Title: Beyond the Grave
Author: Y.H. Spooky San
Disclaimer : Not mine and never will be. It belongs to CC and his FOXy gang.

Summary: Mulder and Scully investigate a young girl who rises from the dead.

Author's note: based on an idea by Jojo


1.

The preacher spoke with a soft and gentil voice, but it didn't relief the pressure from George and Sarah Marshall. His eyes found theirs regularly and somehow he tried to comfort them, but he couldn't. No one could help them.

The coffin slowly slided into the grave. Sarah turned away, and hid in her husband's arms. He carressed her hair, but couldn't help her. He couldn't even help himself. They stood up, looking at the several sadlooking faces all around them. The preacher came towards them, gave them the roses lying on Hope's grave, and said, "She's in a better place now."

"Thank you," George heard himself say. "I appreciate your concern."

They didn't go to the other moarning people around them, but simply turned around and walked up to the car. George made sure his wife had sat down before he closed the cardoor carefully. Then he walked around the car, got in, and drove off, leaving the others to talk about Hope's accident. As he looked around, he saw his wife lending back against the leather seat, with her eyes closed.

"It's okay, honey," he said. "I'll take care of you. You'll be fine."

She didn't respond.

Not more than ten minutes later he stopped in front of their large, white, villa in the hills of Englewood. As they got out the gates behind them closed automatically. The door went open. Marie, their frenchspeaking servant, opened the door for them. He nodded towards her, and said, "You may go, Marie. My wife and I would like to be alone."

"Oui, monsieur," she responded. Relieved she could escape the cold and silent house, she grabbed her coat, stepped into her small black car, and left the mansion. George closed up every door, and brought his wife upstairs. There, in their bedroom, he took off her coat and shoes, and lay her gently on the bed. She closed her eyes as he lay a blanket over her shivering body. He wanted to leave her alone, but she grabbed his hand, saying, "Don't leave me, George. Please, don't leave me alone."

"I won't,' he responded. "I'll take care of you." He sat down at the side of the bed, held her hand and waited patiently until she finally fell asleep. Then he let go, closed up the curtains, and walked downstairs. In the living room he pore himself a drink, sat down and grabbed Hope's f ramed picture from the table. He remembered every single detail of the accident, eventhough he didn't want to. He would have to learn to live with it for the rest of his life. But he couldn't.

Jackson waited patiently until the last grieving visitors had left the cemetary, 0nd until the preacher had said, "Close it up, Jackson.", before he took a shuffle and started filling the grave. Dark clouds gathered nearby. He knew there was a storm coming real soon, and he didn't want to get himself wet. He worked hard. Somewhere halfway through it started to rain. First it were just a few drops, then it became a real storm. "Damn!" Jackson said, staring at his drenched clothes. He just wanted to enjoy a nice cup of coffee. And yeah, why not? It could wait. The girl wasn't going anywhere.

Jackson dropped his shuffle, and ran towards the shack, where warm coffee was waiting for him. He slammed the door behind him, took off his wet coat and crawled up near the fire. Damn, why did this always have to happen to him? It was already late, and he wanted to go home, to his wife. But he couldn't leave the grave open. The preacher would be mad as hell.

He stood up, looked outside and noticed that it was still raining. He sighed, put on his wet coat again, and opened the door. No time like the present, the preacher would say. Finish up what you can do now, so you won't have to think about it tomorrow.

Jackson sighed again, as he grabbed his shuffle and started closing up the grave.

Suddenly an extremely large, bright light surrounded him. He looked up, staring at the endless sky. The light was all around him, blinded him. He lay down the shuffle, and backed away from the grave. He couldn't see straight. What the hell was going on here? He heard a humming sound - it became loud as he turned around and started to run. The next moment he fell down, while his back burnt like hell. His hand crawled to his back, but he didn't know what hit him. He turned around, lay on his back, and stared to the sky. The light was all around the open grave. He saw something. The coffin. It opened. He saw a body crawling out of its grave. He saw the girl's face. Her eyes were opened, but they were dead. She just stood there, while the light surrounded her, and came inside of her. She was picked up by it, let herself float through the sky. Jackson heard noise like lightning. As the girl was put down again, while light seemed to shine from her body, he died.

