Welcome To The Harem
Memories Of Mom by E. Watson
Summary: Deslea's rec: "Wow. This fic completely changed my point of view. I've always had a soft spot for Jeffrey Spender, but Erynn brought my understanding of the character to a whole new level in this honest, sometimes heartbreaking pre-XF story. Don't miss this one!"
Title: Memories of Mom
Author: E. Watson
Archive: Yes to Harem, all others please email me first.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, don't sue.
Keywords: Jeffrey Spender POV, Cassandra Spender, Pre-X-files, Story, Angst
Spoilers: Patient X/RATB The End/The beginning and Closure
Summary: What happened "20 years ago" that caused Jeffrey Spender so much pain?
Notes: It's important to know that Jeffrey's POV here is after "The end" and before "Two Fathers." I wrote this before William and the Truth aired. Some things revealed may make this an AU. (See notes at end) Thank you to MJ for the beta, and for telling me it was post worthy. This is my first attempt at Jeffrey's character. It's not a happy piece, but I hope I did himj ustice.
I've just finished giving my latest report to Assistant Director Skinner. It's not a duty I enjoy. The man seems sensible enough, but for some reason he's quite close with Agent Mulder. He doesn't say anything demeaning, but I can tell what he thinks of me by the looks I get from him.
In fact, I get a lot of those looks, and for the life of me I can't understand why. Just how the hell did I become the bad guy in this situation? Agent Mulder and his partner were responsible for the disappearance of my mother. I'm the victim here, but with the attitude I get, you wouldn't know it.
It's frightening really, to see how many people are unable to realize how harmful endorsing one man's fantasies can be.
I know first hand the damage that it causes. It was that type of mentality that caused so much pain for me, and my mother.
Memories of my mother always bring up three little words.
Don't cry honey.
I was five years old the first time she disappeared. There was no warning. No goodbye. One morning I woke up, and she was gone. I never knew why she left, or if she'd come back. I remember I'd watch out the window for hours, hoping to see her come up the driveway, but
she never did.
Then one day she was back. Just like that. I came down for breakfast and there she was, sitting at the kitchen table, having a cigarette.
We looked at each other for a long time. I wasn't sure if I was really seeing her. I was scared saying anything would make her disappear again.
Finally, I asked. "Mom?"
She gasped, and I started crying. I now understand that she didn't know who I was. She was probably in as much shock as I was.
She got up from the table, put her arms around me and said, "Don't cry honey."
But that was all she said. She just held me while I cried. There was no explanation, no reassurance that she wouldn't leave again, just, "don't cry honey".
Eventually, she let go, and made ice cream sundaes for breakfast.
When she came back the first time, things were great. My mom never seemed to care about the normal responsibilities other parents have. She'd spend entire days just playing. One day my father came home from a trip. Mom and I were having a sword fight in the living room. We were pirates. I had just won the battle, and mom was doing one of her great death scenes when we heard my father intentionally cough.
I looked up, and saw him standing at the edge of our living room. Mom got up, and attempted to fix her hair. She walked up to my father, still holding her sword, kissed him on the cheek and said, "Welcome home."
My father was not impressed.
"Would you like to explain to me what's going on?" He asked.
"Oh, we were trying to find a lost treasure. I think it's under the middle cushion, but Jeffrey."
"Really Cassandra, look at this place."
In my father's defense, the place was a disaster. Dishes were everywhere. I don't think one was washed since he left. Socks were scattered all over the floor, blankets were strewn on the couch and chairs. In our battle, lamps were knocked over, a picture fell down, and the rest were severely tilted.
Mom looked around the house, then back at my father. She smiled and shrugged. "Oops."
I started picking up my toys, trying to avoid my father's wrath.
"Oops?" He asked. "Oops is unacceptable. What if I had brought one of my associates home with me? Invited them over for a nice dinner with my wife and son, only to find this?" He gestured around the house.
"Well, you didn't bring anyone home with you. You never bring anyone home with you. I don't see the big deal, I'll tidy things up right away."
"See that you do. I'm going out to get something to eat. It's obvious there isn't a hot dinner waiting for me here. I want this place cleaned by the time I get back."
I started apologizing to her as soon he left. She did, after all, get in trouble because of me. I felt guilty, but also frightened. I thought if everything weren't perfect, she'd leave again.
