Author: I_JOY

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, I just take them out to play.

PG: Violence

Spoilers: I don't think so.

Authors note: This is my first story, so feed back is welcome.

~~~~

A man named Jerome K. Jerome once said, "It is always the best policy to speak the truth - unless of course you are an exceptionally good liar."

~~~

Darien gave Bobby Hobbes a dirty look.

"Man, why did you have to go and tell the Official that I got a ticket? Now I'll never get to drive the van again!"

"Well, maybe you shouldn't have been driving it in the first place my friend! I don't know what you're so mad about, you're not supposed to be driving the company car in the first place remember?"

"Where does it say that a man can't practice his driving now and then?"

"Lets just forget the whole thing okay, partner?"

"Sure, whatever you say. I don't like vans anyway. So what's on our to do list?"

"Well, nothing yet, but I'm sure the Official will give us a job in no time at all."

"This is going to be a slow day. I should have stayed in bed! Lets go see what Claire is up to."

~~~

Darien and Hobbes entered the lab and found it a total mess.

"What happened here?" Bobby asked.

"Bobby, go get the Official, I have a feeling that something bad has happened."

"What gave you that idea?" Darien gave Bobby an annoyed look.

"I'm on my way."

Ten minutes later the Official, Eberts, and Bobby came walking into the lab.

"Where is Claire?" The Official asked.

Darien looked around the room.

"Well she's not here that's for sure!"

"I can see that. Did you go looking for her?"

"I was just about to." Right as Darien said that, Claire walked in.

"What's going on? Oh, my goodness! What happened to my lab?"

The Official pulled Claire aside and started to tell her what had happened.

~~~

"Claire, it seems that someone has stolen the counteragent."

" What do you mean someone's stolen the counteragent? I have it right here."

"Go ahead and look, but you won't find it. Trust me." Claire gave the Official a troubled look. She walked over to the refrigerator and pulled open the glass door. She looked all over, but the counteragent was nowhere to be found. Claire walked over to Bobby and started to ask him some questions.

Darien walked over to the Official. "What do you want me to do?"

"Start looking around for any clues."

Bobby and Claire were in a deep conversation. So, Darien decided to explore Claire's lab. He walked out of Claire's site. He knew she wouldn't like his

snooping around.

"Hmm, I wonder what this is?" Darien picked up a small black book, and started looking through it. Footsteps sounded behind him, Darien felt a hand touch him. "Aw crap!"

"Darien, what are you doing? Put that book down! You have no right to go looking through my personal business. You should be ashamed of yourself!" Claire exclaimed.

"Sorry, I was just looking for some clues as to who could have done this. Besides, I didn't think it was that important."

"Everything in this room is important, so don't touch anything unless I say it's okay. Okay?"

"Yeah. I'll keep my hands to myself for now on. No need to worry yourself."

"I'm not worried about myself. I'm worried about you! You could get in an awful lot of trouble if you accidentally saw something you weren't supposed to see."

"You mean something like the recipe for the counteragent?"

"Yes. But there are lots of other... recipes in here besides the counteragent's."

The Official came walking over to see what was going on.

"What's that you've got in your hand Darien?"

"Oh, just a book I found."

"Well let me see it."

"Yes, Sir."

Darien gave the book to the Official. The Official almost turned pale. "What's wrong boss?" Darien asked

"This book is evidence. Hobbes, take this book to the evidence room to be examined."

"Yes, Sir."

"Excuse me." Claire said. "But I have to go do something real quick. I'll be right back."

~~~

After a little while everyone started to leave. Only Darien stayed. Claire and Bobby walked back in.

"Well, I appreciate you helping me put my lab back together." Claire said.

"Aw, don't worry about it we were glad to help." Replied Darien.

"Well we should get going Fawkes." Bobby said looking around.

"Yeah, you're probably right Bobby. Well, I'll see you later Claire. Bye."

"Wait Darien! Before you go I want to look at you're tattoo. I need to make sure your doing all right."

"Ok. Bobby, you go on with out me and I'll meet you at the Official's office."

"Sure thing buddy."

Bobby walked out of the room to leave Claire and Darien alone.

"Well you look good for now, but I wouldn't quicksilver if I were you. At least not until I can make up a new batch of counteragent."

"Sure thing Claire. I'll see you later. Bye." Darien jumped off the chair and walked to the door.

"Bye Darien."

