Encounter with the Undead

Encounter with the Undead

By Mary Kleinsmith (Buc252@aol.com)

Rating: PG

Category: Halloween Challenge. Written for VS10 Halloween

Special event

Keywords: MSR, Angst, a touch of MT

Spoilers: Bad Blood

Archive: Two weeks exclusively on VS9, then ATF, Ephemeral

and anywhere else. Just keep my name attached.

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully and all the others belong to

Chris Carter, 1013 and Fox. No copyright infringement

intended.

Summary: An acquaintance from the past comes back to haunt

Mulder and threaten his happiness with Scully. (No, it’s

not a ghost!)

Feedback: It would be much appreciated!

Authors’ Notes: I chose, for personal reasons, not to

participate in a full story in this year’s VS10, despite

having a good experience last year with Dreamweaver. It was

not an easy decision, or entered into lightly, but for the

non-authors out there, I can tell you that writing a VS

episode is not nearly as easy as you might think. I’d

decided that, for this year at least, I’d be on the

sidelines. And then Vickie asked me about the Halloween

Special. During our chat, an idea – this idea – bloomed,

and when Susan added her voice to Vickie’s, I finally

decided that this is what I was meant to do. So here it is,

folks. I hope you like it!

Encounter with the Undead

By Mary Kleinsmith (Buc252@aol.com)

It never failed. The worst case in the world, taking place

during the worst week of his life . . . and now he had to

look forward to answering the door all night, giving candy

to kids he didn’t know. Kids who could be his own . . . if

he’d just get off his ass and marry Scully. It didn’t

matter that she couldn’t birth them herself; if they

couldn’t have them, they could adopt them. But they’d be

THEIRS.

Okay, this is too depressing. The big X-File had ended in a

foot chase through a garbage dump, and ended in his

tackling the very human, very normal suspect in the biggest

pile of waste he’d ever seen. Heck, anybody had ever seen.

He was disgusting, stinking so bad he didn’t dare sit down

on the sofa to rest his tired muscles without cleaning up

first.

Ahhhh, cleaning up. A hot shower . . . real soap, not those

horridly tiny little bars motel rooms gave you . . . a

shower head that sprayed OVER his head instead of into his

neck. It sounded like heaven.

He wasn’t sure if his suit was salvageable, but he’d give

the dry cleaners a chance, he thought as he shed each piece

and deposited them into a garbage bag. At least, if they

failed, it was ready for disposal. This job cost him so

much money sometimes.

Climbing into the shower, he wondered what Scully had

planned for tonight. She’d made it clear that there was no

way she was staying at the office past quitting time. Maybe

it had been the smell. . . or maybe it was because she was

tired of doing reports.

Or maybe, she had something to do – without him, his inner

voice of self-doubt popped up. It rarely did anymore, but

every once in awhile, he wondered how he could ever have

gotten so lucky.

Lathering his shampoo into a thick foam, he scrubbed his

hair, doing his best to scrub all thought from his head.

There was too much up there. It only helped partly, but he

felt a level of peacefulness as he stood under the shower

head once again to rinse.

He nearly lost his balance, so lulled by the shower was he,

when his cell phone rang. He’d set it on the vanity, as was

his habit; Scully had been right when she said that he

couldn’t do without the thing, but perhaps was not aware of

the full truth. He couldn’t do without it simply because

it was his connection to her – and she was something else

he absolutely could not do without.

Shaking the water from his hair and trying to tell himself

he wasn’t acting like a Retriever, he stepped from the

shower in time to grab the phone before it clicked to voice

mail.

“Mulder.”

“Agent Mulder, there’s something you need to see. Come to

354 Genesee Street in Georgetown, the Bourbon Street Club.”

“Who is this?” Mulder asked. The voice didn’t sound

familiar; it was a stranger or disguised in some way, he

deduced.

“Just someone looking out for your best interests. Come,

and hurry.”

There was a click as the line disconnected before he could

get another word in edgewise.

Now he was faced with a dilemma. Follow the instructions,

or stay home. It could be important, but it also could be a

trap, or, worse, a complete waste of time. A Halloween

practical joke. But since the alternative was to stay home,

trying to explain to the neighbor kids who knocked on the

door that he hadn’t bought enough – okay, any really –

treats to go around because he’d been chasing after little

gray men. A story like that might actually make them forget

about candy, he thought.

Dressing quickly, he chose to forego his regular gun and

holster, which would be too conspicuous on his jeans, but

strapped on his ankle holster and smaller gun. He doubted

he’d need it, but he wanted to feel like he had some kind

of back up.

