Monday, June 16th, 1997
Logan quickly grabbed another towel, ran it under cold water, and knelt next to the redhead. She slipped her arm around Scully’s shoulders, pulling the redhead to her and used her other hand to switch out the towels. She gently held the cold wet towel to Scully’s nose. She felt Scully tense up at the contact but she didn’t let the woman pull away. She gently, but firmly, held Scully until she relaxed into her embrace. Scully’s head rested against her chest and shoulder.
“Shhh… it’s okay, Dana. It’s going to be okay. You’re not alone… I’m right here…”
She held her partner until the bleeding stopped and she settled down. In fact, Scully had actually drifted off, so Logan slipped her arm under the redhead’s legs and gently picked her up. She carried her partner back into the bedroom and laid her on the bed. She pulled the covers up and stepped out of the room.
Logan went back to the bathroom. She took one of the towels and placed it in a ziploc bag.
Thea stepped into the doorway and watched. “Is she alright?”
“No. But she will be if it’s the last thing I do,” the blonde replied. She wiped up a drop of blood with her finger, bringing it to her nose and sniffing it, and then touched her tongue to it. She quickly spit it out, shaking her head.
“What is it, Nicole?”
“I don’t know. But I intend to find out.” She held up the baggie. “I need to have this analyzed, down to the sub-atomic level if necessary. There’s something in her blood – it doesn’t smell or taste right. And it’s not the radiation or chemotherapy. It’s something else.”
“I’ve got a hacker buddy who’s a chemist. Works at one of those medical research labs and has access to next generation lab equipment.”
“This has to be kept quiet and anonymous, Thea.”
“Not a problem.” She looked at her watch. “He’s probably online. Let me see if he is and see how he wants to handle it.”
Logan finished cleaning up the bathroom while Thea went back to the office. She was reheating the cup of tea she’d made for Scully when Thea came back out of the office.
“Nicole, I’m going to go ahead and take the towel over to Jerry. He’s at the lab and there’s practically no one else there. He said he can get started on it right away.”
“Remember, no word on who it’s for or what it’s about.”
“I know. And Jerry doesn’t care. To him it’s just a puzzle to be solved. I’ll call if we come up with anything.”
“Alright. Thanks again for all your help.”
Thea left and Logan went into her bedroom. She set the tea down on the nightstand and then opened her dresser to get something to change into. She took off the shirt she’d been wearing since it had blood on it, and slipped on a tank top. Then she slid her jeans off and put on a pair of sweatpants. When she turned around she saw her partner watching her. She walked over to the side of the bed.
“Hey, how do you feel?”
“Like death warmed over.”
Logan simply nodded. “Here, I made you some tea.”
“Thanks, but I don’t think I can keep anything down.”
“You will this. It’s a special blend, made especially to settle your stomach. It’ll be alright, I promise.”
Scully was unsure, but she went ahead and took the cup from Logan. She carefully sipped the hot tea. It smelled and tasted good. It was like nothing she’d tasted before. It had a subtle but pleasant taste. As soon as the warm liquid hit her stomach she did indeed feel it soothe her upset stomach. “Mmmm… it tastes good. What is it?”
“It’s an old family recipe. If I told you I’d have to kill you,” the blonde replied with a small smile.
Scully felt her stomach settle and as she finished the tea she felt her whole body relaxing. Sleep was claiming her. She set the cup down and closed her eyes. I have to thank Logan for everything… was her last thought before she was sound asleep.
Logan adjusted the covers over Scully and brushed some hair from her forehead. Sleep well, Dana. You’re safe here. She gathered the teacup and left the redhead to sleep. She washed the cup in the kitchen sink and then settled on her living room couch to read and research the materials Thea had downloaded.
It was a number of hours later when Logan’s cell phone rang.
“Nicole, it’s me.”
“Hey, Thea. Any news?”
“Yes and no. You were right. Jerry found something in her blood, but he doesn’t know what it is yet. It’s not anything he’s seen before.”
“Any idea on how long it’ll take to nail down?”
“No. He’s going to keep at it, but when everyone comes in, he’ll have to stop if you don’t want anyone else to know he’s working on it.”
“I understand. Let him know I appreciate his help, and his discretion.”
“Is there anything else you need?”
“Not right now. Why don’t you get some sleep, Thea? You’ve given me plenty of stuff to digest. I’ll keep a close eye on Dana in the meantime and do what I can for her until we can get a handle on what’s being done to her.”
“Alright. If there’s anything else I can do to help, just give me a call.”
“Thanks again, Thea.”
Tuesday, June 17th, 1997
Logan was still up working when the sun came up Tuesday morning. She waited until 7:30 to make a phone call.
“What can I do for you?”
“Scully’s not feeling the best so we’ll be working from my apartment today.”
“Is she okay?”
“Yes. Also, I think it’s best if we had another case that took us out of town, as soon as possible.”
“Are you sure? It’s my understanding you were injured. I read the report.”
“It sounded worse than it was and I heal very quickly. If Scully hadn’t seen it I would already be completely healed.”
“I see,” he replied, uncomfortable being reminded she was more than just another agent.
“How soon do you want to go out of town?”
“Tomorrow would be good. Scully will be ready.”
“I’ll see what I can come up with.”
Tuesday, June 17th, 1997
Scully awoke to the smell of something wonderful. She took a couple of deep breaths as she tried to gain her bearings. There was a soft purr. She looked down to see a white cat lying next to her with its chin resting on her stomach. She pulled her arm out from under the covers and petted it. “Hi there.” Its purr got louder. She sat up and took in the bedroom around her. On the nightstand next to her was a fresh cup of hot tea. Her suit and clothes were folded and hanging neatly on a chair near the windows. Sweatpants, a t-shirt, and socks were folded neatly and sitting on a small stool next to the nightstand. She heard some soft music, either a CD or the radio playing out in the other room. She picked up the cup of tea and sipped it. It tasted familiar, and seemed to settle the uneasiness in her stomach. It was then she saw the note.
Tears came to her eyes at her new partner’s thoughtfulness and as she remembered the events of the day and night before. She absolutely hated being seen as anything other than her professional self. This was the second time she had gotten so sick in front of Logan and she was embarrassed, especially at the way she broke down in the bathroom when she got the nosebleed. She remembered Logan holding her, but not how she got back to the bedroom. She then remembered Logan bringing her some tea, the same tea she was now drinking, and promising it would help her feel better.
Once she finished her tea, Scully gathered the clothes set out for her and headed to the bathroom. She decided on a hot shower. She washed her hair and let the hot water beat down on her neck and shoulders. The steam and hot water relaxed her muscles. After drying off and towel drying her hair she put on the clothes provided. She then brushed her teeth and combed her hair. She had to admit she felt pretty good considering how badly she felt the day before after her appointment.
When she walked down the hallway to the living room she found Logan. She was sitting on the couch with her computer in her lap. She was sitting cross-legged, a pen was stuck behind one ear, and she was surrounded by several very thick open tomes. Scully stood there for several moments just watching her.
Logan was clearly engrossed in whatever she was doing. The blonde picked up one thick book, flipped through a few pages, found what she was looking for, and wrote some notes on a pad of paper she had sitting next to her. She then picked up another even thicker book, opened it, and repeated the process. Logan then started typing on her laptop.
“You can come in and sit down, you know.”
Scully jumped slightly at the blonde’s voice. She’d spoken without even glancing at Scully. “I didn’t think you knew I was here,” Scully said as she came in and sat in the chair facing the couch.
Logan looked up and gave her a small smile. “I’d have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to not know you were there.”
Scully arched an eyebrow, not sure what Logan meant. “Oh?”
“You have a presence, Scully.”
From the slight curve at the ends of her mouth and the tone of her voice, Scully could tell Logan meant her statement as a compliment.
Before the silence became uncomfortable Logan spoke again. “How do you feel?”
The blonde quirked her own eyebrow at Scully’s always pat answer. ‘I’m fine’ was not going to be an acceptable answer. Considering everything Logan had done for her, Scully figured she at least deserved an honest answer.
“I feel pretty good, well rested.”
Logan nodded. “Hungry?”
“Actually, I am.”
The blonde smiled. “Good. Then let’s eat.” She closed a couple of the thick volumes and set them on the coffee table. She saved her work on her laptop and set it on the table as well.
Scully followed her to the kitchen.
“Have a seat.” Logan pulled a casserole out of the oven. She already had the plates and other stuff out. She dished out some casserole and some vegetables from the pot on the stove. She set a plate in front of the redhead. “Would you like something cold to drink or some more tea?”
“Do you have any coffee?”
“Sorry. I don’t keep coffee since I don’t drink it.” Logan gave her partner a small smirk. “The tea’s better for you anyway.”
“Tea will be fine. I haven’t had this kind before. It’s good.”
“It’s good for you, too.”
“It has settled my stomach, like you said it would,” Scully acknowledged as Logan poured her another cup of tea.
The blonde sat down. “Well, dig in. It’s been a while since I’ve done any real cooking, but I think I remember how not to poison anyone,” she said with a small smile.
“Oh? So I’m taking my life in my hands here, huh?”
Logan just shrugged.
Scully took a bite of the casserole and both of her eyebrows went up. “Mmmm, this is really good, Logan.”
“Glad you like it.”
They continued to talk as they ate.
“So what were you so engrossed in earlier? It looked like you were doing some pretty involved research.”
“We got a new case.”
Scully shot the blonde a surprised look. “When?!”
“I spoke to Skinner this morning, told him we were working from here today. He called around 11:00 with a new case for us – a serial killer in the New Orleans area.”
“Why us? I mean why was the case assigned to us instead of the VCU?”
Logan got up and retrieved a folder from the living room, which she handed to the redhead. “A couple of reasons. One, this guy has left absolutely no forensic evidence at all – no hairs, fibers, prints, or skin cells. All they have are notes with obscure religious quotes. And two, a Lt. Scipio from the New Orleans PD asked for me by name.”
Scully looked up from the file she was skimming. “Who is he?”
Logan shook her head and shrugged her shoulders. “I have no idea.”
“Well, with your degree in Theology I can see why you’d be assigned, even if this Lt. Scipio hadn’t requested you,” Scully said. She flipped through a couple more pages as she ate. “It says here the notes were in a different language.”
“Languages. One was in Aramaic, one in Latin, one in Greek, and one in Hebrew.”
“So whoever it is has a knowledge of languages and obscure religious quotes.” Scully saw Logan frown. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m not sure what’s going on with this guy. The note that was in Aramaic was a quote from the Talmud.”
