Title: Into Darkness
Author: Selena Coontz
Feedback: Selena1782@aol.com
Rating: NC-17
Content Warning: Graphic descriptions of violence including rape and murder, an autopsy, bad language and, in the good parts, explicit f/f sex.
Summary: An old foe returns to haunt Scully, endangering both her and Perrin, as well as their relationship.
Disclaimer: Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Network own all rights to the X-Files characters used in this story.
Author's Note: For anyone who has read my story "Holding Death's Hand," yes, this is the same BJ. But since that story was an MSR this is not a direct sequel, and it's not necessary to have read that to understand this. Suffice it to say, any history mentioned in this story you don't recognize as being from the show is from "Holding Death's Hand."
My thanks to Athos and Rad for their invaluable advice and input.


Into Darkness
By Selena Coontz

"Hurry up! Buffy's about to start." Perrin sat crossed-legged on the floor, leaning back against Scully's couch.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Scully said as she hurried into her living room carrying a bowl of popcorn. She nudged Perrin's foot as she snuck a couple of pieces of the hot popcorn into her mouth. "Spread your legs and let me in."

"Hey, that's my line!" Perrin joked as she unfolded her jean-clad legs and Scully sat down between them. She nuzzled under Scully's ear. "But I'd do it for you anytime," she whispered. She still had a difficult time believing she had found love. Love in the form of a beautiful, brilliant, incredibly sexy FBI agent. Dana was small in stature but huge in heart and courage, honesty and loyalty. Beneath her controlled facade lay a precious vulnerability that Perrin felt honored to have seen and vowed to protect.

Scully shivered slightly. "I thought we were going to watch Buffy and veg out, not make out. She turned her head to see Perrin, captivated anew by her effortless attractiveness. Her jade green eyes, golden brown hair and powerful physique made her noticed wherever they went. But it was Perrin's soul that had touched Scully's soul and her life had taken a turn she hadn't expected. She smiled at her lover. "I won't know a thing that goes on if you keep that up."

"Is that a problem?" Perrin teased. She pulled Scully back so she leaned against her. "Don't mind me, just eat your popcorn and watch the show." She rested one hand across Scully's stomach and grabbed a handful of popcorn with the other. "That's Willow and Xander, Buffy's best friends, and Oz, Willow's werewolf boyfriend. He's a musician. You should see the episode with 'evil' Willow. She's all decked out in leather and really looks hot!"

"Eyeing another woman are we?" Scully elbowed Perrin in the ribs. "You better watch out!"

"Hey!" Perrin laughed. "I can't help it if I've got a thing for redheads. But she can't hold a candle to you."

"That's better." Scully snuggled back against her.

They sat quietly for a few moments, snacking on popcorn and watching the show.

"That's Principal Snyder, a real jerk. It's the same actor that played Quark on Deep Space Nine."

"Sorry, never watched that either."

Perrin grinned. "See? That's the problem. If you watched this stuff it would be much easier for you to believe the things you see while investigating X-Files. You'd already know there were vampires and space aliens and time warps."

"That's why I keep you and Mulder around. So I can stay informed on what's real."

"I'll show you what's real," Perrin said, her desire for the redhead ever-present. She trapped Scully's hand and slowly brought it to her mouth, easing her index finger inside. She sucked on it gently, washing away the salt and butter-flavoring as her other hand came up and stroked over Scully's breast.

"Mmmm," they groaned simultaneously, Scully reacting to the wet, velvet heat of Perrin's mouth and teasing of her nipple, Perrin reacting to the sensual pleasure of running her tongue over her lover's finger and the potent sensation of Scully's nipple hardening.

Perrin bathed each of Scully's fingers in the same manner, listening to the redhead's breath grow faster, savoring her response. She released her hand and dropped her lips to Scully's neck, planting a soft kiss. "Watch the show," she reminded Scully.

"How can I concentrate on TV when you're doing that?"

"Just watch it." Perrin lifted Scully's hair off of her neck and nibbled softly on the exposed skin.

Scully willed herself to remain still, eyes staring forward at the television. *Two can play at this game*

Perrin dropped one hand down to Scully's stomach, circling lightly over the material of her jeans before moving up to her white tank top. Scully continued to stare straight ahead, ignoring Perrin, and Perrin smiled to herself. *This is going to be fun*

Perrin tucked Scully's hair behind her ear and brought her mouth close, her warm breath tickling that sensitive area.

Scully closed her eyes and fought the urge to shiver.

Perrin caught her and asked innocently, "What's happening on the show?"

Scully's eyes flew open and she focused on the TV. "Uh...Disgusting. The mayor is eating some spiders or something."

"Yuck. I can think of a lot better things to eat." Perrin suggestively dipped a hand between Scully's legs and all too quickly, moved it away again.

"Ohh?"

"Yeah, lasagna. I love lasagna. Or Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt." Perrin's other hand cupped Scully's breast, her thumb and forefinger discovering her nipple and squeezing it.

"Oh." Scully sat very still, although her nerve-endings were exquisitely awake, sending throbs of pleasure throughout her body.

"You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you Agent Scully? You have a dirty mind."

Scully took a breath, "Not me. I just thought you meant empanadas."

"Ah. My mistake." The hand that had been circling above Scully's clothes, slipped underneath. Perrin felt a muscle twitch in Scully's belly as she ran her hand over the warm skin. "You seem rather jumpy tonight chica," she teased.

"Well, you've got me watching this creepy show." Scully knew it was a lame excuse.

Perrin let the remark pass. "True. But I wanted to make sure I wasn't disturbing you."

"No, you're fine," Scully said with a hint of challenge.

"Good. Because I don't want you to miss anything. There may be a test later," she teased. She brought her hand up to Scully's bra, slipping a finger under it, running it back and forth in the space between Scully's breasts. "This seems rather confining. I'm going to loosen it. Things might get exciting on the show and you could find yourself short of breath. I don't want anything to hamper you."

"That's very thoughtful, Ms. Stockard. But I don't expect to breathe too heavily while watching TV."

"But you just never know what might happen." Perrin unfastened the bra and pulled it up so both the cups and Scully's tank top rested above her breasts. "And the same thing's true with these tight jeans, as much as I enjoy seeing you wear them." A vision of Scully earlier in the day filled Perrin's mind. Scully had been standing at the kitchen sink, one leg straight, the other bent at the knee and cocked a bit to the side. Arousal curled low in Perrin's belly as she recalled sliding up behind Scully and running her hands firmly over that delectable ass. "God, you turn me on," she had said. *Nothing's changed* she thought, enjoying the arousal suffusing her body. She unbuttoned and unzipped Scully's pants. "They're just too confining. Your comfort is my priority."

"You're too kind."

"I know. It's one of my faults." Perrin ran her palms over Scully's belly to just under her breasts, spreading her fingers to touch as much skin as possible. "You feel so good."

"Yes, I do." Scully sighed. She struggled to keep her eyes focused in the direction of the television.

Perrin brought both hands to Scully's breasts, cupping them, squeezing them gently. She looked down at Scully leaning back in her arms, her breasts exposed, the taut pink tips betraying her arousal, her jeans unzipped and open. Perrin's breath caught in her throat. *So beautiful*

Scully felt Perrin's easy tug on her nipples and stifled a moan. Striving to control her reaction seemed to magnify the sensation. She wanted desperately to push her breasts into Perrin's hands and rock her hips in rhythm to the surge of pleasure coursing from her breasts downward between her legs. But she didn't, not ready for the game to end yet, knowing her eventual surrender would be even sweeter if she could hold out a bit longer.

Perrin dropped wet kisses on her shoulder, licking and nipping tenderly up Scully's neck, who was unable to stop the shiver that washed over her.

"Are you OK?" Perrin murmured.

"I'm fine," Scully quickly answered. *Think about something else! hydrogen helium lithium beryllium boron--*

Perrin lowered a hand between Scully's legs, going underneath her soaked panties.

"Oh God!" Scully blurted.

"What have we here?" Perrin dipped her longest finger into Scully and drew out some of the abundant liquid, spreading it over her engorged clit. Perrin could feel the tension in Scully's trembling muscles as she fought to remain still. "You seem rather distracted, chica. Is there anything you'd like me to do?"

"No, I'm fine." Scully said between gritted teeth.

Perrin ducked her head to hide her smile. "Good, good. I don't want you to miss the show." *The reward is going to be worth it, Dana, I promise* Perrin lazily played with Scully, but now studiously avoided her clit, instead just teasing around it and slowly fucking her with one finger.

The sensation, which wasn't enough stimulation at first, became impossible to ignore because of its relentlessness. In and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, Perrin teased her unmercifully.

"Perrin?" Scully managed.

"Hmmmm?"

"Make me come. Please," she shuddered and gave up all pretense of ignoring Perrin's touch.

"I thought you'd never ask." Perrin hooked her legs over Scully's and drew them back, spreading her fully. At the same time she raised her hand to Scully's clit, easily finding the hard nodule and began circling over it. Her other hand was busy pinching Scully's nipple and her mouth bit lightly on her earlobe.

"Yes! Oh, yes!" Scully pushed hard against Perrin's hand, undulating her hips, release mere seconds away. "Don't stop, don't stop!" she cried, any semblance of control shattered.

"I won't!" Perrin growled in her ear, her hand moving so swiftly under Scully's panties it would have been a blur, could she see it. "Come for me, chica."

"Oh God, yes! Fuck!" She shimmied helplessly, overwhelmed by sensation.

Perrin rubbed hard, sensing Scully's need of that and kept the waves of pleasure rolling over her for what seemed an eternity.

Finally, Scully's movements became erratic as she squeezed the last bit of delight from her orgasm. Her chest heaving, she turned her head to Perrin for a quick kiss. "That was fabulous."

