Title: No Regrets 1/?|
Codes: C/P, P/T, P/K (sort of), All
Rating: NC-17 overall (rather tame)
Summary: A/U. (Humor mixed with occassional angst.) A rehash of the old stuck in a lift and its consequences.
This story is set early season six, before the episode 'Fair Haven' and Chakotay's rather personal admission to using the holodecks for sex. In this story he is staid and true, pure and chaste. Well, perhaps not, but he certainly hasn't gotten it on with any of the holocharacters.
Warning: M/M sex and some coarse language. As I said above, it's rather tame, but I wouldn't like someone under 17 to read it, hence the rating.
Archiving: To all those I've already given permission to - yes. Others - please ask. Don't worry, I'll probably say yes. I just like to know where my stories are going to.
Disclaimer: Tom Paris, Voyager and all its crew belong to Paramount/Viacom. No profit will be made from this story.
Special thanks to Monica for her thoughtful comments and for just being there as my 'guinea pig' and 'sounding board'.
Dedicated to Jeanette for her never ending encouragement, support and enthusiasm.
And now, on with the show.
No Regrets - Part One
"Get in, Paris."
I hesitate. "Shouldn't one of us stay up here, just in case?"
His voice is soft, but deadly. "Get in, before I throw you in."
I gulp as I look at the small narrow lift and then back at him. I know I pushed him too far... and when am I going to learn to keep my big mouth shut, anyway... but torture? I mean revenge is one thing, and I'm willing to take what he dishes out, but he shouldn't be allowed to torture people.
And this will definitely be classed as torture. The lift itself doesn't look too safe, but it's the thought of the narrow crevice that it'll be traversing down that really has me worried. I shudder as I imagine what it'll be like. Dark and eerie with rock surrounding me on all sides.
Everyone knows I'm claustrophobic. It was the standing joke on Voyager for weeks after we traveled through that area of space in those stasis chambers, and I wouldn't stay in mine.
Not everyone teased me, of course. There was a lot of genuine concern and offers of help, but, the point is, everyone knows about it. And that means that the Commander does too, and he's still ordering me to get into the lift. Asshole!
I make my way over there as he contacts Voyager to let them know we'll be out of communications range for a while.
The mineral deposits that Carey and Vorik are so excited about - well, Carey is, anyway - are a long way beneath the surface. They're already down there with our Alsorian guide, waiting for us. Voyager's transporters are unable to function through all this rock, so the only way down there is that lift.
And I really don't want to get in that lift. I'm not worried about being underground, or even being in a small working area. I can be in a crowded room or a small area of space without it affecting me. But put me in a confined area - especially a small, suffocating, confined area - and the claustrophobia kicks in.
I scowl at the Commander as he continues to speak with Janeway. Of course, if I hadn't ticked him off the way I did last night and this morning he wouldn't be taking out his revenge on me in this way.
But he deserved it. I mean he'd stuck his nose in where it wasn't wanted and for some reason he's always had the ability to stir me up more than anyone I've ever known.
It doesn't take much for me to lose my cool where he's concerned and last night was another perfect example.
I'd been working on a holoprogram for one of the Delaney sisters when he'd decided to give me some advice on how to treat B'Elanna. Who the hell did he think he was, anyway? I'd made a crack about his love life, which he hadn't exactly appreciated, and stormed off.
But, hell! When's the last time he even had a love life? I think he may have got down and done the nasty with that Borg woman from that freed collective a few years ago, but since then if he's got it on with anybody, I can't remember it.
I'd made my way to B'Elanna's and immediately gotten into a huge fight with her.
"If you've got a problem with me working on the holodeck you should tell me, not bitch about it to the Commander," I'd accused as soon as I'd entered her quarters.
She'd glared at me and put her hands on her hips. "Two things, Tom. One, I did not bitch to Chakotay. I haven't said anything to Chakotay except to tell him where you were. Clearly, everyone on the ship has noticed the way you neglect me when you're busy with one of your little projects."
I'd opened my mouth to accuse her of the same thing, but she'd hurried on. "Two, I have told you how I feel about you and that stupid, damned holodeck. Evidently you weren't listening. Big surprise there."
"But I explained to you about this. It isn't even for me. Megan asked me to help her."
"I know all that," she'd cut me off. "But it's always something. And I'm sick of it."
"Don't I always ask you to join me? I try to include you, but you're just not interested."
"That's right, I'm not. Finally, something's penetrated through that thick skull of yours."
"Are you interested in anything besides your goddamned engines?" I'd shouted.
She'd hit me then, and it wasn't part of the Klingon mating ritual, I can assure you.
So, I'd woken up in a bad mood this morning and things had just gotten worse. The Commander was still smarting over my comment about his lack of sexual encounters recently and decided to find fault with everything I did.
He'd just finished criticizing the flight path I'd mapped out for our away mission and I'd had about all I could take. "You know, Commander, I've been thinking. There's really no need for me to go on this little away mission. You're obviously a much better pilot than I am. This new flight path, you've just drawn up, proves that. I think I should stay here."
I'd been able to practically see the steam coming out of his ears. "You know, Paris, I've been thinking too. Only, I'm wise enough not to tell you what I've been thinking while we're on duty. It's a pity you don't have the same restraint. Meet me in the shuttlebay in one hour. Let Carey and Vorik know our departure time."
He'd stalked off, apparently planning his revenge. And, now, this was it.
He's glaring at me, so with a deep breath I step into the lift. I can do this. The trip only takes a minute at the most. My claustrophobia's not that bad. One minute. What's that?
For one minute I'll be encased in rock, surrounded on all sides. Just like in a tomb. Tomb? What the hell did I think that for? Not a tomb. Not a tomb. A... a coffin. That's what it is. A coffin of rock. Oh, gods! I mustn't think about it. It's just one minute. One minute. I'll count the seconds off. It's not a coffin or a tomb or...
My palms are sweaty and my hands are shaking. We haven't even started yet. The Commander's squeezing in next to me. There's not enough room in here for both of us. Not enough air. How the hell did Carey, Vorik and the Alsorian guide fit in here?
The Alsorians are tiny people and Vorik's rather slight, as well. Chakotay's big, though. Too big for this lift. He'll use up all the air. I'm panicking. I mustn't panic. Keep calm. Deep breaths.
Chakotay grunts. "Bit of a tight fit. I guess it'll be all right for a minute or two."
Two? Keep calm. Deep breaths. No panicking. I can do this. Count to sixty. Easy.
He presses the button and we begin to move downwards, blackness engulfing us.
