Title: Talk 4/4
Author: Maxine
Pairings: C/P (later) K/7 & Tu/T (implied)
Rating R
Disclaimer: Paramount owns them part and parcel, I
just wanted them to have a bit of fun.
Feedback: If you would like sure plainedge77@yahoo.com
Summary: Tom is feeling down, Chakotay gets him to

Over the next couple of days, the two men were each
other's constant companion off duty. If anyone was
surprised or uncomfortable with this sight, they
didn't say anything. Seeing the commander laughing or
smiling seemed to have a positive affect on everyone,
and they figured if Tom Paris was the one causing it,
so what?

Even Harry seemed to accept the fact that when he saw
Tom off duty, nine times out of ten, Chakotay was
there too. He did wonder though about the change, and
he wanted to ask his friend what was going on. The
opportunity presented itself one morning at breakfast.
Harry came into the mess hall and found Tom sitting

"Morning, Tom."

"Morning, Harry. Have a seat."

"Thanks. Mind if I ask you something, Tom?"

"Nope. What's on your mind?"

"What's going on with you and the commander?"

"What do you mean what's going on?"

"Well, in the past week you two are together more
often than not. I was just wondering if there was
something going on."

"Harry, only because you're my best friend will I
tell you this, but you can't say a word to anyone.
Okay?" Tom decided that telling Harry about his
problem and the budding romance would be okay.
Actually, it would help to know what Harry thought
about sex-same relationships.

"Sure, Tom. You know I wouldn't say anything."

Leaning in closer to his friend, Tom whispered. "I've
been suffering from that most people would call
depression. Chakotay has been counseling me,
informally, for the past week."

"Oh. Is that all?" Harry was a little disappointed.
He'd hoped that his friend and the commander had
started a relationship. He wouldn't worry so much
about Tom if he weren't alone. When Harry had first
saw them together at Sandrine's, he was surprised, but
since then he had gotten use to the sight. He liked
seeing his friend smile as much as he had been over
the past week.

"Yeah. What did you think was going on Harry?" Tom
began to think it might have been a bad idea to start
this conversation after all.

"Well, I thought you and he were. you know.."

"No, I don't know. What did you think we were doing,

"Its stupid. Never mind."

"No. I'd prefer it if you told me." Tom began to feel
panicky again. 

"Tom, don't get upset. It's nothing really." Harry
couldn't believe Tom was getting so distressed. 

"Harry, did you think that Chakotay and I were
dating? Screwing, perhaps?"

"Geez, Tom. You don't have to get so defensive."

"This is not defensive, Harry. This is pissed off.
You sit down with me and ask a question. I'm honest
with you, and you can't seem to be honest with me. So
again, what did you think was going on with the
commander and me?"

"I thought you were dating. I guess. I was wrong. I'm

"Why would you think that?"

"It's like I said. You two are always together."

"So what! There was a time that you and I were always
together. Did that mean we were dating?"

"Why are you so defensive? I was just curious. I
heard a couple of people commenting on how close you
two have been, and how it looked like maybe things
were getting serious between the two of you."

"SO? Do you have a problem with me dating someone, or
just if it's a man?" 

"No! Who you date doesn't matter to me. Geez. Calm
down." Harry shook his head. This was *not* how he
wanted this to go.

"You know, it's funny. When Seven suggested that
Chakotay and I were a couple, you went nuts: like the
idea was appalling to you."

"I never said that. Don't put words in my mouth. I
just couldn't see you and Chakotay together." 

"Why not? What's wrong with me that Chakotay wouldn't
find me interesting enough to date?"

"Forget it Tom. This is a stupid conversation. You
said that there was nothing going on, so let's just
end it."

"I don't think it's a stupid conversation, Harry. I
think you just don't want to answer, but that's fine I
have to go anyway. I lost my appetite."

"Tom, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to upset you.

"Whatever! Bye!" Tom grabbed his tray and stormed

"TOM!" He was too late. Tom was already half way
across the mess hall by now. He didn't mean to upset
his friend. Harry wasn't close-minded, but Tom hadn't
given him a chance to say so. He knew he'd handled
that all wrong. He decided to get back together with
Tom at lunch and explain himself better. 


Tom walked as quickly as possible towards Chakotay
office. He had commed him and asked to speak with him
in a professional capacity. Tom couldn't shake the
anger he felt for Harry. How dare he be so damned
judgmental. Tom had just as much right to be happy as
anyone on this ship did. Well, if Harry Kim had a
problem with Tom being with another man, no, with
Chakotay, he would just have to get over it.

