Title: Species Adapting

Series: Alien Nation

Rating: T

Notes: There may be an M-rated chapter or two that will be published separately. I do not have a beta for this story. I will probably not find a beta for this story, so read at your own risk. I developed (in my mind) the character Asona and her basic story years ago but only now filled in the rest. The stories of Emily and Buck always interested me the most about the show because they had the unique struggle with their identities. Once they were denied their Tenctonese culture only to be bombarded with human culture for the rest of their upbringing, they were truly between worlds.

Story Summary: Buck has struggled with fully accepting Earth as his home, but a possible connection to this world comes in the strangest form.

Chapter Summary: The whole story is based on this scene from "Little Lost Lamb" so I decided to add it in as a chapter.

Disclaimer: Of course, Alien Nation concept, characters, etc. do not belong to me.

Chapter 1: My Savior

Buck sat on the rocks near the edge of the ocean water with his Uncle Moodri as the sea air burned his nose. Although tolerable, he would endure just about anything for elusive answers to those unanswerable questions in his hearts. "What now, Uncle?" he asked the elder in their Tenctonese language, hoping for wisdom of what to do next.

"We continue," the elder responded simply in their language, as though it were nothing more than walking through a door. But it wasn't that simple and the catastrophic outcome panicked Buck.

"We can't!" Buck held the elder Tenctonese man's arm tightly. Buck had shown bravery in many ways but the idea of saltwater dissolving their skin like battery acid made him tremble like a small child. It was a fear that reminded him of being taken away from his parents on the slave ship when younger.

"The salt water could kill us!" he reminded his uncle of their certain death if they were to go anywhere near the ocean water.

"Will it?" the man's aged eyes emphasized the question. Still afraid, Buck let his hands drop and said nothing more as the man walked away from the boy. Buck watched as his uncle sank his toes into the cool moist sand. They should've burned a little as summer, sun-heated pavement burned bare feet, but his uncle showed no outward sign if they did.

But there was no hint of pain on the wrinkled face. In fact, Buck was certain it was more contentment than anything else. One foot in front of the other carried the elder to the edge of the water.

Buck stepped closer, careful not to surround himself with the moist sand but to get a better look at whatever it was his uncle had planned. It was then that the next tide of seawater came in and washed over the man's feet.

The old man turned to face his disbelieving nephew, reassuring him with a smile and arms raised as though proving to a small child that there were no monsters in the closet.

"How?" Buck questioned, desperate for something to make sense.

"I am part of it," the man now explained in English, "and it is part of me. Come Finiksa! Believe that and the water can't hurt you."

Buck wanted to believe it. Somewhere deep in his hearts he needed to believe it, but as his eyes fell to the saltwater, the fear ignited the panic and he found himself involuntarily moving away.

"I'm not you, Uncle." Buck admitted, also switching to English. He was disappointed in himself more than he was before they'd come to this forsaken place, "I don't have your faith."

Perhaps sensing his young nephew's turmoil, Moodri's voice still spoke with all of the wisdom Buck had learned to expect but the tone was also soothing, understanding, "There's no shame in that. Shame is for those who remain blind to themselves."

"I don't know where I belong or who I am!" Buck called out. Although it was to his uncle, it was more of a declaration for himself. Finally, he could say it openly. Half of his life was on the ship in space and the other half on this alien world. In the end, where did that leave him?

His uncle could see something break through within his young relative and knew it was time to tell Buck what had to be told. "With each breath, you join this Earth."

"Are you saying I belong here?" How could he? Buck loved his people and he could never accept humans with the same love. "I hate this world!"

Moodri disregarded the statement, "All worlds are stardust. This world, our world. We are stardust. Scattered, drifting, yet united by one voice. The voice that tells the leaves to turn to the light, the flowers to bloom. It speaks to you too."

Buck wanted to believe his uncle in all things, because even he could sense the truth of what the man offered but they were just words in his hearts. "I can't hear it," Buck felt the same panic he felt when watching his uncle walk into the water that should have burned him.

"I know," the corners of his uncle's mouth turned upward into the smile that strangely gave Buck some comfort. "You carry a wound. And until that wound is cleansed you won't be able to hear the voice."