(Sequel to " Relationships ")
(R Series part 29)
Rating: NC-17 Angst warning
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al belong to Paramount. I am only playing with them and promise to put them back relatively unscathed
An hour before the end of Alpha Shift, Janeway walked coolly onto the bridge and seated herself in the Captainís chair without any explanation or apology for her absence.
"Anything of interest, Commander?" She inquired idly, scanning the bridge with a look of complete boredom.
"We have a small problem with the gel packs on decks 7 through 12 but engineering are working on the problem."
"Oh" Janeway replied disinterestedly, beginning to tune out.
"The warp-plasma coils are off-line again."
"Ah" She muttered vaguely
"Thereís a Borg cube approaching on an intercept course." Chakotay said solemnly
"The self-destruct has spontaneously come on line and Voyager will explode in 5 minutes."
"Other than that it has been a quiet shift." Chakotay finished, suddenly tired of the game.
After Chakotay had lapsed into silence for several minutes, Kathryn shook herself awake. She REALLY needed to catch up on some sleep she decided. She hadnít heard a word of whatever drivel Chakotay had been droning on about.
"Oh good, carry on then, Iíll be in my ready room if you need me." She replied vaguely and wandered off, leaving Chakotay torn between amusement and contempt.
His comm badge chirped.
"All clear, Commander." BíElannaís voice said cheerfully.
He pondered her words for a second before the meaning sank in.
"Thank you, Lieutenant." He replied crisply and broke the connection.
Relief flooded through him. If Tom was well enough (and willing, of course) Chakotay would now be able to take him back to their quarters.
His comm badge chirped again.
"Chakotay!" He snapped impatiently
"Could you come to Sickbay, Commander" The doctorís voice asked.
Chakotay checked the time. 1700. His replacement wouldnít arrive before 1755.
"Not for another hour." He replied worriedly.
"The last sedative is wearing off. I would prefer not to prescribe another." The Doctor said quietly
"I understand. Unfortunately I have the bridge and Lieutenant Wildman is not due to relieve me until 1800."
"Canít you ask her to come earlier?" The Doctor asked petulantly.
As tempted by the suggestion as he was, Chakotay dismissed the idea out of hand As much as he wanted to be with Tom, he was not prepared to abuse his authority in that way.
"I will be there in an hour, Doctor. Iím sure that you can look after Tom until then." He replied firmly.
As soon as he closed the communication, he began to regret his decision. It was a little late for him to set his morals above his love for Tom. An hour would make so little difference to Lieutenant Wildman. She had only recently received her new status, due mainly to his own glowing crew evaluation report, and she was keen to make a good impression.
Perhaps if he made it a personal request, rather than an order, it would not be so completely out of line.
His musing was interrupted by a clear, high-pitched voice
"Reporting for duty, Sir."
He looked up in surprise to see Samanthaís glowing face.
"The Doctor said that you might appreciate me arriving early." She said brightly
Chakotay glowered furiously
"The Doctor had no right to call you, Lieutenant. I specifically told him Ė"
His angry words were interrupted.
"Tom NEEDS you, Commander." Samantha said quietly. Tentatively she reached out and patted Chakotay on the shoulder.
He looked at her in bewilderment and then a slow smile spread over his face as he realised that the young woman was sincere in her concern for Tom.
"Thank you." He said quietly, standing up to allow her to take over.
"Youíre welcome. Besides, I really LIKE being in charge, you know." She laughed, giving him a cheeky wink.
"Nonononononononoooooooo" Tom whimpered desperately.
The Doctor looked over at him in concern. The pilot had been slowly emerging from his formerly peaceful sleep and had entered a twilight state of semi-consciousness. He was tossing and turning on the narrow bio-bed, evidently lost in some waking nightmare.
The Doctorís efforts to console the young man had only caused him to panic and descend further into his fantasy. He prayed that the Commander arrived soon. He was reluctant to sedate Tom again.
"Sorrysorrysorrysorry" Tom mumbled, hugging his teddy bear as though it was a protective shield and curling into a fetal ball.
Although he was unsure of the long-term wisdom of chemical treatment for mental problems, the Doctor decided that he had no better way to soothe the distressed man. He quickly filled a hypospray with a relaxant and approached the bio-bed.
As soon as he touched the pilot, Tom began to scream deafeningly and thrash under his grip in a desperate urge to escape. Only his lightening reflexes and holographic strength allowed him to restrain Tom long enough to apply the syringe and release the medicine into Tomís jugular. Tomís howls ceased abruptly and he sank back onto the bed, gasping for breath.
"What the HELL is going on?" Chakotay snarled from the doorway, "Get your fucking hands off him."
Although some part of him knew that the Doctor was helping Tom, the scene was too eerily reminiscent of Ayalaís rape for him to think clearly. All he knew was that someone was pinning Tom down again and Tom was screaming.
The Doctor stepped away from the bio-bed and waved the empty hypospray in the Commanderís face.
"Tom required a little chemical assistance." He replied calmly to the frantic Commander. "Perhaps you would like some too?"
Chakotay took a deep shuddering breath and then flushed with embarrassment
"Iím sorry." He muttered. "Iím a little wound up today."
The Doctor smiled understandingly at Chakotayís understatement.
"He should be feeling a lot calmer now. That drug is very strong and fast acting."
Chakotay slowly approached Tomís bed.
