hands being pushed away and I let them drop to my side. Somehow I kept the stream going and when I was finished he shook my dick just as I would have and then he held me tight from behind in his embrace.
I shivered a little at the cool air in the bathroom and at the unexpected jolt of excitement I felt in my groin. Harry's hands roamed up and down my chest as he continued to press against me from behind. I wondered where we were going from here. He turned me a little toward the sink and stepped back, those warm hands and that warm body now apart from my colder one. Reaching around me he turned on the water and washed his hands. I looked at him, then washed up, too. He flushed the toilet and flipped the seat down. After I finished, he placed a hand on my shoulder and exerted a little forward pressure. "Lean over. Put your hands on the seat. I want to see if you're all right."
I wondered if I should say something. This was getting curious. As if he knew what I was thinking, he added, "Hey, it's okay. But I hit you pretty hard last night and then, you may remember, you asked for more this morning. And last night I had you stretched out kinda far."
"Okay." Whatever. Guess I couldn't call his behavior strange when I'd practically begged him to spank me just a few hours earlier.
So I did as he'd asked. My palms flat against the seat meant my ass was sticking up like a woodchuck out of a burrow. A very pink woodchuck. I felt Harry's cooler, moist hands run across my butt, pressing a little here and there and I know I winced a bit when he hit some bruising. Then he parted my cheeks and I felt him staring at my asshole. A wet finger poked a little around there and moved inside. With one hand remaining on my butt, he used his other hand to get something out of the bathroom cabinet. "Stay put, sweetheart. I want to put some gel on. You look a little red and sore."
I lifted up my head, craned my neck around, and told him, "I don't mind, Harry. It's okay." I smiled up at him, suddenly feeling shy, "I like feeling this way."
His head came down toward me and his lips kissed mine. "I'm the one in charge of taking care of you. Right?"
"Hey, my ass is yours," I joked to lighten the moment.
"You got that right," he said right back at me. His tone was light, but I could hear something else that made me shiver. Before I could figure it out, he told me, "Spread your legs out."
He smoothed a gel he'd been warming in his hands on my ass and inside my opening. I groaned at how good it felt. If he wasn't careful, I was going to develop a serious hard on. In fact, this bending over like I was doing did interesting things to my head. Somehow, I felt as if I was submitting more than my ass for his inspection, it was as if I was submitting my whole self, my allegiance, my future. I liked it. I liked it a lot. "Mm-m. Harry?"
I was wiggling around his fingers inside my ass. His other hand gripped the back of my head. "Be still, Tom."
I just groaned more as my cock announced that it wanted a life of its own. Sheesh, this was incredible. I tried to be very still and concentrated on what his fingers were doing inside me. He kept stroking me in this firm kind of rhythm and he kept my head down with his hand. If there was any soreness there, I didn't notice it. "Here. Move your legs apart some more. There you go, baby."
After I did as he told me, I stayed as still as I could. My hands bore the brunt of my weight, my legs were separated to give him maximum access and my cock felt so hard I wondered if it would last much longer. He removed his fingers and I moaned with loss and wondered what would happen next. The hand on my head left, then returned to another part of my body, palm flat against my abdomen ignoring my waving manhood. The fingers returned and worked more of the gel inside me. Then the fingers left again and I heard the sound of moving fabric. I felt the head of Harry's cock against my opening. He pushed gently, entering me a little at a time.
It felt as if the blood that had rushed to my bent head had pooled there and caused me to overheat. Oh, Gods, another kind of burning occurred in my ass but lasted only a moment. Then I felt the fullness that was Harry inside of me. I braced my hands more strongly against the seat, holding my head up as much as I could. He moved inside me, filling me, heating me, his groin against parts of my ass that still felt an after-tingle from the hairbrush. Now he added the heat and pressure of his body against mine. I don't know what he did with his uniform and I didn't really think about it. It was just his skin against my skin.
"Oh, you're so smooth, Tom. So beautiful." I must have moved without meaning to. His palm pressed hard against my abdomen. "Don't move, Tommy. Let me do all the work here."
I stilled the almost reflex motion that had me moving back up against him, trying to move more of him inside me, trying to control the speed, depth, and strength of his penetration. But this was his show. So I made myself as motionless as possible, hands determinedly trying to meld with the toilet seat. I marveled at the way I was turned over his arm with its hand so firm against my abdomen. His other hand slid further along my chest, one slick finger stroking a nipple to almost painful hardness. Behind me, there was his cock impaling my ass like a baton that directed any motions he allowed my ass to make.
Bent over, as still as I could make myself, Harry moved inside me ever so gently. I thought my whole body would become a flame lit by his wick. His movements were so slow as he filled me with that full, heated flesh. Soon I was gasping, trying to remember to breathe. Dimly, I heard ragged breathing, his soft words, "Oh, gods, Tommy, I love being buried inside you. This is so good, angel, so hot."
He pulled my chest up, forcing my ass down onto his cock. He thrust up inside me, pulled me down harder on him and began a rhythm I longed to join. But when I tried, he stopped moving altogether, just held me in place for agonizing moments as his heat seared me inside and his body heat warmed my back. Eventually, he lowered me onto his cock as far as he could fill me. He turned us around so his back was to the john, then began to drop down onto the seat pulling me along with him. I bounced down on to his lap, his cock surging up so deeply inside me that I gasped out loud. His hands went to my hips and lifted me up and then down so I once again landed hard on his lap. Oh, gods, I thought I'd die from the heat inside me. I couldn't catch my breath and my heart felt as if it was beating as erratically as Harry's thrusts up my ass.
Neither he nor I had touched my own cock even though it bobbed hot and red in front of me. It needed to be touched so badly that I found my hand moving towards it until Harry gave my hand a stinging slap. Then he placed his hands to sandwich my chest front and back between them and pushed me forward towards my knees. At this angle, the penetration inside me was so total I could feel every surface of his cock. With each breath that Harry exhaled, I could feel him brush against my prostate from the swelling of his cock. Each brush was an incredible jolt inside me. I began to moan nonstop. Harry's upthrusts came faster and harder until I felt him still, then begin to pulse and shoot his hot cum into me as I cried out and he shouted, "Oh, angel, angel!"
Then he put both slick hands on my cock and stroked upward once, then twice, and I spurted all over my chest. I slumped back against him, worn out and warmly convinced that I was as loved as any man could be. Even as his cock softened, he remained inside. Harry continued to hold me in place on his lap. I leaned my head back enough to find and kiss his lips.
He kissed me back, his lips soft and moist. Then he began to push me to my feet. I had to grab onto the sink to keep myself from falling. My legs quivered as if the ship was shaking apart around me. I closed my eyes in both exhaustion and happiness. As I stood there on shaky legs, Harry wet a cloth and, after cleaning himself off, came around my side to clean my chest. It felt so different without the chest hair that would normally slow down the progress of the wash cloth. Eyes still closed, I felt his breath on my ear.
"Bend down a little, Tommy."
I managed to do it without totally collapsing into the sink. He wiped my ass with the cloth and paused a moment, then I felt him spread my cheeks and the cloth was drawn up from my balls to the small of my back. I shivered a little and felt him turn me around so we were chest to chest. I just rested my head on his shoulder and let him prod me into moving. I sighed, opened my eyes, and realized we were still in the bathroom. It smelled of sex and so did I, but a shower was beyond my endurance just now.
His voice husky, Harry murmured, "Let's get you into bed."
There was no argument from me. Somehow I knew I would be alone in the bed. After all, Harry had to go back to work. That was okay 'cause I wouldn't have been very good company. In the aftermath of the alien infection, my body temperature remained warmer than normal and I required a great deal of sleep. I thought vaguely that I should check my temperature, see if I was still running that slight fever, but I was desperately tired. I remember wanting to smile but I'm not sure if I did. I was just so sleepy. I vowed to do something nice for him when he came back after his shift. The last thing I remember was his pulling up a blanket over me, a palm against my face, and a light kiss on my cheek.
I felt as if I was being pulled out of a deep sleep by someone calling my name. It was strange 'cause the voice didn't sound like Harry. I couldn't coax myself up from the bed, the mattress warm against my stomach and chest and the pillow soft under the side of my head.
My eyes stayed closed, the darkness still protected me in its deep pit, but the voice tugged me awake until I reluctantly had to open my eyes. He must have called my name three times before I reached the point that I could move my eyelids. When I opened my eyes, turned my head to the side, the first thing I saw was a tricorder in a large hand. I let my eyes travel up and was stunned to find Chakotay standing by my bed. A shot of adrenalin kicked my heart into something like shock. My first thought was that something had happened to Harry and that got me fully awake. I rolled over onto my back, sat up, realized I had nothing on, and pulled the blanket up to cover me. "Harry? Is Harry . . . "
"He's fine. He was worried about you when you didn't answer the comm. He's stuck diagnosing a malfunctioning communications board. The captain sent me to check in on you. Harry wanted to be the one to be here, but the captain knew he could diagnose a board a lot better than I could."
I tried to process all this. Harry was okay. Harry was busy. I didn't answer my comm? "You commed me?"
"I didn't hear it."
Chakotay grinned, "No, I'd say even a red alert wouldn't have awakened you. I tried the door chime, even pounded on the door. I only came in when you didn't answer. I'm sorry to wake you up."
I tried to shake off the confusion that still fogged my brain. "Why . . . why are *you* here?"
"As I said, Harry was worried when you didn't answer the comm." His voice sounded like a man repeating himself, which I guess he was. "When Harry checked, your channel wasn't affected by the malfunction. So, then the Captain asked me to look in on you. I'll let Harry know you're all right, if a little confused. The tricorder says you're fine," I detected a leer, "but suffering from a slightly elevated temp and a little . . ." He paused, and I wondered just what he'd seen on the tricorder. ". . . food deprivation. Have you eaten yet today?"
I tried to remember. "What's today?"
"The day after Christmas. It's about 1600 hours."
I had to think about it. "I don't think so."
"How about if you put some clothes on? Like I said, I'll let Harry know you're okay. Maybe he'll be finished with that diagnostic. And I'll get you something from the replicator."
Dressed in sweats and a t-shirt, a few minutes later I stepped over to the table and found a glass of milk, a sandwich, and a bowl of sliced fruit. My back to him, I sat down rather gingerly, wincing at the reminders from my ass of Harry's love for me. Chakotay seemed to be picking up the living room including my towel from this morning and the blanket that had half fallen off the couch on to the floor. "You don't have to do that," I told him.
"It's okay. Go ahead and eat while I help out a little."
I couldn't help but frown. Chakotay was being awfully nice and that made me a little suspicious. But he just cheerfully went about making my quarters presentable. When he came out of the bathroom, I thought I saw his nose wrinkle a little. It probably still smelled of sex in there. Oh, well, Chakotay was a big boy. If he didn't know what Harry and I were about before, I guess he did now. Nonetheless, I wasn't prepared to deal with his quiet words when he finally sat down at the table opposite me. He watched me finish my milk, then, in that level voice of his, he said, "You kids don't know when to stop, do you?"
I choked on the small amount of milk still in my mouth and coughed. "Um . . . what?"
End Part 1
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 2 /12
Codes: P/K; C
Please see Part 1 for summary, disclaimers, warnings etc. Please do not read this part without having read the warning first.
Chakotay's smile disappeared and he leaned across the table at me. His voice was stern and I felt a bit like a little kid again subject to my father's warnings. "Tom. I've heard the rumors about you and Harry. No, not that you're lovers, that's old news. The rumors are that Harry beats you to the point where you have difficulty walking and sitting."
Oh, shit, not again. I put my head in my hands, elbows on the table.
Chakotay's calm voice continued. "When I came in, I didn't intend to intrude on your privacy. As I told you, Harry was worried about you when he couldn't reach you. In your sleep, you must have kicked off the blanket. I saw your backside, Tom. I saw the redness and the bruises. I used the tricorder and confirmed it. You were beaten. Recently. Spirits, man, you're still recovering from that alien infection."
Now I really needed some divine intervention. A lightning bolt striking me dead would be nice. Lunch started backing up and I toppled the chair in my haste to reach the bathroom. Oh, gods, I retched up everything. I was half collapsed against the toilet bowl when Chakotay came in and asked, "Done?"
I nodded. There wasn't anything left inside. He got his arms under my armpits and helped me up, his hands moving to my sides to keep me steady.
And things that couldn't get much worse, did. Harry burst into my quarters and quickly located us in the bathroom, Chakotay still holding me. Like someone two feet taller than his real height, Harry barged in and pushed Chakotay away from me. "Tommy, what's wrong? What's going on in here?"
My mouth felt like crap and I grabbed a swallow of mouthwash to rinse it out with, when Chakotay began to answer. "Tom vomited. I was helping him up."
"Well, I'll take care of him now," Harry announced. His face was red and he looked angry.
When I looked at Chakotay, the commander appeared a little bemused.
My mouth rinsed, I said, "Hey. Harry, it's okay. He was trying to help."
Chakotay spread his hands in a gesture of peace. "Tom, Harry, we need to talk."
Harry turned to me, his expression and tone filled with suspicion. "Tom, why were you sick?"
"Yeah, thanks, Harry, I'm fine now," I told him with a little anger of my own. He hadn't even asked how I felt. I pulled away from both of them and left the room.
I said, "He can tell you."
The three of us took up seats around the living room. Although Harry tried to sit next to me, I kept myself apart from him and crossed my arms as I sat on the couch.
"Tom?" he asked as he took a chair. He was no longer visibly angry, but seemed worried.
Chakotay looked at each of us, then settled his gaze on Harry. "We've got a problem. I was telling Tom that I realized the rumors about you two are true, you are beating him."
"Who told you? Tuvok?" I challenged. "He said. . . "
"Tuvok has told me nothing."
"Then B'Elanna . . ."
He shook his head. "Not B'Elanna. Some of the crew, both Maquis and Federation." He looked at me sternly. "Now, I've confirmed it for myself." I blushed hotly, remembering that he'd seen me in my sleep and had used the tricorder. Chakotay's voice was as steely as his gaze. "This has to stop. Tom, you're fourth in line in the ship's command structure. If people are talking about you, the way it sounds as if they are, if the time came, you'd be without the respect you'd need to assume command."
I didn't want to acknowledge that the commander was right. Shit, shit, shit. SHIT!
Then Chakotay's attention on me intensified. Harry looked as if he wanted to disappear. There was something like sadness in Harry's eyes now that the commander's words had sunk in. For some reason, Chakotay also looked sad. "Tom. How about filling me in? It sounds as if Tuvok has already been here."
"Look, I don't know what to say. What we do is our own business. We'll be more careful from now on. Nothing that's happened has been without my consent." I tried another tactic. I was tired of all of this. "Talk to Tuvok. I don't want to go through it again and try to explain it to someone who doesn't understand."
Very quietly, so quietly I could hear my breath catch, Chakotay said, "Who says I don't understand?" He gave us each a meaningful look. "I think it's you two who don't understand. You're in way over your heads and you don't even know it."
Harry looked ready to pop Chakotay one. If Chakotay recognized the aggressive stance Harry had adopted, he paid it no attention. Chakotay's gaze was steady on me and I felt unnerved. It was as if he was able to look inside me and know my every dark need. Oh, fuck. I let my eyes slide away no longer able to take that penetrating scrutiny. His words 'Who says I don't understand?' echoed in my brain. What did he mean?
"You don't know anything about us!" Harry challenged.
"I know you don't know what you're doing," he told Harry harshly. "You left Tom without using a regenerator."
"I didn't want him to," I corrected as mildly as I could.
Chakotay just stared until Harry squirmed. "He just made my point, Ensign."
Chakotay shook his head and finally took his eyes away from Harry to rest them on me. "Tom, Harry. You're both very young, you're far from home, far from the influence of others who might guide and mentor you."
Harry interrupted him. "Respectfully, Commander, the ship's computer had a lot of material . . . "
The disbelief on Chakotay's face told me Harry had really stepped in it this time. "You *read* about this?" He sighed. "This behavior is placing you both in jeopardy. Perhaps I can help you to put a stop to it before it's too late."
Harry and I kind of blinked at each other. Chakotay was offering his help? My cynical side took over, "What? You offering to take Harry's place in paddling my ass? That'll sure stop the gossip about me and Harry. Huh, Commander?" I couldn't believe I'd just said something so stupid.
Chakotay laughed, clearly not taking offense although I'd been totally obnoxious. "That idea certainly holds some appeal. But no, that's not what I'm talking about."
Ever practical, Harry said, "Then what are you talking about?"
"There's something you're both going to have to do."
"What?" My brain was echoing with his 'that idea certainly holds some appeal' comment and I only half listened to his next words.
"Break up. Tom, you're going to have to do it very publically."
Even half listening, I heard what he said. "No way!" I protested. "You're crazy!!!"
"What do you mean, break up?" This from Harry.
"The rumors have to be put to rest. The crew who've been spreading them have to see Tom assert himself in such a way that they will be convinced that you never, ever, could have beaten him."
"But I don't want to!" I fairly shouted at the commander. How could Harry even think about it?
Chakotay turned on me, furious, "This isn't about what you want, Lieutenant! Your recklessness has put you in an untenable position. And *you* have to change it. Do you want the captain to know?"
Oh, gods, I thought I'd be sick again.
Harry seemed to be thinking it over. "Tom pretends to break up with me. Then we can get back together, but we have to show that Tom's in charge?"
"Yes. That's about it," Chakotay told us. "I'll leave now. I think you two have a lot to talk about. I'll check back with you tomorrow. And I will talk to Tuvok. Knowing him, he'll no doubt ask your permission before he says anything to me." He rose to his feet. "Tom. I hope you feel better soon."
He let himself out and I asked Harry what had brought him to my cabin. I didn't think he was off shift yet. "I got the problem figured out. B'Elanna's working on the solution. When Chakotay commed me that you'd been so deeply asleep he was worried about you, I told the captain I thought I was needed here for a day or so. The doctor backed me up. He said he didn't think you should be sleeping as deeply as you were and he wants to see you for a check up. He doesn't think you should still have a fever."
"Really?" Then I smiled. "I gather you didn't tell him what we did for lunch. But, this means we can be together?"
His answering smile faded. "Not for long, at least not according to Chakotay. Tom, he made a lot of sense."
I knew that. I just didn't like it. I thought about something Harry had said the other day. "Harry. I thought you told me you didn't get jealous. What was that all about?"
"When you came in and found me with Chakotay in the bathroom?"
"Harry. You were ready to kill him."
"What are you grinning about?"
"I thought it was kind of funny." I laughed. "Harry, gods, you should have seen your face."
"Forget it, Tommy. Just forget it."
I laughed anyway. But all of a sudden, I was unable to get past the idea that we were going to break up. Even it if wasn't for real, it just scared me totally shitless. I found myself choking back tears.
"What is it, baby?"
I took my upset out on him. "Don't call me that! I'm not going to do what Chakotay says. All . . .all we have to do is . . . is . . ."
"What? What can we do to stop the rumors? Send out a broadcast ship wide? 'Harry doesn't beat Tom?' Hell, at this point, all you'd have to have is a stiff muscle and it'll be all over the ship that I've beaten you again." Harry sounded bitter. "I would think the captain hearing about this would be the last thing you'd want."
"Just my luck she already knows," I muttered angrily.
"Then going through with pretending to break up will make her rethink it. We just have to handle this right."
I tried to curl up into a ball on the couch, not easy when you're as tall as I am. Harry reached out a hand towards me. "Leave me alone," I told him sullenly.
He stood up, looming over me. "It's when you act like this that I'd like to take a strap to your stubborn ass."
"Go ahead," I sneered. "One last time for old time's sake."
Hmm, apparently I'd managed to piss off my lover and best friend. Maybe breaking up wouldn't be so hard to do after all. Call this a practice session.
I watched Harry take a few deep breaths, calming himself. "Tom. Let's not fight for real. I don't like this any more than you do. But we have to do it. We'll only be apart for a few days. Then we can make up." He grinned. "That could be fun!"
I wasn't about to concede anything yet.
Harry sat down close to me and put his arm across my shoulders. "Come on, Tommy. It'll be all right. You know I love you."
Tears in my eyes, I confessed, "I love you, too. I just don't want to lose you."
"You worried I'll find someone else?"
Shit. "No. Of course not."
He saw right through me. "Tommy, Tommy. I love you. We've been apart for a few days before. Remember when you took that shuttle out and I had to stay here? You were gone for four days."
"But . . ." I didn't know what I wanted to say.
He leaned in and kissed me and I wanted to lose myself in that sweet kiss. I relaxed against him. I knew he loved me. Now. But what about if we were apart? Would he realize just who he was involved with? And regret it? He wouldn't find anyone else, would he? And neither would I. I shuddered a little at that last thought. Where had it come from?
Harry felt my shudder but didn't know what had caused it. He kissed my forehead. "It'll be all right, ba. . . angel."
I remembered my thoughts earlier in the day. I would do anything for this man. His love for me was such an exceptional gift. How could I not want to do whatever it would take to please him? Yeah, well, I wouldn't go out an airlock or anything stupid like that, but I did want to make him happy.
