Title: Talk 3/?
Pairings: C/P (later) K/7 &
Disclaimer: Paramount owns them
part and parcel, I
just wanted them to have a bit of
Feedback: If you would like sure
Summary: Tom is feeling down, Chakotay
gets him to
Two days later Chakotay found himself
cabin, keeping their appointment
for the exercise. He
rang once, but there was no answer.
He rang again,
this time the door swished open.
He froze in his
tracks, finding Tom was dressed
in only a pair of thin
running shorts, and sporting a bad
case of bed head.
"Morning, Chakotay. Sorry, I overslept."
Tom ran his
hand over his face, trying to wake
himself up a bit
"That's okay. I should have commed
Chakotay prayed his voice did not
betray his arousal.
"I should have set my alarm. Make
yourself at home.
Breakfast is on me."
"Thanks. I ate already."
"Okay. Could you order me scramble
eggs, toast and
coffee? Sure you don't want tea
"Tea would be fine, thanks."
"I'm going to grab a quick shower
and get dressed.
I'll be back in ten minutes at the
Chakotay nodded, forcing his lustful
In the shower, Tom prayed he wouldn't
make an ass out
of himself in front of Chakotay.
As it was, his
imagination was getting the better
of him. He could
have sworn he saw arousal in Chakotay's
eyes when he
first came in. No, that wasn't possible.
never gave any indication he was
interested in him, or
any other man for that matter.
After he finished his shower, he
was dried, dressed,
and back in the lounge area in the
minutes. Settling down to eat his
continued his silent chant 'Just
friends. We are just
"Tom, I want to try something a bit
out of the
ordinary this morning."
"After going through the papers you
gave me last
night, I think one of your problems
is you've stopped
trusting yourself, your instincts.
I want to see if we
can get that back."
"Okay. How do we do that?"
"In order to trust yourself, sometimes
you need to
trust another completely. So, I
want to blindfold you
and take you through a series of
exercises. Each one
should help you regain your trust."
"You want to blindfold me and then
do whatever to
"No, not whatever. I would never
do anything to harm
or humiliate you. At any point we
can stop. This is
about you, trusting yourself and
"And trusting you."
"Yes, and trusting me. But that trust
when you listen to your gut and
know whether or not to
"I understand. Nothing weird or kinky,
"Right. And you can stop me at any
"Okay. I know I can trust you. If
you say this will
help, then I'll do it."
"Finish your breakfast before it
Once he was done and everything was
Chakotay stood behind him and put
the blindfold on.
"Can you see anything?"
"Nope, blind as a bat here."
"Okay. First I'm going to lead you
around the room."
"Okay." Tom swallowed his nervousness.
Taking Tom's hand and allowing him
to stand, Chakotay
then walked around the perimeter
of the room. When
they came close to a chair or a
table, Tom seemed to
fight him, unsure in his steps.
"Trust me, Tom. Trust yourself to
believe I won't
Tom knew he was speaking low but
it sounded so loud.
His other senses were heightened
because of the loss
of sight. He tried to relax, but
he was afraid he'd
get hurt. Not that Chakotay would
purposely hurt him,
but that he would misstep and fall
Taking a deep breath, and nodding
that he was ready to
begin again. Not that Chakotay would
him, but Tom was terrified he would
misstep and fall
over something. Taking a deep breath,
he nodded that
he was ready to begin again. Chakotay
once again began
walking around, and Tom bumped into
"Sorry," Chakotay whispered rather
lamely. Here he
was expecting Tom to let him guide
him and he walks
him into a chair.
"No, it was my fault. I wasn't paying
"You did good, Tom. Sit for a minute."
"Okay. Now what?"
"Now, we are going to venture out
into the corridor.
Don't worry, I plan on telling anyone
who sees us
there is a surprise waiting for
"Oh, you knew I would protest being
led around like a
"Something like that. I think I know
well." Chakotay smiled.
A jolt ran up Tom's spine as a thought
his mind. 'Not as well as I'd like
"You think so, commander?"
