In Heaven's Forest
By Christine Leigh

Summary: Post-season nine. Emily POV. Set during Christmas time.
Rating: G
Category: V
Spoilers: None.

The vista before the girl sparkles. Purple snow and black pines, or maybe it's the sky that is purple. Whatever its composition, she is reveling in it. She wants to stay still for a moment, and her tired body is in agreement, but she shouldn't stop walking. There are people waiting for her, and she wants to get home before dark. The sky isn't exactly light, but she thinks it is still day. How much longer until Christmas? It was two days the last time she remembers looking at the calendar, but here in the vastness of her surroundings she isn't sure. Maybe there is more time. Now the snow is white. It is a purple sky. Brilliantly so. She decides to give in to her weariness, and sits down beneath one of the pines. The temperature must be sub-zero, but she is warm. The beauty of the scene before her is spellbinding. She has been walking for a long time, and sometimes she is confused about where it is that she is supposed to be. She thinks that there are people waiting for her, but she knows that she might be remembering something from before. She then closes her eyes and waits. Soon she sees.

The scene is as clear as if she were in the room with them. Before her is her mother and the kindly man who once made her smile with his funny face. They are sitting at a table in a small room. They're talking about him. About the little boy who would have been her brother, and who is gone. His name is William, and he is the very opposite of her, meant to be in every way possible. Emily knows that he is never far from their thoughts, but she has only heard them speak of him once before, and it was such a sad conversation that she had wanted to run away. The words she is hearing now are even sadder. It is nearly Christmas and they are without their child and this is hurting both of them more than they had ever imagined it would.

Now her mother has gotten up and gone over to look out the window, but Emily knows that's not really what she's doing. Her mother doesn't want him to see her cry. Emily doesn't want to see her cry either, but she knows that sometimes it can't be helped. Sometimes it's all there is. She wants so to lend comfort, so she reaches out and slips her small hand into her mother's. She wants her to know that she would make it better, if only she knew how. She speaks softly.

"I know how much you miss him. I know that you think you'll never see him again, but I don't believe that." Emily paused. This is very hard for her. She doesn't want to let go of her mother's hand, ever.

"I've seen him. He's so cute, and he hasn't forgotten you. He knows that you want to find him. And I believe that you will." She paused again. "I miss you. I wish that I could be here, too." With that, she squeezed the hand, tight as she could, and then let go of it. The scene soon faded away.

Emily opened her eyes. The sun is still hovering on the horizon. And now there are stars as well - big, silver stars. Some of them have faces, and they are friendly. They are waiting to shine fully, but perhaps night will never come. She is thinking that there really is no one waiting for her, but she gets up and starts to walk anyway. There is a pull in her chest, and now she wants to cry, but she will not. Not this time. She is a brave girl, and she wants to think her mother would be proud of her. Her short life hadn't been much, but in its wane she had learned to love from this woman, and that has carried her through eternity.

As she walks, she hears the low melody of her mother's voice. It is beautiful. And Emily knows that one day William will hear it again, too. There, on Earth.

~ End ~

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This story is (c) Copyright 2003 by Christine Leigh. "The X-Files" and its characters are the property of the Fox Network and Ten-Thirteen Productions and are borrowed here without profit or intent for profit.