No Regrets - Part 24
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
I'm not sure what to do about what happened tonight. If this
had happened a few weeks ago, I'd have been so happy, but now...
I'm just not sure.
My body reacted perfectly normally under the circumstances, I'm
sure. Just because I'm no longer in love with Tom doesn't mean
I still wouldn't find it exciting to have him eye me the way he
did. I mean, you don't have to be in love with someone to
notice how attractive they are.
I'd arrived at the holodeck a little late and the first thing
I'd seen was Tom, sprawled out in a deck chair, his eyes
closed and a happy smile on his face.
All he had on was a brief pair of swimming trunks and all I
could see was a lot of bare flesh. He looked fantastic. And
I'm not saying this because I'm still in love with him, because
as you know, I'm not. I'm saying it because it's true.
Anyway, I found I was breathless when I had to speak. Tom
didn't seem to notice, though. All I wanted to do was lie there
next to him and soak up the sun, too. So I quickly undressed.
And that's when it happened. He checked out my butt. He wasn't
even embarrassed when I turned around and caught him. He
commented on how tight my swimming trunks were instead.
Somehow I managed to answer him normally. At least, I think I
did. The whole time we spoke, he continued to stare at my
trunks or, let's be honest here, my groin. It was very
Luckily, since I'm no longer in love with him, I was able to
control myself, but then B'Elanna came in and she looked
incredible. Still feeling rather stimulated from Tom's fixed
interest, there was no way I could control myself when I saw
It was all so embarrassing. Why is B'Elanna affecting me this
way all of a sudden? She never used to. Although, to be fair,
I've never really looked at her very much before. I only had
eyes for Tom. I knew she was attractive and I liked her a lot,
but all of my more basic thoughts were directed at Tom.
Am I developing feelings for her, after all? I think about it
for quite some time before finally deciding that I don't feel
any differently about B'Elanna than I always have. It's just
that I've noticed how sexy she is. I'm reacting to her the same
way I did to Seven, when she first came on board.
And now I know what the problem is. I've put a stop to my
nightly fantasies regarding Tom. It's not right, now that I no
longer love him. I haven't fantasized about him for weeks,
except in my dreams. They don't count, of course, because
they're not conscious thoughts.
I did the same thing around the time that Seven first joined us
because Tom and B'Elanna had just officially started dating. It
didn't feel right anymore to close my eyes and pretend that it
was Tom holding me, stroking me, bringing me to release.
Now the same thing's happened again. Only this time it's
B'Elanna instead of Seven that I'm focusing on. I just wish I
knew what exactly was going on with Tom tonight.
Is it my imagination or is he becoming interested in me? Did I
decide just a little too soon to stop loving Tom? If only he'd
checked me out like that back when I was still in love with him.
I would have been so happy. Now it's too late.
Maybe I should suggest we go to the beach program again tomorrow
night and I'll see if he checks me out once more. I'll have to
ensure that B'Elanna doesn't come along. I don't want to
embarrass myself again.
Just to be safe, maybe I shouldn't wear those tight little swim
trunks, but if I don't then Tom won't be able to check me out
properly. I have to recreate everything the way it was,
otherwise I'll never know for sure.
Everything's going as planned. B'Elanna won't be here. She
told me that Tuvok wants to see her, for some reason.
Tom is firmly entrenched in his chair, enjoying the warm sun and
I've turned my back to him and slowly taken my shirt and shorts
"I didn't think you'd be caught dead in those trunks again," Tom
says dryly. Yes! He'd noticed! I turn around and look as
innocent as I can.
"B'Elanna's not going to be here tonight."
"I know, but there are plenty of other beautiful women around."
"I'm sure I'll be fine," I say, calmly dropping my shoe right in
front of him.
As casually as possible, I bend over and take my time to pick it
I hear Tom suck in his breath and my heart begins to thump a
"Geez, Har, will you hurry up and get your butt out of the way?
You're blocking the view."
I stand up hurriedly. "View?"
"Take a look. Seven in a swimsuit."
I sit down in my chair with a bump. I'm not interested in
ogling Seven. Well, it wouldn't hurt to look, I suppose. I
guess it's lucky I'm no longer in love with the insensitive jerk
or I think I'd probably be feeling a little hurt now.
