Title: Weak in the Knees
Rating: umm... NC-17 eventually
Disclaimer: X-Files, Mulder, Scully and such don’t belong to me. If Scully did, she would have never slept with Mulder – no matter how desperate she was. But then... she wouldn’t have been so desperate – I’d have let her have more fun.
Summary: Scully and Mulder are assigned to a taskforce to catch a vicious serial killer. But who is that agent assigned by the Director? And why does she make Scully’s temperature rise?
Spoilers/Timeline: Set somewhere in the first half of season six.
Archive: P&P; anyone else please ask first.
A/N 1: If you’re a fan of Mulder you may want to pass.
A/N 2: My eternal thanks to celievamp for the great beta. This work is better because of your help. All mistakes are my own. Constructive feedback is welcome.
After the Director left AD Taylor took Special Agent Morgan to an empty office. “It’s not much, Agent Morgan, but it’s yours for as long as you need it.”
“Copies of the files are in the boxes there. The Director ordered them prepared for your arrival. I didn’t know what time you would get in, so...”
“I’ll get started.”
“Uh, okay. You sure you don’t want to get checked into your hotel? I mean, get some rest and get started fresh in the morning?”
“I’m fine. I’d just as soon as get started. Thank you, Assistant Director.”
“Ben. Everyone calls me Ben,” Taylor said with a smile.
Morgan slipped off her suit jacket, sat down at the desk, opened a box and pulled out a file. She opened the file and began reading.
“Well, if there’s anything you need... files, coffee maker, pencil sharpener... just let me know...”
Taylor, suddenly feeling quite ill at ease, turned and left the office. There was definitely something about the woman that unnerved him. And it wasn’t the fact that she was the Director’s personal pick to work this god-awful case. Taylor was not one to let ego get in the way of solving a case, particularly one as bad as the current one. There was just something in the grey eyes of Agent Jessica Morgan that said she knew what evil was – had an intimate familiarity with it.
Morgan read the extensive files on each murder that made up the string of killings done by the Reaper. She did not read any of the profiles already done, however. She was there to do her own workup on the killer. The Reaper was, no doubt, a smart killer, and a very brutal one. He enjoyed killing, and he enjoyed leading the police and FBI on wild goose chases. Only a cursory glance at the crime scene photos was all it took to tell her this was going to be a bad one. But then, the Director only called her in on the really bad ones.
Over 18 hours later she was still in the office. She had several sheets of handwritten notes. She’d taken the crime scene pictures from the files and taped them up on the walls. She moved slowly, from one gory picture to the next, studying each in detail. She was on the hunt. Only time would tell how long it would take to find her prey. Finally she went to the window and stared out, looking at nothing really. After almost an hour of standing practically motionless, she took a deep breath, turned and walked out of the office. She walked into Taylor’s office.
Ben Taylor looked up. “What can I do for you?”
“How many of the bodies do we have?”
“Here? The last three. The previous ones were handled either by local law enforcement or the Bureau field offices. The first four have been buried. Because they were all different jurisdictions it took a while before all the dots were connected and we realized what was really going on.”
Morgan walked over to the window and looked out. “Who’s the best pathologist you’ve got?”
“Scully... she did the posts on the last three,” she said, remembering the name and signature on the autopsy reports.
“How long until you can get the other bodies here?”
“Within a day – at least for some of them.”
“Do it,” she said quietly. She then turned from the window and walked out of Taylor’s office.
Taylor picked up the phone and made the necessary calls.
When Scully walked into the autopsy bay after changing into her scrubs she was surprised to find one of the bodies she’d autopsied two days before pulled out on its drawer and someone in scrubs looking at it. When the person turned she saw it was Agent Morgan.
“It’s Agent Morgan, right?”
The dark-haired woman gave her a small smile and a nod. “Yes. And you’re Agent Scully.”
“Yes,” she replied as they shook hands. The woman was of average height, about 5’6”, and appeared to be of athletic build. Though attractive there was nothing particularly striking in her features, save her grey eyes. Her eyes seemed to... suddenly Scully felt as if she were falling into obsidian pools of warmth, embraced by–
“... you alright?”
“W-what?” Scully shook her head clear. It felt like she was short of breath and had to shift her feet under her to regain her balance.
“Are you alright, Agent Scully?”
“I’m fine. I’m fine.”
Morgan seemed to sense it best not to question the veracity of Scully’s statement and let it go unchallenged. “I want to thank you for taking a look at the other bodies for me.”
“Not a problem. I just hope we find something. I haven’t been able to yet.”
“I know. But I’m hoping the UNSUB was less thorough in covering his tracks in the earlier cases. And if there was something missed in their autopsies, I’m told you’re the best to find it.”
Scully didn’t really react to the compliment, but Morgan sensed a touch of pride from her anyway. Pride hard earned and well deserved. Morgan looked back down at the body a couple of moments. “She was beautiful... and too young to end up here,” she said quietly and reverently. After another moment she pulled the sheet over her again and pushed the drawer back in.
“Who do you want to start with?” Scully asked.
“Let’s start with Karen Rivers.”
Even though it was a re-examination of the body, it was still time consuming since Dana had to be careful and not make any assumptions whether the previous pathologist had missed something. So it was well past lunch time when she finished up with the first one. As she reached for the drawer that contained the next body, Morgan suggested they break for lunch.
“I’m fine,” Scully said indicating she didn’t need the break.
Morgan looked at her. “I know your back and legs have to be killing you. Mine ache and I’m not the one cutting. Let’s break for lunch and come back fresh.”
Scully hesitated but then nodded agreement when she realized Morgan was being genuine and not patronizing in any way. They went into the locker room to change.
“Do you like Italian, Agent Morgan?”
“Italian?” she asked while changing.
