(Sequel to " Reassurance")
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al belong to Paramount. I am only playing with them and promise to put them back relatively unscathed
Chakotay rebuilt the encryption codes in his program and created a number of firewalls against unauthorized intruders. He was wary of how easily Kathryn had given in to his blackmail. He wouldnít put it beyond her to double check for the existence of the tape.
Then he updated a few crew performance reports, primarily to give Tom time to settle down and prepare for bed. He had deliberately said that they both needed "sleep", but he was not naïve enough to believe that Tom would take him at his word. Tom was inevitably going to expect him to exact a "price" for his protection and it was imperative that he was in control of himself.
The thought of spending the night with Tom in his arms was enough to make his groin pulse with excitement and despite his determination to treat the younger man with a platonic detachment, there was no escaping the fact that Tomís beauty filled him with a raging desire.
Finally, his own weariness forced him to stop putting off the confrontation and go to bed. He quickly averted his eyes from the sight of Tom sprawled across the bed. The pilot was thankfully asleep, his long and stressful day having evidently taken too much out of him. He was, however, buck-naked and displayed like a banquet, succulent and tasty.
Swallowing heavily, Chakotay scurried into the bathroom and locked the door, deciding a cold shower was in order before he attempted to crawl into bed next to the gorgeous young man.
Then he thought better of the idea, and instead ran himself a warm bath. Leaning back into the radiant liquid, he began to stroke his cock into hard awareness, closing his eyes and imagining that it was Tomís deft fingers that played up and down his shaft, that the warm water was Tomís mouth caressing him.
He groaned as he came, feeling the days tension escape into the swirling water, and then he collapsed backwards, luxuriating in the heat, allowing it to ease his aching muscles. He sighed with a mix of contentment and frustration. He had a feeling that he would be spending a lot of time in here, alone, controlling his passion.
When he finally emerged, clean and satiated, he rummaged in a drawer for a long neglected pair of pajamas and slipped the bottoms on, pulling the drawstring tight and knotting it, just in case.
Then he slipped into bed next to Tom, who had turned on his side, and spooning up behind his lean muscular frame, he wrapped his left arm snuggly over the younger man and finally relaxed into sleep.
Tom froze as he felt Chakotayís weight dip the bed behind him. He had stripped and lain on the bed, waiting for Chakotay to come and claim him, but had somehow fallen asleep, only waking when he heard the sound of water running in the bathroom.
Then he had heard a splash, and had imagined the sight of Chakotayís muscular frame being lowered into the water. The image had sent a rush of blood to his groin, even as the deep throbbing in his abused ass reminded him of why he shouldnít encourage the Commanderís attentions tonight.
Tom wasnít used to being given a choice, yet despite the way that Chakotay had press-ganged him into moving in, he had a feeling that if he said "No" that the Commander might actually listen. Then he had heard the unmistakable sound of an orgasmic groan from behind the closed door and was flooded with a disappointment that confused him utterly.
He had turned on his side in misery, snuffling into the pillow, his ass screaming relief at the knowledge that the Commander was obviously pleasuring himself alone, even as his cock stiffened in silent protest at the neglect.
Then Chakotay had finally emerged and had spooned up behind him; the soft cotton of his pajama bottoms scraping against Tomís buttocks, their slithering caress a definite signal of the Commanderís lack of intent.
Tom had pretended sleep, allowing himself to relax back against Chakotayís warm chest, filling his nostrils with the sweet clean scent of the older man. Feeling safe and protected, the warm feeling in his heart began to dull the throbbing ache of his frustrated cock and the steady rise and fall of Chakotayís breathing lulled him into a deep and untroubled sleep.
Chakotay sat happily on the bridge, watching the back of Tomís head with a benign smile. He was aware of the occasional annoyed glares of the other bridge crew but completely unconcerned. Their obvious bitterness was no more relevant than the buzzing of mosquitoes. He was prepared to let them fume and rant all they wanted, but if they got in his way he would squash them without hesitation.
He had woken early, as always, and had quietly risen, meditated and dressed before sitting back down on the edge of the bed and watching Tom sleep. In repose, Tom had an angelic innocence, his hair ruffled, his face crumpled and his right thumb firmly tucked into his mouth like a tiny child.
It had struck him forcibly how vulnerable and fragile the younger man was. Under his brash and cocky exterior he was frozen into the behavior patterns of a child and the knowledge of WHY Tomís emotional development had been stunted sickened Chakotay and yet inspired him to solve the mystery that was Tom Paris.
When the alarm had finally gone off, Tomís child-like innocence was transformed into childish temper. Chakotay discovered that the pilot was VILE in the mornings, grumpy, disorientated and snappish. It took a long shower and two cups of coffee before he resembled anything like a human being and then, as though a switch had suddenly been turned on, he had reverted to his usual cocky smart-assed persona.
Tom was obviously NOT a morning person, Chakotay had decided tolerantly, realising that the pilotís habitual lateness for duty was less due to a lack of respect for authority than a genuine inability to wake up quickly.
Since mornings were Chakotayís own special times, his only chance to really commune with his ancestors, meeting the new day and the Great Silence alone, he was oddly pleased to discover that Tom would never infringe on that peace. As long as he had that special time alone he would be able to deal with whatever surprises the rest of the day threw at him, and he had the distinct feeling that life with Tom was definitely never going to be uneventful.
