Welcome to Denial of Destiny!
Vampires and Angels and Love, Oh my!
Scully shook her head in her hands. He was on one of his tirades again, and she knew she was in for a long one. Mulder had been rambling on about the string of dissapearances, and how after so long of a time, it was now federal jurisdiction to be able to take over. She looked up, a little bleary eyed.
"But Mulder, vampires?" she stared off, lost in thought. "Haven’t we already been through this?"
Fox Mulder shook his head slightly, his dark hair slightly out of place. He pulled at his already loose necktie and sat down across from her. "Scully, there have been so many reports of disappearances in Los Angeles. Common occurrence, right? Maybe… but when they start to show up again looking a little different…" He laid out on the table before Scully a picture. One of a Hispanic man, in his early 30s. "Meet Horatio Gonzales. He disappeared from his home in Huntington Park a week ago, no traces. Now look at this one…" he said, setting another picture in front of her. Scully’s breath caught in her throat as she saw the horror in front of her.
It was a black and white enlargement, showing a woman screaming. From behind, she was being grabbed by a humanoid figure. The face was blurred in parts, but the black shock of hair and dark skin leaned her opinion towards a Hispanic man. She would just make out what appeared to be ridges on the forehead of the figure, and she could distinctly see an elongated canine on one side of the person’s mouth: a fang.
"What’s…" she asked Mulder.
"This was taken at an ATM. This woman, Elisa Peterson, has dissapeared as well. We wouldn’t really know who this is that’s attacking her…" He paused for a moment, turning the picture towards him. "There’s never been a ‘picture’ of a vampire taken before."
"Assuming this is a vampire." Scully pointed out. Mulder nodded softly, a crooked smile on his face.
"Well, we wouldn’t know it was old Horatio, except for this…" He slid a third picture in front of her, a blow up of the hand wrapped around the woman’s neck. It showed a spreading pattern of a tiger’s claw tattooed on the back of the hand. "Horatio’s wife confirmed… Horatio had a tattoo of a tiger’s pattern down his upper torso and arm."
"Hmph. There’s art." Scully mumbled. She looked up at him. "All right, let’s go to the City of Angels."
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
JUNE 18, 2000 8:45PM
Reviewing her notes, Scully could come up with no connections since they had arrived in Los Angeles. They had been driving around for two days now, and had no collaborating evidence between the two people they were investigating. Horatio was a middle class migrant worker on vacation. He lived with his mother, two sisters, his wife and their three kids off lower Redondo. Elisa was a successful advertising executive with a trendy firm. She lived in the cheaper part of Beverly Hills and shopped on Rodeo.
Mulder had even pulled the individual credit card records to compare locations, and came up with nothing. The driver side door sung open and Mulder got in the car, excited for some reason. Scully shook her head slightly. How easily he was amused…
"I got a lead." He said. She perked up immediately, almost impressed. "One of Elisa’s friends swore they saw her at her old hangout. We’ll swing by there and see if she’s at the bar." He paused, looking at the crudely scratched directions, then grinned back at her. "Buy you a drink, Scully?"
"Drive the car, Mulder." She responded flatly, smiling inside.
"Look casual, Scully." Mulder mused to her. Both had beers in front of them, and Scully couldn’t quite slip out of the ‘work’ mode as fast as Mulder did. In his black jeans and t-shirt, he looked like he belonged here. Scully had her patented business pantsuit on with exceptionally high heels. Mulder often wondered how tall she really would be if she got off her high heels. She took a sip of her beer before responding.
"I don’t know, Mulder. There has to be some rational explanation of this phenomena. There are several types of diseases that result in the need for blood from others… then there’s the whole Tom Cruise thing… Horatio could have just lost it…"
"Maybe. Or maybe he was bit, became one and now… if Elisa shows up here." He trailed off.
"That would make for a epidemic the size of the Black Plague, Mulder. How can you explain that?" Mulder pondered for a moment while he sipped his beer.
"Well, if you believe certain legends, you had to ingest the blood of the vampire that bit you, or any vampire for that matter, after your blood had been drained. Only that would cause the…. transformation…" Mulder trailed off again, and Scully this time followed his gaze across the bar. Standing at the door was Elisa Peterson. She was still as pretty as she always was, with her blond hair looking freshly washed and curled, her green eyes sparkling even across the room.
"She looks pretty alive to me, Mulder. No ridges, and I bet on closer inspection, no fangs." Mulder nodded, somewhat confused.
