|Futures Past 03:
My Funny Valentine
|Home||Futures Past 05:
RATING - PG, nothing too graphic, nothing you wouldn't see in HL, XF or FK
CATEGORY - C(rossover), R(omance)
SPOILERS - Bad Blood(XF), Indiscretions(HL)
KEYWORDS - X-files/Highlander/Forever Knight crossover, Mulder/Scully Romance
It's Mulder's turn now. An unofficial X-file brings the agents to Seattle where they look into a strange series of murders while trying to figure out where they stand with each other.
See Part One
The veil of darkness slowly lifted as Fox Mulder sat up. Where am I? He looked around, taking in the familiar features of his bedroom. How'd I get here? And what's wrong with the lights in here? For some reason, everything seemed a little brighter, and all the colors seemed to be slightly off. He shook his head, trying to clear it of the cobwebs that seemed to be gathering in it. The first thought that occurred to him was the last thing he'd heard before sleep had claimed him.
"I love you, Fox William Mulder." The beautiful voice swept through his mind as he recalled the memory. I love you too, Scully, he thought. Now all he had to do was figure out where she was so he could tell that to her face. He'd barely moved his feet off the bed when he felt the pain. He grasped his stomach and doubled over in agony.
Hunger. Oh God! He'd never felt this hungry before. It felt like his stomach was trying to chew his body from the inside out, attempting to quench its terrible need. He staggered out of bed and stumbled towards the kitchen. He searched the fridge and the nearby cabinets, silently thanking Scully for going shopping the day before as he pulled out the food.
Dana and Natalie felt the familiar sensation of a nearby immortal as the trio approached the kitchen. However, none of them was prepared for the sight that greeted them as they stepped through the door.
Seated at the kitchen table, with liberal quantities of food in cans and bowls spread around him, Fox Mulder held a piece of bread as he glanced around him in confusion. When his eyes lit upon the new arrivals, he managed a sheepish grin. His gaze traveled to the bowl that lay on the floor, then back up to them. "Sorry, I got hungry," he explained, as if that took care of the entire matter.
Each of the newcomers stared in shock, but not all for the same reason.
The first thing Scully noticed about the man she'd so recently professed her love to were the eyes. They gleamed a fiery gold in the dim light. Looking closer, she could make out... Oh lord, she gasped, Fangs! LaCroix was right. She saw his gaze flit over Nick and Nat before settling on her. Even as she watched, his face grew more relaxed, his eyes taking on their natural hazel hue, his fangs retracting, leaving behind the even toothed grin that she remembered. The change was so sudden that, if not for her earlier encounter with the killer, she might have chalked it up to a trick of the light.
Natalie and Nick were seeing something they had never thought possible. A vampire willingly eating solid food, and enjoying it no less. Probably another side effect of immortal vampirism that LaCroix conveniently forgot to mention.
Mulder gazed at Scully, his hunger appeased and the food in his hand forgotten for the moment. He was oblivious to the others in the room. It was strange, but his near brush with death seemed to have given him the ability to look at things in a new light, literally. He was struck by how beautiful she was, how much brighter her hair looked, how blue her eyes appeared. He still couldn't figure out how he'd survived, but that could wait. Suddenly all he could think about was getting Scully alone so he could talk to her. He grinned at her next words.
"Mulder, we need to talk."
"My thoughts exactly." He turned to the others. "Guys, could you excuse us for a minute?"
"Actually, Mulder, I think you should come to the living room. There's someone you need to talk to."
Disappointed, and a little hurt by Scully's apparent dismissal of what they'd almost shared not so long ago, he looked at her questioningly. Without a word, he got up to follow her. His head had started pounding a few moments before he'd been interrupted in the kitchen. Although the sudden headache had subsided fairly quickly, he felt an increase in the pressure as they neared the living room. The first thing he noticed upon entering was the curious piece of material that lay in one corner of the room. A closer glance caused him to suck in a breath. It was the dress their assailant had been wearing. He turned, noticing Duncan and two other men in the room.
Mulder took a seat as Scully, Natalie and LaCroix took turns explaining the situation. When they got to the part about his immortality, he turned to Scully. "You knew, didn't you? You knew and you didn't tell me. Is that why you agreed to let me train with you?" His voice held a trace of anger at what he perceived to be her deception.
"Yes," she confessed, "Do you really think I would have allowed you to place yourself in such danger otherwise?" Her tone changed from reassuring to slightly irritated. "And exactly when did you expect me to tell you? Every time I wanted to talk to you, you conveniently found something more important to do."
Mulder hung his head as he realized the truth in her statement. He had avoided her the past couple of days, and couldn't, in all fairness, fault her. He looked up with a sheepish grin when he felt her hand upon his, gently squeezing it. His eyes locked with hers, silently conveying his apology, and accepting the forgiveness he saw there. They would talk about it later, but for now...
It seemed to be a night for secrets to be revealed, and Fox Mulder was not one to back down from a challenge. He was going to deliver his own bombshell. "The killer..." He glanced at the few remaining pieces of clothing, and the barely detectable pieces of material that were all that remained of her. "She was a vampire, wasn't she?" He looked at each of his guests in turn before pinning his gaze squarely on Nick. Just try to deny it, Knight, he smirked. I dare you. He was surprised at the reaction it elicited, or rather failed to elicit.
"She most certainly was." Nick smiled when he saw Mulder's jaw drop. He knew that the agent had probably been expecting a firm denial, based on what Natalie had told him of their conversation at the morgue. But it was his turn to be surprised when Mulder went on, "Just like you."
Mulder was satisfied. He wasn't sure why his announcement of his knowledge of vampires was met with such calm. Heck, even Scully hadn't so much as uttered a "Mulder..." in that warning tone of hers. But, at least his accusation of Nick had managed to evoke a reaction.
Mulder shrugged. "I saw you take off last night at Anne's. After that, it didn't take a genius to figure it out, although it did take a little getting used to."
"Well, you had better start getting used to it, Mr. Mulder. Because you will probably be doing a lot of that yourself."
Mulder turned a quizzical glance towards the pale immortal. What had he called himself... LaCroix, that was it. His expression changed when he saw the man's eyes gleam golden for a second before settling back to their normal shade. The events of the night came back to him in a rush. The killer, her eyes, the fangs, her lips pressed to his neck, the sharp pain... "You can't be serious." He ran his fingers over his neck, searching for any telltale marks. They had to be putting him on. "It's not possible. I don't even feel any different." He ran his tongue over his teeth, earning bemused glances from those assembled. He looked to Scully for some sign that this was just a joke. He swallowed at the look of concern on her face, and the lack of denial.
"Any wounds you may have had will already have healed by the time you woke up," Nick explained. "And you have to will the change. It's not spontaneous except under conditions of extreme stress."
He tried to concentrate, following Nick's advice. He knew he'd succeeded when he heard Scully gasp. He felt no different, but he could only imagine how he looked. He could certainly feel the sharp points against his tongue as he ran it over his canines.
A sudden thought struck him. "I'm not going to have to give up solid food, am I?" He suddenly had visions of drinking blood for the rest of eternity. He had no desire to give up his favorite cheeseburgers, or his beloved sunflower seeds.
"You know, I meant to ask you about that, LaCroix." Natalie's eyes flashed as she demanded. "Why didn't you mention that you could eat solid food?"
LaCroix blinked. "I beg your pardon?"
"Mulder... We found him in the kitchen, eating. From the looks of things, he'd probably already polished off half the food in there."
LaCroix turned widening eyes towards Mulder. "I've never actually tried it. Ever since I was brought across, I've always had an instinctual aversion to solid food. Now...," he trailed off, his brows coming together in thought. "I wonder if it was just something passed on by my master. New children are in a highly suggestive state when they first wake up, which is when they are usually taught our ways. In this case, this foolish one did not have a chance to influence young Mulder. I never realized it, but it may be that many of our natural instincts are actually just suggestions implanted at the moment of crossing over, suggestions that we pass on to our children without a second's thought." He paused, flinching when he caught sight of the all too familiar icon around Mulder's neck. "And obviously, this extends to other things as well. Tell me, Mr. Mulder, does that cross around your neck bother you at all?"
Mulder fingered the chain, shaking his head when he felt it's cool surface.
"This is most intriguing." LaCroix got up and started to pace. "I am amazed at how ingrained that first lesson could be. Without any training, Mulder has none of our preconceived instinctual responses. I assure you, Dr. Lambert, this is no result of immortality, else I would have known it. The only side effect I know of is my invulnerability against certain hazards to most vampires... sunlight, stakes and such."
Natalie thought about his confession, then turned a triumphant smile at Nick. "See! I told you it was all in your head! We just need to work at it some more," she said, eliciting a groan in response.
"Which brings us to the reason we're here." Methos had been restless for a while, and had taken advantage of the break in the conversation. "I'd like to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, if you don't mind."
"Why exactly are you here?" Mulder asked. "You couldn't have known this was going to happen to me tonight, right?"
Nick smiled at his comment. "That's exactly what Dana asked us earlier. No, Mulder, we're here because we found where the rest of the vampires were nesting. Since there were so many, we wanted to return with more reinforcements. You see, the one who attacked you was quite young. That means that we might run into her master, or others much older than her. When we first found them last night, we had no way of knowing how powerful these vampires were without giving ourselves away. So, we thought it would be better to prepare for the worst when we go there tonight."
