Epilogue

Some time later

"There's something I need to show you," she'd whispered as the afternoon sun began to descend. Mulder had looked at her confused, he still struggled to read her thoughts clearly but it was obvious that she was also blocking him out right now. He'd simply nodded and the two of them had left the house in silence, running south through the forests of Washington and Oregon and along deserted highways as twilight came and went and darkness settled on the landscape. She loved running with him like this; all those years she'd spent worrying about them being trapped, becoming stagnant, never moving forward - those memories seemed an eternity past. She supposed that one day they would be.

Eventually they reached California, Scully led them the final hundred miles or so to a small town Mulder remembered, it wasn't all that long since they had last visited it together but he remembered it now through hazy human memories.

"Why are we here?" he asked cautiously. She didn't answer, leading him instead to the house she had visited and then stepping onto the path that led up into the trees. He hesitated, pausing at the edge of the sidewalk. She turned back from the path and was beside him a moment later.

"I'm not sure I can go back," he told her quietly.

"Do you trust me?" she asked.

"Always".

"Then trust me now."

He swallowed hard and together they set off up the path. It was only a few seconds walk once they passed the tree line and soon they were stood in the clearing. It was silent there and together they waited, their hands silently seeking one anothers. Together they heard the whispers begin, felt the stilling of the air and saw it slowly shift to blue as the stars glittered overhead. Then they saw them. The children appeared all around fading in from the darkness, sometimes individually, sometimes in groups. Mulder gasped as the noises found his ears, nursery rhymes being chanted, songs being sung, giggling, laughing. The sounds of happy children surrounded them. He turned to Scully.

"I can hear them," he breathed. She nodded, a sad smile crossing her face. "I couldn't hear them last time," he whispered to no one in particular. Letting go of her hand, he walked forwards through the playing children, eyes scanning the crowd.

"Fox!" He heard her call out before he saw her, turning to see the form of his sister shimmering in the night air as she ran toward him.

"Samantha?" he whispered back, seeing her face light up in a huge smile. "Samantha!" he shouted, running toward her and gathering her in his arms. Where before she had felt cold and insubstantial, now she felt exactly right and defined in his arms. He could even smell her hair, the scent bringing back long-forgotten memories of a peach tiled bathroom in Massachusetts. Samantha twisted to look up at her brother.

"Fox," she began, smiling so brightly that the rest of the world faded into darkness around her.

"I can hear you," Mulder said, his voice still full of wonder. "How?"

"You've crossed over now, you're more like us" she told him quietly.

"You mean we're both dead?" he asked, sadness lingering in his voice.

"Not quite silly!" she laughed, punching him playfully in the shoulder, "you're like us, not alive but not dead either. It's like we're between the two and because we're the same, we can hear one another."

"Can you come with me?" Mulder asked.

"No," Samantha told him sadly, I can only exist in the starlight in these special places. But there's lots of them and whenever there's a clear night, we can see each other." Mulder looked into his sister's eyes.

"That'll do for me," he told her with a smile. He turned and led Samantha back to where Scully was still standing at the edge of the clearing watching them.

"Hi Samantha," Scully said quietly, unsure of what to say.

"How did you know?" Mulder asked her.

"It was when I had run off to Canada one time," she said quietly. "I came across a clearing that seemed strange so I stopped and waited. Then the children appeared and I knew that it was the same thing you had described to me, only I could hear them which surprised me. I asked around and a few others had experienced the same thing in different places. When I asked Edwin he guessed the reason I had heard them when you couldn't. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier but I wanted to show you instead and I had to wait for a clear night." The three of them looked up at the crystal clear sky filled with stars.

"Thank you," he whispered, briefly letting go of Samantha's hand to place his on either side of Scully's face and kiss her. After a few moments she pushed him away.

"Go," she told them, "talk." Mulder looked at Samantha and they smiled. He turned away and began walking through the clearing, holding Samantha's hand as they spoke. Scully took a deep breath and turned, walking slowly back down the path. She looked up at the clear sky and watched the constellations above her, far more of them now than she had ever seen with her human eyes. Fox and Samantha's time together had been cruelly cut short, she thought to herself. He had suffered so much pain over the years trying to find her and worrying about what had happened. Now they both existed in this new, unearthly world she had discovered and they would have eternity together as long as the skies were clear. It seemed as if the world had finally granted Fox Mulder a pardon. She smiled at the thought and turned back toward the clearing where a blue light shone faintly through the trees. A light that had guided her too in her darkest moments. Mulder would be a long time but she had eternity waiting for her, there was no hurry. With one final glance at the woods she turned away and began to run north, back to the house they would share together for as long as they chose. Back to their home.


Author's Note:

You didn't really think I'd leave without saying goodbye did you? First of all, an enormous thank you to everyone who has ever read this story, left reviews, emailed comments to me, contacted me on instagram & Twitter - just thank you to each and every one of you. Writing fic is a huge release for me so thinking that people are really out there getting enjoyment from them is just the most incredible feeling. Thank you also to my beta readers. I've had several throughout the course of the story but an extra special thank you does out to Keva who took over many months ago and has honestly been the best beta reader I could have asked for.

This story is now officially over but I won't say these characters will never resurface. I love Edwin, Gideon, Harrison, and the others so much that I doubt I'll ever truly be able to say goodbye to them. For now however they will be taking a rest while I work on new stories. The first of these - Messenger - has its prologue up on Ao3 now. I'd really appreciate it if you could go and take a look if you enjoyed this; my username there is Danafox1013. Thank you once again for seeing this through to the end, I know for some of you it has been a very long journey. Know that you are appreciated, each and every one of you. I hope you've enjoyed this final chapter and that you enjoy whatever you go on to read next, whether it be something by me or by another fic author (if you're looking for recommendations, I suggest Aloysia Virgata and BeshterAngelus). Until next time, never give up on a miracle.