Title: Weak in the Knees
Rating: NC-17Please see previous posts for disclaimer/summary/notes. Special thanks to bara_brith and yellowsmurf6. As always, thanks to celievamp for the beta.
Casper and Scully rushed out of the room to see what the commotion was. Deputy Stratton and Deputy Whitcomb were struggling with – well, wrestling with – a mud-covered man to the side of the cabin. Ashlee Stratton ended up taking a punch to the jaw before she and Whitcomb got the slippery man cuffed and subdued. Both deputies were covered in mud.
“I was looking around the area and found what appeared to be a hidden storm cellar,” Stratton reported to the agents. “Inside was a storage area... and him.”
Casper stepped off the small porch and approached the subdued man who was on his knees. He took out a handkerchief and wiped away most of the mud caking his face. Casper turned back to Scully. “It’s him,” he said in a cold, disdainful tone.
“Read him his rights,” Scully told the deputies. She didn’t want anything to interfere with the successful prosecution of the man. She lifted her phone back up to her ear but it was dead. The battery had died. “Shit.” She noticed Stratton was tenderly touching her jaw where she’d been hit. “Come here, Stratton; let me take a look at that.”
“I’m fine, Agent Scully.”
“I’m a doctor, so why don’t I decide that,” Scully said with just enough authority to get the young woman moving.
Ashlee came up on the porch and let Scully check her out.
“When we get back, make sure you put some ice on it to keep the swelling from getting too bad. You’ll have quite the bruise, but that’s all.”
Scully stepped back inside with Casper. “John, can I borrow your phone? My battery died while I was on the phone to Jess.”
“I’m surprised she hasn’t–” His phone rang, cutting him off.
Morgan chastised herself. Dana was a capable agent and John was there to cover her back. She did not need Jess to babysit her. But... Damn it! What the hell was going on and why was Dana’s call disconnected?
She held out as long as she could. She called Casper’s phone.
John didn’t even answer when he saw who the caller was. With a smile he handed his phone to Dana.
Dana opened it. “Jess, it’s me. Everything’s alright,” she assured her lover.
“What the hell happened?”
“The battery on my phone died.” She smiled, “And we’ve got Kensey in custody,” she said with satisfaction in her voice.
“What? I thought you said he wasn’t there.”
“One of the deputies found a hidden bunker. He was apparently hiding in with his supplies.” She heard Jess let out a sigh. She could just picture Jess sinking into a chair and a huge weight lifting from her shoulders. “We did it, Jess. We got him,” she said softly.
Dana didn’t miss the heavy emotion in Jess’s voice. “You okay, Jess?”
“Yeah. I’ll go tell Taylor and the Director. I’ll let you know how they want to handle transport.”
“Alright. I’ll talk to you later then.”
Jess hung up her phone and slumped in her desk chair. A painful lump quickly formed in her throat and the backs of her eyes stung. This had been such a rough case, such an emotional roller coaster. Staying and working the case through had not been her usual routine during the last three years. But knowing Kensey was in custody was so satisfying and such a relief. The release of so much of the tension of the last six weeks was almost painful.
Finally, she wiped her moist eyes, stood up and walked out of her office. She walked into AD Ben Taylor’s office. “We got him,” she said without preamble.
“Scully and Casper have Kensey in custody. We got him, Ben.”
The big man felt stunned. They had all hoped for it of course, but they had tried to keep their hopes from getting too high. The man was wealthy, a chameleon, and could have so easily escaped to another country... one without extradition. He stood up and came out from behind his desk. He couldn’t keep from giving Morgan a comradely hug, which she returned. He let go of her and gave her a congratulatory slap on the back. “Let’s go tell them,” he said with nod out his doorway and towards the bullpen.
It was after 5:00, but their job wasn’t a 9-5 job, so just about everyone from the taskforce not already in the field or due in for the night shift, was present.
“Ladies, gentlemen! I’d like your attention, please,” Taylor called out. He waited while those on the phone either put the other party on hold, or ended their calls. When he had everyone’s attention he turned things over to Morgan. “Agent Morgan has an announcement.”
All eyes shifted to her. “Hugh Kensey is in custody! Agents Scully and Casper found him at his property in Illinois.”
A collective cheer went up. Taylor allowed it to go on for a few seconds before calming things down. “Alright, people, job well done. But it’s not over yet. We all know we have to dot every ‘I’ and cross every ‘T’. There are still avenues of investigation for us to follow before we close the case.”
Another cheer went up. Morgan and Taylor headed to the elevators. They were going up to tell the Director the good news.
Scully heard the deputies’ raised voices outside when she hung up from talking to Jess. She went back out on the porch. What she saw was the prisoner belly down in the mud. Deputy Stratton had her right knee on Kensey’s back between his shoulder blades, her left shin across his neck, and with a hand on each of his wrists was lifting them up and away from his body to put pressure on his shoulders and discourage further struggling. Meanwhile, Deputy Whitcomb was across Kensey’s legs immobilizing them.
“What’s going on?” Scully asked.
“Sorry, ma’am, the prisoner is being very uncooperative and combative,” Whitcomb reported. “I’ve contacted Travers and Norwood at the cars below. They’re bringing up the transport shackles.”
“We’ve got it under control, ma’am,” added Stratton as she tweaked his arms up a little further and elicited a yelp from Kensey.
