Title: Tom Through the Looking-Glass
Disclaimer: Paramount's, not mine!
Summary: Tom goes bargain hunting and gets more than he bargained for.
It was an effort to rise the next morning. Chakotay's muscles were still
protesting from the previous day's exertions, but he willed himself to move.
He knew they were only about a day away from the boulder now, and that
thought spurred him on. He stretched his muscles, warming them up for a good
fifteen minutes before rousing Tom.
Tom came to slowly. He felt very weary, his movements lethargic as he
attempted to sit up. Chakotay hugged Tom to him and kissed him tenderly,
before they set out once more.
Chakotay was okay for the first two hours, but each time they stopped after
that, he found the distance he could walk before tiring became less and
less. He felt sluggish, his legs like lead at times, and Tom seemed to weigh
more as the hours passed. As the sun climbed high in the sky, he came to the
conclusion that he would have to stop for a more substantial rest. So,
stretching out in the shade, they slept for a couple of hours as the
brightness of the day increased around them.
Afterwards, as he picked Tom up to resume their journey, Chakotay knew he
wouldn't get very far before he had to stop again. He had hoped the rest
would have helped more than it did, but he only managed to walk for fifteen
minutes before he had to rest for another fifteen.
"Cha?" Tom whispered. "Let's stop for today. You're too tired."
"No, Tom. I know I'm tired, but it won't help to stop for that length of
time. By tomorrow we'll both be even weaker, and it will be that much harder
to go on," Chakotay replied, resting his head against the tree behind him.
"We'll be stopping when it gets dark, in about four hours time, anyway. I'm
just going to go on for as long as I can each time, even if I only last five
minutes before resting. Each step is a step closer to getting home, and
we've got to do it before we're too weak. The longer we go without food and
water, the worse it's going to get."
Tom sighed and rested his head on Chakotay's shoulder as they sat side by
side. "I wish I wasn't so useless," he muttered.
Chakotay slipped his arm around Tom's shoulder and squeezed gently. "You're
not useless, Tom. Your body's just had too much to cope with," he reassured
the younger man as he climbed wearily to his feet. "Come on, let's get going
again. See how far we can get this time."
They progressed slowly, stopping and starting at very short intervals, for
the rest of the day. By the time darkness fell, Chakotay found he was barely
shuffling along, Tom limp in his arms. He found a place for them to sleep,
then laid Tom down for the night. As his muscles screamed at him, Chakotay
wrapped himself around the already sleeping pilot, and joined him in
slumber. Tomorrow they would reach the boulder, he thought, as sleep claimed
Night gave way to day, and Chakotay slowly opened his eyes, looking
appraisingly at the man laying in his embrace. Tom's face was pale and thin,
and he was in desperate need of medical attention. Even though Tom hadn't
complained, Chakotay knew the infected wounds were causing the younger man
pain. He could tell that the insect bites on Tom's body were irritating him
too, and he was weak from lack of food and water. He knew he had to get Tom
back to Voyager today.
He shakily rose to his feet, every part of him hurting. He felt
light-headed, so stood still a moment, before bending to scoop up the
still-sleeping pilot. Chakotay carried Tom from their resting place, and
back onto the track that led to the boulder, the younger man never stirring
Trying to divert his mind from the pains that ran through his body, Chakotay
concentrated instead on just putting one foot in front of the other for as
long as he could. In spite of his muscles' protest, he trudged on for half
an hour before he gave in and stopped. He sat down, still cradling Tom in
his arms, as he tried to summon up the energy to continue. Ten minutes
later, he forced himself to rise, then struggled onwards.
For the next two hours, he inched his way forward, his concern for Tom
growing. He shuffled on though, and as he looked ahead, he saw that he was
approaching a clearing. Despite the fact that he could hardly stay upright,
and every muscle hurt more than he'd ever experienced before, Chakotay
suddenly wanted to run. There, fifty yards in front of him, was the boulder.
"Tom! Tom! Wake up!" he shouted excitedly as he walked up the track "We're
As Chakotay neared the boulder, Tom stirred. His eyes flickered open, then
widened in surprise as Chakotay stumbled and fell. Tom landed on his back
with a thud, Chakotay falling to one side of him, his feet towards Tom's
head. The older man had managed to twist as he fell, in order to avoid
landing on top of Tom.
Tom lay still a moment as his brain processed what had just happened, then
he lifted his head and looked over at Chakotay, concerned as he realised
that Chakotay wasn't moving.
