Title: Thrown Through Time

Authors: R. Mason & Joanne Collins

Rating: G – NC-17 (depending on where in the story)

Codes: C/P, C/P/M (only once), M/I (Implied)

Feedback: mchakotayparis@yahoo.com

Summary: See Chapter 1

Thrown Through Time

Chapter 5

Three days later Chakotay put himself and Tom on half-day duty shifts so that one of them could be with her all the time. She was making great progress but still needed someone to watch her occasionally to make sure she didn’t over do it.

Earlier that morning Melody had asked Tom about the holodoctor.

"Tom, I don’t understand about the man in sickbay?" asked Melody as she looked up from the PADD she was reading.

Tom put down the con report PADD he was working on and looked over at the young woman sitting on the couch. At first glance you could almost believe that she fit right in on board Voyager, although small things such as the door chime, the COM system, and the turbo lifts still bothered her some. But for the most part she had taken to everything in the twenty-fourth century fairly easily. But she still had the wide-eyed curiosity of a child, everything was new to her, and although she was smart, some things still easily confused her.

"What don’t you understand, sweet," asked Tom as he came over and sat down beside her.

"It says here that he is not a real person but a computer program?"

"I’ll tell you want, why don’t we take a break and eat some lunch. Chakotay will be home soon then you can go to sickbay if you like and ask the Doc yourself? All right?" said Tom as he took the PADD from her hand.

"You just side stepped the question didn’t you?" asked Melody.

"Your right, Mel. I’m sorry, but the EMH is rather complicated and we just don’t have the time right now to get into that. But I promise you can go to sickbay and ask him all the questions you like this afternoon all right?"

"You have a deal, thank you," said Melody as she went to the replicator to order her lunch.

After lunch Melody read on the couch until she fell asleep, Tom left her there not wanting to disturb her and went back to working on his Con reports. Later Tom heard her crying softly. He quickly crossed the room and sat across from her for almost an hour before he clearly understood what she wanted, then spent another hour searching the database for exactly what he wanted. He had found a reference to something that was called "soft sculpture" and replicated a duck for Melody. Tom had left it beside her on the couch, so when she woke it was the first thing she saw. Her soft cries of joy was all Tom needed to hear to know that he had found the perfect thing for Melody.

When Chakotay’s shift ended he returned to find Melody sitting on the couch reading a PADD with a stuffed animal in her lap.

He crossed the living area and knelt down in front of her and asked, "Where did you get that Melody?" pointing to the animal in her lap.

"Oh hi, Chakotay. Tom made it for me, or replicated it I guess. I must have been mumbling in my sleep this afternoon about my stuffed animal. Because when I woke up it was laying beside me."

"That‘s nice, sweet. Where did you get your first one?"

"My grandmother made it for me when I was living with her. It was the only thing that they let me take with me after she died."

"Well I‘m glad you have it now. What are you reading?" asked Chakotay as he looked down at the PADD in her lap.

"It‘s about the immigration from Earth. Your not from Earth are you, Chakotay?"

"What makes you say that?" said Chakotay as he got to his feet and stood with his back to her.

"Chakotay! I‘m not dumb you know," said Melody as she got up and turned him around to face her. "In my job as a teacher I got bounced around all fifty states and even some of Canada. You may look like our Native American Indians but your customs and mannerisms are all wrong. Besides, I don‘t remember any wearing a tattoo, at least not the men," joked Melody.

"Does that upset you?" asked Chakotay as he put his arms around her shoulders.

"No! It‘s a part of you. A part I‘d like to learn about and understand if you will teach me," said Melody as she put her hands over his.

"I‘d like that, very much, sweet one," said Chakotay as he relaxed releasing the breath he had not known he was holding.

Chakotay didn‘t know what he would have done if Melody had been upset to found out that he was not from Earth. He wanted to share all about Dorvan V with Melody and teach her all the ways of his people.

"Great," said Melody as she smiled at him.

"You got a deal young lady."

"Now I have got to go ask the Doctor about a few things I have been reading about. See you later," said Melody as he headed towards the door.

