When Lieutenant Brody's first love arrives, he is surprised. When she decides she wants Jim back, Daphne objects. (Uh....can you say "Cat Fight"?) Meanwhile, Ortiz has a little problem of his own.

CHAPTER 1

Commander Jonathan Ford rarely ever liked it when the seaQuest DSV was requested to "shuttle" scientists around. It threw the patrols way behind schedule, and some form of trouble usually accompanied the scientists.

He waited on the dock, checked his watch again, and sighed. The science team was already thirty minutes late. He had a strong urge to ship out and leave them stranded. But then.....that would not be professional. He looked up as he heard someone approaching from the direction of the seaQuest.

"Commander." Lieutenant James Brody said. He looked around. "Still not here?"

"No, they are not." Ford replied. "Get on the horn and--"

A van came speeding into the dock area and stopped near them. A tall woman climbed out of the passenger side and approached.

"Commander Ford?"

"Yes."

"I am Liesel Andor." The woman told him. "I apologize for our lateness. We had a flat tire."

"Well, you are here now." Ford told her. "Do you require help in unloading your equipment?"

Liesel nodded. "That would be great...thank you." She walked back toward the van.

Ford looked at Brody. "Give them a hand Lieutenant."

Brody stared at him. "Me??"

Ford smiled slightly. "Yes, you. You're always bragging about how tough SEALS are.....Now it's your chance to prove it."

Brody started to say something, but wisely chose not to. "Yes sir." He saluted, then started toward the van.

He heard her laughter coming from the other side of the van, and stopped walking. *Oh no!!!!* He thought in a panic. *It can't be!!!!!*

A blonde haired woman came around the van and stopped when she saw him.

"Jimmy!!" she squealed and ran at him. She threw herself into his stunned body, and hugged tightly. She went to kiss him, but he automatically pulled back.

"Hi Claire." Brody said.

Claire stepped back and stared at him. "We haven't seen each other in ten years, and all you can say is 'hi Claire'? You didn't even return my hug."

Brody glanced behind him, and saw that Ford was watching. Too make matters worse, Ford was not alone. Chief Miguel Ortiz stood beside him...also watching. Brody closed his eyes, and faced Claire again.

"Look, can we discuss this some other time?" Brody asked. "We have to get underway."

"Okay." Claire answered. "I can't believe it Jimmy!!!! The two of us together again!!!" She hugged him once more, then went back to the van.

Brody put a hand over his eyes and shook his head. *Why me?*

"Ahem."

Brody looked to where the voice had come from, and found himself looking into the most beautiful brown eyes that he had ever seen. Daphne Shaymenn, political liaison between the UEO and the Island Nation of (whatever), stared at him.

"Friend of yours....Jimmy?"

*Damn it! She saw!* Brody wet his lips and smiled. "I knew Claire...at one time....Uh.... could we talk about this later hon?"

Daphne nodded. "You bet your sweet ass we will." She turned and headed back to the sub.

Brody watched his lover as she disappeared into the sub, and sighed. *Good one God,* he thought sarcastically. *You've really outdone yourself this time.*

**********

It took only twenty minutes to get the equipment on board, but they had been the longest twenty minutes in Brody's life. He was aware that most everyone was staring at him, and he finally pulled Chief Ortiz to the side.

"Okay, go ahead." Brody growled. "Say it."

"Who is she?" Ortiz asked.

Brody considered what to say. Miguel was one of Daphne's closest friends, not to mention a good friend of his. He decided that the truth was the best route to go.

"Claire was my first....love." Brody said.

Ortiz stared. "First love? Or first?"

Brody sighed. "Both."

"Aw...man. I would NOT want to be in your shoes when Daphne finds out."

"Well, she's not GOING to find out." Brody hissed. "Is she?!"

"Not from me." Ortiz replied.

*******

Brody walked onto the bridge and went to his station. He sat down gratefully.

"Everything stowed away Lieutenant?" Ford asked.

"Aye sir." Brody replied.

"Good." Ford sat at his station. "Let's get underway."