"I think so." Perrin kissed her back hard, sucking Scully's bottom lip into her mouth as she broke free. "I love you."

"I love you. More than I ever dreamed I could love anyone."

Perrin smiled and closed her eyes at Scully's declaration. Opening her eyes again she took a deep breath and said, "I'm the happiest woman on earth because of you."

They smiled at each other and kissed tenderly. When the kiss ended, Scully looked down at her clothing in disarray. "That was the most fun I've ever had with my clothes still on," she joked.

"Yes, well, I never meant to start anything," Perrin claimed innocently. "You said I wasn't distracting you. Which reminds me, I told you there might be a test later. What happened after the mayor ate the spiders?"

"I don't have the foggiest idea," Scully grinned at her.

Perrin gave her a radiant smile. "You passed."

*****

BJ Taylor was euphoric as she headed out Highway 199 toward Whitesboro in the stolen vehicle. *Those stupid pansies! They fell for it hook, line and sinker. I'll never get over how stupid people are! Maybe I should have become an actor - except they're an even *bigger* bunch of pansies!* Her escape had gone without a hitch. It was as if God himself had paved the way. How else to explain the serendipity of getting Brooks as her transfer officer? They had to be almost the exact same size, and if her plan had any weak spot it was in the risk of being seen in the bright orange prison jumpsuit before she was able to steal a car. But who would fear a woman in a Tarrant County Sheriff's Department uniform? Not the woman lying lifeless on the floorboard of the back seat. As soon as she got a bit further out of town BJ intended to stuff her in the trunk. *They'll never catch me now. I'm gonna get that bitch Dana Scully, but first I have some unfinished business with Daddy.*

Yeah, this is going to be fun.

*****

"Agents," Skinner nodded to Mulder and Scully as they sat in the two chairs in front of his desk. "My apologies, Agent Scully, for calling you in when you had vacation days scheduled, but I believe you'll understand when I tell you why."

Scully's mind darted back to the AD's early morning phone call. She and Perrin had just awakened moments before and were quietly holding one another, enjoying the lassitude that accompanies immense contentment. And then the phone rang, Skinner ordering her to report to his office ASAP. "I realize it must be important, Sir."

"Yes, it is. You remember BJ Taylor and the Death's Hand case?"

"Of course," Scully answered as Mulder nodded.

"She's escaped from custody. She was being held at the detention facility in Fort Worth. She complained of chest pain and overcame the transfer officer when she attempted to reassure her. The officer is lucky - she's still alive, but she was beaten pretty badly. Taylor apparently had a 20 - 30 minute head start before someone discovered the officer."

"Oh my God." Scully remember the viciousness of BJ's attacks. The woman truly was lucky to be alive.

"There's more." Skinner said. She apparently stole a car and drove straight to her father's house. The owner of the vehicle was found dead in the trunk. She and BJ's father were discovered late last night when officers went to warn him of his daughter's escape. They found him in the kitchen. She apparently took some time with him, inflicting numerous non-fatal injuries before finishing him by breaking his neck." Skinner rubbed his eyes, a habit that showed itself when he had to say or do something he found distasteful. "Scully, in the journal officer's found in her cell were numerous... fantasies I suppose would be the word, describing how she intended to kill you."

Scully said nothing, just nodded her head once in acknowledgment of his statement.

"So, we're headed to Whitesboro? I don't believe she'll stick around there," Mulder said.

"It's a place to start," Skinner replied. "You're to meet with agents in Fort Worth for an update then head to Whitesboro to assist in the search."

"Sir, I think you should get the word out that we're coming. BJ obviously considers us unfinished business and might be drawn out by our presence."

Mulder looked at Scully, nodding slightly. "She's right. BJ would definitely like another shot at us."

Scully rolled her eyes a bit at Mulder's pun while Skinner just ignored it.

"I'll tell the Fort Worth office to alert the media of your arrival. Dismissed."

Mulder and Scully walked toward the elevator. "So, what have you been doing on your vacation Scully? Anything I would enjoy?"

Scully stifled the chuckle that threatened to break free when she thought how much Mulder *would* enjoy what she and Perrin had been doing. But she sobered quickly. "Mulder, we need to talk."

Mulder stopped his wiseass comeback upon seeing how serious Scully looked. "To the basement?"

"Yes."

They walked silently to the office and settled themselves into chairs on opposite sides of Mulder's desk. Mulder noted the slight blush on Scully's cheeks and wondered what she was about to say. As he did so often he joked to lighten the atmosphere and try to draw Scully out. "You must have *really* been enjoying your days off."

Scully was sitting, looking at her hands, mentally forming what she wanted to say. At Mulder's words she looked up at him and quietly said, "I have."

*She's met someone!*

She scooted forward in the chair and rested her arms on the desk. "Do you remember the X-File we investigated in Jacksboro, Texas?"

"Sure, I do." Mulder's mind was flying at light speed looking for a connection. *The medical examiner - too young, the sheriff -married, one of the deputies--*

"You remember Perrin Stockard, the rancher we talked to?"

"Yes." *No, it can't be!*

"She's...I..." Scully, so used to maintaining her privacy struggled to say the words. She had never found Mulder to be homophobic but she had never been involved before. At best he would take the news graciously and she would only have to put up with his innuendos. At worst...well, she'd see. Regardless, she owed it to Perrin and herself to acknowledge their relationship to those close to her. "I'm in love with her."

"In love with her?" Mulder blurted. "You hardly know her! Besides, you're not a lesbian." Mulder couldn't stop the jolt of jealousy that hit him. *This can't be happening. Scully's found someone else. What if she leaves me?*

"Regardless of what I *am* or *am not*, I love her," Scully said coldly. "You're my partner and my friend. I wanted you to know. Perhaps that was a mistake." Remembering Perrin, her heart swelled with love. *No, no matter what Mulder thinks, admitting our love wasn't a mistake.*

Mulder fell back in his chair and briefly closed his eyes. "I'm sorry, Scully. I'm just surprised by all of this." He spread his fingers out in a gesture of confusion. "You've never given any indication...and you haven't mentioned her before."

"I know. I haven't known how to bring it up." She gave him a lopsided smile. "Neither one of us are the most open of people." She shook her head slightly, "I never expected to fall in love with her, but she's the best thing to ever happen to me. She's light in my darkness, Mulder. Her love has allowed me to rediscover myself." She sat back, "I'm happy and I love her. I want you to accept us," Scully's eyes pierced Mulder's, "but if you don't, I choose her."

"It's that serious?"

"Yes."

*Don't be a jerk, say it* "Then I'm very happy for you."

"Thank you." Scully knew her declaration had hurt Mulder. "I'm sorry for being so blunt. I suppose I feel a bit defensive. This is all new to me too."

The steel in Scully's eyes had softened to affection and Mulder felt some of the tension leave his body. He hadn't lost her completely, but would have to learn to share her. He squashed the twinge of jealousy, recognizing it for what it was and the reasons behind it. It had been just the two of them for so long, it seemed it would always be that way. But now Scully had found someone else, and if he didn't want to blow it, he had to show his nobler side, which truly was happy for her. "I suppose a menage a trois tonight to welcome her to our little family is out of the question?"

Scully cocked an eyebrow at him, but the corners of her mouth turned up slightly as she said, "Yeah."

That was as good as a horselaugh from most people. Mulder felt on solid ground for the first time since their conversation had begun. "And another X-File bites the dust."

Scully played along, glad for the return of some normalcy between them. "Which is?"

"Why she showed no interest in me when we first questioned her. My track record as a chick magnet is again unblemished."

*****

"BJ Taylor has escaped? Oh my gosh! I remember when her killing spree was going on." Perrin shook her head, remembering the terror of that time. "Women were afraid to leave their homes. Since Whitesboro isn't that far from Jacksboro it was all we read about in the newspaper." Perrin sat on the bed and watched as Scully packed her suitcase. "Did you ever find out why she was targeting women? A female serial killer is weird enough, but killing other women? Weren't the victims sexually assaulted?"

"Yes, they were. She used a wooden dowel to penetrate them. She's an obsessive journal keeper, writing both about things that happen to her now and also remembering things from her childhood. I saw a little of her writing and she seemed so..wounded by her father. She felt that girls were second-rate and successful women should remember their place. As far as the sexual nature of her attacks, I'll leave that to the psychologists."

"I hadn't realized that was you and Mulder who caught her. Wow, I'm impressed again. How did you catch her?"

"Yes, it's strange thinking back on it. It was when my cancer was active and that whole time has an almost surreal feel to it now. I had begun having seizures and thought I was going to die. But the seizures turned out to be a blessing. She knew I'd begun having them because I was taken to Whitesboro Medical Center after the first one and she was a nurse there. She almost got Mulder and I, but I faked having a seizure and was able to get to a gun and shot her."

"That was some quick, smart thinking!"

Scully smiled at the compliment and then said, "I just thank God the seizures stopped after I went into remission."

"Oh, chica." Perrin stood and hugged Scully to her. "I hate to think about you hurting, or being sick or scared. I wish I could have been there for you."

Scully squeezed Perrin, returning the hug. "I know you do, but that's all in the past and I'm fine now. Better than fine, actually, since you came into my life." Scully drew back and smiled.

"Ditto." Perrin lowered her mouth to Scully's and they kissed gently, sweetly.

Their lips parted and Scully eyed her lover mischievously. "Something good did come out of today's meeting though. I told Mulder about us."

"You did?" Perrin's eyes got big. "What'd he say?"

"After I revived him he said he was happy for us."

Perrin laughed. "So he took it OK?"

"Yeah, he was surprised, but he'll be OK with it. He wanted to have a menage a trois tonight to welcome you."

Perrin laughed again. "Uhh, no thanks." She gave Scully a squeeze. "I want you all to myself. How about if I call and see if I can get my return flight changed to yours. That would be OK, wouldn't it?"