"It's not your fault, dear." She glared at the door, retrieved a garbage bag, and started throwing everything in: dishes, towels, socks, anything that was part of the mess.
I just stood there, in awe and shock. I kept thinking about how my father would react, and was scared this would mean she'd go away.
I went up and tugged her arm. "Mom, please. It's okay. I can wash the dishes. You can't just throw everything out."
She smiled at me, and ruffled my hair. "Don't cry honey. I'm just cleaning up the same way your father disposes of his messes."
I didn't know what that meant. I'm beginning to now.
After she had everything in garbage bags, she wrote a note and told me not to look. She placed all the bags on our front porch. Despite her warning, I peeked outside, read the note, and immediately went to bed. I had no intention of being up when my father came home to three garbage bags of stuff on the porch with a note saying, "I'm not your damn maid."
She went away again two weeks later.
The next time she came back, things were different. She was still mom, but there were no more sword fights. My mom tired easily, and spent most of her time in bed. We'd play cards and board games a lot. She also started having nightmares about, "them".
"They" were coming to get her. "They" were going to do horrible things to her. I was eight then and believed every word. I was also naive enough to think I could protect her. At night, whenever my father was away, I'd leave my room and stand guard thinking I could stop them from taking her. I never managed to stay up the whole night, and would end up sleeping in front of her door until her screams woke me up.
One night she woke up first, and found me sleeping in the hallway.
"Jeffrey honey," she giggled, "what are you -" She stopped, noticing the toy gun I held.
Her hands went her mouth. She dropped down on the floor beside me. Mistaking her reaction, I thought I did something wrong.
"I was just trying to-"
"Oh Jeffrey," she cried, "I know what you were doing. You're not in any trouble."
She wrapped her arms around me. "I'm glad you're trying to help, Jeffrey, but a boy your age should really be sleeping in his own bed."
I broke away from her. "But mom," I pleaded. "I have to stay here. Who's going to make sure no one comes and get you when dad's away?"
She was silent for several seconds. Finally, she nodded. She wiped the tears off her face and noticed I had some on mine.
"Don't cry honey."
She went into my room and got my blanket and pillow.
"Wait here." She said, handing me my bedding.
She went downstairs for about a minute. When she came back up she had a bottle. Some kind of cleaning stuff, but what I noticed back then was the skull, the bony hand and various other danger signs.
"That gun isn't going to do much damage, sweetie. Use this." She handed me the bottle, and added, "make sure you get them in the eyes."
I know now that she emptied the bottle, and put water inside. She knew I couldn't do anything. It was ridiculous really, but she didn't know what else to do. It worked for a while. It gave me some power in a situation I had no control in, but in the end, it didn't make a difference.
She left again while I was at school.
By the time I was ten, my mother had gone away five times. By then I figured I was too old for tears, so I got angry instead. I was in trouble a lot in school and home. In the span of two years, I went through six different care givers. No one other than my mother ever gave me an explanation about where she went.
The last time she left, I wasn't even shocked. I was upset and angry, but it was like I expected it. What I didn't expect was what she'd bring back.
She returned shortly before Christmas, and brought a girl with her. I don't know how old she was, early teens, I think. She had long dark hair. Mom called her Samantha. She didn't talk much. The only person she seemed comfortable with was my mother.
I hated her. I know it sounds mean, but I did. I had no rational reason for my emotion. She was never mean to me. In fact, we barely spoke, but I still hated her. It was bad enough that my mom was away so much, but when she was home, she was my mother. Suddenly, I had to share. The girl left often, but only for a day or two. She always seemed upset when she came back and my mother would brush her hair, telling her she'd be okay. I'd stand at my mother's bedroom door, glaring at them, before going to my room to sulk.
One day, in the spring, I found her outside staring at the sidewalk that was just paved. It was just wet cement, but she was studying intensely, like it held some secret.
I said. "Why don't you go do something useful like dishes or laundry, and start earning your keep, instead of standing out here like an idiot watching cement dry?"
Ignoring me, she knelt down beside the sidewalk, and carefully wrote her name in the pavement. When she was done she nodded to herself. She seemed proud. I didn't see the big deal. So what if she knew how to spell her name? I wanted to wreck it. What right did she have etch her name in stone outside my house?
"You just wrecked our sidewalk." I said. "Did you stop and think maybe my mother wouldn't want you to do that? Maybe now she'll send you away."
