Title: Home
Author:
Written: June 2002


Rating: R for language, violence, some graphic imagery, and F/F Slash (semi-implied)
Category: F/F slash
Relationship: Monica Reyes/Dana Scully
Spoilers: Up to the current episode of Season Nine of The X-Files. Mainly "4-D," with some "Provenance" and "Providence." Season Three: "Pusher". Elements from the movie Fallen, starring Denzel Washington.
Distribution/Archive: Scully/Reyes Yahoo Group; anywhere else, just let me know where you out it.
Feedback: Yes, please!

Summary: Scully and Reyes work their first true case together. This is your average, run-of-the-mill demon possession story.or is it?

Notes: Inspiration for the story came from Depeche Mode's song "Home." Any discrepancies with police department/medical lingo are entirely my fault, and I'm not an expert in either fields. I have a bad memory and can't remember whether the address for her apartment was listed, so I made one up. This is also my first major fanfic; bear with me if it sucks at all. Add. Fanfic Notes: Fox Mulder's available, but working on a case with John Doggett (freelance, of course) in Los Angeles. This leads up to their arrival in part three. I've tried to fix the time frame of the original by making this happen a year after Season Nine. So, all events take place in 2002, instead of 2001. The one major change is that instead of flying to Boston, Scully and Reyes are driving over, which makes it more personal, and easier for interaction between the two women. Dedication: To all the S/R 'shippers out there: especially NJ for not writing back to her sooner, and Sapphistication, and the other person who wrote me feedback and told me to continue. Also, to the lesbians and bichicks I work with and have befriended at work, for being such hot and kickass chicks;) Also, to actors Eliza Dushku, Jennifer Garner, and James Marsters 'cause I'm using their last names for this fic. Disclaimers: Dana Scully, Walter Skinner, and Monica Reyes belong to CC, 1013, and FOX. "Home" by Depeche Mode was written by Martin Gore, off the album Ultra - Mute/Reprise Records, 1997. Prayers and chants and magick speak come from http://www.satanist.net/. Other chants with a '*' by them are of my own twisted imagination;)

Sorry about the length of this post, but feedback would be great, to see if I missed something while proofing, or if it makes sense at all. Thanks!


And I thank you
For bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears...


September 1, 2002
Boston, Massachusetts
24571 Oakview Road, Apt. #303
11:30 P.M.

"Please, whatever you do, don't kill me! Leave me alone, I beg you! I wasn't the one that turned you in, Michael - it was Jonathan, I swear!"

The apartment was torn apart, as though a hurricane had hit it without warning. Michael Garner grabbed his ex-girlfriend, Susan Marsters, and slammed her head into a wall. She moaned aloud as her head made contact, blood spilling out from a deep cut on her forehead. She tried to stare at Michael, but her vision was clouded with the red haze of blood from her wound.

"Stop lying to me, you bitch!" he spat out, screaming at her and grabbing her by the hair. He forced her to stand before throwing her onto a couch on the opposite side of the living room.

Susan cried out, the pain in her head hitting her like a sledgehammer. She cried out again, praying that someone could hear her and call the police, before Michael did anything stupid.

"I didn't tell Bobby or the others that you were out! I would never tell them anything that you didn't want me to!"

"If that was the case, Susan, then why did Malone give me a dirty look before shooting at me while I was in the Brachare Restaurant earlier today?"

"I don't know! He didn't know about the deal, but someone must've told him, but I swear Michael...it wasn't me!"

"Stop bullshitting with me, Susan! No one else knew about the deal except for you and Jonathan, and he wouldn't do it 'cause he's like a fucking brother to me!"

Michael spat on her then launched a punch at her head. Susan ducked; his punch bounced off the couch. He grabbed her by the neck of her blouse, causing it to rip in the process. She screamed out in terror.

"Want to hear how my day went, huh babe? Want to hear how I almost lost my fucking life 'cause some fuck-up was stupid enough to tell Bobby a little too much about something that wasn't his business? Listen to this..."

Michael forced her down onto the couch, his hands still at her throat while he spoke:

"Malone asked me why I wasn't going to share the $10 million I got from the Bakerston Bank heist. I told him that I was, but I had to pay off Bobby and Joe and a few other guys who had helped me set-up the hit on the bank. Malone walked up to me, told me that I was a lying cocksucker, and he said that he knew that I was making up a story so that he wouldn't be able to get any cash.

"I told him that I would never do that, but he suddenly grabbed his gun from a holster hidden underneath his jacket, and the bastard tried to shoot me. I ducked behind a booth in the restaurant, and he ended up shooting the wall behind me. I quickly got up, had my own piece in my hand, and I shot him dead. DEAD! Do you hear that, bitch?! I shot my own friend dead because he thought that I was messing with him and not giving him a share of what was not his to begin with! And all because some fuckin' idiot let it slip that I had pulled off the heist, and no one else is stupid enough to say anything except for you!"

