No Regrets - Part 16
by T'Pam

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


*Harry's POV*

He's gone. Finally. Now I can think. What have I done? Oh
my God, what have I done? I've made matters worse, that's what
I've done. I... I lied to him. But he forced me to. I can't
believe I did that, though.

I've never lied to him before. At least... not really. I mean,
there are some things that you have to lie about and that's all
right. They're only little white lies and they don't really
hurt anyone. Do they?

But this is different. All that stuff about loving B'Elanna
enough to want her to be happy was so much crap. It sounded so
trite, so totally false. Dear, sweet, lovable Tom believed me,
though. I guess he wanted to believe it. It just goes to show
that he doesn't want me to be in love with him. I'd known that
all along anyway.

'Are you in love with me?' What the hell was I supposed to say?
'Yes, Tom. I've been in love with you from the first moment we
met'? I can picture it now. I would then throw myself in his
arms and he would gasp in sudden enlightenment. 'Oh, Har, why
have I been such a fool? I've been so blind. I love you, too.'
We would then kiss passionately and... Yeah... right!

I go into the bathroom and study my reflection in the mirror.
The face that looks out at me still appears the same, but is
there a harder glint to the eyes? Is the darkness growing
inside me starting to show on the surface? I tremble a little
at the thought.

I can hear my mother's voice now. She'd be so disappointed in
me. 'You should be ashamed of yourself, my son.' And she's
right... I should. In fact, the more I think about it, the more
I realize that she'd be more than disappointed... she'd be
shocked. My father would be too. Thinking of my parents makes
me frown in consternation. I'm a little shocked myself. This
wasn't supposed to happen.

That it should come to this. Whatever happened to innocent
little Harry Kim? Who would have thought that I could be so
ruthless, so cunning, so manipulative? Certainly not Tom,
that's for sure. Tom is completely clueless where I'm
concerned, and thank goodness for that.

I hadn't meant for things to get so out of hand, and I certainly
hadn't meant to lie. I'd been too scared to admit the truth,
however. He'd pity me. I know he would. I couldn't bear that.
And then he'd be uncomfortable around me. The closeness we
shared would be gone. And that's all that I have.

I just want things to be the same between us as they always have
been. Is that so wrong? I panicked and I lied. Now what sort
of a hole have I dug myself into?

Tom, for some inexplicable reason, has jumped to the conclusion
that I'm in love with B'Elanna. He made me sound like some
noble, self-sacrificing hero. Not that that isn't nice. He has
such a high opinion of me that it makes me feel all mushy

But my guilt had made me choke. It was anything but the truth.
I had to tell him he was wrong. And I was going to. Honestly,
I was. But he'd thrown himself down in front of me and hugged
me tightly. I'd been overcome with the scent of him, the feel
of his body against mine and I'd relished the sensation,
unconsciously hugging him in return.

I'd opened my mouth to admit all, but the lies had rolled off my
tongue, instead. I'd latched onto Tom's rather crazy theory
like a lifeline. I'm so ashamed. How could I do that? How
could I? What's the matter with me? Why am I acting like this?
Why am I letting the darkness take me over?

Loving someone isn't all it's cracked up to be. It takes a lot
out of you and can turn you into a complete stranger. It makes
you do things that you wouldn't normally do. I shake my head as
I remember some of the things my love has forced me to do over
the years. But I haven't done anything that terrible, have I?

Okay, there have been a couple of things... but mostly, it's
all been for the best. I don't want to think about that,
though. I don't want to think about what my love for Tom has
made me do. I won't be able to look at myself in the mirror if
I do. Anyway, none of it was that bad. I'm sure it wasn't.

And now Tom thinks he may have feelings for Chakotay. I just
can't believe it. I don't want to believe it. It's not fair.
He wasn't interested in men. God damn it! He was *not*
interested in men. All this time I've longed for him, cared for
him, loved him, and I've never said a word because I didn't think
he could feel that way about a man.

This is all so frustrating. Sometimes I just want to grab Tom
by the shoulders and shake him. Make him look at me. Make him
really see me. I'll kiss him soundly and tell him how much I
love him.

Only, I'd had the chance just then and I hadn't taken it. Why
was I such a coward? I might be wrong. Tom may not have
rejected me, letting me down gently and caringly, only to become
stiff and awkward around me in the future. But I can't take the
chance. I just can't.

What's the matter with the man? Why can't he see what's right
in front of him, anyway? Me!!!!! I would never hurt him the
way Chakotay will... and he will. He already has, actually.

I should have told Tom the truth. I know I should have. Now
I've trapped myself. I'm going to have to pretend I'm in love
with B'Elanna. I don't think I can do that. I *am* attracted
to her. Who wouldn't be? If I wasn't so totally in love with
Tom, then I think I would be in love with her. I'm not, though,
and I've never been very good at pretending.

I just don't know what to do. I don't want to lie all the time.
It's one thing to deny I'm in love with Tom, but another thing
entirely to lie about B'Elanna. I know the first thing's a sort
of lie too, but I'm not hurting anyone. Am I?

