Futures Past 04: Crossover


Okay, all together now. "Good morning, Mr. C..." Whoops, 
wrong line. Sorry. Anyway here goes. I hereby disclaim everything 
and everybody appearing in this story. No one belongs to me, and 
I'm only borrowing them for a while to see what mischief I can 
get them into. The X-files belong to CC or 1013 or Fox, 
Highlander to Rysher, and FK to Tristar, I think. Generally 
speaking, they belong to whoever owns them, not to me, got that?

Author's Notes

Hello and thanks to all of you who have stuck through the 
entire series up to this point. We finally descend into the 
depths of romance (UST->RST), so any noromos should have already 
bailed. If not you would be advised to do so effective 
immediately. Or... you can grit your teeth, read on, and discover 
what you've been missing all this time ;)

Plotwise this thing can stand on its own. But as for some of 
the background on the agents, this fourth in the series is not, 
repeat, not stand-alone. You have to have read the previous two 
(FP2: The Light of Day and FP3: My Funny Valentine) cause stuff 
from that gets referred to in here. If this is the first in the 
series you're reading (GASP!), don't worry, stay calm, switch to 
netscape, lynx, ie, what have you, browse immediately to your 
nearest Gossamer mirror and look up the others under my name 
(Arvy). If you can't find 'em there, email me at 
unmai@bigfoot.com and I'll be happy to forward you a copy. Also, 
all my other stories, missing parts, etc. can be found on my 
website at http://www.bigfoot.com/~unmai.

A note about the timeline. This story falls right after Bad 
Blood in the X-files, sometime after Armageddon on Highlander, 
and long after Last Knight (which never happened in my universe) 
on Forever Knight. Also, many of the earlier events actually are 
concurrent with the events in FP3. A word of warning though; all 
characters other than M&S are secondary. I do go into a little 
bit of depth about them, and I've tried to explain about 
immortality and the HL/FK characters within the story itself, but 
don't expect the story to revolve around them. They are what you 
might call the supporting cast.

Thanks again go to my sister, who actually did come up with 
a couple of ideas to push my creative vehicle over some annoying 
writer's blocks. And as always, feedback will be appreciated, 
read, and lovingly acknowledged. Meaning, send 'em on. The 
address is unmai@bigfoot.com.

And so the story goes...


Futures Past 04:
by Arvy 

Abandoned warehouse, Pier 17, Seattle, WA
Thursday, February 12, 1998
7:16 PM

The building was dark, this time of day. On one of the upper 
floors, in what looked like a hastily put together bedroom, a 
pair of eyes opened, flashing like twin suns in the faint light. 
She awoke, feeling hungry, as usual. She roused herself from the 
bed and headed to the makeshift bathroom next door. Before she 
prepared to wash up, she glanced at herself in the mirror. The 
woman who stared back at her looked to be in her late twenties. 
She seemed to exude an ethereal beauty, her lustrous dark hair 
cascading around her shoulders as she shook herself awake. She 
gave herself a small smile as she turned away.

Finishing up, she headed out of the room. As she passed the 
adjoining rooms, she spared a loving glance into each one. 
'Good,' she thought, 'the children are still sleeping. Time to 
get something to eat.' With that thought, she glided down the 
stairs and headed out into the encroaching night.


Alleyway next to Joe's bar
8:12 PM

Kevin Matthews and Sydney Brown headed out of the bar, hand 
in hand. They had just met a little over an hour ago, and had hit 
it off immediately. Neither of them could remember a night when 
they'd left a bar so early, but tonight, it was all they could do 
to keep from pouncing on each other. They'd had to get out of 
there to someplace more private.

They walked down the alley to Kevin's car, eyes lost in each 
others', both oblivious to the world around them. Neither of them 
heard the slight thud behind them, or the soft sounds of 
approaching footsteps, although they would have been hard pressed 
to do so even had they been paying attention. The first sign of 
trouble came when Kevin saw Sydney suddenly pulled away from him. 
He saw her body fly towards the side wall where it landed with a 
sickening crack, then slowly slid down to the ground. A soft moan 
escaped her lips... she was still alive, but just barely.

He looked back at the figure standing next to him, a look of 
fear in his eyes. His eyes fell upon a sight that took his breath 
away... it had to be a vision he beheld. He stared at the most 
beautiful woman he'd ever seen in his life. He was entranced by 
the golden glow of her eyes, almost hidden behind raven black 
hair, and her surreal beauty as she advanced towards him. All 
thought of Sydney, lying helplessly a few feet away, fled his 
mind as he heard her seductive voice. She came closer, closer... 
so close... He stumbled back, tripped, and fell. He saw her 
bending over him. His last conscious thought as he stared at the 
sudden gleam of pointed white that appeared between her lips was 
a frantic prayer, 'Oh, god! don't let me die.' He felt a sharp 
pain in his neck, then fell into a delirium of ecstasy before the 
world closed up around him.


8:40 PM

Two figures left the bar and headed down the alley towards 
their car.

"It's good to be back in the US. I've missed it this past 
year and a half," said the taller man.

"Oh, I don't know, Duncan," replied the shorter figure. "I 
was just starting to get used to Paris, you know, the wine, the 
women... the stale cheese, the rock hard bread..."

"Be serious, Methos. I know this isn't your neck of the 
woods, but this is where I have some of my more pleasant 

"And some of your more unpleasant ones as well, don't 
forget." He paused when he saw his friend tense up. Following his 
gaze towards the body lying a few yards away, he broke into a run 
towards it.

They kneeled down next to it as Duncan reached for the 
girl's wrist. He saw Methos turn the girl's face towards him, but 
as he searched for a pulse, he knew it was already too late. He 
looked at his friend, and catching his eye, silently shook his 
head. "You'd better call the police..." He frowned when he didn't 
receive an answer. "Methos!"

The sudden shout seemed to bring him out of his reverie. 
Methos nodded as he stood up and headed back towards the bar to 
make the call.

'Wonder what's wrong with him. You'd think he'd never seen a 
dead body before,' Duncan thought as he reached up to examine the 
girl's neck. He gasped at the two small puncture wounds on the 
side of her throat. '*Great!* That's just great! That's all I 
need now. The horsemen, demons, and now vampires.' He sighed as 
he stood back up to wait for his friend to return.


8:55 PM

Duncan, Methos and Joe Dawson stood in the alley as they 
watched the body being lifted onto the stretcher. A figure 
emerged from behind the ambulance, her face hidden in the glare 
of the strobing lights. She walked up to the body and pulled down 
the sheet covering it.

As she leaned down, her face came into view. "Anne," 
breathed Duncan as he started towards her.

"Duncan?" Dr. Anne Lindsey looked up from her cursory 
examination, a smile on her face as she recognized him. "I didn't 
know you were back in Seattle."

"Hello Anne. I just got back a couple of days ago. How are 
you?" he asked, pleased to see her.

"I'm fine." She paused, frowning. "What are you doing here? 
This is a crime scene, you know."

"I was about to ask you the same question. We, my friend and 
I," he said, pointing to Methos, "found the body."

"Oh," she nodded. "Well, I decided not to work full time in 
the ER, what with Mary and all. I'm just doing some research now, 
helping the police with their investigation." She looked back 
down at the body, turning the head to get a closer look at the 
neck area. She nodded, apparently finding what she was looking 
for. She pulled back the cover and gestured to the EMTs to take 
charge of the body.


"Uh-huh. You haven't heard... oh, of course not, you just 
got back," she said as the stretcher was wheeled into the 
ambulance. "This is the tenth body in half as many weeks. All the 
same MO. Trauma, massive loss of blood, not to mention those 
strange puncture marks on the throat. Hard to imagine that much 
blood loss from those tiny wounds, though."

"You gave up the ER for this?" Duncan asked incredulously. 
They turned to watch the ambulance pull away.

"Well, most of my cases aren't so grisly. Like I said, I 
mainly do research... bloodwork, analysis, that sort of thing... 
strictly 9 to 5 stuff. Tonight, I just happened to be in the area 
and I saw the ambulance."

By now, the alley had become quiet again. No one could have 
guessed at the gruesome scene that had occurred less than an hour 
ago except for the police tape fencing off a part of the alley, 
and the dark stain on the ground a few yards away.

Anne turned as Duncan's friends walked over. "Hello Joe," 
she said, recognizing the older man immediately.

"Anne," he nodded in acknowledgement.

She turned to the younger looking man next to him. "Hi, I'm 
Dr. Anne Lindsey," she introduced herself, holding out her hand.

"Adam Pierson. Sorry to have to meet under such 
circumstances." He took her hand in his. "Maybe I can buy you 

Anne turned to Duncan with a smile. "Is he always this 
forward?" Turning back to Methos, she answered, "That's sweet, 
but I'm afraid I'll have to take a raincheck. I need to talk to 
some people about this." Her voice dropped, "Frankly, we, I mean, 
the police, are getting nowhere with this case. Not only are 
bodies with similar symptoms piling up, but people are 
disappearing as well. And many of these murder-missing person 
incidents seem to be occurring in pairs."

"Funny you should mention that," Joe interrupted her. "I saw 
the girl they just took away leaving the bar with a young man. I 
think he said his name was Kevin something or the other."

"I'll be sure to mention that in my report. Thanks, Joe. 
But, ten to one, we won't be able to find him anywhere. Well," 
she sighed, "I guess I'll see you guys around. I'm beat, and I 
still have a couple of phone calls to make." She yawned as she 
turned away, heading down the alley.

"Goodnight, Anne." Duncan waved after her. Turning back to 
his friends, he added, "I think I'm going to turn in as well. 
It's been a long day. Bye, guys."

It was only after they heard Duncan's car starting up did 
Methos realize something. "What the hell! He was my ride." He 
groaned, turning to Joe. "I can't believe this."

Joe smiled and shook his head. "C'mon back to the bar. You 
can call a cab from there."


DeSalvo's Gym
9:30 PM

Duncan MacLeod sighed as he glanced at the clock. He 
considered the night's events and began to wish he'd stayed in 
Paris just a little while longer. Not one to put off the 
inevitable, however, he walked over to the phone and dialed a 
number he hadn't used in a long time.

He waited as the phone rang. When it was picked up, he heard 
a voice on the other end. 

"Metro Homicide."

"Could I speak with Detective Nick Knight, please?"


Copper Creek Apartments
9:42 PM

Adam Pierson, known only to a handful of people as Methos, a 
5000 year old immortal, glanced at the clock before he placed a 
call to one of those people.

When he heard the phone being picked up, he said, "Hello 
Lucien. We have a problem..."


Dr. Anne Lindsey's residence
9:47 PM

She had finally gotten Mary to go back to sleep after she'd 
woken from a nightmare and started crying inconsolably. She moved 
down the hallway to the study and sat down to look at the files 
lying on the table in front of her. She thought about what she 
was about to do. What she had told Duncan had been true enough... 
the police were getting nowhere as far as solving this case was 
concerned. But they had yet to break down and ask for expert help 
from federal resources. She, on the other hand, was trying to 
approach the case from a medical standpoint, instead of a 
criminal perspective. And she knew that this was something way 
over their heads. The latest victim just confirmed her decision. 
She wanted to talk to experts in this field, but needed to keep 
it discreet. So she'd decided to turn to a couple of old friends 
for help. She had studied forensic medicine in college before 
opting for general practice, and she knew just the people to 
call. She sighed, smiling as she recalled pleasant memories of 
her days in school. She looked down at the two names and phone 
numbers she'd jotted down on the notepad. She hadn't talked to 
them in quite some time. Perhaps it was time to touch base with 
her old friends after all.


Nicholas Knight's residence, Toronto, Canada
Friday, February 13, 1998
5:30 PM

The quiet Friday afternoon was rudely interrupted by the 
sudden clash of metal upon metal, as it had been every few 
seconds for the past half hour. Luckily, the loft was in a 
secluded part of the city, and the only creatures disturbed by 
the incessant noise were the birds that had decided to roost atop 
the loft. Even had some curious passerby stopped after hearing 
the noise, he wouldn't have been able to see much... the windows 
of the loft were closed and tightly shuttered, proof against even 
the narrowest beam of sunlight.

Inside the building, two lone figures danced in the dim 
light of the incandescent lamps. Their movements were slow and 
deliberate... yet the swords they held seemed to move faster than 
the eye could follow. The blades descended towards each other 
until they met in a crescendo of sound, the opponents apparently 
an even match. All of a sudden, the match ended as one of the 
figures lost their sword, the blade of the other coming within 
inches of their neck.

As one, both pulled back and saluted before dropping into 
the couches on the side of the room. The woman reached over and 
grabbed a towel and a water bottle lying on a nearby table, 
wiping off her sweat as she took a long swig of water. "What the 
hell..." she gasped between gulps, "... was that last move?" She 
brushed aside her long brown hair to glance over at her sparring 
partner, and scowled. He'd barely broken a sweat.

He smiled. "Oh, just something I picked up in late 14th 
century Britain. You know, you're still a little weak on that 
follow through there, Nat. You need to swing harder if you want 
to break through your opponent's defense."

"I'll work on it." She took another swig before turning back 
to look at him. "Are you sure you didn't cheat on that last part? 
I could have sworn I saw your hand blur there for a second."

The object of her annoyed glare put a hand over his heart, 
affecting a wounded expression that silently said, "Moi?" When 
she continued glaring, he relented, "Ok, maybe just a little bit. 
You're getting better everyday, Nat, and much as I hate to admit 
it, I think I'm getting a little rusty after a few centuries of 
abstaining from swordplay." He sighed, "This is definitely not 
one of those things like riding a bike. Without practice, you 
*do* forget."

Nat leaned back, a Cheshire cat grin on her face as she 
muttered, "I knew it!"

"What was that?"

"Oh, nothing!" She quickly tried to change the subject, "So 
what's the big news you couldn't wait to tell me."

"Hunh? Oh yeah. I tried to call you yesterday night at the 
office. Where were you?"

"Umm... mostly in the morgue. Couple of gunshot victims. I 
hear you caught the killer already."

"Yeah, so anyway, the reason I called was cause I got a call 
from someone I haven't heard from in almost two years. You 
remember Duncan MacLeod, don't you?" he asked, smiling.

"Duncan?" Her eyes widened. "Like I could forget. Isn't he 
in Paris now?"

"Nope. Apparently he got back Stateside a few days ago." He 
paused, looking at her. "So how do you feel about taking a couple 
of weeks to go visit Seattle. I have some time coming, and I know 
you do too."

He was surprised when she let out a small chuckle. "So, 
Nick, might this impromptu vacation have something to do with 
dead bodies mysteriously drained of blood and strange puncture 
wounds on their throats?"

"How'd you know? Did he call you too?"

"No. I have an old college friend living down there. She's 
an ME helping with the police investigation. She faxed the 
reports for me to take a look at... apparently the police aren't 
making much headway with the case, and she wanted an outside 
opinion. I took one look at them and suggested coming over for a 
visit. I was going to tell you today morning, but I was just too 
tired. I guess I fell asleep before you came in."

"So what do you make of the reports. Was it...?" he trailed 
off with a questioning look in his eyes.

"Well, it certainly has all the earmarks. But even if it 
isn't, I could use the time off. It's been ages since I've seen 
Anne, and it'll be good to see Duncan again too." With that she 
got up and headed for the shower, leaving Nick to prepare to 
leave for work.


Dana Scully's Apartment, Georgetown, DC
Saturday, February 14, 1998
7:14 PM

Two of his four planes had already been shot down and his 
third fighter was now in trouble. He watched helplessly as its 
wing was strafed by machine gun fire. Within seconds, it too was 
spiraling down towards the deep blue surface of the ocean below. 
There was no way he was going to win this dogfight with just one 
measly bomber left.

He looked around the screen at the woman sitting across from 
him, facing him. Well... not looking at him exactly... her 
attention was riveted on the screen in front of her. She 
scrunched up her face in concentration as she moved the joystick 
in her hand ever so slightly to the left. A small but satisfied 
smile appeared on her face.

He looked back at his screen just in time to see the missile 
lock signal appear at the bottom of his readout panel. He put 
down his own joystick in disgust, watching as his one remaining 
plane exploded in a burst of flames.

"Game... set... match... as they say." He scowled as the 
petite redhead shut down her laptop and stood up.

"I knew getting you that joystick was a bad idea," he 
growled. "How'd you get so good with it so quickly, anyway?"

"Trade secret, Mulder. I'd tell you, but then I'd have to 
kill you." She smiled. "Want some coffee?" she asked as she 
headed towards the kitchen.

"Sure, I could use some." He walked over to the phone. "I'm 
going to order the pizza now," he called out.

"Just remember, no anchovies this time, Mulder," her voice 
wafted out of the kitchen. "Last time I spent more time picking 
off pieces of dead fish from my pizza than I did actually eating 

He grinned, shaking his head as he reached for the phone.

A half hour later, they were seated on the couch, eating 
pizza and watching TV, waiting for the eight o'clock movie to 
start. Dana Scully glanced over at her partner as he pulled a 
slice of pizza back from his mouth, trailing strings of cheese 
from it back to his lips. She saw the way his lips moved as he 
tried to pull all the cheese into his mouth. She let her gaze 
travel back to the muscles working in his jaw, up his face, past 
his, oh, so dreamy... *dreamy?*... yes, dreamy eyes, until it 
finally settled on the dark locks of hair framing his face. She 
stared at the one errant lock that fell over his forehead as she 
lazily munched on her pizza.

'If he doesn't push that hair up soon, I'm going to do it 
for him.' The sudden thought startled her with its intensity. A 
flush crept over her face as she realized that he'd caught her 
staring at him. She tried to hide her embarrassment behind an air 
of nonchalance as she asked, "So, where are you going for your 

"I got a call from my dad's lawyer about a week ago. Some of 
his property is lying vacant, and he wanted me to go look it over 
and decide if I want to keep it or sell it." He shrugged. "It's 
apparently a drain on the estate taxes, and the law firm 
recommended I sell it as soon as possible." Seeing her nod, he 
asked, "Are you going to take some time off too? Or was your 
little weekend in Maine enough for the next couple of years?" His 
lips pulled back in a teasing grin.

"Mulder... I spent most of that weekend working..."

"That's not what you told me when you got back, Scully," he 
interrupted her.

She moved her shoulders in a non-committal gesture. "To 
answer your question, yes. I decided to take a couple of weeks 
off to visit an old friend of mine. Someone I haven't seen since 
med school."

"Oh?" He watched her eyes glaze over as she recalled what 
were apparently pleasant memories, as evidenced by the slight 
smile gracing her lips. Suddenly, he felt a pang of guilt. 'Did 
she even have any memories since she joined the X-files that she 
could look back upon as being pleasant?' Lord knew, he didn't. 
No... that wasn't entirely true. The one memory he would always 
look back upon fondly was sitting right in front of him. He 
smiled to himself as she continued. Her next statement took him 
by surprise.

"Anne Lindsey. She's a doctor in Seattle. It's been almost, 
what, eight years since I've seen her? God, how time flies." She 
paused, her thoughts drifting back to the present as she saw the 
look of surprise on his face. "Mulder...?"

"Oh, nothing," he replied in answer to her unspoken 
question, "it's just that it's one hell of a coincidence. My 
dad's house, the property I was telling you about, is also in 
Seattle." He smiled, "Looks like we'll be traveling companions, 

She let out an exaggerated groan. "Oh God! That's all I 
need. I take a vacation to get away from it all, and then I find 
out I'm still stuck with you." But surprised as she was, she was 
also slightly pleased. Not that she would ever acknowledge that, 
of course.

"Oh, come on, Scully. I'm not that bad. Besides, it'll be 
fun. We never get to spend that much time together away from 
work," he pleaded, his eyes taking on that wounded little puppy 

She was going to retort with his own, "Are you coming on to 
me, Mulder?" just to see his reaction, but decided not to at the 
last minute. She didn't think she could handle whatever reply he 
gave, although knowing him, it would probably be hidden in some 
sort of joke. Instead, she asked, "So where is this house of 
yours anyway?"

"Umm... somewhere on the outskirts, Shady Glen Road or 
something like that."

Her eyes widened at his answer. 'It couldn't be.' That was 
the same address Anne had given her. When she mentioned this to 
Mulder, he just chuckled. Her eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Are 
you sure you didn't arrange this, Mulder? Is there really a 

He placed a hand over his heart in a silent, "Would I do 
that to you?" "Oh, come on Scully, don't you believe in 
coincidences?" He thought about why he had decided on going to 
Seattle now. He'd known about the house for close to two and a 
half years now. But now it was only a convenient excuse to 
unofficially follow up on the case file that had caught his 
attention the day before. 'Mysterious deaths due to trauma and 
exsanguination.' Although the police in Seattle hadn't officially 
requested federal help, a friend on the force had sent him the 
file to look at. He briefly considered telling Scully about it, 
but after that last case, he wasn't sure if she'd throttle him, 
or shoot him, or both, if he brought it up. 'Both... definitely 
both,' he winced at the idea. Which was one reason he was 
surprised at his next few words. "Besides, as a show of good 
faith, you are hereby invited to spend your vacation at Chateau 
Mulder. What do you say?" He held his breath as he saw the 
decisions racing through her mind. 'What was he thinking, 
inviting her like that? This wasn't just a couple of hours spent 
at the other's place. They were talking about a couple of weeks, 
at the very least. It was too soon... wasn't it?' He thought back 
to last Thursday night when he'd paid a sudden visit to someone 
he hadn't seen in a while.


Margaret Scully's Residence, Baltimore, MD
Thursday, February 12, 1998 (2 nights ago)
8:00 PM

He knocked on the door and waited. What was he doing here, 
he asked himself. He sighed, because he knew the answer already. 
It was the same answer he'd been giving himself for the better 
part of the day, ever since he'd gone out and bought that ring. 
He fingered the box in his pocket as he waited for the door to 

"Hello, Mrs. Scully." He smiled at the person who stood in 
the doorway.

"Fox! Hi." Margaret Scully's expression softened at the 
sight of her visitor. "Come on in." She stood aside to let him 
enter. Closing the door behind him, she led him into the living 
room. Once they had sat down, she asked, "It's wonderful to see 
you, Fox. Can I get you something... coffee, tea?" When he shook 
his head, she nodded. "To what do I owe the pleasure of your 

Mulder looked at the woman sitting across from him. He 
couldn't help feeling that she already knew the answer to that 
question, or at least had a pretty good idea. He sighed. 
Sometimes it looked like he couldn't hide anything from the 
Scully women. Of course, he'd kept his feelings about one 
particular Scully woman hidden pretty well for some time now. He 
got up and started to pace.

He opened his mouth to ask her the question he'd been 
rehearsing all evening. "How's Bill Jr. doing?" 'Wait a minute... 
that wasn't what he'd wanted to ask. Where had that come from?'

"He's fine, Fox. Thank you for asking." She frowned. That 
was not what she'd been expecting him to say. His next few 
questions brought a sigh to her lips, along with a sense of 
amused wonder. She had no idea Fox knew so many of the people 
that she knew. He asked about Charles, her neighbors, their pets. 
He even asked about the people in her church group. 'Talk about 
skirting the issue,' she thought. She reached out to grasp his 
hand as he walked by. When she caught his eye, she could tell 
that he'd finally made up his mind to tell her what he was here 

"Mrs. Scully..." he began nervously. "I... I got... I got 
Dana something for Valentine's."

"That's sweet, Fox. But why are you telling me this?"

"Because I want your opinion. I did a little reading up on 
it before I got it. I thought it was the perfect gift. But then I 
thought about it some more, and suddenly I wasn't too sure." The 
last part came out in a whisper.

'Now what could have a meaning deep enough to worry Fox 
Mulder?' she thought. According to her daughter, Fox was the kind 
of person to hide all his feelings behind humor and cynicism, 
although she knew better. "Don't worry, Fox. I'm sure that 
whatever it is, it's something that shows the thought you put 
into it." Did she really want to know what he'd gotten Dana? It 
looked like she was going to find out.

She saw him reach into his pocket and pull out a small 
jewelry box, the kind used to hold earrings or a ring. He sat 
down beside her and she saw his hands shake slightly as he handed 
it to her. She glanced at his eyes before opening the box, and 
was shocked to see the fear she saw lurking there. 'Fear of 
what?' she asked herself as she slowly opened the box. As soon as 
she did though, she knew the answer. 'A Claddagh ring! He'd 
actually gone to the trouble of looking up its meaning before 
getting it. Is he finally ready?' she wondered.

She had known that Fox Mulder was in love with her daughter 
ever since that night when she'd come upon him in Dana's 
apartment after her abduction. The knowledge was only compounded 
over the next few months as she watched him slowly, but surely 
sink into the bottomless pit of despair. She'd felt powerless to 
help him as she herself tried to overcome the grief of losing her 
little girl. Even after Dana was returned, she saw that he wasn't 
getting better. He was seeing the one person he cared about in 
his life slowly being pulled away from him. He simply couldn't 
bring himself to allow the doctors to pull her from the 
respirator, even though he'd witnessed her living will himself. 
When Dana had finally woken up, Margaret Scully couldn't tell who 
she was more relieved for. She had surprised herself as she 
realized that she'd unconsciously accepted this lonely young man, 
with all his emotional baggage, as part of her family. She knew 
that had her daughter died, she would have been attending the 
funerals of not one, but two children.

Of course, she knew that Dana loved him as well. It was so 
obvious every time she talked about her 'Mulder,' the way her 
voice changed, the way her eyes took on that faraway look. She 
had been waiting for the two of them to acknowledge it for three 
years now. But both of them were too stubborn, and too afraid to 
do so. Although, now it looked as if Fox was ready to take the 
first step... or was he?

She decided that a direct attack was the best way, so she 
asked without preamble, "Do you love her, Fox?" She smiled at his 

He stared at her uncomprehendingly for a few seconds. Surely 
she hadn't asked him what he thought she'd just asked him. He 
looked at the fireplace and then looked back at her. He sighed as 
he ran a hand over his face. 'Yes,' he decided, 'she'd definitely 
asked him *the question.*' And now he had to decide on how to 
answer her. Finally he decided upon a whispered "Yes."

The reply was almost below her hearing threshold, but she 
couldn't help smiling. 'The first step... finally.' It could only 
get better from here, although you couldn't tell from looking at 
him. If possible, he looked more miserable at having to admit his 
feelings for Dana. She forced her happy thoughts to the 
background as she focused on what he was saying.

"... but it's too soon, Mrs. Scully. I can't tell her. What 
if she doesn't feel the same way? What if she... if she decides 
to leave the X-files, leave me?" He appeared horror-stricken at 
the thought. "What if she asks for a transfer? I can't lose the 
best friend I've ever had by trying to get something that was 
never meant to be. Besides, it's too dangerous. If *they* ever 
found out, they could easily use it against us." The expression 
on his face ran the full gamut of emotions from fear to horror 
and finally settled on a look of sorrow.

"Fox..." She began, but stopped when she saw that he wasn't 
listening. Pulling his chin up to meet his eyes, she tried again, 
"Fox, listen to me. I happen to know that my daughter loves you." 
She held up a hand to forestall his objections. "Don't ask me how 
I know, just trust me on this, I know. And I can guarantee that 
she won't turn you down. And as for the other stuff, how much 
more danger can you two get into? Have either of you cared less 
for each other before than you do now? Will anything have 
changed, except for the fact that neither of you will be beating 
yourselves up over silly 'might have beens' and 'What ifs'?" She 
paused, then squeezed his hand as she continued in a low but firm 
voice, "Tell her, Fox."

