DISC: I DO NOT own any of the chars from TSWOAM. They belong to Nickelodeon and Ken Lipman. Anyone you don't' recognize, I own.

God loves you

"Deep Water"

Chapter 1

Seventeen-year-old Alex Mack sat on the boat that was taking her, her older sister, Annie and best friend, Raymond Alvarado, out to sea for a few weeks. They were going dolphin watching, courtesy of Ray's father's friend, Dennis.

Hunter Reeves, Alex's boyfriend, was also coming along with them.

"Isn't this great!" Alex exclaimed as she took in a big gulp of sea air. "There's nothing like it!"

"That's for sure." Dennis agreed as he stood at the helm. "You'll learn a lot more out here than anywhere. That's what my grandfather, Simon used to say.

Hunter smiled as he draped an arm around Alex. He was glad the Mack's, his own mother and Ray's father had agreed to let him come.

They knew the two teenagers were responsible and Annie would be there to watch them.

"So when do you think we'll spot any dolphins?" Ray asked from behind Alex.

"The question you should be asking yourself is when will they spot us?"

Alex giggled.

"Maybe I can morph and attract one." She suggested just low enough for Hunter and Ray to hear her. Unfortunately, someone else did.

"Alexandra Louise Mack, don't you dare…" Annie Warned.

"Annie, relax." Alex assured her. "I'm not going to do that, even if I can. I want them to come to us on their own. Besides, if McKiah's out here, she'll find me no matter what."

Ray gave Alex a thumbs up while Hunter nodded.

"Alex's right. The last time we were out here, McKiah found us pretty fast. And she only had eyes for Alex."

Annie frowned in confusion.

"Who's McKiah?"

"A friend of mine." Alex replied. "A really sweet and playful one. You'll see."

As though just realizing something, Ray spoke up.

"Did you bring your whistle, Al?"

Alex nodded.

"Yup."

"Why don't you play it?" Hunter suggested.

Annie scoffed, but Alex could tell she was teasing.

"Oh yeah. Play the whistle and the dolphins will come."

"It worked before." Alex said defensively.

"I gotta see this." Annie said. "Go on."

Alex glared at her older sister, but her look quickly turned to determination as she pulled the instrument her father had given her three years ago out of her knapsack.

Putting the whistle to her lips, she played a piece she knew McKiah liked from before. It was a simple melody with a lot of little harmonies woven into it.

After a few minutes of playing, Annie was about to say something when they heard a tail slapping the side of the boat.

"Uncle Dennis, do you think it's her?" Alex asked eagerly.

Dennis had allowed the kids to call him that since they were little. And since Alex's family was practically a part of Ray's family, he didn't' mind at all.

"Could be." He answered.

"Keep playing, keep playing!" Ray insisted. He sounded like a kid about to get an early surprise for Christmas.

Alex giggled at Ray's enthusiasm and continued to play.

She had barely reached the middle of the song when a familiar tail could be seen in the water.

Playing the whistle one handed, Alex used her other hand to make a signal and lowered it over the side of the boat.

Annie was about to caution her to be careful, when Dennis stopped her.

"Alex knows what' she's doing, Annie." He assured her. "She'll be fine."

Annie nodded, but she still looked nervous.

"Come on, girl, come and see me." Alex coaxed. She played the last notes of the song and waited in anticipation.

Sure enough, a grey head popped out of the water seconds later.

Alex grinned from ear to ear when she saw the familiar moon shape underneath the dolphin's right eye.

She giggled as McKiah splashed her happily.

"Hi girl! Hi! You heard me calling, didn't you?"

McKiah's reply was a series of squeaks and excited clicks.

Annie watched in amazement as McKiah jumped out of the water, allowing Alex to stroke her beak and the side of her face.

"Hey Dennis, can we stop so I can get in with her?" Alex asked. She was careful not to make the sign for play, just in case they weren't able to stop.

Dennis thought about it before nodding towards Alex.

"We can stop for a little bit. I'm hungry for lunch anyway."

"You said it!" Ray shouted, making Alex laugh and Annie roll her eyes.

