I’ve never seen X-Files and I hardly know anything about it except from skimming through Wikipedia, but Kez/psylid’s AU is right up my alley in terms of likes. What interests me the most (because I’m weird like that) is the freaky alien stuff going on with the lads.
So after Three wrote a little something for Advent, and then beathebee, I couldn’t help but ponder on some things for it.
I have changed/adjusted a few things, (for example, the lads get abducted around age 12, not in their teens) but for the most part I’m running with the so-far-posted/established headcanons of those previously mentioned.
cw: scars, nightmares, alien abduction (essentially kidnapping), (underage) non-con bondage and non-sexual touching, medical experimentation, immobilization, needles?, drugging?, implied government conspiracy? freaky alien stuff of nightmares, basically.
If I need to tag something, let me know.
Ross had fallen into a swamp on the last day of their investigation in Florida, tracking down escaped “sewer gators” that had been tearing apart construction workers in Orlando. Smith had taken their laundry down the hall to the little hotel washroom, because Ross had nothing to wear and they were all mostly out of clean clothes anyway, while Ross took a shower.
Time with the Marines meant Ross was used to others staring and being shirtless a lot of the time in a cramped room. You got used to the lack of personal space fairly easily. So when he exits the shower in just a pair of Smith’s borrowed boxers, and crosses the room to his side of the bed, he doesn’t think much about being half-naked around Trott.
Both of them are too tired and too preoccupied on the results of their case.
But Trott notices, and finds himself speaking before he can reign the words in.
“You have scars on your back…” he says in surprise.
Ross freezes up momentarily, slowly running the towel through his hair to dry it. He turns around, eyes warily meeting Trott’s. “Yeah. I’ve had them since I was a kid…” he mutters.
The tone tells Trott that he probably shouldn’t ask any more about it. They stare back at each other in the long stretch of silence, both too wary to speak.
Ross slowly folds the towel in his hands. Some days he forgets about the scars on his back. But other days he wakes up in a cold sweat, heart pounding in his chest, shaking from the memories haunting his sleep, trying to remind himself whatever happened to him when he was a kid was over with. But he knows they weren’t just dreams, they’re too vivid to be fake.
Everyone else thought he was crazy, though. His parents had sent him to psychiatrist after psychiatrist when he was a kid, until he lied and said the nightmares came less and less and then not at all. He was told he just had an over-active imagination, and an obsession with the bizarre, and should spend less time watching creepy tv programs late at night.
Maybe part of that was true- but it didn’t explain the scars: three puckered marks along his spine where some sort of thick, needle-like probe-connectors were; white dots and tiny triangles on the inside of his elbows from wires and tubes. It didn’t explain the fact that Smith and Trott, for whatever reason, looked eerily similar to the other kids in his nightmares. More than similar- it had to be them.
And Ross felt this pull towards them both. Not just attraction. Not just companionship. Something intangible and unknown. He couldn’t explain any of it.
So Ross was too afraid to ask Trott why he mentioned his scars. Most people would have assumed it was from an accident or surgery, and not said something out of not wanting to be impolite. Ross was too afraid to acknowledge that all that time he spent searching for answers wasn’t useless- that his nightmares weren’t as imagined as he knew and feared. That maybe, just maybe, the three of them were as connected as he felt them to be. He’d spent so much time researching, trying effortlessly to find the two other kids in his nightmares, to figure out for himself some tangible proof that he wasn’t crazy. Now, Ross worked with that possible living proof in the X-Files division of the FBI, and he was too afraid to question it again.
Despite all the stress not knowing had caused him over the years…Ross didn’t know if he wanted it to be true. He didn’t know what it would mean if it was.
Smith comes back into the hotel room, toting a pile of laundry, which he dumps with a groan onto the bed. “Here’s a shirt, mate. Sleep pants too.” He tosses some clothes to Ross, who catches them and nods his thanks.
Smith looks between Trott and Ross, who are both steadily avoiding his gaze. He starts sorting the clothes, silently raising a questioning eyebrow at Trott’s wary, almost feared, expression, while Ross gets dressed.
Trott shakes his head. How was it possible? How was it possible that Ross had the same scars on his back as he and Smith? It brings up the nightmares he’s had, the ones he’s refused to acknowledge for a long time.
He had thought Ross looked familiar, when they first met. Like they had seen each other before, but he couldn’t place from where. Now, with this new information, Trott felt sick to his stomach.
It couldn’t be real. He refused to acknowledge it. Even though Smith has matching scars same as him. Same as Ross. It was too coincidental. It was too bizarre.
He didn’t want to think about it.
The sound of keys pulls him from his thoughts. Ross, fully dressed, picks up his wallet and room key from the side table next to the bed.
“I’m going to get a drink from the vending machine. Be back in a few.” He leaves briskly, still not meeting either Smith or Trott’s eyes.
“What’s up with him?” Smith asks Trott, “Did you two get in an argument or something?”
Trott takes a slow breath and lets it out again.
Smith finishes sorting the pile of clothes and sits next to him, taking his hand and brushing his thumb across his knuckles affectionately. “Trott, what…”
“He has the same scars as us, Smith,” Trott whispers.
“I don’t know how…I don’t know what that means, but, somehow-”
“Fuck…” Smith’s eyes widen. His hand shakes in Trott’s. “Did you ask him about it?”
