Story Archive

Messenger V--

by gizzie

Summary: A stilted conversation, and its aftermath.
Rating: R (language and sexual situation)
Keyword: Lone Gunmen
Disclaimer: CC and 1013 own and operate the characters in this story, except for Becca, she's me, I mean, she's mine. You can borrow her, if you don't kill her. I may keep Byers for myself, also.
Please read "The Messenger" I-IV.
This one is for Elaine, who doesn't watch the show, but likes my STUFF...she knows who writes her schedule ;)
Thank you for flying gizzie net. "If you love me, let me know"

Messenger V-- Causerie
Shit. Mulder's by himself.
DonnaJ's is only half full on this early Tuesday evening, he's already seen me, so I can't very well duck out and wait for Jeff. He raises a hand to me, and I marvel, as always, at how someone can look so damn good at the end of a work day. Fox Mulder is a beautiful man--too bad he's such a dick.
I'm not really sure what it is about Mulder that pushes my buttons. Part of it is that very insistence that he be called "Mulder", even by *us*, his supposed friends, god forbid we should get too close. Part of it is definitely the way he orders Dana Scully around like she's his geisha girl, and she jumps at his every whim. Dana is also battling Cancer, and I see little to no support from this, her partner and friend, which also galls me spitless. Mulder has an obvious sharp, intelligent wit that seems to manifest itself, for some odd reason, in my presence, into a smart ass snarkiness--we take constant pot shots at each other. I want to say it's veiled affection, but, for me anyway, it's not. I don't like him. Period. If it wasn't for Jeff, I wouldn't give him the time of day.
DonnaJ swoops over me, taking my jacket, swiping a clean bar towel ineffectually over the rain-dampened mess of curls on my head. In the cold, crass reality of Washington, DC, DonnaJ's is an oasis, a rustic, homey bar and grill, specializing in savory soups, thick sandwiches, and hearty beers. DonnaJ herself is hoveringly motherly, a toucher, a hugger, an in-your-face, make-yourself-at-home hostess whom Jeff fears will be broke in a year, if she doesn't stop ripping up checks and feeding every stray that comes along.
"Look at need Split Pea today, you're soaked" she exclaims, hugging me close, then whispering against my ear "Go easy on my boy, there, today, huh? He looks like shit."
I glance over, and Mulder does, indeed look like shit. He's slumped in the barrel chair, an untouched sandwich in front of him, toying with a sweaty pilsner glass of a noxious looking black beer. His face is drawn, his eyes hooded, and as I get closer, he looks up--there is an angry looking welt at his hair line that looks like a puncture wound. He sees me wince, and raises a self-conscious hand to his forehead.
"What happened, did the Dentist slip?" It comes out smarter than I intended, but that happens, with Mulder and I.
Mulder smirks. "I ...uh...kinda had an accident." He rips a piece of crust off the sandwich, shreds it to crumbs.
"Where's Byers?"
"Where's Dana?"
We smile, having verbally stepped on each other, then he gestures.
"He'll be here in a minute.....Shaden Avenue is stacked up, he's parking."
"Scully has a doctor's appointment...she said start without her. I did...kinda."
"I haven't talked to Dana in over a week. How is she?"
"She's dying, Becca, how do you THINK she is??"
I bite my lip, DonnaJ saves the day by bustling up with a steaming bowl of thick green soup, which she plops in front of me with a big chunk of Pumpernickle Bread. "Look what I found" she beams and pulls Jeff from behind her. He's chewing on the heel of the bread, but his grin freezes on his face when he sees Mulder's head. "Jesus, Mulder, what did you do now?"
"I had a friggin' accident, ok?? Christ, I'm an FBI agent, I get HURT sometime, ya know?"
"Easy there, pal," DonnaJ pats him on the back, "they're your friends, they worry."
"Yeah, right." Mulder hangs his head wearily, brings a hand up over his face and grimaces in pain as he accidently brushes the raw-looking wound. He pushes the sandwich away with a sigh. "You might as well take this away, Donna, I'm not doing anything but playing with it. I will have another beer, though. Byers?"
