I could have
series previous parts:
1) I Could
Have Surprised You.
2) I Could
Have Chosen Arizona
3) I could
have Stood Closer
4) I Could
Have Made It Better
and Chakotay have many battles to fight.
I Could Have
It was the
middle of the afternoon. Chakotay had taken refuge in
There, no one could see the bitter tears rolling down
as listened to one of Tom"s favorite song. In truth,
only his lover
was allowed to see his tears. However at this
did not want them. Tom did not even want to see HIM.
man had woken up from a troubled sleep earlier that
day. It had
been four days since the incident in the conference
condition had not improved. In fact, it had barely
itself. The only things the Doctor could provide were
relief and minor neural fiber regeneration. The EMH had
his effort as a tug of war between him and the disease
and Tom being
"What are you
still doing here," he had greeted Chakotay with a
the harsh comment, Chakotay had replied that he
be with him.
in seeing me like this, Commander?"
had objected with hurt feelings. "Of course not. I
I could be of some assistance once you woke up."
"You are not
helping. It is too late for that," Tom said with a
bit of resentment.
"I have all of what I need."
a friend?" Chakotay had asked with a soothing voice.
some love?" he added with a gentle smile.
"You have a
strange way to love, Chakotay. You do when the
you still fit your standards. If they don't, they
than your worst enemy. We both know that I will
your standards. So, tell me the truth Chakotay, do you
for me when you"re driven by guilt?"
"You are being
unfair, Tom. I never stopped loving you even when
that you had betrayed us."
"Which I didn't,"
Tom pointed out defiantly.
didn't," Chakotay granted. "I guess you are right. I
do feel guilty
for not having faith in you."
Tom held his
gaze as if to further prove his point. Then he
as he said, "I don't want to see it and I sure as
want to see your pity."
"And all I
want to help you get better again," Chakotay said
"That is mighty
nice of you, Chakotay. But, you won't be able to
do that by
wasting your time in here. Keep on with your life,
That's the best way you can help me."
not agree with Tom. He knew he could help. He had
done it before.
Sadly he had also made things worse.
wetted his dark faces as he listened more closely to
of *Lily*. Tom had substituted the title *Kotay* when
he had lovingly
sang parts of song to him in Sickbay a couple of
I crossed the
And I reached
the other side
of your love
my soul alive
I swam the
And I fought
the strongest tides
To prove my
it to you
reason I survived
It had been
more than two months since Chakotay and Tom had
their relationship. If one could call it that. The
had been away on different missions most of the
he was home, his time with Tom was not always smooth
the saying went. They were both stubborn men.
nothing more than to be with his new lover. Tom
be independent once again. He was constantly pushing
in the process. Chakotay could not help but wonder if
man took their relationship seriously. Soon, Tom
his goal and he would most likely go spread his
the heavy rain falling on the small outpost, as
made his way through the deserted streets of Kara
Prime in search
of a restaurant. It was past lunch time and
not eaten since early that morning. He had just
run for the Maquis, Shan Se being his last stop before
to Dorvan IV. He entered the local establishment. He
to make his way to a table when a familiar silhouette
at the bar
caught his eye. He almost gasped in surprised.
asked coming closer. "What are you doing *here*?"
up from his plate. His momentary surprise was replaced
by a welcoming
smile. "Hi to you too, Chakotay," he greeted,
older man to sit in the chair next to him.
took off his wet jacket, then sat. "So what are
the rain," Tom replied.
A Bajoran woman,
tending the bar, came to take his order. She was
a small brunette
in her forties.
whatever my friend had," he told her, not caring for
"Shouldn't you be home?"
faded away. "*Shouldn't I*?" Tom replied visibly
"I don't remember having to report to you. I'm free to
I want to."
you can," Chakotay said, thinking that he had better
what he said next. Obviously, this as another issue
Tom's quest for independence. "I'm sorry. I didn't
mean it that
way. I'm just surprised to see you here. I know that
doing a lot better. I just didn't realized how much.
Angel, it's wonderful to see you this well."
"I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have reacted this way.
cranky ever since I got here.
"Let me guess.
Because of the weather?"
"Yeah. I missed you, Chak."
"I missed you
too, Angel," he said, putting a comforting hand on
"Things sure change in two weeks. I've been away to
when do you travel off Dorvan IV?"
"Since a couple
of weeks ago," Tom answered, taking a sip of his
"A couple of
*weeks*?" Chakotay echoed, not believing what he was
were already doing this the last time I was home?
you tell me?"
"I told you
that I was doing little trips," Tom defended himself.
mention that you were going off world."
difference?" Tom challenged, incredulously. He sighed
truth is that I need money so I found job as a pilot
aboard a fetter.
don't need any money. I can take care of that."
"See, I knew
you would say that. That's why I kept my mouth shut.
How do you
expect me to repay Sandrine and your uncle, huh? I'll
let you know
that I always pay my debts, Chakotay."
and my uncle know that it will take time. It's too
you to go back to work. What if something happen to
"It's a risk
we all have to take," Tom pointed out.
right. You are a big boy and you can take care of
Do you think about those who care about you?"
"With the kind
of work you're doing, Chakotay, you are not in any
placed a plate in front of Chakotay. She looked at
"Is everything here all right?"
