Title: Don't Remind Me, Mom!
Category: K, AU, SA, Kid A.
Spoiler: My "Mandy" AU Fic.
Summary: See Author's Note at end. Some kids'
memories are triggered by seemingly innocent
Archive: Gossamer and The Nursery Files.
Anybody else, please use your internet manners
Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully and William belong to
Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox
Studios. All other people are mine, all MINE!
The family was residing in Fox Mulder's house.
Mandy was still getting used to living with her
biological mother and newly adoptive father, as well
as younger brother William, younger sisters Meg and
Samantha Ann. The girl was a good student. Often,
she would catch the school bus with William.
Meg and Samantha Ann were still adjusting to her as
well. One was in preschool, the other on a separate
bus to primary school. Scully was working part time
with Mulder, and wondered why Meg seemed tired
"Meg, Sammy Ann, time for bed," Scully said.
As they were about to go downstairs, Meg turned
around to her mother. "Mom, I can't sleep much."
"Why? Bad dreams?"
"No, Mom. I hear Mandy screaming at night, not a
lot, but sometimes."
The psychologist in Mulder chimed in. "I'll talk to
her. Don't worry. Just go to bed. I'll find out about it."
Mandy was trying hard to concentrate on her
homework in the living room with William. "William,
can you help me with this math question?"
"Give me a sec. English essay. Three more lines.
Then maybe a break."
"I'll wait. I need a glass of water."
Just as the girl filled a glass, Mulder approached
her. "What's wrong, Mandy?"
"You can tell me anything, you know that."
"Really, no need to worry." She was lying, ashamed
not only for doing so, but she didn't want to let on
about her fears.
Scully put a few logs in the fireplace and began to
start the fire. Once she lit a match, she heard a
scream that startled her.
"Don't remind me, Mom!" Mandy turned white and
started shaking. Mulder saw her and hugged her
"Don't worry, it's okay. Just a little chilly in here.
Your Mom wants us to save on the heating bill. What
"Sudbury.... " the girl sobbed.
William decided that was his cue to head upstairs
with his assignment. He had heard about what had
brought her to their mother and father.
Scully grabbed a box of tissues right away, and she
and Mulder sat down with Mandy on the couch. "It's
like it's happening all over again, even when I'm
asleep. The house is on fire with Daddy Swenson
drunk, Mom dying, me running out in my nighty... "
"Mandy, it's been three years, you know that. It's
okay to have a good cry."
"Yes. You're a psychologist, right?" At least the tears
were slowing down.
"Actually, yes. Psychological profiler on criminals.
Professionals do not treat family members. We
cannot do that. I can find someone who can help
Scully sat in silence and hugged her daughter. "You
are safe now, We'll find somebody. Sip more water.
Never mind the homework tonight. I'll write a note
to your teachers, maybe take a few days off with
you. Our boss won't mind."
"Mrs. Hess might. Nasty old witch."
"Oh, I have dealt with worse people than that. One
flash of my badge will make her run terrified."
Mandy managed a little giggle. "Yeah, Mom.
Thanks for the laugh."
"Your new Dad went to school with a lot of people
who know what they're doing. It's over."
"I know. Why is this happening?"
Mulder told her, "You went through a lot of scary
stuff. It's called trauma. Post Traumatic Stress
"Like war vets here? Remember, I told you we had
American shows and news in Canada."
"Yes, but not war-type trauma for you. You were
scared out of your wits as an eleven-year-old girl.
The social workers should have given you help,
but they were over-loaded. By the way, there is
no shame in asking for help." He'd even seen
Karen Koseff at the Bureau.
"I heard that. Wish my other Dad, Henry did."
"That's all over," Scully said. "Now that you know
help is on the way, try to get a good sleep. Just
close the books and maybe we can find a good
movie or comedy, then bed at nine."
Will carefully walked down the stairs. "Everything
okay now? Done Hamlet."
"You bet," Mulder said to son. "TV time. School
tomorrow. You know we love your sister. Things
will get better. Mandy's getting a few days off and
you know what she went through. We're getting
her help. Don't worry, she's not up to teasing you."
"I don't mind, Dad. As long as she's okay, that's all
that matters. Snacks, Mom?
Scully laughed. "You're always hungry. Raw veggies
and dip, with grape juice. Tea for Mom and Dad."
Mandy had had a good night's sleep for a change,
as did her brother and sisters. Mulder drove Will to
school and headed to the office, first alerting Walter
Skinner to the family matter.
"I see. Just remember, I'd like the file as soon as
possible. Hopefully the girl will be fine."
"Thanks, Sir. File in by noon. Scully's with Mandy
for a few days."
"Fine. I remember well what PTSD is. Not quite
sure if I'll ever forget."
"If you ever need me... "
"I'm okay these days, just get hold of your
colleague. I have another meeting."
Mulder had made coffee, and began going through
his Rolodex, then dialed out. "Hello. May I speak with
Harold Betzner?" 'Elevator music.' Dislike for being
on hold affected the G-Man. He drummed his fingers
on the desk for five minutes and was tempted to
hang up. "Harold. Fox Mulder. You still practicing
"I have a family member in Alexandria who needs
you. When can you get a plane from Ball's Falls?"
"Hang on. I'll check my schedule. Oh, Late
tomorrow if no emergency arises. Why?"
"I'll tell you. Just come to Washington, I'll drive you.
You might need an overnight bag. We have room.