********

Commander Ford looked up at a sound. "Yes Ms. Andor?"

The head scientist smiled at him. "I was wondering if we might be able to take that tour of the bridge now?"

Well, I did say they could. Ford nodded. "But please do not touch anything." He watched as the six scientists spread out. He was not surprised when the woman from the dock made a bee-line for Brody.

Brody glanced up at her, then over to Daphne. Daphne ignored him, and busied herself at the sensor station. She absently played with her 'Ensign D. Shaymenn' patch. She had been given the honorary rank of ensign when she had accepted the UEO's offer to be the 'go-between' for her nation, and the navy.

"Hi Jimmy." Claire purred.

"Hi Claire." Brody answered without looking at her.

"What are you doing?"

Brody did not want to appear rude, so he briefly explained what he was doing. She nodded, and hung on every word.

"Oh, you do that so well." She purred and flicked a long hair aside. "You must show me more." She touched his arm lightly.

"Commander?" Daphne said and stood up. "Permission to leave the bridge."

Brody looked.

"Reason?" Ford asked.

Daphne glanced at Brody and Claire. "I think I'm about to be ill."

Ford nodded. "Granted." He watched as Daphne left. He noticed that Brody also watched.

Brody sighed, turned to Claire, and motioned her closer. "Listen Claire, I'm real busy now...okay?"

"Okay." Claire straightened. "We'll talk more later." She walked away.

*******

Brody sighed as he sat at the mess hall table beside Daphne.

"Are you mad at me?" he asked quietly.

"Should I be?"

"No."

Daphne smiled at him. "Then I'm not mad......just really annoyed."

Uh-oh, Brody thought, here it comes.

"Who is she?" Daphne asked.

"Claire is someone I dated over ten years ago." Brody replied. "It's been about ten years since I last saw her."

"Oh?"

Brody sighed. "Relax the jealously.......the only woman I want is you."

Daphne smiled slightly. "I'm going to hold you to that Lieutenant."

"Why Ensign," Brody said in mock shock, "is that a proposition?"

"You bet it is!"

Brody smiled and leaned forward to kiss her.

"Oh Jimmy??" Claire's voice came from across the mess hall.

Brody stopped. Daphne put a hand on his knee. "You stop now," she whispered, "and they'll never find your body." Brody finished the kiss without hesitation.

"Hello." an icy voice said.

Daphne and Brody parted and looked up at Claire. She had her arms crossed, and was glaring at them.

"Hello." Daphne replied.

"Who the hell are you?!" Claire demanded. She looked at Brody. "Who the hell is she?!"

Brody wished that he could crawl under the table. "This is Daphne." he paused. Daphne kicked him under the table. "My girlfriend."

Claire stared at Daphne. "Oh, really." Her voice was curt.

"Yes." Daphne answered. "Really."

"I was his first you know." Claire said.

Brody sunk down in his chair.

"And your point is?" Daphne's voice was calm.

"A man NEVER forgets his first time." Claire smiled. "He holds a special place in his heart for it."

Just then, Brody's PAL sounded. He grabbed for it gratefully. "Brody here."

"This is Ortiz....could I see you on the bridge?"

"Be right there." Bless you Miguel! he thought as he stood up. He kissed Daphne lightly. "Don't hurt her." he whispered into her ear, then left.

Daphne smiled at Claire. "Now that we are alone, I think it's time to set a few things straight in that delusional brain of your."

"I don't think so." Claire responded.

"Sit in the freaking chair, or I pound you into the deck."

Claire sat down.

*****

Brody walked out of the mess hall, and stopped when he saw Ortiz leaning against the wall.

"You looked like you needed a way out of there." Ortiz said.

"Thank you." Brody sighed. "Better hope Daphne doesn't find out you lied to get me out of there."

Ortiz laughed. "Hey, Daphne may be a great friend, but us men have to look out for each other. NO man should have to face his first, and his current lovers at the same time."

"So true." Brody agreed. "Now, what can I do to repay this favor you just did?"

