Author: Michael Weyer

Title: Files of Life

X-Files owned by Fox, Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen Productions
Highlander owned by Rysher Entertainment.
Buffy owned by Mutant Enemy

Summary: A ditty that hit me exploring one of my favorite couples during some previously undetailed moments in their lives. NC-17 warning. Enjoy.


Files of Life

In which two agents have their partnership grow in more ways than one.

Apartment of Russell Nash, above Nash Antique's
New York City, NY
July 11, 1996
2213 Hours EST

The rain had started an hour earlier and had been coming down ever since. There would be a flash of lightning every now and then but it was mostly just the rain, a break in the heat that New York wanted. And it also seemed to fit in with the mood of the woman sitting on the bed in the small guest room. The room wasn't much, a large bed, a dresser, a chair to one wall, a few decorations on shelves but it was obvious it wasn't used too often. The woman sitting on the bed didn't care.

She was looking down at her hands, one of which held a small knife. She wore a large red shirt and light green pajama bottoms, both a bit big on her, her short red hair still a little wet as it framed her beautiful face. On the table by the bed were her major possessions: A cell phone, a wallet with an ID badge, a revolver in holster and a crucifix on a chain. She didn't pay any attention to them. She simply stared at her hands and the weapon in one of them.

Gritting her teeth, she stabbed it into her palm. She hissed in pain as she resisted the urge to cover the wound and instead forced herself to stare at it. As she watched, flickers of blue lightning covered the cut and when they vanished, unblemished skin was underneath. In seconds, the wound was gone as if it had never existed.

It was the fourth time Dana Scully had done this in the last five minutes and she was just starting to accept what she was seeing.

To say that Scully's life had been changed in the last few hours would be as great an understatement as saying that Lincoln had a bad time at Ford's Theater. When her partner, Fox Mulder, had told her about his discovery of a series of beheadings occurring in New York over the last several years, Scully had taken it as just another of her partner's wild goose chases. She admitted that it was odd that so many killings would be taking place and that many had a connection of some sort to a man named Russell Nash. But Scully didn't quite liken to Mulder's talk of a ritual killer of some sort.

But Mulder's instincts, though slightly warped, were still usually good and so Scully had let herself be dragged to Central Park to follow Nash when he left his antiques shop. She and Mulder had followed him to a secluded section of the park where Nash met another man and then, to Scully's astonishment, the two pulled out swords and started to duel.

Scully had no idea what the hell she was seeing and for once, Mulder was right with her. That the swords had been used in the beheadings seemed likely, though why the two men were using them on each other was beyond her understanding. The FBI training kicked in and she and Mulder immediately made their presence known and told both men to stop the fighting. The answer from Nash's opponent was to pull out a gun and shoot the two agents.

Scully had never been shot before but she figured it was hard to forget such a feeling. The burning as the lead entered her body, followed by the loss of strength as she felt her life's blood ebb out of her. Scully felt all of that even as she saw Mulder collapse next to her. Her clinical mind told her his wounds were as fatal as hers while she felt her heart breaking. In that moment, Dana Scully decided that if she was going to die, she was going out honest and told Mulder she loved him. His reply of loving her as well was the last thing Scully heard before a wave of darkness closed over her.

Oddly enough, her first thought upon opening her eyes was of heaven and if she had gotten in. She couldn't be alive, she knew that. She had taken three bullets in vital organs, she couldn't possibly survive that. She couldn't.

But she had. So had Mulder. And apparently, so had Nash, several times.

*Not Nash* Scully reminded herself. *Connor. Connor Macleod of the Clan Macleod, born in the Highlands of Scotland almost 500 years ago. Immortal. Like Mulder. Like me.*

In four years on the X-Files, Scully had seen a lot to change her viewpoint that science had an answer for everything. From her own abduction to the still-unexplained events involving some of the cases she and Mulder had worked on, Scully had allowed herself to be a little more open to the unusual. But that she had died, come back to life and would now effectively live forever was a bit much for Scully to accept.

Strangely enough, the Immortality issue wasn't what was preying on Scully's mind at this moment. It was what she had said to Mulder. Scully reflected on the irony that of all the things she had said in her life, she was regretting what she had assumed would be her last words. And now she had to live with them.

She let out a gasp and grabbed her head as the feeling struck her. "The Buzz" Connor had called it, the strange sixth sense that told Scully another Immortal was close by. She glanced to the door to the room and watched it open.

Fox Mulder looked at his partner with a warm gaze, letting Scully know he was just as rocked by what happened as she was. Despite all he had been through and his more open beliefs to the unusual than his partner, even Mulder wasn't able to fully believe he was still alive after being shot and killed a few hours earlier. And he was dealing with what he had said to Scully just before dying as well.

"Hey," Mulder said. He was wearing a loose pair of sweatpants and light shirt he had borrowed from Connor. The blood-stained suits of both had been thrown into an incinerator as Connor had insisted they stay the night at his place while they dealt with what happened.

Mulder glanced at the knife in Scully's hands and nodded. "I did the same thing with a razor," he told her as he stepped into the room. "Just...just had to see it for myself before it really sank in."

Scully was quiet as she placed the knife on the table and stood up. Mulder looked her over briefly and raised an eyebrow. "Connor just happened to have those lying around?"

Scully managed a tiny smile. "Evidentally, Connor has 'entertained' a few times before and some stuff's been left behind. I'm just glad I found something that fit relatively well." She ran a hand through her hair and let out a long sigh. "God, Mulder, this is unbelivable."

"I know," Mulder said. "And with me, 'unbelivable' takes a whole new meaning."

Scully was carefully pacing around the bed, trying to keep herself calm, a difficult task given the emotions running through her. "It's just...Living forever...It goes against everything I've ever been taught, Mulder." To his surprise, she let out a short laugh. "Oh, God, I finally get it!"

"Get what?" Mulder frowned.

"Clyde Bruckerman," Scully answered. "When I asked him how I died, he told me 'you don't.'" She shook her head. "Figures he was on the money about that." She turned back to Mulder and saw him regarding her with a mildly startled look. "What is it?" she asked, frowning.

Mulder blinked his eyes, shook his head and then looked back at Scully. "Whoa," he softly said. "I think I've just found something unique about my Immortality."

Scully frowned. "What?"

Mulder nodded at her hair. "You know how I'm red-green color blind?"

Remembering the jokes he'd often made about some of her outfits, Scully nodded. "Yes. So?"

Mulder gazed at her head carefully. "I'm not anymore. And may I say, that is a very fetching shade of red you have on your head."

"Gee, thanks," Scully muttered. The two were silent for a long moment as Scully stared blankly at the wall. "What happens now, Mulder?" she softly asked. "What happens with us now?"

Mulder shrugged. "I guess we stay here for a while. We've got some overdue vacation time coming in anyway. We might as well cash it in and have Connor train us for what we need to do."

"That's not what I meant," Scully said as she turned to face her partner. She took a deep breath and tried to keep a professional demenaor. "I meant us. How are we supposed to go back to our lives after this? Just go back to work like nothing happened? That we're not...what we are?"

"Hey, this is sort of new to me too, Scully," Mulder said. "I don't know how we'll handle it but it can work. Connor said that for now, we can still live our lives, we don't have to change anything."

"Everything has changed, Mulder!" Scully shot back, spreading her arms. "Everything! My God, we died tonight! Things can't change much more than that!" She brought her hands to her face and rubbed her nose. "And the beheading..." She took a deep breath as she wrapped her arms around her body. "I don't know if I could do that."

Mulder looked down at his feet. "We've both killed, Scully," he softly pointed out. "You know that."

"That was in self-defense, Mulder," the redhead replied. "This would be a lot different and you know it." She turned away and closed her eyes as she tried to fight back against the feelings rising inside her.

"I meant it."

Scully's eyes opened as she heard Mulder speak. She slowly turned around to face him. "What?" she whispered.

Mulder was looking at her with more emotion in his face than Scully had ever seen before. "I meant what I said to you before we died," he repeated. "I didn't say it because I thought it was what you wanted to hear. I didn't say it because I thought it'd make...you know...a little easier for you." He licked his lips before speaking. "I said it because I meant it. Every word of it."

Scully could feel a tremor going through her body and, although she knew it wasn't clinically possible, she could swear her heart was beating faster. Mulder carefully stepped forward, talking as he did. "It's something I've wanted to say to you for a long time. It never felt right, it certainly wasn't professional and I...didn't know if you felt the same way."

