Title: Die Bug Die
Author: Andrea
Rating: NC-17
Category: MSR, SRH
Crossover with The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a little bit
Disclaimer: CC and Charlaine Harris's, not mine
Spoilers: none

written for the Scared Stiff Challenge here: http://www.mulderscreek.com/halloween/2011a.html

Notes: Thank you to Dan, Tanya and Mendy for beta reading.

Feedback: Do I have to beg? ardywyn1@gmail.com

I could hear my phone ringing as I approached my apartment door. Just as I was sliding my key into the lock, it stopped. I wasn't overly concerned. If it was important, they'd leave a message. Before I started turning the door handle, my cell began to chirp. First the landline, then my cell; it had to be Scully. I trotted to my desk to grab it.

"Hey, Scully." I found myself smiling at the phone.

Mulder, where have you been?"

That seemed a little terse for Scully, especially considering that I hadn't done anything to piss her off, that I was aware of.

"Out for a run. Why? What's up?"

"My neighbor is dead. I need you to meet me at the airport - Washington National, I mean Ronald Reagan National."

"What? Your neighbor is dead?"

My neighbors seemed to drop like flies, so another death wouldn't bother me that much, but Scully sounded freaked out.

"I'll explain when you get here."

"Why the airport?"

"Mulder, there isn't time. You have to hurry," she said in exasperation.

"Okay, okay. Just let me grab a shower."

"You don't have time to shower. Please get here as fast as you can and make sure you aren't followed. I'll wait by the Delta ticket counter. Bring your fake ID. We'll be travelling as Mr. and Mrs. Hale."

"Do I need luggage?"

"Don't you have a go bag in your trunk?"

"Right. I'll be there in half an hour."

"Thank you," she breathed and then the line went dead.

After grabbing my alternate ID, keys and wallet, I ran to my car, opting for the stairs because they were faster. From the sound of Scully's voice, I knew she was scared, which made me want to bring my gun. But neither George Hale nor his wife, Lucy, was licensed to carry. I didn't have the remotest idea why Scully was so agitated. We closed our latest case almost a week ago and even though I was pursuing a couple of leads, neither was outwardly dangerous. There were rumours about vampire activity in Louisiana, but Scully wouldn't care one iota about that; not after what happened in Chaney. The other case I was looking at was an 'Eve' siting, but I had nothing concrete. Yes, Eve could be scary, but I doubt she perceived Scully or me as a threat.

By the time I pulled into long term parking my knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. The time estimate I'd given Scully factored in that it was going to take me almost as long to get to the terminal as it did to get to the parking structure. As soon as I had cell reception I called Scully.

"Okay, I'm here. I should only be another five minutes," I told her when she answered.

"Good. Our flight leaves in fifteen minutes."


"I already have our boarding passes and our bags are carry on. We should just make it, which was my plan. Hurry. Gate 15, I'll wait for you at security."

I hit end on my phone and broke into a run. Luckily I hadn't pushed myself too hard during my run earlier and that, coupled with an adrenaline rush had me beside Scully in three minutes; breathing hard.

Once we were through security we had to run to our gate. I didn't get a chance to ask her anything until we were in our seats. She took the aisle. I had the widow seat.

As soon as I was buckled in I turned to her. "Where are we going and why?"

"Shreveport. Because it found me," she told me wide-eyed.

"It? What are you talking about? What does this have to do with your neighbor dying?' She sounded a little crazy. That was my role in this partnership.

"It. The thing from Oakbrook," she whispered.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

"Did you see it?"

"No, but I knew it was here when I saw my neighbor."

If Scully's neighbor had been turned into zombie, it was definitely after Scully. Why else would it need a minion? That thing knew our names and that we were FBI; beyond that it knew nothing. Neither Scully nor I had listed numbers, but it still managed to track her down.

"Shit." I reached for her hand. It was like ice. "Why Shreveport?"

"Well, we're stopping in Atlanta first, then connecting to Shreveport. Why? Because the timing was right and Shreveport is a small city with an airport. I thought small would be better. If it's following us, I don't want Pincus to be able to disappear into a crowd."

I nodded, still holding her hand firmly. "Makes sense. I wonder how it tracked you down."

"I'm guessing it came to D.C. and staked out the Hoover building. Wouldn't be that hard," she said with a slight shrug of her shoulder.


The tension in Scully's body had gradually dissipated as we sat there. Only our hands were touching, but I could tell that she'd relaxed a little. Even her face was softer.

"Why you?" Why not me?" I asked as I tried not to move. I didn't want to call attention to the fact that we were still holding hands.

"I shot at it; maybe even hit it. I'm smaller; an easier target. I don't know how it thinks, but it obviously thinks. What the hell is it, Mulder?" Her grip tightened on my hand.

"I wish I knew," I said with a sigh. "That thing scares the crap outta me."

I thought back to being strapped to my hospital bed with it crawling on the ceiling above me. A shudder ran through me.

The volume of the engines increased as the plane prepared to back away from the Jetway. The sun had set during my drive to the airport, so the area beside the terminal was only illuminated in pools of light. From our seats at the back of the plane I watched as we slowly moved away from the building.

It would be late when we got to Shreveport. I knew I should be worried about the bugman, but all I could think about was how much I probably stank. I couldn't wait until we were in a motel. As soon as the plane was in the air, I planned to freshen up as best I could in the bathroom. I was trying to decide if there was some way to surreptitiously smell myself when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head quickly to look at it.

"What?" Scully's voice was tight.

"There." I pointed as it leapt from the tarmac to the landing gear.

"No!" Scully said in a loud whisper. "It must have followed me hear."

Watching in horror, I saw it climb up into the wing. It was like I was living an old episode of "The Twilight Zone".

"Oh my God, Mulder." Scully was pressed against me, peering out of the window. "Is it going to bring the plane down?"

I shook my head. "That would kill it, too. It's not invulnerable. It's just following us. It'll want to get us alone."

"Then maybe a small town was a bad idea." Scully was still leaning against me. Only the armrest was between us.

The plane shimmied as it began to turn, causing Scully to tighten her grip on me.

"Maybe not. Maybe we can lose it when we switch planes in Atlanta. Then once we're in Shreveport we'll have some time to figure out how to protect ourselves and kill it, once and for all."

"How? We don't have our guns. Damn it, this was a bad idea." Pulling away from me, she sank into her seat, seeming to shrink as she tensed up.

After raising the armrest out of the way, I lifted my right arm. "Scully, c'mere." She arched an eyebrow at me.

"C'mon." I raised my left arm and beckoned her with my hands. "You know you wanna."

Her second eyebrow joined the first.

"Please? It'll make me feel better."

After heaving a sigh, she accepted my request and leaned into me.

A flight attendant, whose safety blurb we'd been ignoring, smiled as she passed us on her way to her seat.

"Nervous flyer?"

"A bit," Scully told the woman from the shelter of my arms.

"I'm doing my best to reassure her," I explained as I gave Scully a little squeeze.

"Aww, that's sweet. Enjoy the flight. It's just a short hop down to Atlanta. You'll be fine." She patted Scully on the shoulder.

She barely made it to her seat as the plane turned onto the runway. We were on a plane that was going to leave on time for a change.

As we began to accelerate down the runway, I lowered my head to speak softly to Scully.

"I don't think guns would help. The bugman is too fast. It moves slowly when it's disguised as a fat, bald fifty year old, but I'm not sure if we'll ever see it looking like that again."

"Then how will we kill it?" Slipping one arm behind me, she hugged me around the waist. I didn't even have to scooch forward to make room.

"It's bug-like, right? How do you kills bugs?" I asked, more rhetorically than anything else, but Scully answered me anyway.

