Tears of Stone

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

February 17, 1997

Rating: PG for possibly disturbing images.

Disclaimer: The X-Files as well as the characters portrayed therein belong to C. Carter, FOX & 1013 Prod., and most importantly they don't belong to me.

Relationship: Major Mulder/Scully romance.

Summary: A visitor to a cemetery reveals the truth.

Dedication: To my Great Grandfather James Boykin who passed away last week. He was not a part of our family because he married into it, but rather because he was meant to be part of our family. I'll miss you.

Hi All. I'm sorry, but this is a dark piece. I know a lot of people have been posting death stories. I have to admit that I'd told myself I'd never do *this*, but I needed to write this one.

He drove up the graveled road to the top of the slope. The tires spat stones and he brought the car to a stop.

Opening the door, he got out and walked the several feet to the graves. There were times he still didn't believe it. For so many years he'd gone on believing what most people thought . . . that they were indestructible.

But he'd learned the reality the hard way.

He hadn't been here since the funeral. It disheartened him to come. But the fact of the matter was that they would want to know. He needed them to know how their sacrifice had brought everything to light.

Thinking back now to the first time he'd met them, he'd known that the two of them had a grand destiny ahead. In the most tragic sense of the word, he'd been right. Their lives had been an epic of operatic proportions.

They had been put together by a twist of fate. A simple miscalculated assignment. Someone high up the ladder had thought them to be incompatible. The perfect mix of rebel and loyalist. And from that initial meeting, the moment they'd come face to face *Their* plot fell apart. Instead of destroying the work, it only became more viable. When they should have learned to hate each other's guts, they had only grown closer.

They had been tried by death, and conquered it. They had suffered separation, and used the punishment to forge their strengths. They had been lied to, so they had learned their own truth. And while they dealt with pain, they had learned to trust and love one another.

It wasn't until the later years that they'd realized what they really meant to each other. Or more exactly that they acknowledged it.

He had been certain from that first day that they'd been in love with each other. If not consciously, then subconsciously. Their souls had met and merged when their eyes had met on that fateful meeting.

He'd been both pleased and concerned when they'd finally accepted and acted on what everyone else, including himself had known years ago. That they were two halves of a single heart and soul. That they were inseparable. That they belonged together. So the day they'd married had been a singularly memorable occasion.

It had stormed.

The rain had poured from above and thunder and lightning had marred the sky. Yet somehow it had been more than fitting. It mirrored their often confrontational partnership. Their past and present. And now he knew that it had even represented their future.

No one had seen it as an omen that the truth they'd been looking for, had sacrificed so much for would claim them as its last price.

The day they'd died was ingrained in his memory as well.

It had come out of the blue. It had been just another of what they had come to call "routine" exercises. Something that *They* had passed along through the channels to keep them away from the truth. Cases to sidetrack them and keep them two steps away from the truth that seemed so elusive.

Except that somewhere along the lines of the assignment they'd found something they weren't supposed to. He was certain that they didn't really know what they had, but they had taken precautions anyway. They'd made a copy of the computer disk and dumped it anonymously into a mailbox, addressed to the group called The Lone Gunmen, then went back to the investigation.

If they'd come back to D.C. with the disk, they might still be alive today he thought. Just like he'd thought since the day he'd gotten the news. But he knew that if They'd wanted to, they could have killed them there too.

Once the wheels had been put in motion that first day, the outcome was really never in doubt.

The official story was that they had stumbled upon a gangland turf war in the burrows of New York City. The dead bodies that had never been identified around them leading to that conclusion. The illusion presented was that they had gone out with a fight, taking a few of them with them.

He'd never believed that. So unofficially he had sought the truth.

The two agents had been abducted and taken to the site they died at. There they had been executed. They'd both been shot in the head. At point blank range. From what the medical reports had said, he was sure that they had gone within moments of each other. The people responsible for their death's only merciful deed. He knew that neither of them could have stood by and been witness to the other's death. So in that one respect he thanked them.

So they'd been buried - side by side with full honors from the Bureau. For they had died in the line of duty. He and many others gathered for the service. He had watched agents who'd mocked them openly wear downcast expressions at the loss. Seen jealous women cry openly for her, seen former rivals choke up over him. And he'd watched as the caskets were lowered into the ground and felt the pain well within him at the pointless deaths.

But he'd refused to cry.

The fact was that he wasn't supposed to. Men didn't cry. He'd gotten that drilled into him long ago. But the man and woman they'd laid to their final rest were his friends. And in some respects more than that. He'd always been in awe of them. What they had. The strength of it.

He'd been so inspired by them that he'd helped protect them. To the best of his ability. But he hadn't been able to protect them this time.

It wasn't until three days ago, a month after their deaths that he'd gotten the call. It had surprised him more than he would have believed. These contacts of theirs, these Lone Gunmen had the evidence. The evidence that they had looked so hard for. Had died for.

The Gunmen had received the package and spent the last month decoding the information. And that information had rocked the underground conspiracy responsible for these two fine agents deaths. These friends.

He looked at the names, carved deep into the granite of the markers. He remembered her mother had decided on them both. He'd long ago lost what he thought was the last surviving member of his family, and simply been more fully accepted into hers. They were simple and said everything that needed to be said about the two people there:

Fox William Mulder

Oct. 13, 1961 - Feb. 12, 1999

Beloved husband and son

And you shall know the truth

and it shall make you free

 

Dana Katherine Scully-Mulder

Feb. 23, 1964 - Feb. 12, 1999

Beloved wife, daughter and sister

Herein is our love made perfect

that we may have boldness in the

day of judgement

 

Walter S. Skinner finally remembered the flowers in his hand. Carefully he placed a rose on each grave. The graves of his former agents; of his friends.

"You won," he said in a low voice, choked with unshed tears. "You finally beat them. The disk you found had everything on it. Everything. We even found your sister Mulder. She didn't remember anything, but she's slowly getting her memory back. Scully's mom is helping take care of her. I guess it's like having you, both of you back in her life."

He sighed, and shook his head. The price for the truth had been paid. And it had been too high.

"I just wanted you both to know . . . the truth *was* out there. And now everyone knows it."

With that he turned to go. As he walked back across the grassy lawn, his feet crunched on some pieces of the gravel, thrown from the road. Leaning down, he picked up some of the granite pieces and looked at them.

They were all irregularly shaped. Some flat, some round . . . and then there were a few in a somewhat drop shape. And as he let them fall from his hand, he realized what they were. What for him they would represent. What he could never shed.

They were his tears. Tears of stone.

-End-

Author's Note: Mulder's stone passage is from John 8:32, and Scully's is from I John 4:17. J.

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