Undaunted, Part 2


By Britta

*
Tom dashed down the corridor to the turbolift. His head was spinning. He felt like an idiot just walking into Chakotay the way he did. His mind had been occupied with Harry's reaction to his little verbal rendition of lust. Poor Harry, he didn't mean to upset him.
*
On the other hand, thought Tom as he walked into his quarters, who else might be surprised at his sudden sexual 'about face' if he did decide to pursue Chakotay.
*
He shrugged out of his uniform and tossed it toward the refresher. After a quick sonic shower, he donned his evening wear: loose, comfortable clothing that allowed him to forget duty.
*
Sitting on the edge of the bed, he wondered what to do next. Chakotay had been making himself scarce this past week, whereas B'Elanna had become overly courteous trying to find out if he was OK after she'd ended their relationship.
*
She wasn't aware that it hadn't been a unilateral decision on her part and now Tom wished that he'd done it a little differently. Maybe then she'd leave him the hell alone while he concentrated on what he hoped could become the most important relationship of his life.
*
Over the last several days, his thoughts had begun to coalesce. All the little pieces had come together to form a fascinating, complete concept. One that he'd not envisioned before; one that had frightened him, at first.
*
Still, he was getting ahead of himself here. There were a lot of obstacles to overcome before he would allow himself to entertain thoughts of anything beyond getting Chakotay to go out with him.
*
He looked around his quarters and sighed. Harry was likely to come by and want to talk to him after he dropped his bombshell at dinner. He didn't feel up to dealing with that but instead decided it would be better to go somewhere where he wouldn't be disturbed. That little observation lounge down in the lower part of the ship. Perfect.
*

********************

*
Chakotay finished his meal, such as it was, and gazed out at the stars. He faced another long, lonely evening and wondered what to do. A trip to the gym? Nah, he'd already been there five times in the last week. He could always go to his office but then that reminded him of work and he'd been doing enough of that lately with the crew reviews coming up.
*
Maybe it was time to hit the holodeck. Hell, he couldn't avoid Tom forever. He dumped his tray and went back to his quarters.
*
A quick shower and a change of clothes later, he was on his way to the resort. It might not be a bad idea to see what gossip he could pick up. He'd been out of the loop for a few days and on a ship this size, almost anything could happen in that short length of time. Maybe he'd hear something that would take his mind off Tom.
*
He entered the program and looked around, searching for Tom. He didn't spot him but that didn't mean anything. The place was fairly crowded and Neelix was playing bartender now that dinner was over and his kitchen was clean.
*
Chakotay approached him and smiled. "Good evening, Neelix. May I have a beer please?"
*
"Oh, greetings, Commander! Of course you may. Lovely evening, isn't it?" Neelix beamed happily and waved his arm to indicate the tiki torches, huge full moon and everything else that made this place resemble a tropical paradise at just after sunset.
*
"Yes, it is." He lifted his glass and took a sip then turned to see where he could sit and people watch. There wasn't much free space available so he settled on a rattan bar stool with a good view of the beach.
*
Neelix bustled around, wiping things down, mixing drinks for anybody who wanted one and listened to the whispered confidences people poured into his ears.
*
Amused, Chakotay watched the byplay until there was break in the action and Neelix just stood there, shaking his head, a perplexed expression on his unique face.
*
His unofficial counselor persona kicked in and Chakotay inquired, "Neelix? Is something the matter?"
*
Voyager's Morale Officer and chef shook his head slowly and replied, "I'm not sure." He walked over to the Commander and went on, "I've been hearing the strangest things about Tom all the time I've been here. It seems that he's the focus of tonight's gossip."
*
"Well, what has he done to provoke all this talk?" Chakotay asked wearily. He had known it would be only a matter of time before Tom did something noteworthy.
*
"Actually, I don't think he's done anything. At least no one has said so. It's more a case of something he supposedly said to someone else." Neelix paused and looked at him intently.
*
Chakotay downed almost half his beer with one long swallow and sighed. "Is it going to cause problems?"
*
Neelix looked unsure. "No, I don't think so. But then again I don't understand your cultures well enough to be absolutely certain."
*
"Do you want to tell me what you've heard? I promise I won't spread it around," Chakotay offered sincerely.
*
Neelix nodded gratefully. "Well, you see, most people are still talking about the breakup of the Lieutenants but now people are saying that Tom has sworn off women forever; that now he's going after a man. I just don't know what to believe."
*
"Any idea who it is?" Chakotay asked without thinking.
*
"No. That's the one thing that puzzles me. Usually gossip like this is more specific." Neelix looked at him curiously.
*
Chakotay's guts twisted themselves into silent knots as he digested this information and it was all he could do to answer calmly, "Well, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Let me know though, if the mood changes." He finished his beer in record time and stood to leave.
*
"Yes, sir. I'll do that. Thank you, Commander." Neelix smiled his relief and went to serve another customer.
*
Chakotay smiled back reassuringly but left as quickly as possible.
*
As he sailed out the door into the corridor, his mind playing leap frog over conflicting thoughts, he knew he had to go somewhere to think all this through. His favorite observation lounge in the lower part of the ship came to mind. It would be perfect.
*

