Title: Comrades Under The Gun
Rating: PG-13 (Language)
Archive: Anywhere, fine.
Spoilers: WARNING: Provenance
Disclaimer: All the X-Files characters and
references are property of C.
Carter, 10-13 Productions and
FOX. No infringement.
Notes: Missing scene. This will be continued.
Comrades Under The Gun
The cockiness in the sound of the voice was
unmistakable. "Who else was she gonna
call?" Frohike asked the rhetorical quietly,
as the miracle infant nestled within his arms
tried plugging up his right nostril with his
little fingers. No sooner had the eldest
Gunman gently but firmly worked the infant's
'wrigglers' out, William stuck his thumb up
"Us, that's who--the only ones left *they*
trust." From behind the battered microbus'
weathered steering wheel, Langly piped up
again, "It was just a matter of time.
They're runnin' outta options." Recalling
the edge in Mulder's voice the last time
he'd contacted them, Langly adjusted the
rearview mirror, then checked his watch,
and followed that up by scoping out the
immediate environs of the filthy alley.
He was nervous, and unlike most times, he
wasn't concerned about his being unable to
mask it. These five additional minutes of
waiting felt like an eternity.
Byers nimbly reached for the oversized
bottle and diaper bag, judging that
William's sudden display of being out
of sorts had its roots in hunger. After
unzipping the carrier, he selected one of
the still relatively warm bottles containing
Scully's breast milk. He uncapped the brand
new glass bottle, hiked up his suit sleeve,
and sprinkled some spots unto the underside
of his exposed wrist.
"Ah, this'll do. Frohike, here," he said,
tapping his chum's shoulder lightly. "Take
Melvin leveled his fingerless gloved left
hand back in Byers' general direction,
anticipating for the bottle to be fitted
into it. When he was holding it, he jauntily
remarked, "Gimme a good old-fashioned glass
bottle over that stupid contraption Yves
made me strap, 'cos she wasn't about to, to
my chest that last time we pulled babysitting
duty, any day a the week."
"Stupidest thing you ever told us you
did, ever," Langly complained, timing the
remaining seconds of the last minute they
had. "You ain't got the build for tits."
"Unlike you, punkass. Now shut-up an'
get ready to drive like you've never
driven in your life to get our asses to
ol' Virginnie--minus your usual smart lip."
Langly huffed, "Yeah, yeah, I'm about to
be on it." The edgy blond took a deep
steadying breath. Suffering from a bad
case of the shakes, his hand sought the
ignition. Frohike eyed him uncertainly.
"It's all gonna be cool." Even before
he'd finished saying it, he wished he
believed it. His stomach was a new
configuration of knots. Byers frowned,
which Langly caught in the rearview.
"What's up with the evil eye, Byers, man?
You see somethin'?" Langly reconnoitored
around their vehicle, in apprehension.
"Before we get on ninety-five, I think
it'd be a good idea to stop at the first
pharmacy we spy," he stipulated, breaking
off his inventory of the pale blue
carry-all. "In all likelihood, in Scully's
"Not to mention the tyke's near-death
experience," Langly irritably inserted
while reaching over to straighten William's
Cerulean blue cap before it snowballed
down the front of Frohike's mail of leather.
The day that Langly stopped cutting him
off like that would be the day they'd
never have to explain to Jimmy what buffers
"He's going to need a lot more disposables
than the ones here, for his stay at the
bunker. How many Drug-Rites in our neck
of the woods?"
"Good idea, John," Frohike awarded, giving
the cap another battening down pat. If
only getting William to take the bottle
into his mouth was as easy. The kid was
fussy, or just missing his mom. The poor,
little trooper. The missing-in-action
stepfather of two sighed in regret of
paternal missed opportunities of his own.
What sort of future would this wide-eyed
innocent have? His father, although the
jury was still out on that one, in Frohike's
view, a persistently hounded fugitive...his
mother beset by one adversity after another.
A fine start to life...
"Melvin, want me to take him?" Byers
offered, seeing how much trouble Frohike
was having, feeding the squirming boy.