"Unfortunately he's too big to squash. I don't think we can lure him into a trap or onto sticky paper. So what do you suggest? We buy a couple of cases of Die Bug Die?" She tilted her head to look up at me quizzically.

"No, but how does bug spray work? How does it kill them?"

"My understanding is that compounds in the bug spray block up the respiratory passages and they suffocate, but I would think it's too big for that."

"Yeah, but we could use the same principle." Hoping my theory about it not bringing the plane down was right, I stared at the wing of the plane

"So, smother it?"

I shrugged. "I guess."

"Wouldn't we have to get close to it to do that?" Scully's voice was brimming with distaste.

"Maybe, I dunno. Maybe we could lure it somehow, like you said and then pour some kind of resin on it, to block up its breathing passages."

"Like a mosquito trapped in amber? I get the theory, but how would we accomplish that?" Scully sounded sceptical.

She might have pissed a lesser man off, but I did truly need her rationalism and science. Without it, I'd be running around with a bunch of half-baked ideas accomplishing nothing. She took my flights of fancy and turned them into something workable. Why had I never realized that by agreeing with everything I said, Diana had been simply holding me back?

"I haven't figured that part out yet, but there's nothing we can do now anyway. Once we're in Shreveport we can brainstorm." My eyes were starting to burn from staring at the wing.

"Do you see anything?" Scully shifted a little beside me.

And here I thought she'd cozied up to me for comfort, but she'd actually been looking out the window the entire time.

"Nope, nothing."

For the duration of the flight we stayed like that, watching the wing of the plane. Although we said nothing aloud, I'm confident that we were both praying that pieces didn't start falling off. I also prayed that a bug-like creature might get sucked out and go hurtling away in the darkened sky. Unfortunately my prayers weren't answered, although it could be argued that the answer was no. Nothing came flying out of the wing and disappeared into the void behind us. When I wasn't praying for the very timely demise of Pincus, I prayed that he wasn't tucked up in the wing messing around with crucial wiring.

The only interruption in our vigil was when the flight attendant stopped with her cart to ask if we wanted drinks. We both politely declined.

"How long have you been together?" she asked with a bright smile.

"Six years," I told her, hoping that would be the end of it.

"And you still can't keep your hands off each other. You're so lucky," she said with a wistful smile and then rolled the cart to the back of the plane.

"Maybe a drink would be a good idea." I could tell by the sound of Scully's voice that her words had been accompanied by an eye roll.

Knowing Scully wouldn't be in the mood to be teased, I decided to change the subject. "Sorry I didn't have time to shower."

She looked up at me quizzically. "I'm the one that made you rush to the airport. You certainly don't owe me an apology."

"Yeah, but we're in fairly close quarters," I said with a grimace.

"Don't worry, Mulder, you don't smell bad," she assured me with a chuckle.

"Okay," I said with relief. "Would now be a bad time to mention that I haven't washed anything in my go bag since the last time I had to use it?"

"When was that?" she asked warily.

"Um." I tried to think back.

"I think you've missed the point of a go bag," she said with a heavy sigh.

"I know. I usually forget until I open my trunk."

"What do you do for clean clothes if we get called away?"

"I buy shirts, socks and underwear," I told her with a shrug.

She wrinkled her nose. "So you have a trunk full of dirty clothes?"

"I do remember occasionally," I said defensively.

"It seems like a waste of money to me, but it's your life," she said with a shake of her head.

"Not really." I shook my head. "It's the only time I ever buy new stuff. I'd be walking around in ratty boxers, otherwise."

"Thanks for that mental picture," she said with a snort.

Before I could make a witty comeback the pilot announced that we were about to make our descent into Atlanta. Tensing up again, Scully peered out of the tiny window. She heaved a sigh of relief when the landing gear came down. I thought I'd been saving her some stress by not mentioning it. I should've known better. Scully was far too intelligent not to have thought about the landing gear.

Our wait in Atlanta was only an hour, but it felt like ten times that. Standing with our backs to a wall, Scully and I scanned the terminal for the bugman or his minions until the final boarding call for our flight was announced. Then we dashed to our gate and got to the plane just before the door closed.

"You just made it," a smiley flight attendant told us. She seemed like a carbon copy of the woman from the first flight. That was a little unsettling in its own right.

We assumed the same positions we'd adopted on the flight to Atlanta, but neither of us of us saw Pincus scurrying onto the plane.

"I wonder if it got on the other side." Scully straightened up and looked across the aisle.

Unfortunately, from our vantage point, there was no way to know.

I gave her hand a squeeze. "I hope not."

Since we weren't staking out the wing, Scully stayed upright in her seat, but her grip on my hand remained firm. I saw no signs of the creature for the rest of the trip and although neither of us said a word, I knew not seeing Pincus meant nothing. I was lucky I spotted him the first time.

When we landed, it was 10:30. November nights in D.C. were cool, but Shreveport still felt summer-like to me. No one else on the flight was renting from the same agency, so we were in and out quickly.

Maybe we should look for an all- night Laundromat first," Scully suggested as I started the car. "You'll want clean clothes."

"I'll also want food. I'm starving."

"You haven't eaten? Why didn't you say something?" Her voice rose as she spoke.

"I don't eat before a run. Which way at the lights?"

"Straight through. Stay on Airport Road, but you'll have to veer right. Then make another right on Market Street. I'm sure we'll find something there. You could have asked the flight attendant for peanuts or something, Mulder." She sounded genuinely upset.

"I didn't notice I was hungry until now." I tried to appease her. It wasn't a lie. Food had been the furthest thing from my mind from the second I picked up my cell, for a couple of reasons.

"Stress does that to me, too. Once we get your stuff in a washing machine, we'll find you some food. Sound good?" She smiled at me.

"Very!" It did sound good, but the smile on Scully's face made me happier than any amount of food would.

She was right. A few blocks north on Market Street, we found a Laundromat. Once my clothes were washing, we asked the attendant where we could find something to eat. She told us the casinos were always open, but other than that it would have to be fast food at this time of night. McDonald's was the closest. I didn't care. I just wanted food.

Scully watched in fascinated silence as I wolfed down two quarter pounders with cheese, a medium fries and a sprite – no iced tea at Mickey D's. She sipped a small diet coke.

We tried to time it so by the time we got back my clothes would be ready to go into the dryer. As soon as I opened the door, the attendant looked at us, which wasn't unusual, but her movements seemed robotic. I didn't see the mottled skin at first glance, but when she left her seat and started in our direction, my vision cleared, so to speak.

"Scully!" I grabbed her hand.

She gasped as I began to pull her back outside. We ran to the car, jumped in and locked the doors. The zombified attendant stood inside the door and stared at us.

"Fuck!" Scully resorted to an expletive she rarely used. It seemed warranted given the situation.

She was still doing up her seatbelt when I pulled a bootlegger reverse. Luckily traffic in Shreveport was light at 11:30 on a Sunday night so I didn't have to slow down to pull back onto Market.

"So much for losing him in Atlanta." Scully sounded bitter.

Knowing it wasn't directed at me, I said nothing. She sat hunched over, peering into the side mirror.

"Did you see anyone following us from the airport?" she asked without looking at me.

"No, and I was watching." I glanced into the rear-view mirror. Seeing no cars behind us, I made a hard right onto Deer Park Road.

"So how is he following us?" Frustration was evident in Scully's voice.

"I haven't got a clue. Scent?"

"Okay, that thought gave me the heebie jeebies." She wrapped her arms around herself.

"So what now?" I asked as we approached a T intersection.

"We need to find a place to hole up, I guess." She still wasn't looking at me.

"Okay." I had actually wanted to know which way she wanted to turn, but since there were a couple of cars turning left and no one was turning right, I opted for a right on Old Mooring Point Road. No cars followed us. "I guess they used to moor boats along here," I commented offhandedly.