Susan was about to protest but was cut short by a wicked slap to the face by Michael. She let out a shriek before lying back on the couch, stunned. She started to cry and pray and hope that the police were coming soon, before it was too late...

"Michael!" she cried, sobbing hysterically. "It wasn't me! Jonathan was in the living room the night of the heist, and he called Sonny and told him to tell Malone about the heist, 'cause he wasn't going to get anything out of it. Jonathan also told Sonny to tell Malone that you hated him and all that he had done to stab you in the back. Malone was pissed off, and then Sonny went ahead and told him that you were the one responsible for Rachel's death."

"I had nothing to do with her death! That was Bobby's work!"

"I know! Malone thought that you were the one who orchestrated Rachel's death after Sonny told him what Jonathan said."

"I don't believe it - you're lying! If it was Jonathan, then why did he bother to come by a few hours ago, before the restaurant fiasco, to ask me about the heist?"

"He wanted to know whether or not you actually pulled it off 'cause if you did, then he wanted a piece of the pie. He thought that the fact that he was your best friend made it easier for him to ask for some cash in return. After you told him that you did, but you weren't sure that he was getting any, he went berserk and left. Do you remember?"

Michael thought for a minute, then remembered the way that Jonathan had looked before leaving his apartment earlier, before he had gone to the Brachare and had had his confrontation with Malone. Jonathan had definitely looked pissed off. Maybe he had tried to get him killed off...

"POLICE!!! HANDS IN The AIR NOW!!!"

Michael spun around, startled. He saw about five uniformed officers, pointing guns at his head. He looked over their shoulders and noticed that the front door had been knocked down. He looked back at Susan, rage in his face.

"You fuckin' bitch..."

He stared hard at her before turning back to the cops, a gun in his right hand. He pointed it at them and started to shoot.

A hail of bullets filled the room, most of them entering the body of Michael Garner. He flew backwards, blood pouring out from the numerous bullet holes that now scarred his flesh. He fell upon a screaming Susan, who had tried to shut her eyes from the madness that surrounded her.

Trembling hard, she slowly got up from the couch, her arms in the air. Two cops rushed forward, a blanket and medical kit in their hands.

"Miss, please sit down so we can examine you. We're going to give you a quick check before the paramedics come up, but we also want to make sure that you don't have any major head injuries. We want to be sure that you're OK to move before we do."

Barely able to understand them from the shock that she felt, Susan sat back on the couch, right next to the bleeding body of Michael. She looked at him, her eyes filled with surprise and disgust. She turned back to the cops but suddenly screamed - their faces had turned into those of demons.

"God, stay away from me! Stay away from me!" she screamed, lashing out with her hands.

The cops jumped back, startled.

"Everything's fine miss, just calm down. We're here to help."

Susan looked at them, bewildered. It didn't help either that she suddenly heard a quiet voice speaking to her, as though someone was standing right behind her. She turned a deathly pale white as the voice spoke to her.

They are not here to help you. They want the same thing that I want - your soul. Obey me and pick up the gun from your boyfriend's hand. Avenge his death, as he would have done for you. Do not let him become a victim of the Savior or His soldiers of Light and their cause. Destroy them, and make him a martyr.

Susan looked around crazily, trying to find the source of the voice. She saw more demons surrounding her, grinning and snarling, trying to grab at her face.

"Get away from me!" she screamed once more.

Out of nowhere came another voice, as sinister as the first one.

KILL THEM!!!

"STOP IT!!!"

Susan screamed once, then quickly grabbed Michael's gun. The cops went for their own guns, realizing too late what was happening before their eyes.

Susan jammed the barrel of the gun in her mouth, the safety still on. She clicked it off, closed her eyes, said a silent "Help me, God" before pulling the trigger.

The gunshot was loud in the apartment, echoing off the walls and into the ears of the five stunned police officers, disbelief in their eyes at what they had just witnessed.

Susan's dead, staring eyes looked at them before her corpse fell of the couch, the gun still in her mouth. Michael still lay on the couch, his own eyes closed, dead from the gunshot wounds he had sustained.

"Holy shit. I've never seen anything like this before," whispered one cop, motioning to a female cop off to his left, and whispered in her ear.

"Call the van. Tell them that we have two victims: one self-inflicted, the other self-defense. Tell them that we want a full autopsy as soon as the bodies are carted out of here."

"Yes sir," the female cop said. She radioed in on the portable unit strapped to her shoulder.

