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.
Wednesday, June 25th, 1997
Wednesday morning they returned to their office. Logan arrived a few minutes before Scully, so when the redhead arrived a fresh mug of hot tea was handed to her as she entered the door. She smiled and took a sip before putting it down to remove her blazer. She was amazed at the difference four weeks had made. Four weeks ago she felt dread at the thought of sharing the office with the woman who had been thrust into her life. Now she looked forward to time spent with Logan.
They each set about going through mail, email, and filing reports. Just before lunch Kimberly called down to let them know Skinner was ready to meet with them.
Their meeting went well as they went over the report from their latest case. He expressed his pleasure at the results and commended them both on a job well done. He then informed them he had received a request for Scully’s assistance on an autopsy for the local authorities. Scully took the information and the meeting was ended.
“Go ahead and look through the IN basket and see if anything catches your fancy. If you find something interesting you can start the background while I’m at the ME’s,” Scully said on the way back down to the basement.
Logan gave her a smirk. “You’re going to let me pick our next case?” she said with humorous shock in her tone.
Scully smirked. “Shut up.”
It was late afternoon when Scully returned from the autopsy. She found her partner typing away at her computer.
“Hey, Scully. How did it go?”
“Fine. How about you? Did you find anything interesting for us?”
“Depends on your definition of interesting,” Logan replied with a chuckle. “But we do have a case.”
“What is it?” the redhead asked as she rested her hip against the desk. Logan handed her a folder and she opened it. “Bigfoot?”
“Well, that’s what the locals are calling it. You feel up to a trek in the woods?”
“Well, I did say you could pick the next case,” Scully replied resignedly.
“Just say the word and we can drop it in the circular file,” the blonde said with a smile.
“Do I want to know what the other choices were?” Scully asked, but shook her head when Logan laughed in reply. “Never mind. When do have to be there?”
“It’s not exactly an emergency,” Nicole said with another chuckle. “I made flight reservations for tomorrow, so you have the evening to relax before we head to the big sky country of beautiful Montana.”
“Guess I better dig my Timberlines out of the back of the closet.”
Black Bear Lodge
Thursday, June 26th, 1997
After ten and half hours, and two plane changes, Scully and Logan landed at the Spokane International Airport at 4:15 pm local time. From there they rented an SUV and drove over 100 miles across the Idaho panhandle into Montana. When they arrived at the Black Bear Inn it was almost 7:00.
Scully took a look around and then pinned her partner with a quirked eyebrow. “And why are we staying at this... rustic inn?”
Logan smiled. “Because when I called and spoke to Sheriff Whitmore he said this was the only place within 30 miles of the sightings that had an opening. Let’s go check in,” she said turning the truck off.
As soon as they entered the inn they were greeted by a man in uniform. “Hi, I’m Sheriff Whitmore – Cody. You must be Agent Logan and Agent Scully.”
Logan took his outstretched hand and shook it. “How did you know?”
“Because all of my other guests have already checked in,” replied a grey-haired woman that walked up. “I’m Lydia Worrell and I own this lodge.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Ms. Worrell.”
“It’s Lydia if you don’t want to be kicked to the curb,” the older woman quipped cheerfully. She then looked at the sheriff. “Cody, don’t just stand there; take these nice ladies’ bags to the cabin.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he replied as he scrambled to do as she asked as quickly as possible.
Scully and Logan exchanged a look of amusement.
Catching their look as Cody scampered away with their luggage, Lydia winked. “He used to work for me before he became the sheriff. Now, let’s get you checked in.” She had them sign the register. “Breakfast is included and served from 8:00 to 9:00. We’re on a 400-acre wildlife reserve, and are adjacent to the Kootenai National Forest, so we do have wild animals. That means you should not leave your windows open if you have food of any kind in your rooms.”
“What kind of wildlife do you have around here?” Logan asked.
“Bears, moose, elks, deer, lynxes, and bobcats are frequently seen outside the lodge. I’m sorry I don’t have separate rooms for you – we’re full up – but the cabin does have two bedrooms, although one bedroom is in the loft. It also has a kitchenette so if you want to buy and cook some food you have that ability. If you don’t feel like cooking, we do serve lunch and dinner in the lodge, the cost of which varies with what’s being served.” They arrived at the log cabin which was set back in the woods. “Here we are.”
