Nearly Forget My Broken Heart
October 14, 2017
DSR - Where are they in 2017?
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This is a short but very interesting fanfic, in which John Doggett has disappeared and long for his former partner Dana Scully. What I appreciated the most was that the character is "away from the drama, the danger." Many admirers from The X-Files would have loved to see stories revolving more around the characters and less about the conspiracies. This is such case.
|| Away from the heartache
Written by Jack Anderson on 2019-01-04
Although there were a few grammatical errors (although probably not as much as in this review), I liked the style as well and found a couple of interesting sentences, such as "The FBI in Washington was now as crooked as his thoughts." or "his eyes older but still blue with a sparkle of pain."
I give it 5 out of 10. Good.
SUMMARY: Just after Scully and Mulder run away like fugitives, X-Files shut down, Doggett forms a new identity and rides his bike to his cabin far away. We return to him 14 years after….In my X-Files world for this story there is no Reyes, no I Want To Believe plot, no X-Files Revival plot, except that Scully and Mulder are not together.
“NEARLY FORGOT MY BROKEN HEART”
What’s left for me here. She isn’t here.
There isn’t anything.
Once again, the few people he ever really cared about leave him one way or another.
Just my damn frickin’ luck.
Frustrated, John Doggett slams his hold-all bag on the top of his unmade bed and dumps necessities into it; clothes, toiletries, a few books.
No one ever told him joining the X-Files would result in him falling in love again.
What the hell was he thinking?
No one told him that just doing his damn job would get him screwed on so many levels. But then maybe if someone did tell him, he might have done it all anyway. Maybe he believed he deserved it. Maybe he damn-well likes it. Maybe he just aims to sabotage his own life.
The FBI in Washington was now as crooked as his thoughts. He had already visited the secret storage area where he kept his back-up gun, new cell phone, identity card (– his name is now Shane Montague) and wads of cash in case he ever needed to leave and not want to be found again. This seemed to be the perfect time to use it.
He had a lot of integrity that leaving and running away was only an option if he was actually in danger, or someone else was.
Scully ran away. Well, at least she followed Mulder who ran away. Both their lives were in danger but Doggett mainly focused on the fact Scully was in danger. If he knew where she had gone, he would lie for her. But damnit, he was sick of lying for her and for Mulder’s quest. He was fed up of lying to himself too. How he kept his love for her secret for that long was quite something.
Doggett zips up the hold-all bag angrily, almost ripping a cut into his fingers by how rigorous he is. Wearing tight, blue jeans, his Marine T-shirt and a pout on his lips he looks around his home for one last time. He will be back, he hopes, but for now he has to get out.
Richie at the bike shop fixed up his Harley pretty well. It was a rushed job. He hadn’t used it for quite some time. Being on the X-files unit not only took up your time but your mental space, so much that finding time for your hobbies became impossible. But he did use it when he needed the release of the joy of riding a bike in the cool breeze on a sunny morning on the weekends whenever thoughts of Scully invaded his mind to the point of insanity.
The vibration of the bike against him gave him life and a tingle that sent him on his way. If Scully can run off, without even a goodbye, then so can he. He aint hanging around waiting for her to turn up when she needed him. He won’t be there. Doggett imagines her face when she finds out he is gone. Revenge is not his style but giving her a taste of her own medicine feels satisfying right now. Don’t even bother trying to feel guilty, he tells himself. He was there more than any man could have been and she isn’t here now. He is powerless and she chose her life. He couldn’t follow her anymore.
He had forgotten what it felt like to be free. Free of her. Free of the danger of the X-Files on his shoulders. Free of Kersh, Skinner, Mulder and all the colleagues who pressurised him into being who they thought he should be. He was a damned human being before all this. He had friends, family, a life. He had respect. He even had respect for himself.
The warm breeze blows over his face and his short, fine hair as he rides on. Humming Fire and Rain by James Taylor, he narrows his eyes and Scully’s face comes into his mind. “…I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.”
