Title: Work With Me Here (2/3)
Note: Continuation of 'The Date'
Distribution: Wherever, whenever, it's fine.
Disclaimer: C.C., 1013 Productions, FOX
know what they own; Lislita comes from me.
Work With Me Here
Pungent white wine glistens on Lislita's
supple lips before she swabs it with her
tongue. The vintage is superb, the like
of which she's never sampled before; not
too dry, not too sweet, refreshingly tart.
A little like Langly.
The drink's a fitting complement to cap
the special day she's had with the last
person in the world Scully would have
thought her cousin would jell with in her
Langly dangles another crispy brown onion
ring before Lislita's greasy mouth, as
though it's bait on a fishhook, and waits
for her to nibble it out of his hand, the
way she's done for his prior two dangles.
(I've always wanted a chick eating right
outta my hand.)
Giggling, not from the effects of her
second glass of chilled perfection, but
largely from the stimulating company
she's keeping, she darts her tongue out
at the greasy prize, and Langly blends
his chuckles with her giggles.
Just as she snags the vegetal ring, she
allows Langly to press his body further
into hers, against the deep burgundy
plushness of their parqueted booth. He
knows it's an aggressive move, aggressive
for him, but his date doesn't seem to
mind. The last thing in the world he
wants to do is disrespect her. Scully's
cousin is a true lady, but she's also the
most beautiful woman who's ever let him
go this far before, 'pushing up' this hard
as he is. She's making it virtually
impossible for him to curb his salivating
for female companionability.
As she sighs, kissing the side of his
face, working her way to his ear and
trailing grease along his cheek, still
chewing, she says, "I've had so much fun
An ingenuous grin upon his face blossoms
at the precise moment the weekend warriors
couple at the table a stone's throw from
their booth is being wished a very happy
10th wedding anniversary, above the
sociable din. The fuss is celebrated with
a creamy layer cake topped with fissioning
sparklers fizzing red and white, and
singing tailored to the tune of the 'Happy
Birthday' melody performed by the pub's
Seeing the oily ring she leaves on his
cheek in the gauzy sub-lit atmosphere,
Lislita snatches up his unused napkin with
the words, 'Ryan's Pub' embossed on it,
and gingerly works to remove the oval
"Hey, it's cool, Lisa. I like it. The
neat freak's Byers, it ain't me."
"I like you. . ."
(What'd she just say?)
His eyes shy away from hers, and Langly
does a rapid burn which fans up from his
neck, and goes unnoticed by his soft
companion which is an added benefit lent
by the low lights. "I uh, huh?"
She aims at his sheeny forehead, puffs,
and his baby-fine tendrils flutter in the
wake of wine-scented zephyr. She hiccups
a bit, still all smiles, and her shudder
"Hey, you okay?" he asks, chewing on his
Lislita nods as she wriggles her hand into
his, which lies half a finger from his non-
"Not too tired?" He winces, hearing a
deeply-embedded Frohikian sentiment tickle
in his ear.
Lislita brushes the tip of his beaky nose
with her leisurely-tapered one; a 'schnoz'
she's grown into naturally, and easily an
envy of every plastic surgeon she's ever
been introduced to at a 'Telenovela' wrap-
As though testing the tricky waters of
romance, he brings her hand up to his
quivering lips, and rams a solid one upon
her velvety knuckles.
(You call that one suave move, turkey?
She's about to laugh in your face again.)
He thinks he only thought it, but realizes
he must have vocalized his feelings of
inadequacy when she, looking bemused, says,
"You suck this?"
More than mildly startled, he flounders
automatically, "I suck at this. I--I'm no
"No good? I don't think so. I think
you're very nice." Mindfully, she parts
the curtain of hair hiding his face which
is mired in apology. "Hello? Where are
A heady apprehension sticks it to him.
"*No.* I mean I suck. . . with women." He
begins backing off from her, obeying the
mandate of low self esteem, bonded to a
bad case of nerves, calling him to heel.
