In Dreams, Part 4


By Britta

*
Tom remembered clearly that he woke up screaming with pleasure but all the rest of his memories of last night's dream were hazy after that point.
*
He lay in a semi-somnolent state and relished the fact that this time he could still feel that incredible loving sensation. He refused to open his eyes lest it would leave him again. Instead, he stayed put and even though his bladder complained, he waited as long as he could, savoring the warmth and the contentment he felt surrounding him. He wasn't sure if it was real but he didn't mind.
*
He thought back to when he'd screamed. Chakotay had been startled into wakefulness and got out of bed. He'd disappeared into the bathroom and Tom heard water running. He then drifted off to sleep again only vaguely aware of being cleaned up with a damp cloth.
*
Now, his consciousness struggled to come to full clarity whether or not he liked it and he blinked a few times. He became aware of the fact that Chakotay was holding him, just the way he always did in his dreams. Maybe that's why he felt so good.
*
He yawned and peered around with his limited vision, noticing the differences between his and the Commander's quarters. Chakotay's were definitely bigger though they both could use some help in the decorating department.
*
Still a bit confused by everything trying to surface in his mind, he got up and hit the head.
*
As he left the bed, Chakotay rolled over and reached out in his sleep as though searching for him.
*
Tom shook his head and hid in the bathroom for a while, glad it was so early in the morning. He needed some time to deal with his thoughts.
*
A long shower later, he emerged fully dressed and saw the Commander in his robe, waiting impatiently to use the facilities. "Sorry I took so long."
*
"No problem." The First Officer breezed by him at nearly the speed of light and closed the door quickly.
*
Tom went out to the living area and replicated some coffee for himself. As he wasn't sure what Chakotay would like, he replicated nothing else.
*
Several minutes later, his coffee nearly gone, he watched as the fully dressed Commander strode out of the bedroom, scowled at him briefly, then went to get a mug of tea.
*

++++

*
Chakotay sat down and took a sip or two then asked, "Did you sleep well?"
*
"Yeah. You?"
*
"As well as I expected to, I guess."
*
"What's that supposed to mean?" Tom demanded.
*
Chakotay peered at him and replied, "What do you remember about last night?"
*
Swirling the dregs of his coffee around the bottom of his cup, Tom's face reddened and he answered softly, "Not enough, obviously. I feel pretty good this morning and I know that I felt great for a few moments last night. Why?"
*
The Commander sipped his tea and stared thoughtfully at the pilot who had shared his dream state during their sleep. It was obvious that Tom did not have total recall of their activities like he did. Good, he thought. The prick tease had left him horny and hurting, without a backward glance after he'd sucked him into another dimension.
*
Chakotay knew he was being unfair on some level, but damn it, after Tom climaxed, he'd dissolved into that fucking fog. *He* was the one who woke up with a raging hard-on and nowhere to put it. It was time to get some retribution.
*
Chakotay raised his mug and inquired blandly, "So your ass isn't sore?"
*
"My ass? No. Why would--oh, shit. Don't tell me you fucked me and I can't remember it." Tom closed his eyes and felt his face heat up enough to warm the room if need be.
*
Chakotay drank the remainder of his tea and set his mug aside. He rose to his feet and straightened his sleeves.
*
Tom just stared at him.
*
Chakotay watched the expressions flicker across the younger man's face and wondered why he appeared so distressed. Why the hell would he care what they did in their dreams? It wasn't like it was happening for real.
*
Although he still felt peeved, he was also hungry. "Let's go get some breakfast before the staff meeting."
*
Tom tilted his face upward and sad, blue eyes met his gaze. "Okay." The voice reflected resignation and nothing more.
*
Chakotay had to wonder why there was no sarcastic or flippant comeback but his growling stomach kept interrupting his mental questions. As they walked to the mess hall, he tried to close the distance between the two of them but was rebuffed every time.
*
Tom would not touch him even though he let his hand brush against the blond's more than once.
*
Feeling like he had committed some unpardonable sin, Chakotay forced Tom to stop just short of their destination. Pressing him against the wall, a few meters from the doors leading into the mess hall, he said in a low voice, "Tom, I didn't fuck you in our dreams."
*
Paris peered deeply into his eyes, digging for the truth. When he found it, he glared back at him and stated, "Good. Because when you do, I will want to remember it."
*
Harry Kim walked over to them with a concerned look on his face but Tom waved him away imperiously and Harry went, although not without a few extra glances over his shoulder.
*
Chakotay felt Tom push him away gently, resting his hands on his chest. Tom said, "Don't play games with me again. This is hard enough to deal with as it is."
*
Searching Tom's face for a clue as to why this meant so much to him, Chakotay replied, "I'm sorry. I didn't realize...."
*
"Realize what?"
*
Shaking his head slowly, Chakotay backed off completely, releasing his hold as Tom's hands fell away from him. "I don't know. I just do not know."
*
With that, he turned and went into the mess hall, leaving Tom alone with his own thoughts on the situation.
*

