TITLE: The Search is On
AUTHOR: Meghan O'Connor
FEEDBACK: Please! The more I get, the more you get!
DISCLAIMER: The LGM, Skinner, and anyone else you recognize are
1013's. However, Hannah Jean Frohike is all mine.
SPOILERS: The X-Files, all up to the last season finale, and the LGM
CATEGORY: Drama, LGM/Skinner/Other
SYNOPSIS: Why would a visitor to the Vietnam Memorial be smiling?
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This series will be called the "Home at Last" fics. I
am using the premise found in so many other fics, that Frohike was in
Vietnam. I have a difficult time believing as they do, that someone
of his height could get in the Marines, but what the heck, none of
it's real anyway. I base such assumptions on the fact that I am 31,
my dad was in Vietnam and never talked about it, Tom Braidwood was
born the same year as my mother, so it's all feasible. (Although
lusting after Frohike makes me ooky when I think about that, let's
just skip that part.) List owners and Gossamer can archive, all
others must ask. Also, if you are a Jewish female, I would deeply
appreciate your input for future chapters so as to get the character
Skinner came to the Wall on his day off. What he hated most was the
fact that he recognized more than one name engraved on the slick
smoky surface. He would leave a bottle of booze, some flowers, and
then sit and think for a few hours. What he noticed today, however,
was the woman's apparent ritual.
She always came on the 27th of the month, regardless of what day it
fell on. He'd seen her on a few weekends when he came to commiserate
with fallen comrades. She would start on a panel one down from where
she finished last time, mouthing each name silently. There were so
many. She was only on panel 012E out of the 70 panels on the East
side alone. She would read three panels, silently say "Thank You"
after each one, then leave with a smile. It was the smile that he
couldn't understand. Would she still be smiling after reading all
58,220 names? And how long would it take her when she reached the
middle, where the panels neared ten feet high?
Skinner never meant to approach her. He was then understandably
surprised to find his feet had carried him near her as she finished
her reading this month. As he stood close, her heard her soft
whisper. "Thank you." She turned to go and almost bumped into
him. "I'm sorry. Excuse me." He moved aside, and the question
burst out of him as she stepped away.
"Why do you always smile when you're done?" She looked back at him,
her brown eyes gentle and warm. The wind lightly ruffled the dark
blue scarf over her long dark hair as she drew her coat about her.
Just looking at her made him feel out of time here. Her voice was
low and melodious, and the smile came through.
"Because I'm grateful." Her sincerity rocked him. Where had this
sweet soul been when he'd been called a babykiller, when people
accused him of being a hatemonger, not knowing how he tried to save
his friends from being on that granite list?
She motioned him over to the bench, where he sat beside her. They
stared at the wall for a long moment. "I'm grateful that my father
isn't on that wall." She turned to look at him, and the sadness in
her eyes tugged at him. "My father always said his buddy saved his
life, but he never told me who it was. So I say thank you, knowing
that someday I'll say it to the right name." Something touched him
deeply. Sharon had never understood him, his feelings like this.
"So who was your father? Why isn't he here saying thank you?" Her
smile faded, and he silently cursed his tactlessness.
"I hope he does come here someday. I always come on the 27th, that's
the day he came back in 1969. I haven't seen him in 20 years."
"I'm sorry." She waved her hand to show she didn't mind.
"It's . . . I've been looking for him since I was 18. My dad and I
were very close, but my mother left him and stole me when I was 11
years old. She said he was getting paranoid and couldn't stick with
a real job long enough to take care of a family." She paused. "I'm
sorry, I don't know why I'm telling you all this."
He took her hand, wanting to help her. "Well . . . I can't
guarantee he'd want to see you, but I may be able to help you find
him." Her eyes shone hopefully. What had he just committed himself
to? "I work for the FBI. Assistant Director Walter Skinner." She
"Well, we'll have to be careful then. I can't say dad ever trusted
the government after his tour too well. But I'm deeply grateful, Mr.
"Please, that makes me feel like my father's still here. Please call
me Walter." He dug in his coat pocket and handed her a card. "This
is my office number." He got a pen and wrote on the back of it for a
moment. "I don't normally give this out, but that's my home number.
What info can you give me about him?" He got out a small notebook
and waited for her to speak. Maybe reuniting this family would be an
infinitely small gesture towards paying back some of his buddies that
gave the ultimate price.
She was excited and couldn't quit smiling. "Walter, I can never
thank you enough. I don't care if he doesn't want to see me, I just
want to know how he is." She took a deep breath. "He was in the
Marines, in the 7th Communications Battalion. He was in a MOS of
2575, Special Communications Operator. It's why he got into TV/VCR
and phone repair when he came back. The last place he lived when Mom
left with me was Baltimore, Maryland, but he's from Pontiac,
Michigan. He was born September 27th, 1948, and came back from
Vietnam on July 27th, 1969. I was born on May 15th, 1970." She
paused in her enthusiasm and he finished writing. He looked up at
"And some names would be helpful." She blushed, realizing how much
she'd said so far.
"I'm sorry, Walter. My name is Anne Jacobs, my mother was Sheila
Jacobs. But she changed my name when she took me away." Her next
words caused him to freeze in the middle of writing, even though she
drew herself up proudly. "I was born Hannah Jean Frohike. My father
is Melvin Frohike."
To be continued…