No Regrets - Part 3
by T'Pam

Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.


*Tom's POV*

I open one eye to see the Doc hovering over me. What have I
done this time? I'm in sickbay again. And then I remember.
The lift.

The stifling, suffocating darkness and the sickening dread
that the rocks were slowly closing in around me. I recall
the utterly helpless sensation I had of being buried alive.

I remember trying to remain calm, telling myself that I'd be
out of there soon. And then the lift had stopped and true
horror had started to gnaw away at my insides.

The urge to get out of there had become overwhelming and I'd
no longer been able to remain calm. The memory of Chakotay's
voice hissing at me to 'hold still' makes me cringe in

As soon as Joe Carey had announced that it would be at least
twenty minutes before he could get us out, terror had
consumed me. I knew I couldn't stay in there that long.
Desperate to escape somehow, I had seriously tried to climb

I remember Chakotay telling me to stop squirming around and I
remember trying very hard to stand still, but I just

I really don't remember anything after that, and that causes
a hard knot of worry in my chest. What did I do? It doesn't
bear thinking about. And did it have to be with Commander,
goddamned - revenge is sweet - Chakotay?

The Doc snaps his tricorder shut. "How do you feel now, Mr.

I sit up carefully. "I panicked, didn't I?"

"Yes, Mr. Paris, I would say you certainly did. Do you
remember what happened?"

"Sort of. How bad was I?"

"Well, according to the evidence, very bad."

"Damn it! I suppose the Commander had a good old chuckle
about it?"

"No, as a matter of fact, he seemed rather shaken."

"He did? Gods, I really must have put on a performance."

"Um... yes... I would say that you did. Your reaction was
rather... extreme." I get the impression that he wants to
say more, but decides not to.

"So, what are we going to do about this claustrophobia of
yours? You refused to seek help the last time, but this time
I'm going to have to insist."

"Can't we just forget it?"

"No, Mr. Paris, we can't just forget it. This issue needs to
be dealt with."

I sigh heavily. "What do you suggest? I told you last time
that I don't know why I panic in small confined spaces."

"I think it might be a good idea to try regressive
hypnotherapy. Obviously something in your past has caused

I frown in concentration. "I can't remember anything in my
past that would have caused this."

Doc sighs and rolls his eyes towards the ceiling. I hate the
way he does that, especially since I know he picked up the
habit from me. "Of course you can't. That's why the
hypnotherapy is necessary."

I really don't like the sound of the whole thing. "I don't
know, Doc. The last person you tried this with was Seven and
look what happened there."

Annoyance flashes across his face. "I've improved my skills
since then."

"Well, maybe, but I don't like the idea of being your guinea
pig. Isn't there some other way to do this?"

"No, and quite frankly after this rather... a-hem...
embarrassing occurrence, I would have thought you'd be eager
to stop it from happening again."

"Was I really that bad?"

"I would say so... yes. Your libido never ceases to amaze
me, by the way."

What the hell that has to do with anything is beyond me. I
open my mouth to ask him what he's talking about, but at that
moment the sickbay doors swish open and B'Elanna comes
rushing through.

"Are you all right?"

"I guess so," I say, slightly embarrassed.

"Joe told me what happened. Are you sure you're okay?"

"Mr. Paris is fine," the Doc says loudly. "However, I
strongly suggest that his claustrophobia be addressed as soon
as possible."

"The Doctor's right, Tom. You don't want this to happen

She's right. I don't.

"Okay, okay," I say. "When do you want to start, Doc?"

"Tomorrow morning."

"Am I allowed to go now, though?"

"Yes, although your clothes are still in the refresher."

I look down at the blue sickbay pajama's I'm wearing. I
don't want to wander around the ship in these.

The Doc sighs. "I'll have you beamed back to your quarters.
I expect to see you bright and early tomorrow morning."

"Thanks, Doc."

Something's worrying me, niggling at the back of my mind, but
I can't quite identify what it is. I'm still feeling a
little strange. I wish I could remember what I did in that

No matter how embarrassing - and I'm sure it would be - I'd
rather know.


I pace around my quarters restlessly. B'Elanna didn't stay
long and I'm not really surprised. She's still mad at me,
despite her worry, and I still haven't forgotten that slap.

She's frustrated with me. She really wants to discuss with
me the reasons why I neglect her so much, but feels as if she
can't right now. She's giving me time to recover from my

I decide to have a quiet evening in my quarters, away from
the curious stares of my fellow shipmates. I know my panic
attack will be all over the ship by now. I may be able to
trust in Joe's discretion, but Vorik is the biggest
blabbermouth on board the ship. It wouldn't have taken him
long to spread the word.

Surprising for a Vulcan you might think, but he doesn't see
it as gossiping. He believes he is imparting and gathering
knowledge of everyone on board in a logical endeavor to
better understand his fellow comrades. It's earned him more
than one smack in the mouth.

Looking down at my sickbay pajamas in disgust I quickly pull
them off and head into the bathroom to have a quick shower.
Why I was wearing them in the first place has me a little
confused. I wasn't in sickbay that long and it wasn't like I
had to have surgery or anything.

Pulling on a pair of loose fitting pants and a t-shirt, I
replicate some pizza and take it over to the couch to sit
down. I might as well make use of this time alone to catch
up on some reports. That should make Chakotay happy.

At the thought of him, I frown. Why did I have to get stuck
in that lift with him? Of everyone on board the ship, why
did it have to be him?

