Title: An Accident of Fate-- Chapter 1
Author: BuffyAngel68 vg68@msn.com
Rating: R- (Just to be safe)for passing references to a m\m sexual encounter.
Summary: Darien recieves a precious, though unforeseen, gift, but will he be allowed to keep it?
Timeline: None. Pick a time in 2001 you didn't like the direction the storyline went, put it there.
Notes: Be aware, this is a rather..... strange idea, but I think I made it work. (P.S.: Please no comments on the science, if I got anything wrong. I'm not an M.D. Or a Ph.d or anything of the sort, and Quicksilver is a fictional substance, so it can do anything I say it can!)

"Bad. That's very descriptive."
"I don't know. I've been throwing up.... feelin' all around nasty."
"How often? Every few hours, less?"
"Now that you mention it.... it's only been happenin' in the mornings."
Half turning from studying the blood sample she'd just taken, Darien Fawkes doctor regarded him suspiciously.
"And you're always tired?"
"Yeah. Drained, no energy."
Racking the test tube, she moved back to the administration chair where her charge lay, tugged his polo shirt out from the waistband of his trousers and slid her hand underneath, pressing gently on his chest, focusing around the nipples.
"Yeowch! If you want a little action, say so, but quit with the rough stuff, wouldja?"
"Tender? A little sore right there is it?" she asked him sarcastically, removing her hand.
"Actually, yeah. You didn't have to use torture. I would've told you if you'd asked."
"Alright, who put you up to this?"
"When did we change subjects? Put me up to what?"
"It had to be Bobby. Simply had to be. He's just sadistic enough to..."
"Claire? What in Gods' good name are we talking about?"
"This little practical joke that Bobby conned you into playing on me. I get it, okay? Funny, haha. Now go back to work."
"Huh! Ain't that a kick in the head! I come to to you sick and get brushed off! Some keeper you are." Darien grumped, rising to his feet and heading for the door.
"Yes, well, pretending you're pregnant is a fairly lame joke, so we're about even." Claire shot back as she turned away to store the blood sample just in case. When the sound of Darien hitting the floor reached her ears, she whipped back around and rushed to his side to find he had passed out. She slapped his face lightly and called his name, but was unable to get a response for several minutes.
"Darien? Wake up. Come on... there. That's better. Now, what in the world just happened here?"
"No.... it can't be... it's impossible... "
"What can't be... Darien Fawkes! You don't mean to tell me you actually think you're pregnant?!"
"I don't.... it is impossible, right? Even if.... I'm not responsible for this! It was his idea.... I think.... God, I don't remember!"
"Darien, slow down. Tell me calmly, so I understand what you're trying to say."
"You remember about a month ago, we finally broke the back of that smuggling ring.... Bobby and I... we went back to his place to celebrate. He had, like, a case of beer layin' around between the fridge and warm stuff... there mighta been six bottles left when we were done. We were so wasted... I mean, roaring, puke-on-your-dates'-dress, off our asses drunk! He started getting' emotional.... and touchy-feely..... he stumbled into me, I fell on the couch.... I have no idea if we.... did anything or not."
When he finally found the guts to look into Claires' eyes, he saw the same two-word phrase flashing there that was dominating his own thoughts, but neither one voiced it. "Tell me this is the flu. Please. Tell me anything, just don't tell me I'm right...."
"Of course you aren't. You being pregnant is pure science-fiction, but... come back to the chair, alright? Just... don't get up into it yet." she told him, helping him up off the floor and moving past him to recline the administration chair until it was nearly flat. Turning to one of the many drawers in the room, Claire retrieved a single sterile latex glove and snapped it over her left hand, cringing at the thought of what she was about to do.
"Why not?"
"The first step is to find out what you and Bobby.... did or didn't, and to be able to confirm or refute that, I have to examine your.... I have to..... take your pants off." {Good Lord, did I just say that?}
"You mean... you're gonna..."
"I have to, Darien, now just... do as I asked. I'm no happier about this than you are."
An interminable fifteen minutes later, the exam was finished and neither party to it was at all pleased.
"You can get dressed."
"What about...."
"There's definite scarring, nicely healed, which fits with tht time frame you gave me.. That, unfortunately, means something did happen, whether the beer allowed you to recall it or not."
"No.... no way...."
"I'm sorry. You and Bobby did the drinking, you and Bobby will simply have to find a way to deal with the consequences. Or not. You don't have to tell him. Try and forget it, and don't guzzle beer with the man ever again."
"Of course I have to tell him! If I am..... you know, it's his too...."
"I told you, Darien, you cannot be pregnant! It's absurd and utterly impossible."
Fully dressed now, Darien moved closer to where Claire stood, but still maintained some distance, deeply troubled and unsure.
"After the Simon Cole thing.... and all the other curve balls this stupid piece of junk in my head has thrown us, Claire.... when will you learn to stop saying that word?"
Disturbed now, herself, her mind turning Dariens' words over and over, her attitude shifted swiftly from friend to scientist.
"I'll look at the blood sample tonight. For now... go home and rest. I'll call in the morning if I find anything."
"It's the middle of the day."
"Leave that to me. Go home. Oh, and Darien?"
"I'm not saying I believe that this is true. Not in the slightest, but...... no alcohol, no smoky rooms and don't even take an aspirin until you hear from me. Just in case. Right?"
"Right. It doesn't exist, but let's protect it anyway."
"Will you go, please?"
"I am. Tomorrow morning?"
"If I find something. Go."