"Do you think?" Scully retorted sharply.

Again, I said nothing. I tended to babble when I was tense; Scully preferred silence.

"I'm sorry, Mulder. You didn't deserve that." Finally turning toward me, she put her hand gently on my arm.

"It's okay." I took my hand off the wheel. "Here." I held it out.

Letting her hand slide down my arm, she took my proffered one and held it tightly. I sighed as I felt tension draining out of my body.

"I feel it, too," Scully said; her head turned away from me once more.

"What?" I felt a lot of things when we touched. I wasn't sure which one she was referring to.

"That we're stronger together," she said, giving my hand a squeeze.

"I'm sorry, Mulder," she said quietly.

"Don't worry about it, Scully. I know you're just tense."

"No, for dragging you down here. I should've just come to your place."

"So he could zombify my neighbors? I don't see how that would've helped. I don't think it matters where we are. Right now we need to get some rest so we can think straight. Then we'll be able to figure out how to kill this son-of-a-bitch."

"Do you still have Bambi's number? She might have some suggestions," Scully said with a chuckle.

"He's not a cockroach, Scully. She wouldn't help us kill a bug, anyway. She liked them too much," I explained since she apparently didn't know Bambi very well. I didn't mention that I never had Bambi's number. I had a reputation to uphold. "Besides she was a little weird."

Scully snorted. "What?" I looked at her sideways.

She fought, mostly unsuccessfully, to keep a straight face. "Sorry. I find it funny that you think someone is weird."

I didn't find it as funny as she did, so I decided to change the subject. "How long are we going to keep going on this road? Maybe we should stop and get a map."

Scully looked past me out the driver's side window. "Well, that's the Mississippi, right?"

I nodded.

"Surely, someone built a hotel along here to take advantage of the view."

"True, but I haven't seen a single one. Have you?"

"No, but this doesn't seem like the prettiest part of town." She turned to look out of her side.

"Hey." I nodded ahead of us at bright lights that were coming into view. "That's right. In Louisiana they build their casinos on the water – some kind of dodge."

Scully straightened up to peer at the skyline. "It looks like this road will take us right there."

"Wanna hit the slots?" I grinned over at her.

"No, I want to get behind a closed door."

Our senses of humor were seriously out of sync.

She took a deep breath before continuing, "I know staying at a big hotel completely blows my crowd theory, but I think you're right. It doesn't matter where we are."

The large hotel sign loomed in front of us. "Do you think we need a reservation?" I asked.

"I doubt November is their busy time, at least this early in the month, but if we have a reservation, check in will be much faster. I'd rather not spend a lot of time hanging around in lobby," she said as she pulled out her phone.

"Okay, I'll drive past and turn around when you're finished." I listened while Scully reserved a room for Mr. and Mrs. George Hale and gave them George's Visa number. The home address was the Gunmen's annex; the phone number, a landline they'd set up for us that went directly to an answering machine. Normally the only messages we got were about duct cleaning and home newspaper delivery.

I grinned at her when she hung up. "One room?"

"Haven't you ever noticed that bad things happen to us when we split up, Mulder?" she explained as I turned around to head back to The Eldorado.

"Then why didn't you book the honeymoon suite?" I couldn't stop myself from teasing her.

"It was already taken," she responded evenly.

With her dry sense of humor, sometimes it was hard to tell if she was joking or not. Glancing at her, I found her eyes fixed on the side view mirror again.

"I didn't see anyone following us – in a car, anyway," I let her know, hoping to ease her fears.

"I have a feeling he's not in a car."

Her body had tensed up again. We weren't holding hands anymore. She dropped mine when she called information for the number of the hotel. The lack of contact was making me jumpy again. I wanted to touch her again, but I worried that she would think I was too needy.

"When I was making the reservation, the guy said there's valet parking, so you can just pull up to the front door," she glanced over at me to say.

"I don't think I've ever used valet parking in sweats," I said, wondering once again if I was getting ripe.

"I'm sure we'll be able to find you some clothes tomorrow." Scully reached out to pat my knee.

Putting my hand on top of hers, I gave her a little squeeze and left my hand there. She made no attempt to move.

"I hate this, Mulder." Her voice sounded like she was on the verge of tears, but I knew it was frustration. "I hate that I have absolutely no idea where it is. I feel like a sitting duck."

It took five minutes from the time our rental was driven away by the valet until we had the key card in our hands. Scully had leaned with her back to the counter while I checked in. She tried to appear casual, but I could feel the tension rolling off her in waves. She did the same thing as we waited for the elevator. Since it was late, the lobby was fairly empty, except for a few guests and staff, but Scully watched them all until the elevator doors closed behind us. Relaxing slightly on the way to the seventh floor, she heaved a huge sigh when we discovered our hallway was empty.

We walked to our room quickly. If anyone had seen the way Scully was looking around surreptitiously, they would've thought we were breaking in. As soon as the door was closed, Scully put on the chain and then checked the windows. I sat on the end of the bed with a sigh and watched her. Before joining me on the bed, she checked the bathroom and closet.

"Will you be okay if I go shower?" My skin felt itchy. It may have been the bugman or not showering after my run. Either way, it was really distracting.

"What are you going to change into?" She looked a little perplexed.

"What choice do I have?" I looked down at what I was wearing.

Scully wrinkled her nose, but then a light went on in her eyes. I prayed she wasn't going to suggest that I wear a pair of her underwear.

"Wash your boxers in the sink and I'll dry them with my blow dryer while you're showering," she said with a satisfied smile.

"Are you sure?" I couldn't believe Scully was offering to dry my underwear.

"Am I sure about what?" She was back to looking puzzled. "That they'll be dry? Maybe not a hundred percent, but slightly damp has got to be better than sweaty."

Yup, she'd offered to dry my underwear, all right.

"Thanks, Scully." "And then tomorrow I'll go to the gift shop and get you some clothes," she said as she kicked off her shoes.

"I know you'll probably be fine on your own, but I'd feel better if we went together. Assuming I'm not too rank."

"No, you're right. We should stick together," she agreed as she climbed onto the bed. "Damn it, I wish I had my gun."

There was nothing to say to that. After going into the bathroom, I pushed the door most of the way closed, wanting Scully to be able to get in if she needed to. A few minutes later, wearing a towel, I handed her my boxers, as dry as I could get them by wringing them out.

"Thanks," I said again when she took them. For some reason it seemed like a very intimate gesture to me. Scully didn't seem to notice; probably because of her brothers.

"I'll be in there as soon as you're done. For some reason my skin is crawling," she said as she smoothed my underwear out in front of her.

I was in and out of the shower in less than five minutes. Sitting cross-legged on the bed with her hair dryer pointed at my boxers, she looked up at me in surprise and turned the dryer off.

"I forget how fast you are," she said with a chuckle. "You'll need to dry these some more while I'm showering."

By the time Scully reappeared twenty minutes later, in a pair of pale green pajamas, I was back in my boxers, leaning against the headboard watching sports highlights. I'd heard the tiny hair dryer provided by the hotel running, but she hadn't been completely successful in drying her hair. It was already starting to curl on her. It gave her a softer, more approachable look, which is probably why she spent so much time subduing her waves. If she thought the sleek way she normally wore her hair made her look less feminine, she was sadly mistaken, but I guess it made her look more professional, which is likely what she was aiming for. Even without make-up emphasizing her eyes, she was heart-achingly beautiful. I quickly flicked my eyes back to the TV so she wouldn't catch me staring.

It wasn't until she crawled into bed beside me that I realized I wasn't positive what the sleeping arrangements were meant to be. Maybe she expected me to take the couch.