Wow! As if my butt could ever compete with Seven parading
around like that, anyway. Is it really necessary to sway her
hips like that with every step? And what the hell has she got
on her feet? High heels? On a beach?
And now she's spoilt my chance to find out if Tom was really
checking me out, or if it was just my imagination.
Greg Ayala walks past. "Hi, Tom. Hello there, Harry."
"Yeah, hi, Greg." Tom's gaze never leaves Seven's strutting
"Hi, Greg," I say with a smile.
Okay, so now I really *am* imagining things, because it looked
like Greg winked at me. And Greg would never wink at me. Maybe
he had some sand in his eye or something.
Tom suddenly clears his throat. "I think Seven may need a hand.
She's finding it difficult to walk around in those shoes."
"Why doesn't she just take them off?" I mutter darkly.
"Yeah, I'll go and suggest that to her. Back in a minute."
He's gone before I can speak.
I watch miserably as he helps her to sit down and actually takes
her shoes off for her. What's that all about? The woman can
take her own shoes off, surely? Why does Tom always have to be
so damned... helpful all the time?
There! I knew it! She's smiling at him again. So what? He
helped you take off your shoes. Big deal! That's no reason to
flash him such a brilliant smile that you could light the whole
holodeck with it.
And what the hell's he doing? Smiling back at her? What do the
two of them think they're doing? Putting on a show for the
enjoyment of the crew? I've never seen anything quite so
blatant as the way she's coming on to Tom. And Tom! Why does
he have to flirt like that all the time?
Thankfully, the Captain now joins them and it isn't long before
Tom's heading back over here. "Do you want to go for a swim
now, Har?" he calls out, his eyes sparkling as he smiles at me.
"No," I say crossly. Does he think I'm just going to sit around
waiting for him or something?
Tom stares down at me in surprise. "What's the matter?"
"Nothing. I just don't feel like swimming." I squint back up
I almost gasp as Tom's eyes leave my face and slowly travel down
to my groin, before looking back up again. Oh my God!!
"Okay, I'll guess I'll leave you to your sun baking."
"Wait!" My dark mood lifts immediately. He checked me out. He
looked at me... there! "I've changed my mind. Let's go."
I race him to the water.
I stand against the view port in one of our observation lounges,
watching the stars as we pass them by and sigh serenely. All I
have to do is center myself. Try not to think of the two of
them together. Everything will be fine. No more self-torture.
I will remain calm and in control at all times.
"Chakotay!" I turn around in surprise. B'Elanna sounds rather
strange. "I'm not disturbing you am I?"
I shake my head. "Of course not. What's wrong? You look a
"I am. I need to talk to someone."
"Well, you know I'll always listen."
She nods and sits down on one of the seats and I sit down next
to her. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, exactly. I've just come from a rather unusual
discussion with Tuvok."
"He said I could talk about this with anyone I wish. He trusts
in my discretion. I think I need someone else's opinion. I
don't want to rush my decision."
"Yes. I have a decision to make. You're probably not aware of
this, but Tuvok's ponn farr is due in a matter of weeks. He's
asked me to bond with him."
"You? Why you?"
"It's perfectly logical actually." She smiles and shakes her
head. "He's thought the whole thing through, and I must say his
logic is impeccable. I'm no longer involved with anyone. I'm
strong enough to match him, and quite frankly, I like it a
"He said that?"
"Not in those words, but that's what he meant. But more
important than all of that, at least to me, is that he's
attracted to me."
"I'm sure that's very flattering, but what happens afterwards?"
"That's the problem. He doesn't know. We may be bonded for
good. That's why I have to think it over so carefully. If it
was just a matter of helping him through his ponn farr, I
wouldn't hesitate. I care about him far too much to see him
suffer, and he may even die. But do I want to be bonded to him
permanently? That's the question."
"I understand. You don't know whether you will be, though."
"I know, but it's a strong possibility. He says he will respect
my privacy at all times and will do all he can to ensure the
bond is as minimal as possible. But there's always an unknown
factor involved and I have to take that into consideration."
"Then I guess you have to decide how you really feel about him."
