Welcome To The Harem

A Rare Saturday Morning by Karen
Summary: Deslea's rec: "Sadness and bittersweet joy meld in this gentle Father's Day moment between Doggett and Reyes. This one finds its power in the quiet and the mundane." Summary: 'It was getting harder and harder to forget. And easier and easier to remember.' Lukefic.

Title: _A Rare Saturday Morning_
Author: Karen (snarky_freak@hotmail)
Rating: Hey--it's G!
Keywords: Reyes. Doggett. Doggettfic.
Doggett! Doggett! Doggett!
Summary: 'It was getting harder and harder
to forget. And easier and easier to remember.'
Spoilers: Invocation, Empedocles
Disclaimer: Again, they are not mine. So, again,
quit lookin' at me like that, `kay?
Archive: All are more than welcome, just please notify me...
Author's Note: I hope you like it!

A Rare Saturday Morning

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste...

-William Shakespeare, Sonnet #30


'Keep yourself busy. Keep your mind from moments of tranquility
and blankness. Keep your eyes from looking somewhere they

For the fourth time that morning, John Doggett watched the
weatherman reciting the local forecast. His gaze followed the
weatherman's index finger, as it indicated a wavy line on the
television screen. What was it called again? The jet stream.
Right. He almost forgot. He'd seen the damn jet stream four
times now, and he still couldn't remember what the hell it was.

He should do something, he told himself once again. He should
clean the house. He should pick up some groceries. He should
wash the truck.

Of all the things he could have done, on a Saturday morning in
mid-June, he did this.

Absolutely nothing.

"Christ," Doggett muttered under his breath as he closed his
eyes and dragged his large hands down his face. His growing
frustration surprised him somewhat. He opened his eyes,
stretched out his arms along the back of the couch and squinted
at the kitchen.

The list of 'things to do' he had posted on the refrigerator the
previous night was still there; nothing had been checked off or
crossed out. The house was a mess. There was nothing to eat.
The truck needed to be washed. It also needed gas.

He didn't want to do anything.

He couldn't do anything.

"_Do_ something," he said to no one in particular. His command
was left unanswered and unacknowledged. No surprise there; for
years he'd been the only person living in the house. He should
be used to talking to himself by now.

"Come on," he continued monotonously, as he attempted to coax
his body to get up from the numbing comfort his couch provided.

Nothing. Nothing happened.

He knew why he felt this way. He knew why he couldn't move.

Life could wait for him all day, for all he cared, and he
wouldn't bother lifting a finger.

Life was over. At least, as far as he was concerned, _his_ life
was over.

And today always reminds him of that fact.

He let out an exasperated sigh, rolled his eyes at his own
pathetic melancholy and reached for the remote control.

He watched Bugs Bunny walking around in the forest. A few
seconds later, Elmer Fudd came out and started shooting like a

"I think I've seen this one already," he mumbled as he propped
his feet up on the coffee table and crossed his arms over his
chest. It didn't matter that he'd seen it already. What
mattered was that he was watching it again.

He furrowed his eyebrows and concentrated on the images flashing
across the screen. He refused to let his mind wander. He
refused to remember the weight of a little boy's body on his
lap. He refused to remember the gleeful peal of laughter
escaping from the restless body sitting on his lap.

Christ. Doggett frowned at the television screen and shook his
head slightly. It was getting harder and harder to forget. And
easier and easier to remember.

He'd seen this cartoon with Luke, once. On a rare Saturday
morning, when he didn't have to work at the station house. He
remembered the smell of pancakes. And coffee. He remembered
the T-shirt he was wearing. He remembered the colour of his
wife's bathrobe; he remembered thinking how strange it was that
her robe matched the colour of the drapes in the living room.
He remembered so much, but most of all...

He remembered his son.

A rare Saturday morning, when he didn't have to work. That
wasn't quite true. He had asked for the weekend off. That rare
Saturday was special; Luke had insisted on it...