"If you don't want to sleep under the covers, could you just push them down to the foot of the bed? When you sit on top, it makes me feel trapped."

My question was answered. I was glad I hadn't said anything.

"Sorry," I said as I quickly slipped in with her. It was a king-sized bed, so we'd have plenty of room. "Are you ready to go to sleep? I'll turn everything off."

"You can leave the TV on if you want to keep watching, but I'd appreciate it if you'd turn off the lights."

"No problem." I got up and turned of the overheads as Scully flicked off her bedside lamp. After I turned mine off, I climbed into bed.

"Night," she said with a smile and then rolled onto her side away from me.

I sat for another couple of minutes with the TV on, but my thoughts kept jumping back and forth from Scully to Pincus. It seemed odd to me that Scully thought nothing of going to sleep right beside me. She was treating me like I was her best girlfriend and this was a pajama party. But then again, the reappearance of the bugman had her completely on edge. Why had it targeted her? Was she right? Was it because she'd winged it or perhaps because she was easier to kill? My jaw clenched at the thought. If that thing even breathed on Scully, I'd make it my life's work to kill it.

Scully rolled to her back and looked at me. "What?"

"What what?" Retrieving the remote, I turned the TV off.

"You growled," she explained, sounding concerned.

"Did I? Sorry, thinking about Pincus. I can't shut my brain off. Maybe I-"

A rubbing sound on the wall beside our door made me stop short.

Sitting up quickly, Scully whispered, "What was that?"

Before I could answer, there was a scraping noise and a thump against our door.

"Shit," I said through clenched teeth.

"Damn it, Mulder. Did it find us already?"

"If it did, it can't get in here." It was the only reassurance I could give her.

We both slipped out of the bed and crept toward the door.

"But we're trapped. We have no way of fighting back."

"We'll figure something out. We always do," I said as I motioned her to the wall on the left of the door.

I was about to look out the peep hole when the door handle moved, making the 'do not disturb' sign swing back and forth. We flattened ourselves against the wall on either side of the door. Scanning the darkened room, I looked for weapons. I knew the lamps would be bolted down, but there were a couple of straight back chairs by a small table.

Quickly, I tiptoed over and snagged them. After handing one to Scully, I returned to my position against the wall.

My eyes were fixed on the door handle and my muscles tensed when it jiggled again. A sudden noise made me almost jump out of my skin.

Thump, thump, thump. "Jen!" Thump. "Jen, lemme in. My fuckin' key card wone work." There was a definite slur to the guy's speech.

When I looked at Scully, I found her shaking her head at me. We were on the same page. We weren't opening the door to this guy.

He pounded on the door again. "C'mon, Jen. Lemme in."

Setting my chair down, I whispered, "I'll call the front desk."

I'd only taken a few steps when I heard a woman's voice in the hall, but I couldn't make out what she was saying. After putting her chair aside, Scully stood on her toes to look out. Her shoulders sagged with relief.

"A drunk," she said with a shake of her head. "Supposed to be in the room across the hall. His wife retrieved him."

"Jesus." I heaved a sigh.

"Mulder, I'm so sorry. What have I gotten us into?"

My eyes had adjusted to the darkness enough to see her face crumple.

"Scully, no." Moving quickly, I wrapped my arms her. "I know you think you made some bad choices here, but I'm not convinced we had any better alternatives."

"I dunno," she said with a sniff, sounding unconvinced. Her head stayed against my chest.

"Being together was definitely the right choice. Should we have stayed in D.C.? I don't know. If we'd started babbling about bugmen and zombies in front of Skinner, he would've had us both committed."

"True," she said, tightening her grip on me.

"If we'd flown with our FBI credentials, we'd definitely be easier to trace, but in hindsight, we know that wouldn't have mattered. What the bugman can't do, is call up hotels in the area and ask for us. That makes the aliases a good idea." I stroked her back as I spoke.

"Yeah, I guess so." She tilted her head to look at me, but said nothing else.

"Would I be happier if I had my gun? Yes. If one of my neighbours had been zombified, would I have handled it differently? Probably. But that doesn't mean it would've worked out any better." I tried to remember that I was supposed to be reassuring her, not enjoying the way her breasts felt against my chest.

"I wish I'd killed the bastard in Chicago."

"I wish you had, too," I concurred with a chuckle. "Just keep in mind what you said. We're stronger together."

"We are," she agreed softly.

Smiling, I bent to press a kiss to her forehead. When I pulled back and looked at her, I found Scully's eyes searching mine. It was strikingly reminiscent of what had transpired in my hallway only a few months prior. This time I hoped it would end in a vastly different way.

In the summer, I'd lingered too long, trying to make sure we wanted the same thing. When we got back from the Antarctic, the subject was never discussed. Scully wasn't quite herself after her ordeal so I was leaving the next move up to her. As I looked into her eyes, I wondered if she was waiting for me. Then I questioned if I should even be thinking about our relationship at a time like this.

I was still waffling when Scully moved her hands to my hair and pulled my head toward her.

"You feel it, too. Don't you?" she murmured as the distance between our mouths closed.

"I do, Scully, I do," I breathed just before our lips met.

We kissed softly, almost tentatively at first; tongues investigating, teeth grazing and lips caressing.

Easing away slightly, Scully whispered, "Been fighting it too long."

"I was worried our priorities would get skewed," I admitted as I leaned into her.

I momentarily panicked that I'd said the wrong thing when she pulled back again to look at me.

"Don't you think we crossed that bridge a long time ago?"

"A very long time ago," I said with a slow nod as I looked into her eyes. I saw no doubt, no hesitation, not a single question. Scully was looking at me with desire and love in her eyes. My stomach flip-flopped in response.

"Then let's get to the other side," she said with a smile as her body inched up mine.

It felt incredible. The only barrier between us was her silky pajamas. Even through them, I could feel the hardness of her nipples against my skin.

"I'm a big fan of the other side." I returned her smile before I pressed my lips to hers. "Big fan," I murmured as she began to kiss me. As our tongues explored, Scully moved her hands to my back and let them slide down until they settled onto to my freshly washed cotton boxers.

Breaking our kiss and smiling up at me as she squeezed my ass, Scully said, "I've been a fan of your other side for a very long time."

"Yeah?" I responded, less than eloquently.

"Yeah. And you're always pushing me ahead of you, so I get precious little time to check you out."

She wore a grin I'd never seen before. It was sly and saucy and made my already erect cock twitch. I wondered if it was a good time to admit why I always ushered her in front of me, but I didn't get a chance to ponder long.

"So I'm gonna make up for lost time," she informed as she stepped out of our embrace.

Blinking rapidly when she flicked on the light and quickly stripped off her pajamas, I stood there in stupefied silence as she got to her knees behind me. I was no stranger to women kneeling in front of me, but this was new.

"Mmm." She sighed as her hands caressed my ass. "Let's get rid of these." Her thumbs slid under the waistband of my boxers.

When she eased them off, I grunted as her hand brushed my erection. She didn't need to touch my cock to remove them, so the contact must have been calculated. After kicking the underwear out of the way, I was surprised to feel her hand on my inner thigh, preventing me from closing my legs completely. I wasn't exactly spread-eagled, but I had a feeling that Scully was planning a thorough search.

Moving her hands so they were resting where the cheeks of my ass met my thighs, she began cupping and kneading my flesh. Her thumbs were very close to my anus and my cock jumped and surged with every little circle they made.

When her warm breath tickled my skin, my eyes rolled back in my head. The brush of her lips made my balls contract. With the first flick of her hot little tongue against my flesh, my knees buckled briefly. Precum was flowing freely and running down my cock. Keeping my hands balled into fists at my sides, I had to make a conscious effort not to stroke myself. The next thing I knew, Scully was humming against my butt as her right hand reached around to take hold of me.

