No Regrets - Part 7
Please see part 1 for disclaimer, codes, summary, etc.
B'Elanna runs the dermal regenerator over me, her voice full
of concern. "Sometimes I get a little carried away. You
should have told me."
I manage to get control once more. "It's all right. You
didn't hurt me."
"Then what is it? You're upset."
I sigh miserably. "I don't really know. I guess this wasn't
such a good idea. I'm sorry."
"Hey!" she says, smacking my arm. "You have nothing to be
sorry about. I still had a good time. It's you that I'm
worried about. You didn't seem to enjoy it very much. And
if it wasn't because I hurt you then what was it?"
"I told you, I don't know. I just... I just wasn't in the
mood tonight." That was certainly true. When she'd first
started our usual foreplay I hadn't even been able to get
very enthusiastic about the whole thing.
When she'd reached down to fondle me, it had felt all wrong.
Her hand had felt too small or something. I'd had to close my
eyes and pretend her hand was bigger. As big as the hand
from my dream the night before. I'd grown instantly hard.
What the hell is the matter with me, anyway?
B'Elanna goes back into the bathroom to put the regenerator
away and I sit up on the bed. When she comes out, she starts
to dress. "You're going?"
"I have an early start in the morning."
"You could sleep here. We could cuddle up in the bed
She shakes her head. "You know I don't like that. I can't
sleep comfortably. It's best if I sleep in my own bed."
Yeah. B'Elanna's not a snuggler. We've tried cuddling up
together after sex on numerous occasions but she can only
stay still for a few minutes. She says that my arm becomes
like a dead weight around her and that my chest is
uncomfortable to rest against.
I've tried spooning up behind her but the problem of my arm
is still there. No matter how I've tried to snuggle up to
her, there's always some reason why it's uncomfortable for
I watch as B'Elanna finishes dressing. As she sits down to
put her boots back on, she looks over at me. "How did the
therapy go? You didn't say."
"I didn't have it."
"The Doc's decided to wait for a few days."
I can feel myself turning pink. "He just feels that I need a
little time to get over what happened in the lift."
"Joe told me that you were asking him about it. He said you
didn't remember what happened."
Now I'm definitely flushing a bright red. I certainly don't
want to talk about this. She'd never understand what
happened. Hell, I don't for that matter.
"I just wanted to find out how badly I'd reacted."
"So, what happened between you and Chakotay?"
"You told Joe that he wouldn't look at you, and Harry told me
that he was acting funny with you this morning."
"I embarrassed myself in front of him. I guess he felt
embarrassed too. Can we talk about something else?" Or even
better, weren't you about to leave? Please... just go,
"Harry said that Chakotay upset you today." Okay, so now I
would definitely strangle Harry. "He said that you'd been
"I was not crying," I say through gritted teeth.
"He said that your eyes were all red and you were trying to
make Chakotay leave."
"I got shampoo in my eyes."
"Ah ha," she says unbelievingly, just the way Harry had
earlier. "Harry said that..."
"If I hear one more word about what Harry said, I'll...
I'll..." I jump off the bed in my agitation.
"You're a little bit touchy, aren't you?"
"If Chakotay was making fun of you for going a little crazy
in the lift, then I'll have a word to him. I know the two of
you don't get along all that well sometimes, but I'm still a
little surprised. That's plain mean."
"Chakotay was not making fun of me. I think he was trying to
make me feel a little better about the whole thing."
"Then, why were you crying?"
Air hisses between my teeth. "I was not crying."
"Harry says you were."
"Maybe I should just go and remind Harry what it's like to
cry." I make my way towards the doors angrily.
I stop and look down at myself. "Okay, I'll put my pants on
first, then I'll remind him."
She sighs heavily. "Tom, stop trying to deflect the issue.
If Chakotay wasn't making fun of you, then why did you want
to get rid of him?"
"Because I couldn't face him. I was too embarrassed. I'll
never be able to face him."
"There's nothing to be ashamed of. So, you had a panic
attack? Big deal. Chakotay's a fairly understanding guy."
"You don't understand. It's a lot more than that."
"I don't want to talk about it."
Air now hisses between *her* teeth. "You never want to talk
about anything. You don't want to talk about this, you don't
want to talk about why you spend more time on the holodeck or
with Harry than you do with me, and you don't want to talk
about what happened in bed tonight."
"B'Elanna, I told you... I don't know."
"This isn't the first time. You've been kind of reluctant in
"I don't want to hurt you," I say, before I can stop myself.
"Hurt me? Haven't I already proven that that's impossible.
If that's all that's been holding you back..." She stops
suddenly and turns a little pale. "That isn't what you
meant, is it? You meant you didn't want to hurt my
"You're not happy with our sex life. I knew it. That's why
you avoid me."
"That's not true. I don't avoid you. You know I don't. You
just never want to do anything that I do. We're either doing
what you want or we're not doing anything together at all.
And I *am* happy with our sex life. It's just that sometimes
I'd like to do things differently. Not always so rough."
"You bastard! You're putting all the blame on me."
"No. That isn't what I meant. There's no blame."
She pushes past me and out the door. "We're through, Tom
Paris. I've tolerated a lot from you, but not this."
The doors swish closed behind her. Damn it! That went well!
Tom Paris is late. He's been late before, so it's not
unheard of, but I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm
worried as to the reason why he's late.
I have to stop worrying. I'll tell him the truth today and
then he'll no longer have to feel so mortified. Exactly what
he'll do, I don't know.
Maybe he's already remembered what really happened. Perhaps
that's why he's late.
