Disclaimer: I don't own MIB
Summary: One day Agent J unexpectedly runs into his ex-partner Agent K, now a postman. J wants to violate the rules by visiting with him, if something else doesn't violate it first.
MIB II was alright, up to the point K's memory returned. So ignoring that movie (Or taking place years before it happened), I decided to write a fic involving J working with K, though he has no memories of his time as an agent. This fic was also inspired by another fic I read in which J was watching a neutral K from a distance.
Who Are You?
Agent J's P.O.V
It was one of those mornings. One of those "Oh, damn!" mornings where you don't wanna be getting out of bed and risking getting a Five-x Super Natronic bullet in your ass by some pissed off Andotron from the planet Andtrox. Most people don't have to worry about that, but for me, it was becoming an everyday struggle. And it wasn't always Andotrons. There were others out there. Other, non human things that normal people didn't know about. Didn't have to think about. I was one of them, but now I wasn't.
It was all part of my job now. Hey, I may be complaining, but I'd done this to myself. I agreed to be an MIB agent. But if it weren't for some old white guy stepping into my life during a confusing situation, I would still be in the dark about this world. I would still be thinking the asshole cab driver was just an asshole and not a slimy, yellow, spiky wormy thing from some crusty, dried up planet in the universe.
So, I appreciated the moments when I could just step into quiet places like Café Jo's for some hot coffee. I was never much of a coffee drinker, not like my old partner, but being that it had been raining and was still raining, I guess it set me up in the mood. Hell, I needed something to ease my feelings about an escaped Andotron. I knew Zed would be all up in my face for letting him get the slip, but it wasn't on me! It was all thanks to another lousy partner who had by now forgotten what he'd done and was now on his way to Chicago to get back in the fold of being some genius technician.
Agent B had been big on the brains, but not on the brawny which didn't have to be a bad thing. The only time it was a bad thing was when he was over thinking the situation, which was all the time. Shame to. He was a brother, and it wasn't everyday you met a black man who could run complicated mathematical figures in his head like he could. The ones I'd met in my other life ran figures too. Figures like, "I figure I can pop this joint for seven mil."
It was one of the reasons I was NYPD for a time. My need to clean up those dirty acts. But now, I was cleaning up something else, and often it was slime off my suit from an exploded alien.
I made my way through the door. The bell alerted the clerk behind the counter who owned Jo's café. I knew the man, for not being human. He was kind of chubby, but tall, and had short curly black hair that was wet with hair spray, or rather wet from perspiration.
I just nodded. It was getting harder and harder to find a place that was just run by regular people. I would have gone to a place like that, but it was starting to come down hard outside and I didn't feel like scouting out another coffee place. Guess it didn't matter. Jo was a good guy, for a Zanderic.
"Haven't seen you in a while."
We had to be careful conversing across a room full of normal citizens, so I walked on up to the counter.
"Yeah well, when an Andotron gets the best of your partner, you're in need of some hot fresh jo, know what I mean. This weather's not helping much either."
"I hear yeah. Let me get right on that. Lisa!"
Jo was one to check in on, being that he hired human workers who were mostly women. But so far, nothing had gone wrong with the guy. He was like a teddy bear, but he sure as hell didn't look like one under the human suit.
I took my coffee black and settled at a small table away from the windows and near the center of the room. I didn't want to be reminded of what was out there, but at the same time, I didn't want to be too lost among normal people. I was in the middle, alone. It was another risk I took. Being invisible, nonexistent, and I did it everyday. I'd never admit it to Zed or the MIB psychiatrist, or anyone else. None of them seemed to feel the way I felt, and I guessed it was probably better that way. Not to feel. To accept, alone-ness.
I took a sip and let the depression sink in. And that's when I heard the ring from another customer coming in. I don't know why, but I looked up to see who it was. Normally I'd just ignore it, but not today, and I was glad I didn't. The person coming in was an postal worker, but not just any damn postal worker. It was my mentor, my recruiter, the famous ex-Agent K.
Kevin Brown's P.O.V
On a day like today, nothing hit the spot like a hot fresh cup of black coffee with two sugars. Normally I could rely on my co-workers to fix a fresh brew of coffee, but lately it had not been to my liking. Besides that, I was on my break and with the weather pouring cats and dogs, what better place to go to than a real coffee shop.
It was easier to create some distance from my profession for a while. I wasn't complaining. It was a good job. It was my job, and I was the best at it. I understood all of the proper procedures and protocols in order to maintain an effective working environment for myself and my fellow postal workers. Of course, there were those days when I wondered if it was just an act. That something was making me invest my time in a position I didn't quite follow. Like it was all, just a lie.
