No Regrets - Part 18
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
A strange silence follows my confession. B'Elanna looks at me
in confusion, as if she doesn't understand what I've just said.
I hurry on, before she can react. "It was in the lift. I
forgot he was claustrophobic. I took advantage of the situation
and of him."
I confess everything to her and she just sits there and listens
quietly. Finally, my narrative ends and I wait for the
I wait in vain. B'Elanna continues to stare at me silently, her
expression carefully controlled. "Why are you telling me this
now, Chakotay?" she asks, suddenly.
"Because I wanted you to understand why Tom may not have been
his usual self these past few days. It wasn't his fault. It
was all mine. Although he denies it, what happened affected
"I see. And what do you want from me? You want me to absolve
you? You want me to say, 'You've done a terrible thing,
Chakotay, but I forgive you?' Tom refuses to accept that you're
responsible, so you're hoping I will. That's not going to
"I... no. I just don't want you to blame Tom. He's innocent."
"Tom's really been going through hell, B'Elanna."
"Maybe. What exactly did you say to Tom when you finally told
him what had really happened?"
"I apologized and asked him if he wanted to press charges. He
refused to, believing that it was his fault because he led me
on. I told him that wasn't true."
B'Elanna sits forward, her face unreadable. "I need to know
*exactly* what was said."
"I can't remember exactly. Does it matter?"
"Of course it matters."
"Well, I don't remember the exact words."
So I tell her as much as I can recall, trying to be as accurate
"So you told him that it had been so long since you'd been with
anybody that you just lost control?"
"I know it sounds weak."
"He was just a convenient rubbing post, is that it? Any body
would do?" Her eyes are suddenly ablaze with anger as she jumps
up from the couch. I step back a little in surprise. I'm not
sure why she's so upset, all of a sudden.
"I'm sorry, B'Elanna. I didn't intend for any of this to
I don't even see her fist coming, but my jaw cracks and then I
hit the floor.
B'Elanna steps over me and I hear the doors swish open. "Greg,
you'd better get in here. Chakotay accidentally walked into my
fist. You'd better help him to sickbay. I think his jaw's
I can see Ayala's face peering down at me. "Can you walk,
I nod groggily and let him help me up.
"I think your fist may need some treatment, too," Ayala says to
B'Elanna. "The Commander's face appears to have taken the skin
off of it."
"It'll be fine."
"Very well. Let's go, Commander." He supports me as we make
our way out of the room.
"You did the right thing, Chakotay," he tells me, as we head
down the corridor. "It's better that you told her than if she
heard it through the rumor mill."
I turn my head quickly to look at him, causing a shooting pain
through my jaw. I try to ask him what he means, but it comes
out as an indistinguishable murmur.
He seems to understand, anyway. "There's a rumor going around
that you did it with Tom in that lift. He was panicking and
that was your way of calming him down. I don't believe it, of
course, but it's all over the ship unfortunately."
All I can do is groan.
The Doctor gives me a sour look as Ayala helps me to a biobed.
"Why am I not surprised?" he says, giving a deep, affected sigh
and rolling his eyes towards the ceiling. "Mr. Paris's
Ayala shakes his head. "B'Elanna's."
"Really? I thought she was still confined to quarters."
"She is. He paid her a visit and must have told her."
"That was rather foolhardy."
"This was an accident. She says the commander walked into her
"I see. That was rather careless of him."
I glare at both of them through my pain. Shouldn't *I* be the
main focus here, not the gossip? Giving Ayala a warning look, I
jerk my head towards the door, sending even more pain through my
I moan loudly and the Doctor, at last, turns his attention to
me. "Hmmn! She certainly packs a punch."
Ayala squeezes my arm. "I hope you're feeling better soon,
Chakotay. I've got to get back to my sentry duties."
I wave him away as the Doctor finally gives me something for the
pain. Soon the regenerator is running over my face and I'm
starting to feel much better.
As he moves away, I hold my hand up to my jaw and experimentally
open and shut my mouth. Everything seems to be back in working
order. I climb down from the biobed.
"Doctor, why did you think that Tom had done this?" I dread the
answer, but have to know.
"When he heard the latest rumor he was understandably upset. He
said that he was going to kill somebody and that somebody would
probably be you."
"Damn it!" I head quickly for the doors, but before I reach
them they swoosh open and Joe Carey hurries in, supporting
Vorik, who appears to be slightly dazed, and has green blood
splattered all over his uniform.
Joe looks at me and shrugs helplessly. "I warned him."
"Tuvok's taken him to the brig."
"Oh, hell!" I take off at a run.
Kathryn eyes me coldly. "So, you want to spend the night in the
brig in Tom's place?"
