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.
Black Bear Lodge
Sunday, June 29th, 1997
When Scully got up in the morning she stretched and ran a hand through her hair. Then it hit her – she wasn’t sore at all. Her back, butt, and legs felt fine. She couldn’t keep from smiling. She quickly got dressed and made sure her pack was ready. She didn’t know if they would make it back to their room that night or not.
She went out to the living room and moved to the bottom of the steps to the loft. “Logan?” When she didn’t get an answer she called out again and walked up the steps. “Logan?”
The blonde wasn’t there and her bed was made. Scully went back down to the living room. That was when she saw her partner’s pack sitting by the door, ready to go. She looked around and noted a pot of tea in the coffeemaker. There was a note next to it.
Help yourself to some tea. I’ll be back shortly.
Scully went ahead and poured herself a cup of tea and sat down on the sofa. She uncharacteristically propped her feet up on the coffee table, crossed at the ankles. She smiled to herself as she sipped at the tea. She knew she could never completely kick her coffee habit, but she had to admit after only a few weeks she already looked forward to the tea Logan always handed her every morning. And whether it was physiological or psychological, or both, it did indeed always leave her feeling better.
It wasn’t long before she heard Logan’s key in the lock. The blonde came in and it was all Scully could do to keep her jaw from hitting the floor. Logan had obviously been out running. She was wearing a pair of very short shorts, and a skin tight, half-length tank top. She had obviously pushed herself hard physically because her entire body was covered in a sheen of perspiration. Scully couldn’t help but notice that despite Logan’s sweaty appearance the blonde didn’t smell bad; she gave off more of a ‘salty ocean air’ scent than a ‘sweaty’ odor.
“Just give me a few minutes and I’ll be ready,” Logan said after grabbing a change of clothes from her pack.
It was only a few short minutes later when Logan emerged from the bathroom, freshly showered. She was wearing her jeans and bra, and was towel drying her short hair.
“Did you have a good run?” Scully asked.
“Yeah. I needed it. If I don’t get a good run or workout in regularly I start to go a bit stir-crazy.”
“I trust you feel better now. Wouldn’t want you to go crazy – too much paperwork,” Scully replied with a small smile over the rim of her cup.
Logan looked at her and returned her smile. “No, we definitely wouldn’t want that. How about you? How do you feel?”
“Great actually.” She paused slightly. “Thanks to you. My back doesn’t hurt and that balm worked like you said it would.”
“Glad it helped.” She placed a brown paper bag on the table. “If you want a hot breakfast we can stop at that place we found last night. Of if you want, there’s a nice selection of fresh fruit in there.”
“Actually, fresh fruit sounds perfect.”
“Then here.” Logan took out a six-inch lock-blade and flicked it open. She set it down on the table along with a clean hand towel. “Go ahead.”
Scully was slightly taken aback at the apparent ease and skill with which her partner handled the knife. But then she reminded herself about the blonde’s undercover background. She opened the bag and was surprised to see the wide variety of fruit available. There were peaches, pears, apples, oranges, bananas, plums, kiwis, and grapes.
Logan put on her socks and boots, and then opted to slide on a body hugging tank top. She ran her fingers through her damp hair and then joined the redhead on the couch with another clean hand towel and cup of tea for herself.
“So how did you manage to score such a nice assortment of fresh fruit?” Scully asked.
Logan smiled, “I made nice with the lodge’s chef this morning when I spotted a delivery being made.”
“I don’t suppose the skimpy running outfit had anything to do with it,” Scully replied.
The blonde shrugged her shoulders. “Could have. But then so could’ve my winning personality... especially since the chef’s name is Melinda and she’s straight.” Logan’s response was a bit clipped. She picked up an apple, bit into it and got up from the couch. She moved around the room finishing up the final touches of preparing for their day.
Dammit. I’ve gone and done it again. I’ve insulted her. First last night when she helped me and now implying that... What is it with me? Why am I pushing her? She’s been nothing but kind and supportive and wonderful to me. And I like her.
