Chakotay invites Tom to take part in a traditional ceremony
Categories: Chakotay/Paris Fanfiction Characters:
1. none by Polly Bywater
Title: The Lodge Part 1/6
Author: Polly Bywater
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sexual content, language
Archive: Already at ASCEML, offered here to fellow lovers of Chakotay
Disclaimer: Yeah, we all know mighty Paramount owns them, soulless
corporate drones and more's the pity. Add insult to injury and
recognize, I ain't getting a dime out of this, but I betcha I'm
getting more joy! And speaking of joy, the lyrics included are from
the song 'Learning to Fly', copyrighted by Pink Floyd in 1987.
Summary: Chakotay invites Tom to take part in a traditional ceremony.
On a more personal note, I initially set out to write this because I
wanted to see if I could write C/P (since I love to read it, and
thank you CPSG). As the story went on, I began to realize I also
wanted to write an statement of my faith, which happens to be
somewhat similar to Chakotay's. It seemed to me there was a place for
a story that detailed a little bit about the Indian spirit path, at
least, as I have been taught. Not gonna specify which tribe. Hope
you enjoy it, happy 2001 holidays, and please don't flame me for my
opinions. Un-beta-ed work, all errors mine alone.
Chakotay was meditating, and was therefore not surprised when he
followed his spirit animal into a clearing to find his father,
sitting and waiting with a welcoming smile.
"Buenos Dias, Chakotay."
"Hello, Papacita," he replied, the childhood nickname coming out of
his mouth before he realized it. Papacita, 'little father'. It had
been a joke then, when he had had to crane his neck to look up to his
father's loving eyes... and still a joke, when Chakotay had ended up
being bigger than his father.
They grinned at each other, and Kolopak patted the ground next to
"Sit, Chakotay. You look tired."
"We've been busy, Papa." And they had been. Voyager had come across
an M-class planet that looked invitingly uninhabited. Kathryn had
insisted on every kind of scan they could think of, of every *thing*
they could think of, before she would entertain thoughts of shore
leave. It was hard not to tease her about being paranoid... then
again, if the Delta Quadrant had taught them one thing, it was that
even paranoiacs had enemies.
The planet had checked out. No carnivorous animal life, no deadly
poisonous plant life, no flesh-eating bacteria or mind-altering
viruses, no tectonic instability, no meteorological phenomena, no
this, that, or the other thing. It actually looked like they might
all get a chance for a little down time. So Chakotay had cleared
schedules and posted rosters, and the first shore leave parties were
on the planet now. By all accounts, everyone was having a good
time. Chakotay himself was supposed to beam down in the morning, but
he wanted a chance to center his mind, first.
He sat next to his father and let the peace of doing it wash over
him. The first time he'd seen his father during a spirit walk, it
had taken him a long time to reconcile the fact that meeting his
father in the spirit plane meant Kolopak had walked West, had left
his life behind. Now, Chakotay found comfort in it.
"You need to go into the lodge, mi hijo," Kolopak told him, his dark
eyes smiling. "It is time."
"Yes, Papa," he said agreeably, and his father laughed at him.
"Chakotay. Do you remember how to build a sweat lodge? How to do it
in a good and gentle way? How to sing the songs of our ancestors?"
Chakotay had to admit he was not sure, and Kolopak patted him on the
"It will come to you in a dream tonight, then, my son. Listen to
what you are told... and remember, the lodge is a gift to us from the
Great Mystery. It is a place of healing, a place of spiritual
rebirth, a place to cleanse ourselves of worldly concerns. It is not
to be shared lightly, but it is not to be held selfishly to
ourselves, either. Perhaps you know of another who might benefit
from all these things."
Now Chakotay was surprised, and his surprise wrenched him rather
abruptly from his place in the spirit realm. He opened his eyes and
found himself back in his cabin on Voyager. 'Another who might
benefit', hmm? Not for the first time, he wondered how much his
subconscious mind influenced what he heard and saw during
meditation. Sometimes it was easier to believe that than to accept
that his deceased father could see so easily into his heart... his
heart, that beat with an increasingly insistent wish for the love of
a certain blonde pilot.
With a sigh, the big man wrapped up his precious medicine bundle and
put it away. He'd better get some dinner, because he'd be fasting
- - - - - - - -
Tom watched Chakotay come into the mess hall, and dropped his eyes in
a hurry before the First Officer could catch him staring. For the
millionth time Tom simultaneously wished for two diametrically
opposing things; that he was anywhere else but where Chakotay was,
and that he could be with Chakotay forever. Sometimes he thought he
would fly into pieces just from the force of his battling wishes.
Tom was sufficiently self-aware to understand that his urge to get
away from Chakotay came from his cautious, conscious mind, while the
desire to be with him came from his heart... and maybe south of his
heart, he thought sardonically. He, Tom Paris, who believed analysis
was called *anal*ysis because it was pure shit, had unwillingly given
the situation so much thought he almost longed to talk it over with a
counselor. Even one of those crappy prison shrinks would do.
Somebody who would listen without judgements or comments, who
wouldn't think he was insane.
Hell, maybe he was insane. Here he sat, afraid to look up in case he
caught the eye of his superior officer, with whom he was hopelessly
in love, in lust, and in need. His superior officer, a man who
treated him like something you'd scrape off the bottom of your boot.
Well, to be fair, Chakotay didn't usually treat him like that
anymore. He and Tom had managed, after several years, to be
professional, polite, and distantly friendly. Lately, though, Tom
hadn't been able to tolerate even that much, because it was getting
to the point where it was too painful to be in the same room as the
man... which sure made bridge duty and the morning briefings a
refined form of torture. Tom knew it was his fault, and his alone.
When Chakotay was hostile towards Tom, it was because Tom was so
afraid the big man would find out how he *really* felt that he
deliberately provoked a negative reaction. Tom was good at that, an
expert, in fact.
The thing was, he'd realized, when he spent so much time hiding his
feelings from other people, eventually he started to fool himself,
too. It was amazing, just how much he *could* hide from himself...
and then when his true feelings regarding Chakotay had hit him,
they'd exploded into his consciousness like a tri-cobalt torpedo,
leaving fragments of his self behind. Tom wondered what Chakotay
would think if he told him he'd been in love with him for years, ever
since the moment the big man had taken his hands off that collapsing
stairwell rail in the Ocampan underground, put his arm around Tom's
neck and trusted Tom to save his life. All the confused emotions Tom
had felt since first meeting the handsome Maquis captain had
coalesced in that instant, and Tom had never been the same, since.
Yeah, he was definitely insane. Chakotay would never believe *that*,
and even if by some wild stretch of the imagination he did, he
wouldn't want to hear it from Tom Paris, anyway. And who could blame
Tom shook his head, got to his feet, ditched his tray, squared his
shoulders, and practically stalked out of the mess hall. He never
noticed the dark gaze that followed him.
- - - - - - -
What in the hell was wrong with Tom Paris? Chakotay couldn't
understand it. Up until a few months ago, they'd been getting along
all right, or so he'd thought... but then Tom had started avoiding
him, leaving whatever room he happened to be in, if the pilot was
able. Avoiding his eyes, if he couldn't. Never saying more than the
bare minimum that duty required, on a good day, and driving Chakotay
nuts with sarcastic attitude and smart-mouthed remarks on the bad
ones. Obviously something was bothering the man, but for the life of
him, Chakotay couldn't figure out what. He'd even gone over his
logs, personal and professional, trying to find some precipitating
incident that would explain Tom's current behavior, but there was
nothing. The first officer admitted he was worried. Tom had lost
some weight that he could ill afford, had rarely been seen outside
his bridge shifts, and was generally subdued while at the conn.
Definitely unlike him.
With a sigh, Chakotay gave up on eating the other half of his dinner
and headed for bed. Maybe the spirits would have some answers for
him in his dreams.
- - - - - - - - -
Chakotay awakened feeling rested and good. He had dreamed quite
lucidly of his father introducing him to an elder named Mato. The
elder had sat him down and explained very carefully what he needed to
do in order to properly erect a sweat lodge. Mato had also reminded
him of some things that Chakotay either remembered or subconsciously
knew; that being told to build a lodge was a heavy responsibility,
because when one of the People chose to sweat, that person was
sweating for *all* the People. A sweat lodge was never erected on a
whim, for curiosity, or merely for the physical release, and it was
not to be done without having been given the consent of the Spirits.
Then the elder had startled him.
"Nephew. There is one near you who feels his soul is tarnished. He
feels unworthy of his life. His heart is sick. Ask him to sweat
with you. Teach him what he needs to know. Help him."
"Uncle, who is it?" Chakotay was at a loss.
And the elder had vanished into the mists of dreams, along with his
father, and Chakotay had slept heavily for a while. Then along
toward morning, as had become habit, his sleeping mind had conjured
up another companion. Long legs intertwined with his, strong arms
held him close, hands and mouth brought him to gasping pleasure, with
a shout of equal joy, "Cha, oh, yes, Cha!" Chakotay knew that
voice... yeah, he knew.
He rolled out of bed, pitched his damp sheets into the 'fresher and
hit the shower while he tried to figure out how he was supposed to
approach Tom Paris about the sweat lodge.
- - - - - - - -
Tom laid sprawled on his stomach, tangled in the covers of his bed
and tried to think of a good enough reason to get out of it today.
He was off duty and on the roster for his seventy-two hours of shore
leave, although he hadn't decided yet if he was going to go down to
the planet. He didn't really see the point in wandering around in
the wilderness. Now, if it had been an inhabited planet, with a few
seedy bars and the prospect of some ethanol-induced amnesia, he might
feel differently. Besides, he didn't have anybody to go with. Harry
and B'Elanna had been in the shore leave party that was due back
today, and they'd both be on duty for Beta shift.
He turned over and yelped when his butt hit the wet spot in the
sheets. Well there was a reason to get up, he thought, and did just
that, deliberately avoiding the memory of the dream that had put that
spot there. Damn it.
He stripped his bed and threw the sheets in the 'fresher, then
stalked into the shower. Unfortunately, standing under the water
brought back the dream full force...
//on his knees, at Chakotay's feet, worshipping the big man with his
mouth, his tongue, his hands holding those hips and shaping the sweet
curves of that fine ass, the skin so smooth; warm hands on his head
in a gentle grip; the shower running over them both, hot and steamy,
sounds echoing in the hisses and groans of their arousal; the smells
of sex and soap as palpable as the tiles he knelt on, while his
spirit flew with joy as his lover screamed out his release; the taste
of Chakotay, salty and faintly bitter but sweet like fine wine//
"Oh, Gods," Tom moaned out as his own orgasm hit, making him shudder
and lean against the shower wall for balance. How much worse was
this going to get? It was at the point now where he didn't even have
to touch himself. The hunger was so deep in him that just loving
Chakotay in his all-too-detailed imagination could bring him off.
One more item to add to his list of abnormalities, he thought,
turning the water on cold and making himself stand in it until he
started to shiver. Penance, he decided a little wildly, wondering
just what in the hell was wrong with him. For years, he had
convinced himself that he felt *nothing*, covering up his emotions
with drugs, flying, liquor, and meaningless sex. He'd given up
drugs, had practically quit drinking, as well, at least drinking for
the sake of getting drunk. He couldn't remember the last time he'd
had sex outside of his dreams or his own hand. He couldn't fly 24/7,
either. The result? Now he felt *everything*, and it just hurt too
Recalling the state of his water rations finally moved Tom out of the
cold spray, and he finished his morning routine and dressed; sandals,
old blue jeans and a white T-shirt. He spent some time cleaning his
quarters and making the bed, then fetched himself a glass of juice
from the replicator. He was seldom hungry in the morning at the best
of times, and this certainly didn't qualify, he noted gloomily. He
knew Chakotay was scheduled for shore leave, too. With any luck,
he'd be off the ship by noon and Tom could look forward to lunch.
