Disclaimers in part 1

"So now she is dead again, and this time, by your own doing. But, after all, what's another death to you? You disappoint me, Methos." The voice she heard was the voice of the first apparition.

Her human had not stopped his sobbing sounds. He slid off the bed to slump beside it, on the floor. He did not respond for a long time. Scully didn't know what the demon was doing. One of her human's hands was draped on the floor by the bed. Very cautiously, she stretched her neck out, and began to wash it.

"That's … the bloody … idea," he said, between sobs. Scully saw him raise his head. She couldn't see the demon from her angle; he blocked her view. "That's three. Three temptations. I've said no. Now get out. I hope when MacLeod defeats you, demon - I hope it really hurts."

"What makes you think I only have three?"

Big Nose stopped sobbing. Scully crawled to where she could see the demon. Yes, It wore the form it had worn when it brought the glove.

"Eons of bloody campfires," said Big Nose.

"Well, they got it wrong. I have another offer. Would you like to hear it?"

"No. Get out."

"The past, Methos. Your past. It never happened. You made different choices, and you never rode with Kronos."

Big Nose sucked in a breath.

"Don't be ridiculous. You can't make a change to the past like that, without radically altering the present. The present you want to rule."

The demon's voice remained soft.

"Wrong. I can do anything. What do you know of Time? What they tell you in the moviehouses? The present is the only time which is real. The same present can be arrived at by an infinite combination of past timelines. I'll just choose a different one."

Silence, again.

"No one need ever know. Even Cassandra will remain exactly as she is; just shaped by a different past. One which didn't include you. No one would ever know what you did, because it never happened."

"Do I … keep my memory of it … or not?"

"As you choose. Methos, beheading another immortal is entirely right and natural. It is what you were born to do. I will be with you, and make you invincible. He wants you to do it. And then, whatever happens, you will start with a clean slate - guilty of nothing worse than unpaid library fines."

Big Nose stood, slowly. Scully was suddenly terrified for her human. The fight seemed to be gone from him. Would the demon take him away from her?

"Yes!" the demon crowed.

She could stand it no longer. She leaped out from under the bed, arched her back, and sounded her siren challenge. Big Nose, to her intense dismay, shoved her back under the bed with his foot. She stayed there, trembling with fury and grief.

Big Nose picked up his sword. He stared at it for a very long time. Then he looked up.

"If you can do anything, can you . . . go fuck yourself?"

"What?! This is your answer? Think carefully."

Her human's voice sounded very conversational. "My answer is no. And, go fuck yourself!"

The demon did not respond, but Scully felt its fury building. The man-thing with glowing eyes faded in a red mist which seemed to be unaffected by the sudden wind blowing through the room. Papers and clothes whirled in a mad dance. Big Nose braced his back to the wall. Scully dug her claws into the carpet.

A voice with no owner spoke.

"I'm giving you another chance! He hates you, you know, and Dawson will never trust you, again. This nobility will gain you nothing! You'll never be able to tell anyone about me."

"You have my answer!" Big Nose yelled.

The wind blew harder, yet. It was all Scully could do to cling to the carpet. The suitcase slid into her, and then slid away. The bedspread lifted and took flight. Books flew from shelves, and toiletries were blown from the dresser. Scully squeezed her eyes shut. It was to be the End of Everything, after all.

The wind stopped, and books and bottles thudded to the floor.

"Wow," she heard him say. She didn't open her eyes until she heard him speak, very close to her. He was peering under the bed. "Scully, are you all right?"

She wanted to run to him, but she couldn't get her claws out of the carpet. She squeaked, piteously. He reached in and freed her, then he carried her in the crook of his arm as they surveyed the damage. The rising sun made the curtains glow, and cast a friendly light on the remains of the flat. The place certainly looked changed, but change is what you get for talking to demons, she reflected.

"I don't dare help him, Scully. He'll have to do this without me. I was doing okay until ..."

She was infinitely content to snuggle in his arms. The demon was gone, and she had her human back!

But she squirmed away from him as he passed the windswept dresser top, and leaped to it. There was that other cat, all right. Scully swatted at it, and hit only smooth glass. As she suspected. She turned and peed on it.

Behind her, Big Nose was packing the suitcase, again. He still smelled like fear, even though the demon was gone, and the other cat was only an illusion.

What could he be afraid of, now?


Scully loved it in Bora Bora. It was warm, and there was plenty of beer. She had as much of her human's attention as she wanted, and an abundance of things to chase and climb. All was well.

At least, in her world.

The End.

A/N: The sequel (sort of) to this story is called Get Well Soon. Also, there are two "sidebars" about Duncan during this time, called Desert Mirage and Empire of Dirt. I'll post them all soon.