Title: Things Change 5/?
Author: Maxine
Pairing C/P
Rating: R different reasons
Disclaimer: Nope I don't own them, I can't afford them. Paramount is 
the lucky one. I am just playing.

Things Change 5

When Tuvok left Harry's quarters he went to Chakotay's where he knew 
Tom would be. He rang the door chime and heard the command for the 
door to open.

"Hi Tuvok what can I do for you?" Tom had calmed since his 
run in with Harry earlier.

"Lieutenant Paris may we speak for a few minutes?"

"Sure Tuvok but can we do it back in my quarters? I don't 
really feel comfortable hanging out in Chakotay's just yet. And I 
need to get a couple of more things."

"Of course." Tuvok followed Tom out and back down the 
corridor to his quarters.

"Come on in Tuvok have a seat can I get you anything?"

"No thank you I am fine."

"Okay what did you want to talk to me about?"

"This is not an official visit may I call you Tom?"

"Of course you can anytime Tuvok."

"Thank you Tom. I want to begin by prefacing that I did not 
intentionally listen to your conversation with Mr. Kim in the 
corridor earlier."

"I am sorry Tuvok. I did not want to have that conversation 
at all. Let alone in the hallway."

"Tom, again this is not an official visit and I realized that 
it was not you who started the conversation or you who caused it to 
escalate into an argument. First I wanted to make sure that you were 
all right? I sensed your extreme distress during the argument."

"I am not going to tell you that I am fine Tuvok because I'm 
not. I am calmer then I was but I am still pretty angry at Harry."

"I expected as much. I did have a conversation of my own with 
Mr. Kim after you left. I confronted him about his need to lie to me. 
He told me that he didn't want you to get in trouble but there was no 
reason for you to hit him."

"No reason? Tuvok he called Chakotay a pompous bastard among 
other things. He was rude and nasty and his reaction was uncalled 
for. Maybe I was wrong in hitting him but that does not negate the 
fact that he had it coming."

"I do not doubt that Mr. Kim did provoke not only you but 
several other members of the crew. I have had many people come to me 
since the incident and express their displeasure with Mr. Kim and his 
attitude towards both you and Chakotay. It also may interest you to 
know that Mr. Dalby stated quite plainly that if you were to be 
charged with anything that he would also expect to be charged because 
it was he who aggravated the situation."

"Really? Damn, now that I would not have expected."

"You said yourself that Mr. Dalby had approached you and Mr. 
Kim with the intent to assault Mr. Kim not once but twice."

"Yeah, but I just figured that because he didn't he would let 
it go."

"Tom you do not seem to realize that members of this crew do 
in fact like you and would defend you when necessary. As a matter of 
fact every person that has approached me over the last two days has 
been very specific in their defense of your actions."

Tom was speechless but there was a little voice inside his head that 
said 'Take that Harry Kim'

"Thank you for telling me that Tuvok you don't know what that 
means to me."

"I believe I do Tom and you are welcome. Now about Mr. Kim 
while I spoke to him I heard and felt things that I believe he, 
himself, is unaware of feeling. Mr. Kim is jealous of your friendship 
with Chakotay." Tom snorted at that statement.

" He also does not particularly like that fact that you have made 
other friends besides him. I believe he has been under the impression 
that you would always need his friendship. By becoming friends with 
Chakotay and others that need is no longer there on your part. Mr. 
Kim, however, still counts you as his best friend or did until this 
evening and perhaps the only friend he truly has on this ship. He has 
not adapted as well as he would like everyone to think or more to the 
point would like you to think. Any friendships he has with others is 
due in a large part to your making those friends first."

Tom sat and took in everything Tuvok was saying. He thought about it 
and yes Tuvok was right, whenever Tom was able to break through an 
invisible barrier and became friends with a member of the crew Harry 
came along for the ride. Most people did not seek out Harry they 
sought out Tom and Harry was just there. Harry only ever asked him to 
play pool or go to the resort. Even with B'Elanna Harry never invited 
her it was always Tom. 

"Tuvok I understand what you are saying but that is totally 
infantile on Harry's part. I can't be a friend with anyone but him? I 
remember my sisters going through that when they were five and six 
years old."

"Be that as it may Tom, that is how Harry views you and your 

"Are you asking me to just forget everything he said to me 
both the other day and tonight? Because if you are Tuvok I am going 
to tell you, I don't think I can do that. I will not be told whom I 
can and can't be friends with. Just as he said about me at the 
beginning of this trek home no one picks my friends but me."

