No Regrets - Part 22
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
I look over as Harry throws himself into the chair next to me.
"Sorry I'm late," he says breathlessly.
"That's okay." I lay my head back against the back of the chair
and close my eyes. "I've just been enjoying the sun. This
beach program's great, even if I do say so myself."
"It's certainly popular enough. Half the crew must be here."
I give a small chuckle. "I wouldn't go that far, but there are
quite a few."
"I see you've already been in for a swim."
"Yeah, couldn't help myself. There's nothing like drying off in
the warm sun."
A small rustling noise makes me open one eye. Harry's standing
up, quickly taking off his shirt and shorts. "I see you like to
"What?" He looks down at me, confusion on his face.
"You're wearing *those* trunks again," I explain, unable to stop
"Oh! Yeah, well. It's not like B'Elanna would wear that thong
thingy here, in front of everyone, is it? Besides, I like to
swim in these. They're comfortable."
"They're too tight to be comfortable," I tell him, opening both
eyes and staring at his butt as he folds up his clothes neatly.
"Way too tight."
He turns around, his face slightly flushed. "Do you think I
"Only if you want to. As long as you're comfortable..."
"I am. At least, I was. Anyway, your trunks aren't exactly
"They're a little more forgiving than yours."
He flops down in the chair once more. "B'Elanna's here."
"Great. Wave her over."
"What? What's the matter?" All the color's drained from
Harry's face. I whip my head around quickly. "Don't tell me
B'Elanna's wearing the thong bikini after all?"
She's standing talking to Neelix, taking off her beach wrap as
she does so. She's not wearing the thong bikini. She has on a
one-piece suit instead, and she looks fantastic.
The suit is hot pink and leaves little to the imagination.
Neelix is looking rather flustered as he talks to her. She
really does look stunning.
Harry's sudden movement beside me makes me turn to look at him.
He's grabbed his towel and thrown it over his lap, his face a
bright and fiery red. I can't help chuckling.
Leaning over towards him, I whisper in his ear. "That towel's
not hiding anything, Har. You'd better bunch it up a little bit
He lets out a low, distressed, moan.
"Excuse me for interrupting, but..."
Harry and I both jump at the sound of B'Elanna's rather dry
tone, right next to us. Harry suddenly yelps and is out of his
chair and running towards the water before I can say anything.
"I'm going for a swim," he yells back at us.
B'Elanna clears her throat and sits down cautiously in the chair
Harry's just vacated. "That was a rather abrupt decision," she
I struggle to keep my voice steady. "Well, you know Harry.
Once he makes up his mind about something, there's no stopping
"The two of you seemed to be having a rather cosy chat."
I shrug. "Just the usual. You look sensational, by the way."
"Thank you. You don't look too bad yourself."
It's too good an opening not to pursue. "Harry looks good in
those swim trunks of his too, don't you think?"
She looks thoughtfully out at Harry, swimming through the waves.
"Now that you mention it, I guess he does."
Yes!!!! All I have to do is get her to notice him a little
more. To make her see him in a different light.
"He's really changed over the years. He's no longer the
innocent kid he used to be," I continue.
"He hasn't changed that much. I supposed he's matured over the
years. Just like we all have."
"The problem is," I say sitting forward and looking at her
earnestly. "We pegged Harry as the cute kid brother, right from
the start. Someone we had to look after - protect. That's not
true anymore. It hasn't been for a long time."
She looks at me steadily for a few moments. "You're probably
"I know I am."
"So, what are you saying?"
"Um..." I don't know what to say to that. I don't want to say
too much. I just want her to think about it. Think about Harry
a little differently. "I just mean that maybe we shouldn't
think of Harry as just a cute kid brother."
She smiles and shakes her head. "Well, he *is* cute."
I smile in delight. Yes, B'Elanna! Yes!!!! "There's nothing
wrong with being cute."
"Nothing at all," she agrees.
Sighing, we both lean back in our chairs and close our eyes,
soaking up the sun.
After a while, I open mine once more. What's taking Harry so
long? I'd planned to leave the two of them alone as soon as
possible. How the hell can B'Elanna look at him any
differently, if he's not even around to look at?
Leaning forward, I search the water for his dark head, but can
find no sign of him.
"I don't think Harry can drown out there, Tom," B'Elanna says
"I know that. I was just wondering where he was. I can't see
"I'm sure he's fine. Relax."
I gaze around the beach. It would be just like Harry to get out
of the water, but be too embarrassed to come back here. I'll
have to find him.
B'Elanna grabs my arm. "Don't make me hurt you, Tom."
"You have a really bad habit of not listening to me when I
speak. I don't feel like rolling around in the sand with you,
fighting to the death, so..."
"I'm sorry," I say, instantly contrite.
She sighs and shakes her head. "I was just asking how your
session went with the Doc last night."
"Oh! Okay, I guess."
"So? Have you solved anything, yet?"
"I think so."
"Are you ever going to tell me what caused it?"
"There's nothing to tell. It's just something really stupid
that happened when I was a little kid. I got stuck in something
and couldn't get out."
"What was it?"
"I'd rather not say. It was something really dumb."
"So tell me."
I shake my head stubbornly.
"A cupboard of some sort, I'll bet."
"You didn't climb into anybody's coffin, did you? I had a
"No! Now can you please stop trying to guess?"
"Well, if you'd just tell me I wouldn't have to guess."
"How about a change of subject?"
