This is an X-Files/Profiler crossover. Timeline-wise, this fits in after
the Profiler episode "Shattered Silence" and in this particular universe,
*replaces* the X-Files episode "Never Again". Note, we are not
"Relationshippers" so if you're looking for Scully/Mulder fiction, look
This story contains SEX, (M/F) written in loving detail. If that bothers
you, either do NOT read this story If you're underage, get parental
permission to read it. Don't flame us if you're silly enough to go ahead
and read it after we warned you, and then get offended by it.
"The X-Files" is a trademark of Fox Television. "Profiler" is a trademark
of NBC Television. No, we don't have permission to use these characters.
We're just borrowing all of them and promise to put them back when we're
done. We guess Fox and NBC will have to fight over who gets to sue us.
:-) No profits are now, or ever will be made off this story, darn it.
This story copyright 1997 by Kellie Matthews and Julia Kosatka. No permission
is given for print reproduction for anything other than personal use. NO, 'zine's
are *not* personal use.
Constructive comments may be directed to:
WARNING! THIS STORY IS NC-17 Rated!
WARNING! THIS STORY IS NC-17 Rated!
kellie at mrks.org
julia at io.com
Flames can be kept to yourselves.
This is an X-Files/Profiler crossover. Timeline-wise, this fits in after the Profiler episode "Shattered Silence" and in this particular universe, *replaces* the X-Files episode "Never Again". Note, we are not "Relationshippers" so if you're looking for Scully/Mulder fiction, look somewhere else.
This story contains SEX, (M/F) written in loving detail. If that bothers you, either do NOT read this story If you're underage, get parental permission to read it. Don't flame us if you're silly enough to go ahead and read it after we warned you, and then get offended by it.
"The X-Files" is a trademark of Fox Television. "Profiler" is a trademark of NBC Television. No, we don't have permission to use these characters. We're just borrowing all of them and promise to put them back when we're done. We guess Fox and NBC will have to fight over who gets to sue us. :-) No profits are now, or ever will be made off this story, darn it.
This story copyright 1997 by Kellie Matthews and Julia Kosatka. No permission is given for print reproduction for anything other than personal use. NO, 'zine's are *not* personal use.
Constructive comments may be directed to:
This wasn't going to be fun, Bailey thought, grimacing. Sam considered the serial killer known as "Jack of All Trades" to be her personal demon, her challenge. In a way she was right, since he was clearly fixated on her, but that made it all the harder for her to obtain the emotional distance necessary to analyze him. Since Jack's latest escalation, targeting members of the Violent Crimes Task Force, Washington had started pressuring Bailey to bring in someone to help close the case down. They even had someone in mind, an agent with a slightly schizoid reputation as both one of the best profilers in the Bureau, and a complete flake.
For some unknown reason, for the past four years The Powers That Be had let this guy hare off on cases which didn't make sense, and were frankly a waste of funds. Still, he had been very effective on the more normal cases he'd worked in the past couple of years. He had 'It' as people in the business liked to say. Now he and his partner were due at the airport in an hour, and Bailey still hadn't gotten up the nerve to say anything to Sam about it. He glanced out the window of his office and saw her sitting in the bullpen talking animatedly to John and Nathan. His gaze refocused to his own reflection in the glass, and he took a deep breath, looking longingly at the bottle of scotch on the bookshelf. For a moment he was tempted, but no, he had to get out of that habit. It had cost him too much over the years.
He pushed himself to his feet and walked to the door, leaning around the corner to wave at the trio. "Sam? Can I see you in my office for a minute?"
She looked up, a slight frown on her face, but she nodded and stood. Bailey waited for her, and watched the frown deepen as she approached. He stepped aside to let her enter the office and then closed the door behind her. She turned to face him, her posture stiff and her eyes wary.
"What did I do wrong?" she asked.
Bailey stared at her, nonplused. "Nothing, why do you ask?"
"Because you have that 'Bad News Bailey' expression on your face. Okay, if I didn't do anything wrong, then what happened? Did our funding get cut? Did we get another letter from Jack? What?"
Bailey decided that he should have had that drink. With a fatalistic sigh, he went for it. "Ever heard of Special Agent Fox Mulder?"
Sam's expression went thoughtful, then she smiled. "Ol' Spooky Mulder? Actually, we were in the same class out of Quantico, but I doubt that there's anyone at the Bureau who hasn't heard of him."
Bailey found himself smiling back. "Well, maybe the first-year cadets."
