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 (no sex this time -- see END for additional comments regarding this)
Summary: third installment of the story that began with "Perchance to Remember?"; Scully discovers Natalie's past and is faced with a choice.
Notes/Spoilers: You'll be lost if you haven't read "Perchance" and its sequel, "Memory Made Manifest." This is a Xover with Forever Knight, and takes place after its third season, with heavy spoilers, especially for the last three episodes. I've probably taken a few liberties in my explanations of Nat and Janette's sexuality, but since parts of the concept were left out of the show's canon, I've improvised. This story is fairly concurrent with this season's XF, but no recent events are alluded to. I actually did the math to place Nat and Scully in med school. My explanation of it, which is not included here, actually rectifiies the age inconsistancies in both shows. {...} denotes thoughts. This has not been beta read!!!
Feedback: hell, yes! onlist, offlist, just send some!


Realities
by Nymue

Waking up was never one of Dana Scully's favorite things to do. However the scent of freshly brewed coffee was making it harder and harder to stay asleep. Opening her eyes, Scully realized that she was pleasantly warm but that almost all of her body ached. Well, maybe not quite all. The next thing to dawn on her was that she was not in her own bed. This bed was large {extra-large king size?}, with white silk sheets and heavy blue and silver duvets that had exceptionally intricate cording. It also had four very large posters, a high, hand carved headboard, and velvet bedcurtains on each side which had been pulled back. With something akin to shock, her memories came floating back, and she blushed as she remembered exactly *what* she and Nat had done in that bed.

Sitting up in her cocoon, she realized the coffee scent was coming from a table on the other side of the room. As she climbed out of the bed, lamplight illuminating her legs, she saw for the first time the bruises that made her ache. Leaning over to get a better look {is that a handprint!?}, she craned her neck only to discover that doing so was a *very bad* idea. Running her hand along the left side of her neck, she found two small, neat round holes.

Having gone still at this new discovery, Scully somehow managed to pull herself together long enough to walk across the room, pour herself a cup of coffee and collapse onto a nearby chair. Thoughts were swirling through her mind at a mile a minute, topsy turvy, making no sense. As the caffiene began to hit her system, Scully was able to reign in her emotions. {First things first.} She stood up and gave herself a quick, but thorough, body exam, finding nothing but bruises and some small scratches {paper cut variety}. Upon completion, she sat back down and continued her internal reverie.

{Well. Fine mess I've gotten myself into. I had sex with a vampire. And I enjoyed it. I really, really enjoyed it. Hell, it was mindblowing! Talk about multiple orgasms!!} She shuddered in memory. {And it was with Natalie, who disappeared over two years ago. Natalie is a vampire. She wasn't always a vampire -- was she? No, when we were in Boston we used to eat out all the time, and we attended mass at the same church. So, when did this happen? What time is it?}

"You look like you're having deep thoughts," a familiar voice broke in.

Scully turned in her chair to see the raven-haired woman from the night before. {Janette. That's her name, Janette. Yeah, that's it. She's the one Mulder was drooling ... Mulder! And where are my clothes!} Before she could reply, the woman laughed.

"Oh, my dear Doctor. However do you manage in your line of work? All your thoughts are reflected on your face! Your partner is fine; he's sleeping, and in no worse condition that you yourself. Natalie had some ...business... to attend to. She asked that I provide you with this disgustingly bitter brew, should you awake before she returned. Being the caring "big sister" I am, I agreed. And your clothes are being laundered as we speak," Janette told her as she sat down in the chair opposite Scully.

"Do you mind?" Scully asked, embarrased.

"Non," came the answer. "But if you feel you must attire yourself, you will find a dressing gown in the armoire," she told Scully, motioning with her hand.

Slowly making her way through the armoire, Scully found a pale blue brocade robe {actually, this isn't a robe -- it *is* a dressing gown}, and, somewhat shakily, managed to button the fastenings. Upon returning to the chair, she found Janette regarding her with lowered eyes.

"Are you a vampire, too?" she asked abruptly.

Janette raised an eyebrow. "You accept that so easily? I would have thought a scientist such as yourself would rationalize the events some other way."

"Even if I hadn't seen vampires before, which I have but they were *very* different, there's no way to rationalize what happened last night. What I saw, what I *felt* ... " her voice trailed off.

"Oui, that would make sense," Janette mused, thinking of Natalie and her introduction to vampires.

Scully was beginning to feel frustrated with the situation. "Why are you here?" she finally asked.

Another raised eyebrow. "Why am I here? Here, as in the club? Or here, as in here talking to you?"

"In the club you own," Scully retorted sarcastically, heedless of the danger. "Why are we having this conversation?"

