Title: Weak in the Knees
Rating: NC-17Please see previous posts for disclaimer/summary/notes. Thanks to celievampfor the beta!
When Dana opened her eyes she found herself still holding Jess, her head on her shoulder. She smiled. Making love with Jess had been absolutely wonderful. Fantastic, in fact. But it was a new day, and there was still work to be done. With that thought, her head snapped up and she looked over at the clock radio. Damn! It was after 10:00! They were late to work, very late.
“Calm down, Dana,” came Jess’s soft voice. “We don’t actually have to be in until 1:00.”
Dana dropped her head back onto her pillow.
The brunette removed her head from Dana’s shoulder and laid it on the pillow a few inches from hers. She brought her hand up from Dana’s waist and gently caressed her cheek. She gazed into sapphire blue eyes and smiled. “Good morning,” she whispered just before leaning in and brushing a light kiss on Dana’s lips.
The redhead smiled at the tender kiss. “Good morning,” she replied even before opening her eyes again. She shifted onto her side so they were facing each other. She tightened her arm around Jess’s shoulders and slid her left arm around her waist. It felt so good to hold Jess’s naked body to her own. “This is nice.”
Jess smiled. “Yeah, it is.”
The two lay in each other’s arms for a while, simply enjoying the comfort and peacefulness. But then it was time to get up.
After parting and preparing for their day, the women put on their clothes, badges, and guns, transforming themselves into FBI agents. But despite the armor of their professional personas, there remained a shared warmth in their eyes.
The 1:00 meeting AD Taylor had called was indeed meant to bring everyone up to date with the investigation. There was some round tabling and exchanges of ideas.
During a discussion of the possible earlier crimes Morgan had ‘traced,’ by regressing the Reaper’s M.O., her cell phone rang. She answered it. “Morgan.”
Scully saw Morgan’s face become cold and hard as she discreetly left the bullpen and went into her office, closing the door. When she was able to slip away from the discussion, Scully went to the closed door. With a tap announcing her presence she opened the door and joined her partner. Morgan was on the desk phone ordering a trace.
Morgan hung up and looked at her partner. “I just received a phone call.”
“From the Reaper?” Morgan’s expression was answer enough. “How did he get your cell phone number?”
“I don’t know. I’m having them trace the call. I doubt it will trace back to him directly, but it may at least give us an idea of where he’s calling from.”
“What did he say?”
Morgan sighed. “Basically he said I didn’t have what it took to catch him; that I should just give up and go away.” She paused. “Especially if I didn’t want anything to happen to my partner,” she added with a clouded look.
“You’re not going to back off, are you?” Scully asked somewhat confrontationally.
Morgan took a slow breath before responding. “I don’t want to. I want to get this bastard.” She paused half a beat before continuing. “But it might not be a bad idea if you did, Dana. He–”
“No.” Scully’s eyes flashed with anger. “I’m not about to tuck tail and run because of this son of a bitch. I’ve been through too much in that last few years to be scared off by some vague threat,” she bristled. Looking at the shadows in Morgan’s grey eyes, Scully consciously relaxed her body and softened her tone. “I understand your concern, Jess, but I’m not easily intimidated. I would never have been able to last over five years in the X-Files if I was. Stopping people like this are part and parcel of why I’m an agent.”
Morgan took a deep breath and slowly let it out. She wanted nothing more than to order the beautiful redhead off the case. She had tried to get her reassigned when the bastard broke into Scully’s apartment, but the Director had overridden her. Whether anything more than the night they’d shared developed between them, Morgan cared about Scully – a lot. She couldn’t stand the idea of her getting hurt. “I can’t make you quit, but I need you to promise me you’ll be careful, Dana, and not take any unnecessary risks.”
Scully could see what the situation was costing Morgan. She wasn’t about to walk away from the case, or Jess, but she didn’t have to make things harder for her partner. “Alright.”
Scully’s prompt and easy agreement to be careful eased some of the tension in Morgan. The phone on her desk rang. “Morgan... Alright... Thanks anyway.” She hung up as she wrote something on a notepad. “The phone he used to call me was a prepaid cell phone. There’s no way to trace it to him. But we have the name of the service provider. We may be able to get them to triangulate a general location; find out where he is.”
“Let me tell Taylor and then we can go get a warrant.”
After getting the warrant, Morgan and Scully went to the cell phone service provider. They were assisted by a technician named Alan Stillwell. Alan was able to tell them that the cell phone in question had only recently been activated, and the call Morgan received was initiated from somewhere in downtown Washington.
Morgan shook her head. “He could have been standing on the corner right outside headquarters,” she said with some disgust.
“Well, we knew he was in the area since he was in my apartment four days ago and Andrea was killed two days ago.”
“Yeah. And if he holds true to his M.O., it means he’ll soon be anywhere but here.” She turned back to Alan. “Can you tell where he is now?”
