Back to the Quagmire I and II

by Adrian D. Ives

     From: "Adrian D. Ives" <adrian.ives@ntlworld.com>
     Subject: Back to the Quagmire (Scully/Reyes F/F)
     Date: Sunday, November 10, 2002 11:16 AM

My response to Susan's challenge, and the first piece of Scullyslash I've written (i.e. actually completed) in over five months!

Sorry, this is not quite a re-imagining of a Scully/Mulder episode as Scully/Reyes; instead, it's more along the lines of a sequel. The story is set after my last three Scully/Reyes adventures and also post "The Truth".

No sex. Sorry again.

With acknowledgements to Kim Newton and Darin Morgan, authors of the third season episode "Quagmire".

(Based upon the characters created by Chris Carter)


Back to the Quagmire
by Adrian D. Ives

Clutching her arms to her chest and raising her face to the warmth of the sun, Monica Reyes drew in a long, deep breath. It tasted almost impossibly clean; untainted by the accrued pollutants that characterised city air.

"Dana, can you taste that?" she asked, without opening her eyes.

Scully was walking a few yards behind her, picking her way through the tangled bushes that her partner seemed to have avoided with almost magical ease.

"Can I taste what?"

Reyes came to a sudden stop. At the edge of a clearing, she stood completely still, her eyes closed, her head tilted slightly to the left.

Scully cautiously approached her partner. "Monica?"

"The air," she said, opening one eye to glance sideways at Scully. "Doesn't it make you feel as though you're ... in touch?"

Scully raised an eyebrow. "In touch?"

"With the planet," Reyes elaborated.

Scully started moving ahead of Reyes, picking up the trail of the narrow footpath where it left the clearing and continued on towards the lake. "Right now I want to get back in touch with civilisation again. In case you haven't noticed, the cellphones have been out of service since back at the trailer park."

With a disappointed sigh, Reyes set off after Scully. "You know, Dana, you really should consider taking a little more time out."

"I was going to," Scully remarked, defensively. "If you recall, Agent Reyes, it was you that asked me to put my weekend plans on hold, so that I could come out here to help you with this case."

"But that's my point exactly. Why would you want to spend a weekend in Maine when you can walk amongst some of the tallest, oldest trees in the world? When you can stand on the shores of a lake that's remained unspoiled for thousands of years?"

"Well ... maybe if I didn't want to spend my weekend searching for sea monsters?"

"Technically, of course, it couldn't be called a sea monster. This is a freshwater lake."

As the two agents reached the edge of the forest, they found themselves at the top of a shallow incline; a grassy plane that fell away to meet the shore. From this vantage point they could finally appreciate the full extent of the vast body of water; a glassy ellipse of azure blue that reflected the snow capped peaks of the distant mountains like a giant mirror.

Reyes moved to her partner's side. "Pretty impressive, huh?"

"It's beautiful," Scully admitted.

"Agent Doggett is driving on to the hunting lodge, over on the north side. That gives us the opportunity for a nice, peaceful walk around the lake. It's perfect, don't you think?"

"You seem to be suggesting some other motive for our being here." Scully's tone was one of confrontation, albeit not entirely serious. "I thought the purpose of our visit was to track down the creature that you believe is terrorising visitors to the lake."

"Right. So there's the lake, and here we are." Reyes strode off ahead of her partner. "So let's do some tracking."

Scully had to strike up a rapid pace to keep up with her excited colleague.

A few hundred yards further on, Reyes paused to allow the redhead to catch up with her. "Just over there," she waved her hand in the direction of a collapsed jetty, some distance ahead of them, "is where the first attack happened."

"Attack?" Scully raised her hand to shield her eyes from the sun. "I thought that Victor Beauville drowned?"

Reyes started moving again. "According to his wife, Beauville was an expert swimmer who spent every day of the last fifteen years working on or around the water. In her words, he knew this lake like the back of his hand."

"It looks as though the jetty collapsed," Scully observed, as they reached the scene.

"Yes. After several of the supports had been bitten clean through by an as yet unidentified creature with teeth larger than any known animal on Earth," said Reyes, excitedly. She picked up a piece of wood that had been washed ashore, and held it up for Scully to see what could have been a partial bite mark.

Her partner was clearly unimpressed. "It could have been caught in the propeller of a boat," she offered.

Reyes shook her head. "Not according to the forensic examination of the wreckage."

"Alright. So what was their explanation?"

"Uh - they weren't able to offer one - other than that it couldn't have been done by a boat's propeller." Reyes took a step onto the remaining stub of the jetty; barely five feet remained of something that had once been three times as long. "And even if it was, it would have taken something the size of an ocean liner to do this kind of damage, don't you think?"

Scully shrugged her shoulders. "Well ... I don't know ... an act of vandalism, maybe?"

"Right, that's possible; but there's usually some other evidence along with vandalism, like some signs that there were actually some vandals at the scene, but the only tracks leading to and from the jetty were those of Victor Beauville and Trojan."

"Trojan?" Scully was idly running her toe along the edge of a depression in the ground. She caught a small fragment of stone and worked it loose from the soft earth; it lay by her foot, china white amidst the gritty soil.

"Beauville's four year old Great Dane," Reyes elaborated, "who is presently in the custody of the county vet, suffering from what can only be described as a serious case of shock."

