SOON   TO   BE   POSTED

These are two of the stories that I am writing. I am going to post a few "scenes" from each story.....Happy reading, and, oh, let me know what ya think of 'em.....k?

Stormy Seas is new (June 17/99), Pirates Of Neptune will be done eventually...before the end of the next millenium, at least. Yeah., right.....As of April 13, 2003, neither are completed, and I just added two more!



Stormy Seas

The woman paused slightly as she entered the bridge. She approached the captain and saluted. "You asked to see me, sir?"

The captain smiled slightly at her exuberance, making it that much harder for him to tell her the news. "I'm afraid I have some bad news, Lieutenant." He paused. "The submarine your brother was on, The Marshall, is missing."

The lieutenant put a hand to her mouth. "Lance," she whispered. "How? When?"

The captain stood and put a comforting arm around her. "Perhaps you should sit down." He led her to his office just off of the bridge.

Miguel Ortiz plopped down on the couch beside Lonnie Henderson. "What'd I miss?"

Lonnie looked up from the commercial she was watching on the rec. room television. "Lance is MIA, and Captain Franks is going to...ah...comfort Alicia." Lonnie took a drink of her coffee before continuing to fill Miguel in on all that had happened while he was still on shift. "Parker found out that Michelle is pregnant, but it might not be his...Craig just got busted for running an illegal dating service."

Miguel nodded as she talked, then zeroed his attention back to the monitor as the commercials ended, and the soap opera came back on.

Jim Brody walked into the room, glanced at the monitor, and stopped. "What are you watching?"

"Sea Of Storms," Miguel told him.

"A soap opera?" Brody laughed. "Are you serious? What a waste of time!" He laughed some more, then he stopped. "Who's that?!" he asked as he pointed at the screen.

Miguel smiled slightly. "Captain Felicia Masters."

Brody gazed at the tight uniform the woman wore. "I never met a captain that looked like that."

"She also moonlights as an exotic dancer," Miguel added.

Brody approached the couch and sat down on the other side of Lonnie. "Of course," he said casually, "soap operas are a good way to pass the time, and forget your troubles." He leaned forward, his attention solely on the woman on the screen.

Lonnie rolled her eyes. "Men!" she said in disgust.

“Shhhh!” both Miguel and Jim said.

**********

Commander Jonathan Ford read the screen again, just to make sure he had understood it the first time. He sighed…Yep, read it right the first time. He stood and looked at the Captain.

“They can’t be serious.”

Captain Bridger looked at him. “They are serious.” He walked over and glanced at the screen. “I didn’t really like it when I first heard, but this comes directly from UEO Command.”

“How could a soap opera get permission to film aboard the seaQuest?” Ford asked.

“Well…it seems that one of the stars in an old friend of California Senator Marco Sanchez, and he politely asked if the film crew could use a sub.”

Ford’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “No wonder they allowed it. Senator Sanchez is almost guaranteed to win the next Presidential election.” He looked at the screen again. “Did he specifically request the seaQuest?”

“I don’t think so,” Bridger said with a shake of his head.

********

Seaman Tony Piccolo smiled as he left the bridge. His mother’s birthday was coming up, and he had no idea what to get her…until now. Sea Of Storms was her favorite soap opera, and if he could get all the actors autographs, it would be a great gift.

Tony walked in to the rec. room, and paused. “Hey! You guys hear the news?”

Lonnie turned from the screen. “What news?”

“That Sea Of Storms is gonna be filming here.”

Both Brody and Miguel pulled their attention from the screen, and looked at him.

“Really?” Brody asked. “How’d they work that out? Better yet, is all the cast gonna be here?”

Tony shrugged. “Not sure, but they got permission because some Senator asked.” He paused. “Some friend of one of the cast.”

“That would be Senator Sanchez,” Lonnie said. “He and Jim Wlcek stared in a show together in the ‘90’s.” She looked at Brody’s confused face. “Jim Wlcek is the father on Sea.”