Logan slid her gun into a shoulder holster and put the holster on. She then added a flannel shirt to her outfit. She left it unbuttoned and rolled the sleeves up her forearms. She threw the core of the apple away she’d eaten and grabbed a banana. She ate the banana in a few bites as she refilled her cup with tea.
“More?” she asked Scully indicating her own cup.
Logan poured the last of the tea into the redhead’s cup. She then handed her partner a plastic lid like the one Logan had put on her own cup. She shouldered her pack. “Are you ready?”
“Yes. My pack’s in my room.” Scully got up and headed into the bedroom where she grabbed her pack, sunglasses, hat, and key to the cabin.
She met Logan outside at the jeep. The blonde stowed both of their packs in the back. Scully found the bag of fruit in the front seat when she got in. As soon as she was settled Logan put on her sunglasses, slipped the jeep into gear, and pulled out. After several minutes Scully finally broke the silence.
“May I ask you a question?”
“When we arrived at the McKinneys’ house yesterday, how did you know?”
“How did I know what?”
“How did you know to look in the attic? How did you know there were bodies inside?”
Logan took a measured breath and let it out before responding. Her eyes never left the road so Scully couldn’t see them. “I thought I smelled something – I wasn’t sure what though.”
“How could you? From that distance...”
“I think the wind shifted just right. And like I told you, I’ve got a strong sense of smell. It’s the same way I can tell you had a cigarette last night.”
Scully shot Logan a very surprised look. She had decided to have a rare cigarette after she laid in bed not able to sleep at first. But she’d brushed her teeth afterwards and again when she got up in the morning.
Logan glanced at her, giving her a quick smile. “I told you, Scully, you don’t have to hide it from me.”
“I wasn’t hiding it. You just surprised me.”
They were silent the rest of the way to the McKinneys’ house.
Home of Mr. and Mrs. McKinney
“I’m going to talk to Karen,” Logan said as they exited the jeep.
She spoke with the park ranger about the claw marks and her thoughts about trying to find any tracks in the vicinity. Karen was thinking along the same lines. They approached the others and proposed that the two of them do a sweep of the area on foot first, to see if they could find some tracks. Knowing how sharp Logan’s skills of observation were, Scully agreed with the plan. While her partner and the park ranger were doing that, Scully took the opportunity to take a closer look inside the house for herself. Cody was kind enough to secure everyone’s packs on their horses.
“Karen! Over here.”
Karen joined Logan where she knelt looking at something on the ground. They spoke quietly a few moments then moved together into the forest. It was almost 20 minutes before they returned and rejoined the others.
They said they found faint tracks to follow, so everyone mounted up and took off. Since the tracks were faint it was slower going than their previous days’ traveling. Between Karen and Logan they followed the tracks which led them to a lake. With the evidence they found – paw prints, fur, and scat – the park ranger was ready to declare their quarry a grizzly bear rather than a sasquatch. Since it had ventured into someone’s home, it was still imperative to find it.
“What’s wrong?” Scully asked her partner.
“Did either of you know the McKinneys very well?” the blonde asked Cody and Karen.
“Oh. I dated their daughter Beth for a little while,” answered the sheriff.
“Was Mrs. McKinney afraid of anything?”
“What do you mean?”
“Did she have any phobias that you know about?”
The young man took a few seconds to think. “Come to think of it, Mrs. McKinney hated bears. She got really upset one time when I gave Beth a stuffed bear. She made Beth give it back, said she couldn’t stand to have it in the house.”
That explains it. Mrs. McKinney’s worst fear, her phobia, walked right in her front door. No wonder; she was literally scared to death. Logan exchanged a meaningful look with her partner.
Scully nodded in understanding. It made sense.
Cabinet Mountains Wilderness
It was almost dusk before anyone got a look at the animal they were tracking.
“There!” Cody spotted the animal through his binoculars.
“Where?” Karen asked.
