Shadows of the Past 2: The Forgotten Summer

By Mary Kleinsmith (

Spoilers: None, really

Summary: A forgotten time in the partners' lives is remembered

Rating: PG. Images of child abuse, although not blatant


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.

Author's Notes: I wrote this as a follow up to Catriona's wonderful pre-XF story Seldom a Mistake, which can be found on Gossamer at and possibly other various XF fic sites. I believe that this story can stand on its own, but it'll mean more if you read that first. Perhaps you'll even read this first and then want to read the predecessor! Thanks to Catriona for graciously letting me hop onto her train of thought with this one.

Well, it looks like Shadows of the Past is going to turn into a series, but hopefully I'll write about more happy memories in the next one.

Shadows of the Past 2: The Forgotten Summer

By Mary Kleinsmith

The ring of the phone broke the silence of Dana Scully's apartment, startling her. It was Saturday night and she was curled up in front of the fireplace. Who would be calling now? Mulder immediately came to mind, but he was spending the evening with the Gunmen. It was Byers' birthday, and they were going out for Mexican food and probably a visit to one of the lower part of the city's less reputable clubs.


"Dana, honey, it's Mom."

"Hi, Mom. I thought you said you were busy this weekend? What's up?" She tried to muffle the sound of her swallow; please don't let this be more bad news.

"I am, but it's turned out to be more than I can handle," Maggie Scully said cryptically. "Which brings me to the reason I called. As you know, it's my annual spring cleaning weekend. I did pretty well on the rest of the house, and I'm determined to do the attic tomorrow. But there's so much up there . . ." Her tone was hopeful.

"And you'd like to know if your daughter, who has nothing better to do with her Sunday, could come over and help?" Scully laughed, picturing the attic the last time she'd seen it. It was definitely not a one-woman job. "Sure, Mom, I'd be happy to help. What time do you want me there?"

"How about 10:00? That way it won't interfere with your going to mass. We can break for lunch about noon. There is just one thing, though."

"What's that?"

"Dana, I haven't been through that stuff in years. Not since you kids grew up and moved away. It could bring up some painful memories." Maggie's voice was soft, gentle, and caring.

What Maggie was trying to say without saying was that it could involve some things that could be Melissa's. Dana thought how her mother always spoke so softly about her late sister when she talked, and wondered which of them it was to save the pain of remembering Melissa's death. Yes, there would be memories buried in that attic, but Dana wasn't going to let her mother face them alone.

"I'll see you at ten," Dana confirmed. "If I'm late, keep the coffee hot and I'll be there as soon as I can. You never know when Father Snyder is going to lose track of the time during his homily." Both women laughed and then said goodnight. "I love you, Mom," was the last thing Dana said before she hung up the phone.


"Dana, these boxes are too heavy," Maggie remarked, wiping her arm across her sweated brow. "Maybe we should call Fox and see if he'll help."

"We can handle it, Mom," Scully countered, unsure why she was resistant in having her partner here. Perhaps it was as simple as not wanting anybody to intrude on this very special, very private time with her mother. Any reminiscing they did would be just between the two of them.

Maggie shrugged and began again trying to move the oversized box. Dana saw her difficulty and joined her, adding her strength to her mother's until the box finally gave up the fight and allowed itself to be shoved near the attic door. "Mom, why didn't we take the biggest box out first instead of last? I'm beat!"

"Hindsight is always 20/20, my darling," Maggie smiled. "Let's get this box down to the livingroom with the rest. Then the hard part will be over."

Dana nodded and put her back into moving the box, dropping into her Mom's favorite chair when it was finally beside it's attic companions on the livingroom carpet.

"Why don't I get us some sodas, then you can start on the first box while I make us some lunch," Maggie suggested, already heading for the kitchen.

"Are you sure, Mom? How will I know what you want to keep and what to throw out?"

