Susurrations, Part 5


By Britta

*
Neelix recognized trouble between his beloved friends instantly. He had been traveling with these people so long, he knew when and how they were hurting. A distressed expression settled on his face as he decided to intervene.
*
Running interference was a skill he had learned over the years he'd spent on board Voyager and he did it now. Watching Chakotay's reaction to the Captain's entrance, he knew it would be only seconds before the Commander did something inadvertently that could hurt Tom.
*
Grabbing his ever-present coffee pot, he strutted out from behind his counter and headed directly for Janeway. Smiling widely, he brandished an empty cup and as he passed the XO and pilot, he turned for a moment and said softly, "Get out of here. I'll take care of the Captain."
*
Two sets of surprised eyes met his own and, as he elbowed his way past the men in the middle of the room, his attention focused on the woman who commanded the ship. "Captain, what a pleasure to see you."
*
He ushered her over to her private table and set the cup down in front of her. Filling it with coffee, he beamed at her and out of the corner of his eye, noticed Tom pulling their First Officer out of the room. Heaving an internal sigh of relief, he said, "I have something special for lunch, just for you."
*
She looked up at him and sipped her coffee, distracted for the moment. A small grin formed and she said, "What might that be, Mr. Neelix?"
*
"Ah. Just you wait and see. I'll be right back." He smoothly moved away and returned to his kitchen, intent on serving her something that would really make her smile.
*
He sincerely hoped Tom and the Commander would work things out without upsetting the equilibrium of the rest of the ship. Shaking his head, he pulled out the individual portion of lasagna that he'd prepared for the most wonderful woman--still in corporeal form--in the Delta Quadrant.
*

++++

*
Chakotay was yanked out of the mess hall before he'd even had time to think about eating lunch. He dug in his heels and forced Tom to a stop in the middle of the corridor.
*
The younger man was taken by surprise by their abrupt halt and was jerked backward only to be grasped by strong, stubborn arms. Chakotay held onto Tom and turned him around so they stood face to face.
*
"What was that all about?" he demanded.
*
Tom mumbled, "You don't want to know."
*
Chakotay frowned. "Don't want to know what?"
*
Staring at the floor, Tom replied cautiously, "I can't tell you right now. It's still a secret." He paused and glanced at Chakotay's closed expression. "There are some things I've been told in confidence."
*
Confused and hungry, his doubts returned tenfold. Chakotay gazed suspiciously at Tom's flushed face. What was happening? Was there some conspiracy he wasn't a party to being perpetrated all around him? He released Tom and stood away. "Fine," he said neutrally.
*
As he turned to leave, Tom pounced. "Oh, no you don't."
*
Chakotay was grabbed from behind and wrestled over to the nearest wall. Feeling Tom pressing against him, it was all he could do to mutter, with more than a little exasperation, "Don't what?" Shit, what was going on?
*
Tom breathed into his ear, "Don't leave me like this."
*
"Like how?" he asked.
*
"As if you don't trust me."
*
Throwing Tom off his back, he turned around and stated flatly, "Give me one good reason why I *should* trust you now, especially after all the interesting little conversations I've watched you participate in over the last couple of days. Not to mention the fact that we never did have the discussion you agreed to *and* you sneaked out on me last night."
*
He stood there, waiting, and saw Tom's expression change, reflecting one emotion after another. A pale hand came up to caress his face and he slumped backward against the wall. Closing his eyes, he was distracted by Tom's touch. What the hell had he gotten himself into?
*
Just as Tom started to say, "I'm sorry..." Chakotay's stomach growled loudly.
*
His mind shifted into neutral while his body's needs took precedence over everything else. Pushing himself away from the wall, he gazed at Tom, smiled a bit and said, "I've got to get something to eat."
*
Tom nodded, reached out to touch him again but let his hand fall short, then replied, "I have to go back to the bridge. If you come by my cabin after shift, I'll explain as much as I possibly can. That's a promise."
*
An earnest look accompanied the statement but all Chakotay did was nod once before he walked away.
*

++++

*
Tom slid into his chair at the helm with little enthusiasm. Based on his experiences during the early part of the day, he couldn't imagine any sort of improvement for the afternoon.
*
So it was a great surprise to hear the Captain return from her lunch with a hint of laughter in her voice. "Mr. Tuvok, has there been any change in ship's status?"
*
"No, Captain." The Vulcan sounded as puzzled as Tom felt.
*
"That's good news. Steady as she goes, Mr. Paris."
*
Mentally shrugging, he sang out, "Yes, ma'am." Refusing to turn around and look at her, in case it would break the spell that she'd apparently been put under, he wished with all his heart that his luck would hold until his shift was finished.
*
Against all odds, it did.
*
When his relief took over, Tom escaped quickly and headed for his cabin. He wondered why Chakotay had never made an appearance on the bridge and he also made a mental note to find out what Neelix had said or done to improve the Captain's mood so much. Whatever it had been, he wanted to know the secret. It might come in handy over the next few decades.
*

