Undaunted, Part 5


By Britta

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Will he throw me out now that he's gotten what he wanted?
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Will he get up and leave me now?
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Lying side by side on their backs, both men stared at the ceiling and waited for the other to do something, anything. Tension stretched between them, thickening the air until they could stand it no longer and turned to face each other.
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"Do you want me to leave?" Tom asked softly yet seriously.
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"Do you want to go?" Chakotay replied just as seriously.
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"No." Truthfully spoken, Tom felt he was taking a risk.
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Relieved, Chakotay smiled. "Good. I want you to stay. I want to wake up with you beside me in the morning."
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This was more than Tom had hoped for: an all-nighter. He scooted closer to Chakotay and hesitantly rested his hand on the man's broad chest. One of Chakotay's arms came around him and pulled him into an embrace. He felt a gentle kiss on his cheek and a sigh blow past his ear. His hand was covered by Chakotay's large, brown one.
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It seemed safe enough for Tom, with his hand being held by the apparently calm XO, to bare his soul and ask, "Chakotay?"
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"Yes?"
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"What do you really want? From me?" Tom lifted his head off Chakotay's muscular shoulder and he stared into those deep brown eyes that verged on pure black in the dim light.
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"What do you have to offer?" It was said quietly, a wealth of meaning in the lack of sarcasm alone.
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Tom decided to go for broke. "I have a whole lot of love to give, believe it or not."
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Chakotay smiled. "Is that *all*?" A squeeze to Tom's nearest ass cheek accompanied this remark.
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"NO!" Tom squirmed away from the older and supposedly wiser man saying angrily, "Shit! I'd hoped you, of all people, would take me seriously, especially after what we've just shared."
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Chakotay felt ashamed and upset with himself for not recognizing the depth of Tom's sincerity. He sat up and reached out, grabbing the younger man by the arm before he could escape. "I do, Tom. Wait. Please?"
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Tom stopped dead in his tracks. Lowering his gaze to the floor, he sighed resignedly and said, "What now?"
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Chakotay rose, never letting go of Tom's arm and stood in front of him. "I apologize for what I said and how I said it. Whether or not you realize it, I'm as nervous about this as you are. I know now that my brand of levity doesn't seem to work with you. In fact, it was uncalled for. I'm sorry."
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"You, nervous? Could have fooled me." Tom rose and tried to push the man aside. It didn't work.
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Instead, he was hauled roughly into the strong arms that had held him earlier, while he was being fucked--no, loved--onto another plane of reality.
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A raspy, genuinely contrite voice said, "I have a lot of love to give too...and I'd like to give it to you."
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Tom fought hard against his instinctual, defensive reaction and lost, asking, "For how long?"
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Chakotay released him enough so that they could look each other in the eye. After a moment's long gaze, he let go entirely and said, "What do you mean?" He was confused. Did Tom expect him to define how long his love would last?
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Wasn't it obvious that when he offered his heart it was for a lifetime?
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Tom backed up half a step and regarded Chakotay solemnly. "I want to know how long you want to be with me. Is this a fling, something to pass the time until you've had enough of my ass or is it maybe just until we reach the Alpha Quadrant? I need to know."
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Chakotay stood silently, thoughts flashing through his mind. Before he could get a word out, Tom went on.
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"You're an excellent fuck but I won't do this again unless I know where you're coming from and it's a place I can live with." Tom moved past his stunned lover and started pacing around the room. "I won't screw around anymore. I want to be taken seriously and I want a lot more from a relationship than sex. I want it all, Chakotay. What do you want?"
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Tom stopped in front of the older man and waited. He didn't know what had possessed him to say all that but he felt relieved that he had. Maybe getting everything out in the open now would save him heartache later on. He still wanted Chakotay, in more ways than one. He saw potential here that he hadn't seen anywhere else, ever. The thing of it was, he didn't know how to do it without wrecking everything with self-sabotage.
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Chakotay stood motionless for a long time, thinking frenetically.
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Tom waited as patiently as he possibly could. This time, he would not rush.
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Chakotay moved around the end of the bed and touched Tom lightly in passing. He then took Tom's hand in his own and led them to stand together, close but not touching in the small, open space near the viewport.
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It was a pivotal moment for them; Chakotay recognized that. He also wondered if all such moments would come to them like this, after making love, when they were both naked and cleansed of lust. This was the time when true thoughts, real worries and honest talk would commence.
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Shields down.