When he woke the next morning, Darien felt fairly good, but he rose slowly, knowing it might not last if he didn't take it very easy. Cautiously, he moved to the kitchen and poured himself a glass of apple juice, foregoing his normal orange due to the fear that anything harsh might tip the balance on his tempremental stomach, and took it back to the bed. Just as he was reaching for the phone to call in sick, it rang, and he drew his hand back as if he'd been burned. He knew it had to be Claire, and he was frightened of what she might have to say. On the fourth ring, he finally picked it up.
"Darien? Are you alright? You sound terrible."
"I'll be fine once you tell me what the blood tests said."
"Yes.... that's what I'm calling about. The results were.... strange. It's just a glitch, I'm sure, but.... I want you to meet me at Mercy Hospital anyway."
"Hospital? Whoa! What aren't you telling me, Claire...."
{A great deal, actually..... like what I really think is going on and how scared I am for you.} "You aren't in any danger, Darien. I need to do additional tests I don't have the equipment for, alright?"
"What tests?"
Knowing he wouldn't relent until he got a straight answer, Claire sighed and gave in on the one point.
"An abdominal ultrasound and an MRI."
His fear growing exponentially, Darien hesitated, then voiced his feelings quietly.
"So you do think it's true."
"I think nothing, just yet. I won't form an opinion until I see what today's tests reveal."
"But you're not calling it absurd anymore."
"I did some theoretical modeling on the computer last night.... and there is at least one way it way it *could* have happened, but the odds are so astronomical.... Look. No dark thoughts, alright? Get here as soon as you can."
"Will you call Bobby, or should I?"
"That's not a very good idea...."
"I don't give a damn if it is or not. If I'm not a statistical impossibility.... then there's something really wrong with me. Either way.... I need my best friend."

"Alright. You shouldn't be trying to get a cab this morning anyway. It's nasty weather. He should be there to pick you up in about half an hour. No telling him about any of this, right? We don't want him driving through a store window, do we?"
"Right. See you in an hour then."
"One hour."
As they strolled into the lobby of the hospital side by side forty-five minutes later, Darien remained uncharacteristically silent, Bobby characteristically voluble and determined to get an answer out of his friend.
"Quit it, Hobbes! I said I'm fine."
"Yeah, that's about all you said on the way down here. Why does she want you in the hospital if you're fine, huh? Talk to me, damn it!"
"She doesn't want me *in* the hospital! She wants to do a couple tests. I'm totally, one-hundred percent fine...."
Just then, Dariens system chose to make a fool of him by overwhelming him with an intense wave of nausea. His face paling, he clapped a hand over his mouth and made a beeline for the mens room, Bobby right on his heels.

