Sitting at helm Tom felt the flutter of excitement building up, something was happening he could feel it in the air.
It was confirm when the Captain and Chakotay stormed out of the ready room and into the lift without saying a word. Tom begun to worry somehow he knew that it involved him that B'Elanna handed that damn padd over he knew he should have wiped it clean.
After his shift Tom still hadn't heard anything heading to his quarters he stopped when he saw Tuvok and his security team standing by his door walking wearily towards them stopping in front of Tuvok he asked, "What going on Tuvok?"
Without answering him he waved Tom into his quarters with a frown Tom follow cautiously spying Chakotay and the Captain pouring over padds and his console reading his reports.
Kathryn pointed her finger at a line saying, "This is getting to be a joke look over times they have entered Tom's quarters without security knowing it seems that after every attack they wiped his console clean."
Leaning against his desk Tom replied, "You're right they did even last night was wiped but check the backup records you're find what you're looking for and if they checked they would have seen it them as well." Pushing off the deskTom stalked off into his room calling out, "After you're done please leave and lock my door after you, wouldn't want any unwelcome guests would I?"
Scrubbing his face Chakotay signed deeply, "Why did it have to be Tom?"
"When you figure it out Chakotay let me know."
Threading careful over the mess on Tom's floor, Chakotay noticed weird shape piece of wood on an angle lightly tapping it with his booted foot he asked, "What is this?"
From the doorway Tom who had entered the room without him noticing said, "It a game from earth called Gutter ball if you find the tennis ball, I can show you how to play, last time I saw the ball it was by the couch but someone has redecorated my quarters and I'm not sure where everything is."
Walking further into the room Tom crouched down picking up a broken frame with a tatted and ripped photo not wanting to break down in front of the Captain and Commander Chakotay placing the frame face down so they couldn't see the picture Chakotay caught a glimpse of a blond woman holding a baby in her arms.
Spotting another frame Chakotay picked it up shaking his head at the damage done to a memory they ripped Tom face off, tearing the picture in half leaving Harry in tact but Tom was ripped into little pieces, handing what was left over to Tom spying another destroyed photo this one of Kathryn and Tom on her birthday same damage as the one with Harry.
Janeway said, "Tom I can get a copy of that for you to replace it."
Throwing it against the wall in a fit rage, "WHY BOTHER THEY'LL JUST DO IT AGAIN." Taking a deep breath Tom sank to the floor sobbing, "Sorry Captain."
Kneeling down beside him wrapping her arms around him, rocking him as she mumbled, "Nothing to be sorry for." Looking up at Chakotay as she told Tom, "Tom I hate to say this but you can't stay here."
Tom barely heard his Captain's works through his misery all he heard was 'stay here.' lifting his head up so he could look at her through his blearily blue eyes, "Stay here? I can't stay here anymore Captain, I can't take anymore." Placing his head on her shoulder his missed the concerned looks that was passing between her and Chakotay.
Stroking his back she asked, "Who do you what to stay with?" When she didn't get an answer she thought that he fell asleep on her, "Tom?"
"Can't I just have new quarters?"
"Sorry Tom it's not safe for you to be on your own right now." Kathryn explained to him.
Lifting his head off her shoulder he sat upright taking a deep breath and squaring his shoulders looking pass her Tom said, "Sorry for the break down Captain it won't happen again. I don't want to put anyone out Captain, So I'll stay here." With a barely conceal shudder as he cast his eyes around the room, slowly getting to his feet without another word Tom walked over to his room.
"Tom you can't stay here, it's not safe here for you on your own." Chakotay called out to Tom's retreating back.
Tom stopped mid step, turning stiffly facing them he watched as Tuvok helped Janeway to her feet waiting till she was standing he asked, "Why?"
Kathryn walked over to Tom noticing that he was standing at attention feet apart hands behind his back eye straight ahead, "Tom, Dalby still loose."
With a quick intake of breath, Tom released with a hiss, looking down at her he told her, "I don't have a problem with Ken Captain."
"Cut the crap Tom we know what he being doing to you all of his cronies have be arrested but he managed to escape and is hiding in the bowel's of the ship with out his com badge, till he is caught you must remain with someone we trust."
Closing his eyes briefly hoping that this was all a nightmare without opening them he asked, "Who on the list?"
Clapping a hand on his shoulder Janeway felt Tom jump, "There is Tuvok, Harry and Chakotay's quarters I think it would be best if you stay with Tuvok or Chakotay but it's up to you."
Biting back a smart remark Tom nodded knowing that she was right it would be best to stay with one of them. Looking over the two officer that were his choice of room mates knowing that staying with Harry was out of the question and it was down to Chakotay or Tuvok. Could he temp faith and stay with Chakotay? Or stay with Tuvok and be bored out of his brains? Choices and they all landed on his shoulders. Hearing a snicker coming from the door Tom turned as Tuvok asked, "Crewman I don't think we heard that care to repeat it?"
The man in question looked over at him saying, "All I said Lt. Tuvok was that if Mister Paris didn't wish to put you or Commander Chakotay out there is always the brig sir."
With a raised brow Tuvok cited, "That in it self shows us that you would never make it as a Captain of any ship Crewman, it would be unwise to place Mister Paris in the brig since he is the victim and of his fear of being closed in we all know what happened the last time Lt. Paris spent time there."
Cringing at the remind of his last stay in the brig, but he was glad that in his round about way Tuvok put him in his place, stepping forward saying, "You would enjoy seeing me in there wouldn't you Paul? Even if that was an option you would lower the shield and let Ken in and turn the other way and once he left, you would wipe all records of him being there, if you don't mind I don't need that sort protection."
Seeing the first spark of life in her Chief Pilot in a while nearly clapped when Tom faced her she saw the fire in his eyes he was going to fight back.
Grinning Chakotay asked, "So Tom will be in Tuvok's or my quarters?"
With a nod,Tom looked over the Captain's shoulders seeing for the first time the love shining in his beloved eyes and knew where he would be staying, giving Chakotay a slight nod and smiled at him, he looked back at his Captain saying, "I have chosen who to stay with, I love Harry with all my life, but I can't stay with him, he would crowd me and back down if I challenged him over certain, things so your choice of people are correct for me, someone who won't let me walk all over them, that is why it is Ok with Chakotay, I chose him to stay with." Looking over at him to see what his reacted would be he was pleased to see that Chakotay's grin had widen to show his dimples to all in the room, 'Whoa shit what a killer smile, I have to get him to smile a lot more.' Tom thought to himself.
To say he was pleased that Tom decided to stay with him was the under statement of the year, he was over the moon with that piece of news, five minutes later he was still walking around the room with the silly grin plastered over his face while he waited for Tom to pack some gear.
Kathryn walked over to him patting him on the shoulder saying, "My friend you have it real bad."
If it was possible his grin grew wider, "Yes I have it bad Kathryn I've loved him from afar for too long now I have a chance to show him, who would have thought that one day, my dream would became real?"
Tom who had been listening from the
door way of his sleeping area nearly fell over shocked that Chakotay told
the captain that he loved him. Gathering his feelings and his gear he entered
the room calling out, "Well I think I've got everything."