Title: Weak in the Knees
Rating: NC-17Please see previous posts for disclaimer/summary/notes. As always, thanks to celievamp for the beta!
Dana found Jess sitting on the end of the dock. Without waiting for an invitation, she sat down next to her. “You’ve been out here a long time.”
“Yeah. Same here,” she replied softly. “Look, Jess, you don’t have to talk to me, but I’d appreciate it if you’d hear me out.”
The brunette nodded.
“I’m sorry for the way I reacted. I was surprised and caught off guard. I’m a scientist; I need to be able to understand things and have them make sense. Finding out you’re... well, it threw me.”
“I can see how it would,” she conceded.
“Jess, I was thrown off balance, but I was never afraid of you. You may be half vampire, but I know you’re not a monster; I know you’re one of the good guys.”
Jess simply nodded.
After a few seconds of silence, Dana again spoke. “I want... I want things to be okay between us, Jess. I want to be friends again.”
Friends. Could she really be friends with Dana? Maybe... maybe not. But she could at least be civil to the woman. “I’m sorry for the way I handled things. I shouldn’t have taken off like I did. At the time I felt it was the right thing to do.”
“Why?” Dana asked without reproach, not wanting Jess to shut her out now that she was finally talking to her.
“Because I knew you wouldn’t be very happy about being lied to and misled – especially since we... got so close. I couldn’t imagine you wanting to work with me after that, so I got you released from having to do so.”
“What did you lie about?”
Jess looked at Dana in disbelief. “It was the lie of omission; I didn’t tell you what I am.” She looked away and back out over the dark water under the almost moonless night.
Dana thought about it. “How do you tell someone you’re half vampire?”
“As a rule, I don’t.” Jess smirked. “Although, I admit a few perps have seen my other half – it’s helped a few times during interrogations.”
Dana had a sudden insight. “That’s why you wanted the camera turned off when you were with Conrad!”
Jess smiled. “I confess it was rather satisfying to wipe that arrogant sneer off his face.”
Dana couldn’t help but smile at the image of the brutal serial killer suddenly finding himself alone with a pissed off vampire. She let out a chuckle. “I’ll bet.”
They sat in silence for a few minutes. Jess decided to open the door a little more, despite her feelings.
“I know you have questions, Dana. Ask them.”
Dana was silent. She wasn’t sure what to ask first. She had wanted answers, but now that she was getting them she wasn’t so sure.
Jess looked at the redhead. Dana had demanded answers, yet now she was silent. It was irritating the already troubled woman. “Ask.”
“And how old are you? 75? 100? 200?”
“Actually, I’m younger than you. I just turned 33.”
“When was your birthday?”
“That was my birthday! Why didn’t you say anything?”
Jess shrugged. After a few seconds she prompted Dana. “I know that’s not the question you really want to ask.”
“I’m not sure how to ask... or even if I should.”
“Well, I suggest you ask while I’m willing to answer,” she snapped. “This is not an experience I’m particularly looking forward to repeating.”
Dana took a deep breath and dived in. “What about blood?”
Jess took a slow breath. She knew it was inevitable that she’d be asked about it. “I’ve never taken human blood. And I don’t drink blood unless I need to.”
“How often... do you need blood?”
“Not often, but if I go too long without it I can get rundown and sick. I also need it to heal when I’m injured.”
Dana looked at Jess with realization. “That’s what was in the paper bag Det. Marinelli gave you on the way back from the hospital.”
Jess nodded. “Yes. It was a pint of pig’s blood.”
“You mean you can just go into a drug store and buy a pint of pig’s blood?!”
“Only businesses that cater to a certain clientele. And not just pig’s blood.”
“A certain clientele?”
“Vampires, and half-breeds like me, are in every part of society, Dana. From boardrooms to hospitals to law enforcement to skid row. In that sense we aren’t any different from everyone else.”
“How did Marinelli know?”
She looked at Dana. “Bobby is a vampire.”
Dana’s eyes widened. After a few moments she dared another question. “Do I want to know where the blood comes from?”
Jess pinned Dana with a hard look. “I don’t know. Do you?”
Dana hesitated. Did she really want to know? What would it change? But she was afraid that if she didn’t get the answer now, the opportunity would be forever lost. She gave a small nod.
“Cow and pig’s blood obviously come from livestock. Human blood is voluntarily donated. It’s available prepackaged or fresh from... a donor.”
“By donor you mean...” Dana felt a little queasy.
“I mean, there are some humans who volunteer to let vampires feed on them.” Jess shook her head. “Some of them get addicted to it.”
“Because of the way it makes them feel. They say it... feels good. Unfortunately, if they get together with an undisciplined or unscrupulous vampire, it can have a deadly cost. But most vampires are careful, particularly since feeding directly from a human can have consequences.”
“What do you mean?”
“They say human blood is like no other. For some it’s like a drug. For others is can become a physical life and death need which no other kind of blood can satisfy – they can literally starve to death on cow or pig’s blood. And for some, feeding directly from a human can create an unbreakable bond, affecting both human and vampire the rest of their lives. They all say nothing compares to human blood, especially for healing.”