When they emerged several minutes later, Claire was waiting for them and rushed to Darien immediately, assisting as Bobby lowered his partner onto a bench.
"More nausea?"
Darien could only nod.
"More? What do you mean more? You knew he was sick and didn't tell me? What else have you guys been keeping from me?"
"Bobby, please. Later, alright? I don't have the use of the machines for very long. We have to go now if we're to get any answers at all. Can you walk, Darien, or do you want a..."
"No! No wheelchair. I'm okay, now. I can get there under my own steam." he protested weakly, rising slowly to his feet, following her to the elevators.
Bobby, at first, maintained the classic posture of stubbornness, arms crossed over his chest, lips tight and thin, but he relented and made it into the cab just before the doors closed.

"Eeeesh! That stuff is cold!"
I know, but this sensor needs a medium to help it move over your skin. Okay. Here we go. Good. Nothing unusual so far. Looking goo....Oh. Oh dear Lord. I didn't want to believe it.... but.... there is something there...."
"Where? All I see is fuzz and snow. Is the cable out?" Darien joked nervously.
"Right here." Claire said, pointing to a tiny spot of brightness on the screen. "It seems to be a very small mass of pure QuickSilver. It could be something else... but nothing we want to think about. After what the CAT scan showed.... I believe we all have a problem, and a decision to make."
"It could be a tumor. As small as that is, and at this early stage, even if it is cancer it'll be easy to beat...."
"No, sweetheart. A tumor would show up dark. I'm afraid we have to consider...."

"Uh-uh! No way, not in this lifetime! You have got to be blowin' smoke, Claire. C'mon...."
Shutting down the monitor and beginning to clean the gel she'd used off Dariens' skin, Claire refuted his denial.
"You can keep saying no for the next nine months, in as many languages as you can find to say it in. The gland isn't listening."
The likely truth finally beginning to sink in, Darien stared at Claire intently, fear burning in his eyes. Confused, Bobby produced a tiny smile and jokingly questioned his friends.
"Are you two gonna tell me what's up or do I have to blow off your kneecaps?"
"Claire. You tell him."
"Uh, no, thank you very much. You're here for explanations as to why it happened, I'm doing theories and suppositions on *how* it happened. Go on. Explanations go first, but outside. The room is needed in about five minutes."
Silent, the three friends took the elevator back down to the lobby, then moved outdoors so as not to disturb anyone if the revelation turned into a confrontation. Pacing back and forth underneath the cement overhang where they were all hiding from the late morning drizzle, Darien brooded for several minutes before he found the courage to say what he had to say.
"Bobby. Partner.... remember back a month ago when we decided to celebrate finishing that tough smuggling case... so we finished off a case of beer? We were so drunk... I was laughin' at everything.... you were bawlin', and hangin all over me.... you bumped into me, we both landed on the couch.... it goes black around there, but we it looks like we didn't exactly.... pass out."
Sensing something major on the horizon that he really wasn't going to like, Bobby paced a step or two away.
"I remember you playing strip-spin-the-bottle with a bunch of girls that only you could see, my friend. That's pretty much all I remember.... Wait. What are you tryin' to say, Fawkes?"
"I'm saying we... did something.... together.... and it wasn't exactly playing Barbies or curling each others hair."
"You filthy minded perv! How dare you imply that Bobby Hobbes.... I wouldn't do that at gunpoint, never mind.... "
"Talk to her buddy, 'cause she checked out the... relevant territory, and she says there's scarring.... like somebody got too happy with his.... happy stick.... an' I know I never did.... that with anybody while I was conscious and sober! Claire, save me here. I can't tell him the rest of this. He will shoot me, you know that...."
"You've gotten the hard part over. Go ahead. You're almost finished."
"That's what I'm afraid of. Look, Bobby, the point is something definitely happened, 'cause ummm.... there's a bun in my oven."
"What?!" Hobbes squeaked, backing away and trying to laugh, though he sensed not even a hint of humor in the atmosphere. "A what in your what?!"
"Knocked up, great with child, preggers? I'm gonna have your baby, Hobbes!"
Stunned into utter stillness and silence for several seconds, Bobby Hobbes reversed his stasis abruptly, dropping to the grassy front lawn of the hospital complex, instantly out cold.
"Bobby? He's coming around. Here, give him this water."
Slowly, Bobby opened his eyes to find Darien on his knees at his side, holding his partners' head up off the cool damp grass. Once he was aware enough to comprehend his surroundings, Hobbes uttered a sharp grunt of disgust and leapt to his feet, moving away from his partner as quickly as he could, heading in the direction of the van, this time with Darien and Claire doing the following.
"Hobbes.... Bobby, please don't just take off like this, man! We don't know the whole story yet...."
"Please, Robert. All I ask is that you listen. There are things you both need to know. Let's go back to the Keep and I'll try to explain what's happened."
"I don't want any explanations!" Hobbes shouted, whirling in his tracks to face the other two. "You are sick! How could you say something like that, Fawkes?! God.... what a lame joke!"
"That was Claires' first thought too, but I am not jerkin' either of you around! You saw what we all did on that monitor. Something weird is goin' on.... I need to find out what. I'm for goin' back to the lab an' lettin' Keepie here try to clear this up. You with us?"
For a long stretch of minutes, Bobby merely stood and glared at his friends. Finally he gave a minute nod of agreement.
"But he rides with you, Claire!"

