Loup Garou VIII - The Meeting
Author: Lycanthrophile (lycanthrophile@imadethis.org)
Fandom: Original Characters, The X-Files
Spoilers: Season 1
Disclaimer: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully actually belong to each other. Some guy named Chris Carter keeps insisting otherwise. The spirit of Deep Throat lives on. Cancerman, however, I hope, will die a lonely and bitter man. No copyright infringement intended to any of TenThirteen Production's property. Jess Leahs, Lindy and the various MIB's are mine however, but I am willing to share if asked nicely.
Rating: PG13
Summary: Jess unexpectedly drops back into Mulder's life,
Word Count: 7,542
Notes: ThanX to everyone who put up with my whining for feedback while I was writing this, especially Wendy who sugguested some of the events. No, this isn't the follow up to the Loss. For all of you who threatened me with phisical harm if I don't follow up on it, I'm writing as fast as I can.
Archive: Please inform me

It was Saturday morning. Dana Scully had been looking forward to the weekend. If she wasn't working on an urgent case with Mulder, she had the luxury of having two whole days to herself. No chasing after aliens. No monsters reaching out of air vents. No weirdness at all.

Then the phone rang. "Scully."

"It's me," Mulder's voice sounded tense. "I have an emergency. I can't go into details, but I need you to get over here now. Bring your black bag."

"Mulder, what's going on?" She could hear labored breathing and an occasional quiet moan in the background. "Are you watching one of those videos that arent yours?"

"No, Scully, this is serious." There was a second moan. "Get over here *now*." There was a sudden buzz of a dialtone as Mulder hung up the phone.

Scully also sighed as she hung up the phone. [So much for a nice, normal weekend.] she thought.

Scully knocked on the door. "Scully, get in here!" came the muffled reply. Mulder sounded like he was in his bedroom. She pushed open the unlocked door.

The living room was empty. The breathing she had heard on the phone sounded more ragged, the moans softer. Scully started to for the bedroom. Then she saw the blood smeared on the wall. "Mulder, what's wrong?"

"God dammit, Scully, get *in* here!" She stepped into the bedroom to see a strange woman in a plain black bra on his bed. The light glinted off the locket she wore around her neck. Pale scars crisscrossed her torso. A blanket was tossed over her lower half. Mulder was standing over her, applying pressure to a wound on her shoulder. "Gunshot wound. Round went through, but she's still bleeding."

"Mulder, she should be in an ER, not here." Scully was moving off to the bathroom, trying to sterilize the best she could.

Despite her wound, the woman tried to speak. "No... hospital...," she managed to gasp before passing out.

"We can't take her there," Mulder said. "I can't explain now, but I will. Please."

The woman was still unconscious. Her shoulder was swathed in bandages, giving the stranger an appearance of being a mummy. Scully took her pulse. It was weak but steady. She turned to Mulder. "If she survives the shock, blood loss, and probable infection, she should be fine."

Mulder sighed. Concern, relief and uncertainty were written on his features. "She'll make it. She's a survivor. Thank you, Scully."

"I should check over her and see if she has any secondary wounds that need tending." She reached for the blanket.

"Scully! Don't!" Mulder reached to stop her. But he was too late.

Scully stared in shock. It wasn't what she expected to see. She had thought that she had caught Mulder screwing around, that it had been some kinky sex game gone wrong.

"Oh my God..." she whispered.

The woman looked perfectly human from the black cutoff denim shorts and up. Below the mid calf was another story. Black fur covered her lower legs. Four inch talons sprang from massive hind paws. A six inch tail extended from a slit in the seat of her shorth.

"Mulder, what *is* she?" Scully whispered. She ran her hand over a leg. It felt just like a large dog's. The paw twitched reflexively, claws unsheathing further, as she touched it. The tail thumped against the bed like an angry cat's.

Mulder took her arm, trying to turn her away from the stranger. "Let me explain in the living room."

Scully took one last look at the stranger. The fur was thinning out. It started maybe an inch lower than when she had first removed the blanket. She pulled it back over the unconscious form and followed Mulder out of the bedroom.

Once in the livingroom, she turned and accosted her partner. "Who is she, Mulder?"

Mulder sat down on his leather couch. "She's an old friend. I met her shortly after I graduated from Oxford, just after I returned home."

"And her appearance?"

"She's a werewolf."

"She's a what?" Disbelief was evident in her voice. She couldn't accept what Mulder had just told her.

"She's a werewolf." Mulder repeated.

Scully shook her head. She knew Mulder well enough to know that he was perfectly serious. "Mulder, I'm not going to say it. Even with what you have told me, with what I *saw*, I just can't believe it."