Jeff's forehead is creased with worry. He nods absently, dunks the heel of the bread into my soup, regards Mulder with caution. "Did you....Mulder that looks really bad, have you seen a doctor?"
Mulder rolls his eyes. "My *partner* is a doctor, remember?? Scully, short shit, red hair?"
"Ha-ha" Jeff smiles his thanks at Donna as she puts the beers down in front of them. She glances between Jeff and Mulder, nervous.
"We're okay, thanks Donna, " I assure her.
Mulder smirks "I'm okay, Byers?? Becca's okay, Becca is ALWAYS okay, right, Becca?"
Donna glances back as she leaves, gives me a questioning look. I shrug, and Mulder kicks my chair. "What?? Did I do something?"
"Stop it, Mulder!" Jeff is pissed and undone. Mulder's simmering anger is unwarrented.
I'm choking on the pea soup, push the bowl away. " Mulder, can we please try not to spar tonight? Please?"
"But we do it so well. We...." His cell phone chirps, and he smiles. "Ah, saved by the bell." He pulls the phone from his inside pocket, never takes his eyes off me. "Mulder." His face changes immediatly, softens. He looks away, drops his voice "Yeah.....they're here......yeah......I will....I WILL, Scully...are you sure you don't want me to come over?" Jeff, looking stricken, touches a hand to Mulder's sleeve, but Mulder jeks away. "Okay" He clicks the phone off, slides it into his pocket and sighs heavily. "She's not coming. She had a bad attack, luckily, in the doctor's office. He told her to go straight home."
"You should go to her, Mulder," Jeff says softly, "someone should be with her."
"She doesn't want me, she said she just wants to be left alone"
"And you BELIEVE her??" My voice is squeaky with disbelief. "Jesus, Mulder, how can you be so stupid?"
His eyes flash with anger and he slams a hand down on the table "Dammit, Becca, you don't know her.. You and your perfect little world, and your perfect little love affair don't know anything about Scully, her pride don't know anything about US"
"Mulder," Jeff cautions.
" 'Mulder' , my ass, Byers, I'm sick to death of her sanctamonious little speeches, and those LOOKS. She don't know shit."
"Is that right?" I know I should drop it, Jeff's eyes plead, but I push my chair back, lean into Mulder's space "I went down that road, Mulder... I HAD cancer" His eyes widen, and I know Jeff hasn't told him. "And all I wanted was someone to hold me, and tell me everything was gonna be okay... even when I knew it wasn't gonna be. You HAVE to be there for her, Mulder. It's the only thing that matters."
He's looking at me, his face perfectly blank. I'm not even sure he was listening. Then his lip curls and his monotone is chillingly nasty. "Rah, rah, rah."
I fight an immediate reflex, clutch the glass in front of me to keep my arm in place--I want to slap him so badly, my palm itches.
"Mulder!" Jeff hisses, and knowing me as he does, grabs my wrist in restraint. "What the hell's gotten into you?"
Mulder raises an eyebrow, sneers in bitter amusement. "Spare me the platitudes, Byers. I seem to recall a night not too long ago, when you were feeling plenty hopeless yourself. Of course, that was before The Cheerleader, here."
Jeff releases my wrist, runs his long fingers over the back of my hand to lace between my own fingers--he squeezes my hand tightly, and at this moment, I love him so much, I feel like I'm going to explode.
"Mulder." Jeff rises and pulls me up with him, holds me tight against his side. "You're lousy company. When you're ready to play nice, give us a call, ok? 'Till then....fuck you."
Mulder startles, then drops his eyes, watches his own hand spinning his pilsner glass round and round in the condensation on the burnished wooden table. I wait by the door as Jeff goes for our jackets, and I have a momentary flash of regret when I glance back--DonnaJ is bent over Mulder, one hand on the back of his neck , and he's shaking his head. He looks so vulnerable, so miserable, I can't help the pang of sympathy that tightens my chest.
