Silent as the Grave: A post Closure story By TJ Winner of June's Fic of the month MR contest Mulder couldn't stop staring at the woman. He knew someone had died in her arms that day. She looked serene, her eyes darting across the pages of an old yellow-tinged novel with a cartoon of a woman wearing a huge, black hat standing in front of the Eiffel tower on its cover. From time to time her faint smile would break out into a small chuckle that couldn't be heard over the noises of the train. Unlike Mulder, she was used to death, a trait he envied. For the past week, he had struggled with the questions of mortality. Are the undisclosed thoughts of a dying mind meant to be lost forever? And if they could be known, would they be worth anything? It started after his mother's death. She had left a message saying that she wanted to tell him something, but he didn't return her call. When he was finally able to take some time off following the Lapierre case and the end of the search for his sister, he went to his mother's cemetery alone. Kneeling down against her stone, he could sense her disappointment with him coming off the gravesite and he let the emotion punish him. After a while, he turned away from his mother and began walking through the old cemetery. A few feet away lay a fresh grave, its dirt still not settled around a marble marker. "Miller, 1942 - 2000," the stone told him. Purple flowers, Mulder had no idea what kind, were propped up against the tombstone, their vividness standing out against the dullness of the grave's surroundings. A powerful feeling that resembled something like deja vu crept into him. And as he stared at the flowers, they began to turn gray and fade into the surface of the stone. Soon, the whole tombstone was swooning in an eerie type of dance and Mulder found himself on his hands and knees, dizziness overwhelming him. Held to the ground, trapped by his lightheadedness, Mulder struggled to shrug off the strange sensation. Closing his eyes didn't help as the image of the gravestone reeled around inside his skull. The feeling of deja vu overpowered him until wayward memories suddenly popped into his head, only they weren't his memories. They belonged to the man in the grave. He remembered being in the hospital on a respirator, dying from lung cancer desperately wanting a cigarette. The Miller family was standing around chatting about the funeral arrangements when the respirator was turned off and then he drifted into unconsciousness. It was dark when Mulder woke. Looking at his watch, he realized he'd been at the cemetery for over six hours. He sat up and thankfully was no longer dizzy, although his throat felt like he had swallowed all of Miller's dust. Standing up, he looked down at the grave, the flowers now just a black silhouette against the white stone illuminated by the moonlight. He remembered everything about the man's last moments. Soon, Mulder discovered that he could sense the memories whenever he was around dead bodies. The first week with the ability had been hell, given his line of work as he struggled to understand his new power or "psychic memories" as he referred to them. Whenever he came in contact with death, the experiences were stressful and painful. He and Scully had worked a gruesome serial murder case. With the ability, Mulder had seen the murderer through the last victim's eyes and had solved the case easily. No one questioned how he did it; thinking it was just his brilliant investigative skills that led him to the killer. Internally, he wondered if the ability was going to kill him slowly. He didn't tell Scully anything, choosing to figure it out on his own instead. But by the end of the first week, he could tell that she was beginning to suspect something was wrong. He knew her so well; she kept staring at him and had asked several times if he felt okay. Mercifully, the ability did have limits. For one thing, he could only sense memories of the recently deceased. A few days after the death, it was like the memories of the dead person died away too. However, one curiosity he discovered early on was that his ability was not just evident around the dead body. When Scully returned to their office from doing an autopsy the second day, he sensed dead people's memories all over her. Most of them were from natural deaths, thank God. And usually the memories were of mundane things and medical personnel. When they interviewed a witness at the hospital, he remembered being an elderly man, who had fallen down steps. He "heard" that he was in a coma, but in reality, he could sense everything around him. He just couldn't move. The nursing staff treated him like he wasn't even a human being. "I hope this old man goes sour after my shift," were the last words he heard in life. But that night on the train, Mulder looked at the nurse and knew she was different. He saw her through the eyes of a dying, homeless man who had been drunk and filthy. He saw her face focus on his as she