“Ahhhh,” Brody nodded. “When are they getting here?”

Tony shrugged. “I didn’t get ta hear that part.”

Brody stood. “Well, I should check with Ford, and see if there are any security precautions needed.”

*******

Commander Ford sighed as he moved out of the way of another technician. He looked around the room, then set off for a man who was standing next to a computer terminal.

“Do you need help?” Ford asked politely.

The man looked at him, startled. “Uh, no. I was just trying to figure this thing out.” He motioned to the terminal. “Rather fascinating schematics.”

Ford reached past him and cleared the screen. “Yes, they are. Unfortunately, unrestricted persons are not permitted to see it.”

“But, I need to see them so I can work it with our filming schedule.”

Ford sighed to himself. “Lieutenant Brody?” he called out.

“Sir?” Brody called from across the room.

Ford looked, and closed his eyes in brief annoyance. Brody was talking to a rather attractive woman. “Lieutenant Brody?”

Brody looked, then quickly walked over. “Yes, sir?”

“What are you doing?”

“I was talking to one of the actors.” Brody glanced over his shoulder at her. “She plays Captain Masters.”

Ford looked at the woman. I never met a Captain that looked like that. “Get me a lay out of the sub…the approved sections for filming.”

“Aye, sir,” Brody replied and set off.

*******

Captain Bridger smiled at the man in front of him. “It’s a privilege to have you aboard Mr. Wlcek.”

“Call me Jim,” he answered with a smile. “I hope we are not putting you out much.” He looked around the bridge, and returned a smile to the woman who sat on a raised section.

“No, you are not putting us out,” Bridger replied. “The sections you will be filming in are basically non-essential areas.” He paused. “Do you have a filming schedule with you? We have yet to receive ours.”

Jim Wlcek shook his head. “I don’t have mine on me, but I believe our director does.” He waved a man over. “Do you have the filming schedule, Mike?”

Mike stated to hand over a piece of paper, when he stopped. He stared at the door. “Who is that?”

Bridger turned. “Commander Ford.”

“He’s perfect,” Mike said and looked at Bridger. “I need him to star in my show.”

******

“He wants me to what?!” Ford asked in disbelief.

“He wants you to star in the show,” Bridger said as he tried to hide a smile. “It would be great exposure for the navy.”

Ford looked at him. “The navy is already getting good exposure from them filming here.”

“Oh, come on, Jonathan,” Bridger said. “Face it…you’ve been discovered.”

Ford sighed, and walked away. He stopped as Brody appeared before him, pen and paper in hand. “What?” Ford asked.

“Could I have your autograph?” Brody asked with a straight face. “Make it out to ‘my best bud in the whole world.’”

Ford glared at him slightly. “How about I just make out a new shift schedule instead? One with you working double shifts.” He walked away.

Brody grimaced slightly. “Temperamental star,” he muttered under his breath.

********

Lucas Wolenczak stood by the pool in sea deck, watching in silent fascination as the filming went on in front of him. The soap opera crew had been here for three days so far, and although Lucas had no interest in it to begin with, he was soon drawn in. He had tried to remember the actors’ names, but decided that it was much less confusing to refer to them by their character’s name.

All this technical stuff, he thought as he glanced around. Whoa! A multi-screened camera! Ohhhh…I gotta take a look at that!! He thought about approaching the camera technician, but decided that he should at least wait until they were done with the scene. Lucas sat on the edge of the pool, and watched as ‘Captain Franks’ argued with ‘Captain Masters’.

“Felicia,” Maxwell Franks said in an elegant British accent. “Think about what you are doing!”

Felicia Masters folded her arms on her chest, the tight uniform pulling slightly. “I have thought about it, Max. I believe that it is something I have to do.”

Maxwell approached and took her in his arms. “No! I will not allow you to throw away your career because of that…thing you do.”

Felicia pulled away from him. “That thing is something I enjoy!” she spat. “Not you, or anyone else, can say that it is wrong!”

