No Regrets - Part 17
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
I didn't sleep very well last night. My dreams were filled with
all the terrible things my love for Tom has forced me to do. I
keep telling myself that they weren't that bad, but my
conscience is telling me otherwise.
Getting out of bed, I head for the bathroom so that I can stare
at my reflection once more. Is there... yes... yes, I'm sure
there is. There's an evil glint to my eyes that I've never
I knew it. I knew the darkness was making me change. All the
things it made me do are starting to show on my face. If only I
hadn't done them. But everything I've done has been in Tom's
best interests. All of the people that I've managed to deflect
from Tom over the years would have hurt him. They weren't right
for him. My love for him had nothing to do with my actions.
The years have been hard. I always had to be on the lookout for
anybody that seemed to have more than just a passing fancy for
Tom. One can never be too careful. I couldn't let my guard
down for a moment. Tom and B'Elanna's rocky relationship could
end at any time and someone else might step in, instead. I knew
that there were many people on the ship that were more than
I had to keep an eye out for potential problems. The Captain
being the main one. I had a list, you see. And she was right
on the top of it. Had been, right from the beginning of our
journey. It was obvious she was interested. I shake my head as
I think about the way she flirted with him. Has the woman no
I didn't think she'd do anything about it, but I just wasn't
sure. After the Monean incident I didn't have to worry anymore.
Things will never be quite the same between them again and it's
obvious that nothing will ever happen between them now.
I didn't have to do anything where the Captain was concerned,
but I had to intervene with some others. Usually, all it took
was a few words here or there. I didn't have to do anything
terrible at all.
Not so with Seven. I had to take more drastic steps with her.
I was becoming a little desperate. Just as I'd stopped worrying
about the Captain, I had to worry about Seven. She was
definitely interested, I could tell. I'd even seen her smile at
him. More than once.
That's when I did something terrible. Truly awful. So awful
that it haunts me in my sleep. I suggested to Seven that she
should do a study on human mating rituals and Tom and B'Elanna
would be the perfect pair to study. I knew that Tom wouldn't
appreciate her following them around.
At first, he didn't even notice, and then he was nice to her
about it. I couldn't believe it. That wasn't supposed to
happen. When B'Elanna discovered exactly why she was following
them around he was definitely upset about it. He even made a
bet with the holodoc about her, but I didn't like the way he was
starting to notice her.
That's when I did the truly terrible thing. I readjusted the
Doc's matrix so that he fell in love with Seven. I know, I
know. What was I thinking? But it worked. Now the Doc keeps
her too busy to give Tom more than just a fleeting thought.
It wasn't long after that particular incident that I noticed
that Chakotay was looking at Tom in a way that set off warning
bells in my head. He wasn't even on my list.
The only person left on the list that I was really worried
about, at the time, was Tuvok. I knew Tom wasn't interested in
guys, but I didn't like the way he often teased our Vulcan
Lieutenant Commander. And I'd caught him smiling at him quite
fondly on more than one occasion. Tuvok's studied disapproval,
in response to Tom's teasing, appeared a little intense at
times. It didn't seem quite Vulcan when I thought about it. He
actually looked annoyed.
If Tom was able to engender an emotional response in Tuvok, who
knew what else might happen? When was his ponn farr due
anyway? They'd been stranded together for quite some time in
that gravity well and developed an understanding of sorts.
Could it be more? Could something develop between them? I just
I was still trying to decide whether I was being overly
suspicious when Chakotay caught my eye. He'd started to look at
Tom differently. Staring at the back of his head thoughtfully
and smiling when he spoke to him. There was a gentle teasing
note to the tone of his voice that hadn't been there at the
start of our journey.
I hadn't thought to put Chakotay on the list, because Tom
believed the Commander hated him. There was an ill-feeling
between the two of them that could flare up at any time for any
It'd never worried me before because of Tom's non-interest in
males, but if I could wonder about Tuvok then I would definitely
wonder about Chakotay. The Commander was very good-looking and
when he smiled his eyes sparkled and he had a really cute dimple.
Not that he affected me in any way, but I could see why somebody
I began to see that I may have made a mistake. That there had
always been 'something' there. The sparks flew between them.
I'd misjudged the warning signs. I'd relaxed my guard and look
what had happened.