Other than pointedly accompanying Tom to the mess hall for lunch, Chakotay made no other act or comment that showed his changed relationship with the pilot, even giving Tom the usual dressing down for his occasional smart comments on the bridge.
Kathryn also made an effort to appear completely normal, although from time to time he could sense her eyes on him, speculative and still a little annoyed.
It was an uneventful day and at the end of shift, Tom followed Chakotay quietly back to their quarters where again Chakotay prepared a quick meal. Chakotay had a number of reports to finish that evening and simply couldnít face dinner in the mess hall first. Although Tom had made no comment, their lunch had been uncomfortable, surrounded as they had been by obviously irritated crew.
After they ate silently, Chakotay apologized and left Tom to clear up while he began to work. Tom cleaned, got changed, sat down, stood up, paced, sat down again, stood up, paced.
Finally, Chakotay felt his temper fraying. Tomís inability to sit still was playing havoc with his concentration.
"Spirits, Tom, if you are bored, go and DO something." He snapped irritably.
Tom looked at Chakotay in bewilderment.
"You Ė you mean, go out?" He whispered uncertainly "Can I?"
Chakotay sighed and rubbed his hand tiredly over his eyes.
"Tom, you arenít a prisoner." He said gently "If you want to go out, then go Ė just donít be too late coming home."
Tom looked at Chakotay uncertainly and then a smile lit his face.
"Sure, Chak. Maybe Iíll go shoot some pool with Harry?" He said questioningly, testing the water.
"Fine, Tom. See you later." Chakotay answered non-comittally, turning back to his computer.
Tom didnít wait for the older man to change his mind; he shot out of the door as though a Kazon warband was on his tail.
Chakotay stared at the closed door for a moment and then triggered the surveillance program. He watched Tom make a beeline for the holodec and disappear inside the Sandrineís program, which was full of Alpha shift personnel at this time of night.
He breathed a sigh of relief and went back to his reports.
It was about 30 minutes later when Chakotay was disturbed by the sound of the door opening and it took a few seconds for the sound to penetrate his concentration. He swiveled in his chair, just in time to see Tom disappearing into the bedroom.
Chakotay checked the time and then frowned in concern. He logged out of the terminal and walked into the darkened room. Tom was sitting on the edge of the bed, staring blankly at the wall, his hands twisting in agitation in his lap.
"Whatís wrong, Tom?" Chakotay asked gently
Tom attempted a cocky grin, but even in the gloom it was still clearly more of a grimace
"Nothing, I got bored, thatís all."
"Wasnít Harry there?" Chakotay asked in confusion
"No" Tom lied then thought better of the lie since Chakotay could easily check it out "I mean, yeah, but he was busy."
"Busy? Too busy to play pool? I find that hard to believe." Chakotay laughed and was relieved to see Tom join in.
Then he realised that Tom wasnít laughing at all.
Tomís shoulders werenít shaking with mirth but with barely restrained misery.
"What happened, Tom?" Chakotay demanded, concern making his voice harsher than he intended.
Chakotayís apparent anger was the last straw for the younger man and he began to sob wretchedly, burying his face in his hands.
Chakotay rushed forwards and sitting next to Tom, drew the younger man into a warm hug. Tom collapsed into his arms, his sobs coming in heart-wrenching gulps, his warm tears trickling down Chakotayís neck as he burrowed for comfort.
Chakotay rubbed Tomís back gently
"Shush, honey, shush" he soothed until Tomís breathing slowed and his crying calmed down to the occassional hiccup.
"What happened, Tom? Please tell me." He pleaded
"He Ė he wouldnít play with me." Tom whispered and Chakotay closed his eyes as the pathetic words knifed him in the chest.
"Why not?" Chakotay asked although he had a damned good idea of what the answer would be.
"He Ė he said there wasnít any point any more."
"Because you wonít sleep with him?" Chakotay asked, just to be sure he wasnít jumping to conclusions before he ripped the Ensignís head off.
Tom nodded miserably.
Chakotay squeezed him comfortingly.
"Then you are better off without him, arenít you?" He said softly
Tom shook miserably in his arms for a few minutes without answering and then he turned and looked at Chakotay, his eyes bright with tears.
"But Ė heís my friend." Tom finally said.
"Friends donít do that to each other, Tom." Chakotay replied sadly.
Tom looked at him in bewilderment and it was painfully obvious to the older man that Tom had obviously never had a real friend if he still couldnít see that Kim had been selfishly abusing him all along.
"Come on." Chakotay said suddenly, springing to his feet, "Wash your face, Tom, weíre going out."
Tom stumbled to his feet in confusion.
"Out? Out where?"
"Weíre going to go play some pool." Chakotay replied firmly.
"But Ė but you donít play pool."
"So? Think of all the rations you can win off me." Chakotay joked gently.
Tom looked at him uncertainly, at first dreading the thought of going out again and then slowly realising that returning to Sandrines and coolly playing a game of pool with Chakotay would be the best way of showing Harry that he didnít care. And then he realised that Chakotay was offering him a way to save face.
"Thank you" he whispered gratefully with a tentative smile
"Youíre welcome, Tom" Chakotay replied warmly
And seeing the warmth in that smile, something unfamiliar stirred deep inside Tom. The feeling was too alien and nebulous for him to identify, but whatever it was, it felt good.