Shadows of the Past

By Mary Kleinsmith (

Spoilers: Big time for Beyond the Sea

Keywords: Missing Scene

Summary: Why Mulder seems to change his opinion about Bogg's psychic abilities, just at the same time as Scully regains her disbelief.

Rating: R for graphic images of child abuse

Classification: Muldertorture, angst, UST

Archive: Yes, anywhere

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, and everything related to them belong to Chris Carter and 10-13, with magic added by David and Gillian. I'm only borrowing them.

Feedback: Please, please, please, please, please, please, please?

Shadows of the Past

It felt like it'd taken forever, but Mulder could relax. The doctors had finally found that evasive, perfect balance in his medication that would keep him from wanting to amputate his leg himself from the pain, while at the same time not putting him to sleep from the lethargy the so-desired drug induced.

Added to that was the fact that Scully was safe. She was no longer endangered physically or emotionally by Boggs' manipulations - something he'd feared for every waking second since that first visit to the penitentiary. He'd fought the man's influence over his partner with every ounce of his strength and then some, even after Lucas Henry's bullet abruptly yanked him from her side.

Mulder rose a hand to adjust his IV line as Scully sat beside him on the edge of the bed. She seemed oblivious, speaking instead of her fear to believe. Two days before, he was the one arguing against Boggs' supposed powers while Scully argued for them. She believed him then, but couldn't believe it now. Why couldn't they, just for once, believe the same thing at the same time?

Scully was alert to it, though - more than he realized. "I'm afraid to believe," were her last words before the silence that stretched on for several minutes. Finally, it seemed Scully felt the need to break that silence. "What made you change your mind about Boggs' abilities, Mulder?" she asked. "You were so certain he didn't have them. Now, you sound certain he did."

"You don't really want to know," Mulder said simply, remembering.


Sleep was a welcome visitor the night before as exhaustion and worry claimed him and bore him on a deeper plane of unawareness. Exhaustion from the pain, worry over his partner's fate while facing Boggs alone and his own fate regarding the possibly crippling leg injury he'd withstood. Would he walk again? Run again? Work again? The doctors wouldn't commit, only telling him they'd have to wait and see. Waiting had never been Mulder's forte.

So Mulder escaped in sleep, simultaneously regaining his strength. It began as a healing sleep before the dreams came. That was nothing unusual for the beleagered FBI agent, but this dream was different. Painful . . .

He jerked awake with a start, the movement sending shards of agony through his injured leg. His breath came in short gasps and his face was wet. It was the shadows of an old, old memory, manifesting themselves in his dreams. A memory he'd wanted to forget. Tried to forget so desperately and succeeded for many, many years. But Luther Lee Boggs had brought it all back, he realized . . . in spades. Mulder dried his face as he pondered the incident in the lockup those few days ago. Using a piece torn from his favorite t-shirt was a stroke of genius, he'd thought, and congratulated himself on his ingenuity, never dreaming that the powers of which Boggs' bragged were in any way real. That the images he "saw" of Jim and Elizabeth would be interspersed with images from his own life. From his own soul.

It was dark, and damp, and a more than slightly scary place to lock a ten year old. But locked he was, nursing the bruises on his hip and shoulder that he'd acquired when his father had unceremoniously thrown him down the stairs not more than an hour ago. Nobody ever went into the basement in this house. It was a forbidden, empty place with a door that was always kept locked.

The child, a dark-haired boy with expressive hazel eyes, wept with fear and pain, all the while trying with each gasping breath to stop the sobs that shook his small body. If his father returned and found him crying, it would go even worse for him. The tears finally slowed as he used what little light made it through the tiny basement windows to take in his surroundings. Mostly empty boxes, shelves with unused shop equipment his father had received as Christmas and birthday gifts. He never had time to use it. When he wasn't working, Fox knew that his time was spent playing with Samantha or torturing his only son.

In his naivete, he'd done research at the library once. He was supposed to be there to write a report for school, but he already knew everything he had to about that silly thing. There were benefits to having an eidetic memory. So he researched what he wouldn't tell another living soul: if there were other parents in the world who felt the need to hurt their children the way his father did. It was a small relief to read that it was not at all uncommon for a single child in the family to take the full brunt of a parent's abusiveness, leaving the other children safe. He realized he didn't even mind it in a way, knowing that Sam was, at least, safe from their father's temper.

He'd given up hoping that his mother would intervene. She was always there to pick up the pieces, bandage the cuts, take him to the hospital when it was really bad. Lying to the staff about what had happened to her son. But he knew she'd never stop his father from doing what he chose.