Well, that might be stretching it, he admitted, thinking of Neelix's
usual fare. Tom flopped on his couch, laughing at himself, and
picked up a data padd to finish a holoprogram he'd been working on.
- - - - - - - - - -
Chakotay had seen Kathryn first thing, explaining that he was going
to use his shore leave for a spiritual observance and requesting that
he not be disturbed for less than a red alert. She'd agreed, wished
him well, and kept any questions she might have had to herself.
Chakotay appreciated that, and her. Kathryn Janeway had become a
He'd picked up a few supplies and beamed down to the planet then,
choosing a location several kilometers away from any of the other
crew. The spot he picked had everything he needed, being a narrow
open field between forest and water. A small river burbled along
mildly, its banks spotted with skinny, long-leafed trees that he
could substitute for the traditional willows. Enough rocks were
scattered around that selecting thirty-five melon-sized specimens
would be easy, too. Mato had told him in his dream what kind of
rocks to look for, and Chakotay was glad to see they were quite
distinctive, particularly since Mato had reminded him that incorrect
rocks could either dissolve or explode in the forces of the lodge.
Chakotay burned a bit of his precious store of white sage, smoked
himself off and then the area, and prayed to the Spirits before he
began collecting what he would need. Harvesting the trees had
presented a bit of a problem. Ordinarily, one planted a young
sapling for each older tree chosen, but Chakotay couldn't very well
introduce alien trees into this planet's ecosystem. He finally
decided to dig up some over-shadowed seedlings that wouldn't survive
where they were, and replanted them as he went. In this manner he
eventually gathered a sufficient number of trees to construct the
The air was warm without being oppressive, and there was enough of a
breeze to keep Chakotay feeling fresh while he worked, despite the
strong sun. Clean smelling air, he thought, catching the differing
notes of aroma in the light winds. Water, grass, trees... distant
flowers, even the sunshine seemed to have its own odor. He stripped
off his clothes to soak up some rays, thoroughly enjoying the simple
physicality of his labors.
Setting the lodge's opening toward the east and marking the other
directions, as was customary, Chakotay sang as he worked. Old songs,
handed down through the generations, songs for healing, songs of
thanks, songs of adoration, songs of supplication. By afternoon he
had the frame erected and secured, a small skeleton of a dome that
hunched over a centered shallow hole. Chakotay then dug out a pit
for the fire several feet in front of the lodge door. He placed his
medicine bundle on a stone altar between the lodge opening and the
fire pit. When he finished there he gathered rocks, putting them
east of the fire pit. With that task completed, Chakotay walked into
the forest to find firewood. He picked up only the deadwood that lay
on the forest floor, eventually collecting quite an impressive pile
that he placed south of the fire pit.
He spent quite a while arranging the rocks and the wood in the fire
pit, placing them as he'd been told in his dream, with prayers to the
Great Mystery, the Spirits of the Four Directions, and his
ancestors. By the time he was finished, he was set for a break.
He had only to cover the lodge frame with blankets and secure those
and the lodge would be ready for use. Chakotay smoked everything off
again, including himself, with a sage, sweetgrass, cedar, and tobacco
mixture he'd been hoarding since he left the Alpha Quadrant, then sat
down to rest. He drank freely of the water he'd brought with him,
and turned his problem over in his head once more. How *was* he
supposed to get Tom Paris to agree to doing this with him? He
expected the pilot would be suspicious of any invitation, let alone
an invitation to join him in a spiritual ceremony.
"Guess you won't know until you try, Chakotay," he said to himself
with a sigh, and made his way to the river for a quick wash before he
got dressed and beamed up to Voyager.
- - - - - - - - -
Title: The Lodge Part 2/6
Author: Polly Bywater
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sexual content, language
Disclaimer: See part 1
Summary: Chakotay invites Tom to take part in a traditional ceremony.
Tom stretched out along his sofa and heaved a deep breath. He was
bored, no doubt about it. Harry had come along and convinced him to
go to the Mess Hall for a late lunch, and while he'd enjoyed his
friend's company there had been nothing enjoyable about the so-called
meal Neelix was serving and Tom had settled for another glass of
juice and a cup of coffee.
Harry had a great time on the planet, according to him. He and
B'Elanna had gone fishing, of all things, and Tom thought he would
have given a week's worth of rations to have seen B'Elanna Torres
catch her first fish. By the time Harry finished telling him about
her standing over her 'prey' and growling 'Q'apla!' Tom was almost
falling out of his chair laughing. All too soon, however, Harry had
to leave for his duty shift, and Tom had wandered back to his
quarters and watched a couple of vids.
Now it was dinner time, but Tom couldn't work up any enthusiasm for
going back to the Mess Hall alone. So here he was, lying around
trying to understand why he felt so... fragile. He wasn't just
bored. He was lonely and bored. It was a frame of mind that in his
past had landed him in a shitload of trouble, so maybe that's why he
felt so apprehensive. He thought about heading down to the holodeck,
but he was feeling so anti-social he figured that would be a waste of
time, as well as potentially dangerous.
The sound of the door signal startled him so badly he yelped.
"Come," he shouted, impatient with himself. The sight of Chakotay at
his door startled him even further... Chakotay, dressed in battered
khaki shorts and a black T-shirt, baring long legs to elegant feet
that were shoved into a pair of well-worn rope sandals. Tom felt his
gut clench and leaped to his feet, forcing himself to meet that dark
"Commander! What can I do for you?" Oh, what *wouldn't* he do? Tom
shook that thought out of his head and unconsciously set himself at
attention. The effort involved in keeping his eyes on Chakotay's
face, -and not the broad chest under that thin material, the bare
arms glowing with sun, the way those shorts molded to his lower torso
and framed the object of Tom's fantasies, those beautiful, bronze
legs- Tom wondered briefly if the effort was going to kill him as his
heart skipped unevenly. He blessed and cursed his excellent
peripheral vision and tried to hold onto his self-control, keeping
his face completely still.
"Well, you could relax, Lieutenant, for one thing," Chakotay said in
a pained voice, trying to cover his own reaction to seeing that tall,
lean figure covered in the gently clinging cloth of casual clothes,
the jeans echoing that impossible blue of Tom's eyes.
He noticed the way Tom's pulse was pounding at the base of his
throat, and wondered a bit sadly if the man thought he was in some
kind of trouble... and ignored the way his own heartrate had jumped.
"Relax," Tom repeated just a bit huskily, gave himself a visible
shake, and flopped back down on the couch. "Okay," he said, crossing
his legs while he recited to himself Newton's Laws of Motion in an
effort to ward off the developing erection he could feel.
"Have a seat, Commander," he invited grandly, waving Chakotay toward
a chair while he fixed his flyboy persona firmly on his face.
Chakotay sat down gratefully, settling his right ankle over his left
knee for the same reason Tom had, to hide any sign of his involuntary
arousal. He was suddenly certain that inviting Paris down to the
planet was a very bad idea, but he'd been told to do it by the
Spirits, and by the Spirits, do it he would. And aside from all
that, he couldn't bear the thought of Tom being unhappy. If what
Mato said in his dream was correct, he had no choice. He had to try.
"Chakotay. Last time I looked, we were both off duty, Tom."
Oh, Gods. He called me by my name, Tom realized a bit wildly, and it
sounded just like it did in all those dreams where Chakotay used his
name, usually along the lines of 'fuck me, Tom' or 'I want to fuck
you, Tom' or his personal favorite, 'Come for me, Tom'. All right,
let's try calculating the warp field boundary as it applies to
exiting 40 Eridani, and you stay down, boy.
"Sure, Comm— uh, Chakotay. What brings you by?" And moving right
along to the Constitution of the Federation... Article One.
"Tom, I was wondering if you'd been down to the planet yet," Chakotay
began, looking at the deck in an effort to keep his eyes off Tom's
groin. Damn, those jeans didn't leave much to the imagination, did
they? Chakotay fought back the sigh that went with the vision in his
mind and waited.
"No, and I really hadn't planned on going, Chakotay. Guess I'm not
much of a nature boy," Tom quipped, his attention fully focused on
picking at the fraying hem of his jeans. He could swear he could
smell Chakotay now, the scent of sunshine and clean, honest sweat
teasing his nostrils from halfway across the room.
"I'd like you to come down with me," Chakotay said, throwing caution
to the winds. If he didn't get this invitation issued and get out of
here, he didn't think he could be held responsible for his own
actions. Since he was still staring at the deck, he missed seeing
how Tom's head jerked up, but he could swear he felt those eyes
lasering in on him.
"Why?" Tom asked baldly.
"I'm going to do a sweat lodge ceremony. It's a spiritual thing,"
Chakotay explained, peering at Tom's face through his downcast
eyelashes and thereby catching the younger man's surprised flush.
"It can be pretty strenuous, and I probably shouldn't go alone,"
Chakotay added, inspired. Tom's psyche might be a complete mystery
to him, but he knew the pilot would do anything to protect the
captain, the crew, and the ship. He looked back down at the deck and
Tom was still trying to catch his breath from the way Chakotay had
just looked at him. Wasn't it ridiculous for a man to have eyelashes
like that? Oh yeah, he knew what, or rather who, was ridiculous
here, and it wasn't the commander. He hooked his fingers together
behind his head and stared up at the ceiling, completely unaware of
how the position made him look like some kind of offering.
Chakotay was aware.
"Why *me*?" Tom had to ask.
"Why *not* you?" Chakotay replied, and held his breath. He was
really hoping Tom wouldn't press him on 'why'. He suspected if he
told Tom the Spirits were behind this invitation, the pilot would
either be furious with Chakotay for asking only because he'd been
told to, or worse, laugh.
Tom thought about it for a moment, and because he really did love the
man, and longed to know more about him and his culture, and despite
the fact that he would be suffering the tortures of the damned by
being so close to him, had to accept.
"Why, thank you, Chakotay. I'd be honored."
Now it was Chakotay's turn to look sharply at Tom, but there was no
hint of sarcasm or mockery in those bright eyes, and the big man
"Have you eaten dinner?" He asked next, and Tom shook his head,
briefly struck mute by that lovely, open smile with its accompanying
flash of dimples.
"No, I haven't," he said, not bothering to mention that he hadn't
eaten all day.
"Good. Don't. We'll eat after the ceremony, that's customary. Have
yourself beamed down to my coordinates around 2200 hours, and I'll
explain what you need to know, then we'll go in around midnight,
ship's time." Chakotay had figured that would put them exiting the
lodge around dawn, planet time. That was an auspicious time to
finish the sweat. Coming out of the lodge as a new person,
spiritually cleansed and starting a new day.
"You need to drink some extra water before you beam down, at least a
liter. Bring some shorts and a towel with you," Chakotay added as he
got up and headed toward the door. "I'll see you there," he said, and
was gone before Tom had time to respond.
Tom sat there for a minute, then groaned.
"What have I done?" He asked the air, and with no answer
forthcoming, went to the replicator and got a glass of water.
- - - - - - - - -
Tom materialized to find himself standing several feet away from what
appeared to be a moderately sized bonfire. Chakotay stood in front
of it, holding a pitchfork. Tom caught back a gasp when he realized
the man had nothing on but a pair of shorts, and he'd evidently been
working with the fire for a while, because his skin glistened with
sweat. The firelight silhouetted him in gold. Tom wondered, not for
the first time this evening, about his sanity and the wisdom of being
As he watched, Chakotay laid another log on the fire, using the
pitchfork to position it where he wanted, then he reached into a
pouch and held a pinch of something to the sky before sprinkling it
on the fire. Tom sniffed, enjoying the sweet aroma of whatever
burning herb it was. As his eyes adjusted, he saw a little blanket
covered dome behind Chakotay, the woods dark beyond it. He turned
slowly, smelling water somewhere nearby, then looked up at the sky.