Maxwell sighed in frustration. “It’s not right for a Captain in the navy to be a…stripper!”

“I am not a stripper!” Felicia shrieked. “I am a dancer!” She walked to the door. “You never could understand that fact! We, Captain, are through!”

Maxwell watched as she stormed out. “Oh, we are not through, Felicia…not by a long shot.”

“And…cut!” The director, Mike, walked to the actor. “Good scene. Ready for the next one?”

“Actually,” Maxwell said in an American accent, “I’m kinda hungry.”

“We’re breaking for lunch,” Mike announced loudly. “Be back here in one hour.”

To be continued........

Pirates Of Neptune

(Near beginning of story)

Miguel sat at a table in the mess hall, wondering what the hell was wrong with him, and why his day was going so bad. He reached out for his coffee, brought it to his lips, and yelled out as the hot liquid spilled down the front of his shirt.

He jumped up and pulled the wet material away from his chest.

"Damn, are you okay?" Tony Piccolo asked in concern.

"Fine." Miguel muttered. He sat back down, missing the chair. He landed on the floor.

Dagwood reached out a hand, and helped Miguel to his feet. "Are you all right?"

Miguel sat slowly in his seat. "Yeah…it's just been one of those days."

"One of what days?" Dagwood asked.

Miguel just sighed. Tony answered for him. "One of those days means a day when nothing seems to go right."

Dagwood nodded in understanding. "Is that why Miguel tripped on the bridge?"

"Exactly."

Miguel sighed again. "Could you please not talk about me like I'm not here?"

Lieutenant James Brody pulled a chair to the table and sat down. "So, what's up?"

"Miguel is having one of those days." Dagwood explained seriously.

Brody looked at him. "Is that right?" He looked at Miguel. "Klutzy, or everything going wrong?"

"This is not funny." Miguel growled.

Brody raised an eyebrow at the comment. "Well, by the tone of your voice, I'd have to say both."

Miguel stood up. "Look, you guys can joke all you want about this…..I'm outta here." He stormed away, being careful not to hit any chairs on the way.

"Ouch." Brody said. "He really is having a bad day."

******** (Later in story)

“Ten bucks says you can’t do it.”

Miguel looked in surprise at Jim Brody. “Are you that eager to part with your money?”

Brody laughed. “Fine…fifty.”

“Fifty? As in fifty dollars?” Miguel said in amazement. “You are on!”

“Deal.” Brody nodded. “Fifty bucks says you can’t stay away from chocolate for a whole week.”

“Watch me.” Miguel said. “I did it before, I can do it again."

Brody laughed. "Yeah, but that time you were under doctor's orders…this time I'm gonna shove every chocolate morsel I can find in your face…Just to bug you."

"You are such a good friend." Miguel said sarcastically. "Uh, you are aware that gambling is illegal?”

Brody shrugged. “So I’ll arrest myself after I win the bet.”

“And what makes you think you’re gonna win?” Miguel asked. “Don’t you think I have any will power?”

“Miguel, you have no will power when it comes to two things…One of them being chocolate.” Brody told him. Miguel’s love of chocolate was well known.

True. “What’s the other thing?”

“Chicks.”

Miguel laughed. “Well, buddy, prepare to kiss your money good bye…‘cause I can, and will stay away from chocolate for a week.”

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

Miguel walked onto the bridge, went safely up the steps, and sat at his console to begin running a few basic tests with the WSKRS. He glanced up as Lonnie walked in, and he stared at her.

"What?" Lonnie asked self-consciously.

"What are you eating?"

Lonnie held up her hand. "A cookie…want a bite?"

Miguel stared at it and groaned. It was a chocolate chip cookie, loaded with the biggest chunks of chocolate that he had ever seen in a cookie. "No thanks." He whispered in a choked voice. Damn you Jim! You knew those cookies were here!!

"You sure?" Lonnie held it out.

