Title: Things Change 7/?
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I am just letting them out for some
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Things Change 7
Tuvok made his way to the holodeck,
when he arrived he was
greeted by an angry crowd. Ken Dalby
right in the front of the pack.
He was yelling at Greg to let him
back in so he could finish the job.
"Lieutenant Ayala, what seems to
be the problem?" Tuvok
decided to ignore Dalby for the
"Ensign Kim and Crewmember Dalby
got into an argument. When I
tried to step between them Ensign
Kim became extremely irate and
began screaming at me also. I cleared
the holodeck as quickly as I
could. Ensign Kim demanded that
you be summoned. He said he wouldn't
leave unless you told him to, he
said that you were the only real
authority on the ship, other then
the captain. I should add that he
is quite drunk."
"Thank you Lieutenant." Turning to
Dalby. "Mr. Dalby I would
like you to report to the security
office at 0900 hours tomorrow
morning. I believe I will need a
statement from you. And we will also
be discussing a few other things."
He turned to the crowd in the
"As for the rest of you, please go
to your quarters, it's
time to call it a night."
Tuvok then entered the holodeck,
Sandrine's was running, scanning the
bar he found Harry sitting in a
corner facing him.
"Ensign Kim you wanted to see me?"
Yeah Tuvok, you want a drink?"
"No Ensign and I believe you have
had enough. What did you
want to see me about?"
"I want to make a formal complain
against Ken Dalby, he
threatened me for the third time
tonight and I don't think I am
safe." Harry's words were slow in
coming, he was drunk.
"Ensign Kim did you remove the safety
protocols from this
"Not me, it was sorry ass Paris,
he made it so if you ordered
a certain drink from Sandrine the
safeties would be turn off."
"I see and knowing this you ordered
the drink necessary to
"I see, well Ensign Kim, I believe
it's time for you to
return to your quarters and as Mr.
Paris would say sleep it off."
Harry jumped up
"Don't say that ungrateful bastard's
name in my presence
again!" Harry came at Tuvok, as
if to hit him.
"Ensign Kim, I would strongly suggest
that you stop and think
before you persue this matter any
further. Return to your quarters
and report to the security office
at 0930 hours tomorrow morning. I
have cleared the corridor and I
will walk with you to ensure you are
not bothered. But I must warn you,
if you raise your voice or attempt
you strike me, I will restrain you."
Tuvok took hold of Harry's arm
and walked him out of the holodeck
and to his quarters.
After that initial bath, both men
reined their thoughts, each
not knowing what had gone on with
the other. Chakotay knew he
couldn't tell Tom, the guy would
freak for sure. Tom knew he couldn't
tell Chakotay, although he had caught
the offhanded comment about him
and Greg, he didn't think Chakotay
would be interested.
Tom didn't ask what happened with
Harry, he didn't want to
know. Although he figured he would
hear about it eventually any way.
A week later he was proven right,
he and Chakotay were in sickbay.
While the doctor was running tests
Tom sat in the doctor's office. He
heard the doors swish open, looking
up he saw Harry escorted by
Tuvok. Tom felt a lump in his throat
when he saw the shape his former
friend was in.
"Gods, he looks like he got the crap
kicked out of him." He
whispered, fighting the urge to
go and make sure Harry was all right,
he listened as best he could without
appearing to be eavesdropping.
He could only hear pieces and bits
of the conversation, but it didn't
take much for him to figure out
part of what happened.
"..Again.." The doctor groaned.
"...Third time..." He heard Tuvok.
".Disable the program." doc again.
"Lieutenant Paris.. Delete." Tuvok
'Oh shit! Harry had disabled the
Sandrine's safeties and been
drinking. Tuvok walked into the
"Lieutenant Paris." Tuvok started
to speak but Tom raised his
hand to stop him.
"Harry ordered the right drink to
have the safeties turn
off." Tom finished the statement
for him. "I will fix it now."
"May I ask why you felt it necessary
to program a trigger?"
"Tuvok, I wrote Sandrine's when we
first got stranded out
here. At the time I thought I might
need it. I used the trigger once
maybe twice, Harry was there the
second time. I haven't even thought
about it in years, I honestly forgot
all about it."