++++

*
Tom stood there, confused by the swirl of emotion that clouded his mind. Where was all his sarcasm when he needed it? Disappointed with how things had worked out, words from his, no, their dream, floated into his mind, 'If you can make me scream, I'm yours'.
*
He suddenly remembered saying that and meaning it. Chakotay had done his part and Tom had screamed. Then he recalled, his face growing hot with shame, that he hadn't done a damned thing to make the Commander feel good. He had hoped that somehow they could use this enforced togetherness to settle some of their differences. Unfortunately, it appeared that he'd screwed that up already.
*
Entering the mess hall, he looked around to find out where Chakotay had gone. Spying him in a far off corner, sitting all alone and staring out at the stars, Tom wondered what the man really felt. He sensed there was more to the story than he knew.
*
Gathering his breakfast together, he wondered what the Commander's hallucinations had been about. What had he done precisely? He knew there was a sexual element involved due to the fact that the episodes had been listed under that heading in the man's profile in the Doctor's database, but he wondered if there were something else as well.
*
Harry waved at him to come over and join him but he shook his head and approached the First Officer's table. He set his tray down and looked into Chakotay's eyes. "Is it all right if I sit here?"
*
"Yes."
*
He settled into place and began eating, all the while sneaking peeks at the older man's expression.
*
Chakotay toyed with his food and seemed parsecs away, not really paying any attention to the here and now.
*
Tom didn't want to disturb him but after a while, he felt compelled to say something. "I'm sorry," he ventured.
*
Chakotay moved his gaze away from the starfield outside and looked at Tom steadily. "What for? You haven't done anything wrong."
*
"I let you down. I didn't keep my part of the bargain."
*
The Commander looked at him curiously.
*
"Yeah. I remember everything now...about last night, anyway." He felt his face turn red and took another bite of something orange.
*
Chakotay cleared his throat. "Don't worry about it. It's not like it's real."
*
He stopped eating and asked seriously, "Why didn't you do it when we were there? Why didn't you take me? I said I would be yours. Didn't you believe me?" Gods, he wished he knew what Chakotay really wanted.
*
The Commander sighed and replied somewhat sadly, "You left me. I was alone again in that green place. There was nothing I could do. You came and then you were gone. I thought you did it on purpose."
*
He stared at Chakotay. "You would think that, wouldn't you?"
*
"Why would I have reason to think anything else?" Chakotay drank more of his tea.
*
Frustrated with himself and angry at Chakotay for thinking so little of him, Tom wondered if he would ever be able to do anything right where Chakotay was concerned. He asked, "Is there nothing I can do to please you?"
*
"Please me? Why would you want to do that? It's never topped your list of priorities before."
*
Shocked at the amount of resentment he heard in that statement, Tom sat back in his chair and thought hard. There had to be something he could do to make things better.
*
Extending his hand, he laid it over Chakotay's and said, "I think we need to talk about all this. After all, we're in this together for who knows how long and I, for one, don't want to go through it with a bunch of bad feelings."
*
With a look of surprise, Chakotay nodded and said, "I agree. However, we need to get to the staff meeting now. We can talk later, okay?"
*
"Okay." He held Chakotay's hand for a moment longer and felt a slight squeeze given back to him like a promise, then they cleared their table and headed for the Ready Room.
*