"Believe it," said a soft female voice. Mulder and Scully turned to the bedroom doorway. The woman stood there in a black t-shirt, on fully human legs, clutching the doorway for support. Mulder started to get up. The woman put up a hand halting him. With a fierce independence in her eyes, she slowly crossed the room to a chair. The stranger collapsed into it with a sigh.

Scully was at the woman's side in an instant, lifting the shirt to examine her shoulder. She unrolled the bandages. There was only a scab where the wound should have been. "My kind heal fast," the woman said.

"Scully, meet Jessica Leahs. Jess, this is my partner, Dana Scully. I just wish you two could have met under better circumstances."

"Charmed, I sure." Jess said. "Mulder, I don't have time for this. I gotta go."

"Go?" The doctor in Scully reacted immediately. "You've just received a major wound and have lost a large amount of blood. The fact that you're conscious is a miracle in itself. If you go anywhere, it will be back to bed."

"I can't." Jess tried to stand up. She made it half way before falling back into the chair. "I had a friend with me when I was attacked. I gotta find her."

"Tell me where she is, and I'll go get her." Mulder was on his feet and moving towards the door.

Jess shook her head. "She won't come to you. If anything, she'll run away, even if she knew I had sent you." She shook her head. "I'm the only one who can." Jess managed to stand shakily before falling back into the chair yet again. "I just need a day or two to heal completely, but I can't wait that long to find her."

"Then we'll take you where you need to go."

Scully shot a look at Mulder. "Could I have a word with you?" They moved back into the bedroom in an attempt for Jess not to hear.

"What are you *doing*?" Scully said. "She shouldn't be here, let alone running around outside."

"You saw what she looked like a while ago. She doesn't want any trouble for herself, you or me." Mulder sighed. He looked at back at the woman who was sitting in the chair, trying to summon the strenght to get up from the chair for the third time. "And you don't know her like I do. Once she's made up her mind about something, it won't be changed."

The three of them were in the car, driving through a park. Jess was in the passenger seat, giving directions to Mulder. She was sitting slightly slumped forward, as if sitting upright were almost too much for her to do in her tired state.

Scully leaned forward. "Who are we looking for?" she asked from the back seat.

"Her name's Lindy." Jess closed her eyes, seeming to concentrate on something. "Left here, Mulder. Miss Scully, she's a young girl that I am taking care of. She's about seven or eight years old. We're not absoulutely certain."

Mulder tightened his grip on the wheel. "Is she like you?"

"Turn right here. Yeah, she's like me." Jess's brown eyes snapped open. "Wait. Pull over."

They stepped out of the car. In front of them was a trail leading off through the bushes. "Lindy, where are you?" Jess called, moving down the trail. She seemed to have recovered from her tiredness somewhat. Scully and Mulder followed behind.

The trail lead towards a clearing. Jess stepped into it. "Linnndeeee!" She looked at Mulder and Scully as they entered the clearing. "Stay back. She's very afraid of strange men."

Jess knelt down in the field. She was scanning the bushes. A slight rustle caused her head to snap in that direction. "It's okay, Lindy," she coaxed. "You're safe now. You can come to me." Her voice projected warmth and security.

A child's small blonde head poked out of the bushes. "'S'okay?" she lisped.

"Yes, it's safe." Jess reassured. "You were a very good girl. And a very brave girl, to do what I said." She followed Lindy's scared stare over to Mulder. "It's okay, honey. They're friends. In fact," she stage whispered behind her hand, "I bet he's more scared of you than you are of him."

Mulder picked up on Jess's hint. "Scully, I don't think I'd like to run into her when there's a full moon."

"Know 'bout us?" Lindy stepped out from behind the bush.

Jess nodded. "Yeah, they know."

Lindy frowned at her. "Thought you said never to tell."

Jess smiled. "Lindy, there are times when the rules have to be broken. He's someone I trust and have known since before I met you." She held out her hand. "Come on, we're gonna go someplace safe."

Lindy scooted out from behind the bush to take Jess's hand. Jess stood back up. "It's gonna be okay, sweetheart."

They had all returned to Mulder's apartment. Lindy was being checked over by Scully. Lindy, needing to prove that she wasn't afraid, hadn't wanted Jess to be there. So she had been banished to the living room with Mulder.

Mulder decided to use this time alone with her to get some answers. "Why didn't you tell me about Lindy, Jess?"

"Don't worry, Mulder. You're not her father," she said gravely. "I may do a lot of things, but I would *never* hold back information like that. Besides, think about it. She's way too young. Any kid that you would have fathered would be nine at the youngest."

Mulder looked relieved, and then guilty that he felt relieved. "Then who is?"