“The Talmud was written in Middle Aramaic or Biblical Aramaic, but the note was written in Old Aramaic.”
“What’s the significance of that?”
“Other than the language doesn’t fit the quote? I’m not sure. There’s as much as 2000 years difference in the languages. Old Aramaic was a written language over 1000 BC. The Talmud wasn’t completed until 700 AD.”
“What were the other quotes?”
“The note in Greek was a quote from the Apocrypha – which was originally written in Hebrew. The note in Hebrew was a quote from the Kabala, and the note in Latin was a quote from the Gospel of Thomas – which was originally written in Greek rather than Latin.” Logan rubbed her eyes a little. “I got the translations in the other room, but I haven’t been able to find a pattern to them or anything yet. I hope to know more when I can see the actual notes. All I have is what was emailed to me.”
“But of the four notes only one used the ‘proper’ language for the source of the quote.”
The blonde nodded. “Yeah.” Logan got up to get a little more of the casserole. “Would you like some more, Scully?”
“Actually I would. I’m surprised my appetite is so good.”
The blonde gave her some more. “Well, you haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday. And it’s always easier to eat when your stomach isn’t doing flip-flops on you.”
“What time is it?”
“4:20,” she replied, looking at her watch.
Scully’s jaw dropped. “I can’t believe I slept that much.”
“You needed it,” Logan said with a shrug of her shoulders. “We’ve got tickets for a 10:00 flight tomorrow morning, but I can change them if you need more time.”
“No, no. That’s fine.” Scully paused and took a deep breath. She put down her fork and looked at her partner. “Look, Logan, I’m sorry about yesterday and last night. I don’t know why I reacted so badly. I really appreciate everything you’ve done.”
“Don’t worry about it. You looked out for me when I needed it.”
Scully reached out and covered the blonde’s hand with her own, giving it a squeeze. “Thank you.”
“We’re partners. You’re welcome.” Logan gave her a small smile. She then reached for her cup. “More tea?”
She poured both of them some more tea. “If you feel up to it, I have the autopsy reports from Dr. Lessier you can take a look at in the living room, along with the translations I did.”
Scully helped Logan clear the table and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Then they went into the living room. Logan moved some of the big books so they could both sit on the comfortable couch.
“Here you go.” The blonde handed her partner the file folders.
As Scully sat down she noticed some of the book titles on the coffee table. “Logan?”
“How many bibles do you have?”
“A few. Why?” she answered looking over at Scully, who just pointed at the four or five sitting on the table among other books. She gave the redhead a smile. “That’s nothing. You should see my collection.”
An auburn eyebrow went up. “Collection? You collect bibles?”
“Not exactly. Do you have any idea how many different versions and translations there are?”
Scully shook her head.
“There are over four dozen different versions in English alone – all of which are just translations of translations. The bible was written in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek. Christians can’t even agree on how many gospels there are. About 50 gospels were written in the first and second century AD; each was believed to be accurate by various groups within the early Christian movement. Four of them (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were approved for inclusion in the official canon during the 4th century, and are found today in every bible. St. Irenaeus explained why only four gospels were approved: ‘There are four principle winds, four pillars that hold up the sky, and four corners of the universe; therefore, it is only right that there be four gospels.’ And that’s just the bible. Christianity is only one of the major religions. There’s also Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Neo-paganism, the list goes on.”
Scully sat back and looked at the blonde a little surprised. “I wasn’t aware of that. I’ve heard of the gospel of Mary, but I never knew there were so many written.”
Logan nodded. “And don’t even get me started on translations versus interpretations.”
Scully nodded in understanding. They both settled down with their respective tasks, Scully reviewing the autopsy reports and Logan typing on her laptop from her notes. After several minutes, the blonde stopped typing and let out a huff. She put her laptop aside and grabbed a couple of the large volumes from the coffee table. She stood and then started to gather some of the other books.
“What’s wrong?” Scully asked.
“I need a different text.”
“Let me give you a hand,” Scully said as she stood and grabbed a couple of the books for her partner. She followed Logan down the hall to her office. She was surprised when she saw the shelves and shelves of books – many of them appeared to be very, very old.
“Just set those on that shelf there, Scully,” Logan said as she searched for a book.
Scully quickly scanned some of the titles on the shelves. I knew she studied religion and philosophy, but these texts are not for the casual reader! She moved on to another shelf and found several volumes about mythology and folklore. Another shelf and more books on different religions and history, along with holy texts – bibles, Korans, Talmuds, Torahs, and other texts representing numerous religions.
“I found the text I was looking for,” Logan said as she pulled a large volume out of a box in the corner of the room. She held it up with a smile. “I’m not fluent in Old Aramaic and it’s been a long time since I’ve had to translate it. I think I made an error on the note. This text is better for translating Old Aramaic.” They headed back to the living room. “I was afraid it was still in storage with the rest of my books.”
“You’ve got quite a collection in there as it is.”
“That’s just a part of it. Consequences of studying things like religion and philosophy. They’re not nice ‘neat’ subjects like math or engineering.” Logan retook her seat on the couch and quickly opened the text. After about half an hour she had re-translated the note in question. She sat back and rubbed her temples.
“You alright, Logan?”
“Yeah. Aramaic always gives me a headache,” she replied with a small smile. “I do better with Hebrew and Latin.”
“How many languages do you know?”
“I had to have a basic working knowledge of a number of languages for my studies in Religion and Theology.” She got up and stretched a little. “Would you like another cup of tea?”
“No thank you. Actually, I think I should be heading home since we have a morning flight.”
Logan nodded. “Alright.”
Scully retrieved her clothes, badge, and gun from the bedroom. She thanked her partner again for all she’d done.
New Orleans Police Department
New Orleans, LA
Wednesday, June 18th, 1997
Upon arriving in New Orleans Logan volunteered to claim their checked luggage while Scully arranged for their car rental. The blonde had their luggage ready when Scully joined her with the keys to their rental.
“Are you ready, Logan?”
“Yes. Do you know where we’re headed?”
“I got a map and directions,” Scully replied.
They pulled up to the New Orleans PD without incident in less than an hour despite the traffic. At the front desk they flashed their badges and asked for Lt. Scipio. Soon a fair-skinned, red-haired man joined them.
“Agent Logan, I’m Lt. Grant Scipio. It’s nice to meet you,” he said in a Louisiana drawl. They shook hands.
“Thank you. My partner – Special Agent Scully,” she said with a nod to her partner.
“I appreciate you coming down to help us with this case.”
They both nodded in acknowledgment as they walked down a hallway past the bullpen and offices.
“If you don’t mind me asking, Lieutenant, may I ask why you requested me?” Logan asked.
He smiled. “Not at all. You were recommended to me by a local FBI agent.” At her raised eyebrow he answered her unvoiced question. “I believe you worked with her previously on a case.”
They entered a conference room where a tall brunette was working at a computer station. Lt. Scipio smiled. “Monica.”
“Hey, Scipio. Sorry, but there’s nothing from the latest note either. Forensics says it’s as clean as the others,” she said before she turned around. When she did her face lit up in a big smile. “Nicole!” She quickly got up and threw her arms around Logan giving her a hug.
Logan returned her smile and hug. “Hey, Monica.” They let go of each other and the brunette stepped back. “It’s been a while,” Logan said still smiling.
“Four years. And you haven’t changed a bit.” She then noticed the fading bruise on the left side of her friend’s face hiding behind her sunglasses. She cocked her head to the side to see better. “Except for this,” she said with concern and lightly touched the blonde’s face.
Logan gave her a gentle smile. “I’m okay.”
Scully couldn’t keep her eyebrow from crawling up her forehead if she’d tried. And can you look any harder? thought Scully, noticing how the brunette quickly and appreciatively sized up her partner.
“Monica, this is my partner, Special Agent Dana Scully.” They extended their hands to shake. “This is Special Agent Monica Reyes. We worked a case together four years ago.”
“Monica, if you have things under control, I’ll meet up with you ladies later. I have to be in court this afternoon,” the lieutenant interjected.
“No problem, Grant.”
The lieutenant left.
“You said something about another note?” Scully asked pulling the brunette’s attention from her partner.
“Yes.” She moved to her work station and picked up a note in a clear evidence bag. “Just like the others, there’s no trace evidence, no prints. The paper is so common there’s no way to trace it. My partner, Agent Landry, is working on a translation.”
“Let me see it,” Logan said holding out her hand. She read the Latin text out loud and then translated it for the others. “It’s from the Gospel of Mary.” She opened her briefcase and pulled out the other translations she’d done. “Here are the translations of the earlier notes.”
Reyes looked them over. She got to the note with the quote from the Talmud. “This one’s little different from what Landry came up with.” She gave Logan a smile. “But he was working with an online language dictionary. Unlike you, he’s only tri-lingual.”
“He undoubtedly was using Biblical Aramaic – it was written in Old Aramaic.”
“So whoever we’re dealing with has at least a working knowledge of the ‘old’ languages and is very familiar with the holy texts of Islam, Judaism, and the Bible.”
“Is there any way I can take a look at the bodies?” Scully asked.
“Sure. Let me take you to meet the ME, Dr. Lessier.”
The three women went to the morgue. Reyes introduced them to Dr. Lessier. Scully suggested that Logan see what additional information the locals had while she conferred with the ME.
Reyes went over things with Logan. “Can I get access to their homes?” the blonde asked.
“One lived with her parents, so it’s up to them.”
The blonde nodded in understanding.
“The other two lived alone, so I can get you in their places.” Reyes noticed the look on the other agent’s face. “What is it, Nicole?”
“You said there’s no forensics at all.”
“None. The bodies and dump sites were as clean. I’ve never seen a case like this. There’s always something. We’ve got absolutely nothing to go on, other than these damn notes.”
Logan nodded. “He’s done this before. He’s had time to perfect his MO. Have you done a search of the surrounding areas for similar cases?”
“Yes. I went back ten years and didn’t find anything.”
“So he’s not a local boy.”
They set up a national search via the FBI mainframe. Reyes was practically leaning against Logan as they huddled in front of a computer screen together.
“So how did you get this case?”
“I’ve worked with Scipio a lot. When they were getting nowhere he asked our office for help.” The brunette paused. “So, how have you been?” Reyes asked in a low voice.
“Pretty good. Busy. Yourself?”
Reyes smiled. “Life’s normal ups and downs, but I’m good. So what happened?” she asked, lightly caressing the remaining bruising on the side of Logan’s face.
“Just a case of stupidity on my part. It’s a mistake I won’t repeat,” she replied with a sigh in her voice.
