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.
Monday, February 23rd, 1998
When Dana arrived at dinner, which was served out on the deck, she was surprised to see a small wrapped box sitting next to her plate. She picked it up and walked over to where her partner was leaning against the railing. “Nicole, after everything you’ve done, you certainly didn’t have to get me anything.”
The blonde smiled. “That’s not from me.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It’s from your mother. I managed to sneak in and meet with her for a couple of minutes, to let her know you were alright. She gave that to me to give to you for your birthday.”
Dana didn’t even think about it, she simply threw her arms around her partner’s neck and gave her a hug. “Thank you,” she said softly, her voice full of gratitude and joy.
“You’re welcome,” Nicole replied returning the hug.
After a few moments they parted and Dana opened the present to reveal a beautiful bracelet.
They enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a relaxing evening together. When Nicole asked Tommy where Max was, she was told Max had left the boat to open up, provision, and prepare the villa for them.
“The one here on Providenciales,” he answered as he refilled their wine glasses.
Nicole smirked at Dana who shrugged. “I decided I liked it here. The weather’s perfect, the water’s beautiful. Why go anywhere else?”
The blonde chuckled. “I agree. It is beautiful here.” She looked over at Tommy. “Would you ask Captain Tully to weigh anchor and lay in a course to take us to the villa?”
“Of course.” He got off the phone to the bridge. “The captain says we’ll be underway in a couple of minutes. He was anticipating your request.”
Sure enough, less than 90 seconds later they felt the boat begin to move.
Providenciales, Caicos Islands
About an hour after getting underway the Hashmalim once again dropped anchor. Tommy and Les prepared the launch and shortly after that they took the two women to the pier.
The sight that greeted them was stunning. Max had the villa lit up, including the pool lights.
“It’s beautiful,” Dana said.
“Good choice,” Nicole said with a smile.
They walked up the beach and up the walkway over the raised ridge of rocky landscaping leading to the infinity pool. Then they walked over the bridge over one end of the pool. Max opened the patio door and admitted them.
“Good evening. Please allow me to you show around the villa.”
When they came to what was expected to be the second bedroom suite, they found a very well furnished workout room. Nicole arched an eyebrow at Max behind Dana. But it was Dana who actually spoke.
“I thought this was a two bedroom villa.”
“It is, or rather, was, Miss Dana. This second suite, as you can see, was just recently converted. I do apologize for any inconvenience. If you would prefer, you may, of course, choose a different villa.”
“Oh, no. I didn’t mean it like that. There’s no need to go anywhere else,” Dana spoke as they exited into the huge common room. “This is beautiful.” Dana and Nicole walked into the master suite. “You don’t mind sharing, do you?” she asked the blonde to make sure.
“I don’t if you don’t.”
Both women changed and settled in for the night.
Tuesday, February 24th, 1998
Nicole woke up in the morning and slipped out of bed. She decided to let her partner sleep in for a while. She grabbed a change of clothes and headed into the bathroom. Once changed, she went out through the great room and onto the patio. She looked at the small package Maggie had given her the other day. She didn’t know why, but for some reason she felt embarrassed by the gesture. She opened the small package and smiled at the small cross dangling from a fine gold chain. It looked just like the one that Dana always wore.
When Dana got up she found her partner fixing breakfast.
“Good morning. You’re just in time. What would you like in your omelet?”
“Just make mine like yours.”
“You got it.” A couple of minutes later Nicole placed a plate full of a huge omelet in front of the redhead. She also put a bowl of cut up fresh fruit and a glass of orange juice in front of her. She sat at the stool adjacent to Dana’s with the same fare. “Go ahead and dig in.”
“Do you really expect me to eat all of this?”
The blonde just grinned and started in on her own meal.
Dana took a bite of her omelet. “Mmmm, this is good!”
“Glad you like it.”
When she took a drink of her orange juice she gave the blonde a surprised look. “Mimosas?”
Nicole smiled again and shrugged a little. “It’s vacation.” And there’s a lot to celebrate – you’re alive, Dana. The cancer is completely gone and the Consortium will never be able to hurt you again.
They finished their breakfast (Dana ate all of hers) and Nicole started washing their dishes. She dried her hands when she was done. She looked at Dana a moment in thought. She then grabbed a bottle of wine, a corkscrew and a couple of glasses. “Come on, let’s talk. You have questions and it’s time you got answers,” she said on the way to the living room area of the huge common area. She set the wine and glasses down on the large square coffee table before going to the wall facing the patio. She hit a switch that withdrew the pocket panels to open up the 25-foot glass section of the wall. She then rejoined Dana on one of the couches and uncorked the wine.
