Welcome To The Harem
Ghost Ship by Megan Reilly
Summary: What happened with Jimmy and Yves when the Gunmen went to rescue Mulder from the Bermuda Triangle. Slightly AU timeline.
Disclaimer: not mine
You should know: I've messed with the timeline a bit
Summary: What happened with Jimmy and Yves when the Gunmen went to rescue Mulder from the Bermuda Triangle.
by Megan Reilly
May 16, 2001
He'd come to her, again, for help. She supposed she ought to find it flattering, but it was really more annoying. "Why can't you just ask the Marx brothers for their assistance?" There were three Marx brothers, she thinks, questioning herself. Not that it matters; would Jimmy really know who the Marx brothers were, let alone how many of them there were?
"It's about them. The guys are gone. They're in trouble and we have to help them."
"Oh, dear." Not that she was worried about those three imbeciles. It was just that this refrain was becoming rather familiar. The Lone Gunmen get into trouble and she was expected to bail them out.
"So you've got to come with me. Right now." Jimmy pulled insistently at her arm.
She frowned, stomping one foot as she struggled to hold her position. "What do you think I can do?" She demanded. She was supposed to be meeting with a buyer at three-thirty. A buyer who was impatient and wouldn't wait around for cancelled or missed appointments. And she wanted to make the sale.
Jimmy's eyebrows moved and his forehead wrinkled, perfectly denoting the confusion he was feeling. "But you always know what to do," he said.
It worked on her. It always did. Maybe because he was so guileless and she was so used to dealing with criminals and liars. "Where did they go?" she sighed.
"To Devil's Island. To find a boat."
A boat? Something didn't add up. "Devil's Island, the prison?" Maybe he meant the other Devil's Island, the one she didn't know about, that was a Las Vegas resort, or something?
Jimmy frowned. "The area where boats disappear and reappear sixty years later out of thin air."
"The Bermuda Triangle?"
"That's the one!" He grinned, and then checked his watch. "We've really got to go."
"Where?" Yves demanded.
"The airport." The 'of course' that would have followed his words was unspoken.
"I can't go with you to the airport," she insisted. He was pulling on her arm again, trying to get her to come with him. She'd never particularly wondered how the rope felt in a game of tug-of-war, but she was quickly learning. "I have an appointment."
"But the guys are in trouble."
"Why did they go looking for this boat, anyway?" she asked. Jimmy shrugged. "Do you know the name of the boat, at least?" He was the only one who could ruffle her cool exterior. He really made her that exasperated.
"The S.S. Queen Anne."
It was Yves' turn to frown. "The Queen Anne was lost in 1939."
"Sixty years ago! I know. We've got to go."
She pulled her arm away from his hands violently. "Let me get my things." Her mind was working double-time. It was rumored the Queen Anne had been carrying valuable cargo when it was lost at sea. It was notorious in the legend of the day for carrying a scientist with the codename "Thor's Hammer." That fact made the Queen Anne a likely place to find the Enigma machine, which had been lost during the war and was still worth a lot of money to the right parties.
And then there was the gold.
Jimmy looked at the black leather satchel she picked up from inside the car, then met her eyes. It was obviously a carry-on bag, and so she'd obviously been about to go somewhere. She felt bad that he looked hurt; but why would he expect her to consult him before leaving on a trip?
He drove erratically on the way to the airport, glancing at her frequently, but not speaking. Yves volunteered nothing. She watched him pretending to ignore her and wondered why. They parked at the airport, and he opened the door for her before she got out of the car. He tried to take her bag, but she wouldn't let him have it.
"We need two tickets," he said when they reached the airline counter.
"I'll buy my own," Yves told him.
"But I asked you to come."
"I agreed. I'll buy my own." She addressed this last to the ticket agent.
"If you're worried about the money --" Jimmy tried again.
"I never worry about money," she scoffed.
"How many?" the ticket agent asked, eyes darting between the two of them.
"One," said Yves.
"Two," said Jimmy. He looked at her and she stared back, icy. Knowing she was going to win. "One," Jimmy corrected, handing over his platinum American Express card. He got his ticket and Yves stepped up to the counter, presenting one of her several passports. She paid cash, which earned her a raised eyebrow from Jimmy.
"Cash is the only way to go," she told him.
