Title: Perchance to Dream
Written: April 2002
Disclaimers: Chris Carter and the fine folks at 10-13 & Fox own the X-Files and all the characters. I'm just borrowing them for my own gratification-and I promise to send them back good as new. As always, this isn't for profit, just a way to keep my brain from inevitable atrophy.
Rating: NC-17 (language, sex, violence, gore, and crying babies) Buckets of Blood: Well campers, I never said it would be easy. Out of a total of 5 buckets, this story rates somewhere in the 4 1/2 to 5 buckets. You've been warned. Grrl on Grrl Action: Sex, yes please! There will be romance and sex between two consenting women(SRR to be exact), so if that doesn't float your boat, have fun in the kiddie pool and come back when your older and wiser.
Timeline: This is all taking place somewhere in the 9th season. There are mentions of previous episodes and characters from those episodes. Much Respect: As always the only reason I do this, is because somebody out there really gets a kick out of it. Much love to Politic X for starting me down this road, AK Naten, and all those other X-files heads that keep me going. Share the love: I suppose you could share your disdain as well, as long as it's constructive.

Summary: The death of nun with with a sordid past sends the agents on an X-file full of black magic and Zombies and helps Scully realize her feelings for Reyes

Sit back and enjoy the show.....

Ch. 1

"Federal Agent! Down on the ground now!" A slender finger rested on the trigger guard. Agent Dana Scully eyed the scruffy man standing a few feet from her brandishing a metal pipe. He had a feral glint in his eye, but the redhead gave as good as she got. Scully took a quick glance down at the prone figure on the floor and then back at the man. "Drop it now!" She inched towards the man and slid her finger around the trigger more than willing to squeeze. Blue eyes, nearly gray, bored into the shifty man with all the intensity of a gas flame. Scully cut her eyes once more towards the still figure on the ground and then back at the man who had literally backed himself into a corner. She spoke through clenched teeth. "Now!"

Watery blue eyes followed the sight of the gun and met the steely gaze of the redhead. He quickly dropped the pipe with a rattle.

The red head pounced on him a split second later. She had him on his stomach and handcuffed in a matter of moments. She holstered her gun and pulled out her phone. "This is Agent Dana Scully, I need an ambulance at the corner of 17th and D, Northeast[JpM1]." Scully moved quickly to the prone figure on the floor and dropped to her knees. The woman lay face down, hands at her side. Scully used two fingers to brush back dark brown hair and feel for a pulse on the woman's neck. She let out a breath she had no idea she had been holding when she felt a slow but steady pulse. "Reyes can you hear me? Monica it's me." Scully carefully examined Reyes for broken bones and found none. Scully shrugged out of her jacket and covered the woman as she turned her over slowly. She sucked in a breath of air as she saw the large and angry gash that ran across her forehead. Scully used the back of her hand to feel the woman's cheeks and then smoothed away strands of hair that were beginning to clump in the blood. "It's going to be just fine Monica, just fine."

Scully continued to hold tight to the woman and remained that way until the ambulance and Doggett arrived moments later. Agent John Doggett looked down at the women with as much relief as worry. He only watched Reyes with concern as the paramedics placed her on the gurney and rolled her out of the boiler room. He remained silent until two Agents removed the handcuffed man and only he and Scully remained.

"You okay Agent Scully?"

The red head let out a huge sigh and just nodded. She looked up at Doggett and mirrored the concern she saw in his features. "She's going to be okay. Probably a mild concussion and a bit of a battle scar." She managed a weak attempt at a smile.

Doggett nodded. "C'mon let me get you out of here." Scully just nodded and allowed herself to be escorted out of the building. She welcomed the night air with a shiver and barely registered the presence of Doggett's jacket until it began slipping from her shoulders as he went to readjust it. Their hands brushed a bit as she readjusted the jacket. He looked at her shyly and Scully made no clear gesture, only nodding and closing the jacket around her. They rode to the hospital in silence and remained that way in the waiting room, only recognizing the others presence when they exchanged coffee cups.

Scully sat back in the hard plastic of the chair attached to the wall and rested her head against the wall. The cup of coffee steaming in her hands as she held it, she closed her eyes and thought only of William, who was no doubt resting peacefully in his crib. She cracked one eye open and stole a peek at the taciturn man beside her. She respected Doggett and she liked him. He certainly knew when to be quiet since neither wanted to voice their worry. The case had been particularly volatile and it was only through a queer series of events that had allowed them to track down the killer. Monica and her crazy theories. She reminded Scully of Mulder in that sense-so willing to believe anything. As much as she was enjoying getting to know the woman, part of her always kept her arms length-because she reminded her so much of what she didn't have.

Scully found herself letting out a small chuckle, which broke Doggett out of his silent reprieve. "Something funny there Agent Scully?" He wore an interested smirk as he turned to the red head. Scully shook her head and took a sip of coffee. "Just thinking about Reyes." "She's gonna be okay."
Scully nodded. "I know. She took a hard hit though." "She's got a bit of hard head, so I think she might make it." He winked at the red head and they both let out a well needed chuckle. "What's got you laughing though, may I ask?" "Nothing really. Just thinking about how she got me on that numerology kick a few weeks back." Doggett just shook his head. "Now don't you go rattling off number sequences and life force numbers." His words were softened with a grin. Scully held up a hand. "Don't worry. Between diapers and dead bodies I've no time for recreation." She sighed and sipped at her coffee. The two Agents fell into companionable silence. Long moments passed before the relatively quiet hallway echoed with sound. A be speckled young man walked towards the two Agents with a clipboard. "Agent Scully? Agent Doggett?"
The two Agents looked up at the young doctor and stood. "Is she awake?" The words came from Scully. The young doctor nodded. "Yes, all though she should be on her way to a peaceful sleep in a few minutes." "So what's the damage Doc?"
The man looked to Doggett. "A big knot on her head for starters and a gash that should heal up nice. She'll probably have a headache for a few days but other than that she should be fine." The man nodded and began to walk away. "Thank you Doctor." He turned at Scully's words and then continued to walk down the hallway. Scully glanced down at her watch and back up at Doggett. "We should probably go see her now, before they kick us out of here." Doggett noticed the late hour and nodded as he followed the smaller woman down the hall.

Scully pushed gently at the door and eased it open, holding onto the handle until Doggett had entered. She walked over the bed to find a droopy eyed Reyes fighting sleep. Scully smiled without shame and instinctively brushed stray hair away from the woman's face. "Hey what did I tell you about trying to stop pipes with your forehead." Her words were just above a whisper.

Warm glassy brown eyes rested on Scully's pale features. Reyes smiled almost in a dreamy manner thanks to the drugs. "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Her voice was breathy. Both women smiled. "Did we get him?"

Scully just smiled as Doggett answered. "Don't you ever stop working woman?" He leaned down and touched Reyes' hand in a gesture of support. Reyes smiled lazily. "He's wrapped up nice in a cell so don't worry about anything except getting some rest."

Reyes licked her lips that had suddenly gone dry.

"I'll be back tomorrow to drive you home." Reyes tried to shake her head in protest, but couldn't quite gather herself. Scully looked down at the woman with a tenderness that surprised herself and grinned. "Hey, get some sleep. I'll be back tomorrow." She watched the brunette blink three times, each time slower than the first, until finally her eyes stayed closed. Scully found herself watching the gentle rise and fall of Reyes' chest as she slept. After a moment Doggett interrupted her with a hand to her shoulder. He nodded towards the door and they both left.

"We should probably get you home." Scully just nodded as they left the hospital and drove to Georgetown.

An hour later Scully said her goodbyes to her mother and laid William into his crib. She fell into her bed with an almost hedonistic joy. As she had for the past few weeks, Scully burrowed into her covers and then reached for the phone out of habit. She was halfway through dialing a number when she realized that the woman she was calling was spending her night in a hospital bed. Scully replaced the phone on the base and pressed the heel of her hands against her eyes. She let out a shaky breath and let herself release the fears she had been holding onto for the past few hours.

She remembered running with all her might down the stairwell trying her best to catch up to Reyes. It had only been a half and hour before when she had discovered the files on Reyes' desk and realized that the woman had gone to check out the boiler room. It was mostly on instinct that Scully took off after the woman. Perhaps if she had been a moment faster she could have protected the woman, but as fate would have it, once again she had been too late and Monica had paid for it. A large knot welled up in her stomach and logged itself in her throat as she berated herself silently for once again being too slow. Too slow for Melissa. Too slow for Mulder.

Scully barely noticed the hot tears until she rolled over on her pillow and came into contact with the small stain. She shook her head and wiped at her eyes angrily. She took a deep breath and ground her teeth together in an effort to quell the stream of tears. She was giving herself a headache at the strain but eventually the tears stopped and the knot made a home in her stomach. Scully punched at her pillow and bunched it under head. She willed herself to clear her mind and fell into what she hoped would be a dreamless sleep.

The dreams were always the same. They started the same way and ended in the same manner. She was always walking along the beach, like she had on the Ivory Coast. Only this time there was no ship to be found-it seemed to be merely for pleasure. She enjoyed the feel of the sand between her toes as the water rushed up to meet the edges of her linen skirt. Suddenly long arms would enfold her from behind and she would fall into a fit of giggles. The girlish sounds would be swallowed up in the water and she would continue. She squealed in delight as the arms would tighten about her waist and fill her with a warmth she couldn't explain. Warm lips would assault her neck in the most pleasing of ways and she would close her eyes to the sensation swelling in her belly.

Scully would open her eyes and there would be nothing but dark. The sky was beyond pitch black and the warmth she had felt moments before was replaced by dread. She found herself in an open field and she knew what was coming. She wanted so much to run away, to leave this place-the pain was still so real no matter what the outcome. She would run only to end up back in the field staring down at Mulder's body. The pain of losing him was so real that it threatened to crush her under its weight. Scully fell to her knees in disbelief and tugged at his battered body. No sound would come out when she screamed but her throat hurt just the same as she cursed the sky and trees and stars and all that she could find.

Bloodshot blue eyes opened to another gravesite. One after another they lined up as if on a conveyer belt. Her father. Melissa. Mulder. She would walk to each casket and throw dirt, going through the ceremony of it. This dream was no different, as she stood in the light snow and walked to the casket, dirt all ready in hand. She stood over the casket prepared to throw the dirt until she heard a sound. It was far away and faint but it was knocking all the same. Without care, she jumped down into the grave and clawed at the coffin. She wrenched the top away with all her strength and then pressed herself against the dirt side in horror. From the soft satin inside the coffin the warm face of Monica Reyes stared up at her. Scully recoiled in horror at once again losing a friend. She could only stare. When Monica's eyes opened with a snap she stood stock still and still stared. Brown eyes focused on Scully and Monica smiled. "I thought you were going to find me."

The red head shook her head. "I did! I did!" She sobbed. "I made it to you. You can't be dead, you can't be dead!"

"But here I am Dana, where you put me."

The red head continued to shake her head as she began to look for a way out of the hole. "I found you, I found you." She closed her eyes and repeated the words over and over again. She opened her eyes when she felt warm fingers on her forearm. Scully opened her eyes to the familiar sight of her bedroom. She ran a hand down her face and sighed as she threw the covers back and got out of the bed. She moved quietly to the bathroom and filled her hand with cold water to drink. She wiped her face with a damp washcloth and then left the bathroom. The warm body she ran into should have startled her but it didn't, she merely sank back against the wall and waited. The dark haired agent looked down at the red head and grinned.

Scully merely stood with her back against the wall, palms flat as she looked up at Reyes who stood in her bedroom. The taller agent closed the distance between them until their noses practically touched. "Are you going to leave me to die Dana?"

Scully did not fight the tears in her eyes. She shook her head no. "I found you. I got there." Her words were quiet.

Monica smiled and ducked her head a bit, her lips dangerously close to Scully's, their breath mingling. "What happens when you don't?"

"Then I lose you like all the rest." Warm tears burned her cheeks.

"Then I suggest you keep me." Reyes smiled and then pressed a kiss to Scully's trembling lips greedily drinking of the salt from her tears. She pulled away from a near breathless Scully and looked at the red head with a mix of admiration and adoration. She looked the red head in the eye and spoke her name. "Dana...wake up."

Scully took a huge breath as if she had been underwater for minutes. She sat up with a jolt and darted her eyes about the dark room. She leaned back against the head board and looked over at the c lock that read 3:15. Scully sighed and let her ears adjust to the silence as she listened for William's breathing. She held the baby monitor to her chest and just breathed in and out in a slow and deliberate manner. "Pull it together Dana, pull it together." She stayed that way until the steady sound of her son's breathing lulled her into a dreamless sleep.

Ch. 2

Dana entered the hospital the next morning surprisingly refreshed and energized despite the previous night. She entered Monica's room with a smile all ready on her face only to find the room empty. She sat William's carrier down on the bed tray and placed the coffee and paper bag next to the carrier. Dana fussed over her son's romper for a moment making sure he was comfortable. She patted his chest and received a smile. Dana beamed with pride as she leaned down and nuzzled the boy's soft cheeks.

"Should I come back?"

A light blush touched the top of her ears as Dana turned to find Monica standing in the doorway. "What are you doing in the hallway?"

Brown eyes rolled. "Tormenting the nurse." Monica rested her eyes on the red head for a moment longer than necessary and then dropped her gaze to the small boy in the carrier. "Hey there chiquito." She touched her finger to his cheek and the boy smiled. "You know, I could have gotten a taxi home." She continued to play with the boy as she spoke.

Dana watched the brunette and said nothing at first. "I told you I'd come get you, so let me play chauffer okay."

Monica looked up from William and caught Dana's eyes. "Well thanks." She continued to hold the gaze until Dana looked away.

Dana could feel her pulse pick up under the weight of Monica's stare. She nervously pushed a lock of hair behind her ear. "I brought you a little contraband." She managed a smile and pointed to the white paper bag.

Monica smiled and grabbed at the bag. She practically shoved her head into the small sack and then inhaled deeply and moaned in happiness. Dana couldn't help but smile as she watched the taller woman react to the smell of the chocolate clair. Rapturous was the word that came to mind. She smirked and shook her head. "You want me to come back when you're done."

Slightly embarrassed Monica just shrugged a bit and smiled. "Nah, I'll make it." She glanced at the coffee. "Is that mine too?" Her voice was hopeful. The red head just nodded. "You really know how to spoil a girl Dana." She winked at the shorter woman.

Dana fought a blush as she found something interesting to play with on William's carrier. "I hope everyone doesn't know you're this easy."

Monica took a sip of the coffee and wanted to melt. She glanced at Dana and smiled. "Shh, don't tell anyone."

Dana shook her head and grabbed William's carrier. "C'mon your carriage awaits."

Monica licked chocolate from her thumb and nodded. "Right behind you."

Monica balled up the empty bag and tossed it into her trashcan in her kitchen. "Thanks again for picking me up Dana." She called from the kitchen.

Dana unlatched the buckle around William's waist and let the boy stretch out. "No problem." She called out. She rubbed William's tummy as he began to squirm impatiently. "It's on its way buddy." She cooed to the boy who was beginning to contort his face in frustration. "Monica is that bottle warm yet. I can come and do it."

"It's ready, it's ready." She held the warm bottle out to Scully.

Scully took the bottle with a nod. "Okay, buddy here's your lunch."

Monica took a seat next to Scully and peered at the boy in wonder as he fed. "I take it somebody was hungry."

Scully's body tensed a bit as she realized how close the woman was to her. "Yeah, he had to get up a little earlier than normal today, so he's a little cranky." Dana held the bottle with her fingertips.

Monica touched Dana's forearm with her fingertips. "Dana, could I, would you mind?" She looked down at William and Dana got her meaning. The red head moved over and held onto the bottle until Monica grasped the bottle. "Hey there hombrelito. Tiene hambre, huh?"

Dana rested her chin on her fist as she watched and listened to Monica speak softly to the boy in Spanish. The red head could not help nor hide the smile that came to her lips or the feeling of calm she felt at the moment. She sank back into the cushions of the sofa and continued to watch the woman. She had only been to Monica's new home once before, but this was definitely more her-- now that all the boxes had been unpacked.

The high-ceilinged apartment was decorated in warm browns and reds. Her Mexican heritage was emphasized with large wall paintings and sculptures placed about the apartment. The light sounds of jazz from a radio station was playing somewhere off in the distance. Contented, Dana nestled back against the couch. Between the smell of coffee and the happy gurgling sounds William was making, Dana felt herself relax like she hadn't relaxed in weeks or even months. Through droopy eyelids she watched Monica sit the empty bottle on the table and scoop William out of his carrier. Dana attempted to get up, but her body apparently wanted her to remain seated. Monica threw a smile her way and all but willed her to stay put. She held the boy in her arms and patted his back gently.

Monica pressed a kiss to William's soft hair and looked over at the red head that had lost her battle with Morpheus and fallen asleep. "How 'bout we let your momma sleep and I show you how to make a good cup of coffee, huh?" The boy blew a spit bubble in response. Monica covered Dana with a blanket and then retreated to the kitchen.

Dana's sleep was peaceful and filled with ephemeral dreams that barely made any sense or any impression. In the last moments before waking, she dreamed of the beach again. The water was there, the sand, the surf and even the sun, but there were no arms this time. No gentle kiss on the neck. Only her bare feet in the sand. She was happy though and she was warm. She took a deep breath and looked at the crashing waves oddly. To her surprise, the sea smelled less like the sea and more like peppers and caramelized onions.

The red head woke easily, teased awake by the garlicky aroma from the kitchen. She stretched like a languid cat and burrowed once more into the soft couch and cover. Dana opened her eyes and sat up quickly. Her heart pounded in her chest and she took in the surroundings and then began to recognize where she was. She let out a sigh and ran a hand through her unruly hair. She could hear Monica in the kitchen. Dana cracked her neck not once but twice and then stood up from the couch. She folded the blanket back into a square and hoped she looked presentable as she moved towards the kitchen.

"Well look who's awake. Es tu mama?" She spoke to the wide-eyed baby boy.

Dana stood in the entrance to the kitchen and just smiled as Monica balanced the boy on her hip and stirred the pot with her free hand. "He's going to be fluent in Spanish by the time he leaves here?"

"Have to start them young. Did you have a good nap?"

Dana nodded and smiled. "Oh yeah. I don't know why I fell out like that?"

"It just means your body was trying to tell you something. We often like to overwork ourselves and never listen to what's going on in our bodies, until they just shut down on us, you know."

Dana nodded. "Why don't I take him, I'm sure he needs to be changed."

Monica just grinned. "All ready taken care of, besides you can't take my sous chef. We've been working on this sofrito for a while, all though I may need some different taste buds. I'm not sure how accurate his spit bubbles are." Dana just laughed. "Here, come and try this." Monica held out a wooden spoon with a deep red sauce thickly coating it.