"Unh, God, Scully," I managed to choke out as my testicles tightened further.

As she leisurely ran her hand along my length, she made another appreciative noise. Then her free hand eased between my legs and cradled my balls.

My entire body felt like it was vibrating. The way Scully was massaging me felt incredible and kept me from ejaculating like an over-eager teenager, even though that's exactly how I felt. I tried to warn her that I was very close but she pre-empted me by running her tongue along my ass cheek, very close to where her thumbs had just been.

A strangled "Scu-" was all I managed to say.

As she continued to caress my balls, her left thumb stroked my perineum. Clamping her right thumb and forefinger around my cock, she staved off my climax. Her tongue continued to flick dangerously close to a place I never thought Scully's tongue would be. All I could do was pant and groan. Every word I tried to say came out sounding like I'd regressed to caveman level of speech.

In spite of her efforts to hold off my orgasm, I felt my balls almost leap out of Scully's hands. Before I knew what was happening, Scully was no longer behind me. When her mouth closed over the head of my cock, I bellowed her name, coming so forcefully it bordered on the pleasure/pain threshold. A better threshold never existed.

My cock seemed to pulse endlessly. I could feel Scully humming around my shaft and she still had one hand on my testicles, massaging me gently.

When I finally stopped shuddering, I sank to my knees and pulled her close. I wanted to stay like that and kiss her forever, but my legs were still too shaky from my climax. Collapsing to the carpeted floor, I brought her with me.

"Scully," I whispered hoarsely in between kisses. "God, that was –"

"Shh," she said and then hushed me with her lips.

We lay there kissing slowly and softly while my body quieted. When I was finally in control of my faculties, I stopped her kisses with my index finger.

"I know I don't have to tell you how amazing that was, but I really wanted to make love with you."

"So what's stopping you?" she asked. It came out sort of muffled because she had to speak against my finger.

I looked down at my dick, lying limply against my thigh.

"Uh, that." I showed her with my eyes.

Her eyes followed mine and a smile twitched at the corners of her mouth.

"So how long until you're back in commission? A half hour or so?"

I nodded. "Yeah."

"I have the utmost faith in you, Mulder. I'm sure you'll be able to find some way to fill the time."

"Okay, let me think," I said with a grin as I rolled to my back.

"Stop wasting time," she admonished me as she got to her feet. "But what I don't have faith in, is that either of us will be able to move if we spend much more time on the floor." She held out her hand to help me up.

"Talk about misspent youth," I said with a heavy sigh. "We should've been fucking like bunnies when we were young and nimble." I waggled my eyebrows at her.

"Too bad you never asked," she said with a mischievous grin as she backed up toward the bed.

"Would you have said yes?" I asked in wonderment.

She shrugged. "Depends."

"On what?" I asked, closing the distance between us.

When the backs of her legs hit the bed, she sat down heavily and then scooted backward quickly to the head of the bed.

"On your approach, my mood, how recently you'd ditched me; lots of things." Her eyes sparkled at me.

"I asked you to stay with me in Atlantic City," I reminded her as I reached the bed.

"And if I hadn't promised Ellen to help with that party…"

"Would you really have slept with me back then?" I got onto my hands and knees and crawled toward her.

"I thought about it – a lot. I considered making a pass." Her eyes had grown heavily-lidded during her confession.

"What stopped you?" I was less than a foot away from her. I couldn't help wondering how I would've reacted if Scully had come on to me back then. Who was I trying to kid? I knew exactly what I would've done. I'd always thought she was attractive, but I hadn't always loved her like I do now.

"You were too focused on your work for my taste."

Sitting back on my heels, I looked at her. "Has that changed?"

"Your focus or my taste?"

"I didn't get a chance to taste you back then, so I guess we'll never know."

Reaching out quickly, I grabbed her ankles. I was rewarded with a very unScully-like squeal as I dragged her onto her back. "But I'm anxious to taste you now."

My first instinct was to dive right in and eat her out like a man possessed, but I wanted to be ready to make love as soon as she came, so I changed my tactic.

Feet were never my thing, but since I had the time and Scully's were right in front of my face, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. When I pressed my lips to her arch, her foot twitched. I took the fact that she was ticklish and filed it away. I wanted this to be as sensual as what she'd done for me.

Instead of touching her lightly, I kissed her feet firmly and massaged with some pressure as I made my way to her toes. I didn't want her giggling and squirming. I kept my eyes glued to her face. When I sucked her big toe into my mouth, she made a little noise and her eyes drifted closed. After giving each toe a turn, I switched feet.

I don't know what I was expecting, but Scully's toes didn't taste like much of anything, except a little bit salty.

When I was finished with her feet, I asked, "Do you like the way that feels?" If it worked for her, I'd be more than willing to do it again. I was already assuming there was going to be a next time; okay, hoping.

"Honestly?" She blinked rapidly.

"Of course, honestly."

"It was an interesting sensation because your mouth is hot and wet. And I enjoyed it because it was you, but other than that…" she said with a shrug. "But if you like sucking my toes…" She grinned at me.

"I think we're on the same page, Scully. I enjoyed it because they were your toes, but it didn't turn me on." I was completely frank with her.

Since she had a foot on each of my shoulders, I was finding it difficult not to stare between her legs.

"But I do want to discover all of your erogenous zones, besides the obvious," I said, sliding my hand along the inside of her leg. "You discovered one I didn't even know I had."

She rolled her eyes at me. "You just liked it because I was kissing your ass."

"Oh, it was so much more than that, Scully," I lowered my voice to say. "So much more."

Pressing my lips to her calf, I kissed my way down her leg. When I reached the back of her knee, she groaned. But when I began to kiss and suck at her inner thigh, her hips began to move. It didn't take long once I began my assault on both of her thighs for me to smell her arousal. Her head was thrown back and she panted my name. I couldn't hold back any longer.

My plan was to slide two fingers into her and then lap up her juices as I focused on her clit.

That's not how it went. As soon as my fingers were inside of her, she lifted her hips off the bed and I felt her walls begin to contract. There was no time to get my mouth on her, so I found her clit with my thumb, making her gasp.

I watched in amazement as her abdominal muscles fluttered every time her clit pulsed. I think she tried to say my name, but all that came out was "Muh, Muh, Muh."

When her body finally calmed, I thought I would finally get a chance to taste her, but as soon as my tongue made contact, she squealed and launched herself backward.


"What? Did I hurt you?"

"God no, Mulder. I'm just really sensitive. Give me a couple of minutes." Her eyes looked a little wild. It was a good look on her.

"So what can I do?" I grinned and moved closer.

"Mulder." She tried to use her warning tone, but the sultriness of her voice made it sound sexy instead.

"Can't I touch your thigh?" I reached toward it.

She rolled away. "Stop. You'll just make it take longer."

"Okay." I held my hands up in surrender. "Can I kiss you?"

A grin spread over her face and she nodded. "Mmm hmm."


When I moved toward her she opened her arms to me and I was instantly overwhelmed.

"Scully," I said with a sigh as our lips met.

If we'd been further apart I would've had enough time to tell her how much I loved her. Thankfully, I didn't. It was a little too early for declarations of love. I was fairly certain Scully felt the same way, but it wasn't the time to get overly intense. We had enough intensity to deal with.

"Can I touch your breasts?" I wasn't sure which parts were in and out of bounds.

"Please." She took my hand and put it on her breast. Partners help each other like that.

Soon her kisses became more fervent. Her hips began to move again and she tried to pull me in between her legs. The sensitivity seemed to have passed.

I lifted my head to smile down at her. "Slow down. I still want to taste you."

"Oh god," she said with a groan as I slid down her body.