Scully and Logan followed Lydia into the cabin where they found the sheriff waiting. Their bags were sitting against a side wall.
“I didn’t know which bedroom either of you wanted so I just put your bags there.”
“That’s fine. Thank you, Sheriff,” replied Scully.
“Cody, ma’am,” he corrected with a smile.
Lydia handed a key to each woman. “Well, I know the three of you have business to discuss, so I’ll let you get on with it. If you girls need anything just let me know.” With that Lydia left.
It didn’t take long for the sheriff to brief them, but it was then they found out that the sightings were in the interior of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness – a protected wilderness area in the heart of the Kootenai National Forest. No motorized or mechanized vehicles were allowed, not even bicycles. Camping and fishing was allowed but only with special permits. They were in for some horseback travel in the morning.
After the sheriff left, Logan picked up her suitcase. “I’ll take the loft bedroom,” she said and headed up the stairs to the loft that overlooked the living room.
Since it had been a long day of travel, both women called it a night.
Cabinet Mountains Wilderness
Friday, June 27th, 1997
In the morning Scully and Logan were met by Cody who introduced them to a park ranger, Karen Desoto. After the introductions they discussed their game plan. It was finally decided that since the sightings were so spread out that it would be easiest to camp out instead of going back and forth each day.
Within an hour and a half Scully and Logan were packed with the appropriate accouterments – thanks to Lydia’s assistance. The lodge loaned them a tent, sleeping bags, and some other accessories. Fortunately both women had packed appropriate clothing for the climate and venue. Karen helped them make sure everything was properly packed and tied down on their horses.
“Do you need a hand up, Scully?”
“I’ve ridden before, Logan.”
The blonde gave her a smirk. “I wasn’t implying otherwise.”
Scully managed to get her foot in the stirrup and then heave herself up and onto the horse. She looked at her partner, arching an eyebrow. Logan gathered the reins of her horse in her hand and easily swung herself atop hers as well.
It was late afternoon before they reached their first destination. Karen pointed out the path ‘Bigfoot’ supposedly took and where the people who reported it had been when they spotted it. Logan went with the forest ranger over the path. There weren’t any tracks but they did find a small tuft of fur that apparently snagged in some brush. There was no way to know if it was from the creature they were looking for or not.
Logan showed it to Scully. “No tracks because of the thick underbrush. Found this, but there’s no way to know if it’s from our friend or not. Karen says it could be from a number of animals indigenous to the area.”
“We’ll have to have it analyzed after we get back,” Scully replied. “Sheriff Whitmore says we can make the next site and still have time to set up camp before dark if we get moving.”
After checking out the second site and speaking with the ‘eye witnesses’ there, the troupe made their way a few miles towards the next site before stopping in a clearing near a lake and setting up camp. Logan helped the ranger fix dinner over the campfire.
After dinner Scully grabbed some toilet paper and headed into the bushes.
“Don’t go too far, Agent Scully,” Karen warned her. “There are predators in these woods.”
The redhead nodded in acknowledgment.
Logan helped Karen make sure the horses were fed and watered and settled for the night before retreating to the tent she and her partner would be sharing for the night.
Scully was already changed and lying down, though she wasn’t really sleepy. She couldn’t help but notice the blonde’s athletic body as she shamelessly stripped and changed into a tank top and shorts to sleep in. Logan then sat down on her own sleeping bag and pulled out her laptop. She quickly updated her case notes and then shut the computer off again.
“That didn’t take long,” Scully commented.
Logan gave her a small smile. “There’s really not a whole lot to say. ‘Went riding. Found some fur. Camping out. Will continue tomorrow.’” She shrugged. “That’s unless you have something to add?”
The redhead let out a soft chuckle. “No, I think that about covers it.”
“Right. I didn’t think Skinner would appreciate ‘ass hurts’ so I left that out.”
Scully arched an eyebrow at Logan as the blonde crawled into her sleeping bag.
“Well, I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I’ve spent any real time on horseback. So yeah, my butt’s a little sore.”
