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.
Indianapolis Police Department
Saturday, June 27th, 1998
Dana called Skinner, who in turn rattled some important cages. As a result, every available detective was working on finding her missing partner. But as negative report after negative report came in, she was starting to get a little frantic.
Unable to sit still, she left the bullpen and went into the break room. She poured herself some coffee, but winced at the bitterness. She would have given anything to have her partner walk in and hand her a mug of tea.
“... know if I find this damn FBI agent I’m going to give her a piece of mind for pulling this disappearing act and making me come in on my day...”
The voice passing by the break room in the hallway pissed Dana off. She knew Nicole didn’t just get up and walk out of the hospital... which meant someone had to have taken her. But who the hell would have taken her? And why? We’ve only been here three days working on the case... She rubbed her temples as she tried to reason it out. The case... the case... Who involved in the case would want to do anything to Nicole? Sirianni is dead. “Dammit!” she exclaimed when it hit her.
Dana tossed the full cup of coffee into the trash and rushed out of the building. She snagged a pair of uniformed officers who had just pulled up, ordering them to follow her.
Trinity Lutheran Church
When Nicole awoke again, she was still groggy from medication given to her at the hospital and the ether that had been used on her.
She couldn’t help but scream when a knife cut into her chest above her right breast.
“Good, you’re awake. You should be awake for this; it’s an honor to be sacrificed. Since you died and were reborn your sacrifice will be even more special.”
“Don’t do this!”
The knife sliced into her flesh again and again. She didn’t even try to remain silent.
Trinity Lutheran Church
When she found the church doors locked, Dana shot the lock then kicked the doors in. She and the two uniforms searched the church, but found nothing. Then she thought she heard something... coming from next door. She headed out a side door, stopping to listen. She definitely heard a woman’s scream. It was a cry of pain and it was coming from a lit basement window of the rectory.
“In here!” she yelled to the officers and ran into the house. Following the screams, she found the stairs to the basement in the kitchen. With gun drawn she made her way down the steps, the cries she now recognized as Nicole’s spurring her to get to her partner as quickly as possible.
She found Tim Sirianni, knife in hand, slicing into the blonde’s chest just above her breast. Three deep, four-inch cuts had already been made, angled from Nicole’s right shoulder toward her sternum. Blood was flowing onto the wooden slab she was bound to. Tim was making another cut, perpendicular across the slices to make strips, using the tip of the knife to pry up one end of a strip to peel her flesh away.
Tim looked up with a feral smile and a crazed look in his eyes. “I have to finish!”
“Drop the knife or I’ll shoot!”
“She must be sacrificed!!”
“I said drop it!”
Nicole cried out again as he tried to continue.
Dana didn’t hesitate. She shot the young man in the shoulder, knocking him back. He stared at her wide-eyed, disbelieving she’d actually shot him. He lunged towards the blonde, but was stopped by a second shot from one of the uniformed officers that had arrived.
The two uniforms rushed forward to secure the young man while Dana went to her partner. She removed her jacket and covered the blonde, then looked for something to staunch the bleeding. Finding nothing she placed her hands over the wounds and pressed, eliciting a cry of pain from her partner.
“I’m sorry.” The redhead looked at the officers. “Call an ambulance and get something to cut her loose,” she ordered.
One uniform, Officer Miller, radioed for two ambulances while the second, Officer Barker, went back outside to the patrol car and got out the first aid kit. Barker returned, handing the kit to the redhead. He then cut the bindings while Dana placed a large field dressing over the wounds, again applying pressure.
“Don’t try to move, Nicole. An ambulance is on the way.”
Nicole’s eyes closed, but tears continued to trail from the corners.
When the ambulances arrived, two teams of paramedics descended into the basement. One team started working on the boy, the other on the blonde. Since Tim, with two gunshot wounds, was more critical, he was the first to be taken out and transported to the hospital. It was unknown whether he’d live or not.
Then they got Nicole onto a gurney. Despite the care with which the paramedics moved her and carried her up the stairs, everything little bump made her wince. Once again Dana got into the back of an ambulance with her partner. This time, she held Nicole’s hand, squeezing it, and talked to her, telling her to she was going to be okay.
