Things Undone (5/5)
by Erynn [email@example.com]
Category: S, A
Rating: R for strong language, violence, and adult situations
Summary: Problems from the past haunt the Gunmen.
Spoilers: Mostly Unusual Suspects and Three of a Kind, but I assume you've seen the series.
Timeline: Early 7th season, sometime before First Person Shooter.
Disclaimers: John Fitzgerald Byers, Melvin Frohike, Ringo Langly, Susanne Modeski, and anyone else you might recognize all belong to Chris Carter, Morgan & Wong, 1013 and Fox. Other incidental characters are mine. The
Gunmen just stopped by the bunker to play for a while. I'm doing this for love, not money-- silly me.
Archive: Yes for Gossamer, Ephemeral, and the FLO and LGM list fic archives. All others please ask first, so I'll know where I am in the vast universe that is XF archive-dom.
Author's comments: Can I help it if the Guys said "write this"? How could anybody say no to such a charming request? Fro can be very persuasive, particularly while holding a Stinger gerbil launcher on you.
My deepest thanks to Martha and Thes, Betas extraordinaire, and Sally the Gunmen Soccer Mom and Getaway Driver, who provided special inspiration. Without you guys, this story would not be nearly as interesting. Special
thanks to Thes, for yapping with me for hours on end about life, the universe, and fic. You're inspiring, darling. The phone bills are worth it. No actual human beings were harmed in the production of this story. Their sanity, however, is another question. Don't mind the gerbils. They'll head back to the armory when they're tired.
JANUARY 11, 2000
OUTSIDE AN ABANDONED FOUNDRY, YORK, PA
Frohike wheeled the gurney carrying Langly's unconscious form across the
gravelly ground, rushing toward the rented late 70s Chevy van and hoping
that no emergency vehicles arrived before their frightened and disorderly
group could make its getaway. Explaining Landau and their badly injured
friend to the authorities would only engender questions that he, Byers and
Susanne would not want to answer. It could put their lives at further risk.
And it would expose Susanne's survival to the shadowy men behind the ever
present government conspiracies they tried so hard to expose. Her exposure
could not happen. They would all certainly be killed.
He could hear Byers and Susanne running behind him, gaining ground. They
caught up with him as they arrived at the unfamiliar vehicle. "Come on," he
said to Byers, "you've got to help me move him into the back seat."
Byers looked at his unconscious friend. "Is he alright? God, did you two get
hurt when the crane fell?" With deep concern engraved on his face, he held
Frohike tightly for a moment, receiving a reassuring thump on the back in
return, then touched Langly's pale, bloodied arm.
"The thing landed way too damn close, and something hit me in the back as I
was leaning over Langly, but we can deal with that later. Right now, we have
to get out of here. Help me."
Byers leaned over and looked at Frohike's back. "Mel, you're bleeding."
"I don't have time for that right now. Langly's our first concern. Move it."
Susanne climbed into the van, followed by Byers, holding Langly's upper body
in his arms, while Frohike held him around the knees, gently lifting him
over the floor of the van. John could feel Langly's labored breathing, and
heard a faint whisper of a moan. His stomach lurched and knotted. He kept
Susanne helped John settle Langly on the bench seat in the back, his head
and shoulders cradled on Byers' lap.
Frohike slammed the door behind them and rushed to the driver's seat. With a
few well-placed curses at the reluctant starter, the van finally gasped its
way to life and they sped out of the vicinity as quickly as they could. I'll
never rent from those cheap bastards again, he thought. Frohike tried to
remember to 'drive casual.' As they turned down a side alley toward the next
road over, they could hear sirens in the distance, growing closer.
"Blankets?" Susanne asked.
Byers looked up from his examination of Langly and pointed over his
shoulder. "I put them in the cabinet under the drawer with the binoculars
and night vision goggles. Second one on the left." He was not pleased by the
cuts and bruises on Langly's visible flesh. He was even more concerned about
what he could not yet see. He raised Langly's torn and bloody t-shirt gently
to examine his torso. More slashes and bruising, some of it extremely severe
and swollen. There were a few places that looked like there might be broken
bones beneath the surface, which might explain the difficulty Langly was
having with his breathing. He touched the worst spots cautiously, and Langly
twitched and moaned. "Oh, great," he muttered to himself.
Susanne brought two blankets up to Byers. "Here, John. Let's get these
wrapped around him."
