Title: Dana’s Malakim
Pairing: Scully/OFC (Logan)
Summary: Scully must identify Mulder’s body after his suicide. Dying of cancer, she now faces an uncertain future, a crisis of faith... and a new partner. Little does she know the extraordinary and incredible things she’s seen while with the X-Files are nothing compared to what’s to come.
Time line/Spoilers: AU. Starts immediately after S4E23 Demons.
Disclaimer: X-Files and its characters belong to C.C. and 1013 Productions. No copyright infringement intended, no money be made.
A/N1: Some dialogue taken directly from the show. Although I do a bit of research for my stories, I’ve never been a cop, doctor, herbalist, psychologist, or theologist.
A/N3: All mistakes are my own. Special thanks to oxfordshoes2 for the beta.
Mama Flo’s Diner
Thursday, June 5th, 1997
“I’m really sorry about what happened back at–”
“Forget it,” Scully said, cutting Logan off. Her tone made it clear she didn’t want to discuss the matter. “So, did you find out anything?” she asked as she took another bite of her turkey club sandwich.
“Quite a few things. First off, her name isn’t Crystal Lear.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Come on. Crystal Chanda Lear? It’s a joke. Like Rose Budd, Paige Turner, Ann B. Dexterous, or Eileen Dover. I assure you, that woman’s name is not Crystal Lear. If you want, I’ll run a check on her when we get back to the hotel.”
“What else did you learn?”
“She made the phone calls.”
An auburn brow arched skeptically. “She told you?”
“No, but it was her.”
“How do you know that?”
“It was in her manner, the way her expression changed, the look in her eyes.”
“I didn’t notice anything.”
“With all due respect, you were outside,” Logan said in a gentle and nonjudgmental tone.
Scully took a slow breath and looked at the blonde across the table from her. Logan was a mystery... and displayed too damn many traits in common with Mulder. “So let me get this straight. The only thing we had to go on to identify the caller was a hat that completely covered her face. We went to the payphone and after only a quick look around, you decide to go into a store and talk with the clerk for a few minutes, after which you’ve decided she’s our caller even though she didn’t admit it.”
Logan simply smiled.
“Is this the way you always handle a murder investigation? Jump to a conclusion and only then look for evidence to support your theory?” Like Mulder always did.
The blonde was a little taken aback by the venom in her partner’s voice. She didn’t know where it was coming from. She frowned. “Normally I don’t get to flash a badge and have pleasant conversations with nice people.” Logan sat back with sigh. She continued in a soft voice, but there was a new timbre to it that Scully hadn’t heard before.
“I usually work undercover. Have you worked undercover before? Do you know what it’s like being around a bunch of sadistic degenerates whose favorite pastimes include raping women and selling children, killing them? Or how about the ones who take pleasure in seeing how long they can take to completely bleed out a woman’s body to the last drop while bathing themselves in the blood? I’ve had to gather information and determine the truth any way I can to solve cases, to stay alive. I’d had to use all my senses and listen to my instincts because I’ve been completely alone with no backup.”
Scully started to say something, but Logan wasn’t finished.
“Let me tell you something about me, Agent Scully. I know how to pay attention; to not just look, but see; to not just hear, but listen; to not just touch, but feel. I know when someone’s afraid, and when they’re hiding something. I may not be the most experienced agent in this kind of investigation, but I’m very good at what I do, at reading people. I’m telling you that Ms. Lear made those phone calls.”
Scully was silent, digesting not only Logan’s words but her very presence. The blonde never raised her voice or appeared anything other than completely calm and professional. Suddenly Scully realized she had completely prejudged Logan, or more correctly misjudged her. The woman sitting across from her was not a young, inexperienced agent, which was the mental picture Scully had already formed of her. She had done Logan a disservice. She felt a shiver run along her spine as she remembered that moment when they met and she noticed the blonde’s dark green eyes – sensing they saw things others didn’t. There was more to Nicole Logan than she had bothered to see. She looked into the blonde’s eyes.
“So, can you always tell if someone is lying?”
