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
Sunday, February 1st, 1998
Dana, as usual, was worn out when they returned to the house after the sunset. Part of her was just happy to see another sunset, but the rest of her was getting impatient with herself, angry at her weakness. Nicole disappeared into the kitchen only long enough to fix them some tea.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Dana,” the blonde said gently as she handed Dana her mug of tea and joined her on the couch.
She gave her partner a surprised look – wondering how the blonde knew what she was thinking.
Nicole gave her a small smile. “You aren’t guarding your expression to hide your thoughts.”
“Too tired, I guess,” she said with half a smile. She knew it was true; she wasn’t using her usual bag of tricks to guard herself and keep people at arm’s length. Of course, Nicole was the only ‘people’ around, and she no longer wanted to keep her walls up around her partner.
“Of course knowing how independent you are, not to mention your iron will and determined mindset, I know you must be chafing at not being able to get your body to do what you want it to.”
Dana swallowed some of the tea and arched and eyebrow at Nicole. “Are you saying I’m stubborn?”
“I didn’t say it was a bad thing. After all, look how far it’s gotten you,” the blonde replied, smiling. “Only two weeks ago you couldn’t walk to the front door without support. Now you’re up and about and taking long walks twice a day. I’d say that’s pretty damn impressive considering what your body’s going through.”
“I know you’re right...”
“But you don’t have to like it,” Nicole finished for her with smile.
Dana returned her smile and nodded.
They spent the rest of the evening watching an old movie on TV. As usual, Dana fell asleep with her head on Nicole’s lap.
Nicole’s phone ringing startled her and woke Dana. “Logan... Sounds good... No, not here. We’ll be mobile tomorrow... Okay, I understand... Ian? Be careful, please... Yes, I do love you... Bye.”
Dana sat up when she heard Nicole tell Ian she loved him, withdrawing emotionally as well as physically. She had come to enjoy the level of intimacy she and her partner had over the past couple of weeks. And even though there had been absolutely no indication from Nicole that it was anything other than platonic, Dana’s heart was starting to make some of its secret wishes invade her thoughts.
Once upright she looked at the blonde. “We’ll be mobile tomorrow?”
Nicole nodded. “Yeah. We’ll be leaving the island tomorrow. Even though the Consortium and FBI don’t know where we are, too many flights in and out here would eventually catch someone’s attention.”
“Don’t worry, accommodations will be quite comfortable,” she said with a smile.
“How about the sunsets? I think I’m going to miss the sunsets here.” She didn’t know why, but Dana felt a little embarrassed for some reason.
Nicole gave her partner a smile, one that lit up her eyes. “I think some beautiful sunsets can be arranged.”
Jost Van Dyke, BVI
Monday, February 2nd, 1998
“Agent Logan?” one of them asked.
Nicole nodded. “Hello.”
“Captain Tully sends his regards. I’m Tommy and this is Les,” he indicated the second man. “Do you have everything you need?” he asked looking at what little they were bringing.
“Then allow us to transport you to your home away from home, the Hashmalim,” he said with a smile.
The men politely helped the women into the boat and then headed out.
“Where is the Hashmalim?” Nicole asked.
“Captain Tully thought it best not to draw attention to the island, so the Hashmalim is waiting in the bay at Jost Van Dyke. It’s less than four miles from here so we’ll be there shortly,” Tommy answered.
There were, of course, several boats at anchor in the bay of the island a little over three and a half miles north of Grand Thatch Island. Dana’s eyes grew large as the small boat they were riding in zeroed in on the largest boat in the bay. The men tied the sleek motor boat to the water platform and helped the women onto the platform. Les led them up the steps to the deck. Waiting for them on the aft deck was Captain Tully.
“Tully! It’s good to see you.”
“The pleasure is all mine. Welcome aboard the Hashmalim, Miss Dana.”
He led them into the salon. “Would either of you care for something to drink or to eat?”
Both women declined. Dana indicated she was a little tired.
A uniformed woman who had been checking the stocks behind the wet bar replied. “Yes, Captain?”
“Would you please show Miss Dana to her cabin?”
