(Yes another mini epic)
Rating. SLASH, m/m NC-17
Archive: Anywhere, just let me know, please
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al are Paramount‘s (lucky devils) Angel is mine (yippee!)
In this story Tom and B‘Elanna never got together (Hooray!)
Chakotay and Paris‘s aggression was due to (you guessed it) Unresolved Sexual Tension! Chakotay had left a male lover back in the Maquis and can‘t get over the loss. Tom is completely besotted with Chakotay and is sure that the Commander is attracted to him too but can‘t get anywhere with him.
Tom Angst. Chakotay Angst.
Tom left Voyager on route for the nebula this morning and we are planning to rendezvous with him in two days.
I hope that the idea of being alone and flying the shuttle he loves so much will at least put a dent in his obvious depression.
As for Chakotay, I have asked him to take the next couple of days off the bridge and catch up with his crew reports instead.
He argued with my decision, obviously feeling embarrassed that I do not consider him fit for bridge duty. I am possibly not helping him with this ruling. It is possible that the last thing he needs right now is time to dwell on his problems.
But I have a whole ship to consider. I cannot allow my personal feelings to interfere with my decisions. The safety of Voyager cannot be left in the hands of a First Officer who is like the living dead at the moment. Twice yesterday I had to repeat my orders to him because he was too distracted to pay attention to his duty. I cannot continue like this, it is undermining the efficiency of the bridge.
He will have to take the time to face his problems and deal with them. We do not have the luxury of self-indulgence out here.
But even knowing I am right, I still feel guilty for pushing him. I hope that our friendship will survive my rough handling of him at this sensitive time.
I can only hope that B‘Elanna will help him to put his feelings in perspective.
It is strange how empty my quarters feel without Tom. Although there was never a single item of his on display to declare his presence, now he is gone he haunts me. I hear his soft laughter echoing in the corners of the room; memories of his soft moans of passion reverberate deafeningly in the silence.
As I sit on the couch, imagining the feel of his soft hair under my fingers, I am constantly startled by his presence. From the corners of my eyes I catch glimpses of his quick smile and golden head but when I turn in desperate hope, there is no one there.
It‘s crazy, I know. He‘s been gone for almost two days and even if he was on Voyager rather than in the Delta Flyer, I know that he would no more set foot in here now than walk onto the bridge naked.
Although, with Tom, that‘s not a certainty.
The thought makes me laugh even as I stifle a sob for what I have so carelessly thrown away.
If only I had talked to him.
Really talked to him.
B‘Elanna came to see me today. She admitted that Kathryn had sent her but that she was there as my friend anyway. She is the only person I trust enough to tell the truth to. I told her about Tom‘s refusal to commit himself to the relationship.
She was stunned. Not by what I told her but by my interpretation of the events.
I wonder whether she is right? Maybe I was blind.
Perhaps Tom was truly only trying to fit seamlessly into my life.
To mould himself so invisibly that I would never find him a burden. Why have I always seen other people clearly but always assumed the worst of Tom?
Why did I judge his actions without even questioning them?
I even told B‘Elanna what I‘d done to Tom and as I ducked my head in shame and waited for her scathing condemnation, I was stunned instead by her laughter.
She laughed. She actually laughed and said she couldn‘t imagine anybody being able to rape Tom Paris without a phaser rifle and a small army. That if he had lain there and taken it without complaint then he must have enjoyed it as much as I did.
"But he cried" I argued
"Haven‘t you ever cried because you were happy?" she replied.
I had no answer. I still don‘t. Because if she‘s right, then I have harmed Tom even more than I imagined. I have hurt him beyond bearing. I turned my back on him at the very moment when he was crying with happiness. I made him love me and then threw him away like used rubbish.
The very thought of it is enough to make me ill.
I was actually tapping my Comm-badge before I realised that this was not news that I could deliver over a Comm-link.
B‘Elanna told me as much as she could without betraying Chakotay‘s confidence and I know that whatever has gone on between him and Tom, that his love for my pilot is real.
How could I do any less than break the news in person?
That Tom has met with an accident in the nebula.
That the Delta Flyer encountered a quasar and was crushed like paper by the magnetic forces of the minute black hole.
That we barely arrived in time to beam his smashed body out of the wreck of the Delta Flyer before it was sucked into oblivion.
That his spine is shattered beyond repair and he is in a coma in Sickbay and the Doctor says that the probability of him surviving is negligible.
That I am simply giving Chakotay the chance to say goodbye.