Right in South Africa the legal drinking age is 18, and you can get your driver's licence at the age of 18 too.

Scary, I know. So this might help.

Anyway this is right after the one episode where the SeaQuest was destroyed- the one with Lucas's father's power plant. Sorry I don't remember the episode's name. Oops.

A huge thank you to my beta reader, Kathy. THANK YOU!!!

Anyway Please review and tell me what you think.

This is dedicated to my friend Liz Webster, who died a few years ago.

Death of an Innocent

Nathan Bridger watched as Ben played with Lucas.

The months went by quickly and everyone became closer, a family. So close that he even fell in love with Kirsten.

Nathan shook his head at how quickly things changed. A few months ago he was sitting by himself on his island, now he was married to Kirsten, and had adopted Lucas.

Not that he was complaining it's just that he never had thought that he would ever get married after his wife died.

Nathan felt happy, the loneliness and numbing pain had gone. Nathan found himself laughing. He headed outside, and sat on his chair.

Now since the seaQuest was destroyed, and they were already making the new and improved seaQuest, everyone was living near the harbour, so they could work, and yet spend time together. It soon became a tradition that every Saturday they would meet up at Nathan's place for lunch.

He watched Ben beg for mercy, pinned beneath the teenager. Ben groaned as he tried to escape, but Lucas wouldn't let him. After many groans and gasps of air that escaped between tickles, Lucas relented and got up, leaving Ben on the ground trying to catch his breath

Miguel, Tim and Ford were laughing at their antics and turned back to their game of chess, while Katie just smiled.

When Lucas came and sat down, he was smiling from ear to ear. Nathan felt his heart sing, whenever he saw Lucas so happy, so relaxed that his smile could reach the eyes.

"Hey, there's a party in town. Can I take the car and go?" Lucas asked

Nathan knew that Lucas had his driver's license and that Lucas was a safe driver. Nathan looked into Lucas's pleading eyes.

Before Nathan could answer, Kirsten came out the kitchen and looked at Lucas seriously.

"Only if you don't drink, especially if you have to drive home," Kirsten warned.

"Just coke," Lucas promised

"Sure, but be back for supper," Nathan said.

Lucas gave his father a smile, got up and went indoors, after half an hour he came out wearing black jeans, with a t-shirt, looking very sexy. When he returned, everyone was sitting by Nathan. They looked up when Lucas walked out. Ben whistled loudly, making Lucas turn a shade pink.

"What?" Lucas asked worriedly.

"Nothing, nothing," Ben said with a laugh.

Lucas blushed, which caused Ben to laugh harder.

"Now, you aren't going to the party alone, are you?" Ben asked.

"I might pick someone up," Lucas said in a soft shy voice.

"Who?" Katie asked.

Lucas looked at Nathan with pleading eyes, but Nathan loved this too much. Lucas gave his best glare, but that caused everyone to laugh again.

"Who?" Katie asked again

"Liz," Lucas whispered.

"You mean Liz, the Webster's child that you seem to spend everyday with?" Miguel asked.

"Yep," Lucas said shyly.

The others smiled. They remembered a shy, sixteen year old girl. She had long brownish hair, with soft green eyes. Little freckles around her nose. She was slim, and beautiful.

"Young love." Tim said with a smile.

The others nodded in agreement.

"Look, I'll be back in a few hours, and BEFORE supper," Lucas said as he glared at his dad.

The others cracked up laughing.

"Have fun, Lucas," Kirsten said.

Before Lucas could move, Kirsten came and gave him a huge hug. Lucas wished the earth could swallow him up right then and there.

Just when he thought things couldn't get any worse, she kissed him on the forehead.

"Ah, mom!" Lucas moaned.

Ben just laughed.

Lucas smiled, and looked at his family. His family, even the word family made his heart beat faster. It warmed his soul.

"Bye," he said as he turned around and walked to the car.

He got in and started the car. Nathan had followed him to the driveway to watch his son drive off. He always did that. Nathan headed back to his family. Some how the word 'family' never made him sad. He'd finally come to terms with his past, all thanks to a special teenager.

When he returned, Katie was teasing Ben about his childish acting. Nathan had to smile to himself.

Life was good.

Lucas drove to the Webster's house. It was a small house, because they didn't have lots of money. He parked in the driveway and went to the door where he rang the doorbell. A middle-aged man opened the door; he was wearing pants with a top and jersey on. He looked at Lucas, very carefully, and then smiled. Lucas had worked for the Webster's when they needed help. And Mr. Webster knew Nathan well, so everyone knew each other. They had been neighbours for a long time.

"Afternoon, sir," Lucas greeted.

