TITLE: Chosen
AUTHOR: coolbyrne
CATEGORY: Doggett/Other (but not in THAT way! *grin*)
RATING: PG, though there are a few uses of the "F" word.
SPOILERS: Hmm.. nothing specific, I don't think.
DISTRIBUTION: If you like it, by all means, take it. Just let me know.
FEEDBACK: Compliments/constructive criticism always welcome at
fugitive@ihateclowns.com. Flames will be gleefully mocked in other forums.

NOTES: First thing- if you're at all offended by a theological/religious story that
might not fit your belief system, perhaps this is not the story for you. That's not
to say it's a slam against Christianity (on the contrary, I think), but I just want to
make sure I don't inadvertently offend someone. There are religious overtones
in this story. Take that as you will. Secondly, if you're a Chris de Burgh fan, I
apologize. LOL! (You'll understand when you get there.) I've got nothing
against the man myself; the song/reference just fit, that's all. Third, and this is a
really big "third".. There have been so many similarly themed stories that it's
growing increasingly harder and harder to write something like this without
worrying if I'm not "lifting" an idea from a movie or book I've read. I've tried
my best not to stay on the same track as these pop culture resources for too long.
I WILL recommend one source of fiction that got me going in the first place.
Pick up the comic book, "Universe," distributed by Top Cow. (It's only at #4
right now, so you haven't missed much.) Finally, the two quotes Doggett recites
are Psalms 26:17 and Psalms 20:4, respectively.

AUTHOR'S PERSONAL NOTES (Yes, there's MORE!): Just a quick thanks to
all those who inspire me to write. I used to write for me. Now I write for you,
because of your support and your gracious "demands." And to Rihannsu; I just
wanted to let you know there's a little shout-out to you in this story. I'm sure
you'll know what it is when you get there! LOL!


And it will make you cry
And it will make you lie
And if it makes you soft inside
At least you will not die.
-"Skinny" by Filter (from the disc "Title of Record")








"You have been chosen, John Doggett."

He had no idea what that meant. Of course, he had only been six years old when
he first heard it, as they dragged him kicking and screaming to the foot of the
altar. He had seen the makeshift box that had been thrown together with scrap
2x4s, little cracks giving a sinister glimpse to the contents inside. The minister
had pried the lid open, which really was a simple pine board, and summoned the
two large adults to bring John forward.

"No! No!" he had screamed, his voice high with fear and youth.

He had fought with all his might, but was no match for the strength of the two
men who had thrust John's right arm into the open jaws of the box. He had tried
to yank his arm out, but his head had been pressed against the top of the box,
preventing his shoulder from lifting.

"No!!" he repeated, pleading, crying.

From this sideways view, he saw the small group of people who had gathered,
his own parents included. They stood in silence with the rest, some in fear,
others in hopeful anticipation. Minutes passed while they waited. 'What were
they waiting for,' he wondered. 'Why won't they help me?' Though he couldn't
see it, he could feel the cool slickness of the snake as it brushed past and across
his bare arm. The only sound was the gliding 'whisk' of the snake's enormous
thickness as it unwound, and of John as his crying had tapered down to a quiet
sniffle.

And just as suddenly as it had begun, it had ended. The minister's silent nod
signaled for one of the men to lift John away from the box. As one, the group
leaned in for a closer look.

"Nothing! This boy's arm has been untouched!" the minister proudly
announced, much to the delight of the crowd. "He has been chosen!"

"But he bears no mark of the Stigmata," a voice called out.

"Makes no difference," a gruff voice answered, "the boy is pure. Wouldn'ta
pulled his arm outta tha box without a mark if it were otherwise."

John discovered the answering gruff belonged to his father. Bastard. What did
he know about it anyway? He only went to church on Sunday to absolve all the
beatin' and drinkin' he did from Monday to Saturday. What did he know about
casting your fate in with a snake, a box and a prayer?

Of course, sometimes he wondered if bein' bitten by that snake wouldn't have
been a better lot for him in the long run, and in particular, the short run. Once his
"purity" had been assured, the two men had held his arms out and, in the time it
took for the realization to dawn in the mind of a six year old, they had each
taken two odd looking knives and cut open John's palms from the base of the
forefinger to the base of his wrist. Reflexively, John had clenched his fists
together to try and relieve the pain, and two young boys slid small bowls under
his hands to catch the blood while the men continued to hold on to his arms.

