|Neither Rain, nor Sleet, nor Neuralyzer
Author: Blackwolf-20 PM
One day Agent J unexpectedly runs into his ex-partner Agent K, now a postman. J wants to violate the rules by connecting with him, if something else doesn't violate it first.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 5 - Words: 27,481 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 06-24-12 - Published: 05-16-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8123772
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Men in Black
Okay, this is the last chapter. I gotta say, I really enjoyed writing this. Hopefully it won't be the last time I write an MIB fic. I have lots of ideas for stories, unfortunately not enough time. Aside from being inspired by the beginning of MIB2, where we're dealing with a neutral K, I was also writing this fic to inspire others to start writing more MIB fics. I also strive to encourage others to think of out-of-the-box ideas for stories. Besides that, we need more K stories. I love the dynamic of K and J. There's just not enough.
Anyways, we left off with K being rushed to MIB emergency unit. Will he survive? Or better yet, will his time with J survive?
Review: Ok, I finally saw MIB3. I gotta say it does beat MIB2 like people say, and it was the first movie I saw in 3D. Interesting experience. I gotta admit I was expecting a bit more and a grand major twist, but I think that's because I like drama so much, which is why this story started becoming dramatic. It was entertaining, but I think it lacked some comedy. Anyways, it's inspired me to write more MIB fics! Especially focusing on the K/J relationship. As much as I would like to do an actual MIB4 (as I did have an idea for one), I would probably do more short stories linked to the series. I happen to be working on one and I'll see how that goes. Hope you guys will still be reading such fics. Anyways, on to the story.
What Are We?
Agent J's P.O.V
In the time I had gotten to know K, or not really gotten to know him, as a partner before he was neuralyzed, I never once pictured the guy going down. He had that way about him, not exactly hood, but that 'nobody can kick my ass' kind of way about him. People like that are tough as nails. They earn that right to be called legend around the workplace. They earned the title of being the most feared human in the universe. I could tell from the look of the other agents that they had never imagined K falling, regardless of the fact he was wearing a mailman uniform and wasn't working with us. But I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to them. I was paying more attention to the paleness of my one-time partner. All I could do, was turn the blame on myself.
None of this would have ever happened if I hadn't made the first move and tried to talk to him. Then again, I couldn't account for the fact that it might have happened anyway, but in a place and time where I couldn't protect him. Sad thing was, I couldn't protect him even when I was in the right place and time with him.
When I saw him fade to unconsciousness, I thought that was it. The final sign that it was my worst failure in MIB history. I just kept calling his name, expecting him to show me it wasn't true. But he was slipping further away from me when I was stopped and two of the agents continued wheeling him into the operating room.
"It's alright J. He's going to be alright."
L's hand rested against my chest, and her gentle voice was enough to calm me some. I was strong enough to barrel through her and continue following K, but I didn't. I just looked at where he disappeared behind the gray doors. I could imagine my eyes were wet when I looked back at her, but she didn't say anything about it.
"You better make sure L." It sounded a little more harsh then I intended. She didn't take it the wrong way though. She just nodded.
"I'll make sure we do everything we can."
The next thing I saw, was her disappearing through those same doors. I was wishing I could follow behind her, but it was against protocol for a non-skilled agent to go into the operation room unless that unskilled agent was the patient. And speaking of protocol, there was Zed walking up the hall toward me. I just dropped my head and shook it. The last thing I needed was a lecture, at a time like this. I was liable to say anything to the man. Anything that would get me fired for sure.
When he stepped up to me, he didn't say anything yet. He looked like he was trying to think of the best way to start, considering the situation.
"I'm sorry son." It was sincere, and all I could do was hang my head and nod a little. "Want to tell me how it happened? Or should I just guess?"
"Couldn't you already tell what happened?" Again, I was a little harsh sounding.
"Well let me see," he said, in a kind of 'I'm ten seconds away from bitch-slapping you' kind of voice. "An ex-agent K shows up here with a AK 7 Zyettozon Puller bullet in his shoulder, given to him by the most wanted Ocktoleptias in the whole universe."