"Repay me??" Ortiz asked in surprise. "The thought never crossed my mind."

"Sure it didn't." Brody was not convinced.

"But--"

"I knew it!"

Ortiz smiled. "The next time I triple book dates for the same night again, you can do me the favor of putting me in the brig until the ladies have calmed down."

"Deal." Brody laughed. The last time Miguel had over booked for one night, the dates had been so irate the he had ended up walking back to his quarters minus his pants.... which the three ladies had 'taken from him'.

*******

Daphne looked at Claire. What she saw was a woman around thirty, with long blonde hair, a pretty face, and angry blue eyes.

"What?!" Claire demanded.

Daphne leaned forward slightly. "I happen to be Jim's girlfriend...and as such I do not appreciate you throwing yourself at him." She noticed Tony and Lucas at the next table, leaning closer to hear the conversation.

Claire smiled. "You're afraid that I'm going to take Jimmy away from you."

"I am afraid of no such thing." Daphne answered lightly.

"Well, you should be." Claire responded. "I always get what I want."

Yeah? Well, if it's a punch in the face you want, you're getting close. Daphne sighed and sat back in her chair. "I tried being nice, and that didn't work. I'm going to come right out and say it. Leave Jim alone."

"Don't you order me around you witch!" Claire said and pointed at her. "I'm twice the woman you are."

"Yeah, I did notice your chubbiness."

Tony laughed, and tried to cover it with a cough.

Claire narrowed her eyes in anger. "How dare you?!! I am not someone to be taken lightly. I grew up rich...and I always get what I want. Do not anger me."

Oh, puh-leeze! "Sounds like you just threatened me....but I doubt that you would be that stupid."

"Why?" Claire sneered.

Daphne sighed. "Fine...coming right out and telling you didn't work either." She leaned forward. "Now you listen real close you delusional little strumpet......I survived eight years of civil war on (wherever), and I'm pretty sure that I can survive your pathetic little threats. No blow babe, you're starting to annoy me."

Claire glared daggers at her, pushed back the chair noisily and stormed away. She sat at a table on the other side of the mess hall with the rest of the science team.

Tony and Lucas got up from their table, and sat down at Daphne's.

Tony looked at her. "That was by far the coolest thing that I have ever overheard." Tony praised. "Bet ya wanted ta smack her though."

Daphne smiled slightly. "Yes."

"Think she'll leave Jim alone now?" Lucas asked.

"No." Daphne sighed.

"Well, if ya need anyone ta run interference with her, jus' ask." Tony offered.

"Yeah." Lucas echoed.

Daphne looked at both of them. "Thank you." She picked up her PAL, and pushed a code.

"Brody here." came back the reply.

"This is Ensign Shaymenn." Daphne said.

"Go ahead."

"It's safe to come back in from the hall." Daphne said. "Might as well bring Migs in with you." She keyed it off before he could reply.

Lucas looked confused. "He was in the hall?"

Tony laughed and patted him on the shoulder. "When ya get older Luke, you'll understand."

********************************************************************

CHAPTER 2

Captain Bridger looked out at his senior staff and cleared his throat.

"There has been pirate activity near here. The seaQuest has been ordered to the area for patrol. This will put the delivery of the scientific team back a few weeks. I have spoken with Ms. Andor, and she accepts the delay." He paused. "The sub will be on Level One alert while we patrol. Any questions?" No one answered. "Very well…Meeting over."

Everyone stood up to leave, except Brody. He sunk back in his chair. A few more weeks??? Damn! He had managed to dodge Claire over the past few days, but doubted that he could keep it up. Sooner or later she's gonna corner me. He knew that he had no feeling what so ever for her, but he knew that she wouldn't believe it if he told her. She had always tried to control his every move, and had never listened to him. That had been one of the main reasons that it had not worked out between them. Claire had refused to understand that he was his own person, with control over his own life.

"Something you wish to talk about Lieutenant?"

Brody looked up at the voice. "Pardon…sir?"

Bridger smiled at him. "You have seemed rather preoccupied over the past few days. Everything all right?"

Brody stood up. "Fine sir…I, uh, should get back to the bridge." He walked to the door.

"Jim?"

Brody turned around. "Yes sir?"

"You do know that my door is always open."

"I do sir." Brody turned and left the room. He walked onto the bridge, faltering slightly when he saw Claire standing by the moon pool, and was suddenly glad that Daphne was not on shift. He went to his station and sat down. Claire approached him.

"Why have you been avoiding me?" she demanded.

Brody busied himself with his work. "I haven't been." He lied.

"Yes you have." She stated. "Why?"

"I'm busy now Claire."

Claire glared at him. "You're always busy! You're always at work, or with that slut!"

A hush fell over the bridge as everyone stopped what they were doing, and started watching them. Brody slowly looked at her.

"Get off the bridge Claire." He said evenly.

Claire crossed her arms. "Not until you talk to me."

Brody's jaw tightened as he stood up, grabbed her by the arm, and marched her off the bridge. As soon as they were out of earshot he stopped and faced her.

"Let's get one thing straight." He said in a low voice. "Don't you EVER refer to my girlfriend as a slut again."

"Jimmy--"

"Be quiet! Now, you seem to think that there is still something between us."

"There is."

"There is NOT." Brody stated. "And there has not been for well over ten years."

"How can you say that?" Claire asked in a hurt voice.

"Because it's the truth. Now get over any ideas you may have concerning me…cause they're not going to happen."

"Jimmy--"

"Got it?!"

"Yes." She said, and pouted.

"Good." Brody turned and walked back onto the bridge, passing Dagwood in the hallway.

But you're wrong Jimmy Claire thought. And I'll prove it to you.

********

Brody propped himself up on one elbow and looked down.

"What's wrong?"

Daphne looked up at him. "Nothing."

"Really?"

"Would I lie to you?"

"Let's not get into that, okay?" Brody said as he ran his finger along her cheek. He smiled as she laughed. It had been an old joke between them. "What has you so quiet?"

Daphne sighed. "Why didn't you tell me what Claire said on the bridge?"

Brody sat up and stared at her. "Who told you?" he demanded. She just looked up at him. "Who?!"

"Dagwood asked me what a slut was." She answered quietly. "And then he wanted to know why Claire said that I was one."

Brody closed his eyes. He had passed Dagwood going back onto the bridge. He looked at her again.

"I set Claire straight about her ideas concerning me." Brody said evenly. "She won't be bothering us anymore."

"Do you actually believe that?"

Brody sighed. "No…I think she's even more unstable than she was ten years ago."

"Is that why you broke up?"

"Partly."

Daphne sat up beside him. "If she is hell bent to get you back, then I need to know what I am dealing with."

"No!" Brody stated. "I mean it."

Daphne crossed her arms, and gave him 'the look'.

Whoops! Brody thought. He hated that look…the one that all women were able to give to men to let them know that they were not impressed. "Okay, fine…I was the poor kid she dated to piss her rich daddy off. We dated for about a year, then she went to Europe. When she came back, she wanted to pick up where we had left off a year earlier."

"Did you?"

Brody shook his head. "No. I discovered that I was…less tense without her being around. I didn't have to worry about her…'thinking she owned me' attitude. Claire is…eccentric."

"That's putting it mildly."

"Then she invites me a party at her house a few weeks before I joined the navy." He paused. "She announced our engagement at the party."

"YOU'RE WHAT?!" Daphne stared at him in disbelief.

Brody leaned back slightly. "Our engagement…only problem was, I never proposed to her."

"No?"

"I was 18, and not ready to propose to anyone, let alone Claire……So, her mother starts crying, her father gets mad…irate actually. Made a big scene and threw me out of his house…told me if I ever came near his daughter again, he'd have me arrested."

Daphne leaned forward and kissed him. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought it up."

"No, it's okay." Brody said. "It made me realize just what kind of person she was. I want you to avoid her."