"Wait a minute young lady. Does Tom know where you are going?" asked Chakotay as he reached for her arm.

"Oh course he does. It was his idea in the first place."

"Tom!" yelled Chakotay.

"You called, Chakotay?" said Tom as he came out of their bedroom dressed in his uniform.

"Bellowed is more like it," said Melody under her breath.

"Melody!" said Tom and Chakotay in unison.

"Sorry guys."

"Did you tell Melody that she could go to sickbay?" asked Chakotay

"Do you want to explain the holodoctor to her?" asked Tom.

"Oh, I guess it is better to have him explain, but she‘s not going by herself," said Chakotay as he looked at Tom.

"Mel! You know I asked you to wait until Chakotay got off duty so he could go with you," said Tom

"Tom! I‘m not a baby," exclaimed Melody as she pulled away from both men.

"We know you‘re not, sweet. But we just don‘t want to take any chances. You haven‘t been up and around by yourself for very long. Please, Melody, humor us on this one thing, OK?" asked Tom as he came over to her.

"All right, for now," said Melody as she sat down on the couch.

"Thanks, Mel. I‘ll see you later," said Tom as he kissed her on the forehead.

Then turned to Chakotay. "Watch her, Chak. She pushed herself today," said Tom with a kiss then he left for duty.

Chakotay went to their bedroom and changed into civilian clothes. When he reappeared Melody was sitting on the on the couch with her legs pulled up. She looked like she was pouting. It was the only thing that would explain her behavior. Chakotay needed to find out what was wrong so he walked over and sat down beside her.

"Melody, talk to me. Tell me what‘s wrong?"

"I‘m not really sure Chakotay. I know that I still have a lot to learn and that you‘re only trying to protect me but you have to understand something. I have been on my own since I was eighteen years old. It‘s really hard for me to have someone take over my life,"

"I‘m sorry, sweet one. I didn‘t realize that‘s what we were doing," said Chakotay softly.

At the hurt expression on his face Melody said. "Oh Chakotay," as she put her feet down and moved closer to him.

"I know you both only have my best interests at heart. I‘m really flattered that you both even care about someone like me."

"Someone like you? What do you mean!" said Chakotay as he took her face in his hands.

"Chakotay, whether you know it our not, I‘ve done some pretty awful things in my life," said Melody as she lowered her head.

"Now you listen to me, young lady. There is nothing in this world that could make Tom or I feel any different about you. We both love you very much, regardless of your past," said Chakotay as he gently pulled Melody‘s face up and looked her in the eyes.

"Are you sure?"

"Positive. Even if we never found out everything about your past we will still love you, Melody Hanley," said Chakotay as he pulled her into his chest holding her tightly.

"Oh, why aren‘t you two married?" mumbled Melody against his chest.

"What?"

"I asked why aren‘t you and Tom married. In my time, it would be the next logical step for two people who loved each other like you to do. So why aren‘t you two married?" asked Melody pulling away from his chest but not out of his arms.

Chakotay just sat there staring at Melody. He and Tom had never even brought up the subject of marriage so when Melody mentioned it his mind started racing. He could see a green field with a beautiful tree and a clear blue sky. The two of them standing before all their friends exchanging vows of love and rings of gold.

"Chakotay, Chakotay! Are you all right," asked Melody

Melody‘s voice broke into his dreams and her turned to look at the young woman in his arms.

"Uhh yes, oh course. What were we talking about?"

"I asked why you and Tom weren‘t married?"

"Well, sweet one. I‘ve never asked him," said Chakotay truthfully.

"You two do want to get married don‘t you? I mean you wouldn‘t do it just because of me would you?" asked Melody.

"No, Melody. I can truthfully say that when Tom and I get married it won‘t be because of you."

"I‘m glad. Now can we eat? I‘m hungry."

"Now that‘s, my girl. You go get cleaned up and I‘ll get us something to eat."

"Yes sir!" said Melody as she jumped out of his arms and headed towards her bedroom, she was halfway there when she suddenly stopped and came back to him and kissed him on the cheek.

"What was that for?" asked Chakotay.

"For being so understanding," said Melody as she left again for her room.