"Bobby, please calm down. I'm merely trying to tell you what might be happening. Nothing's definite, and won't be unless the supposed child is born."
"You mean something could go wrong? I could miscarry?"
"Darien, you keep forgetting you aren't meant to carry in the first place!"
"Well, it looks like I am, doesn't it? So science is pretty much up oh crap creek without a paddle on this one!"
"Easy, partner." Bobby soothed, finally regaining his equilibrium and his usual cocksure composure. "Okay, Keep. Get on with it. If Fawkes is actually... pregnant, how did it happen?"
"I can't be absolutely sure. This is only a theory you understand, but.... the evidence seems to indicate that when you.... entered Darien that night, being blind drunk, you were too forceful and tore the delicate tissue, causing bleeding. A small amount of that blood mixed with the semen..... this is where it becomes very, very theoretical. The gland is female, you both know that, therefore the Quicksliver DNA is, genetically female. What I believe happened is that a tiny amount of the Quicksilver in Dariens' blood acted as an ovum.... and was somehow fertilized. God knows how or why the end product finished up where it apparently has.... maybe it drifted back out through the damaged area before it healed over, but still, the odds of it finding an unobstructed pathway to the abdominal cavity and attaching itself to the abdominal wall..... this never should have happened....."
Head in his hands, Darien Fawkes spoke through his fingers.
"I need to hear it all, Claire. What's happening now?"