********************

*
Tom sat in the tiny room and stared at the stars without seeing them. His gaze was focused elsewhere: inward.
*
There were so many things to think about where Chakotay was concerned.
*
Yes, he wanted to be with him, that was a given. But could there be more than just sex? Tom wanted more. That much he knew for a fact. Sex was nice but it wasn't enough. Not anymore. Now he wanted the good stuff, the emotional fulfillment that came along with the implied intimacy that sexual activity was supposed to bring.
*
He sighed and brought his sight into focus, actually looking at the stars and wondered, I know we no longer despise each other but could we really have anything special together? We're as different as night and day....
*
Even if I ever get up the nerve to ask him out, would he understand why I'm doing it? Would he take me seriously or just think that I only wanted a quick fuck to take the edge off? What does he really think of me?
*
Amid this turbulent train of thought, the door to the lounge opened suddenly, startling Tom.
*

********************

*
Chakotay walked slowly, thinking furiously every step of the way. For the most part, gossip aboard ship was correct. Did this mean that Tom was sexually attracted to men? He couldn't quite believe it. There had been no evidence that he knew of to support such an idea. If it were true though, that would rekindle all his fantasies and forlorn hopes.
*
Spirits, did he want to go through all that again? Shit. He didn't know if he was up to it.
*
Then there was that nebulous factoid of Tom having chosen a man to go after next. If that were true, which man would it be? Probably Harry, he decided. They were good friends; knew each other well and hell, they were closer in age than he and Tom were.
*
If that were to happen, he thought he'd really be in for a bad time. It was one thing to imagine the possibilities and know them for the dreams that they were, it was quite another to know that the dreams *could* come true.
*
Exiting the turbolift, he stalked down the corridor and breezed through the door to his favorite observation lounge only to be brought up short by Tom's surprised expression.
*

********************

*
Tom got to his feet quickly and said, "Hi." Trying to hide his nervousness, he smoothed his trousers with his hands and continued, "Long time, no see. Where have you been all week?"
*
Chakotay struggled to keep his composure and silently prayed for calm. He answered, "Hello to you, too. I've been around but busy. How are you?"
*
"Oh, I'm fine. You?" Tom tried to match the other man's nonchalance but didn't know if he was successful.
*
Chakotay smiled a half-smile and replied, "I'm fine, too." Liar, he told himself. Not willing to belabor the point, he went on the offensive. "I stopped by the resort this evening and it turned out that you were the hot topic of conversation."
*
"I was?" Tom was caught off guard by that statement and watched as his CO went to stand by the viewport, his face reflected darkly by the clear, strong substance that separated them from the vacuum beyond.
*
"Yes, you were." It was Chakotay's turn to hide, this time.
*
Tom turned and stood, looking over the man's shoulder and felt himself regain his equilibrium. "What were they saying about me?"
*
"Are you sure you want to know?" Chakotay did not turn to face him.
*
Tom wondered why the man seemed so hesitant. What could anyone have to say about him that he hadn't already thought about himself? "Yes. I want to know. What's the big deal?"
*
Chakotay sighed. "The latest rumor is that you have given up women forever and now you have your sights set on a man; a specific man but no one knows who it is."
*
"Damn! I can't believe Harry would do this to me." Tom started to pace, oblivious to his superior officer's emotional reaction, at first. Then he noticed the expression on the older man's face go through a multitude of changes via the reflection in the viewport.
*
Chakotay squeezed his eyes shut and thought, I was right: it's not only true but it's Harry. His head dropped down and he stared at the floor. How was he to deal with this? He had no idea. The only course of action that came to mind was 'get out of here now'. He turned away from the viewport and started to leave, unaware of Tom's scrutiny.
*
Without thinking, Tom stuck his arm out and placed his hand on Chakotay's shoulder saying softly, "Please don't go. I'd like to talk to you."
*
"Are you saying it isn't true?" Chakotay's question came out more roughly than he intended. "Never mind. I'm sorry. It's none of my business."
*
He moved to step around Tom but was prevented by the pilot's firm grip.
*
Tom stared at him. "Yes. It's true. Is there something wrong with that?"
*
"No. I'm the last person who would have a problem with it, remember?" Chakotay smiled grimly. "I wish you and Harry every happiness."
*
"Harry? What's he got to do with it?" Tom was confused.
*
"You just said--" Chakotay began.
*
The light went on in Tom's mind and he interrupted, "No, no. You've got it all wrong. Come sit down and I'll explain." He pulled the older man along and down onto the loveseat next to him.
*
Now Chakotay was puzzled. "Tom, you don't owe me an explanation. Like I said, it's not my business."
*
Tom gazed at him steadily and took a deep breath. "But what if I want it to be your business? What would you say then?"
*
Chakotay's mind did a back flip or two and he appeared dazed. "Do you mean what I think you do?"
*
Tom smiled at him and clasped his hand, "Yes. Would you go out with me?"
*
Chakotay looked down at the fine, strong hand holding his tightly, hopefully and replied, "When?"
*
"Tomorrow night. Are you free then?" Tom felt both scared to death and thrilled to pieces at the same time as he waited for his answer.
*
Chakotay nodded slowly. "Yes. I'm free. What time and where do you want to meet?"
*
"I'll stop by your cabin at 1900, OK?"
*
"OK."
*
"Great, then it's a date." Tom leaned over and kissed Chakotay's cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow."
*
As he rose from the loveseat, Chakotay asked, "Where are you going?"
*
Tom stopped in the doorway and grinned, "I have a score to settle with a certain Ensign."
*
Chakotay smiled back at him. "Oh. In that case, good night."
*
"Good night."
*