Scully took her lover's face in her hands. "That would be wonderful. I'm so sorry this happened."

"Me, too. But I guess I better get used to it, huh?"

"Yeah, it's part of my baggage."

"Then we'll deal. And besides, at least this time you're not heading off to Timbuktu, you're headed to my stomping grounds. Surely, I'll be able to see you sometime."

Scully nodded, grateful for Perrin's understanding but fearful they would not have the time Perrin hoped for. "I'm going to be busy."

"I know. I'll give you space to work. But part of the time you'll be eating or sleeping or watching TV and you're definitely *not* going to watch Buffy with Mulder. I've seen how that show affects you." Perrin grinned at her.

"Very funny." Scully gazed affectionately at her lover. "I'll have you know I've never been so affected by a show before. I'm so glad you...turned me on to Buffy."

"Ha!" Perrin laughed. "That's nothing! Wait until we watch Xena."

*****

BJ sat in crazy ol' Miz Joplin's home enjoying an ice cold Dr. Pepper. Miz Joplin wouldn't be needing them anymore. *I'm a fucking genius* Nobody came to visit ol' lady Joplin, she'd threatened more than one do-gooder with an ass full of buckshot if they didn't get off her property. And she didn't go to town more than maybe once a month to buy groceries and cigarettes. From the looks of the pantry and fridge, she'd just stocked up.

*Yeah, I'm sitting pretty.* BJ pressed the button on the remote control, the TV springing to life loudly. "Good God Almighty! Was the old bitch deaf?" *I guess she was, ha ha. She sure didn't hear me coming until it was too late.* BJ flipped idly through the channels, looking for something to catch her interest. "What the hell?" On the screen was stock footage of Mulder and Scully from her original arrest.

"...FBI agents who were instrumental in capturing Taylor last year are expected to arrive from Washington this evening to again assist in the search."

"Well I'll be damned. They're bringing her right to me." BJ sat back in the chair and laughed.

******

"Hello Mulder, nice to see you again." Perrin reached out to shake Mulder's hand.

"Yeah, it's good seeing you," Mulder answered as he accepted Perrin's greeting. *Damn, she's good looking* "So, how're things in Texas? Haven't run across any more demons, have you?"

"No, thank goodness," Perrin answered with a smile. "I think once a lifetime is more than enough."

"I imagine most civilians would agree with you, but Scully and I choose to investigate unexplained phenomena."

Both Perrin and Scully caught the not-so-subtle put-down in Mulder's words.

"Speak for yourself, Mulder," Scully said. "I'm ready for a bit of the mundane."

They reached the counter to collect their boarding passes.

"I'm sorry. We don't have three seats together available on this flight," the attendant informed them with more good humor than was called for. "The best I can do is two and one."

Perrin and Mulder both looked at Scully.

"We'll take it," she said, taking the boarding passes and handing the single to Mulder.

Mulder accepted it wordlessly and followed them through the tunnel to the plane.

Perrin and Scully sat down in the aisle and center seats, joining a well-dressed, middle-aged woman sitting in the window seat.

Mulder continued on a few rows farther and found his seat. *Great. Just great* He sat down next to a toddler and his already frazzled looking mom and stared at the back of the two heads a few rows ahead of him. Scully and Perrin leaned toward each other, their heads almost touching, and seemed to be engaged in quiet conversation. *I'm going to get you for this, Scully* And then he heard her laugh and his ill-humor dissolved. She deserved every ounce of happiness she could find. And if she had found what she was looking for in Perrin Stockard then he would do his damnedest to support her. He leaned back, closing his eyes as the plane gathered speed, preparing for takeoff. The little boy beside him began to wail, kicking his feet and trying to climb out of his seatbelt. *On second thought, I *am* going to get you for this, Scully* It was going to be a long flight.

******

BJ's Journal

~I was ten years old when we got the old upright piano. Mama thought
~it would be good if I learned to play it. She scrimped and saved so
~I could take lessons and found a piano teacher living just a few
~blocks away. Every Tuesday afternoon after school I would walk to
~Mrs. Kendall's house for my lesson. And I was good, too. Mrs.
~Kendall told Mama I had an ear for music. I practiced and practiced.
~Sometimes I just wanted to play ball, but I liked playing the piano
~and Mama didn't usually have to make me practice. When I played the
~piano, I felt like I was making magic. I loved listening to the
~sounds of the different notes and chords and knowing *I* was making
~them. Mrs. Kendall was so proud of me. I'd only been taking lessons
~for a few months when she had me learn Nocturne for my first recital.
~I practiced and practiced until I had it perfect. I didn't even have
~to look at the music. I couldn't wait for the recital. Finally I
~was good at something. Finally Daddy would be proud of me. Mama
~made me this fancy dress. It was this shiny green color and strapless,
~but with a full-layered skirt. I felt like a princess. Mama even put
~a little bit of lipstick on me. Daddy got home from work and I ran
~to show him. "What are you all dressed up for?" he asked me. "Don't
~you remember my piano recital tonight?" I said. "Oh yeah. Well you
~look real purty. Have fun." "Aren't you coming?" I asked him. "No."

BJ sat the pen down for a minute, her face momentarily contorted with pain. But it quickly passed as rage replaced it, and her eyes, which had just shimmered with tears, hardened.

~I went to the recital and I played Nocturne. I played it so good
~all of the other kids mama's and daddy's were real surprised. They
~clapped and clapped. And afterward a bunch of them told me I did
~real good and told my Mama wasn't she proud of me. But it didn't
~mean nothing. I told my Mama I wanted to quit taking lessons. She
~didn't want me to quit, but I stopped practicing and Mrs. Kendall
~told her she was just wasting her money. A few years ago Daddy
~asked me if I wanted the piano. I said yes and moved it to my
~house. Then I took an ax and chopped it into firewood and burned
~it piece by piece. I hate pianos.

******

BJ stood in front of the mirror and looked at herself. Except for her hazel eyes, she didn't look anything like the mugshot they were showing on TV. She had lost a little bit of weight and muscled up while incarcerated, mostly because she exercised since there wasn't much to do. Old lady Joplin had had a bout with cancer a few years before and BJ found a couple of wigs in her closet. The ash blonde wig covered her own short dark hair, and just brushed the tops of her shoulders, completely changing her appearance. *I don't think my own Mama would recognize me* She smiled at her reflection in the mirror. *Time to let the feebies know I'm back. This is gonna be fun*

******

The plane touched down at DFW Airport at 5:06 PM, only 10 minutes late, but right on time for the horrendous after-work traffic which moved with glacial slowness toward Fort Worth.

Perrin had retrieved her truck from the long-term parking lot and inched toward the city she had to pass through to make her way home to the Double S Ranch. The flight had been wonderful. She and Scully had talked the whole way back and discreetly held hands. Perrin had worried a bit when Scully had taken her hand. Dana hadn't had to deal with prejudice yet and she didn't want their flight ruined by some homophobe. But the woman sitting beside them had smiled and nodded as they sat down and otherwise ignored them. And the flight attendant was a professional. She didn't notice. They had decided that Perrin would return to the ranch and that Scully would let her know where they were staying as soon as she knew. Perrin extracted the promise that Scully would call the instant she had a free moment and Perrin promised to drop everything to come see her. They said their good-byes as Mulder rented a car.

"Be careful!" Perrin had said, fear for Scully's safety washing over her.

"I will," Scully had promised.

Perrin had hugged her fiercely, then walked out, knowing if she stayed any longer she wouldn't be able to let her go. And Dana was nothing if not independent. She had to let her do her job no matter how much it worried her. And this case definitely worried her. BJ Taylor was one of the deadliest, *meanest* people she'd ever heard of.

"God, please keep her safe," Perrin whispered as she inched toward home, a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel.

******

Mulder and Scully met with agents at the field office in Fort Worth for a briefing before heading to Whitesboro. Nothing new of value was learned. BJ's father's truck hadn't turned up, and despite numerous "sightings," no leads had panned out. She seemed to have vanished.

******

BJ sat in Miz Joplin's '89 Dodge and cursed the old woman's taste in vehicles. "Damn, I miss my van," BJ muttered. She watched the entrance of the mall, patiently waiting for the right woman to exit. Someone attractive and successful looking. She put the time to good use, removing the inside door handle from the passenger side of the vehicle. That accomplished, she leaned back against the seat, her face shadowed and her eyes slitted as she bided her time. A lone woman emerged, her arms filled with several shopping bags. She was dressed in a skirt, silk blouse and jacket. From all appearances, a prosperous businesswoman. BJ watched as she walked straight toward her. Her lips curled in a smile as the woman stopped at the car right next to her. BJ laughed. *God, this was too easy*

******

*She was a fighter, I'll say that for her* BJ looked at the battered and bloodied body of the woman formerly known as Melissa Royce. She had brought her back to Miz Joplin's barn where she had everything prepared. Earlier, she had moved the dinette table out there to have something to work on, and while not as cozy as the torture chamber she had fashioned in her own house, it had got the job done. Melissa had been a good one; not quite as good as Dr. Roberts had been, but it was hard to top killing someone you knew. She had wanted to draw it out, to enjoy it and make it last. Melissa was just the kind of woman she liked. Attractive, with long, natural blond hair and the bluest eyes BJ had ever seen. And, she was an executive with Texaco. One of those women filling a man's job. She had fought and fought well. BJ had the bruises and scratches to prove it. When she lost the physical fight with BJ she tried to bribe, and when that didn't work, begged BJ to let her go. But her pleas only inflamed BJ further. The rage had overtaken her and she had lost all semblance of control. When Melissa had realized her fate, had realized she was trapped by a monster in human form, she had cried, with tears streaming down her face, "Not me! Not me!" But BJ had just smiled at her and said, "Oh yes, you. You don't realize how lucky and important you are. You're my message for one Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully." And then BJ pushed the dowel as hard and as far into her as she could. Melissa screamed at a pitch and decibel level BJ found most gratifying. And then she was quiet.

