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"Far From Here"
By MissAnnThropic

Rating: PG
Disclaimer: None of it's mine. I'm just a sad little fangirl that spends her days writing fanfic and watching taped episodes of her favorite shows :(
Description: Harry and Tom have a talk about Klingon women.

Harry Kim was walking down the hall when he spotted her, coming in his direction, her Klingon stride as strong and intimidating as ever.

Harry froze, eyes wide like a trapped animal, and he looked around quickly for a hiding place. No where to go... no where to hide. He cursed silently to himself, thinking 'aren't they supposed to be off the ship by now?'.

He shuffled quickly to the side of the hall to give the Klingon woman as much room to pass as he could and hope he could stay inconspicuous enough not to be noticed.

Officer Ch'rega moved down the hall, that scowl on her face that she always had, even when she'd been assaulting Harry to try and goad him into mating with her. She was never pleasant looking, although Harry had never seen much in Klingons to begin with. He supposed it took a special kind to be sexually attracted to that feral quality of the warrior species.

Ch'rega neared where Harry stood, but instead of snarling invitingly at him as she might have days ago, she grimaced in disgust and moved on down the hall without another look at him.

Harry released a breath he didn't know he'd been holding, looking after the monstrous Klingon woman. Neelix's little ploy had worked... he wasn't sure he'd been expecting it to, but it saved him a farewell bite on the face (or maybe even an abduction situation that the captain would not have appreciated having to resolve). He'd have to have more faith in Neelix's plots in the future... his plan with Ch'rega obviously worked.

Harry was still on edge when a voice very near his ear called out, "Hey, Harry."

Harry startled, jumping and spinning to face his adversary... only to see that his best friend Tom Paris had come up from the connecting corridor and was spit out directly by Harry's right side.

Tom smirked and frowned at the same time, "Something wrong? You're looking a little more uptight than usual."

Harry shook his head, forcing himself to stand down from red alert, and complained, "I thought I was about to be cornered by Officer Ch'rega again."

Tom's half-smirk faded to be replaced by a total frown of confusion.

Harry started back down the hall, Tom falling in step with his friend as Harry explained, "You and B'Elanna have had your hands full, so I'm not surprised you didn't hear it through gossip."

Tom eyed his good friend, seeing Harry trying to evade the question... or at least postpone it.

"Come on, Harry... out with it."

Harry rolled his eyes, irritated, "It's really embarrassing, but... when the Klingons were on board one of them... decided she was interested in a more personal relationship."

Tom's eyes widened a bit as he stared at his friend, and Harry stopped, faced Tom, and titled his head to the side so Tom could see the faint bruise left from Ch'rega's mating call on his cheek.

Tom, instead of being sympathetic or supportive, laughed.

Harry scowled, "Yeah... that's great, glad you find it amusing."

Tom was nearly doubled over, stumbling after Harry and leaning on his shoulder with one hand as they moved through the hall, "Oh man... what I would have given to see your face!"

Harry shrugged off Tom's touch gently, annoyed, "Hey... it's not funny. That HURT."

Tom straightened, recollecting his calm, "Well yeah... it's SUPPOSED to hurt."

Harry rubbed his cheek in reminiscence, "I'll never get the Klingon appeal of violence and sex." Harry glanced up at Tom, expecting his pilot comrade's usual silent nod of agreement, but instead Tom was carefully quiet.

It hit Harry what he might have stumbled on to... and it was both repulsive and tantalizing at the same time. It felt wrong because it was his two friends, but also there was the mischievous curiosity his thoughts had conjured up.

Harry and Tom reached the turbolift, stepping inside and Tom giving the order, "Bridge."

They stood in silence a moment, then Harry blurted out, "Can I ask you something, Tom?"

Tom nodded, eyes still glued to the turbolift doors.

"How do you stand it?" Harry said bluntly.

Tom startled, then looked over at Harry.

Harry only looked at him pointedly, as if to say 'you know what I'm talking about.'

Tom fought a smile, knowing this was something he really shouldn't be talking about to his friend... not if he wanted B'Elanna to keep speaking to him for the rest of the journey back to the Alpha Quadrant.

He answered cryptically by saying, "It's like Parrises squares... the first few times you get hit you think it's the most barbaric game you've ever played... once you get into the spirit, though, it's part of the action. You should have given that Klingon woman a chance, Harry... you might have found a bit of the sadomasochist in yourself." Tom's brilliant smile was almost wicked in manner.

Harry blinked, opened his mouth to say something, then just laughed. It was surely going to be the last time Harry ever asked Tom about Klingon mating behavior... he didn't want to have that mental image running through his mind anymore than absolutely necessary... but it was nice to clear up the confusion. Interesting... or, as Tuvok might have phrased it, 'fascinating'.


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