Backup. Maybe he should call Scully. If he got himself hurt

again because he’d failed to tell her what he was doing,

she’d be pissed as hell with him. She’d been pretty clear

that she had plans, but called her apartment anyway,

getting the answering machine and leaving a message as to

where he was going and why. If he disappeared, at least

she’d know in the morning a bit of what had happened. A

place to start, so to speak.

Grabbing his keys, he made sure the door was locked before

sprinting to his car. He knew where Genesee Street was – it

wasn’t that far from Scully’s place – but he was unfamiliar

with club itself. He wondered if it would have a New

Orleans flavor, given the name, and what kind of music

they’d play.

Finding a parking space was easier than he expected, but

maybe club hopping wasn’t something people did on

Halloween. For a psychologist, he realized he was out of

touch with the human condition on the socialization issues

of the current day. Scully could probably tell him –

she was much more socially adept than he was and he knew

it. It was why they made a great team; what one was

lacking, the other supplied.

There was a cover charge, and Mulder paid it before

slipping into the club and taking a seat at an empty table.

He wasn’t sure what to expect; whether the person who

called would approach him, whether the thing he was

supposed to see would be obvious, or if he’d have to go

looking for it. A waitress with an immodest amount of

cleavage showing approached and took his order. He opted

for soda, wanting to keep a clear head until he knew what

was going on.

Batting her eyes at him, she went off to fetch his drink,

and he took the opportunity to scan the room. A few people

sat at the bar, mostly singles although one or two couples

were also there. They appeared to have only one goal for

the night, and that was to lose themselves in the oblivion

of alcohol. Away from the bar, couples occupied tables

surrounding a small dance floor, most appearing to have not

dancing on their minds, but copulation. They kissed and

touched in a way that would be a borderline arrestible

offense if they were outside.

On the dance floor, a very few couples moved to a slow,

steady rhythm from a source he couldn’t identify, seeming

to be trying to get so close that they inhabited the same

space. Most were dressed in casual clothes, jeans, oxford

shirts, nothing that would make them stand out in a

crowd. Then, his eyes were drawn to a couple, her red hair

standing out in stark contrast to the rest of the room and

his face buried against her neck. Their bodies were barely

moving, but necks and heads moved, nuzzled, stretched. And

the feminine form looked familiar . . .

Mulder gasped as he realized this was what he was there to

see. It was Scully, with another man. He felt a surge of

jealousy towards the man with whom she was dancing. He had

prior claim on her, he thought angrily. As if beckoned by

Mulder’s own thoughts, the man raised his brunet head from

her neck to meet his eyes. Glowing yellowish green, they

reached out to him, and he realized that this was no

stranger.

The man whispered in Scully’s ear, and they turned as one

to approach his table.

“Mulder, what are you doing here?” she asked, but he almost

missed it. He was distracted by her – or more pointedly, by

the fact that there was blood on her neck.

“Can’t . . . can’t a guy . . . umm . . . have a drink

anymore?” he responded, and realized that he had little

excuse. Still, finding her here, with him, was more than a

little disturbing.

“Of course, Agent Mulder,” came in a thick Texan accent

through buck teeth. “It’s just one doozy of a coincidence.”

“Of course, Sheriff Hartwell,” Mulder agreed, trying to

figure what his next move should be. When Hartwell nodded

his own agreement, there was blood on his neck as well.

Scully and Mulder exchanged a look that both understood,

and Scully turned to Hartwell.

“Would you get me another drink?” she asked her ‘date’ with

a lascivious grin. “Something with alcohol this time, I

think.” And she winked at him. She actually winked at him!

Hartwell nodded and went on his way, leaving them alone.

Mulder wasn’t going to waste the little time he knew

they had.

“Scully, what the hell are you doing with him? You know

what he is!”

“Yes, I know what he is. He’s a kind, gallant man who

treats me with courtesy and respect. Anything else is just

small potatoes.”

“But, Scully . . .”

“I was going to wait until tomorrow to tell you, Mulder,

but I’ll be tendering my resignation. Lucius has asked me

to go back to Texas with him, and I’ve said yes.”

“Scully, you can’t!” Mulder said pleadingly. This couldn’t

be happening, but it was.

“He gives me everything I need, Mulder. Can’t you

understand that?”

“Oh, and does that include this?” he snapped, standing to

pull the collar away from her neck where the red liquid was

still wet.

“Yes, I give him what he needs, too. It’s a wonderful

relationship.”

