This Mortal Coil – Chapter 6

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This Mortal Coil
Chapter 6
by Piper Sargasso

Rating: NC-17

Keywords: MSR, AU of sorts

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: Recognizable characters within belong to 1013 productions. No infringement intended.

Summary: “What does this mean?” “It’s exactly what it looks like, Scully. This is why I don’t want you to find me.” “A vampire,” I whispered, stunned and disbelieving.


Claudius told me he was acquainted with a discreet and reputable
doctor who didn’t ask many questions. The promise of this man’s
visit to Scully’s bedside the next day was the only thing I took solace
in when I had to leave her side that night. When the sun finally set
on the following day, I climbed out of my canopy bed with the
single-minded goal of getting to Scully’s room.

“Mulder,” a soft voice floated from the shadows.
I stiffened and heard a low chuckle. “It’s just me, Mulder.” Claudius.
He chuckled again at the sigh of relief I let out. “I thought we’d go
feed before you see her. It would be best.”

I flipped on a light out of habit rather than necessity. “What did the
doctor say?”

“She’s improving, of course. She’ll still need a lot of rest until she’s
stronger. He was a bit concerned about the transfusion you’d given
her, though there is no doubt it saved her life.”

I stared at Claudius open-mouthed. He smiled. “He knows all about
our kind. I suppose one could call him an ally. He’s been a friend of
mine for quite some time. You look surprised.”

“Well… yes. I thought our kind didn’t want to be known to mortals.”

“True. But there are the few exceptions. And as I told you before,
my man is discreet. He’s very interested in learning more about our
kind, being a scientist. I hope you don’t mind, but he took a blood
sample from Miss Scully; it’s very rare that a vampire allows so
much of his own blood to mingle with a mortal’s without completing
the Transformation, so her blood was a treat for him indeed. It isn’t
often he has the opportunity to collect such a specimen.”

“No, I suppose it isn’t.”

There seemed to be nothing more to say on the subject. Claudius
clapped his hands together. “So! How about getting out of these
rooms and going out for a bit? I know just the place.”

“I’d like to check on Scully for a moment first, if you don’t mind.”

He smiled. “Of course.”


The place was similar to the club where Julian took me, only
vampire fetishism didn’t seem to be a prerequisite to gain entry.
Everything down to the leather-studded attire was present, yet I
didn’t sense the same strong undercurrent of debauchery there.

“We will never set foot in that place,” he explained, hearing my
thoughts, “as it is Julian’s favorite hunting ground. We vampires are
as proud as we are dangerous and we respect each other’s territory.”

We fed quickly on two inebriated blondes, twins, and were gone
before the lust-haze left their eyes. Less than an hour passed before
we were back at the manor. I was anxious to get back to Scully, but
Julian stopped me in the foyer.

“There will be a meeting tonight, Mulder. Your presence is required
as it concerns you.”

“Concerns me? How?”

He shook his head. “Many things will be revealed tonight, I promise
you that. I’ll meet you at the bottom of the stairs in two hours.” With
that, he was gone. I smirked at his completely Julian gesture and
headed up to Scully’s room, thinking about what Claudius said.
What could possibly be revealed now? Everything seemed pretty cut
and dry; Julian was homicidal and possessive, Liliana was insane
and a constant threat to Scully’s safety. There was an unnatural
attachment between those two I didn’t even want to think about. The
Convenire was a band of lunatic bloodsuckers; Claudius was safety
and knowledge. I had a vague idea what the Council of the
Vampyres was all about, knew enough to have a healthy respect for
their power.

One important thing I learned about vampires was that their
emotions led them; therefore, there was less subterfuge, less second-
guessing. If a vampire loved you, he told you, and you felt the
intensity of that love. If a vampire wanted you dead, you were dust
before daybreak. Maybe centuries of existence quelled the need to


She was looking much better, I noted with relief so great it made my
chest ache.


I smiled, warmed by the strength returning to her voice. “Yeah,
Scully. It’s me.”

She sighed. “Why are you so far away?”

I moved to sit next to her on the bed. “Closer,” she said, and I lay
down behind her, arm draped over her waist. It felt incredible to be
this close to her without worrying about feeding. “Mmm, that’s
much better.”

“How are you feeling?”

She snuggled her bottom closer to my body and turned her face so
that I could see her profile. “A little better. Weak, but I think I’m
improving.” She was silent a moment. “A doctor came to see me
today, did you know that? I can’t remember clearly,” here she
frowned as if disturbed that she couldn’t remember, “but I think he
took a blood sample.”

“I know.”

“You know? But what about the blood you gave me? Won’t there be

I had to smile. Here was my former partner, lying in bed after
having almost all her blood drained out of her by a vampire, and *still*
she was thinking in terms of research and lab results. My Scully,
ever the scientist, and just paranoid enough as a result of her time on
the X-Files. Of course, I *did* have the very same thoughts just a few
hours earlier. “Claudius brought the doctor here to see you. I spoke
to him about it tonight and he assures me that everything is fine.” I
gave her a gentle squeeze, ever mindful of her mortal fragility.
“Don’t worry, Scully.”