St. Vincent’s Hospital
The blonde moaned softly as she began to waken. Dana jumped up from the chair she’d been resting in and took her partner’s left hand in her own. She waited for Nicole to open her eyes.
“Hey there. How do you feel?”
“Getting a little tired of waking up to that question.” She groaned as she shifted, a little surprised to find her right arm immobilized.
“Easy, Nicole. The wounds were deep.” She squeezed the hand she was holding. “You’ve had to have surgical repair done to your pectoral muscle. It’ll be a few weeks before you’re back to normal.”
Dana hit the button to raise the head of the bed. Once Nicole was almost upright, she poured a glass of water, put a straw in it, and held it so her partner could sip.
Having wet her throat, the blonde felt a little better. “It won’t take me long to get back in shape. I heal fast, remember?”
The redhead set the water down and sat on the side of the bed facing her partner. “Nicole, don’t downplay this.” She felt her eyes sting as they watered. “I need you to take care of yourself. You were shot today and almost died. Then you were abducted and seriously wounded. I’ve lost one partner, I don’t want to lose another one.” A single tear spilled over and ran down her cheek.
Nicole reached up with her left hand and tenderly wiped the tear away. She gently cupped Dana’s cheek. “It’s okay, Dana. I’m alright; I’m not going anywhere.” She slipped her arm around the redhead shoulders and pulled her close.
“I don’t want to lose you; you mean too much to me,” Dana murmured as they hugged.
She tightened her arms around the blonde as more tears trailed down her cheeks. She felt Nicole yawn, so she let go of her and helped her to settle, lowering the head of the bed.
“Sorry,” the blonde apologized.
“Don’t be. It’s the drugs, and you need to sleep anyway. Just relax; I’ll stay here with you.”
Her eyes closed and Nicole was asleep.
Sunday, June 28th, 1998
Dana jerked awake when someone entered the room. She straightened up and watched closely as a nurse took her partner’s vitals.
“Everything looks good. She’s doing just fine,” the nurse said softly when she turned to go.
The redhead gave her a small nod. Dana gazed at the blonde as Nicole continued to sleep. It had been a couple of rough days. She’d come so close to losing Nicole... it drove home just how much she cared for her partner. Dana tried to imagine her life without the blonde in it – the thought made her heart ache.
Dana still felt the loss of Mulder. One couldn’t know the man and not feel his absence. But most of what she felt about it was guilt. Guilt, because she didn’t see his deterioration as a warning. Guilt, because she didn’t prevent his suicide. Guilt, because she preferred being Nicole’s partner. And guilt, because her life was better without him.
Her life wasn’t one of conspiracies and paranoia – it was full of promise and joy and she was alive to enjoy it. She no longer dreaded going to work for fear of what their next case would be. The X-Files Division was enjoying a new found respect as its two agents impressed everyone they worked with, with their professionalism, tenacity, and unparalleled success rate. The name-calling and whispers that she had pretended not to hear for four years had morphed into praise and respect. The division was no longer a running joke within the Bureau. Instead, it was known as the division that handled unusual, hard to solve, and strange cases. They got results when other agents and investigations were at a standstill.
Rather than wondering when the next reprimand, censure, or suspension was coming, her personnel file now boasted letters of commendation and a recent, significant raise. However, even with all the changes for the better, Dana couldn’t bring herself to feel regret for the years she worked with Mulder. If not for him, his drive, and their experiences she would not be who she was today. With him she had seen and experienced things she never would have otherwise. And even though their work had exposed her to the darker and seedier things in life, it gave her an appreciation of the good in people and the world. It crushed her naiveté, but imbued her with the confidence that she could withstand whatever life brought.
A small smile formed as Dana’s thoughts turned to what life had brought, or rather who. Nicole was more than she could have ever hoped for in a partner, or a friend. After knowing her for a year Dana knew that she’d never meet anyone else like the blonde. She also knew that her partner had completely captured her heart.
Dana had struggled with her feelings for Nicole for some time. At first because she was dying and knew it was futile to even think about getting involved with anyone, and then because she wasn’t dying and was afraid of losing the blonde as her partner and friend. However, the last couple of days really drove home the fact that were no guarantees in life. She could lose Nicole whether she said anything about her feelings or not.
The redhead was pulled from her musings when Nicole shifted in her sleep and a stab of pain invaded her sleep, waking her.
