Zwischen und Nach
TITLE: Zwischen und Nach
ARCHIVE: List archives, otherwise please ask. SPOILERS: LGM/All About Yves, XF/Jump the Shark KEYWORDS: Gunfic, Jimmy/Yves, post-ep, missing scene DISCLAIMER: When you do what John Gillnitz did, they're freakin' up for grabs. SUMMARY: The disk, how the Gunmen came home, and how Jimmy got started on a quest that took him to places like Malta and Yemen. Author's Notes: After the story.
Jimmy jumped up. "Yves!" He clutched his head, the pounding intensified with his yelling.
Where the hell was he?
A cot. Dark room. Smell of...ink and newspaper?
He was home. Sort of. The lair.
How did he get there?
He fingered a sore spot on his shoulder. Sore like from a shot.
"Yves?" This time it was tentative, quiet.
"They took her." A familiar voice, not as proud or arrogant as Jimmy was used to hearing it.
"Yeah. She knocked you out, I brought you here. And I'm outta here. They took her." Kimmy was frantically scrubbing the keyboard and computer monitor with his shirt.
"Who took her?"
Kimmy moved over to the VCRs, taking tapes from them of the last twenty-four hours. Erasing his presence from this room. Jimmy was no dummy, he figured Kimmy was scared. "Who was it, Kimmy?"
"Not the girls, if that's what you mean. It was them." Kimmy didn't even turn around. He simply ran to the door and slammed it behind him as he fled.
Jimmy resisted the urge to chase him. What good would it do, anyway? Kimmy was a paranoid little geek anyway.
Jimmy took off his jacket and started to stand up. He was immediately dizzy and so sat back on the bed. On his jacket. On something uncomfortable in his jacket.
He pulled out a very small disk, encased in plastic.
"Yves..." he whispered.
be sure this gets to agent mulder
Jimmy intended to do just that.
"Jimmy Bond?" a distinctly feminine and slightly bossy voice called out.
Jimmy looked up from his bench to see a very pregnant redhead waddling his way. She was accompanied by a man Jimmy had met only once before and had heard plenty about: Fox Mulder.
"Agent Mulder!" Jimmy stood up and stuck out his hand.
Mulder shook it, nodding at Jimmy and putting a finger to his lips. "Not really 'agent' these days, but you never know who's listening. This is Agent Dana Scully, my...my partner."
Scully looked up at Mulder, a slightly bemused smirk crossing her lips before she turned and offered a hand to Jimmy. "Jimmy."
"Agent Scully," Jimmy said. He shook her hand tentatively, a little afraid that he'd shake her apart. She was so small, even for a pregnant woman.
"You have something for me, Jimmy?"
"Yes! Yes I do. Yves, she told me to make sure you got this." He took a folded issue of "The Lone Gunman" out of his jacket pocket.
Mulder looked at Jimmy a little skeptically, and Scully looked at Mulder quizically. Jimmy just stage-whispered, "Unfold it."
The disk was lying in the folds. Mulder folded the paper back up and gave it to Scully, who stuck it in her own jacket pocket. She was still looking confused, and a little agitated.
"What's on this disk, Jimmy?" Scully asked, obviously beating Mulder to the punch, indicated by the slightly disappointed, sideways glance he gave her. Jimmy pretended not to notice.
"Yves told me it has information concerning," and here his voice got much quieter, so that Mulder and Scully had to lean toward Jimmy a little, "alien abductees. A list of names, she said. People who that Fletcher guy was fooling with."
This last made Mulder jump. "Fletcher?"
"Yeah. This guy Frohike, Byers, and Langly hooked up with, the same guy who got them busted. Morris Fletcher. Gave the guys a bunch of hooey about how he was a man in black. Not like the movie, but you know..."
"The actual guy," Mulder deadpanned.
Jimmy nodded once. "Yeah."
Scully and Mulder looked at each other again. "Why does that name sound familiar, Mulder? Do we know him?"
Mulder shrugged. "Maybe. It sounds vaguely familiar, but I don't know offhand."
Jimmy stood awkwardly for a moment before speaking again. "You haven't heard from Frohike, have you Agent Mulder?"
Mulder shook his head.
Jimmy sighed. "Well, I hope you can do something with
that disk, Agent Mulder. Agent Scully, it was a pleasure to meet you." He stuck out his hand again, and both Mulder and Scully shook it.
He walked away, feeling like he'd done the right thing, and suddenly wanting to see Yves again very, very much.
Back at headquarters, there was a surprise waiting for him.
Standing in the middle of the main room, Frohike looked like he'd been through hell and back. He was scrubbing at his face with a white towel that was splotched blue. His hair was sticking up at all angles, and his clothes were torn and dirty.
