Title:  Past Resurfacing (12/?)
Author:  CatHeights
Pairing: VOY (P, K, C, EMH)
Rating:         PG-13
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Feedback: CatHeights@yahoo.com
Archive:  ATPS.   Anywhere else, please ask first.
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Spoiler Warning: Thirty Days
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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.
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      "Tuvok?"

          "I have them, Captain," he replied calmly as he watched the three men materialize on the transporter pad.

          "Good timing, Tuvok," Tom said as he stepped off the pad.

          Tuvok quirked an eyebrow, but did not respond to Tomís comment.  Instead, noticing the blood on the side of Chakotayís face, he said, "Commander, you are injured."

          "Itís nothing.  Just a scrape," Chakotay said.  "Letís just say there were some unexpected surprises on the planet."

          "Indeed, we had some unexpected surprises on Voyager as well," Tuvok said.

          Before anyone could ask Tuvok what he meant, the Captain commed Chakotay.  "Bridge to Commander Chakotay."

          "Go ahead Captain."

          "Is everyone all right?" the Captain asked.

          "Weíre all fine.  A few scrapes, nothing more.  To phrase Tom, Ďgood timing,í " Chakotay said with a look at Paris and a grin.  Tom smirked back at him.

          "Glad to hear it.  Have the Doctor fix up those scrapes.  I want all the senior staff to report to the briefing room in half an hour.  Iím sure you have some interesting information to share with us, and weíve had a few new developments while you were gone."

          "So Iíve been hearing.  Weíll see you in half an hour. Chakotay out."

          "Okay, Tuvok," Tom said.  "Do we get an abbreviated version of what happened or do we have to wait endlessly in anticipation?"

          "Ensign, a half an hour does not constitute what you term as Ďendlesslyí.  We suffered a complete, but temporary, power drain with some unique side effects.  Iím sure the details will be covered during the briefing," Tuvok said.

          "So our being unable to raise communications probably had nothing to with our closeness to the power source," Harry said with a frown.  He needed to be back at Ops to see what had happened while he was away.   In his eagerness to be back at work, he unconsciously took a half step toward the door.

          "Prior to the power failure, we had been able to keep a transporter lock on you at all times and showed no problems with communication," Tuvok confirmed.

          "Well we can figure this all out at the briefing.  Letís get moving.  Iím going to head to sickbay," Chakotay paused and looked directly at Paris.  "Tom, I think you should come with me to see the Doctor."

          Tom didnít glance away from Chakotay but his face went blank as he asked innocently, "What for?  I donít have any scrapes that need to be regenerated."

          "Because, I think your behavior on the planet warrants our making sure you werenít somehow affected by something on the planet surface," Chakotay said calmly.

          Tom looked at him coolly and nodded.  "You may be right, Commander, something on the planet could have been affecting us which is why I think the Doc should check us all.  I think there were instances where each of us had reactions or a lack of reaction that seemed odd."  He ignored Harryís glare.

          Chakotay knew something was wrong when Tom started off by saying he might be right.   He couldn't argue with Tom's logic though, so he said,  "Agreed.   Sickbay it is."

          "Commander, if you give me your tricorders, I can begin downloading the information you recorded." Tuvok said.   He had been silent during Chakotay and Tom's exchange, observing the responses in case the information was needed at a later date.  Chakotay's line of questioning seemed to indicate that the ensign's mental state might not be as well as they had previously thought.   It was something to keep in mind.

          "Good idea," Chakotay said and handed Tuvok his tricorder.   Harry and Tom handed theirs over also.

          "I'll see you in the briefing room," Tuvok said.

          "Thanks, Tuvok," Chakotay said as the Vulcan left.

          "Come on, the faster we get this over with, the faster we can find out what has been going on in our absence," Chakotay said.  He waited for a smart remark from Paris, but none came.   He glanced at the man and seeing the disinterested look on his face, wanted to sigh.    Tom was not going to make this easy, and for that matter Harry didn't look too pleased about being dragged to sickbay either.  Knowing Harry, he wanted to be back at work.  The man was almost as bad as B'Elanna.

          "Deck Five," Chakotay said as they entered the turbolift.  When the lift stopped, Tom exited first, his back rigid.

          "Hey, Doc.  Did you miss me?" Tom said upon entering sickbay.

          "Mr. Paris what kind of scrape did you get yourself into this time?" the Doctor said not missing a beat.

          "In my opinion, none." Tom said emphasizing the words, "You should check out Chakotay. He's the one who couldnít avoid the projectiles."

          Taking in the scratch on Chakotay's face, the Doctor said, "Ah I see Mr. Paris is right.  Don't worry Commander, we'll have that fixed in no time."

          Chakotay grinned.  "I have complete faith in you Doctor, don't worry."  He turned serious as the Doctor ran the regenerator over the cut.  "Actually, I'd like you to scan each of us for any anomalous readings."

          Being minor, the cut was quickly healed, and the Doctor turned and put down the regenerator before saying, "Anything in particular I should be looking for?"