This planet had no natural satellites, but the Delta Quadrant
starshine threw off plenty of light.
"Chakotay?" He called out softly, not wanting to disturb the
"Tom. You're here. Good," Chakotay hoped his relief didn't sound
too obvious. He'd been more than a little afraid the pilot would
stand him up. "Come sit down." He had dragged over a couple of good
sized logs for seats; near enough to the fire to ward off any night-
time chill but not so close it would be uncomfortable. He watched
while Tom walked over, his skin pale in the night and the starshine
crowning that fair hair.
"Did you think I wouldn't show?" Tom asked in an unusually gentle
tone of voice, and Chakotay mustered up the nerve for an honest reply.
"I was a bit worried." He grinned at Tom, who smiled back
involuntarily, and they held each other's stares for a long moment.
Tom finally set down his rolled up towel and shorts and seated
himself facing the fire. Chakotay sat down on the other log, keeping
his own eyes firmly on the progress of the rocks and off the younger
man's beautiful features. The quiet stretched out between them,
broken only by the fire as it hissed and popped. Both men were
surprised at how comfortable the silence was.
"Ready to tell me what this is?" Tom asked after a little while, his
voice low. "I take it that's the sweat lodge," he said, motioning
toward the small dome.
"Yes. The sweat lodge is traditionally used for spiritual renewal
and healing. There are some differences in how the ceremony is
performed, depending on tribe, but its use is pretty widespread among
indigenous people. The tradition is very old, goes back thousands of
years." Chakotay dared a glance at Tom, saw nothing on the pilot's
face but genuine interest, and continued.
"The sweat lodge itself is usually round, in a circle, which
represents the circular nature of existence. It's dark inside, and
warm, which represents the womb from which we all come. The entrance
is low, and small, and we have to crawl through it. This represents
the birth canal. While we are inside the lodge, we are both less,
and more than our physical selves. We are only voices in the
darkness, creatures of spirit, and the ceremony cleanses us, so that
when we come out, we are renewed."
Tom was fascinated, and for once, unafraid to show it.
"What do you do inside?"
"We pray, and we sweat. It gets pretty hot", Chakotay said, thinking
to himself that 'pretty hot' was a gross misrepresentation, but he
didn't want to scare Tom off. "It's like a sauna, but better,
because sometimes, the spirits come to be with us, and sometimes, the
spirits take us out of our bodies to go places with them. Sometimes
we see visions."
"Chakotay, that's incredible," Tom said, meaning it. He had so
little faith in anything beyond the captain and his own skill at the
helm. Chakotay's spiritual strength seemed almost magical, and when
Tom was honest with himself, he had to admit he longed for that kind
of strength. That kind of foundation.
Chakotay was watching the expressions fly across the pilot's mobile
face. Tom's eyes were dark in the night, but Chakotay could see his
sincere interest... an interest that went far beyond mere curiosity
and came close to need. He could also see a sadness in the younger
man that made him realize how very seldom Tom revealed what he was
really feeling. Chakotay was practically holding his breath for fear
Tom would realize what he was giving away and cover up his emotions.
"So, what exactly do you want *me* to do, Chakotay?" Tom eventually
wondered, his voice somewhat unsteady. He was still not clear about
his role here, and too worried he would mess something up to not ask,
but the effort it took to reveal his apprehension to *this* man was
making his throat ache. "Am I supposed to make sure you don't pass
out and broil, or something?" He inquired with a faint echo of his
Chakotay had to grin. Jokes about passing out in the sweat lodge and
being dragged out feet first were almost as old as the use of the
lodge itself, but this was serious, and he turned to face Tom full on.
"Tom, I want you to come into the lodge and sweat with me. I really
want to share this with you," and this time he *did* hold his breath.
He was rewarded with an instant of Tom's brilliant, surprised smile,
before it faded abruptly, leaving the pilot's face shadowed and pale
in the firelight.
"Chakotay, I'm... I'm not very spiritual, you know. I don't want
to... do something wrong and... fuck this up for you," Tom said in a
rather harsh whisper, his hands on his knees clenching into
involuntary fists as he stared at the ground.
As for Chakotay, he was wondering why he had never understood how
*insecure* the younger man was. It felt like a revelation, and he
understood it for what it was, a gift of the spirits. It was as if
scales had fallen from his eyes, at last, allowing him to look past
the spoken words and interpret Tom's body language and tone of
voice. It gave him the strength to reach out and cover those tightly
fisted hands with his own.
"I'll tell you what to do, don't worry. You know I'm good at that,"
he tried a slight smile of his own, adding, "and the only way you
can... fuck this up for me... is if you don't come in with me.
He waited for a moment. Tom's hands relaxed and the pilot met his
eyes, patently surprised all over again by the smile on Chakotay's
"Really?" He breathed, and Chakotay's smile widened at the almost
childish note of delight in Tom's voice.
"Really," Chakotay assured gently, and was nearly knocked over by the
nova-bright smile Tom offered in return. He shook his head slightly,
thinking that statement on that beautiful face should be powering
Voyager's warp core, and gave Tom's hands a pat before releasing them.
Chakotay then turned around and rummaged in a duffel behind his log
and presented Tom with a bottle of water. "Drink up. You'll get a
headache if you're not well-hydrated. When you're done, go ahead and
change into your shorts, and if you need to make a trip into the
woods, do that too. We'll start soon."
"Okay, Chakotay," Tom agreed cheerfully. The commander was right, he
*was* good at telling Tom what to do... and for some reason, Tom
found it very reassuring, at least tonight. He grabbed his shorts
and walked off towards the trees, drinking his water as he went and
trying not to feel so ridiculously happy.
Chakotay watched him go, wondering how Tom would react if told that
traditionally, in same-sex sweats they should both be nude. Chakotay
was going to allow that little break in tradition, and keep his
shorts on as if it were a mixed-sex sweat. He didn't think he could
control himself to be nude in a tiny, enclosed, dark space with an
equally naked Tom Paris, no matter how spiritual the occasion!
- - - - - - - - -
Title: The Lodge Part 3/6
Author: Polly Bywater
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sexual content, language
Disclaimer: See part 1
Summary: Chakotay invites Tom to take part in a traditional ceremony.
Tom shimmied into his shorts, rolled up his clothes, and started back
towards the lodge, having emptied his bladder as well as his balls
while among the trees. Chakotay once again stood before the fire
with his back to Tom, so Tom paused outside the firelight for a
moment, to enjoy the view. The commander's broad shoulders tapered
into a strong back that narrowed into a trim waist before flaring out
again into firm buttocks and long, muscular thighs... Tom sighed,
and knew he'd be seeing *that* image in his mind's eye for a long
time to come. Oh well. It wasn't often that he got a chance to ogle
the man out of uniform, and he couldn't be sorry for the
opportunity. He was glad, however, that he'd had the foresight to
relieve his libido a little. Staring at Chakotay's ass still made
his cock twitch, even so.
He stashed his clothes and comm badge, sat himself back down on the
log and waited without impatience. It really was a glorious night,
star bright and calm. The air was lingeringly warm, and it smelled
fresh and clean compared to the processed and controlled environment
upon Voyager. The woodsmoke teased Tom's nostrils while the
crackling of the fire and the sounds of nightbirds calling teased at
his hearing. There was peace to be had here, and he let it wash over
him and soothe the near-constant lonely ache in his gut.
He didn't even realize he'd closed his eyes until he heard Chakotay
sit next to him.
"Tom? Are you all right?" Chakotay asked a bit anxiously, wondering
what would make the pilot sit so quietly, with an oddly shuttered
look on his face that Chakotay couldn't identify. It was enough to
startle Chakotay out of the rather stunned daze he had fallen into
when he'd turned around and caught sight of Paris sitting there,
catching the firelight. Red-gold sparks seemed to glitter in Tom's
hair, reflecting off the light fur on his chest to trace a glinted
line down that flat stomach before vanishing under the waistband of
his shorts, and picked up again in random whorls patterned over the
fine hair on his thighs and calves. And then there was that face.
Chakotay used to think Tom Paris used his terrifying beauty like a
weapon, to manipulate people. Then, after watching him over the
years, and catching glimpses of the soul behind the face, Chakotay
had come to wonder if Tom even realized just how beautiful he truly
"I'm fine, Chakotay. Just enjoying all this," Tom said, opening his
eyes and waving his hand in a gesture that somehow encompassed
everything around them. "It's really pretty here. Peaceful." He
cut himself off then, not wanting to sound foolish, and definitely
not wanting to blurt out how he thought Chakotay carried that peace
with him all the time, and how much he envied that quality in the man.
Chakotay merely nodded. He was glad Tom could sense the aura in the
"Tom, how much do you know about Indian spirituality?" He eventually
asked. It was almost time to get started, and he still needed to
explain a few things.
"Not much," Tom replied. He wasn't about to admit he'd read
everything in Voyager's database on the subject in an effort to
better understand the mysterious first officer.
"Well, I can't speak for all Indians, of course, but I was taught
that everything around us is connected, that everything, in being
created by the Great Mystery, has within it a piece of the Great
Mystery's spirit. Trees, rocks, water, wind, animals, plants, and
even what my grandfather called the six-leggeds, the eight-leggeds,
and the ones-that-fly are equal to people in spirit, and that we are
all related. That's why we're taught to treat the natural world with
reverence, because it's part of us, as we are part of it, and we are
all part of the Great Mystery." Chakotay paused to make sure Tom was
following this, then went on.
"When we go into the sweat lodge, we stop to kiss the ground at the
threshold of the door and we say 'for all my relations'. We say this
to acknowledge that we go into the lodge not as individuals, but as
representatives of everything we are related to. Also, it is an
statement of gratitude to all of creation."
It was Tom's turn to nod. *He* was grateful that Chakotay was taking
the time to teach him, since he was still worried he would do or say
the wrong thing.
"Before you go in, I'm going to 'smoke' you off with some cedar.
This is a ceremonial way to cleanse your outer being of bad feelings
and negative energy," Chakotay told Tom, and took his hand to lead
him to stand facing the fire, with his back to the lodge. "Stand
right here for a minute and hold your arms out from your sides."
Using the pitchfork, he put some coals in a small iron pot, sprinkled
some dried cedar on them, and picked up the blackbird wing from his
medicine bundle. He used the wing to fan the smoke over Tom,
starting at his feet and working his way up. "Turn around and face
the lodge," he instructed quietly, and when Tom had moved, he waved
the smoke from head to foot, finishing by brushing the wing over
Tom's shoulders then the top of his head.
Tom breathed in the smoke, filling his lungs with the sweet smell.
The scent of cedar made him smile, reminding him of his grandmother's
house and cedar-lined closets, childhood Christmases, and happy
Chakotay stood off to the side and saw that smile, and thought for a
second Tom was laughing at him before he realized the younger man was
simply enjoying himself. It made him resolve to try even harder to
let go his preconceptions where Tom Paris was concerned, and he
swallowed back the sharp question that had initially leapt to mind.
"Okay, my turn," he said instead, handing Tom the blackbird wing and
gently maneuvering him around so that Chakotay faced east and Tom
faced him. He sprinkled some more cedar on the coals. "Fan the
smoke over me now, Tom."
Beyond surprised that Chakotay would ask *him* to do *this*, Tom
carefully imitated what the commander had done. When he had
finished, complete to brushing the wing over Chakotay's shoulders and
head, he handed the wing and smudge pot back. Chakotay set them down
on the rock altar and led Tom to the lodge door.
