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Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I don't own anything I-man related, I didn't steal anything, only thing that I have any claim to would be Amanda and Richie, but that's rather obvious

Time Frame: I don’;t even know anymore...

Archive: All Amanda Fawkes fanfics are archived at

http://amandafawkes.cjb.net/

Stop by and visit, and check out the other AF fics, as well as the really cool message board :)

Comments: This is the next installment of the Amanda Fawkes fanfic series and was beta read by Snowtiger. Thanks so much, those of you have no idea the effort she puts into this when it comes to all my little mistakes ;)

 

Buried secrets

 

Oh no, what’s this? A spider web and I’m caught in the middle, so I turn to run, and thought of all the stupid things I’ve done…. Oh no I see, The spider web and it’s me in the middle, so I twist and turn but here am I in my little bubble.

 

-Cold Play, Trouble

 

"Watch It!" Amanda screamed as Darien accidentally bumped into her injured arm.

"Sorry, I'm a little busy trying not to get shot," he snapped back angrily as he ducked behind a corner after trying to get a glance at the suspect. A little while ago he had started shooting. He was a smuggler that they had caught in the act. After he pulled the gun out it had pretty much been everyone for themselves, and Amanda had gotten shot in the arm on her way to safety. Darien had no idea where Hobbes had ended up, and he just hoped he hadn't been hurt or worse.

"No kidding, I was trying that too...Didn't work out," she said as she adjusted her arm to keep it out of harms way, wincing in pain the whole time.

"Okay, yelling at each other isn't going to save us.....why did the shooting stop?" Darien asked as he suddenly noticed the silence.

"Does it look like I know?" Amanda asked angrily. Darien rolled his eyes and tried to remember that being shot in the arm usually gave a person a bad attitude. Slowly he looked around the corner to see Hobbes putting cuffs on the guy.

"Well, it's about time," Darien yelled as he came out of hiding, followed shortly by an obviously angry Amanda.

"I wasn't too interested in getting filled with bullets, okay?" Hobbes told him as he started dragging the guy towards the van. It was obvious they were all a little angry for their own reasons. Hobbes for letting the guy get the jump on them, Amanda for getting shot, and Darien because everyone was taking it out on him.

"Can I kick him, just once?" Amanda asked as they got to the van, much to the obvious dislike of the man.

"I don't think so," Hobbes said as he secured the man in the back of the van.

"He shot me! Which by the way... we really need to get back to the Agency for this," she motioned to her haphazardly bandaged arm.

"We're going now, if we take time out for you to beat up our perp, it'll just take longer," he said slamming the door and getting a large grunt from the man who got hit with it. Amanda sighed and walked to the front of the van and waited for Darien to open the door and quickly get in after her.

"Let's just be quiet go," Darien said.

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

"You could be a little more gentle," Amanda said as Richie finished with her injury. He looked at her confused.

"I was being gentle," he said as she started putting things away. Amanda closed her eyes and shook her head as she got up out of the chair and started toward the door.

"By the way, the Official wanted you to go to his office, something about a visitor," he told her.

"Visitor? Who would wanna come see me?" she asked more to herself than Richie as she put her coat back on and left. She walked down the hall wondering who it could be when she met up with Hobbes and Darien.

"Who's the visitor?" Darien asked.

"What?" Amanda said, wondering how he knew about it.

"The Official said he wanted me and Hobbes to come to his office, something about you getting a visitor I might want to know about," Darien told her as they reached the door.

"I don't know," she shrugged as she turned the door knob and walked in. Darien walked right into her as she stopped moving.

"What the..." he started.

"Mom!" Amanda said with surprised.

"Amanda!" she replied happily as she got up and walked over to hug her daughter.

"Hi Aunt Celia," Darien said as she turned to give him a hug too.

"What are you doing here... in my boss's office?" Amanda asked.

"I was coming to find you... and your boss is a very interesting man, not to mention that nice Mr. Eberts," she said which earned her some strange looks from all three of the Agents..

"We had a very wonderful conversation," Eberts said, earning a glare from Amanda.

"Very informative as well," the Official added with a smirk.

"What did you talk about?" Darien asked panicked.

"It's not important, don't worry," Celia told them.

"Well I'm going to, anyway," Amanda mumbled.

"What's that, dear?" Celia asked, knowing full well what she said.

"Nothing Mom," She told her with her arms folded. Celia sighed, but decided to let it go.

"Why are you here?" Amanda asked with interest, she hadn't talked to her mother for a few years except for the occasional phone call, and now here she was for a visit.

"Darien invited me," she told her, and Amanda's death glared turned to him as he smiled sheepishly.

"I thought you might want to visit with your mother, … what?" he asked. He didn't know why, but Amanda never seemed to get along with either of her parents.

