Some Weird Sin
Disclaimer and some such:
I do not have the rights to use any characters
officially associated with The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen
television series. I am using these characters without the
permission of FOX, 1013 Productions, Chris Carter, or
any other copyright owners. Of course, this is intended for
[non-profit] entertainment only, and no
infringement on copyrights or trademarks
was intended by the author.
Any similarities to people, places, and other works of
fanfiction are purely coincidental.
All other characters not officially associated with
The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen (including, but not limited to,
Smithee and Ellroy) are property of the author
and should not be recycled into another story without
No animals were harmed during the making of this fanfic,
except for two mosquitoes and one waterbug.
Cost of coffee drunk while writing this: $15.82
Cost of paper used to print out draft copies: $2.38
Cost of Anne Hawley's beta-reading skills: PRICELESS
The 'present' of this story takes place a few years
before The Lone Gunmen series timeline.
* * *
We're driving along 275, my feet up on the
dashboard. Surreal and uncomfortable.
I look out of the window and then quickly look away.
It's too different from DC, that's what it is.
No. It's too familiar.
Ellory's been trying to make friendly
conversation. I can't deal with
it; I don't even look at him when
I answer, just stare out the window.
"You know, you're a pain in the ass
to get a hold of."
"Other people manage."
"How was the flight?"
"You got tall, man. Last time I saw you,
you were still a little shorter than me."
"Just six feet."
"How's DC? Different then Nebraska, eh?"
"You still into computers? I bet you make
a lot of money with that."
"Yeah, I wish."
"Well . . . could be worse. You could be here."
"I am here."
"True. Glad to be home?"
He starts veering the car toward the shoulder,
then comes to a sudden stop. It's a good
thing I have my seatbelt on - but my feet
skid off the dash and slam right into the
windshield. "Hey, man, easy on the brakes!"
Ellroy glares at me, then gets out of the car
and slams the door shut. He just stands
there, arms crossed, watching the traffic
whiz by. I don't know what to do or what he
wants me to do, so I get out and join him.
Angry silence. Then, "Get over it, Richard."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
He shakes his head. "It means that you don't
have the right to come here and act like
the world owes you a favor."
"Wait a minute -"
"No, I want you to hear this. You know,
after you left your dad got really
depressed. He tried to kill himself a
couple of years ago. You didn't know that,
did you? I was the only person in the whole
damn county that went to see him in the hospital.
When they released him, it was on the condition
that I would have custodial responsibility.
Do you know what that means? I had to visit
him once a week and make sure he wasn't dead.
Once a week, for two years. I wouldn't have
done that for my own stepfather."
I feel like he just punched me in the throat.
"Well. Thanks," I mumble.
"I'm not telling you this so you can thank me.
I want you to appreciate the situation - usually,
that responsibility is given to the patient's
children. But you weren't here. I couldn't find
you. So I did it."
I can't even look at him anymore. I look at my
Converse. My glasses keep sliding down my nose,
and I keep pushing them up again. It's annoying - but
anything's easier than looking at Ellroy right now.
"Whatever anger you have is your own problem.
Deal with it however you need to. And I'm
not saying you don't have a right to be
angry. I know. Just don't be angry at me.
You may not believe this, but I have never
done anything but try to help you," he says earnestly.
It's funny, I think, how many times have I had
this conversation with Frohike? Same words,
same pushing my glasses up while I stare at
my feet, same feeling like the lowest form
of Total Shit while Frohike makes his speech
and gets to sound all high and mighty.
Too many, to the point where I've stopped
trying to defend myself: I'm always wrong,
they're always right. Which is why I can't
stop myself from blurting out, petulantly,
"Like you 'help' my mother?"
He stares at the cars again. Then he says,
after a while, "That's not fair. I loved
your mother. She meant a lot to me."
I stop hearing him. Ellroy's still talking,
but suddenly all I hear are these words:
And it's not so much that he's talking in
the past tense, but that look in his eyes.
Vacant. Like something was stolen from him.
"Richard? Are you all right?" I dimly feel
something tug at my arm.
"Yeah, she -" he stops short. "Oh my god.
You didn't know."
All the nausea from the plane comes slamming
back. I'm on my knees before I know it, and
there's nothing in my stomach but seltzer
and Dramamine and some coffee I bought in
the airport, and in between heaves all I
can do is mumble, "It's not fair, it's not
If Frohike were here, he'd at least hold my
hair back - well, probably. If he wasn't
mad at me or anything.
Ellroy just stands and watches. Thanks
for the fucking help.
* * *