"The Price Of Promises Not Kept."

Fandom: seaQuest DSV

by Jade Stiger

jadestiger@2die4.com

Rating: PG: Violence & Dialog

Disclaimer: I don't own them (not yet anyway!), make no money from this work (wish I did!)

Warning: abuse

Many thanks to my beta readers: Gryff and Cassima!

Lawrence unlocked the door and stepped inside, trying without much success to shake the rainwater out of his hair and jacket. He was relieved to be home, the last ten hours he'd spent at the office had been a nightmare. It seemed like anything that could go wrong today had, and in the most annoying way possible.

"Lucas!" He shouted. There was no response. "Probably has his head buried in those stupid headphones again." He grumbled. He started upstairs and the phone rang. Lawrence ignored it, hoping the caller would give up but the phone continued to ring. Thourghly annoyed, he finally answered it.

"Hello." He said tiredly.

"Lawrence, something's come up and I can't possibly take Lucas this weekend. He'll have to stay with you." The woman's voice was cold.

"Damn it Cynthia! You know I had plans this weekend and they did not include our son!"

"It's just not possible for me to take him. You are the one with custody of him, remember?"

"Fine!" Lawrence snapped, slamming the phone down. He stalked into his room to change into dry clothes. After getting into something warmer, Lawrence went downstairs to the kitchen to fix himself a cup of coffee. He was aggravated to find Lucas' books scattered across the bar and the boy's jacket and tennis shoes on the floor. The refrigerator door was open and there was a multitude of dirty dishes on the counter. "That kid!"

Lawrence heated some water and made a cup of instant coffee; he didn't really like it, but they were out of beans to grind. The coffee was bitter and Lawrence dumped it into the sink after only a couple of swallows.

He went into the den and tripped over Lucas' backpack, catching himself on a table before he could fall. "Damn it Lucas!" He shouted, "Can't you pick up after yourself?"

Lawrence stalked upstairs to his son's room. The fourteen-year-old was playing air guitar and lip syncing with his eyes closed to a song that blared through the earphones he was wearing.

"Lucas!" The boy didn't respond and Lawrence reached out and grabbed his son by the arm, yanking the boy towards him.

Lucas frowned at his father, "What do you want?" He asked petulantly.

"I want you to clean up the mess you made downstairs."

Lucas jerked his arm out of his father's grip, "In a minute."

"Now!" Lawrence grabbed Lucas' arm again, this time twisting it.

"Ow!" Lucas yelped, grabbing his father's hand.

"Don't you fight me!" Lawrence growled, losing his temper. Still holding his son, Lawrence drew back his arm and punched his son in the face. Rage overwhelmed him and he continued to punch Lucas until the boy fell to the floor. Lawrence stood over his son, panting. "That will teach you some respect." Lucas didn't move and Lawrence nudged him with his foot. "Lucas?" Lawrence dropped to his knees beside the boy and rolled Lucas onto his back. Lucas' face was bloody and he was unconscious. "Lucas!" Lawrence shouted. "Dear God! What have I done?" When his son didn't respond, Lawrence got up and dashed to the hall phone, dialed 911 and asked for an ambulance. When the dispatcher asked how Lucas had gotten hurt, Lawrence stuttered, thinking quickly, "He, uh, he fell. He fell down the stairs." After he hung up, Lawrence went in, picked Lucas up and took his son downstairs, laying him at the foot of the staircase.

Lawrence stood by wringing his hands as the paramedics loaded Lucas onto a stretcher and wheeled the still unconscious teen out to the ambulance.

"Do you want to ride with us?" The medic asked.

"I'd better drive myself," Lawrence replied.

"We're going to Sisters of Mercy," The other medic informed him, closing the rear doors.

"I'll meet you there," Said Lawrence.

At the hospital, Lawrence spent several minutes filling out paperwork before he was shown to a waiting room.

"How is my son?" Lawrence asked the nurse anxiously.

