Title: Ask for Help  (No Comfort Series)
Part:  12/?
Author: CatHeights
Pairing: C/P
Rating: R
Summary: Finding his life crashing down around him, Tom tries to
figure out why this is happening and how he can regain control.
In this story, Thirty Days never happened. Also several events in
previous seasons are assumed not to have occurred, including the
events in Blood Fever and Tom receiving any contact from his
Story Sequence:  No Comfort To Be Found; Time Slipping Slowly; A
Greater Pain; What Had He Missed; Spiraling Out of Control; Not
this Time; Listen to Himself; Be Patient; Nightmares for Dreams;
Filled with Confusion; Back into the Swing of Things
Archive:  BLTS, Cha_Club, CPSG, ATPS, Paris Nights, TPD, anyone
else please ask first.
Warning: This story's subject matter is at times very disturbing.
Severe angst and self-injury.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns all rights to Star Trek Voyager, its
characters, and the Voyager episodes referred to in this story.
The story idea however is mine, but I am doing this just for fun,
no money to be made.
If you're missing a part, you can find it on my website,

Ask For Help (Story 12 - No Comfort Series)

After two hours of alternating between pacing the length of his
office and sitting in his desk chair staring vacantly, Chakotay
had decided to actually try to do some work. However, when he
turned his attention to the padds on his desk, he noticed there
were fewer than he remembered. Logging onto his terminal, he
discovered that Kathryn and Tuvok had taken care of the bulk of
the reports, along with the week's duty roster.

He sighed, feeling both touched and embarrassed. He guessed he
must have come across as pretty distracted these past few days.
In his exhausted state, he had allowed himself to believe that at
least on the outside, he appeared to have everything under
control. Rested and feeling much more normal, Chakotay realized
the only person he had been deluding was himself.

He picked up one of the remaining reports, determined to at least
take care of these ones himself. As he worked, Chakotay kept
remembering the feel of Tom's hand in his and the way his lips
quirked in that teasing smile. By the time he had signed off on
the last report, he was more than ready to get lost in that
memory. Chakotay relaxed back into his chair and closed his eyes.
He pictured Tom, as he had been earlier, leaning against the
desk, wearing a loose black shirt and gazing at him with such

When he had woken that morning, he had been in a panic. His
oversleeping paled next to the fact that Tom wasn't in bed with
him. Fear had struck at him. Why wasn't Tom here with him? Had he
reverted back to his previous behavior or had something even
worse happened? Half asleep, it didn't occur to him that he had
overslept hours, not just minutes, and that it would make sense
that Tom had already woken.

Stumbling out into the living area, he had been relieved to find
Tom working at the computer, but still he had worried whether
everything was all right. Then Tom had said he realized that
things had been tense and awkward lately, and Chakotay had
finally felt the tension slip out of his body. He had reached out
his hand, and when Tom had clasped it, he had believed for that
moment that things would be much easier going forward. He would
get dressed, and after they ate lunch, they would sit down and
talk. He had been absolutely confident that it was time to
discuss things - until Tom had made the comment about not having
any complaints that Chakotay was still in his boxers.

The sexual innuendo had sent Chakotay's mind spinning. He wasn't
expecting it, and he was floored by how quickly his body had
responded to that teasing remark. It would have been so easy to
answer back with a smile, followed by a kiss that conveyed every
ounce of his desire. He could have forgotten about everything and
made love to Tom right then. He could tell by the younger man's
body language that he would have had no objections. Oh yes, it
would have been so easy to take Tom into his arms and let himself
forget for awhile how close he had come to losing Tom. Too damn
easy, and that's what frightened him.

It wasn't like him to take the easy way out - to avoid doing what
was necessary. He knew before he and Tom could fully resume their
relationship, they needed to talk about what had happened. He
needed Tom to explain his recent silence, and they needed to talk
about Tom's suicide attempt. Chakotay swallowed, as his right
hand erratically tapped the desk. He could handle talking to Tom
about his behavior, particularly now that Tom had himself
acknowledged the tension, but he wasn't sure he could discuss
Tom's attempt on his life with any amount of calm.

When would he stop picturing Tom on that floor, ghastly pale and
bleeding? Even now, a part of him still wanted to shake Tom and
ask how he could have done that?  Why?  Yet while he yearned for
an answer, he also feared it. Feared that Tom would say because
you drove me to it. He knew that was irrational, but that doubt
lingered and with it the image of Tom's blood pooling in his lap.
Chakotay opened his eyes, letting the everyday sight of his
office drive away those images.