"You've always had a good head on your shoulders, Dana. You'll figure it out." She winked at her daughter and left her to her own devices. "There's a box of garbage bags on the end table," she called from the kitchen. "Just be sure to keep the ones headed for Goodwill separate from the ones going to the dump."

Scully didn't bother to answer that, smiling a slight smile of frustration at her mother's comment. No matter what, mothers and daughters would always be mothers and daughters. She moved to the first box, opening the top and peering inside before reaching in to retrieve the ancient family treasures.

The first box was unremarkable. Old-fashioned paisley curtains that must have hung from ceiling to baseboard in a house Scully didn't remember. "Mom, where did these drapes come from? I don't think I've ever seen them before."

Maggie was just coming from the kitchen, two glasses in her hands. Her smile grew as she beheld the faded, grungy fabric. "You don't recognize these because they were used long before you were born. These curtains hung in the very first house in which your father and I lived." Her tone was warm and affectionate, like she was saying hello to an old friend.

"They're so old fashioned. And so long!"

"Well, that was what all the interior decorators were using. And I was just idealistic enough to want them in my own home. Oh!" she exclaimed, suddenly ruffling through the fabric. "I have to show you . . ."

Dana didn't respond as her mother continued to search, finally pulling a portion of the curtain out of the box. "You see this?" The edge was frayed and the hem had been torn out. Scully nodded. "Your brother Bill pulled himself up for one of the first times on these drapes. The hem gave away and he landed on his diapered behind." She laughed aloud, Scully enjoying a rare look at her mother. "He was always big for his age, and he wasn't hurt, so there was no real harm done. Other than the drapes, that is."

"So, even at that young age, he was a destructive kid, huh?" It was said in jest, but Maggie could sense the discomfort there. She reached out a hand to her daughter's, comforting. "Don't worry about Billy, Dana. He'll come around about Fox and about the FBI. He's just overprotective."

"He's a blowhard, that's what he is," Scully responded, letting her upset show more strongly. "Mulder doesn't deserve to be treated that way. He's earned this family's respect!"

"And he's got mine. He's always had it. You just have to hold out and give your brother a little longer. He'll come to his senses soon enough."

"How can you be so sure?" Dana said quietly.

"Because I know my son. And I know Fox as if he were my own son. They'll come to a meeting of the minds. Bill just hasn't had the opportunity to see the two of you the way I have."

"'The two of you'. You say that like we're a couple."

"Dana, let's not go there. You know my thoughts on the matter." Scully blushed but didn't have anything she could say to that. "I need to get back to what's on the stove," Maggie said as she rose and left the room.

Scully quickly disposed of the curtains in one garbage bag, tying the tie around it as the bag could take no more. She turned her attention to the next box, not noticing her mother's entrance until she sat the serving tray on the coffee table.

"What do you have there, sweetie?"

"Clothes. Baby clothes, Mom."

"Oh, I'd forgotten all about these!" Maggie's tone was excited and reminiscent at the same time. "I kept every piece of baby clothing that we had. Well, what you kids didn't destroy, anyway."

"Why, Mom? There's enough clothes here to dress ten babies!" She laughed as she held up a pink sleeper with the most adorable footsies.

"Dana, we're Catholic. We were never sure when God would bless us with another child, and we knew we couldn't afford all new clothes if we were to have a child after Charlie." Maggie studied her daughter as she drew outfit after outfit from the box. She'd observed Dana's maternal instinct growing stronger through the years - not one bit lessened by the fact that she couldn't have any children of her own. Maggie wasn't willing to totally discount that, anyway, but she knew enough that you couldn't fight nature. It would happen for Dana - she just wasn't sure when or how.

"Dana, why don't you take a break from that and have some of your lunch before it gets cold." Maggie pushed a plate toward her daughter, and Scully took in the aroma of her mother's home made chicken noodle soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. It looked even better than it smelled, and Dana dug in as her mother did the same to an identical plate across the table.