Chakotay looked after her, and then shaking his head went to get Melody a snack from the replicator. A few minutes later Melody returned and they ate a quietly together.

After a snack and another short nap before Melody finally found herself in an empty sickbay with Chakotay.

"Are you sure you want to do this Melody?" asked Chakotay.

"Yes, I‘m sure."

"All right. Computer, initiate emergency medical holographic program," said Chakotay

"Please state the nature of the medical emergency...Ahh, Commander Chakotay, Melody. What a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you?" asked the Doctor as he blinked into existence.

"Doctor, Melody has some questions for you," said Chakotay as he stepped aside for her.

"You‘re not...you‘re not real are you?" asked Melody.

The Doctor looked at Chakotay, then back to Melody. At Chakotay‘s nod he answered.

"No, I‘m not. I‘m a hologram."

Melody visually paled and both the Doctor and Chakotay reached for her.

"No, don‘t please. I‘m all right, I just need to sit down for a minute."

"You can use my office," said the Doctor as he led Melody into his office and she sat down in the chair in front of his desk.

"I don‘t...I don‘t understand. How can that be? What are you?"

"I‘m a holographic program designed to be used as a supplement to Voyagers‘ Chief Medical Officer," explained the Doctor.

"But Voyager doesn‘t have a Chief Medical Officer."

"That‘s right. He was killed when a distortion field from the Caretaker brought us to the Delta Quadrant."

"Distortion field...Caretaker? Now I‘m really confused."

"I‘ll explain it all to you sometime, Melody. Let‘s just leave it at that. We were brought out here against our wishes," said Chakotay as he stood beside Melody.

"OK, so now what? The Doctor is dead and the only medical staff you have is a hologram?" asked Melody.

"That‘s right. Aside from Kes and Lt. Paris," said the Doctor.

"But how does he...I thought holograms only worked on the holodecks?"

"Ahh yes, well. You see sickbay is equipped with holoemitters that make it possible for my program to run here as well."

"But not any where else?" asked Melody.

"That‘s correct."

"But what if someone gets hurt and can‘t be brought to sickbay?"

"Then I use my mobile emitter and go to them."

"Mobile emitter? Now I‘m confused, again."

"That‘s another..." said Chakotay.

"I know, another long story. But when I was here before I could touch you. If you‘re only a computer program how is that possible?"

"I can manipulate my holomatrix to let things pass through me or stay solid." explained the Doctor

"Can you...I mean, may I see? Please," asked Melody.

"Oh course. Wave your hand through me."

Melody rose from her chair and walked in front of the Doctor and swung her hand at the Doctor‘s stomach, but it passed right through.

"Whoa..." said Melody as she sat back down.

"Whoa...indeed," answered the Doctor.

"How much do you know?"

"I am equipped with over 2,000 medical references and the experience of 47 physicians."

"Really, I bet you know every medical break through that has happened since my time."

"I certainly do."

"Can you tell me please? I have always had a fascination with medicine but I never could stand all the blood."

"I would be most happy to."

"Melody, don‘t you think your getting a little ahead of yourself?" asked Chakotay.

"What do you mean?"

"You still aren‘t up to date on everything that has happen from your time to ours. How do you expect to understand the entire medical stuff if you don‘t know what preceded them?" explained Chakotay.

"I guess your right, but you won‘t forget will you, Doctor?" asked Melody

"Don‘t worry Melody, I won‘t. When you are ready come and see me and I‘ll be happy to explain everything to you," said the Doctor.

"Oh thank you," said Melody as she threw her arms around his neck.

"Uhh, your welcome."

"Do we need to turn him off?" asked Melody

"Computer deactivate EMH," whispered Chakotay.

"Good bye Doctor, and thank you. Computer deactivate EMH," said Melody.

"Well, you ready to go meet Tom and have some dinner?" asked Chakotay.

"You bet. Let‘s go. I still would like to learn more about holograms and holoprograms though."

"Oh I‘m sure Tom can tell you all you need to know about them. He wrote the beach house we were at remember?"

"Yes, I do. You think he‘ll teach me how to write one myself?"

"I think he‘d love that, Melody."