"Apparently," he said softly. He headed through the metal detectors, sailing through with ease. He had no luggage, just the jeans and sweater and jacket he was wearing. Yves observed for a second before putting her bag on the x- ray conveyor and sliding through the metal detector herself. She watched the x-ray image on the monitor, but the technician didn't slow to examine the bag in more detail. Pleased, she reached for it, but Jimmy had already retrieved it.
"I can manage," she told him.
"You don't like people doing things for you," Jimmy observed, not handing back her bag. "The guys are like that too. Proud. It doesn't hurt to accept a little help sometimes."
She looked at him as though he was insane and they continued through the airport terminal to their gate, where their flight was ready to depart. The attendant barely glanced at their boarding passes and once they'd entered the hallway to the airplane, the doors were closed behind them.
The flight was full. Of tourists. Yves scanned aisle after aisle of pale-faced mothers and fathers, babies in their laps and children bouncing and screaming already, their noise complementing the brightly colored holiday clothing they wore. Two seats remained, in the back, side by side.
"You wanna sit by the window?" Jimmy asked her, his eyes bright as he hauled her bag into the overhead compartment.
"You can," she told him and he practically jumped into the seat, pressing his nose up against the window. Yves sat down and buckled her seat belt, glancing around her at the nervous faces of the passengers around her. It really was like a sardine can, sitting in tourist class. She crossed her legs and began to inspect the in-flight magazine, putting it back after a moment because it was dull and she'd already read it.
"Here we go!" Jimmy said, his tone excited as the plane began to taxi. He put his arm down on the armrest, which Yves had already claimed. She shifted slightly, drawing her arm away. "It's okay," Jimmy said, meeting her eyes. He repositioned his arm on the armrest, careful to only use half of the narrow strip. "We can share."
Ordinarily, Yves would have just let her arm remain lying in her lap. Or, more likely, the man in the seat next to her would have deferred to her. But Jimmy just kept watching her. She knew it wouldn't end until they were happily "sharing." So as she averted her eyes, she put her arm back against her portion of the armrest. She didn't even have to look at Jimmy to know he was grinning. She sighed. This was going to be a very long flight, she thought as the nose of the plane lifted and it left the ground.
And they sat there. Yves shifted in her seat. She wasn't usually antsy, and she was rarely bored. But now both had hit her at the exact same time. She glanced at Jimmy. He was watching the clouds play past the window and the shadow of the airplane on the ground when the clouds parted. She opened her mouth to begin a conversation, then thought the better of it.
But apparently her thought of conversation had been perceptible. Jimmy turned and looked at her. "You like flying?"
"As a way to get from here to there, it's entirely adequate," she replied.
"I like flying," he declared.
"I hadn't noticed," she said with a glance at the noseprints he'd left on the window.
"You think the guys are okay?"
"I don't know," she said. He hadn't really told her much about the situation. She glanced at her watch. Three-forty- five. So much for her buyer.
A teddy bear bounced into the aisle, landing inches from Yves' foot. She looked at it as though it had dropped through a portal in the space-time continuum. Then she saw the tiny hand reaching across the aisle for it. She picked it up and handed it back to the small blond child, who grinned mightily and clutched the bear.
"Cute," said Jimmy.
"I suppose," yawned Yves.
"You don't like kids?" Jimmy asked.
"They serve their purpose well enough," she said. "Even if the world is overpopulated and resources are stretched to the point of breaking."
"I think kids are great," Jimmy asserted. "I want to have a whole bunch."
Yves raised an eyebrow.
"Not me personally. My wife. When I have one," he said, perfectly serious, as though she could possibly have been thinking Jimmy intended to have several children himself, without any assistance. "I had a big family. Brothers and sisters and cousins. It was great."
"Mmm," Yves interjected, wondering where that magazine had gone to.
"What about you?" he asked.
She looked at him.
"Ohhhh," Jimmy said as though that revealed encyclopedias about her character. She looked at him questioningly. "You just seem the type," he attempted to explain.
"Type?" she asked.
"You're not real good at sharing," Jimmy said, his face crinkling apologetically.
Sharing seemed like such a juvenile concept. Something you did with cookies in primary school. Not relevant to adult life.
The flight attendant tossed a packet of peanuts at them as she passed. Only one.
"You can have it," Jimmy told her.
"I don't like peanuts," she informed him, trying to hand it back.
Jimmy took it reluctantly. "Are you sure?"
"Quite," Yves said.
Jimmy nodded and opened the package. Then a smile burst onto his face. "That was sharing!"
Yves smiled a wan smile.
"You did great!" He impulsively squeezed her hand.
