Title: Nightmares for Dreams (No Comfort Series)
Rating: R, angst, disturbing images
Summary: Finding his life crashing down around him, Tom tries to
figure out why this is happening and how he can regain control.
Slightly A/U as some events are assumed not to have happened.
Spoilers: Small ones for The Chute
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
Archive: BLTS, 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. The part that
follows contains images that some may find disturbing or
upsetting. If you think that you may be bothered by such things,
please do not read any further.
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,
A huge thanks to Frisky, who keeps me on track, Joe, who is ever
patient, and Shawna who picks up my their/there's.
Nightmares for Dreams (Story 9 - No Comfort Series)
The music was making his head pound furiously. He tried to move
out of its range, but every street he turned down seemed to only
bring him closer to it. The damn music got louder with every
step he took.
He moved through throngs of laughing people, never taking notice
of their faces. Despite the warmth of the night, he shivered.
Must be the alcohol, he thought. No, the lack of alcohol or
possibly whatever he had taken earlier. It had been a pill, he
believed. He couldn't quite remember what type.
He kept walking, making random turns. Finally, the music started
to dim and his head began to throb at a slightly lower decibel.
His feet moved automatically, taking him farther from the music
as his mind sought some semblance of silence.
Finally, he achieved his goal. Ah quiet. No laugher, no music,
and I have no idea where I am, he thought. He really wasn't
concerned, though. What did it matter? Nothing mattered right
He stumbled along the narrow street, the footsteps behind him
never registering on his brain. It took him a moment to realize
that a hand was now gripping his mouth, and even then it didn't
occur to him to struggle. His mind was somewhere, floating, as
he was pulled against a strong body.
No, nothing registered until something was pressed against his
neck, and his drifting mind was pulled back into a body shrieking
with pain. He screamed, as fire seemed to rip through his nerve
endings. He could feel himself falling, falling, falling....
Shit, a fifty percent chance of making the right guess, and I
make the wrong one. He ignored the sweat pouring down into his
eyes. He had to get the shuttle under control. He could do
this. He blocked out the arguments going on around him, and
focused solely on his flying. Giving it every ounce he had, but
it wasn't enough. No....
He pressed his wrists hard against the metal restraining them,
twisting desperately to free himself. Stop fighting, the voice
said. It's useless. It's all there waiting for you, always has
been. Give in and let it go. You lost. You deserve to die.
"No, get out of my head," he screamed, twisting. He wasn't going
to listen; he wouldn't break....
He was so hot. His throat ached and his head itched like crazy.
He opened his eyes to look for Harry, but he was alone. His
stomach clenched. Harry had left him alone here to die. No, he
was confused. Harry was working on a way to get to the top of
the chute. That's right, but he had told Harry if he got a
chance to just escape. What if he had? Panic started to fill
him. He struggled to sit up, but couldn't, the pain from the
knife wound making him curl up and moan.
What was wrong with him? He couldn't act like this. Right now
he just wanted to beg Harry not to leave him, but that would be
signing his friend's death warrant. He had to stay strong and
insist that Harry take any chance he could to get himself free.
He just hated prison; hated being helpless. Bad things could
happen to you when you were in control. What happened when you
were defenseless? Harry, please come back....
His hands were fisted as he continued to press against the locks
on his wrists. He could feel the anger coursing through him, but
it wasn't enough to break the bonds. GET OUT OF MY MIND....
He had seen the looks, the gazes, and he'd been cagey about
remaining in the open, until now. He'd made a mistake, and it
looked like he was going to pay for it. He met the eyes of the
broad man blocking his way; a few feet still separated them. He
turned casually, walking quickly but not running. He knew he
couldn't show fear, despite the pounding of his heart. Of course
that way was blocked too. He turned to his right, again no exit.
He was surrounded.
He could feel terror wrapping its way around his heart, but he
didn't show it. Not even when a grimy hand entwined itself in
his hair, yanking his head back hard. He knew what was coming,
what he had feared for days, but he wouldn't scream. No, he
wouldn't. He didn't fight, it would be a waste of energy, but he
tried to keep his mind alert for a possible route of escape. His
mind blanked though as a fist jammed into his abdomen. Knifing
pain cramped his stomach, and he started to crunch over, but the
hand in his hair yanked him upright.
Tom stood, staring at himself. Watching as he fought to keep his
dignity in that hellhole called Auckland. He turned his back to
the fight, walking away from a scene already engraved in his
brain. "This is the past. I've already gotten through this.