"All right, Tom. I want you to go in and follow the wall around the
left side until you are sitting facing the door. There's a hole in
the middle of the floor. Don't fall in," Chakotay added with a faint
grin. He observed with no little pride as the younger man dropped to
his hands and knees, kissed the ground at the threshold,
murmured 'for all my relations' and crawled into the sweat lodge as
instructed. Chakotay's pleasure at his apt pupil almost overshadowed
the rush of heat he felt at the evocative vision of Tom Paris, in
that position in front of him with those frayed denim shorts molded
to his narrow ass. Chakotay shook his head and sent up an extra
prayer to the Spirits to forgive him for being all too human
tonight. He crouched by the door.
"Tom, on the ground in front of you are some antlers. I'm going to
bring the rocks in on the pitchfork, one at a time. I want you to
take the antlers and use them to position the first rock in the
center of the pit."
"Okay, Cha," floated out the unseen reply, and Chakotay groaned under
his breath as he turned to the fire. He stared into the flames,
acknowledged the visceral punch of hearing Tom say the nickname he
used in Chakotay's erotic dreams, then let it go... focusing on
clearing his mind and arranging his thoughts to reflect the respect
and gratitude due his present undertaking.
Tom was busy biting his lower lip and kicking himself mentally.
Gods, he hadn't meant to call Chakotay that! He was lucky the
commander hadn't dragged him out of the sweat lodge and ordered him
back up to Voyager. He took a deep breath and tried to relax before
Chakotay brought in the first rock. From what he'd read, state of
mind was an important component to these rituals, and he didn't want
anything to tarnish this for Chakotay.
"Hot rock!" Chakotay warned, and put the business end of the
pitchfork through the door with its radiating cargo. "You're
supposed to say 'welcome Grandfather' or 'welcome Ancient One' as the
rocks come in, Tom," he added, and carefully dumped the rock into the
pit in the lodge. As he turned back for the next one, he could hear
Tom's low voice as he greeted the Grandfather rock, then heard the
scrape of the antlers as Tom made sure it was in the correct position.
Tom was startled to see the rock was glowing red-hot from the fire.
He hadn't supposed rocks could get that hot in a regular fire without
melting or disintegrating or something.
"Hot rock!" Chakotay said again, arriving with the second
rock. "This one needs to go in the east, same side as the door."
And the process was repeated five more times, the third rock going in
the south, the fourth in the west, the fifth in the north, the sixth
between the first and second rocks, and the seventh on top of the
first. By the time Chakotay tended the fire, laid aside the
pitchfork, and retrieved a wooden pail full of water, Tom was already
Chakotay touched the pail to the threshold, said 'for all my
relations', and then crawled into the lodge himself, kissing the
ground and saying something in a language Tom couldn't understand but
assumed meant pretty much the same as the earlier words. Chakotay
took a position to Tom's left, quickly touching the bottom of the
pail to the hot rocks and saying 'welcome, water of life' before he
set the pail in front of him. Using what looked like a gourd ladle,
he took a drink before handing it to Tom.
"If you don't finish the water, pour it on the rocks, not the
ground," he said quietly, and sprinkled some more cedar on the still-
glowing rocks. A billowing cloud of aromatic smoke arose, and
Chakotay used his hands to fan it toward himself and made motions
like he was washing it over his head and arms before retrieving the
empty ladle. "Bless yourself with this smoke," he told Tom, who
again was careful to imitate the commander's movements.
"Ready?" Chakotay asked, loving that bright face, statement so
intent in the reflected firelight coming through the lodge door. "If
it gets too hot, Tommy, put your head down on your arms and stick
your nose towards the side of the lodge," Chakotay instructed,
showing Tom how you could make a little air hole in the space where
the blankets covering the lodge met the ground. "If that doesn't
help, just yell 'door!'. It's not an endurance test, and I'm not out
to kill you with this."
Tom grinned at him then, in his amusement not even noticing what
Chakotay had called him.
"It'd be kind of hard to explain death by sweat lodge to the Captain,
wouldn't it?" He teased, and Chakotay grinned back at him.
"Yeah, it probably would," he answered, and poured a little bit of
water on the rocks. The resultant steam pushed what remained of the
cedar smoke out of the lodge, then Chakotay lowered the flap over the
door. The lodge was dark, although the rocks still glowed, and
Chakotay could just make out Tom's pale presence nearby.
"Oh, by the way, don't lie down on your back. We're here to rid
ourselves of bad energy, and it will be carried into the ground in
our sweat. I was always taught not to lie down on my back in the
lodge, because you risk reabsorbing the bad that way." Getting Tom's
murmured acknowledgement of the warning, Chakotay poured some more
water on the hot rocks and began, as the steam plumed up around them.
"Traditionally, this first round is a round of thanksgiving. So,
Great Mystery, Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Relations, I send up
prayers of thanksgiving. Thank you for this time and this place. I
thank you for being with us, and I thank you for Tom consenting to
join me in this. I thank you for the sacred fire, and the tall
standing ones, who gave up their lives to paint these rocks red. I
thank you for the Grandfather rocks. I thank you for the water, the
blood of this mother planet, and I thank you for the opportunity to
return this water to her through our sweat. Most of all, I thank you
for allowing us to send up these prayers on Grandfather's breath in
this way, and I thank you for my life." Chakotay poured on some more
water, and the steam was beginning to draw out some serious sweat,
now, that ran down their faces and bodies in tickling little rivulets.
Tom had to close his eyes. It was hot, incredibly hot, but at the
same time, it felt so good he couldn't believe it. The steam felt to
him like a thick, living blanket that wrapped itself around him and
held him like a lover. The end of his nose and the tips of his ears
felt like they were on fire, and it was hard to breath through his
nostrils, but Tom just opened his mouth and took shallow, panting
inhalations until he adjusted a little bit. He was further surprised
to notice he didn't feel at all claustrophobic, in fact, for whatever
reason, the space inside the lodge felt limitless. The darkness
extended the small borders in some manner he couldn't quite
Chakotay had stopped praying in Standard, and switched over to what
Tom supposed was his native tongue, and Tom thought it was
beautiful. The words rose and fell in a cadence of sound that
threatened to carry Tom's conscious mind somewhere out of his reach.
He dimly realized that might be the point, but he wasn't quite ready
to let go, yet. He needed to wait a while longer, he felt, until he
was more acclimated. He concentrated on breathing, on the
physicality of sensation, and settled himself in to imprint this heat
on his memory for all those nights when he was cold, and lonely. He
was *so* grateful that Chakotay had invited him to do this... and
that gratitude seemed to well up out of his heart. Tom whispered his
sincere thanks to Chakotay's Spirits or whatever Deity might be
listening, and let himself relax even further.
Chakotay was offering his thanks, singing really, of his relief and
his joy that Tom was taking to this so well, so far. He thanked the
Great Mystery for bringing them emotionally and physically to this
place, where Chakotay could acknowledge how much he'd grown to love
the younger man, even if he couldn't exactly say that to Tom's face.
He thanked the Spirits for Tom's life and personal growth, also. He
expressed his gratitude to his father, and the elder, Mato, who had
instructed him in his dreams last night, and he sang his thanks for
his Voyager family as well as his blood family. Chakotay had a lot
to be thankful for, he thought, and he was determined to include
everything he could think of. There was no telling when he'd get a
similar opportunity, and a proper sweat lodge ceremony just couldn't
be done on the holodeck.
He continued to periodically ladle water out onto the rocks, using
his subliminal perception to keep tabs on Tom's tolerance. In his
youth, he had occasionally been in the lodge with his father, his
brothers, and as many as fifteen other people at a time. The lodge
leaders had always known when somebody was not doing well, and
Chakotay still couldn't see how they'd been able to tell with so many
people in the lodge... but he sensed a connection here with Tom that
he believed would warn him if the pilot got into trouble.
Following an indeterminable amount of time, Chakotay sat the ladle
aside and soaked in the heat for a while, enjoying the sensation of
all his pores opening, the sweat flowing from his body, and the
poisons of existence leaving with it. He heaved a great sigh, and
felt Tom's answering smile through the darkness.
"Yeah," Tom said, and nothing more. Chakotay found himself grinning.
"You're good, then?" He asked, already pretty certain of the answer.
"I'm... great, Chakotay. Thank you. This is..." Tom let his voice
trail off. He didn't know how to describe this experience. The
steam and the heat was wonderfully healing, in some manner Tom didn't
quite have the proper frame of reference to define. "Can I ask a
Chakotay tensed, worried Tom was going to pin him down on the motives
behind his invitation. He forced himself to relax, however, and let
the heat push his apprehensions away.
"Of course. What do you want to know, Tom?"
"Is there a significance to using seven rocks?" The pilot's question
made Chakotay snort out a quiet breath of laughter.
"Actually, yes. And it's a lot deeper than it's going to sound, so
pay attention," he teased gently, relieved. "You know about the four
directions, east, south, west, and north. We are taught that there
are really seven directions. East, south, west, north, up, down, and
where you are. All the directions are equally sacred. East is
believed to be the spiritual home of enlightenment. There is a lot
that goes into that belief, probably more than I can explain... not
because I don't want to, Tom, and not because I think you wouldn't
understand it, all right? It's just one of those concepts that takes
a lot of reflection. East is held special because it is the
direction of the sunrise –on most planets, anyway- and we are taught
that the face of the sun is only a pale reflection of the Great
Mystery. Just as we cannot stare into the sun, we cannot stare into
the Great Mystery. South is the direction of strength and power.
West is the home of the thunderbeings, who bring the rains that
nourish the planet. West is also the direction our souls go at the
end of this life, which is why we say that somebody 'walks west' when
they die. North is the keeper of renewal, the home of rebirth. 'Up'
can be said to be the direction of Father Sky, or the masculine
statement of creation. 'Down' is the direction of Mother Earth, or
the feminine statement of creation. And when you understand
that 'where you are', or the seventh direction, is just as important
and sacred as the other six directions, you'll be well on the way to
understanding how you are connected to all of creation."
Chakotay ladled some more water on the rocks, and the steam rose up
between them again while Tom considered what he'd been told. This,
he was beginning to realize, was the source of Chakotay's focus and
serenity. Chakotay had a bone-bred comprehension of who he was in
relation to his universe. He was not more, nor less important than
anyone and everything around him... instead, he was an equal part of
a whole. His faith was not solipsistic, because it didn't put him at
the center. Neither did Chakotay's faith pretend to false humility,
martyrdom, or self-pity. Chakotay didn't need to be 'saved' to know
his own worth to his deity. He just *was*.
Tom knew he was going to have to think long and hard on the things
Chakotay had taught him, and he also knew he wanted understanding of
his own place in the universe. Before he could work out the next
question, Chakotay had one for him.
"Ready for the second round?"
- - - - - - - - -
Title: The Lodge Part 4/6
Author: Polly Bywater
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sexual content, language
Disclaimer: See Part 1
Summary: Chakotay invites Tom to take part in a traditional ceremony.
Chakotay lifted the flap of blanket that constituted the lodge door,
and took the opportunity to inspect his guest in the reflecting fire
light. Tom was sweating, all right, his pale skin flushed and wet,
hair plastered into darkness on his head. Beautiful, Chakotay
thought to himself involuntarily.
"I'm okay, Chakotay," Tom assured, recognizing the concern in that
piercing dark stare. "Bring them on," he added with a grin, and was
pleased to see the big man smile.
"You got it, hotshot."
"You got that right," Tom said wryly, rewarded with a flash of
Chakotay backed out of the lodge, as was customary for the lodge
leader and firekeeper since he was both, tonight.
"These rocks don't have to go in any particular place, Tom, but you
should still greet them, like before," he said, and kissed the
threshold on his way out. He took a minute to stand, making sure his
blood wasn't going to completely abandon his brain, then went to the
fire and retrieved the pitchfork.
Seven more hot rocks later, he crawled back into the lodge, kissed
the threshold, and settled himself. He sprinkled sweetgrass on the
rocks, blessed himself with the smoke, and watched approvingly as Tom
did the same.