“Most people give themselves away – something in the eyes – but you have to be looking to see it. It wasn’t that difficult with Ms. Lear. Her pupils dilated, her heart rate spiked, and her hand was damp with a slight tremble when I shook her hand to leave – very different from when she placed the crystal in my palm for her little demonstration.” Not to mention I could smell the fear rolling off of her.
Scully’s eyebrow went up in surprise. “Her heart rate?”
Logan tapped the side of her own neck. “Pulse point.”
Scully was very impressed with Logan’s observations. They were valid and precise. The blonde wasn’t just jumping to unfounded conclusions; she was using valid investigative techniques. “So what do you suggest we do next?”
“If you agree, I’d like to have another talk with Ms. Lear... alone.”
Scully pinned the blonde with a look. “You’ve already arranged to meet her, haven’t you?”
“Just the option, nothing concrete.”
“Do you really think you’ll get any more out of her if you meet with her again?”
“I’d like to give her the chance.”
Scully pondered the matter for a several seconds. “Alright, but you check in with me before you go in to meet with her and as soon as you leave.”
Crystal Lear’s Apartment
Logan parked in front of Crystal Lear’s apartment building and pulled out her phone, calling to let her partner know she was ready to go in.
Lear let the blonde in, though it was obvious she was nervous.
“Thank you for meeting with me, Ms. Lear.”
“Y-You can call me Crystal, Agent Logan.”
The blonde smiled. “Crystal, you know why I’m here, right?”
“You want me to read your aura again?”
“No. I really need to talk to you about the phone calls... they’re related to some murders.”
Crystal paled. “I’m not a suspect, am I?”
“No, of course not.” Logan locked eyes with the woman. “But you do know about them... before they happen. Tell me how.”
Lear felt confused and disoriented, but compelled to explain. “I-I see them... in visions.”
“Do you know who the killer is?”
“No. I only see what he does, never him.”
“How do you know it’s a man?”
Logan nodded in understanding.
“You believe me... don’t you?” she asked in a surprised tone.
“Yes, Crystal, I do.” Logan took out one of her cards and handed it to her. “You don’t have to make anonymous phone calls anymore. The next time you have one of your visions call me. That’s my cell number.”
Lear looked unsure.
“With your help we can stop this guy, Crystal.”
Friday, June 6th, 1997
Since there wasn’t anything more the agents could learn in Albuquerque, they flew to Chattanooga on Friday, where they met with Agent Max Cogley. He brought them up to speed with the four murders, including the one from Thursday that Ms. Lear had called about.
Scully went to the morgue to perform the autopsy while Logan went to the crime scenes with Cogley. They discussed the case over takeout in Scully’s hotel room.
Scully was hungrier than usual, which pleased her. When looking into the mirror she couldn’t deny that that the outline of her ribs was becoming much more distinct. Her face was gaunt and she’d lost more than a little of her physical strength, as demonstrated by her daily exhaustion and her inability to perform an autopsy without taking a number of breaks. The cancer, her treatment, and even Mulder’s suicide were all taking a toll. Her clothes were looser and she was as pale as death.
So it was a welcome change to have a more normal appetite. Perhaps it had something to do with being away from home... and no treatment sessions since Monday. If nothing else, the current case had taken her mind off of Mulder. Well... except when Logan was acting too much like Mulder. Finding the caller in Albuquerque without talking to more than one person was uncanny, and very Mulder-like.
Scully shook her head to clear her thoughts.
“We should talk to the families and friends of the victims tomorrow.”
Logan sighed but nodded. Her reticence wasn’t lost on her partner.
“What’s wrong, Logan?”
Scully didn’t believe the blonde, but she decided to let it pass. It wasn’t like she was willing to share all of her thoughts with Logan.
Saturday, June 7th, 1997
Logan’s cell phone woke her up at 1:45 in the morning. Crystal Lear had had another vision. She turned on the light on the nightstand and wrote down what Lear described to her. It wasn’t a lot to go on, but they had to try. Logan got up and grabbed her clothes, knocking on the adjoining door to Scully’s room on her way to the bathroom.
“Scully! We got another call from Crystal Lear.”
Just as they got into the car Scully’s cell phone rang. It was Agent Cogley letting them know they had another murder. They exchanged a look and Scully started the car.
Scully and Logan took in the crime scene and the body on the bedroom floor.
“Her name is Darcy Huffaker. According to the ME she’s been dead about an hour,” said Agent Cogley.
Logan looked at her watch. “So Crystal didn’t call until afterwards.”
“Do you think she didn’t find out about this one until after the fact,” Scully asked.
Logan shook her head. “Actually, I think it has more to do with fear.”
“What do you mean?”
“Now that we’ve talked to her and she knows the murders are real, it’s... scary.”
“You talking about the suspect that’s been calling?” asked Cogley.
“She’s not a suspect,” Logan declared.
Scully wasn’t at all convinced the woman knew about the murders because she had visions. She suspected someone was passing the information along by much more conventional means, but she didn’t say anything to contradict the blonde in front of the locals. She nodded at the scene. “Tell me what you see, Logan.”
“Ligature marks indicate she was bound, possibly with zip-ties based on the size of the marks. The room shows signs of struggle, yet nothing is broken, so it was short-lived and he overpowered her quickly. No one heard her yells, so she was probably gagged. Since there’s no sign of struggle anywhere else in the apartment she invited him into the bedroom. Despite the fact that she was bound he beat her mercilessly. I’d say he has a lot of rage. There’s no sexual assault, so he could be impotent – a possible source of his rage.” She looked around the room. “The only pictures on display are of her family; none of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Her computer is set up in her bedroom, there are takeout menus in the nightstand drawer, no makeup or perfume on the dresser, only the most basic jewelry – a ring and a necklace – so she’s not one to go out and meet people. The victim led a very solitary life. She probably worked from home. I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually met our killer online.”
Cogley looked at her surprised. “She did work from home. She worked for a customer service call center as a telecommuter.”
“Not from this computer though. This is her personal space. She has to have another computer.”
“The smaller second bedroom is set up as an office,” Cogley verified.
Scully went with the body to perform the autopsy while Logan went to the FBI satellite office and began going through Darcy Huffaker’s computer trying to track her life and how she could have met the killer.
Once Logan tracked Huffaker’s online activities and found the logs of her chats with someone called Gumby_37 she put in a request for a subpoena to obtain information from the ISP. When she was finished she returned to the hotel. Scully arrived only a few minutes later. It was almost 5:00 in the morning.
Scully tapped on the adjoining door, which they now kept unlocked, and stuck her head in. “You still up?”
Logan sighed as she looked up from her laptop and leaned back in her chair. “Yeah. I’m trolling through the websites and chat rooms that Darcy did. What were the autopsy findings?”
“Nothing different from the others. Darcy Huffaker’s death was consistent with the previous victims. There was some alcohol in her system – .04 BAC. What about you? What did you find out?”
“Darcy had a date last night with Gumby_37.”
Logan smirked. “His online username. I’ve requested a subpoena for the ISP; see if we can track him down. In the meantime, I’m trying to see if I can hook up with him online.”
“He sounds like our best lead.”
“Well, I’m going to try to get a couple of hours of sleep. Let’s meet up at 9:00 to start the day.”
“Goodnight, Logan,” she said with a tired, thin, partial smile.
The two agents had spent all day interviewing grieving friends and relatives of Darcy Huffaker, and the previous victims. They finished around 8:00 that evening.
Despite the lack of sleep from doing an autopsy in the middle of the night, Scully was surprised to find she felt better than usual. She was emotionally exhausted from their interviews, but physically she felt stronger than she had in some time. It had started the day after she’d gotten so sick in Albuquerque. Since then her appetite had improved and she didn’t feel as fatigued.
Scully had taken a hot bath and changed into her pajamas. She was sitting on her bed reading when there was a knock on the adjoining door. The door was open, but Logan waited a couple of seconds before stepping around it. She was wearing shorts, a tank top, and running shoes.
“I’m going for a run.”
Scully didn’t like the dull look in the blonde’s eyes. “Are you sure? You look tired.” It was after 9:00 and she knew Logan had been up since before 2:00 that morning.
“I need to.”
Logan stiffened slightly. “I’m fine,” she said, her voice brittle. She turned and left.
Yeah, I’ve heard that one before, Scully thought to herself, remembering her own extensive series of ‘I’m fine’ lies.
