verification
Note: Hope you like this part, Leone, because it's especially for you. Lots of love, Mae.


Verification


"D'you know something, Chakotay?" Tom asked quietly, lightly stroking the smooth skin of the older man's thigh. "I never imagined I could love anyone as much as I love you." He shifted slightly on the bed that stood in one corner of the room, moving his hand upwards to run his fingers through Chakotay's hair. "You're my life, Cha," he said softly.

Chakotay smiled, leaning forward to kiss the tip of Tom's nose. "And you're mine, Tom," he replied, pulling Tom close, then nuzzling his neck. "You're everything I'll ever want. Everything I'll ever need," he said, before finding Tom's lips and gently kissing him. "You make me whole."

Tom sighed softly, closing his eyes as Chakotay lightly nipped at his throat. He moved his fingers from Chakotay's hair, trailing them down his lover's back, tracing his spine, until he finally grasped Chakotay's cheeks and squeezed gently. He pulled Chakotay to him, pressing their erections firmly against each other, then slowly began to rock, enjoying the older man's soft moans. "I want you, Chakotay," Tom whispered.

Chakotay moved away from Tom's neck, gazing into his lover's eyes. "Then, take me, Tom," he answered quietly, "I'm yours."

Tom leaned forward, lightly brushing his lips across Chakotay's. "I love you," he murmured. He began to explore his lover's mouth, gently licking and nipping his lips before kissing him slowly and deeply, trying to convey all his feelings through his actions. He gripped Chakotay tightly, rubbing insistently against him as the kiss continued and their thoughts began to merge. Chakotay knew then what Tom wanted, and he moved, rolling away from his lover and rising to his knees. He bent, resting his head on his folded arms, as Tom knelt behind him.

As Tom gazed longingly at him, Chakotay could feel the younger man's arousal course along their link and spread rapidly throughout his own body. He knew what Tom was going to do, the knowledge causing a tremor to run through him even before Tom's tongue licked teasingly at his balls. He groaned loudly, spreading his legs as an invitation to Tom, wanting him to explore further.

Tom moaned as Chakotay's arousal grew and pervaded his senses, mingling with his own. Their combined pleasure surrounded them, flowing back and forth along their link, building in intensity with each wave until it was almost unbearable. At that point, Tom took control, reining in his own emotions and gently blocking some of Chakotay's, bringing them back to a manageable level.

As the intense sensations began to subside, Tom returned his attention to Chakotay's balls, carefully sucking each one into his mouth, continuing until Chakotay could no longer stay on his knees and collapsed onto the bed, breathing heavily. Tom gave a soft sigh of pleasure, then moved, trailing his tongue up between his lover's cheeks to lick and probe the opening there. Chakotay moaned, squirming as the younger man's hands grasped his cheeks, pulling them apart, and Tom's hot tongue pushed inside him. "Please, Tom," he begged as Tom probed deeper, pushing in as far as he could. "Please."

"Soon, Cha," Tom promised softly. He allowed his tongue to continue its explorations, leaving a warm, wet trail across Chakotay's skin, then rolled the older man over and gripped his erection, pulling and massaging until Chakotay was panting heavily. "Now," Tom whispered as he moved his hands to Chakotay's hips. "I'm going to take you now."

Chakotay groaned loudly. "Yes," he breathed as Tom's fingers ran lightly over his chest. "Take me, Tom." He pulled his legs up, raising himself off the bed as Tom reached for a pillow and pushed it beneath him. There was no more preparation, it wasn't necessary. They had discovered that in Azai's room they could do whatever they liked, there were no physical restrictions, everything was controlled mentally. Whatever they willed here, would happen.

Tom bent forward, moving between Chakotay's spread legs, his erection seeking entrance into the older man's body. Chakotay reached up and grasped the back of Tom's head, pulling him down until their lips met, kissing him over and over as he felt Tom slide easily inside him. "I love you," he whispered as Tom began to move, thrusting slowly and deeply, their eyes locked by their shared passion.

"Touch yourself, Cha. For me," Tom said, bending again to his lover's lips and kissing him gently. "Please."

Chakotay complied, wrapping his hand around his own erection and stroking himself, matching Tom's pace as he continued to gaze into Tom's eyes. The younger man groaned and moved faster, waves of love and desire passing between them as he lessened his control of their mental link, allowing a heightening of their combined emotions. Tom thrust hard and fast, aware of Chakotay's pleasure as he moved inside him, then moaned loudly, feeling Chakotay start to tighten around him as the older man shuddered and came. Both men cried out, and Tom erupted deep inside his lover's body, still thrusting until the last drop of semen had left him. He fell forward then, resting his head on Chakotay's heaving chest, hearing the older man's rapidly beating heart gradually start to slow, his own matching it. "Every time," he whispered. "It's so good, every single time."

"It is," Chakotay agreed, wrapping his arms around Tom and holding him tight. "It always will be."

For a long while, they lay silently, then Tom shifted to gaze down at Chakotay. "Cha, I've been thinking," he said quietly, a serious look on his face. "This link we have it's... Well... It's gonna last forever, right?"