"Oh thanks, Chakotay. You‘re both the greatest," said Melody as she threw her arms around his neck.

"You‘re welcome, sweet one. Now how about that dinner? This old man‘s hungry."

"Chakotay, you‘re not that old!" said Melody as they walked out of sickbay and headed to their quarters.

That night after dinner Captain Janeway and Ensign Wildman joined Tom and Chakotay to start discussing Melody‘s education into the Twenty-four century. The Doctor‘s scans revealed that Melody had retained a high school education, but it was only up to the twentieth century standards. She would have to be taught everything that a child of the twenty-fourth century would learn.

Ensign Samantha Wildman was asked if she would teach Melody along with her daughter Naomi, while Tuvok would be supervising her progress from a distance. Given her reaction to seeing Crewman Chell, it was agreed that for now, Melody would not meet any of the crewmembers from other races. As she progressed once crewmember would be introduced to her at a time. So Melody would be taught in their quarters or in the Wildman‘s. It was also agreed that she could spend some time in sickbay with the Doctor and Kes. Melody was introduced to Samantha and Naomi Wildman that night and she agreed to start her reeducation the next morning.

After a few awkward days of the teacher becoming the student, Melody settled into her new schedule easily that Chakotay put himself and Tom on full duty. With Tom and Chakotay on regular duty again. Melody soon learned that her nightmares was disturbing their sleep and they were becoming very irritable in the mornings after one of them had stayed up with her. So she tried to not cry out in her sleep at night.

Even though she missed their cuddling she knew that they both needed their sleep to do their jobs properly. So at night when the nightmares came Melody would suppress her cry and wake up with a sore jaw and a chewed lower lip. Tom and Chakotay soon noticed her edginess but figured it was do to every thing she was learning. Only when she was with Samantha would she talk about her nightmares.

"Melody, what‘s wrong?" asked Samantha as they were working.

"I’ve been having nightmares," answered Melody.

"That‘s the fourth on this week. You have got to tell Commander Chakotay or Tom."

"No, I can‘t. They can‘t stop them anyway. Please Samantha, promise me you won‘t tell. Please!" pleaded Melody.

"All right, I won‘t for now. But you had better tell them soon, or I will."

"I will...I promise," said Melody.

But that night as usual Melody held in her screams and once again awoke with a sore jaw and bloody lip.

Unknown to Melody someone else had noticed the change in her behavior. For several days Lt. Tuvok had been monitoring Melody‘s achievements. He had agreed to supervise Melody‘s education from a distance, and for some unknown reason her efficiency was dropping. Tuvok planned to speak to Commander Chakotay or Lt. Paris at the first opportunity to see if they knew the reason.

"Computer locate Lt. Paris."

"Lt. Paris is in his quarters," answered the computer‘s voice.

"Tuvok to Lt. Paris."

"Paris here. Go ahead, Tuvok."

When the com came in Tom was sitting at the desk working on con reports, while Melody was studying on the couch. Melody visually tensed when she heard the com. Samantha Wildman had told her that Lt. Tuvok was supervising her studies and would monitor her progress for Tom and Chakotay. If he was calling now he must have noticed the drop in her grades and attention. She knew that time was short before she would have to explain it to them.

"Lieutenant, I wish to speak to you on a personal matter," answered Tuvok.

"Be right there. Paris out," said Tom as he closed the link. "Melody, I have to go see Lt. Tuvok for a while. Will you be all right here by yourself?"

"Oh course, Tom. I‘m not a baby you know," replied Melody.

"I know, sweet. Chakotay should be finished with his meeting soon. If I‘m not back before he is tell him where I‘m at, OK?" said Tom as he kissed her forehead and then left.

"Sure," said Melody as she watched the door close behind him.

She tried to go back to reading the PADD she was holding but she just couldn‘t concentrate. Lt. Tuvok was going to tell Tom about her dropping grades, and then she would have to explain about the nightmares. Tom and Chakotay thought that they had stopped, but they had only gotten worse.