******

Mulder and Scully had been having breakfast at the IHOP across from their motel when they got the news via Scully's phone that a body had been found.

Just a few minutes later a uniformed officer had arrived to escort them to the site and now they found themselves walking down a bike trail that paralleled the West Fork of the Trinity River.

"It's my understanding a jogger found her," the officer informed them as the group of police on the scene came into view.

"And they're sure it's BJ's work?" Scully asked.

"Well, I haven't seen the body myself, but that's how they called it in."

They walked toward Detective James who had spearheaded the previous search for BJ. They had found him to be an excellent investigator with a keen mind. He looked up as they arrived and shook their hands. "It's bad," he said grimly. He looked at Mulder for a moment, then seemed to reach some kind of decision and turned to Scully. "She left a message for you."

"Show me," Scully said, a sick feeling roiling in the pit of her stomach. She *hated* these kinds of cases. Unlike Mulder, she had no desire to get into the minds of sickos. Humankind's capability for cruelty nauseated her. And she had never mastered the distancing that Mulder and other agents seemed capable of. She saw a person, not just a victim, and painful as it was, she hoped it would always be so. "Show me," she repeated, looking Detective James in the eye.

He nodded his head once, "This way."

They stepped around a bend in the trail and saw her.

"Nothing's been touched?" Mulder asked.

"No. The man who found her claims not to have touched anything and we secured the area and called you. We've had the photographer taking pictures, but that's all."

Scully walked toward the victim, transfixed with horror, hearing nothing of the conversation taking place around her. Melissa Royce had been nailed to a tree, arms outstretched in a classic pose of crucifixion. And burned into her chest were the words, SCULLY U R NEXT.

******

*Hoo-boy, I wish I could have seen Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully's face when she first saw my message* BJ chuckled, unable to contain her good mood. *It even made that hour I spent burning the message into Blondie worth it. Cigarettes sure are nasty! People who smoke are fucking idiots! Might as well just burn your money. I'm glad Miz Joplin smoked though, 'cause I would never have thought of burning my message into Blondie otherwise. I wonder if one of those butane matches would work easier? I know, incense sticks! I'll have to try that. I might could draw some real pretty pictures with one of those. I'll have to find a way to keep Dana completely still so I can write everything while she's still alive. Neatness counts!* BJ singsonged in her mind. *At least that's what Miss Eubanks used to tell us in third grade* She laughed out loud.

******

Dana Scully stood by the autopsy table that held the body of Melissa Royce and pulled on a pair of latex gloves. Dr. Wyatt, the elderly County Medical Examiner, had been more than happy for Scully to perform the autopsy, but expressed his concern for her state of mind.

"I've never had to autopsy a body that had a message for me on it. Are you sure you're going to be OK?"

"I'm fine," Scully answered and gave him a small, reassuring smile.

"OK," Dr. Wyatt nodded. "If you need anything, you know where to find me."

Scully nodded and watched him leave the room, closing the door behind him.

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, counting to 10. Clipping a microphone to her scrubs, she began. "This is case number 1412-99, Melissa Royce. The body is that of a 31-year-old well-nourished Caucasian female with blond hair and blue eyes. The body is 66 inches long and weighs 127 pounds."

Scully began her external examination of the body. "There is a four centimeter scar on the inside of the right calf just below the knee and a three centimeter dolphin tattoo on the right ankle." Scully looked at the small tattoo with the dolphin's "smiling" face and thought of her own tattoo and how miserable she had been when she got it. Melissa's tattoo looked so happy. She pictured a laughing Melissa with a group of friends joking with the tattoo artist. *Stay focused* she warned herself.

Clearing her throat she continued, "Numerous contusions and lesions mark the skin, none of which appear to be the cause of death." Scully turned her gaze to Melissa's chest. "Words have been burned into the skin of the victim's chest. Visual examination shows the letters were formed with many small circular burns, supporting the use of a cigarette as the instrument. Upon close examination it appears the first few burns in the S in SCULLY were inflicted while the victim was alive. The edges are slightly blurred and there is evidence of bleeding. The neatness and lack of blood suggests the rest of the message was written postmortem.

*Thank God for whatever small favors you received*

Scully glanced quickly at Melissa's face, bruised, pale and bloodied, but her beauty still apparent.

*I'm sorry. I'm sorry you had to become that monster's parchment*

She swiftly tamped down the emotion that threatened her composure. Again in control, she continued. "Blood, skin and cloth fibers are present under the fingernails, indicating a violent struggle. Ligature bruises and abrasions are present on the wrists and ankles indicating a sustained struggle after she was restrained.

*You never gave up, did you? I won't give up either. I'll get BJ Taylor if it's the last thing I do*

With her resolve bolstered Scully went to the next phase of the autopsy, opening the body with the usual "Y" incision. The incision reached from both shoulders, across the breasts to the xyphoid process at the bottom of the sternum, then continued in a straight line to the pubis. Scully meticulously examined, weighed and sectioned each organ in Melissa's chest and abdomen. The contents of her stomach were recorded and a sample sent for toxicology. Beginning her examination of Melissa's pelvis she suddenly became still. "Oh my God," she said softly, the words escaping before she could stop them. Horror and revulsion filled her as she discovered the cause of death.

*distance distance distance*

Examining Melissa's vagina she found what she suspected would be there, wooden splinters. Speaking slowly into the microphone she gave her findings. "A wooden instrument, most likely a dowel was pushed hard into the victim's vagina, ripping through the vaginal fornix, tearing into her colon and piercing her vena cava. Cause of death, massive internal hemorrhage."

******

BJ's Journal

~When I was 11 Daddy took me over to a ranch that belonged to one
~of his friends. He wanted to teach me how to shoot a .22 rifle.
~Daddy had the prettiest little .22. He used to go dove hunting
~and deer hunting every year and I loved watching him clean his
~guns afterwards. I'll never forget the smell, a mixture of Hoppes
~No 9 Cleaning Oil and cordite. He kept all of his guns in a
~locked gun cabinet and I was supposed to NEVER get in it, but he
~never minded me looking at all of the rifles through the glass
~front. I was so excited. Daddy never took me anywhere, not just
~me and him. I thought maybe if I shot good, he would take me
~hunting with him. We got there and he set this target out about
~20 yards away. Then we sat down at this old picnic table and he
~told me all about the .22. He showed me how to load it and where
~the safety was. Then he showed me how to aim by lining up the
~sights with the target. Then he let me shoot it. My first shot
~hit the ground in front of the target. He told me to raise the
~end of the rifle up a bit and try again. That time I hit it! I
~was so happy! Daddy even said, "Good!" and smiled at me. The next
~time I shot the rifle went KABLAM!! It was so loud, it scared me
~to death. I dropped the .22 on the table and jumped back. I
~thought it was about to explode. Daddy started laughing, said it
~had just backfired and wasn't nothing to worry about. But it
~really scared me and I was scared to shoot it any more. All of
~the fun was gone. And then Daddy called me a scaredy-cat girl.
~When his friend came by he told him what had happened and they
~both had a big laugh. I had proved him right. Girls were
~scaredy-cats. He never took me anywhere again.

"But I'm not a scaredy-cat anymore, am I Daddy?" BJ said as she put down her pen.

******

"Hampton Inn. May I help you?"

"Dana Scully, please."

"Just a moment," said the desk clerk. "I'll ring her for you."

"No, nevermind. Someone's knocking at my door. I'll call back." BJ hung up. "Bingo."

******

"Oh, it's you," Scully said as she opened the motel door and saw Perrin.

"What kind of greeting is that?" Perrin asked, stung by Scully's words. "I just came by to see how you are doing and see if you wanted to get something to eat."

"I'm not hungry."

"Well, can I come in?"

"Fine. I'm afraid I'm not fit company right now," she said as she shut the door.

"What is it?"

Dana Scully, who in the best of times kept a tight rein on her emotions, had all of her defenses in place. *I wish I was strong enough to crawl in your arms and tell you* She shook her head, "Nothing."

"You're not acting like it's nothing."

"I'm sorry. It doesn't have anything to do with you."

Striving to understand, Perrin tried a different tactic. "The murder is all over the news."

Scully nodded, arms folded across her chest.

Perrin looked at her with concern. "C'mere." She held her arms out to hug Scully, but Scully refused the offer.

"I'm not ready for that right now."

"Hey, it's me. I love you. All I want to do is hold you. I'm not going to jump your bones."

Scully shook her head. "I'm sorry." She turned and walked further into the motel room and sat down in a chair.

Her choice of seats wasn't lost on Perrin. Leave me alone, it said. Perrin stood, her own feelings of anger and rejection returning and winning her internal battle. She would leave, they could talk later. But her "See you later," died on her lips when she looked at Scully. She looked so small, so vulnerable, sitting in that chair that her anger disappeared. She knew, *really knew* this rejection had nothing to do with her. Walking over to Scully, she knelt in front of the chair and sighed. Taking Scully's hand she said, "You did the autopsy today, didn't you?"

Scully nodded.

"Talk to me," she said softly.

"I can't. It's part of an ongoing investigation."

"Then let me hold you."

"I can't."

Perrin took a deep breath. "I wish I knew what to do, knew what to say."

"Nothing to do, nothing to say." Scully answered softly. *How did I ever think I could let someone love me, doing what I do?*

Perrin stood and tugged on Scully's hand. "C'mere. Please," she added when Scully didn't react.

After a moment Scully relented and stood and Perrin led her the couple of steps to the bed. "Lie down."

