No Regrets - Part 11
by T'Pam

Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.


*Tom's POV*

The Doc lets me go back to my quarters with conditions that I
rest. I don't have much choice. I'm still a little stiff and
sore. I feel bad about what happened with B'Elanna. I really
didn't want to hurt her.

She'd been trying to talk to me and I hadn't been listening.
No wonder she became so riled up. We'd had a bit of a
confrontation last night and things were still rather
uncomfortable between us this morning. We were both on edge and
we should've stayed away from each other until we were a little

She'd let me have my way last night and we'd made slow, gentle,
sensuous love. She'd been impatient at first, but determined to
grit her teeth and bear it. I know she enjoyed herself in the
end, and so did I. Afterwards, however, it hadn't felt right.

We'd lain on my bed together, in that post orgasmic haze that
makes sex so much better, and I'd reached across and pulled her
against me. All I'd wanted to do was curl around her and go to
sleep. Instead, she'd sat up abruptly.

"Kahless, that was good, Tom. We'll have to do gentle more
often." She'd yawned loudly. "Not too often, though. All I
want to do now is sleep."

"That's kind of what I had in mind."

"Well, you can, of course. Me, I've got work to do."

"Work? What work?"

"There's a slight recalibration to be done on one of the warp
nacelles. I want to do it tonight while it's quiet."

"You have got to be kidding." My drowsiness had been
completely forgotten as I sat up angrily. "Can't whoever's on
duty do that?"

"I suppose so, but you know that I like to oversee these things

"Yeah, do I ever," I'd said bitterly. "I also know it's not

"Hey, I'm the chief engineer. Ultimately, I'm responsible."

"I'm responsible for the helm too, but I trust the other pilots
to do their job. Maybe you should start trusting your fellow

"I do trust them, but you can't seriously compare your
responsibilities with mine." She had climbed off the bed and
started to dress.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I'd been doing a slow burn, but
she hadn't seemed to notice.

"Just what I said. As chief engineer, I have responsibilities
that far outweigh any responsibilities you may have as chief

"Oh, really? I'd match how hard you work any day," I'd said

"I didn't say you didn't work hard. Of course you do. Between
your duties in sickbay and at the helm, not to mention all the
flight sims and training, you put in as many hours as I do.
What are you getting so touchy about?"

"You've just said that I'm not important."

"I didn't say that. You *are* important."

"Just not as important as you."

"I haven't got time for this. I don't know what your problem

"My problem is that we should be lying here, completely sated in
one another's arms. We should be blissfully asleep, cuddled
against each other. But you never do that. You never want to.
There's always some excuse."

"If all you want is something to snuggle up to, then I'll get my
pet targ for you."

"You just don't get it. I don't know why I even try."

"I do *not* like sleeping here overnight. If you don't get
*that* by now, you never will." With an angry toss of her head
she'd stomped towards the door. "Meet me for breakfast. Try
not to be late."

"Maybe I won't show up at all," I'd shouted to her retreating

"Suit yourself," she'd growled.

And that's exactly what I should have done. Suited myself and
not shown up. Now our rather memorable break-up will be the
talk of the ship for weeks, possibly months.

As if I didn't have enough to worry about.

Chakotay has assured me that he spoke to Vorik and he's sure
that the Vulcan won't be saying anything to anyone. I hope he's
right, because I have no intentions of tackling the engineer
about the whole thing. What a mess!

I go over to my bed and throw myself down on it. The violent
movement causes all sorts of shooting pains to rack my battered
and bruised body. I groan loudly and roll over. Closing my
eyes, I try to get some sleep.


*Chakotay's POV*

The Captain gives me a rather sour look when I finally make it
to the bridge. "How nice of you to join us at last," she says

I notice out of the corner of my eye Harry, glaring at me
angrily. He, of course, blames me for what happened between
Tom and B'Elanna.

I sigh and take my seat. "I apologize. There were a few things
that needed to be sorted out."

"Really? May I ask what they were?" Her voice is low and edged
with anger. "I thought that perhaps you'd stayed in sickbay to
help the Doctor with Tom, but the Doctor contacted me some time
ago. He said that Tom was released to his quarters and would be
fit for duty tomorrow. As for B'Elanna, I've sorted that out,
too. She'll be spending the next few days confined to

She looks at me expectantly and I clear my throat. "It's rather
involved, actually."

"That doesn't surprise me." She looks up suddenly at Harry and
frowns menacingly. "Do you have something to report, Ensign

"No, Ma'am."

"Then I suggest you keep your eyes on the readouts in front of

"Yes, Ma'am. Sorry, Ma'am."

Harry sends me one last glare before focusing on his console.

"Captain, can we speak in private?" I ask.

"Not at the moment. I'm furious, Chakotay. You really do *not*
want to have a discussion with me right now."

She stands up slowly, her whole body taut with anger. "You have
the bridge, Commander. I'll be in my ready room. Unless a
whole fleet of battle ships suddenly surrounds us, I do *not*
want to be disturbed. Is that clear?"

"Of course, Captain," I say meekly.

She practically storms off the bridge.