listened to his last words and felt her arms around his skinny body, holding him as he struggled to breathe. To this nurse, the thoughts of the dying meant something. For so long, her acts of kindness were only witnessed by those who had died in her embrace, but now, sitting across from her on the subway, Mulder knew the truth. The train jolted and he quickly glanced at the nurse's name badge, "Gabby Brown, L.P.N." She looked up from her novel and caught his eye. Embarrassed, he realized he'd been staring as if she were the main subject of a subway art exhibit and instinctively started to look away. But his gaze locked onto hers and when she looked back at him, he saw only kindness and charity in her soft, brown eyes. With his stop for the FBI building approaching, Mulder found himself unable to move, still intrigued by her. He had already worked a full day and decided not to go back into work that night so he settled into his seat while pretending to read a copy of the science journal left over from his morning commute. His stop came and went and he found himself going forward into the unknown world of the nurse. Eventually, the train pulled above ground and he was able to see the city lights outside the windows. He began to wonder if the nurse, who had her head in that girly book, had missed her stop. Finally, she looked up as the train slowed and moved to gather her coat and an old, worn handbag. Mulder let several people get off after her before casually exiting the train. He ran down the stairs of the station and saw her walking up a lonely back street. Careful not to look directly at her to rouse suspicion, he followed up the opposite side of the road. After about twenty minutes of steadily walking through the working class neighborhood, she neared a building and disappeared behind a tree. Mulder cautiously approached, looking around until he heard a scared but determined voice come from the darkness. "Why are you following me?" she asked, her voice shaking. Before he could respond, Mulder heard his phone ring and felt it vibrate in his breast pocket. Out of habit, he grabbed for it and the nurse jumped out into the light about four feet from him. The minute he heard the gunshot and saw her face go blank, he knew what had happened. As her body crumpled over, Mulder barely reached her in time to keep her from hitting the ground face first. In the faint streetlight, he could see a huge dark spot growing rapidly across her back. His unanswered phone continued to vibrate against his chest but he could only feel his rapidly beating heart. As he gently lowered her onto the ground, a movement in the distance caught his eye. Looking up he saw a young man, maybe 18 years old, clutching a gun to his side as he stared down at the nurse. The look on his face was one of shock and horror, but slowly his eyes focused on Mulder in an angry stare. "You son of a bitch!" he seethed. Mulder heard the click of a gun cock and instinctively bolted for the cover of the tree as another shot rang out. By that time, several people were coming out of the building and Mulder heard a woman's screams. He pulled out his cell phone, called 911 and reported the crime. Moving toward the dead woman, he let her memories flood his mind. The first thing that hit him was the tremendous love and pride she had felt for family. He saw the boy, Josh, who had shot her sitting next to her daughter, smiling and joking with her at a Thanksgiving dinner table. Her daughter loved banana cake and she had made one especially for her. The secret recipe to Gabby's banana cake filled his brain. Two cups of flour, two cups smashed bananas... Mulder's mouth watered and for a few seconds, he lost himself in Gabby's simple memory. But too soon, it was replaced by her memories of the current night. A man was following her. He looked like a mobster with his fancy shoes and suit. She was afraid. Earlier in the week, a patient had told her something that terrified her; something she could never reveal to anyone if she valued her life. Her mind refused to think about it as the sound of the man's footfalls fell in place behind her. She tried quickening her stride, but the man following did the same. She had to do something. She didn't want to get jumped from behind. The memories and emotions started to overpower Mulder and he was soon lost in her last seconds. "Why are you following me?" He saw his face looking at her. He could feel her body trembling, but fear turned to horror as he saw a perfect picture of himself reach into his breast pocket and pull out a gun. She heard the shot, and knew something was wrong. She could only see and hear her own mind. "No! I'm not supposed to die yet!" She wanted to tell her family so many things: She loved her daughter; She wanted to be buried in her blue dressand hat; Please take care of my beloved cat, Whiskers; "Help me! I need to tell you that..." Mulder could see the pavement and Gabby lying before him. It was like waking up from a