Keepin' My Keeper

Keepin' My Keeper

By Carol M.

Summary: What do you do when you're Keeper shows up drunk at your door in the middle of the night? Darien's about to find out.

Spoilers: BK, TPoC

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Don't own them, only play with them

Note: More D/C shippiness for you. I'm hard at work on the next Devil's Silver story and a fic for Dark Ravenette's Halloween fic contest, but I just had to write this. Hope you enjoy!

One week after The Three Phases of Claire

There just isn't any good television at three in the morning, thought Darien. He laid sprawled out on his couch, the remote control glued to his hand. A nightmare had woken him up at one and he hadn't been able to get back to sleep since. So he decided to do some channel surfing. He flipped rapidly through the channels, catching everything from Martha Stewart to an infomercial for an eighties heavy metal collection.

He was just about to go find his credit card to order the collection when he heard a knock on the door. His forehead creased in confusion. He knew it wasn't Hobbes because he would have just picked the lock and let himself in.

Curiously, Darien shut off his t.v. and got off the couch, walking to the door. He grabbed his baseball bat on the way. He held it up, ready to swing. "Who is it?" he yelled.

He heard a female voice sighing. "It's Claire, Darien," he heard her say in a very thick English accent.

Darien immediately set the bat down and opened the door. He was greeted with the sight of his very disheveled and very drunk Keeper. Her hair was a mess, her clothes were dirty and she smelled like she had way more than one too many gin and tonics.

"Trying a new perfume, Keep?" asked Darien as he let her through the door.

Claire smiled widely and threw her arms around Darien in an awkward position. "I just wanted to say hi to my bud. We are buds, right?" she asked in a slurred voice.

Darien gently pulled her hands off of him. She started to sway. "Whoa, whoa, easy there," said Darien as he took her hand and led her to the couch. "Here, sit down," he said as he helped her sit. He sat down next to her and noticed there was a bloody tear at the elbow of her shirt.

"Aw crap, Claire, you're bleeding," said Darien as he examined a large scrape beneath the tear.

Claire giggled. "I took a little tumble trying to get up here. You know they really should fix the elevators in your building. I mean how do they expect anyone to get anywhere in this place?" she drunkenly rambled, rocking back and forth on the couch.

"Claire, I want you to stay there, okay. I'm just gonna get you a Band-Aid and clean up this cut," he said.

Claire took his hand and stroked it. "Okay, Darien," she said sweetly.

Darien quickly walked to his bathroom and sorted through his medicine cabinet. He quickly found the needed supplies to mend Claire's scrape and then walked back to the living room.

He was met with the sight of Claire unsteadily dancing around the room. She waltzed over to his stereo and turned the radio on full blast.

Darien quickly ran over and turned the volume to a more acceptable level. He looked at Claire with a mix of concern and irritation. "Come on Keep. You need to sit back down and take it easy," he said, leading her once again to the couch.

Claire pouted. "But I want to dance! Dance with me, Darien!" she said with excitement as she took his arms and started swinging them around, causing the medical supplies he had been holding to fall to the floor.

Darien sighed. "Claire come on…"

"Oh don't be such of a party pooper," she said as she grabbed onto him tightly. "Let's tango!"

She started leading him around the room, forcing him to tango with her. Darien began to laugh softly as they moved, unable to comprehend that he was tangoing in his living room with his drunken Keeper at three in the morning on a Tuesday. He wondered what had driven Claire to get

so trashed in the first place.

Just as that thought left his head, Claire stopped the tango abruptly. She proceeded to wrap her arms tightly around him and lean her head against his chest. "Slow dance," she murmured.

Darien decided to humor her and let her have her slow dance. He wrapped his arms around her, ready to catch her if she started to sway. He leaned his head down so his chin was resting against the top of her head. He could detect the faint smell of strawberries in her hair.

They stayed in that position for several minutes. When Darien though she had passed out, he gently moved her to the couch and sat her down. Her eyes popped open. "I'm not tired," she whined.

Darien picked up the fallen medical supplies from before and sat down next to her. "Yeah, well believe me, you will be feeling this tomorrow, sister," he said.

He rolled her sleeve up so he could examine the scrape on her arm. He dipped a trace amount of Bactine on a Kleenex and gently wiped at the scrape.

Claire eyed him intently, not even noticing the sting of the antiseptic. "You do that well, Darien. I'm very impressed," she said softly, in a slightly seductive tone.

Darien looked down and smiled, blushing a tiny bit. "Had a lot of practice," he said as he put a Spiderman Band-Aid over the wound. "There, good as new," he said as he looked up at her and smiled.

She reached her hand out and caressed his cheek. Before he had time to react, Claire's lips were on his. At first he was shocked, then he was thrilled and finally, he was confused. He quickly pulled away. "Whoa…ah…what's going on?" he asked nervously.

Claire looked at him with embarrassment, realizing what she had done. "I kissed you! Oh god, Darien, I'm sorry…I…I don't know what came over me. Here I am taking advantage of you…"

"Well I wouldn't say taking advantage," interrupted Darien.

"While you're being so sweet," Claire blabbered on, unfettered. "Why does this always happen? Every time I kiss you, one of us or both of us are messed up in the head. I mean after three times, you would think we could get it right!"

"Whoa, what do you mean three times?" asked Darien with confusion.

Claire looked at him like a deer caught in headlights. "Oh…bum," she said softly.

"We've kissed three times?" marveled Darien. "Okay we kissed at the docks and we kissed here, when was the first…"

"Aw crap!" yelled Claire as her face suddenly went very green. She covered her mouth and made a beeline for the bathroom.

