Title: Shell Game (1/1)
Summary: The Lone Gunmen stage a little legerdemain
of their own.
Archive: Anywhere, fine.
Disclaimer: The Gunmen belong to their diehard fans now.
Any other X-Files characters and references
remain property of 10-13 Productions and FOX.
No monetary profit being made.
Notes: Also, had to post this quick in order to feel
better; for my private closure. There are
glaring typos and spelling bugaboos, but
like I said, I had to let this 'baby' fly
for my peace of mind.
Chancing it, Frohike squinted a wary eye open.
Forever Yves, had her arm slung high across
Jimmy's back. He was still disconsolate, sobbing
uncontrollably. Nearly tenderly, she tugged on him
to lead him off from the untimely death scene.
Through the wire-reinforced glass pane, 'Hike saw
her mouth, 'Come along now. There's nothing we can
do. The F.B.I. and the C.D.C. must take over from
"I can't believe they did that," the blubberer
sobbed. "They made the ultimate sacrifice to save
us all." His sobs threatened his ability to regain
his breath. "Th-they're heroes. Honest to God
heroes." When he felt Yves' hand grip his shoulder,
he battled to suck it in, but sucking it in sucked.
Slow to nod, Yves replied, "Yes, Jimmy. They always
were. Forever shall they be."
"What are we gonna do without 'em?"
"Muddle through somehow, I suppose." Her tone was
hollow, lacking animation as though she indicted
herself having spoken them. She glanced into the
cordoned off area, an unwilling eyewitness to the
carnage then hung her head, and walked them away.
Once Frohike was certain they had gone, he called
over to the slumped figure jammed up against the
wall to his left, "Hey, Gilnitz,' wipe the Pepto
Bismol from your foamy mouth. Looks like the
overacting all of us did paid off. They're gone."
Spryly taking to his feet, 'Hike went over to his
pair of fallen comrades who had elected to 'die'
side-by-side. "It's cool, men. Rise an' shine."
Langly loosened the ball-up of fabric his fist had
clutched of the 'Ramones' lettering before 'buying
it.' Byers, sitting up now too, was straightening
his tie, his eyes still fixed with a glassy stare,
as though he were waking from an intense dream. A
dream that had its start as a nightmare. He
glanced over to the body soaked in plentiful pink
'John Gilnitz' was removing the bioluminescent gel
pack from his chest, and wagging his head at the
compact, grinning conspirator with his perpetual
five o'clock shadow. "Well, guys, welcome to my
corner of the dark side. Least now I'm gonna have
company. Takin' it on the lamb solo is the pits."
"Mulder, you can loose the mask now," the blond
kibitzer bandied. Not looking up from his chest,
he began smoothing out his T-shirt, being extra
fastidious with the lettering as well as the
iconic imagery beneath. "That voice gets creepier
every time I hear it. Loose the alterer too."
Byers, now standing, joined Frohike. "We can't
afford to linger." He looked to the barrier,
the one which Jimmy, in his desperation had tried
to pry, then raise. Langly, who had nimbly sprung
to his feet had gone over to it, peered through
the glass pane to see if they would have company
"Byers is right. We stick around here much longer,
our con gets blown. Fletcher remains the pain
in our collective asses. Wasted effort, and
exposure Mulder risked, and didn't need." In full
surveillence mode, he flicked his long locks behind
his left shoulder and took another look. "High
time we book. Like now."
"Glad to do it, boys. Do it a next time, if it
needs being done again." Mulder had the other
barrier raised to shoulder height, and raised it
several more inches. "This way, boys. At the end
of this corrider there's a stairwell. We take it,
we get to the basement. One door whose lock I had
time to pick. I've got a car parked in the parking
lot of the Mickey Dee's, two blocks down."
While the men hustled on the move, Mulder gleefully
said, "All these years you've helped me out of
tight spots, and hooked me up with the goods..."
Momentarily anticipatory, the Gunmen slowed down,
but their friend insisted they keep moving. He
could run and gush gratitude at the same time.
"And we still won't be even. Never will be. Both
Scully and I owe you so much. We owe you our lives,
and our baby's."
The former G-man pushed the door to the stairwell
open and waited for his friends to pour through,
then he produced some baling-like wire from the
depths of his pants pocket, and closed off their
escape. At the bottom of the stairs, he shone a
narrow-beamed flashlight at the compromised door.
