Child of Love 13

"Any news?"

"He's clean no meetings he's setting up a meeting with the Commander about spending sometime with the brat."

"Good but I still don't trust him. Keep an eye on him but don't go with him when he cares for the brat. You know that kid hates you just like the older one hated you."

"Weird that I'm good with children,"

"Huh even that Wildman kid dislikes you Dalby It's gotta be something they can see in you that we don't. They do say that kids don't lie. God you're not one of those?"

"Hell no."


Chakotay headed back to his quarters to rehash some of points made during the meeting. Some of the things had not surprised him but others just plain shocked him. Chakotay had decided to seek guidance with his animal guide hoping to sort out some of the things that needed to be worked on and hoping that he saw Tom again.

Harry was going to take Tommy out for awhile on the holodeck so Chakotay could go on his quest. Till then he was going to spent with the child before his Tom came back to him. He knew that Tommy's time was nearly over. He didn't know why he knew it, he just did. He was going to miss the child but he'd be glad to have his Tom back.He had missed him a great deal.

Entering his quarters he heard laughter coming from the bathroom. Walking into the bathroom he saw Sam sitting on the toilet seat watching Naomi and Tommy playing giggling in the tub. "Sounds like someone having fun."

"Cha. . ." Tommy squealed as he saw him standing by the door. Jumping to his feet making the water spill over the edge. 

"Tommy, sit back down please." 

Pouting, Tommy flopped backed down grabbing the yellow duck from Naomi saying, "Mine."

"Hey no fair."


Chakotay frowned saying, "Tommy give the duck back to Naomi."

"No, mine."

Not sure why Tommy was having another bath, since he had one earlier. With a questioning look at Sam, who just pointed to the pile of clothes in the middle of the floor.

Peering at the mess he understood. It seemed that Naomi and Tommy had gotten their hands on some paint from somewhere and started painting each other with it.

"You're lucky I got it out of their hair or Tommy would have green hair and Naomi yellow with green strips. It seems that my darling daughter had overheard the twins, and some of the others, talking about doing a makeover night, and she thought that she'd have one as well."

Chuckling, Chakotay asked, "You didn't happen to take a picture of that did you?"

Smirking at him she pointed to the holocamera sitting on his bed saying, "I sure did."

Wondering how his camera got out of his draw he asked, "Where did you find that?"

"Tommy was pouring over photos. It seems he remember where you kept them. I hope you don't mind?"

"No not at all. I was going to show them to him, and I was going to take some pictures of him before he went away."

Moving just out of the children's hearing, but still being able to watch them, Samantha asked, "How is everything going on that front?"

"Vorick under watch, he's going to spend some time with Tommy and me tomorrow morning so that Tommy can get use of him. Then in the afternoon it'll be just the two of them." 

Samantha watched him while as he talked. Then suddenly asked, "You're going to miss him, aren't you?"

Stunned, Chakotay asked, "Miss who?" As soon as the words left his mouth he knew, "Yeah, I'm gonna miss Tommy but to be honest I'd be glad to have Tom back."

Glancing into the bathroom when she heard Tommy giggle as he splashed Naomi with a handful of water saying, "This hasn't been easy for you has it?"

Watching as Naomi repaid Tommy back in fill, Chakotay replied, "I know I've only had him for a couple of days but I want my Tom back. I know that sounds horrible, but it's how I feel."

"No, it's not horrible."

Looking over at her with a faint smile, "While you're here and the camera out, Would you take a picture of me and Tommy?"

"I sure can. Shall we get him out of the bath then?"

Heading into the bathroom armed with towels and clothes, Chakotay plucked Tommy out of the water while Sam dealt with her daughter.

Once dressed, Chakotay walked with Tommy in his arms out to the living area. Trying to find a nice spot for them to have their photo taken, when Tommy pointed to the hanging, "There, Cha."

"Perfect, Tommy." 

Moving over to the hanging, turning he glanced around spying his favorite chair placing Tommy onto the floor saying, "Stay there Tommy I'm going to move my chair over so we can sit in it."

Samantha smiled as she fiddled with the camera getting it ready, Naomi at her feet pouting that she wasn't going to be in the photo as well.

Thanking whoever thought of putting wheels onto furniture to make life easier when moving things about, wheeling the chair over to Tommy asking, "Okay Tommy where do you think I should put this?"