"Agent Reyes, correct me if I'm wrong, but when Victor Beauville's body was examined by the Coroner, no bite marks were found; nor, in fact, any wounds that could not be explained as having been the result of an accidental drowning."

Reyes refused to be deflected. "It doesn't explain what happened to the jetty."

Scully knelt down and picked up the small white stone. She weighed it in her hand as she studied it more closely.

"Did you find something?" Reyes stepped back onto the shore.

Her partner shrugged. "I'm not sure. It might be part of a tooth."

"Dana, do you know what this means?"

"It means that it might be part of a tooth," said Scully, sceptically. "And that tooth might be human, canine or from any number of species that live wild in this area. On the other hand -"

"We should get that tested."

"Monica-"

Before Scully could begin presenting a case against expending even more precious FBI resources, Reyes was on the move again, this time striding down the shore towards the Park Ranger's cabin. Again, Scully found that she had to quicken her pace to keep up with her enthusiastic partner.

"You didn't mention anything about packing a pair of running shoes," she muttered under her breath.

The side of the cabin that overlooked the lake was elevated on what seemed a curiously precarious affair of wooden beams and struts, its design owing more to the works of M. C. Escher than to any sound set of engineering principles. There was a narrow, stony path that wound its way from the shore, ascending the steep bank, to twist sharply at the last moment where some rickety wooden steps rose to the side door of the cabin.

"This is an amazing place," Reyes remarked, as she stooped under the strip of yellow and black crime scene tape and started climbing the steps.

"It's amazing that it hasn't been condemned by the Building Safety Commission," Scully returned, dryly.

Reyes tugged on the door handle. For a brief moment, Scully half expected the whole structure to come tumbling down like a stack of child's play bricks, but the door opened easily, albeit swinging outwards in such a way that anybody wanting to go inside had to squeeze around the edge of the wooden landing, thus exposing themselves to the risk of a potentially life threatening fall. It was another example of the curiously bad design.

Once inside, Scully's eyes were immediately drawn to the chalk outline in the centre of the floor. The fact that the left arm, and the bottom of the right leg, were both missing from the crudely rendered silhouette served as a chilling reminder of what had happened there.

Reyes went to the end of the cabin closest to the lake and pulled away a sheet of tarpaulin, revealing a jagged hole where there had once been a timber wall. She drew her partner's attention to the trail of blood stains leading from the location of the body to the opening, leaving Scully to conjure up images of some impossible beast dragging a severed limb back to its lair, where it could slowly feast upon its kill.

"Neither the arm nor the leg have been found," Reyes said.

"If you're suggesting that-"

"How many serial killers do you know who'd go to the trouble of breaking through a wall rather than use the front door?"

Scully thought about that for a moment. "Well, there was-"

"This wasn't done by a man," Reyes insisted. "Something - some creature - broke in here and savagely mutilated Elmer Thopple. Something so fast and powerful that he never even had the chance to draw his weapon."

"A wild cat, or a bear?" Even as she offered the suggestions, Scully didn't like to imagine what kind of creature could have caused the amount of destruction that she was seeing.

There was something small and white lying by her foot. She bent down to pick it up. "I assume the Crime Scene Investigation team went over this place?"

Reyes nodded. She watched with interest as Scully took out the piece of bone that she'd found on the shore and laid it in the palm of her hand, right next to the one that she had just discovered in the cabin.

"Then either they weren't very thorough -"

In unison, the two FBI agents drew their weapons, moving apart so that each could sweep one hemisphere of the room. Eventually, it became embarrassingly obvious that there were no potentially hostile targets other than an impressive stuffed trout, displayed in a glass fronted wooden case that was hanging on the wall over the door.

"Do you fish, Dana?" Reyes asked over her shoulder, as she cautiously approached the embalmed trophy.

"Sorry?"

"This sure is one impressive trout," Reyes continued.

"Is there a point in that which I'm missing?" Scully began to holster her Glock.

"No, I don't think ..." In an attempt to get close enough to read the tarnished brass name plate on the front of the display case, Reyes kicked over a wooden crate and stepped up onto it. Despite her height, she still found it necessary to stand on the tips of her toes, leaning forwards in a manner that seemed certain to end in either personal embarrassment or physical injury.

Scully moved closer, steadying her partner with a hand on her waist. "What have you found?"

"Caught by Elmer Thopple," Reyes read the words out loud, "Eleventh May, Nineteen Ninety Four, Lake Mumbles. Dana, it was caught here. In this lake."

Scully was beginning to feel as though she had lost the plot somewhere in the last ten minutes. "And that's significant because ... ?"

"I've never seen a freshwater fish this large," Reyes explained, coming down off tip-toe to briefly brush against Scully's breasts.

"And you're thinking that because this trout grew so large, other things might also grow to outsized proportions?" Scully was sceptical. "Granted, there are places in nature where animal and plant life develops in unusual abundance; areas where there is an abnormally plentiful food source, or where there are other conditions that are particularly beneficial to certain species." She paused to take a breath, and was pleased to discover that her partner seemed to be hanging onto every word.

"Go on," Reyes urged her.

"Well, for example, coastal and river waters around man made sources of heat such as that from power stations and steel foundries have been known to give rise to unusually large specimens of fish. But if I understand what you're implying, that isn't the same thing at all."

"It isn't?" Reyes seemed transfixed. So intense was her stare that it was causing Scully's heart to quicken and her cheeks to flush.

