(Sequel to "Revulsion")
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al belong to Paramount. I am only playing with them and promise to put them back relatively unscathed.
Chakotay squared his shoulders and walked into the mess hall. He pretended not to notice the way that the volume of chatter in the room reduced significantly at his entrance.
Almost the entire crew of Alpha Shift was present and from the furtive glances in his direction he was positive that his humiliation in Sandrineís last night was the main topic of the dayís early morning gossip.
Damn Tom Paris, and damn himself for being so stupid as to have tackled the pilot publicly. By now the whole ship probably knew that even the whore of the delta quadrant wouldnít let him get his leg over.
As if he wanted to touch those used goods anyway, he told himself angrily, even as another voice in his head sniggered at his attempt to deny his attraction to the blonde.
Wearing his best stoic Indian impression he helped himself to breakfast and took his seat next to the Captain.
"Good Morning, Chakotay" she said pleasantly "I trust you slept well?"
Chakotay looked at her suspiciously, his observant glance just catching the suggestion of a swiftly concealed grin.
"Very well, thank you" he snapped.
Kathryn Janeway lifted her coffee, sniffing it appreciatively before taking a mouthful and then leaning back with a sigh of rapturous satisfaction.
Chakotay stiffened as his knowledge of exactly how she had managed to acquire the coffee resurfaced.
"Doesnít it bother you?"
"Doesnít WHAT bother me, Chakotay?" Kathryn asked with cool poise.
"This" Chakotay said, gesturing at her coffeepot angrily "Tom" he clarified.
"Oh" Kathryn replied thoughtfully, then she shrugged. "No, I canít say that it does."
Chakotay gaped silently at her blasé reply. Kathryn sighed with resignation as she realised that he wasnít going to accept her answer.
"I have never ASKED Tom to do anything to help our negotiations. He is simply an extremely virile young man who enjoys a varied sex life. As long as he is discreet about his assignations I donít see the harm. And if Voyager benefits as a result, itís a bonus."
"Especially when the benefits include coffee" Chakotay accused
"I donít like your implication, Commander. I do not encourage Tom, I simply turn a blind eye to his affairs"
"A one-night stand with the chief official of every planet we visit isnít a case of affairs, itís a profession. A well-paid profession as far as I can tell."
"Tom isnít being PAID. He is an extremely good and generous lover. He simply inspires reciprocation."
"You can call it what you like, Captain. Reciprocation? I call it whoring."
"Loosen up, Chakotay. Heís not doing you any harm"
"Heís harming himself, Kathryn. Look at the reputation he has already got. How the hell will anyone ever treat him with respect if he doesnít respect himself?"
"Tom is the most popular, well-liked member of Voyagerís crew."
Kathryn replied smoothly
"Only because heís slept with most of them!" Chakotay snarled bitterly
"So? Heís happy. He enjoys being able to contribute to the welfare of the ship and he reaps the benefits of his own sexual proclivity. I mean, youíve never seen Neelix serve leola root to Tom, have you?"
Chakotay blanched as her words sank in.
Mistaking the Commanderís screech as a summons the little Talaxian trotted over to the table and beamed at Chakotay.
"What can I do for you this fine morning, Commander?" he burbled happily
Chakotay looked in disbelief at the rotund alien.
"YOUíVE slept with TOM PARIS?" he gasped.
All around the mess hall heads swiveled in fascination to watch the drama unfolding.
Neelix twiddled nervously with his whiskers before he answered the surprising question.
"Hasnít everyone?" he replied, blinking in confusion at the Commander.
As the Captain snorted into her coffee, Chakotay turned a dark shade of purple and jumping to his feet, nearly raced out of the room.
"Was it something I said?" Neelix asked in bewilderment
And the whole room collapsed in hysterics.