Dropping the Bombshell
Disclaimer: DOC does not belong to me. The show is created by the Johnson brothers.
Spoilers: Happy Trails, Till We Meet Again
Summary: Missing Scene where Nancy tells her father she's going to Indonesia to work there.
Challenge: i2eye's 2nd Anniversary Missing Scene Challenge; DOC #6; tie for Favorite Overall Missing Scene.
A/N: Timing may be a little off, but I didn't have time to go back and check the episodes. Thanks to Tracy (tis*me!) for catching the spelling and grammar mistakes! Since I'd basically just been looking at my notes and not the screen, and it was a little late at night, I didn't even look it over again myself, so there were relatively many mistakes to catch. ;) Thanks again, Tracy! :) Hope you'll enjoy!
Finished: 31st of October, 2009
"Dad?" Nancy asked as she opened the door to her father's apartment. She'd swung by his hardware store first, but the store had been closed and locked up. Considering the time, this hadn't really surprised her, but her father had been known to stay at the store after closing hours, tinkering on something or another in the small workshop behind the store. Not today though.
The moment she turned back around from closing the door, her father appeared from the kitchen. Immediately he came over and gave her a tight hug.
"Hey Nancy," he said, his voice communicating the joy he felt at seeing her again. He had recovered from the shock that his only child had been presumed dead for a short time, but it had certainly made him realise once again how fragile life was. He wasn't quite ready to let go of his only child just yet. "What brings you here? Want to join me for dinner? I've got plenty," he continued immediately after asking the first question.
"Yes please, I haven't had anything to eat yet tonight."
"Ok, you set yourself another plate, and I'll go get dinner," Paul said, disappearing towards the kitchen again. During dinner they discussed all kinds of topics, but finally as they were drinking coffee, Nancy got up the courage to discuss the topic she'd come to talk about.
"Hey Dad? You know how I've been wanting some change in my life for a while now?"
Paul nodded, taking a sip of coffee, waiting for his daughter to continue. Nancy took a deep breath. "Well, I've decided to go work for Compassion International… in Indonesia," she added, knowing it was quite a bombshell she was dropping.
Paul's eyebrows shot up. "Indonesia?!"
"But… why? Why there? You could work for Compassion International from here too, right?" Paul spluttered.
"Myra and Kevin work in Indonesia, and they said they could use some help. I contacted Compassion International, and they confirmed that they really are shorthanded out there. I've been considering it for the past few days, and prayed about it, and… well, finally made my decision. I'm going."
"Are you sure this isn't a bit of a hasty decision?"
"Maybe it is," Nancy shrugged. "But I feel it is something I need to do."
"Fair enough, I suppose." Paul regarded his daughter steadily, then asked, "Did you realise what you're leaving behind?"
"Dad, I know I have a great job at Westbury, but you know it's not about the money," Nancy started arguing, but Paul interrupted her.
"That's not exactly what I meant." He watched her again for a moment, then asked, "What does Clint say about it?"
For the past few years, few decisions that Nancy had made had been made without at least hearing Clint's opinion on the matter first. Not that Nancy always agreed with Clint, but she'd always sought out his advice or opinion, and taken it into account.
The moment he asked the question, Nancy suddenly found her napkin to be of extreme interest. "He… he's happy for me. Said he understood why I need to do this."
Paul inwardly shook his head. Outwardly he sighed. He could see the suffering his daughter was going through at the mere idea of being apart from the country doctor, and he had no doubt that Clint was experiencing the same kind of emotions. These were two intelligent people, but they were just completely clueless about each others feelings. He needed to make sure his daughter was leaving for the right reasons, so he decided to ask it straight out, "Nancy… you're not running away are you?"
"I'm going because they need my help and I want to help," Nancy fired, but Paul did not back down at his daughter's tone. He'd been the one to bring her up after all, and her temper was something he'd been used to dealing with even before she was born… she had the temper of her mother after all.
"No regrets? About leaving someone in particular?" Paul asked again, holding his daughter's eyes.
"Of course I'll miss you," Nancy said with a small smile. Paul acknowledged it with a smile of his own, but pressed on, his tone a little softer now.
Nancy diverted her eyes again, but this time Paul took her hands in his. "Nancy… what about Clint?"