I hated when those thoughts visited me, and they normally did so when I was away from the working environment. When I was off alone somewhere. The feeling invaded me more often than I liked. The last place I wanted it to invade me was in my own home where my wife could sense it. The last thing I wanted it to do was hurt her, but I knew, somehow I knew that feeling was there for a reason.
What was the reason?
It was simple. I was questioning who I was.
It was something a high school student would do as he or she started to try and make sense of their lives. I, on the other hand, was past my teenage years and heading into the golden age, as much as I didn't want to admit it. I was past the moment where I needed to know who I was. Some days I was sure, and others, I wasn't.
I just listened to the rain pouring behind me, while I stood there staring at the glass door to the coffee shop as if I knew inside would be all the answers to my questions. I'd always looked to the starry sky for them, but the universe gave zip.
I entered quietly. It wasn't crowded, but it contained enough people for me to wonder if I should intrude upon their space. Someone as lost as me had no reason to encroach on others who knew exactly who they were and what they were doing. I briefly scanned the perimeter, then proceeded up to the counter where a young, freckled faced brunette was trained to welcome my presence.
"Welcome to Café Jo's. How can I help you."
I didn't bother to return that false smile of hers. I assumed it was standard procedure for her to greet customers that way, whether she was happy to see them or not.
"Yeah, let me get a—"
"Hey Josie! I'll take care of this one."
The rotund owner stepped forward and took her place at the cash register. I remembered him even though I didn't come into this café very often. From the delighted look on his face, he remembered me.
"Mr. Brown. Haven't seen you in a while."
"Well you know how the postal services go," I answered.
"Yeah, and I also know how your slogan goes. What is that…neither rain nor sleet…nor dark of night?"
I just stared at him. "Something like that."
I really wasn't in the mood to be too friendly today.
"How you like this weather?"
"Can't say it's doing me much good. How about that coffee?"
"Oh right. One black, large. Two sugars. Nothing else?"
"No Jo, since you know me so well." I was bitter when I'd said. I hated it when I felt someone else knew me or thought that they knew me and believed they could understand what I was going through.
My focus was down on the change in my wallet, but when I looked up, Jo was giving me a concerned look. That was one of the reasons I didn't stop at his café too often. For some reason, I could feel a strange vibe coming from the man. It was almost like déjà vu, but it wasn't. There was also the odd looks he'd give me. Sometimes they showed concern, but most of the time they showed pure happiness, like I was his idol or some nonsense like that. If Jo knew something I didn't, he wasn't letting on, but I knew it was impossible. I was just an average working citizen doing my part on the delivery service, nothing more.
"I'll get that right to you."
I nodded and waited right at the counter. I was free to observe my fellow coffee drinkers. None of them seemed as lost as I was. They all knew their purpose, had their plans, was aware of some idea. Maybe I was over thinking it like I normally did. But while they were busy making sense of their lives, I was trying to make sense, not only of myself, but of my world. Whenever I got that vibe, that déjà vu vibe, I started to wonder if things were really what they seemed. I tried not to think that way. My wife hated it when I did.
I started to turn back around to read the menu, since no one in the crowd caught my eye, when I noticed one did. He was a tall, what I assumed to be a tall, black gentleman in a black suit. Someone I imagined to work at a funeral home. He was sitting near the middle of the café, alone. When my eyes caught his, he froze in his attempt to take another sip of coffee. I don't know why I continued to look at him. I didn't know him, but he was looking as if he knew me. It annoyed me so I looked away just as Jo walked up with the coffee. I handed over the amount.
"Ah, you know, you don't have to do that," he told me. That was another thing with Jo. As far as I knew, I was the only one he tried to talk into not paying. Like we were such close buddies he wanted to give me the highest discount by allowing me to have free purchases.
"Price is still $2.95, right?"
"Well yeah, but for a hard worker such as yourself, you don't have to—"
I dumped the payment on the counter. "I'm not one to break the law," I told him seriously.
A frightened look crossed his features, but in the end he nodded and took the change.
I took my cup and settled into a table in a corner, where I could be further alone.
Agent J's P.O.V
I couldn't believe it. What were the odds? I mean, really. There was my old partner coming into the same place I was. I mean things like that just didn't happen, but since it did, I couldn't stop savoring it. Obviously Jo couldn't either. He remembered K alright, even though he was dressed like a mailman. He had once saved the Zanderic's life from a terrorist group of Khallas. He hooked him up with this job and ever since then Jo's been pretty grateful to the MIB, particularly K.
When he looked my way, I expected to hear "slick" or some kind of order. I wasn't surprised when he looked away. He didn't remember me, but that didn't stop me from watching him. I wanted him to remember, to just know me. I watched him sink into a table off in a corner. Just the way he sat there reminded him of me. Out of everybody in this place, we had to be the only two dudes looking like we did. Like the world had come to an end. Like all of humanity was gone and we was the only ones left. I could see it in his face, and I could tell he didn't understand it. And I knew I could clear that up for him in an instant, but strict protocols kept me back.
