Author: Dana Doggett -
Dates: March 9, 2009
Distribution: Semper Fi, Lost In Your Eyes, Serenity of X, We Shall Not Forget XFMU. All others please ask.
Category: implied Mulder/Scully, Doggett/Scully friendship, missing scene
Timeline: During "I Want To Believe".
Episode References: Parts of "I Want To Believe" are referenced.
Beta: Little Albatross
Summary: Scully struggles with her relationship with Mulder. Doggett is there to offer up his advice.
Author's Note: Doggett should have been in the second X-Files movie, even if for a little while. This here is my way of making that happen.
Disclaimer: "The X-Files" was created by a surfer dude, all names and situations you are familiar with belong to him ('tis unfortunate).
JANUARY 13, 2008 OUR LADY OF SORROWS HOSPITAL RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
The sound of silence rings in John Doggett's ears. He's never heard a hospital as quiet before in his life. If he weren't so tired he would have no clue that it was not too long after midnight. His eyes scan each waiting room he passes, searching for her, for Scully.
Skinner had called him with news that Mulder was helping the FBI with the Monica Bannan case and he had been hurt. Skinner had his hands tied up at the Bureau and though Doggett had been out of the FBI for a couple years, he wanted Doggett to go sit with Scully at the hospital while doctors worked on Mulder.
Upon receiving this call from Skinner, Doggett had gotten out of bed and got dressed as quickly as possible. Once in his car, he did his best not to speed all the way to Richmond. Thinking about Skinner's words, "Mulder's been hurt", made Doggett's heartbeat nearly stop. His heart ached for Scully. Not again. Not after all she's been through to face nearly losing him again.
He stops in his tracks when he sees her sitting alone in the waiting room. Her head is lowered and her hands clasped together as if in prayer.
He runs his hands through his hair, doubting his own presence here tonight. It's been five years since he last had contact with her. Five years since he had tracked them down. Five years since he handed over the crinkled "I Want To Believe" poster to her to give to Mulder.
His eyes fall on her sympathetically. He knows what she's going through all too well. Whether they want it to or not they are connected, emotionally, by facing the loss or the threat of loss of someone they love. It brings them a common understanding based in their common grief.
He cautiously steps forward. Sensing him, she looks up. Her eyes lock with his.
She stands up to greet him. There's no need to force a smile, she's happy to see him here tonight. Without a word she wraps her arms around him, needing to feel the comfort of a friend.
"How is he?" He whispers into her ear.
"He's going to be fine." She smiles up at Doggett. Relief is written all over her face.
Scully slowly backs away from his embrace and tucks a strand of loose hair, which had fallen from her ponytail, behind her ear.
"They say that once the drug he was given wears off he'll be good to go home." She smiles.
"I'm glad to hear it. I came here-"
"Fearing the worst?" She finishes his sentence with an appreciative voice.
Doggett lowers his head and grins. Even after all this time they've been apart she still knows him this well. That his concern is for her well-being, that's all it's ever for.
He looks at her from lowered eyes as she sits back down. Her body language inviting him to sit with her. He sits down in a chair across from her, clasping his hands together. He's unsure what to say. There are so many questions he has, but he knows that here, in the middle of the night, is no place to ask if things have gotten better for her since they last spoke.
She breaks the silence.
"I don't know what's going to happen from here, John."
He notes that she still doesn't wear a ring on either hand. His heart sinks. The last he saw her she had expressed a hope that one day they'd be able to marry.
"He's been forgiven by the FBI. He doesn't have to live in hiding anymore. His heart is still in the work and he should be doing it for as long as he's still passionate about it but "
"But you've moved on and want him to follow?"
Scully nods. "I told him that I don't like what the work does to him." She looks away from Doggett.
"I'm not sure I follow." He narrows his brow, a part of him knows exactly what she means. It's no easy task to hold together a relationship with men whose lives are work in law enforcement.
"It brings darkness into our lives that I have left behind. I don't want that darkness back. Just when I start to believe that it is gone, it comes back to haunt me. The only way to keep it away is to exclude its source and to do that I can't be with him."
She locks eyes with him again. Her expression is perhaps one of regret.
"I love him, John, but if he returns to work at the FBI, I can't be with him."
John takes a deep breath and lets out a heavy sigh. To anyone who knows him well, it's no secret that he continues to harbour feelings for her, it's a character flaw he can't part with. His feelings for her aside, she is asking his advice as a friend, and he will not allow himself to tell her anything that would come from his desire to be with her.
"Dana, you can't change him to be everything that you want him to be. Habits can change, but who you are will not. If he does as you ask and he leaves behind what brings him a sense of accomplishment, a sense of purpose then " Doggett sighs, "then he'll be pretending to be somebody he's not, and you'll both be fooling yourselves to hold onto something that isn't working."
Doggett stands up and moves to sit next to her.