Jeff is tight-lipped and silent on the way to my apartment. I'm not surprised when he parks in the lot, and follows me upstairs; we usually don't spend weeknights together, but there's a tangible air of need about him, a quiet desperation that manifests itself in a strange, feral desire. He's pulling at my clothes before I even have the door locked, half drags me to the bedroom, his tongue in my mouth is choking and demanding. He one-handed clears the bed of comforter and cat, VanDyke streaks from the room, fat-tailed and yowling. He strips me in seconds, grabs roughly at exposed skin, mouthing my neck and shoulder hungrily. As he tears his own clothes off, I finally take some control, slide across the bed and pull Jeff down on top of me, raising a knee, slowing him down a little. His hand is shaking as he strokes my face, his eyes questioning, dark with pain.
"It's all right" I clasp his hand to my cheek, turn my face and kiss his palm, "WE'RE all right. I love you."
He pushes against me with a strangled moan, his hands lifting my hips, pulling me tight against him. His breath whistles through his clenched teeth, he's humping uselessly, rubbing hard, grinding. I work a hand between us--he's totally flacid, and whimpers softly when I wrap my fingers around him. It doesn't matter, I'm dry and tense with a need of my own, not for sex, but for some blessed nothingness, some peace.
"Easy,'s ok...c'mon, babe, stop." I still his hips against mine with my hands clasped tight on his ass.
"I'm sorry", he gasps, "I want...I can't....there's...there's way too many people in this bed. I'm sorry, Becca."
"It's ok, I said....we're ok." His breathing is labored and harsh against my neck, and when I run my hands up and over his shoulders, the muscles are twisted with tension. I flex my fingers into the tight cord of his left deltoid, and he moans against me. I know what he needs, and it's not sex.
"C'mon...let me up." He elbows up and off of me, and I push against him, rolling him over onto his stomach. "Here, put your arms up" I straddle him, settling into the small of his back, fold his long arms up and over his head, then run my hands from his fingertips to the connecting joints of his shoulders. When I dig the heels of my palms into the banded steel across his shoulders, he moans in pleasurable pain and tightens beneath me. "Shhhhh....relax"
"I'm sorry I...."
I massage the stiffness out of his shoulders, palm the long, tight muscles on either side of his spine with deep, sure strokes. I feel him relax beneath me; I let him retain some semblance of dignity by pretending not to notice the hiccuping little tremors that course through him. It's only after his breathing has shallowed, and I'm sure he's asleep, that I reach forward and brush the angry, helpless tears from his cheek.
Two weeks pass, Jeff meets with Mulder three times, and always calls me afterwards, angry and worried. Mulder is withdrawn and moody, a sarcastic smart ass. I don't want to socialize with him anymore, and told Jeff as much. I just happen to be in the Lone Gunmen office when Mulder comes in on another blind tangent, wired and primed, demanding their help, and they jump and fetch like so many seasoned Labradors. Langly practically wags his tail and pees on his shoe when Mulder pats him on the back, and Frohike disappears into the storage room, coming back in seconds, weighted down with enough cold weather gear to outfit five men. Only Jeff is withdrawn, he says not a word, accessing the computer data with professional certitude. Their fingers touch as he hands Mulder the disk, their eyes lock, and the tension crackles between them. Mulder glances at me--his eyes are manic and bright with his quest--he shakes his head slowly, glances back at Jeff with something like regret, and is gone.
"What the hell was THAT all about?" Frohike demands, angry "Jesus, Byers, why didn't you just call him an ass, and get it over with?"
"ANOTHER alien corpse," Jeff says bitterly. "Ya know, one of these days, this fucking passion of his is going to kill him. The Yukon. Jesus. Mulder can't tie his own shoes if it's under thirty two degrees." His words are tough, but he looks like someone left the air out of his tires. He's scared. "Did you guys NOT notice that he's higher than a kite?"