"We are having this conversation, as you put it," Janette told her, "because Natalie is ma petite soeur and I do not wish to see her hurt. Her time with Nicolas hurt her enough. I don't want you to hurt her."

"Why would I hurt her?" she asked, confused and temporarily ignoring the reference to 'Nicolas.'

"You're mortal," Janette said bluntly. "As such you will die, unless that is changed. On that day Natalie will grieve; she could even grieve for a century or more, until she learns to let go of the mortals around her. I do not want her to ever know that pain."

"I don't want to hurt her," Scully said softly. "I just found her again -- I don't want to lose her. But, if anything, I should be upset. She disappeared almost three years ago, was presumed dead, and now I find out she's been alive all this time?" Scully's voice was rising, as was her temper. "I should be furious! And who is Nicolas?"

"Nicolas. He may very well be the cause of this whole affair." Janette sighed. "My dear Dana, --oh, you don't mind, do you?"

"Why no," Scully retorted, "Whyever not?"

Janette's lips quirked, as if supressing laughter. She settled back in the chair, pouring a glass of something Scully knew was *not* a fine merlot, before beginning her story. "I do no know all the details of your relationship with Natalie while you were in medical school. I do know that when she graduated, and took a job with the Medical Examiner's Office in Toronto, you still had two years left to complete. And that after you graduated, the two of you spent nearly a month in Barbados; it was also the last time you saw each other. After that, she returned and threw herself into her work; two years later, at twenty-eight, she was the senior pathologist on the night shift rotation. One night, a body was brought in -- some fool tried to stop a gang robbery, and was tossed a pipe bomb for his trouble." Scully winced. "Messy business, I'm sure. However, this particular patient was...disinclined... to stay dead. She got quite a shock when he got up and raided her supply of O negative," Janette smiled wryly.

Scully's eyes widened. "Nicolas? He's a vampire?"

Janette nodded her affirmation. "Mon petit frere. You may have heard of him by the name he took while in Toronto -- Nick Knight."

Scully sat up. {That was the name of the homicide detective who disappeared at the same time as Nat.}

Janette continued, "He tried to make her forget, but she was what we call a resistor -- immune to our powers of hypnosis, unless one uses drugs to break down her concentration."

"Whoa," Scully said. "Did someone do that?"

"Oui, although it happened a few years later. To make a *very* long story shorter, you should know that Nicolas has spent the past hundred or so years looking for a way to become human again. He seems to think that by crossing back over he will be forgiven his "sins," or some such nonsense," Janette said.

"You don't believe his sins can be forgiven?" Scully asked. "The Church has taught --"

"The Church," Janette spat, "has done more harm over the years than good. Believe me, my dear, I was there to see most of it, as was Nicolas. Of course, he was a Crusader knight," she mused, "and even though he saw many terrible things, his faith remained intact."

"And yours didn't?" Scully questioned.

"I never had any faith in the Church to lose," Janette told her. "Things were not all that different a thousand years ago, Doctor. How many do you know who have no faith in that religion?"

Scully nodded. "Point taken. But what does that have to do with Natalie?"

"She agreed to try and find a scientific way to make him mortal, and came close once," Janette told her flatly. "They worked together for six years, and some point became emotionally involved. I'll spare you all the details. After five years, I left Toronto; Nicolas' quest was becoming the most important thing in his life, and he put Natalie up on a pedestal because she was looking for his 'Holy Grail.' I knew their relationship was doomed, and I did not want to be around when the inevitable occured. It may sound selfish, but in eight hundred years Nicolas never learned how to let go, and the emotional backwash through our family bond is never pleasant."

"So," Scully prompted, "what happened?"

Janette sighed. "Shortly after I left Nicolas' mortal partner and captain were killed in a plane explosion. He took it hard; he slid into a depression that he never really recovered from. There were other ...incidents... one of which was the Fever. Apparently, genetic engineering has come up with a virus that can kill vampires; it was intended to help fight AIDS, but failed because, although it worked in the test tube, HIV destroys it in the body. Humanity's loss was our gain; by ingesting HIV "tainted" blood, the virus was stopped. Natalie made that discovery with a little ...assistance... from our sire, Lacroix. The upshot, you might say, caused Nicolas to do a lot of backsliding -- and he pulled Natalie back with him. Only a few months later, a vampire with a grudge against Lacroix reeked havoc on the city, killing at least two vampires they knew personally. She was destroyed, but it was the beginning of the end. One of the vampires killed had been the "boyfriend" of Nicolas' new partner; she was devestated by the loss, considering she was the one who put a stake through his heart to keep him from going mad and starting a killing spree. Lacroix removed that memory, but the loss remained. A month or so later she was shot in line of duty and died. This happened --"

"The same day Lora Haynes committed suicide, addressing the note to Natalie," Scully finished. "I knew about that; Lora was one of the few people who knew about our relationship. I often wondered if she was jealous, especially when she, too, took a job in Toronto. But what has that got to do with --"

"Imagine, if you will," Janette continued, "Natalie's frame of mind. Almost all her mortal friends and family were dead; those still alive were hundreds or thousands of miles away. The only remaining constant in her life were vampires. She went to Nicolas, who was *not* in the best state himself, and asked him to make love to her. And he tried, but ... "

"Huh?" Scully was now extremely confused. "Wait a minute. Nat and I had sex last night, and I'm not dead or a vampire. So what ... "

Janette sighed. "For vampires, sex almost always involves blood. We women, we spent so much time "faking it" as mortals that often times we can control the urge to bit our partner if we *really* want to or, failing that, merely sip from them. For the men, it's not that easy; for them, it *always* involves the taking of their partner's blood. And Nicolas, who subsisted on steer blood, could not control himself when he tasted her. He, ahhh how did he put it, 'took too much.' He then decided that, despite the fact that she had asked for a life --anykind of life--, he would let her die. He asked Lacroix to kill him."

Scully sat stunned. Tenatively, she licked her lips and asked, "Obviously Nat's not dead. Since she's not, then ... ?"

"When faced with the possibility of losing son or gaining a daughter, so to speak, Lacroix chose the latter option. When he recovered from the blow Lacroix dealt him, Nicolas was terribly upset. When Lacroix announced he was teaching Natalie to live as a vampire, Nicolas left; he could not wrap his mind around the fact that his 'sweet, innocent, pure' Natalie was a vampire."

"That rat bastard!" Scully raged, her eyes going wide. "How could he just walk out on her like that! Good God, I can't imagine what that must have felt like!"

"Your anger does you credit," Janette told her. "But, she has recovered. Since her "disappearance" was very public, there was no way for her to return to her old life. She managed to remove a few items from her apartment --after all, who would know if anything was missing? She and Lacroix traveled for awhile; they joined me for a time. When I announced my intention to open another club here, Natalie asked if she could "help." I agreed; although she is, by her very nature, a scientist, there are no available places in medicine or reseach where she could work on this continent. Too many chances of being recognized. She began looking for you after we arrived; she was not going to interfer in your life if you were happy, or involved, but ... "

Scully nodded, understanding. As she sat, trying to take it all in, there was still a question burning in her mind. "Janette," she began, "why exactly did Natalie bite me? I mean, if women can control themselves ... "

Both eyebrows went up. "You're a quick study. One, she is not used to a mortal lover. Two, if you were kissing her anywhere in the vicinity of the neck, you set off her natural instinct - which is to bite."

"Natural instict ... " she echoed.

"My dear Dana, when two vampires --regardless of sex and pairing-- make love, blood is always a part of it. The rest," she raised one shoulder in a shrug, "is nice, but not necessary. The blood is all we need to attain an orgasm."

Scully eyes went wide. "What I felt when she ... "

Janette leaned forward, locking eyes with the redhead and lowering her voice. "Yes, you've had a taste of what it's like. But what you felt is only a tenth of what we experience. For us, the blood is the most erotic part." Scully found herself concentrating on Janette's words, oblivious to her surroundings. "Your blood is the essence of who you are. Everything you think, all you've done or thought about, it's all in your blood. One drop carries your whole life in it's depth. Can you imagine knowing *everything* about your lover, knowing their very soul, all in one drop of blood?"

Scully could feel her heart pounding. "Why?" she whispered.

Janette trailed a finger down the side of Scully's cheek, the finger slipping down her neck before stopping over the two holes. "Because, ma petite, you must choose. Do you wish to remain as you are? Or, would like to know life from another perspective? The Consortium, as you call it, knows nothing of *our* prescence among mortals. I'm sure they've run into ...lesser... forms of vampires; some may have been their own experiments with things they do not understand. Even so, the fact remains: *you* must choose. And you must be sure of your choice -- for your sake, and especially for Natalie's peace of mind."

Scully had been listening so intensely to Janette's words that she hadn't heard the door open. Nor had she heard the soft sound of footsteps behind her. So, when she felt soft arms and a familiar perfume encircle her, she jumped, but only slightly. And as she turned, feeling the brush of Natalie's lips over her own and the cacophany sensations that the slight contact triggered, she finally realized --

She really had no choice at all.

---END---

or is it? you tell me.