September 2001

That's the way the cookie crumbles.

Note: This is in response to the challenge set by Bronte to celebrate TPD's 100th. author.
To be included: Tom Paris; first time story; 100; something written; characters named Jeanette and Sue; bunkbeds/twin beds; pizza; popcorn; favourite candy bar; cookie crumbs

Dedicated to Jeanette and Sue who archive my stories at the wonderful
Tom Paris Dorm.

And a big thank you to Paul for some of the ideas in this story - I couldn't have done it without you!

Tom Paris sat at the controls of his pride and joy; The Delta Flyer. It was the small craft's 100th flight but nothing in the shuttles handling indicated that and Tom still felt the same thrill at flying her now as he had done the very first time. This had only been a routine test flight but any excuse to fly her was good enough for Tom.

He checked his position and adjusted his course to bring the Flyer alongside Voyager. With permission granted for him to bring the shuttle in, he slowly and skilfully guided it into the shuttle bay, then sighed. The fun part was over. Next came the part that he wasn't keen on at all; writing up his flight report.

With this unpalatable necessity weighing on his mind, he powered the shuttle down and stepped out into the repressurised shuttle bay. He was met by a member of B'Elanna's engineering team; a pleasant, competent woman named Sue who he very rarely saw as she usually preferred to work the Gamma shift.

Tom assured her that the flight had been problem free and that a copy of his report would be with her shortly. As Sue disappeared inside the shuttle to begin her diagnostics, Tom left and headed for his quarters.

As soon as his door closed behind him, he sank down on to his couch and grabbed the replicated bar of Milka chocolate that he'd left on the table nearby. He had only taken two bites when his comm badge chirped and the Captain requested to see him in her ready room. Sighing, and cursing his luck, he threw the confectionery back on the table and left to meet her.

"Ah, Mr. Paris, have a seat," Janeway said as he entered the ready room, and she gestured for him to sit next to the room's other occupant; Commander Chakotay. Tom nodded his greeting to the Commander and sat.

"As I was explaining to the Commander, we've just received a distress call that I'd like the two of you to investigate," Janeway informed him. "It seems to be an automated signal originating from what appears to be an uninhabited planet. It may be coming from a crashed vessel and I'd like you to take a shuttle and check for survivors."

"Why can't we take Voyager to investigate?" Tom asked.

"Because while you were out in the Flyer, B'Elanna discovered a problem with the warp core. It's nothing major as such, but it extends to an area that's difficult to access. Our engines will have to be shut down for the next twelve hours for her team to work on it."

"How long will it take for the shuttle to reach the source of the signal?" Chakotay asked as he leaned his elbows on the table in front of him.

"About six hours, Commander," Janeway replied. "And I'd like you to leave as soon as possible."

"Captain, would it be okay if I grabbed a bite to eat first?" Tom asked. "With the flight testing, I didn't get chance to have breakfast this morning, and it's lunch time now."

"That's fine, Tom. Just be sure you're ready to leave in an hour's time," Janeway answered with a smile. "I was informed by Sue in engineering that you found no problems with the Delta Flyer, so you can take that."

Tom's face lit up at being given another opportunity to fly what he regarded as his shuttle. "Thank you, Captain," he responded happily.

To his right, Chakotay grinned at Tom's undisguised enthusiasm for the small ship and his love of flying her. Tom could be hard to read at times but not when it came to piloting. He had a gift for the task and he revelled in it.

Chakotay looked directly at the younger man and smiled. "Why don't you go and eat now, Tom. I'll sort out what we need to take, and finish briefing you on board the shuttle," he offered.

"Would that be okay, Captain?" Tom asked as he turned his gaze to Janeway.

"Yes, Lieutenant. Go and eat," Janeway commanded.

"Thank you, Captain. And thank you, Commander," Tom said, turning back to Chakotay.

Chakotay nodded. "I'll see you on the shuttle," he replied, patting Tom's arm.

Tom left the ready room and quickly reached the mess hall. There was no sign of Neelix but his temporary replacement was certainly just as cheerful.

"Hi. Jeanette, isn't it?" Tom queried as he smiled at the young woman behind the counter.

"Yes, it is," Jeanette replied, smiling back. "What can I get you?"

"I don't suppose you've got any pizza stashed away anywhere have you?" Tom asked hopefully.

Jeanette shook her head. "I'm sorry, I haven't," she said apologetically. "There is pasta, though. Would you like some of that?"

"Yeah, that sounds great," Tom enthused as the young woman picked up a plate and began to dish some out. "Perhaps you could pack me something to take with me on the shuttle, too........ Please?" he pleaded with a cheeky grin.

"I'll see what I can do," Jeanette promised as she smiled at the blond pilot.

"Thanks," Tom said gratefully, and Jeanette blushed a little as he leaned forward to give her a small kiss on the cheek.

