Disclaimer: I don't own them. Dana Scully, Mulder, CSM, (anyone else who shows up/is referred to) and the XF belong to Chris Carter, 1013, and Fox. Natalie, Janette, and FK belong to J.Parriott and Sony/TriStar.
Archiving: on the ScullySlash website only
Crossposting: none
Rating: R for implicit f/f sex & some psychological mind-games (with touch of violence)
Summary: the sequel to "Perchance to Remember?," in which Scully discovers (implied) her pleasant memories have a darker reality, and where the CSM gets a little of his own medicine.
Notes/Spoilers: As this is a sequel, you'll be lost if you haven't read "Perchance." This is a Xover with Forever Knight, and takes place after its third season; this story is fairly concurrent with this season's XF, but no recent events are alluded to. {...} denotes thoughts. All mistakes are mine and mine alone (although I've gone over it twice since writting it) -- my beta reader is on holiday and won't be back for another week. Darn. See END for additional disclaimers.
Feedback: YES!! onlist and/or offlist


Memory Made Manifest
by Nymue

Dana Scully was getting a headache. She had spent the last several hours with Mulder, doing her level best to keep from killing him. {Of all the times for him to come up with this crazy idea. And I agreed to it! How the hell am I supposed to get myself out of it before ... } Her train of thought was broken when Mulder slammed his car door. He looked almost excited. Of course he's excited, her mind injected sarcastically. {He's finally managed to drag you all the way across town to visit this new club; he wouldn't go alone because Frohicke (sp?) scared him with some urban legends about its counterpart in Canada. Yet again, I'm the cavalry.}

Not that the idea of clubbing distressed her. On the contrary, she had thought about going out more and more lately. She had felt restless ever since that night a few weeks ago, but had managed to use the excess energy to fuel her work. But work was, for the first time in months, a little boring; when Mulder called her to ask if she would play chaperone, she had agreed. So here she stood -- in a short, backless form-fitting black velvet dress with a scooped neck, long sleeves that started on the edge of her shoulders, and black velvet heels. On the pretext of checking her makeup in the mirror, she stalled for time. {Maybe he'll just go in and I can catch a taxi.}

"Come on, Scully! Stalling won't help, you know. You're going in with me -after all, I need protection," Mulder told her.

"Whatever," she muttered under her breath so he wouldn't hear. Aloud she said, "I'm just assessing my appearance, Mulder. You aren't the only one who would like to have a good time, you know."

A look of suprise crossed his face. He hadn't thought she would be the type to pick someone up in a bar or club. Something must be wrong, he decided. {She has been edgy lately. Wonder what's up?} Or maybe, he snickered inwardly, she just wants to get laid. "Well, assess and come on," he told her.

"What's your rush, Mulder? I thought you said this place didn't get "swingin'" until after midnight," she parried.

"Uh, Scully? It *is* after midnight," he said. {Yep, something is definately wrong, 'cause Scully always knows what time it is, whether or not she's wearing a watch.}

