Coming Clean

Coming Clean

By Carol M.

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Brother's Keeper, Diseased

Summary: While taking care of a sick Darien, Claire confesses what happened between her and Kevin in Brother's Keeper

Disclaimer: Don't own them, but wish I did

Author's Note: This is not a part of the Devil's Silver Series. I just wanted to see some kind of resolution to the events that took place in Brother's Keeper. Maybe sometime they will talk about it on the show, but for now, this is what I came up with. BTW, there have been some really great fics posted the last week or so on this list. I have enjoyed each and every one. Keep up the great work everybody! J Anyways, enjoy the story!

Week after Brother's Keeper

Claire sat at her desk in the Keep, tapping her foot impatiently. It was Monday, counteragent day, and Darien was 45 minutes late for his shot.

She was really worried about him. He hadn't been himself since the whole Kevin RNA thing. She hoped he hadn't gotten himself into any trouble.

The phone rang. Claire quickly got out of her chair and answered it.

"Hello?" she said eagerly.

"Hey Keep," said a weak voice on the other line.

"Darien?" Claire asked worriedly. He sounded awful.

"Yeah, it's me," he said.

"What's wrong, are you okay?" she asked.

"Well, actually I was wondering if you can come to my apartment and give me my shot. I got a cold or the flu or something and I really don't think I can drive," Darien said. "Don't worry, I'm not oozing brown sicksilver or anything like that," he added.

"All right, Darien, I'll be right over," said Claire.

"Thanks, Keep," said Darien.

Claire hung up the phone and quickly ran to her desk. She opened the bottom drawer and pulled out her medical bag. She hurried to the refrigerator and pulled out a vial of counteragent. She put the vial, along with a hypodermic, in the bag. Then she made her way out of the Keep to go tend to Darien.

She knocked loudly on his door. "Darien," she yelled.

"Come on in," she heard him say through the door.

She opened the door and looked around. His place was a mess. Empty food packages littered the kitchen counter and clothes were strewn all over the floor.

"I'm in the bedroom," he said.

Claire could hear a series of hacking coughs as she walked to his bedroom.

She saw Darien lying under the covers of his bed. He looked awful. His eyes had dark circles under them and his cheeks were flushed. His normally styled hair was haphazardly sticking up in a million different directions all over his head.

She walked to him and put her hand on his forehead. He was burning up. "Oh Darien," she said as she rubbed his cheek gently. "Why didn't you call me sooner?"

He shrugged. "I thought I was just tired. I went to bed early last night and woke up like this," he said.

She pulled a thermometer out of her bag and stuck it in his ear. He flinched and tried to pull away, but she held him firmly in place. "Five seconds, Darien."

"Ah come on, Keep. I just wanted a shot, I didn't want you to play doctor on me," Darien protested.

Claire ignored him and pulled the thermometer out of his ear. "101.5," she said, frowning.

She picked up his wrist and looked at the monitor. Four segments left.

Darien sneezed violently. She reached onto his nightstand and pulled a tissue out of the box, handing it to him. "Thanks," he said softly.

"Can you quicksilver?" Claire asked.

"Yep," said Darien as he made himself invisible. A few seconds later he reappeared, scattering shimmering quicksilver flakes all over his bed. He wiped the flakes onto the floor.

"All right, I think it's okay to give you counteragent," said Claire as she reached for the vial and hypodermic in her bag.

Darien looked miserable. He closed his eyes and tried to relax.

Claire wiped the crook of his arm with alcohol and then injected him with the counteragent. Darien groaned slightly, but didn't open his eyes.

She rubbed his arm slightly, trying to soothe him. "Can I go to sleep now?" he asked with a yawn.

Claire shook her head. "Not so fast. I need to know your symptoms," she said.

Darien swallowed painfully. "Sore throat, cough, runny nose, fever, oh and my body feels like it's been hit with a baseball bat," he replied.

Claire pulled a tongue depressor out of her bag. "Say ahhh," she said.

Darien rolled his eyes and opened his mouth, saying ahhh.

Claire stuck the tong depressor in his mouth and examined his throat. After a moment she was finished.

Darien coughed as she removed the tongue depressor. He looked at her eagerly. "So what's the verdict?" he whispered hoarsely.

Claire smiled sympathetically. "I think you got a bloody hell of a cold, and I also think your suffering from exhaustion, both physically and mentally," she said.

She looked at him with concern. "You look much too thin, even worse then normal. Have you been eating? Do you want me to make you something?" she asked.

The thought of food made Darien sick to his stomach. He shook his head violently.

Claire frowned with dissatisfaction. "Okay, well I'm going to give you another shot, an antibiotic, to fight the infection. I know, I know antibiotics make you nauseous," said Claire as she reached into her bag and pulled out another needle, this one much smaller than the one used for counteragent.

