No Regrets - Part 20
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
It's been three weeks since Tom and B'Elanna officially broke
up. Things are so much better between them now. They're able
to relax around one another and just be friends.
We spend a lot of time together, the three of us. I'm very
happy. I haven't had to lie. I haven't had to pretend that I'm
in love with B'Elanna. I haven't had to do anything about that
at all. Other than squeezing my shoulder in sympathy a few
times, Tom's let the matter drop.
I've been very grateful for that. I've spent the time
concentrating on getting over Tom and I can now say in all
honesty, I'm completely over him. It only took a few days,
really, which is rather insulting to Tom, I suppose. Lucky
he'll never know.
Once I make up my mind to do something, I'm very determined.
And I was very determined to stop loving Tom. And I did. Just
like that. Now I can be a true friend to him.
The only trouble is, I'm now finding that my attraction to
B'Elanna is growing. Don't get me wrong. I'm not in love with
her or anything. My feelings for her are nothing like the ones
I had for Tom. But, I'm starting to notice what a great body
she has. We're doing a lot of things together and seeing her in
a swimsuit is pretty amazing. It's rather exciting, too.
Tom looks pretty amazing tonight, too. He's wearing that blue
silk shirt that I love so much. It brings out the color of his
eyes. He's drawn more than one appreciative look. Even though
I'm no longer in love with him, I still notice things like that.
It's perfectly natural, I'm sure.
I've noticed the Commander, of course. He's sitting behind us.
He was here when we arrived. He's staring, almost transfixed,
at Tom. Of course, the way Tom looks at the moment, it's quite
I feel kind of sorry for him, actually. He obviously hasn't got
the willpower I possess. He can't just stop loving Tom the way
My attitude to the Commander has changed over the past few
weeks. I'm no longer angry with him, but I *am* embarrassed.
He guessed how I felt about Tom. He guessed my secret.
I think he and Tom need to talk. There's a lot of unresolved
things going on between them. It's kind of sad, but there's
nothing I can do about it. I've tried to get Tom to talk to
him, but he refuses to. And Chakotay avoids Tom as much as
Yes, it's definitely sad. I can even see things from Chakotay's
point of view a little more now. After all, I know what it's
like to be in love with Tom. I'm just so glad I no longer am.
He's watching me; I can feel it. I refuse to look over,
however, and lean in towards Harry instead. We're sitting at
a table in the revitalized Sandrine's, waiting for B'Elanna.
"Maybe I should go over and talk to him," I say quietly.
Harry sighs. "Maybe you should."
"But you don't think I should."
"It doesn't matter what I think. You don't listen anyway."
"I always listen to you, Har."
He gives a small snort. "That's why you've started your
hypnotherapy sessions with the Doc."
"I just need a little more time to prepare myself."
"It's been over three weeks. The Doc's getting impatient. He
told me he's going to tell the Captain if you put it off any
longer." He squeezes my arm gently. "I know you're worried
that some deep, dark, traumatic event may be revealed, but I
honestly think you're better off knowing why you react the way
you do to enclosed spaces."
"That's easy for you to say."
He grins and leans in to whisper. "I still think it has
something to do with your birth."
I can't help smiling in return. "Don't start that again. But I
guess you're right. I need to know why I'm claustrophobic and I
can't keep putting it off." My expression turns serious. "I
don't want to have another panic attack ever again."
Harry pats my arm. "Don't worry, Tom. I'm sure the Doc can
I close my eyes so that I don't have to watch. Turning my head
away is just too hard. They're about to kiss. Right here in
the middle of Sandrine's. In front of the entire crew. Well,
half a dozen of them anyway.
It's only been three weeks since he and B'Elanna parted and it
appears that Harry swooped in immediately. I should never have
told Tom how Harry felt about him. He'd seemed disbelieving at
first and then a little shocked and embarrassed.
Obviously, he's moved past those feelings. My feelings for Tom
haven't changed at all. If anything, they've intensified. I
now know that I feel a lot more than simple attraction for the
pilot. It's more than mere lust. And there's absolutely
nothing I can do about it.
