Title: Swimming With The Shark

Author: David S.

Date: April 26, 2002

Rating: PG

Category: plot, humor

Archive: Sure! Just let me know first so I know who's minding the

Feedback: If you like. I wrote this one purely for myself.

Spoilers: Jump the Shark

My website: http://www.hegalplace.com

Disclaimers: The X-Files are not owned by me. But hey, if they don't
want 'em...

Summary: What happened after "Jump the Shark."

Notes: Special thanks to Shan for the impromptu beta. I love it
when you give me direction, babe. Thanks to Michelle for posting her
alternate ending to "Jump the Shark." It got me thinking about writing
my own!


"The needs...of the few...*outweigh*..."

"That was funny the first five times you did it, Frohike," Byers
snapped. Langly was sitting in the corner, his head in his hands,
trying desperately to tune the other two out.

"Hey, man, just tryin' to keep things light."

Byers looked at the sleeper agent, lying still on the floor, covered in
blue goo. Frohike followed his gaze and stared at the instrument of
their death. It was depressing.

"I'm sorry, Byers. I just---"

"It's okay, Frohike. I know," Byers whispered. He reached over and
patted him on the shoulder.

"Man, what a stupid way to die. Death by blue gak. It's embarrasing."

"If I had *one* more chance, you know what I would do?" Byers
asked, his eyes lighting up.

"And here we go," Frohike muttered, getting up.

Byers got up after him and followed him across the room. "I would
track down Suzanne---"

"Oh, good night nurse!" Langly shouted, looking up. "Suzanne
Modeski! Suzanne Modeski! If I have to hear that name one more

"Well, I wouldn't expect you to understand. You've never gone past
kissing your pillow at night," Byers retorted, defensively.

"Why didn't I run? I could have made it. I'm little. I could have
slipped right under that door," Frohike mused to himself.

"Ohhhh, aren't we supposed to be dead yet?" Langly whined.

Byers checked his watch. "You're right. We really should be dead by
now. We'd at least be throwing up or something."

"And some sort of haz/mat team really should be here," Frohike
added. "My tax dollars at work...figures."

Langly pointed to the sticky sleeper agent. "Maybe it was a dud. You
know... too much baking soda, not enough chemical X..."

"Touch it," Frohike said, motioning to the goo.

"I'm not going to touch it!" Langly said, shaking his head. "You touch

"Too bad Mulder isn't here," Byers said.

Their eyes darted back and forth, silently. Frohike cracked a smile
and Langly started to giggle.

"Heh-hehh! Yeah, Mulder would taste it!" Langly laughed.

Byers started to laugh and it quickly spread between the three til
tears were rolling down their cheeks.

"Ohhhman," Byers sighed, wiping his eyes. Langly got up. The three
stood in silence as the minutes ticked on by.

"Touch it," Frohike said.

Langly looked like he was considering it when they heard the jiggle of
a door handle. The side door saftey exit. The boys looked over in
unison towards the previously locked door, then looked at each other.

"What the--?" Frohike whispered.

"Guys, we gotta keep that door shut!" Byers shouted.

They moved to the side door and pushed their weight against it,
determined to keep it from opening. The door swung open, the other
way, and they fell over each other, cursing.

"Ow! Watch your elbow, Goldilocks!"

"My elbows aren't anywhere near you, Melvin!"

"I don't want to know," a voice said, in the shadows. "I mean, I
*really* don't want to know." A man stepped over them, carefully,
shaking his head. He peered down, a smug grin on his face.

"That voice," Byers said, dismayed. "I really had hoped I would never
hear it again."

"We're dead," Langly explained. "We're dead and we're in hell. That's
all there is to it."

Frohike looked up, his face turning a fierce shade of red. "You!"

Morris Fletcher took a bow. "Well, don't get all gushy on me, half-

Frohike reached out and snatched at Fletcher's ankle, grabbing it.

"Hey! Hey!" Fletcher shook his foot and Frohike's hand slipped away.
"I thought you'd be *happy* to see me."

"Yeah, right," Langly snorted. "I'm still praying for death."

Byers untangled himself, pushing Frohike's leg off of him. "What are
you doing here?"

Fletcher shrugged. "Looking for the men's room? This place! It's a

"Come off it, already!" Frohike shouted. He knelt, then pushed
himself to standing. "Give us one reason we don't shove you head
first in that blue gak."

Fletcher dug into his pocket and pulled out what looked like a silver
remote control.

"What the hell is that supposed to be?" Frohike grabbed for it and
Fletcher took a quick step back.