Every blind date gone wrong in high school
comes rushing to mind, and the impulse
to bolt from the shadowy booth is irresis-
table. "You've had better dates. . .for
sure." Another little slide, and he's out
"Don't leave." She tugs his forearm,
noting how quickly he has his jacket on,
and then uses her smile effectively.
"This is one of the much better ones,
'chulito. No te vayas.'"
His tone turns cold. "I'm not a ladies'
man. I know I bored you. It's just that
computers and machines are what I know.
Techno whatever, I'm there. I monopolized
to mechanize every conversation we had
today, and I'm sorry." His eyes, a darker
shade of blue now, grow sadder. "You're
too glamorous, and I don't know how to
deal. So-sorry I wasted your time."
Even softer this time she repeats, "'No
te vayas.' Don't go. 'Por favor.'
His skittishness somewhat abates, and he
wrestles with himself to quell his
misgivings. "See I--"
"If you want to end our date early, that's
one thing, but if you abandon me here,
finding my way back to Dana's will be very
"You know her phone number, right?"
"But we have her car."
"Oh, yeah. . .right."
"It's my fault I don't know her street
address and apartment number by heart,
but even if I did, this city's a stranger
to me. But, you aren't, now. . ."
(How much more of a frickin' idiot are
you gonna be, loser? Scully'll shoot you
like she did Mulder if you cut-out on
her cousin 'cos you can't handle the
incredible woman she is. You're beyond
"Ok-kay, I'll stay." He re-seats
himself, but across from her at the
booth, and though she doesn't think
she's done anything wrong to have him
behave this way, she decides she'll take
the conversation by the horns, for a
first this day.
A nice clean break from whatever's
plaguing him, she thinks before speaking.
"Have you ever been on a cruise,
"Who me?" (No, genius, the double-
jointed waiter carryin' that tray with
Lislita comes forward, her elbows propped
atop the table, she studying him intently.
"Uh. . .uh-uh." (Brilliant conversa-
tionalist you are when a chick's tryin'
to have a normal one with ya.) Langly
sits up straighter, and eyes her
thoroughly. "I kinda always wanted to go
"Yeah." (Like pullin' teeth, huh?) "I
get the idea, though. From websites,
like it could be lots of fun."
"I think you'd have a good time if you
took one on Carnival, my line. They
aren't called the 'Fun Ships' for
nothing." The clime changes in the next
moment, and her hand inches to his, and
closes over it. "Why are you sitting way
Little beads of sweat pop out across the
center of his broad forehead. He tries
to hide the confusion scrawled on his
face. "I dunno," he says vaguely with a
reflex of a shrug.
"Have I done something to upset you?"
He shakes his head 'no;' rapidly. "Uh. . ."
"Then. . .come back. . .over here. On my
As Langly continues to stare, fairly more
than a million impulses course through him.
She looks like she means it, he judges, so
slowly he makes the move back to be with
Nuzzling up close to his ear, she gently
whispers, "What are you afraid of?" And
when she hears his several audible gulps,
she rests her hand on his knee and gives
the boney knob a light squeeze. "It can't
(You wanna bet?)
Lislita takes the inititive by taking up
the remaining onion ring, and pranks with
coaxing until he can do nothing but open
his mouth, so she's able to plop the still-
warm circlet in. "Don't forget to chew."
He nods like a man comatose, but begins
to, and as he swallows, he finds himself
beginning to relax.
"Sor-sorry about what just ha-happened,"
he says, willing himself to stop being so
"What did just happen?"
"See, I got this phobia." He wipes his
sweaty palms off against the nearly thread-
bare thin denim of his jeans.
She finishes wiping the grease from his
mouth with a tatter of napkin that's
dappled with melted cheese from her steak.
"Phobia? What sort of phobia? 'No
"Caligynephobia. Fear of beautiful women,"
he says through a near-hiccup, with she
dabbing at errant Coke that has eluded his
mouth following his convulsive guzzling.