There's nothing here I fear. Get out of mind," he said his voice
cold and controlled.
The prison faded, and he found himself walking through a shuttle,
the emergency lighting flooding the forward compartment with a
red glare. He saw himself struggle to sit up, push some debris
away, and painfully turn toward the copilot's seat. He could see
the blood coagulating in his hair from the head wound he had
suffered. Tom started walking away; he had no need to watch his
past self discover the headless body of his copilot and friend.
The walls of the shuttle vanished as he walked toward them, and
for a moment he was on a gray plain, feeling as if he was walking
on air. He felt fully in control, but then he started to sink,
his feet slipping down through the plain. His eyes snapped open,
and he found himself in the chair again, too tired to fight, at
"Why do you resist?" the voice asked. The speaker's face was
blurry, probably because of the sweat pouring into his eyes. He
gritted his teeth as the voice continued, "You deserved to die.
You want to die. Let go and end this."
"No," Tom spat. He wasn't giving up. He might die, but it would
be fighting, not surrendering.
He could feel a crawling inside his mind and he tossed his head
in vain, as if that would get it out. Tom pictured a solid wall,
seeing himself fortifying it. For a while, the wall stood
solidly, but then it started to flake and crack. Tom tried to
patch the cracks, but they were spreading too quickly. The wall
began to tumble....
He entered the house quietly, his heart hammering. He cautiously
walked past his father's study, breathing a sigh of relief when
he saw that it was empty. Maybe his father was still at
headquarters and wouldn't notice he was late. Not seeing his Mom
anywhere, he started to head upstairs, climbing them, more than
walking, as the steps were a bit steep for an eight-year old.
"Mom. Hey, Mom," he called, frowning when he got no answer.
He peaked in his parent's bedroom, not there. After not finding
her anywhere upstairs, he searched the entire house and the
backyard, but his Mom was nowhere to be found. He crawled up the
stairs again, going into his parent's bedroom one more time.
"Mom," he called in a worried voice. She was supposed to be
here. He was only a little late, wasn't he? He just hadn't
wanted to stop playing with the other kids yet. He got so few
chances to just play that he felt angry at having to come back so
soon. He wondered if something really bad had happened because
he was late. It was scary being in the house all alone. Right
now, he would have even welcomed his Dad's presence.
He noticed that the bathroom door was slightly open, and he
walked over to it, calling out again, "Mom?" He pushed the door
tentatively, and it started to swing slowly open. His nose
wrinkled at the scent that wafted out. Ewwww gross, he thought,
as he smelled a sour odor.
The door opened, and he stepped inside to see his Mom lying on
the floor. It looked like she had been sick, which explained the
smell. He had thrown up really bad one time, and he had
remembered feeling too tired afterwards even to stand, and his
Mom had helped him. He had to help her up.
Avoiding the mess on the floor, he lightly touched her arm, which
seemed very cold. "Mom, are you all right? Don't worry. I'll
help you." Her head had been turned to the floor, and as he
pushed lightly on her arm, her body turned, and he got his first
look at her face--smeared in vomit and with wide-open eyes. He
began to scream....
Tom pushed against something restraining him, but it wasn't just
his hands this time that were captured; it was his whole upper
body and he was being shaken. He twisted, still screaming, but
stopped, gasping when he heard, "Tom, wake up. It's just a
dream. Come on, I'm here with you."
Chakotay. Oh thank god, he was awake. His body went limp, and
he gratefully sank into Chakotay's embrace, his head resting on
the other man's chest. One of Chakotay's arms was wrapped
tightly around him, while the other stroked his hair soothingly.
"Are you all right?"
He nodded against that strong chest. His breath was still coming
in gasps, and he didn't trust himself to speak.
Chakotay's other arm came around him, and he felt himself being
slightly rocked. "It's all okay. It was only a dream."
Only a dream? It was a nightmare, the one that had made him
terrified to sleep and it was back, but it had been different
this time. The images had been clearer. That voice, it had
never been in the nightmares before nor had the parts with him
trapped in that chair. Where had that come from? Nothing like
that had ever happened to him. He knew where the rest of the
images came from all too well.
Pictures of his mother, Caldik Prime, and prison started to fill
his mind, and he could feel his chest tighten. He had to stop
thinking about the nightmare now. He could analyze it tomorrow,
once he had gotten through the night. He knew, just knew, that
it was the nightmare that had sent him tumbling into a world of
despair. He couldn't let that happen again. He had to fight it
and somehow keep from being pulled back into that abyss that held
all the terrors of his past. He needed some distance.
