Title: Remembering
Author: Leone
Part: 3/11
Rating: [PG-13]
Codes: C/P, Angst
Feedback: tarrashenna@yahoo.com
Disclaimer: Paramounts, not mine. No infringement intended. No
money is made.

Author's ramblings: Oh *gods*. I seem to have started another series.
Why am I doing this to myself? I don't even have a *title* for this one.
Because it wasn't supposed to be a series. 'The Kiss' was meant to be a
stand-alone. Then I got so many requests for a sequel that I had to
write 'Nightmare'. Okay, so I admit that I *did* plan on writing *this*
sequel. <g Well, if some people like sequels so much, who am I to
deprive them of their pleasure?

Thanks to Britta, who was the first to ask for (demand, really) a sequel
to 'The Kiss'. Told me that I "couldn't just leave it there." Also, thanks
to Sileya, Carolyn, Mary Ellen, Sammi Jo and everyone else who
asked for a sequel to 'The Kiss' and 'Nightmare'. A special thanks to
Beth for suggesting what kind of spirit guide to give Tom. Last, but
not least, a huge thank you to Sammi Jo for beta reading and just
generally being such a wonderful person. - Leone.

* * *

By Leone

* * *

Tom Paris sat by the fire and watched as the planet's fifth moon rose.

The First Officer had been gone for three hours, and the young man
was getting a bit impatient. Why was it taking so long? What could
the Commander's spirit guide possibly have to tell him, that it would
take so much time?

The pilot turned his head in the direction of the lake when he heard
footsteps. Chakotay was coming back. Finally! Tom rose to his feet
and studied the other man's face as he slowly came into view.


The Commander looked at the pilot when he reached their camp. Paris
seemed anxious, but it was understandable. The young man wanted to
know what Chakotay's spirit guide had said; if she had any
explanation why Tom couldn't remember the nightmare, or why he'd
had it for so long.

Chakotay sat down beside the fire, still looking at Paris. The younger
man looked back at him for a moment before asking, "Do you want
some tea?"

The First Officer nodded, and Tom went into the shuttle, where he
ordered a cup of herbal tea for the older man and a scotch for himself.
He had a feeling that he was going to need it.

Once his order appeared, Tom picked it up and walked back outside.
Handing the Commander his tea, the pilot then sat down beside his
XO and took a sip of his drink. He could feel the other man watching
him, but the First Officer didn't comment on his choice of beverage.

The two men sat silently while the Commander drank his tea. When
he put his cup down, the pilot looked at him questioningly. "Ready to
tell me what your spirit guide said?" he asked quietly.

Chakotay sighed before he answered. "She didn't tell me much. She
said that *she* can't help, that you'll have to figure it out yourself. She
*did* say, however, that *I* can help you, but it will be difficult." The
Big Man ran a hand through his short hair and closed his eyes while
he gathered his thoughts. Then he opened them again, to look at his
companion. "She also suggested that I help you find your spirit guide.
If you'll let me, of course. Maybe *it* can help you."

The pilot stared into the fire as he thought about what the Commander
had just told him. A few moments later he turned his head and looked
at Chakotay. "Do you really think that my spirit animal can help me?"
he asked quietly.

"Yes, I do," was the calm reply.

The pilot nodded and then asked, "So, when can we try to find it?"

The First Officer considered it for a minute, then said, "We can do it
now, if you like. I assume that you're not planning on going to sleep
for a while, and I'm not tired."

"You're right, I'm not going to bed for a few hours yet," Tom said. He
hesitated for a moment, then took a deep breath and continued, "All
right. Let's do it. The sooner we find my spirit guide, the sooner it can
help me. What should I do?"

"First we should put this away," Chakotay said, indicating his empty
cup and the younger man's half-empty glass. He picked up the cup and
the glass, then rose and moved toward the shuttle saying, "I'll be right
back. In the meantime, get comfortable."

The lieutenant watched as the other man disappeared into the shuttle,
then shifted around a little until he sat cross-legged on the blanket that
he'd brought out from the shuttle earlier. A moment later the
Commander returned and came over to join him.

When he was seated across from the younger man, Chakotay looked at
him and said, "All right. If you're ready we'll begin." He waited for
Tom's nod before he continued, "Close your eyes and relax. Deep
even breaths. That's it. Now I want you to picture someplace where
you feel completely safe. It can be a forest, or a house, anything as
long as you feel that you're safe. Can you see it?"

