Title: A Greater Pain (No Comfort Series)
Part: 3/?
Author: CatHeights
Pairing: C/P
Rating: R, angst, violence, self-injury
Summary: Tom reacts badly to Chakotay’s attempts to get to know him better, bringing their relationship crashing down. In this A/U, Thirty Days never happened. Voyager never stopped on the Monean homeworld, instead they took a slightly different course.  Also the events in Blood Fever never occurred.
Feedback: CatHeights@yahoo.com
Archive: Cha_Club, ATPS, Paris Nights, anyone else please ask first.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns all rights to Star Trek Voyager, its characters, and the Voyager episodes referred to in this story. The story idea is mine, but I am doing this just for fun, no money to be made.
A Greater Pain (Story 3 - No Comfort Series)
Tom paced his quarters, his arms crossed and his hands gripping tightly onto the sleeves of his uniform. He rocked back and forth as he walked, his breath coming in short gasps. The pain was overwhelming; he wanted it to just stop.
He had to calm down. The mission was over and he was alone. He supposed he should be thankful that it had only taken him and Chakotay a little over three hours rather than five to scan the system for dilithium. Those hours had seemed like an eternity, as he had struggled to remain focused on his flying. He had enough trouble remaining calm whenever he had the same bridge shift as the Commander. It had taken ever last bit of strength to force himself to appear composed in the shuttle, and then Chakotay had made that comment about him sleeping around and his
façade had almost crumbled.
Nothing had ever hurt as much as that one remark. He wanted to scream—how could he even think such a thing? He would never cheat on someone he loved. His mind had screamed at him to tell Chakotay the rumor wasn’t true and to demand to know why he had started a relationship with someone he obviously didn’t respect. He willed his mouth to say the words, but instead he heard himself making another smart-ass comment.
He had worked long and hard to earn the Commander’s respect, years in fact. As it became obvious the man did respect him, he had gained a sense of peace. He knew he was in love with the Commander, but had never dared to hope that anything would happen between the two of them. He gratefully accepted Chakotay’s respect and wholeheartedly cherished the friendship that had´developed. Then Chakotay had kissed him, and he thought he had
found everything he had ever wanted. Yet, he had let it all slip from him, never telling Chakotay that losing him was his greatest fear. Now it was just like at the beginning of their journey with Chakotay hating him.
"Why?" He yelled moving his hands from across his chest and clenching them into fists, his nails digging into his palms.
Tom swore he heard a voice whisper, "Because you had no right to his love. You don’t deserve it, never will."
He stopped pacing and glanced around, anxiously looking for someone in his quarters. No one was there of course. He was hearing voices again. He didn’t recognize this voice—it wasn’t his own, or his father’s, or anyone else from his past.  Although it was unknown to him, its sound created that familiar feeling in him of complete worthlessness.
The pain became overwhelming, causing him to double over, but then suddenly he felt nothing, simply empty. He knew the pain would return, but for the moment he just felt dead inside. He wasn’t sure which was worse that slicing agony that crushed his chest, or this sapping emptiness.
Tom sat down on the couch and concentrated on taking normal, even breaths. He was so tired, but he hadn’t found any escape in sleep lately. He awoke remembering vague dreams that blended together, one horror after another. The nightmares were familiar. He had had them months before, but then they had disappeared while he was with Chakotay. Now of course, they had returned—one more reminder of his worthlessness.
He needed something to do. Harry had commed him earlier trying to get him to go to Sandrine’s, but he couldn’t face anyone at the moment. He didn’t have the strength to erect the defenses he would need to socialize. He couldn’t concentrate enough to read or design a holoprogram. Wait, didn’t he have a deck of cards in his closet? He could play solitaire or something.
He got up off the couch, swaying slightly as his stood, and walked into his bedroom. He felt tired and lightheaded as he
knelt on the floor outside of the closet. He pulled out a small box of trinkets, and started to go through the items inside. His hands shaking, he lost the grip on one metal object, and it clattered to the floor. Tom reached out for it, noticing how cold it felt in his hands as he gripped it. He turned it over.  It was a metallic handle with leaves carved into it. He looked at it, puzzled, trying to figure out what the object was and where he had gotten it.
His sluggish brain finally clicked, and he remembered buying the item almost a year ago. He thought it was on planet called Dulcen, or something like that. All the women on the planet had worn their hair dressed with elaborate leaves, which had bothered Harry, as he kept thinking they resembled Medusa. He had picked up the item joking to Harry that he was bringing Medusa back with them. Yes, he remembered now, it was a laser knife. Tom pressed the knife’s side and heard the buzzing sound that indicated the laser was active, and then a blue light appeared out of the center, another warning to the user that the knife was ready for use.
Tom turned off the knife and wrapped his hand around the handle, feeling the cool metal pressing into his palm. He opened his hand and gazed at the metallic object. His mind decided on a course of action, and he followed it without question. Putting the knife to the side, he put all the other items back into the box and returned it neatly to his closet. Picking up the knife, he stood and placed it on a bedside table.
In his mind, he could hear his father saying that a good officer always kept a presentable appearance. He should make sure not to dirty his uniform. He carefully removed his clothing, folding each article and placing it on the bed. That done, he walked into the bathroom and took a sonic shower. Once he was clean, Tom returned to his bedroom and put on some off-duty clothing.  Khaki pants and a blue cotton top. It was a long sleeve top, and he carefully rolled each sleeve so that they ended exactly at his elbow.
Tom picked up the knife and returned to the bathroom. It would be cleaner this way. He walked into the shower and sat down on the floor, his back against the wall. He made sure his left arm was positioned over the middle of his lap with the wrist turned up. His hand shaking slightly, he turned on the knife. With one smooth move, he moved the laser across his left wrist. He flicked the knife off and let it fall into his lap along with his wrist. As the blood dripped from the wound, he was careful to keep his arm in his lap. He didn’t want to make a mess.
He gasped as the pain tore through him. He hadn’t expected it to hurt this much. Still, he was feeling something that wasn’t that agonizing pain. His mind felt freer than it had in a long time; all he needed to do was concentrate on the physical pain. He could do that. After a long while, his eyes drifted close, and his last coherent thought was that this was what he had needed to do—find a greater pain.