With a sign Chakotay watched as the
table cleared of everyone leaving to head back their stations, till
it was just him sitting at the table along with Tem, Ayala, little Naomi
and Neelix in the Mess Hall with him.
Once finished Chakotay clear up his
table and walked over to the others saying, "Ayala, Tem care to help me
with Taya, while I gather some things from my quarters?"
Tem jumped up saying, "Sure as long
as I can get a hold on Taya since a certain person who will remain nameless
hogged her all this time."
Smiling at the younger man as he
said, "Deal, Greg unhand Taya and let Tem hold her for awhile."
Gerron held out his arms for Taya
with a grin.
Greg stood up saying, "Ok lets get
Chakotay's things together, so we can see Tom."
Once at his quarters Chakotay keyed
in his code walking in saying, "Have a seat, there another reason why I
wanted to see you two."
Waiting till everyone was seated
before saying, "Not sure how you'll take this but last night Tom asked
me to marry him and I said . . . . "
Gerron jumped up with a squeal,
"It's about time."
Ayala shunned couldn't think of
anything to say so he just watched as Chakotay gathered his gear up, thinking,
'I have to find a way to let Tay out of our promise, I can't hurt Tom or
make Tay choose between us over a promise but damn I want to be there when
he gets married standing right at his side where I'm meant to be. I know
that Tom will never make him choose and would stuffer through the wedding
with us there, but I'll tell Tay that he's not bound to that promise we
made to each other.'
Once finished Chakotay scrutinized
his childhood friend, he knew with out a doubt what Greg was thinking.
Greg smiled as he made decision
looking about till his gaze settled onto his long time friend saying, "I
know that you feel honored bound to our promise but I'm releasing you from
that promise," Greg held up his hand to stop Chakotay from speaking, "Before
you say anything let me explain why. I know that Tom would never ask
you to decide between him and me he'd let you have me at the wedding no
matter how uncomfortable he would be that just Tom's way of doing things,
so how about a compromise feel free to discuss this with Tom in fact I
insist that you do, this is what I've come up with have a real small wedding
just with the people Tom feel comfort with, then have an wedding reception
that all the crew could attend well nearly everyone that way no one feels
cheated and in a small way it'll help Tom to see that we are really sorry
for all the crap the others put him through."
Totally shunned Chakotay nodded
saying, "I was trying to find a way to tell you that I had decided to ask
Tuvok to be my best man and you lay this on me, You're a good friend to
stand aside for another mans feelings Gregor Ayala."
"Don't tell anyone I have a rep
to protect after all."
With that they burst out laughing.
Tom laid quietly listening to the
sounds of Voyager he could hear the engines pulsing as it flew through
space many a night it had eased him into sleep staining his ears to see
if Chakotay had returned from visiting people not hearing anything from
the other room, sitting up pushing the blanket aside swinging his legs
over the side and slowly stood up, holding his arms up in front of him
Tom walked slowly towards where he hoped the bathroom was leaning his leg
against the bed to guide him towards the end of bed, he knew that he had
at least five steps from the edge of the bed before hitting the dresser
then another five steps to the left for the door leading to the bathroom.
Making slow process Tom eased into
the bathroom counting the steps as he headed to what he hoped was the right
direction to the toilet shifting his foot forward till it hit the bowl.
Hearing a sound coming from the
outer room as he carefully inched closer, calling out, "Cha is that you?"
Tom heard footsteps moving closer
then much to his relief Chakotay saying, "It's me and Taya. Where are you?"
"In the bathroom."
Chakotay called out, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah give me a minute,"
"Call me if you need a hand, Greg
and Tem are here for a visit."
Once finished in the bathroom Tom
slowly made his way out to the living area as he got closer he could hear
them talking in low tones but to far away to make out the words.
Ayala spied Tom making his way out
of his room jumping up he walked over and asked, "Do you need a hand Tom?"