nightmare, only this nightmare wasn't his. He had seen himself kill her. It couldn't be. Could it? Frightened, Mulder began running. He had to get away. But, after a few feet, he stopped. He knew he couldn't leave the crime scene. The sirens were blaring in the distance. ### The next day, Mulder constantly thought about the nurse. He had even looked her up on the Internet. Within an hour, he found articles stating that Gabriel Brown of Washington D.C. was awarded her degree in nursing and had taken a position at Franklin General hospital, helped sponsor the "Creative D.C." program for teens, and her quilt had won second place at the "Annual D.C. Quilting Bee Contest." At her funeral, had gotten the same visions as the night she was shot. Her last memories were of him killing her. He couldn't bear it. The description he gave to police was of the boy he had seen with the gun. But he had been purposely vague and hadn't volunteered to help with the case. And now, guilt was eating at him. He had to do something. Grabbing his keys, he set off for the grocery store. The first cake didn't turn out so well. It was flat as a pancake and had the density of beef jerky. When Mulder threw it way, he cringed at the "thud" it made as it hit the side of the trashcan. The second try went a little better; at least the thing resembled a cake, and he even got to the frosting stage. Extremely proud and feeling like Betty Crocker, he left his masterpiece in the kitchen while he brushed his teeth to get rid of the bananatosis in his mouth from six hours of sampling batter. The banana cake looked and smelt perfect. He wrote out the secret recipe for the cake and placed it in an envelope on top of the nicely wrapped cake box. He would drop it by Gabby's daughter’s house that night. He had to wait until after dark so that no one saw him. His culinary exercise was interrupted by three loud knocks on the door. Opening it, he saw Scully. She looked worried and a little sad. "Can I come in?" "Sure." They sat together on his couch. He noticed her sniffing the air. "Banana cake," Mulder said. She looked confused but changed the subject immediately. "Mulder, why haven't you called me?" She asked in a firm tone. "What is going on with you?" "I'm fine." "I know this is a difficult time for you, with your mother's death and the whole experience in California, but I think you need to talk about what happened to Gabby Brown." "There's nothing left to say. You read the police reports." "Mulder, they picked someone up based on your description of the shooter. His name is Josh Short. He’s a local teenager, a troubled kid that Gabby Brown had tried to help. They want you to come down and identify him." "I can't," Mulder said, his voice breaking. Scully gave him a concerned look and moved closer to him. "Why not Mulder?" The image of himself shooting the nurse filled his brain and he stood up quickly, trying to shake it off. He was so confused. He thought maybe he was losing his mind. "Look, I can't Scully. Please just respect my wishes on this and let me be." "Mulder, the police are coming here to pick you up. Their case is weak and you're their only material witness. They really need you to identify the kid in a lineup to be able to file murder charges." "But there were other people around. Surely someone else saw the crime," Mulder interrupted, hoping that it was true and could shed some light on what had happened. "No one else saw the shooter. But a neighbor saw you looking directly at him. With the angle and the light, you should've had a clear view." There was a witness that had seen someone else shoot the nurse, he thought. He was relieved a bit. "Did the neighbor verify that I was in front of the shooter?" Scully looked completely shocked at his question. "I don't know Mulder. I can check the file again, but..." She didn't finish her sentence. "Mulder, I know that this is a horrible time for you, but Gabriella Brown was an upstanding member of the community, a nurse who worked with charity patients. And she was shot in the back. Everyone wants to help her and the family. You can do that. All you have to do is identify the murderer." "The problem is that everything about that night is so confusing to me now," Mulder said honestly. "Then talk to me. Just tell me what you remember. We can work it out." Mulder was torn. He knew that memories are based on perceptions and those are not always accurate. The nurse just thought that he had shot her. She was shot from behind. There was no way he could have done it. But, he wasn't sure the boy, Josh had done it either. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. But I can't help them. I didn't see the shooter clearly," Mulder lied. Scully's sympathetic look turned angry. "Mulder, you're an FBI agent. You have an ethical responsibility to come forward with what you know." He felt like she was pushing him. But he refused to emotionally break down again in front of Scully. "You have to set an example. What is wrong with you?" she continued, her voice sounding like a demanding parent. "Nothing is wrong! Nothing!" he screamed impulsively. Suddenly he found his coffee table in his hands, all the papers once lying on top now strewn out on the floor beneath him. Before he could stop himself, he threw the table against the opposite wall. Sweating and breathing heavily, Mulder flew back around and looked at Scully. She stood motionless, like the trunk of a tree in the middle of a raging storm, strong and stoic. Still, she held that sad expression on her face that said she was worried. Ignoring her and the loud cursing coming from the apartment next door, Mulder went into his bedroom and returned with his overnight bag while Scully put the coffee table back upright and picked up the papers. "There's something I have to do. I'll be back tomorrow," he said. As he turned to leave, she stepped in front of him, blocking his way. "There is absolutely no way I'm letting you leave on your own. Not until you talk to me." "Scully, I'm not in the mood to fight with you." "Neither am I. Mulder, please just tell me what is happening. You look like you haven't slept in days. You're obviously irritable and you’re gaunt and pale. I'm really worried about you." She placed her hand on his shoulder and led him back into the living room. "Please, Mulder. Please just talk to me." He let her guide him back to the sofa and they sat down, facing each other. For several seconds he stood staring into her eyes and their comfort began to relax his body. He knew that she would never believe him if he told her about the psychic memories and would probably drag him in for a head exam. But at that moment, he just wanted release. He needed to share this ordeal with someone. He would deal with her skepticism some how. “Scully, something happened to me when I visited my mother’s grave. I had some sort of …experience. But now I. Now I can…” Mulder couldn’t tell her. Instead he placed on her hands on her shoulders and closed his eyes. “Scully, today you did an autopsy on Jill Weiss. She was a student at Georgetown and was taking medication for an ear infection,” she said. “That’s right Mulder. But how did you know about the ear infection?” “Do the police think she was murdered?” he asked ignoring her question. Scully sighed. “Mulder, why are you talking about this? What does this have to do with anything?” “Please just stay with me.” “Okay. Yes. The police think her boyfriend did it in a jealous rage.” “But he didn’t. She committed suicide Scully. Her father committed suicide a few years back and she’s spiraled down ever since. She was depressed and failing out of school.” “Mulder, how do you know this? I did find that most her injuries were post mortem which supports the boyfriend’s story that he dropped the body while trying to move her. I also suspect suicide but haven’t gotten all the lab results back yet.” “She downed all the medication she was taking for her ear infection plus a bottle of sleeping pills and some crack cocaine she bought the night before on the street.” When he opened his eyes and looked at her, she looked dumbfounded. “Also, at the morgue, their was a man, Sam Henderson, who died of colon cancer and a woman, Bobbie McDougal who died of pneumonia.” “Mulder, stop. What are you trying to prove?” “Scully, I can sense all of this coming from you. Off of you.” “What?” Her sad, worried expression had turned into a sad, terrified expression. “Ever since I visited my mother’s grave, I can sense the memories of people who have recently died.” Now, she had a shocked, terrified expression. “I know it sounds crazy Scully. But it’s true.” “Just let me think for a minute,” she said calmly. After at least one moment of dead silence, she continued, “Mulder, I haven’t told anyone about the details from that autopsy. I don’t know how you could have known.” “It’s how I solved our serial killer case this week. How do you think I could have ever known how to find the killer?” “I don’t know Mulder. You can make these incredible leaps and see things that other’s can’t. You’ve always been able to do this. But there’s always been something tangible to support your conclusions. But with this… I don’t know how you did it.” At that moment, her cell phone rang. She hesitated until the third ring, but answered it. Mulder listened to the one side of the conversation, ascertaining she was speaking to someone at the medical lab. She closed her phone and stared at Mulder. “You’re right about Jill Weiss. The toxicology report reveals all the substances that you mentioned. No one else was privy to that information. I don’t know how you could have known.” Mulder felt a bit of relief. Did she actually believe him? They sat together silently for several minutes. Finally, she spoke again. “Mulder, I think we need to take you in and run a CAT scan.” He felt angry. He knew she would think he was crazy. Now, as always he had to deal with her never ending skepticism. “Christ, Scully. I