"The Patter of Little Feet"
by Morticia

Rating R, for language

Answer to Haggy's "You want what?" challenge, and set after "The
Ghost of Christmas Future" and
"Christmas Presence" - and they weren't written
at Christmas either LOL

Oh, and NO angst.. hell, maybe an alien HAS taken over my body.

"The Patter of Little Feet"

"You want WHAT?"

Tom swallowed nervously and ducked his eyes in embarrassment.

"You said I could have anything I wanted for Christmas," he mumbled

Chakotay rolled his eyes in exasperation. He HAD promised. It wasn't
just Christmas after all; it was also their first anniversary of
being lovers. To this day, Tom had never explained why he had
returned to Sandrine's that night, but Chakotay wasn't a man to look
a gift horse in the mouth.

Tom, the man he had loved for years, the man he had yearned for from
afar as an unobtainable dream, had suddenly and unexpectedly rushed
up to him at the bar and had kissed him.

A kiss. A simple kiss and his life had been turned on its head.

Of course, the subsequent wild rampant monkey sex on the barstool had
made an impact too.

He himself had been oblivious to the other couples creeping out of
Sandrines in embarrassment, as years of frustrated desire had erupted
inside him. He had attacked Tom like a ravaging beast.

Fortunately, Tom seemed to like ravaging beasts since they were still
together a year later.

Or maybe Tom just liked taming ravaging beasts.

Chakotay couldn't deny, even to himself, that the last twelve months
had changed him. He no longer wore the long-suffering, stoic
expression that had masked his emotions. These days, his face was
animated. Usually happy, sometimes furious, but never, ever, just a
man pretending an aura of calm.

Peace. That was what Tom had given him. Along with fun, laughter,
exasperation, frustration, oh, and wild monkey sex, of course.

There wasn't a day that passed without him taking a moment to reflect
on the wonder that was Tom Paris. The longer they stayed together,
the further Chakotay delved into the bright, beautiful packaging of
the younger man, and discovered the depths of treasure that lay in
his soul.

Tom was the most wonderful present that Chakotay had ever received.
There was nothing that he wouldn't offer in exchange for Tom's gift
of his trust and love.

Well, almost nothing.

"I'm sorry, Tom. I know I promised you anything, and you know I would
do anything to make you happy, but this - well, this is out of the
question. I'm sorry, but no."

"No? NO? That's it? The great Chakotay has spoken and that's the end
of the matter?" Tom spat, his lush mouth quivering sullenly.

Chakotay licked his own lips desperately. Spirits, he could resist
*the* smile, he could harden his heart to the limpid blue eyes, but
the *pout* got him every damned time.

"Listen, honey," he began.

"Don't HONEY me," Tom sulked, artfully releasing a single tear from
the corner of each lapis lazuli eye.

Chakotay watched in fascination as the liquid rolled slowly down
Tom's elegant cheekbones and dripped like two perfect pearls onto his
full lower lip.

Dammit, Tom wasn't playing fair!

"Tom, it's not that I am saying NO. It's just that you obviously
haven't thought this through properly. We're talking about another
life here. Do you have any idea of the responsibility? This isn't
something you can change your mind about. Bringing another life into
this world is a commitment."

"You don't think I'm capable of commitment?" Tom asked.

"Of course you are. You're with me, aren't you?"

"That's exactly my point, Chak. I know we have only been together
for a year, but you said it was "forever", didn't you mean that?"

"Of course I meant it. Don't twist everything around like this. I'm
not saying no because I'm not planning to stay with you. It's just
not sensible. Even if we share the responsibilities, we still can't
manage. Spirits, Tom, this is a Starship."

"I know it's a fucking Starship, Chak. I had noticed," Tom growled

"Well then," Chakotay said.

"Well nothing. How many years are we going to put our lives on hold,
Chak? We could get back to the AQ tomorrow, or we could spend the
rest of our lives on Voyager. In the meantime, we can at least try
for a semblance of normality!"

"How the hell are we going to do it, Tom? Can you answer that?"
Chakotay snapped impatiently.

"I spoke to the Doc. He said it's easy. He's got DNA on file. He'd
make a clone, we can chose the sex, the color of the hair and eyes,
and he says it wouldn't take so long to gestate in the artificial
womb. We could be holding him by January. Just think about it. You,
me and Cheyenne."

"Cheyenne? You've already decided on a name? Without asking my
opinion?" Chakotay demanded, his voice filled with hurt.