Their lunch was pleasant, and the women spent the time talking about babies and parents. For once, Scully felt no pressure from her Mom to settle down and have a family of her own - just comfortable conversation. Before they knew it, the plates were empty and both women were eager to get back to their work. Delving into these old boxes wasn't turning out to be as painful as either woman feared.

Maggie returned from taking the dishes to the kitchen to find her daughter frozen over a smaller box nestled in the top of a larger one. She could see the edge of white lace peeking out of the box.

"Oh, dear Lord!" Maggie exclaimed, her smile wide. "I'd forgotten all about this box."

"What is this, Mom?" Scully asked with curiosity. Her mother could see she was fighting her instinct to touch the ancient garment for fear of its falling apart in her very hands.

"That, my darling baby, is the Christening gown you and Melissa wore at your baptism. I put it away in this box of remembrances so my daughters could use it in the baptism of their own daughters." There didn't seem to be more to say, and both women fell silent.

Several minutes had passed before Maggie heard a whispered, "I'm sorry, Mom."

"What in the world do you have to be sorry for?" Dana seemed to be struggling with her emotions.

"For disappointing you. For disappointing myself. For not being able to make you a grandmother and myself a mother."

"Honey, none of that is your fault. And before you ask, no, I don't blame Fox for it either. I'll tell you who I do blame. If I ever meet up with the poor excuses for human beings who did this to my daughter . . ." Maggie took a deep breath to calm themselves. "Well, let's just say they wouldn't be having kids any time soon either!"

The comment elicited a small smile from Scully, which grew as her mother pulled her into her arms in a hug. "Let's get back to work, huh?" She felt Dana nod against her shoulder before withdrawing to go back to the box. The christening gown was gently removed and preserved to reveal other keepsakes. They next found a lock of each of the four Scully children's hair from their first haircuts, a baby book for each of them, and then a box of medals and ribbons, all carefully labeled with the child who had earned it, the year, and what they'd done to be awarded the honor. Next were a pair of similar boxes, one larger than the other, each holding a pair of children's ballet slippers.

"Hey, these were mine!" Scully laughed as she beheld an item she'd practically forgotten. "Those must be Missy's," she added, nodding to the box in her Mom's hands.

"Yep. You'll never know how I argued with your father to let me keep these. He wanted to sell them, but they were just too valuable to me, sentimentally."

"Back then, I wanted to grow up to be a ballet dancer," Dana smiled.

"I'm happy that you didn't," Maggie admitted. "You're around little enough as it is. If you were determined enough to be a ballerina, you'd have been the best - taking you all over the world. I like having at least one of my children nearby."

Dana had already set aside the toe shoes, discovering another, more square package. Inside lay a well-worn child's baseball glove. "This must've been Bill's. I think I'd remember if Charlie'd had one." Her mother didn't respond, so she lifted her eyes from the object. "Mom?"

Maggie Scully didn't respond, instead taking the box from Scully's hands. She could see that her mother was fighting to speak, her eyes tear-filled and shining. Frightened, Dana took her mother's hand, their fingers intertwined. "Mom, please. You're scaring me."

After two swallows and half a dozen deep breaths, Maggie managed to speak. "I knew I'd have to explain this to you some day, but I didn't think about it being today."

"Explain about what? This isn't Bill's glove?" If it had been anybody else besides her mother, Dana would have felt frustration. Instead, it was bordering on panic. "Mom, tell me what's wrong!"

The sharp question shook Maggie, reawakening her to the situation. "I'm sorry, honey! I didn't mean to worry you. I'm just afraid that . . ." She didn't seem to know what to say. Instead, she shifted topics. "Do you believe that children often times totally block things that are especially painful to them? Even into adulthood?"

"Of course. It's a psychological fact. And I work with a living, breathing example of it every day. Mulder still doesn't remember the night his sister disappeared or what happened to her."

"I wasn't talking about Fox, Dana. I was talking about you." As way of explanation, she took the baseball mitt from Scully, turning it over to show her daughter the name written on the inside of the wrist strap. Fox.

