Title: Soar
Author: EverLeabae
Written: August 2002
Keywords: MSR, Character Death
Spoilers: none
Archive: Anyone, anywhere, anything. Just drop me a line so I know.
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: they belong to whomever, not me though.

Summary: Mulder, Scully, William and their six-year-old daughter Anne celebrate an anniversary

Notes after story.. just, um, I'm not too proud of this one. Read it, though, see what you think.

Finished: a while ago ** 4/2?/02

"Anne! Get down here right now! Anne?" Dana peeked into the attic. She was looking for her daughter for the last twenty minutes unsuccessfully.

She heard the front door slam and called out, "Anne, is that you?"

"It's me, Mom!" William came home from another day of school. He was mad, throwing his backpack on the floor and heading straight for his room.

"William, have you seen Anne anywhere? William?" she gave up on the attic and started descending the stairs. "Will, honey, is everything OK?" She knocked on Will's door softly and let herself in. William was sitting on his bed, his face turned to the window. He didn't respond when she asked him what happened. Dana sat down by him and tried to get him to talk but it wasn't working.

"It's nothing Mom, really Just let me alone, please!"

"OK, but you have to promise that you'll tell me later. Oh, have you seen Anne anywhere?" He hadn't. He said he didn't want dinner either, so Dana just let him think it over for a while. She looked around the backyard in fruitless efforts to find her daughter, and then the door slammed again.

"Guess who I found in the park!" declared his deep voice.

"Anne, oh my God, I was so worried! Mulder, where was she?" She gave her husband a quick kiss and lead Anne to the bathroom to wash up, not caring for the answer at the moment. Her five-year-old girl was the worst tomboy, always playing in the mud and decapitating bugs, running around with boys and managing to beat them up in any fight. Dana didn't know where she was going to find Anne next, and every day her heart broke a little more seeing her baby get hurt and then go do the same thing again just to get hurt more. Mulder was always good at tracking her down, though. He said that she went to places he sometimes thought of going to, and whenever she went missing he just imagined himself be her, and in five minutes she was tucked under his arm, standing in the doorway.

"I was just playing with Oldie Green, and then Daddy came and made me go home! I was having so much fun!" Anne whined. Oldie Green was the biggest, oldest tree in the park. It was the best hiding space you could find, which was the reason for a rule of the local hide-and-seek ** only one person at a time could hide there. Mulder discovered Oldie Green a few weeks after they moved into the house. That Summer William went to live with his grandmother while his parents remodeled the house and got to know the neighbors. One day Mulder finished all the work on the house that was planned for that day early and took Dana to the park. After hours of trying to talk her into climbing up, Dana finally gave in, and once she got up there, she didn't want to get down. They sat there for hours just talking and eating sandwiches that Mulder so thoughtfully packed. They felt like little kids who've just found their ultimate hiding place where they would tell each other little secrets and summon ghosts and look down at the world below them and laugh at how small everyone seemed. After that day they went there together every day, and when Will came back, they showed him the tree and started taking him with them. Once in a while they'd sit up there and one of the local kids would climb up and hide with them while his friends looked for him. When Summer was over and all the older kids came back from their vacation, Oldie Green was no longer available. Every time there was a teenage couple sitting and talking, kissing and touching, not letting anyone come close.

Anne took a quick shower and ate dinner and then went upstairs to annoy her brother for a little while. When they were just at the brink of fighting Dana ran in and commanded them to go to their rooms. And no dessert. This happened every day, and every day the kids got dessert, and every day they tried to distract their mom and dad from whatever it was that they were doing, and every time they went to bed trying so hard to forget seeing their parents kissing.

Tomorrow wasn't going to be just another ordinary day, though. It was her parents' anniversary, and there were big plans but no actual planning done. After getting together all the things she knew had to be taken, Anne took a deep breath before going to sleep; before all the morning chaos began. This year they'd decided to go rope-climbing for the first part of the day, and then sit around the fireplace at night with all the lights turned off, and listen to their parents' stories. That last part was William's idea. Actually the kids orchestrated the whole thing. Their Mom and Dad objected to any sport-involved activities, but they decided that William and Anne would be the ones to climb, and Fox and Dana would watch. But Dad promised the kids secretly that he'd get their mom up and swinging.