“And what does he give you, Scully? I can give you all

that, all you had to do was ask. I’d have done it all.”

“I doubt you really know what you’re saying, Mulder,” she

grinned.

“Yes, I do. Did you let him do it? Has he made you like

them?”

“Does it matter?” she asked.

“Yes, it matters. Of course it matters.”

“No, it doesn’t. Because if he didn’t, then I’m going of my

own free will, and if he did, then I’m going to be with my

own kind. Either way, you have to face it. You can’t stop

me.”

Just then, Hartwell returned with three glasses of blood-

red wine. At least, he hoped it was wine. Handing one to

Scully, then to Mulder, he slipped the freed hand around

her waist.

“How about I propose a toast. To our lives. May we all have

a glorious future.” Scully and Hartwell clinked their

glasses intimately before turning to Mulder.

“I’m sorry if I don’t see anything to be so happy about,”

he said grimly.

“Then come with us,” Scully said unexpectedly, and both men

looked at her, startled. “You can be happy there, Mulder.

They can make it better for you.”

“But what about the X-Files? My sister? Our work?”

“We can . . . they can . . . help you to forget. You can be

happy.”

“Scully, I’ll never be happy. Either here or in Texas, as

long as I have to know that you’re with him.” His voice

dripped venom on the pronoun.

“He’s a good man, Mulder.”

“I’d beg to differ, but that’s not the point. It’s not that

you’re with him,” Mulder said in anger and desperation.

“It’s that you’re not with ME! I thought that we had

something together.”

“And we can have it again, it’ll just be a little

different. Did you know that Lucius’s people don’t practice

monogamy? You can still have me.”

“But he would have you, too. No, I don’t think so,” he

gritted through clenched teeth.

“Well,” she said, setting down her wine glass. “If you

change your mind, you just have to say the word.”

“I won’t. I have at LEAST that much self respect.”

“That’s your loss,” she said sadly. “We need to go. Lucius

only feels comfortable in the city on Halloween. We need to

be out of town by midnight. A van will be moving my

apartment. If there’s anything of yours left there, just

let them know – I’ve told them to give you carte blanche to

take whatever you want. I’d planned to call you in the

morning, but I’m actually glad it happened this way. You

need to understand that this is what I want. Goodbye,

Mulder. I will miss you, but I can’t let that change my

mind.”

She turned to go, Hartwell taking up his place beside her.

They moved quickly, and were almost to the door when he

realized she really was leaving. And not just leaving . . .

leaving to become one of the famed undead, if she wasn’t

already.

“Scully, no! Don’t go!” He stood, beginning to go after

her, but finding himself impeded by a sudden crowd.

“Scully, I love you! You can’t leave me!”

The crowd pushed in on him, crushed him until he couldn’t

move or breath. And then the darkness closed in on him. For

just a moment, he wondered if those around him were of the

‘clan’ as well, and if they’d change him into one of them,

but then the blackness took over entirely.

**

When he woke up, it was to the sound of an engine humming.

He realized that he was lying on the back seat of a car,

with a familiar brunet head in the driver’s seat.

“What the hell is going on, Hartwell?” he asked angrily. He

noticed now that his hands were tied securely behind his

back, and they’d fallen asleep from the lack of

circulation.

“We’re going to Texas, Agent Mulder. I know you said you

didn’t want to go, but, you see, I’ve promised Dana to do

whatever it takes to make her happy, and that means you.

She can’t be happy without you, so we’re all going home.”

He laughed, a bitter sound he’d never before heard from

the Sheriff. “Can’t say I’m crazy about the idea myself,

but I’m gonna give Dana what she wants.”

“You can’t force me to stay against my will. I’ll escape

eventually.”

“We don’t have to keep you forever. Just until you can be

brought over. Like Dana, you’ll come around as soon as

you’ve undergone the change. Then we’ll settle in like one

big happy family.”

“I’ll be missed.”

“Please, Agent Mulder. I know at least enough about you to

know otherwise. The only person who’d miss you is Dana.

Your boss, maybe, but Dana will give him an appropriate

excuse along with your resignation. You’ll be happy to be

with us soon enough.”

“So you’re just going to change me. I don’t get any say in

the matter.”

“I’m afraid so. See, I want Dana, and she wants you. It’s

the only way I get to keep her.”

“She’s not a possession, you idiot. She’s a woman, with her

own life and her own choices.”

“And she’s choosing to go, too. You may as well accept at

least that.” His confrontational tone turned

conversational. “You should actually feel quite honored,

Agent Mulder. Halloween night is the only day of the year

that we can change a human into one of our own, despite all

the movies and legends.”

