Rating: R for violence and implied m/m
Disclaimer: Paramount's, not mine. No infringement intended.
No money being made.
Warning: This is something I promised myself I'd never write,
a death story. Someone dies in this part.
Chakotay looked around the room, hoping to find the golden
door that was his and Tom's exit from this place. When he
didn't see it, Chakotay cursed silently. Tightening his hold on
the trembling man in his arms, Chakotay wondered what the
hell he was supposed to do now. Chakotay's thoughts were
suddenly interrupted by a roar of pure rage, and he turned to-
wards the sound and saw... himself.
The other Chakotay ran across the floor to where Gerald was
raping Tom and before Gerald could react, Chakotay grabbed
the man and threw him into the nearest wall, hard. Then Cha-
kotay took a look at Tom. When he saw the condition the
younger man was in, Chakotay's self-control snapped.
Without a word, Chakotay turned away from the injured Tom
and slowly approached Gerald, a look of murderous rage on his
face. When Chakotay reached the other man, he pulled him to
his feet, then proceeded to beat the man senseless. Chakotay hit
Gerald again and again, his fist landing in the man's face, then
in his stomach. Chakotay didn't stop until Gerald was lying on
the floor, unconscious.
Meanwhile, Tom had straightened from his position over the
table and turned around. He was watching with some satisfac-
tion as Chakotay beat the shit out of Gerald. Although Tom
wanted to do it himself, he knew that he was in no condition.
He could barely stand as it was, and he had no strength to hit
anyone, least of all the man who had tormented and raped him
repeatedly over the past three days.
When Gerald lay unconscious on the floor, Chakotay turned
away from him and looked at Tom. Seeing that the younger
man was standing beside the table, watching him, Chakotay
walked over to him, a soft look of concern on his face. "Tom,"
he said as he reached the other man. "We have to get out of
here. Do you think you can walk?" he asked.
Tom thought about it for a moment. He hurt like hell, but to get
out of this place he'd walk on hot coal. "Sure," he answered.
"But I'll need something to cover me."
Chakotay nodded and looked around, then spotted a blanket on
the floor. He quickly went over to get it, then returned to
Tom's side and handed it to the injured man. "This should be
big enough," he said.
Chakotay sat on the floor with Tom in his arms and watched as
his counter-part beat Gerald to a bloody pulp. He knew how
much self-control it took for the other Chakotay not to kill or
torture the bastard who'd hurt Tom.
His own Tom still sat with his face hidden in Chakotay's
shoulder, and Chakotay was afraid that the younger man had
retreated into himself again. Chakotay lifted a hand and stroked
Tom's hair, softly calling his name. "Tom."
Tom stirred in Chakotay's arms, then lifted his head and
looked at his Commander with anguished eyes. "Yeah?"
Chakotay smiled gently. "It's over, Tom. He won't be hurting
your counter-part anymore. Look," he said quietly.
Tom hesitated for a moment, then looked over Chakotay's
shoulder. His eyes widened when he saw Chakotay's counter-
part hitting Gerald. Drawing back slightly, Tom looked at Cha-
kotay again. "Why is he doing that?" he asked.
"Why is who doing what?" Chakotay asked quietly.
"Your counter-part is beating Gerald," Tom said. He hesitated
for a moment, and when Chakotay nodded, Tom continued. "I
just don't understand *why*."
Chakotay sighed. "My counter-part's beating the shit out of
Gerald because he hurt *your* counter-part," he explained gen-
tly. Chakotay paused and ran a hand through his hair before he
continued. "I would've done it myself if I could, but I can't in-
terfere. And I suspect that you can't either."
"No, I can't," Tom said. At Chakotay's questioning look, Tom
seemed slightly embarrassed. "I tried," he admitted.
Chakotay nodded in understanding. Tom *would've* tried to
stop Gerald from hurting the vision-Tom. Chakotay considered
asking Tom what Gerald had done, but two things held him
back. For one thing, Chakotay wasn't sure he really wanted to
know. The other reason Chakotay didn't ask was, that whatever
Tom had seen had caused the younger man to retreat into him-
Tom's voice interrupted Chakotay's thoughts. "I think they're
leaving," he said softly.
Chakotay turned his head and saw that Tom was right. Their
counter-parts *were* leaving. The vision-Tom was wrapped in
a blanket and moved slowly towards the door, while the vision-
Chakotay walked beside him, ready to support the younger
man if it became necessary.
As soon as the two men had left the room, the door began to
glow golden. Chakotay rose to his feet, then held out a hand to
Tom and helped him to his feet. "Come on, Tom. This is our
way out," he informed his companion.
"How do you know?" Tom asked as he took Chakotay's hand
and got to his feet.
Chakotay smiled briefly as they started towards the door. "My
spirit guide told me before I came in here," he said.
When the two men reached the door, they hesitated, the strange
feeling of foreboding flooding them both. They looked at each
other briefly, then steeled their resolve and went through it,
wondering what they'd see next.