"'Dios mio,' that's a mouthful." She rubs
her index finger against his clammy neck,
smiling, and then sends a jolt to his heart
and a spike to his beleagued brain when she
kisses the very spot. "You sweet talker,
you. . ."
He hates himself when he sweats profusely,
but that's hard to help at a time like this.
"Mescaline to the max," he wheezily pushes
out. The reference escapes her powers of
comprehension which is responsible for the
blank look on her face. "You're--you're
like so. . ." His tense brow crinkles in
his search for just the right word to ace
it. "--Nectar." His Adam's apple pushes
up against the back of his throat when she
nears his cheek to taste it, and taking
her time about it too. He closes his eyes,
feeling the room spin out of control, like
it has whenever he's absorbed how pathetic
"--Get a room!"
Langly opens his eyes wide as he's sucked
from paradise. "Huh?" The voice, he
knows, it's the phrase the voice's owner
used he isn't used to.
"Ringo? Who's this looker, and how's it
she's here with you?"
Langly shifts around to confront the buxom
"Awesome T-shirt, guy. You know something
the rest of us don't?"
Langly's fingers stroke the ominous slogan,
'Reboot: Y2K is Near!' billboarded across
his pects. "Nope, but at least when it all
goes to hell on the stroke of midnight,
can't say you weren't warned. Byers, 'Hike
and me got our collective act together,
though. We rigged all our systems with a
dedicated, fail-safe bundle which works like
a worm, two years ago. That way, the shit
hits the fan--"
"Spare me the gory details, Poindex. Your
techy-jive talkin' was Mory's thing, God
rest his soul. Never mine; no yen for
it." The lippy, high-spirited woman's
eyes re-ignite. "I'd much rather know who
your ravishin' lady friend is, Foureyes."
The late fiftiesish proprietess, who's
been keeping a bead on the pair throughtout
most of the evening from her rollicking
lair behind the bar, nails Langly with a
"Foureyes," Lislita says coyly, "that's
"Ida's nickname for me," Langly fills in.
"Ida Megan Ryan, this is. . .uh, Lisa,
mind tellin' her your name? For the full
"I mean the whole moniker," Langly inter-
rupts with eyes brimming eager respite,
and the young lady cannot refuse.
"Pleased to meet you, dearie," Ida says
with her livliest brogue.
"I'm visiting from Miami. I'm happy to
meet you, 'senora.'" She proffers her
hand, and it's shaken heartily.
"My, but you are a pretty thing, honey.
How'd you ever come to meet up with the
likes of Langly?"
"Ha, ha, thanks, Eye." Shifting uneasily,
wishing Ida would make herself scarse,
Langly mutters, "Thanks a heap. . ."
"Don't mention it, Foureyes. When was the
last time I saw you in here with someone
of the female persuasion?" Before he can
open his mouth to protest, the woman chock
full of ginger fires, "Never, that's when.
I was beginnin' to think your preference
runs to tall, dark and handsome." Once
her gutteral laughter diminishes, and
Langly's pupils stop chasing themselves,
the merry widow actually lowers her voice
which has carried over to the bar with
"Langly and I have Dana Scully in common.
She's my cousin. Do you know her?"
"Magic!" Ida ravels off a flurry of Irish
colloquialisms. "Aye--Scully--do I know
Scully?" she fairly blusters. "One of my
dearest muckers, dearie. Have known her
for nigh on seven years, now. Kindred
spirits, we are. I'm thrilled to meet a
relative. She and that Mulder of hers,
not to mention Langly and his partners in
crime are regulars here." Her voice drops
to a level in the neighborhood of confiden-
tiality. "And, speaking of here, ye old
pub hasn't been this jumpin' in a long
time. And, wait till I tell ya. . ."
