Title: We All Die Virgins
Author: Jaime Lyn
Category: MSR, X-File (Temp category: WIP)
Spoilers: None. (Well, I would hope you know who Mulder and Scully ARE...) This is a season 8-9 free zone.
Disclaimer: Frank, Alice, Lily and Kelsey Harbor are mine, all mine. Detective Guinness is mine as well. But Mulder and Scully, and all other X-Files related characters belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, FOX, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, and some other rich people. You know--the ones who actually make money. :oP
Summary: Time flies. Life is short. What is a virgin but something left untouched? Only we can let ourselves leave this world without having ever really experienced it.
Currently, a work in progress. Please do not archive until the story is completed.
Author's Quick Notes: This story is an idea I've been playing around with for awhile, one that I began to write down, then abandoned, then began again. Hopefully, I will have gotten it right this time. For my own personal enjoyment, this tale takes place in a seasons 8-9 free zone. Alternate Universe then, I suppose. Meaning, it is current day (2001,) but you don't have to have been watching the show this year and last to know what's going on. Sounds good to me. Just FYI: the places used in this story are real towns on Long Island, but the characters are ficticious.
The names of all real-life magazines, books, movies, and TV shows mentioned are copyrighted and don't belong to me.
Oh--and GO METS! :o)
We All Die Virgins
by Jaime Lyn
Labor with what zeal we will,
Something still remains undone,
Something uncompleted still
Waits the rising of the sun.
By the bedside, on the stair,
At the threshhold, near the gates,
With its menace or its prayer,
Like a medicant it waits;
Waits, and will not go away;
Waits, and will not be gainsaid;
By the cares of yesterday
Each to-day is heavier made;
Till at length the burden seems
Greater than our strength can bear,
Heavy as the weight of dreams
Pressing on us everywhere.
And we stand from day to day,
Like the dwarfs of times gone by,
Who, as Northern legends say,
On their shoulders held the sky.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
December 26th, 2001
Both Lily Ann Harbor and Kelsey Liz Harbor had agreed that morning that it was time to hit the road. Time to get out of Lynbrook, to get away from Durland Road and New York. It was time to get out of the oil puddles and the garbage filled sewers and all the slush and the snow and especially, out of the two story Tudor home where Frank and Alice Harbor had, for years, sequestered the family.
“We’re gonna make it on our own,” Lily Ann Harbor had said. “Like Laverne and Shirley.”
A shame that both Frank and Alice Harbor were dead now, buried delicately beneath the chrysanthemums in the back yard, and would not bear witness to this blessed, blessed day. But what had come from their deaths was blessing enough. One hundred thousand dollars—and all of it left to the eldest Harbor, Lily Ann Harbor.
“What do you think of this?” Lily had asked that morning at breakfast, her fingers clutching two boarding passes. “California. Sunny skies. Lots of beaches. Los Angeles. Whatddya say, Kels?”
Kelsey Liz glanced up, her eyes glinting with nervousness. “I don’t know,” she said, her chin resting on her folded arms. “Is it safe out there?”
Lily frowned. She had never known Kelsey to disagree with her on anything, and even if Kelsey was scared of leaving, they would get through this new adventure together. Lily knew they would. “Safe?” snorted Lily. She giggled and pulled up a chair next to her sister, slapping the boarding passes down upon the table. “Of course it’s safe. You watched those TV shows. You read the magazines. Look how much fun all those people have!”
“But what about all this?” Kelsey had asked. “Do you really think we can leave?” She squinted in the dimness of a near empty living room. One couch, one wooden table, empty white walls. Today, a large stack of colorful magazines sat on the floor: Seveteen, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, YM, People. The devil’s instruments, as their parents had called them. Evil. Lily had not hesitated to order close to fifty of those magazines from the internet the day after their parents had been buried.
“We can do this,” said Lily, and she grasped her sister’s hand. “I promise you. We can make it out there. The world isn’t evil. It’s everything here that’s evil.”
Kelsey nodded and took a deep breath. “Okay,” she said. “I know you’re right. You’re always right.”
LaGuardia International Airport
Long Island, New York
That evening, the terminal at LaGuardia Airport was nothing short of Happy Holiday Wonderment: wonderment all wrapped up in not one, not two, not three, but seven separate plastic Christmas trees that lined the cracked, linoleum, guest shop walkway. Lily and Kelsey had never seen Christmas trees before. At least, not up close. They had paused beside each one and gazed, their fingers intertwined, at the blinking lights. The colors were amazing. Astounding.
But it was the commotion that excited them the most.
