Stranded 6

At Chakotay's yell, Tuvok threw himself over the top of Tom's body to protect him from harm as he watched Chakotay and Dalby rolling in the dirt for the upper hand. He saw B'Elanna enter the melee and stomped on Dalby's wrist to loosen his grip on the log he held, with a howl of pain it slipped from his fingers as Chakotay dragged him up clutching his shirt front he lifted Ken off the ground with a shake he demanded, "What part of stay away from Tom don't you understand Dalby?" Without waiting for an answer he stormed towards the river, dragging Dalby with him and threw him in saying, "Next time you try something like that I'll kill you, understand?"
Struggling to get his footing in the rushing water, Ken nodded numbly as Chakotay stalked away he felt Harry's and The Captains eyes on him as they walked back towards camp.

B'Elanna picked up the log she tested it weight saying, "He was playing for keeps, this ainít no light weight, but who was he after?"
Tuvok eased his weight off Tom saying, "It doesn't matter he was attacking one of us planning on killing either Tom or me and if it hadn't been for Commander Chakotay yell one of us would be dead."
B'Elanna smiled as she watched Dalby dripping wet enter camp moving towards his spot he had been sitting before. 
"Enjoy your bath B'Pah?"
Glaring back at her Ken sat down watching warily as Janeway approached him with something that looked like vines dangling from her hands, stopping just before reaching him she called out, "Chakotay and Tuvok please join me."
Rising Tuvok waved Harry over to take his place at Tom's side and went to join his Captain and Chakotay by Dalby.
Kathryn waited for both men to join her before saying, "Crewman Dalby I hereby change you of assault and rape of Lieutenant Paris and attempt of murder of Lieutenant Commander Tuvok and  Lieutenant Paris, I didn't want to do this while down here but you have proven to me that I can't trust you not to harm Lieutenant Paris while down here so I have to tussle you up like a pig you are," Handing the vines over to Chakotay and Tuvok saying, "Gentleman the honors are all yours."
Tuvok called out, "B'Elanna can you bring my bag over to me please." At the Captains look he explained, "I have some Gel cuffs in my bag."
Chakotay stifled his laugh as B'Elanna quipped, "Never leave home without them."
Handing Tuvok his bag B'Elanna walked back over to Harry saying, "It shouldn't surprise me that he had those with him but it does did he know something was going to happen?"
Pausing in wiping Tom's brow to wipe his own brow replied, "You know Tuvok just as well as I do B'El he want Tom calls a boy scout always prepared for anything."
With a chuckle B'Ela gazed fondly at her ex lover saying, "Do you think they know we're in trouble?"
Harry nodded as he resumed wiping Tom down saying, "Knowing Ayala and the Doc they'll be planning something right now."
B'Elanna peered over at her friend asking, "Do you think that Tom will forgive me like he did with Ayala?"
With his free hand Harry reached out and gripped her hand saying, "B'Ela he has already."
"It's amazing how he forgives everyone for their mistakes but he never forgives himself for his, I wonder why that is?"
Harry shook his head as he stared down at his best friend saying, "Who knows B'Ela?"
Kathryn stood back as Tuvok stepped up and behind Dalby while Chakotay held his arms behind his back, she saw the look of purer hatred flicker across the younger man's face as he was cuffed to a tree she could see his mouth moving but couldn't hear what he was saying but from the look on Chakotay face told her it was bad he was barely holding on to what was left of his control over his temper, moving closer she tapped him on the arm and said, "Go over to Harry and them Chakotay."
Chakotay nodded as he released his grip on Ken's arm frowning down at him, fighting the urge to kick him while he was down seemed tempting real tempting to him, turning he took in a deep breath to calm himself down and to get control of his fraying nerves, shaking his head as he moved away slowly walking towards Harry and B'Elanna, he paused when B'Elanna turned towards him, suddenly he turned on his heels and headed towards the river he didn't feel like taking on B'Elanna while he was in a bad mood, she still wasn't in his good books either.
B'Elanna turned as she heard footsteps she sadly watched her friend turn and head towards the river, saying, "He's not so easy to forgive like Tom is."
Harry frowned as he watched his Commanding Officer head towards the water saying, "If he was forgiving he'd be here now but he's so stubborn he letting his anger control his life. I've seen him look at Tom when he thinks that no one looking while on the Bridge and other places but since he won't let go of the past he won't claim what he wants more than life."