Weeks ago, when Tom had said to him, "I don't recall you calling
this an exclusive relationship," Chakotay had thought he had
never, would never, hurt like he did at that moment. He thought
he had given his heart entirely only to be betrayed. He had
fought his attraction for Tom for so long, fearing the strength
of it and the possibility of rejection. Then, unable to resist
the younger man's draw, he had allowed their friendship to
strengthen. As it did, his instincts told him Tom was the one.
The one he was meant to be with. He had felt so sure that it made
him uneasy. His love life had rarely worked out before. Yet, he
had never felt like this about anyone else, and conversations
with his spirit guide had helped him to come to the conclusion
that it was time to take a chance. Chakotay had been thrilled to
find that his instincts seemed right.

Tom's change in behavior had caught him totally unprepared.
Frustrated, he had tried to get Tom to talk to him, but he was
ignored. Then came the moment when he saw their relationship come
crashing down around them. Anger and hurt had filled him, and he
swore he'd never let anyone do this to him again. The worst of it
had been that a part of him continued to seek an explanation, a
way to make everything right. He dreamed of Tom in his bed,
longed to touch him, and no matter what still loved him. He
cursed himself for being so stupid as to still be in love with
someone who had only used him. He had thought nothing could make
him feel as bad as he did then; he was wrong.

No, what had been worse was standing in sickbay looking at Tom's
blood staining Harry's hands, as the awful realization that he
had gotten everything wrong hit him hard. Tom hadn't betrayed
him. Tom's behavior had been an indication that something was
very wrong with him, but he had been too caught up in his own
emotions to recognize it. Tom had needed him to see past the
sarcasm and evasions, and Chakotay felt that he had failed his
lover miserably.

Oh, there were plenty of reasons for why he didn't look deeper
into Tom's behavior. The relationship was too new.  His past
experiences led him to too easily accept the worst, particularly
when it appeared that Tom was admitting to it. Yet while there
were reasons for the way he reacted, Chakotay found no solace in
them - they could not justify his actions. He knew Tom was not
the type of person to take advantage of someone's affection, and
that knowledge should have been enough to make him realize that
Tom's pushing him away was a cry for help.

Chakotay sighed; he could continue to waste time feeling guilty
about the past, or he could move forward. He and Tom were long
overdue for several discussions, and it was time to start the
dialogue. He would begin by talking to Tom about the tenseness
over the last few days. Tom could handle that topic; he was sure
of it. Maybe they would talk for a bit each night, taking things
at a pace Tom was comfortable with, working their way back
through what had happened. They would get through this together.

He smiled. Yes together, Chakotay thought, things would be much
better with them approaching what had happened together. He
really should get back to Tom. He was surprised the younger man
hadn't commed him yet complaining. Chakotay could picture the
theatric frown on Tom's face when he walked through the door, and
he wanted to see it now. He wanted to hear Tom tease him. He
tapped off his terminal and was about to stand when his door

Chakotay swore softly, took a deep breath to quell his
frustration over being detained and then called out, "Come in."
His impassive expression turned to one of surprise as Tom stepped
into the office, a huge grin on his face.

"I figured you were incapable of stopping work on your own, so I
decided to stop by and pester you in person," Tom said as he
slipped into a chair by Chakotay's desk. He leaned back in the
seat and put his feet up on the desk. "So I was thinking you
might want to join me on a journey to the mess hall, and then
maybe the holodeck. I booked some time. Surely you can stop
working now."

"I had actually just logged off my terminal and was about to
leave when you chimed," Chakotay said frowning at Tom's feet on
his deck.

Seeing the older man's gaze, Tom's grinned widened, but he did
put his feet back on the floor. He leaned forward placing his
hands on the desk and said, "Well then how about joining me for
some fun?"

Chakotay didn't answer immediately, and Tom's smile faded. "Is
something wrong?"

Deciding that this was as good a time as any to start trying to
get Tom to discuss what was going on in his mind, Chakotay took a
deep breath and said, "No, it's just that I'm a bit surprised to
see you here. Before now, you haven't shown much interest in
stepping outside of my quarters. Now you're here asking me to go
to the mess hall and the holodeck. What's changed?"

Tom's lips quirked, and he said wryly, "Surely you're not hinting
that you find my behavior confusing."

Chakotay snorted and gave Tom a faint smile. "I'm not hinting at
all.  I'm stating it outright."

