TITLE: Impossibilium
AUTHOR: coolbyrne
CLASSIFICATION: D/S, Doggett-angst, character death.. kind
of
RATING: PG, some obscenities used
SPOILERS: The aforementioned "Tithonus," as well as
"Within," "Patience," "Road Runners," and "Alone"
DISTRIBUTION: Hey, if you think it's that good, then by all
means take it. But please take it in its entirety.
DISCLAIMER: Are these things really necessary??
FEEDBACK: fugitive@ihateclowns.com Be gentle; my
asbestos suit is in the cleaners.
SUMMARY: Doggett discovers how events in "Tithonus" have
changed Scully's life.

Author's note: A short one- thanks to The Tragically Hip for the
title. The song has nothing to do with the story, but I loved the
title. And a thanks to my beta-readers (Yes, I succumbed to the
power of a beta-reader!)- Janika and Meridy for making the story
better, and Roz, for making my grammar better, eh?





He knew something was wrong even before his partner left the
car. He couldn't put it into words; just that intangible
"something", the electric energy that makes the hair on the back
of your neck stand up in silent warning. Agent John Doggett
liked to credit it to almost 15 years as a cop, though he suspected
his partner might attribute it to something else. (Of course, he
would have deflected her journey into left field with something
along the lines of, "Can I exchange this 'gift' for x-ray vision
instead?")

The aforementioned partner, Agent Dana Scully, reached for the
door handle. His voice stopped her.

"Scully," he said, his baritone a quiet rumble in the confines of
the small car. She turned to the sound and looked into his flinty
blue eyes. A raised eyebrow invited him to continue, but now he
didn't know what to say. He suddenly felt foolish.

"You want that drink after all?" she queried, wondering what was
going on behind those eyes.

He held her gaze, and found it had a soothing effect on him.
Softly, he replied, "Yeah. I could use a Coke." Doggett slid his
hips forward to grab some money out of his pocket.

Scully laughed. "I think I got this one covered." She opened the
door and swung her legs out. Feet touching the ground, she stood
up, turned around and tilted her head back into the car. Taking in
his troubled face she asked, "You ok? You need some Tums,
too?"

He grinned at this and said, "No, I'm ok. But thanks." She
nodded and made a move to pull away when he added, "Be
careful, Scully, ok?"

Her brows furrowed and she tried to give him a reassuring smile.
"I'm just going across the street, John. I'll be right back, I
promise."

He swallowed and nodded his reply.

*****

He was fiddling with the radio dial when he heard the first shot.
The unmistakable noise of a 12-gauge shotgun. He was out of
the car and across the street when he heard, "Federal -", the
second identical shot, and the replying sound of a Smith and
Wesson, standard FBI issue.

Shitshitshitshitshitshit.

He drew his gun and crouched against the short brick wall that
joined the large window halfway up. His heart was a
jackhammer in his chest and the adrenaline coursed through his
bloodstream. Instead of tamping it down, Doggett let it travel its
course, heightening his senses and putting every nerve on alert.

Ok Dawg, here we go, he thought to himself. In a flash, he
jerked his head up to look in the window, and just as quickly,
returned to his position.

Now, what did you see?

He looked at the sidewalk as his memory pieced the picture back
together. Counter on the left-hand side. No clerk. One assumed
perp, on the floor, back against the chocolate bar shelf under the
front of the counter, gun by his side. The 12-gauge. Coke cooler
making up the wall on the right-hand side. Three, maybe four
low aisles running perpendicular to the counter. No sign of
Scully. No sign of anyone else for that matter,
perp or otherwise.

OK. Taking a deep breath, he yelled towards the entrance,
"Federal agent!! I'm armed!!"

He crouched his way into the store, the door propped open with a
couple of milk crates to let the air in. That's probably why the
perp didn't know Scully came in; no entrance bell. He stayed in
this crouched position as he checked each aisle while still trying
to keep an eye on the perp on the floor. It didn't look good for
the gunman, but Doggett knew it was better to err on the side of
over-cautiousness. All was quiet as he cleared each aisle, one by
one. It was the last aisle where he found Scully, gazing up at the
ceiling as a stain of red spread across her chest.