knew you would react like this. This is why I didn’t tell you before…” “Mulder, no. I believe you. But I think we need to examine you and figure out how this is happening. We need to rule out some things.” The last thing he wanted was to be subjected to medical probes and exams. “Later, Scully. Look, there’s something I really need to do,” he said grabbing his bag. “Mulder, what is it? I don’t think you need to be traveling,” she said, starting an argument that lasted about five minutes. But, in the end she broke down and agreed to let him go, even though he wouldn’t tell her where he was going. “I’m coming with you,” she said. “I really need to do this alone. I’ll be fine. I’ll call you when I get there.” Her sigh was worth a thousand words, but Mulder knew it meant that she was giving up the argument. She pulled a little brown notebook from her pocketbook and tore off its plastic wrapper. “Mulder, I picked this up earlier for myself, but I want you to have it.” She handed it to him, her hands lingering on his after he took it. “I want you to write down all your “psychic memories” in this journal. I think we need to start documenting this thing and writing down your feelings will help you deal with this.” It sounded like a good idea and he placed the book in his overnight bag. Pulling himself off the couch, he looked down at her. “I’ll be fine, Scully,” he said. But he didn’t really believe it. ### Mulder sat in the packed plane waiting to arrive at the gate at Washington National airport. The trip had been quick, but meaningful. He hadn't known what to expect when he had visited his mother again. But this time, the dead silence that surrounded her gravesite gave him the peace and calmness he had desperately needed. Somewhere on the plane, he sensed that a woman had attended a friend's funeral. The psychic memories were still with him, but he was learning to control them by forcing them into the background of his consciousness. He pulled out the little journal that Scully had given him and opened it up to the page he had bookmarked. "Are the thoughts of the dying worth anything?" That was the last thing he had written. He still didn't know how to answer that question even though he had meticulously detailed every incident of the psychic memories from the past couple of weeks. The journal was half way used and was already looking worn around the edges. On the way home from the airport, he decided to stop by Gabby's grave. He felt a connection to her and wanted to say a final goodbye. Tomorrow, he would go to the police station and identify Josh Short as the boy he saw. He had kept his cell phone off and hadn't heard anything about the case since the day before. Gabby's grave was adorned with flowers and gifts, and like his mother's, was silent. He could no longer sense anything coming from the dirt beneath him. He placed the flowers he had bought at the airport next to the other bouquets. When he pulled up and began to leave, he saw Josh standing about five feet away. His gun was pointing straight at Mulder's chest. Startled, Mulder jumped backward but went down hard on his bottom, his feet tripping over a wreath from a neighboring gravesite. Lying on his back, he could hear the boy's footsteps coming toward him. He grabbed for his own gun, but remembered too late that he had not brought it with him on his trip. Josh cocked the weapon while Mulder lunged forward, twisting his body and grabbing for the gun. He heard it discharge before he finally managed to get an iron grip on the boy's wrist and squeezed with all his might. The maneuver seemed to be working, until he felt a sickening jolt to his head. Dizzy, he flung his arms wildly and connected with something hard, sending rivets of pain through his hand. But the tactic worked. The gun flew across the ground and came to rest right next to Gabby's head stone. Mulder scrambled for it, scampering across the ground like a jacket rabbit on his hands and knees. He landed on the gun only seconds before he saw the boy plunging toward him. Mulder pulled the gun forward and shouted out, “Freeze! I’m a Federal Agent!” Josh immediately stopped moving and looked at Mulder with a shocked expression. “Liar!” he screamed out. Lying on the dirt, with the gun still pointed at the boy, Mulder reached in his shirt pocket and pulled out his badge. He noticed several blood spatters on his hand as he threw the ID at the boy’s feet. It landed in an open position, the gold badge glittering in the sunlight. Josh looked at the badge for several seconds and then his lip began to quiver. His entire body took on a defeated expression as he slumped to the ground. “I didn’t kill her.” He said. “I know I had a gun, but I was just going to shake you down with it man. I didn’t shoot it. I thought you were after her and then all of the sudden she was shot.” The boy began sobbing. ”But I know it wasn’t you. You were in front of her. I thought you were with someone.” Mulder tried to get