"No," said Scully. "Giant trout do not jump out of the water and attack men, much less terrorise their dogs. Nor do they tear Forest Rangers limb from limb."

"Trout don't. No." Reyes reached inside her jacket and pulled out a rolled up magazine. "But what about this?" She moved over to the Ranger's old wooden desk, cleared a space, and spread out the wildlife supplement of the previous weekend's edition of The National Interrogator, a journal primarily dedicated to reporting UFO sightings, the births of two headed babies, and US Government plots to mass fluoridate the national water supply.

"An alligator?"

"Not just an alligator," Reyes corrected her, stabbing her forefinger at a picture of a particularly belligerent looking pike-headed reptile which was slithering up a muddy river bank in search of its next meal. "Alligator Mississippiensis." Scully was none the wiser. Her raised eyebrow said as much. "Commonly known as the Mississippi or American alligator," said Reyes. "It's found in freshwater habitats right across the Southeastern United States." "You're not seriously suggesting that these people were attacked by a gigantic alligator?" Scully was incredulous. "Monica, that's ... that's absurd. This is Minnesota not Mississippi. The climate here is completely wrong. It's way too cold, and ..." Scully was frantically searching for more justification to her argument. "And -"

"It's not unknown for people to buy them as pets," Monica countered. "I almost convinced my parents to buy me one once."

"You wanted an alligator for a pet?"

"Only a small one."

"A carnivorous predatory reptile that in adulthood can grow in excess of twelve feet long?"

"But they're so cute when they're babies."

Scully paused to take a deep breath. "Agent Reyes, it seems to me that this is a case for the local police. It's hardly an X File."

"Dana, how can you say that?"

"Perhaps because I've been dragged along on this particular wild goose chase once before."

"Oh, right." Reyes had spent almost as much time reading through the X Files as had Doggett, though her motives were different to be sure. She knew immediately the case to which Scully was referring: Mulder's less than successful search for a lake-dwelling monster known as Big Blue; a dubious endeavour that had ended in a near fatal encounter with a particularly nasty alligator. "The Heuvelman's Lake disappearances."

"In any event, attacks by wild animals don't come under federal jurisdiction." It was an unnecessary remark, and one that she immediately regretted making.

Scully started towards the door. She didn't want to give Monica the opportunity to bring up the subject of her lost dog, Queequeg, whose terrible fate had presumably been to end up as the main course on that particular alligator's lunch table.

As she reached for the door handle, the whole door suddenly jerked away from her. Struggling to regain her balance, Scully realised that it wasn't just the door that was moving; the whole cabin was shaking violently on its wooden supports, rocking back and forth as though it had been caught in the shock wave of a small earthquake. Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of her partner drawing her weapon, and instinctively did the same.

For a brief moment there was a respite from the shaking and rocking of the cabin, the eerie silence that followed disturbed only by their rapid breathing, and the sound of timbers creaking as they slowly regained their shape.

Scully started to say something, but the cabin was hit again, this time so violently that she lost her grip on the Glock. As she fell against Reyes, she caught sight of her lost weapon slipping through a gap that had opened up in the floor timbers. Something else was moving down there; something huge and dark, thrashing and twisting in the muddy reeds, repeatedly slamming its huge bulk against the wooden struts so that the whole structure screamed in protest.

Reyes had caught her partner in one arm and was twisting around to place herself between Scully and whatever terrifying creature was beneath them. She raised her pistol and fired three shots in quick succession. Two of the slugs slammed into the wooden planks, sending a cloud of splinters flying in all directions. The third bullet passed through the gap between the boards, but it was impossible to tell whether it had found its target. Besides, Reyes doubted that the small calibre bullets could do any real damage, unless they struck a vital organ.

Again and again the huge creature slammed its body against the rickety wooden pillars, each blow threatening to send the whole structure tumbling into the lake like a badly stacked house of cards. Reyes fired again. Four shots. Five. Six. Although her aim had improved, her weapon remained stubbornly ineffective, and the beast was undeterred. They saw it raise its pike-like snout, parting its powerful jaws to expose rows of razor sharp teeth, as it stabbed at the underside of the Ranger's cabin in an almost frenzied attempt to reach its next meal.

"And you wanted one of those for a pet?" Scully asked. She had regained her balance and was surveying the cabin in search of something that could be used as a weapon.

"Like I said ..." BLAM! BLAM! "... They're cute when they're babies!"

BLAM!

Even though Reyes had been carefully counting the shots, when the slide locked in the open position the sudden rush of cold panic momentarily caught her off guard. The gigantic alligator seemed to sense an opportunity, and lunged upwards, slamming its snout against the underside of the floor with such force that several of the boards cracked clean in two.

If the creature had experienced any sense of satisfaction at the results of its persistence, it was short lived. Scully had found a pile of rusty gardening tools in the corner of the cabin, and had selected a pitchfork as the most appropriate defence against savage, carnivorous reptiles. Just as the alligator started pushing up against the fractured boards, she drove the sharp steel prongs down through the gap with all the force she could muster. She felt a brief and horrible moment of resistance as the metal punctured hardened skin and muscle. Then the creature let out a tortured scream of agony, snapping its head back so hard that it wrenched the fork from her hands. Beneath them, they caught a brief glimpse of the wounded creature scurrying away to nurse its wounds.

After that, there was silence. A silence that lasted a long time.