I haven't felt this strongly about someone for a very long time.
I catch myself watching him all the time. If he's aware of my
scrutiny, he doesn't let on. I can't seem to help myself. The
only avenue open to me is to avoid him whenever possible.
That doesn't seem to be working. Even here in Sandrine's I
can't get away from him. I thought he wouldn't come here. He
doesn't like the changes the Doctor's made to the program. So,
I was sitting here, brooding quietly, when all of a sudden he
walked in with Harry.
I tried not to look at him, but my eyes were drawn like a
magnet. Watching them and pretending not to, I thought about
leaving. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. And then
he leaned in towards Harry, their heads almost touching, and I
couldn't tear my eyes away.
The move seemed so intimate. They've always been close, of
course, but I expected some sort of awkwardness after my
revelation. Not so. It didn't seem to affect them at all.
And then Harry grinned at Tom and leaned in until their faces
were almost touching.
Tom's smile was dazzling in return and then his expression
turned serious. Very, very serious, as he looked into Harry's
eyes. I knew what was about to happen. I couldn't bear it.
My eyes open of their own accord and I prepare myself. I'm
surprised to see B'Elanna sitting with them and they're all
talking animatedly. How long have I had my eyes shut? How
long has she been there? Did she see them kiss? Did she
interrupt them, perhaps? She doesn't appear to be upset.
I don't understand the relationship between Tom and B'Elanna
these days. They seem closer than ever. She'd been so angry
with me that I'd expected her to be at least a little upset
with Tom. A little hostile. I know I'd told her not to
blame Tom for what happened, but I'd expected her to, to some
For some unexplainable reason, I feel a little upset about it.
Why is it all my fault? I know I misinterpreted Tom's reaction,
but he knew what was happening at some level of consciousness.
He spoke during our encounter. He asked for more. He
definitely knew what he was doing when he returned my kiss.
It's one thing to blame myself for what happened, but I can't
help feeling slightly resentful that everyone else does too.
The Captain's just started speaking to me normally again, and
B'Elanna still looks at me as if I'm something she just stepped
in. Harry no longer gives me the fish-eye at every turn, thank
the stars, but he's still rather stiff and formal around me.
And Tom. He ignores me as much as possible, but when he does
have to speak to me, he's also stiff and rather formal. I hate
that more than anything.
One good thing has happened, however. The Captain's little talk
with Vorik seems to have worked. He's apologized profusely,
ship-wide, for the damage his gathering and imparting knowledge
has caused his fellow comrades.
He even went so far as to say that the conclusions he had drawn
recently were based on false assumptions and were therefore
incorrect. He also gave his Vulcan word of honor that he would
never indulge in gossip again.
The rumors all fizzled and died after that and most of the crew
could be heard declaring rather loudly that they hadn't believed
any of it anyway.
All I need now is to rid myself of my obsession with Tom and
everything will be perfect. Well, not quite. I would like to
restore my friendship with B'Elanna, but I doubt that that will
happen anytime soon, either.
I ignore the fact that Chakotay's still watching me and nod my
head at Harry. "I hope the Doc can help me. I'm putting all my
faith in him."
He regards me seriously. "It'll be all right. I know it will."
A hand comes down on each of our shoulders. "Sorry I'm late.
The Doc held me up." B'Elanna pulls up a chair and sits down.
"Nothing's wrong, is it?" Harry asks quickly.
"No. I was just doing his weekly diagnostic. He was in fine
"Not again," I groan. Last week B'Elanna was treated to a
rather lengthy lecture on, 'Fear and its subsequent affects on
the human body'. The week before that it was, 'Communication
skills within a relationship'. "What was it this week?" I ask.
"The obligations and responsibilities of true friendship."
"Oh? I'm not sure if I see where he's headed with that one."
"It's rather simple, actually. If I was a true friend and
really cared about you as much as I say I do then I'd make sure
you received help. Those are his words, by the way."
"We're going to have to do something about him, B'Elanna. I've
tried telling him to butt out, but he just won't listen."