Scully makes the best lamb stew. I'll see to that."
"Okay. Incoming client now, Mulder. Have to hang
"Don't worry. I'll pick you up. Call me here."
THE FOLLOWING DAY
The flight was on time.
As Betzner walked down the stairs, Mulder handed
his old friend a coffee and smiled. "Long time, Harold.
How's the family?"
"All grown up. Rose married last year, Dan is working.
The wife went back to work at Target. "Yours?"
"Lots of news, huge family. The most important thing
is Scully's daughter, Mandy. She was born in Canada,
and needs your help."
"Are the Quebecois at it again?"
"No. Everything's fine there. I'll get the car. Can you
deal with childhood PTSD?"
"It depends. Why?"
"Long story. I'll go over it in the car. Wait till you meet
my wife. She's the best ever." He ran through the
girl's upbringing, but Betzner likely wouldn't believe
how she had been created, so he just mentioned that
Scully had donated an egg to a woman who wanted
a child and then had to give her up for adoption. He
mentioned how the Swensons had died and Mandy's
escape from the fire.
"I see. It seems like PTSD to me. I have helped other
youngsters through it, some things even worse."
"Just in time for supper," Scully announced. "Long time
no see, Harold. How are you?"
"Well. You have such gorgeous children, Dana. Hello,
Meg, Samantha Ann."
The girls shyly nodded.
William shook the man's hand. "Dr. Betzner, I hope
you can help our sister. I can put your bag in the
guest room. Mandy's listening to music."
"That's a good sign, William. I have to wash up."
"Upstairs, hang a right,"
As Mandy walked up for dinner she was introduced
to the man. "Nice to meet you, Doctor. I hope you
can help me."
"I do, too. You look like your mother. How old are
As they all sat down to dinner, only small talk, some
chatter about Mulder and Betzner's days at Oxford.
Scully was bathing the younger girls preparing them
for bed, as Mulder and Betzner talked over a few
ideas in he kitchen. William had done his studies and
went over the math textbook with Mandy. Twenty
minutes later it was time to talk with the girl.
William went downstairs to check on the fish.
"Mandy," Betzner began, "You can call me Harold. So,
can you tell me what happened to give you the fear of
fire and those nightmares?"
Mulder looked on. "It's okay, He keeps everything
Mandy hesitated for a minute. "Well, I was adopted by
the Swensons. Everything was okay until he lost his job
at the nickel mill. My adoptive Mom had to work at
Walmart... he bought a lot of beer, drank a lot, then
started brewing homemade beer in the basement.
He'd yell at his wife and me for little things... " Tears
began to fall.
Shortly thereafter, Scully walked into the kitchen to make
tea, but saw the tears and picked up the tissues.
"You're safe now, though," Betzner said softly.
"I... I know."
Mulder sat quietly with wife sipping his coffee.
"It takes time to get over things. Nobody back home
should have let that go."
"Guess they didn't care. I didn't want to tell my real
Mom a lot."
"You had a right to, " Scully whispered. "Have some
tea. Chamomile might help. One minute." Mulder
decided to join her in the kitchen. "I think I see
"I really hope so. Talking things over with Father McCue
helped me after Dad passed away." She decided to
deliver the tea and return to the kitchen.
"Harold, when I see people light up cigarettes I shake."
"Just take your time. Here's something that might help.
Any time you see smokers, campfires, the fireplace,
take a few deep breaths, left your muscles go loose.
Remember how much you're loved. Your real Mom and
my old friend cared so much they brought you here."
"Yes, and I love them, Meg, Samantha Ann and William."
"That's a wonderful thing, Mandy. Remind yourself every
day. Write it in your notebooks, too. Post it in your room."
"Do you have children?"
"Sure do. Grown ups, and we never played favorites.
One boy and one girl. Here's they're pictures."
Mandy's face lit up as she sipped her tea. "Your son
takes after you."
"Feel any better now?"
"I think so."
Mulder and Scully had heard everything.
"Better get ready for bed, sweetie. You're tired. One
more day off and maybe the mall. I don't think you'll
have so many nightmares as often anymore."
Harold Betzner. "Any time you want to talk, just call
or write. I have to unpack and get ready for bed."
As the man walked up the stairs, Mulder wished his
old friend a good night.
"Feel better?" Scully asked.
"Yes, Mom. I do. I'll start writing reminders. Oh, about
Mrs. Hess... "
"She's not as bad as she seems. Next year she
retires. I found out she has a heart problem."
"The whole class will be happy about that, believe me.
A heart problem? We never knew... We should show
her more respect."
"Yes, that way she'll learn the same."
Those words brought a smile to Mandy's face. Mulder
and Scully hugged her as she made her way to her
"Good night, Mom, Dad."
"Sweet dreams," both said in unison.
"Oh, thank Dr. Betzner for me."
"I will, " Mulder replied. "Remember what he told
"Mulder, I see a quiet night."
"I see a playful night," he winked.
Author's Note: Because Mandy's drunken adoptive
father in Sudbury set the family house on fire, she
has a persistent fear of fire. Scully begins to light up a
nice fire on a cold night in their house in Alexandria
before they move to Washington, D.C., and she's
scared. She's had recurring nightmares after joining
Mom's family and has never admitted them. Now, she
must, after the incident of Scully's having lit the fireplace.
Mandy is 14 here. Plot Generator idea for Nursery Files: