Notes: Written for sawyerfan for a Ficathon entry. It's set during the movie, but I guess it is slightly AU as we never actually see this happen. Some slight insulting thoughts about the English and the American's... also about Skinner, but anyone who has seen the movie will understand why, but it's so slight, just ignore it ;) Don't own, don't own.

::The Dark Before The Dawn::

Tom Sawyer moved through the belly of the Nautilus, his Winchester rifle slung over his shoulder. Outside the giant vessel night was falling. Soon they would reach Venice and hopefully stop the Fantom once and for all. Tom grunted slightly at the thought of the Fantom, his fingers tightening on his weapon. He had a gift for the Fantom, a bullet and a promise. He was going to end that man's life if it was the last thing he did.

An angry sneer appeared on the young American's face, an expression that did not sit well on him. It seemed almost out of place, as if such a feeling did not really belong to the spy. He sighed, silently ordering his hand to release the tight grip they had on the rifle. Almost reluctantly they responded to his command, allowing him to hold it lightly as he ascended one of the many ladders. His mind running on autopilot, he worked his way towards the conning tower.

Last night had been a revelation to say the least. Not only had they worked out that the Fantom planned to attack the conference in Venice by sea, but also that Skinner had stolen one of Dr. Jekyll's potions. Tom shuddered to think what Skinner could do with that potion. If he drank it would he still be invisible? After all, from what Tom could work out, Hyde was a completely different person from Jekyll. Of course, invisible or not, Tom wasn't looking forward to the thought of a second Hyde running around. An invisible one would just mean Skinner still had his advantage.

Damn him... Tom thought as he reached the last ladder. Tom had never really got the chance to get to know Skinner before all this mess started but from what Mina had told him, he was surprised the English had let the man near this team at all. That's the English for you. The metal door leading to the platform was already open and Tom tensed a fraction, years of training coming into play. He stepped out into the fresh air, his eyes narrowed as he scanned the area. It seemed deserted but Tom wasn't about to let his guard down. That Skinner was a sneaky devil by all accounts. There was a sudden clanging sound to his right and he spun, his rifle raised and aimed.

Eyes darting to both sides, he shuffled forward, to where the sound had come from – the far side of the platform, the point furthest away from the tower. Trap! It's a trap! His brain screamed at him, but Tom seemed to have trouble listening and took another step forward, all his senses trained on the spot in front of him. Something rattled to his right and he half turned, a frown on his face.

Damn... he's playing with me... or I could be imaging these sounds... or it could be the wind... The more reasonable part of his mind argued. Tom stood frozen in place for another full minute before sighing and lowering his weapon. To any casual on looker it would seem as if he was relaxed, but in truth he was still fully on his guard.

---

Skinner edged a tiny bit further away from Tom. Getting shot by the American was not on his list of things to do... ever. It had been close though, for a second Skinner thought Tom could actually see him, he had been looking right at him. Then, to the invisible man's relief, he had lowered his rifle and turned to look out at the sea.

Still, Skinner couldn't help but feel Tom knew he was here. Frustrated, he headed back for the door, when it opened again, this time to revel Dorian Gray. Skinner stopped and flattened himself against the railing, thanking what ever God was up there when the immaculately dressed man passed him without even a look in his direction. Without hesitating Dorian headed towards Tom and Skinner froze for a moment before moving back towards them, almost against his will.

Something was wrong here.

---

Tom turned his head briefly to acknowledge the immortal before turning back to look out at the sea, his rifle resting against the railing. He ignored Dorian as the man walked up to him, looking out at the sea, standing next to Tom.

"A truly breath taking sight, is it not Agent Sawyer?" Dorian said at last, destroying the silence between them. Tom gave Dorian a sideways glance before looking back at the sea.

"Yeah, I guess it is." He said quietly. He didn't notice Dorian's hand sneak out, moving with grace as it slowly wrapped itself around the rifle.

"Make the most of it, for it will be the last you see." Dorian snarled, bringing the rifle down hard on Tom's head. He crumpled down to the ground without a sound and Dorian smirked, standing over his fallen enemy.

"I very much dislike random factors and you are too unpredictable for your own good." He said, lifting the rifle again, fully intending to batter Tom to death. What he didn't intend was for the gun to be ripped from his hands by an invisible man, who screamed a battle cry. For a few seconds the two struggled for the rifle.

From inside the Nautilus there was the sound of running feet as someone reached the ladder and climbed up it, alerted by Skinner's cry. The invisible man let go of the weapon and backed away, as the door was pushed open. A sailor stood there, his mouth dropping open as he saw Tom Sawyer lying on the ground, Dorian standing over him.