"I see. I should have brought it
to your attention after the
first time Ensign Kim used it. The
night I was called to the holodeck
from Commander Chakotay's quarters.
This incident is my fault." Tuvok
believed the younger man when he
said he forgot about it. He
remembered the "Old Tom Paris" and
the man standing before him were
not the same.
"When I spoke to Ensign Kim the next
morning he told me he
had disabled the cgi-bin coding.
I was unaware of the second incident
he was alone. This time he ended
up in an altercation with Crewman
"Jesus, is he nuts? Paul Johnson
is at least three times
bigger then he is." Tom was horrified
at the thought of Harry in a
fight with that man.
"I'm sorry Tuvok, I will delete the
cgi-bin right now." Tom
went to the computer in the office
and after a few seconds he was in
the program for Sandrine's, he deleted
the necessary coding and
recoded the program so no one could
change anything. Once satisfied
that everything was done he closed
"It's done Tuvok and now no one but
I can change anything.
Also safety protocols can not be
turned off without two
authorizations from senior officers."
"Thank you Lieutenant."
"I will accept whatever reprimand you and the captain deem
necessary Tuvok. Again I do apologize
for not deleting it long ago."
Tuvok moved into
the office more so Tom realized
that whoever had been in sickbay
would have heard Tuvok talking to
him. Harry knew he was in there,
even if he hadn't figured it out
by seeing Chakotay. 'Oh Shit! Harry
in the same room with Chakotay.'
Tom turned around wildly to look out
the office window to see Harry glaring
at Chakotay's back. Evidently
when Tuvok had come in with Harry,
Chakotay choose to just ignore the
"Tom, you are not to blame for Ensign
Kim's obvious disregard
for his own welfare. Because you
wrote the program, although it was a
violation of regulations, it was
Harry who chose to utilize the
subroutine. I believed you when
you said that you had forgotten about
it. You have done all that I would
have expected you to. However,
what Captain Janeway or Commander
Chakotay will do or say I can not
venture to guess. "
Tom flinched when he heard the captain's
name but groaned
when Tuvok included Chakotay. Then
it hit him like a bolt of
lighting. He knew beyond a shadow
of a doubt what and why Harry had
done. Standing up and squaring his
shoulders Tom looked at Tuvok.
"Excuse me Commander Tuvok, I must
speak to Commander
Chakotay immediately." He turned
in military style, marched out of
the office, ignoring Harry, and
went straight to Chakotay. When
Chakotay saw Tom in military parade
he was confused.
"Commander Chakotay, I wish to report
a violation of
Starfleet regulations." Chakotay
realized this had something to do
with Harry and what had happened.
He also knew that Tom was making a
point of "reporting" this in front
of Harry. He decided to play
along, hoping whatever Tom was about
to do would get through to Harry.
"What violation is that Lieutenant
Paris and who is
responsible?" Chakotay asked in
full commander mode.
"The violation of Starfleet regulation
eight two three
section Pee subsection Cee article
four alpha. 'No Starfleet personal
may program a holodeck simulation
with cgi-bin coding where by voice
command the safety protocols of
any part or the whole of said program
will be terminated. The person responsible
for this violation is me,
"I see and the program involved?'
"And the cgi-bin coding you did effected
this program in what
"When a certain alcoholic beverage
is ordered, one of MY
favorites, the safeties are turned
off and that drink contains real
alcohol, Sir." Although he was still
in full military mode, Tom was
shaking inside, he knew he was putting
himself on the line but he
also hoped that by doing this Harry
Kim would be proven wrong, that
Chakotay wouldn't nail him for being
a screw up.
"I see Lieutenant, have you since
disabled the coding?"
"Yes Sir, the moment it was brought
to my attention that the
trigger had been used on at least
three occasions in the past week."
"Very well Lieutenant Paris, we will
discuss what type
reprimand of this violation, if
any, with the Captain and Commander
Tuvok when I have finished up here."
"Yes Sir, Thank you Sir."
