TITLE: Linger
AUTHOR: coolbyrne
RATING: PG
CLASSIFICATION: DSR, Scully POV
DISTRIBUTION: Feel free.
DISCLAIMER: Puh-leeze.
SPOILERS: None.
SUMMARY: Scully sees things through Doggett's eyes.
FEEDBACK: Feed my ego at fugitive@ihateclowns.com . Flames are gleefully mocked
in other forums.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is an odd little fic. The memories John experiences in this one
are actually lifted from that long angsty Doggett piece I've been trying to finish for
almost a year. Since I suspect it may never see the light of day, I thought I'd make use of
some of it anyway. (Hey, if I can't plagiarize myself, whom CAN I plagiarize?) The
other thing that's a bit odd about this is.. I dunno. I was really gung-ho about it as I
started writing it, but sort of cooled to it as I got near the end. I think I have a hard time
disassociating the way Scully treats Doggett on T.V with the way I'd like to see her treat
him; the way she NEEDS to treat him in order for a DSR to work. Does that make sense?

The idea was originally mentioned on the SHODDS board; the idea of, what if Scully
could find out how Doggett feels about her by actually seeing it from his point of view.
So if I offend anyone from SHODDS who first came up with the idea, all apologies.


Long time I've been thinking of you
Do you think of me too
Long time I've been dreaming of you
Make this dream come true
Long time I've been wondering about this
Can this really exist
I swear I feel a peaceful feeling
In the warmth of your kiss
And when you wrap your arms around me
And when you take me close and say
That you're so happy and so glad you found me
You take my rainy days and make them go away.

-Dancing Lessons/Sinead O'Connor



"Dana, are you ok?"

She heard the voice of her partner, John Doggett, the rolling baritone unmistakable. She
wondered why he was asking, when it was obvious the person she was kneeling beside
needed his concern more; yet when she tried to answer, she discovered she couldn't find
her voice.

Inexplicably, her head snapped to the right and this sudden visual movement made her
feel queasy. Again Scully heard his voice, "Where the hell are those paramedics?!"
except this time she noted how close he sounded. As if he were behind her, beside her,
somehow all around her.

Her line of vision once again returned to the body at her knees and as if a veil had been
lifted from her eyes, the form came into focus.

It was her.

What the hell??

And if she was on the ground, how could she…

It was an odd sensation- an out-of-body experience.. though obviously IN someone else's
body. Whose? And how?

She watched as a masculine hand came into view and pulled a jacket up to her chin. She
may not have known the "how" but in an instant, she knew the "whom."

Doggett.

He had apparently done the best he could to stop the flow of blood that stemmed from
what appeared to be two gunshot wounds in her left shoulder. He had covered her with
his jacket to keep her warm and had let his eyes close briefly.

Her mind raced as she struggled to come up with a course of action. "I can hear myself
think," she thought, "but can he?"

"Doggett!!" she 'shouted.' Nothing.

Again.

Nothing.

She wasn't sure if the sudden jolt of anxiety was from her or from him.

As if in response, he reached out and cradled his hand in hers. It was incredible- she
could literally feel him disassemble the protective barrier around him in order to give his
strength to her. The hand he held so tightly in his own formed a connection, almost a
symbiotic bond that allowed his strength to flow to her.

What was even more astounding than this transfer of energy (for really, she was unaware
of herself as this body on the ground) was the way he had so willingly relinquished this
shield, how he left himself open and vulnerable, without a second thought.

His arm came into view again as his free hand brushed back a stray lock of hair from her
forehead.

"You're gonna be ok. I promise you," he whispered, but his emotions betrayed him.
Like nothing she had ever experienced, she could FEEL it, feel the anxiety squeeze
around his heart. He tried to ignore it, push it aside, but without his barriers, the doubts
and fears slipped and seeped through the cracks.

*

"John, you're pushing him too high."

A boy on a swing.

Masculine arms come into view.

Another push.

"Is it too high, Luke?"

"No, Daddy. Higher!"

"See, Liz? He's ok. I won't let anything happen."

*

A male body on a stretcher.

"We need to get this man to a medic!" someone above him yells.

A forearm caked with the dust of foreign soil and destruction is brought up to shield his
eyes, wet with tears of pain and loss.

The voice above him now leans closer. "You're gonna be ok, Sergeant Doggett. You're
lucky to be alive."

*

Lucky.

*

Small fists pounding on a broad chest.

"How could you let this happen? You're his father! How could you??"

Accusations left unanswered.

*

Scully knew about loss, wasn't a stranger to pain, but this.. this was something different.
An empathic view of this man's deepest wounds.

Seeing his partner, his friend, like this, her life bleeding from her reminded him of other
times he failed those who counted on him the most. He had let someone else down.

"Don't do this to yourself, John," she silently commanded. "You're better than this."

"Jesus Christ, John, get it together," she heard him sternly whisper to himself. His hand
came up to run through his hair, before returning to its place on her forehead.

