This Mortal Coil – Chapter 8

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This Mortal Coil
Chapter 8
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.

Chapter Eight

The pain was excruciating. I imagined it was like having your
skin turn inside out. But it was momentary, and soon I was able
to feel nothing but the aphrodisiac of sweet blood warming me
from head to toe. I must have lain there for several minutes,
eyes closed and basking in the dizzying wonder of it.

I knew I had to face the world soon, though.

I sat up and opened my eyes, terrified of breaking the powerful
spell, the potently vibrating thrum of Mulder’s blood singing in
my veins. Of course, I didn’t realize that I was feeling the life-
giving elixir of mortal blood mixed with vampire. I had been
snatched from the very clutches of death — the details seemed
insignificant. I’d never felt so alive.

Mulder gazed down at me, concern apparent in his eyes. But his
eyes, my God, his *eyes*. They were nothing like what I’d seen
before, even after he was changed. Now, subtle flecks of fire
danced like little imps against a backdrop of the most vivid and
impossible green. Preternatural eyes. *Vampire* eyes

“Come on,” he whispered hoarsely. I stood and followed him
out of the house and into the night.

Night. I will never think of it the same way again. The world
seems to come alive when the sun sets — the sounds more
pronounced, the sights so beautiful. Never in my wildest
imagination had I dreamed the night could be so full of
splendor! It’s a poem, a mystery. It’s like nothing I could ever
describe; to do so would be to diminish its power. And it *is*
powerful, make no mistake.

The moon cast its soft beams of light around us like an
unassuming spotlight as Mulder led me to a small grove in the
woods that surrounded Claudius’ estate Hunger burned inside
me, feeling as if it could collapse my veins from the barbed
intensity of it. I didn’t have to say a word to him. He already
seemed to know what I needed.

Three deer clustered at the edge of the grove, in the light but
stunned into stillness by our intrusion. Mulder led me to the
smallest of the three and showed me where to bite. In my
hunger, it was hard to keep from tearing into the animal. The
hot, rich copper flowing from the wound spilled into my mouth
thickly, pouring down my parched throat. The deer made no
move to leave, and I sensed it felt no pain. My lips pressed into
the soft hide, needing to be closer, to drink deeper. Blood
drizzled down my chin, but my hands urged the animal closer
still. I couldn’t get enough.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I realized the deer’s legs
were shaking. Strong but gentle hands pulled me away.

“That’s enough, Scully,” Mulder said.

I mourned the loss of the warm creature and the sweet blood
inside it. He of all people should realize I *needed* this!

He chuckled. “There are two more for you, right here. See?” He
gestured to the remaining deer. “You don’t really want to kill it
when there’s plenty between the three of them, do you?” What
compelled these others to stay while one of them was being fed
upon, I couldn’t fathom. But they did, and I was too wrapped up
in this newfound hunger to question it further.

I took the second largest one next. Less desperate this time, I
took slow and steady mouthfuls, allowing myself to enjoy the
heady flavor. Mulder looked on, nodding his approval. I felt
strong already, unnaturally so. Power seemed to insinuate itself
throughout my limbs. It was as if something inside me I never
even knew existed had awakened. Whether or not this was a
good thing remained to be seen.

I soon felt satisfied and knew I needed no more of the young
deer’s blood. Mulder, on the other hand, looked pale. Even in
the moonlight my new eyes could tell he was ashen-faced and
weak, yet I knew he wouldn’t take a drop if he thought I wanted

“I think I’m finished, Mulder,” I told him. Without a word, he
stepped to the final deer and drank deeply from it. I watched in
complete fascination as a thin trickle of blood spilled around his
lips. Something inside me yearned for him. It was a bit
disturbing, this feeling. I wanted him because of his show of
power and control, for the subtle grace he displayed as he fed
off the creature. It was a base, animalistic craving, and it felt so
right in the dead of nighttime, with the soft decay and new
growth of the woods surrounding us.

He pulled away and swatted the deer gently on the rear. The
action broke whatever spell was upon these animals and they
ran away into the darkness. Mulder turned to look at me.

