Series:  Voyager
Pairing: C/P
Parts: 5/?
Rating: PG-13

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

Synopsis: Tom and Chakotay have many battles to fight.

I Could Have Lost You
By Isabelle S.-


It was the middle of the afternoon. Chakotay had  taken refuge in
his office. There, no one could see the bitter tears rolling down
his cheeks as listened to one of Tom"s favorite song. In truth,
only his lover was allowed to see his tears. However at this
time, Tom did not want them. Tom did not even want to see HIM.

The younger man had woken up from a troubled sleep earlier that
day. It had been four days since the incident in the conference
room. Tom's condition had not improved. In fact, it had barely
stabilized itself. The only things the Doctor could provide were
some pain relief and minor neural fiber regeneration. The EMH had
described his effort as a tug of war between him and the disease
and Tom being the rope.

"What are you still doing here," he had greeted Chakotay with a
rasped voice.

Surprised by the harsh comment, Chakotay had replied that he
wanted to be with him.

"Taking pleasure in seeing me like this, Commander?"

"Angel?!" he had objected with hurt feelings. "Of course not. I
thought that 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."

"How about a friend?" Chakotay had asked with a soothing voice.
"How about some love?" he added with a gentle smile.

"You have a strange way to love, Chakotay.  You do when the
people around you still fit your standards.  If they don't, they
become lower than your worst enemy.  We both know that I will
never fit your standards. So, tell me the truth Chakotay,  do you
only care for me when you"re driven by guilt?"

"You are being unfair, Tom. I never stopped loving you even when
it seemed that you had betrayed us."

"Which I didn't," Tom pointed out defiantly.

"Which you 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
looked away as he said, "I don't want to see it and I sure as
hell don't 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,
Commander.  That's the best way you can help me."

Chakotay did not agree with Tom. He knew he could help. He had
done it before.  Sadly he had also made things worse.

More tears wetted his dark faces as he listened more closely to
the lyrics of *Lily*. Tom had substituted the title *Kotay* when
he had lovingly sang parts of song to him in Sickbay a couple of
days earlier.

I crossed the Wildest ocean
And I reached the other side
It's help from above
And thoughts of your love
That keep my soul alive

I swam the highest river
And I fought the strongest tides
To prove my love true
And pledged it to you
You're the reason I survived


It had been more than two months since Chakotay and Tom had
entered in their relationship. If one could call it that. The
Native American had been away on different missions most of the
time. When he was home, his time with Tom was not always smooth
sailing, as the saying went. They were both stubborn men.
Chakotay wanted nothing more than to be with his new lover. Tom
wanted to be independent once again. He was constantly pushing
people away in the process. Chakotay could not help but wonder if
the younger man took their relationship seriously. Soon, Tom
would achieve his goal and he would most likely go spread his
wings elsewhere.

Chakotay cursed the heavy rain falling on the small outpost, as
he quickly made his way through the deserted streets of Kara
Prime in search of a restaurant. It was past lunch time and
Chakotay had not eaten since early that morning. He had just
finished a run for the Maquis, Shan Se being his last stop before
going back to Dorvan IV. He entered the local establishment. He
was about to make his way to a table when a familiar silhouette
at the bar caught his eye. He almost gasped in surprised.

"Angel?" he asked coming closer. "What are you doing *here*?"

Tom looked up from his plate. His momentary surprise was replaced
by a welcoming smile. "Hi to you too, Chakotay," he greeted,
inviting the older man to sit in the chair next to him.

"Hi." Chakotay took off his wet jacket, then sat. "So what are
you doing here?"

"Hiding from the rain," Tom replied.

A Bajoran woman, tending the bar, came to take his order. She was
a small brunette in her forties.

"I'll have whatever my friend had," he told her, not caring for
food anymore. "Shouldn't you be home?"

Tom's smile faded away. "*Shouldn't I*?" Tom replied visibly
insulted. "I don't remember having to report to you. I'm free to
go wherever I want to."

"Of course you can," Chakotay said, thinking that he had better
be careful what he said next. Obviously, this as another issue
related to 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
you've been doing a lot better. I just didn't realized how much.
Believe me Angel, it's wonderful to see you this well."

Tom sighed. "I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have reacted this way.
I've been cranky ever since I got here.

"Let me guess. Because of the weather?"

Tom grinned. "Yeah. I missed you, Chak."

"I missed you too, Angel," he said, putting a comforting hand on
Tom's arm. "Things sure change in two weeks. I've been away to
long. Since 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
hearing. "You were already doing this the last time I was home?
Why didn't you tell me?"

"I told you that I was doing little trips," Tom defended himself.

"You didn't mention that you were going off world."

"What's the difference?" Tom challenged, incredulously. He sighed
again. "The truth is that I need money so I found job as a pilot
aboard a fetter. Happy?"

"Angel, you 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."

"Both Sandrine and my uncle know that it will take time. It's too
early for you to go back to work. What if something happen to
you?" Chakotay advocated.

"It's a risk we all have to take," Tom pointed out.

"Oh, that's right. You are a big boy and you can take care of
yourself. Do you think about those who care about you?"

"With the kind of work you're doing, Chakotay, you are not in any
position to talk."

The bartender placed a plate in front of Chakotay. She looked at
them suspiciously. "Is everything here all right?"

