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Time Frame: I doníít even know anymore...
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Comments: This is the 4th Amanda Fawkes fanfic and this one was Beta read by Snowtiger, and many many many many many (is that to many Ďmanyís? :P) thanks to her for reading this over and correcting all my horrible little spelling errors and missing words. I know it can be a real pain :)
Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty, stinging clear, and I canít help but ask myself how much I let the fear take the wheel and steerÖÖ. lately Iím beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel.
"Get up." Richie said in an annoyed tone of voice. He was in the lab, and Amanda had been bothering him all day. She had just decided to use the chair in the lab for a nap.
"Why, youíre not using it," she said without opening her eyes.
" Not that your daily visits to the keep arenít appreciated, itís just not the best place to be if your just looking for company, I have work to do. Shouldnít you be out doing something?" he asked. She seemed to like spending her time being disruptive in the lab, and he was getting tired of it.
"Nope," She said as she got up and sat cross-legged. "Iíve been deemed un-ready for unsupervised work out in the field or something like that. Darien and Hobbes are on some case theyíve been on for a while, and they donít want me in the middle of it. Iíve got all the time in the world."
"Wonderful," he replied exasperated as he sat back down at his computer. Amanda stretched back out in the chair and laid down, pulling her coat over herself.
"Why donít you practice quicksilvering or something?" he asked her.
"Iím not authorized to without Darien," she said.
"Well, now you are,... go."
"I donít need practice anyway," she replied.
"Since when?" he asked her.
"You want me to prove it?" she asked in return. He nodded and folded his arms. Amanda sat up cross legged once again and held out her arms. Her left fingers and hand disappeared, followed by her right hand. Then her arms followed. She then quicksilvered herself from the waist down, smiled triumphantly, and then quicksilvered what was left visible of herself.
"Iím impressed, I didnít think you were that good," he commented as he went back to his desk and she de-quicksilvered.
"Thank you," She said with a small bow, before laying back down in the chair.
"Iím going to recommend you be put into the field," He said. He waited for her reaction, well aware of how adverse it was going to be, but he also knew that she couldnít stay locked up in the keep forever, and it was an opportunity to try and get her to open up a little to him...if she would admit the problem.
"What?! Iím not that good yet," She added, sounding panicked.
"Is something wrong?" he asked.
"I just shouldnít be put out there yet," she repeated.
"I disagree," he replied as he picked up a file folder and left the room. Amanda stared at him as he left, trying to burn a hole in his back with her gaze.
"Why does it matter? Theyíre going to put you out there eventually, I know itís not exactly a fun thing, but I think you can handle it," Darien said.
"Please, thereís gotta be something you can do," Amanda repeated. Darien was driving her home, and she had been asking him the same question for over an hour.
"Whatís the big deal?" He asked again, but she seemed to keep avoiding answering him.
"Never mind," She said as she turned and stared out the window.
"Oh come on, now youíre mad at me?," He asked, frustrated.
"Iím not mad," She said flatly.
"Amanda, please donít act like this. God, your doing that stupid ĎIf you donít know Iím not telling youí....girl thing," He complained with a sigh.
"Girl thing?!" She said spinning back around to glare at him.
"Aw crap," Darien sighed as she started to yell at him. What did she expect him to do? He wasnít exactly Ďpopularí around the agency right now. They rarely asked his input about Amanda, and when they did all they really wanted from him was more information on how to control her. There wasnít much within his sphere of control, even though they tried to make him feel like it, and they definitely had Amanda thinking it.
"Okay, so you two are going to go in, get the hostage out, and then the agents can move in without worrying about her getting killed," Hobbes explained one last time. They were in the van, on the way to a house where a spooked criminal was holding a pregnant woman hostage.
"Why are we getting this?" Amanda asked. She was sitting between Darien and Hobbes with her arms crossed. She was obviously not in a good mood, and hadnít been all day. Darien knew it wasnít her normal anger at the Agency, but he had felt the same way on his first mission. Eventually it wouldnít be as bad, but he knew that was still a while off.
"Cause the guy is a federal criminal," Darien said. "and I think the official said something about making the agency look good."
"Not to mention this is the guy that the betrayed the FBI and the Agency, and so far the FBI hasnít been able to catch him, so the fat man wants us to get their first,"
Amanda sighed and rolled her eyes as Hobbes parked the van. The all got out and opened up the side door of the van. Hobbes got out the headsets for Darien and Amanda, and then went to set up the equipment.
"How old are these things?" Amanda asked, noticing the duct tape holding one together around the head band, with another piece of tape holding on the earpiece.
