Title: Waiting

Author: iwomans_sister

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters from "The Invisible Man", or the song. I only borrowed both so I could write this song fic in hopes that someone would like it. "The Invisible Man" belongs to SciFi and whomever else laid claim to it. And the song belongs to the band "Plumb". Please don't sue, I'm always broke.

Spoilers: None

Rating: PG-13, violence.

Genre: Angst

Warning: Mention of character death.

Authors Note: I wrote this ficette in my mind while working, later I wrote it down. Personally, I think it was better when it was in my mind.

*hugs her Beta Reader* I love you, girl!

Summary: After the one year anniversary of Darien's death, Claire and Hobbes decide to work out what led up to his death so they can find peace. Yeah, I know, summary sucks. What's new?

~*~

It will be great to see you, again

Now that the old wounds have mended

I promise I'll be waiting by the door

Unlike so many nights before

Claire opened her front door again, looking for any sign of Hobbes. Not seeing his van she closed the door, feeling anxious. It was starting to get dark, and the waiting was killing her. It had been a long time since she had last seen him, and his letter had been a surprise. She was positive only a week ago that he would never want to see her face again. Not since the accident. Apparently she was wrong.

In his letter he had told her that he needed to see her. And, she had to admit, she had missed seeing him herself. But she knew what had caused them to drift away. And she understood why he had left. She was too much of a coward to leave at the time. But over time she had forgiven herself.

That night you found me in the living room

Along with the bottle I had just consumed

I cried for hours after you had left

Must be hard to forgive, even harder to forget

After the accident, Claire had sank into depression. And for the first few weeks Hobbes was the only one who could pull her through it. But over time even he couldn't stand to see her like that. But the breaking point for him had been when she started drinking. She had told that she had it handled. That it would be okay. That she could stop drinking anytime she wanted to. It wasn't that easy.

The last straw for Hobbes had been one night when he came over to her house and found her passed out on the floor, a broken bottle of Vodka by her limp body. To an outsider it just looked like she had passed out and the bottle had broken in the fall. But the small cut on her left wrist told him the whole story. If she hadn't passed out drunk, she would have killed herself.

Hobbes managed to wake Claire up. He took care of her as she spent most of the night vomiting. He cleaned her up, including her cut, then made sure she had everything she needed. Claire could still remember it clearly. He had told her that he was going through his own grief and that he couldn't bear hers on his shoulders as well. That, in the beginning he thought he could, but he couldn't take her pity parties.

He told her that Darien was dead, and there was nothing either of them could do to change it. It was too late. Hobbes told her that if she wanted to kill herself, she could do it. Just not with him there. And then, then he left. Feeling guilt from all he had said, and feeling ashamed for trying to kill herself she had cried herself to sleep. She had hoped he'd be there when she woke up. He wasn't. And she hadn't seen him since.

Why was he coming to see her now? How could he forgive her? How could he forget? No, he hadn't forgotten. Some things people never forgot, and this was one of them. It was her fault Darien had died. She would never forget, and neither would Hobbes. And she had spent the last year trying to forgive herself.

~*~

So, do you recall how to get here?

You might not recognize what you'll see

Take the second right at the second light

Pass Cherry Street, go left

It's the second house, with a willow tree

I'll be there, waiting

Hobbes sat in his Agency-assigned van. When he had left, the Official had given it to him. He figured it was the least he could do. The Agency had shut down due to lack of funds. Fish and Game had dropped them as soon as they learned about the Invisible Man's death. And after the word got around, no one wanted to take on the Agency. There was no reason to.

The light turned green and Hobbes started to drive again. He was taking a big chance going to see Claire. When he had first wrote her, he wasn't sure what to expect. She had sent a quick overnight reply in the mail, giving him the directions to her home, in case he had forgotten how to get there, and a "thank you" for writing. At first, Hobbes was shocked to get the reply. He hadn't been sure if she still lived there, but apparently, she did.

He knew from what Alex had said that Claire was in good health. They had talked on the phone quite a few times since Darien's death. But after the funeral Alex had cut her losses and joined the CIA. She hadn't had to pull any strings. It turned out that just about every major Agency wanted her. She bid her farewell, along with a way to reach her, and was gone.

The Official had retired, and Eberts... Well, Eberts got a job designing video games. As for Hobbes, he had started his own Private Investigator company. And he was good at it. His clients loved him, and he enjoyed doing it. He had decided that moving on would have been what his late partner would have wanted.

And from what Alex had told him, Claire had moved on too. Two months after he had left she had pulled herself together and got her job back at the DoD. She had requested to stay in San Diego, while everyone else but the Official and her moved away.

Hobbes was starting to feel nervous about seeing her, and he could feel the perspiration dripping down his brow. He flipped on the air conditioning and stopped at another red light. Turning on his right turn signal, he waited for the light to change.

~*~

Now that I've watched all the seasons change

I've had time to see where my life had strayed

And through every pain and disbelief

You stood close by through my lies, through my deceit

Claire looked out the window, now the outside world was almost a complete sheet of blackness. She briefly wondered if Hobbes had decided not to come. She hoped he hadn't. There was so much she needed to talk to him about. So many things had happened in the last year. And personally, she missed him. She missed him more then she had thought she would.

