(Sequel to " Revelations")
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al belong to Paramount. I am only playing with them and promise to put them back relatively unscathed.
Chakotay woke to discover that Tom had shifted in his sleep until his head was snuggled into his shoulder and his arms and legs were wrapped around the older manís body in a tight hug.
He breathed softly into the pilotís soft blonde hair, enjoying these few moments of peace and tranquility. He was dreading the conversation to be had when Tom finally woke up.
The sight of Tomís sobbing despair, of his childlike whimpers and apologies had haunted his dreams. Chakotay was now in no doubt that the clue to Tomís behavior lay deep in his past. He re-ran the previous dayís events over and over in his head, sifting the images for threads of understanding.
Like the way he had watched Tom sitting for hours holding a teddy bear of all things. How the hell had he noted and yet just casually dismissed that fact at the time? Or the way that Tom had been stumbling with exhaustion but had still made his bed with regulation precision?
Tomís behavior had been like that of a traumatised child, not a sex-starved deviant.
So why had Tom then immediately gone to have sex with Tuvok?
In fact, why did Tom have sex with any of the unfeeling bastards?
He remembered his own first days on Voyager, his own blind anger at the pilot who had Ďbetrayedí him. He recalled his own hatred of the young man. To be honest, everyone except Harry had hated Tom back then.
When had that changed?
When had Tom gone from being cursed and derided to being, in Kathrynís words, the "most popular member of the crew"?
The answer slapped him in the face. Tomís rescue from his bitter solitude had started the day he had begun to "put out". Tom had systematically conquered the aversion of the crew with the offering of his own body.
Thinking about it, Chakotay concluded that Harry had probably been the first. The young ensign had probably only offered his friendship in exchange for Tomís ass, and in view of the success of the trade, Tom had begun to spread his favours more widely until ĎTom the traitorí became ĎTom the shipís whoreí.
Tom had just been released from prison. He had been vulnerable, scared and hated by everyone. He had probably learnt the value of his own looks in jail and having no other currency had bought himself acceptance on Voyager in the only way he knew how.
Chakotayís heart contracted in pity and he squeezed Tomís thin frame tightly in sorrow. If only he had offered Tom his own friendship back then, the other crewmembers might have followed his example. By turning his back on Tom, he had given the others permission to treat the pilot so badly that the young man had felt so unable to cope that he had believed his only option was to whore himself.
But that was where Chakotayís understanding faltered. Had Tom become so used to acting that way that he had become addicted to the sex? Tom had been as uncontrollable this week as a cat in heat. He had sought sexual partners as though he was suffering withdrawal from an opiate.
Was it the sex that Tom craved, or was it the feeling of being with someone? Had Tom lost touch with reality enough to believe that his "clients" actually cared about him? Or Ė and something clicked in Chakotayís head as he remembered Tomís absolute terror in Tuvokís quarters Ė maybe what Tom couldnít handle was being alone.
Why else would Tom have dragged himself out of his quarters last night and gone to Tuvok? Chakotay had seen for himself how exhausted Tom had been. He couldnít believe that it had been a sexual urge that had driven the pilot to Tuvokís quarters so late.
Chakotay was sure that he had finally touched upon the truth. For some, as yet unclear, reason Tom had felt unable to remain alone in his quarters and had gone looking for company.
"But why didnít you come to me, honey?" He murmured sadly.
Although his words were a mere whisper, they were enough to wake the pilot. Tom stirred quietly, nuzzling happily into Chakotayís neck, his tongue darting out and licking sleepily at the exposed skin. Chakotayís whole body shivered in response to Tomís wet caress and Tomís eyes fluttered open. For a moment his expression was languid, his blue eyes full of sleepy desire, and then his eyes widened in shock and he jerked backwards in horror.
"Shit!" Tom spluttered as he realised that he was lying naked on top of the Commander, in what he could only assume was the Commanderís own quarters. He had absolutely no idea of how he had got there.
Sensing that Tom was about to leap off the bed and run away, Chakotay caught the younger manís wrists in a gentle but firm grip.
"Itís okay, Tom" he whispered, as though he was gentling a wild animal, which to be honest was what Tom was beginning to resemble as he cast his eyes around in panic and frantically tried to escape.
Chakotay sat up in bed in an attempt to strengthen his hold. The sight of the Commanderís fully clothed chest added to Tomís confusion but dampened his panic a little. Chakotay was dressed, which meant they hadnít actually Ďdone ití, he figured with relief.
Then, a new dread hit him. Oh shit, maybe heíd come here uninvited and crawled into bed with the Commander. Perhaps Chakotay had woken up to find him like this and was getting ready to call security. That was why he wouldnít let him go.
"Iím so sorry" he gulped "Just let me go, please. Please donít arrest me."
Chakotay blinked in confusion.