Chakotay could not have felt more
pride in his friend then at
that moment. He knew that once they
got back to his quarters Tom
would tell him exactly what had
happened. All he could do was smile
and wink at Tom.
When Tom saw the smile and wink he
knew that Chakotay had
some understanding as to why he
had just done what he did. Letting
out a breath he didn't realize he
was holding he nodded and walked
back to the doctor's office, once
again not looking at Harry.
Tuvok and the doctor watched Harry
Kim and not the two
officers. They watched as Harry's
expressions changed during the
exchange between Tom and Chakotay.
First there was the look of
anticipated joy, believing that
his plan had worked. He just knew
that as soon as the commander heard
what Paris had done, he would
prove Harry right and tell him he
was a screw up and to leave him
alone. The commander would order
Paris to pack his bags and get out
of his cabin, he would find someone
else to take care of him.
Then that expression changed to one
of confusion as the
commander didn't blow up instead
he allowed Paris to explain the
violation. There were no angry words
or even a look of disgust coming
from the commander. The next emotion
that ran over Harry's face was
one of complete disbelief the commander
accepted Paris' word that the
program had been fixed, something
Harry wasn't completely convinced
of Paris' lied a lot. Then he said
there might not be any
repercussions from his actions,
that it would be discussed between
the three most senior officers WITH
'What the hell kind of game is the
commander playing?' He thought. Oh
he knew what was going on, no one
else would stay with the commander
twenty-four hours a day, he was
using Paris for now, and when he
returned to full duty he would nail
Paris good. Then Harry would be
Harry smiled to himself, he just
knew victory would be his
soon, and then Tom Paris would come
crawling back to him begging him
to forgive him. Harry would of course
forgive him, but he would know
that Harry would never again tolerate
that Tom felt he needed anyone
other then him as his true friend.
"You are done Ensign Kim, you can
go back to your quarters,
you are off for the day." The doctor
dismissed him, if the hologram
could be annoyed he would have been.
"One minute Ensign Kim, there is
the matter of you once again
lying to a superior officer that
needs to be addressed. For your
deception the reprimand is two days
confined to your quarters,
excluding today, and your replicator
rations suspended for two weeks.
Know this ensign, if you lie to
me again you will be brought before a
board of your peers and punishment
will be much harsher."
"Yes Sir. It that it?" Harry's tone
made everyone stop, he
was disrespectful and rude to Tuvok.
"That is all ensign. You are dismissed."
Tuvok turned on his
heels and left sickbay. Harry followed
Tom just sat in the office shaking
his head, he wondered if
it was his fault after all that
Harry was so bitter. The doctor came
into the office interrupting Tom's
"Mr. Paris, you are doing a fine
job of taking care of the
commander. He tells me that you
have found several different sources
of protein for him to supplement
his diet. I have to tell you that I
am extremely proud of you for all
you have done."
"Thanks Doc, just doing my job, you
"You are doing more than that Tom,
I have never seen the
commander this relaxed. He tells
me that he is still a bit shaky at
"Yeah, if he sits for long periods
of time he seems to be
more shaky than when he has laid
down for the same amount of time.
But it passes quickly, we just talk
through it and he is fine within
a minute or two."
"Very well. I also wanted to tell
you that again my
admiration for you has risen. What
you did earlier took a lot of guts
and I for one am impressed."
"Thanks Doc, let's just hope Chakotay
and the captain are
just as impressed."
"I am sure he is and she will be.
You can take the commander
home now. See you in two days, unless
you need me for something
"Okay Doc." Tom said as he left the
office. He went over to
Chakotay who was still half sitting
half lying on the biobed.
"You ready Chief?"
"Sure am, Tom." Tom nodded and called
for the transport.
When they rematerialized in Chakotay's
quarters, as usual he
found himself in his bed. He couldn't
help but smile, everything Tom
did for his friends was done with
"Tom I have to tell you I was really
proud of you in sickbay.
