"He's killing me, Kathryn. It's a plot he's hatched up to speed his
promotion up the command structure of Voyager," Chakotay moaned into
Kathryn chuckled, leaning back in her seat as she looked at her
second-in-command. Admittedly, Chakotay *did* looked pretty
exhausted. He also looked happier than she had ever imagined possible.
"Well, at least you'll die with a smile on your face, Chakotay. It's
been almost a month, hasn't it?"
Chakotay dragged his eyes up from his coffee cup.
"Twenty-eight days, fourteen hours and," he checked the
clock. "Thirty-two minutes. Not that I'm counting, of course," he
added with a chuckle.
"Well, it's almost a record. Only B'Elanna lasted longer than this,
Chakotay," Kathryn said encouragingly.
"Yes, but she's half-Klingon, and besides it wasn't her who needed
the vitamin supplements," Chakotay answered miserably. "We never do
anything else. He's insatiable, Kathryn. The minute we're alone, he
rips his clothes off, sticks his ass in my face and that's it, a done
deal. The rest of the evening just goes to hell."
"Well, that's not a bad thing, surely? Anyway, you could always say
no," Kathryn pointed out.
Chakotay looked at her as though she had grown a second head.
"So, okay, I can understand why `no' wouldn't be in your vocabulary
with a naked Tom in front of you. Hmmmmn. Maybe you should cut back
on your dates instead. You don't *have* to see him every night he's
off duty. It's always easier to resist temptation if it isn't right
in front of your face," she suggested.
"I tried that, Kathryn. To tell the truth I encouraged him to keep
seeing Harry and his other friends. The last thing I want to do is
prevent him from having a normal social life. Although considering
the hours he works in Sickbay, Monday through Wednesday, it's not
surprising that we only have time for sex.
"He should be seeing his friends too, but we have so little time as
it is that we don't waste time *doing* things together, we just sleep
together, and he doesn't want to waste any of the time we *do* have
by seeing anyone else. I know that's not healthy. I don't want to own
him, Kathryn. Well, maybe I do, but I understand that someone like
Tom needs his freedom. Trying to cage him would be as futile as
trying to tame a wild bird."
"So you aren't insisting that your relationship is exclusive?"
Kathryn asked in genuine surprise.
"It is for me, and I pray it is for him, but it's not something that
I have any power over. All I can do is trust him and hope that he
never lets me down. I don't think I could ever face that, Kathryn,
even though I accept it as a possibility."
"Would you share him?"
"Never," Chakotay stated firmly.
"I can understand that, my friend, although perhaps it wouldn't be
such a bad thing. It seems to me that there is enough of Tom to share
and still be satisfied," Kathryn pointed out.
Chakotay laughed ruefully.
"Well, I guess you have a point sexually," he laughed. "Tom could
probably keep a harem without anyone being dissatisfied. But that's
not the point. Not for me anyway. I love him, Kathryn. It's not just
a sexual thing. It's about trust and understanding. I just want our
relationship to be *more* than sex and, oh damn, you know what I'm
"Yes I do, and I understand. I just hope you have the energy to keep
up with him, Chakotay, because I think that the sex is very important
for Tom. Maybe even more important than the rest of the package."
Chakotay blew miserably into his coffee.
"I think you're wrong, Kathryn. I certainly hope so, anyway."
"So spill the beans, Tom," Harry demanded. "You've been seeing him
for a month, sleeping with him for three weeks, how long is it going
to take you, anyway?"
"Well, like I told you, Haz. I've got to take things slowly. I don't
want him getting suspicious."
"Like you once said to me, Tom. There's slow and there's dead. It
seems to me that you aren't trying very hard. I mean you name me
*one* thing you've gained so far out of this relationship except a
sore ass," Harry challenged.
Tom swallowed angrily. Shit, Harry was right. It *had* been a month
and he still wasn't any nearer his original goal. To be perfectly
honest, he hadn't even given it that much thought recently. His
whole life had revolved around the helm and Chakotay's bed.
He simply couldn't get enough of that man.
Not that it was anything as stupid and sappy as love, of course.
Nope, the truth was that Chakotay just happened to be the happy owner
of the first cock that had proven to be the perfect fit.
Kind of like an X-rated version of Cinderella.
Only he could hardly say that to Harry, since Harry would only
probably point out, quite rightly, that even the ugly sisters had had
their own chance at fitting the shoe.
He could hardly tell Harry that he hadn't even thought about his
original plan in weeks and that the only devious plots that currently
filled his head were the ones that involved getting Chakotay's cock
into his ass in the fastest possible time whenever they stole some
No, he couldn't hurt Harry like that, he decided.
"As a matter of fact," Tom drawled. "I'm planning on my *first* move
"Really?" Harry asked excitedly.
"Yeah. Just wait until the Senior Staff Meeting tomorrow, and you'll
see what I mean."
"You think you'll get your pip back that quickly?" Harry asked in
Tom shrugged nonchalantly.
