Title: Blood of My Blood III. Touchstones
Author: Claire
Disclaimer: Characters are the property of Fox, and no profit is being made from this fic.
Rating: R
Spoilers: Requiem. Set post colonization.

Summary: To get back what was taken from them.

Scully calms down somewhat after we pull the cross down. Langly is only semi-conscious, clearly in shock and pain. Frohike and Byers break the wooden boards around Langly's hands and feet, trying to remove the nails without causing further damage.

Scully goes to find material for splinting Langly's legs so he can be moved. His knees have been broken. Scully's eyes are huge in her thin face, her hands trembling as she goes. I may be trembling a little myself.

A half hour later, Scully has found lengths of wood and rope for splints, and a table for use as a stretcher. I have been less successful. I have searched the building, street and surrounding area: no Sean. I try to stave off panic, but it grips me in fear. Just as I think I am about to go insane, Langly rouses. Small mercies.

It surprises me a little, how gently Mulder talks to Langly. I can see the tension in the lines of Mulder's arms, I know how frustrated he is, but he speaks as though he was in the park on a summer's day.

I've splinted Langly's legs the best I can, washed his wounds and tried to make him comfortable. Frohike and Byers will take hime to a clinic, relying on Frohike's connections again to get the legs set. I'm not sure exactly what his connections are, but I have a feeling they'll be waiting a while just the same.

I almost wish I was going with them, because Mulder is scaring the hell out of me: silent and furious. Langly has explained to him what happened: Jakob, the vampire fifth columnist, has seized his chance. Now that the council, the head vampires, are out of the way, Jakob has his chance to rule.

We should have known; no, *I* should have known. I have lived with the masters for years. I know them and they don't do favors. I shouldn't have trusted Jakob's word when he planned the bombing with us. I've been misled again by my stupid hope.

Sean is gone: taken by Jakob. Langly recounts Jakob's talk in pieces: the colonists. Immunity. Trade. I feel sick to my stomach, this cup at my lips once more.

Mulder is still silent as we head to his car, he checking the clip in his Sig as we walk. He leaves the gun on the seat between us and drives in silence. I don't know where we're going.

"Skyland Mountain," says Mulder. I don't think I spoke aloud, but I guess he heard me anyway. "It's a hot spot of kinds...for them. I think that's where he'll go."


Jakob is going to give Sean to the colonists. It's all I can think about. I remember Scully's abduction, over ten years ago now. And of course, I remember when I was taken. The memories are still with me. I remember what they did to me. I remember the tests. Eight months in which they poked and prodded me, shocked me and cut me open and rearranged my insides and God knows what else. Eight months of them discussing my DNA and immunity and how I could be of use to them, as if I was so much property. And then my release.

I don't know why they would want Sean. Purity has taken the world in its grasp, and we few who are left are almost powerless against the invaders.

Scully interrupts my thoughts. "Can I ask you something?" At first I think it's a rhetorical question, but she does not continue.

"Of course," I glance at her and then back at the road, unwilling to give up my focus on my goal.

Her voice is nearly inaudible. "What was it like? The end of the world...I was taken before it all started..." She pauses. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked."

"No. It's all right," I tell her. I lived through it. I can talk about it. "You know that it had begun when I returned?" She nods. "Well, when I got back to DC, the Purity release had begun. Frohike and Skinner told me what happened to you, to the baby. I couldn't believe it, at first. I went to your Apartment, looking for you." Waiting for you there, I think, but do not say. Four years waiting in your apartment for a way to bring you back.

"Skinner used his contacts to help me get Sean: he was in foster care. The FBI was still in one piece, then, but everyone knew the sky was falling. I went back a few days after I got custody of Sean, but everyone in the building was dead or gone. I never found Skinner, but I've looked for him since."

It didn't take as long as you might think--the end of the world. A week? Ten days? I guess I lost track of time a little, but I know it was all gone almost in the blink of an eye: everyone gone.


So he stayed here. Moved into my Apartment, dug a garden in my front yard, took care of the baby and searched for his friends. Mulder has never lost his faith in love: we differ in that way, as in many others. He knew I am immune to the virus, so my disappearance must have had more earthbound implications. Vampires. Like the world wasn't insane enough before the breakdown of civilization.