"God, Dana," said Reyes, as she slammed a fresh clip into the Glock. "Was that your Linda Hamilton impression?"

Scully looked confused.

"From The Terminator?"

Scully still looked confused.

"The film? ... Oh, never mind." She stepped forwards and hugged her partner, a move that caught Scully completely off guard and unsure how to respond to the sudden display of affection. "That was terrific."

"You're bleeding," said Scully, indicating Reyes' right hand.

"Must've caught a splinter," said Reyes, awkwardly, as she took a step backwards, releasing her hold on the redhead.

"Let me take a look at that."

Reyes shook her head. "We should get out of here. You wounded it, but it'll be back."

"That thing could be outside right now," Scully countered. "The sensible course of action right now would be to contact Agent Doggett and get some help down here."

Reyes took out her cellphone and held it up so that Scully could clearly see the "No Service" message on the display.

Scully checked her own phone, even though she knew that she was clutching at straws. Sure enough, she received the same message and in an uncharacteristic act of frustration, slammed the phone down on the desk so hard that it switched itself off in protest.

"At least let me take a look at that hand," she said, eventually.

This time Reyes accepted the offer of help.

"It's not serious," her partner assured her. "You should keep the wound covered, though."

She allowed Scully to bandage her hand with a clean handkerchief. Almost with a lump in her throat, she said softly, "Dana, I'm really sorry about this."

Scully shook her head. "Nothing to be sorry about."

"But if it wasn't for me, you'd be -"

She cut her short. "Maine is pretty cold this time of year anyhow."

There were some dusty old chairs in one corner of the cabin, next to an oil fired stove that looked about as safe as the exposed core of a fast breeder reactor. Nonetheless, Scully found some matches and lit it. A few moments later they were huddled around the stove, listening to the sound of something large and hungry moving around outside.

"It's going to get in here, isn't it?" Reyes asked. They both glanced at the tarpaulin-covered opening.

Scully picked up the pitchfork, and weighed it in her right hand. It was still a formidable weapon.

Reyes grinned admiringly, then her eyes seemed to mist over. "Dana... I've missed you."

Her partner said nothing. Perhaps she wasn't sure what she could say. Whatever kind of relationship had been developing between them had been derailed by the reappearance of Mulder, and the events of his show trial after the Mount Weather Complex fiasco.

With hindsight, perhaps running off to New Mexico with her former partner hadn't been an altogether sensible thing to do, but Scully had become increasingly aware how un-sensible she had been these past few years. The years had done more than simply age her; they had changed her. Transformed her. At times, she had become almost more Mulder than Mulder himself, and truthfully she couldn't explain why. It seemed that her faith in science had been replaced by an irrational desire to justify the years that she had spent following in Mulder's footsteps and then, ultimately, by disillusionment and regret.

New Mexico had been fun for a while. Mulder had been fun. For a while. But in the end, his capacity for self-destructiveness, his increasingly obsessive behaviour, his guilt; in the end, those things had doomed a relationship that was probably never meant to be, except in the minds of those who saw fairy tale people in fairy tale worlds, and dreamed of Happy Ever Afters beneath skies dusted with clouds of cotton candy.

And now Mulder was running again. He'd upped and gone one night. Left one of his cryptic and infuriatingly selfish notes in which he'd said he had to protect her from the truth, and he'd explained how he couldn't tell her where he was going, or why, or when he'd be back, or... etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

Nine years of etcetera. It was enough. Time for her to start writing her own script.

"Dana?" Reyes squeezed her hand. "Are you OK?"

"I'm f-" She stopped herself just in time. "I'm ... free."

"Sorry?"

"I missed you, Monica. And I should have told you that earlier."

It took Reyes a few moments before she was able to respond to the unexpected admission. "So - uh - after we get past the killer alligator, and trek back to civilisation through the hostile forest, maybe we could pick up where we left off?"

"I forget," said Scully, not entirely seriously. "Where exactly did we leave off?"

Reyes leant forward and kissed her on the lips. She met no resistance. No surprise. No restraint. Only the taste of Scully's lips on hers; the tingle of excitement as their tongues danced around one another, and the sudden light-headedness that comes from forgetting to breathe.

Only when she needed to surface for air did Monica withdraw from the engagement. "Wow," she gasped.

Reyes searched the depths of her partner's eyes for any signs of uncertainty or guilt, but found instead only a welcoming. And a hunger. A hunger that she desperately wanted to let Dana satisfy; but now was not the time. Now was about survival.

Reyes attempted to steer the conversation back to the subject of how they were going to get out of the cabin alive. "Uh - what about those teeth you found?"

Scully reached into her pocket and took out the two objects that she had found earlier. She rolled them around in the palm of her hand. "I don't think they are teeth."

"What?"

"Can I borrow your gun?"

Reyes handed her the re-loaded Glock. Scully took it and went over to the desk. She let one of the stones fall out of her hand onto the desktop. "In fact, I don't think they're any kind of bone at all."

Just as Reyes rose to join her, Scully smashed the object with the butt of the pistol, shattering it like an egg. She poked around in the remains with her forefinger, pushing aside the fragments of what was now obviously a hollow casing, to reveal a small piece of electronic circuitry.

"What is that?" Reyes asked, as Scully held it up to the light.

"One thing it isn't," Scully replied. "It isn't a tooth."

