Title: Nightmare
Author: Leone
Series: Voyager
Part: 2/11
Rating: [G]
Codes: C/P
Archive: Sure
Feedback: tarrashenna@yahoo.com
Disclaimer: Paramounts. Not mine.

Summary: Sequel to 'The Kiss'

Notes: This is dedicated to Britta and Sammi Jo and everyone
else who asked for a sequel to 'The Kiss'. It took some time, but
here it is. Hugs and kisses to Sammi Jo for beta reading.

* * *

By Leone

* * *

When Commander Chakotay stepped out of the shuttle early the
next morning, he was surprised to see that Tom Paris was
already awake. The Commander had thought that Paris was still
asleep. However, the pilot was not only up, he had also made
breakfast for them.

Chakotay walked over and sat across from the lieutenant.
"You're up early," he said.

Tom looked at his Commander. "Early?" he repeated lifting an
eyebrow. "I woke an hour ago, which is late for me. I'm usually
up at 0400, if not before," he informed the older man.

The Commander frowned, surprised. Lt. Paris always arrived on
the bridge at the last minute. Chakotay had assumed that it was
because the pilot didn't get up before he absolutely had to.
Apparently he'd been mistaken. He looked over at Paris. "If
you're up that early, you can't get much sleep."

For a moment an odd expression settled over Tom Paris'
features. Then it vanished and the pilot shrugged. "It's not a
problem," he assured the older man. "I don't need more than four
hours of sleep anyway."

The Commander frowned again. "When did that start?" he
asked, slightly concerned. Normally a person needed about eight
hours of sleep. Of course, some people could do with less, but
four hours? That didn't sound right, Chakotay thought.

"A few years ago," Tom lied, and hoped that the Commander
would let the subject drop. He didn't really think that he would,
but he could always hope.

Tom wasn't about to tell anyone that he hadn't needed more than
four hours of sleep per night since he was fifteen. No one knew
that. Not even his mother, whom he adored. He had always told
her everything. Except this.

Actually, the problems had started a couple of weeks before his
fifteenth birthday. With a start he had woken from a sound sleep
one night. He knew that he'd dreamed, but he couldn't remember
the dream. Tom just knew that he was terrified for some
unknown reason. He'd lain awake for over an hour before he had
finally fallen asleep again.

The next morning he'd been a little tired and still couldn't
remember the dream. He hadn't thought much about it, though,
figuring that it was a one-time occurrence. That night he had
woken again, the terror from the dream making him shake
violently. This time, it took about an hour and a half before he
was able to fall asleep again.

A week after the dream had started, Tom was afraid to sleep. He
stayed awake until he fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. Then he
would sleep for a few hours before he woke up, shaking with
terror. He still didn't remember the dream. He just knew that it
came every night. And that it was terrifying.

By the time Tom turned seventeen he'd stopped shaking with
terror when the dream woke him. Whether it was because the
dream had changed or he'd just gotten used to it, Tom didn't
know. He only knew that it came every night.

Shortly after his nineteenth birthday the dream suddenly
stopped. By that time Tom rarely slept more than four hours a
night. If he went to bed really late, and was extremely lucky,
he'd get as much as five or six hours. At one point he'd tried
using a sleep-aid, but as a result he'd woken up even more
terrified than usual.

No one knew about any of this. Tom hadn't told anyone, and
somehow he'd managed to keep it a secret. He was afraid to find
out what the dream was about. He had a feeling that the reason
he couldn't remember it was because he didn't want to.

The dream still came occasionally, even now, ten years later.
When it did, Tom would wake up, shaking and drenched in
sweat, but without any memory of what the dream was about.

That was the reason he'd chosen not to sleep in the shuttle,
where Chakotay might hear him and wake up. The pilot didn't
want to explain why he woke in the middle of the night, shaking
with fear.

Luckily, the dream hadn't come last night. However, Tom knew
that it didn't mean anything. His nightmare could still return
tonight, or another night while he and the other man were on this

* * *


The Commander's voice startled Tom out of his reverie. He
looked at his XO, who was sitting across from him. "What?" he
asked quietly.

"If you're finished with your breakfast, I suggest that we start
gathering the food," Chakotay replied.

The pilot nodded. "I'll just put this away." He indicated the
utensils and the leftovers of their breakfast. "I won't be long."

When the older man nodded, Tom rose to his feet and gathered
the things. When he'd gotten everything, he carried it into the
shuttle and put it away. Then he went outside again.

"All right, let's go," Chakotay said.

"Lead the way, Commander," Tom said and flashed a cocky grin
at the other man.

