Title: Lovely Evening Author: Maureen S. O'Brien Date: September 5, 1997 Rating: G Category: Archive: Yes. Disclaimer: Chris Carter owns the X-Files -- lock, stock, and gun barrel. But Vampire Miyu was created by a nice Japanese lady. I just thought they ought to meet, since they're in the same line of work.... Author's Note: an attempt to do something short, atmospheric, and non-fragmental. Lovely Evening Another lovely summer evening on Martha's Vineyard. The breeze touched Mrs. Mulder's cheeks with cool and gentle fingers as she walked back toward the field where Fox had gone to play. That was the latest thing. Fox wanted them to call him Mulder. His own parents! She supposed she should have either laughed or gotten mad about it, but she couldn't muster the energy for either. She just didn't call him anything. She was always tired, she thought. Perhaps not every day, but most days. Her husband didn't love her anymore. Neither did her son. But then again, she didn't love them. She didn't have the strength. All of it had gone into surviving the loss of little Samantha. There wasn't a speck of it left for anyone else. She passed through the line of bushes, watching the fireflies dance without a smile. Now she could see him. He was playing with that little Oriental girl from the Japanese tour group. But what were they doing? Fox was kneeling. And the little girl was hugging him and burying her head in his neck. How sweet. No. Fox looked like a zombie. He stared straight ahead of him. What was that little girl whispering to him? She didn't like it. They were being too quiet. "Fox William Mulder! Get up and march back to the house right now!" The little girl turned around and stared at her. "Is his name Fox? He said it was Mulder." She speaks English, anyway. "He likes to be called that. Fox?" He was not moving. He still stared into space. "He should not be called Fox. He does not have red hair. He does not play clever tricks," the girl mused. "But he is hunted." Her brown eyes looked amber in the sunset's glow. "You should go home now, little girl," Mrs. Mulder said. Somehow, she was reluctant to go to Fox while the girl stood in the way. "What's your name, so I can call your parents to come and get you? Which hotel are you staying in?" "I am Miyu," the girl said, giggling. "It means 'lovely evening'." "That's nice," Mrs. Mulder said patiently. Maybe her English wasn't as good as she'd thought. "But you need to go home now. Fox isn't feeling too well, it seems." "He is feeling better than he has felt for a long time." Mrs. Mulder's eyes widened. She marched straight up to Fox and yanked him up on his feet. His eyes seemed vague for a moment, then came into focus. "What do you want?" "You've been drinking, haven't you. Or taking drugs. Just like your father, running away from reality and into a bottle." "I have not!" His hazel eyes looked indignant. "Miyu was teaching me how to meditate!" She looked searchingly at the girl. "Is that true?" "Yes." She looked as guileless as a calm sea by moonlight. Mrs. Mulder thought for a moment. Parental instinct didn't believe it. They might not be doing drugs, but they were up to _something_. "Go back to the house, Fox. It's time to wash up for supper." "Okay, mom." "And you, little girl -- go on back to the hotel now. Your parents will be worried about you." She waited. Miyu shrugged to herself and left. Mrs. Mulder watched her walk down the road. Only when she was halfway back to town did she turn back to her own house. A masked and robed figure appeared out of thin air and floated near Miyu. She stepped into the air, her red hair ribbons blowing in the wind. "I have lost him, Larva," she said dispiritedly. "He believed that his sister had been the only one who loved him, and that he could see her in good dreams if he listened to me. But his mother came for him." "There are other beautiful boys, Miyu." "He was special. I would have given him peace, and now he will never have it." She paused. "He will always be hunted, but perhaps he will find clever tricks." "Or someone who loves him." She smiles, a little sadly, and holds out her hand to him. "Perhaps." When he takes it, she looks to the west, toward the mainland. "There is a saying in English, Larva. Tell it to me." "Red sky at night, sailor's delight?" "Yes, that's it." The sun sets in a blaze of red. As red as a fox's tail as it escapes from the hounds. As red as blood. Just another lovely evening.