With every ounce of strength, he fought the impulse to run to her.
He turned to the perp and kicked the gun away. Checking the
pulse wasn't necessary, but Doggett did it anyway. Nothing. He
slid around the corner of the counter, gun extended in a firm two-
handed grip, ready for anything. What he found was the clerk,
his face a mess from receiving a blast from the shotgun at short
range. Again, pressing fingers to neck was just a cursory gesture,
but he did it. Nothing.

In a second he realized how it must've played out. Scully had
entered the store, unaware of the perp who probably didn't have
the gun drawn yet. She made her way to the cooler, unknown to
the perp, because the entrance bell didn't go off to alert him. He
drew the gun on the clerk who must've spooked the gunman by
reaching for the alarm or something. The perp shot. Scully
turned, saw what happened, drew her gun and announced herself
as a federal agent, but he had already spun around in surprise and
fired. Somehow, she returned fire. Clerk. Scully. Perp.

But none of that mattered right now. Judging the place to be
clear, Doggett raced towards Scully. He took out his cell phone
and punched in the 911 number. After the fourth ring, an
operator came on.

"911. What is your emergency?"

"My name's John Doggett. I'm an FBI agent," he proceeded to
rattle off his badge number for verification. "I'm at the scene of a
hold up on the corner of Corcoran St. and 13th St. NW. Two are
dead, one's seriously wounded. She's FBI, too. I need an
ambulance right away."

"The corner of Corcoran St. and 13th St. NW," the operator
repeated. "Ok, sir, we'll get someone out there as soon as we
can."

"How soon is that?" Doggett asked.

"Could be up to 45 minutes, sir," came the reply.

"Forty five minutes? I've got an agent down who might not make
it in 45 minutes! You gotta hospital 10 minutes from here!"

"Welcome to America's highest crime rate, sir." With that, the
phone when dead.

Shitshitshitshitshitshit.

He put the offending phone on the floor and ran a hand through
his spiky hair.

Ok. What's the next step, John? Stop the blood. Keep her
warm to prevent shock.

He looked around the store and found what he needed. Grabbing
an armful, he returned to Scully, and proceeded to rip open the
packages of paper towel. He unraveled sheets and sheets of it
and pressed it upon Scully's chest.

"Hey, it's me," he spoke to her, for the first time. "If I had known
it was gonna be so much trouble to get a Coke.." He looked
down and smiled at her.

Her mouth moved but she gave no reply. She moved her gaze
from the ceiling to his face. His smile slipped.

"Don't try to talk," he told her. Her blood seeped through the
paper towel. He rolled off another two arms' length of the stuff
and pressed it to her. "The ambulance is on its way. You're
gonna be fine." He took off his jacket and covered her with it. "I
wonder if I should sit you up. What do you think?"

She gave a small shake of her head.

"Ok," he said.

He felt her reach for his hand and thought she meant to show him
that he should continue pressing the wound in her chest, but
instead she simply held it to her heart, the blood warm under his
palm. The horrible sucking sound that had become her breathing
now came in jerky uneven beats.

Doggett's own breathing increased exponentially. He looked
down at her, his eyes blue and pleading. "Tell me what I should
do. What should I do??"

She simply gave another small shake of her head. He saw her
eyes flutter as she watched her life play out in fast-forward on the
inside of her eyelids.

Then it was quiet.

Doggett's brows furrowed as his mind tried to determine what
had just happened.

"No," his voice full of disbelief. "No. No!"

His free hand flew to her neck, checking for a reassuring
throbbing. Checking for anything. His bloody fingers leaving a
print. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing.

"No!" he repeated, as if saying it enough times would convince
himself every thing was all right. Her small hand was lifeless in
his own large, warm hand. Nothing was all right.

He peeled back his jacket and scoured his mind for his CPR
knowledge.

Two fingers below the breastbone.

Heel of one hand placed here.

Heel of other hand on top.

Short thrusts, 14 times.

Tilt head.

Pinch nose.

Seal her mouth with your own.

Two breaths.

Ear to mouth, eyes to chest, check for breathing.

Repeat.

He didn't know how long he had continued this, repeating over
and over. His arms ached from the controlled thrusts, his lungs
burned from the attempts of his traitorous body to make him
hyperventilate from the despair. He could feel her red fluid seep
its way into his interlocked fingers as he pushed them against her
breastbone. He was stained up to his wrists.