Nicole gave her partner’s arm a light squeeze. “It’s alright. I’ll come check on you in a bit. I need to discuss a couple of things with Tully.”
Dana nodded. She followed the steward out of the salon. “Your name is Max?”
“Well, it’s Sara Lomax, but I go by Max, have for years.”
Dana nodded. “I’m Dana.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dana.”
“How big is this boat?” Dana was a bit in awe of the size and the luxuriousness of the interior.
“The Hashmalim has a length of 140 feet and a beam of 25 feet.” Max noticed Dana taking in the details around them. “Would you like the tour?”
Max gave Dana a quick tour of Hashmalim. She pointed out many of the ship’s features such as rich woods, marble counters, plasma screens, advanced sound system, TV, radio, internet, and phone service via satellite, sauna and steam rooms, library, exercise room, and finally the master suite.
Dana had been impressed with everything Max showed her and told her about the boat, but when they entered the master cabin she was blown away. The sheer size was one thing, but the spectacular view provided by the bow-facing rows of windows along the entire width of the cabin was incredible. Because the cabin was the foremost cabin on the upper deck, the forward bulkhead was inclined and curved, with two rows of large windows. The upper row of windows offered a view that would include any starry night sky. Below the windows were a small writing desk, some dresser drawers, and a small sofa. Directly center of the bulkhead the lower window was replaced with a hatch leading out to a private veranda overseeing a sunning area on the main deck bow.
The marble master bath was just as impressive as the cabin. There was a deep oversized marble tub and a double-sized glass and marble shower with multiple shower heads and a marble bench.
“I could spend hours just in this bathroom,” Dana said with a smirk.
Max smiled. “Hashmalim has my favorite master cabin of the fleet.”
“Hashmalim is one of seven yachts the owners have available.”
“Are they all like this?”
“They vary from 120 feet to 200 feet. Each one has a distinctive personality and features. Unlike some, the owners continuously maintain and improve each to the highest standards with the best of everything; from linens to audio/visual systems, to state of the art navigation and safety equipment. Even the Absinthe which was built in 1973 is one of the most luxurious and modernized yachts around.”
“I can’t imagine owning one yacht, much less seven!”
“They usually buy a new ship to add to the fleet every two to five years.”
“How can anyone need so many yachts?”
Max smiled. “Usually, all but one or two are at sea under charter at any given time.”
“Is there anything I can do or get for you at this time?”
“No, thank you. I’m just going to relax for a bit.”
Max showed Dana how to use the electronic concierge system and then left.
While Max showed Dana around and took her to her quarters, Nicole had some things to attend to. She and Tully walked together on the way to the pilothouse.
“You know, I was glad to hear it was you that was coming, Tully.”
“I gathered from my orders that you have important things to attend to, and that they wish to ensure the safety of your guest.”
Nicole nodded. “Yeah. This one’s different. It’s not the usual group of suspects. They’re human.” She took a breath and let it out. “So I can’t exactly go in guns blazing. It’s more complicated.”
They entered the pilothouse where they went over the charts. The Hashmalim would head southwest into the Caribbean. Then it would turn northwest and continue through the Caribbean, making a brief stop in the Caymans for some supplies. From there they would continue northwest until they entered the Gulf of Mexico and change course to the northeast to visit the Florida Keys. Beyond that, they would sail up and down the east coast as dictated by the needs of Nicole’s mission.
She gave Tully a smile. “I’m afraid it’s a rather boring cruise you were brought in for.”
He gave her a single nod. “Which is not a bad thing,” he said with a smile.
Nicole nodded, “Agreed.”
They then discussed the crew assignments. The deckhands were Tommy Burdett and Les Warwick. Tommy was former SAS and Royal Guard; Les was former Scotland Yard. Sara ‘Max’ Lomax was also former Scotland Yard. The engineer, Douglas Newell was retired Royal Navy, just as Captain Richard Tully was. And the chef, Geoffrey Whitten, was a world class chef and able to cook or bake just about anything a person could want.
The Hashmalim had weighed anchor and was getting underway by the time Nicole left the pilothouse.
Nicole knocked on the open door.
The blonde walked in and smiled at Dana where she was sprawled out on the king size bed. “Comfortable?”