He met her gaze and held it for a few minutes before he gave 
up. He never could resist the Scully women. He sighed as she 
handed him back the ring. "I'll try, Mrs. Scully, but not yet. I 
still have a lot to think about." He stood up and placed the ring 
back in his pocket. He looked down at her, adding, "It's just so 
soon. I have to wait for the right time. I have to know how she 

"Fox, it's never the right time," she answered in a soft 

He simply nodded. "Thank you for talking to me, Mrs. Scully. 
Like I said, I have a lot to think about. Good night." With that 
he turned towards the door.

Margaret Scully watched Fox Mulder walk out the door, hoping 
he would do the right thing. She reached for the small cell phone 
that lay behind one of the cushions. Dana had left it behind when 
she'd visited earlier that day. She'd forgotten to give it to 
Fox, but it gave her an excellent excuse to call her daughter. 
She rose and walked over to the phone.


Dana Scully's Apartment

'Definitely too soon,' he told himself as he waited for an 

Scully thought about the real reason she was going to 
Seattle. 'Maybe if I'm staying with him, I can keep an eye on 
him, make sure he doesn't get wind of this case. After that last 
one, I'm not sure why I even agreed to take a look at this case.' 
For Anne, she reminded herself. 'Uh-huh! Is that the only reason 
you want to stay with him, Dana?' a small part of her taunted. 
The conversation she'd had with her mother that morning flashed 
through her mind.


Margaret Scully's Residence, Baltimore, MD
Saturday, February 14, 1998
9:20 AM

'I'll just get the phone and leave,' she told herself as she 
waited for the door to open. When it did, she smiled at the 
person standing in the doorway. "Hi, mom. I just came to get my 
phone. Mulder's waiting in the car, so I can't stay long."

"Good morning, Dana." Margaret Scully walked with her 
daughter to the living room to retrieve the cell phone she'd left 
behind a couple of nights ago. Picking it up from the coffee 
table, Margaret handed it to Dana, noticing the ring as she did 
so. She held her daughter's hand, lightly stroking the ring as 
she looked up at Dana's eyes. "It's beautiful, Dana," she 

Dana looked at her mother with curiosity. She didn't seem 
surprised at the ring. In fact, Dana had expected some sort of 
comment about it, and was half dreading the questions she was 
sure she would be plied with. "It is, isn't it? Mulder gave it to 
me for Valentine's."

When Margaret nodded, Dana had a sudden idea. "Mom, I wanted 
to thank Mulder for his gift, and to let him know how much I care 
for him. I was thinking of giving him my cross." She lightly 
fingered the chain lying around her neck as she said it. "Would 
you mind?" she asked nervously, unsure of her mother's reaction. 
After all, it had been a gift from her.

"Oh, Dana! I think that's a wonderful idea. I know how much 
he means to you, and I think it would be the perfect gift." She 
beamed at the idea.

Dana let out a breath of relief at her mother's words. 
"Thanks mom." She took Margaret's hands in hers and squeezed 
them, giving her a kiss.

Margaret looked at her daughter before coming to a decision. 
"Could you wait for a few minutes? I have something for you." 
With that, she hurried upstairs.

When her mother returned, Dana saw that she clutched 
something in her hand. She walked up to her, noticing the sad 
look in her eyes.

Her eyes cleared up when she saw her daughter. She held up 
Dana's hand and placed a packet in it, closing her other hand 
over it. "Since you're giving your cross to Fox, I thought this 
was only fitting. I want you to have this, and I know Missy would 
have, too." She smiled as a small tear slid down her face.

Dana looked at her mother, then cautiously opened the small 
packet. She slid its contents into her palm and was taken aback. 
Missy's cross... She looked up at her mom, a hint of tears in her 
own eyes. "Are you sure?" she asked softly. When her mother 
nodded, she handed it back, reaching up to unclasp hers. She slid 
it into the packet and turned around. "Could you put it on, mom?" 
She let the tears fall as she felt her mother place the chain 
around her neck. She turned back around and hugged her mother 

When they pulled apart, each of them gave a small smile at 
the other's tear-stained expressions. Reaching up to wipe her 
eyes, Margaret Scully asked, "So what are you going to do about 
that ring? And don't think I didn't see which way it was 

"Oh, mom. He doesn't feel that way. The ring signifies 
friendship, that's all," she replied, reaching up to wipe her own 
eyes. "Besides, he hasn't said anything or done anything to make 
me think otherwise."

Margaret couldn't help noticing that her daughter didn't 
deny her feelings for her partner like she always did. Of course, 
she didn't exactly admit to them either, so she decided to give 
it a slight push. Remembering her conversation with Fox barely 
two nights ago, she thought to herself, 'First step, Maggie, make 
sure she takes the first step.' Although she was certain of the 
answer, she asked anyway, "Do you love him, Dana?" She smiled 
slightly at her daughter's reaction to her question. She did 
exactly the same thing Fox had done.

Dana looked over at the fireplace, then looked back at her 
mother. She'd asked her *the question.* She couldn't believe it. 
And she couldn't believe the answer that immediately entered her 
mind. She sighed as she ran a hand over her face. She didn't have 
to answer, however... the look on her face, in her eyes, gave her 

"Oh, Dana!" Margaret reached up to touch her cheek. "You 
should tell him."

'I can't do this, not right now,' Dana thought frantically. 
"Umm... mom, I have to go. Mulder's waiting." With that, she 
turned and hurried out of the house.


Dana Scully's Apartment

'Is that the only reason you want to stay with him?" the 
voice asked again. "Yes," she said, both to still her suddenly 
errant thoughts and in reply to her partner's invitation. She 
couldn't be sure, but it looked as if he'd been holding his 
breath waiting for her to answer. And after her mother had gotten 
her to admit her feelings for him that morning, she didn't know 
quite how to interpret his reaction.

He let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding 
when he heard her answer. He was relieved, ecstatic, and 
frightened all at the same time. Before he could contemplate her 
reply any further, he saw her get up and walk into her bedroom. 
She returned moments later with a small packet in her hand.

"I wanted to give you something for Valentine's, but I 
wanted to ask my mother first, just to make sure she was okay 
with it." She sat back down on the couch and handed him the 

He opened it and looked inside. 'Her cross!' He looked up at 
her with a silent question in his eyes.

"That's the cross my parents gave me," she said, pointing to 
the chain he held in his hand. "They meant it as a symbol of 
their love for me and their faith in God. When I told my mom that 
I wanted to give it to you, she insisted on giving me Missy's." 
She raised her hand to lightly trace the chain she currently 

"I'm not Catholic, Scully." He tried to inject a little 
humor into his voice, but it cracked anyway. This was the only 
symbol, the only reminder he'd had of Scully when she'd been 
taken away. And she trusted him enough to give it to him now. He 
looked at her with a slight sheen in his eyes.

"Think of it as a symbol of my faith and belief in you, 
Mulder." She moved in a little closer and took the chain from 
him, reaching up to place it around his neck.

Mulder reached up to cover her hand as she finished clasping 
it. He brought it to his lips and lightly laid a kiss on her 
fingers. "Thank you, Scully. I mean that."

She nodded and sat back in the couch next to him, leaning 
her head on his shoulder as they waited for the movie to start.


Mulder Residence, Seattle, WA
Sunday, February 15, 1998
5:15 PM

The dark grey Ford Taurus pulled up in front of the house. 
The two occupants got out and, hefting their luggage, walked up 
the front path.

"It's beautiful, Mulder," said the woman, putting down her 
bags, waiting for her companion to open the door. She looked 
around, admiring the house and the secluded setting it was 
located in. With a little imagination, it would be easy to 
believe that they were the only living souls for miles around. 
The house itself was a beautiful two story affair, almost like 
her mother's house in Baltimore.

"It is, isn't it?" Mulder replied, turning the key and 
pushing open the door. "This is one place I actually have fond 
memories of. Sam and I used to spend summers here with an old 
uncle of ours." He smiled at the memory. "Dad inherited this 
place after he died. Actually, I'm surprised to find it in such 
good condition. The last caretaker quit a few months ago. But, 
from the looks of things," he said, stepping in and taking a look 
around, "we won't have to do much before we can settle in." 
Placing his bags by the door, he turned to help his partner with 
hers. "It's going to be a great few weeks, Scully," he said, 
smiling at her.


8:35 PM

They spent the afternoon cleaning up the place. It was 
bigger than it looked from the outside, and it took a couple of 
hours to remove all the dust covers from the furniture, searching 
for fresh linens, hooking up the electricity, stocking the 
kitchen, and making sure everything worked. Finally, they plopped 
down on the couch, exhausted.

Mulder immediately reached for the remote control. Flipping 
on the TV, he asked, "Are you going to see your friend tomorrow?" 
He took a sip from the can of Dr Pepper he held in his hand.

"Yeah, she works till about five, so I'll probably go by her 
office sometime before then." 'Plus a visit to the morgue 
beforehand couldn't hurt either,' she added silently.

He frowned. "A doctor that gets off work at five? Hmmm... 
those hours sound a bit suspicious, if you ask me." His eyes 
twinkled in mischief.

"Mulder... you'd find a conspiracy in a can of Dr Pepper if 
I let you," she answered, shaking her head. "Besides, not 
everyone works the hours we do."

"You know, Scully," he said, turning to face the television, 
but looking at her out of the corner of his eye, "there is a 
theory that the government was involved in removing the period 
after the Dr on the Dr Pepper can as a form of mind control." He 
smiled when he saw her frown and reach over to pick up her can of 

Turning it, she remarked, "Mulder... I don't remember there 
ever having been a period..." She trailed off, thinking about 
what she'd been about to say. 'Ouch, walked right into that one,' 
she chided herself.

He chuckled at her chagrined expression, then ducked to 
avoid the cushion that sailed over his head scant seconds later.

"And what's the great Mulder going to do tomorrow?"

"Paperwork! The one constant in the universe. I have several 
forms and other information to look over concerning this house." 
'That and a nice little trip down to the coroner's office to 
really *liven* up my day,' he added to himself.


10:40 PM

Mulder sat at the ancient desk in the study, poring over the 
assortment of papers lying before him, trying to make some 
headway through the overwhelming amount of information.

Feeling his eyes begin to glaze over, he shook himself 
awake. Scully had given up about an hour ago. The five hour plane 
trip and the time spent cleaning up the place had left them both 
exhausted. But, if he was going to look into this case tomorrow, 
he had to get a handle on some of this drudge work tonight. He 
sighed as he reached over to grab a couple of sunflower seeds and 
popped them into his mouth.


Monday, February 16, 1998
9:18 AM

Fox Mulder stepped out of the shower wrapped in a bathrobe, 
a towel covering his head as he rubbed his wet hair vigorously. 
He was startled at the sound of someone calling his name from 
outside his room. 'Scully?' he thought as he rushed outside, 
through the hallway to her room next door.

"Oh, Mulder," he heard as he entered her room. "I told you 
over and over..."

"Scully?" he called out, but stopped as soon as he spotted 
her lying in her bed. Looking closer, he saw that her eyes were 
closed. She was still asleep, and obviously having a dream.

He rushed to the side of her bed and gently shook her, even 
as she softly crooned, "Oh, Fox! Poor, poor Fox. I warned you, 
but you never listen, do you?"

His eyes widened as he listened to what she was saying. 
'What the hell is she dreaming about?' He shook her a little 
harder, raising his voice as well, "Scully, wake up."

"Hunh! What...," she stuttered as she slowly opened her 
eyes. The first thing she saw was Mulder gazing down at her, 
concern evident in his eyes.

"You ok, Scully? That must have been some dream."

"You'd better believe it," she grunted, rubbing the sleep 
out of her eyes.

"Well... what was it about?"

"It's silly, Mulder," she paused. Seeing the questioning 
look in his eyes, she sighed, "Oh, all right. I dreamt that you 
had eaten one too many sunflower seeds, and you started sprouting 
flower petals all over your face, and leaves were growing out of 
your ears. I kept telling you not to eat so many seeds, but you 
didn't listen to me." She glared at him when he broke into a 

"Like I said, Mulder, a silly dream, that's all. Say, why's 
there a towel on your head," she asked, noticing his appearance 
for the first time.

"Oh, I just got out of the shower when I heard you calling 
my name. So I..." He trailed off when he saw her eyes slowly 
widen. "What?"

She reached out and pulled the towel off his head. He saw 
her gasp, and then her eyes rolled up in her head as she fell 
back onto the bed unconscious. 'What the hell?' he thought as a 
hint of fear crept up his chest. He slowly rose and walked over 
to the vanity mirror next to the bed. What he saw chilled him to 
the bone. He saw the edges of his face adorned with bright yellow 
sunflower petals, leaves growing where his hair used to be...

He screamed as he jerked himself awake. He immediately knew 
he'd made a mistake as he felt himself falling backward. His arms 
flailed out, trying desperately to find purchase on something 
solid, but without luck. His chair fell to the ground with a 
resounding crash, pulling him down along with it.

"Mulder...?" he heard as he shook his head to clear the haze 
of sleepiness. All he could see from behind the desk was a pair 
of legs on the other side, walking toward, then around it. He 
looked up to see Scully appear around the desk, a concerned look 
on her face. She knelt down beside him. "Are you hurt? I heard a 
scream, and..."

"Just my pride, Scully," he replied sheepishly. "I must've 
fallen asleep on the desk. I had a bad dream and when I woke up 
so suddenly, I guess I fell over."

"Oh god, Mulder. You're lucky you didn't crack your skull 
open." She stood back up and looked around. "Just look at this 
mess... sunflower seeds everywhere." She snapped her gaze back to 
him. "You were eating them when you dozed off." It wasn't a 

"Relax, Scully. I'll clean it up. Besides, I think I'm 
swearing off of sunflower seeds, at least for a while. After that 
dream, I don't think I can bear to eat another one."

She raised her eyebrows at that. "Must have been some dream, 

"You'd better believe it," he muttered. She reached down to 
give him a hand when he noticed that she was already dressed. 
When he asked her about it, she said something about needing to 
run some errands before turning around and walking out. He 
watched her walk away and turned towards his room to take a 
shower, a real one this time.


Mercy General Hospital, Basement, Seattle, WA
11:15 AM

He walked down the corridor, looking at the signs above each 
door, searching for the one he was looking for. He turned around 
the corner and stopped, staring ahead. Turning the far corner was 
a familiar figure. He caught the flash of red hair just before 
she disappeared from view.

'What's she doing here?' he thought frantically. He tried to 
remember what she'd told him about her plans for today. 'Of 
course, her friend, the doctor.' It stood to reason she would be 
in the hospital. 'But why in the basement. There was nothing down 
here except storerooms and...' At that moment, he reached the 
corner and, turning around it, caught sight of his partner 
pushing open the double doors that led to his destination. '... 
the morgue,' he completed his thought. 'How had she gotten wind 
of this case?' he asked himself as he watched her on the other 
side of the double doors. 'Or did she even know about it?' His 
questions were answered when he saw her open one of the small 
doors on the far wall and slide the body out. His eyes widened as 
he saw her examining the neck area. When she turned around to 
repeat the same procedure with the body in the next vault, he 
quietly pushed open the door and slid inside. Walking up behind 
her, he couldn't resist a "I vant to sach your blahd" in his best 
Count Dracula accent. He was gratified to see her jump a foot in 
the air.

"Jeez, Mulder. You scared the life out of me."

"Relax, Scully. I think he's dead." Mulder grinned as he 
poked the body lying on the stretcher next to him. He walked over 
to the cabinets lining the wall on the other side. Perching 
himself atop one, he asked, "What are you doing down here?"

"Anne's one of the MEs assigned to this case. She asked me 
and another friend for help when she saw that the police weren't 
making any headway with it. In fact, Anne should be down here any 
minute now." She turned back to examine the second body. "How 
about you, Mulder? Didn't you have some paperwork to take care 
of?" As a thought occurred to her, she turned back to him with a 
stern look in her eyes. "Don't tell me you followed me."

He feigned shock at her accusation, then smiled. "A friend 
on the local PD sent me the file to look over. To tell you the 
truth, I wasn't sure how you'd react if I told you about it. 
Imagine my surprise when you told me you were taking your 
vacation here."

"And here I was worried about your reaction. I knew what you 
would think, and I didn't want you to..." she made a sharp 
stabbing motion with her hands, "... overreact again."

"Don't worry, Scully. No one's gonna sue us this time." He 
smiled. "Although you must admit, I was right on the money last 
week. I proved that Ronnie Strickland, and damn near everyone 
else in that trailer park, was a vampire, didn't I?"

"I don't know anything about that Mulder. Like I told 
Skinner, I was drugged at the time." But she still smiled at the 
memory of finding a muddy Mulder in their rental car, frantically 
searching his neck for bite marks.

"Gee, thanks for the support," he responded sarcastically. 
He jumped off the cabinet and walked over to the body. "So what's 
the diagnosis, Dr. Scully?"

"Typical vampire *like* attacks," she replied, emphasizing 
her disbelief that it actually was a vampire. "Trademark puncture 
wounds near the jugular," she said, pointing to the neck, "and no 
blood in their bodies to speak of. I don't think..." She trailed 
off, her eyes widening.

Mulder reached his partner just in time to catch her as she 
staggered back, clutching her head as if in pain. A million 
thoughts ran through his panicked mind as he struggled to help 
her. He was relieved when she managed to stand on her own. He was 
about to ask her what happened when they were interrupted by the 
morgue doors opening. They both turned to face the two figures 
who stood in the doorway.


11:23 AM

"She should already be in there," Dr. Anne Lindsey told the 
woman walking beside her as they approached the morgue doors. "I 
was just about to follow her when you showed up." She smiled at 
her friend. "Despite the circumstances, it'll be great to see 
both of you again. It's been way too long, Natalie."

"That it has, Anne," replied the brunette, an expectant, 
albeit tired smile on her face. She had been up most of the 
night, going over the police reports, and then helping Nick 
patrol the area. Of course, there had been no sign of the killer, 
vampire or otherwise. 'It's never that easy, is it?' That was 
part of the reason she was here at the morgue. If she could 
determine whether the killer was actually a vampire, or simply a 
killer with a sick fetish, they would be that much closer to 
stopping the murders. 'It's too bad Nick couldn't be here,' she 
thought wistfully, looking at the bright streams of sunlight 
coming through the couple of small windows high in the wall.

"I have to admit..." Anne was saying, pulling Natalie's mind 
from her thoughts, "... these killings have me at a loss to 
explain them. If I didn't know better, I'd swear someone out 
there thinks they are a vampire. I mean, can you imagine that, in 
this day and age?"

She heard her friend give a strangled chuckle, then suddenly 
tense up. Natalie's hands went into her trench coat as she warily 
glanced around. Anne's eyes widened in recognition of a familiar 
gesture. She had seen Duncan do this so many times, but Natalie? 
'Nah! It couldn't be.' They had just reached the double doors, 
and, pushing them open, they stepped inside.

Anne and Natalie looked at the two figures standing inside. 
They didn't recognize the man, but they did see their friend 
standing beside him. "Dana?" Anne ventured slowly, glancing from 
her to Natalie, then back to her. "Are you all right?"

Scully glanced around warily, echoing Natalie's earlier 
gesture. Her gaze settled on her friends, then wandered over to 
the source of the sensation. She couldn't quite explain it, but 
she was sure that Natalie was the source of the gut-wrenching 
sensation she was experiencing... although the feeling seemed 
more in control now. She'd only felt like this twice before. 
Memories of a dark parking lot, abandoned buildings, and 
lightning storms flashed through her mind as she managed a weak 

"I'm fine, Anne. I just tripped. Natalie! Hi. I didn't 
expect you in Seattle so soon." When her friends came closer, she 
turned to Mulder and met his concerned gaze. 'Not now, Mulder,' 
she pleaded silently. Aloud she said, "This is my partner, Fox 
Mulder. Mulder, Dr. Anne Lindsey and Dr. Natalie Lambert, the 
friends I've been telling you about all weekend."

Mulder wrenched his eyes away from her, but she could 
clearly read the silent promise they held. 'We'll talk about this 
later.' "Dr. Lindsey, Dr. Lambert," he smiled at them. "It's a 
pleasure to meet you," he said, holding out his hand.

"Mr. Mulder." They shook his hand. Natalie felt a slight 
tingle when she held his hand, but didn't comment on it. When she 
turned to give Scully a hug, Anne sized him up. 'Her partner? 
Certainly didn't look like it when we walked in.'

She looked at her friends, now busily studying the corpses. 
She sighed. 'This *is* what I called them for.' But she couldn't 
help feeling a little left out. They were lost in their own 
world, arguing, as always, about the possible causes of death, 
the various symptoms, and what not. She had always been the odd 
one out in this trio. She had gotten out of the forensics field 
for the same reason that these two had stayed in it. This 
fascination with pathology, this need to explain death, something 
she considered a totally natural process. It was the same reason 
she had left Duncan. She was a doctor, she saved lives, and 
although she could understand death, even try to accept it, there 
was no way she was going to embrace it as wholeheartedly as these 
two. And staying down here was certainly not helping any.

"Umm... guys? I've got some stuff I need to take care of 
upstairs. Come by when you're done, okay?" She quickly got out of 
there and headed back to the confines of her office.

Scully and Natalie smiled at each other as they turned to 
watch their friend beat a hasty retreat. "Same old Anne," Natalie 
chuckled, "corpses still give her the willies every now and 
then." Turning back to the corpse, she studied the puncture 
wounds. She heard Scully telling her all the reasons why this was 
obviously the work of a deranged serial killer, but closer 
examination only confirmed what she had thought earlier. She 
adjusted her trench coat, thinking about what she saw. There was 
no doubt about it, this was a vampire attack. She realized that 
she was actually surprised. She had expected the killer to be a 
normal mortal... after all, vampires hardly ever left evidence 
lying around like this. For this many bodies to be showing up so 
suddenly, she thought, there would have to be a whole slew of 
vampires descending on the city.

Mulder watched the interaction of the two doctors in front 
of him. He heard Scully give a point by point analysis of the 
cause and conditions of death, the killer's motives, and other 
related facts. He also saw the look in her friend's eyes and 
realized something. 'She's not buying it.' He saw the brunette 
silently nod at Scully, apparently going along with her analysis, 
but every piece of his psychological training told him... 
screamed at him... that she didn't believe a word Scully was 
saying. He saw her lean in to give the neck area a closer look, 
and his eyes widened at the soft clang he heard. His thoughts 
flew back to the moments just before Scully's friends had 
entered. He'd only seen Scully react that way once before. Images 
of severed heads and lightning storms immediately came to mind. 
Nor had he missed the look his partner had given Natalie when she 
walked in the door. His eyes narrowed as they followed the 
outline of her trench coat. She was still leaning against the 
body tray, and there was something about the way the coat lay 
there, as if there were... he drew in a startled breath. 'Of 

"You're an immortal."

The conversation abruptly stopped. Both the women swung 
their heads to look at him, Scully with her mouth hanging open, 
and Dr. Lambert pinning him with a startled gaze.

'Whoops.' He hadn't meant to voice his thoughts out loud, 
but now there was no turning back. "Well, it's true, isn't it?"

"Mulder..." Scully's voice held a warning tone.

Natalie let out a soft sigh. "How'd you know?" she asked, 
trying to figure out what had given her away. 'Well,' she thought 
in consolation, 'at least I won't have to pretend with Dana if he 

"Natalie, you can't be serious." Scully couldn't believe 
that her friend had even heard of immortality, let alone 
accepting it easily enough to discuss it with others.

"He obviously knows about us, Dana," she began, then frowned 
when she saw the expression on her friend's face. It was almost 
as if Dana herself didn't know about it. A thought occurred to 
her as she remembered the scene when she walked in. She recalled 
seeing her friend looking around nervously, but with more 
confusion than was to be expected. Suddenly Duncan's words 
flashed across her mind...

"Sometimes it's harder on the new ones who don't have anyone 
to mentor them. At least I was around for you when you woke up. 
Some don't find out until it's too late."

Her eyes widened as she realized that Dana really had no 
idea who, or rather what, she was. But, if she didn't, how had 
her partner found out? She was going to have a long talk with 
these two. 'Might as well get started...'

"Did you feel a sudden, strange sensation just before I 
walked in here?" When she nodded, Natalie continued, "I felt it 
too. It's how we know when another one of us is close by."


"Dana, you and I, we're both immortals. And from what your 
partner said, it sounds as if you two already know something 
about it. But, obviously, not everything. So how about this? You 
tell me what you know, and I'll try to fill in the gaps."

Scully looked from Natalie to Mulder, then let out a breath 
as she decided what to tell her.

"Scully," Mulder began, "you knew this would come up sooner 
or later. And now, we have someone here who can explain this to 
us willingly."

"All right, Mulder." She moved away from them and began to 
pace. "It began when I accidentally cut my palm in the kitchen. 
Mulder was there when it happened, when it healed." She paused. 
Even talking about it after all this time, she couldn't help the 
feeling of wonder and fear that always accompanied the thought. 
As a doctor, she knew such things were simply not possible. But 
being Mulder's partner and an agent in the X-files division had 
taught her to view even the impossible with some degree of faith. 
She went on to recount the various tests she'd performed while 
trying to solve a particularly gruesome case the month before.

She stopped pacing when she saw Natalie smile. "It looks 
like you've done more tests on yourself in the past month than 
I've done in the past year. And believe me, I've been through 
several of the ones you've described."

"I had to find a way to explain it, Nat..."

"You don't have to justify it to me, Dana. I know exactly 
how you feel. I felt the same thing when I found out."

Scully nodded, then went on to relate the events that led to 
her confronting the killer in the old house. When she got to the 
part about getting stabbed, she felt Mulder come up behind her 
and place a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She knew that the 
comfort was meant for him as much as it was for her. He had 
thought that he'd lost her that night. She still remembered the 
tight hug she'd found herself in when she had regained 
consciousness. It had felt so safe, so right, so... and then she 
had seen the killer wake up and walk forward, sword in hand. She 
had done the only thing she could think of. She shot him, right 
over Mulder's shoulder. The clinical doctor in her considered the 
possibility that Mulder may have gone deaf from the nearness of 
the shot, but any further attempt at coherent thought had been 
brought to a grinding halt when she'd felt it. She didn't know 
quite how to explain it to Natalie, but she saw that her friend 
understood. How do you explain joy beyond your wildest dreams, 
intermixed with sorrow unimaginable in your most horrific 
nightmare? She shuddered as she explained about Jonathan Summers, 
the killer, and finding him nearly decapitated by one of the 
metal spikes on the railing surrounding the house. "And that's 
how I found out about it," she finished.

"But that still doesn't explain how you knew there were more 
of us out there. You and Summers could have been two of a kind, 
for all you knew," Natalie asked.

"I think I can explain that," Mulder chimed in. "I called in 
a favor from an anthropology professor of mine. He had some 
information on a group of people who recorded immortal activity 
throughout history. Most of it was pretty vague, and didn't 
mention anything in detail, but it was enough to clue us in on 
the longevity of some of the observees. But that's about all we 

Now it was Natalie's turn to stare. A group of people who 
not only had knowledge of immortals, but also recorded their 
activities? She wasn't sure she liked the idea of her life story 
ending up in a chronicle in a library somewhere. She needed to 
talk to Duncan about this. And she needed to introduce Dana 
Scully to him. She herself had been immortal for barely a couple 
of years, and she just didn't have the 'qualifications' necessary 
to take on the responsibility of training a new one. But for now, 
there was one piece of information Dana had not mentioned. She 
had said something about swords, but obviously didn't know what 
they were really used for. And explaining that was going to be 
the hard part. At least it had been for her.

"Dana, you said Summers had a sword. Do you know why?"