"Aw crap," whispered Darien to himself as he followed her.

He found her puking her guts out in his toilet, her back heaving against the onslaught. Darien sat down next to her and pulled back her hair. Then he started to rub her back softly, trying to calm her.

When she was finished, Darien flushed the toilet and dampened a cloth for her. He sat back down and gently wiped off her sweaty face. He realized that tears were flowing from her eyes.

" Keep, why you crying?" he asked gently, putting his hand under her chin and lifting it up so they were eye to eye.

"Because I'm stupid that's why!" she sniffled. "I get sloshed and come over here and make a fool of myself," she said, starting to sob harder.

Darien pulled her against him and hugged her, stroking her hair. "Believe me, Claire, I'm about the last person you need to feel embarrassed in front of. I mean think of all the stupid things I've done in front of you. People get drunk, it happens, no big…" He realized she was snoring.

He shook his head slightly, smiling. He scooped her off the floor and carried her to his bed. He set her down gently and pulled one of the comforters over her. Then he sat a chair next to her, a quote book in his hand, ready to await Claire's arrival back from intoxication station.

******************************

When Claire awoke four hours later, she had no clue where she was or what had happened. All she knew was that her head was pounding and she felt awful. She realized after a few seconds that she was tucked away in a bed. She looked to her right and realized with a start that Darien was dozed off in a chair that had been moved next to the bed. She could see Bartlett's Quotations rising and falling on his chest as he breathed.

"Oh my god!" she said louder than she meant to.

Darien's eyes popped opened and he smiled when he saw her look of panic. "Well, lookie who decided to wake up," he said teasingly.

Claire closed her eyes and sighed. "Please tell me I didn't do anything stupid?" she said.

"Well, besides nearly burning the house down and flirting with my refrigertor, you hardly did anything embarrassing at all!" he said.

Claire opened her eyes and threw a pillow at Darien. "Seriously, what did I do? I remember going to a bar and drinking a few gin and tonics. Then I remember coming over here…I think I fell… and then …" She looked at Darien in horror. "Oh my god," she said.

"Oh yeah," said Darien.

"I danced with you and then I kissed you, didn't I?" she asked.

"Uh huh," he said softly.

"Oh bloody hell, why does this always happen. I should have learned my lesson. I mean I have absolutely no tolerance for alcohol," she said. She sat up and moved closer to Darien. "I'm sorry, Darien. I mean I come here in the middle of the night and then practically molest you."

Darien shook his head. "Naw, Keep, it's forgotten, okay. It was actually kind of fun. Well, except that part when you puked," he said with a smile.

Claire groaned.

Darien nervously put his head down. "Um…there's something I want to ask you about…uh. When you were, you know, drunk, you said…you said that we had kissed three times. I was kind of wondering when was the first time we kissed?" he asked softly.

Claire put her hand to her mouth in horror and laid back down on the bed. "Oh no," she said.

"What is it, Claire," he asked seriously.

Claire took a deep breath and sat up again. "Okay, you know when we brought Kevin back."

"Yeah," he said.

"I kind of…kissed him. I mean I used to date him and he was there and I had missed him. But I was kissing you and it was weird and…and I'm sorry. I didn't tell you because I figured it didn't matter. I mean Hobbes already told you that Kevin and I had dated, and I figured I could leave out that one little detail," she said, tears of anger and embarrassment sparkling in her eyes.

Darien laughed slightly and looked away.

"What so funny?" asked Claire.

"You're right, you know. Every time we kiss, one of us is always out of their mind," he said.

Claire smiled slightly. "It's a curse," she said. "Thank you for taking care of me, Darien. You were a good Keeper," she said.

"My pleasure, Claire," he said with a grin. He looked at her curiously. "So what exactly drove you to drink in the first place?"

Claire looked down nervously, not wanting to talk about it.

"Oh come on, we went through this the other day. You know you can tell me anything, bud," he said as he whacked her softly on the shoulder with his hand.

She smiled slightly. "I've just been having a lot of confusing emotions lately, and I wanted to escape," she said.

"Emotions about what?" asked Darien, furrowing his brow.

She looked up at him, with tears shining her eyes. "You," she said simply.

Darien gave her the puppy dog eyes. "Me?"

"You," she said again. She looked down at the ground awkwardly. "Look, I gotta go. I'm gonna go home and change before I head into work. Thanks again for taking care of me," she said as she quickly stood up from the bed and started walking towards the door.

Darien quickly got out of his chair and blocked her path. "Not so fast, Keep," he said, looking her in the eyes with an intense stare.

Claire was paralyzed in her position, unable to breathe. The next thing they both knew, their lips were meeting, gently at first and then rougher as the seconds went by. Claire caressed the back of his neck with her hand, marveling at how soft his skin was. She could taste the sweetness of his mouth and hoped to god that her breath wasn't awful. If it was, he didn't seem to mind because he moaned slightly with content as he continued to kiss her and run his fingers through her hair.

A few minutes later, they parted, both out of breath. Claire looked at Darien with a wide smile on her face and noticed his face was flushed. "Why Mr. Fawkes, I do believe you're blushing," she said teasingly.

"Am not," said Darien quickly.

"Are too," she replied.

Darien took a deep breath and stared at her. "So does this mean?" he asked softly.

"I'm not sure," she said, shrugging.

"This could get complicated," he said.

She leaned forward and kissed him again. "It already is," she whispered. She slowly turned around and walked out the door.

Darien could only stand in his living room with his mouth gaping open. Yep, this was definitely going to get complicated.

That's All Folks