"Maybe," Sam allowed. "What about him?"
His smile faded. "Ah... he's coming here."
"Here? What, has there been a sighting of Springheel Jack, or The Mothman? A spate of UFO sightings? Maybe a demonic possession?"
Bailey shook his head, his expression serious. "No. He's here to help us on a case."
The corner of Sam's mouth quirked sideways and down, the way it always did when she was puzzled. "Which case?"
"Jack." Bailey said quietly, bracing for her reaction.
For a moment it didn't sink in, he could tell by the blank expression on her face. Finally it hit. Her eyes narrowed, and her expression went hard. "Why?"
Bailey avoided her eyes. "Gries and the boys upstairs think we're moving too slowly."
Sam pinned him with her gaze, despite his attempts to look elsewhere. "Bailey, Jack is mine! For God's sake, he killed my husband! He's stalking me!"
Bailey put a hand on her shoulder. If they hadn't been friends, he would never have done it, but he knew she wouldn't misinterpret it. "I know, Sam, believe me. The thing is, they think you're too close to the case. They're not sure of your objectivity."
Sam flinched as if he'd hit her, and pulled away, going to stand in front of the window and stare out into the bullpen with her arms crossed protectively in front of her. "Oh," she said finally. "I see."
"Sam..." Bailey began, trying to think of something to say.
"No, Bailey." Sam interrupted, turning back to face him. "I'm just..." She paused and shook her head. "Maybe they're right. Maybe I don't have enough objectivity."
"I don't believe that. Neither do you."
She stared at him, her gaze haunted. "Honestly, Bailey, I don't know what I believe any more, not where Jack is concerned."
* * *
Dana Scully watched the tarmac of the Atlanta airport getting closer as the plane descended, feeling a surge of anticipation. Finally, after four years of chasing Bigfoot (absently she wondered if the plural of Bigfoot was 'Bigfeet?'), mutants, aliens, and black Martian slime, they were going to get to work on a real case. A plain old, run-of-the-mill serial killer. She was almost elated at the thought. It was interesting that the killer had fixated on an FBI profiler. The VCTF had determined that all of his victims had some connection, tenuous though it might be, to Agent Samantha Waters.
It would be fascinating to watch Mulder put his mind to something mundane for a change, and see if he made the same kind of baffling intuitive leaps that he did while investigating the paranormal. Surely even Mulder couldn't find aliens or shadow-government conspiracies in this case. She glanced over at him, wondering how he could possibly sleep through the descent. He looked very tired, and even at rest his expression seemed slightly cynical. She was sure that four years ago that wouldn't have been the case. She frowned slightly, wondering if things would have gone the same way had some other agent been assigned to work with him. Might it have been better if she had not accepted the job?
After a moment, she dismissed the thought. Mulder would be Mulder no matter who was working with him, and at least he respected her views. He might not agree, but he respected them and would occasionally listen to reason. Reason aside, she also had to admit that she had seen and experienced things she couldn't find rational explanations for.
She could no longer doubt that there were forces at work behind the scenes trying to keep certain things from the public eye... for whatever obscure reason. Exactly what those secrets were and why they needed to be kept, she still didn't know, but she couldn't deny their existence. Perhaps that was why this case seemed like such a godsend. In a weird sort of way, it was so normal that it seemed almost like a 1950's family picnic. With a silent snort of derision at that thought, Scully reached over and pushed the button that would bring Mulder's seat upright. He didn't wake up. She smiled, shaking her head, and tightened her seatbelt.
* * *
Having slept through most of the flight, Mulder felt almost fit for human interaction. Never an easy sleeper, his nights were usually a series of short naps punctuated by nightmares that left him nearly as drained as no sleep at all would. Oddly, being around other people seemed to help, maybe he needed a girlfriend, or a roommate. A roommate would be easier to find, he thought ironically, since his schedule and habits left little room for romantic entanglements. Unfortunately any roommate he might come up with would probably object to periodically having their place tossed by agents of the shadow government, or invaded by liver-eating mutants. So much for that idea.
Glancing over at Scully, he wondered briefly if she might be interested. No, she'd never sit still for him falling asleep in front of the TV every night, and she'd always be after him to throw out the petrified Chinese food in the refrigerator. Oh, well, she probably ate ice cream out of the carton, anyway. He hated that. Though the other passengers on the plane were already unbuckled and busy getting their luggage together, Scully sat quietly, waiting for the general rush to finish. He tried to be patient, it did make sense not to fight the crowd. Finally the aisle cleared out and she put away the medical journal she'd been reading, tugged her briefcase out from under the seat in front of her, and stood. Mulder followed her example, ducking to avoid hitting his head on the overhead compartments as he eased out of the cramped space.