Dana shook her head suddenly nervous. "I'll wait."

Monica scoffed. "I need to know now Dana." She grinned. "Now get over here and taste this, please."

Somehow or other Dana managed to make her feet move and she took the few steps towards Monica. The brunette blew on the spoon and then held it out to Dana's mouth. The red head opened her mouth just enough to allow the spoon in. Dana licked at the dots of sauce on her lips and then swallowed. "Well?" She looked up into Monica's patient brown eyes and nodded. "What's that mean?"

Dana didn't realize she hadn't spoken. "It means good, I mean the sauce is good." She gave the woman and thumbs up and then stepped back suddenly feeling as if she was taking up too much space.

Monica smiled in relief. "You were right William, your mom's got good tastebuds."

For some unbeknownst reason Scully blushed. She quickly turned away. "I'm heading to the bathroom." Monica barely glimpsed the woman as she exited the kitchen.

Dana returned from the bathroom about five minutes later refreshed both mentally and physically. She stuck her head in the kitchen to find it empty. "Monica?" she called. And then walked into the dining room to find Monica setting places with one hand and holding William with the other. Dana just smiled.

"Here give him to me, so you can work." Monica almost protested but gave up the boy to his mother.

Dana gave her son a hug and then looked down at the table. Her brow furrowed just slightly. "Another visitor?" She looked down at the third place setting with a surprising feeling of disappointment for some reason.

"Yeah, I talked to John earlier and told him I'd be mortally wounded if he didn't come have dinner with us."

"I suppose he couldn't refuse."

Monica laughed. "Not likely." She looked up at Dana and smiled.

Dana avoided her eyes and focused on William. "You sure I can't do something for you, to help or anything. I feel like I pawned my kid off on you and slept on your couch all day."

"Well you did." She winked and continued, "but I don't mind."


"Fine, you can go put some cd's in the changer, that would help."

Dana nodded with enthusiasm, happy to have something to do. "I'm sure me and the little man will come up with something."

From a certain vantage point William seemed to be king of all he surveyed. He lay in his carrier positioned in a high chair, gnawing on his fists as the grownups around him talked in a language he was just beginning to grasp and filled their mouths with stuff he only wanted play with.

Scully took a swallow of the wine Doggett had brought with him and rested her napkin in her lap. An involuntary smile came to her lips as she merely listened to the conversation taking place. Not that she didn't have anything to say on the subject of the local basketball team, but she was very much enjoying watching Doggett and Reyes go at it between mouthfuls of food.

As if sensing her thoughts Reyes looked over in Scully's direction and smiled at the woman. Doggett stopped in mid sentence as he realized Monica's attention was somewhere else.

"You going to weigh in on this one Scully?" Doggett asked before taking a heaping forkful of pasta.

Scully held up her hand and shook her head. "I don't know what else I could possibly say, I think Monica's got a point. He's forty, he's knees are shot, and besides that he's got more money than the bureau. He should rest up and go coach or something."

Doggett rolled his eyes somewhere between hurt and disbelief. "Are you kidding me, that man has at least two more years in him. I tell you," he shook his fork as he spoke, "if he had a better team he'd be fine."

Reyes rolled her eyes and pulled a face for Scully's amusement. "Give it up John, he's done. I love the man, but he's done. I'll agree his team sucks, but that just goes to show that he's out of his prime."

Scully was tempted to intervene on the side of reason, but decided that sipping her wine and watching them go back and forth was much more gratifying.

It was nearing 11:30 when the dishes were done and Reyes was placing a sleeping William back in his carrier. Doggett stood by the door putting on his jacket waiting to walk Scully out. Reyes leaned over the carrier as she strapped William in. "Take care of su madre, hombrelito." She pressed a light kiss to his forehead and then stood up. Scully watched with pride and wonder at the little boy. There were so many questions to be answered, but every now and then none of them mattered. He was hers. More than that he was a miracle gift from her best friend. Every now and then that was the only thing that mattered. Scully smiled warmly at Reyes as she put on her jacket and zipped it up.

"Monica, dinner was great and thanks again for the couch."

"Any time Dana you know that." She handed over William's carrier.

Once again they all said there goodbyes and Reyes followed their forms all the way to their cars from her window.

Ch. 3

Monica Reyes walked towards the elevator with her head down and eyes glued to the black ink of the newspaper. A review of a one-woman play had caught her attention as she strolled through the J.Edgar Hoover building. She entered the elevator and headed towards the back, not paying any mind to the other people loading the transport. She didn't even bother to look up when she pressed the button for the basement. Of course by the time she reached the basement, Reyes was alone in the elevator. The soft leather of her Doc Martens(tm) made barely a sound a she made her way passed the random metal shelves that had yet to be removed from the hallway. She went to put her key to the lock, but found the door all ready open. Brown eyes peeked over the newsprint as she pushed open the door with her foot.

A warm smile came to her face as she spotted her partner leafing through the file cabinets. "Morning John."

The svelte man looked up from the file cabinet and pulled out a manila folder. "Hi ya." He walked towards the desk and perched on the edge facing her. "Thanks again for dinner the other night." He smiled genuinely

She beamed with happiness. "No problem. So what's got you all busy?" She nodded towards the file in his hand.

He pushed up the sleeves of his button down shirt as he spoke. "Somebody," he said the word with a roll of his eyes, "slipped this under our door." His matter of fact drawl made it all sound less like cloak and dagger and more like a schoolyard prank. "I read it over and I think it might be up your alley."

Reyes eyed her partner with question and grabbed the article he handed to her. Brown eyes read the headline: Local Clergy Woman Attacked by Zombie. Reyes grinned. "What's this, the National Enquirer's greatest hits?"

Doggett nodded in amusement. "Keep going, it gets better." He hopped off the desk and took a seat in the chair. Reyes leaned against the desk and stretched out her long legs as she read.

"Tuesday in the Tangipahoa parish, Sister Valerie Arneux was attacked by what witnesses describe as a decayed human. This is the 3rd such attack to occur in and around the area in the past 3 weeks. Police and law officials are stumped as to who or what is causing the attacks and have only found tattered clothing at the scenes. Sister Arneux is the 3rd victim and the only one who remains alive at the moment."

Reyes looked up and ran a tongue across her top teeth. "Do you believe this?" She was trying to keep the giggle out of her voice. She waved the paper at Doggett.

The straight-laced agent chuckled. "It sounds to me like someone's been pulling a bad prank, but a murder's a murder all the same."

She nodded. "What about the other two victims?"

He grabbed a printout. "Marjorie Salvo, a local high school teacher and Samantha Terry, a councilwoman for the parish."

Reyes shook her head. "What's the connection?"

"The first two women went grade school together, other than that not too much." He pointed a finger at the article. "Did you catch the date on it?"

Brown eyes scanned the top page and Reyes rolled her eyes. "This was two years ago and I never saw this."

Doggett leaned forward producing the front section of the D.C. metro section. Because of this." He handed her the section. "Last night, Sister Valerie Arneux was attacked and murdered by what witness say was a seriously decaying human being."

"What?" She scanned the article over. "She was staying at the Cathedral." She read out loud. Reyes put the paper down and nibbled on her bottom lip in thought. "Have D.C. police send the body over here and we'll see if we can get the good doctor to take a look." She raised her brows.

"All ready told them."

She smiled. "What file are you reading?"

"Well, if this is some kind of freaky voodoo thing, which I'm not saying it is, but I just wanted to see what was all ready in the X-files if anything." Reyes nodded well aware of the case he held in his hand. "So, have you ever heard of something called a necromancer?"

Reyes folded her arms across her chest and nodded. "Essentially they are responsible for raising the dead through special rituals. I believe Mulder and Scully came across one in '99 around New Year's Eve."

Doggett was impressed and it was nice to know that he wasn't the only one rummaging around in the files on down time. "His name's Mark Johnson, right now he's a guest of the state at Shepard Pratt in Maryland."

Reyes nodded. "I want to talk to Scully before we see him."

Doggett nodded and followed her out of the office.

The leisurely drive to Quantico, VA got the Agents to Scully's class just as it was ending. Reyes and Doggett entered just as the last students were filing out. "Hey teach," Reyes called out, "can we get some extra credit!" Brown eyes looked down at the short red head that was erasing the black board.

Scully replaced the eraser at the sound of a familiar voice and turned around to find Reyes and Doggett descending the stadium stairs of the classroom. Scully nodded in the Agents' direction and began to gather her things. When they had reached the large table in the middle of the room she spoke. "Just once I'd like you guys to come here just to say hi." She hit them both with a disarming smile and leaned forward on the table.

Reyes appeared hurt, but her tone was playful. "John, I'm hurt, how about you?"

Doggett just laughed. "But this is so much more fun." He grinned at Scully.

"What've you got?"

Reyes stood on the corner of the table. "Do you remember you encounter with the Necromancer in Maryland?" Reyes asked, brown eyes wide.

Scully lost her smile and nodded. "Yes, New Year's." She looked down at the floor, lost in thought for a moment thinking of a much more pleasantly surprising memory from that night. A soft touch to her arm brought her out of her thoughts. She looked up only to be caught in all engulfing stare that all at once unnerved her and yet oddly provided her with something akin to comfort.

"You okay." She asked softly.

Scully mustered a grin. "Yeah, I'm fine." She drew her arm off the table and folded her arms. "So what about him?"

Doggett joined them at the table. "Last night a nun was supposedly murdered in D.C. by a zombie." He spoke without fanfare.

Scully looked unimpressed. "And?"

"This is the second time she was attacked and she is the third victim of this kind of attack. The two other happened two years ago in Louisiana." Reyes handed Scully the news article. "The parish police were never able to make any real headway other than the fact that two of the ladies attended the same church. The police are sending the body to us and we're going to try and see the Necromancer in Baltimore."

Red hair moved back and forth as Scully nodded and continued to read. "Sure, I'll check it out."

The trio of Agents walked to the parking garage together. "John, I'll meet you at the car." He walked off leaving Reyes on the 3rd floor. Reyes took the stairwell a flight up and caught Scully just as she was coming off the elevator. "Scully, wait up." She called out. She wore a dark quarter-length swing coat that fanned out behind her as she jogged across he parking lot to meet Scully.

Blue eyes regarded the brunette with question. Reyes spoke first. "I'm sorry about earlier." Scully looked perplexed. Reyes continued, "I didn't mean to bring up bad memories for you." The excuse sounded lame to her even as she said, but she hated feeling like she had caused the woman discomfort.

Scully furrowed her brow and then nodded, as she understood. "It's okay." Reyes looked pained. Scully grinned. "Really, it is. I'm not some fragile egg that's going to break every time you mention Mulder's name." She meant the words even if she didn't completely believe them herself.

Reyes could see the doubt in blue eyes, but she wasn't going to call the other woman on it. "I hope I'm not treating you with kid gloves Dana, but I don't want to hurt you either."

Scully sighed not quite visibly annoyed with the conversation. She was continually amused by the way Reyes would use her name to make a point. "Monica it's okay, and I appreciate the concern, but I'm doing better." She gave a half shrug. "I mean things could always be worse." She let out a weak chuckle. Scully opened her car door and got in, effectively ending the conversation. "I'll catch you in D.C."

Reyes just nodded as Scully started the car and pulled off. She walked to the stairwell thinking about what the red head had said about it not being worse. "Yeah right Dana, your best friend's running for his life and your newborn baby can float things with his mind and Lord knows what else." She tousled her hair as she saw Doggett in the car. "I'm sure there is something worse." She mumbled out loud and then got into the car.

Ch. 4

Monica answered her ringing cell phone. "Monica Reyes."

"Have you guys left yet?" Scully asked.

"About to, what's up?"

"I need you to come look at something, if you have time."

"Always. See you in a minute." She hung up and then tapped the driver's side window of the Dodge sedan. Doggett rolled down the window and looked up expectantly. "Do you think you can handle the necromancer by yourself? Scully's got something for me to see."

He nodded. "I can wait."

She shook her head. "Nah, just go without me, besides you gave me an idea earlier and I want to call a colleague from New Orleans.

Doggett nodded. "Check in later." The brunette nodded and waved at him as he pulled off.

This was Dr. Scully at her best, foraging through the remnants of corpses. There was no romance here or public glory, just the thrill of finding a clue and a morbid admiration of the body in all its various states. Agent Reyes hung in the doorway for a moment longer than necessary as she watched the petite woman work. She openly admired her in the baby blue scrubs and silver-rimmed eyeglasses. Scully wasn't wearing her lab coat, so it was easy to see the tone and muscle in her forearms and biceps as she leaned over the body. Sensing another person's presence, Scully looked up from the table to see the brunette hovering in the doorway-her dark hair and clothing in relief to the bright harsh light of the lab.

"You can come in you know, she won't bite." The red head teased the taller woman as she stepped away from the table and discarded her old gloves.

Reyes groaned at the comment and walked into the lab, carefully avoiding looking directly at the body. She was happy to focus her attention on Scully. "So?"

Scully put her hands on hips and nodded. "Well you certainly sent me a weird one." She watched the agent turn up her nose. "She's not that bad, really. I've seen worse."

Reyes just nodded. "I know, but it still doesn't change the initial effect. So what do you have?"

Scully perked up at the question. "Hand me some gloves please." Happy to look away from the table, Reyes handed the woman a new pair of gloves. Scully held in her smile, getting a complete rise out of tormenting the taller agent. "You might want to get a pair for yourself, I might need an extra hand."

Reyes practically paled. "Uh, no thanks."

Scully ginned. "I'm just joking, but you do need to come over to this side."

Reyes was eager to stand next to the red head, happy to smell something that wasn't soaked in chemicals. She was rewarded with the faint smell of honey from Scully's shampoo. "So what are we looking for?"

"You can't miss it-well actually that's what's missing." Scully worked her hand into the cavity of the torso and eased back some muscle. "I don't know what you remember from high school biology, but we're all supposed to have a liver. This woman no longer has one, because its been eaten."

Reyes furrowed her brow in disgust. "Wait, I thought that guy was dead?"

Scully was impressed. "You mean, Eugene Tooms. He is, and this one is different. The liver was eaten while it was still inside the body. It was never removed. I may be able to get a full plaster mold of all the teeth in the next few hours." Scully removed her hand. "She's got several bites like this one and a really nasty one on her deltoid."

Reyes crossed her arms across her chest. "An animal?"

"Not from what I can tell, these teeth marks are human. I can't quite say what killed her yet. It could be the crack in the skull or the loss of blood.

"Or the eating." Reyes added with a grimace.

Scully nodded and exchanged her used gloves for new ones. "Here's what's got me." She moved to the end of the table and picked up the left foot of the dead woman. Heave you ever seen this before."

Reyes stood next to Dana and stared at the tattoo. She contorted her face in thought. "Can we get a copy of those I want to check them with someone?"

"I'm just waiting for the film to develop."

"Can I get a look?" Scully nodded and Reyes put on a pair of gloves. She examined the foot without actually touching it, squinting her eyes to make out the design. Scully handed the agent a magnifying glass. Reyes accepted it with a smirk.


"Do you recognize the mark?" Scully asked over her shoulder.

She touched the tissue gingerly with her index finger, spreading the skin. "It looks like a vever." "A vever?" Scully rolled the word around trying to place it.

"Yeah." Reyes stood up and snapped off her gloves and discarded them. She turned to Scully. "In Voudon rituals or what we call Voodoo, in order to summon the lwa, the members will draw a vever on the ground. Each one coincides with a certain god or goddess." She nodded towards the foot. "I think that's what that is. I haven't looked at one in a long while, but it's easy for me to find out."

The red head nodded. "So a little black magic?"

Reyes shook her head. "That's a misconception and a mix of Hollywood stories." Her hands moved about as she spoke. "Voudon is a religion steeped in the order of the universe and the ways of the natural world."

Scully grinned. "So you're saying Zombies and curses don't exist." Her skepticism was playful.

Reyes jumped at the bait as she followed the agent to the sink. "Of course they exist-you know that." They shared a grin. "Sure that's a facet, there is a dark side to the religion, just like exorcisms in Catholicism. It's just what the Christian world has latched on to in order to demonize the religion. But black magic and hoaxes are not at its core." Reyes was about to keep going when she took notice of the smaller woman smiling at her. She let out a self-conscious chuckle. "I'm just rambling on about stuff you are aware of, I'm sure."

"That's not true. I have no idea what a vever is-and what's a l-a," she shook her head.

"Lwa. L-w-a. Also pronounced, Loa. It means 'lesser gods'." Brown eyes finally fixed on Scully.

"See, I didn't know that." She smiled. "Don't worry about it, I like your rambling, I think its part of the job description. Somewhere it says: Must be able to give long-winded yet intelligent monologues around all manners of life." She rolled her eyes and Monica grinned.

"Well, actually if you want you could go out with me." It wasn't until she saw Scully raise both her eyebrows that she realized what she had said. If she could have found a surgical instrument to impale her self on in the next second it wouldn't have been soon enough. Reyes recovered with a shake of her head and a chuckle. "There was more to that sentence when I started it." She smiled with a sincerity that she didn't fully feel. Scully let out a light laugh. "If you want you could come out with me to see a Mambo."

"Is that like a palm reader or something?" She furrowed her brow.

"Solomon's a priest and yes he can give you a divination if you want," she grinned. "But he also has the freakiest library I've ever seen in my life-he can help." She smiled at the memory. Scully gave a half shrug. "You don't have to go, I just thought you might want to check it out. I also have to go and talk to Father Berry at the Cathedral."

Scully chewed on the inside of her lip in thought. It wasn't that she didn't want to go, but she wasn't sure of her reasons for going. There was the interest in the subject, but on the other hand part of her wanted to keep an eye on the Agent. "Where's Doggett?"

"In Baltimore talking to Mark Johnson, the Necromancer." She tried not to seem too anxious.

"I've got a few hours to kill-and I'm always interested in freaky libraries."

Brown eyes grew wide and Reyes smiled what she hoped was a gentle smile and not the toothy grin of absolute happiness that she wanted to put on display. "Okay, I need to make a few calls, so why don't you meet me in the office." The words came out with giddy speed. Scully could only nod as she watched the brunette exit the room.

Scully shook her head in amusement and then began to tidy up. She went to change her clothes, all the while convincing herself that she had made the right decision to accompany Reyes. She checked her hair in the mirror as she zipped up he black slacks and began to button up her pale blue shirt. "I'm going along just to help-not to keep an eye on her." She checked her teeth as the thought ran through her mind. Scully discarded her scrubs and eased into her jacket. She pulled her hair out of her collar and adjusted her gun and badge. She checked her reflection once more and then let out a defeated sigh. Who was she kidding she knew she was going along with Reyes not to be of help, but to merely make sure the agent wasn't heading into danger. She knew it, but she wasn't about to say it aloud. Scully grabbed the developed photos off the desk and walked out.