"It was like that with Barb' and I. When we had Luke we made everything fall beautifully into place on the outside. After he was gone it all blew up in our faces. I think even we both were surprised at how much of our happiness was fake and only there, on the outside, for our son. I tried to blame our grief for what happened to us, but it became apparent to me that we had actually drifted apart through our years together."
A tear falls down Scully's face. His words have struck her heart with honesty and perhaps with a realization of her own relationship with Mulder. She turns her head to look at him, her forehead wrinkled in thought.
"Is it possible to still be very much in love with someone and still drift apart?"
"Are you asking me if at the time I still loved my wife?"
She nods her head.
"Yes, I did, and continued to love her for a very long time. In some ways I'll always love her. She was the mother of my son, some of the happiest days of my life were spent with her."
The tear drops from Scully's chin and her gaze falls on the door to the room where Mulder sleeps. The door is not shut, it is open just a crack and she can see him inside.
"I should be in there with him, but I can't bring myself to go in. We've both said things that, if we decide to stick together and work things out, will cause tension between us." She takes a deep breath, "I told him only yesterday that I won't be coming home, John."
Doggett raises his chin and bites his lower lip in surprise. He never thought that Mulder and Scully would ever find themselves at such a vital crossroads in his life. They have conquered so much, fought through so much adversity and somehow managed to make it work, or perhaps that was just the fa ade they managed to pull off to everyone who saw them together, including themselves. Maybe their relationship is as breakable as his was with Barbara.
"I thought I had changed my mind and I thought that I had assured him that I still love him and then," another tear rolls down her face, "then he confirmed the sentiment that we can't be together."
Doggett reaches into his back pocket and hands Scully his handkerchief. She dabs her eyes with it.
"Then to find him hurt and drugged it hurt because I know saving people, hunting evil and bringing that evil to justice is what he wants to be doing. It's who he is and as long as he does this work I'll always be facing that darkness that I thought I'd left behind. I don't know if I can do that. I don't know if my heart has the strength to try."
He reaches out and holds her hand. He speaks softly to her.
"You don't know if you don't try. It's the only way you're going to find out."
Her eyes, now red, look into his. They hold this gentle gaze for a beat.
"If you try and find out that you can't, don't try to fool yourself, get out before both of you get hurt." Doggett speaks honestly to her, speaking from his own experience.
Her face tenses as she tries to fight off more tears. Not only tears of her own confusion, but for Doggett's honesty with her. She knows he came to love her and knows how difficult it must be for him to sit here, playing the role of best friend, wanting nothing more for her to leave all this darkness behind her and to find true happiness in life. It was apparent he felt this way years ago when they were both still with the FBI, and it's even more apparent now. His honour keeps him from doing anything about his feelings for her, and though she appreciates that, there have been times where she would lie awake at night wondering what her life would have been like if he had come out and told her how he feels.
She gives his hand a gentle squeeze and thinks to herself how much she appreciates him being here for her now, a light in the darkness that has re-entered her life. She wads up his handkerchief in her hand and with her other hand lets go of his.
"Promise me you'll be here, John."
"I'll be here however long you need me. I promise."
"Thank you." She leans over and places a kiss on his cheek.
She stands up and faces him.
"I'm sure Mulder will want to see you when he wakes up."
She turns her back to Doggett and puts his handkerchief in her coat pocket. Doggett smiles as he watches her leave the waiting area, heading towards Mulder's room. His smile fades as she turns left down the hall, heading towards the elevator. He stands up.
"Dana, where are you going?" He really wants to ask why she's not going to sit at Mulder's side.
She hits a button on the elevator and turns around, a sad smile on her face.
"I have a patient, a young boy, that I need to tend to." She pauses as the elevator door opens. "That's what I do now, John. I'm a doctor."
She steps inside the elevator.
"I'm sure I'll see you later." The door starts to close on her. "Tell Mulder to listen to his doctor."
The door closes.
Doggett stands there, in the quiet hallway of the hospital, shocked by this. He thought after all he said that she'd go be with Mulder.
He shoves his hands into his jeans pockets and heads back towards Mulder's room. He quietly pushes the door all the way open. He expects to see Mulder asleep in bed, but instead he lies there awake, a somber expression on his face. He looks at Doggett.
"She left, didn't she?"
Doggett nods his head and can't think of anything to say that could possibly ease the heartache he heard in Mulder's voice.
Mulder sits up.
"You don't need to stay, Doggett, I don't plan on being here much longer. I've got a case to check up on."
He stands up and starts changing out of his hospital gown and into clothing that Scully brought to him from home. His body language says that he overheard the conversation that Scully had with Doggett just outside his room.
Doggett shakes his head. He can see clearly the path that Mulder and Scully have chosen to take. He's been on this road before himself. He can see that Mulder has the determination to try to please Scully and to try to make it work all the while finding his way back to the FBI.
For both their sakes Doggett hopes everything works out for the best, but deep in his heart he knows that they're both just going to be fooling themselves.
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