And then there was the captain. The thought that she could know about the spankings was enough of a threat to scare me half to death. She couldn't know. Harry was right. Hell. Chakotay was right. I had to pretend to break up with Harry in a very public way.
"Okay," I sighed. "Okay, I'll do it." A big hug from Harry helped. "But not today."
"We can do it whenever you're ready. I don't think you should do anything for a few days yet. You're still recovering from the infection and I want to take care of you. 'Kay?"
He was smiling at me. And I was exhausted. The past hour had been more excitement than I'd needed. I nodded.
As if sensing my fatigue, he noted, "You were sick earlier. Think you could eat something now?"
"Yeah," I answered tiredly. "I think I'll just take a little nap first."
He moved off the couch and I stretched out on it. Harry found the blanket that Chakotay had neatly folded earlier. Shaking it out, he placed it over me and ordered the lights dimmed. I felt his warm kiss on my forehead. As I drifted off, two statements went through my head. What the hell had Chakotay meant when he said 'What makes you think I don't understand?' And then he had added, 'that idea certainly holds some appeal'?
Hours later I woke up to a dimly lit cabin. I felt a little better and found myself hungry. With the exception of the food I'd thrown up, I hadn't eaten all day. When I moved off the couch, I found out Harry was already in bed asleep and realized my 'nap' must have gone on longer than I'd thought. As quietly as I could, I replicated some soup and toast and a glass of milk. There was a message I read from the doctor. Apparently, he'd made another house call and left me a hypospray to take when I woke up. His message said it should help with the low grade fever I continued to run. I had to admit I still felt warm, so I followed the instructions and took the hypospray.
His message also informed that he'd used the dermal regenerator on my buttocks, that Harry had agreed. My foul mood returned. Who the hell were they to decide that for me?
It didn't take long to eat. Thoughts of the awful days that lay ahead of me made the food tasteless in my mouth. Even pretending to break up with Harry was too damned scary. I didn't want to do it but realized that I had only brought it on my self. Why had I gotten into the spanking the way I had? How could I do something that put me in danger of throwing away everything I had worked for over the past four years? I just didn't know. Was Harry's half joking comment about addiction true? Although I felt pretty certain that some of his enjoyment in paddling me came from the act itself, I knew his real pleasure was in the way I got off on it. Damn me all to hell for ever finding out how much I liked it.
I recycled the dishes and decided I needed to do something to cheer myself up. It took me a few moments, and after discarding some ideas as basically boring, I came around to the idea of doing something to please Harry. It just seemed right.
I slipped off my clothes. In the closet, away from Chakotay's prying eyes, I found the white silk robe I'd worn last night as Harry's angel and pulled it on, belting the sash around my waist. After ordering on the soundproofing, I located the vid camera. Silently, I padded over to the bed. I wasn't sure how much he would like being awakened, but I was pretty sure he would like my offer to take pictures of me in my 'angel' outfit. Somehow we hadn't gotten around to that last night.
I knew how much he enjoyed taking pictures of me in these special outfits. I'd never really liked it, the idea of making some kind of digital record of these displays made me nervous. But Harry'd assured me that even I couldn't break the encryption level under which he'd stored them. And I couldn't. I'd tried. These pictures were just something he liked so much. I hoped my offering this to him would seem like a gift, a way to make up for my earlier surliness.
Kneeling beside him on the bed, I swished the robe over his face and shoulders watching his reaction go from slumber to bewilderment to delight. I planted kisses all over his forehead, nose, chin, mouth, ears, neck. At his throat, I began to suck at his skin, darkening it beneath my lips. With the lights at twenty percent I knew he could see me enough to know who I was. "Tommy?"
I kissed his lips, then got off the bed. "It's me, the big fraud, pretending to be an angel one more time. Here. Look. You could call me your fraudian angel."
He laughed at my attempt at humor. By the grin on his face, I guessed he was all right with having been awakened.
I stood next to the bed and twirled around, much as I had last night, knowing the flowing silk fabric would create shifting windows to my nude body. As I hoped, this brought a gasp from him and I could see his arousal creating a pyramid in his shorts. He reached for me but I danced back and handed him the vid. "Here."
At first I think he feared I'd replicated some new gadget for him to use on my ass, but he rapidly caught on that I'd given him the means to take my picture. He called for fifty percent lighting and grinned as he looked at the vid. I tried to strike up a provocative pose for him, my body sideways, the robe cutting a line down my thigh, my half-aroused cock lit by the overhead light. I turned my head sideways to grin at him. After he pulled out the two way viewer, I was able to see what he saw. Based on the image there, I did my best to improve my come hither look. He took the picture.
Then I faced forward, the robe open at my waist, falling away off my thrust-forward hips, my genitals in full view. I opened my mouth with the tip of my tongue part way out in a simulated pout. He snapped that picture.
I was becoming truly aroused by this posing and asked him to place me for the next picture. I stood, hip cocked, as he studied me, a half-smile on my lips. He took my picture.
"Hold yourself, Tommy." I wasn't totally sure what he meant, but experimentally placed a hand under my balls, lofting them for him. "That's it, angel. Oh, gods," he moaned. "You are so beautiful."
I felt more wanton than beautiful, but hey, it was his picture. He told me to place the other hand behind my back on my ass and I did. After that picture, he asked me to turn around. "Now, take your hand and sweep the robe away from your rear. Then look over your shoulder at me."
I was a little nervous about this, after all, my ass was apparently the object of ship's gossip. Now I was glad the doc had used the regenerator on me. No evidence. I felt my balls tighten and my cock pop up. Harry moved behind me and his hands smoothed down my ass checks, sliding across them and down further where his hands eventually encouraged my thighs to move apart additional inches.
I groaned. I wanted more but knew this would have to do. He released me and stepped back. With me looking at him over my shoulder with undisguised longing on my face, he took the picture.
"Now. Undo the robe, but keep it on. Lay down on the bed on your side facing away from me."
Once I was in position, he arranged the robe so that it flowed from my back over my waist to my front, exposing my ass. He told me to bend my knees which pushed my ass closer to his vid. Then he took the picture.
On my stomach next, my legs splayed widely apart. The silk partially covered one leg from my hip to my foot. My head was raised up enough by my arms to look back at him, my eyes huge as they begged him to fuck me.
The last picture had me on my back, the silk between my legs but off to the side and twisted around one leg. A pillow was under my buttocks, my knees were wide apart, pressed up to the sides of my chest by my arms. This particular pose exposed my balls, upright cock, and puckered anus to full view. I knew I was still hairless and felt even more exposed because of that. Harry asked me to hold it, then wet his finger and rimmed my anus until it opened a little. He pulled back and took the picture.
I licked my lips and saw him zoom in for a close up of those nether regions. Oh, gods, my cock just got harder. From the bulge in his shorts, it looked as if he was just as aroused as I was.
By then, both of us were breathing heavily. With one hand he brought the hem of the silk robe up to the side of my face and rubbed me with it. Every place it sueded against me, I felt as if something molten had touched me. He put the vid down and rummaged in the side table drawer while I remained displayed for him. My cock was as hard as the hull of the ship from just thinking about how I looked so openly arranged for him. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation of allowing myself to be so vulnerable.
He used the lube from the drawer to prepare me and I moaned loudly when his fingers slid inside me and they turned and pulled until he could move those slick digits easily in and out. I was lost in the sensations of the silk on my face and the fingers in my ass. He extended deeply inside of me, the fingers thrusting in and out. As my anus opened and closed around them, my hips squirmed in need. He placed a hand under my hip and told me to be still as he worked those fingers in patterns that kept me on edge.
Erect, almost against my chest, my cock signaled its need for attention by weeping copiously against my hot skin. But when I reached for it, Harry held my hand in a tight grip. "No."
I needed something, anything to help me deal with the incredible sensations up my ass. But I couldn't move and I couldn't touch myself and I thought I'd never to be able to withstand such agony.
"Open your eyes," he directed. "Keep them open. I want to see you, angel, I want to see inside you when I make you come."
He stepped out of his shorts. The sight of him, a soft golden god in front me, made my breath catch in my throat. Then he played with me a moment more before he lubed his cock. The slippery hands pushed against my upraised thighs, pressing my legs back down harder against my sides. His cock tickled my bare skin, poking its way around to my opening.
His dark eyes linked with mine and I knew just before he entered me that he was going to do it. His hands pressed down even more strongly on my parted thighs. Then he slid his cock inside me very slowly. I groaned as he did so and began to close my eyes. He told me to keep them open and in a daze I did as directed. This time we communed on two levels. On one level we were in synch with our bodies, his cock parading in and out of me as if he truly owned my ass. On another level, our eyes allowed each of us equally inside the other, penetrating with a force made only of energy and light waves.
My excitement built as I watched his enjoyment increase to an almost painful level of intensity. But my cock could only bob helplessly as it tried to get his attention. Then he placed his hand on it, and I almost couldn't hold back. His soft words, almost a moan that matched mine in intensity, told me to hold it, hold it, hold it.
I had to remain absolutely motionless for I feared that the friction of air would be enough to set me off. He slowly moved deeper inside me, then just as slowly pulled out to the head. I knew with certainty that his next plunge inside me, no matter how slow, would set me off. He must have seen it in my eyes, for he whispered, "Come now, angel."
His fingers fisted around my swollen cock and I spurted and spurted and spurted with a scream that must have been heard in the Alpha Quadrant. And then I saw the need in his eyes, the dark, hungry look that told me he was feeling every contraction of my rectal muscles, every pull on his engorged penis. With a yell, his hot cum rampaged inside me, the pulses of his cock so strong I could feel them vibrating through the walls of my rectum.
He collapsed on me and I let my legs unwind, the joints stiff from the unaccustomed position where I had them bent up against my sides. Almost simultaneously we heaved in great breaths as we tried to recover from the strong orgasms that had ripped through us both. Then he fell down on my sticky chest, and his cock emerged, a soft mound of much loved flesh.
I kissed his thick hair that was as silky as my robe and pressed my hands against his back, holding him closely to me. It didn't matter that our chests were sticking together from our combined sweat and my cum. Reality had begun to flood back and I knew there would not be many such opportunities for us again for awhile.
He stirred, murmuring endearments, and lifted his head enough to kiss me back. What I saw in his eyes made me understand that reality was making this moment bittersweet for him as well. I loved the way he told me, "Don't ever forget how much I love you, Tom."
Placing his hands on the bed on either side of me, he raised up his chest and we heard a sucking sound as his chest pulled apart from mine. When he knelt above me, I saw satisfaction, love, and sadness in his eyes. I could hardly bear to see the sorrow there, and I pushed up to hug him, never mind the stickiness of our bodies. "I love you, Harry. Don't ever leave me."
"I won't, sweetheart." Then he was gone to the bathroom to bring cloths to wash us off with. I was asleep before he returned, content for the moment that he still loved me.
End Part 2
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 3 / 12
Codes: P/K; C
For summary, disclaimers and warning, see part 1. Please do not read this part if you have not read the warning.
Day 3 December 27
No energy. Nothing. I mean here we were, both of us off duty, and most of the time that would mean, well, sex, love, sex, holodeck adventures, sex. All right, so, I like sex. But the prospect of going through with the breakup just depressed the hell out of me. I knew that it wouldn't be a real breakup but I was going to have to figure out some nasty things to say to Harry and we'd have to be apart for awhile. I wished I could blame Chakotay for this but I couldn't. Damn!
I didn't deal real well with all this guilt. Hell, I've never coped well with guilt. I wanted to get out some real booze and get shitfaced before lunch. But Harry was in my cabin, 'looking after me'. I pulled the covers over my head and decided that not getting out of bed might work. If I slept all day, then I couldn't get into trouble.
The bed moved. "Tommy?"
I opened one eye and looked up to see Harry. He was smiling and he looked so . . .my heart just leaped. I rolled over onto my back and let his eyes wake me up. His eyes, and his mouth, and his fingers played over me. For a little while the depression went away. Harry kind of had that effect on me.
"Awake?" he asked with a grin.
"How 'ya feeling this morning?"
I took that as a serious question. "Argh! I don't want to do it, Harry."
He knew what 'it' I was talking about. "No. I wasn't asking about that. How's your body doing today? Remember that alien infection?"
"I don't think I can forget it. About the same as yesterday. Not much energy."
Harry leered at me. Yeah, Harry. Leering. "You did just fine, angel."
He adjusted himself on the bed, his hand brushing at my hair. "Have I told you how much I love you?"
I had to smile. "Once or twice."
"Tom. Have I been doing something wrong? Chakotay . . . "
"Screw Chakotay. Don't. I mean . . . not really." I didn't want Harry anywhere near that guy.
"Chakotay? You've got to be kidding." To my relief, Harry's response told me that screwing Chakotay placed just about dead last on his list of fun things to do. Then Harry told me what was bothering him. "I was thinking about what he said to me yesterday. Like I was . . .wrong for you or something."
"I think he said *we* didn't know what *we* were doing. I don't think he singled you out, buddy."
"But I don't want to be doing things all wrong."
"You're not. Whose opinion is important here? His or mine? I like our relationship."
"But he said I shouldn't have left you without regenerating you first. He made it sound like I was an idiot."
"You respected my wishes. That doesn't make you an idiot." I gave him a rueful grin. "Makes me an idiot . . . "
"But I'm supposed to know what's best for you, even when you don't."
"Wait a minute. Shouldn't *we* figure out how we want it to go?"
"Yes, but think about it, Tom. Do you remember Lidell? And what you told me?"
How could I forget her? I'd managed to get myself into a lot of trouble by hanging out with her even though she was a married woman. When her husband was killed I was found guilty of his murder. I sighed. It was not one of my prouder moments. "I think I told you that you were supposed to be the conscience I never had?"
"That's how I remember it."
"You took me seriously," I realized.
"I thought you meant it. But what I'm getting at, is maybe Chakotay was right. I'm not doing a good job. I'm letting you get away with stuff that's not good for you."
"I don't think I get away with much. Seems to me my ass gets paddled on a regular basis," I grinned when I said that.
"The only reason that happens is because you want it."
"Oh? I seem to remember a Thanksgiving spanking where you were pretty pissed at me."
He shrugged. "Yeah. You've got a point." Then, as if he'd conceded too much, he added, "It wasn't as if I was out of control or anything. And you still liked it."
"'Course I did. What did you call me yesterday? A sick puppy?"
That earned me a half smile, then he went back to his real concern. "Tom. Chakotay said . . ."
"Forget what Chakotay said." I wished I could. I still had the commander's words in my head. 'Who says I don't understand' and 'That idea certainly holds some appeal'. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that Harry was dwelling on the big guy's words as well. "All right. Suppose Chakotay has a point? Then what?"
"Then maybe I should be more careful about your well being."
"No one could love me more." I pulled him down on top of me and we wrestled on the bed for a bit.
"That's not necessarily the same thing, Tommy," he gasped out between rolls on the covers.
I couldn't answer. I was too busy trying to get his clothes off of him. All he had to get off me was a blanket and that didn't take very long. As we rolled around some more, laughing, I finally threw myself down on top of him. He let me pin his arms back above his head and, with my knees on either side of his hips, I brushed kisses down his chest, stopping to suck on each nipple. Achieving a satisfactory level of erectness of the nipples, I licked my way down to his navel. His laughter turned to moans. I liked the sound of that.
Then suddenly I found myself flipped over onto my back, my arms pinned above my head, his groin to my face. He rubbed his balls against my chin; his curling dark public hair was like a brush against my unshaved skin. I tried to reach up to capture his cock, but he was just out of reach of my mouth.
He moved his knees up along the length of the bed so that when he bent over me, his cock hung over my lips. He released my hands and guided his engorged arrow into my mouth. He thrust gently inside, allowing me to suck him and play my tongue over his shaft. I could feel my own cock turn erect in sympathy. Or was it jealousy?
With the back of my head pressed against the bed, he set the rhythm with his hips, easy at first, then increasing his frequency and amplitude. He fucked into my mouth as if he'd not made love in months. It'd been awhile since I'd sucked him off and I put all my effort and experience into making this a good one. >From his cries, I thought I might be doing all right. With his cock down my throat, I wasn't making much intelligible noise, but I couldn't help the way my body thrashed around in time to his building frenzy. I sucked hard. I had him captured so deeply that I felt his balls bob against my chin. Briefly, I hoped the bristle on my chin wasn't hurting him. But if he noticed any pain, he didn't let me know.
He began to lose himself in a hard momentum that drove his cock in and out from my lips to my throat, my cheeks suctioned around him as I sucked him for all I was worth. Then he began to spurt into me and I let go of the suction and worked to swallow what I could, his taste distinctive, swallowable. Finished, he pulled out and sank down on his haunches, his bottom brushing my groin, a little cum dribbling on my chest. I opened my eyes and looked up at his rapt expression. It was as if he'd been transported to another plane of existence. "Oh, angel," he crooned.
I just lay there with what had to be a sappy grin on my face. I'd done this to him and it was a great feeling. I loved him so much, loved seeing his face still otherwordly from his climax. This was heaven.
He slumped down by my side and nuzzled my neck, his lips making soft sucking sounds as his hands came around to play on my chest. Flat fingers buzzed against my nipples until they almost saluted. Then a moist mouth sucked them one at a time into sensitive points as fingers trailed down toward my upraised cock. Somehow he found some lube and pressed it into my hands.
I cleared my throat. "Um, what. . . ?"
"I want you in me, Tommy."
No argument there. It'd been awhile since I'd been inside of him and I liked the idea. After fumbling with the lube for a moment, feeling strangely nervous, I finally got enough on my fingers to do a decent job of things. Harry surprised me again by turning around on the bed so that he straddled me, his ass pointed toward my face. He must have heard me moan, for he tucked his head down and looked back at me with a big grin on his face.
All right, Tommy, I told myself, you are one lucky bastard. That gorgeous ass was just as smooth and muscled and rippling with strength as it could be. I groaned out loud. With my fingers coated with lube, I pressed my hands against that golden skin. I rubbed the mounded flesh and pressed my thumbs down and up the crack, then prodded a finger inside of him. He pushed back against me and I worked in a second finger. Gods, he was tight and I loved working him like this, my fingers scissoring inside him. As I played, I could see his cock springing back to life and I let my thumbs rub against his balls as my fingers stroked inside of him.
If I let my cock go without any friction for much longer I feared for its health. I scooted out from under Harry, pulling my fingers out of him for the few moments it took to reposition myself on my knees behind him. I slicked lube on my cock and pushed to the edge of his anus. He pressed back and I moved forward and sank inside him, slowly until I was in. With my hands on his hips, I pulled back, pushed in, and enjoyed the feel of his tight, warm channel as it began to milk my cock. My heart rate must have skyrocketed as my breathing turned ragged. We were both slicked with sweat, I felt an itch as a bead of it ran down my nose, then remained at the edge. But I was too caught up in what I was doing to stop to wipe it off.
I found myself plunging in and out of Harry's ass in a rhythm that I hoped would tell him of my desire and my love. I pressed my face against his shoulders and continued the moves that brought me to the edge of ecstacy. And then I felt myself about to go over. I reached under Harry and pumped his cock, felt him discharge, heard his yell. Then his inner muscles contracted and spasmed and took me right over as if I'd put the ship into a barrel roll. I pumped into him until there was nothing left, then we both crashed down on the bed, me laying on his back trying to regain the ability to breathe.
There was a little life left in me and I remained inside him until his movements reminded me that my weight was probably interfering with his ability to breathe. Apparently he'd recovered that memory of how to inhale and exhale in some kind of smooth pattern before I had. But with me on his back, he was having a rough time implementing that memory. So I pushed off him, rolled over, and just lay still, wondering how much more of heaven I could take.
"Mmm." Sweat began to dry on my warm skin.
"Want to shower?"
"The doctor wants to see you today."
"Yeah," I sighed. "I'm okay, Harry."
"Tricorder says you've still got that fever."
"Fuck the tricorder."
He chuckled. "I won't say it."
Once I came down from our lovemaking, I turned into the good Tom Paris and showered and shaved and ate a brunch of something Harry'd retrieved from the mess hall. Then it was off to sickbay and the holodoc.
I sat on the biobed, Harry hovering nearby, while the doctor did his diagnostics all the while seeming to mutter to himself. It was not reassuring. When he was done, I smirked at him. "So? I'm healthy, right?"
"Looks that way, all except for your temperature. It's still elevated by three quarters of a degree. Each time I've checked, it's been up at least that much, sometimes a little higher."
Harry interjected his concerns. "What about the fatigue?"
I glared at my lover, he wasn't supposed to spill secrets to the doc. In response to my glare, I got a 'this is for your own good' look. The things I have to put up with. I have the feeling Harry was thinking the same thing cause his look changed from long suffering to a grin.
The holodoc turned the question back on me. "What about the fatigue?"
I shrugged. "I don't know. You tell me."
"Lt. Paris," the doc's patience was about worn through.
"Okay, so I'm a little tired."