Scully let out a small chuckle. “Well you picked the case.”
“Ouch. That decidedly sounds like a lack of sympathy, partner.”
“Are you seriously saying you want sympathy? You? The one who refuses to take time off for a severe concussion when her doctor tells her to?” she challenged.
“No, no. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I heal quickly. I’ll be just fine and ready to go bright and early in the morning.”
Scully decided not to tease her partner any further since, if she was honest with herself, she was feeling a few uncomfortable twinges herself.
Saturday, June 28th, 1997
When Scully woke up in the morning she found herself alone in the tent, and it was clear that her partner had already packed up her stuff. She got dressed and packed her stuff as well. As soon as she exited the tent she was handed a steaming mug by Logan.
“Morning,” she replied rubbing one of her eyes. She took a sip from her mug and somehow wasn’t surprised to find it was tea instead of coffee. “You mean to tell me you brought your tea with you out here in the woods?”
Logan gave her a full smile that seemed a little too cheery for so early in the morning. “You shouldn’t knock it, Scully. You could go a long time without food as long you had that tea to drink. It doesn’t just settle the stomach. It’s very good for the body and the spirit.”
Scully rolled her eyes but didn’t say anything as she drank the tea.
Their day wasn’t very eventful until late in the afternoon. All of them actually startled a little when the sheriff’s radio squawked to life. There had been a break-in at a home off Hwy 2 between the towns of Troy and Libby. It sounded like the perpetrator was their ‘Bigfoot.’ The house was north of their location, and it was quicker to continue by horseback than to go back to the resort. So the four of them picked up the pace and covered the miles.
When they arrived at the scene the sheriff’s deputy was waiting in the driveway. Cody dismounted and walked up to the young man, though the others couldn’t hear what they were saying.
Logan dismounted her horse and slowly started walking towards the house. She stopped, cocked her head a bit, and then suddenly burst into a run, heading for the front door. It was only a couple of seconds before she stuck her head out of a small window of what had to be the attic. “Scully, we’ve got bodies in here.”
How the hell does she do that? Scully and Karen dismounted and rushed to the house. Cody and his deputy were right behind them. Everyone was careful not to disturb any evidence as they entered the house and went up the pull-down ladder to the attic where they met Logan and found the two bodies. They were an elderly couple.
“There’s no sign of trauma, but from their expressions, they didn’t die peacefully,” Scully stated. “I won’t know more until I can do an autopsy.”
By the time arrangements were made to get the bodies transported and the sheriff was done chewing out Deputy Davie, it was rather late. Karen agreed to take care of the horses while the sheriff took the agents to the facility where the bodies were. Scully and Logan retrieved their packs and tossed them in the back of the deputy’s jeep.
“Do you mind if I stay here and look around a little bit, and then catch up with you, Scully?”
“I’ll send someone back to pick you up,” the sheriff said.
Logan quietly entered the mortuary where Scully was performing the autopsies. She cleared her throat so she didn’t startle her partner. “How’s it going?”
Scully looked up. “Not bad. Did you find anything?”
“I took some pictures of some scratches on the outside of the door and inside the house. They look like claw marks of some kind. I thought I’d check online and see if I can match them up with anything.”
“How about you? Do you know the cause of death yet?”
“I don’t know about Mrs. McKinney yet, but Mr. McKinney here died of an acute myocardial infarction.”
“Heart attack.” Logan grabbed a pair of gloves and approached the body of Mrs. McKinney. She started to reach out to touch the face but abruptly stopped herself. She looked at Scully. “May I?”
The redhead nodded her assent. She smiled mentally. Mulder would have never asked her permission. And she had already come to trust in Logan’s exceptional observational skills. If there was something the blonde wanted to check Scully saw no reason not to let her. She finished with the last stitch. Pulling off her gloves, she moved to stand next to her partner.
Logan once again reached out and respectfully raised the eyelids of Mrs. McKinney.
“Dilated,” Scully observed.
The blonde sucked in a sharp breath and jerked her hand back. Her eyes were closed and Scully could see her facial muscles flex as she clenched her jaw. Scully reached out a hand but Logan moved away before the redhead could make contact.
“Are you alright?” Scully asked.