The two Agents pulled into an alley parking lot at dusk in Southeast D.C. The two white women screamed F.B.I. in their matching jackets, as they moved through the low-rise housing projects. Reyes moved with ease through the unit like she hung out there at least three times a week. Scully stayed by her side and smiled tightly at the curious faces peering out at them.

Reyes stopped in front of a door and swung open the creaking metal screen door to knock on the wooden door. Both women could hear movement and watched as a metal slide was moved back to reveal a pair of hazel eyes. "It's Monica", said Reyes.

There was a grunt of recognition and then a chain rattled before the door opened wide. Revealed, was a portly caramel colored man with a head full of tight black and gray curls.

"Hola chica!" He smiled at Monica and then glanced at Scully with the same smile before waving them into his home.

"Como estas?" He asked Reyes.

The brunette let Scully walk in first as she replied, "bien, y tu y Cecily?"

"Alive, hermanita, alive." He rolled his eyes and grinned. "Have a seat, please." He gestured towards what was cordoned off as the dining room. Off to the right side of the one-level home sat a round table with several mix-matched chairs surrounding it.

Scully took in the dcor and smells of the home as she opted to sit in a folding chair that had a back to it. She followed the large man with her eyes as he walked off towards what was probably the kitchen. Scully wondered just what was cooking since the heady aroma of rich spices greeted her at the door. The smell of food mixed with incense burning in the home made for a unique and rather inviting aura. She remained quiet choosing to observe Reyes.

Agent Reyes hopped on a stool across from Scully and grinned like a kid. The portly man came back wearing a long black robe, which had deep slits for his arms to fit through. He sat down at the table and rested his arms on table. The beads and bracelets he wore jangled as he moved. He reached and took hold of Monica's hand. He patted the back of it as he spoke with enthusiasm. "Cecily's making coffee-so don't ask." He winked at the slightly blushing Agent.

Reyes glanced over at Scully. "You have to try the coffee, it should be illegal it tastes so good." Scully couldn't help but smile at the woman. "Scully, this is Solomon. Solomon, this is Scully."

Solomon fixed hazel eyes on Scully and pursed his lips. "Your momma named you Scully?" His expression was caught between pain and pity.

The red head grinned. "It's uh, it's Dana."

He let out a sigh of relief. "That's so much better."

He eyed the red head for a moment and Dana felt the need to shift in her seat under the scrutiny. Ironically, she cut her eyes towards Reyes for help. After all, this was the woman who on more than one occasion looked at her with the exact same intensity.

Reyes noticed the worry in blue eyes and looked from Scully to Solomon. She shook her head and tapped the man on the hand in a scolding manner. "Stop staring Solomon and no you can't have any."

He looked hurt and Scully looked confused, suddenly very aware of where her weapon was. Reyes turned warm brown eyes on Scully. "It's your hair." She said as if that explained everything. "It's a symbol of good luck."

Solomon smiled in an apologetic manner. "Didn't mean to stare, but she's right. It is lucky-as long as it's natural." He raised an eyebrow at Scully and then whispered to Reyes, "it's natural right?" The brunette let out a big laugh that was powered by embarrassment and disbelief. "No se! Why would I know?"

"Creo que?"

"No!" She chuckled nervously and smiled reassuringly at Scully who watched the interaction with piqued interest. "Trabajamos juntos. At the F.B.I."

Solomon's eyes grew wide with chagrin. "Lo siento." He chuckled and winked at Scully who was somewhat unnerved by the bi-lingual conversation taking place. "She said partner.. I thought-

He never finished his words on the account of receiving a hard punch to the shoulder. Solomon looked contrite and held up his hands in defeat. "Okay, hermanita-I'll say no more."

Scully fought her smile as she looked over at Reyes was trying to hide her flaming red ears behind her hair. "You okay there, Monica." Her voice was full of tease.

The brunette took her ribbing in silence. She laughed and then looked to Solomon. "Where's my coffee?" He chuckled and left the table. Reyes rubbed her forehead. "Sorry, he's like a bulldozer."

Scully let loose a little giggle that was infections enough to make Reyes laugh. "It's okay and yes it is natural and no he can't have any." She winked at the blushing woman.

Solomon returned with a tray carrying a coffee pot, three mugs, cream and sugar. Solomon sat the coffee down and poured them each a cup. He handed Scully the creamer before she reached for it. "I'm obligated to tell you that it tastes much better without the cream. All you need is a spoonful of sugar and nothing more." Scully looked down into the deep rich black of the coffee and looked weary. Solomon had mercy on her. "If you must, just give a touch and try it out." He pushed the tray away once they were all settled and looked to Reyes. "So, Monica how can I help you, you didn't say much on the phone."

She reached down and pulled out the photos that mostly showed the close up of the tattoo. "I think this symbol is a vever, but I want to be sure and if it does I want to know the significance."

Solomon sipped at his sludge black coffee and looked at the photos. He nodded. "Yes, this is Ezrulie's vever. Ezrulie Dantor to be exact."


"She's one of the dark Goddess."

Solomon nodded in agreement as Reyes answered Scully's question. "Ladies, I'll be right back.

"A dark goddess?" Scully eyed Reyes.

"Not necessarily evil." She said, knowing where Scully was leading. "These goddess are just aggressive if and when they need be. Maman Brigette is one and Marinette. It just depends on the situation." She sipped at her coffee and Scully could hear her hum with delight. "I swear this stuff is illegal."

Scully smiled and took a sip for the first time. She felt the warm liquid move through her throat and down into her stomach. She raised an eyebrow and looked at the grinning woman on the other side of the table. "Monica, I think this is illegal." She whispered. And then added after another sip, "but I won't tell." They shared a conspiratorial smile and then Solomon returned.

He placed a heavy tome on the table and flipped through the pages quickly, stopping about 1/3 of the way into the book. He turned the book around to face the Agents. "There's your vever and a mean one to beat. Who was wearing this? Some hippy college kid that didn't know any better?" He rolled his eyes in annoyance. "People will put anything onto their bodies as long as it's cruel and painful."

"Did they summon something?" Monica asked, getting the man back on track.

"Well if it's just a tattoo and the person didn't know what they had then not much will happen. If they knew what they were doing then I can't help but think they are asking for trouble." He took a quick breath. "In Voudon we summon the spirits by drawing a vever on the ground. It's all apart of the ceremony, much like picking out hymns for Church." He glanced at both women as he spoke. "Just like you wouldn't sing "Go tell it on the mountain" at every service, our rituals call upon different Lwas."

"So who belongs to this vever?" Scully sipped at her coffee after speaking.

"Ezrulie Dantor. She's a goddess of revenge and protection." Both women mentally stored the information. "Are we assuming that this person knew what they were doing?"

Reyes glanced over at Scully looking for some sort of confirmation and then back to Solomon. "Let's assume they didn't."

"Well," he began. He placed his elbows on the table and interlocked his fingers. "With amateurs you should expect the worst. Some home-made love potion gone wrong, lover's scorn, that type of thing. That could be why there was a need for the tattoo. Kind of like a way to show respect for getting away with something." The Agents both nodded in agreement and he continued. "On the other hand, say they knew exactly what they were doing." He looked both women square in the eyes. "There are always consequences."

"Spiritual?" Reyes asked with peaked interests.

Solomon smiled as if he had a secret. "Sometimes maybe-sometimes maybe not. Karma has a way of biting everyone in the ass, if you know what I mean. For any beginner, Voudon should not be approached lightly. It's dangerous for priests and priestess and we tend to have training." He grinned. "I could go out and curse someone, but who's to say that 15 years from now they won't be powerful enough to hurt me. You always have to be careful."

Scully sat her mug down and arched a brow. "May I ask how you would retaliate?"

He smiled at the red head. "The question is more what I wouldn't do. Technically, the punishment should fit the crime. Maybe, I'll make your hair fall out or give you gangrene, but be assured you would deserve it."

Scully let out a small chuckle. Solomon looked up at her with challenge in his hazel eyes. "I take it you don't believe in Voudon at all?"

Scully cleared her throat and shifted in her seat. "I find some of the practices suspect, but I won't deny that words have power."

Solomon seemed pleased with her answer. "Smart woman." He glanced over at Monica and smiled. "Words have all the power and a weak mind helps a lot too. Of course, even the strongest mind can't always withstand black magic and Bokurs. Can you tell me what happened to the person in the picture?"

Reyes looked over at Scully. Scully put her mug back down reluctantly and started. "A woman was attacked and killed the other night. We found the tattoo on her foot."

Solomon nodded in thought. "May I ask who she was?"

"Uh, she was a nun."

"She used to work out of the Tangipahoa parish in Louisiana." Monica added.

Solomon furrowed his brow. "A nun? A nun with a tattoo?" He chuckled.

"Should we be worried about this tattoo or is this just nothing?"

He looked at Reyes. "Well, how'd she die?"

Reyes looked back to Scully who gave a half-shrug, indicating that Reyes was on her on. "For starters," she began hesitantly, "she lost a lot of blood due to large wounds on her body." She left out the part about the teeth marks and continued. "Does that sound like anything to you?"

"Was it an animal or did she do it herself?"

Scully sat forward. "Wasn't self-inflicted and highly doubtful that it was an animal."

He nodded. "That could happen." He shrugged. "Can you tell me anything more about the woman?" He was hopeful. He looked to Monica with question. "Unless there's something you're not telling me, chica." He raised a thin eyebrow. "I know you just didn't come to me for coffee and a tattoo."

Brown eyes focused on the table and she looked properly scolded. She glanced over at Scully who was conveniently staring into her coffee mug. The brunette grabbed her bottom lip between her teeth and grinned at her friend. "Well, according to witnesses," she began in a faux news anchor voice. "She was attacked by what appeared to be a decaying man."

Scully held in her smile. She wondered how crazy she had sounded the first time she had to explain something to someone about the X-files. There was always that moment of embarrassment even if you believed half of what was being said. Luckily for Reyes, Solomon was all ready geared to go down this road. The large man slapped the table in triumph. "I told Cecily that's what the man on the news said." He called over his shoulder, "see Cecily, you were wrong!" He turned back to the Agents. "So was it really a zombie?" His hazel eyes were wide with wonder.

This time Scully had to answer. "Something bit her-I'm not sure yet if it killed her, but she was bitten."

"Definitely not an animal?"

"Unlikely right now. Then again, she could have died before that and been cannibalized."

"Zombies don't eat dead flesh." He said matter of factly.

"I take it we should be looking for zombies and necromancers?" Scully was far from enthused.

"Certainly. All though, I'd be careful where you tread. This does make more sense when you add in the vever and zombies."

"A retaliation?" Reyes asked.

He nodded. "If your nun was conjuring up Ezrulie and someone retaliated, then something horrible had to happen-because if not then it seems like overkill. I suggest you look into your nun. I don't care how good she is-but zombies and vevers don't mix well with nuns. I can give you the name of a few Bokurs and a few Priestesses that could be helpful in New Orleans that can tell you more."

Reyes nodded and pushed back from the table. "I all ready left a message with Mamn. I'm sure I'll have to pay her visit."

"Let me know if you find anything else. The more you find out about your nun, you 'll know more about how deep she was in."

"Would someone attack her if she left the fold?" Scully asked.

"Oh no. This isn't the mob agent Scully. If somebody did something to her, she brought it on herself. It had nothing to do with her leaving, it was something she did-that's just the law."

The Agents let his words hang in the air as they sipped the last of their coffee, each on a different train of thought. The whir of sirens broke the tableau.

"Madre de Dios," he said with a sigh. "You ladies feel free to lock up some of the hoodlums on your way out. I swear." He began mumbling in mix-mash of Spanish, English, and French.

Scully looked to Reyes and nodded. Both Agents stood and Solomon joined them as they walked towards the door. The big man hugged Reyes to him. "You behave chica and please stay out of trouble. All though," he glanced at Scully, "she should be enough good luck for you."

Reyes kissed Solomon chastely on the lips. "Thanks Solomon, we appreciate the help."

He turned to Scully and shook her hand firmly. "I'd hug you , but you look like you might use that bulge in on your hip."

Scully grinned. "Not after coffee." They all laughed.

"Buenos noches senoras."

They both waved to the man and made their way back to the car serenaded by a few whistles along the way.

"Well Solomon was fun."

Reyes smiled and unlocked the car. "He's a good guy and Cecily's really sweet."

"There was actually a Cecily? I thought he was kidding."

"Nah, she's his wife. She usually camps out in the kitchen. It's like she refuses to move." She chuckled. "You up for the Cathedral or do you need to get back."

Scully looked at her watch. It was nearing 7:00pm. "Maybe another hour and then my Mom will start worrying."

"You know, if I'm keeping you it's okay, you don't have to come. You've done more than enough and I'd rather you go home with William."

"It's okay. I usually don't get home until 8:00 anyway. Don't worry Reyes, I'll let you know when I need to go."

Reyes focused brown eyes on the red head for a moment and then nodded. They got in the car and headed downtown.

Ch. 5

The two Agents were walking up the steps of the Cathedral when a cell phone rang. "Reyes."

The gruff voice on the end belonged to Agent Doggett. "Did you know this guy was going to be a waste of my time or you just wanted to torture me?" He chuckled.

Reyes winced in sympathy. "That bad?"

"I can now recite several Bible verses verbatim, but other than that he was much of nothing." He took a breath. "However, I did put in a call to Frank Black. Oddly enough, he answered me back so I'm going to try to meet him tonight. Where are you?"

"Scully and I are at the Cathedral checking on Sister Arneux."

"How'd your voodoo priest workout?"

"Not too bad-and we got some really good coffee out of it." She winked a Scully.

"I'll take your word for it. Did you find out anything useful?"

"Possibly. We identified the tattoo on her ankle, but I'm still not sure how relevant it is. It could be a harbinger of evil or just a random tattoo chosen in a drunken bar crawl." She shrugged and grinned as she remembered her own tattoo placed discreetly in the juncture where her hip met her thigh.

"I'm going to secretly wish it's just a tattoo." He laughed. "Check in later."

"Will do." She hung up and followed Scully inside.

It was through a force of habit that both women dipped their fingers into the holy water at the door and crossed themselves. The marbled floor of the Cathedral carried their steps far ahead of them as they walked down the aisle. It was hard not to look up and they both did, admiring the high arches, ornate fixtures, and stained glass.

A far off voice filled the aisle. "Agent Reyes?"

Both women stopped in their tracks and looked towards the altar, where a young priest stood. He was a lanky man just a hair taller than Scully with a head full of black hair swept back and cut close along the sides. He managed a smile that fell just short of his eyes.

"Father Berry." Reyes addressed the man. They met the priest near the altar and exchanged hand shakes. "Father Berry, this is Agent Scully."

He nodded. "Would you follow me this way." He turned abruptly and took the women through the vestibule, down a hallway, and through a door to a large office. "Have a seat will you." He gestured to the two high backed chairs that sat facing a massive cherry wood desk. Father Berry took a seat behind the large desk and sat down in an upholstered chair that looked like a toned down throne. His wardrobe certainly gave him the right to be there, but he still reminded both Agents of young boy playing in his father's office.

"Agent Reyes and Agent Scully, I'm sorry that we're meeting because of such tragic circumstances, but I hope I can help."

Both women sighed inwardly, reacting to his obviously scripted words.

Reyes dove right in. "Father Berry, what can you tell us about Sister Arneux."

He gave a small perfunctory smile and then launched into the normal rhetoric about how productive and giving the Sister was.

The Agents both smiled and nodded in all the right places. When he finished Reyes took a very matter of fact approach to her questions, which seemed to only yield standard answers. The interview only lasted about five minutes, but it was quite clear that Father Berry wasn't going to give them anything. Both women stood, following the priest's actions.

Scully spoke for the first time. "Father Berry could you direct us to Sister Arneux's living quarters."

The young priest flinched for the first time. "The police told us we would be able to clean up-is there something else you need?"

"Did you clean that room?" Scully managed to keep her tone even and void of too much emotion.

"Oh, no no, but."

Scully smiled warmly, attempting to put the priest at ease. "Father Berry, it's just routine. It's necessary for us to have an understanding of her space and I can't do that from a photo. I promise we won't take too long and we shouldn't need to remove anything. And of course after we're gone the room is all yours."

The young priest nodded. "Well, all right. It's just this way and through the gardens. They walked in silence. "Agents," he waved his hand towards the quaint cottage. "I trust you to lock up once you've finished." He looked both women in the eye, handed over the key to Agent Scully, and then gave a small bow.

Both women watched him leave and then turned to one another with a shrug. "After you Agent Scully." The red head unlocked the door and stepped into the sparse cottage with Reyes behind her.

Reyes felt along the wall for the light switch and turned it on. The Spartan room was doused in a soft light provided by the naked bulb that hung above them 8 feet up. The two Agents took in the tidy and prim belongings of the nun. They glanced over her oak dresser, a small desk in the corner, a sink, a closet, two chairs, a nightstand, two bookcases and a twin bed.

Reyes turned to Scully with a faint frown. "I thought they said they hadn't cleaned."

Scully shook her head as she looked about the room. "I don't think he lied, I really think this is all she had." She gave a light shrug and walked near the desk. "Anything in particular that we're looking for?"

"You mean besides the neon sign and smoking gun?"

Scully smiled and opened the desk draw finding only neatly arranged stationary and pencils. Reyes said nothing as she walked to the bookcase and began taking out books and leafing through the pages. The Agents continued their search in relative silence-checking under the desks, opening drawers and closets. Nearly ten minutes later all that had been revealed was that Sister Arneux had a stash of Twizzlers in her bookcase.

Reyes handed over one of the red licorice treats to Scully and both Agents stood in the middle of the room and nibbled. "We're missing something?" Reyes offered as she bit into the chewy candy. Scully just cut her eyes at the taller woman and kept on eating. "Were there any personal affects with her body?"

Scully's look was pensive and then she nodded her head. "Metro sent along her things, but I saw no reason to go through it. I have them on the cart to go the blood lab and forensics in the morning. What are you thinking?"

"Maybe she kept her secrets close."

"You're assuming she had secrets." She started. "Reyes, I'm hoping, but there's not a lot here." She wanted to be supportive, but she honestly didn't feel it.

Reyes looked down at Scully and silently pleaded for a chance. Reyes finished her candy and stood staring at the bed with her hands on her hips. "Did we check the bed?"

Scully snatched up the bag of candy from the desk and moved towards the door. "Reyes, we're fishing." She said with sigh, "and maybe we should just check what they sent over. Where else didn't we look?" She waited a beat as Reyes stood her ground. "Monica. Monica?"