The doc smirked so I knew he knew what we'd been doing just a short time before. And between that, the shower, and the walk to sickbay, I was feeling totally exhausted. "I seem to tire out easily."
"And you sleep so hard it's not easy to wake you up," Harry added.
"Today, too?" I asked.
"I'm going to run some more tests," the doctor told us in a perfectly predictable response.
In response to his pointed look, I lay down on the biobed, yawned widely, and told them, "Wake me when you're done."
Once I closed my eyes, I was asleep in moments. It felt like hours later but it was hard to tell in the constant environment of the sickbay. I woke up alone, still feeling fatigued, still a little feverish. The doc's monitors must have told him I was awake for he appeared at my side.
"Doc?" I looked around. "Where's Harry?"
"He went back to his quarters about two hours ago."
The doc left me hanging until he finally conceded, "I commed him as soon as you woke up. He wanted to be here."
That last statement made me sit up. "What? Are we talking bad news?"
"Let's wait until Ensign Kim's arrived." The doctor was scanning me with his tricorder and I gave it a death glare worthy of our captain. I didn't want it to say anything bad.
It didn't take Harry long to arrive. As he kind of skidded through the doors, I could tell that he must have run to sickbay. I was really glad to see him. "Hey."
So it wasn't my best greeting, but I was feeling a little scared and trying not to show it. If I spoke beyond that simple word, I might give something away. Not the Tom Paris style, right?
Harry greeted me with a big smile and a chaste kiss on my forehead. I guess he didn't want to contribute to the holodoc's education.
Impatient with waiting, I almost begged, "Okay, guys, talk to me." Harry gripped my hand and I was glad he did. A little reassurance didn't hurt.
The holodoc wound himself up and began with a throat clearing. "Lt., the antibacterial agent in the merckle's saliva was completely effective against the alien bacteria. However, as an alien substance of its own, it has had some side effects."
"The fatigue? The low grade fever?" I guessed.
"Yes. Unfortunately, it isn't localized the way the infection was . . ." Unfortunately, I thought? Hell, that'd been a damned embarrassing infection. And he considered this new thing *unfortunate*? I tuned back into the holodoc's words. " . . . systemic infection."
"What are you saying?" I felt a little more nervous now, licked my lips, and increased my grip on Harry's hand. The Paris style was in danger of slipping.
"You're feeling a little sick because your body's antibodies are fighting it."
Well, that sure as shit was reassuring. A little pissed, I demanded, "Well, when will I feel better?"
"I project that it will be a few days. But I can't tell you for sure. I retained about a hundred ccs of the saliva and I've been running every test I can think of to neutralize the side effects. It will take a little while to run through all the possibilities. More likely, it will simply run its course. It's not reproducing in your body, so it shouldn't be with you much longer."
I felt relieved. I put a hand to my forehead and tried to knead away the headache. "Why is this going to take so long?"
"Lt. Paris, you work in sickbay. You know how tricky these alien diseases can be."
Alien diseases? The words were enough to unhinge whatever remained of the Paris style. I grasped at straws. "What about B'Elanna?"
"What about her?"
"Remember how her Klingon DNA beat the Vidian phage?"
"I have not forgotten."
"Well?" Even to myself I know I sounded just a bit belligerent.
"You're becoming agitated. Perhaps . . . "
"Damn right I'm agitated! I'm tired of feeling tired!" I realized that came out a little strange. I tried to calm down.
"Tom, maybe you'd like to lie back down for awhile?" Harry asked, the worry in his voice undisguised.
"No! I don't want to take this lying down!"
"That isn't what I meant."
He sounded so damn reasonable. I kind of spoke through grated teeth. "Doc, even if you can't cure this thing yet, isn't there something you can do for the symptoms?"
"I've been trying. I'm afraid I haven't found the answer for that either. What worked briefly no longer seems to work."
"This isn't going to kill me, is it?"
End Part 3
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 4 / 12
Codes: P/K; C
For summary, disclaimers and warning, see part 1. Please do not read this part if you have not read the warning.
Day 3 Continued
The doctor didn't answer for awhile and looked damned uncomfortable for the holodoc. Then he said carefully, "I don't believe so."
Was he hoping for my demise? Did he consider me that much of a pain in the butt? "What the fuck does that mean?"
He took my language in stride, a slight sniff showing his disapproval. "It's very unlikely that you'll die from this."
"Oh. Now what?"
"I'd like you to stay here."
"Why?" My voice sounded as if I were whining. Traitor.
"So that you can completely disregard my recommendations where I can see you do it."
He had that doctor sniff in his voice that I found so irritating, but I let it go. Well almost. "You just don't like meeting a bug you can't lick."
"Mr. Paris." Definitely irritated.
"So, I can go back to my quarters?"
He gave a huge sigh. "Fine. Just take it easy. In all areas," he added with a warning at both of us.
Harry engaged his best ensign mode and said, "I'll see to it."
"Can I do things like go to the mess hall? Use the holodeck? Go to work?"
The doctor had agreed to the first two but not the last one. "When you feel better."
"How long, doc?" I think I'd asked that before.
"Let's give it a few days. I need to see how this is going to behave."
Harry directed the conversation in another, very practical, very Harry like, direction. "Doctor, do you need him to come back here for anything?"
"I'll want updates every four hours. Use the tricorder and send the readings to me."
"Am I free to go now?"
As I hopped off the biobed, Harry hovering at my elbow, I told them both that I felt fine. Except for the tiredness and the fever that never climbed too high but, unfortunately, just didn't go away.
Back in my quarters, I did what I seemed to do best lately. I lay down. "Harry? What are we going to do?"
He nudged me over with his hip and sat next to me. "I don't know, angel. I can't see following through on . . . you know . . . the pretend break up while you're sick."
"I'm not very sick, Harry. Not like I was." I remembered how really sick I'd been on Christmas Eve, how close I thought I'd come to dying. I mean, I felt sure I was dying. And I didn't want to look at death again. Not so closely. Not at all.
His arm went under my head and a few fingers came around to brush my hair. He bent down and kissed me and I sighed. Maybe we could stay like this for a long, long time.
And I fell asleep for awhile.
When I woke up, I thought I felt better. Got up, didn't see Harry, but found a note from him on my PADD saying he'd gone with B'Elanna to Sandrine's. When I asked, the computer told me it was 2100. Since I did feel better, I showered and dressed in casual clothes and headed for the holodeck.
It was crowded. I found the captain playing pool with Seven and smiled a little at the sight of the former Borg applying her science knowledge to the game. Over in a corner, I saw B'Elanna, Harry, and Chakotay. For some reason, looking at them sent a jolt right to my bowels. I wasn't sure I wanted to go over there, in fact, I started backing out of the bar, when the captain came over and hooked arms with me.
"How are you, Tom?" she asked me in that raspy voice of hers. "Feeling better?"
"Yes, ma'am," I told her as sincerely as I could and pulled out one of my smiles for all occasions, including the one for lying to your captain.
"I hope that's so," and I could hear the sincerity there.
"Well, I will be," I amended, feeling a little guilty. "Doc's working on it."
"Good." She nodded her head in the direction of the threesome in the corner. "Harry's over there."
"Yeah. Thanks." She disengaged to return to the pool game while Seven watched us with a truly puzzled look on her face. When I looked down at the table, I could see that the surface was clear of all but the eight ball. Interesting, as Tuvok might say.
By then Harry had seen me and left the group to retrieve me. "Tom! Come on over."
"I was just about to leave, Harry."
"I thought you just got here."
He looked back at the table with B'Elanna and Chakotay and realized that maybe the company at the table had something to do with my reluctance. He pulled me away from the others and I realized that my just going along with him was part of the perception of us as a couple with him in charge that made the rumors seem real. I pulled my arm away from the grip of his hand. "Harry, don't," I hissed at him.
He seemed unaware of what was wrong. "Tom?"
"Don't pull me," I told him, keeping my voice low but intent on getting across my displeasure.
"Fine. Sorry. We're having a drink. That's all."
If anyone was looking at us, and I could feel eyes on us that set the hair up on the back of my neck, they could see that we were pretty intense. "Don't, Harry," I warned.
I waved at the scene. "Don't make me be a part of this."
"A part of *this* or part of a table with B'Elanna and Chakotay?" His eyes narrowed. "It's Chakotay, isn't it?"
"Leave it be, Harry."
"Then don't act like this."
"Like what?" The Commander knew so much I felt myself flushing even at this distance. And all the embarrassment aside, I had so little energy, I didn't want to expend it on making small talk with Chakotay. Why couldn't Harry understand that?
He leaned over and kept his angry voice pitched low enough so that only my ears could hear him. "Like someone who's got something to hide."
Equally angry, I spoke into his ear, "I thought I did have something to hide. Look, I'm going back to my quarters."
"Want to bet?" he asked softly.
Now I was confused. He seemed very confident about something. "Huh?"
"Bet me." His attitude was almost arrogant and suddenly I realized something, something that I wished I'd never tumbled to. "Tom?"
"You . . . you . . . I don't know how you did it. But you rigged those bets, didn't you?" It felt as if the floor had vanished beneath my feet. Everything I'd believed in, like floors, love, Harry, was swept away. Gone.
He grinned as if proud of himself. "Yeah."
Enraged, I lashed out at Harry, decking him. Then I turned on my heel and got the hell out of there with his voice at my back calling my name.
So much for pretending to break up.
All the way to my cabin, I didn't see a thing, just stumbled along blindly, my eyes filled with tears. How could he have done that? How could he lie to me like that? He set me up, how many times?
The pain in my heart made every beat feel as if a knife was slashing at me from the inside. Finally, I reached my door and fell inside. Every part of my being was falling apart, all of my molecules felt as if they were spinning out of control. I clutched at myself. If the arms around my chest were tight enough maybe I could hold my disintegrating body together.
Betrayed. The word boomeranged around my brain. Betrayed by my best friend. Betrayed by my lover. I howled with the pain of it. How could he have done it to me? He'd used our games for his own advantage. Used me. Betrayed me.
I couldn't stand up any longer and sank to the floor in the corner by the window where the stars were the only witnesses to my pain. I buried myself in that corner, arms over my head, knees up against my chest, as the sobs wracked my body and the tears poured out of my eyes. I couldn't remember such pain. I'd loved him so much.
The door chime barely registered and I hiccuped out the command to engage the security lock. I was too late. Someone was entering my cabin. I burrowed under my arms, still crying, and told whoever it was to go away.
"I can't, Tom."
It was Harry's voice. I should have known. He sounded as upset as I was. "Get out of here!" I shouted at him, my throat hoarse.
He came over to me instead and knelt down beside me. He placed himself close to me but seemed careful not to touch me. "I'm sorry, Tom. I'm really sorry. Please."
"Leave me alone!"
"Tom . . . please. . . I love you."
I managed to look at him. "You betrayed me!"
He began to cry. With some satisfaction, I noted the bruise on his jaw. My hand still hurt like hell from having planted it there. Harry was trying to tell me something. "I didn't mean to, Tom. Would you listen to me? Please? Gods, Tommy, I love you."
I brushed at my face trying to get the wetness off. The wall supported my back as I leaned heavily against it. He loved me. Yeah, right. "No. Harry. I was just someone you used. You don't love me. You just love to control me, either with my consent or without it."
I know I sounded bitter, but that's how I felt. Used. Betrayed. The words in my head brought on a fresh onslaught of sobs. I couldn't look at him and pressed the side of my head into the corner, my hands covering my face.
"No, angel, I do love you. I do. I made a mistake. Please, please listen to me. Don't do this to us."
I just cried harder and then felt his hand touch my arm tentatively. I tugged away from him. A part of me was sunk deeply into my own misery, another part registered that he had withdrawn some distance away. I heard his voice but couldn't make out the words and wondered who he was talking to. I had to know if there was someone else in the room and managed to look around. There wasn't. That meant he was talking over the comm.
I pulled myself together enough to speak. Again, my voice sounded hoarse, clogged. "Who are you talking to?"
He looked down at me. "The doctor. I'm worried about you."
"If you don't get the hell out of here, I'm calling security."
Shit. He must have activated the within ship transporter cause I felt the familiar tingle. When I rematerialized, I was in sickbay with the holodoc hovering over me, a hypospray in his hand.
"I don't need that," I told the doctor.
His expression was wary. I guess he'd heard that I'd punched Harry. "Very well." He put down the hypospray but picked up a tricorder.
"Can't you just leave me alone?"
"I can see that you're upset."
"Good diagnosis," I told him sarcastically and tried to clean up my face with my sleeve.
The doctor gave me a wet cloth and I used it while he scanned me. "Ensign Kim told me you found out about a mistake that he'd made and that you were very upset."
"I don't think my love life is any of your concern."
"It is when you're ill and under my care. Mr. Kim was concerned that he had jeopardized your health."
I wasn't going to discuss it with the doctor. He would just have to take his scans and let me go. "I want to leave now."
The doctor held up a hand as if to stop me. "I haven't finished."
He made some adjustment on the tricorder and I wondered what level of analysis he was using for this scan. As I watched his face, he gave away nothing.
The sickbay doors opened and Harry entered looking upset. I still didn't want to see him.
"Get out!" I shouted at him, lunging in his direction.
Peripherally, I saw a look of consternation on the holodoc's face and then I felt a hypospray against my neck. Shit.
When I came to, I was relieved to find that I wasn't restrained, just laid out on a biobed, a blanket up to my chin. I felt like shit. Make that refried shit. Then I saw the captain, flanked by Chakotay. At least Harry wasn't there. The holodoc wasn't in my direct line of sight but I knew he stood nearby.
"Tom?" the concern radiated from the captain.
"Sorry," I murmured. I felt hot and wiped out, as if a starship had landed on me and then transported my smashed insides into the nearest black hole.
"Can you explain what happened?"
I yawned. My voice sounded tired to my ears when I answered her. "I don't know what you're talking about." Stonewall it, I thought.
"You hit Harry in Sandrine's. When you were beamed here, the doctor says you became very upset when Harry came to check on you. I'd like some answers, mister."
Uh-oh. I was not in her good graces. This time I sighed before speaking. "Harry and I broke up."
"Did he deserve to be hit?"
I looked at her. "Yes."
She and Chakotay exchanged glances. Apparently I wasn't going to be let off the hook. "Explain."
I tried to just remain quiet. But then Chakotay spoke in that quiet way of his. "Tom. This is serious. You could end up in the brig. Harry says he won't press charges, but all of us saw you hit him."
"So all of you were watching us, is that it?" I didn't want to tear up but it happened regardless of my wants.
"You're wrong, Tom," Janeway told me. Her voice had softened somewhat. "We care about you, both of you."
The doc's hypospray must still have been working in my system cause I didn't lose it entirely. I just partially lost it as a few tears fell from my eyes. My eyes seemed to blur badly and I swiped at them. I knew I was nothing short of spectacularly pathetic when I said, "Just give me some time. Could you leave me alone for awhile. Please?"
She hesitated, then nodded. "All right. But we'll talk in the morning. In the meantime, the doctor wants to keep you over night."
I should have known.
The captain wished me well. Then, with a glance at Chakotay, she left the sickbay. Chakotay stepped a little closer and asked the doc for some privacy. I felt the doctor leave, then saw him enter his office. For his part, Chakotay gave me an inscrutable look. I took him on. "Well?"
"I'd say you managed a pretty convincing public breakup. Only thing is, I have the feeling you weren't pretending."
I stared at those dark eyes so different from Harry's. "I wasn't. I meant it."
"I'm listening." When I didn't say anything he added, "Tom. There isn't much I don't know. You might as well fill me in. Maybe I can be of some help."
"Look. You got the result you wanted."
"Not exactly, Tom."
"I can't talk about it now, okay? Could you just let it go?"
"All right. For now." Somewhat awkwardly he gripped my shoulder and squeezed. "I'm sorry you're hurting so much."
Tears started to flow again. "Me too."
"I hope you can get some sleep."
I just shrugged and he squeezed again, then left. When the holodoc returned, he carried the hypospray.
"I don't need that," I complained.
"Last I looked, I was the doctor." He pressed it against my neck
'Maybe I can be of some help,' Chakotay had said. The words echoed as I fell asleep.
End Part 4
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 5/ 12
Codes: P/K; C
For summary, disclaimers and warning, see part 1. Please do not read this part if
you have not read the warning.
Day 4 December 28
The doctor kept me in sickbay the whole fucking day. Told me he didn't want me to be alone. Now why would that occur to him? Just cause I'd start crying with no warning? Or maybe it was the string of curses I shouted at Harry when he stuck his lying head in? Who knew? At least I wasn't any sicker than I'd been, just that damn unwavering low grade fever. Made me feel like crap, like I didn't want to do anything but lay on the biobed and sleep a lot. Sleeping did have its advantages. At least when I slept I wasn't crying.
Chakotay came by more than once, but I was asleep all but the last time. The doctor made a point of telling me about all my visitors. Harry, three; the Captain, one; B'Elanna one; Chakotay four. This time I gazed up at him as his solemn face regarded me. "So. Paris. How you doing?"
"Go away and leave me alone." I wasn't glad to see him
He gave me one of those looks with lots of teeth. I think it was supposed to be a smile. "Obviously feeling better."
"What the fuck are you doing here?"
This time I got the teeth with dimples. "Paris, you are so predictable," he laughed.
"What? What's so funny?"
He shook his head, still grinning. Laying on the biobed, a guy standing there over me, laughing at me, a guy I didn't want anywhere near me, I lost it. This time I screamed at him, just short of taking a swing at him. "Leave me alone!"
I watched him carefully, my body tense. The grin vanished and I saw him shift uneasily. "Take it easy, Tom," he told me softly, "I'll go. I'm not your enemy here. The Captain asked me to check on you." He looked as if he was on his way out, then added, "Tom. I feel somewhat responsible for what happened between you and Harry. I'd like to make it up to the two of you."
The two of us? And here I thought he wanted my ass. Wasn't that what he'd been hinting at with all his words? He knew things that we didn't. . . he wouldn't mind smacking my ass . . . he wanted to help. Well, I didn't want him anywhere near me. The truth? He scared the shit out of me. If he got his hands on my ass, it'd be . . . whatever. I shuddered, not even wanting to think about it.
Oh, gods, I wanted Harry back. And then as soon as the thought surfaced, I was crying again. Chakotay had almost reached the door when he must have heard me. He turned back to my bed, was at my side, leaning over me.
"What is it, Tom?"
"I don't want you," I blubbered, then turned away from him.
"I know you don't."
He touched my shoulder. "Do you want to see Harry?"
"I can't," I told him, unable to stop crying.
"You can. He wants to see you very badly."
"He betrayed me."
"He says he made a mistake. He told me about it, Tom. He's very sorry and wants to make it up to you."
Those words brought on a fresh round of tears. Sheesh, wasn't I ever going to stop? Gods, I'd thrown up in front of this guy and now I was bawling my eyes out. Didn't I have any pride? Yeah, right, Tom Paris, pride of Starfleet. More like a carnival game, set him up, knock him down. Winner gets Paris' ass. My thoughts just sunk me into greater misery.
"Tom. Snap out of it," Chakotay used a gentle version of the command voice. "You're feeling sorry for yourself and it's not helping you."
"Snap out of it?" The words stung.
"All right, not the best choice of words, sorry. But I got your attention."
Yeah, he did. I had turned to look at him, wiping at my damp face. "What?"
"Talk to Harry."
"Give it a rest, Commander. You got a concession out of me. That's all for now."
There was some kind of conflict going on in his face, but I couldn't read him. He sighed. "You make it tough to help you."
"I didn't ask for your help."
"Maybe not in words." He left it there.
I closed my eyes, and when I opened them, he'd gone.
The doctor emerged from his office and, as he neared me, I could tell he was checking my readings. "Do you need anything, Lieutenant?"
I didn't think he could heal a broken heart so I didn't answer him. He must have finished his scans for he brought out a hypospray. I told him, "No, don't drug me anymore."
"It's not for that. This new compound worked in the lab and in the computer sims I ran. It may help knock out the last of those side effects."
He was expecting an answer. I grimaced. "Okay."
"My, my, such enthusiasm."
He applied the hypospray.
Days 5 and 6 December 29 - 30
He was after me. All over the ship, I ran and ran, the corridors a blur. My footsteps and the following footsteps echoed loudly in what was otherwise an empty ship. After a while I could hardly breathe, my side hurt, I wanted to give up. But if I did, I'd be caught.
He had a whip and as he drew closer and closer he sent its lash after me. Finally, he drew near enough to entangle my legs and I fell heavily. As I tried to untangle myself, his body slammed me down to the floor. I rolled away, he came after me, his body landing on me, this time pinning me down. With the whip encircling my legs, his whole body pressing me down, I couldn't go any where. My body felt as if it was on fire.
I tried to scream but his hand covered my mouth. His knee cramped my thigh, the weight of his chest made it hard to breathe. I struggled as hard as I could to break free of his weight.
His hand moved off my mouth and I screamed and screamed.