Miguel inhaled the scent of chocolate, and turned away quickly. "Quite sure." He busied himself with his task.

"Suit yourself." Lonnie said as she took another bite. "But you don't know what you're missing. This is the best chocolate chip cookie that I have ever tasted."

Miguel almost felt like crying. "Just eat the damn thing, and be quiet…ma'am."

"Gee Miguel…are you feeling all right?" Lonnie approached and stood beside him.

"I'm fine…and busy." Came the reply. "So, if you don't mind, take your cookie, and--" He stopped as the WSKR Loner picked something up. He keyed in a command, studied the read out and frowned slightly.

"Sir?"

Captain Bridger looked up. "What is it Mr. Ortiz?"

"I have something on long range." Miguel looked back at his sensors. "A sub…can't tell what kind yet…running silent and deep."

"Bottom skimming?" Bridger asked.

Miguel nodded. "About six clicks out, and approximately ten meters off the ocean floor." He typed in a few things. "I have WSKR view."

"Bring it up." Bridger ordered. He watched as a hazy image appeared on the screen in front of him. He studied the submarine, trying to pick out an identifiable feature on it. "Best guesses?"

"Pirates?" Lonnie said from her station.

"That would be my guess." Lieutenant Tim O'Neill said from communications. "I'm picking up a faint message from them. They're talking to someone about some sort of cargo that should be in this area." He stopped. "Uhhh…the transmission stopped." He looked at the captain. "I think they know we're here."

Bridger nodded. "Well, no need for secrecy now. Send a WSKR in for a better view."

"Aye sir." Miguel replied. He guided Loner in to the other sub, and carefully maneuvered it completely around the vessel. The control board in front of him blurred slightly, and he blinked in an attempt to get it into focus. He realized that he was developing a rather nasty headache.

"There!" Bridger said and pointed. "Go back about three meters." He waited until the WSKR was back to where he had mentioned. "That logo on the side of the sub. Can anyone make it out?"

"Looks like…Tri-Corp?" Brody said.

"Tri-Corp?" Lonnie asked. "I've never heard of them."

Brody turned around to look at her. "Probably some name made up to make them look legit when they pulled into a port."

A noise from the Moon Pool made them all look. Darwin was swimming frantically and chirping noisily. Bridger hurried over.

"What is it my friend? What's wrong?" He flicked on the translator.

"Bad noise." Darwin said. "Hurt's Darwin." He swam away, then came back.

"What noise?" Bridger turned to O'Neill. "Is there any noise in the area?"

O'Neill checked quickly. "No sir."

Bridger turned back to an obviously agitated Darwin. "What type of noise?"

Miguel closed his eyes as his headache became worse, and put his head in his hands. He could hear a high pitched ringing and vaguely wondered if it was the same noise Darwin was talking about.

"Miguel?" Lonnie asked in concern. "Are you all right?"

Miguel nodded slightly. "Yeah." He moved his headset to around his neck.

Lonnie motioned for someone to take her navigation console, then got up and went to Miguel. She touched the side of his face, and jumped slightly when he flinched. "Sir!"

Bridger looked up from his spot by the Moon Pool. "What is--" He got to his feet quickly when he saw Miguel. He hurried over. "What's wrong with him?"

Lonnie shrugged. "He won't say." She looked worried as Miguel gasped in pain, tore off his headset and threw it to the deck.

Bridger leaned toward Miguel. "Chief?" he said softly. "What is wrong?"

Miguel inhaled raggedly. "It's…a high pitched ringing sound." He stood up quickly, surprising both Lonnie and the captain. "I have to go." He took a few pain filled steps before he fell to his knees. Oh, God!

"Get Wendy up here." Bridger ordered as he knelt beside Miguel, who was now sitting against the top of the steps with his head in his hands. He looked as Wendy rushed onto the bridge.

"That was fast."

"I was already on my way here." Wendy explained as she started to check Miguel over. "I need someone to help me take him to med lab."

