Category: S; R, A Rating: NC 17 - for mild violence, adult language and sexual content. Keywords: Scully/other romance; Mulder/other; Mulder/Scully UST then Romance. Character dies (or does he?). Spoilers: Not much. Could be situated at anytime in Mulder and Scully's seventh year of partnership. Archive: Archive anywhere, as long as you keep my name attached. Please let me know. Summary: As Scully is about to make big changes in her life, something out of the ordinary happens to Mulder that forces him to make HUGE changes in his. Dedication: This is for all the X-Philes whose incredible feedback on my first story convinced me to keep writing. Also for my Mom and Dad, who don't speak English but are senior X-Philes. Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Margaret Scully, Walter Skinner and The Lone Gunmen are the property of The Master Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, Fox Television, as well as writers and actors. No infringement is intended. Feedback: Please, feel free to drop me a line. Nice comments and even flames will be appreciated. I believe in constructive criticism and I'm open to any suggestions. Comments: I hope that those who liked "Words are very unnecessary" will follow me on this one. I mixed POVs here, but tried to be clear about who's saying what. If you are against Mulder undergoing some radical changes (and Scully too), as well as romance between our two favorite agents, bail out now. Otherwise, please keep your mind open to extreme possibilities. Put some sad music on and enjoy! *** *** "So are we going to sit there all day?" she said. "Well, all night?" Special Agent Fox Mulder looked up at his petite partner, whose figure was already half out of the car. "Up for some coffee, Scully?" Special Agent Dana Scully watched as Fox Mulder extracted his lean shape form the driver's seat. Mulder leaned on the car's roof, his chin almost resting on his forearm. "So, what do you say?" It took Scully half a nanosecond to decide. "Yeah, yeah, come on up." When Mulder was done grabbing his keys, closing the car and grinning like a fool, she was already in. The door was ajar and he stepped in. Most natural thing in the world. Mulder's smile fell as he spotted the now familiar picture on top of Scully's white dresser, in the hallway. Her and 'the guy'. "What are you doing?" asked a voice coming form the kitchen. Mulder got rid of his shoes, not even bothering to bend over but using his heel as a shoehorn instead. Home. "Oh, there you are, Shoeless man." Scully eyed him from head to toes, appreciatively registering his handsome demeanor. Mulder smiled back at Scully. "My toes love your floor, Scully." "Hope for you your socks aren't dirty…or smelly," she teased. "No, no. You taught me well." And Mulder accepted the coffee mug - his personal mug - she was gently offering. Scully sat down, resting her elbows on the table, fiddling with her own cup. Her auburn hair was falling loose. Mulder sat in front of her, laid back in the chair, obviously at ease in her apartment. They enjoyed a few minutes of quietness, sipping the warm beverage that smelled as good as the comfort they both hoped to find in it. Scully broke the silence first. "I wish I didn't have to do that." "That, what?" "Slicing up that little girl." Mulder winced at the words. "That man was sick, Mulder. The world is sick." "But it is 'your' autopsy report that helped us catch him, Scully." "Thank God for some skin beneath her fingernails. Or no thanks at all." "This is what we do." "I know. Sometimes, it's just that…" Scully paused and gathered a strength she thought was lost. Her brows were tensed and her eyelids heavy, crushed by her thoughts. "I'm glad we caught him, that's all." "So am I," nodded Mulder, looking at her straight in the eye. His silence let her understand he shared her feelings. 'Time to change the subject. Quick.' So Mulder oriented the conversation towards the only subject that seemed to make Scully sketch anything close to a smile those days "When is Ben coming back?" Scully's features softened. "Hum, this week-end I guess." "Good." Liar. "Good?" Skeptic. "Yes, you're happier when he's around." Truth. "Mulder…" Mulder smiled. One enigmatic move of his lips that translated his concern for her well being. Scully smiled back at him, stood up and walked around the table. In a swift movement, she embraced him, his head resting on her soft belly for - Mulder mentally counted - 4 seconds and 26 whatever it was. Scully stroked his hair as well, then turned back to her mug. Mulder felt cold and rejected but knew he couldn't ask for more. Scully put her cup in the sink, then indicated it was time to go. Simply with the position of her body, the way her head leaned to the right, her arms crossed over her chest. With a simple nod, and a minute to put his shoes back on, Mulder exited Scully's apartment. *** *** I need to mark this day. With a red X. The day I realized I'm in love with Dana Katherine Scully, Doctor, Forensic Pathologist and Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Such long credentials for such a small person. My partner, my angel, sent down seven years ago to assist me in the laborious task of investigating strange cases. Sent down to watch upon me. A loner before her. Now, I breathe her. I need to mark this day. With a black X. The day I understood Dana Scully is going to leave me. *** *** Ben had called the night before. He was back in town from his business trip. Scully was not so at ease seeing him after a two weeks' separation. She mused over Ben while watching Mulder scratch his scalp, probably imagining he was massaging his neurons and that would help him get over a damn field report he was desperately trying to be done with. Ben was the one though. So different from Mulder, younger, more balanced also. Transparent. No emotional baggage. His personal company wouldn't charge you any extra cost if you had to take the plane to Conscience-Land. 'Why do I need to compare him to Mulder? Nobody compares to Mulder. Thank God.' Ben had been waiting for so long... And he was okay with having Mulder around. "I think I should," whispered Scully, dragging Mulder out of his daydreaming. "Should what? Should I carry you to bed?" he grinned, sure that his mild joke would be picked up. "No, nothing, forget about it. But you're right, I'm exhausted. It is time to hit the sack, if you pardon the expression..." 'Guess not. No sly reply.' "It's almost 8 P.M. Let's call it a night then." Pause. "This isn't what you were talking about, right?" "No, but I don't even remember it now," lied Scully. She left him puzzled that night. Once again. *** *** Ben had left five messages on her answering machine. She decided to go surprise him and awoke him with a kiss. "Honey..." She lost herself in his arms, tenderly kissing. She ran her hands through his hair, down his neck. Softly pushing Scully away from him, he looked at her straight in the eyes. "Yes", she whispered. He smiled and fingered her collarbone. Slowly, he undressed her, hiding his face in her breast. They made love. She was almost crying. *** *** I have to do this. If not for myself, then for Ben. He deserves it. Who am I kidding, here? This is for me too. I'm tired of the world's rumble. I want it to be quiet. I want it to be safe. Screw the syndicate. Screw the smoker. Screw the aliens. I suppress a snicker. I wish I could. Then again I can. I always could. This desire to know the truth will always be with me. I need to know what happened to us, why we were chosen, why we were hurt. For my own sake and also for Mulder's. But I can't fight anymore. I'm thirty-five. People call me ma'am. I need to believe that I'm tired. I don't I want my life to be as it is now when the new century comes. So I speed-dial number 4. Right after Mulder, mom and Ben. "Assistant Director Skinner's office. How can I help you?" The voice rings in my head. *** *** Mulder was always bored on Sundays. He went to the reflecting pool, and watched tourists and joggers stroll around. Then he ate some sushi but when you are alone, it is not as symbolic. Later that day, his wanderings brought him - pure coincidence, of course - outside Scully's building and he ran into Ben. 'Great! Time to be nice and behave, Mulder.' "Hey, Mulder." Ben exuded confidence, a bright smile on his face. "Back in town, I see. What's up?" politely asked Mulder. Mulder almost liked Ben. He was the best boyfriend Scully could have. Okay, he didn't really like him but he had nothing to reproach to him. Well, in fact, he hated him but during the 13 months - 'and 4 days, and 15 hours and…' - Ben had known Scully, he had always shown care and respect for her. Trying unsuccessfully to hide his jealousy, Ben had let Scully and Mulder see each other any time they wanted to. Anyway, those who tried to separate them would be dumped right away. Ben was smarter. "So, who are you coming with on Sunday," asked Ben, still heading towards his car. "What?" "Who's your date?" "To go where?" 'Boy, is that man dumb or what?' "To the wedding, what else!" He just realized seeing Mulder's dumbfounded expression that something was wrong. He knew better so he hopped in his car and waved goodbye to the tall F.B.I. agent. Better run. Quickly. He had no desire to answer his questions. She would. *** *** Has Scully told me anything about 'it'? No, nope, not a word. Come on, she probably told you that. How could she forget? How could you? 'Wedding'. The word burns my brain. Christ, it's her wedding and I don't know about it. I believed our friendship and trust in each other ran deep. Obviously she did not. *** *** Mulder sat down for a while, on the low wall near Scully's building's entrance. His head in his hands, he tried to put himself together before going up. To face her. He knocked. "Mulder? Hey, come on in." He said nothing, just stared at her. She understood. She knew he was alone again. She made her way to the couch and sat down heavily. He sat in front of her, on the edge of the coffee table, still staring. 'Talk to me, God, talk to me.' "Short notice, uh? I wish you'd told me." Finally, a whisper. "I'm sorry, I…I … Did Skinner tell you?" Mulder was now outraged. "Skinner knows about it? God, Scully…" "Of course he knows, he had to." Scully tried to hide that her shaking hands. She grabbed a pillow and hugged it for comfort. "Ben told me." Now Scully was confused. "I am happy for you, really." The coldness of his tone betrayed the lie. "Mulder, what are you talking about?" "Your wedding. What am I supposed to be talking about?" Scully felt a wave of relief pulse through her body. Or maybe it was fear. She held his stare and knew she wouldn't be able to lie to him. She never could. "I'm going back to Quantico, Mulder." "What, on training?" Ignore what's evident. 'God, hear me Mulder. This is hard enough.' "No." "If Skinner wants you to attend some lectures, fine with me." 'I don't want to hear this. I know what she is going to say. Let me turn deaf in a minute, please.' "Mulder… I'm leaving the X-Files division. I've asked for a reassignment." Mulder swallowed hard. He didn't like the taste he discovered. 'You knew it was coming. Now try to pretend it's not 'so' hard on you.' "Oh…" was all he could manage. "I don't know what to tell you, Mulder." "New life, Scully? New man, new job. Have you bought the new house yet?" His tone was bitter but who could blame him? ''New man'? He thinks he owned me and then lost me.' "Mulder, we'll still see each other." 'Convince yourself first, Dana.' "I know we will. Here and there. Who knows, I might ran into you in Skinner's office." 