Instead of answering the brunette took two steps towards the bed and got down on one knee. Scully watched with interest as the woman craned her neck to see underneath the bed. She called to her again and got no reply. With a burst of energy Reyes stood and tugged at the frame of the bed. She was surprised to find it was a lot heavier than it looked. "Little help here?" Scully put the bag back down and gabbed the other side of the bed. "Up." Together they raised the bed and Scully saw the beginnings of what had gotten the other woman's attention. Without prompting they moved the bed to the left until it was almost perpendicular to where it had been. They eased the bed back down and stared at the floor.

The missing bed now reveled a large symbol on the floor that had been drawn with what looked like white paint. "Father Berry's not going to like this one." Scully made the dry comment. "Is that another vever?"

"No it's not-which is confusing." Reyes ruffled her hair and walked around the drawing that had a diameter of two feet. "This is witchcraft-a symbol for protection. You see the pentagram?"

Scully nodded. "Witchcraft and voodoo." She glanced up at Reyes who was genuinely puzzled. She tapped Reyes on the shoulder, startling her slightly. "Let's move this bed back and head out." Reyes just nodded still lost in her thoughts. On the way back to the car she finally spoke as she bit into another piece of candy.

"It's like serving two masters." She said as if Scully had asked a question.


Reyes wagged the red candy in the air like a limp pointer. "Voodoo and witchcraft at the same time."

"It's not impossible."

She half-shrugged. "I suppose not, but it's two different disciplines, different rules. All though, both of the symbols were for protection."

"Which means Sister Arneux was hiding from someone. The more we know about her the more this will all make sense."

Reyes nodded and unlocked the car door. She looked over the car at Scully and focused brown eyes on the woman. "You know, you don't have to come back-I've kept you out long enough."

Scully started to protest and then glanced down at her watch. It was going on 8:30 p. "It's okay, I at least want to go back to the lab with you. Another half-and hour and then I'm on my way."

Reyes nodded. "I can drop you at home. I'm probably not going to do too much anyway. I just want to check her personal affects. Besides, I need to catch up with Doggett. If we find something exciting I'll give you a call."

Blue eyes focused on Reyes. "You sure?"

"Yep. Now get in." She smiled and they got into the car headed to Georgetown.

Dana Scully sat down at her desk and breathed a sigh of relief. She didn't wasted too much time relaxing since she now had only four minutes and forty-five seconds to enjoy her lunch. She peeled away the wax paper from her tuna sandwich and to her surprise she actually got to bite into the sandwich before the phone rang. Grudgingly she picked it up on the second ring. "Scmully." She said through a mouthful of food.

"Scully, is that you, it's Monica Reyes."

She grinned. "Sorry, I was in mid-chew. What did you need?"

"Just keeping you posted on our 'sister'. I found a funny looking key inside her habit."

"Really. Safety-deposit box?"

"Nah, it's some kid of skeleton key. It looks pretty old."

"Well that's good except you don't know what it opens up or where it is."

"Not right now. It's unique enough that a locksmith might be able to tell us something."

"Any luck with Frank Black?"

"A little. He gave us some ideas of where to start." She was about to continue when she heard a loud bell in the background.

"Crap." Scully growled.

"You okay?"

"Yes. I have to go-another class. Look, just a suggestion but start with the Sister's visitors or the people she gave outreach to. Maybe they can help. I gotta go."

Reyes heard the dial tone before could say goodbye.

Doggett pulled into the parking lot of the Kennedy street shelter and cut the engine. "What did she say?"

Reyes looked over at Doggett. "She agreed with your idea about checking out the people she helped."

Doggett tried not to smile too hard. "Hey if it leads to nothing, I'll be happy to summon the Dahli Lama with you."

She arched an eyebrow at Doggett as they exited the car. "I guess we should split up for now. I'll come and find you if I run across something." Doggett nodded in response at they both went their separate ways.

A half and hour later they crossed paths at the water fountain. Reyes leaned on the wall and looked down at Doggett. "Anything?"

Doggett looked up from the fountain and shook his head. "I met an old lady who wants to set me up with her daughter." Reyes smiled. "Other than that, just a lot of 'oh, she was nice.'"

"You too." She waited for someone to pass by. "I did meet an interesting man though."

"Oh yeah." Doggett stood up and straightened his dark tie.

"Mr. Washington. The man sitting on the third bench." She nodded towards the courtyard, where a man in mix-matched layered clothing sat rocking back in forth to his a silent rhythm in his head.

"Mr. Washington, huh?"

"Uh huh. Him and Elvis go way back." They shared a look of understanding. "But, oddly enough I mentioned Sister Arneux, he shook his head until I thought it was about to fall off and then he told me she was cursed. 'Mujare Diable' he called her. Devil woman."

Doggett just nodded. "Hmm. What else did Elvis's friend say?"

"Not so much about what he said, but the panic attack he had when that guy walked by." She nodded directly at a bleary-eyed young man in a dirty tank top. His face was pock-marked and his arms were full of track marks.

"Could be the kid just beats him up."

"Could be?"

Doggett nodded and they both walked off towards the man. The man in question, spotted the Agents but didn't react fast enough to get out. Instead he found himself stuck between the two Agents and two long tables away from the courtyard exit.

"Can we have a word with you sir?" Doggett asked the question. The man moved to his left and they moved with him, cutting him off completely.

"What do you want man? I didn't do nothing." Dark eyes darted nervously from one agent to another as he scratched at his elbow.

"It's okay." Reyes said the words in a tone that she hoped was non-threatening. "We just want to ask you a couple of questions about Sister Arneux."

The fidgety man quickly became very still. "I can't help you with that." He stuck his chin out as he responded.

"We haven't even asked the questions yet."

"Don't fucking matter, it's outta ya hands so leave it be."

Doggett furrowed his brow. He hated being dicked around. "You know something about Sister Arneux?" The question bordered on being an accusation.

He scoffed and spit on the ground off to the side. "Puta estupida. I don't know shit carbon, chingate."

"Hey, mire su boca!" Reyes snapped at him. She cut brown eyes at the snarling man. "Digame sobre la hermana and we won't arrest you."

"Por que?!"

"Las Drogas." She nodded expectantly towards his pocket.

He looked down nervously and frowned. "Chingate tu madre!"

Doggett knew enough Spanish to know very well what was going on. He reached for his cuffs and the man held up his hands.

"Calmate. I'm cool. I'm cool."

"Then stop being a smart ass and talk."

"Look chica, I got nothing to say. You want to arrest me then go for it. Sister brought her troubles on herself and ain't nothing anybody can do about it. She fucked herself and you know it." He looked Reyes in the eyes.

"Can you tell me who she was hiding from?"

He shrugged a shoulder. "Like it matters. You can't hide from el Diablo."

"What do you mean the Devil?" Doggett asked with frustration in his voice.

"The Devil cabron-that's what I know and I don't know much."

"Do you know if she talked to anybody else about this Devil?"

The man looked around and shrugged. A loud crash behind them grabbed their attentions. They all turned their heads to see several residents helping a young woman pick up the loose pots and pans she had dropped to the floor. The Agents turned back to the man only to find empty space. Doggett turned as if to go after him once he saw him hoping a low wall. Reyes stopped him with a hand on his arm. "Let's go we can find him."

After talking with two other patrons and a local priest they had his name. "Manuel Segui." Doggett read the name out loud. "What do you want to do when we find him?" He asked as they headed back to the F.B.I. building.

"I'm sure we can arrest him for something." She groaned. "I just want to talk to him, maybe he'll be nice and cooperative." She laughed as Doggett rolled his eyes.

Ch. 6

Reyes chewed viciously on the pencil as she passed through another rack of records on microfiche. She let out a sigh and tousled her hair as she came to the end of the roll. Dana Scully watched the woman with amusement and empathy. The hours she used to spend in front of the microfilm or hunched over a computer typing away, trying to make sense of the unexplainable. After a while it got easier and she knew where to look. Of course it helped to have a best friend and partner who was chock full of the most inane trivia and facts. She smiled at the thought of Mulder as she continued to watch Reyes.

The woman was definitely determined and definitely open. If Reyes thought she would find an answer to a question under a rock in Malaysia then she would be on a plane in two minutes. She sighed in thought. So much like Mulder that way. So much like Melissa in her enthusiasm and spirit. Sometimes she wanted to hate the brunette-how dare she remind her of the two things she knew she could never have. Melissa was gone and Mulder would never be safe. Even if he was, so many things had changed.

And here was this woman-who could burn through her with eyes the color of mahogany. She wanted so much to be her friend, she practically craved it, but there was something about Monica that she didn't want to delve into. Something she didn't want to think about or even pay heed to. No matter how much she wanted to abandon the woman and cast her off-cast them all off-something kept her to this place. Kept her drawn here and now, leaning against a doorway, watching the oblivious agent. She couldn't name it, but it had nothing to do with Melissa or Mulder or even protection. A voice from her dream echoed in her ears. "Guess you'll just have to keep me." Scully furrowed her brow and shook her head as if the physical action would knock loose the thoughts. She stood up straight and a smile came to her lips as Reyes discarded one gnarled pencil for a new one.

Quietly, Scully moved through the library and came to stand in the space next to Reyes. "You know some people might say you have an oral fixation?"

Reyes warmed to the sound of Scully's voice. She looked up at the red head and grinned. "Or they might say I'm dying for a cigarette." She chuckled. "I'll trade places with you. You sit here and I'll just run outside." Brown eyes pleaded with Scully and a bottom lip stuck out just slightly in a small pout.

Scully almost gave in. "No way." She shook her head. "I'll sit with you, but I'm not aiding and abetting your habits."

Reyes groaned and fell forward onto the desk playfully. "C'mon Scully." She turned brown eyes on the pale features of Scully. "Haven't you ever had a really nasty habit?"

As always, Reyes seemed to invade Scully's personal space. In a different context she would have thought the woman was hitting on her. Scully shook her head no and pretended to ignore the whimpering woman. "Not really. I got rid of all my habits."

Reyes scoffed and sat back in her seat. She folded her arms across her chest and eyed the woman with speculation. "Yeah right. Faberge eggs? Chocolate? Porn, PBS, something?"

Scully tried hard to hold in her giggle, to no avail. A raised eyebrow from another agent made her stop. She bit her lip and looked at the woman beside her. "I wasn't the one with the porn issue." She said quietly.

Reyes smiled. "There's got to be something, you can't be that good."

"I wore my skirt higher than regulation in Catholic School." She half-shrugged.

Reyes covered her mouth to stifle her laugh. "Wow, that's one step away from a Streetwalker."

"You have no idea." She rolled blue eyes up to the ceiling.

Reyes just smiled and allowed herself to get caught up in Scully's alabaster skin and red hair. Scully caught her eyes and looked down self-consciously. "What is it?"

Reyes looked away with a small grin. "Just good to get you laughing and making jokes."

Scully nodded and made a conscious decision not to lose her good mood. "Hey I've got a whole comedy routine. I'm thinking about taking it on the road." The reply surprised Reyes, who had to come up with an answer.

"Well make sure I get tickets then-front row."

Scully nodded. "So what are we looking for?" She gestured towards the screen.

Reyes snarled at the offending screen as the reality of her day snapped back on her. "Trying to get a feel for Sister Arneux. She worked for years in Louisiana and that's most of what I found. There's not much about her before 1996." "Why 96'?"

"She became a Nun. Kind of young, but that's best I guess. I suppose they want you to see all the horrors of life before devoting yourself to fixing them."

Scully shrugged. "In a roundabout way. Nothing else before that though?"

"Jack crap." She gathered her hair in her hands on top of her head and sighed.

"Wouldn't a computer search be quicker?"

"I all ready tried that. That's were I got the information on her as a nun. She worked in a parish so it's not like they all have newspapers or any type of media other than word of mouth."

"Did you run her fingerprints, chances are she did sample the ills of the flesh-with the tattoo and all?"

"Doggett took them down to Sarah. I told her I'd call." She glanced at her watch and cringed. "Yeesh, an hour ago."

She let out a breath. "Excuse me for a second." She picked up her phone and dialed Doggett. "Hey, it's Monica. Did that Priest call about Manuel?...Shit, okay....When?...How come he wasn't arrested?...I want to see his parole officer...good, call me back." She hung and cut off the machine.

"What was all that?"

She turned to Scully and rested one foot on the railing of the chair. "Manuel Sequi. That's the little punk who ran out on us at the shelter. I think he knows something about the Sister's death, Doggett thinks he did it?"

"That's expected. What about him being arrested?"

"He got hauled in a few months ago for assault on one of the Nuns at the shelter and a Priest caught him snooping around the Cathedral. No charges were filed."

Scully pursed her lips in thought. "Do you know where he is?"

"We've got a good idea. We're waiting on a phone call so we can go pick him up."

"Sounds like he'll be a handful." She did well to keep the concern out of her voice.

Reyes shrugged it off. "He's a cocky little thing, but nothing we can't handle."

"I don't doubt your ability-just be careful." She patted her shoulder and then stood up.

Reyes regarded the woman with curiosity. "Uh, thanks. You heading home?"

Scully checked her watch. "Not yet. If you want I can go check on those fingerprints for you, I'm heading that way."

"Scully, you don't have to do that."

"Not a problem." She waved the woman off. "Besides, I don't want you sneaking out back." She winked at the seated woman.

Reyes nodded. "You're cruel Dana-beautiful, but cruel." She smiled, secretly hoping she hadn't said what she just said. Scully seemed to make nothing of the comment. "Have a good night Agent Reyes." A wicked lilt carried her words. She smirked and left the library headed for the basement.

Scully walked into her old office and walked straight to the desk. She glanced up at the poster and grinned. She quickly searched the desk and found what she was looking for. Scully leaned against the desk as she opened up the file and began to read. She just got to the interesting part when the phone rang. She picked it up on instinct. "Agent Scully." "Um, hello." A woman's quiet voice was on the other end. "Yes, hello, may I help you?"
"I-I was looking for Agent Reyes or Doggett." Her voice wavered. "Ma'am I work with them. Would you like me to give them a message?" She tried to sound reassuring. "Well um, uh, I'm not sure. I should really talk to them." "Ma'am I promise that I'll get the message to them. My name's Agent Scully, what's yours?" "It's..well, it doesn't matter. Just, just tell the Agents that Manuel is staying on 14th and Irving." Scully began scribbling the information down. "Do you know how long he's going to be there?" "Oh- I don't know maybe not long. Um, uh I have to go." She spoke the words in rapid succession and then hung up. "Ma'am wait." Scully spoke her words into the dial tone. "Shit." She mumbled. She wrote down the information again, took a highlighter and ran it across three lines in the 3rd paragraph of the Nun's report[JpM5]. She left it out on the desk, took her copy of the note and then left the office.

Scully sat in the parking garage rapidly tapping her fingernails against the steering with her free hand while she dialed Doggett with the other. When his voice mail picked up for the second time, she pressed the off button and tossed the phone on the passenger seat. Scully gritted her teeth and pulled out of the parking lot headed towards Northeast. She decided to just call Doggett along the way.

Scully looked at the phone once more contemplating if she would call Reyes. She shook her head. There was no need, she wasn't going to get out of the car until Doggett got there. She pulled next to a barber shop two doors down and across the street from the address. She spotted three young men out on the stairs talking with one another. She had no clue, which one was Manuel and decided not to rule out any of them regardless of skin color. She snatched at the ringing phone on the seat before it barely got through the first ring.

"Doggett, that you?"
"Yeah, what's up?"
"Manuel Segui is out on his stoop and about to leave soon." "What?"
"I got a call and I couldn't find you." "Damn it. Where's Reyes?"
Scully skipped right over the question. "What does this guy look like?" "Is he leaving?"
She could hear Doggett rushing around in the background. "Nobody's moving yet, but I need to know." "Yeah, he's about 5'6", close cropped black hair, a little spiky on the top. He's got track marks up and down his arms. A capped canine tooth..." She cut him off. "I got him."
"I'm on my way-just sit tight."
Scully didn't answer him. Her eyes were fixed to Manuel as she watched him hop off the stairs and start walking.

"Scully wait." Doggett called into the phone, but he knew the woman was all ready gone. He shoved the phone in his jacket pocket and went in search of Reyes. When he couldn't find her in the office he rang her phone. "Where are you?" "In the library?" She could hear the urgency in his voice. "What's going on?" "Scully's sitting on Manuel we need to go." "What!?" Reyes was confused. "Why aren't you with her?" "I was in the damn tunnel, meet me at the car." Reyes raced to the elevator and rode down to the garage watching the lights the whole way. She hopped into the running car and barely got her seatbelt on before Doggett pulled off. "Why they hell would she take off without one of us?" "I don't know. She said something like he was leaving." "But by herself." Reyes was upset.
Doggett just shook his head. "Don't ask, cause I don't know." Reyes picked up the phone and dialed Scully. "Scully." She nearly barked into the phone. "Where are you now, we're on our way." "There's no rush he stopped for a slice of pizza." Reyes let out a sigh of relief and allowed her swelling anger to dissipate. "Well hold tight we're almost there." "Gotta go, I'm on foot." She ended the call. "Scully...shit." Monica tossed the phone to the back seat. "What?"
"She's on foot. He stopped at a pizza joint and now she's following him." "Is he still in Northeast?"
"Fuck." Her angered renewed, she groaned and reached back for the phone.

Agent Scully followed Manuel at an easy pace as he headed between two brownstones. Scully hung back on the corner and put her hand on her gun. She blew out a quiet breath after a long three minutes-something wasn't right. Scully checked behind her and then pulled her gun. She took the safety off the Glock 9mm and slid her finger around the trigger guard. Scully focused hard on the alley to her left. She did her best to block out the lazy drag of afternoon drivers. Scully took a step and then her phone rang.

In a quick motion she slammed her hand down on the phone, causing the battery to release and then she stepped into the alley with both hands on her gun. "Federal Agent!" Manuel was at the ready and he charged the woman, throwing her back against the brick wall. She recovered quickly and ran after the skinny young man. The afternoon sidewalk was not too cluttered with visitors or workers so it was easy to spot the tank top wearing young man running down the sidewalk. He cut down a side street and Scully ran down a parallel alleyway, hoping to cut him off on the other side.

Her cut was just long enough and apparently Manuel had slowed down to pick up a weapon. She stepped out of the alley with her gun drawn and took a breath, bracing herself for the oncoming charge. Manuel caught sight of the barrel of the gun and pulled up his steps. He clutched at the wooden board in his hands as he debated between dropping it and actually using it.

"Don't move Manuel! F.B.I." Her voice was stern and brooked no argument.

Manuel darted muddy brown eyes around the area looking for a trap door of sorts. Blue eyes followed the twitchy man. "Don't do it Manuel. I want you down on the ground, arms above your head, and flat on the ground."

He squinted his eyes at her. "Puta." He muttered under his breath.

