Title: Now That I'm Dead
Summary: Pendrell is granted a few hours on earth to tie up some loose ends.
Author's Notes: Another Pendrell story to add to the heap.
He deserves it, donchathink? I broke my own rule- I wrote an angst piece.
"He's an FBI agent. And he's not going to die."
The words echoed in Pendrell's head. Not going to die...to die...to die.. He tried to smile at Scully. Tried to tell her it would be ok. But he knew-- it wouldn't be ok.
He awoke in a small room. It was dark. Too dark. The kind of dark you're only supposed to experience when you're deep underground in a cave, where no light has been for ages.
He couldn't feel a thing. He couldn't move. He couldn't talk.
Couldn't scream - scream the scream he'd wanted to when when what? What had happened..where was he? He felt the panic rise in this throat. He vaguely remembered a bar. A bar he had crashed at.
Too many drinks, Pendrell, he scolded himself.
Now listen to you... you don't even remember...remember her. It was her birthday, remember?
And then there was the man she was with...birthday girl, birthday girl...
He remembered the feeling of the cold floor as it met his head. And the blood...and Scully, she was bleeding...poor, poor Scully. Poor, poor him.
Suddenly, Pendrell felt a rush of warmth go through him.
His legs tingled, and there was a flash-
"Amazing grace...how sweet the sound...that saved a wretch...like me..."
The tearful voices of the congregation sang in an odd contrast to the hopeful words of the familiar song. Pendrell almost laughed at the difference. They looked so somber.
"Hey, buddy- who died?" asked Pendrell cheerfully.
The man next to him continued the song, ignoring the young man. Pendrell was confused. He stood on his tiptoes and peered around the large woman in front of him. What he saw chilled him to the bone.
Someone had died. Pendrell got an odd feeling in his stomach. It was a funeral. And then he remembered the room, and the flash of light. And the tingling...the blood...he felt cold. Freezing cold.
No one in the congregation noticed the lone young man as he walked up the aisle, passing pew after pew of mourners.
He stepped up to the altar, where the casket lay. Shivering violently, he peered inside.
It was him.
Pendrell gasped. He felt the panicky feeling again, and looked out into the crowd of people. His parents. His sister.
Her fiance. His aunt and uncle. He little two-year-old cousin. Skinner. Mulder. And- Scully.
He understood. He had died. This was his funeral. Butwait! He was here, wasn't he?
"I'M NOT DEAD!!" he yelled. "I'M NOT! CAN'T YOU SEE ME?? LOOK!!"
No one looked up. No one even twitched.
"GUYS, THIS ISN'T FUNNY!! LOOK!"
He was getting hysterical. He dashed around the sanctuary desperately.
"SCULLY!" he cried, grabbing her by the collar.
"Can't you see me? I'm right here! Stop crying, Scully, STOP!" But Scully was unmoved. She sat there, serene as ever, keeping her tears behind a pair of dark glasses.
"LOOK AT ME!!" he sobbed. "Just look at me. Please." His sobs turned to whimpers as he collapsed on the floor, exhausted. This was something straight out of one of Spooky's X-Files. He was a ghost...a spirit...floating in a living word where no one could see him. Did this happen to everyone? Was this death? Was he fated to remain like this --forever?
Pendrell looked up, and noticed most of the congregation filing out, wet tissues in hand. He got up and followed them out, his somber expression rivaling the ones of the mourners. He stood out on the steps of the church, watching the cars pull out of the church driveway.
Scully...he had to apologize to her. Had to say he was sorry for-- for being such a messy drunk. For not telling her before. She had to know. Maybe...maybe someone was giving him a chance to do that.
Without a second thought, he dashed across the parking lot to Scully's car. She was over with Mulder, talking quietly.
Pendrell opened the door to her car and sat in the passenger seat. He reached for the seatbelt automatically, and smiled to himself as his hand touched it. What was the point? He was already dead.
He choked on his smile as Scully sat down in the driver's seat. She was so pretty...yet so tired looking. He gasped as she took off her sunglasses and flung them in the backseat.
Her eyes were red, and they were framed by dark circles.
She wiped her damp face and started the car.
They drove to her apartment. Pendrell followed her inside and watched her flop down on the couch. She leaned on her hand, covering her mouth in exhaustion.
Pendrell wanted to reach out to her. He wanted to talk to her, assure her that he was ok. That he was ok, and didn't feel any pain. And he needed to apologize.
