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Freefalling

Page history last edited by nate 10 years ago

 

Disclaimer: I don’t own ST: Voyager or it’s characters, no money has or will be made from this fic.

A/N: Written for consci_fan_mo prompt: Star Trek: Voyager; Paris/Chakotay ; back on earth, what they are up to? ; sexycazzy.


Freefalling

 

It had come completely out of the blue.  The wormhole that had tantalised and tempted them hadn’t been there one moment and the next it was.  The probe had confirmed it, the wormhole led to the Alpha Quadrant, right by Deep Space 9.  Tom Paris was unlike everyone else on the crew: he had been more than prepared to spend the rest of his life piloting Voyager home across the Delta Quadrant, it meant he wouldn’t have to deal with life back on Earth.  The wormhole completely screwed that up.  He’d barely had time to digest what it meant for him before he was taking them into the spatial anomaly, navigating the wormhole and being spat out the other end.

 

The next couple of weeks had been completely absorbed with all kinds of welcome home celebrations.  Voyager had been gone for ten years and their surviving crew, both Starfleet and Maquis were all being considered heroes.  There were commendations, promotions, and special pardons for the Maquis contingent. And then there had been the Admiral, suddenly full of praise for his wayward no-good son who had brought them all back safe, even as he managed insult and put him down at the same time.  No longer just Lieutenant Tom Paris, he found himself Lieutenant Commander and being offered a permanent appointment to a new starship. 

 

It had all proved too much for Tom and he’d sequestered himself in the nearest dive of a bar he could find to get well and truly trashed.  He would spend from the middle of the afternoon through to closing time getting completely off his face, then return to his pokey little apartment and fall over.  He’d wake with the hangover from hell, administer himself with an antidote to knock it on the head and start all over again.  He was in a spiral of self-destructive behaviour, the kind he’d left behind before his incarceration and Voyager.  Voyager had been his redemption, his second chance, and he’d grabbed it with both hands.  But Voyager was behind him and the new mission just wasn’t the same, he would be under the eyes of his disapproving father once again, and he just couldn’t handle him watching and waiting for him to fuck up again. 

 

If he was honest with himself, he didn’t really know what the problem was.  He’d already proven his father, and everyone else in the process, wrong.  But now he’d elevated himself and everyone had expectations of him, he wasn’t used to having to live up to them.

 

A week into his self-inflicted downward spiral, Tom had just administered his daily hangover cure when there was an unexpected chime from the door.  He ran a hand over his hair trying to flatten it even though he knew he probably looked like hell.  Tom couldn’t imagine who would be coming to see him.  When he opened the door he couldn’t have been more surprised at the identity of his visitor. 

 

“Chakotay,” he said forcing the brash bravado back into his voice.  He was fairly sure it fell short though.

 

“Tom,” came the soft greeting.

 

Tom reckoned he could hear a world of disappointment in that one syllable.  He stood back and waved his former commander inside. “Welcome to my humble hovel.”

 

Dark eyes took in the cramped living space before looking back at Tom, his gaze drifting up and down over his dishevelled clothing and features.

 

Tom waited for some scathing comment, some kind of put down.  What he hadn’t expected was for Chakotay to step up in front of him and then pull him into a strong embrace.  At first he tried to fight it, tried to push him away, but in hindsight he probably didn’t put a great deal of strength behind it.   A strong hand around the back of his neck held him against the big man’s shoulder and Tom found himself sagging, body limp and loose, all the stress and tension melting away.  He wanted to cry but tears wouldn’t come, they never did.  Instead he shifted to burrow his face into the crook of Chakotay’s neck.   He felt a soothing hand running up and down his back and sighed.

 

The embrace lasted for what seemed like hours and if the hug had been unexpected then the kiss to the top of his head that ended it stunned him completely.  He stepped back and met the dark soft gaze, which was full of understanding.  Chakotay raised his hand to cup his face.

 

“Not coping, very well,” Chakotay said softly, observation rather than question.

 

Tom turned away from the too-knowing gaze.  “You know me, Chakotay, I live to disappoint.”

 

“Disappoint, whom? Yourself?” Chakotay asked as he followed Tom into the small kitchen area.

 

Tom stopped, hands resting on the sink unit.  “The more people expect of you, the more disappointed they’ll be when you fail.”

 

“You turned down your assignment?” he asked.

 

“I haven’t given an answer yet,” Tom told him.

 

“Is there a reason for that?” Chakotay asked.

 

Tom could feel the air shift, could tell that Chakotay was right behind him.  “Y’know, that bastard father of mine, even while he was welcoming me home and congratulating me on a job well done, was still finding a way to make veiled digs.  I might have done a good job this time but next time I’d prove him right.”  He laughed mirthlessly.  “Hell, I was the first person to ever pilot trans-warp and he found a way to belittle that even.”

 

“I thought you didn’t care what he thought.”

 

“I don’t.  Well, that’s not true, obviously I do or I wouldn’t be here trying to drink myself to death.”

