Title: Things Change 6
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Things Change 6
Tom went back out to the living room
and realized that he had
not checked with the doctor about
where Chakotay could eat. Should he
keep him in bed or could he have
him come out and eat on the couch.
He was sure that the older man wouldn't
want to eat in bed but he had
"Paris to Sickbay"
"Sickbay here. Is everything all
"Yeah Doc, Chakotay is sleeping.
I have a question."
"And that would be?"
"Does Chakotay have to stay in bed
or can I have him on the
couch when he eats? I really don't
think he is going to be thrilled
about eating or rather drinking
in his bed."
"The couch is fine Mr. Paris. As
long as his feet and legs
are elevated, make sure to put a
pillow or something under his calves
and feet so that they are at a thirty
"Sure thing Doc, thanks. Paris out."
Tom decided to go through his personal logs, he
honestly couldn't remember the last
time he had sat down and made
one. When he checked it had been
a week since his last entry. The
morning before Chakotay's heart
attack. 'Wow I have really been
slacking off'. So he sat back and
recounted the events of the past
week. He spoke of the panic and
fear he felt when he walked into the
mess hall and saw Chakotay having
the heart attack. The helplessness
he felt each time they "lost" him
when he was first beamed to sickbay
and then later during the surgery.
He also thought about the awesome feeling of being trusted,
first by Chakotay when he agreed
to Tom assisting the doctor. Tom
might be the doctor's assistant
but if Chakotay had said no then
someone else would have been called
to assist. Then by the spirits
who brought him to Chakotay in the
spirit plain. To find that he had
a spirit guide and it was an eagle.
Now that was cool. Of course when
Chakotay and the two guides trusted
him to help Chakotay out of the
coma, the emotions he felt whenever
he thought about that were so
hard to describe. Though he could
say they were all really good
emotions. Finally that last amazing
show of trust was when Chakotay
had agreed to let him help him with
his recovery. He honestly
couldn't say if he thought Chakotay
would say no but the possibility
Then he got to the part about Harry,
he was still perplexed
as to why all of a sudden his best
friend turned on him. He felt sad
and hurt after everything Harry
had said to him. He had to wonder if
Harry had actually been using his
less then welcome presence at the
beginning of the journey to insure
that Harry always had a friend.
He realized that it was never about
Harry being Tom's friend,
it was about Tom being Harry's friend.
That thought caused Tom to
pause, then he thought about every
encounter, every interaction with
every crewmember over the years.
Each time he heard Harry in the
background saying things like 'Hey
well he was being nice because you
didn't come off as a smart-ass.'
Or 'Of course she is flirting with
you, afterall with all your experience
she is guaranteed to have a
Tom jumped back in his chair as if
he had been slapped. Why
hadn't he seen that? How could he
have missed it? Every time he made
some advance toward a friendship
with someone else Harry was there to
slap him down. Harry would knock
back his self-confidence just enough
for Tom to back off from trying.
'SON OF A BITCH! YOU STUPID
BASTARD!' Tom could not believe
what an idiot he had been. He
mentally beat himself up for being
just gullible enough to believe
Harry had actually been a real friend.
Once more he went through his mind,
thinking about the other
people he called friend. He thought
about their reactions to
different things. This time he heard
B'Elanna ' See I told you they
would come around." Then there was
Greg "I for one am glad I knew a
long time again just how good a
friend you can be.' Or Tuvok, 'I
consider you among my circle of
friends.' Then finally Chakotay, "I
trust you Tom." Those were the voices
of his real friends he knew
that now. Feeling a lot better then
he had a few minutes earlier Tom
ended his personal log. He heard
Chakotay call out to him at that
point he got up and went to see
what he needed.
"You okay Chief?" Tom asked as he
raised the lights a bit.
"Yes, I heard a noise and wasn't
sure if you were okay or
not." Chakotay seemed a bit worried.
"Nah! I was just updating my personal
log, I may have knocked
something over while I was sitting
at you desk. Are you hungry?"
"Yea I am, but I also need to pee."
Chakotay said quietly.
Although they had just discussed
this a couple of hours ago, he still
felt a bit awkward.