The brunette nodded in understanding. “So where have you been keeping yourself?”
“Europe mostly. I’ve only been back in the States a couple of weeks. You were lucky to catch me.”
“If I was lucky, I’d have caught you four years ago,” Reyes replied with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes.
That was when Scully returned. She cleared her throat.
Logan turned her head and looked at her partner in the doorway. “Hey, Scully. Anything new from the bodies?”
She shook her head. “No. What about you? Anything new?”
“There’ve been no other cases within the surrounding area, so we’ve started a national search.”
Scully nodded. “He’s done this before. Nobody’s this clean the first time out.”
“We’ll need to find out more about the victims,” Scully pointed out.
They agreed to take a look at the homes of the two victims who lived alone. Monica was going to arrange for them to meet the parents of the third victim and look at her room.
After inspecting the homes of the two victims who lived alone Scully and Logan checked into their hotel. They both changed out of their suits and met in the hotel restaurant for dinner. They refrained from discussing the case until they returned to their rooms.
New Orleans, LA
Thursday, June 19th, 1997
The next morning Scully and Logan drove to the police department and Reyes took them to meet with the parents of the third victim. It was an emotional meeting and the father of the victim seemed to be hostile to them and his dead daughter. With an unspoken understanding Scully was able to separate the father from the mother, allowing Logan to speak to the mother privately in the daughter’s room.
Both Logan and Scully were quiet and appeared to be irritated when they left. Reyes just let them silently mull over their thoughts as she drove them back to the department. Once at the department they went into the office Reyes was using. She wasn’t quite sure how to break the silence. Fortunately Scully saved her from having to do so.
“I’ll never understand how a parent can so completely turn their back on their own child. I wouldn’t put it past him to have killed his own daughter,” Scully ground out.
“Mrs. Hoffman was clearly afraid of him, but I don’t think he’s our killer,” Logan said.
“No. But that man is full of hate.”
Logan nodded in agreement. “Yes. He’s very judgmental… and a bigot. According to Mrs. Hoffman he’s the reason their daughter was no longer living with them.”
“She wasn’t?” Reyes asked. “They never told us that.”
“Mr. Hoffman kicked her out recently when he found out she was involved with another woman. He forbade his wife to have any contact with her.”
“Did Mrs. Hoffman know where her daughter was staying?” Scully asked.
“No. But she had a phone number to contact her.”
“Let me run it and get a name and address from it,” Reyes said.
Logan gave her the number. It turned out to be a prepaid cell. They were able to trace the manufacturer and then the location of the sale. From there they spoke to the clerk who sold the phone and got a lead on who she might have been staying with. Eventually they found Darla Hoffman’s lover, Chris Routon. When Scully and Logan interviewed Ms. Routon she seemed to respond more easily to Logan, so Scully let her partner take the lead.
Scully watched as Logan, while remaining professional, became the epitome of gentle, supportive sympathy. It was as if she was literally lifting the weight of overwhelming sorrow from the grieving woman’s soul – and Routon seemed to know it. Her grief was still present and still had to be worked through, but it was no longer crippling her.
When they were leaving Ms. Routon hugged Logan and whispered something in her ear. Logan nodded in understanding as she returned the gesture. She gave the woman her card, gave her hand a squeeze, and held her eyes a moment before stepping out and joining her partner. Once in the car Scully could see her partner’s shoulders drop and her eyes close as her expression changed. Her whole bearing changed from one of strength and confidence to one weighed down by sorrow and pain.
“You okay, Logan?”
Scully gave her a look that said she didn’t believe her, but she let it go for the moment.
Red Roof Inn
Logan was silent on the ride back to their hotel. She was going over everything she knew about the three victims in her mind, pulling together a picture of what the killer was drawn to. Starting with the victimology and then slowly developing a profile of the killer with what little they had to go on so far. She was so lost in thought she hadn’t even noticed that they had arrived at the hotel. In fact, it took Scully addressing her a number of times and actually shaking her shoulder to get her attention.
“Hey, Logan. Where are you?”
“Huh? Oh, sorry.”
“I said we’re here. And I asked where you were? Are you sure you’re alright?”
The blonde let out a deep breath. “Yeah, I’m fine, Scully. I’m just thinking, trying to fit the pieces together.”
They got out and went to their rooms. They both changed into more comfortable clothes. Logan sat down with her laptop and started working on the profile. When Scully stuck her head in the room through the open adjoining door, she could tell Logan was completely absorbed in her work. Instead of interrupting her to suggest going out for something to eat, Scully decided to order something delivered. When the food arrived she carried it into her partner’s room and set it up on the small table near the window.
“Come on, Logan. Time for a dinner break.”
The blonde finished her current thought and saved her work. She turned and went to join Scully at the table.
“I hope you don’t mind Chinese.”
“Not at all. I love it. It’s one of my favorites.”
After each woman had downed a few bites of food Scully broke the silence.
“So what have you been working on?”
“Victimology profile. From there I’m hoping to get a better handle on our suspect.”
Scully nodded in understanding. “What have you come up with so far?”
“Well, all three women were young professionals – a paralegal, a doctoral fellow, and a real estate agent. They were strong individuals, and despite the fact that Darla had been living at home with her parents all three were quite independent. Darla’s situation was only temporary which I believe was due in part to trying to protect her mother.”
“You think Mr. Huffman is an abuser?”
“I know he is emotionally. I suspect he is physically. You said yourself you wouldn’t be surprised if he killed his own daughter,” Logan pointed out. “And Mrs. Huffman is definitely afraid of him.” She took another bite of her food. “Also, all three of the victims were gay.”
“Well, Darla’s mother told us about Darla. The first victim’s effects told us – the pictures of her cuddling and kissing other women, the book titles in her collection, etc.”
“But there wasn’t anything like that in the second victim’s place.”
“She had both a pink triangle and a rainbow bumper sticker on her car.” Logan sipped her tea. “I don’t know if our suspect is choosing the victims because they’re gay, or if his victims are gay simply because it’s easier for him to choose them – i.e.: he lives near a women’s bar and therefore sees them frequent it. And I haven’t figured out why he’s sending the police obscure quotes from the religious texts of Islam, Judaism, and the bible in different languages. The quotes don’t appear to have anything to do with victims or their lifestyles. Nor do they appear to have anything to do with each other. I mean if he’s trying to send us a message, I can’t figure out what the hell it is.” She took a drink of her water.
“I can’t tell you much about him yet. But he’s obviously intelligent and has some education, as evidenced by the content of the notes. And he’s not just finding the quotes and then translating them into the other languages using a language dictionary. The syntax, the conjugations are all correct – he knows the languages, he’s been trained in them. It’s possible he studies, or studied, history or theology.”
“It wouldn’t be the first time a religious nut decided to kill in the name of God.”
“Unfortunately true. But the quotes are not the ones traditionally used to condemn homosexuality or to justify treating women as second class citizens. In fact, the verses from the gospel of Mary state it was Mary Magdalene that was to build Christ’s church and not Peter, that Christ entrusted his legacy to her.”
“It doesn’t make any sense.”
“No, it doesn’t. The only other thing I can tell you about him is that he’s arrogant as hell. He’s committing these murders without leaving any clues behind, but he’s sending these notes to the police – thumbing his nose at us.”
“Are we sure these notes are definitely related to the murders?”
“Well, I suggest letting it go for tonight. Take a look at it again tomorrow.”
The blonde took a breath and nodded as she let it out. “Yeah. I think I’ll go for a run in a little bit. Would you like to join me?”
“No thank you. I think I’m going to enjoy a long, hot soak and some bubble bath.”
She smiled. “That sounds nice too.”
“Well I’m not going to invite you to join me,” Scully said with a smirk.
Logan laughed. “That’s okay.”
They cleaned up the remnants of their dinner. Scully was looking through some files while the blonde went into her bathroom to changed into her running clothes. There was a knock on Logan’s hotel door. Scully got up and looked out the peephole. She recognized Monica Reyes so she opened the door. Reyes was surprised to see Scully when the door opened.
“Oh, hello, Agent Scully. Did I get the wrong room number?”
“No. This is Logan’s room. Come on in. She’s in the bathroom.”
Reyes entered and saw the open door to Scully’s adjoining room. She also saw the open files on the table. Just then Logan came out of the bathroom in a tank top and shorts.
“Hi, Monica. What’s up?”
“I dropped by to see if you still liked to run.” She nodded to the blonde’s attire. “It appears you do. Care for a running partner?”
“Yeah, I would.” She tossed a smile in Scully’s direction. “Especially since Scully turned me down in favor of a bubble bath.”
“Hmm, sounds like she’s smarter than you,” Reyes said with a smile.
Scully smirked and cocked an eyebrow.
“Oh, Monica, right through the heart,” the blonde said as she playfully clasped a hand to her chest. They both chuckled. “Scully, I’ll have my cell with me in case anything comes up,” she said as she clipped her phone on her waistband.
“Alright. Enjoy your run.” Scully headed to her own room.
Nicole and Monica ran. The brunette directed them to a quiet park where they sat and watched the sunset. They talked for quite a while, catching up on the past four years. Reyes ended up telling Logan about a bad recent breakup. The blonde held her as she cried, finally letting out the last of her pain.
“Shhh… it’s okay, Monica… let it go…”
The brunette literally felt a weight lifted from her shoulders and heart. She wiped the tears from her face and took a deep breath. “How do you do it? How do you always make someone feel better?”
“It’s part of what I do,” she replied barely above a whisper.
“I know. But how?”
“It’s just something I’m meant to do.”
“You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, don’t you?”
“How do you cope with it?”
Nicole took a deep breath and let it out. “Different ways. It depends. Sometimes I run… and sometimes I hunt.”
“Hunt? What do you hunt?”
“Bad th– bad guys.”
They talked about their current case for a while, bouncing ideas back and forth.
Red Roof Inn
Friday, June 20th, 1997
It was almost 3:00 in the morning when Scully heard her partner finally come in. Some run. She was a surprised to find herself feeling a little jealous about the time Logan was spending with the brunette. And she hadn’t missed the way Reyes had been flirting with her partner.
The next morning Scully was surprised to find Logan up early and already working, looking as if she’d gotten a full eight hours sleep as she handed Dana a hot cup of her special blend of tea.
“Good morning. Did you sleep well?”
“Yes. What, no morning coffee?” she asked as she took the tea. “And what’s got you in such a good mood this morning?”
“First off, the tea’s much better for you, especially on an empty stomach. And second, I’ve got some ideas about the case so I’ve been doing some digging.”
Scully sat down in the other chair. “What ideas?” she asked and started sipping the tea.
“What if the notes are a complete red herring?”
“You mean they aren’t part of the case?”
“No. I think they’re sent by our suspect, but the only reason he’s sending them is to divert our attention away from where it should be. He wants us to focus on them, to try to figure out his message, to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Only there is no message, no puzzle. Like a magician gets you to look at his left hand, when it’s his right hand that’s hiding something.”
Scully took a few moments to consider what the blonde was saying. “Alright. So what does he not want us to see? What’s in his other hand?”
“His true self. Based on the notes we’ve made assumptions. At least I have. I’m starting over from scratch. I now believe this guy is local. And despite the lack of clues, I suspect these are his first kills.”
Scully shook her head in disagreement. “Killers don’t start out this clean, Logan.”
“I didn’t say these were his first crimes – just his first kills. I think he’s escalating. These women also showed signs of sexual assault. I think our guy has been an active rapist. And that puts a whole new spin on the sexual orientation of the victims.” She paused and sipped some of her own tea. “There are some colleges and universities in the area. I’ve a got a friend doing a computer search based on degrees earned and courses taken by current and previous students, and faculty with the requisite knowledge of the languages used in the notes to give us a starting pool of names.”
Scully’s eyes widened. “That’s going to be a lot of people!”
“Actually, it won’t be as many as you think. There are not that many people who take courses for Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Even those who attend Seminary usually only have to learn two languages. And German or Italian is often one of the languages they learn.”
“If our suspect already graduated, it doesn’t necessarily mean he attended school locally. He could have been educated overseas even, like yourself,” Scully pointed out.
Logan nodded. “I know, but it’s a starting point.”
Scully conceded the point, and she knew they had nothing else to go on at the moment. They had to start somewhere. “What do you want to do today then?”
“I want to go through local rape and assault cases and see if we can find any that fit the MO. If we get lucky, we might get some kind of description. And then Monica suggested we hit the same lesbian bars that our victims frequented the most this evening.”
Home of Erin Collins
At the police station Scully and Logan met with Reyes and Lt. Scipio. The brunette’s partner, Landry, had been pulled for another case, but in case the notes did mean something, he agreed to keep working that angle on his own time. Scipio gave the agents full access to all their rape and assault files, which the three women went through. By afternoon they had a couple of possible matches. Scully and Logan decided to interview them. Before leaving they agreed to meet up with Reyes for dinner before going out to the clubs.
They went in search of the two women from the cases they found. The first wasn’t at home or at the place of employment listed in the case file. So they moved on to the second one. According to the case file she was a graduate student at Tulane and they happened to catch her at home.
As soon as Erin Collins opened the door Logan was hit with the pain, turmoil, and depression that was eating the young woman alive. Whoever had raped Erin, whether it was the man they were looking for or not, had all but destroyed her. And she wasn’t going to survive without help – despite any outward appearances.
Scully could also tell Erin wasn’t in the best of shape. She simply didn’t know just how bad, how close to the edge Erin was.
“We’re with the FBI. I’m Special Agent Dana Scully; this is my partner Special Agent Nicole Logan. May we speak with you?” Scully said as she showed the woman her badge and ID.
“We’re investigating some assault and murder cases that may be related to yours.”
Erin visibly tensed, but stepped back to let the agents in. “W-Would you like something to drink?” she asked as she relocked her door – an action that didn’t go unnoticed by either agent.
“No thank you, Ms. Collins.”
“H-Have a s-seat, please.”
“You have a very nice apartment, Ms. Collins,” Scully said as she looked around.
“Have you lived here long?”
She shook her head. “Just since I started grad school…” her voice trailed off before she continued. “But I dropped out after… after…” She took a deep breath. “I don’t know if I’ll go back.”
“What were you studying?”
“Ms. Collins, I know you filed a report and spoke with the local police department, but would you be willing to answer some questions for us?”
“If I can.”
“Do you remember anything about the man who assaulted you? The color of his hair or his eyes? Any scars or tattoos? Anything at all?”
She shook her head. “No,” she said in a whisper. “He grabbed me from behind. H-Held a knife t-to my throat… said he’d k-kill me if I opened my eyes, o-or fought back.”
Logan stood and moved to sit next to Erin on the couch. She gently put her hand over Erin’s where they were clenched in her lap. “Erin, you did the right thing,” she said softly.
Tears started to roll down her face. “I should have tried…”
“No, Erin. You did exactly what you should have. You did what was necessary to stay alive. You survived, that is what’s important.”
“Is it? I’m n-not so sure.”
Logan reached up and gently lifted Erin’s chin so she could look in her eyes. She shifted closer to Erin and tenderly wiped away her tears. “Trust me, Erin,” she said as they made eye contact. She spoke so softly Scully almost couldn’t hear her. “I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but things will get better and you will be happy again.”
“By not giving up. By believing in yourself. Regardless of what has happened you are still a beautiful woman who has a lot to give. I know he hurt you, but he can’t destroy your heart, your mind or your soul, Erin – not if you don’t let him.”
Scully could see Erin begin to respond to her partner. The blonde seemed to really have a way with people.
“I n-need some air…” Erin got up and stepped to the sliding glass door that led to a small balcony. She fumbled with the lock.
Logan got up and went over to her. She gently put one hand on her back and with her other hand unlocked the door for Erin. Erin slid the door open and stepped outside. With a look over her shoulder at Scully, Logan followed Erin out. Scully nodded, indicating she’d wait inside, giving them some privacy.
From where Scully sat she could see her partner talking some more with Erin Collins but couldn’t hear anything said by either woman. As Scully watched, she could actually see Erin’s bearing change – she seemed to get taller as she lost her tendency to slouch and hunch her shoulders inward. Her entire physical presence seemed to transform before Scully’s eyes. She saw Erin give Logan a hug. When they came back inside Erin looked like she was actually lighter on her feet.
“If you do think of anything else, even if you’re not sure it’ll help, please give me a call,” Logan said and handed her a card. “My number is on the card.”
“I will. And I don’t know how to thank you, Nicole. What you’ve done… I can’t thank you enough.”
“You’re more than welcome. Just take care of yourself, Erin, and follow your dreams.”
En Route To Hotel
Logan and Scully left the apartment and got into their rental car. To Scully, her partner appeared to be a different woman. Logan seemed as if she was carrying a great weight not only on her shoulders but also on her soul. Scully was about to say something but the blonde’s phone suddenly rang. Logan seemed to struggle to get her phone out and answer it.
“Nicole, it’s Thea.”
“I’m done with that computer search you asked me to do.”
“Good. Can you email me the results?”
“Any word on that other matter?”
“Jerry says he’s isolated a complex agent, but he hasn’t been able to identify it yet. He’s still working on it. It’s definitely not anything natural. It’s something created, possibly even designed to affect Dana specifically.”
“Alright. Thanks for the help, Thea.”
“No problem. Take care.”
The blonde hung up her phone and laid her head back on the car seat with a sigh.
“Are you alright, Logan?”
“Yeah.” Before Scully could say anything else Logan continued. “That call was from my friend who ran the computer search for me on past and present students and faculty of the local colleges and universities. She’s emailing me the results.”
“Who is she?”
“Thea Wickersham. She owns her own software company. Just about every law enforcement agency in the country uses some form of her search and database programs, including the FBI. She started out as a hacker – she’s phenomenal. If something has ever been out there on a computer she’ll get it.”
“How do you know her?”
“Our families have been close for ages.”
Red Roof Inn
Scully hung her suit up after changing into something more comfortable. She then went through the open door to her partner’s adjoining room. The blonde was dressed in running clothes. She was turning on her computer and soon writing out the list of five men and two women that fit the criteria Logan had given Thea.
“There are two women here. Do you really think our suspect is a woman?” Scully asked.
“Probably not, but I don’t think we should automatically rule them out. Our victims can’t tell us, and there’s no semen or other forensics to rule out a woman. It’s rare, but it wouldn’t be the first time. Unfortunately a woman is capable of being just as violent as a man.”
“What about Erin Collins? She said her rapist was a man.”
Logan shook her head. “Her rape isn’t part of this case.”
“Oh. I thought since you spent so long talking with her…”
Logan spun and glared at Scully, her dark green eyes flashing with anger. “You saw how much she was hurting! She was hanging over the edge with no safety net and her fingertips giving out. Tell me, Doctor Scully, could you really have turned your back and walked away knowing she’d have been dead in less than a day?!” She picked up her room key. “I need some air,” she said brusquely and left.
Scully stood there, shocked, for several moments. It was the first time she’d heard a cross word ever come from the blonde. And she was very surprised at how much it bothered her. She felt… She sat down, suddenly feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. Have I gotten so wrapped up in myself that I can’t see others in pain? No, I did see Erin was hurting – I just didn’t do anything about it. God, that’s even worse! I’ve cut myself off from everyone, even my own feelings, so I can cope. At least that’s what I’ve told myself. But at what cost? Is it worth it?
Logan didn’t get far. She found she no longer felt like running. She ended up just sitting on a bench. She blocked out everyone and everything around her. She was glad she was able to help Erin Collins. The darkness of her soul would have swallowed her up before the sun rose again. Fortunately, Logan was able to lift that darkness and let the light shine again for Erin, show her the way back to her true path.
But it always hurt when she did things like that, because she took those burdens onto herself. This is why I’m a hunter! Give me the dark of night and monsters to battle. They can’t touch my soul. I’m a Malakim not a Guardian Angel!!
After some time passed, she didn’t know how much, the blonde got up and brushed herself off. She walked back to the hotel.
Red Roof Inn
Friday, June 20th, 1997
When Logan entered her room she found Scully sitting on the end of her bed. It was the same spot she had sat down at once the blonde had left. She hadn’t moved. They looked at each other and spoke at the same time.
“I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry.”
They shared a look and rueful smiles. Both started to speak again, but Logan beat Scully by half a beat this time so the redhead held her tongue and let her partner go first.
“Look, Scully… Dana, I didn’t have the right to jump all over you like that. You didn’t deserve it and I don’t have an excuse. I’m sorry.”
“You were right. Erin Collins was hurting and I did see.” She paused. “And I’m ashamed to say that while I recognized that fact intellectually, it didn’t register for me emotionally. I’ve always prided myself on my professionalism at work. I know others have perceived me as cold and unfeeling, but that wasn’t the case. However, I have become even more distant in the last few weeks… not just from others, but from myself as well,” she finished softly. Scully stared at her hands in her lap. “I didn’t realize I’d cut myself off my own feelings until today,” she added.
