In Dreams, Part 9


By Britta

*
Tom woke up, aware that something important was going to happen. What it was exactly, he wasn't certain. He lay there, keeping his eyes closed for a moment, concentrating on what he felt.
*
He felt good, no--even better, he felt great. It seemed to him that he'd accomplished something special, something he should be proud of. As he struggled to recall just what it was, Chakotay moved in his arms and let loose a soft snore directly into his ear.
*
Grinning, the memories poured into his mind and he tightened his hold on his lover. He opened his eyes and looked at the man sleeping in his arms. This feeling was even better than it used to be, back when it was only in his dreams.
*
Now, the loving sensation easily carried over into his waking life. He enjoyed it and hoped it would never end even though part of his mind tried to warn him that things could not remain this good forever. He ignored it as he did anything that would make him unhappy now.
*
Chakotay stirred in his sleep and opened an eye. "Good morning," he mumbled.
*
Tom smiled. "Good morning to you, too." He released his hold as the other man sat up. He watched as Chakotay tried to get his bearings, then reached for the wrist monitor to put it on again.
*
Propping himself up on an elbow, Tom asked, "Why did you take it off in the first place? You know the Doc's going to complain about that."
*
Chakotay turned around and leaned down to kiss Tom. "I took it off because I wanted a little privacy. I don't care if he gets angry. What's he going to do, throw me in the brig?"
*
Tom sat up and replied, "He just might. He said he'd do it to me if I didn't wear mine."
*
Shocked, Chakotay said, "Really? He threatened you with that?"
*
"He sure did."
*
Chakotay put his arms around Tom and said softly, "I'll have a word with him."
*
Tom replied somewhat stiffly, "That's not necessary. I can handle it."
*
"I know you can but I feel he was out of line and I intend to tell him so." Chakotay kissed Tom again. "You were incredible last night. Thank you."
*
"Me, incredible?" Tom took the Commander's face in his hands and went on, "You were amazing and I loved every single second of it."
*
Chakotay hugged him and whispered, "So did I...Tarzan."
*
Tom could not help but smile. As he went to kiss Chakotay, he murmured, "You're welcome, Jane."
*
The next thing he knew he was flat on his back on the bed with a semi-serious large man hovering over him. "Jane? We'll see who's 'Jane' in the long run." A savage kiss left him gasping and he stared as Chakotay rose from the bed.
*
His CO stood there, grinning and said, "Come on ape-boy, let's shower."
*

++++

*
Chakotay wished he could be there when they sent the probe. He was as curious as everyone else about what data it would return.
*
The last couple of days had seen he and Tom sort through a lot of things but underlying it all was the fear that none of it would be real and lasting.
*
He needed to know. How much was something he could control and how much was not? As wonderful as things had been in the last day, he still didn't trust it. Hell, he didn't trust anything.
*
Tom had been a surprise in many ways and he'd enjoyed last night's escapade immensely but he could not believe, realistically, that it would be as good when they were awake, not as long as Tom kept disappearing like that.
*
Where did he go? Why did he go? These were the other questions he wanted answered. He was also afraid that he would lose his own loving feelings once they were away from whatever was out there. What would he do then? How would he justify his actions if he felt nothing toward the pilot after this was all over?
*
What would be even worse was if his good feelings remained and Tom's evaporated. If either one of them lost their love, it would be devastating. How could he handle that?
*