In his efforts to avoid hurting Tom, Chakotay had struck his head on the
boulder. Blood was pouring from a nasty gash, and Chakotay was unconscious,
his face pale. "Oh, my God. Cha!" Tom shouted, panic-stricken, as he tried
to sit up. Calling up all the strength he had, he pulled himself closer to
the boulder, then looked at Chakotay's head wound. It was deep, and Tom knew
he wouldn't be able to stop the bleeding easily. He had to find the 'marble'
and hope it would take them home.
He pressed on the gash with his hand as he looked around desperately, fear
fuelling his energy reserves. He tried to remember back to his arrival, and
what position he had woken up in. An image formed in his mind, and he looked
to where his hands would have been.
He didn't see it at first, but when he scanned the ground a second time, he
spotted the 'marble'. It was lying amongst the stones next to Chakotay's
foot. 'You hold, you return' flashed through Tom's brain, and he prayed that
it would work. And, if it did, that both he and Chakotay would be taken
Tom took his hand away from Chakotay's head, wrapping it around the man's
legs as he reached out with his other hand to pick up the 'marble'. For a
few seconds, nothing happened, then a blinding flash of light hit the two
men, and Tom shut his eyes as he clung tightly to Chakotay's legs. For a
short while, he felt as though he was spinning, and didn't open his eyes
until the sensation ceased abruptly, and he found himself, and Chakotay, on
the floor of their bedroom.
As his vision began to blur, Tom let go of the 'marble'. "Computer. Medical
emergency. Two to beam directly to sickbay," he managed to call out, before
his body finally succumbed to his ordeals and he collapsed on top of
Kathryn Janeway had the shock of her life. She was in sickbay, in deep
discussion with the Doctor, when her missing officers appeared on the floor
almost directly in front of her. For an instant, she stood immobilised as
she took in their battered condition, and the pool of blood that was forming
on the floor around Chakotay's head. The Doctor's frantic actions finally
snapped her out of her frozen state, and she helped him get the two men on
to adjacent biobeds.
Chakotay's head wound was the Doctor's first priority, and he worked quickly
to stem the flow of blood, checking for other injuries once that was done.
He concluded that there was nothing life-threatening,, although the
Commander would need to be treated for blood loss, dehydration and
exhaustion. The appropriate drips were quickly set up, and the Doctor turned
his full attention to Tom.
It was obvious that Tom hadn't eaten in quite a while, and as well as
dehydration and exhaustion, he had other problems. Janeway looked on with
shock as Tom's jacket was removed. There were badly infected wounds on both
his sides, along with numerous insect bites. Some of those were very red and
also infected. Standing back, she watched as the Doctor worked steadily for
the next half hour to repair the most urgent injuries.
"I'm going to attend to the lower half of Mr. Paris' body now, then I shall
keep both him and the Commander sedated for the next twelve hours," the
Doctor informed Janeway. "Although, of course, I shall have to wait for the
Commander to regain consciousness naturally first. I want to check him out
fully before I give him a sedative. Can't be too careful with head wounds."
"Would I be able to speak with him for a few minutes before you sedate him?"
"Quite possibly. I'll let you know when he wakes up."
"Very well. Keep me informed of Lieutenant Paris' condition as well,
Doctor," Janeway said as she walked towards the door. "I'll be in my ready
It was half an hour later that Chakotay began to stir. His head was hurting,
and he kept his eyes closed as he struggled to recall what had happened,
before suddenly remembering that he'd fallen while carrying Tom. "Tom!" he
shouted out, sitting up quickly. The sudden movement made his head swim, and
it wasn't until he heard the Doctor's voice that he realised where he was.
"Doctor? How did I get here? Where's Tom?"
"Relax, Commander. Tom's fine. If you look the other way, you'll see he's in
the next bed. As to how you got here, I'm not sure," the Doctor said calmly.
"Now, please lay back down. I don't want to have to replace those drips."
Chakotay lay down, his gaze fixed on Tom. The younger man was also attached
to various drips, but Chakotay breathed a sigh of relief. They were home. He
wasn't sure how, but it didn't really matter right now.
A few moments later, the sickbay doors swished open, and Captain Janeway
appeared at Chakotay's bedside, the Doctor having called her when Chakotay
first awoke. "Commander. How are you feeling?" she asked, looking at him
"Glad to be back," he answered tiredly.
"I found Tom," he replied as he struggled to stay awake.
