Disclaimer - Paramount and Viacom own the characters from Voyager, although they didn't often treat them right. The story line belongs to me.
"Tuvok, you have the bridge." the Captain said. She turned to Harry, who was heading towards the bridge with Tuvok.. "Ensign Kim you're with us."
"Captain?" Harry asked with a puzzled look on his face.
"Have you had breakfast yet, Mr. Kim?" the Captain asked as they headed for the corridor.
"No, Captain, not yet." Harry answered as they approached the turbolift.
"Go to the mess hall and get yourself some breakfast. This incident with Mr. Paris is not to be mentioned to anyone, is that understood?" Janeway stated as she called for the lift.
"Yes, Captain." Harry replied.
"I want you to meet me in sickbay in two hours, Mr. Kim." Janeway said. "If the doctor releases Mr. Paris, I don't want him to be alone. I want you to be with him."
"Yes, Captain, of course." Harry looked worried about Tom.
The Captain put her hand on Harry's arm. "Tom needs someone he feels comfortable with, Harry, someone he can talk to." Janeway and Chakotay entered the turbolift and the doors slid shut.
Harry headed for the mess hall with a concerned look on his face.
Quiet voices could be heard in one of the crew's quarters on the lower decks.
"I'm telling you, Frank, I saw Ayala going into sickbay at 01:30 with a phaser on his belt." a nervous voice stated.
"That doesn't mean that Paris was in there." a deeper voice answered.
"Tuvok had Dalby in his office just after that. This could mean big trouble for us." the first voice said.
"Look, James, as long as you keep your mouth shut, we're OK. The fight Dalby had with Paris is perfect. He's the first one they'll suspect." Frank noted.
"But he'll deny anything. Besides, he was confined to quarters." James said nervously.
"And just who do you think will believe he's innocent? Tuvok or our illustrious Captain? Dalby's a Maquis and he'll be guilty first and questions asked later." Frank replied with a sneer.
"But what about Chakotay? He's a Maquis too." James questioned.
"Not anymore, he's as Starfleet as the rest of them. Just keep quiet and we'll be fine." Frank answered.
"You shouldn't have hit Paris so hard. You could've killed him." James stated.
"So what. That would be one less problem in the Delta Quadrant. Now let's get to our shifts. We don't want any suspicions." Frank headed for the corridor.
"You are not hungry, Ensign?" the clipped voice of Seven of Nine interrupted Harry's thoughts.
He sat at a corner table and was pushing his breakfast around on the plate but not really eating. He was very worried about Tom. ‘The Captain said that Tom was hurt and with a security guard in sickbay, it must be pretty bad. I hope he'll be OK.' "Oh, I guess I have a lot on my mind this morning, Seven. What can I do for you?"
"That last Kazon attack damaged the navigational array in Astrometrics and I require your assistance in repairing it." her reply was without emotion and she stood at his table awaiting him to accompany her.
"I'm sorry, Seven, but I have to report to the Captain for a special assignment."
"Perhaps, that assignment can be given to another crew member, you are the best suited for the repairs. Where is Ensign Paris? Doesn't he usually dine with you in the mornings?"
Harry was shaken by her mention of Tom's name. "He ..he couldn't make it this morning. I'll have to get back to you about those repairs, Seven."
Harry sighed as he downed the last of his coffee. Still deep in thought he didn't notice anyone approach his table until he heard a familiar voice.
"More coffee, Ensign?" Neelix asked, coffeepot in hand, as he stood next to Harry. "Is everything all right this morning?"
"And where is Tom? He usually eats with you and I know how hungry he normally is in the mornings" Neelix questioned with his customary smile.
"He..he couldn't make it. I ..I think I've had enough breakfast. Thanks for the coffee, Neelix." Harry said as he grabbed his tray and headed for the recycler. He took a sip of the coffee and placed the cup on the tray and dumped his breakfast in the recycler. He left the mess hall and headed for the turbolift.
The Captain and Chakotay entered sickbay and the doctor approached them. "Good morning, Captain, Commander."
"Doctor, how is Mr. Paris?" The Captain asked as she looked towards the surgical bay.
