Series: Voyager
Pairing: C/P
Parts: 4/?
Rating: G

Disclaimer: Voyager and her crew don't belong to me. They never
did and they never will. They belong to Paramount.

Archive: Sure, just let me know where.

I could have series previous parts:
1) I Could Have Surprised You.
2) I Could Have Chosen Arizona
3) I Could Have Stood Closer

Synopsis: A song can change more than one life.

I Could Have Made It Better
By Isabelle S. -


"It hurts," Tom hissed.

"I know," said Chakotay.

"No... It REALLY hurts," Tom emphasized.

Chakotay reached the wrist on which Tom was wearing his medical
bracelet. He pressed on an icon which immediately delivered a
dose of painkiller into Tom's body. The younger man breathed out
with evident relief as the opiate-like substance ran its course
through his system.

"His blood pressure is 89 over 56. His pulse is 63 per minute
and dropping. Why didn't this thing warned us?" Chakotay
pressed a few other icons, bringing up on the tiny screen the
programming of medical instrument. "There's nothing in there
beside the basic recording functions." He said with disbelief.
"The alarm system is gone, so is his medical history before the
last five weeks."

"Only the last five weeks?" Janeway asked, taking a look at the
screen for herself. "That makes a lot of space," she remarked
looking back at Tom's pale face with a perplex expression on her
features. "Tom?" she called.

The pilot barely registered to the sound of his name. His eyes
slightly opened. He was too weak from the mix of fever, pain,
and drug to focus on them. His lips were trembling as his body
was fighting to let air enter into his beaten system.

Kathryn compassionately brushed his cheek. "It's going to be
okay, Tom. But, we'll have to talk about this."

Tuvok quick entry into the conference lounge, with a medkit in
hand, prevented Chakotay from asking his Captain what she meant

"I will assist Mister Kim and Ms Torres on their diagnostics of
the transporters," the Vulcan told Janeway as he handed her the

She nodded for all reply.

Working as an efficient team, the two senior officers put their
basic medical training into good use: stabilizing Tom's vital and
making him as comfortable as possible before they could transport
him to Sickbay less than ten minutes later.

For Chakotay, those few minutes had seemed like an eternity as
agonizing fear of losing the man he loved had slowly got the best
of him. The Native American knew that each time Tom was
suffering an attack that the irreversible damage of his disease
would progress further.

Heartbreaking memories had invaded Chakotay's mind and a painful
knot had formed in his throat at the thought of Tom going through
so much pain again. He had been there for the man in such a
difficult time on Dorvan IV. That day, on Voyager, Chakotay had
squeezed Tom's delicate hand as he had prepared himself to be
there for him once more.

Not only had he promised to be there, he hadn't wanted to be


Darven IV, 10 months before.

It was well into the night when Chakotay came back home from one
of his runs with the Maquis. He was somewhat surprised to find
Tom sitting on the doorsteps, wrapped in a quilt, stargazing.

"Hi there, Traveler," Tom greeted him happily. "We weren't
expecting you until tomorrow. You're okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I just felt like coming home," Chakotay replied
as he sat beside the younger man. "And you, you're okay?"

"Oh, yeah," Tom simply said gazing back up to the night sky.

"You miss it a lot, don't you? I mean, being up there flying."

"I'll be back up there," Tom told him with assurance, avoiding
the painful emotional issue.

"I had a lot of fun the other night," Chakotay said after awhile,
referring the birthday party Tom and Tala had put together for
B'Elanna Torres. They had gathered friends and family. Tom had
took his guitar and had sang a variety of songs. "Tala is right,
you have a beautiful voice. You could have a very successful
singing carrier."

Tom chuckled. "Thanks, but I don't think so."

"Too bad," Chakotay sighed. "I wish I had made a recording of
the other night just to hear you sign that song again."

Tom gave him a sideways look. "Which song?" he asked curious.

"Humm... 'Make It Go Away or Make it Better', think is the
title," Chakotay told him holding his gaze.

"It's called 'Make It Go Away."

"... Or make it better, " Chakotay sang.
Isn't what love is suppose to do?
Make it go away or make it better.
For I would do either one for you."

Tom looked away trying to deny the implicit message carried by
the lyrics, which was clearly present into Chakotay's brown eyes.

"It's just a song, Chakotay," he said nervously.

"I know. But I felt -- I wished you were singing it for me. I'd
like to make it better, if I can't make it go away for you, Tom."

"I didn't asked you for you're help, Chakotay."

"You don't have to," he replied. "Because I'm in love with you,

Tom shook his head denying the confession even harder.

"You don't know what you're saying," he answered Chakotay trying
to cover the panic that was rising into him. "You can't be in
love with me."

"Why?" Chakotay wondered genuinely baffled. "Because I'm a man?"

"No, that's not it?"