Words filtered in, over and over, to the point where I finally identified them. The words were my name, repeated with maybe varying emphasis. Why? What had happened? Why couldn't I move? My chest hurt and I struggled once more to breathe. My name was spoken again.
"Lt. Paris, wake up now."
My eyes finally opened and I saw the holodoc, a little blurry until I blinked a few times. "Doc?" My voice sounded weak and choked.
"Ah, there you are."
"I can't move," I whispered, chest heaving. "Help me."
"It's all right. You're not supposed to move, Lt. You've been very ill and I've had to restrain you to keep you on the biobed. I'm very sorry about that."
"What . . . ? Ill . . . ?" It'd been a dream, the running, the chase. But it still felt as if there was a heavy weight on my chest. "Hard . . . hard to breathe."
"I know. My cure was worse than the condition I was trying to treat. You had a severe reaction to the medication in the hypospray."
I didn't pretend to understand. I felt hot, wasted, exhausted. I wanted to be told it would be all right. "Will I . . .will I be all right?"
His dark eyes seemed to waver and there was real sympathy in his expression. "I hope so, Lt., I hope so."
I closed my eyes. He hoped so.
Who had chased me? No, that was a nightmare. No one had chased me. Harry? No. Harry had betrayed me.
When I finally woke up enough to realize that maybe I was going to live after all, I learned that two days had gone by. All I remembered was the nightmare where I was chased by someone with a whip. It was a relief to have the restraints taken off and a relief to hear the doctor tell me that I was going to be all right. I wasn't sure I cared.
When he told me I had a visitor, I just stared at him. "Lt.," the doctor prodded.
"I'm not up for company," I responded.
After a few moments of scrutiny, the doctor brought up a medical tricorder and did a scan. His frown was a little obvious.
My visitor apparently had enough of waiting and came around the privacy screen. Damn. It was the Captain. She managed a smile for the occasion. "Tom."
"How are you feeling?"
She didn't hide her grin very well. "The doctor tells me you're doing better."
"Glad to hear it." I tried to keep the smartass out of my voice, but I'm not sure if I succeeded. If it showed, the Captain gave me a pass.
"I was worried about you. We all were."
"Harry in particular."
"I don't want to talk about him."
"I understand. I just wanted you to know."
I considered what words I could say and chose not to say any of them. It still hurt so much I couldn't begin to talk to him or even talk about him.
"Tom. Do you want some company?"
"I'm . . . I'm all right." Sure I was. Tears in my eyes, sick all over, too weak to lift up my head. Doing fine.
Her finger brushed my cheek, wiped away the hot water that had spilled out of my eye. "I'm so sorry, Tom. Don't push us away. We're your friends. We want to help."
I told myself to shut her out or I'd really lose it. In the hopes that she would give up and go away, I closed my eyes. I don't remember hearing her leave.
End Part 5
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 6/ 12
Codes: P/K; C
For summary, disclaimers and warning, see part 1. Please do not read this part if
you have not read the warning.
Day 7 December 31
New Year's Eve. Another turn of the old earth calendar loomed at the end of the day.
I was still in sickbay. The next day for me would probably bring more of the same. Long periods of sleep, fevered nightmares, a visitor or two, some bland mess hall food. The doctor might as well have permanently kept the hypospray in his hand for he kept pressing it against my neck with one thing or another.
By the end of the day, I wasn't as weak as I had been earlier. Lucky me, I could lift my head, the doctor even had me on my feet. I managed to get to the bathroom on my own, couldn't make it back to the biobed though without his help. I really was weak, a lot weaker than I'd been before the doc's *cure*. The doc fussed over me so much as he helped me back to the bed, I thought I'd go off on him. Fortunately for him, I was too tired by the time I made it back that I ended up falling asleep as soon as I was horizontal.
Apparently, I missed Chakotay's visit. The doc was still keeping track.
When I woke up, Harry was there with the doctor hovering nearby. Closing my eyes had worked with the Captain, so I tried it with Harry. Even though I could blot out his image, I couldn't block out his words. So I lay as still as possible, hoping he'd give up and go away. No such luck.
"Tommy? Tom, I know you're awake. We need to talk. Please listen to me. I never meant to hurt you. It . . . it started as a challenge. You know, I was always losing bets to you. I was sure you'd rigged things, and I thought I'd go nuts unless I figured out how you'd done it. Then, I managed to rig one of my own. I won. And . . . and . . . it just . . . gods, Tom, I never thought it'd come to this." I heard him move closer, I heard the catch in his voice. His voice was breaking up as if he was crying. "Tommy, please . . . I love you so much . . . "
We both were crying, then he ran out. I hadn't heard the doctor leave so I guessed he was still there.
"Lt.?" He was.
I let my eyes flutter open. He stood nearby with his arms crossed against his chest. I guessed he didn't approve. "What?"
"I think you know what." I didn't say anything. "Lt. You rigged your own bets with Ensign Kim. Why are you so hard on him for doing it back to you?"
"I never did," I told him hotly.
"No. Not even once."
"Then how did you happen to win so often?"
I needed to answer that question since I didn't want him thinking that I'd somehow cheated on Harry. "I studied the situations, you know, analyzed our relative strengths and weaknesses. I made a bet with Harry when I knew I could win. He just wasn't as careful as I was in figuring out a sure bet ahead of time." Bitterly, I added, "Until he decided to cheat."
"What was it about his cheating that has so disturbed you?" The doctor paused and I waited to hear what he wanted to add. "After all, wasn't it just fun and games?"
I remembered how Harry had used my lost bets to coerce me into dressing up the way he wanted me to, into taking a hard spanking when I'd balked. The knowledge of his lies changed what had seemed legitimate and an eventual turn-on into something that made me feel like a jerk, like I'd been used. I hated the way I felt. It reminded me too much of a long ago Tom Paris. In response to the doctor's question, all I could say was, "No."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."
"I meant that, Lt. I am sorry. Is there anything I can do for you?"
"When can I go back to my quarters?"
"When you can get around without help."
"Trying to give me an incentive to get well, doctor?"
"I hoped I was more subtle than that," he smirked. He used the ever present hypospray and I was glad for the relief.
I have no idea how the crew of Voyager celebrated New Year's Eve, and I was too wiped out to care.
Day 8 January 1
A new year. A new chance for Tom Paris to screw up. At least I could do it in the privacy of my quarters. After lunch, the doctor watched over me as I made it to the bathroom and back on my own. I stood a little shakily in my sickbay gown. The doctor had his customary frown on so stiffly, I wondered if he hated to give it up.
His voice was stern as he gave me the good news. "I think you can be released to your quarters. But you'd better not try to walk there."
"Are you issuing me wings?"
"I only do minor miracles, like saving your life. Wings are not in my programming. I have been authorized to allow you a site to site transport."
"Commander Chakotay." Oh, well. "He'll be there when I signal him to make sure you arrive all right."
"Doc . . . " I began to protest.
He had to help me onto the bed, my legs were about to give out. "Maybe now isn't a good time. We can try later. Perhaps you'll feel better after a nap."
I didn't want to concede that he had a point, but I knew I needed to rest first. "Okay." I think I surprised him as I heard him harumpf. Just to needle him a little, I advised, "Try to remember this moment, doc."
"An historic first. I shall record it in my logs in a place of honor. Pleasant dreams, Lt."
I drifted off. The nightmare came back, the one where the man ran after me with a whip along the deserted corridors of the ship. I jerked awake when the man's whip tangled my legs. At least this time I could breathe without the sense of his heavy weight on me. But I was upset, my heart was racing, and I felt panicked. I sat up on the biobed and took deep gulps of air as the dream receded. My almost constant companion appeared by my side.
"Lt.?" the doctor asked.
"Just . . . just a dream," I gasped out. I could see his frown return. "I'm all right."
"Are you?" his question was not a challenge but a check.
I struggled with what I wanted to say. I guess it was a measure of how much despair I felt, cause I thought I'd level with him. "Doc. I'm not all right. And you know I'm not. What's wrong with me?"
"I don't know. The merckle's saliva . . . "
"I know about that. . . what I need to know is . . . I . . . " this was harder than I thought. "I've been sick for a week now, at times, really sick. And I still feel like shit."
For the doctor, his voice was almost kindly, "And you will for awhile longer. There's no more of the side effects of the saliva to contend with. That's been over since my medication nearly killed you. You're feeling the aftereffects of your reaction to the medication."
"When does it stop?"
"It was a unique medication, designed specifically to eliminate the medicine based on the saliva. And you reacted uniquely to it."
Maybe I needed to know more. "How uniquely?"
"You went into anaphylactic shock. We almost lost you."
"What . . . what happened?"
"Bronchial spasms, larynx swelled shut, plasma lost into tissues . . . heart almost stopped. I'm still trying to understand the exact cause of the interaction. Suffice it say, you were very sick."
"But shouldn't I . . . ?"
"Shouldn't you have recovered by now?" I nodded. "Yes, I would have predicted more of a recovery by now. But that episode came at a time when your resources were already very low, physically and emotionally. It's just going to take time, Lt."
"And you don't know how long?"
"No. I don't. I wish I did." He actually sighed.
I changed topics on him. "Is it still New Year's Day?"
"Is anything happening on the ship?"
"I believe all the celebrations were held last night. The celebrants have been rather quiet today. I cured not a few hangovers."
"Dr. Zimmerman would be so proud," I joked.
"If you were on your feet, that would have been your job," he sniffed.
"So you miss me, huh, doc?"
"It may be time for you to return to your quarters. If you're ready, I'll let the Commander know."
"I'd like to be in my own room." I think the words came out a little more wistfully than I had intended. But, in a few minutes I materialized in my quarters.
Chakotay keyed the door and entered just as I was looking around and getting my bearings. I'd materialized in the living room. Somehow the room seemed smaller than I remembered. I don't know why that thought surfaced among all the thoughts that could have appeared. But there it was. The room looked smaller.
"Are you all right, Tom?" Chakotay asked, his quiet voice intruding on my reflections.
"Um, yes, sure."
"The doctor wanted you to go to bed."
"Can I help?"
"What? No, I think I remember the way."
I stumbled over to the bed and fell on it. Chakotay hovered over me, much as the holodoc had done earlier. "Can I get you anything?"
I sighed. "No." I turned away from him and felt him bring the covers up over my body.
He had the lights dimmed and I heard him leave the immediate area. At the time I had not idea if he’d left my quarters or not.
End Part 6
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 7/ 12
Codes: P/K; C
For summary, disclaimers and warning, see part 1. Please do not read this part if
you have not read the warning.
Day 8 continued
The man with the whip was still after me. I ran flat out, ran in terror that he'd catch me. Then the whip's lash coiled tightly around my ankles and I fell hard on the floor. It wasn't the corridor this time, but a room on Voyager. My pursuer pounced on me and now I heard his harsh breath and saw his dark eyes. Shadows shifted and I saw his face. I screamed.
"Tom . . . Tom . . . " someone was shaking me awake.
I cried out and fought off the man in my nightmare. "No!!"
"Tom. Wake up. Come on, Tom, wake up. It's all right. It was just a dream. You're safe. You're on Voyager."
Finally, I surfaced enough to know that I was in my own bed, in my own cabin. But my heart raced and sweat ran off my face as well as drenched my shirt. The lights were up enough to see Chakotay looking worried as he bent over me. He helped me to sit up and I took a few minutes to take in some deep, choking breaths.
"What is it, Tom? What is it that you're dreaming?" He sat down on the edge of the bed and turned so that he could see me.
"You. You're . . . " then I realized I was about to tell him my nightmare. Common sense shut me up.
"Me? Is that the problem?"
"No. I don't know," I just knew I was terribly confused. And terrified of him.
He saw it, the fear I was trying so hard to hide. Then he sighed deeply, gazed on me with a kind of sadness. "I've scared you somehow. I'm sorry. I never meant to say or do anything that would frighten you. Can you talk about it? Help me understand what I've done?"
Oh, shit, he sounded so reasonable. "You . . . the dream . . . you were chasing me with a whip. And you got close enough so that it got my legs all tangled up and then you landed on me and I couldn't get free. I . . . I knew you were going to hurt me."
"With the whip?"
"I think so, but I don't know." I hoped he could see in my eyes that I really didn't know, but that I feared something.
"Tom." His smile was rueful. For a long moment indecision held him still, then he lightly touched my arm. "You need to get into some dry clothes or the holodoc will have me fired as chief nurse. Then I think we'd better talk a little. While you change, would you like me to get something for you from the replicator? Hot chocolate, maybe?"
He said so much with those few sentences. He established a nurse-patient relationship, something totally nonthreatening. He knew I needed to change clothes, but he made it clear that I would have privacy while I did that. He also implied that I could dress myself, so I was not an invalid in his eyes. Another notch ratcheted down on my fear meter. And he offered a drink that he knew I would like, something soothing, something to remind me that I was safe.
I think all those realizations must have played out on my face for he smiled, the dimples showing, the eyes glinting. Nodding at my understanding of him, he moved off the bed and into the living area.
We sat at the dining table, he with a cup of tea, me with my hot chocolate. He'd even put a marshmallow in it, well, he'd had the replicator do it. Still, it was a nice touch. A sandwich accompanied the drink. "Thanks."
"You're welcome." After a long sip of his tea, he gave me an appraising look. "So. What's all this about, Tom?"
I thought of so many different versions of the truth to tell him. Finally, I just blurted it out. "I'm afraid of you."
"Ah," he said, as if I'd managed to clarify things for him. "Let me take a guess here. You're afraid that without Harry, I may move in to take his place. And if I do, the kind of control you exerted over Harry will no longer be possible. You feel you'd be helpless and that you'd be hurt by me. Anywhere near accurate?"
I blushed. I couldn't help it. Somehow he'd managed to verbalize what I'd been too afraid to face. "Yeah, I guess, something like that."
"Okay. If that's it, let me clear things up. No, I'm not Harry. If you and I were in a relationship you would be so far on the bottom you wouldn't know what hit you. And I know that scares you. You're a bottom, but a bottom who's very nearly always in control of the top. Am I right?"
I shrugged uncomfortably. I didn't want to categorize how I saw myself or Harry or him.
"What have I got wrong?"
I wasn't used to having these kind of conversations and wasn't sure what I could say to clarify things. "It . . . with Harry . . . it wasn't like that . . . you know, top or bottom."
He gave me a look that told me I was clearly deluding myself. But instead of dismissing my view, he asked, "How would you describe your relationship with him?"
"We . . . we just had fun."
"Except . . ."
I thought first of saying 'except that he was too hard on me sometimes'. Instead, I told Chakotay, "Sometimes I wanted too much . . .you know . . . "
He waited for me to finish my sentence.
Blushing furiously, I tried to put a voice to my needs, "Um, maybe I wanted too much to feel the . . . uh . . . pain." The last word was barely audible but I know he understood what I'd said.
He took another sip of his tea and I used the pause to drink a little chocolate milk, now almost lukewarm. I was so embarrassed by what I had admitted, I almost bolted from the table before he spoke.
"Tom. Perhaps Harry made you feel as if your needs were extreme. But that doesn't make it so. I know Tuvok checked with you and Harry to see if it was all right if he talked to me about you two, and we did talk. I understand, Tom. There's nothing wrong with what you enjoy. As long as it remains private."
I mulled over his words, not sure where he was going. Was he blaming Harry for my reaction?
"I'm wondering if, with Harry, since it's on the level of a game, then you can pretend you don't really have the needs you have, that you're just pretending for the game? Perhaps I scare you because it'd be out in the open. There would be no game. I would physically discipline you in ways Harry hasn't dreamed of. And it would hurt. You want it, that's why in your dream, you were caught. But you don't want to be the person who wants it and that's why you ran, that's why you were so terrified." He gave me a speculative look. "Does any of that make sense?"
It all did. "I think so." I hesitated, but then plunged in with my next question. "What . . . what do you mean about hurting me?"
"You want to live vicariously for a while here? Is that it, Tom?" His soft words took the edge off the challenge in his words. I guess I did want to know so I nodded slowly.
"I'm not going to tell you everything," he said, "but I'll tell you this much. The toys you and Harry have played with, and, yes, I know that the paddle and the back of the hairbrush hurt, they've punished you just enough to be arousing, not enough to kill that arousal. In fact, I'm not sure you've explored the limits of the pain you can experience and still remain aroused." His eyes took on a distant focus, then he continued, "I would find that out in the first hour."
How? I thought as my heart thundered loudly in my chest. I almost put my hand over it to keep it quiet. As if he read my mind, he filled me in. Chakotay described what he envisioned as if it were happening to two people as he watched it on a vid. "I would alter the duty roster so you would have the next two days off. You would come into my cabin after shift. Of course, eventually I would have to go on shift, but you would remain in my cabin when I'm gone. In the first moments after you walk in the door, I have you stripped naked and pressed over the back of a chair. You're nervous and you mouth off like you usually do under such circumstances. But we've made an agreement. I will give you all the punishment you can stand, even more. And you will submit to me in every way I tell you to."
I snorted, "Not hardly."
He smiled. "I know it doesn't sound like you. Tom Paris submitting to authority? To me? But you will. Because you want what I will give you. You need it."
I tried to sound derisive but a crack in my voice betrayed me. "And what do I need so badly?"
"Remember, you're leaned over a chair. And I reach for one of my toys. The first toy caresses you, floats over every inch of your now trembling body. With my feather I stroke you until you are so hard for so long you beg me for release. I use the feather until your legs are quivering. I exchange the feather for a short length of leather and I stroke that leather across your backside, once, lightly, then hard. So many hard strokes and I don't let up and I don't let you come. I pound your ass until you cry so hard you can no longer remain bent over the chair. Then I sit on the chair and pull you across my lap and continue. And just as you reach your limit, I stop using the strap. I brush the feather over you so lightly it's almost like the breeze that turns the leaves on the trees. It brings you back to the heightened arousal of earlier, before the strap found your limits."
His words were hypnotic and had their effect on me. The little traitor in my pants was beginning to throb. I was glad I had on a robe over my shirt and shorts.
His soft voice picked up the narrative. "I don't let up on my contact with your body. You are so sensitized that when I blow my breath across your hot ass your cock speaks to me. And I keep you hard for a long, long time as I surprise your body with every kind of sensation, light, hard, hot, cold, soft, slick. Over the next long hours I keep you almost constantly aroused until you hurt with an ache that won't go away.
"As the days pass, I go to work but I return on breaks and I alternate abusing your ass cheeks with the strap, with my hand, with a switch, whatever comes to hand, and then teasing your body with floating air, feathers, oils, fingers, all over your tender skin. I play with you, with toys, fingers, my dick, my lips, tongue. You cry from being overwhelmed with sensation. And you will do whatever I tell you to do. You will go with me so far that you will never experience embarrassment over your needs again. You will beg me to let you submit to me, plead for the intensity and the relief. You will be mine because I will take you where you've never been. You will find that it isn't just how much pain you can take, but how much pleasure you can handle."
He stopped. His focus turned from the possible to the real. He grinned at me. "So. Tom."
He had gotten to me, no doubt about it, not if my erection was any indication. As well, my heart seemed to beat in triple time and my breath came in short pants. At the frisson of fear that shot through me, I almost shuddered. There was just one problem. I remembered the words I'd said to him in sickbay not too long ago and my erection lost its urgency. I smiled back at him. He didn't have me after all. "My ass hurts just thinking about it," I cracked. "But . . . no offense . . . I don't want *you*."
He knew I was half bluffing. He knew he'd reached me, his grin told me that. But when he spoke, instead of some challenge to my words of denial, he indicated, "I know you don't, Tom, and that's not a problem for me. Maybe I'm even relieved. It'd be a lot of responsibility for me."
"You're not really attracted to me either, are you?"
"No. Not really." He quoted my own words back to me, "No offense. However, I think you have a great ass and I'd take the responsibility for it, if it was mine, very seriously."
His grin was infectious and I grinned back. Teasingly, I asked, "How long *did* you look it at that day?"
Laughing, he admitted, "A long time."
"And you only wanted to look?"
"Hey. I hadn't intended to look at all. You were the one who'd thrown off your covers and lay there bare assed with those nice pink patches on your backside."
Joining him in laughter won out over some of my other impulses, such as punching his face.
Turning serious, he answered my earlier question about only wanting to look. "And yes, other thoughts crossed my mind. As I said, it's a fine ass. But," he sighed and held open his hands in a gesture of helplessness, "as you guessed, I'm not really attracted to you. And although you may be curious about me along with some healthy fear, you're not really attracted to me either."
"What am I supposed to do?"
"Get back together with Harry." He said the words as if they were self-evident. "It's him you love. And he loves you. I think you can get past what he did. And I think you can begin to build a relationship that will work for both of you. And one that won't take the ship down with you."
I shook my head.
"What? You plan to take the ship down?" he was only half joking as he gave me a very serious look.
"No. But . . .Chakotay, I can't get past what happened. Don't you understand how much he hurt me? How much he betrayed me?"
He let my words hang out there, then he seemed to brace himself, his expression sad. When he spoke, he managed to get me again, "Haven't you ever done something you regretted?"