Chakotay sighed in exasperation. Then he turned and walked
over toward the trees, where they'd found plenty of fruit the day

* * *

While they gathered the fruit, Chakotay puzzled over the
enigma, Tom Paris.

He had the distinct impression that Paris had what? Lied? this
morning when they talked about the pilot's sleeping habits. The
Commander wondered what the problem could be, and why the younger
man wouldn't talk about it. Chakotay had sensed that Paris didn't
want to talk about whatever it was. For this reason he'd dropped
the subject.

The First Officer shook his head slightly. He could think about it
later. Right now, they needed to gather food and minerals for

* * *

Five hours later, the two men returned to the shuttle for lunch.
They had worked hard and collected a lot of food. After the
break they were going to gather some of the minerals that
B'Elanna needed.

Chakotay was satisfied with their progress. If this kept up, they'd
be able to return to the ship in a day or two, well ahead of
schedule. The Captain had given them a week to get everything
Voyager needed. She would be pleased if they could finish

The Commander shook off his thoughts and looked at Voyager's
Senior Pilot. Paris had been quiet all morning and the First
Officer wondered why. {Maybe Paris' lack of smart-ass
comments so far, had something to do with this morning,}
Chakotay thought, remembering how uncomfortable Tom had
been at breakfast.

Chakotay sighed and decided to find out if anything was wrong.
"Lieutenant," he said quietly.

Tom looked up from his lunch. "Yes, Commander?" he asked.

Chakotay hesitated for a split-second, then sighed and inquired,
"Is there anything wrong?"

* * *

Tom had been lost in his own thoughts when the First Officer
addressed him. The older man's question made him blink in
surprise. The pilot stared at his XO in silence for a moment, then
countered the Commander's question with one of his own. "Why
do you ask?"

Chakotay sighed. "You've been awfully quiet all morning," he
explained. Then he smiled briefly. "I'm not used to a Tom Paris
who doesn't make *any* smart-ass remarks for that long."

"Missed my brilliant wit, did you, Commander?" Tom asked
with a cocky smile. One that the First Officer would love to
remove, if the expression on the other man's face was anything
to go by.

Instead the Commander sighed again and said, "See, that's what
I mean. That was your first remotely smart-ass comment all
day." Chakotay frowned at the pilot. "Now, stop avoiding my
question. *Is* there anything wrong?"

This time it was Tom's turn to sigh. <Shit, he's stubborn, the
young man thought. Then he snorted to himself. <Big surprise
there, Tommy-boy. You've worked with the man for years, and
only *now* do you figure out that he's a stubborn SOB?

Tom started slightly when he looked at his XO and realized that
the older man was waiting for an answer. He thought about the
question for awhile. "No, Commander. There's nothing wrong,"
the pilot finally answered. "I've just been thinking, that's all.
Sorry, I didn't realize that you would miss my wit." The last was
said with a wry, teasing grin.

The First Officer chuckled for a moment, then sobered. "I'm
glad nothing's wrong," he hesitated and something like
embarrassment crossed his face. "I was starting to worry," he
admitted in a voice that almost was inaudible.

For the second time in ten minutes, the pilot blinked in surprise.
He hadn't expected the Commander to be worried about him,
much less admit to it. Tom studied the other man intensely for a
moment, wondering. <Tell him, a little voice whispered in the
back of the young man's mind. <Maybe he can help.

Tom hesitated for a moment longer, then, reaching a decision,
he took a deep breath and looked straight into Chakotay's eyes.
"Do you remember what we talked about this morning?" he
asked the other man. When the First Officer nodded, Tom asked
another question. "You know something about dreams, don't

The Commander was clearly intrigued. "Yes, I do," he replied.

The pilot hesitated once more before he spoke again. "Well, I
have one. It's a recurring thing," he informed the older man.

Chakotay nodded in understanding. "You want me to help you
interpret your dream," he concluded. He thought for a brief
moment and spoke again before Tom could say anything. "What
kind of dream is it?" the Commander asked.

Tom frowned slightly and bit his lower lip, then looked over at
the First Officer. "I think it's a nightmare, but I'm not sure. I
can't remember it," the pilot said seriously.

It was the Commander's turn to frown. "You can't remember it?"
he repeated slowly. When Tom shook his head, the frown
deepened. "How long have you had this dream?"

The pilot's eyes flickered to the side. Then he returned the blue
gaze to his XO. "It started a couple of weeks before my fifteenth
birthday," he confessed in a low voice.

Chakotay stared at the young man. "Before you turned fifteen!
And you still have it?" he asked, amazed. He had never heard
anything like that before.

The pilot blushed at the Commander's surprise and nodded,
indicating that the older man was right.