"Damned if I know." She shook her head. "As far as I've been able to piece together, her mother was a crack addict and she never knew her father. One of her "uncles" sexually abused her and then literally sold her to a pedophile."

"My God.... No wonder she doesn't like strange men."

Jess smiled, "And there's no one stranger than you, Mulder." She leaned back into the seat, serious once again. "She seemed to end up with an above average sicko. He was a werewolf. And it appears that he Changed her to make her even more attractive to him."

"So, how did she end up with you?"

"She killed him. She stabbed him with silver out of sheer terror and desperation one night after he... had been with her. I met her on the West Coast, where she had been living with her john. She was scared and trying to survive on her own. Reminded me a lot of myself and I just couldn't leave her. We've been wandering together for about three years now." She sighed. "It's been a challenge to say the least."

"Does she have the abilities that you do?"

"Not quite. She can Change, but it's either full human or full wolf. Nothing in between like I can do. She doesn't have the mind reading ability either, but that took about five years for me to develop and control."

"You can read minds?" That was something he didn't remember.

"How did you think I knew where to find Lindy? I was scanning for her almost as soon as I woke up. I don't like doing it, though. I had to learn very fast how not to read minds. I only do it in a life or death situation. Don't worry, I'm not a psychic Peeping Tom." She winced and rubbed her temples. "Besides, doing it for a long time always gives me a headache."

The door to the other room flew open. Lindy ran over to Jess, grabbing onto her leg with a death grip. Scully followed. "Aside from some bumps and bruises, she's fine."

Jess smiled and rested her hand on Lindy's head. "Honey, I know you love me, but you're cutting off circulation to my leg. And I've lost so much lately I need all I have."

"Sorry, Jess." Lindy loosened her hold.

"That's okay. Do you want to talk about what happened after we got split up?"

"No," she said in a small voice. "I don't remember." She started to shiver and looked frightened. "I can't remember."

"Jess, she's still in shock," Mulder said in an undertone. "She may not be able to remember right now. She may also be repressing it."

Scully watched the scene with an uneasy fascination. Lindy was growing more panicky by the moment. Her breathing grew shallow and raspy, whistling through her open mouth. Her blond hair, pulled up in a ponytail, seemed to grow coarser and add several inches to its length. [Why do her teeth suddenly look pointed?]

Jess reacted swiftly. She pulled out the necklace she was wearing under her shirt, dangling it at Lindy's eye level. She grabbed Lindy's hair, not allowing her to look away. "Concentrate on the locket," she said softly. "See how the light glints off it. Watch how it dangles on the chain. Nothing matters but the locket. Nothing exists but the locket."

Lindy's breathing slowed down. She closed her mouth. Jess released her hair, which was once again baby fine. "That was close," she breathed. "Lindy, where's your necklace?"

"I lost it." Lindy sounded embarrassed.

Jess smiled. "That's okay, honey. We'll find it. Or get another one. Here," she took off the necklace. "Why don't you wear mine for now. I don't need it as much." She reclasped the necklace around Lindy's neck. "If Mulder doesn't mind, why don't you go on to sleep."

Mulder nodded. "That's not a problem." As Lindy scampered to the bedroom, he turned to Jess. "And what about you?"

A tired pair of eyes turned to regard the FBI agents. "What about me?"

Scully shook her head. "You need rest even more than Lindy does."

"Later. We've got to figure out who knows about me." Jess sounded tired but determined.

"We can start with who shot you." Mulder asked.

Jess sighed. "Lindy and I were in the park, minding our own business. And then bang, I'm bleeding from the shoulder. I ran on instinct, and you were the closest person I could think of."

"So you don't have any idea," Mulder said.

Jess shook her head. "Nope."

Scully shook her head. [It's going to be a long night... .]

Jess had finally fallen asleep in spite of herself. She had been exhausted, spending most of the night comforting Lindy from her nightmares and brainstorming with Mulder and Scully, trying to figure out who knew about what she was. Every time there was so much a peep from the bedroom, Jess was there in an eye blink. After the fifth time, she didn't come back.

Scully went to check on them. She came back quietly. "She's fallen asleep beside Lindy. We shouldn't disturb her. So..." she paused, looking him in the eye, "Do you want to talk about it?"

"No, but I have to anyway." Mulder looked out the window. He took off his reading glasses. "We were both younger and stupider. A mutual friend introduced us. I was still trying to get over Phoebe, she was trying to get over an abusive boyfriend." Mulder looked back to her. "And we tried to help each other as friends."

"And the two of you became lovers."

"Not intentionally. It just happened one night, after we had found out that a mutual friend was murdered. And it was the last thing I needed at the time."

"So you broke it off?"