“Up there, about 500 feet below the ridgeline,” he replied, pointing.
Karen handed her binoculars to Logan while Cody handed his to Scully.
“It’s big,” observed Scully.
Logan spotted something shiny under its chin. “Could he be tagged, Karen?” Logan asked.
“How do you know it’s a he?” asked Cody.
“Just an expression. We won’t know for sure until we get him.”
“A radio tag would be yellow, not shiny,” Karen replied looking through the binoculars again. “But you’re right, there is something...” she added as she dismounted and readied her rifle.
“Do you have to kill him?” asked Scully.
“I’m going to tranq him. Then we’ll tag him and drop him somewhere he won’t be a problem.”
Karen loaded the tranq dart into her rifle.
“Can you hit him from here?” Scully asked as the ranger took aim.
Cody smiled. “Karen is the best shot in six states. She’s got the trophies to prove it,” he said as Karen meticulously set up her shot.
The park ranger did indeed hit her target. The bear let out a bellow when the dart struck and imbedded in its flank.
Once the bear succumbed to the tranquilizer the foursome cautiously approached.
“Be careful, Logan,” Scully said as her partner dismounted and knelt next to the somnolent beast.
“He’s wearing a collar.” She looked up at the others. “His name is Baloo.”
An auburn eyebrow arched. “The bear from Kipling’s Jungle Book.”
Karen smiled and looked at Cody. “And he is a he.”
Since Baloo had been someone’s pet, arrangements were made for Baloo to be transported to ZooMontana, the wildlife park located in Billings, instead of being relocated to another area. Sheriff Whitmore and Park Ranger Desoto, in cooperation with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, were going to handle dealing with Baloo’s owner – who did not have a permit to own the animal.
For Scully and Logan the case was closed except for the paperwork.
Spokane International Airport
Monday, June 30th, 1997
Scully and Logan left Heron, MT Monday morning and drove to Spokane, WA. They had a little bit of a wait for their flight, so they both worked on their case reports. While they did so, Scully received an email from the lab with the tests results from the autopsies.
“I just got the email with the tests results from the lab. You were right about Mrs. McKinney’s adrenaline level. It was almost off the charts. Not surprising since she saw her worst nightmare come to life.”
The blonde nodded in acknowledgement. “A hell of a way to die.”
Both of them had time to finish their reports by the time their flight was called.
Since it was late when they arrived back home, they agreed to a late start Tuesday morning.
FBI Violent Crimes Unit
Friday, October 24th, 1997
Scully and Logan continued to work together over the next few months, clearing each case that came their way while building on their working relationship and even spending some time together outside of work. Once Maggie Scully met her daughter’s new partner she insisted on having the blonde join them for dinner. After that, Maggie made a point of inviting Logan to dinner with her and her daughter on a regular basis, and the women grew accustomed to having dinner together fairly frequently.
Thea’s hacker friend continued to analyze the agent found in Scully’s blood. Since he had no frame of reference and nothing even remotely similar to compare it to, it continued to elude him. However, he was quite gifted and refused to give up. He was determined to unlock its secrets.
Scully’s health continued to follow a pattern of improvement when they were out of town and decline when they were home. Despite Logan’s efforts to determine the mode by which Scully was being made sick the answer eluded her. In the meantime, the blonde did what she could to bolster her partner’s health by providing Scully with a hot cup of her specially prepared tea every morning... and additional cups whenever possible. Unfortunately, Scully’s health overall continued to decline. Logan knew they needed to find an answer.
Scully had surprisingly given up even wanting a cup of coffee in the morning. She no longer made any at home or stopped for a cup on the way into work. There was something comforting about knowing the moment she walked into their basement office that her partner would hand her a steaming cup of the soothing tea. And invariably, the blonde did indeed beat her into the office so the cup of tea was always waiting for her. She didn’t even object when the coffeemaker in the office stopped being used to make coffee but was kept full of the soothing tea.