"I'll try." Daphne said. "Let's stop talking about her. It's giving me a headache."

"Awww." Brody kissed her. "Have I told you today that I love you?"

"Only twice."

"Only twice??" Brody feigned shock. "Am I ever behind. I'll have to make up for that."

Daphne smiled. "Yes…you will."

*******

Sensor Chief Miguel Ortiz looked out across the bridge, then back at his own console. He had been assigned the bridge for part of the 'off shift', but he preferred to stay at his station during it, instead of sitting in the Captain's chair.

He raised his eyebrows as the WSKR Loner picked something up, and he sent it in for a closer look.

"Chief?" Lieutenant O'Neill said. "I'm getting a faint aide message loop."

Ortiz looked up. "From where?"

O'Neill checked a few readings. "It's coming from two hundred ten meters below us, five hundred forty two meters starboard."

Ortiz checked the position of Loner, then pulled the imaged onto the screen. "I think it's coming from here."

Everyone looked at the clouded image. It appeared to be the shape of a medium sized courier submarine. Ortiz typed in the commands to send Loner toward it.

"Miguel?"

"Just a minute Tim." Ortiz answered back. He studied the readouts of the tests he was running. "Call Lieutenant Brody to the bridge."

"Aye sir." O'Neill replied.

Ortiz smiled at being called sir by someone who outranked him. He looked up at the main screen. The smile faded when he saw something on the side of the sub.

*******

Beep…Beep...Beep...Beep.

Brody reached out in the darkness for his PAL. He located it, but not before he managed to knock most of the things off his desk, including the lamp.

He switched the PAL on. "Brody here."

"Sorry to disturb you sir." Lieutenant (jg) O'Neill's voice said. "But you are required on the bridge."

Brody was immediately wide awake. "What's the problem?"

"We found…something." O'Neill replied. There was a muffled voice in the background. "Ortiz wants Daphne here too."

"Be right there." Brody said. He put the PAL on the desk and stood up. He stumbled over the stuff on the floor, and made his way across the room. He flicked on the lights.

"Ahhh." He cringed at the brightness.

Daphne was already starting to get dressed. "Wonder what it is?"

"We'll find out soon enough." Brody said as he grabbed his pants. ********

"What's going on? " Brody asked as he entered the bridge.

"We found what appears to be a wreck." Ortiz answered. "Very recent."

"How recent?"

"Ten to fifteen hours." Ortiz stated.

"Ten to---." Brody stopped. "Anything to indicate survivors?"

"No sir. She's hulled in three places." Ortiz said. "Completely waterlogged."

Brody nodded solemnly. "Run the WSKR's on a security pattern. Whatever sunk her may still be out there." He sat at his station.

"Aye sir."

Daphne approached Ortiz. "Why did you want me to be here?"

Ortiz looked at her. "Uh…I…found something on the sub."

"What?"

"It's a logo." Ortiz hesitated. "I think I know what it is, but I need you to confirm it for me…the computer can't get a clear enough image for a match."

"Show me."

Ortiz ran a playback of the WSKR tape. Daphne looked at the logo, and sat down heavily in the chair beside him.

"It's the Kriscan logo." She whispered. The Kriscans had been her people during the civil war on her Island. "What were they doing in this region?"

"It's a courier sub." Ortiz said softly.

Daphne looked at him in amazement. "A supplies runner? Someone sunk a supply sub?"

"Pirates will sink a sub for its cargo."

Daphne stared at the logo a few moments longer. "Can I snag one of the WSKRS to do my own check?"

"Use Junior." Ortiz said. "What are you going to look for?"

Daphne keyed up the commands for Junior. "I'm going to find the name of the sub, then I'm going to access the UEO command on the Island, and find out exactly what that sub was carrying."

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

LATER IN STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daphne sat at the table in the mess hall, listening as the other occupants continued to complain about Miguel Ortiz and his bad attitude.

"I can’t understand it." Lonnie said. "I always thought he was such a nice guy. Maybe that niceness was all an act."

