Disclaimer and anything you might want to know about the fic like spoilers are in chapter one. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy chapter eight. There's nothing like writing a chapter to an angst fic at 4:00am. This should get interesting.
Sea of Glass 8/?
Darien was back in the Keep and Claire had spent the last hour and a half running tests on him. Every time he got up the nerve to ask her the question he had been wondering all night he chickened out at the last second. Claire was probably annoyed with all his interruptions, but he couldn't help it. He needed to know the answer to his question. It had been two days since his outburst with Hobbes, and he hadn't seen him since.
Finally, he got up the nerve again, telling himself he wouldn't change his mind this time. "Umm, Claire, can I ask you something?"
She didn't look up from her computer at first, but when she did there was a look of exasperation on her face. "Oh bloody hell, Darien! Whatever it is your want to say just get it over with because if you bother me one more time you don't want to know what I'll do!"
"Wow, Keep, what a run on sentence." She replied by giving him a death glare. "I know that this might sound stupid, but have you heard from Hobbes?"
Claire bit the bottom of her lip and scooted her chair backwards. "Actually, now that you mention it, I haven't heard from him since yesterday morning. He's probably busy working though." Claire added the last part as if trying to make herself sound unconcerned, but in all reality, she was in fact very worried. It wasn't like Hobbes to drown himself in work and block everyone out. "Is that all you wanted, Darien?"
"Yeah,." Darien replied, wishing he could go find his partner. The door to the lab swished open and Alex walked in with an Agency flanky by her side.
"Darien, I need to talk to you in private, would you mind if we went somewhere else?" To Claire's surprise, and Alex's as well, Darien agreed and the flanky lifted him off of the demented dentist chair onto the wheelchair that Hobbes had taken him outside in two days before. After Darien was braced in, Alex dismissed the agency hand and wheeled Darien out into the hall. "Where do you want to go, my office?"
"No," Darien replied, surprising Alex yet once again, "what I want to do is find Hobbes, and I want to go wherever it is that I can find him at."
Alex waited until she and Darien were in a hallway out of the Keep before she replied. "Yeah, that's kind of why I wanted to talk to you. Fawkes, Hobbes didn't show up for work this morning... Eberts went to his apartment and it was a mess... I've called his cell and left messages, he won't return them..."
"Wait, what are you saying? You don't think something happened to him, do you?"
"No, I think he needed some time to himself, and I think he just decided it would be better if he just took off for a while."
"And not tell anyone? Alex, that's not like Hobbes."
Alex turned the chair toward her so she could look Darien in the eyes, . "I don't know if you've noticed, but no one is doing anything lately that they would normally do."
"Okay, so you have a point there. But if there's nothing you can do, why am I here? Why did you get me out of the Keep just to tell me this?"
"I want to take you somewhere, if you're willing. It's outside of the Agency... But I think it's something you need."
"Alex, I don't think I can..."
Her plea was so simple. So sincere. So innocent. She truly believed she could help him. It touched him deeply, even though he didn't want help. "Okay."
"Really?" Alex asked, conveying her shock.
"Yeah." Darien said, feeling a little queasy and wondering if he was going to regret this.
"Okay," Alex replied, nodding. She turned the wheelchair back around and headed toward the agency exit, pushing Darien's wheelchair along.
The warm sun shone on Darien; his head bounced off of the window when Alex hit another bump. His wheelchair was neatly folded in the back of her corvette. His hair was flying around in a frenzy due to the wind, and he thought it looked rather odd to have the windows up with the top of the car down, but Alex had insisted on it. He rested his head once again against the window once again and noticed that the car was slowing down. "Are we here?"
"Yes, we're here."
Darien scanned the scenery around him and was greeted by an ugly looking concrete slab that dropped off into the ocean. They were at some kind of beach but it looked like its population had died out years ago. There was no one in sight. Alex got out of the car, and reached to the back seat, pulling Darien's wheelchair out and unfolding it. Then she went to the passenger's side and once again shocked Darien with her strength as she lightly lifted him and set him in it. Sure, he wasn't a heavy guy, but with his length and just the fact that she didn't look as muscular as she proved to be, he was surprised. "So, what are we doing?"
Alex rolled the chair along the concrete until they got to the edge leading to the water and then set the brakes on it as she finally spoke. "You see, Darien, it's like a sea of glass. When you step out onto it you're not sure if it's gonna break or not. All you know is that you want to get the hell off of it... Most people step on it not knowing why, others get tossed onto it. But the fact of the matter is, when you're on it, it's up to you what you're going to do. It's up to you whether you're going to just stand there and let the glass crack and swallow you, or if you're going to try to get off of it. But you don't have to get off of it on your own. That's why you have friends."