“But you’ve never...”
“No. I’ve never had human blood.” Jess took a deep breath and let it out. She’d had enough. She’d never discussed these things with anyone than her grandfather. “I’m tired. I’m going to go to bed.” She stood up and walked back up the pier, leaving Dana alone.
After Morgan had left Scully sat on the end of the pier for several minutes. She had managed to get some answers from Jess, but she wasn’t sure what it had accomplished. At least Jess was talking to her again, even if it was clear the brunette had been uncomfortable with their conversation. She finally got up and made her way back to the house. After taking a long, hot bath she put on her pajamas and slipped into bed.
Morgan woke up early in the morning. Since she’d spent so much of the day before off by herself thinking she got busy working. She used the great room on the third floor. She put up the pictures of the victims and crime scenes on the walls. She also put up pictures of the messages in blood from the Reaper.
Morgan settled down with case files, pen, and notepad. She’d been too distracted lately. She needed to refocus and find the way back inside the killer’s head.
When Scully woke up in the morning she headed up to the third floor and started preparing breakfast. Casper soon joined her. They exchanged a few pleasantries while she fixed breakfast. When it was time to eat Scully called for Morgan to join them. Since Morgan didn’t reply, Scully left the kitchen and went into the great room.
Morgan was standing next to a wall, closely peering at crime scene pictures. Case files were scattered on and around the coffee table in front of the couch, as were several balled up pieces of paper.
Casper appeared by her side.
“Leave her be,” he said gently. “It’s best to just let her work when she gets like this.”
“She needs to eat. She hasn’t had anything since breakfast yesterday.”
“Trust me, she won’t starve... but she may break the case open.” Casper gently pulled Scully back to the kitchen.
After Scully and Casper finished breakfast they went into the great room. Even though Casper had spent a day with Morgan going over things he was still new to the case. So he and Scully went through the files as well and discussed details of each victim and crime scene.
The day passed uneventfully.
As did the next.
Morgan’s cell phone woke her up Friday morning, the 19th. “Morgan.”
“What is it?”
“We got another one.”
Morgan closed her eyes and clenched her jaw. “Where?”
“Alright. We’ll be there.” She ended the call and then called for the helicopter to take them to the airport. She then woke the other two agents.
By the time the three of them were dressed and ready the helicopter was arriving.
They landed in Boston at Logan International Airport at 1:37 in the afternoon. An agent from the local office was waiting for them as they disembarked.
Morgan stepped forward and took the agent’s hand. “Hi. This is Agent Scully and Agent Casper.”
“Agent Sean Travis. The ASAC sent me to take you to the crime scene.”
The crime scene was in a small, but well kept, house in a quiet neighborhood. The victim was Sheila Cousins, a 28-year-old real estate agent. Morgan slowly made her way through the victim’s house. She picked up a framed picture of a striking, green-eyed redhead.
“That’s the victim,” Agent Travis said, announcing his presence right behind Morgan.
“Where’s her family?”
Travis pulled out a note pad. “Parents are in Seattle; they’re flying in and should be here tomorrow. There’s also a twin sister who lives in Montpelier, Vermont.” He looked at his watch. “In fact, she’s due at the morgue in about half an hour.”
Morgan looked at Scully. “Why don’t you go on to the morgue so you can be there when the sister arrives, Dana?”
Scully nodded. “Alright.”
Less than half an hour into the autopsy Casper showed up at the morgue.
“How is it going?” he asked Scully.
She looked up. “No surprises so far. Where’s Jess?”
“She’s still at the crime scene.” Seeing Scully’s questioning eyebrow he added, “She wanted some time alone to look around and get a feel for the victim’s home.”
“You left her there alone?”
Casper nodded. “It’s not the first time she’s wanted some time alone to get the feel of a crime scene. And, as she pointed out, the threats haven't been made against her; they’ve been made against you.”
Scully was angry. “But it was her that was set up in Atlanta!” She snapped her gloves off and walked over to retrieve her phone.
“She wasn’t hurt though because she arranged for backup. Jessica knows how to handle herself. She’s been working alone for three years.”
Scully merely glared at him as she dialed. It was obvious that Jess hadn’t told Casper about the severe beating she’d taken in Atlanta. As the phone rang in her ear she paused in thought. How could Jess tell anyone how severe the beating had been since she showed no signs of it? Scully figured that meant Casper didn’t know about Jess.
“Jess, it’s me. What are you doing?”
“Just taking a look around the victim’s place.”
“Why?! Jess, you promised me you wouldn’t take any unnecessary risks.”
“And I’m not.”
“You shouldn’t be there alone. Not after what happened in Atlanta.”
“You’re the one that was shot at the other night. Atlanta wasn’t about taking my life; it was about teaching me a lesson. I’m fine, Dana. Don’t go anywhere without John.”
Scully’s retort was cut off by Morgan hanging up on her. Scully put her phone down and returned to the autopsy table. She was too angry to attempt even minimal conversation with Casper.