As they collected their suit bags, the flight attendants wished them a good day in chorus, visibly relieved to have two gun-carrying passengers off the plane. It was funny how weird people were about weapons, even in the hands of trained professionals. After all, it wasn't like they were postal workers. They walked through the covered gangplank toward the terminal, and Mulder noticed that though the humidity was as high as he'd expected, the temperature was startlingly cool. For some reason he had expected it to be hot, even though it was February. Wasn't the South always hot? Smiling inwardly at his foible as he stepped into the main terminal area. A few steps away a tall man in a trench coat stood with his back to them, looking out the window. Mulder nudged Scully with an elbow and nodded toward the other man.
"Think that's our guy?"
Scully looked over, saw the coat, and smiled. "Well, he is wearing The Uniform. What was his name again? Oh, yes," she cleared her throat. "Agent Malone?"
The man turned, eyebrows lifted. In his early forties, he had a face like the proverbial ten miles of bad road, but there was intelligence and an indefinable solidity there as well. He looked them over, his gaze speculative. "Agents Mulder and Scully, I presume?"
Mulder couldn't resist. "Well, we tried calling ourselves Stanley and Livingstone but no one bought that." Expecting the usual humorless response, he was pleasantly surprised when Agent Malone chuckled.
"I can see you're going to fit in just fine around here. Do you have luggage?"
Scully held up her suit-bag. "Just carry-on."
"Let's go, then. The car's not far." He grinned, "As you know, one of the perks being a Fed is you get great parking spaces."
He started off at a good clip. Mulder and Scully fell in behind him, exchanging puzzled glances. This guy wasn't your run-of-the-mill Fibbie. Mulder wasn't sure if that boded well or ill for their investigation.
* * *
"So, you didn't realize that all the victims were connected to Agent Waters until victim number eighteen, is that right?" Scully asked, looking at the high-tech display on the large wall screen. She couldn't help but compare the well-equipped facilities the Violent Crimes Task Force called home to the cramped, cluttered offices in which she and Mulder worked. It was certainly clear where funds were, and were not, being disbursed. Momentarily she tasted the all-too-familiar flavor of sour grapes, then with an inward sigh, she let it go. It didn't do any good to be jealous. She had chosen her bed, so she had no business complaining about the mattress.
"That's correct," Malone answered. "We made the connection when Sam... Agent Waters, realized that she had known the victim when she was a child. That was the key that let all the other pieces fall into place."
Dana noticed the name correction and eyed the man more closely. The use of a first name might have been telling, but since Agent Malone seemed to be on a first-name basis with all of his team, it didn't necessarily indicate they had anything other than a working relationship. She wished Agent Waters had been at the VCTF when they arrived. It would be interesting to see how the team worked as a whole. The atmosphere was unusually relaxed. Clearly Bailey Malone was cut from different cloth than most of the SAC's she'd known. She mentally compared him to Walter Skinner, and for the first time, Skinner came up a bit short. Often she never quite knew where she stood with Skinner, but she knew instinctively that with Bailey Malone, that would never be the case.
Mulder stood, and walked over to stand just a few feet from the projection screen, studying the photographs. "These last two, they're different, aren't they?"
The other agents at the table looked at each other uneasily, then all three of them looked toward Malone. He pushed his chair back a bit from the table and played with a pen, eyeing Mulder narrowly.
"So, you've heard about that."
Mulder turned around, looking puzzled. "About what?"
Malone was silent a moment, as if judging Mulder's sincerity. A slight frown creased his forehead before he finally spoke. "Victim fourteen had no known connection to Agent Waters. He was killed so that Jack could assume his identity to escape a dragnet. We believe he had planned to murder Agent Water's friend, Nick Cooper, but was interrupted by our arrival on the scene. Clearly, that killing isn't part of the normal pattern."
He paused, and took a breath that Scully thought sounded a little shaky before continuing. "His latest victim, Molly Sargucci, was also unrelated to Agent Waters, however, she was killed here in Atlanta and my FBI identification was left on her body. The ID had been stolen from my house several days earlier and we believe that Jack was attempting to implicate me, not knowing that I would be exonerated by the fact that I was in Arkansas on a case at the time of the murder."
