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 Police Department
Monday, June 23rd, 1997
A video camera was set up and sound was recording. The camera was focused on Brian Monroe where he sat at the table. A uniformed officer stood near the door to the room with his arms crossed. He’d been waiting literally for hours. Finally the door opened and Agent Nicole Logan entered. She indicated for the uniformed officer to leave.
Brian got up. “Nicole, are you alright? They wouldn’t tell me what happened to you.”
“I’m fine. Please, sit down, Brian.”
He sat down but looked at her a bit puzzled as she sat across from him.
“Have you been read your rights, Brian?”
“Yes. But I don’t know what’s going on, why I’m here.”
“Are you willing to talk to me without a lawyer present?”
“Yes, yes. But tell me what’s going on, Nicole.”
“Brian, the police have arrested you because they believe you drugged me.”
“What?! You were drugged? Is that why you got sick?”
Monitoring the interview from the observation room were Scully, Reyes, Laffite, and Scipio.
“He’s sticking to his story,” Scipio needlessly observed.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d believe him,” Laffite commented.
“Don’t worry, she’ll get him,” Monica replied quietly.
Scully remained silent, keeping her own thoughts to herself.
“I didn’t get sick, Brian, I was sedated. And I think you know that.”
The door opened and the uniformed officer handed Logan a folder. “Here you go, Agent Logan.”
Brian’s expression was one of disbelief and confusion. “Agent? Y-You’re not a teacher?”
Logan shook her head. “I’m a special agent with the FBI.” She paused. “Are you still willing to speak with me without a lawyer?”
“Of course. I don’t know what this is all about, but I haven’t done anything.”
The blonde took a deep breath and let it out. “Would you care for something to drink, Brian? I know I would.”
“I don’t like most teas. Coffee would be fine.”
Logan got up, opened the door, and asked someone to retrieve the items she’d prepared. “The coffee here is atrocious. I prefer tea. I think you’ll like this tea, Brian.”
He looked at her unsure.
“Trust me,” she said.
“Alright,” he acquiesced. His eyes lit up as the tray of prepared items were brought in.
Logan stood. Using chopsticks she filled a Chinese teapot approximately one third full with tea leaves. She then poured very hot water into the pot, holding the teapot over a large bowl and letting the overflow run into the bowl. She gave the tea leaves a rinse by filling the pot half full with hot water, then drained the water out immediately, leaving only the soaked tea leaves. She then filled the teapot to the top with more hot water, covered it, and poured additional water over the teapot resting in the tea bowl.
Though she did not take her eyes off her task the genuine smile on Brian’s face was not missed by the observers.
After half a minute Logan poured the tea into the cups by moving the teapot around in a continual motion over the cups so that they were filled together. She then poured the remaining tea into a second teapot. She placed a cup in front of Brian and retook her seat.
“Tie Guan Yin?” he asked.
She graced him with a small smile and shook her head. “Da Hong Pao.”
He smile conveyed his pleasure. He took a sip. “Yeun may,” [Perfect,] he said softly, respectfully.
“Douh cheh,” [Thank you,] she replied with a nod of acknowledgment.
They drank the first pot of tea without further comment from either. After Logan prepared a second pot in the same manner as the first she finally broke the silence as she once again poured the tea.
“Did you enjoy living in China?” she asked.
“Hong Kong... it’s hard to call it China – it’s been so westernized. But there are things I miss.”
“Like good tea?” she asked lightly.
He smiled. “Yes. But I benefited greatly growing up there.”
“Undoubtedly. Did you attend the western school with the British and other American children?”
“No. I was taught privately.”
They spoke a little about his Oxford educated Chinese teacher.
“But he wasn’t your only teacher. Not even the one you most respected. Tell me about Zhi Cao.”
Brian was obviously surprised she knew about his true teacher, but he talked about Zhi Cao. It was obvious Brian loved his teacher. He was the one who actually inspired Brian, encouraged him and instilled a thirst for knowledge. A thirst that ‘George’, his Oxford educated teacher, undoubtedly took credit for. Either way, Brian’s thirst was fed. He excelled in his studies far beyond any of his peers. He had working knowledge of several languages, which Logan was able to get him to demonstrate by conversing in them – Italian, Latin, Greek, German, Japanese, Spanish, and of course Chinese – which was his best.
