Allura woke up.
She didn't know what it was, but something wasn't right and it jolted her right out of much needed sleep. She sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes. Turning her head, she looked out the window and saw nothing out of the ordinary. The Arusian sun was beginning to rise over the horizon and the sky was bathed in light pinks and oranges as it did.
What was that?
Her sheets were still invitingly warm, but she couldn't shake the feeling that there was something amiss. Her sixth sense was keeping her from going back to sleep so she reached over to her night table to get her communicator.
"Good morning, Princess," came Keith's voice after a brief pause. "Is something wrong?"
"That's what I was going to ask you."
There was a pause as Keith checked over the latest plantary scans. "Everything looks pretty normal. What happened?"
"I just had this feeling," she said vaguely. "Thanks, Keith."
"No problem. See you at Lion practice." She could almost see the smile on his face. "You have another half an hour to sleep."
"Thanks," she said wryly. "See you then."
The Princess pushed back her sheets and shivered as the cold air hit her skin. Another half hour of sleep went a long way, but she was wide awake now. She headed to the bathroom to take a shower, hoping that it would wash away that sense of dread that had come over her.
Special Agent Dana Scully stared at her computer screen trying to focus her thoughts on the task at hand but her mind refused to comply. Sitting at his own desk, her partner, Fox Mulder stared into thin air, occassionally popping a sunflower seed between lips that she could not keep her thoughts away from. Despite herself, she had to admit that he was the reason she was so distracted. She pasted her best busy face on, but in reality she was thinking about something completely unrelated to the report on the screen.
She opened her eyes and saw his own brown ones looking shyly back at her. He smiled questioningly, his expression half-hopeful, half-apologetic, as he waited for her response. When she smiled back, his widened. Through the years, they had shared countless embraces and kisses, but never on the lips. Although they had breached most barriers people tended to put up around themselves, they had always avoided that particular kind of intimacy.
As she tried to slow down her racing heartbeat, she knew why they had.
"The world didn't end?" he murmured, his face still close to hers.
"No...it didn't," she replied, a little breathlessly. It's only the beginning.
He was still looking into her eyes, his expression more intense than she'd ever seen it before. She thought he would kiss her again…and a part of her wished that he would. But instead he said, "Happy New Year, Scully."
She smiled up at him. "Happy New Year, Mulder."
She quickly darted a look at him, but he didn't seem to be aware of the direction her thoughts had been heading. Mulder sighed then and rested his chin in his hand. She looked away just as his gaze fell on her face. If he looked closer, he would have seen a faint betraying flush across her cheeks. As it was, he was far enough away that he didn't see a thing.
"You'd think the new Millenium would bring a whole new bag of cases to us," he mused. "All the nuts and freaks should be running around causing havoc!" He threw his hands in the air.
"And prevent us from finishing our paperwork? No such luck," Scully said dryly.
"We've actually caught up," he said, running a hand through his cleared desk.
"That's an x-file in itself."
"Not a very good one," he sulked.
"Are you bored, Mulder?" she asked, stopping her typing and pinning him with a half-amused, half-wary gaze.
"How did you guess?"
"Women's intuition. How about getting me some coffee? That should ease your boredom."
He made a face at her. "Thanks, Scully. I knew I could count on you." But he got up and started a new pot at the coffee maker.
She tucked away a smile and turned back to her computer. A few minutes later, Mulder picked up the coffee pot and reached for a mug....
"Lance, wake up," Pidge said, poking his unconscious friend. "It's time for practice."
He didn't even stir.
"Lance...." Pidge said, grabbing at his arm. It was warmer than normal. He put a hand on Lance's forehead and sighed.
"Keith," he said into his communicator. "Lance has a fever. He won't wake up so I'm just going to leave him here."
"Alright, Pidge. Call a med team down there to check on him."
"He'll be fine, Keith. It's not too bad."
"I just want to make sure he's really sick," Keith said, a touch of amusement in his voice. "You have five minutes to get down here, by the way, or else it's fifty push-ups for you."
"Right, right," Pidge said, rolling his eyes.
One second he was getting coffee for Scully and the next, he was standing in the middle of a field, in the center of a circle of towering granite blocks. Before he could contemplate any further, a small cry at his side interrupted his thoughts. He looked down and found his partner on the ground, looking as confused as he felt. She had been sitting down in her uncomfortable desk chair when she suddenly found that it was no longer underneath her. He held out a hand and helped her up. She blinked and looked around her.
"What just happened?" she asked, her blue eyes narrowing.
He shook his head. "We were somehow transported from our office to this place," he replied. "Wherever this is."
The stone circle was in a forest clearing. All around them were trees, trees, and more trees. Scully's brow furrowed as she picked up something at her feet. Her eyes widened when she saw that it was a blue leaf.
"This leaf is blue," she said with disbelief. "I'm not a tree expert, but I'm fairly sure that blue leaves do not exist." She put it up closer to her face. "And I'm sure that leaves do not sparkle either."
She held it out to her partner and Mulder squinted as he studied it. He grasped her hand in his to shift the leaf slightly. It changed color from blue to purple. He looked and saw the trees did have strange looking leaves. Some were blue, others were green, red, or violet, but they all had a sort of shine about them. He laughed.
"What?" she asked.
"I just can't believe this is happening."
"Believe it," she said. "What are we doing to do? I don't know if we should walk or stay. Even if we were to walk, where would we go? But if we stayed, what would that accomplish."
Mulder could see that she was losing some of her stoic control and opened his mouth to say something reassuring when he heard a sound behind him. Scully heard it as well and she pulled out her gun, clicking off the safety with a flick of her thumb, as she turned around. They found themselves face-to-face with four men dressed in medieval-looking garb. But they had futuristic looking weapons in their hands. The agents exchanged a look and raised their arms simultaneously. Scully's gun fell to the ground with a thump.
It was then did Mulder realize that he was still holding the coffee pot.