Second Chances: Bury The Past With The Present

When an historic cavern is unearthed by construction workers in Lost Valley, a threat from their families past comes back to haunt the Simons and their relatives from Collinswood. Barnabas and Quentin Collins must face their past lives to save their present-day family.

(This is a work of fiction. No money is being made on it, and the characters are owned by Universal Studios and are only being borrowed for a little while. .)

A/N: For any new readers, "Second Chances" is my "what if?" for Rick and A.J. Simon...What if they didn't end the partnership or A.J. didn't marry Janet or Liz... What if Rick had a long-lost sweetheart who needed protection from a crazed stalker? And...what if Rick and his girl fell in love, adopted her niece and nephew, and made a home first in San Diego, then in Arizona? These "what if''s" are the basis for my continuing "Simon & Simon" as if they never went off the air. This series also includes crossovers from Six Million Dollar Man/Bionic Woman and Dark feel free to read my other stories for the whys and wherefores of these three worlds meeting.

"Okay, boys…let it go!"

Watching from a safe distance, Rick Simon covered his ears as the construction manager gave the command, then a muffled "boom" sounded across the valley. Grinning next to him, Ricky and Andy Simon stood watching as a small puff of smoke erupted from the Lost Valley caves.

"Whoa, for all that noise…thought there'd be more debris…" Ricky said, once the noise and dust settled. Rick shook his head.

"Nope, these companies have these explosions down to a science…and they're safer too." His uncle replied, snickering as Rob Gamez approached the three Simon men.

"Looks like you missed the show, pal…" he teased his old friend, smartly dressed in fall colors of rust and brown. The tribal chief just groaned.

"Yeah, right. Right in the middle of a phone call to the governors office, too. ..I had hoped they wait one more minute."

"Well, things happen…" Rick grinned. Just then another construction worker whistled for their attention..

"Mrs. Simon, would you and your husband like to do the honors?"

From behind the four men Laurie appeared, and after stopping to give her husband a kiss, preceded to where the construction workers all stood, waiting.

"Darling, you go first." Laurie turned and beckoned to him, stopping at the entrance of the re-opened cavern. Rick immediately came to her side and picked her up, then carried her through the opening. "Nope …" he drawled, stepping over some of the crumbled rocks lining the passage. "Your Great-grandmother's map, so you get to look first. Nothing to be afraid of…"

"That's what you think…" Laurie said through suddenly chattering teeth. Rick instantly put her down to light a battery-powered lamp attached to his belt, then looked into his wife's face.

"I'm sorry, sweetheart, but you said you wanted to conquer your fear of the dark….I should have told you no…" he began, than Laurie shook her head.

"No, thank you, love…I'm more scared of being afraid then what I would find in here… Just hold my hand, that's all I ask." She told him. Rick lifted her hand to his lips.

"That's my girl…don't worry, I won't let go."

"Light, I'm right behind you, you and Rick just watch your step.." Rob's voice came from behind them, and Rick squeezed Laurie's hand as he trained his light in front of them. The discovery of a copy of a map to the Lost Valley Caverns, found in one of Kasey Adams journals had excited the tribal chief and the younger Simons. The senior Simons were not so happy, though, but had agreed to the chief's excavation efforts.

"Ricky, Andy…you guys stay back until we see how safe this is.." Rick called back to the group at the cave opening.

"I don't remember which way the map said from here…oh, there it is." Rob pointed at an ancient torch holder, lodged in a crack midway up the cavern wall.

"Turn left past the light holder, it said." Laurie said, then followed her husband down a narrow pathway, which overlooked an underground lake. As the three of them turned towards a seeming dead-end, a gust of air rushed from a cave opening in the opposite direction.

"Whoa, I wonder where that's coming from…" Rob murmured, holding up his own light.

As he peered down the passageway, Rick pulled a portable light from his backpack and hung it on another torch holder, a rusting circle of metal jabbed into the rock.

"We'll check this hollow out, then meet you back here…" he told their friend. Rob nodded, then stepped into the shadowy darkness.

As he disappeared, Rick took a firm hold of his wife's hand, then walked toward the turn in the passage. At once a small corridor appeared in front of them, and he started into it.

"….I know this place…" Laurie gasped, yanking at his arm. Rick halted, then Laurie abruptly moved ahead of him, lifting her lamp up to shine light on the path.

Instantly Rick realized where they were, and carefully turned them around and exited the passage. At the same time his watch beeped, and he answered, "Rick here."

"Grandpa, can we come in now? Uncle Oscar's here to back us up." Andy's voice echoed eerily in the cavern.

"Just as far as the first turn, guys…" Rick saw Laurie shake her head "no", and added, "Only for a moment, we're going to get out of here as soon as Rob gets back."

"Okay, Grandpa." A few minutes' later two shadows appeared in the dim light, just as Rob's voice came out of the other cave.

"Guys, there's some kind of relics in here…wait a minute…"

Suddenly a crumbling noise sounded from within, as Rob yelled out, "No! Don't come in, get away!"

As dust began to spew from the passage, Rick pushed his wife toward Ricky and Andy, saying, "Go with the boys, darlin'…I'm going to get Rob!"

"Wait for help, Rick!" she cried, then reluctantly allowed her grandson to take her arm and help her out of the caverns. As they vanished from sight, Rick dove into the darkened hole in the cave wall, then followed the faint light from Rob's lamp. As the passage widened, Rick caught sight of the tribal chief trying to get up from the cave floor, a partially collapsed wall pinning one leg to the ground.

"Hold on….don't move, Rob!" he called, then made his way to the chief's side. Rick immediately reached down and pulled away rocks and debris until his leg was free. Helping him up, he saw a strangely dazed look on his face.

"Rob, Rob…are you okay? Hang on to me, I'll get you out." He told him, then Rob shook his head as if to clear it.

"I'm alright…just give me a minute…."

Not taking any chances, Rick put a firm arm around him and led him out of the room and out into the corridor. Another rumbling sound made both men hurry their steps until they came out of the cave and found a group of construction men ready to go in after them. Laurie and Oscar were right behind them, and gratefully Rick accepted his father-in-law's extra hand in helping Rob out of the cavern.

"Thank God you guys are okay…" the head of the group began, then another burst of dust and debris caused him to yell, "Everyone get back…now!"