Shrouds by Two and Three

by MJ

Title: Shrouds by Two and Three
Author: MJ
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Date Archived: 05/06/02
Category: Missing Scene, Denial Fic  
Pairing: Other Pre/Non-slash      
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Jump The Shark
Permission to Archive: DITB, CKOS. Others, please ask. I'll say yes.
Series or Sequel/Prequel:
Disclaimer: This episode ("Jump the Shark") did NOT happen. If it DID happen, it DIDN'T happen the way it looked like it happened. As Frohike explains.
Summary: Post-ep for JTS. It's an episode of XF, you didn't see the bodies, you know the rule. Frohike POV.

by MJ

("Shrouds by two and three / came creeping up because the man was still." -- WB Yeats)

Damn, I feel bad for her. I watch from the distance, cradling my Bushnell binoculars carefully, as Dana Scully wipes one stray tear from her eye. I never realized how bad she had it for me. I mean, I knew she was jonesing for me, but I never knew she felt like that...

No, Frohike, pay attention to the whole event. You got here five minutes late - well, there you go, actually late for your own funeral. Kind of neat, making that old line come true, no?

Three silver-tone coffins, lined up in a row, flags draped. We died in the service of our country. Yeah, sure. Right. There's the Skin Man there, looking so dignified, so composed. Amazing how he keeps his composure during this great tragedy. Of course, he's one of the four beings down there who knows the truth. Jimmy and Yves, who were there with us, and Moe the Schmo Fletcher, damn his miserable hide. If things hadn't been so tight, we'd never have needed to call him in to help us set up this con. But it was Skinner who set up the funeral, pulled strings, and there's three empty but very decorative coffins there with our names on 'em. Maybe when I do die, he'll be able to get the thing dug up so I can actually get buried here. I mean, I earned it in Nam anyway, didn't I?

Jimmy and Yves look good. He didn't smirk once when they handed him the flags, just clutched Yves' arm. They'll get married and have little baby Gunmen. She's hacker enough for all three of us old farts, and Jimmy's no genius but he's loyal, he's sincere, and he loves her. We made them promise to keep up the fight, and they will.

Doggett, Reyes, and Scully thought it was all about Yves' dad, the terrorist slimeball. I guess it was, kind of. We got him pretty good. But to get him, we had to get other people out of his line of fire. Those viruses - you need scientists to generate them. That bastard - I guess there's a private party circuit of rich bastards with conspiracies, from what we've dug up, because all these pricks know each other - well, when Yves told us about a female lab scientist he was holding whose last name was Modeski... yeah, we let out that we sank everything into looking for Yves. We didn't want to let it out that we were sinking our last dimes and risking our necks to find Byers' dearly beloved and save her neck. Jimmy, he's a prince - he went all over the place on our remaining pocket change running interference for Yves so she could pin down where Susanne was.

By the time we got the virus carriers under control and had a plan to go rescue Susanne for Byers, there wasn't any doubt we were gonna have to go underground to finish things off - and we'd probably have to stay there. But hey, all for love and all that. Getting Fletcher to distract the Bureau - well, the agents, that is, because if Walter Skinner had told them to stay out of the way they'd just have plowed right in - and getting him to help set up that phony virus detonation was a piece of cake. He was so relieved we'd be getting off his tail when we went under, he'd have married Langly if we'd have asked. Might have been the only way ol' Ringo'd ever get laid, but we didn't go there. What Morris Fletcher doesn't know will hurt him. That file Jimmy and Yves have oughta make an interesting issue of The Lone Gunman someday.

So, I tried explaining to Walt that it was all for love and everything, and all Walt says is, "And what about us?" Which kinda floored me. I mean, two Nam vets, both seen a lot of very ugly life since then, we have a few of the same friends - I guess he thinks of John and Ringo as friends, we play poker with them... but you know, we had a lot in common, it just kind of happened. A couple old grunts like us, you know, you've got a lot going on, but you wouldn't think, you know... love? Anyway, it wasn't a word I expected to hear from the Marine stud.

Well, we talked. I mean, it was all about John and Susanne, and if we got them together, well, the Three Amigos here wouldn't exactly be living out of each other's pockets any more. John and Susanne go off together, and it looked like Jimmy and Yves were going to get a life of their own, kinda like ours but she's a lot more adventurous than the three of us were put together, when you get right down to it, so they'd be gone... and Langly's got a ton of renegade hacker buddies, no problem for him to disappear into the life he always really wanted, busting passwords and probably making a fortune finally developing his dream computer game. And I'm no spring chicken, and I'm... well, you know, I'm tired. Like I told Byers, eventually you burn out. I could do with a little less adventure and a little more drawing Social Security and watching daytime TV.

And Walt's got a 36-inch TV that was just begging for some daytime action.

Hm, maybe I can get Walt to beg for some daytime action this weekend.

Gee, look at that. Scully really is losin' it about me. Damn, she missed out. Oh, well, she had her chance, she shoulda taken it.

I'm kinda pleased here, we got a pretty good crowd. You never know how many people really care about you till you're gone.

I'll have to let Byers and Susanne know.

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