++++

*
After a hurried breakfast, Tom accompanied the Commander to the morning staff meeting, holding Chakotay's hand tightly. He didn't care about appearances anymore. It felt like the right thing to do and so he did it.
*
He knew they were still relieved of duty, in case either of them hallucinated while working, but going to the staff meeting wouldn't endanger the ship. His curiosity about things was as strong as Chakotay's.
*
They strode down the corridors, rode the turbolift, walked across the bridge and stopped just outside the Briefing Room doors. Glancing at each other and sharing their apprehension, they tightened their grip and entered.
*
Janeway looked up at them as they seated themselves and nodded. She knew they would come.
*
Tom sat next to Chakotay as if it was his right to do so. As the rest of the senior staff filed into the Briefing Room, he paid close attention to both Harry and B'Elanna.
*
Kim looked a little pale but Tom couldn't see anything else out of the ordinary. Torres sat down next to Harry very closely and gazed around the room making certain that her incisors were showing.
*
Gulping, he saw that Chakotay had noticed her display of power as well. They moved their clasped hands closer to themselves and smiled at each other.
*
Tom was dying of curiosity and vowed to himself to make Harry tell all. He glanced over at his friend and winked.
*
Harry caught the smile Tom sent him and winked back, making sure to use the eye farthest away from Torres. Then he smiled a tiny smile and sat up straight in his chair as the Captain spoke.
*
"The class-five probe was launched two hours ago. Now all we need to do is wait for it to send us what data it can. I suggest you all take the next few hours off but remain readily available at all times. We are keeping a steady distance from the system Mr. Kim has found until we know more." She stood and extended a finger to Tuvok. He touched her finger with one of his own and she sighed. "Dismissed."
*
Tom and Chakotay rose as one and looked at each other. The Doctor came over and said somewhat ominously, "Commander, I'd like to have a word with you."
*
Chakotay turned away from Tom and stated, "I'd like to speak with you as well."
*
Torn between dramas yet to unfold, Tom beckoned to Harry. As the Ensign approached, he heard Chakotay say evenly, "Can we discuss this in your office, Doctor?"
*
Tom looked back toward his lover anxiously, then saw the Doctor nod once and ask, "Is now a good time?"
*
Chakotay replied, "Perfect. Let's go." Chakotay turned to Tom and kissed him. "I might be awhile. You know where to find me."
*
Tom nodded and said, "I'll be in Harry's quarters. Let me know when you're free."
*
Another kiss, this one for reassurance, and Tom was left alone with Harry in the Briefing Room after watching the rest of the senior staff and a few others leave.
*

++++

*
As they walked down the corridor, Harry asked Tom, "Why did you tell Chakotay that we'd be in my quarters?"
*
"Because we will be. I want to talk to you," Tom grinned.
*
Harry just rolled his eyes and led the way into his cabin. "Can I get you anything?" he asked as Tom plopped down on the couch.
*
"No, thanks. I'm okay for now."
*
Harry grabbed a chair and turning it around, sat down with his arms resting on the back. "So what do you want to talk about?"
*
For a moment, a strange expression flashed across Tom's face then his usual smirk appeared. "Tell me how things went with B'Elanna."
*
Harry sighed.
*
Tom looked as if he wasn't going anywhere until he got all his questions answered. He settled into the couch and put on his 'immovable object' face. "Well? You said she wanted you. Did she get you?"
*
Harry blushed and snapped, "Yes."
*
Tom frowned slightly. "Hey, Har, I'm on your side, remember? I just wanted to know if things worked out the way you hoped they would. I've been a little worried about you because you've been alone."
*
"Things worked out just fine." Harry relaxed and continued, "You don't have to worry about me. I'm not alone now."
*
Leaning forward and staring at his best friend intently, Tom inquired, "You're sure? What about the future? Will you be all right then?"
*
"We spent one night together. And, before you cave in and ask, yes, it was...enjoyable. Different, but definitely a good thing for both of us. I refuse to tell you any details so you'll just have to take my word for it."
*
"I don't need details, Harry. That's not what I meant." Tom rested his forearms on his knees and rubbed his hands together nervously.
*
Frowning, Harry rose and went to the replicator. He returned with two glasses of water, one of which he handed to Tom. Sitting down again, he asked, "So what did you mean? What's really bugging you, Tom?"
*
Downing half the glass with one swallow, Tom grimaced. "I'm scared. What's going to happen when this is all over?" He looked at Harry as if hoping he could provide a concrete answer.
*
Sipping his water, Harry thought for a minute. "What exactly are you afraid of?"
*
Tom drank the rest of his water and stood up. Setting the glass on the nearest table, he began to pace. "I don't want to be alone again." His voice grew rough. "I don't want to lose what I've just found; what I never even knew I was looking for in the first place."
*
Frowning slightly, Harry said reasonably, "You know, you might not feel the same way at all once we get away from here. Even if we never figure out what's causing everything, there's going to be a big difference once we're back in regular space. Why worry about it? Just wait and see what happens. That's what B'Elanna and I agreed to do and so have most other people I've talked to."
*
Tom looked at Harry sadly and shook his head. "You don't understand." He wondered if anybody would.
*
"Is Chakotay that good in bed?"
*
Taken by surprise, Tom had to grin. "Actually, yeah, he is. But Harry, there's so much more to it than that."
*
Harry looked a bit confused. "Well, you'd better spell it out for me because all I know is that this phenomenon gets people horny. Most of the folks I've spoken with are spending a lot of time in bed, and not alone. No one has said anything about other side-effects, except that some of the married people are thinking about having children. What's so different about you and Chakotay?" he asked impatiently.
*
"We're in love," Tom said softly.
*
Shocked, Harry dropped his glass of water and, just then, both of their badges chirped.
*
"Paris here."
*
"Kim here."
*
"Lieutenant, report to Sickbay," the Doctor ordered.
*
"Ensign...report to my quarters. Noooowwwww," Torres purred heavily.
*
Shrugging at each other, they replied in unison, "On my way."
*

