Title: Forever Morning
Summary: We had the funeral yesterday morning.
WARNING! This is character death (which I previously swore I'd never write) but it is still MSR and it still has a happy ending Trust me Really.
We had the funeral yesterday morning. It was beautiful, of course, but no matter how I tried to tell myself that Fox wouldn't want me to cry for him, I couldn't stop. I've lost them both in such a short time. I'm not alone in the world - I have my husband, my son, Grandma Maggie, Grandpa Morrow, Jess and Walter. All people I can trust and depend upon, and yet, without Mom and Fox, I feel all alone.
She died a month ago, losing her fight with pneumonia after several weeks of illness. Fox was with her the entire time, and on her last day, he climbed carefully into bed with her and just held her. We all knew Mom didn't have much time left - she was just so weak - and Fox wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair so she couldn't see his tears. He had protected her for most of his adult life, as she had him, but they couldn't shield one another from the inevitable. At about 5:30 that afternoon, Mom just drifted away, a contented expression on her face and his arms still encircling her. She'd often told me that if they couldn't go at the same time, she wanted to die in his arms Mom got her wish.
I knew Fox felt differently. He knew he couldn't survive without Mom; we all knew that. His face, when he finally rose from the bed and allowed the medical personnel to see to her body, was haggard. He embraced me wordlessly, and I rubbed his back in a vain attempt at comfort.
"It's just you and me now, Fox," I choked. "We have to go on."
He nodded grimly, but in my heart, I was absolutely certain I wouldn't have Fox for long. He could never stay away from Mom for more than a few days at a time... I resolved to watch him closely for the next little while, in case he decided to do something stupid, (something Mom had always warned me Fox could often do in a panic) but he didn't. He just began to fade away, and nothing I could do or say made any difference.
I wanted him to move in with Andrew and me, where Daniel, his grandson and the apple of his eye, might give him a reason to live, but Fox refused. He said he didn't want to leave the home where he and Mom had spent so many happy years. Often, when I would go over to check on him, I'd find him wandering aimlessly from room to room, picking up her things, examining them, and putting them carefully back in place. He wouldn't let me sort through her stuff, saying he preferred to do it himself, but he never could bring himself to start the task.
When I finally get up the nerve to tackle it myself, I'm going to have both his and Mom's things to deal with I suppose I should be angry with him for saddling me with this double whammy, but I can't work up to it ... Fox faced so much pain in his life that I guess this final thing was too much for him. I'm young and strong, and I have support from many different people I can handle this.
I found his journals a few days ago, journals dating back to when he was a kid. Apparently he'd started keeping one soon after his sister disappeared, as a part of the psychotherapy his mother obtained for him, and had kept the habit up off and on over the years. There were several spiral-bound notebooks, and later on a few leather bound journals, and still later, computer files. I sorted them according to date, and began reading, and it was hours later before I raised my head from the words Fox had written. He had a fascinating, amazing, and utterly unbelievable life. I only wished Mom had kept journals as well, so I could compare their accounts - as long as I knew them, they disagreed heartily on issue after issue, but they respected each other so much that the disagreements never mattered.. It would have been interesting to compare their accounts.
Some of the things I read in the journals were simply too weird to be believed, and yet...I'm left with the certainty that Fox, at least, believed them to be perfectly accurate. The stuff of legends is contained in these files : vampires, werewolves, aliens, monsters...and an evil that I never suspected could run so deeply. Mom and Fox apparently battled all these things, or something that Fox interpreted to be these things, side by side. The journals tell of his love for her, years before he was able to express it, of the despair he felt at being imprisoned for a crime he hadn't committed, of the agonies he endured when he was released and she was married to my father...and it goes on and on and on.
So, are there such monsters in real life? I don't really know, and unless I train at the FBI Academy and join the X-Files division, (which to my surprise, Walter says does still exist). I don't suppose I'll ever really know. Maybe some things are better left to the unknown. Of one thing I am absolutely positive, however, and that is that deep, dark, terrifying evil really does exist in some people.. It was in the people who sent Fox to prison, and it was in the man who kidnapped Ellery and Fox, and it was in many, many people Fox wrote about in his journals. Such evil frightens me, which is why when I chose my particular field of study for my Ph.D. I went with Child Psychology instead of Criminal Psych. I find the criminal mind fascinating, but to actually confront those people day after day...well, it seemed more than I wanted... It's difficult enough dealing with troubled pre-adolescents.