Bridger nodded. "Lieutenant Brody."

"Sir?"

"Help Doctor Smith take Ortiz to med bay."

"Aye sir." Brody stood and approached. He helped get Miguel to his feet then slung his arm over his shoulder. "Easy buddy…leave the driving to us."

Miguel nodded slightly and closed his eyes against the pain.

Bridger watched as the three of them left, then turned his attention back to the matter at hand. "Find out where that mystery noise is coming from." He ordered.

********

(Still later...)

Lucas sat up straight in his chair and stared at the screen in front of him. He pushed a key for an enlargement, and let out a low whistle. "Hey, you guys have GOT to see this!"

Lonnie looked over at him. "What has you so excited?"

Lucas pushed a key, and an image appeared on the main screen. "Check this out!"

Lonnie looked. "Okay, I'm checking. What is it?"

"I don't believe it." Jim Brody said in amazement and stared at the screen. "How the hell did that get there?"

"I don’t know." Lucas said. "Cool, huh?"

Brody turned and looked at him. "Cool is an understatement." He looked back at the screen.

"Guys!?" Lonnie said in exasperation. "What is it??"

"That," Brody pointed, "is part of a NASA exploration probe."

"A what?"

"National Aeronautics and Space Administration." Lucas said.

"I know what NASA means Lucas." Lonnie sighed. "What's it doing here, instead of out in space?"

Lucas shrugged. "Dunno. But I want to find out."

Commander Ford walked onto the bridge, looked at the screen and stopped. "What is that?

"Part of a NASA exploration probe." Lonnie said. She smiled at Lucas and Jim when they looked at her.

"Okay." Ford accepted that. "But what's it doing here, and is that the source of the mystery noise?"

"Don't know what it's doing here." Lucas said. "And yes, that is the source of the noise."

"Maybe…" Brody started, but changed his mind.

"Maybe what Jim?" Ford said.

"I was just thinking out loud." Brody said as he stood up and approached the screen. Childlike wonder showed on his face as he looked at the beacon. "About twenty years ago, NASA launched a deep space probe. It exploded just after it reached the upper atmosphere, and they were able to salvage most of the pieces." He seemed to be in his own world as he talked and stared at he image.

He turned to look at them. "I don't think they ever found the beacon."

"You think this might be it?" Ford sounded doubtful.

"Follow me on this, okay?" Brody turned back to the screen. "The probe explodes, piece fall to Earth…the beacon gets damaged in reentry, and no longer sends out the signal that it's suppose to--" He trailed off and stared at the image.

Lucas caught onto his line of thinking. "So when NASA can't find the beacon, they assume that it's been destroyed. But why didn't anyone find it before now? I mean, the signal is there."

"Maybe something set it off?" Lonnie offered.

"Maybe." Brody said. "Or maybe… Lucas, call up all the files you can on the Neptune Probe." He faced them. "I've got a hunch."

To be finished eventually......I hope.

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

OKAY!!! That's both of them. I guess you can tell from these, and my other stories that Ortiz and Brody are my two favorite characters.:) I also try to use Lonnie a lot, and don't really like the "Ho of the sea" label that has been put on her. I mean, come on...face it ladies!!!! Who wouldn't act that way on a sub full of men that looked like these characters????


Days Like These

By Lillandra

How do I get myself into these situations?!

"Excuse me?" I call through the small opening in the door. "But I believe I get one phone call?"

The police officer looked up from his desk at me. "Really? Are you sure?" He turned to the other officer, the one who had arrested me. "Is she right? Does she get one phone call?"

The other officer shrugged. "I'm not sure, but I can find out."

They both look at each other, then at me, and start to laugh. "Oh, funny," I whisper. "Ha-fucking-larious." I turn away, walk back over to the bench and lean against the wall.

This is just great! Lovely! Dandy! Aw, man, I am sooooo screwed!!!

Maybe I should start from the beginning, and you'll see what I mean.

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

"Hi, Tim!"