"Yes, Ma'am," Tom answered. "I'd like to pay the bill."

"All right," she said. She retrieved a small padd. Tom passed his
credit card over it, which took care of the transaction.

Tom emptied his coffee cup, then slowly got to his feet. He put
his coat on and took a hold of his cane.

"Wait," Chakotay said. "You can come back to Dorvan IV with me on
the Liberty."

"No, thanks. I've got to go to work. Enjoy your meal."

Chakotay cursed himself as Tom exited the restaurant and walked
into the rain. Facing this weather was the last thing that Tom
needed. As he asked for the check, Chakotay debated if it was a
good idea to go after Tom. Probably not. However, the only thing
he could think about was that he loved Tom and that he had to
salvage this situation.

He ran through the street toward the air terminal. It did not
take him long before he found Tom again. The younger man was
walking with a lot more ease than he did when Chakotay had first
met him. Still, that was not very fast.

"Tom, wait!" he called coming behind him.

Tom turned around. He was visibly angry. "What do you want?"

"Apologize, 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
don't want 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?"

"I understand. But *you* need to understand that depending on
someone is not a sign of weakness. I depend on you too. You're
the strongest person I know. I draw strength everyday form your
willpower and your courage. Your love is the only thing that
really makes sense in my life. You're the reason I'm coming home.
Tom, don't shut me out. I need you. You depend on me. I depend on
you. It's called inter-dependence."

"I know what it's called," Tom stated.

"It's what people who loves each other do everyday," Chakotay
told him. "Can I depend on you?"

"Of course, you can," Tom said.

They melted into a loving embrace and kissed.

"Let's get out of this rain," Chakotay suggested after a moment.

"Good idea."

By the time they arrived to the air terminal, they were soaked.
Chakotay convinced Tom to come with him to the Liberty, long
enough for the pilot to change into dry clothes. They made it
back to Dorvan IV. They shared a candle lit dinner in a private
corner of the family restaurant and enjoyed the rest of the
evening cuddled by the fireplace. They went to bed some time
after 11 P.M.

Chakotay cherished every second in his lover's company. Finally
they had been able to open up to each other without getting into
an argument. 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
with fever. He had developed a serious pneumonia which was
turning his immune system against him. It was the most insidious
characteristic of his muscular sclerosis.

When Chakotay had admitted to Tom that he was afraid that the
younger man would get bored with their simple life on Dorvan IV
and eventually 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
hours became days. Long days during which Chakotay stood vigil at
Tom's side. 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
talking and reading to him. By the end of a week, Tom started to
show some 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
could talk with more coherence and ease.

Chakotay knocked on Tom's door and pushed it further open. He
found his aunt helping Tom putting an extra sweater on. She
looked up  to him and asked.


"We are," Chakotay replied with a smile.

"Good, so are we," she said.

"You still haven't told me what's going on?" Tom asked, aware of
that the household had been full of activity since the morning.

"That's because it's a surprise," Chakotay answered as he came by
Tom's side.

"What kind of surprise?" he asked with a childish grin.

"You'll see," Chakotay told him. "Ready?"

"I'm always ready for a surprise," Tom said, putting his arms
around Chakotay's neck. The older man extended one arm underneath
Tom's legs and lifted him almost effortlessly.

They carefully made their way down the stairs. Then Chakotay
helped Tom into his wheelchair. They took the hallway to their
right and went to the back room, which was used as an office.

"Close your 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
for them. Tom's mouth fell open as he looked around the room in
amazement. The office had been transformed into a bedroom.

"Welcome to your new room," Chakotay said happily.

Tom looked up at him. "You shouldn't have gone to all that

"Nonsense," said Akando. "We should have done this the first week
you got here."

"Father is 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
emotions obviously being near to the surface. "Thank you."

"You're welcome, Angel," Chakotay assured him.

"Now, if you all follow me," invited Wyome. "There is a feast
awaiting us in the kitchen."

The little group cheered as they went back to the dinning room.

"It's wonderful to have you back among us," Chakotay told Tom

"It's good to be back," Tom stated.


Back in his office, on Voyager, Chakotay felt Tom's absence
heavily on his soul. He could not blame Tom for being angry at
him. It was all his fault. When Tom got well enough to work
again, Chakotay had included him in his Maquis Cell. Three weeks
later, Tom had been caught and eventually sent to prison. If only
he had let Tom do what he had done before: Small and legitimate
cargo runs.

As if putting Tom's life in danger had not been bad enough, it
still was not the worst thing he had done. The way he had treated
Tom until now was the most cruel thing he could think of. It
should have been so obvious that Tom would have done anything in
his power, so little it could be, to make sure he was safe and
sound. He, however, had let his anger, his fear, his guilt blind
his judgement once again.

"It's always about you, isn't it?" he asked himself aloud.

I crossed the Wildest ocean
And I reached the other side
It's help from above
And thoughts of your love
That keep my soul alive

Tom knew what it was to fight for life and he had been ready to
fight for 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.
For Tom.


End Of Part 4


Thanks to Leone for going through the pain of proofing this story.

The lyrics Tom sang was part of a song called: "Lily".
It's a song interpreted very nicely by a group named "The Fables".

Feedback is always appreciated.

Copyrights @ October 2001