"It's really late, Paris-"
Paris' brows drew together in a kind of golden, angry looking frown. His voice pushed out from somewhere below his sternum. "Sit down. Shut up. I don't care how late it is."
Chakotay blinked, once, then twice, and then, to Tom's astonishment, he cast his eyes around the room and sat, looking a little surprised at himself, on the couch by the doorway.
Such a simple thing, aquiescence. It threw Tom completely.
"OK, you sat down," he said, stunned.
Chakotay leaned back into a comfortable position, crossed his legs and draped his arms over the back of the couch. "Yes." he replied, significantly. He sounded almost... Amused.
His tone worked on Tom Paris like a red flag waved in front of a bull.
"I'm under investigation?"
Chakotay sighed, "Paris-"
"Shut up. I fly you twelve parsecs through a polaron field and you put me under fucking investigation?!"
"We've had this conversation."
"Bullshit we have. I- You... I want an explanation."
"That's good, Tom," Chakotay prompted with mild sarcasm. "The more vague you are the more likely I am to answer your-"
"Fuck you," Paris returned heatedly. "Fuck you, Chakotay. You're the biggest fucking asshole on the-"
Chakotay's eyes filmed over with scorn. "I'm an idiot, of course." His soft tone cut it's way into Paris' fury. "I actually thought for a moment there that you had something worthwhile to say."
Paris clenched his fists. "I do," he ground out. Then, with the semblance of calm, "I- Alright, listen. I'm not here for an 'official' explanation, or a kind of pseudo-Tuvokian, Starfleet brush off." Tom drew in a breath. "But I'm under investigation now, thanks to my commanding officer, and I want you to tell me why."
"Consistently reckless and unproffessional behaviour," Chakotay answered, with a ruthless lack of hesitation.
"Yeah, just don't ever accuse me of being vague," Paris muttered. "Fuck. I mean, what kind of bullshit reply is that?"
Chakotay's eyes flashed a little. "Fine. You want a list of misdemeanors?"
Paris' own gaze hardened in response. He lifted his chin. "I think I'm entitled to hear one, yes."
"Then let's start with the away mission," Chakotay said evenly. "Your trip to the Dalian's bedroom was bad enough. I'm not even going to get into the issues around your flying the shuttle."
Paris stared at him in shock. "What?"
But Chakotay, it seemed, was just warming to the topic. "You ignored Starfleet protocols, went behind the back of your CO and traded a... a..."
"A blow job," Paris supplied half-dazed, with helpful venom.
"A blow job," Chakotay finished determinedly, flushing. "For a proposal the official channels had already refused us. And then you barge into my quarters and have the audacity to ask me why I have a problem with that-"
Anger won dominance over shock. "Wait just one fucking second here," Tom shot back. "I distinctly remember someone saying, 'Do whatever the fuck you want to do, Paris, just stay clear of me' or some-"
"And you thought that meant, what, leap-frog the chain of command and whore yourself to an alien delegate?"
"No." Paris gritted his teeth. "I thought it was tacit approval."
Silence. Silence, and wordless revelation.
Chakotay's expression transformed itself in the stillness that followed, from ingrained irritation to something wide-eyed, and utterly, painfully open.
"Tom," he whispered. "That wasn't approval. I had no... idea of the situation-"
"You're kidding, right? You saw what was going on at dinner."
Tom's eyes narrowed a little. "I see." He did see, too, and the words sounded raw, torn up, even to his own ears. He forced a little laughter, a half-snicker, from his throat. "Well, no wonder you were no help with him."
"Tom, you flirt with everyone. I thought-"
"Thought?" he pushed out.
Chakotay closed his eyes a second, and made as if to get up from the couch.
No concession, no apology, no nothing.
A single, vicious flash of movement, and Tom had Chakotay sprawled beneath him on the grey faux leather of the sofa. Yeah, I know exactly what you thought, Commander...
"Thought something like this?" Too late came his mind's warning, Tom, step back NOW, don't fuck with him, don't do this... All he could think was that Chakotay was under him, moving under him like a lover, with tension bunched in arms and shoulders and one of his palms pressed to the wall for balance- "Don't you dare," Tom snarled. "Don't. Move."
Breath gasped in the tense stillness. When Chakotay finally stilled it got harder to focus on what he had to say, harder to ignore the fisted, throbbing heat between his legs, the spinnning heat of proximity, the tangle of Chakotay's arms... Paris groaned when he realised he was hard, that he was panting and yielding to the world-tilting desire, Chakotay, that was touching mind and flesh and skin. "You bastard," he whispered. "You fucking bastard. You treat me like shit and get off on it, don't you, and somehow I want it, and I want-"
Chakotay's voice sounded breathy when he answered, "Don't. Tom-"
"Don't?" Tom emphasised his word with a little shove, and leaned in closer. "Don't?"
