TITLE: Gone
AUTHOR: Donna Hartnett
EMAIL: IDanaKScullyI@aol.com
RATING: PG
SUMMARY: Post "The Truth" Doggett POV
KEYWORD: DSR
ARCHIVE: I'd be thrilled if anyone wanted it. Thrilled and confused, but thrilled, nonetheless.
SPOILERS: The Truth
AUTHOR'S NOTES: My first try at a DSR kinda thang.
DISCLAIMER: (This is the thing my therapist and I work on three times
a week. ::Sigh::)I don't own the X-Files, the surfer dude from hell
(Chris Carter), Fox, 1013, and probably a million other people have a
stake in the X-Files, but not me ::sob::.

"And the good news is I'm better for the time we spent together, and the bad news is,
you're gone."--- Diamond Rio


Gone

"Gone," thought John Doggett as he drove across the flat land of Illinois. "She's gone, and I won't be seeing those blue eyes look at me over a file, or hear that exasperated sigh she used when she was losing patience with me...never again." He had a painful lump in his throat and his eyes burned with unshed tears. He hadn't felt such pain since the loss of his son and the slow demise of his marriage. "Why does it seem I was never meant to be happy," he wondered to himself petulantly.

He wished Monica Reyes had left him to wallow in pity alone. He'd rented this car to drive back to DC to clear his head. His boss, Walter Skinner, had told him not to worry, he'd okay a few days off for him. Skinner seemed to understand his reluctance to get back to DC.

When Monica had resolutely refused to leave John alone, John could have gladly strangled her. Skinner seemed to agree that he needed some company, because he also volunteered to see she had a few days off as well.

For two days Doggett had managed to keep his more profound feelings hidden while in Monica's company. For two nights, he'd retired to his hotel room and released everything he'd been holding back into too-thin hotel pillows until the wee hours of the morning. Still, he knew he had barely tapped the endless wellspring of his grief. After two or three hours sleep, he'd drag himself groggily from the lumpy hotel mattress and wake Monica so they could get going for the day.

"I knew she'd always be Mulder's but I never expected her to be GONE!" He was having more and more trouble putting up a stoic front in this damned rental car. It was early, but he started looking for a place to stop for the night. He muttered something about getting tired of driving to Monica to explain his sudden need for solitude.

"The problem with rural Illinois," he mused, "is too many corn fields, and not enough civilization." At exit number 44 on interstate 55, he saw the blessed light of a Super 8 Motel, and he gladly pulled off the highway.

Monica had asked him about dinner, and he pulled into the truck stop across the road to accommodate her. They sat at a dingy booth that looked like it hadn't been properly cleaned in about a year. Not wanting to lay his arms on the table, Doggett sat with his head hanging, hands in his lap.

When a plump middle-aged waitress came, Monica ordered a burger and fries. Doggett had simply muttered, "coffee," without raising his head. Monica sat across from him, looking at the top of his head anxiously.

"I knew he had a thing for Dana Scully but I had no idea he had it THIS bad," Monica thought.

Monica was a very observant person. FBI agents are supposed to be observant, but Monica's ability to read the subtlest clues in a person's body language was nearly preternatural.

She'd picked up on John's feelings for Dana the first time she'd seen the two of them together. What she didn't pick up was the depth of those feelings. She was glad she refused when Doggett demanded she fly back to DC with Skinner. She was seriously worried about her friend.
Monica knew from experience that trying to engage him in conversation would be a waste of time, so she let her mind wander over the events of the last few days.

"What is it about Dana Scully, anyway," she thought not quite grudgingly. Every man close to Dana seemed willing to go to Herculean lengths to protect her. "It's not just men," she thought, "I was drawn to her from the moment I met her too."

It seemed an almost religious fervor that Dana engendered in those closest to her. Monica was so lost in contemplating the enigma that was Dana Scully that the waitress startled her when she arrived at the table with her food.

"I'm sorry, honey," the waitress said quietly, and addressed Doggett. "Is your coffee alright, Sir?"

Doggett didn't answer her. Monica didn't think he even knew she was there. He hadn't touched his coffee. He hadn't moved since they'd sat down at the grungy booth.

"It's fine," Monica said mildly, smiling up at the waitress. "Could I get another Pepsi and some catsup, please?"

"Water," Doggett murmured.

"I'm sorry, honey, what did you say," the waitress asked.

"I SAID, I'd like a glass of water...please," he said coldly.

If the waitress was taken aback, she did a good job of hiding it. She simply took Monica's glass and went to refill it and get the other requested items.

When she returned, Monica thanked her in an extra warm voice to compensate for John's earlier rudeness.

After finishing her meal, Monica had excused herself, (not that he'd notice she was gone) and went to the restroom.

On the way back, the waitress had pulled her aside and, nodding in the general direction of their table, said, "Is he alright?"

"He's okay, just a little girl trouble," Monica replied. She would have told the woman to mind her own business, but it had caught her off guard to have a total stranger ask after her partner's welfare. Besides, Monica still felt badly about the way John had spoken to her earlier. If he were himself, John would never have been so rude, especially to a woman. He was nothing if not a gentleman.