They came out into a garden to see their counter-parts a short
distance in front of them. As they watched, the vision-Tom
suddenly started to fall, and the vision-Chakotay caught his
companion before he reached the ground. He looked at the vi-
sion-Tom and, seeing that the young man had lost conscious-
ness, lifted him up in his arms and carried him towards the for-
est in the distance.
Tom and Chakotay looked at each other, then followed the vi-
sion-Chakotay, knowing that they couldn't leave the spirit
world until they'd seen what happened next.
It was getting dark when the vision-Chakotay finally stopped in
front of a small cabin in the forest.
Tom and Chakotay looked at each other for the first time since
they started several hours ago. It had been early afternoon
when they left the torture room to follow their counter-parts,
the vision-Chakotay carrying unconscious the vision-Tom all
the way. He hadn't stopped once until now.
Tom and Chakotay looked back at the small cabin. It looked
exactly like the one they had both entered earlier. Seeing the
vision-Chakotay enter the cabin, the two men quickly followed,
entering in time to see the vision-Chakotay lay the vision-Tom
down on the room's only bed.
Tom and Chakotay stayed by the door and watched as the vi-
sion-Chakotay took care of the injured Tom, healing his
wounds with a regenerator. When all the wounds were healed,
the vision-Chakotay put the blanket over the vision-Tom again
and moved towards the window, waiting for the younger man
to regain consciousness.
For a long time, the three men stood there, unmoving, waiting
for the vision-Tom to wake up. Finally, when the full moon
was just visible in the sky, the young man on the bed moaned
softly as he woke up.
The vision-Chakotay turned away from the window and
quickly walked over to sit at the edge of the bed, being careful
not to touch the younger man in any way. He wasn't sure if
Tom would remember that he was safe when he first woke.
Tom opened his eyes and flinched when he noticed the person
sitting beside him on the bed, not immediately remembering
that his ordeal was over. Then Tom heard Chakotay's voice,
reassuring him that he was safe, and he instantly relaxed,
knowing that the other man wouldn't hurt him.
Tom slowly sat up, pleased when the action didn't cause him
any pain. Looking around, he frowned slightly, wondering
where they were. He turned his head to look at Chakotay and
noticed the man's slightly worried expression. "Chakotay?
Where are we?" he asked quietly.
"We're in a small cabin in the forest," Chakotay answered.
Tom's frown didn't disappear and for a moment Chakotay
wondered why. Then he realized what the problem might be
and hastened to reassure the younger man. "Don't worry, Tom.
No one can find us here, and we won't go back to civilization
until you're ready."
Tom started violently when Chakotay mentioned going back to
civilization, and his panicked eyes met the older man's brown
gaze. "I can't go back. I can't." Tom's voice was as panicked
as his eyes.
Chakotay reached out a hand towards Tom, then let it drop
without touching him. "I know you can't go back right now,"
he said soothingly. "That's why we're here. As I said, no one
can find us here. We can stay for as long as you need."
"No, Chakotay, you don't understand," Tom said quietly.
Chakotay frowned. "What is it that I don't understand?" he
Tom bit his lower lip and hesitated, unsure how Chakotay was
going to react. "I... I can't go back to civilization. Ever," he
Chakotay tensed at Tom's words, not sure that he liked where
this was leading. "What do you mean? Do you want to stay
here for the rest of your life?" he asked.
Tom's gaze dropped to his hands for a moment, then he lifted
his eyes to look at Chakotay again. "No," he said very quietly.
Hesitating again, Tom gathered all his courage before he spoke
again. "I don't want to... I can't..." he trailed off, suddenly
unable to say the words.
"You can't what? What is it that you can't?" Chakotay asked
Tom took a deep breath, then blurted out the truth. "I can't live
with this. Can't live with what happened." Tom dropped his
eyes again and bit his lip so hard he drew blood. "I want to
die," he finally added in a whisper, not looking at Chakotay.
Chakotay inhaled sharply at Tom's admission. He wasn't really
surprised, he'd suspected that Tom might feel this way, but
he'd hoped that he was wrong. Chakotay swallowed heavily
and looked at the younger man. "Tom," he said softly.
"What?" Tom murmured without lifting his eyes.
"Tom, look at me," Chakotay said gently.
It took a while, but finally Tom looked up into Chakotay's
eyes. The young man swallowed when he saw the understand-
ing in the brown gaze.
"I'm not going to argue with you, or try to make you change
your mind," Chakotay said quietly. He sighed and ran a hand
through his hair. "I suspected that you might feel this way. I
hoped that you wouldn't, but I'm not surprised that you do," he
Tom stared at Chakotay in silence for a moment, then sighed
deeply and said, "I'm glad you understand because I'm gonna
need your help."