Tom nearly jumped since he had been
focusing on making out to the living area without embarrassing himself,
"Uh Greg?" Feeling uncomfortable Tom tried to step back, he wasn't use
of having many people in his quarters, till now only Harry and B'Elanna
had stepped foot in his quarters unlike some people Tom didn't encourage
people into his private domain, but he knew that once he married Chakotay
it would change since he has an open door policy since everyone went to
him with their problems.
Watching Tom's face as emotions
flicked across his face, Greg felt sorry for Tom but knew that he wouldn't
accept pity from anyone he decided to take matters into his own hands he
gently reached for one of Tom's hands and tucked it into the crook of his
arms saying, "Let me lead you to the couch."
Tom recalled overhearing one of
the Marquis mention that Greg little sister had lost her sight when she
was a young child through a child sickness and since they were from Dorvan
V, they didn't have the Medical advantage or the money to treat her, he
also learnt that she had died during the sneak attack raid from the Cardies.
Greg eased Tom down beside Chakotay,
he watched as Tom shifted closer to Chakotay and settled his head on the
Commander's shoulder with a sigh of pleasure. Moving to sit at the feet
of his mate Greg leant against Tem's legs, watching for the first time
at the love that shone forth from both men, while Tom and Chakotay converse
in low tones thinking, 'Bout time they found happiness.'
Tem glanced down at his lover with
a fond smile as he rocked Taya to sleep, ruffling the big man hair saying
in a low tone, "Greg are you sure that you're okay with this?"
Chakotay overheard Tem as he wrapped
his arm about Tom looking over at his long time friend, knowing that he
had be rooting for him and Tom to get together.
"More than happy Tem, it's about
Tom smiled as he heard Greg's answer
he had always liked Greg, Tom had tried to push for a friendship at the
start with Tem and Greg but backed off when trouble begun to fall on him
from both crew so he felt it was safer for them not to be involve with
him he had failed at keeping Harry at bay but he succeed in keeping Tem
and Greg at bay, but he had always regretted doing it but at least they
had remained safe, he knew that Greg could handle himself he had been more
worried about Tem than Greg.
Tem nodded as he crooned at Taya,
feeling eyes on him Tem looked up with a smile as he saw his captain gaze
"Her crib in Tom's room if you want
to put her to bed."
Tensing at Chakotay words Tom fought
his urge to escape no one apart of Chakotay had ever entered his private
domain when he was with someone he always went to them, with a sigh Tom
relaxed knowing that Tem wouldn't defile his room by putting his daughter
Chakotay felt Tom tense beside him
looking at him, he wondered what could be wrong, then just as sudden he
felt Tom heave a sigh and relaxed again.
Gerron nodded as he stood up and
headed into Tom's sleeping area spying the crib on the other side of the
room next to a small port view Tem knew and understood Tom need for privacy
and that Tom counted his sleeping area just that it was his safe haven
Tem himself had his safe haven that no one knew about not even Greg of
his secret haven but he was alot safer than Tom was on board Voyager that
explained why his quarters especially his sleeping area were out of bounds
Moving over to the crib Tem laid
the sleeping girl down on her stomach gently covered her with her blanket
patting her tiny bottom.Tem walked out to join the other before leaving
the room Tem glanced about the room hoping to get a better understanding
of the man he wished was his friend.
As he paused by the door he heard
Chakotay say, "He's worth the battle Tem just alot of patience's is inquired."
"I know, when we were in the Marquis
we had the starts of a friendship but that got ruined when he was captured
and when I saw him again I had hoped that we could pick up where we had
left off and I thought that we just might have worked it all out and then
all the sudden he pushed Greg and I away."
"You know why don't you?"
Nodding Tem pushed past his commanding
officer saying, "Yeah I know why and I regret that I wasn't brave enough
or strong enough like Harry to fight for his friendship. I just allowed
it to happened I should have stood up for Tom but instead I let him down,
but not this time."
As he headed out he heard Chakotay
fainty say, "I do to." Strolling back to his seat, Tem asked, "And how
are you Tom?"
Staring blankly over where he thought
the voice sounded from with a tight smile saying, "Fine thanks and how
is everything with you?"
Tom wondered where Chakotay had
disappeared to after checking up on Tem and Taya while moving his carryall
into the room so he wouldn't trip over it.