I nod my head emphatically. "It's only fair."
"Tom's the one that broke Vorik's nose, not you."
"But that was my fault."
"I see. And was it also your fault that B'Elanna broke your
"How did you find out about that so soon?"
"B'Elanna commed me and turned herself in."
"Damn! I don't want to press charges. I deserved it."
"I'm inclined to agree. However..."
"I insist," I interrupt.
"On what? Not pressing charges, or taking Tom's place in the
"Thanks, but no thanks."
We both turn to look at Tom, who's standing next to the barrier
of his cell, glaring out at me. "I don't want any favors from
Ignoring the Captain completely, I step over in front of him.
"This is hardly a favor, Tom. It's justice. I should be the
one in that cell, not you."
"Will you stop being such a goddamned, fucking martyr?" he
I hear Kathryn's sharp intake of breath. "Tom... language," she
"Sorry," he says quietly.
"I'm not being a martyr. You shouldn't be in that cell."
"Oh? Where the hell should I be?" he yells once more.
"Wandering around the ship listening out for the latest juicy
gossip concerning me? I'd rather stay in here. At least I
won't have to hear any more of it."
"What the hell's the matter with you? You said you'd fixed it
with Vorik. You said he wouldn't say anything."
"I thought I had."
"You're full of shit."
Kathryn clears her throat. "Tom!!!!"
"Tom, I don't know..." I start to say.
"Shut up! I can't believe you told B'Elanna. You did, didn't
you? That's why she hit you."
"She would have found out, Tom. Now that it's all over the
"Shut the fuck up!"
I wince as Tom begins to hurl abuse at me, ignoring Kathryn's
"That's enough, Mr. Paris," Kathryn barks out in her best
It silences Tom immediately.
"I've made my decision. You will go back to your quarters and
stay there until morning. I will go and have a little talk with
Ensign Vorik. When I'm finished with him, gossip will be the
last thing on his mind."
She turns back to face me. "I suggest you go back to your
quarters too, Commander. Preferably before I let Tom out of
Nodding slightly, I do as I'm told.
I can't believe it! Now everyone knows Chakotay and I did it in
that lift. Goddamn it all! Is there no end to this nightmare?
Well, at least I got to do something I've been wanting to do for
a very long time now. Smack Vorik in the mouth. Of course, it
was a little more than a smack. I broke his nose. Yes!!!
I smile as I pace around my quarters remembering Vorik's look of
astonishment as I hit him. No suppressed emotions there. I
thought he was going to cry.
My rage builds again as I think about Chakotay. He told
B'Elanna. I should have been the one to do that. I can only
imagine how upset she is. She broke his jaw and I'm glad. I
shiver as I wonder what she's going to do to me.
I hate this ship and I hate everyone on it. I hate the fact
that they've got nothing better to do than gossip all the time.
I sink down on my bed, the anger seeping out of me. That's not
true. I love Voyager. It's my home. And the people on it are
my family. Let's face it. If the gossip had been about anyone
else but me, I would have been enjoying every moment of it.
But, it *was* about me and I don't think I can face anyone ever
again. I can just imagine what's being said now.
My door chime sounds and I stand up and go over there
hesitantly. It's Harry and he looks awkward and a little
"I heard what happened and wanted to make sure you were all
"I'm okay, I guess, all things considered."
"I wasn't sure if you were allowed visitors."
"Well, the Captain didn't say I couldn't. She just said I had
to stay in my quarters till morning."
"Can I come in then? Unless, you'd rather be alone. I
understand if you do..."
"No, Har," I quickly interrupt. Since when has Harry ever had
to ask to come into my quarters? I don't like to see him so
uncomfortable around me. I don't like it at all.
I head over to my couch and after hesitating slightly, he joins
"So, what are they saying?"
"They're all cheering over what you did to Vorik."
"And the other?"
"Well... you know what the ship's like."
"Just the usual jokes and stuff. It's nothing to worry about."
He avoids looking at me.
"I don't think I can face anyone again," I say miserably.
His face is instantly concerned. "It'll all blow over. I know
I bite my lip. "There's just so much to blow over, Har. And
what do I do in the meantime? I don't think I can take any
"I'll be here for you," he says earnestly.
All of a sudden, I feel like I'm going to cry. A lump forms in
my throat. "Thanks," I choke out somehow. "I don't know what
I'd do without you, Har."
"That goes both ways," Harry answers softly. It looks like
there are tears in Harry's eyes, but that could be because of
the tears in my own eyes causing my vision to blur.
He tentatively reaches out and touches my arm and I grab his
hand and squeeze it firmly. He really is a wonderful friend.
To be continued in part 19.