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.
* * *
Byers' suit fits me well enough.
A tiny bit short around the wrists and ankles,
but still light-years better than my
version of formal wear - wrinkled plaid
button-down, faded khakis,
and a tie that doesn't go with anything.
Even that's a stretch.
It's weird to see myself dressed . . . well,
nicely. I look in Byers' mirror and
think, if I cut my hair, got contacts, I
might actually pass for a nine-to-fiver.
And then I have to remind myself that I'm
comfortable in my grungy clothes;
they're who I am. And Byers only wears
suits all the time because it's
his way of clinging to the normalcy
his life had when he was still a
narc. So, forgetting outward appearance,
I think I win the Well-Balanced
Wardrobe Award hands down.
But he's a true and loyal friend, so I don't
care. I gratefully take his suit
and try not to wrinkle it in the back
of the van. After giving me free reign
over his wardrobe, a totally
bizarre experience - the man has everything, and I
mean everything, neatly labeled and
catalogued - Byers offers to
drive me to Reagan National.
I accept so quickly I almost feel guilty.
I stare through the windshield at the lead
grey sky. It's probably going to
rain, and I steel myself for a few
extra hours of waiting in uncomfortable
airport chairs before my flight takes
off. I pull my hair back in a ponytail and
roll down the window, and let the
muggy breeze hit my face.
"How long do you think you'll be there?" Byers asks.
He's been quiet most of the drive.
"Wish I knew." I take my glasses off
and close my eyes against the wind.
"When's the last time you were home?" He
doesn't look at me when he talks. He
focuses diligently on the road. Our fearless leader.
"I haven't been back since I left."
"When was that?"
"About ten years ago." Actually,
I knew exactly how long it had been. I figured
it out last night, more insomniac than
usual, tossing and turning until me and
my sheets were balled up on the floor:
Ten years, two months, a week and four
days - five days if you count the leap
year - six hours, and roughly fifteen
minutes, Eastern Standard Time.
"What you said before about my father," he
begins slowly. "You're right. I
completely disagree with what
he believes in and what he does for a
living. I think he's made a lot of
wrong decisions in his life, and many people
were hurt because of those decisions.
But I would never want to see him in
pain. I would never want him to die."
He turns to look at me, and I look
down at my lap. Wipe my lenses
with my tee-shirt. Study the play
of skin over bone on the back of my hand.
Anything to not
look at him and deal with what he's saying.
"I believe that people deserve what they get,
in the interest of justice. But I
also like to believe that there's the
possibility of forgiveness and redemption.
Second chances." He tries to make eye
contact, but I look away from his face and
stare out at the sky again. "What do you think, Langly?"
Damn. I can't avoid a direct question. "Sure.
I believe in second chances. It's
when you get to the two-hundred-and-fifty-second
chance, my heart just ain't in
it any more." I think of all the
times my father hurt me - yelled at me, hit me,
ignored me. And how sometimes he'd get
really gentle and apologetic afterwards
and buy me ice cream or take me to
an electronics store and it would be really
nice to be with him.
Yeah. Until the next time he hurt me.
It got to the point where the apologies
were more painful than whatever he was
apologizing for. Because I couldn't
trust them. They were all broken
promises, or second chances, or
whatever Byers wants to call them. Forgiveness
and redemption my ass - even forgiveness
and redemption wither and die
after a while. At least when my dad
was being a bastard, he was an honest
bastard. You knew where you stood.
He considers this. "Well, you're going
all the way home for a reason. I hope,
for your sake, it's a good one."
Oh man, Byers really knows how to screw
with my head. When I answer, the words
are angrier than I intend, "I
just need to see what it's like when I
get there, okay? So lay off already."
"Whatever you say." He turns
back to the road, but I can tell by his
tone of voice that he felt he made
his point; he got a reaction out of me. I
swear I almost see a smile - a
sad one, but a smile nonetheless - slowly
creep across his lips.
* * *