"I thought we could all go get dinner, you do get off work soon, right?" she asked looking at the Official and Eberts.

"We have nothing else for them," the Official said.

"Good then, let's go," she smiled. "Would you like to come along....Mr. Hobbes isn't it?"

"I would love to, but I have other plans, I'll catch you later Fawkes," Hobbes said, trying to avoid getting sucked into what seemed a very volatile situation.

"Well, let's go," Amanda said half heartedly as she walked out of the office.

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

"This is nice," Celia said when they finished ordering from their menus. "We never really get to have family things like this anymore."

"Maybe there's a reason," Amanda muttered, both Celia and Darien ignored it.

"So how has work been for you two?" she asked.

"It's been good, for the most part," Darien told her.

"It's okay," Amanda added.

"Is there a problem?" Celia asked, noting the undertones in the way Amanda spoke.

"I said, *it's okay,*" Amanda told her as she took off her jacket, forgetting the patch up job on her arm.

"You could always go back to school... What happened to your arm?" she asked panicked.

"Oh...that... It's nothing," Amanda said as the waiter delivered them their drinks.

"It doesn't look like nothing," Celia said, almost sternly.

"It's fine, just a little... gunshot wound," she said quietly before taking a drink.

"I told you, you should have stayed at school," Celia said looking at her sadly.

"I'm fine...mother," Amanda said taking another drink of her wine, slightly longer than the first.

"There's no need to drink like a fish when you're talking to me," Celia told her.

"I'm not!" Amanda said raising her voice, getting some stares from the neighboring tables.

"Can you do this later?" Darien asked Amanda quietly.

"Good idea," Amanda told him as she stood up and grabbed her coat.

"Amanda...." Celia called after her as she left.

"I'm sorry Aunt Celia. She can't seem to be decent to people for more than two minutes. I'm not really sure what her problem is," Darien said as he took a sip from his own drink.

"It's not a matter of what the problem is, I just thought she might have gotten over it by now," she sighed.

"What?" Darien asked, causing Celia to stiffen as she realized what she just said.

"It's not something I can talk about here... it's not important... never mind," she said. Darien was about to press her again, but decided after everything that had happened tonight, it might be best to wait until later.

*********

"Could you tell me what's with you and Aunt Celia?" Darien asked Amanda as they walked down the hallway in the Agency.

"I don't know what you mean," Amanda told him as she kept walking. Darien sped up and stood in front of her so that she would be forced to stop.

"I think you do," he said.

"It's nothing," she said as she walked around him. He grabbed her arm and made her spin back around.

"What is it?" he asked more forcibly.

"Trust me, you don't want to know," she said firmly, staring him in the eyes.

"Yes I do."

"No, you have no idea... and it's not important anyway," she said jerking her arm away and turning back around to walk away more quickly this time, making sure that he wasn't following her. She went into one of the empty office areas that was used for storage and sat down against the wall, trying to fight back tears. After all these years why did her mother have to come back like this? It only made her remember and remembering hurt. Darien didn't know about it, Kevin hadn't really known, though she thought he might have suspected...and her mother had ignored it.

How could she tell Darien that she had been abused by her father? It hadn't ever really been anything that she thought wasn’t normal, she had assumed most kids were hit when they did something wrong. But then, she had been told by a friend that how much she was hit wasn't normal. Then that night it had gone that one step further and she knew that it wasn't right.

Amanda had told everyone that she had fallen down the stairs, not that her father had lost his temper and punched her, knocking her down into the basement. She had been lucky enough not to get any permanent injuries. Her mother had been there… and had just watched. She didn't even make a move to stop him whenever he beat her. It hadn't been until years later that she realized she was the only child in the house being hit like that. Her brothers, or cousins as the case was, had never gotten hit. It had taken her a while to finally understand why her father had done what he did.

He wanted a son, and the only child he had that was truly his had been a girl. Kevin had become a surrogate son to follow in his footsteps, but he still had his issues with the fact that he hadn't had one of his own. Her mother had often tried to make it okay, tell her that he was just upset. She said when she was pregnant they both had been so sure it would be a boy. It didn't help at all, if anything it had made Amanda feel even more isolated, alone, and trapped in her own personal hell. Like she was caught somewhere and couldn't escape.

Amanda didn't want anyone else to find out. She felt ashamed of what happened. That she hadn't tried to stop it, or fought back, or anything. Not to mention the fact that her own mother hadn't tried to help her, and she knew her mother knew it was wrong. She suspected that she was afraid, but she wasn't sure. She never really talked to her mother after she left home, and she had left as soon as she could. She wanted to get as far away as possible. It was probably part of why she became a thief. She needed a large amount of money in a hurry, and obtaining a job would take too long and didn't pay enough. She had to pay for most of college on her own. Her mother had helped her a little, but Amanda knew it was more out of guilt than anything. Every time she tried to send the money back, her mother would just turn around and re-mail it.