An auburn eyebrow arched. “I see that,” Scully said with a touch of amusement.
Stacy Drexler knew something was up when Taylor and Morgan arrived at the Director’s office. “He’s on a phone call right now. I’ll let him know you’re here as soon as he’s done,” she said.
The two took seats in the outer office. About five minutes later Stacy got up and knocked on the Director’s door before entering his inner office. She came right back out.
“He’ll see you now.”
Morgan and Taylor walked into the Director’s office.
“What can I do for you two?”
Taylor smiled. “It’s what we can do for you.”
At the Director’s confused look Morgan explained. “We got him, Lou.”
His face lit up. “What? Where?”
“Casper and Scully found him in Illinois and have him in custody.”
The Director leaned back in his chair as he let out a deep breath. “How sure are we it’s really him?”
“Scully said they found a secret room at his cabin. In it was a wine rack with about a hundred bottles – each labeled with a name and place... and filled with blood.”
“Jesus.” He sighed. “Alright, we need everything to be done perfectly.”
Taylor nodded. “I already reminded everyone that we need to dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s. We’re not done until all avenues of the investigation are completed.”
“If I may make a suggestion?” Morgan asked.
“Fly a forensics team in from St. Louis. Have them take control of the scene. And use one of the Bureau’s jets to go pick him up and fly him back, avoiding a commercial flight.”
The Director looked up at Morgan, thinking. He knew what was going through her mind. Using a Bureau jet was a good idea, but he knew what was her next suggestion was going to be. So, he took his time before responding. Finally he spoke. “Alright.” He looked at Taylor. “Make the arrangements for the forensics team.”
“Yes, sir.” Taylor left since the Director’s tone had made it clear he was being dismissed. He pulled the office door closed behind him.
Morgan suspected what the Director wanted to talk about. She sat down in one of the chairs and looked him in the eyes. “I’m fine, Lou.”
“Less than five days ago you were shot; two days ago you were still in the hospital.”
“So you’re saying I can’t go out on the plane to get him.”
He sighed heavily. He felt torn about it. He was the one who had personally approached Jessica and asked her to come back to the Bureau. And he was, of course, the one who assigned her to this case. He also knew her well enough to know how much she’d put into the case. Finally, he spoke.
“I’m going to ask you a question, and I trust you to answer honestly.”
Morgan frowned. “You know I will, Lou.”
He nodded. “I know you’ll be honest with me... I need you to be honest with yourself.” When she nodded he continued. “Are you really up to going out there?”
“Yes, I am, Lou.”
After a couple of beats he nodded. “Alright. I’ll clear the use of a Gulfstream. I’ll let you know when it’s ready. In the meantime, let Casper and Scully know what’s going on.”
“I will.” She stood up and turned to go, but paused at the doorway, turning back. “Thank you, Lou.”
Travers and Norwood arrived on one of the ATVs. The four deputies proceeded to place Kensey in the transport shackles, which consisted of a leather belt and chain around his waist, cuffs, and leg shackles which were in turn connected to the belt with chains. They then set him down on his ass in the mud, keeping him under close guard. With his feet restricted to only about 18 inches of movement, he wasn’t going to be going anywhere quickly or gracefully.
With the prisoner properly subdued, two of the deputies began shuttling the ATVs back down the bluff since they would be needed by the forensics team to come up. When they were done one ATV remained up top, so that the two deputies that would be staying to secure the area until the team arrived would have a way back down.
Casper answered his ringing phone. “Casper... Hey, Jessica... Good, good... Okay, I’ll tell Dana... Anything else?... Okay. Bye.” He stepped into the room where Dana was writing down the name, date and town on each wine bottle label in her notepad. “Jessica called. She said the Director’s approved the use of a Gulfstream to transport Kensey back.”
“Good. I really wasn’t looking forward to transporting him on a commercial flight. Did she say when the plane would arrive?”
“No, she doesn’t know yet, but I’d be surprised if it’s before morning.” Casper glanced at his watch. “You about ready to head down?”
Scully sighed. “Yes. Though I’m not exactly looking forward to trudging down in all that mud.”
All of a sudden they noticed the quiet – the rain had stopped.
Casper smiled. “Well at least the rain stopped.”
Just as the group was about to leave, a helicopter flew overhead. Since St. Louis was only about 75 miles from their location by air, the forensics team was already arriving. The helicopter was going to land in a field just across Rt. 3 from the turnoff for Happy Hollow Rd. And since the team was already there, it was decided only one deputy would remain at the cabin – Deputy Norwood.
Because of the shackles and the slippery mud, two deputies were going to have to hold onto the prisoner, one on each arm. Which left the third deputy and the agents to cover them. It was going to be a long walk down. So, with Stratton on one arm, and Whitcomb on the other, the group started down.
Their progress was slow and slippery as they made their way back. It was over a mile back to the cars. And besides having to deal with the mud there were also lots of large, uneven rocks. Not a single person escaped landing in the mud at least once, or getting scratched or dinged on the rocks. However, it was Stratton and Whitcomb that had it hardest. With the transport shackles, the prisoner often times couldn’t keep his footing. So they ended up picking him up and/or being pulled down with him.
In the meantime, the ATVs, carrying the forensics personnel, passed them on their way up.
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