"We need to get her outside away from the other people. Into the side alley, Scully. I’ll bait her there." He rose to walk over to Elisa. Scully grabbed his arm.
"How long has it been since you picked up a woman?" she said, smiling a little. Mulder looked back at her, and smiled also.
"Does buying you a beer count?"
Elisa stumbled a little, catching Fox Mulder’s arm and holding herself up as she giggled. Mulder caught her as well, laughing at some inane joke. They had talked about everything, from Mulder’s job working as a screenwriter (Oh, alien movies? I love them! She had said.) to her new career as an actress, or so she hoped. It was her suggestion they take their conversation elsewhere, and Mulder had agreed to go. She didn’t really care about the semi-dark alley they were walking down, either.
Suddenly, with a strength beyond her seemingly frail body, she slammed Mulder against the wall, enough to temporarily knock the breath out of him. She then planted one of the biggest, wettest kisses on him that he could ever remember. He could almost taste iron in her mouth…
She pulled back and looked in his eyes. "My, my, Fox…" she said, licking her lips a little. "You look good enough to eat." He smiled back at her, but his smile turned to surprise as her face changed. He watched ridges grow on her forehead, her eyes widened and turned yellow, and she grew very distinct fangs. "I think I will." She finished, mouth parting a little more.
"Step away from him!" Scully’s voice commanded from the mouth of the alley. Her pistol was out, and she had it aimed directly at her. She held her badge up. "FBI! Step away from him, put your hands on the wall!" Elisa gave her a toothy grin as she flung Mulder across the alley with ease. He landed in a pile of trash cans and groaned.
"What are you going to do, shoot me?" she laughed, and started walking towards Scully.
"I will fire. Stop where you are!" Scully told her. She kept coming, and Scully fired, putting three rounds in center mass as she had practiced. Elisa took them, and to Scully’s astonishment, laughed at her as she leaped up and across, covering a 20 foot distance in one leap to land behind her. Elisa knocked the gun from her hand with ease, and grabbed Scully around the throat.
"Fed, huh? Never had one of them before. He’s cute, too… I’ll enjoy him. You, I’ll just kill." Mulder shook his head clear as he watched the drama unfold. Seeing Scully in distress got him to his feet fast, drawing his weapon from it’s hidden holster.
"Scully…" he started. Scully already had her own plan, however. As Elisa looked over to Mulder, she reached in her blouse and pulled out the cross she always wore. She hoped this legend was true. She pressed it to Elisa’s hand, and the spot where she touched began to smoulder. Elisa let loose an unearthly growl as she shoved Scully forward and grabbed her hurt hand.
"You’ll pay for that, bitch. Nothing you have can stop me…" Scully held up her crucifix in defense as Mulder came up to her side, gun pointed at Elisa.
"No, but I do."
Elisa spun to face the newcomer as Mulder and Scully looked over her shoulder at him. He was tall, well over six feet, with dark hair, and dressed in more black than Mulder. One of his hands held something that Scully couldn’t make out.
"My ass…" Elisa said as she leaped at him, swiping with her hand. He quickly dodged out of the way of her first blow, and followed up with a left punch that send Elisa against the wall. Mulder and Scully looked at each other as they realized how strong Elisa was. Do be able to hit her like that was impressive.
Elisa leaped at the man who’s trench coat billowed in the alleyway. He sidestepped her kick, grabbed her throat and pinned her against the wall. She desperately clawed at his arm, but couldn’t move his arm.
"I’m sorry this was done to you." He said as he drove what Scully realized was a wooden stake into her chest. Elisa screamed as she evaporated to dust in front of their eyes. Scully managed to turn her head to Mulder, who was actually struck dumb. She turned back and looked at the dark figure, who looked at them. He paused for a moment, his face unreadable in the darkened alleyway. He pocketed the stake and turned out of the alley, heading right.
The FBI agents stood there in awe for a moment. Scully managed to swallow and look at Mulder again. "Okay," she admitted. "I can give your vampire theory a little more credence now."
They ran to the mouth of the alley and looked off to the right to find nothing. The lone figure had disappeared. Looking to both sides they had lost him completely.
"Damn." Mulder grumbled. "Our salvation, the one who knows what these are and how to deal with them, and he disappears."