Tom answered. "I'd like to pay the bill."
she said. She retrieved a small padd. Tom passed his
over it, which took care of the transaction.
his coffee cup, then slowly got to his feet. He put
his coat on
and took a hold of his cane.
said. "You can come back to Dorvan IV with me on
I've got to go to work. Enjoy your meal."
himself as Tom exited the restaurant and walked
into the rain.
Facing this weather was the last thing that Tom
he asked for the check, Chakotay debated if it was a
to go after Tom. Probably not. However, the only thing
he could think
about was that he loved Tom and that he had to
He ran through
the street toward the air terminal. It did not
take him long
before he found Tom again. The younger man was
a lot more ease than he did when Chakotay had first
met him. Still,
that was not very fast.
he called coming behind him.
around. He was visibly angry. "What do you want?"
again," Chakotay said as he faced his lover. "Angel,
I love you.
I really do. I don't know why we fight all the time.
What I know
is that I don't want to see you in pain. And, that I
to lose you."
"I love you
too, Chakotay," Tom assured him. "But I haven't come
this far to
depend on anyone. Do you understand that?"
But *you* need to understand that depending on
not a sign of weakness. I depend on you too. You're
person I know. I draw strength everyday form your
and your courage. Your love is the only thing that
sense in my life. You're the reason I'm coming home.
shut me out. I need you. You depend on me. I depend on
"I know what
it's called," Tom stated.
people who loves each other do everyday," Chakotay
"Can I depend on you?"
you can," Tom said.
into a loving embrace and kissed.
out of this rain," Chakotay suggested after a moment.
By the time
they arrived to the air terminal, they were soaked.
Tom to come with him to the Liberty, long
the pilot to change into dry clothes. They made it
back to Dorvan
IV. They shared a candle lit dinner in a private
the family restaurant and enjoyed the rest of the
by the fireplace. They went to bed some time
after 11 P.M.
every second in his lover's company. Finally
they had been
able to open up to each other without getting into
It was like a dream come true. It lasted until he
woke up in
the wee hours of the morning and found Tom burning up
He had developed a serious pneumonia which was
immune system against him. It was the most insidious
of his muscular sclerosis.
had admitted to Tom that he was afraid that the
would get bored with their simple life on Dorvan IV
leave, he had never thought that he could loose
Tom to his
illness, at least not so soon.
As hours passed,
Tom's condition got progressively worse. The
days. Long days during which Chakotay stood vigil at
He was comforting his lover as best he could when
pain was flaring
through his body. Chakotay did whatever he could
to help care
for Tom's needs. He also passed a lot of time
reading to him. By the end of a week, Tom started to
improvement. He was still very weak. He could not walk,
but he could
now sit without support. He was more alert, thinking
a lot more
clearly. His attention span was a bit longer and he
with more coherence and ease.
on Tom's door and pushed it further open. He
aunt helping Tom putting an extra sweater on. She
to him and asked.
"We are," Chakotay
replied with a smile.
"Good, so are
we," she said.
haven't told me what's going on?" Tom asked, aware of
that the household
had been full of activity since the morning.
it's a surprise," Chakotay answered as he came by
of surprise?" he asked with a childish grin.
Chakotay told him. "Ready?"
ready for a surprise," Tom said, putting his arms
neck. The older man extended one arm underneath
and lifted him almost effortlessly.
made their way down the stairs. Then Chakotay
into his wheelchair. They took the hallway to their
went to the back room, which was used as an office.
eyes, Angel," Wyome told Tom, before they entered the
Tom did as
he was instructed and only opened his eyes again once
he was told
to. Akando, Tala, B'Elanna, and Ayala were waiting
Tom's mouth fell open as he looked around the room in
The office had been transformed into a bedroom.
your new room," Chakotay said happily.
up at him. "You shouldn't have gone to all that
said Akando. "We should have done this the first week
you got here."
right," added Tala. "At least now you'll be able to go
back and forth
as you please."
"No more stairs
to climb," Chakotay pointed out with a smile.
"Amen to that,"
Tom said with a grin of his own. He sniffed, his
being near to the surface. "Thank you."
Angel," Chakotay assured him.
"Now, if you
all follow me," invited Wyome. "There is a feast
in the kitchen."
group cheered as they went back to the dinning room.
to have you back among us," Chakotay told Tom
to be back," Tom stated.
Back in his
office, on Voyager, Chakotay felt Tom's absence
his soul. He could not blame Tom for being angry at
him. It was
all his fault. When Tom got well enough to work
had included him in his Maquis Cell. Three weeks
had been caught and eventually sent to prison. If only
he had let
Tom do what he had done before: Small and legitimate
As if putting
Tom's life in danger had not been bad enough, it
not the worst thing he had done. The way he had treated
now was the most cruel thing he could think of. It
been so obvious that Tom would have done anything in
so little it could be, to make sure he was safe and
however, had let his anger, his fear, his guilt blind
about you, isn't it?" he asked himself aloud.
I crossed the
And I reached
the other side
of your love
my soul alive
Tom knew what
it was to fight for life and he had been ready to
Chakotay's. It was time the older man realized how
lucky he was.
It was time for him to fight for the man he loved.
End Of Part
Thanks to Leone
for going through the pain of proofing this story.
Tom sang was part of a song called: "Lily".
It's a song
interpreted very nicely by a group named "The Fables".
always appreciated. email@example.com
@ October 2001