Title: Ten Steps to Wellness
Author: Dana Katherine Scully
Author's Page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/196118/
Category: X-Files
Genre: Romance/Drama, Doggett/Reyes Romance
Spoilers: Daemonicus, Empedocles, 4-D
Written: 04/07/2002
Words: 1588
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I don't own Doggett and Reyes, they belong to Fox, Ten Thirteen etc. No copyright infringement intended.

Summary: Doggett recalls his journey with Reyes to let go of the ghost of his son.

Inspiration: I had to include this because it is rarely ever this way. My English teacher actually suggested writing about the X-Files for a creative writing assignment we were given. The catch was, it HAD to be called Ten Steps to Wellness. So, the title was Debby's (my English teacher) idea, but the plot and everything else was mine. Thanks Debby!


2004

Special Agent John Doggett stood in the middle of a wide field, the rain soaking him to the skin and making him shiver with cold and something else, something more sinister. The sky was full of angry storm clouds, the promise of lightening was in the air, and the dark of midnight was all encompassing. The only light came from a street light in the adjacent cul-de-sac, where Agent Monica Reyes stood looking up at the cloudy sky, her swollen belly illuminated by moonlight.

They didn't speak; couldn't speak. It was all Agent Doggett could do to stand up straight. Memories of the past flew through his brain and flashed behind his closed eyelids; memories of all the steps he'd taken to get to this point.

Memories of his son Luke's body thrown onto the cold hard ground upon which he now stood, and of the vision that he and Monica had experienced of the body as ashes. Memories of his meeting Agent Reyes again in 1998 after 4 years of grieving for his son: of that day that she took him to her apartment and set the whole thing in motion. "John, promise me you'll think about [Luke] tonight. Just tonight, and then if you never do again that's fine." He remembered his assignment to the X-Files in 2001, when he'd loved Agent Scully, and feared for her baby as he had feared for his. He recalled that case of "daemonic possession" when Monica had gently wiped the vomit from his face after an encounter with the mentally ill professor Kobold, and then winced as he recalled the hurt expression on her face when he'd brushed her off. He recalled the feel of her thumb at the corner of his mouth a month later, and then her arms around him after a very bizarre event, when one moment she'd gone to the kitchen to get plates and then he'd walked in and found her crying there, and he remembered thinking a that very moment that only together could they truly get well. Then his memories began to take a far darker turn.

He remembered when he'd been kidnaped, and his death dangled in front of Monica's face as his son's had been dangled in front of his. He'd refused to give in to the humiliating demands his captors had made of him, and was brutally beaten at gunpoint. They'd sent the tape to Monica, who had immediately driven out alone to save him, with no backup and all the money in her bank account in an envelope. They'd refused her ransom and brutally beaten her too, right in front of an incapacitated John who nearly killed himself for not being able to do anything. Then they'd tied them together in a small room, wearing nothing but their underwear, and left them there (they presumed) to die. But somehow they'd managed to hold on, and when their captors came back to throw the bodies out, John and Monica had taken them by surprise, and managed to escape with their feet untied. They left their captors badly injured, one with a broken leg and the other with a serious head injury, and had escaped into the woods wearing only their undergarments. With their hands tied together they couldn't really go their separate ways to think and grieve, so they'd been forced to talk through their feelings of helplessness and guilt with each other. After they'd untied their hands, they ran out to the car shivering with the cold, hot-wired it, and John drove them to a small hotel in the area. When they'd patched each other up as well as they could and dressed in the hotel bathrobes, they had held each other for nearly three hours: just held each other, and felt the strength of their bond, of the love that neither one of them could bring themselves to acknowledge. In those moments, he knew that he couldn't give up on Luke's killer, because he had seen how far Monica would go for him.

He remembered her tears on that night, when they'd slept together in an attempt to heal the other's pain after their captivity, and then had fought about their future together, because the fact that he could love another woman as deeply as he loved her scared him half to death. He also remembered what had happened after that argument, when she'd snuck into his room as (she thought) he slept and curled up against his bare back in her underwear. She had buried her face in his neck and kissed it, tears streaming down her face onto his bare skin. He'd pretended to be asleep as she flipped her hair back over her shoulder and pressed her forehead against his back, her tears slowing. And then he'd rolled over to face her.

He recalled her shocked little gasp and the "deer- in-the-headlights" expression in her big brown eyes, but when he'd place a little kiss on the tip of her nose and brought his forehead to hers, she had relaxed, and started to cry again. He'd wrapped his arms around her waist and gently pulled her closer to him, felt her heart beat against his own, and thought, My God over and over again.

They had lain together like that for what seemed like an eternity, and then Monica had started to giggle quietly. "What?" he'd asked, a little offended.

She'd pointed underneath the sheets and giggled again, her face turning red.

"Oh that," he'd said, a touch of amusement finding its way into his voice. "That can be remedied." That night had begun a long, passionate, loving, but turbulent relationship between them, and he knew that without that relationship he'd never have made it to this point.

A year after the incident, the two of them were curled up together in front of the television in Monica's apartment, watching a movie about child abduction. They'd found Luke's killer the week before. He had been dead since two days after Luke's death. John had strenuously objected to watching the film, but Monica had held firm in her belief that he needed to be encouraged to let Luke's spirit go free, and insisted. So she held him when he cringed, and cried with him when the little girl in the film was found murdered in a field. After the movie, she'd made him some tea, and they'd sat on her bed and talked about Luke. It was the first time since Luke's death that he'd been able to talk about his son without crying. John and Monica had resolved to help each other recover, and then they'd unwittingly created the child that she now carried.

And now they were back in the field where it began, the product of their union growing in Monica's swollen belly as she slowly walked towards him. "John!" she called, and he turned to watch her approach. And in that moment, he saw in her and their child his past and his future: the ties that bound all of them together in an endless circle.

She reached his side and took his hand in hers', placing it gently at the curve of her belly. She didn't have to speak as the baby moved beneath his hand; her eyes told the story of what she saw happen to John. He was saying goodbye to his son: to the spirit that loomed behind him always, and letting him fly. As he was allowing the spirit of their unborn child to take the place of his long-lost son, in his heart and in his soul, Monica felt her heart swell with pride and love for the father of her child.

After a moment, his eyes focused back on hers, and he whispered, "I love you:" to whom he didn't quite know.

A bolt of lightening illuminated their faces for a split second, and she smiled at him and squeezed his hand.

"Goodbye Luke," she called, smiling as she waved to the ghost she imagined flying off into the sky.

John turned his head to watch, and as the lightening struck again, he turned to her and smiled. "C'mon, let's go get some coco." They walked back to their car, hands clasped, as a final bolt of lightening illuminated the soaring ghost of Luke John Doggett for the last time.

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