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Killing Time

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"Truth or dare."

"What?"

"Truth or dare. Didn't you ever play that game when you were a kid?"

"Paris, are you going to help me with this or not?"

"I thought you gave up. I thought we agreed we were just going to wait for Voyager to get back into orbit."

"Well, maybe I'm bored."

"That was the point."

"Couldn't we at least try to do something constructive?"

"I am trying to do something constructive, Commander. I'm trying to figure out what makes you tick."

"Well, you'll be disappointed. I don't have any secrets of the sort you're trying to find out."

"Oh, no? We'll see."

"The ship's only going to be a few hours, anyway. It can't take much longer to mine the ore and figure out we're not at the rendezvous."

"What are we supposed to do in the meantime?"

"I don't suppose you're going to let me meditate."

"Not a chance."

"You're not going to get any performances. I always say truth."

"Go ahead."

"Fine. Truth."

"Um...ah...ok, Chakotay. In the Maquis, did you ever make it with B'Elanna Torres?"

"Is B'Elanna Torres what this conversation is really about?"

"No! Not if you mean..."

"Tom, if you're seriously interested in her, I promise you that I am not going to be a problem."

"That's not why I asked."

"You're not interested in her."

"I really just picked that as a sort of neutral opening question."

"Neutral? As opposed to?"

"I don't know. As opposed to 'Are you in love with the captain.'"

...

"So...was that a no? On B'Elanna?"

"That was a no, Paris."

"I mean, we all did things in the Maquis we'd rather not talk about."

"That wasn't one of mine."

"What were some of yours?"

"Paris, you just never got it, did you."

"I was there. I saw what Suder and Dalby were capable of. I never saw you try to stop them."

"I couldn't have stopped them if I tried."

"Chakotay, you didn't want to stop them. You were just as angry as they were, only you didn't want to get your hands dirty."

"I got my hands plenty dirty."

"Yeah, with all your noble reasoning behind you, you were fighting for a cause. And you had more forgiveness for the people who were there just because they liked to torture and rape Cardassians than you had for a bum like me."

"Nobody raped anybody on my watch."

"Then I guess you weren't watching all that closely."

"I'm not sure why we're talking about this, Lieutenant."

"You're the one who brought it up."

"No, you're the one who connected the idea of sex with B'Elanna and things I'm ashamed of from the Maquis. Is that how you think of her?"

"No! I wasn't..."

"Let me tell you something, Paris. You hurt her, and you'll pay for it. If she doesn't tear your throat out, I will."

"Calm down already! I'm not going to hurt her. I like her. A lot. I'm sorry I asked."

"Good. Talk about something else."

"Okay. Your turn."

"My turn what?"

"Truth or dare."

"Let's just drop that."

"Do you want to talk about whose fault it was that we crashed here, instead?"

"I can only do so much, flying without sensors."

"Oh. Sometimes I forget I'm a better pilot than you. I wouldn't have landed us in this mud pit."

"Truth or dare, Paris."

"Dare."

"My socks are soaking wet from trying to fix the coolant leak. Give me yours."

"Are you serious?"

"Very serious."

"I don't know, Chakotay, this is a little weird for Truth or Dare."

"It was your idea to play. What are we playing for, by the way?"

"Uhhhh... Can I say 'fifty replicator credits,' or are you going to put me on report for gambling?"

"Not if you give me your socks."

"They might not be too dry, either. And they probably smell."

"I hate having wet feet and I don't want to go barefoot in here. It's chilly. Your feet can't be that sweaty."

"Okay..."

...

"Happy now?"

"Yes. Thank you, Lieutenant."

"Now you owe me, Chakotay. Truth or dare."

"Truth."

"Has anyone given you head recently?"

"I honestly couldn't tell you the date."

"In the past year?"

"Uh. Yes."

"Since Seska, in other words."

"I answered your question. I hate that phrase anyway. Your turn, Paris."

"Truth."

"Ever fucked one of your holocharacters?"

"Hell, yes. How come you hate the phrase 'give head,' but not 'fucked'?"

"It's in context. I wouldn't ask you if you'd fucked someone you had feelings for. And I wouldn't care if you asked whether I'd gotten head from a hologram."

"Have you?"

"No. I don't do holocharacters."

"Why not?"

"They're just objects."

"Yeah, well, I won't tell the Doc you said so."

"Thanks."

"So, Commander, was it anybody I know?"

"Is that my question?"