'So young a man, so bitter already.' Mulder closed his eyes, then turned aside, trying to hide the salty rain that would break out at any time now. Scully's heart was sinking. Like that Titanic ship. Heavy and deep. Only this time, there might not be any survivors. She slowly approached her partner 'ex-partner' and put a reassuring hand on his left shoulder. Mulder jerked at her warm touch and literally ran out of the place. As fast as Carl Lewis ran for the gold. Only Mulder will never win at this game. He slammed the door after him; no alternative, nothing was left to say. *** *** I have lost his trust. Was it the most precious thing in my life? Maybe. How could you screw up this bad, Dana? Why did you have to do this behind his back? Because you are a chicken-shit, that's why. It is hard to open up to him. Because, hiding behind innuendoes and one-liners, he has never opened to me much either. About his past, yes, but not about his current feelings and thoughts. I feel guilty. I am mad at myself. So I sigh and I rock myself like an autistic child would. This isn't about you, Mulder; I need you. I'm not leaving you, but I need to find myself back. *** *** This isn't the only crisis we faced since we met, in 1993. Far from it. We have confronted many dangerous adversaries. But Scully is the one that frightens me the most. I crack a sunflower seed shell while managing to take a difficult turn with my brand new Ford. What can I say? The luxury of a new car is supposed to do something for your ego. So why do I feel like shit in this precise moment? Driving nowhere for hours had always been an extreme way to sweep spiderwebbed thoughts from my mind. One that do work. I am not jealous at all, am I? Just betrayed. A little. A lot. Very, very jealous. Horribly pained and wounded. Face it, Spooky, she gone. She'll move in one of those little burb-house, with hubbie and lab, and she is going to let you rot in your basement forever. *** ** "I should have told him before," said Scully, holding the tall, handsome man tighter. "Do you regret your decision?" Anxiety. "Yes, I do... Oh, you mean the wedding? No, no, no. I love you. You know that. Right?" "...I do," hesitated Ben, trying to hide his uneasiness. "I guess I do". "I just don't think I can bear loosing him now, with all this happening in my life." "All this… yeah." Ben paused and studied his fiancée's expression. "You care about him a great deal, don't you?" Ben was walking on eggs. "Does it bother you?" No denial there. "Dana, I would be a fool if I said no. I don't know if there is enough room in your heart for the two of us." "Don't get all mushy on me." "So what if it sounds silly!" Ben's hazel eyes were flashing. "Do you think I'm blind? Don't you think I noticed how much I look like him? And the looks he gives you?" The physical similarities between the two men suddenly struck Scully. Her mom had gently tried to hint that Ben was just like Mulder, same height, same frame, same hair color. But she had dismissed the thought away, until now. "This is ridiculous." Scully used her familiar no nonsense tone. "What is ridiculous is that the guy left you three hours ago and you're already thinking about when you are going to see him again…" Ben's voice trailed. "I've known Mulder for more than 7 years, Ben. I can't give up on him like that." "Well, looks to me that you just did." Letting Scully ponder over his words, Ben left to go to work, wondering if his night shift will last long enough for him to understand what was going on in the boiling brain of his beautiful wife - to be. *** *** At the same time, Mulder turned the radio on. The Smashing Pumpkins blasted 'The world is a vampire…sent to drain…' 'Oh, this fits right.' It wasn't that important after all. 'Try to convince yourself, buddy. You always do a great job at denying things…' Tomorrow, he was going to talk to her, fix everything. He had to. For his own sanity. Let her know how much he was proud of her strength, how he would support her in any decision she would take. Only he was not. Lost in his thoughts, he didn't really see the bright red car skidding over to his lane. The gray car, in his color-blinded case. Actually, he saw it. But too close, too late. His Ford went crashing on some white stone wall while the red car finished its ride crushing a tree into toothpicks. Mulder saw Scully walking by, in her wedding dress, smiling. She held her husband's arm. Suddenly her face distorted like one of a zombie, dry and wrinkled. She looked like death itself. Or the idea Mulder had of it. His arms couldn't move. 'Sleepy me.' He painfully tried to move his legs but no response came. He achieved moving his eyelids, trying to see what was going on. Blurry. 'Oh, what's wrong with me,' was his last thought. *** *** 'It isn't that bad, Dana.' Mulder was smart enough to understand her motivations. He would call her to apologize for his excessive reaction and she would apologize back for having hidden this secret. Those secrets. She knew it. She worried too much. They were both reasonable people. They were both strong. They were friends. 'Stop lying to yourself, Dana. You've lost him. You knew his feelings and you crushed them and swept them away.' *** *** The lights were gray then black, gray again then black. Weird. Mulder blinked but he still could see them. "Holy cow, that's a bad one," said Morgan. "Not that bad. HE died," answered Lieutenant Olmi, pointing at a corpse beneath white sheets, while Morgan took the pictures. Nobody would regret this one. Olmi then followed the body that was carried inside the ambulance. A handsome, tall man. Nodding to a paramedic working around him, he asked: "How's he? Is he gonna make it?" "Nah, way bad, sir. At first sight, I'd say both his legs are broken and some of the ribs crushed... Hum, severe concussion and probable hemorrhage too. That's internal bleeding." Olmi sighed. 'I'm not a dummy, kid.' "Oh, and his neck and left shoulder seem to be off tracks. Even if he were to make it, I doubt he'd walk again." Olmi sadly nodded again, then lighted a cigarette. He looked all around him, paying attention to every detail. He hoped no press rats were already there. "Take good care of him," he said in a low voice, almost to himself. If the press discovered that a fatal accident had been caused by a car chase between a drug dealer and the police, the scandal would grow big. God knew they didn't really need this right now. Olmi looked at the ambulance as they closed the door, reaching for another cigarette. He had seen a lot of bad things in his life, but knowing that he was part responsible for this man's wounds disturbed him. He looked a lot like his own son. Everybody's son. *** *** Back at the precinct, Olmi searched for an ID on the victim. Fox Mulder, F.B.I. agent. 'Fuck.' He wasn't dead yet but the officer wouldn't bet a carrot on his chances. He let his eyes trailed on the accident pictures. Det. Manners came around. "Wow, the Ford accident?" "What's left of the car," said Olmi, handing him a picture. "Jeez, bad… I know somebody who has the exact same car. I don't think he would like those new options though," half-joked Ben Manners. "I don't think that the guy worries about his car right now. He's dying in some hospital," dryly answered Olmi. 'How dare you joke with people's death, you stupid.' Olmi was tired. Manners was young. "Sorry. Who is he?" Reading the ID, Ben shivered as if lightning had just struck him. "Oh, my God, no..." Olmi stared at him, noticing the chance in his voice and facial expression. "What? You know him?" "He's my wife's best friend. Oh God, I gotta go" He ran out of the office, leaving a perplex Olmi still staring at him. "I didn't know you were married," Olmi yelled as Ben rushed through door. *** *** Dr. Ellen Vade was on her habitual night shift when the man injured in that terrible car accident was brought to her. He suffered from multiples fractures, a concussion and had lost a lot of blood. She smelled him, tasty. She was going to save him. She didn't know why but she fell in love the moment she saw him, defenseless and still beautifully handsome in his pain. *** *** Later that night, Ben watched Mulder through a germ safe pan of glass. They wouldn't let him in. Deep coma, they said. He had been stabilized but held very few chances to pass the night. He seemed so helpless, laying on that bed, snaky tubes and wires coming out of him. Ben bit his lower lip, and prayed. But he felt something horrible would come out of this. *** *** Ellen Vade had saved his life. For the moment. After they stabilized him, he had fell in a coma she knew he wasn't going to come back from. She wasn't going to give him enough time. She slipped in his room, sat there, watched him sleep. Lurking around, watching people when they weren't aware of it was one of her favorite past-time. She had never felt that strongly for anybody else. She was drawn to him. As if they were meant to be together. The circumstances didn't seem to help but in Ellen's case it did. She closed the curtain of the window and silently locked the door. She moved near the bed and sat, her weight making his body rise. Oh, he was so handsome, she could die. 'Funny. As if I could. As if I wasn't already.' She touched a few pieces of hair coming out of his large gauze bandage, let her hand brush down his cheek. She touched his lips, sensuous and soft. She wanted him to be hers so badly. Bending her neck back, she let the energy of her kind pulse and ran her tongue on her now sharp fangs. In a feline movement, she bit him, letting his essence flow trough her veins. She absorbed him, feeling his even smallest emotions, reaching deepness she never thought existed during that process. As she was licking a small drop of blood running on Mulder's neck, she smiled. She took off the mask that ensured his breathing and, tearing her wrist's flesh apart, she offered him life. Beyond his death. He was still sleeping but, all of a sudden, his body jerked slightly and physically asked for more. His mouth wouldn't let go of her wrist. He drank, drank so much she was afraid to lose all control. She had to stop him before she suffered too deeply. So she kissed him; her fangs scratched his tongue, their bloods melted. He suddenly woke up. He kissed her back. *** *** The black and gray flashes had gone away and that beautiful woman was kissing him. The taste in his mouth was bitter but Mulder loved it. He kissed her again then tried to figure out where he was. Before he could draw any conclusions, a violent pain struck him in the chest, he began to choke and he saw the women pulling away from him. She seemed to quietly wait for this to happen. His veins burned him and the heat was intolerable. A bright light blinded him and he lost consciousness. Black out. Again. *** *** "He died a few minutes ago," Dr. Vade said. "He was so weak, his coma was so deep and his injuries so severe, he had few chances to survive." Lt. Olmi hanged up the phone. He looked up to his colleague Manners, nodding to him that it was over. *** *** Ben sat low in a green, dull, hospital-like plastic chair. He tried to count out the good things that would come out of Mulder's death - 'no more rival, man' - but he couldn't think of one. He was unable to resolve himself to make that dreadful phone-call. But he knew he had to. *** *** Heading to the morgue, Dr. Vade was still smiling and ran the tip of her tongue over her swollen lips. Fox Mulder, F.B.I. agent. He tasted like danger. She was interested by the details, fine, fine, she could come to see him the coroner had said. After all, SHE tried to bring him back to life... He would be incinerated, quickly, like a special note asked in his wallet. Whatever. So convenient. They let her wander inside the mortuary, they didn't link her visit with the disappearance of the corpse. Due to lack of any family - his mom was unreachable -, forms were filled. His body HAD been cremated, his ashes sent away. Humans were so easy to influence... *** *** Scully let the receiver down. It fell hard on the floor. Her hand had started shaking. Again. Her whole body shivered now. What was going on? "Stay in, don't talk to anybody, wait for me. I have things to tell you. Don't call Mulder. Don't call him, you hear me?" What the hell did that mean? Where they in danger? What was Ben rambling about? She had tried Mulder's cell phone a hundred times since Ben called. No luck. And why had Ben insisted she didn't answer the phone and stayed home? "Trust me, I need to talk to you," he had said. 'What the fuck is going on here!!!' Ben told her he was on his way home. 'Come on, come on, come on…' Instinctively, Scully knew something bad had happened. The Assistant Director Skinner hadn't called yet but she could already hear his deep voice going "there was an accident, Agent Scully…the suspect escaped and shot…a train hit him…he was abducted…he was poisoned…he is dead". Scully was tempted to call Skinner. To call anyone. 