Tom grinned and reached across the desk to give Chakotay's hand a
squeeze. After releasing the older man's hand, he sat back in his
chair and grew serious. "I'm not sure I can explain it clearly.
It just felt right. I was sitting in your quarters, feeling a bit
restless. I wanted to do something, and it suddenly occurred to
me that there was no reason for me not to go out and do
something. That's all there was to it."  The grin returned and he
said, "I didn't think you'd have any objections."

"None whatsoever," Chakotay replied.

"Good. I also figured I'd have a better chance of dragging you
out for a night free of work if I showed up in person."

"In person, or over the comm, your chances were always 100

Tom's grin widened. "So does this mean we have a date to the mess
hall and then afterwards to a holodeck program of my choosing?"

"I would be honored," Chakotay said smiling. "So do I get any
hints as to what holodeck program we are going to be running?"

"Of course not. You know how I hate to spoil surprises."

"You could tell me, and I could pretend to be surprised later,"
Chakotay said with a grin.

Tom snorted.  "If that's the best you can come up with, believe
me all my surprises will stay surprises. Besides the suspense is
part of the fun."

"Uh-huh," Chakotay said pretending to look unconvinced.

Tom bounced to his feet, smirking. "Come on, let's get going
before the suspense kills you. Besides I'm starving."

Amused, Chakotay stood up and quickly walked past Tom. "You're
starving. We better hurry then before you start getting whiny on
me," he called over his shoulder.

"I save you from the grind of the life of a first officer, and
this is the thanks I get," Tom said histrionically. "What am I
going to do with you?"

"I'm sure you'll think of something."

"You can count on it," Tom said, and laughing they both entered
the corridor.

Tom's good mood was contagious, and Chakotay found himself
greatly looking forward to dinner. He also found himself feeling
more confident about starting to discuss some of the issues
lurking between the two of them. The ease with which Tom had
answered his question about the younger man's sudden desire to
venture outside had greatly relieved Chakotay. It had been how he
would have expected Tom to handle such a question - at least
before everything had happened.  He had made a joke, and then
grown serious, answered honestly, and moved on. That was how the
Tom he fell in love with handled things. He didn't dwell, but he
also didn't avoid issues.

Their progress to the mess hall was slow as every time someone
saw Tom they stopped to chat and tell him they were glad to see
that he was feeling better. Chakotay was pleased that Tom was
able to accept the well-wishes graciously. He seemed very much at
ease, maybe too at ease.

After they had stopped for the fifth time, Chakotay started to
wonder if Tom really believed he had just been ill, laid low by
some silly virus. He found the thought extremely unsettling.  Was
Tom's good mood the result of him denying what had happened? By
the time they had entered the mess hall, Chakotay's good mood had
started to evaporate. The easy smile on Tom's face that had
earlier filled him with pleasure, now made him nervous.  He
watched the younger man carefully as they approached the serving

Tom turned as if to say something to Chakotay when Neelix came
barreling out from behind the serving counter.  He wrapped Tom in
a bear hug and said, "Tom, it's so good to see you. I was so
worried about you."

Chakotay watched as Tom stiffened and then gently extract himself
from Neelix. Tom's smile had disappeared and his eyes looked
haunted. Understanding hit Chakotay. No one that they had met on
the way to the mess hall knew what had happened. Tom had no
problem behaving naturally with any of them, because he knew they
simply thought he had been sick, but Neelix knew the truth.

The Talaxian continued to gush. "I'm so happy to see you here.
What can I get for you?  You name it, and I'll whip it up."

"Uh, thanks Neelix.  It's good to see you too. Sorry I worried
you.  You don't need to make anything special. Whatever is on the
menu is fine by me," Tom said.

Having no trouble telling that the smile Tom gave Neelix was
forced, Chakotay glared at the Talaxian.  Neelix took the hint
and toned down his effusiveness.  "Well I better get back to the
kitchen. If you need anything, just holler."

"Thanks, Neelix," Tom said, his smile a bit easier.

They grabbed trays and made their food selections. As they
stepped away from the counter, Chakotay asked quietly, "Are you
all right?"

Tom nodded. "Yeah, Neelix can just be a bit overwhelming that's

"That he can."

Tom scanned the room and said, "Hey there's B'Elanna and Harry.
Do you want to join them?"