Suddenly, it was like a door that had been closed forever opened in Scully's mind. Visions of her nearly ideal childhood were replaced with images of a young boy with bruises on his body and a haunted look in his eyes. "Oh, my God. Mulder."

"Do you remember, Dana? That summer in New England?"

Scully couldn't help the tears that overran her eyes, washing her cheeks with their saltiness. What was there to say? He'd been her best friend, they'd shared so many secrets, and, in the end, there had been no way for her to help him against his father's cruelty. She'd stood by in her childhood helplessness and let him go back to his parents, returning to her quiet life in the suburbs with her family and forgetting they'd ever known each other!

She sobbed louder and more painfully, barely noticing when her mother took her shaking body into her arms and just held her. It seemed eons before she was able to take a normal breath - able to stop the gasps that tore at her throat. "Mom, why didn't you ever say anything?"

"I didn't see the need to bring up something so painful. I worried about you for the longest time. You kept asking me about trying to find out how Fox was doing - you were heartbroken. Finally, school started and you went back to your studies. Finally, you stopped asking, and before long, it was like the entire thing never happened."

"But how could you have left him there? I always knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that Mulder had been hurt very badly as a child. Hurt by somebody he should have been able to trust. Hell, that's probably why he finds it so hard to trust now. Who can you trust if you can't even trust your own family?"

"I didn't leave him there, honey. When we got back home, I tried everything. Social services, the police department back in Rhode Island, even the federal government when that got me nowhere. I couldn't get anybody to admit that they even knew the Mulders."

"Mulder's father," Dana said swallowing deeply again. "He worked for a powerful agency in the government. He must have had it covered up. But why hasn't Mulder ever said anything! In all these years, since I walked into his office over seven years ago, why didn't he say anything?"

Maggie smiled kindly at her daughter. "I think I know the answer to that one. While you were gone . . . after Duane Barry kidnapped you, Fox and I spent some time together. He acted like such a stranger to me that I couldn't figure it out. Until I remembered how Fox looked that night when we found him in the woods."

"The head injury," Scully remembered as her mother nodded.

"Yes. I didn't let on anything, but in our discussions he told me about a time he'd been hurt when he was eleven. How he'd hit his head and suffered a memory block of a few months' worth of time. He was saying that he'd give anything to have those days back - days with his sister were precious to him since she disappeared."

"Not knowing that he'd also forgotten us."

"Don't blame him, honey. He'd been hurt so badly. He told me that he missed the first three months of school that year."

Dana did the calculations in her head. He'd been hurt in August, which meant that he was injured so badly that it took between three and four months for him to heal. "Oh, Mulder," she whispered as her eyes grew wet again.

"When you first told me about Fox, it was almost too much to hope that it was the same person. That God or fate or whatever would bring the two of you together again. That's when I knew that you had a special bond. All those miles away from one another, and you end up in the same place, working together, becoming friends. It was like God was giving you two a second chance to have a life together."

Scully laughed for the first time since finding the glove. "You make it sound like we're headed for the altar! He's my friend, Mom."

"Yes, my dear, darling daughter. And whether he stays your friend or becomes something more, I want him to know that he can have a family who loves him. They just won't be Mulders, they'll be Scully's. Even if I have to break every bone in Bill's body to do it!" Her laughed joined Dana's as she held the baseball glove to her chest, hugging it.

"Mom, do you mind if I take this?"

"Sure, but why? I'd be happy to keep it here in storage."

"No, I think it's time that I did what I wanted to all those years ago. I think it should be returned to its rightful owner."


It was dark by the time Scully finished at her Mom's and made her way to Hegal Place. Darkness had fallen, but she didn't see a light shine from under Mulder's door. Still, it was too early for him to be asleep, and she had no intention of handling this in their basement office the next day. Personal things belonged in a personal environment, and they hadn't had anything quite this personal in a long time.

