A/N: You asked for it, so I have delivered. Some people wanted some Katie and Ben. You know, I don't normally stray from Kristin and Nathan, but I do enjoy Katie and Ben as well…although this isn't exactly a resolution to their relationship. But it leaves it open to possibilities. And maybe I'll eventually do some sort of sequel to it. We'll see what happens. But for now, this is just a missing scene from A Higher Power. 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.
Still Holding Out For You
Ben sat in the corner of the room, finishing a slice of pizza. He watched as everyone said their goodbyes to one another. This was it; this was really it. He hadn't quite fathomed how sad it would really be. Yes, it was the original plan that some people would be leaving anyway since it was the end of the tour, but now that seaQuest had been destroyed, everyone was leaving, each and every one of them quite uncertain about the future. Well, almost everyone. There was one person who seemed to have it all under control: Katie.
Ben stared at her. He suddenly felt a sadness wash over him, and it was the realization that he would no longer see her every day. He didn't even hear anyone approach him.
"Take care of yourself, Ben."
Ben turned to see an extended hand. He stared at it for a moment until it dawned on him that the voice belonged to Tim, and he wanted to shake his hand goodbye. He finally took his hand. "You, too."
"You know, a bunch of us are meeting for dinner later. You're invited."
Ben shrugged. "We'll see."
Tim patted his shoulder. "Well, if I don't see you…it was nice knowing you."
Ben watched as he walked away. He felt a little guilty for not being more talkative, for not telling him what an honor it was to know him, but he'd wanted to talk to Katie. And if he played his cards right, he'd be going to dinner with her…at least, he hoped. He watched her make her rounds. And finally, she stood in front of the table where he was sitting.
She pulled out a chair and sat across from him. "You look lonely over here."
"I'm just reflecting. It's all starting to sink in."
"I know what you mean. I didn't think it would be so…sad. But we'll still see one another again, I'm sure. Did you know Miguel is planning an end of the summer barbecue already? He's inviting every single one of us," Katie told him.
"That'll be nice," Ben replied, trying to sound enthusiastic. But he knew he was failing miserably at that.
Katie gave his arm a gentle push. "Come on; where's the optimistic Ben?"
Ben tried to force a smile. "He's on shore leave."
Katie chuckled softly. Then she became serious. "I don't think I've ever seen you looking so depressed," she noted. "What's really bothering you?"
"Saying goodbye isn't enough?"
"Well, no…it's just that this isn't the first time we've encountered this, said goodbye to friends. That's the life of a naval officer."
"Yeah…but I don't think I was ever as close with those officers as I was with the seaQuest crew," Ben replied. "It's going to be an adjustment."
"You know there are other submarines in the UEO fleet. I'm sure any one of them would be lucky to have you. In fact, I could give you a-"
"Thanks, but no thanks," Ben stopped her.
"Right. Well, I…I'd better go. I have to make some calls."
Ben reached across the table and placed a hand on her arm. He tried to find the words he wanted to say, but he suddenly drew a blank.
Katie gave him a confused look. "What?"
"Don't go…not yet," he choked out.
"Just hear me out, please?"
She sighed. "You'd better make it worth my while."
"The Clinton…Katie, really?" Ben began.
"Is that what this is all about? When we spoke earlier, you seemed perfectly okay with the idea."
"That was just hypothetical. And at that time, there was still a seaQuest. I didn't think you'd actually go through with it."
"Even if there was still a seaQuest, I can't guarantee I'd turn the position down. I already told you I don't know how to turn that kind of money down. And the chance to be a captain…well, you know that's a dream I've always had. That's not an opportunity a lot of women get."
"I seem to remember other dreams you had once too," Ben said after a pause. "Is the money really that important to you?"
"What is this, the third degree? What business is it of yours anyway?" Katie countered, getting a bit angry. "Besides, there is no seaQuest for me to go back to, not now anyway. I need to work, and I can't wait around forever."
"Then why are you questioning it?"
Ben hesitated for a brief second. "It's just…"
"What?" Katie was getting frustrated with his obvious apprehension.
"I'm going to…miss seeing you everyday…"
Katie stared at him for a moment, unsure of how to take his comment. "Ben, I-"
"Have dinner with me tonight."
"Have dinner with me tonight…please?" he said again.
"Ben…did you bump your head during the evacuation? We're divorced…and there's a reason for that. You said it yourself; you were never in love with me," Katie said quietly, looking down and picking at an invisible spot on the table.
"Yes, but if you recall, I never initiated the divorce," he replied, reaching across the table and taking her hand in his. "And maybe I…stretched the truth a bit when we had that conversation."
She raised an eyebrow. "Stretched the truth?"
"I didn't want you to feel bad…well, worse than I'd already made you feel. I thought if I told you that…well, I wanted to bring a smile to your face. And it worked."
Katie thought back to that day. It was when they'd found the children in the Landau munitions depot, and she'd taken a liking to little Hope. And Ben couldn't help but tease her about her biological clock. After that, Ben had told her then she would get whatever she wanted because she deserved it. She smiled softly at the memory. Even when he was being a jerk, he always knew what to say to redeem himself. "So what is it you're trying to say?"
"Well, I was wondering if the feeling was still mutual."
"Tell me; was it really that bad working with me for the past year?"
"I really didn't have much of a choice," Katie answered.
"But was it that bad?"
"No…" she admitted. "In fact, it was better than I thought it would be."
"So I didn't drive you completely insane?" Ben said with a smile.
"Oh, you did," she stated bluntly. "But I couldn't imagine seaQuest without you; we had a lot of good times."
"The best," Ben agreed. "I…I don't want that to end."
"So what are you suggesting? I turn down the captain's position and we run away to a chapel somewhere? Then what? Then after we come back to reality, we realize how it's the second biggest mistake we've ever made? And we go our separate ways?" Katie asked. "Ben, I don't want to put my life on hold…for anyone."
Ben's smile faded. "So you're saying there's no hope for you and me…ever again?"
Katie scooted her chair over to his side of the table. She placed a hand on his shoulder. "Ben, I'm very flattered that you're finally telling me all this. I know it…it must have taken a lot of courage to do it."
"Yeah, courage to get shot down…" he replied dryly.
Katie smiled. "Don't be so quick to judge."
He gave her a look of disbelief. "You mean…"
"Not exactly. But I'm not opposed to the idea either. Perhaps, in the future?" she hinted.
"So about that dinner…" Ben began with a new-found confidence.
"Okay," Katie agreed. "The rest, we'll play by ear."
"I can live with that," Ben replied.