*

"John, take your sister down to the lake with you."

"But Ma, it's just me 'n' the guys."

A drunken yell from a far-off room.

"Do what your Mamma tells you to, boy. Don't make me come out there!"

A shiver of fear in a boy's body.

"C'mon, Freckles, let's go."

A 5-yr old's hand placed in outstretched fingers of her older brother.

*

Fear disguises itself in many forms; from the clenched fist of an 8-year old's father to the
unconscious from of a 41-year old's wounded partner.

*

She had worked with this man for over a year, but never really took the time to get to
know him. She had pegged him as a flatfoot cop with no imagination who was in way
over his head, and she fought hard not to give it a second thought. Now she was getting a
second chance like she'd never imagined. She had to laugh- she'd always thought it
would be HER life that would flash before her eyes when the time came. Instead, it was
bits of his as he tried to divert his mind from old wounds and present fears.

"This negative shit is not helping her," he chastised himself.

*

A sun, almost white in its intensity.

Bare feet on well-worn 2x4s.

The exhilaration of innocence.

The breathlessness of youth.

That moment of overcoming a fear and releasing a wild, "Whooooo!"

Feet leaving the solid and kicking in the air before slicing through cool water.

*

Scully found this memory tucked away in a corner of his heart and found comfort in it.
She understood why his subconscious took out this memory to look at again. He felt
comfort in it, too. The warmth of it soothed him like a healing salve and made him smile.

Joy comes in many forms, too; from the perfect endless day in the summer of an 8-year
old to the reassuring noises of a wounded partner.

Her eyes hadn't opened, but she had given a quiet, "Mmmm," at the comfort of his
memory.

Through his eyes she saw the back of his left hand stroke her face and felt another wave
of relief wash over him.

"Hey," his voice surrounded her. "You're gonna be ok. The paramedics are on their
way."

She squeezed his right hand in understanding.

*

Scully in her blue suit.

The top three buttons of a white blouse opened.

Endless hours on a stakeout.

A joke badly told that got an unexpected laugh.

A laugh that rolled into a surprising fit of giggles.

The string of tension, stretched taut over the months, finally broken and reduced to a
chain of hiccups.

The warmth of a shared moment.

*

She was almost embarrassed to find he saw her this way- beautiful, laughing, full of life-
because those would not be the first words she would use to describe herself.

She wondered what kind of image he would find of himself, if he could see through her
eyes. She knew she had fought against it from Day One- fought against liking him for
reasons she could no longer recall; fought against forming memories of him that could
keep her company when she woke up in the middle of the night, alone and afraid. It was
a hard-fought battle not always won.

And yet, even if she admitted this guilty pleasure, there was such a reverence in which he
held her image, the care he took with it, the way that he…

Oh my God.

He's in love with me.

He's in love. With me.

She felt it all around her, and in that moment, she knew.

And maybe the only thing that surprised her more was her discovery that it didn't
frighten her. She wasn't afraid.

It surrounded her, but didn't cling. It embraced her without suffocating her. It took care
of her without demanding anything in return.

The paramedics chose this moment to show up. As they knelt beside her, Doggett let go,
thinking he was doing what was best for her, letting those better qualified take over.

Scully reached out a hand and moaned, "No." 'More,' she thought, 'I want to know
more.'

She could already sense his psyche soaking up the strength he had relinquished to her,
and she wanted to sneak in behind the walls he was rebuilding in the presence of
strangers. But it was too late. He returned his hand to hers but the connection had been
broken.

"Sir, you're going to have to move."

"I'm not goin' anywhere. You're gonna have to work around me, I'm sorry."

She could well imagine the stare-down. 'The poor paramedic doesn't stand a chance,'
she thought.

"I've never seen someone who's been shot smile before," Doggett remarked, his mouth
close to her ear.

Eyelids fluttered open on the prone body, and for the first time since this all began, she
saw him.

Cherished memories had become few and far between these last few years, but she would
hold on to this one- this man leaning over her, his disarming smile betrayed by the tears
brimming in steel blue eyes, this tower of strength who winced as he watched the
paramedic insert the IV into her arm. She vowed she would keep this memory close to
her heart, and from this moment on would form new ones every day of this man. This
man who loved her. Tears welled in her eyes and spilled out, leaving damp trails down
her temples and into her hair.

Doggett wiped away her tears with a gentle hand and in a soothing tone said, "Sshhh. It's
ok. You're ok." She answered him with a small smile and encouraged, he added,
"You're ok. And I'm here. That's all that matters. And just think," he stroked her cheek
with the back of his hand, "in a coupla days, all this will be a memory."

She heard the paramedics do a three-count to get her on the stretcher and felt the soft
bounce as they hoisted her into the ambulance. Though the medication was kicking in
and the strength was leaving her, she could still feel Doggett firmly holding her hand in
his.

"I won't forget," she whispered. "I won't forget."


-end.