"The QS appears to be separating from your bloodstream and forming what, in a woman, would be the amniotic sac around the embryo.... actually it's more of a zygote at this point, I think. About five weeks in, yes, I think that's about right. I'm no obstetrician of course, but...."
"Claire!" Bobby shouted, glaring daggers at her.
"Sorry. Once a science geek, I suppose...."
Silent, Bobby moved slowly to where his partner sat on the edge of the administration chair and laid an uneasy hand on his shoulder. He left it there until Darien straightened and lifted his head, ready to ask the next question.
"So.... what now? I mean... you're only guessing. You don't really know, right?"
"Everything about you and the gland and this project has been guesswork from the beginning, Darien; since we discovered Arnauds' treachery, anyway. This is just a new, much more fantastical rung on the hypothesis ladder. Once I extract the zygote and do some testing, I'll know more...."
"Whoa! You're not extracting anything! No freakin' way!"
"There's no major surgery involved. It's just a simple laparoscopic procedure...."
"That's not it! You're not takin' it out of me, period! No! I won't let you kill my baby!"
"It's not a baby, Darien. It's a collection of cells at the moment."
"Maybe, but it's mine."
"Darien, be reasonable! Even if you could bring a child to term, which there's absolutely no guarantee you can, it might not be.... normal. It's being grown in Quicksilver, for Gods' sake. Who knows what birth defects that could cause.... or whether it will even survive after birth?"
"I don't care! She deserves a chance! I've been runnin' from cops most of my life, Claire. You push this, and I'll be gone like a warm breeze. You'll never see me again."
"Darien.... sweetheart..... please use your head for a moment instead of your heart. You have to see this will never work...."
"It will! I don't give a damn what you or the damn agency say. This is happening to me.... I get to decide."
"An' I don't get a vote?" Bobby suddenly interjected into the heated debate. "If what you guys are sayin' is true.... I'm this kids' dad. Don't I have a right to say anything?"
"Of course you do, Bobby. Please, speak your mind." Claire said, sure that Dariens' partner would add his own voice of reason, skewed though it might be, to hers. He disappointed her utterly.
"Until the fat-man put Fawkes and me together, every relationship, every friendship I ever tried to keep in one piece fell apart. It always hurt like hell. Our partnership... it means everything to me. I'd give my life for him. If tryin' to have this kid is important to him, it's important to me and I'm not lettin' anybody take the chance away from him. I'll defend his right to handle this whatever way he feels is the right way.... I'll defend it from now 'till doomsday if I have to. If that means goin' against you and the Agency and the Official, then I'll hand you my badge and my gun here and now. We clear on that?"

Claire stared from Bobby to Darien, images of what they'd all witnessed on the ultrasound monitor filling her thoughts. Once again she saw the child that, inexplicably, was now growing inside Darien Fawkes. Her fears and concerns threatening to drown her simply with their sheer numbers, she closed her eyes briefly, drew several deep, cleansing breaths, and settled on the decision she was sure would alter all their lives forever.
"I'm only clear on two things. We are all insane to think we can pull this off.... and the Official is about to have the stroke I've been trying to give him for years."

"One more time, doctor, just so I can be sure I didn't misunderstand.... or misconstrue what you're trying to tell me."
"Of course, sir. Due to an accident of fate, combined with an idiosyncrasy of the QS that I never could have foreseen... Darien is pregnant."
"Pregnant." the Official stated calmly, staring down at his hands on the desk, his tone belying the clear fury in his expression. "And the other party to this catastrophe of epic proportions would be..."
"Me, sir." Bobby murmured, raising his hand only slightly into the air.
"You're the accident of fate?"
"I have been called that, yes sir."
Veins standing out in far too many places for the comfort of the three people seated before him, the Official finally raised his eyes to confront his employees, his soft voice more an indication of his effort to keep himself under control than of his actual mood.
"Let's recap, shall we? In one night of drunken.... mindless.... stupidity, you two have sidelined one of the most important projects our govenrment has ever seen.... for two hundred and seventy days."
"Actually, sir, that's not correct." Claire interjected, praying she could salvage something from the all out debacle Darien and Bobby had created. "For one thing, if my calculations and the boys' recolections of the timing are right, Darien is already a little over a month along. Pregnant women have also been known to work into their eighth month. As long as I monitor him closely, I see no reason why he can't do the same."
"I see two at least. First; if, as you believe, the QS is sustaining this.... child, any invisibility work he has to do has the potential to harm it. Second; everything I've seen says the Quicksilver is extremely fragile. There is no way this... whatever it is is going to endure through the kind of situations he'll be facing."
"If I may, sir, I can address both questions. All this pregnancy will do is enhance Dariens' ability to do invisibility work. As the child grows the QS placenta will grow with it, providing a control on the buildup in his bloodstream, enabling him to go for longer periods between shots of Counteragent, resulting in a savings of time and money for the Agency, and agony for Darien. As for your second concern, being forced through his pores and onto his skin mixes the QS with oils, sweat and a dozen other body chemicals, diluting it just enough to make it unsound enough for him to shake off when he needs to. In its pure form, inside his body, it will be quite stable enough for the purpose."
It was the Officials turn to shut his eyes for a long moment and breathe deeply.

