Messenger VII --
- Summary: A gathering at Byers' apartment
- Rating: R, for language.
- Keyword: Lone Gunmen
- Disclaimer: They're not mine, if they were, I wouldn't let them play
here. I've already staked a claim on Byers, and now, I want Langly, too.
Yes, I'm greedy. Becca is mine, you may use her if you don't kill her.
- This is a companion piece to MessengerVI--Interlude
- giznote--This story is not meant to provide plot continuation,
or addition to the mytharc, this is primarily a character study. As for
"Unusual Suspects"--I'll accept and use "Melvin" for
Frohike, and even the unseen "Ringo" for Langly...but Byers will
remain "Jeff" in my universe, my reasoning being "John Fitzgerald--J.F.--JF--Jeff"
- Thank you for flying gizzie net. "If you love me, let me know"
- Messenger VII -- Coda
- The tap-tap-tap at the door is muted, yet I startle at the intrusion
of my blank-minded stare at the bleached wood table top. A pause, then
a staccato chirp of the door buzzer and an urgent call "Byers?"
- Mel Frohike. I'd know that voice anywhere, but still, with a subtle
paranoia I've somehow gleaned from my association with the Gunmen, I check
the peep hole. It *is* Frohike, slump-shouldered and staring at his boots.
- I unlock and swing the door open just as he taps again, his hand freezes
in mid-knock, and he blinks in surprise. "Rebecca!"
- "Yeah. Come in. He's not here. I was just...come in...."
- "C'mon," he says gently, and reaches, grasps another man
by the elbow, pulls him unresisting into the apartment.
- I don't recognise the man in the running shorts and sleeveless Tasmanian
Devil sweatshirt for a second, then my stomach clenches and I can't stop
a small gasp, my hand reaching out. "Ree."
- It's Ringo Langly, not the healthiest looking man in the best of circumstances,
now shaken and blank eyed, his long, white-blond hair skinned back in
a pony tail, accentuating the sharp angles of his pale face. He's not
wearing his glasses, and I'm not sure the myopic stare he fixes on me is
because of that, or his obvious distress. He flinches when I touch him,
draws back, looks over my shoulder. "Where's Byers? We need to tell
- "We know, Ree." He brushes past me into the living room,
turns the television on. Frohike gives me a questioning look. "Dana
called him...." I check the clock on the microwave ".....about
an hour ago. She asked him to come get her. She was at Mulder's apartment."
- Frohike frowns. "Jesus...was she THERE when he...?"
- "No. I dont' think so, anyway....I don't know. God, even Mulder
couldn't be THAT big a prick, could he?" Langly snorts, Frohike blanches.
"Sorry." Jesus. Me and my big mouth. I reach out and pull Frohike
against me, hug him hard. "I'm sorry, really. I just..."
- "It's ok" He wraps his arms around me, holds me tight.
"I'm just... surprised she'd call ANYONE to pick her up. Not tough
- I pull away from him, cross into the kitchen to make coffee."When
was the last time you saw her, Mel?"
- "I don't know...a couple weeks, I guess."
- "Yeah, well, she's not doing so good. This.... thing...is liable
to be the last straw...she may quit fighting."
- "Did she SAY anything?"
- "I don't really know, she talked to Jeff. How'd you find out,
anyway, did Jeff call you? I was going to, and I chickened out."
- Frohike smiles weakly. " I heard it on the police scanner. I
thought I heard it wrong the first time., but that "Fox" name
is a little hard to miss." He bites his lip, drops his eyes "I
was hoping these old ears were deceiving me." He gestures into the
living room, where Langly is compulsively channel surfing "I picked
him up running on Shaden Avenue." He drops his voice. "He's
pretty shook, Becca."
- "Yeah...so's Jeff."
- "Yeah" Frohike heaves a long sigh and, with a familiarity
I didn't know he had here, crosses to the high cabinet over the sink, and
pulls down a bottle of Jim Beam. The seal is still on it, and Frohike
smiles as he cracks it "I got Byers this for Christmas LAST year....I
can see you guys are big drinkers."
