No Regrets - Part 19
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
Poor Tom! He's at the end of his endurance. He can't take
any more. I have to do something.
I have to stop B'Elanna from upsetting him even more. I can't
stand to see him so miserable. The gossip really has got out of
hand. I can't let her make things worse.
The Captain had been totally amazed when I'd burst into the mess
hall to find her. She'd been having one last relaxing cup of
coffee before retiring, and had stared at me in bewilderment as
I'd made my garbled request to see B'Elanna.
At first, I didn't think she'd let me. She'd shaken her head
and said that whatever it was, it could wait until the morning
when she was let out.
I'd argued that it would be too late. I might not be able to
speak to her in time. The Captain had gazed at me for a moment
before asking if my request had anything to do with Tom.
When I'd nodded my head, she'd sighed and then told me to go
ahead, but not to stay too long. I'm not exactly sure what I'm
going to say to B'Elanna. All I know is, I won't allow her to
"What are you doing here, Harry? Does anyone know you're here?
What'd you do? Take out Ayala?"
"Ayala's not on duty. Jenkins is."
"Well, that's even harder to imagine."
"It's all right. The Captain gave me permission to see you,
just so long as I don't stay too long."
"She did? Why?"
"I had to see you. I have to talk to you about Tom."
"Oh? What about Tom?"
"So am I."
"I know. But Tom's *really* upset. I don't think he can take
any more. This last rumor fest has really done him in."
"What are you talking about?"
"It's all over the ship. Everyone knows what really happened in
that lift. On top of the rumor *you* started, it's all too much
"How the hell does everyone know about that? And what rumor did
I start? I didn't start any rumor."
I tell her everything that's happened, except that I'm truly in
love with Tom and am determined to get over it. That's
something no one must ever know. Oh, and, of course, that Tom
now thinks I'm in love with her. I can't tell her that, either.
"It sounds like Tom's losing the plot. Thinking that you and
Chakotay were having an affair?" She shakes her head.
"I know. Now do you see why I'm so worried about him?"
"Harry, why did you come here to tell me all this? Why couldn't
this wait until tomorrow?"
I hesitate. "I didn't want you to be mad at him."
"You thought I'd come out fists flying tomorrow morning and
break his jaw the way I did Chakotay's, didn't you?"
"I wasn't sure."
She reaches out and pats my hand. "You didn't have to worry.
I'm not mad at Tom. Not anymore. I care about him too much, I
suppose. I have been a little worried about him, though, and
now you've told me this, I'm even more so. I'll try not to make
I sigh in relief. "Thanks, B'Elanna. I know this must be a bad
time for you too..."
"It's all right. I'm fine. I've been thinking things through.
You know, it's lovely the way you care about Tom."
"I care about you too," I say quickly.
She pats my hand once more. "I know you do."
I feel so happy. Tom came to get me for breakfast this morning
and everything's the same as it always was between us.
Nothing's changed. He didn't try to touch me as we walked
through the corridors and I'm grateful for that. I'm getting
over him a lot easier than I thought I would.
I can now look at him and see him as a friend, not the love of
my life. Another few days and I should be over him completely.
I thought it would be a little harder than this; I'm so glad
that it's not.
A sudden hush falls across the mess hall and I look up at the
sudden quiet. "Tom, you'd better be prepared," I say,
attempting to keep my voice light. "B'Elanna just came in.
She's talking to Neelix."
"Don't worry about it, Har. I'm sure she'll stay right away
from me." He doesn't sound too worried, although his face has
gone a little pale.
"You'd think so, wouldn't you? But she's heading this way," I
"Are you sure?"
"Of course, I'm sure. Her eyes are trained firmly on the back
of your head." Her face is carefully controlled, giving nothing
away. But after our talk last night I'm sure she won't do
"Shit! Is she carrying anything?"
"Just her breakfast tray."
"That could hurt. Get ready to protect me, Har."
Okay, so that proves he's worried. He's trying to joke away the
tension he must be feeling. I snicker and say in as carefree a
manner as I can. "You're on your own, Buddy."
"I'll remember that the next time someone's about to pulverize
*you* into the ground."
I snort but keep my eyes trained on B'Elanna as she approaches,
just in case. She may have had a change of heart overnight.
"Hi," I say, pasting a rather sickly smile on my face as she
stops directly behind Tom.
"Good morning, Harry."
She moves around to stand at Tom's side and he turns to look up
"B'Elanna," he says softly.