“So are your accommodations sufficient?”
“Are you kidding? I think this cabin is bigger than my apartment.”
She sat on the side of the bed. “I realize staying here, on the ship, might feel a bit limiting compared to being on the island. After all, there’s not nearly so much room to go for walks. But hopefully the Hashmalim provides enough diversions to help pass the time quickly. There’s a library full of books, an extensive video collection, satellite TV, and an exercise room when you’re a little stronger.”
Dana gave her partner a wry smile. “I’m not complaining, Nicole. I just wish I had a swim suit.”
The blonde nodded. “Didn’t exactly have a lot of clothes to bring with us when we left the hospital.” She smiled, “But I think I may be able to expand your current wardrobe a bit.” She stood and held her hand out to the redhead. “Come on.”
Dana sat up, took Nicole’s hand and was pulled up from the bed. The blonde took her to a door to reveal a walk-in closet. “Unless Thea’s totally lost her touch, you should find just about anything you’ll need in here.”
She was stunned. There was a complete recreational wardrobe – pants, shorts, tanks, tees, shirts, swim suits, and shoes. “Nicole?”
The blonde smiled. “I take it Thea did alright?”
“Yeah, you could say that.”
Nicole left Dana to rest and headed to the office which was off the master stateroom. She turned on her computer and called Thea to get an update.
The blonde was pouring over files she printed out that had been sent to her by Thea when Dana found her in the office. She closed a folder and tossed it onto the desk with some irritation. She then pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes.
“That good, huh?” Dana’s voice came from the doorway.
Nicole let out a sigh. “Just a lot of research... giving me a headache.” She dropped her chin to her chest and slid her hand to the back of her neck to squeeze the muscles there.
Dana walked over to stand behind the blonde’s chair. She moved Nicole’s hand away and started to massage her neck.
“Mmmm, that feels good.
“You’re in knots.”
“I know.” After a couple of minutes Nicole straightened her head back up. She reached back and grabbed one of Dana’s hands. She held it as she swiveled her seat around. Nicole looked up into beautiful blue eyes. “What about you? How are you feeling?” she asked still holding her partner’s hand.
She took a breath and let it out. “Better since I took a nap. I am getting a little hungry though.”
Nicole smiled. “That’s not surprising, considering it’s about time for dinner. And it’s easily taken care of. What are you in the mood for? What would you like?”
That night, after Dana went to bed, Nicole was again in the office studying the intel Ian and Thea had provided. Max entered the office with a salver. She set it down on the corner of the desk. Nicole barely glanced over but picked up the large mug of hot tea.
“Mmmm, thank you,” she said after taking a large sip.
Max then picked up the syringe she had also placed on the tray. “Hip, please.”
“Hmm?” she responded absently as she concentrated on the computer screen.
“Drop trou, ma’am.”
Surprised, Nicole turned to look at the woman.
Max held the syringe at the ready. “To treat your migraine,” she stated.
The blonde rolled her eyes. “Let me guess – Thea called you.”
“I’m just following orders, ma’am.”
Nicole let out a sigh as she stood up and lowered her shorts enough to allow Max to give her the shot in her hip.
“You’ve been studying that screen for hours. You really ought to call it a night. Get some rest and let the medication work.”
“I will shortly. I just want to get through this file.”
Max left. Nicole didn’t actually get through the file before her migraine made her give up. She lay down on the couch in the office, telling herself she’d get back to work once the medication knocked back her migraine.
Tuesday, February 3rd, 1998
It was a cry clearly announcing terror that woke Nicole. She knew in an instant it was her partner. She raced from the office into the master suite. She sat on the bed and took a still mostly asleep redhead into her arms.
“It’s okay, Dana... it’s only a dream... shhh... I’ve got you...” She cradled Dana’s head against her shoulder and she kissed her forehead without thinking.
The redhead instinctively put an arm up around Nicole’s neck and pulled her close, clinging to her as her tears flowed uncontrolled.
The blonde tightened her arms around Dana. “Shhh... I’ve got you... it’s okay, Dana...”