- "Yeah, well, we're more winos, you know, but a little JB sounds
good right about now." Frohike loads my mug and his as I pour a
third cup for Langly. I reach for the bottle of bourbon, but Frohike
raises a hand.
- "Not for him."
- "It's purely medicinal," I smirk.
- "NO, Becca, he's an al...." Frohike stops abruptly, looks
guiltily in at Langly. "just...give him a lot of cream and sugar,
- "OK" You don't have to draw me a picture.
- And here it is again....this blindingly strong devotion, this tie.
I've never seen a group of people with the nexus of these three. Snap,
Crackle and Pop. I think of the times I've seen them together, one talking,
the other two nodding in unison. I've seen them with Mulder and Scully,
the agents talk, the boys' heads swing from one to the other in triple
tandem. They are truly connected, a team. It sometimes looks like a comedy
- But no one is laughing now.
- Frohike carries the coffee in to Langly, puts a hand on his shoulder,
and leans down to talk into his ear. Langly nods and throws a quick glance
over his shoulder at me, reaches up and squeezes the hand on his shoulder.
He goes back to the compulsive channel surfing as Frohike settles into
the chair opposite me at the tiny kitchen table and takes a long swig
of the hot liquored coffee. He shudders and gives me a weak little smile.
- "This is kind of like deja vu for me, ya know." He pours
another healthy belt of JB into his mug but raises his hand in a negative
gesture as I rise to get the coffee pot. "Did Byers ever tell you
about the time Mulder was missing and presumed dead?"
- I shake my head, pour more JB into my own mug, and throw an annoyed
look in at Langly...I'm gonna stick that remote where the sun doesn't shine
in about one minute....
- "It was two years ago. His dad was murdered, there was a travesty
with a missing government tape that WE had actually round-aboutly provided
him with. That cigarette smoking bastard was involved somehow."
He pauses and frowns at the memory. "There was a fire, Mulder was
trapped underground in a box car. Scully came home without him, her and
I had a soul searching talk in HER kitchen...with plain old coffee...."
- "So, what happened?"
- "We don't really know. Three days later, Mulder returned."
- "That explains why you guys think he's the greatest thing since
Jesus Christ, I guess."
- Fuck me....this mouth of mine. I regret that crack immediatly, but
it 's too late. Langly makes a strangled little sound deep in his throat,
his coffee mug drops, and he overhands the remote violently, crashing
into and cracking the sliding glass door of the balcony. Frohike over
turns his chair, a combination of his haste to get to Langly and the effect
of the Jim Beam. Shit. I pick up the bottle and take a long, scalding
draught, wishing for the hundredth time that I had friends with NORMAL
problems. Frohike sits on the arm of the couch, his arms tight around
Langly's heaving shoulders. I cringe when Frohike turns cold eyes on me.
"Rebecca, he's freezing, could you get him some clothes and turn the
heat up in here, please."
- Could you guys just get the hell out of my life and leave me the fuck
- I head for Jeff's bedroom, stop to crank up the thermostat....I can't
really see the teeny numbers on the indicator through the liquor-induced
fog of my eyesight, so I turn the little dial thingie and hope I turned
it the right way. Rightie tightie, lefty loosie....doesn't really apply
here, I guess. I giggle before I can swallow it, take another hit from
the brown bottle....doesn't burn so much now. I pause just inside the
door of Jeff's bedroom....I don't really know where he keeps his clothes.
I open the closet--all tight-ass suits and stiff white shirts here--then
pull open a few dresser drawers. God, he's neat. Perfect stacks of t-shirts,
cute little rolls of black socks. I bet he irons his jeans. I giggle
again, take another three or five swallows of fire water...whoa. This
dresser must be on rollers, I swear it moved. I put the bottle on the
cute little mirrored do-dad dish and yank open another drawer. TA-DA!!