When he arrived at Chakotay's office, the door slid
up without him having to ring the chime, which
surprised him a bit. He stalked into the office and
flopped down on one of the chairs with a heavy sigh.

"Tom, are you okay?"

"No! I am not okay!" he yelled.

"Whoa, what did I do?"

"Nothing, I'm sorry." Tom calmed a bit, as always,
when he was around Chakotay.

"What happened?"

"I just had breakfast with Harry. It would seem that
Harry doesn't like the rumors that are floating around
the ship these days."

"What rumors?"

"The rumors that you and I are dating, or so it would

"I haven't heard anything, and I am sure I would have
by now."

"Well, it would seem that my "friend" has a problem
with it."

"Okay, let's back up and start from the beginning."

"All right."

Tom proceeded to tell Chakotay about the conversation
he'd had with Harry. Once again getting angry, he got
up and started pacing the room. Chakotay allowed him
to "blow off some steam", a favorite expression of
Tom's, while he paced and spoke. The rush of anger
passed rather quickly the second time around. 

"So that's it. My best friend is a narrow-minded,
homophobic jerk."

"Tom, I think I missed something. When did Harry say
he didn't like homosexuals? You need to calm down.
Come here and lay down on the couch. I want you to
just breath slowly. I am going to massage your back a
bit to help you relax."

"Thanks, Chak... I'm sorry. You don't need this."
Suddenly Tom collapsed, as if he ran out of steam. He
laid on his stomach, pillowing his head on his arms.

"Hey, I keep telling you it's my job as your
counselor to help you work through things like this."
Chakotay spoke as he sat on the edge of the couch and
began massaging the pilot's shoulders.  "On a personal
note, it is my job, as your potential boyfriend, to
make sure you are always at ease, if I can help it."
He smiled as he continued to massage Tom's back. He
could feel the tension slowly ebbing away.

"I like the idea of you being my boyfriend. Although
*boyfriend* sounds a bit childish. You are far from a
boy that. Ts for sure."

"I like the idea, too. Now let's go back over what
Harry said, or more precisely when he said he had a
problem with you having a boyfriend."

Tom took a minute to go back over the conversation in
his head, and groaned. 

"He didn't say he would have a problem. He said he
couldn't see you and me together but he wouldn't say
why he couldn't imagine it."

"Did you give him the chance? Or did you just get
angrier and yell at him?"

"He said it was a stupid conversation. He ended it."

"Maybe. he ended it because he saw how upset you had
gotten. Maybe. he didn't want to upset you any
further." Chakotay believed that this was what
motivated Harry to put a stop to the conversation.
"You were in the mess hall. Two senior staff members
fighting in the mess hall would not go over well with
the captain."

"SHIT! I can be such an idiot at times."

"Tom, you're not an idiot. You were just very
defensive. I think somewhere in the back of your
brain, you're still concerned that Harry would
disapprove of us. You don't want to lose your friend,
but you also don't want to give up a chance to be

" Are you saying you're going to make me happy?" Tom

"I'm going to try my best." Chakotay smiled back.

"I like the sound of that, too. I guess you're right.
Part of me still wants Harry's approval, not that I'd
tell you to forget it if he doesn't."

"I know that, Tom."

"I guess I owe him an apology."

"I think you do. Do you feel better now?"

"Yeah. Thanks."

"No problem."

"Would is still be unethical for me to kiss you?"

"Yes, it would. You can kiss me, later."


"Yes. As of this afternoon you are no longer in need
of counseling, or at least by me. I spoke to the
captain this morning and told her that I didn't think
I could help you any further along. I also recommended
that you should, perhaps, begin talking to the doctor
or Tuvok."

"The doc? We might get along, but I don't want him
prodding me about my personal life. He'll make it into
some kind of fact-finding mission. I can't talk to
Tuvok, either. B'Elanna would kill me if I mess up and
say something to him."

"I take it you don't know that Tuvok and B'Elanna
have spoken to the captain."

"No, I've been too busy getting my shit together to
worry about anyone else. When did this happen?"

"Apparently, yesterday. It seems that they've decided
to bond. They'll be off for the next few days."

"Well, I'm glad B'Elanna got what she wanted."

"I am, too. Anyway, that means that you don't have to
worry about saying anything to Tuvok. He knows
everything, B'Elanna told him about your

"Shit! They told the captain?"

"No, B'Elanna came to me after they were done
speaking to her. She thought I should know what was
going on. It would seem that B'Elanna, without coming
out and saying it, thought something might be
developing between us. She thought I should know that
she had no further claim on you, and explained what
had happened. Of course, I didn't tell her I knew, or
that I had been counseling you. That would be your
place not mine."