"Sir," said another cop, a young rookie fresh out of the police academy. "Come over here for a second. Take a look at the woman's left palm." He held her hand out for the lead officer to see, his naked flesh touching her own.

"Rookie! What the hell are you doing? Didn't they teach you anything about keeping the crime scene untainted? Put on some damn gloves now!"

"Yes sir," the rookie said, blushing. He threw on a pair of latex gloves from the medical kit and knelt by the corpse again, turning the hand over so the other officer could see her palm.

He bent down, grabbing the hand from the rookie. He had gloves on himself to prevent contamination. He stared at the symbol for a few seconds, then turned around to face the rookie.

"It looks like a pentagram or something. A goat's head is on it, grinning."

"I know. When I saw that, I thought you might be interested in seeing it, Lieutenant."

Thanks for giving me the heads-up. Between the shootout, this guy's corpse at my feet, and a woman with half her head blown off, this is going to be giving me nightmares for a damn long time."

The rookie nodded, as if confirming the lieutenant's thoughts.

"What do I do?"

"About what?"

"The hand. The symbol almost looks like it was burned into her palm or something."

"Don't do anything. Just leave the body, and the coroner will pick it up. In the meantime, I'm placing a call to D.C."

"To the cops in D.C.?" asked the rookie, confusion in his eyes.

The lieutenant shook his head.

"No - to the Feds. We're turning this over to the FBI."

The rookie looked at the lieutenant, a little surprised.

"Why the Spooks?"

"They have like this special division for this sort of thing. I know - I've called them up before when things got too damn weird for me. They investigate crimes of this type, the ones that are weird in nature."

"But this one is pretty cut-and-dry."

"I know. It seems like that, but why does that woman..." - he pointed at Susan's corpse - "...have that mark on her palm? Why did she suddenly freak out when we tried to help her?"

"Maybe she was in shock?"

"That's not hard to see, but she definitely went over the edge, like she saw something that scared her shitless. I'm gonna place a call to the FBI, and they'll send some people over ASAP."

Standing up, the lieutenant brushed off his pants and pointed towards the two remaining officers in the room.

"Make sure no one touches the crime scene, and make sure no damn reporters hear a word about this. I don't want them coming up with some weirded-out shit that will scare people. Also - tell the neighbors that the situation is over, and they have to remain calm and return to their apartments. Tell them nothing about what happened here, OK?"

The two officers nodded.

"Good. Any questions?"

They shook their heads.

"All right. Let me place a call to the Fibbies then."

The lieutenant walked out of the apartment, heading for his squad car, while the rookie stayed behind, still examining Susan's body. Staring at the hand again, he suddenly gave out a small cry, as though he was suddenly shocked by something.

He quickly jumped up and ran from the body, looking for the nearest bathroom. He ran inside and fell against the toilet, bile rising up in his throat. He moaned at the sudden spasm he felt in his stomach. He threw his head forward and vomited into the toilet for what seemed like hours. After he was finished, he stumbled towards the sink and grabbed the 'HOT' faucet, turning it on to full blast. He splashed the burning water into his face, gasping. He looked up and stared at his face in the mirror and started to scream.

You have no more control over your soul, for I have taken your body and mind.

A hideously scarred face, red and purple and black, stared back at him. It grinned and showed off its razor fangs. Jet-black hair covered the scalp, and yellow-red eyes stared back, shining with an unholy light.

The rookie stabbed his hands out, reaching for his eyes as he frantically clawed at them. He was found this way several minutes later, his eyes gouged out, as he continually screamed:

"SAVE ME!!! KEEP THEM AWAY!!! THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL ME!!! GOD HELP ME!!!"

He reached out blindly and grabbed the arm of the lieutenant, who had appeared again. His hand slipped down and touched the lieutenant's now gloveless hand; he recoiled in horror. He stared down at his own hand, covered in gore and blood, and cried out.

"Get this man out of here NOW!!!" he yelled, looking at the bewildered cops and paramedics surrounding him. They quickly rushed into the bathroom, trying to calm the man down.

The lieutenant headed out of the bathroom and looked for the kitchen - he needed to rinse his hands off. He walked over and turned on both faucets, running his hands underneath the stream of water as he quietly muttered under his breath:

I serve only the Dark Master, and I will not disobey his command. If I do may God have mercy on my soul before I die. I serve only the Dark Master, and I will not disobey his command... *


Here is a song
From the wrong side of town
Where I'm bound
To the ground
By the loneliest sound
That pounds from within
And is pinning me down...


September 2, 2002
Washington, D.C.
Apt. #4-F
2:45 A.M.

Darkness, enveloping like a black blanket against a single slumbering soul, deep in sleep. Their sleep would not last long, as they would soon find out in five seconds...

...four...

...three...

...two...

...one...