"Tell us what?" Langly asks, all interested,
and amiable, feeding some latent need to be
"Lacy lambed, day before yesterday. Went
off to L.A., hoping for her big break into
the movies." Ida wags her head demonstra-
tively. "Wished her all the luck, but,
personally, I don't think her chances are
brilliant for the toughest business there
is. She invited me once to see her in this
play, and, you ask me, she was so-so. She
should stick with singin'." Looking about,
Ida next divulges, "I'm sorta strapped
for live entertainment of the vocal kind
tonight. If anything close enough to a
singer walked through that door right
now, I'd kiss their feet, and plunk 'em
Langly gives his date a conspiratorial
high sign. "She can sing," he crows,
nudging the reticent young woman who
wears the keen expression that someone
who'll remain nameless should have kept
his overactive mouth shut. "She's
whizzy." A ruffle beneath his breath he
adds, "And mindblower cuspy, man."
"I think we're even. I speak Spanish,
and you speak whatever you call the
things you say."
"Jar-*gon*. Easy to learn."
Ida comes down with a severe case of the
'gimmies,' but she tempers her enthusiasm
with the words, "Away on. Professional?"
Before Langly can wedge another word in,
Lislita answers in a small, wispy voice,
"Dead on! Mind helpin' me out tonight,
love?" The widowed hopeful's fidgety
hands wring the string of her apron
into a double knot, and the look on her
anxious face could twist an arm.
Lislita glances sidelong at Langly and
he's nodding with the goofiest grin.
"You know you're lethally awesome. Let
'em hear how lethal you are."
"If you sing as talented as you look,
lass, you'll be doin' me the biggest of
favors. What d'ya say? Give us a
Cautiously, Langly takes her hand in
both of his, but no sooner than he does,
he's looking as though he doesn't know
what to do with it. Slowly, however, a
smile that says she's willing piques.
"I'll do it. . . 'Por cierto.'" More
practice before the cruises, she thinks.
"Does your band know--"
"They know just about anything you can
carry a tune on," Ida guarantees.
"You've got it aced, Lisa," Langly
roots, as he steps clear of the booth
to let her out.
Ida takes Lislita under her ample
sleeveless wing as the women head off
in the direction of the subdued stage
where the three-man, and one woman band
are playing mellow notes.
Langly watches the beautiful songbird
face the audience, while Ida announces
her, with a solid cast of approbation
set in his face, and pride threatening
to smother him. The band breathes
life into the first several notes of the
Streisand standard, 'People,' through
his, "Knock 'em dead, Leese--like ya did
me last night. . ." When he realizes
how that last part came out, he stretches
"Was I okay?" Lislita's query sounds a
little hoarse and is directed to Langly,
back at their booth. He has his arm
slung around her damp shoulders, and is
drawing small light circles on the moist
skin of her upper arm before giving her
some weightless pats.
Hearing her hoarseness, he encourages
her to drink some of the sparkling water
he'd had the forethought to order for
her. "You were great, Leese," he whispers
in her ear, as she quenches her rampant
thirst. If the audience had had its way,
the patrons would've kept her singing
through the night. "You are great. You're
only gonna get bias from me."
"You're so sweet, 'chulito.'"
"You're sweeter." Seconds before he gets
to return the kiss on the cheek she's
just given him, a youngish, salt and
pepper-pated well-wisher interrupts their
"Miss, you were wonderful."
The woman's tall, auburn-haired male
companion corroborates, with a contagious
smile, and a dialectic dab of Dublin in
his words. "Exceptional. I've never
heard, 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling' sung
quite so poignantly in me entire forty-one
years, darlin'. Your rendition was the
rapid showstopper. Brilliant, to be sure;
Langly showers them with looks of grati-
tude, boldly going where his courage leads,
and kisses Lislita's damp temple. "See,
knew you'd be a hit. No doubt."
"As long as you liked me," she whispers
close to his neck.
"That's a cinch. . ."