An hour later, his meal eaten, he was aboard the shuttle. He stowed away the unopened container that Jeanette had kindly given him and joined Chakotay at the front of the craft. They ran through the pre-flight checks together and then Tom did what he loved best; piloted the Delta Flyer away from Voyager and into the great unknown.

"So, Tom," Chakotay said, breaking the silence that had descended since he'd finished briefing the pilot on their mission. "Did you enjoy your lunch?" he asked.

"Yeah, it was fine. Why?"

"Oh, I just wondered." Chakotay replied with a small shrug. "It's just that Neelix ended up in sickbay this morning; he ate something that disagreed with him."

"Something he'd made himself?" Tom asked with a grin.

"Yes, I think so, but the Doctor was still trying to determine what it was when we left."

"Poor Neelix. Fancy having to suffer a case of self-induced food poisoning. But shouldn't the mess hall have been closed afterwards?"

"Apparently Neelix took along samples of what he'd eaten to sickbay. He'd been experimenting with some of the grains we collected last week but fortunately he hadn't put the results out for the rest of the crew to try."

"Well, that's not strictly true," Tom informed the Commander. "He gave me something to try yesterday."

"He did? What?" Chakotay asked, frowning.

"He thought he'd try making a popcorn substitute and got me to try it. I don't think I've ever tasted anything less like popcorn in my entire life. Not to mention the fact that it was blue," Tom replied with a snort. "Mind you," he continued. "It was fun watching him make it. He'd forgotten to put the lid on the pan and there was pseudo-popcorn everywhere within seconds."

Chakotay laughed at the image that conjured up and Tom joined him as he recalled the look of sheer panic that had crossed the Talaxian's face before the situation had been rectified.

The time passed quickly as the two men continued to engage in friendly banter and almost before they realised it they were approaching the source of the distress signal.

"The signal's pretty intermittent," Chakotay noted. "I think it probably has something to do with the storms the sensors are detecting around the planet."

"Yeah, I think you're right," Tom agreed, checking his instrument panel. "It's gonna be a bumpy ride down to the surface as well."

"Too dangerous?" Chakotay enquired.

"No, but we might lose communications with Voyager after we land."

"Okay, I'll contact the Captain now and inform her of the situation," Chakotay answered as he hailed Voyager.

"Go ahead, Commander," Janeway stated as she appeared on the small screen in front of them.

"We're about to take the shuttle down, Captain, but there are storms and it's possible we may lose communications with you while we're down there," Chakotay advised her.

"Very well, but stay in touch as long as you can. If you do have problems and we haven't heard from you by the time our engines are back on-line, we'll come looking for you. Take care, the pair of you, and I'd like the shuttle back in one piece if possible," Janeway instructed them.

"Don't worry, Captain, we'll all be fine - the Flyer included," Tom assured her.

"I'll hold you to that, Mr. Paris. Janeway out."

As the screen went blank, the Commander returned his attention to the readouts in front of him.

"I have a fairly accurate reading on the signal," Chakotay said, transferring the information to the pilot. "Try to take us as close to it as you can, Tom."

"Aye, aye, Sir," Tom said happily as he relished the challenge before him.

It was, as Tom had warned, a very bumpy ride. The shuttle was rocked and buffeted by the raging storm but, apart from the two men feeling a little queasy by the time they landed, no damage was sustained by either the Flyer or its occupants.

As the dust, that had been blown up by their craft, settled, Chakotay peered out of the viewport and found himself looking at what appeared to be a small cabin. Considering this was supposed to be an uninhabited planet, it came as something of a surprise to see a structure such as this.

"Do you read any life signs, Tom?" he asked over his shoulder.

"No, nothing," Tom responded. " But, as I suspected we would, we *have* lost communications with Voyager."

Chakotay nodded and turned to face Tom. "Is the distress signal coming from the building?" he asked.

"Yes, it is." Tom confirmed, rechecking the data.

"Okay, then I suggest we go and investigate. I know we're not detecting any life forms, but we'll take our phasers just to be on the safe side."

"Sounds good to me," Tom said and he followed Chakotay to the rear of the shuttle to collect their weapons and a couple of torches.

As he passed the place where he'd stowed Jeanette's container, Tom suddenly felt very hungry. The box wouldn't be difficult to carry so he decided to take it with him to the cabin, intending to have a snack once their investigations were complete.

The two men left the shuttle and fought their way through the increasing wind to the door of the small building. It opened easily and they moved warily inside, illuminating it with their torches and looking around carefully for any presence that their sensors might have failed to detect. As the room was fairly small, it didn't take long for them to be sure it was unoccupied, and they gazed around then at the sparse furnishings.

Shelves lined the wall on one side of the room with a table and two chairs standing close by. On the opposite side were twin beds, placed side by side below a small shuttered window and covered with thick blankets that appeared to have never been used.