"Thanks!" Alex said. She went to change into her bathing suit.

She was back in minutes. She was wearing a bright purple bathing suit with blue dolphins splashed across it.

"Nice choice, Al." Annie commented with a rye smile.

"Thanks. " Alex replied. She knew Annie was only teasing.

"Now remember to stay close to the boat. " Dennis instructed. "Also, when I give the signal to come back, you need to listen."

"Aye, Aye, Captain. " Alex saluted.

This got a chuckle out of Ray.

Alex turned to Hunter.

"Wanna come in with me?"

"I think I'm going to eat first. " Hunter told her. "I didn't have breakfast."

Alex nodded. She and Annie had been able to eat one of their Mom's famous breakfasts before leaving that morning as did Ray.

But Ray was always eating.

"How about you, sis?" Alex asked, turning to Annie.

"No thanks. " Annie said. "Be careful." She added, pulling her little sister in for a small hug.

Alex hugged back before pulling away.

"I will." She replied. With that, she ran for the side of the boat.

Before jumping off, she played a few more notes to make sure McKiah was still around.

As though McKiah was waiting for the call, she jumped out of the water. She was squeaking the whole time as though asking Alex to come play with her and what took her so long.

Alex giggled.

"Hi McKiah! Wanna play tag?" McKiah squeaked again before jumping again as though bating Alex to come in with her.

Annie came up from behind her to get a closer look while still giving her enough space to jump.

"Annie, I would stand back if I were you." Alex cautioned.

"You have enough room to jump, don't you?" Annie asked.

"Yeah."

"Then what's the big deal? I want to take a few pictures of this."

"Okay." Alex said. "But don't say I didn't warn you." With that, she got McKiah's attention and asked her a question she knew the answer to.

"Do you want to play?" She asked.

McKiah responded by jumping out of the water and splashing back down again.

As she hit the water, she managed to drench both Alex and Annie from head to toe.

Alex was giggling so hard, she couldn't see straight for a second while Annie glared at her.

"Alex!"

"I tried to warn you!" Her little sister reminded her.

"Why you little… " Annie said warningly. "You're gonna pay for this. Just you wait."

"You gotta catch me first!" Alex taunted. With that, she ran for the side of the boat.

Giving herself a telekinetic push, Alex landed in the water below.

Coming up for air, she giggled as McKiah circled her before darting away.

"I'm gonna get you, girl! I'm gonna get ya!" She taunted playfully. With that, she swam after her.

She caught up in no time and tagged McKiah on the dorsal fin all in fun.

Alex swam away a minute later and McKiah swam after her.

After a few minutes of playing tag, Alex swam around in circles for a little while.

"Annie!" She called up to her sister. She could see her leaning over the side of the boat, watching her like a hawk. "Come on! It's awesome!"

"Maybe later." Her sister called back.

"Come on!" Alex coaxed. "You'll be fine."

Alex was so engrossed in getting Annie in the water, she didn't' notice McKiah underneath of her.

Before she knew it, she was on her back.

"Alex!" Annie shouted warningly.

"I'm fine!" Alex called back as she put her knees on either side of McKiah and let her friend guide her through the water.

Annie looked uncertain, but Dennis gave her a reassuring look.

"Your sister's as safe as she can be. McKiah won't let anything happen to her."

"How long has she known McKiah?" Annie asked.

"A year or so." Dennis replied. "They're really close."

"I can see that." Annie said with an amazing smile.

Sighing in resignation, Annie left the deck long enough to put her bathing suit on.

Alex grinned when she saw her sister had changed her clothes.

"Are you coming in?" She asked. "Dennis just told me we'll have to come back soon."

"I guess." Annie said. With that, she jumped over the side of the boat and landed in the water next to Alex.

"Hey!" Alex said with a giggle. "You splashed me!"

Annie laughed.

"That was for letting your friend give us both a bath." She said.

Alex grinned.

"I tried to warn you." Alex said.

Getting a curious look on her face, Annie gazed at the bottlenose dolphin in front of her.