Scully crawled onto the bed and Perrin followed her, gathering her in her arms as they got settled. "I don't know everything you know, but what I know is awful enough." Perrin searched for the right words to say, something that would let Scully know that she didn't have to face this alone. "I love you. You don't have to pretend with me and you don't have to be strong for me. Just don't shut me out. I know I can't help in the investigation, but I can hold you and I hope, give you strength."

Scully held on tightly, but didn't say a word.

******

BJ parked a little way off, but with a good view of the Hampton Inn and settled down to wait. *Patience, that's what Aunt Dora used to say.* Unless an opportunity too good to pass up presented itself, she didn't intend to grab Scully that night. Instead, she hoped to discover which room Scully was in and in the process, tease herself with a glimpse of her.

******

"Are you sure you don't want me to stay the night?" Perrin asked softly.

They stood near the door, arms wrapped around each other.

"I'm sure. I need to go over my notes on the case and then I'm going to bed." Scully pulled back just enough to look at Perrin's face. "Thank you for sticking around," she said, then put her head on Perrin's shoulder. "I'm sorry I treated you so badly earlier."

"It's OK. I just wish I could do more," Perrin said as she hugged Scully to her. After a moment, they parted and Perrin opened the door. Stepping outside, she turned to face Scully who stood in the doorway. "Please call me if you need me. I'll drop whatever I'm doing and meet you. OK?"

Scully nodded.

Perrin held her hand out, taking Scully's. "C'mere," she said as she pulled the smaller woman to her gently.

They each sought the comfort of the others kiss, their lips softly touching. Then, the emotion of the night caught them and the kiss became harder, more demanding, as they chased after life in the midst of death. They kissed and their souls were replenished, their connection restored, their love not just intact, but stronger.

"I'll see you tomorrow," Scully promised as their lips parted.

"Yes," Perrin nodded. "Tomorrow."

******

"What the hell?!" BJ couldn't believe her eyes. *They're kissing! Kissing!! Dana Scully's a fucking queer!* BJ was spellbound by the scene she was observing. "She's a dyke," she whispered, blindsided by the mixture of feelings that washed over her. Sorting through the differing rush of emotions, she latched on to the easiest. *Thank you God for showing me her depravity. And her bitch. Getting both of them complicates things, but oh, won't it be fun to watch Dana Scully watch her girlfriend get it* BJ grinned in anticipation. *This is going to be the best ever*

******

"There were major differences in the amount of evidence left on the body this time," Scully said as she watched Mulder put away the biggest Belgian waffle she'd ever seen. "I know she's not trying to hide and she wants us to know it's her. And obviously, she wants me to know she's after me. But it's still unusual for a serial killer to change their script so much. She went from very neat and meticulous to just plain messy."

"She's taunting you," Mulder said between mouthfuls. "You're the one who outsmarted her and caught her before. And she knows you're the one doing the autopsy. She's trying to rattle you."

Looking grim, Scully nodded, "It seems to be working."

******

BJ sat in Miz Joplin's oak rocking chair and, with tears slowly escaping down her cheeks, wrote in her journal.

~I was 16 when Gwen Peters moved to Whitesboro. She was everything
~I wasn't - cocky, sure of herself and scared of nothing. She kept
~her black hair cut real short, shorter than most girls, but it
~looked real good on her. She had blue eyes and a fair complexion
~and every boy in school fell for her. But they were all kind of
~scared of her too. She didn't act like most girls, giggling and
~acting stupid around boys. She just did her own thing and they
~could like it or lump it. I never talked to her, truth was, I was
~kind of scared of her too. But not very long after she came we were
~playing volleyball during PE and ended up on the same side. We were
~awesome together. We SLAUGHTERED the other team. Gwen and I scored
~all but three of our teams points. When it was over, she turned to
~me and said, "Good game, Beej." Nobody ever called me Beej before.
~It made me feel real good. Then she said, "Race you to the locker
~room" and took off running. I ran after her as fast as I could, but
~I couldn't catch her. When I got to the locker room she was sitting
~on one of the benches acting bored. "Where've you been?" she asked
~me and we both started laughing. We did everything together after
~that. I'd never really had a best friend before. It was the best
~six months of my life. And then she had to go and ruin it. We were
~at my house, Mama and Daddy had gone to Aunt Dora's and weren't
~supposed to be back until late. Gwen and I were talking and having
~fun when she asked me if I had ever kissed anybody. I told her no,
~just relatives and they didn't really count. She laughed and said
~she wasn't talking about grandma kisses, she meant real kisses.
~Then she said she'd been thinking about kissing me and would it be
~OK if she did.

Full-fledged tears began dripping down on BJ's notebook but she didn't notice.

~I looked at her and I knew I wanted her to kiss me. When I was 12,
~I'd go to bed every night and pray that when I woke up in the
~morning I would be a boy. In the morning, when I was still a girl,
~I would pray that I wouldn't start getting periods that day. I
~hated EVERYTHING about being a girl. But when she said she wanted
~to kiss me, it was the only time in my life I was glad I was a girl.
~Because she wanted to kiss ME, not some boy. And I wanted to kiss
~her. I nodded my head yes and she smiled at me so nice.

~She kissed me and her lips felt so soft. She kissed me for a long
~time before she started pushing her tongue against my lips. "Open
~your mouth a little bit," she said. I did and then she started
~really kissing me, and I was kissing her back. After a minute she
~told me she had been wanting to do that for a long time. It felt so
~good, I grabbed her head and pulled her back to me and kissed her
~some more. After a little while she said, "Let's take off our
~shirts." So we did. Then she wanted us to take off our bras. I've
~never felt anything feel as good as when she touched my breasts. It
~was like my whole body was on fire, but in a good way. She would
~touch my breast and I would have the best feeling skitter down from
~my breast through my whole body. I laid back on the couch and she
~laid down on top of me and if felt so good, so right. We were so
~wound up in each other we never heard my Mama and Daddy come in the
~house.

~They walked in and my Mama yelled, "Billie Jo Taylor! What on earth
~are you doing?" But Daddy's the one who scared me. Me and Gwen both
~jumped up grabbing for our clothes, and he said, real quiet like,
~"Get your shirt and get out of here Gwen Peters, and don't you ever
~darken our door again." She grabbed her stuff and took off. He
~looked at me like he was going to kill me. He pulled his belt off
~and wrapped the end around his hand and started hitting me as hard
~as he could. "Don't you ever let me catch you doing that again!
~Girls don't kiss girls!" He kept that belt flying. He didn't even
~care where he hit me. I had marks from my shoulders to my calves.
~"It's unnatural! It's the Devil in you and I'm gonna beat it out!
~No daughter of mine is going to be a fucking queer!" He hit me and
~hit me and I screamed and cried until finally he wore out. He told
~me I would go to Hell if I ever did something like that again, that
~Gwen was the spawn of Satan out to steal my soul. He told me if I
~ever so much as spoke to her again, he would kill me. And I
~believed him.

~Monday, at school, Gwen tried to talk to me, but I wouldn't listen.
~Daddy had said she would try to get back in my pants. That that's
~what the Devil does, he tries to be your friend until he gets you
~to do something so you'll go to Hell. After a few days, she quit
~trying to talk to me. And a couple of months later her family moved
~again and she was gone.

~But what Daddy didn't tell me was how much I would miss her and how
~much it would hurt.

BJ brought her hands to her face, unable to stop the tears as she relived that awful time. Finally, her thoughts turned to Scully and her face hardened.

~Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully. Before I'm through with you,
~you'll wish you'd never heard the name BJ Taylor. You and that
~cowgirl butch girlfriend of yours. Yeah, I'll give you what you
~want. And then I'll kill you.

******

"Where would she hole up?" Mulder mused. "She knows this area like the back of her hand." Mulder and Scully sat in a conference room with the other agents and detectives who were assigned to the case.

"Her own house was somewhat isolated, allowing her to kill the victims there at her own leisure," Scully said. "With the amount of damage done to Melissa Royce I'd say she's found a similar place. Somewhere isolated, where neighbors would see and hear nothing. Since the bodies of the original victims were so clean when found we can't know for sure, but there was no evidence that Ms. Royce was gagged or had duct tape over her mouth. Apparently BJ isn't worried about noise."

"Hell, you're describing 80% of the county," Detective James asserted. "Once you get out of town, it's nothing but scattered farms and ranches. She could be anywhere."

"Not anywhere," Mulder said. "She needs to find a place where the owner wouldn't be missed. That's going to eliminate most people with jobs or kids in school. She couldn't risk someone coming by to check."

"That makes sense. But we're still talking about a lot of people. A lot of these places have elderly widows or widowers living on them," said Detective James.

"Then I suggest we start looking," said Mulder. "She's working quickly, that fact suggests she already had some place in mind to hide out when she escaped. I think we need to look into her background and do some cross-checking with locals that meet the criteria."

"Good idea. Aguilar, you and Paulsen get the county rolls called up on the computer and let's see what we've got," James ordered. "Philipski and Hall, y'all work on BJ's background. Let's see if we can't find some folks in common."

The officers nodded and left the conference room.

Mulder looked at Scully. "I'm also thinking you should wear a tracking device," he said.

"No," Scully answered shortly.

"Why not? She's already said you're next. I can't be with you all of the time."

"And you don't need to be. I'm not going to be wired and that's that."

"But why not?" Mulder asked, genuinely perplexed.

Scully looked at him, "I'm just not." *That makes me a victim. And I don't need anything else to remind me that she's after me*

Mulder looked at her, his head cocked in puzzlement.

After a moment she said, "I'll think about it, OK?"

He nodded.

******

Perrin looked forward to the evening she intended to spend with Scully. She and Antonio, her ranch foreman, spent much of the day in the blazing sun repairing the fence a young bull had decided was in his way.