Owning up to the violation, but
I am not sure why you did it, care to
tell me?" he motioned to Tom to
take his normal seat at the end of
his bed, Tom sat in the offered
"Simple Chief, I figured out that
Harry was using
the "glitch" in the program hoping
he would get caught just like he
had. Then he could point the finger
at me, without me being around,
because it is my program and my
subroutine." Tom stopped and took a
"It's even my favorite drink, Mi
Ti, then I would confess,
you would freak and call me a screw
up just like Harry says you will
someday. I will have to go back
to him and beg him to forgive me for
not believing him when he told me
you would turn on me the next time
I screwed up." Again he paused almost
waiting for Chakotay to say
something, when he didn't Tom continued.
"Thing is Chief, that even if that
all happened, if you did
call me a screw up and boot me out
of here, I meant what I said about
rotting in my cabin before I would
ever beg him for his forgiveness
or friendship." Stopping for a second
to calm himself, he didn't
realize how angry he was until just
"Yes, I screwed up, I admit that,
but I wrote that program a
long time ago. Hell, I forgot that
the trigger was even there.
Obviously Harry hadn't, it's almost
like he filed it away for later
use. I have done a lot of thinking
the past two weeks Chief, since
you first got sick and Harry started
acting like a lunatic. I don't
think he really ever was a friend
to me, he remembered everything I
ever told him I did and then looked
for the chance to use it against
me. He used it to keep me inline
so to speak. That isn't a friend,
not in my book."
"Tom you know I'd never do that,
don't you? Not after
everything you have done for the
others and me. I can't say for sure
how I would have reacted as your
commanding officer but as your
friend, I would never hold something
like that against you. You have
changed so much in the past five
years. You are a good man Tom, don't
ever doubt that." Chakotay smiled
at him, reached out and rubbed
Tom's arm as if to reassure him
of what was being said.
"Thanks Chief, I do know it but I
guess it's just nice to
hear sometimes." Tom said softly.
"Anytime Tom." Chakotay stifled a
"Oh looks like naptime for the bear."
Tom stated when he saw
the yawn, getting off the bed he
helped Chakotay lay back.
"Night Chakotay, sleep well dream
sweet." Tom going with an
urge leaned down and gave the older
man a kiss on his forehead.
"Night Tom. Thanks." Chakotay yawned
and fell asleep.
Over the next three weeks Tom and
Chakotay talked about
everything and anything. Different
experiences they had during their
lives. Tom told Chakotay about his
mom and the guilt that he felt
over not being around to help. Chakotay
then understood why Tom was
so adamant about him following the
doctor's order exactly.
Chakotay spoke about feeling like
the "Token Indian" at the
Academy. How thrilled he was when
he finally got his first commission
and the devastation he felt when
he learned of his father's death.
The devastation was increased when
because of his decision to leave
Starfleet he lost a lover. The person
he was sure he would spend the
rest of his life with the person.
This particular night found them once again sitting on
Chakotay's bed talking about various
things. Among them the choices
and chances they both lost because
they were in the Delta Quadrant.
Chakotay spoke about the loneliness
he sometimes felt since coming on
Voyager. He admitted he didn't want
to spend the rest of his life
alone, but it looked like that just
might be the case.
"Why do you think you will be alone
forever? None of the
women on Voyager fit your idea of
the perfect wife?" There was no
sarcasm in Tom's tone just some
bewilderment and maybe a little
"Tom, honestly, I never saw myself
with a wife. I always saw
my life being fulfilled with a man
by my side." Tom was surprised by
"You seemed surprised." Chakotay
wondered if Tom had trouble
with thinking of two men dedicating
themselves to each other. There
was a bit of dread underlying that
thought. Over the past few weeks,
getting to know Tom even more. Chakotay
already knowing, from his
first sponge bath, that he was attracted
to Tom on many levels. He
was intelligent, witty, sensitive,
caring, challenging. All qualities
Chakotay looked for in a partner,
not to mention a body that seemed
to beg to be caressed and a great
"I am actually but I don't know why.
