Disclaimer: Well, of course, I do not own the X-Files or Forever Knight. The only thing I get out of this is the satisfaction of allowing my mind free reign to play with the universes and characters.

Title: Long Gray Twilight 2: Abort, Restart, Retry (Chapters Five and Six)
Author: Emma Love (aka queenettefallen = me = Emma Love)
Beta: jhovall (aka Addie)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Scully's been given a second chance to make things right. But she has more questions than answers. Still Special Agent Dana Scully isn't one to run from a challenge. However, she quickly realizes why they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Note: This is an X-Files/ForeverKnight crossover and a sequel to Long Gray Twilight. Part one was as close to being in canon as I could make it. However, the sequel (the story you are about to read) is completely AU.

Long Gray Twilight 2: Abort, Restart, Retry
Chapters One & Two - Chapters Three (Interlude) and Four - Chapters Five and Six - Chapters Seven & Eight

Long Gray Twilight 2
(Abort, Restart, Retry)
~Chapter Five~

Things were going pretty well as far as Mulder was concerned, though some of their company was not happy about their current location. He finally understood why certain places had never been terribly plagued by vampires. For example, vampires tended to avoid places like Africa. LaCroix was being especially vocal. But Mulder was feeling something he hadn't felt in a very long time: satisfaction and vindication.

While Mulder still wasn't comfortable having Krycek around, even Mulder had to admit that so far the rat bastard was being true to his word.

Part of what brought a smile to his face was the fact that Fox William Mulder was officially dead. He wasn't the only one, they were all officially dead. Somehow LaCroix arranged a plane crash and Scully and Natalie had put enough genetic material amid the wreckage to convince even the most skeptical that everyone aboard the aircraft was dead.

Still, Mulder knew there were people who wouldn't believe it, but to the world at large a small group of strangers was no more.

Marita was healed and both of the good doctors were very excited about some of the things they'd discovered while healing her. Just last night Mulder had finally taken Jeffery Spender aside and explained to him that they shared a father, which didn't seem to greatly surprise him. Mulder had been surprised to learn that Jeffery hated the old bastard even more than Mulder did. In the past two weeks, Mulder had come to truly feel like an older brother to the young man, which was a weird feeling for him.

The only real downside was Nick himself, who seemed to exist in a perpetual brooding state. He rarely spoke to anyone, other than those of his group, and even then he seemed to say very little. Mulder wouldn't have cared, if this wasn't hurting Scully; and what hurt her, hurt him.

LaCroix and Scully were plotting something, and Mulder suspected it was his turning. Just a week ago, LaCroix had offered to bring him across, but Mulder just wasn't sure if that was what he truly wanted, despite the fact that Scully seemed to be pushing for it.

"Hey, Mulder," Scully said poking her head in the door to his rather plain sleeping area. Tents were always rather plain, but the vampires needed the small cottage, even Mulder couldn't dispute that. "Whatcha up to?"

"Thinking about destiny and fate, again."

Scully chuckled. "Well, stop it! Despite everything, I still believe we make our own. Besides it's almost nightfall and LaCroix wants us at the house."

Mulder lifted his full gym bag from under the sleeping bag, which caused Scully to chuckle again.

"Should have known you'd be as ready to leave as LaCroix. While you don't tend to choose the best places to stay, even I have to admit you've never chosen this badly."

"Ha, ha!" Mulder said, throwing everything else in the bag. It wasn't much, because the most important stuff (he'd been assured) was in one of LaCroix's houses somewhere in Canada.

All the humans, Krycek included, Mulder dryly noted, were packed and moving toward the house. Couldn't blame them, it was hot as hell out here and the house had blessed air conditioning.

As everyone spread out through the house, Mulder headed directly to the small living room and crashed on the sofa, when he looked up he saw Scully had followed him but everyone else was gone.

"I still think heading back to Canada is a bad idea," she said.

Mulder shrugged. "It should be fine. You said there was only one member of the Consortium left," he saw Scully mouth the word two, but chose to ignore it. "And one can't be everywhere. Besides it probably is a good idea to remain as close to the US as possible."

"You just want to be back to running water and less heat," she grinned, Mulder nodded. "No, I know, it is good to remain close. It's just that we have time and so many of our group are from Canada - someone could put two and two together and be waiting for us."

"Vancouver," Mulder said, "but LaCroix is taking us to the East Coast, unless he's changed his mind."

"He hasn't."

"Well, I don't suppose we have to return with the others," Mulder said, though he did really want to return with them. He also knew he was approaching a touchy subject, but he wanted to know, no needed to know. "Unless there's some reason for us to return with them. I mean, you said yourself, we have time."

A raised eyebrow was the only indication that she'd heard him. Fine, he could be blunt.

"Are you lovers?"

Scully flashed him a secretive smile. "No."

"Were you lovers? In the other histories?"

She sighed. "Yes, Mulder, we were."

Who? Mulder's mind dared him to ask, but he wasn't sure whether he should. Originally he'd been asking about LaCroix, but if Mulder was reading her right, she was currently implying more than LaCroix.

"We were lovers, as well," she said softly, and Mulder found himself pleased. "For much longer than LaCroix and I were lovers, in fact...," her face suddenly fell and Mulder felt the bottom drop out.

She looked completely devastated, an expression he'd never seen on her before and now hoped never to see again.

"I've lost him, Mulder," her voice was filled with what sounded to Mulder a timeless pain.


"John," she said softly and sadly. "And we've lost Skinner, too. I can't believe I didn't think about this before."

Mulder wasn't sure he wanted to hear anymore, and yet he knew he had to try and help her - even if the only way he could was to simply listen. Whoever this John was, he was a very lucky bastard, and someone Mulder suddenly wanted to kill, even more than he wanted to kill Krycek.

He listened as she told him about his own abduction and about the agent who'd been assigned to find him. As she talked, Mulder become aware of a small audience, he didn't bother to look, but just kept his eyes on Scully.

John Doggett, as much a skeptic as Dana Katherine Scully, though she admitted, sounding sheepish, that he'd come around much sooner than she had.

In the end, this John had risked everything for Mulder and Scully. His reward was becoming a vampire and gaining the eternal love of Scully herself. The urge to kill was getting stronger.

"Granted, sometimes he annoyed me," she admitted in a choked voice. "After the invasion and Nick's death our little group went our separate ways for the first time since it had formed. You, Skinner, and Janette took off for parts unknown. LaCroix went off on his own to grieve. John and I remained in Canada.

"About seventy five years later, I found myself bored. I felt like I was missing out. So one day while John was sleeping, I packed up and left.

"I met up with LaCroix in England and roamed the countryside with him for over a decade," her voice was starting to sound stronger.

Mulder could see out of the corner of his eye that everyone was gathered around them now, but he didn't want Scully to stop talking, and if she were to become aware of their audience, she might.

"A century or so later, we came across you and Skinner in Hungary, Budapest, I think," she paused and sniffled. "You never said why Janette left or where she went. The next and last time I saw her was about eight hundred years later.

"Anyway, we stayed in Hungary for a long time. Just over a hundred years, I believe. Finally, we parted company again, but this time you sat off with LaCroix and I returned to Canada with Skinner. What we found completely amazed me. John was still living exactly where I left him. Nothing, in fact, had changed. He'd kept everything, as much as he could, as it was - waiting for me to return," she grabbed a Kleenex and for a moment Mulder could hear nothing but sobs.

"I felt horrible. I never imagined he would freeze himself in time. Then I got angry. How dare he make me feel guilty! We had forever - How could expect me to stay glued to his side?"

It was a question, but Mulder knew a rhetorical question when he heard one.

"We finally talked and while he promised to never again freeze himself in time while I was gone, he made me promise to tell him when I was leaving instead of just getting up and going," she paused again.