"I can't believe I'm even listening to this. The discussion is over, doctor. Hell, I never should have let it start... your orders are to extract this... thing, do what tests you need to, find out how it happened and prevent it from ever happening again. Sterilize Hobbes if you have to, just get this over with so we can all get back to work, hmmm?"
Having prepared herself for her employers reaction, Claire was able to restrain her hatred and revulsion much better than Darien and Bobby were. Standing, she stared sadly down at the Official.
"I had considered that an option myself, sir.... in the beginning. Fortunately, Darien made me see the grievous error taking that step would be. My answer, I'm afraid.... is an unequivocal no. I was brought here to care for Darien Fawkes and conduct research, not perform abortions. Without any reservations, and in no uncertain terms, I refuse your order, and hereby tender my resignation." she stated firmly, dropping a paper folded in thirds onto his desk and turning to stride out of the office. Hobbes and Fawkes followed her lead, dropping their own papers and trailing out of the room in her wake.
As the three had planned when strategizing about exactly how to present the situation to their boss, the friends only moved a few feet down the hall before stopping and waiting. Claire began to count down from ten on her fingers. She hadn't even reached five, when the Official bellowed her name. Sporting a wicked grin, she leaned back against the wall and began to examine her fingernails, waiting for him to get frustrated, or worried, enough to actually come after her. Less than a minute later, he finally appeared.
"Yes, sir. Was there something else you wanted to say?"
"I don't appreciate being blackmailed, doctor."
"Do you think Darien appreciated you treating what could well be his one chance at a child like a confidential document you can shred and toss in the nearest dustbin?"
"If... I go along with this, there will be strict conditions placed on all three of you. I'll expect them to be rigorously observed, or this little game will be over so fast your heads will spin off your necks. Do we understand each other?"
"What conditions?" Fawkes asked.
"Come back inside and we'll hammer them out right now."
"Okay. One last run-through on the rules so everyone knows where we stand. There will be full documentation of every stage of the.... pregnancy. Seeing as the keepers' house is considerably larger than Fawkes apartment, he will move in with her for the duration so she can keep as close an eye on him as possible, but there is to be no unauthorized physical contact between the two of you, or "hell to pay" will take on a whole new meaning. Any visitation by Hobbes must be kept to an absolute minimum. No interference, no strirring the pot, no whispering in Fawkes ear about breaking this contract. If the child is born healthy...."
"No. I can see right through you, you slimy...." Darien growled, suddenly agitated. " I thought I was okay with this last one, but.... This baby will belong to noone but me, Bobby and herself. You... will never touch her. Do you really think I won't take off after she's born and put her someplace where you can't get to her?"
"I think you won't give up the medical care both you and the child may need.... if it makes it into the world at all. I also think you know the truth, no matter how much you'd like to pretend otherwise. The gland belongs to the Agency. The QS sustaining the child comes from the gland, which belongs to the Agency. Chances are the child will be born with blood saturated with Quicksilver, which comes from the gland, which...
"I get your point. Now you get mine, you scheming son of a bitch. If I decide to take off, you'll never see this baby, or me, or your precious gland again! I'll make sure she's safe. I'd rather die by the side of the road in stage five madness, than know you ever looked at her or spoke her name...."
"And if he goes, your best agent won't be far behind him." Bobby tossed in, his own heart beating faster, adrenaline pumping in response to his partners turbulent emotions.
"Bobby..." Claire warned, rising and moving to crouch at Dariens' side, alarmed at the color of his face.
"No, he knows I mean it. I won't stick around if Fawkes doesn't. No freakin' way. The kid's my flesh and blood too, and you hurt mine.... I guarantee you're gonna get hurt in return."
"The condition says absolutely nothing about hurting the child! I have kids of my own, you know. What kind of monster do you think I am? The condition merely says that if the child reaches the age of eighteen, and if it does inherit QS ability from Fawkes, it will automatically be under contract with the Agency at that time."
"I just don't like it." Bobby argued. "It feels like slavery..... or Rumplestiltskin 2001."
"I'm not asking for indentured servitude, gentlemen. We will, of course, be keeping an eye on the childs' development, but you and Fawkes will be allowed to raise it as you see fit with minimal interference from the Agency; provided that includes training form both of you in the use of any Quicksilver power it may turn out to have."
"She! Not it, not "the child". She!"
"Darien, calm down, please." Claire exhorted her charge, stroking his hand gently. "You keep saying she and her. Why is that? Can you sense something?"
"Kind of.... I just know. I know I'm carrying a baby girl."
"Can we speed this up, sir? He really needs to rest."
"I'm not holding up the process. As soon as you all sign the contract, we're finished."
"Bobby?" Darien questioned, glancing uncertainly at his partner.
"I don't know, my friend. Once she hits eighteen, she'll be an adult. We won't have any say in her life anymore.... If we raise her right, she'll know exactly what the fat-man's capable of. He won't be pullin' anything over on her. And it's not like we won't both still be here for her then. Claire too, maybe. It'll be okay, I guess. We should sign, to protect you and her."
For a long time, Darien was silent, wishing his instincts, his heart and his mind would all stop throwing confllicting messages at him. Finally, he sighed heavily and spoke.
"Make it twenty-five, and I'll sign. Just in case she gets Bobbys' big brains, I'm not taking away her chance at college so can get your claws into her a few years earlier."
"That's reasonable." the Official agreed, to everyones amazement.
Once the alteration was made, Bobby Darien and Claire all put their signatures on the hastily written up document. Eberts witnessed it and scuttled off to type it up, make copies and file it all away.