And especially why did it have to happen just after we'd had
one of our little disagreements? Oh no, it couldn't have
happened on a day that we were getting along all right. When
things were friendly and calm between us. Gods! How do I
even face him?

Pushing these thoughts firmly away, I concentrate on the padd
in my hand. I've managed to get quite a few reports done
when my door chimes sounds. "Come in," I call out
cautiously. I don't really feel like facing anyone at the

Harry steps in smiling, although his eyes are full of
concern. "Hi, Tom. I just found out what happened. Are you
all right?" Harry's on night shift again, and so is a little
out of the loop.

I sigh. "How'd you find out?"

He hesitates. "They're talking about it in the mess hall."

"Great. That's just great. So, what are they saying?"

"They're mostly worried about you. Vorik said that you had a
panic attack in that lift contraption thing of the Alsorians.
It got stuck and they couldn't get you out. He said they
could hear you screaming and crying."

"Screaming and crying? Shit!" I jump off the couch and
start prowling around. "The Doc said my reaction had been
bad, but... shit! How am I supposed to look anyone in the
eye again? Remind me next time we see Vorik that I owe him a
punch in that big fat mouth of his."

Harry grins. "I take it that means you can't remember what

"Not really... no. I remember trying to stay calm and cool.
That only worked for a few seconds. Then, for some reason,
I decided that the only way out of there was through the
roof, so I think I tried to climb over the top of Chakotay
on my way up. I can remember him telling me to stay still."

Harry's grin widens and he gives a little chuckle. "I wish
I'd seen that."

"It's not funny, Harry. Now I find out I was screaming like
a banshee and sobbing like a baby as well. I'll never live
it down."

"I don't remember the words banshee or baby being mentioned,
Tom. Besides, as I said, they're worried about you. I don't
think you'll get any teasing this time. And at least you
were with someone like the Commander. He would have taken it
in his stride. He's not going to think any the less of you.
He'll understand about your phobia."

"You think so? 'Cause I don't. He's a sadist. That's what
he is. He sent me down there in the first place as some sort
of revenge plot. I wouldn't even be surprised to find out
that he arranged for the lift to get stuck."

"Now you're being paranoid. Why would he do something like

"He hates me."

"Chakotay doesn't hate you."

"Well, he doesn't like me very much."

"That's not true."

"Yes, it is. You should have seen him this morning. He was
absolutey furious with me in that stoic, calm, controlled way
of his. Not that I can blame him, I suppose."

"What are you talking about? Why?"

"We had a kind of... um... disagreement last night."

Harry shakes his head and gives a long-suffering sigh. "What
did you say to him?"

"Not much. He was interfering between B'Elanna and me, so I
told him to worry about his own love life, or lack of it."

Harry makes a tutting noise. "What else?"

"And to concern himself with strengthening the muscles in his
hand and wrist, because from what I could see, they'd been
getting a fairly good workout."

"Tom, you didn't?" Harry sounds completely shocked. "He
*is* our commanding officer."

"I know, but we were off duty at the time."

"So? You can't say stuff like that to him. You're lucky he
didn't put you on report for insubordination."

"I know, I know. I shouldn't have said it."

"You're damn right you shouldn't have said it. When are you
ever going to learn? And you wonder why he was kind of testy
this morning."

"I wasn't wondering. I know why. And anyway, haven't we
strayed from the point here? He made me go down in that lift
for revenge, but I guess it backfired a bit. The Doc says he
was rather shaken up about the whole thing. He probably
didn't expect my reaction to be as severe as it was."

"I don't know, Tom. I still think you're being paranoid
about all this. I can't imagine Chakotay doing anything like
that to you deliberately, no matter how mad he was at you."

"So what are you saying? He simply forgot about my

"It's possible. Quite a few people in the mess hall had. To
me, it makes much more sense than what you've been thinking."

"Maybe," I say grudgingly. "It still doesn't help me with
the embarrassment of having to face him again."

Harry frowns. "You need to do something about this, Tom.
You need to get some help in overcoming this phobia of

"The Doc is insisting on regressive hypnotherapy tomorrow
morning, since I can't seem to think of anything that may
have caused it."

"Are you sure that's a good idea? Remember what he did to

"Hey, you don't have to tell me. I've already mentioned that
to him. He says his skills have improved since then."

"Well, I hope so."

"Look, Har, I'm already nervous enough about this, you're not

"Sorry. Actually, I have a theory. Can you remember what
your birth was like?"

"I... what the hell? Of course I can't remember my own

"Well, that's a shame. Do you know if your mother had a
difficult time pushing you out or anything? Your
claustrophobia may all stem from that."

"Gods, Harry. Are you for real? I was a little young at the
time to recall."

Harry looks a little hurt. "I was only asking. I have very
vivid memories of being in my mother's womb. Of being with

"Yeah, well, Har, I can barely remember being with my mother
as a teenager, never mind a fetus. If that's where my
problems stem from, I'm in real trouble."

"Joke around all you like, it was just an idea."

He leaves shortly after that to head for the bridge and his
duty shift and I decide to go to bed. I'm really tired for
some reason. Screaming like a banshee and bawling like a
baby, really take it out of you.

I've promised Harry I'll have breakfast with him in the
morning, since I'm off duty for the day. I'm going to put
off my visit to sickbay for as long as I can. I climb into
bed, still feeling uneasy about my scheduled session with the

To be continued in part 4