No Regrets - Part 38
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
As soon as I enter my quarters I see Harry and B'Elanna sitting
on my couch.
"You're all packed and ready to go," B'Elanna says cheerfully as
they stand and come over to me.
"Well, I hope you packed plenty of reading material, because
it's going to be one hell of a trip," I snarl in return.
"I put a couple of padds in there," she answers lightly,
refusing to look at me.
"What are the two of you doing packing for me anyway?"
"You haven't got time. In fact, you'd better make your way to
the shuttlebay now, or you'll be late."
"Don't care if I am," I say sulkily. "If the two of you have
had time to get the Flyer ready and pack for both Chakotay and
me, you must have known about it long before us."
"That's right. The Captain decided to tell you both after
everything was ready. That way, you wouldn't have time to
brood. Come on, Helmboy, let's go."
"Damn it! I'm not going."
"Of course you're going."
"No, I'm not."
"Stop being childish. You have to go. You can't refuse an away
"Why are you so all fired keen to see me go?"
"Who says I am? It's just that it's Harry and my job to get
Chakotay and you on the Flyer as quickly and efficiently as
"Your job? What the hell are you talking about?"
"The Captain asked us to ensure you made it aboard the Flyer."
"The whole thing sounds weird to me." I turn to Harry.
"You're very quiet. You haven't said a word."
"B'Elanna's said enough for both of us."
"Shut up, Harry. At least I'm doing this because I want Tom
and Chakotay to work things out."
"So do I," Harry says quickly. "You know I do."
"Excuse me?" I say, glaring at both of them. "Chakotay and I
will not be working anything out. I know what the Captain's
hoping will happen, and I'm telling you it won't. I won't let
it. So you might as well have saved yourselves a lot of
"You can be such a stubborn ass, Tom."
"I made a decision that was right for me, B'Elanna. I wish
you'd accept that. And as for you, Harry, you promised me
you'd butt out."
"I know, and I'm sorry, but I had to, Tom. You don't
understand. The Captain made me. She... well... she
knows. She knows everything. Including what I did to the
Doctor. She told me..." he gulps nervously and avoids my eye.
"Anyway, I have to help get you on that shuttle."
"She's blackmailing you?" I ask incredulously.
"Not exactly. She wouldn't do something like that. But she's
promised I won't have to do any more shifts in sickbay once
you get back."
"What? She bribed you? And you accepted?"
"It's not like that. I can't work in sickbay any more. I
just can't. And besides, it's not as if I have a choice in
the matter. I'm just following orders. Captain's orders.
Just like you have to."
"Tom, will you quit stalling? You're going to be late,"
B'Elanna warns. "Come on."
"She can't make me go if I'm sick," I say stubbornly.
"As if you can pull that one. Move it."
I shake my head, still trying to think of a way out of the
mission. There has to be some way. I definitely do *not*
want to be on a shuttle with Chakotay at the moment. Even if
there were others going with us, I wouldn't want to, but...
the two of us... alone...
B'Elanna hisses impatiently and suddenly grabs my arms. "Harry,
get his legs. We'll carry him down there."
"What?" I yell indignantly, struggling to break free from her
grasp. I can't believe she's serious as she drags me towards
"Harry! His legs."
I struggle fiercely as they carry me out into the corridor and
make their way to the lift. This isn't happening. This can't
A small giggle stops my struggles and then a voice calls out,
"Have a nice trip with the Commander, Tom. It's nice to see
you're so eager to go." I turn red with humiliation as I see
the Delaney twins watching us, huge grins on their faces.
Does everybody know about my private life? I sigh. Of course
they do. Why wouldn't they? Despite the fact that Vorik no
longer blabs everything all over the ship, gossip still seems
As the lift doors open, a voice says mildly. "Do you require
"Not if he decides to be sensible," B'Elanna says shortly, while
Tuvok and Greg peer down at me.
"Okay, okay," I yell. "Put me down. I *can* walk, you know.
I had every intention of going."
B'Elanna and Harry both let me go at the same time and I fall
onto the floor with a bump. Rubbing my hip, I stand up and
glare at them all. "Thanks for your assistance. I'll be fine
We all enter the lift and they then follow me into the
shuttlebay and into the Flyer itself. I keep my head held high,
refusing to talk to any of them.
"What's this? A farewell party?" Chakotay says a few moments
later as he enters.