"Yeah." Scully added. "I didn’t even get to thank him for helping us." Mulder acknowledged Scully’s sensitivity in the situation. He was business, she was manners. She looked back off into the distance.
"What a guardian angel."
The door to Angel Investigations opened up. Cordelia Chase looked up and smiled at the normal looking couple that came in. The redhead woman was dressed conservatively, but she really liked the tall handsome man that walked in with her. Maybe they weren’t a couple…
Cordy stood up, sucking in her stomach slightly to accentuate her chest. "Hi. Welcome to Angel Investigations. How can we help you?"
The man gave her a smile, apparently he was interested in what he saw. He suddenly straightened up as he got an elbow in the stomach from his friend.
"We’re looking, I think, for someone named ‘Angel’?" she said. Something about her struck Cordy as odd. She had learned in her time with Angel not to ignore her intuition.
"How exactly can we help you?" she said, sitting back down.
"We need his help…"
"To find some runaways? People who disappear?" came the voice again from the side office. Mulder and Scully both looked at the office door, and Scully found her breath taken away by a beautiful man. He was indeed tall, towering in height over Mulder. His dark brown hair defied gravity by standing up at right angles over his perfect hairline. His deep brown eyes shown an age greater than he appeared, which was his late 20s. His jaw was pronounced and set firmly over a well built body. He wore a lightweight black longsleeve shirt, black pants and black boots. Kind of grim, but appealing at the same time.
"You can say that." Mulder said, interrupting Scully’s evaluation. "We were looking for that girl. Then she went… nasty on us, and we were almost dead. Until you came along."
"We didn’t even get the chance to thank you." Scully added. The man, who must be Angel, just nodded his head softly, as if it was not much that he did and looked down.
"Come on in." he said, turning back into his office. Mulder walked in behind Scully as Angel went behind his desk and sat down. "So what exactly can I do for you?"
Mulder flashed his badge, and Angel’s face changed slightly. He had never had complications like this before. Maybe he should have let that chick have them. It would have prevented a lot of headache. Ah well, no time to think like that.
"We’re wondering how someone like you can do what you did against that
thing that was Elisa Peterson. And how you knew that we were there."
Angel leaned forward over his desk. "There are more of them out there. Hundreds. Thousands. They have been around for centuries." He said in an almost conspiratorial whisper. "They believe they are the highest level on the food chain. The true Masters that operate from the shadows." He sat back in his chair again. "But there are those of us that fight them, and our number grows each day as well."
"You won’t find any of your disappearances here. Unless they want to be found." He looked down at the desk, and Scully could swore she could make out a sadness, or regret on his face. "They are lost, with no souls. Redemption is all but a dream to them."
"And what about you?" Mulder said. While Scully could do little more than look at the beautiful lines of his face, Mulder had been studying the surroundings and him while he talked. "How did you get a soul? And why aren’t you asleep in your coffin?" He knew this could anger him, so Mulder softened his tone to make it sound more like a joke. Scully’s eyes grew to the size of dinner plates as she looked at their host.
Angel, who was still looking down, cut his eyes up to the FBI agents, and looked back and forth between them. Mulder continued.
"No mirrors in the room. Shades pulled and covered. I have to admit, I’m thrown by the whole daylight thing. How long has it been since you’ve seen yourself in the sun?" Not as long as you’d think, Angel thought to himself. "How do you get your hair to look that good without a mirror?"
Angel broke a slight grin with them, his original feelings and assessment of them correct. They weren’t hunters or anything after him. They were searching for the truth. A truth that they apparently were willing and able to handle, or they wouldn’t have gone to the trouble to seek him out.
"I get lucky with the hair, I guess. Wash and go. As for the sun thing… " he paused a minute and Scully could see that forlorn look again. "A while." Mulder leaned forward, not scared in the least bit.
"How long?" he asked. Angel leaned across the desk, to end up about a foot from his face and whispered.
"Centuries." Scully could not believe it.
"So what now?" Angel asked. "Are you going to call you supervisor or something and then they’ll do experiements on me like some Alien Autopsy show?" Mulder stifled a laugh as he leaned back.
"No. There’s really no record of anyone, besides Christian Slater and Brad Pitt, sitting down and having a discussion with a vampire before. It’s not like you’ve broken the law… in fact, you help save lives. I think that counts for something."
"If you gentlemen will excuse me…" Scully said, getting up. She noticed both Mulder and Angel rose as she got up. Her body said it was time to go to the bathroom and she walked out as Angel came around to stand by Mulder.
