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.
Great Thatch Island, BVI
Saturday, January 17th, 1998
Dana drifted in and out over the next few days as her body responded to both the reagent Jerry had developed and the quill sap. She’d been so weakened, it was clear that regardless of how long it took the cancer to be cleared up, it was still going to take time to bring Dana back to good health.
Nicole didn’t care how long it took; she was going to take care of Dana as long as necessary. And she was not going to let the Consortium get away with hurting Dana ever again. Even if she hadn’t been ordered to take care of the Consortium she would have anyway. This was just one of those times that her personal feelings just happened to align perfectly with that of her duties.
Ian was worried about his friend.
Friend. It was a concept he was not really used to. He wasn’t very popular as a human, and as vampire... well, he wasn’t called Ian the Terrible for nothing. And even though he did occasionally help the Council they merely tolerated him. But Nicole was truly his friend. When he’d made the choice to redeem himself, the blonde was the only person he could think of who might be able to help him. Fortunately, she had seen his sincere desire and told him what he needed to do, albeit with the warning he would indeed be put through hell to get what he was seeking. However, she also told him that her door would be open to him anytime – if he succeeded. To his great surprise, Nicole kept her word. Thus their friendship began and Ian would do anything for the first and best friend he’d ever known.
So when he watched her hour after hour, staring at the sleeping redhead, or staring into nothing, or working out, or running until she collapsed instead of sleeping, his concern grew.
After the sun went down he ventured outside and found his friend sitting the porch steps. He handed her a tall glass of ice water. “Here.”
“You can’t let it eat you up, you know.”
“She was sick before you met her – it’s not your fault. If it’s anyone’s fault it’s that Moldy guy you told me about.”
“Whatever. What matters is that you’re here to help her – and you are.”
“Going after the people who did this to her is also on my agenda.”
His eyes went wide – Nicole wasn’t about revenge. “Revenge, luv? That’s not like you.”
“Not revenge, Ian. Part of my assignment.”
“What? You’re hunting humans now?”
“Evil comes in many forms, including human... but I won’t deny a particular amount of satisfaction at their demise.”
“What do you want me to do?”
She looked at him a little confused.
“What? You don’t think I’m going to just sit back and do nothing, do you? Of course I’m going to help you. That’s what friends do.” He was quite pleased to receive a small smile at his last statement. He held his hand out to her and pulled her up when she took it. “Come on then, let’s get you inside and into the shower.”
She quirked an eyebrow at him. “Are you implying that I smell bad?”
“Well you are the one who just finished a... how far did you run?”
“20 miles, give or take.”
“Right. You did just finish a 20-mile run after spending several hours working out inside.”
“Yeah, well... there’s nothing to hunt here... except you,” she finished with smirk and wry arch of her eyebrow.
“True. But I’m one of the good guys now. You don’t have to dust me.”
“Right. So I’ve been working out and running.”
Nicole used the bathroom in the master bedroom to shower and change clothes. When she came back out Ian was waiting for her. As she walked by to check on Dana he snagged her arm and pulled her down onto the window seat with him.
“She’s okay, I just checked her.” He paused. “But you’re not. You’ve got it real bad, pet,” he added.
“Don’t play dumb with me. I’ve been around the block couple of times in the last hundred years or so. And it was love that brought me to your door that night, begging for your help. So I recognize it in you – you’re in love with her,” he said gently.
She let out a sigh. “Perhaps. But what I may, or may not, feel for her is irrelevant. First off, I wasn’t assigned to work with her to get involved with her. It was to save her life and take down the people who did this to her. And secondly, Dana takes pride in her professionalism. So even if she’d be open to a relationship, which I don’t know if she would be, getting involved with her partner would be crossing an ethical and professional line she definitely would have a problem with.”
He gave her a skeptical look.
“Besides, we’re friends and I don’t want to jeopardize that. Dana very seldom lets people get close to her. It’s a rare gift that I’m not about to throw away.”
He nodded and handed Nicole a mug of fresh tea. He wasn’t done with her yet – he knew she was hurting and from personal experience, he knew she needed to let some of it out. Working out and running could do only so much. He tried a different tactic.
“Do you ever hear from her?”
“No, but I hear she’s doing alright. She got a promotion at work a while ago. Joining Scotland Yard was a good move for her. What about you? Do you hear from her?”
“No. To her I’ll always be a monster.”
Nicole reached up and palmed his cheek. “I’m sorry things didn’t work the way you wanted them to,” she said softly.
He shrugged his shoulders. “Couldn’t force her to love me, no matter how much I loved her. But thanks to you I got a second chance in life. I owe you so much; I’ll never be able to repay you.”
“You’ve already paid me back.” She continued after seeing confusion in his eyes, “You turned your life around and became my friend.”
