© 2008 ~Lipsum
Spoilers: "Existence" and "Nothing Important Happened Today". It's set before 4D, but even so it has a little spoiler of it.
Rated: R for language.
Category: DRR, MSR, Angst, Reyes POV. And an unwilling DSR. T_T
Date: January 2008 / Translated in June 2010.
There were papers scattered all around, her coffee mug had been emptied about twenty times and it wasn't even 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Her temple seemed like it would pop out of her forehead. She'd kill for a cigarette on that moment.
Monica Reyes let out a tired sigh and rested her head on her hands, her elbows on the desk. It had been one week since any interesting case had fell in her hands and her partner's, Doggett, and the boredom and the cold did nothing for them. Mulder was gone, and as much as Scully didn't want to admit, his departure had left her completely devastated. Reyes had tried to make her talk about it, because from her perspective, there was nothing worse than keeping your fears to yourself. But Scully was irreducible in her silence, even though Reyes felt that ever since William's birth the other woman had opened up a little to that new found friendship.
Monica knew, however, that Scully did trust no one. Not enough to talk about Mulder anyway. After all, she had learned from the best.
The silence in the x-files basement was overwhelming, being only violated by the constant tapping of Doggett's pen on his desk, which once belonged to Fox Mulder. He too seemed lost in thought, even facing the report in front of him. His forehead was wrinkled, and Reyes knew that her partner wasn't giving a damn about the paper laid on his desk. Something deep inside Reyes' mind warned her that Doggett's thoughts, just like hers, concerned Mulder.
His departure had not only affected Scully - it had affected all of them. Doggett, more than ever, was focused on work and he had been very cranky lately. Reyes knew why. He still felt responsible for Mulder. He felt responsible for Scully's safety and her baby's. Doggett assumed that, with Mulder away, everything was his responsibility. And that left him dead tense.
Of course, the x-files in itself did nothing to cheer him up. There was not a day that passed without an argument between the two of them, was it about an already closed case, or an unsolved one - or even one that wasn't even considered an x-file yet.
Reyes shook her head, disapprovingly.
God, was she dying for a cigarette now...
"I wonder how many times Mulder must've done this very same thing you're doing right now" she gave a soft, but tired, smile. That. Small talk. Maybe it could distract her from that almost hungry desire on her.
Doggett raised his eyes from the file he was reading and faced his partner, confusion written on his face.
"I mean" Reyes kept going, finally raising her head to him. "We're 'fresh meat' here on the x-files, John. Imagine all the things that Mulder and Scully have been through on this basement before us..."
Doggett gave a faint smile that Reyes recognised as grief. She hated that smile on him, but he tried to disguise it on a mild comment: "Someone ought to do the dirty work..." he said, hoarse, on a miserable attempt to sound funny.
"John..." Reyes bit her tongue. Did she want to talk in order to forget the cigarettes? Great, thought her, but she ought to choose more carefully the subject next time.
He turned his eyes to the report he was reading. "Yeah, sometimes I think about that too. And from what I read on the x-files, it ain't little".
Reyes smiled, and she signaled the ceiling over Doggett's head, where dozen of pencils were hanging.
"Do you think this is another x-file?" with this comment, she was able to steal a grin from Doggett, which left her pleased with herself.
The silence hanged for one long minute, and Doggett shifted uncomfortably on his chair.
"I'm not surpried that Scully wanted to get away" Reyes took her coffee mug and looked at it. Empty. Shit. "I mean, without Mulder" she'd still gaze at the mug, sadly. What had been replacing her cigarettes was coffee. Loads of coffee.
Replace one vice to another. Brillant, Monica. Just brilliant.
Doggett raised his eyes from the file, attentive: "Last year she stayed."
"It was different" Reyes sighed, letting go of the mug. She stood up and walked towards her partner's desk. "She wanted to find him."
"But now he's gone for free will" Doggett finally seemed to realise that, and sighed. Reyes could see, printed on her partner's drooped eyelids, all the load he decided it was his mission to carry. Scully. William. The x-files. And all the problems that'd came along.
Shit, thought Reyes, it's not his responsibility only.
"Seven years working with the same person" she was impressed with her own conclusion. "It makes sense."
Doggett let go of the paperwork on his desk and stared deeply at Reyes. One of those looks. Deep. Honest. Completely aimed at her. Reyes could get lost on that world of blue of his eyes. Those looks meant more than anything he had ever said to her. Those rare looks.
He finally lowered his gaze, and Reyes blinked, taken by surprise with the sudden loss of eye contact.
Oh, Jesus. Now she'd kill for a cigarette.
Doggett's deep voice called her back to reality, and Reyes felt trapped by those blue eyes. How did he know? Was she so obvious? Reyes forced a smile and turned on her heels, walking over to her desk, but still feeling her partner's eyes drilling a hole on her back.