++++

*
Chakotay checked the time and found that he'd put in an entire shift plus an hour or so in his office. Surprised that the Captain hadn't commed him once all afternoon, he stacked the padds neatly on his desk and pocketed the one containing his latest theories and plans, then he set off for Tom's quarters.
*
On his way there, he encountered an overdressed and impatient Borg. She stomped down the corridor, her skirts in her hands as she headed toward the nearest turbolift.
*
Chakotay chuckled to himself, his mood beginning to improve and wondered if perhaps tonight was the ballet....
*

++++

*
Tom puttered nervously around his cabin waiting for Chakotay to arrive. Now he had even more information that he couldn't share without breaking a confidence.
*
Harry had been waiting on his doorstep, so to speak, when he got home and, after worming the rest of the story out of him about what had really happened last night, he'd helped his friend select a suitably intimidating outfit that did indeed include black boots and a riding crop.
*
The thought of Harry actually refusing Jenny and Megan anything at all, and their subsequently throwing him out of their quarters trussed up as he had been, was more than enough to make Tom laugh. What the deed was exactly, Tom didn't know and seeing the depth and color of Harry's blush precluded him from asking.
*
His door chimed, jerking him out of his reverie. He stepped over quickly to open it manually, hoping Chakotay would walk into his arms. Instead, he found Neelix standing in the corridor, peering around uncertainly.
*
"Hi," he said.
*
"Hello, Tom. Is now a good time? I really need to talk to you. You see, I'm not certain what to do next." Golden eyes gazed into his imploringly as Neelix wrung his hands together.
*
Tom answered, "I'm waiting for Chakotay, so now isn't the best time but I want to talk to you, too."
*
Neelix gulped and asked, "When can we meet? It's really important."
*
Looking around carefully, Tom replied, "Tomorrow morning, before breakfast. Is that okay?"
*
Nodding, Neelix quivered a bit and said, "That's fine. See you then."
*
Tom reached out and patted Neelix's shoulder trying to reassure him. As he stepped back into his quarters, he wondered if there would be any more surprises tonight.
*

++++

*
Chakotay turned the corner just in time to see Neelix scurry away from Tom's cabin door. What was going on now? Bracing himself for yet another speech about 'secrets', he rang the door chime.
*
Tom shouted impatiently, "Come in."
*
Sensing the tension in the air, he entered with some caution. Just as he stepped inside, he saw Tom pacing restlessly. "I'm here," he stated. He didn't know what to do in this instance. Tom was obviously agitated and he felt unsure of his welcome.
*
He stopped just inside the door and heard it swish shut behind him. A picosecond later, Tom was in his arms. "I'm *so* glad it's you."
*
Refusing to give in to his incipient jealously, he asked evenly, "Who did you expect it to be?"
*
Tom hugged him even more tightly and muttered, "With the way my luck has gone today, it could've been Vorik or Dalby or--" Tom cut himself off and kissed Chakotay.
*
Feeling the tension bleed out of Tom while he was being kissed and held, Chakotay's concerns began to evaporate. He wasn't certain about all the little puzzles surrounding them but he could tell that Tom wasn't lying about anything.
*
Giving in to his instincts, he allowed himself to enjoy all the pleasures that touching Tom provided. Many moments later, after indulging in the taste and feel of his...what? Paramour? Chakotay freed himself and asked, "Have you had dinner yet?"
*
Tom stepped back. "No. I was waiting for you."
*
"Well, maybe we should have something to eat before we talk."
*
Tom smiled at him and said, "That sounds like a good idea to me. Why don't you sit back and relax while I get dinner ready."
*
Chakotay was led to the couch and sat down, content to watch Tom as he replicated two glasses of wine and brought one over to him. Tom toasted him and then went about the business of setting the table.
*
He didn't care what Tom would serve for their meal as he was far more interested in what he would offer up for conversation. Sipping his wine and settling deeper into the sofa, he heard Tom humming.
*
Shifting his feet around, Chakotay decided to remove his boots. Setting his glass aside, he bent down to tug them off and felt something cold and hard sticking out from under the couch. Once his feet were free of their pedal prisons, he stretched his toes and decided to explore.
*
Tugging on a piece of cool metal, he managed to fish out a huge tangle of leather and chains. He brought it onto his lap and wondered how much it weighed. Taking another sip of his wine, he peered over at Tom and smiled.
*
It appeared that yet another enigma had made its presence known.
*

++++

*
Tom futzed around in his minuscule kitchen area. He replicated plates and utensils, then tossed them haphazardly on the little table nearby. He kept thinking that Chakotay didn't eat meat, so what could he order that would be acceptable?
*
All of the sudden, cheese pizza popped into his mind. Before he dared to program one, he called out, "Chakotay? Do you like black olives?"
*
Amid muted clinking sounds, he heard an affirmative answer and breathed a sigh of relief. Tonight, he wanted to make up for everything and show the Commander just how much he really cared.
*