Every morning when Anne woke up she knew that nothing special was going to happen, and yet she hoped, she stared out the window looking for something weird, she went through all her stuff entertaining herself with the possibilities of what unimaginable new wonders might appear there mysteriously. But nothing ever had. Anne was starting to get tired of the boring sameness. She'd heard stories about her parents' past and wished that one day the extraordinariness she'd only heard legends about might one day be revealed to her. Many times, though, her dreams made up for the gaps in her life. Every now and then she'd fight a monster at night or pursue a flying saucer, and sometimes the romantic inside her little six-year-old head got the best of the night and presented her with a wonderful love story very much like the ones Grandma told her about Anne's own parents. And then there were the dreams where Anne herself had the special abilities. She could run faster than any car could go, she could see though walls, she could become invisible. And sometimes she could even fly. It was the sacred wish that she knew could only exist in minds of little children like herself, but she kept the flame of dim hope, as that's what it was, burning inside. She hoped that one day she could find herself a pair of wings and fly as far as those wings would carry her, and she knew to be smarter than Icarus and only fly where the dangers couldn't pull her down towards the deep dark sea. One day she'd fly away.

Jerking awake at he sound of the alarm, she at first didn't realize what was going on. For a moment she thought she'd slept through the rest of the Summer and it was the first day of school. Brushing that idea aside she waddled over to the window and looked outside. Shading her eyes from the sun before she got to the window she was surprised to find just a dim purple line on the horizon. She listened carefully and heard her dad's footsteps, then a whisper, then her mom's voice, slightly muffled, and then more footsteps. Moments later the hinges on the door squeaked gently as the door swung open. Anne saw her father's head peeking in.

"Hi," she whispered.

"You're awake already? I guess that new alarm-clock really is good." Anne just sighed in response, struggling to keep her eyes open. "Are you all packed?"

That suddenly made her remember. Ropes. Height. Outdoors. Morning. Anniversary. so tired!

"I don't know what I need, Dad! I packed something yesterday, but I don't know if it's what I need, and..." she saw Dana's head inch in beside Mulder's. She whispered something into his ear, gave him a smooch on the cheek, and suddenly her head was the only one left in the door way.

"Hi, Mom. I got a problem."

"What's that?" Dana asked as she moved towards Anne. She kissed her daughter's forehead lightly

"I really don't know what to pack," she inched away, annoyed by the affection either of her parents loved to display on days like these. At least she wasn't he only one to suffer: Will got an equally big amount to saliva transferred to his skin.

"Well, let's see. It's only for half the day, so you don't need a bag that big." She moved the bag Anne had selected the previous night and fished out a smaller one out of the closet. "It shouldn't rain, but in case it does, take that. Take pants with you, and this shirt. Oh, yeah, that one's fine too. Multiple pairs of socks, take those old sneakers with you, and get your cap. Great! You're all set!"

"That's it?"



"Get dressed, we'll have breakfast in about fifteen minutes, and then we'll go." She turned one last time before disappearing behind the door. "Try not to fall asleep now. You can take a pillow into the car if you like." Anne smiled slightly.

She engaged in many different activities in that quarter of an hour, all to try and stay awake. Unfortunately, her bowl of cereal was not as entertaining, and the inevitable happened; Anne's head landed right next to her bowl, missing the edge by mere millimeters. She woke up later in the car, having no idea how she'd gotten there. Seeing the peace in the car that she had the benefit of entering so rarely, Anne pretended to still be asleep. Soon enough she drifted off again, and was then awakened by William. He was shaking her.

"Will, Stop bothering your sister. Give her another five minutes."

"I wanna go! Come on, wake up! Wake up. Wake up!!!"

"Shut up already, I'm up!!!"


Are those storm clouds gathering on the horizon? Maybe not; as soon as she looked up, Anne saw all the cables stretched between trees, little platforms, walls of different height, and a humongous swing. She immediately forgot her anger and started running, but not for too long, as she soon realized she was running barefoot and heard her Mom's voice calling her back.

Sleep long forgotten, all necessary shoes, clothes, and some equipment taken, and a young man who worked around the rope-course found and paid, they were off. There were so many different things they could do; Anne just didn't know where to start. Her brother didn't care to think for very long though. He went straight for the tunnels in the sky. He hadn't realized how high they were, and almost screamed in terror when, finally at the top, he looked down. But step-by-step, he walked across, crawled through and jumped around, and was finally put on the ground. Anne refused to try it.

Her choice being next, Anne decided to do the high jump. Avoiding looking downward, she climbed to the platform and tried to stand up. She was scared at first, but then the soft wind comforted her, gently hugging her frame Michael, the man who held the other end of the rope, ready to catch Anne if she fell, asked her if she was ready. She was.

After making it successfully to the bar she had to catch, Anne said she wanted to go again. Except this time she had something else on her mind.

"Mommy, Mommy, Daddy, look! Mom!" She tried to get her parent's attention, because she wanted them to see her do her trick, "Mom!!!"

"I'm looking!"

"No you're not!!!" At this Fox and Dana turned to Anne.

"Look, I can fly!!!" Anne took off but didn't try to reach the stick. She just jumped forward and stretched out her arms. Luckily for her, Michael was familiar with kids' behavior on the ropes, so he was ready to catch her no matter what she did.