"Okay, let me get the urinal." Tom
nervousness. 'I can do this. I can
help him.' He kept saying over and
over to himself as he went to the
When he returned Chakotay looked
at him and saw the slightest hint of
"Tom if you can't do this." Tom held
up his hand.
"No, Chief, I am okay. Really." He
smiled a bit.
"Okay as long as you are all right
"I am a professional remember."
Tom handed him the urinal,
took hold of his left arm from underneath
and pulled Chakotay
upright. Wrapping his other arm
around the back of the older Tom
stood there and held him. He tried
not to notice the feel of
Chakotay's skin under his hands.
He wasn't going to glance over the
older man's shoulder for a quick
peek, but he did anyway and he
blushed. 'Geez he's big. Lucky Guy.'
Then Tom mentally slapped
Meanwhile, Chakotay was trying to
ignore the younger man hold
on to him. 'I can do this. I am
not feeling his arm around me.' He
repeated over and over. Once done
he sighed and shivered.
"You okay?" Tom asked as he lessened
his hold on Chakotay.
"Yes, much better, thanks Tom." He
said as he leaned back and
handed Tom the urinal.
"Okay, be right back and then you
get a trip to the couch for
"Tuvok gonna beam me there?"
"Nope we are going to do it the old-fashion
way." Tom called
from the bathroom. He walked out
and went to the living room. He was
soon back with the chair from Chakotay's
"I am going to take you for a ride."
He smiled and helped
Chakotay swing his legs over the
side of the bed.
"Wrap your arms around my neck, then
hang on. Don't resist me
you will hurt me." Tom was in full
professional medic mode now.
"Let me do all the work." He said
as he stood up bringing the
other man with him. Chakotay's legs
were a bit shaking so Tom waited,
giving him a couple of seconds to
"You okay, Chief?"
"Yeah, it's just been a while since
I used the legs you
know." Tom nodded his understanding.
"Ready?" Chakotay nodded yes. "Okay
I need to you to turn
just a bit and then I will lower
you into the chair. Remember don't
fight me." Together they turned
a bit and then Tom lowered Chakotay
into the chair. Chakotay pulled
his arms from around Tom his whole
body was shaking.
"Why am I shaking like this?"
"Chief you have been flat on your
back for a week. Your body
has been through one hell of a battle.
It's a reaction to it all.
Just relax, tell me, do you feel
okay any light-headedness or
"A bit light-headed yes." Chakotay
felt himself start to
sweat and instantly he began to
panic. His mind automatically going
back to a week ago, the shaking
"Tom something is wrong. I don't
feel well." Tom having
watched the entire set of emotions
run across Chakotay's face.
"Chief, just breath, this is all
your body's natural reaction
to everything. It's okay." Tom spoke
softly squatting down to look
Chakotay in the eye.
'Chief, it's okay. You aren't having
another heart attack.
You just got out of sickbay, this
is normal trust me." Still speaking
softly he began to caress Chakotay's
arms trying to sooth him. He
continued doing this and talking
for a few minutes helping Chakotay
calm down. Tom noticed that he had
closed his eyes and was really
concentrating on his breathing,
as if he was trying to find his
center. After a time the older man
seemed to have calmed considerably
and opened his eyes.
"Better?" Still speaking in a hushed
'Yeah, sorry, thanks." Chakotay was
almost afraid to say the
"Don't be sorry, I should have warned
you it might happen.
Now you think you are ready for
a short ride?" Unconsciously Tom had
continued to gently caress his arms,
Chakotay noticed but didn't say
anything. That touch is what helped
him calm himself.
"I suppose so. You up for the push?"
"Who said I was going to push you?
I am going to pull better
Putting action to words Tom walked
around to stand behind him, took
hold of the chair and pulled. Chakotay
held on as he felt the chair
move, the ride was indeed quick,
but he knew it he was being turned
in the chair to face the couch.
"I am impressed." Chakotay looked
up and smiled at Tom, Tom
"Okay same as before only in reverse."
