Disclaimer: Characters and situations are the property of Steven Speilberg and Universal Pictures, no copyright infringement is intended. Anything not owned by them is copyright 2006, but this is in no way intended to subsume their copyrights.

Author's notes: This was inspired by one of the deleted scenes from "Abalon" that are on the seaQuest season 1 DVDs. Long story short, O'Neil was eavesdropping on Lucas's call from Biff, so that Kreig isn't the only one who knows about the party.

Mess Hall Interrogation
by Beth Epstein

Lucas sat quietly in the crew mess, pushing the food around on his plate. He just had to hot dog it on the way back to seaQuest, didn't he? He nearly jumped at the sounds of three trays hitting the table.

"Hi, guys," he said lamely as Ortiz, O'Neil, and Shan all sat down.

"How was the party, Lucas?" Ortiz asked casually, opening his bottle of juice.

Lucas gulped. "It wasn't a party, it was a conference on..."

"At least you didn't tell the captain you were staying at Biff's," O'Neil interrupted as he cut at his beef substitute.

"You were listening in on my phone calls?" Lucas asked, head jerking up. "You can't do that!"

"Actually, I can. I mean I obviously did, right?" O'Neil winked.

Lucas glared.

"We didn't rat you out, did we?" Shan asked, smiling at Lucas indulgently.

"No," Lucas said, eying his friends skeptically.

"So spill!" Ortiz said.

"It was fine," Lucas said quietly, returning his eyes to his plate.

"Was Juliana there?" O'Neil prompted.

Lucas flushed, realizing just how much of the call O'Neil must have eavesdropped on. "Yes."

"And?" Ortiz prompted, tapping Lucas's arm.

"And butt out," Lucas said. He didn't want to lie to them, but he didn't really want to talk about what had happened--or more precisely, what hadn't happened--either.

"Lucas," O'Neil said gently.

Lucas looked up, taking a good look at the faces of his friends. Damn. They were worried, the bastards. "Ok, fine, nothing happened. We were alone in a room with a bed, and too freaked out to do anything. We weren't ready, we decided not to, okay? Commence mocking."

The other three stared at him for a moment.

"Good call," O'Neil said.

Lucas raised an eyebrow.

"Are you and Juliana okay?"

Lucas gave Ortiz a dirty look.

"I mean did you break up or something?" Ortiz clarified. "You look miserable."

"And don't try to tell us this is about the keys to the Stinger," Shan added.

"I just hope she isn't so embarrassed that she never wants to talk to me again," Lucas said, explaining about her brother.

Ortiz laughed. "He was just trying to keep you from doing exactly what you'd decided not to do."

"I know," Lucas said, miserably. "I don't know what to do."

"Are you looking for suggestions?" Ortiz asked.

Lucas nodded, surprised that he hadn't just been pelted with them.

"Two words: love letter." Ortiz then attacked his pasta with gusto.

"I can't do that!" Lucas's face burned hotter. He had to be the color of the marianra on Ortiz's plate by now.

"At least send her some kind of message," O'Neil said. "Let her know your feelings haven't changed."

Lucas nodded, taking a tentative bit of his food. "This is cold, I'll be right back." He got up, heading in the direction of the microwave.

O'Neil took a viddisk out of his pocket, eying it skeptically.

"Oh, give it to him," Ortiz said. "It's not like he couldn't have handled it two months ago."

"Maybe we should watch it with him?"

"Watch what with who?" Lucas asked.

"Tim finally found the missing Buffy disk," Ortiz said.

"Together sounds like fun," Lucas said. "Besides I want to see what can possibly top demons that breed in chicken eggs."

The End