Title If Thou Wilt, Remember....If Thou Wilt, Forget
Author The Riticulan Amanuensis
Fandom X Files
Series No, this is a stand alone with no sequels in sight
Rating PG-14, I guess for m/m love
Archive Anywhere you wish, just let me know, I'm curious about these things.
Warnings Death is the natural progression of life, so this story contains one. But I don't think this will severly affect anyone.
Spoilers Not many spoilers to speak of, maybe a tiny one to Tithonus
For those of you who enjoy to read the HMTL version you will find it on my page.
or search the net for Riticulan, you'll find me <g>
I do love feedback of any kind, just send it to me Riticulan@mailandnews.com
If Thou Wilt, Remember....If Thou Wilt, Forget
By The Riticulan Amanuensis
The old man slowly wheeled himself toward the large window at the far end of the room. His hair was still as luxurious as ever, although snowy white. His face was strangely unwrinkled, smooth in places and somewhat scarred in others but not showing the usual ravages of time. He couldn't attribute this to genes--none of his family had reached this age so he had nothing to compare it with, so in the end, he attributed it to pure, capricious luck.
He made it to the window, placing is hands slowly on the small table that stood in front of it, he lifted his head and as though in thought, looked out over the vast lands. The rain of the past few days had stopped; the flowers in the gardens were in full bloom and their gentle scent was on the soft breeze coming through the open window. The hedgegroves were full of leaf, the orchards were in full bloom--their pastel flowers catching his eye for a second. The lush lawns, after all this rain, were the deepest green he'd ever seen. Even after all this time he was still moved by the pristine beauty of the place; the grass and the flowers in such a state of perfection that even one blade of grass out of place, one flower bent over, would have ruined the look of it. The grass in this part of England, he thought, was always so green. As green as emeralds. As vibrant as jade.
His eyes were as sharp as ever and like the ghosts of his past fluttering past him, just outside his field of vision, he felt, rather than saw, a person enter his room. He turned in his chair and looked at her as she stood and waited by the door. He motioned her to sit in the small chair by the wall.
"Down from Oxford again so soon? Not still working on that thesis, are you?"
She gave him a slight nod.
The old man chuckled good-naturedly, "Funny, in this age of high-technology they still want to teach college students to write." He blessed her with his most flirtatious of smiles.
"What was the title of that thesis again, oh yes, I remember now, Heroes of the Resistance. We were never heroes, you know, just the right people in the wrong place at the right time. Anyone would have done what we did.
He watched her lips move in denial of his statement, but argued no further. While the rest of him pretty much worked, the same can't be said for his hearing. He'd lost some of it a few years ago, but had taught himself to lip-read pretty well.
The young lady got up from her chair and passed a dozen blood red roses to the old man. He took them from her and looked at them first, then lifted them to his nose and smelled deeply of their perfume.
"For me! They are beautiful, but you shouldn't have." He placed them in his lap and watched his young visitor's lips move again.
"My birthday...I'm ninety today!" His own shock was clearly evident in his voice. "Who would have thought I would ever reach ninety...hell, I never thought I'd see fifty. Thank you!"
The old man started to wheel himself toward his bed and the young woman backed up and sat in her chair again. He put the roses on the foot of his bed. "I'll get Sister to put these in water later," he told her, "they'll really brighten up this room."
He sat back in his wheelchair and looked at the young woman. "I see you have more questions for me. Go ahead, ask, let's hope I can help you."
The young lady smiled at him; reached into her bag and took out her notebook and pen and placed them on her lap. She opened the notebook to a clean page, poised her pen at the ready, and looked directly at the old man and her lips began to move.
"Walter...AD Walter Sergi Skinner," the old man began, "he was a large, imposing man, and you know, he had that gentleness and kindness about him that large, self-confident men seem to have. He liked people to think that he was such a hard-ass, but really, in that large, chiseled chest of his beat a heart that was twice the size of his fist." The old man stopped for a minute, looking away from the young woman as though he had a mote of dust caught in his eye or something caught in his throat. The old man recovered quickly, smiling to himself; reliving some memory; hearing some voice, seeing a smile; something pleasant and happy, surely, but only the old man knew for certain.
"He was the hardest of all of them to convince of the Alien threat. That sort of thing just didn't fit in Walter's mind easily. He couldn't believe it...wouldn't believe it until he saw the evidence himself. And then, and then, Lucifer himself couldn't have swayed him from his course. He was a strong man, and when we felt like giving up or we thought that all was lost, it was Walter who brought us back. It was he who kept the fire of resistance burning within us. So if you're looking for a hero, look no further than Walter.
The old man stopped talking, a look of sadness spreading across his face. This was a man dredging up that part of lost comrades, which will always reside within him--for as long as he will remember them. The young woman's enchanted eyes never left his face as she continued to scribble in her notepad.
The old man raised his eyes to his visitor's, his hand smoothing the material of the pajama covering his thigh and continued on.
"Walter left us, as he served us, in his search for truth, justice, and the American way. The world at large will never know and appreciate just what kind of debt they owe him, and him alone. And you know, that's just the way Walter would have wanted it."
The young girl's head jerked toward the door at the sound of thick-soled shoes coming up the hallway. The old man's eyes followed her.
"Mr. Krycek, Mr. Krycek, it's time for your medicine," the nursing Sister said as she entered the room carrying a small paper cup with his pills and a glass of water to help him wash them down.
