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
Tuesday, January 20th, 1998
When Dana woke up again it was late afternoon. She weakly made her way to the bedroom doorway after having used the bathroom.
“Hey now, I don’t think you should be up yet,” Ian said, quickly moving to her side as he entered the living room. “And I know for sure Nicole won’t be happy about you taking out your IV again.”
Ian gave her a very pointed look that was loud and clear. They both knew she wasn’t fine, but Dana was hardheaded as a patient, and Ian saw that arguing with her wasn’t the way to go. She had to discover for herself what her limits were. However, that didn’t mean he was going to let anything happen to the redhead. For one, he rather admired her determination. He could tell she had a will of steel, and despite her current physical condition she was a force to be reckoned with. Secondly, and most importantly, the little spitfire was important to Nicole. His unswerving loyalty to Nicole translated into loyalty to and protection of, with his own life if necessary, Dana.
Dana took about four unsteady steps into the living room before she started to go down.
Ian effortlessly caught her. “Easy does it, I’ve got you.” He very gently set her down on the couch and kneeled in front of her. “Alright then?” he asked her.
She took a breath and nodded before opening her eyes. It really burned her up to feel so weak and dependant on others. It went against her very nature. After counting to ten more than once she opened her eyes. “Thank you. I guess I’m... not so fine after all.”
“Quite alright. You’ll be right as rain again. It’s just going to take a little bit of time.”
“Are you a doctor?”
“Me? No. But I know Nicole, and if she says you’re going to be alright then you’re going to be alright.”
“Where is she?” Dana asked looking around.
“She and Thea are out right now, but they’ll be back. Well, now that you’ve ventured out of bed, would you care for something to eat?”
“Right then. Be right back.” He was back rather quickly with some soup and crackers.
Dana ate what she could, which wasn’t that much. “So how long have you known Nicole?” she asked.
“A few years.”
“You seem to have a lot of confidence in her.”
He cocked his head and looked at her. “Don’t you? I mean, you’re her partner, you trust her to have your back. And you trusted your life to her when you left the hospital with her... right?”
“I didn’t have anything to lose, I’m dying.”
Ian’s eyes flared with anger. He stood up and turned away, trying to calm his ire. “No. You were dying.”
Dana could tell he was angry, but she was a doctor, and despite her willingness to trust in Nicole and let her partner remove her from the hospital, she found it impossible to ignore the facts as she knew them.
“Ian, you said you aren’t a doctor.”
He consciously relaxed his rigid muscles and turned back to look at her.
“Well, I am. I have an inoperable tumor in front of my brain, here,” she said pointing to the correct area. “The cancer has metastasized through my blood. The cancer has spread throughout my body. I’ve been through the conventional treatments and some experimental ones. There’s nothing more that can be done. The truth is I should already be dead. I’m lucky to have lived this long.”
Ian took a breath and let it out. He went back to where she was sitting and sat on the coffee table facing the redhead. With elbows on his knees so he was eye-to-eye with her, he took both her hands in his. “Look, I obviously don’t know you very well, but I have no doubt your will, your strength, and your determination have more to do with you still being alive than any amount of luck.”
Dana eyes dropped. She didn’t feel very strong at the moment. In fact she couldn’t remember ever feeling so weak.
Ian leaned down until he met her eyes with his again. “As I said, I don’t know you very well, but I do know Nicole. She doesn’t make promises she can’t keep. You’ll never find a more loyal, more selfless, more giving person. You won’t find a bigger heart or purer soul in this world. She’ll go to the ends of the earth for those she cares about. If you hurt her she won’t let on; if you hurt someone she loves, she’s as fierce as a mama bear; and if she’s your friend, she’s your friend for life.” He gave her hands a gentle squeeze. “Nicole said you’ll get better.” He gave her a small smile. “That means you will get better.”
Dana swallowed around the lump that had formed in her throat. She didn’t know this man, but the unwavering faith and confidence he had her partner touched her. It reminded her of what she saw in Nicole’s eyes in the hospital. “You certainly have a lot of faith in her,” she said as lightly as she could with a lump in her throat and tears stinging behind her eyes.