"No, she did. She was having to deal with the loss of her parents, her ex-boyfriend's harassment, and her becoming a werewolf. It was too much, and she called off the sexual part of the relationship, but not the friendship. But we never really kept in touch regularly. I heard from her last about year ago, and that was a note just to let me know she was okay." Mulder paused. "It's nice to see her again."

"I see." Scully sounded neutral. [Best gal pal you used to sleep with, who left you because she was having a mental breakdown, and you haven't talked to her in almost a year. Perfectly logical to take her back with open arms.] "And what is this about the ring she keeps mentioning?"

"It was what apparently started her transformation. It's in one of the X-Files. Hers."

"Mulder, what is she to you?"

"She's a friend. Someone I care closely about." Mulder rubbed the sides of his nose tiredly. "Someone who needs my help."

Scully then said the thing that had weighed on her mind from the first moment she saw Jess. "Are you sure about that? It sounds like she's been taking care of herself." Scully took a deep breath. [He's not going to like what I'm going to say.] "Jess would be about Samantha's age. She also looks similar to her. Are you really trying to help Jess, or Samantha?"

"Scully, that's not fair." But Mulder didn't protest what she said.

Jess woke up in Mulder's bedroom. [Damn! I allowed myself to fall asleep. Stupid, stupid, stupid!] she berated herself. She sat up on the bed. Lindy was no where to be seen. She stood up and walked over to the window, looking over the street outside.

The door to the bedroom opened. Mulder stuck in his head. "Sleeping beauty awakens," he quipped.

Jess smiled as she turned to him. He had greeted her like that on one other occasion, the morning after they had spent their first night together. "Okay, where did you hide my shoes *this* time? I still have my bra on." She got up off the bed, running her fingers through her hair. "Where's Lindy?"

"She woke up about two hours ago. Scully took her to go get some clothes since you can't get at your things right now."

"So we're alone." Jess shifted her weight from one foot to the other uneasily and looked out the bedroom window again.

"How's your shoulder?" Mulder wanted to stay in safe territory. He was remembering the emotions and sensations that he and Jess once shared. [It's been so long since I've been with anybody. Scully could never have any romantic feelings for someone as screwed up as me. But Jess now, we may end up resuming the relationship where we left off. That may not be a bad thing.]

"It's completely healed. Doesn't even look like I was shot. I don't scar any more," she added softly. [He's as handsome as I remembered. It would be nice if somehow we found our way back to each other. But I'm not sure that would be the best thing for either of us.]

"But you can't heal the ones Jake gave you," Mulder spoke quietly.

Jess shook her head. "No. Looks like I get to keep whatever blemishes I had before I became a... you know."

"All this time," Mulder said sadly, "and you still blame yourself for what he did to you."

"No," Jess said softly. Still looking out the window, she continued. "A lot of therapy cured me of that. I don't blame myself for the hell that son of a bitch put me through, just for not getting out of that situation sooner. But they are scars; they are blemishes. I don't think I'll ever not be self-conscious of them."

Mulder crossed the room to put his hands on her shoulders. When they had first tried to make love, she had been scared that her ex-boyfriend would be right. She had been afraid that the scars would repulse him. "You are beautiful," he whispered. "You are sexy. Just keep telling yourself that." His arms slipped around her waist and brushed his lips againt the nape of her neck.

Jess sighed softly. Since she hadn't pushed him away, Mulder grew a little bolder. He started sucking on her earlobes and nipping at her neck. His hands were stroking her flat stomach, moving towards her breasts.

She leant back into his embrace, shivering. [God, I've missed this.] Jess turned in his arms and kissed him deep. She had wanted this for so long, but a nagging thought wouldn't leave her alone. Was she the one he *really* wanted? Feeling like a betrayer, she lowered her mental shields and brushed against his mind with a tendril of her thought.

What she sensed there made her stiffen. She violently pushed away from him, shields snapping back into place. "What the *hell* do you think you're doing, Mulder?"

Mulder looked confused. First Jess had been acting as if she wanted him, now she looked ready to murder him. "What are you talking about?"

"It's not me you want," she said with a shake of her head. Her voice softened in pity. "How long have you been in love with Scully, and not feel that you have the right to tell her?"

Mulder blinked at her. She was right. [How could she know?] Then what she had done hit him. Mulder had completely forgotten about the psychic abilities Jess had told him about. Anger tinged his voice. "I thought you said you never would do that unless it was a life or death situation."

Jess's eyes narrowed. Her voice was steel hard. "Yes. I did say that. If I had found out about this after we made love, I probably would killed you." She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "Listen, we're both too angry and hurt to talk sensibly. You go take a cold shower. I'm gonna find some way of working this anger off." She spun on her heel and tried to stomp out of the bedroom.

