Part Gunfic-Part Skinnerfic, a healthy dose of both!
Title: Runaway (3/3)
Author: Amazon X
E-mail: yankeestarbuck@yahoo.com
Website: www.yankeestarbuck.tripod.com
Feedback: It's necessary for me to become a better
writer. What did you like? What didn't you like? How can
I make it better?
Category: Drama, Relationship, Episode Related
Spoilers: "SR 819", vague reference to the Gunmen scenes
of "Existence" and 
"Anasazi" and of The Lone Gunmen series "Bond, Jimmy Bond"
Rating: R, for language
Summary: Langly befriends a street kid who holds
Skinner's life in her hands.

Archive: Tell me where my children live is all I ask,
along with my 'nym.

Disclaimer: All characters from The X Files and The Lone
Gunmen belong to Chris, 1013 and Fox. I'm not here for the
money, just the love. Frankie's mine.

Notes: This takes place pre-season 9, which means it's
got a Rat (Krycek). I figger, it's around the end of Season 7, and since there's
no time-frame of  "The Lone Gunmen" since Mulder appeared in their
season/series finale, it's possible, that Alternate Universe, didn't include the
abduction, so mine doesn't.

Author's Notes: Thank you with all my heart to my two
betas, firstly, Everly Dawn, the bestest girl of eva was,
and to the new kid in town, Cynth, who is there for me
since Eve has way too much on her plate right now. This
plot bunny shit on my carpet, with just the image of Frohike holding
the kid's arm, asking about her making it to the shelter before they ran
out of beds. It flew out of my fingers pretty fast, but was hanging around
for a while.  Thankfully, it's out there and I hope it helps answer that
damn question, just what did happen with those damn nano-cytes?


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
LONE GUNMEN HEADQUARTERS
ONE YEAR LATER

Standing outside the door, looking at the camera, Skinner
couldn't believe an entire year had passed since they found
their young friend. She had lived in that warehouse with
those four nuts the whole time, learning about computers,
hacking and everything else they did, he thought, with an
inner chuckle. Frohike had mentioned to Skinner that she
was quite adept at long distance photography. She was fair
on the computers, but liked cameras better. Frohike was
pleased to have a protege. Surveillance was easier with
the extra hands. Langly had wished her kung fu was better,
but he was happy she could run the basic programs that
everyone used. And the photo manipulator software Langly
was tweaking for her.

Jimmy admitted the big man into the warehouse. Most of the
equipment had been 
moved away from the main space to allow for the gathering. 
Everyone who was there that first night was in attendance
and drinking Byers' killer Rum Punch. There was music
playing in the background. It almost seemed normal. 
Skinner was happy to abandon his usual suit to dress
casually for the get together. Some of Frankie's friends
from school were there. And although she wasn't ashamed of
where she had been a year ago, she didn't want the street
kids at the warehouse casing it for a snatch later, so she
kept it to recent acquaintances.

Skinner looked around the room, greeting the Mulders as
they sipped the punch. But then, at the top of the stairs,
he caught sight of a young lady, with blonde hair pulled
back into a pretty French braid, wearing a pink sweater,
khaki Capri-cut pants and pink sparkly sneakers. He liked
that she had washed all the black and brown dye from her
hair. She looked over at the tall man who had slowly
become her benefactor over the last year and ran to him,
screeching his name. He put his cup down to hold out his
arms to receive her. She jumped up into his embrace,
wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his
waist. He enveloped her with his muscled limbs, rocking
her from side to side.

"Oh, Walter, it's so good to see you!"

She laid little kisses on his cheeks and he laughed
heartily.

"Hello, little girl, how are you?"

He put her down on her feet, but still hugged her tightly. 
She melted against him, her smiling face shining like the
brightest stars as she gazed up at him.

"How's school?" he asked, moving to walk with her toward
the couch where they could sit and talk. With recent FBI
events, he didn't have the chance to have a proper lunch
with her like he had tried to do regularly in the last
year. She sat on the dreaded red velvet couch and looked
at him, talking animatedly about her current classes.

Skinner pulled every string he could think of and was
determined to get Frankie into Georgetown. She drove his
old Blazer, the one that was partially wrecked in the JEH
parking garage, but rebuilt for her. He kept a bank
account open for her with spending money and paid for her
tuition, books and clothes. He even dropped a check to
Frohike monthly for her room and board. He'd completely
taken over her care, feeling it necessary since he drove
the case forward to put her father behind bars.

Skinner had found the man dealing in child pornography and
used the case to help put forth stronger child protection
laws. McKirk would spend the rest of his life in
Leavenworth, never to see his daughter again, and most
importantly, never to hurt her again.

Frohike sat with Langly and Byers, watching Frankie gush to
Skinner. Langly shook his head, while Byers smiled widely.

"You know, Langly, the past year has been amazing to watch
her blossom," Byers 
mused. "She's like a normal young college student. You
did the right thing making her come back from the Mall that
day."

Langly looked at Byers questioningly.

"How did you know I had to drag her back?"

"She told me. She said it was the best thing you've ever
done for her. She knew there was no way she would have
stayed here on her own. She's glad you forced her to. 
Besides Mr. Skinner, we're the only people she trusts, at
all."

