Southwest Chief 

by Foxsong


Vignette, rated G.

Spoilers: Season 9 generally, I guess, even though <rant> I haven't watched since S8, and was heartily sorry that I went that far </rant>.

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Summary: Mulder at the Amtrak station, his suitcase at his feet.


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What I wanted? God only knows what I wanted. I don't even think I knew myself.

I suppose I wanted someone to carry on. Isn't that what we're all supposed to want? I knew I didn't have much time left, and I guess I wanted to leave a legacy. To leave an heir. As if it would be doing anyone a favor to leave him heir to all of this.

So when she asked me I said 'yes.' I stammered, I faltered, to be sure; but in the end I said, Yes. It was the only word she seemed to hear out of all the words I said. It was the only word she wanted. She let the others fall by the wayside, just the way she's let me, let my heart, fall by the wayside for all the years I've known her. I shouldn't have been so surprised.

I wonder sometimes if she would have preferred me to remain dead. It might have made her life easier. It might have made her job simpler -- easier to portray me as the fallen hero, as the man who gave his life for the cause, the noble man who sacrificed everything he had. Now I'm just the leftovers, the reminder of a time that's come and gone, a time that should have been over -- except for me, for the last untidy loose end that won't go away.

Except, I will go away. It's the only thing I can do. I'm extraneous now, unwanted -- an embarrassment to her, just the way I was an embarrassment to the Bureau, and to my family before that. I don't fit in here any more than I've fit in anywhere else. I wonder why I ever thought this would be any different.

So tonight I'm standing here on the platform, waiting for my train to come in. I'm just another traveler in just another station. I'm just another face, just another anonymous face, just another someone traveling to some place where I'll be welcome, where my arrival will be anticipated, where someone will be waiting to rush to me and fly into my arms and kiss me and tell me how she's missed me.

Except that I've left her behind, and probably for the last time, this time.

Except that I don't suppose I'll ever know if any of that was ever true.

The PA crackles and the announcer says that the Southwest Chief will be arriving on Track 13, and will be departing Washington, DC fifteen minutes later for Los Angeles, with connecting stops for Jacksonville, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon. I suppose one of them will do. I suppose one of them might have a connection with some place where I can start over again.

Not a place where I can forget, but a place that I can make some kind of another start.

Because, as much as I might want to, I'll never forget.