Lieutenant Tim O'Neill turned to look at me. "Oh, hi," he replied with a smile.

"How ya doin'?"

"Good…you?"

"I have a three day shore leave," I replied as I did a little celebration dance. "Gonna hit the town, do some shopping, and bum around."

Tim smiled as I danced around him. "Well, hope you have fun. Uh, could you stand still? You're making me dizzy."

"Sorry," I replied as I stopped moving. "This is the first time that I get more than one day in this city, and I want to see everything!!"

I smiled as Lucas Wolenczak arrived. "Hi!"

Lucas smiled at us, then nodded towards me. "She do her 'I got three days free dance' yet?"

"Just finished it," Tim replied.

"Oh, you guys are no fun. I'm outta here." I waved over my shoulder at them, then continued to the dock.

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

I approached the front gate to the navel yards, clutching my precious three-day pass close to me. I showed my identification at the gate, and signed out.

The guard looked at my ID, then compared the signatures. "Ensign Lenora Henderson," he said with a nod.

I took my ID back, and off I went to explore the city.

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

Everything was going great…I went to the zoo…a few museums…and blew a bundle on an outfit that I would probably never even get to wear on the seaQuest. The day, and my weekend was going perfectly. And then, I saw it.

I took a bite out of my ice cream cone, and glanced at the window display as I passed a collectibles store. Hey! That's an Abbott and Costello movie! Miguel would love that! I took a quick peek at the money I had left, and decided that I would get the movie for Miguel. I wasn't sure if he already had a copy of it or not, but what the heck…anything for that sweet hunk-o-man!

Now, don't get me wrong, I am no more interested in Miguel than I am in any of the other guys that I work with. He is merely a friend…who happens to have a great bod, and looks ever so nice in tight jeans! And those eyes? Whew! I could get lost looking into them, I mean…Opps…getting off topic here, aren't I.

Sorry.

As I opened the door to walk in, a young man banged into me in a hurry to get out. Damn near knocked me to the ground!

"Excuse me," he apologized as he grabbed my arm to steady me.

"That's okay," I assured him. I smiled as he walked away, then I entered the store.

I looked around for a few minutes. It was a rather interesting store. They had all sorts of memorabilia from last century…and a few things from the first part of this one.

I grabbed the movie case, brought it to the counter, and paid for it. I'm not sure what really happened next…I'm still trying to sort that out in my mind.

As I walked out of the store, another guy banged into me. This sure is a busy area I thought as he ran away. I turned to walk away, and stepped right in fron tof two guys who were running.

My packages flew everywhere! The outfit that I bought earlier ended up in the street, and I closed my eyes as a bus ran over the bag. Geeze!!!!

Are It was then that I noticed the badges on the other's jacket. I kept my hands where they were, though. "Officer," I began. "My name is Lenora Henderson. I am and Ensign with the UEO."

The officer held out his hand. "ID please…slowly."

I reached down with one hand and felt my coat pocket. Then, I checked the other pocket. I could feel myself starting to panic as I quickly checked all of my pockets.

Suddenly, it hit me! That man! The one who bumped into me! It had to be! "Uh…this guy bumped into me when I entered the store, and…" I paused slightly. Hell, I know what happened, and even I wasn't believing my excuse. "The guy bumped into me, and he must have taken my identification."

"Of course he did," the officer replied as he motioned for me to put my hands on the counter. "You're under arrest."

I stared at him. Huh!? "Why?"

He held up the movie. "Receiving stolen goods."

Oh, lovely.

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

So, that's what happened. With no ID, I can't prove who I am, and these keystone cops don't wanna listen to me! I've been protesting my innocence sine I got slapped in handcuffs!!!

"How about that phone call?"

"Still looking that information up," the officer says, and doesn't bother to take his nose out of the book he's reading.

My only hope is that my friends will find me when I don't make it back from leave…in two more days…..GOD! This is like soooo illegal!!!! But, I don't want to make a fuss…then I might end up in prison the way my luck is heading. Then again, if I don't make it back to the sub, I'll be AWOL…..ugh! I hate shore leave!