"No. I guess you already answered that. I suppose I could ask you who."

"I thought Truth or Dare was yes or no questions."

"Well, I could start with, 'Was it Neelix?' and work my way up from there."

"It wasn't Neelix."

"Hey, Chakotay, did you ever look at any of the captain's holonovels?"

"No. I don't think she invites crewmembers."

"They're not on privacy lockout. Anyone can access them. You could probably even figure out where she left off.

"Do you spy on the captain's holodeck activities, Mr. Paris?"

"No! I thought...well, I thought you might have seen one. Never mind. I was just wondering if you thought she ever, um...can I say 'fucked' in reference to the captain?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"Because she's the captain."

"You like that, don't you."

"What?"

"You like saying that. 'She's the captain.' Does that turn you on?"

"Her title? Not at all, Lieutenant."

"Tell me something, then."

"Is it still my turn?"

"Yes. Unless you want to tell me who it was."

"Who what?"

"Who gave you hea...um, oral affection."

"No. Different subject."

"Was it her?"

"'Her' who?"

"Never mind, Chakotay. Truth or dare."

"Truth."

"Does Janeway know how you feel about her?"

...

"Commander?"

"You mean, about the fact that she was sent out here to arrest me?"

"No, I don't mean about the fact that she was sent out here to arrest you. Come on, Chakotay. Stop playing dumb."

"What could you possibly know about how I feel about her?"

"It's pretty obvious. The whole ship notices."

"Then why would you ask?"

"OK, just tell me this. Have you ever told her you love her? Hmm?"

"Paris...we're not going to talk about her."

"Does that mean you're forfeiting your replicator rations?"

"We're not going to discuss anything that could compromise the command structure."

"Oh, so that's your excuse. You know, you just sounded just like her."

"I've had enough of this anyway."

"Then you quit?"

"I'm not answering that question."

"I can't wait to tell everyone how I got those rations. They'll say, 'Tom, what did you ask Chakotay?'"

"And you won't tell them."

"How are you going to stop me?"

"I don't need to stop you. You have too much respect for the captain to bring up something like that."

"Yeah?"

"Yes. I trust you on that."

"Oh, you do? You trust me?"

"Yes."

"Even so...you're not going to answer."

"Paris..."

"You forfeit?"

"...yes."

"Wow. I'm going to have steak tonight. In fact, I might even have..."

"Yes to your question."

"What?"

"She knows."

...

"Surprised, Tom?"

"I think I'm shocked. You've discussed it with her?"

"I said, she knows."

"What did you do? Just blurted it out one night in her quarters?"

"No."

"Where'd you tell her, then?"

"Off the ship."

"Shore leave together? Hmmm..."

"Not exactly. We were stranded with that virus."

"Ahhh. So you did have the big talk."

"'The big talk'?"

"About how you feel about each other."

"Hold on. You asked if she knew how I felt about her. That's all I said."

"She must have told you something."

"That's not something we're going to discuss."

"She didn't tell you if she felt the same way? Even though she thought you were never coming back to the ship? Boy, she really is tight."

"Lieutenant..."

"OK, sorry. No disrespect to the command structure intended. Or to her."

...

"I guess it's my turn. Dare."

...

"Chakotay?"

"I can't think of anything."

"Nothing?"

"Okay. Actually I can. Get the spanner and let's give the injector pods one more boost, see if we can get this thing up."

"You're no fun, Chakotay."

...

...

"Anything, Paris?"

"There's too much coolant leakage. We'd have to override the safeties, and I don't think that's a good idea with the buffers offline."

"That's that, then. Damn, now these socks are wet too."

"Chakotay, can I ask you something, off the record?"

"What?"

"She didn't give you the well-worn Kathryn Janeway 'This is not appropriate' speech, did she? The one we all get when we try to get her to have a little fun?"

"No."

"She didn't break your heart?"

"Not yet."

"You've been in such a bad mood that I know she must have hurt you. But the two of you are pretty much the same together. She still flirts with you on the bridge."

"The discussion is over, Paris. This is the captain you're talking about."

"That again. Did you ever call her Kathryn to her face?"

"Yes. Enough about her. Next subject."

"I'm not asking about her, Chakotay. I'm asking about you."

"It's not still my turn, is it?"

"You know, you could settle a very big betting pool on the ship."

"What!"

"About you and her. Whether you were lovers when you were stuck down there."

"Paris, I'm going to bust you back in the ranks..."

