"Are they finished talking yet?" B'Elanna asked as Harry retook his seat. She took the drink he'd returned with and sipped at it before placing it down on the table in front of her.

"I'm not sure what they were doing," Harry replied. He stared across at the far corner where Chakotay and Tom were still sitting, albeit out of Harry's view from his present angle. "They didn't seem to be talking."

"So, they're just sitting there?" B'Elanna asked, puzzled.

"It was hard to tell, but from where I was standing at the bar, it looked like they were asleep."

B'Elanna looked at Harry in disbelief. "Asleep? In Sandrine's? Perhaps we should go and check on them," she suggested. "After all, they only got out of sickbay today."

"Yeah. Tom was tired when I saw him earlier, perhaps he still is. It won't do him any good to sleep in here though." Harry replied.

B'Elanna rose from her chair, drink in hand. "Come on, Starfleet, let's go wake the sleeping beauties and send them home," she said with a grin.

Harry smiled and nodded, and together they crossed the room. As they approached their friends' table, Chakotay gave a low moan and leaned forward. He rested his head on his folded arms, and appeared to Harry and B'Elanna to be shaking slightly.

"Are you okay?" B'Elanna asked, rushing forwards.

Tom had been sitting with his eyes closed, but at B'Elanna's voice they shot open. He looked at Chakotay leaning on the table next to him, and then up at the concerned faces of his friends. He nudged Chakotay with his elbow, and the older man slowly sat up.

"Chakotay? What's wrong?" B'Elanna asked again. The Commander's face was flushed, and his breathing was irregular. "Do you need to go to sickbay?"

Chakotay shook his head and took a deep breath. "I'm fine, B'Elanna," he answered. "Just a bit tired that's all. I think I'd better go back to my quarters and sleep."

"I'll walk back with you," Tom said quickly. "Make sure you're okay."

"You need to sleep too, Tom," Harry commented. "You're back on duty in the morning."

Tom nodded. "Yeah, I know. I'll go straight to bed once I've left Chakotay," he assured the Ensign.

"Maybe the Captain should give both of you a couple of days off," B'Elanna said with concern. "Neither of you look ready for duty yet."

Chakotay looked up and smiled. "We're fine, we just need our own beds. Sickbay isn't the best place to get a good night's sleep you know."

"No, it isn't," Tom agreed. "The beds are uncomfortable, and the Doc runs his tests and prods you around when he thinks you're not gonna notice."

"So, you think you'll be okay in the morning?" Harry asked, looking closely at Tom.

"Yeah, Harry. I'll be okay. How about meeting me for breakfast, then you can see for yourself that I'm all right," Tom suggested.

"Okay," Harry nodded. "I'll see you in the mess hall at 0730 hours."

"Great, I'll see you then," Tom replied, leaning back on the seat.

"Perhaps Harry and I should walk you both home," B'Elanna said thoughtfully. "We wouldn't mind."

"That's okay, B'Elanna, we can manage. I need to speak with Tom privately first, anyway," Chakotay answered, glancing at his lover.

"Well, if you're sure. We'll see you both tomorrow then," B'Elanna said stepping away from the table. "Goodnight. Don't stay here too long," she called back over her shoulder.

"Night, Tom. Commander," Harry said, joining B'Elanna. They walked back towards the bar and grabbed a couple of empty chairs. "What's the matter?" Harry asked as he looked at the strange expression on B'Elanna's face. There was definitely something on her mind.

"Nothing," B'Elanna replied. Her tone wasn't very convincing though, and Harry called her on it.

"Come on, B'Elanna, I know that look. Tell me what's bothering you," he said, quietly.

She gazed back to the corner as she answered. "There was the smell of sex over there," she said bluntly.

"Sex? Are you sure?" Harry asked, frowning.

"Of course I am. You know I have an excellent sense of smell, and I'm telling you it smelled of sex in that corner," B'Elanna insisted.

"But how could it? There was only Tom and Chakotay over there, and they obviously wouldn't have sex. Who would in Sandrine's?"

"Maybe it was whoever sat there before them. All I know is, it smelled of sex."


Chakotay waited until Harry and B'Elanna were out of earshot, then turned to Tom. He gazed into the younger man's amused, but slightly nervous, blue eyes. "How am I supposed to get out of here now?" he asked, looking down at his lap.