++++

*
Chakotay changed from a man who was dealing with personal chaos to a man who had to be prepared for anything. As he and Tom walked along the corridors, he put aside his own concerns and allowed the First Officer, second in command of their ship, to emerge.
*
His priorities shifted from worrying about himself and his sanity to wondering what he could do to ensure that the crew would be taken care of. There were other people besides himself that were experiencing emotional and perhaps physical problems. It was his duty to help them as best he could.
*
He wondered what the Doctor had done with Seven and Chell. He also wanted to know how the rest of the crew had taken his announcement about the buddy system being put into place.
*
So deep was he into these thoughts that he almost missed it when Tom slipped his hand into his for the duration of the turbolift ride.
*
He felt the warm flesh grip his own and smiled briefly.
*
A few seconds later, the hand was removed and they stepped out onto the bridge.
*
Once ensconced in the Ready Room, he took a few moments to assess those members of the crew that were already there and those who joined them shortly afterward.
*
The Captain and Tuvok appeared to be much the same as usual. Ensign Kim was staring at Tom as if he were a fish out of water once he noted that Tom did not take his usual seat, but, instead sat down to Chakotay's left, close enough to be a comfort. Chakotay was somewhat surprised at Tom's choice but also very grateful. He appreciated it that Tom chose to be near him.
*
Lt. Torres stalked into the room and planted herself next to Harry, giving him the Klingon once-over. Harry fidgeted under her regard and looked around the room nervously.
*
Neelix breezed through the doors followed quickly by the Doctor and they were complete.
*
Seven did not appear and Chakotay made a mental note to ask where she was.
*
Janeway called the meeting to order and let the Doctor take the floor first. "Status report. I want to know everything you know. Now."
*
The Doctor cleared his throat, or tried to make convincing noises of doing so, and said, "I have informed the crew of the measures I wish them to take in order to combat the unknown force that is causing all the problems. With the exception of one or two crew members," he paused as B'Elanna growled at him, "there are no insurmountable difficulties."
*
"I'm very glad to hear that. What of the people who seem to be at the most risk?"
*
The Doctor stood his ground despite the Chief Engineer's constant snarl and replied, "I have spoken with both Seven of Nine and Chell and they have agreed to watch over each other. Her unusual emotional reactions may be just what Chell needs to pull him out of his extreme apathy. I spoke to them, both singly and together, and explained the necessity for sharing their feelings no matter how strange they may seem to be.
*
"As for the other two on the list, I have not yet had the opportunity to question them as to how well things are working out for them." The Doctor paused significantly and stared at the Commander.
*
Tom nudged Chakotay with his elbow gently, leaned over and whispered, "It's okay."
*
He cleared his throat nervously and looked at Tom, who nodded. "So far, so good, Doctor. We're doing all right."
*
"I am gratified to hear that, Commander. However, I will need to discuss the particulars with both you and Lieutenant Paris at the close of this meeting."
*
He nodded and watched as the information sank in to the others present. Ensign Kim's eyes widened as he stared at Tom. Torres sent a small sneer in his direction and Neelix just smiled.
*
Janeway spoke up, "If that's all on the medical situation, I'd like to move on. Mr. Kim, has anything at all shown up in the sensor readings?"
*
He shook his head. "A few erratic readings but nothing substantial. I've tried every band, every frequency and every trick I know but I'm not finding anything concrete."
*
"Well, keep trying. It may be that we aren't close enough to whatever it is yet. I want updates every four hours."
*
"Yes, ma'am."
*
She rose and dismissed everyone. "Doctor, you may use this room for your consultation. Commander, I'd like to meet with you privately later on. Let me when know it's convenient."
*
"Yes, Captain."
*
The Doctor waited until she'd left, then asked bluntly, "Have you had any more hallucinations, Commander?"
*
"No. We did seem to have shared a dream last night though."
*
"I see." He moved around the table and looked at Tom. "What about you, Lieutenant? Anything odd to report?"
*
"Nope. Not a thing." Paris sat back and crossed his arms.
*
"Hmm. This is interesting. I want you both to keep wearing the monitors for the time being. I have been running comparisons on the two readouts and have found some intriguing correlations."
*
"Like what?" Tom demanded.
*
"Well, there have been similar fluctuations of your vital signs and brain waves whenever the Commander has experienced one of his episodes. The symptoms do not correspond exactly but there are differences that both of you exhibit during those times. I have not completed my study of this and so need more data. Also, please inform me whenever anything out of the ordinary occurs."
*
"We will. What about our duty shifts? You said you wanted us to spend as much time together as possible." Chakotay wanted to know what he had to look forward to work-wise.
*
"Ah, yes. I suggest that you limit yourself to administrative tasks until we can be sure you won't hallucinate again. As for Mr. Paris, he is assigned to me for now. I recommend that the two of you spend only limited amounts of time apart initially. Let's make this an experiment. You can both work out of either your office or Sickbay. After an hour, you can work in separate locations, then work in close proximity again. We can vary this routine by adding time apart and lessening your time together until we see if it brings on any symptoms in either one of you. If you have no objections, we can begin immediately." He strode to the door as if expecting them to follow.
*
"One moment, Doctor." Chakotay looked over at Tom and continued, "We need some time alone first, we have a few things to discuss. If it isn't imperative that we join you right away, I'd like to do that right now."
*
The Doctor peered at each of them closely. "You know what I said about Seven and Chell sharing their feelings?"
*
Both men nodded.
*
"Well, that goes for you two as well. Discuss what you need to but be aware I will speak with each of you separately later on. Report to Sickbay when you're ready." With that, he walked out the door.
*

