Title: Thrown Through Time
Authors: R. Mason & Joanne Collins
Codes: C/P, C/P/M (only once), M/I (Implied)
Rating: G - NC - 17 (depending on where in the story)
Summary: See Chapter 1
Thrown Through Time
The next morning Chakotay and Tom were bursting with happiness. While Tom and Chakotay showered, Melody ate and dressed quickly so she could go with them when they ate in the mess hall.
While Tom and Chakotay selected their breakfast choices Melody found a table and watched. The two of them were hiding something. They both were different somehow; more at ease with each other and very happy. As they sat down Melody pounced with the question that had been on her mind since she first saw them this morning.
"All right guys, give. What‘s going on?"
"What do you mean, Mel?" asked Tom.
"Guys, you two have been floating on cloud nine since I saw you this morning. Now what has happened? What‘s changed?" asked Melody.
"All right, Melody. Tom and I are getting married," said Chakotay.
"All right!" yelled Melody loudly as she jumped in her seat
"Shhh... Sweet one, not so loud," said Chakotay as he put a hand over hers
"*What?!* It‘s suppose to be a secret?" asked Melody sarcastically.
"No, but we have to ask the Captain first," said Tom.
"Oh that‘s not a problem, I know Aunt Kathryn won’t mind."
"Well, until we ask her. We need you to keep this quiet for now."
"Oh sure guys, I understand. Until you’re ready only the three of us know."
"Thanks, Melody," said Chakotay.
"Mel, we do need to ask you a favor though. We need you to give us a little time before we plan the ceremony and everything," said Tom.
"Take all the time you need guys. Whenever you‘re ready though I would like to be a part of the planning, if that‘s OK," asked Melody.
"I‘m sure the Captain and B‘Elanna will appreciate the help," said Chakotay.
"Well, I‘ll do all I can. Oh God, I‘ve got go. I‘m late for my session with Tuvok. When are you going to ask Aunt Kathryn?" asked Melody as she stood up.
"Today after the morning briefing," said Chakotay.
"Be sure and tell her I want to help, I‘ll see you guys this afternoon. Bye," said Melody as she kissed both men on the cheek then left.
"Well, I guess we had better get to the bridge," said Tom as they got up and took their trays to the recycler then left.
When Chakotay and Tom arrived on the bridge for the morning briefing they both had silly smiles on their faces. Before everyone arrived Harry and B‘Elanna tried to get the two to tell them what has up but all the two would do was smile and shake their head. Captain Janeway noticed the Tom and Chakotay were sitting a little closer than usually and were even holding hands under the table. When the ship‘s business was finished Janeway asked to speak to Chakotay and Tom privately.
"Gentlemen, I‘m assuming there is a reason for your happiness. Would care to share it with us?" asked Janeway.
"Captain, Tom and I would like to ask for permission to get married," said Chakotay.
"Oh course, Gentlemen. Congratulations."
"It won‘t be a problem, Captain?"
"No, of course not. Out here in the Delta Quadrant, I have found it necessary to bend some of Starfleet‘s rules a bit."
"I‘m glad, Captain. We were hoping to wait a little while so that we can have Melody participate in the ceremony," said Chakotay.
"Participate, how?" asked Janeway.
"We know that it would not be legal, but we would like to formally adopt Melody as our daughter," explained Tom.
"Oh, that‘s wonderful. Does she know?" asked Janeway.
"No, we were hoping to tell her when we went down to the next inhabited planet," said Chakotay.
"Well, you secrets safe with me gentlemen, and congratulations again," said Janeway as she patted Tom, then Chakotay on the arm.
"Thank you, Captain," said Tom.
"Thank you, Kathryn," said Chakotay.
Tom and Chakotay walked Janeway to the briefing room doors and the three of them reentered the bridge to continue their shift.
Once things had settled down, Melody began thinking about taking the next big step in her trust of Tom, Chakotay and the others. Oh for the most part she completely trusted them, but there were still times when she doubts creep in. She also wanted to feel like she fit in better aboard Voyager. For the most part, everyone had accepted her. Except for the fact that she still got nervous around large groups of new people, she didn‘t have any trouble going anywhere on board Voyager.