"But, if you wanted to keep vampires a secret, why involve us immortals?"
"Unfortunately, Seattle isn't known for its abundant vampire population. There aren't any in this area that we could ask for help. Besides, both Duncan and Adam know of our kind. And since you mentioned to Natalie that you knew of us, we had hoped to get Dana to help us as well. So, what do you say?" Nick shot a questioning look at the agents.
Mulder turned to Scully, silently asking her what she thought of the idea. "The ultimate X-file, eh Scully?" The comment brought a smile to both their faces. They realized that, like many of their cases, the guilty party would not be brought to justice, not under mortal law anyway. The only difference was that, in this case, they themselves were not constrained by the same mortal law. Turning back to their guests, both of them nodded their consent as they stood up.
Mulder pushed the door open and walked into his house, followed immediately by Scully. They crossed the foyer and entered the living room, dropping themselves into the couch.
It had taken a while, but they had finally taken care of the problem they had faced a few hours ago. When they'd finally reached the warehouse, Mulder had been surprised at how close he'd come to finding the killers without his knowledge. But, when he thought about it, he realized that that was probably how their attacker had known where he lived. He'd probably been followed when he left the warehouse earlier that day.
The group had entered cautiously with their weapons drawn, ready to meet an overwhelming opposition. There were at least a dozen or so vampires inside, according to Nick and LaCroix. As expected, the first wave hit them as soon as they ascended the stairs hidden at the rear of the building. But every member of group was surprised when they dispatched the small group of five vampires so easily. The attackers had been young, younger than the female who had attacked Mulder earlier.
The reason for the ease of their victory was evident within a few moments. One by one, the rest of the vampires materialized out of the shadows. None of them was older than the female vampire. They didn't attack the group. Instead, one of them came forward and started talking.
"No more. No more killing. We're so tired of it. We surrender. Just let us go, please," he pleaded.
Contrary to what they had feared, the female vampire had been the only master vampire. And she had not counted on some of her children's aversion to the more gruesome aspects of vampirism. The remaining vampires were relieved when they heard that, not only could they feed on blood without having to kill, but that they might also be able to try solid food. With a bit of effort, Nick and LaCroix had been able to break down the memory blocks that had been placed on them. After that, it had only been a matter of tying up some loose ends before the group disbanded and left for their individual homes.
So, now that the whole thing was over, the night found Mulder and Scully back where the evening had begun. Back in the living room, with an air of awkwardness that seemed to have become intensified after the events of the night. Both were lost in thought as they leaned back in the couch. Each stared at the walls, the floor, everywhere except at each other.
Mulder considered the changes that had occurred that evening. All the fears he'd nurtured before were gone, but were replaced by all new ones. Her questions to Natalie aside, he'd been worried that Scully wouldn't want a relationship with a mortal. Now, he found he was an immortal as well. And that would have been great, if only it had happened differently. Now, he was immortal, but also some sort of monster. When he'd been told about being brought across earlier that evening, he'd attempted the transformation without a thought. But when he heard the gasp from his partner, his heart had literally skipped a beat. For her to be so visibly startled... He could only imagine how he must have looked. He could almost feel the waves of horror and revulsion Scully must have felt at seeing him like that. Once again he cursed a god he'd never believed in for giving him the gift of immortality, and then tacking on such a horrible price to it.
Unfortunately, vampirism did not bestow upon him the ability to read minds, at least not that he was aware of. Otherwise, he would have been surprised at the thoughts running through his partner's head. While he was bemoaning his fate, she was mentally kicking herself for her cowardice. When she'd been confronted with the reality of Mulder's transformation in the kitchen... to say she'd been shocked would have been putting it mildly. But she'd also been somewhat scared by it. She'd quickly pulled the mask of professionalism over her feelings until she could get the whole thing sorted out in her mind. Now, after having the whole evening to think about it, she realized guiltily that she hadn't said a word to Mulder since he'd been brought across.
Some friend I am. She thought about the conversation she'd had with Natalie back at the warehouse. She had managed to catch her friend alone for a few minutes while Mulder and the others were busy taking care of the remaining vampires. When she'd asked Nat about Mulder, she was shocked that she hadn't realized it herself. Nat told her that Mulder was most probably feeling scared right now, terrified of the changes in him. At least, that was how Nick had described being brought across to her. And she realized that she'd probably compounded his fear by being so abrupt with him in the kitchen earlier. God, how could I have been so stupid? she berated herself.
Knowing Mulder as she did, she concurred wholeheartedly with Nat's assessment. Right now, she'd lay odds that Mulder was seriously reconsidering his ideas about what he'd started before they'd been interrupted by the killer. Damn him. Didn't he know that she loved him for who he was, not who he appeared to be? Mulder, there's no way I'm letting you chicken out again. I've waited for you for far too long to let something like this get in my way. And, if I have to begin this time, well then... With that thought firmly entrenched in her mind, she jumped up and walked over to the stereo.
Mulder was jerked out of his self doubting thoughts when he heard the radio being switched on. He looked up as Scully walked over to him.
"I believe you owe me a dance." She held out her hand expectantly.
Not knowing exactly how to interpret this gesture, Mulder reached out tentatively, and was surprised when she grasped his hand and pulled him up forcefully. He felt a ray of hope blossom as she pulled him to the center of the room.
She placed her hands around him, pulling him close as the music continued. He, in turn, placed his hands around her, luxuriating in the feel of her in his arms. He sighed when she placed her head on his chest, and almost couldn't resist the temptation to hug her a little tighter. But a small nagging doubt still remained in the back of his mind. He still felt he had to give her every opportunity to back away. And he knew that if he didn't do so soon, he probably wouldn't ever be able to give her up. It would be much too hard to do so. Gritting his teeth, he thought, It's now or never...
"Scully... You don't have to...," he began, but didn't get to finish his sentence before she cut him off.
"Mulder," she whispered, lifting her head to meet his eyes. She could clearly see the pain it had caused him to say that. She smiled as she realized that she had anticipated this, she knew him that well. And she loved him all the more for it, this unselfish gesture on his part. "What I said before..." She waited to see that he understood what she was talking about. "I meant it, Mulder." She watched him swallow as the import of what she'd said sank in. "I meant it then, and I mean it now. I love you, Fox William Mulder. I think I always have, although I didn't realize it until I thought you were dead back in New Mexico. When I saw the boxcar, I thought about what my life would be like without you in it. And I found myself not liking that life one bit."
"How could you love me, Scully?" His heart thudded in his chest as he tried to convince her otherwise. He'd had so many disappointments in his life, he had to be absolutely sure before he opened his heart to anyone else. He knew he wouldn't survive another loss. Especially not her. He wouldn't want to. "How could you possibly love someone like me, especially as I am now? I've caused you nothing but grief. You've practically lost half your family because of me. Your father, your sister, your daughter. Because of me, and the X-files, you can't remember what happened for three months of your life. Because of me, you almost died of cancer."
"Stop it, Mulder." Her voice held a note of pain as he enumerated all the things he thought she had lost. "I don't care if you're a vampire or a monster as you're so bent on painting yourself to be. You're Fox Mulder, and that is never going to change. You're loyal, and sweet, and caring. You're my best friend, Mulder, and the best partner I could ever have, both professionally and personally. I love you, Mulder, for who you are." She paused to let the meaning of her last words sink in. "And none of those things you mentioned were your fault. Yes, I was assigned to the X-Files at first. But when they were reopened, I asked to be reassigned to them. Do you hear me? It was my choice. And only you would take the blame for something like my father's heart attack." Her chuckle vanished as her voice turned serious. "And if anything, my sister's death was my fault, not yours."
Mulder sucked in a breath at her confession. How could she possibly blame herself for Melissa's death?
"She was killed by people who were trying to kill me. If they'd shot me, at least I would have survived."
When he finally figured out what she meant, he placed a finger on her lips. "No, don't say that, Scully. It wasn't your fault. You couldn't have known. You thought it was Skinner who was going to kill you."
She smiled when she heard him say that. "Do you hear what you're saying, Mulder?" When he glanced at her quizzically, she replied, "It wasn't your fault either, Mulder, any more than it was mine. If anyone is to be blamed, it's those bastards in the Consortium who've taken so much from us. We both made our choices, Mulder, and now we have to live with those choices, good or bad. And, right now, I don't for one moment regret the choice I made when I told you how I felt about you." The words stuck in her mouth when he placed a hand behind her head, pulling her back towards him. Her head rested on his shoulder as she placed her hand on his neck. She could feel his tears when they fell into her hair as his choked whisper reached into the very depths of her soul.
"Oh, Scully... god... my beautiful, darling Dana. I'm trying to give you every chance to walk away, but you're making this so damn hard. You should know that I won't ever be able to give you up. I don't know that I could ever live without you." His voice dropped even lower, until she could hardly heard his hushed whisper. "I don't know that I would even want to."
Words failed her at his heart-rending confession. She knew of each of his losses, each disappointment that had hurt him so much. But his words left her speechless. He needed her that much? Could she take on the responsibility of loving him, someone who needed to be loved so desperately? Would she be up to the challenge? Yes, she would, she told herself. She loved him that much. But how to say that to him? How to make him believe it? Her question was answered when she heard the next song start on the radio.
She smiled as she clasped him tighter, turning in time to the song. As they danced, she whispered, "Listen to this song, Mulder. It says exactly how I feel about you." She held him close, letting the strains of the song wash over them.
"I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy.