"Whoa, I'm not running it. You'd never believe me if I told you who was."

"Who? Your friend Harry?"

"No."

"Tuvok?"

"Ha! No. But almost as unlikely a suspect. Tell me the answer, and I'll tell you who it is."

"You'll tell me who it is anyway, if you don't want to be thrown in the brig as an accomplice."

"You can't do that. I haven't gambled on anything since you broke up my last undercover operation. Though of course that wasn't all my idea."

"I wondered about that."

"Well, that part actually was my idea. Tuvok thought it would be plausible that I'd think I could get away with it. I think the captain even thought it might be good for morale, while it lasted. You got to be the bad guy all around."

"I remember."

"Are you still mad at me for that?"

"You were doing what you were ordered to do."

"I see. Are you mad at her?"

"It seems like a long time ago."

"You know, Chakotay, people were taking bets on whether the two of you were lovers even before you got stranded together."

"What people? Are you trying to get someone in trouble?"

"No. Not at all."

"Then why are you telling me this?"

"I don't know. I guess I wanted you to know that if you and she ever wanted to, umm, you know, nobody on the ship would mind. Hell, nobody would really be surprised, except Tuvok."

"It's none of your business, Paris."

"I might be able to get ahold of the books. Then you can confiscate them, and I won't have any reason to give it away one way or the other. Besides, like you said, I have too much respect for the captain to talk."

"Sorry."

"No you're not. You know, we took bets on you and Seska, too. Of course, the two of you were a lot less discreet."

"Not the two of us. Just Seska."

"Yeah, she wanted everyone to know."

"Tell me something, Tom. Did you ever go to bed with her?"

"Me? With Seska? You're kidding."

"No, I'm not."

"I only knew her for a couple of weeks in the Maquis. And I can't say I liked her much on Voyager. What in hell made you ask that?"

"Just wondering. I know she slept with Kurt, and probably with Michael Jonas. I should have suspected that he was her spy."

"When was all this?"

"Kurt was before me. There were others afterwards. I knew she wasn't as devoted as she pretended to be."

"You say that so matter-of-factly, Chakotay. Didn't you care?"

"Not really."

"Why not?"

"No good reason. She still gave me massages."

"Is that why you were with her in the first place?"

"All I knew was that I didn't want to go to bed at night thinking about dead Cardassians and Federation betrayal."

"I saw her on Culluh's ship when they abducted me from the Talaxians."

"I read the report."

"She looked good pregnant. Even as a Cardassian. You know, you didn't say 'fucked' about her."

"Were you attracted to her?"

"I guess maybe a little. I liked her hair."

"So did I."

"Yeah, I bet."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Like Janeway's? You're always staring at her hair."

"I like long hair on women. You read too much into things, Paris."

"Everyone's noticed you with Janeway. You never even looked at Seska that way, and she wasn't bad to look at."

"You were attracted to her, weren't you?"

"I never thought about it. What is this, a contest to prove you could have any woman I want?"

"Forget it. I was going to explain something about Seska. I should have known better than to think you'd understand."

"Christ, Chakotay, what are you so pissed off about now?"

"Nothing. I think it's your turn. Truth or dare."

"Ummm...truth."

"Do you remember any of what happened when you stole the shuttle and abducted the captain?"

"That wasn't abduction! It wasn't intentional!"

"You assaulted her with a weapon, dragged her unconscious body to the shuttle bay, and left the ship."

"That wasn't me. Jeez. Jealous much?"

"Of a salamander?"

"She doesn't hold it against me. Why do you?"

"You took her by force."

"I was possessed!"

"You do remember?"

"Warp 10, my claim to eternal glory? Not a thing, Chakotay. You remember more about it than I do. Still jealous?"

"Amphibians are not my thing."

"Not even if it was Kathryn Janeway as an amphibian?"

"I've been meaning to tell you that most amphibians don't have sex."

"No?"

"The male just sprays his ejaculate over the female's eggs."

"That's right. Chakotay the mating behavior expert."

"What?"

"That's what Janeway said. When we encountered that swarm of space sperm, or whatever they were, that had an itch for the ship. Roll over and turn blue? Shesaid the next time she needed advice about mating behavior, she'd know where to come."

"I remember."

"A lot of the crew drew their own conclusions from that comment of hers."

"A lot of the crew seems to have too much time on their hands."

"Well, Chakotay, did you?"

"Did I what?"