I thought I would make a bee line to the juncture of her thighs, but I was distracted enroute by her breasts. I spent so much time licking, sucking and nibbling that by the time I reached my goal, my cock was throbbing and Scully's pussy was glistening wet.

I took more time than I actually needed to bring her to a second orgasm. I kept her hovering right on the brink just to hear her moan my name and feel her writhing on the bed. When I finally sucked her clit between my lips, she cried out and bucked against my face. Grabbing her hips, I held her securely while she quaked.

When her trembling slowed, I slid two fingers into her again and repositioned my mouth higher on her clit. Gasping, she began to shudder again. Once she collapsed to the bed, she didn't move. Slowly, I kissed my way back to her mouth. I was careful not to touch anything that might still be sensitive.

"Mmm, Mulder," she said drowsily after I kissed her. "That was incredible."

"It was." I kissed her again gently. "And beautiful."

"Yeah," she agreed with a sigh. Then with some effort she lifted her arms to my back and ran her nails over my skin lightly. "Your turn again," she said with a smile, wrapping her legs around me.

I laughed. "I think this counts as both our turns." Then I began to ease into her.

"Oh, I know I'll enjoy it, Mulder, but don't expect anything from me. I'm completely spent." Moving her hand from my back, she ran it through my hair. "In a very good way."

"Yeah?" I tried to sound cocky, but it came out as a groan.

Scully felt amazing. She was hot and slick. I slid into her easily. We may both have been out of practice, but our foreplay had certainly made her ready for me. As I began to move, I was thankful she wasn't expecting anything more because the sensation of being inside of her was so overpowering, I wasn't sure how long I was going to last, despite coming a half hour previous.

"Mulder, that feels so good," she said huskily once I was buried completely inside of her.

"Scully, you-, this is-" There were so many things I wanted to say, but I couldn't form entire sentences.

When I pulled out and sank into her again, I felt her nipples harden against my chest. On my next stroke she made a sexy, contented sound at the back of her throat. On my third, her eyes flew open.

"Oh god," she said in a throaty voice.

As I began to move faster, her eyes rolled back in her head.

"Mulder, yes," she panted. "Oh god, yes."

Suddenly making her come again was all I could think about. I thrust into her faster, but I tried not to be too rough. That changed when she spoke again.

"Oh, harder, Mulder, please, harder."

After that everything became a blur. I felt her clutching at me and I heard her voice, but I couldn't make out what she was saying. When she arched her chest against me and her internal muscles clamped down on my cock, I was gone. A hot flush swept over me as my balls constricted and my cock began to pulse.

Blood pounded in my ears as I called her name and then collapsed atop her. Whispering in my ear, she caressed my back softly. Then she pressed her lips against my ear, then my jaw and neck too. Once I had the strength, I lifted my head and we kissed tenderly. When I tried to ease us onto our sides, she tightened her grip on me.

"Stay like this. I like it."

"Aren't I heavy?"

She smiled up at me. "Mmm, that's the point."

"I don't get it," I said with a chuckle and kissed her again. "But that's okay."

"You know that lazy, warm, sleepy, contented feeling you get after sex?"

"I do. I'm particularly fond of that feeling."

"Well, your weight amplifies it for me," she explained as she moved her hands to my hair.

I smiled at her. "Kinda like what happens when you caress me," I said before covering her mouth with mine again.

I was positive I would stay up all night savoring the way it felt to hold and kiss Scully, but the next thing I knew, a strange voice was invading my head.


Rolling off the bed in opposite directions, Scully and I got to our feet. We both reached for the bedspread we'd fallen asleep on top of. Letting Scully take it, I grabbed a pillow instead.

"Sorry," the young woman muttered staring at the floor. "I did knock." She grabbed the 'do not disturb' sign off the door knob and hung it on the outside as she left the room.

I looked over at Scully. As soon as our eyes met, we started to laugh.

"I wonder how often that happens?" I asked as we collapsed to the bed.

"I dunno, Mulder, but I do know that I don't want to see what she's probably seen," Scully said with a grimace.

"You cut open decomposing bodies and you don't want to see what she's seen?" I laughed again. "I was referring to what they might be doing, Mulder."

As I pondered that, Scully snorted at me.

"Keep in mind they all wouldn't be young and fit."

"Oh." I wrinkled my nose as I finally understand what she was getting at.

"Yeah, not pretty," she said as she stood up, leaving the bedspread behind.

Lounging back into the pillows, I grinned at her. "Do I get a good morning kiss?"

"I need to use the bathroom."

"Kiss first, pee later."

She regarded me with one eye narrowed. "A quick kiss. I really hafta go."

Scully trusted me to order breakfast when I finally finished kissing her good morning. We were lucky there was no time limit on the breakfast menu, because it was after noon when I called. Which wasn't really surprising; we'd had a late night. After using the bathroom, I tried to talk her into making love while we waited for our food, but Scully said she wanted to be prepared the next time someone came to our door. Much to my disappointment instead of continuing to walk around naked, Scully donned one of the robes supplied by the hotel. I begrudgingly put the other one on when our food arrived. Scully and I both checked the waiter out through the peephole, but he seemed like a regular human to both of us.

I would've preferred to stay holed up in the hotel, wearing fluffy robes, eating room service and making love, but I knew we had plans to make.

Even though we both thought firearms would be fairly useless against the bugman, we also agreed that we'd feel safer if we were carrying. It would be a false sense of security, but it was better than spending our time wishing we had guns. A quick call to the Gunmen confirmed that, in Louisiana, we didn't need permits to buy guns; only to carry. As peace officers we didn't need carry permits, but we didn't have that ID with us. If, by chance, we did happen to get caught with concealed weapons, we'd eventually be able to prove we were FBI. We could just say we were working undercover.

"You never know," Scully paused to drain the last of her coffee, "It might be afraid of guns if I actually did hit it."

"True," I agreed, but was distracted by the way her robe kept opening and closing as she moved. It was my very own game of peek-a-boo with Scully's right breast. "So what's our plan of attack?" I leaned back in my chair.

"Uh," Scully began, but I realized when I followed her eyes that my cock was playing an independent game of peek-a-boo.

"Oops, sorry," I apologized as I tucked the interloper back under cover.

"Why are you apologizing?" She asked with a grin as she stood up. "I assumed we'd be having sex before we went out. Especially since you spent all of breakfast talking to my right tit."

"I did not!"

"It's fine, Mulder. I'm not offended. As long as it stays behind closed doors."

"Okay," I agreed.

Then I watched in awe as she let her robe fall to the floor. My cock sprang out of my robe again as I stared at her body. It was almost as if it enjoyed the view as much as I did.

"Welcome back." Scully smiled at my lap.

I didn't know what to watch as Scully walked toward me. The sway of her hips was hypnotizing. The bounce of her breasts made my mouth water in anticipation and the primal look of desire on her face made my heart pound in my chest.

Once she got to my chair, she had to bend slightly to kiss me, making her breasts swing out tantalizingly. As her tongue played at my lips, my fingers went to her nipples. When she opened her mouth to groan, I thrust my tongue inside.

Her hands went to the belt of my robe. As soon as it was open, I dropped my hands to her hips and helped her onto my lap. I stopped breathing for a few seconds when she reached between us to grab my cock. I almost swooned when she sank onto me.

At first she moved slowly, allowing me to regroup. At the bottom of each stroke, when I was buried inside of her, she paused to kiss me. Then I watched her face, enrapt, as she rose until the head of my cock was at her entrance. Her lips, still moist from our kiss, were slightly parted. Her vivid blue eyes rolled back slightly as she lowered herself again. Her cheeks were glowing pink, even though we weren't exerting ourselves.

"Scully, so beautiful," I managed to tell her breathily.