This one is full of analy neat folded sweats. I pull out a pair of forest
green pants and a shocking red sweat shirt with the M&M candy guys
on it. I can't in a hundred years picture Jeff buying this shirt --then
I remember *I* gave it to him for his birthday. Ha! Green pants, red
shirt--I find this extremely funny, Christmas IS coming, after all. The
goose is getting fat.....I glance at the screaming red display on his clock
radio....it's 6:45 am.
- I'm drunk.
- I stumble back into the living room. Langly is slumped on the couch,
his big hands dangling between his knees. Frohike's leather jacket is
draped over his shoulders, he's trembling still, but I see with relief
that he's stopped crying. Frohike sits close, one hand just touching his
friend's knee, watching him with a concerned wrinkle between his eyes.
The sleeves of his denim shirt are rolled up, puzzingly unbuttoned half
way down his chest, but he's still wearing those ridiculous fingerless
leather gloves, and when he reaches for the sweats and gives *me* a dirty
look, I want to peel them off his hands and slap his coolly angry face
- "Thank you," Langly mutters as he pulls the sweat pants on.
Frohike helps him into the sweat shirt, then wraps the leather jacket
around him again.
- "We'll leave soon, bud," he murmers, "I just want to
get you a little more warmed up. Jesus, Becca could you have found a louder
- The tenuous hold on my control snaps, and I burst into angry, guilty
tears. I don't need this shit. I'm getting out of here.
- I'm fumbling with my coat, when the door rattles and opens. It's Jeff,
who looks from me to his friends and back, looks around, perplexed, at
the overturned chair, the spilled coffee mug , the broken glass of the
balcony door, me sobbing like an idiot.
- "Becca! Guys...what the hell is going on in here? And why is
it so HOT in here?" I notice, then, the stifling heat of the apartment.
I guess I turned the dial thingie the right way, but like everything else
I do, I went too far. I giggle and Jeff turns to me "Becca, where
do you think you're going, you're not dressed?"
- "She's drunk." It's Dana Scully, behind him. Cool, placid,
- "Drunk? Frohike, what the...DRUNK???"
- "Dana," I sob, hiccup, and try to wrap my arms around her
"I'm so sorry. Mulder.....he was an ass, but he was YOUR ass...."
- "REBECCA!!" Jeff thunders.
- "It's all right." A third voice, in the doorway, behind
Dana. It's a man...a tall, good looking man.
- It's Mulder.
- Fox *FUCKING* Mulder.
- And his head is all in one piece. Dana has a hellof a bruise on her
cheek, but Mulder...Mulder is JUST fine....
- I try to swallow it, but the bitter little laugh bubbles up and out
of my suddenly burning throat.
- "You look pretty damn good, for a dead man." I hear a strangled
little sound behind me, and KNOW it's Langly. "DUCK!!" I yell.
I *can't* shut up. "He's gonna blow again!"
- Langly grabs my shoulder from behind, pulls me out of his way. He
steps close, looks Mulder up and down and shakes his head.
- Mulder has the grace to look embarrased "Langly, I'm sorry.
It wasn't supposed to go this far. We didn't want..."
- "Mulder," Langly says softly, "one of these days, you're
REALLY going to get killed...and no one's going to give a fuck."
- Probably because I'm trashed, I don't actually SEE him hit Mulder.
I see the blur of his flying fist, and Mulder is staggering back against
the closet door. Langly pounds out the door, Mulder pulls himself together
and leans out into the hallway "Langly!!"
- Frohike pulls him back, closes the door. "Let him go, Mulder.
He's too upset right now." Now he looks Mulder up and down, and
Mulder flinches, rears back, raises a protective hand.
- And I'm suddenly, hysterically laughing. Mulder's afraid little Frohike
is going to clobber him, too.
- "Hey." I tap Frohike on the shoulder. "Can I take a
shot after you? Hmmmm???"
- Mulder's face turns green, then grey, then swirly bluepurpleyellow.......