With that, he turned and stepped out the door leaving a shell-shocked First Officer sitting on the loveseat.
*

********************

*
Chakotay sat in the tiny lounge and tried to organize his swirling thoughts. He was not very successful. Too much had happened too fast. In the end, he chuckled to himself and thought, what have I gotten myself into?
*

*******************

*
After hunting Harry down and reading him the riot act about keeping his secrets a secret, Tom gave him a big hug, nearly scaring the Ensign all over again, who still feared for his sanity, and said, "Thanks to your big mouth I now have a date with Chakotay!"
*
Harry just stood there, dumbly, eyes wide with shock as Tom beamed at him, patted him on the shoulder and left, mumbling something about dinner menus.
*
Tom went home to make plans.
*
The next day found him smiling happily at everybody and practically melting the tattoo off Chakotay's face with the heat of his glances during the morning briefing.
*
Chakotay didn't seem to notice although he felt a tad warmer than usual in the Ready Room.
*
Even if Tom and Chakotay were not aware of their reactions to each other, everyone else was. Harry watched, not quite believing his own eyes and B'Elanna was a study in repressed Klingon outrage. The Captain was unconcerned as so far it hadn't interfered with the running of her ship while Tuvok heaved the equivalent of a Vulcan mental sigh and wondered if this, whatever it was, would complicate his life any more than it already had been. Seven was completely oblivious to their interaction but Neelix smiled softly to himself, glad to see two of his favorite people so happy.
*
At the lunch-time shift change, Tom managed to get close enough to Chakotay to whisper, "Dress is casual tonight, all right?"
*
The Commander nodded and gazed into Tom's blue eyes, reading heaps of amusement and not just a little lust therein. He sighed again and thought, well, it ought to be interesting at the very least.
*