Tim looked at her. "I don’t know. I –"

Daphne interrupted. "Has Miguel ever sworn before?"

Tony nodded. "Yeah, but only in Spanish."

"Not in English?"

Tim answered her. "No…not that I’ve ever heard."

"Then don’t you think it’s a little strange for him to start now?" Daphne asked.

"What are you getting at?" Brody asked as he looked at her.

"Nothing." Daphne mumbled. She sat silently as the rest started on Miguel again. This is so unfair! He’s not even here to defend himself! She saw Jim looking at her, and smiled weakly back at him.

Lucas spoke up. "After the rudeness I got from Miguel, I’m not sure I want to associate with him anymore."

Daphne looked at him in disbelief, and felt her anger rise as the others around the table nodded in agreement.

"Now just a damn minute!!" Daphne yelled and slammed her hand on the table top. Everyone jumped and looked at her. "I can’t believe what I’m hearing! Not associate with him??"

"After what he said to you," Tony spoke up, "I’m surprised you’d want ta."

Daphne stared at him. "What Miguel said to me is of no concern to any of you!" Her voice started to get louder as she spoke. "You people sit here, judging Miguel, and he’s not even here to defend himself!! He’s…so confused and hurting right now, that even I can sense it!!!"

"Daphne." Brody said in a warning voice.

Daphne ignored him. "Miguel needs his friends now more than ever, and you’re willing to turn your backs on him and dump him, just like that!?! Well, dammit!!!!" She slammed her hand on the table again and stood up. "Miguel doesn’t need fair weather friends like you!!!!" She turned and stormed out of the mess hall.

The entire table, as well as most of the mess hall watched her leave in stunned silence. Those at the table then looked at each other in shock.

"She’s right." Brody said.

"Pardon?" Lucas asked.

"We’re the ones who have been acting like jerks." Brody told them. "Miguel is in the med bay for some unknown reason, and all we can do is think about ourselves." He stood up.

"Are you going to find Daphne?" Dagwood asked.

Brody shook his head. "I’m going to let her cool off first. I’m going to see Miguel and apologize." He went to leave, but turned back. "I’d advise you all to do the same."

Tim waited until Brody left before he spoke. "Anyone going to go?"

"I don’t know." Lonnie answered. "Miguel said some very hateful, hurtful things to me……Are you going to go?"

Tim nodded. "Miguel and I have been friends far too long for me to just drop him over a bad attitude."

"I am going to see him." Dagwood spoke up. "Ortiz is my friend."

Tony nodded absently, his mind on something that Daphne had said. What did she mean when she said that even she could sense it????

*******

Wendy checked a few of Miguel’s charts, then shone a light in his eye. Miguel cringed. "How are you feeling now?"

"Be fine once you get that light outta my eyes."

Wendy smiled. Now for the test. "Miguel? Did I ever tell you that I think you are by far the biggest idiot that I have ever met."

Miguel looked shocked, and anger flashed briefly in his eyes…then, he shrugged and smiled at her. "Yeah, but I bet I’m the best looking biggest idiot that you have ever met."

Wendy smiled back. "Maybe." She turned to the table beside her.

"Uhhh….Wendy?"

"Yes Miguel?"

"You were just testing my anger reflex, weren’t you?" He sounded unsure.

Wendy turned to him and smiled. "Maybe." She smiled bigger at the miserable expression on his face. "Yes, I was…Now, if I can lock down the source of the toxin in your system, I should have you back to normal soon."

Miguel frowned. "Lot of good that will do, I only have two friends left on this sub."

"Make that three." A voice said from the doorway. Wendy and Miguel looked.

"Jim." Miguel said in an uneasy voice.

"Can I speak with him in private?" Brody asked.

Wendy nodded, then went into her office.

Brody approached the bed, and sat in the chair beside it.

Miguel spoke up. "I’m sorry for what I said to you yesterday."

"You don’t need to apologize." Brody said. "If anyone should be apologizing, it’s me. I’m sorry for not realizing that you needed my help, instead of my ignorance."