He also learned ancient Chinese medicine – acupuncture and herbal remedies. During their talk, Logan continued to periodically prepare more tea which they sipped. She even sent out for a replacement set up when she had steeped the tea leaves in the first pot for the final time.
“Nay ho ming hein hai yat gor ho huwok shang. Nay de chee sick wing yi nay sheen shang.” [You were obviously a good student. Your knowledge honors your teacher,] she said. “Yat gor yuk pui may gah gong hay mo yung, yat gor yun may yau huwok shek hay mo yung gah,” [A Jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated,] she added the ancient Chinese proverb to make her point.
He couldn’t help but smile. “Douh cheh,” [Thank you,] he replied. “Yu gwouh nay shai gwouh ng low leek dook shui, nay dai gwouh chi how wuy how fui,” [If you do not study hard when young you'll end up bewailing your failures as you grow up,] he quoted another proverb that his teacher favored.
Logan nodded in agreement. “Brian, my knowledge of Chinese medicine is limited. Perhaps you can help me with something.”
“If I can.” Brian seemed genuinely eager to help.
“According to the lab reports, I was given a mixture of kava and valerian. But there were other ingredients that they haven’t identified yet. There had to be something mixed in to accelerate the effects of the kava and valerian. With your knowledge, can you tell me what that might have been?”
“Possibly another sedative/pain reliever, like dong quai.” He knit his eyebrows and shook his head. “But to mix not two but three such sedatives would be very difficult. It would be too easy to obtain a toxic affect rather than sedation. It would take an exceptionally skilled herbalist,” he concluded.
Logan nodded. “I also believe there was something included to lower my blood pressure – I’m thinking qu mai.” Her inflection made her statement sound like a question.
Uncertainty may have passed behind his eyes. “Qu mai would do that,” he replied slowly.
“Alright. Can you solve another puzzle for me, Brian?”
He gave a nod indicating for her to continue.
“Such a concoction, a mixture of kava, valerian, don quai, and qu mai would be very difficult to blend properly for the desired effect. As you said, it would take an exceptionally skilled herbalist. But even if such a skilled person did make this mixture, he would still have a remedy with a distinctive taste. Even mixed with soda or coffee or tea,” she held up her teacup, “the flavor would not go unnoticed.”
Eddie, the forensic tech that had been working with Scully came rushing in. “I have the other substances identified. It took some research and I had to consult with an herbalist. Her drink was spiked with, besides the kava and valerian we already identified, three other herbs – don quai, a sedative and pain reliever–”
“Qu mai?” Scully asked knowing her partner was right.
“Yes,” Eddie answered surprised. “It’s a diuretic.”
“Which lowers the blood pressure,” Dana added.
“Yes. And the final ingredient was–”
“Gan cao,” they all heard Brian’s voice say.
Eddie looked at the screen. “Gan cao, which cleanses toxins from the body,” he said, a little disappointed to have his thunder stolen.
“But gan cao has a distinctive flavor, Brian.”
“If taken alone, certainly. However if used in correct balance it mutes the taste and smell of less palatable herbs. Again, great skill would be required to avoid overpowering whatever it’s added to with its own flavor. Having achieved that, the remedy you describe would likely be undetected in a strong beverage such as cola, coffee, and many teas. It also has the added benefit of cleansing toxins from the body. Since mixing three sedatives and not crossing the line from sedation to toxicity is so difficult, it would be a wise precaution to add gan cao for that reason alone, even if masking flavor was not an issue,” he concluded.
Logan nodded thoughtfully. “I see, thank you, Brian. Your teacher would be proud of your knowledge.” She laconically poured them some more tea.
The blonde then took their conversation off on a completely different tangent. She asked him about his life in the States. She asked about his previous jobs, places he’d lived, things he’d done, people he’d gotten to know. All things he readily supplied without hesitation. She even answered a few questions about herself.