I'll be your hope, I'll be your love be everything that you need.
I love you more with every breath, truly madly deeply do...
I will be strong, I will be faithful, cause I'm counting on
A new beginning. A reason for living. A deeper meaning."
"Let me in, Mulder," she breathed when she felt the words of the song, and the meaning behind them, sink in. She could feel the understanding dawn upon him as he held her as tight as she did him. "Let me be all these things for you. Let this be our new beginning."
"I want to stand with you on the mountain.
I want to bathe with you in the sea.
I want to lay like this forever.
Until the sky falls down on me."
"You hear that, Mulder? That's how I feel, the same as you do. I do want to stay like this forever, because then I would be with you." Her fingers moved forward, stroking his cheek, tracing those wondrous lips as she whispered, "I love you." She paused, looking up into his eyes, searching for a sign of his acceptance of what she'd just told him. She got her answer when he bent his head towards her. The same look that had been there earlier that evening now graced both their eyes as their lips met, confirming their feelings for each other.
Imagination could take a hike. This was the real thing. He had hoped, and he had dreamed, but he'd never thought this day would come. Yet he was here, and she was here, and it was perfect. He was actually kissing her. And the spark that flew between them, the fire it kindled within him as their lips devoured each other's, threatened to consume him in its burning intensity. "I love you too, Scully." The words sounded slightly breathless as Mulder pulled away from the kiss. "More than you could possibly imagine."
She immediately missed the soft presence of his lips when he pulled away. She looked up into the dark swirls that had once been clear hazel, the depth of his desire fairly glowing in them. Her breath caught as she realized that it was for her. She had caused this reaction in him, she thought in awe. "Oh really, Mulder? I can imagine quite a lot," she asked him teasingly, desperate for the feel of those sensuous lips upon her once again.
"Really, Scully," he replied as he heard the final verses of the song die away. He bent down, placing a kiss along her collarbone, eliciting a delightful shiver from her. Her sudden gasp and the ensuing moan was all the permission he needed to continue.
His lips traveled up her neck, and along her jaw, trailing kisses all the way. She could hardly hold back her shuddering response to his actions as his mouth reached the sensitive skin just below and behind her ear.
The lips moved again, back along her jaw, closer, ever so close to their final target.
"And, oh, so very deeply."
The final, husky whisper was almost eclipsed by the sweet sensation as his lips crept up her chin, finally claiming her lips as she once again felt their sweet softness against her own. A hint of salty sunflower seeds, an interspersed whisper of the garlic bread he'd been eating when she'd found him in the kitchen earlier, all combined with the intoxicating taste that was uniquely and undeniably Mulder, assailed her senses. She couldn't drink enough of the sweet nectar. She could barely contain the moan as she felt his hands rise from her waist, pushing up her shirt and sliding up the bare skin of her back.
Every time she'd felt his hands at the small of her back, she'd wondered what it would be like to feel them without the hindering presence of her clothes. Now she knew that she'd never be able to feel the same gesture again without this particular moment flashing across her mind.
Her fingers tangled themselves in his hair as her lips crushed against his. He felt her tongue push against his mouth, questioning, seeking, begging for entry. He opened his mouth, welcoming her in. Their tongues dueled for dominance, neither one backing down, neither one the victor or the loser. He felt her hands release their tight grip on his hair and meander downwards. Before he knew it, his shirt was pulled out of his jeans, her questing fingers tracing lazy circles on his chest. With a pang of regret, he pulled back from her.
Five years of longing, followed by five days of anticipation, couldn't keep the plaintive whimper from escaping her lips at the sudden loss she felt. She barely heard his shaky voice through the sensuous haze that surrounded her.
"Much as I hate to stop, Scully, I think we'd better take this into the bedroom now." His breathing was ragged as he tried to explain. "I don't think I'll be able to stop if we go any further." When she nodded her agreement, he immediately swept her up off her feet. He heard her startled gasp, then an unexpected giggle as he turned towards his bedroom. He glanced at her in amazement. In all the years they'd been together, he'd seen her smile, and he'd heard her laugh. But he'd never once heard her giggle. And the silvery tinkle only served to heighten his desire for her that much more.
Unable to wait until he reached the bed, she pulled his head down to hers, capturing his lips between her teeth, biting down on his lower lip, then pulling back. It was enough to cause him to stagger slightly. Quickly getting back his bearings, he returned the kiss as he steadied himself. Somehow he found his way to the bed.
Finally reaching it, he gently lowered her onto it, climbing in beside her. His lips were still locked onto hers when he felt her fingers trying to pull his shirt up higher, desperately seeking the warmth of the skin underneath. His hands reached over to the top button on her shirt, pausing as he pulled back to look at her. His eyes asked a silent question, "Are you sure?"
With a growl of exasperation, she reached up and tore his shirt off, telling him in no uncertain terms that, yes, she was sure. And that there were dire consequences in store for him if he didn't get a move on. He smiled, accepting her demonstrative invitation as he proceeded to unbutton her shirt. He then moved in, his hands and mouth exploring every inch of the uncharted territory.
His lips trailed fiery kisses from her lips, down her neck and along her throat, reaching farther down as she felt the heady sensation envelop her. She, in turn, managed to divest him of his restrictive clothes, pulling him closer as she once again claimed his mouth in hers.
Their minds sang as their bodies danced to the age-old tune, the two lonely souls finally together, now, and forever more. It was almost morning before exhaustion finally claimed them, and they gave in to the spell of sleep that washed over them, their bodies sated for now, their minds still reeling from the ecstasy they had shared, the closeness, the intimacy. If there had been any doubt before, it was gone now, vanished, destroyed by the act they had performed, binding them together in mind, body and spirit. It was with a sigh of satisfaction and a silent prayer of thanks that Fox Mulder and Dana Scully finally allowed themselves to close their eyes, nestled in each other's arms.
Mulder Residence, Seattle, WA
Thursday, February 19, 1998
She was having a wonderful dream. Finally, after years of desperate longing, night after night of unfulfilled desire, she had been granted her heart's fondest wish. Fox Mulder. She did not want to wake up. She fought against the encroaching awareness that signified consciousness, resisting with all her will, yet unable to stave off the inevitable.
She nuzzled her head further into the unexpectedly soft, warm pillow, trying, hoping to fall back into the welcome arms of sleep once more. Unfortunately she couldn't quite make it. She reluctantly opened first one eye, then the other, taking in the unfamiliar surroundings. Two strange beds in one week. Must be some kind of record, she mused.
Today was something special, she remembered. But what? Her sleep addled mind searched for an answer. The soft rise and fall of her pillow gave her a reply she joyously accepted. It was the morning after... the morning after the night before. She let loose a contented sigh. No dream this. She blushed as the events of the previous night came flooding back. One particular memory caused the blush to deepen. She hadn't thought that particular move was even possible. She realized what she had been missing all these years, and thanked God that they had finally come to their senses. Who knew how long they would have carried on otherwise? She shuddered at the thought of her life before yesterday, lonely and without much hope for a future. Never again, she vowed.
But enough of such thoughts. It was a new day, and she intended to make the most of it. She let the sensation of cuddling against a warm Mulder invade every pore of her body, allowing her senses to take in the scene that greeted her. Her eyes drank in the sight of the gorgeous man lying underneath her. She closed her eyes again, taking in the smell that she intended to become intimately familiar with over the course of their vacation, and for a long time afterwards. She could hardly believe it. She was in bed with Fox Mulder, her head on his chest, gently moving up and down to the rhythm of his breathing, her left hand draped so casually over... Oh my! She quickly moved it up, placing her palm underneath her cheek, feeling for the strong reassuring heartbeat that she knew was right... over... here?
She smiled from behind closed eyelids. Wrong side, Dr. Scully. She moved her palm from the left side of his body to the right, frowning as her hands searched for the familiar beat. The sleep leached out of her as her questing hands came up short. Wait a minute! The heart was on the left side. What the... She couldn't feel a heartbeat! She jerked awake, her eyes snapping open. Oh god, I've killed him, was the first thought that passed through her mind. Her hands moved over his heart, ready to administer CPR before she realized something.
He was breathing.
She held her hands underneath his nose. Yep, definitely still breathing. And if that wasn't enough, his chest was very visibly rising... and falling.
Whoa there... What was wrong with this picture? You shouldn't be able to breathe if your heart wasn't beating, were you? All her years of medical training agreed with her, yet the body of her new lover stubbornly refused to accept the laws of reality as she knew them. The sense of panic subsided somewhat when she recalled her conversation with her friend the night before. Wondering what other changes she would have to get used to, she reached out to place her palm against his cheek, reminding herself once again, reassuring herself that they weren't supposed to be able to die.
God, but he looked adorable. What was it about sleeping men anyway? Somehow, his face had lost all the burdens he carried during his waking hours, reverting instead to the innocence of childhood. What she wouldn't give to preserve him like this forever? But there were more urgent matters at hand, she reminded herself, like waking him up, for instance.
Softly at first, she allowed herself a tentative, "Mulder?" When he showed no sign that he'd even heard her, she stepped it up a notch. "Mulder." No effect. Then, "MULDER!" That finally got through.
He woke up with a jerk. "WHAT? What? I'm awake. What happened?" The panicked expression in his eyes slowly waned when he felt her reassuring hands on him.
The palm she'd held over his chest calmly confirmed that his heart was once again firing on all thrusters. She let out a sigh of relief as she waited for him to come fully awake. She watched as he rubbed his palms over sleep lidded eyes.