"I think that sums it up pretty well," I tell him.
"Not quite," he disagreed. "Rumor has it that ex-agent K was responsible for bringing down the Ocktoleptias. Now the question I have for you is why."
This was something I had to answer carefully, but I was in no mood to be interrogated. I just wanted to be in a place where I didn't have to be reminded of what I'd done. Some place like the waiting room, but Zed wasn't about to let me off that easily.
"A new requirement of the postal workers?" I shrugged. Again I had the need to lighten the mood, but I was really being more condescending than anything.
"Enough with the cracks. What happened?"
His tone told me it was time to get right to the point. I sighed.
"It was my fault. He came into the coffee shop I was at, and I…may have broken protocol."
"Code seven seven two. Under no circumstances must an agent—"
"I know, I know the code. Don't talk to neuralyzed agents," I interrupted. "I did mention it was my fault."
"And it will be more so if K dies."
I didn't see it coming, although I felt that I should have. It was the only thing I'd been thinking about since I found out he'd been injured. But to hear that possible fact on Zed's lips, made it all the more unbearable.
"Why'd you do it?"
For a minute, I couldn't speak.
"I thought…I don't know. This job…" He held up his hand.
"Save it," he said. "Get to the part where a neutral K decided to join you in the fight against Xarrex. I wouldn't have believed one day of conversation was enough to get him on your side."
"That's because it wasn't one day, it was two." At that he raised his eyebrows, unable to believe I could be that stupid as to break one of the codes for that long. "I just, couldn't resist. I talked with him, got him to listen to me. I mean, the man was troubled. You know the problems he was starting to have with his wife."
"It's not your job to dig into his personal affairs," Zed snapped.
"No, it belongs to you and the few guys still keeping tabs on him!"
As soon as I said it, I regretted it. I had to turn away from him. I was getting upset all over again, in the worst way. I couldn't be that way right now. I looked around at him. He was tight lipped and frowning, but the important thing was he hadn't said I was fired yet.
"Sorry," I apologized. "I shouldn't…"
"Don't be." His words caught me off guard. "You don't think I haven't felt for him, after what I learned by keeping tabs on him. It's not easy, but we cannot meddle in the lives of ex-agents. Especially to fix their marriages."
"No. It wasn't about fixing his marriage. It was about, fixing me…and him."
Zed raised his eyebrows a bit, and I was afraid he was going to question what I meant. Thankfully he didn't. His expression was unreadable, but I was sure he understood what I meant.
"Well, in order to help him, I kinda spilled the beans on who he was, and what the MIB stood for. I just talked to him yesterday, and he decided to believe me enough to come back for more. Then Xarrex had to show up."
"Xarrex," he said gravely.
I couldn't take the standing. I walked over to the side of the hall and sat down.
"Yeah. Turns out, he'd been watching me and K, and today he decided to do something about it."
"We can erase the memories of a human, but an alien never forgets," Zed pointed out. At that, I kind of smiled when I thought about K in action.
"I think that may count for K too. Even though he was neuralyzed, even after he was injured, he was still capable of kicking his ass. It was like the old K was back."
"Back. Maybe, in some unexplainable way. But you know it can't stay that way. K has a life to live now, and so do you."
"If he lives long enough to live it," I mutter.
My head was hanging again as the timing of the wait started to sink in. Then I heard Zed sigh.
"Your actions were reckless. Fraternizing with a neutral. It caused the exposure of this agency to a civilian and endangered his life. But…on the other hand, your talking to him may have saved him. Who knows if Xarrex would have met K in a place where you were not."
I raised my head to look up at him, hoping to see some wetness behind his eyes too. I knew he and K went way back.
"Would you have broken code seven seven two?"
"We'll never know, because you did it first." There seemed to be something of a pleased expression on his face, even though it wasn't quite clear. If I didn't know any better, I'd say he was happy about our encounter. He was right about the timing. Anywhere else where I or another agent wasn't, K would have been dead for sure, and without knowing why. Zed gave me a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
"Hang in there." Then he turned and started to walk back down the hall.