Tom turned around and noted that there was a heavy wooden bar standing on its end next to the door. As he wondered what it was for, the door suddenly swung open and crashed into the wall behind it. Tom jumped at the unexpected noise and Chakotay joined him as he tried to close the door again.

The wind had increased dramatically and the two men battled to shut it out. As soon as they had the door closed, Chakotay grabbed the bar and placed it across the door to prevent it opening again.

"So that's what it's for," Tom remarked as Chakotay put the bar in position.

"Yes, Lieutenant. Now let's see if we can find an alternative means of lighting, shall we? Perhaps we'll be able to locate the distress beacon then."

Tom moved across to the shelves and shone his torch on each one. On the lowest, he came across what looked like a small lamp. There was a button on the base and as Tom pressed it the lamp began to glow. Within seconds it was bright enough to light the entire room and Tom placed it in the centre of the wooden table.

"Here it is," Chakotay called as he checked the top shelf and picked up a small object; it was the distress beacon. "It looks as though it may have been triggered accidentally," he remarked as he showed it to Tom. "I think the storms must have shaken the building, causing it to fall and activate."

"So why didn't the owners pick up the signal?"

"Maybe they have. Maybe we'll have visitors soon," Chakotay replied. He crossed to the table and placed his tricorder on it. "We're going to be stuck in here until that storm drops, so I'll leave this activated as an early warning device."

"I hope we won't be here too long," Tom said as he walked across to the beds and sat on one of them. "All our supplies are in the shuttle. Well, apart from this container that Jeanette gave me at lunch time," Tom added, showing the box to Chakotay.

"What's in it?" Chakotay asked as he sat down next to Tom.

"I dunno. I haven't opened it yet. She just said she'd found something she thought I'd like but didn't tell me what it was."

"Well, let's have a look then and hope it's something I like too," Chakotay said with a grin.

Tom prised the lid off the container and peered inside. "Cookies!" he exclaimed gleefully. "And they're chocolate chip!"

"How many are there?"

"Enough for us to snack on for the next day if we have to," Tom replied, pulling a cookie from the box. He bit into it, and closed his eyes. "Mm, this is delicious," he said with his mouth full.

Chakotay reached over and took one as well. After tasting it, he had to agree with Tom; it was delicious.

They sat side by side and munched their way through three more cookies each before Chakotay decided that they'd better save the rest for later. Tom reluctantly agreed and he put the container on the floor near the bed.

"It's getting cold in here," Tom remarked, rubbing at his arms.

"Yes it is," Chakotay agreed. "And once you've brushed all those cookie crumbs off the bed I suggest you get into it. I'll take the one without the crumbs," he added as he climbed over Tom's bed and into his own.

"Thanks Chakotay, that's really kind of you."

"Yes, it is, isn't it?" Chakotay grinned as he pulled the blanket up to his chin.

Tom snorted and began to brush the crumbs away. He climbed under the covers and tried to get warm. It wasn't easy though, the wind was finding it's way in through the gap at the bottom of the door and seemed to be making a beeline for Tom. Despite the thick blanket he shivered as the cold draught hit him and he soon found his teeth chattering.

"Are you okay, Tom?" Chakotay asked as he gazed across at the trembling pilot.

" I..I'm f.f.freezing," Tom managed to reply as he desperately tried to bury himself further under the cover.

Chakotay looked at the shivering man with concern. "Let's push the beds together," he suggested. "Then we can put one blanket on top of the other; that should help."

Tom nodded and went to rise but Chakotay stopped him. "You stay there, Tom. I can quite easily push my bed against yours on my own," he said getting up.

When the bed was in its new position, Chakotay spread his blanket out across Tom's and crawled underneath the double layer. Tom was still shivering, so Chakotay moved close and wrapped his arms around the other man in an attempt to share some of his warmth.

Tom sighed and pressed back against the solid body behind him that was radiating heat. As he did, his stomach grumbled loudly.

Chakotay chuckled softly. "Still hungry, Tom?" he asked.

"Yeah," Tom replied, turning to face the other man. "D'you think I could have another one of those cookies?"

"Okay. I suppose you might warm up quicker if you've got some food inside you," Chakotay relented with a smile. He reached around to grab the box from the floor and passed it to Tom. "Have a couple, Tom," he suggested.

"Thanks," Tom replied and opened the container.

He munched away happily on the first cookie, then looked up to find Chakotay watching him. "Do you want one?" he offered, looking into the Commander's dark eyes.

Chakotay nodded and took a cookie from the box. "Are you feeling any warmer now?" he asked quietly as he studied the younger man's face.

"Yes, actually," Tom answered, pushing the covers down off his shoulders. "I feel much warmer."

"Do you want me to move the beds again?"

"No, that's okay. It's quite cosy like this," Tom replied quickly. "And besides," he continued softly. "I've always wanted to be in bed with you."

