Title: End Game

Author: A. X. Zanier

Email: AXZanier@yahoo.com

Fandom: The Invisible Man

Pairing: Darien/OFC (Alyx Silver)

Rating: PG

Summary: Darien, Alyx and some mindless torture.

Timeline: Just shy three years after Hide and Seek

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or basic story ideas to "The Invisible Man." Any additional characters or story ideas are mine.

Notes: Response to Peja's Challenge on 2/18/04

End Game

"Take hope from the heart of man, and you make him a beast of prey."

Quida

"Hold me. Please, just hold me for a minute and then I'll just crawl over to the corner and leave you alone. I promise," Alyx pleaded from her prone position on the floor where the guards had unceremoniously dumped her mere seconds before.

Darien stood there staring down at her, being careful to maintain that air of uncaring that he'd put in place days before. He could tell that she'd been drugged just by the way her eyes were unevenly dilated, most likely with a tranquilizer instead of the heavy sedation they sometimes forced on her, which meant... He wasn't quite sure what that meant at the moment, but it was obvious that they had tossed her in here because they hadn't wanted to bother dealing with her. Well, that and the blatant anger on the faces of the pair that had been so kind to escort her to his room instead of hers next door.

She shivered, her head dropping for a long instant. "All right, I... I won' t disturb you," she whispered hoarsely, interpreting his lack of movement as a continued desire to ignore her in every way possible. "Sorry." With obvious difficulty she began to drag herself across the floor to the corner, and for a several heartbeats Darien seriously considered continuing his protest, his stubborn effort to convince their captors that he could and would not be used to control her. It had seemed to be working, until now.

With little regret for the decision, he got off the bed and went to his knees beside her. "Alyx," he murmured, one hand coming to rest on her shoulder. She froze, but didn't respond, didn't move as if afraid of what was coming next. What came was him pulling her to his chest and then dropping that wall he'd been holding firmly in his mind and allowing her to feel him again. She shuddered, a whimper of relief escaping from her as the burgeoning contact withdrawal was suddenly wiped away for both of them. He'd been damn close to the edge himself, but had known the risk would be worth the reward if his plan worked. "S'okay, baby, I'm here."

For long minutes he simply held and rocked her, letting her presence fill his mind and heart again. He could feel that she was in some measure of pain from whatever games they had played with her today, but there was also this undercurrent of... hope. Hope was something that, after three weeks, he was nearly out of.

"Why are they doing this to us?" she asked plaintively for the hundredth time. At the same instant she sent, *I was a bad girl.*

Darien made sure not to react visibly as the bio-monitor imbedded under the skin of his right shoulder would be certain to give away his sudden excitement at the smug satisfaction in her mind voice. He kept up the pretense of two captives discussing their situation and verbally replied, "Dunno. Not like Luke Skywalker is out there to pick up on our pain and come running." Mentally he asked, *And just what did you do, you naughty girl?*

Softly she snickered, the sound warm, cheerful and needed. "If this is the Cloud City of Bespin, then I want my money back," she grouched, shifting slightly to look up at him. "How'd they abuse you today? You've a headache of monster proportions." This was overlaid with, *I got a message out.*

He felt his heart jump at her revelation and cursed softly, knowing that someone would be wondering why there was a sudden spike on the heart monitor. *How?* he questioned, inordinately curious, which he covered with "Nothing much, just fear response: physical, emotional, and aural. Oh, and they milked me again."

"Bastards," she growled. "How much counteragent today?" The worry in her voice was not feigned. Since he was off the inhibitor, the risk of going mad was back to its original levels and they'd been pushing him a lot lately. The concern that he might become immune to the counteragent didn't seem to bother their captors.

"Three full doses. I hit Stage 3 the last time," he told her quietly, her hatred coming through loud and clear. "I'm fine," he assured her.

"Battered, bruised, and in pain. This does not qualify as fine," she argued. *I played stubborn, deep tranced and hacked their computer system. Convenient for me all those monitors they hook me to are directly connected to t he computer system.* She sat up and began to carefully examine today's batch of minor injuries. Her fingers massaging the tissue near where the catheter had been shoved in to reach the gland eased a fair portion of the pain, for which he was eternally grateful. *Couple of the techs play this fantasy RPG during their downtime. I accessed some of the preprogrammed responses and rigged a text message to Bobby's cell that'll repeat every 15 minutes. When it's found at this end, it'll look like a random glitch. One of many I set up in relation to the game program,* she informed him as her hands moved from neck to shoulders, loosening muscles he hadn't even realized were tight with stress and worry.

"We're alive and together, I'd say that's something to put on the plus side," he pointed out, a soft moan escaping when she hit a particularly nasty knot in his upper back. *What good will a message do?*

*Gives them a signal to trace, D,* she explained with obvious humor coloring her words. *Drake should be able to track us even if we're in Timbuktu.* The lights in the room suddenly dimmed to their nighttime setting and Alyx rested her chin on his shoulder. "At a guess we're being punished and sent to bed without our supper."

"Looks that way," Darien agreed. It wasn't the first time food had been withheld since they'd begun their stay here and both of them had lost a noticeable amount of weight because of it. *You make any headway on defeating that jamming signal?*

*Some, but it hurts like hell. Too much and I singe my brain.* She stood up and offered her hand to him. "Might as well try to get some sleep," she suggested. *Gives us time to fake some plans for when rescue arrives.*

They made their way to the small cot that would just barely fit both of them spooned together. "I'll take wall," he stated and lay down, his back pressed firmly against the cool surface. *How long do you think it'll take for the cavalry to ride in?* He knew he shouldn't ask as she had no more way of knowing than he did.

Alyx curled back along his body, the top of her head snugged up under his chin. He lifted himself up slightly to rest his cheek atop hers for a moment as he pulled the single sheet up over them. *D, if we're still here in a week then no one is coming for us.* The bare truth.

He kissed her gently. *Then we better have a back-up plan,*

As he settled his head back onto the pillow, he heard her respond.

*We will.*

***

Hobbes charged into the Official's office, fancy cell phone in hand. The same damn text message he'd been receiving for the last hour was still blinking at him on the screen.

To: Knight Errant

From: Fair Maiden

Kind Sir, a damsel in distress and her compatriot are in dire need of rescue. Whilst thou render aide?

"Hobbes," the Official began impatiently.

"Chief," Bobby interrupted. "I think we finally caught a break."

Finis