"Nah, like I said, it's just my first move. You'll understand
As much as he had complained to Kathryn that his relationship with
Tom seemed to start and end in the bedroom, when Tom finally arrived
that night and *didn't* immediately strip off and head for the
bedroom in his usual trail of discarded clothing, Chakotay was not
only disappointed, but decidedly concerned.
Not only did Tom look pale and tired, but he just kissed Chakotay
listlessly and then threw himself down onto the couch with a sigh.
"What's wrong, Tom?" he asked worriedly.
Tom attempted a brave smile.
"Nothing, Chak, honest. I'm just tired. Would you, umm, would you
mind terribly if we, umm, didn't, well, if you just held me tonight?"
Chakotay leapt forwards and pressed his palm over Tom's brow. He
certainly couldn't *feel* a temperature. He checked Tom's pulse. It
*seemed* steady. He hurried to the bathroom and retrieved the medical
tricorder and rushed back to Tom's side.
"What *are* you doing, Chak?" Tom asked irritably.
"I was just worried you were ill, Tom," Chakotay muttered sheepishly.
"I don't wanna be fucked, so I must have a fatal disease, you mean?"
Tom spat furiously. "You DO think I'm a slut. Shit, I'm outta here."
He jumped to his feet, only to sway a little, his face draining of
Chakotay dropped the tricorder in panic. It obviously was
malfunctioning because Tom obviously *was* ill, whatever it said.
"We're going to sickbay, Tom," he said firmly.
"Oh, yeah, like that will *really* help under the circumstances," Tom
"What circumstances, Tom? What is wrong?" Chakotay demanded
"Nothing, babe, honest. I'm sorry I snapped at you. Like I said, I'm
just tired, that's all. It's Wednesday. I'm always tired on
Wednesdays," Tom replied.
"You're working too hard, Tom. You've been pulling a double shift for
months and then spending the nights with me. Of course you're tired,"
Chakotay soothed. Although it wrenched his heart to say it, he
added, "maybe we shouldn't be seeing so much of each other, if it's
waring you out."
"It's not fair," Tom sobbed. "Everyone else has a real life. Why do I
have to be different? Why can't we be together, Chak? It's not fair."
As Chakotay hugged the sobbing pilot, he suddenly realised that Tom
was right. It *wasn't* fair. Why should Tom have to work two shifts
just because no-one else could be bothered to learn the job of
Sure, in an emergency Tom's expertise was invaluable, but the rest of
the time it was ludicrous that Tom spent 8 hours on the bridge and
then a further 5 in sickbay, three nights a week.
"You're right Tom, it isn't fair. I'll speak to the Captain about it."
"You can't do that Chakotay. She'll think you're only doing it
because we're together."
"No she won't Tom because it isn't favoritism. I agree that if we
weren't going out together, I might not have noticed how much the
shifts in Sickbay were taking out of you, but since I have noticed, I
can hardly turn my back on the situation.
"You are Voyager's Chief Pilot, Tom. The safety of the whole ship
depends on you being alert and at peak performance. Now I come to
think about it, it's a stupid idea for you to pull a double shift
three nights running every week. I can't even imagine how I came up
with such a ludicrous schedule for you. Why didn't you ever say
"It was after I got out of the brig," Tom whispered. "I thought it
was part of my punishment."
"Maybe it was, Tom, but that was over six months ago. You served your
time, got demoted, why the hell should you spend the rest of your
life paying for one error of judgement?"
"It wasn't," Tom couldn't help himself saying, even if it destroyed
his carefully built ground work.
"What?" Chakotay asked.
"It wasn't an error of judgement. I did the right thing. I'd do it
again," Tom confessed quietly.
Tom's admission rocked Chakotay to the bone. It also warmed his heart
that Tom trusted him enough to say it.
"I'm glad you still feel your actions were worth the price you had to
pay, Tom, but the punishment is over. Here and now. From now on you
only attend Sickbay for medical emergencies, not duty shifts."
"The Captain won't like it, Chak. I don't want you to fall out with
her over me. It's not important."
"It IS important. You are important. The Captain will understand."
"One other order of business," Kathryn announced to the command staff.
"I have decided that despite Tom's invaluable experience as a medical
assistant, his duties as Chief Helmsman must take priority, so I want
you all to give some serious thought to any of your staff who show
medical aptitude. It's time that we found a permanent assistant for
the Doctor and as short-staffed as we are, we need to find someone in
the lower-ranks for the position."
Harry's eyes swivelled in disbelief between the Captain and Tom.
Tom's innocent expression didn't fool him for a moment.
Obviously *this* was what Tom had referred to as his "first move."
He was impressed.
He was also ecstatic, because maybe Tom would now get on with the
Tom 1: Chakotay 0
Tom stood in the Observation Lounge, staring out at the stars with
"What are you thinking, Tom?" Chakotay whispered into his ear, his
strong arms wrapped protectively around Tom's chest.
Tom sighed miserably and leant back into his embrace.
"I was just thinking how much I love you, Chakotay," he replied.
Chakotay sighed with contentment
"Funnily enough, Tom Paris. I was thinking the same thing about you,"
he said, nuzzling into the back of Tom's neck, oblivious to the tears
that were slowly running down Tom's cheeks from eyes dull with shame.