wow...I have no idea where this came from...at all. But for some reason, it completely took over my mind...

And for those of you who might read this, and are waiting for the sequel to A Brother's Love for The Covenant, it's coming, I promise. But like I said, I've been completely sidetracked...though I have written the big scene...so...maybe, if you beg, I'll post a preview.

But anyway, here's the crack fic...

Disclaimer: I obviously don't own National Treasure, but I wouldn't mind owning Riley...


He never, in his wildest dreams, no...nightmares, imagined that his life would be like this, that he would be where he was.

He had always wanted adventure, excitement...something that he would have watched in Indiana Jones.

But instead, at twenty three, he had three...and a half, gray, boring, souls sucking walls to look at.

And never before, in his year at this job, had he ever felt that his soul was being sucked out of his body more, or that his four years in college was being flushed down the drain, than right now, on the phone with someone who called himself Mr. Johnson. But Riley was pretty sure he was the devil himself, brought here only to torture him to an early death.

It was the third time today that 'Mr. Johnson' had called in about his computer, asking for help. He had been through every possible scenario with him, everything that could go wrong, and yet here he was still on the phone.

With a sigh, he interrupted the man's rant about his sticking y key that had been giving him so many problems, but had nothing to do, whatsoever, with why his computer screen was still black. "Mr. Johnson, have you tried turning it on? Or have you tried plugging it in?" He could almost hear the anger boil in the man's blood. Apparently, he couldn't tell that he was only being sarcastic.

He wouldn't doubt that the person in the cubicle next to him could hear the screaming. "Yes sir, I do understand that I am a technical support...technician." Blah Blah Blah. "Yes sir, I do understand that if I didn't like my job I could quit and find another job." More ranting. "Yes sir, the customer is always right, but what you failed to realize is that it was a simple suggestion, and since we've been through every other possible scenario, it's about...oh, I would say ninety nine percent likely that it's the only thing we haven't tried." The screaming got louder. "No, no, I understand your not an idiot, but could you just please, please check and see if it's plugged in..."

The man had a colorful mouth, he wouldn't deny that. He was pretty sure that he just heard every word that would make mom cringe. But at least he was checking, and if he was wrong...well then he knew it would get it, but if he wasn't-"

"It wasn't? Okay, what about now...have you plugged it in? Great...now try turning it on. What do you see? The start up screen. Great! Problem solved." A smile crossed his face, and he was trying hard not to laugh. "No sir, it's perfect understandable...don't worry about it. Yeah, I'm sure it's quite likely that your cat unplugged it last night when you were sleeping. Right. Uh huh. Yeah, the pleasure was all mine. Yeah, thanks...buh bye."

He let out a long sigh, ripping the headset from his head and throwing it onto his desk. He groaned, sliding farther into his seat, letting his head rest against the back.

So this is what hell was going to be like, he was sure...years and years of people calling in with so called 'computer problems' only to find that they were in fact, of sub human intelligence.

He was so deep in thought that he didn't hear the heavy steps of a man approach his cubicle. He didn't hear said man knocking lightly on the thin walls, or clearing his throat. If fact he was only brought out of his own head when he heard him speak...sort of.

"Excuse me...Mr. Poole..." The man was growing impatient. He would have walked away, had he not felt the necessity to talk to him. "Mr. Poole...RILEY!"

He nearly jumped out of his chair. With an incredulous expression, he turned around to see who wanted what, and why they insisted on yelling.

"You...are Riley Poole then."

He frowned, spinning his chair around to make himself more uncomfortable. "Yeah..."

Wow. He knew that Riley was young, but this was even younger than he expected. He was still a kid. "You graduated with a double major in history and computer technology, and a minor in investigative studies, and an emphasis in chemistry correct?" All Riley could do was nod. "That's quite an impressive resume."

"Thanks?"

The strange man with way to much information crossed the tiny little cubicle to sit on the massively large desk. "Listen...I have a problem, and I think maybe you might be able to help me."

"How...exactly do you know who I am again?" He pushed his chair to the farthest corner of the room, trying to ignore how cramped he felt in his tiny little box.

"I was referred to you, by a mutal friend from Georgetown...Dr. Richards?"

He searched his brain for a second before it hit him. His American History teacher. "That man hated me, hated me."

The man smiled again. "Maybe not as much as you think. So, what...what can you tell me about the Knights Templar?"

Riley didn't see where this was going exactly, but for some reason, he felt obliged to answer. "Do you want the textbook answer, or the truth?"

The man cocked an eyebrow. "You know the difference?"

"I know that all they're credited for was fighting for Richard the Lion Heart durning the crusades, but that they played a much, much larger part in history than that. The historians, they downplay their importance though. There are some questions of credibilty, how much is myth, how much is true." The stranger was nodding, and Riley got the feeling that he already knew this, but for some reason he wanted to hear it from him. "Am I being tested?"

He was smiling now. "What about the FreeMasons?"

He rolled his eyes. "Again, textbook or truth?"

"Truth."