"Do you think she'd let me touch her?" Annie asked.

"I'm not sure. " Alex replied. "We can try it." With that, she gave McKiah a signal and she took her over to a jetty where the girls could sit down.

Dennis saw where they were going and followed them.

Once on the jetty, Alex took something out of a small pack at her waist.

Handing Annie a piece of fish, she showed her how to feed McKiah.

"Watch me first." She instructed her sister.

Annie nodded. She couldn't believe she was taking instructions from her little sister, but there was a first time for everything.

"Do you want a snack?" Alex asked. "Come on, girl. Come and get the snack. I have something for you."

McKiah swam over to Alex. She stopped in front of her, but her gaze was fixed on Annie.

"Al, she's looking at me. Why is she staring at me like that?" Annie asked.

Alex giggled softly.

"You have something she wants. And you're new." Alex explained. Then to McKiah she added, "Hey, hey, look what I have."

McKiah's gaze focused back on Alex and took the fish from her rather gently.

"Good girl." Alex said with a smile. "That's my girl. All right. Are you ready to make friends with Annie?"

McKiah squeaked happily before swimming back over to Annie.

"Okay. You need to hold the fish out so she can see it."

"Okay." Annie said. She did as she saw Alex do and McKiah swam closer to her.

"Gently, gently, McKiah." She instructed. "Show Annie what a sweet girl you are."

McKiah took the fish from Annie's hand with care and then gazed at Alex as though to ask if she had done well.

"Good girl!" Alex praised her. "Good girl, McKiah!"

McKiah squeaked happily before going over to Alex and lying on her back.

Alex giggled.

"I know what you want." She said with a grin. She reached her hand out and started rubbing McKiah's belly.

Annie watched in fascination and a little jealousy as McKiah allowed Alex to rub her down.

McKiah righted herself and Alex leaned over and whispered something to her.

McKiah squeaked before going over to Annie and raising her dorsal fin.

"What does that mean?" Annie asked her sister.

Alex grinned.

"That means she likes you." She explained.

Annie smiled from ear to ear.

"I think she's pretty awesome too." She commented.

McKiah swam closer and touched Annie's right hand with her beak.

Annie looked to Alex for how to react.

"Touch her." Alex said as though it were obvious. "Go nice and slow, but she's allowing you to touch her."

McKiah affirmed it by nudging Annie's right hand, wanting attention.

"Okay." She said cautiously. She allowed her hand to touch McKiah's nose and side of her face.

McKiah seemed to enjoy the attention.. She let out a series of clicks that reminded Annie of purring.

Pulling her hand back, Annie let it rest on her knees.

McKiah didn't like this turn of events and nudged her again.

"What does she want now?" Annie asked.

"What else?" Alex said with a giggle. "More attention."

Annie smiled.

Just then, McKiah swam a circle around the rock the girls were sitting on and came back to Annie.

The only difference was, she was facing backwards. This meant her fin was facing the young adult.

"Al…?" She asked.

Alex couldn't believe it.

"She wants to take you for a ride." She said in disbelief and amazement. "She's never done this with anyone else but me before. It took me a week before she let me ride her."

"Is it safe?" Annie asked.

"Very." Alex assured her. "Go on. She'll be gentle with you." She said. She was partially assuring Annie while partially cautioning McKiah to do so.

Annie grabbed onto McKiah's dorsal fin and felt a rush of excitement and apprehension as she felt herself leaving the rock.

Once in the water, she felt a gentle pulling motion as McKiah took her for a ride.

"Go McKiah!" Alex shouted with a grin. "Show Annie how much fun we have!"

McKiah squeaked in Alex's direction before bringing Annie back to her.

"What did you think?" Alex asked as she helped her sister off the magnificent creature of God.

"It was amazing!" Annie exclaimed. "Incredible!"

Alex grinned.

"I told you so." She said. She was about to say something else when she heard Dennis calling them back.

"We better get back." Annie said. "Wanna race back to the boat?"

"No thanks." She said. She whistled a special signal and McKiah came right over to her. "Can I have a ride, girl?" She asked.