Roisterously, Ida parts several bodies as
she works her way through the ruck of
patrons who are clustered at their busy
booth. "Honey, if you're looking for a
job, I'll say you passed the interview
with flying colors. We're crazy about
ya," she congratulates. "Those Spanish
numbers you did sounded so beautiful.
You're hired--how about it?"
Lislita, her eyes round with restless-
ness, gives Langly a look of, 'now what?'
Not slow on the uptake, he covers for
her. "Yo, Eye, she's got a previous
engagement. She's singing for Carnival--"
Ida snorts, and holds Lislita's vocal
admirers at bay. "Get shlossed--she'd be
better off singing here, for me, 'stead of
singin' in some stale carnival, Foureyes,"
Ida remonstrates. "She's a right charmer,
"Not *that* kind of carnival," Langly is
quick to point up, with his eyeballs
looking as if they're rolling over.
"CARNIVAL, as in the cruise line. . .the
*fun ships*. She's doing their shows till
February." Lislita nods that it's true.
"Ach, well that's the luck for ya! That's
that, then. That's crack for ya, honey.
Tell you what, though. . .if you'll be
needin' a job once you're finished with
the bounding main, come back. I'll put
you on weekends regardless of whether I've
hired somebody in the meantime." The
offer was on the table, and there it would
stay. Ida is wholly satisfied with
herself, and with Langly to a degree, for
having had the 'dead on' presence of
mind to have brought such talent to her
doorstep, and she beams.
"Thank you for your kind offer, Mrs.
"Ta, love, and it's Ida, sweetie, and
y'are grand, y'are." She extracts herself
from the congestion of praisers who are
still overflowing with accolades. As she
fords to the bar to oversee the final
preparations for closing up, she tosses
over her shoulder, "Just think it over,
Lisa, okay? Langs, me wee, bap, there's a
Guinness here waitin' for ye 'fore ya
"I might consider it," Lislita says,
looking at Langly promisingly, and he
isn't slow on the uptake for this either.
"Would you come back, if I asked ya to?"
"I might. . ."
"Then, I'm askin'." She had definitely
inherited from the Scully line, he
assesses, noting how he's seen that exact
same look on Scully dozens of times.
"I'll consider that too. . ."
"Maybe *this'll* get your decision goin'
in the right direction. . ." Ignoring the
thinning throng, but heeding the total
macho 'guyness' he was getting from some-
where, Langly pulls her into himself, with
her invitational lips and eyes leading him
The old Portsmouth clock on the far wall
reads that it's quarter past midnight,
after they come up for air. It's only
then a pang of panick reminds him that
if he gets Lislita back any later than
one o'clock, Scully'll have his head.
(Along with my ass.)
"Think it's time we blow this place or
there's gonna be one very testy cousin
to deal with," he nudges into her ear.
"Whatever you say, but 'pierda cuidado;'
I'll handle Dana." That look again has
him sold that she really can, if push
comes to shove.
Just as they're about to leave, Langly
yells to Ida who's since poured the
Guinness Stout, "Keep it cold for me,
Eye, till next time. 'Night."
"You bring her along with ye, and it's a
deal," the pub owner vows, raising what
would have been his beer in a toast, and
sips it herself.
Once outside breathing freer, fresher air,
it takes Langly a few moments to remember
where he parked the Saturn. A Saturn. . .
he thinks, going up and down the monotonous
blocks in his brain, the F.B.I.'s way of
making fun of the 'Spookies,' giving them
that make and model. He smiles wryly, but
is still coming up dry.
"What happened?" Lislita asks, reading
his agitated look correctly.
Following some embarrassing hesitation,
he starts them off then in the direction
he's guessing is the right one. "Nothin'.
It's cool." He hopes it's the right
direction. "Had a good time?"
"Being with you, how could it miss?".
Langly makes a grab for her waist,
nailing her to his side, and she pulls
on the giving lapel of his jacket.
"Guess what I liked best?"
"What?" he seeds into her hair, his hands
glued to her sides.