Mulder nodded and turned back toward the photos. Dana couldn't help but wonder how the seemingly unflappable Agent Malone had reacted to finding a dead woman with his ID on her.
"There's something else different now, isn't there?" Mulder asked.
Malone nodded toward one of the other agents at the table, an intense-looking black man in his mid-thirties. "Nathan, you tell him."
Nathan nodded, his face grim. "I was on vacation, working at home on a car I've been restoring. For a couple of days I'd had the feeling someone was watching me, but I figured I was just being paranoid. As it turns out, I wasn't. Jack had set a little trap for me. He rigged one of the jacks supporting the car to fall at a signal from a radio-transmitter. He waited until I was under the car, then tripped it. I was trapped under the car." The agent's expression went from grim to infuriated, and his fists clenched on the table. "The bastard actually had the nerve to stand there and watch me while I was trapped, not a foot away! I could have died!"
Mulder shook his head. "If he'd meant to kill you, you'd be dead. And, I think he knew you would be exonerated, Agent Malone. As you've probably surmised, he's just messing with your heads. Right now I'm sure he's plotting a little surprise for another one of you." He gestured toward the other agents at the table.
Two of them, the ones Scully had mentally tagged 'Computer Guy' and 'Macho' though she knew their names were Findley and Grant, shifted in their seats, and Computer Guy made a face.
"Yeah, we figured as much. But why change his M.O. now? What's different?"
Mulder looked bored. "M.O.'s change as needed. I think he's completed one cycle and started a new one. A new cycle requires new methods."
There was dead silence in the room. Finally, Macho spoke. "What cycle?"
"I haven't quite figured that out yet. It's interesting that his thirteenth victim was Agent Waters' husband, since thirteen is a classic occult numeral. Frankly, I would have expected his M.O. to change after that murder, so the fact that he killed five more times after that before changing his tactics makes it clear that the number eighteen holds some special meaning for him. Since victim thirteen was of great personal significance to Agent Waters, I suspect that he's already planning for victim twenty-six to be someone equally important to her, if not actually her."
The silence got thicker. Malone swore, shaking his head. "I can't believe we missed that! My God, what the hell are we getting paid for?"
Mulder smiled wryly, but for once held back his usual wisecrack. He was definitely on good behavior, for whatever reason. Maybe Malone had impressed him, too. "It's probably only obvious to me because of my... background." Mulder put in blandly.
Grant, Findley and Brubaker all looked a bit puzzled, apparently they weren't aware of Mulder's reputation. Or rather, of her own, and Mulder's reputations. Hers was no longer quite as virginal as it had once been. She made a face, only to look up and realize that Malone was watching her. >From his expression, he had definitely heard of them before. There was amusement in his gaze, as if he knew exactly what she'd been thinking. Oddly, rather than embarrassing her, she felt as if she had shared a joke with a friend.
"Did you have something to add, Agent Scully?" he asked politely.
She swallowed the grin that threatened to erupt and shook her head, assuming a businesslike air. "No, not at this time. I would like to go over the autopsy reports if Agent Alvarez would be willing to let me have a look. I'd like to become a little more familiar with what Jack has done, his portfolio, if you'll excuse the term. Perhaps I may be able to draw some conclusions from the forensic work."
The dark-haired woman across the table nodded. "I'd be happy to show them to you, Agent Scully."
Malone stood. "I think that's it for the formalities, folks. Let's get to work."
* * *
Bailey retreated to his office. He knew his presence tended to change the way the team interacted, and right now he wanted them working at their most natural. He wondered how the newcomers would mesh into the group. It was a difficult position, coming in as outsiders. There would be a certain amount of mistrust and possibly resentment from his own people, and they would just have to hash that out between themselves. He could interfere, but he knew that would just delay the inevitable.
Motion caught his eye and he glanced up to see Grace stand up and gesture toward the staircase. Scully stood up as well, and they walked toward the forensics suite. He relaxed a bit, knowing at least there he didn't have to worry about a problem. Grace's personality suited her name, and Dana Scully was clearly a professional through and through. He had caught flashes of humor from her though, humor that so closely matched his own that he wondered if he was just projecting because he found her attractive... which he did, in spades.
