The Winning Hand

Author's Note: Just a little something that I wrote. It was originally intended to be story notes for something longer, but morphed itself into being a little one-shot instead. Blame it on a combination of watching Army of Darkness and then the episode of Supernatural with Ted Raimi, which in turn sucked me back into a seaQuest mindset. And Robin too, because most everything is her fault in one way or another.

Disclaimer: I own the first two seasons on DVD. Does that count? No? Then I don't own any of them, which is a shame, because the show had so much potential.

The irony was brilliant, of course; serving with the son of the man who had been her idol, her role model, and later her mentor. Using the skills he had inspired in her against him. It had all seemed so perfectly laid out in the beginning. She had been two years ahead of Robert Bridger at the Naval Academy, had tutored him in physics when he struggled through the laws of motion and simple circuitry. It was like looking at what the great Nathan Bridger had been twenty years ago, like watching a flower bloom in stop-motion, and she was part of that.

She loved him, and she loved the idea of him. The son of the great naval hero and his protege, together. Like something out of a movie. But things weren't headed towards happily ever after, and she wouldn't take second place. Not ever. He had taught her that, and he had taught her to take any advantage she could get, to play her hand close, to not let others know her cards too soon. And he had taught her about seizing opportunity when it knocked.

Perhaps that had been the beginning of the end. Dear Robert, sweet and lovable Robert, had rejected her, and she wouldn't, couldn't take no for an answer. It had been luck or chance or fate that had caused their boat to start sinking, had caused Robert to hurt himself. It had been the perfect opportunity, and it had been so easy to lie about what happened, because they would never be able to recover any bodies from the doomed submarine, and no one would doubt her word when she told them that Robert Bridger was dead, that he had died trying to save the rest of them, oh so noble and brave.

She kept him safe, kept him alive and secret, and he didn't remember the truth, didn't even remember his own name, and she was thrilled that he was all hers now, so very trusting that he was. It was a shame that she couldn't spend more time with him, but she had command of the seaQuest now, and things were just so perfect, just like in the movies.

It amused her that Nathan never figured it out, that he was so naive. He trusted her (like father, like son, after all), even up until she betrayed him so very openly, and she laughed because she knew the truth about Nathan's son, and Nathan never would, because her boat was sinking and she knew there was no salvation this time and Robert would never know that his father was still alive, there would never be a happy reunion, and despite everything she had won.

Someday, she hoped, Nathan would realize just how much Marilyn Stark had learned from him. Someday, he would realize that the student really had surpassed the teacher, and she would already be gone and he wouldn't be able to do anything more than curse her memory.

Yes. She had won.

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