Don't Put Off Today for Tomorrow


By Britta

Tom Paris was on his knees, silently begging to suck the long, brown cock that hovered enticingly before his hungry lips. But Chakotay denied him again and turned away.
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Tom woke with a cry of frustration, thrashing in bed so hard he became trapped like a mummy in the sheets. Shit! How many nights, no, days, did that make in a row? It must be a record.
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Tearing himself free again, he wondered when Chakotay would notice how fast their rations were dwindling due to his spending them on replicating new linens. Surely he'd say something soon, or maybe Tom would get a curt email on the subject right before the one from Maintenance stating his new quarters were ready.
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As he showered, Tom's anger and pain commingled into a mass of confused emotion. He loved Chakotay so much it was impossible to keep it bottled up inside. He wanted to show every single entity in the universe how he felt. It was his way of staking his claim, loud, proud, and clear.
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If it wasn't done publicly how would everyone know what Chakotay meant to him? All the important stuff he'd experienced had been public knowledge, for all to see. Growing up in the limelight of Starfleet had taught him that the essentials needed to be witnessed in order to be valid.
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It had taken much thought to figure out why he had upset Chakotay with his poem, but now he believed he understood. A bad trip to Engineering to see B'Elanna for advice had helped to open his eyes. She'd defended her surrogate father's need for privacy with a vengeance and he'd come away feeling chastened.
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Stepping out of the shower and hoping the suitcases under his eyes had been unpacked by the warm water, Tom finally realized that his way wasn't the only way of doing things, or of expressing his heart's desire.

+ | + | +

Chakotay sat in his office being about as useful as a Horta tossed into an ocean. He didn't know what to do about Tom which was why he'd forced them to have a time-out. He understood his lover's intentions were good, but his own insecurities had paralyzed him to the point where he couldn't even talk to Tom. An endless loop of memory kept chasing its tail in his head and it always ended with the captain's laughter.
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How could he tell Tom that his 'savior' was becoming Chakotay's nemesis? Each time she sniggered at him, he lost more dignity and her subsequent behavior belittled him and undermined his authority with the rest of the crew. Didn't Tom, of all people, know that where she led, others followed?
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It was difficult enough, even after years, to feel comfortable with the crew, especially his old crew, having to be second in command. And taking Tom Paris to his bed certainly hadn't helped matters.
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Chakotay wondered if Tom knew that; then he wondered if Janeway did. Probably, he decided. She had been taking out her frustrations on him for a long time. That was all the more reason for him to tell Tom once and for all why he would no longer tolerate any public displays of lust no matter how harmless Tom deemed them to be.
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He leaned back in his chair and stared at the wall, missing Tom in his life on every level. If he could have the luxury of contemplating a suitably humiliating revenge for his lover, he'd take it in nanosecond. But he couldn't indulge himself; anything he'd do would most likely backfire and ultimately work against him.
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Depressed, Chakotay took his head in his hands and tried to weigh his heart against his duty. After another day of struggle, he gave up again, failing to find an acceptable compromise.

+ | + | +

Tom parked himself in the mess hall and slipped into another world as he stared at the so-called food in front of him.
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A voice from above drew him out of his funk. "You look like shit." Harry Kim sat down next to his best friend.
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"Thanks." Tom Paris glanced back at him with bloodshot eyes and drawled, "Aren't you and Ayala supposed to be having a nooner about now?"
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"He's working through lunch today," Harry replied neutrally. He knew Tom was in a bad way since he'd been working gamma shift, and decided to play to mother hen. "You should go back to bed, Tom."
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"I would if there was anyone in it. God, I hate sleeping without him. Harry, I don't think I can stand this much longer." Tom looked beyond forlorn.
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Harry was torn between anger at Chakotay for sentencing Tom to weeks of sleeplessness and pity for Chakotay as he watched the captain torment the commander on a daily basis. Harry only wished he could understand the innuendo in her cryptic comments better.
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In his opinion, Chakotay looked worse than Tom. He wondered what had caused the schism between the two men. Was Chakotay punishing Tom or protecting him from the captain's barbed tongue?
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Tom shoveled food into his mouth without tasting it, which might have been a blessing. Unfortunately, he was too tired to notice. He didn't understand why Chakotay had distanced himself so thoroughly; it was more depressing than he'd ever expected. What the fuck was really going on, and how could he fix it?
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He tuned back into the present moment to see Harry gazing at him thoughtfully. "Tom? You still here?"
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"Yeah, I just zoned out for a minute. Sorry. What were you saying?" he swallowed a mouthful of lukewarm coffee.
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"I said, 'Today is Fight Procrastination Day'. Why don't you use that and do something about your situation?" Harry smiled as if certain everything was Tom's fault; at least, that's how Tom interpreted it.
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Stung, Tom snapped, "And what would you suggest I do?"
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"Well, you could replicate his favorite meal or take him out somewhere special on the holodeck."
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"Harry, I haven't spent more than five minutes with Chakotay, when he was awake, in god only knows how long." Tom rubbed his eyes and yawned.
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Taking a last sip of water, Kim blurted out, "Then maybe you should ask the captain why Chakotay's been so busy lately."
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Tom flinched at the mention of Janeway and suddenly certain puzzle pieces began to come together in his mind. Those that didn't fit perfectly were forcibly wedged into place and Tom hated the picture they created. He gulped the last of his coffee and slammed the cup down on the table. "You're right, Harry. I think I'll do just that. Thanks."

TO BE CONTINUED

Comments? Suggestions?
E-mail me at Britta