++++

*
Entering Sickbay, Tom spied the Doctor and approached him. "Reporting as 'requested'," he said sarcastically.
*
"There's no need for sarcasm, Lieutenant. As you must know by now, I am immune." The Doctor gazed at Tom steadily. "Give me your left wrist."
*
Tom offered up his wrist and the Doctor removed the monitor then dropped his arm as if it were of no importance.
*
"You may leave now, Lieutenant." The Doctor dismissed him, turned away and focused his attention solely on the monitor in his hand.
*
"May I ask a question?" Tom was determined to be a thorn in the Doctor's side after all he'd put up with.
*
The Doctor faced him again, radiating impatience. "Yes. What is it?"
*
"I just want to know why you've decided to remove to the monitor. I *am* your assistant sometimes and I'm curious," Tom replied honestly.
*
The Doctor pursed his lips and stared at Tom. A few subroutines quickly ran through their paces and finally, seeing that Tom wasn't going to go away without an answer, the Doctor admitted, "Commander Chakotay convinced me that I had gathered enough empirical data for my studies."
*
Tom raised his eyebrows but suppressed his incipient smile. "And?"
*
"And what, Mr. Paris?" the Doctor huffed.
*
"Is that all? Is there no other reason you've given up watching over us?" Tom became more and more amused.
*
Finally giving in to the inevitable, the Doctor approached him and said, "Since I have relieved both of you from active duty, there's not a lot of harm you can do. Furthermore, the Commander made a rather passionate plea that the two of you be allowed some privacy. After he explained his reasons for that request, I concurred."
*
Tom was surprised and his internal smile faded. Keeping his expression and voice as neutral as possible, all he said was, "Thank you." He then left Sickbay and headed toward his quarters.
*

++++

*

Chakotay sat in his cabin, alone. He looked out the viewport and wondered if he could go back to his old lifestyle. It shouldn't be too difficult, a part of his brain reasoned. After all, it wasn't like he and Tom were living together. There weren't any reminders around that Tom had ever been here, once he'd changed the sheets on his bed.
*
After throwing every towel they'd used into the 'fresher, he'd turned on the air exchanger. Now he sat in an almost pristine, virginal environment.
*
And he hated it.
*
More than anything, he wanted the scent of Tom around him. The fragrance of their lovemaking should permeate their lives. That was the way it was supposed to be. Why he felt that so strongly he didn't know, but he refused to question what his soul told him. He knew better than that...now.
*
There had been times in the past when he had questioned and then made the mistake of not listening to the answers. Seska came back to haunt him as one of the few times he had questioned repeatedly and had ignored every answer, no matter how often it was presented to him.
*
He swore to himself he would not be that blind or stupid or just plain stubborn again.
*
Angry with himself and about the situation in general, he rose and got himself a cup of tea, then sat down again to think some more.
*

