Some Weird Sin

By Cameragrrrl

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. 

* * *