“Scully, I –”

I cut him off with a finger placed on his lips. “Can you feel it,
too? This power surging inside me, is it inside you, too?”

He nodded, looking stunned.

I pulled him down by the neck and kissed him with all the depth
and emotion I was feeling. Elation and fear overwhelmed me in
turns, spiraling in my chest until I was sure it would burst.

Pulling away for a moment, I whispered against his lips, “I
know why you did it, Mulder. You don’t have to say a thing.” I
crushed my mouth against his again. He broke the kiss, leaning
his forehead against mine and huffing unneeded breaths.

I moved my head until I was looking at the brilliant stars above,
disrupting our embrace. His cheek rubbed slowly against mine
and I nuzzled it until I could feel his lips on my jaw line.
Tingles racked my body and I urged his mouth lower still, until
it lingered on the soft flesh of my neck. I gasped, trembling
from a need I’d never felt before. Mulder breathed shaky, heavy
breaths against my flesh.

Desperate, I threaded my fingers in his hair and pressed his face
against me. A silent plea. He paused for a moment, then darted
his tongue out to taste me. I gasped again, this time in
pleasurable shock. He moaned in response, sending the
vibrations straight down to my belly, and pressed his hardened
body against mine. I felt his hot mouth stretch over my neck and
then a prick.

The piercing sensation gave way to immediate pleasure as
Mulder embraced me, both hands in my hair, drinking from me
in long, hard pulls. In contrast, his lips molded around the
sensitive flesh of my neck softly, in the most loving and gentle
manner. He couldn’t get close enough or drink deep enough to
satisfy my need for him. Everything within me screamed his
name, cried out for more even as the potency of what we shared
bore down on me like a crushing weight. The sound of sobbing
broke through the rush of blood pounding loud as a turbulent
ocean in my ears.

Mulder pulled away and I realized the sound was coming from
me. I looked up at him, happy to see a healthier color in his
cheeks. He scooped me up into his arms and sat down, leaning
against the trunk of a large tree.

“I didn’t take much,” he told me quietly and cupped my cheek
with one large hand, “but you need all the strength you can get.”
He pulled the collar of his shirt down in invitation. I stared at
the smooth texture of his neck, captivated by the thumping blue
vein just under his pale skin. It seemed to lure me in, almost
begging to be opened up and sampled. I wrapped my arms
around his neck for balance as I sat across his lap, a chaste
lover’s embrace, and nuzzled against him. Nervous and excited
at once, I rained tender kisses upon him until I gathered the
courage to sink my teeth in.

Immediately, the blood began to pour in. It tasted somewhat of
the deer we’d both fed from, but seasoned with something more.
Something I guessed was to do with our vampire bodies. I
clutched him with restless hands, nails scratching against the
bark of the tree behind him. It was like before — I couldn’t get
close enough, couldn’t get deep enough. My body ached with
desire I never dreamed possible.

All too soon, he was pulling me away from the sweet fount of
his skin.

“We need to get back to the house,” he said without meeting my
eyes, and stood to leave. I followed him through the woods,
paying closer attention to my surroundings than before. Owls
hooted at intervals but stayed their distance as we walked with
soundless footsteps through the underbrush. The chorus of
crickets kept time with the flash-flash-flash of fireflies. All the
slimy and multi-legged insects scurried beneath feet that barely
touched the ground. The night sky wasn’t like night at all — it
glowed with a soft light impossible for a mortal’s eyes to pick
up. Better than night vision, this was like a permanent dusk. The
satellite’s silvery glow replaced the orange-red glare of the sun,
creating a magical atmosphere.

It was overwhelming. I have a scientific soul not prone to fits of
poetic melancholy where too much beauty brings tears. Yet I
wanted to cry. It was so much, so fast, and it settled in my heart
like a leaden weight. So, against everything I was before, I wept
at the unbelievable magnificence that was the night.


We returned to Claudius’s estate, back to a world of electricity
and posh surroundings, as far removed as possible from my
wooded wonderland. It was an abrupt, unsettling change.