"Apparently immortals heal too quickly to die using 
conventional means. From what I could figure out, our one 
vulnerable spot seems to be in the neck area, somewhere between 
the third and fourth vertebrae. I assume he was using it to make 
sure that if he had to kill an immortal, he could make sure that 
they would stay dead permanently."

"Well," she began, trying to find the right words, "that's 
only part of the reason. I think I know how Mr. Mulder knew I was 
an immortal." She turned to Mulder and raised an eyebrow in 

Mulder understood what she was referring to. "Actually, I 
kinda suspected when I noticed your reactions to each other. But, 
yes, the sword confirmed it."

"Sword?" Scully asked in confusion. She hadn't seen evidence 
of any swords.

"I don't think the good doctor's coat is for purely 
aesthetic purposes, Scully," replied Mulder as they saw Natalie 
reach into it. Scully was shocked when, holding the coat open 
with one hand, Natalie smoothly pulled out a gleaming blade at 
least a couple of feet long. Even Mulder, who had been expecting 
something like this, was taken aback at the way the blade was so 
easily hidden inside the coat. If it hadn't been for the small 
sound it had made when it hit the metal of the tray, he would 
never have guessed as to it's existence. He looked up from the 
glare of the overhead lights reflecting off the shining steel to 
listen to what Natalie was saying.

"All of us carry one of these, Dana. It's how we live." At 
her friend's incredulous look, she tried to elaborate. "There are 
certain rules that all immortals have to adhere to. That night 
when Summers was decapitated, you remember what you said you 
felt? That was his quickening, his life essence. You probably 
came away with fleeting impressions of his life... memories, 
sensations, feelings, and mainly experiences." She saw her friend 
nod, and, putting her sword back inside her coat, she continued, 
"Well, that's what happens when one of us dies. His or her 
quickening is released, all that power, all that knowledge, in 
one massive discharge. And it goes to the nearest immortal. The 
older the immortal, the more powerful the quickening. The only 
way for an immortal to receive one is to kill another. And... one 
of the rules is that, in the end, there can be only one."

"One what?" Mulder asked, not sure he would like the answer. 
He saw Scully's eyes widen in horror.

"Immortal, Mulder. One immortal. Isn't that what you're 
saying, Natalie? There can only be one immortal left in the end?" 
Her voice held all the disgust and disbelief that Mulder felt. 
"What would you have me do, Nat? Get a sword and chop off the 
heads of all the immortals I meet? What about you?"

"It's what we do, Dana. I know it's hard to understand right 
now, but I went through the same thing when I changed. But, as my 
teacher used to say, denial can only hasten your death. You need 
to be taught how to use one of these. You need to know for when 
you're challenged by another immortal, because our fights are to 
the death... real, permanent death," she finished in a hushed 

"I refuse," Scully shouted back at her. "There is no way..."

"Dammit, Dana. Aren't you listening to me? You don't have a 
choice. You may not want to fight. You don't even have to go out 
looking for them. But there will be others who will want to kill 
you. You have to be prepared to fight them." She shrugged. "Think 
of it as self defense, in a broader sense. Besides, can you 
imagine what would happen if someone like Summers wound up being 
the last one. All that knowledge, all that power... well, you 
know what they say about absolute power." She saw Dana nod, but 
knew the indecision was far from resolved. She briefly wondered 
if it ever would be. Even after two years, she still felt 
disturbed at the thought of killing with such impunity.

Mulder looked from his partner to her friend, and decided to 
intervene. He realized that Scully needed time to process this, 
and he intended to give her all the space she needed. "I have a 
few questions for you, Dr. Lambert."

"Call me Natalie, Mr. Mulder. I think we're slightly past 
the stage of using last names."

"Okay, but I would appreciate you calling me Mulder. I'm not 
that enamoured with my first name." When she nodded, he 
continued, "You mentioned before that you changed. Does that mean 
that you weren't always... immortal?"

"Uh-huh. Immortals aren't born this way. We are like normal 
mortals... we get hurt, we age... just like them. An immortal 
gains his power when he or she dies for the first time. It sort 
of jump starts one's immortality, for lack of a better term." She 
saw both partners smile at that.

"For me, it happened a couple of years ago. A friend of mine 
in the police department was pursuing a serial killer who left 
behind a string of beheaded corpses. When we finally caught up 
with the killer, he managed to get out of the prison, take me and 
a couple of others hostage, and escape. Luckily for me, we were 
saved by Duncan MacLeod, another immortal who had pursued our 
killer up to Toronto. He managed to get us all out, but not 
before I was run through with the killer's sword. It was hell, 
convincing the other hostages that I wasn't seriously hurt, 
although, I must confess, I was *dead* for most of that. Duncan 
finally managed to persuade them."

She smiled at that. More like Nick had finally managed to 
persuade them. Duncan's and her immortality hadn't been the only 
secret revealed that night. Duncan had certainly gotten an eyeful 
when Nick had flung their killer over ten yards away in fury. "He 
stayed with me and my friend until I woke up, then proceeded to 
give me the same speech I just gave you two. He was the one who 
trained me to use a sword. In fact, he lives right here in 
Seattle. I was planning on taking you two over there later today. 
I'm not good enough with the sword to teach you, Dana. But he's 
got over 400 years of experience, and he can teach you everything 
you need to know." Now it was her turn to smile at the amazed 
look on their faces when she mentioned his age. "Besides," she 
continued, "I don't have a collection of swords lying around to 
give you one, and they don't exactly grow on trees. The one I 
have is at least as old as Duncan, and pretty valuable, from what 
he tells me. It belonged to the killer I was telling you about."

Mulder nodded, then asked, "Another thing, Natalie. You 
mentioned certain rules that immortals live by. What else is 
there, other than that first one?"

"There are only a couple of others. I'm not even sure if 
these rules are set in stone, or whether an early immortal made 
them up to explain his own immortality. But one rule is that all 
fights are one on one. No one else, immortal or otherwise, can 
interfere once a challenge is issued. Although, MacLeod has 
mentioned some who have broken this rule, using guns and 
bodyguards to 'kill' their opponents temporarily before finishing 
them off for real. And the final rule, something not even the 
most evil among us has ever dared to break, is that you can't 
fight on holy ground. And that includes churches, cemetaries, 
mosques, Indian shrines, anything that's been consecrated. It's a 
refuge against other immortals. I have no idea what would happen 
if we did fight on holy ground, but some legends say that the 
last time it happened, it caused the eruption at Mt. Vesuvius." 
She broke off, seeing the looks of disbelief she was getting. 
With a chuckle, she said, "Hey, I never said I believed it. I'm 
just telling you what Duncan told me, and what I'm sure he was 
told by someone else. One thing about immortality... gossip and 
rumor take on a new meaning when word of mouth can go on for 
decades, or even centuries."

"I wonder what would happen if an immortal changed when they 
were really young," Mulder asked, "or when they were really old. 
I mean, dying at just the right time in your life seems a bit 
convenient to me."

"What makes you think that doesn't happen? But those who do 
don't usually last too long. They would be fair game to the first 
immortal who came along. There have been people Duncan has told 
me about, an immortal who was retarded before he changed, and one 
in particular, a boy who changed when he was ten. This boy, 
Kenny, apparently uses an innocent little boy act to win the 
protection of unsuspecting immortals, then kills them when their 
backs are turned. He's almost twice as old as Duncan, but hasn't 
fought a fair fight in his life."

"I'm not sure if I should be appalled, or if I should feel 
sorry for him. A ten year old can hardly be expected to put up a 
fair fight." Mulder tried to imagine life in Kenny's shoes, and 
found that he wouldn't wish a fate like that on anyone.

"I know exactly what you mean," Natalie answered.

"And I think I've had just about enough of this," Scully cut 
in. She had been quiet all through this little exchange between 
her two friends, but was starting to get nervous again. She felt 
like she needed a breath of fresh air. "I think I'm going to go 
upstairs and talk to Anne, and then maybe grab some lunch." With 
that, she strode past them and walked out the door with a final 
"You guys coming?"

Mulder and Natalie looked at each other. Shrugging, they 
pushed the body trays in, closed the doors, and turned to follow 

"You don't believe her, do you?" Mulder asked Natalie 
quietly. Scully was still far enough ahead of them that she 
couldn't hear his comment. He saw the brunette glance at him with 
a questioning look. "About the killings, I mean," he explained.

"You are either psychic, Mulder, or very perceptive. I think 
Dana has found herself an excellent partner. By the way, are you 

"No, we're not." Mulder smiled at her. "And you, my dear Dr. 
Lambert, are trying to change the subject. You don't have to hide 
it from me. I know that was a vampire attack. I believe that just 
as much as Scully disbelieves it. Through my work, I've seen 
enough to acknowledge that vampires do exist. Hell, I was almost 
brought across by one." He flinched as memories of a dark 
building in LA swam across his mind, memories of Kristen... He 
pushed the unsettling thoughts away, only to replace them with 
memories of a few nights ago, alone in a trailer park, being 
attacked by a mob of vampires. The images of those glowing eyes 
would haunt him for a while, he was sure.

They caught up to Scully waiting for the elevator. Each of 
them looked at the other, silently deciding to table the 
discussion for now.


Alleyway next to Joe's bar
4:55 PM

Fox Mulder kneeled down beside the police tape, looking at 
the dark spot that stained the ground. This was the site of the 
last murder. And just like all the others, except for the 
bloodstains on the ground and the wall, there were no indications 
that anything untoward had occurred here. No signs of any kind of 
struggle, no fingerprints, nothing. Whoever, or whatever, the 
killer was, he or she had been quick, and clean, and very 
efficient. There was simply no evidence whatsoever to go on. No 
wonder the police were stumped. The only pattern that emerged was 

the secluded setting, as if the killer were waiting in ambush. 
And in a city replete with alleyways and out of the way spots, 
there was no way the police could patrol the entire area.

He sighed and stood up, taking a look around. Spotting the 
entrance to the bar, he headed towards it, thinking about how he 
had spent his day. After a brief lunch with Scully and her 
friends, he saw that they were all set for an afternoon of girl 
talk. And, much as he would have loved to chat about Scully's 
'formative years', he had no desire to do so in front of her, nor 
did he want to hear about former boyfriends and college gossip. 
He'd gotten out of there as quickly as he could after getting 
MacLeod's address from Natalie. Apparently, he owned a dojo 
nearby, and Mulder had promised to meet Natalie and Scully there 
at 5:30.

He had spent the past four hours driving all over the city, 
from one crime scene to the next. All the killings seemed to be 
confined to the waterfront district, but that still left a lot of 
ground to cover. Every single site looked pretty much the same... 
secluded, and with no discernable clues to go on.

But the drive had also given him time to think about what 
Natalie had told them in the morgue, about Scully's immortality, 
and its implications. He thought about the more immediate 
consequences. Obviously, she would have to leave the Bureau in a 
few years, a decade at the most, before people started noticing 
that she wasn't getting any older. When the time came, he asked 
himself if he would leave with her, if he even could. If he was 
still unsuccessful in his quest for the truth, his search for his 
sister, would he willingly give them up to be with her? They 
would have to go into hiding, change identities...

Of course, all this was moot if he didn't tell her how he 
felt about her. Did he love her? 'Yes,' he answered himself 
vehemently and with conviction. But he wasn't sure he could tell 
her that, not after today. Before, it had been pure speculation 
on their part about her immortality. Today, they had gotten 
confirmation. And suddenly, it wasn't speculation anymore, 
something that could be relegated to the realm of fantasy. It was 
real. She would be young forever, while he grew old, and 
eventually died. Could he handle that... the knowledge that she 
would move on after him? And even if she had any interest in him 
before, would she want to be burdened down with a senior citizen 
while she was, for all intents and purposes, in the prime of her 

'No,' he told himself. He had no right to make that decision 
for her. She would have to make the first move, if she wanted to. 
For a brief moment, the thought that he already *was* making the 
decision for her, by keeping his feelings hidden, crossed his 
mind. But he quickly squashed that thought... he was making the 
right choice, he told himself. But he was still a long way from 
totally convincing himself of that.

He sighed as he paused outside the door to the bar. Taking a 
deep breath, he pulled open the door and stepped inside, pushing 
the unresolved dilemma out of his mind for now. It wasn't like he 
was going to run out of time anytime soon. For now, he 
concentrated on the figure standing behind the bar, a stocky man 
in his fifties. His back was turned to Mulder as he arranged the 
bottles on the shelves behind the bar. Hearing the door, he 
turned around.

"We're closed, pal."

"I know. I'm Special Agent Mulder with the FBI, and I'm 
looking into the murders you seem to be having. I'm looking for 
one of the witnesses in the most recent killing... one Joseph 

"I'm Joe. I wasn't aware that this had become a federal 
case." He frowned as he watched the man walk toward the bar. He 
reached beneath the counter to pick up a towel to wipe the 

"The police haven't requested federal assistance yet. I'm 
looking into the case in an unofficial capacity as a favor. Do 
you have a problem with that?"

"No. But I'm afraid you're wasting your time. Like I told 
the police, I didn't see anything until after the body was found, 
by a couple of friends of mine, actually. I was in here, and I 
didn't hear anything outside. But, I'm not surprised. The alley's 
pretty deserted, and it was kinda loud in here."

Mulder watching the older man wipe the countertop when he 
noticed something that made his breath catch. Dawson's shirt 
sleeve was pulled back, and on the inside of his left wrist was 
something he had not seen for a while now. A tattoo that looked a 
lot like a Mercedes Benz symbol. He suddenly recalled the name of 
one of the people who had actually found the last body... Duncan 
MacLeod! He had wondered at the coincidence when he first read 
the report. And Dawson had just called MacLeod his friend. On a 
hunch, he asked, "Are you MacLeod's Watcher?" He couldn't hold 
back a smile when he saw Dawson stop wiping the counter and look 
up at him in surprise.

"I think I'm going to have to ask to see your ID, Mr. 
Mulder," he said, his eyes narrowing.

When Mulder fished it out of his pocket and showed it to 
him, Joe Dawson looked at it intently. The name seemed familiar, 
but he couldn't quite place it. His thoughts ran back to some of 
the reports he had read in the past month. Although he frequently 
made trips to Paris to keep tabs on Duncan, he still kept abreast 
of any news back home. And the name 'Fox Mulder' rang a bell. He 
frowned as he tried to recall where he'd read it... something 
about a rash of murders of young children along the east coast. 
Young immortals, he amended as he finally remembered the details 
of that one particularly gruesome report. "Jonathan Summers," he 
whispered. "You're one of the people who caught him, aren't you?"

"Caught is a relative term, Mr. Dawson." Mulder couldn't 
help a wry grin as he remembered how they had finally *caught* 
the man. "Unfortunately, before we could arrest him, he decided 
to get a severe case of missing neck syndrome."

"I've never heard it put quite that way before." Joe gave 
Mulder a small smile before turning serious. "I'm not sure how 
much you know, Agent Mulder, but, like Mary Rogers told you, it 
really is none of your business. And, as I told you earlier, I 
can't help you with these murders either."

Mulder sighed as he looked at his watch. Dawson was right, 
he didn't think he would get any more answers here, at least not 
relating to the vampire killings anyway. Besides, it was almost 
time for that appointment at MacLeod's anyway. He thanked Joe 
Dawson and turned to leave.

Joe looked at Mulder until he walked out the door, then 
reached over for the phone and dialed a familiar number.


Natalie Lambert's car, en route to DeSalvo's Gym
5:18 PM

Dana Scully sat in the passenger seat, looking out the 
window at the scenery. But the sight didn't really register in 
her mind. Until now, she had kept herself busy by talking with 
her friends about college and their lives since then. After 
listening to Anne and Nat talk about what they had been doing 
since med school, she told them about joining the FBI Academy, 
teaching and eventually joining Mulder on the X-files. She had 
glossed over some of the more bizarre elements of some of the 
cases she had been involved in, but she had managed to spend the 
entire afternoon without a single thought about what she and 
Mulder had discussed with Nat in the morgue.

Now, after saying goodbye to Anne and promising to come by 
her house the next day for dinner, she and Natalie were on their 
way to MacLeod's dojo. However, she couldn't help feeling a sense 
of dread at the meeting. For some reason, seeing MacLeod, an 
immortal who was going to be her teacher, seemed like another 
brick being cemented on a wall that already existed between her 
and Mulder.

She thought about what her mother had asked her to do just 
two days ago. When she asked Dana if she loved Mulder, she hadn't 
answered her, but her heart had screamed her assent. The only 
obstacles standing in her way had been the Bureau's unwritten 
policy prohibiting relationships among partners, and more 
importantly, Mulder's reaction if she told him. She couldn't care 
less about the Bureau, but she didn't know if she could cope as 
easily if Mulder didn't feel the same way about her. She didn't 
want to destroy the best friendship she had ever had in hopes of 
gaining something she was so unsure of.

And now, there was one more reason for Mulder to not want to 
pursue a relationship with her. She didn't know how he felt about 
what Natalie had told them that morning in the morgue. He'd left 
after lunch with some hasty excuse about wanting to avoid all the 
girltalk and wanting to check out the crime scenes. But she got 
the distinct impression that he wanted some time alone to sort 
through this information and how it would affect their 
partnership, and their friendship. And although she thought she 
could have come to terms with it if he didn't feel the same way 
about her, she did not want him to resent her because of what 
Natalie had said. Even if he did have feelings for her before, 
she wasn't sure that he wouldn't come to hate her for not being 
able to grow old with him. The thought itself was a daunting 
one... eternal youth, immortality. She had thought about it 
before, but then it had seemed a fantasy, an idea. Now it was a 
fact, as real as her cancer had been, as real as the subsequent 

She briefly wondered if such a thing was even possible, a 
relationship between an immortal and a mortal. From what Natalie 
had said, immortals had been around for a couple of millennia at 
the very least. Surely something like this could not have been 
unheard of in all that time. She desperately wanted to ask Nat 
about this, but she didn't know how to go about doing so without 
revealing her feelings for Mulder at the same time. But, as she 
considered it, a thought suddenly occurred to her. Turning to her 
friend, she asked, "Nat?" She saw her answer with a quick glance 
before turning her attention back to the road. "You said that 
immortals have hidden their existence throughout history. Do you 
know why? I mean, why all the secrecy?"

Natalie was silent for a few minutes as she thought about 
how best to answer Dana. "Duncan told me several horror stories 
about witch hunts he witnessed, back when that sort of thing was 
commonplace. Although he himself was lucky enough not to become 
the object of these hunts, he lost some good friends to them. 
Today, there is even more danger, if word of our existence were 
to become common knowledge. Think about it, Dana. Those tests you 
said you performed on yourself... they weren't all that pleasant 
to endure, but at least you had a choice in conducting them. Can 
you imagine the kind of experiments we'd be subjected to if the 
government or the general public got wind of us." She trailed off 
when she saw the knowing look on her friend's face. "Something 
tells me you already know about the kinds of horrors we face."

Dana nodded. With a sigh, she replied, "In my line of work, 
I've seen and heard of more acts of atrocity committed by 
supposedly benevolent governments than you could possibly 
imagine. I've heard of experiments that would be immoral, 
unethical, and inhumane if performed on immortals, let alone the 
mortals they actually were conducted on. I, myself, have..." She 
stopped, not wanting to divulge what she feared had been done to 
her, not even to her close friend. According to Natalie, 
immortality was a natural process, another path in the inevitable 
course of evolution. But Dana suspected strongly that her 
immortality was anything but natural. She had no doubt that she 
had been given this 'condition'... curse was probably a more 
appropriate term... by the same people who had abducted her 
nearly three and a half years ago, and stolen almost three months 
of her life.

When she saw that her friend had grown unusually quiet, 
Natalie prodded, "What are you thinking about, Dana? Why are we 
talking about this?"

Dana looked at her friend as she realized with a start that 
she'd gotten off the track from what she had really wanted to 
ask. "Well, it's just that, if immortality is such a secret, I 
was wondering why you told Mulder about it. I mean, you could 
just as easily have warded off his questions and talked to me 
alone later."

Natalie smiled at the question. "You were always the most 
perceptive one of us, Dana. You and Mulder make a good team. 
Actually, there are a couple of reasons why I included him in our 
discussion. Although I said that we liked to keep our existence a 
secret, there have been certain non-immortals whom we have 
confided in through the centuries... close friends, spouses, 
lovers... people we could trust to keep our secret. You do trust 
Mulder, don't you, Dana?" She saw her friend nod and answer in a 
hushed but determined voice, "With my life."

"Nick, the friend I told you was with me and Duncan when I 
'woke' up, he found out because he was there when it happened. 
But, even otherwise, I would have told him. You see, I trust him 
as much as you do Mulder... and I also love him," she finished 
quietly. Catching her friend's glance, she blushed, "I didn't 
think it would be so hard to tell him. I just wish I could have 
gotten the courage to say that to him face to face a long time 

Dana smiled at that. And here, she thought *she* was the one 
having trouble expressing *her* feelings. It seemed that hiding 
one's true feelings was a universal trait. "So there have been 
other immortal-mortal couples before?" Now that Natalie had 
brought the subject up, it seemed like a safe question to ask.

When Natalie heard this, however, she gave herself a silent 
pat on the back. She had suspected that this was where this 
entire conversation had been headed from the beginning. It was 
obvious that Dana was dying to ask this question, although she 
tried to hide it behind an air of simple curiosity. And if she 
had to admit her feelings for Nick in order to get Dana to open 
up, well, it was the least she could do. Dana seemed more in 
denial than she herself had been. She had already confessed her 
feelings for Nick a while back. But looking back a year or so, 
she could easily picture herself in Dana's shoes. She'd had the 
same fears, the same doubts. In answer to her question, Natalie 
nodded, "Yup. As long as there have been immortals."

"But what about the differences? One ages while the other 
stays eternally young. Doesn't the mortal ever resent it that 
he... or she... will grow old and die while the other will 
eventually move on?"

"Dana...," Natalie replied quietly, "sometimes that's 
exactly what happens. Some mortals can't handle it. But others 
can. If it's true love, he can... he *will* look past the 
differences to see the person behind the immortal, the real you. 
You'll never know until you tell him, trust me on this one." 
'Although, you won't have to worry about that if what I suspect 
is true,' she added silently.

Dana nodded, looking down at her lap as she tried to process 
this. Suddenly she realized something about the way Nat had said 
that last part, as if she were directing the comment right at 
her. 'Nah! I'm not that transparent, am I?' She refused to 
consider that thought. What her friend had told her was simply 
what she herself had gone through, and was in no way meant as 
advice. Instead, she said, "You mentioned a couple of reasons you 
decided to tell Mulder?"

Natalie shook her head. 'God, Dana. You're even more 
stubborn than I was.' Aloud she said, "Yes, I did, didn't I? And 
the other reason, I'm 99.9% sure of. But I want to talk to 
Duncan, and have Mulder meet him, or rather have Duncan meet 
Mulder, before I tell you." She slowed down, pointing through the 
windshield. "We're here," she said, stopping the car.


DeSalvo's Gym
5:27 PM

The stillness inside the dojo was interrupted by the swish 
of the staff as it sliced through the air. Standing in the center 
of the room, Duncan MacLeod performed an exercise he'd done a 
hundred times before as he thought about the phone call he'd 
received from Joe less than a half hour ago. If a federal agent 
knew of immortals and Watchers, he could only guess at the kind 
of trouble he could stir up. He doubted that this Fox Mulder Joe 
had mentioned was an immortal. According to the Watchers, he 
wasn't... they had no records on him. Still there was the 
possibility that he was a new one, someone the Watchers hadn't 
managed to catch on to yet. But how had he found out about them?

He mentally reviewed what Joe had told him about the case in 
DC. Apparently, an immortal had gone mad and had begun butchering 
children... pre-immortals... along the east coast. He had finally 
been stopped in DC by a couple of federal agents, one of whom was 
this Fox Mulder. Unfortunately, before they could do so, he had 
managed to kill his Watcher, so now they had no idea exactly what 
had happened. The one thing that they were sure of was that the 
immortal had not been beheaded. His death was an accident... 
apparently he'd fallen out a window and impaled his neck on an 
iron spike, killing him instantly. The only witnesses, the two 
federal agents, hadn't mentioned anything untoward in their 
report, as far as the Watcher contacts in the FBI could make out. 
And Joe *had* warned him that he could expect a visit from said 
agent in the near future...

He stopped his exercise when he felt their presence, two of 
them, and swung around to face the door . He waited for whoever 
it was to walk into the dojo. When he saw who it was, his face 
broke into a smile. "Natalie! It's good to see you. Nick called 
to say you might be coming by. He said he'd be over as soon as... 
umm... weather permits." He saw her nod, then paused when he saw 
her companion looking at him nervously. He raised a questioning 
look at Natalie.

"Dana Scully, meet Duncan MacLeod. Duncan, Dana."

Duncan's eyes widened when he heard the redhead's name. 'Now 
that sounds really familiar,' he thought. Hadn't Joe mentioned... 
"You don't, by any chance, happen to work for the FBI, do you?"

Now it was Dana's turn to be surprised. "Yes, as a matter of 
fact, I do. How'd you know?"

Duncan smiled and motioned them towards the back of the 
dojo. "I just got a call from a friend who said that your partner 
was there asking some uncomfortable questions about immortals. We 
were wondering how he knew so much about us. I guess that's one 
mystery solved," he said as they walked toward the elevator.

"Yup, that's Mulder alright. Actually, he's supposed to be 
here any minute now. I wonder what's keeping him," Dana replied 
just as they heard a car pull up outside. "That's probably him 

While they waited for Mulder to come in, Natalie asked, 
"Duncan, how long are you planning on staying in Seattle?"

"For a while. Why?"

"Because Dana here is a new immortal. I've told her most of 
the basics, but I was wondering..."

"... if I would teach her," he finished. "I would be happy 
to take you on as a student, Dana, if that's what you want."

"I...," Dana began, but was interrupted by Natalie, "She 
wants! And, I want you to meet her partner and tell me if what I 
suspect is correct." Dana looked at her friend in confusion, but 
before she could ask what she meant, she saw the dojo doors open 
and her partner walk in.

"Sorry I'm late," Mulder said, walking up to the trio. 
"Scully, Natalie," he nodded at the women, then extended his hand 
towards Duncan. "You must be Duncan MacLeod. I'm Fox Mulder."

"Pleased to meet you Mr. Mulder."

"Please, Mulder. Every time I hear Mr. Mulder, I expect to 
see my father standing behind me."

"Okay," Duncan smiled, "Mulder." His eyes widened as he 
shook Mulder's hand. He looked over at Natalie and nodded in 
silent confirmation.

Dana noted this silent exchange, but decided not to pursue 
it when Nat laid a hand on her wrist, mouthing a quiet "Later" at 
her. They got into the elevator and moved upstairs.

Once they were settled into the living room, Natalie asked 
something that had been bugging her since that morning, "Duncan, 
did you know that there's a group of mortals that knows about us 
and records our activities? Mulder was telling me about them 
earlier today. That's how he found out about immortals... from 
some of the accounts they left behind." Her eyes narrowed when 
she heard him sigh. "You knew? And you didn't tell me?"

"It wasn't my secret to tell, Nat. You, of all people, 
should know how that works. Besides, they never interfere in our 
affairs, only record them. Imagine what they've seen, Nat. A 
record of history as it happened, written down with first hand 
knowledge by mortals who were there when it happened. An 
objective record for future generations, long after most of us 
are dead, something to preserve our memory. Personally, I think 
that what they do is important. And I would appreciate it if none 
of you talked about this to anyone else." He saw each of them 
grudgingly nod. "Now that that's settled," he went on cheerfully, 
"what say we find a sword for you, Dana." He got up and walked 
over to the chest that lay against the far wall.