The world turned back to its normal self. The only witnesses of the facts, were a corps and an opened grave.


George Marshall found himself drinking his sixth glass. His mind turned away in a rush. He was tired. How could he live with the fact he killed his own daughter? He got up, and walked up to the bar. Night had fallen, and he wanted to forget. Then his eyes found something outside. He shivered. There was something out there. He walked to the window, pushed away the curtains, and saw a shadow in the light of the full moon. The glass dropped out of his hand. He heard himself say, "No. No. No!" The pain hammered in his head. He had to get out of here. His mind was playing tricks on him. He saw her. His daughter. She was standing right outside, looking at him. Her ghost had come back to haunt him, to punish him for killing her.

"No ...!!!" His cry was heard upstairs. Sarah reached up, and heard it. She walked down, just in time to see her husband almost getting a heartattack.

"George?" she asked. "George, what is it?"

He pointed towards the terrasdoor. She looked up, and saw it. Her. She held in her breath. Then it slipped out of her in one long, deep breath. No, this couldn't be happening. This was a dream - nothing more than a bad, bad dream!

But there she was. Their little girl. Their twelve-year-old daughter. She stood there, looking at them, saying, "Mom? Dad? Why are you looking at me like that? It's me, Hope. Mom? Dad?"

The girl came further inside. George saw her strange, dark eyes. Her voice sounded strange - mature and childish at the same time. Weird.

"Mom? Dad? Mom, it's me. Don't look at me like that. Why are you looking at me like that?"

The girl stood in the middle of the room, looking at her parents. George crawled up. In his desparate urge to believe, he stretched out his arms, and she threw herself against him. He felt her warm body against his, carressed her hair, and heard her say, "It's okay, daddy. I'm back. I'm not going anywhere anymore. I'm home. I'll never leave you again."

George's eyes found his wife's. She cried as Hope turned towards her and begged, "Mom, hold me. I don't know what happened to me, mom. Mom ...?"

Sarah couldn't resist her daughters cry. She couldn't resist those eyes.

"It's okay, honey," she said. "We'll take care of you. I promise we'll take care of you. You will never be hurt again."

Hope smiled.


2.

Scully put on gloves before she touched the coffin. The wood smelled burnt.

"So, Mulder," she said while getting up. "What do you think? Is Donnie Pfaster back to his old tricks?"

"No," Mulder responded. "I took the liberty of checking on him when detective Ross told me about this grave. He's got nothing to do with it. I don't think we have a fetisjist here, Scully. They don't take the body, just the reliks."

"Then what do you think?"

"I don't know."

Scully reached up, and saw her partner bent over and touch the burnt grass around the grave. Then he walked over to Jackson Bates' dead body, and examined it carefully. Several police-officers were standing around them, talking to each other, discussing what could have happened here. Nobody had an answer.

"Look at this, Scully."

She came closer and saw hem touch Jackson's back.

"He's been struck, but not by lightning. This heat was too intense even for lightning. His body stiffened after a few minutes, you said, right? So, what if he was touched by aliens?"

"What?" Scully said surprised. "Aliens? Why would they come here ? What would they do with the body of a dead girl?"

"I don't know. But the intense heat, the burnt marks - it fits the profile. It had to be aliens. Who else you know can bring back people to life?"

"I know one person," she said. "But He died 2000 years ago. But claiming this was the work of aliens ... Mulder, it's without any proove, any notifications."

"Right. Let's go, Scully."

"Where to?"

"Her parent's house. Don't you find it odd that they haven't even been here to check out what has been happening? Ross said he called them an hour ago."

'How did they react?"

"Weird, according to Ross. Like they expected it."

"And Ross didn't bring them in for questioning?" Scully asked. "Didn't it occur to him that they might have taken the girl's body? Feelings of guilt and grief can twist someone's mind."