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Tom watched Chakotay kick the towel they'd used to clean themselves under what he already considered Chakotay's side of the bed. Gods, why the hell did he have to think that?
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Feeling very vulnerable and uncertain, he stood next to the man he'd let fuck him. His ass throbbed and his emotions were like the contents of the blender on high speed that was his brain, heart, soul? Hell, he didn't know...all he could do was wait for the plug to be pulled.
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Chakotay stood next to Tom in the dim light and sighed heavily. He was aware of the fact that Tom had changed. What surprised him the most was that the change extended so deeply into his soul. He wanted far more than Chakotay had expected or hoped for.
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Why the hell did he ask *me* out if he was so serious? Why me? The dark, intensely private man was shaken by the fact that when Tom had decided to look for a lifemate, he had to come to him. Of course, he, himself wanted a lot more than just an affair and he'd been willing to give all of himself to Tom in the hopes that there would be more.
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The question now was, could they make it happen?
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He again took Tom's hand in his own and rubbed the back of it against his lips then turned it over and kissed each fingertip.
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Staring out at the stars, he placed Tom's palm over his heart, turned to the half-terrified blond and said, "When I offer my love to someone, I do it for keeps. It hasn't yet worked out for me but I'm willing to try again...with you.
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"This heart can beat just for you, Tom."
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"It can?" The question was asked almost breathlessly.
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"Yes." Chakotay leaned forward and kissed Tom on the lips very gently. "I think I understand what it is you want. I can give it to you, if you will let me."
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Tom whispered, "What do I want?"
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Chakotay kissed him again then backed away and said, "Intimacy, sharing. You want more than a bed partner...and so do I." Another kiss, this time for reassurance. "I will also promise you that if we can make this work, I won't leave you. Not if we get back to the Alpha Quadrant tomorrow or if it takes the rest of our lives. We may not *ever* get back there alive. In any case, I'm willing to go all the way...with you. Live or die."
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Tom was overwhelmed by his emotions. Never had anyone promised him they would be there no matter what happened. He knew they could die at any time or they might live for decades aboard this ship. They might make it home or they might not. It didn't matter, Chakotay said he wouldn't leave him, *if* they could make it work. He knew what the man meant. It wouldn't be easy, for either of them.
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Tom wrapped his arms around Chakotay and let out a deep breath. He rested his forehead against the older man's for a moment or two then kissed Chakotay's eyes, nose, cheeks and finally his lips. "I want to make it work."
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Chakotay hugged Tom tightly. "So do I."
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"How do we begin working on it?" Tom asked in a soft voice.
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Chakotay caressed Tom's face with a finger then gently moved him in the direction of the bed. "First, we sleep together." He nudged Tom into place and curled up next to him, giving him soft kisses and pats and calling for lights out.
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Tom relaxed and enjoyed the attention he was getting. He tried hard to accept that it was for real, that it wasn't just because someone wanted his body or some other favor that was his to bestow. He whispered, "What comes after that?"
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Chakotay gave him a squeeze and murmured, "We exorcise your cabin."
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Tom laughed out loud, he couldn't help it. "You can be such a shit, you know that?"
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Chakotay chuckled and rolled Tom over to face him. Giving his lover a kiss in the dark, he replied, "Mm hmm. But at least now I know that not all my attempts at humor will fall flat."
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Tom sighed and smiled to himself, then kissed Chakotay and settled in for a good night's sleep.
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Chakotay woke up and wondered fleetingly what was different? Ah yes, a welcome warmth was radiating all along his back, his butt and down the length of his legs. Tom. He grinned and closed his eyes again, happily drifting back to sleep knowing that this time it was not a dream.
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Tom slipped out of bed trying not wake Chakotay and wandered into the bathroom. Closing the door, he called for full lights, peed and ran a bath. He peered at himself in the mirror and wondered if he looked any different. Would people be able to tell that he and Chakotay had finally managed to consummate their budding relationship? He didn't count the blowjob that he'd gotten because that was a one-way street and besides, it didn't have nearly the emotional impact of what they'd done last night.
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He dipped a toe into the bath water and adjusted the temperature upward a little then settled himself gingerly on his sore, well-fucked butt. It was worth it, he thought. He was just out of practice, that's all. And if he was any judge of men, he'd bet all his rations that he'd be on the receiving end more often than not so he'd better get used to it. Oddly, this train of thought didn't bother him at all. Chakotay was a good lover. He had expected it to hurt more than it had considering the dimensions of Chakotay's cock.
