"Loose Ends"
By
Andra Marie Mueller

AUTHOR'S NOTE: As a die hard John Doggett and DSF X-phile (DSF= Doggett Scully Friendship in fan speak), I was greatly disappointed with the series finale. Aside from the fact that JD was basically treated as a guest star, I felt that there should have been some resolution to the Doggett/Scully relationship that had developed during season 8. So here is my "missing scene" from the final episode. With love and appreciation to Robert Patrick for bringing John Doggett to life (

In retrospect, he probably should have seen it coming. Once the decision had been made and the plan formulated to free Mulder, it should have been obvious to a blind man that Scully would want to go with him. Doggett had spent the better part of a year watching her mourn Mulder, in his absence and presumed death. He was there to watch her come alive again after they had miraculously resurrected Mulder. And he had seen both the sheer delight and immeasurable agony she had suffered after giving birth to William, only to have circumstances force her to give him up. To allow her living miracle to be taken from her to be raised by faceless, nameless strangers to prevent William from being a casualty of his father's never ending private war.

But in spite of everything, he was still surprised when she told him of her decision. That she was giving up her life and her career to follow Mulder wherever he may lead. Granted there was some debate as to just how much she was leaving behind: after her sacrifice of her son, there was really only one thing left that she would give her life for. One person. Doggett had long ago abandoned any hope of understanding Scully's blind devotion to a man that in most respects had brought her nothing but pain. Yet as someone once so eloquently put it, "the heart has its reasons that the mind knows not of." She loved him, and he her, in his own way. Doggett knew that. So in his heart of hearts, he could not fault her for reaching for whatever sliver of happiness a life with Mulder would give her.

"We've earned this time together," Scully had said. "We deserve it. Whether we're given a day, a month or a year, I'm going to grab it with both hands and never let it go."

Doggett had known better than to argue with her. It would only serve to resurrect the anger and resentment she had felt for him during the first days of their relationship. And he cared too much for her to bring her any more pain. Now he sat alone in his kitchen nursing a now cold cup of coffee, silently chiding himself for his nagging doubts about what the dawn would bring.

Who am I to question her choices? he asked. If I were in her position I'd be doin' the exact same thing.

The ring of the doorbell interrupted his thoughts, and Doggett walked into his living room. Understandably concerned about his unexpected late night visitor given the events of the past few days, he retrieved his gun from the coffee table before crossing over to the door.

"Who's there?" he demanded.

"John, it's me," Scully's voice replied.

Shoving the gun into the waistband of his jeans behind his back, Doggett opened the door and greeted his erstwhile partner with a small smile. "Hey, Dana."

"John. Did I wake you?"

"No; given what's gonna go down tomorrow I'm really not plannin' on sleepin' much."

"I know the feeling," Scully allowed.

"Come on in."

He stepped aside to allow her entry, and Scully wandered into Doggett's living room.

"Do you want somethin' to drink? Coffee or a cup of tea?" he offered.

"No, thank you. I won't be staying very long."

Doggett nodded in acknowledgement. "How are you holdin' up? Are you ready for tomorrow?"

"I'm as ready as I can be. It's not like I can take anything with me other than the clothes on my back anyway."

"I suppose not. Have you spoken with your mother?"

"I stopped by her house on my way home. I didn't tell her very much; obviously the less she knows the better. But after everything that has happened over the last several days - not to mention the last nine years - I'm sure she has a fairly good idea what's going on."

"I'm sorry. I know how much you love your mom, and sayin' good-bye to her must have been pourin' salt into the wound."

"It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but at least I know that I told her how much I love her. I'll have to let that give me some peace."

"I'm sure it will." A pause. "Look, Dana, don't take this the wrong way but you didn't show up on my doorstep at almost one in the mornin' just to chit chat. What's goin' on?"

Scully smiled. "You don't mince words do you, John?" she teased. "Actually there is a reason for my visit. In an effort to tire myself out enough to get some sleep, I decided to take a drive, sort of a farewell tour before Mulder and I disappear. Before I knew it I was driving by your house, and when I saw your light on, that's when it hit me. After tomorrow there's a high probability that you and I will never see each other again. I didn't want to leave without telling you how much you mean to me."

"Dana."

"John, please, just let me say this."

A sigh. "Okay."

"If someone had told me two years ago that you would become one of the most important people in my life, I probably would have submitted them for psychiatric evaluation. You and I have traveled a long, hard road to reach where we are today. But you saw past my anger, and fear, and grief, and stood beside me when most other people would have run screaming in the other direction. You've been my adversary, my partner, and most importantly my friend. You saved my life - literally and figuratively - by not allowing my own obstinacy to scare you away. Without you I wouldn't be here; I wouldn't have Mulder and even though I no longer have him with me, you are partly responsible for the life of my son. Thank you doesn't begin to cover what you've done for me, but it's all I have. My thanks, and my gratitude, and my affection. You are my best friend, John Doggett, and whatever the future holds know that a part of me will always be with you."

By the time she was done tears were trickling down Scully's face, and she used her free hand to wipe them away as Doggett responded.

"You don't owe me anythin' Dana. A long time ago I promised you that I would find Mulder, and I did. Because all I've ever wanted is for you to be happy, and it's as plain as the nose on my face that Mulder does that for you. If this is what you want, then I'm gonna do whatever I can to make sure it happens. But you remember that if you ever need me for anything, you just pick up the phone and I'm there. Whether it's down the road or on the other side other planet; wherever, whenever."

"I'll keep that in mind."

They both fell silent then, not knowing what there was left to say. At last it was Scully who broke the silence.

"Well, we've got a big day ahead of us so we should probably get some sleep."

"I thought we established that neither of us would be gettin' any sleep tonight?" Doggett countered dryly.

Scully managed a faint chuckle. "I stand corrected," she demurred.

"I meant what I said, Dana. If you ever need anythin', I'm just a phone call away."

"I know."

"Before you go, I'd like to ask you a question, off the record."

"Of course."

He paused. "If things had turned out differently.if Mulder hadn't survived.do you think you and I might have.?"

It was certainly the last thing Scully had expected him to ask, and surprise briefly flickered across her face. I certainly didn't see that coming, she mused silently

She was quiet for so long Doggett quickly regretted the question, and he tendered an apology.

"I'm sorry, Dana. That wasn't a fair question."

"No, it's all right, really. I was just surprised that you voiced it aloud. But since you asked, if things had turned out differently then I think I could have loved you very much."

Now it was Doggett's turn to smile. Better than a loaf of bread for a man starvin' to death, he thought to himself. "I'm glad to hear you say so."

Scully returned his smile, and they shared the moment in silence before she spoke again. "Well I really should get going," she said. "Long day ahead of us tomorrow and all that."

"Right. G'night, Dana."

"Good night, John."

Scully started for the door, then suddenly turned around and crossed over to envelop Doggett in a warm hug.

"You take care of yourself, Agent Doggett."

"You do the same, Agent Scully."

She placed a light kiss on his cheek before wordlessly stepping out of their embrace and walking out of his house and out of his life.