"She’s quite… amazing." Angel said as Mulder nodded.
"Yes, she is." Angel looked down and crossed his arms, then looked back in Mulder’s eyes.
"Ever thought about telling her that?" Mulder was taken aback by his statement. "I see the chemistry between you two. I can feel it. One of the things that I’ve learned in my time is that you should never hesitate to tell someone close to you how you feel. You lose opportunities, time, and if you’re not careful, the one you love."
Mulder nodded softly as he crossed his arms as well and leaned against Angel’s desk. He felt a deeper lesson here. "What was her name?" he asked Angel, who hesitated for a moment.
"Buffy." Angel’s already dark face seemed to sadden even more. What kind of burden he must carry, Mulder thought. His soul. I guess we never know what we have until we lose it. There’s a lesson there as well. "She’s a slayer… a group of chosen ones who are gifted with the ability to fight vampires. We… we fell in love. But you know, I’m not like her, she can have a family, children, all that… like what you and Scully could have." Mulder managed to stifle another laugh.
"Family? Me and Scully?" But the look in Angel’s eyes was different this time. It was… envious. Angel wanted to be like Mulder and Scully. He can’t be with this ‘Buffy’, but he and Scully were already together. I wonder what it was that really prevented him from being with her? Could vampires love? Apparently so. Have sex? Mulder remembered his encounter with a female vampire a while ago. He thought so… but then again, she was differnet. Mulder looked down to study the same piece of floor that Angel stared towards.
"Why can’t you be there with her?" he asked point blank.
"She’s young, in college, with a life now. I can’t give her that life that she wants. I can’t even…" he paused, and Mulder could see that Angel was struggling inside with genuine emotions.
"You know," he started, trying to impart some of his limited ‘wisdom’. "Scully and I work together on a daily basis. We’ve cried on each other’s shoulder on so many occasions. But I don’t think that I ever could admit that she’s in irreplaceable part of my life. She and I are intertwined forever, I know this." Mulder paused as Angel looked at him, realizing that he and Mulder were more alike than he first thought. "I can’t even admit to myself that I love her."
"You do?" Scully said from the doorway. Mulder immediately straightened up and looked around nonchalantly. Angel, out of place in his own office, excused himself quickly and shut the door behind him. Scully continued on. "Why not tell yourself that? I tell myself that every day." Mulder paused now, looking at her as she stepped closer to him. She reached out and took his hand. "Every day. I’ve only hesitated in one thing… telling you. When I saw Elisa kissing you, I felt jealous. When I saw her going for your neck, I felt enraged. I think I never believed anything could come between us, and I refused to let anything happen to you." Mulder looked down at their hands, then back up to her eyes.
"I felt the same thing when she grabbed you. Pretty smart with that crucifix." Scully smiled, proudly displaying it. "Odd how it takes someone who’s dead to make us realize that we’re alive." He looked deep in here eyes as she looked deep in his.
"Yes, it is."
They had finished their takeout dinner with Cordelia and Angel, and Angel had gone to get the phone. Mulder posed a question to Cordy.
"Cordy, tell me about this ‘Buffy’." That subject had been avoided by everyone, and Mulder left it be. But he knew that this girl was the key to Angel’s happiness. Cordelia’s face contorted as her hair shook back and forth as she spoke.
"Buffy Summers. The slayer of Sunnydale. And the one person who gave Angel a moment’s true happiness in his life. Unfortunately, it also cost Angel his soul. He has a curse that gave him his soul, and when he experiences a moment of happiness, poof! Off it goes, and bad Angel is here. It’s not good… usually he looks to kill a lot of people, torture the rest of them. The last time he almost sent the whole world to Hell."
"A hellish life, huh?" Mulder attempted to muse.
"No, Hell. Like the 9 planes. If he’d succeeded, he’d of opened a portal that sent the world to Hell. But Buffy, with the help of some friends placing the curse again, managed to stop him. After he spent a little time in Hell himself, he returned to us, more or less." Scully lowered her voice in response.
"But he’s suffering more now than there. You can certainly see the look on his face. I mean, I think what he’s doing is great, but he’s in agony." Mulder nodded agreement, his own feeling and thoughts towards Scully a reflection of Angel’s thoughts towards Buffy.
"We’ve got to get them back together." Mulder said, Scully nodding now. But Cordelia shook her head.