I followed Mulder into the house, satisfied to find keeping up
with his wider strides would no longer be a problem. He swept
through the corridors quickly and without telling me the
destination. It was as if I wasn’t there at all; in fact, he hadn’t
spoken a word to me since we left the clearing.

I soon found myself in what I guessed was Claudius’s study.
Claudius himself stood before a bookshelf to the left. He looked
at Mulder first, then at me. With a small smile, he re-shelved the
book in his hand.

“Dana, I see you’ve fed. Are you feeling well?”

“Yes, thank you,” I answered.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mulder stiffen.

“As well as can be expected,” he answered through clenched
teeth. “She’s a goddamn vampire, Claudius.”

The younger-looking man looked down, his tone regretful.
“Yes. You know if there was any other way, I would have told

“I want them to pay.”

“It isn’t that easy, Mulder. He’s no fledgling. Neither is Liliana.”

I placed a hand on Mulder’s arm, trying not to be hurt when he
flinched from my touch. “Mulder, please. From what I’ve
gathered these monsters aren’t anything we can go against

He turned remorseful eyes on me and placed shaking hands on
either side of my face. “Look what they’ve made me do to you,
Scully,” he croaked out. “I’ve ruined you, destroyed your soul
and made *you* into a monster like the rest of us. All because I
was too afraid to let you go. I can’t forgive myself for that.”

I should’ve expected this. Mulder would, of course, feel like it
was all his fault. Hadn’t he done this throughout our entire
partnership? My abduction, my cancer, my infertility. Missy’s
death. Not a single tragedy in my life went by that he didn’t
blame himself.

I turned my face into his touch and placed a kiss on his palm.
“Mulder, don’t you see that you saved me? No, listen to me. I
would’ve died. You have nothing to do with the attack.” He still
looked doubtful, so I reiterated, “You saved my life, Mulder.”

“No, this is not a life, Scully. I’ve condemned you to hell. You
should hate me right now.”

I huffed in frustration. “Look, I think *I’ll* decide whom I’ll
hate and when. We’re partners in this, just like we’ve always
been. Anyway, how long did you think I was going to let you
get all the glory, Spooky boy?”

By the look on his face, I could see the joke fell flat. I sighed. “I
could never hate you. But I think we need to focus on what
Liliana and Julian might do next and form some sort of

“I’d prefer to go on the offense,” Mulder bit out.

“A preemptive strike?” Claudius put in, startling me. I’d
forgotten he was there. “Are you planning on doing this alone?”

“Yes,” he said as I was saying, “Absolutely not!” I pinned him
with what I hoped was a glare that conveyed I’d put up with no
nonsense from him. He was unaffected as always.

“I have to go alone, Scully. No one else will challenge him.”

“And what about me? Am I supposed to stay here and practice
my needlepoint while you’re off getting yourself killed — for
real this time?”

He narrowed his eyes. “You’re not coming. I won’t lose you.”

I was outraged. “Excuse me? The only man who could *ever*
tell me what to do had a star and four bars on his shoulder.
You’re making a lot of assumptions tonight, Mulder.”

“Neither of you is suited to their strength,” Claudius said. “You
must wait until I can gather those faithful to me in the

“The Convenire?” I asked, shocked. “Aren’t they the ones who
kept Mulder captive? They’re Julian’s clan!”

“I’m afraid you don’t have all the facts, Dana. There are some
who will support us in battle against Julian — and make no
mistake, a battle it shall be.”

I shivered. “Go on. I’d like to know what makes these creatures
trustworthy in your eyes since all they’ve shown so far is
cruelty or indifference.” What I saw in my visions from Mulder
made me have every reason in the world to doubt they could be
on our side. I could still see them dressed all in black,
surrounding Mulder and watching while Julian pinned him
down and turned him against his will. Bastards.