"So your theory is that they took her body home?"

"It has happened before."

"Alright." Mulder stepped into the car, and opened the door for her. "We'll soon find out, won't we?"


George saw them coming via the camera put on top of the wall, but didn't open the gate. Instead he said to his wife, "Get the girl out of sight and then come back."

Sarah nodded her head, and brought their daughter upstairs. Hope didn't object when Sarah pushed her up the stairs leading to the small and dark attic. She didn't feel scared, didn't cry when she ended up in darkness. She just waited, like they told her to wait.

Mulder waited patiently for about two seconds near the intercom, but no one responded. He stepped out, walked up to the fence and turned towards Scully who said, "They're probably not here."

"Oh yes, they are. Just look at those windows. There are lights burning."

Scully followed his pointed finger, and took a look at the rest of the windows. Upstairs she saw curtains moving. They were watching them. Impatiently Mulder pressed the intercombutton again. A voice said, "Yes?"

"We're with the FBI, sir. We would like to ask you some questions."

The iron gate turned open. Mulder and Scully got back in the car, and drove further. The gate closed immediately after them. Scully watched it, and said, "Looks just like a prison. What a life that girl must have had."

"Ross said they were very protective about her. She was their only child. Her death must have been quite a blow to them."

"Losing a child always is terrible," Scully said, remembering previous cases.

The frontdoor opened. A young, thirty-five-year-old man looked at them without saying a word.

"Mr. Marshall," Mulder said. "We're with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This is agent Scully, I am agent Mulder. We would like to ask you some questions concerning what happened to your daughter's grave last night."

"I haven't got much time," George responded. "My wife and I were just about to leave."

"To the cemetary?" Scully asked.

"No, we eh - we decided to go on a trip to forget what had happened."

"Doesn't it concern you, sir, that your daughters body is gone?"

"She'll turn up again," George said coldly. "Now, was that all, miss?"

"May we search your house, sir?" Mulder said.

"Have you got a warrant?"

"No, but it won't take long to get one."

"As long as you don't have one, you're not getting into this house," George replied. "No, excuse me. We don't have much time."

The door slammed in their faces. Mulder turned towards Scully and said, "The girl is here, Scully. In the house. They're hiding her body. You were absolutely right."

"But why?"

"Grief. Pain. Who knows? Come on, let's go." Mulder turned around towards the car, got in, and waited for her to step in next to him. The gate went open again. Mulder left the street, but then stopped and parked the car.

"What are you doing?" Scully asked. "I have never seen you quite so soon."

"I'm not quiting," he smiled. "I'm waiting."

"They'll see you."

"No, we'll see them."

"If they leave."

"They can't stay in the house forever, can they? And this is the only way out. That street is a dead end so ... Just relax, Scully. We could be in for a long wait here."

"And what if we're wrong?"

"We're not wrong."

Scully sighed. She hated to wait. But fortunately, this time they were lucky. Within ten minutes, a car left the street.

"What the hell ...?" Mulder said as they saw three figures in the car. The car passed them. Automatically the FBI-agents bent over so they wouldn't be spotted. Then, as Mulder looked back up, he saw a girl at the backseat. A girl with long, black hair.

"Scully, what did Hope Marshall look like? Have you got a picture?"

"Yeah, right here."

She opened the file, gave it to him, and said, "Why? What's wrong?"

Mulder gave her back the picture, started the engine, and left the parkingspace. He stayed behind the grey Sedan the Marshall's were driving. Soon the Marshall's left the hills and took a route which would lead them straight out of the city.

"Where are they going?" Scully said looking at a map. "Silverton?"

"Probably. Or some godforgotten town."

"But why?"

"Look at that figure in the backseat, Scully. It's her. It's Hope."

"That's impossible, Mulder! She's dead."

"Who signed the death certificate?"

"Some doctor at Memorial Hospital. But there was no doubt about her death. This has to be someone else. A twin - a double."