Again putting action
to his words Tom leaned down as
Chakotay hooked his arms around his
neck he lifted. Together they turned
and Chakotay was on the couch
being pulled back to lean against
the side and his legs swung to lie
out in front of him. Tom got the
pillow he had placed there earlier
and slid it under his feet and calved
and then threw his own blanket
over Chakotay's legs. Everything
done swiftly and professional.
Chakotay felt a little berated and
embarrassed he actually had
enjoyed having his arms around Tom
he felt good. Mentally shaking his
head, 'Don't go there, old man he
is afraid of men in that way
"Comfortable?" Tom asked while going
through his own mental
slapping. 'He is a patient doesn't
matter what you felt when his arms
were around you. Besides you left
that side of you back at the
"Yes thanks what's for lunch?"
"Well seeing how you are limited
to liquids for the next
couple of days. I thought you would
like some miso and tofu soup.
It's high in protein and tofu is
good for the heart." Tom smiled as
he handed Chakotay the cup of soup
and a napkin. When Chakotay saw
the cup he looked at Tom with a
question in his eyes.
"What you want me to feed you to?"
"NO! Just curious why a the cup and
not a bowl"
"Well if I give you a bowl, where
you got to put it? I can
move the chair but the desk and
table are bolted to the floor. This
way your soup will end up in you
and not on you." Tom grinned looking
very pleased with himself that he
had thought of that.
"Aren't you the clever one. Thank
you. What are you having?"
"I am going to wait until Tuvok gets
here and then I am going
to go to the mess hall. I don't
want to eat real food in front of you
right now. Doesn't seem fair."
"Oh, okay I thought we would eat
together." Chakotay seemed a
bit disappointed to Tom.
"We will once you are able to actually
eat food. I feel a bit
strange eating when you can't."
"You know Tom, you have got to be
the most considerate person
I have ever met. Thank you
very much. You are right I would
feel "cheated" that I can't bite
into something." Chakotay smiled
and started drinking his soup.
The door chime rang and Chakotay
called for the person to
enter. Tuvok came in.
"Good Afternoon Commander, Tom."
"Good Afternoon Tuvok, please, call
"Thank you Chakotay. How are you
"I am okay, a bit weak but I suppose
that is expected."
"Yes, I understand it is. How did
you get Chakotay to the
"I pulled him with his chair. The
doc said he could sit up
out here for about an hour. I am
going to go and get something to eat
in the mess hall. I will be back
in time to help you get back into
"Take your time Tom, I am sure I
can manage with Chakotay by
myself. Remember that this time
is for you to take a break."
"I know Tuvok but there isn't much
I want to do tonight." Tom
didn't want either man to know he
was trying to avoid Harry. He knew
that Harry wouldn't show up in the
mess hall for at least another
hour. He wasn't ready to see the
guy just yet.
"Very well, enjoy your meal Tom."
"Thanks, I'll be back chief, no running
laps while I am
gone." He smiled and left. Chakotay
just shook his head
"Tuvok Please sit."
"Thank you, first do you need something
"A cup of tea would be great. It's
under Cee Pee 4 Eva"
Tuvok nodded and went to order the
special blend of tea.
Returning with the hot brew once
it materialized. Placing it on the
low table behind Chakotay he took
"Chakotay I thought you and I should
discuss a few things."
Chakotay nodded his head to indicate
for Tuvok to continue.
"The captain has informed me that
you will require help with
some very personal needs. I would
understand if you preferred not
find yourself being "exposed", so
to speak to two male members of the
"Thank you Tuvok. I would prefer
it not to happen but I think
I will not have a choice in the
matter. I don't know how we will work
it out but I do know that I need
to bathe and soon."
"We will do our best then."
"Tuvok, I need to ask you a question.
But I don't know if it
is invading Tom's or Harry's privacy
by asking it."
"I will do my best to answer anything
you feel the need to
ask, if I feel it would be an invasion
of privacy I will let you
"Thank you. Tom gave me a brief synopsis
of things that
happened between him and Harry.
He also told me that you heard the
last incident in the corridor last
"Yes, I was unfortunate enough to
hear the altercation last
evening. What is it you want to
"I am not sure if I really want to
know but, I need to know.