Sigh Mother always warned me that there would be days like these.

End of part one

"Lieutenant Brody?" Commander Ford asked. He smiled slightly. "Jim!"

I jumped, startled. "Yeah?"

"Already on your day leave, are you?"

Oopps! "Sorry, sir," I reply and then try to concentrated on the task at hand. I look the cards in my hand over, contemplating what I should do next. "Got any threes?"

Jonathan shook his head. "Nope…go fish."

I drew a card off the top of the deck, smiled, and laid out the rest of my cards. "I win…again."

"Let's see…a buck a left over card…uh, I owe you five bucks."

"It was ten bucks a card," I remind him.

"You sure?" He sighs when I nod.

"Double or nothing when you get back from leave?" I ask.

"Sure." Jonathan checks his watch. "Gotta go."

I give him a half salute as I gather up the cards. I sigh at how pathetic my life has become. Here I am, playing "Go Fish" with my roommate, when I should be in the city doing God-knows-what with Who-cares-who. Now, don't get me wrong…Jonathan Ford is a great guy, and not as nearly uptight as he lets on.

"Well, Jimmy-bud," I say to the empty room. "Time to hit land and get yerself some chicks." I unconsciously look around as I say that. Never know when Lonnie might pop up. Word of advice…never refer to woman as chicks around Lonnie Henderson! She hates that!

I jump when someone knocks at my door. The thought that Lonnie might have heard me, and is here for a 'femenist' lecture crosses my mind as I open the door.

Tony Piccolo smiles at me. "Ready?"

"Uh…for?"

Tony's smile falters as a voice sounds from down the hall.

"Did he forget?"

I poke my head out of my quarters. "Did I forget what?"

Miguel Ortiz stays where he is, leaning against the bulkhead. "Did you forget that you agreed to buy pizza."

"I agreed?" I ask, slightly confused. "That doesn't sound like me."

Miguel stands and walks to the door. "Yeah, you agreed." He sighs, then continues. "The day Dags asked you how baby's were born. We," he motions to Tony, then himself, " bet you that you couldn't explain it to him without getting embarrassed."

"Oh, yeah," I say slowly. God, that was an embarrassing conversation. I mumbled throughout the entire talk, and…well, let's just say that it was indeed embarrassing.

"So," Miguel prompts. "the pizza??"

I sigh. "Yeah, okay." I duck back into my 'home', grab my jacket, and join them in the hall. "I hope you appreciate this, cause I had plans."

Miguel shrugs. "Next time don't make bets you can't win." He elbows Tony lightly, whispers something, and they both laugh.

"What?"

"That might actually work," Tony says, totally ignoring me. He whispers something back to Miguel, and they both laugh again. I couldn't make out everything, but I heard the word chick, then they both paused to look around. Thry've had the lonnie lecture before

Miguel's point of view

**********

I borrowed the title of this story from a David Bowie song. Thanks for making kick ass music, David!

It's Only Forever…That's Not Long At All
By
Lillandra

"Hey!"

Miguel Ortiz glanced up at the person who spoke. "Hey, what?"

Tim O'Neill leaned against the back of an empty chair. "Got any plans for tomorrow?"

Miguel leaned back in his seat and sighed. "Nope. She canceled on me."

Tim smiled slightly as he sat at the mess hall table. "Sorry to hear that, I mean that, really, but…ummm…"

"But, ummm, what?" Miguel was enjoying the discomfort on his friend's face.

"Well, you see," Tim began, "there's a group going hiking tomorrow and…well…" he trailed off.

"Let me see if I can guess. There's a group going hiking tomorrow…and a certain someone is in that group…'" he paused to see if he was correct. Tim's cheeks flushed in embarrassment. "Yeah…and this certain someone happened to join the crew during the last rotation, and happens to be cute, and happens to say hi to you every time she sees you, and happens to be named Cari, and happens…."