When they were in Washington, Scully and Logan worked separately almost as much as they worked together. Scully was often called on to perform autopsies at Quantico or for other law enforcement agencies.
Logan’s reputation as an exceptional interrogator spread like wildfire and she was often requested not only by other departments within the Bureau, but by other agencies as well. Her interviews were often long and seemed to wander off on unrelated tangents, but she almost always got a full confession. The few times she didn’t get a confession she elicited some vital piece to information that broke the case.
Scully had, of course, seen the blonde interview suspects and witnesses in their cases. However, that was different from the cases she helped with for other departments and local agencies. In X-Files cases Scully and Logan were intimately involved for the duration of the investigation. The interviews Logan did for other departments and agencies were cases where the blonde was coming in cold.
So when Scully returned their office one day after performing an autopsy in Annapolis, and found a note from Logan saying she had gone to Quantico to do an interrogation, Scully decided to check things out. When she arrived at Quantico, she was directed to the observation room where she met the agent in charge of the case.
“Can I help you?” asked a burly man with salt and pepper hair. His ID badge identified him as Special Agent Harry Walzcek.
“I’m Special Agent Scully. Special Agent Logan is my partner.”
He turned back to the two-way mirror that allowed observation of the interrogation room. “Then maybe you can tell your partner to get on with it and nail this bastard,” he growled.
Taken aback by the man’s attitude, a fine auburn brow arched as Scully felt rankled. “Just what do you mean by that?”
“I mean she’s been in there all god damn day and all they’ve talked about is the weather, music, and his mother! She supposed to interrogate him, not shoot the shit! If we don’t get his confession he’s going to get off scot-free,” he groused.
“I assure you, Agent Walzcek, that Agent Logan is a very capable interrogator. She has a reason for everything she does in the interview room. Just trust her.”
Scully turned to the window to watch. The two occupants of the room were sitting so that the observers could see their profiles. There was a camera in the room that was set up to record the interview. It was behind Logan’s shoulder so it could capture the suspect’s every reaction.
“Tell her to call me if she ever comes out of there,” growled Walzcek. He slammed the door on the way out of the observation room.
Scully shook her head at the man’s antics, then returned her attention to the interview room and her partner, taking the opportunity to closely observe her partner in private.
Logan was the vision of relaxation. She was leaning back in her chair, her legs were extended and crossed at the ankles, her hands were loosely entwined and resting on her stomach, and her elbows were propped on the arms of the chair. However, appearances could be deceiving. On the inside she was alert and ready to take advantage of any opening that presented itself. She had already been talking with the suspect, Gerald Hitchman, for a number of hours.
The suspected arsonist was keeping a very tight hold on his inner self, but Logan was finally starting to sense a crack in his façade. He was finally ready.
“Tell me, Gerald, when was the first time you realized fire made you hard?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. When you watch the flames dance and move, you get excited... your heart pounds, your respiration increases, you feel lightheaded, euphoric.” She leaned forward, resting her arms on the table. “And your dick gets hard, so hard it almost hurts as you jack off while watching the flames burn and consume.”
Gerald’s expression was a combination of embarrassment, surprise, and anger.
Knowing she had finally broken through, that she had reached him, she gentled her tone and manner. “Who did this to you, Gerald? Who hurt you?”
Tears welled in his eyes... and then his chin began to tremble as he tried to regain control. An errant tear defied his will and slowly trailed down an unshaven cheek.
“Gerald, look at me.” Logan waited until the man looked at her before continuing. Her voice was soft but insistent. “Look in my eyes, Gerald, look in my eyes and talk to me. Tell me when your father started hurting you. Tell me when he burned you.”
Through eyes blurred by tears, Gerald looked at the woman across the table from him. He didn’t understand what was happening to him. He didn’t want to talk about the things his father did to him or the way fire made him feel. He’d never told anyone about that stuff. But the pretty blonde was looking at him in a way that made him think about all that bad stuff. She saw him. She saw him for who and what he was, and yet her eyes still said she cared. How was that possible?