“It’s a little early, don’t you think?”
“It’s up to you.” Nicole poured herself a glass and sat back.
Dana just looked at her a few moments at first. Then she finally spoke. “I’m not sure where to begin.”
“Why don’t you just ask me a question and I answer it? We can go from there.”
“Okay... You said the uh... the Cigarette Smoking Man was dead?”
“Are you sure? He’s... well, I wouldn’t put it past him to somehow fake his death.”
“He’s definitely dead. He killed himself in front of me.”
“That was the choice he made. He chose that over facing up to his many crimes.”
“As if that would have ever happened.”
“It would have and he knew it. I confronted him with the evidence needed to ensure it. Clarence Gaines Bradley Spender, former State Department employee and major Consortium player was, in the end, a coward.” She took a drink from her glass. “I was there, Dana, he is dead.”
She just sat there for a few moments absorbing the news. “What kind of evidence?”
The blonde set her glass down, stood up, and walked into the bedroom. She returned with an expandable file holder that appeared to be pushing its limit of expandability. She removed the two large bands holding it closed and withdrew a folder, handing it to Dana. “This is an outline of what we dug up on CGB Spender: his early career and partnership with William Mulder in the State Department, his affair with his partner’s wife, his associations with Nazi scientists the government co-opted after the war, and many of his activities on behalf of and as a member of the Consortium. Activities which include authorizing the compromise of AD Walter Skinner and the method used, his actions as the handler of Section Chief Blevins and Assistant Director Kersh, both on the Consortium payroll, and personally coming up with and supervising the little science project that was devised specifically to deal with you.”
Dana skimmed through the file. She was stunned by how much information her partner seemed to have dug up on the mysterious man.
Nicole pulled out a second, thicker, folder. “This is just some of the evidence we have to backup what’s in that file – documents, signatures, photographs, transcripts of recorded conversations, interoffice memos, classified files, and so on.”
The redhead suddenly moved forward and poured herself a full glass of wine. She took a couple of very large gulps before setting the glass down. “How? How the hell did you get all this?”
“Well, it was mostly Thea who did it. If anything’s ever been on a computer it’s a good bet she’ll eventually be able to dig it up one way or another. She’s one of the top five hackers in the world.” Nicole sipped her wine. “Actually, I highly doubt that anyone could beat her ability when it comes to hacking. She simply has skills none of the others do. I’d bet anything there’s not a system she couldn’t get into if she really needed to.”
Dana was quiet as she sifted through the material on Spender. She stopped when she got to the documentation about what had been done to her. There were transcripts of conversations discussing what was to be done about her. It showed how Spender was responsible for proposing she be used as the first test subject in one of their new projects that he’d suggested and just gotten approval to start – to attempt to bioengineer a DNA-specific agent that would produce cancer in the targeted subject. It also included the transcript of the meeting after Mulder’s suicide where the Leader had suggested letting her get well, but Spender persuaded the group it was best to just let her die. She finished her glass of wine and refilled it.
Nicole watched her partner, gauging her mood. “I know it’s a lot to take in.”
She nodded. Finally, she spoke. “If I hadn’t been through the last few years... I’d find this all too incredible to believe. Unfortunately, I know otherwise.”
“Do you want to know more?”
“Yes. I’m so tired of being lied to and of being manipulated and used.”
Nicole nodded in understanding. “Alright.” She opened up the expandable file again and pulled out another file. “This is the de facto leader of the Consortium.”
Dana opened the file and looked at the name and picture on the first page. “Oh, my god. He’s...”
“Yes. Now you know just how deep, and how high up, their reach goes. Or rather, went.”
She skimmed through the file. “My god, the names he named...” She looked up at her partner again. “Why would he voluntarily give up other members of the Consortium and those they controlled?”
“Because I interrogated him nonstop for almost three days.” It was Nicole’s turn to suddenly empty her wineglass and refill it with the last of what was in the bottle.
“That was where you went when you left the boat for three days. When you came back...” Dana reached out a hand, placed it on her partner’s arm and gave it gentle squeeze, “you were so upset, you worked out and ran for hours...”
The blonde took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “It was a very... distasteful and disturbing experience. But it verified much of what we already knew, and filled in what we didn’t.”
