Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2003 8:15 AM
LONE GUNMEN HEADQUARTERS, TAKOMA PARK, MARYLAND AUGUST 14, 2003, 8:30 PM
John Byers walked down the iron steps to the office space of the warehouse where the four Lone Gunmen lived, carrying a tray with glasses and a plate of cookies. Jimmy Bond followed behind him with two pitchers, one full of iced tea, and the other full of lemonade. Both were the powdered kind that one mixed with water, but Byers knew his guests wouldn't care.
He walked into the room that normally housed boxes and rolling racks and tables, but was currently rearranged into a comfortable sitting area for their guests. The hideous red velvet couch boasted Grandpa Walter Skinner holding baby William, while Dana Scully-Mulder leaned back against her husband, Fox Mulder, listening to the radio news about the blackout.
The entire eastern seaboard and mid-east had experienced a major blackout that afternoon, on the hottest day of the year. There was no public transportation, there was no television, but there was still news radio. Apparently, part of the "Erie Loop" as it's called, had experienced a fluxuation. Only the three older Gunmen understood it and no one cared to listen, so they didn't elaborate.
What they did do, however, was contact each member of their circle to invite them to the warehouse. Yes, the three Stooges weren't as stoogy as one would think. No, these men had a plan. Between the gas-powered generators, the car batteries feeding certain other systems, and pure luck, not only did these four have lights, they had air conditioning as well. On the hottest day of the year in Maryland/Virginia, this was a godsend. An oasis in the middle of the darkness.
Melvin Frohike started calling people, for the phones didn't go out, unless your phone needed electricity to work. Mulder and Scully quickly arrived with their son, who was not used to the heat, being only seven months old. Yves Adele Harlow showed up on her own, demanding what she already knew the men would give her freely, access to their space. Skinner arrived with cases of beer, raw meat that had been purchased hastily for dinner and a bottle of J&B for he and Frohike to share later.
Byers handed Scully a glass of lemonade and asked, "Has anyone reached Agents Doggett and Reyes?"
Skinner shook his head. "I kept trying John's cell phone, but I kept getting a voicemail. I left three messages. I hope they get them soon. It's getting really dark out there. I'm worried."
No sooner had Skinner spoken that a heavy knock fell upon the door. Ringo Langly scooted out from behind a shelving unit full of equipment where he was working to check the video monitor. Three figures stood in the blackened stairwell, but the night scope camera picked out the images of Agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes, and their handcuffed prisoner, Alex Krycek. Langly unlocked the door and swung it wide. "What's he doing here?" Langly sneered at the dark, mysterious man.
Doggett roughly shoved Krycek in and steered him to an empty chair. "Sit. And be quiet until I figure out what to do with you."
Mulder stood and asked, "What the hell did you bring him for?"
Reyes held her hand up and said, "We don't have a choice. It's too dark and dangerous to drive him back to the Hoover. We can't process him into custody, anyway. He was lurking around the back, near the other door."
Frohike stood and walked over to Krycek, who sat with his head down, staring at his boots. "All you had to do was knock, you little bastard. Why break in? Keeping in practice?"
Krycek looked up at him and smiled. It was the first time anyone noticed the likenesses in their eye color and shape. "Aw, Uncle Mel, stop with the endearments, you're makin' me misty."
"Uncle Mel?" was the round of questions coming from the agents and others. Frohike had told no one about his youngest sister, or her indiscretion, or the child she gave away to what she thought was an adoption agency. Only Frohike knew. And now, everyone else.
"Uncuff my nephew. We have a long night. I'll tell you all the story later. Right now, we have steaks and hamburgers to get going on the grill. There's a low roof outside the kitchen, we have a barbecue set up there. Anyone else want to help make the corn and salads?"
One last knock on the front door shocked everyone. All the Gunmen were present, Yves, Mulder, Scully, William, Doggett, Reyes, Skinner and even Krycek. Who else could be asking for entrance? Kimmy was away at a Con in Las Vegas again. Everyone stared at the monitor. A short woman with hair styled like Scully's was there, looking around nervously. "That's my assistant, Arlene. Let her in, guys."
Byers was closer this time and quickly opened the door. The small woman entered and blushed at all the faces on her. Skinner handed the baby to his mother and walked over to her. "Are you all right, Arlene? You look a bit shaken."
She gave him a tight smile. "My neighborhood is very dark and quiet. I was...afraid. I remember you once wrote this address down and had said it was a safe haven. I don't remember to whom. I was...just..."
Byers smiled at her. "Welcome to the headquarters for the Lone Gunman news organization. Let me introduce myself and my associates..."
