Title: Living Again
Author: M.H. Greathouse
Spoilers: None
Keywords: Umm...I'd tell you but it would give away too much...
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, FOX Television, and probably a ton of other people. Isabel Scully Mulder and Jennifer Ehrens belong to me and me alone.
Distribution: Gossamer--No, I'll send it myself. Legacy--yes. Anyone else, please ask before taking. Thanks!

Summary: "But I want to move forward. I want to live in the present."


"You know, Belle keeps getting more beautiful every day. It's so hard to believe next week she'll be eight." I smile a little and reach out, as though to touch you, before drawing my hand back quickly. "She'll always be my baby girl. She reminds me so much of you. So smart, so stubborn...yeah, she's definitely all you." I suddenly remember the flowers in my hand. You've always loved lilies. You said that anyone can buy a dozen red roses, but to pick out the perfect lilies, the right color, the right kind, that takes a master.

The cool spring breeze allows me a deep breath of the scent of the flowers. They smell the way I remember you smelling. Clean and fresh, like the outdoors. A tear winds its way down my cheek before I continue.

"Scully, there's no easy way for me to tell you this. I...I met someone. A couple months ago. I...uh...I was at church, with Belle. She was in the pew with us. Her name's Jennifer. Jennifer Ehrens. She just moved to Georgetown, right after Christmas. I've talked to her a few times, at church mostly. Then a couple days ago I ran into her when I went to pick up some bread and milk."

I slowly trace the letters on the cold, hard stone as my tears continue to fall. "She's really amazing, Scully. She's a teacher. She likes Belle a lot. For the first time in a long time I really feel like I can open up to someone...someone who can actually answer me. Whose eyes I can look into."

I fumble with my wedding band. I slide it up to my knuckle then back down a few times, nervously. "She can't take your place, Scully. No one can ever take your place. I'll always love you, more than you can imagine. But it's been almost eight years. Eight years since I was given the greatest gift I've ever been given, and eight years since you were taken from my life. I always thought we'd have forever. I wanted that. I wanted to grow old with you by my side, laughing at my bad jokes, keeping me out of trouble...loving me. You made me a better person. You made me see that I can be loved; that I deserve to be loved. For the first time since Samantha...I knew I could trust someone completely." I look again at the flowers, then place them in front of the stone before again tracing the letters spelling out your name. Dana Scully Mulder. Wife, Mother.

"You know I would have never even thought of another woman if you were still here, right? I wasn't even looking for Jennifer. But I wasn't looking for you either, and look how that turned out?" I again twist my wedding band around my finger. "I miss you so much. Every day, I look at our apartment, at our daughter, and everything reminds me of you. I don't want to move on. I don't want to forget anything about you. But I want to move forward. I want to live in the present. I wish you were here to do that with me. But I hope it's okay if I do it with Jenn."

A car pulls up behind me, and Isabel opens the door and runs up to me. "Daddy!" I pick her up and pull her into my arms. The breeze lifts her curly red hair and it tickles my nose. I pull back and smile as I see her sparkling blue eyes staring back at me. Your mom approaches slowly. I smile at her as she takes Isabel out of my arms.

"I'll be there in a second, baby." I rub her cheek gently with my thumb before turning my attention back to you.

"You know, as long as I have her, I'll never forget you. I see you every time I look at her face, every time I look in her eyes. She asks about you all the time. What were you like? How did we meet? I can answer all of her questions except for one...why isn't Mommy here? I'll never know why you had to leave us. But I know you're watching over us, taking care of us...loving us." As I turn to walk away a light breeze caresses my face. It carries with it the scene of the lilies, and I think I can hear your voice.

'I'll never forget you.'

I wipe the remaining tears from my face and scoop our daughter up into my arms as she excitedly tells me about her day at school. Maggie smiles at me and squeezes my hand then gets in her own car and drives away. Once Belle is safely buckled in, I drive to our small house to make dinner. Tonight, though, there will be a third setting at the table. Belle invited Jennifer over for dinner. A small smile crosses my face as I recognize the first date butterflies forming in my stomach. And I know that no matter what, I'll never forget you.

# # # fin # # #

Author's Notes:

PLEASE don't hate me!!! I hate Character Death stories too. I love angst, but CD is just too sad, even for me. But I was listening to the radio on my way to work, and a scene formed in my head and just would not go away, so I went with it.

Oh, and if anyone can think of a better title than the one I have, I'd be very appreciative. Thanks!

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