Music for the Heart, Chapter 4: Yesterday

Reply to Geonn

Posted to the LadySlash mailing list September 19, 2001

      Bobby Hobbes pulled his beat-up brown van away from the curb in front of the Agency and immediately accelerated. He glanced in the side mirror and spotted Darien exiting the building, watching him go.

      Hobbes normally would have stopped and picked his partner up. He would normally enjoy the company. This wasn't a normal day.

      Claire, the woman he had been in lo-- harbored feelings for--- for so long had always been just a little out of his league. Not much, but... just enough to make it interesting. But now... now he had no chance at all. He grumbled and turned on the radio, turning the dial until he found a station that was actually playing music.

...ubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday...

      "Great," he muttered, turning a corner far too fast. The van wasn't supposed to take this much abuse, but he had put it through worse. He leaned his arm on the window, resting his weary head on it. Not enough to be pulled out of bed in the middle of the night to chase some hacker through the Agency hallways. Nooo... he also had to have his hopes dashed by investigating the damn padded room.

There's a shadow hanging over me
Oh yesterday came suddenly
Why she had to go
I don't know, she wouldn't say
I said something wrong
Now I long for yesterday...

      "Yesterday would be nice," Bobby muttered. Yesterday when the Keeper was heterosexual and Alex didn't 'fish off the company pier,' as the saying went. Yesterday when Darien didn't hang around the Agency all night looking for something, whether or not he was actually looking for the hacker or had just gotten lucky.

      Hang around the Agency all night...

      Had he been there all night? Had he seen... or had he... maybe the Keep was...

      Hobbes spun the wheel, illegally U-turning and heading back to the Agency.

      ---

      When he pulled to a sudden stop in front of the Agency, he found that most of the Official's goons had backed off. The place was practically deserted. If it weren't for Claire's jeep out front, he would have assumed everyone was gone.

      He stormed into the Keep, surprised Claire, Alex and Darien. All three jumped as if they had been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

      Hobbes stood firmly where he was, next to Claire's pirhana tank. He crossed his arms over his chest and frowned. "All right. What really happened here tonight?"

      Darien raised his eyebrows. "Really happened? I'm sorry, you... you lost me. What're you talking about?"

      "Claire was in the padded room, you were in the Keep and Alex was coincidentally in her office upstairs? It don't work, my friend."

      Darien slipped off the counter and pushed Bobby into the hall. He turned and looked at the two women. "You'll have to excuse him, Miss Monroe. He hasn't taken his pills in a few hours."

      Once outside, Bobby ripped his arm out of Darien's grasp. "Let go of me, Fawkes! I'm sick of you always jokin' about my meds. Now tell me what really happened tonight or, so help me, I'm goin' to the Official."

      Darien smirked. "Yeah, right."

      Hobbes sighed. "I found the underwear, Fawkes."

      "Darn... I was going to save those for your birthday."

      "This isn't a joke. The Official frowns on fraternization. Especially of this sort."

      "The Official frowns at everything. Has he ever cracked a smile?"

      Hobbes grabbed Darien by the coat and slammed him against the wall. "This is NOT the time for jokes, Fawkes. Now tell the truth. Are you and the Keeper involved?"

      Darien opened his mouth to speak, then stopped. Finally, he asked, "What did you mean when you said fraternization 'of this sort'? What did that mean?"

      "Never mind, Fawkes. Did you and Claire have a little meetin' in the padded room tonight?"

      Darien glanced at the door to the Keep, then said, "Yeah. It was just this one time and... and we never even did anything, all right? We started to... but then she told me to get some protection and I went into the Keep and... things got interrupted."

      Hobbes backed off, chewing his lip as he thought. He finally sighed. It sounded oddly like a sigh of relief. "You, uh... you promise me you'll cut it out?"

      "After we caught the mole, we decided it was a bad idea."

      "Strictly professional?"

      "Strictly," Darien promised.

      Hobbes sighed, running his hand over his face as he glanced once more back at the Keep. "All right. Uh... does Alex know anything about this?"

      "No. She came downstairs right before the Official's men showed up."

      Hobbes nodded. "Probably better to keep her out of this, right?"

      "Right."

      Hobbes smiled, then slapped his partner on the arm. "See you tomorrow, okay?"

      "You got it," Darien smiled.

      As Hobbes left, Darien returned to the lab and smiled at the two women staring nervously at him. "He thought it was me and the Keep. I told him nothing happened and wouldn't happen... and he decided to let it go."

      Claire smiled and hugged Alex.

      Alex sighed, stroking Claire's back. "Thank God this is over! I guess we'll just have to be more careful, huh?"

      Claire smiled, but said nothing. Her heart was pounding in her chest. 'You almost got caught,' she told herself. 'Your job, you LIFE would have been over... do you really love Alex enough to risk all of that?'

      Alex pulled away from the hug and looked into Claire's eyes. "No?" Alex repeated softly, smiling at her lover. "No to what, honey?"

      Claire just smiled sadly.

Oh, I believe in yesterday...

Continue to Chapter 5

Send comments to the author

Return to Index