RING!

"Shit!"

A solitary voice echoed in the darkness, startled awake by the sudden ringing a few feet from her right ear. The woman had been sleeping on her stomach, completely lost in a dream about a case that she had been working on with Agents Scully and Doggett - pyrokinesis in Kansas - when her phone screamed to life.

"Hello?" she said, her voice still heavy and thick with the lingering remnants of sleep, She was praying that it was either Scully or Doggett. If it wasn't, then God help the person on the other line once she fully awoke.

"Um, Monica, did I wake you? I'm sorry. It's Dana."

Monica was fully awake and alert now. She fumbled for the lamp on the nightstand by the phone, trying to find the switch to turn it on.

"Hold on a sec, Dana."

She found the switch and flicked it on, squinting from the harsh light that erupted from it and spread across her bedroom. She yawned loudly, hoping that Dana hadn't heard her, before returning to the phone.

"OK. Just had to turn on my lamp. What's going on?"

"Our case involving the pyrokinesis in Kansas has been put on hold for now by Assistant Director Skinner. He wants you and me to fly out to Boston as soon as we can. Looks like the police over there have a case that warrants as an X-File."

Monica yawned again, then thought for a second before speaking again.

"What about John?"

"He's in California, interviewing a young woman about some homicides in a women's prison in Los Angeles. Mulder is with him, helping him with the investigation. It's a separate case from the one we are now assigned on."

"Mulder is doing freelance work?"

"He is now, but this case really interested him because it might have some possible 'supernatural' elements to it."

"What is our new case about then?"

"The police have been a bit sketchy about details, but from what Skinner had told me, it was a simple domestic violence call. Police had responded to a disturbance at an apartment building a couple of blocks from the downtown area of Boston. Neighbors had reported some screams coming from an apartment in their building: a woman was being attacked by her ex-boyfriend, who had apparently thought that she had tried to hire someone to kill him. It was actually some sort of miscommunication.

"Police rushed in and they said that the man pulled out a gun and shot at them. They retaliated and the killed him, in self-defense. The woman was doing all right when two of the officers came up to her, to treat a head wound. They said that she suddenly went ballistic, screaming at them to stay away from her. She then proceeded to grab the gun from her ex's hand, held the gun in her mouth, and pulled the trigger."

"Ohmigod," whispered Monica, a bit shocked at what Dana had just told her. "I know that was horrible and gruesome, but what does a seemingly open-shut suicide case have to do with the X-Files?"

"Actually, this is related more to your field about the paranormal and the supernatural. It appears as though the woman had some type of strange mark on her hand. One of the officers reported it to be the symbol of the Devil - the pentagram. He said that it had an upside-down pentacle with a goat's head in the middle."

"Yes - that is characteristic with the sign of the God of Lust."

"I thought so too. I had seen it before on a previous case with Mulder, involving plastic surgeons who practiced dark forms of magick."

"I see. Did they say how she had gotten the symbol on her hand?"

"No. They said that it appeared to have been burned into the palm of her hand."

"I see. So I guess it does involve the both of us then."

"Yes it does. Monica?"

"Yes Dana?"

"Could you be dressed and prepared to leave in about an hour or so? I'm going to drive over to your apartment and pick you up. We are going the long way and driving this time, but I want to get a headstart on the road before it gets too busy on the freeways. I also want to discuss more of the case with you as we're driving along, OK? We'll get to Boston, rest this evening, and first thing tomorrow morning we'll go over to the crime scene and see for ourselves what happen. So, can you be ready by 4 a.m.?"

"Sure. Let me take a really quick shower, throw on some clothes, and I'll wait for you in my apartment. It's a bit too dark to be standing outside by myself, and even though I've been here for over a year now, I'm still getting used to the neighborhood, so I'd feel a bit safer if I stay right here."

Dana nodded to herself on the phone, in her own bedroom, and gave Monica a quick reply.

"OK. I'll pick you up in your apartment in an hour, OK?"

"OK. Talk to you then, Dana."

"All right, Monica."

Monica stretched in bed and shivered a little - a light breeze played across her breasts from her open bedroom window. She usually slept half-naked; it was almost customary after having to sleep in the humid and hot weather of New Orleans, only a year or so ago before moving up to D.C. She sighed and stretched out in bed again.

Couldn't have picked a better time to wake me up, she thought before heading towards her shower, taking off her clothes before she stepped in, looking at her sleep-weary face in the mirror.

I hope I look halfway decent when Dana comes to pick me up.

The water from the shower hit her in the face, forcing her to wake up again. She sighed as she felt the water rush against her body. She quickly washed her body and hair, then stepped out of the shower to dress. A towel was wrapped on her head to keep her hair from dripping onto the carpet of her bedroom. She had taken off the towel wrapped around her body and was reaching for a pair of panties that she had laid out on her bed when the phone rang again. She walked over to the other side of the bed to answer it.