"What? No punishment?"
"We'll talk about punishment later," he said, without looking back at me.
Now I was left alone, with a clock ticking away the minutes until I found out the truth about K. I hunched over and dropped my head. If he did manage to pull through, there were two things I hoped for. One was that he didn't forget our short time together. And two, that Zed would use this event as an excuse to bring K back into the agency. I could only make them hopes and not wish on them too hard because of what Zed had said. K did have a life now, with his wife. And even if their time as a happily married couple didn't seem promising, I didn't want him to lose that other life. That safe life where he wasn't being shot by alien bastards.
Kevin Brown's P.O.V
I could see nothing but darkness, but I was calm. I felt rested. I didn't want to wake from my peaceful state. There was no fiery pain in my shoulder. No groups of strange men wearing black suits and black sunglasses. And most importantly, there were no aliens.
"Is he dead?"
"Looks dead to me?"
"Think they'll bury him in that uniform?"
"Yeah, they'll have to deliver it back to the postal service."
There were strange voices circulating around me, making me frown. They didn't sound like any type of voices I'd ever heard. Not even on a cartoon. I decided it was best to leave the peacefulness behind and open my eyes.
I could only do so slowly, and I blinked a few times. Four faces were leaning down into mine, staring at me. Four, not so human faces. They looked like some kind of worms with big black eyes and long antenna on their heads. I frowned at them and blinked a few times. I leaned my head up a little to get a better look and they leaned back. Their bodies where slender and small. In fact, they had climbed up onto the sides of the bed I was laying on.
"K, you're alive!" one of them shouted. It was confirmed that they were the source of the strange, squeak like voices.
"We thought you were dead for sure," said another.
"The day is still young. If you do die, can I have your stereo?"
One of the worms smacked the other.
"He doesn't have a stereo."
I laid my head back down and tried to think. Then I turned my head to my right shoulder. I was shirtless, so I could see my shoulder had been bandaged up. Immediately images of the abnormal and deadly situation in Jo's Café came to me. I sighed and stared up at the ceiling. Then I closed my eyes. I had lived. I was going to go back to see my wife. But then I thought about what I had learned. I thought about why I was alive. I knew their secrets, which meant that I shouldn't have been brought back to life. I took a moment to scan my new perimeter. It was white and soothing, much like a normal hospital room.
"Where am I?" I asked.
"In recovery. Poor L had to work awfully hard to get that bullet out."
"Yeah. Didn't think you'd make it without problems."
I frowned at them. "Other than dying?"
They all looked at each other. "Aaaaahh." Then they turned to me.
"Wasn't a normal shot," one of them said, and he shook his head at me.
"Yeah, could have made you real sick. Make you lose your mind."
"Like a rabid dog."
"Yeah, then your skin would start to turn purple, and soon enough—"
"All right. I think I get the picture," I told them. I raised my head up to observe them once more. "What are you?"
"What do you mean what are we?" one asked.
"He doesn't remember, remember?"
"Oh yeah. We're the worm guys!"
"Annelids, to be specific."
"Worm guys?" I question. "You don't look like any worms I've encountered before."
"When you were with MIB, you encountered us a lot."
"How many worms have you encountered?"
I pushed myself to sit up. The worms instantly dropped down to the floor.
"Could you warn a guy next time?" one said.
I merely glanced at the strange creatures. "No problem."
I found it odd that I was so calm around them. Maybe it was because I found out trench coat man and Jo were not like me. Had they come in human costume that did not involve black suits, I might have been a little suspicious. That in turn made me wonder how I was going manage life, granted the MIB allowed it. I could see myself being suspicious of every person I ever met from here on out. How would I ever know that they weren't extraterrestrial? Did it matter that they were? And briefly, just briefly, I found myself becoming suspicious of my wife. How did I know I wasn't like the guy on that one movie, who learned that his wife was an alien? I didn't. And now that I knew I was once a man in black, I couldn't be sure. Not unless I asked J. If he knew me so well, I was sure he had to know my wife.
