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Draw Down the Moon

Draw Down the Moon 20

The clothes she had taken from the orderly were far too big: his jeans hung low on her hips and the hem of his shirt hung to her knees. She had rolled up the bottoms of the jeans and the sleeves of the shirt, but still she looked like a little girl wearing her big brother’s clothes.

However, there was no innocence in her eyes, no warmth, no affection. He lips curled in a sneering smile and she hooked her fingers in the belt loops of her jeans, pulling them low enough to reveal a pale curve of belly. “Hey, baby. Were you waiting for me?”

“Dr. Crowton just called to say you’d left the hospital.” John hadn’t worn his weapon since leaving work on Friday, but he found himself reaching for it at the look in her eyes. She smirked at him and he dropped his hand.

“Oh, you wouldn’t pull a gun on me, would you, baby? We’ve got far too much to talk about.”

“The only thing we need to do is get you back to the hospital. You’re still sick, Dana.”

“I’m not Dana,” she said, and for a moment John thought she was right. Dana’s eyes weren’t this cold. Dana’s lips were never cruel.

*That’s why you’ve got to help her.*

He said, taking a cautious step towards her, “Who are you, then, if you’re not Dana? Who else could you be?”

“You know me,” she said in a low voice. “You’ve felt me, smelled me, seen me, sensed me. I’m more real to you than God.”

“What are you doing here? What do you want?” he whispered, horrified and fascinated.

“I want you, John Doggett,” she said as if it were the most obvious thing. “I want you at my side. I want you to kneel at my feet and call me master. I will you give you anything you desire: women, wealth, power, fame. I could make you die with pleasure every day for a thousand years. I could make the entire world worship you as their savior. Men of power will beg you for your help and advice. All you must do,” her voice dropped to a whisper, “is serve me.”

He couldn’t break his gaze from hers. The terrifying thing was, he could see himself being that person, doing those things. He shuddered away from that vision. “Who are you?”

“I am the morning star. I am he who fell. I am the serpent. I am the dragon. I am the beast.” She was closer to him, her voice a mesmerizing murmur, so like Dana and so unlike Dana his still-aching head was even more befuddled and confused.

But he knew what he had to do. He squared his shoulders, closed the space between them, and cupped her face in his hands. He said, clearly and firmly, “No. You’re not.” She started to struggle and pull away, but he held onto her and said again, “No. That’s not who you are. You’re Dana.”

She snarled, “Dana isn’t—”

“Dana is. You are. You are Dana. You’re a doctor. You’re an FBI agent. You sing badly and you shoot straight and you worry about my cholesterol. You used to wear these enormous heels and tailored suits but I gotta say, I like you better the way you’ve been lately, all soft and natural. You’re a great kisser. You give the best back rubs. You love to slow dance. You’re a loving and devoted mother to your baby boy. You’re my girl. You’re my sweetheart.” He paused. Her eyes were fixed on his, and though her body was tense and poised to fight she had stopped struggling. He knew it was a huge risk, but he also knew she needed to know this “You’re the mother of my child.”

John felt a change in her, a snap as Dana broke through the creature that had imprisoned her. “John?” she whispered. A tear sparkled on her lashes.

“Fight it,” John breathed. “Fight.”

With a cry Dana wrenched herself away from him and slammed her body against the wall. This, he knew in a moment, was how she’d become so battered on Sunday: this battle was physical, spiritual, mental, internal, external, vibrating the very air around him.

“You—can’t—have—my—baby—” she ground out, her hands clutching at the wall, and John grabbed her again to keep her from hurting herself further. “Let go!”

“Leave this body,” he commanded, not even knowing where the words were coming from, except maybe some distant ancestor who’d wrestled devils in his day. “Leave this body! You’re not welcome here.”

Dana screamed, writhing in his arms like a seal, and her fingers clawed at his face, at her own face and at her belly. He grasped her more tightly, trapping her arms against her sides, and spoke like a drill sergeant, like a beat cop, like the head of the house, like a man fighting for his beloved. “Leave my wife alone! This is not your place! Leave this body!”

Her body jerked, shivered, and jerked again. Her eyes blazed— really blazed, fires against black—and John almost faltered because the hatred in them was like another blow to the head. He pinned her against the wall. “Leave this body!”

He felt it pass through him.

It did not burn, like he expected: it was cold and desolate, hollow. It sucked the air from his lungs and made his ears start to ring. It made his eyes water. It made goosebumps rise on his arms.

Dana staggered and sagged against him. Her head fell against his chest. Her body felt like dead weight. Weakly she grabbed his shirt. “William.”

“God, isn’t it over?” he said, but hitched her up in his arms and carried her as fast as he could go up the stairs to the baby’s room. Dana’s lips moved, her voice no louder than a breeze.

There were people in William’s room. Mulder he knew, and was not surprised to see him—but he didn’t know the woman with ash-blonde hair or the man with slender shoulders and piercing blue eyes.

“Hold on, baby,” he murmured to Dana, and stepped into
the room.

There was a strange noise all around them, a humming, a murmur. At first John thought it was from the strangers, but then realized he heard Monica’s voice—”bless your daughter Dana tonight”—and Maggie Scully’s—”Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners”—and Frohike’s—”God, if you’re out there, I’m really worried about my friends”—and more voices, all speaking words of hope and love.

He clutched Dana to him tighter and cautiously approached the people guarding William’s crib. They smiled at him, and Mulder reached out to touch Dana’s cheek. She smiled without opening her eyes. “What happens now?” John murmured.

“I told you before,” the woman said. She lifted William out of the crib and laid him tenderly in Dana’s arms. “You protect them. Leave the rest to us.”

John sank down onto his knees and Dana held onto William as she leaned against John’s chest. Her eyebrows furrowed as she looked at the woman, who was still smiling at her. “I know you,” she whispered.

“It’s me, Mommy,” the woman said. She, Mulder, and the other man stepped in front of them, blocking them from anyone who might come through the door or the walls or anywhere else.

“I can feel him,” Mulder murmured.

He burst through the floor, a wall of evil and darkness and flame. With long, talon-like fingers he reached for William, growling and snarling.

The ghosts raised their hands and blocked the creature from getting any closer. Between the baby’s wails, the creature’s snarls, and the rushing wind that filled the room, John could hear them, commanding the creature to leave, he had no power here. John thought he had plenty of power, and as if in response the creature tossed the woman aside and grappled with Mulder and the slender man. Dana screamed and William screamed, John arched over Dana and the baby to block the creature’s touch with his back and arms. He braced himself for a blow that never came.

John looked up, his arms around the shivering Dana and wailing William, and saw they had been joined by another Being, who from the neck down looked like a man but whose head was a swirl of color and light. He bathed the entire room in light, white, gold and blue, and his face was that of a man’s, an eagle’s, a lion’s. He stood between the vortex of evil and the trio of ghosts, his hand raised.

He spoke.

His voice was like thunder. Like a whisper. Like the ringing of church bells. Like the crash of waves against the shore.

John knew he was saying words but they were in no language he knew. Still he could feel their meaning down to his bones.

Leave this house. This child is not yours for the taking. Go.

The creature howled and spat, retreating from the Being like a kicked dog. Again the Being spoke, his voice older than the stars, banishing the creature, forbidding it, binding it, speaking in that beautiful, strange language, infusing the atmosphere with his power.

Gibbering, the creature shrank as if it were being sucked into nothingness, and was gone.

In the silence that followed, the Being looked at John, his faces for a moment more kind than terrible. Then he too disppeared.

The almost-familiar man and woman were gone too, leaving in their place Emily and Luke, and Mulder who got down on his knees, his face anxious as he inspected Dana and William. “Scully.”

Dana raised her head, still trembling, and their eyes met. John could hardly breathe as he watched them, as Mulder gently touched her cheek and William’s, as she grabbed Mulder’s hand. “Mulder.”

“Goodbye, my love,” he said. “It’s all right now. He’s safe. He’s as safe as he can be.” He kissed her and kissed William, and disappeared.

Emily was next: she hugged John, and kissed Dana and William noisily. “Don’t worry about the baby. He’s fine. Bye-bye, Mommy. I love you.”