Ian let go of her hands, letting her have some space to regroup. He nodded. “Yes, I do. I wouldn’t be the man I am today if not for her. Nicole stood by me when no one else would. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. I also know if I ever need anything, all I have to do is ask and she’ll be there. It’s obvious she counts you among those she cares about.” He paused. “Please don’t diminish that gift... or abuse it.”
Dana couldn’t keep from smiling at his soft spoken loyalty. “I have no intention of doing so.” She let her own loyalty show in her eyes. “I’m loyal to my friends as well.”
He gave her a nod of understanding.
Nicole and Thea were out in a small clearing on the island. They had set up a circle of candles in which Nicole would stand. The blonde also counted off a number of paces from the circle and marked the spot with a twig.
Once the candles were set she handed Thea a sheet of paper. “I’ve written out the ritual for you. All you have to do is read this and stay at the place I marked.”
Thea, still feeling a bit inadequate for the task, took a breath. “Are you sure about this, Nicole? I’m just a witch.”
Nicole noticed something pass behind her friend’s eyes. “What is it, Thea? What are you worried about?”
Thea lowered her eyes. “What if...” she took a deep breath, “... what if something goes wrong? I mean, this is your soul we’re talking about.”
She gave the brunette an affectionate smile. “It’s good to be vigilant with magic, but there’s no need for you to doubt your heart and soul. You know your path; stay on it and you’ll always do well.”
“Do you really think I would ask this of you if you didn’t have such a bright and good soul?”
She lowered her eyes and blushed. “Thank you.”
They hugged. Nicole moved inside the circle of candles and Thea moved to the spot that had marked.
Nicole undressed and fully shifted into her Malakim form. Her wings stretched out to their fullest length for a few moments then settled back into a more relaxed position. Thea couldn’t help letting out a quiet gasp at the sight before her. It wasn’t that she was seeing her female friend naked. It was more feeling the presence of the Malakim before her. Her face, her eyes, her wings... even the air about her seem to take on an aura of power, knowledge; an aura of... more.
“Ready,” rumbled Nicole in answer.
Thea had to force her eyes to the paper in her hand. She looked at the writing on the paper, the writing that was in a language she’d never even seen or heard before. The blonde had assured her that when the time came she would be able to read the writing on the paper. She blinked and the words on the paper became known to her. She felt an energy flow through her as she recited the ritual, calling for the cleansing of Nicole’s soul, the lifting of her burden, so that she may continue in her service to the source of all that is good.
The brunette didn’t know what happened when she finished reading the text, because a bright flash that encompassed the blonde from above blinded her. Nicole was on her knees, sitting on her feet, leaning forward on her hands. Her head was hanging and her wings were swept upward.
Thea slowly approached and knelt in front of her. She reached out and gently laid a hand on the blonde’s shoulder. “Are you alright?”
Nicole lifted her head and looked at her friend. There were tears in her eyes, but Thea somehow knew they weren’t tears of sorrow or pain. Nicole simply nodded. They both stood. The blonde didn’t appear any different, but she felt different to Thea.
“It worked, didn’t it?”
She nodded again. “Yes,” she answered quietly though her voice still resonated. She took a couple of deep breaths and slowly let them out. She stretched her arms and back as well as her wings. With her head tilted back and eyes closed she drew in yet another deep breath and smiled to the heavens as she exhaled with a peaceful sigh. “I haven’t felt this... light in quite some time. Thank you, Thea.”
Nicole looked at her friend. The brunette had a rather stunned look on her face. “Thea? What’s wrong?”
Thea snapped out of it. She shook her head and smiled. “Nothing. Nothing’s wrong. I’m just... you... I’ve never seen you... like this.”
Nicole looked down at herself. “Oh. I guess I should put my clothes back on, instead of walking around naked as a jay bird,” she said with a smile.
Nicole cocked an eyebrow at Thea in question as she reached for her clothes.
“I mean yes. I mean...” She stopped and regrouped. “I wasn’t referring to you being naked. What I meant was that I’ve never seen you like you are right now. So...” She paused to find the right words.