"He doesn't look good," Byers said, taking one of the blankets and sliding
it very carefully under Langly. "I think he's got several broken ribs, and I
think he's probably lost some blood from these cuts all over him, too. I
don't know how he made it this long." God, this is all my fault, he told
"Let me take a look," Susanne replied. She finished wrapping her blanket
around Langly's long, gangly legs. She suspected they were damaged as well,
but could not take the time to remove his jeans and find out. Gently, she
shifted the blanket Byers had wrapped around the blonde man. Seeing the
wounds and the bruising, she grimaced.
"It does look bad, doesn't it?" she asked quietly. Byers just nodded.
Susanne continued her examination, touching the bruises and injuries softly,
hearing Langly's pained responses. "I think this arm is broken," she said,
"and it appears there's some damage to his shoulder as well. Bruising around
the wrists, and I'd guess it was caused by riot cuffs put on too tightly."
"How is he?" Frohike shouted back to them, over the noise of the van's
ancient engine and rattling body.
"Not good," Byers shouted back. "Do you know where the nearest hospital is?"
"I looked it up while you two were packing for this. Got it right here." He
waved a slip of paper over his shoulder at them.
"How long will it take us to get there?"
"Not too long, but I have to drop you two off at a motel first so you can
check us in for the night."
"What?" Byers bellowed. "That's ridiculous! It's a waste of time, and you
know I have to be there for him, just like you."
"Sorry buddy, but this isn't about you. It's about your little chickadee
there. We can't risk Susanne being seen in public. It could get back to the
people who wanted her dead in the first place."
"But what about Landau? He knew she's alive. What if he told someone?"
"From what Langly told me before he passed out, Timmy was so far gone into
his psychosis that I don't think he's talked about it to anyone in the
Company, or anyone else at all, for that matter. Apparently, he wasn't in
their good graces, and thought that finishing a mission only he knew was
incomplete would land him back in the catbird seat." He didn't mention
Langly's confused explanation of Landau's fixation on his revenge against
"It doesn't matter," Susanne said. "We have to get him to the emergency room
as soon as possible. I suspect that Ringo's bleeding internally, but I can't
tell here. We can't waste time over concerns about my exposure."
"I have to be there!" Byers insisted.
"Yes it does, and no you don't!" Frohike shouted back. "I'm not about to
make this any worse than it already is. And I'm driving." He glared out the
windshield, ignoring the protests of his two conscious passengers. "Just try
to get him warm while you're with him."
Byers knew that at this point, there was nothing he could do to change
Frohike's mind. The tone in the older man's voice had warned John that he
was not joking, and not open to further discussion. He turned his attention
back to their seriously injured partner. Tenderly, he brushed Langly's hair
from his face and looked at the cuts and swollen, discolored bruises on
those familiar, sharp features. "Come on, Ringo. Stay with us. We're going
to get you to a doctor soon. Just stay with us."
Susanne knelt, cramped on the floor between the two front seats and the
bench seat that held John and his friend. She took one of Byers' hands, and
wrapped her other arm carefully around Langly's waist. Looking up into her
lover's face, she saw the pain and fear etched there. It stopped her breath
and tore at her heart. She squeezed John's hand gently. "Everything will be
alright," she said, not knowing whether or not to believe her own words.
"He'll be alright." She leaned close to Langly's head, and whispered in his
ear. "Please, Ringo. Be alright. You have to be alright."
Langly's silence and the sound of his pained breathing were her only answer.
MOTEL SIX, ROOM 214, YORK, PA
Byers and Susanne lay together in the bed, limbs entwined, each lost in
their own thoughts.
Frohike had taken Langly to a local emergency room, and they had been left
with the task of getting two rooms for the night. They had received a call
not more than five minutes ago, assuring them that Langly was being cared
for and would recover, and that Frohike was also being examined and treated
for a rather nasty gash in his back.
Both John and Susanne had needed the reassurance of flesh against flesh,
wasting no time after checking in before they showered the rank smell of
fear from each other and made love. There had been a feeling of uncertainty
about it, both of them intensely shaken by the experience they'd just had,
but in the end, they had found some measure of comfort together. The lovers
had been very gentle with one another, careful of their mutual frailties,
losing themselves for at least a little while in the focused peace of erotic
sensation and shared desire.
He looked over at her head on his shoulder and caressed her honey blonde
hair. She looked up at him, their eyes locking.
"We need to talk, you know," she said to him quietly.