"Where is everyone?" I asked them.
"Probably planning funeral arrangements, just in case."
"Care for some coffee?"
"No thanks." Now I needed to decide what to do. Track J down, or anyone in this facility, or quietly sneak away. I looked down at my bandaged shoulder and lightly squeezed it. There was no pain. If anything, I would have sworn it was completely healed.
I looked up. The dark haired female agent that had accompanied me along with J was standing in the doorway.
"Looks that way," I told her.
Then her glance dropped down to the so-called worms.
"Alright you guys. Beat it."
"Oh can't we stay?" one begged.
"We want to see what happens next."
"You were watching the procedure?" she questioned suspiciously.
"Just some of it," one admitted.
"We were curious. Let us stay. K, tell her to let us stay. After all we've been through together."
"Remember the good times?"
"You owe us."
"Guys—" L started, but I raised my hand.
"It's alright. If they want to stay, it's fine with me."
They started to cheer.
"Well it's not fine with me. Out," L ordered.
"Let's go get some coffee."
"Oh yeah, then have a round of twister. Middle left arm red."
I watched them as they left the room, then I looked up at L.
"I think I was just starting to like those guys. Whatever they were," I admitted.
"The less exposure to aliens you have, the better. Especially those guys."
I looked away from her. "I suppose you're right."
I listened as she moved further into the room and startled rummaging through medical supplies behind me.
"Am I…really okay?" I muttered.
"We're about to see. You've been out for two hours since the surgery," she said as she came back to me. She seated herself on a rolling stood and held up one of those pen lights. "Open up wide."
I let her flash that light into my eyes all she wanted.
"Irises look good. No sign of prolonged exposure. No…green." Then she clicked off the light and smiled. "I have good news."
"You'll live," she confirmed. "You can put your shirt back on." Then she got up to put it away while I reached for the top half of my uniform. As I sat there buttoning it up, I thought about how lucky I must be. Then again, how lucky was I? "It was close. A shot like that is usually unsurvivable, no matter how minimum the damage may seem. "
I squeezed the bandaged area.
"No internal damage?"
"Just leave the bandages on for two weeks and you should be good to go. I gave you a special injection to help the healing along. Once those two weeks are over, you won't even know you were injured."
"I would suggest, next time, leave the apprehending of dangerous aliens to the professionals."
"I plan to," I told her, "Unless…"
"Unless…I don't get out of here alive."
I could tell she was frowning at me, even though I didn't look around at her.
"What are you talking about? You are alive."
"I'm talking about my memories," I explained. "What I know, now."
She didn't say anything. Instead, she went back to rummaging through a few drawers. I placed my hand against my shoulder.
"I suppose I should be grateful, for some of the things that happened to me, in the past two days. I haven't felt so lost. But now, I still have my wife to think about."
I heard L walking back in my line of view.
"And you'll be able to return to her K."
"K," I said. "Are you sure I can have that old life, or am I fated to be an agent again?"
"I don't know," she said calmly. "I suppose that will have to be sorted out with Zed."
"Our boss. You're old friend."
I gave a nod and dropped my gaze to the well tiled floor. I assumed the ball was in my court, to decide if I wanted that life back. The one that I knew couldn't be real, yet, one that I could no longer question. Would I come back to a place where everyone knew me, yet I still didn't fully know myself? Could I take the risks and give up so much?
I raised my head and saw her looking at me with a slight sign of pity. I didn't need anyone feeling sorry for me at this point.
"How did you do it?" She raised her eyebrows in question. "How did you manage to wipe away that life from my memory?"
"We have a special, pain free procedure to erase memories."
"Do you plant false ones in its place?" I felt a little bit of anger rising at the thought of that.
"No. What a person does on his or her own afterwards, is up to them. We want them to live happy, normal, carefree lives without worrying about alien threats."