"You spend the whole day twisting your hands, Monica" said Doggett, answering her unasked question. "You've already drank more coffee than the coffee machine can make all day long, and you just can't stop biting your lips" she turned to him, defeated. Doggett shrugged, and finished: "Abstinence crisis."
Even though she had been caught in her private crisis, she felt good. He noticed. The tension on her hands. Her nervous lips. Jesus.
Reyes looked up to the ceiling, lost in thought. Of course, Scully shutting off, Doggett wanting to save the world and Brad Follmer watching her like a vulture weren't helping at all with her decision in quit smoking. Oh, of course. There was also Kersh. How could she forget?
Damn it, she fucking deserved a cigarette! And talking hadn't worked. And he had already noticed her situation.
Reyes let out a moan, and turned to Doggett. He was still watching her.
"You don't know how it's like" it was all she had to defend her honour, lamely. But, damn it, she was right! John Doggett did not know how it was trying to quit, and with nothing less than the world falling on her head.
"You're right" he nodded. "I never had any problems in quitting"
Reyes considered those words for a moment. What exactly did he mean by that?
"Very well" she shrugged, bending over her desk to get her purse. "Let's get over with this, then."
The woman walked towards the door, but Doggett jumped up from his chair and stumbled hurriedly towards her, blocking her way. He held her by the arm, demanding all her attention: "Hey, what do you think you're doing?"
"Going to buy a pack of Morley's" and, before Doggett's disapproving gaze, she added with a smile far from innocent: "Light. Light Morley's."
"Very funny" he was holding his ground, and pulled her back into the office. "Agent Reyes, you're not going leaving this office without me."
"Ok" it was Reyes' turn to hold him by the arm and pull him, but this time out of the office.
"Hey!" Doggett stumbled, but he didn't resist her pull. "What the hell...?"
"You're coming with me, then" said Reyes defiantly, as she walked firmly to the elevator.
"But the reports..."
"Screw the reports, Agent Doggett. I want my cigarettes."
C I G A R E T T E S
They were in the middle of the street, the sky above their heads grey and threatening. A strong wind smelling of car smoke made their overcoats ripple, and Reyes would shrink as much as she could because of the cold. Doggett, by her side, would do the same. His car was parked just across the street. They were on their way to Reyes' temporary place, since Doggett insisted on going with her, but the woman hadn't give up on her cigarettes.
For two times Reyes asked him to stop the car. For two times Doggett had said that he wasn't about to let her smoke.
"This is really none of your business, John" stated her, pissed off already, after they passed the second store with a big sign that read "MORLEYS". "I deserve a cigarette."
"You deserve a blow on the head, actually" replied him, never facing her. "Why now, Monica?"
"Because I'm not made of stone, damn it!" she spoke with a serious tone. More serious than she meant. And more honest, too. "I'm tired. And I fricking need a cigarette." And, with Doggett's worried gaze, she added: "John, I'm not you! I can't face all that and stay cool, I don't work like that!... Everything is happening so fast to me; the x-files, our partnership, Dana's baby, super fucking soldiers!... God, John, I don't even have a place of my own in DC yet!"
Doggett's expression became stern, and he averted her gaze. Reyes bit her tongue. Shit, what had she said?
What she shouldn't, replied a little voice on her head. Lose her temper like that was the last thing she should do. Damned vice that left her so out of control!
Doggett was looking back at the street before him, and Reyes fell silent.
Suddenly, he stopped the car, making Reyes be pushed forward and then get back to her initial position, startled. He signaled the other side of the street. "You're going to get your cigarettes or what?" he wouldn't look at her.
Without saying a word, she climbed out of the car, and was mildly surprised to see him doing the same.
"C'me on" he said and grabbed lightly her elbow, crossing the street rapidly as if she wasn't able to do it by herself without the risk of being knocked down by a car.
The sky was grey and there were puddles on the sidewalk, which they had to deviate in an awkward dance until the convenience store. They got in, Doggett holding the door open to Reyes.
"A pack of Morley's, please" asked Reyes to the man behind the counter, and under Doggett's look, she added: "Light Morley's."
She paid and they got out quickly.
With the oncoming night it was getting even colder, but that didn't stop Reyes from coming to a halt under a huge tree and taking her lighter from her overcoat pocket. Under the questioning look of her partner, she smiled guiltily:
"I always have it with me."
He mumbled, as she lighted her cigarette with a trembling hand.
She took a long drag after a sigh of relief, feeling the smoke fill in her respiratory system. After a few seconds holding back the sensation, she let the smoke out through her nose and mouth.