At that thought, he scowled fiercely at the report on his desk, annoyed with himself. Personal feelings had no place in an investigation, a fact he'd learned long ago. Besides, he was probably old enough to be her father, not that that had ever kept a man from noticing a beautiful woman. Though her appearance was deliberately businesslike, there was no disguising the lush curves of her body, or the sensual fullness of her mouth. He almost laughed aloud, thinking how little distance there was between modern man and his more primitive forbears. Even in the late 20th century's supposedly egalitarian age, it was hard to separate intellect from instinct. His gaze fell on the photos in the file on his desk, and he lost the urge to laugh. Perhaps it would be better to say that there was a fine, and easily crossed, line between man and beast.
* * *
John Grant felt righteously annoyed. How dare Washington encroach on their turf? What right did they have to send some hotshots down from D.C. to usurp their case, and push aside their profiler? Though at first he'd doubted her, he had come to trust and like Samantha Waters and this felt like a slap in the face to her. Sourly he eyed the rangy guy who was staring at the display of victim photos as if they were speaking to him. George nudged him with an elbow and stood, jerking his head toward the door of the conference room. Nodding, John got up and accompanied him, Nathan trailing not far behind. Once they were out of the room, George led them over to his workstation, grinning broadly.
"Okay, let's find out who these guys are. When Bailey told us their names just before the meeting I started a computer search. It should be done by now." He moved the mouse to stop the screen saver and they all squinted at the information displayed on the screen. After a few lines, John's dismay began to grow by leaps and bounds. He looked up at Nathan, stunned.
"Of all the people they could send, they give us this freak? I mean, UFO's? Mutants? What is this, the National Enquirer branch of the FBI?"
Nathan looked just as upset. "Really! This guy looks as looney as the perps he's supposed to help catch!"
George looked from one of them to the other, and seemed uncomfortable. Finally he spoke. "I don't know guys. I mean, yeah, it's unusual, but maybe there's a reason they're on these kind of cases. It doesn't seem like the budget office would fund a project like this unless they were getting some kind of results."
John stared at George suspiciously. "You believe in this crap?"
"I ah... well, let's just say I like to keep an open mind."
John made a disgusted face. "I should have guessed, after that 'I Ching' stuff and all."
George glared at him. "It helped solve the case, didn't it?"
John glared back, but George had a point and he finally looked away. "Yeah, I guess. Still, you'd think they could have sent us someone who wasn't a few bricks short, y'know."
"Whether or not he's eccentric, he's good." George said, pointing to the statistics listed at the bottom of the page. "Look at that. His track record on profiles is as good as Sam's. Better, in fact."
"Only because he's been at it longer."
George shook his head stubbornly. "They started the same year."
John decided that changing the subject might be the better part of valor. "What about the woman?"
George paged down to the report on Dana Scully. There was a moment of quiet as they all read.
"Well, she looks pretty solid, in any case." John said after a moment. "Kinda strange though, they've been working together for four years now. I thought the Bureau tended to move people around more than that. Maybe they've got something going?" he speculated. "She's a looker, I wouldn't mind 'working' with her."
Nathan grinned. "You got that right, but it's more likely they just don't let him out without a keeper."
They laughed, and John moved toward his own desk. "Guess we'd better pretend like we're working before Malone comes out and notices us. Besides, Sam's due back any minute now."
As he turned, he saw that Agent Mulder had left the conference room and was standing over by the door of the forensics suite. For a moment, John felt uncomfortable, hoping the guy hadn't overheard them, then he shrugged it off. What did it matter anyway? He was certifiable. The red-head he worked with stepped out of the lab, her arms full of folders. They conferred briefly in a low tone, with a few glances in John's direction. Finally they began to walk back toward the conference room.
"I've got all the forensics reports here," the woman said. "How about you? Any ideas yet?"
Mulder paused a moment, then looked straight at John as he replied. "Well, after reflection, I think we're looking for a short, slender, ambidextrous woman who smokes clove cigarettes, keeps snakes and speaks with a Hungarian accent."
Scully sighed. "There goes my theory about the very large man who wears one Bruno Magli shoe and one Nike, eats raw garlic and adores existential German theater! I guess I need to keep working on this 'profiling' thing."
"Don't worry, Scully, you'll get the hang of it." Mulder reassured her as they walked out of sight.
John stared at Nathan, then they both looked at George, who was sitting at his computer with a rather smug expression on his face.
"He may be nuts but there's nothing wrong with his hearing." George said, sotto voce, as he returned his gaze to his screen. Nathan shrugged, and John echoed it. Clearly if they didn't want to be the butt of more "profiler humor" they'd better watch who was listening when they were talking.
* * *