"Ah, Lucas, it's good to see you. Come in, son," Alan Webster greeted.

Lucas walked into the house just as Grace Webster came from the kitchen.

"Lucas, good to see you lad. Come, and have a sweet," Grace offered.

Mr. and Mrs. Webster never had a son, just Liz, so they had sort of adopted Lucas, so it was a warm atmosphere.

"Thank you, ma'am," he said as he took a cookie.

Grace smiled, as she went to the stairway.

"ELIZABETH WEBSTER! YOU GET YOUR BUTT DOWN HERE NOW!" Grace shouted.

"Honestly, that girl's got no sense of time. I'm real glad she's got you," Grace confided in to Lucas, who blushed.

Grace hugged Lucas. "You're already family, Lucas Daniel Bridger," she said as she let him go.

Lucas's face was now blood red.

"Thank you ma'am," Lucas blushed.

Suddenly Liz came running down the stairs, and stopped dead when she saw Lucas. His hair was tied back and he was wearing a T-shirt that clearly defined his chest beneath, he had a top, and jeans.

Lucas grinned at his girlfriend. She was beautiful. Her hair was swinging free; she was wearing a little bit of make-up, which made her even prettier. She had a tank top on, and blue jeans.

"You look beautiful," he said.

Liz blushed, and quickly hugged her parents.

"Bye, Ma'am, Sir," Lucas said as he headed out.

"Bye ma, dad," Liz shouted as she ran out the door and headed to the car.

Lucas made sure she had her safety belt on, before driving away.

"So are you excited?" Liz asked.

"For the party, not really," Lucas smiled.

Liz blushed. "Thanks again, for inviting me."

This was the first time, for both teenagers to be going out, as a couple. They had their moments when they didn't know what to do, but they managed.

They really did love each other.

The drive was short, when they finally arrived at the house.

They got out, and Lucas waited in front of the car, for Liz. They took each other's hand, and walked into the party.

The music was playing, people were dancing, and talking. Lucas made his way to the table and took two cans of coke. Liz didn't really like drinking, and Lucas had to drive.

"Oh, come on Bridger, be a man. Have some Al...coh...ol," Matt taunted with a slurred voice.

Matt's breath was filled with alcohol. Matthew Bernard was their collage football star. He and his family were rich, so his manners were little to none. Matt was a bully he thought he owned the world.

I went to a party mom, I remembered what you said

you told me not to drink, mom, so I drank soda instead

I really felt proud inside, mom, the way you said I would

I know I did the right thing, mom, even though the others said I should

Lucas just turned his back and headed to Liz.

"Jerk, just 'because his daddy's rich, doesn't mean he owns people," she spat.

"Liz, don't let him bug you," Lucas said, putting his hand on her shoulder.

They looked into each other's eyes. All they saw was love.

"Lucas Bridger, you're my knight in shining Armour. I love you," she said.

"Elizabeth Webster, I love you, too."

Liz was the same height as Lucas, so she could see into his eyes.

Moments passed, and they finally kissed each other. The people disappeared into the background; they were suddenly in an invisible bubble where no one could reach them. They were happy, and they were excited. After a few minutes they broke their kiss. Both had smiles on their faces.

"Liz, I know we're young, but I can't live without you. I mean after you finish college, do you, do you want to marry me?" Lucas asked.

Liz's mouth dropped. Her eyes grew large. She was shocked. Sure, she'd known Lucas for three years, but this was still a shock.

Lucas looked worried. He was really scared. He hadn't thought about asking her until that moment. Yes, he loved her and he couldn't see a life without her. But marriage? What had he gotten himself into? But in that next moment he didn't care. He knew it was right.

Liz smiled.

"YES!" she replied quickly.

She came closer and gave him a hug, which lead to another passionate kiss.

"So when you're finished with the seaQuest tour, and I'm finished with my studies to become a scientist, then we're getting married," Liz asked

"Yes," Lucas replied.

"Can we tell my parents first?"

"Yeah."

"Tonight?" Liz asked excitedly.

"Yes." Lucas said.

"I can't believe it. I'm going to be Liz Bridger. It sounds right," Liz smiled.

"Sure does."

"Oh, Lucas! Let's get married today," she begged.

"Today?" Lucas asked, shocked.

"Yeah, why wait? I love you with my whole heart, and you love me to. So what's the problem?"

"Got to get you a ring and a dress. I want everything to be prefect," Lucas said.

"Ok, Right before you go back to seaQuest, and I study?" Liz asked.

"Sounds right like a plan," Lucas smiled.

"Let's get home," Lucas said eager to leave the party now that his mind was set on other ideas.