So, it wasn't a surgical procedure, as far as I could tell. One less time consuming. I didn't need the details on that, I just needed to know why. I thought about my current job, and me telling J I thought I was good at it.
"I must not have been a very good agent, if you got rid of me."
L slowly started to sink onto her stool, looking stunned.
"Oh no, K, you were a great agent. A legend actually. One of the best."
She sighed. "It was your wish to be neuralyzed. To, retire. As I recall from what J told me, you didn't want to remember being swallowed by a giant cockroach. I myself, don't blame you."
At that, I furrowed my brow.
"I don't remember that."
"Exactly," she said with a hint of a smile. Then she stood, allowing me time to think how horrible of a situation it had to be for me to want to retire. But after today, nothing seemed to compare. In fact, it made me like the sound of retiring from this kind of job.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Why did you become an MIB agent?"
At that, she seemed to lose some of her calm composure and became a little flustered. She gave a little shrug at that.
"Fate I guess. I used to work at the morgue, and I came across, all kinds of, unexplainable things."
"Aliens?" I asked.
"Aliens," she confirmed. "And then out of the blue, you showed up." At that, my eyebrows raised, intrigued to hear more. "You, along with J. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, because one of those aliens you were tracking, the giant cockroach, took me hostage. Then I found out about what you guys did, during that unpleasant situation you didn't want to remember. I don't know. I thought it beat my job. Thought I could be doing a hell of a lot more than tending to the dead. At least I'd be around people who believed in me."
I let the story sink into my mind. Every agent must have some story for wanting to join the MIB. For wanting to deal with the possible nightmares and paranoia that came with the damn job. But what was mine? What was J's? I wasn't so sure it mattered to know anymore. L was willing to answer my questions, but I wasn't sure if there was any real point in it. I wouldn't know where I would go from here. If I would return to that life where I was hopelessly lost. Back to a failing marriage. Would I be made to forget everything all over again?
"Anything else?" she asked.
I just gave her a quick smile. She wanted to be helpful, but surely she knew, something had to be done with me. So until I knew what that was, I was forced to push my curiosity aside. I had learned enough for one day anyways. I shook my head.
"I suppose, I should go see J."
"I suppose, that's best," she agreed. "I can only imagine how he's feeling by now. He didn't believe me when I said you were alright."
"You were his partner K. He cares about you." She said it as if I should already know. I felt like I did.
I got off the bed and headed towards the door. Then I stopped and turned to her.
"I appreciate it, everything," I said to her.
"No problem," she said. "Shall we?"
I let her escort me out the door and down the hall where I had traveled through unawares.
Agent J's P.O.V
I wasn't exactly sure how long I sat their with my head hanging like a dog, but it felt almost like a whole day had gone by. I was grateful when L came and told me he had made it through surgery. The first thing I wanted to do was run back there and see for myself. But then she lectured me about how we needed for him to come to first. That he could still be in the danger zone, and she needed to make sure he was alright when he woke up. I thought I would run back there anyways, but I had accepted it and stayed. If it was better to wait, then I would. But damn, it was taking a while.
I thought about getting coffee, but the thought reminded me of K. Besides that, I felt I had enough of coffee for a while. I'd probably switch to orange juice from now on. So I just stayed where I was. I found myself swallowing a lot. Then, I found myself imagining the worst. If K didn't make it, what was I going to do? What was I going to tell his wife? By the time I thought about those questions again and tried to answer them, the double doors opened. L came through, then so did K. I stood.
"K, you're alright man!"
I started to go and hug him, but he held up a hand. That's right. MIB agents don't do that kind of thing.
"Better let me take it easy," he warned, and he pointed at his shoulder.
"Right, right," I agreed. "So, you're alright? No problems?"
"Nope, no problems."
"Thank god," I sighed. "Thought I lost you K."
