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.
Thursday, March 19th, 1998
Nicole was in tears. An extremely bad migraine woke her up around 3:00 in the morning. She had thrown up and was trying to settle herself enough to regain her feet. She hadn’t felt so bad in a long time. Finally she was able to flush the toilet and push her way up to lean on the bathroom counter. Her head swam as she opened the medicine cabinet to get a vial of DHE. She swallowed hard and closed her eyes, trying to hold back the nausea. Another couple of minutes passed. She opened a drawer and took out a sterile packaged syringe and alcohol swab. Now she just needed to prepare the injection.
Suddenly there was loud pounding on her front door. She wanted to yell at whoever was pounding to stop, but her own raised voice would have driven her to her knees. Her stomach flip-flopped but she once again fought back the nausea. She unsteadily made her way to the front door, feeling the pounding in her head throb with the pounding on the door. She was ready to tear someone a new asshole, but when she squinted out the peephole, she saw a teary-eyed Dana. She opened the door.
Dana, tears rolling down her face, threw her arms around Nicole’s neck and hugged her. The redhead had woken up a couple of hours earlier from a nightmare... and remembered everything from the last two months. She hadn’t hesitated – she jumped in her car and drove straight to Nicole’s house.
As she clung tightly to her partner, events played before her mind’s eye – the blonde’s visit at her death bead, the weeks of slowly regaining her health, the revelations about the Consortium, the trust and closeness that had grown and deepened between her and her partner, her friend. Dana was alive, and that was due to Nicole.
Skinner said Nicole had put in for a transfer. She didn’t want to lose the blonde as her partner or her friend. The blonde hadn’t just saved her life, she had given her back herself.
Nicole wrapped her arms around the redhead. “What’s wrong, Dana?” she asked softly.
“Thank you!” she whispered tearfully. “Thank you for everything.”
The blonde moved a hand up to cup the back of her partner’s head. “Your memory’s returned,” she said quietly. She felt Dana’s nod. “Sorry for the turmoil of the last few days,” she whispered.
“No, it was the right way. We made the right choice – I don’t think I could have been convincing when I was questioned if I had remembered everything.” She gave the blonde a squeeze. “I’m sorry I’ve been so distant.”
They finally parted. “It’s okay, I understand. Especially after everything you’ve been through.”
They moved so Nicole could actually close the door.
“I’m sorry for coming in the middle of the night,” Dana apologized.
“I was up anyway,” she replied as she locked the door.
“Nicole, why did you request a transfer? Was it something I said or did?”
The blonde heard the question, but was occupied with trying to keep her stomach from again rebelling as she closed her eyes, tears squeezing out the corners, and leaned against the door.
“Nicole?” Dana moved towards the blonde when Nicole didn’t turn around and realized her partner was trembling.
With a whimper Nicole suddenly jerked away from the door, roughly pushed past her partner, and lurched down the hallway to her bedroom. She barely made it to her bathroom in time.
Stunned, it took a moment for the redhead to react. She quickly followed her partner and found Nicole in her bathroom dry heaving. She knelt next to the blonde and gently rubbed her back. She was surprised when Nicole crumpled, fisting her hands over her eyes and crying quietly.
Dana had obviously spent enough time around her partner over the last ten months or so to know that she got occasional migraines, but she had never seen the blonde get this bad, though she suspected they did get quite severe at times since she knew what medications Nicole took for them. She wrapped her arm around her partner’s shoulders and pulled her close, supporting her. “Come on, let’s get you to bed,” she said softly.
“No moving...” she moaned quietly.
Dana wiped the tears from her partner’s face. “Just to the bed. I’ll help you.” She helped the blonde up, into the bedroom, and into bed. Nicole curled into a ball on her side, once again whimpering and pulling a pillow over her eyes. Dana pulled the covers up. “Have you taken anything for your migraine?”
“I was... about to...”
“I’ll get it.” The redhead went back into the bathroom and saw the vial of DHE and the still sterile syringe. She prepared the injection and returned to the bedroom. She sat on the side of the bed. “Let me have your arm.”
