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.
New Orleans, LA
Thursday, June 19th, 1997
The next morning they drove to the police department and Reyes took them to meet with the parents of the third victim. It was an emotional meeting and the father of the victim seemed to be hostile to them and his dead daughter. With an unspoken understanding Scully was able to separate the father from the mother, allowing Logan to speak to the mother privately in the daughter’s room.
Both Logan and Scully were quiet and appeared to be irritated when they left. Reyes just let them silently mull over their thoughts as she drove them back to the department. Once at the department they went into the office Reyes was using. She wasn’t quite sure how to break the silence. Fortunately Scully saved her from having to do so.
“I’ll never understand how a parent can so completely turn their back on their own child. I wouldn’t put it past him to have killed his own daughter,” Scully ground out.
“Mrs. Hoffman was clearly afraid of him, but I don’t think he’s our killer,” Logan said.
“No. But that man is full of hate.”
Logan nodded in agreement. “Yes. He’s very judgmental... and a bigot. According to Mrs. Hoffman he’s the reason their daughter was no longer living with them.”
“She wasn’t?” Reyes asked. “They never told us that.”
“Mr. Hoffman kicked her out recently when he found out she was involved with another woman. He forbade his wife to have any contact with her.”
“Did Mrs. Hoffman know where her daughter was staying?” Scully asked.
“No. But she had a phone number to contact her.”
“Let me run it and get a name and address from it,” Reyes said.
Logan gave her the number. It turned out to be a disposable cell. They were able to trace the manufacturer and then the location of the sale. From there they spoke to the clerk who sold the phone and got a lead on who she might have been staying with. Eventually they found Darla Hoffman’s lover, Chris Routon. When Scully and Logan interviewed Ms. Routon she seemed to respond more easily to Logan, so Scully let her partner take the lead.
Scully watched as Logan, while remaining professional, became the epitome of gentle, supportive sympathy. It was as if she was literally lifting the weight of overwhelming sorrow from the grieving woman’s soul – and Routon seemed to know it. Her grief was still present and still had to be worked through, but it was no longer crippling her.
When they were leaving Ms. Routon hugged Logan and whispered something in her ear. Logan nodded in understanding as she returned the gesture. She gave the woman her card, gave her hand a squeeze, and held her eyes a moment before stepping out and joining her partner. Once in the car Scully could see her partner’s shoulders drop and her eyes close as her expression changed. Her whole bearing changed from one of strength and confidence to one weighed down by sorrow and pain.
“You okay, Logan?”
Scully gave her a look that said she didn’t believe her, but she let it go for the moment.
Red Roof Inn
Logan was silent on the ride back to their hotel. She was going over everything she knew about the three victims in her mind, pulling together a picture of what the killer was drawn to. Starting with the victimology and then slowly developing a profile of the killer with what little they had to go on so far. She was so lost in thought she hadn’t even noticed that they had arrived at the hotel. In fact, it took Scully addressing her a number of times and actually shaking her shoulder to get her attention.
“Hey, Logan. Where are you?”
“Huh? Oh, sorry.”
“I said we’re here. And I asked where you were? Are you sure you’re alright?”
The blonde let out a deep breath. “Yeah, I’m fine, Scully. I’m just thinking, trying to fit the pieces together.”
They got out and went to their rooms. They both changed into more comfortable clothes. Logan sat down with her laptop and started working on the profile. When Scully stuck her head in the room through the open adjoining door, she could tell Logan was completely absorbed in her work. Instead of interrupting her to suggest going out for something to eat, Scully decided to order something delivered. When the food arrived she carried it into her partner’s room and set it up on the small table near the window.
“Come on, Logan. Time for a dinner break.”
The blonde finished her current thought and saved her work. She turned and went to join Scully at the table.
“I hope you don’t mind Chinese.”
“Not at all. I love it. It’s one of my favorites.”
After each woman had downed a few bites of food Scully broke the silence.