Repeat.

Repeat.

He remembered the first time he saw her.

Repeat.

The splash of cold water on his face that almost made the corner
of his mouth curl up, if he hadn't thought it would have garnered
him yet another Scully lashing.

Repeat.

The first time they had been on a stake-out together. How her
scent filled the car and lingered in the memory banks of his
senses.

Repeat.

How she felt in his arms as he carried her off that bus. The
second time in their brief partnership that he had held her in his
arms. Soft and vulnerable, yet still the strongest woman he had
ever met.

Repeat.

How he felt when she walked out of their office, exiting on a
maternity leave.

Repeat.

How he wondered if he'd ever see her again.

Repeat.

How he'd never get to tell her the punch line of that stupid joke
he started in the car tonight.

Repeat.

How he wondered now if he ever would see her again.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.


Resting back on his heels, he could make out her soft composed
face through the hot tears that were finally beginning to form.
Large fingerprints marked her chin and nose where his hands had
been.

Repeat.

Well, God, you're a real fuckin' funny guy, you know that?
Doggett thought bitterly, as he ran his hands over his sweaty face
and through his hair, oblivious to the ghastly trail of her blood his
fingers were leaving wherever they went. Not knowing. Not
caring.

Repeat.

In the end, it wasn't aliens or bat-men or sewer monsters or
cannibals or werewolves or whatever other weird shit was in the
X-Files that ended up killing her. It was some punk in a
convenience store hold-up. Something so every day. Mundane.
Normal. Yeah, real fuckin' funny.

Repeat.

He looked down at her. "You're meant for so much more than
this, Dana. You can't leave us now, darlin'." He smiled at her.
"And I didn't mean anythin' by that 'darlin'' bit, so don't kick my
ass over it."

There was no reply, and Doggett knew he would give up
everything he had to have her kick his ass once more. He
clenched his fists to his head and gave himself a stern order, "Get
a grip, soldier!" His bottom lip trembled and triggered the tears
that had been dammed behind his eyes. "Fuckin' pull yourself
together. She needs you to pull.. yourself... together." But he
was breaking, and breaking hard. Through the prismatic
distortion of his tears, his world was crumbling around him and
landing in meaningless puddles on the floor. He took her hands
in his and clutched them to his chest as he leaned over and rested
his forehead against hers. The hot tears cleaned streaks along his
cheeks before dropping onto her own.

What if he hadn't asked her to get him that Coke? What if he
hadn't talked to her so much in the car? What if he had talked to
her more? What if HE'D gone into the store instead of her?
What if..? What if..?

"You said you'd be right back. You promised." His sobs were
muffled into her shoulder. With a mixture of grief and anger he
repeated, "You PROMISED." Letting it all go now, his shoulders
racked uncontrollably. There was no sound except for the hitch
in his voice every time he tried to catch his breath. The
treacherous sound of someone alive. Him.

And then it happened.

With his mouth at her neck, his ear was alongside her mouth.
Close enough to hear her gasp. Jerking his head back with a start,
he brought his eyes up to hers and watched them flutter open.

Despite everything he had been through in his life, the things he
saw, experienced as a Marine, a cop, an agent, a man, he had
never gone through this. Human instinct overriding discipline, he
scrambled back wildly, his hands and legs propelling him as far
away, and as quickly, as possible until his sweaty back met the
cool door of the milk fridge. His eyes darted wildly about, like a
cornered animal.

They finally fell on Scully.

"John..," she whispered.

Gathering together as many scraps of sanity as he could, Doggett
crawled over to her. He looked down at her, not believing his
own eyes. She was looking at him, breathing, reaching for his
hand. What the fuck is goin' on here? he wondered to himself.

Her eyes traveled across his face and between attempts to breathe
she asked, "Are you ok? You're bleeding."

He didn't know what she meant until he caught a blurry reflection
of himself in the cooler door. The blood he had inadvertently
wiped over his face and through his hair. His gaze returned to
hers and he squeezed her hand. "I'm ok. It's not my blood." No,
it's not my blood. It's YOUR blood. The blood of a woman who
had stopped breathing 20 minutes ago; who's heart had
stopped beating 20 minutes ago; who was DEAD 20 minutes
ago. But that was then, this is now. Now, you're alive.