++++

*
"So you want to talk. Good. I do too, but not here." Tom rose and went to the door.
*
Chakotay followed and inquired, "Where do you want to go?"
*
"My quarters. They're more comfortable and a lot less sterile than this place."
*
"Okay."
*
Tom led the way and wondered what he would say. There were a lot of questions in his mind. He had a feeling this wasn't going to be as easy to figure out as he'd hoped.
*
When they got there, he offered the Commander a seat on the sofa and took a chair for himself. "Well, Commander, it seems I don't know where to start."
*
Deep brown eyes stared at him. "Call me Chakotay. I don't feel like I'm on duty right now. As for where to start? I want to know why you're wearing a monitor like I am. You know about my hallucinations. I want to know what you've experienced."
*
He looked at the floor briefly then back up to Chakotay's serious expression. "I guess that's fair. I admitted to the Doctor that I had been dreaming about you. I had to tell him the details of the dreams and I suppose based on what you told him, he figured we were in the same boat somehow. I know you've had hallucinations about me but I want to know what I did to unnerve so you much. You reacted pretty strongly to me last night. What did I do that was so awful?"
*
"You kissed me."
*
"What?" Tom leaned forward. "That's it? I kissed you and you backed away from me like I was a contagious disease." He shook his head, shocked that a mere kiss could provoke that reaction. The guy must really dislike him.
*
Seeing the unhappiness his explanation caused, Chakotay hastened to add, "No, that's not it. Not all of it. I've seen you naked, both when I was wide awake and when trying to meditate. You also made love to me once when I was sleeping. I've had the strongest urges to touch you, sometimes I can't trust myself to be in the same room with you."
*
Tom stared. So he wasn't the only one after all. "You're not kidding, are you?"
*
"No. I'm telling you the truth. I think lying to you would be counterproductive. I've been fighting my feelings and ignoring the messages my visions have been giving me and I've found out by doing so that it's just making things worse." The Commander seemed embarrassed but willing to continue the conversation.
*
As stunned as he felt, Tom had to give the man credit for being so honest. He stood up and walked over to the viewport. "I've been dreaming about you for weeks."
*
"Weeks?"
*
He turned around and faced Chakotay. "At first I didn't know it was you. It took me awhile to figure it out. When I did, I wasn't too happy about it. Then I got used to the idea and well, things changed."
*
"What things?" Chakotay looked at him curiously, expecting an answer.
*
Tom walked over to stand behind the chair he'd been sitting in and gripped the back of it so tightly his knuckles showed white. "My feelings mostly. I'm not so hot at explaining this kind of stuff so give me a minute."
*
Chakotay nodded and leaned back against the sofa as if taking a breather from some difficult problem he'd been assigned to solve.
*
Tom began to pace. "In my dreams, I feel good. Really good. You're holding me. I feel loved. These feelings have started to carry over to when I'm awake. It pissed me off that I was feeling like that because of you. But now I know it's not your fault. Something out there," he paused and waved at the viewport, "is causing this. The problem is, I still feel what I feel and it's growing stronger. There's a sexual element for me, too. But mostly I have this overwhelming desire to be with you, to make peace, to find that contentment I have in my dreams."
*
Chakotay stood up and went to Tom. "What do you want to do about this? How do you want to handle things?"
*
"I don't know. What about you? Can't you come up with something, ask your spirit guide for advice?" His questions came out more sarcastically than he intended and he stepped away from Chakotay as his expression hardened.
*
"I wish I could but I'm afraid to try to meditate." The older man's voice lowered and he went on, frustration packed into each and every syllable. "Do you have any idea what it's like to not have any place of your own where you can be alone to think?"
*
Tom shook his head and backed up another step as he sensed Chakotay's anger build.
*
The older man tensed. "I cannot seem to get away from you. You invade my every moment whether asleep, awake or someplace in between. I haven't had a single chance to try to sort this out properly!"
*
Chakotay went over to the viewport and rested his hand against the wall beside it, propping himself up while the other hand rubbed his face.
*
Giving the man a few moments to himself, Tom remained silent. He wondered what it might be like to go through that sort of mental invasion and decided that he wouldn't like it at all. He wished he could feel that sense of contentment that filled him when he dreamed about Chakotay and he wished that Chakotay could feel it, too. He thought about it hard and imagined that feeling settle over him as it had so many times before. Somehow, here with the Commander in his quarters, the sensation was easier to recall.
*
A minute or two later, Chakotay moved back toward the sofa. Before he could sit down, Tom intercepted him.
*
Feeling a bit better and noticing Chakotay didn't appear angry anymore, he took a chance and grabbed his hand, pulling the man close to him.
*
They stared at each other for a few minutes. "What is it with you that you're always holding my hand?" Chakotay asked.
*
Tom shrugged and grinned a little. "I don't know. It just feels like the right thing to do. Do you mind?"
*
"Yes and no. Is this one of those 'if it feels good, do it' sorts of things?" Chakotay's frown smoothed out and his eyes looked less haunted.
*
"Maybe. I haven't figured it out yet. All I do know is that it makes me feel better. Don't ask me why. I've given up worrying about the details of what's going on here. I've decided that going with the flow is the best thing I can do. You, yourself said that fighting it wasn't helping matters." Tom rubbed the back of Chakotay's hand with his thumb and waited. In a weird way he hoped to transfer some of the tranquility he now felt to the older man.
*
Chakotay sighed, exhausted, and gave in to his instincts. Tom felt it instantly and knew it for what it was, complete capitulation, at least for the moment.
*
He drew Chakotay into his arms and held him. He had a feeling that this state wouldn't last long so he determined to take advantage of it while he could.
*
"You know we haven't finished discussing everything...."
*
"I know, Chakotay. We can talk about the rest later." He indulged himself and reveled in holding the man, rubbing his back, feeling his breath on his neck and just generally being in awe that he was awake for all of this.
*

