New: Twentieth Century Boy
Author: ZorroRojo - firstname.lastname@example.org
Series: X-Over Voyager/X-Files/Highlander
Disclaimer: yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah - not mine.
Summary: I don't want to give one.
Warnings: Non-Graphic Slash - Cussing - a little violence (not
anything worse than what you see on American TV.
Scully stood behind the glass wall watching the machine take breaths for the man. She'd seen plenty of people hovering right on this side of death in her lifetime and she'd seen even more on the other side. But she hadn't put very many of them there herself. And when she had, it had always been for a reason. This man had committed no crime, threatened no one's life. And she put him here.
His name was Tom. He was from California and he was going to die. His body was shutting down, new machines doing the work for his flesh each hour. New blood to replace the blood she spilled dripped into his veins. A pump circulated what blood he did have, his heart not doing its job. Tubes snaked down his throat and into his lungs taking every breath of air for him. More tubes ran down his nose and into his stomach providing him with the fluids his body desperately needed. Three IVs entered his body, one in each arm and one into his leg.
Each had a purpose but they were fighting a losing battle. Even more tubes took the waste from his body. One in the wound, a one way shunt to let the fluid out of his destroyed lung. One just under the wound - the clear plastic filled with bloody discharge - to extract the pus and pressure buildup from the surgery. The sixteen hours of surgery where doctors tried to put his insides back together. The bullet shattered ribs on its way in, pierced his lung and ricocheted inside his chest before coming to an abrupt halt, lodged in his diaphragm. The doctors followed the path of the bullet in a vain attempt to put everything back where it belonged and to remove the jagged shards of bone from his shattered ribs. They left behind two rows of staples from his collarbone to his pelvic bone, a ladder of metal holding his flesh together and his organs inside.
Machines monitored his every heartbeat, his every forced breath. His chest rose and fell with each hiss and huff from the respirator. It was an accident he was dying and nothing more, she tried to remind herself.
There was hardly a place on his body that wasn't invaded by modern medicine. It was the only thing keeping him alive. Ten years before and he would have died within minutes of arriving at the hospital. They had opened him up as soon as the gurney carrying him stopped moving. The hands inside his chest were ready when his heart stopped; they kept it beating manually until they had enough blood in him for it to be supported by machines. Scully watched as her patient and victim was rolled away from her.
Then she went to check on the as always indestructible Mulder. She had checked on him every spare second she had during the interminable flight. So far neither man was showing signs of infection from the creature's blood. If they had, she would have been forced to stop the flight, no matter if it meant death. If they were infected they were already dead.
What were the two men doing in that cave in the first place? What happened to the younger brother? What happened to their weapons? She was convinced she saw weapons and she knew she didn't imagine them firing weapons at the alien. Mulder was hit in the crossfire. But Mulder was going to be fine and the other victim of friendly fire wasn't. As soon as Mulder regained consciousness, she fell into much needed sleep.
She was positive Tom wouldn't make it through the night, but as soon as she woke, she learned he was still alive and began her vigil at the window overlooking intensive care.
A familiar voice interrupted her thoughts, "Do you think he'll make it?"
"He shouldn't be alive now. You're about the only other person I've seen make it through such a severe injury."
"But I have and he will too."
"You don't know that."
"Scully, it was an accident."
"He saved our lives."
"We need to talk."
"We can't talk here, you won't hear a word I say."
Mulder steered Scully to the coffee lounge, got them both coffee and sat facing her. "What happened after I went out?"
"I told you last night. We ran, then the mountain went translucent and the ship vanished in a flash of light."
"What happened to the other guy?"
"He ran off into the desert. I reported him missing to the sheriff. I think he was in shock."
"We have to talk to him, he knows what's going on."
"We know what's happening Mulder."
"I still want answers from him. Answers like what the hell kind of weapons they were firing. Did you find them?"
"I've called Skinner. There should be teams at the site by now."
"They're not going to find anything."
"We can't just give up. When will we be able to talk to him?"
"You're kidding, right?"
"Scully, he knows something."
"Well, he'll be taking it with him. I need some air, Mulder."
"You're going to have to let Warren handle this," MacLeod reiterated as they made their way to Alpine. "Tom's been working for him, and he's respected in the community. He's got the best chance of getting in there and finding out how he is."
Chakotay hated it, but the man was right.
"Commander, what will Tuvok and I do?" Gerron asked, growing much calmer now that he had the two Commanders back in his sight.
"You'll stay out of the way, and keep away from anyone who would ask questions," Chakotay told the younger man, who nodded his
Warren glanced at the rear view mirror, watching the young man who appeared to be taking instruction from Chakotay. It was puzzling and worrisome that Gerron didn't appear to be as upset about Tom as
Chakotay was. Tom was Gerron's brother, after all, but who was this Chakotay to Tom?
"This is it," Warren told them as they reached the facility at last and pulled into the covered parking lot. He turned and saw the anxiety contorting Chakotay's face. He didn't know what the devil was going on with this bunch, but the man's worry for Tom seemed genuine. It was something he could use if necessary to get to Mark.
"Mac, I'll need your shirt. If I'm a respected employer, I have to go in there looking the part," Warren reasoned, looking down at his rather clearly dingy t-shirt.
"You're right," MacLeod agreed, and began working on the buttons.
"I'm going with you," Chakotay firmly stated and made to open the rear door next to him.
"Hold it," MacLeod ordered smoothly. "You do not want to draw attention to yourself. If they see you with Warren, they might not let him in either," Mac explained.
"Why not? Why wouldn't they?" Chakotay demanded.
Warren sighed as he removed his shirt and answered the question
himself. "Because you look suspicious. With that tattoo, and your Latino looks, they'll think you're a drug runner. They'll wonder what you want with a man who has been recently shot by a federal agent in the Texas desert. Does that help clear it up any?"
Chakotay sank into the seat cushion, dejected. He felt a death grip on his forearm and turned to look at Gerron. The young man had paled considerably and he was staring at Warren's bare torso as he
maneuvered in the car to get MacLeod's shirt on.
"That scar across his rib-prophets be with us, Commander! Collin has that scar! That's Collin's scar!" the young man whispered harshly.
Chakotay looked from Gerron's shocked expression to the rib that was covered seconds later by a crisp cotton business shirt. He had gotten a very quick glance and did indeed see a scar. Gerron was positive that it was the same one. His mind raced. Was it possible that this man was meant to leave his own time?
More questions with no answers. Or no likable answers. Chakotay fought his urge to just jump out of this vehicle, go into that building and demand to see his husband.
"Right then. Find out what you can, and we'll wait here. Although it's hot, so we'll have to move around out here and get some air," MacLeod warned Warren as he opened his car door. "Watch yourself, Warren," MacLeod added.
MacLeod shook his head. This whole thing was bizarre beyond anything he had seen. And what they didn't know worried him even more. But Chakotay was deeply concerned for Tom; that was plain to see. Gerron was apprehensive, but seemed much more secure in Chakotay's presence, with someone who could speak to him. Questions about that language nagged at him, but it was not likely to be something that would help them get Mark back. So he filed it away in his mind as something to find out about later.
"Aye, Mac," Warren acknowledged and began to walk toward the front door.
Chakotay's head shot up upon hearing that voice. He knew that ‘Aye' was a Scottish word as well a standard Starfleet affirmative. But the way that Warren said it-he recognized it. It was familiar for more than just its pronunciation. He'd heard that particular 'Aye' in that particular voice and tone before. Could that actually be Lt. Collin?
"Chakotay!" Gerron yelped and pointed, "That's her! That's the woman who shot Tom."
"The one coming out of the door. The short one with red hair."
"How much did she see?"
"Commander, I recommend against kidnapping her."
"Don't read my mind."
"It is unavoidable. I cannot help but touch you."
"Gerron, get out and stay low. Don't let her see you. I'm moving up front."
"What are you saying?" MacLeod demanded as Chakotay sat in the front seat.
"It's very rude to speak a language not everyone understands."
"Follow your own etiquette. At least we have a reason."
"And what would that be?"
"Mind your own business."
"Commander Chakotay, we are wasting time. We must relocate the alien ship."
"I know where it is. Nine Point Mesa."
"We have already searched that area."
"Tuvok, I have a feeling there isn't more than one ship here, I think the ship is moving around to avoid detection."
"That is logical, though your basis for the deduction is not."
"Gerron, can you remember the exact chroniton reading?"
"Yes, it was .0274 microns."
Tuvok paused, considering, "A precise match to the readings at Nine Point Mesa. The Delta Flyer is most likely there as well."
"Reasoning?" Chakotay asked. While he felt it to his core that the alien ship would be there, he wanted to know why Tuvok thought the Flyer would be as well.
"I believe we were pulled to this time period within its distortion field, it would be logical. The ship is generating a large distortion field. That's why the chroniton readings cover such a wide area. We should find the Delta Flyer precisely the distance from the vessel as it was further south."
"That does make sense." Chakotay conceded, silent after his proclamation.
"I suggest we take this opportunity to stretch and get some air. This vehicle will soon be unhealthy due to heat," Tuvok told Chakotay.
But Chakotay's eyes were glued to Warren's back as he approached the front doors of the hospital. Next move planned, he had to do
something. "I can't just sit here and let him go in without me. I have to see Tom. I can't hear that he's okay, I have to see it."
Chakotay jumped out of the vehicle and began to walk toward the front door, while Mac sputtered that he was making a mistake. Tuvok said little, not seeing the logic in making the scene that it would take to stop the Commander from going to his husband. Tuvok did hope that the Commander would avoid being detained once again.
"He's in here," Warren whispered to Chakotay, leading him deeper into the intensive care area where Tom was supposed to be. They turned around a long, high curtain and Warren stopped, allowing Chakotay to move around in front of him.
"Spirits help us," Chakotay choked at the sight he beheld.
Tom was practically hidden beneath a barrage of metallic gadgets that invaded his body. He moved closer and leaned over his deathly pale husband. It was incomprehensible to him that Tom could be in this condition. Was medical science still this barbaric in the twentieth century?
For the first time since hearing of Tom's injury, it occurred to the Commander that Tom might not live. Nausea roiled in his belly and his throat tightened as he leaned close and delicately stroked a cold, pallid cheek. "I'm here, baby," he whispered.
Still lingering a few feet behind him, not ready to let his links to Mark out of his sight, Warren started at Chakotay's soft words. So, he and this man were in the same position, Warren realized, and his abrupt behavior made more sense. He still remained suspicious, though. These people were crucial to getting Mark back.
Chakotay continued to murmur soft words to the unconscious blond, his affection and concern visible and not in dispute. Silently, Agent Mulder watched the private moment, taking in and absorbing all that he saw.
Chakotay's mind was in a state of frantic, contrary emotion. Logic was hiding in the corner, afraid to be assassinated, while love, fear and sheer determination struggled to assert their needs. A single tear slid down Chakotay's cheek.
"I know what I have to do now, Tommy," Chakotay whispered against a cool temple. He had to get the medkit, and he had to do it soon. He would not lose Tom to ancient medicine that made him cringe.
He would get MacLeod and Warren, he would gather Tuvok and Gerron, and they would find the Delta Flyer. MacLeod and Warren were as desperate to find their friend as he had been to find Tom. They would cooperate. And Chakotay knew that without their help, Tom might die. So he would take whatever he could get from them and do the best that he could. He would not let Tom die.
They would get what Chakotay needed for Tom, and he would see those beautiful blue eyes looking into his again. He would see Tom laugh again, he would see the younger man stalk off in a delicious snit when he didn't get his way, and he would see the smug grin when Tom got to gloat that he was right and that the almighty Commander was wrong. He would see all the wonderful and lively expressions that washed over Tom's heartbreakingly beautiful face. He would hold him again, hear him laugh again, kiss him again and make love to him again.
Chakotay sniffed and realized that the single tear had turned into a stream. He wiped his face with the palm of his hand and cleared his throat. "I'll be back as soon as I can, baby. You have to hold on. Do you hear me?" he whispered into Tom's ear. "That's an order, Lieutenant. You hold on until I get back. I love you," he added softly.
Before he straightened up, he caressed Tom's forehead with his lips, then gently kissed the soft tissue of his eyelids. Soon, Tommy,
Chakotay swore silently, then had to wrench himself away.
He turned the corner around the curtain and saw Warren hovering very near by. "Warren, we have work to do," Chakotay announced gruffly and moved past him. He stopped and turned, noting the concerned, if
curious expression on Warren's face. "Coming?"
Warren nodded and followed him past the intensive care nursing
station, where Mulder cocked his head, watching with an expression of fierce concentration.
End Part 11