"Miguel," Tim hissed. "Do you want to go, or not."

Miguel stretched lightly. "Yeah, sure…I've got nothing..." He stopped as a weird sensation passed through him. He stared at Tim.

"What?" Tim asked self-consciously. "Miguel?"

"Hum?" Miguel mentally shook himself. "Sorry…lost my thought there."

"You had this weird look on your face." Tim said. "Look, don't worry about the hike tomorrow…stay here and get some rest."

"No," Miguel replied. "I wouldn't miss this for the world."

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

Lieutenant Cari Gracen smiled as she adjusted the backpack she wore.

Miguel grabbed her arm, turning it over sharply. He stared at the inside of her wrist; flesh colored makeup smudged over a circle shaped tattoo. He could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand on end as he stared.

Cari pulled herself free of his grasp and tugged her sleeve down.

Miguel slowly looked up at he face. "Well?"

"Well, what?" Cari asked.

"Answer the damn question."

Cari resisted the urge to step back. The immortal's voice was so calm that she suddenly felt afraid. "I'm not one of them anymore, Miguel."

Miguel laughed softly. "Your life is like mine, Cari. You don't get to be 'not one of them' until you're dead. And you, my friend, are still breathing." He looked away from her.

"I'm not here to watch you…or Tim, for that matter."

Miguel's head snapped up. "What!" He stormed up and grabbed her arms. "If you're not one of them, then how do you know about Tim!?"

"One does not fall 100 meters off a cliff, impale himself on a stump, and then walk away without so much as a scratch." Cari tried to get out of Miguel's grip, but failed. "Miguel, please…You're hurting me."

Miguel sighed as he let go. "I want an explanation…one that I'll believe."

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

"Go away!!" Tim yelled at his door.

"Tim?" Miguel said from the hallway. "Come one, open up."

"No!"

"Tim?"

"I said no!!!!"

Miguel pounded on the door harder. "Tim! Open up this fuckin' door, or I swear to God I'll break it down!!"

The door opened slightly as Tim peeked out at him. "You swore."

Miguel nodded. "And I'll swear some more if you don't get the hell outta my way and let me in!"

Tim sighed in resignation as he opened the door completely. Miguel walked in, followed closely by Cari.

Miguel waved his hand toward Tim. "Go ahead…tell him what you told me."

Cari hesitated. "Miguel…"

"Tell me what?" Tim asked, but was ignored.

"Tell him," Miguel ordered. "Or I will."

Cari sighed as she looked at Tim. "I'm sorry, Tim, I really am."

Tim swallowed hard. "Sorry about what?

"I can't." She looked at Miguel. "I can't do it."

"Will someone please tell me what's going on?!" Tim yelled.

Miguel glared at Cari, then turned to his best friend. "Tim…I don't know how to tell you this…" He made a steeple out of his hands and put them in front of his mouth.

Tim reached behind him, found his bed by touch, and sat down on it. "Nothing will top the news that I am immortal, Miguel…so just tell me."

Miguel removed his hands and nodded. "Almost since there have been immortals, there have been a group of people called Watchers. In the beginning, they secretly watched and record the actions of Immortals. As time went by, they started to interfere in the affairs of those they were watching." He paused. "Getting too deep for you?"

Tim smiled weakly. "Keep going…it's only a small headache."

"The position of Watcher is usually passed through a family, from one generation to the next," Miguel continued. "Like I said, they are suppose to just watch…never interfere…and never try to influence an immortal." He looked at Cari, who hugged her arms around herself and turned away.

Tim tore his stare away from Miguel, and transferred it to Cari's back. "No…you mean she's…"

"A Watcher," Miguel finished for him. He grabbed her arm and turned her around. "All Watchers have this tattoo." He showed Tim her wrist.

"She's here to watch you?" Tim's voice sounded hollow.

"No." Miguel took a deep breath. "She's here to kill you."

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