"Hello?"

"Death will await those who dare tread where they shouldn't. The demons of the netherworld are watching every move you make as you step closer towards your end."

"Hello? Who is this?"

A click sounded as the other caller hung up, leaving Monica to stand naked in her room, the phone's receiver still against her ear.

That was weird, she thought. Maybe I'll tell Dana about it when she arrives.

She put the receiver back into its cradle. She quickly dressed then rummaged through her closet, looking for an overnight bag. She didn't notice that someone was staring at her though the bedroom window, watching her every step. It was impossible for someone to do this - she was on the fourth floor of the apartment building. There wasn't a ladder or fire escape by the window either. The only possible way that this person could be doing this was by floating, but people couldn't do that...could they?

The figure looked in at her, eyes burning with an unnatural fire-red light, as she placed her bag on the bed and proceeded to put some clothes in it for her upcoming roadtrip with Agent Scully to Boston. The face staring at her gave an evil grin then drifted away, chanting silently in Latin.

To thee, o Satan, glory be, and praise

In Heaven, once thy kingdom, the abyss

Of Hell, where, now, thou dreamest silently!

Grant that my soul, one day, beneath the Tree

Of Knowledge, may rest near thee, when o'erhead,

Like a new Temple, its wide branches spread!


One hour later...

Dana slowly pulled her car to a stop in front of Monica's apartment building. She placed the car in 'PARK' and turned off the engine, staring at the building before her. Her son William was staying with her mother. She felt calmer now than a few months ago, when it seemed like the whole world was after her son. The government, Super Soldiers, UFO cultists, and others had been after her son, but those closest to her - Monica, John, the Lone Gunmen, her mother and brother, and Mulder - had fought with her to ward off those trying to harm him. The threat wasn't completely gone, but most of it had been contained.

Now he was sleeping safely with his grandmother, and Dana could now concentrate on the bizarre case that lay ahead for her and Monica.

She had been Monica's apartment several times in the last year, during her housewarming and other visits, including dropping off William with Monica while she went out for her own night of peace and quiet without him. She had liked what Monica had done with the apartment, in terms of decorating, and she always looked forward to any time that involved her dropping by for a visit. This time around it was a case she and the brunette were assigned on, and for this he was thankful because she had rarely, if ever, spent time alone with the other agent, except for the nights when they had gone out for dinner or to the movies, or had just chatted for a little bit.

She walked over to the front doors of the apartment building, looking for the intercom system that had been so easy to find in the daylight. Squinting in the darkness, she looked for Monica's apartment number in the dim light of a streetlight overhead. Finding it she pressed the button.

Monica heard the buzzing from her living room. She jumped slightly then relaxed - it was only Dana. She walked over to the front door and pressed a small button.

"Hello - who it?"

"It's Dana."

Monica smiled.

"Come on up."

A buzzer sounded loudly in front of Dana. She grabbed one of the door handles and pulled it, stepping inside quickly. She walked through the dimly lit hobby towards the elevators, pushing the 'UP' button and impatiently waiting for the elevator to descend. Once it did she stepped inside and pressed the button for the fourth floor.

Two minutes later she found herself standing outside of Monica's apartment. Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door.

Monica stood up from the leather couch she had been sitting on in her living room, gave a small sigh, and walked to the door. She looked through the peephole and saw Dana looking back at her. She opened the door and smiled.

"Hi Dana. Come on right in."

Dana stepped in and returned Monica's smile.

"Have you done anything new since the last time I came by for a visit?"

Monica nodded.

"I did a few more paintings, and they're on the walls of the hallway leading to my bedroom. I also put new tile in the bathroom and bought some a new leather recliner."

"Great. I should seriously hire you out as my interior decorator, because I definitely need a new look for my place!"

Monica blushed.

They both walked over to the couch and sat down, facing each other.

Monica cleared her throat and spoke up.

"So, did you learn anything else about the crime?"

Dana shook her head.

"Nothing much. The police have cordoned the area and secured the crime scene, but they say that everything didn't fall apart until they came. One of the officers said that Susan Marsters, the woman who committed suicide, seemed like she was truly frightened by something that she saw in front, or behind, the officers. They don't have a clue as to why she had a major breakdown before their eyes."

"Well, being threatened by your ex-boyfriend with a gun can be extremely stressful on one's soul."

Dana shook her head.

"The police say that he pulled his gun after they arrived, threatened them with it, and then they fired."

"I see."