Three sound knocks on the heavy wood and she heard shuffling from inside. A moment later, there was the clicking sound of the deadbolt being turned before the door opened. And there stood her partner, stocking footed, in sweats, with a taco firmly grasped in his right hand.

"Scully," he said in surprise around a bite of his dinner. "I thought you were spending the day with your mother."

"I finished with the attic earlier than I anticipated, so I decided to come over. Can I come in?"

"Of course," Mulder responded, backing from the door and allowing her to enter. "Are you hungry, Scully? I could make you a taco."

"No, thank you. That's not much of a dinner, anyway," she stated. She followed him into his livingroom, noticing that the only illumination came from the television. "Mulder, it's Sunday night. Please tell me you're not poisoning your brain by watching the Simpsons!"

"Well, nothing good comes on until nine, so I'm just passing the time." He swallowed the last bites and wiped his mouth on a napkin. "So what's up?"

"I brought something that I think should be returned to you. Should have been a long time ago, in fact." Only now did Mulder appear to notice the tote bag Scully carried. She reached in blindly, not wanting to take her eyes from her best friend's face. Would seeing the mitt bring back all those lost memories?

A flick of her wrist and the glove was lying in Mulder's lap. He gazed down at it with a puzzled expression. "Is this my birthday present, Scully? In exchange for those batting lessons last year?" He smiled up at her but still no recognition was in his eyes.

"Mulder, look closer. It's used, and it's too small for you anyway." He glanced down to his lap again, but still didn't touch it. Seating herself very closely beside him, she picked it up herself, twisting the wristband inside out so that he could see.

Mulder was stunned, his mouth working but nothing coming out for a few moments. Finally, he pushed the first syllables through his lips. "This is . . . my dad gave . . . I don't get it. I lost this glove when I was eleven - I never did figure out where it went. How did you find it?" His amazement turned into a broad smile. "At one time, this meant everything to me!"

"I know. Your father gave it to you. On your birthday," she added, covering his hand with her own. His expression turned puzzled again.

"How did you know that? We've never talked much about my childhood."

Mulder could see that Scully had something to tell him. In her own, enigmatic manner, she was feeding it to him in bits and pieces. It aggravated him, but he also knew that she usually was doing it for his own good on those occasions when she followed this pattern.

"You told me, Mulder. Or should I say Fox? In a Fort in the woods of Quonacontaug." Suddenly, it was like a shade was opened, filling Mulder's mind and memory with those lost months. His shining eyes moved from her to the glove, running his fingers over the worn leather with care.

Scully was beginning to get worried at her partner's silence when she finally heard a whispered, "Dana".

"Yes, Mulder. That's what you called me when we were kids. Do you remember?"

"We took wood from Dad's shed," he whispered. "You were hammering nails and I was reading to you from a book."

"Yes, that's right," she said in her softest voice. "Do you remember what you told me about the treehouse?"

His voice still held a soft sense of awe, or perhaps it was wonder. "That it was a fort, not a treehouse," he smiled sardonically. "And that it had to be a secret."

"Why was it a secret, Mulder?" She hated putting him through this, but by repeating what happened, what they'd undergone, she'd know how well he was remembering.

"Because," he looked up at her with moist eyes. "Because I had to have a place I could go if it got bad. If I was hurt."

"And you were hurt, weren't you? That night, after the carnival. He hurt you."

"I left the house. I guess I could say I ran away except there was no way I was going to run that night. My head hurt so bad, but then, so did my whole body. He'd kept yelling at me that I'd told somebody. He call me . . ." A sob broke and he couldn't go on.

Scully's eyes were wet now, too, and she wrapped him in her arms until he seemed to be back in control. "He called me a worthless piece of shit. I heard that word as a form of address more often than Fox back in those days. When he starting to hit me, I was sure I was going to die this time."

"This time. Mulder, I'm so sorry! If we'd known back then, even suspected, we could have helped you."

"No, you couldn't have. No matter how good your intentions were."