Mulder cleared his throat and spoke up. "But I guess it doesn't matter a damn right now, not after everything we just went through. We've been given a second chance, Dana, and I'm not going to blow it." He swallowed as he looked her right in the eye. "I love you, Dana. I really and truly do."

Scully could feel the tears in her eyes but didn't even care. Nor did she care about how her lip was trembling as she faced Mulder fully. "I said what I said because I had to get it out," she whispered. "Because if I was going to die, I wanted to finally be honest. And now...Now I want to stay that way." She blinked back tears as she watched Mulder come closer. "I love you, Fox. I've loved you for so long. You given me more out of life than I ever knew was possible..."

"So did you, Dana," Mulder replied, his own tears showing. "I didn't know how empty my life was before you came into it and now..."

Scully felt a laugh come to her lips. "Oh, God, I can't believe you said something so corny."

"Hey, I can't believe I can still form coherent sentences right now," Mulder answered with a smile. He was standing before his partner now, his hand reaching up to brush a strand of red hair away from her face, his own growing more serious. "No more words, Scully," he said as he leaned down and let his lips touch hers.

Four years of mutual attraction, desire and longing were carried in that kiss and the feeling nearly overwhelmed both agents. Their eyes closed as each felt a warmth of love emit from the kiss and extend through their bodies. They knew this was for real and they knew the other wanted it as much as they did. They embraced each other as the kiss deepened, Mulder's arms around Scully's neck, hers around his waist as they drew upon their newfound feelings.

They finally came up for air, breaking apart and looking deep into the other's eyes. There was nothing to be said. Both could see the emotion in their partner's eyes and knew it was the absolute truth. It was time to be together at last.

Somehow, Scully knew what Mulder wanted and moved back a bit, then reached down and pulled the shirt over her head. She saw Mulder's eyes widen as he saw she was braless and Scully couldn't help but push her ample bosom forward a bit. Mulder took it in, the perfectly formed full and firm breasts with the tight round nipples that beckoned to him. Using all his restraint, Mulder held back from touching Scully as he saw her fingers slide into her pants. Seeing as how they were rather loose to begin with, Scully had little trouble slipping them down, then stepping out of them. Seconds later, a pair of light panties joined them on the floor and Scully stood naked before her partner.

Any nervousness she might have had was erased by the look on Mulder's face. It wasn't just the obvious arousal and longing. Mulder appeared almost grateful and it took Scully a moment to realize that he was counting himself lucky to have her. That realization made Scully nearly cry once more but instead, she fixed Mulder with a look that said "well, what are you waiting for?"

Taking one more long gaze at Scully's body, Mulder knew it was time to return the favor. Scully had seen him without his shirt before but now, the idea that she would soon be able to touch and kiss that toned chest gave it a new edge. As Mulder let his pants drop, it was Scully's turn to stare with wide eyes, both at the fact that Mulder wore no underwear and at his hard cock.

They stood before each other, taking in the other's nudity and realizing this was the moment that would truly change everything for them. "You're perfect," Mulder softly said, his eyes going to Scully's chest. "You're so beautifully perfect."

"So are you," Scully breathed. They looked into each other's eyes and then they were kissing again, their naked bodies merging together. It was as if a switch had been turned on within them as a massive wave of pure arousal blasted through their minds and bodies, everything else fading away in the wake. Mulder wanted Scully. Scully wanted Mulder. Nothing else at that moment mattered, a conviction that carried the two to the bed.

Scully let out a low moan as she felt Mulder's lips graze along her neck and collarbone, his hands massaging her back as he lowered her onto the bed. He moved over her, loving how her red hair formed a halo on the pillow around her face and stroked her cheek. "God, Dana, you are so beautiful..."

"God, Mulder," Scully moaned. "You said no words so just get going!"

Mulder was surprised by the intensity Scully was showing. Then again, Scully was surprised herself. She had never felt this way in her life, not even her few times before with sex. Somehow, this moment with Mulder was more intense than she had imagined and it was effecting her a lot. That was proven as Mulder moved his face to her chest, his mouth encircling one nipple and gently sucking on it. Scully's body trembled as she felt his tongue tickle her nipple, his strong hands pressing around the perfect round curves of both breasts. Scully could tell Mulder was a tad more experienced at breast-play than she ever gave him credit for. His palms pressed against the tits themselves as his fingers spread around the nipples, pinching each of them. At the same time, his mouth alternated between each breast, spending a few seconds on each to suck on the nipple and tickle it with his tongue even as he pressed her breasts together.

Scully's eyes were closed tight as she felt Mulder's head pull away from her chest. His hands kept working at the breasts though as he lowered himself down Scully's trim body. He kissed her flat stomach, causing another gasp to escape his partner's lips. Mulder kept lowering his head down until he came to the jewel resting between those wonderful legs.

As the heat of Mulder's breath hit her pussy, Scully's eyes shot open and she yelped with joy. "Oh my God, Mulder..." she let out as she felt her partner's mouth move to her pussy. His tongue snaked out and tickled at her clit, easily playing with it as his hands slid along Scully's breasts. Mulder's mouth brushed against the red hair lining his partner's womanhood as his tongue continued to tickle her hard, giving Scully more pleasure than she had enjoyed in quite a long while.

Scully withered on the bed, her thighs spread and accepting Mulder's tongue inside her. She could feel her arousal building, could feel her inner passion ready to come loose and thus was more than a little pissed when Mulder suddenly broke away. She shot her head up to glare at him. "What the hell are-----"

Mulder had that odd smile on his face, the one that always managed to defuse Scully's anger. "While tasting you is the best snack I've had in a long while," he lightly teased. "I think you'd like to save the first one for a bit."

Scully's eyes narrowed. "Oh, really?" She sat up and moved forward with a suddenness that surprised Mulder. "Okay, Agent Mulder. Two can play that little teasing game." Before Mulder knew it, he was on his back as Scully slid over to him. Her fingers reached down to grip his cock and Mulder felt himself go instantly stiff in her hands. Scully's fingers slid over Mulder's hard shaft with one hand as the other cupped and gave his balls a quick squeeze. At first, she couldn't believe she was doing this. It had just been to try and give Mulder a taste of the same light torture he'd given her. She'd intended to let go after that but something drove her on, the strange need that was fueling her actions and making Dana Scully take actions she would never had considered before.

Mulder couldn't believe his eyes as he saw his cool, analytical, scientific, by the book partner lean down and deep throat his cock. He still couldn't believe it as her lips ran up and down his shaft, tongue tickling at his penis as her fingers pinched his balls. It was Mulder's turn to groan with pleasure as Scully went at it, her head bobbing in his lap as she continued to take him in. Considering she had never given head before, Scully thought she was doing damn good and was loving it a lot more than she thought she would. Mulder tasted so good and Scully could feel herself getting lost as she continued her sucking of her partner.

Mulder grimaced as he felt himself coming close to release. Most of him wanted to, of course, to ejaculate and give it down her throat. But something stopped him, a thought that caused him to call out his partner's name. "Dana. Dana!"

His voice broke through and Scully's eyes opened as she pulled her mouth off of Mulder's rod and looked at him with some annoyance. "What?"

Mulder licked his lips as he spoke. "I want...I want the first time...I want it to be in you."

The desire and pleading in his eyes, mixed with the fact that she wanted the same thing, caused Scully to sit up and back, allowing Mulder to sit up as well. He spread his legs slightly and reached out to her. Scully could tell what he was planning and agreed with it, moving to Mulder, her own legs spreading as she began to position herself. Taking a deep breath, she pressed forward, letting out a squeal as she felt Mulder's cock enter her. Mulder grunted as Scully worked herself on him, taking him in as much as she could. Once she had, her legs hooked around his waist for support. She felt his hands move around her and looked into his eyes. She didn't say a word. She didn't have to. Mulder knew what she wanted, what she needed and prepared to answer her in kind. As one, they began to work against one another.

It was uncanny how quickly they established a rhythm, Scully moving forward in time with Mulder's thrusts into her, her breasts bouncing each time. Mulder's hands moved down until they reached Scully's ass, cupping her buttocks and giving them a squeeze in time with his thrusts. "Oh, Mulder..." Scully whispered. "God, I never dreamed..."

"I know, Dana," Mulder muttered, his face tight as he felt Scully's pelvis work against his. "Oh, God, you are so good..."

"Harder," Scully hissed. "Harder, Mulder, please!"