++++

*
Tom went home minus his wrist monitor and decided that he needed to talk to Chakotay. Something wasn't quite right. Face it, he told himself, a lot of things weren't quite right. His fear of losing what he'd found with Chakotay was growing stronger by the minute.
*
Changing into fresh clothes and rubbing his wrist absent-mindedly, he asked the computer for the Commander's location.
*
"Commander Chakotay is in his quarters."
*
Suppressing his fears and hoping for the best, he walked the distance to the Commander's cabin and announced himself.
*

++++

*
Chakotay's door chime sounded, startling him out of his reverie and causing him to spill hot tea over his hand. "Come," he shouted tersely, as he went to fetch a cloth to clean up the mess he'd made.
*
Tom entered the cabin cautiously, uncertain of what to expect. When he saw Chakotay in obvious pain, he threw caution aside and took charge. "What happened?" He moved swiftly to his lover and pulled him over to the table removing the small towel from his grip.
*
Not waiting for Chakotay's answer, Tom replicated a bowl of ice-water and stuck Chakotay's hand in it. "Keep it there while I take care of the mess."
*
Stunned and hurting, Chakotay just nodded. The water felt good and his fingers eventually became numb, stopping the physical pain. He stood and watched as Tom bustled about, mopping up the spilled tea.
*
With little grinding, his mind changed gears and he smoothly shifted from a state of emotional flux to a feeling of pure certainty. It was right that Tom was here. All of his earlier worries seemed puerile now.
*
Before he could explain the accident, Tom came over to him and inspected his hand. "I think you'll live," he said, as he brought the injured digits up to his lips and kissed them.
*
Chakotay took a deep breath and pulled Tom close. Letting it out, he sighed, "Thank you." Then he kissed Tom on the mouth and relaxed into his arms. His fingers still smarted but if Tom said they'd be okay, then they would be.
*

++++

*
Tom forgot all about his previous worries. They didn't seem to matter when compared to this. Chakotay trusted his judgement in this instance and that made all the difference.
*
He realized that talking to Harry about his fears had helped a little but what he really needed to do was share his thoughts with Chakotay. It wouldn't be easy but he felt it had to be done. If he wanted to keep even a shred of the peace he'd recently found, he had to take the chance.
*
Steering the Commander over to the end of the couch, he said, "Sit here while I get some ice cubes." He retrieved the bowl of cool water and replicated a few pieces of ice to add to it, then placed it within easy reach of the Commander's hand.
*
Chakotay gratefully slid his fingers into the coldness and sighed. "Thanks, Tom. That feels good."
*
Tom smiled. "Do you want to go to Sickbay? Or I could go and get a regenerator, if you like. There's no need to suffer you know."
*
Chakotay patted the couch beside him. "I've had enough of Sickbay today. Thanks anyway but I don't think this is a serious injury. It doesn't hurt that much."
*
"Okay. I'll take your word for it, for now. But I'll check on it later and if it looks worse, you're going to see the Doc, like it or not. Deal?"
*
Nodding, Chakotay agreed, "Deal."
*
They sat next to each other silently, lost in their thoughts until the very air surrounding them became uncomfortable. Neither one could find a way to breach the silence.
*
Chakotay absently lifted numb, bluish fingers out of the bowl and stared at them for a moment, then plunged them back in again.
*
Tom watched and thought and finally heaved a resigned sigh. "I need to tell you something."
*
Dark brown eyes stared into his unsteadily. "What?"
*
"I'm afraid of losing you, afraid of losing what we've found together." Tom waited, almost holding his breath to see how Chakotay would answer.
*
A minute passed, then another. Finally, Chakotay answered. "So am I."
*
Still nervous, Tom added, "I don't want to go back to being alone."
*