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Mentally reliving their activities of the last evening, Tom smiled. He wouldn't mind playing bottom to Chakotay's top, not at all; especially if he got great blowjobs as compensation. At the very least it would be as different from being with B'Elanna as you could get. Being gently penetrated, no sharp teeth anywhere near him and no claw marks either. It was sounding better and better, besides Chakotay was a calm sleeper. He hadn't been kicked once, all night long.
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He sighed, why didn't I do this years ago?
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Picking up a cloth, he began to wash.
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Chakotay rolled over, expecting to find a nice, warm body to cuddle and came up with empty air. He panicked and called for lights. Where was Tom? Why wasn't he here? Hadn't Tom believed him when he'd said he wanted to wake up with him? Damn. What had he done wrong? Had he been too rough last night? What?
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As the doubts and fears set in and grew, he looked over at the pillow next to his and spotted a golden hair on it. Proof positive that it had been no vivid dream.
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Chakotay sat up and noticed the door to the bathroom was shut. He leaped out of bed and opened it so quickly he almost fell forward into the room itself.
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Relief kicked in sharply when he spied Tom in the bathtub and he tried hard to act nonchalant but he had a feeling he wouldn't fool Tom for a minute. "Sorry about the abrupt entrance. I need the head. Do you mind?"
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Tom smiled and shook his head. Was Chakotay always this rattled in the morning? He watched as the older man stood in front of the toilet and admired his ass. It was the most beautiful ass he'd ever seen. His eyes roved over the rest of the man's body and he thought it looked pretty damned good too. Maybe tonight he'd get a chance to go exploring.
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Chakotay finished his business and turned to Tom. "Good morning." He bent down and kissed his new lover.
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"Good morning to you, too. Care to join me? I'll wash your back if you wash mine."
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Chakotay's heart had calmed and his expression softened. "Deal." He climbed into the tub, sitting between Tom's legs and let the warmth of the water and the feel of Tom's hands soothe his remaining fears.
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After several moments, Tom wrapped his arms around Chakotay and asked, "Why did you come in here looking like the Borg were chasing you?"
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"Because I needed to pee or die?" Chakotay bluffed.
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"I don't buy that. What's the real reason?" Tom murmured as he kissed the back of his neck.
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Chakotay decided to be honest; it was the only way they could continue building on what might be a shaky foundation. "I was afraid you'd left me and gone home."
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"Why would that upset you?" Tom inquired with all sincerity.
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Chakotay shook his head and wondered if they could ever bridge the gap in their levels of comprehension. "Two reasons: First, I told you that I wanted to wake up with you beside me. I meant that but when I did you weren't there. Second, I don't like feeling used so will you please wake me and tell me where you're going before leaving me alone?"
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"OK, whatever you want," Tom answered without taking time to think it through.
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"Good. I don't like nasty surprises and when I expect to find you and you're not there, I worry." Chakotay still felt a little tense. What if Tom didn't understand? Hadn't he ever been used like that? Fucked and left to sleep alone? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps he was the one who did the fucking and leaving.
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Before Chakotay could get into those thoughts more deeply, he was commed by the Captain.
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"Janeway to Chakotay."
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Chakotay turned into the First Officer instantly and pressed a touch-pad on the water-proof console embedded in the edge of the bathtub. "Chakotay here. What can I do for you, Captain?" He felt Tom tense behind him but concentrated on what the Captain was saying.
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"I need you to come to the bridge early. How soon can you get here?"
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He sighed heavily wishing she hadn't interrupted them. "Ten minutes. Will that do?"
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"I gather you're in the bathtub by the echo of your voice. Are you alone?"
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"No."
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"I see," she snapped. "In that case, I'll be generous and give you fifteen minutes. Janeway out." Her angry voice reverberated around the steamy room and Chakotay wondered what he'd done this time to make her angry. It seemed that it was happening more and more often lately.
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He stood and helped Tom to his feet then they rinsed off in the shower.
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Tom stood aside and dried his hair as he watched Chakotay hopping around the bedroom, pulling his uniform on and wondered if it would always be like this: his lover jumping through Janeway's hoops. He sincerely hoped not. He didn't like this kind of shit at all.
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OK, she was the Captain but still, did she have to lay into Chakotay the way she did when they were in the bath?
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What was her problem anyway? It's not like they were on duty at the time. She probably just needed to get laid. Maybe that was it, she's pissed that he's getting some and she's not. Well, that wasn't their fault.
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Chakotay got dressed, apologized for leaving before they could have breakfast together then kissed him and rushed out the door.
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Tom checked the time and found he had plenty of leeway before he had to go to Sickbay. He dressed and stuck his badge on his shirt before going back to his 'haunted' quarters to change into uniform.
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On the way, he mused that it might be a good idea to keep spare uniforms in each other's cabins. It would save time if either of them were called to the bridge or anywhere else. That thought segued into what they'd been doing when the Captain interrupted. Chakotay had said something about feeling used. What the fuck did he mean? Shit, was the guy going to get all controlling and weird on him? It looked like they'd be having a chat tonight, like it or not.
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Chakotay sat on the bridge and went over status reports. The Captain was not there. She'd curtly handed the bridge over to him and left. He wondered why her behavior had been erratic lately. Mood swings and unreasonable bitchiness abounded. Well, he'd keep an eye on her and see if he could figure it out.
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To his surprise, Tom walked onto the bridge and over to him. "Hi," he stated flatly.
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"What are you doing here? I thought you were supposed to spend this morning in Sickbay."
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"I was." Tom lowered his voice and continued, "In fact, I started to inventory the supplies and then the Captain came in and shut herself in the office with the Doctor. When they came out, she was as red as a tomato and breaking a sweat. She stared at me then the Doctor told me to go somewhere else. So here I am. I thought you could use a heads up."
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"Thanks. Do me a favor though and don't mention it to anyone else."
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"Not a problem. My lips are sealed. So is there anything I can do up here or should I make myself scarce?"
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Chakotay thought about it for a moment. "Why don't you take the bridge while I go get something to eat. I didn't have a chance to get breakfast this morning. After that you'll be free until lunch."
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"OK." Tom settled into place. "Stay away from the yellow stuff if there's any left."
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"I'll do that. Thanks for the tip."
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The mess hall was almost deserted. Chakotay examined the left-overs from breakfast and grabbed some kind of roll and a cup of tea. It would do. He sat near a window and looked out at the stars. The information Tom had given him coupled with his own observations of the last few weeks came together in his mind. Could it be possible that Kathryn was going through menopause?
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She was still young, in her forties but it wasn't unheard of for it to happen. As he sat thinking, she entered the room and grabbed a cup of coffee.
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She sat down abruptly, startling him and barked, "Who has the bridge?"
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"Tom does. I needed to get a bite to eat," he said cautiously, not wanting to provoke her into showing her temper.
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She relaxed a bit. "That's fine. I need to talk to you and this is as good a place as any." She sighed and sipped her coffee.
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"Is there a problem?"
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"You could call it that, I suppose. It's personal. Before I get into details I'd like to apologize for snapping at you and also for being so nosy this morning. It's a symptom of sorts. I know that's no excuse but still...."
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"Are you ill?" Chakotay began to think he might be right. He took a bite of his roll and waited for her to explain.
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"This is embarrassing though I don't know why it should be. But it does affect me and so you need to know...I'm going through a very early change of life."
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"I see. Is there anything the Doctor can do to help you get through it?"
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"Yes, there are certain things I can take to help me handle the physical effects but there isn't much anyone can do about the emotional ones. All I can ask is that you be patient with me and try to curb my out of place reactions. I don't know when I'm doing it so it would be a big help to have a second opinion, so to speak."
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"All right. I'll make sure you don't order us to destroy some peaceful planet when you're having a bad day. Will that do?" Chakotay smiled.
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Janeway grinned back at him. "Yes. Thank you. That will do very nicely."
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Chakotay said teasingly, "You know, you should inform the senior staff of this before they catch you having a hot flash on the bridge and panic thinking it's an alien attack."
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She snorted. "You're right. I'll tell them at the next staff meeting. And now, I'm retiring to my quarters."
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Chakotay nodded, his mouth full. After she left, he finished his tiny breakfast and returned to the bridge, letting Tom go take advantage of his unexpected break from duty.
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Tom spent the rest of the day wondering what the evening would bring. He'd been surprised at how long it had taken Chakotay to get breakfast and when he'd called him on it, all he got was a whispered, "Tell you later."
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Lunch was spent with Harry.
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"It's good to see you out and about, Tom."
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"It's good to *be* out and about. What's new with you? Any good gossip I should know?" Tom asked as he piled oddly-shaped food items on his plate. Taking his cue from the others in the mess hall, he decided to play it safe and go with stuff everyone had already taste-tested.
