Disclaimer: I don’t own them. I mean, DUH! If I owned them, I’d be rich. I’d be loaded. I’d… well, I’d be Chris Carter. Obviously, I’m not.
Keywords: MSR, Angst
Category, V, A
Summary: when you tell someone you love them, and they’re not there to hear it, what is left?
xXXx archive notes: yes, please. Just keep my name attached and drop me a line and let me know where you’re taking it… otherwise, I have to charge you with kidnapping…. Just kidding….
FEEDBACK, PLEASE. SHAMELESS PLEA…. :o)
Authors note: for those of you who have read stories of mine before, you know that I rarely (if ever) venture into the world of angst. Frankly, angst scares me. <grin> But… well, I was in a not-so-good mood the other night, pretty down actually, and writing this really helped exercise some demons. It was actually an experimental thing that I did, and so… please let me know what you think, if you really like it. I also feel compelled to tell you… if you do not like angst, turn back now. I mean it. If you do like angst, well, then by all means…. <grin>
Second warning: there is an implied…. Um, Character, umm… death…. Errr, of sorts… but to appease those who hate that kind of thing, I tried to make it a little bit ambiguous. Maybe it was an abduction. Maybe it’s a coma. I don’t specify here. I suppose then, that you can just take from it what you will. Sometimes, stories can be pretty interpretive….
Foooorrrrr….. Jill (my best friend as always), Nickie (my other half, of course), Kelly (my wonderful beta reader), EVERYONE at Gerties (to name a few, FC, Taryn, Karen, Spooky Chick, Bubblette, Lister, Gertie—of course, Kailee Jane, X, X-Girl, allie, acrtic, and umm… I’m forgetting bunches of people… if I am, let me know and scream at me…<grin>) and…. Someone I feel compelled to thank--- for her always wonderful, always honest, always profound comments. Martina---you know who you are. Say hi to the nice folks! <grin> Your feedback has been inspiring.
It’s funny how I feel so much
But cannot say a word
I'm screaming inside
But I can’t be heard.
And I will remember you.
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by.
Weep not for the memories…
--------------- Sarah Mclachlan
Dandelions For Luck
By Jaime Lyn
I thought I saw you today, Scully.
I know that it’s crazy to believe, but when have I not been crazy? Snap judgements and fleeting flights of fancy have always been my trademark. You know me.
And it was… it was just a day, like any other day, Scully, but I thought I saw you there. I thought I saw that familiar flash of russet, painted brightly amongst the throng of brunettes and blondes. I thought I recognized your familiar gait, that strong, sturdy walk you always dignified with your presence. I thought I saw that sense of purpose in your stride, that soft air you always carried along with you. The one that followed you wherever you went and smelled faintly of… vanilla and the sunset. Yes, that was it. Vanilla and sunset, though don’t ask me why.
But of course, it wasn’t you. And I know that it wasn’t you, I felt that it wasn’t you, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want it to be you. Tell me… is it a sin, Scully, that I wanted it to be you? I never did know much about sinning or damnation, but you would know, wouldn’t you? I’m so sorry that I wanted it to be you.
I thought I heard your laugh today.
Not that I ever heard it with ease or tranquility----at least, not in the life that we led, and not that I ever heard it for more than a second, but I knew it by heart and I thought it was you. Even though I know it was more of a feeling than a sound, more of a melodic swirl of the wind from your lips----I strained to hear it, because I felt that it was you. I thought that it sounded like your soft, intermittent delight of laughter----The kind that made me laugh too. –The kind where you would smile—really smile, and I would smile back because I knew your secretive grin was meant only for me.
I even closed my eyes and tried to hear more of it, Scully. I strained and longed to feel your voice and see your smile in my mind, and I craned my neck for you in the crowd. I tried, Scully. I tried so hard to hear you.
But it wasn’t you. The breeze rustled through my hair and the wind had shifted, but it wasn’t you. God, how I’d wanted it to be you.
And I thought I felt your hand on my face today…
It was only for a moment, but I swear it was you. It was the scent of your skin, the sensation of silk and smoothness, and your familiar index finger trailing along the corner of my mouth. Remember that, Scully?
Remember the way you used to wake me up? With the crook of your finger tracing against my cheek, and the faintest trace of your lips on my neck? Well, I felt that today and I swear it was you. And though I know that if you were here, you would say that it was only the ravings of an over active imagination that I felt, that it was the wind. That it was the breeze. That it was a dream.---
It wasn’t---- I swear, Scully, I swear it was you. I even let my eyes close---for the second time in one day—to make sure that it was you. I breathed in softly, ever so softly, then harder and deeply, because I knew that it was your hand on my heart, your fingers tracing the line of my cheek, and I wanted you to feel me breathing. I wanted to breathe for you. God, Scully, I would have breathed for you, you know, if you would have let me. If it was you.
But I opened my eyes and you were gone. Outside, the world was getting sleepy, the sun was setting, but it did not smell of faint vanilla--- like you always did. It was just the sun in the sky, consenting to dusting the clouds with greens and reds, and the shades of your russet hair. It wasn’t you when the moon rose, either.