"Captain? I think it would be best if you were to speak with the Commander
tomorrow. After he's rested," the Doctor advised.
"I think you're right," she agreed, then briefly turned back to Chakotay.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Chakotay. If you're up to it, we'll talk then."
Chakotay nodded, too tired to speak, then fell asleep without the aid of a
It was fifteen hours before Chakotay woke again. This time, his head felt
fine, and the wound there had been regenerated. His limbs no longer ached,
although he still felt a little weaker than normal, and he noticed that the
drips had also been removed. He sat up carefully, and looked around.
Tom lay on the next bed, his drips also gone. Chakotay swung his legs over
the side of the bed, then stood, a little shakily at first, before walking
the few steps to Tom's bed, the sickbay pyjama bottoms feeling strange on
his legs after days of just wearing boxers. Chakotay was pleased that Tom
looked a lot better than he had done before, and that his face had a little
more colour. Bending forward, he gently brushed Tom's cheek with the back of
his hand, causing Tom to shift slightly in the bed and open his eyes. As
their gazes met, they both smiled, then hugged each other tightly as they
reassured each other that this was real, and not a dream. They were home.
The Doctor cleared his throat twice before he got their attention. "How are
you feeling, gentlemen?" he asked, looking appraisingly at them.
"Fine," Chakotay answered. "A little weak, but I'm okay."
"And you, Lieutenant?"
"Much better, Doc. And ready to get out of here," Tom answered with a grin.
"You still need to rest, Mr. Paris. And I'd like to see you eat before I let
you go. How long were you without food?"
"I'm not sure. About nine days or so, I think"
"Then you may find it difficult to take solid food again straight away. I
suggest you start with something along the lines of soup. I will continue to
give you nutrition supplements along with the antibiotics you also need."
"So if I eat now, I can go?" Tom questioned.
"Yes, Mr. Paris. But I want you back here for your medication in eight
hours. And you are to rest. I don't want reports of you playing pool at
Sandrine's, or any other such nonsense. Do I make myself clear?"
"I'll make sure he behaves, Doctor," Chakotay said, smiling. "I'll bring him
straight back if he doesn't."
"I'm glad to hear it, Commander. Now, both of you go and replicate some
soup, and you can go when you've finished it."
"Doc? Could we be transported back to our quarters? I don't fancy walking
through the ship in pyjamas," Tom said as he headed for the replicator.
"Fine, Mr. Paris, I'll transport you. Now get on with your meal."
When they eventually arrived back at their quarters, Tom headed straight for
"What's the rush, Tom?" Chakotay asked as he followed him.
"That marble thing. When we got back, I left it on the floor by the bed,"
Tom announced. He stopped just inside the bedroom door and stared at the
floor. It was stained with Chakotay's blood.
"What happened, Tom?" Chakotay asked as he saw the mess. "I don't remember
how we got back."
"Let me just put the 'marble' back where it belongs, and I'll tell you," Tom
replied as he picked the object up. He quickly placed it on the sphere's
base, noting, as he did, that the blue crystal no longer glowed. "You were
right about how to get back, Cha," he said, guiding Chakotay back to the
living area, and on to the couch. "You were bleeding badly after you knocked
yourself out when your head hit the boulder, and I was really worried. But
then, I found that 'marble' amongst the stones. I grabbed on to you, then
picked it up, and a few seconds later we were in the bedroom."
"You got us home, Tom," Chakotay said softly, hugging the younger man.
"God, Cha. If it hadn't been for you, we'd never have made it. I don't know
how you managed to carry me for so long."
"Let's just say we got each other home then," Chakotay said, smiling fondly
at Tom. "Now, though, you'd better rest. Or the Doctor will want you back in
"Okay," Tom agreed. "But I'll stay here, on the couch. I don't want to go
back in the bedroom for now. I can't handle seeing your blood again just
"Lay down then, Tom, and I'll get you a pillow and a blanket," Chakotay
said, rising. He went to the bedroom, returning a moment later to settle Tom
down on the couch. "Go back to sleep, and I'll get the bedroom cleaned up.
"You should rest too, you know. Don't overdo it," Tom said, as he held
Chakotay's hand and rubbed his thumb over the back of it.
"I won't overdo it, I promise. But it's my mess, and I'll clean it up. I'll
rest when I've finished." He kissed Tom's forehead. "Sleep now. We'll eat
again when you wake up."
"Give me a good night kiss, then, and I'll sleep," Tom grinned, their first
night together in his thoughts.