But her times at the resort were becoming the harder and harder for her. While no one stared, or made comments that she could hear she knew that people were watching her. Tom and Kathryn both tried to get her to wear more suitable clothes for the resort but she just couldn‘t. They had even tried to get her to try on some twenty-four century clothes but she felt more comfortable in her baggy twentieth century clothes. Even though they weren‘t flashy by any means they did stand out at the resort amongst the bathing suits and shorts.
During one of her counseling sessions, Tuvok noticed she seemed upset over something and brought it up.
"Melody, you seem concerned about something?" asked Tuvok
He had noted with great satisfaction that Melody was now getting out more and becoming quiet capable so going all most anywhere aboard Voyager. He also had noticed that she was spending more time on the holodeck at the resort. Sometimes with one of the command staff or with Samantha Wildman and her daughter. He knew of Melody‘s fear of new and large groups of people and was very proud of her for facing her fear.
Tuvok sat and watched her with her head down, wring her hands in her lap while taking deep breaths to calm herself down. He knew that this was Melody‘s way of getting herself ready to bring up a difficult subject so he stayed quiet and gave her the time she needed. When she was ready she raised her head and laid her hands in her lap.
"Tuvok, can I ask you a question?" asked Melody quietly.
"You may ask me anything, Melody," responded Tuvok.
"I have been thinking that...maybe I was ready too..."
"Yes, Melody?" asked Tuvok gently.
"Well I‘ve been going to the resort a lot and it sometimes gets hot, plus some of the people stare. I was wondering if you could...I mean would you help me try to get used to wearing a bathing suit?"
"Are you sure this is what you want?"
Melody took a deep breath then raised her head to face Tuvok. "Yes, Sir. I want to try and do this."
"Then I will help you, " replied Tuvok as he got up and put his hand on her shoulder.
"What...what will I have to do?" asked Melody, the fear beginning to creep into her voice.
She knew she had been the one to bring up this subject and if she backed down Tuvok wouldn‘t push her but she had said she wanted to try and she wasn‘t going to back down on her word now.
"Well the first logical step would be to go to the resort and confront your fear." Said Tuvok after a short pause. He knew that will this test like the other ones Melody would need to take it in little steps slowly and carefully.
"But I‘m not afraid of the resort?"
"Yes, but when you go there how are you dressed?"
"In jeans, a tee shirt and over shirt.... Oh," said Melody after a short pause "I understand, you want me to go to the resort wearing a bathing suit."
"That will be our ultimate goal, yes. But the first step can be you taking off your over shirt at the resort. As you progress..."
"Will you be there with me?" asked Melody nervously
"That is up to you, I will if you wish."
"Yes, please. I would like that,"
"Then I will schedule us some holodeck time," answered Tuvok.
"Thank you." Said Melody with a small smile on her face
Two day later Tuvok informed Melody that they had the holodeck two scheduled for that afternoon. He had asked Captain Janeway for some time off for Melody‘s counseling session that afternoon and she had granted it. He had also informed Tom and Chakotay of the change in Melody‘s counseling sessions but did not tell them why.
Melody spent a very nervous morning trying to concentrate on her studies and barely ate much lunch. When the time for her counseling session arrived Melody arrived at holodeck two dressed, as she normally was, blue jeans, tee shirt and a long sleeve over shirt. She entered to find the resort already running but without the holo characters.
"All right Tuvok, what do I need to do first?" asked Melody as she came to stand in front of him.
"First you need to relax," stated Tuvok plainly.
Melody laughed slightly then smiled, "I guess your right, if I tried to do it now I think I would freak."
Melody went over and replicated a mediation lap then took it to a secluded part of the beach and meditated. Thirty minutes later she returned much calmer and relaxed than she was when she entered.
"I‘m ready now, Tuvok," said Melody
"Very well then, proceed at your own speed and remove your outer shirt."
