Title:  Not This Time (No Comfort Series)
Part:  6/?
Author:  CatHeights
Pairing:  C/P, K, J, Doc
Rating: R, angst
Summary:  Finding his life crashing down around him, Tom tries to
figure our why this is happening and how he can regain control.
In this A/U, Thirty Days never happened.  Voyager never stopped
on the Monean homeworld, instead they took a slightly different
course.  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 father.
Feedback: CatHeights@yahoo.com
Archive:  Cha_Club, 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 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 however is mine, but I am doing this just for fun,
no money to be made.

Not This Time (Story 6 - No Comfort Series)

Chakotay stood, just out of eyesight, watching Tom and Harry
talk.  After witnessing Tom's reaction to the Commander, the
Doctor had suggested that Chakotay give Tom some space.  He had
agreed, albeit somewhat reluctantly.  He knew the Doctor was
right. Still, standing here, watching Tom talk with Harry was
hard.  He wanted to be the one talking with Tom.  Finding out how
he was, maybe getting an explanation.

He saw Harry stand up, obviously saying something in anger.  He
could hear the sharpness in the Ensign's tone, but couldn't make
out the words.  He took a step forward, planning to restrain
Harry if he kept it up.  Tom didn't need to be yelled at.  Before
he could move, though, Harry sat back down putting his head in
his hands.

Chakotay watched Tom carefully, looking for any sign that he was
getting upset, ready to intervene if necessary.  Tom didn't look
tense though, and now Harry was looking at him, smiling slightly.
He closed his eyes for a moment; he wasn't needed.

He remembered the relief he had felt when Tom had first woken and
smiled at him.  When their eyes had met, he had felt that
connection again.  Harry had been right; Tom did love him.   As
he took Tom's hand, for a few moments he had the illusion that
everything would be all right.  He and Tom would sort through
this together.   The illusion shattered quickly as Tom pulled
away from him and again shut him out.

He should have known better than to hope that it would be that
easy.  When it came to his love life, nothing ever was.  He had
trusted Tom with his life on so many occasions, and he'd trust
him again in a second.   As the years had passed, he had learned
to count on Tom's bravery and his honesty, and yet he hadn't
truly trusted him with his heart.   He had all too easily
believed that Tom had betrayed him.   It had happened
before--Seska, and in some ways Kathryn, as she closed him out of
both command decisions and her personal life.  So, why not Tom?

Because he wouldn't do that to me, Chakotay thought.  He knew
that all along, but instead of holding true to that belief and
using it to reach Tom, he had let him walk away.  He had let Tom
bring their relationship crashing down rather than take the
chance of getting hurt even more.  Faith, or the lack of it, was
the reason he was standing here now; feeling useless as Harry
tried to reach out to Tom.  He needed to keep things in
perspective.  Harry only wanted what was best for Tom, as did he,
and right now talking to Harry was what was best.

He rubbed his tired eyes.  After Tom's rejection of him, Chakotay
had lurked about Sickbay, hoping for Tom to wake up again and
maybe ask to talk to him.   After several attempts by the Doctor
to force him to leave, the Captain finally showed up.  He knew
the Doctor must have called her and for a moment, he had been
furious, but the concern on Kathryn's face squelched his anger.
She dragged him back to his quarters with orders to rest.

He had truly tried to sleep, but every time he closed his eyes,
he pictured Tom lying on his bathroom floor, pale and bleeding.
In his mind, though, when he felt for Tom's pulse, it wasn't
there.   Eventually, he had given up on sleep and instead spent
hours just laying on his bed trying to figure out just what had
happened to make Tom want to take his life.  The answers he
wanted never came, and after a few hours, he had returned to
Sickbay, where he stood now, still trying to find those answers.

No matter how he looked at it, he just couldn't see Tom Paris
giving up on life.  One of the things that he loved most about
Tom was his energy and enthusiasm for everything.  Where had that
gone?   Tom had faced tough things throughout their journey, they
all had, and he had never given up.  Why now?

He kept coming back to Harry telling him that Tom had been
behaving oddly, jumpy--even before they had started dating.
Something had happened, that was obvious, but what?  Again his
mind drew a blank.  He sighed, frustrated.

