Author's Note: Thanks to everyone who left nice reviews. I really, truly
appreciate them. Certainly wouldn't continue without them, but all the
same, I'm sorry this is taking so long. Understand though, I prefer
quality over speed, and I even think this was rushed and a bit poor, but
hopefully it will suffice. Anyway, I'm in college at the moment, with lots
of homework and practical work, so I don't know when the next update will
be. However, I WILL FINISH THIS STORY! Thanks again everyone, you guys are
"Sister Mary, I presume?"
The Nun nodded, smiling at the crew, tears in her eyes. She'd heard Lucas'
plea. His first words in almost a week. She'd actually been grateful to
see the young man break down and cry.it meant his emotions were buried, but
not yet dead.
"Nice to finally meet you. I'm Commander Ford, this is Lt. Commander
Hitchock, Doctor Westphalen, Chief Crocker, Chief Ortiz, Lt. O'Neill and
Lt. Krieg. We're friends of Lucas'."
"I know. He spoke of you.before." she trailed off, and they understood she
meant before he had stopped talking.
Jonathan nodded, smiling charmingly, as did Ben, who spoke up. "And the
Captain has told us about you. You've been looking out for Lucas for us.
We can't thank you enough, and would hate to ask anymore of you, but uh.I
don't suppose you can pretend you never saw us...?"
Sister Mary raised an eyebrow, as did the rest of the crew.
"I would do that for what reason?" she asked with a smile, though she had
an idea. It no doubt had something to do with Lucas' plea not to leave
"To abide the wishes of a sweet kid? To do the right thing? You and I
both know Lucas doesn't belong here. Let us take him with us. Maybe you
can claim something about having permission from his Dad. It'll be
impossible for them to deny it, cause they'd never get through to confirm
whether he did or didn't-"
"Leuitenant." Bridger spoke up, looking sternly at Krieg, though truly,
the plan sounded damn good to him. "I applaud your imagination.I never
plan to play poker with you. However, there must be another way besides
bribing a Nun. I-"
Suddenly his PAL beeped, and everyone went silent. Bridger had felt Lucas
stiffen in his arms at the sudden noise, then relax as he recognized the
familiar communication tool.
Bridger motioned to Ben, who came over, and sat next to Lucas, so the
Captain could pull away and open his PAL.
"Nathan, it's me!" the voice of Admiral Noyce exclaimed.
Nathan knew his crew would likely want to hear any news the admiral had.
However, just in case it wasn't good, he didn't want Lucas to hear it. The
Captain stood and walked several meters away to talk quietly with his old
"Any news, Bill?" he questioned urgently, as he stopped beside the wrought
"The appeal to reconsider putting Lucas back on board has gone through.
The seaQuest will be docking for a month, while we work it out. I'm going
to get the top scientists and big wigs who have met Lucas to propose on his
behalf that he stay aboard seaQuest. In the mean time, I've managed to
convince Wolenczak to allow you to be his guardian, to keep him in your
care, while this is all going on. It took a lot of weaseling on my part
Nathan, so I hope you haven't changed your mind."
"Of course I haven't, Bill. You have no idea how great this news is to
hear. You couldn't have called at a better time."
"Why? What's wrong?"
"Not now. I want to get Lucas out of here."
"Stay in the area, Nathan. He can't be back on seaQuest yet, and Wolenczak
didn't want him leaving the country.that means the main land. No hauling
him off to your island."
Nathan sighed. *And that would have been ideal in getting him to open up,
a more relaxing atmosphere near the element he loves.*
Instead he said, "All right, Bill. I don't suppose-"
"I've booked you, and the senior crew, some rooms at the Plaza on the
coast. I figured they'd want to be close at hand, but everyone else is
welcome to either stay aboard seaQuest while she's docked, or head home.
They've got to be back by the end of the month though. Whether Lucas is
back aboard or not, the crew and YOU are."
Nathan nodded, thankful for what they had going for them so far.
"I understand. Thank you, Bill. This means a lot."
It was Noyce's turn to nod. "Tell Lucas I'm rooting for him."
"I will. Keep me posted."
"Same to you, Nathan."
Flipping his PAL off, Nathan looked back at his crew, including the fifteen
year old who still looked pale, and not really himself, but no longer the
shell of a human he had been less than an hour before. Smiling as Ben said
something that got a hint of a smile from Lucas, Nathan headed back to his
friends, to tell them all the good news.
Lucas looked around the room in disinterest. Most kids would be wowed by
the large, spacious suite that he and the Captain would be staying in for
the month. Lucas however, was used to it. Though his home life had always
been rough, abusive, emotionally neglectful.sometimes even physically
neglectful, in that on the helps day off, he'd often had to cook for
himself, even at five years of age, he had never lacked in material things.
His parents were rich. He'd lived in a big house, with all the newest
technology and entertainment.
He'd been to more of his parent's social events then he cared to remember.
Though his parents despised him for "what he'd done", for "being born",
they could not ignore the fact that he was bright, charming and quite
handsome.the perfect tool to lure in potential funders who oohed and awed
over the cute little genius with the sweet smile.
And dancing, oh yes, Lucas knew every dance there ever was for such events.
His father had often made him dance with the daughters of potential
partners, and even their mothers and grandmothers.
Lucas sighed in remembrance. He supposed it wasn't so bad.those people had
always been nicer to him than his own parents.
