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Protective Custody

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Pine Barrens safehouse
New Jersey Woodlands

Dana Scully was tired--incredibly tired, in fact. The last few months had been hell, and she found herself about ready to kill her partner. He was being... mean. Cruel, even. Granted, she hadn't really been that much of a winner herself lately, but she was hurting, and worried, and she just didn't have the energy to worry about his feelings anymore. She'd spent the last four years making sure he was okay, and she wasn''t ready to spend the next four doing the same.

So when this assignment came up, she jumped at it, happily going over Mulder's head to do it. Skinner must have sensed the growing animosity between his two most troublesome agents, and he okayed the temporary transfer with an almost gentle, "I'll handle Agent Mulder."

And here she was, deep in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, in a little white house that, on the outside, didn't look like it even had running water, much less the sophisticated surveillance equipment it sported.

She was waiting for her "baby". The woman she was assigned to guard was a victim of rape, extortion, and numerous murder threats--all of which she claimed came from a very powerful member of the ATF... Julia Godsey had a lot of guts, in Scully's estimation. The ATF member in question was already under investigation, but Godsey would still have to testify against him. And, given his powerful friends, she was putting herself at considerable risk. This guy could find her easily, even if he was sent to jail, even if the Witness Protection Program did their job to the letter.

But first she had to live to testify, and for now, that was Scully's responsibility...


Julia Godsey breezed up the porch steps, accompanied by two very FBI-looking guards. She was tall, and any man or woman would admit that she was almost impossibly beautiful. Her hair was a deep, velvety brown--nearly black--and it fell with careless grace down the middle of her back in thick waves. Her eyes were a deep, mesmerising brown, and were framed by delicate olive skin.

Scully was, quite possibly for the first time in her life, struck dumb by the beauty of a woman. She felt a rush of heat creeping up her body, and fought to stop it before it reached her face.

"Agent Scully?" The man to Godsey's right obviously found the witness as beautiful as Scully did, for his voice held a kind of quiet longing. "I'm Agent Velasquez, this is Agent Weiss."

Scully shook hands, watching the gorgeous woman before her. Admiring.

"This is Julia Godsey," Velasquez stated, as Godsey offered her hand. Her skin was impossibly soft, and Scully forced herself not to linger in the contact.

"Are you two staying?" Godsey asked quietly. Now that she had spoken, Scully decided that the woman actually sounded terribly, terribly vulnerable and fragile. She seemed to have latched on to Agent Weiss, and she turned her dark eyes on him with something very like entreaty.

Weiss shook his head. "You'll be safe here, Julia, I promise."

Godsey nodded her head sadly, locking eyes with Scully for a moment. The intensity of the contact took Scully's breath away slightly, and she had to take a deep breath to regain her footing.

"Why don't we take your things up to your room, Ms. Godsey?" she suggested quietly.

"Rellis will be here by nightfall, Agent Scully," Velasquez stated. "He's taking part in a raid in New York City. He'll call if he's going to be late."

Scully just nodded, leading Godsey upstairs, as the men let themselves out. As an afterthought, she turned back, bolting the door behind them.


"You're an FBI agent?" Julia asked, a little incredulously.

Scully smiled. She was used to the reaction by now. "Maybe not what you'd expect, but--"

"No, no," Godsey said quickly. "I didn't mean it that way. I just meant..." Her voice dropped. "You just don't fit the profile."

Scully grinned as she opened the bedroom door. "And what profile is that?"

"You know," Godsey said, her alto voice colored with laughter as she laid her bags on the bed. "Tall, intense, slightly-too-cerebral men with blank stares and heavy complexes?"

The redhead laughed. "That sounds just a little too much like my partner for comfort."

Godsey looked around curiously. "Is he here?"

She started suddenly at Scully's closed look.

"No. I'm... doing this job solo."

"Ahhh," Godsey said, suddenly understanding completely.

Scully was uncomfortable under that knowing gaze. "Um... let's go get some... lunch." She led the way back downstairs, too aware of the woman behind her. "Not... not much to do around here but eat and watch videos."

"As long as I can do it all safely," Godsey replied. "I don't really care what I spend my time doing."


Scully watched the woman subtly as they munched away on their salads. She had never really been interested in women before. Oh, she'd certainly admired the beauty of a number of the girls she went to school with, but that was simply a self-admittedly unattractive kid wishing she could look like the stunning upperclass sorority members.

Today, however, she found herself absolutely smitten. And the sensation, while uncommon for her, was not altogether unpleasant.

Stop it, Dana, she told herself. You know why this is happening. It's Ed Jerse, and Mulder, and every other man you haven't gotten into bed with in the last four years. You're just burned out, and lonely, and...

And Julia Godsey is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen in your life.

"Are you okay, Agent Scully?" Godsey's voice shook her from her covert contemplations, and she made eye contact for the first time in an hour. The intensity was still there, and she shuddered inwardly at her feelings.

"I'm fine, thanks," she lied expertly, a little dismayed to find that she couldn't snow this woman, the way she could her partner. "I'm just tired."

"You work pretty hard, huh?" Godsey said quietly. "Do you get any time for yourself?"