Without a war to fight any longer, fatigue suddenly washed over Darien and he had to struggle to keep his eyes open. Claire reacted immediately.
"I knew it. Will you see he gets home, Bobby? I'll meet you at his place in a bit, alright?"
"Yeah, sure. Fawksie. Time to head out, buddy. Let's go, partner."
Within a few minutes, Darien was in the passenger side of the van and buckled in, and the pair were headed toward the younger man's small apartment.
"My big brain, huh?" bobby chuckled. "Some scam, Fawkes. You got the kid college. He ain't payin' I'll guarantee that, but...."
"That was no scam. It's the truth. You're way smarter than I am. I can read and recite. Big whoop, I'm a parrot. You know things, you know the world. That's the kinda smarts I want Bobbi to have."
"You just said I did. Bein' tired make you forgetful, or somethin'?"
"No, man." Darien corrected him sleepily. "The baby.... she told me what she wants her name to be."
"Yeah? She's about a tenth of an inch long, no mouth, and she's talkin to you. Maybe I should whip a U-turn and get you to my shrink for a session."
"Nice, Hobbes. You're gonna be sarcastic, I'm gonna sleep the rest of the way."
"Alright, alright. So what's her name, huh?"
Darien was quiet a few extra seconds, just to tease Bobby, but he did tell him eventually.
"Roberta Claire. Bobbi, with an i, for short."
"Whoa. Roberta Claire." Bobby mused, rolling it around his tounge and letting it echo in his head for a moment. "Yeah. I like it. It feels right... Bobbi with an i. That's cool. Hey, she sayin anything else?"
"No, but I'm saying shut up and drive so I can get home and get some sleep."
"Aww, don't go getting' all cranky, now. I know that's just my girls' nasty old hormones talkin'...." Hobbes tormented his partner evily.
"Bobby! Just drive!"
"Yeah, yeah. I really hope Claire can come up with some kinda male Midol, or somethin', 'cause I ain't dealin with his mood swings for the next eight months...."

I did warn you it was a weird idea! (Hehehe!) So? Does it work so far? R&R and let me know or e-mail and give vent to a pages long rant. I don't hold a grudge!