"Draw conclusions. Stop and think, 'Gee, maybe she really does need advice about mating behavior. Like, under what circumstances could a captain make love with her first officer.'"

"No."

"Well, maybe you could take her out in a shuttle sometime and she'll morph for you."

"I can't believe you can make jokes about it."

"She can. She didn't call it abduction. She said maybe fucking was her idea -- can I call that fucking?"

"It wasn't even sex, so I don't see how."

"This is really eating at you, huh. Do you wish it had been you shooting your load all over the captain?"

"You are really disgusting, Paris."

"And you're boring. No holograms, no amphibians. You ever done it with a non-humanoid?"

"No."

"Only women?"

"Is that an official truth or dare question?"

"Sure, Chakotay. Have you ever..."

"Dare."

"What? I can't believe it. You're afraid to tell me whether you've ever done it with a man?"

"Not afraid, Paris, just tired of talking. Dare."

"OK. Fine. Stand up."

"What?"

"Just stand up. And step back from the console."

"What for?"

"You know what for. All that talk about spraying sperm on Janeway got to you, huh? Or was it thinking about captains making love with their first officers? I know why you're holding that padd in your lap."

"Then you don't need me to stand up, do you?"

"Satisfy my curiosity."

"Why, do you want to compare size?"

"I'm not worried about measuring up."

"No? Should I take off my pants?"

"Chakotay..."

"What? Getting nervous?"

"Are you?"

"When's the last time you did it with a man?"

"Remember that ion storm, when the holodeck went offline and Janeway sent me to...ooh, I don't think I should tell the First Officer that. I might get someone else on the ship in trouble."

"Good."

"'Good'?"

"I was afraid maybe it was prison."

"Fuck you."

"Hey -- I'm sorry. That was a terrible thing to say."

"Yeah. What is your fucking problem with me anyway?"

"Nothing. I don't know where that came from..."

"We're not in the Maquis anymore. We have a lot of the same friends, for chrissakes. If you have any friends, that is. I didn't mean to bring you down to my level, Commander."

"I'm really sorry."

"Asshole."

"I got defensive..."

"We even work together fine most of the time, when you're not pissed at me because the woman you love used you to set me up for a spy mission. But whenever you're mad at her, you take it out on me."

"Not true."

"Then how come I'm on the shit list for the Kazon incident and she isn't? Right at the beginning, the first time you ever set foot on her bridge, I was the one you came after..."

"I said I was sorry. Don't make it into more than it was."

"You still owe me your life."

"I remember."

"Look, I know I'm not your type, but I never did anything to you personally. Why do you insist on making it so hard for me?"

"I don't know, Tom."

"Then what the fuck are you grinning about? Oh. Hard for me, very funny. Whose turn is it, anyway?"

"Truth or dare."

"Truth."

"Tom."

"What."

"Do you want to fuck me?"

"Oh, God. You first."

"It's your turn."

"No, Chakotay, you never stood up. So it's still your turn."

...

"Chakotay?"

"What?"

"Do you...?"

"We're just talking about fucking?"

"No-frills sex. Just once."

"I just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing."

"Just to get off. I won't ever bring it up again. Uh, Chakotay, is this a theoretical question?"

"As opposed to?"

"A pass."

"Don't delude yourself, Paris."

"Why not? You're the one who brought it up. So to speak."

"Propositioning a junior officer on duty would be against regulations."

"Oh, right. OK, Commander. Fine. Then I guess my answer is no."

"No what?"

"I don't want to fuck you."

"You don't."

"I want you to fuck me."

...

"For God's sake, Chakotay, aren't you going to say anything?"

"I wouldn't have taken you for a habitual bottom."

"I'm not. But, in this case, I'd want to make sure you'd come, so you couldn't possibly pretend the thrill was all mine. I'm confused though."

"About what?"

"If you're getting it from the captain, why in hell would you want it from me?"

"What makes you think I'm getting it from the captain?"

"Well. That answers that. All that time down there...what a waste."

"She wasn't the captain, 'all that time down there.'"

"Oh. Oh, man. That's when you called her Kathryn..."

"I shouldn't be talking about it."

"Ha. Sorry. I guess it's not funny. We all thought we were doing you such a big favor, risking our lives to get you a cure."

"We both appreciated it more than we can say."

"Yeah, right. How miserable were you when the ship came back?"

"I had mixed feelings."

"I bet. Hmph. Did you think about not answering the communicator signal?"

"She heard it first."

"Would you have, if she hadn't?"