She said nothing more, but I sensed she was still nervous, knowing a
vial of our mingled blood was floating around God knew where and
for God knew what purpose. The short conversation was taxing for
her though, and I soon felt her drifting to sleep, relaxing deliciously
warm in my arms.


Our two hours of peace passed quickly, as moments of happiness
invariably do. Before I knew it, the time had come for me to meet
Claudius at the foot of the stairs.

The candlelight underscored the unnatural brightness of his blue,
vampire eyes and I couldn’t help but notice the strange way he was
looking at me. Was it fear? Worry? He seemed anxious. That did
nothing to ease my own nervousness. What was I going in to?

He offered a lopsided smile, which was at once boyish and scary.
Fangs have a way of making any smile menacing. “Are you ready?”

Was I? “What’s this all about, Claudius?”

“It is a gathering. Come, you’ll understand once we get there.”
Without another word, I followed my teacher and mentor through
the labyrinthine corridors until we reached an ornately carved door.
He turned the knob and gestured for me to enter.

The room was full of unwelcome sights. Claudius stood by my side
as I took in the faces of vampires I never wanted to see again.
Maeve, the confident redhead “Ancient” held her companion’s hand,
the young Egyptian orphan named Caleb. Demetrius glowered at
everyone from the corner of the room. Another man sat next to the
fire, gray-haired with a sallow face, seeming at first to be oblivious
to his surroundings. A closer look revealed sharp eyes missing
nothing. I was reminded of my father’s talent for appearing at his
easiest when he was most on his guard. It was unnerving seeing the
same gift in this creature.

I glared at Claudius. “What the hell is this all about?” After all the
trust I put in him, how could he allow these people into his home?
The fresh blood I’d taken in that night pounded in my temples.
Could Julian be here, too? Had I been deceived?

He laid a cool hand on my arm. “Please, Mulder. You must hear us
out — all is not what it seems.”

“No shit, I can see that. What the hell is half of the goddamn
Convenire doing here, Claudius?”

“I invited them here,” he replied. “Please, you’ve trusted me so far. I
need you to continue to trust me now.”

I narrowed my eyes at the man next to me, muscles tensed and ready
for anything. In my mind, I calculated how quickly my preternatural
abilities could carry me upstairs and into Scully’s room. But it was
no use; before I could get her to the window, these monsters would
be upon us. Frustration prickled under my skin like hot quills.

I had no choice but to listen.

The gray-haired one stood. “Shall we get going, Claudius? I don’t
have time for this.”

Demetrius smirked from his corner. “All we have is time, Rueben,
don’t you agree?”

An uncomfortable silence filled the room as the two glared at one
another. It was the old man — Rueben — who broke the silence. “I am
here because Claudius requested my presence.” It seemed he was
answering a question Demetrius hadn’t verbalized. His eyes burned
a vibrant blue-green that looked out of place in his elderly face.
Then again, what is age to a vampire? I watched the scene unfolding
with interest. What grudge did these two have against each other?
What did any of this have to do with me?

“Everyone in this room knows my position on these affairs,” he
went on, temper rising. “Julian and his brood must be stopped!” He
punctuated the last sentence by pounding a fist into his hand. A
cacophony of voices filled the room, some in protest, some in
agreement. I was minutely relieved to find that no matter what the
protests, this wasn’t exactly a Julian fan club.

Claudius called the ‘meeting’ to order.

“Please!” he called out.

The voices subsided. “I believe our guest is at a disadvantage here.
Mulder, this is Rueben Malkov, an Ancient and representative of the
Council. He is…a most powerful vampire, as all of the Ancients
are.” The “Ancient” in question appeared bored with the
conversation. “I asked him to join us tonight because we all know
that with your Transformation, Julian has finally incurred the wrath
of the Council. Rueben’s opinion on the matter is the same as his
colleagues’. Liliana is also at risk of the Burning because of her
botched attack on your partner.”

“It’s an outrage!” The elder exclaimed. “These two have trod on the
Council’s ancient by-laws for centuries, and then she has the sheer
audacity to not only create another against her will, but leave the
Transformation half-finished! I shudder to think of the exposure she
could have brought to our kind!”

“Perhaps it would be best to explain some of the more basic laws we
must live by to Mulder,” Claudius said. “He is so very new to us,
after all, and his maker told him nothing of these things.”

“Of course he didn’t,” Rueben scoffed. “And why would he? Julian
follows no one’s rules but his own.”

Maeve, whom I hadn’t spoken to since the night I arrived at the
Convenire, interrupted. “If I may, Rueben.” She placed a hand on
the man’s arm and he calmed. Taking this as a sign to continue, she
turned to me and spoke in her Irish lilt. “Mulder, I know what you
must think of us. Please understand that we meant you no harm the
night you were turned. But there was nothing we could do to stop it.
You can’t imagine how powerful Julian has become in his

I glared at her and injected as much sarcasm as possible in my voice.
“Forgive me if I find little comfort in that.”