"He asked her to move to Crystal City," Frohike threw in.

"What?!" the chorus of Byers, Langly, and now Jimmy,
sounded.

"She told me two weeks ago," Frohike elaborated. "He
wanted her to start the new semester at his place. He
redid his spare bedroom for her. New furniture, new
computer, stereo, TV, DVD player, satellite service, all
that. He was going to adopt her officially. She said no."

"Why?" Byers asked, surprise widening his eyes. "That
would have been perfect for her. Mr. Skinner is probably a
more stable influence on her than we are."

Langly nodded sadly, knowing that sitting up until sunrise
to beat a medieval war game was probably not as proper a
thing to do as sitting down to watch the evening news,
which he did, while eating his breakfast. But Frohike
surprised them.

"She told him that although she cared for him a lot, she'd
think it was freaky living with him. And she couldn't
leave us. She said we'd become a family and she didn't
want to uproot again. She likes it here."

The four men beamed as she looked over at them, smiling. 
Skinner saw the looks 
between them. He understood that she was part of their
motley crew and she in some strange way belonged with them.

Skinner stood and called the small gathering together to
make his toast. He wasn't one for public speaking, other
than meetings, but he knew that it was just family and had
no problems telling them his news.

"I would like to thank Frohike et al for hosting this
party. As we all know, it was a year ago this night that
we were all brought together, to solve some issues and
become a sort of family. Well, I am pleased to announce
something else. I have a few contacts at Georgetown and I
managed to get my hands on a set of grades that were
surreptitiously omitted from my perusal."

He pulled a folded sheet of paper from his pocket and began
to unfold it.

"It seems that Frankie didn't get the Bs she said she had,
actually. She didn't get those kinds of grades at all. 
And Langly, I'm ashamed that you didn't hack the school to
confirm it."

"What kind of friend do you think I am?" Langly answered,
offended. "I trusted her."

'Well, as it turns outÖFrankie's GPA isnít quite the 3.1
she told us it was."

Frankie began to blush and turned away from the group. How
could he do this to her? She didn't want all the fuss. 
All she wanted was to get her degree and go on with a
normal life and all. Why did he have to make such a fuss?
she pondered.

"As it turns out, Frances Margaret McKirk is the proud
owner of a perfect GPA, a 4.0."

Applause broke out amongst the group. Frankie turned to
Skinner and threw daggers at him with her eyes. How could
he tell everyone her middle name? And her GPA, it was
private. What the hell is wrong with him! she wanted to
know. Sure, they were happy, but what if she couldn't keep
it up? What if she did miserably this semester?

"That's not everything," Skinner interrupted, quieting the
group. "I have one more surprise."

He pulled a black velvet box from his pocket and handed it
to Frankie. She looked at it a moment, then at him, then
back at the box. With shaking hands, she opened it. She
feared it would be an engagement ring. Somewhere in the
back of her head, that nagging fear of him just wanting to
use her body nipped at her comfort. But it was crushed by
the vision of the gold heart-shaped locket and chain in the
box. She took it from the box and let the delicate item
lay in her palm. It was the most beautiful thing she'd
ever seen. She looked up at him with tears in her eyes
that quickly spilled down her cheeks.

"Oh, Frankie, it's just a locket," he said. She threw
herself into his embrace and laughed with him. Turning her
around, Skinner fastened the locket around her neck and she
reached up to touch it immediately.

"Well, what do you think?" she asked him.

"It's beautiful. And so are you." He kissed her forehead
gently.

She walked away to show her school friends her gift. Mrs.
Mulder nee Scully, walked over to him, holding a sleeping
baby William, to her former boss. She looked up into his
beaming face that followed Frankie around the room.

"She's a special young lady, sir," she said, quietly.

"Yes, she is," he agreed.

"You can't hold her too tightly, sir. She's not your
child."

"She's as close to a child as I'll ever have. And I won't
squander the experience by screwing it up with selfish
vicarious wishes."

"You're doing everything right, so far. And that will come
in handy for your Godson."

Skinner looked down at the baby and brushed a gentle palm
over his head. He gazed at Frankie, hoping he was doing
things as correctly as he thought he was.

Langly walked over and stood before her, looking at the
trinket, jealously wishing he had something equal or better
to give her. She was *his* friend, after all. If it
weren't for him, she wouldn't even be there. And here it
was, Skinner was getting all the hoorays. Frankie didn't
like the sadness in Langly's blue depths.

"What's wrong, Ringo?" she asked.

"Nothing, I guess. I just wish I could give you neat stuff
like that."

"Why? I mean, this is nice, and God, Walter is like the
nicest person in the world and all, but you're like, my
best friend. The things he gives me are cool, but who am I
gonna whip on Quake? And who's gonna teach me cool tricks
like rescheduling the green lights on Dupont Circle? Nah,
I like Walter, he's great, but I love you. You're my
friend, dude, my best friend."

She hugged him tight. He smiled and beamed. She loved
him. He was her best friend. The night couldn't get any
better than that. And he didnít even wanna try.



End Notes: send your feedback, it is necessary. Thanks!