Mulder didn't answer with words. He simply squeezed her ass tighter as he strengthed his thrusts. Scully closed her eyes and leaned her head forward. She felt Mulder's lips kiss against it and smiled. "Hmmm, you do love to do that."

"Always said I loved you for your mind," Mulder managed to get out.

Scully was almost ready to laugh but instead cried out as she felt herself start to give. "Oh, fuck, Mulder, I can't wait...Please, Fox...God, I'm ready...!"

"I know..." Mulder returned, his eyes closed, his body tightening, the beginnings of his orgasm starting to overtake him. "Together?"

"In everything," Scully returned. She leaned against him, feeling her breasts work against his sweat-stained body as they knew it was almost time. Again, that unspoken communication came over them as they knew the exact moment to let go at the same time. Mulder let himself release into Scully at the same time she came herself. They both gasped out with long and loud cries of pure ecstasy as their shared orgasm rocked them both to the core. They remained frozen for a long moment, the aftershocks of the act still running through them, both unable to breathe as they tried to recover. Slowly, they slumped against one another, both gasping for breath as they disengaged.

They fell back on the bed, their bodies stained with sweat from their efforts. Scully draped an arm around Mulder's chest and looked up at her partner----no, her lover now. "That..." she managed to get out. "Was unbelievable on so many levels."

"I know," Mulder returned. "Same here." He brushed at her face and smiled. "God, why did it take having to get killed to make us realize how good this could be?"

Scully's smile was wide as she moved onto Mulder's body. "I don't know but I think we should make up for lost time." She leaned down to kiss Mulder, both feeling strength return to their bodies faster than they would have thought as they decided to continue this new level of their partnership.

*****

In the room down the hall, Connor MacLeod could hear the cries and moans and smiled. He'd known those two were lover material from the moment he'd seen them and figured there was no better way to cope with Immortality than putting them together and letting nature take its course. *Fate is always a good thing.* the Immortal thought. *But every now and then, it needs a little push.*

*****

Washington D.C.
September 28th, 1996
2209 Hours EST

The warehouse was the type that often littered the D.C. landscape. In misuse for most of the year, every now and then, it became a haven for some less than legitimate material storage. In fact, it had been used only a few days earlier for an illegal arms operation that had been broken up by a joint FBI-ATF task force. A task force that involved the two agents who were stepping into the warehouse.

"Answer me again, Mulder," Scully sighed as she brushed at her hair. "Why are were here again?"

"Subtle clues, Scully," Mulder answered as he looked around the warehouse. "As ever, we're on the hunt for subtle clues."

"Mulder, with you, 'subtle' is not a strong suit," Scully pointed out. "Your tie that all but shouted 'let's ditch work and go home for a quickie' yesterday springs to mind."

"Hey, it did the job," Mulder winked. "In seriousness------"

"That'll be new for you."

"Something about this was bugging me. I can't put my finger on what exactly, but it was."

Scully bit her lip. "Do you mean Higgins and Masters?"

Mulder solemnly nodded. Jason Higgins and Polly Masters were the leaders of this operation, a pair of long-time career criminals who had recently attempted to break into the big leagues. From their files, it was indicated that the two had become partners two years earlier and it was speculated they were lovers. However, when taking part in a stakeout with the task force, Mulder and Scully had learned something else: That Higgins and Masters were Immortal, the two clearly feeling the same Buzz that struck the two agents. It had scared them off from a meeting with a client but not from overseeing their operation later on, which was when the shit hit the fan.

Scully sighed as she looked around the warehouse, seeing the marks where bullets had struck the walls. "Trust the agency assigned to control firearms to jump the gun on a raid." She shook her head. "Thank God none of ours were killed."

"Which is more than you can say for Higgins and Masters," Mulder said. "Twelve shots between them. That'll keep them down for a while."

Scully looked at her partner. "Mulder, I still don't get what we're doing here. Higgins and Masters were killed. Even if they come back and leave the morgue, they're still considered dead. They're long gone from D.C. by now so why are we here?"

"Because I still feel there's something in this place we're missing," Mulder remarked, tapping a finger against his chin. He turned in place, his eyes flickering around the warehouse. Scully knew that look on Mulder's face. Mulder was onto something, and as much as she hated to admit it, Scully knew most of the time he was on the money with such thoughts. "The way they charged to the front when the raid started. They took the hits..." His eyes widened. "They took the hits. They deliberately let themselves be killed."

"Why?" Even as she said it, Scully's eyes widened as the connection hit her. "Because there's something here, something they wanted to keep secret and what better way to make sure the cops wouldn't follow them back but to be killed?"

Mulder spun around, glancing about the warehouse. It was empty now as the crime scene investigators had done their work with only some tape and stickers to indicate where bodies had fallen. He paused as his eyes fixed on a pair of pillars near the right wall of the warehouse. "Scully, I'm still getting used to not being red-green color blind anymore so is it my imagination or does the paint on one of those pillars a little more fresh than on the other?"

Scully saw it too and the two agents swiftly moved to the pillar. Scully let her finger trail along the side and felt the lack of dust on it. She and Mulder shared a nod and quickly examined the pillar itself, their fingers digging around the sides. Mulder's knuckles tapped along the side and paused as a hollow sound went out. He banged on it and a panel swung out on hinges. Mulder reached inside and pulled out a large duffel bag. He unzipped it and raised an eyebrow at its contents. "The perfect secret stash," he remarked at the wads of hundred-dollar bills stuffed inside the bag.

Scully nodded at the money and sniffed. "Not a bad idea, really. They leave it in a place they know won't be looked over thoroughly for a while, come back after it quiets down and leave with enough to start a new life."

Mulder looked up at Scully with a smile. "You know, if we were two other people, in a deserted warehouse, with a bag of untraceable money..."

Before Scully could respond, the two felt the Buzz strike them. Mulder dropped the bag and reached under his coat, Scully doing the same as they stepped out into the middle of the warehouse.

The doors to the side opened and two figures walked in. Both were wearing clothing that had obviously come from someone else and didn't match to boot. The man was as tall as Mulder with dark blonde hair and a muscular figure. The woman was a few inches taller than Scully with an equally well-built and athletic figure, her face attractive yet carrying an ugly smile. Each of them held a sword in their hands, the man's a large English blade, the woman's a shorter blade of Spanish origin.

Without a word and hoping their nervousness wasn't showing, Mulder and Scully pulled out their own swords, the twin katanas gleaming under the dim lighting from above. The looks on the faces of Higgins and Masters let them know there was no way this was going to end peacefully so Mulder and Scully quickly stripped away their long coats and stepped forward.

"Agents Mulder and Scully," Masters said in a voice that carried a surprisingly cultured tone. "I didn't see you during the little excursion this afternoon."

"We hung back a bit," Mulder explained. "We didn't want to warn you."

"Smart boy," Masters said with a slight Southern twang to her voice. She looked at Scully and smirked. "Don't suppose you'll be wanting to dump the redhead and try a real woman?"

"You know one? Wow." Scully snorted at Mulder's deadpan delivery as Masters glared at the two.

"We want our money," Higgins said. "We've been shot several times already today and are so in a very foul mood so if you just give us what's ours and let us leave, this will go so much easier."

"Sorry, not going to happen," Mulder said, his grip on his sword tightening. "I don't suppose telling you you're under arrest would do any good."

"No," Higgins said. He brought his sword up. "I suppose we do the inevitable then." Next to him, Masters moved into a fighting stance of her own, her eyes on Scully and a smirk on her lips.

Mulder and Scully exchanged a look. They had eyewitness testimony of the hard lives both criminals had growing up so knew neither was that much older than they were. When and how they became Immortal was unknown but it really didn't matter at this moment. Instead, the two got ready to fight, their lessons from Connor coming to the forefront as they carefully separated.

Masters spun her sword in her hands as she sidestepped away from her lover, throwing a smile at Scully, who was all business as she matched the other woman's pace. "Nice," Masters said, glancing at Scully's hair. "Just what kind of dye do you use on that?"

Scully glared at her as she brought her sword up. "At least I can attest to the rest of my body being real," she remarked.

With a snarl, Masters attacked, swinging her sword outward in an arc toward Scully's side. Scully quickly blocked it and stepped back to avoid Master's jab. She answered with a swing of her own, which Masters blocked and in seconds, the two were trading blows, their swords clashing into one another with speed and fury.

