Welcome To The Harem

I Couldn't Be There by Langleigh
Summary: Someone was missing who should have been at Monica's bedside. Follmer/Reyes.

I Couldn't Be There
Author: Langleigh
E-mail: langleigh75@yahoo.com
Keywords: Follmer pov, Reyes pov, hinted FUA (Follmer
unrequited affections)
Category: V, post-ep
Spoilers: Audrey Pauley
Archiving: Yes at XFMU, ReyesRomances, Ephmeral and
Gossamer. All others must ask me first.
Disclaimers: The characters and concepts of the
X-Files belong to people other than me. People with
lots more money than me. Such is life...
Summary: Someone was missing who should have been at
Monica's bedside

"I Couldn't Be There"

Assistance Director Bradford Follmer turned his gaze
to the other side of the room, carefully avoiding the
harsh glare Walter Skinner was giving him as they
waited out side Kersh's office. The Deputy Director
had called for them both a few minutes before.

"Do you have any idea what this is about?" Follmer
asked idly.

Skinner's reply never came. Instead, Kersh's
secretary spoke up. "He's ready to see you both,
now," she said in apologetic tones. Both men reached
for the door knob first, and Skinner was the first to
turn it.

Follmer was getting annoyed with the competition
between them, but his scalding comment faded away when
he saw the grim look on the Deputy Director's face.


Alone in his office, Follmer couldn't contain his
grief. He cried, curled in a fetal position on the
floor behind his desk. The door was locked--it had
been the last coherent thought before the flood of
tears escaped him.

Monica was in the hospital... she was brain dead...
Kersh's words jumbled about in his mind. The doctor
didn't have much hope for her, he'd said in a detached
manner, uncaringly relaying just the facts. Unaware
that both men present seemed visibly shaken.

Or that one of them could scarcely contain the fact
that his world had just been shattered.

"Moni... oh, my Moni," Follmer moaned, his whole body
wracked with pain. There were so many things he
regretted at that moment, hiding behind his desk like
a child afraid to face the world's harsh reality. His
face was wet and streaked with evidence of his heart's
pain. How he wished he could tell her now...
apologize for past sins... make his feelings for her
known. But he could not do that. Not now.

He was there. John Doggett... the man Follmer knew
she loved now, even if she had never said as much.
Perhaps Follmer didn't quite deserve that privileged
information, but none of that mattered now. She was
gone, and he was there.

So, instead of going to her bedside to say good-bye,
Follmer sat there until his tears ceased to fall and
he had finally composed himself enough to do as Kersh
had asked him to do--contact Monica's parents and
inform them of the situation.

He was just finishing the phone call when Agent Scully
stopped by. By that time, no one would ever have
known the cool Assistant Director had ever cried over
Monica Reyes' passing. He'd made a show for
Scully--having paperwork piled high around him on the
desk and seeming totally immersed in their content.
Just another day on the job for Bradford Follmer. But
he was really running on sheer adrenaline behind that
mask of stone.

Scully, however, had actually managed to break through
that mask once again, had she but stayed long enough
to know it. She mentioned that Monica was an organ
donor and that Agent Doggett was fighting to keep them
from harvesting her organs. The news waited until she
left to sink in... and then Follmer remembered that a
friend of Monica's had died while they were in New
York. She died because she'd needed a transplant and
no organ donor had been available at the time.
Follmer easily recalled holding Monica late at night
and hearing her cry because of the loss.

The memory called to mind happier days, when they were
still lovers, and his tears came anew. Follmer broke
down, and went to her then, wanting nothing more than
to sit by her beside, if only to see her one last
time. But he stopped himself at the hospital
entrance. He couldn't bring himself to go in, not
knowing Doggett was there... hovering over Moni.

Nor could he bring himself to see her lying there,
helpless and dead. That thought alone frightened him
terribly. He shut his eyes, his mind calling up the
memory of her vibrant, living face. It was all he had
left of her, he realized, as he sadly walked away from
the hospital.

He went home, not bothering to return to the office,
and proceeded to wash his pain away with alcohol. It
wasn't until the next day, his head pounding, that he
found out she had recovered miraculously.

And he hadn't been there.


Monica's eyes fluttered as the door to her hospital
room opened and a candy striper stepped inside. She
was carrying a vase full of flowers. Roses... white
and red... She knew without looking who they were

"Would you like to read the card?" the volunteer asked
with a friendly smile. Monica nodded and took the card
from her.

::I'm sorry I couldn't be there.:: It said in Brad
Follmer's well-trained hand writing.

"I know..." Monica whispered as the woman closed the
door, leaving her alone once more.