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The Dangers of Not Being Dead Enough

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"Okay, so, ah... nobody google me for a few minutes, okay?" Langly sounded distracted and distressed, not quite panicked, but not far over. His face was pale and horrified in the glow of the screen his eyes were locked onto, and the seriousness of the situation was underscored by the sounds of an empty pop can bouncing off the railing behind his chair followed by another being opened.

"Well, nobody was going to, but now that you mention it..." Frohike teased, from the other side of the room.

"I'm completely serious! Just don't do it! I'm... I can fix this!" Langly sounded like he might hyperventilate, the words breathy and inconsistently timed.

"That's a really nice photo of you," Byers said, after a moment, leaning down their shared desk to see what Frohike had found. "What's the source on that? It doesn't look like one of the parking lot photos from when Allie--"

"Not in the dark, it's not." Frohike opened the page in another tab, along with a few others that looked like they might be what Langly was worried about. "Is that Bollinger's work? I thought you had a restraining order."

"We do have a restraining order. That's at least part of why I'm pissed, and why I'm trying to figure out how the hell he got this one past me." The sound of typing from his side of the room grew faster, keys clicking as his fingers flew across them, trying to track down the original source of the image. "And the pictures are bad enough, but it gets worse. Whatever you do, if you find the banner-size one, don't scroll down."

"Well, if 'worse' isn't a picture, then I don't have to worry about my screen suddenly being full of your naked ass." Frohike flipped through a few tabs, as Byers grabbed the edge of the desk and rolled his chair closer to the screen Frohike was working on.

"I'd almost prefer my naked ass on the internet. I'm pretty sure it would invite less speculation. Who the hell does this?" Offence finally won over panic.

"What the hell?" Byers gaped in stunned amazement at the next page Frohike opened.

"Sirens of the Siren," Frohike read from the screen in front of him, "erotic tales of the finest bodies in law enforcement."

"This is gross," Langly complained, seventeen tabs of it already open in front of him. "It's completely disgusting. It's--"

"There's a section dedicated to you and Dr Reid," Byers observed to Langly, pointing it out to Frohike. "Apparently someone's decided you're an actual Bureau technical analyst, instead of a part-time consultant."

"I'm a little more concerned by the section for Sol Todd and Villette." Frohike opened both in new tabs, leaving the main list for future perusal. As an archivist of the erotic, he told himself, he had a professional duty to at least witness this, if not preserve it. Besides, there were a few more names he wanted to look for.

"Oh. Oh, that's not... I'm really... Are there any of these that don't involve the word 'daddy'?" Byers couldn't tear his eyes away from the screen, gawking like a man at a seven-car pileup on a freeway, as Frohike scrolled down the list of Todd/Villette summaries, some of them with surprisingly well photoshopped cover images.

Frohike stopped scrolling and squinted at a summary. "Who in their right mind looks at Villette and thinks he's buff?"

"I don't think anyone's right mind was involved in this," Langly muttered, opening another page in an abject inability to leave bad enough alone. 'The imp of the perverse', Reid would've said. "Wha-- I do not giggle!"

"Sometimes you do," Byers observed, looking thoughtfully at anything that wasn't yet another story involving an absurdly handsome Agent Villette blushing at turns of phrase anyone who'd ever read anything Solomon Todd had written in his entire life would never put in his mouth. "Not often, but you do."

"Bottom of the barrel dirty jokes, when you're drunk," Frohike said, nodding. "You giggle when you're trying not to laugh and doing it badly. It's right before you start whooping hysterically."

"When have I ever been that drunk?"

"Yeti waitress," Frohike said, and Byers nodded. "You were drunk enough you passed out in a gravel parking lot, on top of your camera."

"Well, I sure as hell don't tee-hee when somebody grabs my ass while I'm cooking," Langly snapped, rolling his eyes just to stop seeing that paragraph.

"You're much more likely to beat someone with a hot spatula," Byers agreed. "While cooking... That just seems like a terrible idea. Why would anyone do that? Burns are not sexy."

"Burns would be inevitable if I was wearing ... that." Langly declined to specify, his face twisting in astonished disgust.

"Okay, we've got a lot of you in a dress and Reid as a hooker, but place your bets: do we have anything with both?" Frohike leaned back and looked over his shoulder to where Langly sat straighter than a fencepost, on the other side of the room.

"Did you just say 'Reid as a hooker'?" Langly turned his head so fast, his chair followed. "The guy who won't even shake hands because other people are gross?"

"He's shaken a lot more than your hand..." Frohike raised his eyebrows.

"Yeah, well, obviously I'm not gross."

Byers choked on a laugh and tried to look innocent.

Langly pointed at him. "Special Agent Neurotically Clean says I'm not gross."

Frohike scoffed, looking over his shoulder. "Kicking your laundry under the bed doesn't count as cleaning it, Langly. Does he know you--"

"A disturbing number of these people seem to think you'd be more attractive tied up and crying," Byers observed, uncomfortably, as Frohike continued to scroll down.

"Special Agent Chicken-No-Chopsticks disagrees, and so do I."

Frohike opened his mouth like he might ask, and then just didn't. "I think this is a drinking game," he said, after a moment. "Langly in a dress, take a shot. Langly tied up and crying, take a shot. Reid's a hooker, take a shot."

"Villette calls somebody 'daddy', take a shot." Byers nodded.

"Can I take all the shots for what we've already scrolled through?" Langly sounded like he was trying to figure out how to set someone on fire over the internet. "Maybe I can forget it exists."

"You will die if you drink that much alcohol," Byers argued, heading for the bottle of vodka in the freezer.

"That might be an improvement," Langly muttered under his breath.