“They aren’t trustworthy,” Mulder scoffed. “They’ve done
nothing to prove they’ll even lift a finger to help. Look, we’re
wasting time here –”

Claudius cut in. “There is a great deal about them I haven’t even
told Mulder, as I believed it wasn’t my place. But I can see you
both need a little persuasion in order to keep you from running
off and doing anything foolish.” He looked at us both with

“There are three members of Julian’s order who have their
reasons to break free from his rule and his home. They know the
only way out is death, for Julian would see them as the worst
sort of traitor, punishable by a slow roast in the sunlight. No one
defies Julian without facing the consequences, and someone
dear to us all was staked out in the garden for the sun to
consume for this very act. Her name was Vivienne.”

Claudius paused, staring at a point over my shoulder as if
remembering something.

He went on.

“The first to come to me was Maeve, an Ancient. She’d seen the
slip in Julian and Liliana’s sanity for some time and after
Vivienne’s death, Maeve feared the worst for everyone within
the group. Her young fledgling, Caleb, also fears the pair. He
was no more than a teenaged boy when he was made, and is a
gentle creature. They frighten him with their unbridled fury and
power. That aside, he is loyal to his ‘mother’.

“Maeve brought Demetrius to me next. He was always
disgusted by Julian, but was in love with his creator, Liliana.
She was the world to him for some time, but soon he became
disgusted by her hold over him as well. He was co-dependent,
the subject of many of her demented desires. He is prepared to
go into the sun himself, if only it will free him of her lunacy.

“So you see, you have some allies. Maeve, in particular, is a
formidable opponent.”

“And you?” I asked. “What’s your position on this?”

His shoulders sagged, but his voice was clear and hard. “I loved
Julian and Liliana. They were my children, as surely as if I had
sired them myself. But they have become twisted, ugly things I
cannot even recognize anymore. Their bloodlust is
unquenchable and indiscriminant, their cruelty knows no
bounds. They are a danger to humans and immortals alike.

“Still, a part of me will always see them as my beautiful
children, my twins, bright eyes and pink skin lingering from
their amusements under the sun. I prefer to remember them that
way. And you must understand this: I will not become a direct
participant in their deaths. I…I don’t think I could stand that.
However, I have no qualms about dispatching Adrian and




“Have you gotten used to it yet?”


“This. All of it.”

He sighed beside me in the bed, still holding me stiffly, as if he
just couldn’t be comfortable in my presence. Again, I tried not
to let it bother me much. But it hurt. It hurt like hell. After all,
he was all I had now.

“I hope to God I never get used to it, Scully.”

I nodded my understanding. Everything was so confusing now –
– I hadn’t had time to process the fact that he was a vampire, or
get a chance to understand this strange new world before I was
thrust into it myself, completely submerged in this alternate
universe. What’s worse, the one person I felt I could anchor
myself to was wallowing in his own self-loathing. And for
what? For saving me? Would he rather I had died?

I tried to see his point about the whole thing. I realized he felt
he’d doomed me, and that he’d made me into a demon. I didn’t
share his feelings — I was just happy to be alive and with him!
Survival instinct is a powerful thing; it can even overcome little
things like fear of cursed souls and fiendish bodies and feeding
off animal’s blood.

I said nothing more, though. He wasn’t ready to forgive himself;
I wasn’t ready to argue the absurdity of his guilt.


When I woke the next night, Mulder was already up and
dressed, staring down at me from his side of the bed.

“Hey.” I smiled.

“Hey.” He offered me a hesitant smile in return, looking a little
more at ease. Good. I wanted to get past this unreasonable
awkwardness as soon as possible.

“Listen,” he said, “I thought you might like to go into town
tonight after we feed. Get you out of this house for a while.”

My heart leapt. I couldn’t help myself — I *had* been pretty
much confined to this estate, after all. “Town? There’s a town

He smiled, genuinely this time. “Yeah, it’s about ten miles down
the road. I was thinking about taking Claudius’s car and driving
like normal people instead of…” he made a swooping motion. I

“I’d like that.”

He nodded. “It’s settled then. I, uh, hope you don’t mind, but I
had some clothes sent over for you. I figured you might want
something more appropriate than this.” He fingered my
borrowed nightgown and raised an eyebrow.