"If he wasn't so damn pretty I'd turn him into hamburger in a heartbeat," Perrin groused.

Antonio laughed. "Ah, senora, I didn't know you had a soft spot for pretty boys."

Perrin lobbed her cap at him, hitting him in the chest and they both laughed.

"Just in cattle, Tony, just in cattle."

Antonio grew serious. "Senora Scully, she is OK?"

Perrin looked at him. "I think she is." *At least I hope so*

They worked in silence for a few more minutes. "C'mon," Perrin said as they finished. "I have to get cleaned up. I have a hot date tonight."

"Si, I think tonight would be a good night for the kids to watch that new "Prince of Egypt" tape Rosa bought them." He grinned at Perrin. "Let's go."

******

BJ watched for Scully to return to the Hampton Inn from her vantage point by the pool. With one of Miz Joplin's ash blonde wigs covering her own dark hair, she sat in one of the deck chairs. She wore a Texas Rangers baseball cap pulled low on her forehead and held a book in her lap, pretending to read. She had spent the day getting everything ready for when she captured Scully and Perrin and hoped tonight would be the night. But if it didn't work out, that would be OK too. She would return another time.

But her patience paid off. Approximately forty-five minutes after she began her stakeout Mulder and Scully arrived, exiting their rental car and entering their respective rooms.

*Good! Now, I just have to wait for butch to show up*

******

Perrin pulled into the parking lot of the Hampton Inn in her new candy apple red Dodge Quad-Cab pickup. She'd only had it for a month and it still had less than 1000 miles on it. She was in a good mood, singing along to the tunes on her Melissa Ferrick cd. *Must be my lucky day* she thought as she pulled into a parking space right in front of Scully's room. She got out of the truck and knocked on the door.

"Hi chica," she said, smiling as Scully let her in.

"Hi yourself," Scully said, pulling Perrin into a warm embrace.

They kissed lovingly, each enjoying the taste and touch of the other.

Perrin pulled back a little and looked at Scully. "You're in a better mood today."

"Yes, I am. We still don't know where BJ is, of course, but at least I feel like we're doing something to find her. We think she's probably hiding out on one of the farms or ranches out in the county. Most likely one inhabited by an elderly person living alone whose absence wouldn't be noticed for a while. So, they're looking into her background and going over the county records searching for possible candidates and physically checking them out."

"If that's true then I imagine she's killed the owner too."

"Probably," Scully answered.

"There doesn't seem to be any end to her meanness, does there?" Perrin remarked. "She's like some rabid skunk. Needs to be shot for the safety of others."

"She could get the death penalty for the crimes she's committed since escaping. But it's just as likely that she'll be found mentally ill and elude it again."

"Well, we can always hope she'll get into a shootout with officers when they find her. As long as she doesn't kill anyone. What am I saying? You could be there! Forget that!"

Scully smiled, then turned serious. "She certainly has no compunction about killing whoever crosses her path. We have to get to her before she gets someone else." *me*

"C'mon," Perrin said. "Let's go eat. I'm starving. You're going to love Angel's, best Mexican food in town."

"I'm right with you."

******

BJ watched as they left Scully's motel room and got in the truck. She quickly made her way to Miz Joplin's car and followed them, staying a discreet distance away.

When they pulled into Angel's parking lot she kept going and circled the block, knowing Perrin's truck would be easy to spot. By the time she got back around to it, they had gone inside. She noted their parking space and drove to the Albertson's supermarket a block and a half away and parked. Grabbing the bag she had her supplies in, she walked back to Angel's. She cautiously approached Perrin's truck, first making sure no one was around, then half expecting the horn to begin blasting if she set off an alarm when she touched the door.

*I'll be damned. Brand new truck and she didn't even lock the doors* BJ laughed, barely believing her good fortune. *What a fucking idiot*

She climbed in the back and pulled out her duct tape, cutting off some strips and sticking one end of each one to the back of the seat. Then she hunkered down to wait.

******

"It sure is pretty," Scully said as they rounded the corner of the restaurant and Perrin's truck came into view. "Those extended cabs are really popular."

"Yeah," said Perrin. "I've never owned one before. It's always just been me so I didn't need it."

"Oh, and has something changed?" Scully cocked an eyebrow at her and smiled.

"Yeah, now I've got me a woman I want to be able to crawl in the back seat with. In fact, I've been looking forward to christening this truck good and proper." Perrin gave her an exaggerated leer and grinned.

"In your dreams, cowgirl. I quit doing backseats when the word "teen" was no longer attached to my age."

Perrin laughed. "Actually, I'd rather have you in the bed of it, under the stars. On an air mattress of course, out of respect to your advanced age. And my knees."

They both chuckled as they reached the truck and Perrin opened the passenger door, helping Scully in. Taking a quick look around and seeing no one, she kissed Scully, a slow, lingering kiss, savoring the moment, BJ and the murders briefly gone from her consciousness. Then she walked around and climbed in on the driver's side.

"That was so nice." Scully looked relaxed, the worry lines that had been evident between her brows gone for the time being. "Could we go to the ranch tonight and you bring me back in the morning?"

"Of course, we can. I would love that."

"I want to spend the night with you, but not with Mulder next door. I'll call him and tell him where I'll be."

"Great!" Perrin started the truck and backed out of the parking space. Stealing a sidelong glance at Scully as she phoned Mulder, she mouthed, "I love you."

Scully smiled and reached over and squeezed Perrin's hand just as Mulder answered the phone. "Mulder, it's me. No, everything's fine. I'm spending the night at the ranch with Perrin. She'll bring me back first thing in the morning. //silence// OK. Bye."

Scully pressed "End" on her phone as they pulled out onto the street, headed toward the Double S Ranch. "That went well, considering who I was talking to." Scully smiled at Perrin. "I thought he would have *something* to say about it."

Perrin returned the smile, "I know he's a good man, or you wouldn't care for him so much."

"Yeah, he can be very annoying, but he does have a good heart."

"This is all so fuckin' sweet I think I'm gonna be sick," BJ said as she raised up behind Scully and Perrin and pressed a .45 caliber revolver against Perrin's head. *I always knew being a lefty would come in handy someday*

Perrin slammed on the brake in reaction.

"Keep going, butch! And you," she snarled at Scully, "this is a.45 in case you haven't got a good look yet. It will make a huge hole in your girlfriend's head if you try anything. Get your hands out where I can see them."

Scully raised her arms. *OhmyGodthiscan'tbehappening! Point the gun at me! I can't do anything with the gun against Perrin's head. Oh my God, she's going to be killed because of me* Scully looked helplessly at Perrin, her mind racing, searching for a way out, discarding plans as quickly as they came to her because of the danger Perrin was in.

"And you, butch, turn left at the next light. We're gonna go have a party. You two may not enjoy it too much, but I'm going to have a blast." BJ laughed.

Scully's heart pounded in her chest but she kept her voice steady, not wanting BJ to know how terrified she was. "This is between us, BJ. I'm the one you want. Let her go."

"No!" Perrin yelped. "I'm not leaving you with her."

*Damnit Perrin, you have to get away! I couldn't bear to live an instant knowing my job caused your death*

"This is just so sweet, but neither of you are going anywhere except up on the table. First, I'm gonna have a lot of fun with butch and I'm gonna let you watch. What do you think of that, Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully?"

Despite her fear, anger engulfed Scully at BJ's threat. "I think you better kill me now," Scully said slowly, "because if you lay one hand on her I will tear you to pieces." They had to do something before BJ tied them up. Once they were immobilized their chances of escape were virtually nil. And no one would be looking for them until morning. Scully mentally groaned. *And BJ knows that. She heard me call Mulder*

BJ laughed. "I'm scared," BJ mocked in a high-pitched voice. "I'm shaking in my boots." Turning her attention to Perrin, she continued, "What's the matter, butch? Cat got your tongue? Don't worry, you'll be singing pretty before I'm through with you. Both of you will."

Perrin gripped the steering wheel tightly, her emotional state an eerie combination of terror and otherworldly calm. She felt as if she was observing events rather than experiencing them.

"Where's your gun?" BJ asked looking at Scully. "Don't move. Just tell me exactly where it is."

"I don't have it with me," Scully lied.

BJ's right arm shot out, backhanding Scully hard across the side of her face. "Don't lie to me bitch! You make me mad and I'll get even more creative with your torture. Now tell me where your gun is."

"I'm not wearing one," Scully repeated.

BJ laughed. "Good! I know you're lying to me, but now I'm gonna see how long I can keep butch here alive while you listen to her scream. I already know the message I'm gonna burn into her. 'This is Scully's fault.'"

"No!" Scully's mind flew back to Melissa Royce's burned and battered body. There was no way she could allow that to happen to Perrin. "BJ please," Scully said softly. "Let her go. Then it will be just you and me. The way it should be."

"No!" Perrin interjected.

"Perrin, be quiet." Turning back to BJ Scully continued, "I'm the one you want. You don't need her."

"I won't leave you," Perrin said. *I'd never leave you with her. As long as it's two against one we might have a chance. And I'd rather die with you than live without you*

"You two are priceless." BJ laughed again. "A couple of martyrs. Don't worry, you'll both get your wish to die. Turn left at that next road."

"Now," BJ said to Scully, "I want you to put your arms behind you, over the seat. Now!" she bellowed when Scully didn't obey.

Shit! I can't let her tie us up. It's now or never Perrin thought as they reached the corner to turn. Hitting the accelerator and spinning the steering wheel, both Scully and BJ lost their balance as they spun around the corner. Then she slammed on the brake again, hoping Scully's seatbelt would hold her in place enough that Scully could reach her gun before BJ regained her balance.

But Perrin's efforts caused the seatbelt to lock down tight, effectively holding Scully in place but not giving her the maneuvering room necessary to reach the gun quickly.