"Could we have done that with a little less oomph, Scully? Jeez, I think you gave me a heart attack."
Her jaw dropped as she sputtered. "Me...? Give you...? Why you..." She lightly swatted his arm. "If anything, you should be thanking me for restarting your heart." At his confused glance, she explained, "Nat mentioned last night that Nick's heart doesn't beat, and LaCroix said that sometimes his beats and sometimes it doesn't. He wasn't quite sure how that worked." She shrugged. "Something to do with voluntary and involuntary muscles. So... I wasn't too worried when I couldn't find your heartbeat before you woke up, but it did kinda throw me for a loop." She gave him a slight grin. "I guess I'm still getting used to the changes." The grin widened into a smile. "Besides, I think I'm going to get my kicks from startling you awake every morning. It's waaaay too much fun," she drawled, running a fingernail down his chest, tickling him slightly.
He squirmed when he felt her run her finger down his side, and made a quick move to grab her wrist. He moved it away from his side, causing her to lose her balance and fall over his stomach. "From what I remember, Scully" he began, his fingers letting go of her wrist as he ran his hands up her arms and down her sides, causing the most delicious sensations to pool in the pit of her stomach, "that wasn't how you got your kicks last night." The grin on his face was now a full-fledged leer.
"Oh, really?" One eyebrow danced up, her face settling into the classic 'You've got to be kidding me,' look, although the accompanying smile spoiled the image somewhat. "Well, Agent Mulder," she said in as stern a voice as she could manage, which wasn't much considering the grin she was desperately trying to bite off. "Some of us aren't blessed with a photographic memory, you know. Maybe you'd care to refresh my failing memory." She managed to deliver the last line with a perfect pout.
Okay, Mulder acknowledged, the pout was adorable. But the barely contained smile that threatened to break through at any moment was exciting. And the hands that trailed down his side, seeking then finding their target, were nothing short of pure, mind-numbing ecstasy. He managed a groan before all words, and all thoughts, were cut off by her mouth descending upon his. The only conscious idea he could manage before giving up was a delighted, Here we go again!
The next coherent thought in the room didn't take place for another few hours.
The next time they woke up, it was to hear the oh, so soothing blare of the telephone. After swatting at an imaginary alarm clock a couple of times, Scully finally managed to grab hold of the phone and mumbled a sleepy, but annoyed, "What?" Didn't people have better things to do than call in the middle of the... afternoon? Her eyes squinted in the dim sunlight that filtered through the blinds. Her silent diatribe was interrupted by the chuckle on the other end of the line.
"The least you could do is thank me, you know. Duncan wanted to call at 8:30 in the morning to make sure you guys were all right. I managed to convince him that you two needed your beauty sleep." Another chuckle, then a sigh. "Guys can be so dense sometimes."
"Nat? Is that you?" Dana was still trying to figure out the part about why she should thank her friend.
"Dana?" Natalie's voice held a note of amused concern. "Are you okay? What did that partner of yours do to you?"
Dana blushed. "Ha. Ha. Very funny, Natalie. As it so happens, I am in full control of all my faculties." Of course, the statement was totally invalidated by the squeal she let loose as she felt said partner's hands caress a fairly sensitive part of her anatomy.
"Mulder...," she hissed, but not before she heard the laughter next to her ear. She glared at the pouting look that surrounded the twinkling eyes in front of her, her hands hastily trying to cover the mouthpiece before she could embarrass herself any further.
"Whoops. Looks like it's still too early for you two. Tell you what, Dana. Why don't you two skip practice for today and... ummm... rest up? I'm sure a day in bed will just work wonders."
Dana could almost see her friend's smile through the phone. "Why, thank you so much for your kind suggestion, Dr. Lambert. I might just follow your advice," she retorted, trying to push two very inquisitive hands away from doing things too disruptive to her thought processes.
A final chuckle, followed by a "You do that, Dana. I'll talk to you later. Me, Nick and Duncan will be at Joe's bar, if you want to come by tonight. Mulder knows where it is."
"Ok, Nat. Bye." She hung up the phone, then turned to face him. "Mulder..."
Uh, oh, I'm in trouble now. Mulder pasted on the soulful look that had let him get away with murder with so many people.
Oh god. The Look! He's giving me the Look. She could feel her stern resolve melting. But she had to try. "Mulder. What if that had been Skinner?"
"Skinner? Calling here? On our vacation? Really, Scully. You're going to have to do better than that."
"Oh, I'll do better all right. Why don't you come here and find out how much better?" The smile was back, magnified tenfold.
Mulder opened his mouth in an expression of mock shock. "Down, woman." That earned him a glare. "You're insatiable, aren't you? I think I've created a monster. Aren't you hungry at all? After the workout you gave me, I could eat a horse." He turned to get out of the bed. He was stopped by the tone he detected in her voice.
When he turned to look at her, she was turned away from him. When he tilted her chin to face him, she still wouldn't meet his eyes. He frowned. "Scully...?" The silent question hung in the air.
"Do you...? I have to know. Do you regret...?"
He stopped her before she could complete her question. He placed a finger on her lips.
"Never..." For all its softness, the whisper carried the force of a thunderstorm. "How could you possibly think that?" His voice held a note of pain. "Let me tell you something, Scully, something I swore I would never have to tell you."
The forceful voice, hushed as it was, caught her attention. She lifted her eyes to meet his, and gasped at the intensity of the pain she detected.
"The time when you were returned from your abduction, and your mother and Melissa decided that you should be taken off the life support, something in me broke. The evening before you woke up, X told me that the people who were responsible for your abduction would come by my apartment, thinking it empty. I was to wait in the dark and kill them when they came." The pain in his eyes was clear in his voice now. "You were about to die, Scully. And I couldn't do a goddamn thing about it." He paused to take a deep breath. "Do you know how helpless that made me feel? How useless? I couldn't do anything for you." His voice was quavering now, and he didn't even try to conceal the tears brimming in his eyes.
"No, let me finish. I need to say this." Gritting his teeth, he continued, "I was waiting for them to come. I had already decided to kill them. And it would have been so easy." He closed his eyes, reliving those horrendous moments once again. "And then, do you know what I was going to do?" He swallowed. "I was going to turn the gun on myself."
"No..." Her eyes widened in shock. NO! her mind screamed. Not you. But the words wouldn't come out.
"You were going to die, Scully," he repeated. "I didn't have anything to live for. If it wasn't for Melissa coming by to convince me that you needed me that night..." he trailed off, a bitter smile forming on his face. "Well, let's just say that I'd have been pretty surprised the next morning."
The tears that suddenly broke free on his face were mirrored in hers. She moved forward, pulling him into a fierce hug. She held him tightly. He loved her that much? Even then? Suddenly, she felt horrible for having even thought that... She felt him grasp her shoulders and pull her away.
"What about you, Scully? That you even had to ask... I mean... You don't...?"
"Never, Mulder. Not ever," She shook her head emphatically. "It took us this long to get together. And I'll be damned if I ever let you go."
"Forever is a long time, Scully."
But she could already see the smile breaking through the tears. "Like the song said, Mulder." She felt the smile on her face echoing his. "Until the sky falls down on me."
"Knowing you, Scully, I'm sure you'll find some way to shore it up if that ever happens." The tears were fast disappearing as the playful mood from earlier was recaptured.
"Damn straight! So I guess you're stuck with me for a while." She wiped her moist eyes, turning to get out of the bed. "C'mon." She reached for his hand. "Let's get something to eat. You were right. I am starved."
"Nobody else I'd rather be stuck with." He grinned as he followed her to the kitchen.
Fox Mulder was worried. Hell, he was scared out of his skin. He had to have a talk with Nick, find out about any adverse effects to his condition. He couldn't go on like this.
Here he was, sitting at the kitchen table, wearing his birthday suit. Sitting across from him, his partner... friend... lover? was wearing pretty much the same thing. And he couldn't think of one thing to say. Forget that. He couldn't think of one thing to think! He watched her calmly peel some fruit. Grapes, to be exact. Seedless grapes. He saw the perfect teeth grasp the skin of a grape between them, and slowly peel it off. He gulped. She repeated the process, working her way around the little piece of fruit, until the fleshy meat inside was completely exposed. He couldn't take his eyes off the tantalizing lips as they caressed the grape, sucking on it and then licking off the juice that ran down her wrist. Finally, she placed the grape on her tongue, sucking it in between her teeth, and chewing on it. He heard her say something, but for the life of him, he couldn't make out one word. He was hypnotized by the gentle movement of her jaw. He could feel his vaunted IQ slowly dropping until it matched the grape that he wished he'd been born as.
She watched him staring at her mouth. He didn't even register when she'd stopped talking, nor did he notice her eyes watching his as he followed her mouth. She smiled. God, she loved this man. Never before had someone looked at her, doing nothing but eating a grape, with such adoration and desire. She let out a chuckle. Of course, her current state of dress, or rather, undress, probably didn't hurt either.
He still wasn't listening. She decided to try again. "Mulder?" It took a couple of tries before he finally raised his eyes from her mouth. "If you're done staring," she paused, grinning at the blush that suddenly appeared, "I was thinking, maybe I could take a shower."
Obviously, he was still having trouble in the concentration department. She saw his eyes drop again to her lips, and she couldn't resist a small chuckle. "Yes, Mulder. You know, with the bathroom, and the water, and soap..."
