- 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 you...you 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
- "Scully has a doctor's appointment...she said start without her.
- "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...you 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 here...you don't know anything about Scully,
her pride ...you 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
- 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
- "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, buddy...it'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
- "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 clock...it'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
- "Jeff...is 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 Dana...it'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,
- "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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