"You fucking bitch!" BJ snarled as she straightened back up. "That's gonna cost both of you. Now get your arms back here! And if you try anything else butch, I will skin you alive. And that's not an idle threat. I've done it before. Just ask your girlfriend."

Oh my God I've probably just blown our best chance of escaping! Scully mentally cursed her failure to reach her gun.

"GET YOUR ARMS BACK HERE NOW OR I'LL PUT A BULLET THROUGH BUTCH'S KNEECAP! I don't give a shit if I have to carry her. At least I won't have to worry about her running away."

Scully looked at Perrin and slowly raised her arms over the back seat. If it had just been her, she would have risked BJ losing control and shooting her in anger. But with Perrin in the picture she felt trapped.

BJ grabbed Scully wrists in her right hand and held them together. Pulling off one of the strips of duct tape, she quickly immobilized Scully's arms.

Think, Dana, think. I can still reach my SIG if she doesn't take it away before we get out of the car. I can't let her hurt Perrin.

"Now then, butch. Slow down. There's a little road up ahead on your right. Turn on it."

Perrin turned, the truck leaving a cloud of dust behind them on the gravel road.

"We're almost there girls, and then it's party time! There, just ahead. That gate on the left."

Perrin pulled into the driveway and stopped at the gate.

"OK, butch. Get out and open the gate and don't try any funny stuff. Remember I have a gun pressed to your girlfriend's head."

Perrin hopped out of the truck and walked to the gate, wishing desperately that someone, anyone, would drive by. In this part of the country, people knew their neighbors and knew when strangers were around. Maybe someone would see and be suspicious of the strange truck entering the property. But no one was around. Silence surrounded her. There wasn't even the sound of distant traffic. She pushed the gate open and hooked the wire attached to it over a nail protruding from the post. With the gate held open, she walked back to the truck. She then pulled the truck through the gate.

"Stop," BJ commanded as soon as they were in. "Now go close the gate."

Perrin got out of the truck and walked back to the gate. *I need some kind of sign* Taking advantage of the darkness and BJ's attention being split with her behind and Scully in front of her, Perrin cautiously reached in her pocket looking for something, anything she could use as a sign. Nothing but some cash and her driver's license. She grabbed a $20 dollar bill and tossed her driver's license in the driveway outside the gate. When she closed the gate, she caught the $20 in the latch. It was small and would be virtually invisible even in daylight, but maybe someone would see it in the morning. *Too late* Her shoulders slumped as she walked back to the truck.

"Pull up there by the barn," BJ instructed as the house and barn came into sight.

Perrin did as told.

"Put the truck in park, kill the engine and put both of your hands back on the steering wheel."

The instant Perrin turned off the motor BJ hit her hard on the side of her head with the butt of her gun and she slumped forward, unconscious.

"No!" Scully exclaimed.

"Don't worry. She'll come around shortly. I didn't hit her that hard. I just didn't want her interfering while I look for that gun you're not carrying."

BJ grabbed hold of Scully's bound wrists, which were still behind her over the seat, then reached over and unbuckled Scully's seat belt. "Scoot up," she ordered, and gave her a shove.

*damn damn damn* Scully inched forward, casting a glance at Perrin's unconscious form. *I'm so sorry I got you into this*

Still holding Scully's wrists in her right hand, BJ reached over the seat and began patting Scully down, searching for her gun. "Looky what I found," she crowed, pulling the SIG from its holster. BJ tossed it down on the seat beside her. "I knew you were lying. You must think I'm stupid. But that's OK. Butch here is going to pay for it."

"No, BJ. Your fight's with me. She doesn't have anything to do with it. Leave her here in the truck."

BJ laughed. "You sure are doing a lot of bargaining for someone who doesn't hold any cards. No, what's going to happen is this. I'm going to take both of you into the barn and I'm going to put you in one of the stalls. Then I'm going to have some fun with butch."

"Quit calling her that. Her name is Perrin."

"I don't give a shit what her name is. She's nothing to me except a way to get to you."

"Why?"

"Why the hell not? Everybody's got to hate somebody." BJ grinned. "I hate you." She reached over the seat and taped Perrin's wrists together. Slapping her lightly on the cheek she said, "Wake up, butch. It's time to party."

Perrin moaned and sat up a little straighter, trying to raise her bound hands to her head.

BJ opened Scully's door and then, the smaller back door. Holding Scully's wrists, BJ slid out of the truck. "C'mon, Dana," she said, pulling her out of the truck. "Not so tough now, are you Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully?" She pushed her forward, herding her around the front of the truck, back to the driver's door. Pulling it open, she slapped a still disoriented Perrin again. "Get out," she demanded.

Perrin looked woozily at Scully, but managed to get out and then stand beside the truck without help.

"Let's go." BJ gave Scully a shove toward the barn, sending her to her knees on the hard-packed earth.

"Chica?" Perrin asked softly as she tried to go to Scully.

"Leave her alone!" BJ grabbed Scully's arm and pulled her to her feet.

They walked into the barn and Scully's heart sank. An old-fashioned dinette table sat in the middle. There were nylon ropes already attached to the four legs, ready for BJ's next victim. *Perrin!*

BJ grabbed Scully's arm again and after opening one of the stall doors, shoved her hard into it. With her arms bound behind her, Scully was unable to gain balance and tumbled all of the way down into the ancient mixture of dirt, straw and horse manure.

BJ laughed as Scully sputtered and slammed the stall door, latching it shut.

As BJ turned, Perrin slugged her hard across the face with her bound fists. BJ fell back against the stall door and before she could regain her balance, Perrin kicked her, a fierce boot to the hand holding the gun. The .45 flew out of BJ's hand, landing with a thud a few feet away.

BJ looked at Perrin and began laughing. "You were playing 'possum. No wonder you and her get along so well. A couple of fucking actresses."

Perrin launched herself into BJ, fighting for her life. Fighting for both of their lives. But with her arms bound, she was at a distinct disadvantage.

Scully watched helplessly from inside the stall as BJ pounded and kicked Perrin, taking advantage of the odds stacked in her favor.

Perrin fought courageously, inflicting her share of bruises on BJ. But BJ had the upper hand and finally knocked Perrin hard into an old feed trough. Perrin dropped to the ground in pain and BJ pounced on her quickly, delivering several more sharp blows to her head, stunning her.

"Perrin!" Scully screamed, when it became obvious she had lost. She watched impotently as BJ dragged Perrin toward the table. "No, BJ! Take me!" But she knew it was hopeless. BJ was acting out her fantasy, hurting Scully in the worst way possible. She was going to torture and kill Perrin right in front of her and there wasn't a thing she could do about it.

"What's the matter, Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully?" BJ asked as she pulled Perrin onto the table. "Jealous? Don't worry. You'll get your turn." BJ pulled Perrin's arms above her head and fastened them to one of the table legs. "I never had an audience before," she said conversationally. "This is gonna be fun."

"You crazy bitch!" Scully kicked ineffectually against the stall door. "They're going to find you. They've already figured out you're hiding on a farm."

BJ laughed. "But it'll be too late for you and butch, though, won't it?" She pulled Perrin's boots and socks off of her feet, then unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans.

"No!"

"Normally, I can scare the woman into taking her clothes off before I get her onto the table, but I figure you already know you're not leaving here alive, so there wasn't quite the same incentive." BJ chuckled at her own joke as she pulled Perrin's jeans and underwear off. "Guess I'll have to cut her bra off. I'm not stupid enough to let her arms go." BJ methodically tied first one, then the other of Perrin's ankles to the table legs.

As BJ began unbuttoning Perrin's shirt, Scully sank to the ground, unable to watch any more. *God, please...* Her despair so great she was unable to even articulate a prayer.

Then she saw it. Beneath the feed box attached to the stall wall was a nail. Whoever had nailed the box in place had missed the box with this one, but never bothered with removing it. High and underneath, it was no danger to a horse, but it was a godsend to Scully. She scooted toward the feed box and hunched over to get under it.

"Where're you going, Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully?" BJ asked when she realized Scully was no longer in sight. "Can't bear to watch? The excitement too much? Don't worry, I'll tell you what I'm doing so you don't miss anything. I just cut butch's bra off. She's got nice tits. I bet you liked kissing them."

Scully was almost rolled into a ball as she tried to lift her wrists high enough to reach the nail and cut through the duct tape. Then she heard it, the sound of BJ striking a match.

"I got some incense sticks to write with. I think they might be easier to use than cigarettes. At least they'll smell better." BJ laughed.

*Oh God, oh God* Scully frantically scraped the tape against the nail, trying desperately to saw through the layers of tape.

"Let's see. What did I say I was going to write? Oh yeah. This is Scully's fault. The world's going to know that you made me do this." As BJ touched the lit incense stick to Perrin's chest she jerked back to full consciousness.

"Aaiii!" Perrin bucked against the table, pulling at her restraints.

BJ backhanded her hard across the face, "Be still! We want people to be able to read this."

Scully sawed furiously, unable to tell if she was accomplishing anything.

BJ again touched the incense stick to Perrin's chest, who jerked, but was able to remain silent.

"What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?" BJ taunted, eyes locked with Perrin's.

Perrin said nothing, determined to remain silent as long as she could hold out, not wanting to give BJ the satisfaction of hearing her voice her pain and fear.

"I get it. You're trying to be brave. Well guess what, butch? No one here gives a shit. Neither you or your girlfriend is going to live to tell the tale anyway so you might as well let it out."

"I'll know," Perrin said between gritted teeth.

"Suit yourself. You'll be singing before I'm through with you."

Suddenly Scully felt the duct tape tear, freeing her wrists. Crawling out from under the feed box she cautiously looked through the stall door at BJ and Perrin. BJ's back was toward her so she silently stood and reached through the door to unlatch it.