Ok, this was bordering on ridiculous. If she didn't do something soon, she would end up with a vegetable on her hands. Can't have that now, can we? She shook her head and got up to place the bowl in the sink, then walked back to the table.
He watched her walking back. Now that the grape had found its way down to Never Never Land, he couldn't watch the delicate movements of her mouth anymore. But, that was okay, he thought with a dreamy smile. Now there were the graceful hips to be looked at, gently swaying... to and fro... to and fro... His eyes rocked slowly from left to right, following the slight sway as she came closer. I'm in so much trouble, the part of his brain that still functioned cried out. The rest of him just replied with a dreamy, Uh-hunh.
"Mulder." She knelt in front of him, taking his hands in hers. "Come on. Get up."
Awww, shoot! No more hips, the disappointed thought ran through his mind, then was replaced with another smile. But the lips are back!
"Mulder. If you don't get a grip, I'm going to have to shower by myself." She managed to inject a whining note into her voice, but to no avail.
"Huh?" He couldn't notice anything except the way her lips moved. How had he not noticed the hypnotizing movements before? If this was how it was going to affect him, his career in the FBI was over.
"Ok. Fine," she said in exasperation, getting up once again. She turned towards her room. "You stay here and stare off into space. I'm going to go take a shower." With that, she headed out of the kitchen.
The sudden loss of her presence finally got through the wondrous haze surrounding his brain. With a start, he blinked, then looked around the room, vainly trying to find her. He tried to remember what she'd been talking about while his brain had decided to wander off to Disneyland. He frowned. Something about taking a shower... The frown was immediately replaced with a smile.
The water felt so good, and hot, as it cascaded down her shoulders. She sighed, allowing herself a small smile. It was just what she needed. Getting up at two in the afternoon was positively decadent. She hadn't done that since... She shook her head ruefully. She'd never done that before. Too bad Mulder was still acting like a two year old, she thought. She poured out a handful of shampoo and lathered her hair. What was with him anyway? You'd think he'd never seen me eat before.
She paused, her hand still entangled in her hair, when she smelt it. She frowned, trying to make it out. It was pretty faint, and she knew it was definitely not the shampoo. Suddenly, the light turned off, leaving the room lit with soft flickers of yellow and gold. Finally, it hit her. Jasmine?
That was as far as she got before the curtain was pulled open. She saw the candles through the opening before the sight was hidden once again. She smiled, watching him enter the tub.
"So, you decided to come to your senses after all?"
Her smile was infectious, causing him to return one of his own. "Couldn't let you waste all that water now, could I? Conservation and all that, you know."
"Really?" She continued with the shampoo, watching his every movement.
He moved closer. "Mmmhmmm..." His lips closed over hers, his hands moving up to find hers.
"Mulder...?" Her voice was muffled by the kiss.
"What are you doing?"
"Exercising my right?" he ventured as he continued to lather her hair.
The eyebrow rose.
"Umm... Performing my duty?" he quickly amended.
The eyebrow came back down. "Much better. Now get cracking."
"The state of Washington has declared an emergency due to a sudden water shortage in the Seattle area. Residents are being cautioned to ration their use of water until the shortage can be rectified."
Scully swatted his arm as she stepped out of the shower. "We weren't in there that long, Mulder."
In answer, he simply pointed to the counter where the two candles were down to their last flickers. "When I lit them, they were brand new. You do the math."
She looked out the tiny window in the bathroom. Her jaw dropped when she saw that it was almost dusk. Suddenly, her eyes were covered by the towel as she felt his fingers rubbing it, drying her hair.
"C'mon, short stuff. We'd better get ready if we're going to meet the guys at Joe's," he said, rubbing vigorously. "You know, I think I could get used to some of these vampiric abilities. When you were talking on the phone earlier, I could hear Nat loud and clear, even as far away as I was."
"Mulder..." she ventured as he finished drying her hair. When he pulled the towel off, she continued, "Do you think I'm too short? I've seen the way you look at some of the female agents at VCS. And I could hardly compare to the women in your magazines. How come you didn't fall for someone more your height?"
He smiled as he realized something. Beautiful as she was, she still couldn't believe that she was as breathtaking as he said she was. Well, he'd just have prove her wrong. He placed his hand in the familiar position at the small of her back, guiding her towards the full length mirror. He turned her towards him, then pulled her into a tight embrace. When she glanced up at him, he gestured towards the mirror. "Look over there, Scully. Tell me what you see."
She placed her head against his chest, her head just fitting under his chin, her hands going under his arms and around his waist. She looked at the mirror, staring at the two figures looking back at them. "I see us, Mulder," she replied, wondering where this was going.
"Yes, but have you ever seen such a perfect fit? Not only do I get a partner with the most brilliant and logical mind to complement my sometimes illogical beliefs, but we're well matched in every other way as well. If you were any taller, we'd be bumping noses every time we hugged." He turned back to look down at her, smiling when he saw her smile back at him. "So, no, I don't think you're short. I think you're the perfect height." He leaned down to place a tender kiss on the tip of her nose. "And I think you're perfect in everything else."
"Mulder? How do you always say just the right thing?"
"It's a gift. One in five billion, you know," he replied with a self-aggrandizing smile.
She let out a small laugh. "You're so full of it, Mulder."
"Hey, I managed to get you to laugh, didn't I? I must be good. Seriously, though, you have no idea how beautiful you look when you laugh. I only wish I could get you to do it more often."
She couldn't do anything except smile at the obvious compliment.
"I love you, Mulder."
"And I love you, Scully." This time the kiss caught her lips, taking her breath away. "Don't ever doubt that."
The lights from the ceiling didn't quite reach into the corner table, leaving it shrouded in semi-darkness. Not that the two occupants minded. In fact, unlike the group a couple of tables over, they were more interested in catching up on past history. After all, it had been a while.
"Almost two centuries," the deceptively younger looking man said, swirling the scotch he held in his hand.
"Yes, time does fly, does it not?" The blond man seated across from him nodded.
"And you still haven't changed, have you? Tell me, is Nick still searching for his mythical cure?"
"In case you haven't noticed, Methos," the other responded sarcastically, nodding towards Nick and the others, "Nicholas is currently enamored with the good Dr. Lambert. I don't foresee him striving to become mortal anytime in the near future. And exactly what do you mean by change. I see no reason..."
"Of course not," Methos cut him off. "Although, now that Nick has given up this foolish quest, as you so often described it, you probably have it easier."
"I fail to understand..."
Methos blinked, then smiled at the other's ignorance. "Allow me to enlighten you, my friend. You know what your problem is?
"Ah. Now I have a problem, do I?"
"You do indeed." Methos held up his glass and peered at it. Almost time for a refill. "Maybe I should get you one too. They say it solves all problems."
"Not yet." LaCroix smiled. "I have no desire to try anything other than blood at the moment." He motioned a go ahead gesture with his hands. "But do tell. Exactly how many problems do I have?"
"I'll tell you what your problem is, Lucien. You need a woman." With that, Methos sat back, sipping at his glass.
"Excuse me?" The pale face now sported an incredulous look.
"Not like that. I meant, you need someone." A pause. "How long have we known each other? Almost two millennia? And you are still one of the loneliest people I've ever met."
"People who live in glass houses, Methos..." LaCroix shook his head. His face affected a venomous grin. "Tell me, how is Alexa these days?"
Methos' eyes narrowed at the statement. "Low blow, LaCroix. She's dead, and you know it," he hissed.
"And you are a fool. You fell in love with a mortal, my friend. And what do you have left now? At least you could have had the good sense to choose one who wasn't dying. I think I have the better end of the deal. I have no one to lose. It makes it so much easier."
"Safer, you mean."
"How dare you?" The vampire's eyes flashed dangerously.
"You try so hard to hold onto your precious son, when he couldn't care less about whether you approve of him or not. Yet you deny your loneliness. Explain that, Lucien."
"I don't need anyone."
"There you go again. Then what do you care whether he finds a cure or not? What does it matter if he tries to leave you, if he tries to become mortal again? I know you've fought against him on this for more than a century. If you don't need him, tell me why..."
"Because he is my son," LaCroix whispered fiercely. "That is reason enough. Besides, as I mentioned before, I hardly think he's going to try for a cure, now that the good doctor has become immortal."
"You know what I think? I think you're afraid." When his friend simply stared at him, Methos sipped from his drink again before he continued, "I think you're afraid that if he ever were to regain his humanity, you won't have anyone in your life anymore. At least, no one who cared."
"You are treading on dangerous territory, my friend. I would advise you to drop the subject immediately."
"Or what, Lucien? I was in love with Alexa. Can you say the same? Have you ever been in love? I mean, really in love. Ever?" Methos was startled when he saw the other's eyes close as if in pain. He didn't have to wait for a spoken reply. "You have, haven't you? What happened?"
"She was mortal." LaCroix let out a rueful chuckle. "She was Nicholas' sister. I wanted to bring her across, but Nicholas forbade it."
"I'm sorry, Lucien. I didn't know. If I may ask, why didn't you? You have gone against his wishes before. And back then, you would have hardly known him for more than a year."
"A week, actually," the other whispered. "He took me to meet his family a week after I brought him across." He paused, thinking about the rest of what Methos had asked. "To answer your question, because you were right. It is infinitely safer to try to hold on to what you have, than to try to find something that was never meant to be. Vampires do not have relationships. It is unheard of in our community."
"But have you ever looked? Have you ever allowed yourself to be open to the possibility..."
"Not after... no. I haven't."
"Perhaps you should. It helps to have someone to share with. Believe me. It took me a while to realize it myself."
"I don't think so," the other replied bluntly. "Immortal relationships never work. And I have no desire to lose anyone to mortality."
"Are you saying that Nicholas and Dr. Lambert are doomed to fail? Scully and Mulder?"
His answer was cut off at the new buzzing sensation both of them felt. The two oldest immortals in the bar looked up in time to see the two youngest come in. The man glanced around, and spotting the group of people a few tables over, nudged the woman to point them out.
"Looking at them, you wouldn't think so, would you?" Methos prodded, his eyes following the agents as they walked over to their friends.
"The future is never written in stone. Who knows...? But that is none of my business. If they wish to live out some sort of a fantasy relationship, who am I to interfere?"
Methos paused, considering this before replying. "Who indeed? Personally, I think you're denying yourself something fulfilling."
"Be that as it may. However, I think we have a more interesting matter to discuss, do we not?"
Methos looked over at his friend, noticing that his eyes seemed riveted on the newcomers. "Ah! I was wondering when you were going to mention that."
"It's not them, of course. But the resemblance is..."
"Uncanny? Yes it is, isn't it?"
Methos simply raised his eyebrow. "Really, Lucien. Can't you come up with a better argument?"
LaCroix turned widening eyes onto his friend. "You're not suggesting..." He turned back to take another look at the other table. His voice dropped to a whisper. "It can't be. It's been almost two millennia. They don't feel anywhere near as old as that."
"Don't you think I know that?" Methos allowed himself another draught before continuing. "Of course it's not possible. But no immortal I've known has ever had any family, let alone ancestors. It has to be them."
"No. It is just a coincidence." The voice clearly indicated his disbelief.
"Well, it's been so long, I'm somewhat surprised you remembered them at all."
"As I said, mere coincidence. Simply a matter of mistaken identity." LaCroix sighed, shaking his head. "And I see it is almost time for me to take my leave." He pushed his chair back from the table and got up. "Good health, my friend. And farewell," he said as he turned and walked away.
The remaining occupant leaned back as he drained the last few drops from his glass. As the music wound down, he turned from his departing friend to the others. Did he really want to know...
"I'm so sorry about earlier, Dana. I really thought I'd given you enough time." Natalie blushed as she said the words.
"That's okay, Nat." Dana smiled at her friend, carrying the drinks as she walked back with her to the table. "How'd you know, anyway? It's not that obvious, is it?"
Nat smiled. "I just figured it was a matter of time. And after last night's events, after our talk... I don't know. I just... knew, I guess." This time it was Dana's turn to blush. "Besides, you're glowing brighter than Joe's sign, you know." The blush deepened.
They reached the table, Scully sitting down next to Mulder, Nat between Nick and Duncan. They all turned toward the stage as the faint twang of guitar strings slowly wafted over. They'd arrived in time to hear Joe perform one of his blues numbers, and were relaxing until the song was over.
Mulder leaned over, whispering to Duncan. "What's up with your friend," he asked, jerking his thumb to the couple in the corner, a few tables away.
Duncan glanced over to see Methos and LaCroix talking in low voices. He shrugged. "They're probably catching up on old times. Adam mentioned that he hadn't seen LaCroix for over a century."
Mulder nodded, amazed at Duncan's casual reference to something that was still hard for him to believe. Living forever... He shook his head. Intellectually, he could understand it. Getting used to it, on the other hand, would probably take a while. But that was okay... he had the time. He paused as a question popped into his head.
"Joe's your Watcher, right?" When Duncan nodded, he asked, "Have Scully and I been assigned Watchers yet?"
"Not that I know of," Duncan shrugged. "They didn't know about you before today, but, if I know Joe, he's probably already started making arrangements for you two. Why do you ask?"
"I was just wondering if the Watchers know about, well, Nick, and LaCroix, and, you know, vampires in general."
"Yeah, Duncan," Natalie said, curious herself. "Does this mean we'll have to be careful about Nick? Neither of us noticed any Watchers back in Toronto, but we weren't exactly looking for them. It's only a matter of time before someone watching me figures out that Nick's not getting any older."
"I honestly don't know, Nat. You might want to ask LaCroix how he's managed to evade the Watchers this far. According to Adam, the Watchers have no record of him. Of course, Adam also mentioned that LaCroix hardly ever fights, so the absence of a Watcher record doesn't surprise me all that much. And although I approve of the Watchers, and I believe in what they do, I'm not looking forward to explaining to Joe about the existence of vampires." Duncan allowed himself a small smile as he pictured Joe's face if the Watcher were ever to find out about Nick or Mulder.
Nick looked from Natalie to Duncan thoughtfully. "Maybe if we tell Joe, he can make sure that the Watcher assigned to Nat can keep our secret."
"Or better yet," Natalie's voice rose as an idea occurred to her. Turning to Duncan, she continued, "Do you think it's possible to have someone who already knows about vampires become my Watcher?" She saw Nick frown at her comment, trying to figure out who she was talking about.
Duncan shrugged. "The Watchers have always been a volunteer organization. There's probably some sort of procedure involved. Why, did you have someone in mind?"
"Yep. The perfect choice. Tracy..." She saw Nick's face cloud up as he considered the idea. "She's Nick's partner," Natalie explained to the others, then turned to Nick. "Think about it, Nick. She'd be perfect. She already knows about vampires, if not about you in particular. And being your partner, she'll be around me most of the time anyway. I can't think of a more perfect person to be my Watcher." She looked from Nick to Duncan.
MacLeod nodded, as did Scully. "That does seem like the best option. The less people who have to find out about Nick, the better. I'll see if I can put in a good word with Joe."
Mulder voiced his agreement as well. "That's fine for you two," he told the Canadian couple. "But, if it's all the same to you guys, I'd rather not reveal myself to anybody. None of our Watchers need to know that I'm anything but a normal immortal, do they?"
Duncan nodded again. "You don't have to worry about that, Mulder. I'm sure none of us is going to say anything. Of course, it goes without saying that you'll have to be extremely careful when and where you use your newfound abilities."
"Oh, don't worry, Duncan." Scully lightly patted Mulder on the shoulder. "I'll be sure to keep him in line. I'm not looking forward to anyone else knowing about Mulder either."
Mulder smiled in acknowledgement, then sat back to listen as the music onstage slowly came to a close. Duncan smiled as Joe set down his guitar and walked down to the table.
Mulder hadn't seen Joe walk when he'd been here a couple of days ago. Curious, he asked, "What happened to your legs?"
Everyone at the table turned shocked eyes at Mulder.
Oh, God, Mulder! A little sensitivity wouldn't kill you, you know. Scully could have strangled him. She immediately turned to Joe. "I'm sorry. You'll have to excuse him, Mr. Dawson. Brilliant as he is, he suffers from terminal foot-in-mouth disease."
"That's okay, Agent Scully. And please, it's just Joe. Actually, it's somewhat refreshing to have someone just come out and ask. Usually, everyone tiptoes around the issue, pretending to ignore it. Sometimes it makes me want to laugh, seeing them trying to restrain their curiosity."
"Call me Dana, Joe. And it still doesn't excuse his lack of tact."
"Nah. It's no problem, really," he assured her, then turned to face Mulder. "Actually, I lost them during Nam. They were part of the reason I became a Watcher." Seeing his guests' curious looks, he tried to explain. "After I was hurt, I was rescued and brought back to camp by an immortal. There, I was approached by a Watcher. He explained to me how it was possible for a man killed in action to have rescued me after being pronounced dead. I felt that the work they were doing was important, something that needed to be done. So, here I am. That's about it in a nutshell."
"Do you enjoy the work?" Mulder was curious.
"Immensely," Joe replied immediately. "Being part of history, preserving it, recording it, living it. Gives you a sense of purpose, you know. Lord knows, after Nam, I needed something like that, something to hold on to." His voice took on a slightly pained note.
"I'm sorry," Mulder apologized, taking note of this. "I didn't mean to dredge up bad memories."
"That's okay. It's all in the past, anyway," Joe replied, his tone already regaining some of its earlier mirth. "Say, you guys work out of DC, right?" At their nods, he asked, "Do either of you know a Walter Skinner? Last I heard, he was with the FBI."
Both Mulder and Scully looked at each other in astonishment. "AD Skinner?" They nodded. "He's our supervisor. How do you know him?"
"AD, huh? You lose touch for a while..." He shook his head, then smiled. "I always knew old Wally would get ahead."
This time, Mulder coughed and sputtered as his drink went down the wrong way. Scully barely managed to place her drink on the table herself. They both stared at Joe.
"Wally?" They couldn't keep the incredulity out of their voices.
"Yeah. I knew him back in Nam. Toughest kid in his battalion. Damned shame, what happened to them. Whole lot of them, wiped out, just like that." He snapped his fingers to illustrate his point. "He was the only survivor, and we got put in the same hospital tent for a while. I still don't know how he managed to get through that, but I don't blame him one bit for going civilian after that. Some of the things we saw in Nam would curl your hair."
Both Mulder and Scully exchanged knowing glances at Joe's comment. His next question made them both strain to contain their laughter.
"Is he still as much of a tight ass as he was back then?"
"Joe, you have no idea." Mulder replied, deadpan.