Thirty-six years later, he could still make out the traces of the cuts, now faint
from the passage of time. Chosen. Wasn't that just fuckin' lovely? Chosen for
what, that's what he wanted to know.

****

He was sitting outside of a rather quaint looking café. It was a gorgeous day, the
sun cranked on 'high', the flowers in bloom, and even better, so were the young
women. Doggett smiled at another one as she passed by his table and looked on
approvingly.

"May I sit down?" asked a voice over his right shoulder.

He turned toward the sound and was pleasantly surprised to find a raven-haired
beauty looking down at the vacant seat at his table. And yet.. there was
something that made him feel ill, that made him feel uneasy. The smile
remained on his face, but had lost its sincerity.

"I'm sorry, but that seat's taken."

The woman sat down anyway. "Thanks, John."

His brows pushed down and met in the middle. "How do you know my name?
And who are you?"

"Oh," she said smoothly, "I think you know exactly who I am." She saw him
give her the once-over, from head to toe. Her lips parted, showing a flash of
perfect white teeth as she laughed. "Oh, wait, I know. You were expecting..
goat's feet, probably a tail, maybe some horns, certainly something in red. And
male?" His expression hadn't changed. "What can I say? I'm a story made for
men, told by men. You know," she raised her eyebrows, "now that I think of it,
I'm surprised I'm NOT depicted as a woman."

At this, Doggett snorted and looked away. "I'm dreamin'."

"Why do you say that, John?"

His gaze returned to her. "Well, for one thing, I'm sittin' in an Italian café in my
underwear."

She laughed and looked around. "Yes. Italy. Very nice choice. May I ask why?"

He shrugged. "When I was in Lebanon, we had a 5-day leave of absence. A
cargo plane was comin' this way. I thought I'd come over and check out Italy.
It's nice."

"And you took your wife here for your honeymoon."

The waiter arrived and asked if he could bring the lady something to drink.

"I'll have whatever he's having," she said, pointing at Doggett's cup.

"Espresso, buono." the waiter complied.

She made a motion to pay him, but Doggett stopped her. "No, I've got this," he
said.

"Do tell- just where do you keep your money?" she asked, surreptitiously eyeing
his near-nakedness.

"Watch," he said, motioning to his left hand that was placed palm-down on the
table. Shifting his hand back and forth ever so slightly, he finally lifted it to
reveal five coins underneath.

"Ooh, you're very good," she applauded.

"I can make a ball disappear from under a cup, too," he drawled.

"Mmmm," she murmured, "you know, this is all so new to me. Usually I arrive
and they're all 70-year old men with poor vision and wrapped in their precious
cloth. But you, you.. even dismissing the very attractiveness of having you sit
here in your under wear.. those eyes of yours. They're enough to make a demon
forget the point of her visit."

He took another look around his surroundings before asking, "And just what
would that point be?"

The waiter returned and left the cup at her elbow. Bowing slightly and giving
her his best smile, he retreated. She turned to see if he was still looking at their
table, and sure enough, he was. She returned his smile and he replied with a
wink.

"That one," she motioned, "is mine. He has a fiance and two girlfriends on the
side. Poor bugger doesn't even know it yet, but he's mine. I'll have fun with
him."

Doggett gave a disinterested glance into his cup. "Your point, again?"

"Hmm? Oh, right. My point. Listen, John," she began, pulling her chair up
closer. "This is a great time to be.. well, I suppose 'alive' isn't the word I'm
looking for. Let me try it this way- it's a great time to choose your side,
especially if it's MY side."

"Really?" he asked, feigning interest.

"Yes, really, John. Don't kid yourself. The time is near. We're knocking on the
door. The Old Man never learns. I just won another 200 thousand souls in a
game of chess."

"'Well that Spanish train still runs between/Quadalquivir and old Saville.' Yeah,
I know the song."

She puffed out her cheeks in disgust. "Chris de Burgh. That fucker's mine, too,
and I can't wait."

"Chris de Burgh's yours? Wait, I don't want to know. So where do I come in?"

"You, John, you're special. You're a guard at the door. Didn't you know?"