Chakotay's eyes widened. He had a hunch what Tom meant
and didn't know if he could handle it. Taking a deep breath,
Chakotay asked anyway. "What are you going to need my help
Tom looked into Chakotay's brown eyes, a serious expression
on his own face. "Chakotay," Tom said softly. He swallowed
and gathered his courage before he continued. "I can't do it
Chakotay stared at Tom. Despite the fact that he'd expected
this, it was still a shock to have Tom say it. Chakotay dropped
his eyes while he thought. A moment later, he lifted pain-filled
eyes to Tom's. "Tom," he whispered. "I can't hurt you."
Tom's eyes filled with tears. "Please, Chakotay," he whispered.
"I *can't* do it myself, and I can't live with this." Tom reached
out and took Chakotay's hand. "I know how much I'm asking
of you, Chakotay, but you're the only one who can help me
with this." Tom took a deep breath, then added, "You're the
only one I'd *allow* to help me."
Chakotay looked into Tom's tear-filled eyes and felt his heart
ache. He knew that Tom was right. The younger man couldn't
do it himself and even if he'd allow someone else to help him,
they wouldn't understand. No one would believe that Tom
wouldn't change his mind after some time. Chakotay knew that
Tom would never change his mind. The older man fought with
himself for a while. Finally he sighed deeply and nodded. It
would be as Tom wished.
Tom breathed a sigh of relief when Chakotay nodded. He
hadn't been sure if the other man would want, or be able, to do
as Tom had asked. He leaned forward and brushed Chakotay's
lips with his own. "Thank you, my love," he whispered.
Chakotay slowly lifted his arms and put them around Tom,
clinging to his lover. "I love you" he said quietly.
"I know," Tom answered. "I love you, too." With that, he
brushed his lips across Chakotay's mouth again until the older
man moaned softly, then he deepened the kiss.
The two men kissed for a long time, then they pulled apart and
looked into each other's eyes for a moment before Chakotay let
go of Tom and rose from the bed. "I'll see if I can find any-
thing we can use," he said quietly.
By the door, Tom and Chakotay watched as their counter-parts
spoke. When the vision-Tom made the remark about not being
able to live with what had happened, Chakotay froze, immedi-
ately realizing what the young man meant. He, too, could un-
derstand why the vision-Tom couldn't live with it, but it hurt
all the same.
Tom gasped quietly when it became clear what his counter-part
wanted the vision-Chakotay to do. Tom also understood why
his counter-part couldn't live with what had happened, maybe
better than Chakotay did, but what Tom *didn't* understand
was why the vision-Tom would ask Chakotay to help him in
this way. It wasn't fair to Chakotay. Then it became clear that
the two were lovers and Tom understood.
When the vision-Chakotay rose from the bed, Tom and Chako-
tay looked at each other. They both knew what would come
next. The vision-Chakotay would only be able to find a
kitchen-knife, the vision-Tom would get out of bed and Chako-
tay would drive the knife into his chest, killing his beloved.
"I think that I must have been you, or your counter-part, when I
dreamed about this," Tom said quietly.
Chakotay nodded. It was clear that Tom was right. "Yes, but
what I would like to know is, why? Why have you been dream-
ing about this since you were young? Why from *his* point of
view? And what does it mean?" Chakotay asked, his voice as
quiet as Tom's had been.
Tom shrugged. "I don't know," he answered, then turned his
head to look at the two others.
Tom gasped at the scene and Chakotay turned his head to look
and inhaled sharply. The vision-Tom stood on the floor in front
of the vision-Chakotay who had lifted the hand, which held the
knife. He was obviously about to fulfill the vision-Tom's re-
Chakotay quickly turned back to Tom and drew the young man
into his arms and pushed his head down on his shoulder.
"Don't look," he said and felt Tom nod against his shoulder.
Chakotay didn't want to see this either, but he couldn't tear his
eyes away from the scene. He watched in appalled fascination
as his counter-part drove the knife into his lover's chest,
dropped the weapon, lowered the younger man to the floor and
knelt beside him.
Although he and Tom were to far away to see clearly in the
moonlight, Chakotay knew that the vision-Tom wasn't dead
yet. He remembered his own Tom telling him that when the
young man finally remembered some of his nightmare. Chako-
tay also knew that it wouldn't be long before the vision-Tom
As he watched, Chakotay saw his counter-part pick the knife
up again and hold it gently. Chakotay frowned, wondering if
the other man was going to stab the vision-Tom again, but be-
fore he'd finished the thought, the vision-Chakotay lifted his
other hand and slid it over his lover's face, obviously closing
his eyes. Tom's counter-part was dead.
Chakotay saw his counter-part bend his head in grief, then he
turned to the man in his own arms. "It's over, Tom" he said
Tom lifted his head from Chakotay's shoulder and looked at
the other man for a while. Then he turned his head to look at
the scene he'd seen so often in his dreams. And gasped quietly
in shock. "No, Chakotay, it isn't over," he said in a near-
Chakotay turned his head, and although his eyes widened in
shock at the sight of his counter-part driving the knife into his
own heart, Chakotay also understood why he did it. Despite the
fact that the vision-Tom had asked him to do it, the vision-
Chakotay couldn't live with the knowledge that he'd killed the
man he loved.