No Regrets - Part 34
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
I yank my arm away as the lift door closes on Tom's
retreating figure, and glare at Ayala angrily.
"Harry isn't in his quarters and you know it."
"I know; he's with the Captain. I heard her tell him she wanted
a private word. She seemed rather angry. I hope it hasn't got
anything to do with all of this?"
"Yeah, it has. We thought Harry was cheating on Tom with you."
"Shit, Chak. I know the two of you are our commanding officers,
but aren't you and the Captain becoming a little too involved in
the crew's personal lives?"
"No," I say stiffly. "We're trying to keep the ship running
"Well, let me put it another way. Surely, after all these
years, you know me well enough to know I would never step on
another guy's turf."
"I assumed you didn't know about Tom. After all, it only
happened last night."
"I suppose that makes sense. But I still say you're too
involved. I know the Captain's always had a soft spot for Tom,
but it's *your* attitude that doesn't make sense."
He studies me closely for a few seconds and I'm relieved when
the lift stops and we step out. I head across the bridge
towards the ready room doors, but Ayala grabs my arm.
"You and Tom *did* have it off in that Alsorian lift, didn't
you?" he hisses quietly.
"Shut up!" I hiss in return, worried somebody might hear. The
bridge crew are looking at us strangely. Grabbing *his* arm, I
drag him across to the briefing room and hustle him inside.
"Spirits, Greg. Why don't you announce it over the comm
"Nobody heard. So it's true. You did."
"It's none of your business."
"Whether Tom was panicking or not, you would never have done
something like that unless you had feelings for him. I know you
well enough to know that. Have you told him how you feel?"
"Greg, I really don't want to discuss this."
"I take it that means no."
"I thought he was in love with Harry. I'm still wondering...
Just because Tom said to you that he's not..."
"They're not in love," Greg says firmly. "And it seems to me
that you really need to talk to Tom."
"Doesn't it bother you that they had sex last night?"
"No. Just so long as they don't do it again. And I honestly
don't think they will, no matter what you think of Harry. I see
it *does* bother you."
"Of course it does. If Tom doesn't love Harry, then why did it
"I don't know the full story, and what I do know I can't tell
you. As I said, you should talk to Tom. And that reminds me.
It won't take long for Tom to find out where Harry is and I have
to warn him."
He hurries back out, just as Kathryn and Harry emerge from the
ready room. They look at us in surprise.
"Commander, I thought you were in your quarters," Kathryn says,
a definite warning in her voice. She reaches out and grabs my
arm, propelling me into the ready room. "We have to talk."
She's a lot stronger than she looks and I find myself
practically thrown onto the couch. "Sit!" she barks.
For one wild moment I wonder if the Commander is going to hit me
right there on the bridge in front of the whole crew. Okay, so
it's the night shift and there are only four crewmembers on
duty, but it will still be rather embarrassing.
His eyes glitter at me angrily, his fists clench and unclench
at his sides, and he steps towards me menacingly. The Captain
grabs his arm and they disappear into the ready room. I breathe
a sigh of relief.
"Harry, can we go somewhere? I have something to tell you,"
Greg says quietly.
I nod, feeling a little worried. I don't like the serious look
on Greg's face. Has Chakotay said something to him? But, I'd
told him what I'd done. I'd told him everything, and he'd
asked me out after that anyway.
Greg steers me to the turbolift and we step inside. "Do you
want to come back to my quarters?" I ask a little nervously.
"Okay, but I have to warn you, Tom's looking for you. We've
probably just missed him."
"Tom? Why do you need to warn me about that?"
"Because I thought he knew everything you'd done. I thought
you'd confessed all to him, but you didn't."
"I... I didn't know how to. I... I was hoping I'd never have
"Well, unfortunately, you're going to have to. He knows you
kept people away from him those first few years and he wants to
know everything else now, too."
"What happened?" I ask, feeling rather sick.
The lift reaches my deck and we head down the corridor while
Greg fills me in.
"How do I explain this to Tom?" I wail as we enter my quarters.
"He's going to hate me."
"I'll hate you if you *don't* tell me," a voice says from behind
me and I turn around to see Tom standing there. "I've been
waiting for you."
"Tom!" My voice is a squeak.
Greg steps in front of me. "He's done some rotten stuff, Tom,
but he did it out of love."
"Oh, that makes it all right then," Tom drawls sarcastically.
"No, it doesn't make it all right, but I just want you to
remember that before you decide to hit him."
"I'm not going to hit him."
"You might change your mind once he's told you everything."
Greg squeezes my arm and then walks to the door. "Don't mess
him up too much," he says before leaving. "We have a date for
tomorrow night and I'd prefer it if he can still walk."
"I'll try to remember that," Tom says, never taking his eyes
"Do you want a drink?" I ask hurrying over to the replicator.
"No, Harry, I do not want a drink."
"Do you mind if I do? I've had a rather intense session with
the Captain and think I need it." I turn away from his angry
expression and watch my drink appear instead.
"What exactly did you say to people?" he asks abruptly and I
"Nothing much," I mumble. "I just... well... you know...
reminded them of things and stuff like that."
I quickly sip my drink, stalling for time. "I just said a few
things to people if they seemed too interested."
I take a deep breath. "A few months after we were first
stranded Ensign Parker asked me if you liked sailing because she
was thinking of asking you out, and I told her you did."
"Ensign Parker never asked me out."
I close my eyes and wince a little. "That's because I also
added that you had a particular program you liked that you asked
all your dates to," I tell him in a low voice.
"And she asked me how many dates you'd had."
Tom stares at me waiting for me to continue. I gulp and summon
my courage. "And I said a different girl almost every night."
"Harry, that was a damn lie and you know it," he says harshly.
"I had about three whole dates the first year we were out here.
How the hell can you call that 'reminding' people of things?"
"I'm sorry, you're right, that wasn't," I admit quickly. Tom's
face is flushed a dark and angry red. "But I reminded Neelix
that you were a bit of flirt so he should keep an eye on Kes
when she was with you."
"Harry! How could you do that?"
"It was true," I defend. "You *were* a flirt and you *did*
flirt with Kes. And when Petra Hynes told me she thought you
were interested in her, I reminded her that you flirted like
that with everyone and not to take any notice."
"Damn you, Harry!"
Blinking back tears at the furious look on his face I continue
with my confession. "I had to do that with a lot of people."
"Had to?" he yells. "*Had* to?"
"At the time I thought I did," I try to explain.
"I see. What about Sue Nicoletti? I chased her for months."
"I told her you just wanted a one night stand."
"But, it was true. You did. That was back in the days when
that's all you wanted. Before you grew up."
"Greg was right. I *have* changed my mind. I *do* want to hit
"I don't blame you. I deserve it," I say miserably.
"Damn right you deserve it." He steps towards me and I close my
eyes and cringe, waiting for the inevitable.
I watch Harry waiting expectantly for me to slug him and sigh in
resignation. I just can't do it.
"You'd better tell me what else you've done," I say instead.
He opens one eye and squints at me nervously. "Aren't you going
to hit me?"
"I've decided to wait until you've finished your confession."
He opens his other eye. "Are you sure you want to hear the rest
"It's not very nice." His voice wobbles a little, but I harden
my heart. He can bawl his eyes out if he wants to, I won't let
his tears sway me. Never again! Although, to be fair, he
appears to be battling to keep them in check.
"I want to know everything," I hiss. "Why didn't you stop
B'Elanna from starting anything with me?"
"I tried to, but she wouldn't listen to me. Every time I
reminded her that she thought you were a pig, she'd agree with
me. And when I told her I was worried the two of you weren't
compatible she said I was probably right."
"I knew about that. She told me. We thought you were worried
about us hurting each other."
"My motives weren't so pure."
"So it seems."
He stares at me quietly for a few moments. "I did something
rather terrible, Tom."
"No, I don't mean what I've just told you, there's more."
"I guessed there would be."
"This is worse than all that other stuff."
"Really?" A feeling of dread creeps over me as he nods his
head up and down vigorously. "Worse than telling Sue all I
wanted was a one night stand?"
This could be bad. I think I'm just about prepared for anything
now. Taking a deep breath and sitting down on the couch, I say
as casually as possible. "Okay, I'm ready. Tell me."
I listen in disbelief as Harry explains that he was behind
Seven's study into human mating rituals and then changed the
Doc's subroutines so that he would fall in love with her.
Harry did that? Harry? "That was rather... devious," I say, my
voice pitched a little higher than I intended. "Rather sneaky."
"I'm so sorry, Tom. I know this must be a shock to you. You
didn't think I was capable of any of this."
"I'll be honest with you, Har. You *have* shocked me a little."
"Maybe I better tell you about my list."
"I had to start a list, you see. After the Jonas incident you
were the hero of the ship and I couldn't keep track of everyone
anymore. There were people all over the place giving you the
once over. Everywhere I turned there was someone looking at
you, a certain gleam in their eye."
"A certain gleam in their eye? Harry, you've *got* to be
"No. It's true. I couldn't sleep at night, I was so worried.
That's when I came up with the idea for the list. I thought I'd
categorize everyone in order of potential. How you reacted to
them, how the two of you looked together, how they
counter-reacted to your reaction... things like that."
"Harry, you're scaring me here," I say, shaking my head and
staring at Harry in disbelief. "A list? You made a list?"
Tom doesn't look as appalled as I thought he would. It's a
little hard to gauge how he feels really. He's keeping his face
carefully blank as I admit everything.
I'd expected him to be horrified, disgusted at my revelations,
but other than a slightly surprised glint in his eye, he betrays
I tell him about my 'list' and he makes a strange choking noise
as I explain why I had the Captain at the top of it. However,
when I tell him why I added Tuvok he falls sideways on the couch,
his shoulders shaking heavily.
"Tom?" I race over to him in concern.
"Oh, Harry," he says between loud gales of laughter. "How can I
stay mad at you? A list?"
"Tom, it isn't funny," I say indignantly. "My list was very
important to me. I needed it. I told you."
"You needed *something*, that's for sure. I think I would have
noticed if there were a whole line of people attracted to me,"
he says, sitting up.
"But... there were."
He flushes with embarrassment. "I'm sure there weren't. And,
anyway... Tuvok?" He chuckles once more.
"Maybe that one was a little bit of a stretch, but I was right
about everyone else."
"No, Harry, you weren't. Seven was not interested in me."
"Yes, she was. I saw the way she watched you sometimes. She
even smiled at you."
"She appreciated my offer of friendship, that's all."
"Tom, you can be so blind sometimes. It was a lot more than
that. She was always standing directly in front of you, almost
but not quite brushing her... her... bosoms against you."
"Her bosoms?" He chokes with laughter again. "Harry, she did
not. I would have noticed *that* no matter how committed to
B'Elanna I was trying to be."
"I know what I saw. And what about that blue suit?"
"What about the blue suit?"
"She started wearing that the day after you mentioned blue was
one of your favorite colors."
"I don't remember that."
"Well, I do."
He shakes his head. "Harry, I'm absolutely positive you were
wrong about Seven. She has never shown the slightest interest
in me. Who else was on this list of yours?"
"Lots of people, but most of them were only category three. I
had to move some of them to category two, of course."
"Of course," he agrees solemnly.
I flush and hasten to explain. "Category three were people that
I'd caught looking at you with more than the usual amount of
interest and that I'd seen you flirting with in return. I only
moved them to category two if something else happened. Like the
time Chell dropped all those data padds in front of you and let
you pick them all up for him.
"He actually winked at me and whispered that he was enjoying
watching the way the fabric of your pants rippled across the
contours of the best male ass on board the ship."
"Chell said that?" he asks in shock.
"Now do you understand why I had to have my list? There were so
many people who did things like that, it was impossible to keep
track of them all."
Tom shakes his head and chuckles once more. "Harry, even if
Chell did say that, you know what a tease he is. It doesn't mean
he was interested in me. I think you were seeing things that
"I... well... maybe. I suppose I *did* get a little carried
away, didn't I?"
"I'd say so. And the whole business of putting the Captain at
the top of the list. What were you thinking? The Captain... of
"I wasn't wrong about that one," I say seriously. "That's
exactly where she should have been. She's still totally in
love with you, even now."
"Harry! Don't joke about things like that."
"I'm not. She *is* in love with you. I'm convinced of it."
"Harry! Don't say that. She's the Captain. She can't be in
love with me."
"Why not? She's flesh and blood, the same as the rest of us.
She has feelings, just like the rest of us."
"I know that, but... I *really* don't want her to be in love
with me." He frowns worriedly.
"Don't worry, Tom. I'm sure she won't do anything about it. I
think she'll always just love you from afar; her one goal in
life, to see you happy."
"Well, that makes me feel a hell of a lot better," he says
sarcastically. I'm starting to think I should have kept my
suspicions to myself. Now he's going to be uncomfortable around
"I guess you're not very happy with me at the moment."
"You could say that, Har. Oh yeah, you could say that."
"Are you still going to hit me?"
"I should, but I don't have the energy."
I sigh in relief and sit down next to him. "Is this going to
change things between us?"
"It's certainly made me reassess my ideas about you, but if we
can get through what we did last night without it changing
anything, I don't think this will."
I nod my head starting to smile, but Tom's sudden frown, freezes
my face. "And that reminds me, thanks a lot for telling Greg we
had 'rather ordinary' sex last night."
"Oh! I don't think I said it quite like that."
"Why'd you tell him at all? There I was just finishing telling
Chakotay that we humped our brains out all night, having the
best sex of our lives, and along comes Ayala and says, 'Harry
told me it was rather ordinary.' Do you have any idea how that
made me feel?"
"I'm sorry, but he wanted to know about us and I felt I owed it
to him to tell him the truth. You can trust Greg not to say
anything to anyone else. You shouldn't have said that to
"I couldn't help it. He was feeling sorry for me. He thought
you were cheating on me the very first night we were officially
together and it was all his fault for pushing me onto you. I
couldn't bear his pity."
"He told you that?"
"He started to, but I could guess the rest."
"You must have hurt him terribly when you said that. He's in
love with you."
"Shit, Harry! Who else do you think is in love with me?"
"No one, but I know Chakotay is. I just know it."
"He is *not* in love with me. He rejected me, remember?"
"I don't know why he did that, but I think it has something to
do with him truly believing you were in love with me."
"I told him I wasn't. He refused to believe me. I told him I
was in love with him and he argued that I didn't even like him,
so how could I love him?"
"You know how stubborn he can be. I don't know why he was so
determined not to admit how he feels."
"Harry, you're wrong. He doesn't care."
"No. He does. I know he does. He has for a long time. I even
had to put him on the list. I caught him staring at you so
often it made me suspicious. He was the main reason I tried to
keep you and B'Elanna together. I didn't think he'd make a play
for you while you were still with her."
"What? When was this?"
"I'm not sure exactly, but a long time ago. Just after I played
around with the Doc's matrix I think."
"But... that was months ago," Tom protests.
"But... but that means Chakotay... no... you must be wrong."
"Tom, I'm not wrong. He may not have been in love with you when
I first noticed the way he was looking at you, but he was
definitely attracted to you. He has been for months."
"Then why did he let me think...?" He stands up abruptly, his
eyes blazing with anger. "He let me think he was so desperate
for sex he'd do it with anybody... even me."
This isn't the reaction I was hoping for from Tom. I watch
anxiously as he paces angrily around the room. I think I've
just made matters worse.