Scully shrugged lightly. "I don't think the FBI has heard of office hours," she replied finally. "We just... work when we have to."

Godsey grinned. "In other words, all the time."

"Close," Scully conceded.

"Well, it looks like you're going to get some time to do nothing, Agent Scully." She grinned again, shocking Scully once more with her beauty. "What's say we live it up, huh?"

"Sounds good to me," the agent replied, standing and clearing the table. "We've eaten, so I guess the only thing to do is watch a movie or two."

"Let me clear those things out." With the offer, Julia Godsey was suddenly unbearably close, and Scully felt a thrill go through her as the tall woman's hand brushed hers. "You go pick out the movie, okay?"

Scully nodded, not trusting herself to speak for the moment. She headed into the living room, looking through the videos on the shelves, and trying to regain her composure. She was so flustered by this! Why was a woman having this kind of effect on her?

"Um, how about Top Gun?" she asked, hoping her voice held normal.

"Nah," Godsey tossed back. "Can't stand Val Kilmer. What else do you have?"

"Silence of the Lambs?"

"Ugh! No way!" There was that laughter in her voice again, suddenly. "I think I'll be seeing enough of the FBI for a while."

"How--" Scully cleared her throat. "How about Shawshank Redemption?"

Godsey came out of the kitchen, and Scully paused. The woman had taken her professional-looking jacket off, and now wore only black jeans and a loose-fitting white button-down. And she was altogether stunning.

"You just don't know how to pick them, Agent Scully," she admonished, walking briskly to the shelves, and browsing quietly. She was thankfully oblivious to the effect she seemed to be having on the small woman beside her, and Scully stepped away, confused.

"Hey! They've got Star Trek episodes here!" Godsey announced gleefully. "How about the Voyager pilot? I love that show!"

Scully couldn't do anything but nod.


"My name is Kathryn Janeway."

Scully watched, interested despite herself, as the tall shapely captain of Voyager stood, hands on hips, before a lovely young man, whose shirt was alluringly open. She started slightly, as Godsey sucked in an appreciative breath.

"Yummy," the woman breathed, and Scully had to smile. Tom Paris was indeed, very yummy. She stood, stretching slightly.

"I'm going to get some coffee. Do you want some?"

Godsey snapped out of her lust-induced stupor, looking Scully straight in the eyes. "I'd love some, thanks."

Dana, Scully told herself sternly. This is ridiculous! She's beautiful, you know that! But you cannot honestly say that what you're feeling is more than a little envy and some admiration of inherent beauty.

Strong words... But she was having trouble believing them.

"Oh, Agent Scully, hurry up!" Godsey called from the other room. "This is one of the best parts!"

Scully grabbed the mugs before her, hurrying in to watch the scene.

The captain sat, a cup of tea in her hand (it had to be tea, right? That was what starship captains drank, right?), and leaned seductively into the viewscreen before her.

"You never bother me, Mark," she said, her voice husky. "Except the way I like to be bothered."

Godsey hummed appreciatively, as she sat back and took her cup from Scully. Scully, on the other hand, didn't see what the big deal was. That Mark guy wasn't even all that cute.

It took her a minute to figure it out. Mark wasn't cute... But Janeway was.

She was about to say something, when her cellphone rang, startling both of them.

"Scully," she announced quietly.

"Agent Scully, this is Agent Rellis." He gave his badge number, just as he should when contacting a safehouse. "Listen, we're still trying to mop this thing up. I'm not going to get there until tomorrow morning. Do you want me to call someone in from the regional office?"

The words were out before Scully could think about them. "No. We'll be fine for one night."

"Okay," Rellis replied, frankly glad to be saved that particular chore. "I should be there by seven."

Scully hung up the phone, a little shocked by the realization that she was now going to be in the house alone--with Godsey, who might possibly be capable of being as interested in her as _she_ was in Godsey.

"Who was that?"

"The other safehouse agent," Scully replied quickly. "He'll be coming up tomorrow."

Godsey was immediately worried. "Are we going to be safe here?"

Scully patted the holster she had at her side. "We'll be fine."

* * *

The screams woke Scully from a sound sleep, and she bolted for Godsey's bedroom before she was fully awake.

"No! Please, no!"

Godsey was thrashing painfully in her sleep, and Scully put her gun soundlessly on the bedside table, perching herself on the matress. She reached out carefully, running a hand through Godsey's sweaty hair.

"Julia?" she called quietly. "Julia, it's okay. It's just a dream."

Godsey bolted into a seated position, looking around herself wildly. Her eyes locked on Scully's and she was suddenly weeping, sobbing uncontrollably as she tried to shake off the nightmare.

Scully knew this kind of fear. She knew the fear of waking in the middle of the night, unsure if they still had her or not, unsure of what was dream, and what, reality. She did what she wished someone had done for her in the long nights after the end of her abduction. She slid up to the headboard, gathered Godsey into her arms, and let her cry.


It was long, tortured minutes before the woman's tears subsided, and she lay for some moments against Scully's chest, simply assuring herself that she was safe.

"I'm sorry," she whispered finally, pulling away, and letting those remarkable eyes of hers latch on to Scully's. "I'm sorry I woke you."