Tom followed his gaze, and rubbed his hand over his lover's damp pants. "You can't see anything, Cha," he assured Chakotay. "No-one will notice."

"I hope you're right, otherwise the gossips are going to have a field day. I can just hear them now, whispering about how the Senior Pilot made the First Officer come in his pants without even touching him."

Tom laughed, and patted Chakotay on the shoulder. "You sound like you didn't enjoy it," he said.

Chakotay smiled. "Oh I enjoyed it," he murmured, but there was something in his tone that made Tom feel a little apprehensive. He decided to ignore it though, and gestured towards the door. "We'd better get going before Harry and B'Elanna insist on escorting us home."

Chakotay nodded, and stood up. He cast one last glance at his groin and headed for the exit, Tom following.

"At least we know our link's for real," Tom said quietly as they walked down the corridor. They stopped outside the turbolift and waited for its arrival.

"Yes," Chakotay agreed. "It's definitely real. We should talk to the Doctor tomorrow. The Captain as well."

"Do we have to?" Tom asked. They stepped into the lift as the doors opened, and Chakotay called for his deck. "I mean we've already spent too long in sickbay," Tom continued. "And that's where we'll end up again if we tell anyone."

"I know you don't like it there, but this isn't something we should keep to ourselves," Chakotay said, taking hold of Tom's hand.

"Why not? Why can't we have another secret?" Tom persisted. "It's not like we'd be hurting anyone by not telling. And after all, it's personal," he added.

Chakotay considered Tom's argument in silence until the lift stopped, and they started walking back to his quarters. "Okay," he finally relented. "We'll keep this to ourselves as well."


"Yes, really. I don't actually like sickbay any more than you do," Chakotay confessed. "And you're right, we won't be hurting anyone by having another secret."

Tom smiled broadly as they stopped in front of Chakotay's door. "Thank you," he said, and gave the older man a small kiss on the forehead. He gazed longingly at his lover for a moment, then sighed. "I suppose I'd better keep my promise to Harry, and go home now."

"As much as I'd like you to stay, I think you're probably right," Chakotay agreed, opening his door. "Just come in for a minute though. I still want a kiss."

Tom smiled, and followed Chakotay into his cabin. As soon as the door slid closed behind them, Tom found himself wrapped in a loving embrace. He sighed softly as Chakotay's mouth found his own, and he was kissed passionately. After several minutes, Tom finally pulled away. "I have to go, Cha. While I still can," he whispered.

Chakotay sighed, then nodded. "I'll see you tomorrow, Tom," he answered quietly.

"Why don't you join Harry and me for breakfast?" Tom suggested as he ran his hands up Chakotay's arms.

"No. Harry needs some time alone with you. He's missed you," Chakotay said, opening the door again. "I'll see you on the bridge, then we can meet for lunch. Okay?"

"Okay," Tom smiled. He checked that the corridor was empty, then leaned in for one final kiss. "'Night, Cha. See you tomorrow."

"Goodnight, Tom. Enjoy your breakfast with Harry," Chakotay said with a small grin.

Tom smiled, then headed for his own quarters.


"Morning, Harry," Tom called across the Mess Hall. The Ensign had already got his breakfast, and was sitting down.

"Hi, Tom," Harry called back. He watched as Tom collected some fruit and a cup of coffee, and came to join him. "How do you feel this morning?" he asked.

"Great," Tom replied, biting into his fruit. He swallowed the mouthful of bright green food, then washed it down with coffee. "Just needed a good sleep, like I said."

"I wonder if the Commander's okay," Harry commented. "He didn't look too good last night. His face was pretty red."

"Hmm, I guess it was. He'd just woken up when you saw him though, he was probably still tired."

"Yeah, probably," Harry agreed. He nodded towards the door that Tom had his back to. "The Captain's just come in, and it looks like she's headed this way," he informed his friend, then smiled as Janeway approached. "Good Morning, Captain," he said.

"Good morning, gentlemen," Janeway greeted them as she stopped by their table.

"Good morning, Captain. What can we do for you?" Tom asked, smiling.

"I wanted to have a word with you in private, Tom. But finish your breakfast first," Janeway said, nodding towards Tom's plate.

"That's okay, Captain. I don't really want the rest of this anyway," Tom replied, gesturing towards the fruit. "I'll just finish my coffee though." He quickly drained his cup, then stood.