********************

*
At precisely 1900 hours, Tom rang the chime at Chakotay's door. It was answered instantly by the Commander trying not to look like a Commander.
*
Chakotay wore a semi-casual outfit of a plain, white, long-sleeved shirt and dark pants with loafers. He said steadily, "Please come in."
*
Tom entered the room and looked around curiously. He'd been in here before but had never paid too much attention. Now he wished he had the time to examine his surroundings more closely. But that would have to wait.
*
"Hi. Are you ready to go?" Tom asked.
*
Chakotay cleared his throat nervously, impressed with Tom's calm and replied, "Yes. Am I dressed OK? I didn't know what you had in mind so I had to guess."
*
Tom ran his hand down the front of Chakotay's shirt and said, "You look fine."
*
"May I ask where we're going?"
*
Tom smiled a bit. "If it's all the same to you, we're going to have dinner in my quarters. Is that all right?"
*
Chakotay grinned even though he was surprised at how private their date was going to be. "Sure, that's fine. I'm hungry."
*
"Good. Then let's go. Dinner awaits." Tom triggered the door open and waved a melodramatic hand in front of his CO, then met the man's smile with another one of his own.
*
They walked down the corridor together companionably, noticing the looks they got from passing crew members. Surely this would cause talk. No one had ever seen the pilot dressed as he was, in a light green shirt coupled with a pair of pants the color of white chocolate, walking so closely to the second in command of their ship.
*
Yes, no matter how discreet they tried to be, gossip was inevitable and speculation would be rife. Ah well, that was the price they paid for being senior officers: everyone wanted to know what they were doing.
*
They arrived at Tom's quarters and the pilot ushered his date inside but then stopped suddenly as soon as the door closed and said, "Please take off your shoes." He pointed to a bare spot on the floor next to the door where Tom placed his own.
*
Chakotay followed suit and didn't ask any questions. He was a guest here and in his culture, guests do as they are bidden as a matter of courtesy.
*
Tom watched with approval as Chakotay shed his shoes. He then took the man by the hand and led him to the short sofa and asked, "Would you care for a glass of wine?"
*
Chakotay nodded and replied, "Yes, thank you." He wondered if Tom was this smooth with everyone he dated?
*
Tom poured them each a glass of white wine and handed one to Chakotay who sipped at it carefully then stated, "It's very good. Thank you." He gazed at Tom and thought, he looks like peppermint candy in that outfit. I wonder if *he* will be dessert....
*
Tom roamed around his small living space and stuck a music disk into the player. He was nervous as all hell and trying hard not to show it. He made sure everything was ready for dinner and when he couldn't find any other details to take care of sat down beside his guest.
*
"So, Chakotay. Does this meet with your approval?" He drank his wine a little faster than usual as he waited for the older man's response.
*
Chakotay took a large swallow of his own and answered, "Yes, it does. I would like to ask you a question though."
*
Tom downed another swig. "Go ahead. Ask away."
*
The wine had eased his inhibitions somewhat and feeling bold, Chakotay inquired, "When did you decide to ask me out?"
*
Tom rested his hand on the back of the small couch and said, "About two minutes after you let me know that you wouldn't say no simply because I was male. I'll admit I watched you and worried about it for a week or so because I didn't know if you'd say yes to *me*."
*
"I see. Well, I *did* say yes and now here we are." He finished off his glass of wine hurriedly, smiled and continued, "So what's for dinner?"
*
Tom finished his own wine and, grateful for the change of subject, took their glasses over to the replicator. He refilled them and set them on the table.
*
He returned to Chakotay and silently offered his hand. Chakotay took it and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet and seated at the small table.
*
Tom went to the replicator and ordered two small salads. He turned to Chakotay and asked, "What kind of dressing would you like?"
*
"I'll have whatever you're having."
*
Tom nodded and after a moment produced two plates of greenery covered haphazardly with French dressing.
*
They smiled at each other and dug in. All they heard then was the noise of crisp vegetables being crunched, which vied with the dinner music.
*
Having made short work of the first course, Tom played host and server again, removing their plates and topping off their glasses. "Are you ready for the next course?" he asked.
*
"Yes. What is it?" Chakotay asked curiously.
*
Tom, feeling confident that things were going so well, smirked, "Just you wait and see. I know how to program a proper, first-class meal." He glanced over his shoulder and smiled, then bent down and whispered his next set of instructions too softly for Chakotay to hear.
*
Chakotay was amused and impressed by the care Tom had taken with this meal. He hadn't known what to expect but so far was very pleasantly surprised. Tom must have put a lot of effort into this and he felt flattered by that fact.
*
Tom removed a bowl from the replicator very carefully and turned toward Chakotay as the older man rearranged the napkin in his lap. A few steps to the table and it would be the soup course. Tom had spent quite a bit of time planning this meal and so far it was going great. He smiled at his date and felt proud of himself that he'd managed to set just the right level of tension between them this evening.