"The second round is a round in which we pray for others, Tom. If
you want to say anything yourself, you can. I was always taught that
whatever you pray, though, ask also that it be fixed up for that
person in a good and gentle way. My grandfather always offered up
this example. Say you pray for someone to be freed from an
addiction, then next week that person is killed in an accident.
Well, they're free from that addiction! So, you ask that things are
done in a good and gentle way, because you don't know what the
spirits have planned for that person. You should also know, what is
said in the lodge stays in the lodge, always. It's not to be
discussed with anyone who wasn't there, so whatever you say stays
here... but you do what you're comfortable with. We believe unspoken
prayers are powerful, too."
Tom nodded. He was already breaking out in a fresh layer of sweat.
The aroma of the sweetgrass was teasing his nostrils, too elusive and
at the same time, almost overpowering. He truthfully didn't know if
he could speak. The idea of praying out loud was about as foreign to
him as everything else Chakotay had shown him so far. Verbalizing
prayers he could hardly even say internally struck him as nearly
impossible. He watched while Chakotay poured a bit of water on the
rocks, waited for the steam to carry the remnants of smoke out, then
closed the door flap.
"Great Mystery, Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Relations, I come with
prayers for others, and I ask your guidance and wisdom that things be
fixed up in a good and gentle way, and that you look into my heart
and mind for those things I cannot put to words." Chakotay switched
over to his first language then, and sang his prayers as the sweat
poured out his body. Prayers for his family, for his crewmates, for
Voyager herself, for friends as well as enemies, for Star Fleet and
the Maquis, for those people in leadership positions who held the
fate of so many in their hands, that they make fair decisions that
harm none... for the hungry and abused, for the spirits of those who
walked West and for the ones they left behind, that they be comforted
and watched over. For all the other lodges, because Chakotay knew
that others were doing what he did, tonight, on Earth as well as his
own homeworld. And finally, Chakotay prayed for Tom. That whatever
the spirits had seen hurt in Tom be fixed, that Tom be well and happy
and healthy, that he would know he was loved, valued, and cared for,
that he not be lonely or feel unworthy. Chakotay dared not voice
what he *really* wanted for Tom, which was that Tom would love *him*
the way he loved Tom... but he knew the spirits would see the wish in
his heart anyway, so he prayed for forgiveness for whatever selfish
thoughts might have snuck in and asked again that everything be done
in a good and gentle way.
And the song went on, and the water was poured on the rocks, and the
steam rose around them, pulling out sweat and pain and prayers...
- - - - - - - - -
Tom felt his mind disassociate from his body. He went with it this
time, curious to see where it would take him. He found himself
flying in a night sky, star bright and clear. The wind lifted and
held him, as he rose higher and higher. It was amazing, the freedom
and power he felt as he soared above it all. Snatches of 20th
century music teased his memory, lyrics woven into the sound of
Chakotay's voice chanting in his mind.
...above the planet on a wing and a prayer
my grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air
across the clouds I see my shadow fly
out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night
There's no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, a state of bliss
Can't keep my mind from the circling sky
Tongue tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit I...
Except Tom didn't feel earthbound, not here, and he definitely didn't
feel like a misfit, as he so often did in his physical life. He
wondered vaguely if this was Chakotay's spirit plane or some weird
hallucination induced by the steam heat and the burning herbs, and
decided it didn't matter. It was wonderful, he loved it, and he was
grateful for the experience. He banked into a wide arcing turn and
allowed himself to spiral lazily back down, instinctively seeking the
thermals that lofted him into the air's embrace and kept his descent
He caught himself wishing *everyone* could have one moment in their
lives where they felt this perfection of being, and with that thought
slid gently back into his physical body and the loving heat of the
sweat lodge. Chakotay had fallen silent, and Tom could literally see
the big man's concern, like a spotlight peering through fog.
"Oh, Cha. Thank you. So good," he mumbled, the memory of flight
distracting him into unguarded speech. "Love this, flying. Love—"
Tom caught himself then, biting his lip hard to hold in what he'd
been about to blurt out. Love *you*, Chakotay... love *you*. Oh,
Gods. Sanity returned in a rush, crushing him in the weight of real
"I love this heat, Chakotay, but I think I'm getting a little
lightheaded. I'm okay, though." It was no less than the truth, but
what he'd really wanted to say was still so close to his tongue that
Tom *felt* like he was lying.
Chakotay lifted the flap, using the reflected firelight to check on
Tom. He didn't seem to be in any distress, although his eyes were
huge dark pools in his wet face. Hair clung to his scalp in
straggling wet tendrils, molding and framing that aristocratic bone
structure. His cheeks were flushed, but he was breathing easily.
Chakotay reached out and grabbed Tom's wrist, laying his fingers over
the pulse point and checking the younger man's heart rate the old-
fashioned way. It was rapid, but not dangerously so, and certainly
strong even if it did seem to skip a beat there for a moment. Tom
did seem all right, so why was Chakotay so sure suddenly that
something was wrong? Why did the moment seem so fragile?
A gust of wind blew through the open door and Tom closed his eyes and
shivered, hoping Chakotay, if he noticed, would think it was from the
cooler air and not that hot hand on his wrist. He was going to lose
his mind if Chakotay didn't turn loose, he knew. He was either going
to start confessing his heart, or maybe he'd just start screaming.
That might work, actually. He could plead claustrophobia, get out,
beam back up to the ship, forget all this... but how could he forget
that moment of flying? Of being pulled out of his body and released
into the sky? Forget that instant of feeling *perfect*? How could
he stop now, before he'd finished this, discovered everything he
could? He made himself pull his arm out of Chakotay's reach, slowly,
wrapping his knees up and lowering his head.
"Tom, are you sure you're okay?" Chakotay asked, not even aware of
how rough his voice sounded. "We're about halfway done. Do you—"
"I'd like to finish, Chakotay... unless you want to do the rest
alone," Tom said firmly, raising his head to meet the other man's
eyes. What he was learning here in the sweat lodge was bigger than
what he felt for Chakotay. Well, maybe not 'bigger', but it was
equally as important. Soul essential, in fact, although Tom couldn't
explain even to himself how he understood that.
"I want you to stay, if you're sure you're all right," Chakotay
finally said, still peering at Tom in a way that made the younger man
want to either ravish him or smack him.
"I am, Chakotay. Honest."
"Okay," Chakotay finally conceded, backing out of the lodge and
taking the bucket with him. He'd have to refill it before the last
two rounds. He took a little extra time with that task, dipping the
bucket in the river then treating it to make it potable. He'd make
sure Tom had a good drink. He was trying not to worry. Had Chakotay
been at home on Dorvan with someone in the lodge who had been as
spaced out as Tom had seemed there for a few moments, he would have
written it off as a lodge vision and not been too concerned. It
would be wrong of him to assume that Tom wasn't capable of a
spiritual experience in the lodge, this Chakotay knew... but knowing
that didn't relieve the overwhelming anxiety he felt for Tom's
safety. Well, he'd pray about that in the next round.
Chakotay finished with the water, set the bucket outside the lodge
door and retrieved his pitchfork. The grandfather rocks pretty much
selected themselves, all he had to do was carry them in.
Tom waited patiently while the next seven rocks were brought in.
Once Chakotay had settled himself and the water bucket, he asked a
"What is the third round for?"
Chakotay sprinkled white sage on the rocks, blessed himself with the
sweet smoke and waited for Tom to do the same before answering.
"The third round is for prayers for ourselves. We burn sage on this
round, because sage is said to bring wisdom, and when we pray for
ourselves we need to have wisdom. Again, we should remember to ask
for things to be done in a good and gentle way, so we don't hurt
ourselves out of ignorance. Be careful what you ask for." Chakotay
handed Tom a gourd full of water. "Drink up."
When Tom finished, Chakotay had a drink as well, then he poured some
water on the rocks to clear the smoke from the lodge.
"I'm ready, Chakotay," Tom assured, and watched Chakotay lower the
door flap and return the lodge to black darkness.
"Great Mystery, Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Relations, I come to you
with prayers for myself. I thank you, for teaching that we are to
pray for others before praying for ourselves. This is a difficult
round. It's hard to pray for ourselves. We don't always know what
we need. So we ask that you look into our hearts. Fix things up in
a good and gentle way."
As he'd done on the last round, Chakotay used his native language to
continue, unable to keep himself from wondering what it would be like
to sit here and pray for what he wanted with Tom's full
understanding. He prayed his thanks for the love he felt, because
the whole point of life was learning how to love... but he couldn't
help but pray for that love to be returned, whether he said it or
not. In fact, the longing he felt was bitterly strong, painfully
Chakotay admitted to the spirits, he had argued with his emotions for
many years. He'd been reluctant to hand over that much of himself to
a man who already owned his life... a man who seemed to care deeply
for nothing, least of all himself. Chakotay had denied his own heart
and pretended to himself he felt merely lust, only to suffer some
major guilt for feeling that, too. Now, most of those arguments were
past. He knew Tom Paris pretended to care for nothing because he
cared too much, about everything. That had been a gradual
realization, arrived at through months of meditation and reflection.
Chakotay could now ask only for freedom from confusion, for calm and
focus, that he could control himself and cause no harm. Especially
to Tom. He wouldn't hurt Tom for the whole wide universe, either by
his indifference or the converse, his unwanted attentions.
These wishes segued into some prayers for his professional life, that
Chakotay could be what others needed him to be, that he could find
the strength to be strong for his crewmates and his captain, that he
could be guided in his decisions and make the choices he had to make
with wisdom and compassion. The words came to him almost
automatically, and Chakotay felt his spirit-self separating from his
Once again, he sat cross-legged in a clearing with his father. The
elder, Mato was there, along with some other people whose faces
Chakotay could not make out. The edges of this reality swirled and
ran, but the place where the three of them sat together was lucid and
serene. A campfire burned, his spirit guide was nearby, and Chakotay
"Nephew, you have done well by your teachings," the elder told him
conversationally, reaching out to pat Chakotay's arm. "Have faith
now in the Great Mystery. It may be asked, why now? But know the
spirit plane moves to its own timetable." And with that, the elder
vanished, leaving Chakotay alone with his father.
"My son, I have always known your heart. Even when I did not agree.
In this matter, however, you have done well." Kolopak offered him a
brilliant smile, and Chakotay returned it, filled with an incredible
sense of joy and peace. In a dreamlike sense of understanding, he
grasped what his father was telling him. It was all right for him to
feel as he did for Tom. It was going to be fine, sooner or later, in
this life or the next.
"I love you, Papa."
"As I love you, mi hijo. Go now, and watch over your own."
Chakotay opened his eyes, a bit surprised to find he was still
pouring water on the hot rocks. He wondered how Tom was doing, but
the anxiety and worry were gone, replaced now with an oddly cheerful
anticipation. He wished he could see Tom through the steam and
darkness. Chakotay was content to wait, but he was intensely curious
about how the pilot's sweat lodge experience was going.
- - - - - - - - -
Tom was flying again, relishing that magical sense of connection he
was feeling to everything around him. This time he wasn't alone,
however. Beside him flew a great bald eagle, with fierce joy in its
golden eyes that Tom figured echoed in his own. He didn't wonder at
any of this, it merely felt right and proper that it should be so,
and that sense of acceptance was as precious as the flight itself.
Together they soared upward in a night sky, piercing clouds that
reflected a gibbous moon. Tom could smell thunderstorms and
lightning, ozone and electricity rushing over him in gusts. He and
the eagle plummeted toward the ground, reversing themselves at the
last moment to shoot back even higher through the atmosphere.
"Thomas, do you know who I am?" The eagle asked him eventually,
after a tumbling series of wild aerobatics that left Tom laughing.
"You are my spirit guide," Tom replied with amazing tranquility.
"I am. I am Awahili. You are my windbrother, Thomas. Do you know
why this is so?"
