All Trek characters and anything else Trek related are property of Paramount. Everything else is property of me.
JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS
By: Amy Michelle Bitter, (c) 1997
It was nothing, Harry Kim tried to convince himself. It was just an innocent kiss between friends, but, if that was the case, why did he feel so guilty? He hadn't meant for it to happen. But, it had happened, he had kissed his best friend's girlfriend.
It had all started around 1200 hours. B'Elanna Torres was on her way to meet Tom Paris for lunch in the Mess Hall. She was so excited. She hadn't seen him since the two of them had coffee that morning and she was anxious to see him again. Ever since her and Tom had decided that they should be "more than friends" she just couldn't get enough of him. She loved everything about him. His cute little smile, his twinkling blue eyes, she'd even learned to love his cocky little attitude.
As she walked into the mess hall, she could hardly believe her eyes. But, there he was, Tom Paris, the man she was in love with, with his arms around another woman, and to make matters worse, that woman was Megan Delaney. It was over between them long ago. At least that's what Tom told her. B'Elanna was furious, but, even more than that, she was hurt. She trusted Tom. He was the only man she ever trusted enough to love, and there he was, holding another woman in his arms. If she wasn't so shocked and hurt, she would have run in there and ripped both of them limb from limb, but, she couldn't. All she could think about was how hurt she was. She turned and walked out of the Mess Hall.
B'Elanna Torres walked through the corridors of Voyager, tears welling in her eyes. She wasn't paying the least bit of attention to where she was going, she didn't even really know. B'Elanna stood in front of the turbolift doors waiting for them to open.. Hopefully, they would be empty. She didn't want anyone to see her about to cry. The doors opened, and there stood Harry Kim.
"Hi, B'Elanna, I thought you were going to the Mess Hall to meet Tom."
Harry said in his cheery voice, but received no answer. "B'Elanna, are you ok?" Harry asked worriedly. She turned and looked at him with tears in her eyes.
"B'Elanna, what's wrong?" He had never known her to cry like that. In fact, he'd never know her to cry at all.
"I hate Tom Paris!" she screamed, "I can't believe I ever trusted that man! Everyone told me he was a womanizer, but, I didn't listen. How could I have been so stupid?"
"Look, B'Elanna, I don't know what happened between you two, but if you want to talk about it, we could go to my quarters." Harry offered. B'Elanna did need a friend right now, and Harry was the best one she had.
"Okay, Harry." she agreed, "Let's go."
The two entered Harry's quarters and had a seat on the couch. "Now, what happened?" Harry asked.
"I was going to meet Tom for lunch and when I walked into the Mess Hall, I saw him holding Megan Delaney in his arms." B'Elanna explained. "B'Elanna, Tom was probably just comforting her. Jenny was injured on that away mission and Meg has been taking it really hard. The Doctor doesn't know if Jenny will recover. Tom knew that, he was really worried about her. They're still very close friends, but, I can see how you would get the wrong idea."
B'Elanna had never felt more stupid in her entire life. Tom was trying to help Megan because her sister had been hurt and all she could do was get jealous. She felt bad that she hadn't trusted Tom more.
"Oh my God, Harry. I feel like such an *idiot*. I'm going to go find Tom, he probably got worried when I didn't show up for lunch. Thanks for listening."
"Anytime." Harry said, "My door is always open."
The two got up and walked to the door. "Thanks again, Harry." They embraced in a hug, and B'Elanna turned to give Harry a friendly kiss, but, that friendly kiss turned into a lot more when neither one pulled their lips away from the other's.
*What am I *doing*,* Harry thought, *Tom is my best friend.*
*This can't be happening,* B'Elanna thought, *I'm kissing Harry.*
Finally B'Elanna pulled away. They just stared at each other in silence for what seemed like forever.
"I better go find Tom." B'Elanna finally said. She turned away and quickly walked out of the room. Still overwhelmed by what had just happened.
B'Elanna found Tom still sitting in the Mess Hall.
"Hi, what took you so long?" Tom inquired when B'Elanna reached the table where he was sitting.
"I was just, um....talking to Harry." B'Elanna explained.
"Oh," Tom answered, "Well, I thought you got held up in Engineering so I already ate. I hope you don't mind."