"Chakotay."  The Captain's voice, pitched low, broke through his
thoughts.  "Are you all right?"

"I'm okay," he said.

"Did you manage to get some sleep?"  She asked her eyes taking in
his tired face.

"Some," he lied.

Her lips turned up slightly.  "I'll take that answer to mean none
at all."

He smiled slightly back at her.   No matter what had happened or
didn't happen between them, she still knew him pretty well.

"Why don't you join me in the Doctor's office?  I'm going to see
if he's come up with any options for helping Tom."

"Thanks," he said and gave her a small smile before following

"Captain, Commander, have a seat," the Doctor said when they

"Doctor, have you come up with any suggestions?"  Kathryn asked

"Captain, I'm not sure what you are expecting, but I'm afraid
right now there is not much that I can do for Tom. From the
information provided by both the Commander and Ensign Kim, I had
assumed that Tom was suffering from depression.  However, if he
is suffering from such a malady, there is no biological cause for
it.  I found no evidence of a chemical inbalance in his system.
I'm sorry, Captain, but this isn't something I can heal with the
press of a hypospray."

"What about counseling?"

"That's normally what I would suggest, but who do we have
qualified to take on such a role?   Past experiences disqualify
me as a possible candidate," the Doctor said firmly.

Chakotay nodded his head once. He remembered the Doctor
counseling Seven on how to deal with what he believed to be
repressed memories.  They had been memories all right, just not
her own.  He definitely didn't want the Doctor to try to counsel

"Captain, sorry to interrupt," Harry said as he stepped into the
Doctor's office.

"You're not interrupting, Harry.  Please take a seat and join
us," the Captain said.

As soon as Harry was seated, Chakotay pounced.  "How is he?"

"Better than I expected.  He's confused and trying to figure
things out, but he's talking to me, actually more so now than he
has in weeks.   I didn't feel like he was pushing me away, or as
if he was answering me while his mind was somewhere else.  It's
almost as if what he did has shocked him into thinking more
clearly," Harry said shrugging.

"Well if he's talking, we should take advantage of that and
arrange for someone to counsel him," Kathryn said.  "How about

Harry frowned immediately.  "Uh, Captain, I don't think that
would be a good idea.  I know Tom respects Tuvok, but I think if
you tell him that he has to talk to Tuvok, he is just going to
shut up.  You can't force him to talk.  He'll tell you what's
bothering him when he's ready.  Right now he's talking to me. I'm
afraid if you try to push him into counseling, it will only send
him retreating behind his walls."

"Harry's right.  If he is talking now, we should just let him
talk with whomever he feels comfortable.  If he starts to shut
people out again, then we broach the idea of counseling.  Getting
Tom to talk would be a tough thing for a counselor with years of
experience to accomplish.  We're better off seeing what Tom is
willing to tell us first," Chakotay said firmly.

"Besides," Harry added, "Tom told me he wasn't trying to kill

Kathryn raised her eyebrows and looked at the Doctor, "Denial?"


Harry shook his head.  "I don't think so.  Maybe, I'm wrong, but
I believe him."

Chakotay leaned forward.  "Then what was he doing?"  He held his
breath hoping for that answer that had eluded him all night.

Harry met Chakotay's eyes sadly. "He's not sure.  He said he
remembered feeling worse than he ever had, but he swears he never
once thought of killing himself."

Chakotay could feel the guilt threatening to close off his
throat.  He wished he could take back those words on the shuttle
and erase from his memory the pain he had caused.  The image of
Tom's agonized eyes flitted through his mind again.  How could he
have done that to Tom?    He forcefully pushed the guilt away.
It wasn't going to help Tom and that was what truly mattered at
the moment--not his own feelings.

"Not everyone who attempts suicide wants to die Mr. Kim," the Doc
said softly.  "Sometimes it's just that they can't find a way to
escape what they are feeling."

"But Doc, you said you found no chemical signs of depression,"
Chakotay interjected.  Surely, he thought, if Tom suddenly felt
that badly, there would have been a biological reason.

"You are correct, Commander. I found no biological explanation
for Mr. Paris' condition," the Doctor replied.

Harry met Chakotay's eyes as he said, "Something happened to Tom.
I'm not sure what, but it happened recently, at least within the
last few months.  I don't think that he even knows what it is,
but I think at least now he's trying to figure out why he's been
behaving oddly.  I guess what I'm saying is I don't think he'll
do this again."

