Alternate Punishments, Alternate Rewards

Disclaimer: Paramount owns Voyager and all the charaters in this story what we did with them is our own.

Authors' Note: We did have other plans for this series but due to lack of interest we stopped here insted.

Part 7

Tom and Chakotay appeared on the Bridge, right in the middle of yet another discussion on how to find them. And how to get them back. Well, at the very least, it solved a few of the problems. Now all that was left was the question, what the hell had happened to them? "Welcome back gentlemen…" Janeway said, recovering swiftly from her surprise.

"Thank you Captain." Chakotay said, after a quick glance at Tom's strained face told him the pilot wouldn't be answering at all. He seemed to still be in shock, that and a little weary about everything still. Although Chakotay didn't really blame him.

"You two go get cleaned up." Janeway said, taking in their rumpled appearances. "Then I want a full report."

***** ***** *****

In the turbolift, Tom was fidgeting nervously. "Tom, I'll report to the Captain." Chakotay said, hoping to ease the younger man's agitation. "You just go relax."

"Thank you Sir." Tom said, settling down a little.

"If you need to talk I'm here." Chakotay said, as the lift came to a halt at Tom's deck.

"Yes Sir." The pilot said, practically bolting out of the car when it came to a stop, almost afraid that if he lingered too long, Chakotay would change his mind...and then he'd have to talk about it. It was better to just forget it ever happened.

***** ***** *****

"Lieutenant Paris won't be coming." Chakotay told Captain Janeway when he arrived in her Ready Room.

"And that would be because…?" She asked, giving him an odd look.

"He's not ready to face what happened to him, much less talk about it."

"What did happen?"

"The Intendant happened." Chakotay said, pausing at the Captain's gasp." She broke him. I don't know how, but whatever her methods were, he's still in shock. When they questioned him on Terrok Nor he was screaming. Rambling about doing anything to avoid going back..."

"How could you let them?" She asked, horrified.

"They didn't tell me until after they started. I stopped it as soon as I could after I found out."

"Do we at least know why she took Tom?"

"She intended for him to spread a rumor that would send the Defiant away from the station…after he rigged it to explode. With the Defiant and most of the main crew gone she could just walk in, retake Terrok Nor and regain her lost honor.

"Ah…and you were taken…?"

"To find the spy…well, Tom."

"I see. And so if she broke Tom, is he going to be a security risk?"

"Not directly." Chakotay said hesitantly. "But he needs time to recover, he's in pretty bad shape."

"How bad?"

"I don't know. But when he first arrived on the Station, I lost my temper with him." Chakotay paused, looking slightly guilty for a moment "Tom didn't fight back, he just ended up cowering at the far side of the room. And there hasn't been a joke or smart comment yet, just meek little 'Yes Sir, No Sir, Thank you Sir'."

"I'll go see him." Janeway said. "Let him know he's got all the time he needs."

Chakotay nodded. "Maybe he trusts you enough to talk more. Spirits know we never got along at the best of times..."

"I hope so." She agreed with a small smile. "And Chakotay, that 'all the time you need' applies to you as well."

"Thank you Captain."

***** ***** *****

Janeway stood in Tom's quarters. This was not going well. Tom was literally on the far side of the room, practically cowering, just like Chakotay had mentioned. And he was absolutely submissive, agreeing with everything she said.

"Let me know when you're ready to come back to duty Tom…" Janeway waited for some sort of reaction and, when she didn't get anything sighed and turned to walk out of Tom's quarters.

When the door slid shut, Tom collapsed limply on his couch. He knew Janeway wasn't like…her. But she had the same air of confidence…and well, just at the moment, she terrified him as well.

"I wish Chakotay were here." He thought, then froze. "I wish *what*?" He yelped, he really was losing it. What he needed was a good night's sleep for once...everything would be better in the morning. Or at least he tried to convince himself of that fact. Collapsing on to the couch, he tried to shut out the lingering fears that always came with sleep lately, and despite his belief that he'd never be able to sleep, he was out in a matter of seconds.

***** ***** *****

It was B'Elanna's idea to check up on Tom. Chakotay thought that they should let him be but she insisted, and he did have to admit he was more then a little worried about the pilot. There was no answer at the chime but to Chakotay's surprise B'Elanna keyed in a code and the door opened. "If he's asleep we'll just go." She said softly.

Sure enough Tom was sprawled on the couch seemingly fast asleep. Chakotay couldn't help the immediate though that ran through his mind. 'He looks like a kid when he's sleeping.' And he really looked nothing like the terrified man he'd being comforting earlier. Maybe everything would be alright after all...

