Warning: the following story contains m/m sexual relationships. If you are offended by it, you are welcome to stop reading the story. If you are above 18 and is open-minded, you are free to read it.

Disclaimer: the characters (Chakotay & Paris) in the story, though owned by Paramount, are products of my imagination and creativity. (yada yada yada)

Rating: PG -ish, with NC-17 leanings.

Pairing: C/P


Summary: The short short story is set after "Jagged Rose", Tom's POV while he recovers in the Sickbay. Angst, sad. (Yet, another story idea that jumped up from nowhere and chomped on me).

"Rose Petals"

I watch you come and go.

Your face. I want to touch it with my hand, feel its warmth. You try to act calm and collected. But I see the hurt in your eyes. You try to hide it with your smiles and kisses, Chakotay.

I know you are probably wondering why I cut myself. I see the questions hanging about you. You are probably angry with me, probably disappointed. I don't blame you at all.

The wounds on my arms are healing now. The Doc sees to that everyday. I look at the crisscross of lines, reminding me of my own mortality. My life. It was pumping out of me when Harry found me. I guess I went too far … too far down.

Chak, you know that I really love your visits. Your face, your hands on my face …your presence. They are so warm, so full of life. They are my lifeline and I hang onto them everytime you walk in from the door.

You brought me roses yesterday. They are beautiful, Chak. Thank you. You should see Doc's face when you left. He was complaining that his Sickbay was turning into a floral shop! But thank you, Chak. You shouldn't have.

Now, I am looking at them. Long-stemmed red roses. They are blooming; the buds are opening beautifully.

I think I am like the rose petals on the table. Yes, those rose petals that have fallen off. They look like blood …

Rose petals. Scattered. Dried.

I am a rose petal, Chak. Easily blown away, tossed around by people. I am light, insignificant.

Chak, I know you will probably give me one of your 'looks'. One that tells me not to think like that. I have seen how people treat rose petals. My mom used to press rose petals between pages of books she kept in the library. Some simply sweep them away …cast them off. I belong to the latter category. Sweep me off the face of the earth.

You want me to recover. I know that. Yet they are still in me. The voices screaming within my mind. They have grown louder …more terrible. If only you can hear them, Chak. I want you to make them stop. But I am the only one who is able to listen to their death-chants. I am their only audience and victim.

They are howling in me now. Voices of dead friends. Voices of people I have …murdered. My father's voice. If only you can exorcise them, Chak …I don't know where to hide, where to run. I have grown so tired of running from them …so sick …

Make them stop!

Chak, where are you? If only you can hear them …

The medicine the Doc is injecting into my systems make me feel surreal. At least, for a while, the voices are dulled. They whisper when the medicine is working. But they will come back …stronger and vicious.

I want to fly away, Chak. Take the nearest shuttlecraft. I can fly, right? Escape from these voices …run far far away …

I want you here …now. I am afraid of the dark. When I sleep, the voices take shape and they hunt me down like starved wolves. I want you to guard my sleep, fight them off.

Rose petals. I feel like a rose petal. So light. So carefree.


Where are you?

Chakotay? Commander? Love?

Please come back soon …