(Sequel to "Recovery")
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al belong to Paramount. I am only playing with them and promise to put them back relatively unscathed
Tom was unusually quiet as he followed me back to the Officer's deck, he was walking with obvious difficulty and I kept my pace slow and steady to accommodate his halting steps. When I stopped at his door, he looked at me nervously for a moment and then his cocky grin slid back in place.
"I guess you don't wanna mess up your own bed, huh?" he quipped but I could swear that I saw a brief flicker of hurt in his brilliant blue eyes.
"Guess again, Tom" I replied as I motioned him to key in his entrance code.
He looked at me uncertainly; trying to read an answer in my deliberately impassive face and then shrugged with studied nonchalance and complied.
I entered on his heels and watched him limp onwards to the bedroom, already unfastening the buttons of his ripped shirt. It was unbelievable that a mere couple of hours after a vicious rape he was calmly stripping for more abuse. I wanted to hit someone. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry.
"What do you think you are doing, Tom?" I asked quietly and he froze in sudden uncertainty and turned a bewildered face toward me.
"You said you wanted me..." he replied
"What I said was that you were MINE, Tom. That means from now on you do as you are told. I don't recall telling you to get undressed."
Tom's face paled at my quiet words and he swallowed nervously as he tried to get a handle on the situation. I could see a myriad of thoughts chasing themselves over his expressive features before a sunny smile lit his whole face.
"I get it, one of those D/s things, right?" He asked and grinned in expectation of my agreement.
I don't have the words to describe how I felt in that moment. I couldn't believe that anyone could be as evidently damaged as Tom and still function. Spirits, I had known him for years and had never seen beyond his masterful façade. I had an overwhelming urge to either hug him or slap him. Instead I took a deep breath and spoke words that nearly choked me:
"Do you remember what happened last time you tried to take the initiative with me, Tom?"
Tom actually shuddered as he remembered the day I had spanked him. Spirits, if I had understood then what I did now, I would never have done it. But, since I HAD done it, and the damage was already done, I decided that I might as well use the incident to my advantage.
Tom had been nearly ripped apart by Ayala. Despite the Doctor's careful ministrations, it would be days before sexual activity would be anything but agonising for Tom. Somehow I had to make sure that our relationship remained platonic for the interim.
Sadly, knowing Tom, I was sure that the only thing that would dampen his libido was fear.
I was going to have to walk a very thin line with Tom. Personally I would prefer to wait indefinitely for the consummation of our relationship. When we finally slept together I wanted it to be as equal partners, both making an informed choice without any hidden agendas.
On the other hand, Tom NEEDED sex. His fragile psyche identified sexual satisfaction as being a necessary part of his unhappy life. He had lost the ability to distinguish between the pleasure of true lovemaking and the brief physical relief of sex, if indeed he had ever understood it at all.
If I point-blank refused to sleep with him, he would rapidly find another partner who would undoubtedly use him. Even the fear of my retribution would not be enough to make someone resist Tom in full-on seduction mode.
All I could hope for was to delay our consummation as long as possible, thereby giving Tom a chance to realise that it wasn't the sex he craved but the feeling of being loved.
Obviously unsettled by my long silence, Tom shuffled nervously from foot to foot and then smirked in what I was beginning to realise was just his favourite expression for hiding fear and uncertainty.
"So, if you don't want to fuck, what did we come here for?" he asked
"Pack?" Tom repeated incredulously, his smirk wavering.
"I told you, Tom. You're mine now. That means you will live with me."
For a moment his eyes sparkled with genuine happiness and then they dulled again as though a cloud had passed over the sun.
"I guess you just want to be sure no one else has me, huh?" he mumbled unhappily
"You are hardly known for being faithful" I replied coldly, although it hurt so much to see the light dim in his eyes. "Get your things together"
Slowly he obeyed me. Fetching a large carryall, he stuffed his uniforms and civvies inside. I glanced around the spartan room. Tom had surprisingly few possessions. He wasn't so much neat as anonymous. His room looked like a guest quarters. No pictures, no vids, no ornaments. Whatever monetary benefits he had achieved from his whoring had never been spent on possessions.
Tom was like a shadow of a person, I realised, a ghost with no real substance. His personality was a contrived act. He had no friends, no real life, no belongings. If he died today there would be no genuine mourners, no estate to divide, no hole to fill except that of the pilot's chair. It was a sobering and saddening realisation.
I was so lost in my thoughts that I nearly missed him furtively stuffing something into his carryall. Had he been more circumspect I wouldn't even have noticed, but his secretive movements drew me like a beacon into his bedroom.
He looked at me with a guilty blush as though he had been caught stealing.
"What did you just put in your bag, Tom?" I demanded quietly.
He flinched and then gave me an arrogant grin.
"You told me to pack, so I packed, okay?" he snapped
"Let me look" I replied firmly and his grin faltered again.
I don't know what I expected to find; it was just his whole defensive air that demanded my inspection. I loved Tom but I didn't trust him as far as I could throw him.
Tom clung firmly to his bag, resisting my demands until finally he realised that I wasn't going to let the matter drop and he sullenly threw the carryall at me.
I opened the drawstring top and immediately saw the reason for his furtiveness. It was his teddy bear.
I looked up. Tom was blushing furiously, trying and failing to look unembarrassed.
Shit. I had cocked up again. I hadn't meant to humiliate him.
"What's his name?" I asked gently
Tom looked at me in astonishment, searching my face for mockery and then finding nothing but genuine interest he mumbled "Ted".
Original, I thought, somewhat unkindly but then I realised that Tom hadn't had the kind of childhood that inspired wild fantastical names for teddy bears.
"You didn't need to hide him, Tom" I said mildly "Ted is welcome to move in too."
A defensive sneer started to spread over Tom's features before he realised that my words were not sarcastic and then he bit his lower lip in confusion before finally nodding quietly. Taking the bag back he hugged it to himself protectively.
"Finished packing?" I asked briskly to give him the chance to compose himself.
"Yeah" he muttered
"Come on then." I ordered and led him back to "our" quarters.
He followed me in quiet confusion but without protest.
It was a start.