Mulder grabbed her arm, yanking her back. "No! We're finishing this now. What did you mean about me loving Scully and can't tell her?"

Jess spun and jerked her arm free from his grasp. "You want me to psychoanalyze you? Fine. Mulder, you're so obsessed with the past, you can't see the present. You feel like it should have been you who disappeared and not Samantha, that you should have either sacrificed yourself for her, or stopped it somehow. So to punish yourself, you screw up any and every shot at happiness that you have."

Mulder's eyes narrowed. "I wasn't the one who ended our relationship."

Jess's eyes also narrowed. "Touché. But my only excuse is that I had only a few months to get used to what I now am."

"And I had three hours to deal with it," was the retort.

"But you suspected, and didn't say anything." Jess folded her arms. "I was hurt, so I ran."

"You could have confided in me."

Jess thought about that for a moment. She started to shake with suppressed laughter.

"And *what's* so funny about that?" Mulder demanded.

"I'm sorry." Jess said, still giggling. "I just had a mental picture of what that might have looked like. 'Dearest, I love and trust you as never have anyone before. Oh, by the way, I change into a blood thirsty hell beast when the moon is full.'"

Something about the way she said that struck Mulder as hilarious. Mulder snorted, losing the hold on the anger and hurt that he felt.

That tore what little control Jess had left. She let go and let loose the emotions of the last twenty four hours in a peal of laughter.

Her laughter was infectious. Mulder gave up on holding back and joined her.

That's when the rift between them finally healed. Their relationship would never be about sex, in fact it never had. It had been about the fact that they were two people who life had kicked in the teeth, and were just trying to survive, and perhaps one day, live again.

When they managed to regain control, they were sitting back to back on the bed. Mulder took a deep breath. "Okay, blood thirsty hell beast..."

Jess turned and smacked him on the shoulder. "Stop that, or you're going to start me off again. And my stomach muscles can't take any more." She became serious for one brief moment. "You're right about me running away. Forgive me?"

"Yes. ...And you were right about me punishing myself. And my feelings about Scully. It's just how do I tell her?"

"I can't answer that one, Mulder. All I know is that if you don't tell her, you're eyeballs are gonna explode out of sexual frustration." She looked up at the ceiling and let out a sigh. "So what do you have for breakfast?"

Scully guided Lindy out of the discount chain store. She had gotten Lindy a few things - a pair of jeans, a shirt, and a few undergarments.

The little girl was shy to begin, but warmed up to her quickly. Within a half hour, Scully had been told about her teachers, her friends, and her cat. "Why isn't Jess with us?" she asked.

Scully smiled and looked into her wide blue eyes. "Jess was still asleep when we left. I thought it would be a nice surprise if you had some new things so she wouldn't have to worry about it."

"She worries 'bout me a lot," Lindy said. "Almost like she's my mommy."

"Well, that's what mommies do," Scully said, pulling her car keys out of her purse.

"Excuse me, ma'am, but I believe you dropped this," a strange male voice said.

Scully turned to see two men in trench coats. Thug Number One was standing angled so that passerbys couldn't see the gun Thug Number Two was holding on them. "Get into the van quietly and there will be no trouble."

Lindy was trying to hide behind Scully's legs. Scully reached back behind her to take Lindy's hand. "Come on Lindy. Everything's going to be okay."

The van pulled into the darkened garage of a compound on the outskirts of DC. "We caught the females, sir." Thug Number One said.

"Bring them out," said the man in charge. Thug Number Two ushered Scully and Lindy out of the side door of the van.

The man in black turned to look at his captives. "Idiot!" he hissed. "The girl is one, but not the woman." He stared at Scully. "In fact, you've compromised our mission even more. This is Agent Mulder's partner. Put them into separate cells." He looked back into the shadows after the pair was marched off. "Now what do we do?"

"They are pack animals. One needs the other to thrive." The Cigarette Smoking Man stepped into the light. "The adult will search out the juvenile," he said, lighting a cigarette. "All that is required is a little patience."

"So when's the take out getting here, Mulder?" Jess asked. "And why can't you keep food in your apartment like a normal human?"

"Few minutes for the Chinese and there is food here." Mulder looked out the window, watching for the delivery boy.

"Two Budweisers, a sack of sunflower seeds, and a jar of fish flakes for your goldfish don't count as food."

Mulder looked back at Jess with a grin. That was the smart mouthed woman he remembered. "Hmmph. Such manners. Be nice, especially since I got you sweet and sour pork."

A knock on the door interrupted their banter. Mulder opened the door expecting it to be the Take-out Taxi. He didn't expect to see the professionally dressed informant standing in the hallway holding a large white paper bag. "What are you doing here?"