"It's once in a blue moon that Mulder gets through a day without a full-blown AD Skinner ass chewing," Scully piped in.
Joe smiled at that, then assumed a thoughtful expression. "Hey, I have an idea. Maybe we could persuade him to be your Watcher. Being your boss, he would know where you guys were at all times."
This time the laughter couldn't be contained. Joe and the others just looked at the agents in surprise. When they'd calmed down enough to be able to reply coherently, Scully explained.
"Joe, no offense, but I doubt a Watcher could keep up with our schedule. Even one as highly placed as Skinner. Many of our cases take us into restricted military bases, DOD buildings like the Pentagon. I doubt that your guys could get access. We'd probably be better off watching each other."
"Oh, you'd be surprised. Watchers come in all varieties. We have captains, generals, FBI, CIA, NSA, you name it. I doubt there's a place in the world we couldn't get access to. Besides, immortals can't be Watchers. You can't exactly be objective record keepers, can you?"
"I thought I saw a Watcher tattoo on Adam over there," Mulder replied, gesturing with his chin towards the far table.
Joe simply shook his head. "He's the only one. He only does research. And he's sorta earned the right. He won't admit to it, but I suspect he had a hand in creating the Watchers in the first place. He's trying to stay out of the Game now, and I guess he finds being a Watcher convenient. No, I'm sorry guys. But only mortal Watchers for you two. Don't worry. We have yet to find an immortal we couldn't track because of access limits."
Mulder shook his head. "The kind of places we go to, if you have people with access to them, then you're in serious trouble." When Joe just looked at him questioningly, he went on. "Several of the places I've... ummm... gained access to is as good a phrase as any, I suppose... have things going on in there that would not only curl your hair, but leave you wishing you were never born. I'm talking human experimentation, inhumane tests, violation of human rights... all sanctioned by shadow organizations within our own government." His voice dropped to a whisper. He turned to face his partner, their hands reaching for each other to offer mutual comfort. "Joe," Mulder struggled to find the words, "I shudder to think what would happen if someone with legitimate access to these places found out about immortals." He stopped, feeling a sudden sense of dread. "Unless, they already have." He looked around the table at the shocked expressions on each of them, disbelief warring with doubt as they looked at each other.
"I know you mentioned this before, Dana, but I can't believe..." Natalie began, but was cut off by Scully.
"Believe it, Nat," she hissed. She gripped Mulder's hand tighter, absorbing the support he silently gave her. She looked at him, their eyes engaging in a silent conversation.
Should I tell them?
Your call, Scully. But how much, you have to decide.
She silently sent her thanks along their unspoken bond, thanks for letting her make this decision for herself, thanks for supporting her through a painful revelation, thanks for just being there for her.
Taking a deep breath to steel herself, she turned back to her friends. "About three years ago, in August, I was... taken... by a shadow group, a consortium, if you will. I have no memory, no recollection of what happened to me, but I was gone for three months. When I was returned, I found that I had been implanted with a computer chip at the base of my neck. We found that it was some sort of tracking device and that maybe it could also record memories. It was destroyed in the testing process, but I... we... think that it may have caused me, and several other women who were also taken, to contract terminal cancer." She swallowed, pausing before continuing. The shocked look on the others' faces only got more so.
There was a faint hint of moisture in her eyes. "I was lucky. I survived. But I held one of the other women in my arms as she died." She bit her lip to keep the tears from falling. She felt Mulder place his other hand over their joined ones, then place it around her shoulders. She leaned into him, accepting, longing for, needing the comfort.
"Oh, lord!" Joe let out a hushed whisper. Even Nick, who'd been listening to this quietly, had gone pale, which for him was saying something.
"Our government did this?" Duncan asked in disbelief, horrified at how little he knew about this. Never in his worst nightmares had he conceived of such atrocities in this day and age. Suddenly, the witch hunts of days past didn't seem so bad. At least those, you could escape. How could you hope to escape the clutches of your own government?
"Does, Duncan," Mulder corrected him. "But they're not exactly a part of our government. These people answer to no one, only themselves. They obtain funding and resources by hiding it within loopholes and legislative bureaucracy. But their agendas are their own. These people control events you couldn't possibly dream of... everything from presidential assassinations to the outcomes of sporting events. Scully and I, we've been trying to find out the truth about them for the past five years now. But we've been thwarted at every turn. Hell, we've had evidence stolen when it was locked within safes at the goddamn FBI, that's how powerful these people are." His voice was slowly rising in anger. "The only reason I've managed to get this far is because of some connections I've made. But even those aren't enough. It's only a matter of time before they stop us. I hope to god we get to them before that happens, because, if not..." He let his listeners' imaginations complete his sentence for him. Nothing they thought could be worse than the truth.
"I can't say that I'm surprised." The british accent caused the group at the table to turn their heads to greet the newcomer. Adam Pierson leaned on a nearby table, his hands crossed in front of him.
"Excuse me," Mulder sputtered. He looked around, noticing that LaCroix had left.
"Oh, I was just saying that the existence of such groups is not that surprising. There have been shadow organizations as long as there have been governments. Take for example the Knights Templar, the Illuminati. Of course, they didn't hide in shadows back then. Nowadays, what with democracy and people's rights and what not, shadows are about the only place they can survive. But their purpose, their objectives, have remained unchanged. A handful of people single-handedly attempting to govern the world, trying to guide its progress in the belief that they know what's good for it? I've seen it a thousand times before. In varying forms, but always ever-present."
Mulder's eyes narrowed at this speech. "Exactly what do you know about such organizations, Mr. Pierson? You seem to be fairly well informed about the subject."
"Just because I know a little history trivia doesn't make me an expert on the topic, Mr. Mulder," Adam hastened to reassure him. "Nor does it make me a part of any such conspiracy. All I'm saying is that even if you manage to stop such people, there will always be others to take their place, ready to fill the empty shoes." He flinched at the fire that suddenly sparked in Mulder's eyes.
"So no matter how hard we work to stop these people, there is no way for us to win. Isn't that what you're saying?" The space between the speakers fairly crackled with tension.
"Mulder..." Scully placed a restraining hand over his own, trying to calm him down. "He's entitled to his opinions, whatever they may be."
"Look, Mulder," Pierson went on blithely. "I've seen too many horrible things in this world for something like this to affect me. You want to fight the good fight? Go ahead, don't let me stop you. Just don't expect me to join you in some sort of war against these shadows. Believe me, in a couple of centuries, these villains of yours will only be a dim memory, to be replaced by some other threat to your valuable ideals. They are simply... not... worth it." With that he pushed off the table and stood up. "Duncan, Joe, I'll see you around." With a nod at those still seated, he turned and walked away.
Mulder looked at his retreating back, then turned back to face the others.
"And here I thought you were the depressive one, Mulder," Scully said, hoping to inject some lightness into the gloomy mood that had descended over the table.
"Don't mind him, Dana. He's just an old cynic." Duncan tried to smile.
"Cynic?" Mulder couldn't believe that Duncan would defend Adam after what he'd said. "He might as well be sitting in the enemies' camp."
"He himself has had to do terrible things in his past. And he's seen a lot in his life," Duncan replied defensively. "All I know is that, whenever I've needed him, he's been there for me. We don't always see eye to eye, but he's been a good friend, and that's all I can ask of anybody."
Mulder nodded, but had to get this off his chest. "I suppose. But you won't mind if I choose not to follow his advice?"
"Mulder... Even if he wasn't, I am horrified at the things you've mentioned. I had no idea that such things were going on. And I'm even more disturbed at how little I know about it. I want you to know that if you ever need my help, please feel free to ask." He went on with determination, "Such things should not be allowed in any government, in any era."
"Same thing goes for me too," Natalie said. Nick and Joe nodded as well, silently offering their support.
"Thanks guys," Mulder acknowledged the offer, then decided that this particular topic had been beaten to death enough, at least for now. "So, anyone for another round?" That effectively brought the saturnine mood of the evening to a close.
Mulder Residence, Seattle, WA
"So how are we going to handle this?"
A perfectly innocent question, on the surface. And definitely justified, given the situation. So why did it turn his stomach into more knots than were listed in a Boy Scouts manual? And how had this subject come up anyway?
They'd said goodnight to their friends at the bar after promising to show up for practice the next morning without fail, bringing to a pleasant conclusion the good mood that had followed Pierson's departure. They had reached Mulder's place, no doubts as to how they intended to spend the rest of the evening.
After a delightful exchange of kisses all the way from the car to the bedroom, they had finally gotten rid of their clothes and were lying on the bed. A little voice inside his head stubbornly wondered if they were spending too much time in bed, but he figured, after five years of celibacy, he was entitled. And the sight of Dana Scully straddling him, placing delicate kisses on his chest didn't exactly argue against it either.
They were both simply enjoying the moment when he'd foolishly brought up a topic he now wished he'd avoided. "I guess I'll have to throw away my favorite couch now, hunh?" He hadn't really been thinking when he asked her that. It was more rhetorical than anything, and he'd only meant it as a joke.
She'd pulled back from him, a questioning look in her eyes, silently demanding an explanation for his offhand comment.
And he'd obliged. "Well, it is my favorite piece of furniture, but I hardly think both of us would fit on it as easily."
"Mulder... you're not throwing away your couch."
Now it was his turn to stare questioningly. "What do you mean? Don't you think we'll have to make some changes in our lives, now that... well, now that we've made some changes in our lives?" His eyes twinkled at his attempt at casual humor.