Frizzy haired passengers juggling carry-ons, suitcases, cell-phones and double-decaf lattes, wandering from gate to gate looking lost and beaten; everyone was bundled up and protected by layers of furs, cotton, feather downs, and polyester. The only thing that all New Yorkers could agree on this year was that it was fucking cold outside. Lily had heard someone say that on the news, but of course, the fuck part had been bleeped.
Certainly, it was well below freezing now. The temperature was nearly five below in upstate New York—ten in the city, fifteen in Lynbrook, Long Island, where Lily and Kelsey had hopped, shivering, into a taxi cab. Their first one ever. The temperatures were dropping fast, the wind chill picking up even faster. Everyone sported windblown cheeks and red noses. The bathrooms were crowded, overflowing with coughing parents and dancing, bundled children, old ladies in wheelchairs and airline employees looking to change into something warmer.
The floors were trampled, littered with the remnants of slush. Styrofoam cups rolled off the trash receptacles, blew past candy wrappers and old, crumpled newspapers. The drinking fountains had gum lodged in the squirting mechanisms and hot chocolate dripping down the sides.
The food court was no better; lines of distressed, hungry looking people stretched for an entire gift shop. The tile beneath the lines was stained with wet, muddy footprints. Both Lily and Kelsey were unused to the mess.
“So, what do you want, Kels?” Lily Ann Harbor turned to her younger sister and chucked an index finger at the light up menu. A large, plastic square had been ripped from one corner of the board, exposing a burnt out, dusty light bulb. Only the right half was lit. Cheeseburgers, large fries, fried and re-fried chicken sandwiches, pseudo sweet and sour sauce; fast food wasn’t exactly ritzy, but the greasy, chewy consistency would certainly be enough to tie them over—at least through the six hour plane trip.
Kelsey Liz Harbor twirled a blonde curl around her pinky, then tossed her entire ponytail over one shoulder. “I don’t know,” she said, cocking her fair head to one side. “I mean, you’d think I’d crave a cheeseburger. I’ve always wanted to try one. But I ate all that cereal before we left. And I’m nervous, Lil. I’m really not hungry.”
Lily sighed and grabbed a moist red tray from the stack of trays on the counter top. “Cereal? Oh come on. Look where we are, Kels! Eat something. You always say that you’re not hungry. It’s just not healthy.”
Kelsey shrugged. “Not hungry,” she repeated.
Lily shook her head and stuck her blue mittens in her pocket, yanking out a large wad of bills. Tens, fives, ones—all crinkled and used. “Well, maybe we won’t have to eat so much of this crap when we get to California,” she said, and winked. Her green eyes sparkled with pleasure. “I’m going to be one of those—what do you call it? Those starlets. You know, the girls in all the TV shows that they talk about on ‘Access Hollywood.’ Calvin Klein’s going to be all over himself wanting to photograph me.”
Kelsey snorted. “The underwear guy? Why would the heck would the underwear guy want to photograph you?”
Lily sighed and leaned against the metallic handrail guiding the fast food line. She set one slender arm against her hip and ran the other arm down the rail. She waggled her thick brown eyebrows and breathed, “Because I exude sexuality.”
Suddenly, a tall woman with long black hair turned to face Lily, her brown eyes wide and confused. She whipped her sleekly brushed black hair back and forth, her head shaking for a split second, as if she’d forgotten something. The woman bent down to ask, “I’m sorry—did you say something ?”
Lily frowned and turned to Kelsey, who shrugged and moved out of the woman’s way. Kelsey folded her tiny hands in front of her chest and stared at the floor. “No,” said Lily. She spread her hands wide and shook her head, nervous.
The tall woman nodded. “Oh…well, I’m sorry,” she said. “I could have sworn you were talking to me.”
Lily shook her head. Kelsey grabbed hold of Lily’s coat sleeve and pulled her down the line, giggling. The tall woman frowned again and ducked back into the crowd of fast-food-goers, her black hair disappearing in a sea of coats, hats, sleeves, and scarves.
“Crazy,” said Kelsey, and she pulled her leather jacket tighter around her midsection. It was warm in the airport, but not warm enough. At least, not yet. A gaggle of toddlers bundled up like walking starfish wandered past them. One toddler fell down and screamed, his entire face turning bright red-scarlet.
“Don’t ever let me have kids,” said Lily, and she moved slowly down the fast food assembly line, examining the textures and consistencies of each basket of fries. In the end she passed up the fries for a chef salad, a diet coke, and a packet of cookies. “You sure you don’t want anything—“
A heavy set man wearing a bomber jacket shoved past them in line, grabbed a red tray that nearly took off Kelsey’s head when he swept it in towards his chest. Lily gasped. Kelsey ducked, but said nothing. Lily stuck out her tongue at the man's sweaty backside and considered giving him a piece of her mind. People were so motherfucking rude nowadays. And crazy—hearing things, seeing things. Damned New Yorkers. The Ghostbusters were right; city dwellers really were miserable. Lily was terribly glad that she was getting the hell out of the state.