"What is it then? Are you in love with someone else?"

"I... I can't be in love with someone," Tom said above a whisper.

The comment, the way Tom said it, sadden Chakotay deeply. "Why?"

"He asked 'why'?'" Tom mumbled with disbelief. "You did notice
at one point that I tend to hurt the people that I love and who
loves me," he bit back angrily.

Chakotay let Tom's anger wash on him for the moment.

"Tom, bad things happened. But, you didn't mean to hurt anybody.
And that doesn't say that it would happen again," he said putting
a compassionate hand on Tom's shoulder.

As Tom struggled to hide his emotions, he refused to look at
Chakotay. The older man moved his hand to Tom's face, tenderly
caressing it with his fingers.

"I truly love you, Angel," Chakotay confessed again. "Let me
prove it to you. Let me be there for you."

Tom shook his head, forcing Chakotay to take his hand away.

"Why?! Why would you like to do that?" Tom asked him, finally
looking back at him with fierce blue eyes. "You have a GREAT
life. Why would you want to burden yourself with someone like

"You're not a burden, Tom," Chakotay defended.

"LOOK AT ME! I can barely move. I have absolutely nothing to
offer you. I don't even know how long I'm going to be around."

"I know that, Angel," Chakotay said calmly. "Tom you already
gave me so much. Being with you, hearing you sing and play
guitar, and joking around when I help you do your physiotherapy.
You gave me the most joyful moments I had in a long time. You
gave me a reason to come home." With one hand, he forced Tom to
face him. "Angel, I love you for who you are and I'll take you
the way you are for as long as I can. That is, I if you want me
to." He chuckled. "That sounds like the tittle of another of
your song," he half-heartily joked.

"Actually, I think the tittle of this one would be 'I Want You'."

Chakotay smiled. "How does it go?"

Tom sighed then give in and sang the song.

"I'd give you the stars above.
The sun on the brightest day.
I'd give you all my love.
if you'd only say:
I want you, you, you.
All I want is you, you, you.
All I want is you."

Chakotay knelt in front of Tom.

"I'll give you a starship to fly. I'll bring you to the warm
bright sunshine of Arizona. Tom, you already have all my love.
Just say: 'I want you'."

A tear ran down Tom's cheek. He brought a hand from under the
quilt with which he delicately touched Chakotay's lips. The
Native American covered Tom's hand with his own, then he kissed
each of Tom fingers.

"I want you," Tom said above a whisper.

Brown eyes met blue eyes.

"I WANT you," Tom repeated.

"And I love YOU,"' Chakotay told him before pulling Tom into a
passionate kiss.

In the early morning, Chakotay helped the young man back into his
bed. At Tom's request, he agreed to stay with him until had fall
asleep. Chakotay laid beside him, fully dressed, the fingers of
his right hand wrapped around Tom's. They both fell asleep with
the blond's head resting on his shoulder.

Chakotay woke up a few hours later suddenly aware of someone's
presence. He opened his eyes to see his cousin Tala looking down
at him. He was relief to see the line of her lips curl into a

"I knew this was coming," she said in a low voice. "You just
couldn't stay away from him lately." Her smile faded away. Her
gaze hardened. "If you hurt him. You're a dead man."

"That won't happen," he promised confidently.

"It better not," she emphasized. "Now, go back to sleep. I
won't be able to get anything done from either of you today,

On that she left the room, leaving Chakotay filled with a sense
of happiness. As he took joy in contemplating Tom's angelic
sleeping face, he carefully planned the time they would have
together before leaving for another mission in the next forty-
eight hours.


Commander Chakotay kept his distance as he watched the Doctor and
Kes take care of Tom. The next hours would be crucial in
determining the amount of damage this latest MS attack would do
on Tom's body.

He would had to survived first.

If only he had went back to Tom sooner. He could have avoid a
lot of heartache for both of them, leading Tom to take better
care of himself. He could have made sure Tom was eating right,
that he was getting his sleep, that he was taking his meds, that
his medical bracelet was functioning adequately.

Clearly, Janeway knew something concerning the bracelet. He
would have to ask her about it, but not now. At that moment,
Tom's condition was receiving his full attention.

He was somewhat glad that Tala wasn't there to see this. Surely,
he would have been a dead man at her hand by now.

If he hadn't hurt Tom so much. If he had been there for him, as
he had said he would, Tom's physical state wouldn't have
deteriorate to the point of being so severely affected by the
stress and the cold temperature that had been caused by the
energy surge.

"I could have made it better," he told himself with overwhelming
grief has the old song played into a far corner his mind.

End Of Part 4


'Make It Go Away' and 'I Want You' are both lovely interpreted by
Holy Cole. The first one you'll find on her CD *Dark Dear Heart*
and the latter on her CD *Temptation*.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Copyrights @ November 2000