Title: Serenity
Author: Elaine
Rating: PG
Classification: A
Spoilers: Emily
Disclaimer: They're not mine. Please don't sue. Archive: Sure. Anywhere. Just let me know first.

Summary: Scully visits Emily's grave. Note: I was a little uneasy about this one. Eventually I think I'm going to have to stop writing post-"Emily" angst stories. I'll try to write a happy one before the new millennium.

For Cindy () :-)

My feet were tired and my back ached. They were reminders to myself never to visit my brother when his son is colicky again. Sleep was something I usually enjoyed the luxury of on vacation, but not this time.

I didn't want to come back to San Diego. Bill bugged me about it for weeks. He doesn't still understand what I went through last time... At one point I told myself I never wanted to return. The unimaginable sadness I had experienced would only be more haunting.

I couldn't lie in grief forever, that wasn't...me. But I couldn't compare all the horrible things I'd seen and gone through to a death of a child. Chemotherapy, serial killers, that was nothing.

Baby Matthew was growing nonstop, Bill had finally gotten some time off, and there was something else I had to do.

I needed to visit Emily's grave. Even though deep down inside something was telling me I didn't really want to do this. But why not? It seemed only sane for a mother to visit the grave of her child.

I remember picking out the headstone. Something simple. Plain.

She deserved more.

Emily deserved to live. Grow older. Make some sort of a difference in this world.

She changed me. The people around her those last days of her life. Through her I learned my first and only taste of a mother's love for a child. But she could have done so much more! Cure diseases, win medals, make friends...

Instead she ended up in a hospital hooked up to machines with a mother she never knew.

Now I am walking through thick green grass in a cemetery in California. I passed an elderly man leaning over the grave of what I'm assuming is his wife. He adds a fresh bouquet of flowers on top of the two wilted ones below it. He looks up at me with piercing eyes. Probably eyeing the white tulips I was holding that I had picked out at the florists this afternoon. My mother used to grow tulips in our backyard when I was younger. If anyone ever got sick, she'd bring some up in one of the little glass vases she had and put it by our beds. I had always loved them, so they seemed the appropriate thing to put on her grave.

The sun is still hot and bright. Instead of blocking the rays with my forearm I just let them beat down on my face, my eyes squinting.

After what felt like ages, I reached the simple, small headstone.

It had her name on it. Emily Sim. Date of birth, date of death. That was it.

I had considered adding her middle named, but I liked the simplicity it had without it.

For a moment I just remained staring at what was in front of me.

I would've given up everything for her. Even the X-Files. It's something I had to think about at first, but now, I'd have done it in an instant.

Slowly my mind stops wandering, and I begin to focus once again on the headstone beside my feet.

I can still see the old man I had spotted when I came here. Still kneeling by the grave. Still silent.

My hand was wrapped tightly around the tulips I had brought. I slowly sat them down on the dull stone. Shutting my eyes, I tried to picture her face again. I still keep that single photo I have her in the desk drawer at home, so I can look at it if I ever start to even slightly forget her. But a picture can't tell me everything I want to remember. What did she smell like? How did her voice sound?

These are things I get a glimpse of again at night in my dreams. Everything is so much better when I'm sleeping. Now that I think about it, I wish I could be sleeping right now.

I hear a light noise in the distance. My eyes open up, and I see the man at the graveside. He's crying. Once again he looks up at me, he must have remembered I was here. I thought he would try to muffle his cries knowing I could hear him, but he slumps his shoulders and returns to his sobs.

The wave of sorrow I've been in since I arrived at the cemetery starts to drown me. I hide my eyes and slowly crumble to the ground. My cries are silent.

I should've gotten her a better headstone..

One day I'll add something. A little statue of an angel maybe. With widespread wings.

I need sleep. I consider going back to Bill's, but I push the idea out of my head and remain sitting on the soft grass with my eyes shut. I don't want to go back to my brother's.. Matthew would've kept me awake anyway.

I stay leaned over, running my hands through my hair. I smell the sweet aroma of the tulips.

For once, I have a moment of serenity.

That's it... I tried.

Read More Like This Write One Like This
The Empty Cradle
Not!Dead Kids
TNF & Erin Blair's Emily Is Alive Challenge
Kid Resurrection Halloween Challenge
Plucked From the Past Challenge