Logan knelt down and put her hand over the ones in Scully’s lap. “Don’t be so hard on yourself, Dana. My god, you’ve had so much to deal with, it’s no wonder. It’s been a matter of emotional survival. And I don’t believe you cut yourself off from your feelings. You’ve just kept them under a tight rein – tighter than usual. And despite my outburst earlier I do not mistake your professionalism for insensitivity.” She squeezed the hand under her own. “You’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever met. I can see that you’re used to handling things by yourself, being very self-reliant. Believe me, I understand that. But I want you to know if you ever want to talk, or even if you don’t want to talk, I’m here. I’m your partner, Dana, and if you let me, I can be your friend.”
The blonde removed her hand, sensing the redhead had all the intimacy she could handle at the moment. She moved to sit in one of the chairs, still looking at her partner. Surprisingly, her partner’s eyes followed her.
“You and I are more alike than you may realize. I know you were embarrassed about getting sick in front of me, about appearing weak, out of control, unprofessional.”
Scully felt her cheeks blush as Logan zeroed in with unerring accuracy.
“I feel the same way about my mistake in Chattanooga and my outburst earlier. Like you, I’m used to being very self-reliant. Also, like you, I’ve learned that things, people, and situations are not always what they seem. We’ve both seen things that cannot be easily explained or dismissed.”
Scully took a few breaths, calming her mind and heart rate, never breaking their eye contact. Finally one corner of her mouth curled slightly. “So you are a believer.”
“If knowing there are things out there that I can’t explain scientifically makes me a believer, then yes. Even some things that can be explained by science are no less mystical for man’s limited understanding of them.”
An auburn eyebrow arched in question.
Logan smiled softly. “Childbirth. I dare anyone who’s witnessed a birth first hand, even a doctor, to say otherwise.”
It wasn’t an answer Scully was expecting, but she found herself smiling in complete and total agreement. She suddenly realized that Nicole had successfully eased the tension in the room and lifted the heaviness in her own heart and soul in only a few minutes.
Logan could see Scully’s expression change as she regarded the blonde a few moments.
“How do you do it?” Dana finally asked.
It was Logan’s turn to raise her eyebrow in question.
“Make people feel better.”
The blonde took a breath and let it out. “I can’t make anyone do anything. They have to want to; they have to make a choice. Free will.”
“Erin Collins didn’t feel better today simply because she decided to. You helped her. I could see the change come over her… and you. It was as if you took on her burden.”
Logan curled one side of her mouth slightly. “Now who’s the believer?” she said gently.
They just looked at each other and shared a small smile. There is definitely more to you than meets the eye, Nicole Logan.
Logan looked at her watch and stood. “I’m going to take a shower and get ready for dinner.”
Scully also stood. “Yeah, I need to do the same.”
Scully was a bit surprised by Logan’s outfit for the night. The blonde was wearing a pair of form fitting black jeans, leather boots and a crisp, green oxford shirt that really made her green eyes stand out. For her part, Logan didn’t miss how nice Scully looked in her jeans and silk shirt and vest (to hide the weapon at the small of her back). She decided she liked the redhead in casual clothes. The casual look definitely did something for her. Not that Scully didn’t look good in her work clothes, too.
“Here you go,” Logan said as she handed Scully a cup of hot tea. “This’ll help keep your stomach settled this evening.”
Scully’s brow creased. “My stomach’s fine.”
The blonde spoke as she poured her own cup. “Just a precaution. I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I’ve been clubbing. I certainly have no intention of allowing myself to succumb to the effects of too much alcohol. However, since I rarely have more than a glass or two of wine and since most drinks at the clubs around here have far more alcohol than one would need to dissolve the barnacles off a boat, I choose to be a little prudent,” she finished as she took her own seat and started to sip her tea.
Friday, June 20th, 1997
They met Agent Reyes for dinner. The brunette was dressed in leather pants, boots, and form-fitting top. The women had an enjoyable meal and discussed strategy a little. They were going to just get a feel for the clubs that night. After they had a chance to run the list Thea had provided and talked to the other assault victim, they would consider where to go from there.
The first club they went to was Masquerades. They had to wait in a short line to show their ID and get their hands stamped by a bouncer to get in. Once inside they staked claim to a table and ordered drinks. It wasn’t very long before a woman came over and asked Monica to dance. She accepted. Scully excused herself to go the bathroom before the brunette returned.
When the redhead returned she found their table empty. She looked around and spotted her partner on the dance floor with Reyes. She hated to admit they looked good and moved well together. The next song was a slow one. Scully really tried not to stare as the brunette took her partner in her arms and held her close.
What the hell am I irritated about? I hardly know the woman. I don’t even know if Logan’s attracted to other women. And even if she is it’s none of my business.
Scully downed the remainder of her drink as she watched the two women suddenly share a laugh and huge smiles. Just great, I’m the useless third wheel on a date, she thought.
After the slow dance Reyes returned to the table but Logan didn’t. The brunette sat down and waved a waitress over. She ordered a club soda while Dana ordered another drink.
“You might want to take it easy on those – they’ve got a pretty high alcohol content,” Monica warned.
“Where did Logan go?”
“She said she wanted to make a circuit around the room. Get a look at everyone here before we head to the Ginger Club.”
“She wants to leave already? We’ve been here less than an hour.”
“Nicole said she didn’t think this was the place.”
Scully arched an incredulous eyebrow. “And just like that you’re willing to move on?”
Monica looked at the redhead a moment before responding. “How long have you known Nicole?”
Scully was a little taken aback by the unexpected question but answered anyway. “Only about three weeks. My previous partner…” she swallowed and forced the words out, “… my partner… died. Nicole was assigned in his place.”
“I’m sorry,” Monica said with feeling and sincerity. “I was working a case with the Metairie police when Nicole was called in to help on the case. It was a serial killer who severely mutilated his victims. We cornered him a couple of times, but he managed to slip through our grasp. He disappeared into the bayous. We hired every local tracker we could – I’m talking the good ole boys that live on the bayous, who can look at still water and tell you how many gators are resting under it.”
Scully nodded. She knew exactly the kind people Reyes was talking about.
“Every single one of them lost the trail. No one could track this guy. We lost two of our search party to the wildlife before we gave up the search. When we got back and everyone was getting their gear put away in their trucks Nicole came over to me and asked me for a radio. I asked her what for. She said she was going to go back into the bayou – said she was going to follow her instincts. I expected her to take one of the air boats.” Reyes shook her head. “She simply walked into the bayou and disappeared.
“Three days later she called in on the radio saying she was coming in with the suspect, and to be ready for them in two hours. Two hours later she marches him into the police department – both of them caked from head to toe with mud. She stopped long enough to shower and change clothes in the locker room then sat him down in the interrogation room. You see, we knew it was him, but we had nothing to forensically tie him to the crimes. He had already been interviewed three times, but we had to release him due to lack of evidence. But before Nicole was done with him, he was practically in tears begging her to forgive him after confessing to everything.”
Reyes shook her head as she viewed the memory in her mind’s eye. “It was the damnedest thing – the son of a bitch actually thanked her afterwards.” Her sight returned to Scully. “I’ve seen and heard things that I can’t explain. Science, mumbo-jumbo, whatever – I’ll take Nicole’s instinct over a lot of people’s facts. There’s more to her than meets the eye.”
Logan returned to the table. “More to who than meets the eye?” she asked as she sat down.
Scully smirked. “You… She-Ra – queen of the jungle, or bayou rather,” she quipped with a chuckle.
Nicole rolled her eyes until they landed on the brunette. “For god’s sake, Monica! Are you still telling that stupid story?”
“I don’t know, Nicole. Sounds pretty impressive to me. I mean walking into the bayou all by yourself and single-handedly capturing a serial killer when no one else could even track him. Impressive indeed. Impressive and mysterious,” Scully finished in a teasing tone.
“Oh, hell. Nothing mysterious about it. Just like I told you at the time,” she said with a pointed look at Reyes.
“How did you know where to look for him?”
“Have you ever had the feeling that someone was watching you?” she asked Scully, deliberately staring at her.
“There you go. Simple as that. No mystery.” Logan moved as if to shake loose an uncomfortable feeling. “I hated that case. I had mud in places I didn’t know I had places. Took me a week to feel clean again.”
“You ready to move on to the Ginger Club?” Monica asked.
Nothing caught their attention at the Ginger Club either, so the agents moved on to Dreams. Dreams was a mixed club for men and women. It was the largest gay bar in the area, but also had a lot of straight customers.
As soon as they entered Logan felt her nerve endings begin to prickle. Her eyes started scanning the crowd immediately. Even if their serial killer wasn’t there, Dreams had more than enough undesirables for someone like her to deal with. Before they even got to a table the blonde spotted one such ‘undesirable’ headed out with her intended victim of the night.
“Go ahead and order me an amaretto sour. I’ll catch up to you in a few,” she told Scully. She was gone before the redhead had a chance to turn around and ask what was up.
Outside, Logan followed the couple until they entered a dark alley. A young, unsuspecting girl let out a shriek as her would-be paramour revealed her true face. Logan tapped the vampire on the shoulder. When the vampire turned to see who was interrupting her, the blonde punched her right in the nose, causing her to stagger back.
“Get out of here, kid!” she ordered the girl. The girl did as told and ran off.
The vampire roared at Logan and exploded in an attack. When she successfully parried the attack and landed a blow of her own the vampire pulled back and glared at her. “Virtue! I’ll send you back from whence you came!” she growled.
They fought for a couple of minutes, but Logan ended it with a makeshift stake. She took a deep breath and slowly let it out. After running her hands over her shirt and hair to smooth everything down she returned to the club and made her way to the table where her companions for the night were waiting for her.
“Everything alright, Logan?” Scully asked.
“Yeah. I just thought I saw someone I knew.” She looked around. “This place is busy.”
“I told you, everyone ends up here,” Reyes said with a smile.
Logan was quieter than she had been at the two previous clubs. Scully noticed, but she also noticed the predatory look in her partner’s eyes. Something was definitely going on with the blonde, but she didn’t know what. She was about to ask what was up when she saw something pass behind Nicole’s eyes. Dana swore she could see every muscle and nerve in her partner tense, ready to burst into action, yet Logan hadn’t so much as moved a millimeter.
Her own senses now on alert, Scully carefully scanned the crowd. She startled slightly when her partner spoke quietly in her ear.
“I’m going to make a circuit through the crowd. Try to get a look at faces.”
