Title: Weak in the Knees
Rating: umm... NC-17 eventually
See previous parts for disclaimer/summary/notes. Thanks to celievamp for the beta!
Morgan and Scully worked on their computers all day, going through files and databases trying to find more cases that could be attributed to the Reaper. Since they worked past dinner time they ordered pizza. Scully called it a night at 9:30.
“I’m starting to go cross-eyed. I’m going to head home.”
“See you tomorrow, Dana.”
“You should go too, Jess.”
“I will. I just want to work a few more minutes. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Alright. Good night.”
The next morning Scully was surprised not to find Morgan in her office when she arrived at work. She took her jacket off and hung it on the back of a chair and turned on her laptop. Before it was done booting up Morgan came in – still in the same clothes from the day before.
She arched an eyebrow. “I thought you said you were going to go get some sleep last night.”
Morgan actually blushed a little bit. “I was going to, but I got on the trail of something.”
“Well, we think our guy takes his victims out of their homes, kills them, and then returns their bodies back to their own homes. We’ve been unable to find the primary crime scenes. Right?”
“But with Annie Jensen we saw he simply killed her in her home. He went from the easier scenario to a more complicated one – one where he has to get in and out of their homes unseen twice, increasing the risk of getting caught.”
“Well, I started a new search of bodies found in unoccupied and abandoned buildings. I didn’t find any with the same wounds on the east coast. However, I did find some on the west coast with wounds not exactly the same, but similar. I’ve requested the files on the cases because we can’t be sure it’s our guy until we evaluate the autopsy reports and look at the photos.”
“That’s not all. I regressed his M.O. back further and ran some more searches.”
“What did you find?”
“Some possible matches in the Midwest from North Dakota down through Texas. If we can connect enough dots, it might be possible to follow his M.O. through the cases back to its origin, and maybe find a live victim. Someone that he assaulted before he crossed the line into murder.”
“That’s if he didn’t start out killing with his first victim,” Scully pointed out.
“I know. And I know it’s going to take a lot of work. The first step is getting a look at those files I requested. They should be here soon.”
Scully and Morgan sifted through files and reports all day. When Scully noticed Morgan rubbing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose she spoke up.
“Alright, that’s enough.” Scully stood up and slipped on her suit jacket. She then moved to the other end of the work table where Morgan was sitting. “Come on, Jess.”
Scully put her hand on Morgan’s shoulder, startling her. Morgan jumped and whipped her head around, looking up at Scully.
“You need to get out of here, and that reaction just proves it. Now come on.”
“You go, Dana. I just want to check a few more files.”
“Right. I’ve heard that one before. Jess, you’ve been here two days. You’re tired and you need to eat. You’ve been going nonstop for days. You need to get out of here.”
“I need to find this bastard.”
“I know. But you’re not the only one looking for him. It’s not all on your shoulders.”
“I couldn’t have said it better,” said a male voice from the doorway. Both women looked up to see the Director standing there. “Jessica, you’re no good to me, or the victims, if you run yourself into the ground. You have to take care of yourself. I know how hard you push yourself. Go, get out of here, take tomorrow off, and come back fresh.” He held up a finger to quiet her as she started to object. “That’s an order. Agent Scully, I trust you’ll see Agent Morgan follows those orders. I don’t want to see either of you back here until the day after tomorrow.”
The Director turned and left.
Morgan dropped her head backwards and looked up at the ceiling as she let out a heavy sigh. “You’re right. He’s right. I know it.” She closed her eyes.
Scully smiled. She couldn’t help but draw comparisons between Mulder and Morgan. They were both driven agents. But while Mulder often became obstinate and unreasonable, Morgan was stubborn but listened to reason.
“How long has it been since you’ve had a home cooked meal?”
“Almost as long as it’s been since I’ve had an orgasm.” Morgan’s eyes popped open and her head snapped upright. “Oh shit. I said that out loud, didn’t I? I’m more tired than I thought. Sorry, Dana.” She stood up. When Morgan turned to get her jacket from the back of her chair she saw Scully standing there holding one hand to her lips, her face pink and her body shaking from her silent laughter. Well if Dana was laughing at her, then she hadn’t offended or embarrassed her, so Jess relaxed. She smiled. “I’m so glad you’re amused,” she said in a beleaguered tone.
Scully smiled. “Come on, let’s go. I can at least do something about one of those,” she said chuckling. When Morgan reached for her briefcase she stopped her. “Nope. No work, Jess.”
Morgan looked at her a couple of moments, as if she was going to object.
An auburn eyebrow arched.
Morgan smirked. “Alright. But don’t think that look is always going to work.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Scully replied as she lightly pushed the other woman towards the door.
“You know, you’re a bossy woman, Dana.”
After stops at Morgan’s hotel so she could take a quick shower and change clothes and a wine store because she insisted on providing the drinks since Scully was cooking dinner, they arrived at Dana’s.
“Make yourself at home, Jess. I’ll just be a minute.” Scully went into her bedroom and changed into a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. She put on some warm socks but didn’t bother with shoes. She then went into the kitchen to start working on dinner.