*Tom's POV*

The Captain comes to see me and I find myself shrinking at the
blazing fury in her eyes. She lectures me for some time about
conduct unbecoming a senior officer and how B'Elanna and I are
supposed to set an example for the rest of the crew. Two senior
officers physically fighting in public is not an impression she
wants the rest of the crew to witness.

To try and point out that I wasn't fighting, merely trying to
protect myself, would fall on deaf ears at the moment. I say,
"Yes, Ma'am. I'm sorry, Captain," whenever she pauses to
breathe instead.

Finally, her tirade ceases and her eyes soften a little.

"This was one of the main reasons I was worried when the two of
you became involved. I really can't tolerate this sort of
behavior, Tom. What happened in the mess hall is completely
unacceptable, under any circumstances. Not only does it cause
dissention in the crew, but it also places me in a very awkward
position. I now have to punish the two of you because of a
situation in your personal lives."

"You're right, of course, Captain. It should never have

"B'Elanna has been confined to quarters for the next few days
and has had her replicator privileges revoked for the rest of
the month. Although you're not confined to quarters, I think
it's only fair if the replicator is off line to you as well."

I nod, thankful that I wasn't confined to quarters too. She
pats my arm and sighs. "I don't know if the two of you can
patch this up or not, but whatever happens, I advise you to seek
help from the Doctor. I'm sure your problem can be successfully

My problem? Of course. The Captain is referring to my
claustrophobia. I was supposed to have regressive hypnotherapy
with the Doc. What with everything else, I hadn't had a chance
to have it done.

"Yes, Captain. I'm sure you're right."

She smiles and then says rather cryptically. "I don't know
what's happening around here. My senior staff seems to be
coming apart." As she leaves, I hear her mumble, "All I need
now is for Tuvok to start his pon farr."

I have absolutely no idea what that has to do with anything.


I stay moping in my quarters until my hunger drives me out. I'm
starving, and although I really don't want to go back to the mess
hall, I find I have no choice. I wait until I'm sure everyone's
left and then make my way there.

Neelix greets me as if I've been gone for six months instead of
six hours. After I manage to disentangle myself from his overly
enthusiastic hug, I ask him if there's anything left to eat.

He beams at me and bustles back over to his galley. "There's
quite a bit of casserole left over. Let me get you a bowl."

I follow him and watch as he takes the lid off of a gigantic
pot. The odour that immediately assails me is so disgusting
that I almost gag. "What the hell is that?"

"Oh, please don't let the smell put you off. It really tastes
very nice. It might be best if you hold your nose while you
eat, of course, but it's really quite delicious."

"I am *not* eating that," I say flatly.

Neelix hastily puts the lid back on the pot, looking a little
green around the gills, himself. "There's some Tortallion
mince pie left from last night," he suggests.

"Is that the pie that looks like it's full of...?"

Neelix hurriedly cuts me off. "I know it looks a little...
um... unusual, but it's very nutritious."

"You eat it then, because I never will."

"Well, Tom, if you're going to be fussy, I suggest you use the

"I can't. The Captain's restricted my rations for the rest of
the month."

"I see. Well, there's always the bowl of fruit. Help

With a heavy sigh, I take out what looks like a pear. Biting
into it, I shudder. It tastes like a peach combined with a very
sour lemon. Spitting it out, I curse. "Damn it, Neelix,
haven't you got anything normal around here?"

"Those little green things apparently taste like something on
your world called a cherry. They're very popular, actually.
That's why there's hardly any left."

I pop one into my mouth. Neelix is right. They're delicious.
There's only one problem. I'll need about fifty of them to fill
me up and picking through the bowl I can only find five.

I stand there feeling completely sorry for myself and Neelix
caves in. "There's some biscuits back here and some of that
tomato salsa dip you like so much."

"Thanks, Neelix," I say in relief.

He starts to rummage through cupboards, muttering to himself
about where he put the dip. I prowl around the galley, trying
to take my mind off of just how hungry I am.

I notice a small saucepan on the hotplate next to the huge pot
of stinky casserole. Taking the lid off very carefully, I sniff
suspiciously. The aroma is absolutely mouth watering. It
appears to be some sort of stew and my eyes narrow as I peer
back at Neelix, whose head is buried in a cupboard. Why didn't
he tell me about this?

"What's in this saucepan?" I ask.

He pulls his head out of the cupboard to glance over at me. His
chef's hat is on sideways and he's very red in the face. "I
don't think I can find that dip. What did you say, Tom?"

"What's this?" I say, pointing down at the stew.

"Oh. That's for you, actually."

"Well, why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"It's not ready yet. It still needs to simmer for another hour
and then I need to thicken it."

It looks thick enough for me and it smells ready enough, too.

"I was going to bring it to you later."

He pokes his head back into the cupboard and practically crawls
inside in his hunt for the missing dip. I pick up a spoon and
cautiously taste the stew. It tastes as good as it smells and I
grab a bowl.

"Don't worry about the dip, Neelix," I call to him between
mouthfuls. "I'd rather have this. You were wrong. This stew
is perfect just the way it is."

He looks completely flustered as he backs out of the cupboard
and turns to look at me. "Stew? What stew? OH MY!!!!"

With a look of absolute horror, he races towards me and knocks
the bowl and spoon from my hands.

To be continued in part 12.