"How long is this flight again?" she asked him.
"Another couple hours, why?" he replied.
"No reason," she said, and stared at the patterned carpet. Then she noticed the lights along the aisle and followed them with her eyes. Checked out where the exits were, in case she needed one. When she'd finished, she noted Jimmy was watching her. She turned her gaze toward him and caught him at it. He didn't look away.
"Jimmy --" she began.
"Pillow?" asked the flight attendant.
"Sure!" Jimmy grinned, taking one. The flight attendant reacted visibly to his inviting grin and Yves felt a strange flash of jealousy. As Jimmy got himself situated, the attendant dropped Yves' pillow in her lap and moved on.
Yves looked at the puffy white square, holding it in her hands. Not sure what she was going to do with it in the cramped space. She didn't really consider Jimmy to be an overly large man, but sitting next to him in airline seating felt like sharing a telephone booth with Superman.
"Here." Jimmy took the pillow out of her hands and put it on his shoulder. Yves just stared. "Take a nap," he invited. She just stared more. "Everyone else is doing it. It passes time."
She looked at him doubtfully. He nodded. "I don't mind. Honest," he encouraged.
Reluctantly, she leaned sideways until her head was resting against the pillow. Despite the fact that it was awkward and entirely weird, it was comfortable. And her eyes were getting dry from the recirculated air in the cabin. She'd just close them for a minute.
Jimmy watched Yves for several moments. No one who was all bad, as the guys wanted to believe Yves was, could fall asleep so quickly. Their conscience wouldn't let them. She sighed softly and shifted closer against him. Careful not to disturb her, he went back to watching out the window.
The jolt of the plane touching down roused her. Yves was disoriented at first, and then she was just embarrassed. "Sorry," she said, sitting up. She felt rested.
"Sleep well?" Jimmy asked gently.
She nodded. "Thanks. You're quite comfortable." Instantly she questioned her sanity for saying such a thing.
"So I gathered." People had already taken their places in the aisles, pushing and shoving to try to get off the plane, which was barely all the way on the runway. Yves unbuckled her seat belt and started to get up to join them.
"Let them go by," he told her, content to let the plane empty before he got up. She stepped into the aisle and reached for her suitcase, but Jimmy got it down for her and carried it. The gesture didn't bother her as much as it had before.
"So what's your plan?" she asked.
His pause made her think he didn't have one. "They must have rented a boat to get out there. We'll find where they got the boat from."
"And if they've brought it back. Good thinking."
"Really?" He seemed surprised that she would say so, and she felt bad because it had been a patronizing thing to say in the first place. His response just made it that much worse.
Outside the air was warm and humid. Jimmy pulled off his jacket and the sweater he was wearing, leaving him in a black t-shirt and jeans. Yves was in her usual black leather and spandex, which didn't leave much breathing room in the tropical climate. Nor was there anything she could remove to cool off. She told herself it didn't matter and followed Jimmy, who hailed a cab.
There were boat rentals clustered along the beach. What seemed to be hundreds of them in an endless line. This would take all day, and the natives didn't seem particularly friendly, Yves thought, noting the looks they were getting and glaring in return.
"That one." Jimmy pointed to one of the myriad shacks.
"How do you know?" she asked, looking from it to him. But he was confident. Then she noticed the faded paint on the wooden sign proclaiming it to be "Grassy Knoll Boat Rentals." She rolled her eyes and followed.
"Have you seen these guys?" Jimmy produced a photograph from his pocket and held it out for the tanned boat rental man to examine. Yves craned her neck to get a good glimpse of it. It had to be one of the worst candid photos she'd ever seen. Langly was leaning too close to the camera, Frohike was in the middle of speaking and looked like he was making faces, and Byers' eyes were closed.
"Yes," the renal man recognized them instantly. After all, the photo portrayed them perfectly. Then he became very agitated, speaking in a mix of Spanish and English.
Jimmy glanced at Yves. "What's he saying?"
"Something about a destroyed boat," Yves answered. Jimmy's eyebrows shot up in a comical representation of surprise and worry. Yves asked the man, in Spanish, what they could do. He wanted money.
She nodded, and indicated to Jimmy she wanted her bag. He handed it to her, and she produced from it several green twenty dollar bills. The boat rental man watched until she reached a satisfactory amount of money -- too much, in her estimation -- and then he said, "The returned yesterday. Called a cab to the hospital."
"The hospital!" Jimmy cried.
