Twist of Fate

A/N: This story is set approximately 2 weeks after the close of Crawling out of the Darkness. While it is not necessary to read Crawling first, it might help answer a few questions since I don't plan on re-telling much of previous events. In fact, the first chapter of this story can be read as "Crawling Chapter 21." I hate the title, but I'm awful at coming up with them. If you hate it too, just call it "Crawling – the sequel." LOL

The following disclaimer can be held for every chapter written from the first to the last. I do not claim to own any aspect of seaQuest. The show and all recognizable characters remain the property of Amblin Entertainment, Universal TV, and creator, Rockne S. O'Bannon. I am merely borrowing them for a short period of time and promise to return them relatively unharmed.

Chapter 1

He sat on the dock, feet hanging over the edge, enjoying the calmness of the night. He leaned back against the wood post and looked out across the surface of the water. The moon was full tonight, and despite the lack of lights on the remote island, the ripples of water reflected the moon's natural light back at her. It was peaceful out here. The only sounds to punctuate the still were the gentle laps of water against the wooden dock and the faint hum of insects from within the trees. Everything about this moment was so different from his life on seaQuest, making it even more special. He closed his eyes and let his head fall back against the post. He could feel the light of the moon on his face - could feel the reflection from the water – and he took a moment to imprint the memory in his mind. This was one he knew he'd want to revisit when life on the UEO's finest sub became overwhelming; a touch-stone of sorts.

Lucas felt vibrations in the wood, indicating that someone was walking towards him at the end of the dock. He didn't need to open his eyes to know who it was. Captain Bridger sat next to him without uttering a word, seeming to understand the importance of the silence. Lucas felt a warm hand, rough from years of hard work both in the Navy and on this very island, placed on his back. The retired captain pulled Lucas closer to him, wrapping his arm around the younger man's shoulder. There weren't too many people in this world that Lucas would ever allow this intimate a gesture, but with the captain – a substitute father-figure – it was welcomed.

"Another nightmare?" Captain Bridger asked quietly.

Lucas just nodded. It was nothing new. He'd been experiencing nightmares regularly since he'd been taken prisoner by Harrington and the Macronesian Confederation, but they were becoming less frequent and less intense. As usual, his recollections of the dreams were reduced to shady fragments within moments of waking. Unfortunately, the captain had been woken more than once by Lucas' screaming in the middle of the night, sometimes more than once a night, but each time he'd said the same thing.

"They'll stop. Just give it time." Lucas knew he was right, and it never failed to make him feel better hearing those words directly from the older man.

It was late, and Lucas knew he needed to get back to bed soon. He was supposed to catch a ride with the supply boat to the mainland early the next morning. There, a transport shuttle would be waiting to take him to the rendezvous point with seaQuest. Regardless of his early wake-up call the next morning, he was hesitant to break the moment. His two week R&R had come to an end, and he was reluctant to leave the security of Bridger's Island. The time he'd spent with Captain Bridger and little Michael was some of the best he'd had in years. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt such an overwhelming feeling of acceptance and family. It was just a pity that this experience had come at such a high price. If he hadn't been kidnapped and held against his will by the Macronesians, he may never have had the opportunity to reconnect with the captain. They would most likely still be avoiding each other; angry for the others' decisions.

Sighing, Lucas opened his eyes and shifted his position. Captain Bridger was staring out across the expanse of water, just as Lucas had done earlier. The view was deceiving. Both men knew the truth of what existed in the World's oceans and the adventures they held. The serene calmness of the Caribbean waters did not give her secrets away from above. Life onboard seaQuest was as exciting and exhilarating as life on Bridger's Island was safe and welcoming. Lucas could only imagine that the older man still felt the pull of the ocean. Perhaps he was slightly envious of Lucas; of the possibilities ahead. However, Lucas knew that Captain Bridger did not approve of the new UEO; the one that had come to greater power while they had been missing for 10 years. A world on the brink of war was not the welcome that any of them had expected upon their return.

Bridger turned to face Lucas and gave him a small smile. Lucas could tell that the older man was equally as sad to say goodbye. This visit had been cathartic for both of them and neither wanted it to end. Using the post as leverage, Lucas pulled himself to standing and offered his hand to Captain Bridger. The retired captain merely chuckled and swatted his hand a way.

"I may be getting old, Lucas, but I'm not that old."

Lucas grinned in response and waited for Bridger to stand. They both walked slowly back to the small home, Bridger's arm pulling Lucas back to him again.