Before there was any further opportunity to discuss the function of the device, both Scully and Reyes were throwing themselves to the floor, reacting to the sudden hail of gunfire that was raking through the cabin. A concentrated stream of high velocity lead tore into the soft wood, shattering and splintering it like some invisible chainsaw. The terrifying pounding of the alligator's earlier assault now seemed trivial by comparison.

Scully managed to overturn the desk so that they could both crawl behind it. Although it afforded little protection from the relentless gunfire, it was better than nothing.

"Did somebody call up the Marines?" Reyes asked, regarding her Glock with an accusing stare of inadequacy.

"What did you say?" Scully could hardly hear her partner above the fierce chattering of automatic weapons fire.

"I said .. Did somebody -"

As suddenly as it had begun, it stopped, leaving a residual ringing in their ears that was almost as painful as when the onslaught had been at its zenith. The air reeked of cordite and burnt wood.

After sixty seconds had elapsed without a single shot fired, Scully crawled across the floor to peak out through the one of the hundreds of holes that had been made in the wall.

"Agent Reyes. I think you ought to come and see this."

A short while later, Reyes climbed down what was left of the steps, her gun aimed at the peculiar man who was standing on the bank. Scully followed closely behind.

"Sir. We're Federal Agents. Please put down the weapon."

He was short, fat, and dressed like he'd just stepped out of a nineteen fifties Hollywood adventure film; white safari jacket, khaki pants, wide brimmed hat, and the biggest gun that Reyes had ever seen. He peered at her over the top of a pair of wire rimmed spectacles.

"This is a Reckler Eight Oh One," he told them, as he carefully slipped the weapon's harness from his shoulders and laid it down in front of him. "Laser guided electric gatling gun. Fires four thousand rounds a minute of four oh calibre Armour Piercing shells. Nothing - but nothing - stands in its way."

"Is that so?" Reyes was close enough now to be able to kick the weapon to one side. It was still smoking and almost burned right through her shoe as she kicked at the barrel. "When you were firing those four thousand rounds did you stop to think that there might be somebody in the cabin?"

"Um, actually, I wasn't aiming at the cabin," he told her.

Scully glanced over her shoulder at the bullet-riddled Ranger's cabin. "Really?"

"Well, of course not!" He took off his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. "I was aiming at Hector."

"Hector?" Reyes reached into her back pocket and drew out a pair of handcuffs.

"Hector," the man repeated, nodding towards the shore.

Scully and Reyes both turned to look in the same direction. Scattered along the bank, and under the cabin, and splattered all over the trees, and even floating on the lake, were bits of alligator. Lots of bits. It was a real mess.

"That was Hector?"

The man nodded solemnly. "A damn shame, too. I was so close to a breakthrough, and then he had to go and break out of his habitat."

"Sir, who are you?" Scully was trying to remember whether the local map of the area that she had consulted had shown any mental asylums, or institutions for securely housing the criminally insane.

"Name's Leopold Meredith," he announced. "Doctor Leopold Meredith."

"Doctor of what?"

"Zoology."

Scully considered his response. "Would you care to explain to us exactly what has been going on here, Doctor Meredith?"

"Dana." Reyes pointed to a clear plastic gadget box lying on the ground near Meredith's foot. It contained several of the white tooth-like capsules that Scully had discovered.

"Trackers," said Meredith, anticipating the question. "Radio transmitters so that I can keep tabs on the 'gators. I usually fit two to be on the safe side. They can get loose easy."

"Fit them how?" Scully moved past Reyes to pick up the box.

"In their teeth." As if to illustrate the point, Meredith opened his mouth and pointed to a row of badly fitted crowns.

Reyes and Scully both winced, causing Meredith to guiltily close his mouth. "Sorry," he muttered.

"You still haven't answered my question," said Scully.

"You asked another," he said, defensively.

Scully scowled.

"OK. I'm working out a grant from OCI Pharmaceuticals. Looking at natural antibiotics found within reptiles as a possible treatment for infections in humans."

"The search for the so-called Super Antibiotic?" She raised an eyebrow.

"I thought that was all about the Komodo Dragon," said Reyes, remembering a wildlife program that she had recently watched to help pass another lonely night. It had told the remarkable story of the Indonesian reptile that killed by a bite that left a broth of lethal bacteria in the victim's wound; a broth that the creature itself was immune to, thanks to a natural antibiotic in its own blood.

"Same kind of thing," said Meredith, excitedly, "but it turns out that some other species of reptile have similar mechanisms. We just never knew about them before."

"And Hector?" Scully noticed that the whole area was starting to smell bad.

"Not quite your average American Alligator," he admitted. "A kind of a cross breed. A remarkable creature, though. Don't you think?"

Scully gave a patient sigh. "Sir, you're going to have to come with us. There have been a number of deaths which we have reason to believe were caused by Hector. There will also need to be an investigation into the terms of whatever license you have granted to carry out this work."

"Oh? Will there?" Meredith seemed disappointed, as if he were a child whose toys had suddenly been taken away from him.

"And there's also the matter of the unlawful possession and use of a weapon of mass destruction," added Reyes, masterfully deadpan, as she picked up the spent gatling gun.

Halfway up the bank they ran into a breathless John Doggett, who was accompanied by a heavily armed SWAT squad.

He regarded them with suspicion, not quite sure whether it was safe to holster his weapon. "Monica. Agent Scully. What's been happening here? We got reports of heavy weapons fire."