Dana got up and went to her bedside. “Hey there.”
“You’re still here?”
“Where else would I be?”
“A comfortable bed at the hotel.”
“I’m not taking my eyes off of you until we leave Indianapolis. Bad things keep happening to you here.”
“My bodyguard,” the blonde murmured with a sleepy smile.
“Yep.” Dana gave Nicole’s hand a squeeze as her voice cracked a little.
Nicole didn’t miss the emotion in her partner’s voice, but before she could say anything the redhead spoke again.
“Do you need some more pain medication?”
“No, but I’d be more comfortable if my arm wasn’t immobilized.”
Dana shook her head. “Trust me, you wouldn’t be. There was some major damaged done to your pectoral muscle. You’ll be in a sling for while and will have to undergo some physical therapy.” Nicole didn’t say anything, but Dana could see in her partner’s green eyes that the blonde wanted to refute her words. She reached out and brushed her fingertips through fine, corn silk hair at Nicole’s temple. “You’re out of work for at least a week, after that you’ll be on light duty.” She moved her hand and gently cupped the blonde’s cheek. “You can’t fight me on this – I’ve already informed Skinner.”
Nicole took a breath and slowly let it out. “Will I at least be able to go home tomorrow?”
“We’ll see what your surgeon says.” Her thumb lightly caressed the blonde’s cheek a moment. “Try to get some more sleep, Nicole.”
Monday, June 29th, 1998
After obtaining her partner’s paperwork from the doctor, Dana returned to Nicole’s hospital room. The bed was empty but light was coming from around the bathroom door which stood ajar. She turned away when the blonde exited the bathroom wearing only her jeans.
Nicole had struggled to get her jeans on one handed, but finally managed. However, there was no way she was even going to try to put on a bra. She picked up the button-down shirt from her bed, holding it up awkwardly and trying to slip it on her good arm. She dropped it. “Dammit.”
Dana turned at the quiet outburst. She quickly scooped up the shirt. “Here, let me help you.” The redhead supported Nicole’s right arm as she removed the sling and then carefully slid the shirt sleeve up her arm before replacing the sling. Helping the blonde the rest of the way into the shirt, Dana began to button it up from the bottom. When she finished, she couldn’t keep her fingertips from straying to the bandage still visible in the V of the shirt. She felt a lump form in her throat.
The blonde reached up with her left hand, capturing her partner’s hand from where it hovered and giving it a squeeze. “Hey.” She waited until the redhead’s eyes met hers. “I’m okay.”
She couldn’t speak around the lump in her throat, so Dana settled for nodding. Letting go of Dana’s hand, Nicole sat on the bed. She took out a pair of socks and her running shoes from the bag her partner had brought for her. It was obvious that the blonde needed help, so Dana took the items from her and knelt. She helped Nicole on with her socks and tied her shoes for her. By the time she was done Dana was able to find her voice again.
“Are you ready?”
She rolled the requisite wheelchair over and Nicole sat down in it, holding her duffle in her lap.
Their flight left a little after 3:00 in the afternoon. After a plane change in Chicago, they landed at 7:00 at BWI. The blonde slept in the car as her partner drove from the airport.
Dana opened the passenger door and crouched down. She reached out and gently shook her partner’s leg. “Time to wake up.”
Dark green eyes opened but appeared dulled by pain medication and sleep. “Where are we?”
“Your place. Come on, sleepyhead, I’ll help you get settled.” She steadied the blonde as she exited the car. Slipping her arm around Nicole’s waist, Dana walked her up the porch steps, unlocked the door for her, helped her inside, and planted her on the living room couch with orders not to move.
After bringing Nicole a cup of fresh hot tea, Dana returned to the kitchen and began cooking dinner for the two of them. When she returned to the living room she found Nicole asleep on the couch with Lyssa curled up on her stomach. Lyssa lifted her head and looked at Dana, looked at Nicole, and then back at the redhead again, meowing softly. Dana swore she could see concern in the small cat’s hazel eyes.
She knelt next to the couch and petted the small, white cat. “Yes, she was hurt, but she’s going to be okay, Lyssa. And we’ll take care of her, won’t we?”