"Which happens to be Tom."
"Yes though some people wish it wasn't so."
B'Elanna faced him and asked, "Harry are you one of the ones who wished to be with Tom?"
Harry's eye widen at the thought with a shudder he replied in a shock voice, "Hell no, that would be like incest for my taste."
"Incest?"
"Having sex with a family member." Harry explained
B'Elanna shivered at the thought as she said, "But you're not related to Tom."
"You know that Tom and I think of each other as brothers and I've never thought of Tom in that way."
B'Elanna looked at the forlorn figure of her friend standing at the edge of the river bank, "Har go and see if he's alright for me please?"
Harry nodded as he slowly got to his feet saying, "Ok keep an eye on Tom for me?"
With a smile B'Ela shuffled closer to Tom's limp form as Harry moved off towards the bank as he passed his wife and friend as they moved away from Dalby so they could talk in private.
Harry moved closer to his Command Officer clearing his throat, "Uh Commander?"
Chakotay faced Harry saying, "Yes ensign?"
"Are you alright?"
"No I'm not, but it's getting better." 
Harry nodded as he watched the water rushing by, he wasn't sure if Chakotay would kill him for asking what he had rolling over and over in his mind.
Chakotay watched as Harry struggling with his thoughts, Chakotay smiled as he knew what Harry wanted to know and wasn't sure if he would tell him.
He decided to ease the young man mind, "Harry." 
At his name Harry turned to face him with a questioning look.
"You want to know my feelings for Tom don't you?"
Nodding slightly as Chakotay continued, "I've always felt a pull with Tom and now I know why, I didn't see Tom as little Tommy they were two separate people but I can see little Tommy in Tom but I never forgot that summer either it was the summer before I left Dorvan V to join Starfleet and always wondered what happened to him and I'll always regret not being there that summer to met Tom, if I had been there I wonder if Tom's life would have been different?"
"I think it would have, Caldik Prime might not have happen or turned out the way it did."
"You know that Tom's not to blame for that don't you?"
"Yeah I know, I read the reports."
Chakotay smiled saying, "I won't ask how you got your hands on classified  reports."
Grinning Harry told him, "From the horses mouth and not from it's ass."
Roaring with laughter Chakotay fell to the ground, "God Harry where did you pick that one up from?" He asked as he wiped the tears from his eyes.
Joining Chakotay on the ground at a slower pace told him, "You don't hang around Tom without picking up his slang."
"Harry tell me about Tom." Chakotay asked as he leant back on his elbows.
"You know Tom as well as I do Commander."
"Chakotay please call me Chakotay, you know a different Tom than I do or thought I did, tell me about him."
Harry peered off into the distance as he told Chakotay what he did know about Tom, "After Ayala dumped him for Tem, god I hate that word, anyway that was a month into being here in the Delta, Tom avoided him for a while but not Tem, Gerron and he had be friends while in the Marquis he never turned away from him, did you know that Gerron and Tom have alot in common?"
Chakotay shook his head.
"They do they both lost their child hood to the Cardassian's while Tem lost his whole family and home to them and in away so did Tom that what drove Tom's mother and sisters away, while Tem maintain most of his innocent, Tom hid behind masks so no one could hurt him even when they did no one knew it wasn't till Tuvok did the Meld with him when he was accused of murdering that Baneans when Tuvok found out how bad Tom was being treated even I didn't know everything, I found out by accident, I couldn't find him one day he was late in meeting me and I asked the computer where he was, he had be stuffed into a room so small and with his fear of small rooms and the dark, he was in a real mess, I had to calm him down before I could move him he kept repeating the name Tay over and over it wasn't till later that I found out that it was you he was calling out for but I knew that his bear was in his quarters and he called it Tay that was who I thought he was calling for so I had us beamed to his quarters and got the bear for him, he latched onto it as if he'd never let it go again, then Tuvok arrived I didn't know how he knew and I wasn't questioning it I was glad that there was someone who was calm to help me get Tom calm."
Chakotay asked, "Is that when you found out about the link?"