"DO IT!" She rested her finger against the trigger. "Drop the board down on the ground. NOW!"

He gripped the board and flinched. Scully didn't hesitate to pull the trigger. The bullet ripped through his right shoulder and knocked him back a few steps. He doubled over in pain and dropped the weapon. "Jesus Christ Lady!!" He wailed and fell to his knees. Scully lowered her gun to her side and put her phone back together so she could call for an ambulance. Manuel wailed as if he had been shot in the kneecap.

Scully rolled her eyes at his obvious overdramatic antics. "It's a flesh wound Manuel, calm down." He gave her a grin. "I would have stopped." "Yeah right. Sit down and stop moving." The whir of sirens made Scully look up. She cut her eyes down at Manuel as his hand moved towards the board. "I'll shoot you in the other arm if you keep moving." He giggled, but took notice that she still held the gun. "Okay chica." He lay down on his back and held onto his arm. "Keep pressure on your arm." Scully holstered her gun as the ambulance and police cruisers pulled up. She took a breath as she saw the black sedan pulling up knowing whom it belonged to.

Reyes and Doggett barely parked the car before they were out of the car and jogging towards the agent. Scully scuffed the ground with her shoe and put her hands on her hips as she watched the EMTs load Manuel onto the stretcher. She nodded at Doggett and Reyes keeping her face void of emotion-even though she could clearly see the frustration and worry all over her face.

"Are you okay? What happened?" Reyes almost reached out to grab Scully by her shoulders, but stopped herself. "I called and got nothing."

Scully just stepped back so the paramedics could work. "I was right behind him when you called."

The anger that was nearing the boiling point for Reyes ran into a wall of ice and fear as she realized she might have put the agent in even more danger. "I'm sorry, Christ-but you hung up I had no choice."

"With reason, I told you where I was." Her voice her a bit of a bite to it.

Reyes bit her lip, stifling an inappropriate remark. Doggett stepped into Scully's line of sight smothering the growing tension for the moment. "What happened here?" His no-nonsense attitude was exactly what was needed at the moment.

She looked up and Doggett. "He spotted me and led me down an alley. When the phone rang he charged me and then I chased him down the street. I saw him cut down the buildings so I cut down the alley to cut him off. When we made it here he was holding a 2x4." She nodded at the board at their feet. "He flinched and I shot him." She shrugged. "Did he say anything?"
"Too busy running to talk."
"He looks all right." Doggett watched Manuel being loaded onto the ambulance. "It's just a flesh wound he should be all right in a few hours." Doggett nodded. "Reyes, maybe you should head over with him and sure there's a guard on his door, I don't want Manuel running out on us again." With a stiff jaw she nodded at him and then turned without so much as a word in Scully's direction. Scully sighed and ruffled her hair. She looked up at Doggett. "You pissed too?" "Oh hell yeah." His light southern drawl made the truth a bit easier to hear. He grinned somewhat. "But you're okay and Manuel will be in the box before the end of the night. I'll take you to your car." They walked to his car in silence. "One thing though?" Scully looked at him over the car. "You really couldn't wait?" "If I did he'd be gone." She answered with confidence and belief. "As it was the tip came from some nervous woman at a payphone." She tried to keep the bite out of her words. "That's all I wanted to know." They got in the care and he drove around the corner. "Do you want to meet us at the hospital?" "Nah. I have a report to write and then I'm heading home. I have to remember this isn't my case. Tell Monica when she's stopped fuming to call me-I'm still interested in what he has to say." Doggett nodded. "She just worries." He shrugged and watched Scully get out. "We all worry Doggett." Scully tapped the hood of the car. "Thanks." He just nodded and waited until she got into her car and then pulled off.

Ch. 7

A fist rapped against the door and Dana Scully hesitated for a second before opening the door-knowing full well who was on the other side and exactly what the other woman was going to say. She knew she didn't need the irritation, but perhaps the brunette would be quick in her reprimand and they could all move on. Dana rolled her eyes and then opened the door.

The door swung back wide as Monica Reyes was about to knock again. Her creased brow relaxed just a bit, but she was still clearly annoyed. "I was about to get worried." "Still here." Dana said flatly and walked back to the couch.

Reyes closed the door and was hot on the shorter woman's heels. Scully leaned back into the cushions of her couch and removed her glasses-looking up at the agent expectantly. The agent debated between pacing the floor and sitting for a moment, before finally perching on the arm of the couch far from Scully. She focused her eyes on the red head and then spoke. "You know what I'm going to say don't you?" The red head sighed and muttered, "here it comes." Reyes took obvious offense to the remark and slapped her hand against her thigh hard. "Here it comes-you're damn right here it comes, Dana." Dana Scully arched a brow- sometimes she hated the way the other woman used her name and then other times she welcomed the familiarity. Scully didn't waver in her look, but Monica didn't flinch. "I'm serious Dana, this isn't a joke. How could you do that to us?"

Dana huffed. "Look Monica, do you want me to apologize, because believe me I'm sorry, but I did what I thought needed to be done."

Monica stood up. "Bullshit!" She spoke a bit louder than she meant to. Dana admonished the woman with a look. "Sorry." She adjusted her tone with respect to the sleeping baby in the next room. "Dana, that's not an excuse or even an answer. What you did was uncalled for and unnecessary. You act like you don't trust us."

Now Dana stood and folded her arms across her chest. "I don't trust you?" She looked perplexed, both women knowing the statement to be false. She sighed and tempered her anger. "I did what I did for a reason and it has nothing to do with trust. It may have been rash, but I acted in what was an appropriate manner at the time." She chose her words carefully.

Brown eyes watched the red head closely, waiting for her to tip her hand. "How was going off without back up appropriate?"

"I said it was rash." Her tone was flat.

Monica gritted her teeth in frustration and bit her lip, forcing down the anger the red head was fueling. She tousled dark brown hair. "I just don't understand. How could you lecture me one minute about making good decisions and watching my back and then go run off playing Dirty Harry."

Scully refused to meet Monica's eyes. She just looked down at the file spread out on the table and rubbed the back of her neck. "Agent Reyes, are you done? I can't do this all day. I made a judgment call-it worked out so let's just move on." She turned away and began to head towards the kitchen.

A firm grasp on her wrist stopped her. "No way you're walking out on me." Monica's voice was cold in its gravity. Blue eyes glanced down at the hand on her wrist and back up at Monica. Her eyes were full of question and just a hint of amusement. "You're lying Dana, I want the truth."

"Truth. That is the truth Monica, now let me go." She held the taller woman's gaze.

Monica relinquished her hold and took a step back. "So I'm to take the truth as being you don't give a shit or you're just a hypocrite." Blue eyes blazed and Monica kept going-incensed. "I'm thinking you just don't care. Secretly, you've got some death wish or just hope like hell you can disappear right along with Mulder. I don't think you want to even be here.

If it wasn't for William, you'd just as soon walk off into the night."

Scully took a step towards the taller woman, hands clenched into fists at her side. "You're out of line." She spat out the words.

Monica stood her ground. "Am I? Professor Scully, am I?" If she had been throwing punches she would have landed two stiff jabs. Monica all but verbally dared Dana to say something. "Look, maybe you've figured out your life without your family and friends, but have you stopped to think at what we're all supposed to do without you."

Dana shook her head in anger at the assaulting words. She kept her face stoic and held her tears at bay. "That's an extremely selfish opinion."

"I'm not afraid to admit it. Dana, please stop pushing me away. I've always been willing to accept your hot and cold mood swings, but they were always about Mulder-now it's something else."

Dana sucked her teeth. "And just like that you think you're entitled." She meant the words to be hurtful.

Monica softened her voice and took a step towards Dana. "I thought we were friends." Brown eyes bored into Dana's blue eyes with too much intensity. Dana looked away. She turned to walk away. Once again and hand on her forearm halted her movement-all be it, a gentler hold. The softness seemed so foreign to Dana she wanted to shrug it off. "Dana, please." Monica continued, "let me in."

Dana's petite form shook with silent laughter. She moved away from the brunette and went to stand in front of the sink. "Let you in-" The words were quiet. "If I let you in any further you'll be under my skin." She looked up to find intense brown eyes focused on her. She knew Monica heard her and the expression the woman's face said more than Dana wanted to know.

"Just tell me. Do I have to beg?"

Dana closed her eyes to the words-her mind conjuring up broken pieces of fleeting dreams. She looked down at the tile and shook her head. "No, you don't have to beg." She let out a weary breath that trembled more than she would have liked. She stopped herself from nearly choking on her next words. "I had a dream, if you want to know." There she said it.

Monica stood in the entrance to the kitchen and leaned against the molding. She did her best to control the inquisitive smile that wanted to show itself. "A dream?"

Dana rolled her eyes. "It probably means nothing, but it just-I don't know."

"You know I don't believe that Dana."

She refused to meet Monica's eyes looking anywhere but directly at the agent. She took a breath and prayed her voice wouldn't break. "I lost you," she said softly.

"You lost me?" Monica took a step into the kitchen, but Dana stopped her with a shake of her head.

"I keep losing you-over and over." She took a breath and then allowed the words to pour out. "I'm always too late. Sometimes you're long gone before I get there. Other times you die at my feet or in my arms-whatever, but you just slip away." She paused for a long moment and then added, "just like the rest."

Suddenly, Monica understood. "Oh Dana. You didn't lose those people-it wasn't your fault."

She looked up, fighting a losing battle with her tears that were beginning to gather. "Melissa was my fault-there's no denying that. Even Mulder. If I had just stayed with him, but I couldn't do it." Monica's heart broke for the woman who stood before her. She wanted to wrap her in her arms and take it all away, but that was Dana's call and not hers. "Dana, you can't keep blaming yourself for these things and you can't protect me by lying to me."

Dana huffed. "Don't you get it Monica." Her pale face was like stone. "I can't lose anybody else. Not you, not Doggett, not anybody. I can't do this again." Her voice strained.

"So you'd rather shut down and shut the world out?" Monica didn't want to push too hard, but she wanted some answers.

"If that's what it takes."

Monica smirked. "Dana, I could walk outside right now and get hit by a bus, you know that right? The elevator could drop; my next plane might fall out of the sky. Are you going to blame yourself for that too?" Dana shrugged. "You don't get it-I've seen it happen a hundred different ways. A drowning, a stabbing, a bad fall-and every time I could have stopped it, every time I'm responsible. I just can't go through it, I won't. So yes, I made a decision."

Monica changed her approach just a bit, knowing Dana was becoming upset. "Dana, can you tell me anything specific about the dream? Is there something I should be aware of?"

Dana looked up at Monica and then quickly looked away. Even when she was trying to be professional, Monica had a way of staring right through to Scully's insides. Dana felt a familiar tightness in her stomach and a pull in her groin. She shook off the feeling and shook her head no in answer to Monica's question.

"You know what agent Reyes," she was all business again, "I'm done. I can't do this right now. Just- just uh, let yourself out, will you?" Dana turned her back to Monica and faced the sink. Dana turned on the faucet, effectively drowning out any comment Monica was about to make.

The brunette hung her head in defeat and quietly walked to the front door. She actually opened the door all the way before she gave herself a gut check and closed it. She turned around and walked with soft footsteps back into the kitchen. If Dana sensed her presence she said nothing. Monica watched slim shoulders convulse with Dana's quiet sobs. Dana didn't flinch when she felt long arms circle her about the waist. Monica pressed herself close to the redhead and rested her chin on her shoulder. Dana wanted to laugh, but she couldn't stop crying. There was an unexplainable comfort she felt in this woman's arms and all she could do was cry. Monica just held on for dear life-all the while whispering absolutely nothing of importance into small ears. Dana could barely register the words over the faucet, but the tone was meant to soothe her.

"I've got you Dana- I've got you. You won't lose me, you won't." She repeated the words over and over again as the woman in her arms released. When Dana felt warm lips press into the nape of neck she almost thought she was dreaming again. Maybe she had forgotten what it was like to be touched, but she felt Monica's kiss all the way to her toes. She leaned her head back and allowed Monica to hold her up.

They stayed that way for long moments--Monica whispering in her ear and gently rocking them back and forth. For her part, Dana just kept her eyes closed and tried not to think. A small eternity passed until the spasms finally subsided and her tear ducts seemed empty. Monica continued to hold Dana even as the woman seemed to come back to herself.

Dana reached forward and shut off the faucet. She rested her palms on the counter and let her hand hang forward. She was exhausted. She touched the hands at her waist and pushed away from the counter. Monica moved with her and reluctantly released the red head. She stepped back and allowed the smaller woman some space.

Dana turned around and leaned back against the counter. She wiped away her remaining tear streaks and ran her hands through her hair, drawing her hair behind her ears. Surprisingly, she felt no hint of embarrassment as she met Monica's warm eyes. She spoke without a tremble in her voice. "Thank you." It was the only thing she could think to say.

Monica could only nod, unsure of what to say or do. Her mind was racing and her fingers still pulsed where she had held onto Dana. She was all at once nervous and giddy, but anxious all the same. She desperately hoped she hadn't overstepped her bounds, she had only meant to comfort the woman, but she had to admit it felt great to hold her.

For the first time, Dana didn't see the light behind Monica's eyes. Instead she saw something she recognized in herself-fear and uncertainty. Oddly enough it excited Dana. She titled her head to the side and gazed at Monica openly. For once it was Monica who looked away under the pressure. Whether it was the perverse power dynamic or something she just needed to do, Dana Scully acted on an impulse as she closed the distance between them.

A steady hand burrowed itself in Monica's hair as Dana pulled her down for a kiss. The red head's kiss was raw and far from being polite or chaste. Monica didn't have time to be shocked or elated as Dana all but devoured her in a show of force. Monica could just hang onto the agent's hips as she did her best to keep up with Dana's questing tongue. The kiss went on longer than either of them probably expected. Dana broke off the kiss with a bit of a shove. Monica would have fallen into the wall if she hadn't all ready been pressed against it.

Dana stepped back and retreated to the sink. Both women stood apart from each other panting, their lungs burning for air. Monica looked across at Dana and saw the same expression of exhaustion she knew she felt. Both women were spent as if they had run long and hard for miles. Dana looked down at the floor, almost afraid to look up, knowing she would find Monica staring at her with intensity and uncertainty. She took a breath and pushed away from the counter, hoping her legs wouldn't buckle. "Um, I should-" she caught a quick glance at Monica and almost collapsed under the weight of brown eyes.

"Yeah, okay." Monica started.

Dana was attempting to sneak out the side entrance to the kitchen. "Why don't I um-" Christ this was awkward. She sighed.

Monica did her best to tone down the shit-eating grin that threatened to come to her face. She admired the red head from across the room, and couldn't help but compare Dana to a virgin let loose in the penitentiary. "You don't have to apologize." Monica was confident, just shy of being cocky. Her voice sang with it and the light husk hummed in Dana's ears.

For as nonchalant as she wanted to pretend to be, Dana felt the small hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. She leaned against the wall and stared straight ahead sensing Monica's movement before the woman took a step. "I wasn't planning on it." Dana's words surprised them both.

"I still want to talk about your dream." Monica came to stand in front of Dana.

"I'm sure you do."

Monica smirked. "Dana." She drawled. She could see the smaller woman tremble. "Look at me."

Inside, Dana was kicking herself, but she looked up. She took a breath and looked away as crimson tinted her cheeks. "How do you look at me like that?"

Monica was amused. "Like what Dana?"

"And stop saying my name like that." She ginned and bit her lip.

Monica was well within Dana's personal space and she loved the way it was causing the normally controlled agent act. "Look at me Dana."

"Rather not." She pushed at her cuticle on her manicured nails.


"You always look at me like your heart's about to explode out of your chest." Dana looked up and met Monica's intense brown eyes.

"That's because it is." She answered honestly. She grabbed Dana's hand. "See."

Dana allowed Monica to place her hand over her heart and the swell of her breast. The red head all ready needed to change her underwear, she might as well change her jeans as well. Dana smirked and met Monica's eyes with a wicked gleam. "You're like a horny little school boy."

Monica shrugged and let go of Dana's hand. The red head left her hand where it was. "I probably was one in a former life. Besides, I've known quite a few little school boys."

"I've had enough of those."

"So have I."

Dana giggled out loud as she removed her hand from Monica's breast. She gathered herself and spoke seriously. "I don't think I can do this Monica."

She sobered as well. "I'm not asking you to do anything."

"You're not?" There was honest surprise in her voice.

Monica shook her head and took a small step back give Dana room. "I'm at your mercy Dana."

Dana let a shiver run through her. "Don't give me that responsibility. I don't even know what the hell I want. Maybe nothing more than a friend."

That was all Monica had ever expected anyway. "Then let me be that."

Dana regarded the taller woman with skepticism. Monica just smiled. "Even if that's all I can ever give?"

Monica nodded. "I don't want what you don't have. Just allow me to be your friend-no strings, no pressure."

Dana shook her head and moved out of the corner. "This never worked with any of my boyfriends or high school dates, it's doomed to fail."

Monica chuckled and followed the woman with her eyes. "I'm not your boyfriend Dana."

Dana looked up at Monica and met her penetrating gaze. "I know you're not."

"Good." Monica let the words hang the air for a moment before she took a breath. "I'm going to go now." She walked towards Dana a little unsure of what she should do. She knew what she wanted to do, but that involved at lot less clothing and possibly a bed.

Dana looked up at Monica and got lost. She instinctively tilted her head up. "I'll see you at work then." Monica made no attempt to look away from the inviting sight of Dana's full lips. Introspectively, she admitted that Dana was right, this never worked. Monica was about to throw caution to the wind and kiss the smaller woman when William's timely wail cut through the sexual tension like a gun shot in a church.

The women stepped apart-each flushed and on edge. Dana nodded towards the hallway. "Gotta go."

Monica nodded. "I'll let myself out."

Dana just nodded and ran off towards William's bedroom, eager to give the boy a pile of toys or Playstations(tm) for life for his impeccable timing. Monica listened to the sound of Dana calming William with quiet satisfaction. She felt the memory of Dana's lips and left the house quietly. Once outside she shook her head at her fortune and let a wide grin come to her face. "Please don't let this end badly." She said under her breath and headed down the stairs.

Ch. 8

It was well after 5:00 p.m. when Dana Scully rode the elevator down to the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover building. She knew the odds of running into Monica Reyes were about 7 to 2 they would have a head on collision. She was less worried about seeing the woman, but nervous about how she would react. She had been chanting herself strong[JpM6] for the past 45 minutes, swearing that she wouldn't look the woman in the eye for longer than necessary or stand too close. Her brain was cloudy and she needed more than a few hours to figure out what was happening between the two of them. Of course, the dreams from the previous night were not helping.