"No," Tom admitted as he and the eagle caught a thermal draft that
lofted them back through the clouds. "But it doesn't matter why."
"That is so. It is what is. And your life before you came to me?"
"It was what was," Tom said quietly, that subconscious comprehension
strong and sure. "And it doesn't matter, either."
"That is so. What matters, Thomas?"
"Where I am, right now."
Awahili shrieked, amusement and approval somehow carrying in the
sound, and Tom found himself laughing out loud once more.
"You are learning, Thomas. I am pleased. And if your doubtful mind
whispers, are you worthy, what does your heart say?"
"I am worthy, because I am. I exist. I need to do no more than
"My windbrother, you honor me. Never doubt your worth."
"Thank you, Awahili."
"You need not thank me, windbrother. Thank your Cha for listening to
the Spirits, and thank the Spirits for speaking to him."
They dropped through the sky together, flashing earthward in a
symphony of motion, revolving around each other in tight circles like
some kind of mystical dance.
"*My* Cha, Awahili?"
"Yours always, windbrother. He is meant for you, and you for him.
Now fear not, for you will see me again, Thomas. I am ever with
you," Awahili told him, and Tom opened his eyes to the realization
that he was again in the superheated lodge with Chakotay. *His*
Cha. Always. Awahili had said so, and Tom grinned fiercely.
The steam was so thick it was palpable, and the sweat poured out of
him in quantities that seemed physiologically impossible. Tom felt
very drained, but he also felt an incredible sense of fulfillment.
His dreams were in reach, he knew.
"Good vision, Tom?"
And that was all either of them said. Chakotay opened the door flap
and for quite a while the two men sat silently. At length, Chakotay
"Ready to finish?"
Chakotay brought in the rocks for the final round, leaving the last
seven in the fire pit, as he'd been taught. Seven rocks left, for
spirits of the seven directions. The fire had died down some, but
the rocks were still red hot. He took his place, sprinkling the
rocks with a mixture of cedar, sweetgrass, sage, and tobacco. He and
Tom blessed themselves with the smoke, then Chakotay ladled on some
water, closed the door, and began.
"Great Mystery, Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Relations. We come with
thanks for this day. We thank you for this time in this sacred
space. We thank you for allowing us to worship in this manner, as we
thank you for all our ancestors, who carried on these ways despite
many terrible hardships. Once again, we thank you for our lives. We
thank you for making us human beings. We thank you for bringing us
where we are."
To Chakotay's surprise, Tom began to speak.
"Thank you, Spirits, for Chakotay. Thank you for speaking to him.
Thank you for this sweat lodge. And thank you, for what you have
shown me here. I won't forget," Tom promised seriously, hearing an
eagle shriek approval in his mind.
Another long silence, while Chakotay poured water on the rocks. They
both savored the steam and the heat, neither in any great hurry to be
done. Eventually, Chakotay spoke once more.
"We close out this round, as we close out this lodge. The circle is
complete, yet never-ending. We ask, Great Mystery, that you watch
over us in the days to come. That anything we did wrong be fixed up
for us in a good and gentle way. That you bless the food we go to
eat, and let it nourish our bodies as this lodge has nourished our
spirits. Let us not stray from the Red Road, but keep our hearts
strong on our path to you. For all my relations."
Chakotay lifted the door flap for the last time.
"Tom, you have to make your circle, so come my way as you leave. Go
out head first. Don't forget to honor the threshold. I have to make
my circle, too, so I'll be right behind you. Wait for me in front of
the lodge. Don't stand up too fast, either."
Tom did as he was told, kissing the ground at the doorway and
emerging into the pale gray light of predawn. He was still so hot it
felt warm outside, despite the hour. Tom raised himself as far as a
kneeling position and looked up at the sky. A few stars were still
visible, and he sighed, recalling the magical experience of flying
Chakotay completed his circle, gathered up the herbs, antlers, and
water bucket and crawled out behind Tom. After making his honorific,
he moved over to sit on one of the logs and watched the pilot's
face. Chakotay could not remember a time now when he had not wanted
He was so beautiful, half shrouded in the steam that still rolled out
of the lodge behind him, skin so flushed and damp. That impossible
blue gaze stared into the sky, and Chakotay wished he knew what Tom
was seeing. He put that thought away. There was still one more
thing to do.
"Tom, can you stand?"
Instead of answering, Tom got to his feet, slowly. He swayed for a
moment, then steadied himself, turning those bright eyes on Chakotay
with evident curiosity.
Chakotay stood, did his own bit of swaying, then took Tom's hand. He
couldn't suppress a little gasp at the supernatural heat of the man.
"Now we go to the water," he told Tom gently. "Come with me?"
"Always, Cha," Tom said with a faint smile. Chakotay almost shivered
at the open, unguarded warmth in those sapphire eyes... and Spirits!
What he'd said- did he mean it the way it sounded? He was unaware of
the way his eyes widened, and the two of them stood for a long minute
caught in each other's gaze. Chakotay suddenly realized he was
rubbing his thumb over Tom's knuckles, and gave himself a shake.
He led Tom to the river, walking into it with him, and Tom never
hesitated, never questioned, never stalled. The surprise Chakotay
felt at that almost overshadowed the relief of immersing himself in
the cool, clear water. He took them far enough so they were able to
submerge themselves completely, and didn't notice that he kept hold
of Tom's hand. They walked out of the river the same way they'd
walked in, each silently watching the water sheet off the other's
body, thinking identical, though unspoken, thoughts.
As if coming out of a daze, Chakotay let go of Tom and turned toward
his duffel bag.
"Tom, I'll fix us something to eat. Why don't you go change into
your dry clothes." Chakotay fetched an extra blanket and snapped it
out flat over the grass, then retrieved a couple of bottles of water
and a thermal container of chilled pasta salad and sandwiches he'd
brought down yesterday. He was in the process of retrieving a couple
of plates when he realized Tom hadn't moved. He straightened and
turned towards the pilot.
- - - - - - - - -
Title: The Lodge Part 5/6
Author: Polly Bywater
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sexual content, language
Disclaimer: See Part 1
Summary: Chakotay invites Tom to take part in a traditional ceremony.
"Cha. I think changing clothes is going to be a waste of time."
Chakotay dropped the plates and caught his breath at the statement
on the man's face. No masks, no fašades, no pretenses. Tom Paris
was staring at him, his gaze level and firm, and the pupils of his
eyes were so dilated there was only a narrow rim of dark blue around
the black. Tom's mouth was flushed pink, the lips parted slightly.
Chakotay couldn't prevent his own eyes from dropping to inspect the
rest. Nipples erect, stomach muscles faintly quivering, and a
substantial bulge under those clinging wet shorts that grew even
while Chakotay looked at it. He tore his gaze away to Tom's face,
and was not surprised to find the pilot returning the inspection.
Chakotay closed his eyes, feeling himself harden under that heated
stare, his own nipples pebbling.
Tom couldn't move, couldn't speak, couldn't do anything other than
what he was doing, which was watching Chakotay become aroused just
because he, Tom, was looking at him. Tom sent out a silent prayer of
thanks to the spirits for the privilege of seeing his Chakotay like
this, body taut and readying for his touch.
Chakotay forced his eyes open, forced himself to meet Tom's gaze,
forced himself not to flinch when they were once again trapped in
each other's stare. Everything Chakotay had ever ached to see in
Tom's eyes was there. Desire, appreciation, admiration, need...
love. Chakotay shook his head slightly, without breaking eye contact.
"How long?" He asked in a hoarse whisper.
"For the rest of my life, Cha. My Cha. Always."
Then those long fingered hands were holding Chakotay's face, while
hot, silken lips teased over his own in a kiss that made Chakotay
feel like he was being worshiped. Gentle, without being tentative.
Slow, without being reluctant. Restrained, without hiding the raging
hunger underneath the tenderness. Chakotay was undone. He raised
his hands to hold Tom's head in turn, and when the younger man moaned
Chakotay deepened their kiss, licking those clever lips with his
Tom groaned, and Chakotay was quick to take advantage of that open
mouth, stroking Tom's tongue with his own and sucking it into his own
mouth. The angle of the kiss changed. Soft, warm, absorbing... then
it changed again. Harder. Desperate. Hungry. Later, Chakotay
would think that at that point, his brain had shut off with an
audible snap as he toppled from pleasure to need.
Tom found himself on his knees on the blanket with no memory of how
he got there, his body on fire while Chakotay kept holding his head
and kissing him. He was dying of this heat, dying of want... Some
weird electricity joined his mouth to his groin in an unbroken
circuit, and every time Chakotay sucked on his tongue Tom's stomach
contracted and his cock jumped, twitching between his belly and the
unforgiving wet denim of his shorts. He groaned again as he realized
he was going to come if Chakotay didn't stop kissing him. He was
going to come, with no more than Chakotay's hands on his head and his
tongue in his mouth. He was going to come- and it was too much,
*too much* -then it was too late. His body stiffened as he wailed
into Chakotay's mouth and shuddered, the orgasm flashing over him
like quickfire as it pumped out of his balls. He went limp and
sagged against Chakotay's chest, and the big man's arms circled round
to hold him tight.
"Spirits, Poocah, that's the most erotic thing I've ever
experienced," Chakotay whispered, astonished. He moved Tom back just
far enough to catch the dazed pleasure in the younger man's
eyes. "You want me that much?"
"For years, Cha," Tom answered, his low voice harsh and unsteady as
his head drooped against Chakotay's shoulder. "I've loved you for
*years*, dreamed of you, of this—"
It was Chakotay's turn to groan as his own erection throbbed and
pulsed to that longed for confession. The heady scent of Tom's
release was all he could smell, the smooth skin of Tom's back under
his hands, the brush of soft chest hair against his nipples... Tom
started kissing his neck, licking and biting and distracting him from
the fact that his shorts were being opened and eased off his hips and
down his thighs. Those hot hands cupped his buttocks, squeezing,
shaping, petting. Long stroking caresses then, from his shoulders to
his knees. Chakotay had never felt so needed, so desired. That
wickedly talented mouth crawled over his jaw and reclaimed his lips,
and Chakotay was lost.
How he ended up completely naked and lying on his back would be an
eternal mystery to him, because all he ever remembered was heat and
want and Tom. Tom, kissing him until he wanted to cry from the sweet
loving passion of it. Tom, tracing patterns on his chest, rubbing
and squeezing and pinching his nipples. Tom, biting his palms and
sucking on his fingers. Tom, licking down his belly, stroking his
legs, nibbling his toes, his calves, his thighs. Tom, crawling
between his legs and lifting his ass until Chakotay felt like a feast
offered up to a starving man... then his cock was engulfed in Tom's
fever-hot mouth and Chakotay started to shout.
It didn't take long, how could it? Tom wet one finger by sticking it
inside the front of his own shorts, slid it into Chakotay's ass and
rubbed over his lover's prostate while he sucked down that beautiful
large cock, and knew the joy of his subconscious fantasies when
Chakotay exploded in his mouth and roared his name. Tom stayed with
him, drawing his pleasure out through a series of shuddering
aftershocks, then finally, when the big man was limp and exhausted,
crawled back up his body to take his mouth.
"You taste so good, love," Tom murmured, losing himself in a purely
sensual kiss before wrapping an arm and a leg around his Cha, holding
him close while they both trembled with reaction. "Better than in my
"Oh, Tommy. I dreamed too... and the reality *is* so much better,"
Chakotay admitted softly, curling his arms around Tom. "I love you."
"I know," came the surprising answer. Chakotay shifted his position
until he could lever up on one elbow and look into Tom's face. Those
sapphire eyes were brilliant and clear, cheekbones flushed, and mouth
swollen. Chakotay couldn't wait to put that dazzled ecstasy back in
"Spirits, you're gorgeous. Now, tell me how you knew I love you?"
He demanded with a smile that Tom returned in full.
"My spirit guide told me in the lodge. You are my Cha, always.
Meant for me, as I am meant for you." Tom put up one hand to curve
around the back of Chakotay's head, and drew him down for a serious
kiss. Chakotay's mind whimpered and exploded, promptly forgetting
everything but the taste of Tom, the taste of himself on Tom, and the
renewed hunger those tastes fueled. Chakotay wanted more, and he
pushed Tom back intending to straddle that lean body.
"You have on too many clothes, Poocah," he growled, his hands making
short work of unfastening those damned shorts and drawing them down
Tom's legs, careful not to catch his lover's heavy erection in the
damp cloth. After ditching the shorts, Chakotay changed his plan and
eased around to kneel behind Tom. He silently urged the younger man
to raise up then scooted forward and pulled Tom back against his
chest. Chakotay enjoyed the press of that long form along his front,
that face near enough to kiss while his hands could reach around to
Tom's chest and cock.
"Beautiful. My Tom. Watch me touch you," Chakotay whispered in
Tom's ear, lightly tracing his rigid weeping length and listening to
the equally beautiful moans that produced.
"I love the sounds you make. Will you scream my name when you
come?" Chakotay asked, and watched Tom shudder and groan, more from
what Chakotay said than his barely-there caresses. Tom was fighting
not to close his eyes when Chakotay rubbed his palm over Tom's belly,
spreading the remnants of Tom's earlier orgasm before lifting his
hand to his own mouth to see how it tasted. "Oh, that's good, baby.
Sweet. I'm going to love going down on you."
"Oh, Gods," Tom cried out, his hips bucking involuntarily. "Cha.
Please. I can't- I need—"
"You're so responsive, love, so hot. Tell me what you need, what you
want," Chakotay breathed into Tom's ear while his hands strayed up to
play with Tom's nipples. Tom was like liquid fire in his arms,
writhing against him and moaning something incoherently. Chakotay
felt himself harden, took a second to reflect that he hadn't had this
rapid a recovery rate since his teens, and hazily wondered if he
could bring Tom off just by words alone. Which might not be a bad
idea, considering what he wanted to do next.
"I want to fuck you, Tom," he announced throatily, and bit down on
that spot where Tom's neck met his shoulder.
Tom went perfectly still for an instant, then howled, coming hard
into Chakotay's waiting hands.
"Chaaaaaaa! Please. Please. Fuck me now," Tom sobbed, still
burning for his lover's touch despite his orgasm. He'd wanted
Chakotay for far too long to be anywhere close to satisfied yet,
despite coming twice.
"Yes, baby. Now." Chakotay let Tom slide off of him and moved to
kneel between those shaking legs, carefully holding onto his precious
supply of natural lube. "It's going to be so good. Hold on, love.
Let me—" and he slicked one finger and slid it into his Tom, who was
thankfully well relaxed. He brushed his fingertip over Tom's
prostate and watched with fascination as the younger man's semi-erect
cock became hard once more.
"Oh Spirits, Poocah, you're incredible. Do you know that?" Chakotay
panted out, adding a second finger to moisten and stretch Tom's
"Cha. Need you. Need you in me. *Please*." Tom's head was
whipping back and forth as he trembled and shook, his hands flung out
to grasp thick handfuls of the blanket.
Chakotay added a third finger, with some more semen, then took the
remainder and slathered it over his straining cock. He had to stop
himself from thrusting into his own hand. The idea of covering
himself with Tom's come was making him crazy. He fought for enough
self-control to be sure he had Tom sufficiently stretched. Tom was
so aroused Chakotay doubted his lover would care if it did hurt, but
that was a chance Chakotay wasn't willing to take. He removed his
fingers and listened to Tom's anguished wail.
"It's okay, baby. I'm right here." Lifting Tom's ass until his
thighs were splayed out over his, Chakotay centered his cock at that
tight opening and slowly pushed his way inside. "Tom. Tom. You're
so hot. So hot. You're burning me up."
Tom cried out, hearing Chakotay without understanding him in the
least, too overwhelmed by the sensations of being taken, filled,
completed. Finally, that empty place in his soul was gone, scorched
away in a ferocious blaze of passion. Whatever niggling doubt he
might have had about the depth of Chakotay's love for him was
vanquished in the tenderness of that first, careful entry. He was
loved. Cha loved him. Chakotay was *fucking* him!
"Cha! Love me, love me, love me," Tom chanted in an involuntary
refrain, reaching for Chakotay and urging him even deeper inside.
Chakotay groaned, gripping those lean hips and pulling Tom harder
against him, catching the rhythm in his lover's voice and moving them
both to match it. Before he was completely overtaken by his own
hunger, Chakotay gazed on Tom and burned the memory into his brain;
Tom's eyes, open and unseeing and reflecting the dawn sky, his body
flushed, trembling... sweating and gilded in the rising sun, spread
open and vulnerable and his- *his*-
"Mine. Mine. Mine." Chakotay pounded out his own rhythm, on fire
with need, hearing Tom answer.
"Yours, yes, yes. Yours, Cha. Al-ways."
Chakotay shifted their positions again, and Tom moaned out the
exquisite pleasure of feeling that big cock rubbing over his
prostate, again and again. Tom's orgasm seemed to be starting in
slow motion, beginning in his toes; the shockwave expanding, larger
and larger until his whole body was caught in the impending blast, so
close and so much that Tom was almost afraid. Could he feel *this
much* and live through it?
"Look at me, Tom," Chakotay ordered, aware of how near coming Tom was
by the clutching of the muscles around his erection. Chakotay was
close to his own orgasm, holding on through sheer will power against
the intense thrill of plumbing his lover's hot depths. "*Look at
Tom obeyed automatically, putting one hand on Chakotay's face as the
older man stared into his eyes, and the sensation jumped another
impossible level as they captured each other's soul. Chakotay kept
one hand under Tom's butt to hold him in place and wrapped his other
hand around Tom's cock, while the younger man twisted and quivered.
"Hear me, Tom. I love you." One stroke, inside and out. "I love
you." A second, as Tom teetered on the edge. "I love you. Come for
me, Tom. Come for me now," and a third, Chakotay giving everything
he had in a mighty thrust.
Tom erupted, screaming out Chakotay's name as the powerful surge of
his climax slammed through him and out through his cock. It was the
most intense orgasm Tom had ever had, seeming to involve not just his
body but his mind as well, and he was helpless before the primal
force of it. Helpless before Chakotay, as the big man continued to
pound into him, extending that wild pleasure. Tom's consciousness
flared and faded in sheeting white fire... and the only thing that
held his spirit to his body was Chakotay's liquid dark gaze, still
locked on his own.
Chakotay felt his orgasm get wrenched out of him by Tom's, and
abruptly surrendered his control, lost in the blue-black haze of his
lover's eyes while that ecstatic joy rushed over him, milked out of
his balls by the fierce contractions of Tom's release. He roared
something, he never knew what, as palpable energy flew and pulsed
between them in searing, timeless waves.
When it was over, Chakotay collapsed into Tom's arms, and Tom burst
out crying. Great, heaving sobs that shook them both. Chakotay
pulled free of Tom with the same tender care he'd shown in taking
him, moved until he could wrap his lover up in a sheltering embrace,
and let him cry. He would have been worried, except he recognized
Tom's reaction as being exactly that; reaction. To the overwhelming
sensations produced by their loving, to the emotional torment Tom had
suffered before they'd come to this point, to everything that had
happened in the lodge. Chakotay understood Tom's tears, in fact, he
couldn't prevent a few of his own slipping free. So he contented
himself with holding his Tom, petting and soothing with hands and
voice until the younger man slowly calmed.
"I'm sorry, Cha," Tom said eventually, exhausted and more than a
little embarrassed. Chakotay pulled up a corner of their blanket and
wiped his face, and his touch was so exquisitely gentle Tom wanted to
"Don't be sorry, baby. Don't ever be sorry for sharing your feelings
with me." Chakotay kissed him tenderly, then tucked that blonde head
back against his shoulder and held Tom close. "Why don't you rest a
little, hmm? I'll be right here. Just a nap, then we'll eat... then
maybe we'll find something else to do, hmm?" Chakotay felt Tom smile
at that, as he'd intended, then both men let consciousness slide into
- - - - - - - - - - -
Chakotay awakened first, fixed the position of the sun, and figured
they'd been asleep a little over an hour. It was still fairly early
in the morning, but it was building up to be a hot day, he thought,
and he wouldn't want his Tom to burn. His Tom. Chakotay grinned, a
fierce and feral statement that probably only his Maquis crew would
have recognized, from days when battles successfully fought were his
chief form of satisfaction. He sent up some silent prayers of
thanksgiving, enormously grateful to the spirits for allowing him
Somehow they'd moved in their sleep, and Chakotay was practically
supine while Tom was draped over him like a blanket. Chakotay smiled
again, thinking this would be the way they would spend their nights
for the rest of their lives, Tommy glued to him by the results of
their passion. He was indeed a fortunate man.
His stomach growled then, loudly, and Chakotay began chuckling. This
was enough to wake Tom, who lifted his head and blinked rather
blearily at him.
"Cha? It wasn't a dream?" The younger man mumbled confusedly, and
Chakotay ached at the fear in Tom's eyes.
"No, baby. It wasn't a dream, it was a dream come true," he
promised, vowing then and there that he would love Tom Paris so hard
and so well that his poocah would never again doubt the reality of
it. Tom sighed and laid his head back down, and Chakotay petted him
for a while until he heard Tom's stomach growling too.
"Yeah, now that you mention it," Tom murmured, more than content to
lie here and listen to Chakotay's strong heart beat under his
"Yeah. I fasted yesterday for the sweat."
"Hmmm," Tom replied, thinking with some amusement that he'd fasted
too, although he hadn't had a clue that he'd needed to. Apparently,
Cha's spirits moved in mysterious ways sometimes, and the idea that
the spirits moved through Neelix's cooking was enough to make him
"What's so funny?" Chakotay asked him, enjoying the sensation of
holding Tom while he laughed, then Tom shared his thoughts and
Chakotay had to laugh, too. The two of them laid in each other's
arms and giggled like kids for a moment, then Chakotay peeled Tom off
of him, stood up and helped Tom stand.
"If you haven't eaten since I saw you in the mess hall the other
night, you really need to eat, love. Grab your towel and let's go
wash up a little first."
They played in the water for a while, both intensely pleased at just
being together, then dried each other off. Inevitably, they both
became aroused again, but when Tom would have reached for Chakotay
the big man stepped back and waggled his finger.
"No, no, no. Eat first, love later."
"But Cha, I could just eat you," Tom whined, rewarded with one of
those double-dimple grins.
"Save it for dessert, Tommy."
Tom gave a long-suffering sigh and wrapped his towel around his
waist, although it was substantially tented out in front.
"I could have you for an appetizer," he pointed out reasonably,
amused when Chakotay groaned and secured his own towel, which was
suffering from the same deformity as Tom's.
"You'll have me, I promise, but I have a plan. Work with me here,
Lieutenant," Chakotay teased affectionately, his own reward in Tom's
bright eyes and smile.
"You're the commander, Commander," Tom conceded as they made their
way back to the blanket, which Chakotay snapped out and straightened
before retrieving the food. Tom was handed a bottle of water, which
was less than cold now, then a plate of pasta salad with a Delta-
quadrant-equivalent-of-tomato sandwich. Chakotay fixed his own plate
then they sat down together to eat, and since they were both quite
hungry, made short work of the meal. With great ceremony, Chakotay
then presented Tom with a container of chocolate chip cookies, loving
the way the younger man's eyes narrowed with suspicion.
"Consider this the appetizer for dessert," Chakotay told him, and
they were laughing again.
"I love you, Cha," Tom said when the supply of cookies had been
demolished. He laid back on the blanket and patted his
stomach. "That was good, thank you."
"I love you too, Tommy, and you're more than welcome, you know."
Chakotay leaned over his lover and helped himself to a sweet,
chocolatey kiss, which he kept deliberately short. "Now, are you
ready to listen to my plan?"
"I'll listen to anything you ever want to tell me, Cha, as long as it
isn't goodbye," Tom replied seriously, and Chakotay caressed the side
of his face with one hand.
"You're gonna be listening to me for a long old time, then, because I
will never tell you that, Poocah."
Tom turned his head and pressed a kiss into the center of that warm
palm, unable to resist the temptation to swipe it with his tongue and
pleased when Chakotay gasped.
"You'd better spill the details of this plan in a hurry, Cha."
"I think the details are getting a little cloudy, Tom," Chakotay
admitted honestly, and lowered his head for another kiss. He licked
and suckled and bit at those delicious lips, while his erection
returned full force, and was immensely gratified when Tom reacted the
"Need a new plan," Chakotay mumbled, tasting his way down that long
throat while Tom's busy hands stroked and explored him. By the time
his mouth landed on one of Tom's nipples, Chakotay was starting to
realize his poocah was already ahead of him. Especially when his
towel was untucked and drawn away with teasing care.
"Get on your hands and knees, Cha," Tom managed to insist through the
shivering pleasure his lover was giving him. When the big man
complied, Tom twisted around and scooted up underneath him, putting
his head between Chakotay's thighs and pushing them farther apart.
Now everything he wanted was within reach of his mouth and his hands,
and Tom set to work. He allowed himself a couple of long, lazy licks
down the underside of Chakotay's cock, savoring the salty-sweet
moisture at the tip and ending at the base, where he nuzzled
Chakotay's scrotum and inhaled deeply of his lover's natural
scent. "Mmm, you smell so good," he murmured into that most tender
of flesh, smiling to himself when Chakotay jerked and groaned at the
tingling vibrations. Tom's hands were far from idle, one palm
smoothing along Chakotay's impressive length while the fingers of his
other hand traced down the cleft of Chakotay's ass to tease that
vulnerable opening. Tom loved doing this, wringing all the
sensations out of his partner that he could. The knowledge that this
was *Chakotay* he was touching added a whole new dimension of
feeling, and this position, so dependent on being able to fully
*trust* his partner not to hurt or force him, made what he was doing
a genuine act of love. The detachment Tom usually felt during sex
with anybody else was shredded and transformed into something
really... special. Yeah, special, Tom hazily decided, flying high
and halfway to his own climax as a result.
Tom took one of Chakotay's balls in his mouth and massaged it with
his tongue. Chakotay shuddered and moaned, dimly thinking it was
time for a little payback, tempting though it was to simply sit back
and enjoy the ride. Chakotay had never had a lover who got so much
pure joy out of pleasuring *him*, and the recognition that Tom loved,
wanted, and trusted him this much was as arousing as the act itself,
even while serving to clear his mind a bit. Chakotay unwrapped Tom's
towel as if he was opening a precious gift, lowered his mouth to that
conveniently placed groin, and indulged himself. The first lick
along Tom's hard hot sex led to a few discoveries: Tom tasted even
better than Chakotay had expected; the sounds produced by his actions
transmitted some truly delicious sensations; and making love to Tom
was rapidly becoming his life's ambition. Chakotay laughed around a
mouthful of Tom, imagining himself explaining to Kathryn that she was
out a First Officer as well as her best pilot because neither one of
them was capable of leaving their bed... then Tom's tongue found its
way to Chakotay's asshole and Chakotay promptly forgot how to think.
- - - - - - - - -
Title: The Lodge Part 6/6
Author: Polly Bywater
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sexual content, language
Disclaimer: See Part 1
Summary: Chakotay invites Tom to take part in a traditional ceremony.
Chakotay dropped to his elbows, tucked his hands under Tom's butt,
laid his cheek against that glorious erection and held on for dear
life. It was all he could do; Tom was killing him with ecstasy, and
Chakotay could only believe the pilot must have been holding himself
back earlier. That sly pointed tongue probed and stroked in a rhythm
to match what those long fingers were doing on his cock. Somebody
somewhere was screaming, and it wasn't until after Chakotay's orgasm
blew his consciousness into bits that he realized it must have been
him. He came to awareness slowly, discovered he was lying half on
his side and still squeezing Tom's bottom in a death grip, while
Tom's head was propped up against his thighs. Tom looked mighty
pleased with himself, and Chakotay had to admit, he had every reason
"So, Cha, you liked that?" Tom asked as soon as he realized his
lover was back on the planet with him.
Chakotay spotted the humor in those twinkling blue eyes and couldn't
restrain his own laughter.
"Tom, you're never going to be able to do that on Voyager. There's
not enough soundproofing to handle it," Chakotay pointed out a bit
hoarsely, slowly unwrapping his arms and laying a kiss on Tom's
waiting erection. He maneuvered them both around until he was
covering the pilot with his body, gradually rubbing his way up until
he could claim that clever, moaning mouth with his. "What you do to
me is beyond incredible," he said, licking Tom's lips then briefly
sucking on his tongue. "Now I want you to lie here, and let *me*
love *you*, Lieutenant. That's an order."
"Yes, Sir!" Tom managed to gasp as Chakotay's mouth trailed over
toward his ear, paused to nip the angle of his jaw then sucked on his
"No insubordination either, mister," Chakotay purred in Tom's ear,
enjoying the shiver his words produced. "You have one duty... well,
maybe two. Be as loud as you want... come as hard as you can... but
not too soon."
"Oh, Gods, Cha!"
"That's right," Chakotay encouraged, moving to turn Tom over so he
could nibble the back of that long neck, which produced some very
interesting noises and shudders, indeed. "Spirits, you taste so
good, baby. Like sunshine taken form," and he worked his way down
Tom's shoulder while his hands patted, teased, then soothed along
Tom's spine. He let mouth follow hands automatically, losing himself
in the thrill of being able to touch his Tom this way, after all
these years of longing. Chakotay didn't want to miss an inch of that
beloved body, and he didn't. He learned that when he sucked along
that area where Tom's back met buttocks, he could elicit some
particularly delightful sounds, and when he ran his tongue along
Tom's cleft, the younger man would groan beautifully. Biting that
lovely narrow ass caused jerks and hisses, and burying his face
between those long legs to blow and lick on Tom's scrotum produced
wails. Tom's inner thighs were amazingly sensitive, but the backs of
his knees were too ticklish for a light touch, and massaging his
strong calves introduced a hum of contentment. By the time Chakotay
reached Tom's toes, his lover was a mass of quivering flesh.
Chakotay had to help Tom onto his back, so he could start all over on
his front half... but it gave him the opportunity to steal a few more
deep kisses, so he didn't mind.
Chakotay continued his lazy explorations until Tom reached for him
involuntarily, then he withdrew and gave Tom his best 'Commander's
"Am I going to have to tie you down?"
Tom grimaced, knew if he opened his mouth he'd be babbling, and
crossed his arms behind his head with a sobbing sigh. Chakotay took
pity on him then, and moved between his legs to hold him still,
thumbs brushing over the baby soft skin next to his hipbones and
making Tom jump.
"Have I told you how much I love you, Mister Paris?" Chakotay asked,
inspecting the flushed length of Tom's weeping erection. "Maybe I
should show you. A visual aid, so to speak." And Chakotay bent down
to take Tom in his mouth, and it was Tom's turn to start screaming.
- - - - - - - - - -
When Tom woke up, Chakotay was on one elbow, lying next to him with a
contented smile that turned into a dimpled grin when he realized Tom
"Good job, Lieutenant," he said gently, leaning over for an
exquisitely tender kiss.
"Best duty assignment I ever had, Sir," Tom managed weakly, wondering
if he'd ever be able to walk again, since he couldn't feel his legs.
Chakotay wrapped Tom up in his arms and held him close, loving the
feel of that long body against his. When he thought back to twenty-
four hours ago, when the future had seemed so uncertain and his life
so lonely, it made him shiver.
"I love you, Tom. Never doubt it."
"I won't, Cha," Tom promised, curling his own arms around Chakotay
and holding him just as tightly. "How long have you loved me?" He
wondered a bit shyly.
"Sometimes I think since the first moment I saw you, but I didn't
admit it to myself until Akritiria. Seeing you so hurt just tore me
up, then for a while I thought you and Harry-"
"Harry's my friend. Always has been, always will be. He told me
after Akritiria I should go to you and tell you how I feel. He's
been telling me that pretty regularly ever since."
"Harry knows? How did he find out?"
"He's my friend... and apparently I was delirious and raving about
you when I was in the prison."
"Oh, Tom," Chakotay said sadly, and they held each other even closer
for a while. "So?"
"So, tell me, when did you know you loved me?" Chakotay had to know.
Tom thought back to a couple of days ago, when he would have sworn he
would never be telling Chakotay this, and started to laugh.
"I can tell you the exact moment, Cha," and he did, and had to suffer
Chakotay's dumbfounded statement.
"That long. I'll love you all my life, Chakotay, and after."
Another long, sweet kiss, then just when Tom thought it was starting
to get interesting, Chakotay pulled away.
"And all those times when you seemed so hostile?"
"I was trying to hide how I felt about you. I didn't think you'd
ever want me. I didn't think you went for men at all. I kind of
thought that was against your culture, or something."
"My people, in the long ago past, believed gay people were 'two-
spirit' people. They were believed to be closer to the Great Mystery
because they, like the Great Mystery, combined both the female and
male spirits of creation. So, no, it's not against my culture... and
I've been bisexual all my life."
Tom thought about that for a minute and decided he liked that
concept. Two-spirit people.
"Now, we're going to plan," Chakotay insisted.
"Yes, Sir, Commander, Sir," Tom said to his lover's snort.
"You know, you used to irritate me with that smart mouthed attitude,
but for some reason it doesn't bother me at all any more," Chakotay
said with a grin.
"Gee, I wonder why?"
"Maybe because I know just how smart your mouth is," Chakotay replied
a bit dreamily, and Tom blushed, he couldn't help it.
"Okay, Cha. Plans," he said with difficulty.
"First, I want you to beam back up to Voyager. Pick up some more
food and some sunscreen—"
"And some lube."
"-and some lube, and a tent. We still have one more night here,
after all, and I want to spend it with you in my arms. So don't
forget the sunscreen, Poocah."
"Okay, Cha. What about you?"
"I've got to take down the lodge. It has to be done a certain way."
Chakotay smiled at that bright face. "By the way, Tom, you did
really good in there. Maybe if you get back in time, you can help
"I'd like that, Cha," Tom said seriously. This was his lifemate.
Chakotay's people were his people, now, and Tom would never do
anything to disrespect that.
"Then tomorrow, after we beam up together, we're going to move your
stuff into our quarters, because we're going to live together,"
Chakotay told Tom with equal gravity, then had to laugh at that look
of awestruck joy. "Yes, I mean it, *really*," he put in before Tom
could even ask.
"Wow," Tom said intelligently, more than a little stunned. "This is
going to surprise a lot of people, Cha."
This time it was Chakotay who blushed. Tom could feel the warmth of
it, even if it wasn't very visible given the big man's complexion.
"It's not going to surprise as many as you might think, Tommy.
Kathryn knows how I feel about you, and so does Tuvok, and the
doctor, and B'Elanna, of course."
"Of course," Tom replied faintly. "Tuvok?" A beat. "*B'Elanna*?"
"I'll tell you all about it on our wedding night," Chakotay promised,
then found himself flat on his back with an armful of Tom. What a
way to go!
Not 'The End', because thanks to some very encouraging feedback from
kind folk like Chuckles, I've started on a sequel, to be
entitled 'How Tuvok Knew'.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.