Title: A Chance Meeting
Keywords: MSR, vingette, 3rd person POV
Spoilers: The Truth
Feedback: I love it.
Archive: If you want it, it’s yours. Just let me know so I can come visit.
Disclaimer: These stories I write are just little scripts for my action figures, nothing more. The real Mulder and Scully belong to CC, 1013, David, and Gillian.
Thanks: To Robin for her quick beta and to Char for her inspiration. (((Love))) to you both.
Author’s notes at end.
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I was supposed to be looking for a birthday gift for my mother-in-law when I spotted them.
They clung to each other, his arm around her shoulder and hers around his waist, as they walked down the aisle in front of me. I’m not sure what it was that made me follow them, but I did, completely forgetting the gift as
well as my husband who was roaming around the store somewhere.
Together and without words they filled their shopping basket. Shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Deodorant and razors, hair brushes and lotion, all items one would need on daily basis for simple upkeep. Still several feet behind, I followed them to men’s clothing next and while pretending to look at some dress shirts, watched as she helped him pick out some pants and shirts. I watched his face as she flipped through the racks of t-shirts next to him, his eyes never leaving her. He was a handsome man, his nose perhaps a bit too large for his face, but handsome nonetheless. And he loved this woman. The look could not be mistaken for anything else but true love and devotion. But a sadness spilled out as well, just as evident as the love, and my heart went out to this stranger I had never met.
The woman seemed to be satisfied with her choices and as she turned to put the items in the basket, I finally got a look at her as well. She was beautiful, her soft features complimenting his more rugged ones perfectly. I could feel the love between them even from where I stood, the abstract emotion suddenly becoming tangible. It was the most awe-inspiring sight I had ever seen, especially right in the middle of a Wal-Mart in New Mexico.
But I felt a spasm in on the left side of my chest once again as I saw the turmoil in her face, even as she smiled up at her companion. What had happened to these two? My mind raced with possible answers, but none
seemed to fit the grandeur they carried so effortlessly.
She said something to him then, squeezing his hand with her own in quick reassurance, then walked away towards the direction of the women’s department. I decided to stick with him and we both watched until she was
out of sight. He resumed his shopping with the selection of socks and underwear, a few undershirts and finally some pajama bottoms.
We headed over to the women’s section, my distance behind a safe ten feet or so. I had been eyeing some things along the way and didn’t realize that he had stopped short in front of me. I ran into him hard with my own shopping basket.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” I apologized.
He didn’t appear to hear or even see me, though, his eyes searching frantically for the small redhead that had just left him minutes before. I stepped back and saw him immediately break out into a sweat, fear glazing
over his eyes. I felt a little silly as my own heart began to race when I couldn’t spot her either. Suddenly, I felt brave.
“Are you alright, sir?” I asked, stepping up next to him.
He jumped at my voice and turned to me abruptly, his hands coming over to grip my upper arms. I should have been a little frightened, I suppose.
“Have you seen a woman? Red hair and blue eyes?” he asked, his whole demeanor in a sudden frenzy.
I looked around for her, not wanting to say no to him, and that was when I spotted her.
“Is that her?”
He followed my eyes about halfway down the closest aisle and upon seeing her, released his hold of me. But he didn’t rush over to her as I had surely thought he would. Instead, he mumbled a thank you and an apology and simply watched her from a distance, just I had been doing with him.
He didn’t seem to mind that I remained with him. His gaze never wavered as she walked through the baby department, gently running her hands over the soft blankets and tiny outfits. She picked up a blue teddy bear from a shelf nearby and hugged it to her body, rocking gently by herself. I looked back to the man next to me and was startled to see tears in his eyes.
“I think she needs you,” I offered quietly.
He nodded, almost imperceptibly, and made his way over. I felt tears stinging at my own eyes as he stood on front of her and placed two fingers under her chin, lifting her head to look at him. Their eyes met in silent
conversation for several full minutes, tears now running down all three of our faces. Finally he moved, taking the stuffed animal from her arms and letting it fall to the floor as he wrapped his arms around her protectively.
She melded into his body easily and encircled his waist in a tight grip, her body now shaking as she sobbed into his chest.
I turned to see my husband approaching, a slightly irritated look on his face.
“I’ve been looking all over for you,” he informed me. “What do you think?”
He held up the most unattractive desk lamp I had ever seen in my life. But I knew his mother would love it.
“It’s perfect,” I said and wiped the remaining moisture from my face.
“Are you alright?” he asked, placing the lamp in the cart and then his hand gently on my shoulder.
I smiled gratefully and nodded my head. I looked over and saw that the couple had stopped crying, but were still in each other’s arms. The man leaned down then and let his lips brush over the woman’s lightly. She stood
on her tiptoes then and brought her arms up around his neck, pulling him down a little further to deepen the kiss.
I looked again over to my husband, a look of worry on his sweet face. I embraced him quickly and held on to him tight, his arms holding me just as fiercely.
“I love you, Adam,” I murmured.
“I love you, too, Honey,” he said, pulling back just a little to look at me. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
I nodded again and placed a kiss on his cheek. With one more glance behind me, I saw that the baby department now stood empty, the teddy bear laying on the ground the only evidence that they had been there.
“Hey,” Adam said, bringing my attention back. “Look what I got for Charlotte.”
He help out a gold chain to me, a small gold cross dangling from the end.
“It’s beautiful,” I told him. “But do you really think you should give that to her now?”
“Well, I thought I’d save it for her high school graduation or something,” he said.
“But that’s ten years from now!” I laughed gently.
“I know,” he grinned. “But it’ll mean more if I have it saved after all those years, don’t you think?”
He was already beaming at the thought of his little girl’s high school graduation and I think I fell in love with him just a little more because of it.
“Besides,” he said, putting an arm around my shoulder as we walked to the registers. “She’s going to need a little divine protection from the big, bad world when she’s out in it all by herself. We better cherish these next ten
years with her. Because after that, who knows what’ll happen and where she’ll go.”
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Author’s notes: This story is dedicated to the memory of Evie Whiting, a young woman who touched many, many lives, and whose own life was simply too short. This is also for the family that she left behind, who will always
love and miss her.