Startled, I looked into his calm face and saw no censure there, no condescension either. "Shit! You know I have!"
"Tom. Think about it. Are you the only one who's allowed to make mistakes?"
All I could think of were my friends and fiancé killed at Caldik Prime, because of me. I think Chakotay knew what was coming next. He was on my heels all the way to the bathroom where, once again, I threw up in his presence.
After he got me back on my feet and cleaned me up, he guided me over to my bed. The sheets had had the time to dry out from my sweat soaked nightmare and I lay down feeling guilty and miserable. "I don't know what to think," I told him as he stood nearby.
"Not everything has to be solved in one night. A lot came up in our talk. You may need a little time to sort things out."
"I just . . . I hadn't thought of being on the other side of . . ."
As I worked to fill in the right word, he suggested, ". .. forgiveness?"
"As I say, it may take some time." He gathered himself as if ready to leave. "I'm going to set the medical monitor and leave you be."
I couldn't resist a parting shot. "What? No goodnight spanking?"
He shook his head and laughed. "Paris, you really don't want to go there."
I pouted for him. As he gripped my shoulder briefly, I flirted with danger. "How do you know I don't want to go there? Besides, Harry probably spanks better than you do." Clearly, I was baiting the man and he knew it. His look told me he wasn't going to fall for it. I gave him my most provocative smile, the one that usually induced Harry to fuck me senseless.
It didn't produce quite that reaction in Chakotay. When was I ever going to learn to quit when I was ahead? The look of anger on Chakotay's face scared me. He really looked as if he was going to smack me one, and not the kind of a smack I'd enjoy.
He spoke through a jaw that barely moved it was so rigid. "Don't ever pull that crap with me again. Do you understand me?"
I nodded. He still looked as if he wanted to hit me. Very subdued, I answered, "Yes, sir."
"The only reason I haven't hurt you is that you've been sick." He took a few deep breaths while he examined me for remorse. I hope the fear I felt inside registered so he could see it. Finally, he shook his head. With his voice still hard with anger, he told me, "Go to sleep, Tom. I'll check back from time to time."
Drained from the long, intense talk with Chakotay on the heels of the enervating nightmare, the days of illness, I promptly fell asleep.
End Part 7
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 8/ 12
Codes: P/K; C
For summary, disclaimers and warning, see part 1. Please do not read this part if
you have not read the warning.
Day 9 January 2
My slow recovery continued, well, slowly. I guess it was a sign that I was regaining some of my energy that I began to chafe at being in my quarters. The highlight of my morning was walking to sickbay, being checked over by the doctor, and walking back to my quarters.
The doctor told me he'd clear me to have visitors if I felt up to it. Since I was beginning to feel pretty isolated, I okayed being taken off of the 'no visitors' order he'd placed on my room. Chakotay had been allowed, but after the total ass I made of myself in our last conversation, I wasn't sure I wanted to see him. I'd already scratched Harry off the approved visitors' list so that didn't leave too many people who might want to see me.
Giving me instructions to continue to drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest, etc., the doctor waved me off. The trip back to my quarters went a little more slowly as my energy waned rapidly. Once inside, I fell on the couch and dozed off.
Neelix was the first to visit, followed shortly by B'Elanna, the Captain, Tuvok, Seven (much to my surprise), and Chakotay, as each took a break on their shifts or went on or off shift. Although I tired quickly, and most, except Neelix, seemed to notice and shorten their visit accordingly, it cheered me up to find that I did have people who cared about me. After Neelix fussed with some food he'd brought me and entertained me with ship's gossip and stories of little Naomi's holodeck adventures, I finally had to tell the good hearted man that I was worn out. I put on a security lock after Seven left and went to bed for a nap.
Chakotay must have overridden the lock, much as he had done days earlier, in order to check on me. He was working on a PADD in my living room when I stumbled out a few hours later.
"Hmm. How are you feeling?"
I thought about it. I hadn't forgotten yesterday. "Uh . . . a little embarrassed. I'm sorry. I acted like a jerk."
He almost hid his surprise, but I had specialized since childhood in reading tiny changes in the facial expressions of those around me and I noticed the quick attempt to cover it up. "Paris," he nodded at me neutrally.
"Look, it won't happen again."
"Good. Then let's move past it. How are you feeling today?"
"Still tired, but not like I've been. Guess I'm actually getting better." I yawned and realized that one of the reasons I'd awakened was the pressure to pee. "Um . . . excuse me a minute."
His attention went back to his PADD and I padded barefoot into the bathroom. I noticed that he must have been in there because it looked all tidied up and very clean. It hadn't been like that when I began my nap. I dealt with my pressing needs and cleaned up.
The face I saw in the mirror still looked pale and drawn with dark circles under my eyes. Just from the way my face looked, I could tell I'd lost weight, was perhaps down to what I'd been when I first came on Voyager four years ago. The time in prison had not been filled with tasty cuisine nor with much motivation on my part to eat it, so I was a little on the thin side then. It looked as if I was back to that low weight. No wonder the doctor was after me to take care of myself.
A little more alert, I steeled myself to rejoin Chakotay in the living room.
I guess he, too, must have spent some time gauging the states of others because he commented, "You look a little tense."
I paced the small area trying to figure it out. "I don't understand," I finally blurted out.
Chakotay put down the PADD and gave me his full attention. "Don't understand what?"
I stopped mid-pace and turned to face him. "Well. Yesterday, my smart mouth got the better of me and you were so pissed I thought you were going to hit me. Today you're here, cleaning up my bathroom, sitting there as if nothing had happened, telling me to put it behind us. I don't get it."
He frowned as if now it was he who didn't understand. He shook his head. "Tom, you've apologized, you've said it won't happen again. You're forgiven. What's so hard to understand?"
I guess we both 'got it' simultaneously but he indicated I should speak first. "I'm forgiven? That's . . . that doesn't happen in my experience."
"I hadn't realized, Tom. Your father never forgave you for anything, did he?"
"No. Never." The admission came slowly.
"And neither Starfleet nor the Federation were much better." Even as he said that, I waited because I knew there was more. His eyes were so dark, his face angry. Was he angry with me all over again? If he was, I wasn't sure I could take it. He had carried a grudge against me for a long time after Starfleet and Maquis had merged on Voyager. "It's possible, Tom, for mistakes to be forgiven."
I turned away from him so he couldn't see the sudden tears that filled my eyes. He wasn't angry with me. He was talking about forgiveness.
I heard him stand up and walk over to me. He placed a hand on my shoulder and turned me a little so that we were face to face. Very softly, he told me, "It can be done."
I knew that all my shields were down and there was nothing I could do to bring them back on line. He must have seen the thoughts of Harry that overwhelmed me so much that I was close to breaking down in front of him.
"Talk about it. I think it'll help. Come on." He led me over to the couch and I sat there while he pulled up a chair from the dining table.
I wiped at my eyes and tried to call up whatever dignity I might be able to salvage. Then I realized that this guy had seen me throw up, twice, had seen me bare assed, and that he wasn't going to flee from a few tears. I shrugged. "What . . . what do I do?"
"What does your heart tell you?"
"My heart?" Had I ever been in love with anyone as much as I had been in love with Harry? "I love him. I miss him. I'm still mad as hell at him."
Chakotay's chuckle helped me realize how I sounded. But he didn't tell me I was acting like a five year old. Instead, he confided, "I've always found it hard to admit when I've made a mistake. Harry's been trying to do that ever since you punched him on the holodeck."
"I know. He. . . somehow . . . he got into sickbay," Chakotay smiled and I realized that *somehow* involved either human or holographic intervention. "Okay, so . . .anyway, he was in sickbay and told me."
"I kept my eyes closed the whole time. I didn't want to see him."
"But you heard him?"
"And?" Chakotay prompted.
"I could sort of . . . I mean, it was inexcusable, but . . . "
"I understood, I guess, why he did it," I acknowledged haltingly.
I was torn. Could I really forgive Harry for what he'd done?
"What's holding you back?" Chakotay asked.
"I . . . don't know." But I did know. "He hurt me. It still hurts."
"Is it possible that maybe there's a bit of pride involved here?"
I thought about it and had to agree, "Yeah, I guess so. He fooled me, tricked me. I felt so used."
"And being used . . .?"
"Been there, done that."
"So, it's a really sore point with you. You've been used in the past, and you thought, what? That maybe it was all behind you? That you'd never have to experience it ever again? And then it felt as if the past was happening all over?"
Whew, he really knew how to hit me with all these issues I hadn't realized I still carried with me. My father, my pride, my being used by others . . . Tears built up again and I turned my face away while I tried to pull myself together.
"How much of these things does Harry know? Have you told him much about your past before you signed up with me in the Maquis? Have you told him about your relationship with your father?"
I shook my head. "No, you probably know more about me than anyone else on this ship. Maybe Tuvok knows more because of that mind meld, I don't know . . ." I thought about the Captain serving with my father. What had he told her about me? I'd been a little kid, then, he'd probably not said much beyond what a disappointment I was to him. "Chakotay, I haven't told him anything. I . . . I wanted a new life here. I didn't think the past was relevant."
"Sometimes the past has a way of turning up and biting us in the ass."
I wanted to tell him that it wasn't fair. But there was a faint smile on his face, as if he knew what my reaction would be. I decided to try to grow up a little without any more prompting from him. So, instead of protesting against the things I couldn't change, I asked, "You think I should tell him?"
"I think you and Harry have a great deal to talk about, Tom. A relationship needs a lot of work and openness about yourself is one part of that. And I think sometimes with two guys it's just a lot harder to get around to talking about these important things. I'm just speculating here, but I don't think we men have much experience at it. When we have a relationship with a woman, then usually the emotional issues get brought up because they won't let us get away with 'nothing's wrong, dear'." We both smiled at his attempt at humor. "Although I guess a relationship with a woman isn't always insurance that we'll be forced to open up. I know how things were with you and B'Elanna."
I gave him a somewhat rueful smile, "Yeah, I was always after her to talk to me. But neither one of us figured it out, not really."
"Maybe Harry's the one."
"So maybe in between all the hot sex . . . "
". . . and spankings," he added with a huge grin that showed off his dimples.
"Okay, don't remind me." I both blushed and laughed before I turned serious again, "But you're saying, I need to tell him more about me."
"If he knows you better, he'll know how you might react to certain things in ways that are different from how he might react. And, no, I'm not saying what he did was right, but I suspect he doesn't really understand how it became so important to you that you'd break up over it."
I hadn't really thought about that before. I realized that Chakotay had given me a lot to think about. "Thanks. I . . . uh . . . I appreciate what you've said."
The Commander stood up, retrieved his PADD, and told me he'd leave me be. "I'll check back tomorrow?"
"I'd like that," I told him. Too flummoxed by all that had transpired, I remained where I sat and let Chakotay show himself out the door. He didn't seem to mind and gave me a reassuring grin before he left.
I thought how weird this all was. There was still something about Chakotay that scared me shitless. The other day, his verbal tour of the hell I'd go through if I was with him had reinforced that. On the other hand, he was going out of his way to be helpful. I had the feeling that he genuinely cared that Harry and I got back together.
I wanted to comm Harry, but something kept holding me back. As Chakotay had pointed out, maybe there was some Paris pride involved here. Whatever it was, I knew I couldn't face Harry yet. So, I put on some vids and lost myself in 20th Century movie magic. A little "Rocky Horror Picture Show" helped put me in a different frame of mind. A little time warp, a little muscle man, a lot of Frank'N'Furter having fun with Brad and Janet, then the comeuppance from Riff Raff as Frank swam in the pool while all his dreams went away.
As I got up to go to bed, I noticed a message light on my terminal. Curious, I saw that it was from Harry. I restrained my first impulse to hit delete and stood indecisive for a moment. Then I gave in to curiosity and sat down to read his message.
'Tom: all the vids are here. There is no other copy. I know how upset these made you when I took them and I thought you would want to have possession of all of the vids to destroy them or whatever. I didn't want you to wonder what I might be doing with them. I'm truly sorry, Tom, for everything I've done to hurt you. If you look at the vids, you'll know I have more to be sorry for than you ever knew. Harry'
Oh, gods, I cried. As I wiped away the tears, I scrolled through the vids. They were in reverse order from when they were taken. As I looked at the first two I realized that these were taken the night I pretended to be his angel. Only I didn't remember posing for these. Harry must have set the camera to record after he put it down. I think my heart stopped for a minute. How could he have done this to me? How could I have trusted him?
But I was fascinated by the images on the screen and I couldn't take my eyes away. In reverse order, the first one showed Harry deeply buried inside me, not that anyone would have known who it was because only parts of thighs, balls, and cheeks were visible in the close-up view of this vid. But the angle of the vid made it clear that there was only one place Harry's cock could be and that was inside of me. I could see the bottom of his hand on the small part of my own cock just visible at the top of the picture.
The next vid had him only partly inside me. I could see the ridge along that large organ as it disappeared inside the pink skin of my opening. My ass was high enough up so that I could see the unmarked skin left from the doctor's regeneration. Harry's ass muscle was tight and bunched from the tension of pressing his cock into me. Geez, it was beautiful from this angle.
In the third vid, the head of his cock had just pressed inside my anus. I could see the stretched skin straining to take it in. Then the next vid showed his full, thick cock just outside my flaring anus. Clearly, I was prepared for him, the slick lube shone in the picture, his finger lay to the side, holding me open. Some of the white silk of the robe had draped itself around my barely seen leg.
I had to look away for a long moment, my cock had started to throb in brotherhood with Harry's rigid member. A long, shuddering breath later, I returned to my monitor, one hand in my lap, one hand controlling the images on the screen.
Next, I saw pictures of three fingers inside me, a thumb against my balls. As in all the pictures, my legs were wide apart, pressed back and up against my sides. I remembered that posture, how stiff I'd felt afterwards, but in the vids there was no sense of the muscle strain I felt later. In this vid, Harry's huge cock curved upwards, a beautiful unsupported structure that seemed to rise from his balls like a romantic sword.
Oh, gods, the next vid showed Harry's tongue rimming my anus. I didn't even remember that. I had to stop looking at these images. My cock clearly told me it wanted the real thing, not the pictures on a screen. It strained for the warmth of Harry's hand. I let my fingers slide inside my pants, to rest on my hot cock. The tip of my finger caught the precum forming on my penis and I slid the moisture down my shaft, a poor lubricant, but all I had unless I moved from the chair. And I'm not sure anything could have moved me from that chair except maybe the computer terminal getting up and floating across the room so that I had to follow it if I wanted to see the next vid.
Compelled beyond any known reason other than my own heated lust, I returned to the vids. This one was familiar in terms of my pose. I had opened myself up to his vid and he had taken at least one close-up, an extreme close-up. My rosy anus filled the view screen, the lower quarter of my balls hanging like ornaments at the very top of the picture.
I reversed the direction of the vids and played them from that point forward, my hand stroking inside my pants as the pictures replayed the way Harry had made love to me. When the first vid came up with Harry concealed so deeply inside me, I pulled on my cock and came, spurting into my hand and pants.
Afterwards, I slumped back in the chair, eyes closed, the vids vividly displayed inside my head. Oh, Harry, I thought. That night I had felt so deeply loved. Had it all been a fake on his part?
I thought I'd quickly scroll through the rest of the vids because I needed to get out of my sticky pants and into a cold shower. I also needed to sleep. But then I saw that the previous set of pictures came from Thanksgiving. Once again, I found he'd taken pictures of which I'd had no knowledge. This time, I saw myself across the table, the skirts of the pilgrim dress high on my back, my bare ass glowing red, a trickle of cum visible on one cheek. Harry had just fucked me to where I had no rigid bones left in my body. There were other vids, me backed against the wall, the skirts in my hands, his mouth on my cock, his hand disappearing between my legs. My expression was as if I was no longer in this world.
Then, there were the pictures I remembered, me standing there totally embarrassed in the full Pilgrim outfit. I studied the vid for a moment. Maybe an hour before these had been taken, Harry had spanked me hard and then fucked me on the couch. The look on my face in this photo showed that, although embarrassed, I was still in some kind of dreamy state.
Oh, geez, he must have replicated the vid camera a lot earlier than I thought he had. He must have programmed it to follow the two of us and take pictures at fixed intervals, or perhaps he programmed it to take pictures to the sounds of moans. There I was, across his lap, my ass a bright red, my shorts bunched around my knees, his hand raised high in the air. The resolution on the picture was so sharp I could see the butt plug in my ass. My heart stopped. I’m not sure what got it going again. Maybe it was the deep, very ragged breaths I took that kicked it up.
Several more photos showed Harry’s hand landing on my ass. The last one in this series must have been taken after the second time his palm hit me as only two pink handprints showed up on my otherwise pale cheeks.
I could feel my cock stirring restlessly in my already sticky pants. Seeing the spanking from this angle . . . It was so real, so tangible. My bottom began to feel warm as I reversed the scroll to go back through the series. I wiggled in my chair and knew how much I wanted to feel that hand on my bare backside again. My cock agreed, surging once again against the restraining cloth of my sweat pants. What was I going to do?
A sex crazed voice inside my head told me to comm Harry and tell him to get his ass over here as quickly as possible, paddle optional. But a saner voice told me to let it go for tonight, take a cold shower, and sleep on it. Ass and cock protested as I turned off the vids. But my head told me what I'd just seen, no matter how hot, meant Harry had betrayed me all along. Why had he done this? It felt as if my heart was breaking all over again.
I didn't know what to do with the vids. Harry'd kept them under encryption and I knew I should do the same. No telling who might help themselves to my computer, I thought as I worked out an encryption scheme.
I sure as hell wasn't going to delete them.
The cold shower worked as planned and, exhausted by the day, I fell on my bed and was asleep almost as soon as my head touched the pillow.
End Part 8
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 9/ 12
Codes: P/K; C
For summary, disclaimers and warning, see part 1. Please do not read this part if
you have not read the warning.
Day 10 January 3
I spent the morning, after my obligatory session with the doctor, wondering what to do about Harry. For awhile yesterday I'd wanted to ask him if we could get back together. Then I'd seen the additional vids he'd taken without my knowledge. Last night I'd been conflicted because they turned me on. But morning brought a somewhat different perspective. Those were such intimate pictures and it really upset me to think he'd never said a word about them, never asked me if it would be okay. Damn him!
As if Harry knew I was thinking about him, he had the nerve to comm me. "Tom? It's Harry. I'm going on break soon, could we . . . could we talk? Tom?"
I wasn't sure what to say. I stood looking out my window at the starfield.
His voice cracked and, in my mind, I saw us together in the vids, the love we'd shared. It couldn't all have been a fake on his part, could it? "Yeah. Okay."
He arrived in five minutes and I went to the door to let him in. His appearance stunned me. He looked terrible. I just stood there openmouthed as he likewise stood taking me in. There was a shocked look on his face to match mine.
"Tom? What. . . .?"
The door finally swished shut as he entered the room.
"Yeah, well you don't look so great yourself."
"The doctor said you were still convalescing, but otherwise okay. I'm not so sure..."
"I'm all right. Just . . .tired a lot." I went over to the replicator. "Want something?"
"No, thanks. Well, not from the replicator." He took a deep breath and I found myself staring at his dark eyes. "Tom. Can't we get past all this? I screwed up. I never meant to hurt you."
"Yeah, and that was a lovely little surprise you left for me on my computer." The surge of anger that surfaced as I thought about those vids ended up as a phaser-like pain in my heart. "Why?"
He spread his hands, palms upturned, and shook his head, the dark hair swinging slightly. "I shouldn't have done that. I am so sorry, Tom."
"Is there anything else I'm going to find out that you haven't told me?" Although he hadn't answered my first question, I was too bent on quizzing him further to insist on an answer.
He looked ready to cry, "Just that I love you so much. Tom. . . I always thought that if we broke up it'd be because of something you did . . . "
"Gee, thanks, Harry," but I knew what he meant. My track record on Voyager for long term relationships was about six months max, and that one with B'Elanna was an outlier. Harry had told me once that he didn't want me sabotaging our relationship. I'd believed it would be me, too. "Yeah, same here."
"I'm ashamed that it's been me. Really, really ashamed. If I could redo everything . . . "
"You'd what, Harry? Not spank me? Not fuck me? What would you do differently?" Some of the anger had crept back into my voice.
"I wouldn't take pictures of us . . . at least not without asking you first. And I wouldn't rig any bets. But I'd still get off on seeing you in those costumes." He looked directly at me, and in a low voice, added, "I'd still want to slide inside of you and make love to you until you didn't know who you were or where you were. If you wanted, I'd still want to take my hand to your bare backside. And, Tommy," he paused to see if he had my attention. He did. "I'd still love you like no one else ever has."
There was a vehemence in his tone, his whole body strained toward me, his eyes implored me to believe him. I was wavering. His last sentence hit home. No one else had ever loved me like he did, or like I thought he did. Subdued, I chewed a bit on my lips, "I don't know what to believe."
"I understand. What can I do to make you trust me?"