'Fuck that it's 3 00 AM.' But Ben had been very specific on this point. Scully failed in her lame attempt to contain her fear and swallowed hard. *** *** Ben had no idea how to break the news. Quick and simple. "Mulder's gone." Instinctively, Scully knew it was true. She looked in Ben's eyes, and read sadness and relief. 'Bastard.' "He's gone, I know it. He's gone. He left me." She fell on the floor, her back against the wall, her eyes dry but her face twisted in despair. Ben was at loss for actions. For words too. She looked devastated. Maybe he had underestimated her relationship with Mulder. Maybe he should have told her to come when he was dying, so she would have spent his last moments with him. 'Too late.' Scully looked up at Ben, who was standing there, motionless, helpless. "Fuck you, Ben, fuck you!" she yelled. "Are you gonna say something? I'm loosing it here. I need him…I need …" Her voice broke. "The wedding is off, isn't it?" "What?" "I mean, you are gonna run after him, right?" "I am, yes." Ben frowned in disgust of what he had to say next. "What if I told you it's no use." "What do you mean?" "I…I know Mulder's gone. Away. For good." "What the hell do you mean, you know? How could you? You know where he is and you left me hanging in there? What's wrong with you? Where is he? Ben!" Her voice was begging, shaking from repressed anger. "It's not easy. You don't really want to hear this." Scully stood up and pinned Ben down on the counter, roughly. Ben was a strong man but anger multiplied strength. "Where the fuck is he?" She had an extremely upset full mouth. *** *** Hazy, blurry, sleepy. He opened his eyes, saw her. He could still taste her. "Welcome back..." He looked around him but didn't recognize the slightest detail. "I can hear the clouds, moving," whispered Mulder, amazed. She laughed, crystal clear. "You'll hear everything else soon enough." His body was slowly recovering but his mind was still floating away. Not only could he hear the clouds but whispering grass, steps on the pavement, rumors in the wind, vibrations of the moon. But not her heartbeat. Not his either. Funny. Weird. "You are extremely safe now," said her husky voice. Mulder suddenly realized he was lying in bed, naked. He didn't feel vulnerable so he sat still, moving his body with care even if the pain seemed to vanish gradually. He felt stronger than ever but the pounding noise in his ears was getting loud and disturbed him. "You'll get used to it. You won't hear it anymore in a few hours." She was talking to him but he she wasn't there anymore. Yet he could hear her perfectly. Maybe she was just a voice in his head, pure product of his unstable imagination. Where was he? He couldn't remember any place like this one. Dark, warm, painted in black and red. Red! 'Is this red? I'd never seen it before. Is it what her hair looks like? Wait. Who's hair?' Nothing was logical here but he knew he was safe. He felt good, peaceful. He put on a green -'Green!' - silk shirt and a pair of black jeans left, he presumed, for him. He found his way to the kitchen. A room so bright and clean, nobody seemed to use it on a regular basis. She was there, standing only in a black kimono, barefoot. She slowly filled up two glasses of red wine. He stared at her for a moment, grateful for such a vivid imagination. But she spoke again. She was real. "Are you? Getting used to it?" "Should I?" "You will. The first day always feels good, sensual, almost erotic." She turned at him, revealing herself in the light. He was stunned. She had a snowy complexion, pale brown eyes and the darkest hair he had ever seen. Ebony, blue and shiny. Saying she was beautiful was an understatement, she was gorgeous. "I'm hungry," stated Mulder, accepting the wine she was offering him. Mulder enjoyed the beverage. "Not anymore," smiled Ellen. She stole that instant to scan him. Oh, he was so sexy now that he had been brought across... When she had first seen him he was handsome, slender, dark. He had pieces of wild chocolate hair caught in his eyes. 'Soon, a new flame will burn inside him. A passion, a strength he never knew he had.' He would be so powerful now. He was her perfect creation. He was the one. Mulder felt the raspy thick liquid go down his throat. He wonder if it was expensive French wine as he had never tasted quite a flavor. He closed his eyes and lost himself in that red river. He was drowning but he could breathe, he was falling but he could fly. He saw the basement office, the petite woman with the red hair... She was fading away... She was gone. He would find new interests, he would let his instincts rule. Something new again. He had to leave behind the boring human existence he used to struggle in. *** *** "He's dead." Scully let go of Ben, backing away from him as if he was carrying the plague. "No…he's not." Her eyes widened, as his expression said it all. She stared at him, incredulous, unwilling to admit that this statement could be any close to the truth. She was livid. "Dana, I saw him, in the hospital. He had a car accident. He's dead." "No." Then : "I refuse this. Mulder has faked his own death before. Even I was fooled." "I just told you I saw him. A stupid car accident. I read his chart, talked to the ER doctors. I took his ID and his weapon. He's gone, Dana." Suddenly, Ben's words began to form some kind of coherent nightmare in her mind. "You saw him in the fucking hospital? And you didn't call me? And you didn't ask me if I would be interested in going to see him die in this damn hospital?!!! I can't believe this! What kind of a jerk are you? What…why did…you…." Her voice trailed off. Ben took something from his pocket. Mulder's ID. He handed it to Scully, a tragic proof of his assertions. Carefully, her hands trembling, Scully opened it. Under the ID card, was a tiny dry red rose petal. A souvenir saved from one of their biggest crisis. A memory carved in her, like her tattoo. She backed away from Ben, tripped on a chair and fell on the floor. Ben jumped to comfort her but the look she gave him froze him in mid-way. It was pure distress. Like she had lost any little bit of reason, of hope, inside of her. "He is dead. Gone." She choked. Suddenly, she ran to the bathroom, slammed the door and all Ben could hear what that she was throwing her guts out. She cursed then threw out again. Then, silence. Running water. And a yell, a cry like he had never heard in his entire life. Like a wolf. A dying wolf. "Dana, let me in." But the door wasn't locked. He entered cautiously. She was sitting inside the bathtub, shaking from head to toes. "Honey, oh, baby…" Ben whispered. She turned her head to him. "Don't you ever call me like that again. Don't you dare". Her voice was cold, as if she had absorbed the iciness of the bathtub. "Dana," he ignored the brush of her hand advising him to go away, "I know you're hurt. And I am too. But he didn't suffer. He went away quickly." "Where…can I see him… is he at the County Morgue?" "I don't think he is anywhere. I heard he was incinerated." "What? It's not even been a day! That's crazy! Who ordered that?! They can't do this…" Suddenly, Scully's thoughts were clear. She knew what she had to do. *** *** I knew from the beginning who or what I was. She didn't need to tell me, I just knew. Don't ask me how. And I loved it. "Why me?" She didn't answer but came closer to me. She licked my cheek, then kissed me, her tongue sliding on my teeth. Cool and delicious. I kissed her back. Everything was so clear now. No more doubts, I knew what to do. What was expected from the 'new' me. Her mouth still tasted of the wine, bitter and warm. I knew that wasn't wine. I accepted it. I asked for more. We kissed again. She threw herself in my arms and I carried her to her own bedroom, still kissing her, finding my way as if I had always been there. She was cold; I had to ignite warmth in this sensuous body. I had no shame, nothing stopped me from making love to this relatively unknown women. I just undressed her and took her, like an animal, moving like a panther. Licking her, biting her, exploring the most intimate parts of her femininity. Making her scream from rough pleasure. She was mine and I was hers. I AM dead, and this is my heaven… We made love all night, in this black, dark room. Then we gave up, exhausted in the morning and I fell asleep, holding her so tight it was almost impossible to differentiate our bodies. *** *** Ellen waited for him to sink in the daytime numbness and laid on her back. She was amazed by his transformation. Of all the mortals she had brought across, he had been the only one not to question her, not to refuse his new condition. She watched him dream, caressing his chest, until the warmness of the day numbed her as well. When nighttime came, Mulder and Ellen made love again. She fed him, again from the 'wine' bottle. Like the fledgling he was. She knew he will need fresh blood soon, if he wanted to survive. She had to teach him to hunt. Properly and with manners. Ellen rested on her stomach, Mulder's body spread over her, his straining erection pressing against her lower back. He couldn't stop caressing her back, his fingers tracing a never ending circle on the tight flesh above her right hip. She wondered what had triggered this fantasy. "What's your name," candidly asked Mulder. "Ellen," she laughed, realizing she hadn't even told him. He swiftly rolled her body over so she would be on top of him. "What's mine?" "Hum… Gabriel." "Gabriel. Why?" Ellen kissed him hard, exploring his wet warmth with her nimble tongue. She spoke in his breath: "Because you are my fallen angel." *** *** I rushed to the hospital that morning. Luckily for me, the D.C. cops were busy somewhere else because I wasn't arrested for dangerous driving. Luckily for them because I was armed. Nurse Hullin was fed up with the me, I sensed it. "I told you lady, the doctor that operated on Mister Mulder works nightshifts, she isn't here right now." "I need to see her." "Then come back tonight at 8. If that's all, we have work to do here." I stopped the nurse with a brutal grip on her forearm. "I need to see where he was brought." I suspect Nurse Hullin thought about calling security for a second but she didn't. The look on the my face told her all she wanted to know. I wasn't going to give up. I would never give up. I imagine the word LOVE was neon painted over my face. "Okay, follow me." Entering the now deserted, bright and clean O.R., I shivered. I slowly walked around the steel table, my hand brushing along the cool material. "So, this is where he 'died'…" I whispered. The nurse nodded silently, then exited the room. I took my time. When I came out of the room, I spotted Skinner who was attentively reading a chart. Mulder's presumably. When he realized I was there, he quickly closed the file and came to my side. "Scully, I don't know what to tell you." "He is not dead, Sir." Skinner was used to this kind of denial. "I've read his chart. With severe injuries like these, only a miracle could have saved him." "I've just read his chart too and it doesn't prove anything." Skinner put a hand on the small of my back, willing to guide me to the waiting room nearby. I quickly escaped his touch, too painfully familiar. But I let him guide me anyway. Once seated, Skinner went on. "I know it is hard to realize, but he's gone this time." "Oh, no. I know he's there somewhere." "Scully…" "Don't 'Scully' me, Sir. I KNOW he's out there. They took him. Did you know he was incinerated? Hours after his death? Nobody ever does anything like that!" "I know this appears to be a highly irregular procedure…" "Irregular? It's damn right crazy. Listen, the body vanished. Because they were afraid I found out it wasn't Mulder." Then Skinner materialized my worst fear. "Then, if he is not dead, where is he?" To that, I had no answer. I am not sure I will ever have. *** *** The day Scully brought Mulder's supposed ashes home, Ben was gone. Breaking up wasn't so hard to do after all. You shouldn't believe all those sappy songs. Scully was amazed at how easy it went. She was more amazed she has ever agreed to marry this man. He was a good man, just not Mulder. Scully put the jar down on the coffee table, the emerald green urn that she hadn't dare opening yet. She laid back on the couch and stared at the object. 