The First Officer suddenly thought of something. "You said that
you think it's a nightmare. Why? he asked gently, sensing that
the young man was very uncomfortable with this subject.

Tom lowered his eyes and stared intently at the ground. "You
asked how long I have only needed four hours of sleep," he said
so quietly that the other man had to lean forward to hear him.
The pilot didn't look up. "Well, that started a short time after the
dream began. In the beginning, I would wake from the dream,
shaking with terror. But I didn't know why. I still don't. After a
while I was afraid to go to sleep, because I knew that the dream
would come. It came every night," Tom explained.

He looked up at Chakotay briefly, then looked
back at the ground and continued his explanation. "When I
reached my seventeenth birthday, I had stopped shaking with
terror when the dream woke me. Whether it was because I had
gotten used to it, or if the dream had changed so it was no longer
terrifying, I don't know."

The young man halted his story to take a deep breath and gather
his thoughts. Then he spoke again. "Not long after I turned
nineteen, the dream stopped. For good I thought. By that time I
didn't need more than four hours of sleep at night. Not only that,
but I could rarely sleep longer."

Chakotay had been completely quiet while Tom told him all
this. As the silence after the pilot stopped talking drew out,
however, the Commander took a deep breath. Then he released
it and tried to get the Lieutenant's attention. "Tom."

When the young man didn't react, Chakotay tried again. "Tom!"
Louder this time. More insistent. Still no reaction. The First
Officer breathed deeply. "Lieutenant Paris!"

This time Tom lifted his head and looked at the Commander.
"What?" he asked quietly.

Chakotay held the pilot's eyes. "You had this nightmare every
night for over four years?" he asked gently. When the younger
man nodded, the Indian continued. "And you never remembered
what it was about?"

The Lieutenant shook his head. "Never. And it still comes back
occasionally, even now," he admitted.

The First Officer's eyes widened upon receiving this piece of
information. "Do you know what makes it return?" he inquired.

Tom sighed deeply. "I've thought about it. As far as I can tell,
*nothing* triggers it," he answered.

Chakotay considered that. Then he had another question. "Do
you *ever* sleep more than four hours at night?"

"Yes, I do," Tom replied softly. "If I go to bed *very* late and
am *extremely* lucky, I can get five or six hours. It happens
rarely, though."

Chakotay thought of something and asked, "Is it because of the
nightmare that you slept beside the fire last night?"

The pilot blushed a deep red. "Yes," he admitted. He hesitated
and then confessed, "I was afraid that the dream would come
and you would find out. I've never told anyone. About *any* of

The Commander was shocked. "You mean that nobody knows?"
When the young man shook his head, the First Officer continued
in an incredulous voice. "How have you managed to keep it a
secret? And why did you tell me?"

Tom stared at his XO for a moment before answering. "I have
*no* idea how I managed to prevent anyone from finding out.
As to why I told you." the pilot hesitated and bit his lip again,
then swallowed hard. "My instinct told me that you might be
able to help. Don't ask me why, because I don't know."

The Commander nodded in understanding. Sometimes you did
or said something without knowing why. You just followed your

The First Officer was silent for a long time, thinking about what
the other man had told him, while Tom had resumed staring at
the ground. Finally Chakotay shook the thoughts off and looked
back at the young man. "Tom," he said quietly.

This time the pilot looked up immediately, a questioningly
expression in his blue eyes. "Yes?" he asked.

Chakotay sighed. "I don't know what to tell you," he confessed.
"I have to talk to my spirit guide, ask if she can help. Truthfully,
I've never heard anything like this before." He paused briefly,
then continued. "Do you mind if I talk to my spirit guide about

"No. I don't mind, if you think she can help," Tom replied softly.
"When are you going to contact her?"

"I thought I would do it tonight after dinner," Chakotay replied
seriously. "We're already ahead of schedule, so time shouldn't be
a problem."

The younger man nodded his agreement. "And now,
Commander, I think our lunch break is over. We better get back
to work," he said with a teasing smile. The First Officer was
usually the one to follow the rules, and they'd held a very long

The Commander laughed out loud and rose to his feet. "You're
right, Lieutenant. Let's get back to work," he said.

* * *

When the two men had cleaned up after dinner that night,
Commander Chakotay looked at Tom. "I'll go and sit by the lake
to meditate. It may take some time, so don't get worried," he
said softly. He'd seen the anxiety in the young man's eyes.

The pilot frowned. "How long is 'some time'?" he asked quietly.

Chakotay looked at him seriously. "It *could* take a few hours,"
was his gentle reply.

"Oh. Okay," Tom said.

"I'll see you later." With that the First Officer left for the lake.