“Yes. I may not be a teacher, but I have resided in the United Kingdom. I have a family home in Wales and I had a flat just off campus while I was at university.”
“Oxford?” he asked genuinely interested.
She smirked and replied with a chuckle. “Don’t be insulting. I went to Cambridge.”
He laughed at her lighthearted jab at the rival sister university. “George would have challenged you to a duel for that.”
“Well, that’s only proper.” She paused. “You had an extraordinary education, informal though it was. Have you ever considered continuing your education – going to graduate school?”
His disposition seemed to change a little to disappointment. “I don’t think that’s possible. I don’t officially have a high school diploma, much less an undergraduate degree.”
“All of which is merely a technicality. Brian, you would have no problem passing the GED. But I don’t know of a single university that would require one after you demonstrated your comprehensive knowledge. You studied at the feet of a master teacher, Zhi Cao. And with George’s instruction you’ve learned the Italian, Latin, Greek, German, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese languages.”
Brian seemed to cheer up as Logan pointed out his accomplishments and learning.
“If you did go on with your formal education, have you thought about where you’d like to go?”
His smile was almost an embarrassed one. “I’d love to go to Oxford. No disrespect intended,” he added quickly.
“Nothing wrong with wanting to go the second best school in the world,” she said with a smile.
He returned her smile knowingly.
“What would you like to study there?”
“I’d like to study in depth the differences between Eastern and Western philosophies. Zhi Cao said that all of man is the same, yet we fight over different ways of expressing the same ideals. We’ve forgotten our common ground, our common ancestry. If man could only see that we’re the same then there would be peace.” He paused. “Man’s ideals are expressed in our religions and philosophies. I want to study them and see where we are the same, even if we are different peoples. If we are all part of this creation then Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Paganism, and others, must all come from the same seeds, the same roots, the same soil.”
You are more right than you know. It’s a shame you wasted such a mind on killing, Logan thought.
“I think he’s actually sincere,” observed Laffite. She shook her head. “I still can’t believe it’s him.” She glanced at her watch. “She’s been in there a long time and we still don’t have enough to convict him.”
“Be patient. Nicole knows what she’s doing. She’ll get him,” Monica said quietly, remaining attentive to things as they played out before them.
“If you really want to do an in depth comparison like that, then you would want to visit the library at the Vatican. They have a very extensive collection of religious texts – many of which are first editions in their original languages. They have a Talmud which has been proven to being from the seventh century. Of course it’s written in Aramaic, so you’d have to have someone translate it for you. The same goes for their Korans. And unless you read Hebrew you wouldn’t be able to read their oldest bibles without a translator either.”
“George didn’t teach me those languages. But I have tried to study them on my own. I wanted to be able to read the holy texts in their original languages, to read the words as they were written – not rely on someone else’s biased translation.”
Logan nodded. “Good, so you realize a translation often becomes an interpretation.”
“Yes! That was one of the first things I realized when I was learning Chinese! Chinese proverbs that have made it into the English language are worded so differently that many times the meaning itself is completely twisted. ‘Yu gwouh nay shai gwouh ng low leek dook shui, nay dai gwouh chi how wuy how fui,’ [‘All warfare is deception,’] is not ‘All’s fair in love and war.’”
“Indeed. Sun Tzu must roll over in his grave often.”
“Sun Tzu?” Laffite asked.
“The Art of War,” Scully explained softly. She smiled to herself. Her partner was obviously well read. The Art of War was one of her father’s favorites, although he never read it in the original Chinese. Well, she did say she had to have a basic knowledge of several languages, but I think she downplayed her abilities. At least she’s gotten him to admit knowledge of the herbs used to drug her and of the languages used in the notes. Keep it up, Logan.
Scully had observed and participated in quite a number of interviews and interrogations over the years. She felt Logan was on the right track with their suspect. The blonde continued her conversation with Brian. Scully could tell Sgt. Laffite was getting antsy, but Lt. Scipio and Agent Reyes seemed to understand that getting someone like Brian to confess sometimes took time. One had to tread lightly.