If an agent were ever to come across a neutral one, as unlikely as that was, he was to steer clear. Don't get involved with him. Don't talk to him or nothing. Right now, I wanted nothing more than to break that particular rule. I mean what were the odds of us meeting again anyways. And it wasn't like he was gonna remember me if I talked to him for a bit. It wasn't like he had a whole lot going on. I knew, because MIB kept tabs on all their old agents. I never looked into it much. I was more focused on looking forward, working to be the next best agent.
Right now he looked like he had a lot on his mind. Someone passing by him might of thought his dog had just died. He didn't drink his coffee the way he did back at the agency. He kept shooting glances at me, knowing I had my eyes on him. I looked away as fast as I could every time, but after several times of this, I knew he was more aware of me than he had been before. I couldn't take it.
"He makes good coffee don't he!" I said it pretty loud. If anyone knew I had a loud voice, it was K. But he didn't look around. A couple of other people did. K was deliberately ignoring me. "I said they make good coffee!"
More people looked my way. I was getting ready to tell them to mind they damn business, but then I saw K looking at me. That serious look was in his eyes too. A look that asked, "What the hell is this fool's problem?" I nodded to let him know I was talking to him. I even held up my cup.
"Good coffee," I said a little awkwardly.
"Yeah." He said it quickly enough. "Good coffee."
He looked away from me again. I grinned and got up. He wasn't going to brush me off that easily. If I could see past that stony exterior, I'd of seen the look of horror when I sat down right in front of him.
"Ain't no better time to get a cup of joe from jo than now, know what I mean?"
He looked at me like I was some kind of, well, alien.
"Guy like you is bound to keep up with all the best coffee joints, am I right?"
"Who are you?"
"Just an old friend," I told him.
"I don't think so."
"I think I would remember someone like you."
I settled back and watched him and he watched me. He observed me like I was some irritating species. I just grinned it off.
"Well, whether you remember me or not, doesn't matter. What matters is, we're two guys, chillin, you know. Enjoying each others company."
K didn't say a thing to that. He just stared at me, like I was some kind of black ghost.
"Would you like me to call you a cab?" he asked after a while.
He leaned forward and lowered his voice when he spoke again.
"How much did you have to drink?"
I blinked, but then I started to laugh.
"No no no, it ain't even like that. I mean I saw you, and I thought—"
"I'm married." He said it straight forward and serious.
"No. No. I mean I'm not…I mean, I know you're not. Look, let's start over. Hi, I'm J."
I extended a hand. All he did was glance at it, before looking back at me again. I knew what he was thinking, 'This fool must be crazy.'
"Okay. Look, it's just one of them days where I didn't really feel like sitting alone. And I saw you over here by yourself looking like how I feel. Come on man, what's the harm in two strangers getting together, as friends though, not the other thing."
He leaned away from me. I could hear gears turning in his head as he was trying to figure out what to make of me. At this point, I found I didn't care if he walked out on me right now. The satisfaction came from stepping past a boundary and reaching out to someone I knew was as lonely as me.
Kevin Brown's P.O.V
I had to agree, that it was just one of those days. A day where some nut exposed himself, and not just to the public, to one person in particular. Why did it have to be me? Was it my punishment for questioning so much about the universe? I always thoughts there was more to this planet, other than the occasional mental crowd, but apparently there wasn't. But the odd thing about it was that he acted as if he honestly knew me, and there was that feeling of déjà vu. I looked at the man. I tried to look through him. He was much too young to feel lonely. He didn't have the lines of weariness that I had. Nothing that showed he'd been around long enough to feel like he knew there was more.
I knew the best thing to do was to get up and walk away. I didn't want to be bothered anyways, but I stayed right where I was. There was something about him that, intrigued me.
"What's on your mind slick?"
I wasn't sure why I'd given him that nickname, but he appeared pleased to hear it.
"Why don't we start with what's on yours."
"You're the one who came to me, mind telling me why?" He seemed a little taken aback when I asked.
"I, just did."
I leaned back a little and tried not to let the frustration get to me. Clearly he wanted something.
"In case you haven't noticed, I'm not a psychiatrist," I told him.
"No. I know a psychiatrist, believe me." I quirked my brow, thinking here was the proof that the man was a lunatic, but he shook his head. "No no no, I know what you're thinking, and I am not crazy."
He paused and took a sip of his coffee. I rubbed my temples while I tried to think of a way out of this. We weren't getting anywhere.
"Or maybe I am." Now I was concerned. I watched him take another sip of his coffee then look over to the window. "I'm sure you have days like that. Days where you wonder if you're crazy, or if the world's crazy. Cause sometimes it just don't make no sense."