I'm thinking of compiling the journals, editing them to remove the more personal information, and publishing them. I'll ask Walter to help me, since he was involved in many of their more fantastic adventures as well. There is a lot of government information there that probably shouldn't be made public, but maybe I could turn the whole thing into a fictionalized account of their lives. Maybe that way I could avoid pissing off anyone still alive who might have been involved in the massive conspiracies Fox and Mom uncovered. Walter assures me that the man with cigarettes is long-since dead, but evil seems so permanent; I could feel his presence even as I read about him. He was there when Fox was sentenced. I don't know if he was single-handedly responsible for Fox going to prison, but he was almost certainly the brains behind the frame-up. He scares me Just reading about him scared me.
I have a renewed respect for them after reading these journals. These were two of the bravest, most honest and true souls who ever walked the planet They were completely devoted to one another, even to the point of risking their lives for each other on an uncomfortably regular basis. Fox literally went to the ends of the Earth to rescue Mom once, and she put her hard-won career in jeopardy on many occasions in order to stay at his side And this was all in their professional lives.. It doesn't even touch the torment I know they went through privately as they suffered through cancer that almost killed Mom, and some strange kind of virus that would have killed Fox had Mom not been there to tell the doctors what to do. Then there was the opposition to their relationship from Uncle Bill, and the dance of misunderstandings they dealt with after Fox was released from prison. It boggles the mind, thinking of all they survived.
And in the end, it wasn't illness, or evil, or even a criminal's bullet that felled Fox ... it was plain old grief. He was seventy-two, but he was still in excellent health, and kept himself in good physical condition. Fox could have lived another twenty years, barring an accident or serious illness, but the truth is, he died the day Mom died. It just took his heart that long to stop beating. He had no intention of going on without her.
I felt Mom's presence at the funeral yesterday, and last night I had a dream about them. I dreamed that Fox rose from his bed, leaving his body behind, and Mom was waiting for him, smiling, holding out her hand. Fox embraced her, resting his chin on top of his head as he always did in life, and then the two of them walked away together, slowly disappearing into a bright light. I'm sure the dream was based on accounts of near-death experiences I've read, but it was comforting nonetheless Wherever they are now, I feel certain they are together. And nobody can ever hurt them again.
Scully smiled at Mulder over Emmie's head as they watched the young woman save the file and shut down the computer.
"You see?" she said, "I told you Emmie would be all right. She has lots of people looking out for her."
Mulder sighed, "I know, but I'll miss her so much. And Daniel."
She smiled again at the framed picture near Emmie's computer. It was of Mulder and Daniel, taken in the back yard the spring before, when Mulder was teaching his four-year-old grandson to play baseball. Daniel had been just about same age as his mother when Mulder had taught her to swing a bat. Scully had been considerably older, but she could still remember the feel of his arms around her, his long, lean body pressed against her back...she shivered.
"You know, Mulder, one of the benefits of being dead is that 'real life' no longer interferes with what you want to do," she said seriously, holding out her hand. "And what I'd like to do right now-"
"Scully!" he shushed her "Can you even say that here?"
She laughed until tears ran from her eyes, then threaded her fingers through his. "Body, Mulder. Flesh Bone Sexual organs. We can do everything we could do when we were living - except touch the living. But we can touch each other, and I, personally, think it's a great. idea And after all, we *are* married."
He stood and allowed her to lead him away, but turned back once to gaze at Emmie, now paging through one of his journals. Her lovely face was set in concentration, and occasionally she would jot down notes on a sheet of paper.
"We can come back and check on them from time to time, can't we?" he asked wistfully.
"A word of advice, Mulder I don't recommend watching too much. You still have emotions."
He turned back to her with a little smile. "Did you watch, Scully?"
Scully slipped her arm around his waist and together they began to walk. "Every minute, Mulder," she told him somberly "But you have to understand ...I knew you would be joining me soon. I wanted to be here, waiting for you."
"How did you know that?"
"Because, Mulder, I knew you'd go to any lengths to avoid having to do your own laundry again."
It was his turn to laugh "You know me too well, Scully. Okay, you win . I won't watch often, but I do want to check on Daniel now and then I only wish I could talk to him."
"Mulder ... if anyone could find a way, it's you," she said positively, walking ahead. "Now let's go. I promised your mother we'd stop in to see her today."
"Yeah," he agreed, trotting to catch up with her. "And Langly wants to hang out with me later on."
She shook her head. "Nothing ever changes, does it?"
"One thing has changed, Scully," he reminded her seriously. "We never have to be afraid again."
She stopped walking and turned to stare up into his face, restored now to the handsome youthfulness he'd had when she first met him.
"You're right, Mulder," she said softly. "Never again."
And pulled him down to her, into a kiss that would last throughout the eternities.
They'd found morning at last.