“So what have you been working on?”
“Victimology profile. From there I’m hoping to get a better handle on our suspect.”
Scully nodded in understanding. “What have you come up with so far?”
“Well, all three women were young professionals – a paralegal, a doctoral fellow, and a real estate agent. They were strong individuals, and despite the fact that Darla had been living at home with her parents all three were quite independent. Darla’s situation was only temporary which I believe was due in part to trying to protect her mother.”
“You think Mr. Huffman is an abuser?”
“I know he is emotionally. I suspect he is physically. You said yourself you wouldn’t be surprised if he killed his own daughter,” Logan pointed out. “And Mrs. Huffman is definitely afraid of him.” She took another bite of her food. “Also, all three of the victims were gay.”
“Well, Darla’s mother told us about Darla. The first victim’s effects told us – the pictures of her cuddling and kissing other women, the book titles in her collection, etc.”
“But there wasn’t anything like that in the second victim’s place.”
“She had both a pink triangle and a rainbow bumper sticker on her car.” Logan sipped her tea. “I don’t know if our suspect is choosing the victims because they’re gay, or if his victims are gay simply because it’s easier for him to choose them – i.e.: he lives near a women’s bar and therefore sees them frequent it. And I haven’t figured out why he’s sending the police obscure quotes from the religious texts of Islam, Judaism, and the bible in different languages. The quotes don’t appear to have anything to do with victims or their lifestyles. Nor do they appear to have anything to do with each other. I mean if he’s trying to send us a message, I can’t figure out what the hell it is.” She took a drink of her water.
“I can’t tell you much about him yet. But he’s obviously intelligent and has some education, as evidenced by the content of the notes. And he’s not just finding the quotes and then translating them into the other languages using a language dictionary. The syntax, the conjugations are all correct – he knows the languages, he’s been trained in them. It’s possible he studies, or studied, history or theology.”
“It wouldn’t be the first time a religious nut decided to kill in the name of God.”
“Unfortunately true. But the quotes are not the ones traditionally used to condemn homosexuality or to justify treating women as second class citizens. In fact, the verses from the gospel of Mary state it was Mary Magdalene that was to build Christ’s church and not Peter, that Christ entrusted his legacy to her.”
“It doesn’t make any sense.”
“No, it doesn’t. The only other thing I can tell you about him is that he’s arrogant as hell. He’s committing these murders without leaving any clues behind, but he’s sending these notes to the police – thumbing his nose at us.”
“Are we sure these notes are definitely related to the murders?”
“Well, I suggest letting it go for tonight. Take a look at it again tomorrow.”
The blonde took a breath and nodded as she let it out. “Yeah. I think I’ll go for a run in a little bit. Would you like to join me?”
“No thank you. I think I’m going to enjoy a long, hot soak and some bubble bath.”
She smiled. “That sounds nice too.”
“Well I’m not going to invite you to join me,” Scully said with a smirk.
Logan laughed. “That’s okay.”
They cleaned up the remnants of their dinner. Scully was looking through some files while the blonde went into her bathroom to changed into her running clothes. There was a knock on Logan’s hotel door. Scully got up and looked out the peephole. She recognized Monica Reyes so she opened the door. Reyes was surprised to see Scully when the door opened.
“Oh, hello, Agent Scully. Did I get the wrong room number?”
“No. This is Logan’s room. Come on in. She’s in the bathroom.”
Reyes entered and saw the open door to Scully’s adjoining room. She also saw the open files on the table. Just then Logan came out of the bathroom in a tank top and shorts.
“Hi, Monica. What’s up?”
“I dropped by to see if you still liked to run.” She nodded to the blonde’s attire. “It appears you do. Care for a running partner?”
“Yeah, I would.” She tossed a smile in Scully’s direction. “Especially since Scully turned me down in favor of a bubble bath.”
“Hmm, sounds like she’s smarter than you,” Reyes said with a smile.