He contemplated this for a moment before replying, "Great. Forty-two years of
bustin' my balls only to find out I'm a glorified doorman."

She laughed and continued, "Don't kid yourself. You're very important. Which
is why I'm here."

"This isn't gonna involve a fiddle, is it? I mean, I know I'm from Georgia and
all, but I can't play a fiddle worth shit." She shook her head in amusement and
he continued, "Why didn't you just use me as the ante in a game poker, or the
payoff for landin' on Free Parkin' in Monopoly or somethin'?"

"Well, first of all, Free Parking has no money value in Monopoly. You don't
know how many will be joining me for THAT little alteration. Cheaters one and
all. Second, He wouldn't wager you in a game of chance. He said if you found
out, you'd kick His ass."

Doggett's eyebrows went up in surprise.

She leaned over and touched his forearm with her hand. "I'm just kidding. A
little theological humour for you. I'm such the Devil! No, you see, there's a little
wrinkle when it comes to you and your place in the grand scheme of things. I
like being able to balance the books at the end of the year, so to speak. I can
generally predict within a few thousand souls how many will be pencilled in the
ledger before the new year. You on the other hand, well, in hindsight it's no real
surprise that you're different." She took a sip of the espresso and gave a murmur
of approval. "I haven't had one of these in millenniums." Placing the cup back
into its saucer, she went on, "If the Old Man was crafty, he WOULD use you as
ante, since I'd have to wait an eternity to get your soul, what with you being
immortal and all."

She waited to see his facial expression change, but nothing happened. Now it
was her turn to raise her eyebrows. "You know??"

Doggett shrugged and watched a young couple stroll by, hand in hand. "I've
seen some weird shit, and I've had some weird shit happen to me. And I'm
sittin' in a café in my underwear, sharin' an espresso with Lucifer… Satan…
whatever. Let's just say nothin' would surprise me at this point."

Her hand gave his forearm another squeeze. "I like you, John Doggett. I can see
why you infuriate Him so. You really don't care one way or the other, do you?"

He turned to look at her. "I didn't say that. I'm just not sure what I'm supposta
care about. I'm supposta believe I'm a guard at the door that's preventin' –
what?- you and your gang of evil merry men from overtakin' Earth? Is that it?
I'm a guard at a door I don't even believe exists? I don't remember signin' up
for the job."

"You didn't. You were chosen."

"Well that's just great. Woulda been nice to have been asked first." He sighed
and gave her a sideways glance. "So what do you want from me? You need me
to turn the key? Unlock the latch? Unhook the chain?"

"Nothing so complicated, my friend. I just need you to look away, to step aside,
very simple."

He nodded. "Uh-huh. O.k. And what do I get out of it?"

"You want to make a deal with the Devil?? That takes some brass ones, John."

"Well, it'd be a long fuckin' time before you got your hands on 'em since I'm
immortal, wouldn't it?"

She laughed and conceded, "Touche." Looking into his eyes, piercing the very
soul she'd have to wait an eternity to get, she offered, "How about this?"

From behind his chair, Doggett felt two feminine hands slide down his
shoulders, to his chest, to his waist, and back up again, raking fingernails up his
ribcage.

"Hello, John," came a familiar voice above him.

He tilted backwards. Even upside-down, that hair, those eyes, those lips were
unmistakable. "Dana."

She slowly walked around to face him, her right hand leaving a gentle caressing
trail along his shoulders. Now in front of him, he saw that she was wearing a
delicate and flimsy negligee, pale green that brought out the colour in her eyes.
Lifting the hem ever so slightly, she slowly raised her left leg and placed herself
on his lap. Her hands curled behind his shoulders and her lips found their way to
his neck. His hands grazed under the hem of the silky fabric and slid up to cup
her ass. The scene around them carried on as usual, as if there was nothing
unusual about the display of wanton desire between the two. She continued her
assault on his neck as he turned his head to look at his table companion.

"You know, I can do this, too. And I wouldn't admit it unless I had this eternal
'Get out of Hell free' card, but it usually looks more like this.." With that, he
closed his eyes briefly and the scene around them changed. Bright light became
a subdued amber glow and surrounding tables and chairs were now familiar
pieces of furniture in his house. Soft music played somewhere in the
background, and Scully was now clad in a man's shirt –his shirt- and nothing
more. "What can I say," he shrugged, "I like it when she wears my shirts."