"He's like jelly missing the peanut butter,
swaddled in a blanket of ball bearings,"
Frohike vented, already hoisting the carseat
back to Byers with the bottle precariously
positioned in the baby's lap. "I give up."
"Maybe the idea of eating with your ugly
mug simperin' down at his doesn't appeal
to him," Langly badgered.
"Shut-up, Langly," Frohike hotly let
loose, but was careful not to let go of
the carseat until Byers had it safely
within his hands. "Get us outta here,
pronto 'fore we're made."
Byers beamed into the baby's cherubic face,
and nipped a rosy cheek between the digital
knuckles of his fore- and middle fingers.
There was no doubt about it, that was
Mulder's nose, in miniature, if ever there
"We're gone." The interior of the trusty
van filled with discontent within seconds.
"Dammit," Langly swore, but softly at the
sluggish gearshift then, keeping the
child's presence in mind as though the
other cuss words he'd uttered in the space
of time between their getting into the van
up until this moment didn't count. "We
are, soon as I can get this antique on
wheels ta rev." He pitched Frohike a
disgusted sidelong look.
"Quit complainin'. At least it's all paid
fo--" Breaking off, Frohike squinted hard
at what he couldn't quite make out at the
opposite end of the dim, squalid alley. It
looked like an SUV that had come screeching
to a halt; silvery, but he wasn't able to
tag its make or model if his life depended
on it. "What the hell is this?"
Spouting apropros dialogue from 'Star
Wars,' Langly chuffed, "I've got a really
bad feelin' about this," not craving any
answer that spelled danger. The
understated had been spoken in a wisp.
Repeating alarms were going off in Byers'
head; loud, clamorous ones, coupled with
the churning in his agitated stomach as
he glanced up from the drooling infant
entrusted into their care. "What the
hell's what?" he barked, straining to see
what had his friends baffled, and sounding
over the edge.
Not squandering another precious moment of
borrowed time, Langly had 'Gilgamesh'
lurching convulsively forward. At the
precise second of his maddeningly flooring
the whining, spluttering collector's item
again, a hail of shots in triplicate rang
out which ravaged the microbus' balled
"What the FUCK!" Langly railed, sickened
because in that very instant, he knew he
was losing control of the van.
Frohike made a mad grab for the steering
wheel, but was violently thrown back
against his seat when the microbus'
careening, forward momentum was violently
halted upon impact with the onrushing pole,
jutting up from the concrete like a
stanchion from hell.
Byers, his body badly jolted, threw himself
over the baby, and the words he and his
comrades had promised Scully he repeated
as a litany to the little one who had
begun to whimper. Were they about to fail
In the front seats, he heard the belabored
groans of misery and grievous moanings of
his friends. His mind convulvsed over how
badly they were hurt for their not wearing
seatbelts. He wasn't that bad off, he
realized, amazed, only badly shaken up, for
not having buckled up for safety.
What happened, however, in the next jumble
of confused moments, played out like a
dream sequence; a very bad one. The
sound of the sliding door being pulled
open, and the brutal jab of a gun muzzle
jammed up against his throbbing temple.
In the blowsy woman's eyes he saw nothing,
and for the first time in his life, he knew
what it felt like to see his life flash
before his own eyes which were welling up
with tears. This was different from the
time Timmy had held that gun on him in
Vegas. This time he was bombarded with
the point of diminishing returns of the
situation. When he could finally speak,
he didn't recognize his own frail voice,
faltering, begging for time.
He knew what this soulless creature,
bereft of pity of any kind, wanted, but
the promise made to Scully was the mandate
decreeing it must come down to this...
With the muzzle gouging his flesh, Byers
heard the faint click of the trigger
thunder in his ears only to echo instead
of fading away. His trembling bordered
"Oh, dear God," he stammered, but
unflinchingly, staunchly refusing to
abandon the gurgling baby's flank, he
mustered, "it's not ending like this.
Hell no--not over William's dead body,
To be continued.