A/N: So, I was originally thinking I was going to be writing a one-shot since I've always wanted to do something with Bad Water. I always thought there was something missing from that story. And I do know there have been other attempts out there to resolve the issues with that episode. Ah, but then I also came up with an idea for a new story. So, I thought I might as well kill two birds with one stone. Now, please know this will in no way hinder updates to Remember When. It's just this idea crept up so fast, and I need to pursue it before it gets away from me. This is not the first time I've written two stories at once, and I promise to continue to update both regularly…at least once weekly. Once summer is over, that will probably change to more frequently.
This will also be a sci-fi based story, but it'll be slightly different than Remember When. I have lots of drama and angst planned, but there will be a happy ending as promised. So, this will be started directly after the last scene in Bad Water and go on from there. I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: SeaQuest DSV and its characters are not my creation. They are the creation of Rockne S. O'Bannon as a 1990's television series. This work of fanfiction is for entertainment purposes only and is not for financial gain. I am just borrowing the characters for a bit and promise to return them unharmed and in their original condition, maybe just a bit happier.
Nathan was relieved when he saw the four missing crew members come through the launch bay doors. He'd had to make a difficult decision. Their mission was to rescue the children, and they couldn't veer from that. That meant leaving what happened to Ben, Jonathan, Lucas, and Kristin up to fate. Thank goodness that everything worked out, but if it hadn't, he never could have lived with himself. But he quickly pushed the thought out of his mind. There was no sense dwelling on it, right?
He wanted desperately to go see them, to be sure they were perfectly all right. Of course, he knew they were. Dr. Levin had given him a full update on their health. Despite being a little cold and shaken up, they were fine. "Nothing a few days off-duty won't cure," Joshua said. But Nathan needed to see it for himself. Unfortunately, he couldn't get away from the bridge until hours later. By then, the four of them were resting comfortably in their rooms. Nathan visited Jonathan and Ben first, knowing he wouldn't spend too much time with them. Certainly, he made sure they were all right, made a bit of small talk with them. But really, Lucas and Kristin were his main focus. After leaving Ben's room, he headed towards that of Lucas.
Nathan knocked and waited for a response.
"It's open," Lucas called.
Nathan entered. Lucas was seated in front of his computer playing some sort of shooting game. "Hey, kiddo. How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine," Lucas answered, not bothering to turn away from his game.
"Aren't you supposed to be resting?" Nathan asked, trying to make conversation.
"I am resting," Lucas countered, sounding somewhat annoyed. "Is that what you came here to tell me? That I should get some rest?"
"No, actually I came to see how you were."
"Well, as you can see, I'm fine." Lucas continued to play his game, still making no attempt to make eye-contact with the captain.
"Yeah, you mentioned," Nathan agreed. "Mind if I sit?"
Lucas shrugged. "Sit."
Nathan waited for a few moments, hoping Lucas would say something, but he kept playing his game, not really bothering to acknowledge the captain's presence. Finally, Nathan said, "Mind if we talk?"
"It'd be nice if I had your full attention," Nathan hinted gently.
Lucas sighed and turned off the game. He spun around in his chair, his arms crossed, looking at the captain expectantly.
"Look, you have every right to be angry," Nathan began.
"I'm not angry," Lucas replied. "We knew what had to be done."
"Yes, we did. But sometimes, it's easier said than done. In the end, it all worked out…but it might not have. And I can't help but feel guilty about it. I feel like I owe you an apology."
"Me?" Lucas questioned.
Nathan nodded. "Yeah, see there's one difference between you and the others on board that raft."
"Don't say it," Lucas broke in. "Don't say I'm a kid."
Nathan sighed. "You know I don't think of you like that. But you are a minor, which means I'm responsible for you. Perhaps having you on that launch was irresponsible of me."
Lucas shook his head. "I wouldn't have let you keep me here, and you know it. I wanted to help those children just as much as everyone else did."
"Maybe so," Nathan agreed. "Still, the next mission, we're going to have to play it safe. I need to make sure nothing happens to you."
"But it didn't," Lucas insisted.
"No, but that's only by the grace of God. We might not be so lucky next time."
Lucas sighed. "So, what? I can't go on missions anymore because something might happen? Does that really seem logical to you?"