"And what if it isn't?"

Scully looked at her partner with unbelieve. "Mulder, you don't really think she raise from the dead, do you? Remember what I told you about one man who can bring them back?"

"We have encountered it before, right?"

"What could be so special about this girl that she would be granted life again?"

"Let's find out."

Mulder pushed in the gaspedal, took another lane until they drove next to the Marshalls, and got their attention. "Move over!"

George Marshall bit his lip, turned to his wife, and said, "What should I do?"

"Drive faster," Sarah said, looking at their daughter sitting behind them. "Ignore them. They are not taking Hope away from us again."

"No ..." George slowed down, and left the busy Route, taking the first secondary route they encountered. He stopped, and waited patiently until the FBI-agents came to take away his daughter. Mulder was the first one at the car. He took George's side, opened the door, and said, "Get out, sir." Scully opened the backdoor, and said to the girl, "Please, step out of the car." Hope obeyed instantly. Filled with surprise Scully stared at her, remembering the picture. This was Hope, without a doubt.

Mulder said, "What is going on, sir? Your daughter ... This is Hope, isn't it?"

"Yes."

He turned towards the girl standing quiet against the car. "Hope, do you remember what happened?"

"I died and came back. I don't know anything more."

George looked up. "You are not taking our daughter. She belongs with us."

"No one is going to take your daughter, sir," Scully said. "But we have to determine what happened to her. So she's going to the hospital with us to be examined. You can come too if you like."

"You're not taking her away," Sarah said again. "She's ours."

"Alright," Mulder said. "Scully why don't you join Mr. Marshall in his car. Follow us. Mrs. Marshall, would you like to drive with us ?"

"Yes, agent Mulder."

Mulder opened the cardoor. Hope looked at it and said, "I want to sit in front."

"Alright," Mulder said. "Mrs. Marshall ...?"

Sarah stepped in without a word, and watched her daughter get in next to Mulder. "Don't forget your seatbelt,' Mulder said. Hope obayed silently.

George Marshall got in his own car, and waited until Scully had taken place before starting the engine. George waited until Mulder drove off, before following them. Scully watched him, and then said, "Can you tell me what has been happening, sir?"

"I don't know," he responded. "I only knew we got our daughter back. I don't care how it was done, or who did it. I killed her, and now she's back."

"And what if she isn't your daughter?"

"She IS Hope!" George yelled. "How can you say she's not?"

"It has happened before."

"How do you mean?"

"Never mind."

"What is going to happen in the hospital?"

"She's going to be examined. It could be possible the doctors made a mistake, but I don't see how that was possible. Somebody should have seen she was buried alive."

"So ...?"

"A blood- and DNA-test will tell us more."

"Good," George said. "That will clear this once and for all."

"And then there still is the matter of the gravedigger, being found dead at the cemetary. Hope is the only witness. If she knows who killed him, she must tell us, or she could be charged herself."

"Hope? She's just a kid!"

"Let's just wait until we get to the hospital, sir," Scully said friendly.


Mulder watched the mirror. Mrs. Marshall lent back, and looked outside, silently and with pain in her eyes. After a few minutes she seemed to fall asleep. Hope looked back, and then looked at Mulder. "She's sleeping. That's good."

Mulder looked aside, and said, "What is going on, Hope? Who are you?"

She smiled. "I am who I am."

"And who are you?"

"I am Hope Marshall, born ..."

"No, who are you really? You're not human, are you?"

For a second her eyes filled with surprise. Then she lent back, smiled mysteriously, and said, "So, what do you think I am, agent Mulder?"

"I saw what happened at the cemetary. The burnt traces, the dead body. The way you got out of the grave. The way Hope Marshall's body got out of the grave. But you are not Hope, are you?"

"Take Route 11, agent Mulder. It'll take you straight into town, past the river and the woods."

Mulder watched the other car in the rear view mirror. Scully and George Marshall were following at close range.

"Were you planning on leaving Englewood for good?"