He smiled. “You’re the first real friend I’ve ever had. You’ve been there for me and understand me better than anyone, and you’ve never pitied or patronized me.” He gave her a small smirk. “I pitied myself enough when Erin didn’t appreciate what I did for her... it hurt... a lot.” He let out a sigh. “Even if I didn’t tell her.”
Nicole nodded. “I know.” The pain was unmistakable in her voice, as her eyes subconsciously went to the still form in the bed a few feet away.
Little did either of them know, Dana had woken up enough to hear the tears in her partner’s voice. She just didn’t have the strength to do or say anything. Her partner was in distress and needed her, and she couldn’t help. Then she heard another voice – male, with a Scottish accent.
Ian wrapped his arms around Nicole and pulled her close as tears finally spilled down her face. “I’ve got you, pet. Who would have ever thought that I’d get to hold an angel like you in my arms?”
The blonde gave in and let herself lean on her friend, let herself actually cry, silently.
Ian understood that what Nicole was feeling about Dana wasn’t the only thing she was crying about – it was just the last straw. “How do you do it, luv?”
“You do what you have to.”
“You don’t have to do it alone. I’m here for you and you can count on me.”
“I know, Ian.”
He continued to hold his friend until she actually fell asleep in his arms. Taking great care, he slipped one arm under her legs so he could pick her up. He then carried her out of the room and took her into his room rather than putting her on the couch.
“Rest well, pet.” He placed a kiss on her forehead then covered her with the sheet.
Dana had listened to her partner and Ian, and she’d seen him carry the blonde out of the room in his arms. It was obvious that whoever he was, he cared about Nicole. From the sound of things it was likely that Ian was Nicole’s... boyfriend. Nicole deserves to be happy and to have someone outside of work, a life outside of work.
Great Thatch Island, BVI
Sunday, January, 18th, 1998
They were on the island almost a week before Dana managed to fully wake and be cognizant of her surroundings – at least for more than a few minutes at a time. On Saturnday Nicole had summoned Ariel to check Dana out again and to remove the catheter.
Dana didn’t really remember Ariel being there, but she was infinitely grateful for the absence of the catheter when she woke up. She lay in the bed for several minutes, taking an inventory of her condition. She worked her way up from her feet – no injuries. That was good. But she had an IV and she was weak.
Then she remembered.
She remembered the cancer; she remembered the bleeding that wouldn’t stop; she remembered the hospital. And finally, she remembered Nicole coming to her in the hospital, telling her she could help her, make her well... if only Dana made the choice to fight to live and trusted her.
Then her body demanded attention – she had to go to the bathroom. She carefully got herself into a sitting position. Once she was sitting up she removed the IV. Then she managed to get to the bathroom by steadying herself against the wall. After finishing in the bathroom she went to the bedroom doorway to see what was going on outside the room that apparently had been her world for a little while.
Dana could hear noises that sounded like people fighting, but it wasn’t in the living room she saw from her bedroom doorway. She saw the door leading outside – it was open. The sounds were coming through the open door. She carefully, if unsteadily, made her way to the front door. She stood in the doorway leaning against the doorjamb. It was after sundown, but flood lights lit the clearing in front of the house.
Dana was confused by what she saw – her partner and a blue-haired man fighting. And they were not pulling any of their punches or kicks. They were even using impromptu weapons such as broken tree branches. It looked as if they were trying to kill each other, or at least beat the crap out of each other – except they both seemed to be... enjoying themselves?
She watched them, or more accurately, she watched her partner. She had no idea that the blonde could move that way, or that she had so much physical power. She was already quite familiar with the power of Nicole’s personality, but to see her exhibit such physical power was mesmerizing. Dana flinched when Ian landed a hard punch to her partner’s face and Nicole’s nose immediately sprayed blood. Undoubtedly a broken nose. In turn Nicole landed a particularly hard kick to his ribs, which knocked him back several feet and doubled him over. Broken ribs, Dana thought. But it wasn’t enough to keep him from defending himself from Nicole’s advance as she tried to press her momentary advantage.
A few minutes passed before things came to an end – with the blonde besting Ian. He ended up on his back with Nicole leaning over him on her knees and hands. She had his wrists clamped in her hands and pinned to the ground.
“So now what do you have to say?” she demanded.
“Alright, alright! You haven’t lost your touch. You can still kick my ass, luv.” He smiled up at her.
“That’s more like it,” she replied with satisfied grin. She let go of his wrists and sat back on her heels, straddling his waist. “Unless of course you took a dive on me,” she commented with raised eyebrow.
“A dive?! When have I ever taken a dive?” he retorted, none too happy about the inference.
“That’s different and you know it!” he cut her off.
She nodded. “Yeah, I know.” She reached down, ripped his t-shirt, and pulled it off him.
“Bloody hell! What’s that for?”
Nicole wiped her bloody nose with the tattered shirt. “Bloody is right.”