"Okay, so we're going out and I'm
going to trust you
not to walk me into walls or crewmen."
"Yes. I do have a destination in
"Want to tell me what it is?"
"Nope, that will take all the fun
out of this."
"Oh, we're having fun are we?"
"I know I am."
"You like your partners blind and
"No to both. You ready?"
"Yes. Lead on, oh commander of mine."
"You called me that already. Think
of a new name."
"I will." Chakotay grinned, even
though Tom couldn't
see him. "Okay, put your hand on
"What, you embarrassed to hold my
hand in public
commander?" Tom cringed inwardly.
'Stop flirting with
"I wouldn't want to tarnish your
Lieutenant." Chakotay wondered to
himself, 'Is he
flirting with me?'
"You mean the loser in love reputation?"
"No. The ladies man one."
"Well then hold my hand. That's *one*
should lose, and quick."
"Put your hand on my shoulder, Tom."
not wanting to go further into that
statement at the
moment. He released Tom's hand so
guided it to his
Tom did as instructed, "Ready whenever
Leaving Tom's quarters, they worked
their way through
the corridors of the ship. Passing
crewmembers now and
then, most of them had a puzzled
look on their face at
the sight of the first officer leading
pilot. Only Ken Dalby had the courage
to ask just what
the hell they were doing.
"Chakotay? Is this a new form a punishment
"Morning, Ken. No punishment; just
"Hey Tom, you really trust him not
to walk you into a
wall or the warp core?"
"I would trust anyone not to walk
me into the warp
core, Ken. B'Elanna would have their
head. Yeah, I
trust Chakotay. Why? Do you think
I shouldn't? Did he
put a sticker on my back that says
"Let me check. Nope, not on your
back, but the one on
your chest says, 'Anyone seen the
other two blind
"Chak? You didn't!"
"No, I didn't. Don't listen to Mr.
Dalby. I think he
took wise-ass lessons from a certain
"Sorry, Chakotay. I cornered that
market long before
I met Tommy here."
"I hate that name, Ken, and you know
"Yeah, that's why I used it. You
can't see me to hit
me. Later guys." Ken laughed as
he walked away.
"I don't know why I like that guy
so much. He can be
really irritating at times," Tom
stated with a trace
of mocked irritation in his voice.
"Tell me about it. Remind me sometime
to tell you the
wonderful little pranks he use to
pull in my cell."
"Forget it. I know about most of
them. Either he told
me or I helped once or twice." Tom
"Oh? Maybe you should tell
me about them then."
Chakotay raised an eyebrow at the
thought of Tom Paris
and Ken Dalby conspiring together.
Not that he
couldn't see it, it just seemed
a bit odd.
"Nope. Not in this lifetime or the
next. Are we there
"Almost. You okay?"
"Yeah. Actually this hasn't been
"Well, the exercise isn't over yet.
It's going to get
Tom really hadn't thought about the
walk, he had just
allowed Chakotay the freedom to
lead him wherever. He
actually had a bit more confidence
in his judgement at
"We're here. Ready for part three?"
"Ready as I'll ever be."
"Okay. For the next part you will
need to use your
other senses also."
"Okay." Tom heard the swish of doors
and when he
walked through them, he was hit
with sounds and scents
he couldn't remember ever dealing
with before. But
instinctively he knew that he was
in a forest or
woods. The scent of mahogany and
orchids, the sounds
of birds singing off in the distance
him. Tom turned his head when he
heard the sound of
He wasn't afraid, but a bit unsure.
He knew it was an
animal, but he couldn't place the
scent that was now
added to the others.
"Yes?" Chakotay had been standing
by watching Tom
take in the sounds and smells, but
he was also taking
in the sights himself. Whenever
he ran this program,
he always felt this sense of peacefulness.
the forest of his home planet always
did that for him.
"Are we in a forest?" There was a
hint of awe in
"Yes, it's the forest near my home
"It smells wonderful, but there is
approaching, I hope you didn't create
would attack us."
"And here I thought you said you
"I do, but.."