If you find someone,
regardless of gender, that fulfills
all your needs and wants, that is
what matters. I know that but I
guess I always saw you in that light
with a woman not a man." Over the
past couple of weeks Tom had found
himself thinking that Chakotay the
type of person he wanted in his
life on a permanent basis and not
just as a friend. Which of course
surprised him given his only experience
with a man was not a pleasant
one. Though giving Chakotay sponge
baths proved to him that
experience really didn't turn him
off to the idea of being with a
man. Having this conversation made
he come to the realization that he
hoped he was wrong in his thinking
Chakotay would only be happy with
"Tom, don't get me wrong, I love
being in the company of
women. I enjoy having a sexual relationship
with a woman. But when it
comes to thinking long term I know
that, for me, my happiness would
be in sharing my life with a man.
You know the day to day things,
just living life." Lowering his
voice just a bit.
"Sort of like the way we have been doing for the past few
weeks, and the sex would be great
too." Chakotay figured he would try
a backhanded way to find out if
Tom felt the way he did about
perusing a relationship between
Tom couldn't help but blushed at
Chakotay's words. Almost
afraid to voice what he was thinking
"Chakotay, are you saying you want
to have sex with me?"
Once he said it, Tom realized he
wanted that even if it did scare him
"If I was, would it offend you?'
Going for broke, Chakotay
leaned a bit closer to Tom, invading
his personal space just a
little. He noticed Tom's chest hike
as if he had gasped for air as
what Chakotay said registered.
"No, I would not be offended." Tom
said in a hushed voice
looking down at his hand instead
of the older man.
"But it scares me, Chief. I mean
you know about my only
experience.." Chakotay placed his
hand on Tom's chin and lifted it so
he was looking into his eyes.
"Tom, what you experienced, whether
you like the word or not,
was rape. When sex is consensual,
just as with a woman, it can be and
is wonderful with a man."
He slid his hand to Tom's cheek and gently
"Cha, sex between us could not be
compared to sex with a
woman." Tom shivered as the caress
continued and Chakotay leaned in
"It can be so much better than sex
with a woman." Chakotay
whispered as he kissed the cheek
he had been caressing. This time Tom
did gasp and swallowed hard.
"Would you like to find out, Tom,
just how good it could be?"
The next kiss was placed closer
to his mouth.
"Would you like to find out how good
I could make you feel?
How good you could make me feel?"
Once more a kiss was gently placed,
this time on his lips.
Tom shivered from the touch of Chakotay's
lips on his, he
leaned in kissed Chakotay back.
"Yes." Was all he could say, and
as soon as the word crossed
his lips he felt Chakotay's hand
on the back of his neck gently
pulling him in to deepen the kiss.
Tom moaned when he felt a tongue
slid over his suddenly over
sensitized lips and opened his mouth
to allow the entrance it was
asking for. Sensing Tom's surrender
Chakotay pulled him closer and
kissed him with all the passion
he felt. Tom went willing and wrapped
his arms around Chakotay and allowed
the passion to take over. Both
men giving into the other, quenching
a thirst neither realized they
had, the kiss become more passionate,
Finally breaking the kiss because
self-preservation and air
was required, Tom laid his forehead
"Damn!" He panted. "If that was an
indication of how good you
are going to make me feel, then
not only is the answer yes but please
and now." Chakotay smiled inwardly
and resumed the kissed, but only
"I promise." Chakotay whispered as
he held Tom tighter
Tom rested his head on Chakotay's
shoulder, loosing himself
in the moment. He snapped back into
reality when he felt Chakotay's
broad chest rise and fall with a
heavy sigh. Lifting his head off the
older man's shoulder he looked into
"Tom?" Not sure what the younger
man was thinking.
"Chief, as much as I want to have
you fulfill your promise
here and now. I can't, not yet,
you are still recovering and I think
what you have in mind would fall
under the category as strenuous
exercise. The doc did say that was
out of the question for a couple
of more weeks." Chakotay groaned
when he realized Tom was right.
"Shit!" was all he could say
"I know Cha, I know. But I would
rather die than get so
caught up in the moment and the
wonderful feelings you are stirring
in me then have you end up back
in sickbay." Tom hugged Chakotay and
gently kissed him on the side of
"We will wait, as much as I want
to say to hell with it, I
don't want to cause you any distress
so we will wait." Chakotay
loosened his hold on Tom and sat
"Please don't be disappointed Cha,
don't think that I don't
want to be with you because I do.