The problem was, I didn't know what to do about it. Chakotay
already knew all of Tom's supposed character flaws. Besides,
there was no way I could innocently talk about Tom to him.
I was stumped, but knew I couldn't just sit back and watch what
happened. The last time I'd done that had been with B'Elanna
and look what'd happened there. They were still together...
although not for much longer.
And that's when it hit me. The perfect plan. As long as Tom
stayed with B'Elanna, Chakotay would never make a play for him.
His feelings for B'Elanna, as well as his sense of honor,
wouldn't allow him to. Just so long as Tom and B'Elanna stayed
So, I made sure they did. And everything was wonderful. They
fought. Tom came to me, more and more upset, and I comforted
him. We spent more and more time together.
I didn't really think it through, however. I didn't consider
what was happening between the two of them. Tom and B'Elanna
were truly hurting each other now. It was no longer simple
arguments, easily forgotten. And it was just getting worse.
Tom was an emotional wreck and I became more and more troubled
about the whole thing.
As much as I loved Tom, I liked B'Elanna. She'd been a true
friend. I began to question what the hell I thought I was
doing. If I really loved Tom, I should want to see him happy
more than anything else.
I began to really worry. I told myself that Tom would never
have reacted the way he did in the lift - his claustrophobia
consuming him so totally - if his emotions hadn't been in such a
Besides, Chakotay wasn't a problem. Tom didn't even like him,
not in the slightest, and even if Tom and B'Elanna did break up,
he would never step in. He wouldn't want to hurt B'Elanna.
I decided to butt out and that I loved Tom enough to let him go.
And I meant it. Although it was the right thing to do, it was a
difficult decision to make. I was still angry with Chakotay -
he'd made Tom cry - but then Tom told me what had really
happened in that lift.
All of my good intentions flew straight out the proverbial
window. And my anger was directed squarely at Chakotay. It was
all his fault. He'd snuck right in under my nose. I couldn't
let him have Tom.
Now that I think about it, I guess I did act a little strange
after that. Jealousy is a terrible emotion. It made me say
some really horrible things to Tom. Some really cutting things.
I think I kind of blamed him for what happened in that lift
I sigh listlessly and turn away from the mirror. I don't want
to feel like this anymore. I don't want to want Tom anymore. I
told myself only days ago that I loved Tom enough to let him go.
I do and I will. Somehow, I'll step back and be what I'm
supposed to be. Tom's friend. Nothing more. The darkness must
But he must never know that I was in love with him. If that
means that I must go along with his rather strange notion that
I'm in love with B'Elanna, then so be it. I can always say in a
few weeks time that I'm over her. Can't I?
This way nothing will change between Tom and me, and after all,
that's what I truly want most of all.
I think I've caused a problem with Harry. He was acting a
little strange at breakfast. Not the usual weirdness of the
past few days. This was different. He was awkward and
uncomfortable with me. I'd put my arm around his shoulders
while we were walking towards the mess hall, and I'd felt him
Our conversation had been stilted and he was definitely
ill-at-ease. The poor kid's embarrassed that I know about his
true feelings for B'Elanna, but the more I try to put him at
ease the worse he looks.
I hope this blows over quickly. I don't want things to be like
this between us. I have to do something. He's miserable and I
hate seeing him like that. There must be something I can do to
make him feel better.
He's one of these people who likes to be held when he's upset.
That was one of the first things I discovered about him. A
gentle pat on the arm or hand isn't enough for him.
So, naturally, as soon as we were alone in the lift, I'd tried
to hug him, tell him that everything would be all right. But
he'd stepped back, his eyes averted. "Thanks, Tom, but I'll be
fine," he'd said.
That isn't like Harry. Not at all. He likes to be hugged. I'd
suggested getting together this evening and he'd seemed a little
hesitant. Did my stupid, insane notion that he and Chakotay
were on together change everything between us? That ridiculous
argument we'd had, hadn't changed things, had it?
Tom's upset. I didn't mean to upset him. I couldn't let him
hug me, though. I'm determined to get over him and I won't be
able to if I let him touch me all the time.
He'd suggested we get together this evening and I'd hesitated.
Is it such a good idea to be spending so much time with him when
I'm trying to get over him?
The look on his face had been heart-breaking. He'd been hurt.