Scully saw Perrin jerk and knew she must be getting burned again. Damn her! She spied the .45 BJ had been using on the barn floor where it had fallen during the earlier fight. Quickly but quietly, she opened the stall door and made a grab for it, enjoying the heft and feel of the powerful weapon.

BJ was leaning over Perrin, intent on writing her message.

"BJ," Scully called, the .45 unwaveringly aimed straight at her.

BJ turned, and seeing Scully with the gun, took a step toward her.

"Freeze!"

But BJ kept coming.

Scully fired, the noise from the .45 deafening in the enclosed area.

BJ grabbed her chest and looked uncomprehending as blood spurted with each heartbeat between her fingers. Raising her eyes to Scully's she smiled, then dropped to the floor, dead.

Scully ran over and felt for a pulse. Finding none, she quickly began untying Perrin's feet and arms. As soon as Perrin's arms were freed she pulled the duct tape off and fell on her, holding on with all her strength.

"She's dead?" Perrin asked.

"Yes."

Perrin sat up, looking at BJ's glassy stare and blood-drenched body, then looked back at Scully. She grabbed her and they held each other tightly, their tears mingling as they dripped to the ground.

******

Two Days Later

Perrin walked gingerly into her bedroom carrying a tray holding a bowl of Cocoa Krispies and a cup of milk. She set the tray down, crawled into bed and nuzzled the still sleeping redhead. "Wake up, sleepyhead. Breakfast is served."

"Mmmm." Scully turned over and opened her eyes. "Good morning."

"Good morning. I brought your favorite."

Scully looked at the tray and raised an eyebrow. "Cocoa Krispies?"

Perrin laughed. "OK, my favorite. You now know all of my dirty secrets."

They had spent most of the previous two days giving statements to the police and the FBI, getting medical examinations, avoiding the media and, in Scully's case, writing reports. They had had precious little time for themselves and had fallen into bed exhausted both nights.

Scully reached out and caressed Perrin on the cheek. "How're you feeling?"

"I'm OK. A little sore."

"I've seen how you hold yourself when you think I'm not looking. I think you're a lot sore."

"I'm OK, Dana. I've taken tumbles from horses and when bullriding that left me a lot sorer."

Scully sat up and leaned back against the headboard. "We need to talk."

Perrin sat up and faced her. "Why do those words scare me so much?" she asked, searching Scully's eyes.

Scully reached out and took Perrin's hand in hers. "You were nearly killed. You were tortured and nearly murdered because of your relationship with me. And the most danger doesn't even come from people like BJ. Mulder and I have made enemies. You don't know the danger you're in. But I do. This thing with BJ just brought it home. I couldn't bear to lose you simply because I love you."

Tears welled in Perrin's eyes. "I've been thinking about the danger, too. But not to me, to you. You're in constant danger between the strange events you investigate and the psychopaths you hunt."

Scully shook her head and tears glistened in her eyes as well. "I don't think I can love you, and let you love me, and do what I do."

"Stop! Don't say one more word. I love you so much. I couldn't live without you. And that's what's terrifying both of us, isn't it? Losing the other one?"

"Perrin, if I lose you because of my job, I'll go crazy."

"And if I lose you because of your job I'll be devastated. But if I lose you because of your fear for my life, then *I'll* go crazy. Can't you see? If we lose each other because of fear, then what we fear most has already happened."

"But you would be alive and well, not murdered because of your relationship with me."

"I might be alive, but I most definitely would not be well." Tears began flowing freely as Perrin continued. "When BJ had us in the truck and you kept trying to get her to let me go and I was saying no, the thought went through my mind that I would rather die with you than live without you. And it's true. I love you, chica. More than I ever believed would be possible. If you leave me to save me, I wouldn't be able to stand it."

"Oh babe, I don't want to lose you either."

They fell into each other's arms and held on, rocking slightly as their tears fell, and let loose the pent up emotions of the previous 48 hours.

After a while their tears diminished and Scully pulled back. They stared into each others eyes and silently, a decision was made. A decision to face the future together.

Slowly their lips came together for a kiss. A soft, chaste kiss. With trembling lips barely touching, they sealed their silent commitment to each other.

Decision made, commitment sealed, they slowly kissed. Melting into each other, they stretched out once again on the bed.

"I love you so much," Scully whispered.

"I love you too, with all that I am."

Their mouths touched again, tenderly and unhurried, long, deep kisses that conveyed their love. They kissed endlessly, savoring that love, rejoicing in life, taking joy in each other.

After a while, their kisses became harder, more urgent, their desire awakening.

Perrin's hand came up and caressed Scully's breast through the thin material of her nightgown.

"Mmmm," Scully groaned into Perrin's mouth as Perrin gently squeezed her nipple to full attention.

"Oh chica," Perrin pushed Scully over on her back. Straddling her, she lowered her body on top of Scully's and claimed her with a kiss. She explored Scully's mouth, her soul on fire with her desire to please her. To show her with her body what her heart felt. "Take off your gown," she said breathlessly as she raised up and stripped off her own t-shirt.

"Yes," Scully answered as she pulled her gown off. Tossing it to the floor, she pulled Perrin back down on top of her.

They kissed ardently, passionately, leaving them both breathless.

Retreating from Scully's mouth, Perrin kissed her way down to her breast, swirling her tongue around her nipple before sucking it gently between her lips.

Scully arched into Perrin's mouth, the sensation suffusing her body with desire. "Oh God, Perrin," Scully breathed.

Perrin brought her mouth to Scully's other breast, bestowing on it the same attention. It responded as well, the nipple firming quickly, bringing more sighs and murmurs of pleasure from Scully.

Perrin began working her way down Scully's body, her tongue leaving a hot, wet trail.

"Stop," Scully pleaded. "Stop a minute," she said as Perrin raised her head in puzzlement.

She combed her fingers through Perrin's hair, pushing it back from her face. "Later, we can do that. But this time, I want us to come together. I want to see your face. I want you to see mine. Come back up here."

Desire coursed through Perrin's body at Scully's words. "Chica," she whispered as she brought her head back even with Scully's.

They gazed in each other's eyes and slowly brought their lips together once more for a kiss.

As the kiss grew in urgency, Scully trailed her fingers down Perrin's body, stopping en route to tease a nipple. Breaking the kiss she said, "Be right back, there's something I want to do." She lowered her mouth to the burns on Perrin's chest, and oh-so gently kissed them.

"Chica." Tears squeezed from the corners of Perrin's eyes. "I was so afraid that would come between us. That the burns would be too painful a reminder of what happened."

"They are a painful reminder, and if you want to get rid of them I wouldn't be against it, but they also remind me how much you love me."

"Yes. I see them as a reminder of how precious life is." Perrin smiled. "Now, get back up here and let's live," she growled.

Scully smiled as she brought her face even with Perrin's just as her hand was discovering the wet heat between Perrin's legs.

A soft "oh" escaped Perrin's lips at Scully's touch. She bent her knee to give Scully better access just as her own fingers were sliding into Scully's secret places. She ran her fingers between Scully's swollen lips and felt her clitoris, already amazingly hard.

"Go inside me," Scully whispered as her own fingers entered Perrin.

"Ahh, yes," Perrin groaned. She pushed her fingers into Scully. "So sweet. Like velvet heat."

Their hips began to undulate as they found their rhythm. Thumbs gently circled clits as they took their cues from each other, picking up speed and pressure as their excitement mounted.

"Oh God, I'm almost there," Perrin moaned.

"Me, too."

Their eyes bore into each others as they neared the precipice.

"Now!" Perrin cried.

Scully felt Perrin's muscles clamp down on her fingers as her contractions began, sending her over the edge as well.

"Yes!" Scully fought to keep her eyes on Perrin's, wanting them to experience their pleasure together, as one.

They rode out each other's contractions, eyes locked, until the spasms became erratic and finally stopped.

"Oh chica, that was incredible!"

Scully smiled at her. "Oh, yeah."

They kissed, and stroked each other's hair, and held each other. And for this time at least, banished the darkness.

******

BJ's Journal - the last entry

~I always believed Daddy knew everything. That what he thought was
~right. But he was wrong about a lot of things. I know that now.
~He was wrong about girls. Maybe he was wrong about queers.

~I've been thinking about Gwen a lot lately, ever since I saw THEM
~together. Just kind of wondering where she is. What she's doing.
~Who she's with. Doesn't matter.

~I remember writing once that 'if only' are the two most loathsome
~words in any language. But thinking 'if only' doesn't get you
~nothing but a heart full of misery and a belly full of regret. But
~seeing them two together, watching them kiss, made me wonder
~what if Mama and Daddy had never caught me and Gwen. Would
~everything have been different? Would I have been a queer then?

~I never wanted to bed a man. Maybe I spent too much of my life
~wanting my own penis to ever want to make love to someone with
~one. But if I had one, I could have loved a woman and no one would
~have thought anything about it. Maybe I would have kissed women
~instead of killing them.

~But 'what if's" and 'if only's' are for whiners. Does no good. I
~hated Dana Scully because she had everything I wanted. And then
~I saw she had a girlfriend too. A beautiful, strong looking girlfriend
~like Gwen.

~There's no way I'm going back to prison. Dying doesn't scare me.
~If Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully doesn't kill me, the cops will.
~I'll never let them take me alive. And I don't care how many of
~them I kill, but I'll give Dana Scully a chance. One chance.

~But she'll have to find it. Else her and her girlfriend will be like
~all the others. Doesn't matter to me either way. Live or die? Live
~or die. I remember a poem I heard once. "For want of a nail--"

End

If you liked this story, send me feedback. That inspires me to write more. <g>

Author's Note: I've taken major liberties with Texas geography. There is a Whitesboro Texas, but it's a small town and not near Jacksboro as portrayed.