“So why haven’t I been changed yet?”

“Only someone of the opposite sex can change another. Dana

will do you, but she doesn’t quite know you’re coming yet.”

“I’m a surprise?!”

“You could say that. She’s going to be so happy to see you.

We really did try leaving you behind, but she was

inconsolable.” He frowned at Mulder’s laugh. “Even vampires

have feelings, Agent Mulder.”

“Forgive me if I’m having my doubts. So you changed her?”

“Oh, that was done well before we ran into you tonight. I

was lucky – caught her on her way home from the office. She

knew we were meant to be together.”

“The two of you, or the three of us?” he asked bitterly.

“Believe me, sharing Dana was not my first choice either.

But I’d rather have part of her than none of her. How about

you, Agent Mulder? How important is she to you?”

“She’s everything to me. But she’s not who she was. She’s

not my Scully anymore. You’ve turned her into something

else.”

“She is different, that’s true. But I still somehow find it

hard to believe that you won’t gladly come to her when she

calls. You won’t be able to say no, any more than she was

able to say no to me.”

“So we’re all going to settle down and be one happy family?

You’ve got to be kidding me. . .”

“There is no kidding here, Mulder. I’m deadly serious,”

Hartwell said, concentrating his eyes back on the road.

“Dana’s gone ahead to secure a place for us – me and her,

she thinks – at our new camp.”

“Where are we going?”

“I think I’m going to wait to tell you that until you’ve

had a . . . change of heart. It’s coming, and the sooner

you can accept that, the better. Now you may as well rest

up. It may be the last chance you get,” he laughed.

With those words, the blackness swarmed in again over

Mulder, and he felt himself drifting. Did Hartwell do it,

or was his own body betraying him? He wasn’t sure, but

didn’t get to dwell on it long before oblivion claimed him.

**

He awoke again in what appeared to be a large barn. Nothing

fancy, no livestock or hay bales, it appeared to be more of

a meeting place. As if to confirm this, his attention was

drawn to a looming figure above him. It wasn’t

exceptionally tall, he didn’t think, but the impression

came from the fact, he realized, that he was lying on the

floor. Above him, the man was speaking.

“Friends, brethren, we gather here today to greet two new

members of our society, and to witness the bringing over of

one of them.”

Mulder looked in the direction Hartwell faced to see a

crowd gathered there, all of them with glowing, green eyes.

The undead, a voice in his head told him. Pinching himself,

he tried to awaken from the nightmare, but it seemed this

was only too real.

Then he saw her, coming through the crowd toward him, her

eyes glowing as green as any of the others. It was so

distracting that he wasn’t hearing what Hartwell was saying

about her. He watched as she stepped on the slightly raised

platform on which he now realized he was lying and took the

Sheriff’s hand, their fingers interlacing. Mulder only

heard the last thing he said.

“Former enemies are now friends. Let’s all welcome Dana,”

and he turned to look at Mulder, “and Fox. Let us all

celebrate, and at five minutes before the witching hour, we

will gather again to watch as Dana makes Fox one of our

own.”

Unlikely cheers went up all around, and suddenly there was

music. This was not happening, Mulder told himself again.

Not only was he going to be turned into one of the undead,

now he wasn’t even going to get to enjoy the party. He

wasn’t stupid – he knew there was no way he’d get the

chance to escape. They’d keep him tied up, right where he

was, until the time came.

Would it really be so bad, though? He thought

philosophically. It could be a lot worse than spending

eternity with Scully . . .

He had a crude awakening. “And him,” he whispered, watching

Scully and Hartwell dancing so close, they were practically

in the same skin.

The dancing grew faster, more erotic, and the entire

company seemed to be lost in a carnal haze. The room began

to spin, his blurry vision showing him a vague picture of

Scully, sandwiched between the wall and Hartwell’s grinding

hips. He wanted to run, to move, to stop them . . .

Anything, but lie here on the floor waiting for the end of

the last day of his life. Because despite what Sheriff

Hartwell said, he couldn’t believe that he would be the

same person once Scully did to him what had been done to

her.

I mean, would the REAL Scully do what she was doing now?

And if she did, wouldn’t she do it with me?

It was his last thought as he drifted off once again.

The next thing of which he was aware was something pressing

against his lips. Something soft, and pliable. Something

not warm, and it felt unnatural.

He opened his eyes to find them affixed to a pair of

glowing green ones that somehow should have been blue. A

deep, resonating voice, yet familiar, spoke inside his

head.