“Goodbye, Emily,” Dana whispered, but the girl was already gone.

That left Luke, who had thrown his arms around his father’s neck and hung on tight. “Did we do good, Daddy?”

“Luke,” John whispered, “you guys did great. Who was that? Did you bring him?”

Luke grinned. “He’s my friend. He said he’d help if we needed it, and we did. He’s stronger than anybody.”

“Who were the other people? Were they friends too?”

“That was me,” Luke said with a little reproach in his voice. “You see me like how you remember me, but that’s how I really look.”

“Oh, Luke,” Dana whispered. “You would have been such a handsome man.”

He giggled at the compliment, then got serious again. “I have to go now, Daddy.”

“Oh, no, no, Luke, please stay. I don’t want you to go. I’ve missed you so much. I still miss you.” John’s eyes burned and he wiped them with the back of his hand.

“Daddy, I’ll tell you a secret.” He leaned in to whisper, “I’m never far.”

“But when will I see you again?”

“Not for a long, long time. You need to be here for William, Daddy. That’s why we came, to make sure you would be. Both of you,” he said seriously, putting one arm around Dana too. “I can’t tell you any more. I have to go.”

“I love you, Luke,” John said, and the boy smiled and kissed him.

“I know. Be good.” He patted William’s head and was gone.

For a long time the three of them stayed sitting on the floor, William making uncertain noises, Dana still trembling and murmuring to the baby. John didn’t know what to say. He could hardly bring himself to move. It was all too much to understand. He wasn’t even completely sure of what had happened.

Finally Dana said, her voice still stunned, “William needs a diaper change.”

“Okay.” Neither of them moved. “Do you need help standing?”

“I think I can do it.” She got to her feet, wobbling a little, and carried the baby to the changing table. John leaned back against the crib and watched her as she changed the baby and walked him for a few minutes.

When William seemed calm enough she put him in the crib, and John slowly stood. They both hesitated, and then Dana stepped into his arms and wrapped him in a fierce embrace. He kissed her hair and ran his hands over her back.

“Do you want to stay here and watch over him?”

Dana considered it, then said, “No. They said he’s safe. I believe them.”

“Okay.”

Arms around each other, they walked out of the nursery and sat on the stairs. John rubbed her arms. “I’m . . .” he began, but couldn’t continue.

Dana leaned her head against his neck. “John. John, if you wanted to divorce me, I’d understand.”

The idea shocked him silent for a moment. “Why would I do that?”

“Because . . . this marriage hasn’t been what either of us bargained for.”

“I don’t remember bargaining. We promised to love and take care of each other. Haven’t we been doing that?”

“John . . . all of this . . . I should have known we’d only bring our troubles to you.”

“I knew what it would involve, Dana. Well, I didn’t expect hauntings and . . . whatever that was . . . but I knew it wouldn’t be easy.”

She sighed and burst out, “How can you be so calm about this? I hurt you!”

“Sh,” John soothed her, stroking her hair. “Don’t. It wasn’t you.”

“I’ve been thinking a lot, when I could,” she said. Her voice grew thick as she said, “I’ve been trying to think of the right thing to do, and I really think the right thing is for me to walk away. You should raise William, John. You’ll do better at it than I will. You’ll be better off without me, both of you.”

“Dana!” He took her chin in his hand and turned her face to his. “Don’t say that! Don’t think that. William needs you. I need you. I love you. Do you really want to call it quits? ‘Cause I don’t. I don’t ever want to not be married to you.”

“Even with a new baby on the way?” Her lips quivered.

“Absolutely.” He put his hand on her belly. “I’m not scared anymore.”

Dana made a soft sound in her throat, kissed him, and laid her head on his shoulder with a soft sigh. He stroked her cheek.

“Do you want to go back to the hospital? You feel like the fever
‘s broken.”

“I probably should, but I don’t want to. I just want to rest.”

“I should still call Dr. Crowton and tell him you’re okay.”

“Okay. But tell him I’m not coming in. I want to sleep in my own bed.”

“Okay.”

They stayed sitting on the stairs, holding each other, shell-shocked and exhausted and glad to be alive.

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