"As soon as you've spilled your guts we can talk about whatever
"B'Elanna!" I say in exasperation, but then, luckily, I spot
Harry. He's coming out of the water further up the beach and
resembles a drowned rat.
"Harry probably needs his towel," I say quickly, grabbing it and
hurrying across the beach towards him. "I'll be back in a
B'Elanna yells out something to me in Klingon, but I'm too far
away to hear it properly. It's probably a good thing that I
Damn it! I knew I shouldn't have come here. The temptation was
too much, however. The thought of seeing Tom in his swimming
trunks was too hard to resist.
As soon as I'd entered the program my eyes had been immediately
drawn to him. He was sitting with B'Elanna, talking quietly.
All he had on was a skimpy pair of swimming shorts and even
though all I could see was a side profile of him, he looked
damned good. And, best of all, there was no Harry in sight.
That didn't last, however. Within minutes of my arrival, Tom
had been racing across the beach to greet Harry as he emerged
from the water. They were now standing at the water's edge,
almost nose-to-nose, having a rather deep, meaningful
I sigh deeply as I watch them. Somehow, I have to curb these
self-torturous impulses I seem to be having lately. I don't
need to see them together. My imagination is bad enough.
"Sickening, isn't it?" a voice says in my ear. It's B'Elanna.
I hadn't seen her approach.
I clear my throat. "What?"
She indicates the two of them with a nod of her head. "Those
two. You've really started something now."
"Me?" I don't know what she means. I don't *want* to know what
"Yes, you." She drags me over to sit down under the shade of
some trees, well away from everyone. "That whole business in
the lift has awakened something in Tom."
Oh Spirits! I don't want to hear this. I definitely do not
want to hear this. But that self-torturous part of me makes me
say, "It has?"
She nods. "Don't get me wrong. I'm happy for him, honestly.
I'm happy for both of them."
Oh No! So it's true. It's not just my imagination. "So,
they're together?" My voice is rather strained, but B'Elanna
doesn't seem to notice.
"I don't think they are yet, but it's just a matter of time.
Tom still hasn't admitted to himself that he's attracted to
Harry. He does nothing but talk about him when we're alone
together." She smiles affectionately. "He can be such an
idiot, sometimes. Who does he think he's fooling? Only
The words are like a knife through my heart. B'Elanna doesn't
mean to hurt me, of course. She has no idea how I feel about
Tom. She's actually asked me a few times in the past weeks if I
have any feelings for him. I've denied it each time, not
wanting her to know. I've let her believe her rather convenient
'rubbing post' theory.
She still gets a little mad with me about it sometimes, but I'd
rather that than for her to know the truth. I could never hurt
her like that.
"Doesn't it bother you that Tom's interested in someone else so
She shakes her head, vehemently. "No. We broke up weeks ago
and I told him at the time that I'd be happy if he found someone
"But surely it must hurt that he's attracted to someone as close
to you as Harry is?"
"Why would it? I just want him to be happy and Harry obviously
adores him. It's written all over his face."
I nod my head. That's true enough. I watch as the two of them
make their way back to their chairs. Tom stops and looks around
the beach, his eyes meeting mine and frowning darkly.
I sigh a little and turn back to B'Elanna. "So you think that
Tom's in love with Harry, but hasn't acknowledged it?"
"I'm positive of it." She chuckles slightly. "Poor Harry. Tom
has no idea how he affects him."
"Oh?" Considering the fact that I've already told Tom how Harry
feels about him, I find that a little hard to believe.
"I interrupted quite a steamy scene between the two of them
I'm quite certain that I don't want to hear about steamy scenes
between Tom and Harry. Some perverse part of me longs to hear
"It was really rather funny," she continues. "As soon as I
arrived, I noticed Tom checking out Harry's butt. Harry acted
all embarrassed. You know how he gets."
I nod and swallow. I don't want to hear any more of this. I
should go. That's what I should do.
"Anyway, I decided to leave them alone for a few minutes and
when I did go over to them, Tom was leaning over and whispering
in Harry's ear. Whatever he was saying must have been good,
because poor old Harry had a hard-on and actually moaned."
I just stop myself from moaning as well. Great Spirits! Why am
I torturing myself like this? I will go now. Just get up, make
some excuse and walk away. That's what I'll do. All I have to
do is stand up.
"They both jumped more than a little when they realized I was
standing there. Then poor Harry ran away. And Tom remarks in
that oh-so-careful tone of his, that never fools me for a
minute, how great Harry looks in his swim trunks."
She chuckles at the memory and I bite my lip to stop myself from
screaming. This is all my fault. If I hadn't awakened Tom's
interest in men he wouldn't be thinking how great Harry looks in
his swim trunks. He wouldn't be leaning over and whispering in
his ear, turning him on.
And now that I look over at him once more, he wouldn't be
sitting so close to Harry that their hips are almost touching.
Why doesn't he just sit in his lap and be done with it? I'm
sure that by the time the night's through, he will have. Or
That thought really *is* more than I can bear and I stand up
suddenly. "I'm sure they'll be very happy," I find myself
saying rather woodenly.
B'Elanna bobs her head up and down. "I know they will be.
They're meant for each other. I think Tom just needs a little
push in the right direction."
"I'm sure you're right," I answer, willing myself not to cry. I
make my excuses and leave as quickly as I can. I need to have a
long, calming visit with my spirit guide.
Harry isn't right for Tom. I just know it. It just isn't
To be continued in part 23.