And then he'd said the words. Those words! The ones I wanted
to hear more than anything! My heart soars at the memory.
"Have things changed between us, Har? I don't want things to
change between us."
Yes!!! Oh, yes! Things can stay the same. I know they can.
Tom's upset. I can tell. There's something about the way he
sits that's a dead giveaway.
I wonder what happened between them? I'm sure Tom would have
confronted Harry after my revelation. He likes to get things
out in the open. He'd want to know if I was right and Harry
really was in love with him. I *am* right. I know I am.
Glancing sideways at Harry, I don't like what I see. He's
smiling and his eyes are glowing. He looks... happy. Extremely
so. I don't like that at all. But Tom doesn't appear happy.
I wish I could talk to him, but he'd given me a filthy look
when he'd entered the bridge. Not that I blame him. I can
hardly bear to look at myself in the mirror these days.
I'd really like to know what happened though. Judging by Harry,
things went well for him, at least. Judging by Tom, I'm not so
Of course! I know what's wrong with Tom. He's worried.
B'Elanna's confinement will be over tomorrow. She'll be free.
He's worried about what's going to happen. She may not have
calmed down yet. I just wish she understood why Tom isn't
He should tell her, but I don't think he ever will. She needs
to know. I'm to blame. I'm to blame for everything.
There's only one thing to do. I have to put things right
between the two of them. I think it may be too late for their
relationship, but if she's ever going to react normally around
him again, she needs to know the truth. She needs to
B'Elanna looks surprised to see me. "I didn't think I was
"I'm the first officer. Rank has its privileges. May I come
She steps back and waves me inside. "I haven't spoken to anyone
but the guards for the past few days, so you're more than
"I don't think you'll feel that way after I've told you why I'm
She frowns at me and then heads over to the couch to sit down.
Pulling a cushion onto her lap she hugs it tightly. "If you're
here to lecture me, then save your breath. The Captain's done
all that. Believe it or not, I actually listened to her."
"I'm pleased to hear it, but that's not why I'm here. I'm here
to talk about Tom."
"Oh? Well there's nothing to talk about then. Tom and I are
"So I gathered. Is that what you want?"
"What I want is immaterial. It's how it is."
"But you still want to be with him?" I persist.
"Does that matter? I'm not." She shifts around uncomfortably.
She sighs and runs a hand through her hair. "Not as much as I
thought I would. I've done nothing but think the past few days;
there hasn't been much else to do. My relationship with Tom was
never what it should have been. We're not really compatible.
As much as I hate to admit that, it's true. We've done nothing
but hurt each other for months now."
"But, you still love him."
"I'll always love him, Chakotay. That doesn't mean we should
be together. We didn't treat each other properly. I was at
fault more often than he was. I just didn't see it at the time.
We're so alike in some ways and so opposite in the things that
"So, you're not going to try to patch things up?"
"I think it's a little late for that. Besides, it wouldn't be
right. I do want to talk to him when I'm let out of here
tomorrow. I want to clear the air. I care about him and I'd
like us to be friends again one day."
"You're sure about this? You've been together a long time."
"Far too long, considering the state of our relationship. We
would have broken up a long time ago if we both hadn't been so
stubborn. I loved him and I wanted it to work out between us."
"I'm sorry, B'Elanna. I truly am. I know this must be
"It's all right. I told you; it's not as bad as I thought it
would be. In a way it's kind of a relief. I'm worried about
Tom, though. He's been acting really strange all week. Ever
since that lift malfunction with you."
I can feel the heat radiating from my face. "That's what I
have to talk to you about. The more I've thought about this,
the more convinced I am that I should tell you."
She looks at me in total confusion. "What should you tell me?"
"It's my fault that Tom's been acting so strange. I've caused
these latest problems between you."
"You? Why? What have you got to do with anything?"
"You're not going to like what I have to say," I warn, screwing
up my courage.
"Since when has that ever stopped you?" she says with a smile.
Her smile fades at the seriousness of my expression.
"I want you to listen to everything I have to tell you, before
you erupt from that chair. After I'm finished you can then beat
me to a pulp."
"Beat you to a pulp? Chakotay, what are you talking about?"
Taking a deep breath, I tell her. "I had sex with Tom. Only,
he didn't know it at the time."
To be continued in part 18.