Looking around they realized…that many people where gone, and only a few people were left. Lucas checked his watch.

"We better go."

Now the party is ending, mom, as everyone is driving out of sight

As I got into my car, Mom, I knew I'd get home in one piece

Because of the way you raised me, so responsible and sweet

I started to drive away, mom, but as I pulled out into the road,

the other car didn't see me, mom, and this me like a load

They headed to the car. Liz smiled as she saw Lucas wait for her to climb into the car before closing the door. She smiled when she put her seatbelt. Lucas walked around and got in.

He quickly put on his seatbelt, and started the car. As they were pulling out, a car came out of nowhere.

Time seemed to freeze. Lucas turned to look at Liz, he watched, as Liz's eyes grew large with fear, her mouth opening, as she was about to scream.

But Lucas knew why, he couldn't prevent the car from crashing into them. He couldn't maneuver his father's car quick enough to get it out of harm's way.

"I love you," Lucas said sadly.

"I love you, too," she cried.

Tears ran slowly down her face.

Time seemed to speed up, because the next thing Lucas felt was pain.

Unbelievable pain as he heard metal crash into metal.

He heard Liz scream, as their bodies were jerked into every direction.

As I lay there on the pavement, mom, I hear the policemen say,

the other guy is drunk, mom, and now I'm the one who will have to pay

I'm lying here dying, mom, I wish you'd get here soon

How could this happen to me, mom? My life just burst like a balloon

People that where watching, watched in horror, as the speeding car drove straight into the car. They watched the impact, the screaming tires, and the sound of metal crushing metal, as the one car forced the other in another direction. After a few seconds, everything stopped.

There is blood all around me, mom, and most of it is mine

I hear the medic say, mom, I'll die in a sort time.

I just wanted to tell you, Mom, I swear I didn't drink

It was the others, mom, the others didn't think

The owner of the house ran inside and called 911.

He was probably at the same party as I

The only difference is he drank and I will die

Why do people drink, mom? It can ruin your whole life

I'm feeling sharp pains now. Pains just like a knife

Matthew Bernard looked up from his dashboard to see blood on the window from the other car. He couldn't move. He felt sick, helpless, and lost.

The guy who hit me is walking, mom, and I don't think it's fair.

I'm lying here dying and all he can do is stare.

Tell my brother not to cry, Mom, Tell daddy to be brave.

And when I go to heaven, Mom, put "Daddy's son" on my grave.

Minutes went by when finally the police and medics came. One of the attending officers recognized the car number plate.

"Ah, shit. It's Bridger car. Someone, get Bridger down here. NOW!" Jim Walter, the officer in charge, shouted.

The medics went to Matt first.

"Sergeant, he's drunk, bruised, but he'll live," the one medic said.

"Get him out the car. Mike, get these people away from the site," Jim ordered the second officer in charge.

Officer Mike Fraser jumped into action getting people away.

Meanwhile:

Nathan and the others were enjoying the afternoon. It was getting dark, but it was summer, so the sun lasted longer. They were all outside when a police officer walked in.

Everyone froze; an eerie silence filled the room.

"Mr. Bridger, I'm David Smith. There's been an accident," he said nervously.

Everyone's heart stopped with those few words.

"Lucas, he's ok?" Kirsten asked.

"It's bad. You need to come. We can't get him out, and well…please, just come," David said.

Everyone headed for the door. Nathan couldn't believe it. He felt numb, lost and confused.

It's a nightmare, that's all. It's not real. It can't be real. NO IT'S NOT REAL he thought.

The drive was the longest drive anyone faced. When they got the site, everyone stopped dead in their tracks.

Everyone went closer. Lying on the ground was Liz, she was covered in cuts and bruises and had a collar on her neck; tears were running down her face.

Then everyone saw, the heartbreaking sight.

"Oh no!" Katie gasped.

The driver's side took the whole impact. The engine of the other car was totally destroyed; most of it crushed the driver's side. And there, still trapped in his seat, was Lucas.

Tears run down everyone's faces.

"No," Nathan said softly.

"Mr. Bridger, he's still alive. We're getting him out now, but. I'm sorry…" Jim said.

They all watched medics try and get Lucas out, but the damage to his side of the car was just too severe. The steering wheel had found itself imbedded in Lucas's stomach. The metal of both cars crushed his legs.

He was trapped.

The others formed a circle surrounding him, blocking the inquisitive eyes of the onlookers.

Blood covered his body. His side was just a bloody mess. Thick blood oozed from beneath the steering wheel.

"He has massive internal injuries. He's lost too much blood. We did all we could to make him more comfortable. We can't do anything more, not until we get him out," the medic said sadly.