She stares down at him and I gulp. Please B'Elanna, be nice to
him. Don't hurt him. Because if you do, I'll... I'll... I
don't know what I'll do.
"How are you, Tom?" B'Elanna asks, much to my surprise.
"Um... okay, I guess. How are you?"
"Fine. I didn't hurt you the other day, did I?"
"Hurt me? No... um... well... not much, anyway."
"That's good." She grabs a chair and sits down. "I'm not
saying that you didn't deserve it, especially now that I know
exactly what's been going on with you, but I shouldn't have lost
control like that."
She studies my face closely and I find I can't hold her gaze. I
look down at the table instead.
There's an uncomfortable silence and Harry clears his throat.
"You two have a lot to talk about, so I'll leave you alone."
Before he can move, my commbadge chirps. "Janeway to Paris."
"Please report to my ready room, Tom."
"I'll be right there," I answer. Turning back to B'Elanna, I
give her an apologetic look.
She shrugs. "This probably isn't the best place to have our
talk anyway, Tom. Will you have dinner with me tonight?"
I nod, dreading the pending confrontation, then hurry away.
As I reach the doors, I turn around and see B'Elanna and Harry
already deep in conversation. They're both leaning forward,
their heads almost touching, as they talk quietly together. I
smile as I watch them, thinking about what a great couple they'd
make and wondering what I can do about it.
Tom scowls darkly as he passes me on his way to the Captain's
ready room. I know why she wants to see him, of course. She
wants to ensure that Tom is all right about what happened
between us. She wants to give him the opportunity to press
charges, if that's what he wants.
In some ways, I hope he does. If I could just be punished for
what I did, it might help me to overcome some of these feelings
I seem to be totally consumed with thoughts of Tom. Night after
night, he comes to me in my sleep. I dream of holding him
against me as he writhes and moans in pleasure, our erections
gliding against one another. I can feel him spasm as his climax
hits, covering my groin with his warm juices.
I wake up drenched with sweat and wracked with need, my penis so
engorged that it's painful to touch. I have to take deep
calming breaths to gain control and then stroke myself to
I don't have to be asleep to have lustful thoughts of him,
however. Just looking at him is enough to start a stirring in
my groin. If I close my eyes I can see him standing before me,
naked and glorious.
I know it's wrong. I know I have to stop it. I just don't know
Tom comes out of the Captain's ready room and takes his place at
the helm, his expression carefully blank. Kathryn asks me to
come in instead and so I leave the bridge in Tuvok's capable
Calming myself, I enter and Kathryn indicates the couch for me
to sit on.
"You can relax, Chakotay. You're not under arrest," she says
with a smile.
"What did he say?"
"Almost exactly what he's already said to you. He says he
unintentionally initiated it and although he's very embarrassed
about the whole thing, he certainly doesn't blame you. He just
wants to let the matter rest."
I swallow. "I hate the way he's blaming himself. If you
charged me then it would prove to him that he wasn't at fault."
"I can't do that, Chakotay. According to Tom there are no
charges for you to answer to. He says it was completely mutual.
He wants me to drop the issue and I'm willing to abide by his
wishes. You'll only upset him if you continue with this."
"But I feel so awful about it."
"And so you should. Your behavior was reprehensible. Your lack
of control could have reflected on us all. What you do off duty
is your business, but on duty I expect you to show better
"I'm sorry, Captain. You're right, of course. I don't know
what I was thinking."
"I don't think you *were* thinking," she says, sighing. "At
least, not with the part of you you're supposed to think with."
She sits down on the couch next to me and places her hand on my
knee. "So, what are you going to do? You're obviously
attracted to him."
"I've caused enough trouble as it is, so I have to leave him
alone. B'Elanna's furious with me. I've hurt her terribly and
that's the last thing I wanted to do. She talks as if they're
over and I feel responsible."
"Tom and B'Elanna have been having serious problems for a long
time. You can't blame yourself for their breakup."
"Tell that to my conscience."
I wait nervously for B'Elanna to answer her door chime. I no
longer have the right to use her access codes.
She lets me in with a welcoming smile and I can't help feeling a
little surprised. Her eyes are warm and friendly and she hugs
me tightly for a few seconds before going over to the
"Everything's ready, I just have to serve up," she says over her
shoulder. "Take a seat."
I do as she tells me, but I feel uneasy. She's being way too
nice, all things considered. All through the meal I wait for
her to lose her temper and hurl abuse at me... or something.
She doesn't, and we make polite conversation instead.
It's awkward and stilted and finally I can't take it anymore.