Time and space shifted around them so seamlessly that his guest marveled,
"You ARE good. You have a control over your mental powers that I rarely see
anymore. We could do wonders you know, you and I."

Doggett's attention returned to the woman on his lap who was paying extra-
special attention to his earlobe. Bringing his hands up to cradle her face he
looked into her eyes before lightly kissing her. "I'll see ya, Dana."

And with that, they were back at the café again, minus Scully.

"You're in love with her, aren't you?"

Doggett looked at her and said, "What does it matter?"

She shrugged and replied, "Oh, I don't know. But I'm starting to think maybe I
should be taking another tack with you."

His steel blue eyes bore into her. "You stay the fuck away from Dana, you
understand me?"

All playfulness aside, she bit out, "Don't forget who you're dealing with, boy.
I'm not someone to be trifled with. Or threatened."

"And I'm the one who's watch at this fuckin' door is eternal, so don't threaten
me. And especially the people I care about."

"'The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.'"

"Proverbs 28:1," he supplied dutifully. "Thanks to the old man for beatin' the
Bible into me." He covered his face with his hands and let out a long exhalation
of breath. "'The troubles of my heart have multiplied, free me from my
anguish.'"

A moment of silence descended between them until she spoke up again. "Take a
look around you, John. What is the point of protecting all these people? What
have they ever done for you? What has He ever done for you? John," she leaned
forward again for emphasis, "He only takes things away from you. I can give
them to you. This Dana, for instance. Wouldn't you rather hold her in your arms,
flesh and blood, instead of settling for a fantasy? Or how about one better? I can
give something BACK to you. How about your son? Don't you miss holding
him and.."

"ENOUGH!" he barked, getting the attention of several passersby. Lowering his
voice, he repeated, "That's enough. Don't think I haven't created that little
fantasy in my head, either. But it's not going to work. What's done is done.
What will happen will happen. There's nothin' I can do about it."

"That's where you're wrong, love. One simple decision can decide your fate in a
heartbeat. Forget about these people. Most of them belong to me anyway! Do
you realize how morally bankrupt the human race is? Why do you think people
like this Dana look at you in awe and wonder? The Noble Doggett. The
Protective Doggett. The Selfless Doggett. Do you know how rare that is these
days? You're a beacon of goodness in a sea of valueless, ethically corrupt frauds
who would sell their souls to me in a New York minute for a slice of whatever
piece of sin they think will fill their empty lives. Too bad for them, they already
belong to me. But you, you're different."

"So this is how I got stuck in a theological tug-of-war with God and Satan."

"No," she answered, "it's gone beyond a tug-of-war. He's so far behind now,
John, that He's not even looking for converts. The best he can hope for now is
that people like you, the ones with the real power, simply stay neutral."

"So I'm caught in a Mexican stand-off between God and Satan. For eternity."
He ran his hand through his hair. "Christ, it's even worse than I thought."

She smirked, "Hehehe, you said 'Christ'."

"Think He'll forgive me?"

"He doesn't have much of a choice, I would think."

"That's a dangerous thing to know."

"Yes, it is. So.. what are you going to do with it?"

He shrugged. "Probably nothin'. This is all a dream, right?"

"What do you think, John?"

"I think..," he sighed, "I think we're up Shit's Creek without a paddle, and I've
volunteered to jump in and push the boat."

"It doesn't have to be that way, you know."

Doggett nodded. A tandem of police cars and fire trucks and ambulances
streamed by.

"My alarm must be going off," he said, and stood up to go.

She reached out and held his arm. "I'll say it again. It doesn't have to be that
way."

He looked down at her and smirked, "Well, maybe if you show up next time in
that pale green negligee, we'll see what happens."

Her eyebrows raised and she returned the smirk, "Oh, I see. You're trying to
tempt me, are you?"

"Tempt the Devil? That'd take brass ones, wouldn't it?"

She chuckled in return. "Yes, it would. But if I thought anyone could do it, it
would be you."

"'May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.'"
And with that, he turned and walked towards the haze of sleepy consciousness,
refusing to look back.

"It's not that easy, you know," she called out. "You can't just walk away. You
have been chosen, John Doggett."




-end