He nodded. There were things he needed to say as well, things he finally
felt brave enough to express to her. "I love you, Susanne."
He kissed her lips softly, and she returned his gentleness. She sighed and
held him tight. "I love you too, John." She hesitated, and Byers began to
"I know what I have to do now," he said. "We can't keep living like this."
"No, we can't," she agreed.
He rolled over onto his side, bringing them face to face. He ran his fingers
over her cheek, across her lips and down her chin, trailing them down her
neck to the hollow of her throat. "I can't live without you anymore,
Susanne. I need you near me, to know that you're safe, to know where you
are. I need you in my arms at night." His throat caught his words and
Susanne started to speak, but he put his fingers over her lips and
continued, closing his eyes against the intensity of his feelings. "Oh, God,
I love you. Please Susanne, marry me." She held her breath, silent.
Hesitantly, he looked at her, his need and desire written in his face.
Susanne felt her heart crack, like melting ice, and tears came to her eyes.
"John, I love you more than I have ever loved anyone else. Please believe
me. But..." She took a deep breath and steeled herself for what she had to
say next. John looked terrified. "I can't marry you John. God, I want to,
but I can't."
"But why?" John leaned into her, wrapping both arms around her body, his
tears flowing freely. "Why not? After all these years, why can't we be
together?" He forced himself not to cry out.
"While we're together, we will always be a danger to each other, John."
"But if we're together, the guys and I can protect you," he whispered to
her, pleading. "No matter what happens, I'd always protect you."
"You can't, John. No one can. If I leave, and no one knows where I am, then
at least you and Mel and Ringo will be safe from the dangers my presence
would inevitably bring. After what happened here, with Ringo being so badly
hurt, I can't bear to cause any of you any further harm. If you died...."
she choked back a sob, "If you died, I could never forgive myself. And I
can't live with the knowledge that you are in danger every moment of your
life because of what you've done for me. I can't stay with you, wondering
every day if you'll come home to me again, or if I'll have to identify your
body if something goes wrong."
John listened to her reasons, dying more inside with every word she said. "I
don't care what danger I'm in. If we're together, we can make our way
through it. The guys and I have had arrangements for 'retirement' for years
now, in case our work became too dangerous to continue. We can quit this if
you want, if you'll feel safer that way. I'll do anything you want if you'll
stay with me. Anything. Just say the word." His voice was tight, pleading.
"No, John. Your work is too much a part of you now. I doubt that you or the
guys could turn your backs on your dedication, on the people you help, or on
your friends Mulder and Scully for very long. You would find out that
someone needs you, and you'd be back at it again in weeks. It's part of what
I love about you. I can't live like that, and I can't make you live without
your work. I can't make you sacrifice something that's such a deep part of
your soul. Not for me, not for anything."
She held him as he wrapped himself around her, now openly weeping. His pain
shattered her, but she knew that eventually he would come to understand her
reasons. It was impossible for them to be together without destroying him
one way or another. Without her, he would at least have a chance to carry
on, to move forward with a life that had been on hold for years now because
She kissed him through his tears, and her own. "I will always love you,
John," she whispered in his ear, "please believe me. But we both know that
being together can't work." She kissed him again, deeper and more
"I... we..." He choked back the sob that was trying to enter his mouth. For
a few moments, he held his breath, trying to regain control of himself. It
was harder than that moment he'd charged Landau in Vegas, knowing he was
likely to die trying to stop the armed man.
Byers drew a deep, shaky breath. "You're right, Susanne," he finally
admitted. "I can't even pretend to understand why you want to do this, but
you're right. I can't keep you here against your will."
He sniffed back more tears. "Are...are you leaving tonight?" he asked,
clinging to her.
"No. Not tonight. We still have this moment." She kissed him again, and ran
her hands along his body, memorizing the feel of him, the scent of his skin,
knowing this would be the last time they would ever have together. "Please
John, make love to me again. I want to feel you that close again before I
He looked into her eyes, and whispered "anything." With his arms still
tightly around her, he rolled onto his back, moving her on top of him. He
felt the heat of her thighs embracing his hips, the weight of her body
pressed against him. John kissed her, their tongues brushing gently
together. He felt the warm dampness of her tears falling on his face,
mingling with his own.
"Anything," he whispered again.
JANUARY 12, 2000
MOTEL SIX, ROOM 214, YORK, PA
Byers woke, conscious only of an unnatural silence surrounding him.
Susanne was gone.