The redhead was no stranger to nightmares. No one could go through the things she’d been through and not have nightmares, but she seldom let them get the best of her. On bad nights she would stay awake to avoid falling back into the nightmares. Giving in to the fear created by her own mind felt like weakness to Dana. She was used to be being in control of her emotions... not being controlled by them. And she certainly didn’t let others see how deeply the fear and sadness within ran. However, the walls she used to keep things in and people out just didn’t work with the blonde. She could no sooner keep her partner outside her walls than she could stop breathing. Nicole knew her, saw her, understood her, accepted her. And Nicole was the one she trusted.
Nicole held the redhead, absorbing her tears in her cotton t-shirt, and absorbing her fears in her heart.
Dana eventually got her tears under control. She ducked her head as she pulled back and wiped her face. “Sorry,” she whispered.
“There’s nothing to apologize for. You want to talk about it?”
She shook her head. It was then she noticed what the blonde was wearing. “What time is it?”
“About 3:30 in the morning.”
“And you’re still up?”
Nicole gave a one shouldered shrug. “Research.”
“It’s just case prep.”
“Case prep? What case?”
“My temporary reassignment undercover.”
Dana frowned, “I thought that was just a cover story to explain your absence.”
“It’s both actually. I’ll be coming and going from the ship periodically.” She gave Dana’s arm a light squeeze. “So, are you okay to go back to sleep now?”
She nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks.”
“If you need anything, I’m just in the office there,” she said, inclining her head toward the office doorway.
Monday, February 9th, 1998
Once the Hashmalim reached the Caymans they stopped long enough to pick up a few supplies. As planned, they continued on from there to the Keys, dropping anchor off Key West.
Dana continued to make small gains daily in her health. And she was finally starting to put on some of the weight that the cancer had deprived her of. Of course, having a world class chef preparing fantastic (and healthy) meals helped. She even started to get some sun, though slathered with sun block to prevent burning.
Under other circumstances, the redhead thought time on the Hashmalim would have been a dream vacation. But she was not recuperating as quickly as she’d like... and her partner was suddenly otherwise occupied almost constantly. Nicole was either holed up in the office pouring over files, or on the phone.
Dana missed the time, the intimacy, they shared on the island – talking, watching TV, sunset walks. She could see, and feel, Nicole growing more solemn and determined with each day that passed.
The Hashmalim headed north up the coast after a couple of days spent in Key West. Two days later they were in much colder waters off the Delaware coast. That evening Nicole seemed even quieter and more introspective than ever during dinner.
“Is everything okay?”
She looked up at Dana. “What do you mean?”
“You seem distracted.”
The blonde gave her partner a small rueful smile. “Sorry. I just have some things on my mind.” She let out a sigh. “I have to leave tonight. I’ll probably be gone two or three days.”
“Your case?” It really wasn’t a question. Dana knew her partner had been doing some major preparation during the last week, but she was suddenly overcome with deep concern about Nicole’s safety. “You’re going undercover alone, aren’t you?”
The blonde took a deep breath and let it out as she nodded.
Dana placed her hand over the blonde’s. “Nicole?”
“I don’t like the idea of you being out there alone. Promise me you’ll be careful. I don’t want to lose you.”
Nicole turned her hand underneath Dana’s and gave it a gentle squeeze. “This is far from the first time I’ve gone into the field alone – I’m used to it. I’ll be alright.”
“You better be. I don’t think I can deal with breaking in another partner,” Dana replied, trying to lighten the mood... to lighten her own mood.
That night, after Dana went to sleep, Tully met with Nicole on the sundeck.
“I shouldn’t be gone more than two or three days, four at the most.”
“Do you have everything you need?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Forgive me, but you don’t sound particularly eager to handle the situation.”
Nicole let out a sigh. “I’m... conflicted about this one.”
“I don’t usually go after humans... at least not like this.”
“With ‘monsters’ you know exactly what to do – vanquish them. Humans are different – they have souls, and rarely are all bad. You wouldn’t be who and what you are if you didn’t recognize that and it didn’t give you pause. You can’t exactly go around killing humans.”
