Title: Second Nature

Author: iwomans_sister

E-mail: Naomi@secret-agent.com

Disclaimer: I don't own or claim to own the characters from The Invisible Man'. Sue me if you want to, but I am not making money off of writing this and am flat out broke anyway.

Spoilers: If you've never seen the show this might spoil it for you. :)

Timeline: Before TNS

Genre: Angst/Suspense

Warning: Character death. There, I said it! You can't blame me now if you're shocked when it happens now!

Authors Note: This is definitely rated R and I wouldn't recommend reading it if you are under 18... No wait, I just plainly wouldn't recommend reading it at all. It's just one of those evil things that won't leave you alone till it's on paper.

*As always, a special thank you to my Beta Reader, liz_Z!*

"Darien, what are you doing?" Claire asked. There was no answer; she couldn't tell where he was. "Darien, I know you don't want to do this." Claire moved behind her kitchen counter, trying to gain some distance between them. Her heart was pounding, she knew he could be anywhere.

"Oh, you don't know how badly I want to do this." He said, whispering in her ear.

Claire jumped in surprise; by trying to move further away from him she had ended up right in his trap. "Darien..."

He unquicksilvered, pinning her against the counter with no way of escape. Darien slowly ran his right hand down her face. He grabbed the back of her neck and forced her into a kiss. After a second he pulled away, giving her a wicked smile, and once again Claire could see the silver color of his eyes. "How about we get this party started?" He asked, reaching for the buttons of Claire's shirt. "We can do this the easy way, or the hard way. But either way I get to have some fun."

Who knew what he would do to her after he had had his fun' as he had put it. He might decide there was no need for her and kill her. "Darien?" He stopped and looked at Claire. Slowly she leaned toward him and kissed him. Darien was shocked at first but then started to react. He pried her mouth open with his tongue, biting her lip hard enough to draw blood in the process.

Claire took the distraction and grabbed the first thing off of the counter she could feel. She hit him in the head with it, causing him to fall to the floor. Taking her chance she started to run toward the stairs but a hand grabbed her ankle.

"Oh, c'mon now. You didn't really believe you knocked me out, did you? I was just playing."

"Darien, let go of me!" When he didn't release his hold she kicked at him, causing his grip to loosen. She headed for the stairs as fast as her legs would carry her, but cried out in pain as Darien tagged her and she fell. She closed her eyes and waited until she guessed he was standing over her, then she jumped up with full force and ran toward her bedroom. She got the door closed and locked before he could get over the shock of her outsmarting him.

Claire looked around the room to find something that could block the door. Seeing her dresser and nightstand she started to drag them, one at a time, across the floor. She could hear Darien banging on the door as she covered it with even more things. Looking to where her nightstand had been she picked up her phone and dialed Hobbes' number. "Hobbes..." The phone was cut off before Claire could say anything else.

From outside she could hear Darien laughing, an evil laugh that chilled her bones. He must have unhooked the phone line. Unlike most homes, her box was upstairs in the hall, and it wouldn't have been hard for him to find. He continued banging on the door, threatening to break it down. Claire sat on the floor in a corner... Hoping Hobbes would come.

~*~

"C'mon!" Hobbes yelled, throwing his cell phone out of anger. He had been trying to reach Claire for a good ten minutes. They had been talking on the phone when there had been a knock on her door. She had said she would be right back, but a few minutes later, Claire had called, said his name and then he was greeted by the dial tone.

Instinct had told him something was definitely wrong and immediately Hobbes had jumped into Golda and took off toward Claire's house. But what was more disconcerting was that he had tried to call Darien for back-up and no one had answered. Hobbes wasn't sure if it was just a case of genuine paranoia or if something really was wrong. He hoped with all his heart that it was just paranoia.

Darien could be out on a date, or running a errand. Maybe even paying a bill. But even though Hobbes had come to those conclusions he didn't believe them for a second. Pulling into Claire's driveway his suspicions were confirmed. Darien's car was there. His heart started pounding faster then before. Could Claire be hurt? Or even worse, dead? Hobbes shivered at the thought. He jumped out of the van and headed to her door; twisting the knob, he found it unlocked.

Hobbes pulled out his gun and walked into the house, wanting to call out Claire's name, but training stopping him from doing so. Sweeping the room, worry hit him as he saw things scattered all over the floor. It looked like there had been a fight. Hobbes picked up Claire cordless phone and heard... Nothing. It had been diconected. That must have been why she didn't get to finish her call. Checking the rooms downstairs one by one, Hobbes was startled by a sound from behind him.