“Yeah.” She paused for a beat. “Can you check her adrenaline level?”
“Not here. I’ve taken samples to be sent off to the lab.” Scully glanced back down at the body. “Why? What are you thinking?”
The blonde removed her gloves, threw them away, and started for the door. “From her expression, dilated eyes, and I’m betting elevated adrenaline level, I’d say she was frightened to death... unless you find an underlying coronary disease or other cause of death. I’m going to research those pictures I took.”
Logan needed a few seconds to center herself again. She had expected the fear – she’d smelled it. It was, after all, what led her into the house. And the smell of it still clung to the body hours later in the mortuary. But she hadn’t been prepared for the stark terror that slammed into her when she looked into Mrs. McKinney’s eyes.
What the hell was that all about? Scully looked at the door that closed behind her partner, debating whether to follow her. Logan’s departure had been abrupt and left Scully with the feeling that something was wrong. And there was the way she had jerked away from the body. A lot of people didn’t react well to dead bodies, but she knew that wasn’t the case with the blonde. If it wasn’t the body, then it was something else. That made up Scully’s mind. She went out the door just in time to see her partner slip into the bathroom. She waited in the hallway until she heard the unmistakable sound of someone getting sick.
The blonde flushed the toilet and exited the stall. She went to the sink, bent over, and splashed cold water on her face. Scully grabbed some paper towels from the dispenser and handed them to her partner while she rubbed Logan’s back between her shoulder blades.
“Are you okay?” she asked gently.
Logan nodded as she rinsed her mouth out with water and spit it out in the sink. She dried her face and hands with the paper towels the redhead had given her.
“What happened? You jerked away from the body like it burned you.”
“Suddenly I didn’t feel so well.” Logan straightened up and gave Scully a smirk in the mirror. “Guess I should make myself some of my own tea.”
“Is there anything I can do?”
The blonde shook her head. “No. I’m okay, really. I’ll have some tea and do that research while you finish up.”
“If you’re sure.”
Scully returned to the prep room to perform the second autopsy.
Logan shook her head. She’d had her barriers down when she looked into Mrs. McKinney’s eyes. As a result, she had been vulnerable to the sheer, heart-stopping terror the woman had experienced. Something had triggered the most visceral kind of terror a person could feel. Whatever Mrs. McKinney had seen had literally scared the woman to death.
The autopsy was straight forward with no surprises, so Scully was done rather quickly. Logan was waiting for her when she came out. She handed the redhead a hot cup of tea.
“Do you want to go out to get something to eat, or pick something up and take it back to the lodge?”
“It’s been a long day and I really need a shower. Let’s pick something up... if we can find something open,” Scully replied
“If we don’t find something on the way I’ll go out and get something while you take your shower.”
Black Bear Lodge
“I’ll just be a couple of minutes,” Scully said as she headed into the bathroom for her shower.
When she came back out in her robe Logan noticed the redhead was moving a bit stiffly. “Are you okay, Dana? You don’t seem to be moving too well.”
The redhead sat down carefully. “I admit it – I’m sore. Two days on horseback followed by two back to back autopsies has taken its toll.”
The blonde smirked. “So your ass hurts, huh?”
She sighed. “Actually my lower back and legs hurt more.”
They were both hungry so they ate with little talking. However, Logan’s phone did ring.
“Logan... Oh, hello, Thea... No, no, you’re not interrupting; we were just finishing up a late dinner... Yeah, we were camping out in the woods last night and didn’t have much of a signal so I didn’t even bother.”
Scully gestured to the remnants in front of Logan who indicated she was done eating, so the redhead cleaned up and threw everything out.
“Tell me, Thea, what do you know about Bigfoot?” Logan chuckled, “Well, we’re looking for Chewbacca in the mountains of Montana.” She shot her partner a grin. “Alright, Thea, thank you... Bye.”
“What else would you call an eight-foot, furry creature that looks like a Wookie?” the blonde chuckled.
Scully gave her partner a look. “Do you really think what we’re looking for is Bigfoot?”