“That’s just it – I’d like nothing more than to do just that! I’ve never wanted to kill a human as much as I do right now. These men purposefully bioengineered a way to give Dana cancer! How does someone even think about doing that? They don’t just want her dead, they want her to suffer. And she has.” Nicole stopped and let out a sigh. “Well, I need to go.” She released her wings. She plucked a few feathers and gave them to Tully. “Have Max make sure Dana continues with the tea, and lookout for her – don’t let her push herself too hard too soon.”
“As you wish.”
With that she took off up into the night sky.
Nicole flew into the night sky, unobserved by anyone. She flew about 100 miles until she arrived at the very affluent Ferry Landing subdivision of Alexandria. She landed on a private pier of a five-acre estate. She paused and centered herself. She knew she couldn’t let personal animosity overrule her judgment.
She was in full hunter mode and in her usual hunting attire – black top and cap, black leather boots, pants, and duster. Despite the boots she wore her steps were light and silent. Every sense she had was on alert. She flew up to the roof of the mansion. Her quarry was in the master bedroom with his wife. Normally she would have felt sympathy for the wife, but her investigation (with the help of Ian and Thea) revealed that the wife was no more an innocent than her husband. However, she wasn’t a threat to Dana, and Nicole was there to deal with that threat.
The blonde entered the house through a third story window and silently entered the bedroom. To avoid waking the wife she took out a cloth impregnated with something akin to chloroform and placed it over the man’s mouth and nose. He was unconscious before he even had a chance to waken and react to her presence. She silently hefted his body and left.
Ian was waiting for her when she arrived at the empty warehouse he’d scouted out for her use. He led her inside and down into the subbasement. He didn’t know exactly what Nicole had in mind for the bastard, but he saw the fire in her eyes. He’d fought at her side before and knew she was in full battle mode. There would be no second chances offered this time. He offered to stay and help her, but she declined as he expected her to. Ian left, knowing the man was soon to discover the meaning of ‘hell of earth’.
Nicole held the man for three days. For those three days she pulled things out of his soul and made him ‘experience’ the consequences of his actions – from his victims’ perspective. She took him through the emotional, mental, and physical things he had subjected others to.
She never laid a hand on him, but pulling things from his soul and putting him through what she did, was far more difficult and more draining than any kind physical activity. During those days she also interrogated him. She’d gotten everything she needed from him. By the time she finished he was blubbering like a baby. His mind had turned inward on itself and fractured. He was forever beyond any help – an empty shell.
Nicole felt sick in her heart. She felt more soiled than she could ever remember being. As tempted as she was to just leave him where he lay in a fetal position on the grimy floor, she knew that would be the same as killing him... and she wasn’t a murderer.
She once again hefted his body. She dropped him at the nearest hospital’s emergency room, slipping in and out without anyone noticing her. It was still night, but if she was going to fly back to the yacht before dawn, and unnoticed, she needed to leave immediately.
Friday, February 13th, 1998
Nicole no sooner touched down on the sundeck of the boat and Tully and Max seemed to appear out of nowhere with a large, steaming mug of tea. She accepted the offering with a nod of thanks. As she took a grateful swallow of the tea she allowed Max to help her out of her duster.
“Have you eaten?” Tully asked.
She shook her head. “No. And before you ask, no – I don’t want to eat. I haven’t the stomach for anything right now. What I need more than anything is a shower.”
She started undressing as she headed to the day head on the sundeck, dropping the last piece just outside the door of the head. Max collected her things and left to put them away, as well as obtain a robe for the blonde to wear once she completed her shower.
Nicole stood under the steaming water, trying to sluice away the dirty feeling that went far deeper than her pores. After finishing her shower she dried off and slipped on the robe Max had provided. Out on the sundeck she could see the sky just starting to lighten from the coming sunrise, but the beauty was lost on her. She’d been going for the past three days without sleep, was heartsick, and needed more than just a mug of tea and a hot shower to pull her from the depression she was currently in. She took a deep breath of the cold, dawning, sea air and then headed inside.
part 1|part 2|part 3|part 4|part 5|part 6|part 7|part 8|part 9|part 10|
part 11|part 12|part 13|part 14|part 15|part 16|part 17|part 18|