Conversations Without Words
Summary: “It’s often just enough to be with someone. I don’t need to touch them. Not even talk. A feeling passes between you both. You’re not alone.” — Marilyn Monroe
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay, Ayala, Paris
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Voyager universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Notes: Written for talsi74656’s “J/C Cutthroat Fiction” comp, to the Marilyn Monroe quote above.
VII. Now - Stardate 54887.4
“If you think getting drunk is going to make me forget about what we just saw, you can think again,” Tom Paris drawled, propping his boots on the low sofa table.
Ayala sloshed another healthy serve of alcohol into his glass. “Paris, what is it going to take to get you to shut the hell up?”
“The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” Paris sing-songed. “So come on, buddy. Cough it up.”
Ayala stared at him evenly. “Because I promised.”
Paris opened his mouth to wheedle but was interrupted by the door chime.
“Come in,” he called.
Into Paris’ quarters strode the first officer, shoulders squared and face set in forbidding lines.
“Chakotay, what a pleasant surprise.” Paris’ tone was laconic. “We were just talking about you.”
“No, we weren’t,” growled Ayala.
“Cut the crap, Paris.” Chakotay reached out to slap Paris’ boot off the low table and the younger man shifted upright in his seat. “Listen to me carefully, because I’m only going to say this once: You saw nothing tonight. Understand me? And if I ever hear anything to the contrary, no matter how oblique, I’ll be coming for you.”
“Say no more,” Paris replied, raising his hands. “Message received loud and clear.”
“Good.” Chakotay’s glare swept over him, turned to encompass Ayala, then swung back to Paris. He nodded once and headed for the door.
“Chakotay,” Paris called, getting to his feet.
“What?” snarled the commander.
“I’m happy for you,” the pilot answered, and Chakotay turned to read the sincerity in his eyes. “For both of you. You deserve it.”
A hint of a smile softened Chakotay’s features.
As the door slid shut behind him Paris settled back into his chair and raised a glass to his drinking companion. “So, now that that’s sorted, why don’t you tell me the story of how you got yourself demoted?”
“You just don’t give up, do you?” Ayala snorted out a laugh. “Okay, fine, but you didn’t hear it from me…”