"Whenever they get together, they make each other suffer more. They are apart, and neither of them can handle it. There’s no way of making that happen." Mulder had leaned his head forward on his hands, and was deep in thought. Scully poked him with a finger.
"I was just thinking." He said. "Angel’s body is a vessel for his soul, right? What if we could permanently re-attach it instead of it just being placed there by a curse?" Scully’s eyes rolled.
"Mulder, there is no cure for vampirism, as they call it."
"You heard what Angel said. Vampires have no soul. Angel does. His is just not as closely bonded to the body as ours. I think I remember reading somewhere about a voodoo doctor concocting a potion that will give his son, who he brought back from the dead, his soul. When he was done, he had a living, breathing person on his hands." Mulder’s eyes looked up from the plate to Scully’s and Cordy’s. "A human being of resilient toughness and strength. He became the village champion, single handedly besting an invading tribe since they found him so hard to kill."
Everyone sat in silence for a minute, and Angel came back from the phone.
"Have to run out in a bit and take care of…" He said as he sat down. He suddenly came to realize that everyone was staring at him. "Did someone do something rude to my food while I was gone?" Cordelia swallowed deeply, then started.
JULY 2, 2000 1:10PM
"Buffy Summers?" The two people who looked like narcs were standing at her dorm room door. She nodded to them. They produced badges and sure enough, worse than narcs, they were Feds. Buffy nodded at them.
"My name is Special Agent Mulder, this is Special Agent Scully. We need you to come with us, please." Buffy looked back in her room at Willow laid out on her bed studying a book, then looked back at the two.
"What’s this about?" she asked. Mulder was impressed with the clarity of her eyes, it said a lot about a person. No wonder Angel was in love with her. She was beautiful.
"Please, it’s important." Agent Scully said. Buffy let out an audible sigh, grabbed her coin purse off the tabletop and told Willow she would be back later.
Buffy found herself riding with the two FBI agents. They both had their sunglasses on, and she could almost swear that every now and again they would smile at each other in a less than professional manner. She shielded her eyes against the sun as they turned onto the strip by the beach.
"Come on." Mulder said, getting out of the car. Buffy did so, watching them warily. She could handle them, she was sure, she just wondered what was going on. They walked to a bar, and went around back.
"Okay, I really don’t want to play 20 questions to see what you guys want." She stopped for a minute as she could suddenly feel something… familiar here. She looked around and finally saw him: he was walking across the boardwalk, in the sun, towards her. Angel. He was… in the sun… he was… here… now… Buffy’s nose wrinkled up as she furiously fought for some fleeting memory. He came up to stand in front of her. A sheen of perspiration covered his forehead.
"Hi." Her eyes widened in realization as she looked at him. Angel was pretty happy that she seemed to be surprised.
Right up until she slapped him.
Rubbing his face, as a surprised Mulder and Scully looked on, Angel looked down at her petite frame.
"How dare you! How dare you make that kind of decision without telling me! We could have been together!" Angel looked perplexed still. Buffy’s voice dropped as she whispered to him.
"I’ll never forget."
Angel’s jaw dropped again and Buffy almost looked like she wanted to slap him amidst her teary eyes. "I loved you… I… I still love you." She managed. "And you… you…" she paused. "What are you doing out in the sun?" Angel’s shock finally changed as he took her hand and placed it over his heart. She felt, to her amazement, his heart beating. Her forehead crinked up as the thought again. "The… the Mohra?" she remembered. He shook his head.
"Mulder." He smiled as Mulder and Scully smiled back at him. "There was a priest who knew how to restore life to a body that had a soul. But I’m not human… well, I’m not a vampire… more like a… a…" he shrugged. " A slayer!" Buffy smiled up at him softly.
"Then you mean all this…?" Angel nodded.
"I want to be with you. I want to be together with you. Forever. Please?" he said genuinely. It took one more look into his eyes for her to melt into him, hugging him tightly.
"Yes, Angel. I’ve wanted this for so long… I’ve wanted this forever!"
Mulder smiled at the two of them embracing, and felt Scully take his hand again.
"True love wins out." She said. He looked down at her and smiled.
"Yes, it does." He leaned down, and softly touched his lips to hers. Scully responded in kind, and smiled back.
It was a good day for a walk on the beach. A lot of couples were out there. And two special couples walked together, for a moment not seperated by the world that would keep them apart, but brought together by the love they all shared. A love expressed.
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