"Yeah once Tom was sleeping Tuvok explained to me what had happened he didn't know why a bond formed between them I don't think he still knows why he told me that Tom never invaded his mind, he had a wall between them and it only lowered when Tom was stressed and not clearly thinking. Tuvok put in his reports but since Tom never reported the attacks he couldn't do anything about it but he did keep any eye on things I think he was hoping to witness an attack so then he could do something about it, then it stopped well mostly it stopped, I think it started getting better after he bought the ship back to us and rescued us off that planet, attitudes towards him started changing, every once in a while Dalby would pop up and hurt him but his followers never joined him so it never got that bad that is till B'Elanna broke up with him it flared up again it seem that all the things he had done for the ship and crew disappeared over night."
Cringing Chakotay said, "I didn't help matters in that one did I?"
"No you didn't after you blew him up in the Mess hall it gave them the permission to treat Tom like dirt again it made me sick but between Tuvok, Tem, Ayala and me along with a few others we turned the tide again, I honestly don't know why either of them didn't say anything I understand sort of B'Elanna reasons but Tom just let them it seemed as if he slipped back into that Tom from the first year and I hated having to fight through those damn masks of his I never what to see them again."
"Nether do I but I didn't fight like you did to get to know Tom and to know that in all that time he loved me what did I do to deserve that honor if anyone it should be you or Tuvok."
With a snort of amusement Harry said, "You're the second one today to mention a relationship with Tom and I'll tell you what I told her, Tom is my brother and I have never thought of him in that way, and Tom does love me in a different way than he does say you or Tuvok, you know that Tuvok loves Tom don't you?"
"Yeah I know, it might be better if I step back and let them bond."
"Better for who? You or Tom?"
"For Tom and Tuvok."
"What do you know about what better for Tom? Do you know now many nights he cried himself asleep or wakes up screaming at night? Tuvok can't get him to sleep like you did that one time when you two did an overnighter, yes Tom told us about that night, he told me that it was the best night sleep he has in a long time, Chakotay you're what best for him, even Tuvok agrees with that and I know how much that cost him to admit that."
Chakotay remembered that night they had gone to a planet called, Koulder to gather some much needed supplies they had to share a tent since they had been transported down, Tom had tried to sleep outside under the stars but it had begun to rain so he had to move into the tent with him.
He remember being woken up to someone screaming blue bloody murder, to find himself straddled by furious blond yelling never again over and over again, it wasn't till he had dragged the blond down and cradled the younger man to him, back then he never gave it a thought at as to why he did that it just seemed right to him at the time, Tom had calmed down and fell back to sleep without waking up. The next morning he woken up alone Tom had woken up earlier than he did, Chakotay had found him preparing breakfast for them.
Bringing his mind back to the here and now saying, "That nightmare he had that night that was tame compared to what he usually has wasn't it?"
With a curious glance Harry nodded asking, "Why?"
Looking over at the younger man saying, "I remember over hearing his neighbour complaining about someone screaming one night when I bought it up to Tom he mumbled something and walked off and after that his neighbour didn't mention it again and I was wondering why."
"Heard of soundproofing? I was wondering when that started now I know."
Chakotay smiled, "You can lay the blame at my feet for that one."
"Not sure whether to thank you or hit you for it to be honest Commander if it didn't happen Kathryn may have found out before this or you could have checked to see if he was alright knowing that he suffered nightmares and ones that just don't go away by themselves."
Slapping his forehead hard, saying, "I'm a god damn idiot, why didn't I check when it stopped?"
"No use hitting yourself over it Commander, if I could I would have said something way before this but he made me promised and pinky swear to never ever tell anyone about it did the same with Tuvok and B'Elanna but B'Ela broke that promise by telling you."
Chakotay glance up when he heard voices moving closing to them seeing Tuvok and Kathryn walking towards them, Kathryn called out, "Safe to come any closer?"
Waving them over Chakotay told them, "We were just discussing the enigma called Tom Paris."
"Enigma huh? I've many things that people have called Tom but that isn't one of them."
"Pull up some grass and join us." Chakotay offered with a wave of his hand.
Tuvok glance over at Tom and B'Elanna before sitting cross legged by Harry saying, "So Commander I'm wondering if you have decided on anything yet?"
"That was one of the things I was discussing with Harry and as I told Harry, I thought it might be for the best Tom if he bonded with you, but Harry set me straight about a few things like the fact that I don't know shit about what best for Tom and he told me a few things that coincide with what my guide and father told me and so I have decided to . . . . . . "
 

TBC