Title: The Night the Stroganoff Squealed

Author: lianeviolet

Rating: PG-13

Category: Humor, hopefully.

Summary: Something's up with Langly, Frohike wants to know what.

Disclaimer: Guys belong to Chris Carter. :)



"I'm telling you, Byers, that blonde punk is up to something." Frohike was putting a pair of binoculars along with his camera in a black leather bag. Mulder had bribed them with an unlimited pizza and beer binge, later on that night, after they helped him with the surveillance of a high-profile politician involved in suspicious activities. "When have you ever known Barbie-boy to refuse free pizza and beer. Something's up and I intend to find out what that is." He zipped the bag closed.

Byers furrowed his brow. "Well, Frohike, he did say he wasn't feeling well. Perhaps he's just coming down with a bug."

"Yeah, he's sick, my Great Aunt Wilhemena's big toe," he retorted, sarcastically. "He was feeling fine and dandy three seconds before Mulder arrived. He's probably plotting a D&D game here with some buddies tonight. It's just like him to get out of working surveillance when the both of us have to go." Frohike broke out in a sly grin and nudged Byers with his elbow. "Or, hey, you think he's planning to spend a night with some videos that aren't mine? Or better yet, some hot date we don't know about? You think our infamous virgin is actually gettin' some?"

Byers sighed in embarrassment at the idea. "Frohike, frankly, that's none of our business. I really doubt it, though, it would be hard to hide because we're together all the time, but if Langly's in a relationship, I'm very happy for him. And if he wanted us to know, he'd tell us, now let's hurry up here, we're already late. I can't deal with Mulder when he starts whining about how he's been waiting forever for us and all that."

"O.k., o.k. Hang on. I have to get a few more things, go wait out in the van with Mulder. I'll be there in a second." Byers, dressed all in black like his shorter comrade, took the two bags they had packed and carried them outside. Frohike watched him go and waited until he knew he was alone.

He rummaged through their collection of movies and videotapes until he found a blank one. Frohike wandered near Langly's room to make sure he knew Langly was in there. Yep, Ramones are blasting, he's definitely there.

Frohike, keeping a close ear on The Ramones, took their video camera, put in the blank tape and wondered where he could put it to get the best angle and capture the most evidence. I'm going to catch him lying to us about being sick. I know something's going on tonight. He finally decided to place it on a bookshelf, along with a lot of other electrical equipment, near their computer stations. It would blend right in, but what to do about the cord? The outlet was on the other side of the room. He could run the cord down the bookcase and along the bottom, but he'd have to cross the room to plug it in. He glanced at his workstation and saw his savior for the evening. Ahhh...a roll of duct tape. Duct tape, glorious, duct tape. He put the cord along the track that he had initially intended and, where it crossed their walking space, he made sure he taped it down carefully so no one could trip over it. With all the wires around the place, it wasn't really very noticeable. He had to pat himself on the back, he'd done a good job of camouflaging it. When he was satisfied it was recording properly, he went back to Langly's room and opened the door.

"Hey, kid. We're on our way out. We'll be back in while, you need anything before I go? You know, some medicine or anything?" He could see that Langly was flopped on his bed, reading some computer magazine.

"No, I'm cool. I think I'll just rest for awhile, dude. Catch ya later," he answered. No, catch YOU later, ya hippie freak, Frohike thought, smiling to himself.

"Later." Frohike closed the door and chuckled about his cleverness all the way out to the van. He couldn't wait to find out what the tape revealed.

**************************************************

When Langly heard Frohike's footsteps and the closing of the front door, he put down his magazine with a sigh of relief. He was so hungry he could hear his stomach rumbling loudly over the music blaring around him. Finally, man, I thought I was going to starve before they left.

Langly left his room, unaware of the camera, and went to the front door to make sure the guys were really gone. Woohoo! Time for my favorite meal!

He went into the kitchen, mouth watering in anticipation of what he had planned for dinner. He hadn't eaten that in forever, he'd been dreaming about it for days. He pulled out a skillet and a large pot from a cabinet under the sink and put them on the stove. He took out some sour cream, butter, an onion, and some beef cut into chunks. He dug around in one of the cabinets trying to find the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, some canned mushrooms, a package of egg noodles and some beef broth. Good thing Byers just went shopping, it's nice to have some food in the house for a change. Hope they don't notice all this stuff has been used.

He really didn't want the guys to know he could cook, he prided himself on his no-muss, no-fuss, anti-sophisticated persona, and if they knew he was a gourmet cook, it would ruin that image. But, the main reason was that he was such a good cook, he knew he would surpass Frohike and Byers' skills. The next thing you know, I'll be cooking EVERY night. That's not cool. I'm happy the way things are. He sautéed the beef chunks with some oil in the pan and filled the pot with water, which he began to boil. When the meat was cooked thoroughly, he added all the ingredients, save the noodles and stirred everything as it came together. The wonderful aroma in the kitchen was causing him to hum with eagerness. He hadn't eaten this well in a long time. He added the noodles to the boiling water, which cooked quickly. He drained the pasta, mixed it with butter and put it on a plate, added the meat and sauce from the skillet and, voila, it was ready to go.

Beef Stroganoff with buttered noodles. Oh, man, there was nothing on earth as good as this stuff. His grandmother used to make it when he was a kid, she was the one who taught him all of his cooking skills. Once again, another meal to make my Grandma proud. Langly went back to the refrigerator, taking out the bottle of wine that Byers had put in earlier to chill. He wasn't much of a wine connoisseur, but he liked it whenever he was eating well, aside from the hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and blah steaks that the other two Gunmen usually cooked. He didn't know how he managed to suffer through that crap every day.