"We're getting the equipment now, but it might still be a while," Jim said sadly.

He called his men, and the medics, away from the car, giving the family a chance to say their goodbyes.

When the police officers left, Nathan and the others saw Lucas's eyes open. They could see the pain.

"D..dad," Lucas said weakly.

They listened to his struggle to breath.

"I'm here son," Nathan said softly.

"Why...look...so...sad?" Lucas asked.

"My car, you see?" Nathan joked.

"Yeah, needs...to...be...re...replaced," Lucas joked back.

"Lucas, I'm…I'm so sorry," Ben said.

Lucas looked around to see everyone standing outside the passenger's side. He saw tears run down everyone's faces.

"I guess...I...guess... I am not going to...make it this time," Lucas teased.

Katie burst into tears.

"Ah, Katie, don't be s....sad. I had a good life. I...was...hap...py." Lucas was struggling to breathe.

Lucas's breathing became a wheeze.

"Don't...cry."

They watched Lucas struggle for every breath. They watched as blood seeped through the bandages on his body. Every second, his face getting paler and paler.

"Please ....do...don't...blame...yourself." Lucas was really struggling now.

Nathan sat down on the passenger's side, trying to hold his dying son in his arms, trying to give him strength. Nathan could feel his son's warm blood soak through his shirt.

"Oh, Lucas," Nathan cried.

Tears were running down his face.

"K…Katie ...look ...after...Ben...for...me," Lucas begged her.

Katie smiled though her tears.

"I'll kick his ass, for you," Katie said in a shaky voice.

Katie nodded, understanding that Lucas had just said his goodbye.

"Miguel...take....care....of...everyone...and...yourself," Lucas said.

"I will." Miguel voice was filled with pain and sorrow.

"Ford you need to relax and stop...acting....like...you...don't...hav...have ....a....heart....you do," Lucas joked

Ford had a ghost of a smile. But tears still run down his face.

"You are wise beyond your age. I am honoured to be your uncle. Take care, Lucas," Ford said sadly, as he moved back.

"Tim..take..care..and...thanks...for...all...your. advice." Lucas smiled.

Everyone got a shock when they saw that blood was in his mouth, covering his white teeth.

Tim couldn't speak, he could only nod.

Lucas nodded his head in understatement.

"Ben...take...care...of...Katie for...me," Lucas asked.

"I will," Ben said, as he wiped away his tears as more appeared.

"Thank you, big brother," Lucas said seriously.

Ben smiled a sad smile as he moved out the way for Kirsten.

"Mom, thank you for…everything…" Lucas said.

"Oh, my baby boy," Kirsten said before bursting into tears.

They heard Lucas wheezing heavier.

Ford hugged Kirsten as she burst into tears and drew her back from the car.

Ben was holding Katie tightly, Ford was holding Kirsten, Tim and Miguel just stood there, as they all watched father and son.

"D ...dad...please...take...care..of..yourself....Remember …the…good...times. .....You the...best...dad....ever! I love you." Lucas said in a whisper.

"I love you too, Lucas."

"Oh, god," Lucas said, as tears fell down his face.

His wheezing had become worse.

"Take care....of...Liz....dad...I..was...going...marry...her," Lucas said sadly.

"Oh, Lucas,"

Nathan's heart was breaking.

"Asked...her....tonight...she....she...said...yes," Lucas smiled a sad smile.

"Oh, Lucas, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Nathan said as he stroked Lucas's hair.

Lucas started to cough. Blood was bubbling out his mouth. His teeth were now a reddish orange.

"Your the...best....family....I. ever...had...I'm ..grateful...to...have....known....you... Thank ...you...for...taking....me....in," Lucas said, thanking everyone.

"It's me who must thank you. You opened my heart ," Nathan said sadly.

They cringed as Lucas made a choking sound.

Someone should of told him, mom, I would still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, mom, I'm becoming very scared.

Please don't cry for me mom. When I needed you, you were always here.

I have one last question, mom, before I say goodbye.

I didn't drink and drive, so why am I the one to die?"

When Lucas tried to speak again, blood poured out his mouth. The wheezing turned to choking and then silence.

Nathan felt his son go limp, as he lifted his son closer, cradling him from the night's air. Nathan began to gently rock Lucas, like a child. Tears ran down his face.

"No! NO! NOOOOOOO!" Nathan screamed.

The other people stopped working, they all watched the boy die in his fathers arms. They carried on watching the father gently rock his dead child in his arms with tears, crying to the heavens. Everyone found themselves with tears in their eyes.

The silent street was filled with heartbreaking sobs, and silent pleas, that weren't heard.

In loving memory of Elizabeth Jane Webster