Moving over to Chakotay, Tommy with his finger on his chin, "Me think over there, Cha."

Pointing just to the left of the middle of the hanging it meant that Chakotay's guide would also be in the picture. 

"Good choice, Tommy." said Chakotay, ruffling the boy's hair.

Taking a swipe at Chakotay, Tommy replied,"Hey, me need hair tidy, not all mussed up."

Grinning down at him, saying, "We'll fix that up for you once we have this chair in place. Now, are you ready to help me move this?" 

Climbing up onto the chair Tommy sat down swinging his over the side. With a grin he stated, "Am now."

Naomi rushed over trying to climb up on to the chair as well. Tommy helped her up as Naomi said, "Me too."

With a smile looking down at the two, saying, "Is this your way of helping?"

"Yup, Mommy did this all the time saying that I was a big help by sitting on the chairs while she and my sisters moved everything." Tommy explained.

Pursing his lips as he thought about it thinking, 'Most likely the only fun thing he remembers from his childhood.' Out aloud he said, "And she right, it's a big help."

Sam raise the camera up to her eye and snapped a photo of the three of them. And then another of the two children delight as the commander pushed the chair into place

Once in place Chakotay swept Tommy out of the chair tucking him under his arm then swept Naomi up tucking her under his other arm saying, "Okay you two, let's get all nice for photos shall we?"


With a squeal of delight Chakotay trotted off toward his room dropping them onto his bed laughing as they bounced on his bed.

Calling out, "Sam, you might want to tidy up as well."

"Whatever for Commander?"

"For having your photo taken as well. I'm sure you'd like to have a new one of you and Naomi don't you?" 

"Sure but. . ."

"No buts, if you want me to make it an order I can do so."

Shaking her head as she patted her wayward hair saying, "I'm not dressed right."

With a chuckled, Chakotay rolled his eyes saying, "You look fine to me. Run a brush through your hair and you'd look perfect, right kids?"

Naomi bounced on the bed saying, "Please mommy me wanna have a 'hot' with you."

Tommy jumped up and down on the bed chanting over and over, "Me too." 

With a smirk that could only have only been learnt from Tom Paris, Chakotay asked her, "You don't want to disappoint the children do you?"

Shaking her head at him with a mock frown saying, "You play dirty Commander, or Tom taught you well."

"I had a great teacher Sam and I think it's about time you call me by my name when we're off duty don't you?"

With a gleam in her eyes she asked, "And that would be what?"

Laughing as he fell onto his bed holding his middle, getting his breath back as Tommy climbed onto his chest, saying, "If I didn't know better Sam I'd say that you were flirting with me."

Joining him on his bed saying, "What can I say I had a great teacher as well."

Snagging Tommy from Chakotay's chest saying in an all serious tone, "All joking aside Chakotay, you know I wouldn't do that, I love Tom like a brother and I have to much respect for you to do that and I'm too happy with Joe." 

Sitting up dragging Naomi into his arms saying, "I know that and how is Joe doing? I haven't seen him in awhile."

"Oh you know those engineer types.They always have to find something wrong with something, I left him asleep when I came over."

With his head on Sam's chest, Tommy listened as they talked about Big Tom. When Cha begun talking about him, Tommy saw his eyes light up he had to have a talk with big Tom before he left and make sure that all his doubts were laid to rest Tommy knew that big Tom doubted Cha's love for him at times.

Shocked out of his thoughts as Sam sat him on the bed saying, "Okay let's hustle it up. These pictures aren't going to take themselves are they? Chakotay where is your brush?"

Pointing over to his dresser where his and Tom's brushes and combs laid.

Sam walked over picking up a brush tossing it over to him saying, "Brush Tommy's hair and I'll deal with Naomi's."

Catching the brush in midair saying, "Deal. Toss me the comb as well please." Muttering under his breath, "Have no idea why I have a brush for don't need the damn thing."

Sam chuckled saying, "Joe's the same, he never used it, since he got that buzz cut he so proud of."

"Yes, I heard he had it all cut off but haven't seen it yet."

With a grin Sam told him, "When you do, don't laugh." 

"That bad huh?"

"No, just different."

Chakotay brushed Tommy's hair once he settled him down saying, "Okay lets get this show on the road shall we?"

Reaching up to Chakotay, Tommy smiled up at him saying, "Yup me wanna have picture's taken with you." 

