Title: When one door closes, another opens.

Author: Kyouryoku Senshi

Rating: R

Category: Romance, Angst

Spoilers: Release, Sunshine Days

Summary: Following Release, Monica helps John make a new start.

Monica had agreed and insisted that she'd wait by the truck while John and Barbara scattered Luke's ashes. This was a time for the two of them, saying goodbye to their son and getting closure.

A few hours of silence had passed since they had left the beach. Neither of them had spoken a word since. Although the death of John's son was years ago, his final closure didn't come until today. She looked over at John through the shadows on the passenger side. He was staring out into the night, but never said a word.

"John," she whispered. When he didn't respond, she pressed. "John, what are you thinking?" He finally turned and made brief eye contact with her. He sighed. "To be honest Monica, I don't know. I mean, I know we buried him several years ago, but today was the first day of my life that I've found release."

Monica nodded and reached out to clasp his hand with her free one. "I'm glad, John. All I've ever wanted was for you to be happy, to feel that relief. Because I know you did everything you could to find your son."

John smiled. "I know Monica and I couldn't have done it without you. For all those days we spent together, trying to find him, you trying to prepare me, I don't think I could have done this with anyone else."

Monica smiled. "Your place, or mine?"

"Your place. I don't want to be alone tonight." He looked away.

Monica couldn't help but redden some. She knew John was not the type of man to jump into anything or make inappropriate suggestions, but she did want to further their relationship. They'd been good friends and partners for the past few years, but she was never sure if he wanted anything more, so she never pushed the point.

Monica nodded. "Right."

"I mean if it's not too much trouble," John quickly added.

"No, of course not, John. Don't be silly."

About twenty minutes later, they arrived at Monica's townhouse. "Well, we're here."

John looked over at her and smiled. Sitting there in the night reminded him of the night before her accident, the night she had told him how much he was a dog person. As he gazed at her, he was reminded of how close and intimate they were, and imagined later how he wanted to do more.

Monica could feel his gaze on her and it suddenly she felt as if the hot air was suffocating her. Slowly, she drew closer to him and as he started to do the same, she finally felt their lips meet and connect for the very first time after several nights of longing. She hadn't been this intimate with a man since Brad. Pulling him closer, she felt as if she were on fire. She'd wanted this for a long time and with the fierceness of his kiss and touch, she knew he'd wanted it too.

"Oh my god, Monica," he whispered. "You have no idea how long it's been since I've been this close with a woman."

"But I do know, John," she managed between breaths. "Just as long as it's been for me since Brad."

John pulled away briefly.

"John, what's wrong?"

"Nothing," he said, gazing at her intently. "It's just that Scully told me something."

Sitting up, Monica looked at him. "What, John?"

"Barb told her that we could have a life together, if only I'd let you in."

Monica looked puzzled. "What?" "Why would she say something like that?"

John shrugged. "I don't know, but you know right. I think she's right, Monica. It's been staring me straight in the face all these years and I've been so caught up not to notice it."

"Well John, if you're not ready, I understand," she whispered.

John looked at her incredulously. "No, that's not what I meant. I want this Monica…I want you."

Monica was speechless. "John…"

"I mean it Monica and I know you do too, so if you'll give me a chance…"

Monica smiled. "Shh, let's go inside and finish this conversation."

He chuckled as he threw the seatbelt off and got out of the car. He followed her inside the building and down the hallway to her place. The silence was suffocating as they entered the apartment. Monica led the way and prepared the wood in her fireplace for a fire.

John looked around, contemplating. It's not like there'd been any other men in Monica's life since she'd lived here, so he wondered why he was looking around as if to try and find something. Had she really been single so long?

Once the fire got going, Monica watched John. "Something interesting you're looking for?"

When John caught Monica's gaze, she shrugged. "Nothing, really. It's just that we've only been to your place a few times."

Monica nodded and sat with him on the couch. "Are you sure you're alright, John?" she touched his hand gently.

John looked up at her and nodded. "Yeah, I actually don't think I've felt like this for a long time. I think I'm ready to move on with my life, I think it's what Luke would have wanted."

Monica smiled as she squeezed his hand. "I think so too. You deserve to be happy, John."

John nodded. "Thanks, for everything, Monica. For being here," he whispered as he smoothed a lock of brown hair behind her ear. They gazed at one another for what felt like an eternity before he reached into his pocket. "I have something for you."

Monica studied him, wondering what he was thinking and watched him pull out a small box. "Here, open it."

Monica smiled and looked at him. "For me? Wow, John. I don't know what to say."

"Don't say anything, just open it," he prompted.

She slowly took her gaze from his awaiting gaze and opened the little black box. Nestled inside was a sterling silver heart necklace. She gasped. "Wow, this is beautiful, John. You didn't have to do this."

He shook his head. "It's not much, I just wanted to say thank you, after everything you've done for me all these years."

Monica was speechless. "You don't need to thank me, John. I wanted to be there."

John moved forward and took the necklace from her hands, placing it around her neck. He gazed at it for one moment before sitting back. "This is one of the nicest presents anyone has ever given me."

"I'm glad you think so."

Monica swallowed as she gazed into the ocean depths of his eyes. She could sense his longing and she felt it too. There was no use denying it any longer. She lowered her gaze as she eased in closer to him, and she could feel him doing the same for their lips met and tongues danced. Before she knew what was happening, she was shedding her confines of her leather jacket and he was too. Everything was happening so quickly.

Moments later, they managed to find their way into the bedroom, shedding the remains of their clothes. It had been such a long time since she'd had sex with another man and she was sure by his readiness that it was the same for him too.

She positioned herself on top of him and allowed him to take her into complete bliss. "Oh, John," she whispered.

He moaned as he felt himself enter her. She felt amazing. He might regret this later, but maybe not. This was against protocol, but they were off duty and no one ever had to know. He felt himself thrust inside of her as she joined him in ecstasy.

Monica was absolutely beautiful, stunning and even more so now that he was able to explore every inch of her that was once before left to the imagination. "Monica," he moaned, biting her earlobe, "You are beautiful, fantastic and stunning."

She smiled as she continued to join him in complete surrender. "You are amazing too, John. I can't believe I waited so long," she gasped, throwing her head back. "I love you, John Doggett."

John closed his eyes as they shared their release. "I love you too, Monica Reyes."

Moments later, they were both gasping for air and Monica rolled over to the side. She was still smiling. "Wow,"

John looked up at the ceiling. "Wow is right." He turned towards her. "Never leave my life, Monica Reyes."

She grinned as she touched his hand. "How could I, with puppy dog eyes like that?" she chuckled.

As he spooned her, he thought aloud. "Where do we go from here?"

"Mmm, well, let's see where destiny takes us."

"You always were a spiritual thinker, Monica."

"Is that bad?"

"No, a little spontaneity in my life is a good thing. It'll keep me prepared for those monsters you all call Aliens."

"Well, wherever we go, we're in it together."

He closed his eyes. "I'll hold you to it."