"Don't worry about your plate. I'll clear it away," Harry offered.

"Thanks, Harry. See you later."

Tom accompanied the Captain from the Mess Hall to her ready room.  Janeway glanced at him from time to time as they walked, wondering what was on his mind. He definitely looked preoccupied, she thought. On their arrival, she gestured for him to sit on the chair opposite her, then looked at him again, appraisingly. "How are you feeling, Tom?" she asked.

"Fit, and ready for duty, Captain," Tom assured her, although his voice was a little shaky.

"That's good, because I have a job for you later today, if you're up to it. We're coming up on an M-class planet, and I'd like you and Neelix to take a shuttle and check for any edible items. You'd be gone for about three days. Are you fit enough for that?"

Tom squirmed slightly in his chair, and he swallowed hard before answering. "Um, yes, Captain," he said, nodding.

Janeway looked with concern at her Senior Pilot. His face was quite pink, and he was sitting with his legs tightly crossed, his hands firmly in his lap. He didn't look comfortable at all, she thought. "Are you okay, Tom?" she asked, leaning towards him. "Do you want some water?"

"I'm fine," Tom managed to croak. "I just need the bathroom. Must've been the coffee," he lied.

"Then you'd better go. I'll speak to you later," Janeway said, rising. She looked him up and down as he stood, too. "Dismissed."

Tom nodded. "Thank you, Captain," he muttered, then rushed towards the door.

As he went out, Janeway raised her eyebrows. Her officers didn't usually get erections while in her presence.


Chakotay sat at the table in his living area, and smiled. He took a mouthful of tea, then sent another erotic mental image to his lover, wondering, as he did, how Tom was coping in front of Harry. He'd felt Tom trying to block the link at times, but his own mind was slightly more dominant. Probably because of all his years of meditation, he thought. He smiled again, and closed his eyes. Tom was right, this *was* fun.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of his door chime. Sighing, he called out for whoever it was to enter. The door slid open to reveal a very irate looking Tom.

"Chakotay, what the hell do you think you're doing!" Tom blurted out as soon as the door closed behind him.

"What do you mean, Tom? I'm just sitting here having breakfast," Chakotay replied calmly.

"Don't give me that 'innocent' act," Tom warned him. "You know *exactly* what I'm talking about."

Chakotay smiled broadly. "What's the matter, Tom? You didn't get embarrassed in front of Harry, did you?"

"No, I didn't," Tom said, slumping down into the chair next to his lover. "I was only with Harry for a few minutes this morning."

Chakotay frowned, and looked carefully at Tom. "Why are you so upset then?" he asked, baffled.

"Because I was with someone else," Tom replied, studying the table top.

Chakotay looked worriedly at Tom. "Who?" he asked with trepidation.

"The Captain," Tom answered, looking up at the older man. "I was sitting in the ready room, being briefed for an away mission later today, and it was all I could do to concentrate on what she was saying. I tried to tell you to stop, but you took no notice. I honestly thought I was gonna come in front of her. Thank God she bought my story about needing the bathroom."

Chakotay rubbed his hand across his mouth as he looked guiltily at Tom. "I'm so sorry, Tom. I had no idea," he said, then pulled the pilot close. "I think we'd better stick to experimenting in private from now on. Will you forgive me? Please?"

Tom gazed into Chakotay's apologetic eyes, and gave a small smile. "Yeah, I forgive you, Cha. After all, I did start it I suppose," he said, and kissed Chakotay on the cheek.

"What's this about an away mission?" Chakotay asked, nuzzling Tom's neck. He nipped lightly at the skin just below Tom's collar, and smiled as Tom sighed.

"The Captain wants me to take Neelix on a food-scouting mission. It'll take about three days, she said. I think the planet's uninhabited, so there shouldn't be any problems."

"I hope not," Chakotay commented. He moved away from Tom's neck, and gazed into his eyes. "It'll give us a chance to see how our link is affected by distance, anyway."

"Yeah," Tom agreed. "But let's keep it clean this time, unless we're both alone. I don't want Neelix getting any ideas."

Chakotay laughed. "Neither do I, Tom," he said, then became more serious. "You're mine," he stated, wrapping his arms around the younger man.

Tom smiled. "Yours," he agreed. "Now let's get some serious kissing in before our shift starts, shall we?" And he claimed Chakotay's lips with his own.

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