Warning: The following story contains romantic m/m contents. If you are 18 and above, please feel free to read on. If not, you can stop now.

Disclaimer: Chakotay and Paris are trademarks and products of Paramount Pictures. This story is only a figment of my imagination and creativity. 

Pairing: C/P
Alternate Universe, pre-Voyager

 [Authors note: This story is a short one, inspired by Loreena McKennit's The Old Ways, from her album The Visit.] [Summary: Chakotay and Paris spend New Year's Eve together, perhaps for the last time. The next day, Chakotay leaves for Cardassia on a covert mission. Paris feels that they are from different worlds and he is unhappy. Romance and hurt/comfort. No sex. Only ---I hope ---character development.]

My world was not yours...

We left the music behind and the dance carried on
As we stole away to the seashore
As we smelt the brine, felt the wind in our hair
And with sadness you paused.

Suddenly I knew that youd have to go
My world was not yours, your eyes told me so
Yet it was there I felt the crossroads of time
And I wondered why.

It was a riotous party, full of pounding music and free-flowing drinks. Dancers whirled in the brightly-lit cavern. The noise level was way up.

 Chakotay and his young love, a lanky pale handsome man by the name of Tom Paris, slipped away from the party, wanting to spend some time together. It was the last time for the two lovers to enjoy each other's company, before the Maquis carried out their covert mission on Cardassia Prime. 

They strode along the seashore, drinking in the seabreeze and smelling the salt of the ocean. The din of the music was faint, distant. They were alone, with the dark night sky and the twinkling stars.

 "You dont have to go ... " Tom spoke up suddenly, gripping the hand of his older, much wiser lover.

 "I have to, love. I am leading the mission." Chakotay said, the breeze blowing his long black hair back. 

Tom sighed. He gazed at the big man next to him, solid as a rock and steady as well. He lifted a hand to touch Chakotay's cheek.

 "I am going to miss you ..." He whispered but the wind torn his words away.

 Chakotay gathered the younger man into his arms. Tom was soft under his arms, soft and vulnerable. He saw Tom two years ago, a disillusioned Starfleet dropout. So bitter, so angry. It took a lot of the big man's patience to hang on, to accept Tom. Tom was abrasive, sometimes rude, sometimes irrelevant. But Chakotay saw the hurt inside, the pain so deeply entrenched that it bore expression on Toms face: lines of disappointment, of lost hopes. He hated his father, a Starfleet admiral. Hated him and yet loved him.

 The Native American stroked the velvety face before him, admiring the beauty. It was, in his opinion, a beauty forged by adversity. Eyes he knew that were startling blue looked at him quietly. 

Tom rested his head against his lover's shoulder, momentarily comforted. He felt soothed by the calmness emanating from Chakotay. The storm of emotions in him slowly eased off to a faint pounding. 

He realised how different he and Chakotay were.

 They came from different worlds. Chakotay's bearing bore witness to his deeply-held Native American beliefs; he was brought up in a family that instilled in the children a deep sense of communion with the world around them. He was firm, calm, decisive. A man of wisdom, highly regarded in the Maquis community. 

What about me? Tom mused, feeling the familiar daggers of sorrow digging into his heart again. I am a confused fucked-up idiot, brought up in Starfleet, kicked out of Starfleet. I am Starfleet aristocracy gone wrong. I am so screwed up even the counsellors have to approach me with a ten-foot pole.

 By tomorrow, Chakotay would be on a shuttle heading for Cardassia Prime. He would be going into enemy territory.

 "Chakotay?" Tom buried his face into his lover's strong shoulder once more.

 "Hmmm?" There was an reassuring rumble in Chakotay's reply.

 "Chakotay, you really have to go, don't you?" The Native American drew back, cupping Tom's face in his hands. He felt water pooling in his palms. There were tears streaming down that beautiful visage. He realized that Tom was already withdrawing from him, going away.

 "I have to ..." Chakotay whispered. "I have no choice."

 Silence. The waves roared and hissed. In a distance, the music was still playing. The wind blew, a melancholic song.

 "I am going to miss you, Chak." Tom said softly, turning to go.

 "Wait!" Chakotay's stomach did a slight lurch. He recognised that tone." Tom. Please ..."

 "Look," Tom's voice was suddenly weary, burdened with a secret weight." We come from two different worlds." He sighed." I am tired. I am turning in." 

What do you mean by we come from two different worlds ? Sorrow rushed into Chakotays heart, seeping into his bones. 


The lanky figure was already half-way down the shore.

 Chakotay sighed deeply and gazed at the stars. They shone back to him, cold and silent. He might die on this covert mission. He might live. But he knew he would see Tom again, in a different time, in a different place.