          "I'm not sure.  Some of us had very different reactions to things down on the planet."  Chakotay and the Doctor exchanged a look.  It was immediately obvious that the Commander was concerned about Tom's reactions.

          Noticing the look, Tom scowled and said,  "Or in some cases no reaction to things that should have sparked some response."

          "Well, this won't take longer than a minute," the Doctor said as he started to scan Harry.   His programming told him that scanning Tom first would only increase his antagonism.  "You know Commander, I think it would be a good protocol to institute that after an away mission, each member should report to sickbay for a quick scan. You can never be too safe," he said cheerily.

          Looking annoyed, Harry said, "Doc, the transporters have biofilters.  So there really is no reason for an away team to have to report to sickbay.   The filters should take care of any contagion."

          "Any known contagion," the Doctor said as he moved on to scan Tom who was being unusually silent.  "We come across plenty of the 'unknown' here in the Delta Quadrant."

          "I'll take it under advisement," Chakotay replied neutrally as the Doctor finished with Tom and moved over to him.

          "So, how did you end up avoiding projectiles," the Doctor asked ever eager to be the first to hear something.

          "The building we were in started to collapse without warning," Chakotay said.  "The area contained a lot of rock.  It could have been worse. Tom pushed me out of the way before I could be flattened."   He chuckled and gave Tom a smile, but he only received a tightlipped smile in return.  Tom wasn't giving an inch. 

          "Well, I find nothing wrong with any of you.  You're all fit for duty."  He sighed theatrically.  "However, I would suggest that you come to sickbay first and not worry about new uniforms until after any injuries are taken care of."

          He was met with three puzzled stares.  "What are you talking about?" Chakotay asked.

          "Why I assumed you changed your uniforms.  That was a minor but nasty scratch on your face Commander, and you said the building collapsed, so I would guess your uniforms probably were a bit worse for the wear afterwards," the Doctor said.

          Tom looked down at his uniform and then over at Chakotay's and Harry's.  The Doctor was right; they were all spotless.

          "He's right, Commander.  Someone should have gotten some sort of dirt on him or a tear.  I don't have a mark on me anywhere," Harry said.

          "You mean you didn't change your uniforms?" the Doctor asked amazed.

          "No we didn't, and I agree with Harry.  We should at least have some dust on us.  It was kicking up all around us."

      "Now do you believe it wasnít just me, Chakotay?" Tom said pointedly.

      Chakotay heard the accusation in the question and couldnít deny it.  He had assumed that Tomís reactions were personal and had refused to consider that it might have just been a normal response to the situation.   If he had considered Tom ready to be placed on an away mission, he should have been ready to trust Tomís judgement.   It was just that each time Tom behaved oddly, he would remember hearing him scream in the brig.

      One night, after having read the security reports on Tomís nightmares, he had gone to judge how bad they were.  He had been tempted to release Tom right then and there, and deal with the Captain later.  The screams were bad enough, but even worse was when the screams died down and you could hear the hoarse voice crying, "no, please donít do this to me, no."  For the first time in his life, he had felt sorry for Tom Paris.  When the nightmares first started, security had been able to wake Tom, but by the time Chakotay witnessed the nightmare, he could no longer be woken from the grip of the dream.  All anyone could do was wait for it to end.

      He had tried to convince the Captain to have Tom spend the remainder of his sentence in his quarters.  He even had Tuvokís support, but neither man was able to persuade her.  Sometimes, Chakotay thought she never even heard a word they said.  Never really listened to how bad those dreams were.   As the Captain refused to remit the sentence, Chakotay had ordered security under no circumstances to allow BíElanna anywhere near the area.  He knew if she witnessed Tomís nightmares, BíElanna would remove him from the brig.

      So instead, he went every night, always keeping out of Tomís line of sight.  He didnít want the Captain saying he was breaking orders by visiting Tom.   She had declared no unauthorized visitors.   He couldnít see Tom, but he could listen to the terrors that haunted his night.  He guessed it was a way to atone for the guilt he felt over not doing anything.  Some nights Tom hadnít dreamed at all and Chakotay had been relieved.  Later he found out from the Doctor it was most likely because on those nights, Tom refused to let himself fall asleep.

      Yes, maybe he still felt guilty and that was why he was watching Tom so closely.  He needed to stop acting that way.   Tom had put the past behind him again, and Chakotay needed to do the same.  He had to have confidence in Tomís ability to handle situations.

      Tom was still looking at him, a sardonic smile on his face and a slightly indignant gleam in his eyes.  "I do," Chakotay said hoping those words conveyed a sense of trust.

      They must have as the grin faded and Tom nodded his posture a bit more relaxed.  "Good.  I don't know about you, but I'm ready to compare notes with everyone else."

          "It seems bizarre is on the menu," the Doctor said.  "We're going to have to exchange stories."

          "Let's get to the briefing room then," Chakotay said.

          "That's what I was waiting to hear," Harry said quickly heading for the door.

          Tom and Chakotay chuckled at his eagerness.  He caught Tom's eye and Tom nodded slightly.  Apology accepted, not forgotten, but accepted.

TBC