Title: Weak in the Knees
Rating: NC-17Please see previous posts for disclaimer/summary/notes. As always, thanks to celievamp for the beta!
After Morgan heard Scully lock the door between their rooms she made a decision. She knew she couldn’t bear the rejection. She had opened up to someone for the first time in years, but she’d ruined it. It wasn’t Dana’s fault. Jess was the one who had deceived her, who didn’t tell her about herself.
But then, how does one go about telling someone her kind of secret? Not even her parents knew – only her grandfather had known. He was the one who explained to her what was going on when she realized she was different from everyone else. He was the one who explained to her what she was, who she was, and what she needed to do.
Her family gave her privilege, her heritage that gave her power... and it was her grandfather who taught her the responsibilities required of her. And one of those responsibilities was to not inflict herself on an innocent person. Actions had consequences. So, she set the alarm to wake her at 6:30 to make some calls and travel arrangements.
Morgan was feeling better physically when she got up in the morning. But she really should have had more time to recover. Although her ribs were no longer broken they were still very sore. At least her shoulder only had a twinge in it. And there was only faint bruising remaining on her face. Another pint of blood and some more sleep and she’d be good as new.
She made her phone calls and then went down to the precinct to interview the brains of last night’s escapade. Bill Simon was little more than a low level criminal. Her interrogation of the man produced only the confession that he’d been hired, by phone, to ‘teach some uppity bitch’ a lesson. He’d received a picture of her and $3000 in an envelope with no postage in his mailbox. For a mere $500 he hired Jerry Brunson to do the actually beating – because he didn’t like to get his hands dirty, and because Jerry enjoyed beating women so much.
Not expecting to find anything more from this lead, she turned over the follow-up to the locals. Morgan then caught the 9:45 flight back down to Miami. Once there, she rented a car. Since she was on her own dime, she’d made a reservation at the Loews luxury hotel that had opened only two and half months earlier.
A discreet symbol on the concierge desk (visible only to those of a certain breed), let her know that she wouldn’t have to leave the hotel to obtain the pint of blood she needed. She placed her order and retired to her room. Not ten minutes after arriving in her room there was a knock on the door. She took delivery of her order. Even though it wasn’t even 1:00 in the afternoon, she drank the warm, thick liquid and then went to bed.
Morgan got up at 6:00 feeling pretty good. She changed into some shorts and a tank top, and went for a long run. She enjoyed the run. Back at the hotel at 7:30 she showered and changed. She went to dinner and then drove up to Ft Lauderdale.
Morgan was on downtime for a couple of days because of what had happened. She hadn’t told the Director just how badly she’d been hurt since she knew she’d be fully recovered in a short time. Unusual for her though, she was actually going out for the evening just to be herself and relax. She had liked the Black Diamond wine bar when she and Scully went there during the investigation. So, on this Thursday night, she headed to the Black Diamond.
Marge, the doorwoman, recognized Morgan. “Good evening, Agent Morgan.”
Morgan smiled. “Good evening, Marge. And tonight it’s just Jess.”
“Any luck with finding Beth’s killer?”
“I can’t discuss the case, but don’t worry, we will get him.”
Marge nodded. She waved Morgan’s money away when she tried to pay the cover charge. “I told you, no charge for you.”
“I’m not working tonight, Marge.”
“Just go in. Kate wouldn’t want me to charge you.”
“How is Kate?”
Marge sighed. “Hurting. But she’s a strong woman, she’ll be okay.”
“She’s not in, is she?”
“No. Although she would have been if we hadn’t all threatened to walk out on her if she came in.”
Morgan nodded. “She’ll need some time to mourn, but she’ll also need to keep busy. Don’t be too hard on her if she needs to work.”
The older woman recognized the sound of experience of in the agent’s voice. “Don’t worry; we’ll take good care of Kate. Have a nice evening, Jess.”
“Thank you, Marge.”