Lingering somewhere between the macabre and the erotic, her dreams were filled with twisted landscapes and low lights, soft sounds, and the hanging plot twists best found in David Lynch films than in her head. She wavered between being all at once aroused and frightened for Monica's life. Frightened of what she wasn't sure, but it was always the no-name, faceless shadow that swallowed the brunette up into oblivion and Scully was always to blame. She was always the one to witness her last breaths, always the one to mourn. She would ache until the ache became so great, the pain so unfathomable that it would melt together into something all together sadistic-sinister-and then eventually sensual.

Scully took a deep breath as the elevator stopped on the basement level. She willed the butterflies away in her stomach and blew out a strong breath. She walked the familiar aisle, hearing only the echo of her heels on the floor providing a soundtrack. She tapped the door and eased it opened from its nearly closed state. "Agent Doggett?" Blue eyes fixed on A.D. Skinner and then onto Monica Reyes. "Sorry to interrupt."

Reyes moved away from the desk and waved the woman in. "Actually, we were on our way up to meet Doggett."

"Agent Scully."

"A.D. Skinner." She nodded towards the man. She looked at Monica. "Agent Reyes."

"Agent Scully." They women broke eye contact and followed Skinner out of the office.

The large elevator allowed them all a buffer zone, with Skinner standing between the two women as they stood along the back rail. Skinner turned to Scully with a grin. "So how's the baby boy?"

Scully beamed with motherly pride and Monica wished she had a photographic memory just so she could keep the look on Scully's face with her forever. "He's doing well-eating like an entire football team." They all laughed.

"I'm glad to hear it." His face grew serious. "You haven't had anymore problems?"

Scully sighed with gratefulness and shook her head. "Things seemed to have settled down and after what we found in that field, I don't think we'll be seeing any of those people again."

"Good." The elevator stopped. "Keep me posted, Agents." Skinner stepped off and the doors closed sealing the women in silence. Both Agents leaned back against the rail, gripping it as the elevator began its ascent once more.

Blue eyes followed the lights and Scully began to wonder if her lungs would cave in from the lack of air before they made it to the 6th floor. Reyes' expelling of air, proved her lungs were no match.

"Um, Scully?"

The Agent turned towards the taller woman, intrigued by her less than confident stammer. Soulful brown eyes focused on her and like always Scully felt naked. She looked away-feeling the blush rise to her cheeks. So much for not reacting. "Reyes?" Her voice bounced off the floor.

Reyes groaned inwardly knowing what she was about to say and hating herself for saying it. "Dana," she took a breath. "I feel like I should apologize-maybe I-"

Blue eyes cut off her words, as Dana looked up and met the brunette's stare. "You have nothing to apologize for Monica." The elevator stopped and she stepped towards the door. She caught Monica's reflection in the chrome of the elevator doors and matched the force of her gaze. "I told you, I'm not apologizing." The doors opened with a 'whoosh'. A rush of movement, sound, and light filled the elevator. Scully stepped out leaving the slack-jawed woman behind. Reyes closed her mouth and jumped out of the elevator just as the doors were beginning to close.

Monica Reyes walked with a bit of pep in her step. She managed to hide the grin that was on her face when they made it to the interrogation rooms. If they had been anyplace other than these fabled halls with cameras everywhere, she would have grabbed the red head and made it clear that she was far from sorry. The two Agents stood in silence behind the two-way mirror as they watched Doggett talk to Manuel. The cocky young man sat across from Doggett with his arm in a sling. He picked something out of his teeth with his tongue-paying no mind to Doggett.

"Hey Mannie, I'm talking to you." Doggett not to gently slapped the man upside the head with a manila folder.

"Ow, cabron." He creased his brow at Doggett. "I got rights you know."

"Oh I know you got rights Mannie. Which is the only reason I haven't twisted you into a pretzel for what you did." He stood-towering over the man and glared at him.

"I didn't do anything man." He sat back in his chair and checked his reflection in the mirror.

"That's not what I heard Mannie." Doggett spilled the contents of the folder on the slate gray table. Colorful photos of Sister Arneux's mutilated body were on display. "Have a look at what you did."

He rolled his eyes and eventually looked down. Reflexively, he curled his lip up in disgust. "I had nothing to do with that, so don't go try to pin this bull shit on me. You can't prove nothing anyway." He spat angrily.

Doggett fed on his demeanor. He sat on the edge of the table-close to Manuel, making the man crane his neck up at an odd angle to look at him. "I think I can prove you did it Mannie. I think you killed her."

He strained his neck to look up. "Puta!"

Doggett slammed his fist on the table. Manuel only blinked in defense. "I heard you were the last person to see her alive, Mannie. In fact you saw her all the time. You were sweet on her and she told you to go with God so you cut her up you sick son of a bitch."

Mannie rolled his eyes. "Back off me cabron. I had nothing to do with it and you know it. Whatever you think you can prove it won't matter."

Doggett looked towards the glass and raised his brow. He stood up and walked to the other side of the table. "You're awful smug Mannie. What do you think they're going to do with you in prison when they find out you killed a Nun. The media's going to eat you alive and there's the needle."

Mannie sucked his teeth angrily and shook his head. "You think I care about your justice. Fuck off. Go ahead and arrest me-I'll get off. That woman got what she deserved and that's that."

Doggett exploded with force, grabbing the man by the tank top and ripping him out of his chair. Doggett had the man pinned against the wall with an elbow. "You think this is funny you sick shit." He spat the words angrily and shook his head. "What if I rip out your insides you punk!"

"Get off me!" He squealed and tried to move but Doggett's forearm sank deeper into his throat causing him to sputter for air.

Reyes spoke aloud to Doggett before she even thought of touching him. "John! John, put him down."

Doggett settled at the sound of his partner's voice behind him. He let go of Manuel with an extra shove and then left the room, brushing past Scully as he headed to the water cooler. She waited on him and then went back into the middle room to observe Reyes.

"You okay?" Scully didn't take her eyes off Reyes as she asked the question.

"Yeah." Doggett grumbled. He drained his cup and tossed it in the wastebasket. "I want him off the street." He watched through the glass as Reyes helped Manuel to his seat.

"Metro's going to keep him for drug possession and probation violation. He'll spend at least a night or two in jail at the least." Doggett said nothing as they both watched.

Reyes moved to the right and leaned against the wall. "Something you want to tell me Manuel."

He looked up at the brunette and smiled in a way that made Reyes uncomfortable, but she shrugged it off. He chuckled. "I didn't kill that lady."

"I don't know Mannie. Some people seem to think you did. We found blood that wasn't hers and my partner's convinced it's yours."

He shrugged. "I didn't kill her and you know it."

"Oh I do?" She arched a brow and folded her arms across her chest. "I only know what I see Manuel and you're not being very cooperative." She was doing her best to be annoying.

"What do you want me to say-I know who did it?"

"That would be a start since you claim to be innocent." She moved towards the table and sat down.

He caught her eyes and smirked. "Why would I tell you-you going to help me out?" He licked chapped lips.

Reyes could feel her stomach churn at the action. On the other side of the mirror Scully folded her arms across her chest and stared coldly at the seated man. Reyes smirked. "Now you want me to help. I thought you didn't know anything?"

"There's stuff I could find out." He tried to put some charm into his tone. Behind the glass Scully rolled her eyes.

"Oh, so if I let you go you're going to tell me everything?"

"Sure." He winked.

Reyes stood and shook her head. "Bullshit Manuel. I'm beginning to think you did kill her." In a hushed tone she added.

"And we both know her death wasn't natural. What if I let you go and she comes after you?" She was dead serious.

Manuel lost his grin and sneered at the agent. "Me protgn!"

Reyes chuckled and walked to the door. "You know what cabron." She said in a mocking tone. "No hay proteccion para tu. What came for her will come for you." Reyes shook her head and left, closing the door silently behind her. She entered the small room just in time to see Manual seethe with anger. He stood up and threw his chair across the room.

"Fuck you lady! You are the one with no protection! All of you!" He banged his fist hard against the mirror two times, before three Agents and D.C. police officer came in to subdue him.

The three Agents behind the glass watched the scene with interest -- all though his words did alarm Scully more than she cared to admit at the moment. The nasty images of her dreams swirled in her thoughts and made her bristle. Reyes, ever tuned into the smaller woman, found Scully's eyes with her own and quietly reassured the woman.

"So you really want to let him out?" Doggett asked.

Reyes reluctantly looked away from Scully. "Why not. Between the shelter and 2nd street, we can find him."

Doggett nodded in agreement. "I'm going to go talk to Stivers so we can get him released." He jerked his neck to the side causing the bones to snap into place with an audible crack. Doggett blew out a calm breath. "Do you mind if I sit on him tonight?" He looked at Reyes.

"No. Go ahead, I have to meet with the locksmith anyway." She touched his shoulder and smiled. "I'll bring some coffee."

He nodded and gave her grin. "Agent Scully." He nodded at her and then left the two women alone.

Her back was to Scully as she spoke. "You okay?"

Scully took a breath. "Yes, I am and will be once I get home." She walked past Reyes to the door.

Reyes reached out, almost automatically, touching the woman on the shoulder to get her attention. "Wait-" she drew her hand back and shoved it in her pocket as if to scold the offending appendage. "I have something that I wanted to give to you."

"Okay," Scully watched Reyes with curiosity. "What is it?"

She tapped herself in the forehead bringing herself out of her mental daze. "The coroner sent me the report and I wanted you to take a look. I mean if you can or if you have time or if..

Scully smiled, effectively stopping the woman's babbling. "Downstairs?"

Reyes just nodded for fear her words would trip her up. They exited and walked to the elevator in silence. They rode down in silence as well, both standing along the back wall with only a few feet in between them. For the first time Scully didn't mind that the hallway was so dark. At least this way she didn't have to hide the fact that she was openly admiring the form of the taller woman.

Reyes opened the door and they walked in quietly. She went straight to the desk and found the folders she needed. They looked each other in the eye for the first time in nearly five minutes as Reyes handed over the folders. Scully was compelled to look away first, using the folders in her hand as an excuse. Just once she wanted to look at the woman and not feel like she was trying to get inside her skin. It was an odd sort of comfort that Reyes wanted to be that close-but Scully didn't think she was ready to travel that road.

"The other victims autopsies." She said it just to give herself something to say. She flipped through the charts and photos. She looked up to find Reyes watching her. Scully blushed like she was some high school girl being eyed by the football team's quarterback. "I'm going to just take these home and compare-if that's okay."

Reyes nodded and then realized that she was staring. She looked away with a guilty grin. "Sorry about that."

"Don't apologize." Scully met her eyes with confidence. "You just have this way of-" She trailed off and looked up and around as if she was searching for the right words. "I hate talking in here sometimes. I always felt like some one was one step of ahead of us." She ran a hand through her hair. "I'm going to go. Maybe, I'll call you later or something."

Reyes nodded and walked out with her into the hallway. They stopped in front of the elevator-she stopped directly behind Scully.

Scully turned and looked up at the brunette who was looking down at her with the same intense stare she always greeted her with. Scully smiled. "Why is it that you always seem to be looking into me? You don't look at me, you know. It's like you cut through the surface." She shrugged finding her words inadequate.

"I guess I should apologize then." She looked down at the ground.

"Please stop apologizing, Monica." She looked at the taller woman, who stood a few inches from her-dark brown hair shrouding her features as she looked down. Dana Scully took a breath and reached a hand out, cupping Monica's cheek. Before the brunette could be startled, Dana was leaning in and craning her neck up to kiss her. Monica bent her neck, meeting Dana for a less than innocent kiss. What started out as a soft reassurance rapidly surged with passion-as Monica willingly opened her mouth to Dana's probing tongue. The red head hadn't meant to get carried away, but as always with Monica there was just something that pulled her in. She felt her knees giving in and her lungs protesting to the lack of air.

Dana pulled away and took a gulp of air. She watched Monica with amusement, as the taller woman stood there with her eyes still closed-lost to the touch and feel and taste that was Dana. The arrival of the elevator brought Monica back to the world. She opened brown eyes and caught the look on Dana's face and blushed. "Got lost." She admitted.

Dana nodded in understanding. "I have to leave now."

"I know."

"Um," she held up the folder. "If I find anything I'll let you know."

Monica straightened her jacket and stepped back, attempting to retain just as smidge of the professionalism that had been all but pulverized by their display of affection. "Okay then." She watched Scully back into the elevator. Monica did not look away in embarrassment as she openly gazed at the red head, and to her surprise and delight Dana did not look away even as the doors closed.

Ch. 9

Friday Morning 6:15 a.m.

Dana Scully let out an unexpected yawn as she gathered the coffee carrier and pastry bag. She excused herself with a grin to the dread-locked young girl behind the register and left the shop with her purchases. Scully walked halfway down the block and tapped on the window of a parked gray Chrysler. Jubilant brown eyes looked up at her with gratefulness and just a hint of something else. Reyes unlocked the doors and welcomed in the agent.

"Oh God, my savior." She grabbed the coffee holder before Scully could even get her foot in the door.

Scully just chuckled. "The one on the right is yours."

Reyes just nodded as she pried off the plastic lid, careful not to scald herself with the hot liquid. She smiled at the thick aroma of Jamaican Blue mountain coffee and hummed with delight. The sound made Scully's stomach fill with flips. Reyes took a healthy swig of the black liquid and let her head fall back against the headrest. She grinned like a Cheshire cat and then turned her head towards Scully. Eyes that were brown like Scully's own coffee looked at her with what Scully immediately recognized as devotion. "Thank you soooo much."

"You're welcome," Scully responded quietly, finding herself caught up in Monica's tractor beam like gaze. "Sorry I didn't call last night." She used the words to break the mood.

"It's okay-I'm sure I was asleep." Reyes looked away and ran a hand though her hair. "Find anything?" She looked straight ahead, eyes focused on the brownstone 100 yards away-mind still very much on the woman next to her.

"All three women suffered from the same wounds and blunt force trauma. The removed flesh was nowhere to be found and some of the organs were missing."

"Before death or after?"

"The removal seems to be post-mortem, only because I don't think any of them would have survived. However, the bite marks occurred before death."

"Eww. Well that's just nasty." She glanced at Scully and then back at the street. "I guess it serves the zombie theory." Scully giggled softly. "What's so funny?"

"Just remembering a conversation I had with Mulder a couple of years ago. "It was after that guy Skeeter or whatever made that crappy movie, based on Micah Hoffman and the Cardinal." Reyes nodded and then winced. "Yeah, it sucked., but Skinner got a great part."

"Ah yes, the skin man."

"The skin-man?"

"Long story." She rolled her eyes. "Anyway, Mulder said that once you come back from the dead your first impulse is to do the things you did when you were alive. The first of those is usually the inclination to eat."

"Really." Reyes managed to sound genuinely interested.

Scully nodded. "Really."

"Well what do you do after that?" She looked at Scully for a moment before glancing back out of the window.

"Dancing I think."

Reyes nodded. "There might be some logic there. Mulder's a smart guy."

"He is." Scully looked out of the window, wondering how they hadn't gotten on this train of thought.

Reyes watched her for a moment. "You miss him a lot?"

Scully refused to turn, knowing Reyes was looking right at her. She half-shrugged. "He's my best friend-it's just odd not having that."

Both women sat quietly sipping their coffee. Scully looked over at the brownstone. "Any luck with our friend?"

"Nah, the little shit's burrowed in."

"He hasn't tried to run out of the back?"

"No way. Stivers is on the other side of the block. And Ramos is at the shelter. He's not walking without us." She took a sip of coffee. "Thanks again for dropping in-I know you didn't have to."

"You're welcome. All though, I will say that Manuel has me intrigued."

Reyes was about to respond when her phone rang. "Reyes."

"Guess who just shimmied down the drain pipe?" It was Stivers.

Reyes smiled into the phone. "Ed McMchaon."

"Close. It's Mannie and he just hit the ground. He's up and walking towards north towards the gas station."

"Stay on him. I'll call Doggett and follow your lead."

"Guess who came out of his hole." Reyes started the car and dialed Doggett with her free hand..

He answered gruffly. "Doggett."

"It's Monica. Manuel is moving."

Doggett sprang to life. "Where to?"

"Stivers is right behind him and I'm behind Stivers."

"Call me when he stops. I'll meet you there."

"Will do."

The moment Reyes ended her call with Doggett her phone rang again. "Reyes."

"We're heading south on Georgia Ave."

"We're right behind you." Reyes had to fumble a bit with phone, as she held it between her ear and shoulder, drove with one hand and put the car into gear with the other. Having mercy on her, Scully reached out and took the phone. Reyes nodded in thanks and headed out after Stivers.

"Shit." Stivers said into the phone. "He's headed towards the metro."

"Follow him if you can. I'll call in and ask Jones to look for him on camera." Scully hung up the phone. "He's getting on the metro."

Reyes slapped the wheel and pulled into an empty parking spot along the street. "Fuck. Is Stivers following?"

"Trying to." Reyes nodded as she chewed on her bottom lip and drummed the fingers of her right hand against the steering wheel in a flurry of nervous energy. Scully grinned. "You're dying for a cigarette."

Brown eyes rolled and Reyes took a deep gulp of her now tepid coffee. "You have no idea." She finally said. She held out her hand. "I should call Doggett." Scully handed over the phone and waited quietly as Reyes called and relayed the new information.

"Do we have any idea where he's headed?" Scully asked the question as she looked out of the window.

Reyes rested her head against the headrest. "If we're lucky he needs a fix, so he might go to one of three places. If not," she shrugged. "He's just running." They sat quietly, both women looking out of the window and not at one another. "So were you just bored this morning?" She was trying to be casual and sarcastic.

"Did I make a mistake in showing up?" Scully sounded confused and defensive.

Reyes whipped her head around quickly realizing how her comment had sounded. "Oh God no, I didn't mean it like that. I just.." she trailed off into an apologetic grin. She took a breath and started again. "I'm sorry, that was just an unsuccessful attempt and witty banter."

For some odd reason, Scully found herself grinning at the woman's frustration. There was something about taking the woman just slightly out of her comfort zone that appealed to Scully. Perhaps, it was some low-level form of sadism that she didn't want to admit to. Scully was the first to make eye contact. "It's okay-I think I know what you meant."

Reyes looked relieved. "You know I'm happy you're here. I guess that's just me being self-deprecating, because I know you don't have to be here." Ryes looked down wanting to say a lot more, but opting to keep her thoughts to herself.

"I want to be here-for all those reasons you're thinking up."

Reyes looked over and smiled. "So this is about the other night?"

Scully tried to look un-phased by the question. "I won't lie, it's a part of it , but I also know you could use a hand."

Reyes nodded. They said nothing for a long span of seconds. "Then, thank you for watching my back." Scully just nodded and then went back to finishing her coffee. The phone rang. "Reyes."