up, but was overcome by a physical weakness that barely allowed him to keep the gun pointing at the boy. Still, he felt a need to reach out to him. He knew then that Josh hadn’t killed Gabby and a horrible guilt came over him. Following her that night had been a tragic mistake. He was afraid that this whole thing was his fault. “Gabby knew that you didn’t kill her. She knew that you loved her.” Mulder didn’t take his gaze off the boy put pointed to Gabby’s stone with his hand not holding the gun. She felt the same way about you.” Mulder couldn’t hold the gun up anymore and let it drop. He was lightheaded and knew something was horribly wrong. Josh was looking at him with a frightened expression. “You’re bleeding man,” he said and walked over to him. Mulder felt the boy’s hand on the left side of his rib cage. He knew his life was in the boy’s hands. “My phone. It’s in my pocket,” he said. He tried to focus, but the world around him was spinning. Looking down, he saw blood on his hands, running down his leg, covering his chest. There was blood everywhere. Everything faded away. ### Scully was there. He could sense her before he opened his eyes; her familiar scent and soft hands gave her away every time. "Mulder, are you in there?" she said. He came half awake and looked straight at her. "Where am I?" he asked. "You're in the ICU at Franklin General Hospital. But you're going to be fine. You lost a lot of blood so the doctors want to keep you in the ICU for just a few hours longer," she said and smiled at him. "What happened to me?" "You were shot." The memory of the boy came into his mind and he wondered what had happened to him. “Where’s the boy who shot me?” “He’s at the police station. They’re holding him on charges for shooting you and Gabby Brown.” “No! No, Scully.” Pain seared his chest whenever he talked and before he could tell Scully about Josh, he sensed a commotion breaking the silence of the ICU. "Code Blue!" he heard someone shout. He panicked until he felt Scully's grip on his hand tighten and the fingers of her other hand gently swipe his forehead. "It's okay, Mulder. You're fine. It's another bed. Try to calm down now." She sounded so concerned. After a few minutes of frantic activity, he heard the doctor call the time of death. Scully continued to stroke his hair until he fell peacefully back to sleep. The next day, Mulder was transferred to a private room. Physically he was progressing well. He had been able to speak with the police and had told them about the Josh’s innocence. Yes, they had struggled, he told them. But Mulder insisted that the gun had accidentally gone off when he himself was holding it. He looked at the clock next to his bed. Scully had told him she would visit that night after checking things out at the police station for him. He was relieved when he saw her walk through the door a few minutes later. “So, how are you doing?” Her voice sounded timid like she was afraid it would shatter him. “Really good, considering. What happened with the boy?” He wanted to get straight to the point. Her face showed even more concern but she proceeded to tell him the day’s events anyway. “He’s been released. Ballistics showed that Josh’s gun had not been used to kill Gabby. But more importantly, police determined from the trajectory of the bullet, that she was shot from a second story window in the building across the street.” He was relieved and was sure that his face showed that because Scully loosened up a bit. “The bad news is that Gabby’s killer is still unidentified. They’re checking into her patient list right now.” Mulder nodded as she continued. “There’s something else. It concerns the serial killer case we worked this past week. The Police found a safe in a trap door in the killer’s basement. When they opened it, they found all the paraphernalia he kept from his victims and all the surveillance material he collected on them before the crimes.” She paused as if she was afraid to tell him something. He motioned her to continue. “His next victim was to going to be Gabby Brown’s daughter.” Mulder was stunned. “That’s a huge coincidence, don’t you think?” “That’s an understatement, Mulder. But do you think that this is the reason you were given this psychic gift? You were meant to find the killer before he killed Gabby’s daughter?” Now he was confused. What gift was Scully talking about? Before he could question her, she spoke again. "Mulder, are you doing okay in the hospital? Are you having any trouble dealing with the psychic memories?" What on earth was Scully talking about? "Memories? Memories of what?" he asked. She looked a bit annoyed. “The memories of dead people,” she said almost in a whisper. “You haven't had any more experiences since you've been in here?" Mulder was really confused. "What are you talking about? What memories of dead people?" Scully looked worried. "Mulder, don't you remember the last two weeks? Gabby Brown's death, your visits to your mother's grave?" Of course