"Time for my medicine, time for my medicine," Alex's voice mocked her in a pleasantly teasing way and he smiled at the matronly looking woman. Alex had resigned himself, finally, to the indisputable fact that he was no longer able to look after himself or those he loved. So he accepted the help that the nurse brought them. He took his pills and drank his water and passed the empty containers back to her and she turned to leave.
"Wait just a minute, please." Alex lifted the dozen, red roses from the foot of his bed, extracting one and laying it alongside the hand of the man who occupied the next bed to his; he passed the rest to the Sister.
"Put these in water for me will you? They are a present for my birthday."
She returned almost immediately and placed the flowers on the table between the two beds in the room.
"Now where was I?"
Alex watched his young visitor's lips move.
"Oh yes, Scully. The beautiful Scully. You know she's immortal, still as beautiful as ever. Her body will never know such corruption as this." Alex waved his hand in a circle indicating himself and his roommate.
"Don't look at me like that! It's true. Some weirdness involving a camera and a photographer--I still don't fully understand it. She still comes by every once in a while, but her visits are getting more infrequent. I think it's just too painful for her to see us like this."
Alex's voice trails off slightly as he looks toward the window again, his mind somewhere else entirely. Seeing faces only he could see, hearing voices only he could hear. He slowly came back to himself and with a shy smile, returned his attention to his visitor.
"Her mother passed and everyone she knew was getting older, and she was still as young and beautiful as ever and I think she realized that it was time to move on. She came to me--Alex Krycek--to help her fake her death and disappear from the face of the earth. Alex's lips curved into an infectious smile at the thought that his special talents could have been some use to Scully. "She now lives under another name, living another life, practicing medicine somewhere, bringing her considerable talents to help people in need."
Alex wheeled himself back to the window, beckoning the young woman to follow him. He pointed to the far edge of the lawn to a large Yew tree. "See there, that's her grave...she's not in it, of course, but her name is on it. Boy, did Bill Scully have a fit when it was revealed in Scully's will that she wanted to be buried here." Alex grinned, showing that impishness which had never entirely left him.
"I asked her about her grave stone, what she wanted on it, but she said 'noting, Alex' but I didn't want that and told her that she needed something. 'You choose then' she said so I did. I picked something, and Mulder agreed, so we had it carved into the red marble--no other colour would fit Scully."
//When I am dead, my dears,//
//Sing no sad songs for me;//
//Plant thou no roses at my head,//
//Nor shady cypress tree. //
//Be the green grass above me//
//With showers and dew drops wet;//
//And if thou wilt, remember//
//And if thou wilt, forget.//*
Alex seemed to be speaking directly to the grave marker, "I will remember, Scully!"
He turned back to his guest, "On fine days, Sister sometimes wheels me out to the grave site, and I place a sprig of Rosemary on the marker...nothing else seems fitting somehow. After all 'Rosemary is for remembrance'."
"I can see you're wondering about this estate. Well, it was left me by one of my former bosses in the Consortium...well not by him directly, but by his widow. No one was more surprised than I. The 'Dandy', especially them with all those kids and grand kids, but I accepted the bequest in the spirit with which it was offered and have lived here ever since."
"His name, you want to know his name?" Alex asked.
"Well I could tell you, but then, you know, I'd have to kill you." Alex laughed aloud, dismissing the subject altogether.
"And Fox," Alex said as he began to wheel himself over to the other bed in the room.
The young girl's eyes followed him and watched as he stopped and picked up the hand lying next to the rose he'd placed there earlier. He raised the hand to his lips and kissed it.
"What can I say about my Fox? What can I tell you that you don't already know? That the consortium dismissed him and his abilities to their peril, probably. That the Aliens really didn't realize whom they were dealing with, surely. That he was the spirit and the soul of the resistance, there is no doubt."
Alex locked his eyes with those of his long-time companion and smiled. The recognition of who was holding his hand dawned slowly in Mulder's eyes and they brightened for a second at the sight and feel of Alex before Fox's mind slipped back into mild confusion once again.
"We've been together now for fifty years--a half-century--and I love him now just as much as I did when I laid eyes on him for the very first time."
Fox squeezed Alex's hand as though through his touch, he was saying the very same thing.
Alex looked up at the girl, taking Fox's hand with his and swiped at a small tear leaving his still verdantly green eyes.
The visitor looked at Fox seeing the IV tube slowly dripping liquid into his arm, seeing too, the small oxygen mask covering his face.
"You look at him and you see white hair," Alex said. "I still see the finest brown silk. His smile, still so bright and blinding, even to this day can turn my insides to jelly, but more often than not, these days, that smile peers at me through a glass on the bedside table. But his eyes, they contain him. Swirling worlds of gold and green. I never tire of looking at them, and I never will."
Alex turned to the girl to see the effects of his words and was rewarded with her smile. His attention returned to his lover. He took Fox's hand to his lips again, and he appeared to kiss each and every liver spot that he could find.
The girl put her pen and notebook back in her bag and turned back to the men.
"Happy birthday, Alex," she said. But Alex never heard her. She looked at the two men again who only had eyes for each other; she felt a warm feeling in the pit of her stomach as she turned to leave the two men to their own private heaven.
*Christina Gerogina Rosetti *Song* 
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