Title: Weak in the Knees
Rating: NC-17Please see previous posts for disclaimer/summary/notes. As always, thanks to celievamp for the beta!
After dinner, Scully and Morgan returned to the hotel to change clothes before going out to the Black Diamond club.
“What are you going to wear tonight, Jess?”
“Probably just a pair of jeans and a shirt.”
“Why don’t you wear your leather pants again tonight?” she suggested lightly.
A dark eyebrow quirked.
She smiled demurely, “I like the way they look.”
Jess smiled, pleased. “Alright. I’ll wear them. But...”
Grey eyes sparkled. “But I expect you to return the favor at some point.”
“But I don’t have a pair of leather pants.”
“You can do something about that.” With a smirk Jess gently pushed Dana into her own room to get ready. “See you in a few.”
Dressed pretty much as they had been the previous night, the two agents drove north to Ft Lauderdale.
At the Black Diamond they were stopped at the door by the rather large and muscular, middle-aged doorwoman. “Cops. What can I do for you?” she asked challengingly.
Morgan smiled. “Feds, actually.” She flashed her badge. “We’re not here to bother anyone. Just to ask about this young lady.” She showed the picture of Elizabeth to the woman. “We’re told she frequented this club.”
The woman looked at the photo. “What’d she do?”
“Nothing. She was killed. We’re investigating her murder.”
“Oh, hell. Her name was Beth, and she was a good kid.”
“Do you know if she was seeing anyone particular? Someone who could tell us more about her?”
The doorwoman nodded. “You’ll want to speak to Kate. Ask for her at the bar.”
“Thank you, Marge.” Morgan pulled out her wallet to pay the cover charge but Marge waved it away. “Don’t worry about it – just find whoever killed Beth.”
“We intend to.”
Morgan and Scully entered the bar. They were somewhat surprised at the interior. There was a long hardwood bar on the right side of the room. On the left was a very large stone hearth fireplace – with a fire burning in it. Large, stuffed, leather arm chairs were arranged in a semicircle facing the fireplace, set in pairs, with a small round table for drinks for each pair. In the back left corner was a baby grand piano, currently sitting idle. There were over 20 women present. The two agents walked up to the bar.
“Welcome to the Black Diamond. What can I get for you, ladies?” the green-eyed blonde behind the bar asked.
“We need to speak to Kate. Could you direct us to her, please?” Scully asked.
“Can I tell her what it’s in regard to?”
Dana flashed her badge. “It’s a personal matter.”
The blonde nodded. “Alright. I’ll get her.”
The blonde picked up the phone behind the bar and made a quick call.
A couple of minutes later, a door in the back right corner, on the right hand wall, opened, admitting an attractive brunette and sounds of typically loud dance music and revelry of a club. The brunette was 5’8”, brown-eyed, svelte and had an air of authority. She looked to be in her late 20’s. She approached the agents. “I’m Kate Rossini. What can I do for you, Officers?”
“I’m FBI Special Agent Dana Scully and this is my partner Special Agent Jessica Morgan. Is there somewhere we can speak privately?” Scully asked.
“Sure, come on back to my office.” Kate led the way through a locked door in the back wall. It emptied into a long corridor. They passed a small, unused kitchen on the right. Kate’s office was on the left. “Have a seat.” She sat down behind her desk. “Now, what can I do for you?”
Morgan handed the picture of Elizabeth to her. Neither agent missed the quiet intake of air.
“Beth. What’s happened?”
“I’m afraid Beth was killed two nights ago. We’re investigating her murder,” Scully said gently.
Kate closed her eyes and her chin began to tremble. A few tears escaped from the corners of her eyes. “Beth and I...” she couldn’t continue.
Morgan stood up and walked around the desk. She crouched next the Kate and placed her hand over the shaky one in Kate’s lap. “I understand, Kate. If you can’t do this right now, it’s alright. I know what you’re feeling – I’ve been there. I promise you that Agent Scully and I are dedicated to finding and catching whoever did this. But we need your help. We can come back tomorrow if you prefer.”
Rossini swallowed and opened her eyes. She looked down into the grey eyes of Agent Morgan, seeing genuine concern and understanding in them. She wiped away her tears even though more followed. “What do you need?” she asked softly.
Morgan gave her woman’s hand a gentle squeeze before letting go and moving back to her chair. “What can you tell us about Elizabeth’s social circle? Had she made any new friends recently?”
“Not that I know of. We didn’t get to spend as much time together as I’d like. And she was in the closet. She said her family wouldn’t understand, and she wasn’t ready to tell them.”
“That can be hard on a relationship.”
“She was worth it.”
“How did you meet?”
“Here, at the bar. One of my bartenders was out sick so I was working on the other side.”
“The other side?” Scully asked.
“The other side of the bar is the club side – DJ, dancing, pool tables – your typical bar scene. She looked a little overwhelmed sitting at the bar, sipping her drink. We struck up a conversation, and when one of my other bartenders made it in, Beth and I continued our talk in the wine bar. We started having nice talks every time she came to the Black Diamond. We became friends... eventually lovers.”
“Weren’t you concerned you hadn’t heard from her for a couple of days?”
“No. I usually don’t during the week. She was very driven and committed to her studies. She was close to getting her PhD in Molecular Biology. We limited our time together to the weekends, at least until spring break. We were going to go on vacation together.”