Logan was gone before Scully could turn her head. How the hell does she do that?!
Reyes sat down and handed Scully her drink. “You alright? You seem kind of tense.”
She let out a deep breath. “Yeah.” She shook her head. “Logan seemed kind of uptight – I guess it rubbed off on me.”
“Where is she?”
“She said she was going to make a circuit, try to get a look at faces.”
Alley Behind Dreams
Regardless of whether their suspect was at the club that night or not, Logan was having a rather successful night. She was actually enjoying the action. It was the kind of work she was used to. She was fighting with another vampire in the alley behind the club.
When it was over the vampire was dust, and she had a few aches and pains. But it was a good kind of hurt… the kind of hurt that came with a successful hunt. She made her way to the ladies room when she returned inside the club. She washed her scraped knuckles and inspected herself in the mirror. Fortunately her shirt was only wrinkled and not torn. She’d have to be careful to not let her partner know about her cracked ribs until she had a chance to heal.
Logan exited the bathroom and resumed her circuit of the club. She came up on another vampire who was trying to pick up a very young looking girl. She decided to take a different approach this time. She slipped her arm around the vampire, quickly turning her around and then kissed her, surprising the hell out of the vampire.
“Sweetheart! Here you are. I wondered where you got off to. Come on, you promised me this dance.”
Before the shocked vampire could react, the blonde dragged her onto the dance floor. It was a slow dance so they could easily talk while dancing. The vampire quickly regained her equilibrium.
“Look, darling, not that I mind getting swept off my feet, but don’t you think introductions are in order?” she said with a seductive smile.
The blonde revealed herself in her eyes. “Yes, I do. I’m the one that’s going to dust your ass if I don’t like the answers I get to my questions.”
“Virtue!” the vampire hissed and tried to pull away.
Logan held on with a grip of steel. “Keep that up and I’ll dust you right here and now!” she hissed back.
The vampire stopped struggling but didn’t relax. “I wasn’t going to kill her,” she ground out quietly. “I just need to feed a little.”
“Then try going to the butcher shop for some pig’s blood.”
The vampire made a noise of disgust.
“You’ll live longer,” she said pointedly. “Because if I find out you’ve been feeding on humans, I’ll dust you. And don’t think I won’t – I’ve already taken care of two of your kind tonight and I just got here. This is your one and only second chance.”
The vampire snapped her eyes to the blonde’s and saw the truth of what she was saying in them. She nodded in defeat.
“What’s your name?”
“Well, Val, I’m looking for a serial rapist/murderer. Killed three women who’ve been customers here. Probably raped more than that. Could be male or female, human or vampire.”
“No, but there’s no forensics. The bodies get dumped with no clues left behind – no hairs, no fibers. That’s easier for a vampire to do than a human.”
“There’s something else, isn’t there?” Val said, becoming interested despite herself.
Logan nodded. “Whoever it is, is multilingual – Hebrew, Latin, Aramaic, and Greek.”
Val’s eyebrow lifted. “Again, more likely to be a vampire.”
“I have a list of human suspects to investigate. I want your help in obtaining vampire suspects to check out – discreetly.”
“What’s in it for me?”
“I already told you – this is your one and only second chance. Live by the rules… and live. You know the alternative. It’s your choice. But you’re the one who has to choose.”
“How do I know you’ll live up to your end of the bargain?”
“I’m a Virtue.”
Val looked at her in silence a few moments. Finally she swallowed and nodded. “Alright.”
They finished their dance. Logan gave Val her card afterwards so she’d know how to contact her.
“Remember our deal, Val,” she said. “Any feeding off of a human and you’re dust… and I will know – you won’t be able to hide it from me. Your usefulness to me will not override my promise to dust you.”
“I hear you.”
By the time the blonde made it back to their table both Reyes and Scully were beginning to wonder where she was. She made it just in time for the drag show. After the show they decided to call it night and made arrangements to meet up the next day.
Red Roof Inn
Saturday, June 21st, 1997
Scully was surprised to find Logan up, dressed, and busily tapping away at her computer when she awoke the next morning. Still in her pajamas, she stuck her head in the blonde’s room through the open, adjoining door.
“Morning,” Logan chirped much too cheerily for so early after their late night.
Scully yawned while mentally strangling her partner for being so cheery so early. “How long have you been up?”
“A couple of hours. I’ve been researching the list of names we got from Thea and working on the profiles.”
Scully shook her head in disbelief. She yawned again. “I’ll be ready shortly. I need a shower to wake up before I get dressed,” she said as she turned back into her own room.
Less than half an hour later Scully was fully transformed into her FBI-self, even if she was still a bit tired. As Logan had said the night before – it had been a long time since she’d been clubbing. When she entered her partner’s room Nicole was ready to go. The blonde handed her a manila envelope.
“Here, I’ll drive so you can take a look at these on the way.”
Logan then handed her a steaming travel cup of tea as they headed out to the car. Scully took a sip of the tea without thinking and then paused. She smiled to herself. If Mulder had tried to replace her coffee – especially her morning coffee – with tea, she probably would have shot him… again. But somehow, coming from the blonde, it came across as gentle caring. And she was surprised how much she liked the tea. It tasted good and always made her stomach feel better – just as Logan had promised. It had even kept her stomach settled despite the amount of alcohol she drank the night before.
As Logan pulled out of the parking lot Scully set those thoughts aside and reviewed the printouts of her partner’s early morning labors. She was impressed with the blonde’s work. Her profiles were very well written and extremely insightful.
New Orleans Police Department
Scully and Logan met up with Reyes and Lt. Scipio at the lab. They went over all the information they had so far and the profiles.
Scipio pinned Logan with an even gaze. “So if I understand correctly, our guy has a thing for intelligent, professional women in relationships who are of medium height, athletic build, and blonde.”
As Lt. Scipio made the obvious summary, Scully felt her insides drop – he was describing her partner to a tee. Why the hell didn’t I realize that before? It’s so damn obvious.
“Am I right in assuming you want to use a decoy?” Scipio asked as he continued.
“It’s better than using a civilian as bait,” Logan replied with a nod.
“Agreed. The mayor’s office is getting pressure and wants this case solved as quickly as possible.”
“That’s something we all want, Lieutenant,” Scully stated.
He nodded. “I’ve been authorized to pull in assistance as needed and grant as much overtime as necessary. Go ahead and interview Linda Ellis. I’ll get you some help and have them here by the time you return,” Scipio said.
The interview with Linda Ellis didn’t provide them with much information. She had probably been assaulted by their suspect, but she could not give them any identifying information. She had been drugged, possibly GHB or Rohypnol or something similar, and didn’t remember much. She had been at Dreams, then woke up alone, dumped at an isolated corner of a park. After making her way home she discovered she’d been sexually assaulted. From there she did everything ‘right’. She called the police and reported the assault, but due to the lack of forensics her case was never solved and no one was ever arrested. The drug used on her was never identified, because of the amount of time that had passed before her blood and urine was tested. She didn’t even know if it was a man or a woman who had assaulted her – there was no semen.
So, the agents returned to the police station and met with Scipio, letting him know how the interview went. While they were with Lt. Scipio his phone rang. It was the front desk letting him know the help he requested had arrived.
“Send them back,” he said and hung up. “Let’s go to the conference room. Your help has arrived.”
Someone led the new arrivals to the conference room. A tall redhead about 5’10” walked in, followed by two 6′ blonde men. She walked up to Lt. Scipio.
“Sgt. Marie Laffite, it’s good to see you,” Scipio said with a smile.
“Lt. Scipio. It’s been a while.” She returned his smile as they shook hands.
Introductions were made all around. Logan and Scully then brought everyone up to date on the case.
“Now I know why our lieutenant sent us,” Sgt. Laffite said. “We’ve been investigating a string of assaults out of Dreams. And from the sounds of things they dovetail right into your profile.”
“Why didn’t it come up when we ran a check?” Reyes asked.
“Our investigation is being kept secret.”
“I think it would be more productive if our respective investigations and resources were pooled into one,” Scipio observed.
Laffite nodded. “I agree.”
The rest of the day was spent brainstorming and planning between the two teams. A plan was decided on. Logan was going to be the bait. Scully, Sgt. Laffite, Det. Alison Moore, Det. Larry North, and Det. Ben Corbin would provide backup. Reyes would provide cover as Logan’s girlfriend since they had already been seen together at the club. Logan would also have to be seen alone, of course, to leave open opportunities for the killer to make a move.
The department had two condos that they’d confiscated from a big time drug ring they’d busted. They were in a building in the warehouse district and they were next door to each other, sharing a wall. Logan would be using one while the team used the other. The one the blonde would be using was wired. The sound and video feeds from the condo were, of course, sent to monitors in the second condo where Scully and the four NOPD officers were going to be staying.
The group broke up so the police could get the condos ready. Since it was Saturday, Logan and Reyes were going to the bar again that night, everyone was going to have some time to get a little rest.
Red Roof Inn
Back at the hotel both Scully and Logan changed out of their work clothes. The blonde packed a small bag with a couple of changes of clothes. She put on her jeans and a t-shirt, but then changed her mind and decided she’d go for a run. She was in her bathroom changing clothes a second time when there was a knock on her room door. Scully heard it as she came through the adjoining doorway and answered it. She saw a woman she didn’t recognize through the peephole. She opened the door.
“May I help you?”
“Is Nicole here?”
“And you are?”
“Val. Nicole and I met at the club last night. May I come in?”
Scully moved out of the way to allow Val to enter.
Logan stepped out of the bathroom. “No. You are not invited in,” she stated firmly.
Scully looked at Logan. She was surprised at both her partner’s icy tone of voice and at her hard expression.
“Aw, don’t be like that.”
“What do you want, Val?”
“Just to talk.”
Logan walked up to the open doorway.
“Then you should have called. That’s why I gave you my number. You have a lot of nerve coming here.”
“I just thought–”
“Wait downstairs,” Logan said, cutting her off coldly.
Val, finally realizing she had indeed crossed the line, suddenly turned from femme fatale to contrite. Logan closed the door in her face before she even had a chance to respond.
“What was that about? And who is she?” Scully asked.
“I met her at the club last night. She’s a possible informant,” Logan responded as she clipped her phone to her waistband. “I don’t expect she’ll ever come by here again, but if she does do not invite her in – no matter what she might say. I’m going for a run.”
“But it’s already dark out. Don’t you think you should get some rest?”
“I’ll be fine; running relaxes me. Call me if anything comes up. I promise I’ll be back in time for us to head over to the condos,” she finished on her way out the door, leaving a confused partner behind.