"You were the ones who ordered in instead of going out for dinner." Deep Throat walked into the apartment, putting the bag down on the table. He offered his hand to Jessica. "It's a pleasure as always, Miss Leahs."

Jess blinked as she shook hands. "Have we met?"

"I have seen you before, but you probably have never seen me."

Mulder stepped inbetween the two, trying to shield Jess. She shouldered her way around him and sat down on the couch. "So you know what I am," she commented amiably. "How long have you had a tail on me?"

"From the moment you bought the ring" Deep Throat said, "For many years, experiments have been run on test subjects, a eugenics program, if you will."

"And what does that have to do with Lindy and Jess?" Mulder asked.

Jess was sitting quietly, absorbing everything. "I think I know. She and I are test subjects, aren't we?"

Deep Throat nodded. "We were unaware that the male that created Lindy had certain perversions when he was altered. We were watching both you and her closely when your paths crossed."

"So Jess was chosen at random," Mulder said.

"If anything, she chose herself," Deep Throat corrected. "Several rings were laced with certain bio-chemical agents designed to induce the Change in the subject and distributed at random."

Jess nodded. "Like the second hand store where I bought it. But why are you here now?"

"You and Lindy were to be brought in for an examination. However, your resistance was not taken into account." Deep Throat took a slip of paper out of the inside pocket and put it down on the table.

"Brought in for an examination," Jess repeted. "Oh my God, Lindy!"

"Wait a moment," Mulder interrupted. "Scully and Lindy went out less than two hours ago. If they were missing, how would you know about it so quickly?"

"Agent Mulder, you know that your apartment has been bugged. And Miss Leahs astutely guessed that she was being followed. Your work and your friends have made certain people very uncomfortable. What makes you think that you are not also under constant observation?"

Jess stood up, her face set resolutely. "I'd better go find them." Snagging the paper off the table, she walked past Deep Throat to the door.

"Miss Leahs, a word of warning." Jess turned and looked at Deep Throat, who was regarding her with deadly serious eyes. "You and your little girl are two of the strongest werewolves created. That makes this doubly dangerous for you. Certain interests want you under tighter control, to study your full potential. But if they feel you are a large enough threat, they will not hesitate to kill you." Mulder's informant walked to the door and opened it. "I suguest that you don't go alone," was the last thing he said before disappearing into the shadows in the hallway.

Mulder and Jess stood beside of the chain linked fence. The compound was quiet. There was no sign of any guards.

Jess looked at Mulder. "Up and over?"

Mulder nodded. He tossed his jacket over the barbed wire at the top. "Ladies first?"

Jess looked around. "I don't see no lady here."

"Cute, hell beast." Mulder laced his fingers together to boost Jess up higher.

"Don't bother, Mulder." She took a few steps back, and went at the fence at a run. She jumped, climbed the fence like a cat climbing up curtains, and dropped to the other side.

"Show off." Mulder scrambled over the fence. As he hit the ground, he heard the distant bark of dogs. He looked up to see two doberman pinchers running full speed towards him. "Uh oh!"

Jess watched the approaching guard dogs without concern. "Don't worry." She allowed the animals to approach within twenty feet and then Changed halfway.

Mulder looked at her in awe. What had been an average looking woman now did look like a blood thristy hell beast. Four inch talons graced strong hand/paws. Pointed ears were pinned back to a skull covered with jet black fur. And from a dripping muzzle extended ivory fangs.

The werewolf looked at the oncoming dogs and snarled, exposing those fangs to the root in a deafening roar. The guard dogs took one look at her, turned tail, and ran away whimpering.

Mulder turned back to look at Jess, who had Changed back to full human in an eyeblink. She shruged her shoulders at him. "Let's get moving, Mulder."

They ran across the field to the building. Sliding across the wall, they edged towards the door. Mulder tried the door. It was unlocked so they passed through it unhindered.

Inside was dimly lit. A van stood in the center of the otherwise empty room. Jess was walking towards it, taking deep breaths. At one point she dropped to her hands and knees to place her nose inches from the concrete. She stayed like that unmoving for several seconds.

"Well?" Mulder asked, standing a few feet behind her.

She pushed up off her arms and turned on her knees to face him. "They were here, a few hours... Mulder! Look out!"

Mulder turned as the tranquilizer dart pierced his shoulder. He heard Jess scream a bezerker war cry and saw her charge at the gunman.

"Stop!" came the voice of Thug Number One. Mulder managed to turn his head, despite the fact that air now seemed to have the consistancy of molasses. He saw a man holding a gun aimed at his head. "One false move, and he dies."

And the last thing he saw was Jess raising her hands in the air before he lost his balance and faded to black.