WELL PAST MIDNIGHT
Skinner and Frohike sat together drinking the last of the bottle of scotch. Doggett and Mulder had shared a glass or two but had since retired to Byers' and Jimmy's bedrooms with their lovers. It came as no surprise that Doggett and Reyes were sleeping together. What did come as a surprise was the huge diamond ring she slipped onto her finger when everyone was officially off duty. Skinner shook his head and said, "I don't see a thing," and slipped his glasses off. That brought laughs from around the room.
A bigger shock, but not really as surprising as one would think, was the admission that Skinner was dating his assistant, Arlene. He was serious about it as well.
"You old dog, Skinner," Frohike said, sipping from his glass.
"Call me Walt, Mel. You've earned it. With your kindness."
"Walt, she's a nice lady. Do right by her." Frohike held up his glass in a silent toast.
"Wish I could, Mel. There's no way. She's my assistant. I'm breaking protocol as it is."
"Easy. Fire her. Then marry her. I'm sure an AD makes enough to support a wife. It's not like you haven't before."
Skinner looked at the drunk little man. Frohike contemplated the amber liquid he was using to lubricate his mood.
"You're a genius, you know that, Mel? When the Hoover opens for business, I'm firing her. Then I'll buy her the biggest diamond I can find."
"Smart man," Frohike said, then clinked his glass with Skinner's.
After swallowing, Skinner nodded over to Krycek, curled on his side and sleeping like a baby. "Your sister? Really?"
"Yeah, she told me about him when she died of breast cancer about six years ago. He's on our side, you know. But he's like us, gotta break the law to do the right thing in the end. He respects you a lot, Walt. You stood up to them. Wouldn't let them suck you in. You did what you had to do to get to the truth. And to protect the kids. You're a good man, Walter Skinner."
"Mel, to be honest, I didn't even know what the hell the damn Syndicate was. I just knew it was group of government officials working outside the norm to achieve a goal. They gave me the AD position before I could wrap my head around the implication of their actions. I didn't know Spender was in cahoots with aliens. I didn't even believe in them until I saw them take Mulder. I had no idea what they were, and when I had more of an idea, I did what I could to stop them without compromising everyone around me. Believe me, I was never one of them."
"I know, Walt. We all know. Just see if you can help my nephew. I know, you wanna shoot him in the head for the nano technology. Believe me, I wouldn't have programmed the palm pilot if I had known."
"YOU did this to me?" Skinner asked, astonished and hurt.
"No, he did. You were fighting him too much. I didn't know he was using them on you. When Mulder finally told me, I disabled them. You'll never go through that again, I swear. He's a good kid, really. Just always wanting to get some kind of power hold on things. I gotta teach him, the quiet ones are the ones that people never expect to be in power."
Frohike again toasted Skinner and drank the last of his scotch. He looked at Langly who was sleeping in one of the rope hammocks, like Jimmy and Byers were upstairs. He'd take himself to the one he'd strung for himself, since Arlene was waiting for Skinner in his bed.
"One thing, Mel. How is it you guys have power?" Skinner asked, truly puzzled.
"Practice, my friend. We've lost power from lack of paying the light bill many a time. We have four gas generators in the basement. And Langly figured out how to string car batteries together, with an alternator to keep charging them, to run the servers. We'll have power for days. Go get some sleep."
Skinner nodded and tipped back the last of his scotch to wobble off to bed with his new fiance. Frohike surveyed his surroundings. All his friends and family were around him. He even spared a warm look toward Krycek, his favorite little rat. A gentle hand stroked the short sable hair, causing the young man to sigh in his sleep, more like a cat.
He climbed the steps to find Jimmy and Yves curled around each other on a large air mattress. He elected to climb into the low hammock that was strung between two steel support beams. Ah, the perks of living in a warehouse. Using the old offices for bedrooms, industrial-sized bathrooms with six stalls, no waiting. He didn't care if the lights never went on.
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Fandom: Lone Gunmen, X-Files
Title: Last Oasis
Author: Amazon X [email] [website]
Details: Standalone | PG-13 | 9k | 02/11/04
Summary: Where do you go when things go dark?
Notes: Ya'll know what happened on August 14th, 2003. Most of the eastern states went blackout. It was an accident of monumental proportions. And then someone asked, "What would the Gunmen have done?" I'm extrapolating what would have happened had the White House gone black. So I knocked this out this morning, just to see what I could get all the characters to do. You must suspend some canon, like the Rat didn't die and has two arms, William wasn't given away and the Gunmen.duh! The series isn't really over, per se, but.you'll get the idea. No beta, it's so short, is it really necessary? So, sit back, relax and enjoy!
Category: Gen (no kidding!), blackout fic
Archive: FHSA, WWOMB, the Basement, Gossamer, The Topica Bunker, all others ask first, unless I agreed when I joined to automatic archiving.
Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Files characters, don't claim to, and am not making any money, so why bother me? Everyone else, I own, I made them up.
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