Author: Jeanette Kofoed
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Thoughts 11 --Seeking Help--
"Tuvok." I call after him.
He stops and turns around, "Yes Commander, what can I help you with?" Oh yeah, like he didn't know.
"Tuvok, how far have you gotten with the investigation?" I watch him carefully, searching for a reaction, in case he won't tell me.
He arches his brow and looks at me with his standard look of indifference. "Commander. Captain Janeway specifically ordered me not to tell you anything about the investigation. You are too emotionally involved."
With that he turned around, leaving me there contemplating the case. If Tuvok won't help me find those bastards, I have some friends who will.
I thought about going back to my quarters, but I knew Tom wasn't there at the moment. The Doc was checking over Tom to see how his recovery was going. I wanted to be there, but Tom had only shrugged his head and said, "Love, I need to go alone. You won't be able to be there every time, and I need to learn how to get by with two stupid legs that won't cooperate and eyes that simply won't see at times--without help. And besides, I know there are people who need to see you and work you need to do."
His eyes had that pleading puppy look, and I couldn't go against his will. He gave me a big hug, and I had followed him to the doors of sickbay, steadying him as the spasms came.
Just thinking about Tom having to go through this fueled my anger all over again. I headed to the mess hall, hoping both to find something to eat and to find a quiet place to get my anger under control. It didn't help that I had bumped into one of my former Maquis crewmembers. I didn't even say 'hello' as he greeted me.
I sat down at one of the tables with a cup of coffee in my hand. I thought about how much Tom had changed since the attack. He was quieter, more easy going, and he didn't have nightmares anymore. Or at least not as many as he had before. I know that he still remembers prison and his father, but why the memories don't hurt him anymore, I'm not sure. But I know that he'll tell me once he is ready, I know.
I suddenly remembered what I was doing here and touched my commbadge. "Commander Chakotay to Lieutenant Ayala."
He answered quickly. "What can I do for you Chakotay?" he asked loudly, but not loudly enough for me not to hear that a woman was with him. I grinned.
"Ayala, I need your help making a list of potential suspects."
He was quiet for a few moments, and I could hear someone leaving the room he was in. He spoke, "Chakotay, why ask me? I could be one of the attackers."
The question hung in the air, as I gathered enough strength to tell him why. "Ayala, you have always been a close friend. I know you. First of all, you wouldn't do this to someone, without showing your face. You are too proud and secondly..." I took a sharp intake of breath before continuing. "I know that you and Tom had a fling at the bar where I hired him. Remember, I was there."
Things on his end went deadly quiet, and I could almost hear his thoughts processing what I had said. Was I mad at him? Was I jealous?
The truth is, had it been anyone other than Ayala who had loved Tom for that single night back then, I would probably have had a grudge, but he is a good guy and my friend.
My thoughts were interrupted as he spoke up again. "Chakotay, I'll start this evening. But then you have to stay away from me. Whoever did this probably realizes by now that you will kill the ones who hurt Tom."
He stopped, and I was about to close the channel. "Uhm, Chakotay. If you find whoever did this, let me know, and I'll gladly help you strangle them."
Before I could answer, he signed off. Quietly, I sat there in the mess hall, smiling to myself. Tom would soon be avenged, and we could go on with our lives and get married.
I went directly home, knowing that he would be there now. I entered our quarters and found him sitting on the sofa listening to some music. I stood watching him as he sat there, his face peaceful and content.
Suddenly he looked up, hearing someone move. "Chakotay, is that you?"
I suppressed my anger at knowing he could not see at the moment and went over to him. "Yes Tom, my love, it's me. Are your eyes bothering you again?"
His shoulders slumped as he heard it was only me. He nodded, answering my question. I sat down besides him, drawing him in for a hug. "What did the Doctor say, Love?" I asked while running my finger around in his tousled hair.
I could see that Tom was thinking and considering what to say. "Most of the neural damage done to my visual cortex has been repaired, though he says that if I'm under stress the blood pressure will block my visual sight. That is why I can't see now I guess, the Doc could make a dead guy stressed out." He smiled and laughed. It was wonderful to hear his voice like this. Despite the hatred the Doc and Tom sometimes showed towards each other, we all knew better. He took my hand, and stopped smiling.
He brought my palm up to his lips and gently kissed it. I felt my entire body shiver at the touch of that single kiss. He started talking again.
"Chakotay, the Doc said that my legs would take longer to improve. Maybe a year before they are even strong enough to be operated on, and then when that is done, it could take years before I can walk without any problems."
He looked up at where he believed my face to be. I bent down and kissed him. "Then we'll find alternatives for you to move around. Now Tom, lie down and I'll massage your legs for you."
Tom smiled at me and whispered huskily, "Are you sure that's all you'll do?" Suddenly I started smiling too and I definitely felt something grow. Tom did too, and that only made him smile even more.
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