"Of course. I realized that I was more worried about
him reacting badly to the thought of you and me
together, than how he would react when I said I was
this side of crazy."

"Tom, you have always been this side of crazy.
Nothing's changed, but we all know that."

"Ha! Ha! You know, Chak, stand up comedy is *not*
your forte."

"Good thing I'm sitting." Chakotay laughed, Tom
groaned. "Now, are you calm enough to go and enjoy
your last day off?"

"Yeah, I think I am."

"Good. Now go. I have a staff meeting to get to."

"Yes sir! Will you have dinner with me tonight?"

"I'd love to."

"Okay. How about my quarters, say. 1800 hours? That
sound okay?"

"Sounds perfect. I'll see you. Go and enjoy yourself.
Find Harry. and listen this time, okay?"

"Okay. See you later, Chakotay. Have a good day."

"I will."

The whirlwind known as Tom Paris was gone as quickly
as he had come. Chakotay couldn't help but shake his
head; sometimes Tom made him dizzy. His mood swung
faster than a spider monkey in pursuit of dinner. His
office chime ended his thoughts.

"Come," Chakotay called out. 

Harry stepped in, and the door closed behind him.
"Commander, can I speak to you for a moment?"

"Of course, Ensign Kim. Have a seat." Pointing to the
chair opposite him. "What can I do for you?"

"It's about Tom," Harry answered.

"What about him?" Chakotay hoped he could stay in a
professional frame of mind. It wouldn't do for him to
lose his cool.

"I know that you've been counseling him. He told me
this morning."

"Yes, I am."

"Well, I think maybe I made things worse. I don't
know what is or was wrong with him, He didn't say. But
we had a disagreement, and he was very upset."

"I see. What did you have a disagreement about?"

"I said something that was probably out of line.
Please. don't be offended. I told him that a couple of
people had made comments about the amount of time the
two of you have been spending together."

"Well, I'm sure he explained that we were meeting
informally for his sessions."

"Yes, he did."

"I see. What upset him?"

"I'm not completely sure," Harry admitted. "All I
said was, 'That's it?'. All of a sudden he got upset."

"I see."

"It was closer to anger, actually, He asked me what I
was thinking." Harry ran a trembling hand through his
hair. "At first, I didn't say anything, but he kept at
it. Finally, I told him that it had looked like the
two of you were becoming involved, and this is the
embarrassing part. I said I couldn't see the two of
you together."

"I see." Chakotay struggled to remain neutral.

"I didn't mean to insult him or you."

"I'm not insulted." 

"All I had meant was that I didn't think the two of
you would become involved that way. I don't have
anything against same-sex relationships. I've been
around them most of my life, both male and female. But
I think I came across as being narrow-minded or
something, because Tom just went off. I could see he
was really angry, and honestly, I didn't think we were
in the best place to talk about it. I told him to
forget it, and that made him even angrier. He stormed
out of the mess hall before I could explain myself."

"I see. I'm sure that Tom will calm down soon. I'd
suggest that when he does, you talk to him again."

"I will. I just thought you should know, because of
the counseling."

"Thank you."

"Commander, Tom is my best friend." Harry wasn't sure
why he felt the need to say this, but he followed his
instincts. "It's true we haven't been too close lately
and that's my fault. But I'd never begrudge him
happiness just because he found it with a man."

"I think that's another thing you should tell him
Ensign, he holds you in very high regard."

"I will, Commander. Thank you for taking the time to
see me."

"You're welcome, Ensign. I'll see you at the staff
meeting. You're dismissed."

"Yes sir. Thank you again."

Chakotay sat back and let out the breath he had been
unknowingly holding. He was glad that was over. He
really didn't want to have to hurt Harry for upsetting
Tom by giving him a hard time about their relationship
when it became public knowledge.

That was something else they had to discuss. Chakotay
didn't think it would be wise for them to end their
sessions and then suddenly announce their change in
status. For one thing, the captain might try to stop
it, thinking it was a result of Chakotay's position
this past week. That was partly it, but only because
they had the chance to talk to each other more openly.

 She had no idea that he had been attracted to the
younger man for a while. She had some wild idea he was
still interested in her, or worse, that he was
interested in Seven. Kathryn had asked him several
times over of the past couple of weeks if he was okay
with Harry Kim and Seven spending so much time
together. Spirits, now that was funny. While he found
the former Borg entertaining, he was not attracted to
her in any way. 