"Someone will be out in a few minutes to update you on your son's condition." She smiled, reassuringly. "He's in good hands with Dr. DeLacey."

Lawrence began to pace nervously, glancing frequently at the closed doors that separated him from Lucas. Mumbling, Lawrence twisted his hands trying to disguise the tremors in them. Hearing the doors open, Lawrence looked up to see the nurse and a police officer. The nurse said something to the officer and pointed to Lawrence. Nodding, the officer started toward Lawrence him.

Lawrence swallowed hard, feeling his stomach knot. "Is something wrong, officer?"

"I have a few questions I need to ask you, sir," the officer said, taking a pen from his pocket and opening a small notebook. "What is your name?"

"Lawrence H. Wolenczak." He replied, trying to sound nonchalant.

"Spell your last name for me please."

"W-o-l-e-n-c-z-a-k."

"Your address?"

"37251 Coral Palace." Lawrence smiled.

"Your employer?"

"Roxel Industries."

"Where is Mrs. Wolenczak?"

"We are separated."

"And you have custody of your son?"

"Yes." Lawrence gulped. "Is there some sort of problem?"

The officer glared at Lawrence, "I just need some information for the report."

"What report?"

"You are aware that your son had quite a history of accidents."

"He's a kid, kids fall." Lawrence felt his temper getting out of control again. "Are you insinuating something?"

"No, Sir."

Lawrence's voice was getting louder. "Do you know who I am?"

"Yes, Sir, I do. Please keep your voice down;" the officer jotted a few more notes. "Where were you when your son fell down the stairs?"

"I was downstairs, making coffee."

The officer looked up from his notes. "The paramedics reported that you told them you were upstairs."

"They're mistaken. I was downstairs." Lawrence growled. "I want to see my son."

"Just a couple more questions, Sir, then you can see your son."

"I should be with my son."

"What is your son's name?"

"Lucas Daniel Wolenczak."

"Age?"

"Fourteen"

"Date of birth?"

"December 12, 2004"

"Has your son been treated for injuries at any other hospitals?"

"What has that got to do with this?" Lawrence growled.

The officer frowned at Lawrence's tone. "I'm just getting a history. Please answer the question."

"He's been seen at Suburban Hospital in Buffalo."

"New York?"

"Yes. This is our second home; we live in New York."

"Does your son have a personal physician in New York?"

"Yes, his name is Dr. Adam Lowry. Can I see my son now?"

"I'll take you in." the officer took Lawrence by the arm and led him to the double doors of the trauma room.

As soon as they were in Lawrence shook free of the police officer, he felt as if the man were trying to keep him from Lucas. "How is my son?" He demanded.

"He is stable." The doctor said.

Lawrence stood close to the bed, looking anxiously over his son. "Why isn't he awake?" His voice cracked.

The doctor nodded and the nursing staff left the room with the police officer. "He has a mild concussion. He'll most likely regain consciousness again in a couple of hours."

"He was awake?"

"For a few moments."

"Why wasn't I brought in to see him?" Lawrence demanded. "Did he say anything?"

"He couldn't remember what happened, that's not unusual in cases like this."

"What do you mean cases like this?"

"Falls." The doctor gave Lawrence a strange look. "Falls that result in head injury commonly has some amnesia as a result of the trauma to the brain."

"He's going to be all right though?"

"He should be well enough to go home in a couple of days." The doctor frowned at Lawrence. "Discharged from the hospital anyway."

"And what was that supposed to mean?" Lawrence growled.

The doctor snapped shut the clipboard, "Nothing. A nurse will be in to take your son upstairs in a few minutes." He turned and walked out, shutting the doors behind him.

Alone with Lucas at last, Lawrence let his facade of anger and indifference crumble and he laid his head on Lucas' chest. Silent tears wet the blanket his son was covered with, "God, I'm so sorry Lucas, I never meant to hurt you. I promise, I swear this will never happen again." Lawrence whispered.