She rolled her eyes at me. "Your mother loves you, you know. You're lucky, I wish my mother loved me." She bit her lower lip, thought for a moment, and added, "Maybe I don't have a mother."
After she went inside, I started to feel bad for the way I acted. She was just some poor runaway whom my mom decided to show some kindness too. I decided not to wreck her signature, but I added mine underneath. If she was going to leave her mark, then I wanted to leave mine too. It was, after all, my house.
She was gone the next day. I never saw her again.
Surprisingly, my father was more upset with her departure than my mom was. He blamed my mother for the girl running away. He was furious with her. Mom kept saying she was better off, over and over again, until my father gave up and stormed off.
I was feeling guilty. I thought I was the reason she left. I was the one who was mean to her. My father should have blamed me.
I went up to my mother. "I know it's not your fault mom. I should've been nicer to her."
She touched my cheek, and smiled. "Don't cry honey. It wasn't your fault. Besides, your father would have killed her anyway. "
My father left two months later. Looking back, I can see there were signs. My parents fought all the time. Mom was insistent that she had been abducted. She also became paranoid that people were spying on her. She went through seven housekeepers in six months, completely destroying my record.
To this day I still don't know what happen when he left. I was at summer school at the time and by the time I came home the damage had already been done.
When I first entered the house, I thought we'd been robbed. All the cupboards in the kitchen had been emptied on the floor. Light bulbs were lying broken on the table, and all the chairs were overturned.
I was about to run to the neighbors for help when I heard my mom call out.
"Who's there? Jeffrey, is that you?"
She came into the kitchen, and I knew something very bad had happened. I thought she was attacked during the burglary. Her face was stained with tears and mascara. Her blouse had black streaks on bottom from using it as a handkerchief.
Before I could say anything she put her fingers to her lips, and rushed to lock the door.
She peeked out the closed curtains, wringing her hands in the bottom of blouse.
"Mom" I started
"Ssshhhh" she said, looking at my backpack.
She took it from me, dumped all it's contents on the floor, and started rummaging through every book.
"Mom," I repeated. "What's going on?"
She looked up at me, startled, and went back into the living room.
The living room was as bad as the kitchen. The chairs and sofa were turned over. Cushions lay unzipped on the floor with their insides taken out. All the lamps had been broken. My mother was crouching in the far left hand corner, unscrewing the plate off an electrical socket.
She put her fingers in the socket. Not knowing she had tuned the power off, I yelled "Mom! Don't"
She gasped, brought her hand out, and yelled into it.
"If I'm so crazy then why are you bastards spying on me?"
I never figured out what she was yelling at. She immediately went to the bathroom and flushed whatever it was, if it was anything, down the toilet.
I didn't know what to do. As she was walking out of the bathroom, I tried to talk to her again.
"Sshhh. They're listening." She whispered, putting her fingers to her lips. She knelt in front of me, and placed her hands on my shoulders. "Listen Jeffrey, I want you to go pack. Pack as much as you can. We're going on a trip."
I didn't move. Who was listening? What happened? Who were they? And then another question entered my mind. What would my father say when he came home and saw this mess?
"Maybe we should clean up first, before dad gets home."
Her shoulders slumped. "Oh sweetie, he's not coming home. He left."
"When's he coming back?"
She paused, and ran her hand in my hair. "He's not coming back, he left for good."
I didn't know what to say. I was never particularly close to my father, but he was the one who took care of things. What was going to happen to me the next time my mother disappeared?
"Don't cry honey. It's for the best. " She pointed back to the electrical socket, and whispered. "He's one of them."
She got up, shook her head, and smiled. Instantly, she was the mom I knew again.
"Go on sweetie. Go pack. We're going to have so much fun!"
She was right. We did have fun, and I am very grateful for that trip. It was the last time my mother and I really enjoyed ourselves.
I didn't get any more information about what happened to my father, or even where we were going, but mom did her best to keep us busy enough that I wouldn't ask. We stopped everywhere: every tourist site, every market, every ice-cream stand, everywhere.
If we found a spot we liked, we'd camp for days. There was no rush, no place we had to be, we'd just enjoy ourselves until we wanted to go. There was also a huge difference in my mother. She had more life in her. She laughed all the time. We both did. Her energy was back, she was back. It was just my mom and I, having a blast traveling the highway. It was great. I wanted it to never end.