“It’s our time, Mulder. Everybody is gathered.”

“Gathered?”

“Yes. Men are brought into the clan in front of its

members,” she said in a deep, eerie voice. “And once it’s

done, you,” she kisses me, unbelievably, on the lips, “and

I,” another kiss, “and Lucius can all go home.” I know she

sees my thoughts in my eyes, or maybe she’s reading my

mind. “No, not Washington. The home we will share.

Together. Forever.”

He hears he crowd pressing in, their footsteps shuffling

closer, but his eyes are mesmerized by hers and he can’t

look away. Her face draws closer, and just when he thinks

she’s going to kiss him again, her mouth takes a detour. To

his neck.

He shivers, expecting to feel the piercing of teeth, and

then it occurs to him. These vampires don’t have fangs –

how does she intend to . . .

There’s a fine, sliding sensation a fraction of a second

before the pain kicks in. Dammit, she actually cut me with

something, he realizes. He feels a solid wetness, her

tongue, slide over the slice before her lips settle around

it.

“Scully, don’t do this,” he whispers, surprising himself

that he’s not shouting it at the top of his lungs. She

doesn’t move away, and the pressure becomes stronger as he

become more fearful. Finally, he finds his voice.

“Scully, stop!” But she begins to suck, and he’s helpless

to stop her.

“SCULLY! STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

**

“Mulder. Sweetheart, are you okay?”

Before he opened his eyes, he knew it was her voice. She’d

come back to him! Or they’d taken him to her. He tried to

raise the lids, but they didn’t seem to want to cooperate.

“Mulder, c’mon. Wake up and show me you’re okay.”

Finally, he was able to focus on her face. It was scrubbed

clean, all traces of the dark makeup she’d worn at the club

removed, and her hair was pulled up into a neat ponytail.

“You came back,” he whispered as he blinked slowly. “Thank

God.”

“I just went home, Mulder,” she said, taking his hand in

her own. “I guess I didn’t realize you needed a chaperone.

Can you get up?”

Looking around, he realized several things at once. He was

home, he was in his shower, his head was killing him . . .

and he was naked. Not that she hadn’t seen it before lots

of times, but . . .

“Scully, what happened?” he asked as she pulled him to his

feet. He followed meekly. “You said you were leaving me.

Please tell me you changed your mind!” His head was still a

bit foggy, but he remembered that part clearly.

“Mulder, I only went as far as my apartment, and I never

said I was leaving you. I’ll NEVER leave you, my love.” She

settled his wet body on the bed, uncaring that the blanket

was getting soaked. “As for what happened, I was at home,

getting ready for the trick-or-treaters when your neighbor,

Mrs. Lopez, called. She said she heard a bang from inside

your apartment, but you wouldn’t come to the door, so she

worried you were in trouble. I came right over, and just as

I got inside, I heard you screaming for me.”

“I screamed for you . . .” Mulder said, dazedly.

“Yes. You were begging me not to go, and you said you loved

me.”

“Well, I do.”

“I know, and I love you, too. I think it’s pretty simple to

figure out what happened. You fell in the shower, hit your

head, and ended up having some kind of traumatic nightmare.

What did you dream, Mulder?”

He shivered a little, unsure of whether it was the cold on

his bare skin or the memories that were causing it. “You

were quitting. Leaving to go back to Texas with Sheriff

Hartwell. He was turning you into one of them, Scully.” The

fear was back in his voice. “You said he could give you all

the things I couldn’t.”

“He could never give me what you do, Mulder,” she said as

she gently dried his hair with a towel. “And, for the

record, I haven’t thought of him once since we resolved

that case. There’s no need to be jealous.”

Suddenly, Mulder was offended. “I wasn’t jealous. I just .

. .” She raised an eyebrow at him, and he realized,

happily, that there was no denying it. “Okay, so I was

jealous. Thank God it was just a dream.”

“You must have conked yourself good,” Scully said, feeling

the lump on his head. “I’ll tell you what. Pack a bag with

your best Halloween-ish videos, because you’re spending the

night at my place. We’ll greet trick-or-treaters, watch

scary movies and pop popcorn. Then, later on, if you’re

feeling better, I’ll show you a few tricks of my own.” She

grinned at him wickedly, and he felt his heart race, the

blood rushing through his body.

“Mmmm . . .” he mumbled, leaning his head into her hands.

“Sounds good.”

“Okay, then. Get some clothes on and we’re out of here.”

~~~~

end

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