Messenger III --
Summary: Scully and Byers and a new start. Post "Max"
- Rating: G
- Disclaimer: They're not mine, if they were, Mulder would be handcuffed
to my headboard, and I would not share ..and I'm looking real hard at Byers
these days, too. I'm not going to kill them, CC (which is more than I
can say for you), so leave me alone. I made up Washington Commons Park
and the eateries. Typos, misspells and grammatical errors are mine.
- Read "The Messenger" parts I and II first, this takes place
several weeks later.
- "If you love me, let me know" firstname.lastname@example.org
- Messenger III -- Full Circle
- The ice rink is crowded this crisp late winter noon, it is just warm
enough that the ice is shiny wet and most of the skaters are coatless.
It takes me barely a moment to spot him, spiraling backwards more effortlessly
than most are going forward. He is as visible as much for for his air
of quiet confidence as the stark combination of the white dress shirt and
tight black jeans. He is tie-less and breathless and utterly focused
on the precise, intricate movements of his feet and his body as he dances
with an invisible partner. He weaves effortlessly around the other skaters,
and I think he surely must have eyes in the back of his head. He springs
suddenly in an incredible leap, twists twice in the air, and lands facing
forward, already gaining momentum as he crouches down to speed lap.
- Byers--Jeff Byers. I smile sadly at my drug muzzed recall of his first
name, and remember a recently departed friend, one who remained nameless
after months of blind devotion to me and my work. The guilt and grief
is still fresh in me, and I made it a point today to touch base with this
new friend of mine, and old, but recently more cherished, friend of Mulder's.
Mulder has told me the whole story of that awful night that Penny Northern
died, Byers selfless involvement in the outcome, and the story of Byers
own tragic loss to Cancer. You never know.
- I wave a hand, trying to get his attention, as he rounds the bend
where I stand, but he is past me in a flash."Jeff!" I call out
as he makes another approach, but again, he's past, oblivious, feet a blur
of black against the stark wet expanse of ice...I wonder how he can maintain
that speed without leaving the ground. One more time, I wave both arms
and call out "BY-ERS!!" as he passes, and he jerks and twists
towards me. His eyes widen and his arms pinwheel comically as he back
pedals, but gravity finally wins, and he goes down in a tangle of long
legs, somersaulting backwards with the momentum of the fall. I gasp, start
forward, but he's up in a flash, skating toward me, his eyes flashing with
mirth and veiled embarrassment.
- "Agent Scully....wasn't that good?" He shakes his head,
grinning, pulls at the back of his sodden shirt "I think I may have
invented a new element, there"
- I'm biting my lip to keep from laughing. "Byers, I'm so sorry...here,
let me help you" I reach a hand to him as he straddles one long leg
over the rink railing, and I see, startled, that his pants are leather.
Gads. This man just keeps unfolding like a flower.
- "I'm ok, really...I just didn't expect to see YOU here. C'mon."
he motions me to follow, and crab walks toward the bench where a variety
of sports bags have been thrown in a jumble. "I was about to quit,
anyway...just not so abruptly."
- I finally do laugh, and he grins up at me as he unlaces his skates.
He really does have kind eyes. He ducks his head, then looks up at me
through his long lashes "How are you, Agent Scully?",he asks
- There is an empathic timbre to his voice that twists my gut with a
pang of guilt, even as I nod slowly "I'm ok, Byers"
- He averts his eyes "Mulder told us about Pendrell. I'm sorry"
- "Yeah. Thanks." I reach out a hand to steady him, as he
balances on one foot to pull off a skate, and I glance across the vast
expanse of the common, where Mulder waits. I know he's gotta be enjoying
this sight, tall, gangly Byers leaning on me. "Byers.....Jeff....Pendrell
was a good friend..." I clear my throat, trying to swallow the lump
that has been lodged there for the last week "...or he tried to be,
anyway. Mulder and I...we never even knew his name."
- "Scully, you're not blaming yourself for his death, are you ?"