Chakotay wanted to believe that, he really did, but after a night
spent dreaming that he had arrived too late to save Tom, it was
hard.  "Harry, if Tom doesn't know why he hurt himself, how can
he be so sure that he won't do it again?"

Silence met Chakotay's remark.  There was no answer to that

After a moment, Harry looked up, "Captain, if I may, I do have a
suggestion for at least helping Tom in the short term."

"Of course, Harry, please go ahead," Kathryn said her eyes gazing
at him sympathetically.

"Well, Tom was already complaining about being stuck in Sickbay."
Small smiles appeared on Chakotay and Kathryn's faces, while the
doctor frowned.  Tom wanting out of Sickbay was definitely a good

"I was thinking, why don't we let Tom go back to his quarters,
and I'll stay with him.  This way he's not alone, but he's in a
setting where he feels comfortable and can talk freely to me.
It's non-threatening."  Harry's gaze met the Captain's seriously.

Before Kathryn could say anything, Chakotay said, "Harry I think
that's a great idea.  It will only wear Tom down being stuck in
Sickbay for any length of time.  However, I don't think you
should be the only one staying with him.  It's too much. While
Tom may be talking now, who knows how he'll be in a few hours.
His mood could swing drastically.  You shouldn't have to deal
with that alone.  I think you and I should split the time.  You
stay with him during the day, and I'll stay with him during the

His suggestion was met with silence.  Three pairs of eyes stared
at him in disbelief. He returned their stares calmly.  Tom needed
him and he was going to be there. He wasn't surprised that the
first person to speak was Harry.

"No offense, Commander, but I think that is a bad idea.  Tom
isn't comfortable being around you right now.  You need to give
him some space."

"I disagree.  The last thing Tom needs is space.  He needs to
know that I'm still here, and that I'm not going anywhere,"
Chakotay said his eyes glaring.  Harry should understand, after
all he had told him that Tom loved him.

Harry started to respond, but Kathryn cut him off.   Resting her
eyes on Harry and the Doctor, she said, "Gentlemen, would you
excuse us for a minute."   Both nodded and silently exited the

When they were gone, Kathryn looked intently at Chakotay, "What
are you thinking?  I'm afraid right now I'm agreeing with Harry.
Your being around Tom is not the best thing for him.   At least
for the moment.  Give Tom a little time."

Chakotay took a deep breath.  Not too long ago, he had been
cursing Kathryn for refusing to believe that he and Tom weren't
meant to be.  Now, he was hoping her belief in their love would
make her understand why his being around was what was best for

"Kathryn, Tom needs me.  I saw the look in his eyes when he first
woke up.  He wanted me there, but then everything else came
crashing in on him, and he pushed me away.  Despite his actions,
I truly believe that the last thing Tom wants is for me to back
away.  I know that.  I'm telling you that if you keep me away
from Tom, it's just going to make things worse.  I can help him.
He needs me to help him."

For a long time the two stared at each other.   Chakotay hoped
that the Captain found whatever she was looking for in his eyes.
 Eventually, Kathryn broke the gaze and said, "Ask Harry and the
Doctor to come back in."

When everyone was seated, she said  "Doctor, I want you to tell
Tom that if he wants, he can return to his quarters, as long as
someone stays with him.  Suggest the idea of Harry spending days
and Chakotay nights, but make it clear to Tom that it is his
choice.  He can have just Harry stay all day, or suggest someone
else.  Whatever he is comfortable with."

"Doc, please tell him that I asked to stay with him," Chakotay
said.  It was important that Tom knew that he wanted to be there.

The Doctor looked over to the Captain who nodded her agreement of
what Chakotay had requested.

Kathryn met Chakotay's gaze firmly.  "Whatever Tom decides is

"I understand," Chakotay said watching as Harry frowned.  He knew
Harry wasn't pleased right now, but he'd see that it was what was
best for Tom.

Now all he could do is hope that Tom agreed.  If he didn't,
Chakotay would have to find another way to reach him.  He
believed what he had told Kathryn.  Tom needed him and he wasn't
going to let Tom push him away--not this time.