Title: Dana’s Malakim
Pairing: Scully/OFC (Logan)
Summary: Scully must identify Mulder’s body after his suicide. Dying of cancer, she now faces an uncertain future, a crisis of faith... and a new partner. Little does she know the extraordinary and incredible things she’s seen while with the X-Files are nothing compared to what’s to come.
Time line/Spoilers: AU. Starts immediately after S4E23 Demons.
Disclaimer: X-Files and its characters belong to C.C. and 1013 Productions. No copyright infringement intended, no money be made.
A/N1: Some dialogue taken directly from the show. Although I do a bit of research for my stories, I’ve never been a cop, doctor, herbalist, psychologist, or theologist.
A/N3: All mistakes are my own. Special thanks to oxfordshoes2 for the beta.
Tuesday, May 20th, 1997
Scully looked at her image in the mirror... dark circles under her bloodshot eyes, pale complexion with tear tracks staining her cheeks, and a haunted look shadowing her normally bright blue eyes. She stared, her mind racing in circles. Why didn’t she see it coming?
She should have.
It had only been the previous weekend that Mulder had allowed a quack to drill a hole in his head and took ketamine – a powerful hallucinogen. He had brandished his weapon at her, then turned it on himself before she managed to talk him down. That was only a week ago. So why didn’t she anticipate he would actually do it? Clearly, Mulder was unstable. She should have done something. She should have had him committed. She should have–
She could drive herself crazy with ‘should haves.’
Scully closed her eyes and took a deep breath. With a heavy sigh she opened her eyes and turned on the water in the bathroom sink. Wetting a paper towel she wiped her face, clearing away the tear stains and the remnants of her makeup. She had a meeting to get to.
She walked into the conference room. The four men seated at one end of the table wore dour expressions.
“Agent Scully, please have a seat,” said Blevins.
She took a seat at the opposite end of the conference table.
“Agent Scully, we've had a brief discussion. Will you restate the matter we’re here to put to rest?
“Yes, sir. Four years ago, Section Chief Blevins assigned me to a project you all know as the X-Files. As I am a medical doctor with a background in hard science, my job was to provide an analytical prospective on the work of Special Agent Fox Mulder, whose investigations into the paranormal were fueled by a personal belief that his sister had been abducted by aliens when he was 12. I come here today, four years later, to report on the illegitimacy of Agent Mulder’s work. It is my scientific opinion that he became, over the course of these years, a victim. A victim of his own false hopes and of his beliefs in the biggest of lies.”
“Agent Scully, I presume you have a basis for this break from Agent Mulder.”
“Yes, sir. Recent events have shed new light on the factual and physical evidence that would serve to prove the existence of extra terrestrial life, which was the foundation of Agent Mulder’s consuming devotion to his work.”
“What factual evidence?”
“Agent Mulder was recently contacted by a man whose pursuit of this evidence seemed to coincide with his own. In his intense desire to believe, Agent Mulder was duped by this man. He was fooled by an act of scientific sleight of hand calculated to perpetuate false truths, a larger lie. I am here today to expose this lie. To show the mechanism of deception that drew him, and me, into it. And to expose Agent Mulder’s work for what it is.”
Scully sat at the desk in the office she used to share with Mulder. Her gazed drifted around the room, taking in ‘Mulder’ touches; the ‘I Want To Believe’ poster, the slide projector, and the pencils stuck in the ceiling tile above his chair. A sudden knock on the door startled her.
She looked over and saw Assistant Director Walter Skinner standing in the open doorway. “Sir?”
Skinner moved into the office and stood in front of the desk. “How are you doing?” he asked gently.
Scully sighed. “Identifying Mulder’s body wasn’t exactly how I expected to start my day.”
He nodded. “You should go home.”
“What’s going to happen now?”
“Your report effectively ended the Bureau’s investigations into UFOs and alien abductions.”
“So, no more X-Files.”
“On the contrary.”
“The division will remain; the only difference is there won’t be any investigations into UFOs or abductions. There are still unusual and hard to solve cases to be investigated.” He paused. “You don’t have to decide now, but I’ve recommended you as the new division head.”