“Alright. Thank you,” Morgan said. “If you think of anything, anything at all that might help us, do not hesitate to call either of us.” She stood and handed Kate her card, Scully followed suit.
Scully started to say something, but Morgan silently urged her out of the office. She looked at her partner. “Why did you stop me from saying anything?” she asked, not upset, but curious.
“Because you were about to ask her if she was alright. She’s not,” Jess said without reproof and with the certainty of experience.
They arrived back in the wine bar. “Do you want to stay and have a drink?” Scully asked.
“No.” Morgan wanted to get out of the bar. But she did recognize the desire in her partner, and in herself, to bring the work day to an end and transition to some personal time. “But I wouldn’t mind going for a walk.” She smiled. “I understand they have some beautiful beaches here.”
“That’s right, you have a thing for tropical beaches,” Scully replied with a smile. “A walk sounds nice.”
When they stepped out of the bar Morgan approached Marge again. “I think it would be a good idea if someone made sure Kate got home safe tonight; maybe stay with her so she’s not alone.”
Marge nodded. “I’ll see to it.”
Morgan gave her a nod and then turned back to Scully. They got in the car and drove back to Miami. Morgan pulled the car into a parking lot at a small beach. They got out of the car and, holding hands, walked along the beach.
“Are you alright in your heels walking in this sand?” Jess asked.
Scully chuckled. “I can walk anywhere in heels.”
There was a clear sky and a three-quarter moon above, so there was plenty of light.
“So... you like tropical beaches and walks in the moonlight,” Dana said lightly.
Jess laughed. “Sorry – I don’t mean to be such a cliché.”
Dana squeezed her hand and stopped, pulling the brunette to a stop as well. Jess turned to face her. She reached up with her other hand and brushed some hair back from Jess’s face. “I don’t mind cliché, especially where you and moonlight are concerned.” She pressed her lips to her lover’s and sighed as Jess responded. They held each other loosely and kissed gently, savoring the softness and emotional connection.
After a few minutes, Jess pulled back, her heart pounding and legs feeling a bit rubbery. “I need... I think I need to sit down.” She sat down in the sand, facing the ocean.
Dana knelt down next to her lover. “Are you alright?”
Jess smiled. “Yeah. You just kind of blew me away.” She reached up, cupped Dana’s cheek, and pulled her into a deep kiss. Wrapping her arms around Dana she pulled the redhead to her as she laid back in the sand.
Sometime later, the two women were sitting up watching the waves. Dana was sitting between Jess’s legs, leaning back against her. She rested her hands over the arms wrapped about her waist.
They talked; sharing some of their histories with each other. Finding more and more things they held in common: enjoyment of moonlight and beaches; medical school experiences; a love of seafood, etc. Dana spoke of her relationship with her father and his lack of support for her decision to join the Bureau. Jess spoke of her relationship with her grandfather and the immense feeling of loss at his passing. And they talked about the last five or six years of work subsuming and obliterating everything else in their lives... resulting in a loss of a part of themselves.
Eventually they rose and walked back to the car, arm in arm.
In Dana’s hotel room, they undressed each other and came together under the sheets, connecting on more than just a physical level.
Dana lifted her head from Jess’s chest and gazed down into shining grey eyes. “Jess...”
“What?” the brunette prompted when Dana didn’t continue.
How much could she risk of herself? She gazed into her lover’s eyes and found the answer. “I’m falling for you.”
A soft smile graced Jess’s lips. She reached up, brushed back some of Dana’s red hair and caressed her cheek. “I’ve already fallen for you.”
Dana’s felt her heart swell and tears filled her eyes. She kissed Jess, gently, thoroughly. Laying her head on her lover’s shoulder, Dana closed her eyes. Finally she knew what real happiness felt like. She slept peacefully in her lover’s arms.
A phone was ringing. She’d let the answering machine get it... no, it was a cell phone. She’d let voicemail get it. She growled when her human pillow shifted out from under her. She opened her eyes and blearily saw her lover retrieve the offending noisemaker.
It was amazing how the woman could visibly transform into Agent Morgan, even naked. Scully sat up, holding the sheet to herself.
Morgan sat in the chair. “Why?... I see... Tell me, why now?...” Her jaw tightened and she flashed a glance at Scully. “You know I can’t do that... Why not this morning?... Where?... I’ll find it.” She hung up and dialed the airport, making reservations on the 4:20 flight to Atlanta that afternoon.
“We’re going to Atlanta?” Scully asked.
Morgan sighed. “The son of a bitch wants to talk. Wants me to meet him at a bar in Atlanta – Doc’s Saloon.”
An auburn eyebrow arched. “Sounds like a fine establishment,” she said sarcastically.
Morgan let out a huff. “Probably a biker bar.” She rubbed her hands over her face. “What time is it?”
Scully looked at the clock radio. “4:23. Come back to bed and get some more sleep.”
It was so tempting to crawl back under the covers and snuggle with Dana, but she needed to prepare for what the day would bring. Morgan moved and sat on the side of the bed. She leaned in and kissed her lover. “I’d love to, but I have some work I need to do.” She kissed Dana again before standing. “Get some more sleep. It’s probably going to be a long day.” She picked up her stuff and went into her own room.