"Not what you think," Fletcher teased, holding it out of his reach.

"So, it's not a vibrator?" Langly asked. The three men turned their
heads and looked at him. He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his
nose. "Uh, guess not."

"This, my dim-witted friends, is a remote control detonator. Controls
the bomb in your pal over there." Fletcher gestured towards the body
with his thumb. "There's a nifty safety feature on this thing." He
fingered a tiny button on the bottom of the remote.

Langly got up, dusting himself off. "This is going to be a good one."

Frohike crossed his arms. "Yeah, Fletcher, go on. Let's see how
deep it can get around here."

"I'm telling you the truth," Fletcher protested, smiling. "Ah, I don't
blame you. Anyways, when I got close enough, I could activate the
override on bomb-boy. What he ended up releasing was a harmless
mix between glue and silly putty." Fletcher knelt down and touched
it, smiling. He held his finger up, covered in it. "See?"

The boys stared at him, not wanting to trust him.

"Guys! Listen! Would I be down here if there were any danger?!"
Fletcher said, flicking goo off his finger. "Yuck. You think they 
make it less gross."

"But what about--" Langly started.

"I lied," Fletcher responded.

"And when you said--" Frohike continued.

"I, uh," Fletcher scratched his cheek. "I was lying then too."

"Just how much did you know about these sleeper agents?" Byers
said, his voice rising. He couldn't believe how easily they had been
duped. Again.

"Does it matter? You're alive! I mainly needed you guys to figure out
*where* he was. You're good at that crap!"

"You slime..." Frohike growled. Byers held him by the shoulder.

"We *are* alive," Byers whispered.

"Yeah...so why do I have a bad feeling?" Langly said, looking straight
at Fletcher.

"What? What?" Fletcher asked. "Oh, listen, I just have a few jobs I
thought you might be interested in--"

"You can take those *jobs* and shove 'em up your--"

"Hey, hey, listen up little man! I'm trying to help you out." 
Fletcher looked around and lowered his voice. "There are powerful
forces at work here. People who *will* want you dead when they find
out you know about this. I'm not the enemy. I'm trying to stop these
wackos. You think I want this stuff out in the open?"

"You can go--"

"Frohike, Frohike!" Byers grabbed him and pulled him back into the
corner. Langly followed.

"Group meeting," Langly said. They formed a circle, arms around
each other, football-huddle style.

"Boys, I'm your ticket out of here..."

"You! Stay over there!" Byers pointed at Fletcher. Fletcher shrugged.

"Whatever," he replied, shuffling his feet.

"Ok, suppose Fletcher is telling the truth," Byers whispered.

"Yeah, and I'm the father of Scully's baby," Frohike retorted.

"Well, hey, at least we know he doesn't want us dead, right?" Langly

"Until we out-live our usefulness," Frohike replied.

"Hey, I'll pay you," Fletcher yelled. "New computers... you could get
your rag back on track. We've got an *excellent* 401k plan."

"If you think you can *buy* us, you've got another thing coming!"
Frohike shouted, breaking from the group..

Fletcher raised his hands. "We'll go on a job-by-job basis. If at
any time you feel uncomfortable with our arrangement, you can

"I don't know," Langly said, looking at the floor.

"I'm telling you...the alternative is being hunted down and killed by 
the people who engineered *this*!" He gestured towards the sleeper
agent. "I can protect you. I've got three corpses ready to play the
parts of you guys. Everyone will think you're dead. You can publish
your paper in secret. Think about it! Geeks everywhere will whisper
your names. Internet chat rooms will *buzz* with rumors of your
resurrection! Your legend... will grow!"

The three pulled back into their huddle. "He's got a point," Byers

"I still don't like it," Frohike whispered, glaring over his shoulder.

"Yeah, never thought we'd be working for the Man," Langly said.

"More like swimming with the shark," Frohike deadpanned.

"Maybe we can make him work for us," Byers said, the excitement
growing in his voice.

"Double-agents?" Frohike said.

"We keep our friends close..." Byers said.

Langly shot a glance over to Fletcher. "And our dipwads closer."

They turned and walked over to Fletcher. He smiled. "So... you in?"

"Do we have to see your ugly face everyday?" Frohike asked.

"No, no... God, no! You think I want to spend time with you guys? Ye
gods, I'd rather go back to my wife."

"I have some student loans I'd like you to look into," Byers said.

"And there's no way in hell I'm cutting my hair, so don't even think
about it!" Langly added.

"Just...temporary..." Frohike whispered, squeezing his fists. "Just

Fletcher nodded, smiled, and led them out.


the Beginning.