The man rattled off more in Spanish.
"For their friend, who wrecked his boat," Yves translated for Jimmy. "Who was with them?"
"They were looking for Mulder, who was looking for the Queen Anne."
The Queen Anne. "I want to go out there," Yves declared.
"But what about the guys?" Jimmy asked.
"Try the hospital," she suggested.
"You can't go out there alone. What if you get hurt?" Jimmy demanded.
"I'll be fine," she said. She didn't want him along. It would be more difficult to hide her motives from him. If he knew about the gold, he'd want to share it.
"I want to see it," she told him. "How much?" she asked the boatman.
"Trente-cinco," he declared. She held out forty dollars. He crossed his arms. He meant thirty-five hundred.
"Five hundred. No more," she said.
"Yves," Jimmy wheedled.
She looked at him, feeling incensed. But he looked so innocent and so hurt. Puppy dog eyes, she might say if she read romance fiction and her head was filled with such phrases.
"Two thousand," said the boatman.
"No deal." Yves started to walk away. Jimmy scrambled to follow her.
"Senorita, wait!" called the boatman.
She didn't turn back. There were cabs waiting on the street, and she got into one, Jimmy still following her. Several minutes later, they'd been dropped off at a large, modern hospital. Jimmy rushed the information desk, but Yves calmly stepped in front of him. "We're looking for a patient, last name Mulder," she said.
"Released this morning," the nurse told her. "Should have been on the twelve o'clock plane to the States."
Yves looked at Jimmy. "We passed them in transit," she said, her words clipped with fury.
"At least they're all right," he said.
"I can't believe this! Do you know what you made me miss?" she demanded. "Do you know how much you've cost me? I'll never be able to put together another deal like that one."
"Whoa, Yves, calm down," Jimmy said, raising his hands as though he needed to fend off an attack. "We'll get the next flight."
"No," she said. "You get the next flight. I've come all this way. I want to see that ship."
"You can't --"
"Watch me," Yves declared, stalking away from him.
He burst out of the hospital while she was bargaining with a cab driver. "It's too dangerous."
"For you, maybe," she scoffed, and then realized she'd made a mistake. She'd challenged him. There'd be no getting rid of him now. "The marina," she told the cab driver, getting inside.
Jimmy got in after her. The cab driver, turned, disturbed. Jimmy held up a fifty-dollar bill, which he snatched. "Hotel," he said. And because he'd bought the man's loyalty, that's exactly where they went. A large hotel where the cab driver nodded to the door man. He'd get a kickback for bringing visitors to the hotel, too.
"Two rooms, please," Jimmy said to the front desk clerk, who was carefully ignoring him and the ringing telephone.
"One," the clerk said without looking up. He had a French accent. "One is all we have," he elaborated.
Jimmy turned to Yves. "We'll go --"
"Somewhere else?" the Frenchman sneered. "Booked."
"How do you know?" Jimmy demanded.
"It's tourist season." The clerk said the words as though he held tourists in contempt. "All the rooms will be booked. We've had a cancellation. One."
"We'll take it," Yves said. She didn't intend on staying in, anyway. She'd ditch Jimmy as soon as she could and head out to the Queen Anne. Jimmy looked uncomfortable, but handed over his AmEx card.
"I don't know about this," Jimmy said as he opened the door to the room, revealing the double bed inside. Yves set down her bag and reached for the room service menu. Jimmy remained by the door, looking uncertain as she sat on the bed, reading the menu.
"What do you want?" she asked.
"To go home?" he suggested.
"You can call the boys while we're waiting for dinner to arrive. Make certain they're all right," she soothed. "Find out if they found anything interesting on the ship."
Jimmy closed the door noisily. "There's something on the ship you want," he realized.
Yves tried to look innocent. "If it really has appeared from nowhere in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, don't you want to see it?"
"What's on the ship, Yves?" he demanded.
"I think I'll have the chicken salad," she said, reaching for the phone.
He slammed it back down, hard enough to make it ring. "You're using me. This was all some ruse to get information. Just like all the other times." He looked so disappointed in her.
She said nothing, and he pulled away, disgusted. She placed their room service order and then pushed the phone over toward Jimmy in as close to a peace offering as she could manage.
"I'd like some privacy," he said.
"Of course." She slipped out of the room.
Jimmy started to dial the guys, but then he realized she'd tricked him again. He got down to the cab stand just as her taxi was pulling away. But he knew where she was going. "The marina," he told the next cab driver.
