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

A/N: I told you the next chapter would be coming soon! I hope everyone enjoys this one!

"Deep Water"

Chapter 4

"Where is she? " Annie wondered as she stared into the wide ocean for any sign of her little sister.

"There she is!" Ray called a minute later. 'I see her!"

Annie sighed with relief when she too saw Alex emerging from the water.

"Alex, thank goodness!" Annie exclaimed when she saw she was unharmed. "What happened? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine." Alex assured her. "But McKiah's not. We have to help her!"

"What's going on?" Dennis asked. He started lowering the ladder down for Alex to climb, but she shook her head.

"I'm not coming back up until McKiah's okay. Nathan trapped her in a net! I got her out of immediate danger, but I couldn't' get the net off. I tried everything." She emphasized the word as she gazed directly at Annie.

Annie got the jist and nodded.

"Let me see what I can do." Dennis offered.

"Can I stay with her?" Alex asked.

"I think that would be best." He agreed. "McKIah knows me, but she trusts you above anyone else. I'll be right back." He went below deck and returned shortly afterwards with something that resembled a medical bag in his hands.

"Shh, McKiah, it's okay." Alex soothed. "Uncle Dennis is gonna help you out of there."

Lowering himself into the water, Dennis started towards McKiah.

But as he got within five feet of her, Naia blocked his way.

She made a warning sound that Alex had only heard her make once before. And that's when their mother had been killed.

"Naia, it's okay." Alex tried to assure her. "Uncle Dennis just wants to help."

But despite Alex's assurances, Naia wasn't backing down. She may have been the baby of the family, but she was going to protect her sister from who she saw as a threat. And that person was Dennis.

Getting an idea, Alex sent a telepathic message to her sister. She prayed she was listening.

"Naia!" Annie called a minute after receiving her sister's call for help. "Naia, come here. Look what I have for you."

"Go see Annie. " Alex encouraged. "Go on."

But Naia wasn't going to be persuaded that easily.

"Annie, you might have to get in with her." Alex called normally.

"Okay." Her sister replied. She took two fish in her left hand before jumping over the side of the ship.

"Naia, look what I've got." Annie said enticingly. Do you want the snack?"

Naia glanced over at Annie for a minute before deciding she wanted to see what she had.

She swam towards her and was soon engaged in a game of tag.

"Come and get me!" Annie taunted playfully. "Come on Naia."

Naia couldn't help it. She raced after Annie and caught up with her easily.

"Do you want the treat?" Annie asked. "Look!"

Naia squeaked hopefully.

"You can have it," Annie started. "But you have to let Dennis help your sister. He's not gonna hurt her. I promise."

Naia glanced up at Annie and actually locked eyes with her for the first time since they had met.

Annie remembered what Alex had said and didn't break eye contact. She knew this was a big break through in their growing friendship and she wanted to keep it going strong.

"You can trust me." She said softly. "He won't hurt her."

Finally, Naia swam forward and took the fish from Annie's hand.

"Good girl." Annie praised. "That's a good girl."

After Naia was done eating the fish, Annie gave her one more before patting her beak and then her side.

"We can go over and watch what Dennis is doing, but you have to let him help McKiah. Okay?"

Naia clicked softly before rubbing up against Annie's right side.

"Good girl." Annie said with a grin. She led Naia over to where Dennis was trying to get the net off of McKiah.

Alex was talking to her softly in an attempt to keep her calm.

"See?" Annie asked gently. "Dennis isn't hurting her. He's trying to help her."

Naia squeaked softly before turning her gaze upon Dennis. She didn't leave Annie's side, but she didn't take her eyes off Dennis either.

"I almost have it. " Dennis told Alex.

"Good." Alex replied. "It's okay, McKiah. You'll feel better soon. You're being really good. I'm really proud of you."

"I'm proud of you too, Miss Naia." Annie praised.

"There." Dennis said as he lifted the net from around McKiah's fin.

"Thanks." Alex said gratefully.

"You're welcome." Dennis replied.

McKIah squeaked as did Naia.

Alex giggled.

"I think McKiah and Naia are thanking you too."

"They're welcome too." Dennis said. "Now I think you girls need to get back on board, hmm?"
"Can I say good night to McKiah first?" Alex asked.

"Sure." Dennis replied. With that, he went up the ladder.

"You're okay now." Alex told her. "Do you want a treat?"
McKiah perked up a little at the sound of a treat.

But when Alex extended the fish towards her, she didn't' take it.

Alex tried again with the same results.

"Annie?" She said, her voice laced with worry. "Why isn't she eating? She usually eats for me."

Annie shook her head. For the first time in a long time, she didn't have an answer for her.

"I don't know, Al." She said honestly. "Maybe she's just not hungry."

"maybe." Alex agreed, although she sounded doubtful.

She tried one more time. To her relief, McKiah ate it.

"Good girl. I love you, McKiah. I'm so glad you're okay."

McKiah clicked at Alex as though telling her she loved her in return.

"All right, my Al, it's getting late." Annie informed her.

"Okay." Alex agreed reluctantly. "I'll see you two tomorrow. Be good, I love you both."

"Same goes for me. " Annie told the two dolphins.

Alex and Annie climbed aboard the ship a few minutes later.

"Alex, what happened?" Hunter asked. He came to her side and put an arm around her.

After Alex was sitting in a chair with Hunter beside her and Ray on her other side, she explained what was going on.

"Thanks." She said to Annie as her sister handed her a cup of hot chocolate.

Annie nodded. She sat down across from her sister and listened to her tell her tale.

"It was Nathan." She explained. "He captured McKiah in a net. I'm not sure what he wanted with her, but I couldn't leave her there. Naia came to get me and I went after her."

"You're lucky Nathan didn't see you." Dennis said with a frown. "You need to be careful."

Alex nodded.

"I still don't know how she got trapped in the first place." Alex mused aloud once hse was done telling the others everything.

Annie shrugged.

"beats me."

Ray's eyes suddenly traveled to Alex's whistle that was sticking out of her mini pack. He gasped in realization.

"Your whistle!"

"What do you mean?" Alex asked.

"Maybe they recorded the song you play for McKiah somehow."

"You think?" Alex asked.

"It's possible." Annie said, frowning.

"I never thought I'd see the day." Hunter commented.

"What are you talking about?" Alex asked, turning to her boyfriend.

"The day when Annie agrees with one of Ray's theories."

This got everyone laughing and the tension following McKiah's accident was broken.

But even as Alex relaxed with her family and friends, she had a feeling they hadn't heard the last of Nathan Blackstoneā€¦