- Dana is dragging me by the dangling sleeve of my coat, gets an arm
around my waist, and hauls my ass into the bathroom, practically pushing
my head into the toilet. Smart woman...she ain't a doctor for nothing.
I heave and gasp as I bid adieu to Jim Beam. Dana holds my hair back--THAT'S
a friend--and hands me a wet wash cloth when I'm sure the only thing left
to come up is my liver.
- "You all right now?"
- I nod and press the wash cloth against my forehead. "You didn't
see my eyeballs in there, did you?"
- Dana snickers and rubs a soothing hand along my arm "Rebecca,
what were you thinking??"
- I'm choking and gasping on sudden tears, and she kneels down with me,
takes me in her arms. "I was thinking he was DEAD, Dana. I never
wanted....I don't want to despise him so much. You guys all adore him."
I snort and sniffle, pull away from her, and wipe my face with the wash
cloth. "You should have seen Langly...and Jeff. God, was that only
two hours ago??" My head is starting to pound. "What the hell
is going on, Dana?"
- "It's a long story, Bec, and complicated. Mulder's been watched,
we don't even know for how long. He's been set up to take a big fall.
It's got something to do with the people who gave me this cancer."
she smiles at my look of skepticism "I'm not sure of all the details
myself, Rebecca. All I know right now is....I'm dying." I reach
for her hand and she squeezes it hard, "and Mulder thinks he MAY be
able to find the people that have the cure. But to do that,he HAS to remain
underground...he has to STAY dead. It's complicated....."
- Damn right. But....
- "But why HERE, Dana...why Jeff??"
- Dana Scully looks VERY uncomfortable. "This sucks, Becca...."
she draws a deep breath, and looks me in the face. "Mulder has to
move FAST...and it HAS to be today, right now. He's going over to the
DOD to...." she stops, and Special Agent Mask falls into place. "I
can't really say, right now. But....he left his apartment last night with
just the clothes on his back. He needs a suit."
- Wha.....WHAT???? My blood goes cold "You....he.....you two scared
the shit out of ALL of us for a fucking SUIT???"
- "It wasn't supposed to happen this way, Becca...it all happened
so fast. I wanted to call Jeff, but there were cops everywhere. And
Skinner was there....."
- "Does he think Mulder's dead. too?"
- "Yeah. I....kinda lied right to his face...kinda. And I have
to go to a hearing later today. Becca, he HAS to stay out of sight for
now. He has someone elses ID...I really can't say anymore. Please don't
be angry. Jeff isn't, not now. and I AM sorry...*we're* sorry.... He's
going to try to help me save my own life, Becca. Surely YOU, of all
people, can understand THAT."
- I draw a trembling breath, and wipe the silent tears from my face.
God, she loves him so.
- "A *suit*...well, that explains why he didn't call Langly or Frohike."
- "He trusts Jeff, too, Becca....not that he doesn't trust the other
two, but him and Jeff....it's special. YOU'RE special, you two...."
- We're holding each other and blubbering again...she feels like my ten
year old niece, so little and frail. Hard to believe someone this small
can be so big.
- "We better get out of here," I sniff, " they're gonna
think we went down the pipes. And if Mulder has to get out of here..."
- "He showered at my place.....Jeff and I picked him up when we
came from ...identifying the body." Scully shudders. "Ya know,
Becca, that REALLY made me think....anyway, he just needs to change."
- Jeff pulls me aside and catches me in a bear hug as we exit the bathroom.
"Are you OK?"
- "Yeah, now that I puked my guts out."
- He smiles down at me, then turns to Dana " We have a plan, kinda.
Frohike is gonna take you to the Bureau, since it's getting late. Mulder
is gonna use my car, Becca and I will go back to Mulder's and get your
car. They won't question that, since I picked you up. I should be back
to the office by noon, at the latest, if Mulder needs me."
- "What about Langly?"
- "I'm gonna go find Langly, as soon as I drop you off, " Frohike
says "He shouldn't be too hard to find in that M&M sweat shirt."
