Harry stared at the scans,silently processing everything. The doctor studied him, nervously.
"I am deeply sorry, Ensign," he finally said. Harry cleared his throat.
"So...you can't operate on it?"
The doctor shook his head.
"It's...in too difficult of a place. I could cause massive brain damage elsewhere."
"I see." Harry nodded. "So...a brain tumor. Huh." He gave a short, almost bitter sounding, laugh.
"Kind of funny, huh?"
"I'm sorry, I fail to see this situation as humorous, ." The doctor kept his voice soft.
Harry rolled his eyes.
"I've been the most desperate to get home, and now it looks like I'll probably die before getting there. Fairly ironic, right?"
The doctor remained silent.
"If you want, I can tell the Captain-" he started to say instead, and Harry quickly cut him off.
"No!" His voice was sharp, and un Harry like. In fact, his whole demeanor was different.
"No...not just yet. I want to keep working as long as I can."
"But Mr. Kim..."
Harry interrupted again.
"You said they have chemotherapy in shots, now, right? And painkillers in shot forms?"
The doctor nodded.
"Then just give me those things on a daily basis. I want things to be normal while they still can be."
The doctor stared at the young man.
"Mr. Kim, if I tell the Captain we could change course-and start looking for new treatment. Perhaps Mr. Neelix knows something. It would be a waste not to look in the Delta Quadrant for a cure..."
Harry was rapidly shaking his head.
"No, don't. We're communicating with Starfleet more frequently than before, and I don't want Voyager's progress to be lost because of my selfish attitude. Even if I can't get home, I want them to be able to. "
The doctor sighed, frustrated-but a new sense of respect lingering in him for the young commanding officer.
"This just feels wrong..."
"It's doctor/patient confidentiality, doc," Harry shot back. "And you are forced to obey that, if I don't cause harm to other people. Don't make me pull know that I can make you obey by just changing your programming, right?"
There was silence.
"Look, doc...I'm sorry." Tears spilled in the young man's eyes. "I would never, ever, ever do that. I shouldn't even thought it up. I'm so sorry, it's just..."
"It's all right, Ensign, I understand." The doctor kept his voice soft, and steady, to hide the hurt. "I won't tell a soul."
"Thank you." Harry's voice trembled as he stood, and started to leave.
"And Mr. Kim?" The doctor added, with more emapthy in his voice.
Harry turned around, still looked angry at himself.
"I'll never stop searching for a cure."
"Thank you again."
The doctor sighed, as he watched Harry leave, wondering how the hell they were going to keep things as normal as possible, and whether or not he should break his promise and tell Captain Janeway that her youngest crewmen was dying...
During the next few weeks Harry became more and more of a recluse, and constantly working on various repairs. Tom first noticed this when he kept on declining a chance to play on the Captain Proton program.
"Is this about you always being a sidekick? Paris finally challenged. Harry looked honestly surprised.
"If you wanted to play Proton that badly, you can. You could have just asked." Tom knew he sounded defensive, but couldn't help it. Harry stared at him, and shook his head.
"No," he said slowly. " It's not that, honest. It's just, the Astro metrics lab needs a lot more repairs right now since the last borg attack. That's all."
"Uh huh." Tom didn't believe Harry for a minute, but let the matter drop. Harry knew he was hurting his friend, but he thought if he was seeing less of the crew after hours-they would take the news of his passing easier.
It was when B'Elanna asked for a personal favor that she and Paris really got suspicious.
Harry was trying not to be uncomfortable as they sat in her, and Tom's, quarters.
"I'm sorry for asking so suddenly," B'Elanna apologized, and frowned as she noticed Harry was squinting as he listened. He had started doing that more in engineering, as well.
"Look, this is going to be a bit awkward for me, but it was Tom's idea. And you are great friends with us both."
"Like family," Harry agreed, with a confused nod. She knew she needed to keep it as succinct as possible.
"We were wondering...would you like to be Miral's Godfather?"
There was silence.
Harry swallowed, and looked stunned. The look wasn't something B'Elanna had totally prepared for.
"You wouldn't have to do anything...it's just, Tom and I couldn't think of someone better to look after her in case something happens to both of us." She swallowed, as she waited, and tried to read Kim's expression. "Well?"
Harry's mind was racing.
Godfather? Damn it, he was more than flattered-but what timing! A cruel joke, for sure. If he hadn't just receieved his news, he would have gladly accepted. But how could he, knowing that he probably wouldn't live to see Miral be born? They only just found out she was a girl, after all. And the way his pain was...he was expecting a shorter time length, than longer He stared at his shoes, and started to perspire. Torres was honestly shocked it was taking so long.
Harry bit his lips.
"Look, I'm really flattered..."She sucked in her breath.
He shook his head, miserably.
"It should be Chakotay."
"Don't sell yourself short."
"Or the Captain," he persisted. "But not me."
"Why?" She repeated harshly. "Why not you, Harry?"
He stood up, and started to pace.
"I'm...not mature enough..."
"Bullshit. Your'e the most mature person Tom and I know. And that's saying something. And don't say it's your morals, either. That's why Tom wanted you. You're his moral compass. We all know that." She fought back tears of hurt.
"Don't be a coward, Harry. If you don't want to, just say it!
"Fine!" Harry shot back. He was breathing heavily. He knew this would end his friendship with B'Elanna and Tom, but better now than later. " I don't want to." He gritted his teeth when he spoke the last words. She stared at him, and he knew he'll never forget the hurt, and lingering question of why in her eyes.
"Get out." Her voice was cold, and filled with anger to hide the other feelings. He swallowed, and tried to collect himself.
"Out!" He quickly obeyed, and waited before he got to his quarters before he collapsed in pain...