No Regrets - Part 13
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
I scowl at Harry as Chakotay steps out into the corridor.
"You've got to stop treating Chakotay like that. I mean it."
"I treat 'em as I see 'em." He scowls back at me and then goes
over to flop down on the couch. "So, what'd he do, have another
"What are you talking about?"
"Look at the way you're dressed! Or not dressed, I should say.
You're hair's wet and there's a towel slung over your shoulder.
That points to the fact that you've just had a shower, so you
can hardly blame me for wondering..."
"Harry, that's not funny."
"It wasn't meant to be. What was he still doing here?"
"He waited to see if I was all right."
Harry's scowl is replaced by a worried frown. "And are you? I
heard what happened in the mess hall this morning. And I was on
the bridge when Ayala commed Tuvok."
"I suppose so."
"As soon as B'Elanna's allowed visitors, you're going to patch
things up... aren't you?"
I sigh with annoyance. "No, Harry, I'm not. It's gone too far
for that. And if you've heard about what happened in the mess
hall then you would also have heard the spicy morsel, thanks to
our dear half Klingon, that I'm having sexual difficulties."
"Well, yeah. I did hear that. And it's all Chakotay's fault.
He's obviously screwed you up big time."
"Harry, it's not true. I can't believe you assumed it was.
Thanks a lot."
"Well, I'm sorry. But how was I supposed to know? You've been
acting so weird lately."
"*I've* been acting weird? Look who's talking. You've gone way
"I'm just worried about you."
"I know, but I'll be fine. You don't have to worry."
"What about you and B'Elanna? If you give her a couple of days
to cool off..."
"Harry, I don't want to."
"But things can't end like that between you."
"I admit, I regret we parted like that, and it would be nice if
we could be friends again..."
"Well, then, talk to her."
"Harry, you're not listening to me. I don't want to. I'm so
damn mad at her right now that all I want to do is strangle
"Once you've had a few days to calm down everything will..."
"Harry!!!!! How many times do I have to say it? I am not going
to get back with B'Elanna."
He bites his lip. "Okay, so what exactly happened this
I tell him.
"Well, at least she doesn't know that you cheated on her with
I wince at the harsh tone of his voice. "It wasn't like that,
Harry. You know what happened."
"All I know is that it takes two to tango."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean? You think I set it up
deliberately or something?"
"There's always been this kind of friction thing going between
the two of you. Obviously, it was sexual tension. I was stupid
not to see it for myself."
"Harry, what's wrong with you? Are you mad at me for saying I
won't get back with B'Elanna?"
"The two of you are meant to be together."
"It's obvious to everyone."
"You're wrong, Harry. Our relationship's been in big trouble
for a long time. Surely that's what's been obvious to
He sighs and nods, the anger slowly leaving his face. He looks
so sad that I immediately feel guilty.
"I'm sorry. I know you wanted to see the two of us together,
but it's just not going to work. It's over."
"I just wish..." his voice trails off.
"Harry, please. Today's been a really bad day. I mean a
*really* bad day. I don't want to end it in an argument with
"I don't want to argue, either. I just don't like to think that
Chakotay's influenced you in some way."
"Chakotay's got nothing to do with this."
"I hope not, because the way I see it at the moment is that he's
got you really confused."
"That's not true."
"Really? You're not thinking of him all the time?"
I hesitate. "Not all the time."
"Damn it, Tom. I knew it," Harry shouts. He jumps up from the
couch to come over and grab my arms. Giving me a little shake,
he yells into my face. "You're not even interested in guys,
remember? That was one of the first things you told me."
"I didn't think I was, but Chakotay's different."
Harry lets me go abruptly and turns away. "That bastard. That
"Harry, I don't know what I'm feeling at the moment. It doesn't
matter, anyway. Even if I was interested in Chakotay and wanted
to take it further, he's not interested in me."
"Yeah, right," Harry says bitterly.
"It's true. He told me that I was just a convenient body. He
must have been walking around with a permanent hard-on for
weeks. He would have done it with anybody."
"And you can still have feelings for him?"
"I told you; I don't know what I feel. Harry, I don't
understand why you're acting like this. I'm glad that you care
about me so much, but you're taking this way too personally."
"Of course you don't understand. Listen, I've gotta go. I
have a date."
He hurries out the door before I can say anything else.
I'm too hungry to skip dinner, so I go to the mess hall early,
hoping that I can be finished eating and gone before it gets too
busy. Harry's strange behavior keeps going around in my head.
Thankfully, only a few people are here. A couple of crewmembers
from ships maintenance and Sam and Naomi Wildman. Neelix brings
me over a pizza he made especially for me, to make up for what
It's absolutely delicious and I devour it ravenously. Neelix
stands there, watching me eat, beaming proudly.
Sam Wildman comes over to join us. "Hi, Tom." If she's aware
of the rumors, it doesn't show on her face. "I'll be going back
on duty now, Neelix. I've told Naomi to stay here with you."
He nods. "I'll make sure she's in bed by twenty-one hundred."
"Thanks." With a smile for the both of us, she leaves.
More and more crewmembers start to filter through the doors and
it isn't long before the mess hall's crowded. Everyone's
looking at me and smiling awkwardly. I decide to leave.
