Down With The Ship

I'm not going to stand on the end of the pier

I'm not going to let you go down with the ship

Raise up your anchor, it's time to set sail

And I'm not going to let you down

(Down With The Ship by Enter The Haggis)

"Monica," John greeted his partner as she entered the office. "What's going on?" He fixed her with a questioning stare and slid the file he'd been viewing to the other side of the desk.

He'd found out from another agent that Follmer had called her down to see him before she joined John down in the X files that morning. Something about a promotion had come up and he was afraid of what it might insinuate.

Would she take Follmer up on his offer and leave him alone or to be assigned to a new partner in the X files?

If so, would they still see each other?

His heart was pounding in his chest so frantically at that thought that he was nearly prepared to believe it would burst out of him.

He need not have been so worried.

Monica shrugged casually and came right out with it. "Follmer offered me a promotion; a transfer to the violent crimes unit. I declined." She walked over to her desk and went about her usual routine.

John watched her, eyebrows raised slightly. He held onto the fear of her abandoning him, unwilling to let it go so easily. "That's it?" he asked. "You just refused his offer like that?"

The grin Monica shot him in response was dazzling and sent a warm feeling through him. "Yup," she said simply.

"You don't want to get out of this heap?" he went on, waving his hands around slightly to indicate their office.

Eyes narrowing at that, Monica let the notebook she'd just picked up fall back to her desk and crossed her arms. Her next words held a challenge tone. "You do?"

Gulping and praying inwardly that the technology of time travel would flash into his mind right then and there, he glanced around the room. The "I WANT TO BELIEVE" poster on the wall behind what used to be Mulder's desk – but was now his – grabbed his attention immediately and he stared at it.

"John?" Monica prompted him, warm eyes meeting his when he turned back.

"No," he said, surprising himself at how certain he was. "I don't."

"But you think I do." She voiced his fear quietly, knowingly. Not a trace of the disappointment John was sure he'd receive from her appeared.

Instead, he felt her hand over his own when she joined him at his desk. "John," she nearly whispered. "I would never do that to you. I know what you've been through and what you've lost. I care too much about you to…"

John's heart caught in his chest.

"Well, in any case," Monica added with a small smile, "you're not getting rid of me that easily. You're not alone, John."

Again, their eyes locked; crystal blue on hazel.

John felt a grin pull at the corners of his mouth. "Thanks, Mon. I really…I really needed to hear that." He gently shifted her hand from his and laced their fingers together, squeezing ever so slightly. "If you left the X files, I'd probably quit. My heart wouldn't be in it anymore."

"John," Monica protested. "You wouldn't quit. It's not in you to give up so easily. You're the type of person who puts everything they have into what they're doing. You don't give up."

"Nah," he shook his head. "You're just sayin' that."

"I'm not, John, and I'd have to have a really good reason to quit as well. We're in this together."

They shared a moment of silence.

"Let's both go down with the ship, okay?" Monica finally said, running circles across the back of his hand with her thumb.

John smiled. "Let's."