'Fucking liars. I need to have this analyzed. Those are wood ashes, whatever, not my partner's remains. Fuck the entire world who believes Fox Mulder is dead.' Mrs. Mulder had taken the thing pretty well. She hadn't even came back from her wherever-it-was trip to attend his funeral. Scully hated her for the apparent indifference she displayed towards her son. The Lone Gunmen had showed up. Mulder's only true friends. The ones that understood his motives and didn't discuss them. Frohike had tears in his eyes. 'I need to talk to him'. Maggie Scully was amazed by her daughter's behavior. Scully didn't shed a tear at the funeral. She didn't wear black, but navy blue. She didn't say anything when they had asked for somebody to utter the eulogy. Then again, Dana Scully wasn't really there. This wasn't the funeral of her partner, why should she bother? He was waiting for her. Somewhere else. Scully sighed, rose up and went to pour herself a glass of whiskey. Not as good as vodka, but that would do. She went back to the living room, sat again and resumed her staring of the damned object, sipping the burning liquid slowly. Scully thought of the irony of life. She didn't know she was mentioned in his will. She had no idea he was wealthy. Enough to left her more than $2,000,000. His mother had gasped when her lawyer had told her about the figure. She knew her husband had saved a lot for Fox, but this was some amount. Scully wondered how exactly Bill Mulder had earned this money. What he had to do to ensure his son's future. Now, Mulder had ensured hers. Shocked at first, she wanted to refuse the money. But she realized what it meant. The deepness of his commitment to her. And moreover, a way to be free to pursue her own quest. Swallowing the last of the alcohol, she made a promise to herself. One to him, as well. 'I will not give up. Not before I find you.' *** *** Sleep didn't come that night. Not the first time. Certainly not the last. I sensed it would not come the day after either. So I reluctantly stepped on the cold floor and strolled to the bathroom. A few moments back, I was curled up in bed again, two sleeping pills swimming in the alcohol of my stomach, diffusing their deadly effects on my organism. *** *** Scully stepped in Assistant Director Skinner's office. Her expression was of sadness but not grief. She waited for him to motion her in the room. Her stiffened attitude made him aware that her mind only had one track : Mulder wasn't dead and she would find him. Ungracefully, Scully let herself down on Skinner's couch. She still hadn't spoken. "Agent Scully," attempted Skinner, "I…" "Cut the crap, Sir. You know why I'm here." She took a white business sized envelope out of her briefcase and handed it to the A.D. He carefully took it, opened it and unfolded the letter in it. He couldn't have read more than one line when he dropped : "This is totally unacceptable, Agent Scully." "Get used to it." "I cannot grant this request." "Sir, I am not offering any alternative." Damn stubborn people. Skinner fiddled with the wire of his glasses, then took them off. 'That's it, he is going to step on my personal path. The one he usually tries to avoid.' "Scully, I know you cannot accept what happened but there are things in life that…" Skinner paused, surprised she was letting him go this far without dismissing right away his argument. "Mulder's death was a tragedy. A personal loss as well as a professional one." "I know you believe that." "But life goes on, Scully." "Is there any way in the world you could sound more cliche, Sir?" "Don't you want your life to go on, Scully?" She remained stoned face. "What are you going to do?" he softened. "Look for him." "Scully…" "Sir, if you don't have anything else to tell me, I have other business to attend." "No, that…that will be all. You know where to find me if you need me." Scully quickly grabbed her briefcase, rose from the chair and turned to exit the office without a second look at the A.D. "And Scully…" She stopped but didn't turn back. "Take care of yourself and don't do anything Mulder wouldn't want you to do." Still silent, Scully walked out of the room. *** *** So there she was. Feeding the Lone Gunmen Chinese food in her own kitchen. Good heavens. The guys tried to keep the mood light and Scully mentally thanked them for their vain effort. "Our regular sources haven't heard of anything looking like him yet," finally said Frohike. They never mentioned his name. He was just 'him'. It was too recent. 'I will have time to call him by his name later, when he is back.' Swallowing a mouthful of vodka, Scully asked : "And your 'other' sources?" "Well, nothing yet, either." Frohike slowly patted Scully's forearm, then withdrew, noticing his sleeve was dipping in Langly's broccoli and beef. "You have to keep looking." It was more an order than an advice. But the guys weren't offended. Byers sighed. "Scully, all the evidence points towards…" "Screw the evidence, I know he is not dead. He is not." "He is dead." "I refuse this. He is not DEAD!" "Who are you trying to convince here?" softly stated Langly. Her eyes were dry. She hadn't shed a tear, she wasn't going to begin now. Her mental sufferings had wiped out any physical reactions her body wanted to force upon her. Her pain was raw and incredibly dry. Giving Langly a mean look, Frohike added : "You know we'll keep an eye open out for him." "Do more than this. Look for him. I know I am going to." "His mother didn't even come," remarked Byers. "Neither did Samantha." "There was no point to that funeral anyway…" And Scully sipped more of her vodka. "He isn't dead." She found enough strength to survive on a hunch. Mulder would have laughed at that. 'He will someday.' *** *** The night after my resignation from the F.B.I., a half emptied bottle of vodka was laying on my bedroom floor. Go bless this wonderful liquid. Hazy, I laid naked on my bed. Sleeping pills were not working very well. Hell, two more. I slept through noon the morning after. *** *** When she awoke, she was weak. 'I need to move on. I need to look for him.' So the first thing she ingested with her coffee was a handful of vitamins. 'Gotta go to the store and buy something stronger.' And her search began. *** *** First thing, I had to meet that Doctor Vade. When she arrived for her night shift, I was already waiting for her. A nurse motioned her to me, waving her hands, seemingly explaining who I was. I sized up the doctor. Some men could call her pretty. But she seemed cold to me. Sharp features, black hair. "I'm Doctor Vade, what do you want? I have patients I need to attend to." Very charming indeed. "I'm Dr. Dana Scully, I believe you operated on my partner a few days ago. Fox Mulder." "Oh, yes, I remember." "Is there anything you could tell me about his death? Anything suspicious?" "No." Liar. "I understood you were the one who tried to revive him. What went wrong?" God, those words were hard on the tongue. "He was injured, he died. Happens all the time, Miss." "Excuse me for asking for a little cooperation here." "I'm very busy. Anything else?" "Where is his body?" Ellen shrugged. "How should I know?" I got angry. "You were the last one to see him in the morgue. They don't remember you but your name was in their records." "So what?" Ellen dropped. Scully was getting mad. "What did you do to him? Where is his body? Where is he?" I have to admit that I lost it. But her cold behavior got to me. I pushed her against the wall, my two strong hands pinning her at the shoulders. The fact that she was taller than me obviously didn't matter much. "Security!" yelled Ellen. "Where is he? Where is Fox Mulder?" Ellen whispered : "Even if I told you, you wouldn't believe it." Startled, I let go of her. I didn't have time to ask her another question. Two bulky security guards almost threw me out of the ER. I didn't listen to the "don't come back little lady" or "be glad we're not calling the police." All I could think of was Ellen Vade. She knew something, she was the key. So I waited for her. My first stakeout without Mulder, and his damn messy, salty sunflower seeds. *** *** Scully cursed. Badly. She ingested quickly another shot of Tequila. She had lost her. The damned woman was really smart. She had vanished into thin air. She wasn't registered in the phone book, and her little altercation at the hospital had prevented her from getting any more information. She checked with the Lone Gunmen. No Ellen Vade registered anywhere. Weird. Sadly, Scully realized she missed her job and the facilities that went with it. Wandering in Mulder's apartment, Scully began to clean up things. She still refused to move anything from where it was but had to make room for her own things. In the morning, she had moved her own clothes and essentials in apartment 42. She had moved her body and soul in there as well. She kept his clothes and hers in his dressing, just to be able to inhale their scent from time to time. Actually she started wearing some of his. Especially his white dress shirts. And his terrycloth robe too, fully saturated of Mulder-scent. That night, she found Mulder's tape, cut two pieces of it and stuck a big white cross upon his window. She turned a light up and waited. Curled up on his black leather couch, she waited. For them. Hours later, she gave up. Nobody would come tonight. Would they ever? 'Now that he is supposedly dead, they don't bother anymore. They moved on. But I haven't.' Then another idea crept in her mind as she faded asleep, lulled by the taste of the booze. The piece of news she learnt two days after that told her she was on the right track. *** *** Ellen called Gabriel. "In the office!" He was surfing on the net, looking for a good relocation spot. 'Geek.' "What do you think of New York?" he asked, excited like a kid at Christmas. Ellen had never lived there. She had been created in Europe, then had moved to Miami and San Francisco. "It's perfect my love, " she whispered in his ears. "Dangerous and perfect like you." *** *** When Dana Scully entered the precinct, she ignored everybody and went straight to Lt. Olmi's desk, motioned by some unknown force that whispered her the right direction. Or maybe it was just the sign on his door. She was oblivious to the frantic glances of the P.A.A. "I'm Dana Scully," and she extended her hand. Olmi suspiciously eyed her then the facts sunk in. "Oh, Ben's wife…" "Ex-fiancée." Cold. "I am here to talk about Fox Mulder, my partner." "The FBI agent, what about him?" Scully stood straight, waiting, staring. Olmi got the message, rose from his chair then closed the office door. "Sit down, Miss Scully. What would you like to know?" "You saw him, that night." "Yes. I was called for the accident. The last thing I saw, he was in the ambulance. Realizing how deep this affected the young woman, he added : "I'm sorry for your loss." Scully stared at him. "Don't be. He isn't dead." 