Chakotay must have felt him tense up, because he said, "Hey, you
okay? What was the dream about?"
Tom remained silent, not knowing what to say. He couldn't talk
about this now.
He had to say something or Chakotay wouldn't let it go. He
swallowed the lump in his throat, and with his head still buried
against Chakotay's chest, he said, "I.I don't remember." Even
though his voice was slightly muffled, he could still hear the
hoarseness in it.
Chakotay was silent for a minute, and then he said, "That's all
right. Just relax."
Tom breathed a sigh of relief. Chakotay wasn't going to push the
issue. He could feel the tension drifting out of his body. It
felt so nice to be in Chakotay's embrace. He had missed this. He
had loved falling asleep at night wrapped around his lover's
body, feeling the warmth and the smoothness of his skin. It was
one of those simple pleasures that reminded you just how
wonderful life could be. He felt safe and so very tired.
Chakotay guided him down onto the bed, and Tom was too exhausted
to resist. Chakotay sat down on the edge of the bed, taking
Tom's hand into his own. Tom curled his fingers around the other
man's hand. He felt Chakotay's other hand moving through his
hair, and he started to drift on the edge of sleep. His eyelids
were heavy and his thoughts disjointed. The pillow felt so soft,
and Chakotay's presence was soothing.
Then, he felt the bed rise and he was alone. Tom's eyes flew
open and he sat bolt upright. "Chakotay!" He was leaving him
alone. No, he couldn't do that. The nightmare would come back
if he was left alone; he just knew it. He had to convince
Chakotay to stay, but how? What if he said the wrong thing, and
he left not just for the night, but forever?
"Of course you'll say the wrong thing," the voice said. Tom
shivered, feeling that crushing despair start to overwhelm him.
No, he wasn't going to let it.
At Tom's cry, Chakotay had turned around instantly. He sat down
on the bed again, and said, "I thought you were asleep."
Tom shook his head silently, desperately trying to think of
something to say.
"Tom, do you want me to stay with you?" Chakotay asked.
Tom almost cried in relief. It looked like he wouldn't have to
do any convincing to get Chakotay to stay. He managed to find
his voice and said in a shaky tone, "Yes."
Chakotay smiled at him and squeezed his hand. "Then I'll stay
with you. Let me just grab a pillow from the other room, and
I'll be right back. Okay?"
Tom nodded. Chakotay squeezed his hand one more time, and then
headed out of the bedroom. Tom moved his pillow over and made
room on the bed for Chakotay. Exhausted, he lay back down.
Chakotay was back in a minute, and he placed a pillow on the bed,
got under the covers and pulled Tom to him. "Go to sleep. Don't
worry, I'll be here."
"Thank you," Tom whispered, his head and one arm on Chakotay's
chest. He felt a soft kiss dropped on his head as Chakotay said,
"You're welcome. Now sleep."
He smiled, remembering another time he had been kissed like that.
He had designed a holoprogram that he knew Chakotay would like.
Nature at its finest, with a few modifications of course. He had
taken the liberty of getting rid of the bugs. Normally he liked
authenticity, but not when it interfered with one's lovemaking.
It took him a lot of bartering for holodeck time, but he managed
to get three consecutive hours. He had told Chakotay to mark his
calendar. However, the day before their planned tryst, all hell
had broken lose. The ship had been attacked and there were a
number of casualties. Tom had spent all night working in
sickbay. Chakotay had suggested that they reschedule their
plans, but Tom refused. He could stay awake, and he was dying to
share this program with his lover.
Chakotay had been impressed, particularly with the large blue
lake that was at the edge of the forest. They had sat down by
the water, eventually lying down in each other's arms. The last
thing Tom remembered was Chakotay placing a light kiss on his
head. Then he must have fallen asleep. When he woke, he had
felt awful, but Chakotay had just kissed him and laughed. He had
said that Tom needed to sleep, and he hadn't mind at all. It was
nice to watch him actually.
Tom's smile held. They had never gotten to go back to that
program. Maybe they would get a chance to again. He wouldn't
mind making love by the lake, or in the cabin that overlooked the
lake. He snuggled closer to Chakotay.
Images of all the things they could do in that program filled
Tom's thoughts. As he drifted off to sleep, his mind exchanged
nightmares for dreams.