“No, I just pointed it out.” Trott sighs and looks towards the door. “I don’t think I…upset him, but obviously it’s not an easy subject.”
“You can say that again,” Smith grumbles. He squeezes Trott’s hand.
Sixteen years prior.
Childlike curiosity had led Ross outside, staring up in sleepy wonder at the spinning lights that lit up the backyard like a baseball field at night. He walked into the beam of light, bare feet becoming wet from the dew on the grass, wondering what kind of aircraft like this flew so close to the ground.
The lights burned brighter and brighter above him, and he winced and raised his hands to shield his eyes. The heat of it made him feel dizzy, and slowly, Ross felt his feet begin to rise off the ground. Weightlessly, he drifted up, up, up, lifting into the air. His head spun sickly from the floating feeling and he fainted as he was taken into the darkness of the UFO.
When Ross came to again, he was strapped into some sort of table-like apparatus, hooked up with wires and tubes and electrode-sensors strapped to his now-bare chest. He can’t see very much in the dark, but there are two other tables diagonally across from him, with two other boys strapped in as well.
One of the boys is shouting and screaming, tugging painfully at his restraints and the wires attached to his body, trying effortlessly to get out. His mop of strawberry-blonde hair is tangled in the sensors at his temples.
Shadowy grey figures move from the darkness around them, watching, murmuring in strange sounds that Ross can’t understand. He shakes with fear as the figures move towards each of them.
“Get off of me! Get off! Let me go!” The other boy screams.
The third boy, with brown hair in a terrible bowl-cut, has his eyes squeezed shut, whimpering and squirming away from the figures.
One of the gray shadow-beings comes over to Ross. His spindly appendages, finger-like but longer, reach out and tap Ross’ temples, breastbone, and major arteries, several times in succession. Each tap feels different, painful once and strange and nauseating the next. The figure presses something over Ross’ eyes, and then Ross feels something fitted between his nostrils, plug-like.
“Please- please, don’t- don’t-” he pleads, insensate. He tries to fight back against it, but he’s tightly secured to the table beneath him. Something is pressed over his mouth until he’s forced to breathe in through his nose and the inhale feels cold. He shudders. Each breath in hurt all inside him, ached like ice was collecting in his lungs, making him feel heavy and immobile.
Ross shook his head out of the grip, weakly struggling as something else was pushed against his forehead until he couldn’t move it, anchoring it in place. Whatever was over his eyes lifted, and he sees similar things being done to the two other boys.
Ross tries to breathe through his mouth instead of his nose, but he can’t feel anything anymore, just his numb lips mumbling over and over. “Please make it stop, please make it stop, please-”
He can’t even hear his own voice.
The figure moves around behind him, and Ross feels a weird prodding sensation along his spine. A strange poke and twist, painless but unpleasant, three times in a row up his spine.
And then the figures move away from each of them. Ross hears loud snapping sounds, and lights turning on overhead, whirring above them, making the shrieking noises of machinery. The lights get dizzily brighter and brighter like they had before. Ross closes his eyes but he can still see the lights as the room starts to glow.
Balls of strange energy spin around, of all different colors and sizes. Ross could feel them- the warmth, the heat, moving between himself and the other boys. Electricity-like, passing along the wires, from one to the next. The lights meld into the wires and make contact with their skin. A fizzing, crawling sensation sinks into Ross’ chest. The energy hums inside him, weird burbling and buzzing, like a song he can’t comprehend.
Just over the whirring sound of the lights and machinery, Ross thinks he can hear one of the other boys crying.
It seemed to last an eternity, and then all at once, it stopped. In the darkness, Ross feels the figures come close again, but he can’t seem to stay awake. His fingers weakly curl in their restraints, and everything melds into black.
Though the tests the aliens ran were physically and mentally scarring, I don’t think the aliens are necessarily malicious in their intent? more curious than anything. They’re not interested in repopulating the Earth or finding a cure for their kind’s disease or stuff like that.
I would like to think maybe the aliens were looking for a power source or interested in the scientific abilities they could induce into humans. The chips in the lads’ necks were supposed to signal to the aliens that the trio were close again. Like tracking radio waves. The closer the trio get together, and the more they’re around each other, the more they grow in power- possibly developing precognitive/extra-perceptive abilities?
Whatever the aliens did, the effects start showing up.
Smith’s emotions start moving objects, shaking things, anger making filing cabinets fly open and books fly off shelves. (telekinesis)
Ross sensing where the others are. Having glimpses, flashes, and knowing which direction he needs to go to find them. (clairvoyance)
Maybe Trott hearing thoughts, noises and supernatural burbling, and understanding alien language. (telepathy)
Eventually Smith’s power gets him locked up for the night because people think he’s crazy. Government officials come, Sips and some FBI goons, and they think they’re here to break them out. Instead, they take them to a facility to have them tested. Knowing the whole time they got abducted as kids and might have had these abilities.
But what the lads have developed so far is very small in magnitude. Smith’s is really the most to develop, and it only shows up when he’s ticked off. Eventually the three are blackmailed to keep quiet. Let out of testing, because the longer they keep the trio separate, the more their powers wane. Despite it being easy for the FBI to make them disappear without a trace, they’re actually good at their job, and there are still cases that need solving.