Shaking it off, he looks to the side of the countryside at the trees and fields he is passing. Hears the birds chirping. Breathing in deeply and then sighing at the thought of Scully’s blue eyes he saw into deeper than he dared. A sadness in them he wished he could ignore. A sadness he wished he could fix. A sadness he knew would torture his soul if he let it. And he did let it. He would have done anything for her. Maybe she’ll figure it out. Maybe she will leave Mulder and go find him. How could she though? He was a whole new person now. He’d be far away. No one could ever find him. What the hell did he just get himself to?
Looking at the hills ahead, the tires of his bike smooth over the straight road. Over there, in Harper’s Ferry, Jefferson County, West Virginia, leaving his past and pain behind, she couldn’t play with his heart there. But he knew he was lying to himself.
He stops at a café on the way and orders a black coffee. Sitting at the table he unfolds his map. He had a cabin out in the wilderness which was the place he planned to go to if he ever wanted or needed to. He looks at the phone on the wall of the diner and contemplates ringing Scully. At least her number might be still working. What if he told her what he was doing? Maybe if she ever did need him she would know how to contact him. But that wasn’t the original plan.
Later that evening he sits looking at the log fire in his cabin, holding some whisky in a glass on his leg, sitting there watching the fire dance unpredictably. The loneliness kicking in. The thoughts of Scully never escaping him.
14 YEARS LATER, MONTAGUE RESIDENCE, HARPER’S FERRY, WV.
Doggett, or Montague, was well known in the town as the local tree surgeon. He always kept to himself and rarely socialised properly. Apart from a drink or two at the local bar, where he would sit hunched over, staring at his drink from the top, his eyes older but still blue with a sparkle of pain and deep love in them. A love that was never returned. An isolated man. A good man. But completely alone.
He would turn around sometimes and watch the country dancing with a slight smile. But would slowly leave, thanking the bar tender, keeping his head down and finding the keys in his jeans pocket for his truck.
Days when he didn’t have a tree to attend to he would lay in his hammock in a tight t-shirt, folding his arms, where his muscles would squeeze flat and wider against his opposite hands under them. A wide-brimmed hat laying on top of his face as he swings gently in the sunshine. His old radio on the grass beneath him playing some of his favourite country songs like Eric Clapton, Sarah McLachlan, Cat Stevens, and The Eagles. This was the life he planned for himself, and he was glad of that. The years had been good to him. He was a lucky man. Safe and secure. Away from the drama, the danger. Away from the heartache. He was always afraid of loving Scully and yet more afraid of losing her. That was a danger he hated every time he woke when he remembered the pain of it all when he was working with her. But life had not passed him by. Some days he regretted leaving. Some days he regretted not telling her he loved her so much he could die. Some days he told himself he didn’t really love her. Other days he imagined her with Mulder and thought that she chose wrong and he didn’t want to be with someone who didn’t love him completely or whom would choose that guy over him.
This was another day where he lay in the hammock. The sun warmed his skin just right, the heat moistening his tight T-shirt and jeans, sweating comfortably, especially now that he was a man with a scraggly beard and his hair was a little longer, swept back over his ears and head, curling at the ends.
He heard footsteps over the gravel and grass reaching him in his front garden. Opening his eyes, he saw nothing but darkness until he lifted his hat up and peeped under it with squinting eyes.
She appeared in front of him like a damn angel. Her hair blonde and thin, longer than he remembered. Lines were on her face next to those blue eyes that still shined when she looked at him. She smiled nervously at him. He lay there squinting at her for some time, for he wasn’t sure if he was awake or just seeing a woman who just looked like her or if it was really Dana Scully standing there in front of him. His heart seemed to disappear into his stomach and flipped once around inside him, beating so hard to the point of beating in his head.
He hadn’t been called that for 14 years. He hadn’t heard her sad, soft voice for 14years. He was ready to say he is not John. But also ready to just fall in love all over again hearing that damn voice.