Scully smirked and cocked an eyebrow.
“Oh, Monica, right through the heart,” the blonde said as she playfully clasped a hand to her chest. They both chuckled. “Scully, I’ll have my cell with me in case anything comes up,” she said as she clipped her phone on her waistband.
“Alright. Enjoy your run.” Scully headed to her own room.
Nicole and Monica ran. The brunette directed them to a quiet park where they sat and watched the sunset. They talked for quite a while, catching up on the past four years. Reyes ended up telling Logan about a bad recent breakup. The blonde held her as she cried, finally letting out the last of her pain.
“Shhh... it’s okay, Monica... let it go...”
The brunette literally felt a weight lifted from her shoulders and heart. She wiped the tears from her face and took a deep breath. “How do you do it? How do you always make someone feel better?”
“It’s part of what I do,” she replied barely above a whisper.
“I know. But how?”
“It’s just something I’m meant to do.”
“You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, don’t you?”
“How do you cope with it?”
Nicole took a deep breath and let it out. “Different ways. It depends. Sometimes I run... and sometimes I hunt.”
“Hunt? What do you hunt?”
“Bad th– bad guys.”
They talked about their current case for a while, bouncing ideas back and forth.
Red Roof Inn
Friday, June 20th, 1997
It was almost 3:00 in the morning when Scully heard her partner finally come in. Some run. She was a surprised to find herself feeling a little jealous about the time Logan was spending with the brunette. And she hadn’t missed the way Reyes had been flirting with her partner.
The next morning Scully was surprised to find Logan up early and already working, looking as if she’d gotten a full eight hours sleep as she handed Dana a hot cup of her special blend of tea.
“Good morning. Did you sleep well?”
“Yes. What, no morning coffee?” she asked as she took the tea. “And what’s got you in such a good mood this morning?”
“First off, the tea’s much better for you, especially on an empty stomach. And second, I’ve got some ideas about the case so I’ve been doing some digging.”
Scully sat down in the other chair. “What ideas?” she asked and started sipping the tea.
“What if the notes are a complete red herring?”
“You mean they aren’t part of the case?”
“No. I think they’re sent by our suspect, but the only reason he’s sending them is to divert our attention away from where it should be. He wants us to focus on them, to try to figure out his message, to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Only there is no message, no puzzle. Like a magician gets you to look at his left hand, when it’s his right hand that’s hiding something.”
Scully took a few moments to consider what the blonde was saying. “Alright. So what does he not want us to see? What’s in his other hand?”
“His true self. Based on the notes we’ve made assumptions. At least I have. I’m starting over from scratch. I now believe this guy is local. And despite the lack of clues, I suspect these are his first kills.”
Scully shook her head in disagreement. “Killers don’t start out this clean, Logan.”
“I didn’t say these were his first crimes – just his first kills. I think he’s escalating. These women also showed signs of sexual assault. I think our guy has been an active rapist. And that puts a whole new spin on the sexual orientation of the victims.” She paused and sipped some of her own tea. “There are some colleges and universities in the area. I’ve a got a friend doing a computer search based on degrees earned and courses taken by current and previous students, and faculty with the requisite knowledge of the languages used in the notes to give us a starting pool of names.”
Scully’s eyes widened. “That’s going to be a lot of people!”
“Actually, it won’t be as many as you think. There are not that many people who take courses for Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Even those who attend Seminary usually only have to learn two languages. And German or Italian is often one of the languages they learn.”
“If our suspect already graduated, it doesn’t necessarily mean he attended school locally. He could have been educated overseas even, like yourself,” Scully pointed out.
Logan nodded. “I know, but it’s a starting point.”
Scully conceded the point, and she knew they had nothing else to go on at the moment. They had to start somewhere. “What do you want to do today then?”
“I want to go through local rape and assault cases and see if we can find any that fit the MO. If we get lucky, we might get some kind of description. And then Monica suggested we hit the same bars that our victims frequented this evening.”