He shook his head. "This is just crazy."

"What's crazy?"

Doggett pulled up his jacket to her chin once more. "It's crazy
how long this ambulance is takin', that's all," he quickly covered
up.

As if on cue, the wail of the tardy siren reached their ears.

"Can you... can you..." Scully stammered.

He leaned closer to her mouth. "Can I what, darlin'?"

"Sit me up?" she finished.

"Sure, sure," he said. Sliding his right hand under her body, he
brought her up to a sitting position. Then he moved behind her,
his back against the cooler door, so she could lean back into him.
He pulled the jacket up around her again and wrapped his arms
around her tightly. His mouth was in her hair and he inhaled the
scent of her shampoo, her smell. He didn't know what had just
happened here. Had he misjudged her condition due to his own
shock? Or maybe the CPR worked. Or maybe... It doesn't
matter, John. It doesn't matter.

Scully's laboured voice spoke again. "You called me 'darlin''."

He laughed into her hair. "Yep. You're not gonna kick my ass
over it, are ya?"

Doggett could almost hear the smile in her voice. "No, I won't
kick your ass."

He returned her unseen smile and held her like that until the
attendants found them.


EPILOGUE

3am, same day.

"Hey," she whispered quietly, trying to get his attention, but not
wanting to startle him as he was slouched back contentedly in the
chair by the bed. She repeated the word, a bit more firmly,
"Hey."

He opened his eyes and waited for them to adjust to the darkness
as well as his surroundings. He had almost forgotten where he
was, how his tired body had finally superceded his heart- he had
done nothing but stare at her for hours, fearing that if he looked
away for a second, she'd be gone. Now turning his head, his
gaze found hers. The beepbeepbeep of the heart monitor played
the comforting song of life, HER life, and he smiled. "Hey."

"You know," she began, "I think I've found our next X-File."

Doggett's eyebrows raised and he murmured, "Oh, is that so?"
When she nodded, he added, "And what would that be?"

Scully gave a lopsided smile, the painkillers still working their
magic. "I wanna know how you seem to be able to fall asleep
like a baby in those damn hospital chairs."

He couldn't help but laugh. "Well," he offered, "I've had a lot of
practice."

She looked away and apologized, "Yeah, I'm sorry about that."

Realizing how that sounded, he pulled up the chair closer to the
bed and amended, "That's not what I meant. I'm just glad you're
here. You know that." Doggett's hand reached out from the
semi-darkness and squeezed her arm. "I almost lost…," he
faltered, "you got no idea how…" He tore himself away from her
questioning gaze, her blue eyes seeking to understand the turmoil
in his own. Blinking back the film of moisture that had suddenly
formed over his eyes, he took a breath and tried again. "I read
the files, Scully. I read the Fellig case. But I never thought.. I
still don't know how.."

She slid her arm up and took his hand in hers. "I owe you an
explanation. There's so much you should know."

He shook his head vehemently, "You owe me nothin'. Nothin' at
all. I'm just glad you're here, and that's all that matters."

Scully sought the comfort in his eyes, the fierce blue fires that
blazed from the darkness. Warmed by his compassion and
sincerity, she thought, "Careful, Dana, a girl could get used to
those eyes. Well, those eyesand these drugs!" Her thoughts
elicted a small laugh out of her.

His brows came down in playful confusion. "Now what was that
laugh all about?"

"Oh nothing," she said teasingly, "I was just remembering that
joke you were telling me in the car. You never did get to finish
it."

"I kept forgetting the set-up."

She nodded, "Uh huh. Do you remember it now?"

He looked at her and said, "I do." Pausing to memorize her
features in the dim hue of the room, he finally gave her a patented
Doggett smirk and added, "But I think I'll keep the punch line to
myself. That way, I know you'll stick around."

Scully shook his head in protest and laughed. "Bribed with a
joke. Is that what I'm worth these days?"

Before his inner voice could tell him otherwise, he bent forward
and kissed her on the cheek. "No, you're worth much more than
that." Pause. "Although, it IS a pretty damn good joke."

She gave a sleepy laugh in return and despite her efforts to stay
awake, she drifted off. This time, he had no fear, no doubts, no
trepidation. With his hand still in hers, he leaned back into the
chair and joined her in her sleep.