After a short hesitation, the pilot nodded. "Yes," he whispered, "I see

"Good. Now look around," the older man instructed. "You can move
around if want to, this is your place."


Tom was standing in a garden.

Intellectually he knew that he was still sitting by the fire, outside the
shuttle, on a planet in the Delta Quadrant. That didn't change the fact
that all his senses told him that he was standing in a garden. He looked
around when the Commander told him to, and noticed the trees and
flowers. It was obviously summer. It was a beautiful place, and was
clearly somewhere on Earth. What surprised the young man was that
he didn't know this place. He'd never been here, and didn't know
*where* it was. But it was the first thing entering his mind when
Chakotay had told him to picture a place where he felt safe.

The First Officer's calm voice interrupted his musings. "The first
animal you see is your spirit guide," the Big Man informed him.

Tom looked around again, this time in surprise. Until now he hadn't
noticed that there didn't seem to be any animals in this place. Then the
pilot spotted a falcon in one of the trees, watching him.

The young man walked towards his guide, all the while studying the
bird of prey. It was reddish brown, had a long tail, long pointed wings
and a short strong beak. She was beautiful.

How he knew that his spirit guide was female, Tom had no idea. He
just knew.

When the pilot reached the falcon, he lifted a hand up to stroke her
feathers. The predator let him touch her as much as he liked. As soon
as the young man withdrew his hand, she spread her wings and took
off. For a moment she just circled above his head, then she moved
toward another tree in the garden, telling her charge to follow.

Tom followed his spirit guide. When he reached the tree she'd flown
towards, he sat down under it. Then he started slightly when the falcon
landed on his shoulder and stroked her head against his cheek. He
started again as her voice sounded in his mind.

[You have questions,] she stated.

Tom blinked. [Yes,] he admitted. Hesitating for a second, he then
added, [I... We... That is, the Commander's spirit guide thought that
you might be able to help me.]

[You want to know about the dream that you can't remember,] the bird
said. She turned her head and looked into the pilot's eyes, then,
waiting only for the young man's nod, she continued, [I'm sorry, child,
but I can't help you yet. Not until you can recall at least a part of the

Tom sighed deeply. He hadn't really thought that his spirit guide could
help. That didn't mean, however, that he hadn't hoped. He looked at
the falcon again. She was studying him. Hoping against hope, he
spoke again. [Isn't there *anything* you can tell me?]

The bird of prey seemed to consider his request. After a moments of
silence, she said, [Follow your heart.]

The pilot blinked in surprise. [Follow my heart?] he repeated

His spirit guide jumped from his shoulder to the lawn. Spreading her
wings, she took off and flew away. The last thing the young man
heard was: [Yes. Follow your heart. Always.]

With these words echoing in his mind, Tom's spirit journey ended, and
he opened his eyes.


Commander Chakotay sat cross-legged and watched Tom Paris in
silence, sensing the younger man's confusion. The pilot's spirit journey
hadn't taken too long. Only an hour had passed since they started, and
now it was over.

The older man had to admit that he was curious. He'd seen the wonder
and awe on Tom's face when the blond had found his spirit guide. His
face had practically glowed, and there had been a smile on the young
man's face that Chakotay had never seen before. Soft and so full of
joy, that it made the pilot look like a child on Christmas morning.

The First Officer's thoughts were interrupted when Tom sighed gently.
He focused on the younger man, noticing that, despite the confusion,
the pilot's face still glowed and the awe was apparent in his eyes.
Chakotay couldn't help but smile at the sight. Paris looked so
much like a little boy at that moment, it was easy to forget how
annoying and sarcastic the blond usually was.

Tom looked at him, as if he expected Chakotay to speak. The
Commander hesitated only a moment before he did just that. "What
did your guide say?" he asked quietly.

The Lieutenant frowned slightly. "She said that she can't help me until
I remember at least a part of the dream," he replied, his voice
revealing his puzzlement.

"Oh? Did she tell you why?" the older man asked, his surprise

The blond shook his head. "No she didn't, And I didn't think to ask.
She did say one thing before she left, though."


"She said that I should follow my heart."

The Commander chuckled. "My guide told me the same thing. She does,
from time to time," he admitted. Chakotay smiled at the younger man.
"It's good advice, though," he finished softly.