"This is Doctor Leopold Meredith," said Reyes, gently pushing the doctor towards the waiting police. "He'd like to tell you all about his hobby of breeding killer alligators."

"Now just a moment! That's not -" Before Meredith could complete his protest, the flak-jacketed police had descended upon him like a plague of locusts.

"Did I miss something?" Doggett asked, looking confused.

"No, John," Reyes laughed. "Nothing of any consequence. We'll see you back at the lodge."

"Back at the lodge?" Reyes and Scully had started moving away, following the police up towards the road. "Hey wait a minute! What the hell's been going on here?"

There was a loud crash from the general direction of the lake. It sounded very much like the old Ranger's cabin collapsing.

END



     Title: Back to the Quagmire - Part 2
     Author: Adrian D. Ives
     Version: 01
     E-Mail: adrian.ives@ntlworld.com
     Rating: NC-17 USA/CAN; 18 EU
     Content Codes: Scully/Reyes F/F CONS
     Chronology: This story is set after the series finale.
     Distribution and Archiving: Anywhere.
     Disclaimer: Not produced for profit.  All copyrights
     acknowledged.
     (Based upon characters created by Chris Carter)

Summary: Having escaped from the jaws of a giant alligator on the shores of Lake Mumbles, Scully and Reyes face a new challenge: How can they get rid of Agent Doggett so that they can spend the night fucking each others brains out?


Back to the Quagmire - Part 2
by Adrian D. Ives

On seeing that Doggett had failed to pick up on the fact that the waitress had now refilled his coffee cup three times without prompting, Reyes felt compelled to act.

"The service here is good, isn't it?" she enquired, innocently.

Doggett immediately looked up from his steak. "Say what?"

"That's three times you've had your cup refilled." She ran her fingers around the rim of her own empty coffee cup.

"You want some more coffee, Monica?"

"No, John. I don't want any more coffee."

He finished chewing the piece of steak in his mouth. "But I thought -"

Reyes leaned closer, steepling her hands in front of her. "In case you hadn't noticed, you're the only person in the diner who's been getting the special treatment."

His mouth fell open, a look of bewilderment softening the craggy lines of his face. "Special treatment? What the hell are you talking about?"

"And maybe you also didn't notice," Reyes continued, "that you're the only man in here who hasn't passed the statutory retirement age."

"I still don't ... Oh, now wait a minute. You're not trying to say -"

Suddenly, he became aware of somebody standing over him. The smell of fresh, hot coffee mingled seductively with a perfume that reminded him of a certain youthful adventure with a certain not so youthful literature lecturer. Doggett turned around to see the waitress smiling at him.

"I'm fine here," he said, covering his cup with his hand. "But thanks, anyway."

She was younger than Doggett, though there couldn't have been more than a couple of years in it; long, straight dark hair with hazel eyes, thin lips and a figure that seemed able to project more perfect curves than those with which it was actually endowed.

"So, is the FBI all done out here?" the waitress asked.

"Uh ... yeah. Yeah, we're pretty much done."

"It's been quite an event having you federal people around here," she pulled a chair over from the unoccupied table next to them, and sat herself down. "Out of tourist season, the lake doesn't get a whole lot of visitors."

"Is that right?"

Reyes was guiltily enjoying the look of discomfort on her fellow agent's face. He wasn't good at the small talk. Not good at all. When he glanced in her direction, clearly looking for help, she simply smiled and turned her attention to her wristwatch. Scully had been gone for the better part of ten minutes and it sent butterflies on a wild dance around her stomach to think that she might be making herself look great just for Monica.

Not that you need to do anything to make yourself look great, she thought. With you, it's all natural. So wonderfully natural.

"You're John Doggett, aren't you?" the waitress asked.

He nodded.

"I saw your name in the guest register. I'm Elizabeth McKinnon."

Doggett tentatively shook her outstretched hand. She seemed to hold on to him for longer than was strictly necessary for a formal introduction; this only served to heighten the discomfort he was so obviously feeling.

She's loving this, Reyes thought.

"Look, I hope you don't mind me asking," she continued, "but ... well there's a dance over at the Town Hall tonight."

"Yeah?" He reached for his coffee.

"What with it being Friday and all." She looked as though she were about to elaborate further, but instead her voice trailed away.

Doggett cleared his throat. "That's - uh - nice."

"Only I saw you don't check out 'til tomorrow, so I wondered if -"

"Um, well we're still kinda busy tidying up loose ends, so -"

Elizabeth did nothing to hide her disappointment. Looking around the room at the other male specimens on offer, Reyes could fully understand how she felt.

"That's OK, John," said Reyes, smiling sweetly. "Agent Scully and I will finish up the reports."

Doggett eyed her suspiciously. "You will?"

"And if we get done early, then maybe we'll come over and join you."

Except we won't get done early, she thought. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if we had to keep at it all night long.

"Meet you down in the bar around eight then, John?" Elizabeth said it like it was a done deal.

For his part, Doggett had lost the will to resist. Meekly, he nodded an affirmative. He knew it was probably a bad idea (in fact it was definitely a bad idea) but she did remind him of someone, and since Reyes had apparently gone cold on any prospect of a relationship between them, he figured that he might just as well see where events took him. Besides, it was a hell of a lot better than trudging through bits of decomposing alligator.

"You sure about doing the paperwork, Monica?"