She nods. "I like him very much. He's a gentle man, kind and
considerate. I know he'd never deliberately hurt me, and I trust
him completely. And physically he's very attractive. He has a
strong, wiry body, which I like, and..."
"It sounds like you've already made up your mind," I interrupt.
She looks at me in surprise and then gives a small laugh. "You
know, you're right. I have. I guess I just need you to tell me
I'm not out of my mind."
"This is a decision only you can make, B'Elanna."
"I know, but before I say yes to Tuvok, I need to explain to
Tom. I know he won't be hurt, but I owe it to him to tell him.
And I think I'll give him that little push towards Harry that he
I gulp at her words. "Is that necessary?"
She nods. "It's the least I can do."
Okay, I hate to say this, but I think Harry needs his psyche
evaluation brought forward. There's something definitely wrong
with him. His mood swings are extreme. I'm starting to really
worry about him. I don't know what the matter was before, but
it seems to have passed.
I'd thought he might not want to go in for a swim because he'd
become a little too enthusiastic over Seven and didn't dare
stand up. That wasn't the problem, though. I checked.
I don't know what the problem was. He seems fine now. He'd
dived in under the waves before I'd even reached the water, and
after our swim had been his usual bright and eager self.
My problem is that I'm the chief medical assistant. I wonder if
I should bring Harry's strange behavior to Doc's attention.
It's a little hard to explain. And knowing how much everyone
hates their psyche tests, I feel like the biggest heel alive.
Sort of like I'm betraying Harry or something. Besides, Harry's
behavior isn't that strange; just a little different than usual.
I'll just keep an eye on him.
"Is everything okay, Tom?" We're heading back to our respective
quarters and I've been deep in thought. I guess I haven't said
a word the whole way. "Do you want to go back to the beach
again tomorrow night?"
"If you want to."
"Yeah." He bobs his head up and down enthusiastically.
I start in surprise as, up ahead of us, B'Elanna and Chakotay
step out of a small observation lounge, their heads bent close
together. B'Elanna leans forward and kisses Chakotay on the
cheek and then he steps back into the lounge. B'Elanna strides
Harry grabs my arm and I realize I must have stopped dead. I'm
finding it difficult to breathe. Harry must be as devastated as
I am. I turn to him, placing a fake smile on my face, the type
that Harry can see straight through.
He doesn't say anything. Just looks at me and back at
B'Elanna's retreating figure and then back at me again.
"Come on," I say hurriedly. It obviously hasn't hit him yet.
As soon as we reach my quarters I drag him inside and get us
both a drink. "It may not have been what it looked like," I say
desperately, not sure who I'm trying to convince. Him or me.
"They've always been very close."
"I've never seen her kiss him before," Harry says quietly.
Damn it! That's exactly right. I quickly drain my glass. "I'm
sorry, Har. I know how hurt you must feel."
"Me?" His eyes widen a little and then he flushes. "Oh!
Well... it's okay. I'm not... I mean... I'm over her now."
"Quite a few weeks ago, actually." He looks a little sheepish.
"Quite a few weeks ago?" I repeat. "How can that be?"
He shrugs. "I simply told myself to stop loving her... and I
"Just like that?"
"Sure. It hurt for a few days, but I'm fine now."
"A few days? Harry, surely you're not serious?"
He hesitates and then nods. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Because it's just not possible to get over somebody you've
loved the way you did B'Elanna in such a sort time."
"Of course it is. I just told you I did."
"You're lying to yourself."
"I'm doing no such thing. You know how it is when I make up
my mind about something. I have a lot of willpower. I told
myself to stop loving..." He chokes a little, but then
continues. "Anyway, I did."
"You can't just tell yourself to stop loving someone. It
doesn't work that way. I don't think you're being honest with
"Do you think I made this decision lightly?" he suddenly yells
at me. "I don't want to be in love anymore, so I'm not."
"Oh, Harry," I say sadly. "If only it were that easy, but it
isn't. No matter how determined you are to get over somebody,
it still takes time. Certainly more than a few days. And
considering how long you loved her and how deeply, it's going
to take you more than a few weeks."
He shakes his head stubbornly. "I know how I feel."
I sigh in defeat. "Just so long as you're not deluding
He smiles and pats my hand. "Don't worry about me, Tom. I'm
To be continued in part 25.