"We thought we'd see you off," Greg answers, humor evident in
"Well, goodbye," Chakotay says shortly. "And, by the way,
Ensign Kim. I don't appreciate you going through my things."
"I... I had to. The Captain told me to pack for you, and..."
"Be that as it may, Ensign, I don't appreciate it."
Poor Harry. Chakotay's still rather brusque with him most of
the time. Harry flushes and starts to apologize, but I
interrupt, coming to Harry's defense quickly.
"It's not Harry's fault, Commander. If you have a problem, you
should take it up with the Captain."
"I already have, thank you, Ensign." Chakotay's voice is like
How I'd dearly love to snap back at him, but I grit my teeth and
say nothing, wondering if he can put me on report before we even
leave. I decide not to test it. The trip's going to be bad
enough without starting out with an argument.
Five days. Five long days are ahead of us. The least I can do
is try and get along with him.
As soon as we're clear of Voyager, Chakotay turns to me. "We
have five long days ahead of us, Tom. I think we should try to
I nod. "I was thinking the same thing. The trouble is, the
Captain's sent us on this mission so that we can talk. I really
don't want to."
"So, we won't. I don't think there's much left to say, anyway.
I think it's all been said."
"Yeah, I guess it has," I say quietly, turning away to study my
readings. As far as he's concerned it probably has. But it
hasn't. Not by a long shot. There's one thing Chakotay's never
said to me. One minor detail he seems to have forgotten.
Forgotten? Who am I trying to kid? He hasn't forgotten. He
just didn't feel the need to say the words. And unfortunately,
for me, it was crucial that he did.
B'Elanna and Harry, the Doc, and even Greg have told me that
Chakotay loves me, but *he* never has.
He's apologized for hurting me and lying to me. He's tried to
explain why he acted that way. He's even admitted to being
afraid of rejection, and pleaded with me to give him another
But he's never told me how he really feels. Sure, he's alluded
to it a few times, but he's never come out and said it. Not
once. And that's all it would have taken. If only he'd come to
me and said, 'I love you, Tom. I want to work this out so that
we can be together.' I would have said, 'Me, too,' and things
would be so different now.
He didn't do that, however. He won't say the words I need to
hear. I know everyone thinks I'm being stubborn, pig-headed and
totally unreasonable, but if Chakotay can't tell me how he
feels, when I've already admitted to him that I'm in love with
him, then there's no hope for us at all.
He's my commanding officer and I know that that could cause a
few problems, without this. It's just all too one-sided. Too
uneven, and sooner or later, I'll be the one hurt again.
It's better this way, but the animosity between us has to stop,
so I turn to him and smile brightly.
"You're right. It *has* all been said. Maybe instead of having
a heart to heart, we can just relax and enjoy the mission? To
tell you the truth, I've been wanting to get away from Voyager."
He smiles lightly in return. "Me, too. I can think of worse
things to do than scout out an M-class planet and hopefully
befriend the local population."
"Sure. Let's think of it as a holiday."
His smile widens, causing his dimples to show and I swallow and
turn away. Maybe I'd better not be too friendly. I don't want
to give him the wrong idea, and besides, I don't think I can
handle too many more smiles like that. I feel a little
breathless as it is.
Chakotay clears his throat. "I think I'd better look over this
list of supplies the Captain wants us to try and obtain."
I nod without turning around. "I've got a few readings to
We work quietly for some time before there's a sudden beep from
my console. "That's strange. There's a vessel approaching."
"Oh? What type of..." His voice is cut off before he can finish
the question. I turn around in concern and find he's no longer
sitting at his station. He's gone!
"Chakotay!" I cry out in panic, standing up hastily.
I feel a transporter beam engulf me as well, and a few moments
later I'm surrounded by darkness.
Groping around, I soon discover that I'm in a small cell.
There's a bunk on one side of the room and bathroom facilities on
the other. There's not much else.
I sit down dejectedly on the bunk wondering what the hell's
going on. Who's captured us? What do they want? And, most
importantly, where's Chakotay?
He's probably in a cell just like this one. I tap at the wall
next to me, but there's no answer. Making my way over to the
other wall, I try again. Still nothing. I then decide to let
my captors know I'm not happy by kicking and pounding at the
door, yelling out furiously the whole time.
There's no reaction and I soon grow tired and head back to the
bunk to wait.
I'm not sure how long I sit there in the dark; it feels like
hours, but probably isn't. Finally, I hear a scraping sound at
the door and it opens inward.