~~~

Darien walked into the Official's office. A quiet hush fell over the room. "What's going on?" He asked.

The Official gave Darien a quick glance. "That black book you found in Claire's lab is missing. Someone took it from the evidence room."

"Did you get a chance to look at it?"

"Yes, briefly."

"What did you find in it?"

"That's none of your business! I did however have it long enough to check the handwriting. It belongs to Claire."

"So what does that prove? Everything in the lab belongs to Claire, one way or another."

"Well, when you and Hobbes were cleaning up the lab, I talked to Claire and she said the book wasn't hers."

"Well maybe she was mistaken."

"I double checked it with her and she still said it wasn't hers."

"But it had her handwriting?"

"Yes, it did."

"So what your saying is that Claire is lying?"

"Yes, and the evidence is pointing to her." The Official said with an evil look on his face.

"Well, I don't think that she did it!" Darien said with anger in his voice.

"You have a right to our own opinion Fawkes."

"If I may sir, it doesn't make sense. What would she need it for?" Bobby asked trying to let some of the tension leave the room.

"Well Hobbes, maybe she planned to steal it and then sell it back to us. But, on to more important things. I want you two to find some evidence. And report back to me anything she does that isn't normal."

I don't know if you've noticed or not sir, but there aren't very many people that do normal things around here. Take Fawkes, here, I really don't think it's normal for a man to go invisible."

"Don't you get smart with me Hobbes, you know well what I meant. Now go get to it!"

With that Bobby left but, Darien stayed behind.

"What is it Fawkes?"

"Well, I just wanted to say that I still don't believe it. Claire wouldn't steal the counteragent. At least not for money, It's just not like her."

"We all have our own price Fawkes, you'd sell your soul for the counteragent."

"That's where you're wrong. My soul is worth a whole lot more then that."

Darien turned and walked out but not fast enough. He was still there long enough to see the look on the Official's face. Not happy but, not pleased either. He looked almost puzzled at Darien's reply.

~~~

"Sir, are you okay?"

"Why do you ask Eberts?"

"Well sir, you look bothered by Mr. Fawkes' reply."

"That's because I am . I know that Fawkes would do just about anything to get his hands on the counteragent. Eberts, I want you to put a tail on Fawkes."

"Sir, you don't think that he could be behind this too do you?"

"I'm not quite sure. And that is what has me bothered."

"I'll get right on it sir!" Eberts said picking up the phone.

~~~

"So partner, what did you and the Official talk about?"

"Oh, nothing really. I just wanted him to know that I believe Claire to be innocent."

"You and me both, buddy. So, lets go look around Claire's office."

"I thought you just said that you believe Claire to be innocent."

"I do, but we still have to do what the Official tells us to do. Do you get my drift?"

"Yeah. I get what you're saying."

~~~

Darien pulled out his key card and put it in the slot. The door opened.

"So what are we looking for?"

"Anything that doesn't belong in here."

"Ok, I'll stay by the door. You can look over in the back."

~~~

"Okay, I have it. What do I do now?"

"Meet me at the cafe on 3rd and main at 4:30 today. And don't be late."

Claire hung up the phone. Looking at her watch. "One thirty, that gives me three hours."

~~~

"Sir, I've assigned agent Andrew Baxter to Mr. Fawkes. He can be trusted!"

"Good, send for him."

"I already have. He's waiting outside your office."

"Well, don't just stand there, send him in."

"Yes, sir." Eberts walked over to the door and opened it. "Agent Baxter you can come in now."

~~~

Claire walked into her lab. "Hello, Claire what are you up to?"

"Bobby where did you come from? And how did you get in here?"

"I let him in."

Claire turned around, startled by the second voice. "Darien you scared me. What are you two up to anyway?"

Bobby looked to Darien for help. "Well, Bobby and I came looking for you to see if you wanted to have lunch with us."