Lifting Tommy up Chakotay hugged him to his chest saying, "As do I."

Walking out of his room with Sam on his heels saying, "You and Tommy get settled into the chair and then the kids can pose together with you and then by themselves and I'll have one done with Naomi and Tommy as well."

Tommy asked her, "May I have one with just you and me, Sam?"

Bending down to his level tweaking his nose saying, "You sure can Angel."

Sitting on the chair Chakotay held out his hands saying, "Come on Tommy, let's have this picture taken."

"Okee dokey?" Walking over to Chakotay, Tommy tried to climb up on his own but got stuck halfway up, "Help me, Cha."

With a smile Chakotay lifted Tommy and placed him of his lap. Once he was satisfied with the pose he looked over at Sam saying, "Ready when you are."

Once she took the photo then another just in case. She had heard from everyone on board that Chakotay hated having his picture taken. He didn't fight them, he just complained afterwards. Now Tommy, on the other hand, loved to have his picture taken. He was a natural born "ham". He also loved taking them. Many times she wondered why Tom didn't make it a career instead of a hobby.

Once all the photo's were taken, Harry had joined them halfway through the session and insisted on having a photo of him and Tommy taken as well.

Harry asked, "Chakotay how did they con you into having your photo taken?"

"They didn't, I asked Sam to take one of me and Tommy as a reminder after he goes."

Shocked, Harry stuttered, "But. . . You. . . hate having. . . your. . . photo . . . taken."

Biting his lower lip to prevent himself from laughing at Harry expression. Looking at him saying, "I don't actually hate having it taken." Pausing as he waited for Harry to catch his breath, "Harry have you ever seen Tom's albums?"

"I've seen some but there are two that he refuses to show anyone."

"Ahh, they'd be the ones of us two or just me. I'll show you the one of me and Tom that I have sitting on my night stand."

Before he could move, Tommy raced into the room saying, "Me get it, Cha."

Chakotay smiled as he watch the slight figure of Tommy dart into the room and back again clutching the frame that held his most precious item.

Handing the frame over to Chakotay, Tommy sat down at his feet looking up as Cha hand fell on top of his head.

Looking down at the beaming face of Tommy he asked,, "Are you ready to hit the Holodecks with Harry?"

"Yup, He promised me we'd play a Flotter story, Naomi told me all about them and I wants to see one."

Chakotay knew that Tom never knew of the Flotter craze when he was child. His father hadn't let him use the holodecks for fun. Tom was making up for it now. If Chakotay couldn't find Tom, Chakotay would find him sometimes with Naomi or by himself running a Flotter story.

"I'm sure you'll enjoy it, Doodle bug."

"You know, he'll hate that name?" 

"Who?" Chakotay asked with a start of a frown on his brow.

"Big Tom, It'll embarrass him greatly."

"I know and I know that Tom will let me use it in private."


Chakotay had concerns about using "Doodle bug" once Tom returned to him but it suited him to a T. He had decided to wait and see what Tom's reaction would be when he said it to him for the first time as a adult. Or if he retained any memories of being Tommy at all.

"Well, if you're going to go to the Holodecks you better go, kiddo."

Jumping to his feet Tommy climbed onto Chakotay's lap, throwing his arms about his neck asking, "You sure you don't wanna join us?"

"Not this time, Angel. I have to work through some things." Chakotay explained to the small boy. "Now be good for Harry."

Nodding, Tommy took hold of Harry's hand saying, "You ready Har?"

"Sure am." Handing the Frame back to Chakotay Harry saying, said, "Comm me when you're finished Commander, if it's too late I'll feed Tommy and put him to bed."

"Thanks Harry." Chakotay watched as Harry and Sam left with the children. 

Once alone, Chakotay looked at the photo in his hand. It was taken on an away mission on some obscure little planet. Once they stowed the supplies the crew was given a few hours of shore leave. Chakotay smiled as he remembered when it had been taken. They had been watching the sun set turned towards each other. Wrapped in each other arms, Tom told him that he was in love with him. They were about to kiss when one of the natives snapped the photo. 

Clutching the frame to his chest, "Oh God, Tom, I miss you so much and I want back." Letting the tears fall for the first time since the whole mess started.

Half an hour later Chakotay wiped his eyes, Moving to his room he placed the frame back in it's place. Tracing Tom's face he whispered, "Come home soon "Doodle bug", I miss you."