Title:  Be Patient  (No Comfort Series)
Part:  8/?
Author:  CatHeights
Pairing:  C/P, K
Rating: R, angst
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 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.
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
Feedback: CatHeights@yahoo.com
Archive:  Cha_Club, ATPS, Paris Nights, TPD, anyone else please ask
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.

Be Patient (Story 8 - No Comfort Series)

Just five more minutes and you can go, Chakotay thought.  For the
third time, he reread the same section of B'Elanna's engineering
report.  He just couldn't concentrate.  All day, he had tried to
throw himself into his work, but his mind kept drifting back to
his quarters--and to Tom.  He's fine, he's with Harry, he kept
telling himself, but the desire to see for himself that Tom was
okay clenched at his stomach.

He tossed the pad onto his desk; he'd read it over later.  Right
now he was seeing the words, but they just weren't registering on
his brain.  He stood up and left his office.  He wanted to run
back to his quarters, but he forced himself to walk at a casual
pace, even stopping to chat with various crewmembers as he passed
them.  Chakotay guessed his calm façade was convincing, as none
of the crew seemed to even suspect that inside he was screaming
for them just to shut up.

Finally, he made it to his quarters.  He took a deep breath and
entered.  When he stepped inside, he saw Harry, who was sitting
at his table, put a finger to his mouth, indicating that he
should be quiet.  He quickly saw that Tom was asleep on the
couch.  He relaxed as he took in Tom's even breathing and his
calm face.  Tom was fine.

Harry stood up and came over to him.  "I want to talk to you,
outside," he whispered.

Chakotay frowned and reluctantly followed Harry out of his
quarters. As soon as the doors slid close, he said, "I don't
think we should be leaving Tom alone."

"Chakotay we're right outside and Tom is sleeping.  You can't
watch him every second and if you try, you'll just drive him
crazy. That's not what he needs."

Chakotay could see the distrust on Harry's face.  He sighed, "And
I'm sure you're about to tell me just what it is he needs."  He
was beginning to get annoyed with Harry.  Who the hell did the
ensign think he was anyway?

Harry put his hands out in a conciliatory manner.  "I don't want
to fight with you.  I know you want to do what is best for Tom,
just as I do."

Chakotay took a deep breath, reigning in his annoyance.  Harry
was speaking as Tom's best friend, and he needed to remember

"Okay, Harry.  I know you don't like the idea of me staying with
Tom, but the Captain made her decision, so I hope you've accepted
it.  In which case, what's bothering you now?"

Harry frowned.  "I have accepted her decision even if I'm not
sure I agree with it, but I doubt very much the Captain had in
mind that he would be staying in your quarters."

"He didn't want to remain in his quarters.  I informed the Doctor
that Tom would be staying with me.  He had no problem with it."
That wasn't quite the truth. The Doctor had made no objections,
but his "oh, I see," hadn't exactly sounded pleased.

"I asked Tom if he'd rather stay in my quarters," Harry said.

Chakotay felt his stomach drop.  "What did he say?" he asked
trying to sound neutral.

Harry's lips thinned, and he glanced away for a moment before
answering.  "He said he was fine staying here."

Chakotay smiled, relieved.  "See, there's nothing to worry about.
 Now why don't you go see B'Elanna?  I'm sure she'd like to spend
some time with you."

"I will in a minute.  Just take it easy on him.  Give him some
space.  He's still trying to work things out.  He seemed fine
today, and he was talking to me, but I could see at times that he
was struggling with things.  Just don't pressure him, okay?"

Chakotay clapped Harry on the back.  "I promise not to pressure
him.  Don't worry about it.  I'll see you tomorrow," he said and
without another glance at Harry, he headed back into his

Chakotay walked quietly over to the table and sat down, his gaze
never leaving Tom's sleeping form.  Tom was resting peacefully,
one hand curled under a pillow.  He wanted to get up, sit down
next to the sleeping man, and trace his finger along that beloved
face, down the cheek.  Feel the warmth of the flesh, reassuring
him that yes Tom was alive.

He remained seated though, unwilling to disturb Tom's slumber.
Instead, he contented himself with listening to the sound of the
younger man's breathing.  Chakotay could feel the tension slowly
leaving his body.  Everything was going to be okay; Tom was fine
and here with him. He had no idea how long he sat there just
watching Tom.  It didn't really matter, as there was nothing else
he would rather be doing.

Tom mumbled softly in his sleep, and Chakotay leaned forward
anxiously, listening for any sound that might indicate that he
was in distress.  Tom took a deep breath, and simply turned over
so that he was now facing the couch.

Chakotay sat frozen for a few minutes, but all he heard was Tom's
even breathing.  He had to relax.  Harry was right the last thing
he needed to do was to watch Tom's every movement.  He thought
about eating something, but then decided to wait for Tom to wake
up.  They could eat dinner together--talk a bit.

In the meantime, though, he needed something to occupy his mind.
He should have brought the department reports home with him.  He
headed over to his computer terminal.  There were reports of his
own that he needed to write, and he could take care of those now

Fifteen minutes slid by and Chakotay found himself just staring
at the terminal.  So much for trying to get work done.  He still
couldn't concentrate.  He felt this knot in his chest as he
waited for Tom to wake.  He heard a yawn come from Tom's
direction and eagerly looked over.  Sure enough, the younger man
was just starting to rouse.