Scully couldn't seem to make herself pull her hand from Godsey's head, where it was soothingly running through her hair. "It's okay," she replied gently. "It's okay."

Godsey smiled slightly at that, and sat up fully, moving in such a way that Scully didn't have to reach to touch her hair. "Thank you, Agent Scully."

"Please, call me Dana."

"Julia." Godsey slid up so that her hip rested comfortably on Scully's.

Now that the crisis was over, Scully felt those strange urges returning, and felt a more immediate urge to leave. She stood, not noticing the forlorn look in Godsey's beautiful eyes.

"Do you think you can get back to sleep?" Scully asked quietly.

"Could you--" Julia suddenly realised that she didn't want this striking young redhead to leave. "Could you stay for a while?"

Scully sat down again, finding her desire to leave being slowly replaced by another desire. A desire that she hadn't even know she could feel. "Sure."

"I don't..." Julia took a breath. "I don't want to make you uncomfortable, Dana..."

Scully looked at her questioningly.

"You're beautiful."

That made Scully smile. "That's nice of you to say, but--"

"Nobody ever says that to you?" Julia asked in shock.

Scully sighed. "Not for a very long time."

"Well, they should," Julia averred. "What about your partner?"

That was a sore spot, and Julia was sorry for it as soon as she saw the look in Scully's eyes.

"He's... very dedicated to his work."

"...But not to you?"

Scully sat forward, that longtime bitterness welling up in her. "I think, if anything, I've become a nuisance to him."

Julia grinned. "I find that hard to believe."

The redhead shrugged.

"But you love him anyway?"

Scully scoffed at the phrase. "I haven't been in love for so long, I've forgotten what it's like."

"You should try it again sometime," Julia said quietly, trying to calm the feelings in her that this FBI agent raised. "It's really wonderful."

Scully scooted around so that she was facing the other woman. "Do you have someone?"

Julia's face took on a bittersweet joy. "I used to."

"Tell me," Scully prompted her. "I haven't had one of my own in years."

Julia held her breath, watching carefully for Scully's reaction. "Her name was Shelly. She... died last year."

Scully just nodded sympathetically. "AIDS?"

"No," Julia replied with a cold laugh. "Not all lesbians die of AIDS, you know."

"I didn't mean to imply--"

The other woman shrugged it off quickly. "It's a common prejudice." She tried to head off the mounting indignation in the other woman's eyes. "She, um... She had a brain tumor," she explained quickly, not understanding the shiver that ran through her companion. "She lived about eight months after they found it."

Scully sat silent for a moment, tamping down the old fear that rose in her. Brain cancer... The women in Allentown... She took a deep breath, pushing those thoughts to the side. "Tell me about her."

Julia got a faraway look in her eyes. "Shelly was... Plain? I guess... Medium height, medium looks... But she could talk with you, and you'd never think that she wasn't the most beautiful woman in the world..."

Scully touched her companion's arm as the tears welled up in the brunette's eyes. "I'm sorry, Julia," she whispered. "I shouldn't have asked."

"I miss her," Julia said finally, her deep voice tear-filled. "I wish she was here now. I wish she could help me with--"

Scully gathered her into her arms again, running soothing hands over her arms, ignoring the feelings of lust that her brain insisted on building in her. "Shhhh.... It's okay... It's okay..."

"I don't think I've looked at another woman since then," Julia whispered into Scully's pajamas. "Not until today."

Scully tried not to freeze--honestly, she did--but the remark was so... unexpected. Godsey was vulnerable, she told herself. She was looking for comfort...

Julia pulled away as Scully stiffened. "I'm sorry, Dana," she said, quickly dashing tears from her eyes. "I'm... Maybe you should go."

Scully shook her head. "It's okay, Julia, really." She put a hand to the other woman's head, gently offering her embrace again. "I'll stay as long as you need me to."

And Scully held her for the rest of the night, as Julia talked about her lover, and her life; about what had been done to her by the ATF agent; about her feelings of rage and helplessness. And all the while, Scully soothed her and comforted her. Gave the reassurance that Scully herself had so craved for so long...

Julia fell asleep in the arms of a lonely woman, and suddenly, that woman wasn't so lonely anymore.

* * *

Agent Rellis knocked on the door at exactly seven a.m., and Scully gently disengaged herself from the finally-sleeping Godsey, and went downstairs to unbolt the door.

"Agent Scully?" he said, lowering his voice as she put an insistent finger to her lips. He showed her his badge and she let him in, where he got a good look at her for the first time.

"Rough night?"

Scully shrugged. "For Godsey, yeah."

"She sleeping?"

"Finally." Scully helped him with the bags of groceries he'd brought, and showed him into the kitchen. "I'll get something ready for breakfast. When are our replacements going to get here?"

"We've got tomorrow night off, then another week before we're replaced by the next team."

Scully nodded. A week. A short assignment--something she'd been glad for only yesterday. Just enough time to get away from Mulder for a bit, and try to clear her head and the fears it held.

But now, a week seemed impossibly short. She wanted to get to know that woman upstairs. She suspected that she wanted to get to know her better than she'd ever known any woman in her life...

* * *

The End