Home of Erin Collins
At the police station Scully and Logan met with Reyes and Lt. Scipio. The brunette’s partner, Landry, had been pulled for another case, but in case the notes did mean something, Landry agreed to keep working that angle on his own time. Scipio gave the agents full access to all their rape and assault files, which the three women went through. By afternoon they had a couple of possible matches. Scully and Logan decided to interview them. Before leaving they agreed to meet up with Reyes for dinner before going out to the clubs.
They went in search of the two women from the cases they found. The first wasn’t at home or at the place of employment listed in the case file. So they moved on to the second one. According to the case file she was a graduate student at Tulane and they happened to catch her at home.
As soon as Erin Collins opened the door Logan was hit with the pain, turmoil, and depression that was eating the young woman alive. Whoever had raped Erin, whether it was the man they were looking for or not, had all but destroyed her. And she wasn’t going to survive without help – despite any outward appearances.
Scully could also tell Erin wasn’t in the best of shape. She simply didn’t know just how bad, how close to the edge Erin was.
“We’re with the FBI. I’m Special Agent Dana Scully; this is my partner Special Agent Nicole Logan. May we speak with you?” Scully said as she showed the woman her badge and ID.
“We’re investigating some assault and murder cases that may be related yours.”
Erin visibly tensed, but stepped back to let the agents in. “W-Would you like something to drink?” she asked as she relocked her door – an action that didn’t go unnoticed by either agent.
“No thank you, Ms. Collins.”
“H-Have a s-seat, please.”
“You have a very nice apartment, Ms. Collins,” Scully said as she looked around.
“Have you lived here long?”
She shook her head. “Just since I started grad school...” her voice trailed off before she continued. “But I dropped out after... after...” She took a deep breath. “I don’t know if I’ll go back.”
“What were you studying?”
“Ms. Collins, I know you filed a report and spoke with the local police department, but would you be willing to answer some questions for us?”
“If I can.”
“Do you remember anything about the man who assaulted you? The color of his hair or his eyes? Any scars or tattoos? Anything at all?”
She shook her head. “No,” she said in a whisper. “He grabbed me from behind. H-Held a knife t-to my throat... said he’d k-kill me if I opened my eyes, o-or fought back.”
Logan stood and moved to sit next to Erin on the couch. She gently put her hand over Erin’s where they were clenched in her lap. “Erin, you did the right thing,” she said softly.
Tears started to roll down her face. “I should have tried...”
“No, Erin. You did exactly what you should have. You did what was necessary to stay alive. You survived, that is what’s important.”
“Is it? I’m n-not so sure.”
Logan reached up and gently lifted Erin’s chin so she could look in her eyes. She shifted closer to Erin and tenderly wiped away her tears. “Trust me, Erin,” she said as they made eye contact. She spoke so softly Scully almost couldn’t hear her. “I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but things will get better and you will be happy again.”
“By not giving up. By believing in yourself. Regardless of what has happened you are still a beautiful woman who has a lot to give. I know he hurt you, but he can’t destroy your heart, your mind or your soul, Erin – not if you don’t let him.”
Scully could see Erin begin to respond to her partner. The blonde seemed to really have a way with people.
“I n-need some air...” Erin got up and stepped to the sliding glass door that led to a small balcony. She fumbled with the lock.
Logan got up and went over to her. She gently put one hand on her back and with her other hand unlocked the door for Erin. Erin slid the door open and stepped outside. With a look over her shoulder at Scully, Logan followed Erin out. Scully nodded, indicating she’d wait inside, giving them some privacy.
From where Scully sat she could see her partner talking some more with Erin Collins but couldn’t hear anything said by either woman. As Scully watched, she could actually see Erin’s bearing change – she seemed to get taller as she lost her tendency to slouch and hunch her shoulders inward. Her entire physical presence seemed to transform before Scully’s eyes. She saw Erin give Logan a hug. When they came back inside Erin looked like she was actually lighter on her feet.