*
Then, the unthinkable happened.
*
He tripped over his own feet and dumped the small bowl of hot consomme squarely in Chakotay's lap.
*
The man howled in pain and jumped to his feet, his crotch literally steaming. Flinging away the sodden napkin, he tore at the closure of his pants.
*
Tom didn't hesitate for more than a nanosecond. "Come with me now!" He tugged on Chakotay's arm as the man tried to get the searing fabric away from him. Although he felt like shit, he knew what had to be done. He pushed Chakotay into the shower and turned on the coldest water he could.
*
Fuck! thought Tom, I *knew* I should have stuck with Gazspacho! He reached under the icy spray and stripped the clothes off his...what? Victim? Gods, he felt awful.
*
Chakotay was silent yet in obvious pain. The frigid water helped somewhat as Tom peeled the sodden clothing from Chakotay's body. He noticed the tears trickling down the other man's face as he gathered up the wet garments and went to shove them into the refresher.
*
He came back quickly and pulled a shivering Chakotay out of the shower, wrapping him in his own robe. Tom grabbed his dermal regenerator and medical tricorder then helped Chakotay over to his bed, calling for full illumination.
*
Making sure Chakotay was lying flat on his back, Tom opened the front the robe and aimed the tricorder in the right direction. A few whirrs and beeps later, he set it aside and adjusted the regenerator.
*
"Chakotay? I need you to spread your legs a bit. Can you do that for me?" Tom asked softly while he cursed himself for not having any pain killers handy.
*
The dark-haired man who'd wanted to be Tom's lover, looked up at him suspiciously and once his teeth stopped chattering, replied, "What the h-hell do you think you're doing? First you scald me, th-then you freeze me. What now?"
*
Tom answered as sincerely as he knew how, "I'm gonna fix you up. I'm so sorry Cha, I didn't mean to hurt you like this. If you want, I can take you to Sickbay and you can see the Doc or I can ask him to come here. It's up to you."
*
Still shaking with cold and pain, Chakotay spread his legs and said, "DO IT."
*
Tom carefully positioned the regenerator over the area that needed it most, which was the top side of a beautiful, brown and blistered cock, which impressed Tom even in the condition it was in. Hell of a way to get to know your lover-to-be's jewels he thought absently and then the guilt kicked in again.
*
Chakotay lay there, feeling embarrassed and confused and a little bit angry at the whole situation. He didn't blame Tom, he knew it was an accident. Still, he was cold, in pain, semi-naked and hungry. He wondered if this would set the standard for all their future dates or if it was a portent of things to come. He closed his eyes and sighed, swearing he could hear his spirit guide laughing at him.
*
Tom slowly moved the regenerator over Chakotay's cock, then lifted it gently and took care of his upper thighs.
*
Chakotay started feeling better once the dermal regenerator had done its job. He itched for a bit in places where Tom had already been. Then, to his chagrin, he started to get hard. Oh no, not now!
*
Tom still held Chakotay's cock in his left hand but his attention was elsewhere. He checked to make sure that he hadn't missed a spot by running the tricorder over the area again.
*
Tom was so intent on his mission of mercy and healing that it took him a second or two to realize that the cock in his hand had begun to stiffen.
*
Once he felt that, he turned to Chakotay and said, "I think you're OK now. In fact, I think you're *more* than OK." He squeezed once and responded to the other man's moan by saying, "Do you want me to kiss it and make it better? After all, it's the least I can do."
*
"Don't you dare," Chakotay choked out.
*
"Why not?" Tom asked in all sincerity.
*
Chakotay opened his eyes and thanked everything that existed that his manhood was intact. However, that didn't mean Tom was off the hook. "Just don't. I know what happened was an accident but it did cross my mind that this might have been an elaborate plot just so you could get your hands on me." He grinned and waited for Tom's expected smartass reply. What he got surprised him.
*
"Are you nuts? Do you think so little of me?" Tom shouted indignantly.
*
"Tom, calm down. I was kidding." Chakotay's grin faded quickly. "Really, it was a joke. OK?"
*
Tom realized that Chakotay was serious and responded by leaning down and planting a chaste kiss on the cock in his hand. "I'm sorry. For everything. I overreacted. Forgive me?"
*
"Of course," Chakotay answered, relief evident in his voice as Tom let go of him and rose.
*
Chakotay followed suit and began to dress as Tom pulled his clothes out of the 'fresher.
*
"Are you still hungry?" Tom asked.
*
"Yes, I am. What else is for dinner?"
*
"A vegetable quiche with ice cream for dessert."
*
"Sounds delicious. I look forward to it." Chakotay smiled, hoping to recapture their previous mood.
*
"Well, I'll have dinner on the table when you come out, OK?" Tom sounded a bit subdued as he walked out of the bedroom.
*
Chakotay called out, "I'll skip the soup if you don't mind." He heard a short laugh as he pulled on his socks and wondered what the rest of the evening would be like.
*

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Undaunted, Part 3