Langly snorted "Christ, Byers, at least he CARES about something. We should all be so lucky" He winces at his own stupidity and glances at me. Dick.
"I gotta go." I put an arm around Jeff's shoulders and squeeze gently "You sure you don't want to come to lunch with us?? You haven't seen Scully for a while."
Jeff sighs "No...I better not. This thing with Mulder...I'm liable to say something I'll regret. Tell her I'll call her in the next few days, before Mulder gets back"
"Tell her I'll call her, too" Frohike smirks. "Or maybe I'll just stop and see her. I WAS at her apartment once, you know"
"Yes, we know, Frohike," Langly sighs, "you told us a million times, and she was wearing her robe, and you had tea. There, now Becca knows, too."
"Coffee...we had coffee" Frohike says gravely, and something tells me this is not altogether a good memory.
"I'll tell you later." Jeff tips up out of his chair to kiss me on the cheek, pat my ass. "Go. Have fun."
Dana Scully tells me at lunch that her cancer has metastasized.
George Clooney is just about to kiss me when the phone rings. I groan and snuggle deeper into my pillow, trying to recapture the fractured image, but the phone jangles again. Jeff reaches across me, drags the phone cord across my face...I'm awake now.....
"ummmmm....hello??.....whoa, WHAT???...Jesus...." He climbs over me, struggling out of bed , yanks the phone cradle and clears the night stand with a crash. He's scaring the shit out of me.
"Jeff, what is it??" I reel up the mess of power cords, snag the digital's 5:10 a.m....untangle the conch shell bed lamp and switch it on. Jeff is pasty faced and lipless in the muted light, his eyes wide and blank with shock--and I suddenly know. "It's Dana..."
He nods and my stomach hits the floor. Then he raises a hand to me, gestures vaguely, drops his eyes and turns away."Dana," he says soothingly,"try to calm down, ok?" What the hell is going on here? "I'll be RIGHT there." He hangs up the phone, stands staring at nothing.
" she all right?"
He nods."Yes". Then shakes his head "I mean, no.....I mean...." His jaw clenches, he rubs a hand over his face, and is suddenly in kinetic motion, slamming drawers, pulling on jeans, one-foot dancing into a pointy-toed boot. "That was's Mulder...I gotta go.....Mulder, he......Becca, Mulder's...I gotta go..... "
"Jeff!!" I grab him by the shoulders and shake, hard. He struggles for a second, then goes limp under my hands. He's breathing in shallow little asthmatic gasps, and when he finally meets my eyes, I can see the pain deep in his soul.
"Mulder's dead, Becca"
A gut punch. Knuckles in my mouth and bile rising. "What?"
"Scully's in the lobby of his building. The Alexandria police called her to identify his body. He killed himself, Becca" His lips twitch, his eyes go glassy, and he pulls away from me. He shakes his head, stares out the window at the first tentative streaks of dawn. I almost miss his mumble "Fucker blew his brains out. I KNEW he was in trouble, but....."
"Jeff" I come up behind him and rub a soothing hand up the tight planes of his back He shrugs away, needing the solitude, reveling in the guilt. "Jeff, you TRIED to help Mulder, you..."
"Not hard enough," he says bitterly, " or he'd be alive, wouldn't he?" He breaks from the window, fumbles with his other boot "I gotta go, I told Scully I'd be right there. And I gotta call the guys...Jesus, Frohike's gonna......fuck.......and Mulder fought with his mother recently, and never made up....."
"Jeff, wait," I pull him up, wrap my arms around him, "give yourself a minute."
"I can't, I... I CAN'T..."
"You CAN" I tighten my hold on him, and he finally stops struggling, brings his arms up and around me. I pat his back, slowly, slowly feel the change in his breathing, 'till he slumps against me, and the first convulsive sob shudders through him. I rock him gently, stroke his hair--but I refrain from murmmuring the standard "there, there, everything's gonna be all right". I feel like nothing is ever going to be all right again.
Mulder. You suck.
Feedback to: gizzie


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