I just want to be sure that
physically you are okay. Because
you have to admit if that kiss was
even a tenth of what it's going
to feel like when we actually do have
sex, I could be the one who has
a heart attack." Tom smiled shyly
"Well we can't have that can we?
I'm not disappointed Tom,
how could I be? You have told me
you want me as much as I want you.
We will wait until the doctor says
it's okay, then I am going to take
you to places you'd never dreamed
you'd go." Chakotay promised and
then sealed that promise with a
kiss that allowed showed Tom he meant
Ending the kiss reluctantly, releasing
Tom from his embrace he laid
down, suddenly feeling very tired.
"Tom, lay down with me for a while.
I think all this pent up
frustration has made me tire."
"Damn Chief, I am sorry. I wasn't
thinking." Tom moved to get
off the bed angry with himself that
he allowed things to get so
tense. Chakotay stopped him from
"Tom it's not your fault, it's neither
of our fault, it just
happened. I just want to hold you,
fall asleep with you in my arms.
Come lay down with me until I fall
asleep." Chakotay took Tom's arm
and pulled him towards him. Tom
went willingly and they laid
together. Chakotay wrapping Tom
up in his arms holding him as close
as he could. Tom snuggled into the
embrace. He sighed enjoying the
wonderful feeling of being exactly
where he was. Tom heard Chakotay's
breathing slow and deepen, knowing
that he was now asleep, Tom
decided he would stay a bit longer
not wanted to disturb him. Soon
Tom was asleep also.
The six weeks was up, Chakotay
was in sickbay, Tom close by.
In the two weeks since they discovered
they both wanted a deeper
relationship, they explored each
other as much as they could without
getting too carried away. It was
really difficult for both men but
they had done it. Tom thought that
they should just keep everything
to themselves for the moment.
When someone would stop by
to visit, it appeared that they were just
friends maybe a little closer but
why wouldn't they be? They spent
all their time together. Tom very
rarely left Chakotay's quarters he
admitted to Chakotay that he was
a bit afraid that if he left and
something happened he would never
forgive himself. Chakotay tried to
reason with him that there was always
someone there, someone always
came to visit and Tom was suppose
to use that time to get out a bit.
Tom finally admitted that he didn't
want to run into Harry, he didn't
want to fight with the guy anymore
and he didn't want to have to
justify himself to the jerk.
Chakotay understood completely and
had vowed to himself that once he
was completely recovered he would
pay the young ensign a visit. He
was determined to find out exactly
what Harry Kim's problem was.
Chakotay hated to see Tom upset
and if Harry's name came up for any
reason Chakotay could see his younger
lover's face sag into sadness
just briefly but it was there.
The doctor came over to the biobed
bringing Chakotay back to the
(Author's note: I apologize in advance
for this next part. My muse
demanded that I write it this way.)
"Commander, I am sorry to have kept
you waiting. How are you
"That's alright doctor I understand.
I am feeling really good
actually. Ready to go on with the
next phase of my recovery." As
Chakotay spoke the doctor ran a
few scans, when he was done he gave a
"The artery has healed nicely and
the blood flow appears to
be as it should. I still want you
to take it slow. You can now
increase your exercise, but nothing
'Damn, no hot money sex' Chakotay
thought as he nodded his
understanding at the doctor.
"You will still need to rest often
and avoid stress as much
'There go the whips and chains. Tom
thought as he stood by
"As for your diet, because you are
a vegetarian your sources
of protein are limited."
'I got your protein right here.'
Tom's thought as he felt
himself getting hard just thinking
about what was going to happen
once he and Chakotay left sickbay.
"I would still suggest one nutritional
supplement drink a
day." Chakotay shivered
"Doc, I can't drink that stuff, it's
'And cum isn't' Tom's thoughts now
"Whether it is slimy or not Commander
it will provide the
necessary protein you need to help
your body continue its recovery."