Morgan entered the bar. There was a different bartender on duty and there were only eight customers present. She went to the bar, ordered a glass of wine, and took a seat in one of the leather arm chairs.
After a couple of glasses of wine, Morgan wandered to the back corner of the bar, to the baby grand piano. While at Oxford she worked part time at a quiet little pub called The Squire. She had played the piano there. It had been a much more innocent time in her life. It had been a long time since Morgan sat down to play the piano, because no matter how she tried, her emotions always came out in the music. If she was angry, so was the music; if she was happy, so was the music; if she was melancholy, so was the music. She placed her fingers on the keys, caressing them, but not yet applying any pressure.
Morgan looked up at the softly spoken words.
“Go on and play something,” Marge gently encouraged her.
“Taking a break?”
“No. I was just filling in for Barb who was running late. I’m not actually working tonight.” Marge sat on one of the stools placed around the piano. “So, play something,” she said with a smile.
Morgan let out a slow breath, caressed the keys a moment, and started to play. Her eyes drifted shut as the melancholy notes mingled, formed a coherent union, and wrapped themselves around her. Morgan wasn’t sure how long the music had carried her, but when she opened her eyes again, there were five or six other women also sitting on the stools around the piano. She felt her face color and she dropped her gaze as she let her hands fall away from the ivory.
“No, don’t stop.”
“That was beautiful!”
“Please, play some more.”
“Play some more.”
Morgan looked at Marge who was smiling.
“I think you’d better play some more before they get rowdy,” Marge said with a smirk.
Morgan played the baby grand piano for over two hours. The women commented on the beauty of the music, though not the melancholy woven within it. Finally she took a break. She grabbed the latest glass of wine that had been purchased for her and moved back to one of the leather arm chairs. Marge sat in its companion, sipping a mineral water.
“You play beautifully, Jess. But I have to ask, why so blue?”
Morgan sighed. “Just things catching up with me, I guess.”
Morgan had had enough wine to loosen her tongue more than usual. “I’m tired of investigating the murders of young women; tired of crawling around in the minds of the sick and evil bastards that rape, murder and molest; tired of trying to catch monsters after they’ve wreaked havoc in the lives of innocents...” she trailed off. “Tired of being afraid and alone... and of not being happy,” she added softly.
Marge placed her hand on Morgan’s forearm and gave it a squeeze. “I can’t imagine a beautiful woman like you ever having to be alone... if she didn’t want to be.”
“I don’t want to be... not anymore...” She took another sip of wine. “I miss her,” she said, thinking of both Toni and Dana.
Morgan’s mind played out the scene of Toni’s murder... and the locking of the door by Dana. Right at that precise moment, she wasn’t sure which hurt more. She let out a sigh. “Bad things happened.”
Marge didn’t press Morgan for more detail, but she did keep her company throughout the evening.
Around 2:00 Morgan decided it was time to go. She had long since surrendered the keys to her rental car. She turned to Marge. “Time to call a cab.”
Marge smirked. “Where are you staying?”
Marge stood up and offered a hand to Morgan. “Come on. I’ll drive you.” She helped Morgan up, who wavered just slightly. The bartender tossed Morgan’s keys to Marge when she asked for them. Marge got the tipsy agent into the passenger’s seat of the car and then got behind the wheel.
“How old are you, Jess?”
Morgan, who had been gazing out the window didn’t catch the question. “What?”
“I asked how old you are.”
“Ah. Just turned 33 a couple weeks ago.”
“Then regardless of what’s happened in your life, you’re still young enough to set yourself on the path you want to follow.”
Morgan frowned. “You sound as if you think you’re too old to do that for yourself.”
Marge chuckled. “It gets a little hard when you’re in your 50’s.”
“50’s? I’d have thought 40, 42 tops.”
“Thanks. And I’m not complaining about my life. I don’t have many regrets.”
When they arrived at the Loews Marge insisted on seeing Morgan up to her room.
