Title: Spiraling Out of Control (No Comfort Series)
Part: 5/?
Author: CatHeights
Pairing: C/P, K, Doc
Rating: R, angst
Summary: Tom reacts badly to Chakotayís 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.
Warning: This storyís subject matter is at times very disturbing. Severe angst and self-injury are included. Parts 3 and 4 especially contain disturbing content.
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.

Spiraling Out of Control (Story 5 - No Comfort Series)

Tom tried to open his eyes, but it was just too difficult. He felt like he was swimming toward consciousness with very tired arms. He was almost to the surface, but the last few strokes took so much effort. His eyes flickered open enough for him to see light, but then they closed again. Then he heard a voice.

"Tom. Come on Tom, please come back to me." Chakotay. He recognized the deep, rich timbre of that voice. He smiled and forced his eyes open. Chakotay returned the smile, but Tom could see worry clouding his eyes. "How are you feeling?" It was an effort to speak, but Tom wanted to reassure Chakotay that he was okay. He managed to say softly, "Tired." He smiled again, and then let his eyes close. He wondered what he had done this time to end up in sickbay. He couldnít remember, but decided it wasnít worth trying to figure out at the moment. He was sure Chakotay would tell him in a minute. His head hurt too much to think too long on it.

Tom felt Chakotay take his hand and intertwine their fingers. He sighed softly. All he wanted right now was to lie here safe in Chakotayís concern. He felt fingers running through his hair and he let himself drift for a moment, content.

As the fog started to lift from his brain, that contentment began to fade. Something wasnít right. Chakotay. Why did he have a feeling that something wasnít right with Chakotay? His mind eagerly fed him the answer, recalling just the right words to bring the illusion to which he had awoken crashing down. "Make sure they know that caring means you share yourself with everyone! Youíre not very selective, are you Paris?" Chakotay had spoken those words to him and not too long ago. What the hell was he doing holding his hand now? His whole body stiffened and he yanked his hand out of Chakotayís grasp.

"Tom?" Chakotay said questioningly.

Tom didnít look at him. He struggled to sit up. Chakotay tried to help him, but he pulled away from the other manís touch as if it burned. He finally managed to sit up on his own. Without looking at Chakotay, he asked, "What happened? Why am I in sickbay?" It was the Doctor who answered. He had come over to Tom once he had realized that his patient was awake. "Tom, how do you feel?" "Fine," Tom said glad to have someone beside Chakotay to address his questions. "How did I end up here?" "You donít remember?" the Doctor asked. Tom gritted his teeth. "Would I be asking if I remembered?" Why couldnít he just answer his question? His arms ached and it was exhausting just to be sitting up. Also, he could feel Chakotayís eyes on him and it was making him nervous. What the hell had happened? "The Commander and Ensign Kim found you on the floor of your shower with your left wrist slit," the Doctor said. Tomís jaw dropped open. In his mind, he could see himself finding the knife, changing out of his uniform, and then going into the bathroom to slit his wrist, but it seemed so unreal, just another bad dream. He couldnít have done such a thing.

"Do you remember what happened now?" the Doctor asked softly.

"Iím tired," he answered lying back down on the bed and closing his eyes.

"Tom...." He heard Chakotay say, almost pleadingly. "Tom, we need to find out from you what happened." It was the Doctor this time, and he ignored him just as he had Chakotay.

There was no point in listening to them. This was just another one of his dreams; it had to be. When he woke, it would be gone, just another disturbing night. He let the exhaustion overtake him and gratefully escaped into sleep.

When he next awoke, he found he was still in sickbay and Harry was sitting by his bedside. This was no dream. While he still felt tired, he found that he had a bit more energy. He sat up with no problem. "Hey," he said to Harry.