Tom shrugged unrepentantly, a smile of triumph tugging at the corners
of his mouth. If Chakotay was prepared to start arguing about the
name, then "no" was beginning to sound suspiciously like a "maybe"
and that would surely mean "yes" in the end.

"So, okay, YOU choose the name. Hell, you can even decide on a girl
if you prefer," Tom offered sneakily, since he already HAD decided on
a girl. The name was just a double-blind.

For a moment a soft look descended over Chakotay's features as he
contemplated the possibility. Then his expression clouded again.

"What about rations, Tom? You can't just expect the Captain to agree
to there being another mouth to feed."

"Shit, Chak, how much food are we talking about, anyway? Besides,
between us we have spare rations, we won't even have to ask for

"Until Cheyenne grows up," Chakotay warned.

Tom grinned. Yep. "No" was definitely beginning to look like a
positive "yes," to him.

"Loads of people are settling down and having families, Chakotay.
Cheyenne would have loads of kids to play with. He or she'd be no
bother at all."

"Yeah, that's what you think. Just wait for the sleepless nights or
you have to deal with a bad case of diarrhoea and see whether you
feel the same way."

Tom smiled beatifically.

"I love you, Chakotay," he murmured.

Chakotay glared at his smug expression, then relented.

"Okay, but only if the Captain agrees," he stated firmly.

He was pretty certain she'd put her foot down. It just wasn't
practical. Spirits, it was about the stupidest thing Tom had ever
come up with, and that was really saying something, given the stunts
his lover continually pulled.

Suddenly he was filled with guilty sorrow. It seemed so mean to agree
verbally with Tom, yet secretly hope that Kathryn would get him off
the hook by becoming the "bad guy" in this.

Besides, crazy or not, the more he thought about it, the more he was
actually beginning to like the idea.

"I'll have a word with her myself," he offered.

Tom beamed at his capitulation, then blushed and ducked his head

Chakotay sighed expansively and gave a long suffering moan.

"Okay, Tom. I take it you have already spoken to her."

Tom gave an embarrassed grin.

"Yeah, I did," he confessed.

"And she said?" Chakotay asked, although the fact that Tom had
brought the subject up with him pretty much answered the question.

"Well, she agreed on one condition," Tom admitted.

"Which is?"

"It has to be an Irish Setter," Tom replied.

Chakotay pictured it in his mind. The three of them in their quarters
during the long evenings, sharing shore leave together, and playing
on the holodec in his favorite Dorvan program. The picture WAS oddly

"I am NOT calling an Irish Setter, Cheyenne," he said finally.

Tom jumped to his feet, flung his arms around Chakotay's neck and
drew him into his embrace.

"Well, maybe we SHOULD have a bitch after all, Chakotay. I mean who
knows who else might want to follow suit. Just think of it, puppies,
Chak, a whole litter of puppies."

"And they call ME nature-boy?" Chakotay laughed.

"You're corrupting me, Chak," Tom grinned. "So, anyway, if it's a
girl, let's call her Christine."


"Well she IS my Christmas present, isn't she?"

Chakotay's face relaxed into a soft smile, and he nuzzled into Tom's

"Sure, she is," he agreed.

Tom gave a whoop of joy.

"I KNEW you'd agree," he crowed, then muttered "just as well" in a
much lower voice.

"So when DID you give the Doc the go-ahead?" Chakotay asked in

"Well, it wouldn't really BE a Christmas present in January, would
it?" Tom said innocently, "Only."

"Only what?" Chakotay asked calmly.

"Well, I used all of my spare rations to do it, and that meant I
couldn't get you anything," Tom confessed.

"So you need me to pay for the puppy, so that you can get me a
present?" Chakotay demanded.

"Yeah," Tom admitted sheepishly.

Chakotay laughed until his sides literally ached. Then he looked at
the hurt look on Tom's face, and laughed some more.

"Come here," he snickered, pulling Tom back into his arms and kissing
him until the pouting expression faded.

"I told you, honey. The day you became mine, was like every birthday
and Christmas of my whole life wrapped into one wonderful present.
You're all I want, Tom, all I need.

"Except, well, maybe I WOULD like a dog too," Chakotay grinned.

Tom sighed with happiness.

"I love you, Chak," he whispered.

"I know," Chakotay replied blissfully.

Blue eyes met brown and all the little insignificant petty deceits of
their everyday lives were burned away by the fire of that one, all-
important truth.

They loved.

*The End*