"It's no problem," she assured him. "Actually, seeing as it was me that got us out here, I think it's the least I can do."

"What about Agent Scully?"

"Oh ... she'll be OK with it, John." Reyes smiled a knowing smile. "Trust me."

When Scully returned to the table, Doggett had already gone back to his room to change.

"Sorry." Scully slumped down into the chair. "Somebody told the cook I was a medical doctor, and I've just had a truly riveting discussion about the best treatment for piles."

"Ouch."

Scully suddenly realised that somebody was missing. "What happened to Agent Doggett?"

"He found another case that needed following up on." Reyes' face was a mask of inscrutability. Scully decided not to probe.

"So he won't want this then?" She nodded towards the obscenely large slice of coffee cream pie. It was untouched, and easily within her reach.

Reyes shook her head, then grinned mischievously. "I think he's getting his cake somewhere else tonight, Dana."

Scully picked up a clean fork and started tucking into the dangerously fattening sweet. She was halfway through it when she became aware of her partner's intense stare.

"You want some of this?" she pushed the plate ever so slightly towards her.

Reyes shook her head. "You should try to eat for your soul, Dana. Not just for your stomach."

"Is that your way of telling me that I'm putting on weight?"

"God, no. You have a lovely body."

Scully had the sudden impression that her cheeks had become almost as red as her hair. Damn it, how was this woman able to affect her like this?

"So, if you were eating for your soul, what would you be eating right now?"

Reyes was in no hurry to answer. She enjoyed a few moments gazing into Scully's eyes, searching the hidden depths that she knew lurked behind the well practiced mask of controlled detachment. "Right now the only hunger in my soul isn't for food."

"If that's your roundabout way of getting me into bed, Agent Reyes -"

"No, it's my roundabout way of saying that I'm in love with you, Dana."

Hesitatingly, Scully took Reyes' right hand and brought it to her lips, kissing the knuckles gently, one by one. "And I suppose you also managed to get a double room."

Reyes was all smile. A broad, beaming smile that seemed to light her face just as surely as the rays of a dawning summer sun. "What can I say? The hotel is half empty. I got a two for one upgrade."

"Oh?" Scully frowned suspiciously. "Did you arrange this two for one upgrade before or after our trip down to the lake?"

Reyes shrugged, noncommittally. "Would you like a drink?"

She shook her head. "I can think of much better ways to get light headed."

Reyes leaned closer. "I hope you're thinking ... sexual ways."

Scully cleared her throat. "What did you tell Agent Doggett?"

"That we'd be working hard at it together."

She grinned. "Perhaps we'd better get started then."


Reyes had definitely managed to pull off a coup as regards the accommodation. Although not quite the bridal suite, it was clearly one of the best that the hotel had to offer, and several grades up from Scully's room, with its cramped single bed, half a window and hinged wall desk that blocked the door when down.

"What did you make of that guy Meredith?" Reyes asked, as she went through into the bathroom, pulling off and discarding most of her clothes in the process. Scully stood transfixed for a few seconds, gazing at the sight of the brunette's lovely, firm ass as it wiggled seductively with her walk.

"I think I preferred the alligator," said Scully. She started picking up Monica's clothes and arranging them neatly in a pile of the end of the bed.

"Right. At least it only tried to eat us."

While Reyes whistled the theme from the Lost In Space movie, Scully started undressing, taking the time to painstakingly fold and stack her own clothes next to those of her partner.

"Are you going to join me?" Reyes called out, after several minutes had elapsed without a word having been said.

Scully was suddenly aware of how much time she had spent undressing; how much time she had spent folding and stacking, as if her subconscious mind had deliberately directed her down a side track in an attempt to delay the inevitable. And yet there was no reason for her sudden hesitancy. It wasn't as though she hadn't had sex with Monica before; on several occasions, in fact, and it had never been anything less than exhilarating.

She knows me so well, thought Scully, as she walked barefoot across the soft blue carpet, and yet I feel as though I know almost nothing about her.

She stood in the doorway for a moment, admiring the tall brunette's naked body through the frosted glass of the shower screen. She imagined how the water droplets would be cascading over her neck and shoulders, forming rivulets that rode the curves of her wonderful breasts like melting ice from a snow capped peak caught in the first warmth of spring.

"I can only stretch out a shower so long," said Reyes.

Scully drew back the shower screen and stepped under the curtain of falling water. Almost at once she was in Reyes' arms, and their lips were pressing tightly together. She felt Reyes' fingers slide between her legs and seek out the moist, tender spot that had been aching for her touch since that first day back in Washington; the day that she can come home from New Mexico with her tail between her legs. The day that everything had changed. Again.

She uttered the faintest of cries, the lightest of gasps, but deep down her body was screaming. Shouting its condemnation of her heinous act of impurity.

How can you do this, Dana? How can you be this person? This is not what you were taught to be. Not what you were taught to feel.

After a while - a very short while - she stopped listening to her inner voice. It had nothing interesting to say, anyway. On the other hand, Monica was telling her something that she wanted to hear; something that she needed to hear.

Pushing her up against the slippery tiles, Reyes twisted her hand between Scully's thighs, her slender fingers quickly finding the woman's moist lower lips; parting them; probing the arousal slickened depths of her sex.