Tom sighed, then nodded in agreement. "I guess you're right."

"Did she say anything else?" the Commander asked. When the pilot
shook his head, he continued, "Then let's turn in. It's getting late, and
we can always talk more about this in the morning."

Tom nodded again and rose from the blanket they'd been
sitting on. "All right. I'll just go get my bed roll," he said.

Chakotay rose as well, and put a hand on the young man's arm to stop
him. "That's not necessary. You'll sleep in the shuttle," he informed
the blond. Smiling slightly, he added, "I'll even let you have the bed."

Tom laughed at that. "That would be stupid," he answered. "You
know that I don't sleep more than four hours a night, so letting me
have the bed would be a waste. I'll be perfectly comfortable on the

"All right, but you wake me if the nightmare returns," the First Officer
said. Looking straight into the younger man's eyes, he added, "And
that's an order, Lieutenant."

"Yessir," Tom said with a mock-salute.



Tom bolted upright on his bed roll, heart hammering against his chest.
For a long moment, the pilot sat, gasping for breath and shaking with

He'd had the dream again.

When his heart rate had slowed to something resembling normal, the
young man turned his head and looked over at Chakotay. The
Commander obviously hadn't heard anything. He was still asleep,
thank the gods.

Despite everything, the pilot didn't want his XO to know that the
nightmare had returned. Of course, Tom had promised the First
Officer that he would tell him if it did, and he would, the Lieutenant
thought. In the morning. He wasn't going to wake Chakotay
because of a dream he'd had for more than half his life.

Something was different this time, though, and Tom frowned as he
tried to figure out what it was. Then he started when it hit him. He

This time he hadn't forgotten the dream the second he woke up.

Or at least not all of it. There were some details that he couldn't
remember. He knew, now, what the nightmare was about, and that
was the important part. Maybe *now* the Commander could help
him. {If I just understand what it meant, then it might go away,}Tom
thought. A soft sound from the bed made him turn his head to look at
the older man again. Chakotay was waking up.

The Indian stretched, then opened his eyes and turned his head to look
at the pilot. When he noticed that the younger man was awake, the
Commander sat up and studied Tom's face. Noticing the expression on
the blonde's face, he asked, "Tom? Did the dream return?" The
Lieutenant nodded, and the older man continued, "Why didn't you
wake me?"

Tom hesitated briefly before he answered, "You were sleeping so
peacefully. I didn't want to wake you just because my nightmare came
back." He ran a hand through his hair. "I thought that I should let you
sleep, and then tell you in the morning."

Something in the pilot's eyes mad Chakotay ask. "What aren't you
telling me?"

Tom blinked in surprise. He hadn't thought that the other man would
pick up on his confusion about the dream. "It's different this time," he
told his XO.

"Different?" Chakotay repeated.

The young man nodded. "Yeah. This time I remember what it's
about." The pilot grimaced, and added, "Well. Most of it, anyway."

The First Officer looked slightly surprised. "Oh? So what is it about,
this dream of yours?" he asked.

Tom frowned and gathered his thoughts. Lifting his eyes from the
shuttle floor, where he'd kept them since the Commander woke up, the
pilot looked straight into the older man's eyes. Taking a deep breath,
he began relating what he could remember about the nightmare that
had plagued him for so long.

"I'm in a dark room somewhere, kneeling on the floor. There's a figure
lying beside me," Tom began haltingly. He looked away for a
moment, then returned his eyes to the other man's. "I can't see who it
is, but I know that it's a man and that it's someone I love very much.
Someone who means everything to me. He's my sole reason for living."

The lieutenant frowned in thought, then an odd expression settled on
his features as he continued. "The only light comes from the
moonlight outside the window, so I can't see him clearly. But I don't
need to, I know that he's dying. He's dying," the young man repeated
quietly. "And it's my fault. I stabbed him with a kitchen knife."

The pilot's eyes got a faraway look. "Why did I do that? I love him.
Why did I stab him?" Tom stopped talking and just sat on his bedroll,
staring straight ahead at nothing.

After a few moments of silence, the Commander got out of bed and
moved over to sit beside the young pilot. Seeing the man's distress,
Chakotay reached out and gently touched Tom's shoulder. The blond
didn't react.

Feeling the slender body trembling under his hand, the First Officer
shifted slightly and pulled the pilot into his arms, holding him in a
tight embrace and whispering soothing nonsense in his ear.