I didn't care if K saw my feelings on my face. And I didn't care that he hardly showed any. What mattered was that the closed-off, stubborn man was standing before me. He had survived, and I shouldn't have doubted it. He was looking back at me, and I was sure he could read what I had been thinking, and fearing. Without saying anything, I could tell he was thinking the same thing about me. He had risked his life to save me, and I could tell in his expression, he was glad I was alright, even if he didn't quite know me.
Then K dropped his gaze to the floor behind me as something patted its way up to us.
"Hey L, got the reports from the mail room. Whoa K! You're alive! The worms guys was telling me you was dead."
I could imagine it was a shock for K to see a talking dog. He didn't say anything about it though. He just looked up at me and raised a brow.
"Yeah," I said, already knowing what he was asking. "Even damn dogs aren't what they seem."
"I'll take those," L said, and she squatted to pick them up off the floor.
"Does that mean you're back with us now?" Frank asked. "I'm still trying to work my way in as an agent."
"Yeah, that'll happen," I said skeptically.
But that did raise the question lingering at the back of both our minds. What were we gonna do about K? I looked over at L, and she cleared her throat.
"I'll leave you two alone. Come on Frank. Let's talk to Zed about making you an agent."
"Now we're talking," he said. Before he left, he turned back to K again. "Nice to have you back K."
Then he trotted off after L down the hall.
"Hey, he ain't bad, for an alien sniffing asses."
"But am I?" K asked. I frowned. "Back?"
At that, I briefly glanced down to my pocket. What was in there, was the only answer. Minutes after L had assured me K had made it, Zed came up to me again. I had expected him to present my punishment, since he'd heard from L about K. But instead, he hinted at what needed to be done when he woke. His tapping on my jacket told me exactly what he meant. That K needed to return where I'd left him. Well I wasn't ready for that yet.
"Ah, let's take a walk my man," I said, and I started leading him back down the hall.
For a while, we just walked in silence. Every now and then, I found myself glancing at his shoulder. When he caught me looking, he started to speak.
"Not as bad as you think," he told me. "I'll be good as new in two weeks."
"Well that time will just, fly by," I assured him. "And it won't even be like you've been—"
"Shot at all," K concluded. He came to a stop, forcing me to stop as well. Whatever he wanted to know now, I was willing to share it. Damn the codes. K was someone I didn't want to keep secrets from.
"Exactly," I said.
"And, I'm sure I won't remember how, exactly it happened," he said. He was actually asking more than stating. I knew what answer he wanted from me.
"Only if you want it that way," I said carefully. I didn't want to make the choice. I wanted him to make it for himself. I felt I didn't have a right to push that button again and take it all away from him.
"Is it really up to me, slick?" he asked.
The man was smart. He was a strong follower of the rules, and if those rules said he had to go back into that limbo, he would follow through. So was it really up to him? I had asked Zed about that possibility. What do I do if K decided he wanted to come back into the fold and understand more about the universe. I didn't even need to hear Zed's answer to know. If K was to bring up the idea of staying, I was to bring up what he would be leaving behind.
"Well, look at it this way. What's more important to you? Understanding this world, dealing with universal threats day in and day out? Or, delivering mail, sitting around at home with your wife?"
At that, K looked bitter and he turned away from me.
"A normal life sounds good J, but, I'm not sure how long it will be with my wife. With the way things are going."
I swallowed hard. Here was the part where I really needed to push him.
"If you went back, maybe you could do something about that. You'd have all the time in the world, since you don't have to be busting aliens."
"Suppose you're right."
He wasn't looking at me when he said it, but I couldn't take my eyes off him. Right now, it almost felt like that moment when K revealed to me that I was to replace him. I could tell from the look on his face, he was still kind of struggling with the idea, but he was leaning more to going back. To get a final decision from him, I pulled out the neuralyzer. He turned to me then and his eyes dropped to it.
"That's it then?" he asked. I knew he was asking if it was the device used to turn him back to a normal life.
"Yeah, this is it," I confirmed.
He turned and fully faced me.
"I don't want this life, if it means giving her up," he confessed.