Over time she had found that she loved him, but she doubted he would ever return the feelings. He most likely hated her. But Claire hoped he could forgive her, even though she didn't deserve it, and they could renew the friendship that they once had. For the longest time Claire wondered if even Alex blamed her for Darien's death. But over the last twelve months, in the time they had talked, they had discussed what happened. And Alex had said that no one blamed her.

That there was no way Claire could have known that after the operation liquid had started to leak into Darien's brain. When Claire had found out that the gland had started to spread even further into Darien brain, she had, with his consent, started an operation to cut along certain stems of the growth. And it had worked just fine... At first.

And when Darien had started to complain about being tired all the time, Claire had thought that it was just the stress from work. And when Darien had spent three days at home sick and throwing up, she had believed him and passed it off as the flu... But when she saw him again, saw how pale he was, and how sick he looked, she did a CT Scan. But it was too late.

The gland had leaked fluid into his brain, and she sent him home while she tried to figure out a way to fix the problem, instead of keeping him in the Keep so she could monitor him. And when he hadn't come in for more tests in the morning, she and Hobbes went over to his apartment to see if he was okay. But he wasn't.

Darien had had a seizure due to the fluid in his brain, and fallen and hit his head. He cracked his skull, and by the time all was said and done, the gland wasn't salvageable, and neither was Darien. He had become completely brain dead. And Hobbes had made the final choice to just let him go, knowing there was no hope, because Claire couldn't pull the plug.

And Hobbes saw that she was being torn apart, and he took care of her. And she kept insisting that she was alright. And she lied, and had been caught in her lie when he left. He could only stand by her so long, and by not opening up and telling Hobbes how she really felt, she had driven him away.

~*~

So, do you recall how to get here?

You might not recognize what you'll see

Take the second right at the second light

Pass Cherry Street, go left

It's the second house, with a willow tree

I'll be there, waiting

Turning right as the light turned green, Hobbes drove past Cherry Street. He knew this way well, it led to Claire's house. He was almost there. He would soon she her face to face again. It had been too long. And he had so much to say to her. He needed to say he was sorry for leaving. When she had needed him the most he had left her in her own misery so he himself could grieve.

He needed her to know that he forgave her. That he had forgiven her a long time ago. But, he also needed to be forgiven. He had left her. And he had hurt her. Seeing her in pain and not being able to help her had been one of the worst things he had ever had to live through, besides the funeral of his best friend. At first, he thought he was going to have a mental breakdown, but his dead partner had pulled him through.

Hobbes kept in mind that Darien would have wanted him to live, to be happy, and to move on. And because of that, he had lived, and he had moved on. But, he wasn't happy. As long as he hadn't been able to make amends with Claire, he had been miserable. And he was hoping that as soon as they talked his could put everything behind him and start over. That they could repair their friendship.

Hobbes took a left turn at the next road past Cherry Street. He scanned the first two houses and knew which one was Claire's. The willow tree she had planted was new, and he wondered how it had survived. But it had, and so had she.

~*~

Through my selfishness

Couldn't see where you were coming from

It took your leaving to see

To see what I'd become

You saw past all the things I'd done

Claire realized a long time ago how selfish she had been. When Darien had died, she sank into her depression and forgot about everyone else. She had never even thought about what Hobbes might have been going through. And all those nights he had stopped by to comfort and take care of her, to let her cry on his shoulder, she had never once asked him how he was handing things.

She had only thought of herself. Like when she broken that bottle and tried to kill herself. She had been thinking of her pain, and when he slit her wrist, she had never stopped to think about how Hobbes would handle losing both of his best friends. He had needed her just as much as she had needed him, and she had failed him. And he had left, and she had been determined to stay alive after that. To prove that she could deal with it.

If Hobbes could, she could. And while Hobbes had seen past everything she had done, taking the piece of broken glass to her skin had ended it all. He left, and she had seen what a fool she had been. But at the same time, if he hadn't have left, she knew what would have happened. She would have continued sinking until she had drowned.

So, in many ways, he had saved her. Hobbes had saved her from her own selfishness, and from herself. And she truly was grateful. But she had no idea how to tell him that. Finally, Claire gave up looking out the window, and opening the door, she walked outside and sat one her concrete steps, waiting from him. It was a little chilly out, but she figured she could stand it.

~*~

Take the second right at the second light

Pass Cherry Street, go left

It's the second house, with a willow tree

I'll be there, waiting

Hobbes pulled up to the driveway of Claire's home.The porch light was on and on the steps he saw Claire sitting down. Instantly, she stood up. But she didn't walk toward him, and he didn't get out of the van. They both stayed in place, frozen, wondering who would make the first move. It had been a long time. Claire looked different. Her hair was longer, swept in a braid over her shoulder. She also looked older. But her beauty was still present.

He was the first to make a move. Hobbes pulled the keys out of the ignition and opened the van door. He stepped out, and started to walk toward her.

I'll be there, waiting

I'll be there, waiting

You never forgot how to care here

You never forgot how to care here

You never forgot how to care here

As soon as Hobbes reached where Claire was standing, without even thinking, he pulled her to him and gave her a hug, not wanted to let go. He felt her body shake as she started to cry. No words needed to be said; they both knew that they had been forgiven had been forgiven.

The End

Ending Note: Good, bad? What do you think? Though, I did notice that no one talked in this at all. A little weird, but hey, oh well. Like the end says, no words needed to be said.

Naomi