Jess was marched down the hallway, a gun pressed firmly into the small of her back by Thug Number Two. She had seen Mulder go down, but wasn't sure if he was drugged, wounded seriously, or just faking. The thugs had herded her away before she could do anything.

They came to the doorway. Her captor knocked and then shoved her forward through the doors.

Jess scanned the room, noting the table, three chairs. There was Scully, gagged and tied to one of the chairs. The second one was empty. There was no sign of Lindy or Mulder. There was, however, another person in the room. A man in a dark suit sat in the third. "Welcome, Miss Leahs."

Jess was forced into one of the chairs. Her hands were tied behind her back. "What do you want with me and Lindy?"

"With you Miss Leahs. The child is disposable."

Jess's eyes widened. "Why? Why are you going to kill her?"

"We need your kind now, and her age, fear, and lack of the control and talents you have makes her... undesirable."

[He knows what we are.] "You want to use me as a soldier." Realization shone in her eyes. "A weapon," Jess said bitterly.

"The ultimate weapon," the man in black corrected her. "Strength, savagery, speed, and the loyalty of a wolf, the intelligence of the human, and a supernatural ability for mind reading and self-healing. What more could you ask for in a warrior or a bodyguard?"

"Who said I would be your warrior?" Jess said defiantly.

"My dear Miss Leahs, your precious Agent Mulder is dead." Scully's eyes widened as she heard those words. "As for Agent Scully, she soon will be. You have no one left to help you, no where left to hide. And if you are not willing, there are other methods we could use to produce more of your kind. Your saliva harvested and injected perhaps..." the man mused. "You see, you have no options."

"Except for one."

"And what would that be, Miss Leahs?"

"You tied us up using rope, and I have *very* fine control over the Change." She smiled sweetly. "I've been sawing through this rope with my claws throughout our little chat." Her right fist slammed into the jaw, knocking him out cold. "Idiot," Jess muttered under her breath as she started to untie Scully.

Scully stood up and rubbed her raw wrists. She ripped the gag from her mouth. "How did you do that?" She walked over to the unconscious man and removed his gun.

"You don't believe what I am," Jess said. "So I won't waste my breath." She knelt down and started to tie up the man in black.

"I believe that you have been altered genetically and experimented on. I don't believe in your psychic abilities or your claim that you can become a wolf at will." Scully edged over to the door.

"We can debate this later. Let's go find Mulder and Lindy."

"He said Mulder was dead," Scully said tonelessly.

Something in her tone of voice made Jess look at her sharply. "You love him, don't you?"

At Scully's miserable nod, Jess continued. "I know this isn't the time to talk about this, but I might not get the chance to afterwards. Go after him. Let him know how you feel. You'll end up with one hell of a man."

Scully shook her head. She repeated the phrase that rang through her mind. "He said that Mulder is dead."

"He lied. I know you don't believe in my powers, but I could sense easily that he lied. He's out there, somewhere nearby." She gestured to the doors. "Let's go."

They both went into the hallway and started checking the adjoining rooms. Scully looked into the glass square embedded in the door. "Here," she said, three rooms down from where they were held.

Jess and Scully kicked the door open. They saw Mulder and Lindy gagged and tied to chairs. Jess untied Lindy as Scully released Mulder. [This is almost *too* easy. Almost as if we're being tested,] Jess thought to herself.

Lindy threw her arms around Jess, sobbing. "Shhhh, it's okay," she whispered into the little girl's hair. "C'mon, why don't we get the hell out of here," she said, swinging Lindy around to ride piggyback.

"Thought you'd never ask, hell beast," Mulder said. He checked the hallway and gestured them forward. He took the lead point and Scully took the rear guard.

The Smoking Man had watched events unfold from a remote area via live video feed. [She has no idea that she is being tested,] he thought, taking a drag off his Morely.

She was unaware of the fact that she was part of a lifelong experiment. She and a few others were created at random. She and her little girl had been watched up close and from afar for most of their lupine life.

[Now it's time to see how she reacts when confronted with another of her own kind.] The fact that the FBI agents would escape was a given. What was in question was if the werewolves would. How far would the creatures take the impluse of self-sacrifice before it lost to the instinct of self-preservation, and exactly how much humanity was left in these werewolves.

They pushed through another set of doors into what looked like a holding area. Inside this room were many animal cages, like the ones found at an animal shelter or a laboratory. Almost all of them were empty, except for one holding the largest grey husky Jess had ever seen.

Jess and Lindy stared fascinated at the large animal. And the dog stared back equally intent. Jess laid her palm flat against the bars. The dog sniffed at it and then laid its paw in the mirror image of hers. Lindy reached for the latch of the cage.