Scully didn’t know what to say or feel.
“Go home, Scully. Come back in a week.”
She nodded silently.
Home of Margaret Scully
She didn’t remember making the decision to drive to Baltimore; she moved on autopilot until she parked her car in front of her mother’s house. She had a key, but didn’t think to use it. She rang the doorbell. The door opened.
“Dana? What’s going on? Why didn’t you use your key?” Margaret Scully took a hard look at her daughter, noting the exhaustion in her eyes. She reached out and pulled Dana into a hug. “What’s wrong, honey?” she asked softly.
Scully tightened her arms around her mother as silent tears started rolling down her cheeks. Maggie guided her inside, closing the door behind them. They sat on the couch where Scully laid her head on her mother’s shoulder and cried herself to sleep.
Coffee. Hot, strong, black coffee... it was a nice aroma to wake up to. Without opening her eyes, Scully drew in a deep breath, taking in the pleasant aroma of fresh coffee. She opened her eyes as she sat up.
“Here you go, Dana.”
She accepted the mug her mother held out to her, taking a tentative sip. “Mm, thank you.” She took another sip of the hot liquid, willing the caffeine to clear her muddled thoughts.
“Feel any better?”
“Can you tell me what’s wrong?”
She took a slow breath before responding. “Mulder’s dead, Mom.”
“He killed himself. He used his service weapon and shot himself in the head.”
“Oh, Dana. I’m so sorry.” She paused for a couple of beats. “I wish I could say it was a complete surprise.”
Scully whipped her head around to look at her mother. “You’re not surprised?”
“Let’s face it, dear, Fox had a lot of demons. I don’t think he ever really knew peace of mind.”
Scully sighed. “I know you’re right. I should have seen it coming. I should ha–”
“Don’t,” Maggie said forcefully, cutting her daughter off. “Don’t you dare blame yourself, Dana. You are not responsible for his actions.”
Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Saturday, May 24th, 1997
Maggie sat next to her daughter holding her hand, trying to lend her daughter the strength she seemed to be lacking. She was very concerned about Dana. Her daughter seemed to be missing a measure of the calm steeliness that had gotten Dana through so much. In its place was a frailty that felt so out of place.
They sat silently through the small funeral service, and gave their condolences to Teena Mulder afterwards.
Scully, her body worn out from the cancer and radiation treatments, her emotions raw, slept on the flight back to Baltimore. Maggie watched Dana as she slept, full of worry. She couldn’t help but notice how gaunt her daughter looked. Dana had lost weight – too much weight. Her daughter hadn’t said anything to her, but Maggie was fearful that the radiation treatment Dana was undergoing was having no effect on the cancer that was ravaging Dana’s body. She was heartsick at the thought of having to bury her second daughter. Losing Melissa had been bad enough, but to have to bury two of her children was absolutely devastating. She closed her eyes and prayed for her daughter’s life to be saved.
Despite her mother’s invitation to spend the night Scully drove home to her apartment in Georgetown.
“It’s time to release her, to let her get on with her life. Mulder is dead and Scully has officially debunked his work. His suicide was the finishing touch in making him the pathetic laughingstock he was. The X-Files are no longer a threat to our interests.”
The Leader nodded thoughtfully. “I don’t see why not. It was never about her anyway; the objective has always been about stopping Mulder from getting in our way. Besides, Scully’s smart and more than capable; she could be an asset in the future.”
A hand moved from the shadows and crushed a cigarette out in an overflowing ashtray. “That would be a mistake.” The speaker’s deeply lined face was momentarily illuminated as he lit another cigarette. “Agent Scully has a will that cannot be bowed. Any attempt to bring her into our cause would be futile... and ultimately dangerous. If we were to attract her attention in any way she would focus her exceptional skill and intellect on stopping us,” concluded the Cigarette Smoking Man.
All present turned to The Leader, awaiting his judgment.
After several moments of silence, The Leader spoke. “Very well.”