Alley Behind Red Roof Inn
Saturday, June 21st, 1997
Val stood when Logan entered the lobby.
“Outside,” was the blonde’s only response.
Val followed her outside and then behind the hotel to the empty alley. Before she could react Val found herself facing the wrath of an angry Virtue. Logan’s eyes flashed and her wings spread. She clamped her hand around Val’s neck and lifted her up several inches.
“Exactly what part of our conversation last night gave you the impression that your presence here would be welcome?” she growled in anger.
Val realized she was on the verge of being dusted if she said the wrong thing or made a wrong move. “I’m sorry. You’re right – I shouldn’t have come here,” she barely managed to get out around the hand constricting around her throat.
The blonde lowered Val to her feet but didn’t release her grip on her throat. She also retracted her wings. “Now tell me why you’re here.”
“I did some checking.” She told the blonde what she found out about the local vampire community. “I really don’t think a vampire is your killer in this case,” she finished up.
Logan mulled over what Val had told her a few moments, knowing she hadn’t lied – she would have known if Val had. Finally she released her grip from around the vampire’s throat and nodded. “You’re probably right. I am, however, still going to solve this case, so I will be around the bar for a while. You will not tell anyone who I am, nor will you compromise the identities of my partner or other officers working with us. If any of our covers are blown, pray I never pick up your scent again. Do I make myself clear?”
“Very well. If you break our agreement – any part of it – I will find you.”
Val gave a shaky nod.
“Go on. Get out of here.”
Val beat a hasty retreat.
Logan enjoyed her run.
760 Magazine St. #417
Upon her return to the hotel, the blonde took a shower and changed into her casual clothes. When it was time, she and Scully headed over to the condo on Magazine Street. Sgt. Marie Laffite let them in and showed them around the ‘bait’ condo before entering the surveillance condo.
Sgt. Laffite started wiring Logan. “Sound and video will be transmitted to this laptop. We’ll keep one person on this at all times once you hit the club tonight. We’ll all take shifts. When you’re in the condo there will always be someone here. The condo is completely wired, sound and video, except for the bathroom.”
“Good to know,” Logan said with a smile.
Laffite returned her smile. “Sound will be of limited use in the club because of the noise level, but will still work close up.”
“I figured as much.”
“We’ll also have at least one, if not two, of us in the club as well. My team and I have been in the club so much we’re already known regulars.” When Laffite was done attaching the mic and camera she did a quick test. “Okay, you’re all set.”
“I’ll call to let you know when Monica and I head to the club.”
Laffite nodded and headed to one of the bedrooms.
Scully looked at her partner. “You okay with this?” she asked with concern.
Logan gave her a gentle smile. “I was made for this, Scully. Undercover is my thing. I just wish all my UC assignments were this cushy. A nice condo and a whole team of backup. I don’t even have to be anybody but myself – Dr. Nicole Logan, PhD. And I don’t have to pretend to like someone I detest. This is a cakewalk compared to what I usually have to deal with.” She paused and noted the genuine concern in her partner’s blue eyes. “Still, I’m glad to know you’ve got my back, partner.”
Scully responded with a small smile.
“Did you talk to Skinner?”
“Yes. I brought him up to date with our plans. He said to run with it, especially since the locals are being so cooperative.”
Logan nodded. “Alright. Well, I better go. I need to meet Monica.”
“Be careful, Logan.”
After dinner Monica and Nicole met up with Det. Corbin and Det. Moore in the parking lot of Dreams. They ran a check on the audio and video signals from the blonde’s bugs.
“Sgt. Laffite and Agent Scully are already inside,” Moore informed them.
“Where’s Det. North?” Monica asked.
Corbin smiled. “Wife duty.”
“It’s his anniversary. He’s home with his wife while the kids are with the grandparents,” he explained.
They all smiled with understanding.
Inside the bar Monica and Nicole found a table and waited for a waitress to bring them drinks. They spotted Laffite and Scully, but didn’t acknowledge them. They went about their evening as any couple would – drinking, talking, dancing… generally having a nice time.
During a slow dance Monica pulled back far enough to look into the blonde’s eyes a moment before pressing her lips against Nicole’s. Logan accepted and returned the gentle kiss. It had been so long since she’d allowed herself any intimate pleasure and Monica was a good kisser. They embraced closely again when the kiss broke.
“I wanted to do that four years ago,” Monica whispered softly in Nicole’s ear so she wasn’t overheard.
Nicole smiled gently. “I’d have let you,” she replied just as quietly, admitting to the brunette, and herself, that there had been some… spark between them four years earlier.
“We’re… not going to be able to do anything more than kiss… are we?”
Nicole tightened her arms around the brunette. “We’re working a case,” she replied in answer. “And when the case is over I’ll leave.”
“Just as I thought,” the brunette replied, disappointed but understanding.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy playing our roles.” Nicole pulled back and kissed Monica.
Watching the couple on the dance floor from a table not far away, Laffite turned to Scully. “I’d say they’re rather convincing as a couple,” she said with an amused smirk.
An eyebrow merely arched in response.
760 Magazine St. #417
Sunday, June 22nd, 1997
After a late night at the bar, Logan had little trouble falling asleep. However, loud knocking on the door to the condo woke her up just as the sun was rising. She tried to stifle a yawn as she opened the door, finding her partner wide awake and dressed.
For some reason she couldn’t quite fathom, Scully found herself strangely satisfied to see Logan rumpled and sleepy when the blonde answered the door. “We’ve got another body.”
Logan dropped her head and took a deep breath. “Okay. Just give me two minutes,” she said turning and heading for the bedroom.
Scully followed her partner into the condo. She was surprised when the blonde emerged from the bedroom in less than two minutes – looking refreshed and as if she’d gotten a full eight hours sleep.
Scully and Logan approached Sgt. Laffite.
“What do we have?” Scully asked.
“A couple of early morning joggers found her. They called it in. A patrol car was close and responded. The officers said they only got close enough to determine she was dead. They called it in and closed off the area. No one’s touched the body, it’s all yours.”
Both agents slipped on latex gloves and stepped under the yellow tape that cordoned off the area. Just then Reyes arrived at the scene.
“Sorry it took me a while to get here, but we’ve received another note.” The brunette held up an evidence bag.
Scully took the baggie from Reyes and looked at it. She turned to hand it to her partner, but found that Logan was kneeling next to the body. The expression on Logan’s face made her keep from calling out to the blonde.
Behind her sunglasses, Logan closed her eyes. The smell of death was of course present. She whispered under her breath – an apology to the soul that had known the pain she’d been unable to prevent. An answer whispered through her awareness and she gave an almost imperceptible nod.
“Now I hunt,” she breathed and opened her eyes.
When Logan looked up, Scully approached her. She handed the note to her partner.
“It’s Greek.” Logan read it out loud and then translated it before handing it back. She tenderly placed her hand on the victim’s arm, closed her eyes, and took a breath as she took in the trace of evil left behind. She didn’t realize she let out a quiet gasp. She felt Scully’s hand firmly grab her upper arm.
“Are you alright, Logan?”
The blonde swallowed and gave a small nod. She took a slow breath and let it out. Scully let go of her. There was a different kind of stink invading Logan’s senses now.
Scully returned her attention to the body. “There doesn’t appear to be anything under her nails, but I’ll scrape them anyway. Her left forearm is broken.”
“He’s washed her. I’m sure she’s been raped like the others but there won’t be any semen.”
“Just like the others,” the redhead sighed.
“He’s getting more violent. He’s escalating. Rape was just an appetizer. Now he’s starting to have to some real fun.” The blonde gazed into the dead woman’s face. “He took his time with her, toyed with her. I’ll bet we’ll find a missing person’s report on this one. That’s why there’s been a break between the other murders and this one. He kept her for a little while. You’ll find more injuries with her than the others.”
Agreeing with her partner’s assessment, Scully nodded. “I’ll do the autopsy as soon as I get her to the morgue.”
Logan suddenly stood and started slowly moving away from the body. From behind sunglasses, the blonde focused all of her attention, taking in the surrounding area, noting the total lack of debris in the area. It was as if the grass had been swept clean of any and everything. Not even a leaf was in the five foot area surrounding the body.
“Logan, where are–”
Reyes cut Scully off with a hand on her arm. The brunette shook her head.
She looked at the other agent questioningly.
“I’ve seen her like this before,” Monica said softly. “She… notices things.”
Logan continued on her path until she got to the perimeter. She ducked under the tape and very slowly continued on her way.
Scully caught up with her. “Where are you going?”
“I don’t know yet.”
The redhead shook her head as she watched her partner walk away. Dammit, that’s just like something Mulder would say.
The practically imperceptible prints in the grass gave way to the blacktop of the parking lot. However, she could still sense the trail the presence of evil had left. It was faint, and fading. She tracked it… behind a building and to a shed. She pulled her weapon. She was well away from the others – two blocks. The scent lingered a bit here. Logan carefully approached the shed at an oblique angle, keeping out of direct line of the door and small side window.
Once she was able to discern nobody was in or around the shed she looked around. Why did he pause or stop here? she asked herself. She spotted a large trash bin nearby and headed for it. She was looking into it when she suddenly swung around and pointed her gun at the person who’d come up behind her without warning.
Sgt. Marie Laffite was suddenly staring at the business end of Glock only inches from her nose. She’d never seen anyone move that fast. In fact, she hadn’t actually seen Logan move at all. One moment the blonde was looking into a large trash bin, the next moment Logan had a gun pointing at her.
Logan pulled back and holstered her weapon. “That’s a good way to get yourself killed, Sergeant.”
Laffite managed to swallow and find her voice. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
The blonde arched an eyebrow. “Did I appear scared?” she intoned lowly.
Laffite realized she still had her hands up and lowered them as she blushed. “No.”
“Was there something you wanted?”
“I saw you walking away from the scene. I wondered why,” she said with a shrug.
Logan let out a deep breath. “He was here.”
“He was? How do you know? Did you find something?”
“Just a hunch. But there’s something in here, something left over after having been burned,” she indicated the dumpster.
“It could be from anything. Anyone could have left it.”
The blonde nodded. “True. But the odor tells me it was burned recently – certainly within the time frame of the body being dumped.”
The sergeant moved closer and peered into the trash bin. The smells seemed overpowering to her and she didn’t see how Logan could pick out the smell of the charred remains of whatever it was from anything else. “How the hell can you tell?” she said wrinkling her nose.
The agent took out her phone and called Reyes. She told her where she was and asked to have a forensic tech join her. Monica arrived with the tech.