"That's not what I'm saying at all. We'll just leave it up to Dr. Levin. The next mission, he decides what all of you can handle," Nathan explained.
"Oh, so the doc, Commander Ford, and Ben are all included in this?"
"That's right," Nathan said. "I want to be sure the four of you have plenty of time to rest."
Lucas thought for a moment. "I guess that's a good compromise," he admitted. "But I feel fine."
"Well, be that as it may, I think you need a rest. You've all just been through something pretty traumatic."
"I guess," Lucas muttered, looking at the floor.
"Is there something else you want to talk about?" Nathan pressed, noting the teenager's change in demeanor.
Lucas shrugged. "Not really. I was resting…honest. I just needed something to take my mind off things."
"I understand. So, you're really all right?"
Lucas hesitated for a moment. "I…I was scared," he finally admitted. "It was the most frightening experience I've ever had in my life. I…I…I thought you'd forgotten about us." Lucas' voice trembled with emotion.
Nathan wrapped the young man in his arms. "Oh, no, kiddo. I could never forget about you. We just…we tried to get to you as fast as we could."
"I was angry," Lucas finally admitted. "But not at you…at me. I…I was angry at those kids after the storm had hit. I just kept thinking I'd wish you'd come get me instead. That was selfish. And after we finally got rescued, I felt guilty for it."
"Oh, Lucas…it's okay. You don't need to feel guilty. You can't help what you were feeling in a stressful situation."
Lucas sighed. "Maybe." He paused for a moment. "I am glad you saved those kids. I wouldn't have wanted them to die."
Nathan gave him another tight hug. "Me too, kiddo, me too."
Nathan spoke with Lucas for quite a while. In reality, Nathan needed it as much as Lucas did. But, finally, he had to say goodnight since he wanted to see Kristin before it got too late. "And if you need anything, you make sure you call me. I don't care if it's 0300 hours, got it?"
Lucas smiled. "I will, Cap. Goodnight."
Nathan headed to his own quarters first. He wanted to bring Kristin a little something, although it probably wasn't needed anymore. Still, he knew it would bring a smile to her face. He glanced at the clock. It was after 2100 hours; he hoped she was still awake, considering the trying day they'd had. He debated whether or not he should try the intercom, but decided against it. Then, she might think he was paging her and that wasn't the case.
He headed to her door and knocked gently. "Just a moment," he heard her call. She didn't sound as though she'd been asleep, so that was promising, he decided. She opened the door a moment later. "Captain, hello," she greeted with a smile, sounding a little surprised.
"I…I'm sorry it's so late. You weren't asleep were you? I wanted to be sure you were all right."
She waved a hand. "I wasn't asleep." She stepped aside. "Please, come in."
"Uh, well," Nathan began, "I brought you a little something." He handed her a sweatshirt, the warmest one he owned. "I know it's a few hours too late, but-"
Kristin was dressed in jeans and a sweater of her own, but she unzipped the sweatshirt Nathan had given her and slipped it on. "Oh, no…it's perfect," she gushed, even though it was a few sizes too big and practically hung down to her knees. "It's so warm."
Nathan gave her a smile. "I only wish I could have given it to you earlier. Keep it as long as you need."
"Thank you," she replied, hugging herself and snuggling in the warm fleece. "I've been a little chilly since coming out of the storm, so this is a lovely gesture."
"Does Dr. Levin know that?" Nathan asked, his voice suddenly laced with concern.
She chuckled softly. "He knows, and it's fine. He can't prevent the common cold, unfortunately. But it's probably just a case of the sniffles. It's nothing to worry about."
Nathan nodded. "Sorry…I'm just…I wanted to be sure."
"Uh, do you mind if I stayed for a bit? To talk?"
"That would be fine," Kristin said with a nod. She motioned to the small table and chairs. "Have a seat. Would you like some hot tea? I've only drank about five cups myself," she admitted.
Nathan waved a hand. "No, thank you. I don't need you waiting on me."
"It's no trouble. I'm going to have one myself. Please?"
"All right," Nathan finally agreed.
A few minutes later, Kristin placed a cup in front of him. "There you go." Then she sat across from him, sipping on her own cup. "So…"
Nathan took a sip. Kristin had sweetened it with just the right amount of honey; it tasted delicious. "So…uh, well, I wanted to be sure you were all right, physically and mentally."