“But you have seen me like this before,” Nicole said, ruffling her wings.
“I know. I don’t mean that either. It’s not actually a physical thing.” She took a step closer to Nicole and gazed into her eyes. “I feel calmness and serenity and strength just rolling off of you in waves.” She closed her eyes as she continued. “It’s not like you’re projecting it, like turning on a faucet full blast. It’s more like a bubbling brook, just naturally flowing from a wellspring, from the source within you.” She opened her eyes. “It’s incredible.”
Nicole shifted back and quickly dressed. She smiled. “You are indeed a sensitive and an exceptional soul, Thea.” Nicole continued, cutting off Thea’s objection. “Normally a human can’t sense even a fraction of that unless I deliberately make contact with their soul. Let your sensitivity and intuitiveness be your guides, and you’ll never stray far from your path.” They hugged. “Again, thank you for your help – for everything, not just the ritual.”
“You’re more than welcome.”
They walked back to the house arm in arm.
Thea and Nicole entered the house only a few moments after Ian and Dana had finished their talk. Ian stood up and smiled. He looked at the blonde questioningly because he could tell something was different.
“And just what have you two been up to?” he asked.
They both smiled.
“Have you been out for a snog?” he asked jokingly.
That question earned him a punch in each shoulder as Nicole moved around him on one side to the couch and Thea passed him on the other side to head into the kitchen.
“Don’t be such a wanker,” Thea said with a smirk as her punch landed.
“Ow!” he exclaimed as both punches landed.
“Wuss,” Nicole chuckled.
“Hey! What is it? Pick on Ian day?”
“Every day is ‘Pick on Ian’ day,” Thea said with a big grin.
“Thanks a lot.”
Dana couldn’t keep from smiling at the comfortable banter between the friends. She also noticed a difference in Nicole as soon as she had entered the house. She seemed... lighter, more at ease, serene.
Nicole sat on the couch with her. “You really shouldn’t keep taking your IV out. You’re a doctor, Dana, you know better,” she said lightly and with an affectionate smile.
The redhead just smirked and shrugged her shoulders, knowing her partner was right. She knew she was a lousy patient.
“Would you like something to eat, or have you already had something?”
“Ian already fixed me some soup and crackers.”
“Good. How do you feel?”
“The same – worn out and weak.”
“It’ll get better, I promise. It’s just going to take some time.” Nicole saw the doubt in her partner’s eyes, but she didn’t blame Dana for it. It was understandable considering her medical knowledge and her condition. After all, they both knew she was lucky to still be alive at this point. Only Dana didn’t know that the ‘luck’ was actually Nicole’s intervention.
The blonde put her hand over Dana’s and gave it a squeeze. “I’m going to fix us some tea. If you’re not going to leave the IV alone,” she said smiling, “I’ll just have to make sure you drink lots and lots of my tea.” She got up.
“So no chance I could get a cup of coffee, help me feel more awake?” Dana asked with small smile, already knowing the answer.
Nicole smiled mischievously. “Hell no. Just be glad you won the IV battle. I could have put the IV back in and added a sedative to make sure you left it alone.” She headed into the kitchen to prepare the tea.
In the kitchen she spoke to both Thea and Ian about the next step of her plans. Thea and Ian would fly back that evening and begin surveillance on the members of the Consortium. Ian suggested just letting him take them out, but Nicole had other plans. The laptops Thea brought would be their mode of contact with each other. They had webcams built in and with the programming Thea did they were secure.
Normally Nicole would do her own surveillance and legwork, but she was not going to leave Dana until she was much better. Ian and Thea were trustworthy and experienced; between them they could handle round the clock coverage of a subject.
Although the blonde had asked for their help, neither of them considered their contributions a favor for Nicole. They were outraged that anyone would bioengineer and infect someone with cancer. It’s true they initially agreed to help simply because Nicole had asked, but they were really helping because they were going after truly evil men who had to be stopped.
Once Nicole finished with the tea she headed back into the living room and joined Dana on the couch again. “Here you go.”
The redhead gazed into her mug without drinking. A small smile curled her lips.
