Closing Doors

John walked into Granny's and a passing Ruby greeted him.

"Usual?" she asked.

He liked it that he had a "usual" and that the server knew it. "Yeah."

"I'll have it right out." She turned adding over her shoulder, "They're in the booth."

"Thank you," he called after her, knowing exactly whom she was talking about and which booth she meant. Indeed, he found them in their usual booth.

All had their habitual hot chocolates laced with cinnamon. Henry was sitting next to Mary, both of their heads bent over books, with the teacher explaining something to her student. Emma sat across from them reading a newspaper, hands wrapped around her mug.

Henry looked up at John's approach and smiled brightly. "Hey, John," he said, starting to rise from his seat, his voice a little brighter than usual.

Both women looked up.

Emma reached across the table, keeping her son from getting up. "Uh uhn, kid, Mary's taking this extra time to help you study; no distraction tactics."

Mary met John's gaze, her eyes sparkling with laughter. He lifted his hand to rub his mouth, concealing an amused grin from the boy who sat back down dejectedly.

Emma scooted over to make room on her side of the booth. "Hi, John," she greeted.

"Emma," he returned accepting her invitation. He grinned across the table at Mary. "Hey."

"Hello, John," the dark haired woman greeted in return, her smile warm.

He thanked Ruby as she set his hot chocolate down in front of him. He carefully wrapped his left hand around the handle and slowly brought it up for a sip. His hand still shook, and he had to support the mug as he lowered it back to the tabletop. He looked up to see Mary smiling at him proudly.

"You're doing a lot better," she told him encouragingly.

He gave her a half smile. "Yeah," he answered turning the mug by the handle.

"What do they say about your arm?" Emma asked as she took a drink of her own hot chocolate.

John took a deep breath. "That while I will likely regain the use of it, I will still have substantially limited range of motion, and strength, and the dexterity of my hand will never be what it was before…whatever happened."

Mary was looking at him compassionately. "I'm sorry."

He shrugged; then lifted his right hand, wiggling his fingers, "I guess it's a good thing I'm right handed."

Her eyes lit with humor; that look and the fact that he put it there was enough to push aside his own frustration. He noticed that she had slipped her ring down her finger to twist it as she often did. For some reason whenever he saw the ring on her hand a warm, possessiveness that he didn't understand any more than the connection roared through him.

Henry asked his teacher a question about the material, drawing her attention to him. John loved watching her interact with children, especially Henry; she was just amazing with them. He'd thought on many occasions that she'd make a wonderful mother, and if, when he imagined her with children of her own, he was there beside her and a few of the children had his eyes, who would know. He felt the weight of eyes on him and turned his gaze to Emma; the way she was looking at him made him pretty sure that she could at least guess at his thoughts. He met her level gaze unflinchingly. The pair had formed a partnership of their own over the last few weeks; though he could tell that she was still leery of him being around Mary they at least had an understanding of the situation.

"I have something for you back at the office," she told him, draining the last of her hot chocolate. "We'll get it after you're done."

There was something in her tone and expression that caught his breath with hope; he managed to nod casually. "All right." He took a larger swallow of his drink.

Mary cast them both an inquisitive look, but she was quickly distracted once again by Henry.

John was grateful for this. He wasn't ready to make it common knowledge that he was seeking a divorce with the help of the deputy. He finished off his hot chocolate as quickly as possible without being rude or raising suspicion. "I'm ready." He turned to the blond who nodded.

"I'll be back," she assured the other two, who watched them curiously, as they slid out of the booth and headed out of the diner.

"What's up?" he asked once they were heading down the sidewalk toward the sheriff's office.

"I ran into Louis earlier; he was on his way home with the flu, he gave me the paperwork to pass on to you," she explained, pushing the door to the office open. Louis was the lawyer she had found to help him with his divorce.

Graham was returning to his desk from the coffee pot, mug in hand.

"Hey, Graham," Emma greeted.

"I thought you were on break for another half-hour," he said, glancing at the clock.

"I am," she affirmed, moving to her desk and grabbing a manila envelope off it. "I just had to grab something." She held it up for him to see. She then turned back around and led John out. "Later, Graham."

"Sheriff," John nodded as he followed her out.

He heard Graham's muffled response through the door.

Emma handed him the envelope.

His hands shook slightly as he lifted the flap and pulled out the sheave of papers; he let out a relieved sigh at the sight of the official script and wording. He looked back up at her. "Thank you."

She shrugged. "I just introduced you to a lawyer."

He smirked, replacing the papers. "You did more than that."

She shoved her hands into her pockets. "What do you plan to do?"

He glanced in the direction of his house. "I'm going to get packed. I'll give Kathryn the papers when she gets home, and then I'll leave."

She looked at him a bit concerned. "Where will you go?"

"I'll check into Granny's for now."

She shifted a little. "Would you like a ride to the B and B?"

He looked at her, surprised at the offer; she was looking at him with a guarded nervousness, one side of his mouth quirked up into a smile. "Yeah, thanks."

She nodded her head firmly. "Okay, what time?"

He thought for a moment. "Five thirty; that should give me enough time to talk to Kathryn."

"All right." She turned back toward the diner. "See you later, John."

"Until later, Emma."

John set the suitcase down on the bed in the spare bedroom. He had been sleeping in here since leaving the hospital, explaining to Kathryn that it didn't feel right sharing a bed with a woman he didn't really know. He had already placed two bags in the entranceway; on top of one sat the papers for Kathryn to find when she got in.

This would likely be his last bag; there was very little, aside from his clothing, he wanted to take with him. He picked up the chess set from its resting place next to the bed; he turned it reverently in his hands. While he didn't have any memories attached to this set from before, he was starting to create new ones with the frequent games he and Sean played, usually two or three times a week. He smiled, enjoying the memories and habits he was building in this new life. He settled the set into the bag and then turned back to the last drawer in the chest for what was left of his clothing.

The entranceway door opened. "David, I'm home!" Kathryn called.

John kept packing while things went quiet below. After several minutes feet rapidly ascended the stairs; he braced himself for what was to come.

"David, what is this?" Kathryn demanded, coming through the door to the room, holding up the envelope.

He glanced up at her. "Divorce papers," he stated simply, before he set a couple of shirts inside the bag.

"But David, why?" she asked.

He was truly astonished that she was so surprised. "I want a divorce, Kathryn."

"But why do you want one, David?" He felt a twinge of annoyance every time she called him David, but said nothing. "This is our second chance."

He sighed. "No, Kathryn, it isn't." He braced his hands on the rigid sides of the suitcase. "I'm tired of trying to live a life that isn't mine." He looked at her over his shoulder.

She frowned. "What are you talking about?"

He straightened up. "I'm not David, at least not the one you knew."

"That's just the amnesia, you just need to give it time," she tried to reassure him but he was already shaking his head by the fifth word.

"Kathryn," he took a deep breath, "I don't love you."

She went stock-still.

"And I don't think you really love me either," he added.

She shook her head, "No, I do –"

He was shaking his head again. "You love the idea of me." She snapped her mouth closed. "You love the idea of our reconciling." He pressed his lips together, a regretful expression on his face. "You love a dream."

The stood staring at each other from across the room; it might as well have been from a hundred miles away.

"I need to move on and so do you," he continued; he turned back to place the last article of clothing in his bag before looking back at her. "I'm not going to fight for anything, Kathryn. You get the house, everything in it, your money. We never joined our bank accounts so there's no need to worry about splitting up the money. I don't have a job so I can't give you alimony and I don't want any from you. It's really quite simple. Neat."

She was staring at him with an unreadable expression. "Where are you going?"

"I'm going to stay at Granny's for now, until I figure out what to do with my life from here." He stepped closer to her. "Can you really say that you won't be a little relieved to get back to your own life?"

She stared at him for a moment longer before a wistful smile twisted her lips. "Good bye, David."

"Good bye, Kathryn."

He zipped the bag closed and carried it downstairs, leaving her standing in the room.

There was a knock at the door; he opened it to reveal Emma.

"Right on time," he stated.

She smirked. "I try. Ready?"


She slung a sports bag over her shoulder and picked up another suitcase in her free hand.

John felt this old fashioned, chivalrous need to be the one to take most of the bags, but with his arm, he just wasn't able.

Emma headed over to her little yellow bug, opening the door and tossing the bags in the back.

John looked around the entranceway one last time before stepping out the door and closing it behind him.

So my story is now officially diverted from the cannon as of this past episode, but what I will be trying to do is kinda weaving what happens in the TV series into this story so it won't be entirely divergent from it. It is timeline-wise quite a bit beyond where the show is right now, so it should be interesting to say the least. Thank you for reading!

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