"Why would I arrest you, Tom? If I were going to have you put in the brig for dereliction of duty, I would have done it last night. I would hardly have brought you here." He said gently
At the words "dereliction of duty", memory crashed over Tom like a wave. Heat flushed his whole body red as he remembered Tuvok leaving him tied up. He vividly recalled his own terror as the battle raged and he was alone, helpless and gagged, but he couldnít remember anything at all after that.
"Tuvok sent you?" he asked in shame
"No, no one knew where you were. After the battle, I did a location check and discovered you were in Tuvokís quarters."
"After? Where was Tuvok? Why didnít he come get me? Why didnít he tell someone to come get me?" Tom sobbed in confusion
"Obviously he was embarrassed." Chakotay replied mildly
Tomís face scrunched up in a mingling of humiliation and anger.
"Yeah, I seem to have that effect on people, donít I?" he hissed "everyone fucks me but they all pretend they donít!"
"I would imagine it was more the WAY in which he was fucking you that would have caused him embarrassment." Chakotay replied angrily "Why the hell did you let him do that to you?"
Tom averted his eyes and his blush deepened.
"Itís what he likes" he whispered finally
"And what about you, Tom? Is it what you like?" Chakotay demanded, his hands tightening on Tomís wrists as his anger at Tuvok deepened.
Tom felt the pressure on his wrists and began to struggle in terror as he realised how vulnerable he was. Shit, Chakotay was obviously as sick as Tuvok. Why else would he be getting so excited? Chakotay had obviously brought him back here to re-enact the scenario for himself.
"NOOOO, I donít, I donít!" he whimpered desperately "Please, please let me go. Please donít hurt me!"
"Hurt you?" Chakotay repeated in disbelief, letting Tomís wrists drop in shock. Then he realised what he had said and understood how badly Tom had misinterpreted his statement. It was hardly surprising. Given the way everyone else on Voyager abused the pilot, of course he would expect the same treatment from Chakotay.
"Tom, I would never hurt you. I would never tie you up or play sick games with you. I will never stand by and let anyone else do it either. If Tuvok ever lays a hand on you again, I swear I will kill him, Tom. But I donít understand. Why did you go there? If being tied up terrifies you so much, and I know now that it does, why the hell did you go to Tuvokís quarters last night?"
"I Ė I was Ė I was lonely." Tom confessed, hanging his head in shame.
"Why does being alone scare you so much, Tom?" Chakotay probed gently
Tomís head reared up and his eyes flashed in defensive fury
"I never said I was scared of being alone." Tom hissed angrily "I said I was lonely. I wanted a fuck. Thatís all."
"I donít believe you, Tom. I think you were frightened and alone and you just wanted to be with someone."
"You donít know Shit" Tom snarled, jumping to his feet and wrapping a sheet around himself so he could leave.
"I know that you were so scared when I found you that you called me "Daddy"." Chakotay replied and the colour drained out of Tomís face as he staggered so badly he nearly fell.
Watching Tomís eyes dart in panic and his chest heaving as he desperately gasped for breath, Chakotay cursed himself for being so blunt.
He swung softly off the bed and walked up to Tomís trembling body and wrapped his arms around him. For a moment Tom resisted and then he sank into the embrace with a muffled sob.
Crooning softly, Chakotay rubbed Tomís tense back and squeezed him tightly into his hug.
"Please, Tom. Let me help you. Tell me what you are so frightened of. "
But Tom just snuffled miserably and refused to reply.
"Is it being alone?" Chakotay fished, "Is it sleeping alone?" he felt Tom stiffen and knew he was on the right track. Tom had definitely been showing the signs of sleep deprivation all week.
"Is it that you need to have someone else in bed with you for you to sleep properly?"
"I dream" Tom whispered so quietly that Chakotay barely heard him.
"You have nightmares?" Chakotay asked and felt Tom nod against him.
"Nightmares so bad you canít sleep alone?" he queried in horror and Tom trembled and then nodded again.
"Oh, baby" Chakotay whispered in sympathy as the young man shivered in his arms.
"What do you dream about, Tom? Is it prison?" he probed, trying desperately to understand what could be so bad that the younger man would rather subject himself to other peopleís sick sex games than be alone.
Tom couldnít answer. He wanted to tell, wanted to finally share his secret with someone, but he just couldnít manage to say the words. For the first time in years he felt safe in someoneís arms. Chakotayís embrace was so strong, so protective that he was actually tempted, but he knew he couldnít trust him, couldnít tell him, couldnít make himself that vulnerable.
"Please Tom, you can tell me babe, you can trust me, I love you." Chakotay whispered soothingly.
As though burnt, Tom yanked himself violently out of Chakotayís arms in blind panic and while Chakotay was still too shocked at Tomís sudden reaction to move, he turned and ran out of Chakotayís quarters, leaving the Commander shaken and even more confused.