"The imposing black walls filled with the
names. I know it's a grim tribute, and
a lot of people think there's nothing very
aesthetic about them, but I think they're
beautiful, I really do, because of the
'recuerdos'--remembrances upon them." She
sighs heavily, but when she inhales again
shortly thereafter, it's as though the
many sorrows of the world are transferred
elsewhere. "So many names. . ."
Langly nods the way he does when he's
standing with Frohike. "Whenever I make
the scene there, it's payin' homage to
Frohike and his long lost 'Nam buds, and
yeah. There are. Way too many for such a
frickin' fiasco. I could take bets where
the next 'Nam's gonna be."
"I wish wars would never happen, ever."
"You, me, Fro' and the narc, Scully and
Mulder, ditto, but who's ever learned a
damn thing from history, 'cept it repeats
itself?" Langly shrugs as he slips his
hand into hers; a snug fit. "Man, I'm
feeling raggedy. Not enough sleep last
night, I guess." When he feels her
squeeze his hand, he grins, then glances
down at his Converses; he wears the red
pair tonight. He adds a few more scuff
marks to the already well-scuffed toe of
the right shoe. "I couldn't get you outta
my head--not that I wanted to."
Nodding, she knows exactly what he means.
"Thank you, 'muchisimo,' for making
everything so perfect. Exactly what you
are. . ."
Her outspokenness startles him. His eyes
scrape the pavement still as he purses
his chapped, peeling lips harder, and,
fishing again, mutters, "Wanna do to it
She nods as his head lifts in stages, and
she drifts closer to him. As though she's
made of porcelain, he kisses her. They
ease apart when the time is right. Her
hands frame his face, which mirrors the
exchange of joy permeating their ephemeral
society. She traces the outline of his
gaunt cheeks with her thumbs, and he
closes his eyes, trembling between her
"Can you stay forever?" he says, desperate
to trap the moment, never letting it go.
She kisses the tip of his nose several
times, and when she finally answers,
"Come sail with me," he knows a vacation
is tangently in his future, barring
"Yeah. . ."
More spiritedly now, and holding hands,
they head off again, due east for the
silvery, government-issued, gas-fueled
chariot, parked somewhere in the greater
metropolitan D.C. area.
"CRAP!" Langly looks around frantically,
his heart pounding savage beats. "I
could swear this is where we left it!
The corner of this block. Oh, man,
Scully's gonna fry my ass." He has no
problem with algorithmic relationships;
spatial and geographical ones, however,
are occasionally another story. "What
"But it's true, we *did* leave it here."
Lislita latches onto his arm, hearing
him groan again, and even trembling a
little now. "I remember that wicker
chair over by those large trash bags by
the curb. We left the car here. You're
"If I'm so right, why ain't it here?"
Langly curses with the blue word he was
going to use a second ago. The attempt
to keep his language fairly clean, at
least for tonight, a failure. "Damn--bet
it was ripped."
"Whatever's happened to it, it's *not*
your fault." She strokes his arm
determinedly, but her effort to calm him
down isn't working too well.
Paralysis sets in his eyes, and the
chilly breeze goes straight to his bones,
and he shudders. The weight of the car
key he holds in his palm is burning a
hole into it. "Why in all hell did I
"Ripped-off--stolen, by professional
thieves, or kids with nothing better to
do, who took it for a freakin' joy ride."
He kicks the pavement, and the ball of
his foot is treated to sharp pain. (This
so figures. . .fairy tale date with the
girl of my dreams, and the damn wheels
are stolen right out from under us.)
"By the time I get you home, and hit
Scully with the word, it'll be a miracle
the dimensions of Godzilla, she doesn't
string me up by my bah--" He smiles
sickly, and his eyebrows reach for the
heavens while opting for a minimally
graphic word, although the one he was
going to use stubbornly sticks in his
mind. "Craptacular!!!" He takes in his
winsome date's lost look, feeling he's
the most chronic loser who ever lived.
"C'mon, let's go before we get mugged..."
END PART 2