Nicole moved the pillow a little and whispered, “Hip... it goes in–”
“I know. But if I give it to you intravenously it’ll work faster,” she said gently.
The blonde moved her arm so her partner had access. Dana gently and accurately slid the needle in place and injected the medication. She settled in on the other side of the bed to keep an eye on her partner. She had seen Nicole hurt before, but she had never seen her so openly display being in pain. As the minutes changed on the clock she felt her eyes close against her will. The emotional revelations that came with the return of her memory and the middle of the night drive from the cabin combined to beckon her back to sleep despite her concern for her partner.
When Nicole woke up in the morning she almost purred at the soothing sensation of fingers lightly massaging the back of her head. She did not feel very well, but was a lot better than she had been a few hours earlier. The fingers in her hair stopped their movement. She took a breath and smiled at the wonderful scent of... Dana.
That was when her brain was jolted into full wakefulness and she realized where she was. She was in bed, snuggled up against her partner, head on her shoulder. She tensed immediately and then quickly scrambled to the side of the bed. Her sudden movement woke the redhead.
“Nicole? Are you okay?” she asked sleepily, but obviously concerned.
“Yeah...” she replied a little hoarsely as she stood and made her way to the bathroom. She closed the door and leaned against it, letting out a whispered moan, “This is not good.”
When Dana heard the shower start she got up and headed into the kitchen. She wasn’t as familiar with the blonde’s house as she had been her apartment, but she had no trouble finding the tea and starting a pot in the coffeemaker. Thinking Nicole wouldn’t feel like eating very much she pulled together a light breakfast of fresh fruit and toasted bagels.
In the bathroom, the blonde was in the shower trying to sort through her memories of the night, hoping she hadn’t done anything inappropriate toward Dana. Once she cleared her mind as much she was going to be able to, she turned off the shower, dried off, and put on her robe.
When she entered the kitchen she found her partner placing a couple of toasted bagels on plates.
“Have a seat,” the redhead instructed. She then set a plate and a mug of hot tea in front of Nicole, before grabbing her own plate and mug and joining her at the table. A plate of cleaned and cut up fresh fruit already sat on the table.
They ate in silence. When they were through the redhead grabbed the plates before her partner could. She refilled Nicole’s tea and then washed the dishes, which took only a couple of minutes. She refilled her own mug with tea and returned to the table. She looked at the blonde who seemed a little distant. Dana reached out and put her hand on Nicole’s arm, giving it a gentle squeeze. “How do you feel?”
The blonde closed her eyes and took a slow deep breath. “I’ve been better,” she answered softly. She opened her eyes and looked at her partner a moment. “Thank you for your help last night.” She then took another sip of her hot tea.
“Anytime,” Dana replied with another gentle squeeze of her hand before she removed it from her partner’s arm. “I know you get migraines, but I had no idea they got that bad.”
“I haven’t had one like that in long time – over a year.” She took a breath and slowly let it out. “Really kicks my ass when it they hit though. Takes me a day or so to get back to normal.”
Dana nodded in understanding. “Is it okay if I take a shower?”
“Of course it is. You know where everything is – help yourself if you need something to wear.”
While her partner was in the shower, the blonde got dressed, made another pot of tea, and then settled in the living room. Dana came back out in a pair of sweats and a t-shirt pilfered from one of Nicole’s dresser drawers. She got a refill of tea and then joined Nicole on the couch. There was some soft music playing, and again, the blonde looked to be somewhere else.
The blonde turned, pain still showing in her eyes, looking world-weary.
“Lie down here,” Dana said as she indicated for the blonde to lie down with her head in her lap. “Come on. Trust me,” she coaxed at her partner’s confused look.
Nicole moved slowly and without her usual fluidity and grace. She lay down on her side with her head on her partner’s lap.
Dana watched her partner’s eyes close as she slipped her fingers into the blonde’s hair and began to tenderly massage her scalp. “That’s it, relax.”