Chakotay smiled as Tom ran a hand over his face and then into his
hair.  He remembered early mornings before their shifts, Tom
clinging to every ounce of sleep he could possibly grab.  "Hey
sleepyhead," he said, a bit of laughter in his tone.

Tom, who was sitting up by this point, froze at the sound of
Chakotay's voice.  He turned around slowly.  "Uh, Chakotay how
long have you been here?"

"An hour, maybe an hour and a half.  You were still sleeping when
Harry left.  How about something to eat?"

"Okay, I'm just going to clean up some in the bathroom first,"
Tom said, speaking so softly that it was hard for Chakotay to
hear him.

"What would you like to eat?"

His eyes on the floor, Tom said, "How about two slices of pizza
and a soda?"
"You go it," Chakotay said, watching nervously as Tom headed to
the bathroom.  Without thought, he took a step forward, as if to
follow Tom and then cursed himself silently.  He had to stop
this.  He couldn't keep worrying about everything Tom did.  This
was ridiculous.

Chakotay headed over to the replicator and ordered their meals,
pizza for Tom and a vegetable stir-fry for himself.  By the time
both orders were replicated and placed on the table, Tom had
returned.   He sat down gingerly across from Chakotay,
half-heartedly taking a bite of pizza.

"Did you sleep well?"  Chakotay asked.


"What did you and Harry do this afternoon?"

"Not a lot."

"How's the food?"


No matter what question Chakotay asked Tom never gave a long
response.  Chakotay tried, but he couldn't get Tom to elaborate
on anything.  His tone wasn't cold, it was just quiet and
distant, and he kept his eyes glued to the table.

Maybe he's just sifting things through in his mind, Chakotay
thought. Harry had said at some points during the day, Tom seemed
to be struggling with things.  Tom had just woken, so he could
just need some time to be introspective.  He tried to push away
his disappointment as he cleared the table, and Tom went back
over to couch.  Tom picked up a padd and started reading,
effectively communicating to Chakotay that he really didn't want
to talk right now.

Give him time, Chakotay told himself as he suppressed a sigh.
He headed back over to his terminal determined to actually get
some work done this time.  While he periodically found himself
looking up to check on Tom, he did manage to finish a few
reports.  In fact, for a bit he lost himself in it, only to find
that Tom had dozed off.  The padd he had been reading was laying
face down on his chest.

Chakotay stood up and yawned.  He was actually pretty tired
himself.   Sleep had been elusive lately.   He went into his
bedroom and pulled some pillows and blankets from the closet.
He'd sleep in the other room, and Tom could have the bedroom.
There, even Harry couldn't say that he wasn't giving Tom space.

He put the pillows and blankets on a chair near the couch, and
then sat down softly beside Tom. He took the padd off Tom's chest
and placed it on a small end table.  Gently shaking the sleeping
man's shoulder, he said,   "Tom come on, go into the bedroom."

Tom's eyes didn't even flicker.  Instead, he turned on his side,
wrapping one arm around Chakotay's knee, which brought a smile to
the Commander's face.  Unable to resist the urge, Chakotay ran
his hands through Tom's hair.  Then he laid his hand again on
Tom's shoulder and gave it another shake. "Come on you only have
to wake up long enough to make it into the bedroom."

Tom yawned, and with his arm still wrapped around Chakotay's
knee, opened his eyes.  Chakotay was still smiling, amused.  "You
ready to get up yet?"  He teased.

Tom looked at him confused and then glanced to where his arm was
lying.  He jumped back as if he was burned, quickly coming to a
sitting position.

"Are you all right?"  Chakotay asked frowning, as he watched Tom
move to the edge of the couch, greatening the distance between

"Fine," Tom said, his voice sounding a bit shaky.

Chakotay moved a bit closer and his concern grew as Tom came to
his feet, moving away from him.  "Are you sure?"

"Yes," Tom said, his gaze on the floor.

"Why don't you go into the bedroom and go to sleep?  You'll be
more comfortable on the bed."

Tom nodded, but as he started to turn toward the sleeping
quarters, Chakotay saw his gaze fall on the pile of pillows and
blankets on the chair. Tom looked up; his eye's meeting
Chakotay's briefly.

Seeing the confusion there, Chakotay said, "The bedroom is all
yours.  I got those out of it before I woke you up."

"You're sleeping out here?" Tom asked uncertainly.


"Oh," Tom said.

"Is something wrong?"

"N...No.  Goodnight," Tom said and headed toward the bedroom.

"Goodnight," Chakotay said, watching in confusion as Tom left.
Something was obviously bothering Tom, but what?  Was it his
sleeping out here?  It couldn't be.  So far, he had to admit that
Tom seemed to be awkward around him.  Maybe his odd behavior was
a result of being wakened from sleep.

With a sigh, he started to make up the couch.  He lay down, but
although he was still tired, he found it difficult to fall
asleep.  Wide-awake, he stared at the ceiling, cautioning himself
to be patient.