"Well I would, but I just came back from lunch. But thanks for asking. That was really nice of you."

"Oh don't mention it. It's the least we can do. So we'll see you later I guess. Bye." Darien said opening the Keep's door to leave.

"Wait just a minute!" Claire yelled. "You're acting a little weird. What's going on?"

~~~

"Sit down Mr. Baxter. I have a job for you." The Official handed Andrew a folder, and a pair of black sunglasses. Andrew opened up the folder and found a picture of a young man in his thirty's.

"Well, he's not ugly but I still wouldn't want to spend the day staring at him!"

"That's too bad because that's exactly what you're going to be doing. His name is Darien Fawkes. I want you to keep a close eye on him. Any questions Agent Baxter?"

"Yes, one."

"What's that?"

"What are the shades for?"

"Oh yes, well that's not in the file."

"I can see that. So, what are they for?"

~~~

"I'm going to tell her Bobby."

Claire looked at the two men with a puzzled expression. "Wait just a minute guys." They didn't pay any attention to her, they just kept on talking.

"Don't you say a word Fawkes, you're going to get us into a lot of trouble."

"She deserves to know the truth."

"Yeah, but what about..."

"Would you two just shut up?" Claire said with anger.

Bobby, and Darien turned to face Claire. Darien could easily tell that she was quite mad. Bobby was about to say something but, Claire cut him off.

"You two are going to tell me what's going on. And you're going to tell me right now!"

~~~

"What do you mean, he can go invisible?"

"Just what I said."

Eberts walked over to Andrew. "Well you see Mr. Baxter one minute he's there and the next... he's gone. He's still there mind you, but you just can't see him."

"Very good Eberts, now sit down and shut up! I know what I've told you is hard to believe but, it is the truth."

"I'd have to see it to believe it."

"That could easily be arranged. Now to get to business. Fawkes has to have a special injection of medicine that we call counteragent. It keeps him from going... insane. This medication was stolen this morning from our lab."

"Did you find anything that could have been left behind by the thief?"

"There was one thing."

~~~

"Well Claire, the Official thinks that you stole the counteragent." Darien said

"But why would he think that?"

"Because the book you said wasn't yours was written in your handwriting." replied Bobby.

Darien piped up. "Don't worry about it I told him that you didn't steal it. Although he didn't believe me. But hopefully he'll believe you."

"Oh, no he won't."

Bobby gave Claire a strange look. "And why not?"

"Because I did steal it!"

~~~

"Eberts, go find Fawkes and bring him here."

"What about Mr. Hobbes and Ms. Keeply?"

"Bring them too." Eberts left the room.

"So what was left behind?" Andrew inquired.

"A book."

"Well, what was in the book?"

"Information about the gland."

"What's that?"

"It's the thing that makes Mr. Fawkes go invisible."

"Oh, okay. So where is this book?"

"It was stolen this afternoon."

"Were you able to find anything else out about it before it was stolen?"

"Yes, we were able to check out the handwriting. It belongs to Claire Keeply."

"Who's that?"

"The woman who runs the lab."

"Did she say the book was hers?"

"No. She said it wasn't hers. And that she had no idea who it belonged to."

"Are you sure the handwriting belonged to her?"

"Yes, I'm positive! The computer identified it as a perfect match."

"So, why do you want me to tail Agent Fawkes, and not this Keeply woman?"

"Because I already have someone watching her."

"One last question. Why am I watching Agent Fawkes?"

"Because I think he might be in on it."

"Okay, that's all I wanted to know."

"Good! Well Agent Baxter I suggest you go get the things you need and then start your mission."

"Yes, Sir."

~~~

Eberts walked into the lab. "I'm so glad I found you!"

"What do you want Eberts?" Bobby said with aggravation.

"Well Mr. Hobbes, I was sent to bring the three of you back to the Official's office."

Darien looked up at Eberts. "We'll be right behind you. We just need to lock up the lab first."