"Oh…I'm fine," she said again.
"That's exactly what Lucas had said," Nathan noted. "And come to find out, he wasn't exactly fine."
"You spoke with Lucas? What's wrong?"
"No, nothing's wrong," Nathan assured her. "No need to get excited. He was a little shaken, that's all."
She nodded, feeling more relieved. "Well, I think we're all a little shaken, but the most important thing was saving the children. And everything turned out well."
"I…I had wanted to come after you, but-"
"Shhh," Kristin whispered softly. "There's no need to apologize."
Nathan reached across the table and squeezed her hand. She was right; obviously, the children were the most important thing, but the decision had killed him.
"It all worked out in the end, didn't it?" she said with a smile.
"Yeah, of course it did. I just had to be sure you were okay."
"I'm fine," she assured him. "Really."
"Well, I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Lucas…and Ben and Jonathan as well. No missions until Levin agrees. I don't want any more accidents like this."
"As much as I understand that, it might not be preventable. It's not like we planned this."
"No, I know," Nathan agreed. "But I don't think I could handle a repeat of this."
She chuckled softly. "You and me, included. But, everything will be fine. What's that old saying? Lightning doesn't strike twice?"
"No, but they didn't say anything about hurricanes," Nathan said with a small laugh.
She smiled. "Goodnight, Nathan."
"Sleep well, Kristin."
Over the next few days, Nathan found himself quite busy since he and the crew were still working on the aftermath of Hurricane Sheila and getting the equipment repaired properly. By the end of the week, he finally had a bit of time to himself. He headed to his quarters. There was something he hadn't done in a while, and he felt the need to do so.
He put a photograph into his computer to generate a hologram. Suddenly, the enlarged image of the smiling face of Carol Bridger appeared.
"Hello, sweetheart," Nathan greeted. "I know it's been a while, and I'm sorry. It's been a long week, but you probably knew that already. I just-"
At that moment, there was a gentle knock at his door. "It's open," he called.
Kristin appeared a moment later. Although Nathan had just shut the hologram off, she'd seen it. "I…I'm sorry. Am I…interrupting anything?"
"No…I was just…sometimes, I feel the need…" Nathan tried to find the words to explain. He didn't think, "Sometimes, I talk to my deceased wife like she's still here," was sufficient. Nor did it sound very sane. "I was just doing some reflecting," he finally said.
"I see," she replied quietly. "You don't need to explain anything to me. I know what it's like. Sometimes, I speak to James like he was standing in front of me. It's…comforting."
"It makes you feel like he never left?" he guessed knowingly.
"Exactly. Um, well…I wanted to bring your sweatshirt back. I had it washed." She handed over the neatly folded shirt.
She gave him a nod. "It was no trouble. Um, well, I guess I'll leave you be then. Sorry to have bothered you." She started out the door when Nathan stopped her.
"Wait," Nathan said. "You…you don't have to leave. I mean…I was going to go see you later anyway. I haven't had much time for that lately."
She turned back to him. "Well, you've been quite busy, so it's understandable."
"How have you been?"
"I've been fine. I did catch a little cold, but it's much better," she assured him. "Dr. Levin says I can go back to work on Monday. Frankly, I'm itching to do so. I'm quite…bored," she admitted.
Nathan chuckled softly. "You do have a hard time taking time for yourself, don't you?"
"A little," she admitted. "Oh, but Lucas has been a dear. He's been keeping me company. He's doing much better as well."
"Have you eaten dinner yet?" Nathan asked after a pause.
She shook her head.
"Want to grab a bite to eat?"
"As long as we pick Lucas up on the way," she told him.
"That sounds lovely. You go on ahead and I'll meet you?" Nathan asked.
She nodded. "See you in a moment then."
Nathan waited until Kristin had closed the door. Then, he turned the hologram back on. "I don't know if you're the one responsible for making sure they were all right, but I feel the need to thank you. And if it's not too much trouble, can we keep it that way?" He paused for a moment. "I miss you so much." Then he shut the hologram off and stood there for a few moments, quietly reflecting. Then, he headed out the door in search of Kristin and Lucas.
A/N: Sorry this is a little shorter than what I'd normally post. Subsequent chapters will probably be a bit longer. Thank you.