Light streams in from outside as I jump up hastily and peer
closely at the figure entering. I have no idea whether the
alien is male or female, as fur seems to cover its entire body.
It appears to be smaller than me, but with all that fur, it's
hard to tell.
Waving a weapon at me, it indicates I should stay back. Two
more aliens enter the cell, carrying Chakotay between them.
They lay him on the bunk, watching me the whole time, and then
slowly back out.
I step quickly to the bunk and kneel beside him, completely
ignoring the weapon trained on me. "What did you do to him?" I
"We need information," the alien answers. Its voice is harsh,
guttural, and hard to understand.
"He's sleeping. Our serum did not make him talk. Next time we
will increase the dosage."
"What the hell do you want to know?"
"Why did you trespass in our space?"
"We didn't know we were. There's no need for serums. I'm quite
happy to answer your questions."
"You will lie. The serum will make you tell the truth. You are
a small scouting party for a larger invasion."
"That's not true. We're peaceful explorers. We had no idea
this space was occupied."
"No. It's the truth."
The alien shakes its head and slams the door of the cell as it
leaves. We're plunged into darkness once more.
"Chakotay?" I feel around for his pulse. It seems normal.
"Chakotay!" I give him a little shake.
"What?" he mumbles.
I shake him a little more vigorously. "Wake up!"
"Okay, I'm awake. I... Spirits!" I can feel him sit up
hastily. "What the hell? What's going on?" He sounds
"Take it easy. We've been captured."
"What..." I can hear him fumbling around in the dark. His hand
grabs hold of my arm. "What did they do to me?"
"I'm not sure," I say. "They said they gave you some sort of
truth serum. Apparently it didn't work. You've been asleep.
How do you feel?"
"I... I remember the feel of a transporter and then... a bright
light, shining directly in my eyes and... and then a hypospray
against my neck. Oh Spirits!" His voice breaks.
"Chakotay?" I ask in concern. "What's wrong? Are you ill?"
I hear him take a deep breath and his hold on my arm tightens.
"I'm fine now. It was just a bit of a shock."
"You're not nauseous? Dizzy?"
"No. No. I'm fine now." His voice is still a little shaky.
"What's wrong then?" I'm really worried now. "Something
Chakotay reaches down and finds my hand, squeezing it tightly.
"I don't want you to get upset by what I'm about to tell you,
I'm trying very hard to stay calm myself, but..."
"Oh gods... what is it?" I try not to panic.
"I'm... I'm... blind, Tom. Completely. I can't see a thing.
Not even shadows. Nothing. It must have been that light."
"Chakotay, you're not blind."
"Of course... you're right. The Doctor will fix me up in no
time once we get back to Voyager. Thank you for remaining so
"No, Chakotay. You're really not blind. We're in the dark
here. There's no light whatsoever. I can't see anymore than
"No. This must be their way of torturing us."
"Oh!" He gives a small chuckle. "I feel rather foolish."
He's still holding my hand, but I decide not to mention it.
"Tom?" he says quickly. "Are you all right?"
"I mean, it's okay if you're not. This darkness is rather
unsettling, even for me. Sit here next to me, and..."
"Chakotay," I interrupt, as his meaning suddenly becomes clear
to me. "I'm not afraid of the dark. Just because I had a
problem with enclosed spaces doesn't mean I have a problem with
"If you say so," he says lightly, making me grit my teeth in
irritation. "Sit down here anyway."
I do as he says, not because I'm scared and need to feel
comforted, but because kneeling on the floor is hurting my
I sit down, a little closer to him than I intended, and he
grasps my hand once more. I decide not to make an issue out of
it. What's the harm? Maybe he *needs* to hold my hand.
The darkness and now silence feel rather suffocating, so I clear
"They think we're some sort of scouting party for an all out
invasion," I tell him. "I tried to tell them they were wrong,
but they wouldn't listen. I'm worried about it. They said they
were going to increase the serum next time. Who knows what that
"Hopefully Voyager's looking for us by now."
"Why would they be? They were headed off in the opposite
direction to us. They won't even know we're in trouble. They
won't know for five more days. I doubt these aliens will wait
that long before they try to question us again."
Chakotay sighs. "You've got a point. But we have to remain
hopeful. That's an order."
"Yes, Sir," I say smartly. "Maybe we can come up with an escape
"That's the spirit, Tom." He squeezes my hand again and,
despite the fact that I really don't want to give him the wrong
idea, I squeeze his back.