"Sorry I took so long, I was in a tunnel. Took the green line to Anacostia. We're down by the river."

"On our way." She tossed the phone to Scully. "Tell Doggett we're on our way to Anacostia-by the river."

Reyes sped through early afternoon D.C. traffic like there was no one on the road. Blazing through lights and driving on the wrong side of the street was just the easy stuff. They made it to Anacostia in a record 8 minutes and 15 seconds. Reyes spotted Stivers by a payphone. They made eye contact and he gestured towards a run down two-story office building.

Manuel Segui stood outside a heavy metal door, hands deep in his pockets, foot tapping nervously against the ground. Reyes looked back to Stivers, She pointed to herself and Scully and indicated the side of the building. Stivers nodded. The door finally opened and they all moved into position. Scully and Reyes headed to the side of the building

Scully spotted Doggett jogging towards them and waved him off towards Stivers. Flashlight in one hand and gun in the other was how they all entered the building. Doggett and Stivers ascended as flight of stairs that greeted them as they came in. Quiet voices above them gave away Manuel's position.

Reyes and Scully moved through the back rooms, swiftly avoiding burned furniture and heaps of trash. The women made their way to the front without an event. They reached the stairwell and heard nothing. Reyes peered up the stairwell aided by her flashlight and the thin sunlight that a few broken windows let in. Reyes was about to go up when Scully stopped her. They stood on the same step as an eerie moment of silence went by.

"F.B.I.!!" Two voices boomed. A shower of gunfire went off sending both women charging up the stairs. As they reached the top of the stairs both women caught sight of a body coming towards them fast. They instinctively braced for impact. The body collided with the two women and they all fell back against the side wall. Scully's flashlight shown down on Doggett's face. Doggett shook off his disorientation and jumped up quickly. "We need an ambulance." He said when he was to his feet.

Scully and Reyes sprang to life and followed Doggett towards the small room at the top of the stairs. Once inside they could see the still form of Manuel Segui laying in the middle of the floor in a growing pool of blood. On the near wall to the right, Stivers was crouched, with his back against the wall, and a hand pressed hard to the bullet wound in his shoulder. Doggett stood over Manuel. "I think he's dead." Reyes bent down to feel Manuel's pulse. When she got close she saw the large gash that cut across his throat all the way to the bone. She recoiled and stood. "Oh yeah."

Scully moved to Stivers and knelt down beside him to examine his wound. For his part, Stivers was calm and actually quite cheery. She helped him make a tourniquet with his shirtsleeve to add some pressure. Scully looked up at Reyes and Doggett. "Is he dead?"

"Very." They both said.

"Well what about-

Her question was answered when a large form moved fast past the door and down the steps. Both Doggett and Reyes took off. "Shit." Scully said under her breath. A lump formed in her throat and quickly sank like a stone into her stomach. She refused to give credence to her nightmares. She gritted he teeth and helped Stivers to his feet. "Let's get outside." Stivers managed well as they negotiated the stairwell and made it outside. She helped Stivers sit down and pressed the speed dial on her phone.

"This is Agent Dana Scully. I need and Ambulance." She gave their location, hung up the phone, and then immediately spotted Doggett and Reyes 100 yards away as they ran towards an abandoned garage. Scully was desperate to run after them if only to appease her anxieties, but she couldn't leave Stivers. The seated man looked up at the red head and could clearly see the indecision in her features.

"Just go Scully." Blue eyes looked down at him as if she didn't believe what she had heard. Stivers grinned. "Go on. I don't need a babysitter. Go grab that fuck."

Scully regarded the man for a second longer, then she nodded in thanks and took off across the gravel and pavement.

The soles of her boots slapped against the ground as she ran towards the parking garage. She wanted to scream out wait or stop or just anything to get the other woman's attention, but she knew it would be of no use. Suddenly it seemed as if her dreams were playing out in her reality. Her voice wouldn't work and then neither would her legs or anything else. Scully dug deep down within herself and pushed the doubts aside as she felt her heart beat a frantic pace in her chest. She focused on the reality and entered the first level of the garage gun drawn and safety off.

She heard footsteps above her and around her. She picked one set and moved towards the sound. The mostly open structure allowed the afternoon light to stream in through the large holes in the concrete. Scully heard a door slam to her right and she headed towards the stairwell. She entered cautiously but still with speed. Here the light was not as bright. The stench of piss and mildew invaded her nostrils, but she moved through it as if it was the smell of cotton candy and nachos at a ball game. This was the difference between medicine and the F.B.I. The rush and anticipation. The anxiety and excitement. There was a bad guy on the other side of the wall somewhere and it was her job to mete out justice. The difference was found in the decision.

The hairs on the back of her neck stood tall as she took the stairs two at a time and made it to the second level. She checked her zones and then quickly fired a warning shot at the dark figure she saw moving on the other side of the garage. The figure stopped and up went its hands. "Don't move!" she shouted.

"It's John Doggett!"

Scully relaxed her shoulders and lowered her gun. "Sorry."

Doggett jogged to her. "No problem." His voice was steady.

"Where's Reyes?" The concern was evident in her voice.

"She's up one floor."

Scully nodded towards the set of stairs of stairs behind her. "I'll take these up."

He nodded. "They can't be that far, its only 6 levels."

Scully nodded and they parted ways. Gun ahead of her, she headed up the stairwell once more, prepared for whatever had the guts to jump out at her. She stopped for a moment as she heard a voice above her.

"Stay right there! I said don't move!" Reyes voice bounced off the concrete.

A shot rang out and Scully dashed up the remaining stairs. She made it to the fourth floor and burst through the door, eyes wide and finger on the trigger. She scanned the floor and saw nothing. She looked above her and saw the scaffolding that had been left behind. Heavy footfalls pounded against the concrete to her right. Scully moved towards the sound and found an open stairwell that led to an unfinished part of the garage. Makeshift stairs and broken landings still remained from where building had been stopped and yet to be torn down.

Monica Reyes stood a good three feet away from the edge of the broken landing holding her gun out on the man she had been chasing. On this level the light streamed in through large portholes, which allowed her to see the man clearly. He was large and thick. His chest heaved from the exertion and his brow was soaked with sweat. He stood nearly 6 feet away from her and neither moved. Reyes made eye contact with the man and was immediately sorry she did. There wasn't some ominous evil she saw in his eyes, but rather the presence of nothing she saw there-since the milky white of cataracts covered his pupils.

Reyes frowned but stood her ground. "I want you down on the ground now." Her voice was firm. "I will shoot you." She added after the man didn't budge.

"No you won't." The words reached her ears, but she could have sworn the man hadn't moved his lips.

"I said down now!" She tensed her arm and took a step forward.

"You should watch that edge."

He said the words so calmly that Reyes actually believed she had stepped backwards. In the second it took her to look down it was second too long. Before she knew it the man was pushing through her body with all his momentum, sending Reyes up and over the railing. Reyes hit the metal railing hard with her back and went over. Her wrist slammed down on the top bar as she tried to grab it. She missed the first one, but caught the bottom rail with her arm. Her body jerked from the shock of the stop.

"Monica!" Blue eyes went wide in horror and pain as she saw the brunette upended. Scully ran towards the railing relieved to see the woman hanging by her arm. She immediately dropped down and gave a hand to Monica helping her onto the landing. "Are you okay?"

Monica winced and held her arm to her body. "Go-he jumped towards the scaffold."

Scully had nearly forgotten about the reason why she was here, so rapt was she in tending to Reyes. Scully looked towards the scaffold and then back at Reyes. She grumbled under her breath and moved away. Scully easily caught sight of the lumbering man as he trudged across the scaffolding making noise the entire way. Scully ran down the steps she had come up and got underneath the scaffolding ahead of the man. Powered by her anger and fear, Scully pushed at the legs of the scaffold until the rusted metal caved and caused it to collapse creating a large five-foot gap.

The man kept on running and made a leap for the other side. Long fingers snagged the other side of the scaffold as he hung on and tried to pull him self up. Long legs dangled in the air as he struggled. Scully reached up and grabbed a hold of his waistband and yanked. She let go as the man's fingers pulled away, sending him to the floor with a hard thud.

A fall that would have dazed most humans didn't put a dent in the man. He was moving on his hands and knees and heading up the stairs. Scully reached out and grabbed his ankle, yanking back. The man collapsed on the stairs. Scully grabbed him roughly by the shoulder and turned him over. She let loose the fear and anxiety that she had been holding with a swift blow to the man's face. The force aided by the hard surface of her gun, cracked against his face leaving him dazed and slightly conscious.

"You all right, Agent Scully?" Doggett was at her back, looking over her shoulder with an expression that was between being impressed and a little unnerved.

Scully pushed up from the man and swept her hair out of her face as she holstered her gun. "I'm going to get Reyes. Cuff him." Her words were clipped and full of emotion. Doggett merely watched her go by him, not bothering to say anything.

Scully was back up the stairs with speed. She found the brunette shaking out her right arm and standing. "What are you doing? You might have broken your arm?"

Reyes was about the make a joke, but the serious intent she saw behind blue eyes prompted her to keep quiet. Despite her obvious ire, Scully was extremely gentle as she handled the woman's arm. She held the woman's hand and turned it over to check for protrusions and lacerations. She touched her wrist and she winced. Scully looked up at her and then back at her wrist.

"Can you wiggle your fingers?" Reyes did it with ease. "Make a fist for me." She did. Scully eased open her hand and felt each digit. She released the woman's hand. "It's just sore. I don't think anything's broken, but you should get it checked out just to be safe." Scully pinched the bridge of her nose between her fingers and let go of some of the tension in her shoulders.

Reyes looked down at the red head in wonder and concern. "So Doc, will I ever play piano again?"

Blue eyes met brown. Scully just shook her head too afraid to laugh lest she burst into hysterical sobs. "I didn't know you could play."

"I can't."

"Well then no." She said flatly.

Reyes chuckled doing her best to ease the obvious tension. "You okay?"

Her body betrayed her as her eyes rimmed with tears. "No." Her voice was far from steady.

Reyes sighed not knowing what was the appropriate action in this situation. She wanted to reach out and touch her, just to ground her and reassure her. She wanted to do more than that, but it was all so muddled in her head. Instead she opted for just looking.

Scully looked up to find answers and comfort in brown eyes. As always, the brunette came through. There it was again: devotion. Scully took a breath.

"You guys okay up there?" Doggett's voice carried up the stairwell. He heard their footsteps as they made their way down.

"Had a problem." Reyes said in answer as she held her arm to her body.

Doggett grabbed the cuffed man by the arm. "You okay?" He asked Reyes.

"I probably won't play piano again, but yeah."

Scully laughed and Doggett looked confused. "Huh?"

Reyes shook her head. "Bad joke. Can we leave now?"

The three Agents walked out of the garage and into the wail of sirens. They met Stivers as he was being loaded onto the ambulance. Scully pulled herself together and her face was once again like stone. "You doing okay?"

Stivers nodded and they closed the ambulance doors. Doggett walked the cuffed man to the sedan and was about to put him in the back when he collapsed to the ground like an empty sack.

"Can I get some help!"

Scully and Reyes followed behind the paramedics and watched as they tended to the man who had begun to spasm. Doggett managed to get the cuffs off of before the convulsions got worse. The three Agents stood back and just watched as they strapped the shaking man on a stretcher and ran him to a waiting ambulance. Scully scratched her head and then walked to the car as the ambulance took off. Doggett followed and met her at the car. "Don't worry, you didn't hit him that hard."

Scully looked up, surprised to see him standing there. "Oh, I know I didn't. But it was just odd all the same. She shook her head trying to rid herself of her thoughts. She glanced up at Monica who joined them. "You should go get that checked."

"I trust you."

"Still." Monica nodded not wanting to argue. "I think I'm going to head home- it's been a long day." She tousled her hair.

"We're going to the hospital, I guess." Doggett looked at Reyes and then back at Scully. "Hopefully, this will all be over in a couple of hours."

"Here's hoping." Scully looked in their direction and then got in the car.

Ch. 10

Dana Scully made her way to her front door with slow steps. She was exhausted and confused- and that was just the feelings she could name. She took a deep cleansing breath and opened the door. At least one thing was constant and made sense: William. Bouncing in his grandmother's lap, the boy giggled and stretched out his arms as he recognized his mother. Margaret Scully turned and looked up at her weary daughter. She handed the boy to Dana and watched as she cradled the boy to her.

"Should I ask how your day went? You look like you've been through the ringer."

"I have. I have." She nuzzled William's nose and walked to the kitchen.

Margaret followed her daughter and then shooed the woman out of the kitchen as she prepared to make coffee. "Dana, why don't you go change out of your clothes, I'll take care of the coffee.

Dana grinned. "I was thinking of just sleeping in this." She tugged on her black jacket.

Her mother laughed. "Give me William and you go change." Dana gave the baby up with a hug and then went to change.

She closed the door to her bedroom and didn't even bother to turn on the lights as she stripped out of her clothes. She sat down on her bed in her underwear and let her head fall into her hands. She wanted to cry, but she just didn't feel up to it and for that matter she wasn't sure what she should be crying about. She picked her head up and sat upright as one thought came to the forefront of her conscious like a neon sign: Monica.

She wore a bemused expression on her face as she absorbed the information. At that moment Dana wasn't even sure she could recite the alphabet, but she could definitely conjure up an image of Monica Reyes. In fact that was about all she could think about. Dana surprised herself with the honest thought that she wanted Monica to be there with her. She wanted to close her eyes and curl up in the brunette's arms and be safe. Dana chuckled quietly and got off the bed. She took her underwear off and slipped on her robe as she walked to the bathroom. She splashed her face with cold water and convinced herself that she was refreshed, at least for the moment.

She was all smiles as she walked out into the living room. She scooped up William from his bassinet and sat down on the couch to play with him while her mother chatted animatedly with someone on the phone. She spoke softly to her son. "I can't get her out of my head, Will. What am I supposed to do?" William's response was to blow a spit bubble. Dana smiled. "That's your answer for everything." She tickled his belly and he kicked his feet.

"Dana, the phone."

"For me?" Her eyes were wide. She took the phone with considerable trepidation thinking it was some priest on the line who was going to grill her about not coming to church. 'How about because I'm having erotic dreams about a woman I work with.' She thought wryly. Dana grabbed the phone. "Hello?"

"Hi, it's Monica Reyes."

Dana almost laughed. Her eyes brightened as she smiled. "How many Monica's do you think I know?"

"Habit. Anyway, what are you doing?" She asked casually.

"No way to whatever you're going to say."

"I didn't even ask."

"Exactly, no way. I'm done with work."

Monica laughed. "How do you even know what I'm going to ask. It has nothing to do with work."

Dana raised an eyebrow. "Sure. It'll start out harmless enough and then I'll be stuck in a parking garage playing checkers and listening to campy Italian love songs."

Monica burst into laughter. "I had a good time."

"I think you could have a good time at a Rummage sale in Siberia."

"So then you should come out."

"What? Where? What happened at the hospital?"

"Long story short, we can't do anything for at least 24 hours, he's out cold. As for where, Georgetown." She was leading.

Dana rolled her eyes and played along. "I'm in Georgetown."

"Yes, you are. And there is a bar 2 1/2 blocks from your house. You should meet us there, we're all desperate for beer.


"Doggett, Stivers, Leyla Harrison, and whomever else pops up."

"Stivers? He should not be mixing alcohol with pain medication."

"I'll pass the message along, but you should come down." Monica was not about to give up.

"I can't, I'm home in my pajamas." She was beginning to realize she had no real excuse, even William was fading on her as he fought to keep his eyes open.

"Just one beer."

"I can't."

"You've got a sitter, your mother's right there."

She looked for her mother who was conveniently missing. "She's leaving."

Monica smiled. "No she's not, ask her."

"What?" Dana called out, "Mom!" Her mother looked up from a book she was all too engrossed in. "I thought you were leaving."

"I decided to stay." She said with a grin.

Dana glared. "I'm staying home," she said into the phone.

"I hope you don't think I'm above begging." Monica's voiced edged on teasing.

"I refuse to leave."

"I'll come get you, I'll be there in 20 minutes, so get dressed, Dana."

"No way." She could play tough with ease.

"We're leaving the hospital now and I'm coming to get you."

"I'm hanging up on you." Dana switched the phone off. She looked over at her mother who had come out of the kitchen. "I'm not going." She didn't even believe herself.

"Oh Dana, just go out for an hour. I don't mind staying and don't say you don't need it-you do."

Dana groaned like a child. "My life sucks."

"How does your life suck?" Margaret took the sleepy William from Dana. "You have friends who want to see you so go. You've got a baby sitter all ready and it's 2 blocks from your house - I don't think that sucks."

She looked at her mother flabbergasted. "What were you and Monica talking about?"

"Nothing." Margaret smiled like she knew the punch line to an inside joke.

"I'm a grown woman. I am above peer pressure."

"Oh stop groaning. Go shower and get dressed."

"Ugh!" She threw her head back against the sofa. She knew she was going to go. "Christ!"

"Dana Katherine Scully!"

"Sorry." She ducked her head feeling properly scolded.

Margaret shooed her towards her bedroom when the phone rang. "Pick it up."

Dana grumbled under her breath and answered the phone as she entered her room. "No Monica."

"Please." She was almost at a whimper. "Besides, I didn't thank you for saving me."

"I just helped you over the rail."

"Yeah well, I'd still like to see you anyway." The whimper was replaced by a much more serious tone.

There was a curious moment of silence, each woman picking and choosing her words with deliberate intent as the conversation took a decidedly different turn. Dana did want to see Monica, but she seriously began to wonder if that was all she wanted. Would she be able to sit there and be polite amongst her colleagues when all she could think about was kissing Monica and remembering the warmth of her body pressed against hers.

"One beer, Monica." The sentence came out more breathless than she expected.

"Thank you Dana." Monica's voice was quiet in her triumph and then she hung up.

Dana collapsed face first onto the bed. "One beer.", she said aloud prepared for the evening ahead.

Dana Scully put her hand on the brass door handle and almost turned around. She took a breath and then swung the door open to the pub. To her own surprise she welcomed the sound of the loud jukebox and the boisterous patrons who seemed too happy on a weekday. She spotted Doggett and Stivers at the bar.

"Agent Scully." Doggett said with obvious surprise. "Have a seat." He got off his stool.

"You don't have-

"Go ahead. It's almost my dart game."

Scully took his seat and looked to Stivers. "Stivers, how's your arm?"

"Surprisingly numb." He smiled and then held up his club soda to Scully's unvoiced question. "John, I'll meet you at the board." He nodded and walked off.

"So where's your partner?"

"You mean Lord of the Dance." Doggett chuckled. "Out there." He nodded towards a little block of space that had been claimed as the dance floor.