I swallow painfully and hold my breath. If only I hadn't needled him. If only I'd kept my big mouth shut. If only. Not a coffin. Not a coffin. Oh Gods!!!!!
"Get in, Paris." I can't believe just how perverse he can be sometimes. His whole argument, as to why I should go down to meet Carey and the others and he should stay up here on guard, is totally unreasonable. This is a friendly, peaceful planet. There's nothing to guard against.
He's doing it deliberately, just to needle me. I've had about all I can take from him.
He tries once more. "Shouldn't one of us stay up here, just in case?"
"Get in, before I throw you in." In fact, throwing him in sounds like a damn good idea.
He glares at me as he makes his way over to the lift. I contact Voyager and let the Captain know what's happening. We'll be out of communicator range the whole time we're down there.
I remember Tom's parting shot to me the night before and grit my teeth in anger. Smart-mouthed wise-ass. The last thing I need at the moment is to be on an away mission with the insolent prick.
I'd been genuinely concerned about B'Elanna. She'd seemed upset when I saw her in the mess hall. She was very quiet and subdued, not like herself at all, and I'd asked her if there was anything wrong. She'd said nothing she wasn't already used to.
I'd wondered where Tom was, thinking that maybe he could cheer her up, and she'd told me he was in the holodeck. I'd realized immediately what was wrong and decided to go and have a quiet talk to him.
I was worried about the both of them, actually. Their relationship is a puzzle to me. They say that opposites attract and I know that's true, I've seen it for myself, but Tom and B'Elanna are not really opposites. They are alike in many ways, but share absolutely no interests in common, whatsoever.
They don't even appear to enjoy one another's company all that much, spending more time apart on their off duty hours than together.
I have no doubt that they care about one another. Certain events over the years have proven that, but as to whether they share a deep and abiding love... well, somehow I doubt it.
B'Elanna is like a little sister to me and I hate seeing her so troubled. And Tom is like a... well... Tom is Tom. It's hard to define our exact relationship.
We're more than mere officers serving together... shipmates, comrades-in-arms. I'd like to say that we were friends, but I don't know if that's true. He was a burr in my side for many years, and right now he is again. And all because I'd tried to offer some friendly advice.
I'd found Tom in the holodeck, just finishing working on a rather picturesque seaside town.
"So this is what you've been up to," I'd said.
He'd smiled and nodded. "What do you think? Do the seagulls look all right to you? I've had a lot of trouble getting them to look realistic enough."
"Well they certainly look realistic to me. What is this program?"
"It's a birthday surprise for Jenny Delaney. Megan asked me to give her a hand with it. Apparently this place has some sort of significance for the two of them."
"I see. Well, I'm sure she'll be pleased. You've done an excellent job, as per usual."
He'd given a small laugh and bowed. "Thank you, kind, Sir. I do have one small problem, though. I'm going to have to wait for Megan to approach me about this unless you can tell me which twin's which? I don't want to accidentally blab to Jenny that it's finished and ruin the surprise."
"You don't know which twin Megan is?"
"Afraid not. I'm always getting them mixed up."
"But I thought that Megan Delaney was the woman of your dreams a few years ago."
He'd frowned. "Not really. And, anyway, that was in my BB years."
"Speaking of B'Elanna, that's actually why I'm here. I'm a little worried about her."
"Oh?" He'd looked instantly concerned. "Is she all right?"
"Well, no, she seems a bit depressed. Maybe you should try to spend a little more time with her. Make her feel like she's important to you. You know she's not completely over her depression yet. I think she needs to know that you're here for her. That she can lean on you."
Tom's face had instantly tightened. "Is that so? Well, thanks for your concern. I'm sure we'll work it out."
"I hope so, Tom. She really needs all the support she can get. Perhaps you could forgo the holodeck for a little while?"
"With all due respect, Commander, if I were you, I'd worry about my own love life - or lack of it - instead of ours."
"Tom, I'm only saying this because I'm concerned."
"Yeah, well, concern yourself with something else. Like maybe strengthening the muscles in that hand and wrist of yours. From what I can see, they must be getting a fairly good workout."
With that he'd stormed off, leaving me seething. All right, perhaps I shouldn't have interfered, but there was no need for that. Smart-assed arrogant shit.
No Regrets - Part 2
Tom Paris is a pain in the ass, I decide.
Here he is glaring at me because I've given him a simple order. I glare back and watch as he slowly gets in the lift. About bloody time!
Squeezing in next to him, I realize that there's no room to move. None at all.
I grunt a little. "Bit of a tight fit. I guess it'll be all right for a minute or two."
He doesn't say anything. Considering the animosity between us, at the moment, this is going to be one hell of an uncomfortable ride.
Thankfully, it's not going to last long. A minute or two at the most.
I press the button and we move slowly downward, gathering momentum as we go. It's pitch black and eerily silent. Not a pleasant feeling, actually.
I'm also finding it more difficult than I thought possible to stand in such close proximity to Tom Paris. I try to move away a little, but there's really nowhere to go. We're standing chest-to-chest, nose-to-nose, and toe-to-toe. It's more than a little unsettling.
I have to keep my head back just so that my face doesn't touch his. The scent of his cologne fills my nostrils. A deep, spicy fragrance that I find immensely satisfying.
He's standing stiffly at attention against me, probably feeling as awkward as I am. I'm surprised he hasn't made some clever remark to relieve the tension.
There's a sudden lurch of the lift and a dull thud. We're no longer moving. I awkwardly reach up to touch my commbadge, trying not to touch anything of Tom's as I do it. "Chakotay to Carey."
"The lift seems to have stopped. Can you check it out?"
"We're right on it, Sir. Just hold on."
"Well, this is great," I mutter. Tom makes some sort of noise in reply. I'm not exactly sure what it was supposed to mean.
He whispers something but I don't catch it. I'm about to ask him to repeat it when my commbadge beeps again.
"Commander, it looks like you may have a bit of a problem."
Carey's voice sounds apologetic. "This lift is pretty... um... old. It's not run on the same type of mechanism that our turbolifts are."
He then launches into a detailed explanation using words like sprigs and sprockets and winches and pulleys - technobabble was never my strong suit - and I sigh in annoyance.
I then become aware of another problem. Tom is no longer standing as still as a statue. He's making little rubbing movements against me. "Hold still," I hiss.
"Sorry, Sir, what was that?" Carey asks.
"Nothing. Just tell us, Joe. How long?"
I can hear him in consultation with the Alsorian guide. "Twenty to thirty minutes, Sir."
Tom's sharp intake of breath drowns out my own curse.