Logan shrugged. “Doesn’t really matter what I think; only matters what we can prove. And the only way the legend of Bigfoot will ever be settled once and for all is if its existence is verified with scientific proof. Since you can’t really prove the negative there will always be those who will believe in Bigfoot’s existence no matter what. Ask me if it’s theoretically possible for a large, hairy, bipedal creature to exist and not have been captured to date...” Nicole shrugged, “Yeah, I think it’s within the realm of possibility. Do I think the creature you and I are tracking and was in the McKinneys’ home is Bigfoot? Highly doubtful.”
“Then what do you think it is?”
“That’s what we’re here to find out.”
“Did you find out anything in your search?”
“Not much. I’ll go over it with you after my shower, if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all, go ahead.”
Logan grabbed her stuff from the loft and went into the bathroom. While the blonde was showering Scully worked on her report on her laptop. It wasn’t long before Logan was back with her laptop. She was in her pajama bottoms and a tank top. Scully had changed into her pajamas as well. Logan set her laptop down and took out the pictures she’d taken.
“Whatever it is, it’s got claws. From the markings on the door I’d say it didn’t have any trouble getting in. The doorjamb had minimal damage. I don’t think the door was locked. I can’t say for sure how many claws on each paw, so there’s no way to accurately measure the spread. But if we assume these marks are made by adjacent claws then the size eliminates all but the largest predators such as the mountain lion and the bear... or something else entirely, like a sasquatch. Unfortunately, the only area around the house that would have retained any tracks was disturbed before we got there. But I still think we should start our search there. We know it was there last night and if we start looking tomorrow in the daylight, we may find its trail and be able to track it.”
Scully let out a disgruntled noise. “More horseback riding.”
Logan closed her laptop and stood up. “Where does your back hurt?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
“That’s not what I asked. You said your lower back was sore – show me where.”
Scully looked up at the blonde and arched her brow. “Why?”
“Just trust me. Now where in your lower back does it hurt?”
The redhead reached around and touched the sorest area of her back.
Logan placed one hand on the redhead’s shoulder to keep her still. “Now just sit still and–”
Scully jumped when the blonde’s other hand slipped under her pajama top and touched her skin on her lower back near her spine.
“Relax. Trust me, Dana.” Logan closed her eyes and concentrated. She sought out and felt the energy flows and blockages with her fingertips, finding the correct pressure points. “Take a slow, deep breath and then slowly let it out,” she quietly instructed her partner.
By the time Scully had fully exhaled the blonde had released the pressure of her fingertips and the energy flows were once again unblocked. Logan slipped her hand back out from under the redhead’s pajama top. “How’s that?” she asked as she straightened up.
Scully cautiously moved around a bit. “It doesn’t hurt anymore,” she said sounding quite surprised. “How did you...”
“Pressure points. It’ll get you through tomorrow, but it’s not a real fix. Your body’s too out of whack for that.” That statement earned her a deadly arched eyebrow. Logan smiled. “No need to look daggers at me. It’s not my fault your chi is off kilter.”
“My chi?” Scully’s tone was dubious with a hard edge to it.
“Your chi, your chakras, your life force, your aura, your spirit, your soul, or your whatever... whichever makes you comfortable. Either way, things just aren’t feeling right for you because the energy in your body isn’t flowing the way it should. And as a physician you know the human body does indeed have a number of systems that do ‘flow’ through it – the circulatory system, the endocrine system, the lymphatic system, the nervous system, etc. So you know I’m not just talking some hippy-dippy, new age, mumbo jumbo. And it’s precisely why things like acupressure and acupuncture work.”
Logan picked up her laptop and headed to the staircase leading to the loft, but paused before ascending. “Oh, here.” She tossed the redhead a small jar. “Rub a little of this on your glutes and thighs. It’ll take away the saddle soreness. In the morning you’ll be good as new.” With that she disappeared up to the loft.
Damn, I didn’t mean to make her so defensive. I do know there’s more to the way the human body works than is taught in medical school. Scully opened the jar that Logan had tossed to her. She sniffed at it. It had a light, pleasant smell she couldn’t pin down. She shrugged and decided she had nothing to lose. After rubbing some of the balm into her butt and thighs she turned in.
Before Logan went to sleep she checked in with the sheriff and with the park ranger. They agreed to meet up at the McKinney house in the morning.
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