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seaQuest: The Dawning
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          Anya  moved her hands to the keys and played a short melody. Tony just stared as her fingers danced on the keys.
"I canít do that." He said, when she was finished. He tried unsuccessfully to make a few strangled chords. Anya shook her head. She stood up and stepped over his lap so she was sitting on the bench where Tony had one leg on either side of her. He was a little shocked, but she just smiled.
"No, here. Lay your hands on mine." Anya lay her hands on the keys, and Tony leaned forward to rest his hands on top of hers. His breath caressed her neck with their closeness. Tony could feel the heat radiating between them, and he could smell her sweet scent. Anya closed her eyes and smiled. "Thatís good." Tony wasnít sure if she was talking about the position of his hands or his body. He didnít care, either.
          Slowly, Anya began to move her hands in the motions of the same tune she had been playing when Tony had walked in. She repeated she same six measures over and over, letting Tony get the feel of the rhythm and trills before gently pulling her hands out from under his, and letting him take it on his own. To Tonyís surprise, he could play the melody effortlessly.
"WowÖ" he said under his breath. Anya smiled.
"See, classical music is just like the rest. Thereís nothing special there."
"Oh, I wouldnít be so sure of that." Tony smiled, and almost blushed when she turned to look at him and their cheeks touched. He pulled his hands off of the keys, and gently reached up to touch her cheek. He wanted to kiss her so badly. He gazed into her blue eyes and watched as she closed them and leaned forward to gently touch her lips to his.  He returned the kiss, cupping the back of her head with his hand and pulling them closer on the  piano bench.
          The phone rang, and Anya jumped, tearing her lips from his.
"Damn," she muttered, moving to get up. Tony gripped her arm.
"Let it ring." He said softly. Anya smiled and shook her head.
"If itís Nathan, heíll wonder whatís going on." She stood up and walked into the kitchen. Tony shook his head and stood up, wondering what he thought he was doing. This was the captainís niece, not some girl he had met at a club. And yet, he knew that she was very different from those girls in many ways. He walked across the room to a huge stone fireplace. Photographs lined the mantle. He recognized Captain Bridger, and a woman he assumed was his wife Carol. Anya was in several photos as well, with another young manÖ and a girl who looked surprisingly like her.
"Whoís that?" He asked, pointing, as Anya came back into the room.
"Which one?" She asked, stepping up to look. "Oh. Thatís my sister."
"Your sister? Are you  twins?" Anya stepped back and glared at Tony. Instantly, he wondered what he had said wrong.
"No." She said finally. "Weíre not twins. Sheís a year younger than I am."
"You two donít get along?"
"You could say that. She teaches at Stanford."
"And sheís younger than you."
"Yes." Anya glared at Tony, warning him not to go any further.
"Oh." Tony said, eager to change the subject, sensing her bitterness. "Who are these other people?"
"Well, that," she said, pointing, "is Bobby. My cousin. Nathanís son."

          Tony stared. He had never seen an actual photograph of Robert Bridger before, and the captain rarely spoke of his son. The resemblance between the two of them was remarkable. The smile worn by father and son in this photograph was identical.
"Did youÖdid you know him?"
Anya nodded.
"Yes. We grew up together. He was kind of like a big brother. I was always over here, and Iím sure that I annoyed him. I wanted to be just like him. But he was always so nice about it. Heíd always take time out and play with me." She smiled, weakly, and for a moment Tony saw sadness in her eyes. She sighed. "Some days, I really miss him." Tony wrapped his arm around her waist and kissed her head. Anya smiled and leaned closer. "Thatís my mother, there," she said, pointing to a small photograph, "and thatís daddy. And Natalie."
"Your sister is named Natalie?"
"Yep. Natalie and Nathania. They thought it was precious. We didnít." Anya shook her head and pulled down another frame. "And of course, you know Lucas."
"More than Iíd like to." Tony agreed, taking the photograph. He though it was interesting that Bridger had a photograph of Lucas on his mantle. Heíd always known that Bridger saw the boy as a son.  Part of him was jealous, which surprised him. Nat saw his look, and turned to face him
"What?" She asked, softly. Tony shook his head.
"Nothing. Itís just, I always knew the old man liked Lucas. I mean, heís got his pictures up and everything."
Anya smiled.
"Trust me, donít ever call him that to his face."
          She crossed the room and pulled out a book from beside the window seat. "Thereís photos around here of all you seaQuest people." She said, opening the album. Tony sat down beside her as she turned the pages. There were photographs from the barbecue that Bridger had held during the last shore leave. Tony flipping backward off of Dagwoodís leg. Dag and  Lonnie dancing. Tony and Ford jamming on the piano.
Tony smiled.
"Wow."
"That old man, as you call him, loves his crew."
"I can see that."
Anya turned the page and it revealed a photograph of her, seated at a piano in a large theater. Tony stopped and touched the photograph.
"Where is that?í
"The Paramount Theater, I think. Nathan came during a rehearsal, since he couldnít make the actual concert. Just as well. He could take pictures during the rehearsal."
"And all of those chairs were filled?"
Nat smiled.
"Well, most of them. Itís not as big as it looks."
"Still." Tony shook his head. "How do you manage to sing in front of all those people. I mean, I stand up in a meeting in the wardroom and I get nervous."
Nat shrugged.
"Well, Iíve been singing ever since I could remember.  I get nervous, sure, but it goes away the instant I start to sing. Itís home for me."
"I couldnít do that."
"Sure you could. You were playing the piano for me just a minute ago."
"Yeah, but thatís different. Youíre justÖ"
"Just what?" Nat raised an eyebrow and laughed as Tony stammered.
"Youíre justÖyouÖI guess. Youíre not a theater of people."
Anya closed the book.
"Trust me, Tony. Itís easier to sing in front of a roomful of strangers than ten people you know."
Tony shook his head.
"No way."
"Yes, way." She laughed, just as the doorbell rang. "Ooh, thatís probably the rest of the crew." She stood up and walked over to the door, Tony following close behind her.
"Hi!" She said, opening the door. Then, she stopped, realizing that she was not greeting the seaQuest crew. Instead, she was staring into a pair of eyes that matched her own. "What are you doing here?" She asked low.