“Thea and Ian both went above and beyond in helping me. Thea obviously did a lot of digging around with her computer. Ian handled surveillance and provided access when a physical presence was needed – especially when I wasn’t available.”
Dana gestured to the expandable file holder. “You obviously have files on more than just these two,” she said in reference to the men they’d already discussed.
The blonde nodded. “This contains reports on each of the members of the controlling council of the Consortium. It’s yours to find whatever answers you need.” Nicole handed the overly full file to her partner. “I have the raw data secured where no one can get to it.”
The redhead knew she couldn’t go through all of it in one sitting. It was just too overwhelming. She found the magnitude of what her partner was handing over to her to be indescribable. “How long?”
“How long have you been doing this? You couldn’t have done all this just since we left DC. How long?” she asked quietly, not sure if she really wanted to know. If she’s been doing this the whole time then... Then what? Does that mean she was sent? If so, by whom? And if she was sent, who does she answer to? Can I trust her? Oh, God! Who else is going try to control and manipulate my life?!
The next thing Dana knew, she was looking up into her partner’s beautiful, concerned-filled, green eyes. Her shoulders were supported by the blonde’s arm and her head was cradled against Nicole’s chest. She could hear Nicole’s heartbeat under her left ear.
“That’s it, breathe easy, Dana, breathe easy.”
She felt the support of an arm come out from under her knees as her partner gently set her on one of the couches. She missed the comfort and warmth of the blonde’s heartbeat and closeness as Nicole replaced her arm with a pillow and pulled back to kneel next to her.
The blonde checked her forehead for a fever, then tenderly brushed hair away from her face. “How do you feel?”
Even feeling a little fuzzy, Dana couldn’t miss the concern in her partner’s eyes and voice. “What happened?”
“You asked me how long I’d been gathering info on the Consortium. Before I could answer, you stood up suddenly and fainted.” Nicole frowned, “I think it would be a good idea to have you checked out.”
Dana started to sit up. “No, no. I’m fine, Nicole.”
“I’m a little concerned; that’s the second time in two days, Dana.” Nicole moved up to sit on the couch next to her partner.
She took a deep breath and let it out. “I just... it’s stupid really.”
“I let my thoughts run away with me, and I... well, I forgot to breathe. It’s out of character for me, to be so... out of control, but it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me. Remember, the doctor checked me out just a couple of days ago. Besides, I am a doctor.”
Nicole let out a snort. “You were winning your argument until that statement,” she said chuckling.
Dana looked at her in surprise, but then smiled and chuckled with her. “So, ‘I’m a doctor’ isn’t going to work with you?”
She shook her head. “Uh uh. Not when you use it in an effort to convince me you’re okay. Doctors are the worst patients.” She paused. “Okay, I’ll let it go for now, but don’t be surprised or upset if I have someone take a look at you soon – just to make sure you’re still where you should be as far as blood pressure, heart rate, etc. Especially since I don’t know how long it’ll be before it’s safe to take you back. The cancer may be gone, but your body is still recovering systemically. I want to keep you on the road of recovery and not have any unnecessary setbacks. I’m sure you want that as well,” she finished up with a challenge in her tone and the arch of an eyebrow.
The redhead nodded, deciding not to argue the point.
“Well, I think we ought to take a break. As I said, I know it’s a lot to take in. I’m not going anywhere; you can ask more questions later.”
“Will you answer the one about how long you’ve been digging into the Consortium?”
Nicole looked her partner straight in the eye. “Since I came to DC. Remember, I read all the files in the office, and I spoke to Skinner before I met you. I wasn’t exactly clueless when I was assigned to work with you.”
“Skinner! Oh, my god, what about Skinner?!”
“What do you mean?”
“The files said he was compromised by the Consortium, he’s been–”
“Was, Dana. Past tense. Walter Skinner is a good man. He made a difficult choice and has been free and clear of their influence for a while now.”
I wish he’d told me, the redhead thought to herself. But then she recalled what he had said to her the day she found out Nicole was her new partner.
“I can’t trust anyone... sir.”
“I know you believe that, but you can trust me and–”
“With respect, sir, I know you are sometimes... not the one in charge.”
“That has been true... but things change.”
She shook her head. He told me he was his own man again – I just didn’t realize it.
Nicole could see that her partner was thinking. “If you’re okay, I’m going to work out for a bit then probably take a dip in the pool. Is there anything I can get for you?”
“No. But I do think I’ll take a nap, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course not. You are on vacation after all,” she replied with a smile.