The blonde hadn’t had enough sleep and her partner’s soothing fingers soon had her drifting. Once Nicole dropped off asleep, Dana laid her head back on the couch and also dozed. About half an hour later the redhead realized her partner was having a bad dream. She calmed her partner and then sat there simply watching her... and thinking. She didn’t want to lose Nicole as her partner or friend. But then she remembered Ariel.
Maybe she’s requested a transfer to be closer to Ariel. I never did ask where she lived. And with Nicole working so much undercover their time together must be limited. Dana decided that if her partner was requesting a transfer so she could have a personal life, then she certainly wouldn’t give her a hard time about. Nicole deserved to have some happiness in her life. However, she still needed to know why Nicole wanted to leave. She continued to lightly massage her partner’s head.
When Nicole woke a while later, she could feel Dana’s fingers gently carding through her hair absentmindedly. She took a deep breath.
“How do you feel?” Dana asked gently.
“A little better. Sorry I conked out on you.”
“Don’t be. You needed it. Besides, I got a nap too.” She paused, trying to figure out how to bring up what brought her there in the middle of the night in the first place. Finally she just decided to be direct. “Can I ask you something?”
“Skinner told me you requested a transfer. Why?”
Nicole sat up and let out a sigh without looking at the redhead.
“Have I done or said something to offend you?”
“No! No, of course not, Dana. It’s not you. It’s just...” I’m in love with you.
“Is it to be closer to your girlfriend Ariel? If so, I can understand that. I just wish you would have talked to me about it.”
She looked at the redhead, confused. “Ariel? What makes you think–”
“I saw you,” Dana said gently. “I didn’t mean to intrude on anything private, but I saw you two in the gazebo at the villa.”
The blonde took a moment to think about what had happened in the gazebo. She realized what things must have looked like from Dana’s point of view. She smiled gently. “Ariel’s not my girlfriend.”
“I saw you put your suit back on and the two of you kiss,” Dana countered softly.
“It’s not what you think it was. Ariel and I are good friends. She probably knows me better than anyone. What you saw was me putting my top back on after she’d given me a massage. And then two close friends hug after a particularly emotional talk. Yes, we kissed, but it wasn’t anything more than a quick kiss between friends – not lovers.”
Dana accepted what Nicole told her since she trusted the blonde and knew her partner wouldn’t lie to her. She nodded in understanding.
“I can see how you reached that conclusion though. Ariel is a very dear friend.”
“Okay. Then why the request for transfer?”
The blonde took a deep breath and let it out. She spoke softly. “A lot’s happened in the last year. Everything is different now. The Consortium is a thing of the past. There’s no need to always be looking over your shoulder. You’re safe. With your record you can write your own ticket, get any posting you’d want – instructor, major crimes, domestic terrorism, OCB, you name it. There’s not a division out there that wouldn’t be lucky to get you. And with your health back there’s nothing holding you back. You’ve got a clean slate, Dana.”
She took a moment to weigh her words before replying. “You’re right, a lot has happened. I’m not the same person I was before. I’ve changed – for the better I believe. And it is refreshing, if still somewhat hard to believe, that all the troubles with the Consortium are done and over with. But I have to tell you, that despite all the grief the X-Files have brought, I like the challenge of solving unusual cases. Cases that I wouldn’t get to work in any other division. So I’m not interested in any other assignment at this time. But regardless of what division I’m in, what kind of cases I work, one thing I want, one thing I need, is partner who’s good at what they do and is someone I can trust completely.” She paused. “I have that with you... and I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want to lose you, Nicole, as a partner or a friend.”
Nicole was touched by her partner’s words. “You’ll never lose my friendship, Dana.”
“I’m glad. But is there anything I can say or do to keep from losing you as my partner?”
She dropped her head and closed her eyes as she took a long, slow, deep breath. She quickly reviewed her reasons for requesting a transfer. But what do you want? ‘I don’t want to go anywhere.’ That’s what you told Ariel. It’s true. I want to stay and work with Dana.