"Tom I am not asking you to forget anything. I merely wanted 
to point out to you what Mr. Kim was thinking and feeling, from my 
point of view. I also do not expect you to give up any of your other 
friendships to accommodate Mr. Kim or anyone else for that matter. 
That would be illogically, you are capable of making your own 

"Thank you Tuvok I do appreciate your candor. I hope you know 
that I include you in my circle of friends."

"I am glad that you do Tom because I also count you among the 
friends I have."

"So as a friend would you be willing to help me finish moving 
my things?" Tom grinned

"It would be my pleasure Tom." They both stood and Tom handed 
him a small box of video chips.

"If Chakotay has to be in bed or resting for the better part 
of six weeks, I am going to need these to keep him entertained for 
part of the time. I haven't figure out exactly what I am going to do 
with him for six weeks but I am working on it."

"Perhaps you could have him help you with a holodeck program. 
I do have a number of security simulations I would like to have you 
write. That should keep you both occupied for some time. Also I will 
be stopping by after shift to relieve you for a while each day. I am 
sure I can think of something to keep his mind occupied for a time."

"You're on Tuvok but remember you volunteered for this duty 
assignment when he is growling at you, in a couple of weeks, that 
he's bored." Tom laughed as they walked out of his quarters and back 
towards his new temporary home.

"Indeed." Tuvok's eyebrow seemed to reach his hairline and 
Tom laughed harder.

When they reached Chakotay's door and entered Tom directed Tuvok as 
to where to put the box. The door chime rang and Tom called for the 
person to enter. When the door open the captain entered.

"So Tom are you all settled in?" She smiled looking around 
the room.

"I just finished bringing a few things over captain."

"You did? I don't see anything of yours around."

"Well I am not moving it permanently captain" He laughed 

"I know that Tom but."  Tom stopped her from saying anything 

"Captain, I am here to help Chakotay recover there is no need 
for me to impose myself on him that much. I brought what will be 
necessary for my stay and a few video chips for us to watch. A couple 
of padds for reading and a book or two."

"You mean a real book with pages? Tom I am shocked I thought 
if it wasn't on a padd you wouldn't touch it." She laughed.

"Captain, I'll have you know that I have an extensive real 
book collection both here and at my father's house. Or I use to, he 
may have gone rid of them by now."

"I doubt that, I am sure he is keeping them dust free for 
when you get back."

"You may be right, most of the books are ones he bought me." 
Tom moved about the lounge area and living room putting a few things 
up out of the way. Tuvok had finished putting the few things he had 
away for Tom.

"I believe I will turn in for the night. I will be here 
tomorrow evening after dinner to help in whatever way I can Tom. Good 
Night, Tom, Good Night, Captain." 

"Thanks for the help and the talk Tuvok. Good Night."

"Good Night Tuvok." Kathryn said as he left.

Tom and Kathryn spoke for a few more minutes about what would 
happen during the next six weeks. Then she decided it was time for 
her to get some sleep. Bidding him a good night she was gone. 

After she left Tom finished putting the rest of his stuff 
away then left for his own quarters. He wasn't going to sleep in 
Chakotay's until the man was home. Once he was back in his own place 
he double-checked to make sure he hadn't forgot anything he would 
want. Then thought if he had he could always come back and get it. 
Satisfied that he had gone all he could for the night He went to bed.


The next morning at 0900 hours Tom walked into sickbay to 
find the doctor finishing up some tests on Chakotay.

"Good Morning, Doc. Morning, Chief." He smiled as he walked 
over to them. 

"Good Morning, Mr. Paris. I am glad to see you are on time."

"Good Morning, Tom." Chakotay smiled back. "So are you sure 
you want to be around the bear?"

"Oh I think I can handle you. If not I am sure we can find 
someone among the masses who have volunteered who can." 

"Well gentlemen, before you go I would like to go over a few 
things with the both of you." Tom and Chakotay looked at each other 
and rolled their eyes. Both knew that the other was thinking the same 
thing. The doctor has gone over a few things with them several times 
in the past couple of days.

"Sure Doc, what do we need to know?" Tom knew better than to 
argue with the hologram.