Chakotay looked at Tom in surprise.  Just like Neelix, B'Elanna
knew what had happened, and Tom hadn't seen her since he had been
released from sickbay. He would have expected Tom to want to
avoid B'Elanna. He glanced at the younger man and saw the
determined set to his face. He knew then what Tom was thinking;
he'd have to face the senior staff sometime, why not start now.
He couldn't argue with that logic, and at least he could be
assured that B'Elanna wouldn't gush at Tom.

"Sure," he said.

When they got to Harry and B'Elanna's table, Tom said cheerily,
"Mind if we join you, or are we interrupting a private little
love tryst?"

"Tom," Harry said in surprise, his eyes darting to Chakotay,
silently asking what had changed. Chakotay just shrugged.

"I don't have trysts in the mess hall," B'Elanna retorted. She
smiled and said, "Sit down both of you."

Tom took a seat on the opposite side of the table next to Harry,
while Chakotay sat next to B'Elanna. Once they were seated, Tom
looked at B'Elanna sadly and said, "No trysts in the mess hall.
Does that mean you don't have them in engineering either?  What a

"Pig," B'Elanna growled.

"Lucky for you that you like having pigs for friends," Tom said
grinning widely.

B'Elanna laughed. "Yeah, it's been kind of boring during
briefings. I've had no one to torment."

"Harry's there," Tom said. Chakotay laughed as Harry gave Tom a
look that said please don't give her any ideas.

"Nah, he blushes too easily."

"Thank you both," Harry said, shaking his head in exasperation.

"Well, I'll still admit that I've missed you. We should get
together for a game of pool or maybe even volleyball in the
resort program," B'Elanna said.

"Definitely volleyball. Har, doesn't she looked great in that one
piece," Tom said.

"Pig," B'Elanna growled again before Harry could answer.

"Always. Thanks."  Tom's grin softened, and B'Elanna and he
exchanged a long glance. She smiled back at him and nodded.

Chakotay watched them, feeling a bit sad. He realized with that
look and short exchange, Tom and B'Elanna had basically
apologized to each other. Tom forgave B'Elanna for shutting him
out when she had believed he had cheated on Chakotay, and
B'Elanna forgave Tom for his behavior over the last few weeks.
It was all fixed so simply.

A wave of jealousy rushed through him, and he cursed himself for
being ridiculous. B'Elanna loved Harry. Maybe once years ago, Tom
and B'Elanna had been attracted to each other, but for whatever
reason it hadn't worked out and they had remained just friends.
Good friends and nothing more. Chakotay realized that he wasn't
really jealous of B'Elanna, but rather of the ease with which Tom
was able to work things out with her.

Chakotay chastised himself for indulging in self-pity. He was
making his own situation out to be worse than it was. Tom and he
were talking, and it was obvious that the younger man still loved
him. There were just a lot of things they needed to discuss. Once
Tom confided in him, he would be able to help Tom with whatever
had been bothering him, and they would strengthen their trust in
each other.

He glanced across the table, noticing the happy gleam in Tom's
eyes. Tom grinned, and Chakotay smiled feeling warmth rush
through him.  He relaxed, letting himself enjoy the conversation
and the flirtatious looks that Tom would occasionally send his
way. Eating in the mess hall was a nice change of pace as it had
been a while since he had done so. Burying himself in work, he
had eaten most of his meals in his office.

"So," Tom drawled as he forked a bit of his dinner, "any Seven

Harry groaned as B'Elanna scowled. "When aren't there any?" she
said. "The other day she made some more unauthorized
*enhancements* to the computer core. I was off-duty when I got a
comm from Joe Carey informing me that a number of the sonic
showers weren't working. Seven's enhancements had required the
disabling of a few secondary systems. I guess she considers
showering an inefficient use of time."

"She did apologize," Harry pointed out and then took a sip of his

"That doesn't excuse it," B'Elanna said angrily. "There's a chain
of command for a reason. Enhancements and detailed repairs are
scheduled so that the entire ship is aware if a system needs to
be taken off-line. Un-scheduled enhancements, no matter how
small, can be a danger to the ship."

"B'Elanna's right. While Seven may have suggestions for improving
Voyager's *efficiency*, she needs to learn that she cannot make
changes on her own. She needs to follow the proper procedures,"
Chakotay said. He had said the same thing to Seven after he had
been informed of the incident.

"While, I'm not saying what Seven did was right, I do think you
should cut her some slack, B'Elanna. There was a time when both
you and I had a little trouble with procedures. Of course you
have to reprimand her if she does something unauthorized, but you
might also try hearing out some of her ideas," Tom said.