"I think he's rather sweet. Anyway, he threw down the challenge
and I've accepted it."
"Making sure that you receive help, of course. It's up to me to
ensure that you start your hypnotherapy sessions."
"That's not much of a challenge," Harry says with a snort.
"I've already convinced Tom to talk to the Doc."
B'Elanna's gaze turns to him. "You have? When?"
"Just then. I had to see the Doc today, too. He said he needed
a slight adjustment to his matrix, but I couldn't find anything
wrong. While I was there, he told me that he'd come to the
reluctant decision to involve the Captain in Tom's treatment.
He went on for some time about how much he hated to do it and
how he wouldn't have to if I, who seem to have so much influence
over Tom, could persuade him instead."
"Then what did he bother lecturing me for?" B'Elanna asks,
completely ignoring me.
"Maybe he was a little doubtful about just how much influence I
*do* have over Tom."
"Now wait just a minute. I don't..."
"Okay, now I'm mad," B'Elanna interrupts me again. "You should
have heard what I had to listen to for the past hour. And it
wasn't even necessary."
She turns her gaze back to me and glares, as if this is all my
fault. "So, when's your first session?"
"I don't know yet. I was only just talking about it with Harry.
And I think I resent the implication that I'm influenced..."
"Why don't you do it right now?"
"Now? But we're supposed to be going water skiing."
"This is more important."
"No, it's not. I've waited this long, one more day won't make
any difference. I thought I'd talk to the Doc tomorrow and make
"An appointment? I don't think that's a good idea."
"Why not? And will you please stop interrupting..."
"You'll change your mind tomorrow."
"No, I won't."
"Yes, you will. I know you will."
"B'Elanna, I've made my decision. I won't change my mind."
"I know you too well, Tom. You'll make some excuse and put it
off again. I say, go now while you still want to." She turns
away to look at Harry. "What do you think, Harry? Shouldn't he
She turns back to face me again. "Harry agrees, so come on."
"What about the holodeck reservations?"
"I'll swap them with someone. Now quit stalling, Helmboy.
Let's go. Harry, you take his other arm."
My head's still whirling as we arrive in sickbay. They yanked
me out of Sandrine's so fast that I didn't even get a chance to
look at Chakotay before we left. And I know he was still
The Doc looks rather smug as he waits expectantly.
"Tom's here for his first session," Harry tells him.
"Really?" He tries to sound surprised, but fails miserably.
"Oh, come off it, Doc. You set the whole thing up," I say
"I have no idea what you mean," he answers, airily. "Now, if
you'd like to come this way, I have everything ready."
"What? Just in case I happened by?"
He doesn't bother to answer.
Harry clears his throat. "Would you like us to wait here in
case you need us?"
"I'll be fine," I tell him and then I suddenly have an idea.
It's too good an opportunity to miss. "Why don't the two of
you use those holodeck reservations? You can still go water
"Well, I wasn't going to go skiing," B'Elanna tells me. "I
intended to lie back on the beach and watch the two of you."
Harry laughs. "I was going to do the same thing. I thought I'd
just take it easy and soak up the sun."
"Well, you don't have to ski if you don't want to. But I'd feel
much better if I knew the two of you were relaxing and enjoying
yourselves. You shouldn't miss out because of me."
"It doesn't matter," Harry says quickly.
"It does to me."
"He's right, Starfleet," B'Elanna says suddenly. "And he can
join us later, can't you, Tom?"
"Sure," I say, knowing I'll be doing no such thing.
"All right, then. But you *will* call us if you need us, won't
you? I mean the Doc may traumatize you or something."
"I can assure you, Mr. Kim, I do not traumatize my patients,"
the Doc calls from behind me, his tone full of censure.
"That's a matter of opinion," B'Elanna calls out in return.
"If you've quite finished insulting me, the door's that way," he
says with a sniff.
With a wink at me, they both leave. I watch them, feeling quite
pleased with myself. All they need is some time together. My
campaign has begun.
To be continued in part 21.