"Oh god," said Darien as he covered his mouth and quickly got out of bed. He ran into the bathroom and Claire could hear the unmistakable sound of vomiting.

Claire shook her head. "I guess antibiotics really do make him nauseous," she said to herself with a small laugh.

She quickly ran in and put a supportive hand on his back. When he was done, she flushed the toilet and wiped his face off with a damp washcloth.

He looked up at her with embarrassment. "Sorry," he said softly.

Claire grinned slightly. "Nothing to be sorry for, Darien. Let's get you back in bed."

She helped him off the floor and then grabbed his arm, guiding him to the bed. He got in and pulled the covers over himself. He closed his eyes, feeling completely exhausted.

"Hold on, one more thing," said Claire as she pulled down one of the covers. She swiped his other arm with alcohol and injected him with the antibiotic. Darien didn't even flinch.

"Rest," said Claire gently as she lightly caressed his forehead.

She took one last look at Darien and then walked out of his bedroom. She tidied up the kitchen and picked up all of his clothes. Then she sat down in a chair and picked up an old issue of Philosophy Now. She thumbed through the magazine, but couldn't really concentrate. She was too preoccupied thinking about Darien. It looked like he had made himself sick over the whole Kevin thing. Claire wondered if she should tell Darien what had happened between her and "Kevin."

Her thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of the phone. She made a mad dash for it so Darien wouldn't wake up.

"Hello?" she said.

"Claire?" said the Official in a confused tone. "Where's Fawkes? I need him in here ASAP for a mission."

"Darien is sick, sir. I'm over here taking care of him," she responded.

"Well you tell him to take some Tylenol and get his butt in here. The timing of this mission is critical," said the Official gruffly.

"I'm sorry, Sir, but he isn't coming in. He's got a terrible cold and he's suffering from exhaustion. He can barely even move. The mission is just going to have to wait," said Claire firmly.

The Official sighed harshly into the phone. "How long before he's able to come out and play with the big boys?" he asked.

"Two or three days at the bare minimum. Have Alex and Bobby do the mission. Darien absolutely cannot. Even if he wanted to, he would fall flat on his face," said Claire.

After a moment of silence the Official said, "All right, we'll hold off. But you tell Fawkes the minute he's better he's going on this mission."

"I will, sir," said Claire.

"Claire," said the Official.

"Sir?" she said.

"Take care of him. I know he has had a tough time lately," said the Official.

Claire smiled into the receiver. "Yes, sir. Goodbye."

"Goodbye Claire."

Claire hung up the phone and walked into Darien's room to check on him. She felt his forehead and frowned when she found it was still warm. She grabbed a chair from the living room and dragged it into the bedroom. She sat down and watched Darien sleep.

He slept the rest of the day away. Around midnight, he awoke, coughing softly. Claire, who had been dozing in the chair for the past hour, was quickly at his side.

He looked up at her in surprise. "Hey," he said softly. "You didn't have to stay here with me," he said, even though he was secretly glad she had.

Claire smiled. "How are you feeling?" she asked.

Darien stretched and yawned. "A little better, I think.

"Good," said Claire as she felt his forehead. He felt cooler to her. "I think your gonna make it," she said.

"Well that's a relief," he said sarcastically. He looked at the ceiling with sad eyes. Now that he was more coherent, he was once again pondering the events of the week before.

Claire noticed his expression. "You know, you can talk to me…I mean, I'm a good listener," she said with hesitation.

He looked at her intensely.

She put a hand on his arm. "Come on, Darien. You never really talked about what happened with Kevin. I think it would do you some good to get your feelings out in the open," said Claire.

He smiled slightly and shook his head. "I ah…" he looked down at the blanket, nervous. "I just don't know why Kevin would want to hurt me. I don't know what I ever did to him," he said, unable to meet her eyes.

"Oh Darien," said Claire with a look of sadness on her face. "I don't think for a minute that Kevin meant to hurt you. I think he was doing what he thought was right."

Darien looked up at her. "So you agree with what he did?" he asked with disbelief.

Claire sighed. "I don't really know how to answer that. I think I understand why he did it, but I don't think I agree with how he did it. I think if Kevin could have really seen you, he would have understood that you changed. But Darien, don't think that Kevin purposefully meant to hurt you. He would never do that, he loves…loved you," said Claire with tears in her eyes.

"How would you know? You didn't know him," Darien said defensively.

Claire looked at Darien guiltily. Darien picked up on it. "Wait, wait, you knew my brother? Why the hell didn't you ever tell me?" Darien asked in a hurt tone.

Claire took a deep breath. "I never really thought it mattered. I knew him back when we were going to Caltech."