Mulder and Higgins were already dueling, Mulder wincing a bit at the strength of some of Higgins thrusts, his sword arm aching every time Higgins's blade slammed into his. Higgins had strength going for him as well as a savage temper and if Mulder's blade wasn't so well-crafted, it would have broken in half. Higgins swung his blade in a wide arc, Mulder ducking under it and striking out with a thrust that tore at the side of the other Immortal's shirt. Higgins yelled at the pain and tried another swing at Mulder. While he couldn't match Higgins's strength, Mulder did have more agility and speed and the katana was a good sword to use those skills. He managed to sweep aside one of Master's attacks and slice a good cut along the other man's side. Masters yelled and then kicked outward, knocking Mulder back as the fight continued.

Scully leapt away with a spin and heard a tearing sound as Masters' sword sliced a good hole in her coat. Scully quickly backed away and held her sword in a defensive move as Masters continued the assault. She stabbed at Scully's mid-section, a blow the redhead barely blocked. Masters struck out like a cobra, grabbing Scully by the shoulder and pulling her in as she slammed a knee into the redhead's stomach. Scully gasped from the blow and then as Masters smashed an elbow into the middle of Scully's shoulders. Scully stumbled but still managed to keep enough sense to roll forward as she did to avoid Master's blade. Wincing from pain, she got to her feet and continued her fight.

For long moments, the warehouse was filled with grunts and yells, the sound of feet moving about and steel clashing with steel. For Higgins and Masters, it was the third duel each had done and both were confident of their own victory. For Mulder and Scully, it was different. Despite the fact each had their own worries, it was as if they could tell exactly what the other was doing and where they were during the fight. Which might have played a part in how it ended.

Masters jumped and kicked out, her boot flying into Scully's face. The redhead went down, feeling blood on her lip as she tried to shake off the impact of the hit. "Aw, too bad," Master smirked as she moved in, her sword up and ready. "Don't worry, I won't mess up your face anymore. It will be perfect when your head is-----"

Scully rose to her knees and swung her sword outward. Masters instinctively spun to avoid the blow but not fast enough. The blade sliced along the back of both of her knees, slicing apart muscles and tendons. Masters screamed as she collapsed to her knees, Scully moving back to her feet and preparing to rise.

Mulder and Higgins were only a few feet away, Higgins blasting Mulder with a punch that made him see stars. The criminal was pulling his sword back to make a slice toward Mulder's neck when he heard Master's scream. Higgins made the mistake of looking toward his partner and Mulder took advantage of it, stabbing his sword forward and into Higgins' chest. He gasped in pain as Mulder twisted the handle of his blade, causing him to drop his own. He staggered back, Mulder still keeping his sword in him as they ended up near where Scully was kneeling before a crippled Masters.

Mulder pulled the sword out of Higgins chest, the man going down to his knees in pain. Mulder lifted up the sword and prepared to deliver the final blow. A dim part of his mind was somewhat surprised by the fact that he didn't have nearly the amount of doubts or hesitations he thought he would when this moment came. Instead, he simply said the words that Connor had drilled into both him and Scully. "There can be------"

"Only one," Scully hissed as she leaped to her feet, her sword swinging in an upward arc, cleaving through Master's neck. At the same instant, Mulder swung his blade out in a wide arc, neatly decapitating the fallen Higgins. His arm continued to swing out, the blade flying out and stopping only when it touched the tip of Scully's own katana, still held out and up.

For a long moment the two were frozen, their swords still touching, both staring at the headless bodies as they slumped to the ground. They were still staring as the cloud of energy exited the headless bodies and began to flow outward and toward them.

Connor had tried to warn the two agents what the Quickening would be like but admitted it was never something that could be put fully into words. After all, every person was unique, which made every quickening just as different. Thus, there was no way to truly prepare for a Quickening.

But not even Connor had ever experienced what Mulder and Scully were about to. Very, very few Immortals had.

The energies exiting Higgins and Masters split apart and went to their respective beheaders. Mulder and Scully both gasped as they felt the cloud envelop them. The ozone in the warehouse rose dramatically increased as lightning began to appear, striking out at both agents, rocking them to the core as their swords kept touching. That touch formed a connection between the duo, a connection that turned two Quickenings into one.

Images of the lives of both Higgins and Masters covered the minds of both agents. Scully began to cry out as she saw the memories of two criminal lives and Mulder was just as effected. During this, the lightning continued to strike out, smacking into the agents with wild strikes. Again, it was different than a single Quickening might have been as the lightning actually seemed to bounce from one agent to the other before impacting somewhere in the warehouse. The wind howled as above, the remaining windows imploded one by one, hurling glass into the wild storm that was raging below.

Mulder and Scully stood at the eye of it all, both screaming as their bodies and minds were assailed by the physical and mental assault the twin Quickening was producing. They could feel each other through it all, could feel the way the other was taking this, could feel their pain as bad as their own as the lightning and wind continued to rage. Scully's hair whipped around her face but her vision was filled only with the memories of the two dead Immortals. Mulder's tie ripped off his shirt, lost to the wind as he too coped with the massive influx of data into his already disorganized mind.

As suddenly as it begun, it was over. The lightning faded and the wind died down. Mulder and Scully remained frozen for a long moment, their swords still touching. Then, they slumped to their knees, exhausted by their ordeal, a sparking visible as their swords separated. Mulder was on his knees, heaving for breath as he turned his head to see Scully on her side, doing the same. He reached out to her and she welcomed him as he pulled her up and into an embrace, the two kneeling in the quiet warehouse and drawing from each other. Neither noticed the sparks that literally flew about as they embraced, creating a new type of connection between them.

*****

Apartment of Fox Mulder
Washington D.C.
September 29th, 1996
0123 Hours EST

Frankly, Scully would have preferred her apartment, seeing as how she actually had a bed. However, Mulder's was closer and Scully didn't have the energy to go to Georgetown tonight. Fortunately, in only a few months together, Scully had left some clothes behind at Mulder's place in case of such a situation. She was dressed in a loose shirt and sweatpants, brushing at her wet hair as she walked out of the bathroom. She looked over at Mulder, who sat on the couch in a grubby grey shirt and jeans. He looked blankly at the television set, not really paying much attention to it.

"Hey," Scully said. "How are you feeling?"

"Same as you," Mulder sighed. "Wasted yet strangely alive at the same time."

"I know what you mean," Scully sighed. She rubbed a hand across her face. "I still can't believe we took the money," she whispered.

Mulder shrugged. "Hey, it's untraceable and Connor told us that a few extra thousand can't hurt in case we need to move out of our identities in a hurry." He sniffed. "Not like those two are going to need it at the furnace we stuffed them in."

Scully scratched her head. "Mulder, has it dawned on you that in the last three hours we have broken enough laws to get the death penalty? Two counts of murder, larceny, disposing of two headless bodies..." She stopped and closed her eyes. "God, I never thought it could be like that. Never. I don't mean the Quickening itself, Mulder, I also meant having to...to kill her." She looked down at her feet as Mulder stared at her with a look of true sympathy.

"It's what we have to do, Dana," he softly said. "You know that. It's what Connor was training us for all those weeks in New York."

"That doesn't make it feel much better," Scully sighed. "Not even the fact that she was a killer and would have killed me without remorse doesn't ease up on the guilt." She looked away and Mulder felt a pain in his heart at the remorse showing in his lover.

/Don't blame yourself, Dana/ he thought. /Please, God, don't blame yourself./

"Who else am I supposed to blame, Mulder?" Scully said, glaring at him. "I'm the one who killed her."

Mulder raised his hands in defense. "Hey, I didn't say a word."

"Yes you did," Scully replied. "You just told me not to blame yourself."

Mulder stared at her. "Um, Scully, I didn't say that."

"Yes, Mulder, you did," Scully patiently explained. "I heard you say that very clearly." She rolled her eyes. /God, Mulder, why do you have to be so obtuse sometimes?/

"I don't think I'm being obtuse, Scully, I think that-----" He stopped as he saw the look on Scully's face. "What?"

Scully blinked her eyes at him. "I...I didn't say anything. Not...verbally..." She and Mulder exchanged a long look. /Mulder, if you say anything regarding the words telepathic.../

/I don't think I have to, Scully./ Scully's eyes widened as she realized she had just heard Mulder's voice in her head. "Oh, my God," she whispered. "How...How did..."

Mulder held up a hand. "Can you tell what I'm thinking right now?"

Scully narrowed her eyes. "You'd better not be thinking about one of those videos I found in your closet last week...."

"I'm serious, Scully. Do you know what I'm thinking right this instant?"

Scully paused and concentrated, then shook her head. "No. No, I can't."

/How about now?/

/That I got./

/So it only works if we're actually directing our thoughts right at each other/ Mulder thought, rubbing his chin. /It must have been the Quickening, the double energy, the way we were connected.../

/Mulder, you can't honestly believe that a Quickening gave us telepathy and can we go back to verbal because this is starting to scare me a little./

"It didn't give us the telepathy, Dana," Mulder said in his own voice. "Maybe it just changed something that had already been there. We did have that connection, you know, that way of finishing each other's sentences and knowing what was going on with the other. That double Quickening must have enhanced it, made it even stronger and powerful."

"Mulder, I can't believe..."

/You can't argue with the evidence, Scully./

Scully hated to admit he was right but she couldn't ignore it any more than Mulder could. She could hear her partner in her mind and knew he could hear her. /God, like I didn't have you on my mind enough.../

/Is that an insult, Agent Scully?/

Scully glared at him. /You know, Mulder, when I agreed to take part in the X-Files, at no point did I think I was going to become one./

/Relax, Scully. I would never put this down as an X-File./

/Really?/

/An Immortal pathologist who has a telepathic link to her partner? Please, Scully, I have my standards./

*****

Las Vegas, NV
December 20th, 1996
2203 Hours PST

"Mulder, if you ever. Ever. EVER. Breathe a word of this trip to anyone, I will kill you."

"Now, Scully, it wasn't all-----"

"Mulder, I will kill you. I will kill you, wait for you to come back, then kill you even worse and repeat the process several times. I will kill you. I will hurt you. There will be medical groups formed for the express purpose of figuring out just what it is I have done to you. So do not mention this to anyone. EVER."

Mulder simply chuckled as he and Scully continued to walk down the Strip. The flashes of neon light colored both agents, their professional suits a contrast to the casual tourist wear of the other people walking down the streets. Scully wore one of the most pissed-off expressions Mulder had ever seen on her, not surprising given what she had gone through in the last few hours.

"And then, once I am done killing you, I will kill every one of the those three idiots for dragging me into this mess," Scully continued. "Why you let them talk us here in the first place..."

"Listen, Scully, I'm not exactly happy with what happened either," Mulder pointed out. "But it's all turned out for the best. And yes, I will keep quiet about what happened here."

"Because you love and respect me so much?"

"That," Mulder allowed. "And because right now, you're frankly scaring me a little."

That brought a smile to Scully's face as she and Mulder continued down the street. While the two had been growing in their telepathic connection, they still usually preferred verbal communication. Plus, Mulder suspected that it bothered Scully more than she let on.

"It still pisses me off," Scully remarked as she and Mulder walked past a restaurant. Mulder was only half-listening to her as he stared into the diner's window and saw what appeared to be a party of some sort with a laughing couple surrounded by equally happy people. "Being dragged here on a wild goose chase, that stupid hotel, those three morons using us to-----"

She stopped as she realized Mulder had been left a few feet behind. She turned to face him and saw him staring at a small building they had just passed. Scully took a few steps forward and glanced at it herself, seeing the small, gaudy chapel of the sort that often littered Vegas. Although, admittedly, most were a tad more high-class than to have the minister be dressed as Elvis. "Mulder?" she asked. "What is it?"

Mulder slowly turned to face her. "Marry me."

Scully blinked. Twice. "Excuse me?"

"Marry me, Scully."

Scully forced herself to smile. "Mulder, I appreciate you trying to take my mind off of things but I hardly think-----"

"This isn't about what happened earlier," Mulder said. Scully could see his face growing a bit passionate. "This is about what can happen to us in the future."

Scully stared at him. "You're serious, aren't you?" she whispered.

Mulder threw out his arms. "You want me to be more traditional? Okay, fine." Before Scully's rapidly widening eyes, Mulder got down on one knee, taking Scully's hand. "Dana Scully, will you do me the honor of marrying me before the eyes of God and a man in a bad Elvis suit?"

Scully's jaw fell open as she realized he really meant this. /Mulder.../ she thought, since her tongue wasn't working at the moment. /You...This would be...Mulder, married couples can't work together.../

/Then we won't tell anyone/ Mulder shrugged. /We can make that work. We can./ He licked his lips, then spoke out loud. "I love you, Dana. I love you with all my heart and I really and truly want you to be my wife. Please, please, say you'll marry me."

Scully closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to keep her thoughts in control and to herself. It came as a surprise to herself as much as Mulder at how quickly it took her to make her decision. She looked down and Mulder and raised an eyebrow. "Do I get to keep my maiden name?"

"Of course, Scully," Mulder said, trying to keep from bursting out in a cheer. "What else am I supposed to call you?"

Scully laughed as she nodded. "Yes. Yes, Mulder, I will marry you."

Mulder rose to his feet and pulled her in for a slow kiss. Then, without a word, they turned and marched to the chapel to become man and wife.

/Any thoughts at about to become Mrs. Fox Mulder?/

/Just one. That if we were teenagers, you would be just the kind of guy I'd date to drive my father crazy./

/You know, that was the major reason I got asked out in high school.../

*****

Steven St. Wolf's Home
Sunnydale, CA
August 5th, 1998
2047 Hours PST

"You're still mad, aren't you?"

"Mulder, I'm not mad."

"Scully, I can read your thoughts."

"I'm not directing anything at you, Mulder."

"When it comes to this, I can still tell."

Scully sighed as she threw her jacket onto a waiting chair. She and Mulder were still in partial suits from the day, a day that had brought another big shift to their relationship.

Scully fixed a finger at Mulder. "Okay, I want an honest answer here, Mulder. Was it your idea to spring that little surprise ambush on us with Robin's empowerment?"

Mulder sighed as he sat on the edge of the bed. He ran a hand through his hair as he started to gather his thoughts. "Well, it was Robin's ideas to flaunt what we got when we came back..."

"But you thought it would be a sparring session," Scully said with some anger in her face. "A way to do to us what had been done to you."

Mulder rolled his eyes. "This wasn't ego, Scully."

"Like hell it wasn't," Scully shot back. "I've seen the way you've been acting around me, Mulder. How you've been taking more risks, trying to be more assertive, trying to be more controlling----"

"Excuse me?" Mulder said as he rose from the bed. "I've been controlling? I've been taking risks? Scully, if I have to count how many times in the last several months you have been the first one in a situation, telling me to hold back when we faced a vampire or demon, going into a raid, in Lybia------"

"What are you saying?" Scully asked, her hands on her hips. "That I've been trying to hold you back because I'm an Amazon?"

"In essence, yes," Mulder said. "Maybe you haven't done it consciously, maybe you didn't intend to or maybe didn't even realize it. But frankly, Scully, for the last few weeks, I've felt a little inadequate in this partnership."

Scully rubbed her head. "Mulder, I cannot believe you let yourself be empowered by a faery and attacked me just because your male ego-----"

"Scully, what was the thing in our partnership that bothered you the most?"

Scully looked at him with confusion. "That's a long list, Mulder."

Mulder's face was more serious as he looked at her. "You would always yell at me about how overprotective I was of you. Of how I tried to do everything I could to help you, to keep you safe, to aid you when you were in trouble. And of how that made you feel."

"I know how I felt, Mulder," Scully sniffed. "I didn't feel like an equal because you weren't treating me as such. You kept acting like I was utterly incapable of taking care of myself, that I always needed you to help me out of anything and I needed you around to get the job done right."

Mulder nodded. "So how do you think I felt when you treated me the exact way?"

Scully opened her mouth, then shut it as his words entered her. Mulder sighed and walked up to her, brushing at her hair. "This was never about your faith, Scully, I had no problems with you as an Amazon," he softly said. "And I will admit that my ego was hurt and that might have played a factor into things. But what was hurting me was that you weren't treating me as an equal partner. So, while incredibly long overdue, I do understand how you felt when I did the same thing."

He cleared his throat before continuing. "Before I realized how much I loved you, Scully, before I realized how important you were...I respected you. It takes a lot to get that from me and I respected you almost from the first day. That was one constant we always had, that respect. And..well..."

Scully's eyes widened slightly. "You thought I didn't respect you back?" she asked in disbelief. "Goddess, Mulder, I never meant to give you an idea like that. I always respected your abilities, even when I had my boost. I never thought less of you because of it. As far as I'm concerned, that respect is just as important to our relationship as our love."

"I know," Mulder said. "And that was what was worrying me." Scully was still silent as Mulder kissed her forehead. "I love you, Dana," he whispered. "That never changed. And I admit it may have been a bit childish to do the sparring but it did show off the skills a lot better than just telling you would have." He managed a small smile. "I know how it usually takes you a while to accept the wild stuff in life."

"True," Scully admitted. She took a deep breath. "And I think it's also true that I have been a bit overprotective and maybe even condescending toward you for the last few weeks." She took a deep breath. "As much as it pains me to admit it, Mulder...When I got my empowerment, when I became an Amazon..." She rolled her eyes. "Goddess, I guess I did feel a bit better than you on some subconscious level. And on that level, I gave you a taste of the way I perceived you once treating me."

She looked up at her husband and bit her lip. "But I never thought less of you in my heart," she whispered. "I do still love you, Fox, just as much as I always have." She snorted. "Even when you do pull shit like this."

"Ah, but doesn't my sneaky and wicked side make you love me more?" Mulder retorted with a smirk.

"Okay, let's just push all this old inadequacy aside," Scully said. "You heard Robin. We're on an equal level now and I hope that puts our partnership back where it once was."

"Fine by me," Mulder said, wrapping his arms around Scully. "And speaking of equal levels, I do believe it's time I pay you back for all the wonderful nights your empowerment's given us."

Scully raised an eyebrow. "Now, Mulder. Do you really think Robin boosted you in all areas?"

Mulder just smiled.

*****

"Oh...My...GODDESS!!" Scully screamed as she slammed her head back on Mulder's chest. They were sitting on the edge of the bed, Scully sitting on Mulder's cock and riding him like crazy. They were both stained with sweat, Scully's body aching from the efforts of the last few hours as Mulder had been showing her just how much strength, stamina and skill he had now.

Mulder couldn't help but grin as his hands clutched his wife's full breasts, squeezing them hard as she shifted back and forth on him. Scully couldn't believe how hot this was. While Mulder had always been more than adequate, she'd had to admit he'd been doing a bit of "catch-up" with her Amazon empowerment. Now, with him just as strong, he was giving her the most incredible love-making session the two had ever had. Scully leaned against him and screamed as she felt him release within her, making her entire body feel like it was going to explode.

Scully sank against her husband, heaving for breath, trying to get her mouth working again. "Shit," she whispered. "Mulder...oh, Goddess, you don't have to worry about me ever disrespecting you again."

"Thanks," Mulder said, nibbling at her ear. "But what gave you the indication we were through yet?"

In the haze of her mind, Scully suddenly remembered how charged up she had felt after her empowerment and how Mulder had been barely able to walk the next day. As he pushed her off his cock, then down onto the bed, Scully realized he was going to be paying her back for that. And she was going to enjoy it.

*****

May 1st, 1999

She couldn't move. She couldn't speak. She was barely even aware of what was going on around her. That was the way it had been since the woman had approached them, had held up that jewel....And then all she could see was the green light and nothing else. She felt like she was floating, that she was flying away from her own body and yet anchored in the here and now, aware of what was happening yet unable to do anything about it.

She saw the woman striding forward, an evil grin across her face. She held the gem and Scully could feel her will weaken further before it. She couldn't do anything this woman didn't want her to do. And she would do anything the woman wanted. Anything at all.

She could see Mulder there, standing next to her, standing in place, yet totally limp, his face blank (well, blanker than usual), as spellbound as she was. She watched the woman with the dark curly hair and strange mark over her eyes walk over and pull him into a long kiss. Scully felt no anger, no jealousy, no rage. Instead she felt...a thrill, an arousal, wanting it to be her, wanting her lips against the other woman's, her surrendering her body.

The woman seemed to sense the thought, breaking away from Mulder and moving to Scully. Her eyes were filled with lust as she stepped forward, her hands reaching out to graze against Scully's chest, her legs, her behind, her lips coming closer and closer, Scully preparing to meet them, to give herself to this woman, to give her mind and her soul over to her, to do anything that was commanded. To be unable to do anything else but whatever the witch wanted....

*****

Melissa Scully's eyes shot open and she leapt out of the bed the instant she heard her sister's scream cut through the apartment. In the bed, Tessa Santiago was also awake and alert, a century of experience getting her up in record time, yet unable to match Melissa. The elder Scully had hurriedly thrown on a pair of shorts with her sleep shirt and was bolting out the door with her sword in her hand as Tessa searched for something to wear.

Melissa rushed down the hall from the guest room to the origin of the screams. She could hear another cry mixed in, a male one and knew it had to be Mulder. She smashed open the door to Mulder and Scully's bedroom and stared in shock at the scene before her.

Fox and Dana lay on the bed, both thrashing about, eyes closed, their faces mixed with pain and denial, both moaning as if facing a horror beyond imagination. Fleetingly, Melissa remembered what Dana had told her about she and Mulder sometimes finding themselves sharing dreams through their telepathic connection. Melissa somehow suspected that even without that connection, they'd still be having the same nightmare as she rushed over to the bed and began yelling to the two.

"Fox! Dana! Wake up, you're having a nightmare. Wake up!" She smacked Fox on the shoulder and was happy to see his eyes shoot open as he gasped for breath. As he tried to get his bearings, Melissa grabbed Dana by the shoulders and shook her. "Dana, wake up!"

Dana's eyes opened and Melissa felt a tearing in her heart at the pain and fear within them. "Get away!" Dana yelled, shoving back at her sister. "Get away from me, don't you touch me, I don't want you to-----"

"Dana, it was a dream!" Melissa cut in. "It's me! It's Melissa! You're awake now, calm down! It's okay, I'm here."

Dana stopped, blinking her eyes as she realized who she was looking at. "Missy?" she whispered.

Melissa nodded, relaxing her grip. "Yeah, honey, it's me, I'm here." She let her arms drape around her sister for a hug. "I'm here."

Dana felt her eyes close and tears begin to spring from them. The calm, cool, collected FBI agent melted away, leaving behind a woman who had seen a nightmare and was trying to deal with it. Melissa felt tears of her own as she held her sister tight, brushing at her hair and whispering to her. "It's okay, Dana. It's okay, I'm here..."

*****

Tessa had been a few steps behind when Melissa had entered the room and hung by the doorway to watch her wake the two agents up. She saw Mulder look to where Melissa held Dana, a look of sympathy on his face before he swung out of the bed. He was already wearing a pair of boxer shorts and threw a shirt over his head as he made his way out of the bedroom, brushing by Tessa. The Spanish woman glanced at her lover comforting her sister, then decided to follow Mulder.

The man was in the kitchen, taking a pitcher of a strange looking liquid out of the refrigerator. Tessa declined to ask what it was, positive she didn't want to know the answer. She watched as Mulder poured the liquid into a glass, then downed it and made a face. "God, I hate that stuff," he muttered as he put the pitcher back.

"Then why do you drink it?" Tessa asked.

"Something Robin came up with. One sip wakes you up faster than two pots of coffee. Some mornings, it's a help to both of us." He was silent as he sat by the sink, staring at the wall. Tessa shuffled her feet, trying to figure out something to say. She and Melissa had only planned to stay the night at D.C. while waiting for a flight out to New York the next morning. Melissa, of course, had insisted on letting her sister and brother-in-law know they were in town and the two had been willing to put the two Amazons up for the night. During the previous night's dinner, Tessa had sensed some tension in Mulder and Scully regarding their experiences with Outworld. But she had no idea anything like this would happen.

"Has it been this way every night?" she calmly asked.

Mulder shook his head. "Actually, the first couple of days weren't bad," he answered. "It was when we got back that...that we began to remember what it was like...remember the way we'd felt." His fist tightened around his glass and Tessa was afraid it would shatter in his grip. "Dammit," Mulder hissed, a burst of anger coming to his features. "The way it was...the way she made us feel..."

"How?" Tessa didn't really want to ask but she knew that opening up to someone was important to Mulder. Obviously, he'd done it with Scully but Tessa suspected an outsider might actually be a better sounding board to him now.

"She..." Mulder took a breath. "She made me feel so damn helpless. God, I wish I didn't remember any of it, it would be better that way. I can see myself before her, I kissed her, oh, God, I kissed her right in front of Dana and...and I liked it. God help me, I actually liked the way she did it, right in front of Dana..."

"Fox," Tessa said, reaching out an arm. "It wasn't you. You didn't like it. I know you put on a show of being into the more carnal aspects of life but I know that you love Dana and you could never be like that with another woman. You didn't actually like it, it was the spell Maeve had you under. She probably told you beforehand you would like whatever she did and you couldn't stop that."

"That's the point," Mulder angrily said. "I couldn't stop it, I couldn't stop any of it! I couldn't do a damn thing, Tessa! I felt..." He stopped and took a deep breath. "I felt like Samantha must have when they took her."

Tessa felt pain at that. While of course not as close to Mulder as either of the Scullys, she knew the loss of a loved one and how seeing his sister abducted had effected Mulder's life. "Fox," she said. "I know what you're going through. I do."

"Tessa, I know you're trying to help but you can't know what it was like," Mulder said, shaking his head. "Being helpless, being unable to do anything------"

"Unable to move or even cry or do anything?" Tessa burst in. "Just to lie there and let them do what they wanted to and then let them go without..." She broke off, wiping at her face and turning away.

Mulder stared at her, understanding flashing in his eyes. "Oh, my God, Tessa," he whispered, his own pain forgotten as he realized what had happened to her. "When was this?"

Tessa tried to steady herself as she answered. "Shortly after I was forced to leave town after that bastard Methos left me high and dry. A woman traveling alone in those times often ran into such an...occurrence."

Mulder was silent, trying to think of something to say. "I'm sorry" seemed so inadequate but it was all he could think of.

Tessa waved a hand. "It was a long time ago," she said, her voice calmer. She fixed Mulder with a look that let him know what she was about to say was important. "And for the first few weeks afterward, I felt pain and I felt used and I felt helpless. But I managed to get myself out of that hole before I got too deep. Pain is something you and Dana will experience a lot over the coming decades, Mulder. I know this. And I know how it feels to be helpless and unable to fight back. It's something I've never truly forgotten." She studied him carefully. "You and Dana did not actually...?"

Mulder shook his head. "No. No, Maeve had to get us to Outworld and into the prison, she didn't have time for...fun."

Tessa nodded. "Then you were truly lucky," she whispered. "Believe me when I tell you that." She shook her head. "I didn't tell you this so you could feel sorry for me, Mulder. I told you because you need to know that...as horrible as those memories and feelings are...it can get better. You will get better. Especially if you have someone to be with." She stepped forward, her hand reaching out to hold Mulder's as she looked him in the eye. "Dana knows the same pain you do," she softly pointed out. "As odd as it may sound, you are both fortunate in that regard. You don't have to go through this alone. Help each other out, Mulder. Let her know you feel the same as she does. It will make the healing go much faster."

Mulder was silent as he digested her words, then nodded. "I guess I can," he said. He looked back up at Tessa. "Did you...have anyone?"

Tessa glanced away. "Not then, no. Truth to tell, I've never had many serious relationships." A slight smile came to her lips. "Until Melissa."

Mulder stared at her intently. "Does she know? About..."

Tessa shook her head. "No. No, I've never told her. It...it never seemed appropriate. I don't think she'd want to know."

"She might," Mulder said. "She loves you, you know."

Tessa looked at him strangely. "We are a couple, Mulder, you know that-----"

Mulder shook his head. "No. I mean she loves you. Just like you love her."

Tessa stared at him with mild amazement. "How...how can you..."

"I don't know if Scully sees it," Mulder remarked, rubbing his chin. "While she's definitely gotten over her initial misgivings, she's still a little uncomfortable about her sister being with a woman." He looked back at Tessa. "But I think in her heart she knows the truth the same as I do. You love each other."

Tessa closed her eyes and took a breath. "I do love her," she admitted. "I have for months now. But I've never been able to----"

"Tessa, you gave me a great piece of advice just now," Mulder said. "Now let me return the favor. I loved Scully for nearly two years and it took getting killed for me to be able to tell her. Don't wait for something to have to happen to either one of you to admit it to her. Not even we Immortals last forever, you know."

"True," Tessa admitted. She suddenly let out a laugh. "I never dreamed I would be talking to a man about the fact that we're dating sisters from the same family."

Mulder laughed himself. "Well, what can you say? This family holds you in."

"That they do," Tessa agreed. She looked back up at Mulder. "She's been so much happier since she found you two again. When we first met, she was hurting that she had to leave Dana behind thinking her dead. But finding out about you two has made her so much more brighter."

"And being Amazons has helped, I'd think," Mulder said with a wink.

Tessa smiled. "If you're back to snide comments about our love life, I know you're feeling better." The two laughed as they felt a closer bond between them.

*****

Dana had finally stopped crying and was sitting cross-legged on the bed, trying to dry her eyes. Melissa was next to her, unable to shake off memories of the way it had been for the two back when they were kids, her helping Dana through a tough time. "Are you okay?" Melissa asked.

"I guess," Dana sighed. "Goddess, Melissa, it was horrible. The way I felt, the way she made me feel..."

"That's right, how she made you feel," Melissa broke in. "You didn't want that, not the real you. It wasn't Mulder kissing that woman either, it was the spell she had you under. You can't let her that tear you up, Dana."

Dana shook her head. "That's not it, Missy," she said. "What happened...what that bitch did to us...Goddess, all I can think of is how much it reminded me of...my abduction."

Missy felt herself choke slightly at the devastated look on her sister's face. She reached out to stroke Dana's cheek, drawing her attention. "Dana, I can't imagine what it was like for you, then or now," she began. "You were always so proud of your independence, of how you could be self- assertive. You hated having anyone control you." She managed a laugh. "I heard enough screaming between you and Dad to prove that." Dana managed to laugh as well as her sister continued to talk. "So I know how being so utterly helpless must have been hell for you."

She gripped Dana's hand and squeezed it tightly. "But you managed to survive that, Dana," she whispered. "You survived that, you survived the aftermath and then you survived becoming Immortal. You've been through so much, Dana and you've gotten through it. You can get through this. I know you can. Don't let it hold you back. Don't let what she did to you dwell inside and tear you apart. You do that and she wins. Don't let that happen, Dana."

Dana felt tears return to her eyes as she moved in to embrace her sister. Melissa answered it, hugging Dana tight and letting her know she was there for her. "Thanks, Missy," Dana whispered. "Goddess, I'm so glad you're here." She broke the hug and smiled at her sister. "I missed you so much when I thought you were dead," she whispered.

"I did too, sis," Melissa told her with feeling. "If it hadn't been for Tessa...Goddess, I don't know if I would have gotten through it."

Dana regarded her sister carefully. "You love her, don't you?"

Melissa started and shook her head. "Whoa, now wait, Dana, I don't think-----"

"Missy, you could never lie to me, not even when we were kids," Dana pointed out. "Honest answer. Are you in love with Tessa?"

Melissa looked down at her lap, playing with her hands. "Yes," she softly said. "I do. I have for a long time now. I didn't think it would be this...This serious but I love her."

Dana reached out a hand and brought Melissa's chin up so she could look her in the eye. "Then tell her," she stated. "Tell her that."

Melissa blinked in surprise. "You...you're okay with me and...."

Dana looked away with guilt. "For a while, I wasn't," she admitted. "For too long a while." She looked back up at Melissa. "But I love you, Missy. I want you to be happy. And she does that. She's made you happier than I've ever seen you in your life. Having someone who can make you happy is the most important thing in the world, Melissa. Believe me on that."

As if on cue, there was a knock and the bedroom door opened to reveal Mulder and Tessa. "Is everything okay in here?" Tessa asked. She and Melissa exchanged a look, before both looked away. They thus missed Mulder and Scully sharing a smile. "We're okay," Dana said. "Thanks, you two, it was just...hard...But thank you."

Giving Dana one more hug, Melissa stood up and walked over to the door, where she and Tessa exited. Closing the door behind him, Mulder moved to the bed, sharing a smile with his wife. "Can you see it?"

Dana nodded. "I can," she said. "And I'm happy for her."

Mulder brought her in for a tight embrace. "I love you, Dana," he whispered. "I'm sorry if I've sounded insensitive about this, I just didn't know how to-----"

"Shh, shhh, it's okay," Scully told him. "It is. I felt the same." They sat there and just hugged, amazed at how one simple embrace could make things feel better.

*****

"I think they'll be okay," Melissa said as she and Tessa reentered the guest room. "It was a rough time for both of them but I think they can get through it okay."

"I'm sure they will," Tessa said. "A couple with that much going for them can get through most anything."

There was a long silence as the two stood, facing each other, both looking down, both weighing what had been said to them a few minutes earlier. At almost the same time, they looked up, both speaking at the same time. "I love you."

They stared at one another, realizing what the other had said, then both laughed. "Oh, Goddess, those two," Tessa groaned. "Even when hurting, they can still do set-ups like few others."

"Would my sister marry a man who didn't have a sneaky side?" Melissa pointed out. She sobered as she let her hands slide to her lover's face. She moved in and kissed Tessa on the lips, the Spaniard answering back with passion as the two began to remove each other's clothing and join together once more.

*****

"I'm glad we got the place soundproofed," Mulder remarked as he stroked Dana's backside. "Between us and those two, we'd be evicted in no time just so your neighbors could get some sleep."

"Well worth it, I would say," Scully remarked as she sat up and looked Mulder in the eye. "It still hurts," she admitted. "All of it."

"I know," Mulder admitted himself. He suddenly brightened. "Hey, there is one bright spot."

Scully frowned. "What?"

Mulder grinned. "It sounds like we finally got Krycek out of our hair once and for all."

Scully thought about it and smiled herself. "You're right, that does make me feel better." She reached up and pulled Mulder down to her. "Come on, Spooky. Let's celebrate that."

"No problem, Ice Queen," Mulder said as he kissed his wife on the lips, both preparing to show just how important the other was in their life.

*****

Outworld

Hell, Alex Krycek decided, couldn't possibly be much worse than this.

He could barely remember how it began. He had been doing a typical low-key smuggling job, just something to pay the bills, nothing too major. The next thing he knew, he'd woken up in some bizarre chamber with a couple of guys in ninja robes standing guard and some Asian whack- job with a bad hairdo seeming to pull something out of him.

That, as far as Alex could tell, had been a few days ago. It was hard to tell as night seemed a permanent thing here, with dark storms raging about and thunder echoing above. He was in pretty much the same position he had been for the last few days: Kneeling on the grimy floor of a dank cell, his arms held above him, manacled tightly by chains to the wall. One cuff was specially designed to hold the stump of his amputated arm, which hardly helped alleviate the constant pain in it. His face showed a sizeable amount of stubble as well as several bruises. His stomach growled with hunger and thirst and his eyes were slightly vacant as he tried to cope with the agony he was facing. There was one thing that was keeping him going: Hate. Hate and a desire for revenge on whoever was responsible for this.

The cell door clanked open and he looked up to the figures who entered. Two were in the standard guard uniforms, dark ninja outfits. One man had no mask but a dark makeup pattern around his eyes and wore a dark red ninja outfit. The other was a woman who was highly athletic and attractive, with dark curly hair but her beauty was marred by an evil glint in her eyes and smile.

Krycek knew them. The man was Reiko, the woman was Vorpax and they both apparently worked for the guy who had stuck him in here. He didn't know what they had planned but he was almost certain it wasn't going to be good.

"Well, Mr. Krycek," Vorpax said. "It has been fun but I'm afraid your time with us is over."

"Really," Krycek spat. "I'm being bumped up to the Presidential suite?"

"We kept you alive because the wizard wanted you that way in case he needed to impersonate you again," Reiko stated. "Be glad his powers were not strong enough to take your soul."

"Oh, yeah, I've been feeling the luck here," Krycek grimaced.

"But apparently, he's dead," Vorpax said. "And the Emperor with him and the rebellion is getting too close. We are leaving and I'm afraid we can't leave anyone behind."

Krycek glared up at them. "I don't suppose there's any way we can cut deal here?" he asked.

"None," Vorpax laughed. "No, I'm afraid you're not in a bargaining position."

"Strange, I was thinking the same about all of you."

Everyone started and the Outworlders turned to see who had spoken. They and Krycek both stared in disbelief at the figure who walked into the cell. He was about six feet tall, dressed in a rather dapper red suit with a yellow shirt underneath and black tie. A yellow kerchief peeked out of the front of his jacket pocket and he wore black shoes. But what got their attention was the fact that the man seemingly had no head. Instead, there was a red mask floating in the air right above his collar. It resembled those of the ancient Greek dramas, no mouth, a slight build for the nose and cheeks but otherwise without any features. Save for two eyeholes that seemed to glow with a strange and unearthly light.

The mask turned about as the man stepped into the cell, giving the appearance of looking about. "My, my," he spoke with a detached and sepherucal tone that sounded like ice poured onto sheet metal. "Killing a prisoner as a rebellion is bringing your empire down on your ears? Does the phrase 'rearranging deck chairs on the *Titanic*' ring a bell with any of you?"

"Who in Kahn's name..." Vorpax stammered.

"My name is Johnny Sorrow," the man said, waving a hand which seemed to float on its own as there was no skin between it and the edge of the shirt sleeve. "And I have an interest in the man you're currently holding here. Leave us be and take care of your own business, is what I would highly recommend."

"I don't think so," Vorpax hissed as she and Reiko moved into fighting stances. Beside them, the guards brought up their spears, aimed at Sorrow's chest.

The man simple sighed and moved his gaze toward Krycek. "I do hope the words 'gorgon' and 'basilisk' mean something to you right now," he intoned.

Something in the way he said it caused Krycek's well-honed danger sense to kick in and he closed his eyes and turned away his head. Nodding, Sorrow looked up at the four Outworlders and reached toward his mask. "You know, I am disappointed," he said as his fingers hooked into the mask edge. "After all, for people who follow someone like Shang Tsung, you'd think you'd know to never take things...at face value."

With one swift move, he pulled back his hand and removed his mask.

Even through his closed lids, Krycek could sense a sudden illumination filling the room. With it came four screams of absolute terror, screams that caused a chill to run up his spine. The light faded and Krycek carefully peeked through his slitted lids. What he saw caused him to open them wide and stare in shock. Before him, Vorpax and two of the guards lay unbreathing. The guards were covered but Krycek could see Vorpax's face frozen in an expression of absolute horror, as if she had witnessed her worst nightmare come to life. Krycek saw Reiko on his knees, howling with the same scream of terror he had let out earlier. His hands went to his head, one under his chin, the other to the side. As Krycek watched in disbelief, Reiko pushed and pulled and a loud cracking sound went out as he snapped his own neck and collapsed to the ground.

"Jesus," whispered the man who hadn't been to church in years. "What..." He looked up at Sorrow who had replaced his mask. "What did you do?"

"You've heard the expression 'a face that can stop a clock?'" Sorrow rhetorically asked. "Well, mine can give Big Ben conniptions." He leaned down to take a set of keys off the dead Vorpax's body and moved over to Krycek. Krycek groaned as he felt his wrists freed and gratefully lowered his arms. He looked back up at Sorrow, his eyes filled with suspicion but not too much. After all, if Sorrow wanted him dead, he wouldn't have given him the warning to avoid seeing whatever lay under that mask. "What do you want?"

"Direct and to the point, just what I hoped for." Sorrow placed his hands behind his back as he spoke. "I have freed you, Mr. Krycek, because I do believe we can help each other. You with an...end I have in mind. And I with helping you gain revenge on the ones responsible for your treatment here."

"I thought Shang was dead," Krycek frowned.

"Ah, but you would not be in this predicament were it not for the ones Shang truly wanted, his true targets, a pair of FBI agents I do believe you have made the acquaintance of."

Krycek's face were dark. "Mulder and Scully," he hissed.

"Precisely," Sorrow confirmed. "It is because of them that you have endured this humiliation, Alex. It is because of them you have become a man on the run, with no safe haven from those who hunt you, forced into a frankly unappealing way of life. It is their fault, Alex. I can help you gain the rightful payback for such a crime."

"Why?" Krycek demanded. "Why do you want to help me?"

"Because, Alex," Sorrow calmly said. "You and I have common ground. We have both suffered a great injustice. And that must be atoned for." He held out floating glove. "Shall we?"

Krycek bit his lip. *Stay here in the middle of a revolution of some kind or take a chance on escape and killing those two. What the hell?* He took Sorrow's hand and he could swear the man somehow smiled.

"Then let us be off," Sorrow said. "We have plans to make and more to gather. And then, Alex...And then our injustice shall be answered in full."

There was a strange glow and the two vanished, leaving behind a lifeless cell...and a hate that would soon find a new home.

End

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