For a moment, Paul thought she would ignore the question, but then suddenly tormented eyes met his, and he could see the tears threatening to fall.
"Oh Dad, it's just… sometimes I thought we could be… you know, more than friends… but … well, nothing happened, and… he's my best friend, dad, but… I just can't stay. It's tearing me apart." When she finished talking, Nancy looked down, angrily swiping at her eyes. She took a deep breath, then said in a more controlled voice, "I guess it was just not meant to be."
Paul sat there for a moment, unsure of what to do. He understood his daughter's dilemma, and he hated seeing her like this. He wished his daughter and Clint would pull their heads out of the sand with respect to the feelings the other harboured for them. But he also knew it was something the two of them would have to work out for themselves.
"Sweetheart, I think you should have a talk with Clint. He may not be as indifferent or understanding about you leaving as you seem to think."
Nancy shook her head. "It's useless, nothing is going to change. I will still go to Indonesia, and he will go back to Montana, and that's the end of it."
Paul looked up in surprise. "Clint's going back to Montana? When did that happen?"
Nancy shrugged. "Doc Johanson is retiring. Clint hasn't actually said he's going, but Sarah came all the way over from Montana to ask him if he wanted to partner up with her and take over from Doc Johanson…" She strove to keep her tone neutral, but something must have escaped, because some puzzle pieces fell into place for Paul.
"Ah… and what makes you so sure he'll go back to Montana?"
"Well, isn't it obvious. I mean, he's always thought of himself moving back to Montana to take over from Doc Johanson at some point, and with Sarah there…" she trailed off, not willing to dwell on the possibility of Sarah and Clint being more than just friends. Paul knew to fill in the blanks though. For a moment he wondered if he'd been wrong about Clint's feelings for his daughter, but then he shook his head. He may not be the best example, what with his and Elaine's divorce, but he'd seen his daughter and Clint interact together, and there was no doubt in his mind they belonged together. And he didn't think he was seeing things because he wanted his daughter happy and settling down with a good guy.
"Nancy, before you jump to conclusions, make sure you have all the facts. Have another talk with Clint. If after that, you still think moving to Indonesia and working there is the right decision… well… then I guess I'll be missing you like crazy," Paul said, ending with a sad tone to his voice. He was just beginning to realise just what her absence would mean to him… after the recent scare, moving to another side of the world was a real improvement to having been on that particular plane, but still… Well, he'd just have to learn and live with it. At least he knew these friends of Nancy, knew they'd look out for his daughter. It would take some getting used to, but he would. He knew he'd been privileged to have his daughter living so close by for so many years.
The rest of the conversation was about the details of Nancy's job for Compassion, and about the length of her stay, etc. When they said goodbye, Paul drew his daughter in for another fierce hug. As he felt his daughter's arms tighten around him, he whispered, "I love you Nancy, don't you forget."
"I love you too, Dad. Thank you so much… for everything."
They released each other and smiled. Whatever would happen, whatever the outcome would be, they would have each other, and even though the miles could separate them, they would be there for each other in prayer.
Several extremely busy days later, Nancy was all packed for Indonesia. She couldn't bring much anyway, and she had brought the more personal things to her father for storage, and left the furniture to be rented along with the apartment. Tonight father and daughter would be sharing another meal together, the last one in a long time to come. Paul was just setting the table, reflecting once again on the fact that his daughter was really moving to the other side of the world. Paul didn't know if Nancy had talked to Clint again on a personal level, but it seemed too late now. Nancy would be leaving tomorrow, and that was that.
The doorbell rang, and Paul went to open it just as it was opened from outside. The surprise that showed on his face was nothing compared to what he felt inside. There before his very eyes stood both Nancy and Clint, and both were looking happier than Paul had seen them in a while. Gone was the tormented look he'd seen in Nancy's eyes over the past days.
"Nancy, Clint, what a surprise. I didn't expect to see you too, Clint," Paul said, stepping forward to greet the two people he cared most about in this world.
"Yeah… hadn't quite counted on it myself this morning either," Clint admitted, sharing a look with Nancy who grinned widely.
Paul shook his head. "I feel a story coming up. Sit down, get yourself a plate, I'll fetch dinner, and then you two are going to tell me what exactly is going on."
Laughing, Clint and Nancy followed orders, all too happy to oblige.