It was dark by the time he reached the boat dock. "Yves!" he yelled, but the wind tore the words away and converted them to silence. He wasn't going to find her out here. He thought about renting a boat, but knew he'd never catch her in the dark. He couldn't believe she'd done this. The guys were right about her after all. He turned his back to the water, ready to find another cab, this one to the airport. He was going home.
Then he heard the nearby roar of an outboard motor being started -- or being choked. He turned, and there was Yves, struggling to start the ancient-looking boat she'd rented. Jimmy climbed in and yanked the string out of her hands. The motor started and the boat headed out into open water.
"This is crazy," he told her, sitting down.
She said nothing.
"What's on the boat, Yves?" he demanded.
"What were your friends looking for?" she inquired.
He shrugged. "I don't know. Evidence."
"Then that's what I'm looking for," she said.
He didn't buy it.
The night was dark, but still. The water stretched like black glass beyond them. There were no clouds overhead, just millions of stars, dazzling away from the city lights.
Then on the horizon it appeared. The ship, lost for so many years, floating there as though it had never left. From their vantage point in the small motorboat, it was breathtaking.
"Stay here," said Yves.
"How are you gonna get up there?" Jimmy demanded.
She'd find a way. She stood up in the boat, sending it rocking. If the others had gotten onto the boat, there had to be some way to board.
Overhead, lightning sizzled through the sky.
"Yves," Jimmy cautioned.
"Cut the motor," she ordered, because he was sitting closest to it and controlling the motion of the boat. The sea was getting choppier. The wind blew her hair into her face and it tasted like salt.
"Yves," Jimmy said, the warning in his tone becoming more dire.
She whipped her head around to look at him, and that's when a large wave knocked against the boat. She lost her footing and fell. She thought Jimmy might have tried to catch her, but couldn't be sure because she hit her head against the side of the boat and everything went dark.
"Bloody hell," she moaned, trying to open her eyes. There was a bright light shining into them and it hurt. The light dimmed and she squinted through the crack between her eyelids. Jimmy's face swum into focus for a moment, before the pounding of her head made it too painful to keep her eyes open.
"Yves," he said insistently.
"Throw me back, I'm not dead yet," she suggested.
"You're going to be fine," he told her.
She opened her eyes again, and the throbbing subsided slightly. She saw she was lying in the hotel room bed, which prompted her to sit bolt upright. "Ow," she muttered, catching sight of herself in the mirror in the bathroom. She got up and inspected the large green and purple lump on her forehead. "How long was I out?" she asked him.
"Not for very long. But the doctor gave you a sedative."
"Doctor?" she asked.
"He said you probably wouldn't remember."
"You moved the boat and I fell down and cracked my head," she said.
He was shaking his head.
"I remember, Jimmy, don't lie to me."
"I didn't move the boat," he said.
"Then what did?"
"The storm," he said.
"A storm?" Come to think of it, her clothes were rather damp.
He nodded. "Blew up from nowhere. And the ship...it was unbelievable, Yves. One minute it was there, big as life, and the next... it was gone."
"You expect me to believe that?"
"This is Devil's Island," he reminded her.
"Devil's Island is a prison," she cried. "This is the Bermuda Triangle!"
"Exactly!" Jimmy grinned.
"Never mind. I'm going home." She looked about for her bag, and when she found it, she grabbed it, digging through for her return ticket. Jimmy opened the door for her. Apparently he thought it was time to go home too.
"The guys aren't going to believe this," he said, still grinning.
Her head hurt too much to think about what the guys would make of all the elements in the tale.
Yves didn't have much to worry about, though. When Jimmy arrived back at the Lone Gunmen's headquarters after several days of being gone, no one looked up or asked him where he'd been. "You won't believe what happened to me!" Jimmy said.
A huge stack of newsletters were plunked down in front of him, by Frohike, who looked none too amused. These were followed by a sheet of mailing labels deposited by Byers. "In today's mail," Langly finished.
"Is this the new issue?" Jimmy asked, taking his chair and starting to put the labels on the newsletters. He held one up to examine the headline. "Hey guys, don't you want to know where I've been?"
The headline read: Ghost Ship Vanishes Without A Trace. Below that, it said Exclusive!
So the guys knew the ship had vanished again. Satellite imagery, it said. And they seemed so proud of the story and their part in it. What they didn't know wouldn't hurt them, Jimmy decided, wanting to protect them and their pride. He never said a word.