"I think so. I missed people, when we were down there."

"But?"

"I didn't want to lose her."

"Are you sure you have?"

"I'm not sure of anything right now. I don't think she is either. No, I shouldn't have said that. I don't really know what she thinks."

"Chakotay, you don't have to protect her. I'm not going to tell anyone about this conversation. I can't believe you think I would."

"I don't."

"I bet you didn't miss me. Her either."

"Don't bet your rations. We talked about you."

"You're kidding."

"She thinks pretty highly of you."

"Yeah, well, that probably doesn't mean much. She knew my father. She thought pretty highly of him."

"Ahh."

"What?"

"You worried she fucked him?"

"Jesus, no! Shit, Chakotay, you had to say that, didn't you. You think it's like a mother thing I have with her?"

"I wouldn't know."

"Like the father thing B'Elanna has for you. Which is probably why you never fucked her. Hey...you said 'fucked' about Janeway."

"What? When?"

"Just before. About her and my father."

"Whoops."

"Admit it, you'd settle for just fucking her."

"Not true."

"Oh, you don't have hormones like the rest of us?"

"Are you questioning my manhood, Paris?"

"You sound like you think that's funny."

"Are you trying to get me to deck you?"

"Ooh, that's not very officer-like, big man. That depends on what you're going to do once you've got me on the floor."

"What did you have in mind?"

"Is that a theoretical question?"

"Of course."

"Though what is a pass, if not a theoretical question?"

...

"Chakotay?"

"How long is it supposed to take the ship to get back?"

"Another hour, maybe? Uhhhh...plenty of time. Is that what you're asking?"

"We're still just talking about..."

"Yeah. So will you just stand up now?"

"You first."

"Shit."

"Nervous?"

"Been awhile."

"Good. Me too."

"Been awhile, or you're nervous?"

"Stop talking for a minute, OK?"

...

...

"God."

"You sure you want this, Paris?"

"Are you?"

"I think so. Yes."

"Me too."

"Then relax a little. You like this?"

"That's good. Yeah, I like this. Oh. That too. Oh, God. Chakotay, I think this is going to be over pretty quick..."

"S'OK."

"Wait, don't touch me for a minute...all right, I'm OK now. Sorry. Too intense for a second, there."

"Better?"

"Yes."

"You want to stay standing?"

"I'm not sure I can."

"Then come over here and tell me what you want."

"More of the same is fine with me. Slow...oh. Oh, God. Chakotay. Are you going to stop if I tell you I've thought about this before?"

"Mmmm mmmm."

"Don't want you to get the wrong idea...oh...ohhhhh, I can't wait...please... can't control..."

...

"God..."

"Hmmm?"

"Can't believe...you're doing this...with me."

"Want to stop?"

"No."

"Anything around here for lube?"

"First aid kit?"

"Sickbay inventories that after every mission."

"Um, right. Damn."

"Maybe we shouldn't do that, anyway."

"You chickening out?"

"Been a long time since I just fucked someone. You might be disappointed."

"I doubt it. Don't you remember how?"

"I remember how to make love."

"Oh."

"Scare you?"

"Nah. You could always pretend I'm someone else."

"Tom."

"What."

"Keep doing that. Other hand. Ohhh...good."

"Do you want..."

"And stop talking."

...

...

...

"Thanks."

"'Thanks'?"

"Was that the wrong thing to say?"

"No, Chakotay, just...not what I expected."

"A lot of this away mission was not what I expected."

"Yeah, well, hazards of exploration. Can I ask you one more thing?"

"I don't know. What's left?"

"You make me nervous when you grin like that."

"What's the question?"

"Were you pretending you were with someone else?"

"No, Tom. Not at all. Were you?"

"Hell, no."

"Good."

"If you had been, who would it have been?"

"Paris..."

"Look! Blip on the screen -- they're coming for us."

"Finally."

"Can I have my socks back?"

"No. I won, so I'm keeping them."

"What do you mean, you won? I don't think so."

"You just didn't notice."

"Then why aren't you taking my rations?"

"I don't want the captain to think I've been gambling."

"I'd never tell."

"Keep them anyway. Maybe we could call it even on owing you my life."

"No chance. I suppose I could buy you dinner when we get back."

"Just dinner."

"Just dinner. Christ! That wasn't Truth or Dare."

"What is a theoretical question, if not Truth or Dare?"

"You know, Chakotay...I don't think we finished the game."