Is Harry's animosity is directed
at Tom or me. Tom said it was
towards us, as in our friendship.
I don't doubt what Tom said but I
have a feeling he left something
"While I do not know exactly what
Tom told you, I cam tell
you that Harry's animosity is towards
the friendship that you have
with Tom, but it is also towards
every friendship Tom has made over
the years. Unfortunately at this
time yours is the one at the
"Why would Harry resent or begrudge
Tom any friendships? I
"As I explained to Tom this is just
my observation. What I
heard when he and Harry were arguing
and what I heard from Harry,
though he didn't realize he was
saying it, is that Harry expected Tom
to always need him. Over the years
Tom has made great strides in
becoming not only a very important
member of the crew but also a
friend to many. Most of the crew
was slow in seeing this but now that
they have, and they are acknowledging
him. In doing this, Tom being
the friendly high-spirited person
he is takes hold of these offers of
friendship and makes them grow."
"Why would this cause a problem for
"Because Harry believed from the
beginning that Tom would
always need him and his friendship.
Now, in Harry's eyes, Tom doesn't
so he resents everyone who has taken
his friend away."
"Tom was right that is infantile.
Harry is Tom's best friend,
always has been, he would sooner
cut off his arm than leave Harry
"That may be true but Harry doesn't
see it that way. As I
stated before, right now, because
Tom is once again being the only
kind of friend he knows how to be,
you are the one who is bringing
about the loss of Harry's friend."
"Maybe it would be best after all
if Tom wasn't the one here
with me. I don't want to cause him
"Chakotay, Tom wants to be here,
he needs to be here. For you
to send him away now it would be
another rejection by another friend.
Tom may be tough on the outside
but I believe inside he is quite soft
and he takes everything to heart.
While I do not believe if you told
him to go he would be angry, I think
he would be hurt."
"Well that is the last thing I want
to do. I just can't
believe Harry, I know Tom is hurt
by things Harry said to him, though
I don't know everything I am sure
that it was very cruel."
"It was." If a Vulcan could look
disgusted Chakotay was sure
that was what he saw on Tuvok's
"Thank you Tuvok for being honest
with me. Again, I didn't
doubt that Tom wasn't honest, I
knew he left things out. I am upset
for Tom and if I could feel anger
towards Harry I would. The only
thing I feel for him is pity because
he lost the best friend anyone
could ever ask for." Tuvok could
see that Chakotay meant what he said
and nodded his agreement.
Tuvok got up and took the now empty
cup from Chakotay and
brought it to the recycler. Coming
back he noticed that Chakotay
"Chakotay would you like to go back
to bed now?"
"HMM yes I am feeling tired. Why
do I feel so tired?"
"I would say it is just your body
telling you it needs to
rest to get better. Why don't I
get you to bed you can rest a while
and then Tom and I will see to your
personal needs." Chakotay sighed
told Tuvok how Tom managed to get him from the bedroom
to the living room and they decided
that the reverse was the best
course of action. As Tuvok was lifting
Chakotay Tom came through the
"Hey I said I would help." Tom came
over quickly and grabbed
Chakotay around the waist for extra
"Chakotay was feeling tired and I
did not want him to fall
asleep in the position he was in."
Tuvok answered as the two men
turned and placed Chakotay in the
"I am sorry I took so long."
"Tom you weren't gone more then a
half hour. It's okay."
Chakotay said as he sat and started
to shake as he had earlier. Tom
automatically squatted down and
proceeded to calm him as he had
earlier. A minute or two passed
and Chakotay seemed calmer.
"You good to go?" Tom whispered.
"Yeah, thanks." Chakotay gave him
"No problem." Tom smiled back as
he stood and indicated to
Tuvok that Chakotay was ready. The
entire scene was observed by Tuvok
and mentally made a note to watch
the relationship between the two
Tom pulled and Tuvok pushed. They got Chakotay into his room,
then Tom mirrored his earlier actions
to help the older man back on
to the bed. Tom and Tuvok helped
Chakotay into the bed and get
"Chakotay would you like to get cleaned
up now or wait?"