"Tom, there's no animal that would
attack us. They
"Okay. What now?"
"Now we walk. You'll use your senses
instincts to get to a certain place.
I'll be right
here with you, but I'll only guide
you so far. The
rest is up to you."
"Okay. Let's do it."
For the next hour and a half, Chakotay
through the forest. Tom used his
hearing and sense of
smell to avoid several small animals.
The goal was to
find a waterfall. By the time Tom
could hear the rush
of the water, he had removed his
hand from Chakotay's
shoulder and confidently walked
Chakotay walked up behind him and
blindfold. Tom looked around, taking
in the program.
Then he turned to Chakotay.
"Chak, it's absolutely beautiful,"
he breathed in awe"
"It is, isn't it?"
"The detail is amazing."
"You did real well, Tom. I could
feel you becoming
more confident, more assured of
"You know. I did feel it. I heard
that little voice
inside telling me which way to go,
and I listened. At
one point I could 'see' where I
"Excellent. That is what was supposed
to happen. I
think you are well on your way."
"Does that mean no more picking my
couldn't hide the disappointment
in his voice.
"I thought you didn't like me picking
"Maybe not, but I do like spending
time with you
Chak. I feel at ease when you're
"I like spending time with you too,
Tom. We don't
have to stop that. I'll just stop
"Actually, I have to be honest with
you. I don't mind
you prying. When I talk about things
bothering me with you, it kind of
helps me work
"Good. That's what it's supposed
"So we can still play pool and hang
Tom groaned inwardly, 'Gods, I sound
"Of course we can. We've been doing
that often for a
while now. It's not going to stop
"Thanks for all your help, Chakotay."
"You're welcome, although I'm not
sure we're actually
done just yet. I think there are
one or two more
things you need to work through."
"One is the apparent need for Harry's
other is your idea that you have
lost your appeal."
"I thought about Harry quite a bit
the last couple of
days. I decided that if he doesn't
approve of a
relationship I'm in, be it with
a woman or a man, it
would be his problem not mine."
"That's good. What helped you make
"All my life, I've tried to get the
approval of one
person or another. First my father,
of course, then my
teachers. After that it was you,
both in the Maquis
and here. Finally Harry. Each time
I didn't get that
approval, the disappointment weighed
"You were looking for *my* approval?
"Geez Chakotay, I can't believe you
didn't know that.
I've always wanted you to like me.
I hated it when all
I got was indifference. It always
seemed like if I got
your approval, then the rest was
a piece of cake." Tom
wasn't sure why he was telling the
other man this. It
just felt right.
"Tom, I didn't know, honestly. I
thought back in the
Maquis you were just showing off.
When I found out
that Seska set you up, I was pissed
because by then I
realized that you weren't all show
and no sustenance.
I've been proud to call you a friend
for almost three
"Thanks, Chak. I like that you're
willing to call me
"Anyway, once I realized that needing
approval would hurt only me, I decided
it was time to
grow up and accept that I can't
please everyone all
the time. It's me that has to approval
of me, not
anyone else." Tom felt a certain
amount of pride in
himself for coming to this conclusion
on his own: for
being able to push down all the
negative feedback he
ever got from his father.
"That's right. If you can go to sleep
with a clear conscience, that's
what matters. No
amount of approval from anyone else
is going to keep
you warm at night."
"I know that now, and after this
exercise, I am sure
that if it comes down to it and
Harry has a problem
with whomever I date, it's his problem
Although I don't believe he would
"So does that mean you're going to
put aside your
disappointment from the relationship
with B'Elanna and
start dating women again?"
"I don't know. Not because of that
mess, but because
I'm not attracted to any of the
*women* on the ship."
Tom wanted to say that he was attracted
to a man. but
thought Chakotay would be put off.
Then he changed his
mind. "Actually that is not entirely
true. It's not
that I'm not attracted to any of
the women, but that
I'm attracted to one of the men
"Does that bother you?"
"No, it doesn't, but it shouldn't
matter if it does.