With an inward groan she realized Mulder was right. {I've lost all track of time. This is not your typical behavior, Dana Katherine -- get a grip!} "All right, already! I'm done now -- happy?" she asked, before taking hold of Mulder, who was once more flabbergasted at her mood swings.

~~~~~~

Imitation torches lit the entranceway, and a spiral stairwell, whose steps were covered in burgandy velvet, led into the club proper. The atmosphere inside "Le Corbeau" was heady, and slow, sultry jazz poured from the piano player's fingers. The walls were dark and draped with silver and red silk tapestries, and the floor was black marble, giving people the feeling they were floating on air. The tables and chairs that were scattered around the main floor, and above on the second floor balcony, were made of black and gray (w)rought iron. The silver-beam lighting was low and strategically placed, allowing for complete anonymity or total recognition, depending on the way a person stood. A smoky haze covered most of the lower level, cloaking it in almost complete darkness. The effect was an almost neo-medieval appearance.

"Damn," Mulder swore softly, after their eyes had adjusted. "This place is incredible -- all that's missing is a moat!"

Scully rolled her eyes. Mulder could be *so* theatrical at times. But he was right; the club had an unusual elegance, and the mystique merely added to the ambiance.

"Am I to believe then, Monsieur, that you like our little club?" a delicate, French accented voice inquired.

Scully and Mulder turned towards the voice's owner, and were immediately astonished to find themselves faced with what was undeniably one of the most beautiful women they had ever seen. The raven-haired woman had piercing blue eyes, and her voluptuous body was encased in a sleeveless floor length gown of dark blue silk that made her pale skin gleam like polished alabaster.

Scully recovered first, while Mulder continued to stare. {Stare, Dana? He's practically drooling!} "Yes, he loves the place. I've rarely seen him so speechless before, except when confronted with one of his vi--" she was abruptly cut off when his elbow decided to lodge itself in her side.

"You have a remarkable place here, Ms. ... ?" Mulder told her.

The woman graced him with a smile. "DuCharme ... but you may call me Janette. And you, Monsieur ... "

His eyes were begining to glaze over, Scully realized. She further shocked when she heard his answer. "Mulder, it's Mulder. But you can call me Fox," he told their hostess.

{Oookaay ... this is weird. It may even qualify as an X-file of the highest order. I've never seen him give anyone (except my mother) permission to call him Fox! And I thought I was out of it ...} Her internal musings were cut short, however, by Janette's next words.

"Perhaps, Fox, I could interest you in a drink and some conversation in a more," her lips curved, "private setting?" Mulder nodded like an eager puppy, and said "Oh, yes. That would be wonderful!"

{That's it! How the *hell* did he score so soon!? She doesn't look like the type who picks out men, and he usually has to do a *little* wooing first. What is going on??}

As Mulder trotted off toward the area Janette had pointed to, Scully whirled to confront the woman. "What are you doing--"

Janette cut Scully's tirade short by placing her hand on her arm and whispering, "I do believe, Doctor Scully, that you will find what you are looking for right over there," then motioning with her head toward a small spiral staircase near the piano. As Janette walked away, Scully turned to look --

And all she could do was stare.

~~~~~~

The woman who stood by the stairwell was surely a figment of her imagination, Scully reasoned. {I've had a hard week, Mulder got lucky without trying, so I'm obviously hallucinating. That's it, Dana, your eyes are playing tricks on you. After all, what Janette said was --} But how had Janette known her name -- Mulder didn't introduce them, and Scully hadn't volunteered the information. {And Janette acted like she was expecting me ...}

Suddenly, the woman turned and came towards her, her heels clicking softly on the marble floor . Her hair was the same, Scully noted, only tonight the chesnut curls were piled on top of her head in an artful arrangement. The hazel eyes looked more golden than they had before, and they were almost the same shade as the necklace she wore. Her dress was done in a quasi-flapper style, with the jade colored chiffonesque silk clinging to her every curve; the dress was held up by straps of jet beads, Scully realized as the woman approached her.

"Dana," the woman breathed, reaching up to stroke her face. "It's been too long."

Scully felt herself go pale and still with shock. "Natalie," she whispered, "is it really you?"

The woman smiled, and brushed her lips across Scully's, then said "You tell me."

"Oh, God," Scully whimpered. "I missed you so much, so many things happened to make me realize I needed you, and then they told me you were missing --probably dead-- oh, Nat where have you been?"

"Shhhh," Natalie told her, "Does it really matter? I'm here now, Dana. Everything will be fine, you'll see."

By this time Scully was on the verge of completely losing her composure, babbling on and on. Taking her arm, Natalie led Scully over to a table away from the crowd to sit down.

"You don't understand," Scully was saying, "nothing will ever be fine again. They've done too much to us, they've got us trapped --" Her voice broke, and she let herself cry, actually cry, for the first time in years.

Natalie stroked her shoulders as she cried, offering comfort. As the tears subsided, she looked up and reached for the other woman. Natalie held Dana for a time, then asked, "Dance with me?"

Scully looked around nervously. Picking up on her thoughts, Natalie laughed. "No one here will say or do anything, love. I'm yours, if you want me."

Nodding, Scully allowed Natalie to lead to the floor. The music was slow and sultry, and they were pressed together, their bodies mirroring each other's movements, each touch a caress. {Funny, it's hot in here but Nat hasn't even broken a sweat, and her skin still feels cool. She must be used it it ... } Time disappeared, and Scully could feel the tension drain out of her, and she relaxed in Natalie's embrace. They continued like that for hours, unaware that people were gradually leaving the club.

When the music stopped, Scully could still hear a ringing in her ears. Her body was tense, covered in a thin sheen of persperation, and she felt a tingling between her legs. She stepped back from Natalie and gasped, "I --, I want --" she trailed off, unable to say what she wanted.

A ghost of a smile flitted across Natalie's face as she asked, "How badly do you want me?"**

Scully's response was to crush her lips against Natalie's, kissing her passionately and letting her body answer the question. In retaliation, Natalie wrapped herself around Dana, then led her to the back rooms of the club. Once through the door they traversed a long winding hall, eventually arriving in a suite of rooms. Tastefully decorated, Dana's eyes passed them over in her rush to find the bed. Upon reaching their destination, they divested each other of their clothes, then fell on the bed in a tangle of limbs.

~~~~~~

Many hours later, Natalie awoke to find her companion still sleeping. Carefully untangling herself, so as not to wake her lover, she pulled on her robe and wondered out to the bar in search of breakfast. Janette was already up and poured her a glass, grinning at Natalie's haste in consuming the liquid.

"Long day, cherie?" she teased.

Natalie grimaced. "I never knew exactly how hard it was to keep from, well, *you know*."

"Indeed," Janette laughed. "But you managed, yes?"

"Not exactly," Natalie hedged. "I had a small taste when we were kissing. She, ahh ..."

Janette waved away the explanation. "Say no more, cherie, I understand. Her mortality is still intact, though, correct?"

"Yes," the answer came with a great deal of relief. "For now, anyway. But tell me, how is Mulder this morning?"

Janette twirled a lock of hair as she smiled, "A few pints low, but he will live. I learned some very ...interesting... things from him, cherie. Do you know to what I refer?"

Natalie's eyes darkened. "Yes. And I intend to take care of part of that problem tonight."

Janette lifted her eyebrows, but Natalie only smiled.

~~~~~~

Across town, a man sat at his desk smoking his third pack of cigarettes. As he leaned over to grap some papers off the floor, he felt a cold draft in the room, and looked up to see a woman standing not five feet from him. She was dressed in black boots, black leather pants, with a white lace shell and a black leather coat. Chesnut hair was coiled around the top of her head, and dark, mirrored sunglasses completed her ensamble. Her smile sent chills down his spine.

"Who are you? What do you think you're doing here?" he demanded, his tone derisive.

"I'm the one who'll ask the questions," she told him.

"Like hell," he said, attempting to stand. But before he could, she took his right wrist in her left hand -- then twisted until it broke. With her other hand she removed the glassess to reveal to preternaturally red eyes, and when she next spoke he could see two tiny, sharp fangs where her canines should have been.

"Listen to me," she told him, and to his distress his heartbeat and her voice were all that he heard. "You will tell me everything you know about the Consortium, and *everything* about Agents Mulder and Scully, do you understand?"

He understood, and he knew he would do it, he had no choice. Her hold over his mind was too strong; it felt a little like ...

"It feels a little like rape, doesn't it?" she told him, her voice deceptively soft. "A few years ago I would never have thought I would *ever* do this. But you have hurt a very *dear* friend of mine; you've hurt many others too, yes?" she squeezed his unbroken wrist.

{Yes!} his mind yielded. {I've done lots of things that have hurt people!}

"And now," she said, "you will tell me about it -- *all* of it."

And God, or Goddess, or whatever deity(s) exist, help him, he did.

"Very good," she crooned. "Now, you will forget this ever happened," she commaned. "I was never here. You broke your wrist when you fell out of your chair. Do you understand?"

"Yes," he intoned, his voice flat. "Forget ... never here ... fell ... "

Smiling, Natalie released him and disappeared.

When he came around, the Cigarette Smoking Man realized he was laying on the floor with a throbbing wrist. {Damn it! I thought I got that chair fixed months ago! My wrist is probably broken, too! Damn, damn, damn!} Reaching up with his left hand, he hit the call button for his assisstant. The worst part, though, was that he couldn't even light a cigarette.

~~~~~~

From her perch across the street, Natalie smirked. {Have I got news for Dana... }

---END---

comments? send them to: Josette@aol.com

**is not my line. It is an original line from FK that I have quoted. Originally, it was issued by Janette when she seduced Nicholas into becoming a vampire.