"It'll be twenty at the most, Sir," Carey says hurriedly. "It's a simple overheating problem. As soon as things cool down a little it'll be running smoothly again. No need to panic, there's plenty of air. A good three hours worth."
"I'm not panicking," I say through gritted teeth. Tom has started to move around again.
"No, of course not, Sir. Do you want to keep the comm link open?"
"That won't be necessary. I'll contact you shortly for an update."
As soon as the link is closed I reach out in the darkness to grab hold of Tom's shoulders. "Stop squirming around, Paris," I order harshly.
We're standing far too close together for any movement, whatsoever. I can understand Tom's restlessness, I'm feeling pretty restless myself, but this could get embarrassing. It's been far too long since I was this close to another warm body. And that's the last thing I want to be thinking about at the moment.
Tom continues to move around and I curse loudly. His small rubbing movements have increased dramatically. Think of something, anything to get my mind off of what's happening. My mind's a complete blank, however.
"What the hell are you doing?" I ask angrily. I'm not sure what Tom is trying to do here, the darkness probably has him edgy and nervous, but his continual movements are definitely affecting me.
There's no answer to my query, although Tom's breathing seems to be a little laboured. "Tom?" I'm still gripping his shoulders, so let go quickly. For some reason his body feels as if it's pressed even tighter against me. I try to move my hips out of alignment with his, as I can feel a stirring in my groin that is both exciting and mortifying at the same time. Not now! Not now!
Tom continues to move around restlessly, his body plastered against mine. "Tom," I whisper urgently. "Please don't move anymore." I'm almost begging him now.
He makes a small whimpering noise in response and the sound causes my heart to start pounding furiously in my chest. I can feel his hot breath on my face and the sensation forces a moan from me.
Taking a deep ragged breath, I fight to regain some control. Tom is trembling, causing me to tremble also. He makes another whimpering sound.
Spirits, this feels good. It feels so good to have someone pressed against me in this way. Not just someone, I admit to myself. Tom. It feels so good to have Tom pressing against me, his hot breath on my face, his breathing as ragged as my own.
He buries his face into the side of my neck and the stimulation is too much for me. The last of my control slips. Desire courses through me and my penis throbs and hardens, pushing against the leg of my pants.
I can feel myself flushing with embarrassment, but Tom doesn't attempt to push away from me. If anything, he presses into me even more.
My mind rather fuzzy, I find myself rubbing against his leg and groan in pleasure, wrapping my arms around him at the same time. He groans in return and nuzzles against me, causing my heart to beat even faster.
Our cheeks are touching and I turn my head slightly as my mouth seeks and finds his in the dark. His lips are warm and moist and his tongue darts in and out to meet mine. The kiss, so soft and gentle, soon becomes hard and demanding, as I run my hands up and down his back.
He moans and whimpers again and I want, more than anything, to feel his soft skin under my fingers. I start to pull and tug frantically at his jacket and shirt. Soon, they're free from his pants, enabling me to run my hands up under them both to caress his back.
Our kiss intensifies, although I hadn't thought it possible, and there's a dull roaring in my ears as the needs of my body completely take me over. He makes a small sobbing sound as I wrench my lips from his and push him away a little, my hands stroking his sides.
I move them around to his chest, pushing his jacket and shirt up until they're bunched up around his neck. Sucking in my breath, I feel wiry hair beneath my fingers and I play with it, getting lost in the stiff, rough texture.
I work my way over to a nipple, rolling it between my forefinger and thumb until it becomes a hard nub. Tom groans as I do the same to the other one.
Pushing him against the wall of the lift, I bend my head and my mouth finds that nub. I latch on and suck - hard. Spirits, he tastes good. I flick my tongue out and around the nipple and then take it between my teeth to gently nibble on it.
Tom's groans fill the confined space. I can wait no longer, and let go of the nipple to find his mouth once more. Our lips are hungry and demanding as our tongues swirl around each other invitingly. I feel as if I'm devouring his very soul.
The roaring in my ears increases as we kiss and grind our erections together in a vain attempt to get closer. I'm finding it difficult to breathe and discover I'm panting desperately for more. I want more, so much more of him.
My hands fumble and then find the waistband of his pants. He lets out a loud moan as I undo them and begin to pull them down slowly over his hips. My hand caresses his naked skin as I gradually lower the pants over his buttocks and thighs.
Tom wriggles around a little to help me free his erection from its confines and finally I'm able to wrap my fingers around him. Tenderly - almost reverently - I clasp him in my hand.
Spirits, it feels good. So good! His penis is hot and heavy against my palm and I begin to fondle him, softly and gently.
Tom's moans are continuous now and he begins to thrust, so I tighten my grip. His movements become stronger and faster and I reach down with my other hand to cup his balls and squeeze them.
Our kiss continues as we gasp into each other's mouths. I loosen my hold on his penis and use the tips of my fingers to slide up and down, over and under his thick shaft instead.
Tom's moans turn into whimpers and the tip of his shaft flows freely. I use my thumb to spread the pre-ejaculate over as much of him as I can.
"Oh Gods, oh Gods," he sobs into my mouth. "More. Please! Please!"
He wriggles against me desperately and all I want is to feel what he's feeling. Almost sobbing with need, I take my hand from his balls, but still continue to run my other hand up and down from the base of his shaft.
Hastily, I fumble for the fastening of my own pants, desperate to get them out of the way. Somehow, I manage to undo them and feverishly drag them down over me to pool on the floor at my ankles.
Tom tears his mouth away from mine and starts to bite and suckle at my neck as I take my leaking erection into my free hand and bring it into contact with his own.
The feeling of my shaft gliding against his is so good that I begin to shudder and Tom's arms come around me to pull me against him. He thrusts into my groin and I take my hands away to cup his buttocks instead, gently kneading them with my fingers.
We begin to thrust in earnest against one another now, like two rutting animals in heat. Spirits, it feels good. So good. We're both panting and grunting with each thrust and I can feel the familiar tightening in my balls. It's been far too long to hold back. I'm going to come and I'm going to come hard.
Tom lets out an ear-piercing yell as he starts to spasm against me. I can feel his juices covering my groin, slippery and warm. I grunt in pleasure as with one final thrust I begin to jerk with my own release and wave after wave washes over me.
Panting heavily, my senses slowly return, and with them, Carey's voice. "Commander... Tom... please answer. Is everything all right?"
My legs are weak and I wonder if I'll be able to speak clearly. Spirits! What have we done? Did I even bring a hanky with me? And how am I going to get my pants back up in this tiny cramped space? The stickiness covering my groin is starting to cool.