"First, just as you have while you were here, you will need 
to keep your feet elevated slightly above your heart when you are 
laying down.  You can sit up, as a matter of fact I recommend it. But 
for no more then an hour at a time. You can't have solid food for 
another two days. Broth, light soups, nutritional supplement drinks 
are fine but limit them to once a day. As I stated two days ago, you 
must rest more then anything else for the next four to six weeks. For 
the next two weeks bathing should be limited to sponge bathing or 
portable sonic cleansers. Trips to the bathroom to relieve yourself 
are also not recommended in that time frame." 

"Doctor, how in hell can you ask me to. What are you saying? 
I have to use a bedpan?" Chakotay was mortified.

"Yes, Commander, bedpan only."

"This is going to be extremely embarrassing." Chakotay 

"Hey don't worry about it Chief I am a professional," Tom 
smiled at him, hoping his own reservations didn't show. Chakotay made 
a noise that sounded like a mix between a snort and a groan, Tom had 
to laugh then.

"Commander, it is very important that you follow my 
instructions to the letter. Obviously you don't understand just how 
close you were to dying a week ago." The doctor sounded indignant.

"Doctor, I do understand how close I was last week. What I 
don't understand is why I can't use the bathroom."

"It would require walking Commander and your body needs time 
to recover from the heart attack and the surgery. We did replace an 
artery, remember and there are some things that even modern 
technology can't rush. "

"Alright Doctor." Chakotay sighed in resignation.

Tom remained silent, he had been through this once before. He had 
heard the arguments, he even understood how Chakotay felt. But what 
he knew that Chakotay didn't was that if he didn't listen to the 
doctor he could and mostly likely would die. That was not going to 
happen if Tom had anything to say about it. Tom decided he would tell 
Chakotay about his mother once they were alone. Not to scare the 
older man but, hopefully, to make him understand just how important 
it was for him to do exactly as the doctor instructed.

The doctor turned to Tom and handed him a padd and several 

 "Mr. Paris, this padd has further instructions for you on it and the 
hyposprays contain the medication that the Commander will need to 
take. You will be able to replicate them, as you need them. These are 
to be administered as soon as you get to his quarters. Oh one more 
thing, I understand that the captain had an extra bed placed in the 
commander's quarters for you. You should move it into his bedroom." 
He raised his hand forestalling any argument. 

"The reason for that is, if the commander has a problem, he may not 
be able to call out for you. By you sleeping in the same room with 
him, you will hear him if he is in distress."

"That makes sense." Tom answered. "Anything else?"

"No, I believe we have covered everything for now. I do 
expect to see the commander back here in two days."

"He will be here, I promise."

"Very well, I am done. You can take the commander home."

"Thanks. Paris to Tuvok."

"Tuvok here."

"Tuvok, the doctor said Chakotay can go home now. So whenever 
you are ready."

"Understood, Lieutenant." Chakotay looked at Tom with a 
puzzled expression on his face.

"Well you can't walk back to your cabin and I don't think I 
could carry you. So, Tuvok said he would transport us back." Chakotay 
nodded his understanding.

"Tuvok ready to beam out."  Tom said, then they both felt the 
familiar tingle of the transporter. Rematerializing in Chakotay's 
quarters he was shocked to find himself in his bed.

"How the hell?"

"Tuvok, got the exactly coordinates for your bed and presto. 
The doctor did say no walking, right now, even from the bedroom door. 
And whenever you have to go to sickbay Tuvok or Greg will beam you 
back and forth."

Tom helped Chakotay get comfortable once he put the padd and hypo 
down. Then he gave Chakotay the required hypos. Both men were silent 
during this time each one thinking that they were going to become 
quite intimate over the next six weeks. Neither actually knowing how 
they or the other felt about it, they each decided to leave it alone 
for now. Once Tom was satisfied that Chakotay was comfortable.

"I am going to see about getting your bed moved so I can put 
the other bed in here also."

"Alright. I would offer to help but." Chakotay joked.

"Ha! Don't think so. I am going to call and ask Greg to help. 
He wants to see you anyway. He wasn't happy that the doctor wouldn't 
let him see you in sickbay."

"Okay. Tom, thank you for helping me."

"No problem Chief."

"Are you going to call me that all the time now?"

"I don't know maybe." Tom grinned. "Do you need anything? 
Want something to drink?"

"A glass of water would be good. Honestly I am tired, I think 
I will get some sleep." Tom walked out of the room and came back with 
a glass of water.