"Hello, Robert." The voice of his partner sent chills down his spine. Right away he knew that Darien was quicksilver mad. Turning around he was greeted with a gun in his face and the silver eyes of a very stage five Darien. "Nice of you to join the party. Claire's a little preoccupied upstairs right now, but I'm sure if you'll have a seat and wait she'll be by in a while."

Hobbes' face turned a ghostly color of white. "What did you do to her, Fawkes?"

"Why don't you ask her?"

"Fawkes, if you did anything to her, anything, I'll kill you."

"Oops." Darien said, placing his hand over his mouth in a playful gesture. "Too late."

Hobbes slammed Darien against the wall, making him drop his gun. "You son of a bitch! Where is she!?!"

Darien thought about shoving Hobbes back, but decided making his partner wonder what had happened was more fun. "She's upstairs."

Hobbes turned around and started toward the stairs, but stopped when he heard a click. He felt a cold object against the back of his head. "What are you doing Fawkes?" Hobbes asked, slowly turning around. Darien was standing there holding the gun with a smile of his face.

"Making sure you don't get in my way."

"So what, you're just going to kill me?" Hobbes asked.

"I don't see why not. My only question is whether I should pull this trigger and make it fast, or strangle you and watch as the life slowly drains from your body?"

"You wouldn't do that Fawkes, I know you."

"You're right. Maybe I should kill Claire first, while you watch. Yes, I think I'd enjoy that more..."

"Fawkes, give me the gun."

"Hmm, I don't think so."

"Fawkes... Darien, give me the gun and nobody has to get hurt." Hobbes said, as calmly as he could manage given the situation.

"You know, Robert, I'm starting to get the feeling that it's not worth the trouble."

An idea suddenly lit up in Hobbes' head. The quicksilver madness may have made his partner stronger and faster, but it didn't make him smarter. Darien had never taken Hobbes' gun away from him. Claire yelled something from somewhere up the stairs -though Hobbes couldn't tell what it was- causing the perfect distraction. Darien let his eyes wonder toward the steps, giving Hobbes enough time to pull his gun and aim it at Darien's own head.

"Tisk, tisk. You don't really expect me to believe that you would ever' pull that trigger, do you? I'm not nearly that' naive."

"You know, you're right about something, I wouldn't pull the trigger." He said, smacking the front of the gun against Darien's skull. He caught Darien as his lanky body slumped to the floor, then added. "But that doesn't mean I wouldn't use the gun..." He kicked Darien's gun across the room, guessing it was one of Claire's.

Hobbes took off up the stairs, heading straight toward Claire's bedroom. He tried to get the door open but found it locked. "Claire! Claire, open the door."

"Go away!!!" She almost screamed.

"Claire, it's Hobbes. Open the door!" He heard things moving, and after a few minutes the door unlocked and opened.

"Bobby, I'm..."

"Did he hurt you? I'm so sorry, I didn't get here fast enough..."

"Bobby, I'm okay. Really. Nothing happened. You got here just in time."

"But... He said..."

"Never mind what he said. I'm telling you, nothing happened. I'm okay..." She paused, then said, "But I'd be a lot better if you could get me out of here... Umm... Where's Darien?"

"Asleep on the living room floor."

"Are you sure?" Claire asked.

"Positive. Do you have any counteragent or tranquilizer's around?" Hobbes asked.

"Downstairs."

"Okay, stay here and lock the door..." Hobbes said, stopping when he heard a sound from behind him.

"You should have left it alone, Robert. Now the outcome is going to be worse." Darien said as he tackled Hobbes to the ground.

Hobbes could hear Claire yelling something in the background, but he was busy concentrating on how to get Darien off of him. A split second after the shot rang out along with the scream from Claire he realized that Darien had a gun. He wasn't sure who had been shot, whether it was him or his partner... Or if it had missed and impacted the wall. All he knew was that he had to stop his partner before someone got killed.

Hobbes felt a slicing pain to his left side, but wouldn't give up on the fight. Darien was getting in every punch and kick he could manage as Hobbes tried to pry the gun free from his hands. The gun went off again, and this time Hobbes was certain with out a doubt that the bullet hit someone. He heard Darien cry out in pain as he slumped onto Hobbes, completly still. The agony filled scream made Hobbes tremble.