Doggett shook his head suddenly, as though attempting to
disentangle himself from his memories.

'Don't do this now. Wash the truck. Go to the office. Wear
your damn suit to work. If it'll make you feel better, go to
work today. Just don't do this. Not now. Not again.'

He sighed. Why not now? Why not again? Why not do this?

He remembered his son's hands. They were small and thin. Luke
had a hitchhiker's thumb. His fingers were long, like his
father's. The lines on his palms were all over the place.
Chaotic. A mess. One of the lines divided his left palm in
half. It was a long line. Doggett looked down at his own
hands. He didn't have that long line on either of his palms.
He wondered what that could mean, if it meant anything at all.

He remembered a package in his son's hands. A small box. It
was wrapped. He could see Luke's scribbles and messy drawing
adorning the wrapping paper. He refused to rip the paper to get
to the gift his son had given. Being one of those fathers
obsessed with their children's artwork, he had tucked the
drawing in his pocket for safekeeping. He would put it up
somewhere later, he remembered saying to himself.

'Don't do this now. Not again. Not now.'

He looked up and stared at his refrigerator. Beside the 'things
to do' list was the wrapping paper from that rare Saturday, when
he didn't go to work. It outlived his son. It outlived his

He couldn't remember anymore. Something was keeping him from
remembering that rare Saturday, when he didn't go to--

The phone was ringing. It was the phone. The phone was
preventing him from remembering. He looked at it. No, he
*glared* at it. Who in hell calls him on a day like this? Who
in hell calls him these days?

He closed the gap between himself and the telephone by
stretching out on the couch, his chest and stomach flattening
the throw pillows on the seat. "Hello?" he cleared his throat
and attempted to sound less gravelly. "Who is this?"

There was a pause before he heard a small intake of breath on
the other end of the line. "I didn't think you'd answer the

He dragged a hand through his ruffled hair and closed his eyes.
"Yeah, well, I got nothin' better to do." 'Sure I do. I gotta
wash the truck. I gotta clean the house. I gotta...' "Can I
ask why you're callin'?"

As if he didn't know already.

Again, another intake of breath. She had a nice way of
breathing. Another thing he remembered...

"You still there?" He rolled over on his back and stared at the
rays of sunlight grazing the ceiling. He waited.

"Of course I'm still here. I just... I just wanted to check in
on you. See if you were okay."

He closed his eyes and clenched his jaw before responding. "I'm
fine. I'm okay; thanks for askin'."

A long pause. He counted the number of times he could blink
before she spoke up again. Five. No, six. No, wait... Eight.

"So how are things?"

"Things are fine. They're okay. How `bout you? How are things
with you?"

"Everything's fine. Everything's okay. Thanks for asking."

"I'm glad things are workin' out for you. I'm glad they are,

"Thanks. Thank you. It's good that things are alright with
you, too."

"Yeah, yeah they are." He yanked a throw pillow from under his
back and pushed it to the floor. They've been doing this for
years now, and neither of them quite knew what they both meant
by 'things'. Despite that minor technicality, though, they both
convinced themselves that it was an improvement. The fact that
he calls her once a year, and that she calls him once a year...
That must count for something.

"So what are you doin'?" Doggett asked as he propped himself up
on an elbow and cradled the phone between his ear and shoulder.
"You been busy?"

"Mmm-hmm. And you? Work's not too bad, I hope."

He shook his head. "Not too bad... Could be better, but then
again, that goes for everything, right?"

"Yes. Everything's like that; you're right, absolutely." Her
voice sounded distant. Her voice sounded tired, weary,
impatient. Like she was eager to get off the phone.

He nodded understandingly and sat up on the couch. "Guess I
should let you go. I know you have alotta things goin' on."

"Okay," her reply sounded like a relieved sigh. "So--"

"I'll call you."

"You don't have to, John. You don't have to, I--"

"I said I'll call you. So I'll call," he paused and pulled
absently at his right earlobe. "I promise."