'My, this is getting interesting.' "What makes you think that?" "I know it. He didn't die that night. Are you aware that his body vanished form the morgue a few hours after he was brought in? They said he had been cremated." "That was surprising, you're right." "Highly unconceivable. Even if they said they found a note in his wallet asking for it. That's bullshit." "If you say so…" "Lieutenant.." "Please, call me Jose." "In our line of work, we've seen even more unusual things happen. My partner and I used to investigate strange cases." She paused. "I believe Mulder was taken away." "By whom?" He seemed genuinely interested so Scully went on. "I have some theories. But actually, I don't really know." It hurt to admit it. "Of course, you realized people watched him die at the hospital," he tried to rationalize. "I am well aware of that. I talked to some people from the staff. Dr Ellen Vade also. She is the one who tried to save Mulder." "Then you know what…" "All I know is that Dr. Vade is gone. She didn't go back to the hospital after I talked to her. I finally obtained her address from the hospital management and I went there. It's clear and bright empty." "I don't even want to know how you know that…" "You're right, you don't. She has no family or friends to reach. As if she never existed." Until now, Olmi had been very patient with this extravagant theory. But this new element stung his curiosity. "And you think that might be related to agent Mulder's…hum…disappearance?" "She left after I confronted her about his supposed death." Shifting in his seat to be more comfortable, Olmi dropped : "Okay, shoot." Scully nearly smiled. He was a decent man. "She is involved in all this. She got scared after I came and took off. She's the one who signed the forms for his cremation. The last one to have seen or touched the *body*. "So where do I fit in this picture?" "I need your help." She was sincere. "I would have guessed that." "Scully looked at him, hard and long enough. "Are you willing to help me?" Her determination struck the lieutenant. "I don't understand, what about your superiors?" "I resigned from the F.B.I. That's why I need your help." "Oh, so I am proper channels." Scully almost smiled. "I'll use any channel available." "Would you like to see the file on the accident?" "Yes." A whisper. Olmi observed Scully as she carefully read descriptions, circumstances and facts. She took big black and white pictures out of a manilla folder. Her breath stopped when she saw his face, injured and full of blood. Her mouth twisted and she had to fight tears pounding at her eyelids doors. 'Stay in, you suckers, there is no need for you now.' She shivered. "Fake." A murmur again. Olmi graciously took the folder from her hands. "You know what surprised me most about this case, it's that none of the County Morgue employees remembered his arrival, or Ellen Vade. But their names are in the records. It doesn't make sense. But you do have to understand this doesn't justify an official investigation. This case is closed as far as we're concerned." "What do you do on your spare time?" she half joked. Olmi wondered about his reasons to help her. Out of guilt, out of concern maybe. "Sometimes, I need to satisfy my curiosity." "So do I." Scully's hands were shaking slightly. And she knew she had found an ally. *** *** As they exited the precinct, looking forward to Olmi's extended lunch break, Scully observed the older man. She had learnt not to trust anyone, but this man inspired her. Her hands stopped shaking. As they moved towards his car, Olmi glanced at the petite woman. Her hands had stopped shaking. She seemed more relaxed but determination still clenched her jaw. Then Olmi thought of a tiny little fact he had registered when she had entered his office. He mentally shook his head in denial. He could have sworn he had smelled alcohol on her breath. *** *** Gabriel was restless. He asked her all about their kind, but she didn't know much. He wasn't afraid or disgusted by the little she knew. He just had a craving for knowledge, since his mortal one had been taken away from him. He had an amazing eidetic memory. Ellen realized how bright and righteous this mortal had been so she was amazed at the voracity if his killings. He chose his preys carefully. Usually hookers or homeless people, drugs dealers if he wanted to get high. Faceless, nameless people that nobody would miss. Ellen had taught him that. That was the price to pay if you didn't want to be caught. Bodies are easy to destroy. The Hudson River is full of their ashes. Gabriel wasn't messy. He had style. No sloppy dropping, no fear in the victims' eyes. But one night, she found him clinging to the lifeless body of a petite redheaded hooker he had just drank. He was rocking her, soothing her life away. Disgusted, Ellen left him alone for 3 days. She didn't understand how he had found one just like *her*. He had never seen the shade of *her* hair before. Just gray. But he knew anyway. When she returned, she was horrified to see he hadn't gotten rid of the corpse. He looked up to her and sorrowfully said : "She didn't deserve to die. I could see her red hair." Ellen swallowed her anger - or was it jealousy - and disposed of the body. She ensured that night to make him forget any pretty red heads. Particularly considering his past. The past he had forgotten but she hadn't. She sexed him up to oblivion. *** *** And so began my quest. On a hunch. A belief. I had faith in Mulder, I knew he would come back to me. Mom had a hard time to understand this. She cried a lot, saying I wasn't myself anymore. She tried to teach me into getting back to work. What for? I had other things to deal with. Olmi and the Gunmen were of precious help. Olmi always kept an eye open on any information regarding missing persons or abduction cases. The guys informed me on UFO sightings, on any paranormal activities that could interest me. Don't take me wrong, I am not a believer. But anything that could be a hint of Mulder's whereabouts is good to take. I have found a great brand of vitamins. It really works, this shit. I'm hyperactive all day. I spend my days trying to figure out new theories. I fax, email, phone people about Mulder. Most of the time, I get "no, we don't know him, we haven't seen him" replies. Sometimes, people tell me to fuck off because it's the fifth time I've called them this week. I think I've met everybody in every store, association, office of the D.C. area. Mulder's picture is everywhere. He must be the most famous man in the U.S. The least seen also. I call and fax all the way up to Alaska. You don't want to hear about my phone bill. Nights are the hardest time. Alone. Of course, booze and sleeping pills help. I'm still experimenting with those pills. Most of them are not efficient enough. So I have to take two or three at a time. Whatever. If I forget or don't take enough pills, I have vivid dreams. Sometimes nightmares, sometimes erotic dreams about him. Let me tell you I liked the last ones better. I like them a lot. I touch myself and imagine his hands on me. That's no news. I always thought about it. Once, when I was still with Ben, I pretended he was Mulder. I remember Ben's eyes widened in shock at the force of my orgasm. I felt guilty afterwards. I don't anymore. *** *** Scully was getting friendly with the liquor store guy, Arnie. He was always happy to see her, although he seemed concerned about the amount of alcohol she bought every week. "Mind your own business." Arnie tried to tell her it wouldn't help her out of her misery but his boss had came from the back room and told him not bother that nice customer and to go clean up the behind rack. Arnie had shaken his head slowly and glanced a last time at Scully. She forced a small smile, but she was afraid. Afraid a geeky pimple faced student had disclosed her most terrifying secret: her tongue was burnt by the fire of alcohol. *** *** Years passed. Slowly, quickly. After a first year of vain search, Scully had gone back to work. She had found a position as a forensic pathologist. She often worked at the Morgue. 'How ironic.' She truly didn't need the money but the burden of her quest weighed a lot on her. She was in need of an escape. 'I must be truly sick if slicing up dead bodies is my escape. I thought I was ready to give up this but nature always come back.' She couldn't trust herself to drive anymore so she took the bus or carpooled to work. She was able to hide her shaking hands from her colleagues, and always had breath mints in her pocket. She didn't socialize much, actually not at all. Her colleagues found her 'spooky' but she was always doing a good job. So they ignored her. She was used to indifference anyway. She ran into Ben once, in front of a movie theater. He was married now, and his wife was expecting. He had looked down at her with sadness and contempt, and she had forgiven him. She was lonely at nights. She met a guy once, in a bar. They flirted. He seemed interested but she declined his nice offer of "being fucked from behind in my bathtub." She felt lousy, she wanted that sexual release for so long. But she would have been betraying Mulder. 'Great, now I'm faithful to a man I haven't even kissed. And probably never will.' Like each and every night for more than 5 years now, Scully slouched down on the couch and kicked her shoes off. She reached to the coffee table and grabbed the object of her everyday attention: a torn picture of Mulder. Stained with alcohol and tears, the photograph was the most vivid image she had of him. A still from an F.B.I. Social event. Whatever it had been. Mulder in a tux, not really laughing, not looking sad either. Just being himself. Staring straight at the camera, smart ass. Thanks God for Holly the secretary and her hobby. Scully didn't even asked for it, she just found it on her desk one morning, in an envelope - no note . The photograph had never left her since then. Scully sighed and looked at his face. 'If you are dead, what am I going to do? What will I become?' After so many years of frantic search, she was entitled to some doubts. 'I'd die.' Sleep Dana. One more pill and you're there. Years will pass by you. *** *** It was their sixth year together. New York was good to Ellen and Gabriel. They often went to that pub, Carmilla's. 'Another red head, maybe?' Their Gothic decorations and Vampire pictures always made Ellen smile. Gabriel enjoyed the place very much. So Ellen bought it for him. And Gabriel became a manager. Who would have known? Ellen was glad to see he had calmed down. He organized poetry readings, live concerts and many events. He mainly craved meeting new people. He even played bartender some nights, just to chat with mortals and learn from them. Ellen had her own life. She wrote, principally horror novels. She had material to feed on. She also had many lovers but was very jealous if Gabriel was just to flirt with a customer. They still lived and hunted together, Gabriel was very tolerant. *** *** "How are you Dana?" He was genuinely happy to see her and had insisted to meet her on this particular night. The seventh anniversary of Mulder's *death*. "I'm fine, Jose." Lies. They both sat in a private booth and ordered drinks. Club soda for him, Margarita for her. "I'm sorry I wasn't able to help you more the past few months. Since I retired, you know Bonnie and Steve have taken all my time. He's going to college this fall." She placed a reassuring hand on his. "I understand." More lies. "How's work?" "Not bad." "So, any news?" Olmi was still concerned. It warmed up Dana's heart. "None." Sipping on her beverage, she felt his stare on her. "You drink too much, Dana." "I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself Daddy." Lots and lots of lies. "Look at me, Dana. Look at me. I know what you're doing. I've learnt to know you." "Great, just what I need, a free therapy session…" Olmi went on. "You are slowly destroying yourself. You long to join Mulder wherever he is." 'Shut up, you don't know what you're talking about.' "I don't have any suicidal tendencies." "But you're an alcoholic." Scully remained silent. Suddenly, she grabbed her purse and stormed out of the pub. Olmi dropped a couple of bills on the table and rushed after her. He didn't have to run, she was waiting for him in front of the door, tears running down her face. Her blue eyes were pooled but she looked as fragile as crystallized steel. "I know, I know. That's what I am. I'm an alcoholic." He gently took her in his arms and she cried on his shoulder. She had never been tactile, but now she needed comfort. Warmth. Love. And Mulder wasn't there. "We'll help you, Dana. We'll get you through this." 'I want to believe that.' *** *** My mother warmly thanked Jose Olmi the minute she met him. So I took a few weeks of leave of absence from my job and went into rehab. It was long, painful and strict. I threw up in the morning, I couldn't sleep at night. All I could see was Mulder's lips mouthing: 'Don't destroy yourself, Scully. Don't." Did it help? I was extremely grouchy, perversely swearing at the orderlies, cursing on the world, my mother included. I physically hurt myself and others. They had to restrained me. I was going mad. I knew the doctors' looks. The "I'm better than you". I used to be like that. But I learnt you sometimes have to suffer to earn things. You have to be tolerant. You have to accept people as they are. My depressive state lasted for a few weeks. One day, to my surprise, it stopped. The craving. The need for it. I wasn't dying for a soda but I wasn't dying for a vodka either. I slept. I watched the Discovery channel and enjoyed it. I hugged my mother. I thanked Jose. I was back to them, back to the world. And I went home. *** *** Ben Manners was a happy man. His wife Lucy had given birth to a wonderful little boy. They named him Stuart. His job was still interesting, although the years were heavy. He understood more Lieutenant Olmi's cynical but respectful behavior now. One day, he received a file from the New York Police Department. He choked on his coffee and turned blue. *** *** "Coming, coming!" 