Lyssa meowed and pushed her head against the redhead’s hand. She then laid her chin back down on the blonde’s stomach. Dana went out to the car and retrieved her bag. She took a quick shower and put on some shorts and a t-shirt. She then returned to the kitchen to finish dinner. She set the kitchen table.
Dana went back to the living room and sat on the edge of the couch, laying a hand on her partner’s good shoulder. “Nicole.”
The blonde opened her eyes and looked up at her partner. “Mm... guess I conked out on you.”
“It’s okay; dinner is ready though.”
“Okay.” She started to sit up but winced as the stitches in her chest pulled.
Dana helped her to sit up. After dinner Nicole cleaned up and changed into pajamas. She then lay down on the couch, with her head on Dana’s lap, as they watched a little TV. She, of course, fell asleep.
The redhead looked down at her partner where Nicole slept with her head in her lap. Dana tenderly caressed her brow and ran her fingers through fine, blonde hair. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I should have been there with you. You got hurt because I didn’t have your back. I won’t let you down like that again, I promise.”
After a while, Dana woke Nicole enough to help her into the bedroom and into bed.
“Sorry I fell asleep on you.”
“It’s okay,” she said with a smile. “You’ve got some pretty strong drugs in you.”
The blonde started to lie down but Dana stopped her. “Don’t lie down yet. I need to change your dressing.” She helped Nicole remove her top and then carefully removed the bandage from her chest. She found herself face to face with the rows of stitches on the blonde’s chest. The dark nylon thread and swollen, red edges of the wounds marring her otherwise flawless skin.
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
Nicole almost rolled her eyes as her partner fell into old habits. She refused to let Dana pull away. “Dana, don’t,” she said as she pulled her partner down to sit next to her.
As her throat constricted painfully and her eyes welled, Dana finally met the blonde’s dark green gaze. “I’m so sorry, Nicole.”
The blonde frowned, confused. “Sorry for what?”
“For not being there when you needed me; for not having your back like I should have.” A lone tear escaped and trailed down her cheek.
Nicole reached up with her left hand and gently wiped the tear away before pulling Dana into a hug. “You have nothing to apologize for.”
“I should have–”
“What? The case was closed, Dana. There was no reason to suspect anything would happen. No one expects you to be omniscient. We both have been doing this long enough to know that sometimes shit just happens.” She felt the redhead’s breathing become more normal.
Dana pulled back, suddenly embarrassed about breaking down in the arms of her half-naked partner. She became hyper-focused on the task of very gently cleaning and then re-bandaging Nicole’s wounds. By the time she was done, the blonde couldn’t keep her eyes open. Dana helped her partner lie back, noting that Nicole was already asleep.
After making sure the house was locked up, she slipped into the other side of the bed and turned off the light.
“Night,” the blonde mumbled.
“I’m here if you need anything. Goodnight.”
Tuesday, June 30th, 1998
In the morning Dana got up and dressed for work. She was almost ready to leave when Nicole woke. She sat on the side of the bed. “Hey there. How do you feel?”
“Not too bad.”
“Well, make sure you get plenty of rest. I’m going into the office to file our reports and stuff. If you need anything, call me.”
“Okay. Let me know if we get a new case.”
“I doubt Skinner will assign us anything for a few days. He said he wanted you to get better.”
“I’ll be good to go in a couple of days.”
“No, you won’t. You’re off for the rest of the week. We’ll see how things go before a decision is made about next week.”
Nicole gave her a sleepy smile. “A few days are all I’ll need. You’re not getting rid of me that easy.”
“Getting rid of you is not on my list of wants. Now take care. Give me a call if you need anything, or if you want me to come by after work.”
“Thanks for last night. I owe you a dinner.”
With that Dana left for work. She spent the day going over their reports and turning them in. She met with Skinner who praised their work and inquired about Nicole’s condition. She then did paperwork the rest of the day. She also spoke to her mother on the phone. Maggie made Dana promise to bring Nicole to the family picnic on Saturday, so she could see for herself how the blonde was doing.
Saturday, July 4th, 1998
Dana had made it a point to check on her partner each day after work. More precisely, she made it a point to visit her partner each day after work, fixing dinner for them both. She’d stay until Nicole fell asleep on the couch and then make sure the blonde made it to bed before going home.