"Commander," Joe's voice insists.
Somehow, I manage to make my arm reach up to my commbadge. My legs, already shaky, threaten to crumble. The comm link is already open!!!!!
"Joe?" How long has the link been open? At some time while I've been pressing against Tom I must have inadvertently opened the channel. How much had they heard?
"Commander, is Tom all right? We heard him scream."
Spirits!!!! What the hell were we thinking? How could I have let this happen? How could I have lost control so completely?
"He's not all right, is he, Sir?" Joe continues. "It's his claustrophobia, isn't it, Sir? I was worried this might happen."
Claustrophobia? What the hell's he talking about? And why hasn't Tom made any sound or movement?
At that exact moment Tom lets out a small whimper and I finally recognise it for what it is - fear. I remember clearly the stasis chambers and Tom's reaction to them. How could I forget? How could I?
"I knew it," Carey exclaims. "Hold on, Tom. We'll have you out of there in no time. A few more seconds."
Seconds? My pants are still around my ankles, Tom's around his knees and both of our groins and stomachs are covered in ejaculate.
With no room to maneuver, I scoot down far enough to enable me to pull my pants back up. There's a hanky in one of the pockets, thank the stars, and I quickly clean myself up and fasten the pants back up again.
I then reach for Tom, who is making soft gasping noises, to clean him up, also. The lift lurches and I have no time, as we speed upwards once more.
Hastily I pull his pants up and have just managed to get them fastened when we arrive back at the top. Two Alsorian officials are waiting for us.
"Commander Chakotay, please accept our most humble apologies for this regrettable incident," one of them says.
I nod curtly and turn back to Tom. His eyes are wide and unfocused and his breathing labored. Spirits, what have I done? What the hell have I done?
Stepping out of the lift, I drag Tom out, too. He immediately collapses on the ground. "I have to get him back to Voyager," I tell the Alsorian officials as I kneel down beside him.
"Of course, Commander," one of them says. They stare at me strangely, their noses wrinkling up. "May I ask what that strange smell is?"
"Smell?" I can feel myself blushing furiously.
"There is a strange odour emanating from the elevator. It seems to be on the poor Ensign and yourself as well."
My face feels as if it's on fire. "Humans perspire when they're in enclosed spaces," I say in a rush. "That must be what you mean. A human's perspiration can smell quite strong at times." I can feel the sweat running down my back as I speak of it.
"Oh, please excuse me if I have been indelicate," the official says contritely, my obvious embarrassment causing him to apologize. "Is there anything we can do to help?"
"No, thank you," I answer, wishing the color would leave my face. "I'm sure Tom will be fine once we get back to our ship." I slap my commbadge. "Chakotay to Voyager. Emergency beam out to sickbay. Energize."
We dematerialize as the Alsorian officials head towards the lift, looking at one another and sniffing distastefully.
What have I done? Spirits, what have I done?
No Regrets - Part 3
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 embarrassment.
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 upwards.
I remember Chakotay telling me to stop squirming around and I remember trying very hard to stand still, but I just couldn't.
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. Paris?"
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 this."
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 again."
She's right. I don't.
"Okay, okay," I say. "When do you want to start, Doc?"
"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."
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 lift.
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 ordeal.
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 chime sounds. "Come in," I call out cautiously. I don't really feel like facing anyone at the moment.
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 happened?"
"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 that?"
"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 absolutely 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 claustrophobia?"
"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 yours."
"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 Seven?"
"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 helping."
"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 birth."
"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 her."
"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 Doc.
No Regrets - Part 4
I'm being held in a warm embrace. Hot breath tickling my earlobe. There are hands gently stroking my back, working their way around to my chest. Fingers playing with the hair that grows there.
My nipples are being pinched and caressed and they harden in response. I groan at the pleasure coursing through me. More. I want more.
Moistness surrounds my nipple now as a mouth begins to suckle. It feels so erotic that I moan and arch upwards. A tongue is licking me now and teeth are nipping at me. My moans continue. It feels wonderful and I don't want it to ever stop.
The mouth leaves me and then presses against mine. Warm lips kiss me hungrily, a tongue darts in and around mine, and I'm awash in sensation. The kiss goes on and on. I can feel the heat in the pit of my stomach consuming me. I feel as if I'm on fire.
My penis surges and throbs and I arch once more as it presses painfully into the warm body against me. It feels good, so good. I seem to be groaning continuously.
And I want more. Gods, I want more! There are hands fumbling at my pants, slowly pulling them down over my hips. I wriggle in ecstasy as more of my skin is free. Touch me. Oh please, hold me. Don't make me wait any longer.
And then they're there. The hands are holding me, and I thrust up into them. It feels so good, so good. One hand squeezes my balls as the other runs lightly up and down my shaft. I thrust again and again and again.
I can feel the juices leaking from the tip of my penis and the hand that is stroking my throbbing erection spreads the liquid over me. I can't stand it any longer. I want more. More!
"Oh gods, oh gods," I sob aloud. "More. Please. Please!" The mouth still covering mine groans in response. I tear my mouth away and begin to kiss and bite at the neck within my reach. Gods, it tastes good.
And then something is rubbing against my groin. Velvet upon velvet. It's smooth and soft and hard, all at the same time. The feeling is incredible. The body pressed so tightly against me shudders and I hold them tighter, squeezing myself into them. I want to get closer, still closer.
I thrust into that velvet hardness, gasping at the sensation. The hands come around behind me now, caressing my buttocks, sending little chills through me.
My thrusts become harder and faster and I can feel my climax building within me. The body against me is thrusting in return, causing little shock waves of pleasure to tingle through me.
And then I'm there, right on the edge, and my body goes rigid as I prepare to fall. I scream in pure delight as I topple over and my body convulses as I come.
Gasping for breath, I wake up with a start, my erection still twitching with its release. What the hell? That would have to be one of the most realistic sexual dreams I've ever had. What the hell is going on?
I haven't had a dream like that in a long time and certainly not one that intensely powerful. And I hadn't even touched myself. At least, I'm pretty certain I hadn't. My shorts are still covering my now wet and sticky groin and I sit up carefully, trying not to spread the mess.
Throwing the blankets off me, I climb out of bed slowly and make my way to the bathroom. Yanking off my shorts, I grimace and throw them in the refresher. I can't believe that I just had a wet dream like some teenager. What the hell had brought that on?
Jumping under the shower, I roughly clean myself off and then pull on a clean pair of shorts. Going back to my bed, I check the sheets for any wet spots or stains. There aren't any on the bottom ones but there are a couple of huge dollops on the top ones. Cursing, I strip them off and throw them in the refresher too.