"What makes you so sure?" Scully asked.

"Because your mother knew. Or she suspected . . . whatever. She tried to help me, and ultimately, that's what precipitated that last incident. The one that made me forget for over twenty years." At her puzzled look, he explained. "When he was hitting me, he kept saying that I'd told somebody. That 'she' had talked to him about the way he treated his son. And earlier that night, at the carnival, I saw him and your Mom together. I don't remember anything after leaving the house, even now."

"You tried to make it to the fort. Mom and your mother and I found you there, but you weren't able to get up the stairs. You were passed out at the bottom of the tree in the pouring rain, Mulder." The tears were on her face now, remembering for the first time in two decades how she'd had her best friend yanked from her grasp. "We took you to the hospital, but they wouldn't let me see you. Mom and I sat in the waiting room for hours. And then we found out that you'd been moved to another hospital - someplace where we'd never be able to find you again."

"I didn't even remember who you were by the time I finally woke up," Mulder commented sadly. "Hell, what am I saying? I didn't remember 'that' version of you until fifteen minutes ago!" Typically, his tone was full of self-derision

"Don't feel too bad. I wasn't hurt, and I didn't remember any of it until I found that glove this afternoon. Back then, Mom said you'd get a new glove, but I knew that this one was special."

"She was just trying to make you feel better. It was probably her love and your Dad's that let you forget about it and move on to be a reasonably normal, if overly scientific, woman. I had more than enough similar incidents to end up the way I am." He motioned to himself with disdain. "You were lucky you didn't remember."

Scully's hands were suddenly on his face, forcing his eyes to her own. "I was 'lucky' to know that boy in the first place, and unlucky to have lost him. But I'm also blessed by God that I found him again." She smiled warmly as she rested her forehead against his, their breaths mingling in the mere millimeters between them, their hands intertwined.

"Remind me to thank Him sometime," Mulder said, uncharacteristically accepting of the idea of Faith. They held their position for some time, sharing air and life.

"You can thank my Mom then, too, Mulder. She says she always knew we'd see each other again."

"And she was right. Hey, Scully. Maybe we should open an X-File on your mom. Seems she's psychic!" They both laughed comfortably, their hands still intertwined.

"So, did you have too many tacos or are you still hungry?" Scully suddenly asked him.

Taken aback, it was a moment before he could answer. "No, I had only just started when you got here."

"Then how about taking a ride with me. There's another old friend who would very much like to see you again."


"Are you sure this is okay?" Mulder asked uncertainly as he walked beside Scully up the house's driveway.

"Mulder, I told you! She asked me to bring you back to dinner after we'd talked."

"But . . ." Before he was able to get out another word, the front door flew open, and Maggie Scully was standing there, waiting to welcome them.

"Oh, Fox!" she exclaimed, taking him into an embrace that made him feel more welcome than he ever had. He closed his eyes and reveled in it; this was what a mother should feel like. He'd never stopped loving his mother - not until the day she died and then some. But there was a big difference between loving somebody and liking them. And while he had no doubt that Teena Mulder had returned his love, he regretted that she'd never liked him enough to do something to make his childhood something he could look at fondly at some point in the future. This woman knew what being a mother was all about.

"Mrs. Scully," he whispered in her ear. "Thank you. Thank you for trying." She hugged him harder for a moment before letting him loose.

"You don't know how many times in the past twenty-five years I've wished you could have been one of mine. We'd have made sure you knew you were loved." She led Mulder and her daughter into the diningroom where a veritable feast was laid out.

"Whatever happened, I don't regret it," Mulder said, shocking Scully and her mother. "If I hadn't gone through it, I might never have gotten to know the grown-up Dana. Or her totally amazing mother." Maggie blushed, and he knew he'd said the right thing.

"C'mon, Fox. Dana. Let's eat before all the food gets cold." And then, Mulder did something he never dreamed he would. He sat down next to the woman he loved more than anything else in the world and had dinner with her and her mother.