"Older than you." Hobbes muttered under his breath. Amanda smirked as she put the thing on.
"Okay, Amanda, you go in first, Darien will go after you," Hobbes said.
"Iím going in by myself first?" She asked, her voice sounding panicked again.
"Yeah. Look, youíll do fine. Just pay attention, and try not to get into a position thatíll get you in trouble," Hobbes told her, trying to comfort her but obviously failing.. It was probably going to be a simple in and out mission, not a big deal, but it seemed to be bothering her a lot.
"Never mind. ItísÖÖ..nothing," she finally said, before she disappeared.
"Hey, Iíll be right behind you. I wonít be more than five or ten minutes after you" Darien said to the air where she had been.
"I know," She told him.
Amanda made her way across the street and easily climbed over the little fence that surrounded the yard. She walked around to the back of the house to find the best way in. There was a window with a lock on it, but it was easy to get around, and she easily pulled herself through it. As she did she realized Darien would never fit through there, he was going to have to find a better way in, which would mean it was going to be longer before he got there. He would probably end up having to get through the back door, which was locked. That would mean it would take him even longer than the original planed 5 or 10 minutes.
Amanda walked as quietly as she could through the house, she heard someone crying and went down the hall and walked towards the noise. She heard a harsh voice, and then the man they were looking for came out of the room and almost ran straight into Amanda, but she twisted out of the way at the last second. He turned around with his eyes open wide when he heard something hit the ground, but left when he didnít see anything.
Amanda forced herself not say anything, as she realized she had twisted her ankle moving like that. It hurt like hell, but she didnít think it was anything to bad. She forced herself to stand back up and limp into the room that the crying was coming from. Amanda saw the woman they were looking for, obviously injured, and very pregnant. Amanda got close to her de-quicksilvered and quickly put her hand over the womanís mouth to keep her from giving them away.
"Iím here to get you out of this place, donít worry," Amanda said.
"I think she should worry," The man said as Amanda felt a gun press into the back of her head. "I donít know how you got in here, and I donít really care, but if you move Iíll blow your brains out."
"Okay, Fawkes, your turn," Hobbes said, pausing as he noticed a man running up to the van.
"Hey, you the agency guys?" the FBI agent asked as he walked up.
"Yeah why?" Darien asked.
"An agent was caught by the suspect, he called to tell us his demands, or heís going to kill her," he said, when all he received was stares from the two he continued.
"Why did you send in someone already? Now we have to clean up your mess," the man complained.
"We gotta get her out of there," Darien finally said.
"I think you boys have done enough, let us handle it," the man said. "We only told you out of professional courtesy."
"Just sit down and donít say anything," the man said still pointing the gun at Amandaís head.
"Look, I only have one thing to say, canít you just let the woman go? A federal agent is much more valuable to you than her, and you donít want to kill a pregnant woman do you?" she asked. Amanda saw some emotion flicker across his face, the man obviously felt guilty about it.
"Fine, but your not going anywhere, understand?" he said.
"Crystal clear," Amanda replied.
"Someoneís coming out," Hobbes said to Darien who turned around to face the house. All the FBI agents had their guns out, then they saw it was the pregnant woman. One man rushed forward and helped her to a car. The woman was hysterical. Hobbes and Darien rushed over to see what was going on.
"What about that agent?" The woman asked one of the men who was trying to hurry her into the car.
"Donít worry about it," The man told her.
"Youíre going to get her out right?" she asked.
"We will," Darien chimed in, the woman looked at him and smiled.
"I hope so," she told him before the car door was shut.
"You guys really screwed up, from what Iíve heard you sent a kid in there," the agent that had talked to them before said.
"Sheís not a kid, and we did what you would have done in our place," Darien said.
"I doubt it," the man smirked, as if the whole situation was joke.
"Whatís your name?" Darien asked, sounding frustrated with the man.
"Tipic, Agent Tipic." He said.
"Well, Agent Tipic, you donít know everything."
"How did you get in here without me seeing you?" the criminal, who Amanda remembered was called Dan Panmar, asked her.
"Magic," she smirked. He responded by backhanding her across the face, knocking her to the ground. Amanda reached a hand to her lip, and it came back with blood on it, she got back up and sat back down on the couch.
"Donít be a smart ass, or youíll get worse than that," he warned her. "Now, answer my question."
"Iím trained in covert entry," she said. The man narrowed his eyes, but didnít say anything. From the way he was acting, she doubted he believed her.