She sighed and cleared her throat quickly. "Don't. Don't

"Okay, I won't. But I'll call you anyway." He couldn't help
but smile at her aloofness. Years ago, before everything
happened... She believed he could promise her the world. Now,
a simple promise that he'd call her was enough to make her
flinch, to keep her from coming any closer than the length of
the phone lines between them.

"I know you will," she cleared her throat again and sighed...
again. "Take care of yourself, John."

He nearly grimaced at the formality of her tone of voice.
"Yeah, I'll do that. You, um," he scratched his head nervously.
He hated this part of their phone calls; he knew the three words
they used to say to each other would never be said again. She'd
hang up first, and he'd be left listening to the sound of the
dial tone, and--

"I'll take care of myself, too. I always have. Don't worry
about me."

He wondered if she knew how much that hurt him, to hear her say
that. "Alright." That was all he could manage. It felt like
Bugs Bunny _and_ Elmer Fudd were trapped within his insides,
chasing each other. His heart was pounding. His stomach was
turning. His guts felt like they were being ripped out of his

"Okay, so..."

He nodded and attempted to smile. He felt pathetic. "Thanks
for callin'. It... It means a lot to me that you called. I
really `ppreciate it."

"I know, John. Listen, I hate to do this to you, but I really
have to go. I'm waiting for a really important phone call, and-

"Yeah, yeah, I understand. Okay."

"Take care, John."



He looked up at the television screen. Bugs and Elmer were
gone. Some freckle-faced kid was promoting cereal. The dial
tone was starting to annoy him. He hung up the phone and rose
from the couch.

He didn't want to admit that he was waiting for her to call. He
didn't want to admit it, and yet...

He felt better knowing he had been right. That she would call.
That she would remember.

Maybe she just felt guilty.

He shook his head and mentally reproached himself for his
cynicism. Now what?

The 'things to do' list on his refrigerator caught his eye once
more. He crossed the living room and entered the kitchen. He
had six things he wanted to get done today. He had thought of
six ways to distract and divert his thoughts from certain
*things* today.

Clean house.
Wash truck.
Get Food.
Reports/Paperwork for Agent Scully.

He squinted at the list and grabbed a pen. He changed 'Get
Food' to 'Groceries' and scratched out the 'Agent' from Agent
Scully. It made him feel better somehow. He shrugged
carelessly before he flipped the list over. He grabbed two
magnets and held it in place, upside down, on his refrigerator
door. "Start from the bottom up," he mumbled as he sauntered
over to his computer and turned on the monitor. He blew a layer
of dust off the screen and reached for a Kleenex.

The phone rang before he could wipe the dust from his desk.

Now what?

"Yeah." He knew his curtness was a bit exaggerated, but he
didn't care. Today he could do whatever he wanted. No one
would care. No one would be around to notice, anyway.

"John? It's Monica."

"Monica? What's goin' on?" He watched as the dust he wiped off
the surface of his desk settled on his jeans.

"Well, I just called to see how you were doing, and I--"

He laughed hollowly, bitterly into the phone and spoke up, not
caring that he was interrupting her. "Y'know it's funny. All
this concern for me all of a sudden. You know someone just
called askin' the same question, and I--"

"--just wanted to tell you--"


"Happy Father's Day."

He stopped talking. He saw his reflection on the monitor. His
yap was hanging wide open, but no sound was coming out. He
looked like an idiot.

"John?" The concern in her voice was genuine. It wasn't
forced, it wasn't dutiful, it wasn't guilty.


Her nervous laugh echoed in his ears. "Just checking if you
were still there, sorry. I thought you might have hung up on
me, I--"

"I'm here. It's okay. Just that--"

"I know. You weren't expecting that, were you?"

"To say the least," he muttered under his breath before he
cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck. "So how're
you doin'?"

"Not too bad."

"Yeah? That's good to hear. I'm..." He stopped himself. He
wasn't going to lie. Not this time. Not to her. "Well, you
know how it is. That's why you're callin'."