"Okay, but don't take too long. The Official is waiting for you."

~~~

They waited until they knew for sure that Eberts was gone, and then they continued there conversation. "Why did you steal the counteragent?" Darien asked.

"I can't tell you Darien, it will just make things worse."

"How's that?"

"Because I don't want to get you involved."

"But I want to get involved!"

"Claire, just spill it." Bobby finally said.

"Oh all right. For the last two months someone has been following me everywhere I go. And not only that. Someone has been hacking into my files. I believe it to be someone in the agency. So I came up with a plan to catch that person.

"What's your plan?" Darien asked.

"To find out what he was after and then set a trap."

"So how did you find him." Darien asked.

"Simple. I found his e-mail address by back tracking him the next time he hacked into my files. I still couldn't find out who he was. So, I started sending

him letters. I told him how much I hated the Official, and how I wanted to make him pay for all that he'd done to me."

"Didn't he get suspicious?"

"No."

"And then what happened?" Darien asked.

"He came up with a plan to still the counteragent the next time I made a new batch. He's already set up a buyer for the counteragent. I planned to take him down tonight."

"When do you meet him?"

"At 4:30."

Darien looked at his watch. "That's in a half hour!"

"I know. I plan to leave right now."

"Bobby and I will go with you."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure!"

"Bobby what about you? You've barely said a word this whole time." Claire said.

"Claire, I'll do just about anything to help a friend."

"Okay lets go." Darien said.

They were on there way out the door when Bobby stopped them.

"What about the Official?" He asked.

"I'll leave him a note." Claire said. She walked over to her desk and wrote a quick note.

"There, now we won't get into too much trouble."

"What did you write down?" Bobby asked.

"Oh, just that you and I had dinner plans and that we couldn't break them. And that Darien threatened to take the gland hostage unless we took him with us."

Darien looked at Claire with disbelief. "You're kidding right?"

"Of course I am."

"So what did you really write down?" Darien asked.

"That I had an emergency, and that you and Bobby went with me to help out."

"Okay, that'll work." Darien said.

"Good lets go then." Claire replied.

"Okay Claire, you go in your car and Darien and I will follow." Bobby said.

"Okay Bobby." Claire turned around and headed for door. Darien and

Bobby followed close behind her.

~~~

Andrew watched as three people walked out of the Agency. He only recognized Darien. Darien got into a van with a short man. The other person was a tall blond woman. She walked over to an SUV. She waved to the two men, and then got in. The woman started her car, and then drove away. The two men in the van followed. And so did Andrew. The woman finally stopped at a cafe. She got out and walked over to a waiter and ordered a drink. She sat down at a table. Andrew noticed that she carried a small black book in one hand, and a metal briefcase in the other. A few minutes later a man walked over to her and sat down

~~~

Claire looked at the man who sat down beside her. "Who are you?" She asked.

"I'm the man you've been waiting for." He replied.

"Do you have what I want?"

"That depends on whether or not you have what I want."

Claire set the briefcase on the table. "What about the book?"

"I have it somewhere safe." Claire said as she slid it under the table with her foot.

"I want the book!" He said with anger.

"And I want the money."

The man pulled out a gun, and put it under the table so that no one would see it. "If you don't give me that book then I'll kill you right here."

Claire looked at the man and tried not to let him know just how scared she was. "It's in my car. I'll go get it."

"You're not going anywhere unless I go with you."

"Okay. Follow me then."

~~~

Darien watched as Claire stood up and turned to head for her SUV. The man got up to follow her. Darien saw something in the mans hand. It was small and black. "Bobby, that man has a gun." Darien said in a desperate voice. Darien quicksilvered and quietly got out of the van. Bobby quietly followed his partner. Darien walked over to Claire's car. The man was going through her front seat.

"Where is it?" The man yelled.

Claire was about to say something when a hand touched her. She knew it was Darien's.

"Oh clumsy me, I forgot that I took it over to the table with me."

At this point the man was more then a little exasperated. He pulled the gun out from behind his jacket. "No more games lady. I've had enough! If I don't get that book within the next two minutes then I'm going to kill you." Just then Darien grabbed the gun from the man's hands.

"What the..."

Darien landed a punch right in the man's gut. He fell to the ground. Darien unquicksilvered as Bobby grabbed the man, and pulled him up off the ground.

"Who do you work for?" Bobby asked.