Amanda dried her eyes and looked around the room to see that it was mostly filled with file boxes marked 'Need to be filed'. She laughed a little and stood up, then opened the door and glanced down the hall making sure no one was nearby, and headed for the nearest bathroom. She didn't want anyone to know she had been crying.

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

Darien parked his car outside the hotel where his Aunt was staying. Something was wrong here, and it wasn't just normal every day, kid-mad-at-her-parents stuff. There was something else he didn't know about, and he was going to find out.

He walked into the hotel and waited for the elevator. When he walked on there was a woman inside. He smiled at her and talked a little on the way up. The elevator doors opened on the 6th floor and he didn't even notice his Aunt standing there.

"Darien?" she asked getting his attention.

"Aunt Celia, I was just coming to see you," he said quickly as he stepped off the elevator and said goodbye to the woman who handed him a card before the doors shut.

"I'm sure you were... got a little side tracked?" she asked with a small smile.

"Uh, yeah... anyway, I need to talk to you," he said as he put the card into his pocket.

"I was just on my way to go to the store for some things... Is it important?" she asked.

"That's what I need to ask you," he told her. She looked at him confused, but turned and walked with him back to the room. Darien walked in and looked around. It was a pretty nice room. He sat down in one of the chairs.

"Do you want anything to drink? All I have is water and milk," she told him.

"No, I'm fine," he said as she smiled and sat down.

"What is it you want?" She asked as she sat down, although she was pretty sure, as blind to what was going on as Darien used to be, he was now all that much more perceptive.

"I know there's something going on with you and Amanda, and I don't think it's some normal thing....there's a lot of hostility there," he told her. She sighed as she looked down them back up at him.

"She blames me," she paused to take a deep breath. She hadn't ever thought she would have to bring this up ever again. "She blames me for letting her father beat her."

Darien started at her in shock. Uncle Peter had always seemed like a pretty quiet guy, not someone who would beat his own daughter.

"I... uh... whoa," Darien said, dumbfounded as to what to say.

"Remember when she fell down the stairs?" she asked. "And we had to call you and Kevin to come home?"

"She didn't fall, did she?" Darien asked. He remembered getting that call. For all he knew when he got the frantic call from Kevin who was packing to get home, Amanda was almost dead. The doctors had said if she had fallen just a little bit more this way or that way, she could have had a permanent back or head injury, or worse. It had been one of the worst moments in their family... Uncle Peter had seemed so concerned, he thought he was worried about Amanda dying. Now he thought it was probably more over the fact he might have been caught.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he finally asked.

"I didn't want you to think badly of your uncle, and I assumed if Amanda wanted you to know, she would have told you," she explained.

"What about Kevin? Did he know?" Darien asked.

"I don't think he knew for sure, but I'm positive he suspected," she told him.

"Was it always like that... even when she was little?" Darien asked.

"No, it didn't really start until she was older…… I don't think he even really meant for it to start... it just happened," she said closing her eyes.

"Just happened?" Darien asked, anger rising in his voice. He looked as his Aunt to see her starting to cry.

"I'm sorry," he apologized.

"No, you don't need to..."

"No, I do need to. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help Amanda, obviously you wouldn’t," he said before he stood up and stormed out of the room.

********

"Are you alright?" Richie asked as Amanda walked into the keep.

"I'm fine, why?" she asked harshly.

"You look like you haven't sleep at all," he said.

"That's probably because I haven't," she told him as she sat in the chair and got ready for her shot.

"Want to tell me why?" he asked as he walked over and started administering the shot.

"No."

"It might help."

"No."

"Positive?"

"Yes."

"Alright," he replied with a sigh as he finished giving her the shot and went to put everything away. He turned to talk to her but only saw the door shutting after her quick exit from the keep. He shook his head with a slight roll of his eyes and went back to work.

Amanda walked down the hall until she saw Darien turn the corner, then she instantly spun around on her heel in an attempt to get away, but he caught up to her easily.

"Amanda, wait," he said grabbing her arm to stop her.

"What?" she asked annoyed.

"I need to talk to you," he said.

"I'm not going to tell you anything," she told him.

"I know, you don't have to," he told her looking away. Amanda slowly looked at him, realizing he knew something.

"What did she say or tell you?" she asked coldly.

"Amanda…… "

"She told you!" she practically shouted in panic. "What the hell was she thinking..."

"Amanda, come on, you could have told me," he said.