He dropped his foot flat to the ground, and took my shoulders in both
his large hands, ducking his head to catch my eyes. "Don't you think
you have enough on your plate right now?"
- I pull away from him and turn my back, brushing impatiently at my
face and the crummy tears that threaten at every kind word or gesture lately.
I'm so tired of all this...I'm just so tired. I watch the skaters circle
'round and 'round and 'round....a wave of dizziness sways me, and Byers
wraps a supportive arm around my shoulders. My head clears, and I look
up at him, surprised again by the gentleness of his face, the warmth of
his brown eyes. I reach instinctively to touch his face, catch myself,
and pull away.
- "Dana... " he stops me with a hand to my arm, squeezes gently,
" he was an FBI agent...that was a part of his job."
- "He was a lab rat, Jeff, I didn't even know he carried a gun off
duty, 'till that night. I didn't know a LOT of things, 'till that night...then
it was too late" I draw a shaky breath, and turn and look at him
"I.....kind of realized, in the aftermath of all that, Mulder and
I...we're awfully isolated, Jeff, and we've done it to ourselves."
I hesitate "Mulder told me about your wife, your loss." His
jaw tightens and he nods"Mulder calls you guys his 'friends', but..."
- "Where are you going with this, Scully?" he asks abruptly.
- I've pissed him off, and I don't even know how "Byers...."
- He yanks a sports towel across his face, rubs ineffectually at his
back...his shirt is sticking to him where he'd skid across the ice, and
he's starting to shiver . He pulls a bulky black sweater from the bag,
wrestles with the hem"Fox Mulder, " he starts, then disappears
into the sweater, his head popping out a moment later "...is an ass."
- My eyes go wide with shock, and I'm sure my mouth is hanging open .
I don't know weather to laugh out loud or burst into tears. And now Byers,
the Man In Black, is smiling down at me, rubbing his beard with the ridiculous
green towel '"That IS Mulder, Dana . A "friend" can be
a lot of things. Mulder's done things for us, with us... and TO us, over
the years.....I swear, Frohike's known him since the cradle. We've done
things for him...I don't know what all he told you about that night at
- "He said he owed you guys, big time"
- Byers shakes his head "Well, he scared me out of ten year's
life", he grins, then starts when he realizes what he's said. I shake
it off and he continues "...and we had quite the talk that night.
I'd needed that for a long time ...Mulder pulled that from me. Not Langly,
not Frohike.....Fox Mulder, with his passion, his blind faith in this elusive
truth of his....THAT'S a friend, Agent Scully.....and the fact that he
has NEVER called me by my first name REALLY doesn't mean diddly"
- I pull my hand from my pocket, hold out the small, plain white envelope
- He smiles, cocks his head "I don't suppose this is a wedding
- "Hardly", I snort, and push the envelope into his hand.
He traces the small raised portion with a finger, looks up at me. "
It's your ring, Byers ...you must regret giving that to Mulder that day
. It has to mean a lot to you"
- Byers slit the flap of the envelope, pulled out the plain gold band
and turned the ring 'round and 'round in his palm"You two, "
he says softly, "mean a lot to me. I thought maybe..."
- "That's not going to happen, Byers...not now" I bite my
lip, struggle to breathe around the damnable lump of emotion that is back
in my throat "Maybe not ever, I don't know" I look over to where
Mulder waits, now slumped wearily against a tree,and my heart swells.
He looks so tired. This last case, the loss of Pendrell, Max and the
evidence AGAIN...I wonder how much more he can endure. "Mulder and
I ..it's complicated...we just have too many issues...as you said, too
much on our plates right now...I don't know ...anyway, we appreciate the
thought, the gesture...we don't need it as a token, Byers. It means far
more than that to you."
- I reach out and take his hands in mine. His hands are big, strong,
soft, and I absurdly imagine them doing wondrous, secret things in a darkly
sensuous place. I shiver slightly, slide the ring on his finger, and catch
his eye. His eyes are dancing, and I have the uncomfortable feeling he's
read my mind. I flush, look away but he catches my chin with one long
finger and turns my face up "Thank you, Scully," he says softly,
and his eyes are serious now, burning into mine. I pull away, afraid
of the very real possibility of drowning in those dark depths, my hands
trembling. I make a rash decision.