"Yes, Tom, I believe so. Does that bother you?" Chakotay asked as Tom moved off him and snuggled against his side, trailing fingers back and forth over Chakotay's stomach.

"No, it doesn't bother me," Tom replied. "It's just that... I wondered if... You know... Oh, God! I don't know how to say this!" he floundered, desperately searching for the words he wanted, his hand now flat on the other man's chest.

"Say what, Tom? What is it that's got you so flustered? Can you tell me? Because you're making me nervous," Chakotay said, frowning and holding Tom even closer. Tom shook his head, his hair tickling Chakotay's chin. "I don't know, Cha. I..." Words failed him again, and he stopped, burying his head in Chakotay's neck.

"Tom, please. Tell me. Whatever it is," Chakotay begged, looking down worriedly at his lover. "You're keeping your thoughts to yourself at the moment, as well. Is it something so bad that you can't  even share it through our link? I love you, you know. I want to help."

"Okay," Tom said a few moments later as he struggled to sit up. He ran his fingers nervously through his hair, then took a few deep breaths. "I was thinking that... Maybe... Maybe we should get married," he said, staring down into Chakotay's dark, concerned eyes.

"Married?" Chakotay queried. He pulled himself up to sit alongside Tom, then looked carefully at the younger man. "Really?" he asked.

"Um, yeah. I thought... I thought it might be a good idea. Our link's gonna last for as long as we do, and even without it, we'd be together anyway, so I thought... I thought, y'know, let's sort of make it official," Tom stammered. "That's if you want to, of course," he added. "Do you, Cha?"

"Is this a proposal, Tom?" Chakotay asked as he slipped his arm around Tom's shoulders, drawing the nervous man close and nuzzling his neck.

Tom swallowed heavily as Chakotay nipped at his throat. "I... Yeah. I guess it is," he whispered, pulling Chakotay's head up until they were face to face. "So, Chakotay," he continued, feeling bolder now. "What d'you say? Want to marry me?"

Chakotay leaned in and captured Tom's lips, kissing him slowly and lovingly, his hands reaching up to grasp Tom's head as the kiss deepened. "Of course I want to marry you, Tom," he said when the kiss ended several minutes later. "If you like, we'll go see the Captain as soon as we get back to Voyager."

"That'd be great, Chakotay. I'd like that," Tom said with a smile and a small sigh of relief. He leaned in for another kiss as contentment instantly replaced his nervousness, then pulled Chakotay back down to snuggle under the blankets. "It's funny, y'know," he remarked as he stroked his lover's hair. "When we first entered this room and found out that time sort of stood still here, I thought it'd be really difficult to leave. I don't mean finding out how to return to our physical bodies, we know how to do that now, just that I wasn't sure I'd actually ever want to go back. Do you know what I mean?"

"Yes, I do," Chakotay replied. "We have almost everything we want here, whenever we want it. For as long as we want it. We could stay here together for eternity. The decision to leave was always going to be difficult."

"Yeah," Tom agreed. "Almost impossible. But as happy as I am here, I don't want to stay any more. I want to get back to Voyager as soon as possible."

"Then we'll leave, Tom," Chakotay said decisively. "After all, there's no reason for us to stay longer. We've studied everything that Azai left us; from basic equations and chemical formulae, to mechanics so advanced that B'Elanna wouldn't have made it past the first few diagrams; plus everything in between. Not to mention technology that would put the Borg to shame. I know we're still not clear yet about what we're supposed to do with all this knowledge, whether we can use any of it to help Voyager, but I can't see that we're going to figure it out by staying. Azai seems really fond of giving us information in parts, and I think this part's finished."

"Yeah, I think you're right. And besides, I'm really fed up with feeling as though my brain's some sort of sponge. I don't think it can absorb anything else at the moment."

"Well, I suppose a 'sponge' is a pretty accurate description of the brain,  but I know what you mean," Chakotay agreed, smiling. "We've reached saturation point."

"Definitely. Although I have to say it's been an amazing experience. I don't totally understand everything we looked at, but I can recall it all in detail. It's incredible. I would never have guessed I could store so much data." He paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. "I wonder if anything will show up on the Doc's scans when we go for our next check-up?"

"That's a good point, Tom, but I don't think it will be a problem. Our mental control is far more advanced now; we'll be able to manipulate the Doctor's tests pretty easily."

"Yeah," Tom replied, nodding. "If we make everything appear normal, maybe he'll leave us alone. No more trips to sickbay."

"I don't know about that," Chakotay said, shaking his head. "He'll probably want to examine us a couple more times to be certain of the results. But if he keeps getting the same readings each time, he should lose interest in us."

"I hope so," Tom muttered, snuggling closer to Chakotay. He moved his lips to the older man's neck and kissed him softly. "So, Cha," he said, licking his way to Chakotay's mouth. "How long before we leave here and return to the real world?" He didn't wait for an answer though, his tongue continuing it's explorations as it traced Chakotay's lips.

The older man smiled, then closed his eyes as he was kissed again, lovingly. "Tom," he whispered when the younger man eventually broke away. "Let's go now. Let's get our mission over with, return to Voyager and get married."