“Yes, well, I expect no less than your anger, but perhaps by this
night’s close you will come to understand.”

I said nothing to that, just waited for her to continue.

“Let me begin by explaining a few of our laws. First of all, to leave
a mortal in the midst of the Transformation is an abomination. We
could be discovered, should the mortal be examined. Or worse,
miserable creatures called Halflings can result from the incomplete
fusion of the Blood with a mortal’s. They are robbed of their minds,
as their bodies cannot handle the failed Transformation, and
become, in effect, something like zombies. They crave nothing but
blood, and are forced to wander around, mindless, until they die. It
is a painful death, but merciful given the circumstances. Halflings
never last more than a few tortured months, if left to their own
devices. Most are killed by the Council long before then.”

Horrified, I thought of Scully. Claudius seemed to read my mind.
“The large transfusion of mortal blood counteracted yours. She was
very lucky.”

“Second,” Maeve went on, “any vampire who wishes to make
another must receive permission from the Council of the Vampyres.
Ancients are given that permission once, and are trusted to make
wise decisions from there on out. However, there are a few

I nodded impatiently. “Yes, I’ve heard all this before. Julian and
*Liliana*,” I spat the name, “were never given permission. Not that
that stopped them.”

She gave me a rueful smile. “No, it didn’t. The Council has
overlooked this in the past because of its high regard for Claudius.
They were his children, and he was expected to keep them in line.”

“I’m afraid we placed too much in Claudius’s hands,” the elder
added. “Especially leaving him responsible for one as willful and
reckless as Julian. When he made you, Mr. Mulder, he risked our
world. We would never have allowed a person of such high profile
to be turned. The Council wants blood for his transgressions.”

“And we’re searching for an alternative to the Burning,” said

“The Burning?” I asked.

“It’s an execution,” Claudius explained. “One is tied by unbreakable
bindings and is left to the morning sun.”

“Like Vivienne,” Maeve said sadly. “Our beautiful, gentle Vivienne.
How I loved her.”

“We all did,” said Demetrius. His usual derisive manner was gone.
“I wanted to kill Julian that night.”

“There was no time,” she replied, then turned to face me. “And
we’ve been frightened of Julian ever since. She could’ve been any
one of us.”

“Why haven’t you all just killed him then? Or turned him over to the
Council?” I asked, feeling like I was speaking to a room full of slow
children. It seemed none of them were choosing the most obvious

Maeve looked stricken. Claudius just shook his head. It was
Demetrius who answered. “I despise what Liliana has become. She
is ruthless and indiscriminate in her feedings, but she is my maker. I
loved her more than my mortal soul. I can remember a time not long
ago when she felt the same. We were desperate for each other,
Liliana and I. There will never be a time when I could raise my hand
to harm her.”

I gaped at them. “I don’t believe this. They have flown in the face of
all these laws you hold sacred, they’ve killed their own kind, they
openly feed in public — that goddamn *club* of theirs — What’s the
problem? Do you think Julian is sitting in that mansion considering
his tender feelings for you all? I know damn well Liliana isn’t. If
you don’t move now, you’re going to have a real problem on your
hands, because I just don’t see either of them letting Scully and I
leave so easily.” Disgusted by their indecision, I threw my hands up
in the air. “You need to make a choice here. I know *I* don’t want to
sit here waiting for Julian to make his next move.”

No one spoke. Frustrated, I left the room.


It was with some difficulty that I forced myself into composure,
standing in Scully’s sitting room. It wouldn’t do her any good to see
me worked up. Besides, she would want to know what was wrong,
and I didn’t think it was the appropriate time to explain it all.

I made no noise coming into her bedroom, in case she was still
asleep. To my surprise, she was sitting up in the bed with a book in
her hands.

“Mulder,” she smiled. “I was hoping you’d come back.”

If I’d still been human, I might have blushed with embarrassment.
“Sorry about leaving you tonight, Scully. Claudius had some things
he wanted to talk about.”

Her eyes narrowed, but she let it go at that. She yawned, stretching
her back in the process. The gesture was endearing. “I’m so tired.
Do you think I’ll ever just *not* be tired? By all accounts, I should
have made a complete recovery already.”

Yes, Scully, if you hadn’t been infused with vampire blood and left
to die, I thought angrily. Now I understood that her body was forced
to fight the worst kind of infection. I flinched, thinking about the
Halflings Maeve told me about. The Burning was far too good for

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to your eyes doing that glowing
thing,” she said. “Come to bed, Mulder.”

Repressing my anger, I crawled into the bed next to her. Satisfied,
she settled her body against mine in a now-familiar position. “Stay
with me this time. Please?”

“It…it could be dangerous. The sunlight–”

She chuckled lightly. “Don’t worry, Mulder. I won’t fry you in the

I smiled against her hair and twisted to make sure the drapes were
closed up tight. By the time dawn touched the night with its rosy-
gold glow, we were already asleep.

Chapter 7