I was intrigued against my liking.
"What are you talking about?" I couldn't help asking it.
"Out there man," He gestured to the window. I looked. Normal people were passing by. I watched for a moment, feeling lost all over again. Then I watched him watching them like he could see something about them that I couldn't. I wanted to know what that was. I was desiring it as much as I desired the woman I loved.
"And what's, out there?" I asked, certain he could hear the fear in my voice. I looked out that window, hoping to see it. When he didn't respond, I turned back to him. He almost looked smug, yet regretful.
"Something I'm not sure you can understand."
"Yes really," he said quickly.
I could see him carefully thinking about it now. He was observing me much in the way I had been observing him, and any other thing or person I thought was odd. Then he shook his head and took another sip.
"Naw man. The kind of things out there, could visit you in your nightmares. And I will not be responsible for creating a disgruntled postal worker."
"You don't think I can handle it," I stated.
"No. I know you can handle it."
"How do you know that?"
"Because." He paused and stared down at the table. "Because, you're not like me." I leaned back, further intrigued by this mysterious man. "You can carry the weight of anything, and I'm not just talking about grandma's mystery packages of heavy-ass cookies to her grandkids. I'm talkin' serious stuff. I mean, a mailman has to be that strong right?"
"I don't know," I told him. "There's nothing, serious in my life."
"Yes really. The only thing…oh never mind."
"No come on."
"No I, shouldn't. I mean I don't even know you." I couldn't help the laugh that started to escape me at this odd predicament.
"Well pretend that you know me, now come on," he said, and he was grinning too.
"Well." I figured, what the hell. "I don't know."
He leaned back, and I could see the frustration coming to him.
"Funny thing is, you seem to be talking a lot of sense, for someone who makes no sense at all. I guess maybe that makes me, crazy." A look of concern flashed across his features, but I just kept going. "I've had days when I wondered what was going on, out there. Days when I thought, maybe, I was alone, somehow. I have my wife, and my career, but…"
"It's not enough," he filled in. I had let my eyes wander down to the table while I was speaking, but now I was looking at him. "Or, it doesn't feel real," he continued.
"Both," I admitted.
"Maybe I can help you with that," he offered seriously.
"I seriously doubt it."
There was a buzzing sound, and then the man reached down in his pocket and pulled out a slim silver phone of some sort. I never paid much attention to new technological advancements. I watched as he conversed with who ever was calling.
"Oh right. I'm just finishing a coffee break. No no, I'll get right on it."
He folded the thing up and put it back in his pocket.
"Looks like we'll have to cut our meeting short," he told me.
"Yeah, but it's…nothing I can't handle."
"Hm, you must be very good at, whatever it is that you do."
At my comment, he slightly froze. It was as if he was trying to find the best way to register my comment.
"Ah, yeah. And I bet you must be very good at, what you're doing now."
"I like to think so," I admitted with a nod.
"Right." He stood, but I stayed sitting. He was unsure of how to vacate the premises after our brief conversation. He looked out the window again. "Looks like the rains' stopped."
I looked too.
"Probably won't be that way for long," I told him.
"Which is why I should probably get my ass up out of here before it comes down again. And you, take it easy man. Maybe I'll see you around sometime."
"Yeah, maybe." I was just a little disappointed that our conversation was over.
"Same time, same place." He pointed at what had become our table.
And that was it. He walked away as if nothing had happened between us. I watched him pass through the glass door and depart down the wet sidewalk. As odd as our meeting was, I thought it was even odder that I was feeling more lonely than before. Without knowing it, the man had brought me some comfort. He had brought me some form of insight. Told me that he understood what I was going through, somehow, and that I wasn't crazy for feeling that way.
I kept watching the corner from where he disappeared outside, then took a sip of my coffee which had become cold. Part of me, well most of me was hoping it would be true. That I would see him around again, and that I would remember him. I mean I knew I wasn't so old that I would forget easily.
I looked at the counter and caught Jo giving me that concerned look, and for once I wasn't disturbed by it. I suppressed a laugh. After meeting with that odd fellow, it made sense, somehow.
Yah! I'm glad I finished this chapter. I'm in the middle of preparing to write an orginal book, but with my thoughts on MIB, I decided to write another fic. I'm sure other fics will come along soon, and I wanted to be one of the first to start a trend of new MIB fanfiction. Hopefully it will start a trend and other people will be on here writing stories for it. Til then enjoy this fic.
Now, this story can be complete right here. However, I already wrote a oneshot contemplation and I decided to make this one one part contemplation and another part mini action story. So luckily for you, there's more to come. It'll be a short story, maybe 5 chapters at the most, but it will be as detailed as this one was. Hope I kept both K and J in character. I tried my hardest there.
Stay tuned for the next one!
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