Looking over as the Captain set his seabag down and tipped the bell boy, he
felt another wave of guilt hit like a tsunami. Despite the relief at being
out of the orphanage, he knew he was the reason seaQuest was docked and her
crew grounded for a month way ahead of schedule.possibly taking out of
their next docking, and messing up people's plans. He was always messing
up people's plans.
Lucas jumped, but calmed remembering where he was and who he was with.
He smiled weakly as he turned to the Captain who looked concerned, but said
nothing. Lucas knew he'd noticed Lucas jump from time to time, and
silently berated himself. He recalled what Ben had said earlier, what they
suspected of his past. It was his fault of course, everything was. He
couldn't even manage not to jump out of his skin when someone moved
suddenly or surprised him, making them suspicious.
*Moron,* he thought. *You should have been more careful.do you WANT them
to know. To REALLY know.?* He paused, considering. "*Do I?*"
"Do you what?" Lucas jumped again, forgetting that the Captain had called
to him moments before, and then realized he'd spoken the last out loud.
He blushed. "Nothing, sorry."
Nathan smiled, slowly and gently taking the teen's arm. "Come on, Pal.
Ben and Miguel suggested we head back to the fair. They have rides lit up
at night and that "spectacular" light circus."
Lucas smiled back, heart lifting a little. Maybe he was a little old for
fairs and circus', but he'd never really been to any when he was
younger.his parents never took him. When he'd been there earlier that day,
in his earlier state, he'd barely taken in the surroundings. Maybe this
time he could really enjoy himself.
Lucas smiled as the crew made their way toward the circus. They'd had fun.
Though Lucas was still quiet and withdrawn, he had smiled for them and
spoke when spoken too. Things were looking up.
As they rounded the corner of the fair grounds, past the stables, they came
to the entrance, a huge arch, alight with flames. This circus was all
about a light show with animals.lights, firecrackers and flames. And
flames were a problem. Ever since that day, when he was left alone with
his sister.that fateful day she died, and the day a year later where he
himself nearly died in a fire set by his own father, the child had been
deathly afraid of fire.even the flicker of a candle, the constant reminder
of his failure, troubled him.
He slowed down as they approached, looking wildly from side to side.
Wasn't there another way in? The crowds rushed through, unharmed. It was
well and safely maintained, with a wide glass shield that kept the flames
at bay, from being any danger to the fair goers. That changed nothing for
Lucas. Flames were flames, horrible and deadly. HE would NOT walk through
there. Seven meters back, he stopped and stared.
Red, orange, hints of blue and green. Perilous beauty. Oh how he hated
it. His heart pounded in his chest. It took up all residence of sound in
his ears, but for the silent roar he imagined from the fire. It wasn't
there but he heard it.heard the cribs wood crackle, the silk drapes sizzle
and pop. And that's all he heard.
His friends voices faded, their questioning looks unnoticed.
"Lucas? What are you staring at? Come one, we're gonna miss the
show.Luke?" Ben looked at his friend, and noticed the terror, bright in
the large blue orbs. Terror of what? Ben followed Lucas' gaze, as did the
"The arch?" Crocker asked, brow furrowed. "The fire? It's okay, Lucas.
You know better than any of us how safe it is. Humor me kid! Rattle off
exactly how the flame can't hurt us through those coverings." Crocker was
teasing, attempting to get Lucas' attention, but the boy didn't appear to
hear him.to hear any of them. He'd gone paler, and if they looked closely,
they saw his hands twitching.
Suddenly, just as Bridger reached to touch his shoulder, even willing to
startle him to get him out of this trance like state, Lucas bolted. They
all started in surprise, watching him run into the stable, before snapping
out of their own shock, and hurriedly following him.
They found him at the far end of the stable, standing beside the stall of a
large dapple grey horse. He was trembling, and didn't appear to hear their
approach. He was leaning his stomach against the stall door, his face
buried in the horse's neck. The horse eyed the strangers, before gently
nudging the frightened stranger that stroked her long powerful neck.
Finally hearing them come to a stop behind him, he turned towards them, but
his eyes were fixed on the floor, his right cheek against the horse's left,
while his right hand came up to stroke the horse's velvety nose.
Carefully stepping forward, Bridger took Lucas' free hand. "Talk to me,
Silence. The crew didn't think he was going to speak. However, Lucas
found himself speaking as if by another's will. He didn't want to tell
them this, did he?
Whether he did or not.he did anyway.
"I was four.she was .she was just a baby. And I killed her."
The crew shared wide eyed looks. Jonathan spoke up first. "Who? What?
Whatever happened, I'm sure it wasn't-"
"I was supposed to watch her. She was crying. I couldn't quiet her, so I
ran downstairs to call the neighbor. I left her alone. She screamed and
cried, banged her crib, and knocked a candle over. Seconds.it took
seconds. I ran back, the entire room was in flames.it hurt to breathe, it
was so hot. But she needed me. I'd already failed her once, I couldn't
fail her again."
The crew once again shared astonished looks. He blamed himself? Where
were the child's parents? Why was a four year old being responsible for a
"I went to pick her up.she threw herself in my arms.she trusted me so much.
She was too heavy.or I wasn't strong enough. She threw me off balance. I
started towards the door. But something fell on me.and then, as I lay
there, and couldn't move.it stopped. She stopped.she wasn't crying
Tears were in Kristin and Katie's eyes, and old pain and guilt shone in
"Who was she?" Jonathan asked quietly.
There was a long, tense pause. The crew waited patiently for their friend
Note: Recall this is AU people, so no paying attention to Lucas' lack of
fear in the Captains's cabin in "Knight Of Shadows".