“Mmm, yes. That would probably be a good idea.” I moved to
close in on his lips… so close. He looked startled and pulled
away at the last moment. What was that all about? I wanted to
shout. Last night we shared blood and created an irrevocable
bond, and not thirty minutes later he couldn’t bear my presence.
Now this? Was I repulsive to him now?

I sighed in frustration and watched him slip out the door,
muttering something about meeting him downstairs. Getting out
of bed, I looked around for the clothes he was talking about.
There, draped over the back of one brocaded chair, was my
clothing for the evening.”

Mulder has excellent taste. The dress was a flattering curve-
hugger, modest but sophisticated. He even brought a pair of
strappy heels and the finest silk stockings I’d ever put my legs
into. Exquisite. These, in typical Mulder fashion, were held up
by quality garter belts that matched the midnight blue of the
dress. Smiling at his choice as I smoothed the garment down, I
silently commended him on a job well done. It was just what I
would’ve picked out for myself. Wherever we were going, it had
to be someplace elegant. Too bad I didn’t have any makeup on
hand for a quick touch up.

I looked in the mirror.

The first thing I realized was that I hadn’t seen my reflection in
the mirror since before I was taken to the hospital. The second
thing that occurred to me was that I had no need for makeup,
not ever again.

I still looked like myself, but drastically improved. My skin was
never problematic, but now I was smooth and balanced. Not one
dark circle, not a single line. My face was…well, perfect. My
eyelashes, always a little dark for a natural redhead, laid thick
and sooty against pale skin. I ran a finger over plump, red lips.
They’d *never* looked like that in my mortal life, not without
collagen boosted lipsticks that cost a fortune. And my eyes! So
bright and open, like fire burning behind sapphires.

Now, I normally wouldn’t give my appearance another thought
other than to make sure I looked presentable. But standing in
front of that mirror, looking at the image of myself as I had
never thought I could look…it was amazing. I was beautiful!

Half giddy with delight and new self-discovery, I snatched the
beige, form-fitting coat off the chair and made my way
downstairs to meet Mulder.

I was not prepared for what waited for me at the end of the

“So, you are the fledgling’s progeny,” a thin vampire wearing a
black trench coat hissed. I shivered at the coldness in his voice,
but continued down the stairs. We were safe in Claudius’s house
after all — Mulder assured me of that as soon as I regained
consciousness just a few short nights ago. When I reached the
bottom, I saw Claudius and two other vampires dressed in
trench coats. Claudius looked sorrowful, the others looked as if
they’d rather kill me than speak to me.

“Claudius?” my voice shook. “What’s going on? Where’s

“You’re coming with us,” the thin vampire barked and pulled
me to him by the front of my coat.

Terrified, my eyes snapped back to Claudius. “Where’s
Mulder?” I shouted. “What have you done with him, Claudius?”

“Please, Dana. Whatever you do, do not try to resist these men.”

“What are you talking about? I want to see Mulder *now*. Get
your hands off of me!”

The thin vampire grasped my upper arm with bruising force and
pulled me outside — all my attempts to struggle were futile.
Before I could say another word, we were airborne — or so I
presumed, given that it felt like the wind was trying to peel the
skin off of me and the air was suddenly ten degrees colder. I
tried to pull my face away from the relative safety of the strange
vampire’s chest and was rewarded with the most painful
stinging sensation on my face. Regardless of my fears, instinct
told me to keep my face turned into the creature who held me.

When I next opened my eyes, we were on solid ground and in
the grand hall of what looked like a castle. Tapestries lined the
walls, gruesome images depicted on the preserved textiles.
Massive furniture dotted the entrance and the stone floors were
broken up with rich-colored Persian rugs. The vampire gave me
a little push to move me along. I felt it best not to resist.

He led me through a complicated network of walls and
concealed openings, never speaking a word or slowing his pace.
Opulent surroundings gave way to modest furnishings, then to
what looked like a 1500’s prison. The vampire shoved me into a
room and stalked over to a large refrigerator. It was so out of
place in this isolated environment that I had to wonder what
purpose it served.

