Title: Shades
Author: DBKate
Written: 1997
Category/Rating: V, SA/PG
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, CC does.

NOTE: This is a revised fanfic that was posted previously to XFF & ATXC under the psuedonym, *Kate Rane*.


The day you, Fox Mulder, left me on the side of Highway 28, I'd had three hours of sleep, no breakfast at all, and exactly fourteen dollars and twelve cents in the lower right-hand pocket of my trenchcoat.

That's all that I clearly remember, the rest I've choosen to forget.

If it had snowed that day, I couldn't tell you. If the sun had burned through my jacket and its heat reflected from the roadside to blind me and make me wish for clouds, I wouldn't know. And if I had drowned in the evening rain, with each drop stinging my cheeks and eyes until the water and I were no longer enemies, I cannot recall. Not to save my life.

But wait. I remember one more thing.

You said, "Scully, stay here. I'll be back."

Now I remember waiting on the road. The trees were a canopy, the rocks were carved high and I think there might have been peace in that place. I stood, with my arms across my chest, and my heart in my mouth, which I would never admit, waiting for your return. I had never doubted your word before, and now was not the time to start.

But that was sixty years ago.

And I've been dead for twenty of them.

But yet I wait. I never chose to be here. I thought that the madness that kept me anchored to this spot, even in spirit, when they refused to let my body linger, would end with the stilling of my heart and blood. Even when my own mind implored me to leave, this soul, ruled by something it could not refuse, had to stay.

//He is around that corner. He is almost here.//

But you haven't returned.


And there are so many passings. Not only of people, but of seasons, of hopes. Days are meaningless to me now, but I feel the air around me and its subtle shifts and breezes, heralding change. The vehicles I once knew no longer pass here. I am not waiting for them, but just the sight, the sight of one familiar vision to help me to understand.

I've been here so long.

I've given up wondering what has happened to you. You've met your fate; some fate that was not shared with me. That is insult enough, but why are you not here now? I know well enough that we are bound together, throughout all time and all fates, whether it be lover, sister, brother, partner, parent or friend.

If you were like me, you would understand.

But who is like me? In the two decades I've been standing on this road, I swear I've never seen another one of my kind. There are no other ghosts on this highway, no other shades to haunt the foolish passerby. If I were a wronged soul, just another person tormented by a life of tragedy and pain, wouldn't I be surrounded? Wouldn't there be enough shades to fill a million highways, in every corner of this globe? Ten deep we would stand, and there would be not enough room for the living, let alone the angry dead.

Why only me?

These thoughts aren't enough to let me go. I can't say there's a force making me stay, but I can't honestly say I can leave at will. So here I wait for the only soul, the only presence that can set me free. There must have been some mistake, I cannot be left here alone.

It's strange how the trees remain constant and rocks will not budge. My father once told me that eternity was a mountain, a thousand times larger than Everest, that a sparrow sharpened his beak upon once every million years. When that mountain was worn to the ground, eternity will have passed.

How this feels like eternity.

//Scully, wait here. I'll be back.//

Mulder, please come back. I'm waiting. I will do what you've asked, if only for the trust that lies between us. You've said your vow to me; I've agreed to stand my ground. I can wait on this highway forever, but I know that's not our fate.

It can't be.

Because even now I can see the headlights...just around that corner.

Almost to the place where I stand.


All comments welcome.

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