Disclaimers: Up until an hour ago they belonged to Chris Carter,
1013, and FOX. Now they belong to the fans.
Spoilers: The X-Files--"Unusual Suspects," "Three of a Kind," "Jump
the Shark"; The Lone Gunmen--entire series
Keywords: X-Files/Lone Gunmen crossover, Byers/Susanne romance
Acknowledgments: Inspired by Langleigh's "It's Not Right" and the
episode "Jump the Shark"
Dedication: To Stephen Snedden, for promising me it would be a noble
end--it was. And to Bruce Harwood, Dean Haglund and Tom Braidwood,
for making me love the guys so much.
Summary: After the scene faded, Byers extracted one last promise from
"Keeping the Promise"
by Julie L. Jekel
>>Biology 421, Advanced Biochemistry<<
>>April 26, 2002<<
The soft snick of the lecture hall door closing caused all heads to
turn. Holly Fitzgerald looked up at the shape of the slim dark-haired
young woman who stood in the doorway at the top of the classroom, the
piece of chalk in her hand pausing on the board. Across the room,
unfamiliar black eyes sought out the professor with a sad gaze.
"Can I help you?" Holly asked, a trace of impatience creeping into
"Are you Doctor Holly Fitzgerald?" the woman asked in a lilting
"Yes, and I'm in the middle of a class--"
"This can't wait," was the curt reply.
Her temper flared at the brusqueness in the other woman's voice, but
she curbed it, set down the chalk and addressed her students. "I'll
expect you all to have finished chapter fifteen by tomorrow. There
will be a quiz on the material."
Dismissing the class, the blonde woman climbed the stairs to the back
of the room to face her visitor, indicating with a gesture of her
head that they should take this down the hall to her office. Once
inside, Doctor Fitzgerald shut the door and turned on the stranger
with an angry stare. "Now. What was so important that it couldn't
wait ten minutes for me to finish my lecture?"
The mysterious young woman said nothing at first, only approached the
desk and laid something on it. Then she spoke. "I was asked to give
this to you. I was told...that you would understand its significance."
She lifted her hand and Holly choked back a gasp. Stumbling, she
dropped into her seat, any shred of irritation blown away as if by a
sudden wind. "When? How?"
"Five days ago," was the soft, sad reply. "As for how...I suppose as
he was always meant to."
Trembling, Doctor Fitzgerald reached out a hand to touch the plain,
gold band sitting on her desk. Her heart contracted as her fingers
closed around it. "Oh God, John..."
Blue eyes lifted to meet black, and saw the same sadness in
them. "What happened?"
The visitor sighed. "There was a virus. A human time bomb, designed
to go off at the recent Bioethics conference in Washington...he and
Frohike and Langly...they sealed themselves into an airtight chamber
with the carrier, exposing themselves, rather than let the contagion
escape into the atmosphere."
The blonde's face whitened. "Then it's my fault. If he had never met
me...oh God...he gave me my life back, and I led him to his death."
The woman calling herself Holly Fitzgerald looked up in surprise at
the sound of her real name. The other woman smiled sadly. "Byers made
me promise to tell you this. To thank you. He said..." Her voice
hitched almost imperceptibly. "...that you saved those lives. That
without you, they would not have been there to stop the spread of the
virus. And he's right. Without them, I would have targeted the wrong
man and the virus very well might have been released."
Susanne felt a sob start to rise in her chest and a hand flew to her
mouth to cover it.
The visitor rose. "If you should want to say goodbye...they're buried
in Arlington National Cemetery at the request of Assistant Director
Skinner of the FBI. You ought to be proud of him, Susanne. He saved
the world for you."
She turned to leave.
The stranger stopped, glancing back at Susanne with a curious look on
"Which one did you love?"
The younger woman's eyes misted over as she struggled visibly for
control. "All of them."