Melody looked over at Tuvok, then slowly raised her right arm and began to unbutton the cuff. With that one done she slowly unbuttoned the left. With must trepidation she lifted her hands to her waist and slowly untied the shirt then worked her way up the front slowly undoing each button.
"Gods, you would think I‘m performing a strip tease as nervous as I am," said Melody with a little laugh. Tuvok raised an eyebrow questionably but didn‘t respond
When Melody had undone the last button on her shirt her hands dropped to her side, and she looked over at Tuvok.
"Tuvok...I don‘t think I..."
"You may proceed at your own pace, Melody," said Tuvok softly. He could tell by the struggle on her face that she was having a very hard time with this.
Melody took a deep breath, closing her eyes to center herself before she continued. A few minutes later she slowly opened her eyes to look at the man standing across from her. He was patiently waiting, never questioning, never pushing just giving her his silent support while she did this at her own speed.
Melody closed her eyes once more then opened them after giving herself a mental pep talk. She slowly reached up and took the sides of her shirt in her hands, then slowly pushed them off her shoulders and down her arms. She left the shirt fall to the ground and stood with her eyes closed feeling for the first time in a very long time the sun and wind on her bare shoulders and arms.
After a few minutes Melody opened her eyes to look into the eyes of her mentor and friend. He stood with the equivalent of a Vulcan smile on his face and pride shinning in his eyes for her accomplishment.
"Very good, Melody. Would you like to continue?"
"There‘s more?" said Melody in a squeaky voice.
"Computer, add holographic characters," said Tuvok
Seconds later the holodeck was filled with people. Melody visible tensed as they milled around her, smiling at her and calling greetings to her.
"Computer, delete holographic characters!" yelled Melody as she dropped to the ground, grabbing her shirt and clutching it to her chest.
Tuvok stood and watched as the once proud young woman was reduced to tears. He had assumed that she understood the next logical step, he had obviously been wrong. He went over and placed his hand on her bare shoulder, she tensed but did not pull away.
"Melody, I have made an error. I apologize, would you like me to call Lt. Paris or Commander Chakotay for you?" asked Tuvok softly.
Melody sat there for a few minutes, her tears slowly subsiding until all she had was the occasional hiccup. The warm hand on her shoulder felt good, after years of no skin-to-skin contact she had forgot how nice it was to feel the warm of another‘s touch. She raised her head, wiping her eyes on her shirt then slowly getting to her feet.
"No, Tuvok. I‘m sorry, I should have asked what the next step was," said Melody as she turned to face him.
"Do you wish to continue?"
Melody once again took a deep breath and closed her eyes to center herself before she opened them to face the man before her.
"Computer, add holographic characters," said Tuvok and once again the holodeck was full.
Melody tensed but was using the deep breathing techniques that Tom had taught her and was soon standing somewhat comfortable with the holo characters around her. They stayed for another hour then closed down the holo deck and left.
Over the next few weeks Tuvok and Melody worked towards her goal of being able to wear a bathing suit at the resort. There were a few minor setbacks but with Tuvok‘s patience and understanding Melody was able to reach her goal.
On the night before her *coming out* Melody sent a request to each of the command staff, plus Neelix, Kes and the Doctor that they meet her on holodeck two for lunch. Janeway had been about to turn Melody down saying that *someone* had to stay on the bridge when several of the junior officers approached her saying that they would *cover* the bridge while the senior staff was at lunch.
She checked with B‘Elanna and Neelix to discover that similar requests had been made with people suddenly agreed to work while they had lunch on the holodeck. Even the Doctor and Kes had been asked to the holodeck for lunch. Janeway knew Melody was up to something, and it must be important if she wanted everyone there together. So at the appointed hour the entire command staff, plus the Doctor, Kes and Neelix arrived at holodeck two to find the resort program running.
"Melody, we’re here," called Janeway over the COM system
The holodeck doors opened and everyone walked in to be greeted by the maître d‘
"If you will all wait at the bar Captain, Melody will be right out," said the waiter then left.