"Already?" Dana protested. "But it's so soon."

"You have to start training as soon as possible. It's 
already been too long. Natalie told you about the rules of the 
game, didn't she? Imagine what your chances would have been with 
that immortal you faced last month if it had been a fair fight. 
That you won was sheer accident, and not something that's likely 
to ever happen again."

"Last month? How'd you know about that? We didn't mention 
anything about the quickening in the report, which, by the way, 
is confidential government property. How'd you gain access to it 

"I have my sources," MacLeod shrugged. "Besides, hearing 
about how he died and seeing as how you were on the scene, it 
wasn't that hard to put two and two together." He saw Mulder and 
Scully walk over to where he knelt, rummaging through the 
impressive array of weapons he kept in the chest. Pushing aside 
most of the swords, spears, staffs and other weapons that lay in 
there, he reached for one sword that lay to the side. Grasping 
it, he felt around near the corner of the chest and brought out a 
strange looking clip, with a hook and a circular grip attached to 
it. Turning to Scully, he asked, "I assume your coat has an inner 
pocket?" When she nodded, he asked her to put it on and hold it 
open. Reaching into it, he placed the clip on the pocket and then 
gently slid the sword into the grip. "You can use that to hold 
your sword for now. Later, if you want, you can have a permanent 
scabbard sewn in." He watched her pull the coat closed, then 
stepped back to give her a once over. What he saw made him smile.


"Scully," Mulder smirked, "I really don't think that sword's 
the one for you." His smirk widened into a full fledged grin as 
he pointed towards her feet. She looked down and saw the tip of 
the sword sticking out of the bottom of her coat.

"Just as I thought. Even that one's way too long. Here, try 
this one," he said, reaching into the chest to pull out another 
sword. "It's one of my shortest ones. I hear it once belonged to 
Joan of Arc." He laughed when he saw her eyes widen at hearing 
the former owner's name.

Dana gulped as she realized what she held in her hand, a 
true piece of history. "I can't take this, Duncan. It's much too 
valuable. It belongs in a museum somewhere."

"Relax Dana. If all such swords belonged in museums, then no 
immortal would have one. It's nearly impossible to find one of us 
who has a sword newer than a couple of centuries. Besides, it's 
not like you have much in the way of choice here. It's either 
this one, or the axe," he said, pointing to one of the monstrous 
looking battle axes lying in the chest. "It's a lot shorter, but 
I doubt you could even heft it, let alone fight with it. Consider 
it a gift, a beautiful sword for a beautiful lady."

Scully blushed as she gingerly placed the sword inside her 
coat. She closed it and looked at herself in the full length 
mirror next to the chest. 'Amazing,' she thought. 'It's totally 
invisible. If I hadn't actually put it there myself, there's no 
way I'd believe there was a sword inside.' "Thank you, Duncan," 
she said, opening her coat to look at it again. "It's beautiful."

"You're welcome. Just be careful when sitting down," he 
warned. "Take it from a guy with experience. It is *not* pleasant 
to have three feet of steel go through your thigh just when 
you're sitting down for dinner." That brought a chuckle from all 
three of his guests. "And beware of metal detectors," he added.

"Well, that's one advantage of being in the FBI, I guess," 
Mulder said. "Most places, we just go around the detectors." When 
he saw Natalie's questioning look, he explained, "It's against 
Bureau regulations for an agent to be separated from his weapon. 
So usually we just flash our badges and bypass the detectors to 
avoid the hassle." Mulder paused, thinking about it for a moment. 
"Hey, MacLeod? What do *you* do when you have to go through the 

"Like I said, I try to avoid them whenever possible," he 
shrugged. "On plane trips, I sometimes check my sword in as an 
antique. It certainly qualifies as one, and I am a licensed 
dealer. Most other places... well, there are always ways around 

Mulder simply nodded, not sure *if* he wanted to know these 
'ways'. He walked over to one of the shelves next to the kitchen 
alcove, looking at the pictures. He stopped when he reached a 
familiar one. "Hey, you know Anne?" The photo showed Duncan with 
his arms around Dr. Lindsey, holding a baby in her arms. He 
turned to see both Scully and Natalie staring at Duncan in 

"Yeah. We used to go out a couple of years ago. How do you 
know her?"

"Actually, I only met her today," Mulder confessed. 
"Apparently, she, Scully, and Natalie went to college together."

"Hmm... small world. When she told me she'd invited a couple 
of college friends to Seattle, I didn't expect this."

"Tell me about it." Mulder picked up the photo. "Cute kid," 
he remarked. "Yours?" he asked MacLeod.

A look of surprise flashed across Duncan's face as he 
glanced at Natalie. "You didn't tell them?"

"It never came up," Natalie shrugged, a pained expression 
settling in her eyes. Actually, she had been dreading this part 
of the immortality explanation. When Duncan had told her two 
years ago that she couldn't have children, it was as if a part of 
her had died. She had always known that pursuing a relationship 
with Nick would preclude any children of their own. But there had 
at least been the possibility... She didn't know how she could 
have explained that to one of her best friends.

"No, Mulder. The baby's not mine. I... we... can't have 
children." He glanced from Mulder to Dana as he said this, 
watching for the usual reaction. He was surprised when, instead 
of the expected look of disbelief and denial, she simply nodded 
silently, almost as if she had already accepted this. "Immortals 
don't have natural families... we never have. Every single one is 
an orphan or foundling. No parents, no siblings... and no 
children. I'm so sorry, Dana... but, you already seem to know 
about this?" He watched as Mulder glanced at her questioningly. 
He saw Dana shake her head silently, and him nod back in reply.

"It's kinda hard to miss that when you have to get annual 
physicals in our line of work," Mulder explained.

MacLeod realized that that was not what Mulder had 
originally intended to say. Besides, physicals didn't check for 
that kind of thing, did they? He was slightly amazed at the 
partners' ability to hold an entire conversation without speaking 
a single word. Such true partners in thought and spirit were rare 
indeed, and, for a moment, he envied them their closeness. But he 
decided not to press the issue any further. Whatever it was, it 
was obviously deeply personal, and the conversation was already 
taking a decidedly uncomfortable turn. Deciding to change the 
subject, he asked them how long they planned to stay in Seattle.

"We're currently on vacation for two, maybe three weeks," 
Mulder replied, "but, if Scully needs to stay here longer for her 
training, I'm sure we can extend our stay by a couple more 

MacLeod shook his head. "Sword fighting is not something you 
can pick up like learning to follow a recipe, Mulder." Turning to 
Dana, he said, "A month is not nearly enough time to teach you 
what you need to know, Dana. You will be at a severe disadvantage 
if you don't stay longer. It takes years to become really 
proficient with a sword."

Mulder watched in horror as he saw his partner actually 
considering MacLeod's offer. 'This was it,' he thought, his heart 
sinking. 'I won't even have the few years I thought I'd have with 
her. No, this can't be happening. Don't say yes, Scully, please,' 
he silently pleaded. He closed his eyes, realizing that he 
wouldn't, couldn't in all conscience, stand in her way if she 
chose to stay. He opened his eyes again to see her look at 
MacLeod, then turn to look at him. Suddenly, he saw the dilemma 
resolving itself in her eyes. The sense of relief he felt when he 
heard her say, "No," was immeasurable. He let out a breath of 
relief as she continued, "No, Duncan. That's a very generous 
offer, but I can't stay. My work is too important. I have a life 
back home that I'm not prepared to leave just yet." Mulder smiled 
faintly upon hearing her words. 'Some life, Scully, being stuck 
with me and the X-files!' Now that she had refused to leave him, 
he allowed himself the luxury of contemplating life without her. 
And quickly came to the conclusion that it simply wouldn't be 
worth it.

MacLeod gave a sigh of resignation. "I didn't think so. Very 
well, I'll teach you as long as you can stay. When you get back 
to Washington, look up a friend of mine. He lives pretty close to 
DC, and he can train you the rest of the way. Here, let me get 
his address for you." He walked over and picked up an address 
book from the shelf, quickly scribbling down something from it 
onto a piece of paper before handing it to Scully.

She read the name on it and looked up at Duncan, a silent 
question in her eyes.

He smiled, "That's my great-granduncle, a couple of 
generations removed. Connor and I were from the same clan, as he 
would say, only different vintage. Both of us were adopted as 
foundlings. After I *died* the first time, he was the one who 
found me when I was cast out of my family. Everyone thought I was 
a demon, come back from the dead. Since then, he's been pretty 
much the only family I've ever had... father, brother, teacher... 
all rolled into one." He paused, letting the familiar yet painful 
memories fade away. The sound of the descending elevator brought 
his mind back to the present. As one, all four turned to see who 
their guest was.

"Nick!" Natalie bounded out of her seat as a tall blond man 
stepped out of the elevator. She gave him a hug and dragged him 
towards the others. "Guys, this is Nick. Nick, you know Duncan. 
These are Mulder and Dana. Dana is the other friend I was telling 
you about, and Mulder works with her." After a quick round of 
greetings, she turned to him. "Guess what? Anne invited us to 
dinner tomorrow night." She chuckled at the immediate expression 
of distaste that flickered across his face. Turning back to her 
friends, she said, "Well it's been great seeing you again, Dana, 
Duncan. You too, Mulder. But Nick and I have to go... ummm, run 
some errands. I'll see you tomorrow morning, Dana. Bye, guys." 
With that, she and Nick headed out.

"Tomorrow morning?" Dana asked when Natalie and Nick had 

"Tomorrow morning," Duncan confirmed. "Like I said before, 
you need to start training as soon as possible. And that means a 
strict regimen of exercise and practice every morning. I want to 
see you here tomorrow morning at eight sharp."

"Eight?" Mulder whined. "But this is our vacation."

"Mulder, you're *not* coming with me," Dana retorted as soon 
as she heard his comment. Before he could begin to object, she 
continued in a softer voice, "Mulder, this is something I have to 
do. I don't know if I want to involve you in this."

"You know, Scully, I *was* fencing champ three years running 
when I was at Oxford. Besides, you'll need a sparring partner 
when we get back home."

"*No*" she said emphatically. "You could get hurt, Mulder. 
And, unlike me, you won't heal immediately." Her tone implied 
that she would brook no argument as she turned away from him, 
looking to Duncan for support.

When Mulder turned pleading eyes toward Duncan, he said, 
"Could you excuse us for a minute, Mulder?" With that, he 
motioned to Scully to follow him to the back of the room, out of 
Mulder's earshot.

Mulder watched in confusion as Scully followed MacLeod. A 
few moments later, he heard Scully exclaim, "What!... Are... are 
you sure?" He couldn't hear MacLeod's reply, but when they 
returned, he noticed that his partner couldn't stop staring at 
him. He looked from her to MacLeod questioningly.

"Looks like you'll need a sword too, Mulder," Duncan grinned 
at him. Together, they chose an elegant longsword for him. "Seems 
somewhat appropriate," he remarked as he watched Mulder heft the 
sword. "That particular blade belonged to Joan of Arc's Captain 
of the Guard during the Hundred Years' War."

Mulder turned to MacLeod in surprise. "Are you sure? About 
giving me this, I mean. I don't really need one like Scully 

"Yeah. I'm sure, Mulder. And remember," he said watching 
Mulder place the sword in his coat, "tomorrow morning at eight 
sharp." He walked over to the elevator, escorting the partners 


Mulder Residence, Seattle, WA
Tuesday, February 17, 1998
6:19 PM

Mulder looked up from the notes laid out on the desk in 
front of him and stretched. He could hear the muscles groaning 
and his joints popping as he did so. He couldn't believe he was 
still sore from that morning's workout. He usually considered 
himself pretty fit, but the rigors of the workout put even 
Quantico to shame.

As promised, Scully and he had shown up at MacLeod's gym at 
eight on the dot. They had entered the dojo to be greeted by the 
sounds of metal striking metal. In the center of the room, 
MacLeod and Natalie had already begun practicing their swordplay. 
Although the two of them had expected this, actually witnessing 
the parlay of swords was something else altogether. They stopped 
for a moment to stare at the two people on the mat, then walked 
over to one of the benches and sat down to wait for the sparring 
to finish. As they watched, the movement of the swords seemed to 
get faster and faster, until they could hardly see the actual 
blades themselves. Only the intermittent ringing of the swords 
and the occasional sparks given off when the blades met gave any 
indication that the fight was still on. All of a sudden, both 
Duncan and Natalie stopped, their breaths slightly ragged. They 
saluted each other and separated, each reaching for a towel to 
wipe themselves.

MacLeod turned to face Mulder and Scully, "Ready to start? I 
hope you brought your swords," he grinned. When they nodded, he 
gestured them towards the mat he was standing on. "You won't need 
them yet," he said, indicating that they place their blades aside 
for the moment. He then led them and Natalie through a half hour 
of exercises, or katas, as he called them, before starting on the 
basics of swordplay. He went over various stances, moves, blocks, 
parries, and thrusts. The object, he told them, was not to master 
all of these in one sitting, but rather to become familiar with 
them as they put them into practice over the following weeks.

But, after two hours of intensive workout, Mulder could feel 
his arms growing numb from holding up his sword. The longsword, 
for all its grace and delicate beauty, was deceptively heavy, and 
he envied Scully her smaller, and much lighter, sword. The 
partners took turns sparring with MacLeod and Natalie, although 
their unfamiliarity with the weapons was woefully apparent, even 
to them. Mulder begged off during his turn with Natalie and 
walked over with her to one of the benches. He sat down next to 
her, wiping his sweating brow, and watched as Scully swung her 
short sword against Duncan's katana, so intent on the exercise 
that she didn't even see him watching her. He couldn't help 
noticing that, inexperienced though she was with the exercise, 
there was a certain fluidity in her movements, a certain grace. 
'God, she's beautiful,' he thought for what must surely have been 
the millionth time. The chuckle he heard made him tear his gaze 
away from the two opponents to the woman sitting beside him.

"You really have it bad for her, don't you?" Before he could 
voice his protest, she shook her head, "Don't bother denying it. 
You were staring at her the same way I used to stare at Nick."

He sighed as his shoulders slumped in defeat, accepting that 
there was no point in protesting any further. He usually managed 
to maintain a professional distance from his partner while at 
work, only allowing himself small concessions like an occasional 
hand at the small of her back, or a momentary stare from behind a 
mound of paperwork. He was sure that no one at the Bureau even 
suspected. But, off duty, when his guard was more relaxed, it 
seemed as if there was a giant radio antenna over his head, 
broadcasting his feelings for Scully for the whole world to know. 
Scully's mother had already picked up on it, and now Natalie had 
called him up on it. 'If only Scully did, too,' he thought, 'it 
would be so much easier.' He grinned wryly. 'Wishful thinking.' 
Which was why Natalie's next comment took him completely by 

"You know, there have been many mortal-immortal couples 
through the centuries. Like I told Dana, you'll never know until 
you ask." She gave a small laugh when she saw his jaw drop. 
Getting up, she gestured to the mat again, and motioned for him 
to follow.

Mulder quickly dragged his jaw up from where it was scraping 
against the floor and got up to follow her, his thoughts racing 
around his head at a hundred miles an hour. 'She'd asked about 
mortal-immortal couples? His Scully? But that would mean...' 
Suddenly, he was afraid to consider exactly what that would mean. 
And since when had he started thinking of her as 'His Scully' 
anyway? He was deliriously happy that she'd asked, and deathly 
scared at the same time. Bringing his sword to bear, he tried 
half-heartedly to block Natalie's swing, but his mind refused to 
leave the subject. He was eminently grateful when MacLeod called 
the session to a close a few minutes later. He knew he had some 
serious thinking to do.

So why exactly was he trying to work on a profile of the 
killer instead? 'You *know* the answer to that, coward,' screamed 
an inner voice. 'No,' he answered unconvincingly, 'I'm just 
working on the case. This *is* what I came to Seattle for.' 
'Riiiight, and I'm also the tooth fairy,' retorted the voice. He 
sighed as he tried once more to avoid the serious thinking he had 
promised himself that morning.

He looked down at the measly amount of information he'd 
actually managed to come up with, pushing his sore arms to move 
the pieces of paper they held. He was already starting to regret 
having offered to train with Scully. Although she had been as 
tired and sore after the workout as he was, all her soreness had 
disappeared in less than an hour, thanks to her accelerated 
healing. So now, while he had been stuck in the house all 
afternoon nursing his aching muscles, she was out getting the 
essentials for spending the next few weeks here.

He wondered briefly what she was doing at the moment. Would 
she be thinking about him? Why would she anyway? It wasn't as if 
he had anything to offer her. A lifetime of pain and loss, and 
later a burden as he grew older. 'But she asked Natalie about you 
know what,' the voice interrupted him. 'Yes, she did, didn't 
she?' he acknowledged. Surely, that indicated some interest. He 
sighed as he realized he would have to have a talk with his 
Scully soon... he smiled at his unconscious use of the possessive 
again. Before today, he hadn't thought she was the least bit 
interested, although what Mrs. Scully had said to him the week 
before still weighed on his mind. But now, the not knowing was 
slowly killing him. 'As soon as she gets back,' he swore, 
deciding to stop worrying about it for now.

Trying to get his mind back on the work at hand, he 
concentrated on what information he did have on the killer. 
Obviously, he or she was strong enough to have thrown the latest 
victim a half dozen feet into the air, as evidenced by the blood 
stain on the alley wall, and thrown her hard enough to break her 
collarbone and several vertebrae. Also, the killer would have to 
be pretty quick and efficient for the crimes to go unnoticed 
while being committed. Granted the crime scenes were pretty 
secluded, but the fact that there hadn't been even one report of 
any kind of disturbance or activity in the area was a little too 
coincidental for his tastes, especially considering the 
increasing number of such attacks. Surely someone would have seen 
or heard something out of the ordinary... there had been a bar 
full of people less than a hundred yards away from the last crime 
scene, for crying out loud. The profile went on to list several 
other possible descriptions of the killer, but there was no 
discernible pattern to the attacks, nor were there any 
connections between the murder victims or the ones who 
disappeared. The two sets of crimes were obviously related, if 
only because several of the murders and disappearances occurred 
together, but Mulder couldn't figure out any further connections 
between the two. And there was one aspect of the crime scenes 
themselves that had been bothering him from the beginning. Many 
of the victims were attacked in the middle of long alleyways, 
several of which deadended on one side. He couldn't see how the 
killer had gotten close to the victims without their noticing him 
or her. There were no windows or doorways in most of the alleys 
to hide a cat, let alone a human being.

He sighed as he realized that he was going around in 
circles. And he also noticed that the reason for that was not 
only the absence of clues, but also a certain redhead that kept 
popping into his head every few minutes. When he heard the front 
door, he thought, not without a little apprehension, 'Well, she's 
back. No sense in delaying now.' He reluctantly pushed the notes 
away and glanced at his watch. Whoops, he hadn't realized it was 
already this late. No time to talk now. He would have to start 
getting dressed now if he wanted to be on time for dinner at 
Anne's, he thought with... was that a sigh of relief? What 
exactly was he afraid of... 'Rejection,' he supplied the answer 
automatically, 'She'll hate me, she'll leave me, we'll lose our 
friendship...' He stopped himself before he spent the whole night 
adding to the list, and got up to get ready.


Dr. Anne Lindsey's residence
6:49 PM

Dana Scully stepped up to the door and knocked. While she 
waited, she looked at the man standing next to her. The sun was 
just setting and the last rays caught his angular face, 
highlighting it in profile, and reminding her once again just why 
she was so in love with him. Apart from his loyalty, his 
intelligence, his faith and trust in her, all of which she 
cherished more than anything, there was also the small... small, 
but definitely not unnoticeable, she thought with a smile... fact 
that Fox Mulder was beautiful. Yes, she definitely was in love, 
she acknowledged, surprised that she was doing so freely, even if 
only to herself.

She let her mind wander back to the events of the last two 
days. Her whole life had changed, inescapably, and she didn't 
know yet whether it was for the better or for the worse. When she 
realized the implications of her immortality, she'd tried to ask 
Natalie about the possibility of someone like her, an immortal, 
having a chance at a relationship with a mortal, camouflaging her 
interest as best as she could. And although her friend's answer 
about such a relationship being not only possible, but also 
common among immortals, came as a pleasant surprise, nothing 
could have shocked her more than what Duncan had revealed to her 
the night before. At least it explained the strange tingles she 
always got when she was near Mulder. She looked back at her 
partner standing silently beside her, and thought with a start 
that he had always been there for her, always more than just a 
partner. He was a friend... her best friend, she amended... and 
also something more than that. Not lovers, not yet anyway, but 
still something almost as special. And, if only she had the 
courage to tell him how she felt, there was a chance he would be 
there for her... beside her... in the future as well. If he felt 
the same way about her, that is.

She had spent the entire day trying to do just that, work up 
the courage to tell him. As soon as they had finished their 
workout that morning and gotten back to Mulder's place, she had 
mumbled some excuse about having to get provisions to stock the 
fridge, not that it wasn't already, and had hastily left. She 
could see that he was still sore from the morning exertions, and 
knew that he wouldn't try to come with her. She needed the time 
alone, to think about what she was going to say to him. But, by 
the time six o'clock had rolled around, she was still nowhere 
near a decision about what she would say, and it was already time 
for dinner at Anne's. 'After dinner,' she'd promised herself and 
had headed back.

Mulder caught her staring at him, and returned her gaze with 
a slight smile. Their eyes locked for a moment, and held each 
other captive. He didn't know what he saw in her eyes, but for a 
second, it unnerved him. However, before he could think about the 
possible meaning of the depth of feeling he had seen in them, 
they both heard the door open.

"Hi, Dana, Mulder, come on in." Anne stepped back to let the 
two of them through. "Nat just called to say that she and Nick 
would be here in a few minutes, so why don't you two make 
yourselves comfortable in the living room while I take your 
coats." She saw both of them hesitate just a little bit before 
handing over their coats, then head off in the direction she 

They had just seated themselves on the couch in the living 
room when they heard the giggles. The soft sound caused them to 
jerk their heads around. It took them a while to find the new 
arrival. Hiding behind a door, a small head peeked out and the 
soft, merry sound was heard again.

"I didn't realize she was up again." Anne's voice made them 
turn back towards her. They watched as she walked over to the 
door and picked the pajama clad little girl. "Did mommy's little 
princess have a bad dream?" she crooned as she brought her over 
to the couple on the couch. "Mary, do you want to say hello to 
Aunt Dana?"

"She's beautiful, Anne," Dana said, reaching out to clasp 
the girl's little hands in her own.

"My pride and joy," Anne beamed, handing the child over to 
her friend. "She turned two just a couple of weeks ago."

Mulder watched as Scully gently placed Mary on her lap. 
Seeing her play with the little girl, he thought, as he'd thought 
a hundred times before, what a wonderful mother she would make. 
He sighed as he realized the impossibility of that dream now. 
Glancing up from the sight to look above the fireplace, he saw a 
row of pictures showing Mary at various stages in her life. Anne 
was in several of them, and MacLeod was in a couple as well. In 
fact, he saw a copy of the one he had seen at the dojo at the far 
corner of the mantel. He was shaken from his reverie by the knock 
on the front door and the simultaneous gasp from his partner.

"That's probably Nat now," Anne remarked, looking at Dana 
questioningly. The slight gasp hadn't escaped her notice. Just as 
she got up she heard the kitchen timer. Seeing that Dana had her 
hands full with Mary, she turned to Mulder. "Could you get the 
door while I go check on dinner?"

When she got back, she smiled when she saw that Mary's charm 
had enraptured her two new guests as well. "Hi, Nat. You're just 
in time. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes." She walked over 
to the new arrivals and introduced herself to Nick. Seeing Mary 
yawning again, she excused herself to put the little girl back in 
bed, then came back to sit down and chat with her friends.

A few minutes later, Mulder watched as Anne went to get 
dinner ready, and Scully followed her into the kitchen. Getting 
up to offer his help, he noticed Natalie looking at the pictures 
over the fireplace, a look of sadness on her face. She seemed 
particularly taken with the picture they had seen at MacLeod's. 
Her hand brushed it as she turned away to head into the kitchen. 
Mulder saw the picture wobble a bit as it lost its precarious 
balance on the shelf and tilted over the edge. Before he could 
reach it, however, he saw that Nick was already there. 'Funny, he 
wasn't there a moment ago.' With a movement faster than his eye 
could follow, the picture was back on the mantel, as if it had 
never moved. He saw Nick finger the picture with the same sadness 
Nat had shown. "Nice reflexes," he said, and saw Nick act 
slightly startled at the comment. He turned to Mulder and smiled 
as the two of them followed the women.


8:17 PM

Mulder leaned back on the couch with a satisfied smile on 
his face. Dinner had been excellent. He realized with a start 
that the only other times he'd eaten this well were the times he 
ate at Scully's or her mother's. 'One more thing to add to the 
'List of advantages to a relationship with Scully',' he thought, 

Everyone had commented on Anne's excellent cooking, even 
Nick. But Mulder noticed that he seemed to eat the least of all 
of them. And what little he did have on his plate, Mulder saw him 
deftly hide in his napkin when he thought no one was looking. He 
smiled when Natalie caught him once. Nick simply returned her 
glare with a small shrug. 'Poor guy,' Mulder thought, 'he's 
really not enjoying himself.' He could see no reason for it 
though. The food really was very good.

After dinner, they adjourned to the living room. The 
conversation eventually turned to the recent crimes. Although 
Mulder had his own theory about it, and he suspected that Natalie 
did as well, neither of them mentioned anything about it. So the 
general consensus was just what Anne herself had concluded. There 
was no apparent motive, and the condition of the bodies was just 
some sort of perverse act on the part of the killer.

When it was finally time to go home, they said their 
goodbyes and headed out. Mulder saw Nick and Natalie head towards 
their car, then turned to follow Scully down the path to his 
house. He had been surprised at how close Anne lived, but had 
enjoyed the walk over to her place earlier. "Nice night for a 
walk," he heard his partner say, just as he felt her place her 
arm lightly on his. He was about to agree with her when he caught 
the look in her eyes. His breath caught in his throat as he 
recognized the same look in them that he'd seen earlier. And it 
unnerved him no less now than it had then. Suddenly he felt his 
courage slipping. He swallowed hard, then croaked out, "Why don't 
you head on home? I want to ask Natalie something really quick. 
I'll catch up with you in a minute." Before she could protest, he 
turned and headed back the way Scully's friend had gone, silently 
cursing himself for being a hundred kinds of fool, and a thousand 
kinds of coward.

Scully looked at the retreating form of her partner and 
screamed silently in frustration. 'Damn him'. Just when she'd 
finally managed to work up the courage to even approach the 
topic. She had seen the look in his eyes, and the fear, the 
doubt, in them was obvious. She had no illusions that he would 
'catch up' with her as he'd promised. 'What are you so afraid of, 
Mulder?' she asked silently, not realizing the irony of the 
situation. Until a few hours ago, she'd had the same fears he was 
now having. She sighed and turned to follow the path back to 
Mulder's house.


"You never told me how your night went yesterday," Natalie 
said as they headed towards their car. "Find anything 

"Not a thing. Hopefully, something will turn up tonight 
though. But I did run into someone," Nick replied, pausing for 
effect. When he saw Natalie's questioning glance, he continued, 
"Did you know LaCroix was in town?" Seeing her look of surprise, 
he smiled. "My reaction exactly."