Chakotay moved closer to the blond pilot. "You have?" he asked, as he stared into Tom's sparkling blue eyes.

"Yeah," Tom replied, although in the back of his mind a small voice was questioning why he was suddenly revealing his secrets to the other man. He'd always listened before to that voice telling him not to risk being rejected, but, he decided, now was the time to ignore it. He leant towards the older man and whispered. "I've always wanted you, Chakotay."

Chakotay smiled. "Good" he whispered back. "Because I've always wanted you too, Tom Paris."

Chakotay moved even closer and lifted his hand to gently stroke Tom's cheek before rubbing his thumb over the younger man's mouth. "You're covered in crumbs, Tom," he said and moved to carefully lick them from the pilot's lips.

Tom sighed as he felt Chakotay's tongue cleaning him and he moved to capture it, sucking it in as their mouths met. He closed his eyes and pulled at the other man until Chakotay was lying almost completely on top of him. They continued to kiss as their hands began to explore each other's body.

Tom tugged at Chakotay's clothes and the older man broke the kiss to remove them before he started to undress Tom. When the final garment had been disposed of, Chakotay reclaimed his place on top of his highly aroused new lover and rubbed his own erection insistently against Tom's.

They both groaned as the years of constantly repressing their desires came to an end and they moved faster and faster against each other. Tom wrapped his arms tightly around the hot body above him and moaned softly as he felt Chakotay's teeth marking his neck. He sighed and ran his hands down the older man's back, to grasp at his cheeks and pull him closer.

Chakotay continued his assault on Tom's neck and nipped and kissed the pale skin over and over until Tom was writhing beneath him and begging for more.

"Please, Cha, please! I need you, please," he repeated.

Chakotay shifted to one side of Tom and grasped the younger man's erection, hard. He stroked and pulled and massaged him until Tom could hold on no longer and erupted with a loud cry.

Even before Tom's body stopped shaking with the power of his climax, Chakotay began to prepare his lover for the joining they both craved. He slipped his semen-coated fingers inside Tom's opening and stretched him carefully. Tom didn't want to wait though and quickly gathered up the remaining semen from his body and covered Chakotay's aching penis with it.

"Now, Cha," he whispered.

Chakotay growled softly as he moved between Tom's legs and lifted him enough to push a blanket under his hips. He positioned himself just outside Tom's body then, at Tom's urging, plunged swiftly in. Chakotay fell forward and reclaimed Tom's mouth as he thrust in and out with increasing urgency. As he felt the end approaching he moved to Tom's neck again and bit him hard.

Both men cried out as Chakotay came deep inside Tom, then, as their sweat-soaked bodies began to cool, they lay panting in each other's arms.

A few minutes passed before Chakotay recovered enough to roll off the younger man and pull the covers up over them both. He settled down again with Tom snuggled happily up against him and they drifted off to sleep.

As the hours went by unnoticed, the storm began to abate. By the time the two men finally awoke, it was completely calm outside.

Tom stretched and gazed down at the man by his side. Chakotay was smiling up at him and Tom couldn't resist leaning forward to kiss his lover softly. They lingered on each other's lips before Chakotay reluctantly decided they should get dressed.

As Tom sat on the bed to put on his shoes, he noticed the cookie box laying on the floor. He picked it up and put it on the bed next to him but, before he had chance to open it, there was a bang at the door.

"Tom? Commander?" a voice called.

Tom smiled, and moved to help Chakotay unbar the door.

"Hi Harry. What are you doing here?" Tom asked as the Ensign entered the cabin.

"B'Elanna got the engines back on-line sooner than we thought, so the Captain decided to come after you," Harry explained. "We've been trying to contact you ever since the storm cleared. When there was no response, I beamed down to find you."

"We'd better call in then," Tom said looking across at Chakotay.

Chakotay nodded. "Grab those cookies and we'll be on our way, Tom," he instructed.

"Cookies?" Harry queried. "Where did you get those?"

"From Jeanette," Tom answered, showing Harry the now open container. "She gave them to me before we left."

Harry frowned as he looked back up at Tom. "They're the ones that Neelix made aren't they?" he asked.

"Yes. Why?" Chakotay asked, moving to stand next to Tom.

"The Doctor found out that it was those that made Neelix ill. Apparently one of the ingredients causes a loss of inhibition and another is a fairly potent aphrodisiac. Neelix was ordered to destroy all the remaining cookies," Harry said looking from one man to the other. "You haven't had any problems have you?"

"No, Harry. No problems," Tom replied as he gazed at Chakotay.

Chakotay smiled and placed his arm around Tom's shoulder. "No, no problems at all," he agreed.

Then, as the Ensign watched in open-mouthed amazement, the Commander claimed the Lieutenant's lips with his own.

The end.

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