"I can't. They'll kill me."

"What makes you think that I won't?" Bobby asked, pointing his gun at the man.

Darien turned around, and saw a black car heading towards them. A man stuck his head out the window, and pulled out a gun.

"Get down!" Darien yelled

Bobby dropped to the ground. Darien grabbed Claire and pushed her down. He used his body as a shield for her. The man in the car emptied a clip before he drove away. Darien helped Claire up.

"Are you okay?" Darien asked.

"Yes, thanks to you."

"Claire I need you over here!" Bobby yelled.

Claire looked over to where Bobby was, and saw him kneeling next to the man who had threatened to kill her. Claire walked over to him. "Is he dead?" she asked.

"No." Bobby replied.

Darien walked over to Claire and Bobby. "Who do you work for?" He asked.

The man looked over at Bobby. "I told you they would kill me.

"Don't let them kill you for no reason. Tell us who you work for." Bobby said

"I work for..." But he never finished his sentence. Bobby looked up at Claire "He's dead."

~~~

Andrew sat in his car. He had put on his sunglasses the very moment he saw the van door open and close, without anyone coming out. He saw an outline of a tall man. "Mr. Fawkes I presume." He said to himself. He watched as Mr. Fawkes walked up to the blond woman from earlier. He put his hand on her shoulder. He then attacked the man who had pulled the gun out on her. He punched the man in the stomach. "Ouch. That had to hurt." Andrew said.

The short man then proceeded to question the man that Mr. Fawkes had attacked. A black car came out of nowhere. Andrew heard gun shots. He ducked down in his seat, and said a little prayer for the person that the shots were meant for. When the noise had died down he heard a man yell for someone named Claire. He sat up in his seat. He looked over to where the four people had been. The three people from the agency where kneeling down by the other man. He could tell by there facial expressions that the man was dead. He set down the camera he had been holding, and picked up a

notebook and pen that had been sitting on the passenger seat. He then proceeded to write down all that had happened.

~~~

Claire, Darien, and Bobby stood in the Official's office.

"What were you thinking?" The Official asked with anger.

"Well sir, I thought that I could..."

"Claire I don't want to hear it! You know very well that when I send for you I expect you to come. The next time you don't come I will have to take more drastic measures." The Official said.

"Don't worry sir, there won't be a next time."

"Good. Now get out of my office. Oh, before you go. I thought I should let you know that one of my agents found the stolen counteragent about an hour ago."

"Where was it?" Claire asked.

"It was in a briefcase in the lobby." The Official said.

"Did you find any fingerprints on the briefcase?" Darien asked.

"No."

"Well I guess that's that." Bobby said.

"Well there's still one problem." The Official said.

"What's that?" Claire asked.

"That black book is still missing."

"Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry sir. I checked the book out of the evidence room this afternoon to study it. I thought it wasn't mine, but it turned out to be mine. I didn't want the wrong people to get hold of it so I never returned it. And I forgot to tell you." Claire said.

The Official looked at Claire with an angry expression. "Will talk about this later. You may go now."

Claire, Bobby, and Darien left the Official's office and headed for Claire's lab.

"I thought for sure that he knew what we did." Claire said.

"So did I." Darien replied.

"Do you think he knows?" Claire asked.

"I don't know. But one thing I do know, is that if he does know then he's not letting on." Bobby said.

"Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" Darien asked.

"It could be either. But let me say just this one thing partner."

"What's that?"

"Well if it's a bad thing, then I hope that I won't be around to see the day when he brings it up."

~~~

Eberts walked over to the Official. "Will you be needing anything else sir?" He asked.

"No, Eberts. You can go now."

"Thank you sir."

Eberts turned around and left the office. The Official got up turned around, and pulled the sign off the wall to reveal his safe. He opened it up, and pulled a black folder out of the safe. He looked it over and then put it back. He wasn't very careful when he put it back, so a few pictures accidentally fell out and landed on the floor. He bent over to pick them up. He looked at them and then put them back in the folder. He locked up the safe and then put the sign back on the wall. He had to admit Agent Baxter was very good with a camera.

THE END

*A special thank you to my Beta Reader Liz*