- Summary: Byers meets Scully at Mulder's apartment building after Mulder's
- Keyword: Lone Gunmen
- Please read the rest of "The Messenger" series first.
- gizNote: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Chris Carter obviously failed geometry. I hate this show.
- 'I need strokin' firstname.lastname@example.org
- Messenger VI -- Interlude
- he'sDEAD//he'sDEAD//he'sDEAD//he's DEAD
- The windshield wipers tap a staccato rhythm in my aching head. I long
to turn them off, to silence the lamenting dirge my numbed senses are pondering.
Great. I'll still the wipers, block my vision, and drive point blank
into a telephone pole. Then two of us can senselessly die.
- Mulder. Dead. **SUICIDE** It actually makes some kind of twisted
sense that this man whose life was a cacaphonous jumble of cerebral impulse
should blow his own brains out. I shudder at the image of Mulder, my FRIEND
Mulder, so despondent that the siren call of forever silence became his
coda. Mulder was always haunted, driven, questing for that elusive TRUTH;
what could possibly have pushed his back up against a wall so solid, death
was his only relief?
- I think back over the last several monthes, such a short time, really,
that Mulder and I have actually been *friends*. We've known each other
for years, of course, connected by the web of paranoia that binds us and
the ubiquitous "they". Drawn together by the onset of Dana Scully's
cancer, I found in Mulder a gut-twisting compassion that was usually
masked by his sarcastically dry wit. The man felt things SO intensely,
but the polished GQ exterior maintained the illusion of the cold hearted
bastard he tried to be.
- It was Frohike who was always his confidante, his anchor....and it
was Frohike who'd gone to pieces two years ago when we thought Mulder
had been killed in New Mexico. Frohike and Jim Beam and a tearful lament
in Limerick Tavern. How am I going to tell Frohike?
- And Langly... Langly, who had achieved the impossible-- The Limerick
Tavern again, Mulder and Dana, Frohike, Becca and I, summoned by a frantic
Langly to assist a "friend" on an amateur comics night. Imagine
our surprise and delight when the "friend" turned out to be Langly
himself, a contact-lensed, open-faced Langly. Animated and at ease with
himself and his audience, he'd amused us with his observational humor and
impersonations, including a KILLER take on Mulder, right down to the tight-assed
swagger and pushed-out lower lip, that had left Dana wiping tears and gasping
for breath... and actually made Fox Mulder LAUGH out loud. It almost
sounded like it hurt, and Langly had descended the stage starry-eyed and
proud, grasping Mulder's outstretched hand, tickled spitless that he had
reached, finally, this man he admired and worshipped, like the science
fair geek who quietly envies his popular-jock big brother. The brother
who would shockingly take his own life.
- I see two police cruisers a block and a half from Mulder's building.....then
another, and another. When I pull into the narrow lot, there is nowhere
to park, the entire area is full of police cars, EMT vehicles and Alexandria's
finest. Christ, how many people does it take to dispose of one corpse?
I choke on my own sick humor and wipe a hand hastily across my face as
I double-park along the side of a cruiser. Now that I'm *here*, the stark
reality of the situation insinuates itself once again into a pulsing spot
just behind my right eyeball. I slam my car door, and feel it reverberate
through my skull.
- "Are you a resident of this building?" It's a police officer,
brandishing a clip-board and an impressive set of ham-like fists.
- "Ummmm.....no....I'm.....uhhhh...." I'm distracted by the
red flare of Dana's hair; she's standing just inside the lobby with still
another gorilla in blue. Where the hell do they FIND these guys?
- "Sir....you're going to have to move along if you don't live in
- "No, wait." I pull away from the policeman's grasp, anxious
to get to Dana. Even from here, I can see she's about to keel over. "I'm
here to pick up Dana Scully."
- "Oh, you're the friend....Mr. Byers, is it?" I nod, still
watching Dana. She's spotted me, too, and I can feel the fevered intensity
of her gaze through the gloom of the early morning drizzle as we lock eyes.
The policeman glances from her, to me, and back again, then gives a smarmy
little smirk. "You can go RIGHT in, sir"
- It takes everything in me to not knock that smirk right off his smart
face, but I settle for giving him a mental finger and cross the small lot,
taking the concrete steps two at a time. The gorilla with Dana swings
the door open for me, and she steps around him to meet me on the concrete
- Her face is deathly pale, she's chewing her lip, but she's dry-eyed
and stoically composed. Shock. She must be in shock. I fight a swelling
sob as I almost double over to take her in my arms. She's so fragile.