'Damn impatient pizza delivery guys!' "Do you have any change because…" she said, opening the door. "Ben!" She seemed happy to see him and he was surprised. "Hi, Dana." Then, "Could I come in a minute?" "Oh, yes, come on in! How have you been?" She was suspiciously cheerful. "Good. You seem good yourself." "I am better now, that's true." And she wasn't lying. Ben felt very uneasy. 'Why am I always the one to break out important news to her…I must be cursed.' "Could we sit a minute, I need to talk to you." "Sure." She motioned him to the kitchen. "Nothing happened to your wife?" She seemed concerned. 'She hasn't changed a bit. Still nice, still caring.' But he was so wrong. "So…?" They sat around the table and Ben took out the folder. She eyed him, curiosity painted on her face, but he didn't say a thing and let her open it. There, was a picture of Fox William Mulder. A surveillance black and white photograph from what it seemed. Dated on the right bottom corner. 13th of April of the current year. Scully sighed and met his eyes. "Is this some kind of joke?" And Ben explained. "We are working undercover, trying to dismantle a cocaine traffic that runs between D.C., Philadelphia and New York. One of our informants believes this pub in New York, Carmilla's, is a meeting place for some dealers. They took many pictures of coming and going customers. This man is a regular. He might also work there." Scully pushed aside the first picture, revealing a new one. A close up. No mistake. Mulder. She gasped. "Do you know his name?" "No. He is not involved in the dealing according to the P.D. Dana, he does look like him, doesn't he? Olmi told me how hard you looked for him." Internally, Ben was glad HE had found Mulder. A matter of paying up for his former behavior. If it was him. Scully buried her head in her hands, disbelieving the evidence. "When?" "A week ago. I learnt it this morning." Hesitantly, Dana asked : "Can I keep the pictures?" No, she couldn't, but Ben didn't have the heart to tell her. "Yes, sure." Scully knew he lied. 'Thanks.' She carefully wrote down the pub's location. "Are you going there?" Stupid question. Scully almost smiled. "I'm calling the airport as soon as you leave." "Then, I'll be on my way.." "Oh, I didn't mean it like that." "Yes, you did, and you're right. Go. Call the airlines. Hurry. Find him. Find peace." Ben was surprised at himself. He didn't think he'd have enough courage to tell her all this. Slowly, she came near him and hugged him. Softly, she thanked him for his gift. He kissed her forehead and left. Scully had lied. The first thing she did was to call the Lone Gunmen. *** *** "I found it!" Langly had dug up an internet site reporting the Carmilla's as one of the best gothic mood clubs of the country. A don't miss it if you're in town. Frohike studied Mulder's pictures then Byers confirmed they were real. This wasn't a hoax. Frohike hugged her. And she was grateful. Then Scully call the airport. *** *** The Carmilla's was full. As it seems, like every night of the week. Vampires and Ghouls. An obvious choice for Mulder, the believer in paranormal phenomena. Scully spotted him right away. He was wearing a tight dark navy blue V-neck T-shirt, the kind that showed off muscles without being too...subversive. And from that distance, he might have been wearing tight black jeans. Or leather pants. Oh. His hair was cropped short, with gel that made it look spiked and funky. Looked like he was working out. His eyes were darker than before. His skin white and glowing. But the mole. The mole on his cheek. Even in the dim light, she could see it. 'Oh, God!' Scully felt her pulsing blood flood in a rush to her center. 'Lord, give me legs, I need to be able to stand up longer, help me...' She blinked. Once. Twice. That couldn't be. The Gunmen were right. Ben was right. She had been right all those years. He was alive. And most surprisingly, he didn't seem to have aged a bit. *** *** She slowly approached the bar, not really trusting her legs to carry her that far. There he was, broadly smiling at a customer, openly flirting with her while preparing a long drink. The women was tall and blond, and curiously, it seemed he was just being nice but not really interested. When she found a spot, she leaned on the counter, still staring at him. Gabriel turned to her, smiled again, more shyly this time and went : "So, what can I get you?" Scully stared, transfixed. She couldn't even think of something to say. She couldn't even think. "Miss, what do you want?" Insisting a little. Scully just stayed there, as if she had captured his look and was not going to give it back. Straight in the eye. Confused, Gabriel leaned towards her and cupped her cheek with his right hand. "Are you okay, Miss?" Scully closed her eyes at the touch so familiar and yet so forgotten. She inhaled him. The scent was the same, but faintly different. When she opened her eyes again, she was somewhere else. *** *** It took her a moment to realize that HE had taken her in a back room, a management office presumably. She was still standing up, her back leaning against a wall, and Gabriel was just in front of her, inches from her reach. "Tell me." His voice sent little tickles down her body. "You're not dead." More than a question, an affirmation. Gabriel laughed but his heart tightened. "Do I look dead to you?" "You were dead. Ben saw you." Tears began to slowly, silently, roll down her cheeks. Gabriel brushed them off with the tips of his fingers and Scully arched her neck to catch one between her swollen lips. Her head rolled to the side, she closed her eyes and gently suckled at his forefinger. Wow. Gabriel was amazed by the turn the events had taken. He had already fed that night and she was too lovely to be a decent prey. He had never cheated on Ellen even though he knew she had many affairs, with some of their kind or with mortals. This woman had stirred emotions in him he didn't think he possessed. She was apparently lost, mistaking him for somebody else. Slowly extracting his finger from her warm mouth, he asked : "Who am I?" Softly, Scully moaned: "Mulder…" Suddenly, she roughly spin him around, so he was back up against the wall. She pinned him with her hips, in an ungracious but more than suggestive manner. Her breasts were crushed against his chest and she began to trail little kisses on his T-shirt. Gabriel got a grip on her wrist and stopped her. "You need to rest." And with this, she was asleep. *** *** Ellen had come home, but she hadn't been in Gabriel's room yet. She wandered around the apartment, still thinking about what Stephanie, the waitress, had reported to her. A petite red haired woman. 'No, it's not coming back to him. It can't.' A presence, a sudden feeling made her feel uncomfortable. She was there. In her own house. He had brought her back. Curious but not angry, Ellen unlocked Gabriel's door. The woman slept in his bed, naked under the sheets from what it seems. Gabriel was laying at her side, on the floor. 'How touching.' Her eyes fixed the woman. And she realized who she was. Her. The one. His partner. The one she had seen in his blood when she had brought him across. The one who had made an infamous scene at the hospital. The one who had forced her to move away from D.C. He had found her. Or maybe she had found him. Ellen wondered if she would have to fight for Gabriel. If Gabriel would fight for her. A quick decision was made. She wrote a note to Gabriel and fled the room. "My Gabriel, I will be back in two days. I want her out of here before I come back. Or she dies. Ellen." *** *** Scully awoke. Slowly. Painfully. The walls didn't talk to her then. No "Hey, you're home. Welcome back to the cruel reality where our partner has been missing for seven years". Just walls. Unfamiliar to her. She widened her stare, then directed it at the form beside her. 'Mulder!' She jumped out of the bed, a disturbed naked woman with a total lack of self-consciousness. Gabriel opened his eyes, just in time to see a shadowy figure crushing his chest. "Mulder, Mulder, I found you… I found you…" She was whispering in his hair. Gabriel remembered. The woman at the club. Scully was now laying on top of Gabriel, one hand in his hair, the other one tracing the lines of his face as if she wanted to make a mold of it, one that would be forever filed in her memory. Her eyes were wild, blood injected and her lower lip bright red from an anxious biting. Suddenly aware of the amazed, astonished, confused look the man had on his face, Scully stopped her ministrations. Gabriel slowly scooped her in his arms then laid down on the bed with her. She was beautiful. Probably in her forties, but still a very attractive woman. For a mortal. He stared at her and she laid still, offering herself to 'Mulder'. Whoever the lucky bastard was. Gabriel was hungry. But not for her vital sap. He wanted her imperfections. The beauty mark up her lip. The wrinkles at her eyes he didn't know he had caused. Her untamed hair. In a few swift moves, he was as naked as her. Scully closed her eyes, waiting. Expecting. Hoping. The nectar of the moment to come filled her mind like an intoxicating drug. Gabriel decided to go slow, and ravish the first, the warmest of her fruits. He kissed her. Within seconds, her mouth opened, welcoming him home. Her taste was…everything a mortal could be. Then Gabriel discerned the meal she had ate the night before, then he tasted the pills, the alcohol. She had drunk lots of it. Suddenly a metallic taste. Unexpected. Bitter and warm. A tiny open wound on her lip. Blood. Gabriel withdrew from her mouth, having tasted enough for her sake. And his. Another drop and he'll keep wanting more. So he leaned in her hair, and let butterfly kisses land down on the nape of her neck. Kisses that still tasted from her blood. "Oh, Scully…" Scully froze and Gabriel felt it. 'What did I do?' "What…What did you just call me?" Pained and bewildered. "I… I don't know…" "Oh my God… it's you, it's really you," she yelled. Gabriel untangled himself from her embrace, and just stared at her. 'What is she talking about?' Then, he felt it. A slight change. Dust blown off his memory. '"Actually, I'm looking forward to working with you." "…and he called me Starbuck." "I had the strength of your beliefs."' Taken by the flow of images, sounds, voices and tastes that assaulted him, Gabriel gasped. She knew him. From before. '"You can fight him, Mulder." Mulder! "You're not a loser." "The truth will save us both."' '"It's me."' "You are from before, aren't you?" hesitated Gabriel. Recovering form the shock, Scully realized why his behavior was so un-Mulder like. He didn't remember her. *** *** Scully was wearing Mulder's robe and he had put pants on. They still sat on the bed, each corner silently taken. "I've been looking for you." Mulder couldn't face her. "You are…Scully, Dana Scully. We used to be together." "We were partners. Your name is Fox William Mulder." "I know that now. It's coming back. Everything is." Mulder nervously twisted his hands, still unable to respond to her stare. She gave him time. "Scully?" His eyes looked straight through her. "Scully? I know you." "I've missed you…" And she closed the gap between them. Safe in his embrace, she whispered senseless words of soothing. "Are you suffering from amnesia?" "No. I don't think so." "But you don't remember." "I didn't need to." Scully looked in his hazel eyes, in search for some explanation. She found none. "I know what you did. You searched for seven years. You almost died for it." "How can you, how did you…?" "If I had known before, I would have eased your pain." "Mulder, I don't understand." "I was brought across Scully." Her worst nightmare came to reality. "Don't tell me you work with 'them'! It can't be!" "Them?" Pause. The Syndicate. The smoking bastard. "Oh, no, nothing like that. I suppose they think I am dead too. Which is ironic now that I think of it." Scully gazed at him, her mind numb. 