"So, Agent Fawkes," he said as he went through her wallet. "What is an agent from the Department of Fish and Game doing here?"
"Agent exchange, you know like foreign exchange students, we trade every so oftenÖ." She ducked and put her hands up to defend herself as he raised his hand again, but he seemed to think better of it and let his hand fall back down. He continued going through her wallet, taking her money then throwing it back onto the coffee table.
"Go ahead, take it," He said. She quickly reached her hand out, but he grabbed it.
"How did you get to be an agent, you donít look like you should be one, and you certainly donít act like one, what makes you so special?" he asked. She didnít answer, just pulled her hand back.
"You know, your really pretty," he sneered as he reached out to brush a strand of hair out of her face, but she slapped his hand away.
"If youíre planning on that, you better just shoot me now," she said. He just laughed at her, and walked back to the window.
"Doesnít matter, our ride just got here," He walked over and grabbed her roughly pulling her towards the door. "Remember, you do one thing wrong and your dead."
"Have you ever seen a movie? The guy with the hostage never makes it to the airport, theyíll kill me before they let you go," she told him. She felt the cold metal of the gun press against her temple.
"I suggest you keep your mouth shut," He said as he opened the front door.
"What they hell are they going to do?...Hey, their coming out," Darien said.
"Theyíre probably going to try and shoot the guy, but from what Iím seeing heís keeping pretty close to Amanda," Hobbes said as they came out the front door.
"Jesus, she limping, and her lips bleeding," Darien commented, concern in his voice.
"It could be worse, she could be dead," Hobbes added.
Then it happened. It was so fast Darien almost missed it. The man cried out as he pulled his hand back. It was frost bitten, Darien saw the Quicksilver flake off of Amandaís hand as she spun around to face the man, who pointed the gun at her. She ducked down as he fired, he missed her but hit an FBI agent behind her. The next thing Darien knew, Amanda had the guy pinned down as two FBI agents went to go help her. Darien looked over to see two well dressed FBI agents help the guy who had been wounded. He was shot in the chest.
"You look completely fine, no terrible injuries," Richie said as she finished examining Amanda. Darien had brought her to the Keep, but had left when she asked him to go check on the injured FBI Agent. Richie went over to the fridge to get the counter agent. He turned around with the needle, and noticed that Amanda had tears falling down her face.
"Are you okay?" He asked as he came over.
"No, IímÖÖ.." She leaned her head back and held out her arm. He took the hint and gave her the shot.
"Whatís wrong?" he asked.
"I could have gotten someone killed, I might have already gotten that FBI agent killed," She explained.
"You did what you had to, no one blames you for anything," He said.
"I canít do this, I shouldnít be doing this," She rambled before looking directly at Richie.
"You really scared arenít you." He could see it in her eyes.
"Iím not the kind of person who does this kind of work," she said as she leaned her head down. Riche walked around so that he was standing in front of her, and made her look at him by using a hand to guide her chin up so that he could see her eyes.
"You need to stop talking like that. Mistakes happen, as things go you did very well, Iíve seen much worse," he told her. She was about to open her mouth to speak, but he stopped her.
"I havenít know you that long, but you arenít the kind of person who messes things up. You obviously are intelligent, and I havenít seen anything to suggest you canít make rational decisions. I know that you didnít choose to do this work, but your stuck here, and you need to learn to live with that. You think Darien was perfect when he started? From what I heard he made a few mistakes, and youíre going to make them to. You just need to learn from them." he said. She didnít reply as another tear fell down her check. Richie absently mindedly reached out his hand and brushed it away. The lab doors opened and Darien walked in, raising an eyebrow as he came around the corner. Riche coughed, left Amanda and went back to working at his computer.
"Is he alright?" Amanda asked, referring to the wounded FBI agent.
"Heís going to be fine," Darien said.
"Good," Amanda sighed with relief.
"The case has been handed over to the FBI, theyíll need a statement from you later," he told her.
"Of course," she replied.
"But the Official has agreed to give you the rest of the day, and the week off," Darien said.
"Can you drive me home?" She asked Darien.
"Yeah," he said as she got up and followed him out of the keep. Riche watched them go. She had surprised him today. He had never seen her scared of something, much less this.
ĎShe might actually be a human being,í He joked to himself
Amanda didnít sleep well for the next few days. She kept having nightmares that people she knew were dying because she didnít do her job. Most nights she just stayed up surfing the net, afraid to sleep. When it got to the 4th night, she finally slept without a nightmare. Amanda figured it was because she was so exhausted. She didnít wake up until she heard someone banging at the apartment door. Amanda groggily got up and stumbled out to the front room. She opened the door to find Richie standing there.