"Is that why you came to work here?" asked Darien.

She shook her head. "No, no I had no clue that Kevin and you were a part of the project until I came here to the job." She paused for a moment and then went on. " But Darien, the point of this whole thing, is that I knew Kevin and I know that he loved you. He really did. He might have never told you, but he did. He was trying to do what was best for you. I agree that he should have given you a choice," she said. "You know, you can be upset about it. You can even hate him. But never think that he did it on purpose to make you suffer."

Darien nodded and bit his lower lip. A tear fell down his face.

Claire froze, not knowing if she should comfort him. She decided against it. He was way too vulnerable right now. "Look, Darien, there's something else I need to tell you," she said slowly.

He looked at her sharply. "There's more?" he asked incredulously

She nodded. "See, I dated Kevin for a year when were at Caltech."

Darien looked stunned.

Claire continued. "So when he came back, in you, we ah…. we…we"

"What, what?" asked Darien with impatience.

"We kissed," she said, looking right at him.

Darien took a deep breath. "So you kissed me?"

"No, I was kissing Kevin," Claire said quickly.

"Ah," said Darien.

A deep blush grew on Claire's face. "I'm sorry, Darien. I guess we kind of used you," she said softly. "And I'm sorry about slapping you. It happened right after I kissed Kevin and I was feeling really confused, and I just kind of snapped."

After a few moments Darien nodded. "It's okay," he said. He looked at her slyly. "So was it like kissing Kevin or was it like kissing me?" he asked.

Claire avoided his eyes. "Well, since I've never kissed you, I can't compare. Kevin kissed like he always did," she said quickly. "I wanted to tell you, but I just didn't know how or if I even should. I thought it might make things weird between us," she said.

Darien shook his head. "Nah, nah it won't. You kissed Kevin, not me. It's okay, all right?" Darien said as he looked up at her.

"Okay," she said. She looked away for a second and then looked back at him. "Darien, there's just one thing you have to promise me?"

He looked up at her curiously. "What's that?"

"Promise me that you won't let this destroy you. I know it will take some time to get over, but don't let it eat you up inside. You're a good friend and I don't want to lose you. I'm always here to talk to and so is Hobbes," she said with a smile.

He looked up at her and nodded. "Thanks, Claire, for everything, you know. I'm lucky to have people that care about me and not just the gland," he said.

"You're welcome," she said softly. She looked at him awkwardly. "Well since you're doing better, I guess I better head home," she said as she started to gather up her medical supplies.

"Claire," he said softly. She looked at him. "It's too late for you to go home. Who knows who could be out there at this hour? I think you should stay here," he said.

Claire laughed slightly. "You sound like Hobbes. I'll be fine, Darien, I promise," she said as she picked up her bag and headed towards the door of his bedroom. "I'll be back tomorrow to check up on you," she said.

"Claire," said Darien.

She turned around.

"Please don't go," he said with puppy dog eyes. "I…I don't want to be alone. It's nice having you here. I don't get much company," he said nervously, trailing off.

She stood there for a few moments, looking at him, weighing her options. "All right, I'll sleep on the couch," she said suddenly.

Darien shook his head. "No, no, I don't want you sleeping on the couch. It gives you a horrible backache and it's really uncomfortable. I have this huge bed here and my skinny butt only takes up about an inch of space." He pulled back the covers for emphasis. "See, plenty of room."

Claire sighed. "I don't know about this Darien."

"Ah come on, Keep. I just miss having someone to sleep with, you know, a warm body to cuddle with. It's not a sex thing, well at least not yet," he said with a teasing smile. "I will be a perfect gentlemen, I promise."

Claire smiled and chuckled.

"Please," he begged.

"Fine," she said with a smile.

Darien pointed to his dresser. "You can borrow a T-shirt and some boxers from the top drawer," he said.

Claire set down her medical bag and went to the drawer, pulling out the infamous Barfly T-shirt and a pair of blue boxers. "I'll be back," she said as she disappeared into the bathroom.

She emerged a few seconds later wearing Darien's clothes, which were about 2 sizes too big for her. She looked down at the T-shirt and grimaced. "You know Darien, you have to throw this thing away," she said as she slowly climbed into bed.

"No way, that's my lucky shirt. It gets all the chicks," he said smiling.

She shook her head. "All right, all right, enough play time. You need to rest. And Darien, if I get sick, I will kill you," she said as she laid down on the pillow, shutting off the light.

"Don't worry, I will take care of you," he said.

They both laid there in silence for a few moments, both taking comfort in the warm body that was next to them. Tonight, neither one of them was lonely.

"Thanks Claire," she heard him say so softly, that she almost thought she imagined it.

She smiled and fell asleep within seconds, glad that she was able to bring Darien a little peace.

That's all folks!