Everyone casually walked to the bar and found stools to sit on.
"Does anyone know what‘s going on here?" asked Harry as he sipped the water that was in front of him.
"You know as much as the rest of us Starfleet, I guess we will just have to wait for Melody," replied B‘Elanna.
Tuvok‘s "Indeed," caused heads to turn in his direction but each knew that trying to get the Vulcan to tell them what was going on was impossible so they sat quietly waiting for Melody to appear.
In a small back room of the resort Melody was going over her mental mantra *I can do this! I can do this!* When the knock on the door broke her concentration Melody jumped and then calmed herself enough to answer the door.
"They are all here, Melody," said a holographic character.
"Thank you," said Melody then smiled as the door closed once more.
Well it was *show time*, now Melody would see if she had the guts to go out in front of her extended family and reveal the proof of her biggest secret. With one more mental *I can do this!* she opened the door and walked out into the resort to face her new family.
She was wearing a lightweight warm up suit to cover up her bathing suit, and when the others saw her they were afraid that she had regressed instead of making progress.
"Hello, everyone and thank you for meeting me for lunch," said Melody as she came to stand in front of Chakotay and Janeway.
"Melody, what‘s this all about sweet one?" asked Chakotay as he got off his stool and stood in front of her.
"I‘ll tell you in a minute, Daddy. Let me do this my way please?" asked Melody as she looked into Chakotay‘s eyes.
"Sure love, take all the time you need," answered Chakotay as he pulled her into his arms.
"Thanks, Daddy," said Melody with a sigh then leaned into his chest.
After a few minutes, she backed up and smiled at him and he took his seat.
"All of you know that I‘ve been working with Tuvok to accept the abuse that happened to me when I was younger. Well part of that acceptance is not to hide or be ashamed of scares that that abuse left. Slowly with Tuvok‘s and everyone‘s help I am slowly beginning to accept that what was done to me wasn‘t my fault. I forget it at times but I‘m sure you all will be here to remind me."
"You bet we will, Mel," said Tom
"Count on it Melody," replied Harry
"You know it squirt," said B‘Elanna.
At there responses Melody smiled and silently thanked each of them with her eyes. "Well, now the big test. I know that the Doctor has seen my back and legs because of when he had to scan me after I got here. And two days ago I showed Tuvok. Now I want too...no I need to show everyone else," said Melody as she slowly reached for the zipper on her warm-up suit.
When the zipper cleared the clasp she pulled her arms out of the sleeves then shrugged the top off her shoulders letting it fall silently to the ground. Then she pushed the waistband of the pants off her hips and they fell to her ankles. Bending over she pulled the pants off of each leg and laid it down on the ground with the top. Then taking a deep breath she turned her back to the assembled audience and waited.
This was the first time in twenty something years that more than one person had seen her back. She expected some gasps and curses but what she hadn‘t expected was the silence at her back. She cautiously looked over her shoulder to see everyone eyes filling with silent tears.
"Oh guys don‘t cry. It doesn‘t hurt anymore," said Melody as she raced into Chakotay‘s arms.
"That‘s not why we’re crying, sweet one. We are so proud of you for what you just did," said Chakotay as he laid his chin on top of her head.
"Honest daddy, you don‘t think I‘m ugly because of what they did?" asked Melody as she looked up at him.
"No sweet, we both think you‘re beautiful," said Tom as he came up and wrapped his arms around both Melody and Chakotay.
After a few minutes of family hugging Tom and Chakotay released her and rest of the assembled group added their congratulations and praise of Melody‘s accomplishment. After a few minutes Melody turned to the group and said laughingly.
"I don‘t know about the rest of you but I sure could use something to eat and I know a few people who could probably use something to eat themselves as soon as you get back. So how about we eat?" said Melody as she grabbed Chakotay and Janeway‘s arms and let them toward a table.
"Speaking of that young lady, how did you get so many people to agree to cover for us so we could all be here?" asked Janeway as she sat down across from Melody.