Logan and Brian continued to talk for a while, going off on a number of tangents. Finally Logan felt it was time to press. She’d built the relationship she needed with Brian and, more importantly, Brian was ready. He had finally started to let go of the control he kept over the darkness within.
“Brian, why did you do it?”
“Spike my tea.”
“But I didn’t.”
Her eyes bored into his. “Ting ah! Nay ching hai geen ngor jung chong tong,” [Stop it! I have shown you nothing but respect and hospitality,] she growled and gestured to the tea. “Nay gor gah mien yi ging mo yuk jorh ngor. Ng ho jour gwang dai wah lay mo yuk ngor!” [You insult me with your pretence and false face. Do not insult me further by lying!]
After a couple of moments of silence Brian’s expression hardened and his whole demeanor changed. He hadn’t expected such an outburst from the blonde. His control slipped.
“Would you have come with me otherwise?” he asked.
“Right. None of you would.” He went on to point out his ‘positive attributes’ and bemoan how women like her wouldn’t give him the time of day. It angered him how a woman would prefer to be with another woman instead of him.
“Women like me. You mean like Melody Spearman?”
He just glared at her. Logan didn’t let up.
“Why did you wash her body afterwards?”
“I washed her before – to remove the stink from her. To make her clean.”
“You washed her when you were done with her. Why bother washing her since you just dumped her, threw her away like yesterday’s trash?”
“I didn’t dump her! She was cleansed, purified, she wasn’t trash. She was clean. I left her in a clean place.”
Logan continued pressing Brian. Once she had locked eyes with him and got his control to slip, she knew she’d get it all from him. She got him to admit to the other killings and rapes.
For his part, Brian, was angry, defiant, arrogant, and somewhat confused. He knew the police couldn’t prove anything. He knew if he just kept to the plan, played his part, they couldn’t touch him. Yet somehow, something he didn’t understand was compelling him to tell all. He couldn’t look away from her eyes. Her eyes saw his soul... and he couldn’t look away. He knew he should stop talking, but he couldn’t. Her eyes were compelling him to tell all. He couldn’t look away... not from those eyes... those eyes...
Logan wrung every last detail from Brian. Names, places, deeds, everything. Often times, perps, once relieved of their secrets, their burdens, the darkness in their souls eased. Some were even completely freed of it. But not this one. The darkness was too deeply rooted. He would tell her all, but it would not help his soul.
Finally finished, Logan stood. She picked up the tea tray. “Goodbye, Brian.” She opened the door.
Two uniformed officers came in and cuffed Brian. Logan was walking down the corridor away from them when the officers brought him out of the room. He looked at her receding back. He had to know. Even as the officers led him in a different direction he called out.
“Dim yurng? Ngor ho yuen may gah. Mo yuen chi gah. Dim yurng gah?” [How? I was perfect. No one knew. How?] he called out.
Logan stopped, turned to look at him, and quoted Sun Tzu, “‘Xi zhi shan zhan zhe, xian wei bu ke sheng, yi dai di zhi ke sheng.’” [‘The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.’] She paused for a beat. “I waited.” She then resumed her journey to the break room.
They took him away and locked him up.
When Scully found Logan in the break room, the blonde was standing at a window gazing out. The tea set she’d used was washed and drying near the sink. It had been a long day... a long interview. Scully could easily sense the weariness in her partner as she neared.
Logan took a sip of water, let out a deep breath, and closed her eyes.
“They’re never easy,” Scully said softly.
“No, they’re not.”
“You did a great job in there, Logan.”
“Thank you,” she replied quietly.
“Look, it’s been a long day for you. Why don’t you go on? Go to the hotel, or take a walk, or whatever. I’ll stay and finish things up here. I’ll see you at the hotel later. The case is over and we can go home tomorrow.”
Logan took another deep breath and slowly let it out. She looked at Scully. “Alright. Thank you.”
“Do you want me to arrange for our flight out tomorrow?”