“There’s a nice little Italian restaurant not far from here. Would you care to join me for lunch?”
She thought about it moment and then accepted Scully’s invitation. “Alright. But do you mind if I meet you there? There’s something I need to do. It’ll only take a few minutes.”
“That’ll be fine. I’ll see you there.”
They went their separate ways when they left the locker room.
Scully had only been seated for about five minutes when Morgan arrived. A waiter quickly took their orders and they were left with just their thoughts.
Scully finally broke the silence. “You seem very comfortable in the autopsy bay. Most agents aren’t.”
“I wouldn’t exactly say comfortable. But it’s a part of the work.” She paused just slightly. “It’s hard to figure out the killer’s thought processes if you don’t look at their ‘art’.”
Scully nodded, seeming to understand what she was getting at. “How long have you been with the Bureau?”
“About nine years, but not all in one shot. I resigned for a time and then returned. And yourself, Agent Scully?”
“Going on eight years. I taught forensic pathology for a couple of years here at Quantico. Since then I’ve been partnered with Mulder.”
Morgan raised an eyebrow. “And you’re still with him?” she asked with a touch of humor to her voice, grey eyes, and corners of her mouth.
From someone else, such a comment would have elicited an immediate defensive and sharp retort. But coming from Morgan, in the manner she delivered it, simply elicited a small smile.
“How do you like working the X-Files?” Morgan asked.
“It’s certainly been interesting.”
That got a smile from Morgan, instead of just a slight curling at the corner her mouth. “Working with Mulder, I can imagine.”
“So you know him?”
Morgan shook her head. “Not really. He was a top profiler when I was assigned to the VCU. He had already earned his nickname of Spooky and I was just earning mine. A lot of the agents weren’t happy I was brought in right from the Academy. We worked a few of the same cases.”
Scully was impressed. No one got assigned to the VCU straight from the Academy. It was an assignment you had to earn, to prove yourself capable of – after at least two years of field work. “What office do you work out of?”
“I don’t really.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I work on a case by case basis. For all I know I’ll be in Wisconsin next week, or Utah.”
“Sounds like a lot of travel.”
Morgan nodded. “They’re trying to get me to come back here – to Quantico.”
She again nodded. “And occasionally work cases as needed.”
“Are you considering it?”
“I don’t know if it’s what I want. You taught – it’s very different from being in the field.”
Scully nodded. “Yes it is. I did enjoy it though.”
They continued making small talk through their meal. But before they were done they were interrupted by Morgan’s phone.
“Morgan... Alright, don’t let anyone touch a thing, and keep everyone out of the house.” She hung up and looked at Scully. “There’s another victim. I need to get to the crime scene. I’d like for you to come along.”
Scully nodded. She knew there were often clues that could be found when the bodies were initially inspected in situ, rather than waiting until it had been manhandled and sent to the morgue. “Absolutely.”
They quickly dropped money on the table and got up.
Scully and Morgan ducked as they exited the helicopter when it landed in Richmond, Virginia. Taylor was waiting for them at the front door of the house. “No one’s been in since the responding officer found her. Nothing’s been processed.”
She nodded. “Thank you. Keep everyone out until Agent Scully and I are done.”
He nodded. “You got it.”
Scully and Morgan donned shoe protectors so as not to contaminate the scene with their footprints. They then entered the house.
When she stepped into the house, Morgan sucked in a breath with a slight hiss, the stench of death overpowering her heightened senses.
They both carefully approached the body, slipping on gloves. After Scully took pictures Morgan tenderly moved a lock of hair to see the woman’s full face. She gazed at her in reverence. Morgan whispered something that sounded a lot like ‘I’m sorry,’ and then stepped back from the body. She slowly moved around the room, taking careful visual inventory of everything.
Scully began a careful and gentle inspection of the body.
“How long?” Morgan asked.
“Three to five hours. I’ll know better once we get her back to Quantico.” She stopped and peered closely at something on the victim’s shoulder near her neck, stuck in some blood. “A hair.” She quickly took some pictures of it and then carefully removed it with tweezers and bagged it. “This isn’t the victim’s,” she looked up and met Morgan’s eyes. It was possible she’d just found their first piece of tangible forensic evidence.
Scully resumed her inspection of the body while Morgan continued to take in the surroundings. After a while Scully announced she was done inspecting the body. Morgan was in another room. Scully found her in the victim’s bedroom looking around.
“I can get started on the autopsy as soon as I get the body back. I’ll take the body back now and meet up with you later,” she offered.
Morgan looked at her. “I’d rather sit in on the autopsy, if you don’t mind.” She paused. “Something doesn’t feel right.”
“Alright. Do you want to me to take the body back now and wait for you there?”
Morgan took a deep breath as she took one more look around the room. “No, I’m done here.”
They stepped out the front door. The body was loaded on the helicopter and they flew back to Quantico.
Once they were back in the autopsy bay they worked together to remove the victim’s clothes, photographing and documenting everything every step along the way. Scully examined the body under a magnifying glass, inspecting every inch of skin. The autopsy was painstaking and meticulous. It was four hours before they were done. They rode back to the Hoover building together where the taskforce was busy gathering information about the latest victim.
“Scully,” Mulder called out to her.
They walked over to him.
“How are you doing?” he asked her.
She nodded. “Fine. We just finished with the latest victim’s autopsy.”
“So that makes 14,” he said disgustedly.
“I’m not so sure about that,” Morgan said quietly.
Mulder and Scully both looked at her surprised. “What makes you say that?” Scully asked.
Morgan let out a breath and shook her head slightly. “Not much more than a feeling at this point.”
Taylor entered and called everyone together. He went over information about that last victim and how it appeared consistent with the killer they were tracking. He also went over the current profile they were working from. Morgan then went into her office and started reviewing everything they had on the case and doing some research.