"It was Skinner, he attacked the boy." Dorian said. The sailor tensed but he could do nothing but gasp as Skinner pushed past him, vanishing into the ship. Dorian rolled his eyes at the man's slowness.

"Don't just stand there, help me!" He said, hoping it was already too late for the brat.

---

Tom lay peacefully on the bed, his eyes closed as if in sleep. Dr. Jekyll assured Allan that the young man was just resting, much needed rest after his attack. He also suggested that is might be a good idea for the old hunter to remain with him for the time being in case Skinner tried again. Allan's blood boiled at the thought of the man doing this. Captain Nemo's men were combing the vessel to find him and he only hoped Skinner was found before he tried again.

Dorian Gray had looked in once or twice to check in on the spy. He had even offered to sit with Tom Sawyer, so that Allan could rest. Well, he hadn't phased it as nicely or politely as that, but Allan appreciated the offer, even if he had turned it down. He shifted in the seat he was sitting in, the Strand magazine he had been reading on his lap.

"Listen lad... I don't know if you can hear me, but this is as good time as any... I..." He trailed off and sighed loudly.

"When I found out about you there... with Skinner about to finish you off... what the hell were you even doing up there at a time like this? You Yanks, all the same, never thinking... Sawyer, you better wake up..." He leaned back in the seat, unable to look at Tom any longer. It was like Harry all over again... the thought made his breath catch in his throat. It had been an unbidden, unlooked for thought and it shook him, shook him to the very core of his being. Like Harry... but that meant...

"You have to get better Sawyer. I need you to get better, for me. Don't let that bastard beat you... son." Allan whispered the last few words and rubbed at his face. It was going to be a long night.

Night had passed slowly and the sun was slowing raising before Tom showed any signs of waking up. He twisted and turned on the bed, face covered in sweat as he fought to wake up.

"Easy lad! Easy!" Allan called, leaning over the bed and hoping his words would bring some comfort to the American. His words only caused Tom to move more violently, as if he was fighting some invisible attacker.

"No..." He whimpered, shaking his head, the blond hair falling over his head. Allan stood by his bed helpless, his limbs and mind frozen. From the other end of the room, Dr. Jekyll staggered out of the small office like room he had been sleeping in, alerted by the cries from the two in the infirmary. His eyes widened as he took in the situation at a glance.

"Don't just stand there Quatermain! Hold him down to stop him hurting himself!" Dr. Jekyll yelled as he ran towards them. Allan leaned over Tom and put his hands on Tom's arms, pressing down, all the while pleading with the younger man to wake up from whatever dream he was trapped in. Tom struggled for a little longer before going limp in the bed, his whole body covered in a thin layer of sweat. Allan looked up at Dr. Jekyll who shrugged, unable to suggest anything.

"Qua... Quatermain...?" A weak voice rasped and Allan jumped, looking down at the bed. A tired face looked up at him, green eyes narrowed in confusion.

"Wh... what happened?" Tom whispered. Allan and Dr. Jekyll exchanged glances before the doctor looked at his patient, moving forward to pick his a limp wrist and take his pulse.

"You were attacked Tom." He said softly, satisfied that the pulse was returning to normal. "Do you remember anything?" Tom frowned, his eyes showing his frustration as he tried to think back. For some reason the events of the last day were a fuzzy blur to him and he was unable to separate anything from it.

"Don't worry about it Tom." Jekyll said, trying to reassure him. "It's quite normal to forget the events before an accident. They should come back to you."

"... Skinner?" Tom asked. Dr. Jekyll froze in his work and after a short pause nodded, before stepping back to give the other two some privacy.

"I'll just go and prepare an ice bath for you Tom, you need it." Jekyll told him, ignoring the look of disgust on Tom's face.

"How are you feeling lad?" Allan asked, once Dr. Jekyll had left the room. Tom shrugged but stopped and winced as he jarred his injuries. He settled for a small smile before taking a deep breath.

"You know I had this weirdest dream Quatermain..." Tom said, his voice slowly returning to him as his eyes searched Allan's. The older man's throat went dry and he struggled to find some words.

"Is that so Sawyer?" He finally managed to answer, inwardly rejoicing at how calm his voice was. Tom's eyes narrowed and Allan return the gaze steadily. A small smile crept on Tom's face and he sighed.

"You were in it." Tom said. Allan didn't react and the young man carried on. "Yeah, it was very odd." He said, the smile still present on his face.

And Allan was left with the unsettling feeling that Tom knew full well that, what had happened during the night was no dream.

::fin::

Hope everyone enjoyed this and will let me know what they thought of it.

- Sethoz