"Orphaned at Sea"
Summary: When Lucas' parents are killed, Bridger tries to help the boy through the ordeal…and makes some surprising discoveries while he's at it.
Author's Note: 1st in a Trilogy. Takes place after episode "Brothers and Sisters".
Warning: This story and those that follow it WILL contain spanking of a teenager.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just wrote this story for fun.
SeaQuest DSV, somewhere off the North American coastline…
"Lucas," Captain Nathan Bridger said, sighing. "You're grounded, remember?"
"I didn't think you were really serious about that," Lucas whined, slapping his hand down on the table in frustration.
"Well, I was," Bridger told him, firmly. "Until I tell you otherwise, Mr. Wolenczak, you are to remain in your quarters."
"That's not fair," the teenager growled, almost petulantly. "I didn't do anything…really."
Bridger raised an eyebrow at him.
"Didn't do anything?" he scoffed, snorting. "Lucas, you misled—no, tricked—an officer aboard this vessel and took—no, stole—a launch without permission to put yourself and an innocent young girl in harm's way! You call that nothing!?"
Lucas sighed. "I was just trying to help," he grumbled. "Isn't that what SeaQuest is all about?"
"Yes, it is," Bridger told him. "But it was the way you went about helping I didn't like—hence, the reason you're grounded."
Lucas growled in frustration, gritting his teeth.
"I just want to go for a swim with Darwin!" he told him. "That's all!"
This time, he pounded both fists down hard onto the table, causing several of the captain's things to topple over.
Bridger sighed, shaking his head.
This was beginning to boarder a first class temper tantrum any five years old or younger would be proud of.
"That's enough, Mr. Wolenczak," he ordered, sternly. "This discussion is over."
Lucas opened his mouth to protest this, but he held up a hand to forestall him.
"If you utter one more word," he told him, assuredly. "The one week in your room will turn into two. Is that understood?"
Seeing the hardened expression on his face, the teenager decided [wisely] not to protest.
"Yes," he ground out through clenched teeth. "Sir!"
Bridger nodded. "Good," he said, satisfied the boy had gotten the point. "Now, back to your room…"
He nodded his head toward the door.
Lucas glared at him for about a second and then stormed over to the door.
"Lucas?" Bridger called out to him.
Lucas looked back over his shoulder. "Yeah?" he asked, dejectedly.
"Don't even think about slamming the door," the captain warned, firmly.
Lucas' shoulders sagged. "This sucks," he muttered, and then exited the room.
Bridger chuckled, putting his spectacles back on while shaking his head.
Of course, Bridger had already dealt with one teenager in his life, his son Robert, and he was thankful for that experience now—though he certainly didn't appreciate it at the time—because it helped him read the sixteen year old computer genius like a book.
He knew that Lucas hated being constantly surrounded by adults that told him what to do—which was why Darwin was so important to him.
The dolphin that he [Bridger] had saved and trained, before he'd been duped into returning to the SeaQuest as captain, and Lucas had quickly become friends.
The teenager had even created a device that allowed them to know what the aquatic mammal's chirps and whistles really meant.
It was also clear that Lucas had lacked parental support in his young life, which was why he tended to act rashly and without thought at times.
From what he'd heard of the boy's parents, they did not sound like people who should have had a child in the first place…so he tried his best to be a sort of surrogate father to him.
Oddly enough, having Lucas around helped ease the grief and guilt he [Bridger] still carried over his own son's death.
"Captain," the voice of Commander Jonathon Ford, his second in command, spoke in his PAL.
Bridger reached for the hand-held communications device and clicked it on.
"Yes, Commander," he asked, curiously. "What is it?"
"Admiral Noyce is on the line for you," the Commander replied.
"Send it down here," the captain instructed. "Thanks, Commander."
He clicked off the PAL and turned on his video-phone.
The image of Admiral Bill Noyce, Commander of the UEO and also an old friend of his, popped up on the screen—but he didn't look exactly cheerful.
"Hello, Bill," he greeted him, smiling. "Why the long face?"
"I have some bad news, Nathan," Norse said, clearing his throat uncomfortably. "It concerns Lucas…"
"Oh?" Bridger asked, raising an eyebrow. "What is it, Bill?"
"It's his parents, Nathan," Norse said, sadly. "They're dead."