"Anne, what are you doing! Anne! Michael, get her down from there!" He lowered her carefully to the ground. "You are not allowed to go on any of these again until one of us goes on, understand? And when we come back home, you're grounded. Go read your book.

"But Daddy!!!" his face remained stone-cold, "Mommy?" no positive reaction there either. Hanging her head, Anne started walking towards the car, mumbling under her breath.

"What was that?"

"Nothing! Leave me alone!"

She sat in the car, colorful book opened in her lap, but she didn't look at it. She was plotting revenge. Finally lunchtime came. Now they would walk for half an hour to where they'd planned to eat. How boring. Maybe I can sneak away and come back here, she thought, they wouldn't notice anyway.

"Anne, come on! Put your shoes on, we're going." Slowly she pulled on her sneakers.

She walked behind them all. William was in front. Mom and Dad were walking side by side, holding hands. If she hadn't been punished earlier, Anne would be the one holding on to their hands and swinging. But she was mad and stayed far behind. As soon as she noticed that her parents stopped paying attention to the world around them, she slowed down, then turned around and ran.

Ah. Finally. And there's Michael.

"Anne? What are you doing back here. Aren't you supposed to be having lunch with your Mom and Dad?"

"They let me come back. I wasn't hungry. Can I try that jump again if you're not busy?"

"Sorry, man, I gotta go somewhere. In fact, I'm already late. You should go back to your parents. Maybe later your Dad will help you." Anne hung her head. "Sorry, man. Nice meeting you kinds though."

"Yeah. Bye, Michael!"

When he was out of sight, Anne found an appropriate gear and climbed up to the platform. She was deathly scared, but excited at the same time, feeling the blood run through her faster that ever before. Once there, she tied one end of the rope to the tree and fastened the other to her gear. She hadn't realized that she had no way of getting down yet.

"William, where is your sister?"

"How should I know where th..." he was interrupted.

Anne could see her parents and William marching up the hill. She couldn't keep herself from calling out to them.

"Mommeeeeyyyyy!!! Daddeeyy!! Look!!! I'm flying!!!!!"

She jumped off the platform. It was a rush. Exhilarating. Thrilling. Exciting. Breathtaking. *Crack* she looked back, her eyes wide.

They turned around and saw her jumping. Fox ran, faster than ever in his life. Dana couldn't keep up with him. William didn't know what to do. He just stayed and watched from distance, stunned.

She started screaming. The rope was ripping. The fibers were breaking one by one. There was nothing she could do. Just hang in the air and prepare to land. She looked down. Mistake. She didn't look down before. She didn't know how high up it was. She started shaking. Then she tried to climb up her rope to the cable. But she hadn't climbed too many ropes in her life; she couldn't do it now. "Daddy!!!" she saw him nearing.

A snap of the rope against the tree's bark. A rush. Terrifying. Sickening. Where is the air? Someone has stolen it from my lungs. I can't breathe.

The End

That's it. Did you like it?

Notes: ( these are very boring, but something interesting pops up once in a while, so you can read. I'm just talking to myself here, really) I originally thought of the idea while listening to "One day I'll fly away" from Moulin Rouge. I usually tlak to myslef, so that was one of those times, and I just built a little conversation in my mind. This actually didn't come out quite the way I wanted it to, but it's the closest I'll ever get. I had a lot of trouble coming up with a way to kill Anne, so throwing her off a tree was the best idea I had (pathetic, huh?). There was supposed to be another whole thing where Mulder and Scully are at the hospital, but I couldn't decide if I wanted Anne to wake up at all or not, and I'm not a doctor so I didn't know what to write for the medical stuff, so I stopped and cut ,and made the ending where it is now. Here's whast I started writing before : (oh, and she does die, presumably)

He stopped running. Dana rushed passed him. "Annie? Can you hear me? Anne?" Tears were streaming down her face. "Anne, answer me! Why won't you answer me?" Fox picked up the limp body off the ground and carried it to the car. Wiping her face, Dana called out to her son. "William? William, where are you?"

"Here, mom."

"Ok, thank you." she turned form the doctor and back to Mulder. "I'll drop off William at the Gunmen's. do you need anything from the house?"

"No, I'm fine. Just come back as soon as you can." He nodded and kissed her, then left. Dana collapsed into the chair and covered her eyes.

"Hey." He opened the door to the small hospital room and smiled at his wife. She made a weak attempt to smile back. "How is she doing?"

"I don't know. There doesn't seem to have been much improvement. They really can't tell what'll happen next. I just don't know." He pulled up a chair and sat down next to Dana.

... And I stopped here. Anyone wanna finish this?

All right, that was fun.

So that's it.

The feedback lines are from "Think of me" form Phantom of the Opera.

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