Tem nodded totally forgetting that
Tom couldn't see till Ayala elbow him in the leg, "Oh sorry, I'm good."
Falling into an unnatural silence,
Tom began tapping his heel till it began bouncing, he felt the cushion
next to his dip and a hand clasp his knee till he stopped the movement,
once his leg stopped he was pulled into a strong grip, signing with relief
when he heard Chakotay asking, "Did you get any rest?"
"Yeah I did, that is till the call
of nature called. Did you get everything you needed?"
"Sure did and Taya and I went visiting
as well, I have a message to pass on as well."
With a delighted grin Tom asked,
"You do, from who?"
"From Tuvok, he wishes that the
next time that I bring Taya for a visit he wishes that you come along as
"He does?" Tom asked doubtfully.
Tapping Tom on the nose as he told
him, "Yes he does."
Greg caught the tone Tom used he
didn't realized that Tom still doubted his worth after all the time out
in the Delta Quarant, he had redeemed himself over and over to the crew
except the few dimwits like Dalby and Henley.
Greg asked, "Tom, is what I hear
from Tay true?"
Frowning Tom asked, "I don't know
what did you hear?"
With a shit eating grin he said,
"That you popped the questioned."
With a timid smile Tom shyly nodded,
"Thats great Tom, bout time I say,
Shocked Tom felt his face heat up
and his eyes widen that Greg approved of him marrying Chakotay feeling
the need to comfirm it he asked, "You don't mind?"
"Well heck why should I mind? Tay
my friend and his happiness means the world to me and you make him happy."
"Yeah wow, so who going to be your
"Harry. Chakotay have you thought
about who going to be yours since B. . ."
Chakotay and the others noticed
that he could even say her name not that they blamed him.
Chakotay stoked Tom's cheek saying,
"Greg and I discussed it, normally I wouldn't even question it but Greg
explained it to me that it should be a real small wedding with people you're
totally comfortable with so I thought that I'd asked Tuvok."
"But what about Greg? He's been
your friend since you were children."
"Can you honestly say that you're
comfortable with him here?"
Before he could say anything Greg
piped up, "And don't worry about my feelings Tom be truthful."
Tom nodded to letGreg know that
he understood then said, "To be honest I am and I'm not I know that it
doesn't make sense but it's how I feel, I know that someday we're become
friends but I don't what to become between your friends Cha, if you want
Greg to be your best man then I won't stand in the way, it's your wedding
Greg felt that it was time to tell
Tom the other part of the plan, "Tom why I thought of that way was easier
was so that once you and Tay were married the crew could all attend the
reception if you agree that is."
Feeling unsure Tom asked, "Is this
what you want Cha?"
Tighening his grip as he explained,
"More or less Angel this would solve the wedding list to a handful of people
and the crew will still feel as if they are apart of our day."
Nodding again as it made sense to
him wishing that he could actually look into their eyes to see if they
were being honest with him, but he decided to take a step in faith and
trust that this was a way around the problems he had forseen and was unsure
how to get around it.
"Okay we'll do it that way a small
wedding with all the crew welcome to come to the reception."
"Well Tom there one that is not
welcome at all."
Nodding again as it hit him that
his child mother was still with them, he had overheard the Doctor while
in sickbay about the two.
Trying to fight the yawn that he
felt builting up Tom covered his mouth as it broke out.
Chakotay said, "I think you need
some more sleep Angel."
Tom felt his eyes droop shut and
his head nodding forward as he tried to fight the urge to sleep.
Chakotay gently scooped Tom into
his arms saying, "Be right back."
Greg smiled as he took in his friend
carrying Tom Paris to bed just like he did sometimes when Tem fell asleep.
Moving over to the bed Chakotay
laid Tom down onto the bed and quickly covered him before benting down
and laying a kiss to his Angel's forehead whispering, "Sweet dreams Angel."
Stealing a peek into the crib he
fondly smiled at the sleeping child reaching in smoothing the blanket over
her Chakotay lightly patted her covered bottom.