“He really doesn’t need to be eating crap like that,” Kelsey joked, pointing towards the fat, bomber jacket man. She raised a blonde eyebrow and made a face.
Lily giggled and bit her lip. “Okay, Freud. Psychological survey.”
Kelsey cleared her throat. “Bad childhood—mother was too overprotective, smothering perhaps. His father’s emotional absence made him a bully in his younger years, withdrawn in his older years. He eats fries and burgers and pizza all the time, thinks of food as a fail safe—comfort. Has a few friends, but nobody better than the average poker buddy.” Kelsey’s eyes glinted mischievously. “No girlfriend. Never had one. Never gets laid, never will.”
The server at the cash register cleared her throat. “Um… Ma’am. Excuse me?”
Lily turned to face a tall, skinny stick of a girl who looked no older than sixteen. The girl had brown hair tied tight in a ponytail, a fat pimple on her nose, and a bewildered expression on her face, as if someone had just beaten her upside the head with an umbrella. “That’ll be five sixty nine,” Skinny Cashier girl said.
Lily sighed and handed the cashier two of the crumpled up bills. Kelsey shrugged and leaned into the railing. Kelsey still wasn’t used to being so close to so many strange people.
“Not that I’m getting laid either,” Lily said, and she scooped up her tray.
“I’m sorry?” said the cashier.
“No. Not you.” Lily waved her hand at the girl and nodded impatiently. Kelsey rubbed her fingers together inside her mittens and scrunched her nose at the cashier, who had already turned to the next customer and appeared uninterested in either of them. Lily giggled and crossed her eyes, smacked her sister on the arm, and began to weave her way through the throng of holiday mayhem.
“Guess we’ll have to do something about that soon,” Kelsey said, sidestepping several tables and dodging an old lady with a walker. Kelsey’s pace was always slower, more measured, and she was beginning to fall behind.
“Why’s that?” asked Lily, squinting to find a place to sit.
“Oh, I don’t know,” said Kelsey, and her voice sounded far away. “You don’t want to die a virgin, do you?”
Lily frowned and balanced her tray on her arm. Of all the things to say to a rising Hollywood starlet, that was certainly not going to earn any brownie points. And especially since Kelsey knew how badly Lily wanted a boyfriend, a lover like the ones they read about in Harlequin romance novels. What in the heck kind of a response was her sister looking for? ‘Yes, Kelsey, I know I’m a failure, especially since I may never be able to capture a husband like this.’ Lily grunted and struck her tray down on top of the condiment stand, her hands on her hips.
“Kelsey Liz,” she said, twisting. “What the hell do you mean by—“
But Kelsey wasn’t there. Lily frowned and strained her neck, glanced around several people, over them, and under them. She turned in a circle, her eyes widened in confusion. “Kelsey?”
She stepped back into line and ran quickly down the throng of waiting people, through the pay-here-row, back around the railing and back through the coffee shop. Several patrons groaned at her, shoved her backwards and asked her to wait her turn.
She looked up and down the terminal walkway. Globs of bundled, moving people, pets in carriers, shopping bags, a rotating Christmas Tree playing Auld Langs Ayne. Her sister was nowhere.
Stewardesses, pilots, airline employees, security guards, taxi drivers, guest shop attendants. Lily’s heart beat faster, her head throbbing painfully. She’d seen this sort of thing on Sixty Minutes and Twenty/Twenty. The unsuspecting victim turns her head for one harmless second and—
BAM. Just like that.
“Kelsey!” Lily suppressed a sob and ran up the walkway, raced back the way she had come. Her whole life, Lily had never been separated from her sister for more than a few minutes at a time. They’d slept in the same room, shared a bathroom, a closet, and an in home tutor. They had never ventured outside, and certainly never wandered farther than the basement. Their trip to the airport was the farthest they’d ever gone together. California was going to mark their entrance into the world, their emergence as beautiful young women. Neither of them would have come here alone. Certainly not.
“Kelsey!” Lily shrieked. “Kel-sey!” She paused to sob and catch her breath, oxygen rattling her chest.
The security guard at the X-ray gate found her like that fifteen minutes later, red faced, teary eyed, and utterly hysterical, screaming her sister’s name over and over and over like a lost soldier.
Continured in Chapter 2