The hand she wraps around the back of my neck feels like a child's, the
arm around my waist so delicate, I barely feel it. I want to hold her
tight, comfort and take comfort, but I fear I'll crush her with my big
hands and Tarzan arms. I rub her back, tenderly stroke the back of her
head, try to murmer platitudes of comfort, but I'm losing the fight with
the battle of my own grief. My voice hitches in my throat, "Dana....Dana....."
- The hand at the back of my neck tightens, I feel her warm breath
against the fur of my jaw as she turns her face into me, pulls me closer
"Jeff," she whispers, "Listen, and DON'T look up...we're
being watched." I stiffen, she clutches my back and digs her nails
into my neck "Mulder's all right....he's alive, Jeff....we need your
help. Just get me the hell out of here"
- Her arm convulses around me, her hand clawing desperatly at my jacket,
and she cries out in despair. Reflexively, I tighten my hold on her,
pull her closer. "Good," she murmers into my neck, "now
let's GO! Your car..."
- I keep one arm wrapped tightly around her, she leans heavily into me,
crying softly, as we wind our way through the masses of policemen milling
around outside the building. I feel their sympathetic looks as I hand
her into the passenger seat, as they part out of the way of my car and
I pull out onto the side street. We traverse a block and a half, Dana
huddles miserably against the passenger door, head down, face hidden by
the curtain of her hair. As I slow for a signal light, she looks up cautiously,
glances to the right, then whips an arm over the back of the seat as she
scrambles to her knees to glare through the fogging back window. Her eyes
are snapping blue fire and a nasty little sneer curls her lip.
- "Suckers!" Jesus. Bette Davis has nothing on Dana Scully.
- Then suddenly, she really IS crying, collapsing down against the back
of the seat, her face pressed into the crook of her elbow. The signal
changes, and I pull through the intersection as she sobs quietly. I don't
reach out; I can't say anything. A hot ember of anger is building and
flaring through my gut. I'm so mad and scared and PISSED that if I attempt
to say anything, I'm going to explode.
- She jerks suddenly, raises her heads, and wipes the back of her hand
across her face. "Oh, shit" In the muted morning light, I can
see the messy smear of snot and blood across her lip and the back of her
fingers. She scrambles back into a sitting position, digging through her
trench coat pocket, presses two fingers against the bridge of her nose.
"Jeff, please.....pull over, please......"
- I pull into the small lot of a convenience store, slam to a stop, and
gun the engine like an angered beast. Dana sniffs ands chokes, tips her
head back, and looks at me sideways. Her eyes are huge and hot looking
against the white white plane of her sunken cheeks. God, she looks like
shit. I feel the welling sting of angry, frustrated tears, my leg is
twitching convulsively, and the knot of rage in my gut has untied itself
into a cold, hard lump of nausea. She reaches over and grasps my arm "Jeff,
I'm sorry." I try to pull away, but she slides across the seat and
clutches my fingers with her other hand, effectively caging my arm "I'm
sorry I scared you." She squeezes my fingers hard and catches my
eyes, her look pleading "Jeff, they were RIGHT there, listening.
They EXPECTED me to fall apart. I...."
- "Agent Scully" Her eyes widen and she pulls back, her face
hardening warily at my tone. I shake her fingers from mine and rub a
trembling hand across my lips. "Agent Scully....will you please just
tell me what the fuck is going on?"
- "TELL ME!!" She jumps and cringes, her lips flutter, but
nothing comes out. "You told me he was DEAD!! Becca is back at my
apartment, she's a basket case. Jesus, Scully, she may have already called
Frohike and Langly." My voice cracks on the last syllable. I cough
and draw a deep, trembling breath, wipe an impatient knuckle across my
eyes. Fuck...it's so good to have FRIENDS. "What the hell have you
two done NOW?"
- "This is a long story, Jeff" Scully studies her fingers,
then looks up at me. Her face is, once again, placid and pale; I can't
help but wonder if the curtain is about to rise on act two of this tragic
- "I'm listening."
- -----to be continued in Messenger VII-------
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