"I don't know." And I didn't know. "What you did, those weren't the acts of some one who loved some one." Please tell me how they were acts of love, I begged silently.
His shoulders slumped and he made a futile motion toward me. "Tom?"
I could get lost in his sadness, it mirrored my own so much. He seemed to reach inside himself, to come to some decision. I wondered what he was going to say and waited for him to figure it out.
Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair. "Tommy, I did those vids out of fear."
"Fear?" I really didn't understand.
"Yeah. I feared I'd lose you. Hell, I was sure that would happen. I wanted to have something . . . something that would last after you were gone. And in that fear I didn't think it through. I just didn't think . . . "
Oh, shit, what was I hearing? It sounded like me after Caldik Prime. And I'd *only* caused the deaths of three people. I'd lied because I was afraid and I hadn't thought it through. I'd wanted to retain the love of my family and when I finally told the truth I completely lost my father. Was that what I was doing to Harry? Reenacting my father's rejection because someone I loved didn't live up to my expectations?
"What . . . what are you thinking? Is there any chance?"
Tears cascaded down my cheeks. I felt determined not to be the unforgiving bastard that my father had been. Choking, I managed to tell him, "Yeah, there's a chance."
A smile lit up his face and then he was crying in my arms as we hugged each other, both of us in tears. Of course, the Paris luck kicked in and his comm badge chirped. "Ensign, this is Chakotay. Are you planning to return?"
I spoke up, trying to get the tears out of my voice. "Hey, Commander, can someone else finish his shift?"
There was a moment of silence as I guess Chakotay tried to find out if someone could relieve Harry at Ops. Harry hissed at me, "You didn't need to do that. And he's never gonna agree to it."
I just smiled mysteriously. Chakotay's voice returned, "Ensign, you're off duty until your shift tomorrow."
"Thank you, Commander," Harry replied, totally baffled.
I just grinned.
"How'd you know?" Harry asked.
I shrugged and thought of keeping the suspense going, but honesty won out. "He wants us to get back together."
"How do you know?" there was just a hint of suspicion in Harry's voice.
"He told me."
During this conversation we'd stepped apart. He moved toward me to close the distance and I held up my hand. "Let's take this slowly, Harry, okay?"
"Afraid of me?"
"No." Well, maybe a little. I didn't want to be hurt again. "Look. We need to talk."
Harry gave a deep sigh. "All right."
I found my favorite seat on the couch and Harry took a place neither too far nor too close to me. I opened up with, "I know I said we need to talk. It's just not easy for me."
"For me either. But I want to know if you're taking me back, if there are any strings attached, what the ground rules are . . ."
"Hey. One thing at a time." He seemed ready to hang on my every word. "Yes, I guess I am asking if you'll come back. And, yeah, there's gotta be some ground rules."
"I think so, too."
Okay, Harry agreed with me. But did we want the same thing? "I need to know that you won't betray me, my trust in you, again. You know? No surprises."
"You have it."
He spoke the words too quickly. I wanted him to know that he couldn’t take this promise lightly. "This is important to me, Harry. I've damn near destroyed my life with my own lies, I know how easy it is to do, and I also know how no lie ever remains undetected. When they come out . . . there's hell to pay."
He ducked his head and a flush spread across his dusky skin. "I know. I am so sorry I hurt you. I can't believe I did it. I mean, I love you so much."
I took a deep breath. "You know I lied to Starfleet about Caldik Prime and that when I told the truth I was cashiered out." He nodded and seemed to wonder where I was going with this. "What I haven't told you is how much I hurt my family, especially my father. He didn't even come to my court martial. We hadn't been on good terms before the court martial, but that . . . it was like I knew I'd never be accepted by him, loved by him, again."
Harry made the connection with our own situation. "Is that why you're willing to take me back?"
"I'm willing to give us another chance. But I am worried that I could be hurt again." I dropped my voice when I added, "I don't think I could take that."
"Tom, I promise. I will do my best not to hurt you again. I never meant to hurt you in the first place."
Looking into his troubled face, I knew he meant what he said. But if something came up, would he remember these words? I sighed and hoped so. There was something else I needed to tell him about me. As I tried to do it, I began to stumble all over my words. "I . . . uh . . . there's . . . I want to tell you more. If you know, maybe you'll . . . I don't know . . . figure out how important all this is to me."
Although he was silent, he nodded his head as if in encouragement. Still, I wondered if I could tell him the rest. Without meeting his eyes, I made an attempt at it. "After I left Starfleet, when I drifted around the Alpha Quadrant, I was nothing more than a drunk and worse. You met the drunk that I was," he had met a *me* in an alternate universe who had missed the chance that Voyager had offered me. "What I never told you, and I guess you never knew, was that . . . " I stopped talking, not sure I could go on.
"It's all right, Tommy," he said softly. My hand had settled on the back of the couch. He stroked along my fingers and the back of my hand with his own, more blunt fingers. "You don't have to say anything."
"I think I do. If there aren't going to be any surprises from you, then there can't be any from me either."
"I'm not asking for that."
"But it's important."
"Okay," he agreed. "And, you're right. It is important. I wouldn't appreciate any surprises either."
"The thing is, your fears about me leaving you are well founded." I saw him flinch from my words and I hastened to explain. "You've seen me go through half the people on this ship, well, maybe not quite that many, but I haven't lasted in a relationship with any one. And I tried with B'Elanna, I really did."
"I know you did, Tom." He seemed relieved that I wasn't planning on leaving him.
"So. Just from what you saw of me on the ship, you'd have to be crazy to think you'd be in a relationship with me for any length of time." I took a deep breath and studied my lap. "One of the people killed at Caldik Prime was . . . someone I loved. I felt so guilty. And I went into a period of time where I was . . . promiscuous? . . . no, worse, I started out a slut and ended up a whore."
There, I'd said it. I dared to look at him. His eyes told me he was dumbfounded. "I'd heard the rumors. . . but I didn't think they were true."
"They were. I was drinking too much, I had no resources, I couldn't get hired on as a pilot, and I . . . sold myself."
He shook his head as if he didn't want to believe it. I wished I hadn't lived it. I'd also like to believe it had never happened. Painfully, I knew all too well that it had.
I felt as if I might be risking everything with Harry with that revelation. But I didn't want another relationship where the other person had no idea who I really was. It might be better to be alone than wondering if the other could really accept me, past and all. Despite that brave thought, I didn't want to be alone. I was never very good alone. I needed Harry. And here I was, telling him his lover was a whore.
"I'm sorry," I said, miserable with the thought that he was going to get up and slam out of my cabin, disgusted and sick at the images I'd given him.
"That must have been awful for you," he consoled me. "Oh, Tommy, I can't imagine how you could have lived through that."
Harry seemed to understand, still seemed to care about me . . . I lost it and just started sobbing. Harry reached over and rubbed his hand along the back of my shoulders, then he pulled me to him and I cried against his chest. When I finally came back to myself, I told him, "Thank you. I don't deserve you, Harry."
"Sh-h, it's all right. You're still the same Tom Paris I fell in love with. Had my life gone differently . . . "
"You never would have done what I did," I assured him.
He didn't contradict me, but gave me big hug. "But . . .what about the Maquis?"
Harry was inviting me to share the rest of my story. So, I gave him an abbreviated version. "Chakotay heard about me, met my price. And I didn't have to sleep with him or anyone else to get the job. But, I had to sober up enough to fly, and I did. Just enough."
"You sound so bitter."
"Just basically pissed at myself for being such a jerk."
"Is that why you're telling me all this? To let me know that I'm somehow not alone in being a jerk?"
I gave a half smile, "You could say that. But I'm also telling you that you had good reasons, even if you weren't aware of them, you must have sensed something, to know that I wasn't good relationship material." That didn't come out very coherently. "I'm trying to say your fear was legitimate. You should fear being in a relationship with me. I'm sorry we never talked about this stuff before. When we got together, somehow I just wanted a chance at a fresh start. You know? No baggage from the past. But someone told me the past can come back and bite you in the ass. I think he was right."
"Maybe so. But now I hope we can both have that, the fresh start, you know, for both of us." He was taking things awfully well. Then he admitted, "Even taking into account the fear I felt that I would lose you, it doesn't excuse the things I did."
"Damn right," I agreed.
His eyebrows quirked up and then he smiled when he realized that I was grinning at him. "Yeah. So. Is there anything else I should know?"
"Lots of stuff, Harry, but maybe we could take a break from all this talking. I'm not . . . used to this."
"It's making you uncomfortable?"
"I don't really feel as if I know what I'm doing. I mean, if this relationship were a starship, I'd know what to do when the controls went down, or whatever, but . . . "
"Hey, Tommy, you're not alone there." He sounded angry, but I realized it was with himself. "All because of my own actions, I've been afraid that I'd totally lost the most important relationship in my life."
I looked away from him. "Maybe you'd be better off if you had."
"How can you keep saying things like that?"
"Didn't you hear what I said about myself?"
"Well, it doesn't matter to me. I love you. I wouldn't let Cavit and the others tell me who to be friends with, I wouldn't let the Akriterian prison kill you, and I won't let your past get between us. And for my part, I won't jeopardize our future by acting behind your back ever again."
"Oh." It sounded so good, everything I wanted to hear. Could this terrible week be over now? A nagging voice in my head said that this was too easy. But, I remembered Harry standing fiercely over my dying body in that stinking Akriterian prison, waving a pipe at anyone who dared to try to hurt me. Before we were lovers, we were best friends and he had protected me many times as best he could. I fell into his arms and cried, "Oh, Harry. Harry. I love you, I've missed you."
He hugged me to him and we both had a good cry. Never mind that guys in the 24th Century didn't do that sort of thing.
Sometime later, he brought me a wet cloth and gently wiped my face, kissing my forehead as he did so. His kisses traveled down my face to settle on my mouth. Hungry for him, I returned the kiss. I felt his hands roam under my shirt. "Ouch."
"Your hair is starting to grow in," Harry complained.
"Uh, yeah, I guess so." That Christmas Eve illness had been so bad, the doctor had removed my chest and pubic hair to create a sterile field. Harry had liked it. I hadn't minded, but the hairs growing in now were like little razor blades. "Don't stop."
"We're going to have to do something about these hairs." He left me on the couch and went to the replicator. When he came back he had a tube of something in his hand and a damp towel over his arm. Somehow, I didn't think he had lube with him.
He took off my shirt and then knelt on the floor beside me. "Here. Lie down." Once I complied, he warmed the cream and then smeared it on my chest and used the towel to wipe it off, taking the hairs with the cream. It felt strangely sensual, a slight tingle, the warm towel smoothing over my skin.
I closed my eyes and let him do it. His hands pulled at the waistband of my pants, opening them, pulling them and my shorts off my hips as I lifted up to help. He slid a hand up and down my thigh and my legs fell apart, opening for him. He smoothed more cream over my abdomen down to my groin. The warm towel gently wiped the hairs away. As he worked the cream around my balls and penis, I moved my hips to accommodate his ministrations. When he finished, he nestled his face between my legs, and I let one leg drop to the floor widening the distance between my thighs.
When I'd agreed to meet, I hadn't thought we would end up having sex. Where was my anger? My self-righteous victimhood? I don't know. This was Harry. His seduction drew me in. Somewhere about the time he said, 'Lie down', I knew I was going to follow wherever he led. I wanted him and I wanted to feel him want me.
His mouth and lips heated my skin with constant kisses and my cock began to stir. His tongue darted out and licked each ball. Then the tongue moved lower and stroked at my anus. I think I heard moaning and I think it was me, but I was rapidly losing myself under his probing tongue. One hand rearranged my legs, opening me even wider to his care. His other hand slid across my smooth chest, rubbing and stroking as I moved beneath them.
Then I realized he was no longer doing any of those things. In protest, I groaned and opened my eyes. "Harry . . . "
"No. Wait. I want to know if you want this."
I was a little slow, after all, my body was nearly on fire with desire for him. "Huh?"
His voice was patient. I guess he knew he'd reduced me to a babbling idiot. "Tommy, listen to me. Do you want to me go on?"
"If you don't go on, I'm breaking up with you for good."
He laughed with me, then leaned over my face and kissed me hard. Breaking free for air, he said, "I'll take that as a yes."
"Yes," I whispered. "Yes."
He pulled me to my feet as I made protesting noises to no avail. "Bed."
Sounded good to me, except we'd have to start all over again. As we stood at the side of the bed, he placed a hand on my ass. It was warm and firm against my flesh. "Lie down, face down."
When he used that stern tone of voice, I just about trembled under his touch. I found a spot in the middle of the bed and lay there looking back and up at him as he took off his clothes. His body was as beautiful as I remembered, maybe a little thinner, but those broad shoulders and narrow waist spoke to me of power and beauty. The dark thatch of hair that launched his cock was as inviting as it was aroused. I wanted him badly.
His weight shifted the mattress under me and I shivered as he began to slide kisses down my spine, his fingers now playing across the moving mounds of my bottom. Oh, gods, how I'd missed this. He rose up on his knees and kneaded my ass cheeks. His firm fingers dug in and reshaped my flesh to conform to his own vision of how my ass should look. One firm hand slid between my crack and I vibrated under his touch. He thrust my legs apart, my ass rising a bit. His fingers rubbed up and down my crack, over my anus, down to my balls.
He paused for what seemed like hours, but had to be only moments, to snatch the lube from the bedside drawer. His slick fingers returned and retraced their path, deepening each time they encountered my opening. Soon there was a finger digging deeper and deeper, a thumb stroking the tender skin.
He worked at the anal sphincter muscle, coaxing it into relaxing and into admitting additional fingers. I pushed back on his hand and received a sharp slap from his other hand. "Don't. Let me do this."
Oh, that set my cock to attention and it was all that I could do not to respond forcefully to the fingers in my ass. But he wanted to direct this and I wanted to let him.
The fingers had worked their will and I was loosened and ready for him when he braced the head of his cock against me. "Yes, yes," I moaned. He slid home and I felt the incredible fullness, heat, and depth of him as he went past the burning and initial resistance. I wanted this so much. But I let him set the rhythm, knowing this was how he wanted to do it. After a few gentle strokes in and out, his lips nibbled against my neck. I felt his hands guiding my hips up and back as I let my body become his for the taking.
His moans mingled with my own. I heard his mumbled words, "Tommy, oh, angel, you're mine, you're mine. I promise, I won't hurt you again, I won't, oh, baby, let me in. Let me take you now."
He may have said more, but it was lost in the strong thrusts of his cock inside my body. He rocked our bodies together, forward and back, pounding into me almost furiously until the sweat poured off our backs. One hand left my wet hip and found my straining cock. He pulled and I went off, just like that. I felt the orgasm rip through me. My internal muscles spasmed around his buried cock. Oh, gods, help me, he practically pommeled me down onto the bed. Then he held still for a moment just before he spurted over and over inside me.
Harry collapsed on my back, locked inside by what little life remained within his cock. He kissed my face right by my ear as he rolled off and lay stretched out beside me, one hand in possession of an ass cheek that I decided had his name on it. In my mind, I gave it up to him to do with as he wished.
I drifted off to sleep, content in a way that I hadn't been in a long time.
End Part 9
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 10/12
Codes: P/K; C
For summary, disclaimers and warning, see part 1. Please do not read this part if you have not read the warning.
Day 10 Continued
I didn't wake up until hours later where I found myself alone and covered with a blanket, the lights dimmed. I didn't hear Harry but I had the feeling that he was still around somewhere. My ass felt sore, but the general feeling of well being more than compensated for that slight discomfort. Okay, maybe it was more than slight, but, damn, I was happy. We'd worked it out, everything was going to be all right now.
I put on some clothes and realized that Harry must have cleaned me up because I didn't feel sticky like I would have expected otherwise. When I shuffled out into the living room, I found him on the couch, PADD in hand. My heart leapt at the sight of how good he looked. He'd put on a pair of old sweats he'd left in my quarters and which I hadn't bothered to return to him.
When he looked up, he gave me a warm, welcoming smile that spread its warmth right through me. "Tommy, how was your nap?"
His grin was infectious. "Great. I feel great." And I did. The nagging tiredness I hadn't been able to throw off was gone. I felt like *me* for the first time in over a week. "I think I'm hungry."
There was a gleam to his eyes as he said, "I imagine I could find something for you to . . . eat?"
"Yes." I felt almost lost in the depths of those glinting eyes. "Yes." I could almost taste his cum, the image of going down on him was so vivid.
"Well, how about if we restock with real food first?" He knew exactly what I wanted. "Maybe dessert instead?"
Anything, I thought. Just let me touch you, just tell me you want me, just tell me it's safe. As if reading my mind, he rose from the couch, leaving the PADD behind and came over to my side. The kiss he gave me was almost enough to knock me off my feet. "I love you, Tom, it'll be okay now. You'll see."
We ate a light dinner, talked some about the ship and its people, and, true to his word, he let me have the dessert that could only come from his body. Then he returned the favor and sucked me off so hard I almost passed out. The fears I'd experienced earlier, when I'd told him a little about my past, melted away. He still loved me, still wanted me. In the sated contentment that followed our lovemaking, I thought back to when I believed there was almost nothing I wouldn't do for him. That feeling had returned.
Day 11 January 4
My ass woke up before I did. Someone's fingers were playing around that ass, someone's lips were nuzzling against my throat, and someone's voice was murmuring my name. As I stretched, I moved right onto his fingers, pulling them inside me. I moaned and tightened my muscles around them. The musky scent of sex talked to me. Arousal whispered my name and my cock throbbed under me.
Even though he didn't say anything, Harry acted as if he knew that I was awake. His body moved on top of me, his nuzzlings increased as he sucked my neck to the point of bruising. It didn't hurt, it felt more like a fiery breath had claimed me and made me his. As Harry's body pressed down on mine, I could feel his strong cock poking between my legs. His knees spread my legs apart, the one hand still busy inside me, the other stroking down my back. When he had me pleading and begging for him to fuck me, he used both hands to flip me onto my back and very quickly lifted my legs onto his shoulders. His cock pushed to my entrance, then entered me smoothly.
Oh, gods, I was still sore from last night. He must have seen me wince, because he paused, breathing heavily, waiting for me to be ready. Finally, the soreness eased and I nodded, mouthing, "Do it, do it."
He kissed my lips, his tongue inside my mouth just as his cock was inside my ass. I groaned at the incredible sensations of being doubly taken. He rose up and then thrust downwards, his cock stroking deeply inside me. He did it again and again, going deeper with each jolt. Then the rhythm changed, became wild and supercharged as he lost himself to all his instincts and hormones.
And I became lost myself in the pommeling frenzy that joined us together. My own cock spoke up for itself, begging for release. But when my hand reached for it, Harry batted my hand away and placed his own firmly around my eager cock. I heard a growl-like sound, "Mine."
I should have known by now. Harry liked to control the timing. And when I let him, it always felt like my own orgasm was more intense, more charged. My hands fell to the sheets, grabbing them into my fists. My body strained upwards to bounce my pelvis against his. Oh, gods, he kept hammering into me, all the while pulling on my cock, until I screamed from the incredible intensity, my cum spurting into his hand, onto my chest. My orgasm imprisoned him within me. His pulses tightened until, crying as loudly as I had, Harry came in waves that almost brought my spent cock back to life.
Afterwards, his hand lazily stroked my nearest thigh, fingers painting a random pattern on my heated flesh. "I missed that so much," he murmured.
"Me too." I couldn't put together more energy than it took to utter those two words.
"How's your ass?" he asked at length.
I laughed. "Sore."
I shrugged, "Just sore."
Harry rolled over and rose up on his elbows to peer down at my face. "Don't lie, Tommy."
I was a little annoyed at his accusation. "Hey. It's my ass."
Softly, he said, "No, it's mine. Remember?"
There was a huge grin on his face and I grinned in return. "Okay, it's yours."
"Let me get the regenerator."
I protested, "Harry."
"No," he shushed me with a finger to my mouth. "It's the right thing to do. I don't want you to be so sore that we can't do this again . . . say at lunch?"
"That's a promise I'll hold you to." I leaned up to kiss him, the protest gone.
After a quick shower and breakfast, Harry went off to report to his shift. As he prepared to leave, I felt a little guilty that we hadn't talked more. There was still the whole matter of what kind of relationship we would have now. But I didn't dwell on it. After all, we had lots of time ahead of us. Happily, I walked to sickbay to keep my appointment with the doctor. He smirked more than usual. "So, how are we this morning?"
"*We* are fine." I submitted to his scans and answered his questions. And I ended up pleased to hear him tell me that I faced only one more day of rest and then I could go back on limited duty. My pleasure went away when he told me I could report for a half shift in sickbay. He said he wanted to see how I would hold up before he let me back on bridge duty. I think he just liked to torture me.
As I prepared to leave, he gave me his parting shot. "Try not to tire yourself out in bed, Lt."
I just laughed. "Gee. How would I do that?"
"It's not hard to tell that Ensign Kim must be back in your life. You've been positively bubbly this morning." I couldn't erase the grin from my face if I tried. "I am surprised, if I do say so myself, at how pleased I am at this turn of events."