“No, ma’am. He doesn’t have the phone turned on so there’s no way to locate it.”
Morgan pulled out one of her cards. “Listen, if he makes another phone call I want you to call me on my cell.”
“Actually, it would probably be best if he called me, Jess, since you may be the one he’s on the phone with.”
Morgan nodded. “Good point.”
Scully gave her card to Alan.
“I’ll make sure someone keeps an eye on this account when I’m not here.”
Scully and Morgan returned to headquarters. Several hours later they eventually called it a day. They picked up some dinner on the way back to the house.
After changing into more comfortable clothes, and cleaning up dinner dishes, both women settled down in the living room. Morgan was working on her laptop, reviewing and reworking her profile of the UNSUB from scratch.
Scully, after updating her own case notes, settled into a chair adjacent the couch with a book. She didn’t get much reading done, because she spent most of the time unobtrusively watching her partner. She could just about hear the gears turning inside the brunette’s mind as she struggled to reconcile her instincts with the facts of their case.
Morgan was disturbed about the recent behavior of the UNSUB. Everything in her said her original profile was spot on; she felt it in her bones. But the killer she profiled just didn’t jive with the recent sophomoric taunting. Breaking into her hotel room, breaking into Scully’s apartment, calling her... it just didn’t make sense. The behavior was... contrived, and nothing like the earlier elegant misdirection he’d accomplished.
Morgan reviewed the dates and places of each of the murders – finding no pattern. The murders were spread out geographically and varied in time between the crimes. Sometimes he’d go over a month before killing again, yet he’d also killed on consecutive days as well. The last interval between killing was four days; the interval before that, 13 days. In light of recent events Morgan wasn’t as confident in her ‘regression’ of his M.O. The killings on the west coast and in the Midwest could have nothing to do with the Reaper, although her instinct said they did. Other agents were following those possible leads now.
As Scully watched, she knew that her partner’s current focus wasn’t the result of an inability to let things go, but from an honest and healthy reevaluation of the facts. And God knew these kinds of cases were usually only solved as a result of hard, disciplined work... or dumb luck. And relying on dumb luck was not something any good agent would do. Of course, no one would turn down a little luck if it happened to cross their path.
Morgan rubbed her face and let out a slow breath. She looked over at the chair Scully had settled into with a book, and smiled. The redhead’s paperback book was on the floor, having dropped there when she fell asleep. Morgan took the opportunity to openly observe the woman who’d surprised her so. Dana was a beautiful woman, inside as well as outside.
Scully didn’t react at all to Morgan’s voice.
Jess looked at her watch and saw how late it was. “No wonder you fell asleep.” She smiled, “You’re going to regret falling asleep in that chair if you stay there all night,” she said softly.
She stood up and moved to stand next to the chair. She started to wake Dana, but stopped herself. Instead she gently slipped her arms under the sleeping woman and lifted. Dana’s only reaction was to roll her head onto Jess’s shoulder. She carried her precious cargo into Dana’s bedroom and carefully laid her on the bed. She pulled the covers over her and bent to drop a tender kiss on her temple. “Good night, beautiful.”
When Scully woke up in the morning, she was surprised to find herself in bed – she didn’t remember moving from the chair in the living room. She was also surprised to find she was still in her jeans and t-shirt. She must have really been tired to not remember going to bed, and not changing into her pajamas when she did. She grabbed her stuff and headed to the bathroom for a shower.
Clean, fully awake, and dressed, she went into the living room. Somehow, Scully wasn’t surprised to find Morgan still on the couch – apparently having worked through the night. She almost started to chide her partner, but stopped. Morgan was an excellent agent, an outstanding profiler – the Director wouldn’t turn to her on the really bad cases if that wasn’t true – and she was a grown woman. Morgan didn’t need Scully to tell her what she should and shouldn’t do to accomplish what she needed to accomplish.
The redhead went into the kitchen and made some hot tea. After pouring two cups, she returned to the living room. She set one of the cups down on the coffee table and took a seat in the chair she’d occupied the evening before. “How is it going?” she asked gently.
The brunette looked up, not having noticed Scully’s movements or presence until then. “It’s frustrating, but it’s going.” She picked up the cup the tea and took a sip. “Thank you.”
“Did you sleep well?” she asked with a small smile.
“Mm hmm. I must have really been out of it last night. I don’t even remember going to bed, and I slept in my clothes.”
Morgan hid her amused smile by taking another sip of tea. She put the cup down. “Well, I’ll get ready. I won’t be long.”
Scully and Morgan hadn’t even gotten out of the driveway when the brunette’s phone rang.
“Morgan... What?...” She closed her eyes and sighed. “Yeah, thanks.” She hung up. “We need to go back in and pack a bag.”
“Not another one?”