A/N: Ok, so I read Time Riders and fell in love with Liam. I mean, it's not possible to not love Liam. And as I was reading it, I began to think why in the heck no one decided it would be a good idea to teach him how to swim? I mean, really? So, instead of writing an angry letter to the author degrading him for his apparent lack of sense, a wrote a story about it. Read and review. And enjoy.
Liam clung tightly to the smooth edge of the displacement chamber or, as he liked to call it, the fishbowl.
"Ready for your first swimming lesson?" Foster asked. He was floating across from Liam.
"I-I don't think I am, sir." Liam grimaced at the older man, who smiled reassuringly back. Unfortunately, it did nothing to reassure Liam, who was beginning to realize just how bad of an idea this was. It had sounded ok when Foster suggested it, and even better when they were picking out a bathing suit. But now, it was just stupid.
"You're a brave lad, it'll be easy." Foster encouraged.
"Yeah, and swimming is jahulla fun!" Sal piped up from the cement floor below. Her and Maddy had gathered to watch the events unfold.
Liam felt sick to his stomach. He gripped the edge tighter and tried to concentrate on anything but the bottom of the tank far below.
"Ok, Liam, swim out a little and swim back. You don't have to go far, just a little way out." Foster instructed and Liam gulped. He took a deep breath, preparing to leave the safety of the edge.
But he couldn't do it.
"I-I don't think today is a good day for this." He breathed deeply, "Maybe-maybe another day?"
"No Liam, it has to be today. Just swim out a little bit. Not far." Foster treaded water effortlessly and Liam vaguely wished he could do the same.
Hyperventilating, he willed himself to let go of the edge. Carefully, he took one finger off the side.
"That's it, now the others." Foster grinned.
Liam lifted another finger off the side, but quickly put it back down.
"I'll sink to the bottom, so I will. All the way." He breathed heavily and the water rippled slightly. Against his better judgement, he peeked down, and gasped.
"A bloody long way down." He put his other finger back on the side.
"You won't sink." Foster promised, but Liam didn't believe him.
"I re-I just don't think I can do this." Liam whimpered and Foster sighed.
"You have to, Liam. It's for your own good."
"No." Liam shook his head and Foster let out another sigh.
"Please?" Foster pleaded.
"Yeah." Sal joined in, "You can do it!"
"I-I can't." Liam felt sick. He knew he was letting everyone down, most of all himself, but he just couldn't do it. He was too much of a coward.
There was a long pause, then a heavy sigh from below.
"That's it." Maddy grumbled, "I'm coming up."
There was a soft shuffling noise from below, then Maddy appeared. She glared at Liam.
"Look," She began and Liam winced. She was going to lecture him.
"Don't lecture me!" He begged and she rolled her eyes.
"I'm not. I swear. Just...hear me out." She took a deep breath and smiled slightly, "I used to be terrified of flying. I couldn't fly anywhere. Couldn't even go in an airport. I was so terrified."
She chewed on her lip "One day, I had to fly. No questions asked. No way out. It was for a really important job interview."
"I went to the airport. I was sobbing. I got all my stuff ready and went to wait for my plane."
She pushed back her hair.
"I just sat there crying. I knew I couldn't do it. And then, I heard someone saying my name. It was my friend, Angela."
"What was she there for?" Liam found himself feeling bad for Maddy.
"She knew I was afraid of flying. She'd come to see if I was ok. Of course, I wasn't. So, she told me she was going to fly with me."
"She did. And I found that I wasn't nearly as afraid. What I'm trying to say is, facing your fears is much easier with friends. So..." She grinned and stood up, "I'm going to help you learn to swim."
"In your clothes?" Liam laughed and she laughed as well.
"No moron, we got bathing suits to." She pulled off her t shirt to reveal a brand new bathing suit, "Come on, Sal!"
With a splash Maddy jumped in and Sal soon followed. They floated to the middle of the tank and Foster smiled at them.
"Coming?" Maddy turned to Liam and he sucked in a deep breath. Nodding, he slowly released the edge. As soon as he did, he bagan to kick and thrash wildly. Somehow, he managed to make it to the opposite edge. In a panic, he gripped the edge until his knuckles were white.
But he'd done it. He'd actually managed to swim.
"Go, Liam!" Sal whooped and Liam laughed.
"You're right, Maddy." He pushed off from the edge carefully, "It's much easier with friends."