Tuvok asked as he stepped back from
the side of the bed.
"I really don't want to go any longer
with getting cleaned
up. I feel like half of sickbay
is stuck to my skin." He stated sat
he sat back and closed his eyes.
Chakotay was tired but he hated
going to sleep feeling dirty.
"I know what you mean Chief, I will
get what we need." Tom
headed to the bathroom.
"Chakotay?" Tuvok gently called him
when he looked up. "Will
you be comfortable or not."
"Tuvok, whether I am completely comfortable
or not it has to
be done. I can't sleep feeling like
this." Chakotay resigned himself
to the fact that he would have to
give up a little dignity if he
wanted to feel even somewhat clean.
Tom returned with a basin of warm
soapy water, some towels and a
couple of wash clothes. He then
went back into the bathroom and again
returned with another basin this
one filled with warm water only.
"Okay I got it all figured out, to
get this over with as
quick and as painlessly as possible.
Tuvok gets the half from the
thighs down, I get the half from
the belly button up and when we are
done you get to do what's left.
How does that sound?" Tom was quite
proud of himself for figuring out
a way to get the three of them
through a potentially embarrassing
situation. As he finished a comm
badge went off. It was Tuvok's.
"Ayala to Tuvok"
"Commander I apologize for disturbing
you but there is a
problem on holodeck three that needs
attention. I am already here but
Ensign Kim is demanding you be present."
That the mention of Harry's
name Tom stiffened unconsciously.
"On my way, Tuvok out. Gentlemen
I am sorry. If you wish to
wait until I return."
"Nah, we can handle it Tuvok." Tom
hoped the worried he felt
wasn't heard in his voice.
"Very well I do apologize and I will
see you tomorrow." Tuvok
"Well Chief, it looks like its just
you and me." Tom laughed
"You okay Tom?"
"Yeah I am fine. I guess I'm a little
uncomfortable but I can
do this." Once he convinced himself
he went about getting everything
ready. He helped Chakotay turn to
one side and placed a large towel
on the bed and then turned him back.
"I am going to start at your feet
and work my way up. While I
am doing that you can wash your
face,neck and chest. The hair will
have to wait until I check with
the doc about having you hanging your
head over the side of the bed. Can
you wait on that until tomorrow?"
Tom busied himself with making clothes
wet and grabbing towels, not
really wanting to look at Chakotay.
Then he did look up and he smiled.
"Yes my hair can wait another day.
It's my skin that feels
gross." Chakotay laughed.
"Okay here we go." Tom handed the
Chakotay one cloth, he took
the other and began washing his
feet and calves.
Chakotay concentrated on getting
his face,neck and chest
washed, he tried very hard not to
think about the blonde at the other
end or what he was doing. Tom had
a gentle touch, there was no
scrubbing, and the only thing Chakotay
could liken it to was a soft
caress. He thought back to the other
times that Tom seemed to caress
him. When he felt panicked after
being moved. Tom soothed him and
comforted him with his voice and
his hands. The hands of a
lover..What? Where did that come
from? Ignore that thought right now,
he demanded of his mind. It was
a bit more difficult than he would
have liked especially when Tom was
now almost stroking his calves.
Chakotay couldn't help but leaned
back into the pillow and mentally
Tom was having similar problems trying
hard not to think
about the skin he was washing. Chakotay
was not a hairy man, his skin
was silky to the touch. Tom couldn't
stop himself from thinking what
it would feel like to have that
skin caress his own. Shaking his head
slightly hoping that Chakotay didn't
notice that he was having some
difficulty breathing. He again tried
to concentrate on the task at
hand. But as he made his way up
to the strong muscular thighs his
thoughts wandered to wondering again
how it would feel to be wrapped
around this skin. The feel of it
as it moved over him while making
love.. What? NO! Not happening!
Tom did a quick mental slap. Over to
the other thigh, leaning over Chakotay,
he thought he heard Chakotay
take a deep breath or was that a
gasp? Tom ignored it, he had to,
because he knew if he looked up
Chakotay would see in his eyes what
was going on in his mind.