Tuesday, May 27th, 1997
Scully arrived at work early. It wasn’t that she was looking forward to clearing Mulder’s things out of their– her office, it was just because she hadn’t sleep well. She awoke before dawn, sick to her stomach from the radiation treatment she’d had the afternoon before. After emptying the meager contents of her stomach she knew she wouldn’t get any more sleep.
She placed an empty box on the desk and looked around. Sunflower seeds, a basketball, and a green alien bobble-head... She was supposed to box up his things and send them to his mother. Fortunately she didn’t have to take care of his apartment, although she did go by and remove his porn collection. Scully didn’t feel it was necessary for his mother to know about his predilections.
She looked up at the knock on the door and saw a woman standing in the darkened doorway. Scully couldn’t make out her face in the shadows.
“Can I help you?”
“I hope so. I’m looking for Special Agent Scully.” The woman spoke softly but clearly. There was a strange lilt to her voice that seemed foreign yet familiar.
“I’m Agent Scully. And you are?”
The woman took a step forward. “I’m Special Agent Nicole Logan... your new partner.”
All the air seemed to be sucked out of the room. Scully couldn’t breathe.
“And from the expression on your face I’d say you had no idea I’d been assigned to the X-Files.”
Scully finally managed a deep breath. “Come in, Agent Logan.” As the woman entered the room Scully took a moment to size her up.
Logan wore a tailored suit that spoke of good taste. She was blonde and had a fair complexion, though for some reason Scully thought with some sun it would take on a nice tan, rather than burn like most people with such coloring. She was about 5’8” and her blonde hair was short. She was of medium build, with an athletic gracefulness that indicated coordination and strength beneath her frame.
Then there were her eyes. They were dark green – nothing extraordinary about that. However, Scully got the feeling that those eyes saw things others didn’t – things below the surface. She felt a momentary shiver along her spine as she imagined those eyes piercing her façade and knowing her heart and soul. As disconcerting as it was, she mentally shook herself and tried to calm her jangled nerves.
A forced smile graced her lips. “It’s nice to meet you, Agent Logan. And no, I wasn’t aware of your assignment.” She paused for a beat. “I’ve just returned from a short leave.”
“I’m sorry about your partner. It’s not an easy thing to have to deal with.”
Scully felt the backs of her eyes sting as a lump formed in her throat. Before she could say anything, Logan continued.
“Look, I can see you have some things to...” Logan’s eyes took in the half-filled box on the desk, “deal with. There are a few things I need to take care of as well. Why don’t I go and come back tomorrow? If that’s okay with you.”
Scully nodded. “Yeah,” she managed to croak around the lump in her throat.
“Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow. I look forward to working with you, Agent Scully.” Logan turned and left.
Alone again, Scully dropped into the chair. She felt completely unnerved. There was something about Logan that... She sighed. She wondered if she should just go to Skinner and tell him she didn’t want the job. Her cancer had metastasized; she could go on medical leave, collect her salary and not worry about anything but herself.
Scully closed her eyes. No, she’d be miserable with nothing to do. But now she was faced with a new partner she knew nothing about, although she had no doubt the blonde had been sent by the Consortium. She didn’t know if she had it in her to deal with–
The phone rang.
“Agent Scully, this is Kimberly. Assistant Director Skinner would like to see you immediately.”
“I’m on my way,” she told the AD’s assistant.
As she closed and locked the door to the office, her eyes traveled over the name plate holders. Mulder’s name plate had already been taken down. Her name plate was the only one adorning the doorframe. God, she felt so alone.
AD Skinner’s Office
“Have a seat, Agent Scully.”
“As you know, the X-Files Division is remaining open and you are now the head of the division. While you will not be investigating any alleged UFO sightings or alien abductions, there are still quite a few cases that fall into the purview of the X-Files. Also, you’ll be assigned a new partner.”
Skinner eyed her. “You know?”
“Yes. I’ve already met my new ‘partner.’ She came by my office this morning.”
“I see.” He paused. “I wasn’t aware. Agent Logan wasn’t due until tomorrow.”
“Just when did the Bureau begin to partner women together, sir?” she asked evenly, holding her emotions in check.
Skinner nodded. “I understand your reticence, but Logan is an extremely competent field agent with an exceptional intelligence. She’s very... perceptive.” He locked eyes with Scully. “You can trust her,” he said in a deliberate tone.
Scully’s expression hardened. “I can’t trust anyone... sir.”
He sat back in his chair with a heavy sigh. “I know you believe that, but you can trust me and–”
“With respect, sir, I know you are sometimes... not the one in charge.”
Skinner again nodded. “That has been true... but things change.” He tossed a file onto the desk in front of Scully. “In the meantime, that’s Logan’s personnel file. If you don’t have any other questions you’re dismissed.”
Once Scully left a connecting door opened and Logan entered. She moved from the shadows and looked at the door Scully had just exited through. Skinner looked up at her profile. He wanted to tell Scully everything, or at least what little he knew, but he couldn’t. It wasn’t his place. Besides, she’d never believe him. He was still struggling to believe it himself.
“You’re a good man, Walter, but good men don’t necessarily live easy lives. You’ve chosen a difficult path.”
He felt a lump grow in his throat and a stinging in his eyes. For the first time in longer than he could remember his soul felt clean. “At least it’s my choice. I thank you for that.”
She turned her head and gave him a slight smile. “Free will, Walter. As I said, you’re a good man. Your decisions are your own again. Not everyone gets a second chance.” With that Logan left.
A Jet Somewhere Over the Atlantic Ocean
One Week Earlier – Tuesday, May 20th, 1997
She was close to pinpointing the location of the safe house. Once she did, it would be only a matter of some recon to make sure all the members of the pack were there. This pack was as good as extinct.
But then she got the emergency signal. Almost before she knew what was happening, she was on a flight back stateside – without benefit of a shower or change of clothes. She was given a file and told to know everything in it by the time they landed. She was more than a little irritated, but she knew she wouldn’t have been pulled out without good reason.
She opened the file and began. Ah, the Consortium again. They were a thorn to be sure... but they were human. She preferred going after the non-human ones. She read about the latest schemes and activities: old, avaricious, power-hungry men and their manipulative efforts to advance themselves at the cost of any and everyone else.
She raised an eyebrow when she got to the other players involved. This was not the kind of assignment she liked. She preferred straight forwardness and she preferred to be on the offensive. It wasn’t that she couldn’t do subtle, she just didn’t like to take the time. But again, she wouldn’t be sent without a good reason.
When she finished the file she knew there were still pieces of the puzzle missing. That could mean a few things – she wasn’t supposed to know, she didn’t need to know, she didn’t need to know yet, they didn’t know, or any combination of the above. So, a bit of mystery to go along with this assignment.
She closed her eyes and started making a mental list of things she needed to get done to start her assignment – including finding a place to live and contacting people she hadn’t seen since her last time in the States.
Walter Skinner’s Apartment
(Hours after Mulder’s suicide)
Skinner knew he wasn’t going to get any sleep. If he hadn’t needed to change clothes he might have headed into his office and spent the rest of the night there. Things weren’t going to get any better when the sun came up, but he could at least get some work done before his lousy day officially began.
He couldn’t believe Mulder had eaten his service weapon. He felt like he should have seen it coming... should have prevented it. But Mulder had always been ‘out there.’ Even so, Mulder and Scully did get results. They closed cases, maybe not how others wanted them to, but they closed a lot of cases. His head hurt as he thought about the upcoming meeting called by Blevins in the morning. Scully was to present her findings and answer questions.
He closed his eyes. Scully, the voice of reason in the X-Files Division... he was going to lose her, too. He knew she was battling the cancer, but also knew she was losing that battle. It was only a matter of time. How much time, he had no idea. With Mulder’s suicide perhaps she would decide to leave now. He hoped not. He genuinely liked her and cared about her. He silently hoped she could fight the cancer until some doctor could find a way to save her.
He opened his eyes, poured himself a stiff scotch, and went out onto his balcony.
“Are you a good man, Walter?”
His heart leapt into his throat and his glass of scotch shattered as his hand flew to his waist to grab at... nothing! He had already removed his gun and holster, setting them down on the counter before he poured his drink. The low voice unnerved him – not just for its unexpected location in the shadows on his own balcony, but for how it seemed to cause his spine to shiver in harmony with its underlying rumble.
“Who the hell are you?! How did you get up here?!”
The owner of the voice shifted toward him and out of the shadows a bit. “We need to talk, Walter.”
His spine stiffened. “Who are you?” he demanded.
“Maybe your second chance.” She held out a hand, indicating for them to go inside. “Let’s talk.”
Skinner was not at all comfortable about letting this woman in his home, but being several floors up, he didn’t see the alternative. He walked back inside his own home and marched directly to his weapon. He unholstered and cocked it as he turned back to her... only she wasn’t there. He swung the gun around in an arc, covering the entire room. He eased his way to the still open balcony door. Gun at the ready, he turned on the balcony light – no one was there.
He closed and locked the balcony door. He then cleared each room of his apartment and found no one. The front door was still locked and the chain was still in place. He took a couple of deep breaths to clear his head and slow his pulse. There was no one in his apartment.
“I must be losing it,” he said softly to himself. He once again poured himself a drink. He took a big swallow. When he turned around he damn near dropped his drink again.
There she was, sitting on his couch, looking at him with a slight curl on one side of her mouth. She was wearing snug leather pants, a black pullover shirt, a black cap, a long leather coat, and black leather boots that laced and buckled up to her knees. Despite the lighting in the room, it was as if the shadows made themselves a part of her and obscured her features.
“We need to talk.”
His head hurt a lot now. He momentarily entertained the thought of just shooting her.
She arched an eyebrow as if she knew what he was thinking. “I’m not armed.”
Perhaps she did know.
“Who are you?” he asked in a resigned tone of voice as he set his weapon down.
“On what?” He hated cryptic answers.
“On the answer to my question. Are you a good man?”
He looked at her like one of them was nuts, and he wasn’t sure which one it was.
“If you are, then I’m a friend. If you aren’t...”
“Be glad I’m just here to talk.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“Not at all.”
Skinner downed his scotch and poured himself another one. Before capping the bottle he looked at her, the question obvious.
“No thank you.”
He capped the bottle and took a seat facing her. “So talk.”
She did. It wasn’t long before Skinner was wishing he either hadn’t had the second scotch, or had finished the bottle instead. This woman knew things about him that he didn’t tell anyone.
“H-How do I know you’re not with them?” He imagined he could almost smell the cigarette smoke.
“I can break the hold they have on you, Walter. It’s your choice now. Either stay on the path you’re on, or choose to change it. This is your second chance.”
She sat in silence as Walter Skinner turned inward, reviewing his life, his choices, his regrets, his past, his heart and soul. She waited patiently. She knew he had to come to the decision on his own. He was not a coward, merely a man who had faltered under a great burden. She could hear his heartbeat as it settled into a strong, even rhythm. He opened his eyes.
“What do I have to do?”
“Trust me,” she responded in that same soft but even tone.
Skinner looked her in the eyes. Somewhere down in his soul he felt it... then he saw it in her eyes. “Okay.”
They talked. When they were done, she stood and made her way to the balcony door. She unlocked it and slid it open, stepping out. She turned back to look at him once again. “See you soon, Walter.”
His eyes widened as feathered wings, black as coal, extended from her back and then carried her up into the night sky.
Tuesday, May 27th, 1997
When Scully returned to her office she sat at her desk and opened her lunch bag. She took out her turkey sandwich and then opened the file Skinner had given her.
Nicole Amber Logan: Badge #JTT0330703
Date of Birth: FEB XX, 19XX in XXXXXXXX
Why the hell was the date and place of birth redacted? Scully had never seen a file like that.
Mother: XXXXXXXX – Deceased
Marital Status: Single
Logan’s mother died when she was ten years old. She then went to live with her grandmother in Europe. She excelled in school, graduating from high school and college early. She held a doctorate in both Theology and Philosophy – not exactly common areas of study for a law enforcement officer.
She placed first in her class at Quantico, and upon graduation was offered her choice of position in the Violent Crimes Unit or a teaching position at the Academy. She turned down both and requested a field posting in Europe, which she was given.
From what Scully could glean from the file Logan often worked in cooperation with the local law enforcement agencies and officers, her looks and skills allowing her to work undercover in order to set up deals for weapons, drugs, miscellaneous contraband... and people. Her assignments overseas were interspersed with occasional assignments stateside. She didn’t seem to spend too much time in one place. However, it was rather hard to judge since none of the assignments, reviews, or commendations listed in her file included any dates.
The only dates provided were for the most recent entries. According to the official report in Logan’s file, the agent had recently spent two weeks in a hospital in Bucharest, ending a deep undercover assignment. She suffered from major head trauma, a broken clavicle, three broken ribs, several lacerations... and a drug overdose.
Scully shook her head. Logan had been through the wringer. She took a deep breath and continued reading the report.
In her statement, Logan said she never saw her abductors’ faces. She initially had been struck in the back of the head sufficiently hard enough to knock her out for some time. They kept her blindfolded and gagged the whole time. Based on things she remembered hearing, Logan said her cover had been blown by someone either at the Bureau or the Bucharest Police Department. She said they had injected her with something more than once – the first time just as soon as she regained consciousness. They had dumped her bloody, beaten, and drugged body, and that of a Romanian police officer, not expecting either of them to live. The Romanian officer didn’t.
Logan briefly returned to work at the FBI’s Legal Attaché office in the American Embassy six weeks after the leaving the hospital. On her first day back, however, she was suspended for assaulting a coworker, and was placed on indefinite leave. She hadn’t worked actively for the Bureau since. This was her first assignment back.
Scully raised her eyebrow at this. Logan’s statement about the incident was in the file, but it, too, was heavily redacted and didn’t shed any light on what exactly had happened. So, she had a partner with a shit load of emotional baggage and could fly off the handle... just like Mulder.
She closed her suddenly stinging eyes and took a deep breath. Why did she have to have another partner like Mulder? She turned and opened her eyes, looking at that damn poster on the wall. It would be so easy to give in... to give up. She could go on medical leave and forget everything having to do with the X-Files. This was Mulder’s crusade, not hers.
She let out a heavy sigh as she slumped in her chair and pinched the bridge of her nose.
Wednesday, May 28th, 1997
Scully looked up at the knock on the open door. “Come in, Agent Logan.”
Scully gestured toward the small work table in the corner – her former work area. “You can take that area over there. We haven’t been assigned any new cases and I’m finishing up some leftover paperwork. In the meantime you need to familiarize yourself with this division and the kinds of cases we work. You should review the case files,” she said with a wave at the file cabinet.
Logan set her briefcase on the work table and moved to the filing cabinet. She opened the top drawer and rifled through the files. She already knew what kinds of cases the X-Files Division worked, but it was still interesting to see the labels on dividers in the drawer – astral projection to zombies, and everything in between. She pulled out a few that piqued her interest then opened the second drawer. Logan wasn’t looking for anything in particular as she scanned the files, but stopped when she came to one bearing the name Dana Scully.
She glanced over her shoulder and saw that Scully was silently working. Before pulling the file she took another look through the files, and found a second one with Scully’s name on it. She pulled both of the files and added them to her pile. Logan had already reviewed Scully’s personnel file. She had also spoken with Walter, but she was still curious about the small, red-haired woman with steely eyes.
As she went through the rest of the drawers she noticed the obvious absence of any files about UFOs, alien abductions, or extraterrestrial biological entities. She wondered if Scully had taken them out, or if they had been removed during Scully’s recent leave. She picked up her pile and moved back to the table.
She spent the entire day quietly reading. At 5:00 they called it a day and went their separate ways.
The next day was spent the same way.
It wasn’t until Friday afternoon that anything changed.