<"Scully..."> he whispered.
To his surprise, her head jerked up, and she looked around nervously. Pendrell's eyes widened.
<"Scully?"> he asked hopefully.
He watched as she put her hand on her gun and stood up slowly.
<"It's...it's me...Pendrell! Scully! Can you hear me!?"> Pendrell walked over to her and shook her tense shoulders.
He looked straight into her eyes.
Scully's eyes got wide, and she backed into the wall. She shook her head furiously and rubbed her eyes.
"Can you...see me?" Pendrell stepped closer to her. With a gasp, Scully shut her eyes and covered her mouth.
"No...no...no..," she whispered. Her tiny form began to shake as she slid down the wall and sat on the floor. "No..."
Pendrell rushed over to her and put her head between his hands.
"Look at me, Scully! Look at me!"
Breathing hard, Scully slowly opened her eyes. She looked at him-- directly at him. Not through him.
"It's me, Scully..."
"You're dead..." Scully breathed. Pendrell leaned back and sat down next to her.
"I'm not-" Pendrell stopped. How was he supposed to explain what he knew. He was dead, but had been granted a leave...he laughed inwardly. This was like a sappy movie.
"You're not dead," said Scully. "Pendrell, where have you been?!" she cried. "We just had your funeral...and how did you get in here...was it the military? Did they take you away? Why do you look so pale? "
"Scully, I'm...I'm not...I can't stay." Pendrell choked back a sob.
"Why not? You're here, aren't you? Are you worried about something? We'll protect you, Pendrell, don't worry!"
Scully smiled at him.
Pendrell tried to smile back, then watched as Scully's face fell.
"You are dead, aren't you?"
Scully laughed, her voice cracking.
"Let me guess, this is all a dream...you've come back to me in a dream. This is the ultimate irony, you know?"
"No! I'm here, I really am!"
"Prove it. Pinch me." Scully laughed madly, her hair falling into her face. "No wait, I'll save you the trouble. I'll pinch myself."
"Scully, listen!" Pendrell cried, shaking her. She looked up at him. Slowly, she reached her hand up and touched his face.
"You're cold," she whispered.
"I'm dead," he said, matter-of-factly.
"You're dead." Scully looked like she was going to cry again. "I guess I have no reason not to believe that...I've seen stranger things."
"I believe you have," said Pendrell with a smile. "Listen...I know, it's far fetched...but I'm dead...and someone granted me a chance to come back to say something to you."
"Sounds like a sappy movie."
"So, what do you need to say to me?"
"You're taking this awfully well, you know that?"
"I told you...I've seen stranger things...and even if this is a dream, it's a very nice one."
"Thanks," said Pendrell, blushing.
"What do you need to tell me?"
"Oh, that," Pendrell blushed deeper. "I just wanted to say...I'm sorry."
"You're sorry? *I'M* the one who got you..."
"Just let me finish. I'm sorry...for being such a silly drunk...for being in the way..."
"What?" Scully sat up and looked at him oddly.
"And for not telling you-"
Pendrell bit his lip and looked at the floor.
"I've had this...this crush on you. Since I came to the Bureau." Scully looked at him and smiled.
"You didn't notice? Mulder knew...I know he did..."
"No, I never-"
"Not that it matters-"
"Now, I guess-"
"That you did-"
"Seeing as I'm-"
"But now that you're-"
They both paused, and looked at each other. Neither of them wanted to say it.
"Are you mad?" asked Pendrell.
"Why would I be? I'm- flattered, actually."
"Do you think that...that if I was...you would..."
"I don't know. Maybe. Maybe if-"
"No, don't say it," said Pendrell with a smile.
"I'd rather keep it like that...on a hopeful note."
Scully smiled at him and touched his face again. Pendrell felt tingles go through him.
"I have to go..." he said quietly.
"Yeah." Pendrell looked down at the floor. Slowly, he stood up, and Scully stood beside him.
"Well...have a...a safe trip...I guess," said Scully with a smile. "I'm sure they're saving a spot for you up there."
"I hope so," said Pendrell quietly. The two of them stood in silence for a minute. Very slowly, Scully leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Pendrell touched his cheek and nodded. She was crying again. So was he. Slowly, he turned and walked out the door, shutting it behind him.
He looked around. He was no longer standing in apartment building. He was in the room again. It was dark.
The meek lab boy stepped forward into the nothing.
The End. Really.
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