"I listen," B'Elanna objected.

Tom raised his eyebrow, and his unconvinced look included both
Chakotay and B'Elanna. Chakotay sighed; Tom had a point. Seven
had told him that Lt. Torres had refused to listen to any of her
suggestions, and he hadn't really given Seven's complaint any
consideration. He'd been more concerned with her violation of

"Okay, I'll listen a little more carefully," B'Elanna, said
relenting under Tom's scrutiny. "I would never not try something
that would help this ship. Some of her ideas would increase
efficiency, but at the cost of other things we consider
important. Seven doesn't necessarily value the same things we

Tom laughed.  "That is very true. Still, I think given a chance,
she'll learn."

Chakotay noticed that while they had been discussing Seven, Harry
had been periodically looking at Tom. The ensign had been
watching Tom's reactions very carefully. It seemed he wasn't the
only one wondering about Tom's behavior. Tom seemed so much like
his old self, particularly with his defense of Seven.

It was a common theme among the four of them. Tom and Harry
arguing that they needed to try a littler harder to understand
Seven, and Chakotay and B'Elanna both believing that Seven needed
to learn that Voyager was not the Collective. Chakotay never
thought he'd be happy to be arguing over Seven but right now he
was - it was good to talk about something normal.

"Well as much as I'd love to stay, Chakotay and I have some time
reserved on the holodeck," Tom said as he grabbed his tray.

"Oh what program are you planning to run?" B'Elanna asked.

"He never tells. It spoils the surprise," Chakotay and Harry said
at the same time and then laughed.

"Seems like you're getting predictable, Tom," B'Elanna said with
a smirk.

Frowning, Tom stood and said, "I'm beginning to think that
myself." The frown faded and his lips quirked. "I'll just have to
fix that."

Chakotay stood shaking his head.  "That worries me. Harry,
B'Elanna, see you later."

The four of them exchanged their goodbyes, and then Tom and
Chakotay returned their trays, and left the mess hall. A few
minutes later, they were standing outside of holodeck two, and
Tom was keying in the program.

"You first," Tom said, and Chakotay preceded him into the

The doors slid closed, and Chakotay found himself at the entrance
to a forest. A bit overwhelmed, he stared at the light filtering
through the leaves of the trees, seeing how it highlighted the
fallen branches lying on the path before him. He remembered the
first time he had seen this program, and how touched he had been
at the care Tom had taken to design something he would like.

He could picture that day clearly. Tom had insisted on keeping
their date for his unveiling of this program despite having
worked in sickbay for hours without sleep. They had strolled down
this path for a while until they came to a clearing at the end of
the forest. The majestic lake he found there had filled him with
awe of Tom's programming abilities. It was stunning.

That had decided to sit by the lake, and within minutes, Tom had
fallen asleep. The younger man had been horrified when he woke
up, but Chakotay has reassured him that he hadn't minded at all,
and he really hadn't. He had enjoyed lying there, watching as a
light breeze rippled the lake, and Tom slept in his arms. It had
been so peaceful.

Tom's voice interrupted Chakotay's thoughts. "We never got to go
back. I thought it might be nice to take a walk," Tom said
softly. "If you'd rather run something else, we can."

Chakotay turned to look a Tom. "No," he said with smile. "This is

"Good," Tom said taking Chakotay's hand.

Chakotay took a deep breath, enjoying the woodsy scent. This
program was truly wonderful.

They walked through the forest in comfortable silence until they
reached the lake. "It's as stunning as I remembered," Chakotay

"We'll have to come back sometime and go swimming in it," Tom
said. "Maybe a picnic by the lake."

"That's a great idea."

"So how about tomorrow?"

Chakotay laughed. "If we can get the time on the holodeck, I'm
all for tomorrow."

Tom grinned. "I'll make it happen."  He tugged at Chakotay's hand
and said, "Come on. This time I want to make sure you see the

They walked along the edge of the lake, with Tom drifting off
slightly every once in a while to pick up a flat rock. When he
did, he would toss it so that it skipped across the lake's
surface before sinking. Chakotay felt that he could be completely
happy spending eternity walking along the shore of this lake with

They reached the structure Tom had called a cabin, and Chakotay
said.  "This is no cabin, Tom. It's much too beautiful of a
building, not to mention huge."

"Sure it is. It's just not a simple cabin. Why would one build a
one room cabin in the midst of all this beauty, when they could
build one that would reflect the atmosphere around it?"