“Is there anything I can do to help, Dana?” Morgan turned on Scully’s CD player and soft jazz began to play.
“Nope. The lasagna is already made; I just need to put it in the oven to cook.”
When Scully came out of the kitchen she brought a bottle of wine, a corkscrew and a couple of wineglasses. She uncorked the wine and poured them both a glass. Scully sat back as she handed Morgan her glass.
“So, how long has it been... since you had a home cooked meal?” she asked with a smirk and amusement in her tone and shining in her eyes.
Morgan rolled her eyes. “Cute. Let’s just say it’s been a while.”
“Fair enough. So, where do you call home?”
“Ah. Army brat?”
“No; but I was born in California, lived in Vancouver until I was four, Texas until I was 12, Massachusetts until I was 16 and England until I was 21.”
“What about now?”
“Now? Well, for the last three years home is whatever hotel I’m checked into.”
Scully’s eyes widened. “You’re kidding.”
“Nope. Other than what’s in my suitcases, all my stuff is in storage.” Morgan shrugged her shoulders. “No use having a place when I’m never there. I’m always on the road, working one case or another.”
“Do you always work cases like this one?”
“This – rapes, molestations, kidnappings. Whatever the Director needs me on.”
“I can’t imagine it. Working these kinds of cases day in and day out. Why do you do it?”
Someone has to.” Morgan let out a sigh. “And I’m good at it,” she added softly.
Scully didn’t miss the weariness in the woman’s voice. “When was the last time you had a day off?”
“Does traveling between cases count?”
“It’s been several months, almost a year.”
“You’re more than overdue for some time off.”
Morgan nodded. “Yeah. So, enough about me. What about you, Dana? Where did you grow up?”
“All over. My dad was in the Navy. He retired a captain.”
“Where do your parents live?”
“My mom lives in Baltimore, but my dad’s gone.”
“It’s okay; it’s been a few years.”
“Two brothers, and a sister who’s gone. You?”
“I was an only child.”
“What about your parents? Are they still in England?”
“Both my parents are gone.”
Morgan shrugged. “It was a long time ago, and I barely knew them.”
“What do you mean?”
“I was sent to boarding school when I was four. I stopped going home for the summer when I was six after my mother died. I didn’t see my father again until his funeral when I was 14.”
Scully wasn’t sure what to say but was saved by the ringing of her home phone. “Excuse me.” She got up answered it. “Hello.”
“Scully! Where have you been?”
“You haven’t been answering my calls,” he whined.
“And yet you keep getting drunk and calling me 15 times a day,” she sighed. “Why don’t you try calling when you’re sober?”
“No reason to stay sober. The OPR suspended me, Scully. A month without pay.”
“You’re lucky that’s all it is. You could be in a jail cell.”
“That fucking freak–”
Scully hung up on him and turned the volume down on her answering machine. She no sooner turned to rejoin Morgan on the couch when her phone rang again. She just shook her head.
A few hours and a lot of conversation (not to mention a couple of bottles of wine) later both women were in a state of quiet lassitude, barely able to keep their eyes open. It was a battle they both lost.
It was only an hour or so later when Scully woke up. She woke up slowly, the alcohol in her system, the easy camaraderie of the evening, the physical comfort of her body, and the sense of safety infusing her entire being, all combining and contributing to the languidness. She listened to the steady heartbeat beneath her ear, and the slow even breaths. She felt the warm hand on her waist, where her sweatshirt had ridden up a bit, and the arm around her shoulders, holding her securely but gently.
Without opening her eyes, she lazily thought about the body she was snuggled against, or rather, mostly atop. She calmly wondered who it could possibly be. A part of her said she should be alarmed, and should get the hell out of wherever she was. She never allowed herself to sleep with her lovers – she couldn’t lower her guard enough to do that. She always left after sex or made them leave. She couldn’t let anyone get that close to her, couldn’t be that vulnerable. Not even Daniel. Of course he’d always had his wife to go home to.
But she did not want to leave. She was comfortable and felt... safe, content, peaceful. She felt like she belonged. She took in a long, slow, deep breath let it out with a sigh. The hand on her waist slid to the small of her back, holding her closer. The arm around her shoulders tightened and then a hand slipped into her hair at the back of her head. Fingers lightly massaged her scalp. Lips briefly moved against her crown as soothing words were whispered into her hair.
“Shhh... it’s okay, you’re safe... just a dream...”
Scully recognized the voice. It was Jess. And she didn’t want to move – she was too comfortable. “Mmmm...”
“Mm hmm. You?” Scully responded, continuing their mumbled conversation.
“Sorry about falling asleep on top of you.”
“S’kay. Not a lotta room on the couch.” Morgan yawned.
“Could move to be’room.... more room.”
“Means we gotta move.”
“Guess we should sit up firs’,” Morgan said still mumbling and then yawned again. “On three.”
“One... two... three...”
Neither woman so much as moved a muscle.
After a minute Scully broke the silence, “Nigh’...”
“Nigh’...” Morgan mumbled back in response.
Both women were asleep moments later.