"I didn't think he ever left Toronto. What's he doing here, 

"Same thing we are. Trying to find the rogue vampire or 
vampires. Exposure of this kind is not good for the community, 
and he's understandably concerned. So, when he was informed of 
the killings by some friend of his, he decided to come and take a 
look for himself."

"He has friends?" Natalie asked mischievously.

"Oh, come on, Nat. The guy's almost 2000 years old. Give him 
*some* credit," Nick said, then shrugged. "Although, he does seem 
to have mellowed out somewhat in the past couple of years."

"And I'm sure it has nothing whatsoever to do with my 
becoming immortal," she responded sarcastically. "I think he just 
figures you'll give up your search for a cure because of me."

Nick sighed. "You're probably right, Nat," he acknowledged 
as they reached the car. Walking Natalie around to the driver's 
side, he added quietly, "Although, I now have a gift even more 
precious than any cure." He leaned in to give her a kiss. "I have 


That was the scene that greeted Fox Mulder as he stepped up 
to the tree next to the sidewalk. He saw the couple's heads above 
the roof of their car less than a hundred yards away, locked 
together in a passionate kiss. He quickly moved back into the 
shadows, allowing the two of them a moment of privacy. He could 
easily picture himself and Scully in their place, and bitterly 
regretted rushing off like he had. 'Well,' he consoled himself, 
'at least I do have some genuine questions for Natalie about the 
murders,' although he knew they weren't anything that couldn't 
have waited till the next day.

He leaned forward to see if it was safe to come out. He saw 
Nat looking up at Nick when something struck him. 'Wait a minute, 
weren't they about the same height?' He looked on incredulously 
as Nick slowly appeared to grow taller. 'No,' he realized with a 
start, 'not taller!' He watched as Nick's body rose above the car 
and launched itself into the sky. Before he could think 
rationally enough to remember to close his gaping mouth, he saw 
Natalie get into her car and drive away.

He stumbled back to lean on the comforting solidity of the 
tree. Swallowing heavily, he waited for the pounding in his chest 
to quiet down. Suddenly, several things began to make sense to 
him. He remembered that he'd never seen Nick before sunset. And 
tonight's events in particular... he recalled the other's 
apparently quick reflexes, his aversion to the food... the 
realization hit him like a ton of bricks. Nicholas Knight was a 
real, honest-to-goodness, blood sucking, cross fearing vampire. 
Well, he had no proof of the last one, he amended, and he *had* 
seen Nick force down a couple of bites during dinner, although 
Nick had made it seem more like torture than food. But now, he 
felt several missing pieces in his profile slowly fall into 
place. That was how the killer had gotten to the victims so 
easily. He'd been looking for possible entry points into the 
alleys, totally dismissing the most obvious ones, namely the 
adjacent rooftops. It had simply never even occurred to him. 'And 
I thought I was open to extreme possibilities,' he berated 
himself. He briefly considered the idea that Nat's boyfriend was 
the killer, but discarded it just as quickly. The crimes had been 
going on for over a month, and he had a hard time picturing the 
good detective making five hour flights to feed when the round 
trip alone would surely take up most of the night.

He smiled as he realized that he'd unconsciously made 
assumptions about vampire flight speeds without any previous 
frame of reference. But he doubted that a vampire could outrun, 
or rather, outfly a plane, so Nick still wasn't a suspect. He 
pushed himself away from the tree and started walking down the 

This new piece of information opened up so many 
possibilities, and not just related to this case either. His mind 
reeled at the implications. Actual, definitive proof of vampires, 
*finally*, and one of them a homicide detective no less. 'What is 
it with vampires and law enforcement anyway?' He recalled that 
Sheriff 'Buck Tooth' from their last case had been a vampire as 
well. He'd managed to slip through Mulder's grasp, along with 
most of the trailer park occupants. 'Not this time, not again,' 
he promised himself. As long as Knight didn't know Mulder knew, 
he had the advantage of surprise. And he was going to milk that 
for all it was worth.

Mulder's thoughts ran in a hundred different directions at 
once, considering this new development from all possible angles. 
He barely noticed it when he passed first his house, then a 
couple more as he walked on, his hands stuffed in his pockets, 
lost in thought.


Rooftop above secluded alley
Wednesday, February 18, 1998
1:41 AM

She softly landed on the roof and looked over the parapet at 
the man who had just passed by below her. 'It was so simple,' she 
thought, watching her intended victim's movements. She was amazed 
that no others had thought of this before. As her master had 
said, the childe had to follow the one who brought them across.

Of course, he had only been a young fool, impatient to try 
out his newfound vampiric abilities. He'd unwittingly given her a 
gift, the bumbling idiot, a gift which she'd repaid with 
pleasure. She still smiled when she recalled the look on his face 
upon seeing the wooden stake jutting out of his chest. He had 
demanded her obedience, but hadn't the ability or the strength to 
enforce it. She, on the other hand, had learned all she could 
from him before killing him. And now, when she brought across her 
own children, she made sure to erase their memories and enforce 
her will onto their minds.

With the number of children she brought across increasing 
weekly, she had the beginnings of a small army. More than enough 
to protect her against any threat, mortal or vampire. She smiled 
at the thought. 'Queen... it had such a nice ring to it. Soon,' 
she promised herself. Soon she would have the resources and the 
power to sway the world to her command. She would start out 
small... a town first, maybe even Seattle, then a state, then... 
But first, she had to see about bringing a new childe into the 

She watched as the man below her reached the middle of the 
alley. With a fluid movement, she vaulted the parapet and landed 
a few steps behind the unsuspecting mortal. He didn't give any 
indication that he'd heard her. She walked up to him and forcibly 
turned him to face her. The sudden cry was cut off before it 
could escape his lips. He simply stared at her, mesmerized by her 
glowing eyes and hypnotic voice. Pulling him down to his knees, 
she leaned forward to give him her kiss.

She could taste the salty sweat as her lips made contact. 
She was about to pierce the skin on his throat when she felt it. 
Two vampires, both of them pretty old, and very nearby. The man 
sagged to the ground limply as she released him and stood up, 
looking around warily. She had to get out of there before she was 
caught. Alone, she knew she was no match for even one vampire, 
let alone two. She had to get back home, where she could be 
protected by her children. She quickly jumped into the air and 
headed for the docks.


A similar rooftop, a few miles away
1:32 AM

"So how was dinner, Nicholas?" The tall man smiled at Nick 
as he descended onto the rooftop beside him. "Manage to keep 
anything down this time?"

"Very funny, LaCroix," Nick muttered at the other's remark.

"Dr. Lambert certainly has you wrapped around her finger, 
doesn't she? Be careful, Nicholas. What will the community think 
of a henpecked vampire?"

"You're in rare form today, LaCroix. Is there some reason 
for your good mood?"

"My son has decided to give up his foolish quest for 
mortality. There are no dangers to the vampire community except 
for this little thorn of ours. The radio show is doing well. What 
more could one ask for? My only regret is your continuing 
abstainment from human blood. But, in time, that will pass as 
well." He shrugged, then took to the sky once again. "Come now, 
Nicholas. Stop dawdling."

Nick watched the older vampire fly away, then jumped up to 
follow him. Even after nearly 800 years, his mentor still managed 
to surprise him. He chuckled to himself. Whoever this friend of 
his was, LaCroix didn't seem as... lonely... as he usually did. 
Nick shook his head as they flew together in silence, following 
the agreed upon search pattern as they canvassed the city.

From time to time, Nick glanced at his companion, thinking 
of his unique nature, even among their kind. His thoughts flew 
back to when he'd first found out about LaCroix. It was just a 
few months after Natalie had been *killed* that first time. 
LaCroix had been out of the city during that time, and when he'd 


Nicholas Knight's Residence, Toronto, Canada
2 years ago
8:05 PM

He was thinking about how much Natalie's sword skills had 
progressed in just a few months as he brought his own sword down 
to meet hers. She was still a little weak on some of the nuances, 
but he had no doubt that she would be an even match for him 
within the year. In fact, at the rate she was going, he would 
have been surprised if she couldn't best him by then.

All of a sudden, he watched as she froze, her sword against 
his, as she looked around warily. He'd seen that look numerous 
times before. It could mean only one thing... another immortal 
was nearby.

He put down his sword and turned to face the direction she 
was looking at. He couldn't tell which of the two were more 
surprised at the figure standing next to the window.


"Welcome to the immortal family, Dr. Lambert," he breathed 
in his usual quiet tone. "It's about time."

Nick looked to Natalie for confirmation. Sure enough, she 
nodded, a confused look on her face. LaCroix was the immortal 
she'd felt.

"You're an immortal?" she blurted, looking from Nick to 
LaCroix. "But how? It's impossible."

"Come, come, Dr. Lambert. You can say that after learning 
about vampires, about immortals? Surely you must have realized by 
now that nothing is impossible."

"You've never mentioned anything about this before, 
LaCroix," Nick asked.

"I didn't see any reason to do so, Nicholas. I try to stay 
out of the path of other immortals. Theirs is a stupid game, one 
which I have no desire to participate in. And my vampiric 
abilities provide me with more than adequate means to avoid it."

"But how..." Natalie asked again.

"One of nature's little ironies." He shrugged. "Bringing me 
across triggered my immortality, but not before I was changed. 
And the rest, as they say, is history." Turning to Nicholas, he 
asked, "How do you think I survived being burnt alive, the stake 
through my heart? You can't tell me you haven't wondered."

When Nick nodded, he continued, "When I returned to Toronto, 
I did not expect this. But, I suppose some good has come out of 
it. I shall take my leave now, Nicholas. Take care, Dr. Lambert."

He turned and left the way he came, leaving a very 
astonished couple in his wake. They had never seen LaCroix so 
amicable towards Natalie before.

'Well, well,' Nick mused, 'you see something new everyday. 
It certainly explained why LaCroix had never followed through on 
his threats on Natalie's life. He'd known there would have been 
no point.'


Present day
1:44 AM

'And,' Nick suspected, 'what Nat had said earlier was most 
probably true as well.' LaCroix knew that Nick would never pursue 
mortality now that she herself was immortal. His thoughts were 
interrupted by the other's sudden cry.


Following his companion's sharp gaze, Nick saw what had 
caught his attention. In the alleyway below them, he saw a female 
vampire, bent over the body of a hapless man. They landed near 
her, but before they could approach her, she took off, sensing 
their approach. Nick prepared to follow the assailant when he 
felt his mentor's iron grip on his arm.

"Perhaps it would be better to follow her instead of trying 
to catch her. The high number of bodies suggests more than a 
single vampire. Maybe she can lead us to the rest."

Nick thought about this and reluctantly agreed. After 
checking to make sure that the victim was not seriously hurt, 
they took to the sky in pursuit. Unnoticed, they followed their 
quarry to a waterfront warehouse. They saw her enter the 
building, and landed outside, preparing to follow her in. They 
had barely taken two steps when they stopped, stunned by what 
they felt. Nick looked at LaCroix, and saw that the older vampire 
was as shaken as he was. They had expected maybe two or three 
more vampires in league with the one they had followed. But they 
had not expected this. The presence was like a brick wall, the 
feel of at least a dozen vampires in close proximity. The only 
other place they had felt something like this was inside 
LaCroix's bar. Vampires generally did not tend to gather in such 
large numbers. This was obviously a nest of sorts. Hastily, they 
stepped back to avoid their presence being noticed by those 

They looked at each other, each of them having reached the 
same conclusion. There was no way they were going to be able to 
handle so many at once. Deciding to return the next night with 
more reinforcements to back them up, they made a note of the 
location and took to the air to return home.


Abandoned warehouse, Pier 17
Wednesday, February 18, 1998
6:37 PM

The Taurus pulled up next to the building and the lone 
occupant stepped out. His hazel eyes scoured the deserted 
surroundings. The sun had set almost half an hour ago, but the 
streetlights had yet to come on. He pulled out the FBI issue 
flashlight from the back of the car, and turned to walk to the 
warehouse entrance.

'What the hell am I doing here?' he asked himself, just as 
he'd done at least a dozen times over the past couple of hours. 
He reached the door set unobtrusively on the side wall, and 
pushing it open, he stepped through into the musty darkness. He 
flashed the light around, taking in the setting. At first glance, 
he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. It was just like 
all the other warehouses he'd been to in the past few hours, dank 
and uninviting. It looked like it hadn't been occupied for some 
time, not that he was expecting it to be any different from all 
the others.

This was the ninth such building he'd been to. He had no 
idea there were so many empty warehouses along the dock area. He 
had overheard Natalie mention something about the docks to Duncan 
that morning when they thought they were alone. As soon as they 
had seen him enter, however, they had immediately stopped their 
discussion. But Mulder could tell that Nick had found something 
on his nightly patrol, something related to the killer. And it 
had been the perfect excuse to...

He stopped himself, not wanting to think along those lines. 
When he'd finally come out of his reverie the night before, he 
had found himself more than a mile away from his house. Cursing 
his absentmindedness, he turned around to return back, only to 
find that Scully had already gone to sleep. He'd been slightly 
relieved at that, since he'd been dreading the conversation that 
would surely have ensued. And today, after the workout, he'd 
skipped out on her again to pursue the lead that Natalie had 
unwittingly dropped in his lap.

Now, as he looked around the musty warehouse, he realized 
that he had spent the whole day trying to avoid the inevitable. 
He'd promised himself that he would talk to her the night before. 
Now it was a day later, and he had yet to work up the nerve to 
even look her in the eye. But every time he thought about what 
his first words to her would be, he could feel his heart 
constricting in fear. Could she possibly love someone like him, 
with all his fears, his messed up emotions? Could she want... He 
sighed as he watched his flashlight flicker. 'Ah, screw it,' he 
thought, giving the place a final once over just as the 
flashlight finally died. The warehouse could wait. He hadn't 
found anything in the previous ones, and he doubted this one 
would be any different. Besides, he knew he had to get this thing 
with Scully straightened out sooner or later. The comfort of not 
knowing how she felt, the safety in remaining in their thus far 
comfortable friendship, was rapidly being eclipsed by his need to 
finally get his feelings out into the open.

He gritted his teeth as he made his decision. 'Tonight! I'll 
tell her tonight,' he swore. 'And if she doesn't feel the same 
way?' an annoying part of his mind questioned. 'Then,' he shouted 
at it, his heart wrenching in his chest. 'Then, I'll get down on 
my knees and beg her to stay, at least for a little while. I may 
be able to survive if she doesn't return my feelings, but I don't 
think I can live without her.' He shuddered as he realized just 
how much he'd come to depend on her. When exactly had she gone 
from being the hated spy sent to discredit his work to the most 
amazing, and most important thing in his life? He sucked in a 
sudden breath as he realized what he'd just thought... the most 
important thing... 'What about Samantha?' his mind screamed. 'No. 
Sam will always have a place in my heart.' But the rest of his 
heart, he realized, he'd already given to Scully. Now it only 
remained for him to tell her how he felt, and pray that she would 
show him some mercy and not crush what was left of his heart. He 
let out his breath and turned around, walking towards the door 
with a hint of determination in his stride.

He never saw the dark stairway hidden in the far corner. Nor 
did he notice the faint glow of the pair of eyes that followed 
his every movement as he finally left the building.


Kevin Matthews watched with a touch of fear as the tall 
mortal walked out the door. What was he doing here? Surely no one 
could know where his mistress and his brothers lived? She had 
given him, all of them, specific instructions for just such an 
event. But he still wished she was here to take care of the 
problem. He had been brought across less than a week ago, and his 
memories of his previous life were still a little hazy. He did 
not feel confident in the least with regards to his newfound 
abilities, and he desperately hoped that he would not let his 
mistress down. She had taken care of him ever since he'd been... 
reborn, as she put it. But he still felt just a little scared of 
her. Whenever he would see the flash of anger in her eyes when 
one of them didn't obey her wishes to the letter, she truly 
frightened him. And he did not want to incur her wrath. He felt a 
shiver as he prepared to follow the intruder.

The man walked to his car and got in, giving the place a 
final once over. Not seeing anything, he started the car and 
pulled out of the area. Kevin launched into the sky behind it, 
following the car until he finally reached a residential 
neighborhood. He landed out of sight of the car and its occupant, 
and watched him get out and go into the house. When the door shut 
behind the mortal, Kevin moved forward, giving the house a 
thorough inspection. From what he could see through the windows, 
there were only two occupants in the entire house. That was 
good... the less people to deal with, the better. He still wasn't 
used to the killing, and he was glad that it would be kept to a 
minimum. He turned and headed back towards the docks. Now, he 
only had to find his mistress. She would take care of everything.


Mulder Residence, Seattle, WA
6:58 PM

She looked up from the magazine she was reading when she 
heard the front door. The anger and frustration she'd been 
nursing the entire day fled, replaced instead by a sudden 
nervousness. 'Stop it, Dana. You were so confident yesterday. happened 
to that stoic reserve? You can do this.' She placed 
the magazine on the coffee table next to the couch and waited for 
him to appear. She could hear him in the hallway as he hung up 
his jacket. She kept her eye on the door, watching as he walked 


She smiled in acknowledgement and watched as he strode past 
the couch and dropped into the armchair next to it. He reached 
for the remote and flipped on the television. She saw him flip 
through almost all the channels before finally giving up and 
turning it off. His eyes roamed the room, looking at every nook 
and cranny, everywhere except right at her. He gave a sudden 
smile as his eyes descended on the stereo. He threw down the 
remote and got up. Walking over, he turned on the radio. He 
turned and moved towards the couch. Silently, he bent over, and 
grasping her hands, he pulled her up.

"Mulder?" 'What in heaven's name was he doing?'

"Shhh... Dance with me, Scully," he whispered softly. He 
held her as he moved in time to the slow music pouring out of the 
radio. They began with their bodies held slightly apart, but 
within minutes Scully found herself getting closer to him. Soon, 
her head was against his chest. Mulder moved their clasped hands 
up and placed them around his neck, then moved his own hands down 
and around her waist. Slowly they swayed as the music played on.

Scully closed her eyes and allowed herself to relax. She 
breathed in the lingering smell of his leather jacket, the 
spiciness of his aftershave, all combining into the slight scent 
that was uniquely Mulder. 'I could stay like this forever.' She 
smiled into his chest at the thought.

He held her tightly against him as they danced. Her head 
rested comfortably in the hollow of his throat. He bent forward 
and took in a deep breath, taking in the unique Scully scent, the 
familiar smell of her shampoo, the slight perfume that she 
preferred. He smiled as he wondered exactly how to proceed. He 
was amazed that he'd had the courage to get this far, and was 
even more surprised that Scully hadn't kneed him in the groin 

"Hey, Scully...?"

"Mmmhmm," she answered in a hazy murmur. This whole 
situation seemed like a dream, one that she didn't want to wake 
up from.

"Who's Jack?"


"The guy you wanted the poster for."

"Oh, Jack. He was just the sheriff I was helping out with 
that case up in Maine. Why'd you ask, Mulder?" She smiled. 


Her eyes widened at his answer. She had expected a flippant 
denial, not this honest confirmation. She pulled back and looked 
up. She saw him staring down at her, his eyes filled with an 
intense expression.

He saw her pull back and look up at him. The look in her 
eyes was one he'd seen twice the day before. Both those times, 
the depth of that look had scared him. Now it seemed vaguely 
familiar. With a flash of recognition, he realized where he'd 
seen it before. In his own eyes, whenever he'd looked in the 
mirror, whenever he thought about her. 'Oh my god! How have I not 
noticed it before?' 'Because you've always been so preoccupied 
with yourself, you dope,' he answered himself. Suddenly he was 
certain... he leaned forward.

'The look in his eyes... Oh, my god.' She leaned up.

And the world shattered around them.

She felt the shards of glass hit her back, then felt herself 
being flung back, hitting hard against the wall. She could have 
sworn she heard something break. The last thing she saw before 
she lost consciousness was the form bending over Mulder. 'No...!' 
her mind screamed as the darkness claimed her.

Mulder watched the entire scene unfold as if in slow motion. 
One moment he had been about to kiss... kiss...? Scully. The 
next, her face was suddenly replaced by... His eyes widened as he 
took in the glowing eyes and the gleaming fangs. 'The killer! But 
how...?' He glanced at Scully in panic. But that was all he had 
time to do before *she* was upon him. His panic and fear and 
anger turned into mind numbing ecstasy, and his breath left him. 
He felt himself starting to fade from the lack of oxygen and knew 
at that moment that he was dying. Clyde Bruckman had been right, 
on both counts. 'Not exactly autoerotic asphyxiation, but close 
enough.' Suddenly, all he could think about were the lost 
opportunities, the wasted chances. How many times had he almost 
confessed his feelings for his partner, but shied away at the 
last minute? All those missed moments, now lost forever. 'I 
thought we'd have so much time, Scully. I'm so sorry,' his heart 
cried out as the world faded to black.

She opened her eyes and saw that the scene had not changed 
since she lost consciousness. The woman was still bent over 
Mulder, and it looked as if she was trying to kiss his neck. 'How 
long was I out?' She pulled herself up and ran forward. Grasping 
the assailant by the shoulder, she jerked her back and threw her 
to the side. She was shocked at the jet of blood that spurted out 
of the two tiny puncture wounds on Mulder's neck. 'Jugular,' her 
clinical mind supplied, even as she placed her hand on his 
throat, trying desperately to staunch the flow of blood.

For the second time that night, Scully felt herself pulled 
back and thrown away like a rag doll. 'Damn, but that woman was 
strong.' She landed beside her coat that she'd draped over the 
couch. For once, she was glad she'd not bothered to put it up. 
She looked up and got the shock of her life. The woman was slowly 
advancing upon her, her eyes a fierce golden shade, her mouth 
open in a deadly rictus of pointed fangs, a trickle of blood 
flowing down her chin. Scully's fear vanished in a wave of anger 
as she realized whose blood it was. She reached behind her, 
feeling around inside her coat for the comfort of the leather 
holster. She pulled out her gun and fired at the oncoming 
intruder at point blank range. She watched with satisfaction as 
the woman staggered back, obviously hurt. But, she didn't fall.

'What the hell! She just shrugged off a bullet that should 
have her pushing up daisies by now. Not even an immortal had that 
kind of staying power.' She should know; something similar had 
happened to her not too long ago. But the attacker was barely 
even bleeding. She emptied the entire clip into her, but the only 
effect the bullets had was to push the woman back a little each 
time. 'Die, damn you. Die!' Scully threw the now useless gun away 
as she remembered what else she had in her coat. She reached back 
in and pulled out the sword just as her opponent lunged forward 
with a snarl. She noticed with a grim smile the sudden scared 
expression that settled on the woman's face, moments before her 
body made contact with the gleaming blade. Scully watched with 
morbid fascination as the steel slid effortlessly through the 
woman's body.

She let go of the sword as momentum carried the impaled body 
past her. She dimly heard the scream and the thud as the body 
fell to the ground. At the same time her mind registered the 
sound of the front door opening, but the only thoughts that 
filled her mind now all had to do with Mulder. She ran towards 
him again, tearing off a piece of her shirt to use as a bandage. 
He was unconscious as she lifted his wrist. She stifled a pained 
gasp... his pulse was so weak, she could hardly feel it. 'Dammit, 
Mulder! Don't you die on me!' She heard the people walking in, 
felt them, but paid them no attention. She desperately tried to 
recall her classes on CPR... five compresses, then a breath, then 
repeat. She performed the ritual a couple of times before she 
felt the hand on her shoulder.


Getting no answer to their knock, Natalie pushed open the 
door. When they heard the gunshots and the scream, all five of 
them rushed in.

"The living room," Nick shouted as he watched LaCroix 
heading towards it. The sight that greeted the group shocked 
them. Both Nick and LaCroix recognized their quarry from the 
night before, lying on the ground with a sword running through 
her. Less than a few feet away, a small redheaded woman was 
frantically pressing up and down on the chest of the prone figure 
lying next to her, interrupting the movements regularly with 
mouth to mouth.

LaCroix walked over to the female vampire, and pulling out 
the sword, looked into her eyes. "Tsk, tsk. Who was your master? 
Didn't he teach you even the basics of our society?" He swung the 
sword down, neatly severing the head from the body. He noticed 
that the body remained as it was. 'Ah, a young one.' An older 
vampire would have disintegrated by now. 'No wonder. Children 
these days.' He shook his head and turned to see Natalie and the 
other immortals look at his actions in shock. He shrugged as he 
watched Natalie walk over to the redhead and place a hand on her 

"Let it go, Dana. You remember what Duncan told you, right? 
He'll be fine. Don't worry."

"Nat, he's dying," Dana whispered with a sob.

"Then that's the way it has to be. You knew it would come 
down to this some time or the other. It was inevitable... it 
always is."

"Are you sure?" For the first time, she noticed the others 
in the room. She knew Duncan and Nick, but she didn't recognize 
the other two men, both of whom seemed to be staring intently at 
Mulder and her. She looked from Natalie to Duncan for 
confirmation. When they both nodded, she let out a sigh and 
stopped the CPR, pulling Mulder's body up and hugging it. She 
placed her chin next to his ear and whispered, "I hope to god 
they're right, Mulder. I don't know what I'd do if I lost you." 
She took in a shuddering breath. "I love you, Fox William Mulder, 
you hear me? So don't you dare ditch me again. Not this time." 
She placed a soft kiss next to his lips before turning to the 
others. "Help me get him to the bedroom."

While Duncan and Methos helped Dana carry Mulder out of the 
room, Natalie turned to LaCroix. "Will he be all right? You felt 
him. Do you think he..."

"... was brought across?" LaCroix finished for her. "I'm not 
sure. But it certainly seems that way." He sighed, then shrugged. 
"His is not a fate I would willingly wish upon others, but such 
is life." He looked up as Dana and the others returned.

"Ms. Scully? Allow me to introduce myself. My name is 
LaCroix. Your friend will be all right in an hour or so. Come, we 
have much to discuss." He led the group over to the couch. When 
they were seated, he continued, "This is a turn of events I had 
not expected."

"I'll say," the man who had been staring earlier, the one 
with the British accent, interrupted. "That's all we need, 
another one like you." He turned to face LaCroix. "I'm right, 
aren't I?"

"Excuse me," Scully interjected. "I don't believe we've been 
formally introduced. I'm Dana Scully. And exactly what did you 
mean by another one like him?" she asked, pointing at the object 
of their discussion. "As far as I can tell, he's an immortal, 
just like you and me. How is he any different from us?"

"So sorry, my dear. Adam Pierson, at your service. And as 
for what I meant, well..." he trailed off, turning to LaCroix.

"What do you know about vampires, Ms. Scully?"

"There have been myths and legends about vampires in many 
cultures as far back as recorded history, maybe longer. Usually 
such stories are a result of overactive imaginations coupled with 
unexplained phenomena. I don't believe that there is any one 
single species that can be labeled as a vampire."

"You doubt what you have seen with your own eyes?" LaCroix 
asked, smiling as he pointed to the far corner of the room.

Scully followed his gaze, gasping at the sight. She'd 
completely forgotten about their earlier visitor, caught up as 
she was in her anxiety about Mulder. Now, she was shocked to see 
the decapitated body, already showing signs of decomposition. She 
remembered the fight earlier, and found that she really had no 
rational explanation for the night's events. The attacker hadn't 
been an immortal, she was sure of that. But how else could she 
explain her seeming invulnerability to bullets... and those 
fangs! She stopped when she realized that she couldn't remember 
cutting off the killer's head.

"Decapitation is one sure way to kill a vampire," LaCroix 
answered her silent question when she turned back to face him. 
"She was a threat to the vampire community, causing as much 
exposure as she did. She had to be eliminated. Such is our law."

