Title: Things Undone 4: Alchemy of the Word, part 17
Authors: Erynn & Sally
Email: inisglas@seanet.com, sallyh@flashcom.net
Archive: Ephemeral, Gossamer, LGM, FLO, all others ask first so we know where we're being kept.
Rated: R for grownup stuff
Spoilers: We assume you've seen the series
Category: Gunmen -- angst, humor, a little romance
Summary: Sometimes words are more important in our lives than we think.

Stories in the Things Undone series:

Things Undone, by Erynn; a 5-part story wherein the Gunmen deal with some unfinished business.
TU 2: Mending the Tears, by Sally; a 6-part story wherein Fro and Langly go to the ER.
TU 3: To Carry On, by Erynn; wherein the Gunmen begin to deal with the repercussions of their adventure.

Disclaimers: We don't own the boys, but we sure wish we did. They and the other characters from the series are owned instead by The Powers That Be at Fox and 1013, the boys were created by Morgan & Wong, and they're all controlled by the folks at The X Files and The Lone Gunmen series. Other characters are ours, some of whom are blatantly based on people we know, frequently at their request. Don't blame us, we're being coerced. Quotes from Rimbaud are used without permission. Deepest thanks to Mel, our Tech Consultant Queen and resident cartoonist.


"Long ago, if my memory serves me, my life was a banquet where everyone's
heart was generous, and where all wines flowed. One evening I pulled Beauty
down on my knees. I found her embittered, and I cursed her. ... But
recently, on the verge of giving my last croak, I thought of looking for the
key to the ancient banquet where I might possibly recover my appetite."

~~Rimbaud -- A Season in Hell~~

10:13 PM


Sari finally left about an hour ago, taking the Cardinal with her. Scully
came by to take her back to her very own home, for the first time in days. I
bet she'll feel great sleeping in her own bed tonight. But you know, I'm
gonna miss that cat.

We still have a lot of work to do, that's for certain. But I feel mildly
victorious in that Barry Guertzen's ass is now rotting away in a DC jail
cell, whose accommodations bear no resemblance to even the lowliest Motel 6.
I'm grateful that we were able to help in cleaning up some of the scum that
makes this world so disagreeable at times.

In the meantime, it's high time I wrote that thank you note to Ms. Scarlett.
I've put it off way too long. I've been thinking about what I would say,
and come up blank every time. But now, I sit down, and the words just come.
Such is their power. I hope my words have the power to help her understand
just how much her kindness was appreciated.

And perhaps the irises won't hurt, either.


I'm grinding away at some old stuff we've consulted on, in search of the
bastard that invaded Sari's computer. I'm amazed. The guy needed a pea
shooter for the job, but instead blasted at it like he was going for an
elephant. So frickin stupid. There was certainly some skill and talent, but
no style there whatsoever. When I find out who this is, I'm gonna chew his
sorry ass out so that he's gonna be humiliated for even being born. His puny
packet-monkey butt is gonna swing in the breeze for the whole damn world to

The Deb Song chimes as I'm bringing up an old file. I happily switch
screens. She has a message for me. Subject line says 'I'm coming.' Like
you couldn't take that a lot of ways! She writes: 'Babe -- as soon as
exams are over, I've got my two days off, plus the five days I've saved up
by covering for people. That's an entire week. Buy lots of condoms. Love,

Words can make you feel like such shit, but the ones I just read made me
feel totally awesome. More awesome than I've felt in a long time. They've
got so much power.

I'm waiting to take that power to a place beyond words.


I think this is the worst headache I've ever had in my life. It's certainly
the longest. Even that marathon three day hangover after I had my stomach
pumped in my Junior year at college doesn't quite come up to this one. And
both Scully and my doctor assure me that it will probably carry on for at
least another week. I can't see anything very well either. Frohike held up a
finger in front of me today. He assured me there was only one, but I suspect
he was lying. I think there were four, but I couldn't be sure because they
were all so damn blurry. My face is a mess, and I'm kind of bruised and
banged up from smacking into a brick wall and a sidewalk, but other than
that, I'm really okay. It's just that damn headache, the dizziness, and the
vision problems that have me so out of it. Well, that and the pain
medications. Being in constant pain like this takes a lot more out of me
than I ever realized it could. But despite all this, I actually feel pretty
good for a change.

It isn't that life has suddenly turned around for me -- it hasn't -- it's
just that after I talked to Sari about Susanne and Landau and all the
related things that have happened to me over the years, I felt like an
enormous weight had been physically lifted off my body. I had a sense, when
I was at Sari's last Sunday, that talking to her would feel good, but I
hesitated from long years of habit, paranoia and shyness. It isn't exactly
the sort of thing you discuss with someone you've just met, and who,
furthermore, has just hired you to fix their computer. Or, at least, it's
never been the sort of thing I'd discuss. I told her things that I've never
even said to Mel. And she sat there with me and actually listened to
everything I said. She wasn't judging me, like Mel sometimes does. I know he
never trusted Susanne, and he thought I was a fool for loving her. And
unlike Ringo, Sari won't give me shit about it. She's not the type. She's
hassled me about other things, certainly, but not about that.

In ways, I think we're a lot alike in our unfortunate taste in partners. She
would never tease me about Susanne for the same reasons I would never tease
her about Barry. It's too close, too painful, and too personal. And we
respect each other's feelings about the subject. No, my life hasn't turned
around, but it has changed. I don't understand all of it. Maybe I never
will. But I've found the sky again, and the stars are starting to show
themselves. Real stars this time, things and people in my life that are
valuable, unlike before, when all my stars bore Susanne's name. I'm fairly
certain there's a sun and a moon out there too, waiting for their moments to

I don't think I've felt quite this comfortable inside my own skin since that
day in Baltimore, when my universe collapsed beneath me and I was drawn into
the life I now live. I'll never again be the person I was then. I was very
young, naive, and terribly, almost fatally innocent. But I'm not quite the
man I was last week, either. I no longer feel like I'm about to implode from
emptiness, like some sucking black hole of misery. I miss Susanne, and yes,
Sari's right, I still love her, but I don't have that aching need for her
anymore. That Susanne-shaped hole in my life has mysteriously transformed,
become a warm, bright space inside filled with my friends, both old and new.
There may not be many, but they're close and trustworthy. And Sari keeps
threatening to introduce me to some of her friends, when I'm actually able
to see them instead of blurry animated lumps. I met her sister Devi briefly
when I was at the hospital. She seems like an interesting person. I doubt
that Sari has boring friends.

We talked for a while before Sari left this evening. When I mentioned that
on Sunday I'd been thinking her living room would be a great place for
Turkish coffee and baba ganouj, she laughed and said that it had, in fact
been served there before, and if I'd like, she could easily arrange for it
to happen again, with the addition of my presence. She added that she knew
some folks who were really into Arabic music and Sufi poetry, and that it
was about time she brought them together again for an evening of music,
Middle Eastern food, and the recitation of Rumi and Hafiz.

"Become the sky," she'd quoted. "Take an axe to the prison wall./ Escape./
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color./ Do it now."

I think I'll take that advice.