TITLE: "Countdown"
AUTHOR: Jen
EMAIL: JenR13@aol.com
RATING: PG.
SPOILERS: None.
CLASSIFICATION: VRA
KEYWORDS: MSR/married, Alternate Universe, Character death
ARCHIVE: As long as you keep my name on you are welcome to it.
SUMMARY: A new year unlike any other.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I borrowed them. ::gives a guilty look:: Yes I enjoyed it.
::gives another guilty look:: But, as Sesame Street taught me, I did return
them. They are in the mail.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Well, before this day I have never written anything really
sad. And I was in a good mood. :-) Guess it's one of those when you're in a good
mood, you write a sad story, when you are in a bad mood you write a happy
story. Oh well. <g>. This story is kinda weird, but I got this idea and
couldn't get it out of my head, so be gentle. :-) Oh and my friend said to add
a warning to this story, she cried. Ok, enough notes. :-)

"Countdown"
By Jen


December 31, 2006

Countdown to the new year. New year here we come. Or rather here we go,
bypassing the people, zigging in and out of the busy light filled streets.
11:43 and counting. Seventeen minutes to a new beginning.

"Mommy?" I stare at the little voice I hear behind me. A pair of hazel eyes
look longingly up at me. "Mommy, you are going too fast."

I stop and look at those innocent eyes. Eyes that are still a painful
reminder of what's past. 11:45. Fifteen minutes to go. Fifteen minutes to a
new beginning.

I grip her hand tighter and pull her into the crowds. Her eyes are lit up,
staring at all the people, the lights, the fun. She smiles, a lopsided grin
and I cringe. It's too soon. We have to get out of here.

I tug her hand tighter and she yelps. I stop and let go of her hand,
surprised I grabbed it so fast. But the people….. I stare out as she rubs
her hand. I can feel her eyes following mine. I look back at her as she runs
a "check of the crowd." Her eyes are narrow and careful as she turns her head
swiftly.

"Mommy, look!" I tear my eyes away from her to look at what she's discovered.
She laughing at a couple now deeply involved kissing.

I push her along giving her the usual, "It's not polite to stare" line and
continue to drag her along. I try to push the picture of the couple out my
mind. They were so happy, without a care in the world….. 11:50 p.m. Ten
minutes to go. I have to get out of here.

I break into a jog, and she struggles to keep up. "Mommy, stop going so
fast!" she cries but I can't stop. The people, all smiling and counting down
the minutes….

I stop dead in my tracks to avoid running into a pack of young people. I stop
completely as I see what one of them is carrying. A gun.

I stop so suddenly and long that I can feel the tap of little hands on my
waist. "Mommy," I hear her, but it sounds far away. All I see is the gun.
All I remember is that night.

December 31, 2000

<< "Five minutes to go," he said, smiling, the same lopsided grin he always
gave me. I smiled back and walked to his side.

"Are you sure we're not crazy to be celebrating the new year outside in the
freezing cold?" I shivered a bit and he put his hands on my shoulders.

"I always told you that when you married me we would do some crazy things," he
answered and hands me a glass of sparkling cider.

"Next year we have champagne," I promise. He smiles and his hand strays down
to my bulging stomach.

"I wouldn't ever miss champagne if every year could be like this." He stares
up at the sky.

It happened so fast. We lived in a safe part I thought. But I was wrong.
Next thing we both knew, shots had wrung out around us. Young people were
running across the street, one was at the end of the group firing away at the
police car that trailed it.

"Duck," he said, and carefully pushed me toward our door. But it was too
late. A stray bullet soon struck him down. The smell of blood filled the air
and the gunplay ceased as the police caught up with the group, all boys who
did not even look older than 20. But it was too late. I bent down, working
in vain, knowing in the back of my mind it was too late. The police called an
ambulance, but it was too late…..too late…>>

December 31, 2006

"Too late," I whisper, and feel the tugging on my shirt again. The group of
people has long passed now, as have the minutes. 11:56. Four minutes left.

The group may have long passed, but the feeling hasn't. We faced everything
and yet something so simple, so mundane in comparison to everything else, came
and took it all. So much has changed. No more guns. Handed in my
resignation. Tried to get on with my life. Tried.

"Three minutes left!" I hear someone shout. I have to get out of here. I look
down and find her staring at me.

"Mommy are you all right? You're crying." I raise my hand to my cheek and
find it wet. So I am crying.

"Mommy?" Her eyes look at me concerned, and the tears seem to keep falling.
All the years I held it in, and now…..

I lift my tearstained face to the crowd. They're smiling and happy. Ready
with there streamers, confetti, and pots and pans ready to be banged. And I'm
crying in the mist of it all.

Another tug on my shirt and I look back down. Those same concerned hazel eyes
look at me. I smile, and wipe my eyes.

"I'm fine. We're fine, Samantha." She smiles, but looks confused.

"Then why are you crying?"

"One minute!" someone shouts and I bend down and pick up Samantha.

"Because sometimes you need to cry," I answer and she looks at me, seeming to
understand. She nodded. The countdown starts.

"10…9…8"

Suddenly the urge to get out of here disappears. It's okay to cry. I’ll be
fine. I grip Samantha tighter and join her and the rest of the crowd in the
countdown.

"7…6…5"

We'll be fine.

"4…3"

Memories are okay to have.

"2…1…"

I love you, Mulder.

"Happy New Year!!"


The End.

Please tell me what you thought. JenR13@aol.com.

Visit the rest of my stories at my website:
http://members.tripod.com/~Jen1121/xf.html.