"Your law? Do you mean to say you're a vampire as well?" 
Scully still had a hard time embracing the concept, but decided 
to go along with it for now.

"Yes, both Nicholas and I are." He smiled when he saw her 
turn a startled gaze towards Nick and then glance at Natalie. 
When she turned back to him, he continued, "I am somewhat unique, 
among both vampires and immortals. Or at least, I was until now. 
To my knowledge, I was the only pre-immortal brought across into 
the vampire community before now. I myself prefer to remain 
closer to my vampire nature, and generally avoid contact with the 
immortal community. But that is by choice." He paused letting it 
sink in. "Your friend, Ms. Scully, will be faced with similar 
choices. Immortality is not something to be taken lightly, and 
neither is vampirism. Also, he will be facing another obstacle. 
Usually a vampire is taught and guided by their master, the one 
who brings them across. In this case, that is obviously not 
possible." He turned a withering glance at the body that was by 
now nothing more than a few scattered pieces of flesh. "Not that 
she could have done a good job at it. In any case, your friend 
will be waking up soon, and there are certain things he must be 

Scully leaned back in the couch as she digested this. From 
what Duncan had told her, Mulder would be like her, an immortal, 
when he woke up. Now, she discovered, he might be a vampire as 
well. That was rich. Both of them were now eminently qualified to 
be their own X-file. She frowned as a thought struck her. She 
turned a piercing glare upon the assembled group. "What are all 
of you doing here, anyway? Did you know the killer was here? You 
could have saved Mulder all that pain." She was starting to get 
really angry now. 'How dare they...'

"No, not at all, Ms. Scully. Actually, we came to ask you 
for your help." When he saw the eyebrow rise in disbelief, he 
explained, "You see, yesterday night we discovered where the 
vampires who have been committing these murders have been 
nesting. Unfortunately, there were so many of them, we decided to 
retreat and return with more reinforcements. And you seemed a 
natural choice, from what Dr. Lambert has told me about you two. 
As it is, I'm somewhat surprised you don't believe in vampires."

"Dana," Natalie said, continuing when she caught her 
friend's eye, "Mulder told me that he'd almost been brought 
across once before. So I just assumed..."

"That's Mulder for you," Scully smiled a little, remembering 
with a touch of pain the case Mulder had worked on during her 
disappearance. "Natalie, he also believes in aliens and the Loch 
Ness monster. I prefer to wait for evidence and the facts before 
I draw my conclusions."

"A wise choice, in most cases," LaCroix commented. "But, be 
that as it may, we still need to prepare for when he wakes up. 
Newly born immortals usually wake up from their first deaths in 
anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the 
extent of their injuries. But, considering this unique case, I'm 
not sure which way he will lean." He paused as another thought 
occurred to him. "And when he wakes up, he'll most probably be 
extremely hungry."

Natalie briefly wondered how Dana would take the news about 
Mulder's need for a liquid diet when their discussion was 
abruptly interrupted by a loud crash from the kitchen area.

"That was fast. I guess we know which way he leans now, 
don't we?" Methos remarked as Dana, Natalie and Nick rushed 
towards the source of the noise.


The veil of darkness slowly lifted as Fox Mulder sat up. 
'Where am I?' He looked around, taking in the familiar features 
of his bedroom. 'How'd I get here? And what's wrong with the 
lights in here?' For some reason, everything seemed a little 
brighter, and all the colors seemed to be slightly off. He shook 
his head, trying to clear it of the cobwebs that seemed to be 
gathering in it. The first thought that occurred to him was the 
last thing he'd heard before sleep had claimed him.

"I love you, Fox William Mulder." The beautiful voice swept 
through his mind as he recalled the memory. 'I love you too, 
Scully,' he thought. Now all he had to do was figure out where 
she was so he could tell that to her face. He'd barely moved his 
feet off the bed when he felt the pain. He grasped his stomach 
and doubled over in agony.

Hunger. 'Oh God!' He'd never felt this hungry before. It 
felt like his stomach was trying to chew his body from the inside 
out, attempting to quench its terrible need. He staggered out of 
bed and stumbled towards the kitchen. He searched the fridge and 
the nearby cabinets, silently thanking Scully for going shopping 
the day before as he pulled out the food.


Dana and Natalie felt the familiar sensation of a nearby 
immortal as the trio approached the kitchen. However, none of 
them was prepared for the sight that greeted them as they stepped 
through the door.

Seated at the kitchen table, with liberal quantities of food 
in cans and bowls spread around him, Fox Mulder held a piece of 
bread as he glanced around him in confusion. When his eyes lit 
upon the new arrivals, he managed a sheepish grin. His gaze 
traveled to the bowl that lay on the floor, then back up to them. 
"Sorry, I got hungry," he explained, as if that took care of the 
entire matter.

Each of the newcomers stared in shock, but not all for the 
same reason.

The first thing Scully noticed about the man she'd so 
recently professed her love to were the eyes. They gleamed a 
fiery gold in the dim light. Looking closer, she could make 
out... 'Oh lord,' she gasped, 'Fangs! LaCroix was right.' She saw 
his gaze flit over Nick and Nat before settling on her. Even as 
she watched, his face grew more relaxed, his eyes taking on their 
natural hazel hue, his fangs retracting, leaving behind the even 
toothed grin that she remembered. The change was so sudden that, 
if not for her earlier encounter with the killer, she might have 
chalked it up to a trick of the light.

Natalie and Nick were seeing something they had never 
thought possible. A vampire willingly eating solid food, and 
enjoying it no less. 'Probably another side effect of immortal 
vampirism that LaCroix conveniently forgot to mention.'

Mulder gazed at Scully, his hunger appeased and the food in 
his hand forgotten for the moment. He was oblivious to the others 
in the room. It was strange, but his near brush with death seemed 
to have given him the ability to look at things in a new light, 
literally. He was struck by how beautiful she was, how much 
brighter her hair looked, how blue her eyes appeared. He still 
couldn't figure out how he'd survived, but that could wait. 
Suddenly all he could think about was getting Scully alone so he 
could talk to her. He grinned at her next words.

"Mulder, we need to talk."

"My thoughts exactly." He turned to the others. "Guys, could 
you excuse us for a minute?"

"Actually, Mulder, I think you should come to the living 
room. There's someone you need to talk to."

Disappointed, and a little hurt by Scully's apparent 
dismissal of what they'd almost shared not so long ago, he looked 
at her questioningly. Without a word, he got up to follow her. 
His head had started pounding a few moments before he'd been 
interrupted in the kitchen. Although the sudden headache had 
subsided fairly quickly, he felt an increase in the pressure as 
they neared the living room. The first thing he noticed upon 
entering was the curious piece of material that lay in one corner 
of the room. A closer glance caused him to suck in a breath. It 
was the dress their assailant had been wearing. He turned, 
noticing Duncan and two other men in the room.

Mulder took a seat as Scully, Natalie and LaCroix took turns 
explaining the situation. When they got to the part about his 
immortality, he turned to Scully. "You knew, didn't you? You knew 
and you didn't tell me. Is that why you agreed to let me train 
with you?" His voice held a trace of anger at what he perceived 
to be her deception.

"Yes," she confessed, "Do you really think I would have 
allowed you to place yourself in such danger otherwise?" Her tone 
changed from reassuring to slightly irritated. "And exactly when 
did you expect me to tell you? Every time I wanted to talk to 
you, you conveniently found something more important to do."

Mulder hung his head as he realized the truth in her 
statement. He *had* avoided her the past couple of days, and 
couldn't, in all fairness, fault her. He looked up with a 
sheepish grin when he felt her hand upon his, gently squeezing 
it. His eyes locked with hers, silently conveying his apology, 
and accepting the forgiveness he saw there. They would talk about 
it later, but for now...

It seemed to be a night for secrets to be revealed, and Fox 
Mulder was not one to back down from a challenge. He was going to 
deliver his own bombshell. "The killer..." He glanced at the few 
remaining pieces of clothing, and the barely detectable pieces of 
material that were all that remained of her. "She was a vampire, 
wasn't she?" He looked at each of his guests in turn before 
pinning his gaze squarely on Nick. 'Just try to deny it, Knight,' 
he smirked. 'I dare you.' He was surprised at the reaction it 
elicited, or rather failed to elicit.

"She most certainly was." Nick smiled when he saw Mulder's 
jaw drop. He knew that the agent had probably been expecting a 
firm denial, based on what Natalie had told him of their 
conversation at the morgue. But it was his turn to be surprised 
when Mulder went on, "Just like you."

Mulder was satisfied. He wasn't sure why his announcement of 
his knowledge of vampires was met with such calm. Heck, even 
Scully hadn't so much as uttered a "Mulder..." in that warning 
tone of hers. But, at least his accusation of Nick had managed to 
evoke a reaction.


Mulder shrugged. "I saw you take off last night at Anne's. 
After that, it didn't take a genius to figure it out, although it 
did take a little getting used to."

"Well, you had better start getting used to it, Mr. Mulder. 
Because you will probably be doing a lot of that yourself."

Mulder turned a quizzical glance towards the pale immortal. 
What had he called himself... LaCroix, that was it. His 
expression changed when he saw the man's eyes gleam golden for a 
second before settling back to their normal shade. The events of 
the night came back to him in a rush. The killer, her eyes, the 
fangs, her lips pressed to his neck, the sharp pain... "You can't 
be serious." He ran his fingers over his neck, searching for any 
telltale marks. They had to be putting him on. "It's not 
possible. I don't even feel any different." He ran his tongue 
over his teeth, earning bemused glances from those assembled. He 
looked to Scully for some sign that this was just a joke. He 
swallowed at the look of concern on her face, and the lack of 

"Any wounds you may have had will already have healed by the 
time you woke up," Nick explained. "And you have to will the 
change. It's not spontaneous except under conditions of extreme 

He tried to concentrate, following Nick's advice. He knew 
he'd succeeded when he heard Scully gasp. He felt no different, 
but he could only imagine how he looked. He could certainly feel 
the sharp points against his tongue as he ran it over his 

A sudden thought struck him. "I'm not going to have to give 
up solid food, am I?" He suddenly had visions of drinking blood 
for the rest of eternity. He had no desire to give up his 
favorite cheeseburgers, or his beloved sunflower seeds.

"You know, I meant to ask you about that, LaCroix." 
Natalie's eyes flashed as she demanded. "Why didn't you mention 
that you could eat solid food?"

LaCroix blinked. "I beg your pardon?"

"Mulder... We found him in the kitchen, eating. From the 
looks of things, he'd probably already polished off half the food 
in there."

LaCroix turned widening eyes towards Mulder. "I've never 
actually tried it. Ever since I was brought across, I've always 
had an instinctual aversion to solid food. Now...," he trailed 
off, his brows coming together in thought. "I wonder if it was 
just something passed on by my master. New children are in a 
highly suggestive state when they first wake up, which is when 
they are usually taught our ways. In this case, this foolish one 
did not have a chance to influence young Mulder. I never realized 
it, but it may be that many of our natural instincts are actually 
just suggestions implanted at the moment of crossing over, 
suggestions that we pass on to our children without a second's 
thought." He paused, flinching when he caught sight of the all 
too familiar icon around Mulder's neck. "And obviously, this 
extends to other things as well. Tell me, Mr. Mulder, does that 
cross around your neck bother you at all?"

Mulder fingered the chain, shaking his head when he felt 
it's cool surface.

"This is most intriguing." LaCroix got up and started to 
pace. "I am amazed at how ingrained that first lesson could be. 
Without any training, Mulder has none of our preconceived 
instinctual responses. I assure you, Dr. Lambert, this is no 
result of immortality, else I would have known it. The only side 
effect I know of is my invulnerability against certain hazards to 
most vampires... sunlight, stakes and such."

Natalie thought about his confession, then turned a 
triumphant smile at Nick. "See! I told you it was all in your 
head! We just need to work at it some more," she said, eliciting 
a groan in response.

"Which brings us to the reason we're here." Methos had been 
restless for a while, and had taken advantage of the break in the 
conversation. "I'd like to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, if 
you don't mind."

"Why exactly are you here?" Mulder asked. "You couldn't have 
known this was going to happen to me tonight, right?"

Nick smiled at his comment. "That's exactly what Dana asked 
us earlier. No, Mulder, we're here because we found where the 
rest of the vampires were nesting. Since there were so many, we 
wanted to return with more reinforcements. You see, the one who 
attacked you was quite young. That means that we might run into 
her master, or others much older than her. When we first found 
them last night, we had no way of knowing how powerful these 
vampires were without giving ourselves away. So, we thought it 
would be better to prepare for the worst when we go there 

"But, if you wanted to keep vampires a secret, why involve 
us immortals?"

"Unfortunately, Seattle isn't known for its abundant vampire 
population. There aren't any in this area that we could ask for 
help. Besides, both Duncan and Adam know of our kind. And since 
you mentioned to Natalie that you knew of us, we had hoped to get 
Dana to help us as well. So, what do you say?" Nick shot a 
questioning look at the agents.

Mulder turned to Scully, silently asking her what she 
thought of the idea. "The ultimate X-file, eh Scully?" The 
comment brought a smile to both their faces. They realized that, 
like many of their cases, the guilty party would not be brought 
to justice, not under mortal law anyway. The only difference was 
that, in this case, they themselves were not constrained by the 
same mortal law. Turning back to their guests, both of them 
nodded their consent as they stood up.


10:20 PM

Mulder pushed the door open and walked into his house, 
followed immediately by Scully. They crossed the foyer and 
entered the living room, dropping themselves into the couch.

It had taken a while, but they had finally taken care of the 
problem they had faced a few hours ago. When they'd finally 
reached the warehouse, Mulder had been surprised at how close 
he'd come to finding the killers without his knowledge. But, when 
he thought about it, he realized that that was probably how their 
attacker had known where he lived. He'd probably been followed 
when he left the warehouse earlier that day.

The group had entered cautiously with their weapons drawn, 
ready to meet an overwhelming opposition. There were at least a 
dozen or so vampires inside, according to Nick and LaCroix. As 
expected, the first wave hit them as soon as they ascended the 
stairs hidden at the rear of the building. But every member of 
group was surprised when they dispatched the small group of five 
vampires so easily. The attackers had been young, younger than 
the female who had attacked Mulder earlier.

The reason for the ease of their victory was evident within 
a few moments. One by one, the rest of the vampires materialized 
out of the shadows. None of them was older than the female 
vampire. They didn't attack the group. Instead, one of them came 
forward and started talking.

"No more. No more killing. We're so tired of it. We 
surrender. Just let us go, please," he pleaded.

Contrary to what they had feared, the female vampire had 
been the only master vampire. And she had not counted on some of 
her children's aversion to the more gruesome aspects of 
vampirism. The remaining vampires were relieved when they heard 
that, not only could they feed on blood without having to kill, 
but that they might also be able to try solid food. With a bit of 
effort, Nick and LaCroix had been able to break down the memory 
blocks that had been placed on them. After that, it had only been 
a matter of tying up some loose ends before the group disbanded 
and left for their individual homes.

So, now that the whole thing was over, the night found 
Mulder and Scully back where the evening had begun. Back in the 
living room, with an air of awkwardness that seemed to have 
become intensified after the events of the night. Both were lost 
in thought as they leaned back in the couch. Each stared at the 
walls, the floor, everywhere except at each other.

Mulder considered the changes that had occurred that 
evening. All the fears he'd nurtured before were gone, but were 
replaced by all new ones. Her questions to Natalie aside, he'd 
been worried that Scully wouldn't want a relationship with a 
mortal. Now, he found he was an immortal as well. And that would 
have been great, if only it had happened differently. Now, he was 
immortal, but also some sort of monster. When he'd been told 
about being brought across earlier that evening, he'd attempted 
the transformation without a thought. But when he heard the gasp 
from his partner, his heart had literally skipped a beat. For her 
to be so visibly startled... He could only imagine how he must 
have looked. He could almost feel the waves of horror and 
revulsion Scully must have felt at seeing him like that. Once 
again he cursed a god he'd never believed in for giving him the 
gift of immortality, and then tacking on such a horrible price to 

Unfortunately, vampirism did not bestow upon him the ability 
to read minds, at least not that he was aware of. Otherwise, he 
would have been surprised at the thoughts running through his 
partner's head. While he was bemoaning his fate, she was mentally 
kicking herself for her cowardice. When she'd been confronted 
with the reality of Mulder's transformation in the kitchen... to 
say she'd been shocked would have been putting it mildly. But 
she'd also been somewhat scared by it. She'd quickly pulled the 
mask of professionalism over her feelings until she could get the 
whole thing sorted out in her mind. Now, after having the whole 
evening to think about it, she realized guiltily that she hadn't 
said a word to Mulder since he'd been brought across.

'Some friend I am.' She thought about the conversation she'd 
had with Natalie back at the warehouse. She had managed to catch 
her friend alone for a few minutes while Mulder and the others 
were busy taking care of the remaining vampires. When she'd asked 
Nat about Mulder, she was shocked that she hadn't realized it 
herself. Nat told her that Mulder was most probably feeling 
scared right now, terrified of the changes in him. At least, that 
was how Nick had described being brought across to her. And she 
realized that she'd probably compounded his fear by being so 
abrupt with him in the kitchen earlier. 'God, how could I have 
been so stupid?' she berated herself.

Knowing Mulder as she did, she concurred wholeheartedly with 
Nat's assessment. Right now, she'd lay odds that Mulder was 
seriously reconsidering his ideas about what he'd started before 
they'd been interrupted by the killer. 'Damn him.' Didn't he know 
that she loved him for who he was, not who he appeared to be? 
'Mulder, there's no way I'm letting you chicken out again. I've 
waited for you for far too long to let something like this get in 
my way. And, if I have to begin this time, well then...' With 
that thought firmly entrenched in her mind, she jumped up and 
walked over to the stereo.

Mulder was jerked out of his self doubting thoughts when he 
heard the radio being switched on. He looked up as Scully walked 
over to him.

"I believe you owe me a dance." She held out her hand 

Not knowing exactly how to interpret this gesture, Mulder 
reached out tentatively, and was surprised when she grasped his 
hand and pulled him up forcefully. He felt a ray of hope blossom 
as she pulled him to the center of the room.

She placed her hands around him, pulling him close as the 
music continued. He, in turn, placed his hands around her, 
luxuriating in the feel of her in his arms. He sighed when she 
placed her head on his chest, and almost couldn't resist the 
temptation to hug her a little tighter. But a small nagging doubt 
still remained in the back of his mind. He still felt he had to 
give her every opportunity to back away. And he knew that if he 
didn't do so soon, he probably wouldn't ever be able to give her 
up. It would be much too hard to do so. Gritting his teeth, he 
thought, 'It's now or never...'

"Scully... You don't have to...," he began, but didn't get 
to finish his sentence before she cut him off.

"Mulder," she whispered, lifting her head to meet his eyes. 
She could clearly see the pain it had caused him to say that. She 
smiled as she realized that she had anticipated this, she knew 
him that well. And she loved him all the more for it, this 
unselfish gesture on his part. "What I said before..." She waited 
to see that he understood what she was talking about. "I meant 
it, Mulder." She watched him swallow as the import of what she'd 
said sank in. "I meant it then, and I mean it now. I love you, 
Fox William Mulder. I think I always have, although I didn't 
realize it until I thought you were dead back in New Mexico. When 
I saw the boxcar, I thought about what my life would be like 
without you in it. And I found myself not liking that life one 

"How could you love me, Scully?" His heart thudded in his 
chest as he tried to convince her otherwise. He'd had so many 
disappointments in his life, he had to be absolutely sure before 
he opened his heart to anyone else. He knew he wouldn't survive 
another loss. Especially not her. He wouldn't want to. "How could 
you possibly love someone like me, especially as I am now? I've 
caused you nothing but grief. You've practically lost half your 
family because of me. Your father, your sister, your daughter. 
Because of me, and the X-files, you can't remember what happened 
for three months of your life. Because of me, you almost died of 

"Stop it, Mulder." Her voice held a note of pain as he 
enumerated all the things he thought she had lost. "I don't care 
if you're a vampire or a 'monster' as you're so bent on painting 
yourself to be. You're Fox Mulder, and that is never going to 
change. You're loyal, and sweet, and caring. You're my best 
friend, Mulder, and the best partner I could ever have, both 
professionally and personally. I love you, Mulder, for who you 
are." She paused to let the meaning of her last words sink in. 
"And none of those things you mentioned were your fault. Yes, I 
was assigned to the X-Files at first. But when they were 
reopened, I asked to be reassigned to them. Do you hear me? It 
was *my* choice. And only you would take the blame for something 
like my father's heart attack." Her chuckle vanished as her voice 
turned serious. "And if anything, my sister's death was my fault, 
not yours."

Mulder sucked in a breath at her confession. How could she 
possibly blame herself for Melissa's death?

"She was killed by people who were trying to kill me. If 
they'd shot me, at least I would have survived."

When he finally figured out what she meant, he placed a 
finger on her lips. "No, don't say that, Scully. It wasn't your 
fault. You couldn't have known. You thought it was Skinner who 
was going to kill you."

She smiled when she heard him say that. "Do you hear what 
you're saying, Mulder?" When he glanced at her quizzically, she 
replied, "It wasn't your fault either, Mulder, any more than it 
was mine. If anyone is to be blamed, it's those bastards in the 
Consortium who've taken so much from us. We both made our 
choices, Mulder, and now we have to live with those choices, good 
or bad. And, right now, I don't for one moment regret the choice 
I made when I told you how I felt about you." The words stuck in 
her mouth when he placed a hand behind her head, pulling her back 
towards him. Her head rested on his shoulder as she placed her 
hand on his neck. She could feel his tears when they fell into 
her hair as his choked whisper reached into the very depths of 
her soul.

"Oh, Scully... god... my beautiful, darling Dana. I'm trying 
to give you every chance to walk away, but you're making this so 
damn hard. You should know that I won't ever be able to give you 
up. I don't know that I could ever live without you." His voice 
dropped even lower, until she could hardly heard his hushed 
whisper. "I don't know that I would even want to."

Words failed her at his heart-rending confession. She knew 
of each of his losses, each disappointment that had hurt him so 
much. But his words left her speechless. He needed her that much? 
Could she take on the responsibility of loving him, someone who 
needed to be loved so desperately? Would she be up to the 
challenge? Yes, she would, she told herself. She loved him that 
much. But how to say that to him? How to make him believe it? Her 
question was answered when she heard the next song start on the 

She smiled as she clasped him tighter, turning in time to 
the song. As they danced, she whispered, "Listen to this song, 
Mulder. It says exactly how I feel about you." She held him 
close, letting the strains of the song wash over them.

"I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy.
I'll be your hope, I'll be your love be everything that you need.
I love you more with every breath, truly madly deeply do...
I will be strong, I will be faithful, cause I'm counting on 
A new beginning. A reason for living. A deeper meaning."

"Let me in, Mulder," she breathed when she felt the words of 
the song, and the meaning behind them, sink in. She could feel 
the understanding dawn upon him as he held her as tight as she 
did him. "Let me be all these things for you. Let this be our new 

"I want to stand with you on the mountain.
I want to bathe with you in the sea.
I want to lay like this forever.
Until the sky falls down on me."

"You hear that, Mulder? That's how I feel, the same as you 
do. I do want to stay like this forever, because then I would be 
with you." Her fingers moved forward, stroking his cheek, tracing 
those wondrous lips as she whispered, "I love you." She paused, 
looking up into his eyes, searching for a sign of his acceptance 
of what she'd just told him. She got her answer when he bent his 
head towards her. The same look that had been there earlier that 
evening now graced both their eyes as their lips met, confirming 
their feelings for each other.

Imagination could take a hike. This was the real thing. He 
had hoped, and he had dreamed, but he'd never thought this day 
would come. Yet he was here, and she was here, and it was 
perfect. He was actually kissing her. And the spark that flew 
between them, the fire it kindled within him as their lips 
devoured each other's, threatened to consume him in its burning 
intensity. "I love you too, Scully." The words sounded slightly 
breathless as Mulder pulled away from the kiss. "More than you 
could possibly imagine."

She immediately missed the soft presence of his lips when he 
pulled away. She looked up into the dark swirls that had once 
been clear hazel, the depth of his desire fairly glowing in them. 
Her breath caught as she realized that it was for her. She had 
caused this reaction in him, she thought in awe. "Oh really, 
Mulder? I can imagine quite a lot," she asked him teasingly, 
desperate for the feel of those sensuous lips upon her once 

"Really, Scully," he replied as he heard the final verses of 
the song die away. He bent down, placing a kiss along her 
collarbone, eliciting a delightful shiver from her. Her sudden 
gasp and the ensuing moan was all the permission he needed to 


His lips traveled up her neck, and along her jaw, trailing 
kisses all the way. She could hardly hold back her shuddering 
response to his actions as his mouth reached the sensitive skin 
just below and behind her ear.

"Very madly."

The lips moved again, back along her jaw, closer, ever so 
close to their final target.

"And, oh, so very deeply."

The final, husky whisper was almost eclipsed by the sweet 
sensation as his lips crept up her chin, finally claiming her 
lips as she once again felt their sweet softness against her own. 
A hint of salty sunflower seeds, an interspersed whisper of the 
garlic bread he'd been eating when she'd found him in the kitchen 
earlier, all combined with the intoxicating taste that was 
uniquely and undeniably Mulder, assailed her senses. She couldn't 
drink enough of the sweet nectar. She could barely contain the 
moan as she felt his hands rise from her waist, pushing up her 
shirt and sliding up the bare skin of her back.

Every time she'd felt his hands at the small of her back, 
she'd wondered what it would be like to feel them without the 
hindering presence of her clothes. Now she knew that she'd never 
be able to feel the same gesture again without this particular 
moment flashing across her mind.

Her fingers tangled themselves in his hair as her lips 
crushed against his. He felt her tongue push against his mouth, 
questioning, seeking, begging for entry. He opened his mouth, 
welcoming her in. Their tongues dueled for dominance, neither one 
backing down, neither one the victor or the loser. He felt her 
hands release their tight grip on his hair and meander downwards. 
Before he knew it, his shirt was pulled out of his jeans, her 
questing fingers tracing lazy circles on his chest. With a pang 
of regret, he pulled back from her.

Five years of longing, followed by five days of 
anticipation, couldn't keep the plaintive whimper from escaping 
her lips at the sudden loss she felt. She barely heard his shaky 
voice through the sensuous haze that surrounded her.

"Much as I hate to stop, Scully, I think we'd better take 
this into the bedroom now." His breathing was ragged as he tried 
to explain. "I don't think I'll be able to stop if we go any 
further." When she nodded her agreement, he immediately swept her 
up off her feet. He heard her startled gasp, then an unexpected 
giggle as he turned towards his bedroom. He glanced at her in 
amazement. In all the years they'd been together, he'd seen her 
smile, and he'd heard her laugh. But he'd never once heard her 
giggle. And the silvery tinkle only served to heighten his desire 
for her that much more.

Unable to wait until he reached the bed, she pulled his head 
down to hers, capturing his lips between her teeth, biting down 
on his lower lip, then pulling back. It was enough to cause him 
to stagger slightly. Quickly getting back his bearings, he 
returned the kiss as he steadied himself. Somehow he found his 
way to the bed.

Finally reaching it, he gently lowered her onto it, climbing 
in beside her. His lips were still locked onto hers when he felt 
her fingers trying to pull his shirt up higher, desperately 
seeking the warmth of the skin underneath. His hands reached over 
to the top button on her shirt, pausing as he pulled back to look 
at her. His eyes asked a silent question, "Are you sure?"