I didn’t have to wonder long. The vampire pulled two units of
blood out of the appliance and tossed them to me.

“Eat up,” he snarled.

I glared at him.

“Eat up,” he barked. “It’s not a request.”

What little bit of bravado I still possessed left me. I tore a
corner out of the first bag with my teeth and drank the liquid
down. It was godawful stuff — ice cold and stale. I choked and
spluttered a bit of it onto the floor and was met with a sound
slap to the face by my captor.

I drank the rest of it without complaint.


I was taken to a small cell, which looked disturbingly dungeon-
like. On second thought, I realized that it probably *was* a
dungeon. We’d just spent the better part of a half an hour
meandering through a castle, so I shouldn’t have been so
surprised. The walls were stone, green with mold in some
places, and the air was dank, damp. Mushrooms twisted their
rounded heads out from the base of the wall here and there. It
smelled dirty in a decaying earth sort of way. It was everything
your basic nightmare of a dungeon should be, right down to the
wooden bench built into the face of the stones and the manacles
nailed to the wall with iron spikes. Water dripped somewhere
else in the antiquated prison, making the place seem more
cavernous and intimidating. Forsaken.

Drip, drip, drip.

Underground. I was definitely underground. I looked at the
menacing restraints on the wall, trying to at least be thankful
they hadn’t strung me up in those. It’s the little things that count,
after all.

God, I was beginning to sound like Mulder.

Drip, drip, drip.

Who the hell were they? What did they want with us? I couldn’t
understand it.

The ancient stones had none of the answers I wanted. The blood
I’d consumed, though repugnant and meager, had a nice
tranquilizing effect, much like Thanksgiving dinner. I removed
my coat, spread it over the rotting bench and laid down. Well,
one thing was certain; Claudius sold us out. Those vampires in
trench coats tonight didn’t take *him* into custody, and he did
essentially tell me not to fight it. Not to mention the fact that
they were in his house and he made no move to stop them. And
all along, we thought we could trust him. It made me sick to
think of it.

What happened to Mulder, though? Where was he? What
happened that they wanted us bad enough to retrieve us at
Claudius’s home? I wondered if they were part of Julian’s group
of beasts. I shuddered.

I soon felt the tug of dawn bringing me closer to sleep, my
circadian rhythm being switched on permanent ‘reverse’. The
dripping was beginning to lull me into a light doze when I felt a
presence at my side. In one motion I gasped, sat up and reached
to the small of my back for a gun that wasn’t there.


“Bastard,” I hissed. “Where’s Mulder?”

“He’s being held in a separate room upstairs. He’s safe, Dana.”

I didn’t know whether to trust him or not.

He sighed, looking upset, edgy. It was the first time I’d seen him
look tense. “You can trust me. Mulder does.”

“Mulder and I don’t always agree on who is trustworthy and
who isn’t.”

“No, I suppose you don’t.” He said it in such a wry manner I had
to wonder how well he knew the both of us. “There isn’t much
time, Dana. I’ve had to negotiate my way down here to you as it
is, and you’ll be drawn into slumber soon.”

I narrowed my eyes at him, wondering if he was up to
something. But then, where did I have to go if he was? The cell
was still locked up tight and from what little I know about our
kind, he was unbelievably strong. I was helpless.

“Those men tonight are members of the Grand Council of the
Vampyres. They are a group of Ancients that police us, much
like your FBI. They are, perhaps, what have kept our kind alive
for so many centuries.” He stopped, looking to me for
confirmation that I understood thus far.

“Go on,” I said.

“There are rules, Dana, rules against making other vampires
without the consent of the Council. There will be a trial
tomorrow evening. Unless Mulder and I can convince the
Council otherwise, he will face the consequences of turning

My heart felt as if it had dropped to the floor. “And the
consequences are?”

He looked down. “They will expose him to the morning sun. I’m
so sorry, Dana.”

Chapter 9