He pushed Darien off of him and looked to see where he had been hit. A bright red blood stain was forming from his chest. "Fawkes, you're going to be alright. I'm going to get you some help..." He noticed that even though his partner's eyes were open, he wasn't moving. Checking for a pulse he found one, a weak one. "Darien, stay with me... Don't close your eyes."

Hobbes ripped off Darien's shirt and used it to try to stop the blood loss. Suddenly he realized he wasn't the only one in the room. Why wasn't Claire assisting him? He didn't have any idea how to take care of his dying partner. "Claire! Claire, I need your help here!!!"

"Bobby... I... Can't..."

Hobbes turned his head and saw Claire on the floor against the wall, lying in a puddle of her own blood. Her eyes were glazed, looking at something in the distance. There was a streak of blood going down the wall where she must have been standing when she was shot. Torn between the two he knew he couldn't help them both, but Darien looked like a lost cause.

Hobbes moved away from his partner, going to Claire. Blood was flowing from her lower abdomen. He started searching around him, looking for anything he could use. Anything at all. Pulling a pillow off of Claire's bed he took off the case and used it as a wrap around. Tears were streaming down Claire's cheeks and Hobbes realized for the first time that they were streaming down his own as well. The house phone had been disconected. And his cell was in the van from when he had thrown it.

"Help me..." Claire whispered.

Hobbes made his choice. He had to get his cell phone call call for help. "I'll be back, Claire." He stood and headed toward the door, but the hand on his foot stopped him from going any further. Looking down he saw Darien moving his lips, even though no words were coming out. Hobbes bent down and moved his face closer to his partners, well aware that Claire needed him. "What is it, Darien?"

Even though his eyes were completely silver, the words were from Darien, not the monster. "I...I'm... sor...ry..." With that his eyes closed, and the slight rise and fall of his chest stopped.

Hobbes wanted to scream no, wanting to will Darien to breath again. He needed to get Claire help. He needed to help Darien. Dropping on his knee's Hobbes started CPR, his tears now flowing like a river. "Damnit, Darien! Breath!" Hobbes heard Claire move, and once again had to decide between the two. Maybe if he had stayed longer with Darien the first time he'd still be alive? He couldn't just leave him, but he knew he had to.

Darien was a lost cause from the start. His wound was too severe. Hobbes had to help Claire. He couldn't lose them both. How could he survive knowing that both of them were dead? They were his only friends in the world. Hobbes took Claire's hand in his own. With his other hand he kept putting pressure on her abdomen. In the background he could hear sirens from either police cars or an ambulance. Maybe both.

A neighbor must have heard the shots and called 911. Hobbes felt his world crashing in and he was trying not to break down. This was all a dream, it had to be. Suddenly he realized that Claire was asking him something... It broke him out of his thoughts. "What?"

"Is he..." She started to cough, and when she did so, a little streak of blood trailed from her mouth.

"Claire, don't talk. Save your strength. Help is on the way..."

"Is he dead?" She asked in a whisper.

Hobbes didn't have to ask who. Yes, Darien was dead. But he couldn't tell her that. He couldn't tell her the truth... "He's fine. He just passed out from the pain. Darien's going to be okay, and so are you."

A small smile spread on Claire's face. "Good." She said, then started to cough again.

Hobbes didn't have any way to help the coughing stop, or to ease her pain for that matter. So he just continued to hold her hand. The coughing stopped and he moved some hair from her face so he could see into her eyes. They were starting to close. "Claire, I know it's hard, but I need you to keep your eyes open."

"T-trying." She replied as another fit of coughing took over.

Hobbes could tell by the rasp in her voice that the blood was in her throat clogging her airway. Just a few more minutes and help would be there... A few more minutes...

"Can't... Breath..." Claire said in short gasps.

"Claire... Please, they're almost here..." The tears running down Hobbes' face were putting the taste of salt in his mouth. He would have wiped at them, but was afraid to let go of her hand, or to remove his other from putting pressure on her wound.

Claire tried to say something, but didn't get the words out. Her eyes closed, opened again, and then closed for the last time.

Hobbes screamed no before he had even realized he had opened his mouth. "God no! Not both of them! Why!?!" The tears were falling faster now, and he had no idea where they were coming from; his eyes were dry, but wet at the same time. Searching the room he picked up the gun and did the only thing he thought he could do. The sound of the shot rang out, muffled by the sirens in the distance.

The End

A/N: *Hands out Kleenex* Sorry I didn't do that sooner... I have the perfect idea for a sequel...Anybody want one?