"Yeah. Listen... I'm here, actually, and--"

"Where's 'here'?"

"Oh, Washington--sorry. I'm working a case with VCU on Monday,
so I just decided to come up here a little early--"


"--and I guess I also thought you could use some company right
about now. I can't imagine how hard it is for you--"

"You can't. No one can."

"Yeah, I... I know. I'm sorry; I shouldn't have said that, I--"

"So where are you right now?"

She laughed nervously again. "Actually, I just got here. I
haven't really left the airport, and--"

"Tell you what--don't leave the airport."


"Pick you up."

"_You'll_ pick me up?"

He smiled slightly. Monica never could get used to the way he
talks. "Yeah. Stay put--where are you, exactly?"

"Don't worry about it, John. Just look for me at the main

"Main entrance. Fine. I'll be right there; see you in a bit."
He was about to hang up when she spoke up once more.



"You don't have to do this. If you want to be alone, I'll
understand. I'm just worried about you."

"Yeah, I know, Monica. It's okay. I think..." He looked around
at his house and suddenly felt cold inside. Dead. Frozen.
Buried. "I think I need to get outta here for a while."

"How about lunch, then? I'm buying."

"You better."

"Okay. I'll see you later."



He looked over his shoulder and stared at his 'things to do'
list. His eyes strayed over to the messy drawing mounted beside
the list.

Happy Fathers Day Dad Love U Luke John Doggett

Luke had signed his artwork at the bottom right-hand corner.

Luke John Doggett

Doggett stared at the picture. A circle with five brown,
vertical lines shooting out towards the top edge of the paper.
Two blobs of blue, placed side by side in the circle. An 'L'
between the two blobs of blue. A red curved line beneath the
'L'. An arrow pointing to the picture. Dad.

Happy Fathers Day Dad Love U Luke John Doggett

His wife told him, the night of that rare Saturday morning when
he didn't go to work, that Luke had insisted on getting his Dad
a tie for Father's Day. The smile on his face betrayed the fact
that he thought he was doing something different for a change.
Something unique, original, special.

The tie was neatly folded. He had pulled it out of the small
box for his father to see. His father had grinned and tried to
keep his eyebrows from shooting up incredulously.

Where in the world would he wear a tie like that? And besides,
he never saw himself as a big fan of Bugs Bunny. Never in a
million years. The guys at the station house would never have
stopped with the jokes.


He blinked and turned his back on the refrigerator. "Forget
lunch, Monica. How `bout you help me with groceries today? I
got nothin' here and I'm goin' out anyway."

"Oh, okay. If that's what you're up for, that's fine."

"You can help me with lunch or somethin'."

"Sounds good."

"And Monica?" He paused and smiled to himself. "Thank you."

"For what?"

He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

Love U Luke John Doggett

Happy Fathers Day Dad

"It's been awhile since someone's said it to me."

Happy Fathers Day Dad

"I guess I just needed to hear it again." He grabbed the
'things to do' list from the refrigerator and crumpled it in his
hand. "I'll be there in no time, I promise."

"You promise? You _better_ be here in no time, then, John."

"Yeah." He hung up and straightened his black sweater.
Grabbing his car keys from the counter, he looked to the side
and noticed that the television was still on. The commercials
were over. The cartoons were back.

Doggett smiled effortlessly for the first time that day and
turned off the television. He was beginning to like Bugs Bunny.
Maybe he'd wear that tie to work on Monday... who knows? The
worst that could happen... Scully lookin' at him with a strange
look on her face. Or she'd laugh. That wouldn't be so bad. It
doesn't have to be a bad thing, if he doesn't make it into one.

He closed the door behind him and jumped into his pickup. As he
backed out of the driveway, he found himself wondering whether
Monica liked Bugs Bunny cartoons, too.

If she did, maybe she could stay until the afternoon, and they
could watch them together.


Send feedback to: