aodcp3
As One Door Closes
Part Three



The next morning started much the same as the previous one.

Tom came to, feeling well rested and laying on Chakotay's chest.

'God,' he thought. 'I could get used to this!'

He had a vague recollection of being put to bed the night before, but he clearly remembered the kiss he'd been given. He looked up at Chakotay's face and surmised that he hadn't woken yet. Tom smiled to himself as he carefully moved up and laid a gentle kiss on the other man's cheek.

Chakotay's eyes opened almost immediately and he gave Tom a puzzled half-smile. "What was that for?" he asked softly.

Tom smiled and settled back down. "Just returning a favour."

Chakotay tightened his hold on Tom slightly, and sighed. "Thanks," he said quietly. "It's been a long time since anyone's kissed me."

Chakotay's voice was tinged with sadness and Tom felt his heartstrings being tugged. He looked back up. Chakotay's eyes were closed, but Tom could tell they were moist. "I didn't mean to upset you," he whispered.

Chakotay smiled, but kept his eyes shut. "You didn't, really. I just get a bit soppy sometimes. It comes with old age, I think."

Tom wasn't sure what to say to that, so he stayed quiet and snuggled in closer. He lay there, thinking, then unconsciously began shaking his head and sighing.

"What's the matter, Tom?" Chakotay asked, his voice full of concern.

"Nothing. Why?"

"You keep sighing and shaking your head. I thought you were upset."

"Oh," Tom snorted. "I was just thinking about how much I'm gonna miss mornings like this when I get my own quarters. I really love a good cuddle, and you're an excellent cuddler!" He laughed. "So now who's being soppy. It must be contagious!"

Chakotay smiled broadly. "What a pair we are, huh?"

"Yeah," Tom agreed  "B'Elanna hated snuggling, you know. It was hard to get her to stay still for long. But me, I could do this for hours. And, do you know something, Chakotay? You're the only person I've come across, apart from me of course, who could snuggle for Starfleet!"

Chakotay laughed. "I'm not sure that Starfleet would want a Maquis Captain 'snuggling' for them."

"Well, it would be their loss!" Tom stated emphatically.

They were interrupted by the door chime.

Chakotay grabbed his robe and slipped it on, calling "Enter" as he went into the living area.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Chakotay," Janeway said as the door closed behind her "I thought you would have been up hours ago. I didn't mean to disturb you."

"That's okay, Kathryn. What time is it, though?"

"Just after 1100 hrs. Did you have a late night?" she asked, looking amused.

"I've no idea, actually. I didn't check the time before we went to bed. It couldn't have been too late, though." Chakotay gestured for Janeway to take a seat at the table. "Coffee?" he asked, smiling, and already knowing what the answer would be.

"Of course!" she smiled back.

"Hey, Tom!" Chakotay called out as he walked across to the replicator.

"What?" came a muffled voice from the bedroom.

"Do you want coffee?"

"Only if it comes with cake," Tom called back cheekily.

"Okay, if that's what you really want for breakfast," Chakotay replied. "But you've got to eat it out here. I don't want crumbs in the bed."

Chakotay placed the orders, then ferried everything across to the table.

"I'm just going to find something a little more appropriate to wear in front of my Captain," he said, addressing Janeway. "I'll be back in a minute."

He returned shortly, having donned his shirt and pants, followed closely by Tom, who was similarly attired.

"Good morning, Tom," Janeway greeted him. "Did you enjoy your sleep-in?"

"Yes, I did, Captain," Tom grinned. "The Commander is a very restful presence."

"Glad to know I'm useful," Chakotay remarked with good humour. He turned his attention to Janeway, who sat with an amused expression on her face. "What can we do for you, Kathryn? Is this a social visit or business?"

"A little of both, actually. I wanted to see how Tom was, but I also wanted to ask you about the revised duty roster. I noticed that you've assigned Ensign Kim to another shift and I wondered why?"

The pieces suddenly fell into place for Janeway as she noticed Tom's reaction to her question. His face had paled and he was sending pleading looks in Chakotay's direction.

Chakotay picked up on Tom's distress and realised that he hadn't told the Captain everything. "I thought some of the more junior staff should get another chance to work with the senior officers," he started. "I spoke to Ensign Kim the other day and advised him of the possible change. He didn't seem to have any objections."

"Oh, I didn't know that you'd spoken to him. Well, if he doesn't object, then neither do I," Janeway answered, trying to keep her voice neutral. "Well, that's the business part out of the way, then," she smiled. "And I can see that Tom's all right. All that's left for me to do now is finish my coffee." She picked up her cup and drained it. "Thank you for your time, gentlemen. I'll let you get back to your day off now."

Janeway left, her mind going over what she had just discovered. And also the interaction she had witnessed between the two men. She thought that they'd seemed pretty relaxed with each other.

As the door closed behind the Captain, Chakotay looked across at Tom. He seemed resigned.

"Thanks for the effort, Chakotay, but she's guessed about Harry, hasn't she?"

"Yes, I think she has," he replied honestly. "There's not much that gets past her, you know."

"Yeah, I've noticed," Tom snorted. "Still, I don't think she'll bring it up, do you? I mean, that's the only reason I didn't tell her. It would've been one more thing to discuss and I wasn't in the mood for it. I know it'll be common knowledge eventually, but I don't want to talk about it with anyone else just yet."

"Ah, I wondered," Chakotay commented.

Tom smiled. "That's one of the things I like about you, Chakotay," he announced. "You never pry."

"And, I'm an excellent cuddler!" he stated, smugly.

Tom laughed. "The best," he agreed.

Chakotay grinned and cleared the empty cups away. "Do you want to go and pick a cabin?" he asked.

"No," Tom said. "But I suppose I'd better. Then I can get the rest of my stuff today while B'Elanna's on duty."

"Okay," Chakotay nodded. "Is this something you want to do on your own? Or do you want me to help?"

"You've helped me so much already, I feel bad asking you to do anything else," Tom answered guiltily.

"You're not asking me, Tom, I'm offering. Do you want help? Yes or no."

"Yes, Chakotay, I'd like your help."

"Then, you've got it."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An hour later, the two men finished inspecting the available quarters.

"Any of those take your fancy, Tom?" Chakotay asked.

"No, not really. But perhaps there's a doll's house I haven't seen yet!"

Chakotay snorted. "They were a bit on the small side, weren't they?"

"Small?! Anyone would think that Voyager was staffed by midgets!" Tom huffed.

Chakotay grinned. "Why don't we forget about size for the moment. After all, it's not how big it is, it's what you do with it that counts."

Tom shook his head and laughed. "So, what do you suggest I do with it, then?"

"Just use it part time," Chakotay said seriously.

"How do you mean?"

"Well," he explained. "Pick the most convenient cabin location-wise and store your stuff there. But, if you want company anytime, come and stay with me."

Tom could tell that Chakotay's offer was genuine. "That's a good deal for me, but what about you? What would you get out of it?"

"Your company, Tom. That's enough for me," Chakotay replied sincerely. "I've enjoyed having you about. I wish the circumstances had been different, that things had worked out better for you, but I'm glad you've been around the last couple of days."

"So am I, actually," Tom said quietly.

"The only thing you have to decide yet, though, is which cabin you want," Chakotay advised.

"I think I'll do what you suggested and go by location."

"So, the one nearest the lift?"

"Yeah," Tom answered, unenthusiastically. "Shall we get my things now?"

Chakotay nodded. "Is there much to collect?" he asked.

"No, not a lot. Just some clothes, vids and a few other odds and ends. B'Elanna can keep the wedding presents, I don't need any reminders."

"Right then, let's go. The sooner we start, the sooner we'll be finished."

"Yes, Sir!" Tom grinned, saluting.

"That's one of the things I like about you, you know," Chakotay said, smiling warmly at Tom.

Tom looked puzzled. "What?"

"You change moods faster than anyone else I know. It keeps me on my toes."

"You must be the only person in the universe who appreciates *that* part of my personality," Tom said, amazement in his voice.

They smiled broadly at each other, then set off to collect Tom's belongings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It didn't take too long, a couple of trips and they had everything.

"Do you want to put it away now, or what?" Chakotay asked as he placed the box of vids on the table.

"I'll leave it for now. I think I need to eat. What time is it?"

"Almost 1400 hours. Shall we stop by the Mess hall and see what's on offer?"

"Yeah. Although, a lot of people are gonna know about the divorce now. I hope they keep their opinions to themselves, because I'd just like a quiet meal."

"I'm sure you'll be okay. Besides, you've got a guard dog," Chakotay grinned. "People tend to be wary of me for some reason. I don't know why."

Tom laughed. "You can be pretty intimidating when you want, that's why. And you *do* know it!"

"Yes, I suppose I do," Chakotay agreed, smiling. "Food?"

"Yep. Come on."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When they got to the Mess hall, they made their way to the food counter. There weren't too many people about, but Tom got the distinct impression that those that *were* there had their curiosity centred on him. He tried to ignore it while he picked out the most edible looking items. Chakotay decided to play safe and filled his own plate with fruit.

As they walked to their table, Tom picked out a few muttered phrases from the people around them. Things mostly along the lines of 'What about the baby?' and 'Shouldn't have got married in the first place.' By the time he sat down, he was beginning to feel depressed. Chakotay looked at him, appraisingly.

"What's wrong, Tom?"

Tom shrugged. "They're already talking about it."

"Try not to let them get to you. Just remember that *you* know the truth. That's all that matters, Tom. Okay?" Chakotay insisted, gently.

"I'll try and remember. Thanks," Tom said, sighing. He took a deep breath, then started on his meal. By the time they had finished eating, Chakotay and Tom were the only ones left in the room. Tom looked pensive

"What's on your mind?" Chakotay asked him.

"I was thinking about one of the things I overheard earlier. Someone said that B'Elanna and I shouldn't have got married in the first place. I was just wondering if they were right." He gazed at Chakotay a moment. "What do you think, Chakotay? Do you think we should have married?"

Chakotay sighed and glanced down at the table. "Do you really want my honest opinion, Tom?" he asked, shifting his gaze back to Tom's face.

"Yes. I do," Tom replied with certainty.

"Okay, then here it is. I can see why you were attracted to each other, after all you're both highly intelligent and good-looking individuals, and I can understand why you would both want to be married. But I think it was a mistake to marry each other. You're too alike, and I believe that both of you need partners that are a little stronger and more dominant than either of you are."

"Why would being alike be a bad thing?" Tom asked, confused. "Surely it helps to have things in common?"

"It can help, yes. But, in this case, it was more of a hindrance."

"How so?"

Chakotay sat back in his chair and gathered his thoughts. "Look, Tom, I've known B'Elanna a long time. I know all the problems she's ever had. She's had a pretty tough life. And, with respect to you, I don't think there's anyone on this ship who knows her as well as I do. Please don't take offence."

"None taken."

"Good. What I'm trying to say is, she's had a lot of problems but she doesn't often handle them well. She tries to bury them, instead of confronting them rationally and getting them sorted out. What happens then, is that the problems boil over, and she finds it even harder to cope. That's when she needs someone stronger than her to step in and help."

"You're not just describing B'Elanna here, are you? That's how I've often dealt with problems," Tom realised. "And that's what you meant about us being too alike, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is. You've both had difficult lives, and I think you both need someone to offset that."

Tom sat quietly for a while. "I think you're right," he said. "I'd never thought about it before, but I think that's one of the reasons we used to argue so often. One of us would have a problem that we wouldn't talk about, then the other would get angry and neither of us was in control."

Chakotay nodded.

"So," Tom said, looking at Chakotay. "Who do you think would be a suitable man for B'Elanna? Harry?"

"I think Harry would have his work cut out for him there, even though he'll probably give it a go."

"Yeah, he will try," Tom agreed. "So, who, then? Is there anyone on Voyager that could handle her?"

Chakotay thought. "Honestly," he said a moment later. "I think there are only two men who could meet the challenge. But one of them isn't interested in women," he added with a smile.

"You, you mean."

Tom grinned and Chakotay nodded.

"So, who's the other man?"

"Tuvok."

"Tuvok!" Tom exclaimed.

"Yes, Tuvok. He's both physically and mentally stronger than B'Elanna. He'd be a steadying influence on her."

Tom considered this. "I think you're probably right. Again," he said wonderingly. "So, what about me? Where am I going to find a strong, dominant woman? Although, to be honest, that's what I thought I had with B'Elanna."

"She is strong and dominant, but not in the right way for you."

"Okay, Mr. Matchmaker, who do you suggest?"

"Well, I can think of a couple of women who might be suitable," Chakotay said, grinning.

"Let's have their names, then!" Tom demanded with a smile.

"Well, there's the Captain, for one."

Tom snorted. "Captain Janeway? Yeah, I could see how *she'd* be interested in me."

"She's a strong-minded woman, she'd be able to handle you. Although," Chakotay mused. "She might not be quite what you'd need in some areas."

"What areas are those?" Tom asked, intrigued.

Chakotay chuckled. "All I'll say is, you're a lot younger than she is. Use your imagination."

Tom laughed. "So, who else?"

"Seven."

"Mmm," Tom considered. "That might be interesting. I mean, she's stunning to look at and she's incredibly intelligent. There's just one problem, I can't see her wanting me to cuddle her for hours in her alcove. And I definitely want a cuddler next time!"

"I'm sure there are plenty of people who would love to cuddle you, Tom, but in terms of finding someone for a serious relationship, then I'm afraid you're as limited as the rest of us," Chakotay commented. "Some of us being more limited than others," he added wryly.

"Are there many gay men on the ship, Chakotay?" Tom asked with honest interest.

"I know of a few. None of them are my type, though, if that's what you were wondering."

"What is your type, then? If you don't mind me asking, that is?"

"I don't mind you asking," Chakotay replied. "My type? Well, I suppose I would have to say that I'm initially attracted by looks, the same as most people are. Although, I don't have any set idea about appearance. I don't favour one hair colour over another, for instance.

"Personality wise, I like a partner to be fun, interesting, someone with spirit. A challenge, I suppose. Someone I can respect and who will respect me. Not a pushover, but someone a little less dominant than I am. I do like to get my own way most of the time," Chakotay grinned.

"I hadn't noticed!" Tom laughed. "So, none of those guys meet your criteria?"

"No, they're mostly too submissive. No challenge."

"What about the man you said you were attracted to?" Tom asked.

Chakotay snorted. "If he wasn't straight, he'd be perfect," he answered wistfully, dropping his gaze to the table.

"He'd be relationship material if he was gay?" Tom pushed further.

"Definitely! He'd be a keeper."

Tom shifted in his chair and looked across at Chakotay. "This is a first for me, you know," he said. "I've only ever discussed the merits of women before, with my friends."

Chakotay laughed. "And I've never discussed a potential boyfriend's requirements with a straight guy before."

They smiled broadly at each other before a clatter from the other side of the room made them look round. Neelix was retrieving a fallen plate from the floor.

"How long have we been in here?" Tom asked, noticing for the first time that, apart from the Talaxian, they were alone.

"I don't know. But, I'd guess from the way that Neelix is hovering around over there, that he'd like to shut up shop for a while," Chakotay replied.

They cleared their table, then apologised to Neelix and left the mess-hall, chatting amiably as they strolled along the corridor.

"I think I'll go and sort my stuff out now," Tom said as they stopped near the turbolift. "I'll have the whole of tomorrow free, then. Perhaps we'd be able to run your canoeing program again? If you'd like to, that is."

"I was thinking something similar, myself," Chakotay replied. "I'll go and check in with the Captain and get rid of any outstanding work."

"Okay. Do you want to meet up after, or are you sick of my company yet?" Tom half joked.

"No, Tom, I'm not sick of your company. Come back to my quarters when you've finished. The door's still programmed to open automatically for you, so you'll have access if you're there before me."

"All right. Perhaps we can laze around and play cards or something. Save our energy for canoeing, tomorrow."

"Sounds good to me," Chakotay agreed, smiling. "I'll see you later, then."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chakotay found the Captain in her ready room.

"Enter," she called in reply to the chime.

Chakotay did so, and smiled at seeing her sitting at her padd-strewn desk.

"Commander. You're a sight for sore eyes. Fancy a little work?" she asked, waving her hand over her desk.

"Actually, Captain, that's exactly why I'm here," Chakotay answered.

"There is a God!" she said, looking heavenward.

Chakotay chuckled. "What would you like me to take off your hands?"

"All of it!" she said emphatically. "Don't worry, Chakotay, I'm only kidding. If you could sort out these three reports here, I'd be really grateful. They should only take about two hours, but it's time I just don't have."

"Okay," he said, picking them up. "I'll work on them in my office."

"How's Tom?" Janeway asked. "I've been thinking about him since the divorce notice was posted this morning. Is he all right?"

"Yes, Kathryn, he is. He's holding up remarkably well. We've had a few chats and I think he'll be okay. There were a few remarks made in the Mess hall earlier, but he handled it," Chakotay assured her.

"You've been a big help to him, Chakotay," Janeway said, looking directly at her First Officer. "And, I know he appreciates it."

Chakotay smiled at her. "I'm glad I could help. He's busy sorting out his new quarters at the moment," he informed her.

"Ah, so you'll be losing your roommate, then," Janeway said, sitting back in her chair.

"Probably when we go back on duty, yes," Chakotay confirmed.

"Oh," Janeway was surprised. "He's not going today, then?"

"No. He still wants company at the moment, and I'm quite happy to have him stay with me until he wants to go it alone. He's going to use his new cabin for storage, until then."

"He's lucky to have a friend like you," Janeway said sincerely.

"Thank you, Kathryn." Chakotay smiled at her. "I'd better get started on these reports. We've got a card game lined up for later and I'd like to get back for it."

"Thanks for your help, Chakotay. Just leave the finished reports on your desk and I'll collect them from there later. And have a good evening," she said as he made his way out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tom, meanwhile, was standing in the middle of his new quarters, or 'Lilliput' as he'd decided to name it in deference to it's size. Or lack thereof.

He'd put his clothes away and was now trying to decide where the vids should go. They could go on one of two shelves or in the single cupboard. Decisions, decisions! He put them in the cupboard.

He looked around, then sank into the only easy chair and sighed. There was no viewport, not enough room and he had no neighbours.

'Not too dissimilar from a prison cell,' he thought, 'And, *I'm* the innocent party! Not very fair, really.'

He sat there pondering his lot, then smiled as he remembered the earlier discussion he'd had with Chakotay, about boyfriends.

Chakotay. He'd surprised Tom a lot over the last couple of days, and not just with his revelation, and then candidness, about his sexual preferences. Tom sat and thought more about Chakotay.

'He's a good-looking man,' Tom thought, 'And caring, considerate, very insightful and fun to be with. Not to mention his cuddling abilities! He's got a very soft underbelly,' Tom decided, recalling the emotion he'd caused in the big man when he'd kissed Chakotay's cheek.

Tom sighed, considering how lonely Chakotay must get sometimes. How awful, knowing you were probably going to spend the rest of the journey alone.

'And,' he thought, 'I'm more certain than ever that it's me he's attracted to. Am I a 'keeper'? B'Elanna obviously didn't think so. What about the attributes Chakotay listed for a partner? Interesting, fun, spirited, a challenge. Well, I'm definitely challenging.'

Tom snorted and smiled, then decided to return to Chakotay's quarters.

He arrived back twenty minutes before Chakotay walked in, smiling warmly, a bottle in hand. "Hi," he greeted Tom. "Get it all done?"

"Yep, all done," Tom answered. "What've you got there?" he asked, pointing at the bottle.

"Something you have to keep quiet about," Chakotay grinned.

"Illicit?" Tom asked, shocked.

"Let's just say, I have a friend in the business," he replied with a wink.

Tom laughed. "You're a real revelation. If people knew what you were really like, they'd be stunned. And Janeway would have a fit!"

Chakotay smiled broadly and put the bottle on the table. "Are you hungry?"

"Why?" Tom grinned. "You got a friend that supplies real food as well?"

"I wish!" Chakotay stated with feeling.

They smiled at each other.

"Actually," Tom said. "I'm not overly hungry, but I wouldn't mind a few snacks to go with the booze."

"That's what I was thinking," Chakotay agreed. "Why don't you get the food sorted out, while I find the cards."

"By the way," Tom called from near the replicator. "Do you want me to book holodeck time for tomorrow?"

"I've already done it," Chakotay replied, rummaging through his desk drawer. "There was a three hour slot from 1400 hours, so I claimed it. I didn't check with you because it was either that, or nothing."

"That's okay, I'd have done the same."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few hours, a lot of card games and one bottle of strong hooch later, Chakotay and Tom sat side by side on the couch, grinning like idiots over one of Tom's 'jokes'.

"You're good company, Tom, you know that?" Chakotay asked, trying hard to focus on Tom's face. "I like having you here," he continued, laying his hand on the other man's shoulder.

"Thank you, Chakth, Chakty, Cha! I like being here."

Chakotay grinned and moved to take a closer look at Tom's face. "You're not drunk, are you?"

"No, of course not!" Tom stated indignantly. "Your name's too long is all. So, I'm gonna call you Cha, for short."

"Okay, I like that."

"You like everything, Cha," Tom told him.

"I like you," Chakotay said quietly. "I like you a lot." He sighed and leaned his head against the back of the couch.

Tom watched as Chakotay sighed again, then rubbed a hand across his eyes. "Come on, Cha, you're tired. You need to go to bed."

Tom stood, then bent to take Chakotay's hands and pulled him to his feet. Chakotay followed Tom into the bedroom and they both sat heavily on the end of the bed. They both struggled to remove their clothes, then clambered naked under the covers, both having forgotten sleep wear.

Chakotay lay on his back and Tom snuggled up to him, Chakotay's arms wrapping themselves around the pilot and pulling him closer to the big man's warm body.

'This feels really nice,' Tom thought, as he looked up into Chakotay's eyes and smiled.

Chakotay smiled back, then closed his eyes. "Goodnight, Tom," he said softly.

"You can't go to sleep yet," Tom told him, equally as softly. "You haven't given me my good night kiss."

Chakotay opened his eyes and gazed for a long moment into Tom's. He moved then, and placed a gentle kiss on Tom's lips, looking again into Tom's eyes before he lay back down, sighing.

Tom reached up and ran his hand over the older man's cheek. "I want to give you a good night kiss now," he said.

He moved, reaching his hand around the back of Chakotay's head, then pulled him in until their lips met. It felt good, and Tom lingered on Chakotay's mouth.

His tongue decided on it's own course of action, licking lightly until Chakotay groaned and opened his mouth. The kiss deepened as Tom's tongue went exploring.

Tom found his hand weaving it's way through Chakotay's soft hair as the other man's hands caressed his back. As the kiss stretched on, Tom found himself becoming more and more aroused. After several more minutes had passed, they eventually pulled apart, both panting slightly.

"Wow, Tom!" Chakotay managed to say. "That was one hell of a good night kiss."

Tom lay smiling, stunned at how wonderful he felt. "Yeah," he answered. "And another first for me." He shifted slightly and became aware of just how aroused he was as his erection brushed against Chakotay's hip. He looked up at his C.O.

Chakotay licked his lips and gazed steadily at Tom. "Would it be all right if I took care of that for you?" he asked, running his hand lightly down Tom's side.

Tom nodded and closed his eyes. "Please," he said shakily, his breathing shallow.

He felt the big man's hand slide up to his chest and then he was pushed to lay flat on his back. Chakotay urged Tom's legs apart, kneeling down between them as he gently began to caress Tom's thighs and hips.

Hands edged closer and closer to the place where all of Tom's thoughts were currently centred.

"Oh God!" Tom moaned as strong fingers found their target and began to stroke him firmly, over and over.

Suddenly, the hand disappeared and Tom groaned his dismay at the loss. A second later, he was moaning in pleasure again as warmth and moisture enveloped him. A tongue was licking languidly, teeth scraping gently and a mouth sucking him expertly.

Fingers were exploring elsewhere, stroking and fondling him until he couldn't think, only feel. "Oh God, Cha!" he gasped as the suction increased. He pushed his hips up and forced himself further into Chakotay's mouth.

Strong hands grabbed him, holding him still as the older man worked his magic. Tom could feel his remaining control starting to slip away. He lifted his head from the pillow and gazed down his body to see himself being sucked by the First Officer.

It was too much and he cried out loudly as he came, his eyes still riveted on the sight of Chakotay as the older man sucked him dry.

He lay back then, panting heavily, as Chakotay moved over him kissing his neck, his cheeks, his chin and finally his mouth. The big man's erection rubbed steadily against his stomach, their combined sweat slicking its course as he was kissed passionately.

Tom ran his hands down Chakotay's back and gripped his cheeks, pulling him close and increasing the friction. Chakotay groaned, then quickened his movements. "Tom," he gasped as he began to pant, then louder as he shuddered violently and came on the pilot's stomach, the warm stickiness sandwiched between them.

They lay, holding each other close, breathing hard in the darkness, before Chakotay lifted his head and looked down into Tom's still-flushed face. "I'm sorry," he said. "I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have done that, I wasn't thinking. I'm so sorry, Tom."

He started to pull away but Tom held him fast. "Cha, it's okay. Don't be sorry. I'm not. That was an amazing experience."

"I took advantage of you, Tom. You'd had too much to drink," Chakotay said, guiltily.

"Cha, please. Listen. You didn't take advantage. I was well aware of what was happening and I could have stopped you if I'd wanted to. But I didn't want to stop. I meant it when I said that was amazing. It was. I can't remember the last time I was that turned on, so please don't apologise. Okay?"

Chakotay looked carefully at him. "You're sure you're okay with it?"

"Yes. I'm sure. Now, come and cuddle me," Tom grinned.

Chakotay smiled back, then they snuggled into each other's arms.

"A shower might not be a bad idea," Chakotay mentioned as his hand encountered the stickiness on Tom's stomach.

"In a minute, then," Tom chuckled. "I can't move yet. I think you drained my batteries."

They lay comfortably entwined, feeling relaxed and content, and all thoughts of showers flew right out the viewport as they fell asleep in each other's arms.


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