Harry decided not to comm Tom to see if he would
have lunch with him. He didn't want his friend to make
up excuses not to see him. Harry had to apologize, and
he knew Tom would avoid him. After checking his
location, Harry went to Tom's cabin.
He rang the door chime instead of just walking in.
When he entered the cabin, Harry found Tom sitting on
his couch reading.


"Hey Harry. Come in."

"Thanks Tom. Look. I want to apologize for this
morning. I didn't mean to upset you."

"Harry, it was my fault. I got defensive, and there
was no reason for it."

"That may be, but the fact remains that you got the
wrong idea about what I was saying, and I want to
clear it up."

"Okay, have a seat. Do you want some lunch?"

"I can get it."

"Nah, it's on me. What would you like?''

"I'll have stir-fried chicken and rice."

"Sounds good. I think I'll join you."

Once Tom placed and received the orders, he sat and
they began to eat. Harry didn't want to wait too long.
He really did feel bad.

"Tom. listen, I've been around same-sex
relationships all my life. My mom's brother was in a
long-term relationship with another man. Before I
left, we celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary. I
have a couple of cousins and a number of friends that
all were in same-sex relationships, both male and
female, it doesn't bother me. When I said what I did
this morning, it was not meant to be derogatory in
anyway. I would certainly be surprised if you told me
you and Chakotay were involved. But that would only be
because I had no idea you had an interest in that kind
of relationship, not because I'm prejudice against
homosexuals, or because I don't think that Chakotay
would be attracted to you. "

"I understand, Harry. I'm sorry I blew up. It's just
that, well, there is a possibility, a strong
possibility, that something might come of the whole
thing. I wanted you to be happy for me. I was worried
that you wouldn't approve, and then things would be
strained between us."

"Tom, my approval or disapproval shouldn't stop you
from finding happiness. If being with Chakotay is what
you want, great! Again, I'm a bit surprised, but hell,
I'm surprised that Seven is giving me the time of day,
so anything is possible." They both laughed.

"Thanks, Harry. I needed that."

"You're welcome. Remember, Tom. Your happiness, in
whatever form is comes in, is what's important."

"I'll remember that."

"So, are you going to tell me how this all came
about? I know that you and Chakotay have been friends
for a while now. I just didn't realize there was

"Actually, I didn't know it either until you seemed
to get so upset in Sandrine's that night. First, I got
pissed because I thought Chakotay would be angry at
Seven's incorrect observation. Then I got mad because
you thought he wouldn't, or couldn't, be attracted to
me." Tom held up his hand to forestall any response.
"Later that night, I realized that I was upset that
you might be right, that he wouldn't be. That's when I
realized my feelings for him were a bit deeper."

"I see. So I helped you out, huh?"

"Yeah, you did. A couple of days later we were doing
an exercise, and when we were done, I just sort of
told him. As it turns out, he's been interested in me
for a while now. He just didn't think I'd be
interested. Plus, there was that whole B'Elanna mess.
Anyway, we've been using the time to just get to know
each other and discuss what we both want out of a
relationship. It's actually been fun. There is no
pressure to perform, so to speak. We're just friends
right now. Nothing is going to happen for the time

"I see. You're taking it slow, like Seven and I are

"Yeah, something like that. Also, because he has
been my counselor, there's the whole ethics thing to
consider. Chakotay feels that the captain might think
he took advantage of my vulnerable mind, which is
funny, really. I mean, the captain thinking of me as
vulnerable in anyway."

"Well, she's concerned. You can't fault her that."

"She doesn't know Harry, and she isn't going to find
out. You're the only one who knows, and will be the
only one for a while. We're taking things very slowly.
We haven't even had our first date yet. When we do,
I'm sure it will be a quiet dinner in one of our
cabins." Tom didn't want him to know dinner was
happening that night.

"Don't you think it would look odd if the two of you
suddenly stopped going to Sandrine's and doing stuff

"Oh, we aren't going to stop playing pool, or even
hanging out together. It's just not going to appear to
be anything more then what it looks like now."

"Oh, okay. Don't worry, I won't say a thing."

"Thanks, Har."

"You're welcome. Damn! Look at the time. I've got to
get back to the bridge. Thanks for lunch, Tom."

"Sure thing, Harry."

"Bye, Tom."

When Harry was gone, Tom cleaned up their remaining
lunch mess and felt pretty good about the whole hour.
He wanted to comm Chakotay to tell him things were all
fixed with Harry, but he figured that would wait until
dinner. Speaking of dinner, he hoped he had enough
rations to feed Chakotay.