As he sat, shiverring, in a corner of the basement, he hoped for a fleeting moment that his father would forget about him. It was possible, he reasoned to himself. Maybe he'd have another drink, and then another, and fall asleep in his favorite chair from its effects instead of coming down here to further discipline him. He prayed as much, his eyes searching the basement to find the one thing he always sought when he was down here. He'd never let his father catch him looking at it, though, or he'd remove it, knowing it brought the boy comfort and strength. High on the metal shelves was a statue. He remembered when he was very young how it used to sit in the garden behind their house, guarding the yard, it seemed.

It was the only image he'd ever seen of a saint with wings, but wings she indeed had. He never knew who it was supposed to be, but he knew she was beautiful. She had a kind, caring face that seemed to support him, and hair the color of the sunset. As his eyes found the image, there was a prayer in his mind and his heart. A prayer to this nameless saint to protect him. To keep his father from coming this one time.

His prayers were in vein, as he realized some time later when he heard heavy footsteps on the stairs. Most definitely not his mother's, nor Sam's, coming to just be with him against his father's wishes. Sam had done that once - but his father had caught them. He'd sent her upstairs to her room to play, and his discipline that time had been twice as bad as ever before. Still he wouldn't have traded his sister's comfort while he waited in the basement for anything. As he heard the steps now, he wondered what it would be this time. Hands? Fists? His father's belt? The riding crop his father kept hidden even from his Mom?

Apparently, this time, it would be something new, he realized as his father took the final step onto the basement floor from the stairs. In his broad hands was a pair of metal hangers, pulled out so the hook was on one end and the loop fully on the other. "Take your shirt off, boy," were the only words his father spoke as he tightened the hooks around his hand, creating a makeshift handle. As he obediently pulled the garment over his head, Fox noticed that his father had a handkerchief wrapped around his hand to protect him from the biting edge of the wire.

Not that there was anything to protect Fox's fresh young skin from the other edge of that wire a few minutes later as the hanger came into contact with his back over and over again. Fox wept with each impact, causing his father to grow angrier and angrier. He knew he should try to hold it in, but he just couldn't. It hurt too badly. The whipping continued until the boy no longer cried but was practically unconscious on the floor. Only then, as Fox slid into the blackness, did his father throw the hangers aside angrily, stalking up the stairs to his den and his bottle while the mother snuck down and bandaged the unconscious boy's wounds.

Boggs saw this. Interspersed with visions of the real crime they were investigating, but nevertheless, they were frighteningly accurate. The "boy". Mulder thought it odd, at the time, that Boggs would refer to Jim Summers as a boy since he was an adult. But that was before the dream, and before that dream brought back the memory of a particular incident and too many more like it.

Fox marveled, again, the oddness of his own memory. Painful things would be nonexistent to his conscious mind. Things like his sister's abduction and his own abuse. Other things - facts, information, other incidents in his life, were as clear as if he were reliving them each time they were recalled. It seemed odd that he could remember so well, yet so poorly.

The question now was, how much should he tell Scully. Although he felt like they'd been together, partners and friends, for years, they were still relatively new to each other. Less than a year, and she'd already become a part of him as no other partner ever had. But would she understand? Would she begin treating him differently as a result of her pity for what he'd been through. He did not want to become posterboy for abused children, even in the blue eyes of his partner. She was sitting beside him, looking expectantly into his eyes as they filled and nearly overflowed.

"Mulder, what was it about Boggs that changed your mind?" She took his hand tightly in her own, bring her other to his cheak to wipe at the wetness there.

He couldn't avoid it now. He had to say something. But they didn't talk about the sensitive issues in their lives. She never admitted why she felt she had to rein in her emotions and he never admitted why he so fervently ostracized himself from most of society. They accepted the traits in each other without question - without needing to know the reasons why.

"Let's just say that some of the impressions he got from my Knicks shirt hit a little too close to home." Seeing the pain reflected in his eyes, Scully accepted his comment and set it aside in her mind for review in the future. At a time when both of their emotions weren't so close to the surface and in danger of brimming over. They needed to talk about something that would distract him from his pain.

"Well, at least I know now what to get you for your birthday this year," she smiled with visions of New York Nicks T-shirts going through her mind. His gentle smile in response warmed her heart, smiling to herself in return. He made a silent wish that, one day, they were close enough that he'd feel safe telling her all his secrets, and that that time would come soon.

Go to Shadows of the Past 2 - The Forgotten Summer