Tom raised himself up on his elbows and grinned down at the man below him. "Okay, future husband of mine," he said, nipping the end of Chakotay's nose. "Let's go."

As soon as the decision had been made, Azai's room began to fade away. Before either man had time to process the change however, they once again found themselves standing next to Harry, Tom's finger poised to complete the 'key's' sequence. As before, Tom continued to move his finger forward, touching the shape.

"How did you do *that*, Tom?" Harry asked incredulously as part of the rock in front of them began to shimmer, then disappeared, leaving a rectangular gap that was big enough for the men to walk through.

"I dunno," Tom shrugged, peering through the entrance to what appeared to be another room. "Luck, I guess. Let's have a look what's in there."

"Use the tricorder first, Harry," Chakotay instructed as he caught hold of Tom's arm to prevent him stepping through the doorway. "There were no unusual readings when we scanned this area before, let's see if anything registers now."

Harry nodded. "Yes, Sir," he answered, pulling the device from his pocket and activating it. He frowned at the readout, then looked up at the Commander. "Our previous scans showed the beacon was still quite a distance away, but according to this, it's inside," he said, passing the tricorder to Chakotay for him to check the display.

"You're right, it does show that," Chakotay confirmed. "But it doesn't indicate any danger, so let's take a look inside," he said, returning the Ensign's tricorder, then moving forwards.

Tom followed the others through the doorway and into the dark chamber, his mind on another matter. /You haven't forgotten our time in Azai's room, have you, Cha?/ he enquired, concerned that maybe he would be the only one to recall the details of their time there.

//No, Tom, I haven't forgotten. I remember it all, Sweetheart.//  Chakotay replied as he continued to visually scan the room.

Tom snorted, then smiled at the endearment, and Harry turned his head to look at him. "You okay, Tom?" he asked, wondering about the amused expression on the pilot's face.

"Yeah, I'm fine, Harry. Just thought I was gonna sneeze, that's all."

"Oh," Harry said, nodding his head in understanding. "Must be the dust."

"Yeah," Tom agreed, then continued his silent conversation with his lover. /Just because we're gonna get married, Chakotay, you don't have to go all mushy on me, you know./

//Me? Mushy?// Chakotay responded, coming to a halt in the middle of the dimly lit room, then turning to grin at Tom. //I don't know what you mean.//

/Of course you don't,/ Tom replied, walking over to stand in front of the older man. He took advantage of the fact that Harry was standing a few feet further on, facing away from them, and leaned in for a quick kiss, running his hands over Chakotay's hips as he did. "I love you, Cha," he whispered into his lover's ear.

"I love you too, Tom," Chakotay whispered back, then stepped away as Harry turned around.

"Commander? I think I might have found the beacon," Harry said, pointing to a low table that stood almost hidden in the shadows about ten feet away. It had a small black box sitting in the centre of it, with a smaller and transparent, circular object to one side.

Chakotay walked quickly across to see what Harry had found, Tom following him. "What does the tricorder show?" Chakotay asked as Harry activated the device, pointing it at the box first. "Is it the source of the signal?"

Harry nodded. "Yes, Commander. But I'm afraid I can't tell you what the other item is; the readings aren't specific enough," he said, after completing his scans.

"Can you tell what it's made of?" Tom asked, stepping forward to get a closer look at the glass-like object. He bent down next to the table, studying the small disc.

"No, Tom, I can't. Sorry," Harry replied, shaking his head. "The results are inconclusive."

"Okay," Tom said, standing back up, then looking at Chakotay. "What do we do, Commander? Think it's safe to touch?" he asked, then added silently, /I don't think it'd be dangerous, Cha. It's gotta be something that Azai's left for us, and we know we can trust him. He wouldn't hurt us./

//I'm sure you're right, Tom,// Chakotay answered via their link, then spoke aloud for Harry's benefit. "If we want to find out what it is, then I don't think we have much choice but to touch it. It appears pretty innocuous, so let's take a closer look," he said, reaching out to pick the object up. As he did so, a tiny red light shone from the base, flickering, then changing to green as his fingers connected with the disc's surface. He removed his hand, stepping back as an intense beam of white light shot upwards from the object, shimmering, then steadying, before it coalesced into a recognisable form.

"It's a three-dimensional star chart!" Tom exclaimed excitedly, "And I think I know what region this is," he added after walking around the table several times to study the spherical chart from different angles. "We'd have to show it to Seven for verification, but I'm pretty sure that's the nebula we travelled through," he said, pointing to a glowing cloud towards the centre.

"There seems to be a route mapped out as well," Harry remarked, observing a continuous blue line that wended it's way through tiny representations of star systems. "I wonder who did it, and why?"

//The path to happiness,// Chakotay commented silently, the thought flashing unbidden into his mind as he stared at the sight before him.

/Cha?/ Tom questioned, glancing up and gazing at the thoughtful expression on Chakotay's face.

//Look where the line ends, Tom; the destination,// Chakotay instructed, peering at several dark points where the blue line finished. // It looks as though Azai might have provided us with a way to get Voyager home.//

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