The attempt failed to evoke the expected response from the redhead lying on top of him. "No." Nope, definitely not the expected response.
"I'm not going to lie to you, Mulder. I love you. But, I'm scared." She saw his forehead crinkle in confusion. "I have no intention of getting transferred to a California field office. And I'll be damned if I give the consortium any more ammunition against us."
Any humor that remained drained away as he realized what she was saying. He let out a resigned sigh. This was a conversation he had been dreading, ever since that first kiss, hell, ever since he'd thought about the possibility of them, together. It wasn't as if he didn't understand her concerns. He did. Only too well, in fact. But he'd hoped that he could forget about them while he was here in Seattle, forget about the real world, where they were Special Agents for the FBI, where they would have to conceal their emotions, their feelings for each other, where the problems took on the forms of shadowy figures who smoked and plotted in dark rooms.
Which brought them to where they were. How to handle this indeed? That was the crux of the matter, wasn't it? The fun and games were all fine, here in Seattle, on vacation. Once that was over, however, they would have to go back to their real lives, once again assuming the veneer of distance from each other. And now that they'd finally found one another, that distance was only going to seem that much wider, that much more unbearable.
"I don't want to lose you Scully." The simple statement summed up every single one of his feelings so very succinctly. She had voiced his own fears when she'd admitted her concerns. "We'll just have to find a way to hide our relationship, that's all."
"Mulder...," she shook her head, "We've been to each other's quite a few times, but I can count on one hand the number of times you've spent the night at my place. And then, you were either sick, hurt or presumed dead. How are we going to explain when someone asks why your car is parked in front of my place, or mine in front of yours, overnight, every night?"
"So what would you have us do, Scully? Past a certain point, hiding becomes denial. I refuse to go back to the way things were before. I will not spend the rest of my nights alone on my couch when I could be spending them with you. I'd rather quit the FBI and the X-files."
"Don't you think I want the same thing? God, just thinking of one night without you seems like torture. But you know quitting isn't the answer. For either of us. Not now. We both have too much at stake, too much we need to know, too much we need to find out. But we do have to come up with some way to handle this, Mulder. We can't let anyone know. Not Skinner, not the Gunmen, not even our families. It would be too dangerous. Any one of them could let something slip." She lay back down on his chest, turning her head to the side as he brought up his arms to hug her closer to him.
"Maybe I could fly over or something. Nick said that he could move pretty fast when he had to. I'm still trying to get used to the idea of it. But, all you'd have to do is keep a window open for me." He brought one hand up to gently stroke her hair, the other still holding her tightly to him.
"What? Like Superman?"
He could almost feel the small smile as she let herself relax. "Hey, if he could do it... Of course, I'll have to take some flying lessons soon."
"Better watch out for pigeons, Mulder." That earned her a slight slap to her hips. "Seriously, though. We'll have to ask the Gunmen to sweep my place regularly. And yours. We've found so many bugs at your apartment and the office, I'm surprised we haven't come across any at mine."
He nodded. "We'll call them as soon as we get back." He pursed his lip as if in thought before he continued. "You know, it's probably dangerous to think like this, but I can't help but feel that our newfound immortality gives us a cushion, a safety net of sorts. I mean, it just feels like we're no longer constrained by the FBI, by the consortium's rules. It's almost as if, for the first time, there's more to our lives than just our careers." He saw her raise her head again to look at him. He shrugged. "Who knows, maybe Pierson was right. A hundred years from now, will we even remember the consortium?"
"You're right, Mulder. It is dangerous to think like that. One bit of carelessness, and..." She shrugged. "We may not die, but I'd like to maintain our current lives as long as possible. I happen to enjoy the work we do, in spite of the danger." She let out a small laugh. "You know you've ruined me, Fox Mulder. I honestly cannot picture myself in a boring 9 to 5 job anymore. Even my assignment at Quantico seems blasť after the X-files."
"We might have to get used to them one day," he cautioned her. "Going into hiding is not easy, according to what Duncan said. Especially for us, considering our line of work. We'll have to stage pretty convincing deaths for each of us, and then lie low for some time. You remember how easily we found those irregularities in the histories of those beheading victims a couple of months ago? A determined tracker could have easily found those people. And one thing our enemies don't lack is determination. I guess we'll have to deal with that when it comes up. But, until then..."
"Until then, I fully intend to enjoy myself. You're right, Mulder. We'll have to be really careful. But I've waited for you for too long to give you up so easily." The determined look on her face gave way to a smile as she leaned towards him. "We'll make this work."
"That we will, Scully," he agreed, catching her lips in his. Yes, they were going to make this work. It would take patience and discretion, but they had each other, and, for the first time, the rest of their lives to look forward to, together.
Whoops. Forgot to disclaim the song. I didn't use the whole thing, but it's "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden. Again, no infringement is intended. When I first heard this song, I thought it would be perfect for this story. And, now that that's out of the way...
Notice the reference to Indiscretions (Highlander) in the spoiler section, even though the timeline sets this story long before that. I missed Indiscretions the first time, and when I saw it in reruns, I was floored by what Methos told Joe; something to the effect of "We make a good team, like Scully and Mulder, like... yada, yada, yada." Obviously, this means Methos and Joe have, at some time in the past, actually met the X-files duo. This, like that line from Chinga(XF) about decapitations (see FP2), just goes to show you that I'm still plausibly within the X-files universe as set forth by CC as well the Highlander universe. I have no idea how long I can keep that up though. BTW, I didn't put any spoilers for Forever Knight, cause firstly, I honestly don't remember the episode names anymore, and also since the show's been over for a while now, I figured anyone who knows about it has probably seen all the relevant episodes already.
Also, it's been so long since I've actually seen a Forever Knight episode, most of the references here are from memory. I hope I haven't made any mistakes when I crossed them into my story. I do remember LaCroix smoking from sun exposure in some episode, but I think it might be explained by his proximity to Nick, and it was actually Nick who was smoking. There are probably other instances where I've overlooked something. Just keep in mind that anything that wasn't from memory, especially character traits, was probably influenced by some of the wonderful XF/FK crossovers out there. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you great fanfic authors who've provided me with the inspiration to write this. May the muse smile upon you and enable you to write lots and lots of stuff for me to read ;-)
A note about the title. I chose Crossover for a number of reasons. First, obviously, this is a crossover between three shows. Second, Mulder is brought across, again a crossover of sorts. I don't know if becoming an immortal is called a crossing over or not, but anyway that's another one. And last, M & S finally cross that darn line that keeps getting in between them. So, an apt title?
About the crossover itself. I think this one is a little unusual, one I don't believe I've seen before. I've read stories with Mulder being immortal, and Mulder being a vampire, but never both. I've also read crossovers that involved a pairing of two immortals (M&S and others), as well as pairings between an immortal and a vampire (HL/FK). Plus, every story I've ever read where an immortal becomes a vampire also, that person has always been someone evil, and is usually killed. I wanted to see what would happen if that fate were to befall a good guy for a change. Sure, it would give Mulder a tremendous advantage. But then the fun's going to be to see what challenges I can throw his way (insert maniacal laughter here >).
As for the X-file in the story, I confess. I knew I wanted Mulder brought across, but I had no idea how to go about doing it. At first, I actually had LaCroix be the bad guy who bites Mulder. Then I had Nick somehow kill him, and then teach Mulder. And I might have been able to pull it off with the early LaCroix. But it just didn't quite mesh with the LaCroix I saw in Last Knight, which, I stress again, never happened in my universe. And so the X-file was formed. I have no idea how good of an X-file it is. Like I said, this story was a romantic getting together piece first, and a juicy X-file a distant second. I actually wanted to get our heroes in bed, declaring their undying love, sometime near the beginning. Weaving this story somehow kept pushing their confessions farther and farther with each revision, until it finally ended up being a climax of sorts(pun intended;). Oh well. And I swear, I thought of the interrupted kiss scene long before the movie. Can you say premonition?
And about that little conversation in the bar between Methos and LaCroix. Just what in heaven's name are they talking about? I'm not exactly sure myself, although I have the workings of a future story in mind. It's just that if that story were ever to be written, this scene would have had been a must, retrospectively speaking.
Finally, we come to the end of the notes section. Can you say monster story? This one definitely got away from me. I actually tried to end the story sooner, right after the first kiss scene. But I had so many things I wanted to get off my chest, or rather Mulder and Scully's chests, that I kept extending the story further and further. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a small followup piece or something pretty soon.
Wait, didn't I say finally up there. Oh, yeah, just one more thing. I forgot the feedback spiel. Gasp! Can't have that now, can we? So send it, folks. Even just to say you only saw this one line as you were skimming through the story and were somehow compelled to acknowledge how masterfully it was composed. Or to comment on the story itself, yeah, that would be okay too:) BTW, did anyone think the PG was too tame a rating? How about the crossover itself? Did I provide enough information for those who aren't familiar with HL and/or FK? Anyone totally lost? Also any comments, criticisms, critiques, challenges, requests for stories or explanations, etc. are welcome. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time...
Futures Past Chronology:
|01 - The Awakening||(Oct 1997)|
|02 - The Light of Day||(Jan 1998)|
|03 - My Funny Valentine||(Feb 1998)|
|04 - Crossover||(Feb 1998)|
|Futures Past 03:
My Funny Valentine
|Home||Futures Past 05: