Secret Love by Bronte

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Pairing: Ayala/Kim; Chakotay/Paris
Disclaimers: The boys belong to Paramount, etc. I’m just borrowing them,
and having a great time with them, I might add...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gregor Ayala sat at a table in the far corner of the mess hall, picking at the
food on his plate, waiting. “I wonder where he is?” he muttered.

“Where who is?” Chakotay asked casually as he joined his friend at the
table.

“What?!” Greg responded sharply, flustered that he had spoken the words
out loud.

Chakotay studied his comrade’s face, trying to decipher the meaning behind
the startled expression. “Greg, is there something you want to tell me?”
Chakotay inquired, gazing knowingly at his long-time friend.

“No, there isn’t,” Greg replied adamantly, “so don’t even start.”

“Start what?” Chakotay responded, feigning innocence.

“You know,” Greg answered sarcastically, “the inquisition.”

“Inquisition?” Chakotay began dramatically. “Greg, I’m hurt!”

“Hurt, my ass!” Greg replied firmly. “I know you all too well, Chakotay.
You’re dying to know who I was talking about.”

“Well, now that you mention it...,” Chakotay teased.

“Well, just forget it. I’m not ready to tell you anything...just yet anyway.”
Greg looked down, staring thoughtfully at his food, trying to keep his friend
from seeing the loneliness he felt in his heart.

“Greg,” Chakotay said seriously. “You know that you can tell me anything.”

“Yeah, I know.” Greg admitted. “But I need a little time to work this out on
my own.”

“Fair enough,” Chakotay conceded. “I won’t push you...unless you want to be
pushed. Do you want to be pushed, Greg?” Chakotay taunted gently.

“Chakotay, I’m warning you...,” Greg chided.

Chakotay laughed in response to their spirited banter. “Greg, I know you’re
dying to tell me. Just give it up already.”

“No, I’m not telling you anything...and you can’t make me.” Greg insisted.

The doors to the mess hall swished open. Greg automatically looked up to
see who entered. He blushed slightly as he realized who it was.

“He just came in, didn’t he,” Chakotay observed excitedly.

“No, Chakotay,” Greg quickly responded, exhibiting a deeper blush. “No, it’s
not...”

“Liar,” Chakotay stated plainly, turning to see who entered the mess hall.
Tom and Harry were standing in line talking to Neelix. “Greg, it’s not...”

“Gods, Chakotay,” Greg stammered. “I’m so in love it’s pathetic...and I don’t
have the guts to tell him.”

“Greg, there is something I have to tell you...,” Chakotay began, with concern
evident in his voice.

“What, Chakotay?” Greg interrupted, feeling the dread focus in the pit of
his stomach. “Gods, is he already seeing someone?”

“Yes... me. We have been seeing each other for several months,” Chakotay
said carefully.

“You’re kidding, right?” Greg asked in disbelief.

“I wish I was. I feel just awful. I didn’t know you were interested in him,
otherwise I wouldn’t have approached him,” Chakotay explained gently.

“I’m too late...I can’t believe it,” Greg murmured. “Do you love him?”

“Yes, I do,” Chakotay admitted, with a shy smile adorning his face.

Greg saw the expression on his former captain’s face, and his heart sank.
Mustering up all the courage he could find, he replied, “Well, I’m jealous as
hell, but I’m happy for you.”

“Greg, I know how hurt you are, but thanks for giving me your support
anyway,” Chakotay said honestly. “Tom and I are very happy together.”

“Huh?” Greg replied, puzzled at his friend’s words.

“What?”

“Who did you say?” Greg questioned hopefully.

“Tom and I...,” Chakotay repeated.

“Gods, Chakotay,” Greg replied incredulously. “I’m not in love with Tom.
You’re the one who has been in love with Tom for years, not me!”

“Then you’re in love with...Harry?”

“Yes.”

“Geez, that’s great,” Chakotay sighed with relief.

“What’s great?” Tom interrupted as he sat down to join the pair.