“Use your own shirt.”
“But you lost,” she quipped with an amused smile.
Nicole whipped her head around at the sound of Dana’s quiet and hoarse voice. “Dana!” She practically flew from where she’d been sitting on top of Ian to the redhead’s side in the doorway. “You shouldn’t be up. Let me help you.”
The redhead didn’t protest, because what little strength she’d had was already gone. She allowed her partner to take her weight as she leaned into the blonde.
“Do you need to use the bathroom?” she asked as they approached the bedroom.
Dana shook her head. “Already did,” she replied.
Nicole helped her partner into bed and covered her up. She then sat on the side of the bed facing Dana. “I see you removed your IV,” she said in a light tone of voice. She gave Dana an affectionate smile. “You really shouldn’t do that, but I’m not surprised – you doctors make such terrible patients.”
Ian arrived at the bedroom doorway. “Everything alright?”
“Would you please get me what I need for a new IV from the medical supplies?”
“Alright.” Ian left to get said supplies.
“Where are we?” Dana asked.
“Someplace safe – I promise you.”
“Almost a week.”
Ian came back with the supplies. He also brought a cup of ice water and a straw. With a look and a nod Nicole and Ian communicated. He went to the opposite side of the bed and took a seat. He held the glass so Dana could sip some water.
“Slowly, and not too much,” he said gently.
After a couple of sips Dana settled back.
“I’m Ian, by the way,” he said with a gentle smile.
“I’m Dana,” she replied.
“Pleased to meet you, Dana. Any friend of Nicole’s is a friend of mine,” he said smiling.
“Thank you. It’s nice to meet you too, Ian.”
“Okay, all done,” Nicole announced.
Dana turned her head as fast as she dared and was surprised to find that Nicole had inserted and started a new IV already. She hadn’t even felt it.
Nicole looked at Ian and with a small motion of her head he again understood. He stood up and walked around the bed. “If you need anything, just yell,” he said with his hand on Nicole’s shoulder. He made eye contact with Dana. “I’m glad to see you doing better, Dana.”
Ian gave Nicole’s shoulder a squeeze and he bent down just enough to drop a kiss on the top her head. “I’ll heat up some broth, luv,” he said softly.
“Thank you,” she replied.
He left, leaving the two women alone.
Dana looked at the IV in her arm again and then at her partner. “Since when did you get so good at starting IVs?”
The blonde gave her a small smirk. “You’d be surprised what handy skills I’ve picked up along the way.”
“I’ll bet. That was quite the fight I saw out front.”
“That was just some fun. I haven’t had anyone to spar with in quite a while.”
Dana’s eyes widened and she started to reach up towards Nicole’s nose. “Some fun. You broke your nose.”
“Nah, just a little blood, but no damage,” she replied as she caught the redhead’s hand in her own. “But enough about me. How do you feel?”
She let out a slow breath. “Tired, worn out, and weak.”
“I’m not surprised. Do you want to try some broth, or stick with the IV?”
“Alright.” Nicole turned her head to look over her shoulder at the doorway. “Ian? Bring some broth in please,” she said in a slightly raised voice.
“You said we’ve been here almost a week?” Dana asked.
“Well I can tell from the temperature we’re nowhere near DC. Where are we?”
“A privately owned island in the British Virgin Islands. We’re the only people here. There’s no way for the Consortium or the FBI to know we’re here.”
Dana nodded. Then she was struck with a sudden thought. “My mom! She’s got to be worried sick.”
“It okay, Dana. I spoke to her before we left. She doesn’t know where we are, but she knows you’re safe. Considering everything you’ve both been through, I wasn’t about to whisk you away and not let your mother know what was going on – I couldn’t do that to her.”
Ian entered with a bowl of broth. “Here you go,” he said as he handed it to Nicole. “Just yell if you need anything else.”
He left them alone again.
“What about Skinner?” Dana asked.
“He has no idea. He’s trustworthy, but this way he has complete deniability and he doesn’t have to lie about anything.”
“What about you? It’s going to look awfully suspicious that you’ve gone missing, too. It’s not going to take a genius to figure out you had something to do with my disappearance from the hospital.”
The blonde smiled. “Maybe. But I received a temporary assignment sending me back undercover on a previous case before you went missing.”
Before the conversation went off on another tangent Nicole handed the redhead the bowl of broth. She left Dana by herself for a while so it didn’t seem like she was hovering. When she came back she had another syringe of quill sap prepared. She took hold of the IV line and inserted the needle. As she pushed the plunger Dana asked her about it.
“What is that?”
Nicole smiled. “House special. It’s what’s helping you get better.”
“Is it what put me out for so long?”
“No. You’ve been sleeping so much, because it’s what you need. That’s your own body’s doing. Now, is there anything else you need?”