"You will be doing a lot of sleeping for the next few weeks 
Chakotay. If you feel the need to sleep don't fight it. You have to 
listen to your body."

"I know, if I had listened before I may have avoided all 
this." Chakotay said as he waved his hand to indicate the bed and his 
having to stay in it.

"We don't know that for sure, but it doesn't matter now. It's 
over and done with, now is the time to think about your recovery. Go 
to sleep, I will call Greg and when you wake up he and I will move 
what needs to be moved."

Chakotay nodded, closed his eyes and was asleep before Tom left the 
room. Tom commed Greg and explained what he needed done. Greg readily 
agreed to help, he also asked how Chakotay was doing. Tom and he 
spoke for a few minutes and then agreed that when Chakotay woke Tom 
would comm him and he would come by. Signing off Tom replicated 
himself a snack, he was going to go over the padd that the doctor had 
given him. When he realized it was in Chakotay's room, he went in 
quietly and got it. While there he quickly checked Chakotay's 
breathing and heart rate, satisfied the older man was fine he went 
back in the living room, got comfortable and started reading.

For the next three hours Tom read, answered comm's from 
different crewmembers and started going over the security simulations 
Tuvok wanted. The captain stopped by to see how everything was going. 
While they spoke Chakotay woke up and the captain visited with him 
for a few minutes. Tom commed Greg and then politely kicked the 
captain out saying that the doctor ordered limited visiting times for 
the first week. She left and Tom once again checked Chakotay's vital 

"Greg will be by in a few minutes to help with the beds. Do 
you need anything before then?"

"Maybe a glass of water. I am thirsty."

"Okay, I think I will put a pitcher and glass on the 
nightstand. This way you can have it whenever you want."

"That sounds good Tom, thanks." Chakotay laid back, closed 
his eyes and realized he had to go to pee.  'Shit!' 

Chakotay heard the door chime and hoped it was Greg. He wouldn't have 
a problem with Greg helping him. They had been together while they 
were in the Maquis. Chakotay really wasn't looking forward to letting 
Tom or Tuvok get up close and personal. But he couldn't get stressed 
that is what the doctor said. 'Wonder if we can beam it out.' He 
snorted at the thought. Tom and Greg interrupted his thoughts.

"Hey Chakotay, how are you feeling?" His old friend was 
smiling and looking quite pleased to see him. Chakotay was glad to 
see Greg too for more then one reason right now.

"I am feeling better thanks, Greg. So now tell me how are the 
two of you going to move this bed with me in it?"

"Never fear Chief we have that covered!" Tom grinned.

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah, you are going on a quick transport ride to the bed in 
the lounge area and then back again when we have moved the bed."

"Tom you can't expect the captain to approve something like 

"It was her idea Chief." Tom informed him with a smug look on 
his face.
Chakotay couldn't believe it, but he wasn't going to say anything.

"So if you are ready?"

"Actually, Tom, would you give Greg and me a minute to talk 
in private?"

"Sure thing." Tom turned and left and if he felt hurt he 
didn't show it.

"What's up Chakotay?" Greg was puzzled as to why Chakotay 
would want to talk to him privately. 

"Greg, I need to ask a big favor from you and please don't 
say anything to Tom."

"Sure Cha what's up?"

"Well, umm, I have to pee and I am not allowed to get up and 
use the bathroom. Could you possibly help me? I know it seems stupid 
but I am not comfortable with Tom standing here helping me sit up so 
I can pee." 

"Of course Cha." Greg couldn't help but laugh at his friend's 

"It's not funny Greg. This is really embarrassing! How am I 
going to do this for six weeks?" Greg could hear the frustration in 
Chakotay's voice.

"Cha why don't you just talk to Tom and tell him how you 
feel. He might feel the same way you know." Greg reasoned.

"You are right. I will, but right now can you give me a hand? 
And no I don't mean hold it for me. Just help me sit up further and 
hold me upright."

"Okay, what are you going to use to pee in?"

"I think there is some kind of portable thing in the 
bathroom. That is what Tom had said yesterday." Greg went into the 
bathroom and came back with an odd shaped plastic pitcher with a 
handle and a cover. 

"Gods, that's it?"

"Yeah, it's called a urinal. I remember seeing one of these 
when I visited my grandfather as a kid. He was bedridden for a while 
and well he used this."