"Skinner has it all arranged."
"The funeral," Byers supplied, sounding knowing
and better composed.
"The whole shebang. The caskets, the twenty-one
gun salute at Arlington--"
"Wow--Arlington, man?" Langly crowed, then
whistled. "Def pulling of some super tight
"Fitting resting place for fallen heroes, boys,
don't ya think?" Mulder had the doorknob targeted,
with Frohike glued to his side.
"Mulder, man," he croaked out, but suddenly was
too overcome by emotions that he had kept
bottled up over the course of these more recent
"Come on, 'Hike, you can fuss and mush all over
me later," Mulder reminded as he watched Byers
and Langly go through the door.
"Yeah, Mulder. Later..." As he made to move
ahead of Mulder, Mulder pulled 'Hike to himself
hard, engulfing the warhorse in a crushing hug.
"I've arranged it so all the bases have been
covered, Melvin. Just a few more weeks, and
it all changes for all of us, forever." Holding
'Hike away then, Mulder said, "Scully's looking
forward to it, she can't wait. And neither can
"Yeah, man. We've done our homework too."
"And, let's not forget Skinner too. He's always
been our man inside. Once he does what he needs
to, he has to decide whether he walks away, or
stays. I can't push him more than I already have."
Outside, they heard Langly and Byers clamoring
for them to, in Langly's words, "Get the lead
The four of them ran all the way to the parking
lot. Once they were seated in the rented Toyota
SUV, and the Gunmen had caught their breaths,
Langly asked, "Mind if I hop out and get somethin'
to eat before we hit the road? It's way past my
dinnertime. My treat."
Byers', Mulder's and Frohike's eyeballs nearly
dropped from their sockets. There had been many
'firsts' tonight. Their collective overload had
been reached and surpassed when 'Hike had pulled
down the fire alarm, sealing their fates.
"Wha'?" Langly said somewhere between a whine
and a decree, "I stashed a little cash over the
long haul. My emergency food fund. I'm feelin'
generous. Okay, what d'yall want?"
They watched him lope off to secure the fast
food, ticking off their orders to himself aloud.
Mulder who was in the driver's seat looked around
at Byers and Frohike with a self-satisfied grin
ingratiating his face. "I did good, huh?"
"You did good, and how," the pair of them
"I think it goes without saying, we love you,
man," Frohike bestowed, gripping Mulder's
forearm which rested atop the driver's backrest.
"Maybe one day, far in the future, we'll be able
to tell Yves--I mean Lucy, and Jimmy," Byers
verbalized with an air of regret.
"Yeah, maybe," Frohike said tentatively, looking
off to the MacDonald's and then at his watch.
"Golden boy better get my order right, or I'll
make him walk to Washington."
"How'd ya think you'll like the weather out there,
guys?" Mulder cued.
"Oh, I don't know," Byers said, sounding
speculative, "it can't be any worse than D.C.'s
humidity. We're trading one species of
percepitation for another."
Langly was coming back with their food. He slid
into the passenger seat and handed one of the
two aromatic bags back to his compatriots. "Let's
hit it, Mulder. If you thought I was paranoid,
before, dude. You ain't seen nothin' yet."
"Why?" Mulder asked his internal radar piqued,
staring the engine with Langly's eyes threading
back to the MacDonald's. "Something hinkey happen
"No. I just got the heebie-geebies that's all.
Big-time, super-sized." Mulder put the car in
gear, as Langly spoke around bites of his
mutant-looking Big Mac, and some fries. "Man, am
I glad to be blowin' this phony, uptight, hypocrital
town once and for all. Fightin' the future can
be done just as easily in a refitted bunker in the
woods outside of Spokane, as it can outta an old,
"Yeah, I second that," Frohike chimed in. He
pulled out a super-size fries for Byers and a
one for himself. "Hey, man, you forgot our drinks,"
he barked at Langly.
"Like I'm gonna go back for 'em. We can get
something, someplace else."
"I don't know," Byers said, having second thoughts
about what he'd ordered, wrinkling his nose at the
greasy sticks, as Mulder drove past the Smithsonian.
"I have always felt very much at home here."
After the laughter issuing from throats that had
been made raw from the inhalation of too much pure
benzole for tactical purposes ebbed, Mulder, Frohike
and Langly chorused, "Yeah, Byers, you would..."