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Harry followed him to a table and as they dug in, said, "Well, people are wondering why the Captain is being so snippy lately. Most think she's bored. Not enough happening to keep her challenged. What do you think?" Harry took a huge bite of something magenta and chewed slowly.
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"I don't know. All I can say is that she sure was a bitch this morning when we were in the bathtub." Tom grabbed his huge glass of watered-down juice and so missed Harry's pained look.
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"Tom! You took a bath with Chakotay?" The Ensign's incredulous voice carried throughout the room.
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Tom flushed and replied evenly, "Yes. That means I spent the night in his quarters, Harry. I wish that you wouldn't announce these things to the entire crew. We would appreciate *some* privacy."
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Harry blushed. "Sorry. I'm just not used to this yet."
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"Used to what?" Tom asked, his exasperation starting to show.
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"To you and the Commander seeing each other," Harry mumbled, staring at the multitude of colors on his plate.
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Tom let out a huge, half-pissed off sigh. "Well, you'd better get used to it fast because I have no intention of stopping. We also do a whole lot more than 'see' each other. I wish I knew why it bugs you so much."
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"Please, Tom, spare me the details. I don't want to know any more than I already do. OK?"
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"Fine. Just keep your mouth shut when I say something by mistake. I don't want to offend your sensibilities." With that, Tom rose and took his tray away, dumping it quickly and leaving for the bridge where he knew at least one person would be happy to hear him talk about last night and this morning.
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Chakotay spent the afternoon watching Tom twitch at the helm. What was the matter with him?
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When their duty shift was over and he'd been relieved by Tuvok, he waited for Tom to hand over the conn to his replacement. Hoping to see a smile on his lover's face, he was sadly disappointed when both Tom and Harry entered the turbolift with him and frowned at each other.
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Tom, being who he was, didn't care that he was playing with fire and turned to Chakotay, surprising him with a big kiss. He wanted to smack some sense into Harry, make him see that this was OK; this was what he wanted.
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Chakotay didn't know what was going on but felt the tension pouring off the Ensign almost tangibly. He pushed Tom away gently but firmly, and said, "Don't. Not here."
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Kim was staring at the doors as if hoping they would open and let him out anywhere, even into a Jeffries tube, anything to get away from these two. He just couldn't handle it. It was wrong....
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Tom was pissed off big time while Chakotay was confused. What was going on?
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Chakotay was nearly dragged out of the turbolift and hauled along the corridor to Tom's quarters where once inside he was pushed roughly against the wall and kissed within an inch of his life.
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Pulling back, Tom stated harshly, "Don't tell me I can't kiss you in public when we're off duty. If you're ashamed of being with me, tell me right now." He knew he was overreacting and taking his anger out at Harry on Chakotay but he didn't care. He needed to do this.
*
Chakotay captured Tom's face with his hands and replied, "I'm not ashamed of being with you. I don't understand what brought this on but I'll do whatever you want to prove that I meant what I said." He kissed Tom and held him tightly. Other news and issues would have to wait.
*
Tom relaxed infinitesimally against the older man's chest and said, "I feel like I want you to fuck me in front of everybody just so they know we're for real." He sighed and gripped Chakotay around the waist.
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"Do you really want me to do that?" Chakotay asked softly as he stroked Tom's hair and rubbed his back. He was horrified at the concept and hoped that Tom didn't have an exhibitionistic streak that he wasn't aware of.
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"No, of course not. I don't know what I want right now," Tom admitted.
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Vastly relieved, Chakotay kissed him and absently patted him on the butt then said, "Well, I'm hungry. How about we have something eat and decide later what it is you want to do?"
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"Don't patronize me," Tom rapped out.
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"I'm not!" Chakotay was affronted.
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Tom looked into the dark, never-ending depths of Chakotay's eyes and said, "OK. I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. I'm just a little pissed off right now and I don't feel like dealing with people."
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Chakotay gritted his teeth and responded, "Does that include me?"
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"Yes--no...I don't know." Tom was floundering, his anger at Harry coming to the forefront of his mind. Harry was supposed to be a known quantity, someone he could count on but he wasn't anymore and Chakotay, the stable enigma, was proving to be something stronger than he felt able to contend with.
*
Chakotay sighed, deliberately tried to relax and kissed Tom on the mouth. "When you figure it out, let me know. I'm going to get dinner--you know where to find me."
*
He left Tom standing there, fists forming and hoped to hell Tom and Harry would make peace soon.
*

END OF PART 5

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Undaunted, Part 6