I wished and I hoped, but it wasn’t you.
God, how I wanted it to be you.
Afterwards, I even remembered…. I remembered, Scully, and I picked a dandelion for you.
Funny, how I had always thought those silly things to be weeds and nothing more. Something common, something trivial, something I wouldn’t have associated with you at one time. Something I used to step over on my way to work. Nothing more. But today…
Today I saw the delicate white petals in the ground, and I remembered you telling me how dandelions were your favorite---how your father used to give you bunches of them when you were a little girl. I remembered you blushing at me and looking away, and I remembered you clearing your throat and changing the subject. But most of all, Scully, I remembered you.
So I plucked the weed and I held it close to me, as the breeze lifted away a petal or two. My heart beat against it, and I remembered a time when I had picked another one like it, just for you----after you had cried--- dark, painful, silent tears that no one but me understood. Do you remember that, Scully?
Do you remember the color of the sunset that day? Do you remember the way the wind swept our coats when you told me about how you used to be, when you were a child? Do you remember when you told me that you missed that innocence? I remember…
I remember the leaves falling from the trees, painting the ground in brown and orange ochre. I remember the grass under out feet, and your hand on my face. I remember your fingers twined with mine, and I remember the cadence of your voice when you said my name.
Nobody ever could say my name like you did, Scully. Nobody.
I remember how I gave you a dandelion for luck, and a kiss on the cheek for no reason at all. I remember you falling silent, biting your lip with a gentle smile, and carefully changing the subject. Do you remember?
Where have those days gone, Scully? Whatever happened to hours that used to churn like minutes, passing faster than either of us could breathe? Whatever happened to late night case write ups and bad Chinese food on Monday nights? Whatever happened to sharing chicken wings and after-hours drinks at "Arnies," your hand on my arm, my eyes locked on yours? Whatever happened to your fingers on my cheek, or the tentative caresses you placed on my jaw—when we were still new and so afraid?
I’m still so afraid.
Why is it that I see you every day—in crowds, in buildings, in parking lots, in the wind and all around me, but you’re never there? Why is it that every time I turn around, there is someone else standing where you should be? Why is it that I can’t seem to stop hearing you on the breeze?
Why is it that I know what you’d say?
"Mulder," you’d admonish, with startling clarity and determination in your sapphire eyes. "It’s time to let go. It’s time to move on. Please move on."
We always did have differing opinions, didn’t we, Scully?
A tiny, chubby hand clutches to mine, demanding my attention, and I turn to face it.
I look down and I see sapphire colored eyes, a dusting of copper freckles, and russet sunset hair. I see a soft smile and tiny arms, and legs that wobble sometimes when she wants to be held. I see determination and strength, and a fire belied by a soft air… and vanilla scented sunset. Always, vanilla scented sunset…
Sometimes, I think I even see you. I swear I see you, Scully, though it’s not you and I wish you were here. I know it’s wrong to wish it were you, but it’s not, and I’m sorry.
"Daddy?" she asks again softly, biting a rose colored lip unsurely. "Can I pick a flower for mommy?"
There is a smile that sweeps through me, and I bend down, touching an index finger to the end of her soft, button nose. She giggles like the melodic hum on the wind, and I swear that I hear you.
"Sure thing, Potato head," I joke, trying to leaven the moment, to wash away the sadness and relieve the ache I feel whenever I know that it is not you here with me. It’s amazing how I can go on, how I can see you every day, everywhere I go, but still know that it’s not you. I know it’s not you, but I don’t want to believe. Why can’t I believe, Scully?
I watch as she bends down to feel along the earth, scrunching her nose, cautiously. It is an endeavor for her--- I know---to pick out just the right one, the most perfect flower that she kind find. For you. Her eyebrow raises and her eyes widen as she spots a contender—a perfect dandelion---- cornering it with that determined stare of hers. Sometimes, I look at her and I can’t help but muse that she is so much like you, Scully. It’s hard for me—you know, to look at her—to see those eyes, as clear as the ocean, and not see you. It’s hard for me to pat her sunset head and not recognize the traces of vanilla lingering there.
"I’m no tato-head, Daddy," she mumbles, and I can’t help but smile.
I um, I also wanted to tell you, Scully, that she’s become my life. She’s the reason I get up in the morning, and she’s the reason that I come back at night. She’s the single best thing that I’ve ever done---right—which is what you would say, probably…But sometimes… God, Scully, sometimes I feel so guilty for loving her as much as I do. Sometimes I feel as if it should still be you. Is that wrong?
If it is, I’m sorry.
I watch as she picks a dandelion with careful reverence, grabbing it with her tiny, baby hands, and she presents it to me to give to you. Now, she always gives it to me first--- I think, because she’s become convinced that it’s the "proper way" to do it. She insists that in all the books she sees at daycare, "the daddy always gives the mommy flowers." And, well…. she does, after all, take those kinds of things very seriously. She takes everything she reads and hears very seriously. Maybe it’s because you are there—with her, inside of her. But then, if I told you that, you’d only call me crazy. I think she’d call me crazy too.
