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Here Lies A Woman by Mariann
Summary: Cassandra pays her respects to the other woman. PG-13
Title: Here Lies A Woman
Spoilers: "Sein Un Deuche/Closure"
Keywords: Cassandra Spender
Disclaimer: The characters portrayed in this story belong to Christ Carter, not me. I'm just borrowing them for a little while.
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Archive: Any/All, but please let me know where it's going.
Summary: Cassandra pays her respects to the other woman.
Here Lies A Woman
Here lies a woman my husband loved more then me.
It was the epitaph for Teena Mulder that kept running through Cassandra Spender's mind as she stood at the back of the small crowd gathered around the casket. A light drizzle fell down on the mourners as the rabbi conducted the graveside service. She was not Jewish, so she merely bowed her head and hoped not to stand out more then necessary. Being there was uncomfortable enough for her. Yet, she had traveled a long way to pay her last respects to the other woman.
The other woman that her husband loved long before he met Cassandra, and the other woman he had loved long after he walked out on his wife. Teena Mulder, the beautiful wife of his best friend. The forbidden fruit tempting him from the center of garden. A forbidden fruit he had tasted long enough to create two children, then swore himself off of. Or so he reassured her when he called her by the wrong name.
It wasn't that she hadn`t known what she was getting into when she and Charles got together. She been aware of Teena from the very beginning, but she had been young and naive enough to think that once they got married he would forget about the woman he couldn't have.
Eventually he did marry her, after she became pregnant. She tried to tell herself many times that he would've married her anyways, that he loved her and wanted to spend his life with her. Six months after their wedding day she bore him a son. One that would carry on the Spender name and make his father proud. But was it enough?
Only for awhile. Then Charles began to call Cassandra by the wrong name again, the same name he whispered in his sleep. Teena. The name of the woman he had loved all along. Cassandra was merely the name of the woman who cooked his meals, washed his shorts and cleaned his house.
Years passed and she kept trying to be the perfect wife and mother, trying to surpass the standard of what kind of wife and mother Teena would be that floated around in her mind. She foolishly thought if she could be better then the other woman, then maybe her husband would love her more. So she didn't complain when her husband turned her over to the extra-terrestrials to be a guinea pig. She didn't even complain when the daughter Charles had during his affair with Teena came to live with them. But what did she get for all of it?
Divorce papers delivered to her doorstep one morning, two weeks after her husband had went out to buy a pack of Morleys and never came back. He left her after twelve years for greener pastures. She never did find out if they were Teena's, and she didn't want to know. Once Charles had left she didn't hear the name Teena Mulder again until three days ago, when she heard of her passing.
And now here she was, paying respects to the woman she could never measure up to in her husband's eyes.
The familiar voice jerked Cassandra out of her silent reverie. She looked up to find the crowd had thinned out around the casket, and she was one of the only people still standing there. Among the few mourners left was Dana Scully, who was now standing in front of her and looking rather surprised.
"Cassandra? Is that really you? We thought-"
"Let's save that for another day, Dana." Cassandra interrupted, smiling solemnly at the younger woman, much more subdued then normal. "Today I'm here to pay my respects."
"I appreciate that, Cassandra." Fox Mulder spoke up from behind her.
She turned to look at Teena's son. The son Charles had wanted more then the son she had given him. The one her husband had wanted to carry on the family name, but was kept apart from by circumstance. But even with that realization, she still felt affection for him.
"Your mother was a good woman, Agent Mulder." She glanced back at the casket briefly before looking back to him. "She did the best she could with the hand she was dealt."
"I didn't know you knew each other." A brief, sad smile flicked across Mulder's face.
"We had a lot more in common then you might think."
A sudden enlightenment came to her. The reason she came here, the reason that eluded her until now was glaringly simple. She had come so far to pay respects to Teena because, whether she liked it or not, they did have a lot in common. When they were young and naive they had both fallen in love with the same man. They had both bore him sons, and raised the same daughter for him. And it was that same man who had been responsible for the difficult hands they had been dealt in life.
"I should be going." Cassandra broke the brief and uncomfortable silence between the three of them. "I`m glad to see you`re both okay, though I wish the circumstances had been different."
"Don't be a stranger." Mulder half smiled at her.
"Mulder's right, Cassandra." Scully hugged her old friend tightly. "You don't need a reason to visit us."
"I won't." She returned the hug, then pulled away with a little smile. "I'll come see you both soon. I promise."
With that, Cassandra turned and started to walk away from the grave, but something made her stop to take a final look. She felt a sudden rush of sympathy for Teena as she looked at the casket. It was something she never thought she would feel for the woman,. Yet here she was, feeling lucky that she had the strength to persevere, to still be standing there when Teena had not been so lucky. Now the epitaph in her mind had changed.
Here lies a woman my husband loved more then me...but still destroyed anyway.
The Truth Will Always Be Out There - preservexfiles.tripod.com