Fanfic based on the television series Angel and The X-Files. All characters are the property of 20th Century Fox, and the brilliantly cruel Joss Whedon and Chris Carter. If I owned Doyle, I'd keep him alive and happy, but then again, happiness doesn't sell tacos. Or does it?
Harold Piller was running away. Again.
Mulder had to be wrong. All the innocents who were taken away in the starlight.... he had never seen his own son among them. Mulder must be wrong.
Maybe Mulder's sister was really dead. Maybe that other little girl was dead too, but his son was alive. He had to be alive.
If the boy was never coming back, what was there left to live for?
There had to be another answer, somehow.
There had to be a bridge somewhere. How did the children know where to go? How did the walk-ins call to them?
There had to be a link.
There had to be a way to come back from the starlight.
The last thing the child saw, as the floodwaters closed over her head, was a tree branch broken off, and falling toward her. It stretched out its shadow like a dark claw to drag her down.
"Let me up!"
She tried to scream, but the water choked her voice away.
It was so cold....
Then, gently, the velvet darkness covered her, like a blanket tucked around her in her sleep. She heard a soft, soothing voice.
"S'all right, then, little one. You can let go. You'll be safe now."
"Who are you?"
"Well then, I guess you could call me a teacher."
"From my school?" the child's mental voice quavered, and was answered with a chuckle.
"No, from another school, far away. Would you like to visit there with me?"
The lilt in the voice was oddly familiar. In the child's mind, she found something that matched it, and she smiled.
"Lucky Charms," she whispered, and she relaxed a little.
"Y'know, I never had a little girl of m'own. Will ye come up with me now?"
"Where? Where are we going?"
"A bit farther up, and around a zig there and a zag there, and then just a little farther in."
Without sound, she giggled.
The voice continued: "There's a swing here. It's a magic one, y'know."
"A magic swing?"
"That it is, and I can push ye till you fly high."
"Fly higher than ever before. Follow me on and I'll show you."
She was going to be all right. Someone was going to take care of her now. She could feel him reaching out to her, drawing her onward.
Somehow, wherever he was, however far away, it would be all right to be there.
Although her eyes were closed, somehow she could see the tenderness in a smile that was echoed in brilliantly blue eyes, reflecting an infinite vista of starlight.
"Okay," she whispered. "I'll follow you."
And, trusting, she let go.