"Frohike!" Jimmy ran toward the older man, ready to embrace him but stopping short when Frohike took a step back.
"You're alive! Not dead! Where...?"
"Langly's in the head, I think. Byers is in the back, ordering a pizza. We're starving."
"It's no wonder, you've been gone for about two days....what the heck happened, anyway?"
"Stop badgering me for a second! I've got to get this blue paint off my face." Frohike resumed his scrubbing.
Jimmy ran into the kitchen (or what passed for it) to find Byers just hanging up the phone. His face was a lighter shade of blue than Frohike's towel, and he wasn't nearly as disheveled. Jimmy couldn't remember ever seeing Byers truly messed up.
"Heya Jimmy!" Byers seemed much happier to see Jimmy than Frohike had.
"Byers! Where have you guys been?"
"Long story, Jimmy. I'm not sure I'm up to telling it."
"Well, I will. We were caught in the freakin' lion's den! Fletcher set us up, all to get to Yves. He was lying the whole time. There was no Romeo-61, it was all a huge scam!" Langly came into the room, popped the top on a can of cheap beer and sat on one of the barstools that passed for dining furniture.
"That son-of-a-bitch!" Frohike was no calmer as he joined them. "He took Yves, that's what happened. He had us roughed up, threw us in a van and driven out to some godforsaken..."
"It was Pennsylvania, Frohike."
"Whatever, Byers, it was desolate. He had us driven out there and dumped. We hitched back."
"Yeah. That lying, no-good, two-faced son-of-a-"
"Ok, Frohike, we all know what he is!"
Jimmy stood there, a little dumbfounded. "He. He did. He did what?"
"Where? Why? I don't..."
"Neither do we. All he said to us was that we were damn lucky he found us so amusing in the first place." Langly popped the top on another beer, intent on getting drunk as fast as he possibly could.
"Well, that's not quite all, Langly. I heard him telling Yves that she was going to get what was coming to her. He said he was taking her back, but back where he didn't say. After that, nothing." Byers folded his arms across his chest.
Silence prevailed while this information soaked in, broken only by Frohike's frustrated yelps as he scrubbed harder at his blue face (turning it an alarming shade of purple in the process) and Byers getting up to meet the pizza delivery man outside when he appeared on the monitors.
"Eat up, gentlemen. Pepperoni for Langly, canadian bacon and pineapple for Frohike, and cheese for Jimmy and me."
They dug in, the Gunmen famished after their ordeal and Jimmy simply starving normally. When the last slice was demolished, Jimmy looked at Byers intently.
"We have to find her. We can't let her go like that."
"I agree, Jimmy, but the question is how. We have very little to go on, not so much as a license plate number or a make of vehicle, let alone a name or a source...." Byers shook his head.
"There has to be a way. I...we can't just let them get away with this!"
Frohike, who had given up the scrubbing to eat heartily, nodded. "Jimmy's right. Where do we start?"
Langly, from his barstool and on his fifth beer, slurred the idea that would change everything. "Romeo-61."
"Langly, you're drunk." Byers wrinkled his nose ever so slightly.
"Yeah. So what? Romeo-61, man. It's all happening there."
Frohike crossed his arms. "I think Langly's on to something. The facility was located in a pretty industrial part of town. There has to be video of the surrounding parking lots, the streets, something."
"Right on." Langly hiccuped.
"I didn't think of that," Byers said through a yawn. "Jimmy, did you notice anything that might be useful? Jimmy?"
"Huh?" Jimmy jumped out of his reverie.
"Did you notice anything around the Romeo-61 building that might help us track down Fletcher and Yves? Video cameras on streetlamps, other official buildings, that sort of thing?"
Frohike ran into the main room. "Streetlamps! We can check the state listing, and the city. There has to be a way."
Three hours later, while Langly lay curled in a corner snoring and Jimmy sat on the couch nodding off, Byers and Frohike exclaimed at the same time. "Found it!"
"What!" Jimmy was startled awake.
"Here it is. Video taken from across the street. That's the bunch of commandos that roughed us up, and there's no mistaking Yves with Fletcher. They've got a couple of government-issue black vans."
Byers frowned and leaned in as Frohike zoomed in on the license plates. "I don't think so, Frohike. Those aren't government plates."
The vans, it appeared, were from Maryland.
Three hundred thousand dollars in hocked computer equipment later, the Gunmen tracked down a lead on the whereabouts of Yves Adele Harlow.