Monica had paid the bill and left the waitress an extra good tip before dragging him out of the restaurant. She guided him to the passenger's side door of the car, and she thought she was going to have to physically push him in the car for a moment. He looked around for a second when she said his name, and then nodded at her and finally sat down in the car. She'd had to shut the door for him.

The funk that had fallen over him when they stopped to eat was seriously scaring her. The hotel was right across the road, but she didn't want him to drive even that short distance in his current state.

She slid behind the wheel and adjusted the seat. Before starting the car, she turned to Doggett. "John," she said softly. He slowly turned his head to look at her, and she thought she saw un-shed tears in his eyes. "Are you okay," she asked, searching his eyes for the truth.

"I'm fine," he said abruptly. "Just drive the damned car, okay?"
Monica started the car and wove it around a few parked trucks out into the road. As soon as she'd gotten the wheel straightened out, she had to turn it the other way to get into the hotel parking lot. She parked in front of the doors and went to get them a couple of rooms while he waited in the car.

While waiting for the woman behind the counter to run her credit card,
Monica looked out the window watching John. He had his elbows resting on his knees and his head in his hands. It tore her heart out to see him like this.

She knew there was nothing she could do but wait for him to open up to her. He would eventually, but the wait was killing her. He was just like this after Luke died, she sighed and turned to take her credit card and receipt from the lady behind the counter.

The hotel was fairly deserted, so it was easy to get rooms beside each
other. Monica was relieved. She didn't want to be too far away from him in case he needed her in the night. He hadn't so far, but you never knew what might happen. She felt a horrible apprehension. She knew the longer he kept himself all bottled up the worse it would be when his grief finally erupted.

She guided John to his room, and got him settled. She walked a few feet
down the hall to her own room and after turning the air conditioning on; she went in the bathroom and started the water running.

Doggett was sitting on the edge of his bed in the same manner he'd been sitting in the car. His elbows dug painfully into the tops of his legs as he rested the full weight of his head on his hands.

After sitting that way for a while, he became vaguely aware of the pain in his legs and a pins and needles sensation in his hands. He stayed that way, hoping the pain in his legs and hands would distract him from the pain in his heart. It didn't work, and when he lost the feeling in his hands, he decided he'd better move.

He curled on his side on top of the nondescript hotel comforter, staring at the wall. He couldn't find the release he'd been granted the last two nights. He felt totally numb, as if he were just an observer in someone else's body.

This wasn't bad, he could get used to this. Numbness was preferable to the heart-wrenching pain and loss he'd been feeling. He was pretty sure he could get used to this numbness thing. "Probably not the most healthy way to deal with this, but fuck it, who needs emotions," he thought darkly.

Monica had finished her shower, dried off and dressed herself. She took
herself down the hall and knocked on Doggett's door. "Are you okay, John," she asked through the door when he didn't answer it. He didn't reply, and she felt a squirm of concern. She knocked again, and said, "John, answer me, please." She felt an enormous relief when she heard him mumble something from behind the closed door. She was pretty sure he said, "Go away," but that was better than nothing.

"Damn you, Monica," he whispered to himself. He'd been enjoying his
comfortable numbness. Monica had brought him back to himself, and the pain returned. Still curled on his side, he grabbed one of the pillows and jammed an end into his mouth. Hot tears flowed down his cheeks as he muffled his sobs into the pillow.

Pictures of Dana were running through his mind at random. She walked
coolly towards him and threw a cup of water in his face.

She was lying in a hospital bed; recovering from the impromptu surgery he'd performed to remove that slug thing from the back of her neck.

She was on her knees screaming, "No ...no. This is not happening!" to the skies as if her will alone could resurrect her dead partner.

She was looking up at him without moving her head from Mulder's
chest as he lay in a hospital bed after his miraculous return to life.

She was standing in front of him, hands on her hips, asking him to suspend his disbelief.

She was getting in the vehicle with Mulder...leaving him.

This last was just too much. He staggered to his feet, picked up the phone, ripped it from the jack, and hurled it across the room with all the force he could muster. It hit the wall with a resounding crash and the cover popped off.

As if hurling the phone across the room had sapped all of his strength, his knees gave out. His back hit the wall next to the bed, and he slid to the floor. He heard a distant pounding, but he was back deep inside himself, seeing her again.

Monica was beyond worried now. She was practically frantic. Thankfully,
she'd had the foresight to ask for two keys to both rooms, and she used the extra key for Doggett's room to let herself in. She knew he'd probably be pissed, but she'd been pounding on the door since approximately a nanosecond after she'd heard the muffled crash come from his room.

What she saw when she entered the room tore her heart to pieces. The
finest man she'd ever known was propped against the wall, his arms wrapped around his knees, crying in gut wrenching agony.
She crossed the room and hunkered down beside him. He reached blindly
for her, clawing at her in desperation. She sat beside him took him in her arms, gently rocking him.

"Gone, Mon...she's gone," he sobbed into her shoulder.

"I know, John. I know," she murmured trying to soothe him.

They stayed that way for a long, long time.


~~~~
Feedback will be given lots of TLC at IDanaKScullyI@aol.com If it's criticism, please
try to keep it constructive. Doggett haters need not apply.