Dana waited patiently as the blonde retreated into her thoughts. She still didn’t know why Nicole requested the transfer, but she could see her partner was honestly considering her decision, and ultimately, it was a decision that Nicole had to make for herself. She wanted Nicole to stay, but she didn’t want to pressure the blonde into something she didn’t want to do.
So quit being a coward and make the choice. Nicole took another deep breath and slowly let it out. She gave a small nod. “Alright. I’ll stay,” she said softly.
Dana reached over and gave Nicole’s hand a squeeze with her own. The blonde turned her hand to clasp her partner’s and returned the squeeze. They sat in a comfortable silence until the house phone rang. Nicole got up and went to answer it.
“Agent Logan, it’s AD Skinner.”
“What can I do for you?”
“I wanted to talk to you about your transfer request.”
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that.”
“Is there any way you would reconsider?”
“You would?” She had obviously surprised him with her quick answer.
“Yes, I would. I already have actually. I was going to call you.”
“Then I guess I can drop your request in the circular file instead of forwarding it to personnel.”
She could hear the smile in his voice. “Yeah, that’ll be fine.”
“So we’ll see you...”
“Monday it is. Have a good weekend, Logan.”
“Thanks.” She hung up and walked over to the couch. “How about a refill on that tea?”
“Sure.” Dana handed the blonde her mug.
She returned shortly with fresh hot tea. She handed a mug to the redhead and then sat down. “I’m going back in to work Monday.”
“Monday it is then.”
“You don’t have to go back yet if you’re not ready.”
“No, I’m ready. After all, I’ve already had my vacation,” Dana added with a smile.
Wednesday, June 24th, 1998
Nicole and Dana went back to work Monday, March 23rd. With no Consortium to worry about and no health issues to slow Dana down, their work took off. Dana was still frequently called on for autopsy consults, just as Nicole was for suspect interrogations, but they really shined when they worked cases together. As a team they seemed unstoppable and had an unsurpassed solve rate. They cleared every single case that had been assigned to them.
They also spent time together outside of work. As before, Maggie insisted that Nicole join her and her daughter for dinner every other week, work permitting. The partners had dinner, or did something else together, at least a couple of times a week and made a point of not talking about work. So their friendship was nurtured and grew as well. Their personal feelings for each other also deepened, though neither one broached the topic – both relishing their partnership and friendship, and afraid of damaging them.
Three months after their return to work, Dana entered their office on a Wednesday morning. It was June 24th. Nicole rounded her desk and met her partner as she came through the door, and handed her a cup of freshly made hot tea.
“Good morning. Looks like you’re going to get your wish.”
“Yesterday you said you wanted to get out of the office. Skinner left a note; we have a meeting with him at 10:00. He’s got a case for us,” Nicole explained.
“Then I need to finish up my report on the Dickens case.”
“Do you have enough time?”
“Yes. I’ve got the initial autopsy report; I just need to put the finishing touches on it since the labs came in yesterday.” Dana sat down at her desk and booted up her computer. She stole a look over at her partner who was studiously working on some paperwork of her own. And watching her is the reason you didn’t get the report done yesterday afternoon. Focus, Dana, focus.
At 9:45 the redhead printed out her finished report. As it printed, she retrieved an interoffice envelope from the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet. Behind the cover of an open file folder, Nicole’s eyes watched her partner. Dana, while having regained her health, remained leaner than she had been before getting cancer. However, she was more fit than she’d ever been in her life. It showed in the way she held herself and moved, a physical confidence that was quite appealing. You’ve seen her in a skimpy bikini, but she makes a business suit sexy! Nicole quickly averted her eyes when Dana stood and returned to her desk.
With her report done and ready for pickup by the mailroom, Dana slipped it in the pickup slot as she and Nicole headed up to Skinner’s office. Kimberly instructed them to sit and wait until Skinner was ready for them. Soon, Skinner signaled Kimberly to send them in. He stood as they entered and moved to the chairs in front of his desk.
