Title: Brave New World: Chapter 1

e-mail: buffyangel68yahoo.com

Author: BuffyAngel68

Rating: PG (Not sure but better safe than flamed, right?)

Summary: I-man/X-men crossover. Darien must face a new assignment without Bobby or any assistance from the Agency. Boy is he in for a few surprises....

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"But, Professor.... he isn't a mutant. Not technically, anyway."

"I realize that, Jean. That doesn't mean he won't be of use to us in this situation."

"Maybe, but I agree with the lady. We don't know a hell of a lot about this guy, Charles. What you have told us makes me wonder what you're thinking. With his background, I wouldn't let him look in the fridge, never mind give him access to the labs an' the computers...."

"It's his background that makes him exactly what we require, Logan. Noone else here at the institute can do what he can. Mutant or not, we need him. This mission will very likely fail without his help."

"I guess.... If you say so, I'll back you up, but I'm not lettin' him outta my sight for a second."

"This man isn't coming here to harm us. I insist he be treated with the respect and trust you'd show to any other guest. I should think you'd even feel a bit of sympathy, Logan. You and he have quite a bit in common."

"Yeah, you were just getting to that." Logan remarked, effectively closing the door on the security issue. His good friend took the cue and turned his wheelchair to face the wall. Tapping on a wireless keyboard, he lowered the lights and activated a display screen. Within a few seconds a picture of a young man appeared on the screen. In the back of the room Jean Grey giggled softly.

"What? I don't see anything funny."

"I can see one thing you have in common right off the bat...."

"And that is?"

"The same hair stylist."

Logan growled under his breath and counted to ten, forcing himself not to throw her through the door without opening it first.

"Get on with it, Charles."

"Gladly. This is Darien Fawkes...."



In response to the incessant buzzing of the telephone beside his bed, Darien Fawkes grunted and pulled the sheet off his face, revealing his dark, disheveled hair and a clearly irritated expression. Grudgingly, he opened his eyes halfway and fumbled for the receiver.

"Yeah. What?"

"Darien? You sound ill. Are you alright?"

"I'm half asleep, Eberts. It's my day off, damn it. Whadda you want?"

"I'm afraid your free time has been preempted. You need to meet the Official in his office as soon as you can. Top priority."

"Damn. Okay, okay. I'll call Bobby..."

"No. Agent Hobbes is to know nothing about this. This is for your ears only."

"He's my partner. Anything I'm in the middle of, he deserves to..."

"Not this time. I understand your loyalty to Robert, but he can't be involved. Just get dressed and come to the Agency. We'll be waiting for you." Eberts told him brusquely, disconnecting the call.

Slowly, Darien pulled the phone away from his ear, staring at it as if he might get more information that way. After a moment, he dropped the receiver back in the cradle, stood and headed into the bathroom to wash and shave.


"Okay. What's this all about?" Darien inquired irritably as he was ushered into the Official's office. Seeing a set of luggage on the floor, he suddenly became wary and pulled away from the guiding hand that rested on his elbow. "Where's Bobby?"

"He was sent on a routine assignment to be certain he wouldn't interfere. By the time he realizes anything is going on, you'll be well on your way." Eberts replied calmly, trying to stem the fear he could sense rising in Darien Fawkes.

"Forget it. We're a team. I don't go anywhere without him."

"This time you do." The Official growled at him. "Hobbes may be your partner, but he is also an agent under my command. So are you. If I say you go, you go."

"Uh-uh. No way...."

"You want it made simple? Okay. You have the gland, he doesn't. Tag, you're it."

"How about you go play hopscotch on the freeway at rush hour instead?"

"How about I withhold your Counteragent shots for two weeks?"

Darien blanched and wiped his hands on his jeans.

"You can't. I'd be a psycho by the end."

"I can live with that. Can you?"

Darien shot his boss a glare laced with pure hatred, but he surrendered, knowing the other option was no option at all.

"Where am I going?" he asked bitterly.

"We can't tell you that. You'll be briefed when you reach your destination. As a matter of fact..."

The Official motioned to Eberts, who moved to the door and waved in two heavily muscled agents Darien had never seen before. His face a study in regret, the accountant approached Fawkes, drawing a small bottle from his pocket. "Please understand, I have as little choice in this as you do, Darien. I need you to tilt your head back so I can put these drops in your eyes."

"What?! You're nuts! Get away from me with that...."

"You can either do it voluntarily or these gentlemen will force you to comply. I don't want to do it that way, but...."

"Eberts... just cut it out, okay? You're scarin' me here..." Darien replied, backing away slowly, wondering if he could make it to the door. Unfortunately, the Official anticipated him and forestalled the move. One of the unfamiliar agents caught Darien around the waist and forced the struggling young man into a chair, holding him immobile. The other grasped his chin from behind and pulled, wrenching Darien's head back. His neck bowed and thick, columnar muscles defined themselves as he tried vainly to resist, but the strangers seemed to be impossibly strong. He considered employing his best weapon, but recalled the Official's threat and, as a last resort, settled for squeezing his eyes tightly shut.

