Story Archive

Messenger VI--

by gizzie

Summary: Byers meets Scully at Mulder's apartment building after Mulder's suicide.
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'

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.
"'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?
"'re going to have to move along if you don't live in this building"
"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 stoop.
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.'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 charade.
"I'm listening."
-----to be continued in Messenger VII-------
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