"Tom, honey, how are you feeling now?" He asked gently.
For a moment Tom ignored him, continuing to stare blankly at the sickbay wall and then he shook himself slowly and sat up in bed, thrusting the teddy bear away in embarrassment.
"Fine, Chakotay" He said brightly with a wide false smile. "I donít know what happened but I feel great now. Can we go?"
Chakotay shuddered. It would be so easy to just say yes. So easy and so wrong.
"I think we need to talk about what happened to you." He replied quietly
Tom flinched, recovered and then shrugged carelessly.
"Look, I said Iíd come back, okay? Whatís the big deal? Letís go."
"Do you remember what happened last night, Tom."
Tom shuffled nervously on the bed.
"Look, if you donít want me back, just fucking say so, okay?" He snapped
"Last night you Ė "
"I DONíT FUCKING WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, OKAY?" Tom screamed
"No, itís not okay, Tom." Chakotay replied firmly, steeling himself against Tomís distress "I want to hear what happened."
"Nothing happened." Tom hissed
"Tell me about Tuvok."
Tom began to rock desperately, hugging his thin arms around his chest, panic flaring in his eyes then his face distorted into a mocking grin.
"I fucked him, okay? You couldnít get it up and I was tired of waiting. So I fucked him."
Chakotay sighed tiredly and sat down on the edge of Tomís bed.
"Tuvok came to our quarters, knocked you out, tied you to the bed and tried to rape you, Tom." He reminded Tom gently
"THATíS A FUCKING LIE!" Tom yelled furiously
"He was raping you, Tom, and BíElanna stopped him."
"NO. No, she misunderstood. Thatís all. I wanted it. I WANTED HIM TO DO IT TO ME."
Chakotay looked at the Doctor pensively, unsure whether Tom really believed his own words. The Doctor merely shrugged. He had long since given up on expecting ANY normal reaction from the pilot. Tom misread their silent exchange.
"Yeah," he continued with a smirk "That pisses you off, doesnít it? Well too bad."
Chakotay merely sighed again. He was in deep water and drowning more by the minute. He had no idea of how to break through to Tom but he felt instinctively that he had to get Tom to at least face the truth of what had happened. Tom could try and pretend that he had agreed to Tuvokís advances but there was surely no way he could come up with a convincing rationalization for his subsequent behavior.
"Okay, Tom. Letís say I believe you. Which, by the way, I donít. Why did you spend the rest of the night hiding in your closet?"
Tomís face blanched at Chakotayís soft words. His eyes darted helplessly as he struggled and failed to come up with a glib response. He began to visibly panic. Involuntary trembles made his shoulders shake helplessly. Chakotay could see Tomís chest heaving as he began to hyperventilate and then like lightening, Tom shot off the bed and made a break for the door.
The door failed to open on his approach. Too late to stop, he crashed headfirst into its unyielding frame and sank downwards stunned, hitting the floor with a heavy thud.
Chakotay winced in sympathy but didnít move to assist Tom to his feet. In a deceptively calm voice he simply said, "Iím waiting for your answer, Tom."
Like a cornered animal, Tom scrambled dizzily to his feet and crouched defensively in the doorway, a thin trickle of blood spilling from his forehead. Glaring with hatred at the relentless Commander he sought frantically for an answer
"I Ė I Ė I Ė "
Tomís face crumbled, his eyes filling with tears.
"SHIT!" he cried, turning back to the door and striking his head against the metal "Shit shit shit shit shit" he sobbed, accompanying each word with another blow.
Chakotay rushed forwards, grabbed Tom by the shoulders and hauled him away from the door. Tom struggled violently in his arms but was unable to free himself from the older manís firm embrace.
"LET ME GO!" Tom screamed desperately
Chakotay only tightened his hold until Tom finally sagged in defeat and began to sob helplessly in his arms.
"Shush, honey, Iím sorry. Iím sorry, Tom." Chakotay whispered
"I Ė I Ė I canít Ė" Tom gulped
Damning himself for trying to make Tom face the truth so quickly, Chakotay tried to undo the damage he had obviously done.
"I know, Tom. I know. Itís okay." He soothed
"I ca- caĖ canít Ė" Tom gasped between sobs
"Itís okay, Tom, really." Chakotay reassured him, but Tom just shook helplessly in his arms and persisted
"I canít Ė canít Ė"
"I know, itís okay." Chakotay begged, his heart breaking at Tomís obvious distress.
"I ca - canít DO this anymore!" Tom finally managed to say.
"You donít have to, honey. Itís okay."
"ITíS NOT OKAY!" Tom howled "I donít WANT to remember."
"You donít have to, honey."
"But I DO." Tom sobbed " I do. I remember everything, this time." He finally admitted.
"Can you talk about it?" Chakotay asked gently, stunned by Tomís confession.
"NO" Tom wailed in renewed panic.
"Then we wonít" Chakotay assured him quickly. It was enough for now that Tom had finally faced the truth.
"We wonít?" Tom asked uncertainly
"Not until youíre ready."
"Promise?" Tom demanded like a fretful child
"I promise" Chakotay replied solemnly, sealing his vow with a soft kiss on Tomís bruised forehead and hugging the pilot gently.
"Iím so tired." Tom mumbled, pressing his head into Chakotayís neck for comfort.
"Do you want to come home?" Chakotay asked carefully.
"Yeah" Tom whispered