++++

*
Trying to sort out the many pieces of leather in his lap was next to impossible. Chakotay recognized the nipple clamps for what they were and tried hard not to laugh at the baby-blue silk lacings on the cock glove.
*
He had to wonder why Tom would have this thing stuffed under his couch; in his closet he could understand, but out here in the living room? Perhaps Tom meant him to find it, after all, he had been seated here on purpose. Chakotay sipped more wine and spared a thought that maybe Tom was kinkier than he imagined.
*
He vaguely heard Tom asking him something about olives and he answered 'yes' in the off chance it was about eating them. Staring at all the alligator clips that hung off the leather and steel monstrosity, he pondered the concept that Tom might be a masochist. This 'thing' looked like it would really hurt to wear.
*
Shaking his head at the thought, he decided that Tom probably wouldn't be into pain. He was a hedonist, pure and simple, of that he was almost certain. So, where did this item fit into the scheme of things?
*
Sipping more wine, he sat back and gazed at Tom through a different set of mental lenses. A thought struck him then and he decided to play this out for all he could.
*
Rattling the chains as loudly as possible, he suppressed his smile and waited.
*

++++

*
Hearing something ominous, Tom turned around and saw what Chakotay was holding in his hands. As he stepped forward, he felt his face begin to burn.
*
"Is there something you want to tell me, Tom?" Chakotay asked, in a deceptively smooth tone of voice.
*
"Uh," Tom couldn't discern anything from Chakotay's vanilla expression. He stated flatly, "It's not mine."
*
"Oh? Then this isn't a statement of your sexual preferences?"
*
Tom took a large gulp of his wine, unsure if he was being teased. "No. It's not."
*
"All right. Now we know that you don't want to wear it. The next question is, do you want me to?"
*
"God no! Look, Chakotay, this has nothing to do with us. It belongs to someone else, and, no, before you ask, I can't tell you who." He set aside his wine and walked over to take the harness out of Chakotay's hands.
*
At that precise moment, his door chimed, and, somewhat flustered, he answered it. Harry stood there with his mouth open but before he could speak, Tom shoved the snarled mass into Harry's arms and whispered, "Don't say a word. Just take it and go. I'll comm you later."
*
Once the door shut, Tom turned back to look at Chakotay only to see the man's shoulders shaking. His face was buried in his hands and Tom wasn't sure what was happening. God, he didn't need more complications right now.
*
Hesitantly, he sat down next to Chakotay and gently inquired, "Are you okay?"
*
Wiping the tears from his face, Chakotay choked out, "I'm fine. Really."
*
Just then, Tom became aware that Chakotay was laughing. Before he could say anything, the replicator beeped and he rose, announcing, "Dinner's ready."
*
They moved over to the table and Tom served the pizza. He remained silent, as he wasn't sure how he felt about everything that had transpired.
*
Chakotay helped himself to a slice and dug in. "This is good, Tom."
*
"Thanks."
*
Eating and drinking finally mellowed him and he looked at the whole episode in a rosier light. Sipping more wine, he realized that it was good that it had happened. He reached out and squeezed Chakotay's free hand. "I'm glad you have a good sense of humor."
*
Chakotay gripped back, smiled and finished the last of the pizza. Patting his mouth with a napkin, he replied, "I'm glad you do, too."
*
Feeling relieved, Tom grinned and began to clear the table.
*

++++

*
Chakotay hopped up quickly and stood next to Tom. "Let me help."
*
"Okay."
*
Tom allowed him to pass the dishes over to be put into the recycler. He sucked down the last sip of his wine and passed his glass to Tom, who asked, "Don't you want any more?"
*
"No, thanks. I've had enough." Chakotay waited until Tom's hands were free, then took them into his own and pulled him over to the sofa.
*
Seating himself, he tugged Tom down to sit beside him. "I want to say a few things but I don't want to be interrupted," he stated seriously.
*
Tom nodded, "All right. Go ahead."
*
Smiling, he leaned over and kissed Tom on the lips. "First of all, I want to say 'thank you' for dinner. Secondly, if the giant sex toy I found underneath your couch is any indication of the nature of your social secrets...then I don't want to know what they are or who is involved."
*
Tom laughed and replied, "That's good, because there is no way I'm going to tell you, without their permission, of course."
*
Chakotay nodded and went on, "So long as it doesn't affect the ship or the crew in a negative way, then I don't care. And as for us personally? We won't need hardware like that, will we?" A hand snaked between Tom's legs and squeezed important things.
*
"No, Chakotay, we won't," Tom gasped.
*
"Good." Chakotay kissed Tom again and let go of his balls. "In that case, I'd like to take a shower and then take you to bed."
*
"But we have things to discuss, don't we?" Tom asked, his hand moving to cover his groin protectively.
*
Chakotay caught Tom's hand and held it up, out of the way. Then he bent down and breathed hot, moist air onto Tom's crotch, making him squirm. Sitting up again, he pulled Tom into his arms and murmured, "I think we can talk in the morning--don't you?"
*

END OF PART FIVE

TO GO TO THE NEXT PART, CLICK BELOW:

Susurrations, Part Six