"Okay, but a kiss is all you're getting for now," Chakotay grinned back.
"Anything else will have to wait until we're both fit enough." They shared a
long, loving kiss which Chakotay eventually broke a few minutes later. "No
more just yet," he said, tapping Tom on the nose.
Tom sighed, and snuggled under the blanket. "Okay. I'll sleep now, then," he
Chakotay smiled, then got up, and after one last look at Tom, he headed for
the bedroom. He scrubbed at the floor, stopping twenty minutes later when he
heard the door chime. He quickly grabbed his robe and pulled it on over the
sickbay pyjamas that he still wore. "Enter" he called out, as he returned to
the living area.
"Chakotay, how are you?" the Captain asked as the door closed behind her.
"I'm fine now. Thank you," he answered quietly, looking across at Tom, and
noting that the younger man was fast asleep. "Have a seat," he said to
Janeway, then gestured towards the two chairs next to the dining table. They
both sat down, and Chakotay took a deep breath. "I should apologise for my
behaviour on the bridge. I shouldn't have spoken to you like that. Although,
I won't apologise for my reasons for doing so," he stated calmly. "And I'll
understand if you wish to send me to the brig."
Janeway sighed, and studied Chakotay's face. "I won't be sending you to the
brig, Chakotay. It was my fault as much as yours. I could see you were very
upset, and I shouldn't have pushed you. If I'd let you calm down, we could
have continued talking later, in private. I suppose I just didn't expect you
to react like that."
"I'm only human, Kathryn. I can only take so much. I know everyone expects
me to always stay calm and level-headed, and I do try, but when Tom
disappeared, so did my reason for living. I couldn't think straight. All I
knew was that I had to find him. I couldn't give up."
"And you found him," Janeway smiled. "But where? What happened? I couldn't
believe it when you disappeared as well. Where did you go?"
"It was something Tom bought on Yartis. It seems to be a transport device,
although we didn't know that then. Tom went through a portal, if you like,
and ended up being imprisoned. He'd been attacked, and his captors had left
him in a tiny cage to die." Tears welled in Chakotay's eyes as he remembered
how he had found Tom. "He hadn't eaten, and they... I can't. I'm sorry."
His voice trailed off as he struggled with the painful memories.
"It's okay. Leave it for now. Let me get you a drink," Janeway offered, and
walked to the replicator. "Tea?"
"Yes, please," Chakotay replied, rubbing his hand across his eyes.
There was movement from the couch as Tom stirred, and opened his eyes.
"Cha?" he called softly.
"I'm here," Chakotay answered as he walked across to him, then kissed him
tenderly. "The Captain's here as well."
"How are you feeling, Tom?" Janeway asked as she noted the obvious love the
two men had for each other.
"A lot better, Captain. Thank you." Tom said, sitting up.
"Would you like a drink, Tom?" she asked, handing the tea to Chakotay.
"Not just yet, thanks."
"I was just explaining about the sphere," Chakotay said to Tom as he sat
next to him.
Tom snorted. "I wish I'd never seen that thing," he said, emphatically.
"Where is it now?" Janeway asked.
"In our bedroom," Tom replied. "But I think we need to get rid of it. It's
too dangerous to keep here. Who knows what else it might do."
"I agree," Chakotay said. "Although I would recommend putting it into secure
storage rather than disposing of it completely. If it can be studied safely,
off the ship, it might turn out to be useful."
"Can I see it?"
"Certainly, Captain. But don't touch it," Chakotay warned. "That's how Tom
and I got into trouble."
Janeway followed the two men into their bedroom, where a bowl of water and a
cloth still sat on the floor. "Excuse the mess, Kathryn," Chakotay
apologised. "I head-butted a rock just before our return."
Tom avoided looking at the floor, and went towards the sphere. "This is it,
Captain," he said, pointing. "I just thought it was an elaborate mirror.
Shows you what I know," he grinned wryly.
"It's beautiful, Tom. I can see why you bought it," Janeway commented as she
looked at the object in front of her. "But I think it deserves to be called
a looking-glass. It's too fancy to be called a plain old mirror."
"Maybe," Tom answered, stepping away from the sphere, then gesturing at it
as Chakotay placed an arm around his shoulders. "But it can go. Take it
away. I never want to see it again. After all the trouble we had, I want
nothing more to do with it," he insisted. "Tom is definitely through with
Next story in this series: 'For As Long As We Live'