 

The weight of a strong hand on his shoulder forced Tom to close his eyes with the need to keep his composure. 

 

“He’s an idiot, he can’t see what an incredible son he has.  None of us would be here if it wasn’t for you,” Chakotay told him emphatically. After a pause he asked, “Do you know who is the captain of your assigned ship?”

 

Tom shook his head and turned to look at Chakotay, blue eyes sad.  “No idea, they probably only want me on board because I’m the poster boy for surviving the Delta Quadrant now.”

 

“I don’t think that’s the case, I’m sure he probably just wants the best damn pilot the ‘fleet has to offer.  But maybe you should ask him,” Chakotay told him.

 

Tom frowned.  “Sure, I’m gonna walk up to a Starfleet captain and ask him why he assigned me to his chief pilot, because they all tend to respond well to being questioned.”

 

Chakotay’s hand slid around to grip the back of his neck firmly.  “He might just surprise you.”

 

It took a long few moments as Tom studied Chakotay’s face and eyes. Then it clicked.  “You? You’re the Captain of the Vanguard?”

 

“I am.  I had a choice, I could return to the Maquis and only a matter of time before I was caught and incarcerated or I could try to change things from the inside. And if I’m going to do that I want the best damn pilot in two quadrants on my crew,” Chakotay told him as he squeezed lightly.  “I want you on my crew, Tom, you’re brave, skilled and I trust you with my life.”

 

Tom frowned as he studied Chakotay’s face, he could see no sign of dishonesty. He closed his eyes a moment and bit his lip.  When he opened them again he took a deep breath and met the gaze, unwaveringly.  “I’m not sure I can work for you, Chakotay,” Tom admitted.

 

Hurt flashed through soft brown eyes.  “I thought we were friends, that we put our differences behind us a long time ago.”

 

“No…no,” Tom hurried to tell him. “That’s not… I,” he sighed, feeling his cheeks heat up slightly.  He hoped he wasn’t blushing.  “I meant that I can’t do that again.  For the last ten years I’ve been fighting my feelings for you, it was hard enough when I thought you couldn’t stand me but then when we became friends.  As my superior officer you were off limits and I can’t willingly go back to that situation again.”

 

He saw confusion in Chakotay’s eyes. “I’m not sure I understand, Tom.”

 

Tom decided it was now or never, if he was rejected then he would deal with it later.  He reached out and gently ran his hand down Chakotay’s cheek.  “I want to be with you…I want…” he hesitated, “I want to belong to you. If you don’t want me then fair enough, I’ll deal but I can’t torture myself by working under you again being able to look but not touch.”

 

“So you can’t be my chief pilot <I>and</I> belong to me?” Chakotay asked with a slight quirk of an eyebrow and a twitch of the lips.

 

Tom looked at him stunned. “I didn’t think that was an option.  I thought a Captain had to be careful who they were involved with, fraternization rules an all that?”

 

“Well, if we’re already together beforehand, it’s not fraternization, especially if we’re bonded.”

 

“Whoa! Bonded? You’re…are you proposing to me, Chakotay? That’s kind of sudden don’t you think?”

 

Chakotay laughed softly. “Tom, we’ve been dancing around each other for ten years… longer if you count your time in the Maquis. I’ve finally got you to admit your feelings for me; feelings that I’ve reciprocated for a long time but couldn’t act on because I was your superior officer.  I think we’ve waited long enough, don’t you?”

 

“Your tribe marries for life, you’d be stuck with me no matter how much I fuck up.”

 

“You’re not going to mess up, you’re not that man any more, Tom.”

 

“I…” Tom smiled, which rapidly became a grin.  “Y’know it’ll really piss my old man off, don’t you? But he won’t be able to say a thing about it because you’re the Captain of a Federation Starship and technically that’s marrying pretty damn high.”

 

“So, you’re saying yes to spite your father?” Chakotay asked, his voice tinged with a thread of hurt.

 

“No, not at all. It’s just an added bonus.  I’d say yes even if I thought he’d be thrilled. What he thinks doesn’t matter; I’ve finally got that in my head. It’s my own opinion of me that matters most… and yours.  If you want me, I’m all yours. Prepare to be frustrated beyond belief.”

 

Chakotay snorted. “I think I can handle it.  I have a plan,” he told him with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

 

“Oh yeah?”  Tom asked curiously as he stepped closer into Chakotay’s personal space.

 

“Yep, I figure if I keep you well and truly sexually sated you’ll be too blissed out to frustrate anyone, much less me.”

 

“Well, you might look smug right now, mister, but I assure you, after a few weeks of that neither of us will be functioning fully. Just remember I have to be able to sit at the helm to pilot the ship,” Tom teased with a grin.

 

Chakotay laughed as he once again pulled Tom to him.  He pressed his lips against Tom’s cheek and then sought out his lips to kiss him soundly.  “This makes you mine now,” he whispered.

 

Tom shivered. “Have been for years, Sir, have been for years.”

 

~Fin~

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