He breathed in heavily, his chest shaking as the air went in and out of him. He lifted his tired body up and stared at her with his mouth open uncertain of what words were meant to be said right now.
“I’ve….” Scully shakes her head looking down, almost like she is going to cry. “I’ve been looking for you for a long time.” Her lip quivers and tears form in her eyes. She keeps looking down at her feet and up at Doggett, who is still staring at her.
He breathes in and out. His chest raising up and down. His lips press together. His eyes fill with water. He imagines himself raising his voice at her and telling her to leave. But he knows he never would.
“John…” She is not handling this all very well. She is wiping tears from her cheeks, wishing he would do it for her. Just come over there and hold her damnit.
He gets off his hammock, throws his hat onto it and smooths his hair to appear tidier for her. Looking down, he puts his hands in his jeans pockets and looks up at her with those eyes that pierce into hers. Tears don’t run down his face like they are for her. They just hover on top of his eyes.
“Dana,” He says finally. His voice croaky and older, especially after his little nap. She laughs through the crying, still standing on the spot like a child waiting to be picked up. “It’s good to see you.”
“It’s good to see you too,”
“It’s been 14 years, Dana,”
Scully nods. Her mouth shaking. “We need to talk,”
“What do we need to talk about?” He says confused and cold.
“I wanted to find you for so long. I heard things over the years but could never pin you down. I’m not with Mulder anymore. My life with him was very unhappy.”
Now his eyes look at her like he is amazed, back to when he loved her, puppy sad and again wishing he could ease the pain she feels. If she would really let him in this time.
“I never forgot you. I was a stupid, stupid person.” She starts to cry again and at this he takes his hands out of his pockets and walks up to her, his bare feet on the warm grass, each step taking him close to where she is. He hasn’t been very close to anyone for quite some time, never did he think he would be this close to her again.
He puts his arms around her and she almost falls into his chest, her hands covering her face as she weeps. She is older of course, but crying like a child.
“Dana,” He says softly. “Please don’t cry. It’s ok.”
She sighs at these words. His voice still that same comforting tone. Sincere. Genuine. “I couldn’t stay, Dana. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I left you. I’m sorry I let you go.”
Scully nods as he holds her tight and close.
He moves back, puts his hands on her upper arms and pulls her out from the hug, as she wipes the tears and shows him her face. He looks down at her, his eyes locked on her. She smiles as she touches his beard with one hand, and the other smooths over his long hair. He watches her looking at him and his new self and can sense her grief and her relief at being next to him, finally getting what she really wanted.
“Your hair,” She says, smiling, her eyes happily learning his new look. He smiles back at her. “You’re still my Doggett behind all that, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, but - I haven’t been Doggett for a long time.” In a way, it just means he changed his name to attempt to not be the man who was in love with her.
“What do you go by now?”
She smiles wider but with a sad look in her eyes. “I will always see you as John.”
“I will always be John.”
“I know you will.”
He brings her near to him again, this time her arms fold around his back and she settles her chin on his left shoulder. “I have always been John.”
“I never forgot you.” She says, the tears coming back.
He gently moves her back in front of him, “I tried my hardest to forget you, Dana. But damn it, that was one thing I couldn’t do.” He wipes the tears falling on her cheeks away.
She just looks at him as if she is sorry.
“It was a tough time for me, “she says. “It was always tough.”
“When did you leave him?”
“Do you want to go inside and talk about it?”
Doggett reaches out his hand and his fingers touch her hand by her side. He feels around and clasps her hand, holding it up a little, looking at it like he had just found a rare treasure. She looks up at him, he looks down at her. He turns, leading her to his home.
He knew she would come back one day. Years didn’t matter, only what they learnt and only that enough time had passed to make both realise – they were meant to be together. Love doesn’t age or fade. It leads the way. It led her back to him, against all odds. That was enough for him. Her eyes told him the journey. And he reverted to being Doggett of old, the dependable man who developed feelings for Dana Scully that no time or distance ever erased.