I slowly place the flower down, next to the others—most more carefully handpicked—roses, daisies, carnations, lilacs, and other buds of all colors and sizes, ranging from the extravagant to the ‘just nice.’ Our little offering is small in comparison, but I know that you would like it best. If you were here, you would see the dandelion first, I know that you would.
You would smile and you would look at me, those blue eyes tender and gentle beneath your dark, harsh, business suit. And I would look at you and know that underneath the strong veneer I loved as my partner, was the vulnerable woman I loved just as much. Then you would raise an eyebrow at me, skeptical, but pleased, though not wanting to give away your "hand" too quickly. After all, you know that I would find SOMETHING to joke about if you did. Probably something about dandelions. About dandelions for luck. About remembering to give you a dandelion for luck. And it would be one of my dumber jokes too, wouldn’t it, Scully? One that would make you wave a hand at me and say, "Mulder, you know there is no scientific proof that dandelions are causal factors for luck."
But we would laugh, anyway, wouldn’t we?
And then you would clasp your dandelion and look down at her… at our little girl, and you would smile like the sunset. And maybe you would reach down and give her your flower for luck. Maybe you would pick her up and swing her around. Maybe you would laugh. Maybe she would, too.
You know, Scully, she laughs like you.
And maybe you would take our hands then, softly, and we could go pick dandelions out in the field, like I had done for you, once. Luck for each of us, I guess.
I feel a tug on my dress pants and then, "we go home now, Daddy?"
I grin and make a face at her---my Mr. Potato head face--- as she likes to call it, and I scoop her tiny body up into my arms. She squeals with delight and I can’t help but laugh along with her. She fascinates me to no end, and I never try to hide it. I make another face and she squeals again, clasping an extra dandelion to her chest, pressing an Eskimo kiss to my nose, softly. She pulls back and I look at her, smiling through a sloppy rendition of ‘Mr Potato Head’ that she’s seen a hundred times anyway. She grins and her russet hair swirls around a tiny heart shaped face, with blue eyes like the ocean, and a familiar smile meant only for me.
She bites her lip and admonishes, "So silly, Daddy," clasping her arms around my neck.
I close my eyes and breathe in---deep vanilla like the sunset.
Do you remember us, Scully? Do you remember my face? My hands? Do you remember my voice? Do you remember how you used to call me silly like that, once upon a time?
I thought I saw you today, Scully.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, I swear I smelled Vanilla floating on the breeze. The sky faded into vibrant shades of russet, the winds shifted, and I felt your smile, I heard your voice. I heard it all around me, but it wasn’t you. It’s never you.
I hear another light giggle, then, "it’s ok, daddy." Her sapphire blue eyes twinkle with underlying mischief, and she blinks once, twice, and then reaches out a soft little hand to me, raising a concerned eyebrow. She scratches her head, as if confused by my melancholy, and presents me with her carefully picked, tiny dandelion flower. I look at her in astonishment, opening my mouth just long enough to ask her, "For me?"
I am undone.
She nods back, and her red-gold curls shake up and down like fire in those rainbow sparkled barrettes that your mother gave her. It’s so strange, you know? I mean… she wants to give me her flower, Scully. Can you believe that? She picked it herself, and now she wants to give it to me. But… why? Why does she want to give it to me, Scully? I don’t understand. Please help me to understand why. I know that I love her—that I love her and I loved you---but I still don’t think I deserve her flower… I don’t think I deserve yours, either ..
Oh god, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that, Scully.
It’s just… I um, I’m still not good at this. I’m never going to be good at this, and I wish you were here to tell me what to do. You would know, wouldn't you?
"No be sad—" she tells me, seriously. "See? Daney-wyon… for you."
I somehow manage a grin, tucking a russet-auburn curl behind her miniature baby-ears. She smiles back at me---genuinely, like the sunset---- and I swear I see you in there, Scully. You’re not here, I know you’re not here, but I still see you. And I feel you in the air---on the breeze, and I see you everyday. And if the sun keeps rising and setting, the way it always has, I know I’ll never stop seeing you.
The stars begin their ascention into the sky and we walk away, the two of us, together. Just her and me and a single blanket of twinkling lights—the moon and the painted sky that I wish you could see along with us. You would smile, you know. If you were here.
"luck," we say together, casting a single shadow upon the grassy earth, walking casually into the night that longs to cradle us. There is a breeze here that smells of Vanilla and the sunset, Scully, with you at my back and dandelions beneath my feet.
Dandelions for you. For luck. For always.
God, Scully. I wish you were here.
Well, that was it. that was the whole thing. Now mind you, I have NEVER written anything like this before. I have never ventured into the territory of "serious angst"—At least, I don’t think----and I have always been wary of character death stories. Which is why with this one---it’s implied. Maybe she’s not dead, maybe she’s just gone. This is the X Files, after all, and nothing is ever final—I don’t think. At any rate, thank you for indulging me and hanging on for the ride. I appreciate the effort, and if you’re still here, or if you liked it, or even if you totally hated it and just want to warn me against writing such a thing ever again, please email me. All feedback lovingly replied to (unless there is a MAJOR catastrophe) at firstname.lastname@example.org