Welcome To The Harem

You've Always Been There by Julie L. Jekel
Summary: She'd always been there, his guardian angel in the shadows, it just took him until now to see it. Doggett/Shannon, sequel to You've Always Known.

Disclaimers: No one in this story belongs to me.

Feedback: Please!!! To drjekel@hotmail.com or

Archiving: Gossamer, Ephemeral, XFMU okay. Anyone
else, please ask.

Spoilers: Through season 9 thus far, to be on the safe
side. Set at the end of this season, but no spoilers,
only my own speculation.

Rating: PG-13, just in case

Keywords: Sequel to "You've Always Known." D/Mc UST,
First person POV.

Summary: She'd always been there, his guardian angel
in the shadows, it just took him until now to see it.

"You've Always Been There"
by Julie L. Jekel

"I owe you an apology. For not trusting you when you
came to me a year ago." Jeez, shouldn't it take a few
more drinks to loosen my tongue this much? I take
another swallow and re-evaluate. Ah, hell. It needed
to be said.

"I suppose I don't really blame you," she admits,
twirling her glass with one finger as a half-smile
dances enigmatically around her mouth. "I did lie to

"About whatsisface." Whatsisface? Shit, John, either
you're getting old or you're drunker than you thought.
"He was trying to expose whatever this thing is they
did to you."

She nods.

"So tell me the truth now. Why'd you really kill him?"

Her eyes meet mine evenly and--God help me--I'm
reminded so much of Dana...Agent Scully. I always
loved her eyes, fearless or terrified. I used to
daydream about giving her a baby with those
eyes--blue's recessive, or so I've been told, so any
kid of ours couldn't have had any color but blue. But
Willie had his father's eyes, once they outgrew the
baby blue. I should've known that day, the day I first
saw how they'd changed, that I'd been deluding myself
to think she wouldn't join Mulder at the first

I should be amazed she stayed as long as she did, but
I guess she felt some sort of obligation. To the
X-Files that had been her life and his for seven
years, to me and Monica who were still so far in over
our heads...

It hits me that Shannon answered my question and I
didn't even hear it. I grimace by way of apology and
push my drink across the bar for a refill. It's gonna
take more than I've had to wash away the memory of
those eyes.

"You tell me, John," she says softly, either repeating
or finishing whatever she just told me. "What would
happen if what I am, what that baby is, became public

I feel a cold chill settle in my stomach. Shit, I
don't even want to think about it. "Every two-bit
crime family and would-be terrorist in the world would
be after him."

Again, she nods. "Some things are meant to remain
hidden, John. You know that."

I don't know whether to be relieved or infuriated.
Much as I want to trust her--God, how could I not want
to with what she did for me after Lebanon?--I don't
know if she's telling the truth or just playing a
chord she knows I'll dance to.

"You did it to protect him." I'm still half-skeptical
and I'm sure she knows it, but I'd do almost anything
to protect that kid and his mother if it were still in
my power. Played or not, I'll be damned if I don't
dance that jig.

"And others like him. We are the future, John. And we
may be the only thing that will save it."

"Fuck, Shan, don't you go throwin' a bunch of shit at
me about aliens and some impending invasion," I almost
plead. "I got enough of that from Mulder 'n Dana, and
Monica's been startin' to buy into it too."

My dad always said never cuss in front of a lady. But
while Shannon McMahon sure as hell is a woman, she's
never made any pretense at being a lady. A fact for
which a certain young Sergeant on the cusp of a
medical discharge was infinitely grateful once upon a

"You know, it's hard to fight a war if you don't even
admit there's an enemy," she chides me with a sly

"I'll believe it when I see it," I retort. "But so
far, I'll admit I've seen some pretty strange shit,
but not that goddamned strange."

"Strange shit like a shaman who cures by consuming and
regurgitating his patients? I would think once you'd
digested that possibility you'd have been a little
more open."

My hand tightens on my glass as that cold runs through
me all over again, and not because of the lousy pun.
Squamish. A man who was barely human to his neighbors
and a brush with death that was a little more like
tipping the whole paint can over onto a canvas. "How
the hell did you know about that?"

Her eyes never waver, though they spark with an angry
fire that suggests that sheriff never knew how close
he came to taking a permanent swim. "I was there."

It hits me, then. An epiphany, I guess. Suddenly I
know why she was in Dana's apartment tonight.

"You've always been there, haven't you?"

That sad smile is all the answer I need. She's been
watching over me since the day I joined the X-Files.
Maybe longer. Maybe the guardian angel who kept me
alive all those years ago never really left me. Maybe
she just had to go into hiding because she knew the
man I was then could never accept what she'd become.

"Why'd you come back when you did? Because I was
lookin' for you?"

"Because you needed me."

Yeah, I'd needed her. I needed her to save my ass,
twice. Even if she did almost scare the life outta me
first the first time. I needed her to give me
something on a case that was eating me alive,
something to prove or disprove or just to knock me out
of that goddamned single-minded stupor I'd stumbled
into. I needed her to make me realize just how blindly
I was blundering forward, trying to save the world
with one hand tied behind my back. And I needed her to
look me in the eyes and tell me I didn't trust her in
a voice that made me wish I'd never lost track of her.
Cause maybe if I hadn't, neither one of us would've
ended up here.

If the fact that I'm only half drunk but already
feeling something other than this fruitless pining for
a woman I always knew I could never have is any
indication, I still need Shannon McMahon. My own
Goddamned guardian Hell's Angel.

"Amen to that," I toast wryly, pushing my glass across
the bar to tap hers.

She looks at me again, wary now, and I smile to let
her know I'm getting on towards okay. I still miss
Dana like I'd miss a piece of my soul--speaking as a
man who's lost enough pieces to know--but I'm also
feeling something I didn't expect to find again for a
very long time: hope.

Maybe, just maybe--I tell myself, watching
Shannon--maybe the place where you loved her isn't so
far away after all.

Maybe you've always been there.


Author's Note: I came up with the title first, then
had to think of a way for Shannon to have "always been
there" when she wasn't on-screen. Fortunately, on XF
someone or other is always watching from the shadows.