With a growl of exasperation, she reached up and tore his 
shirt off, telling him in no uncertain terms that, yes, she was 
sure. And that there were dire consequences in store for him if 
he didn't get a move on. He smiled, accepting her demonstrative 
invitation as he proceeded to unbutton her shirt. He then moved 
in, his hands and mouth exploring every inch of the uncharted 

His lips trailed fiery kisses from her lips, down her neck 
and along her throat, reaching farther down as she felt the heady 
sensation envelop her. She, in turn, managed to divest him of his 
restrictive clothes, pulling him closer as she once again claimed 
his mouth in hers.

Their minds sang as their bodies danced to the age-old tune, 
the two lonely souls finally together, now, and forever more. It 
was almost morning before exhaustion finally claimed them, and 
they gave in to the spell of sleep that washed over them, their 
bodies sated for now, their minds still reeling from the ecstasy 
they had shared, the closeness, the intimacy. If there had been 
any doubt before, it was gone now, vanished, destroyed by the act 
they had performed, binding them together in mind, body and 
spirit. It was with a sigh of satisfaction and a silent prayer of 
thanks that Fox Mulder and Dana Scully finally allowed themselves 
to close their eyes, nestled in each other's arms.


Mulder Residence, Seattle, WA
Thursday, February 19, 1998
11:43 AM

She was having a wonderful dream. Finally, after years of 
desperate longing, night after night of unfulfilled desire, she 
had been granted her heart's fondest wish. Fox Mulder. She did 
not want to wake up. She fought against the encroaching awareness 
that signified consciousness, resisting with all her will, yet 
unable to stave off the inevitable.

She nuzzled her head further into the unexpectedly soft, 
warm pillow, trying, hoping to fall back into the welcome arms of 
sleep once more. Unfortunately she couldn't quite make it. She 
reluctantly opened first one eye, then the other, taking in the 
unfamiliar surroundings. Two strange beds in one week. Must be 
some kind of record, she mused.

Today was something special, she remembered. But what? Her 
sleep addled mind searched for an answer. The soft rise and fall 
of her pillow gave her a reply she joyously accepted. It was the 
morning after... the morning after the night before. She let 
loose a contented sigh. No dream this. She blushed as the events 
of the previous night came flooding back. One particular memory 
caused the blush to deepen. She hadn't thought that particular 
move was even possible. She realized what she had been missing 
all these years, and thanked God that they had finally come to 
their senses. Who knew how long they would have carried on 
otherwise? She shuddered at the thought of her life before 
yesterday, lonely and without much hope for a future. Never 
again, she vowed.

But enough of such thoughts. It was a new day, and she 
intended to make the most of it. She let the sensation of 
cuddling against a warm Mulder invade every pore of her body, 
allowing her senses to take in the scene that greeted her. Her 
eyes drank in the sight of the gorgeous man lying underneath her. 
She closed her eyes again, taking in the smell that she intended 
to become intimately familiar with over the course of their 
vacation, and for a long time afterwards. She could hardly 
believe it. She was in bed with Fox Mulder, her head on his 
chest, gently moving up and down to the rhythm of his breathing, 
her left hand draped so casually over... Oh my! She quickly moved 
it up, placing her palm underneath her cheek, feeling for the 
strong reassuring heartbeat that she knew was right... over... 

She smiled from behind closed eyelids. Wrong side, Dr. 
Scully. She moved her palm from the left side of his body to the 
right, frowning as her hands searched for the familiar beat. The 
sleep leached out of her as her questing hands came up short. 
Wait a minute! The heart was on the left side. What the... She 
couldn't feel a heartbeat! She jerked awake, her eyes snapping 
open. 'Oh god, I've killed him,' was the first thought that 
passed through her mind. Her hands moved over his heart, ready to 
administer CPR before she realized something.

He was breathing.

She held her hands underneath his nose. Yep, definitely 
still breathing. And if that wasn't enough, his chest was very 
visibly rising... and falling.

Whoa there... What was wrong with this picture? You 
shouldn't be able to breathe if your heart wasn't beating, were 
you? All her years of medical training agreed with her, yet the 
body of her new lover stubbornly refused to accept the laws of 
reality as she knew them. The sense of panic subsided somewhat 
when she recalled her conversation with her friend the night 
before. Wondering what other changes she would have to get used 
to, she reached out to place her palm against his cheek, 
reminding herself once again, reassuring herself that they 
weren't supposed to be able to die.

God, but he looked adorable. What was it about sleeping men 
anyway? Somehow, his face had lost all the burdens he carried 
during his waking hours, reverting instead to the innocence of 
childhood. What she wouldn't give to preserve him like this 
forever? But there were more urgent matters at hand, she reminded 
herself, like waking him up, for instance.

Softly at first, she allowed herself a tentative, "Mulder?" 
When he showed no sign that he'd even heard her, she stepped it 
up a notch. "Mulder." No effect. Then, "*MULDER*!" That finally 
got through.

He woke up with a jerk. "WHAT? What? I'm awake. What 
happened?" The panicked expression in his eyes slowly waned when 
he felt her reassuring hands on him.

The palm she'd held over his chest calmly confirmed that his 
heart was once again firing on all thrusters. She let out a sigh 
of relief as she waited for him to come fully awake. She watched 
as he rubbed his palms over sleep lidded eyes.

"Could we have done that with a little less oomph, Scully? 
Jeez, I think you gave me a heart attack."

Her jaw dropped as she sputtered. "Me...? Give you...? Why 
you..." She lightly swatted his arm. "If anything, you should be 
thanking me for restarting your heart." At his confused glance, 
she explained, "Nat mentioned last night that Nick's heart 
doesn't beat, and LaCroix said that sometimes his beats and 
sometimes it doesn't. He wasn't quite sure how that worked." She 
shrugged. "Something to do with voluntary and involuntary 
muscles. So... I wasn't too worried when I couldn't find your 
heartbeat before you woke up, but it did kinda throw me for a 
loop." She gave him a slight grin. "I guess I'm still getting 
used to the changes." The grin widened into a smile. "Besides, I 
think I'm going to get my kicks from startling you awake every 
morning. It's waaaay too much fun," she drawled, running a 
fingernail down his chest, tickling him slightly.

He squirmed when he felt her run her finger down his side, 
and made a quick move to grab her wrist. He moved it away from 
his side, causing her to lose her balance and fall over his 
stomach. "From what I remember, Scully" he began, his fingers 
letting go of her wrist as he ran his hands up her arms and down 
her sides, causing the most delicious sensations to pool in the 
pit of her stomach, "that wasn't how you got your kicks last 
night." The grin on his face was now a full-fledged leer.

"Oh, really?" One eyebrow danced up, her face settling into 
the classic 'You've got to be kidding me,' look, although the 
accompanying smile spoiled the image somewhat. "Well, Agent 
Mulder," she said in as stern a voice as she could manage, which 
wasn't much considering the grin she was desperately trying to 
bite off. "Some of us aren't blessed with a photographic memory, 
you know. Maybe you'd care to refresh my failing memory." She 
managed to deliver the last line with a perfect pout.

'Okay,' Mulder acknowledged, 'the pout was adorable.' But 
the barely contained smile that threatened to break through at 
any moment was exciting. And the hands that trailed down his 
side, seeking then finding their target, were nothing short of 
pure, mind-numbing ecstasy. He managed a groan before all words, 
and all thoughts, were cut off by her mouth descending upon his. 
The only conscious idea he could manage before giving up was a 
delighted, 'Here we go again!'

The next coherent thought in the room didn't take place for 
another few hours.


2:12 PM

The next time they woke up, it was to hear the oh, so 
soothing blare of the telephone. After swatting at an imaginary 
alarm clock a couple of times, Scully finally managed to grab 
hold of the phone and mumbled a sleepy, but annoyed, "What?" 
Didn't people have better things to do than call in the middle of 
the... afternoon? Her eyes squinted in the dim sunlight that 
filtered through the blinds. Her silent diatribe was interrupted 
by the chuckle on the other end of the line.

"The least you could do is thank me, you know. Duncan wanted 
to call at 8:30 in the morning to make sure you guys were all 
right. I managed to convince him that you two needed your beauty 
sleep." Another chuckle, then a sigh. "Guys can be so dense 

"Nat? Is that you?" Dana was still trying to figure out the 
part about why she should thank her friend.

"Dana?" Natalie's voice held a note of amused concern. "Are 
you okay? What did that partner of yours do to you?"

Dana blushed. "Ha. Ha. Very funny, Natalie. As it so 
happens, I am in full control of all my faculties." Of course, 
the statement was totally invalidated by the squeal she let loose 
as she felt said partner's hands caress a fairly sensitive part 
of her anatomy.

"Mulder...," she hissed, but not before she heard the 
laughter next to her ear. She glared at the pouting look that 
surrounded the twinkling eyes in front of her, her hands hastily 
trying to cover the mouthpiece before she could embarrass herself 
any further.

"Whoops. Looks like it's still too early for you two. Tell 
you what, Dana. Why don't you two skip practice for today and... 
ummm... rest up? I'm sure a day in bed will just work wonders."

Dana could almost see her friend's smile through the phone. 
"Why, thank you so much for your kind suggestion, Dr. Lambert. I 
might just follow your advice," she retorted, trying to push two 
very inquisitive hands away from doing things too disruptive to 
her thought processes.

A final chuckle, followed by a "You do that, Dana. I'll talk 
to you later. Me, Nick and Duncan will be at Joe's bar, if you 
want to come by tonight. Mulder knows where it is."

"Ok, Nat. Bye." She hung up the phone, then turned to face 
him. "Mulder..."

'Uh, oh, I'm in trouble now.' Mulder pasted on the soulful 
look that had let him get away with murder with so many people.

'Oh god. The Look! He's giving me the Look.' She could feel 
her stern resolve melting. But she had to try. "Mulder. What if 
that had been Skinner?"

"Skinner? Calling here? On our vacation? Really, Scully. 
You're going to have to do better than that."

"Oh, I'll do better all right. Why don't you come here and 
find out how much better?" The smile was back, magnified tenfold.

Mulder opened his mouth in an expression of mock shock. 
"Down, woman." That earned him a glare. "You're insatiable, 
aren't you? I think I've created a monster. Aren't you hungry at 
all? After the workout you gave me, I could eat a horse." He 
turned to get out of the bed. He was stopped by the tone he 
detected in her voice.


When he turned to look at her, she was turned away from him. 
When he tilted her chin to face him, she still wouldn't meet his 
eyes. He frowned. "Scully...?" The silent question hung in the 

"Do you...? I have to know. Do you regret...?"

He stopped her before she could complete her question. He 
placed a finger on her lips.

"Never..." For all its softness, the whisper carried the 
force of a thunderstorm. "How could you possibly think that?" His 
voice held a note of pain. "Let me tell you something, Scully, 
something I swore I would never have to tell you."

The forceful voice, hushed as it was, caught her attention. 
She lifted her eyes to meet his, and gasped at the intensity of 
the pain she detected.

"The time when you were returned from your abduction, and 
your mother and Melissa decided that you should be taken off the 
life support, something in me broke. The evening before you woke 
up, X told me that the people who were responsible for your 
abduction would come by my apartment, thinking it empty. I was to 
wait in the dark and kill them when they came." The pain in his 
eyes was clear in his voice now. "You were about to die, Scully. 
And I couldn't do a goddamn thing about it." He paused to take a 
deep breath. "Do you know how helpless that made me feel? How 
useless? I couldn't do anything for you." His voice was quavering 
now, and he didn't even try to conceal the tears brimming in his 

"Oh, Mulder..."

"No, let me finish. I need to say this." Gritting his teeth, 
he continued, "I was waiting for them to come. I had already 
decided to kill them. And it would have been so easy." He closed 
his eyes, reliving those horrendous moments once again. "And 
then, do you know what I was going to do?" He swallowed. "I was 
going to turn the gun on myself."

"No..." Her eyes widened in shock. 'NO!' her mind screamed. 
'Not you.' But the words wouldn't come out.

"You were going to die, Scully," he repeated. "I didn't have 
anything to live for. If it wasn't for Melissa coming by to 
convince me that you needed me that night..." he trailed off, a 
bitter smile forming on his face. "Well, let's just say that I'd 
have been pretty surprised the next morning."

The tears that suddenly broke free on his face were mirrored 
in hers. She moved forward, pulling him into a fierce hug. She 
held him tightly. He loved her that much? Even then? Suddenly, 
she felt horrible for having even thought that... She felt him 
grasp her shoulders and pull her away.

"What about you, Scully? That you even had to ask... I 
mean... You don't...?"

"Never, Mulder. Not ever," She shook her head emphatically. 
"It took us this long to get together. And I'll be damned if I 
ever let you go."

"Forever is a long time, Scully."

But she could already see the smile breaking through the 
tears. "Like the song said, Mulder." She felt the smile on her 
face echoing his. "Until the sky falls down on me."

"Knowing you, Scully, I'm sure you'll find some way to shore 
it up if that ever happens." The tears were fast disappearing as 
the playful mood from earlier was recaptured.

"Damn straight! So I guess you're stuck with me for a 
while." She wiped her moist eyes, turning to get out of the bed. 
"C'mon." She reached for his hand. "Let's get something to eat. 
You were right. I am starved."

"Nobody else I'd rather be stuck with." He grinned as he 
followed her to the kitchen.


Fox Mulder was worried. Hell, he was scared out of his skin. 
He had to have a talk with Nick, find out about any adverse 
effects to his condition. He couldn't go on like this.

Here he was, sitting at the kitchen table, wearing his 
birthday suit. Sitting across from him, his partner... friend... 
lover? was wearing pretty much the same thing. And he couldn't 
think of one thing to say. Forget that. He couldn't think of one 
thing to think! He watched her calmly peel some fruit. Grapes, to 
be exact. Seedless grapes. He saw the perfect teeth grasp the 
skin of a grape between them, and slowly peel it off. He gulped. 
She repeated the process, working her way around the little piece 
of fruit, until the fleshy meat inside was completely exposed. He 
couldn't take his eyes off the tantalizing lips as they caressed 
the grape, sucking on it and then licking off the juice that ran 
down her wrist. Finally, she placed the grape on her tongue, 
sucking it in between her teeth, and chewing on it. He heard her 
say something, but for the life of him, he couldn't make out one 
word. He was hypnotized by the gentle movement of her jaw. He 
could feel his vaunted IQ slowly dropping until it matched the 
grape that he wished he'd been born as.

She watched him staring at her mouth. He didn't even 
register when she'd stopped talking, nor did he notice her eyes 
watching his as he followed her mouth. She smiled. God, she loved 
this man. Never before had someone looked at her, doing nothing 
but eating a grape, with such adoration and desire. She let out a 
chuckle. Of course, her current state of dress, or rather, 
undress, probably didn't hurt either.

He still wasn't listening. She decided to try again. 
"Mulder?" It took a couple of tries before he finally raised his 
eyes from her mouth. "If you're done staring," she paused, 
grinning at the blush that suddenly appeared, "I was thinking, 
maybe I could take a shower."


Obviously, he was still having trouble in the concentration 
department. She saw his eyes drop again to her lips, and she 
couldn't resist a small chuckle. "Yes, Mulder. You know, with the 
bathroom, and the water, and soap..."


Ok, this was bordering on ridiculous. If she didn't do 
something soon, she would end up with a vegetable on her hands. 
'Can't have that now, can we?' She shook her head and got up to 
place the bowl in the sink, then walked back to the table.

He watched her walking back. Now that the grape had found 
its way down to Never Never Land, he couldn't watch the delicate 
movements of her mouth anymore. But, that was okay, he thought 
with a dreamy smile. Now there were the graceful hips to be 
looked at, gently swaying... to and fro... to and fro... His eyes 
rocked slowly from left to right, following the slight sway as 
she came closer. 'I'm in so much trouble,' the part of his brain 
that still functioned cried out. The rest of him just replied 
with a dreamy, 'Uh-hunh.'

"Mulder." She knelt in front of him, taking his hands in 
hers. "Come on. Get up."

'Awww, shoot! No more hips,' the disappointed thought ran 
through his mind, then was replaced with another smile. 'But the 
lips are back!'

"Mulder. If you don't get a grip, I'm going to have to 
shower by myself." She managed to inject a whining note into her 
voice, but to no avail.

"Huh?" He couldn't notice anything except the way her lips 
moved. How had he not noticed the hypnotizing movements before? 
If this was how it was going to affect him, his career in the FBI 
was over.

"Ok. Fine," she said in exasperation, getting up once again. 
She turned towards her room. "You stay here and stare off into 
space. I'm going to go take a shower." With that, she headed out 
of the kitchen.

The sudden loss of her presence finally got through the 
wondrous haze surrounding his brain. With a start, he blinked, 
then looked around the room, vainly trying to find her. He tried 
to remember what she'd been talking about while his brain had 
decided to wander off to Disneyland. He frowned. 'Something about 
taking a shower...' The frown was immediately replaced with a 


The water felt so good, and hot, as it cascaded down her 
shoulders. She sighed, allowing herself a small smile. It was 
just what she needed. Getting up at two in the afternoon was 
positively decadent. She hadn't done that since... She shook her 
head ruefully. She'd never done that before. 'Too bad Mulder was 
still acting like a two year old,' she thought. She poured out a 
handful of shampoo and lathered her hair. What was with him 
anyway? 'You'd think he'd never seen me eat before.'

She paused, her hand still entangled in her hair, when she 
smelt it. She frowned, trying to make it out. It was pretty 
faint, and she knew it was definitely not the shampoo. Suddenly, 
the light turned off, leaving the room lit with soft flickers of 
yellow and gold. Finally, it hit her. 'Jasmine?'

That was as far as she got before the curtain was pulled 
open. She saw the candles through the opening before the sight 
was hidden once again. She smiled, watching him enter the tub.

"So, you decided to come to your senses after all?"

Her smile was infectious, causing him to return one of his 
own. "Couldn't let you waste all that water now, could I? 
Conservation and all that, you know."

"Really?" She continued with the shampoo, watching his every 

He moved closer. "Mmmhmmm..." His lips closed over hers, his 
hands moving up to find hers.

"Mulder...?" Her voice was muffled by the kiss.


"What are you doing?"

"Exercising my right?" he ventured as he continued to lather 
her hair.

The eyebrow rose.

"Umm... Performing my duty?" he quickly amended.

The eyebrow came back down. "Much better. Now get cracking."

"Yes, ma'am."


"The state of Washington has declared an emergency due to a 
sudden water shortage in the Seattle area. Residents are being 
cautioned to ration their use of water until the shortage can be 

Scully swatted his arm as she stepped out of the shower. "We 
weren't in there that long, Mulder."

In answer, he simply pointed to the counter where the two 
candles were down to their last flickers. "When I lit them, they 
were brand new. You do the math."

She looked out the tiny window in the bathroom. Her jaw 
dropped when she saw that it was almost dusk. Suddenly, her eyes 
were covered by the towel as she felt his fingers rubbing it, 
drying her hair.

"C'mon, short stuff. We'd better get ready if we're going to 
meet the guys at Joe's," he said, rubbing vigorously. "You know, 
I think I could get used to some of these vampiric abilities. 
When you were talking on the phone earlier, I could hear Nat loud 
and clear, even as far away as I was."

"Mulder..." she ventured as he finished drying her hair. 
When he pulled the towel off, she continued, "Do you think I'm 
too short? I've seen the way you look at some of the female 
agents at VCS. And I could hardly compare to the women in your 
magazines. How come you didn't fall for someone more your 

He smiled as he realized something. Beautiful as she was, 
she still couldn't believe that she was as breathtaking as he 
said she was. Well, he'd just have prove her wrong. He placed his 
hand in the familiar position at the small of her back, guiding 
her towards the full length mirror. He turned her towards him, 
then pulled her into a tight embrace. When she glanced up at him, 
he gestured towards the mirror. "Look over there, Scully. Tell me 
what you see."

She placed her head against his chest, her head just fitting 
under his chin, her hands going under his arms and around his 
waist. She looked at the mirror, staring at the two figures 
looking back at them. "I see us, Mulder," she replied, wondering 
where this was going.

"Yes, but have you ever seen such a perfect fit? Not only do 
I get a partner with the most brilliant and logical mind to 
complement my sometimes illogical beliefs, but we're well matched 
in every other way as well. If you were any taller, we'd be 
bumping noses every time we hugged." He turned back to look down 
at her, smiling when he saw her smile back at him. "So, no, I 
don't think you're short. I think you're the perfect height." He 
leaned down to place a tender kiss on the tip of her nose. "And I 
think you're perfect in everything else."

"Mulder? How do you always say just the right thing?"

"It's a gift. One in five billion, you know," he replied 
with a self-aggrandizing smile.

She let out a small laugh. "You're so full of it, Mulder."

"Hey, I managed to get you to laugh, didn't I? I must be 
good. Seriously, though, you have no idea how beautiful you look 
when you laugh. I only wish I could get you to do it more often."

She couldn't do anything except smile at the obvious 

"I love you, Mulder."

"And I love you, Scully." This time the kiss caught her 
lips, taking her breath away. "Don't ever doubt that."


Joe's bar
7:03 PM

The lights from the ceiling didn't quite reach into the 
corner table, leaving it shrouded in semi-darkness. Not that the 
two occupants minded. In fact, unlike the group a couple of 
tables over, they were more interested in catching up on past 
history. After all, it had been a while.

"Almost two centuries," the deceptively younger looking man 
said, swirling the scotch he held in his hand.

"Yes, time does fly, does it not?" The blond man seated 
across from him nodded.

"And you still haven't changed, have you? Tell me, is Nick 
still searching for his mythical cure?"

"In case you haven't noticed, Methos," the other responded 
sarcastically, nodding towards Nick and the others, "Nicholas is 
currently enamored with the good Dr. Lambert. I don't foresee him 
striving to become mortal anytime in the near future. And exactly 
what do you mean by change. I see no reason..."

"Of course not," Methos cut him off. "Although, now that 
Nick has given up this 'foolish quest', as you so often described 
it, you probably have it easier."

"I fail to understand..."

Methos blinked, then smiled at the other's ignorance. "Allow 
me to enlighten you, my friend. You know what your problem is? 

"Ah. Now I have a problem, do I?"

"You do indeed." Methos held up his glass and peered at it. 
Almost time for a refill. "Maybe I should get you one too. They 
say it solves all problems."

"Not yet." LaCroix smiled. "I have no desire to try anything 
other than blood at the moment." He motioned a 'go ahead' gesture 
with his hands. "But do tell. Exactly how many problems do I 

"I'll tell you what your problem is, Lucien. You need a 
woman." With that, Methos sat back, sipping at his glass.

"Excuse me?" The pale face now sported an incredulous look.

"Not like that. I meant, you need someone." A pause. "How 
long have we known each other? Almost two millenia? And you are 
still one of the loneliest people I've ever met."

"People who live in glass houses, Methos..." LaCroix shook 
his head. His face affected a venomous grin. "Tell me, how is 
Alexa these days?"

Methos' eyes narrowed at the statement. "Low blow, LaCroix. 
She's dead, and you know it," he hissed.

"And you are a fool. You fell in love with a mortal, my 
friend. And what do you have left now? At least you could have 
had the good sense to choose one who wasn't dying. I think I have 
the better end of the deal. I have no one to lose. It makes it so 
much easier."

"Safer, you mean."

"How dare you?" The vampire's eyes flashed dangerously.

"You try so hard to hold onto your precious son, when he 
couldn't care less about whether you approve of him or not. Yet 
you deny your loneliness. Explain that, Lucien."

"I don't need anyone."

"There you go again. Then what do you care whether he finds 
a cure or not? What does it matter if he tries to leave you, if 
he tries to become mortal again? I know you've fought against him 
on this for more than a century. If you don't need him, tell me 

"Because he is my son," LaCroix whispered fiercely. "That is 
reason enough. Besides, as I mentioned before, I hardly think 
he's going to try for a cure, now that the good doctor has become 

"You know what I think? I think you're afraid." When his 
friend simply stared at him, Methos sipped from his drink again 
before he continued, "I think you're afraid that if he ever were 
to regain his humanity, you won't have anyone in your life 
anymore. At least, no one who cared."

"You are treading on dangerous territory, my friend. I would 
advise you to drop the subject immediately."

"Or what, Lucien? I was in love with Alexa. Can you say the 
same? Have you ever been in love? I mean, really in love. Ever?" 
Methos was startled when he saw the other's eyes close as if in 
pain. He didn't have to wait for a spoken reply. "You have, 
haven't you? What happened?"

"She was mortal." LaCroix let out a rueful chuckle. "She was 
Nicholas' sister. I wanted to bring her across, but Nicholas 
forbade it."

"I'm sorry, Lucien. I didn't know. If I may ask, why didn't 
you? You have gone against his wishes before. And back then, you 
would have hardly known him for more than a year."

"A week, actually," the other whispered. "He took me to meet 
his family a week after I brought him across." He paused, 
thinking about the rest of what Methos had asked. "To answer your 
question, because you were right. It is infinitely safer to try 
to hold on to what you have, than to try to find something that 
was never meant to be. Vampires do not have relationships. It is 
unheard of in our community."

"But have you ever looked? Have you ever allowed yourself to 
be open to the possibility..."

"Not after... no. I haven't."

"Perhaps you should. It helps to have someone to share with. 
Believe me. It took me a while to realize it myself."

"I don't think so," the other replied bluntly. "Immortal 
relationships never work. And I have no desire to lose anyone to 

"Are you saying that Nicholas and Dr. Lambert are doomed to 
fail? Scully and Mulder?"


His answer was cut off at the new buzzing sensation both of 
them felt. The two oldest immortals in the bar looked up in time 
to see the two youngest come in. The man glanced around, and 
spotting the group of people a few tables over, nudged the woman 
to point them out.

"Looking at them, you wouldn't think so, would you?" Methos 
prodded, his eyes following the agents as they walked over to 
their friends.

"The future is never written in stone. Who knows...? But 
that is none of my business. If they wish to live out some sort 
of a fantasy relationship, who am I to interfere?"

Methos paused, considering this before replying. "Who 
indeed? Personally, I think you're denying yourself something 

"Be that as it may. However, I think we have a more 
interesting matter to discuss, do we not?"

Methos looked over at his friend, noticing that his eyes 
seemed riveted on the newcomers. "Ah! I was wondering when you 
were going to mention that."

"It's not them, of course. But the resemblence is..."

"Uncanny? Yes it is, isn't it?"

"Ancestors maybe?"

Methos simply raised his eyebrow. "Really, Lucien. Can't you 
come up with a better argument?"

LaCroix turned widening eyes onto his friend. "You're not 
suggesting..." He turned back to take another look at the other 
table. His voice dropped to a whisper. "It can't be. It's been 
almost two millenia. They don't feel anywhere near as old as 

"Don't you think I know that?" Methos allowed himself 
another draught before continuing. "Of course it's not possible. 
But no immortal I've known has ever had any family, let alone 
ancestors. It has to be them."

"No. It is just a coincidence." The voice clearly indicated 
his disbelief.

"Well, it's been so long, I'm somewhat surprised you 
remembered them at all."

"As I said, mere coincidence. Simply a matter of mistaken 
identity." LaCroix sighed, shaking his head. "And I see it is 
almost time for me to take my leave." He pushed his chair back 
from the table and got up. "Good health, my friend. And 
farewell," he said as he turned and walked away.

The remaining occupant leaned back as he drained the last 
few drops from his glass. As the music wound down, he turned from 
his departing friend to the others. Did he really want to know...