"Yeah. I asked them to. They had to abandon everything in order to keep me."

"Why? What are you afraid of?"

"They left me here, just like many others. I have a mission, but I don't want to accomplish it."

"What is your mission?"

"To infiltrate in human life. To become one of them. We use dead human bodies. We use children's bodies. Their parents are weak and vulnerable. They need their children. So we give them back what they desire."

"What are you?"

"We are not human. You call us alien, but in our world they would call you alien."

"Why take over our world?"

She laughed. "We're not planning to take over anything. We just need a new chance to survice, and in order to do so, we study you, and your ways. And what better way than to be amongst you?"

"You said you didn't want to complete your duties. What did you mean by that?"

Her mouth, carrying a strange, mysterious smile, changed. She said , "I have only one year to stay here, but I want more. That's why they are on the run. They know. I told them. And we have to keep on running for the rest of our lives, eventhough it's probably useless."

"Will they find you?"

"Perhaps they already have."

Mulder slowed down. "Then let us protect you."

She laughed. "How can you? Why would you? I am not human. I would be a testsubject for your world. They would fear me."

"No one has to know."

"Don't you understand, Mulder? It's useless! Even this - this driving to a hospital to check me out. I have Hope's body but her mind is dead. I'm lost before anyone can save me.' Her head turned around, looking at her sleeping fosterparent. She said, "I like this woman. She has been nice to me. And I like her husband - Hope's father. They knew I wasn't theirs anymore, but still they took care of me. I don't want them to get hurt. And yet I need them, because a human child can not survive on its own. I told them I loved them, and they were happy. They finally had a way of forgetting their fear and guilt."

"So you do experience our feelings, do you?"

"Yes. Every second counts. Every second is like ten human years for me."

"And there will be many more," Mulder said convinced. She smiled.

They passed a sign. Silverton, ten miles. The woods surrounded them now. They made the day look like night. It was peaceful here. The radio wasn't playing, and Hope had silenced. Then, for some unknown reason, the car started to shake. Mulder felt the steeringwheel slip out of his hands. It had taken over control. The car drove off the right side of the road, across the street, towards a large ditch.

Scully watched it from the other car, but couldn't believe what she saw. The car seemed to be struck by lightning, but it wasn't like anything she'd ever encountered before. The car lost every bit of control, tumbled once, got back on its wheels, and ended up inside the ditch. George stopped the car, and saw Scully open the door, even before he had the chance to turn off the engine. He ran after her to the other car. Suddenly she stopped, staring at the light surrounding the car. She saw Hope's body being lifted out of the vehicle, floating in the sky, while the light was sucking life out of her. George screamed, "No!" but there was nothing he could do. As he ran forward, the light vanished. Hope Marshall's body fell on the ground, dead as she had been dead before. He saw it and knew he had lost her again. He heard a sound. One of the carwheels was turning and turning. Sarah! He opened the backdoor, and found her, staring dazed at the frontseat where her daughter had sat a few seconds before. He pulled her out, embrassed her, and said, "It's over. She's gone again." Sarah cried.

"Mulder. Mulder!" Scully pulled the cardoor open and found her partner lending back. His eyes were closed. "Mulder ...?" She touched him by the shoulder. He opened his eyes and looked at her. She smiled in her relief. "I thought you were dead."

"Did you see it?"

"Yes, I did. Mulder, what the hell happened?"

"She's gone. They took her again."

"Who?"

"The ones who brought her here. She was too dangerous. She was a fighter, and they couldn't handle that. So she had to be returned. But she didn't want them to hurt anyone anymore. She begged them to keep us alive, and they did."

"Mulder, I don't understand what you are saying. What did that girl tell you?"

Mulder stepped out of the car, helped by his partner. He was shaken, but fine. He saw George and Sarah near their daughters body, took Scully by the arm, and said, "It's a long story, Scully. A long, long story."

George helped his wife up, and took her away from Hope's body. The few hours they had together, had been like a god's gift. That's all that mattered.

The End


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