Then I watched in lusty fascination as her pupils dilated in response to my words.

"Mulder," she murmured before kissing me.

It was no sweet, gentle kiss. She devoured my mouth. At the same time, her movements became faster. The thought that I was going to finish quickly had just entered my mind when I felt her begin to grind herself against me. I slipped my thumb between us to help her out.

"Oh, yes!" She straightened up to cry hoarsely.

When her clit pulsed under my thumb, she pressed her lips against mine again. We weren't exactly kissing, but I was thrilled with the way her breath hitched every time she shuddered. It was as if she was drawing her breath from within me.

The last straw for me was the tug of her internal muscles. My hips thrust up instinctively, trying to get deeper inside of her. I shouted her name as I came.

When I was able to focus on something besides the brilliance of my release, I found Scully slumped against my chest, head resting on my shoulder, breathing hard.

"Wow," I said slowly as I stroked her back with my left hand. My right was still trapped between us.

"Mmm, I'll say." Her breath tickled my neck.

It was then I noticed something that surprised me.

"Scully, your feet don't reach the floor."

"Uh huh," she said lazily.

"How did you, uh, lift yourself"

"I squeezed your hips with my thighs, kind of like riding a horse," she said with a chuckle.

"Well, I've been told that I'm bigger than average before, Scully, but a horse? Thank you!"

"Mulder, we already have one monster to deal with. I haven't created another, have I?"

"First horse, then monster? I must really be impressive."

"I'm never gonna hear the end of this, am I?" she asked with a sigh.

"Who am I allowed to tell about how impressive you think I am?"

She scoffed at me. "No one."

"Then no, you'll never hear the end of it."

She shook her head at me as she straightened up. "I figured as much. Let's hit the shower, monster boy."

"We can make that my new nickname, if you like," I said as I helped her off my lap. "Most people will think it means something else, but you and I will know the real meaning." I stayed sprawled over the chair, grinning at her.

She rolled her eyes. "What have I gotten myself into?"

With that she turned and walked toward the bathroom. The cheeks of her ass jiggled enticingly.

When she got to the door, she turned back to me. "Are you coming?"

"If you walk around like that, Scully, I'll follow you anywhere."

Muttering something under her breath, she disappeared into the bathroom. By the time I joined her, she had the water running and was stepping in.

Even though we'd just made love, we stayed in the shower a long time, simply exploring each other. Somehow I'd known that Scully would be just as passionate and fiery sexually as she was about every other aspect of her life. I also greatly appreciated her attention to detail.

It was almost three o'clock when we cautiously emerged from our room. Before we left, we agreed that while we wanted to appear like a couple, we couldn't let ourselves get lost in the newness of our relationship. It could prove fatal for both of us if we let our guard down.

As it turned out, the gift shop at the hotel only had souvenir type of clothing, so all I managed to get there was a new sweatshirt and a pair of boxers that said 'pay dirt' across the front. After buying them anyway, we spoke to the front desk clerk who gave us directions to the closest mall.

It didn't seem like we spent much time buying jeans, t-shirts, socks and underwear, but we were both hungry again when we were done. I'd changed into my new clothes as I bought them, so I didn't feel like a complete slob when we got to the food court.

A burrito and a salad later we were back in the car heading to a pawn shop I'd found in the yellow pages. Luckily they were open until seven because we didn't roll in until six. The sun had set while we were at the mall. Scully and I had spent most of the daylight hours either sleeping or otherwise occupied.

It took almost an hour for Scully and I to find guns we were comfortable with. Once you're used to the weight and balance of a gun, it takes a while to adjust to something new, so we tried to find ones that were as close to our issue sidearms as possible. What we didn't have was ammunition. We were discussing the fact that we'd have to go another night unarmed when I saw something moving quickly out of the corner of my eye. Turning my head toward it made Scully flatten herself against the wall of the pawn shop.

"Did you see it?" she whispered.

"I saw something," I told her, keeping my voice low.


"Across the street, by the hardware store, moving toward the pizza joint. It was just a glimpse," I explained as I scanned the buildings. Looking up, I checked the walls and the roof, but I saw nothing.

"Well we knew it would track us down eventually. What are we going to do? Pistol whip it?" Scully suddenly sounded exhausted.

"I'd rather get back into the car and go back to the hotel. We need to come up with a plan.

As I spoke a tall long-haired blonde man emerged from the alley between the hardware store and the pizza place. He moved toward us rapidly, but no matter how I turned my head or squinted my eyes, he didn't look like a large slobbering bug.

I wasn't sure if he was approaching us or the pawn shop, but I slid my hand into my pocket. An empty gun might not be of much used against the bugman, but I could think of a couple of ways it might prove useful against a human.

As he got closer, he slowed and I was surprised to say the least when he stopped on the sidewalk In front of our car and leaned against it. He casually crossed his feet.

"Good evening," he said rather formally. I could hear a slight accent in his voice, but I couldn't place it.

To go along with his blonde hair, he had blue eyes and he'd obviously taken his doctor's warnings about UV radiation to heart. His skin was so pale it was it was luminous. If it hadn't been for the blue eyes, I would've thought he was albino.

Flicking my eyes over at Scully, I found her glancing at me. I could tell she had no idea what to make of this guy either.

"Hi," Scully said in a fake cheerful tone. "Is there something I can help you with?"

"I think you are the ones who need help." He hadn't moved anything except his mouth since he leaned against the car. His eyes were trained on Scully.

"We don't need any help." I said, trying to keep my voice even. Something about this guy creeped me out.

He ignored me completely. "It's after you, isn't it?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Scully said, feigning disinterest.

I tried to figure out who this guy might be. There was something off about him. I knew he wasn't the bugman or one of his minions, but I could tell that he wasn't right. It wasn't the same feeling I got from a sociopath like Roache, or a freak like Jim Rose. He was different than Modell and mutants like Incanto or Tooms. This guy wasn't right in a way I'd never encountered before.

"I don't blame it." A sly smile spread across his face. "You look very, mmm, delectable."

"Hey! Don't speak to her like that," I said angrily and took a step towards him. He was tall, but given his paleness he might be weak.

"Are you his?" The guy's eyes flicked toward me for the first time.

"I beg your pardon?" Scully huffed indignantly.

The blonde tilted his head and drew a breath in through his nose.

"You do belong to him. I can smell him all over you." He looked slightly dejected.

He could smell me on her? So he was some new kind of mutant with a heightened sense of smell? I could think of super powers I'd rather have.

"I am not his. I don't belong to anyone. I'm my own person," Scully told him angrily.

Even without looking at her, I knew the intense glare she'd be giving him. If he had any sense, he'd back off.

"And you're a fighter. You have no idea how much that turns me on." He looked at Scully like she was on the dessert menu.

"Look, asshole, I suggest you move along. I don't want to hurt you, but I will if you don't leave her alone." I took another step in his direction and pulled out my new gun.

Before I knew what was happening, the guy had swooped toward me and snatched the weapon out of my hand. I didn't have a chance to draw a breath and yet he had Scully pressed up against the wall.

Stepping closer to them, I watched as he lowered his head and sniffed her neck; reminiscent of what I'd done in Comity. When I reached out to pull him off Scully, he batted me away like a gnat, sending me crashing against the car. Apparently heightened smell wasn't his only super power.

I tried to get up, but the wind had been knocked out of me and I was gasping for breath.

"I don't think that thing appreciates you for the same reason I do, though. Does he?" He was back to ignoring me.

As I watched in helpless disgust, he picked Scully up, put his knee between her legs and held her at his eye level against the building. When I tried to get up, I felt a searing pain in my side, which made me collapse against the car again.

"I like redheads. They're usually fiery in bed, too." He sniffed at her hair. "I don't smell any dye. Are you a natural?" he asked as he reached for the button of her jeans.