he remembered that. "Yes. I remember." Scully looked relieved. "Thank God. You really had me worried here for a second. But, it looks like I'm going to get my way to get your head examined after all," she said with a slight chuckle. The doctors have ordered a full set of scans for tomorrow. He groaned. "How bad is my concussion this time?" he asked. "Fortunately, it's very minor. On that, you lucked out." Mulder was confused but gathered his strength quickly. There was no way he was going to undergo full head scans for a minor concussion. "Then why do I need to have scans done?" She looked exasperated. "Mulder, we need to do a full physical exam to see if your psychic ability is related to a physical cause." Now Mulder was really confused. What was up with Scully? Was this really her talking about psychic abilities as if she believed in it? And she had said he had this ability. "Scully, what are you talking about?" She looked at him, determined. "Mulder, before you went to North Carolina to visit you mother's grave, you told me you would let us examine you. Don't you remember that?" He thought back to the conversation he had with her before he left. He remembered how tired he had felt since his mother's death and how she had wanted to check him out. "Yeah, I guess I remember. But I don't remember anything about you wanting to get my head examined. And what is going on with you? Why are you all of the sudden talking about psychic abilities like you believe in them?" She looked shocked. "Mulder, do you remember talking to me about the autopsy I did on Jill Weiss?" "Yes. You told me that she committed suicide by drug overdose." "No. Mulder. You told *me* that. You told me this when there was no way for you to know it. You told me that you could sense the memories of dead people." Mulder was shocked. He had no memory of this. Plus, he was confused. Scully never talked like this, like she was a believer. "Scully, I don't know what you're talking about. I've never been able to sense dead people's memories." Scully looked like she was going to cry. "Fox Mulder, are you telling me that you don't remember sensing Gabby Brown's memories after she died?" "No." He was incredulous. "Do you remember making her a cake? What do you remember?" Scully's voice held a frantic tone. "I do remember seeing her get shot and making her a cake. She told me on the train that banana cake was her favorite. That damn cake was really hard to figure out. I probably should have bought a recipe book or something. It ended up taking me the whole day to get it right." Scully looked determined. "But you don't remember having a psychic ability or sensing her memories after she died?" He knew that he was looking at Scully as if she were crazy. "You don't remember experiencing other people's memories?" she implored. "No," he replied honestly. "No, Mulder, this can't be true, unless you've suffered a more severe head injury than we think and you have amnesia. You wrote everything down in a journal I gave you. I have it with me in my bag. I haven't let it out of my sight since you were brought in with it." She pulled out the journal and opened it up. Mulder's concern grew to alarm as he saw her face pale. "No. This can't be true. This can't be happening," she said as she frantically went through the pages. Mulder grabbed her hands and gently took the journal. Although the cover was worn and the pages were used and looked like they had been written in, the notebook was void of writing. Page after page was completely blank and smooth not even showing the slightest indentation of where a pen could have touched the paper. Scully shivered slightly, her hand shaking as she adjusted her hair. "Mulder, I just read this journal last night. It was full of your writings about your experiences with the memories of dead people." He looked worriedly at her. The experience of his shooting and near-death must have been incredibly traumatic for her. But he noticed something on a page of in the middle of the journal. "Here. There is something written on this page. This is my handwriting," he said, and showed it to her. She took the notebook back and looked at him as she quoted the single surviving passage of the journal. "Are the thoughts of the dying worth anything?" As he looked at Scully, he knew the answer. "Dying thoughts are lost forever. At that point, it's too late. What is worthwhile are the things you say during your life. The things you say that make a difference to someone or make someone smile or wiser. Telling people how much you love them." He contemplated the gravity of his words. He knew he had so much to say to Scully. "Scully, I… " She looked up at him. "I just want to say that…" He paused while he looked at her face. Her expression held no anticipation, but her eyes seemed to smile. He felt comfortable and warm when she looked at him that way. He felt loved. After a minute or so, she looked down and closed the journal. They were both silent as the grave.