Chakotay followed Tom inside, and as they walked through the
cabin, he marveled at the elegant high ceilings, the spacious
kitchen, the library filled with books, the stunning fireplace in
the living room, and the huge four-poster bed in the master
bedroom. The décor was simple, giving the place an airy
comfortable feel.

"When can we move in?" Chakotay said when he had seen everything.

"Don't you wish we could," Tom said with a sigh. Then he grinned,
"We'll just have to find a way to vacation for a few days on the

"I'm sure we'll think of something," Chakotay said as he ran his
hand along the fireplace's mantle.

"It'll be here waiting for us when we do," Tom said. "Come on,
let's go sit by the lake. There's a dock a bit further down."

They left the cabin, and Chakotay paused for a moment, glancing
back at it. What would it be like to truly live here with Tom,
for this not to be just a program?

"You really like that cabin, don't you?"  Tom said.

"I do, and what I like even more is the idea of staying in it
with you," Chakotay said as they headed down to the dock.

It was no more than a five minute walk, and soon they were
stepping across the wooden planks of the dock. They walked almost
to the end and then sat down. Both men were silent watching as a
hawk glided through the air. When it disappeared from view, Tom
sprawled out on the dock putting his head in Chakotay's lap and
gazing up at the sky.

Chakotay ran his hands through Tom's hair and along the younger
man's shoulders. The hawk came back into view, this time diving
down toward the forest, angling between trees without touching a
leaf, and then it flew upwards until once again it was gliding
above them moving quickly out of their sight.

Tom sighed and sat up, turning to face Chakotay. He leaned in,
kissed Chakotay, and then said softly, "I love you."

Chakotay didn't have a chance to respond as Tom quickly
recaptured his lips and pressed him backwards. He wrapped his
arms around Tom, and they moved so that they were on their sides
facing each other. Chakotay ran his hands along Tom's side and
then down along the curve of his hip. He slipped a leg in between
Tom's, pulling them even closer. All the while, Tom never stopped
his assault on Chakotay's lips.

Tom groaned, broke off the kiss, and with a gasp called out,
"Computer, engage privacy lock. Come on Chak, let's break in the
bed in the cabin." He stood and pulled Chakotay to his feet.

As he stood, Chakotay thought what the hell am I doing?  We need
to talk first. What am I doing?  He didn't move, but he also
didn't remove his hand from Tom's grasp.  He was torn.  He wanted
Tom so badly. He could picture Tom naked on that beautiful bed,
and Chakotay wanted to let that happen. He yearned to feel the
smoothness of Tom's skin once again. His mind yelled "not yet" at
him, though.

"You okay?"  Tom asked in concern.

Chakotay took a deep breath and said. "I can't do this, I'm
sorry. It's not right now."

Tom took his hand from Chakotay's. "What do you mean it's not

"We need to talk," Chakotay said firmly as he started to get his
emotions under control.

"Talk, huh," Tom said as he took a step back from Chakotay. "Why
don't I save you some time. I don't need your pity. I don't need
your help. Most of all I don't need you."  He spun around and
said, "Computer, end program."

The dock and the lake shimmered and then disappeared. Tom hurried
across the holodeck's empty grid, and Chakotay quickly followed.
He grabbed Tom by the shoulder. "Wait."

Tom spun around, his face filled with fury. "Don't you touch me.
Stay out of my life."  He turned and was out of the holodeck in
an instant.

As the doors slid closed, Chakotay stood still, stunned. What had
just happened?  How had it happened?  He thought about going
after Tom, but then dismissed the idea. In his current mood, Tom
wouldn't listen to anything he had to say. But where would Tom
go?  What would he do?

Chakotay's stomach filled with dread. "Computer, monitor the life
signs of Lieutenant Tom Paris and beam him to sickbay at the
first sign of any fluctuation in those signs," he said and gave
his command codes.

Spirits, what did he do now?  He couldn't go after Tom, but he
was positive someone should be with the younger man. He pressed
his combadge, "Chakotay to Kim."

"Kim here, Commander. What can I do for you?"

"I'm sorry to bother you, but I need your help, now. It's Tom."

"Where are you?" Harry asked.

"Holodeck two."

"I'll be right there.  Kim out."

Chakotay sighed and walked over to the edge of the holodeck. He
leaned against the wall and then slid down it, so that he was
sitting on the floor. Chakotay stared at the harshness of the
empty holodeck as he waited for Harry to arrive. He had finally
reached the point where it was time to ask for help.

To be continued...