But it did end.
Our last night camping, we arrived in Nevada. I woke up in the night, and saw my mom was not in the tent. Thinking she had disappeared again, I panicked. I was in the middle of nowhere, with no money, and no one around. All I had was a full tank of gas in a car I was too young to drive.
I grabbed the flashlight, and rushed out of the tent screaming her name over and over again. I couldn't see her anywhere, but I kept screaming.
After what seemed like hours, but was probably only several seconds, she called back.
"Over here Jeffrey."
I ran towards the voice and found her, over a small hill. She was sitting on the ground, with her hands holding her knees against her chest, staring at the stars. She didn't look up at me. She just kept staring at the stars, as if in a trance.
"They're out there you know. Watching us."
My entire body was still shaking, I could her my heart pounding loudly in my ears, and my face was drenched in both sweat and tears.
"I was scared you left again. I thought I'd end up stranded out here alone."
She looked up at me. "Oh." She let go of her legs and held her arm out to me. "Oh, Jeffrey, I'm sorry. Come here."
I sat down beside her, and she put her arm around me. I'd avoided asking her any questions about my father and how she always left, not wanting to ruin the perfect vacation we were having, but the spell had already been broken.
"What's going to happen, next time you leave? Will I be by myself?"
She squeezed my shoulder. "Don't cry honey. Tomorrow were going to a place where there are a lot of nice people. I'll make sure there's someone to watch over you no matter what happens."
That's not what I wanted to hear. I wanted her to tell me she wasn't going to leave anymore, even if it was a lie, but she didn't say that. We just sat there together and watched the sunrise.
The next day we arrived on a large ranch, with 4 buildings on the property, and just like mom said, there were a lot of people.
Apparently, she had been writing to these people for a long time. All of them believed, like my mother, that aliens had taken them away. They greeted us like we were long lost relatives. There must have been at least thirty of them living there. Everyone came to greet us and give us each a hug, some even tried to kiss me on the cheek. It was awful.
I stood stiff while each one put their arms around me, and said, "Welcome home"
Home? That wasn't my home, and those people weren't my family. Before the end of the hugging ceremony, I was wishing we were back on the road
My mother, on the other hand, was thoroughly enjoying herself. She spent several minutes with each greeter, learning their names, and finding out where they were from. Say what you want about my mother, but she has a gift with people that I often wish I'd inherited. Several seconds after saying hello, every person that greeted her was talking to her like an old friend.
After the introductions we were led to our room. Mom and I had to share one because of limited space, but because of my age, we were placed in the main house. It was very small. There was only enough room for two single beds and a dresser.
Once we were left to unpack, my mother smiled at me and asked. "Well, what do you think?"
I sat down on the bed, and said nothing. She seemed so happy, I didn't know how to tell her the place gave me the creeps.
My silence provided the answer for her. She sat down beside me.
"I know it's an adjustment Jeffrey, but these are all good people. I'm sure in a few days this place will feel like home, if you give it a chance."
A few days passed, and then a few weeks, and, even though people went out of their way to be nice to me, it still didn't feel like home. Every day I'd go with my mother to these group sessions, where people would talk about aliens. Everyone there had a story to tell about his or her abduction, and everyone there felt blessed that they were chosen. That is, everyone there but me.
Not only was I the only kid there, I was the only one who hadn't been abducted. I'll admit that I have trouble fitting in with large groups of people. It's not a talent I possess, but to this day I have never felt as out of place as I did during those first few weeks at the ranch.
Then, something happened that changed all that. I had made friends with a man named Wayne Power. Wayne joined the group two years earlier, after his wife took his son and left him. Since I was the same age as his child, and I had recently lost my father, we both filled a void for the other person, and just like my father, I place a lot of blame for what happened next on his shoulders.
The main building had stairs outside the back door that led to a flat rooftop. Group sessions were sometimes held up there, but it's main purpose was to allow members to meditate in the evening underneath the stars. Somehow it was suppose to bring them closer to the aliens. Wayne and I would go up there often, and one night I asked him how the aliens decided who'd be taken.
He gave me a long answer, that basically said he had no idea, but at the end he told me it was hard to do a study to find commonalty among abductees because only some retain any memory, while others have no idea what happened to them
And there it was, the answer to my problem. Maybe I was just like everyone else.