- Scully frowned "Is he....?"
- "He'll be okay..Langly's tough. He's just...." Frohike shrugged,
"not so tough, sometimes. Like all of us...."
- Scully wraps an arm around him and he smiles, blushing, looking at
the floor. She nods to me "Why don't you go see Mulder...we really
DO have to hurry, and you don't want to leave this thing hanging between
- "Should we leave the building?" Jeff jokes, but his eyes
- "No...I'll be good...."
- I stand outside the closed bedroom door for a second, gather my wits.
- I open the door and he startles, his hand going automatically to where
his holster should be. It's a rather suggestive gesture, since he's just
in boxers and socks. Very nice. He doesn't even look embarrased, and
I think he's probably so used to women ogling him, nothing penetrates
his cool. The curse of the drop dead gorgeous.
- "Hey," he smiles softly, and I think maybe this could be
dangerous, "close the door, huh, some of us are barely decent."
- I suddenly remember that I'm in really sexy flannel pajamas with a
coffee stain on the lapel, and god only knows if I puked on myself, also.
I close the door and go to stand beside him, where he's studying Jeff's
- "You know," he says in that maddening monotone that curls
my toes, "your man really DOES need some wardrobe advice."
- "You'll shit when you see his ties, " I snicker. "Here."
I dig to the far side of Jeff's closet, and pull out a charcoal grey suit.
"This is his one and only Armani. I KNOW it is, because I bought
it for him. I wanted him to look like you."
- He smirks and pulls the pants off the hanger. "Has he worn it
- "Just to my cousin's wedding, my family was VERY impressed."
I watch him button the shirt...it's pulled across his chest, but it'll
have to do. "Wait, come here..."
- "Just come here." I turn him around and reach onto the dresser,
pick up the metal nail file. I pull the back of the shirt and make a small
rent in the center of the back. Then I grab on both sides of the rent,
and tear the shirt neatly up the back.
- Mulder gasps and jumps. "What...what the hell did you do??"
- I turned him around to face the mirror, tucking the shirt tails back
in for him. "See? Now the shirt won't pull across your chest, and
you can leave the jacket hang open, cos it's bound to be a little snug,
too. Better a forty dollar shirt than a thousand dollar suit."
- "You are amazing."
- "Thank you."
- And suddenly , we're squeezing the daylights out of each other, I'm
fighting tears, and I can feel the suppressed emotion shuddering through
- We laugh and pull apart, and he nods. "You first."
- "I just....." I don't know what to say, now. I take a deep
breath and gather my thoughts. "Fox..."
- "Fuck....MULDER, there you happy, now ?" He winces, and
I slap him as I turn to Jeff's closet to find a tie that isn't striped.
"God, you're a pain in the ass." I turn back, hand him a striped
tie anyway, and look into his eyes. He has beautiful eyes, deep hazel
eyes that I would bet my life turn green when he's aroused. Bad thoughts.
"Mulder...I don't really know where this animosity between us came
- "I know. You're a bitch." He smirks, and I laugh. "No,
you really ARE..."
- "Okay...besides that...." I catch his eye again, take his
hand "I don't want us to keep at each other like we have. I KNOW
now, that most of your animosity has been frustration over Dana, her illness"
He frowns and I continue "I saw that that night at DonnaJ's...I
saw your confusion, your pain" He looks away, and I squeeze his hand
tight. "'and I DO understand what happened here, today, I think.
It's just...Jeff cares about you so much. I hate to see you jagging
him around, and the other guys, too."
- He looks embarrased "I know...and I gotta admit to you, Becca,
I'm a selfish bastard."
- "No shit."
- He chuckles, then gets serious. "But...I would NEVER do anything
to purposefully hurt Byers, or Langly, or Frohike. I wouldn't. It's just
that sometimes, I'm so focused on my goal, I run over anyone and everything
to get there."
- "I think I see that, Mulder."