For a split second, she closed her eyes, not wanting to imagine Doggett's gaze on her. She felt guilty for smoking, yes, and his presence there only made her feel even worse. But, god, did she need to vent her tension on her cigarettes.
She took another drag, still with closed eyes, feeling the cold wind blow on her face and her partner's warm body on her left side.
When she accepted this partnership with Doggett on the x-files Reyes knew of what she was giving up. She knew that when she agreed with that, any illusions of a relationship with him that one day crossed her mind were ruined. But she accepted even then. For him. For the x-files. For this passion he nurtured regarding that job and Dana Scully.
But Doggett was asking too much of her if he thought she could go through all of this without a drag.
She positioned the cigarette on her mouth again, ready to take another drag, opening her eyes. But before Reyes could inhale the smoke, she felt Doggett's warm fingers wrap around hers on the cigarette, and he took it from her mouth.
"But what are..." she turned to him, surprised, expecting to see him throw the cigarette to the ground, but reality was far from this: with an indifferent gaze, John Doggett took a drag from her cigarette. A big one. And coughed.
Reyes was open mouthed. "John?" was the only thing that came to her mind.
"I said that I have no problems in quitting" replied him. "I'm just out of practice."
She felt her eyes widen, and faced him for a few seconds. He took another drag and this time he didn't cough.
"I had no idea, John" murmured Reyes, honestly surprised. He handed her the cigarette and she accepted it, taking another drag herself.
"The last time was before Luke's birth".
She felt her stomach lurch, and couldn't avoid the apprehensive look in his direction. That tension she got used to see on his face was back: his jaw stiffened, eyebrows pulled together and a deep line of concern was drawn on his forehead. The Luke subject was never a good sign.
"I..." she looked for words to apologise. For the cigarette. For Luke.
Doggett, however, shook his head, making Reyes shut up. She took a nervous drag from her cigarette. Thank god she had it with her.
"No need for words" he replied, smiling a sad smile, making Reyes feel her heart ache for him. She really wanted to hug him in that moment. Comfort him, say that everything would be alright. Even though they were words that could be proven as lies. "It's making a hell of a cold day, and you're right. It's too much for such a short time. I'm sorry."
Reyes raised an eyebrow.
"Sorry for what?"
"For getting you involved in this. For making your life such a mess" he shrugged and smiled apologetically, showing how regretful he felt. A cold wind blew, making their overcoats dance in the air.
She couldn't help but smile. She took another drag.
"John, John, John..." she shook her head, disapproving his behaviour like a understanding mother. "That was the most non-sense apology you've ever asked me. And have in mind that you have a long list of non-sense apologies!" said her playfully, getting from Doggett a soft grin.
But she grew serious. "There's nothing to be sorry about, John. I love what we're doing here. More than you can imagine. More than you can believe. I'm proud of what we're doing, John, and you, above all others, should know that by now."
Reyes raised the cigarette to her mouth once again, but it was interrupted by Doggett's hand as he took it from her once again and took a drag himself.
"Do you think he'll be back any time soon?" He didn't need to mention Mulder's name.
Reyes half-grinned. "I'm afraid that's a question I can't answer" she shrugged. "But I know one thing: take the time it takes, Dana will wait for Mulder."
Doggett let out a deep sigh. "I hope he comes back" and, looking right into his partner's eyes, added: "Agent Scully deserves him back".
Reyes suppressed a sigh of relief and averted Doggett's gaze, facing the car on the other side of the street. "Dana deserves the man she loves back."
He took a drag once again.
"Do you think we'll last that long on the x-files?" his tone was lighter, and even though she wasn't facing him, Reyes could see his smile.
"I hope not" joked her, feeling his blue gaze turn to her. She also turned to him. "I mean... God, seven years? It's far too long to wait..." Reyes gave a broad smile. She wasn't talking about work. And he clearly noticed that on her eyes.
Doggett, however, averted her gaze, letting her joke go to waste.
Her smile faded, but she wasn't exactly surprised with his reaction. Reyes moved to get her cigarette back, but Doggett was faster: he threw it on the ground and smiled at her. Reyes let out a moan.
"No more cigarettes" he looked at her. "Right?"
She just sighed, resigned.
Slowly, they walked towards the car, parked across the street.
"So, do you want help to choose a place in DC, Monica?"
"Nah, it's fine, but I'd love some help when moving in" she smiled at him, as she opened the car door and Doggett did the same on the driver's side.
"With lunch included?" he raised his eyebrows, playful.
"I know a welcome lunch that's gonna make you an eager costumer on M Street."
Don't make me beg... R&R PLEASE!
…NOTE: M Street is the same street that Mulder bought his I WANT TO BELIEVE POSTER in early 1990's. I wonder what else is there to see…