I blurt out, "I'm sorry I hurt you. I don't know why I did what
I did. You didn't deserve that."
She shakes her head. "No, I didn't, but I don't blame you. As
soon as Chakotay told me what happened between the two of you I
realized what it meant. You probably weren't even aware of it,
but you were looking for something more than I could give you."
"That's not true," I protest.
She ignores me. "You were subconsciously looking for more than
our relationship could provide for you."
"No, you're wrong."
"It's okay, Tom; I understand. It's not like you deliberately
cheated on me."
"I feel terrible about it anyway."
"And I feel terrible for all the things I've done to you."
"No, Tom. It's time for the truth. I've been hurting you for a
"We've been hurting each other," I say sadly.
"Yes, that's true. We've done nothing but snipe at each other
and argue instead of talking about what's wrong in our
relationship. Things haven't been right between us for a long
time. We were friends long before we were lovers. We should
have been able to talk about this."
"I didn't want to admit that there *was* anything wrong," I say
quietly. "When things were good between us, they were great. I
told myself the problems would go away."
"I told myself the same thing. Only the problems didn't go
away, did they? They just got worse."
"Yeah. And somewhere along the way we lost the friendship we
once shared. We stopped sharing our lives the way two people in
love should and we stopped talking about the things that
"You're right. I think you realized long ago that things
weren't working between us, didn't you? My pride wouldn't let
me see the truth."
"I tried not to think about it most of the time. I wanted
things to work out between us, I really did."
"I know you did, and I know you care about me, but you're not in
love with me, Tom. And the more I think about it, the more I
realize that I'm not in love with you either."
"I'm sorry," I say miserably. "I never wanted to hurt you."
"There's nothing to be sorry about. We should have talked about
this a long time ago."
"Our friendship means a lot to me, B'Elanna. I don't want to
"It means just as much to me, too. That's why I got so mad at
"I don't understand. You should be just as mad at me."
"I told you, I don't blame you."
"So you blame Chakotay for everything and that's why you broke
his jaw? That's not really fair to him."
"That isn't why I broke his jaw."
"Oh? Then why?"
"He told me what he said to you. How he just lost control
because of the way you were moving against him and how he'd
never regretted anything more in his entire life than what
happened between you. He actually had the nerve to tell you
that he had no explanation as to why he'd reacted that way to
I swallow the lump that's formed in my throat. "Why would that
have made you hit him? It was his way of apologizing."
"Because I knew how you would have reacted to that and I was
right, wasn't I? Harry's already told me how upset you were.
Chakotay made you feel like you were just some convenient
rubbing post for him to get his rocks off on. I hated to think
that he'd hurt you like that and I just lost it."
I smile, despite the fact that I feel like crying. "Poor
Chakotay. He's really been getting it. First Harry and now
you. I feel sorry for him."
"Save your sympathy. And what's Harry been doing anyway? I
can't imagine him hitting Chakotay."
"Well, he made it pretty obvious he wanted to. You wouldn't
believe the looks he's been sending him or how rude he's been to
"Harry deliberately rude? Never!"
"You'd be surprised. He's actually got so worked up that he's
called him a bastard. More than once."
"I can't believe it."
"Believe it. He's really given Chakotay a hard time."
B'Elanna's eyes narrow a little. "Has he? I know he cares
about you, but I'm... surprised at his reaction."
I notice the rather significant pause she makes and my smile
fades immediately. I recall exactly why Harry's been so angry.
But, of course, I can't tell her the reason. Harry would kill
me, and besides, any chance of the two of them getting together
would be ruined.
B'Elanna would be too self-conscious to relax around him
anymore. She'd probably start avoiding him instead. And he'd
be too embarrassed to go near her. I have to be very careful
what I say.
"Harry's a good friend."
"I know, but..."
I decide to change the subject before she becomes too
"I'm really glad we can talk like this to each other."
"Me, too," she says with a smile. "I thought it might be
awkward between us. I'm so pleased it's not. And I don't want
it to ever be like that between us. I want you to be happy. I
don't want you to have to worry about hurting my feelings. If
there's anybody on board that you want to be with, then go for
it. If you're happy, then I'll be happy."
"That goes for me too," I say eagerly, thinking of Harry.
"Anybody at all. My feelings won't be hurt, either."
She gives a small chuckle. "This would have to be the most
civilized break-up I've ever known, if you don't count how I
tried to kill you in the mess hall."
I chuckle too. "It's great, isn't it? We should have done this
a long time ago."
To be continued in part 20.