"And Jakob took Sean because the colonists want him?" I'm trying to clarify my thoughts. "Because of Sean's passive immunity to Purity? Mulder, you and I are immune because we have been vaccinated. We don't even know if that was transferred to Sean. And why would the colonists worry about immune humans at this stage, anyway? They've already wiped out most of the planet." I look at Mulder, expectantly.

"I don't know." He shakes his head, eyes on the road. "But I don't think it's all about Purity anymore."

"Then what? This DNA abnormality they're supposedly so interested in?"

"I don't know, Scully."

"If they're so interested in that, why did they return you?"

"I don't know."

"And how does Jakob know they want Sean? Why haven't they taken Sean before now? How does Skyland Mountain tie into this anyway?"


"I know...you don't know."

"No. Look." He points to a sign. Skyland Mountain, 20 miles. I shiver and fall silent.

Left to my thoughts, I think about Sean. I barely know him, I tell myself. He is Mulder's son, Mulder has cared for him for these years. I barely know him. I shouldn't be this terrified, this empty, hollow in anticipation of the loss of him. Grief doesn't make you sad, it makes you empty.

Did Jakob put him in the trunk, like Duane Barry did to me so long ago? A little kid can't struggle like an adult, so maybe Jakob let him ride up front. I hope so.

When we reach Skyland's summit, blood is staining the sky: almost dawn.

There is a car abandoned on the road. I get out of the car, gripping my gun. I don't look to see if Scully's following, but I hear her footsteps behind me. I check the car, open the trunk. Empty. I've come full circle.

I turn and see him: a few hundred meters away. Jakob. I walk toward him, call his name, my Sig in my fist like a talisman, to save me, to save us all.

Jakob turns, and I can see Sean in his arms. Sean calls to me, and struggles against Jakob, but is held fast. As I get closer, I can see the knife. I cannot see a clear shot, and Jakob shouts to me: drop the gun.

I hold my arms straight out, in supplication, turn my hand toward the ground and loosen my grip.

Standing behind Mulder, I can see it all. I see him stretch out his arms as if in slow-motion, preparing to drop the Sig. I place my hand under his, taking the gun as he drops it. I sight over his arm and shoot.

Jakob is on the ground, Sean beside him, screaming. Covered in blood.

So this is life at the end of the world. I live in my Apartment, with Mulder and Sean. We tend Mulder's vegetable garden, store rainwater, trade or buy the things we need with Mulder's seemingly unending flow of cash.

I read a lot. The end of civilization gives you plenty of time for contemplation. Now that I'm fitter, I go jogging through Georgetown, my old route now all my own. I play with Sean.

The Lone Gunmen keep in touch. Langly's knees have gradually healed and he can walk slowly, painfully. Frohike and Byers bring gifts stolen or bought, I never ask. Rice, flour, matches, the ever-present peanut butter cups.

We plan further raids, action against the colonists. The vampire slave trade continues, but without an informant, we know nothing about their activities. Mulder continues to live in hope that we can stop them. I don't contradict him.

I'm healing. I've put on weight--maybe a bit too much, for my tastes, but Mulder seems happy about it. At least he's stopped trying to force-feed me.

I tell Sean about his family, his uncles and cousins and grandmother.

Mulder must be influencing me: I hold the hope that I may see them again, someday. Hope doesn't frighten me as it once did.

Mulder has never asked me about that night, about the night I shot Jakob in the head, missing my son by inches. I guess he doesn't want to know.

Or maybe he knows already.

Did she have a clear shot? I've thought about it a lot, but I've never asked her. I guess in a way it doesn't matter: our son is safe, the immediate threat removed. Some of Scully's demons are exorcised.

This brave new world we are in is filled with contradictions, but I knowher. She is the same, although she is changed. Would she have shot at Jakob if she thought it would risk Sean? She is his mother. But surely any of us, blinded with hate and fear, given what she had been through at the hands of Jakob's people, might have taken the risk. Removing the chance that the nightmare from which she has so recently awoken may begin again.

As I said, she is his mother.

--The End

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