"No, I don't mind. I'm not hungry anyway. I should be getting back to Engineering now." B'Elanna said quickly.
"Are you OK, B'Elanna? You seem a little upset."
*Oh God,* she thought. He knew something was wrong. She had to get a hold of herself. This meant nothing to her. It was Harry, he was like a brother to her.
"I'm fine." she answered, "It's just been a very busy day in Engineering, so I really should be going."
"OK, bye." Tom said as he stood and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
B'Elanna stood in front of the turbolift doors. All she could think about was that kiss. Should she tell Tom? But, why should she tell him if it didn't mean anything to her? She had just gotten caught up in the moment. She made a decision, she wasn't going to tell Tom. It would only upset him and cause trouble between Tom and Harry. Besides, he didn't tell her about that hug he shared with Megan Delaney.
The turbolift door opened and there stood Harry. B'Elanna entered the turbolift, but tried especially hard not to make eye contact with him.
"B'Elanna" "Harry" they said simultaneously.
"You go first." B'Elanna insisted.
"I just want to apologize for what happened earlier. I got a little carried away." Harry said sincerely.
"I'm sorry, too. I don't know what came over me." B'Elanna said.
"I think we should let Tom know what happened." Harry said.
"Do what??!!" B'Elanna exclaimed.
"We have to tell Tom. He'll understand. Besides, that kiss didn't mean anything, we just got a little carried."
"No way, Star Fleet!" B'Elanna protested, "That kiss may not have meant anything to me or you, but it will to Tom. We can't tell him. It'll just upset him."
"B'Elanna, even though that kiss didn't mean anything, I still feel guilty. I have to tell Tom. I don't like keeping secrets from my friends." Harry said.
The turbolift doors opened to reveal Main Engineering. B'Elanna started to walk out of the turbolift, but stopped and turned around. "Look Harry, before you tell Tom anything, just think about the consequences. That's all I ask." B'Elanna said her tone of voice was calm again. She turned and walked out of the turbolift, the doors closing behind her.
"You did what??!!" B'Elanna exclaimed, her Klingon temper flaring. "I told Tom." Harry repeated.
"B'Elanna knew something was up when Harry stopped by her quarters not even five minutes after her shift had ended and announced grimly, "We need to talk."
"Star Fleet, what the hell were you thinking?!" B'Elanna questioned. Harry knew she was upset, he could see it in her eyes.
"I told you, I don't like keeping secrets from my friends." Harry explained.
"And I told you to think before you said anything." she shouted back.
"How did he take it?" she wondered.
"Surprisingly well." Harry explained.
"What's that supposed to mean?" B'Elanna asked.
"Well," Harry started, "he didn't try to kill me. I guess he thought he'd leave that up to you." Harry joked, trying to lighten the situation.
Just then the doorbell sounded.
"Come in." B'Elanna commanded.
The doors opened and there stood Tom. His face was expressionless. B'Elanna hated it when she couldn't tell what he was thinking.
"Harry, will you excuse us? I need to talk to B'Elanna." Tom requested, his voice was calm.
"Sure." Harry said.
"Oh, and Harry, I'm sorry I got a little upset with you earlier." Tom apologized.
"That's OK," Harry said, "You had a right to be."
Harry walked out of the room, and the doors closed behind him.
*Well, at least he isn't screaming,* B'Elanna thought.
"B'Elanna, we need to talk."
"I know. let's sit down." she offered.
The two had a seat on the couch.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Tom asked.
"I don't know." B'Elanna started off, "It was a mistake, I didn't mean for it to happen, and I knew if I told you, it would only upset you. Why didn't you tell me about your hug with Megan Delaney?"
"Oh." Tom said shocked, "You saw us."
"Yeah, I saw you. Why didn't you tell me?" B'Elanna asked.
"I guess for the same reason you didn't tell me what happened between you and Harry. I didn't want to upset you." Tom said.
"Tom, let's make each other a promise that we won't keep secrets from each other anymore. No matter how big or small they are."
"Good idea." Tom agreed.
"I love you, Tom." B'Elanna smiled.
"I love you, too, Sweetheart." Tom smiled back.
Sweetheart? He had never called her that before. She kind of like it.
****TO BE CONTINUED****