"The FreeMasons are, in most ways, the building blocks of our society. The founding fathers were known Masons, and quite a number signed the Delcaration of Independence. There was also a myth that-" Riely stopped himself. He was babbling again. Uh oh. Something in the back of his mind told him that he would lose all credibility with this man if he told him he though there was a treasure. And why that was important, he didn't know, but he felt as if it was.

Once again, the strange, strange man, seemed to amaze him. In fact, it seemed as if Riley had said something right, the way he seemed to grow excited at the mention of that treasure. "Go on, continue."

He gulped. "There was a myth that they...held clues to a treasure hidden by the Knights Templar. They left them, for us to find, and if you could find them, and if you could solve them, it's theoretically possible to...find the treasure." He felt stupid for saying that. This man wasn't asking for the stupid kids story, though, if Riley cared to look, he might see that it was exactly what he wanted to hear. "It's just a myth though." He added, though he didn't really beleive that.

"Are you sure. Is that what you really think?" The man leaned forward. "What...what if I told you that I have proof it wasn't 'just a myth'?"

If this man could really prove it, which, by all means, it wouldn't take much to convince Riley, seeing as he already believed, he didn't understand why it mattered. Unless...a lightbulb literally went off in his head.

"What...what did you say your name was again?"

There was that smile again. "I didn't."

Riley glared. "Do you care to now, seeing as how you know mine, and I think I've passed your little test."

The stranger extened his hand, and Riley took it, the first formal introduction. "Benjamin...Benjamin Gates."

It was clear to Ben that Riley recognized the name. His eyes were wide, and his mouth hung open. "You're...you're the family that claims to have the clue to the treasure!"

Ben laughed. "Well, that's a nice break from you're that guy from the nut job family who has the conspiracy theory about the treasure." He stopped laughing to look at the younger boy. "But it's not a claim. We...I have a clue...The Secret Lies With Charlotte."

Riley leaned back, sucking in a breath, mulling over the sentence. "What exactly, does that mean?"

Ben frowned. "Don't know."

Riley pulled himself up. Something still didn't click. "Mr. Gates-"

"Ben."

"Right...Ben...So why exactly are you telling me this?"

"Well," Ben began, crossing his arms, "how much exactly are you attached to this job?"

His eyebrows shot up. "Are you kidding me? I'm only here because I have nothing better to do, though you think I would what with my degrees and all. But no, I'm stuck in this gray, soul stealing-" He was rambling again. "Sorry...um, well, I'm not."

"So, if I asked you to leave for an indefinite amount of time, and oh...I don't know...do something a little more exciting, what exactly would you say?"

"Are...are you asking me if I want to leave my job to go hunt treasure with you..."

"That's exactly what I'm asking."

"...Because if so, you know I usually ask for dinner and a date before I go galavanting across the world, but in this case I think I could make an exception."

Ben let out a sigh. If he didn't, for some reason like the boy, he would have regretted his decision. "Riley?"

He looked up from his hands, which seemed to have in the last few seconds mesmorize him. "What? Oh, sorry. I tend to ramble a bit. But in case you were wondering, that's a yes."

Ben nodded, smiling. "Great." He stood up. "Shall we get going then?"

He fumbled around. "What? Like...right now?"

"Would you rather stay here and take a few more phone calls?"

"No! No, really, that's okay." He bolted up. "One more minute in this windowless, soul killing hellhole and I swear I was gonna-"

"Riley!"

"Sorry! Sorry...are you always this grouchy?" It wasn't that he really cared, but he just felt like saying it.

"Only when I really want to leave."

Riley nodded, and without another word, walked out of his poor excuse for an office and down the long aisle that separated the cubicles. Ben stopped at the office door that clearly belonged to Riley's boss, but the younger one just kept walking. "Shouldn't...shouldn't you tell your boss that-"

"Nah, he'll be fine...probably be happy that I'm leaving anyway. So...Dr. Richard's suggested me then?"

"He said you might know some stuff that I would be interested in. He mentioned your name after I mentioned Charlotte...he said you might know-"

"It's a ship."

He froze, in utter and complete awe. "What did you say?"

Riley stopped, realizing that Ben was no longer following. "Charlotte, it's a ship."

A smile broke across Ben's face as he embraced the other boy. "Riley, you've been in for five minutes and you've already proved that you're worth it."

He frowned. "You didn't know that?" Ben shook his head. "Well...it's a ship."

Ben glared. "Yeah, I got that Riley...now what else to do you know about the Charlotte?"

They set off again down the hallway, Riley clearing his throat. "Well...it sunk."

"I think I've figure that out already." Really, that was obvious.

Riley huffed. "Yeah, but do you know where? Becuase I do, and-"

"I'd be really happy to find out, Riley."

"Wait, wait...I just want to bask in the glow that I know something more about the treasure than you...aren't you supposed to be an expert?"

"Riley!" Ben snapped, making the younger boy jump just a little.

"Okay, okay...sorry. God...are...are you really always this grouchy?"

"Not usually," Ben began irritated. "But I seem to become increasingly more so the longer I spend with you."

"Well now, is it my witty babbling or the sharp note of sarcasm in my voice that annoys you, because whatever it is-"

Ben groaned. It was going to be a long, long, long hunt.


so, what did you think? R&R s'il vous plait...if you please. ; )