Just as I'm about to stand up, young Naomi slides into the seat
across from me. "You look sad."
I try to smile, although it's hard. I can still feel every eye
upon me. "I'm just a little tired."
"Haven't you been sleeping well?"
This time I smile a genuine smile at the caring, motherly mode
the little girl's adopting. "Not really, but I'm sure I'll be
"I could lend you my Flotter doll, if you like. He always helps
"That's very kind of you, Sweetheart, but then you might not be
able to sleep."
"That's all right. I can always crawl into bed with my Mommy.
We curl up together. You should sleep with somebody. Like
I practically choke on my last bite of pizza. "Commander
She bobs her head up and down. "He helps Harry sleep, so he
would for you too."
"Yep. I heard the Commander tell the Captain that they sleep
I take a long slow sip of water and then ask as casually as
possible. "Are you sure?"
"I was practicing being sneaky and I snuck up on them. The
Commander was telling the Captain that he and Harry slept
I take another sip of water. This is wrong. I should not be
questioning the kid like this. She's a complete innocent and I
should not be interrogating her for information. "What else did
"He said that Harry was mad at him. Why would he be mad?"
"I have no idea. Maybe they had an argument."
She nods understandingly. "Like you and Lieutenant Torres."
"Well, not exactly." I smile brightly at her. "Thank you for
the offer of your doll, but I'm so tired that I'm sure I'll
sleep fine tonight. I have to go now. Good night, Sweetheart."
I leave, noticing the stares and whispers, but not really
caring anymore. Naomi must have misheard. Chakotay and Harry?
Never! Harry's not interested in men. Is he? He's my best
friend. I'd know if he was. Surely.
He's always chased after the unattainable woman. Is that why?
Because he's not really interested in catching one? I shake my
head as I recall his eagerness to join Chakotay on away
missions. I'd always marked it down to his enthusiasm to gain
No. It can't be true. Harry's my best friend. He would have
told me. Wouldn't he? Yes, yes, he would have. But not right
away. He would have waited until he was sure of his feelings.
Perhaps the relationship was fairly new and he'd been about to
tell me when all of this blew up.
I'd accused him of taking it all too personally a short time
ago. His anger and bitterness towards Chakotay didn't make a
whole lot of sense. But it would if Chakotay had cheated on
him. With me.
No wonder Harry was so angry. He'd been so sharp with me
earlier. So insistent that I stay with B'Elanna. He sees me as
a rival for Chakotay. His motives are plain to me now. The way
he reacted when I told him that I might have feelings for
Chakotay makes perfect sense, of course.
I enter my quarters, the hurt building inside of me. Harry and
Chakotay. Chakotay and Harry. It can't be true. I've been
jumping to conclusions. Harry would have told me. Chakotay
would have definitely told me.
When I said to him that I deserved everything B'Elanna did to
me, he would have told me then that he'd cheated on someone too.
He might not have said who it was, but he would have said that.
He's an honorable man. He would have confessed to that.
I sigh with relief. It's all a mistake. Chakotay and Harry?
Harry and Chakotay? Never! I smile at the absurdity of it all.
The following morning's senior staff meeting is rather boring.
We're traveling through a very uninteresting area of space and
the ship's running smoothly. I find myself watching Harry and
Harry's animosity is tangible and I notice the Captain giving
him more than one warning look. She doesn't look surprised and
I find myself surprised at that. Everyone else is looking at
Harry a little strangely.
Tuvok and Seven both have their eyebrows raised and Neelix looks
completely dumbfounded. Chakotay refuses to look at Harry, but
he does dart small furtive looks at me.
I watch the Captain carefully instead. There's a concerned look
in her eyes as she shifts her gaze between Chakotay and Harry,
although she looks annoyed as well. She seems to know what's
going on between them.
I start to tense up as my thoughts from the previous evening
begin to reassert themselves.
Finally the ships business is concluded and the Captain clears
her throat. "Before we go, recent events have led me to rethink
our fraternization policy. I know that it's completely
implausible to expect the crew to abstain from any intimate
relationships. We're going to be out here far too long for
"However, the whole business is fraught with problems. I don't
want to say to the crew that they can't pair off; it just
wouldn't be fair considering our predicament. I do, however,
expect the senior staff to set an example. So far, it has not
been a good one. How can I expect the crew to behave rationally
and keep their personal love lives away from their duty
stations, if the senior staff don't?"
I flush with embarrassment and look up, expecting to see her
eyes drilling holes straight through me. She's looking directly
at Harry, though. His head is bent as he stares at the
tabletop. I look across to Chakotay and he is also staring at
Harry. He looks almost fearful.
And then I know. I know with absolute certainty that I was not
jumping to conclusions the night before. It's true. Harry and
Chakotay. Chakotay and Harry.
"I'm just asking you all to think very seriously and carefully
before you enter into a relationship," the Captain finishes.
"That will be all."
I get up and file out behind the others, my head whirling. I
see that Chakotay is holding back, waiting to speak to the
Captain in private.
They're best friends. He obviously confides in her. He's told
her about Harry. I decide, as I take my place at the helm, that
I hate Harry.
To be continued in part 14