"Okay, since you have seen one how does it work? Hurry I 
can't wait much longer."

Greg handed Chakotay the odd shaped plastic urinal, then stood beside 
him, grabbed on to his arm from his armpit and pulled him forward. 
Placing his other arm around Chakotay back and gripping his shoulder 
he gave him the support he needed to sit and take care the problem.  
Hearing Chakotay breathe a sigh of relief as he went to the bathroom, 
Greg couldn't help but chuckle. 

"You know for a big strong mystical warrior you can be such a 

"Hey, let's see how you would react to suddenly being 
completely depend on others and try to keep some dignity." Chakotay 
growled at him.

"I never said I wouldn't have a problem with it, I am just 
saying that you really need to tell Tom. You might end up hurting his 
feeling if you don't. He has given up something no one ever thought 
he would to be here Chakotay. Don't give Harry the satisfaction of 
being right." Greg helped Chakotay lay back down, took the urinal and 
walked into the bathroom.

"What? What are you talking about?"  Chakotay asked when Greg 
returned. Chakotay had no idea what Greg was talking about. Tom 
didn't say anything to him about the last argument so he didn't know 
that they were no longer friends.

'Ask Tom."  Then as if knowing he was being talked about Tom 
knocked on the door and came in.

"Sorry, are you done? I don't want to rush you Greg but you 
only have about thirty minutes before your dinner date will become 
quite angry."

"Right, don't want Gerron to be angry with me. I will suffer 
for sure." Greg smiled at the two men.

"So you ready for that transfer, Chief?"

"Ready as I will ever be, I suppose." Tom nodded and called 
Tuvok to let him know they were ready. 

Twenty-five minutes later Chakotay was back in his own bed and the 
single bed Tom would be using was in place.

"Thanks for you help Greg, I appreciate it."

"No problem Tom. Glad I could help." Turning to 
Chakotay. "And you be a good patient and remember what I said."

"Yes, Sir." Chakotay said with a mock salute. Greg shook his 

"Bye Tom. Bye Chak." He said as he turned and let himself out.

"Have a good visit?" Tom was curious about what the two 
friends spoke about but didn't want to ask.

"Yes, we did as a matter of fact." Chakotay shifted a bit on 
the bed. Moving himself in a more upright position. Tom immediately 
went over and helped.

"Tom, we need to talk a few things." When he saw the pained 
expression on Tom's face, he realized that Tom might have thought he 
was going to tell him he didn't want his help.

"Tom relax, I just thought that now would be a good time to 
talk about what we are both going to have to do over the next couple 
of weeks. I have to admit that I am uncomfortable with one or two 
things and I think you might be also." Tom nodded silently, waiting 
for Chakotay to go on.

"Perhaps, by talking about it now, we will both be able to, I 
don't know reassure each other that it's okay. We can deal with 
whatever happens if we know that the other feels uncomfortable or 
even angry. Because I do see myself getting angry that I won't be 
able to get out of bed and do simple things for myself. I already am, 
but I am not nor will I be angry with you, though it might seem that 
way at times." 

 While Chakotay spoke Tom came to a decision, he was going to be as 
honest as he could be about everything with Chakotay. He knew that 
Chakotay would expect and he would do the same with Tom. He sat down 
on the bed close but not too close to the older man.

"You are right Chief, there is something I am uncomfortable 
with and I don't want you to think that it has anything to do with 
you. But can I ask that you tell me what you have a problem with 
before I spill my guts?" Tom gave a small smile hoping that Chakotay 
would in fact tell him first. That way he would be able to get out of 
there as soon as he told the older man about his experience and avoid 
the possibility have having to "explore" his feelings on the whole 

Chakotay did want to get everything he was feeling out of the way 
quickly. He figured if he did then he could listen to Tom and then 
they could talk things out and work out something.

"Okay, me first huh?" 


"I don't like depending on others for anything. I resent 
having to depend on you for having to help me with the every day 
things I need to do in my life. I don't resent you because it's you 
Tom Paris, I would resent the help no matter who it came from. My two 
biggest problems is having anyone give me a bath and needing help to 
simply take a pee.  I am not shy when it comes to my body, but I 
prefer to be in control of when someone sees me naked." Chakotay gave 
Tom a shy smile and waited.