“If you do think of anything else, even if you’re not sure it’ll help, please give me a call,” Logan said and handed her a card. “My number is on the card.”
“I will. And I don’t know how to thank you, Nicole. What you’ve done... I can’t thank you enough.”
“You’re more than welcome. Just take care of yourself, Erin, and follow your dreams.”
En Route To Hotel
Logan and Scully left the apartment and got into their rental car. To Scully, her partner appeared to be a different woman. Logan seemed as if she was carrying a great weight not only on her shoulders but also on her soul. Scully was about to say something but the blonde’s phone suddenly rang. Logan seemed to struggle to get her phone out and answer it.
“Nicole, it’s Thea.”
“I’m done with that computer search you asked me to do.”
“Good. Can you email me the results?”
“Any word on that other matter?”
“Jerry says he’s isolated a complex agent, but he hasn’t been able to identify it yet. He’s still working on it. It’s definitely not anything natural. It’s something created, possibly even designed to affect Dana specifically.”
“Alright. Thanks for the help, Thea.”
“No problem. Take care.”
The blonde hung up her phone and laid her head back on the car seat with a sigh.
“Are you alright, Logan?”
“Yeah.” Before Scully could say anything else Logan continued. “That call was from my friend who ran the computer search for me on past and present students and faculty of the local colleges and universities. She’s emailing me the results.”
“Who is she?”
“Thea Wickersham. She owns her own software company. Just about every law enforcement agency in the country uses some form of her search and database programs, including the FBI. She started out as a hacker – she’s phenomenal. If something has ever been out there on a computer she’ll get it.”
“How do you know her?”
“Our families have been close for ages.”
Red Roof Inn
Scully hung her suit up after changing into something more comfortable. She then went through the open door to her partner’s adjoining room. The blonde was dressed in running clothes. She was turning on her computer and soon writing out the list of five men and two women that fit the criteria Logan had given Thea.
“There are two women here. Do you really think our suspect is a woman?” Scully asked.
“Probably not, but I don’t think we should automatically rule them out. Our victims can’t tell us, and there’s no semen or other forensics to rule out a woman. It’s rare, but it wouldn’t be the first time. Unfortunately a woman is capable of being just as violent as a man.”
“What about Erin Collins? She said her rapist was a man.”
Logan shook her head. “Her rape isn’t part of this case.”
“Oh. I thought since you spent so long talking with her...”
Logan spun and glared at Scully, her dark green eyes flashing with anger. “You saw how much she was hurting! She was hanging over the edge with no safety net and her fingertips giving out. Tell me, Doctor Scully, could you really have turned your back and walked away knowing she’d have been dead in less than a day?!” She picked up her room key. “I need some air,” she said brusquely and left.
Scully stood there, shocked, for several moments. It was the first time she’d heard a cross word ever come from the blonde. And she was very surprised at how much it bothered her. She felt... She sat down, suddenly feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. Have I gotten so wrapped up in myself that I can’t see others in pain? No, I did see Erin was hurting – I just didn’t do anything about it. God, that’s even worse! I’ve cut myself off from everyone, even my own feelings, so I can cope. At least that’s what I’ve told myself. But at what cost? Is it worth it?
Logan didn’t get far. She found she no longer felt like running. She ended up just sitting on a bench. She blocked out everyone and everything around her. She was glad she was able to help Erin Collins. The darkness of her soul would have swallowed her up before the sun rose again. Fortunately, Logan was able to lift that darkness and let the light shine again for Erin, show her the way back to her true path.
But it always hurt when she did things like that, because she took those burdens onto herself. This is why I’m a hunter! Give me the dark of night and monsters to battle. They can’t touch my soul. I’m a Malakim not a Guardian Angel!!
After some time passed, she didn’t know how much, the blonde got up and brushed herself off. She walked back to the hotel.