Making the bed back up as quickly as I can, I then fall back into it and try to go back to sleep, pushing all thoughts about what just happened firmly from my mind.
Harry and I make our way to the mess hall. Most of the crew are already at their stations, so we don't meet too many people on the way. I'm grateful for that, actually.
I know there'll still be a few people in the mess hall. Crewmembers like Harry that worked the night shift and a few people from engineering, who seem to work all sorts of strange hours, or maybe even someone like me, who actually has the day off. I know I have to face everyone eventually, but I'm hoping to do it gradually.
We round a corner in the corridor and almost run into a figure coming towards us. He has his head down, reading a padd, and I wish he could stay that way. Perhaps if we walk past quickly, he won't notice us.
"Good morning, Commander," Harry says politely. I'll strangle him later.
"Oh, Harry... T-Tom." Chakotay looks up, completely flustered and averts his eyes. Not that I'm complaining. I have no wish to look at him, either. He's the one person I was really hoping to avoid for a few days.
"How are you feeling now?" he asks the bulkhead behind me.
"Better... um... much better, thanks," I tell the wall behind him.
Where's a goddamned red alert when you want one?
The silence stretches and I can feel Harry looking from one of us to the other.
Chakotay clears his throat. "I think we need to talk about what happened in the lift." He's still talking to the bulkhead.
"I'm just about to have breakfast," I say quickly. "And then I have to report to sickbay."
"Of course. After that then?"
"I'm not sure how long I'll be."
"The Doc's going to regress him," Harry adds helpfully.
"Yes, he told me. Well, if you feel up to it, I'll be in my office." He hurries away without once looking directly at me.
"Did you see that, Harry?" I hiss as soon as he's out of sight. "He won't even look at me. He's so disgusted with me that he can't even look me in the eye."
"Yeah. I thought the talk was a bit exaggerated when I heard it, but now..." He breaks off, but he doesn't have to finish.
"It was obviously as bad as I feared," I say flatly.
"You know, that's not like Chakotay. I would have thought he'd be all concerned and caring, offering his help and everything."
"Maybe for you he would, but not me."
Harry sighs heavily. "Will you stop being paranoid? If I didn't know better, I'd think the Commander was embarrassed. He looked like he was. Or ashamed or something."
"Ah ha! So my theory of revenge that backfired is right."
Harry shakes his head and grabs my arm. "I doubt it, Tom. Come on, I'm starving."
He drags me down the corridor.
"Well, I'm not. I just lost my appetite," I protest.
I cringe as we enter the mess hall. How many people are going to start whispering about me? A few heads turn, but no one whispers.
Then I see Joe Carey sitting at one of the tables. "I think I need to speak to Joe, Harry. I need to find out what happened."
"Well, he wasn't exactly there with you, Tom. He and Vorik just heard some stuff."
"I still want to talk to him."
I head over there before Harry can talk me out of it.
Joe looks up as I approach. "Hey, Tom, how are you doing?"
"Okay, now. Listen, Joe, I need to know what happened yesterday. What exactly you and Vorik heard. I just saw the Commander and he wouldn't even look at me."
I slide into the seat across from him.
"I don't know, Tom. I mean, we weren't there. I don't really know why the Commander's not looking at you. Are you sure you're not imagining it?"
I shake my head. "I guess I really embarrassed myself, judging by some of the gossip I've heard."
"Don't you listen to them," Joe interrupts. "It's all been distorted. It wasn't that bad."
Harry arrives besides us and places a tray of cereal and toast and a cup of coffee in front of me. "Eat," he orders as he sits between us.
I smile my thanks, although I don't feel in the least bit hungry and then turn to Joe to let him know I'm waiting.
He sighs loudly. "As I said, the story doing the rounds is highly exaggerated."
"I thought so," Harry says taking a spoonful of cereal. He nudges me with his elbow. "Eat."
I scowl at him but take a bite of toast, anyway. "Go on," I say to Joe.
"Well, when the lift got stuck, I immediately thought of you. I was worried you might not be able to handle it too well. I heard you gasp when I said how long it would be, and I tried to tell you not to panic, but the Commander thought I was talking to him. I even suggested leaving the comm link open. I thought that the more voices you could hear the better."
I nod as I take a sip of my coffee. "I remember that."
"Yeah, well, the Commander said he'd get back to us and closed it, so we didn't hear anything else. He didn't get back to us though, and I started to wonder if there was something wrong. Then the link was opened again; only I think it must have been by accident. We could hear heavy breathing and some moaning and then you... um... whimpered... um... a few times."
"Well... sort of. It was more of a whimper than a sob. There were some sobs as well, I think."
I clutch my hair. "What then?"
"Well, there was a lot of rustling and I think you must have been struggling or something. And then you... um... you screamed."
"I screamed? See, Harry, it wasn't exaggerated. I did scream."
"It was only once though, Tom. It *was* only once, wasn't it, Joe? You weren't screaming like a banshee like you thought, so that's all right."
"All right? No, Harry, it's not all right. I screamed. Right in Chakotay's ear, probably."
I clutch my hair even tighter and moan loudly.
"Tom, it's all right. It was a very... um... nice scream," Joe tries to reassure me. "It wasn't a girlie scream. It was very masculine, if you know what I mean."
When I continue to moan, he hurries on. "Anyway, after you screamed there was this huge grunt, but I think that came from the Commander. I think you must have elbowed him or something, because he certainly sounded breathless afterwards."
"Oh, great, can this get any worse?" I ask the ceiling.
"The Commander was very nice about it, Tom. He tried to shield you. He didn't want to tell us that you were panicking, but we could hear you gasping in the background. Whimpering too. We managed to get the lift working then and sent you both straight back to the top. Chakotay beamed you straight to sickbay."
I continue to clutch my hair, wishing now that I hadn't asked. Up to this point I could pretend it was all an exaggeration, but now - except for the fact that I only screamed once and not repeatedly - it was all true.
But I still don't understand why Chakotay wouldn't look at me in the corridor.
"I'll bet you're glad you asked Joe," Harry says to me, dryly. "Thanks, Joe, for giving him such a detailed account."
"Well... he asked," Joe says defensively.
That's right, I did.
No Regrets - Part 5
"So, Mr. Paris, you've decided to join me? This is not exactly what I would call first thing in the morning."
"Sorry, Doc, I got held up in the mess hall," I say miserably.
He sniffs. "Well, at least you're here now. Make yourself comfortable on one of the biobeds. I have everything ready."