"His surgery was successful, Captain. I wish to continue monitoring his brain functions for the next 36 hours. The fractures to his right arm were quite serious and he will need therapy to strengthen the muscles." the doctor replied.
"Can he be questioned now about the attack?" Chakotay inquired.
"You may go ahead and question him but I don't believe he can shed any more light on his attackers, Commander. He has very little memory of yesterday's actions." the doctor returned to his office.
Chakotay spoke to Lt. Ayala and dismissed him from sickbay. "Go and get some rest, we will need you again tonight."
Tom was awake, on the biobed in the surgical bay. The back had been raised slightly so he was propped in a sitting position. Ensign Wildman was holding a glass of water up to Tom's mouth. "Just a few sips, Tom." Sam gave him a smile as she put the glass down. "I'll get that hypospray now." She turned and walked towards a cabinet near the Captain and Chakotay.
Janeway stopped her. "Ensign, how is Mr. Paris, this morning?" The Captain asked as she looked at Tom. She knew she would get more from Sam than just the dry medical report that the Doctor had given her.
"He's a little groggy and is complaining of pain in his right arm. I think he'll be OK, Captain, although he will be quite tired." Sam answered as she went for the pain medication.
The Captain and Chakotay approached Tom's biobed. His eyes were closed and there was some slight swelling and bruising over his left cheek. His right forearm was propped on a foam wedge at his side.
The Captain noted that the readings over the biobed appeared to be in the normal range. "Good morning, Tom. How are you feeling?" she asked quietly.
His eyes opened and he gazed at the Captain in slight confusion. "I ....guess I'm OK. A little dizzy, when I try to sit up, and I don't think I'll be up for arm wrestling any time soon." he gave her a small smile lifting his right arm slightly.
"Tom, do you remember anything about who attacked you?" Chakotay asked.
"No, I'm sorry, Commander. I remember B'Elanna saying we should break for dinner. She left the Jefferies tube first and I packed up the tool kit. The next thing I remember is you grabbing my arm in the corridor outside my quarters." Tom tried to shift his position and winced as he put pressure on his right arm.
Just then Sam returned with the hypospray. "Here, Tom. This Hydrocortilene will take care of that pain." She pressed it against his neck and, as the medication entered his bloodstream, his face relaxed.
"Tom, do you believe Ken Dalby was involved?" Chakotay asked when Tom opened his eyes again.
"No, Commander. The fight yesterday was an isolated incident. Dalby is all talk." Tom leaned his head back against the bed.
"Tom, the Doctor said this was not the first time you were assaulted . Who attacked you before and why didn't you come to one of us?" Chakotay asked quietly. He couldn't understand how Tom was able to keep the attacks hidden. He recognized that there had been signs but he hadn't investigated them. Perhaps he could have prevented this last encounter.
"It was always somewhere dark and isolated. I never was able to see who it was. I thought they would stop. It was just minor injuries before and I treated them myself. I didn't think you'd be concerned, Chakotay." Tom looked into the Commander's brown eyes and then turned away. He expected to see the contempt he felt would be directed at him. From the time he joined the Maquis, Chakotay had not had a good opinion of him. Of course, he never did much to change it.
"You're not the same man that I knew on the Liberty, Tom. You've changed and certainly don't deserve to be beaten half to death by anyone on this ship." He looked into the clear blue eyes of the younger man. "We will find who did this and they will be punished accordingly." Chakotay turned and left sickbay.
"Seven to Captain Janeway. I require your assistance in Astrometrics." Seven's voice came over Janeway's comm badge.
"Can you handle it alone, Seven?" Janeway asked.
"No, Captain. There are some readings you might be interested in." Seven replied.
The Captain turned to the Doctor as she left the surgical bay. "Doctor, I'll be in Astrometrics. Please inform me when Mr. Paris is ready to be released."
"Of course, Captain." The Doctor replied and returned to his office.
Captain Janeway entered the Astrometrics Lab and spotted Seven absorbed with the main display screen. "What have you found, Seven?" Janeway asked as she joined the former Borg at the screen.
"Captain, there are evidences of further gravimetric distortions about 12 light years from here. They are similar to the distortions we encountered during the last Kazon attack. I could obtain more accurate readings if the long range scanners had not been damaged." Seven had a slightly perturbed look on her face.