When Tom leaned over him, Chakotay
swore under his breath, he
could smell Tom and spirits did
he smell good! Chakotay didn't think
he was going to be able to sit here
and have Tom wash him too often.
He just knew his self-control would
snap if he didn't find a way to
ignore Tom. His eyes were closed
hands at his sides he fought hard
not to grab Tom and pull him into
a passionate kiss. Then he felt his
heart pounding and he snapped open
his eyes. Then he felt panic
raising up, the feeling of his heart
working harder then he thought
it should. Trying to calm himself
down, he began taking deep breaths.
Tom finished with Chakotay's legs
and stood up. He then
noticed Chakotay's breathing.
"Chief? You okay?"
"Yeah, just got a little panicked."
"Did I hurt you? I tried to be as
gentle as I could." Tom was
worried, maybe he did hurt him when
he was lost in thought.
"No Tom you didn't hurt me. Sometimes
I can feel my heart
pounding and it is kind of scary
that is all."
"Are you sure? You want me to call
the doc or something?"
"Tom, really I am fine. I guess maybe
because I have been
sitting up for so long. The doctor
did say I needed to lay down
more." Chakotay reached for Tom's
arm, he felt a jolt of electricity
run through him but he didn't react,
he couldn't. Scaring Tom was the
last thing he wanted to do.
"You want to finish this up tomorrow?"
Tom whispered he
couldn't really find his voice when
Chakotay touched him he felt
something electric pass through
"No I am okay now, let's finish up."
"Okay, if you are sure. I will have
you turn over on your
stomach so I can get the back of
your legs that might help with the
panic feeling." He quickly dried
Chakotay's legs and helped him lay
down then he rolled him over. Tom
started again being more attentive
to the reactions Chakotay might
be having. He was determined now to
get the man cleaned and get him
to go to sleep. It was obvious he had
been up too long. Tom ignored the
sight of Chakotay's ass covered
only by a thin pair of shorts.
"I will do your back now and then
the only thing that is left
will be 'your area'." Tom referred
back to his original dividing of
"Alright." Chakotay mumbled
into his pillow. He really
wanted this over with.
Tom finished his task quickly and helped Chakotay turn back
over, repositioning him so he was
lying more then sitting, Tom took
the cloth that was still clutched
in Chakotay's hand. He put the two
in the basin and took a third one
and wet it. Handing to Chakotay, he
turned his back to give the man
at least a bit of privacy. Chakotay
cleaned himself up as quickly as
possible, he just wanted to go to
sleep at this point.
"All done." He said quietly. Tom
turned around and took the
cloth, then handing Chakotay a towel
and a clean pair of shorts, Tom
took the one basin to the bathroom
and drained the water.
Stopping for a moment just to really catch his breath. He
couldn't believe his thoughts while
washing Chakotay. He thought he
would never have those kinds of
thoughts again. Not after Danny and
Blair were done with him. Obviously
he was wrong, he needed to get a
handle of this he thought. The scene
was going to happen quite often
over the next few weeks, he had
to remain professional. He would work
on it, his 'patient' needed him
to stay focused.
That resolved, for the time being
he returned to find Chakotay with
his eyes closed, he seemed to be
"Yeah?" Chakotay answered in a whisper.
"Oh I wasn't sure if you were asleep
or not. Sorry, I am just
going to get the rest of this stuff
cleaned up and then I will turn
down the lights. You need anything?"
"No I am fine, just tired."
"Okay I will just get rid of this
and get out of here so you
can sleep." Tom took the last basin
and the towels and discarded them.
"Okay Chief, all done. Good Night,
I will be quiet as I can
when I come to bed."
"Don't worry I have a feeling I won't
hear a thing. Tom?"
Chakotay stopped him as he got to
"Thanks and Good Night."
"You're welcome. Sleep well, dream
sweet." With that Tom left
the bedroom calling for lights out.
He left the door opened slightly
so he could hear if Chakotay called
out. Settling on the couch,
deciding he was not going to examine
his feeling anymore. He grabbed
his book and sat back. He briefly
thought about what could have
happened with Harry but decided
he really didn't care.