She shook her head as she yawned.
“Alright.” She gave the redhead a smile. “If you’re good I’ll fix you some tea when you’re up to it.”
Dana was asleep before she could reply.
Monday, January 19th, 1998
Thea flew back to the island the next day. While she had been stateside she had been keeping a discreet eye on Margaret Scully and the FBI’s search for Dana. They had, in fact, brought Thea in to do any possible tweaking to her software that might aid in their search for Agent Scully. With her assistance they were running searches of all possible morgues, hospitals, clinics, etc. for anyone close to her physical description.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d swear Mrs. Scully had no idea. She’s been raising quite a ruckus and demanding that the Bureau find her daughter. She’s completely believable.”
Nicole nodded. “That’s because she’s been through it before – for real.”
“Oh, God. I can’t imagine.”
“Neither can I. That’s why I had to let her know ahead of time. While she doesn’t know where we are, she does know it was me that took Dana and that I did so to keep her safe and make her better. I also told her we wouldn’t be able to contact her.”
“There was some speculation that you might have something to do with what’s going on, especially since you disappeared as well, but the Director verified you were on assignment undercover elsewhere, so that put a stop to that line of investigation.”
Thea set up some laptops with some special software for encrypting communications. While she was working on them Ian entered the living room and sat across from her.
“Can I talk to you?”
“What do you want?”
“Have you talked to Nicole?”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m worried about her.”
His earnestness struck Thea and she looked up from the programming she was doing, giving him her surprised but undivided attention. “Why do you say that?”
“She’s not herself. She’s having trouble sleeping, and when she does sleep she’s been having nightmares.”
“Well, I can’t say I know her well enough on a intimate level to know whether that’s normal for her or not, but considering what she’s seen, what she does, I can’t imagine she’s any different than anyone else – she has plenty of nightmare material.”
“I understand that, but how many times have you seen her cry? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve held her while she’s broken down and cried since we’ve been here.”
Thea’s eyes widened. “Nicole is the one that always comforts whoever is down.”
Ian nodded. “I know. When she’s not sitting with Dana, she’s working out, or running marathons, or sparring with me. And when we do spar, her speed and power aren’t what they should be.”
Thea’s brow furrowed as she frowned.
“Now you see why I’m worried about her.”
“Have you asked her about it?” she asked.
“Anytime I try to talk to her about it she says something about it just being part of what she does.”
Thea thought for a moment. She then looked at Ian. “You really are worried about her, aren’t you? You really care about her.”
“Of course I do. She’s my friend – my best friend.”
Thea nodded. “I don’t know if she’ll be any more inclined to talk to me, but I can try. We can’t force her to talk.”
“I appreciate you trying, Thea. Thank you.”
She stared after Ian as he walked away. She was surprised by his obvious and sincere concern about their mutual friend. There was none of the irreverence or biting sarcasm she knew from the past. She began to concede that perhaps Nicole was right about him. He was a different person than he had been.
Tuesday, January 20th, 1998
After injecting Dana’s IV with another dose of quill sap Nicole came out of the bedroom. She let out a heavy sigh.
“Nicole, come here,” Thea said waving her over to the couch. “I’ve got these laptops programmed with the encryption software.”
The blonde picked one of the laptops up. “Damn, this is light.”
Thea grinned. “I know. They’re hot off the prototype bench. I’ve got an arrangement with the manufacturer.” She brought Nicole up to speed on the hardware and software. When she was done she leaned back and gave her friend a hard look. “Are you okay, Nicole? You don’t seem quite yourself.”
Nicole let out a sigh. She got up and went to a window. She felt Thea’s eyes on her as she stared out at nothing for a couple of minutes. Thea knew sometimes it was best to remain silent when trying to get an answer from a certain kind person – like a Malakim.
“No,” came the soft reply. “You know the kind work I normally do. I’ve been on this assignment almost eight months and except for a handful of vampires I ran across during a case in New Orleans and one demon in Florida, all I’ve had to deal with are humans – human perps, human victims, and human survivors.”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
“It’s... a difficult thing. Humans, their pain and such... affect me in a way that other things don’t,” she explained softly. “There’s a reason I hunt monsters,” she added.
“Is there anything I can do to help?” Thea asked.
After a few moments of silence Nicole turned to look at her. “Yes, there is.”
“I need a soul cleansing. As a holy person you can do it for me.”
Thea was taken aback. “Nicole, I’m a witch not a priest.”
Nicole gave her a small smile. “Haven’t you figured it out yet, Thea? It doesn’t matter what name it’s called by or what religion it’s packaged in. It’s all the same source. Good is good, and evil is evil. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a Pagan priestess, a Muslim imam, a Buddhist monk, a Jewish rabbi, or a Catholic priest. You’re a holy person serving good... and I need your help.”
“Okay, I’ll help.”