“I wondered where you got off to. What have you got, Nicole?”
“A hunch. Something was burned and disposed of. And from the odor I’d say it was within the timeframe that our body was dumped.”
The forensic tech carefully retrieved the charred remains. “I’ll get these to the lab and see what we can find out.”
“Anything come back on her fingerprints, Agent Reyes?” Laffite asked.
“No hits. Sorry.”
“You’ll find out who she is by going through missing persons reports, Sergeant. Check the ones that went missing Friday,” Logan stated.
Sgt. Laffite gave the blonde a surprised look. “That’s not his MO.”
“It is now,” she replied and walked away.
Laffite stared after her a few moments as the tech packed his evidence up. “How the hell…” She turned to Reyes. “Do you really think that charred whatever it is, has anything to do with the case?”
Monica looked at the back of Nicole until the blonde turned out of sight around the building. “I wouldn’t bet against it.”
Monica had caught up with Nicole and they drove together to the morgue. Scully had already started the autopsy by the time they arrived.
She looked up at the two as they entered. “I’ve only just started, but so far I haven’t found anything surprising.”
Reyes, not particularly comfortable in an autopsy room, lingered near the doorway. “There wasn’t anything at the dump site either. There was nothing out of place, no debris of any kind, nothing left by the suspect, and nothing left by anyone else. That in itself is a clue – he cleaned the area around the body, giving it a place of cleanliness to rest. So he was as fastidious about his dump site as he was about the body.”
The brunette’s astute observation surprised Scully. She mentally shook her head at herself; she shouldn’t have been surprised that Agent Reyes was on the ball. She reminded herself that despite being a leggy brunette, Reyes wasn’t anything like the kind of women Mulder was perpetually drawn to. Dana paused on that mental note.
Is that it? Is that why I’ve felt annoyed? Mulder always screwed around with some leggy bimbo and Logan reminds me of Mulder, so I jump to the conclusion she would do the same thing – start screwing around while working a case? But Logan and Reyes are role-playing… I don’t know if there’s anything between them or not. And even if there is, it’s none of my business. She glanced at the brunette again before returning her eyes to her work. Well, if there is anything between them, at least Logan has much better taste in women, she thought to herself with a mental smile.
“He’s going to be looking for another victim,” said Monica.
“I know. I’d really like to make sure he doesn’t kill another innocent woman,” Nicole practically growled.
“There’s a dance contest at the club tonight. Participating in it might increase our visibility,” Monica observed.
The blonde nodded. “Sounds good. Anything that’ll make me his next target instead anyone else.” She turned and left the autopsy room, brushing past Monica.
Scully had felt a chill pass through her when her partner had talked about making herself the killer’s next target.
“I’ll, uh… I’m going to go see how the police are coming with that list of names you guys provided.” The brunette left.
New Orleans Police Department
By the time Scully arrived back at the police station, the latest victim had been identified – Melody Spearman. Just as Logan had predicted, there had been a missing report filed on the woman. She walked up to the desk Reyes was sitting at, dropping her autopsy report on the desk as she sat in the chair next to it.
“Nothing unusual or unexpected in the autopsy. She was raped, but there was no semen. Tox screen was clear and there was nothing forensically to tie anyone to the body.” She looked around. “Where’s Logan?”
“The victim’s name was Melody Spearman. Nicole went to speak with her lover.”
“So anything good come up with the list of names?”
Reyes sat back with a sigh. “No. They all have solid alibis for at least two of the killings. So unless each murder was committed by a different person…”
Scully glanced at the doorway just in time to see her partner enter. She frowned because she didn’t like the look in the blonde’s eyes. Scully got up and met Logan halfway, pulling her aside so they could talk.
“Hey, are you okay, Logan?”
Logan stiffened. “I’m fine.”
Suddenly Scully hated those two particular words.
The blonde brushed past her partner and spoke quietly with Agent Reyes before leaving the bullpen and heading to the break room.
Scully just stood in the same spot for a few moments frowning, trying to figure out what was going on with her partner. Well, she wasn’t going to figure it out just standing there, so she headed down the corridor after the blonde.
When the redhead entered the break room, Logan turned and immediately handed Scully a cup of hot tea. Scully gave her a grateful look and took a sip, giving the blonde an amused smirk when she tasted the familiar tea rather than the coffee she would have gotten for herself.
Logan smiled. “It’s better for you – especially on an empty stomach.” Just then Scully’s stomach growled and the blonde’s smile widened to a grin. “Come on, I’ll buy you lunch.”
Scully was again surprised, and pleased, at her appetite. She took a bite of her oversized sandwich. “Mmmm…”
Logan smiled at her partner’s enjoyment of their meal. “So what was the cause of death?” she asked before taking a bite of her own sandwich.
After the redhead washed down her mouthful of food with some ice water she wiped her mouth. “Strangulation. But she would have died from internal bleeding if he hadn’t strangled her. You were right – he was quite brutal. She had several cracked and broken bones. Both her spleen and liver were lacerated and one of her kidneys was damaged.” Scully shook her head.
“He did a lot of damage to her, but without leaving much evidence of it externally.”
“It fits. He’s fastidious. He doesn’t like things messy. That’s why he drugged his rape victims, so they wouldn’t fight back, so things wouldn’t get out of hand and messy. But then simply raping them wasn’t enough, so he started killing them. Now raping and simply killing them isn’t enough. Now he’s starting to get creative.”
“He sodomized Melody as well. He didn’t do that to the others. I took cultures, but I doubt we’ll find anything. Her hands and nails were pristine.”
New Orleans Police Department
Logan and Scully were just returning to police headquarters when the blonde’s phone rang. It was Reyes. “We’re just getting back from lunch. We’ll be right there.” She hung up. “That was Monica. She said she has something for us in the lab.”
The two agents headed to the police lab where Reyes and a tech were waiting.
“So, what do you have?” Nicole asked.
“That charred material you found – we’ve identified it. It’s tyvek,” Monica said with a smile.
“Isn’t that the cloth-like paper envelopes the post office and FedEx use?” Nicole asked.
“Yes. But this stuff is actually New Tyvek,” the tech added.
“Clean suits,” Scully said.
Logan looked at her, her expression clearly asking her to continue.
“New Tyvek is used to make clean suits – shirts, pants, booties, overalls, lab coats, hoods, aprons, you name it. It’s used when one is looking for protection from dry particulates rather than bio-chemical or liquid contamination. It lightweight, durable, allows heat and moisture to escape and is disposable.”
“That’s why we don’t have any trace evidence!” Reyes exclaimed.
Logan nodded. “He washes the bodies and wears a clean suit when he dumps them.
“There can’t be too many places that use them,” Monica offered.
“Actually they’re fairly common in labs and in industrial environments. But there aren’t many sources for them,” Scully stated.
Logan let out a deep breath.
“What’s wrong?” Scully asked.
“It’s not exactly the missing the link. I mean it tells us how he manages to leave no trace evidence behind, but it’s not going to be how we catch him.”
“So, where did you find the charred tyvek?” Scully asked.
“Nicole found it. In a dumpster behind a building two blocks from the dump site.”
Scully arched an eyebrow. “Let me guess – it was a hunch.”
Logan just smiled.
“Well, you’re right – it’s not the way we’re going to catch him. It’s not even admissible as circumstantial evidence, but it does answer a question and we can use it as an investigative lead, a small piece of the overall puzzle.”
“I’ll get started on the sources and see who they sell to,” Reyes volunteered.
“No, I’ll do it. I believe you and Logan have some practicing to do,” Scully replied.
Monica and Nicole moved some of the brunette’s furniture aside, turned on some music, and began to practice for the dance contest that night. They danced for hours, working on different dances. They didn’t know exactly what the contest was going to include. They worked on everything from the mambo and the tango to the waltz to the ’50s swing and dirty dancing. They also worked on a fun and sexy freestyle. They had a good time, but were also serious and hard working. Both had worked up a sweat and had sore feet.
Nicole’s phone rang. She grabbed it and answered it out of breath. “Logan.”
“Logan, it’s me.”
“Hey, Scully,” she said panting.
“Are you alright, Logan?”
“No. Monica’s killing me. You need to come save me,” she panted in response.
Monica wasn’t going to let that go without a response. She grabbed Nicole’s phone. “Don’t believe a word she says. Nicole’s the one killing me,” she panted into the phone. “A free home cooked meal if you rescue me!” she managed before the blonde snatched the phone back. Although Scully did hear Reyes’ following lament, “God, my feet hurt!”
“What in the world are you doing over there?” Scully asked.
“Dying,” Nicole deadpanned.
“Well, do it after the case and off the clock. I hate all the paperwork I’d have to do otherwise,” Scully shot back. Her smirk could be heard over the phone.
“Ha ha.” The blonde took a deep breath. “So what can I do for you, Scully?”
“I’ve got the list of New Tyvek suppliers and their distributors.”
“Well, why don’t you bring it with you when you join us for dinner?”
“Oh, I don’t want to intrude.”
“Why would you think you’d be intruding?” Logan asked, surprise coloring her tone. “You’re my partner. Besides, Monica already invited you.” She gave Scully the address.
When Scully arrived at Reyes’ apartment she could hear the music coming from behind the door before she knocked. Her out of breath partner answered the door and gave her a big smile.
“Thank god! She’s going to kill me, Scully. Save me.”
“Wimp!” Monica’s voice called out from out of sight.
“Come on in.” Nicole moved to let Scully in. The blonde crossed the cleared space of the living room and turned off the CD player. She turned back to Scully. “Have a seat,” she said with a wave at the sofa.
“Dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes,” Reyes called from the kitchen.
“It smells wonderful,” the redhead replied.
The brunette came out of the kitchen. “I hope you’re hungry, I’ve made enough for a football team. Can I get you something to drink?”
Scully looked at the bottle of water in her partner’s hand. “Water would be fine.”
During dinner the three women had a nice time and Scully got a chance to get to know the brunette agent. Despite the traces of annoyance she’d originally felt towards Reyes, Scully found herself liking her. Reyes was highly intelligent and very easy going.
After dinner, Logan and Scully returned to the condos to get a little rest before going out that night. When Scully got up from her nap, she found Det. Larry North going over some paperwork and keeping an eye on the monitors. They greeted each other and she asked about her partner.
“I don’t know where your partner gets her energy. She’s been working out ever since you guys got in. She just now went into the bathroom to take her shower.”
After Logan was showered and dressed, Det. Corbin once again wired her for sound and video. Corbin had just finished up when Reyes arrived to pick Logan up.