"Um... Commander?" It's Hamilton, still at the conn.
"When's my replacement supposed to be coming, Sir?"
I glower at him angrily. "What's the rush?"
"No rush, Sir. It's just that Tom's usually here by now."
My glower intensifies. "All members of this crew should be
willing to work past their duty shifts. If we were at red
alert, you'd still be here."
"But, Commander, we're not at red alert."
"I beg your pardon? Does that really matter?"
"Um... no, Sir. Of course not, Sir," he says quickly.
"I'm glad to hear it. I'd hate to think that any of the crew
"I am willing, Sir. I most definitely am. Please forget I
I continue to scowl at the back of his head and he squirms
uncomfortably. The little worm. He was trying to get Tom
into trouble, that's what he was doing.
"If I may, Commander?" It's Tuvok and I look over to him,
the scowl still on my face. "Perhaps you would like me to
check on our wayward Ensign?"
Panic seizes me immediately. "Why? Do you think something's
Tuvok raises one eyebrow at my question. "It does seem a
little unusual, Sir. Mr. Paris has been known to be late,
but no more than ten minutes in the past. It has now been
twenty-two minutes. I believe that this requires
I nod, swallowing the lump in my throat and Tuvok hits his
commbadge. "Bridge to Paris." Silence. "Tuvok to Paris,
"Go ahead." The voice is muffled, but definitely Tom's. I
sag with relief.
"Do you require assistance, Ensign?"
"Huh? No. Why?"
"Your duty shift began twenty-three minutes ago, Mr. Paris."
"What? What's the time? Aw... shit! I've overslept."
Tuvok's eyebrow rises even higher as he clears his throat.
"A-hem. I would suggest that you report for duty as soon as
"Damn it! I mean... yes, Sir. My apologies, Sir. I'll be
I can hear his mad scramble as he closes the channel. There
are a few snickers behind me and quite a few people are
smiling. I feel like smiling too. Tom just slept in. He's
Tuvok is looking at me strangely, his eyebrow raised in
inquiry, and I suddenly realize that normally I would not be
smiling. I would be annoyed. Yes, I should be annoyed. I
avoid looking at Tuvok after that.
Tom rushes onto the bridge five minutes later. He looks
ruffled and breathless and utterly desirable. I have to look
away. Not that it matters, he's not looking at me anyway.
He's standing at his best fleet attention, eyes on the chair
next to me.
"Please accept my apologies, Sir. It won't happen again."
"See that it doesn't," I say gruffly. "Take the helm."
I watch as he steps down to the conn and takes over from
Hamilton. My appreciation of his ass is thwarted as he sits
I sigh and try to concentrate on the readings in front of me.
Chakotay is staring at me. I can feel his gaze on the back
of my neck. I squirm around a little. Gods! How am I going
to get through this?
I should have told Tuvok I was ill. That's what I should
have done. It wouldn't have been a lie. I do feel ill.
My stomach is churning.
I hardly slept a wink last night. The misunderstanding with
B'Elanna kept going around and around in my head. When I
finally did fall asleep it was only to have that stupid dream
I was awake for the rest of the night, worrying about it and
B'Elanna. I was also worrying about what would happen on the
bridge today. I hated having to face Chakotay.
What if I had another panic attack? On the bridge this time?
Why would I? I'm not claustrophobic on the bridge. But what
if I was? What if all of a sudden I panicked?
And what if it was Chakotay who came and grabbed me to try
and calm me down? What if I creamed myself right then and
there in front of the whole bridge crew?
Okay, so I know it was stupid. It would never happen. Never
in a million years. But once the picture was planted in my
mind I couldn't get it out.
I'm starting to feel very, very nauseous as I think about it.
Chakotay's eyes are drilling a hole in the back of my head
and I'm about to vomit all over the helm console.
I turn around slowly to catch Johnson's eye and signal her
over. She walks over quickly. "What's wrong, Tom?"
"I'm not feeling very well. Can you take the helm?"
"Sure. Actually, you don't look too good. You're sweating."
I stand up swiftly. "Thanks."
I turn around to see Chakotay stepping down towards us, his
eyes full of concern. Oh No! Is this a panic attack? Am I
having another one? Will Chakotay touch me? If he does,
will I - despite the fact that my penis has never felt so
small, shrunken, shriveled or lifeless in its life - will I
I almost scream as he reaches his hands out to grab my
shoulders, but I gag instead. I gag again and Chakotay turns
me around and propels me hastily into the nearest bathroom.
We just make it to the basin in time, although since I
haven't eaten anything there's not much to bring up. I
continue to dry heave for some time until my stomach finally
decides to settle.
Splashing water over my face, I try to avoid Chakotay's eye
the whole time.
"Better now?" he says quietly.
"Not really," I answer.
He nods, and taking my arm, leads me out of the bathroom and
back onto the bridge.
Everyone looks at me with concern. Okay, so maybe I hadn't
done the unthinkable, but I'd still managed to embarrass
"Tuvok, you have the bridge until the Captain arrives. I'm
taking Tom down to sickbay."
"Of course, Commander."
Then, before I know it, we're in the turbolift. Just
Chakotay and me together, once again, in a lift. I close my
eyes and groan.
Chakotay keeps hold of my arm and as soon as the lift stops,
leads me out. I open my eyes as he leads me to his office
and steps inside. "I thought we were going to sickbay."
"I'd like to speak with you first, if you feel up to it?"
I take a deep breath. Might as well get it over with.
To be continued in part 8.