"No… I didn't want anyone to know," she said as she slowly started backing down the hall. "I have to go talk to her."

"Amanda, stop," Darien said moving quickly to block her way.

"Darien, move," she said quietly, trying to keep her temper in check, but failing miserably as she shook slightly from her rage.

"You need to calm down," he instructed her.

"I'm warning you, move now," she said looking up at him. He found it almost comical that the small woman in front of him was threatening him. She was average height, but he still towered over her.

"I'm not……" was all he got out before she swung. Darien fell more out of being surprised than hurt. She hadn't ever hit him, even when they were kids they had never hit each other. He got up in time to see her already rounding the corner and reached a hand up to feel his wound. He hadn't thought she could hit that hard.

*******

"Hey!" the man in the parking lot yelled as Amanda's car screeched to a halt, not in a parking spot, and he was forced to jump onto the sidewalk to avoid being flattened. She ignored him and got out of the car and stormed into the hotel.

Celia was finishing packing when she heard a loud pound on the door of her room.

"It's open," she called. Celia had been waiting for one of the hotel staff to come pick up her luggage and take it to her cab.

"What the *hell* were you thinking?" Amanda said as she walked into the room. Celia looked at her with an almost disinterested look, making Amanda even angrier.

"I see you've talked to Darien," Celia said calmly.

"Why? Why did you have to tell him?" Amanda asked, almost exasperated.

"I don't see why you didn't tell him," she said with her arms folded.

"I don't want people to know about this," Amanda screamed.

"Honey, it's nothing to be ashamed of," Celia said walking closer to her daughter, desperately wanting to comfort her, but knowing now probably wasn't the best time for that.

"I'm not ashamed of being hit," Amanda said more quietly, she was already crying. "I've been in enough therapy to know that."

"You actually went?" Celia asked surprised.

"I didn't have anyone else to talk to," Amanda said, her voice shaky.

"You could have talked to me," Celia said.

"No I couldn't…… I..." Amanda trailed off.

"What?" Celia pressed her. Amanda looked down at her feet then back up.

"Why didn't you love me enough to help me?" she asked as tears fell down her face. Celia was frozen. That's what this was all about? Everything for the last 15 or so years. Her daughter thought she didn't love her.

"No... Honey... No, I loved you then, I still do now," she said walking closer.

"Then why did you let it happen? You just stood there... Why didn't you help me?" Amanda asked, her voice strained.

"I... I was afraid it might start happening to me," Celia said as tears started running down her face.

"What?" Amanda almost whispered.

"When we first got married, about a year into things... We got into a very heated argument, it was the only time her ever hit me. I was afraid that if I got in his way... he might hit me again. When he was like that he wasn't himself… I'm so sorry," Celia said as she cried.

"Mom..." Amanda said before hugging her.

"I'm so sorry," Celia sobbed.

"It's okay, mom...It's okay, now," Amanda told her, reassuring herself as well. Suddenly the door burst open and Darien came running in.

"Oh... Hi," he said as he looked at the two. "Are you alright?"

"It's fine," Amanda told him as she wiped her eyes.

"I missed something, didn't I?"

Celia and Amanda both laughed slightly.

"I'll tell you later," Amanda said.

"Yeah, I've heard that one before."

*********

"Good morning, your looking better," Richie said as Amanda came into the keep, taking off her headphones as she did.

"I feel much better," she said. "Claire said you wanted to see me, something about you wanted to run some test?"

"Yes, I'm going to need to take some blood samples," he said getting out the needle.

"And this perfect day is shattered," she said sarcastically as she sat in the chair.

"You know you don't hate it that much," he said as the keep doors opened and Darien walked in with Claire.

"It's nothing, okay," he said as he went to sit in a chair.

"Darien, you have gash on your face, something must have happened," Claire continued. Amanda snickered and looked away when Claire turned to look at her.

"Do you know about this?" she asked.

"Me? I don't have any idea," Amanda said manner that wasn’t quit sincere. Claire looked back at Darien, glanced and Amanda, then back to Darien.

"Alright....if that’s how you want to be about it" she said as she went back to her work.

"I have all I need for now," Richie told Amanda. She got up and started walking out with Darien.

"Darien!" Richie called after them.

"Hmmm?" he asked.

"Next time you pick a fight with your cousin, I suggest you make sure she's not wearing a ring," he told them before turning back to the blood samples.

"Oh!" Claire said as realization dawned on her. Darien didn't look too happy and Amanda's other hand went to her ring.

"God, you can't keep any secrets around here," she commented.

"No kidding," Darien added.

 

And I never meant to cause you trouble, and I never meant to do you wrong, and I…, well if I ever caused you trouble…, and oh no, I never meant to do you harm

-Cold Play, Trouble