++++

*
Chakotay took his hand out of the frigid water and patted it on his shirt, then turned to Tom and held his face between one warm and one freezing hand. "I don't either." He then moved his cold, stiff fingers away from Tom's skin and closed his eyes for a moment, his emotions catching up with him.
*
Tom gently took Chakotay's injured hand into his own and inspected the damage. There were no blisters but the light-brown skin still felt a little warmer than it should after being cooled as much as it had been. "Chakotay, you need to put your hand back in the bowl."
*
Frowning, he cleared his throat noisily and did so. He didn't know what to do next. He wanted to make promises to Tom. He also wanted to hear promises from Tom.
*
Not certain if what he said would be taken the right way, he went ahead anyway. "Tom?"
*
"Yeah?" Tom answered hopefully.
*
"I love you." Chakotay looked at his lover and wished he could convey his sincerity, make Tom believe that it wasn't just for the duration.
*
"I love you, too," Tom responded. "I really mean that, Chakotay, and I'm scared shitless that what we find with the probe will be the end of us." He looked as spooked as he felt.
*
Chakotay thought back to what Tom had said about feeling good when he was being held. He then removed his hand from the bowl again and stood up, reaching to help Tom to his feet. "Let's go lie down for a while."
*

++++

*
Tom rose and followed Chakotay into his bedroom. He wanted to be reassured that nothing they had found together would be lost. He hoped that he wouldn't have to be alone ever again.
*
Kicking off his shoes, Chakotay pulled aside the bedspread and settled Tom down next to him on the bed. Chakotay then called the lights down a bit and brought the bedspread over them both, holding Tom in his arms securely.
*
Still feeling as if he was putting his heart in the line of fire, Tom asked softly, "What are we going to do?"
*
Chakotay just squeezed him more tightly and answered, "We wait. We spend our time together as we wish and then we wait and see what happens."
*
Tom blinked as Chakotay kissed him, then he murmured, "I thought you said we'd wait."
*
Chakotay released him immediately and made to rise. Tom grabbed the other man's hand and pulled him back down, stating, "Hey, that wasn't a complaint."
*
As the older man resumed his position and held him close, Tom sighed and toed off his own shoes.
*
"What do you want from me, Tom?" Chakotay whispered.
*
Tom placed his feet along side Chakotay's and rubbed them with his own. "I want you to love me forever. I want you to let me love you, too," he answered softly as he began licking Chakotay's neck.
*
Hissing out his breath, the Commander replied seriously, "I do love you but I can't promise forever, not until we're away from here. As for letting you love me, remember that we're supposed to remain available for the next couple of hours so that makes a repeat of last night a bad idea right now."
*
Tom squirmed around until he could peer into Chakotay's eyes. He brushed his lips over his lover's and wormed a hand into the Commander's pants. Laying soft, wet kisses on Chakotay's enticing lips, he mumbled, "I know that. I have a better idea."
*
Chakotay moved beneath Tom and allowed the blond to free his erection. "What?" he panted.
*
Tom stuck his tongue into Chakotay's mouth and played the 'let's taste the tonsils' game for a few minutes. When he felt that Chakotay had been reduced to so much willing and pliable flesh, he stopped and answered, "I want to taste more of you...let me suck you off." His hand moved over the Commander's erection steadily.
*
Chakotay just groaned.
*
Taking that as an affirmative answer, Tom grinned and ducked under the bedspread. He took Chakotay's cock into his mouth and sucked leisurely, taking the time to lick and savor every texture and taste. This was his toy, for now. He controlled it and enjoyed it and wanted more than anything to be able to play with it whenever he liked.
*
He continued exploring, varying his technique and hearing the wonderful, heartfelt responses Chakotay made. He smiled even as he sucked and when he finally brought his lover to completion, he swallowed greedily and relished the flavor of him.
*
Hands grasped him and drew him up, out from under the bedspread and pulled him into position so that he could be kissed into tomorrow.
*
Long moments later, Chakotay sighed and smiled. "Thank you."
*
Tom grinned in response, "You're welcome." He then leaned on Chakotay's broad chest and looked down into his eyes.
*
Chakotay patted his ass and said speculatively, "I wonder how everyone else is spending the time while we wait for the probe to reach its destination."
*
Leaning down for a kiss, Tom smirked, "I'll just bet I can guess...."
*

END OF PART 9

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In Dreams, Part 10