I nod and make my way over there, but that just reminds me of something else. "Doc, I meant to ask, why did you have to change me into that pair of pajamas? What was wrong with my uniform?"
"Oh! Yes... well. You had a rather unfortunate occurrence."
Unfortunate occurrence? What was that supposed to mean? And then all of a sudden it hits me. My legs go weak at the knees and I have to hold onto the biobed for support.
"Oh, God... no. I wet myself?" No wonder Chakotay was too embarrassed to look at me. Oh no, oh no, oh no!
"Mr. Paris, you did not lose control of your bladder," the Doc is saying. Relief courses through me for all of two seconds before an even more horrendous thought comes to me. I pale and the Doc grabs hold of me before I can fall to the floor.
"I-I didn't..." It's too awful to say.
The Doc seems to know what I can't bear to say. "Let me assure you, Mr. Paris, you did not lose control of your bladder *or* your bowels."
The relief is so great I almost sob. Straightening up, I get myself back under control. "So, what was this unfortunate occurrence?"
The Doc avoids my eye. "There's no need to go into that."
I snort. "I think there is." I head over to a terminal and bring up my medical file. There's nothing in there that will provide me with any answers. The only thing I can think of is that I vomited all over the place.
Yuk, what a thought. I'll bet the Commander copped some of it too. I don't understand why the Doc hasn't put it in my records though.
The Doc clears his throat. "I omitted to include your embarrassing emission in your medical logs. I thought it was for the best."
"Embarrassing emission? Look Doc, I don't know what you're talking about and I really want to know."
"There's no need to get upset."
"I insist that you tell me. I have the right to know."
"You may prefer to live in ignorance."
"That does it, tell me... now!"
"Very well, Mr. Paris, since you insist. You... er... ejaculated."
The Doc gives a curt nod and reaches past me to turn off the terminal. "Semen," he decides to add, just in case I still wasn't sure what he meant.
The room tilts dangerously and I stagger back. "I climaxed?" My voice is wobbly and my legs are even more so.
"Yes, Mr. Paris. Fear does strange things to people."
The Doc's comment yesterday, about my libido, now makes sense. But Gods - no. Anything but this. Let me have been screaming like a banshee, bawling like a baby. Anything, anything at all, but this. No wonder Chakotay couldn't look at me.
"Fuck!" The word is more of a screech than a cry. I definitely used the top end of my vocal chords for that one.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck! Are you telling me that I came in my pants while standing shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip with Chakotay?"
"Yes, and I will not have profanity in my sickbay, Mr. Paris."
"Fuck!" I yell again.
"Mr. Paris, try to calm down."
"Calm down? How would you feel if you'd creamed yourself while standing plastered against your commanding officer?"
I can remember rubbing against him now. Oh Gods, what did I do? What did I do? I think I'm going to cry. I am definitely going to cry.
The Doc gives a little sniff. "I really wouldn't know. In case you've forgotten, my program doesn't enable me to perform such a function."
"Oh Gods, how I wish I couldn't."
"Mr. Paris, you don't mean that. I'm quite certain that you don't mean that."
"Yes, I do," I hiss. Why is there no air in here? Why can't I breathe? Why is everything spinning around and around? I collapse to the floor.
"What happened?" I say. I'm half lying, half sitting awkwardly against the wall. The Doc's bending over me saying something about deep breaths.
"You had a panic attack."
"Again?" Then I remember why I panicked and I groan. "I can't face him ever again. Maybe you can come up with some reason why I have to spend the rest of our journey in my quarters."
The Doc shakes his head and helps me to stand. "I think, under the circumstances, we will have to forgo your hypnotherapy until you feel a little better."
I nod shakily. "What am I going to do, Doc? He won't look me in the eye." My voice wobbles dangerously and I keep my eyes on the floor.
"The Commander is a very understanding man. He was very concerned about you," the Doc tells me gently. "I'm sure he realizes that when the panic seized you, you had no control over yourself."
"You think so?"
"Yes, I do. The best thing you can do is get on with your normal routine. In a few days time this will all be forgotten."
"A few days?"
"Well, perhaps a little longer. But the important thing is that the Commander understands."
"Are you sure he does?"
"Certain. Now go back to your quarters and try to relax."
I do as he says, although relaxation is impossible. The thought of what I've done has me shaking with humiliation. I'll never be able to look at the Commander with anything but embarrassment again.
The Doctor has asked me to come down to sickbay. I know what he wants, of course. He wants to discuss what I did to Tom. I'm surprised it's taken this long. I expected to be called in much sooner.
I should have gone and reported myself to the Captain immediately after leaving sickbay. I told myself I wanted to talk to Tom first, see if we could work out something between us.
The truth is, I was still trying to come to terms with what I'd done. Why it'd happened. How I could have taken advantage of Tom like that. I honestly didn't think I was capable of it.
Tom had still been completely out of it when we'd beamed into sickbay. His breathing was harsh and rapid, his body rigid with shock. I'd carefully laid him down on a biobed as the Doctor hurried over.
"We were stuck in the Alsorian's lift. I forgot about Tom's claustrophobia."
"I see. Please move out of the way, Commander."
I stepped back and the Doctor quickly examined Tom. "He's had a panic attack."
"Is he going to be all right?"
"Of course. I'll just prepare a sedative to help him relax."
The Doctor went to get a hypospray and I stood there looking down at Tom. Spirits, he was pale. I wanted to take his hand... tell him how sorry I was.
My eyes traveled down over his body and I cringed as I saw the stains that had seeped through onto his uniform. If only I'd had time to clean him up a little.
But there had been no time. The Alsorian officials had been waiting for us, and the lift had moved up very quickly. There had barely been time to even cover him.
The Doctor cleared his throat and I realized that my gaze had been riveted to Tom's groin.
"You can go now, Commander. I have the situation completely under control. I will clean Mr. Paris up and he will be as good as new shortly. This... um... incident, although not common with panic attacks, has been known to happen. I'm sure I have your complete understanding in the matter."
"Of course," I said faintly. I thought to myself that when the Doctor scanned Tom, he'd soon see that a lot more happened than he first thought. He would find two completely different traces of semen. What would happen after that was up to Tom.
I left sickbay quickly and headed for my quarters, telling myself that the right thing to do was to go and see the Captain. I wasn't sure if that was what Tom would want, though. I told myself that he was the victim and I should leave it up to him to decide what he wanted to do to me.
It was the cowards' way out.
I've spent a sleepless night acknowledging certain things about myself I really would rather not know. I was known for my ruthless leadership in the Maquis and it seems as if that ruthlessness is still within me.