"Samantha Wildman helped me Aunt Kathryn, she told me who to ask and what to offer to get them to agree to *cover* during your lunch shifts so everyone could be here," explained Melody.
"Mel?" asked Tom questionably
"Oh don‘t worry Tom, it‘s nothing like that! Just a few replicator rations and some of fruits Kes and I are growing in the garden. You don‘t mind do you Kes?" asked Melody as she looked over at her.
"No, Melody, they’re mostly your plants I‘m just helping. And I‘m very proud of you," answered Kes
"Thank you," said Melody shyly.
"Well now. Lets eat, waiter!" called Tom loudly.
At everyone‘s laugh, they all settled down to decide what they were eating for lunch, after the orders were placed, and the food brought everyone settled in to eating there lunch. While eating her lunch, Melody looked over at Tom and Chakotay and smiled.
"You both knew about my back before didn‘t you?" she asked softly.
When both Chakotay and Tom stopped mid bite Melody knew that she had hit the nail right on the head. At least they both had the decency to blush a little and look away for a second
"What makes you say that, Mel?" asked Tom
"In the time I‘ve been here I think I‘ve come to know you two pretty well. And I also know how bad my back looks. Now you two had to have seen it before today or there would have been a much stronger reaction than just tears in your eyes." Said Melody as she looked over at the Doctor who was sitting with Kes and Neelix while they eat.
"You’re right Melody, I apologize for breaking our patient/doctor confidence but I thought that the Lt. and Commander should be informed of what was ahead," replied the Doctor.
"It‘s ok, I‘m sort of glad you did. Too be honest I was a little afraid of their first reaction when they saw my back," said Melody quietly.
"Afraid of us, Mel? Why?" asked Tom
"Not of you Tom, of your reaction. I knew you both would be mad, and sometimes when *they* were mad they would take it out on me..." said Melody quietly as she hung her head.
Tom and Chakotay both got up and turned her chair around to face them then knelt down beside her each taking a hand.
"Mel, we promise here and now in front of everyone that neither of us will raise a hand to you in anger. I can‘t promise that we won‘t ever get mad at you but we would never take out our anger on you," said Tom softly as he kissed her hand.
Melody looked over at Chakotay and saw the same promise and conviction in his eyes.
"I promise, sweet one," whispered Chakotay.
Now it was Melody‘s turn to cry as she launched herself into arms of the two men she loved the most. They sat on the ground in a three-way hug until Melody finally broke it.
"I don‘t know about you guys but I‘m still hungry," said Melody as leaned back.
"Do you want another lunch, yours must be cold by now?" asked Chakotay as he helped her off the ground.
"Nay... I‘m hungry enough to eat it cold and I know some replacements that waiting for you too get back," said Melody as she started eating her lunch.
"Oh yeah," said Tom as he dug into his own lunch.
After that everyone was quiet while they all ate their lunch, then one by one left they holodeck to resume their duty. It wasn‘t until it was just Tom, Chakotay, Janeway and Melody were left on the holodeck that someone spoke again.
"Well young lady, you‘ve had a very big afternoon. What are your plans now?" asked Janeway as she finished her water.
"Honestly I think I need a nap. I didn‘t realize it before but I‘m worn out," said Melody as she covered her mouth when she yawned.
"Well come one Mel, I‘ll take you home then head back to the bridge," said Tom as he put his napkin down and stood up.
"You two just go on to the bridge, I‘ll take Melody home. Now that she‘s *out* of those jeans and long sleeve shirts I want to discuss some different clothes for her wardrobe," said Janeway as she took Melody‘s arm and lead her towards the holodeck doors.
"Typical women," whispered Chakotay under his breath.
"What! Commander?" asked Janeway as they stopped just short of the doors and turned on the two men.
"Nothing, Captain. Have fun Melody, we will see you tonight," answered Chakotay and quickly pulled Tom out of the holodeck.
Melody and Janeway both laughed as they watched both men quickly retreat down the hallway, then leaned together and discussed Melody‘s new wardrobe on the way to their quarters.