They gave up everything in just one short month, dedicating their resources to the cause. "The Lone Gunman" went unpublished, the van went unmaintained, and eventually there was nothing more that could be done. They had a solid lead on a woman fitting Yves' description somewhere in eastern Europe, but only enough money to fly one of them across the world to find her.
"I want to do," Langly said.
"Negatory, ace. It's the blond hair, you can't do it. Too conspicuous." Frohike munched on his latest batch of juevos rancheros, which had proven too spicy for the likes of the others.
"Oh, and I suppose you're going to do, Stumpy?"
Frohike glared at Langly, and Byers cut the tension in the air with a decisive statement.
"We draw straws. It's the only fair way."
Jimmy stood up from his place on the couch. "No, Byers."
"Jimmy, it only makes sense, there's only enough for one one-way ticket..."
"No. I'm going. Alone."
The three of them stared at Jimmy, and immediately launched into various spiels about why he couldn't do it.
"No, I have to do it. I...she's gone because of me. I should have stopped her."
"Jimmy, it wasn't your fault, she walked into it knowingly..."
"Byers, I'm going. I'm bigger than you anyway." A waning grin crossed his face. Byers stepped closer. Frohike and Langly looked on, both ready to protest again.
"Jimmy," he said softly, "I know what I'm talking about. Don't waste your life blaming yourself. There was nothing you could have done. She has a mind of her own. Don't do this because you think you owe it to her. You might never even find her."
Jimmy nodded. "I know that. But you know what this means. I have to do it, or die trying."
They stood there, each man haunted by a quiet specter of duty, staring each other down. Byers didn't flinch, but closed his eyes and clapped Jimmy on the shoulder.
Frohike and Langly backed down, too, and started in earnest to give advice and admonish Jimmy on how to go undercover.
Two days later, on a midday flight out of Dulles, Jimmy Bond went searching for Yves Adele Harlow.
EPILOGUE ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA
Three caskets, gleaming silver, lined in a patriotic blue. Jimmy had picked them out.
He stood holding three American flags. Red, white, blue. Three flags, each in three colors, for three dead heroes.
He hadn't been able not to cry. Yves stood next to him, holding his hand while the minister read the standard "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" epithet for funerals.
One by one, the other attendees left. Finally, those who remained stood paired off. Doggett and Reyes said their goodbyes and offered condolences. Scully and Skinner stood apart from the others, making ready to leave and talking quietly about how she should break this news to Mulder. Jimmy had wondered about that; where was Agent Mulder, anyhow?
Fletcher, thank God, had left. Jimmy didn't want to see that man's face again, and the only thing keeping him from beating the crap out of Fletcher now was the funeral. Funerals are no place for beating the crap out of someone.
Yves and Jimmy were finally the only two left standing as the groundskeepers and gravediggers tidied the area
and lowered the caskets. Three six-foot deep trenches in which to bury three dead heroes.
"My mother used to say, bad things always happen in threes." Jimmy's voice was muted, colored by an uncharacteristically somber note.
Yves nodded. "I heard that one, too. But what about good things?" She sighed harshly.
"I guess good things happen in threes, too, just to balance things out." Yves nodded, leaning into him.
"How did you find me, Jimmy? How did that happen?"
Jimmy sniffed, thinking about the last day he'd spent preparing for his quest, about how Byers had hocked his last IBM ThinkPad to buy Jimmy plenty of black wool clothing, and how Frohike and Langly had spent hours teaching him how to use the amateur bugging equipment they had left. He remembered how he'd found out Yves' real name, Lois, when he was on the Yemenese coast. A short woman swathed in black had recognized the picture he carried of Yves, and said "Lois! Lois Runtz!" over and over, running away from Jimmy and looking frantically over her shoulder for an attacker.
"They did it, Yves. They spent every last dime tracking you down, and once they had a lead, the only money left paid for just one of us to go after you."
She took his hand again, and as the sunset on Arlington National Cemetary and "Taps" rang out somewhere in the distance, they walked away. Behind them, three gleaming silver caskets, glinting shades of gold in the last bit of sunlight, were lowered into the ground.
Feedback/criticism always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Zwischen und Nach" is German for between and after.
In "Jump the Shark", Jimmy said he'd spent the past year chasing Yves around the world. This is a post-ep for "All About Yves" written to explain how that happened. I am not touching the events of "Jump the Shark" in this story.
For Michael and Ben, who watched every episode of "The Lone Gunmen" with me in my tiny bedroom, complete with Wendy's chicken nuggets, Sonic shakes, and after hours of bowling, despite bad reception and intolerable heat. Those two deserve medals for those 13 hours!
"If a Spender's shot in the basement, and no ones there to see it, does he really die?" - "Spookystar42" on the XF OS boards
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Maidenjedi
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