"There's also something else that Skinner told me that had seemed a bit strange. He said that the officer in charge, Lieutenant Christopher Dushku, reported that one of his officers, a young rookie named Jeffrey Harwin, seemed to have a breakdown himself. He was found in a bathroom at the residence, screaming. Apparently, he had gouged his own eyes out."

"Stress-related psychosis?"

"They aren't sure, but that's what you and I are going to find out when we arrive in Boston."

They both looked at each other for a few moments, both sitting in silence. Monica finally cleared her throat and said:

"Let me grab my bag from my room."

"OK. And grab a jacket because it's a bit chilly outside; if you consider 55 F to be a 'bit chilly'."

Monica nodded. She headed for her bedroom, calling out to Dana behind her shoulder.

"You can follow me, if you'd like."

Dana only smiled.

"All right."

She followed Monica down to her bedroom.

"Wow!" she exclaimed, looking at the paintings in the hallway. "Those are really beautiful."

Monica grinned.

"Thanks. Sometimes I paint what I'm feeling at the moment, and this time I felt like I was stuck in some fantasy world, ala J.R.R. Tolkien, which is why most of my paintings are that of wizards and elves and demons."

Dana just stared at the paintings. She had always enjoyed looking at Monica's different paintings, ever since three months ago when Monica had confessed to her, during one of their nightly chats, that she painted for a hobby. After coaxing her into showing off her talents and bringing out the canvases, Dana had spent over an hour just looking at Monica's paintings, surprised by the quality that she saw. Monica was truly talented, and Dana had tried to talk Monica into displaying her paintings in an art gallery, or starting one of her own.

Monica only blushed the deepest red that Dana had ever seen, brushing off her suggestions.

"Dear God, no! I would be to embarrassed to put up my paintings for all the world to see!"

Dana had moved closer to Monica and gave her a hug of encouragement.

"Why should you be? You have an extremely wonderful talent inside of you that you're hiding because you're afraid of the reaction that some people might have to your art."

Monica only nodded, still blushing.

"Well, don't be-"

"-long drive?" Monica finished, bringing Dana back to the real world.

"I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? I was just taken aback by your paintings."

Monica laughed.

"Are you sure it wasn't me distracting you?"

Dana laughed in return.

"No, but you might've been a factor yourself."

An awkward silence had suddenly filled the atmosphere, making both women uncomfortable. After a few minutes, Monica broke the silence.

"Let me grab my bag and jacket, OK?"

"All right."

Dana stepped inside the bedroom and stared at the black sheets on the bed. Monica had bought a new bed recently, it looked like, and had gone for something larger rather than the full-size midget bed she had had before.

"Did you buy a new bed? It looks more comfortable than the last one that you had. I remember you constantly complaining about waking up in the morning on the floor because the bed was too small for you."

"Yep. I was tired of going to sleep in the clouds, and waking up facedown on the ground."

Dana laughed aloud.

Great. Might as well tell her to lie down on the bed and test it out, with me by her side, thought Monica. She quickly mentally slapped herself for that thought.

"I would love to lie down on it and check it out, but seeing that we're on a time-frame, it's best we head out now before the morning commuters hit the road."

Monica's heart jumped in her chest.

"Just like me to have sex on the brain every time I'm around her," mumbled Monica.

"Did you say something, Monica?"

Monica shook her head.

"No. I was just thinking about our road trip. Are you ready to go?"

"Are you?"

"Yes."

"Then let's go."

Dana grabbed Monica's bag while Monica grabbed a dark blue windbreaker from her closet. She gestured for her bag, but Dana shook her head.

"I got it."

As they headed out, Monica gave a sad smile and looked around her bedroom one more time.

Hope this isn't the last time I see Dana in my bedroom, she sighed, trying to push that thought aside.

They walked out of her apartment. Monica locked the door, and they both headed towards the elevator. They barely noticed the tall man at the opposite end of the hallway, looking at them with sad eyes as they entered the elevator. He spoke almost silently, but his words held a warning to the women in them:

Before you return, one of you will suffer great injury, and the other will admit their true feelings...if you both survive that long. Fend off the darkness and find love within your heart, for only it can protect you from the Dark Prince.

The elevator closed behind Dana and Monica. Another look down the corridor showed that the4 man had disappeared from sight.


The heat, and the sickliest
Sweet smelling sheets
That cling to the back
Of my knees and my feet...


Interstate 90
11:24 A.M.

The traffic was bumper-to-bumper. A twenty-car crash was ahead, bringing traffic from both sides to a complete stop. Frustrated, Dana turned off the engine of her car, letting out a sigh.

"Looks like we're going to be stuck here for a while. I hope we can reach Boston before dark."

"I hope so too. Say, Dana - do you happen to have any more sandwiches in the back? I'm starving."

Dana turned to Monica and grinned.