“Greg’s in love with Harry.” Chakotay responded to his lover without thinking.

“You’re kidding, really?” Tom replied, looking expectantly at Greg.

“Chakotay, shut up!” Greg snapped. “You and your big mouth...”

“But Greg, that’s terrific!” Tom exclaimed.

“What’s terrific?” Harry asked, taking a seat beside Greg.

“Greg is in love with... oh... um...,” Tom stammered.

“Greg is... what?” Harry inquired hesitantly as his smile quickly faded.
“Greg? Are you in love with someone?”

Greg was blushing furiously as he tried to think of a way out of this
uncomfortable situation. Finally, he decided what to do. “Yes, I am in love
with someone,” he said quietly.

“Oh,” Harry replied simply.

“Aren’t you going to ask who it is?” Greg asked cautiously.

“Well, um...sure, I guess,” Harry responded. “Who’s the lucky lady?”

“It’s not a lady,” Greg replied.

“It’s not?” Harry asked.

“No.”

“Well...then who’s the lucky man?” Harry asked hopefully.

“You,” Greg said frankly as he held his breath, waiting for Harry’s reaction.

“Me?” Harry said in awe.

“Yes... you,” Greg responded, showing more confidence than he felt.

“Wow,” Harry said softly, lost in thought.

“That’s all you have to say?” Greg asked, wondering what was going through
the mind of his secret obsession.

“Yes,” Harry replied simply as he leaned over and gave Greg a passionate kiss.

“Wow.” Greg uttered in return.

“Is that all you have to say?” Harry teased.

“No. But let’s get out of here. Too many gossips around here for my
comfort,” Greg smirked, looking pointedly at his best friend. “Oh, and
Chakotay...”

“Yes?” Chakotay replied.

“Thanks for being my friend,” Greg said warmly, “and for the inquisition, ...
and for your big mouth. But you’d better watch out during our next game of
hoverball.”

“Take your best shot, my friend. I think my big mouth and I have it coming,”
Chakotay chuckled with relief as he watched Harry and his best friend stand
up and walk out of the mess hall.

“Gods, Chak,” Tom said in disbelief. “I can’t believe that Greg is in love with
my best friend. I know that Harry’s been pining over him for months.”

“I just found out today,” Chakotay explained. “Greg sure can keep a secret.
I had no idea that he was interested in Harry. In fact, I thought he was
interested in you when you two first came into the mess hall.”

“You really believed that?” Tom questioned.

“Yeah, you were the obvious choice to me,” Chakotay replied sincerely.

“Gods, I love you, Chak,” Tom said warmly.

“I love you too,” Chakotay echoed with a smile.

“Maybe it’s time that we came out of the closet about us,” Tom stated.

“I think you’re right,” Chakotay affirmed, reaching his arm around the
younger man’s shoulders. “I think we should start now,” he said as he
brushed his lips against Tom’s, and then leaned in for a full-fledged kiss.

“Do you think they’ll be as happy as we are, Chak?” Tom whispered in his
lover’s ear.

“I sure hope so, Tommy,” Chakotay answered sincerely. “If they are 1/10th
as happy as us, they will be truly blessed.”

Tom melted into the older man’s embrace. He glanced up and noticed several
sets of eyes watching their every move, smiling their approval of the newly
outed couple’s relationship. “I think we’re making a scene,” Tom replied
lightly.

“I think Greg and Harry had the right idea,” Chakotay stated decisively.
“Let’s get out of here. I know just the place...interested?”

“Always...,” Tom said truthfully, “but it doesn’t really matter to me where we
go... as long as I’m with you.”

“Then you’ll be happy for the rest of your life because I’m never going to
leave your side,” Chakotay promised.

“I’m going to hold you to that promise,” Tom murmured.

“I hope so,” Chakotay replied as he leaned in for another kiss. “Now let’s get
going so I can show you just how much I love you.”

“Lead the way.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The End.

Copyright May 2002