Oh, well. Even the doc's good wishes were about himself. On my way out the door, I just said, "Thanks, doc."
When Harry showed up at lunch time, it was not the Harry I was expecting who burst through my door. I'd heard the door swish open and closed but was busy at the replicator, "Hey, Harry."
When I turned around, I realized Harry was angry, almost livid. "When were you going to tell me, huh? All that talk about honesty, and no surprises! What was it, just a good old Paris line? Huh, Tom?"
I backed away from his anger, totally confused. What had I done? What was he so upset about? He never actually touched me but his rage was so intense I felt it come at me in waves. I backed up against my wall, pinned there by the hot anger in his eyes. "Harry? I don't . . . "
"You're going to stand there and deny it? Is that your plan? Just add more lies on top of lies?"
I shook my head, really shaken and not knowing what he was going on about. "Harry, I don't know what you're talking about. Please . . ."
"Tell me what this is all about."
He spit the name out. "Chakotay."
I blinked. "Chakotay?"
"Did you like sleeping with him? How did he do you?" Harry's voice was incredibly bitter.
Okay, now at least I could respond. "Chakotay and I have never slept together. Never, Harry. I don't know how you got that idea. But it's not true."
"I'm not lying. I'm not!" I was feeling desperate to get through to him. "Harry, let's talk about this. I don't know how you could accuse me of me sleeping with him. I never did." However, in my mind, the terrible knowledge that I'd come on to him made me feel guilty. And Harry must have seen that.
"Then why are you looking so guilty? Huh, Tom?"
I flushed. "Harry, we didn't sleep together. That's the truth. I don't know why you think we did."
"He spent a lot of time here, he was seen coming out of this room with a hard on. So what was going on?"
Oh, shit. I tried a little offense. "Harry, if we'd been fucking, do you think he'd have left here with a hard on?"
"Chakotay came back. He spent a lot of time in here. Just you and him."
"He was looking after me. We talked. A lot of the time, I was asleep and he was just cleaning up and waiting until I woke up. Nothing happened between us."
Harry seemed to calm down a little. And I found myself beginning to breathe again. "Nothing happened?"
Now I had a decision to make. Lie to him or confess my own indiscretion? Seeing his jealous rage made me wonder if telling him would be such a good idea. But I had promised not to surprise him in return for him not surprising me. "We never had sex, we never kissed, he never touched me in any kind of intimate way, I never touched him. Okay?" I watched him process that and saw his reluctant acceptance. He moved away and I felt as if I had been unpinned from the wall. A little warily, I moved around him and headed over to the couch. "There is something."
"He knows a lot, Harry."
"Yeah?" Harry sat down on one of the dining chairs not too far from me. The chair positioned him higher than me and I had the feeling that maybe I was still pinned. "What do you mean, *he knows a lot*?"
"About . . . about the way we've been, I mean, he could . . . he could probably help us out in . . . staying out of trouble."
"What are you talking about?"
"I asked him about stuff, and he told me what it would be like. You know, if he was . . . if he and I . . .but that's all he did. He just talked." Could I be more uncomfortable?
Harry was shaking his head. He was still suspicious. "So, Chakotay came on to you?"
"No." I knew I had to tell him and get it out in the open. I didn't want to go around feeling guilty about my stupid actions with Chakotay. Sighing heavily, I owned up. "I came on to him."
"Dammit! I knew something went on! I knew it!" He blew up again. Rising violently to his feet, Harry yanked on the chair to get it out of his way. His anger took him back and forth across the room.
"Nothing happened," I said for the umpteenth time. "Harry, please, stop and listen to me. Yeah, I acted like a jerk, he called me on it, and he left. I'm sorry."
He didn't speak for awhile, just paced, his eyes flicking over to me where I sat tensed on the couch.
I risked saying something, "Harry, please, I don't want to lose you over this."
Finally, the pacing stopped. When he looked at me I could see the pain behind the anger. "You wanted to cheat on me?"
I shook my head. "That wasn't it. I thought we were over for good."
"So in a few days time you get over me and throw yourself at Chakotay?"
"Yeah, right," his derision hurt. "How'd you come on to him? Did you drop your pants? Did you try to go down on him? Did you call upon all your past experiences as a . . . " he stopped just short of calling me a whore. He didn't have to use the word. I knew he was thinking it. "What? What did you do?"
I swallowed my hurt. I hated for him to think of me in that way, but I was the one who'd come on to the commander. I guess I deserved his scorn. I wondered if I told Harry more about what transpired if it would help, if he'd believe me. "I smiled at him."
That startled Harry enough to break into his anger. "You smiled at him?"
"Yeah," I risked a grin. "It was a big come on. He couldn't handle the Tom Paris wattage." I turned serious and conceded, "He damn near smacked me for it."
"Chakotay hit you?"
"No. But I think he wanted to."
"Because you smiled at him." I shrugged. "And that's what happened?"
"Everything." Harry shook his head as if he was having trouble believing it all.
"You smiled at Chakotay and he got mad enough to want to hit you?" He mulled that over a bit more. I watched carefully as all the anger deflated. He laughed a little. "Damn. He's not alone."
"What do you mean?" I asked in mock innocence.
"How many times have you turned some Tom Paris grin on me and I wanted to smack you one?"
"You did?" Then I thought about it and joked, "Yeah, well, you've had a few opportunities, haven't you?"
"You mean all the times I've smacked you on that perfect bare ass of yours?"
The way he spoke made my cock jump. Oh, yeah. I wondered if I looked hopeful.
"Tonight, Tommy." His words carried a charged threat. He came over to me, pulled me into his arms. "I'm sorry I was such a hot head."
I let him kiss me and then I kissed him back. "Well, I'm sorry there's stories out there about me and Chakotay. But you believe me, don't you?"
"That nothing happened?" He kissed me on the nose. "I believe you."
He sighed and I asked, "But?"
"I wish you hadn't come on to him."
"Me too." And I meant it. "Harry, it won't happen again. I promise."
His gaze was searching and I don't know if he found what he was looking for. However, his hand caressed the side of my head, petting my hair from my forehead on around to the back of my head. I took that as a good sign.
His arms hugged me for a bit more and then I pulled away. "You don't have much time before you have to go back, do you?"
"Not enough," there was real regret in his tone. "How about some actual lunch?"
"As opposed to . . . ?" I let the suggestion linger. I got a playful swat on the rear for my troubles.
"Lunch," he reiterated firmly.
"Okay, okay." I wanted to make love. I wanted to erase all that anger and suspicion. I thought if I could take him in my arms and kiss him all over and let him take my body in any way he wanted to that we could right the scene we'd just had. But there really were only a few minutes left to his break. So I replicated a sandwich and a glass of milk for each of us. He ate hurridly, gave me a quick kiss, a quick grab to my ass, and then he was gone.
I felt totally drained and thoroughly shaken by what had happened. I made it to the couch, lay down, and trembled under the blanket until I fell asleep.
The annoying chirp of the comm system intruded on my nap. I wanted to bat it away, shut it off if I could. But it kept chirping.
"Paris," I answered, giving it my best long suffering sound.
"This is Chakotay. I'm calling from my ready room. Are you all right?"
"Um . . . I don't know. I was asleep."
"It took you a long time to answer."
"Okay." If that's what happened, who was I to argue. "What . . .? What can I do for you, Commander?"
"I wondered if I could be of any help."
"In what way?"
"Harry showed up this morning looking as if he wanted to tear my head off. When he returned from lunch, he seemed only marginally better. I thought you two had made up?"
I sighed. "We did. Look, I don't feel comfortable talking to you about this over the comm."
"Shall I see you in your quarters?"
Remembering Harry's jealousy, I didn't think it would be wise if he happened to find us together in my quarters, no matter how innocent the meeting. "Uh, no. Maybe we could meet in the mess hall. I think I'm up for a little walk outside of my quarters."
Chakotay must have understood and agreed to meet in the mess hall in ten minutes. The timing allowed me to clean up some. I even put on a uniform for the meeting. Might as well make it look official.
When I put on the uniform, I was surprised at how loosely it fit. I knew I didn't look very healthy, but somehow having that uniform hang on me made it hit home. I arrived before Chakotay and easily found a seat in the almost deserted room. Neelix had been working behind the counter and bustled out to see me.
"Tom, my oh my, it is so good to see you. Can I get you anything?"
"Hi, Neelix, thanks. A cup of coffee?"
By the time Neelix returned with the coffee, Chakotay had arrived. He asked for a cup of hot tea and we exchanged small talk until Neelix had completed his mission and returned behind the counter for the foreseeable future.
"Tom. What's going on?"
I shrugged. "Harry heard some stuff . . . that we'd spent a lot of time together, that you left my quarters with a . . . " I almost said the words 'hard on' but translated the phrase into something more respectable. " a . . . certain amount of physiological arousal. He was upset."
"Tom, I hope you set him straight. And by the way, I never left your cabin in 'that state'."
"Glad to hear it. Yeah, I set him straight. But I also confessed that I'd come on to you. And I told him that pissed you off. So, I think he's a little mad at me now."
"I'll say this about you, Paris, you've got a lot of guts."
I gave a snort. "Yeah, and no brains."
"Why did you tell him what you'd done?"
This time I shrugged. "I don't know. I guess . . . maybe to even things out. He did stuff to hurt me, I did stuff to hurt him. Maybe we're even."
Chakotay just shook his head, then took a sip of his tea. "Well, I hope that works. Hell of a way to make up. But . . . "
"Yeah. It worked. I think." Harry's anger still troubled me but I wasn't sure I wanted to say something to Chakotay about the way it had affected me.
"Tom. Somehow I get the feeling that things didn't go that well."
Maybe it seemed funny, but I felt the need to defend Harry. "Harry can be kind of intense. When he cares about something, or someone, he can be just totally . . . fierce."
"And what about you, when you're on the receiving end?"
For a moment any protective masks I wore fell away. I knew he could see my true feelings. After a moment spent struggling to pull myself back together, I began with, "Well . . ."
"Don't give me a line of bull, Tom."
"I was a little put off . . ."
"Tom," he warned me.
"What do you want me to say? When he left, in my head, I thought it was all right between us, but when I lay down, I was shaking."
"All right, that's better. You need to tell him about the effect that scene had on you."
"For the same reason you told him about making a pass at me. Honesty."
"Yeah. I thought so, too. But . . . maybe there are things better left unsaid."
"Do you really believe that?"
"I want him to love me, the real me, not some imaginary me. But you know what? Maybe the real me isn't lovable."
End Part 10
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 11/12
Codes: P/K; C
Day 11 continued
I wasn't sure if Chakotay was going to come across the mess hall table and grab me. He looked pissed. But he managed to calm himself down and told me why I'd upset him. "Tom. If you have to be someone you're not in order for him to love you . . . it won't last. If Harry doesn't love you, then that's his loss. And, Tom. This is important. You are not unlovable. "
"You don't love me."
"And you don't love me. That's not an issue here. The issue is that you respect yourself enough to insist on being treated well. Do you hear me?"
"You look confused."
I looked around to make sure no one was listening. No one was even in the mess hall except Neelix and he was too far away to overhear us. "I am confused. What about the . . . you know . . . I like some things with sex that maybe make it look as if I don't respect myself. So I don't understand what you're saying."
"What you like with sex is something that's been mutually negotiated between you and Harry. Right?"
"Yeah." That was true.
"His becoming angry because we spent time together while you two were split up is not something you mutually negotiated. He blew up at you, didn't he?" I nodded. "And it left you feeling very badly, right?" Again, I nodded. "When you enjoy what you enjoy in sex does it leave you feeling badly?"
"No. I mean, I like it."
"That's the difference, Tom. Does it make sense now?"
It did and I thanked him. He had to get back to the bridge, but he'd given me a lot to think about. I finished up my coffee and realized that even the ersatz caffeine couldn't help boost my energy levels. All this emotional stuff was tough on my system.
Maybe when I could get back to piloting the ship then this walking on egg shells around Harry that I'd been doing wouldn't seem so important. I just didn't know how I was going to accomplish what Chakotay seemed to think I needed to achieve. I mean, how could I tell Harry to respect me more?
Once back in my quarters, I changed back into my casual clothes, but found I couldn't pick up my nap where I'd left off. Too many thoughts were whirling around. I tried to practice what I was going to say to Harry, but couldn't figure out how I'd be able to go through with it.
When Harry himself arrived, I was jittery and nervous. He found me sitting at my computer working on a new holodeck program. When he came over and brushed a kiss against my cheek, I almost jumped out of the chair. Weird. He was acting as if nothing had happened at lunch. I stood up and shifted my weight from one foot to the other. "Harry." Oh, great. My voice was about two octaves higher than it should be.
"Tommy?" He was smiling at me as if he wondered what alien had taken me over while he worked. "What's wrong?"
"I . . . uh . . . I think . . .uh, " I just stumbled all over myself in inarticulate mutterings while Harry watched with a bemused expression on his face. "Don't look like that."
"Like . . . I'm not, you know . . . "
Harry moved past me and over to the replicator. With a glass of water in his hand, he asked me, "Okay, Tommy, what's this all about?"
"Today. Lunch time."
"What about lunch time?"
"You were really angry and you hadn't even heard my side of it. You came in here pissed as all hell, reaming me out, on the word of some unnamed crew."
"I am sorry, Tom. I thought I'd apologized."
He had. "You did."
"Then I don't get it."
"I . . . " Oh, shit. How could I say this? "I . . . you shouldn't have gone off on me like that."
"I don't want you to do it again." There. I'd said it. Now I waited for him to stalk out, to yell at me, to tell me I wasn't worth shit. I got up my courage and looked at his face. Shocked. I think the word *shocked* covered the way he looked.
Much to my total surprise, as he overcame his astonishment, his head hosted a big grin as he shook it from side to side. "Good for you," he approved.
"I shouldn't have gotten so angry. I should have known you didn't sleep with Chakotay."
"So, if you feel jealous in the future, you won't . . ."
"Yell at you? Put you on the spot? No. I won't." Then he shrugged. "Well, I'll try not to do that. I can't promise that I won't get jealous. It. . . it may take me some time to realize that you aren't going away."
I couldn't believe it. All that anguishing over this and he agreed with me! Impulsively, I hugged him to me. "Oh, Harry, Harry, gods, I love you so much."
The water in his glass sloshed a little on both of us and we stepped apart. With a rueful glance at his glass, Harry set it down on the table. A very predatory look visited his face and must have liked it there, for the gleam in Harry's eyes only intensified. "Tommy?"
I wanted to apologize, but wasn't sure what I should be apologizing for. "Um, what's going on here?"
Harry's grin was worth just about everything. "Standing up for yourself. Telling me what you want. And don't want. Before you let it go so far you explode."
"Is that what you think happened when I hit you?"
"Yeah, I think so. Was it?"
I thought about his question. "No. I don't think so. If I'd had a chance to think about it, I probably wouldn't have hit you."
Frowning, Harry reached out to me, one hand on my arm. With a big sigh, he pulled me to him. "What are we going to do?"
A lot of possible responses ran through my mind, from 'fuck me thoroughly' to 'don't leave me' to 'I need . . .'. But I said none of those things. Instead, I fixed my gaze on his and, with as much honesty as I could muster, asked, "Harry, what do you want to do? What do you want from me?"
Somehow we ended up on the couch with me half sitting on Harry's lap. My back was against the armrest, my thighs rested on Harry's lap, my left arm and his right arm entwined on the back of the couch. Our faces were close but not so close that we couldn't see each other. Either one of us could put his head down on the other's shoulder. But for the time being we settled for simply being together. His other arm rested on my lap, my hand on top of his.
Finally, he broke the silence. "I guess this is where we talk about our relationship."
"Are you as scared of that *talk* as I am?"
We both laughed, but they were nervous laughs. "Guess so. Okay. What about basics? Do we want a relationship with each other? I do."
That was gutsy of him to go first and I really appreciated the gesture. "Yeah. Me too."
"So. Then, I get the idea that there's some ground rules you want."
"I think you do, too. Want ground rules." We waited for each to go first. Then I said, "Maybe we could take turns."
"No fair!" I gave him a mock protest.
"I just went first," he pointed out.
"Okay, okay, you're right. So. I want what I said earlier. No surprises. I want to be able to trust you."
"No surprises at all? Or just no big ones?"
"What's a little one?" Gods, we were dancing around each other, covering ground we'd already been over. I knew I was having trouble coming to grips with all of this, particularly outside of bed and outside of some arousal drenched fantasy of our relationship. This stone cold sober discussion was more than a little unnerving. Maybe going over it one more time would ease us into the stuff we still needed to air out. Little surprises probably wasn't on the list of things to still air out, but it was a start.
"Oh, something like surprising you for your birthday?"
"That'd be all right. But I'm not much on birthday celebrations." Usually they'd been tense affairs when I was a kid, with my father seeming to mark off another year that I'd failed to live up to his expectations.
"I like birthdays. Maybe you could grow to like them, too?"
"Only if they're happy ones, Harry."
"I can try." There was such a pool of warmth in his dark eyes that I could almost believe it would happen. "I want to be able to get us right this time."
I almost told him we should consult with Chakotay, but I caught myself in time. I didn't need another explosion. "You know, maybe once I thought a relationship was an end product. Get the guy, get the girl into bed, the end. Anymore, I'm not sure a relationship is an end product, to me, it's more like a process. If we can get the process right, maybe the rest will take care of itself."
"When did you get so smart?" he grinned at me.
"Being alone'll do that to a guy."
"Then let's get the process right. You want to trust that I'm not doing things behind your back."
"Uh-huh. And what do you want?"
"First, I guess, I'd like to know that you've forgiven me."
That was a big one. He saw the hesitancy and shifted under me. "Harry. I'm trying. It's kind of like your jealousy. It's just gonna take me some time."
He grimaced a bit, but seemed to understand.
"So, that was first," I ventured. "What's second?"
"My jealousy thing, I guess. I want to know that you won't leave me for someone else. Or just dump me 'cause things didn't go exactly as you'd hoped."
"You don't want me to cheat on you."
I must have looked as puzzled as I felt. "I don't understand. I mean, I can understand why you might think I wouldn't stay very long in a relationship. But why would you believe I would cheat? That's not something I do."
"Have you looked in a mirror? You're beautiful. Probably the best looking person on the ship, male or female."
That produced a snort of disbelief. "I don't think so, Harry."
"Well. You are. Anyone would be attracted to you, even Chakotay."
"Couldn't resist mentioning him, huh?"
"Well, I did find you two in the bathroom . . . "
"And we explained that. But, Harry, listen to me. This is important. I'm not attracted to Chakotay."
"But you came on to him." There was genuine hurt in his voice.
"It was . . . reflex." Now it was me bringing up my past. "He said some things that went directly to my lust reflex. I reacted."
"Your *lust reflex*? Tommy."
"Well, that's the best I can do. But the thing I'm trying to say here is that I am not attracted to him. And guess what? He's not attracted to me."
"He's not?" There was suspicion in his voice. "How do you know?"
"He told me."
"You live dangerously, Paris, very dangerously." The hand on my lap made a quick attack on my ass leaving me with a hard pinch.
"Hey." I protested, squirming a little.
"I'm just letting you know what I think about that."
"And I have the feeling there's more you'd like to *tell* me."
His grin was complete confirmation of my accusation. "This isn't the time, but you're right. I'd like to blister your butt for making a pass at Chakotay."
I checked to see if he was kidding or serious. He was serious. He really did want to blister my butt. I felt my heart rate quicken and I knew I wanted it. He knew it, too.
"You still want that part of our relationship?" he whispered.
"Yes," I practically breathed my answer into his ear.
A simple, "I'm glad," told me all I needed to know. For a moment it looked as if we would kiss, but he pulled back. "No. If we don't talk now . . . "
"You're right. So, where were we?"
"You mean before thoughts of your pink ass began to intrude?"
"Yeah. Think, Harry. Think."
The budding erection I could feel in his pants deflated. My own went down as well. Geez, it was hard to talk sitting on his lap, this close to each other. But we both understood that we had to sort things out.
"We were talking about big things," Harry reminded us.
"Right. Right. So, I won't cheat on you. I'll be very, very good."
"You're the biggest flirt on the ship."
"Naw, you've mixed me up with Tuvok."
"Get serious, Tommy. This is important."
"I know and so is treating me with respect. I mean, maybe I don't know much about that, but I think I need it. I don't want to be walking on egg shells around you, worrying that if I so much as have a conversation with Chakotay that you're going to go off on me."
"You plan to see Chakotay?" The suspicion was back in his tone.
"Not like that, Harry. I mean, we've just figured out that . . .you know, from time to time you're going to land on my butt . . . and there's a lot we don't know about what we're doing. And he can help us."
I could tell he didn't like to hear me say that. He tensed up and his eyes grew darker. The hand on my hip tightened its grip. I wondered if this was going to be a deal breaker and started to think of ways to take back what I'd said. Then I realized what I was doing and knew I needed to stick with my statement. It was real clear to me we could use some guidance and I knew Chakotay could provide it. But Harry's jealousy was big.