In response, Scully wrapped her arms around Reyes' shoulders, steadying herself against the other woman's body so that she could part her legs and push her hips forward, allowing her lover to penetrate her still deeper. As the swirling motion of her fingers alternated between gentleness and barely restrained urgency, Reyes' took one of Scully's erect nipples into her mouth and began to tease it with the tip of her tongue.

"Oh, God," Scully moaned. "Why is it that whenever I'm around you and showers, we end up having sex?"

Reyes looked up, a quizzical expression on her lovely face. "I thought that's what they were for."

Scully wound her fingers into Reyes' long, brown hair, and gently pulled her partner's mouth to her own. She kissed Reyes full on the lips, parrying each stroke of her tongue with one of equal urgency. Caught in a cascade of water and steam, the bodies of Reyes and Scully became entwined, folding around one another as they danced lips to lips, breasts to breasts; soul to soul.

Soon Reyes' fingers were buried so deep in Scully's aroused sex that her knuckles were completely enveloped by her taut outer lips. The heel of her hand was pressing against Scully's swollen, aching clitoris; pushing against the tender bud with strokes that alternated between soft and hard; fast and slow.

Scully begged her to continue, her breathing now ragged and uncontrolled, her heart racing as she felt herself being propelled ever upwards; up beyond the highest peak, beyond the thin upper atmosphere, beyond the planets and the solar system. Up beyond the stars themselves.

When finally they could resist the urge to breathe no longer, she reluctantly surrendered her lover's lips. Reyes returned her attention to Scully's almost painfully erect nipples, her tongue circling the dark brown areolae, her teeth nipping and tugging at the hardened buds in turn until the redhead was sobbing with delight.

The water from the shower head had run for so long that it had become luke warm, but it was of little consequence considering the heat that was being generated between them. Reyes was using all four fingers to twist and stretch Scully's vagina, pressing the tip of her thumb hard against the woman's clitoris as she did so. And then, unexpectedly, she eased the thumb of her free hand between the tight crevice of Scully's ass and gently pushed past her tight sphincter.

Scully started whimpering with pleasure, burying her face in Reyes' wet hair as the brunette assaulted her three most sensitive places in unison. Although she'd enjoyed her previous sexual liaisons with Reyes, this time her partner seemed to have attained new heights of understanding about how Dana Scully's body worked. Somehow she was achieving a near perfect balance of exquisite gentleness and a raw, almost rough urgency that stimulated Scully in all the right places and at all the right times.

She found herself fascinated, and perhaps just a little terrified, by the way that her body reacted to Monica's attentions; Reyes was doing things to her that were beyond anything that she had experienced before. Before she could fully analyse the sensations that she was experiencing, the muscles in her pelvis began to tense, her throat became dry; her whole body began to tremble with the onslaught of orgasm. Reyes chose that exact moment to quickly withdrew her fingers from Scully's sex.

"Nooooo!" Scully felt a sudden, agonising emptiness between her legs. Her clitoris throbbed painfully, aching to be touched, aching to be satisfied. "Oh, Jesus Christ, Monica, you can't leave me like this ..."

Scully didn't see Reyes' playful grin, just before she went down on her knees and buried her face between Scully's legs. Gripping Scully's backside with her hands, she pulled her crotch towards her, and slid her outstretched tongue between the redhead's blood gorged lips. Lapping at Scully's sex with her tongue, she rode the moist curls and crevices from top to bottom, pausing on each stroke to flick her clitoris with a touch no harder than the brush of a butterfly's wing.

Scully moaned and sobbed for release, her body held taut in the grip of a pending climax that her partner seemed intent on prolonging to the end of time.

"Please," she begged, twisting and thrusting her hips forward in an attempt to increase the contact with Reyes' dancing tongue. "Please ... finish me. Oh, Jesus. Monica!"

Judging that the moment was now right, Reyes brought the fingers of her right hand to bear on Scully's throbbing clitoris, rolling it back and forth as she buried the tip of her tongue between her sweetly slick, moistened folds.

Within moments, Reyes' expertly timed attentions brought about the desired result.

"OHHHH!!!!" Scully clenched her fists tightly, tugging wildly at Reyes' wet hair, as her body spasmed violently, tensing then relaxing, every muscle responding to the tidal wave of ecstasy that rode out from her centre to assault the shores of her consciousness.

For a brief instant of time, she was reminded of the cataclysmic thermonuclear reaction at the heart of a newly born star; of the unstoppable force of a tropical hurricane; the devastating power of an earthquake and the searing heat of an erupting volcano. All of that, and more.

Thankfully, her cries of release were muted by the relentless cascade of warm water, though Reyes was definitely glad that Doggett wasn't in the next room; he did have exceptional hearing.

When the quaking of the redhead's soaked and naked body finally abated, Reyes got up from her knees and kissed her lover on the lips. Scully could taste her own sex there; sweet and still warm; the aftermath of the glorious release that had ripped through her body.

"Thank you," Scully murmured, dreamily. "That was -"

Reyes kissed her again, and their tender embrace lasted a very long time indeed. Eventually, she reached out and turned off the shower.

Reyes brushed a lock of damp, red hair from her lover's brow. "Dana, I Just want you to know that I'll never hurt you."

There were tears in Scully's eyes, but she was hiding them superbly.

"Mulder didn't hurt me," she finally admitted. "I hurt myself."

Reyes smiled warmly. "Let's get dry. Then we can go to bed and get wet all over again."

END
 

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