"Please open your eyes, Darien. I promise these drops won't do you any harm. You must know I'd never hurt you.... Darien, please cooperate. If you don't open your eyes, I'll have to open them for you and I already hate myself. I'm begging you, don't make it worse on either of us."

"Two weeks, Fawkes." the Official added, his expression almost as grim as Darien's. "Two weeks with no relief, no matter how badly you need it. Think about how much pain you'll be in.... think about it and give up."

Abruptly, Darien's body relaxed as he finally admitted defeat. Slowly, he opened his eyes. The deep sorrow he read in Eberts' face was small comfort, but he clung to it zealously as the other man applied three drops of cool liquid to each of his friend's eyes. Over the course of a few terrifying seconds, Darien's vision clouded, darkened then ceased to function altogether. His guards retained their hold on him until it was clear the drops were doing their job, then they released him, certain he would be not be trying to escape any time soon.

"Eberts... God, what did you do to me... Borden, you son of a...."

"Darien, it's alright. The effect is only temporary. When you get where you're going, they'll reverse it...." Eberts tried to explain, but a flailing fist forced him to stumble back, abandoning any further words as futile.

"Temporary?! That's supposed to make me feel better?! You blinded me!"

The Official rose to his feet and started toward the door, quietly addressing Eberts as he left.

"Get him out of here. Hobbes could be back any minute and if he walked in on this..."

Eberts nodded and did his best to swallow the constriction in his throat before responding.


"I'll expect a call when he's in transit."

"Yes, sir."



"Yes. Yes, I understand. We'll do all we can to remedy that. Handle with care. Of course. Five-thirty tomorrow night. His escort team will be there to meet the plane. Yes. Good-night."

The bald man dropped the phone back into its cradle and steepled his fingers under his chin, staring into space and turning his focus inward, moving into the depths of his powerful mind. A short time later another presence spoke to him from within those depths, gently making itself known, and he answered it gladly.

%%% hello, jean.%%%

%%% hi, professor. so is it all set?%%%

%%% he's on his way. i'll need your help when he arrives. apparently his superiors chose to force our precautions on the young man instead of explaining why they were necessary. when he first begins to recover from the sedation, he'll need a light touch. i was hoping...%%%

%%% of course i'll be with him, charles. he'll be here around six tomorrow, right?%%%

%%% approximately. %%%

%%% they didn't explain why they treated him that way, I suppose. %%%

%%% not in any great detail. the impression i received was that it was assumed he'd reject the safety measures out of hand, so they opted not to give him any choice in the matter. %%%

%%% it sounds like they did a thorough job of traumatizing him. i'll be ready for anything %%%

%%% that might be wise. do you know where logan is by any chance?%%%

%%% i think he's in his room. do you want me to pass along a message?%%%

%%% if you would, tell him I need to talk with him as soon as he has a few minutes free.%%%

%%% i'll send him right up to your office.%%%

%%% that will do nicely. thank you.%%%

%%% no problem.%%%

Twenty minutes later, a firm knock sounded on the office door.

"Come in, Logan."

"You wanted to see me?"

"Yes. I need a favor from you. This will entail a sacrifice on your part, but I don't believe you'll regret it in the end."

"I don't like the sound of that... but go ahead."

"You know that our guest will be arriving tomorrow. I've arranged for him to be placed in one of the two person rooms and I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd agree to change quarters and keep him company for the duration of his stay with us."

"Sorry, Charles. I'm not the roommate type."

"I know, but this young man will need someone to trust. You know what he's gone through, Logan. You understand his pain. I think rooming together will benefit both of you. This is, of course, only a favor. I won't push you into anything, you know that. It's up to you."

For a long moment, the tall, brawny man studied his hands, flexing them, running his fingers over the scars below his knuckles and frowning intently. At last he raised his eyes.

"This Fawkes.... the guy you described sounds like more of a loner than I am. What if he doesn't want company?"

"It shouldn't take much to convince him. If you decide to make the effort, that is."

"Make the effort? Not a real subtle hint, Charles. I'll watch over the kid, but I'm not doin' any of your 'reach out and touch somebody's hand' crap. If I wanna look inside myself, I'll go piss off Sabertooth and let him do some elective surgery."

"You can't hide forever, Logan. Especially from your demons. They always know where to find you."

"I fought Magneto on top of the Statue of Liberty. My demons don't dare show their ugly faces anymore. Gimme a call when the kid gets here."

"Absolutely. Thank you for doing this, my friend."

Logan grunted an acknowledgement and strode from the room.

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