Blue eyes easily found the tall woman, all smiles, dark brown hair swinging freely as she danced with some guy that Dana probably should have recognized from work. Dana found herself watching the woman, almost willing her to turn around. Monica exposed her neck as she laughed at something and the sight and sound made Dana shiver with delight. She swallowed the growing lump in her throat and thought it best to turn around before she was caught staring.

Brown eyes fixed on the red head before she had a chance to turn. The corners of Monica's mouth turned up into a devilishly pleased grin. She nodded towards the woman and then left her partner on the dance floor with barely a gesture. Dana wanted to turn away, and good sense told her to, but she couldn't look away for all she tried. She didn't want to. She could feel her heart beat pick up its pace as Monica neared. For a moment she thought the woman was just going to walk straight through her, but she stopped inches from her knees. They were eye to eye thanks to the stool Dana was sitting on.

Monica smiled wide, bearing white teeth. "I told Doggett you would show up."

Dana had to look away, she was just too close. "You and my mother drive a hard bargain." She spoke loudly over the music.

Monica nodded and squeezed into the spot vacated by Doggett. She tapped the bar and bumped shoulders with Dana. "Can I buy you a beer?

"Guess so."

"Hey Tommy, can I get another Dos Equis and?" She looked at Dana.

"Oh-I guess a Bass Ale."

"Bass Ale." Monica repeated.

Tommy nodded and returned quickly with two cold bottles. Monica turned in the small space, bringing the women dangerously close to one another. "Thanks." Warm brown eyes met Dana's. "Salud." They tapped bottles and Dana used the act of drinking to avoid Monica's penetrating gaze. "So Dana, can I persuade you to come dance?" The words were close to her ear so she could hear.

Dana tried to hide the shiver. "Oh hell no." She said with a laugh. "Just the beer and then I'm off to bed."

"It's your bed time I take it."

"Well yes it is actually." She faced Monica in the small space and smiled, responding to the agent's flirty attitude.

"I'll let you slide this time. We'll just have to start early next time."

"Next time?" She took a sip of her beer.

"Oh yeah." Monica tapped her fingers to the song playing. "We're making this a bad habit, I've decided."

Dana nodded, not answering for a moment as she watched Monica's body respond to the music. She turned away. "I don't think I can afford any bad habits." She spoke up so Monica could hear her.

"You just need one." She replied into Dana's ear.

Dana bit her lip and then drank from her beer. She glanced at Monica and it was obvious from the gleam in brown eyes what she wanted that bad habit to be. Dana blushed and drank again. "Go dance Monica, before you hurt yourself." Monica just smiled and disappeared back into the crowd.

"Damn! I think I just got hustled by a one-armed dart player." Doggett and Stivers returned. Doggett ordered another beer and looked down at Dana. "So how did Reyes get you in here tonight? I told her you were probably half way to dreamland."

"I would have been, but she used my mother to apply pressure." Doggett cringed and then smiled. "Well good you came out."

"So what happened at the hospital?"

He groaned. "We're running John Doe's fingerprints at the moment. Nothing had shown up when we left so either they won't pop up or they'll be in the last set. But get this, he had some weird cocktail of drugs swimming in his bloodstream. They were stabilizing him when we left. If he makes it through the night he should be able to talk-maybe."

"What was the stuff?"

"I'll send you a full list, but the Doc said something about animal enzymes and some stuff I never heard of before.

Dana made a face. "Well, let me know."

"I'll leave it for you. We're heading to New Orleans tomorrow."

"Really." She was surprised.

"Since Father Turnley won't come up to see us we're going to him. Oh, and I checked out that paragraph you highlighted for me about the school. It turns out all three women when to the same day school."

"Well keep me posted and let me know if I can help."

"Sure. Where's Lord of the Dance?"

Dana grinned. "Back out there. She tried to get me to go, but I turned her down."

"I'm sure it broke her heart." He laughed and they both looked out to the dance floor.

Dana rested her eyes on the brunette as she tapped her foot against the stool in time with the music. She leaned back against the bar and drank from her beer. The longer she watched Monica out there, arms swaying, body moving, and giggling with colleagues and strangers-Dana got uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because she didn't have the nerve to go out there and join them. This was as loose as she got lately and it had been a long time. Suddenly she felt inadequate and out of place, like a 40 year old at a teenager's party hiding from the cops. Monica looked up at Dana and smiled just for her. Dana finished her beer and eased off the stool, looking away from Monica.

It was enough to admit to herself that she wanted the woman, but to have Monica know it was something all together different. She could see the truth in Monica's unending gazes. She tapped Doggett on the shoulder. "I'm heading home."

"You sure. Wait, can I give you a lift?"

"I've got my car."

"Well, okay." He looked at the smaller woman with some concern. "You okay, Scully?"

She nodded and smiled. "Just past my bed time that's all."

He smiled and watched her leave. Doggett followed, watching her out of the door and then he stood there and waited until she got into her car. Satisfied that she was safe he walked back into the bar.

Ch. 11

Margaret Scully tried to look surprised when her daughter entered her home, but she knew better. "Have fun?"

Dana shrugged and dropped her jacket on the couch. "A little." She walked to the nursery and gave the sleeping baby a belly rub. She came back out and plopped down on the couch next to her mother.

"You okay Dana?" She brushed stray strands of hair away from her forehead.

"I'm fine, just a little sleepier than I thought."

"Surprised you didn't stay longer."

She shrugged and got up. "Any coffee left?"

"A little." She watched her move to the kitchen. "You want to talk?"

"Nah. You know you can go home if you want. I know I've kept you out all day."

"Kicking me out now." She was being playful.


"Dana, don't be so tense. I thought the point of seeing Monica tonight was to relax. She said you had a rough couple of days."

"She did?" She chuckled. "You two talk a lot when I'm not around?"

Margaret laughed. "Don't be a smart aleck-she's just your friend."

"I know." Dana went and sat back down on the couch as her mother began to straighten up. "Mom, just leave it, it's the middle of the night." She huffed.

"You're not mad at her right, I'm the one that told her you would go out."

Dana sighed. She was having a hard enough time not thinking about Monica and the last thing she wanted to do was talk about the woman with her mother. "I'm not mad at Monica, it's fine, really." She tried not to sound too annoyed. Margaret just grinned. Dana looked at her mother in question. "What?"

"She's got a crush on you, you know that." She said it like it was the sweetest thing she had ever heard.

Dana thought her heart actually stopped for a second. "Wha-What!?" She cut her eyes at her mother in disbelief.

Margaret Scully played coy. "I'm just saying Dana. It's the 21st century. I may not understand it, but I'm not stupid."

Dana rolled her eyes suddenly feeling like they were discussing tampons for the first time. "Can we please change the subject?"

Her mother chuckled. "Just stating a fact, I think it's sweet and I like her." She patted Dana's shoulder as she prepared to leave. "Just don't break her heart, let her down easy."

Dana looked at mother like she had just sprouted three heads. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It was awkward at best and could have been funny if she wasn't discussing this with her mother. "Mom, I- what-" She tripped over her words in a flurry of frustration. She grabbed one of William's stray toys and squeezed the animal in her hands. "How come I'm always accused of breaking someone's heart, why isn't anyone worried about me?" She was angry.

Margaret Scully smiled warmly at her daughter. She placed hand on her shoulder in comfort. "That's because you're not the one to give your heart away." The words hung in the air as she touched Dana's cheek. Dana hugged the stuffed animal to her chest and said nothing. "Well, with one exception." She added softly as she looked up towards the nursery. She pressed a kiss to Dana's temple as the woman continued to sit quietly with a small pout on her lips.

She wanted to be mad at her mother but it was true and that fact angered her more than she was willing to admit in her mother's presence. She heard William fuss and was again grateful for the distraction. She hugged her mother. "Thanks mom."

"I'll let myself out honey, get some sleep."

Dana nodded and walked off to the nursery. Once she got William sleeping again she moved to the kitchen to put away the dishes. She was desperate to do something with her nervous energy and sleeping wasn't going to help. She heard the door knob rattle. She instinctively knew it was her mother. She never failed to leave something every time. "Did you forget your keys?"

"My purse." Margaret answered. Dana laughed. "Night sweetie."

Dana turned on the faucet and washed the suds out as she started to put the knives back in the block. She thought she heard the door again. "What did you forget now?"

Instead of an answer, long arms wound around her waist. The smell of the other woman had reached her nostrils before she felt her, which was the only reason she didn't use the knife gripped in her hand. The jasmine incense and sandalwood oil was beginning to become familiar to Dana.

"How come you didn't say goodbye?"

Dana sank back into the other woman at the sound of her voice. "You know I could have used this knife." Dana kept a loose grip on the chef knife.

Monica smiled as she took in the scent of Dana's hair. "You knew I was going to come-so I wasn't worried."

"You're so sure of yourself agent."

"Just sure of you." She spoke in a soft tone that seemed to rumble within Dana's small frame. Monica pressed warm lips to the nape of Dana's neck.

The knife tumbled from limp fingers and rattled in the sink as Dana trembled with anticipation. Monica didn't disappoint as she turned the red head around and met inviting lips with her own. A strong thigh pressed into her center, causing Dana to moan into Monica's mouth. Their kisses were long and deep, aided by wandering hands exploring the new territory of one another's bodies.

Dana broke away from a kiss to catch her breath, which was quickly stolen as Monica feasted on her neck. "Monica, wait-Monica." She cupped the woman's cheek and eased her back. Dana looked Monica in the eyes and didn't let go. She let a moment go by as she searched Monica for some hint of insincerity or ulterior motive-any excuse to stop this roller coaster. Monica took a breath and held Dana's gaze knowing she was being tested. Dana saw the same thing she always saw: devotion.

She grinned and it seemed to catch Monica off guard who looked worried for a split second. "Did you lock my door?"

Monica wasn't expecting the question, but she nodded yes. She was about to lean in for a kiss, but hesitated, if only to allow Dana to make the first move. True to form Dana responded to the woman's hesitation and eagerly took advantage of the situation. The red head was full of fire and just the right amount of force as she anchored her hands in Monica's dark hair and crushed her lips to the taller woman's. Monica felt herself moving backwards and came into contact with the wall with an easy thud as Dana pushed into her, leaving no space between their bodies. Monica opened her mouth, taking in Dana's tongue and greedily took hold of Dana's ass.

Dana moaned in approval as she continued to assault Monica's mouth with her kiss. They began an awkward walk of sorts towards the bedroom--- hands roaming, tugging at shirts, removing belts, and stepping out of shoes. They practically tumbled through Dana's bedroom door and Monica found herself being willingly pushed onto the bed. Her opened shirt fluttered around her as she fell back on the bed. Dana stood between Monica's legs as they hung off the bed and removed her half unbuttoned shirt to reveal a black bra. Monica sat up and reached for the red head not wanting to be left out. She grabbed a hold of Dana's hips, pulling the woman against the bed and began to kiss and suck lightly on the smooth flesh of Dana's stomach as she worked her fingers at the buckle of her belt.

Dana let go of a soft moan as her pants hit the floor and warm lips pressed into the newly exposed flesh of her thighs and hips. Monica pulled Dana closer and Dana willingly fell forward onto the bed. In the same motion, Monica turned her over onto her back and then kicked out of her own pants-that had yet to fall down completely. She hovered over the red head, tracing Dana's eyebrows, cheeks, and finally her lips with long fingers.

Dana kissed at the fingers, eagerly capturing Monica's index finger and sucking it into the warm cavern of her mouth. Monica closed her eyes and moaned without shame, as she could feel her own wetness seeping though her panties. She opened brown eyes and stared lustfully into hooded blue eyes. Monica removed her finger and kissed the woman beneath her. She drew her thigh up between Dana's legs and was pleased and aroused by the deep breath of air she took in and the wetness that coated her thigh.

Monica began a slow grind as she kissed her way down Dana's throat and into the valley between Dana's breasts. Dana arched her back a bit-helping Monica to remove her bra. She glanced down just as Monica's mouth covered her nipple. She collapsed back down on the bed and buried her fingers in Monica's hair-both anchoring herself and guiding the woman. Monica smiled against alabaster skin as Dana let out a tiny whimper upon Monica releasing her nipples. The brunette continued her journey southward stopping only to hook her fingers in the thin straps of Dana's panties and then glanced up to find blue eyes watching her. Monica placed a gentle kiss on the wispy curls of red that peeked out from the material. She waited a long heartbeat, searching blue eyes for hesitancy or fear. When Dana reached down and tugged at her underwear-Monica got her answer loud and clear.

The brunette wasted no time in removing the last barrier and nestled between the agent's legs. She kissed along the inside of Dana's thighs, causing the woman to tremble. Monica drew closer to Dana's center and breathed in the thick aroma of Dana's passion. Monica eased a leg over her shoulder and splayed her hands across Dana's hips and belly.

Monica's tongue was surprisingly cool as she drew a path through the wet and swollen folds. Both women moaned at the contact. She teased at Dana's center-purposefully avoiding her most obvious need. Dana breathlessly said Monica's name in a plea of sorts. The red head was rewarded when she felt Monica's mouth close around her pulsing clit. Dana let out a throaty groan that shook them both as she felt teeth gently scrape against the shaft. The agent had spent so much time playing the role of stoic warrior woman, that she had forgotten how to be anything other than the stoic warrior. She couldn't fight the sounds rumbling in her chest.

Ensconced deep between Dana's legs was Monica; who continued to use her mouth to please the red head. Dana's heavy breathing reached her ears and made Monica renew her assault, just to hear Dana scream out her name in a rush of sound. She plunged her tongue deep inside of Dana as she used her free hands to apply pressure to Dana's neglected nipples. The double sensations nearly sent Dana over the edge-as she placed her other leg over Monica's shoulder, effectively trapping the brunette in a vice of flesh. For her part, the action only urged Monica on as she eagerly sucked at Dana's clit.

"Oh..fuck! Christ---Monica-fuck." The words came out through gasps as Dana felt a storm of sensation gathering in her stomach. She squeezed her eyes shut tight as she buried one hand in her own hair and the other hand drew deep grooves through Monica's hair. Somehow she mustered the strength to glance down at the cause of the swirling tornado between her thighs-finding deep brown eyes fixed on her. Dana promptly howled with release. She caught herself, realizing that she might wake up the whole complex-and at least the baby. Dana's howl turned into soft moans as she trembled with aftershocks.

Monica peppered the inside of Dana's thighs with wet kisses and began to move northward stopping along the way to feast on the woman's slightly bruised nipples. The cool tongue on her breasts sent Dana into another set of spasms. Dana eased Monica away from her breasts and drew the woman to her for a kiss. The taste of herself on Monica's tongue and lips aroused Dana in such a way that she didn't think she was capable. Their kisses were sloppy but lacked for nothing as each woman fought for breath, but neither wanted to be the one to pull away.

Finally Monica gave into the burning in her lungs as she sank down onto Dana's body with a laugh. Dana giggled softly in her ear and kissed the brunette's cheek. "Shit, I think I woke William."

Monica's head popped up. "You want me to check?" She moved to the side as if she was going to leave the bed.

Dana reached out and stopped the woman, pulling her back to her. "The monitor's right there." She stared into Monica's eyes with desperation behind her eyes-fearing the worst. Monica sensed Dana's worry as she looked at the woman.

"I'm not going anywhere." She said softly and kissed Dana just a softly. The red head sighed and nuzzled Monica's neck, causing the woman above her to snicker. "Really, do you want me to check?"

"He's okay, I can hear him sleeping."

Monica grew still and looked towards the monitor on the nightstand. "He could probably sleep through an earthquake right?"

Dana laughed, then stopped as she caught Monica's eyes. The brunette leaned down for a deep kiss-making Dana lose track of her thoughts. If possible, Dana felt more naked than she was, as Monica looked at her with equal parts of adoration and lust. It was obvious that Monica wanted her and that knowledge made Dana tremble anew. Monica licked a long trail up the column of Dana's neck and nibbled on her pulse point. Dana's breathing picked up as Monica closed a warm hand over her breast and pressed her thigh against her center. Dana raised her own leg a bit, meeting the sticky wetness between Monica's legs.

Monica ducked her head-exploring the territory of Dana's full breasts with her mouth. Fingers in her hair encouraged her to continue her actions. She tugged at a pink nipple with her teeth, causing Dana to hiss with pleasure. Dana was so enrapt in Monica's mouth that she barely registered the hand nestling between her legs. With two fingers, Monica pushed inside of Dana making the woman cry out in surprise. The surprise quickly dissolved into a low moan as Monica drew her fingers in and out. Monica moved away from Dana's breasts and attempted to move down Dana's body, only to be stopped. With a hand on the back of her neck, Dana guided Monica to her lips for a kiss. "Stay." She breathed out. Monica held Dana's gaze as she picked up her pace. She moved against Dana's firm thigh, keeping in time with writhing woman beneath her. "Monica?" Her name came out in a raspy moan.

"What?", she answered between kisses.

Dana sucked in a breath of air and then replied, "more." She bit gently at Monica's bottom lip. The brunette kissed back roughly, as she slid another finger inside the softly moaning woman. Monica hummed in delight at the feel of Dana. She varied her pace between fast and slow-allowing the woman to catch her breath only to send her near the edge over and over. Dana grabbed at the sheets and held on-not being able to form a coherent thought, but only knowing that the feel of Monica inside her was almost too much for words. The words she tried to form only came out in languid moans and guttural sounds made deep within her belly and bubbling out from her lips, that seemed as limp and as loose as she felt.

Suddenly her body became taut with impending release. She opened her eyes wide, taking in the creased and determined brow, and eyes that were velvety brown, warm, and inviting enough to make her want to get lost for days, months, and even years on end. Dana let out a stream of obscenities that fell like prayers on Monica's ears. The hitch and scratch in Dana's voice as she called out Monica's name over and over, between invoking Jesus, caused the brunette to let go of her own silent release. The vulgar poetry ended in deep breaths as the last spasms moved through the smaller woman. Monica waited a few moments before easing her fingers out of Dana with an intended slowness-as the walls surrounding her fingers continued to contract.

With a sigh she rested her hand between Dana's legs, not quite ready to leave the warmth. Dana floated between consciousness and an odd resting place outside herself, but nowhere near dreaming or sleep. Soft kisses about her face and mouth gently brought her out of her haze and she focused on Monica's intense eyes. Dana smiled, thankful for the pleasant reality-and a bit surprised that she had enough energy for the third orgasm that coursed through her thanks to Monica's lingering fingers.

Monica smiled down at the woman. She was impressed and they were both tired. She looked down into sleepy blue eyes and kissed Dana's nose. She rolled off to the side and gathered the nearly limp red head in her arms. Dana burrowed deeply into Monica's embrace. The warmth of the covers, Monica's body and the steady rhythm beat out by their hearts, the women quickly passed from this reality into a satiated sleep.

The End


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