"I'm so sorry about earlier, Dana. I really thought I'd 
given you enough time." Natalie blushed as she said the words.

"That's okay, Nat." Dana smiled at her friend, carrying the 
drinks as she walked back with her to the table. "How'd you know, 
anyway? It's not that obvious, is it?"

Nat smiled. "I just figured it was a matter of time. And 
after last night's events, after our talk... I don't know. I 
just... knew, I guess." This time it was Dana's turn to blush. 
"Besides, you're glowing brighter than Joe's sign, you know." The 
blush deepened.

They reached the table, Scully sitting down next to Mulder, 
Nat between Nick and Duncan. They all turned toward the stage as 
the faint twang of guitar strings slowly wafted over. They'd 
arrived in time to hear Joe perform one of his blues numbers, and 
were relaxing until the song was over.

Mulder leaned over, whispering to Duncan. "What's up with 
your friend," he asked, jerking his thumb to the couple in the 
corner, a few tables away.

Duncan glanced over to see Methos and LaCroix talking in low 
voices. He shrugged. "They're probably catching up on old times. 
Adam mentioned that he hadn't seen LaCroix for over a century."

Mulder nodded, amazed at Duncan's casual reference to 
something that was still hard for him to believe. Living 
forever... He shook his head. Intellectually, he could understand 
it. Getting used to it, on the other hand, would probably take a 
while. But that was okay... he had the time. He paused as a 
question popped into his head.

"Joe's your Watcher, right?" When Duncan nodded, he asked, 
"Have Scully and I been assigned Watchers yet?"

"Not that I know of," Duncan shrugged. "They didn't know 
about you before today, but, if I know Joe, he's probably already 
started making arrangements for you two. Why do you ask?"

"I was just wondering if the Watchers know about, well, 
Nick, and LaCroix, and, you know, vampires in general."

"Yeah, Duncan," Natalie said, curious herself. "Does this 
mean we'll have to be careful about Nick? Neither of us noticed 
any Watchers back in Toronto, but we weren't exactly looking for 
them. It's only a matter of time before someone watching me 
figures out that Nick's not getting any older."

"I honestly don't know, Nat. You might want to ask LaCroix 
how he's managed to evade the Watchers this far. According to 
Adam, the Watchers have no record of him. Of course, Adam also 
mentioned that LaCroix hardly ever fights, so the absence of a 
Watcher record doesn't surprise me all that much. And although I 
approve of the Watchers, and I believe in what they do, I'm not 
looking forward to explaining to Joe about the existence of 
vampires." Duncan allowed himself a small smile as he pictured 
Joe's face if the Watcher were ever to find out about Nick or 

Nick looked from Natalie to Duncan thoughtfully. "Maybe if 
we tell Joe, he can make sure that the Watcher assigned to Nat 
can keep our secret."

"Or better yet," Natalie's voice rose as an idea occurred to 
her. Turning to Duncan, she continued, "Do you think it's 
possible to have someone who already knows about vampires become 
my Watcher?" She saw Nick frown at her comment, trying to figure 
out who she was talking about.

Duncan shrugged. "The Watchers have always been a volunteer 
organization. There's probably some sort of procedure involved. 
Why, did you have someone in mind?"

"Yep. The perfect choice. Tracy..." She saw Nick's face 
cloud up as he considered the idea. "She's Nick's partner," 
Natalie explained to the others, then turned to Nick. "Think 
about it, Nick. She'd be perfect. She already knows about 
vampires, if not about you in particular. And being your partner, 
she'll be around me most of the time anyway. I can't think of a 
more perfect person to be my Watcher." She looked from Nick to 

MacLeod nodded, as did Scully. "That does seem like the best 
option. The less people who have to find out about Nick, the 
better. I'll see if I can put in a good word with Joe."

Mulder voiced his agreement as well. "That's fine for you 
two," he told the Canadian couple. "But, if it's all the same to 
you guys, I'd rather not reveal myself to anybody. None of our 
Watchers need to know that I'm anything but a normal immortal, do 

Duncan nodded again. "You don't have to worry about that, 
Mulder. I'm sure none of us is going to say anything. Of course, 
it goes without saying that you'll have to be extremely careful 
when and where you use your newfound abilities."

"Oh, don't worry, Duncan." Scully lightly patted Mulder on 
the shoulder. "I'll be sure to keep him in line. I'm not looking 
forward to anyone else knowing about Mulder either."

Mulder smiled in acknowledgement, then sat back to listen as 
the music onstage slowly came to a close. Duncan smiled as Joe 
set down his guitar and walked down to the table.

Mulder hadn't seen Joe walk when he'd been here a couple of 
days ago. Curious, he asked, "What happened to your legs?"

Everyone at the table turned shocked eyes at Mulder.

'Oh, God, Mulder! A little sensitivity wouldn't kill you, 
you know.' Scully could have strangled him. She immediately 
turned to Joe. "I'm sorry. You'll have to excuse him, Mr. Dawson. 
Brilliant as he is, he suffers from terminal foot-in-mouth 

"That's okay, Agent Scully. And please, it's just Joe. 
Actually, it's somewhat refreshing to have someone just come out 
and ask. Usually, everyone tiptoes around the issue, pretending 
to ignore it. Sometimes it makes me want to laugh, seeing them 
trying to restrain their curiosity."

"Call me Dana, Joe. And it still doesn't excuse his lack of 

"Nah. It's no problem, really," he assured her, then turned 
to face Mulder. "Actually, I lost them during Nam. They were part 
of the reason I became a Watcher." Seeing his guests' curious 
looks, he tried to explain. "After I was hurt, I was rescued and 
brought back to camp by an immortal. There, I was approached by a 
Watcher. He explained to me how it was possible for a man killed 
in action to have rescued me after being pronounced dead. I felt 
that the work they were doing was important, something that 
needed to be done. So, here I am. That's about it in a nutshell."

"Do you enjoy the work?" Mulder was curious.

"Immensely," Joe replied immediately. "Being part of 
history, preserving it, recording it, living it. Gives you a 
sense of purpose, you know. Lord knows, after Nam, I needed 
something like that, something to hold on to." His voice took on 
a slightly pained note.

"I'm sorry," Mulder apologized, taking note of this. "I 
didn't mean to dredge up bad memories."

"That's okay. It's all in the past, anyway," Joe replied, 
his tone already regaining some of its earlier mirth. "Say, you 
guys work out of DC, right?" At their nods, he asked, "Do either 
of you know a Walter Skinner? Last I heard, he was with the FBI."

Both Mulder and Scully looked at each other in astonishment. 
"AD Skinner?" They nodded. "He's our supervisor. How do you know 

"AD, huh? You lose touch for a while..." He shook his head, 
then smiled. "I always knew old Wally would get ahead."

This time, Mulder coughed and sputtered as his drink went 
down the wrong way. Scully barely managed to place her drink on 
the table herself. They both stared at Joe.

"Wally?" They couldn't keep the incredulity out of their 

"Yeah. I knew him back in Nam. Toughest kid in his 
battalion. Damned shame, what happened to them. Whole lot of 
them, wiped out, just like that." He snapped his fingers to 
illustrate his point. "He was the only survivor, and we got put 
in the same hospital tent for a while. I still don't know how he 
managed to get through that, but I don't blame him one bit for 
going civilian after that. Some of the things we saw in Nam would 
curl your hair."

Both Mulder and Scully exchanged knowing glances at Joe's 
comment. His next question made them both strain to contain their 

"Is he still as much of a tight ass as he was back then?"

"Joe, you have no idea." Mulder replied, deadpan.

"It's once in a blue moon that Mulder gets through a day 
without a full-blown AD Skinner ass chewing," Scully piped in.

Joe smiled at that, then assumed a thoughtful expression. 
"Hey, I have an idea. Maybe we could persuade him to be your 
Watcher. Being your boss, he would know where you guys were at 
all times."

This time the laughter couldn't be contained. Joe and the 
others just looked at the agents in surprise. When they'd calmed 
down enough to be able to reply coherently, Scully explained.

"Joe, no offense, but I doubt a Watcher could keep up with 
our schedule. Even one as highly placed as Skinner. Many of our 
cases take us into restricted military bases, DOD buildings like 
the Pentagon. I doubt that your guys could get access. We'd 
probably be better off watching each other."

"Oh, you'd be surprised. Watchers come in all varieties. We 
have captains, generals, FBI, CIA, NSA, you name it. I doubt 
there's a place in the world we couldn't get access to. Besides, 
immortals can't be Watchers. You can't exactly be objective 
record keepers, can you?"

"I thought I saw a Watcher tattoo on Adam over there," 
Mulder replied, gesturing with his chin towards the far table.

Joe simply shook his head. "He's the only one. He only does 
research. And he's sorta earned the right. He won't admit to it, 
but I suspect he had a hand in creating the Watchers in the first 
place. He's trying to stay out of the Game now, and I guess he 
finds being a Watcher convenient. No, I'm sorry guys. But only 
mortal Watchers for you two. Don't worry. We have yet to find an 
immortal we couldn't track because of access limits."

Mulder shook his head. "The kind of places we go to, if you 
have people with access to them, then you're in serious trouble." 
When Joe just looked at him questioningly, he went on. "Several 
of the places I've... ummm... 'gained access to' is as good a 
phrase as any, I suppose... have things going on in there that 
would not only curl your hair, but leave you wishing you were 
never born. I'm talking human experimentation, inhumane tests, 
violation of human rights... all sanctioned by shadow 
organizations within our own government." His voice dropped to a 
whisper. He turned to face his partner, their hands reaching for 
each other to offer mutual comfort. "Joe," Mulder struggled to 
find the words, "I shudder to think what would happen if someone 
with legitimate access to these places found out about 
immortals." He stopped, feeling a sudden sense of dread. "Unless, 
they already have." He looked around the table at the shocked 
expressions on each of them, disbelief warring with doubt as they 
looked at each other.

"I know you mentioned this before, Dana, but I can't 
believe..." Natalie began, but was cut off by Scully.

"Believe it, Nat," she hissed. She gripped Mulder's hand 
tighter, absorbing the support he silently gave her. She looked 
at him, their eyes engaging in a silent conversation.

'Should I tell them?'

'Your call, Scully. But how much, you have to decide.'

She silently sent her thanks along their unspoken bond, 
thanks for letting her make this decision for herself, thanks for 
supporting her through a painful revelation, thanks for just 
being there for her.

Taking a deep breath to steel herself, she turned back to 
her friends. "About three years ago, in August, I was... taken... 
by a shadow group, a consortium, if you will. I have no memory, 
no recollection of what happened to me, but I was gone for three 
months. When I was returned, I found that I had been implanted 
with a computer chip at the base of my neck. We found that it was 
some sort of tracking device and that maybe it could also record 
memories. It was destroyed in the testing process, but I... we... 
think that it may have caused me, and several other women who 
were also taken, to contract terminal cancer." She swallowed, 
pausing before continuing. The shocked look on the others' faces 
only got more so.

There was a faint hint of moisture in her eyes. "I was 
lucky. I survived. But I held one of the other women in my arms 
as she died." She bit her lip to keep the tears from falling. She 
felt Mulder place his other hand over their joined ones, then 
place it around her shoulders. She leaned into him, accepting, 
longing for, needing the comfort.

"Oh, lord!" Joe let out a hushed whisper. Even Nick, who'd 
been listening to this quietly, had gone pale, which for him was 
saying something.

"Our government did this?" Duncan asked in disbelief, 
horrified at how little he knew about this. Never in his worst 
nightmares had he conceived of such atrocities in this day and 
age. Suddenly, the witch hunts of days past didn't seem so bad. 
At least those, you could escape. How could you hope to escape 
the clutches of your own government?

"Does, Duncan," Mulder corrected him. "But they're not 
exactly a part of our government. These people answer to no one, 
only themselves. They obtain funding and resources by hiding it 
within loopholes and legislative bureaucracy. But their agendas 
are their own. These people control events you couldn't possibly 
dream of... everything from presidential assassinations to the 
outcomes of sporting events. Scully and I, we've been trying to 
find out the truth about them for the past five years now. But 
we've been thwarted at every turn. Hell, we've had evidence 
stolen when it was locked within safes at the goddamn FBI, that's 
how powerful these people are." His voice was slowly rising in 
anger. "The only reason I've  managed to get this far is because 
of some connections I've made. But even those aren't enough. It's 
only a matter of time before they stop us. I hope to god we get 
to them before that happens, because, if not..." He let his 
listeners' imaginations complete his sentence for him. Nothing 
they thought could be worse than the truth.

"I can't say that I'm surprised." The british accent caused 
the group at the table to turn their heads to greet the newcomer. 
Adam Pierson leaned on a nearby table, his hands crossed in front 
of him.

"Excuse me," Mulder sputtered. He looked around, noticing 
that LaCroix had left.

"Oh, I was just saying that the existence of such groups is 
not that surprising. There have been shadow organizations as long 
as there have been governments. Take for example the Knights 
Templar, the Illuminati. Of course, they didn't hide in shadows 
back then. Nowadays, what with democracy and people's rights and 
what not, shadows are about the only place they can survive. But 
their purpose, their objectives, have remained unchanged. A 
handful of people single-handedly attempting to govern the world, 
trying to guide its progress in the belief that they know what's 
good for it? I've seen it a thousand times before. In varying 
forms, but always ever-present."

Mulder's eyes narrowed at this speech. "Exactly what do you 
know about such organizations, Mr. Pierson? You seem to be fairly 
well informed about the subject."

"Just because I know a little history trivia doesn't make me 
an expert on the topic, Mr. Mulder," Adam hastened to reassure 
him. "Nor does it make me a part of any such conspiracy. All I'm 
saying is that even if you manage to stop such people, there will 
always be others to take their place, ready to fill the empty 
shoes." He flinched at the fire that suddenly sparked in Mulder's 

"So no matter how hard we work to stop these people, there 
is no way for us to win. Isn't that what you're saying?" The 
space between the speakers fairly crackled with tension.

"Mulder..." Scully placed a restraining hand over his own, 
trying to calm him down. "He's entitled to his opinions, whatever 
they may be."

"Look, Mulder," Pierson went on blithely. "I've seen too 
many horrible things in this world for something like this to 
affect me. You want to fight the good fight? Go ahead, don't let 
me stop you. Just don't expect me to join you in some sort of war 
against these shadows. Believe me, in a couple of centuries, 
these villains of yours will only be a dim memory, to be replaced 
by some other threat to your valuable ideals. They are simply... 
not... worth it." With that he pushed off the table and stood up. 
"Duncan, Joe, I'll see you around." With a nod at those still 
seated, he turned and walked away.

Mulder looked at his retreating back, then turned back to 
face the others.

"And here I thought you were the depressive one, Mulder," 
Scully said, hoping to inject some lightness into the gloomy mood 
that had descended over the table.

"Don't mind him, Dana. He's just an old cynic." Duncan tried 
to smile.

"Cynic?" Mulder couldn't believe that Duncan would defend 
Adam after what he'd said. "He might as well be sitting in the 
enemies' camp."

"He himself has had to do terrible things in his past. And 
he's seen a lot in his life," Duncan replied defensively. "All I 
know is that, whenever I've needed him, he's been there for me. 
We don't always see eye to eye, but he's been a good friend, and 
that's all I can ask of anybody."

Mulder nodded, but had to get this off his chest. "I 
suppose. But you won't mind if I choose not to follow his 

"Mulder... Even if he wasn't, I am horrified at the things 
you've mentioned. I had no idea that such things were going on. 
And I'm even more disturbed at how little I know about it. I want 
you to know that if you ever need my help, please feel free to 
ask." He went on with determination, "Such things should not be 
allowed in any government, in any era."

"Same thing goes for me too," Natalie said. Nick and Joe 
nodded as well, silently offering their support.

"Thanks guys," Mulder acknowledged the offer, then decided 
that this particular topic had been beaten to death enough, at 
least for now. "So, anyone for another round?" That effectively 
brought the saturnine mood of the evening to a close.


Mulder Residence, Seattle, WA
9:23 PM

"So how are we going to handle this?"

A perfectly innocent question, on the surface. And 
definitely justified, given the situation. So why did it turn his 
stomach into more knots than were listed in a Boy Scouts manual? 
And how had this subject come up anyway?

They'd said goodnight to their friends at the bar after 
promising to show up for practice the next morning without fail, 
bringing to a pleasant conclusion the good mood that had followed 
Pierson's departure. They had reached Mulder's place, no doubts 
as to how they intended to spend the rest of the evening.

After a delightful exchange of kisses all the way from the 
car to the bedroom, they had finally gotten rid of their clothes 
and were lying on the bed. A little voice inside his head 
stubbornly wondered if they were spending too much time in bed, 
but he figured, after five years of celibacy, he was entitled. 
And the sight of Dana Scully straddling him, placing delicate 
kisses on his chest didn't exactly argue against it either.

They were both simply enjoying the moment when he'd 
foolishly brought up a topic he now wished he'd avoided. "I guess 
I'll have to throw away my favorite couch now, hunh?" He hadn't 
really been thinking when he asked her that. It was more 
rhetorical than anything, and he'd only meant it as a joke.

She'd pulled back from him, a questioning look in her eyes, 
silently demanding an explanation for his offhand comment.

And he'd obliged. "Well, it *is* my favorite piece of 
furniture, but I hardly think both of us would fit on it as 

"Mulder... you're not throwing away your couch."

Now it was his turn to stare questioningly. "What do you 
mean? Don't you think we'll have to make some changes in our 
lives, now that... well, now that we've made some changes in our 
lives?" His eyes twinkled at his attempt at casual humor.

The attempt failed to evoke the expected response from the 
redhead lying on top of him. "No." Nope, definitely not the 
expected response.

"I'm not going to lie to you, Mulder. I love you. But, I'm 
scared." She saw his forehead crinkle in confusion. "I have no 
intention of getting transferred to a California field office. 
And I'll be damned if I give the consortium any more ammunition 
against us."

Any humor that remained drained away as he realized what she 
was saying. He let out a resigned sigh. This was a conversation 
he had been dreading, ever since that first kiss, hell, ever 
since he'd thought about the possibility of them, together. It 
wasn't as if he didn't understand her concerns. He did. Only too 
well, in fact. But he'd hoped that he could forget about them 
while he was here in Seattle, forget about the real world, where 
they were Special Agents for the FBI, where they would have to 
conceal their emotions, their feelings for each other, where the 
problems took on the forms of shadowy figures who smoked and 
plotted in dark rooms.

Which brought them to where they were. How to handle this 
indeed? That was the crux of the matter, wasn't it? The fun and 
games were all fine, here in Seattle, on vacation. Once that was 
over, however, they would have to go back to their real lives, 
once again assuming the veneer of distance from each other. And 
now that they'd finally found one another, that distance was only 
going to seem that much wider, that much more unbearable.

"I don't want to lose you Scully." The simple statement 
summed up every single one of his feelings so very succinctly. 
She had voiced his own fears when she'd admitted her concerns. 
"We'll just have to find a way to hide our relationship, that's 

"Mulder...," she shook her head, "We've been to each other's 
quite a few times, but I can count on one hand the number of 
times you've spent the night at my place. And then, you were 
either sick, hurt or presumed dead. How are we going to explain 
when someone asks why your car is parked in front of my place, or 
mine in front of yours, overnight, every night?"

"So what would you have us do, Scully? Past a certain point, 
hiding becomes denial. I refuse to go back to the way things were 
before. I will not spend the rest of my nights alone on my couch 
when I could be spending them with you. I'd rather quit the FBI 
and the X-files."

"Don't you think I want the same thing? God, just thinking 
of one night without you seems like torture. But you know 
quitting isn't the answer. For either of us. Not now. We both 
have too much at stake, too much we need to know, too much we 
need to find out. But we do have to come up with some way to 
handle this, Mulder. We can't let anyone know. Not Skinner, not 
the Gunmen, not even our families. It would be too dangerous. Any 
one of them could let something slip." She lay back down on his 
chest, turning her head to the side as he brought up his arms to 
hug her closer to him.

"Maybe I could fly over or something. Nick said that he 
could move pretty fast when he had to. I'm still trying to get 
used to the idea of it. But, all you'd have to do is keep a 
window open for me." He brought one hand up to gently stroke her 
hair, the other still holding her tightly to him.

"What? Like Superman?"

He could almost feel the small smile as she let herself 
relax. "Hey, if he could do it... Of course, I'll have to take 
some flying lessons soon."

"Better watch out for pigeons, Mulder." That earned her a 
slight slap to her hips. "Seriously, though. We'll have to ask 
the Gunmen to sweep my place regularly. And yours. We've found so 
many bugs at your apartment and the office, I'm surprised we 
haven't come across any at mine."

He nodded. "We'll call them as soon as we get back." He 
pursed his lip as if in thought before he continued. "You know, 
it's probably dangerous to think like this, but I can't help but 
feel that our newfound immortality gives us a cushion, a safety 
net of sorts. I mean, it just feels like we're no longer 
constrained by the FBI, by the consortium's rules. It's almost as 
if, for the first time, there's more to our lives than just our 
careers." He saw her raise her head again to look at him. He 
shrugged. "Who knows, maybe Pierson was right. A hundred years 
from now, will we even remember the consortium?"

"You're right, Mulder. It is dangerous to think like that. 
One bit of carelessness, and..." She shrugged. "We may not die, 
but I'd like to maintain our current lives as long as possible. I 
happen to enjoy the work we do, in spite of the danger." She let 
out a small laugh. "You know you've ruined me, Fox Mulder. I 
honestly cannot picture myself in a boring 9 to 5 job anymore. 
Even my assignment at Quantico seems blase after the X-files."

"We might have to get used to them one day," he cautioned 
her. "Going into hiding is not easy, according to what Duncan 
said. Especially for us, considering our line of work. We'll have 
to stage pretty convincing deaths for each of us, and then lie 
low for some time. You remember how easily we found those 
irregularities in the histories of those beheading victims a 
couple of months ago? A determined tracker could have easily 
found those people. And one thing our enemies don't lack is 
determination. I guess we'll have to deal with that when it comes 
up. But, until then..."

"Until then, I fully intend to enjoy myself. You're right, 
Mulder. We'll have to be really careful. But I've waited for you 
for too long to give you up so easily." The determined look on 
her face gave way to a smile as she leaned towards him. "We'll 
make this work."

"That we will, Scully," he agreed, catching her lips in his. 
Yes, they were going to make this work. It would take patience 
and discretion, but they had each other, and, for the first time, 
the rest of their lives to look forward to, together.

The End
Futures Past 04:
by Arvy 


End Notes

Whoops. Forgot to disclaim the song. I didn't use the whole 
thing, but it's 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' by Savage Garden. Again, 
no infringement is intended. When I first heard this song, I 
thought it would be perfect for this story. And, now that that's 
out of the way...

Notice the reference to Indiscretions (Highlander) in the 
spoiler section, even though the timeline sets this story long 
before that. I missed Indiscretions the first time, and when I 
saw it in reruns, I was floored by what Methos told Joe; 
something to the effect of "We make a good team, like Scully and 
Mulder, like... yada, yada, yada." Obviously, this means Methos 
and Joe have, at some time in the past, actually met the X-files 
duo. This, like that line from Chinga(XF) about decapitations 
(see FP2), just goes to show you that I'm still plausibly within 
the X-files universe as set forth by CC as well the Highlander 
universe. I have no idea how long I can keep that up though. BTW, 
I didn't put any spoilers for Forever Knight, cause firstly, I 
honestly don't remember the episode names anymore, and also since 
the show's been over for a while now, I figured anyone who knows 
about it has probably seen all the relevant episodes already.

Also, it's been so long since I've actually seen a Forever 
Knight episode, most of the references here are from memory. I 
hope I haven't made any mistakes when I crossed them into my 
story. I do remember LaCroix smoking from sun exposure in some 
episode, but I think it might be explained by his proximity to 
Nick, and it was actually Nick who was smoking. There are 
probably other instances where I've overlooked something. Just 
keep in mind that anything that wasn't from memory, especially 
character traits, was probably influenced by some of the 
wonderful XF/FK crossovers out there. I want to take this 
opportunity to thank all of you great fanfic authors who've 
provided me with the inspiration to write this. May the muse 
smile upon you and enable you to write lots and lots of stuff for 
me to read ;-)

A note about the title. I chose Crossover for a number of 
reasons. First, obviously, this is a crossover between three 
shows. Second, Mulder is brought across, again a crossover of 
sorts. I don't know if becoming an immortal is called a crossing 
over or not, but anyway that's another one. And last, M & S 
finally cross that darn line that keeps getting in between them. 
So, an apt title?

About the crossover itself. I think this one is a little 
unusual, one I don't believe I've seen before. I've read stories 
with Mulder being immortal, and Mulder being a vampire, but never 
both. I've also read crossovers that involved a pairing of two 
immortals (M&S and others), as well as pairings between an 
immortal and a vampire (HL/FK). Plus, every story I've ever read 
where an immortal becomes a vampire also, that person has always 
been someone evil, and is usually killed. I wanted to see what 
would happen if that fate were to befall a good guy for a change. 
Sure, it would give Mulder a tremendous advantage. But then the 
fun's going to be to see what challenges I can throw his way 
(insert maniacal laughter here >).

As for the X-file in the story, I confess. I knew I wanted 
Mulder brought across, but I had no idea how to go about doing 
it. At first, I actually had LaCroix be the bad guy who bites 
Mulder. Then I had Nick somehow kill him, and then teach Mulder. 
And I might have been able to pull it off with the early LaCroix. 
But it just didn't quite mesh with the LaCroix I saw in 'Last 
Knight', which, I stress again, never happened in my universe. 
And so the X-file was formed. I have no idea how good of an X-
file it is. Like I said, this story was a romantic getting 
together piece first, and a juicy X-file a distant second. I 
actually wanted to get our heroes in bed, declaring their undying 
love, sometime near the beginning. Weaving this story somehow 
kept pushing their confessions farther and farther with each 
revision, until it finally ended up being a climax of sorts(pun 
intended;). Oh well. And I swear, I thought of the interrupted 
kiss scene long before the movie. Can you say premonition?

And about that little conversation in the bar between Methos 
and LaCroix. Just what in heaven's name are they talking about? 
I'm not exactly sure myself, although I have the workings of a 
future story in mind. It's just that if that story were ever to 
be written, this scene would have had been a must, 
retrospectively speaking.

Finally, we come to the end of the notes section. Can you 
say monster story? This one definitely got away from me. I 
actually tried to end the story sooner, right after the first 
kiss scene. But I had so many things I wanted to get off my 
chest, or rather Mulder and Scully's chests, that I kept 
extending the story further and further. In fact, I wouldn't be 
surprised if there isn't a small followup piece or something 
pretty soon.

Wait, didn't I say 'finally' up there. Oh, yeah, just one 
more thing. I forgot the feedback spiel. Gasp! Can't have that 
now, can we? So send it, folks. Even just to say you only saw 
this one line as you were skimming through the story and were 
somehow compelled to acknowledge how masterfully it was composed. 
Or to comment on the story itself, yeah, that would be okay too:) 
BTW, did anyone think the PG was too tame a rating? How about the 
crossover itself? Did I provide enough information for those who 
aren't familiar with HL and/or FK? Anyone totally lost? Also any 
comments, criticisms, critiques, challenges, requests for stories 
or explanations, etc. are welcome. My address is 
unmai@bigfoot.com. Until next time...

Futures Past Chronology:

01 - The Awakening      (Oct 1997)
02 - The Light of Day   (Jan 1998)
03 - My Funny Valentine (Feb 1998)
04 - Crossover          (Feb 1998)