“Good morning, Agent Scully, Agent Logan.”
“Good morning, sir,” they replied in unison.
Having received their assignment, Dana and Nicole made travel arrangements and met up at the airport for their flight to Indianapolis. They were met at the airport by Detective Lance Finneran who informed them that a third body had been found nailed to a tree – crucified. The FBI had been contacted after the second body was found. The first had no other sign of trauma and a completely clear tox screen. The second was the same, except for a strip of flesh (four inches by half an inch) had been removed from the victim’s chest – antemortem.
Det. Finneran led them straight to the morgue so Dana could get started on the autopsies of the second and third victims. He then took Nicole to the most recent crime scene. Afterwards he took her back to the precinct so they could go over the case files.
It was late when Dana got to their hotel. Nicole heard the redhead enter the adjacent room and knocked on the adjoining door. Dana opened the door after dropping her bag on the bed. The blonde took one look at her partner and knew she was beat. The redhead sat down on the bed with a moan. Performing two difficult autopsies in one day had worn her down, made her feet hurt from standing and her back hurt from leaning over the table.
“Sore?” Nicole asked, sitting down next to her.
She nodded without opening her eyes. As she had hoped, she soon felt Nicole’s fingers rubbing her shoulders, massaging the tension out of her corded muscles. She began to relax and lean into it, enjoying the pleasant sensation that was flowing through her. The blonde’s hands leeched the soreness and tension from her body. She drifted, enjoying the feel of her partner’s touch and the closeness between them. Behind her closed eyes memories played.
Nicole caring for her when she got so ill following radiation treatment.
Breaking into a hotel to rescue Nicole from a killer.
Nicole’s gentle smile when she told Dana her cancer was gone.
Nicole holding her when she awoke from a nightmare.
But she also recalled her previous partner. She recalled all the times Mulder had ditched her. Mulder seldom using his best judgment. Mulder always unwilling to listen to anyone else. Mulder letting a quack doctor drill a hole in his head to bring back childhood memories. Mulder killing himself the very next week.
Her two partners were so very different from each other – a difference of night and day, misery and joy, self-centeredness and selflessness. A flash of guilt passed through her as she thought how grateful she was that Nicole was her partner, but that only Mulder’s death allowed that to happen.
She had relaxed into Nicole’s touch, reveling in it. Suddenly Dana became aware that their positions had changed. She was leaning back against the blonde, completely relying on her partner to keep her upright. Her head was resting on Nicole’s shoulder. The blonde’s hands had stopped their massage and Nicole’s arms were loosely resting around Dana’s waist. She didn’t want to move, she just wanted to stay there, resting in her partner’s arms. Even more, she wanted to turn her head and find soft lips with her own. But if you do, you’ll mess up the best partnership you could ever hope for and maybe lose your best friend.
She sat up abruptly startling the blonde. She quickly got off the bed and moved to the dresser, feeling a need for distance, the space to regain control of her emotions.
“What’s wrong, Dana?” Nicole asked with gentle concern.
Dana dropped her head and shook it. “I just... I’m tired, that’s all.” I’m in love with you!
The blonde stood and moved over to where her partner stood. She placed a warm hand on Dana’s shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Then get some sleep. You know where I am if you need anything.” And she left.
Thursday, June 25th, 1998
Thursday morning Dana had downed two cups of now-unaccustomed coffee while waiting for her partner, but it was already 7:45 and Nicole still hadn’t arrived. Dana hadn’t slept well, thinking about the blonde, thinking about them. She wished she could express her feelings, but there was so much at stake, a partnership, a friendship. No wonder it seemed so hard. But now it was time for work, and she tried to put all those other issues out of her mind. There would be time to deal with them later.
She checked her watch and looked out the coffee shop and across the lobby to the elevators for what seemed like the hundredth time, frustrated that she still didn’t see her partner. Finally, she dropped a couple of dollars on the table and headed back to elevators.
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|part 19|part 20|
part 21|part 22|part 23|