With tears rolling down his face, Gerald told her what she wanted to know. He told her about how his father had hurt him and made him do bad things... how his father had molested him. Unconsciously rubbing the scar hidden by his jeans on his thigh, he told her about how his father had held a candle to his leg, burning him and warning him how badly he’d get burned if he ever told anyone.
When his voice cracked and then failed him, he felt a soft hand take his and squeeze it. Gerald wiped his eyes with the other hand and looked into her eyes. Beautiful eyes that saw the real him, eyes that compelled him to go on, eyes that told him he wasn’t a monster... well, at least not only a monster – he was still a person inside, a person that had been hurt.
Logan listened to everything Gerald had to say. She took his tearful confession for starting the fires that had killed seven people and injured many more, and for several other fires that hadn’t hurt anyone. By the end, she was sitting next to him, her arm around his hunched shoulders and holding his trembling hand.
Gerald looked up at the woman who had listened to him in a way no one ever had before. “What now?” he asked, sounding lost.
“Now you’re going to talk to some doctors who are going to try to help you. And, Gerald, you know you have to take responsibility for what you’ve done.”
He nodded. “Can you...”
“Can I what?” she prompted when he trailed off.
“Can you ever forgive me?” New tears welled in his eyes at the thought she might not.
Logan gently took his face in her hands and locked eyes with him. “Look in my eyes, Gerald, and you’ll find the answer,” she said softly.
Gerald looked in her eyes, and then broke down crying. Logan sat with him for a minute as he cried. Finally, she stood and exited the room. She told the agents just outside the door that she was done and that they could take him away and to let Agent Walzcek know the suspect had confessed.
Emotionally and physically drained, the blonde slumped in a chair in the hallway.
“So what are you, the Pied Piper?”
Had she not been so worn out, Logan might have jumped at the sound of Scully’s voice. Internally she winced at the bite in her partner’s tone. Weary, she looked up at the redhead. “No.”
Seeing the fatigue in Logan’s eyes, Scully regretted the harshness of her tone of voice. “Come on, I’ll drive you back to the office,” she said more gently.
Scully, on the other hand, was trying to figure out just what had happened. She knew something was ‘not right’ with the interview she’d witnessed. What had happened in that room just wasn’t normal. Criminals didn’t break down and tearfully beg for forgiveness from the interrogator – especially for crimes against strangers.
Gerald Hitchman was not the first person she’d seen ‘transform’ in the presence of her partner. Erin Collins, the rape victim in New Orleans, immediately came to mind. And there were others. Scully remembered how Logan had made her feel when they talked later at the hotel, how a heaviness had been lifted from her own heart and soul. She knew then that there was more to the blonde than what met the eye. But what was that ‘more’?
It’s time to find out, Scully decided.
When they arrived back at the office, Scully made it a point to close the door. She didn’t want anyone to overhear the coming conversation. She wanted answers, and she was going to get them.
“What the hell happened during that interview?”
“What do you mean?” Logan asked as she tiredly dropped into her chair.
“Don’t play games with me, Logan. You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the same thing that happened with Erin Collins. You change people. What do you do, hypnotize them?”
“No, I don’t. No one has the power to change other people. They simply make choices.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
The blonde sighed. “It means everyone has free will. Our choices are our own.”
Thinking about her cancer, Scully suddenly found herself full of anger. “Not always!”
“We may not always be in control of our circumstances, but we always have choices.”
The redhead’s whole body was practically vibrating with tension and frustration. She wanted a straight answer from Logan and she was going get to it.
“Look, I’m not sure why you’re so upset, Dana, but I’m tired. I’ve spent all day trying to take a sick and dangerous arsonist off the street. If you want to continue to discuss it we can, but not here. I’m going home; if you want to come with me that’s fine.”
With that Logan stood, collected her briefcase and keys, and headed out the door.
Driving her own car, Scully followed the blonde to her apartment.