It was nice to finally have an evening to himself to do whatever he wanted. A guy needs that every once in awhile. He didn't feel too badly that he'd lied about being sick, he just needed to be alone. He was usually at the mercy of the other two and what they wanted to do and eat. Langly decided to watch a little television while he enjoyed his spectacular feast. He left the pans on the burner, figuring he'd wash them later. He carried his prize with a glass of wine toward the television room. Unfortunately, he didn't notice where the duct tape had started to lift up a bit where Frohike had put it earlier, and the tip of his sneaker caught on it and the camera cord.

Langly performed a magnificent dancing and spinning number, trying to regain his balance and save his precious dinner, but to no avail. The only thought he had, as he, his plate and the wine glass flew through the air, was Nooooooooooooooo! Then, everything went black as he hit his head on the edge of the table.

********************************************

"Think I had too much beer," Frohike slurred, as he stumbled in through the front door. "But one can never have too much pizza."

"I think we both had too much," Byers agreed, grinning happily. "It's too bad nothing happened with the Senator while we were watching. Mulder must have had the day of that secret meeting wrong. He only had dinner with his wife and kids."

"Yeah, but we got the better end of the deal. I think Mulder was mad, he looked aggravated as he paid the restaurant bill." Frohike began laughing.

"Hey, not so loud, Mel, Langly might be sleeping."

"Oh, yeah, our sick, long-haired hacker. Maybe he really was sick, it sounds pretty quiet in here." It was just then Frohike remembered the camera. It was a little dark as he hurried into the room to see it was still recording, and in the process, almost tripped over Langly's body, which was facing downwards and hadn't moved since he had stumbled.

"Oh, no," Frohike started. "Byers! Hey, come quick!"

Byers hurried in to see Frohike bending over Langly, trying to turn him over. Frohike could see a small, nasty bruise on his forehead, slightly above his eyebrow. Byers went to help Frohike move him and put his hand in something warm and sticky on Langly's chest. He looked down at his palm, horrified.

"Oh...oh my God, Frohike. What happened? Is he bleeding? Could he have been shot or something?" Byers was starting to panic. Frohike moved closer to the stain across Langly's shirt and touched it. He brought it up to his nose.

"No, I think it's food. It smells like...like...Beef Stroganoff?" Frohike and Byers met each other's eyes in complete confusion.

Frohike began to shake Langly gently as Byers watched. "Hey, buddy...hey, you O.k.?" he asked, with serious concern. "Langly, wake up."

Frohike was never happier to see two blue eyes looking back at him after a few seconds. They looked a bit dazed, but they were focusing on him steadily.

"Oh, man," he whispered, holding his head. "Anybody get the number of that diabolical, UFO-hauling, government truck?"

"Looks like you took a tumble there, Langly. You scared the heck out of us, dude. Do you think you need to go to the hospital? How many fingers am I holding up?" He held up four fingers.

He sat up slowly. "Four. No, I think I'll be O.k. Just got a serious headache, man. What the hell did I trip over?"

Frohike looked around and saw the camera cord sticking up from the floor, and realized, sheepishly, that he had been the one who had gotten Langly injured.

"Uh..well..uh.." he stammered.

"Hey, what's this?" Byers asked, trailing the cord to the video camera on the shelf. "The video camera? And it's running!"

"Uh..well..uh.." Frohike repeated.

Langly and Byers looked at him, waiting for an explanation. "Well, I set up the video camera because I wanted to find out what Langly was up to tonight and..."

"Almost got him killed," Byers finished. "Frohike, I'm surprised at you. Spying on Langly. I told you it was none of our business." Byers shook his head and Frohike was feeling like a child of ten being admonished by his father.

"Hey! I'm sorry! I wasn't sure what to think! I thought he was having a D&D game! I mean, I certainly didn't think this was going to happen! Cut me some slack."

Langly was aggravated that Frohike would do that, but, becoming aware of the wetness on the front of his own shirt, he began to comprehend, with despair, that his secret was on the verge of being discovered. He stood up, folding his arms in front of him, which defeated the whole purpose since getting up off the floor had revealed his plate that was still laying there. All three men spotted it at the same time.

"What's that plate, Langly?" Byers picked it up, viewing whatever little of the contents were left and not on Langly. "Where did you get Beef Stroganoff? Did I buy that at the store last week?"

To lie or not to lie. "Well..I..um.."

"Hey, there are used pots and pans in the kitchen!" Frohike announced. "I'll be damned! Goldilocks has been holding out on us!"

Byers tasted some of the sauce left in the pan. "Langly, this is really good. Why didn't you tell us you could cook?"

Langly's eyes went back and forth between his two fellow Gunmen. "Um, would you believe I was visited by aliens who cooked this and forced me to eat it? Forced Alien Feeding, it's a common occurrence being reported recently. At least it wasn't Hungarian Goulash, man, I read some guy almost died from them making him eat that!"

"Oh, you're not getting off that easily," said Frohike. "We expect you to help with the cooking now, you lazy punk."

"It's an equal share of responsibilities around here," Byers added. Byers and Frohike had the appearance that they were both really serious about this.

"Oh, man, come ON! This isn't fair!" he complained. "Dude, you know, I go through all this trouble, get hurt, get caught, and I didn't even get to eat what I made. I swear, it's some kind of conspiracy against me!"

"Hey, you could always write an article about that," Frohike joked, and started Byers laughing. Langly, feeling persecuted, just sulked and plotted revenge. Slowly, a smile spread across his face.

He could always put a laxative in their chocolate cake. See if they let me cook after that.