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A Mother's Day visit

SPOILERS: Beyond the Sea, Sein und Zeit, Closure, Within
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; they belong to CC, FOX, etc.

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Somehow, he had expected rain.

After all, that's how it worked in the movies: cemeteries were always shrouded in rain as the heavens wept along with the mourners. But not today. This day was bright and fresh with spring, the Raleigh sun beating down a foretaste of the summer's heat and humidity.

The field of grass and granite stretched beyond him in all directions, dotted with colorful bouquets. The landscaped shrubs were in full bloom, and each puff of wind brought a shower of blossoms from above. Everywhere he looked, the signals were contradictory: this place was too vibrant to be a site of mourning.

It was, in fact, the perfect setting for Mulder's ambivalence.

For the first Mother's Day in nearly a decade, he had felt the compulsion to visit his mother. He couldn't explain to himself what force drew him here; he only knew that this is where he needed to be.

Scully had invited him to join her and her mom for brunch that Sunday, but he politely declined and explained simply, "There's something I have to do." She accepted his excuse without question, perhaps understanding, or simply respecting his need to open up to her in his own time.

The bond between his partner and her parents was one that he often envied and would never fully understand. He recalled her words shortly after her father's death, when he asked how she could know his posthumous message: "He was my father." He wished he could say the same of his mother, that their biological connection was enough to elucidate her thoughts and impulses, but it was not. Her final words on his answering machine still haunted him, like a riddle he had yet to unpack, and her ghostly appearance in California had done nothing to bring clarity.

Had she really loved him? He couldn't remember the last time she told him so. He had no doubts that there remained a Samantha-sized hole in her heart all these years, but had that rupture bled out what love remained for both of her children? Is that why she felt the need, as her final act, to obliterate all memories of them?

Mulder resolved to shove aside his self-pity and finish his errand. He bent to place the bouquet before the headstone, propping it up slightly against the depressions in the granite. The roses were pink--his mother's favorite. Every year he remembered that detail, but only after the holiday had passed. This, of all years, was the one time he got the date right, and yet he was still too late.

He lingered for a moment, the same magnetism that drew him here preventing him from leaving. His heart ached, and yet he wasn't fully sure why. Was it loneliness at being the last of the Mulders? Was it anguish from being forever uncertain of his mother's affection? Or was it the pain of his loss, knowing that he would never again have the chance to say the simple words, "I love you, Mom."

So he whispered those words into the wind to be carried away with the blossoms. And with it came release, opening the windows of his heart to receive the warmth of the sun, and the dawning realization that this was the purpose of his journey. This truth he had sought, and finally found. For all his doubts about his mother's love for him, he was assured of this one thing: his unconditional love for her.

She was his mother.

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Notes: I know, this story is a little melancholy for this joyous occasion, but Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and mothers to be!

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