No Regrets - Part 35
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
Tom's face is completely red as he walks from one end of my
quarters to the other. I wish I hadn't told him how Chakotay
feels. I didn't really think about how his actions would appear
"I know Chakotay's acted like an ass, but I honestly think he
was trying to do the right thing," I say quietly.
Tom stops his pacing and glares at me furiously. "All this time
I've thought..." His voice breaks. "Why didn't he tell me he
was attracted to me, instead of letting me think I was just a
"I'm only guessing here, but I think he thought he'd be coming
between B'Elanna and you if he let you know how he felt."
"He's had plenty of time since then, Harry. And last night he
pushed me away. He..."
"I think he was trying to be honorable, Tom. He thought you
were really in love with me and..."
"Last night he humiliated me, Harry. Completely. "
"I'm sure he didn't mean to do that. He thought he was doing
the right thing."
"The right thing was to treat me like a totally pathetic
imbecile? To strip me of any last vestige of pride? To make me
feel like I'm so fucking stupid that I don't know my own mind?"
"Of course not. I wish you'd try to understand."
"I *do* understand and that's the problem. Chakotay's sense of
honor has always been the problem. It's more important than
anything. Do you know what happened last night when I came to
my senses and it dawned on me what I was doing with him? I
realized I was willing to do anything for him... anything. Do
you understand, Harry?"
I nod. Who better than me to understand that? And hadn't I
always fantasized that Tom would love me so much that he'd be
willing to do anything for me? Of course I understand. "You
know I do," I say quietly.
"Well, you say he's in love with me, but he doesn't love me like
that. Does he? He could have had me, but he didn't."
"That's because he's not like that. What are you saying? You'd
rather he acted totally unprincipled and do something like I
did? What I did was wrong. I took advantage of you."
"And I took advantage of you, too. We've been through all this,
so cut it out, Har. I'm not sure what I wanted Chakotay to do.
All I know is what he *did* do hurt like hell. It still does.
Instead of being honest with me, he hid behind this weird code
of ethics he seems to have.
"You say he didn't want to come between B'Elanna and me, so
instead of telling me he was attracted to me, he chose to hurt
me by letting me think I was just a convenience. And last
night, he chose to humiliate me because he thought I was too
confused to know my own mind and was really in love with you."
"He made a terrible mistake last night and I know he's hurting
because of it. You need to sit down and talk with him. Work
this all out."
He shakes his head sadly. "You just don't understand, Harry. I
don't want to."
"But, why not?"
"He had his chance last night to stop being the oh-so-noble,
self-sacrificing first officer and tell me the truth instead,
but he blew it."
"And this is your way of punishing him for that? By refusing to
even attempt to sort this mess out? Don't you see? You'll be
hurting yourself as much as you'll be hurting him."
"It's not meant as a punishment, Harry. You'll never
understand. I'm not sure *I* even do. I just know that I never
want to feel the way I did last night again. Loving Chakotay
hurts too much and I want nothing more to do with him."
"Harry... please. Let it be. I don't want to talk about it
anymore. In fact, I think I'd better go. It's late."
I watch him leave, cursing Chakotay for being such a damn fool.
Knowing that he'll be hurting just as much as Tom is, is no
I can only hope that after Tom's had some rest, he'll be able to
see things a little differently and be prepared to at least try
to talk to Chakotay.
I have a horrible feeling, my hopes are in vain.
Knowing that Tom and Harry aren't in a relationship doesn't make
it any easier to watch them sit together to eat their dinner.
They still seem as close as ever; despite Tom discovering just
how manipulative Harry's been over the years.
Every time I look at the little weasel I want to throw him out
an airlock. The only thing stopping me is my promise to
Kathryn, and the fact that I know Tom would never forgive me.
Tom has been very subdued today, working quietly and efficiently
at the helm, only speaking when he's asked a direct question.
He seems to be toying with his food, making no attempt to eat
it. Harry is hovering over him worriedly.
Kathryn told me last night everything Harry had told her, and
she had to physically restrain me from getting up and spacing
the little bastard there and then. That's when she made me
promise not to retaliate against him in any way.
It was a hard promise to make. His explanation only confirmed
what I'd already guessed. I suppose the only reason I could
make that promise is because of the culpability that lays
squarely on my shoulders.
I hate the fact that Tom and Harry slept together and I suspect
I always will, but if I hadn't treated Tom the way I did the
previous night, the chain of events that followed would never
have happened. The responsibility is mine and I must be willing
to accept it.
Tom was confused and my rejection confused him all the more. My
hesitancy to admit my true feelings caused him to retreat and
question his own feelings.
Tom would not be looking the way he does now, so lost and
forlorn, if it wasn't for me. I wish I could go to him, tell
him how wrong I was, how sorry I am, how much I love him, but I
can't. I've tried.
I approached him this morning, agonizing that it may be too late
to clear things up between us, but hopeful nevertheless. He
refused to speak with me, telling me that we had nothing to say
to one another that hadn't already been said and to stay away
from him. The look of desperate determination in his eyes
forced me to back off.
That doesn't mean I'm giving up.
I think I should give up. It's now been three weeks and there's
been no thaw in Tom's attitude towards me. He's painfully
formal with me on the rare occasions we are together and
avoiding me as much as possible the rest of the time. He's even
gone so far as to have the Captain alter his shifts so that we
no longer work together.
On the numerous occasions that I've gone down to his quarters to
speak with him privately, he's refused to let me in.
B'Elanna came to see me last night and asked me to please leave
Tom alone. When I'd insisted he had feelings for me she'd
"I'm not denying that, but he has no intentions of pursuing
things further and you're going to have to respect his wishes.
He's determined to put it all behind him and move forward and
you're making it impossible for him to do that."
"I'm sorry, Chakotay, I feel sick about the whole thing because
I really believe the two of you would have been good together,
but you're going to have to let him go. It doesn't matter what
Harry or I say to him, he's convinced that your sense of honor
will always mean more to you than he ever could."
"I don't understand. My honor has nothing to do with this..."
"I realize that, as far as I'm concerned you've acted
dishonorably towards him the whole way through. But he doesn't
see it like that. He thinks that you were acting out of some
misguided code of ethics. You didn't want to hurt me or come
between us, so you lied to him. Let him think he meant nothing
to you and was just a body to rub up against. Even after we'd
broken up you still let him think that. That night, when he
told you how he felt and you refused to believe him, convinced
that he was confusing his feelings, you still didn't tell him
"I was going to, but he didn't give me a chance."
"You hesitated far too long, Chakotay. All Tom can see now is
that whatever sense of honor you thought you were acting out of
hurt him terribly, and he doesn't want to feel that type of pain
"I was acting out of fear, not honor. I was afraid of being
hurt. I was afraid that Tom would realize he'd made a mistake
and it really *was* Harry he was in love with. I was afraid of
making a fool of myself."
"I've tried explaining that to him, but he doesn't want to
listen. I really think you should leave him alone."
I'd sighed in resignation.
I've ruined any chance I have to be with Tom and it doesn't seem
as if there's anything I can do about it at the moment.
I've decided that Harry needs a stern talking to in much the
same vein as I had to speak to Vorik about his gossiping. I
just can't believe the latest stunt he's pulled.
He told Tom that I have feelings for him. I *do* have feelings
for Tom, I'm not denying it, but he's led him to believe that
they're of the romantic kind and that's definitely not true.
My feelings for Tom are a little complicated. Mother... big
sister... mentor... friend, all rolled into one, but there are
definitely no romantic leanings of any kind. The whole thing is
more than a little embarrassing, mainly because Tom has taken it
When Tom first started acting strangely around me, I hadn't
thought anything of it. He'd been quiet and withdrawn, the
disaster with Chakotay still fresh. He'd come to me and
requested a change of shift, and although I hadn't been happy
about it, I'd allowed it temporarily because of the complete and
utter devastation on his face.
I'd tried to talk to him about what happened, but all he would
say was that he was trying to put the whole thing behind him and
move forward. He didn't want to talk about it.
Each time I saw Tom after that he seemed stiff and uncomfortable
around me. At first, I thought he was self-conscious that I
knew so much about his private life, although that never seemed
to bother him before.
As time went by, however, and his unease around me didn't
diminish, I started to question his behavior. He stiffened
whenever I placed my hand on his shoulder and shifted away if I
positioned myself too close to him.
The one person I thought could shed some light on the whole
thing was B'Elanna, but she was busy helping Tuvok ride out his
ponn farr by this stage and was unavailable.
I decided to ask Tom outright if there was a problem between us
and he denied it immediately. He went on to tell me how much he
respected and admired me, flattering me outrageously by saying
how beautiful and intelligent he thought I was and a lot of
other nonsense besides.
After blushing furiously to the very tips of my fingers, I
suddenly worried that he was coming on to me. We'd always
flirted together a little, just for fun... nothing serious, but
this seemed more than our usual banter. In his confused state
he may have been confusing his feelings for me too.
Just when I'd decided that I'd better find some way to let him
down gently, he turned the tables on me and let *me* down gently
instead. I was a little flabbergasted by the whole
conversation. Did Tom think I was interested in him?
Where had he got that idea from? Had I done or said anything to
give him that impression? The flirting was mutual and had been
happening from almost the beginning of our journey; it couldn't
Lately, Tom had been too upset to flirt with anyway. I'd shown
my concern for him. Had he misinterpreted that for something
more? I'd always shown my concern for him. I just didn't
Finally, B'Elanna emerged from Tuvok's quarters, a little worse
for wear but smiling brightly nevertheless. It appears the bond
between them is permanent, although this doesn't seem to bother
B'Elanna at all.
She tells me that what she shared with Tuvok was far more than
physical. It was a spiritual and mental joining as well, that's
left her feeling far more contented than she's felt in her life
Tuvok needed one more day alone to mediate, but we were all
assured he was fine. He's claimed B'Elanna as his 'second' and
insists that she is now part of his family, no matter what
happens in the future.
B'Elanna, for her part, is more than agreeable with the
arrangement, saying that she now belongs with Tuvok and couldn't
be happier. She's moved in with him permanently and I'm happy
for the both of them.
It didn't take long for the two of them to settle back down into
the normal everyday running of the ship and not much longer for
B'Elanna to catch up on what had been happening while she was
That was when she was finally able to discover why Tom thought I
was in love with him. Harry! Harry had told him I was. He'd
suspected it for years apparently, and my reaction to his
supposed 'cheating on Tom' confirmed it for him.
I think it may be time I confirmed something for the young idiot
Okay, so I made a mistake. And now that I think about it, it
*was* probably very embarrassing for the Captain. But how was I
supposed to know that Tom would feel it necessary to let her
down gently? He's too nice, that's his problem.
I hardly think I can be blamed for that. The Captain doesn't
seem to think so, though. And now Tom's decided to be all
embarrassed about the whole thing too. I just can't win.
Greg almost made himself sick laughing when I told him what had
happened, but I don't think it's funny. He did make me promise
to butt out of Tom's life, however. That was an easy promise to
make, since Tom had made me promise the very same thing.
That doesn't stop me worrying about him, though. He's still not
over Chakotay, and isn't sleeping or eating properly. Even the
Doc's worried about him.
And now the Captain's got me down here cleaning out Jeffries
tubes for the next week, so I can't even keep an eye on him.
B'Elanna said she would, but she's so busy with Tuvok these days,
I don't think she'll be able to.
And, to make matters worse, Tom made me readjust the Doc's
matrix so that he was no longer in love with Seven.
Unfortunately, this resulted in the Doc realizing what I'd done
in the first place, so I've now been 'volunteered' for sickbay
duties as well.
If there's anything I hate more than sick people, I don't know
what it is. The Doc knows this too. He rubbed his hands with
undisguised glee while he listed all the simulations we'd be
running, so that he could train me to be the perfect nurse.
The first time someone, hologram or not, vomits in front of me I
know I'll join in too. And don't even get me started on the
whole blood thing. I'm wondering if it would be easier just to
go to the Captain and fess up. Although, after the way she
spoke to me over the whole being in love with Tom thing, maybe
that's not such a good idea after all.
She'd certainly seemed surprised when the Doc had announced my
sudden desire to be a nurse. Everyone had actually, except Tom,
who knew *exactly* what had happened.
If I'd expected sympathy from Greg, I didn't get it either. He
said it would be good for me to have some medical training.
Trying to explain that I wouldn't be learning much fell on deaf
Sighing in defeat, I lean forward once more and start scrubbing
at a small corner crevice with my toothbrush.