If anyone else had been in that lift with me, would the same thing have happened? If they had rubbed themselves against me, their breath hot against my ear, would I have lost control? The answer is no.
Why did I immediately believe that Tom's movements towards me were of a sexual nature? Why did I so conveniently forget about his claustrophobia? Why didn't I question that whimper of his right at the start? He'd been trembling and that second whimper of his had been full of fear. It's so very clear to me now, why wasn't it then?
I admitted the truth to myself in the early hours of this morning. I wanted it to happen, or more precisely, I wanted him. I wanted Tom Paris. Any way I could get him.
And so, I took advantage of him in a moment of weakness. And I'll pay for what I've done. Tom will want me charged, and I don't blame him.
Taking a deep breath, I head for sickbay and whatever fate awaits me there.
The Doctor beckons me into his office and closes the door. "Thank you for coming, Commander. Please sit down."
I sit down rather shakily, waiting for the axe to fall.
"I asked you here because I need to discuss the situation regarding Mr. Paris."
I nod. "Do you want to contact the Captain?"
The Doctor frowns. "I'm hoping to resolve this without informing the Captain at all. She knows he had a panic attack and, quite frankly, I think that's all she needs to know. I take my patients privacy quite seriously, Commander."
"Tom doesn't want her told?"
"The subject never came up, but I wouldn't have thought so. He's quite upset enough as it is."
"Then, what does he want to do?"
"He has ideas of spending the rest of his life in his quarters."
"I told him to resume his normal duties," the Doctor continues. "I'm concerned however, Commander. I'm not sure how he'll react the next time he sees you. He feels he can't bear to look at you."
"I understand." I can't bear to look at myself, either.
"I'm afraid he had a rather severe reaction this morning when I told him what had happened. He didn't remember any of it, you see, and after I told him, he had another panic attack."
The picture of a severely traumatized Tom Paris races before my eyes and remorse courses through me.
"What can I do?" I whisper hoarsely. Should I go to his quarters and beg for forgiveness? Let him beat me to a pulp? Lock myself in the brig for the rest of the trip home? I'll do whatever I have to, to make it up to him.
"I think you should go to see him and try to reassure him," the Doctor says. "I told him that you would understand. But this is more than just mere embarrassment over what he did."
I look at him in astonishment. Over what he did? What *he* did? Shouldn't that be... what *I* did? Is he blaming himself?
"Doctor," I say urgently. "None of this is Tom's fault."
"Of course it isn't. I knew that you would understand. Fear does all sorts of strange things to people. In Mr. Paris's case, with his rather over abundant sexual appetite, it shouldn't really be surprising."
I nod in agreement. What was my excuse, however? Was the Doctor even going to mention my participation in the events? And then it suddenly dawns on me. Does the Doctor even know of my participation?
I'd just assumed that he'd scanned Tom, but what if he hadn't? The Doctor would have been under the impression - the rather natural impression - that all the semen covering Tom was his own.
If that was the case, then the Doctor would have told Tom that... what? Spirits! No wonder Tom's so embarrassed. I must speak with him straight away. Tell him what really happened.
I stand up carefully. "I'll speak with Tom at once."
"Thank you, Commander."
No Regrets - Part 6
There's no answer when I buzz Tom's quarters. I know he's in there. I've already checked with the computer. I buzz once more. "Tom, it's me... Chakotay. I really need to talk to you."
Why won't he answer? I know he's embarrassed, but I'm beginning to worry. "Tom, please let me in."
I wait for a few moments and then buzz again. Still nothing. My worry sharpens. Underneath Tom's carefree, cool demeanor is a very vulnerable and volatile man.
Has his mistaken embarrassment caused him to do something foolish? Without further hesitation I override his lock out codes and hurry inside. There's no sign of Tom, but the computer insists he's in here.
Searching frantically around the room for a body lying somewhere, it suddenly hits me that there's water running in the bathroom. A story I once read about a woman who'd been so badly humiliated she could no longer face the world, plays in my mind. She'd slashed her wrists while in the bath.
Panicking completely, I hurry into the bathroom pulling open the shower stall without another thought. My heart pounding with dread, I peer through the steam and then gasp at the sight before me.
Tom gives a yelp of surprise. "What the fuck?"
"Spirits, Tom, I'm sorry."
He turns a bright and fiery red and I'm completely frozen to the spot. I can't move. I can't even think.
Tom suddenly howls in agony as the shampoo that's been cascading down his face suddenly runs into his eyes.
His cry breaks my stupor and I back away and hand him a towel. He rubs furiously at his eyes and I take advantage of the fact that he can't see to continue to stare at the wonderful body before me.
He stumbles from the shower, the towel still to his eyes and I quickly step out of the way.
"What the hell are you doing, Chakotay?" he mumbles into the towel. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm sorry," I say again. "You wouldn't answer when I buzzed and I panicked. The Doctor told me how upset you were and I thought you'd done something to yourself."
Tom bites his lip but doesn't say anything. Dropping the towel from his face he grabs another one and wraps it around his waist. His head stays down, his eyes on the floor.
"Excuse me, I need to get dressed," he says quietly.
"Of course," I say hastily, mortified that I'm still eyeing his body hungrily. All he has to do is look up and he'll see.
He doesn't look up and somehow I manage to turn away. A slight rustling behind me alerts me that he's dressing. I close my eyes as I imagine him standing there naked, pulling a t-shirt over those surprisingly broad, muscled shoulders and rolling it down to cover that taut hairy chest.
I can still remember the way my hands ran through those hairs, the feel of them between my fingers.
I can now imagine him thrusting one firm, muscular leg and then the other into his pants. Gliding the fabric up and over first one calf and then the other. Now the pants are sliding over his thighs.
I remember the soft, pliant skin of his buttocks as I kneaded them in time with each thrust of my groin against his. It felt so good.
I'm hard as a rock as I remember that glorious body displayed before me moments ago. Almost whimpering, I picture his penis, nestled amongst those golden hairs. The penis I'd been staring at, transfixed, only minutes ago.
Tom clears his throat from behind me, shattering my train of thought. "I can guess why you're here. What you're going to say. But, Commander, I'd really rather not talk about it at the moment. I think I need a little time to get over it. I just want to apologize. I can imagine what you must think of me."
I turn around quickly, my fantasy forgotten. "No, Tom. That's why I had to come and see you. You've got it all wrong. I forgot about your claustrophobia. When you started panicking in the lift, I didn't realize what was wrong. You were... er... wriggling against me."