'That's it. I've lost it. I'm nuts. I have no idea what he is rambling about.' *** *** Somewhere, Ellen was being herself. Hunting and feeding. Her true nature was rushing out of her body like silver. Jealousy tainted with blood. 'She'd better be gone. Or I'll rip her heart out and eat it before your eyes, Gabriel.' Somewhere, Ellen was cursing on all red heads. She didn't know - and neither did Mulder - that her note had fallen under the kitchen's wooden cupboard, swept away by a malicious draft. *** *** "Scully…?" "Hum?" Scully faced him, straight in the eye. "I've changed." "So have I." "I felt it." Her voice was bitter when she spoke. "Where were you?" Always very direct. "Here. In New York." "Are you a bartender?" "Yes. Kind of. I manage this pub where you found me." "Good use of your Oxford education," she half joked. "I realize this now." "How long have you lived in this apartment?" Mulder sighed. He began to remember her personal way of interrogating suspects, her *Scully-mode*. "I've been here for three years." "Alone?" "No." "I see." Mulder had now slumped in the room's armchair; Scully still sat, Indian-style, on the edge of the bed. Respect of personal space. She tried to stay in control. Unlike her former behavior. They both paused, considering how to approach this delicate situation. "I'm sorry I seemed so promiscuous before. I don't usually throw myself at people." Scully was a bit ashamed about her previous conduct. Not because she had liberated her inhibitions towards her newly found partner, but because he had responded to her advances without knowing who she was as it seemed. She wanted their first kiss to be truly shared. She had come to understand that he had wanted her seven years ago. She wasn't so sure anymore. Mulder sighed, again. "Don't do that." Scully had to say something, get thing moving on. "What?" "Ignore me." "I'm not. I'm trying to figure out a way to tell you what happened, now that I've found myself back. Now that I know who you are and what you've been through. Now that I realize how I am living." "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" "Hell. Precisely." Scully waited for him to begin his tale. *** *** "My name is Gabriel now. I've been living nightshifts for more than 7 years. I don't drink much, I don't eat much. I have other ways to feed." He paused again, took a mental note - 'she doesn't seem to carry a weapon with her' - and attempted to break the news slowly, without sounding like a psycho or a liar. Or a monster. Which he was to some extent. "Go on." "I was brought across Scully. Ellen changed me." "Ellen...Vade? The doctor? You're with her?" "Scully, you have to understand that I won't hurt you. I will never do that." 'I already have too much, it seems.' Scully began to worry. Remembering an earlier assertion, she went : "Shoot." "I feed on blood, Scully. That's how I stay alive. That's how I stay young. Blood is power." Scully felt sick to her stomach. He sounded so sincere. "Have you joined…some kind of cult? Did they force you to do things?" Mulder could have almost chuckled. But not now, not there. "You could see it that way, yes. I only go out at night, daylight scares me. Hurts me. I drink human blood…" He almost added ", Scully" but the nearness of the two words displeased him. "You WHAT?" 'I can't believe this.' "I am not very powerful yet. Ellen says I am still a fledgling. But I will get stronger as years go by." Angry, frustrated and, yes, scared, Scully rose up and began to pick up her discarded clothes form the floor. Pure disarray. Pure hatred. "You sick son of a bitch," she blasted, "if you wanted to stay away, you could have found a better excuse to justify yourself than this…fucking crap. Vampire, my ass." Mulder was shocked by her tone and her choice of words. So un-Scully like. But still a skeptic. "You named it, Scully. Nosferatu, Vampyrs, Demons… Popular culture knows who we are but people are afraid to believe we exist." Scully flinched at the word "WE". "You really are into this, aren't you? God, what had she done to you?" "You always needed evidence. What could I do to prove you I didn't disappear on my own will for seven years, but lost my memory and was turned into a totally different…creature?" "Oh, I don't know… " Sarcasm. "Turn into a bat, fly out of the window, crumble to dust if I open the curtains?" "That is ridiculous. Bats are nothing like us, we cannot fly and light only hurt our eyes and skin, it doesn't kill us." "You are sick." "In a way, yes, I am. That is why I need this blood everyday. It's my only way to survive." He almost begged for understanding. Even now, his sad look still got to her. Curiously, it reminded Scully of the alcohol that had maintained her alive all these years. "You are not a Vampire, Mulder. I don't know what she told you but..." "Fuck it," yelled Mulder. "You really are deaf when you want to be, aren't you?" He swiftly was near her, grabbed her left arm and put it up at his face's level. Scully was transfixed. He had moved so fast, so brutally, she began to shake. "What...what are you doing?" Brows frowning. "Tasting you, again." Mulder barren his teeth and she saw it. White, sharp, wolf-like fangs. His face was very pale, blue veins marked his forehead. Scully gasped and swallowed hard. Mulder gave her time to back off. Enough time to run away and shoot him. Again. But Scully had to know. So she let him play his little game until the end. "The game is over," he said, as if he had read her mind. Slowly, his teeth grazed on the baby-soft flesh of her forearm, then the bite came. Painful but sweet. Mulder relished in her delicious taste, while she couldn't stop staring at where their bodies were joined, her eyes wide in horror. Mulder moaned in her blood, then languidly licked drops that had escaped his vigilance. As he kissed her wound, Scully closed her eyes, and let her head fall back in...'ecstasy? What am I thinking here?' Her whole body shivered, she felt weak, hot and aroused at the same time. When he was done and Scully opened her eyes to stare at him, his face was flushed. Not really pink flushed, but...alive. The veins had disappeared. His face was a smooth as a child's and his eyes dark green. He stared back at her. 'What am I supposed to say, here? You taste better than all women I have ever fed from?' 'What can I say? You ol' Spooky turned into a vampire, bit me and made me come from it?' Mulder talked first. "I'm sorry I had to behave so brutally but you had to understand…" "I'm…I'm fine." Suddenly worried. "What did you do to me?" Coldly, Mulder replied: "You'll be fine, you're still healthy." "That's not what I meant. I felt a wave…It was incredible." "I would never hurt you purposefully, you know that." Scully buried her face in her hands, shaking her head slowly as if she was trying to brush away her doubts. 'So he is one of them.' "You are changed," she stated in a cracked voice. Mulder frowned then had an idea. *** *** "I think I could show you. Close your eyes." Scully looked at him for what seemed a long time, trying to figure out his motives, his thoughts, then extended her hand. He fiercely took it. "Trust me." 'I always have.' She let her eyelids down and the journey began. A flow of sensations, sounds and images rushed at her and she was blown away, like a feather in the tempest. She *saw* the accident, Ellen, blood, all the redheaded girls, more blood, hunting in the Lower East Side, lovemaking, more and more blood…too much of it. Blackness. Scully began to violently shake and Mulder abruptly let her go. She was breathing heavy and loud, her eyes were blood-injected. Mulder was amazed and scared. 'I've gone too far this time.' Concern overwhelmed him. Like old times. "Shhh, Shhh," he soothed, rocking her slowly in his arms. 'Don't let her pull away from me, don't let her…' When she had calmed down, he let go of her and noticed from the smears on her face that she had quietly cried. Trying to regain composure, Scully began. She needed to comprehend. "You didn't know who you really were when all of this happened?" "I was Gabriel. Ellen's son. I still am." "You are Fox William Mulder." She didn't leave room for an alternative. "Don't ever forget that." Mulder remained silent. "Who knows about you?" "We don't advertise for our community, if that's what you mean." "How many of…are there?" "In New York? A few dozens I would say. Maybe hundreds in the country. Never been able to know for the rest of the world." "God…" she gasped. "You don't age, do you? You still look the same as seven years ago." "No gray hair, good benefit, isn't it?" Scully shivered at his detachment regarding all this. She decided to strike harder. "Samantha didn't come to your funeral." "Who?" 'WHAT?' Scully's brain had just yelled his horror. "Sam, your sister!" "Oh, yes." "I know your had found her and that she was informed of the accident." To show him she was in control, Scully backed from him, then sit farther on the bed, as stiff as a stick. "It doesn't matter." "Mulder, it has to matter." "No, it doesn't anymore. Look at me, Scully. What do you see? I'm on the other side now. I break the law everyday by even breathing. I am a criminal." "And you seem to enjoy it," reminisced Scully. Very seriously, in a low voice, he replied: "Yes, I do. My nature frees me of regrets and I enjoy it." Scully sighed. "You do have changed." He came closer to her, looking up in her eyes; his own eyes crystal clear, begging for forgiveness. 'The worst thing of all is that I still love the bastard.' Scully changed her fate in a swift move. She bent and hugged him tight. Her hair was cascading on his neck. His face was buried in the warm mounds of her breasts. Mulder mumbled: "You were going to leave me…back then." Scully smiled in his hair. "Seems I have changed my mind." "It's you. It's always been you." "I know, I know." "Mulder?" "Uh?" he rose from her welcoming body, already missing her heat. He examined her enigmatic face. "What are you going to do now that you know?" Mulder was unable to answer her. *** *** After a while, they moved to the kitchen. Scully was now freshly showered and dressed. As was Mulder. Of course, she was hungry and of course, he didn't have anything for her to eat. So he just ordered Chinese. The smell was still good but he had no interest in the taste. He had already found the ultimate savor. Mulder watched Scully as she ate. Little fingers, voracious appetite. "Ellen, is she your lover?" The hardest of all the questions. "Yes." Then, "does it bother you?" Scully's gaze silently answered him. "I know you are not married. But I remembered you were going to, am I right?" "It was a mistake. I didn't…I was better off by myself." "Scully, I… I think you'd better go back to D.C. soon, and alone." So cold, so fucking cold! "Oh." "This won't work. We're not partners anymore. Hell, I'm not even human…" "To me you are." "I've become a stranger to you now. What you felt through me, that's just the top of the iceberg." "You asked for my understanding though. You begged for it! I saw it in your eyes! You never were able to hide things from me, Mulder." "Oh, but I did," he ironically added. "No, you did not. I knew, Mulder. I was just…afraid. Stupid." "I don't want to have this conversation. You shouldn't even be here. We are not supposed to stay too long in the company of mortals." He sighed. "So what? Are you afraid I'll give you back your humanity?" "Yes." 