Both women headed into the bedroom. Dana lay down on the oversized bed while the blonde quickly changed into a pair of shorts and half-tank top. Nicole then headed to the opposite wing of the villa to the workout room.
When she was done with her workout, the blonde quietly, so as not to awaken her partner, slipped into the bedroom and retrieved her swimsuit. She changed in the bathroom and took a dip in the pool. She then decided to just relax poolside and take in the cool breeze and warm sun. She stretched out on one of the provided lounges. This is nice. I don’t remember the last time I simply took a vacation and relaxed. A small smile took up residence on her face and stayed.
Her phone rang. “Logan.”
It was Captain Tully calling just to touch base and make sure everything was alright.
She assured him everything was fine, but she did have a question for him. “Why did you suggest this villa to Dana, Tully?”
“She was having difficulty choosing and indicated how much she enjoyed it here. And she didn’t want the need for additional security. Besides, with the Hashmalim anchored here, the equipment for jet-skiing, sailing, diving, and fishing are just minutes away.”
“The weather and water here in the Caribbean are wonderful, but the Dominican Villa offers more than this one does – especially more actual beach. The Hashmalim could have had us there in less than a day. So, spit it out, Tully – what was your real reason?”
He let out a soft sigh. “It did not escape my notice that while the Hashmalim provided a number of cabins, you chose to sleep in the office adjoining the master suite whenever you were aboard. Nor did I miss the effect of your absence on Miss Dana. While I believe under normal circumstances she is undoubtedly a very strong and independent person, she is still recovering – emotionally as well as physically. Staying here, with the second suite converted, provides a reason for you to stay in the same room. Staying in another villa with several bedrooms would not provide such proximity without one of you requesting it – something I believe neither of you would have done.”
“Did I err and overstep my bounds?”
“No, it’s okay, Tully.” She hung up.
It was only a couple of minutes later when Dana, wearing her own swimsuit, joined the blonde on the patio. “How’s the water?”
“Nice. You ought to check it out for yourself.” Nicole smiled as she heard her partner slip into the pool.
A little while later Dana exited the pool and moved to the lounger next to the blonde’s. “You’re going to get burned if you’re not careful.”
“Nah. I’m fine.”
“Must be nice. I wish I didn’t have to worry about burning.”
Nicole picked up a jar from the ground and set it on the small table between their loungers. “Use that lotion and you won’t burn.” She smirked, “You may even manage to get a tan.”
The redhead scoffed at her partner in mock anger. “Are you saying I’m pale?”
“I just call them like I see them.”
They both chuckled. Dana opened the jar of lotion and applied some. She then stretched out on the lounger on her stomach. “Would you put some on my back?”
“Sure.” Nicole sat up and moved to sit on the edge on Dana’s lounger. She put some lotion on her hands and began to rub it on her partner’s back. She made sure to get under the thin strap of Dana’s top. “Did you get the back of your legs?”
“No. Do you mind?”
“Not at all.” She put some more lotion on her hands and made sure Dana’s legs were completely protected. “There you go, paleface,” she quipped when she was done.
The redhead managed to playfully smack Nicole before she got out of reach. They both laughed.
The blonde lay back down on her lounger. “God, I can’t remember the last time I actually took a vacation and just relaxed like this,” she said with a smile looking over at her partner.
Dana returned her smile. “I know what you mean. And I certainly never took a vacation with my partner before.”
“Sorry about that.”
“Nicole! I’m not complaining. I enjoy your company. And I’ve never been on a vacation with a partner before, because I never wanted to. There’s no way I would have been able to stand taking a vacation with Mulder. We were partners and we relied on each other. I would even say we were friends, but it never really translated outside of work. Whenever we spent time together outside of the office, it was inevitably to review files or discuss a case. Without work we would have never had anything in common, or even to talk about,” she finished with a shrug.
“Well I’m glad you haven’t gotten sick of me yet,” Nicole responded with a smile.
“Not yet anyway,” Dana quipped in return.
They both relaxed by the pool and enjoyed the sunshine.
After a bit the redhead turned over onto her back. She looked over at her partner who appeared truly relaxed as she stretched and turned onto her stomach. Yes, I enjoy your company, Nicole. You’re one of the kindest people I’ve met. No more second guessing myself. Everything you’ve said and done... you’ve gone way above and beyond in proving yourself trustworthy. I’m going to follow my own instincts and judgment, and everything in me says to trust you, completely. You’re my partner and my friend; I couldn’t ask for better. I can count on you and you can count on me.