          Natalie Bridger dropped her bag on the doorstep.
"I should ask you the same thing. Nathan invited me."
"He invited ME." Anya said. For a moment, there was silence between them as they exchanged angry glares. Tony cleared his throat.
"UhÖhi. Iím Tony." He said, reaching down to pick up Natalieís bag.
"Hi, Tony." Natalie said, not pulling her eyes from Anya. She raised an eyebrow. "Well, it looks like weíve been had, big sister."
"Yes, it does." Anya stepped back far enough to let Natalie slip inside. She slammed the door behind her, trying to let out some of her anger. Tony turned.
"Hey!" He glared. He understood that the two of them obviously had some sibling rivalry, but any destruction of the Bridger house would definitely come back on him. Anya sighed.
"Uncle Nathan is out getting some food."
"Good." Natalie said, pulling her hair back in a ponytail. "Then Iím going to go upstairs and take a nap before he gets home."
"Iím in the guest bedroom upstairs."
Natalie turned.
"Iím just sleeping in there."
"No, youíre not. Itís my room, and I donít want you in there."
Anya wasnít trying to be as immature as she sounded. She just knew that whichever one of them was sleeping in that room when Nathan got home was going to have it for the duration of their stay.  And the only other available bedroom was Robertís. Natalie glared at Anya.
"Iím not taking Bobbyís room."
"Neither am I."
"Enough!" Tony said, realizing that this was going nowhere. "Natalie, you can sleep in my room."
"Fine." She muttered, turning away. Halfway down the hall, she turned  around.
"Hey, Tony?ÖThanks."
"Not a problem."
           As she shut the door, Tony turned to Anya.
"Now, what was that about?"
Anya shook her head.
"Nothing. It doesnít matter." She turned and walked out the door onto the porch. Tony followed behind her, resting his hand on her shoulder.
"Yes, it does." He said, softly. Anya sighed.
"If Iíd known that she was going to be here, I wouldnít have come."
"Well, maybe thatís why Captain Bridger didnít tell you."
"Probably." Anya looked down, and Tony brushed her cheek with his hand.
"What happened between you two? I mean, I know youíre sisters and all that, but come on. She walks into the house and you two start fighting."
"Thatís just how we are." Anya watched the launch return to the dock below them. In the distance, she could see Nathan, Ford, Brody, Ortiz, Dagwood, Lonnie and Lucas. "Looks like everyoneís here."
"Yeah. Letís go help them carry everything in, shall we?"
"Sure."

They walked down to the dock.
"Hey, Anya!" Lucas called, giving her a hug.
"Hey, Lucas."
Nathan Bridger walked up, and made quick introductions before handing her a box of food.
"Here." He said, grabbing a box of his own. They walked  up towards the house.
"So, I guess everyoneís here." She said pointedly. Nathan glanced at her carefully.
"Everyone?" He asked. Anya shook her head.
"Donít try to be coy, Uncle. It doesnít work on you. Natalie arrived a few moments ago."
"Oh really? And how is she?"
"Delightful, as always." She rolled her eyes. "And asleep in Tonyís room. Come on, Uncle. Why didnít you tell me you invited her?"
"Would you have come?"
"Probably not."
"Well, then, you have your answer. Is it too much to ask for an old man to have his family around him at Thanksgiving?"
Anya raised an eyebrow at his attempt to make her feel guilty. Nathan sighed.
"Ok. I just thought it would be nice if the two of you spoke once in awhile."
"Oh, we do. You just donít like what we say."

          Anya set her box down on the counter in the kitchen and began to put the groceries away.
"Uncle Nathan, is that you?"
Natalie stepped into the kitchen and, seeing Nathan, ran up to give him a hug. Anya rolled her eyes. Dagwood and Lucas stepped into the kitchen.
"Hey, Natalie." Lucas smiled. Dagwood dropped his bags on the floor and tipped his head to the side, obviously confused.
"There are two Anyas." He said. Natalie smiled.
"Heaven forbid. No, there arenít. My name is Natalie."
"My name is Dagwood." His voice indicated that he really didnít understand why there were two Anyas with different names. Anya walked over and picked up the bags he had dropped just as Ortiz and Brody walked in, carrying boxes.
"Whoa, twins." Ortiz said, smiling.
"No. Weíre not." Anya said, tossing cans into the cupboard.
"Well, you look like it."
"No. We donít." Natalie said, taking Ortizís box, and beginning to sort through it. Brody exchanged a confused look with Miguel, who shook his head.
"Ok. You donít." He said.

          Ford and Lonnie walked in, engaged in conversation. It took a moment for the two of them to notice that there was a room full of people around them. Bridger finally cleared his throat, and Ford turned.
"Jonathan, everyone, this is Natalie, my other niece."
Everyone muttered a hello, and Ford turned to Bridger.
"There are 2 more boxes down on the dock."
"Iíll get it." Natalie volunteered.
"Iíll go with you." Lucas added. The two headed out the door and down the steps. Once at the dock, Natalie picked up a box, staggering a little. It was heavier than she had expected.
"Here, let me get that." Lucas said, reaching for the box.
"No, I got it." Natalie said, pulling out of his reach. Lucas stepped back, hands raised in defense.
"Ok, fine, whatever." He sighed. "Good to see nothingís changed with you."

TO CHAPTER 3