As he entertained thoughts about dinner and
dessert, he suddenly found himself thinking about
*after* dessert. He hoped they would stay in, because
he wanted to spend the evening alone with Chakotay.
Technically, their relationship was no longer
counselor/patient, which meant he could kiss him
without getting any protest from the older man.
Smiling at the thought of finally tasting Chakotay, he
then thought about all there was to taste: not just
his mouth but his neck, his shoulders, his chest, his
stomach. 'Oh man, better not go there, Tommy. You'll
be a mess by the time he gets here.'


The afternoon wore on. Chakotay spent it on the
bridge. When Harry came back from lunch he gave
Chakotay a nod, which Chakotay interpreted as things
had gone well between Harry and Tom during lunch. The
fact that Harry knew more was lost to Chakotay. Harry
would keep his word to Tom and not say a thing to
anyone. That included the commander.

Once the shift was over, Chakotay left for his
office. He had a few reports to finish before dinner. 
In the middle of one said report he comm badge

"Janeway to Chakotay." He was surprised to hear her
voice. He rather thought Tom might call to remind him
about dinner.

"Chakotay here. How can I help you captain?"

"I was wondering if you had plans for dinner. I
thought it might be nice to have it together."

"Thank you, Kathryn, but I have plans already."

"A date Chakotay?" He could hear the humor in her

"Not exactly, I'm just having dinner with a friend."

"All right. Enjoy yourself. I'll see you in the

"Thank you, Kathryn. You have a good evening, too.
Chakotay out."

Precisely at 1800 hours, Chakotay rang the chime to
Tom's cabin. The door opened immediately, Tom greeted
him with a warm smile.


"Hi, yourself. How was your last day off?'

"It was good, thanks. Have a seat. Harry came by for
lunch, and we worked everything out."

"Good, I'm glad. He came to see me after you left
this morning. He was seemed pretty concerned about

"He didn't mention anything to me."

"Well, no, I didn't think he would. He came because
he was concerned, as I said. He also explained a few
things to me. He seemed to be worried about insulting

"I guess so. Well, he came by for lunch and we
talked. He said that as long as I was happy, it didn't
matter to him who the reason for my happiness was.
Harry did say, if anything, that he was a bit
surprised that it's you I'm interested in, but he
didn't actually have a problem with it."

"I'm sure that made you feel better."

"Yeah, it did, but I know that it wouldn't have
mattered, or at least I'd hope it wouldn't have

"Tom, don't think about it anymore. It's over and
done, okay?"

"Okay. Now, dinner's ready."

They ate and talked; mostly about Harry and the
reactions they might get from others. They both
decided that if what Harry said was true, there
wouldn't be many problems. The biggest hurdle that
Chakotay saw was the captain. She might have a problem
with the situation. Tom pointed out that there wasn't
a problem with Tuvok and B'Elanna being bonded, so he
didn't think the captain would have a problem with
them being together. When they are done, they pushed
their plates aside.

"That was good, Tom. Thanks for dinner."

"You're welcome. Just think of it as my 'thank you'
to you for helping me this past week."

"You're welcome, then."

"Would you like to have dessert now or later?"

"Later. I'm quite full."

"Okay. How about watching a vid or something?" Why
was he suddenly so nervous?

"Watching a vid would be nice. Something else would
be better," Chakotay said with a smile.

"You want to go play a little pool?"

"No. I'd like to be alone with you for a little
while. Maybe collect that kiss you've been eager to
give me."

"OH! Well, I think that can be arranged."

"I hoped so."

"Let me just clean up here. Go and make yourself

"I can help."

"Nope, you're my guest. Go and sit. It'll only take
a minute."

"All right. You don't have to tell me twice."

Tom cleared away the dishes while Chakotay got
comfortable. He looked through Tom's collection of
vids, thinking that perhaps they'd watch one after
all. Tom, however, was by his side in just a few

"So. I believe there was something I'm suppose to
give you," Tom whispered as he turned to face


Tom cupped Chakotay's face and gently pulled him
forward. He then touched his lips to Chakotay's, and
kissed him lightly. When Chakotay moaned at the touch,
Tom increased the pressure and began to show the older
man just how happy he was that they were there
together. Chakotay felt a shiver run down his spine
when the kiss was deepened. He parted his lips
slightly, and Tom took the opportunity to slip his
tongue inside. Both men moaned from pure joy because
they were finally where they both wanted to be.

Somewhere in the back of Chakotay's mind he thought
there was no way he was leaving Tom tonight without
making love to him.

The End