B'Elanna stepped closer and gently began tugging one of Tom's boots off, Chakotay hesitated then followed her lead. Tom's sock came off with the boot as Chakotay pulled. His sharp intake of breath drew B'Elanna's attention and they both stared in shock at the cuts and raw skin marring the pale skin of Tom's ankle. Chakotay winced inwardly, hoping desperately that the marks didn't mean what he thought they did, watching in fearful curiosity as B'Elanna curiously tugged up one of the pilot's sleeves.

At that moment Tom's eyes flew open. "No." He gasped recoiling against the arm of the couch.

"Tom, I'm sorry we startled you." B'Elanna asked moving in closer in an effort to comfort the man but quickly noticing he was only getting more anxious the closer she got. "Tom? What's wrong?"

"No." Tom repeated in a whimper.

Chakotay suddenly pulled B'Elanna out of the room, suddenly realizing just how agitated Tom was getting again. "Wait here." Chakotay practically growled, then walked back into Tom's quarters, making sure the door shut tightly behind him. Tom was still exactly as he'd left him, shaking at the end of the couch.

"Tom, it's alright." Chakotay muttered soothingly, sitting on the floor beside Tom. "Relax, you're safe on Voyager now…no one will hurt you here. Alright?"

Chakotay sat there, watching Tom carefully for several minutes until Tom had finally calmed down slightly. "Tom, I'm going to go out and talk to B`Elanna. Are you going to be alright by yourself for a few minutes?"

Tom briefly entertained thoughts of telling Chakotay he really didn't think he'd ever be able to be alone again but in the end just nodded shakily, curling up into a ball at the end of the couch and willing himself to not break down in hysterics.

It was enough to make Chakotay feel secure enough to leave him alone long enough to talk to B'Elanna. She was sitting outside Tom's quarters, a worried expression on her face. "Chakotay…what happened to Tom?"

"Suffice it to say, he had a bad experience while we were gone. And he needs some time to recover."

"A bad experience?" B'Elanna repeated incredulously. "Did you somehow miss the fact he's got marks from restraints on his wrists and ankles?"

"B'Elanna just leave it, don't mention the marks to anyone Tom will be upset enough that you saw them. Just give him some time." Chakotay said in a tone that made it very much an order.

"Chakotay, Tom and I…we've gotten kinda close lately. Maybe I could..."

"B'Ela leave him be." Chakotay growled. "He needs some time to himself."

"And I suppose this doesn't include you."


"Chakotay, you don't understand. He's afraid of me. Me…" B'Elanna tried to explain, then sighed. "Why? What aren't you telling me Chakotay?"

"I can't tell you anything B`Elanna...not yet. But if it makes you feel any better *I* don't know everything either."

"Oh yeah...that makes me feel loads better." B`Elanna said sarcastically, then sighed, catching the slightly hurt look Chakotay had. "I'm sorry...I just feel so..."

"I know..." Chakotay said simply. "But trust me...when I find out anything, you'll be one of the first to know."

B`Elanna nodded slowly and pulled herself up from the floor, a still uneasy look remaining about her. "You promise me you'll comm me the instant you know anything?" She waited for Chakotay's nod and sighed. "Alright, I guess that'll have to be good enough for now. Make sure you take care of him Chakotay."

He waited until B`Elanna had walked around the corner before letting out the breath he'd been holding. This wasn't looking good, not at all. Tom was just as hysterical then as he was back on Terok Nor...and they had been threatening to send him back then.

Slowly turning, Chakotay walked back into Tom's quarters, not really surprised when he saw the younger man still cowering on the end of the sofa, arms wrapped tightly around his legs and slowly rocking back and forth. "Tom?"

The younger man looked at Chakotay and it almost seemed as if Tom wasn't really seeing him but seeing *through* him. Until his eyes slowly lost that glazed look and slowly focused back on Chakotay's face. "Chakotay? It's you...right? And we're really back on Voyager...?"

"Yes's me." Chakotay knelt beside the couch, gently putting his hand over Tom's in an effort to reassure the other man. "And you're back on Voyager. You're safe here."

Tom glanced down at the hand that was resting on his own and pulled away so quickly it was almost as if he had been burned. "Don't...just don't."

"Tom, do you want to talk about it?"

"Talk about what? What happened to me? Why I wake up screaming in the middle of the night?" Tom asked sarcastically. "No, actually, if it's all the same to you, I'd rather just go on with my life and put it all behind me."

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