Welcome To The Harem
Boogie Street by David Hearne
Summary: Post-col, part of the Leonard Cohen collection.
TITLE: BOOGIE STREET (1 of 1)
AUTHOR: DAVID HEARNE
SPOILERS: Mythology in general
Leonard Cohen seems to be the inner voice of "The X-Files." When I
heard "In My Secret Life," I thought, "What a perfect MSR song." I
knew that I would write a fic based on the song, even though it ended
up being about William.
"In My Secret Life" comes off Cohen's latest album. I've been
listening to the other songs and feeling inspired by them as well. I
decided to write a series of stories based on this album. Each fic can
be read independently as well as in the order in which they were
written. All of them are set in the post-colonization world.
Cohen's lyrics are quoted at the end.
Tom Pendrell had faced social divisions during his life. In high
school, he had lived with the "science-geek" label. When he had worked
for the FBI, he had still been one of the science geeks. Other agents
had needed him to yank clues from crime scenes, but those other agents
had gotten the glamour and the attention. Nobody had wanted to see
*him* at a press conference.
He had found this sort of thing easier to handle in the FBI than in
high school. He had never been a member of the football team, but he
had been important to FBI investigations. More macho agents had kicked
in doors, but he had made sure they had kicked the right doors. There
had been moments when he had still felt like the pimply
fifteen-year-old yearning for a pretty red-haired cheerleader; this
usually occurred when he had been yearning for a pretty red-haired FBI
agent. Overall, though, he had held down his pride and concentrated on
doing the best work he could have done.
But, Jesus Christ, wasn't this sort of thing supposed to end when you
"You're in or not?"
"I'm in, I'm in," he grumbled. "I'll take two. And the name's
Pendrell, not Pendy. And my first name is Tom."
"Why should I call you 'Tom?'" Langly replied with a grin. "She never
knew your first name."
"Shut up and give me my two cards."
Langly dealt a five of diamonds and a Jack of clubs to Pendrell. The
one-time lab assistant was sitting across from the one-time Lone
Gunman. Arranged in a circle with them was Byers and Frohike. They
were all playing poker on a mountain.
Pendrell looked away from his cards to other people. Separate groups
had been arranged on Skyland Mountain. Scully's mom was with her
husband and Melissa. They looked happy to see each other, but also
sad. They also seemed uneasy around Mulder's parents, though not as
much as Mr. and Mrs. Mulder were with each other.
Another group behaved even more stiffly with each other. In that group
was an old man who blew smoke at the others as he apparently discussed
something important. A man with one arm gave him a distrustful yet
attentive look. Another man shared a similar expression on his black
"You still in this game, Pendrell?" Frohike asked.
Pendrell turned back to his own group and asked, "Doesn't this bother
"Everybody is divided up into their own little groups. Can't we
"Each of us served our own special part in this drama," Byers
explained. "We're arranged accordingly."
"Oh, sure," Pendrell said. "Family is over *there*. Conspirators are
over *there*. But what does that make us?"
The Lone Gunmen looked at each other. "Well," Byers said, "we...we
"Sidekicks. Say it. We were damn sidekicks."
"Hell, no, man!" Langly declared. "We were heroes! We died a heroic
"You guys may have died a heroic death. I just got drunk and wandered
into a bullet."
"Is that our fault?"
"No, but look where you're sitting. With me. What does that tell you?"
"Okay," Frohike said. "We were sidekicks. So what?"
Pendrell threw his cards to the ground. "Then why are we needed here?"
"Because this is where it will end."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. Tomorrow is December twenty-second, 2012 -- the
big day. But what effect could we possibly have on it? What could we
do in death that we couldn't do in life?"
"Well, nobody's keeping you here, buddy."
"The hell there isn't. Some frigging cosmic force..."
"No," Byers said in a firm voice. "We're here because we want to be."
"Then tell me why."
"We already explained this."
"You're talking about what will happen here tomorrow. But what happens
on the twenty-third? Where do we go after that?"
All of the Lone Gunmen looked surprised at the question. Byers said,
"A-ha! You see? Maybe you did choose to be here, but only because
there's nothing else. After this, you just fade away."
"You don't know that!" Langley protested.
"I know as much as you guys do."
A big gap of silence fell into the conversation. Then Byers said --
"These things don't matter. What matters is that we lend our voices to
the others. William must hear from us all."
"I," Frohike said, "for one, am not letting that guy -- " He pointed
at the smoking man. " -- poison William's mind."
"So what am I supposed to tell him?" Pendrell asked. "I mean, I was
just this lab rat who did some work for Scully. How am I..."
Pendrell and the Lone Gunmen looked up. They saw a bald-headed man.
With him was an attractive dark-haired woman.
"Skinner!" Frohike said. "They got you too?"
Frohike looked around him. "So which group is yours?"
"Actually, I think Monica and I can go where we want."
Monica saw the uncertain look on Pendrell's face. "Hi," she said. "We
haven't met yet. Which is odd."
"I guess," Pendrell said.
"Anyway, my name's Monica Reyes. You are...?"
Monica's eyes brightened. "Really? Well, it's nice to meet you. Dana
told me all about you."
Pendrell blinked. "She did?"
"Oh, yes. More than once, she told me, 'God, we need Pendrell in the
lab. It hasn't been the same without him.'"
"She also told me that you saved her life."
"Sort of. I accidently got in the shooter's way."
"Well, speaking as someone who got shot herself, your sacrifice
accomplished a lot more than mine did."
Monica nodded. Skinner nudged her on the elbow. "We need to talk with
you-know-who," he said.
"Right. Good to see you guys. You especially, Tom."
Monica and Skinner walked away. The Lone Gunmen looked at Pendrell.
"Amazing," he said to himself. In that moment, he realized why he was
on Skyland Mountain.
He loved Dana Scully.
He didn't just love her because she was a science geek's wet dream. He
loved her because she was strong yet also gentle. She thought of
others before she thought of herself. Personal misery had worn her
down to the bone, but she was still coming to this mountain -- this
place which started her on a seemingly endless path of loss. She was
coming here because the world needed her.
He had to stand by her side, if for no other reason than to lend her
the faith of one lab rat. Pendrell would whisper a few words in
William's ear, telling him what his mother once meant to a lowly
The sound of helicopters grabbed Pendrell's attention. Like everyone
else, he looked to the sky. Two helicopters were approaching the
mountain from separate directions. One helicopter carried the
President of the United States and a boy. The other carried a man and
a woman, scarred in both body and soul, finally within sight of their
Pendrell stood up. He looked at the Lone Gunmen and said in a strong,
confident voice --
"So come, my friends, be not afraid.
"We are so lightly here.
"It is in love that we are made;
"In love we disappear.
"Though all the maps of blood and flesh
"Are posted on the door,
"There's no one who has told us yet
"What Boogie Street is for."