'My God, he is serious.' "You can't forget what made you a good, loving, decent human being for more than 35 years." "Answers won't come to me. My fucking mind is on the fast track, going straight to confusion highway." "I'll help you find your way." "What if I am lost on my own will and don't want to follow you? Will you let me go? Will you disclose our secret to the world? Will you forget your search of seven years?" "I…" Scully was at loss for words. "I am not letting you go. I will never put your existence in jeopardy and there is no way I will ever forget those seven years." Steady tone. She meant it. Mulder sighed heavily, nearly a moan. He ran both his hands through his thick hair then applied his palms on his closed eyelids, his thumbs massaging his temples. "I thought so…" "Let me be your accomplice, Mulder. Let me be yours." Mulder dared look up at her and she was beautiful. Her hair was flame, her eyes sea water. He captured her in his arms and then they were on his bed again, both naked, his mouth greedily devouring her warm skin. She moaned and hissed and he was crazy. Her nails dug red trails on his back. Mulder was amazed from the pain. Her nipples were home in his mouth, swelling at the raspy pressure of his tongue. Then he kissed her full mouth, cautiously avoiding her wound. She moaned an incoherent train of sounds that was supposed to form his name and kissed him back, her tongue pleasuring him. "Open your eyes." And she did. "Do you want this?" Mulder was frightened by their passion. Scared he would regret this his whole life. A very long life. Scully nibbled at her lower lip, reopening the wound, and pressed her lips against his, offering herself. 'Here is an answer to your question.' Mulder tasted the metallic liquid for a second then withdrew from her. "Don't," he warned her. "It's too hard." She felt him and pushed her hips against his thigh, her moist center cooling his skin. "Oh, yes it is." And she began to kiss her way down to his navel. Mulder closed his eyes in bliss and forgot all about the world. Then he stopped her. He didn't let her reach her goal. He selfishly wanted to taste her himself. Mulder only knew the tastes of blood. Even if there were many different nuances, he preferred the taste of sex. Plus, Vampires were expert in the matters of the mouth. Scully went wild at his rubbing, licking, biting. Mulder lapped at her frantically. Her nerves oscillated between forming a puddle and being steel hard and vibrant. "I've loved you…so long…," Mulder murmured in her juices. "Take me," she ordered, "now!" And so he did. He entered her swiftly, and she groaned as his largeness stretched her. He slowed his strokes and her orgasm built. Brushing, thrusting, pounding, stroke, thrust, stroke, thrust, thrust. Mulder had never felt this way for anyone, about anything. He tried not to haste things but the urge was overwhelming. "Now," he whispered. "Now!" she replied. And as he spent himself in her and climaxed, Scully, feeling his warm wetness tickling her inner thigh, lost it and came. Hard. Out of breath, they didn't separate their bodies but Mulder embraced her and she nestled against his chest. Scully spoke low, her husky voice barely a whisper in between breathings. "During those…seven years…I've never…I never…cried…" And she crashed into tears, sobbing against his chest, salting his now cooling skin. Mulder smoothed her hair and tried to soothe her shakes. "I love you… I love you." Exhausted, she drifted to sleep. "I love ya…" Mulder slipped out of her, she trembled at the feeling, then lost herself again in abandon. He kissed her forehead, covered her with the comforter, and left the room. *** *** I didn't bother to take a shower. I went out to hunt. Mind-blowing sex is very tiring, even for a…for somebody of my kind. I still have a hard time saying that word. It defines us but not entirely. It's a true lie. I don't like it. I also have to do some thinking. It appears evident now that I won't be able to live without Scully. I saw her red hair. It was her I was longing for all those years. I saw her red hair for the first time tonight. It's not her real color anymore, I caused too many gray strands during my absence. But still, she's beautiful. And she wants to be mine. Her determination is scary. She's always been like this. I've always been in love with her. I didn't know she returned the feelings. The world is so fucked up… Then there's Ellen. What am I going to do? She has a very possessive temper. But I'm sure she'll understand. After all, she had been human once. *** *** Mulder was gone a hour while Scully was asleep. When he came back, he was hot and aroused. She awoke and they made love again. And again. Then, sore and hungry, Scully claimed for a bath and some pizza. He complied gracefully. *** *** I like it when warm water tickles me from neck to toes. The bubble bath smells good. I didn't know Vampires liked baths. I didn't even think Vampires existed, period. But I knew Mulder was alive, and I was right. Okay, I was wrong but right anyway. Where do we go now? I can't bring him back to D.C. with me. New York is too dangerous now that the Police has pictures of him. So what? Boston? L.A.? Canada? I don't really care. As long as I'm with him. I've lost my mind. I'm in love with a monster, a murderer. I'm in love with Fox Mulder. I've been for more than seven years now. It sounds like forever. There's no turning back now. *** *** Ellen slowly introduced her key, opened her door and entered her apartment. She smelled her. 'Fuck! She is still here.' Gabriel was playing with fire. She opened her bedroom door. The woman was still in the bed, naked. But Gabriel wasn't on the floor this time, he was tenderly holding her. Tight. Ellen's blood violently boiled and she rushed to them. She harshly separated their bodies, and before Mulder could react, she grabbed Scully and threw her against the wall. Her body jerked against the hard surface and her wild scream rang in her lover's ears. Mulder, wide awake now, ran to Scully's side. She clang at him. "I'm fine… I'm okay." 'Now of all times.' "What the fuck are you doing?" he yelled at Ellen. His hunting companion, his former lover, his mother was now aiming a gun at them. Mulder knew it could not hurt him, but he feared for Scully. Ellen's fangs were out and sharp, her eyes huge and black. "I told you to get rid of that bitch, Gabriel!" "What?" "I told you I would kill her!" Mulder was confused. 'Think fast, think fast.' "Ellen, I haven't seen you in two days. I don't know what you are talking about!" "A note… I saw you two together. I left you a note." "I didn't find it. I swear. Ellen, we can talk about this. You know who she is, don't you? You know what she meant to me." Scully glanced at Mulder. 'What the fuck are you doing?' "The red headed slut. She has come to take you away from me." "My memory is back, Ellen." Scully shivered. Mulder was so calm. "NOOO!!!" she yelled. "It can't be!" The hand holding the gun was trembling. "I tasted her blood and it resurfaced. I know who I was when I was human. I realize who we are, what we do and how it can be perceived by mortals." "You're not suppose to have your memory back, it's too soon. You might not be able to cope with it…" pleaded Ellen. "Scully will help me." His voice was full of trust and Scully felt proud and loved. "You can't stay with a mortal! You don't have the right to tell mortals who we are!" Her anger was bitter and sad now. "She has to die! It's the rule!" "You have sex with mortals as well so don't lecture me! And you never played by the rules." "But I…I created you. You're mine. Perfect." "It's over, Ellen. I need to move on, like you did when you left the one who created you." Scully felt compelled to support Mulder. "Ellen, I love Mulder and I will be on his side, always." "Oh, really," she hissed, "what about when you're 80 years old and he still looks young enough to be your son? What will you do then?" "Mulder will bring me across before that." Her voice was firm and steady. Mulder's eyes widened. "No, Scully…" And Ellen lost it. She realized they were ready to go all the away, so she pulled the trigger. "He's mine! He's my blood!" Mulder crumbled to the floor. A massive wound in his chest let escape black blood under Scully's horrified eyes. Realizing she had missed target, Ellen roared in terror. Both women screamed for the man they loved. "Shoot her, I'm fine, shoot her," whispered Mulder in Scully's neck. As Ellen was approaching Mulder, her face full of pain, Scully swiftly acted. She moved up to meet Ellen, twisted her arm, and pinned her to the floor. 'Shoot her.' She emptied the rest of the trigger on the creature. Shot her in the chest, head, stomach. Blood was pouring, spreading everywhere from her body. Out of breath, Scully realized what she had just done. The ultimate act of love. She rushed back to Mulder, who appeared to be dead. She opened his eyes, no reactions, listened to his breathing, no wind. As she was about to surrender to her emotions and totally break down from pain and madness, Mulder gasped and his eyes fluttered open. Scully's jaw dropped and she quickly touch his face in reassurance. "Okay," he managed, "I'm okay. You?" "I'm so, so fine," she said, between two sobs. She helped him to sat, hugged him then quickly pulled back, realizing her mistake. "It's okay. The wound is already gone." His breathing was more regular now, and his vision less blurry. He turned to Ellen. "We need to act quickly." *** *** "Cutting her head?" "See, there wasn't only bullshit in 'Dracula'. It's the best way to terminate her." Scully was never keen on killing. Caught in passion, she had just done so. But coldly separating a head from its body felt strange. 'It shouldn't. I do that for a living.' So she did it. "She once told me the body of a killed one takes very little time to disintegrate. Must be another trick from our creator to protect our secret. We just have to wait." So Scully held him and they watched Ellen vanished into dust. It was odd for both of them. Mulder didn't mourn, wouldn't grieve but part of him ached for his *mother*. Scully knew it and respected it. When she was gone, he buried his face in her hair and kissed her neck slowly, lovingly. "I've got you, now," said Scully. Like the old sly F.B.I. agents they were, they covered up their traces and then left. *** *** EPILOGUE 'Mulder was running. On this unbelievably wide beach. The sun was playing with his features, goldening his hair. I waited for him, sitting on the sand, our baby girl playing with small colored pebbles and shells. He rushed to me and kissed me, proving once again his love for me.' "UGH!" Scully woke up with a start. She was suffocating in this tiny anonymous motel room and Mulder calmed her down, his deep voice lullabying her. Gazing in his eyes, Scully whispered: "Bring me across, Mulder. Do it! Take me!" "I can't. I can't do that to you. You share enough of this hell." "I'm asking you! I have the choice you didn't have. I want it!!!" She began to sob. Mulder was distraught. "Oh, Dana, what is it, what's going on…" "I'm aging. I'm already older than you were when you… It's a race, Mulder, and I'm losing it." Mulder was quiet. He knew she was right. "Mulder…?" "I CAN'T, Scully." His tone offered no alternative. For now. She could be very persuasive when she wanted. "Promise me that you'll think about it. We'll talk about it tonight." Her voice reflected hope. They snuggled against each other, their naked skins brushing sparks and Scully felt asleep again. Mulder stayed wide awake for a while. He was actually considering her words. 'She would be with me forever. She would be mine in eternity. She would become a monster.' "Tomorrow, maybe…" he whispered, before drifting into deep sleep. FIN *** *** Author's notes : I had to pay a tribute to Anne Rice for her inspiration; she has filled my imagination with dark but beautiful creatures for years. She created two of my favorite characters in literature: Louis and Claudia, from 'Interview with the Vampire'. I'm far from reaching the level of her work (duh!), but I thought I'd give it a shot anyway. A little insight: Carmilla is one of the first Vampire character of all times. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu wrote 'Carmilla' in 1871. She was a sensuous creature, supposed to represent absolute Evil. You can surf the Net and look for paintings by Munch (my favorite painter - if you go to Oslo, Norway, don't miss the Munch Museum); his representation of 'The Vampire' (1895) depicts a languid red headed woman. Sadly poetic. "Bullet with butterfly wings" by The Smashing Pumpkins is featured on "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" and is used here without permission. No infringement intended. So, sequel? Thanks for reading this far.


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