“Something wrong with your tea?”
“Just wondering if you spiked it.”
“Spiked it? With what?”
“Sedative,” she said with a side glance.
Nicole shrugged. “Guess you’ll just have to risk it,” she replied with a smirk.
Thea and Ian came back into the living room. They said their goodbyes and left.
The men in business suits were once again gathered around the large circular table in the middle of the abandoned warehouse. However, unknown to them, there was another in attendance. Ian moved silently among the dark recesses of the warehouse, committing the face and smell of each target to memory. While he listened in, Thea was outside planting tracking devices on each of their cars.
The short, round man who was the apparent leader demanded everyone’s attention. “Now, who can tell me what the fuck happened to Special Agent Dana Scully?”
His question was met with a very uncomfortable silence as the others shifted in their seats nervously.
“Who took her and where is she?!” he demanded.
No one had an answer.
After a few seconds he continued. “Then can anyone tell me where Special Agent Nicole Logan is, and if her disappearance has anything to do with Scully’s?”
The Cigarette Smoking Man spoke up. “Agent Logan is on a temporary undercover assignment related to one of her previous cases. She left on assignment the afternoon before Scully went missing.”
“Are you sure? The timing is suspicious.”
“I verified through both Blevins and Kersh – her orders were generated through the Director’s office, and inquiries have indicated she’s most likely back in Europe.”
The Leader seemed satisfied with the answer. But that only took care of only one problem. They still needed to find out what had happened to Scully. They discussed what to do about that situation and then moved on to other matters of business.
Great Thatch Island, BVI
Tuesday, January 27th, 1998
They would sometimes watch TV together, either on the couch in the living room or on the bed in the master bedroom. Inevitably, Dana would end up lying down with her head on Nicole’s lap. She would then quickly fall asleep while the blonde gently carded her fingers through her hair and lightly massaged her scalp. It wasn’t something either had planned and neither of them spoke about it. Eventually, Dana didn’t even bother to sit next to Nicole when they watched TV – she’d simply lay down with her head in Nicole’s lap as soon as the TV was turned on.
After Ian and Thea had left, Nicole did not take the guest bedroom, opting instead to sleep on the living room couch, in case Dana needed her during the night. Even that didn’t last.
One particular night Dana had fallen asleep on the couch. Nicole had spoken with both Thea and Ian, getting updated by them. She spent some time going over data received from them and formulating her plans. It was then time for bed. Instead of waking her partner up she carefully slipped her arms under the redhead’s sleeping form, gently picked her up, carried her into the bedroom, and set her down on the bed. When she pulled the covers up and started to leave Dana’s hand caught hers.
“Don’t go... stay...” she mumbled quietly.
Nicole knew Dana had been having some bad dreams – she’d woken more than once during the night to go into the bedroom to calm her partner down both before and after she woke from them. She also soothed her partner a number of times when Dana slept with her head in her lap, whispering softly to her, reassuring her she wasn’t alone. So, the blonde agreed to stay.
“Alright, I’ll stay,” she replied softly. She moved to the other side of the bed and slipped between the sheets. “I’m right here if you need me,” she whispered quietly.
It wasn’t long before the redhead, though asleep, had inched her way towards Nicole. She didn’t fully settle down until her back was up against the blonde. Nicole simply put her arm around Dana’s waist and held her most of the night. It was the most peaceful night’s sleep either had had in quite some time.
After that night Nicole stopped sleeping on the couch. Again, it wasn’t something either had planned... neither did they discuss it.
As the redhead slowly regained some of her strength, Nicole got her out of the house for walks. A daily walk became part of their routine. Eventually a second walk at sunset did as well. They spent their time together talking about many things. Both women enjoyed the time together.
Dana was more relaxed and open than she could ever remember being as an adult. She liked seeing her partner relaxed and open as well. She felt she got to know more about the blonde in two weeks than she did in almost eight months of working with her. And she really liked what she got to know. Even though they had spent off time together before, this was different, they were different. They were more open, more personal. The redhead had never felt so comfortable with another person in her life.