- "Byers.....Mulder and I are going to that new bistro , Lisa and
Jake's, for lunch. Do you want to come with?"
- "Uhh....no...thanks....." he's looking intently behind me,
and his face has subtly changed, opened. He's smiling "Actually,
I have plans. " He raises a hand and waves, and I look behind me.
- A young woman returns the wave, joyfully, frantically flailing one
arm, the other weighted by the enormous leather satchel flung over her
shoulder. Long black coat swirling and a riot of long, dark curls dancing
around her face, she looks like a modern day Mary Poppins. I find myself
smiling at her exuberance, but she breezes right past me and practically
climbs Byers to kiss his cheek. "Hi, sorry, were you waiting long,
I got held up in court, your back is WET, did you fall, oh, god,"
she spins behind him, unabashedly brushing his ass with her hand "these
fit you GREAT, aren't they comfortable, I swear, I'm never goin' to wear
jeans again, nice sweater, Jeff, but you look like a hit man, you shoulda
..."she breaks off at my wide-eyed wonder "hi."
- Byers laughs and wraps an arm around her, finally stilling her frenetic
bouncing "Rebecca Foster, Special Agent Dana Scully" he catches
my eye and winks, "my FRIEND."
- "I've heard a LOT about you," she leans into me in confidence
"ya know, this guy thinks you hung the moon." Byers blushes and
Rebecca laughs, then jerks her head to one side "That's your partner
over there, isn't it, the one with the dreamy eyes?"
- I glance over at Mulder, who is now standing tall and practically popping
those dreamy eyes out of his skull to see what's going on . "Yes,
it is. How...?"
- "Sometimes, I KNOW stuff, I just DO...I don't really understand
it myself . Jeff's talked about you two so much, and when I went past
him...god, he's INTENSE, I'm an entertainment labor attorney, if he ever
gets tired of this bad guy stuff, tell him to give me a call, I know people,
can he act, is...."
- "OK, Bec, we got the picture," Byers laughs "Dana invited
us for lunch, did you ...."
- "Oh, thank you, can we have a rain check?? I got reservations
at DonnaJ's, the new one on Shaden Avenue, we could probably sneak you
guys in with us...I KNOW people..."
- "Thank you, no" I jump in "I really should be going,
let you two go. Rebecca, it was nice meeting you. Byers...."
- He steps away from Rebecca, takes my hand and leans in to kiss my cheek
"Thank you, Dana" he says softly.
- I hook my left hand around the back of his neck and hold him close
for an extended second . He squeezes my right hand, and I fondle the ring
on his finger "Looks like you may get a chance to use this yet, hmm?"
- "Maybe" he chuckles softly against my ear, "if she doesn't
wear me out first."I leave him go, and Rebecca bounces impatiently
on the side. "I really gotta go" He raises a hand and salutes
Mulder who waves back, and starts toward us.
- "Bye....Jeff" I watch them start across the common, Byers
carrying her satchel as well as his own, leaving her free to whirl like
a dervish in front of him, her mouth going a mile a minute. He and Mulder
sucker punch as they pass, and Mulder claps him on the back. I laugh at
the perplexed look on Mulder's face as he walks up to me.
- "WHAT was that??"
- "I think, Mulder..." I hesitate. " I think that just
MAY have been love."
- "Scully!" we start off , and he offers me his arm, which
I grasp to me "Are you jealous?"
- "Maybe a little" I slide my right hand into my trench coat
pocket and fondle the Apollo 11 key chain that is latched securely to
the safety hook of my pocket . I look up at him and smile "...and
maybe not at all."
- Mulder grins and wiggles his eyebrows at me, making me laugh, and for
one perfect second, all is right in our world.
- The End....really.....
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