McKiah obliged happily.

Alex found herself on McKiah's back again and she automatically put both knees on either side of her friend.

Annie swam next to them as they made their way through the water towards the boat.

Once there, Annie went up first, so Alex could have some time with McKiah.

"Thanks, McKiah." She said. "Thanks for trusting Annie. She's a good person. She's the best sister I could have asked for. Thanks for the good time too. I'll see you later." With that ,she loosened her grip and McKiah slid out from under her. She stayed nearby to make sure Alex got on the boat safely.

Once the seventeen-year-old was aboard, McKiah squeaked a final "I love you" before swimming back to find her pod.

"I love you too!" Alex called as Annie wrapped a warm towel around her and guided her to a chair.

"You two looked awesome out there." Dennis commented as he handed Alex a drink of iced tea.

"Thanks." Alex replied. "It was fun. Huh, Annie?"

"Definitely." Annie agreed. She lovingly brushed a few strands of Alex's hair out of her face.

"Can I go in with you next time, Al?" Ray asked. He appeared with two sandwiches in his hand.

"Sure!" Alex said. She giggled when she saw the food in her best friend's hand.

"Something tells me McKiah's gonna be following our boat for a while." Dennis informed the kids. "And since we're not docking to far away from here, she'll stay close by."

Alex smiled. She liked the sound of that.

"At least we don't have to worry about anyone following us out here." She whispered to her sister.

"Watch what you say." Annie cautioned. "Just because Lars and Danielle got arrested doesn't mean there aren't' other people out there who are still looking for you. Like Vince for one."

"He was fired." Alex countered as a shiver went up her spine.

"It doesn't matter." Annie said wisely.

Alex frowned as she thought of the possibility.

Seeing she might have scared her sister, Annie put an arm around her comfortingly.

"I'm sorry, Al. I didn't mean to freak you out. We probably don't have anything to worry about. Vince never struck me as the fishing type."

"You're probably right." Alex said, trying to convince herself they were safe. She let a nervous giggle escape her lips as her skin started to glow slightly.

"You need to eat something." Annie said in her no nonsense tone. "You haven't eaten anything since this morning."

"Okay." Alex replied. She took the sandwich Hunter offered her and bit into it hungrily.

She must have been more hungry than she thought.

Meanwhile, a few miles away, a black and grey boat skimmed through the water, leaving waves in its wake.

Captain Nathan Blackstone stood at the helm, gazing out at the open sea before him.

He gazed back at the man sitting a few feet away, drinking some whine. He was a retired Navel officer. Nathan had called upon him to help him out with a special mission.

The man, Vince Carter had agreed to help him on one condition. He had taken some time off from tracking the GC-161 kid, but now he was back on the trail. He wanted to find him or her and nothing was going to stop him this time. He wasn't looking for his old job back, since he knew Danielle was behind bars.

He had heard bits and pieces of what had happened when he had returned from his vacation to the Florida Keys, but he didn't listen to most of it.

He had come back to Florida to get some more R&R time. It was only when he got wind that a couple of teenagers were going dolphin watching did he get his brilliant plan. He knew Nathan loved trapping dolphins for research and he knew there were a lot of them out here.

He was also hoping to catch sight of the teenagers who were out here. Maybe just maybe, one of them would be the kid he had been looking for for the last five years.

"Anything yet?" Vince asked, trying to sound more interested than he really was.

"Not yet." Nathan replied. "We'll find some dolphins soon. I'm sure of it. They don't stay away for long."

As they sailed on, they soon heard music off in the distance. It sounded like a flute or whistle of some kind.

Gazing down into the water, Nathan saw a few fins emerge. He sped up, trying to follow them. He kept enough distance away so he wouldn't hurt them, but he wanted to see where they were going.

"What are they doing?" Vince asked.

"I'm not sure." Nathan replied. "But I'm gonna find out."

As he spoke, he saw one dolphin in particular leave the pod and head in the direction of the music.

The Silver Moon followed it, not wanting to lose it for a second.