Scully tried to uppercut him with her left, but his right hand grabbed her wrist in a movement so fast I didn't see it.

Gritting my teeth against the pain in my side, I struggled to my knees. The brute ignored me and continued his harassment of Scully.

"Put her down!" I commanded loudly. Despite using my fiercest voice, he paid no attention to me.

"I was right. You are fiery. You like to be fucked hard and fast. Don't you?"

I heard a snick, like a switch blade sliding out. Scully's eyes widened in alarm.

"Does he fuck you the way you like? I know I could. I can tell that you'd be beautiful when you come. I'd love to see it." His voice was low and cold.

The rage inside of me allowed me to completely disregard my pain and get to my feet. Staggering toward them, I kicked the back of his knee, hoping to bring him down. It didn't work. I felt a blaze of pain in my face and I was back on my ass, with blood pouring out of my nose. He still had Scully against the wall. "I don't care if you beat me to a fucking pulp, you're going to put her down. Now!" My voice rose with my fury. I fought the stabbing sensation in my ribs and got to my feet again.

"Maybe he likes to fuck that scrumptious mouth of yours. I can't say I really blame him." He was still totally focused on Scully.

Since he was ignoring me, I positioned myself behind him, intending to punch him in the kidney.

"But I'd make sure you were satisfied, too. I've never been accused of being an inconsiderate lover."

I scoffed in disbelief. "Yeah, you're the most considerate asshole I've ever met."

Scully didn't react. Her aggression had only spurred him on, so she remained passive. I knew she hoped her apathy would make him lose interest.

I was about to take another step into my punch when his head suddenly snapped up. I heard the same snicking noise and he released Scully abruptly. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she ducked away from the blonde and hurried over to me.

"It's here. Do you smell it?" He looked at us.

"Smell it? Are we talking about the same thing? If we are, I've never noticed a smell," she told him as she checked me over. "Are you okay, Mulder?"

"You can't smell it? It's revolting," he said, curling his lip. "What is it, anyway? And why is it after you?"

"I think my nose is broken and I probably have a couple of cracked ribs, too," I told Scully. "Are you all right?"

"Stop blubbering. We've got to get rid of this thing." The guy glared at me.

"I'm fine," Scully whispered and then looked at her attacker. "We don't know what it is. We do know it can disguise itself as a human. It also controls people by injecting a toxin into their spinal columns."

"That's how he creates the zombies? I've got to get this cleaned up fast."

I was totally confused. This guy talked about cleaning up the situation like a mobster. And I couldn't figure out why Scully was sharing information with him instead of kicking his ass.

I looked at Scully questioningly.

"He's fast and strong, Mulder. He wants to get rid of Pincus, too. I'm happy to give him all the information he needs," she told me quietly.

"It's called a pincus?" The guy said with a snort. He actually spoke to me, looking me over with a bit of interest that made me decidedly uncomfortable.

"No, that's how he was introduced to me when he was in human form. What do you mean you've got to clean up?" I asked him, not acknowledging the way he sized me up.

"This mess you've dropped in my lap. We need to keep a low profile right now. If this thing makes too many zombies –" he paused to sniff the air. "It's closer."

Zipping to the pawn shop door in a blur of motion, he found it locked. In an instant, the door was ripped off its hinges. The clerk started to scream. Since I was already standing I could move more easily, but Scully got to the open door ahead of me. Arriving in time to see the blonde pull off the bugman's head, I finally got a whiff of the smell the guy had been talking about. It was revolting. Scully's hand flew to her mouth.

In no time, Pincus was in pieces on the floor and the blonde was talking to the clerk. He was able to calm her down in nothing flat.

"Everything is fine. You'll stay here until the repairman fixes the door. Then you'll go home and get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow you'll come to work like normal because nothing bad happened here. Okay?"

"Okay," she agreed, glassy-eyed and then sat down on a stool behind the counter. Her face was completely blank.

So this guy was fast, strong and could hypnotize people. I had no idea what he was. If he hadn't behaved so horribly to Scully and broken my ribs, I'd be impressed.

He then pulled a cell phone out of his jacket pocket and pressed a button.

"Yeah, it's Eric. Yes, I took care of it, but I need someone over here to fix a door."

There was silence while Eric listened.

"No, I've got that." He was quiet again while the other person spoke. "Why would I glamour them? They knew about this thing and were trying to get rid of it on their own and were happy enough to have me kill it. They're weak but brave and also not stupid. They won't cause any trouble." After listening for a few more seconds he said, "Yeah, I'm sure."

After slipping his cell phone back into his pocket, he turned to the clerk. "Do you have any garbage bags, honey?"

She nodded.

"Run and get them."

When she disappeared into the back room, he turned to us. "I'm right, aren't I? I don't have to wipe this out of your heads, do I?"

"Who'd believe us?" Scully asked with a shrug.

"I'd like to thank you, but I can't forgive what you did to my partner." I took a step in his direction.

"Mulder." Scully stopped me by putting her hand on my forearm.

"Partner?" Eric asked in surprise.

Scully nodded. "FBI."

"And lovers," he said with a grin. "You still didn't say why it was after you."

"Most people can't see it. We can. I tried to shoot it in Chicago but missed," Scully explained as passively as if she'd been reporting to Skinner.

I looked at her in amazement.

"What?" she looked puzzled.

"This guy almost raped you and you're talking to him like you've been buddies for years. Are you sure he didn't wipe your brain?" I looked at her eyes closely.

"It's not the first time someone has behaved inappropriately around me, Mulder. And yes, his comments were offensive, but he didn't hurt me," she explained calmly and then looked at Eric, "Although I'm not happy that you cracked my partner's ribs."

"Sorry," he smiled, not looking sorry at all. "You distracted me and I forgot how delicate humans can be."

By then the clerk had returned with the trash bags and Eric began stuffing pieces of Pincus into individual bags.

"After we're gone, make sure you mop the floor. Use lots of bleach," he instructed the clerk when he was finished.

She nodded her assent.

"How did you know it was here?" I asked as Eric gathered up the bags.

"Have you looked at the news?" he asked like I was a moron.

"No, what did they say on the news?" I was curious.

"Look, I don't have time to debrief you. I've got to burn this or feed it to some alligators, if they'll eat it."

"Why do you care about any of this?" Scully asked as he walked by us.

"It will all become clear shortly. Maybe you should start watching the news," he said cryptically and then he was gone.

Stepping outside, I scanned the street, but I couldn't see him. I turned back to Scully.

"Are you sure you're okay? I heard him pull a knife on you."

"That wasn't a knife, Mulder. That was his teeth." She tapped her front teeth with her nails. "C'mon, we need to get you to a hospital." She nodded toward the car.

"What?" I stayed rooted to the spot.

"Fangs, Mulder. They slid out when he was talking to me."

I stood and stared at her. My mouth was probably hanging open.

"Uh," I stammered, finally getting control of my brain. "He's a vampire."

"I guess." She shrugged and walked over to me.

"Based on his teeth?"

"And how fast he was. Plus his skin was cool. He was really strong and fast. What else could he be?" she asked as she took me by the elbow. "He fits a lot of the legendary characteristics, but he's completely different than the people we encountered in Chaney. It lends credence to your theory that there's more than one kind of vampire."

"I have absolutely no doubt that you're right. What I'm having a hard time with is how easily you're accepting it," I explained as she walked me to the car.

"You aren't happy that I'm open to extreme possibilities?" she asked curiously as she opened the car door.

"But why did you believe this guy so easily? It took you a long time to believe they were vampires in Texas," I explained as she helped me into the passenger seat.

"Well." She shrugged. "His vampire teeth were real."


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