"Chakotay... please! I really don't want to talk about it. I don't want all the vivid details. I've said I'm sorry; you'll never know how sorry I am."
"Tom..." I start to say, but the doors swish open and Harry walks in unannounced.
"Hi," he says and then turns red as he sees me. "I'm sorry, Commander, I didn't mean to interrupt. I can come back later."
"No," Tom says hurriedly. "The Commander was just leaving. Weren't you? I mean... everything's settled now."
There's definite panic in his voice and Harry looks at him closely.
"Actually, Harry, I'd really like to talk to Tom alone," I say. I'm determined to make my confession.
"I don't think now is a good time," Harry says, much to my surprise. "Tom looks tired."
I'm flabbergasted as he takes my arm and leads me from the room. I find myself ejected into the corridor as Harry turns back to Tom.
The doors swish closed before me as I hear Harry say, "What did that bastard do, Tom? You've been crying."
I open and shut my mouth. Crying? Of course; Tom's red-rimmed eyes. But that was from the shampoo. He hadn't been crying. I hadn't made him cry.
I seethe at the unfairness of the accusation. And he called me a bastard! Little Ensign Harry Kim - Mr. Protocol himself - had called me a bastard. To my face. Well, almost.
Of course, that's exactly what I am, but Harry doesn't know that. I picture sending him down to ship's maintenance for a few weeks and all the dirty jobs I can have assigned to him. I feel slightly mollified.
I focus on the door once more. I'll come back later after Harry's gone, and make my confession once and for all. I'll *make* Tom listen to me.
Committed to my decision, I spend the rest of the afternoon and evening in my quarters, rehearsing exactly what I'm going to say.
Later that night, I head once more for Tom's quarters. He's still not alone. B'Elanna is with him, and from the sounds coming from inside, I don't think it would be a good idea to disturb them. At least I now know that whatever he thinks happened in the lift, it hasn't affected his libido.
The thought does nothing to ease my conscience, however. I feel more depressed than I can remember feeling for a long time as I make my way back to my quarters and a restless night's sleep.
"Kahless, Tom. I feel like I'm doing all the work here," B'Elanna growls, leaning forward and biting my neck.
She licks the blood from my wound and chuckles huskily. "Don't be a baby. You love it."
"What gives you that idea?" I grumble.
She sits back up and then grinds her hips down... hard. I groan and she laughs and does it again. I involuntarily begin thrusting up into her moist depths and she moans. "That's more like it."
I want to put my hands on her hips to control the wild ride I know she'll start at any moment now, but I can't. She's holding my hands tightly in her own, using them to brace herself.
Her movements are faster now. "Harder," she screams at me. She loses control and starts squirming painfully over me, her vagina like a huge vice around my erection. Finally, she stops and then starts pounding furiously up and down, her body slamming onto mine. I can feel a new bruise on my hips each time she lands.
She squeezes my fingers so tightly that I'm sure she's broken at least two of them before letting them go to grasp the hairs on my chest instead. Yanking at them until my chest is stinging and burning, she presses both hands down on one of my shoulders as she begins to spasm and jerk.
Screaming as she continues her orgasm, she grabs one of my nipples between her fingers and pinches it - hard - in time with each wave of her climax. I find myself screaming in tandem. She's going to rip my nipple clean off this time.
Finally, the contractions around my penis ease and she rolls to her side taking me with her, wrapping her legs around my hips. "Your turn," she whispers.
I thrust into her gently and she tightens her legs around my hips. I thrust again and this time she wriggles her hips against me. "Harder," she whispers. But I don't want to. I want to be gentle. I don't want to be rough.
It's always rough with B'Elanna. My nipple feels like it's on fire and my neck is still throbbing from her bite. I like rough sex, but I also like gentle, loving sex sometimes too.
B'Elanna doesn't understand that. To her, if you're not screaming in pain and bleeding all over the place then you're just not enjoying yourself.
She rolls over again, pulling me with her, until she's completely under me. "Now fuck me," she says. "Hard."
She scratches my back, drawing blood, as I continue to thrust gently into her. "What the hell is the matter with you?" she snarls. "I won't break, you know."
"Trust me," I whisper in her ear. "Let me show you how good this can be too."
She sighs as I nibble on her ear. "I know how good it can be. Now speed it up, helmboy."
She arches up against me, and the muscles in her vagina grip once more. I'm being held in a vice again.
"Arggggh!" I yell.
She laughs silkily. "That's better." Her teeth sink into my shoulder so hard that I think I'm going to pass out. "Now start pumping."
I do as she says and pound into her furiously. I'm furious with myself for giving into her demands and I'm furious with her for always wanting it like this. Why does it always have to be like this?
She grips my shoulder as she screams and comes once more. Her fingers dig into the wound on my shoulder and I scream in agony as I continue to thrust as hard as I can into her.
Normally her contractions are enough to set me off too, but not tonight. Definitely not tonight. I don't even feel close to coming.
As soon as her climax finishes I stop my furious pumping and wait for her muscles to relax enough to let me withdraw.
She looks up at me, her face full of concern. "Tom? Is something wrong?"
I bite my lip. "I don't know," I say honestly. Her grip loosens and I slide out of her easily.
Rolling off of her and onto my back, I put my arm up over my face. I feel all choked up for some reason.
"Tom, what is it? Did I hurt you?"
'No more than usual,' I want to say, but there's a tightness in my chest and throat and tears are starting to prick at the corners of my eyes.
"Kahless, I did hurt you," she says, her voice full of remorse. She starts to kiss and lick at the wound on my shoulder and then my neck. But it's not that.
The wounds do throb and my nipple still feels like it's on fire, but that's not what's wrong. She's hurt me a lot worse than this many times before and it's never bothered me.
I don't know why, but I feel really upset. I didn't want it to be rough. I wanted it to be smooth and gentle. I wanted it to be velvet upon wet velvet. All I know is that I didn't want it to be like this.
No Regrets - Part 7
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 together."
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 her.
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, B'Elanna.
"Harry said that Chakotay upset you today." Okay, so now I would definitely strangle Harry. "He said that you'd been crying."
"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 bed before."
"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 feelings."
"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 aren't willing..."
"I am willing, Sir. I most definitely am. Please forget I mentioned it."
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 wrong?"
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 investigation."
I nod, swallowing the lump in my throat and Tuvok hits his commbadge. "Bridge to Paris." Silence. "Tuvok to Paris, please acknowledge."
"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 possible."
"Damn it! I mean... yes, Sir. My apologies, Sir. I'll be right there."
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 fine.
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 on it.
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 again.
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 come?
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 myself anyway.
"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.