"I understand," I said. Though his marriage was on the verge of being severely damaged, which he knew, he was willing to go back there and try to save it. That's what I would have done if I was in his position. But it was more than that. From the look on his face. He felt he had done enough. As empty as that old life was to him, it was what suited him now. Then I thought about how he looked the first time I saw him in the café. Lost and desperate for some kind of help. If I erased his memory, he would go back to that.
"Sorry I couldn't help you," I said. He frowned, perplexed.
"What are you talking about kid, you did help me."
"Well soon you won't remember that I helped you," I explained.
"No, but I'll manage."
He sounded so sure, I couldn't help but believe it. At least in that moment. He was willing to live a lost life again, but for what? His wife. Because his previous agent self had wanted to retire. He gave me a nod, letting me know he was ready.
I couldn't push myself to reach for the shades. Couldn't even push myself to raise up the neuralyzer.
I looked around. The last person I wanted to see now was walking up to us. It was Zed again. I lowered the neuralyzer.
"Nice to see you're in good health Kevin Brown," he said.
"I thought I was K," K said.
Zed shook his head. "No point in calling you an agent anymore if you aren't going to be one."
"That makes sense. Who are you?"
"An old friend," he answered.
He nodded, then he turned to me.
"I'll take it from here."
I couldn't even raise my voice to object. I couldn't pull the trigger on K and he knew it. So he would rescue me from doing so. I turned to K.
"It's been, cool to have you as my partner again, even if it didn't last long," I said.
"It's been a privilege. I'd like to say I'll remember you, but…," he drifted off, then he extended his hand, and I shook it. "See you around J."
Zed ran a comforting arm around K's other shoulder and started to led him back down the hall.
"Zed!" I called. "You be sure and give him a good memory. And tell him to stay out of Jo's café!"
Zed just gave a backwards wave of the hand without turning around. I watched them go, reminded of the moment he had said those last words to me last time. I looked at K's retreating form and thought about my previous response.
I waited a good three minutes, after they had long left my sight, before following after them. I took that elevator down, and crossed to the entrance, past the guard who didn't stop me. I paused before I opened it to a crack. Turns out I was just in time to witness Zed pulling off his shades, and K was standing before him with a blank expression on his face. It was over. The K that had been just a few minutes ago was gone. Now he knew nothing. I watched as Zed talked to him, filling his blank mind with a false idea, but I couldn't hear what they were saying. I didn't want to know. All I hoped, was that he gave him a happy memory.
Then Zed patted his shoulder and K turned away and heading down the sidewalk without a backwards glance at his old home. I dropped my gaze, suddenly wishing I could forget that moment. When I looked up, Zed was coming up to me, so I went ahead and stepped outside.
"You alright?" he asked.
"Will be," I assured him.
"It was for the best."
I just nodded.
"I'm not one to believe in fate, not really, but, who knows. Maybe your paths will cross again."
I just gave a light laugh. "If they do cross again, I can't break protocol, can I?"
"No. But, it may be a sign that you were meant to be together."
I would only believe that if K somehow became my partner again with his memories intact. Til then, I would try not to think about it. If K was going back, I had to go forward.
Zed went back inside, but I stayed where I was for a while. Maybe just to get some good fresh air. I took notice of the passerby around me and thought how lucky they were. How lucky K was.
Four months later found me in the last place I really needed to be. In Jo's café. Thanks to MIB, his café was fixed up back to the way it was, and Jo was back in business. The most challenging thing was, was convincing people nothing had happened. The near victims of Xarrex's attack had fled before they could be neuralyzed. I hadn't been on the call for that mission, so I didn't have to worry about tracking folks down or coming up with an explanation. All I had to do was stroll right in.
There was a short line up ahead, and serving the customers was Jo. He looked up when he saw me and gave me a nod. After four months, he was still a little shaken from what happened, but he was more grateful to MIB than ever. Often sending us 'Thank You' cards.