“I’m not that drunk, you know,” said Morgan.
“I know,” Marge replied with a smile. “Besides, I wouldn’t mind a look at Miami’s new luxury hotel. I hear it’s pretty posh.”
“The suite I have is definitely nice. It has a great big claw foot tub and a separate marble shower,” the agent said as they walked inside.
“Suite? And the feds pay to put you up in a place like this?”
“No. I’m here on my own dime.”
When they neared the door to Morgan’s suite, she heard something... from inside. She froze instantly, and tried to concentrate through the effect of the wine. “Marge,” she said softly, “move to the side of the door and don’t make a sound.” She reached down and retrieved her backup weapon from her boot.
Marge’s eyes got large. “What’s going on?” she whispered.
“I don’t know yet. But stay put,” Morgan cringed at the snick of the electronic lock releasing. As quietly as possible she slipped into the dark interior, her eyes shifting so she could see.
“We need to talk.”
Morgan spun around and aimed her gun at the source of the voice. She quickly pulled up though. “Bloody hell, Dana! I could have shot you!”
Scully turned on the lamp on the table next to the end of the couch she was sitting on. “Nice room.”
“It’s okay, Marge,” Morgan called out. “Come on in.”
The older woman peeked around the door and then entered. “Everything alright?”
“Yeah.” Morgan replaced her weapon in the holster inside her boot. “Everything’s fine. Marge, you remember Agent Scully? Agent Scully, this Marge Grayson, from the Black Diamond.”
“Well... I’ll be on my way, Jess. If you need anything while you’re in town, you have my number.”
“Wait.” Morgan walked out into the hallway with Marge. She insisted on giving the woman money for the long cab ride back to Ft Lauderdale. “It’s the least I can do, Marge. Thanks for everything tonight.”
Scully had been surprised to see Marge, the doorwoman, enter Morgan’s suite. But then a lot of things were surprising her where the brunette was concerned. She could hear them speaking quietly just outside the suite in the hallway, but couldn’t hear what they were saying. Finally Morgan came back in.
“We need to talk, Jess.”
“Perhaps. But not tonight.” She continued, cutting Scully off, “Because I’ve had either too much to drink, or not nearly enough, to do this tonight.” She closed her eyes. Morgan took the keycard out of her back pocket and dropped it on the desk. “You’re welcome to the room. I’ll see you in the morning.” With that she turned for the door.
“Jess, wait!” Scully got up and moved a couple of steps towards her.
Morgan looked over her shoulder. “What?” she replied a little snappishly.
Scully wasn’t sure what to say. When she didn’t speak, Morgan continued to the door. “I need... I need to know what’s going on, Jess. I saw... what I saw...” she trailed off, at a loss.
Morgan turned back around and looked at her. “What you saw was this!” Her features transformed. Eyes shifted to fathomless obsidian, fangs elongated, and an aura of power radiated from her. She took a step toward Scully and stopped when the redhead took an instinctive step backwards, away from her. She shook her head. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” With that she turned and walked out of the suite.
Morgan went downstairs to the main desk and checked into another room. Once in the new room, she stripped naked and crawled into bed.
Scully stood, without moving, for a full minute after Morgan’s exit. She couldn’t believe the transformation that had taken place right before her eyes. Jess’s sparkling grey eyes changed to the black eyes from her dreams; her canines elongated into sharp fangs; and the very air about her became charged with... power.
Scully saw it. She watched it happen. But ever the scientist, her mind struggled to find a rational explanation. Even transformed, Scully couldn’t miss the hurt in her partner’s eyes when she took an involuntary step back from her. Or the melancholy that settled around the brunette like a cloak as she turned and left.
And that hurt.
Finally Scully went into the bedroom. She retrieved a t-shirt from Jess’s suitcase, bringing it to her face and inhaling her scent. She stripped, put on the t-shirt and crawled into bed.