Title: Weak in the Knees
Rating: NC-17Please see previous posts for disclaimer/summary/notes. Special thanks to yellowsmurf6. As always, thanks to celievamp for the beta.
Morgan briefed Scully and Casper in her office.
“This is the only piece of property he’s tried to hide. But you have to understand something. Kensey is smart and not just book smart. If this is his sanctuary, then he’ll have thought about all the possible avenues of approach and will have more than one exit strategy. This is the guy of my original profile – he’s dangerous.”
Scully called the airport and made arrangements for their flight. While she was occupied with that, John and Jess spoke quietly.
“Are you sure you’re up to this, John, with your arm?”
“I’m fine. It wasn’t a bad wound and it’s only my left arm. I’ve been good and have been resting it for the last few days. Besides, we’ll have plenty of backup with the locals. Don’t worry; we’ll get this guy, Jessica.”
“I should be going, but the Director’s grounded me; put me on desk duty.”
“And rightly so. You’re concerned about my arm – but you almost died! Quite frankly, I’d have not let you back to work at all yet.”
Morgan nodded, but everything in her chafed at being deskbound.
Scully hung up. “Okay. We’re on a 7:00 flight out of Dulles and land at 8:15 local time. We’ll fly into St. Louis and then have a two hour drive to Carbondale.”
Casper looked at his watch. “We should get going then.”
“Just give me a couple of minutes,” Scully said. “I’ll be right back.”
When Scully stepped out of the office, Morgan pinned Casper with a hard look. “You make sure nothing happens to her, John. Or else you and I are going to have a problem.”
He knew she was deadly serious, but he didn’t take any offense. In fact, he was happy for her. John smiled and pulled her into a one armed hug. “I’ll protect her with my life,” he whispered softly in her ear before kissing her temple.”
John’s soft promise touched her heart, suddenly causing tears to sting the backs of her eyes. Damn, her emotions were so out of control! She’d kept tight rein on her emotions for six years. But then she met, and fell for, Dana. Now she had a real chance of being happy again. Hell, she was happy!
“You deserve to be happy, Jessica.”
Jess pulled back and looked up into his eyes. “I am.”
Scully reentered the office as John and Jess let go of each other.
With a look at both women, John excused himself. “I’ll uh, I’ll wait by the elevators.” He left, closing the office door shut behind him.
“Do I want to know what that was about?” Dana asked.
Jess smiled. “Just being reminded of why John’s such a good friend.” Her expression changed to a serious one as she moved to stand directly in front of Dana. “The Director won’t let me go with you. And to prove I’m field-ready would cause way too many questions.”
Dana nodded in understanding.
“Promise me you’ll be careful, Dana.”
“I will be.”
“This guy is smart; you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure you wear protection, and–”
With a smile Dana laid a single finger across Jess’s lips, silencing her. Then she kissed her. Jess’s arms wrapped about her and they deepened the kiss. When oxygen became an urgent need for both of them they broke the kiss, resting their foreheads together a moment.
“I hate that I’m not going with you,” Jess breathed as she pulled back. “I know that you can handle yourself, but...”
“I know. Now you know how I felt when you took off on your own to the warehouse.”
Jess dropped her head, feeling remorseful. “I’m sorry.”
Dana cupped the brunette’s cheek and lifted her face. “Like I said, just don’t do it again.”
Dana reached into her pocket and handed Jess her apartment keys. “Stay at my place while I’m gone.” Jess started to object, but she cut her off. “There’s absolutely no reason for you to stay at a hotel, Jess.” She smiled. “And I like the thought of you sleeping in my bed.”
Jess smiled. “Call me, when you land; hopefully I’ll have an update and some more information for you.”
Once Scully and Casper landed in St. Louis they rented a car and headed east on Interstate 64 into Illinois. Scully opened her phone and called Morgan.
“Hey, Jess, it’s me.”
“Hey. When you get there, the county sheriff’s office is in Murphysboro, five to ten minutes east of Carbondale. They’ll have jurisdiction in that area. Taylor says if they don’t cooperate or give you hard a time to call him.” She chuckled. “I don’t expect any problems, but you never know with small towns – could be another Bud Calhoun.”
Dana laughed, “God, I hope not!” She then heard Jess sigh and correctly interpreted it. “It’ll be alright, Jess. John will watch my back.”
“You’re damn right he will!”
Dana was surprised by Jess’s vehemence. “And what does that mean?”
“It means, since I can’t be there to watch your back John will.”
Dana heard a voice in the background.
“Dana? I’ve got to go. We’re trying to coordinate all the search warrants for tomorrow. But give me a call later. Let me know what the locals have to say and hopefully I can tell you what time they want you to go in.”
“Alright, I’ll talk to you later, Jess. Bye.”
Jess turned the key in the lock. Part of her felt a bit like an intruder, entering Dana’s apartment without her there. But a part of her felt like she was coming home.
Home. She hadn’t had a home in a long time. She didn’t count the manor in England she’d inherited from her grandfather, even if that’s where she retreated to when she quit the Bureau. No, this was the first time in six years she felt anything close to ‘home.’
Jess had already eaten while at work, so she simply headed to the bedroom to undress. After a long, hot shower, she fell into bed, curled around Dana’s pillow and scent, and fell asleep.
John’s voice broke the comfortable silence in the car, surprising Dana. She looked over at him from the passenger seat. “What for?”