They were more violent and now they were coming even when she was able to snatch a nap during the day. It was almost to the point where she feared going to sleep. She knew the nightmares would come and it was getting harder to hide her sleepless nights from Tom and Chakotay, plus now Samantha had started to notice how tired she was all the time.

Melody had to get out of this cabin. Maybe if she went to Kes‘s garden she could think of a way to tell them. She took off her COM badge, and left.

It was after shift change so most of the crew had already eaten and gone to their nightly activities. Melody made it to the right level and out of the turbo lift before she realized she was lost. She had only been to Kes‘s garden once and that had been with Chakotay and Tom. Melody had just started using her walker and had been concentrating more on walking than where they were going. Now she didn‘t remember how to get there.

"Damn!" exclaimed Melody. Now she was going to have to ask for help and have to explain to Tom why she hadn‘t stay in their quarters.

A door slid open to her left and Melody saw that is was the Mess Hall. Maybe she could get something to eat and then COM Tom or Chakotay from here. She entered the empty room only to be greeted by a small hairy man. Melody had seen him once before in Samantha‘s quarters, and Naomi said his name was Neelix.

"Why hello there. You must be Melody?" said Neelix as he came out of the kitchen.

Several days ago Melody had fallen asleep in Naomi‘s bedroom when she awoke to voices from the other room. She sneaked to the door and saw Naomi and Samantha talking to the man standing before her. When they pointed towards the bedroom, Melody had run back to lie on the bed. It was later that afternoon when she had asked Naomi about the man.

"Do you have...may I have something to eat please? I‘m a little hungry," said Melody softly.

"Certainly you can. Why don‘t you go sit down and I will bring you a plate. What would you like to drink?" asked Neelix.

"Just water, please."

"Coming right up," said Neelix as he disappeared into the kitchen.

Melody looked around and found an empty table in the corner. Neelix returned carrying a plate of yellowish green food and put in front of her.

"Enjoy," said Neelix as he left.

Melody picked at the food for a few minutes, and then tried a small mouthful. She soon made short work of her food, discovering that if she ate it quickly it didn‘t taste that bad. When she had finished her plate, she pushed her tray away and finished her water. She looked around noticing that more people were coming into the Mess Hall.

"Melody!" called a voice from the doorway.

Melody turned to see a small woman with fierce looking eyes and a bumpy forehead coming toward her. From the tone of her voice Melody knew that she was in trouble. Suddenly her fear instincts kicked in Melody had to get out of here fast.

She got up quickly and ran around the table, dodging the woman, and ran out the door. Melody was so intent on getting away from the woman that she didn‘t see the large chest in front of her until she collided into it. Melody looked up into the face of Lt. Tuvok and let out a startled squeak. The man was greenish brown and had pointed ears. Tuvok grabbed her momentarily but Melody broke free and ran down the hall.

At the same time Melody was running away from Tuvok, Chakotay and Tom were arriving at their quarters.

"What are you doing out here?" asked Chakotay.

"Tuvok asked to talk to me about Melody. I left her inside," answered Tom as he open the door.

Chakotay looked around the room then asked. "Where is she?"

"I don‘t know Chak. She was here when I left," said Tom anxiously.

"Chakotay to Tuvok."

"Tuvok here. Go ahead Commander."

"Have you seen Melody tonight?"

"Yes Commander, she just left the mess hall."

"Damn! Computer locate Melody Hanley," asked Tom

"Melody Hanley is in her quarters," replied the voice.

"What!" said Chakotay.

Tom walked over to the coffee table and picked up her COM badge. They had just give it to her two weeks ago knowing that it was an easy way to keep track of her. Tom showed it to Chakotay.

"Spirits, she‘s getting smart."

"Paris to Tuvok. Melody is not in our quarter and she is not wearing her COM badge."

"Understood. Tuvok out."

"We‘ve got to find her Chak, what if she runs into one of the crewmen."

"Don‘t worry Tom, we‘ll find her. Where is the safest place she would go?"

"The airponics bay, Kes‘s garden," replied Tom.

"Chakotay to Tuvok. Meet us in the Airponics bay."

"Aye, Commander."

"Come on Tom, let‘s go find her," said Chakotay as they both left.

TBC