++++

*
Chakotay rested his head on Tom's shoulder and felt as if he shouldn't. He also felt as if he should.
*
He didn't know what to think at this point.
*
Tom felt good. Too good.
*
He then gave up the last shred of his self control and just enjoyed.
*
Minutes passed and as he held Chakotay, Tom felt them cross some invisible barrier. He waited until the last of their tension disappeared, then whispered into Chakotay's ear, "May I kiss you?"
*
Those brown eyes had softened in their ability to pierce him and he took that as a good sign.
*
"You really want to bring that into this part of our reality?" Chakotay asked.
*
He nodded. "Yeah, I do. You may think you know what it's like because of what you've gone through but I don't. And I want to find out."
*
Chakotay sighed. "All right. Go ahead."
*
He heard Chakotay's uncertainty but went for it and kissed him anyway.
*
Their lips met tentatively, then Tom's memory of his desires took over and he slid his tongue inside Chakotay's mouth.
*
It was heaven.
*
He licked, sucked, explored and tasted to his soul's content. Chakotay's tongue was every bit as talented as he'd hoped it would be. His arms wrapped themselves more tightly around his dream lover who had made the transition into waking flesh.
*
Oh gods, he thought, as he lost himself in the reality that was Chakotay, his scent, flavor and touch becoming overwhelming, he could get used to this all too easily.
*

END OF PART 4

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In Dreams, Part 5