Harry attempted a smile but failed miserably. "Hi." Tom gave a small half grin. "I wonder if I should start decorating in here. I seem to have an affinity for this place." He expected his comment to get at least a small chuckle out of Harry. He stared in amazement as instead of the expected laugher, Harryís eyes blazed with anger. He stood up, glowering at Tom. "How can you even make jokes? Do you have any idea what is was like to find you in your shower bleeding to death? Can you imagine how that felt?" Harry yelled. Suddenly the anger seemed to drain completely out of him, and he sat down dejectedly. "Tom, Iím sorry. I shouldnít have yelled at you like that." Harry put his head into his hands.

Tom was too stunned to speak. He had never seen Harry that angry with him. He closed his eyes for a moment, again thinking, dear God what have I done. "Screwed things up like you always do," that strange voice said. Not now, he was not going to listen to that now. His friend needed him.

"Harry, look at me," Tom said softly. Harry lifted his head to meet Tomís eyes. "Iím sorry. Iím sorry you had to witness that.

I wish I could do something more besides say Iím sorry." "I know," Harry said. "I didnít mean to yell at you like that. I guess almost losing my best friend shook me up a bit." He gave Tom a weak smile.

"Not much of a best friend, huh."

"Stop that," Harry said firmly. "You know thatís not true. You said you wanted to do something besides just say youíre sorry, well promise you wonít do something like this again." "I promise, Harry," he said his gaze locking seriously with his friendís. "Worthless," the voice whispered, "youíre a worthless liar." He shuddered trying to push the voice aside. He started to wonder if he could keep his promise to Harry. He wasnít sure why he had hurt himself in the first place.

Harry didnít miss Tomís shudder. "You all right?" The voice faded as he forced his mind to focus on Harry. "Fine.

I know this is going to sound hard to believe, but I wasnít trying to kill myself." It was the truth. Never before in his life, no matter how bad things had gotten, had he contemplated suicide. He could imagine how Harry felt finding him; he had been in Harryís place once and remembered it all too clearly. No, he refused to believe that he had actually been trying to kill himself. True, he had wanted the pain to stop, but by death? No way. Even when he was holding the knife in his hand, he couldnít recall thinking that he wanted to die. So what the hell had he been thinking? Nothing made sense anymore. Harry looked at him quizzically. "Then what were you doing?" "I donít know, Harry. I really donít," Tom answered, his voice catching. "I remember feeling worse than I had in a long time and wanting it to stop, but I swear, I didnít think of stopping it by killing myself." Just talking about the pain brought all the feelings back. He could feel his chest starting to ache. Not again, he was not going to let this start again. "You should have talked to me. Talked to someone." "I couldnít," Tom said, gazing sadly at Harry. His friend looked back at him and nodded. They sat in silence for a few minutes before Tom sighed loudly. "The Doctor is going to keep me in here forever, isnít he?" He worked in sickbay; he knew the procedures for handling an attempted suicide, and regardless of what he said, he knew that Doc was going to treat his case as an attempt. They were going to be watching him like a hawk. A wave of helplessness washed through him. He fought with it, telling himself it could be worse; they couldnít force counseling on him. Chakotay was the closest thing the ship had to a counselor, and he doubted anyone would suggest his seeing Chakotay.

"Maybe not."

Tom looked over at Harry hopefully. "What are you thinking?" "That if I offer to stay with you, they might release you. I mean after all, it will greatly improve your mood if you are in more familiar surroundings." He smirked.

Tom swallowed hard. "You wouldnít mind doing that after everything?" "No, not all. Are you kidding, I would get time off, and we could work on some new holoprogams." "I know you are going to tell me to stop it, but I donít deserve a friend as good as you." Harry stared at Tom. "Yes, you do, and what really bothers me is that until a few months ago, you knew you did. What happened?" Tom didnít have an answer.

Harry stood up. "Well, let me go talk to the Doc and see if I can spring you." "Thanks Harry, for everything." As Harry walked off, Tom lay back down and closed his eyes. He was exhausted again. Still, he wasnít quite ready to go to sleep. He had some things to sort out first. "Coward," the voice whispered and Tom gritted his teeth. He took a deep breath, and pictured himself pushing away the voices, the doubts, and the pain. His mind momentarily clear, he tried to figure out how his life had gone spiraling out of control.