"How long until the scanners can be repaired?" Janeway questioned.
"I requested Ensign Kim to assist me but he reported that you had a special assignment for him. Without his aid it will take approximately 6.3 hours." Seven replied.
Janeway suppressed a smile at Seven's ‘approximation'. "What if I were to assist you?"
"Then we should be able to complete the repairs in under 3 hours, Captain." Seven moved to the smaller scanning console.
"Then let's get started." Janeway joined her and started to examine the readouts.
The doors to sickbay swished open and Tuvok entered.
"Mr. Paris, I understand that you have no clue to your attackers identities." Tuvok asked as he approached the biobed.
"No, Sir. I remember packing up the tool kit in the Jefferies tube and opening the hatch. The next thing I remember clearly is Commander Chakotay grabbing my arm outside my quarters." Tom's voice was uncharacteristically quiet and restrained. His blue eyes showed no emotion as he looked up into Tuvok's face.
"I am continuing the investigation, Ensign. Be assured that they will be apprehended." Tuvok stated.
"Commander Chakotay to Lt. Tuvok. Please report to the bridge." Chakotay's voice came over the comm system.
"Tuvok here, Commander. I'm on my way." Tuvok turned and left Tom staring at the doors.
The Captain's voice came over the comm system in the Doctor's office. "Is Ensign Paris ready to be released to his quarters, Doctor?" .
"Yes, Captain, as long as someone will be with him for the first 12 hours. I'm still concerned about possible intercranial pressure and he should not be alone." The Doctor replied as he walked towards the biobed.
"Ensign Kim will be staying with Ensign Paris today." Janeway answered. "Janeway out."
As Harry entered sickbay, he noticed Tom was sitting on the edge of the biobed, dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt. The doctor was attaching a cortical monitor to Tom's left temple. "You need to wear this for the next 36 hours if you wish to remain out of sickbay. I want you back here at 15:00 hours for therapy for that arm. Is that understood, Mr. Paris?"
"Yeah, Doc. The monitor for 36 hours and therapy this afternoon." Tom answered in a notably subdued voice. This worried the doctor more than the physical injures. "Hey, Harry. So you get to baby-sit. What did you do to earn this honor?" Tom glanced up as Harry neared the biobed.
"Just lucky, I guess. You ready to be sprung from here?" Harry tried to sound cheerful but his face showed the concern he felt for his friend.
Janeway's voice came over Harry's comm badge. "Captain Janeway to Ensign Kim."
"Kim here, Captain." Harry responded.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Kim but I've been detained and will be unable to meet you. I trust you had a good breakfast?" Janeway asked.
"Yes, Captain, although Seven requested my assistance in repairing the navigational array in Astrometrics." Harry responded.
"Don't worry about Astrometrics, I'm dealing with that situation." Janeway answered. "You are to stay with Mr. Paris today. Janeway out."
"Mr. Kim, here are two hyposprays. Mr. Paris may need one for pain, if necessary, every 4 to 6 hours." the doctor handed them to Harry. He turned to Tom. "The Captain has increased your replicator rations for the next few days so you don't need to go to the messhall."
"That's great, Doc." Tom replied as he swung his legs off of the biobed. He stood unsteadily for a moment and then walked slowly towards the exit with Harry at his side and headed for his quarters.
The chime at Tom's door sounded and Harry approached the door. "Who is it?" he asked.
"It's Captain Janeway, Harry." the Captain's voice sounded from the corridor.
Harry had to manually key the door open because it did not recognize his voice command. The Captain entered Tom's quarters and looked around. "Where's Tom?"
"He's asleep, Captain. We had some lunch and he complained of feeling dizzy so I convinced him to lie down about half an hour ago.." Harry gestured toward the bed on the far side of the room.
"Did he talk about last night at all?" Janeway questioned.
"No, Captain. He maintains that he couldn't tell who attacked him."
"Harry, could you remain here tonight. Lt. Ayala will be on security detail in the hall but I think Tom would feel more comfortable with someone here in his quarters. The Captain asked.
"Of course, I don't have any problems with staying here as long as it takes to find out who did this to Tom.