"Chakotay, I do understand how you feel, and believe me if 
there was any other way we could do this, I would to make you feel 
more comfortable. To make ME feel more comfortable" He sighed and 
decided to just jump in.

"I want to tell you something that I have never told anyone, 
although someone did figure it out. I would like to get it all said 
before you say anything. I need you to just listen to me. Know that I 
am telling you this because if I don't and you see a reaction from me 
when I am trying to help you get cleaned up, you might think it is 
about you and it wouldn't be."

"Alright Tom, I will listen and refrain for commenting until 
you are done." Chakotay didn't like the directions his thoughts were 
going just from the little Tom has said already. He had a bad feeling 
about whatever the younger man was about to confess. But he knew he 
would have to hear him out with as little reaction as he could.

"Okay." Tom took a deep breath and let it out. It was as if 
he was trying to gain a bit of strength.

"When I was at the Academy, my roommate and his 
boyfriend "forced" themselves on me. They got me drunk, not too 
drunk, just drunk enough to let my guard down. See Danny, my 
roommate, knew that I was curious about being with another man. He 
called it bi-curious, anyway, he told his boyfriend Blair about it 
about Blair "volunteered" to show me the ropes. When I realized that 
things were going to go further than I was ready for I told them I 
wasn't that curious. I said no, but Blair decided he didn't want to 
stop. He had Danny hold me down while he, umm, you know. Then Blair 
reversed positions with him and Danny did the same." Tom cut himself 
off for a minute to catch his breath. When he saw that Chakotay was 
going to say something he held up his hand to stop him, and he shook 
his head to indicate he wasn't done. Taking another deep breath he 
started again with his story.

"Since then I have had an extremely difficult time being 
around naked men. Prison was hell for me. I was so scared when it was 
time to shower, there were days I would beg off no matter how dirty I 
felt. I just couldn't stand the thought of being around other men and 
being naked. Thankfully I never had worry about being forced again. 
There were guys who gave it up freely and willing for those who 
wanted sex, so the need to take it from someone who wasn't willing 
just wasn't there."

"I was approached once by a new inmate but he was quickly 
shown he shouldn't have. There was this guy Tony who, it turned out, 
knew Blair. Seems that Blair had a reputation for going around 
picking up guys and then getting them to help him with his real 
fetish. I don't remember how or why I ended up talking about Danny to 
Tony, but he remembered Blair's "best student", his words, and knew 
what happened without me having to actually say anything. Tony kept 
an eye on me while I was there, he didn't need to protect me, he knew 
that I could take care of myself. He just watched my back."

"I wanted you to know this because I know that I am going to 
react poorly, even though I'll try not to. I can and will do whatever 
I have to do to help you, but if I seem hesitant I don't want you to 
think it's you and get upset." Tom finished with a cleansing breath 
and started to stand, but a hand on his arm stopped him.

"I am sorry that you went through that Tom. I can see that 
you have dealt with the pain and the probable humiliation it caused." 
He decided not to use the correct term for what happened to Tom. He 
would not force that issue on him." As your friend, I would never 
tell anyone anything you told me, especially something like this." 
Tom hadn't been able to look at Chakotay at first but when he said 
that he did look up.

 "I do understand and will understand your hesitation when helping me 
bathe or use the urinal. I will not lie to you and say I am not 
upset. Because I am upset but not with you, I could never be upset 
with you for your reaction to seeing me with nothing on. I am, 
however, upset for you." Chakotay stopped and waited to see Tom's 
reaction to his admission. When he saw that Tom accepted what he said 
as the truth he continued.

"I am upset that, instead of being able to find out if being 
with another man was something you wanted, you were forced to decided 
never to take that chance. No one should ever but forced to do 
anything they don't want to do, especially when it comes to sex.  I 
will say that I hope I never meet Blair or Danny, because I couldn't 
promise that I wouldn't beat the crap out of them for what they did 
to you." Chakotay finished with a evil smile, knowing that Tom 
understood he was just being himself. Protecting his friends from 

"Thank you Chakotay. Thank you for understanding, thank you 
for being my friend." Tom whispered.

"Hey how could I not be your friend? You saved me from 
certain death twice now." He smiled hoping to lighten the mood.

"Yeah well I would do that for any friend and I am glad we 
are friends Chief."

