Title: "Same Old Thing"
Author: Little Red
Rating: *looks around for MPAA* safe-for-all-readers
Category: X-Files. Doggett/Reyes friendship fic. UST if you squint. Totally pointless.
Summary: Little morning rituals.
Dedication: For Fyca and Kristiiiiiine.
Monica's already smiling when John Doggett gets to work.
"Isn't it a bit early to be that happy?" he asks, probably a little more gruffly than strictly necessary. Monday morning traffic into D.C. would do that to anyone. He drops a paper bag with a muffin in it -- something raisin-bran-related and the closest thing he could find to healthy in the lobby upstairs -- onto her desk.
She acknowledges his muttering with a roll of her eyes and a wave of her hand toward a steaming cup waiting on his desk, all without breaking her grin. "Coffee, John."
He knows without trying it that it'll be black, two sugars, just the way he'd make it for himself. It always tastes a bit better when Monica gets it for him, and he has the sneaking suspicion that she mixes in a little bit of the hazlenut flavored coffee also available in the break room upstairs. That, or it's just nice to have someone else keeping track of how he takes his coffee again.
Not that there's anything strange about that. He knows how she takes her coffee; it's the sort of thing that's difficult to avoid knowing with a work partner you spend days and weeks and months with. Hell, he spends more time with her than he spent with his wife.
John takes a tentative sip of coffee. Perfect. "Thanks."
"No problem," Monica says, adjusting her reading glasses and leaning closer to the stack of papers she's studying. "A small price to pay to make you easier to deal with in the mornings, I assure you."
She breaks her concentration long enough to temper the insult with a teasingly raised eyebrow.
"Well, I need it to keep up with you." It's not much of a counter-attack, but the caffeine hasn't had time to sink in yet. He'd accuse her of not being from this planet, but in their line of work that sort of accusation actually tends to hold weight, and, well, he just doesn't want to think about that until he has finished his coffee, either.
"Yoga, John." This isn't the first time she's suggested that. "Trust me. An hour of yoga every morning and you'll feel like a new man."
"Will it make me able to understand you more than half the time?" He sits down in his chair and pulls the phone toward him. She checks the office email in the morning, he checks the voicemail. They never officially decided on the division of labor, but it's become routine. She types faster than he does, anyway.
"It might," Monica pulls off her glasses and faces him head-on for the first time. "How was your weekend?"
He shrugs. "Same old." Boring, mostly. It's still too cold and rainy out to stain the deck. By Sunday afternoon he was actually longing for Monday, sick as that is. He didn't let himself think too much about whether he really missed Mulder's shop of horrors down here or just missed the company. "You?"
"Same old," Monica answers. There's something in her smile that suggests that her weekend really might have been more interesting than his, might have involved people or boyfriends or at least leaving her apartment, but he never presses her on the specifics and she never volunteers them. That's also part of their routine.
She opens the paper bag he brought her and picks away at her muffin, pulling out the raisins with her fingernails to eat separately, the way she does when she's bored. He used to think these quirks of hers were genuinely weird. He still thinks they're weird, of course, just... Monica-weird. And, really, when it comes to worrying about the strange things she does, he's got bigger things to gripe about than the way she dissects her breakfast.
That, and if it really bugged him, he could just stop bringing her baked goods with raisins in them. She gets a cute line between her eyebrows when she concentrates, and he can't help but find the whole scene amusing, even first thing in the morning.
"Anything interesting on the voicemail?" Monica asks, and licks an escaped crumb from her lower lip.
"That kid from Wisconsin called again."
"What, about the talking cow?" It takes a lot for Monica to get that expression of disbelief on her face.
"Apparently it's quoting Shakespeare now. Whole sonnets. You should never have given him this number."
She shrugs helplessly. "We could always threaten him for harrassing government officials."
That actually gets a laugh out of him, and before 9:30 on a Monday, even. "You're gettin' mean in your old age, you know that?"
She balls up the napkin that came with her muffin and tosses it at his head. She misses by a mile, so he doesn't feel the need to immediately retaliate. Besides, that would be childish.
"What's on the docket for today?"
"Leeches," Monica announces seriously.
"Oh, no. Leeches?"
"Giant, man-sucking leaches with murderous intent." She's going for deadpan, but actually sounds a bit excited.
"You're kidding me."
"Nope." She rolls her chair over to his desk and hands him the highlighted paper that she must have printed out from email.
John reads the header first. "From the office of Deputy Director Kersh? What, he thinks man-killing leeches are right up our alley now?"
"Well... they kind of are." At least she has the good nature to wince. "But at least it's warm down South this time of year."
He groans. "Monica, it's just wrong to be this glass-half-full about everything on Monday morning."
"Yoga," she repeats. "It'll help your back, too."
"Not really my style," he reminds her. Maybe he'll have to break down and let her teach him someday. Wouldn't be a bad way to spend a Sunday, even if she would expect him to sit cross-legged on the floor. "So," he shakes the email printout toward her. "You got a theory?"
She smiles. "I always have a theory, John."
The caffeine must've had a chance to kick in, because he finds himself smiling back.
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