"I didn't stay long that time. Only a couple of decades. But when I left, I kept my word and Skinner decided to stay with John. I eventually caught up with you again in the US, where I'd just been burned as a witch."

"Really?" Tracy asked sounding shocked, startling both himself and Scully.

Scully nodded and Mulder was glad she didn't seem bothered by the audience.

"Humans still did things like that?" Nick asked, sounding depressed.

Scully sighed. "I should probably start at the beginning."

And she did. She told of the battle and how when the colonists realized they weren't going to succeed, blasted everything out of orbit; the space station, the satellites, everything.

They also laid waste to major cities across the globe. Some like the United States and China were more heavily damaged than others, but no place escaped without some sort of damage.

She indicated her belief that humanity could have come back from that, but within fifty years there were several natural global disasters.

By the time the dust settled, there was simply too much that needed doing and too few people to do it. More basic concerns had taken over: food, shelter, and defense were suddenly more important than worrying about something like a global economy.

Eventually, the Earth swallowed pretty much all evidence of an advanced civilization and it seemed as though everything had started over.

"A second dark age?" LaCroix whispered, he seemed even more in awe of Scully now than before.

"Second dark age, second everything," she paused. "Well, I suppose not everything. They weren't thrown completely back to the stone age, forced to live in caves fighting with sticks and rocks. Advanced things did remain, houses and guns, not all knowledge was lost. So it wasn't a complete back to the beginning, but near enough.

"That's why I considered saving the Consortium from the rebels."

This shocked Mulder. How had she known it was the rebels? She hadn't been there.

Mulder almost shrugged, considering everything she knew, this shouldn't be shocking.

"Maybe they would have made a difference. But I realized I couldn't take that chance. I know how the story ends without them and I couldn't trust them enough to be sure they wouldn't screw us over. If they were around, they might figure out how to stop us."

"Probably a wise decision," Marita and Krycek spoke at the same time.

"They've always been more concerned about themselves than the fate of the world," Marita elaborated.

After a comfortable silence, Mulder decided to swallow his anger and pride to help Scully.

"Couldn't you go to this John? Tell him everything. Surely he'd come willingly."

Scully smiled and he knew she knew how hard this was for him.

"You don't understand. I'm not the reason he crossed over. He loved me very deeply, but I'm not the reason he chose to continue - it was you, Mulder. He made the choice because of you. And since I've changed the events of our coming together... Well, John wouldn't choose to cross over, he would choose death," Scully said with conviction. So much that it wasn't possible to doubt her, but he couldn't imagine that helping him would be more important to this John than Scully. Mulder couldn't help but wonder how the hell something like that could ever happen.

"Everyone you meet, Mulder, no matter how skeptical at first, manages to get sucked into your orbit and for some reason can never manage to disengage themselves."

Then she smiled, but Mulder could tell it was more to herself than anyone else.

"I'm not sure about Skinner, though," she said thoughtfully. "He never really talked, to me, about his choices, but as with John I suspect, Skinner made the choices he did in no small part because of you, as well."

That was something Mulder hadn't given much thought to yet. Becoming a vampire, he'd told LaCroix he'd think about it, but he really hadn't. It seemed like a cool idea, but wasn't something he was entirely sure he wanted to do. Of course, he hadn't wanted to leave the FBI and be declared dead either. But those had turned out to be good things.

He was sure of one thing, though. And that was that he needed to see Diana again. He knew Scully believed she was playing for the other team. Hell, all things considered, he believed it himself, but that was part of the reason he needed to see her again.

"All this happening right under our noses," Tracy sounded disgruntled now, "and we never even suspected."

"Seems impossible, I know," Natalie said. "But I've seen enough to know aliens are real. And given that, I believe Scully is telling the whole truth and nothing but."

"As do I," LaCroix said. "As do I."

Mulder wasn't sure why he knew, but he knew there was something about the vampires that Scully hadn't said. So after they separated into groups for the trip home, Mulder pulled her aside and asked.

She told him that vampires themselves suffered heavy loses, but she couldn't bring herself to tell them that, because they truly did need the help of the vampires, and she was afraid if they knew, they wouldn't help. Mulder could understand that, though he didn't think the vampires they knew would pull out just because of that. Of course, he wasn't going to tell them either, just in case.

"But are they affected by the alien blood, like humans?"

Scully shook her head. "As long as they don't drink it. Breathing it, or even being splashed with it doesn't affect them. For some reason a vampire's skin doesn't absorb it as a human's would. The problem is that vampires are, shockingly, more sensitive to the ships' weapons than humans."

"Wait," Mulder said grinning. "Are you telling me they have ray guns?"

Scully chuckled. "More like phasers, which is probably why they are even more effective against the vampires than humans. But those weapons are fairly weak, all things considered."

Long Gray Twilight 2
(Abort, Restart, Retry)
~Chapter Six~

Nick was not happy and things seemed to be going from bad to worse. LaCroix, in his opinion, was being far too generous in bringing people across. He also wanted to believe that Mulder had been brought across against his will. Nick had seen LaCroix approach Mulder about six months ago, and knew the American Agent had rejected him. Not an outright no, Nick was forced to admit, just an "I don't think I'm ready, yet."

Now just three nights ago, Mulder was brought across. But in the weeks before that, Nick had seen LaCroix and Scully with their heads together often.

Nick sighed, he had to admit that Mulder had appeared willing this time, and he seemed fine and - if Nick were honest - adapting to the life of a vampire quite well, better than most, in fact. LaCroix seemed inordinately pleased with his newest son.

Nick frowned. Was it possible he was jealous? At least to himself, he could admit it was possible. Before Mulder, Nick had been the favored son, and as much time as he'd spent trying to get away from LaCroix, it was a bit ironic that it was only now that he was no longer the favored son did he want more attention from LaCroix.

Nick felt a smile spread across his face. There was one bright spot in all this: Natalie. She had outright refused LaCroix when he'd offered to bring her across. Of course, Nick was beginning to realize that it wasn't that she didn't want to be brought across, but she wanted him (Nick), not LaCroix to do it. So, even this bright spot was tainted.

Even he could no longer ignore the clues, though he had written off what he now knew was a cold shoulder from her that had started two weeks ago and lasted almost a week.

Now, in the third week, she was glaring at him all the time. At this point, he couldn't be around her without feeling her wrath.

Earlier this evening, LaCroix had pulled him aside to spell it out. That also grated, the thought that his sire believed he was too dense to understand what was going on.

LaCroix had informed him that the only reason Natalie (or the lovely Doctor Lambert) had refused his offer was because she was waiting for Nick himself to make the offer. Part of Nick simply couldn't understand why she wanted to be a vampire. Not after as much as she'd seen - had she not understood any of it?

Encountering her tonight forced him to concede that she indeed wanted to become a vampire. But he still just couldn't understand why and he would not, or could not, be the one to bring her across. He believed he would probably stand in the way of anyone else bringing her across, as well.

"Damn it, Vachon," Tracy's angry voice reached him even though he knew they were at the far end of the hallway and he was in his room with the door closed.

"Why not?" Her voice was a bit calmer, but still just barely below a yell.

He didn't catch Vachon's reply, but Nick felt warmth spread through him anyway. At least there was one other who understood his point of view, even if those closest to him did not. Honestly, he was surprised it was Vachon of all vampires, but still pleased.

A door slammed and he finally heard a soft sad sigh from down the hall.

That didn't greatly improve his mood, because somewhere downstairs, LaCroix was currently bringing Marita and Jeffery across.

Somewhere else in the mansion Mulder and Scully were debating whether to bring the one they called Krycek across. He understood why they would hesitate, but something told Nick that Jeffery was the one everyone should be worrying about.

~ * ~ * ~

Natalie sighed. She really thought she would be able to get through to Nick, but she knew now it was hopeless. Nick was never going to turn her, nor was he going to allow anyone else to turn her. Already it had been over a year since LaCroix brought Mulder, Marita, and Jeffery across and still Nick wasn't showing any signs of budging.

To be honest, if LaCroix didn't scare her so badly, she knew she would have asked him months ago. But there was still a very deep fear that LaCroix would simply kill her rather than bring her across just to spite Nick

Why couldn't Nick understand?

At least she could take some comfort in the fact that Vachon didn't seem to understand either. On the other hand, Tracy wasn't taking Vachons rejection as badly as she herself was taking Nicks.

Natalie wanted to scream. Of course, she wasn't taking it as badly, because there was a good chance Vachon would come around. After all, he didn't hate and loathe what he was like Nick did. Vachon was only having a minor crisis of faith. Nick was dead-set against condeming anyone to the life of a vampire. She could tell he was still upset about the fact that LaCroix had brought Mulder, Marita, and Jeffery across.

Natalie sighed again. On the one hand, she could understand - for centuries Nick had been fighting what he was and trying desperately to find a cure. She'd spent quite a few years trying to help him in this. However, she'd come to realize her own hypocrisy long before now. While she'd struggled valiantly to come up with a cure, during that time she'd realized that she wanted what he had. Under other circumstances it would have been funny, he wanted what she had, and she wanted what he had.

She wanted to be a vampire, because in the end she didn't want to die. She wasn't sure if Nick wanted to die or not, but she knew that would be the end result of Nick becoming mortal again. Whether Nick knew this or not, she couldn't say. Maybe in his own way he was suicidal.

Natalie couldn't help herself, she chuckled. A suicidal vampire. She shrugged, it was funny to her.

Of course, she didn't believe Nick was suicidal, but she couldn't seem to make him understand that as a vampire he would not die of natural causes, but there were so many ways in which a mortal could die. Yet somehow over his long life, he'd come to see becoming mortal as a sort of redemption.

Natalie wasn't sure about it, but even at her worst would never tell Nick her thoughts. But she knew just being mortal didn't make one a good person. Even if she'd never stepped out of the morgue, she would know this. After working on so many bodies over the years she was fully aware of the evil that humans inflicted on each other.

She looked up when she heard the door creak open. Tracy peered in and blinked. Natalie realized just how badly she'd trashed her usually tidy room. The light blue bed covers were all over the place, and one of her off-white curtains was slashed down the center. And, at some point, she had knocked everything off her desk.

Natalie frowned, as she realized several of her things were broken beyond repair. And while her perfume smelled wonderful in small doses, the bottle was broken and the scent was almost overwhelming. How had she not noticed before now? She wondered.

"Um," Tracy said, and Natalie realized that Tracy was extremely happy about something. "You should come downstairs. LaCroix has agreed to turn me...,"

Before Natalie could fly back into her own rage, Tracy was speaking again, this time barely above a whisper.

"You should come, LaCroix is going to turn me, and then - if you agree - Mulder will turn you."

Natalie blinked. "Really? LaCroix agreed to this?"

Tracy nodded, smiling brightly. "LaCroix wants to continue Mulders education and apparently for vampires bringing someone across is the next step."

"Why not you?"

Tracy giggled. "LaCroix thinks you'll trust Mulder more than you will him."

Natalie sighed. "He's probably right. I don't care how nice he's being recently - he still scares the hell out of me."

As Natalie moved to follow Tracy, just outside her bedroom door, she stopped dead. "What about Nick?"

Tracy turned back and shrugged. "He's gone out, and LaCroix doesn't expect him back before dawn."

That almost stopped Natalie from agreeing. She knew that Nick would be deeply upset at the vampire that dared bring her across and for a moment she didn't want to cause Mulder that kind of grief. He might be a little strange, but he was a very nice guy and he didn't deserve the shit that would be handed to him by Nick should they go through with this.

But as they reached the end of the hallway and started down the stairs, Natalie knew she was not going to object. At this point, she wanted to become a vampire more than anything and nothing (not even Nick) was going to stop her.

* ~ * ~ *

Nick was angry. Possibly angrier than he'd ever been, and he was sure everyone in the mansion could feel it. At least he was doing his best to make sure they did.

Last night, just before dawn, Mulder had brought Natalie across. He wanted to kill Mulder, but instead was going to bring Alex Krycek across to spite him.

Mulder was still objecting to bringing Alex across long and loudly, though even Nick had to admit he wasn't as objectionable now as he had been, but he was still objecting. Until now Nick had respected his reasons. Stranger still was that Nick knew Alex wanted to be brought across, but had so far been content to wait. Nick also knew that LaCroix would directly protect Mulder from his wrath, but outright attacking Mulder wasn't the only way to hurt him.

"You sure you want to do this?" Alex asked, and Nick was amazed at how insightful the young man was being. He seemed to know that this wasn't exactly what Nick would choose under normal circumstances.

"Do you want to be brought across?"

Alex nodded.

"Do you want to wait for Mulder to come around?"

Alex smirked and shook his head. Both of them knew that most likely Mulder would never come around. Though it was possible - already he was softening, and Dana was pouncing on that, but it could still take years.

"Do you object to me being the one to bring you across?" Nick asked and ignored the voice in his head practically yelling at him not to do this. Yes, he wanted to hurt Mulder, to anger Mulder, but did he really want to damn another soul in doing so? Could he live with it?

Alex shook his head, and Nick realized that he could, indeed, live with it. After all, Alex wanted this and as far as Nick was concerned Mulder could go to hell.

~ * ~ * ~

Mulder was looking at Scully, and she could feel the shock waves rolling off of him. LaCroix was also looking shocked, but less so, and she could tell he was interested in what she was offering them.

Her offer was mainly for Mulder, since she wanted him to know what she knew, understand the things she did. But she had also once in each history shared this same thing with LaCroix. However, his sole purpose this time was to be the one who actually killed her. Mulder as a relatively new vampire would have little experience with this and while LaCroix always swore Scully was his first, he knew that she knew he was lying. But even if he'd been telling the truth he still had more experience with killing.

"I know, even though you know I am immortal," she said gently. "You always make such a fuss over this the first time. But this time it is even more important. I want you to know the things I've seen, the things we've done...

"I can only tell you so much, I don't have that über-memory of yours, after all," she said, with a wink. Then she sighed, clearly humor wasn't going to work.

"To be honest, Mulder," she said seriously. "Both times before, after I realize I'm truly immortal, I get curious about death in general. You can't imagine all the ways I've died," then deciding she couldn't resist just a little more humor, she added. "All things considered, death by vampire is one of the best ways to go. Certainly the most pleasant and least painful that I've discovered."

Mulder's mouth moved and Scully could see that he was interested in her offer, even if his human part was still holding him back.

A sudden violent death, then draining and drinking the blood gave the vampire every thought, every feeling, every memory - everything you were, everything you are transformed into touch and taste. With this method, the vampire completely took you inside them and they would know you in the same way they knew themselves. Vampires called it the Death Rush. A vampire would take flashes of memories away in a normal fatal feeding, but this was completely different.

"And this method is, by its very nature, too quick to be truly painful," she said and moved closer to Mulder. "It won't hurt and in doing this you'll know all the things I know, you'll know everything I am."

LaCroix moved forward, but stopped slightly away from them. Scully knew that he understood the decision was Mulders. And that if he refused, it would not happen, at least not tonight.

"Listen, I've done this before, Mulder," Scully sighed. "Many times in fact. Skinner developed a real taste for feeding this way, so whenever I spent time with him, he fed from me so he wouldn't kill others," she winked again. "And I think after the first couple times you developed a taste for feeding from me this way yourself."

~ * ~ * ~

Hours later, Scully awoke. At the start, he had been a bit worried that she wouldn't come back from this. But her quiet confidence that she'd done this many times before carried him along. Then once he was consuming her, the fear left. Whether she came back or not, she'd given him possibly the greatest gift ever.

Of course, he was glad she was back, but in those long moments where he'd basically lived Scully's life, all of her lives, he hadn't cared that she might not return to him. Even now he was a bit ashamed to realize that if she hadn't come back, he would have still killed and consumed her.

Thankfully, though Scully was completely recovered and sitting across from he and LaCroix looking content and quite comfortable. He could tell LaCroix was as moved as he was. Though he had no idea what had moved the elder vampire.

"So," Mulder began, while he knew the answers, he still had to ask the question. "She's really gone."

For a moment, Scully looked non-plussed, then Mulder could almost see the lightbulb flash over her head.

She nodded. "She was gone before you ever started working on the X files. And while she didn't escape all the testing, she did escape the worst of it and she's at peace, Mulder."

Mulder nodded. Even though he'd just about lived it through Scully's point of view and had saw how peaceful he was after the case where he learned his sister was gone into starlight. In her memories, Scully believed he'd seen her, and he was inclined to believe her. There was just something about hearing Scully saying it that soothed him.

"If you need to," she said, "we could go find the diary that led us to her in the first place. Maybe if we instigated the events, you would see her again."

Mulder held up his hand. He was pleased that Scully made the offer, but somehow it just didn't feel necessary. Possibly because Scully herself had read the diary and by default he knew what it said without needing to see it again, and just knowing he'd seen her once (though he would never remember it) was enough for him.


"My sister," Mulder answered, and for a moment lost himself in the memories of her, and his long quest to find her. Now thanks to Scully he had his answers (and not just answers about his sister) and he could live with them. That had been the hardest thing about following Scully and allowing his death: the knowledge that doing so meant abandoning the quest to find Samantha.

A wonderful feeling of peace filled him and he looked across the room at Scully. He didn't know what he'd ever done to deserve her, but he was more grateful than he could say that she was a part of his life and now his death.

Faster than mortal eyes could see, he was across the room and taking Scully into his arms. The kiss was tender, possibly more tender than any they'd ever shared. Scully seemed to understand it wasn't sexual, and when he pulled away, she merely hugged him close. He rested his head on her shoulder and thought if he was a cat, he would have been purring. After several moments, he realized she was gently rocking him.

~ * ~ * ~

Several days later, Scully was ready to leave Canada and return to Washington. Not forever, not even for a month, but she had to see John, at least one last time. She knew that he would never come with her, he had no reason to trust or believe her this time.

She felt her eyes well up. Maybe if history repeated itself again, she would remember to hang around the X files long enough to meet and work closely with John, so they could be together again.

Sadness is what had kept her from making this journey until now. She suspected knowing what she knew and seeing the mortal John would break her heart. But since she no longer knew his fate, and knew that she would live on long after he passed into mortal death, she had to see him again.

At the door of her flat, she paused. She was sneaking off without telling anyone. Logically she knew she should tell someone, going back to Washington was dangerous and a vampire escort might come in handy. But she knew when she saw John she'd fall to pieces and she didn't want any witnesses.

As she drove to the airport, she realized it wasn't just John she would see, though if luck was on her side, John wouldn't see her. But she fully intended to see and be seen by Skinner. She was going to offer him the choice to disappear with them. However, she knew getting his attention and then meeting somewhere safe would be problematic at best, but she had to try. She loved Skinner as much as she loved Mulder, John, and LaCroix.

And while she accepted John was lost to her for this throw of the dice, she was not yet ready to accept that Skinner was lost to her, as well. However, she wouldn't force him, and maybe she wouldn't be able to convince him. Since she and Mulder were no longer in his life, she truly didn't know what fate awaited him. All she could do was make her offer and tell him about all the things they'd shared and hope like hell he would choose to come with her.