Sunday, June 8th, 1997
A ringing cell phone woke her up. Groggily, Scully, groped for her phone on the nightstand. “Scully.” The phone rang again – it wasn’t hers. The ringing was coming from the other room. “Logan! Answer your phone.”
The phone continued to ring.
Scully got out of bed and walked into the blonde’s room. She found the phone and silenced it as she noted the absence of Logan. Her bed was untouched. It was 2:00 in the morning and Scully knew the blonde had been up since the phone call the night before. She returned to her room and pulled on some jeans and a sweatshirt over her pajamas. Out of habit she slipped her gun in the waist of her jeans and slipped her credentials in her back pocket. With her room key in hand she left in search of her coworker.
Downstairs she headed to the lobby, but something caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. She stopped at the door to the fitness room and watched Logan through the glass. The blonde was working out on the Nautilus equipment as if her life depended on it, almost in a frenzy. Logan had removed her tank top and was wearing a sports bra. An auburn eyebrow arched as Scully took in the sculpted muscles of Logan’s arms, legs, and abdomen. The woman was clearly fit while still maintaining a decidedly feminine physique.
Suddenly the blonde stopped. She moved to the wall, leaned against it, and slowly slid down to the floor. Scully felt a pang of pain at the misery she saw in the blonde’s dark green eyes before Logan covered her face with her hands. It was obvious the woman was crying.
Scully hesitated before reaching out and pushing open the door. She sat on the floor next to Logan and leaned against the wall, their shoulders a hairsbreadth from touching. She could feel the heat radiating from Logan’s body. Scully felt an almost overwhelming sorrow, as if the blonde’s pain was drawing her own buried heartbreak to the surface. Her father was gone, her sister was gone, her partner was gone... and soon enough she would be gone. So why should she go out of her way for anyone? She mentally shook that thought loose.
Logan leaned her head back against the wall, a few straggling tears slowly rolling down her face.
Scully placed her hand over Logan’s and gave it a squeeze.
“I guess you’ve discovered my secret.” The blonde wiped the tears from her cheeks. “Other people’s personal pain... gets to me.” Which is one reason I prefer the dark of night, fighting non-human things. Their pain can’t touch my soul. But human, good humans’ pain can... including yours, Dana.
“In our job we see the worst of humanity... but we also see humanity’s best qualities – in the way people persevere and even flourish following tragedy. What we did today, speaking with the family and friends of the victims... it hurts, all of us, including me. But it’s our job to help the families by giving them answers and by stopping the perpetrators from hurting more families.”
“I know.” Logan paused before continuing. “And we both know what that kind of pain feels like first hand.”
Scully felt tears sting her eyes; she fought to keep them from spilling. “Yes, we do.” The memory of Missy’s death caused a painful lump to grow in her throat. It took a few seconds for her to be able to swallow around it.
“I’m sorry... I never meant for you to see me like this.”
“There’s no need to apologize, Logan.” Scully hesitated only a few moments before continuing. “We’re... partners. Which means we’re here for each other.”
Logan looked at Scully for the first time. “You know I’ve got your back, Dana. I mean... neither of us chose this, but I would never leave a partner hanging.”
Scully nodded. “Yeah, I know. You’ve already shown me that.”
The blonde frowned, not knowing what her partner was talking about.
“You covered for me when I was... sick. Just as you helped me last week, it’s now my turn to help you. It’s late and you’ve been going for over 24 hours now. So come on, let’s go back to our rooms to get some sleep.” Scully stood and held a hand out to the blonde.
It was a symbolic gesture since Logan could have easily toppled Scully if she really pulled on her hand. But she took the proffered hand and rose from the floor.
The redhead picked Logan’s tank top off one of the machines and tossed it to her partner. They returned to their room and both women slept well the rest of the night.
Scully couldn’t believe the bright-eyed, professional woman standing before her was the same brokenhearted one from only a few hours before.
“Ready?” the blonde asked.
Feeling ready to face the day, Scully smiled. “Let’s go.”
FBI Satellite Office
Special Agent Cogley stood as soon as Scully and Logan entered the office. “The subpoena you requested came through.”
“So who is Gumby?” Scully asked.
“We don’t know. The information provided by the ISP proved to be completely false.” He paused for a beat. “As did the six other identities associated with Gumby’s account.”
