In a large house on the New England coast, Dana Scully sat curled on a sofa, staring out the window at the rolling surf. It was cold outside but as she no longer felt the cold, the open window didn't concern her. She watched two joggers run along the beach together and felt the familiar prickle of hunger in her throat as the wind blew their scent toward the house, it was easy to ignore it. The sensation triggered the memory of the last time she had eaten, how the stench of Spender's tobacco scented clothes had hit her nostrils and made her want to vomit. The others had taken their fill, there had been more than enough blood to go around but she had only focused on Spender, on fulfilling her own personal vendetta. The experience had made her feel sick; she acted confident and sure of her new self in front of the men and women she had set out to destroy but in her mind she felt twisted and torn, partly disgusted by her own actions even though she understood that it was no less natural than a human being eating a steak - survival, nothing more. The others wouldn't need to eat again for at least a day but Dana knew she would need to hunt before that time and so she would probably have to head into the woods alone. For years now, ever since the incident in Washington with the glowing green bugs, she had hated the woods - those invisible men in Florida hadn't exactly changed her mind either. Today she felt at peace there, her senses powerful enough to pick up on any dangers before they could get close, she was top of the food chain now and the lack of distracting human stimulation gave her welcome relief.

Dana didn't know how long she had sat looking out of the window but as she became aware of the faint sound of an engine rumbling toward her, she realised that twilight had begun to fall. She sighed and stood up, stretching out her legs. She recognised the engine note and knew who was coming, the car was still some distance away and she quickly freshened up before she heard the door slam outside. There was a rapid sequence of three knocks and the front door opened.

"Dana!", Dr Carlisle stood in the doorway and smiled widely at her and the two of them hugged. "How are you?" She shrugged and turned her back on him, walking away back toward the living room. The man followed her in and noticed the dent in the sofa before she sat back down on it. "You haven't just been staring out of the window all day have you?"

"Not all day," she replied without making eye contact, "just since you called me."

"It's ok you know," he began but before he could go any further she rounded on him, red eyes glowing with fury.

"No it is not ok!" she shouted, her musical voice losing its tune and roaring like thunder "I've tried so hard to keep him out of danger and now he's going to walk right into the most dangerous situation possible because of me."

"You couldn't have known about the security camera," he told her earnestly but she shook her head.

"I should have been checking, I should have been more vigilant. I've put us all at risk."

"No one will find us, any of us," he reassured her, sitting down and rubbing one hand along her forearm in an attempt to calm her down. "Some of those guys have managed to stay off the radar for hundreds of years, they're not going to be foiled by one lousy security camera."

"But Mulder!" she half sobbed, "he's looking into the case now, he saw me on the footage, you said so yourself. Skinner's memo, Mulder's convinced now that I'm alive - or something anyway - and by now he'll have dragged our friends into this. He won't give up. He'll destroy himself to find me." She broke down sobbing and sat down on the sofa beside Edwin as he gave up his attempt to comfort her.

"Then let's not let him," he whispered gently. Dana looked up at him.

"What do you mean?"

"How about I contact him, offer to meet with him? He must have guessed at my involvement by now, the mysterious doctor who appeared right before your death. The only thing that has surprised me in this whole affair was how quickly he stopped pursuing me."

"What would you tell him?"

"The truth. About me, about you, about our plans."

"And risk exposing ourselves."

"You trust him don't you?"

"I'd trust him with my soul."

"Then we can trust him too."

"I have to see him."

"I know, but let me talk to him first, ok?"

"He'll probably try to kill you if he thinks you were involved!"

"If that's what he needs then let him, it won't hurt me after all," his final comment elicited a slight smile from Dana.

"I never asked how Holly is," she questioned sheepishly. "The information from the Bureau came from her?"

"Naturally, she's the best for information on that section as she's so close to Skinner. She's fine, just a little curious."

"I wish I could have stayed in contact with her," Dana replied, "but I couldn't risk Mulder finding out about me."

"It's just a stroke of good luck that of all the people to be attacked it was her."

"More lucky that you found her and helped her. She could never have stayed in that position without your support."

"She'll still have to leave within a few years," Dr Carlisle sighed, "she's a pretty girl, people notice her more, they'll get suspicious if she doesn't start showing a few laughter lines at least." A thump from upstairs stopped their conversation. "Guess I really was distracted, I didn't even notice we weren't alone."

"Gideon & Harrison are here for now, Leyla and Tim are shacked up in an RV in the woods." At the mention of their names, two young looking men appeared down the staircase.

"Edwin!" Harrison enthused, shaking the doctor's hand vigorously. "How are you? Care to join us for a hunt?"

"I'm afraid I have to head back to DC, I was just stopping by to speak to Dana after running a few errands. Maybe next time," Dr Carlisle replied with a large grin. "There's some blood bags due to go out of date that are waiting for me anyway, waste not want not eh?" The group all laughed and Dana managed a smile.

"Come on Dana," the shorter of the two men said, turning to her, "you gotta be hungry?"

"Starving," she admitted and the three of them said their goodbyes to the doctor before heading through patio doors and out into the cold, dark woods.

Hope you like the first real look at Vampire Scully! As for the review concerned about Mulder going all Buffy on her when they meet, well I'll give you a hint that someone in the future is not going to take to her new character very well at all...