I got in line, then wondered why I got in line. I had silently sworn to lay off Jo's for a while, even though the time it took to rebuild the place was a while ago. But this was my first trip back since losing K, and already I felt the weight of what had happened. All around me, people were sippin' their coffee and reading the paper, completely unaware that the café had been under the attack of one badass alien. Then my eyes wandered to the lonely table where K and I sat, trading an odd conversation. I was so focused on that, that I kept looking at it as I stepped forward. It was a mistake since I ended up running into the man stepping away from the counter.
"Oh, my bad, I…"
I froze. It was a very familiar mailman I had just run into. K, of course. He had just been able to cover his coffee cup with a top, preventing our bump from splashing him.
"No harm done," he said. After that, he walked away, and I watched him go, waiting for him to remember me. To remember what we'd been through together. The only thing he seemed to remember to do was to return to that usual spot. The table that had been empty a moment ago.
I was roused out of seeing him by Jo's voice.
"Hey J, how's it going." He said it a little more quietly than before, as if he was afraid of attracting alien attention to us. There were some among us, but they weren't hostile.
"It's…going," I admitted. No doubt he caught my reaction to seeing K. "How's it going…with you?" It was my way of confirming how normal things had gotten around here, since he'd been back .
"Good J, real good." Then he nodded toward K. "Back again, just like you huh? Must be fate."
"Or coincidence," I declared, but Jo just shook his head.
"No, it must be. Don't mistake coincidence for it."
"Just give me a tall black."
I gave him the money and waited. I kept myself from looking around at that table. Part of me was mad that he was here, but the other part was happy as hell. Jo gave me my coffee, and before I went to sit at my usual spot, I turned back to Jo and started to speak, but he raised his hand.
"Don't worry, I won't break protocol, not like some people I know," he said.
"You just..remember that," I said, and walked away.
When I sat, my attention turned to K. He was far too busy reading his paper to pay me any mind. At one point he did glance my way, but then turned back to his paper and sipped his coffee. I felt myself tense, but I forced myself to remain seated and not walk over there. I was annoyed with Zed for not telling K to stay out of Jo's, but that didn't seem to matter much. K was free to be who he wanted to be, and right now he just wanted to be a mailman sipping coffee in an unnoticeable café. In a strange way, he looked a lot more relaxed than he had been the first time I'd seen him. So apparently Zed took my advice and gave him a good memory. As far as how his personal life was going, I wasn't told a thing from Zed. I didn't want to know. But Zed's last words on the matter did come back to me. Him saying something about our paths crossing again. Little did I know, it would be the day I decided to come back to Jo's. He had been opened less than four months, which meant K might have become a regular even if Jo said nothing about it. He knew K had gone back to his life, so he treated him like an ordinary person, just like his mail buddies did who were actually aliens under the uniforms. They treated him like a co-worker and not a one-time agent.
So if they were going to play dumb, that meant I would have to play dumb too. I took a sip of my coffee and thought how this day may be the last day I came in for his coffee. I didn't want to risk temptation and accidentally bump into K or make some other excuse to get to him.
So, I stopped looking at him, and pulled out the hot sheet from my jacket. According to an oddball statement from a witness, my next mission involved dealing with Kreelons. I took another sip of my coffee and shook my head, thinking how K missed out on a good one.
A nice long ending huh ;) The Kreelon thing was the Kreelon invasion J mentioned from MIB2 by the way. So yeah! Finally finished. And I read your reviews and at them up!:D. They've given me confidence to write more. Stories where K is not a neutral. The worm guys were a combination of the ones from the movie and the cartoon series. I loved them in the cartoon series. There might have been other ideas for the conversations between characters like L and Zed, but all in all, I'm pleased with it.
So I sent K back out there with no memory. Like it never mattered. But it did. And following this story would be MIB2 and so on. So you know K will come back. Originally, I don't think I was going to write the café part where they bumped into each other again. It could have ended where J stepped outside, but why not circle it back around to the beginning.
Send in your reviews, and be on the look out for more from me! I also hope to see more MIB stories from you guys!