After awhile the young man turned in the Commander's embrace and buried
his head in the other man's shoulder. The shudders got worse, and then
Tom began to cry, at first as gently as a summer rain, but soon the
crying grew more violent, until the blond was shaking uncontrollably.

For a long time the two men sat like that, the pilot crying hard, safely
wrapped in Chakotay's strong arms, and the older man
whispering soft words of comfort. Eventually the tears quieted to a
low heartbreaking sobbing, until even that stopped.

Slowly Tom became aware of the older man's arms around him. The
First Officer was rocking him back and forth, gently stroking his hair
and whispering quietly to him. For the first time in years, the young
man felt completely safe.

For a moment the pilot stayed where he was, enjoying the safety in
Chakotay's arms, then he pulled back and looked at his XO. The other
man gazed back at him seriously, neither man speaking for a minute.

Finally the Commander broke the silence. "Feeling better?" he
asked softly.

"Yeah," the blond answered in a hoarse voice. "I haven't cried like that
since I was a child," he added, blushing.

"Don't be embarrassed," the older man said gently. "It's a natural
reaction. Besides, it helped, didn't it?"

Tom sighed. "I guess so," he replied, and suddenly realized that he
was still enfolded in the Commander's strong arms. Blushing to the
roots of his hair, the young man reluctantly pulled out of the embrace,
not looking at his XO.

Chakotay sighed quietly, feeling bereft when the pilot moved away.
Trying to catch the other man's eye, he asked, "Can you tell me the
rest of the dream now?"

"I think so," the blond answered quietly. He thought for a moment,
then met the older man's eyes and added, "But there isn't much more
to tell."

The Commander hesitated before he spoke again. "You said that you
stabbed this other person in your dream," he finally said. When Tom
nodded, Chakotay continued, "How do you know that? Did you see it,
or is it just something that you know?"

The pilot thought about it for a brief moment. "I just know," he
answered at last.

"Okay," the older man said, "That brings us to my next question. Do
you know who he is?"

Tom bit his lip and frowned, trying to remember. Finally he said, "I
know who it is, but I can't recall it." The Lieutenant hesitated, then
continued, "It's someone I know. Actually I think it might be someone
aboard Voyager."

The First Officer looked surprised at this. "What makes you think that
it's anyone from the ship?" he asked frowning.

The pilot shrugged. "I'm not sure. It's just this feeling I have." The
young man averted his eyes, then looked back at his XO. "It's
definitely someone that I know, but it's a person that I wouldn't
consider, or at least someone that I don't think would be interested."

"Oh?" Chakotay lifted an eyebrow questioningly.

"Yeah. In the dream I *know* that I love him, can't live without him,
in fact. I was looking down at him and I saw who it was. I just can't
recall his face," the blond explained. He sighed and ran a hand through
his hair, gathering his thoughts. Then he continued. "But I know that it
was someone that I would never expect to be with, because I
remember that I was surprised when I saw who it was."

Chakotay considered Tom's words for a moment, then he gazed at the
pilot. He was about to say something when he noticed that Tom
seemed exhausted. "Tom, you need to sleep," he pointed out in a
gentle voice.

The younger man sighed deeply. "I know," he admitted. "I don't know
if I can, though."

The Commander hesitated for a split-second. "The bed is too small for
two, but there's another bed roll somewhere in here. I could lay it out
beside yours. If you think it'd help," he offered.

Tom thought about it for a moment, then nodded. "It might." The pilot
bit his lip and gazed at his XO with worried eyes. "Are you sure you
don't mind?" he asked quietly.

Chakotay smiled softly and shook his head. "No, I don't mind at all.
I'd like to help, and if I need to sleep on the floor so you can get some
rest, I will." With that he got to his feet, went to retrieve the
second bed roll and came back to put it beside Tom's.

While the blond lay down, the older man walked over to the bed and
picked up his blanket. Once he retrieved it, he returned
to lie beside the Lieutenant, then pulled the young man into his arms.

Tom stiffened in surprise, then he relaxed and snuggled closer to the
other man with a soft, contended sigh, hearing an answering sigh from
the Commander. Chakotay tightened his hold on the pilot, amazed at
how perfectly their bodies fit together. "Good night, Tom," he said

The young man smiled in the dark and closed his eyes, feeling sleep
sneak over him. "Good night, Chakotay," came the blond pilot's