"That's like your third or fourth sandwich now! You get this hungry on long car trips?"

"No, but I've just been feeling a bit ravenous today."

"Well, help yourself."

Monica unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the car door. She opened the passenger door on the left side behind her and reached for the cooler, grabbing a sandwich and drink. She closed to the door and went to the front seat again. As she got in she slipped, losing her balance as she tried to sit. She reached out and grabbed Dana's shoulder. They both jumped at the touch.

"Sorry," Monica said quickly, sitting down, slightly embarrassed.

Dana smiled.

"It's OK. Mulder's done it so many times that I've finally realized that he was just using that as an excuse to touch me - it was the only way he could think of. You'd think that he was 12 or something."

Monica blushed brighter.

"Oh - I, well, slipped..."

Dana patted her left arm.

"It's OK, Monica. You don't have to explain yourself. You slipped, and I was the nearest thing to grab. I don't mind at all."

She smiled.

Monica could've melted as she stared at that smile. She cleared her throat, trying to get down to business again.

"So, Dana, have you ever dealt with any cases similar to this one?"

Dana nodded.

"Mulder and I have dealt with several cases of demon possession and mind control. As you know, we just dealt with someone with supposed demon possession a year ago. Agent Mulder and I also had another case a few years ago involving a suspect named Robert "Pusher" Modell, who had programmed himself to send out thoughts to people. He manipulated them by sending out delusional thoughts of harm. He also made them see things, and not see things. He even-"

Dana paused for a second, a little bit uncomfortable about reliving the memories of that case.

Monica looked at her, lightly touched her right hand, and gently said, "It's OK if you don't tell me if it bothers you too much."

Dana shook her head.

"No, I need to tell you, in case it's relevant to this investigation. Modell had trained his thoughts onto Agent Mulder, telling him to kill me. Mulder had gone into the hospital where Modell was being treated, looking for him. Once he found him, he was put under his thoughts, and when I came in to help Mulder, he had forced him to train his gun at me and shoot me."

"God," whispered Monica, a worried expression on her face.

Dana sighed.

"I don't know how I did it, how I was able to break his hold on Mulder, but I begged Mulder to try and fight him off. His gun was pointed at my head, and I had never been so scared in my entire life, up until that moment. I felt true fear. Somehow, Mulder heard my pleas and threw off Modell's hold on him, shooting him instead of me."

Monica continued to look at Dana, surprised to hear how close to death she had been.

"I don't think this case involves mental pushing," continued Scully. "It's always good to keep in mind when dealing with individuals who may have seemed calm in nature until something snapped within them, and they have a psychotic breakdown. They could have been pushed by some subliminal thought messaging by an individual who has trained in mental manipulation."

Monica only looked at her, surprised.

Dana smiled slightly.

"And you thought that you and Mulder were the only ones who came up with theories like that. Sometimes, with the way you think and your theories and thoughts and suggestions, it's almost like having Agent Mulder by my side. You two have so many similarities: searching for the truth, believing in things that many of us refuse to believe in or admit, seeing the world through a different mind set - you both are open to all possibilities. Maybe that's why I feel like you're extremely familiar to me in some ways - you remind me of Mulder. Even Mulder mentioned that fact to me one time after I told him that I liked I you. He said that he didn't understand why since the two of us didn't have much in common, but then I reminded him that we were both the same way when I had first joined the X-Files, before we grew close."

Monica blushed. She was surprised to hear herself being compared to Dana's old partner, Fox Mulder. She was also surprised to hear Dana speak about him as though he were still a federal agent and part of the X-Files.

Old habits die hard, I guess, she thought.

"Um, I don't know what to say, but thank you. It's nice to hear you think that I have many of the same qualifications that Mulder had during his years on the X-Files. I'm very flattered to have you compare me to him."

"As you know, it's difficult for me to forget about Agent Mulder and all the work that he has done on the X-Files, and how close we had worked together, but you are possibly the closest person to him because of the way you think. You look at science, but you also look at the impossible. I was much like Agent Doggett in the beginning - not the way he is now. I was a firm believer in science and the possible. I wanted scientific evidence versus science fiction. If I couldn't see it and hear it and taste it and feel it and smell it, then I didn't believe in it.

"But, after spending more than nine years on the X-Files, I have learned to accept the impossible; something I was afraid to admit when I first started. I have seen things that would cause any normal person to run away screaming from the sheer bizarreness of it. Aliens, vampires, demons - I have seen them; I've also fought them."

Dana stopped, looking at Monica as she finished her small speech. Monica was quiet, unable to think of anything to say at the moment.

Dana laughed.

"You must think that I have completely gone over the edge of sanity. Fighting monsters, being stung by virus-infected bees, holding off mental pushers... Like I've said 0 I've seen things that would make most people scream in terror."

Monica looked at her, disbelief in her eyes.

"You think that I consider you to be going off the 'deep end'? Of course not! You're talking to a woman who once mimicked whale sounds in front of you while you were pregnant! If that's not weird, then I don't know what is.

"Monsters: I've seen a few in my life. Vampires... Remember - I come from the New Orleans Bureau. We have seen enough cases of people who believed that they were vampires, or looked like them. Then again, New Orleans happens to be the birthplace of the Vampire Lestat, created by Anne Rice. So, we also get many vampire enthusiasts and Anne Rice devotees. You should see them during Halloween.

"Demons also happen to be a common occurrence in the swampland as well. Lots of voodoo and occult practices are performed in New Orleans; the darker, the better for most folks. We've dealt with curses and spells and anything else you can think of.

"As for aliens...the only ones I've seen are from the case files that you and Mulder kept in your basement office. I don't plan on having any personal encounters with them, but I wouldn't exactly shy away from one if it appeared in front of me."

Dana looked at her, this time she being the one surprised by what Monica had said. She stared at her for a few moments, tears forming at the corners of her eyes. Monica was instantly worried, afraid that she had said something that had upset Dana.

"Something wrong, Dana?"

Dana shook her head.

"No. You just sounded exactly like Mulder for a few minutes. You had his voice, his mannerisms, everything - the face of a true believer. I swear: you were so close to him that I almost jumped out of my skin, because you sent chills up and down it. I could hug you right now; it would make me feel better."

Monica looked at Dana. Another surprise hit Monica when Dana suddenly leaned forward and grabbed her in a tight hug. Monica was speechless, her entire thought process gone. She was numb, but then she awoke again and hugged Dana in return.

The hug lasted for a few minutes. The biggest surprise hit Monica without warning: Dana pulled back, smiled at her for a second, the leaned forward to give her a quick kiss on the lips. Monica was clearly shocked at what Dana had just done.

Dana pulled back, she too realizing what just happened between them. She turned away from Monica, blushing, then turned back to her. She spoke quickly.

"Oh, Monica, I'm so sorry. I was just - caught up in the moment. I hope I didn't offend you. I'm so sorry. I feel so stupid. Just-"

Dana sat back in her seat, highly embarrassed. She didn't realize what she had done until it was too late.

I kissed her. I actually kissed Monica. I gave her a hug and then I kissed her. I hope she doesn't hate me for it, but it just felt so right... she thought.

Monica was still stunned.

Dana kissed me. She actually kissed me. I can't believe it! She actually gave me a kiss on the lips. A quick kiss, but a kiss nonetheless, Monica thought, still pleasantly surprised as what Dana had done.

She reached over with her left arm and placed it on Dana's right arm.

Dana tried to turn away from Monica, praying that she didn't see her blushing like a cherry explosion. She turned to face Monica after feeling a gentle hand on her arm. She looked at Monica, who had a small smile on her face. She stared into Dana's eyes, and Dana couldn't help but stare back at Monica's.

"Dana," said Monica. "I'm not offended at all by what you did. I..."

She paused for a second, collecting her thoughts, her heart pounding as she continued.

"I enjoyed that...the kiss...what I'm saying... Dana: that kiss was wonderful - it was beautiful. I'm just speechless riight now, but you could never offend me. I really liked it."

She said it. She didn't lay out her true feelings for Dana yet - she didn't want to tread into that territory. She wanted to take things one-step at a time, as long as Dana was comfortable and not bothered by her small advances, then she would be as well.

They stared at each other for a few more seconds, then turned away. The both spoke up at the same time.

"That was-"

"Forget it-"

"We should discuss-"

"We'll talk when we get to our hotel in Boston."

Both women sat in silence, wondering about what they were going to say to each other when they arrived.

"I'll just look over the case file that Assistant Director Skinner gave you," said Monica, clearing her throat before plunging head first into the thin folder, looking for any small amount of information that could possibly help them out.

"OK. I'll call Doggett and see how he's doing with his case in California. Hopefully he's having better luck at finding a-"

Dana couldn't finish her sentence. A sudden explosion rocked the interstate, causing cars on both sides to shudder. A huge fireball had consumed half of the cars involved in the pile-up, and it sent survivors and non-survivors alike running from the scene.

"What the hell-"

Monica and Dana both stared out in horror, watching the chaos and confusion unfold before their eyes, hearing people scream as fire washed over their bodies up ahead. They also stared in disbelief at the bizarre manifestation appearing before their eyes: a man dressed all in black was walking towards them, his black eyes set in a glare as he walked towards them quickly, something silver and sharp glistening in the afternoon sun.

The End


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