I asked my mom about it later. We were both in bed, and it became routine for us to talk to each other about our day, before we went to sleep.
At first she seemed angry that I would even mention it, but seeing how upset I got after, she relented and said she'd see if they could bring someone in to evaluate me.
Two weeks later, I saw the good Doctor. It was mid September but my mother showed no interest in sending me to school. By then we had been there for over a month, and every day I was subjected to abduction tales of over thirty people. I don't know if it was my age, or my vulnerability at the changes that had happened over the past few months, but by the time the doctor showed up, I truly believed I was abducted. That I was just like every one else.
I believed it so intensely that when I was hypnotized, I relived an abduction that I never had. I was terrified by the time the evaluation was over.
My mother was there, she held my hand and said. "Don't cry honey, it's scary at first, but the aliens are doing this to help humanity, you should feel blessed that you were chosen too."
I still wasn't completely happy there, but I no longer felt out of place. For the next month we stayed there, at least, I think it was a month. There were no clocks or calendars in the place, and after a while you lost all track of time. My birthday came and went without any celebration. I didn't even know it passed.
Day after the day of the same routine, nothing new happened until one day in early October when everything changed.
My mother had been distant for several days. I thought it was because of the weather. It had been raining for days, and everyone was feeling the effects, but that wasn't it. During the evening group session she announced to everyone that she felt like she was being called.
Everyone gathered around her, offering their encouragement, and reassurances that they'd take of everything for her. I left the session unnoticed and went to our room. She was going to leave me again. I'd be alone with these people. It wasn't fair. I wanted to go back down and scream at all of them. If they really wanted to help, then they'd help her stay. She had a son, they didn't. Why couldn't one of them go instead?
The rain had turned into a storm, and lightening flashed outside my window. At first I thought it was a ship. I started to panic, certain that they'd take her that night.
What I did next was foolish. Even after all these years I haven't completely forgiven myself for it. Determined to find a way to prevent her from leaving, I left my room and went to the place I was told brought us closer to the aliens.
I sat on the roof. It was dark and wet, and although I didn't fully grasp the dangers of sitting on a rooftop in the middle of a lightening storm, I don't think it would have matter if I did. I was determined to stay there. I never meditated like the others, but I saw them do it and tried to copy them. Sitting crossed legged, I closed my eyes and concentrated on communicating with the aliens.
I don't know how long I sat, but my clothes were drenched by the time I hear my mother.
I opened my eyes, and saw her figure standing at the top of the stairs.
"Come here Jeffrey." She yelled. "It's not safe, there!"
I went over to where she was standing.
"I need to stay up here mom, so when they come I can convince them not to take you."
Lightening flashed and she looked up worried. "I'm sorry, Jeffrey. I shouldn't have said that in the group without telling you first, but you can't stay up here. It's not safe with the lightening."
"No. I can't leave. What if they come while I'm inside?"
"I know it's hard for you honey, but we can talk inside. I'll make us some hot chocolate." She said, as if that would make everything better."
But she didn't know how hard it was for me. How could she know and still be okay leaving me.
"No." I said and pulled away from her. "I don't want hot chocolate. That won't help. What I want is for you to stay. I want a mother who isn't going to leave me with a bunch of strangers."
"Jeffrey, it's not like I have a choice."
"But you seem pretty happy about it. You're blessed right? How is that being blessed?"
"I'm needed up there Jef--"
"You're needed here!" I yelled. "You're my mom, and I need you here, but you never stay! Why? Why mom? I thought children were supposed to be the most important thing to parents, but I'm not with you! I've never been the most important with you! If I was, you wouldn't abandon me all the time!"
I regretted my words as soon as they came out of my mouth. My mother said nothing. Her hand was covering her mouth, and she wouldn't look at me. I think she was crying, but there wasn't enough light to be sure.
"I'm sorry mom. Please, just let me stay up here?"
She wiped here eyes. "Jeffrey you can't in this storm you could be hurt even killed. I know I haven't been the best mother, but it was never because you weren't important. I never chose to leave you. I never had any control over what happened to me at all. If I haven't been a good a mother it's not because I don't care. It's because I'm not sure how to be one. I missed so much time when you were little, and so many memories were taken from me, that I feel like I'm starting from scratch every time I come back. I know it's not fair. Every time I look at you, I think of how unfair it was, and that's why this is important to me honey, because I need to know why. I need to know that there is a reason for losing all that time."