Scully shook her head. “No. I’ll take care of it.”
Logan nodded and then left.
Logan didn’t. She slammed the stake into Val’s chest. “You already had your second chance,” she growled as the vampire turned to dust.
She had wanted to do that as soon as she found out Val had been feeding again, but she couldn’t because of the case. Now, she felt all the loose ends in New Orleans were taken care of. The blonde headed to the hotel.
Red Roof Inn
Once Scully had finalized things with the NOPD she went to the hotel. It had been a long day. She slipped out of her heels and let out a silent sigh. She was surprised to see a file folder sitting on her bed. She picked it up and opened it. Inside was a copy of Logan’s finished case report. Well no one can accuse her of being a slacker.
After Scully changed clothes she tapped on the adjoining door which was slightly ajar. There was no response. She slowly opened the door. It was mostly dark in the room, except for a weak table light. Logan wasn’t in the room, but the sliding door to the balcony was open a few inches. She approached and finally saw her partner. The blonde was slouched down in the chair with her head laying back on the top of the chair back, seemingly looking up into the sky. Her long legs were stretched out in front her with her feet up on the railing. It was a pose of relaxation, but Scully could tell her partner was anything but relaxed.
“Logan?” she said softly as she slid the door open further so she wouldn’t startle her.
Logan took a deep breath and let it out. “Come on out, Scully. Take in the night air.” Her voice was flat.
The redhead stepped out and stood to the side of the chair. “You alright?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” she replied with no inflection whatsoever.
Scully wasn’t sure what to say to her partner. She could tell something was bothering her – probably the case. But she had no way to know for sure. And Logan didn’t seem very willing to offer up any hints. Considering her own reticence to open up she couldn’t really condemn the blonde for it now. She then realized that after almost a month of working with this woman, she had already come to expect openness and selflessness from her new partner. And now that Logan seemed to be closed off to her, she missed it.
The question was whether to let things go for now, giving her partner some space; or press forward, taking the risk of really caring about the woman. Oh, who the hell do you think you’re fooling, Dana. You do care how she’s doing. Not even a month and she’s already gotten through some of your walls. And she’s gone out of her way to be there for you on more than one occasion. The least you can do is show her some support now.
She put her hand on Logan’s shoulder and gave it a light squeeze. “I know today wasn’t easy, Nicole. I’m here if you want to talk about it... and even if you don’t.”
The blonde opened her eyes and looked up at Scully. “Thanks.”
“Have you eaten dinner yet?”
She shook her head a little.
“Come on then. Let’s go get some dinner. I’m buying.”
Logan carefully lifted her feet off the railing and set them down on the floor. She then unfolded herself from the chair. “Alright.”
Logan wasn’t very talkative at first. Scully moved the conversation along, finding herself talking much more than she usually did in such circumstances. But she felt more at ease than she had in quite some time. As dinner progressed the blonde’s spirits seemed to lift. By the time they had their second after dinner drink both women were smiling and sharing a few laughs.
It was rather late when they made their way back to their rooms. Fortunately their flight home was not an early one.
Red Roof Inn
In the morning Logan found Scully dressed and sitting at the small table in her room, typing on her laptop. She set a cup of hot tea on the table for the redhead as she leaned her hip against it, which elicited a smile.
“You know, I’ll never give up coffee,” Scully quipped lightly.
“Or the occasional cigarette, right?” Logan smirked affectionately.
Scully stopped and stared at her partner. “How the...”
Logan just smiled knowingly.
“If you say it was just a hunch, I’m going to smack you.”
“No. I just have a good sense of smell.” She patted Scully’s shoulder and chuckled. “Just know you don’t have to hide it from me. We all have our peccadilloes, Agent Scully.”
A fine auburn brow arched as Scully sipped the delicious morning tea. “And what are yours, Agent Logan?”
The blonde just smiled. “I guess time will tell,” she said as she stood straight and returned to her own room.
Scully smiled into her mug and gave a slight shake of her head. You are indeed a bit of a mystery, Nicole Logan.
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