We just got finished discussing
that. You have to be
happy with you."
"I know. Aren't you curious to know
who it is?"
"A little. But it's up to you as
to whether you want
to tell me or not." Chakotay groaned
to himself. He
really didn't want to know if it
"I want to tell you, but I don't
want to shock you."
"Tom, I have no problems with same-sex
I wouldn't have friends like Greg
or Ken for that
matter, if I did. They are both
involved with other
"You're right, but that isn't what
I meant by
shocking you. It's the *who* I'm
"I promise I won't be shocked." Chakotay
wouldn't show disappointed when
he learned who the
"Okay. If you're sure." Tom was nervous,
didn't want to be rejected by this
"The person I'm attracted to is you,"
He said in a
Chakotay sat with his mouth hanging
up. He couldn't
believe his ears. For a minute he
thought he was
hearing what he wanted, not what
Tom actually had
"Want to run that by me, again?"
"I said, I'm attracted to you. Chakotay.
Officer of Voyager."
"When. when did you decide this?"
Still in shock,
Chakotay sat down on the ground.
"A few nights ago, after that whole
Harry." Tom sat next to the older
man. "I realized why
I got so upset when he seemed to
be mortified by the
idea of you and me together. You
told me to sit and
write what I was feeling, and why."
"Well, that's when I figured it out."
he had made Chakotay uncomfortable,
he hastened to
add, "I'll understand if you don't
want to hang out
with me anymore. I realize that
you don't feel the
same for me." Completely dejected
at the thought of
not being able to be around him
anymore, Tom was all
set to get up and leave.
Chakotay stopped him. "Tom, I'm attracted
to you too.
I'm not going to stop hanging out
with you. As a
matter of fact, I'd like to spend
more time with you."
"You are? You do?" Tom was the one
in shock now. He
had no idea what to say or do.
"Yes. I've been attracted to you
for a while. It's
been a bit more then a few days
for me, I must
"I didn't know."
"I didn't want you to know."
"Tom, you've been known as the ladies
man of the
Delta Quadrant for quite some time.
I had no idea you
were interested in men."
"Oh. well yeah. I mean, I like both.
But I have never
actually had more then a couple
of one nighters with
"Is that what you want with me?"
"NO! I'm not into one-night stands
anymore, Chak. I
want a relationship with someone.
"I want that too, Tom. But first
we have to end our
counseling sessions. While I'm not
counselor, that job has fallen to
me, and as such, I
cannot pursue a relationship with
someone who's a
patient. Whether it's actually ethical
or not, doesn't
matter. To me, it's the principle
of the thing."
"I understand, Chak. I do. So when
can we end these
sessions?" He asked, with a bit
of mischief dancing in
"Well, you're off duty for another
five days. I'm
supposed to be counseling you, but
in light of this
new development, I don't think I
Although I don't think I should
tell the captain it's
because we want to pursue a relationship.
think I've done something to make
you want that."
"You couldn't make me do anything
"I didn't say I could, Tom. I don't
know what the
captain will think."
"Until I figure something out, we'll
have to continue
as she suggested. We'll wait the
five days, and once
you're back on duty, then we'll
see what happens."
"So, our first official date has
to be put on hold
for a few days?"
"Something like that. I'll talk to
the captain, too.
I really think with just a couple
of more session you
could go back on duty before the
five days are up.
You've worked through a lot of what
was bothering you
"Okay. So, I guess kissing you is
out of the question
right now, huh?"
"As much as I would love to kiss
you, yes, right now
is not a good time."
"I agree. Okay, this exercise is
over and our time
here is almost up. Let's gather
up the food we should
have eaten, and go have some lunch."
"Sounds good to me, counselor."
"Thank you. I try." Tom grinned.
They left the holodeck, both feeling
carrying their lunch to the nearest
lounge. They ate and talked quietly
about a few other
things Tom had on his mind. To anyone
whom passed the
lounge and looked in, they would
have seen two friends
enjoying each other's company. But
to the two men
inside, it was the prequel to their