Harry threw back what was left in his glass and grimaced as the sharp liquid rolled down his throat. It was all you could do not to laugh at him; try as he might, the ensign just couldn’t keep up with you or Tom when it came to drinking. It was always amusing to see him try though.
“In my defence,” Harry said, holding a finger in the air as he prepared to list off all the reasons why that particular romantic disaster hadn’t been completely his fault. Unfortunately, he could only conjure one reason. “I didn’t know she was married to the king or that her definition of an open relationship was different to his.”
“One day you’ll find someone who is actually attainable,” Tom laughed, his gaze briefly flickering across the table to where you were sat.
You narrowed your eyes at him. Drop it, Paris.
Tom threw his hands in the air defensively. “I didn’t say anything.”
“What?” Harry asked, looking a little more lost than usual. Tom always teased that it was his permanent expression but you thought it was sweet how Harry found interest and intrigue in the unknown instead of treating it as something to be wary of. Most of the crew had been the same as him once but the past 5 years had been long and difficult on them all. That Harry kept his wonder was something to celebrate.
However, right now his curiosity was not something you wished to indulge. So you flung the conversation in a different direction, turning the talk of romantic failures back on Tom. “Remember Alnaphus 5?”
“That’s not fair,” Tom whinged, sinking into his seat in a rare show of embarrassment. “I was not the only one on the ship who thought he was a woman.”
“Technically they were,” you pointed out, much to the boys’ confusion. “Well, Alnaphanians have both male and female organs. One gender, the equivalent of male and female combined.”
Narrowing his eyes, Tom rest his elbows on the table edge and asked, “You know that how, exactly? Been sneaking looks at the medical files? The Doc will kill you if you have.”
“You aren’t the only one on the ship turned on by a beautiful face. I just have better luck when it comes to gaining their… attentions. Let me tell you that Alnaphanians have incredible stamina. And boy they’re really quite flexible indeed.” Although something you avoided doing often, you let the pleasant emotions associated with the vivid memories drift to the minds of your friends just to rub in their faces what they’d missed out on. There were no details, of course - you were close but not that close - but it was still enough to leave them simmering with jealousy. Running a hand through his hair, messy after a long shift, Tom groaned, “What have you got that I don’t?”
Running a hand through his hair, messy after a long shift, Tom groaned, “What have you got that I don’t?”
“Well, Y/N’s beautiful, smart and fun to be around. None of which can be said for you,” Harry cut in.
A warmth flared in your chest at his words, reigniting emotions that you had buried for too long. Harry was oblivious as ever but Tom noticed right away. He kicked you under the table, urging you to act now before it was too late. Stop pining and tell him.
I wish I’d never taught you how to communicate like this, you replied, pointedly ignoring his actual message. Really, you should have known better than to teach Tom how to speak with you telepathically. He never used it in actual emergencies, only to make sarcastic or unwelcome observations about your feelings for Harry.
Say something or I will.
Paris, if you dare…
You felt his intention rolling off his skin and knew this was not an empty threat. While he was doing it out of love for his two best friends, that did little to lessen your urge to slap him. In perfect unison, talking loudly to drown the other out, you both began to speak.
Tom said, “Y/N is in love with you, Harry.”
“Harry had a crush on you, Tom,” you said, speaking the first thing that came to mind and immediately regretting it. That wasn’t your secret to tell and you felt awful for mentioning it.
A long moment of silence stretched across the table before Tom grinned and said, “Well, I’m awesome. Of course he did.”
Patting you both on the shoulders, Tom downed the last of his drink then stood up to leave. “See you both bright and early for Alpha shift.”
“I’m so sorry, Harry,” you said the moment that Tom was out of the mess hall. “I didn’t mean to say anything so personal, I just panicked.”
Too calm for your liking, Harry asked, “How did you know?”
“Betazoid, remember? I can pick up your feelings. I try not to but Humans are just so loud. Your feelings for Tom were pretty obvious, anyway. I’m sure everyone knew. It’s half the reason B’Elanna took so long to marry him because she thought you two had stuff going on. The other half is he can be a right dick.”
“Was he telling the truth? About you… you know?”
“Why didn’t you say anything before? You must have known that I felt the same way.”
You scratched the back of your neck awkwardly. He was right. You had picked up on his feelings but it was difficult, if not impossible, to discern the different types of love in a species so complicated as Humans. You hadn’t wanted to get your hopes up. Even now, with him literally confessing to your face, you found yourself giving him a way out in case his feelings weren’t true. “As I said, I try not to read people when I can. Plus you’re my best friend and I didn’t want to ruin -“
Harry pressed his lips to yours in a soft kiss. His fingers gently brushed over your skin but there was no hesitation as he pulled you closer, deepening the kiss until you could both hardly breathe. Holding back a grin, Harry said, “I’ve got some time coming up on the Holodeck. We could do something nice. If you want.”
“Yeah. Yes. Definitely. There is nothing I’d rather do.”
From somewhere in the ship, you could hear a familiar, annoying voice in the back of your mind. You’re welcome. Maybe now we can go on double dates.
Tom, I swear if you don’t shut up right this instance…
Back at the table, Harry reached down and took your hand, the light squeeze pulling your attention back to the mess hall. He was watching your expression carefully, able to guess who was bugging you. “We’re never going to hear the end of it, are we?”
“No,” you said, completely certain that Tom would laud the fact that it was him and his intervention that finally got you two to admit your feelings for each other. “No, he will never let this go.”
“I’m glad he did it, though.”
“Yeah, me too, Harry. Me too.”