"I have to ask you something. Greg mentioned something to me 
and I need to know what he meant. He wouldn't tell me, he said to ask 

Tom stiffen a little, he knew Greg didn't know he had decided not to 
tell Chakotay about Harry and his self-centered, childish attitude. 
He didn't want Chakotay to get angry.

"What did he say?"

"Well, I will start by being honest and tell you that me 
needing to speak to him in private wasn't the complete truth." 
Chakotay looked down at his hands in is lap. "I needed to pee and I 
felt strange asking you. Greg and I go back a long way and well, we 
have been intimate. I felt more comfortable having him help me then 
you. It had nothing to do with you, as I said earlier, I prefer to 
have some control as to when and why people see me with no clothes 
on." Tom nodded his acceptance of the explanation. 

"That said, Greg told me I should tell you how I felt. He 
said and I quote, ''He has given up something no one ever thought he 
would to be here Chakotay. Don't give Harry the satisfaction of being 
right.'  What was he talking about Tom?"

Tom sighed, he figured he might as well just tell him 

"Harry has been a real jerk since you had the heart attack. 
Walking, no, stomping around, complaining that everyone was acting 
like you were this god like person, which they weren't. I told you I 
hit him." Chakotay nodded.

 "Well last night while I was bringing some of my stuff here I ran 
into him in the corridor. He still had this huge chip on his shoulder 
and I just didn't want to deal with it. He said some really nasty 
things about me and you and the rest of the crew. I told him he was a 
self centered cry-ass child and I had no time for him. He got even 
nastier and claimed that no one gave a shit about him when he had 
died."  Tom stopped and stood up, he started pacing he was getting 
pissed all over again he needed to move.

"I just freaked! If my arms hadn't been full I would have hit 
him again. I started to walk anyway and again his accusations came 
flying at me. I told him that even if everyone on this ship turned 
their back on me once you are on your feet, I would rather rot in my 
quarters then ever be caught dead spending time with him again. So 
needless to say Harry and I are no longer friends." He stopped pacing 
and faced Chakotay. 

He hoped the older man wasn't too upset or angry he knew that would 
be the worse thing for Chakotay. What he saw on the other man's face 
was not anger but sadness.

"Tom, I am sorry. I don't know what I ever did to Harry Kim to make 
him dislike me so much."

Tom shook his head, he realized that Chakotay didn't understand what 
he was saying.

"Chakotay, he doesn't hate you, he hates the fact that you and I are 
friends. Harry hates the fact that I am a friend with anyone but him. 
He doesn't want me to have any friends other then him. It's an 
infantile way of thinking, as I told Tuvok, my sisters and their 
friends acted that way when they were five."

"How did Tuvok get involved?"

"He heard the entire argument. I am surprised the whole ship 
didn't hear us the way we were yelling." Tom still couldn't believe 
he lost his temper like that, let alone twice in as many days. 

"Tuvok spoke to Harry first and then he came to see me. He 
did explain a few things to me that I hadn't seen. But none if it 
excuses Harry's behavior as far as I am concerned."

"Tom, I."

"Chakotay, Harry doesn't matter anymore. Even if you were to 
tell me to leave and someone else can take over with your recovery, I 
will never again set myself up like that with him. I want to be here, 
I want to help you, I need to help you. You are my friend, I could 
not turn my back on you for Harry or anyone else for that matter."

"Thank you Tom, for being willing to give up the one person 
who has believed in you all along to help me. I can't begin to tell 
you what that means to me."

"Honestly Chief, I don't think Harry really ever believed in 
me. Not after what Tuvok said. I believe he became my friend because 
he thought he would be my only friend out here. Personally I think I 
stepped up in my choice of friends not down. So, let's just forget it 
and go forward, okay?" Tom smiled

"Okay." Chakotay smiled back and then suddenly felt very 
tired. His eyes closed of their own accord.

"Damn Chief, why didn't you tell me you were tired. Here I am 
going on and on and you should be resting, if not sleeping."

"I was fine until just now but I am tired now and think I 
will take a nap."

"Okay." Tom checked the time. "Let me get the hypospray it's 
time for your medication anyway. Then you can sleep, when you get up 
you should have something to eat." Tom got the required hypo and 
administered the medicine.

"Tom I can't eat remember?" Chakotay quipped.

"Oh you know what I meant." Tom said with faked frustration. 

"Go to sleep Chief, see you in a couple of hours." As Tom 
left the bedroom he called for lights out and closed the door.