"Oh, God..." Chakotay arched his throat, tightened his grip, and cried out those two desperate words when Tom's lips touched his neck. Then, "I- for once, we have to... this isn't about sex-"
And when he felt the Commander shudder, Tom smiled over the taught curve of neck and bit into the flesh there, hard.
Chakotay's reflex was vicious, and instantaneous. He lashed out, uncoiled in a single burst and heaved Tom about two meters across the room.
Tom landed badly, his legs tangled. Unbalanced, he fumbled for a hand hold and when he didn't find it he ended up half-sprawled on his back. At least, he thought the only functioning part of his now-dazed mind, At least it proves he could have thrown me off any time... If he'd wanted...
"Shit," Tom said again, although this time, sworn from the floor, the word had the tiniest trace of humour in it.
The Commander was glaring at him, one hand clamped to his neck. "You bit me," he accused indignantly.
Paris, desire still in slow burn beneath his skin, had to fight off an irrational gaspy giggle. "You smelled good," he deadpanned.
"I- You-" Chakotay glared at him for another long moment, then let out a furious breath and stormed off into the bathroom.
Alright... Shit. Tom muttered a few choice swearwords to himself and then rolled into a more comfortable, indolent position. Not fair. How can I possibly be expected to sustain anger under these circumstances? Fuck. I want him. The bastard. I'm pissed off, dammit, if only I could feel pissed off...
"Do I want to know what you're doing?" he called, propping elbows on the carpet and his chin in his hands.
"Looking for a regenerator," Chakotay's voice informed him. A buzzing sound followed, and then came the irritated coda, "Some maniac just bit me on the neck."
"Okay-" It wasn't often that Tom was caught without words. "Maybe you-"
A swearword floated out from the bathroom saved him the trouble. "It left a mark, Paris."
The corners of Tom's mouth quirked upwards. "Good."
"I mean, spirits," Chakotay continued. "Even Seska's first move wasn't a bite."
"Chakotay-" Somehow Paris' voice didn't come out as light as he'd meant it- "Not even you could call that my first move with a clear conscience."
Silence greeted this announcement.
Paris scrunched his eyes closed and swore. "Fuck. I don't suppose there's any point telling you I didn't mean that the way it... sounded?"
Chakotay reappeared in the doorway, and pitched the regenerator casually into a handy basket. "You're on my floor," he said. Like that proved everything.
"Yeah, well. Don't read too much into it."
"Paris..." Chakotay began.
And we're back to 'Paris' again...
Paris wasn't really listening. He wasn't even asking himself 'why'. He knew why. There was something about being here. Something about Chakotay's unshakeable convictions, his gorgeous irritation, the almost-ease of the conversation between them...
"-thought you told me... no second chances," the Commander was finishing softly.
Paris tried to shake the feeling, took refuge in his usual lighthearted manner. "Well, I'm not going to offer you another blow job if that's what you're worried about."
"Of course, if you want to suck me off, that's a whole other story."
Chakotay touched his fingertips to his temple. "I get dizzy when we have these kinds of conversations-"
"I know," Paris said softly. "I know. I'm sorry, really I am."
"You're still on my floor.""
Paris grinned. "I know that, too."
"So you plan on staying the night?" Chakotay asked, in the manner of one who has no idea how the words are going to sound until they're already out of his mouth.
Tom's grinned widened. He rolled over onto his back and stretched a little, his pose deliberately provocative. "Thought you'd never ask."
Chakotay did his best to look stern. "I didn't."
"Come join me." Paris patted the floor beside him.
"Plenty of leg room."
Chakotay sighed. "It's really late, Paris-"
"Yeah, you keep saying that."
Blue eyes fluttered closed again. Damn everything, Paris was thinking. Get up, get out and get over him...
The whisper of sound to his right might have been anything. A hiccup in the warp drive, the door opening, Chakotay walking away... Paris' eyes were shut. He promised himself silently that he wouldn't, he absolutely would not look to see if Chakotay had sat down beside him.
A hand slid over his nape, a thumb smoothed the short hairs at the base of his skull in a soft, lazy little caress.
One touch, and he was this close to just wrapping himself round the Commander, grinding mouth on mouth, screaming into him-
"Don't," he choked out. The caress halted, though the hand didn't pull away. "Don't," he repeated, more forcefully. "I'm still angry with you."
Chakotay, who was now sitting crosslegged next to him, pulled back. "Whatever you want," he said softly.
"And don't fucking do that either," Paris returned. "It's too late for any of that... bullshit."
Again, softly, "Alright."
Paris swore. "Computer," he asked. "What time is it?"
"The time is 0129."
"When's your next duty shift, Commander?"
Paris stood all at once, and extended a hand to the older man. "Then come on - I want to show you something."