Two eyebrows, one auburn and one blonde, quirked upward.
“But there are two pieces of good news.”
“The Gumby ID has gone inactive, but we do have the records of his chats linking him to Darcy Huffaker. And, we have his currently active ID – Red Ryder,” he said, handing a file to the redhead.
Scully opened the file. “Gumby_37, Red_Ryder_14, Radio_Flyer_42, Raggedy_Andy_63, Slinky_Dog_3, Curious_George_51, Potato_Head_28.”
“This guy’s into nostalgic toys. Maybe he’s in the toy business. I’ll check out any websites that sell nostalgic toys and chat rooms I can find that cater to collectors.” The blonde settled at a desk, opened her laptop, and began searching online.
Logan had been able to make contact with Raggedy_Andy_63. She was also able to arrange a face to face meeting, over lunch, the next day.
The Choo-Choo Grill
Monday, June 9th, 1997
Two and half hours past the designated meeting time they finally gave up. The three agents left the café and spoke for a few minutes in the parking lot. Cogley indicated that they had a possible lead – an assault victim whose attack seemed to fit the MO of the killer. It was decided that he and Scully would follow up on that interview while Logan went back online to see if she could make contact again and possibly find out why ‘Andy’ didn’t show. It was late afternoon, so Logan was going to just go back to the hotel and work from her room.
Scully rode with Cogley and Logan drove away in their rental. Lost in thought, the blonde didn’t notice the car that followed her from the café to the hotel.
“Miss Getzler, can you tell us how you met Curious_George_51?” Agent Cogley asked.
“It’s so embarrassing,” the young woman replied, dropping her gaze and blushing.
Scully sat down next to the woman on the couch and spoke softly. “It’s alright, Miss Getzler, no one is here to judge you.”
Wendy Getzler glanced at Cogley, her discomfort plain to see. In an effort to make the young woman more comfortable, Cogley excused himself to use the bathroom. As soon as he left the room Wendy began to talk.
“My sister and I loved Curious George as kids and now my niece is at that age and inherited a love for Curious George. I met George in a chat room when I was looking for some hard to find Curious George books to complete my niece’s collection. He seemed like such a nice man. Anyway, after chatting with him online for some time he suggested we meet in person.” She paused before continuing.
“Despite how nice he seemed, I was hesitant to meet in person. But then he said he’d found two of the books I was looking for, so I broke down and agreed to meet him for lunch.”
“What did he look like?”
Wendy shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t make the meeting. I had forgotten about another obligation that I couldn’t get out of. The next time we chatted online he said he was very disappointed, but was willing to try again. I felt bad about it, so I let him pick the time and place. He chose a really nice restaurant, an expensive one. When I got to the restaurant there was a message saying he’d been delayed a few minutes. And he’d ordered a nice bottle of wine, telling me to enjoy some while I waited.” She sighed. “He never showed up... and I got stuck paying for the wine.”
“So he showed up at your apartment?”
“I don’t know. In truth, I can’t positively say if it was him. All I know is I answered the door and someone hit me. Knocked me out. When I came to, the paramedics were checking me out. A friend of mine had come over to see me. She said my door was slightly ajar when she arrived so she came in to check on me. She was knocked over by some guy rushing out of my bedroom – she never got a good look at him. I never heard from him after that night.”
“How did he know where you lived?”
“If it was him... I can only guess that he followed me home. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help, Agent Scully.”
“No need to apologize, Miss Getzler. You’ve been quite helpful.”
En route To FBI Satellite Office
“So what did Miss Getzler have to say?” Cogley asked as he drove back to the office.
“She never got a look at her attacker. A friend arrived and interrupted him. He fled without being caught.”
“How did she meet him?”
“Online – looking for books for her niece. They set up a lunch but she couldn’t make it, so they tried again with dinner.”
“He never showed.”
“Then how did he know where she lived?”
“She thinks he may have...” her voice trailed off as realization struck her. “Get us to the hotel, now!”
“Getzler thought he may have followed her home from the restaurant after he didn’t show up for their dinner.”
Cogley just looked at her.
“Logan! He could have followed Logan back to the hotel!”