"What are you doing here?" She asked as she went and laid down on her couch, not even bothering to tell Richie he could come in.
"Iíve called your house four times this morning and you didnít answer. Darien even tried you a couple times. I thought you might have done something stupid." He said as he walked in.
"Iím fine," she said.
"Really?" he asked.
"Really, I just unplugged the phone, I was really tired."
Richie almost jumped as his cell phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket and answered it. Amanda went into her kitchen, smirking, and got some coffee ready.
"Sheís fine, looks like she merely unplugged her phone," Richie said into the his cell as Amanda held up the coffee pot to ask Riche if he wanted some, but he just shook his head no. She shrugged, as she poured herself a cup.
"Okay, Iíll tell her," Richie said before hanging up.
"They want you to go to work today, new assignment," Richie said. Amanda head snapped up to look at him, and he saw the look of fear in her eyes again.
"I can tell them your not medically fit for the mission," he said.
"No,ÖI can do this."
"Okay, this is a lot more simple than last time, you go in and get some papers, thatís it," Hobbes reassured Amanda as they got ready to go in.
"This time Darienís going to go in with you."
"I got it, Iím fine," She complained. Both Darien and Hobbes were now treating her like a she couldnít do anything any more, and it was actually more annoying than she would have guessed.
"What exactly are these papers for?" she asked.
"Itís a list of people connected to some criminal activities, your basically stealing a roll-a-dex," Hobbes explained.
"Ahhh, and I assume the guys in there have guns?" Amanda asked.
"You assume right," Darien chimed in.
"Letís go," She said, sounding much more confidant that she felt. Both she and Darien quikcsilvered. It was easy to follow him, with her quicksilver vision he was glowing. She was going to ask him what color she looked like to him later, she was rather curious about it. She stopped her mind from wandering any farther as Darien caught a door that a man had just opened, and they both rushed through it. Darien pointed down the hall, signaling her to move. They past a few people in the hallway, but it was wide enough to give them plenty of room to get by them. The made their way through the building till they found the room they were looking for, it was currently unoccupied. They both de-quicksilvered after Amanda shut the door.
"Where does this guy keep his address book?" Darien asked as he went through the desk. Amanda coughed and Darien looked up to see her typing and using the mouse on the guys computer.
"Right here," She said as she hit the print button, smiling to herself.
"That was amazingly easy," Darien commented.
"We still have to go to another room to get to the printer," she said to him.
"Of course, having the printer in the same room as the computer would be to easy," he sighed.
Amanda stuck her head out the door, they needed to conserve Quicksilver as much as possible. No one was in the hall, so they quickly crossed it and went into the printing room. Amanda stood by the printer, waiting for it to process. Darien and Amandaís heads both jerked up as the door opened, Amanda quicksilvered almost instantly out of fear, while Darien remained visible, having more control.
"Thatís far enough buddy," A large man said, pointing a gun at Darien. Darien raised his hands in the air, noticing the now finished paper quicksilver.
"I think itís time to say goodbye," The man smiled, as he cocked the gun. But the shot never came. The man fell to the ground unconscious, a vase hanging in the air behind him.
"Thank you," Darien said as he quicksilvered, and they both made there way out of the building.
Amanda was laying in the chair back at the Keep. She was doing some breathing exercise that she had learned from Darien to keep herself from quicksilvering. Ever since they had come back she had to do them, her heart was just racing too fast. She couldnít believe she or Darien were still alive. The lab doors opened, and she heard foot steps come in. Darien and Claire were at the computer, so she assumed they would take care of it. She heard some talking, but ignored it, going back to her exercises.
"Looks like that inexperience saved you," Richie commented as he came to stand next to the chair.
"Yeah, If I had gotten spooked I wouldnít have quicksilvered," she agreed.
"And your still alive, Darien's alive, plus you finished the mission, you even did some quick decision making, without killing anyone," he added as she turned to look at him.
"But youíre still scared," he said.
"And I will be no matter how long I work here, the key is to get around it," she told him.
"Your learning quickly," Richie replied.
"Hey, everyone has to learn from there mistakes, especially when they have no choice," she said.
"Thereís always a choice," he countered.
"The real question is which is the right choice, but let me guess, you know that too?" she asked.
Will I choose, water over wine? And hold my own and drive?Ö Lately Iím beginning to find that when I drive my light is found. Whatever tomorrow brings, Iíll be there, with open arms and open eyes, Iíll be there.