I focus once more on the mirror and my rather flushed face
staring back at me. I'm not the same person I was before I met
Tom. I now have secrets. I never thought I'd ever be the sort
of person to have secrets. I really wish I'd told him the

But he'd hugged me. Engulfed me in his arms and held me against
him. For that brief moment I'd felt cared for. Loved, even. I
didn't want the feeling to end, and that's why I lied.

To make matters worse, my traitorous body had nestled in against
him and I'd been rewarded for my sins. He'd held me tighter. I
smile dreamily at my reflection as I remember how it felt to
have his arms around me, holding me tight.

That wasn't the first time he's held me, of course, but it was
definitely the most memorable. I'd held him tightly in return
and he hadn't moved away. Hadn't shifted at all. And he'd held
me for a long time.

These are the moments I live for. These small precious memories
that will stay with me forever. I cherish every one of them.

I'd fallen in love with Tom the first time I'd met him. He'd
put his arm around my shoulders as we walked out of that Ferengi
bar on Deep Space Nine and my stomach had done a somersault. My
heart had begun to beat so loudly that I'd been certain he'd
hear it. Surely he must have wondered about the ridiculously
goofy expression that had been plastered over my face. But he'd
simply smiled in return and asked me to show him to the ship.

I told myself that it was lust... pure and simple, and asked him
out in a roundabout way. When he'd said he wasn't interested in
guys, I'd felt keenly disappointed but told myself to get over
it. It wasn't like I'd be seeing too much more of him, anyway.
He was just an observer, on board for a couple of weeks. Those
weeks have now turned into years and my infatuation - my love -
is still with me.

I tried everything in those first few months to get Tom to
change his mind. My slight case of homesickness was magnified
out of all proportion. I know I worried almost everyone on
board, but it was worth it. Tom would come to me night after
night and hold me while I cried my eyes out. He spent a lot of
time with me, helping me to adjust.

It hadn't been difficult to feign the tears. One of the first
things I'd learnt as a child was how to cry convincingly. And
my parents had fallen for it every time, giving me whatever it
was I wanted.

I soon realized, however, that I couldn't cry and get what I
craved so desperately. The thing I desired more than anything
I'd ever wanted was impossible to attain. Tom's love.

Although Tom never took our relationship further than
friendship, we grew closer than mere friends. I was the best
friend he'd ever had and my heart soared at the thought. If I
couldn't have him as a lover then this was almost as good. We
shared everything... except my feelings for him.

I watched Tom chase after nearly every woman on board, but
didn't take any of it seriously. A few well chosen words and
they soon lost interest. I never lied. Not once.

And then along came Kes. I'd suspected that Tom was developing
more than just a crush on her and wasn't quite sure of her
feelings for him.

They'd grown close and to my worried mind all I could think was,
'How could she resist him?' He was so handsome. So totally
lovable. So, I dropped a few gentle hints to Neelix. I'd known
he was a little jealous of Tom. Tom, after all, was everything
he wasn't.

I was careful to keep my tone innocent but concerned, and Neelix
had taken the bait. The fight they'd had in the mess hall had
made Tom feel ridiculous and embarrassed and he'd backed right
away from Kes.

He quickly got over his crush and they became friends instead.
Much to my relief. So, I'd done the right thing, hadn't I?
Tom's friendship with Neelix is very important to him and it
would never have happened if I hadn't made things come to a
head. I mean, it wasn't a bad thing to do in the end, was it?
And, I never really hurt anyone, did I?

Tom's next truly serious crush was on B'Elanna. I noticed
immediately, but didn't worry too much. She thought he was an
arrogant pig and her attitude didn't seem to change. They were
quite friendly at times; a teasing banter that would have
worried me if she hadn't said so often what she thought of him.

And then that whole ponn farr thing had happened and she'd bit
him. God damn it! I hadn't seen that one coming at all. I
wasn't even on duty when Tom signaled the ship for assistance.
If I had been, I might have been able to insist on accompanying
Tuvok and Chakotay and prevented the rest of it from happening.

No matter what I said to B'Elanna after that, she'd agree with
me and then continue to flirt with him anyway. I just didn't
know how to handle the situation without causing some sort of
conflict with Tom. And that was the last thing I wanted to do.

I then told myself what was I worrying about? They obviously
were not compatible, so the wisest approach would be to let the
relationship run its course.

A few months later the cracks started to appear and Tom began to
spend more time with me once again. Only now, things were even
better. They were arguing and Tom would come to me upset and
angry. It gave me a good excuse to touch him, to spend more
time with him.

I knew it was only a matter of time before they broke up and Tom
just might see, finally, what was right in front of him. Me!
Loyal, faithful, Harry Kim, who would do anything for him.

Only, that isn't what happened. They didn't break up. I was on
tenterhooks the whole time, waiting for it to happen. But it
never did. They stayed together, and I could only stand by and
watch in helpless frustration. Cursing him, cursing her, and I
guess most of all, cursing myself.

Continued in part 17