Jess stepped back and the dog leapt free from its confines. Both Scully and Mulder took an involuntary step back from the beast. The dog for its part, looked happy to be out of the cage. It stretched, sat and scratched at its neck.

"Poor boy," Jess cooed. She and Lindy scratched behind the animal's ears. "Cramped in there, wasn't it?"

"Jess, this is wonderful Kodak moment, but shouldn't we be leaving?" Mulder asked.

"Sooner done than said, Mulder." Lindy and she followed Mulder and Scully out of the room. The dog trailed behind.

They turned the corner to see an open door leading outside. "Almost there," Mulder said.

Lindy bolted towards the door. "Race ya!" she yelled with the entuhusiasm of a girl running against her sibling.

"Lindy!" Jess shouted. "Get back here!"

Lindy stopped just as the man in black stepped between her and the doorway.

Mulder and Scully aimed their guns.

He smiled. He aimed a high powered rilfe between Lindy's eyes. "Drop your weapons."

Mulder and Scully complied. Jess glared, but she knew there was nothing she could do.

Before she could consider her options, a streak of gray fur darted across her field of vision. The dog she released was in front of their captor, hackles raised and snarling.

The man shifted his aim from Lindy to the beast. The dog crouched and prepared to spring. Lindy instantly reacted by running for Jess the moment the creature leapt.

Their captor screamed and threw up his left arm in an attempt to defend himself, forgetting about the gun in his panic. As the dog tore out his throat, he dropped the weapon.

The gun fired when it hit the cement floor, directly into some barrels filled with flammable chemicals. Mulder and Scully were divided from Jess and Lindy by a raging inferno in seconds.

"Jess!" Mulder yelled. He could feel himself being mesmerized by the dancing flames.

"Mulder! We'll be okay!" Jess yelled back. "Get Scully and get the hell out!"

"She's right, Mulder," Scully shouted. "This place will go up in seconds." She pulled Mulder in the direction of the exit. Mulder shook off his fear and ran.

They made it outside and behind a car parked twenty yards away before the roof blew off the building.

Mulder sat vigil in front of the Reflection Pool. After answering the fire marshall's questions, he and Scully had searched Washington D.C. all day. No sign of Jess or Lindy.

"Still here, Mulder?" came Scully's quiet voice. "How late are you going to stay?" She sat down beside him on the bench.

"Until I know for certain."

"Mulder, the only body they found was male. Lindy and Jess must have gotten out."

"They found those canine corpses, Scully. Who knows what form they were in after we left them." Mulder gazed searchingly into her face. "But you don't believe they were werewolves, do you?"

"Mulder, I want to believe, but I can't." Scully stared out into the night. "I know what I saw was a reality, but I'm not brave enough to open myself to that reality. If I did, who knows what I could trust?"

"You can *always* trust me, Scully." Mulder's voice was soft, but with a hint of reproach.

"Mulder, I do trust you, more than anyone. It's just..." Scully broke off at the sound of a twig breaking. They both looked towards the pool.

A huge black dog, followed by a smaller yellow form, stepped out of the shadows, carrying something in its mouth. They sat there quietly for a moment, and then the black one tossed its head back in long mournful howls. The golden one cried in counterpoint.

The creatures were either unaware of their presence, or just didn't care. They just sat there in the moon lit night, baying for all they were worth. When the last howl faded, the large one bowed the massive head, nose brushing the earth, whimpering quietly. The smaller one licked it's face comfortingly.

Mulder couldn't keep quiet any longer. "Jess?" he whispered.

The dogs leapt up as if shot at. They turned towards his voice and dropped into a defensive crouch. The black one moved in front of the golden one, defending it. Snarls filled the air until they got a good look at Mulder. Their lips slid over ivory fangs and their stances relaxed.

"Mulder, what the hell are you doing?" Scully whispered fiercely.

He had gotten up and was walking towards the beasts. The black one had sat down and was regarding his approach with calm eyes. The golden one skittered back to the brush. Mulder stopped about two feet away, knelt down, and held out his hand. The dark dog looked at it for a moment and then stretched its head out.

Scully watched the connection being made. The scene reminded her of the first man who earned the trust of a wolf, the animal that became the ancestor of the common dog.

Its fur was extremely soft in Mulder's hand. Mulder scratched behind the large ears. The beast's tail wagged slightly.

The scene lasted no longer than a few heartbeats. The dog pulled away from Mulder. It seemed to look regretfully at him, and then her. In a black and gold flash, the animals were running away from them, disappearing into the night.

Mulder stood back up and motioned Scully to join him. "We can leave now. I have my answer," he said looking at what the animals had dropped.

There, washed in the full moon light, lay the open locket. Out of the locket peered the smiling faces of Lindy and Jess.

The End