"You're not going to lose me," I promised.
"Well. We'll see. It's going to take me some time when it comes to him. I can tell you that I'll try not to let him get to me."
"Try real hard, cause there's nothing to worry about."
His free hand came up to smooth my hair out of my face. He kissed me lightly. "I know there isn't, angel. I just need a little time." He looked troubled and his words came out slowly. "There is something I don't understand."
"Why Chakotay? Why him? I mean, until today I don't think you've ever really opened up to me, yet it's pretty damn clear that you've . . ."
". . . Let him in?"
I ran a hand through my hair trying to think. My first thought was to deflect Harry with some good old Paris humor, to say something about how it seemed easy after he'd caught me bare assed that day. But that wasn't it. Harry waited patiently as I sorted it through. I shifted a little on his lap, and ventured, "I don't know, Harry. I think, I guess, he said he understood. Remember? And I just kind of had those words going through my mind. Having him understand something like that . . . And the other thing is . . .he seemed dangerous, somehow."
Harry understood. "And you can't walk away from danger, can you?"
"No. Probably not my most survival oriented characteristic. You know, me show me a challenge . . . "
"But you didn't do anything with him." There was just that little bit of doubt in Harry's voice.
"No, Harry, I didn't." I took a deep breath and continued with my attempt to understand myself. Gods, this was hard. "After I found out what you'd done, I was . . . destroyed. And he was there."
"He got to you when were sick and vulnerable . . ."
"If you're thinking he took advantage of me . . . he didn't. I needed a friend and that's how he acted." Harry still looked unhappy. But I wasn't sure it was about Chakotay anymore. "What is it?"
"What about what I did to you? Fixing those bets, practically forcing you into those costumes, taking those vids. What do you want to do about that?"
"Are you asking me if I want to blister your butt?" This time I went with the humor.
"Is that what you want?"
Soberly, I answered, "No. Not really. I already punched you and it didn't feel very good. And then I broke up with you. Would you say you've been punished enough?"
His relieved grin provided an answer. "Yeah. I think I've suffered enough. I just wanted to check it out with you."
"I'm okay. For whatever reason, I guess I prefer to be on the receiving end of the butt blistering not on the giving end of it. That all right with you?"
We both laughed at his quip and the tension receded.
"There are some things, though," he added.
"If I'm in charge of heating up your ass, then I'm also in charge of regenerating it if it's needed. We can't get into trouble again cause I let you get away with saying no to the regenerator."
I didn't want to agree but I knew he was right. We really couldn't afford to get into trouble again. There was too much at stake. "Oh, fuck."
"I take it that's a yes?"
To my complete surprise he began to tickle me on the ribs, bringing both hands to bear on the task. I howled and giggled and squirmed as he tickled me relentlessly. "Yes," I gasped, "Yes."
A few tickles to seal the deal and I was limp. Seeing my complete surrender, he stopped, a huge grin splitting his face. "Then, that's settled. And remember this, Paris, I know where you're ticklish."
"Okay, okay. The regenerator is all yours. Anytime."
He pulled me up, his hands under my shirt and I twitched as I felt his fingers on my still sensitive ribs. Once fully restored to a sitting position, he planted a big kiss on my lips. When we broke for air, unexpectedly he informed me, "I've got to have dinner. I'm starving."
I could tell this wasn't an innuendo designed to further our mating dance. He actually needed to eat a meal. So did I.
Maybe it was all that relationship talk, but after dinner I found myself yawning widely. Walking back from the mess hall, Harry kept glancing at me. I know he thought we'd resume cuddling and other things once we'd eaten, but he recognized that I was very tired.
Inside my quarters, I headed for the couch and Harry stopped me. "No. You need to be in bed. Why don't you go clean up?"
"Will you be here when I get out of the bathroom?"
He grinned. "Of course, I will."
And he was. He sat on my bed, waiting for me. In the bathroom, I'd stripped down to shorts and t-shirt and thrown my clothes in the refresher.
"Has the doctor said anything at all about the weight you've lost?"
"Almost everyday. And I'm trying."
He grabbed my hands and pulled me closer to him. I wasn't sure what was next. "Let me tuck you in."
Making room for me, Harry literally tucked me, pulling the sheet and blanket up to my chin, letting his hand stroke my cheek. He sighed and a pained expression crossed his features. "Tommy? What'd you do with the vids?"
That question explained his expression. How many times had he apologized to me for taking them? "Put them under encryption. Why?"
"Did you look at all of them?"
"Yeah," I replied and I think my doubtful tone registered. Where was he going with this?
"What did you think of them?"
So, that's where he was going. "Before or after I came in my pants?"
"You didn't!" His grin was a welcome change.
"Yeah. I did." I had to grin in return. "I hadn't seen myself from quite that angle before."
"It turned you on."
"Big time, Harry, big time."
A sly look replaced the grin. "Were there any you liked best?"
I could answer that question pretty quickly. "Seeing your cock, and seeing it buried inside me. At various depths. And I liked seeing your hand spanking my ass."
He agreed eagerly. "I liked those, too, particularly the one where you could see that butt plug so nicely framed by that gorgeous red ass."
"And you called me a sick puppy."
He leaned over and kissed me on the forehead. It was a good-night kiss, not a romantic kiss. "Sleep well, angel. I'm going to stay up for awhile, but I'll be in bed later. And tomorrow . . . "
"We'll play before dinner?"
"We'll see." Another chaste kiss and he was gone, calling for the computer to dim the lights as he went.
I settled down. As I drifted off, I wondered if everything was all right now. I was back with Harry, I would be returning to work in the morning. What more could I ask for?
End Part 11
Title: Tom's 12 Dark Days of Christmas
Part: NEW 12/12
Codes: P/K; C
Day 12 January 5
The morning spent working in sickbay went fine. The doctor hovered annoyingly, as I knew he would. I did my best to ignore him and do the jobs he had set out for me. The Captain came to visit, smiling widely at my return to duty. In truth, I was glad to be back.
But by lunch time, I was ready to drop. The doc waved a tricorder over me and told me to go eat lunch and get a nap. "A real nap," he added with smug smirk.
In the mess hall, I didn't have long sitting at a table by myself when Chakotay came over carrying a tray. "May I?"
I nodded to the empty chair opposite, unable to speak with my mouth full of something that looked like yellow slime, but wasn't all that bad to the taste.
"How was your morning?"
"Okay," I told him when most of the food had gone down my throat. "I'll be glad to be back on the bridge."
"Any idea when the doc will clear you?"
"None. He waved a tricorder and told me to take a nap. Like I was some little kid."
My indignation produced a flare of dimples in the first officer. "Did you have that conversation with Harry?"
I almost choked on my next bite of yellow slime. "Geez, Chakotay, give a guy some warning."
"Yeah. And . . . it went well."
"You sound surprised."
I shrugged. "I wasn't sure . . . you know . . . " I shook my head. There were too many people around, never mind that none of them paid us the slightest bit of attention. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I knew it was Harry without even looking up.
Chakotay hissed at me, "Practice looking in charge."
So I waved Harry to a seat. I guess that was what Chakotay meant. A small, tight smile played on the commander's lips. I interpreted it to mean that my effort earned me no higher than a D+.
"So, Tom." That possessive tone was back in Harry's voice. He'd been right. It was going to take him some time.
I gave him my brightest smile and pretended I hadn't noticed. "Hey, Harry. Grab some lunch and join us."
By the time Harry returned, I'd finished my slime and started on the hot beverage. The morning was really catching up to me and I couldn't help yawning a few times as I rested my head on one hand, elbow firmly on the table.
Chakotay stood up to leave and told Harry, "Take your time getting back to the bridge. I think Tom might like some company on the way to his quarters."
I think Harry was a little startled by that gesture of generosity. "Uh, thank you, commander."
Once Chakotay was gone, Harry looked at me darkly, as if he wanted to grill me. I held up my hand, "Don't." I tried not to make it a plea but more a warning to him. Only my voice was shaky. Holding my ground was harder than I thought it would be.
But somehow I must have gotten through to him, for his expression softened. "It's okay, Tommy."
I quickly looked back to my drink. Good, I'd done it. I'd stood up for myself. It was a little thing, I guess, but for me it seemed as if I'd climbed to the top of a mountain. And Harry had responded as if it'd been no big deal.
We walked back to my quarters, Harry letting himself inside as I propped myself on the doorway framing. "Come on, sleeping beauty."
Hmm, I thought. Hang on to that image.
Harry's kiss before returning to duty was far more interesting than the ones I'd received last night from him. He kissed each closed eye, my nose, my chin, then my lips. Although it was time for him to go, he seemed reluctant to leave.
"What is it?" I asked, half asleep in my bed.
"You look so beautiful."
"As soon as I'm off shift." He leaned close to my ear and whispered, "I can hardly wait."
With that promise, I fell asleep
His kisses were all over my face, neck and ears, his hands roamed over my back, then fixed on my buttocks as he pulled me closer to him, closer to where his erection rubbed against me and mine rubbed against him. Those roaming hands moved to where they were hot inside my pants as they buffed the bare skin of my ass. I ground against him, moaning, wanting to feel more of him against me.
His fingers were like lines of fire inside my crack. "Oh, gods, Harry."
"Angel," he whispered as he broke his kisses long enough to breathe. "I want to take you, Tommy."
"Yes-s," I agreed. My body writhed around in his arms as his fingers continued to play with, grope and penetrate my asshole.
"I want to plant my hand against that pale ass of yours, I want to see it turn pink, I want to feel you turn hot under my hand."
All the while, his fingers were playing me until I thought my cock would go off on its own, just pressed up against his abdomen, two layers or more of cloth between it and his heated skin. I was in desperate need of air after another of his forceful kisses nearly peeled my lips back, his tongue torquing in and out of my mouth. I moaned again. We had to get out of these clothes. Harry'd been off shift for ten minutes and I'd been awake for a few hours, taking it easy and anticipating this chance to be together.
Harry must have had the same thought at the same time for the hands under my clothes began to work my pants down over my hips. Then he raised my shirt up and over my head. Once my hands were freed, I began to work on his shirt and, although my fingers were trembling, I managed to bring his shirt up and pulled it along his arms and then off. His hands moved down my smooth chest as if his fingertips could ignite the skin under them all the way from my shoulders to my thighs. He pulled at the pants that had only gone part way down and pushed them off my thighs and down to my ankles. Resting my hands on his bare shoulders, I managed to toe them off.
Before I could go after his pants, he straightened up and looked me all over with eyes like dark slits of lust. He placed a hand on my shoulder and spun me around so that my back was to him. Even though I couldn't see them, I could feel those eyes raking up and down my naked body. His voice was like the hissing of a hypospray, "Over to the couch."
I almost stumbled over my puddled clothes. I felt dazed and trembled so badly I thought I'd fall before I reached the couch. Harry was by my side with his hand steadying my elbow. Sliding onto the couch, his erection huge inside his pants, Harry's hooded eyes locked onto my own. "Tommy? Is this what you want?"
I knew what he was asking. Did I want to be over his lap, did I want to have him spanking my ass? I nodded slowly. I think my knees trembled so much I was surprised to be still standing. Harry reached out his hand and grasped my own. He pulled me over to him and a tremor shook me from head to toe. I wanted this so badly, gods knew why, but that didn't have to be answered now. I answered Harry's question with one word, "Yes."
I stood mesmerized by his lap.
"What is this for?"
"Uh. Coming on to Chakotay?"
"Sounds about right."
He tugged on my hand and pulled me down across his knees. Oh, gods, I moaned into the cloth of the couch. I tingled at his touch as he arranged me in place, trapping my hard cock between his legs, lifting my ass a little higher on his thigh.
His smooth hand slid across my anticipating skin. "Yes," I murmured.
His hand went away and then came down with a loud slap on my bare cheek. Then another crack and another. I shuddered with the white hot heat that seared through me. Those three blows seemed to have gotten Harry warmed up and his hand came down over and over, four, nine, fifteen slaps of his hand, now falling on previously hit places and I cried out loud. This was the pain that transformed into pleasure, that released me from all of my prisons, that promised that I could be better, that signaled that Harry would soon be fucking me senseless. It turned me inside out, and I cried with each heated strike to each blazing cheek.
As the swats snapped into place, I felt the hot pain/pleasure surge up my cock, up my back, down my legs until I became one with it, my ass on fire, hot like a sparking brand assuring me I was all his. It bound us together in a way that went beyond sex. I loved it, wanted it, and cried hot tears as my cravings were fulfilled by Harry's spanking hand.
At twenty-five blows he stopped and I lay limply across his lap, my butt smarting, my cock straining. His hands swarmed up my back, caressing my untouched skin, soothing my trembling body. When a hand went low enough to encounter my fiery bottom, I shied from his touch.
His voice was soft, soothing, "I love you, Tommy, I love you, angel. Let me get up now."
I felt his erection jab me in the side as he helped up my sweaty body to kneel on the couch. When he knelt as well, dueling erections saluted and squared off. I wondered what was next. I remembered the sleeping beauty comment from earlier. Something clicked inside and merged with an earlier image. In my sexiest voice, I said, "Harry. I want to do something . . .uh . . . special."
I think he was a little surprised. And delighted. Once more, his cock touched mine and it was as if all the heat from my ass surged through that connection.
"If you would go into the bedroom, and get into the bed . . . I'll be there in a minute."
"If you're late. . ." His twinkling eyes belied the growled threat.
I kissed him to quiet any further protests. He left the couch and headed towards the bedroom tossing looks back over his shoulder as if he couldn't believe I wasn't following him immediately. But when he turned around, I noticed the erection in his pants hadn't lost any of its interest in the proceedings.
I hurried over to the replicator and quickly programmed in the items I wanted. A royal blue satin shift, cut to end mid-thigh, slit to the waist, with built-in size D breasts, the satin showing off each breast to advantage. I knew he'd like this. It felt so good sliding on me over all that smooth skin on my chest, and slinking down across the heat of my backside. The blue would set off the color of my newly handled ass. Harry would definitely like this. I replicated a few other items, a vid camera, a medical regenerator (damn), and something really special.
"Okay, Harry, close your eyes." He lay sprawled on the bed, a naked, before dinner treat.
He grumbled at me, "You're taking this being in charge stuff too seriously."
"In just one moment, I'll be all yours. Come on, Harry."
Interesting, I thought for a moment, Harry really doesn't like giving up control. But my head wasn't going to be thinking for much longer as I walked slowly over to the bed, the satin slithering against my skin, draping over my erection, and smoothing over my heated ass cheeks. At the bed, I dropped the regenerator on the bedside table, placed the vid on the bed next to Harry, and waved the third item over his body. Grinning, I advised him, "You can open your eyes now."
His gasp filled the room. "Oh, Tommy. Oh, my gods."
I couldn't help it. If my grin could get any wider, it would have wrapped around the back of my head. In a rush, he tackled me about the waist and threw me down on the bed. I lost the item I was holding and he picked it up. "Hey," I protested. "No fair. That's mine."
"Not anymore, angel. This is mine. And you are mine."
That fierceness I loved about him was back. He rolled me back and forth and pawed my dress, growling in a way that would have done a Klingon proud. I squealed and laughed. Then he warned me, "I want to do you so slowly, touch every inch, love every inch."
One hand played over my satin shift, the other hand held the feather aloft and slowly lowered it against my leg where he sent it in a low orbit to tease my skin. I shivered and closed my eyes.
He kept to his word, slowly sending the feather up and down my skin. He lifted the shift to run it higher up my leg. With his knees, he pushed my thighs apart and played the feather all along the tender skin on the insides of my thighs. I began to moan nonstop, writhing under his touch. He rolled me onto my stomach and repeated the flying feather's flight on the backs of my legs and up my thighs. His hand swept the shift off my backside and, with the lightest of touches, the feather rekindled the tingling pain in my bottom. I was so turned on, I thought I wouldn't be able to hold myself back. For a moment it seemed as if the feather's touch changed so that it was a bit further away as it swished back and forth.
I glanced back through hooded eyes and saw that Harry had the feather in his teeth, the vid in his hands. He touched me here and there and moved my leg this way and that, then the other leg, then the shift higher up my back, then pulled up my hips so I was on knees and elbows, the shift at my waist, my red ass high in the air. The feather wafted over my heated skin and I moved my ass in slow circles.
At some point he must have put the vid down, for I felt a slicked finger lightly stroke down my crack to work its way home in my anus. Oh gods, I wasn't sure I could stand this much longer. More fingers slid inside, rubbing through to my rectum. His probing was so light it was almost as if the feather itself touched my prostate. I couldn't help the cries that came from deep within me.
Harry's fingers moved inside me very slowly, every so often touching me to make me jump and cry again out loud. Then, fingers still embedded deeply inside me, he was pulling me around so I rotated on his hand. Kneeling before him, the shift fell down my back and front. He added a fourth finger and fucked them in and out of me in a driving rhythm. I swayed on my knees, moans keening from me in accompaniment to his beat. With his head he nuzzled at my stomach, pushing up the shift, licking my skin from navel to neck, his teeth settling the shift around my shoulders on the way up. On the way down, he licked and kissed and rubbed his nose to bring the skin on my chest alive to a quivering, straining monument to his devotion. With one hand, he brought the feather up and lightly played along the sensitized flesh as the fingers of his other hand thrust upwards and against my prostate once more.
Again, he moved my body around on his impaling hand. This time he pushed me down on my side, my legs moving forward. His free hand lifted one leg up and to the side, opening me to him, as his hand moved rhythmically inside me.
Then, abruptly, his fingers left with my sphincter reluctant to let them leave. He pulled off my shift and I opened my eyes again to half mast. There was a look of intense rapture on his face. Softly, he told me, "Lie down on your back."
I was so into the pleasure that I didn't even feel the pain that must have been there when I rolled onto my butt. He lifted my legs and placed them on his shoulders, and this action brought my hips up and off the bed. Once again he picked up the feather and teased my balls and cock, inner thighs and groin. More moans from me and he slid inside. I simply gripped the sheets with my fingertips and joined him in the ride that sent his cock galloping through me. All that deliberate slowness, at long last, dissipated in his rapid pumping inside me.
I knew better than to try to bring myself off. I was his and he would take care of me. Almost as soon as I knew that, his hand reached around and gripped my cock.
With a bellow he came as my own orgasm milked him with the force of the warp drive. Spent, he fell part way down on top of me, catching himself with his hands. Then, elbows on the bed, he rested only part of his weight on my chest. Our sweat mingled, flowed off our bodies as our minds floated somewhere above us in the virtual skies where the feathers flew.
As true consciousness returned, I remembered what Harry had told me: that no one would love me as much as he did. I had set out to please him tonight with that image of sleeping beauty and I had ended up with so much more pleasure for myself than I could ever have imagined.
Harry finally moved and put away our toys and cleaned us up. He smiled as he picked up the shift. "I liked this," he told me.
"I know," I smirked.
I waggled my eyebrows at him and turned over to wiggle that very same smart ass at him.
"Paris," he marveled, at least I think he was marveling.
Before I could check it out, the doctor commed. It was audio only, thank the powers that be. I sat up, wincing a bit as pain shot through my ass. I tried to keep that giveaway to what we'd been doing out of my voice. Very professionally, I answered, "Yes, doctor."
"Lt. I have some good news. I believe you can do a half shift on the bridge tomorrow. That is, if you have a full dinner and get a good night's sleep tonight."
I almost laughed. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Harry doubled over, trying hard not to choke from his own laughter. "I'm sure I will, doctor," I assured the hologram with as straight a face as I could muster, even if he couldn't see us. Meanwhile, Harry's snorts threatened to break through.
"Good night, Lieutenant." He paused. "Good night, Ensign."
When he finally recovered from his choking fit, Harry waved the regenerator at me and motioned me to roll over.
"Tomorrow morning?" I begged, trying hard to sound pitiful.
I rolled over and he swatted me one. "Ow!"
"Next time, don't argue."
I knew when to shut up. When he finished with the regenerator, I turned over, and pulled him into my arms. I had something important to tell him. It had taken me awhile to get to this point and I didn't say the words lightly.
"Harry, I love you. And I forgive you."
He looked overcome with emotion, his eyes brimmed with tears, and he seemed unable to speak. I just kissed him and he kissed me back. I wiped away the moisture from his eyes and kissed each eyelid.
Let's see, in the past two weeks I'd almost died twice, broke up with Harry, got back together with Harry, listened to Chakotay when I shouldn't have and didn't listen to him when I should have. I had sex that I enjoyed, a partner who loved me, more of my own love to give than I ever thought I would have. And a new appreciation for what I had and what I could lose. As I drifted off to sleep for a before dinner nap, Harry beside me, I idly wondered when the next holiday would be. Perhaps it wouldn't be as eventful as my 12 days of Christmas had been. I could go for a little stability about now. Yeah, me, who gets bored so easily, would like things to be stable, quiet, and content. One thing I knew, with Harry, things would never be boring.