"It doesn't matter why, mom. It only matters that you leave. Don't go this time. "
"If it were that easy, I wouldn't go, but I don't have a choice when they come for me.
"Then we can leave. Lets just go. It will be like the summer. They can't take you if they don't find you here, right?"
"I can't Jeffrey. They'll find me. At least here, I know you won't be left alone. Please Jeffrey believe me, if there was I way, I do it, but there's not. I know it's not fair, and I know you're upset, but we can at least try to enjoy the time we have, okay? Come inside."
She grabbed my arm, and started to pull me towards the stairs, but I wasn't ready to give up. I started to pull back. "Then, if I can't convince them to let you stay, I have to convince them to take me too."
Lightening flashed again. She pulled harder. "Jeffrey, no! We have to go in now!"
I didn't mean to push back so hard. I just wanted her to let go, but it was slippery and when I pushed her away to free myself, she fell back. Down the stairs I heard her scream, until she lay unconscious at the bottom.
My mother never walked again after that night. The damage to her spine crippled her from the waist down.
The "family" we had been a part of, at least had enough decency to get us to a hospital, but they disappeared as soon as they dropped us off. I don't know if my mother ever saw any of them again. I never did.
My mother was unconscious for two days. Although it was a week before I was allowed to see her. A worker from child services came to interview me the night she was admitted. After talking to me for a few minutes that one worker turned into five.
When I was finally allowed a supervised visit, she'd been moved to the psychiatric ward. I told myself I wouldn't cry, but the sight of her sitting in her wheelchair, staring out the window, brought the tears immediately.
She tried to smile when she saw me, but seeing the chaperone stifled it.
All I could say was, "I'm sorry mom." Over and over I kept telling her I was sorry, until she was crying too.
"Don't cry honey. It's not your fault."
"Yes it is. I'm sorry."
She grabbed my hands and pulled me down, looking me in the eyes. "Listen Jeffrey, It's not your fault. Whatever happens, understand that. It's not your fault."
"I just didn't want them to take you without me. I'm so sorry."
The supervisor coughed.
My mother looked up at him and back to me. "We're not allowed to talked about that anymore. Okay? Now listen to me Jeffrey. I have to stay here for a while. You're going to stay with another family, but they said you can visit." She looked up at the chaperone. "Right?"
"As long as you stay committed to getting better Mrs. Spender. You can see your son."
I started to cry all over again.
"It'll be okay Jeffrey, and remember it's not your fault. None of this is your fault okay?"
My mother never regained custody of me. I stayed with several foster families for the rest of my childhood. Each one found me difficult to take care of. It took months to convince me that there were no Aliens or UFOs. Eventually I accepted that none of it was real. My mother was sick and made it all up. It wasn't her fault. Mental illness is a disease, just like any other. The counselors told me I should be grateful she found her way back to me all those times.
Although it took less than a year to accept that there were no such things as UFOs, it took much longer to accept that I wasn't to blame for what happened. I was the one who caused her to fall down those stairs. I still live with it to this day, but gradually, I accepted that others were to share in the blame.
I was just a kid, powerless in the situations handed to me. It was the adults who should be blamed the most. Adults like my father, who left instead of getting my mother the help she needed. Adults like Dr. Weber who made things worse by feeding our delusions instead of helping us get back to reality.
And adults like Fox Mulder.
My mother had gotten better over time. There was no talk of UFOs for years until she read about Fox Mulder.
FBI agents are supposed to deal in facts. It's what drew me to the profession, but Agent Mulder has no regard for those things. Instead he's still chasing his dreams, without any concern for the lives destroyed in the process, but I know better. I know I won't find my mother flying around on some ship, and it's not easy, but I know that I'm more likely to find her in a morgue, than anywhere else.
They can think what they want. They can cast their dirty looks, and whisper behind my back. Somewhere, there could be a kid just like me, being fed garbage by these freaks, who think they're helping by feeding sick peoples fantasies, and if I can help put a stop to it, I'll do whatever it takes.
Notes: I never liked how Jeffrey was treated at the beginning. When I switch viewpoints and look at his reactions as a non-believer, his reactions to Mulder appeared normal to me, and I wanted to write a backstory demonstrating that. Some of the things revealed at the end of the series goes against what I have written, but I could't resolve the timeline and keep the story so I left it as is.
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