Dana was amazed at how well she slept at night while sharing a bed with her partner. Rather than the blonde’s presence prompting a night of tossing and turning, she slept more peacefully than she could ever remember. Nicole’s presence also apparently turned the redhead into a cuddler – something she had never been in bed... or out of bed, for that matter. After the first few times she gave up being embarrassed and just accepted it – especially since it didn’t seem to bother her partner at all.
Friday, January 30th, 1998
Nicole knew that if she were going to execute any kind of plan against the leaders of the Consortium she was going to need a base of operations closer to DC than the island. Under normal circumstances she would have simply operated out of her house. After all, that was the reason she purchased it and made the modifications she had. But she wasn’t about to leave her partner for any length of time while she was still recovering. So, the blonde placed a call.
“Thea, it’s me.”
“Hey, Nicole. How is Dana doing?”
“Glad to hear it. What can I do for you?”
“I’m going to need a base of operations.”
“I thought that’s what the house was for.”
“I know,” she sighed. “But I need something mobile. Any ideas?”
“Oh! Yeah. Let me make a couple of phone calls and get back to you.”
It was only ten minutes later when Thea called Nicole back.
“That was fast.”
“I just had to contact the Council. One of the yachts is in the area and is being assigned for your use – the Hashmalim. It should be there within three or four days.”
“That’s perfect. Who’s the captain?”
Nicole smiled. She couldn’t have asked for a better man than Captain Tully. She knew she could count on him.
Sunday, February 1st, 1998
“I know it wasn’t the dinner I had planned for tonight, but I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll make it up to you on your birthday though, I promise,” Nicole said in a light tone.
“Of course I enjoyed it. It was delicious. And it’s absolutely beautiful here. Thank you.” She gave Nicole a smile. “And as far as my birthday goes... I wouldn’t be having another birthday if you hadn’t done what you’d done.”
Nicole cocked her head a little as she looked at the redhead. “So you’re beginning to trust me and believe you’re going to live?” Nicole’s mouth was tilted in a half smile.
“It was never a question of trusting you, Nicole, I did – I do.” Dana stopped walking and turned to her partner.
Nicole stopped and waited, seeing that her partner needed a moment to gather herself. She saw a maelstrom of emotion behind those captivating blue eyes before they turned to the surf.
“I think it’s been more fear than anything. I’ve been afraid... to hope. When you asked me to make a choice... it would have been so easy to just... let go...” Unshed tears colored her voice and stung the backs of her eyes.
“But you didn’t; you chose to fight,” Nicole replied gently.
“Fighting is all I’ve done for so long... it’s my default mode,” she said with a rueful half smile. She took a deep breath and let it out. “Just because I trusted you and I chose to fight, didn’t mean I was ready to hope I could actually get better. I’ve been through so much, lost so much these last few years...” Her tears finally spilled.
The blonde didn’t hesitate; she wrapped her arms around her partner and gently held Dana as she cried. “I’m still afraid, Nicole... I’m afraid to get my hopes up.”
“I know.” Nicole tightened her arms around the redhead. “Tell you what, you just take each day as it comes, and leave the rest up to me – at least for right now.” She felt Dana’s head nod against her shoulder.
Dana was a very independent person and very self-contained with her emotions. But the blonde had so successfully gotten past her barriers in the last few months, and especially in the last couple of weeks, that she didn’t even bother to hide behind them. She let herself accept and enjoy the comfort of her partner’s embrace... as well as the catharsis of her own confession and tears. She also found comfort in Nicole’s assurance that it was okay to not get her hopes up. Despite her fiercely independent nature, she was surprisingly willing to ‘leave the rest’ up to her partner. Dana knew that Nicole was in no way implying she was incapable, she was simply offering to lighten the load for a while.
After a few short minutes she pulled back and wiped her eyes. “Sorry.”
“I think you know by now you don’t have to apologize,” Nicole said with an affectionate smile. With her arm around Dana’s waist she turned to continue their walk.
Arm in arm they walked in the surf. They returned to the blanket and sat, comfortably quietly in each other’s company, and watched the spectacular sunset.