'I said, I got your protein right
here, he won't need
anything else.' Tom screamed
mentally. Clearly his throat Tom spoke
"Doc, I am sure we can find some
sort of protein supplement
that will satisfy Chakotay's need."
He smiled innocently, Chakotay
snorted as if he knew what was on
(Author note: I think she is done
now, again I apologize for the
"Well, Mr. Paris, The Commander will
be taking care of
himself now. You can move back to
your quarters and get on with your
"Doc, my life is just fine the way
it is. I think that
Chakotay still needs to have someone
there at night just in case,
don't you?" Tom prayed the doctor
didn't see through the medic mask
he was wearing. He had no intention
of moving back to his own
quarters even, if he had any say
in the matter.
"Mr. Paris, I am the physician here,
I think I can better
assess what The Commander needs
and doesn't need." The doctor spoke
with all his arrogance firmly in
"Excuse me, don't I have a say in
whether I am alone or not?"
Chakotay broke in. He looked at
Tom and could see in his eyes that
Tom thought he was going to say
'I don't need you anymore'. That was
the furthest thing from the truth.
"Of course, Commander." "Sorry
Chief." The two others said
at the same time.
"Thank you. Now I agree with that
doctor that I am capable of
being on my own" He saw Tom's face
drop even more.
"But to be honest, I am not sure
if I am comfortable with
being alone all the time. I admit
that I am worried that if something
should happen to me while I am,
no one will know until the morning
and it could be too late. So, Tom,
if you are willing, I would like
it if you were to stay a bit longer,
just to be on the safe side."
Chakotay smiled at the younger man
and hoped that he understood
everything he was saying.
"I don't mind at all, Chakotay."
Tom smiled back, though
Chakotay wasn't sure if that smile
completely reached his eyes.
"Very well, Commander, it is your
call, as for you going back
on duty. I am going to recommend
half shifts starting in one week.
After two weeks, depending on how
you feel, you may resume your full
duty shift. But YOU must listen
to your body. When you feel tired,
sleep, when you feel hungry, eat.
I also think you should talk to
someone about things you are feeling.
Emotional stress can by just as
hard, if not harder on your system."
"Tom and I have been doing that a
lot lately. I think he can
continue to help me in that respect."
Again Chakotay was looking at
Tom trying to convey to him that
he wasn't letting him go.
"I was thinking along the lines of
a counselor Commander."
"Tom is a fine counselor, Doctor,
he listens, knows when to
say something and when not to. He
has offered me good advice and a
great ear over these past six weeks.
I don't think I need to find
someone else to rehash everything
I have with him already."
"Commander Mr. Paris is not a trained
"Neither am I, but I am expected
to do it. A therapist, is
just someone who is willing to listen
and not pass judgement. That is
one of Tom's most enduring qualities."
Chakotay was not looking at the
doctor at all. He was focused on Tom,
telling him in not so many words,
that he was all he would ever need.
As he watched Tom's face he saw
the light of understanding dawn in
Tom heard the words that were said,
it took a minute for it
all to sink in, but when it did
the joy he felt made him weep. He
moved closer, slid his hands up
Chakotay's neck and held his face.
Leaning in Tom kissed Chakotay deeply
and passionate, letting the
older man know he understood completely.
The doctor cleared his throat "Excuse
me." Tom broke the kiss
and moved back.
"Sorry." Was all he could say. Chakotay
shook his head raised
his hand to Tom's cheek and stroked
"There is nothing to be sorry for
Tom. You said exactly what
I wanted you to say." Chakotay said
in a hushed tone and smiled.
"I take it that the relationship
between the two of you has
changed over the past six weeks
gentlemen." Stating the obvious was
always one of the doctor's annoying
"Things change, Doc, things always
change." Tom answered
simply not taking his eyes off Chakotay.
"I see, well, then because of the
obvious changes I suppose I
should tell you that sex is okay,
as long as it isn't too wild."
"Thanks Doc, are we through here?"
Chakotay asked, he really
wanted to get Tom alone and touch
"Yes, we are through. Good Day gentlemen."
Tom called for the beam out as he
put his arms around
Chakotay and they disappeared from