John looked at the beautiful redhead. Jess always did have great taste in women! “Thank you for not giving up on Jessica; thanks for loving her and making her happy.”
Dana’s heart warmed and she smiled. “My pleasure. Loving her is the easiest thing I’ve ever done.”
John pointed out the windshield. “Ah, here we are. There’s the sheriff’s office.” He pulled into the parking lot at 1001 Mulberry St. and parked in front of the two-story, glass-front building. John turned off the car engine and looked at his watch. Almost a quarter to midnight. “Hopefully we won’t be going after him first thing in the morning; it’s going to be a long night.”
Inside the sheriff’s office they approached a window, behind which sat a woman wearing a blue polo shirt with an embroidered department insignia on the left chest. Scully and Casper both flashed their credentials.
“We need to speak with someone in charge, please,” Casper said.
“Sgt. Thomas is here, but you’ll want to see the sheriff. I’ll call him.”
Only 15 minutes later Sheriff Ted Shipley pulled into the department parking lot at the back of the building. He entered through the back door and came out to the front to see why the feds were in his county.
Shipley took in the appearance of the male agent – six foot, sandy hair, green eyes, early 40’s. But it was the female agent that almost made him do a double take. The petite redhead with bright blue eyes was gorgeous! He was so taken with her that he almost missed what she’d said.
“Oh, sure. We can go back to the conference room. Follow me.” He led them through the locked door and down a hallway. They passed the dispatch office, a couple of rooms and a stairway leading up to the second floor. They turned right down another long corridor and entered the second room on the right. The sheriff had called it the conference room, but it obviously doubled as a break room.
Once in the conference room, Scully laid out the reason for their presence. As soon as Shipley realized how serious the situation was, he interrupted her.
“Before you go any further, Agent Scully, please let me get my people together, so that you don’t have to go over everything twice.”
She nodded and he stepped out of the room. Shortly, Scully was addressing the sheriff, his lieutenant, Eric Brown, the on duty sergeant, Noah Thomas, a couple of detectives, and a number of uniformed deputies.
It was when a map was put up on the wall that Casper and Scully began to recognize how difficult things were going to be.
Kensey’s property was a few miles southwest of Murphysboro on a heavily wooded bluff above the Mississippi river. The only access was a road, or rather a dirt road.
“You’re not going to get a car up that road,” one of the deputies said.
The sheriff nodded in agreement. “We’ll have to use the ATVs.” He looked at the agents. “How sure are you there’s something up there to find? Because I know of only one house up there, and they’re a nice couple.”
“According the deed and land plot he owns 12 acres, so he could have a place hundreds of feet back into the woods,” Casper answered.
“Look, this guy is smart. He has two PhDs in engineering. We know he rented excavation equipment, purchased a satellite and a large generator that could easily power a small home. He tried to hide the existence of this place and keep it completely off the grid,” Scully pointed out. “We’re executing search warrants of all his properties simultaneously tomorrow. But we believe this is our best bet. This is his refuge and even if he’s not there, we should be able to gather important intelligence and evidence.” She paused for a beat. “But you should also know that if he is there, we have an arrest warrant. We consider him very dangerous. He’s a suspect in the brutal murders of over 30 women, possibly as many as 100. And he has been practically perfect in leaving no clues or forensics. The only clues he’s left behind he left deliberately as red herrings. Do not underestimate this man.”
“What time is the warrant to be served?”
Casper gave the sheriff a folder with background on the suspect, a couple of stills taken from the nanny cam footage, Morgan’s profile, and some information on the murders. The sheriff made copies and distributed it to the personnel that would be participating in the operation – with harshly worded warnings of dire consequences for any leaks.
The mood in the sheriff’s station was one of excitement. Cases like this didn’t come along but once in a blue moon. However, as the detectives and deputies reviewed the file, the mood transformed into one of simmering anger and quiet determination. They were going after a real monster; a monster that had chosen to make their community his roosting place.
Outside the clouds thickened and rain started falling. It was as if Nature herself was reflecting the same mood as those preparing for what was to come.
It was after 2:30 in the morning when Scully and Casper checked into their hotel in Carbondale. Scully took a quick shower before putting on her pajamas. She slipped into bed, exhausted. But sleep didn’t come.
So much had happened in the last six weeks. For over five and half years she had worked with Mulder. But she had ended that partnership. She had felt guilty about it because she requested the transfer without even telling him. But then she found out what he’d been doing.
Dana rolled over and punched her pillow. She should have seen it coming! The man had let a quack drill a hole in his head and give him a dangerous hallucinogen, all to satisfy his fanatical search for the truth. ‘Truth,’ with a capitol T. He almost committed suicide that weekend in Rhode Island.
God! Mulder had showed one sign after another of being unstable! But over the years she’d become inured to the signs; what was strange and alarming became normal for him. If she had seen the same behaviors in anyone else, she’d have recommended hospitalization and a thorough psych evaluation.
How did her life get so far off track? She’d lost all her friends because she got so wrapped up in work that nothing else mattered. Hell, she’s put the job and Mulder ahead of her own family! Melissa was gone because of... No, she couldn’t go down that road right now. Her eyes watered. Before she was even cognizant of her own actions, she had picked up her cell phone from the nightstand and dialed.
Her tears finally broke free and flowed down her cheeks when she heard the sleepy voice on the other end. “Jess?”
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