The redhead’s attentiveness wasn’t really necessary, but Nicole enjoyed the evenings spent with her partner. It reminded both of them of the time they’d spent together on Great Thatch, only their roles were reversed.
Even though Nicole’s shoulder was a lot better, Dana made her wear the sling when she picked the blonde up Saturday afternoon.
“So where is this shindig?”
“Fort Smallwood Park. My brother reserved a spot near the water so he can take his boys fishing.”
“I didn’t think Bill had a kid old enough to go fishing.”
Dana smiled. “He doesn’t – I’m talking about Charlie.”
“You mean I finally get to meet this phantom brother of yours?”
“He’s not a phantom; he’s been stationed overseas. He’s just been assigned to Pax River. This is the only chance we’ll really have to get together as a family because Bill is stationed in San Diego and is only here TDY – on temporary duty. Tara and Matthew flew in this week and have been staying with Mom. They all go back to San Diego next week.” The redhead looked over at her partner and noticed a tightening around her eyes. “What’s wrong? Are you in pain?”
“No, no. My shoulder’s fine.” She paused for a couple of beats. “Are you sure you want me there? It’s a special family get-together.”
“Of course I do, so does Mom. She said she’d disown me if I didn’t bring you along today.” She reached over and gave the blonde’s hand a quick squeeze. “Relax and have good time.” She was rewarded with a smile.
Fort Smallwood Park
Anne Arundel County, MD
Maggie Scully looked up and smiled as she saw Dana and her partner walking towards her. “Dana! Nicole! I’m so glad you made it.” She hugged her daughter and then pulled Nicole into a warm, gentle hug. “I was so sorry to hear about you being injured, dear. I would have come to see you, but Dana assured me she was looking after you.”
The blonde returned Maggie’s hug as best she could with one arm in a sling. “Thank you, Maggie. And yes, Dana’s been taking good care of me.”
When they parted Maggie cupped the younger woman’s cheek as she gazed into dark green eyes. “You are okay, right? Don’t lie to me.”
“Yes, I am. Don’t worry, I heal quickly.”
Maggie gave her another hug. “Good. Next time, try not to get hurt; I worry about you girls.” She slipped her arm around the blonde’s waist and turned to walk her to where a blanket was laid out in the shade of a tree. “Now, you just have a seat and relax while we finish setting up the picnic.” Her tone brooked no argument, so Nicole obeyed, sitting down next to a sleeping baby in a car seat.
Dana smirked at the expression on her partner’s face. She had no doubt that if she had tried that Nicole would have objected, professing to be fine. She poured some lemonade into a cup and took it to Nicole. “Be a good girl,” she teased.
Nicole accepted the plastic cup with a perturbed look, which only served to widen Dana’s smile.
“And who do we have here?” Nicole asked, looking at the sleeping baby.
“That’s my nephew Matthew; Bill and Tara’s son. He’s seven months old.” She turned back to help her mother. “So, where is everyone?” she asked Maggie.
“Bill and Charlie took the boys out on the jetty for some fishing. Tara and Lisa ran to the store because Bill forgot the marshmallows.”
Maggie smiled, “For later – s’mores.”
“I haven’t had s’mores in ages.”
“You always loved them when you were a child. I seem to recall a time when you beat up both of your brothers once for stealing one of your s’mores.”
Dana blushed at the childhood memory, but a small smile graced her lips.
“There they are now,” her mother said with a nod towards the parking car. When the two women joined them, Maggie introduced the newcomers to Nicole.
“Tara, Lisa, this is Dana’s partner Nicole Logan. Nicole, this Bill’s wife Tara, and Charlie’s wife Lisa.”
After standing, she offered her left hand to shake.
“Are you okay?” Lisa, a nurse, asked as they shook hands, indicating the sling.
“Oh, this is nothing. Just a little something that happened at work. I’m just fine.”
Dana felt herself bristle at her partner’s answer, but didn’t say anything.
“It’s nice to meet you, Nicole,” replied Tara.
“Looks like the boys are hungry,” Maggie said as she spied her sons and grandsons.
Nicole was introduced to Dana’s brother Charlie and his two sons, Tommy and Bobby. Bill was the only one to have met Nicole previously, having been to the hospital to see Dana after her disappearance.