Author's Name: MJ
Title: Remembrance of Things Past
Archive: ArchiveX, allslash... okay, YES to Gossamer... Pairing: M/K (implied)
Rating: G, maybe PG
Summary: Alex Krycek's mother talks about Alex's sixth summer.

Thanks to Kass, JiM, and Merri-Todd.

"Remembrance of Things Past"

by MJ

Myrtle Beach. It must have been - when? Oh, around 1972, I'd guess, the year before Samantha Mulder was abducted. We always spent part of the cold season in Myrtle Beach, all of us. Well, not ALL of us, that would be far too many people, but all of the New York and D.C. crowd. The Mulders were there, as always. Protocol, always protocol; one of the things I remember best. Women and children had their space; dads were on a working holiday and met together. They saw the families in the evenings. You just did not interrupt the dads; what they were doing was too important.

We did Myrtle Beach for years. First we rented out hotels in their entirety; then we built our own compound along the beach just for our own crew. The other vacationers thought we were snobs; no, we were just very private, but then, we had reason to be. Snobs? I suppose we had reason to be snobs, too - after all, come the great events of the future, we would be left with the world in our hands and the hands of our children. Myrtle Beach was in many ways our dress rehearsal for the lives we would lead once our husbands had finished negotiations with our colleagues.

Myrtle Beach was extremely revealing every year if you kept your mouth shut while the other women suntanned and just watched and listened. I remember when I first noticed that Teena Mulder was having an affair - oh, I don't blame her a bit. He was so handsome back then. Not like now, with all the smoking. And Bill Mulder - I still shudder. Nothing overtly wrong with him, you understand, but not Ö well, not the sort of man your mother would automatically love. Too reserved; absolutely withdrawn. I wondered back then if he drank. Today - well, today I wonder if he didn't need Prozac to have been invented for him. He could walk into any room and everything would shift gears. It was never the same with him there. No wonder Fox is the way he is. The poor boy. I was so pleased when he went to Oxford. We all expected our children to become the second generation of our work, and most of them have, but when it came to Bill Mulder, I was so happy that his son got out. At least, I think Fox was his. He looks no more like Bill than he does like the obvious candidate, but then he takes after his mother. But Fox abdicated the toy throne everyone had set up for their children, who would become the next generation of the new world order that no one knew about but us; he just didn't know what it is that he was giving up.

Excuse me for rambling. I've spent forty-four years of my life with the English language; you'd think I could tell a story straight through. Teena Mulder was a fairly good friend of mine, though I didn't see her often. She was up in Massachusetts all the time, and almost never came to D.C. with her husband; my husband and I did research together at Johns Hopkins under an alleged contract from the U.S. Navy, and I only got to visit the Cape for a few days in the summer. But we each had two children, we were both better educated than most of the other wives, and Teena played a formidable hand of bridge. I hated being excluded from the men's discussions - after all, I worked with them - and Teena understood that. She also didn't resent that I worked with the men, which a few of the other wives seemed to do. Either I was a poor mother for working so much, or I was a threat to them for being around the men in the first place. Excuse me, but I have a doctorate in biochemical engineering from Leningrad; do you think I even enjoyed talking to most of their stupid, stuffy businessman husbands? I take that back. The one Englishman was a pleasure to talk to, very knowledgeable about world affairs. And Strughold himself - actually, a very expert engineer, though people forget it constantly. Back then he was making his second billion in electronic engineering.

Fox, Teena's son, was an absolute joy at the beach. A natural swimmer, very good. A little fish, my mother would have said. And he did look a great deal like her. He had always been a very cute child, but as he got taller and thinner he looked increasingly like her. Not quite feminine, you understand, butÖ really quite beautiful. Strange word for most boys, but that was it. Now, of course - well, you've seen him. It's hardly surprising the turn things took with our children; just look at him. And I'm sure he doesn't remember 1972 in the least. One of these days he really will have to be told.

My daughter is a fine swimmer herself. She always was. Another little fish.
She tried out for the Olympics, you know, in the butterfly. She just missed making the Olympic team. She and Fox were always having a race out to the rocks and back, the best out of three circuits. Now, my boy, my baby - oh. Quick on his feet, and he could always run faster than anyone, but all of his natural grace and dexterity absolutely vanished near water. Just like the Mulder children, you couldn't have had two less alikeÖ and I know that both of mine had the same parents and no genetic manipulation. Even my boy's facility with languages is purely inherited; alien hybridization isn't needed for very much if anything by my thinking. English, Russian, German, and Spanish. Did I mention French? He tends to use it in Canada; I'm afraid he wouldn't pass for a Frenchman at all with that Quebecois patois of his. He passes as Spanish and Mexican very nicely, however, and he once convinced Strughold, back when he was in high school, that he was a Venezuelan oil broker on the telephone. Now, that was funny. Even Strughold enjoyed it, and he has no sense of humor whatsoever. Germans. Ha. But, as I say, not a swimmer.

Anyway, my pride and joy, my little deer, must have been all of six. And he absolutely worshipped Fox. At least it meant I got time to myself. Fox and Tatiana would swim, and Sascha would sit near the rocks and watch them until he got sunburned and looked like a little Tartar or Mongol. They would come in for lunch, then, and I spent a couple of hours with them; then they went out to make more trouble. Fox, Tatiana, and Samantha, with Sascha trailing in the rear behind his idol, distracted occasionally by seashells, insects, and an occasional crab. It was all very good. Those were wonderful times, back before the rift in the ranks. Well, that had to come too, after what we discovered. When your so-called colleagues are planning to destroy you, do you keep doing business with them or do you call them on it? You can resist, or your business is taken over. In our case, the business is an entire planet. Take your pick - resist or serve, as Sascha says. But then, he's always understood the problem. He listened to that nice English business friend of ours, not Teena's husband or, worse yet, her lover, who's quite demented on the subject these days, you know.

Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Fox and Tatiana were racing again, to the rocks and back, in what was really slightly rough water. Most of the swimmers wouldn't risk it that day, but those two were strong swimmers; I was hardly concerned for them, nor was Teena, who was teaching me some bridge strategies she'd learned in Boston during the fall. Samantha and Sascha were sitting in the sand building a really lovely sand fortress. Unstable, of course, not just because it was sand, but because Sascha was showing Samantha how to sculpt sand into bridges, and turrets, and all manner of ethereal, unsupported fairytale architecture. It comes from living in a household of engineers.

Sand castles. Is that all we were building? My English friend said as much, back before he died. That wasn't so long ago -- a car fire in Washington. It was quite dreadful. ThingsÖ just haven't gone as some of us had planned. Personally, I blame Spender for that. He's soÖ oh, what's the word? Self-absorbed. He doesn't really care, you know. As long as he survives, the rest of the planet could die. He wouldn't mind, as long as our friends -- we thought they were our friends then, you see -- told him he could run his own dead planet.

Excuse me, I'm rambling. A prerogative of old age, you know. The current was strong out there, as I said, and Sascha and Samantha watched their castles get knocked down by the incoming water. Then my babyÖ he decided as only six year olds do, that it would be such fun to test the water coming in over his sandy spot. Waves came in, and he and Samantha began challenging them, standing up and waiting for the surf to roll in and break over them. One wave, then another, some smaller, some larger. The children were laughing; they loved to do that. I summered along the Black Sea as a child; I know what fun it is. But then, a huge wave. Enormous, coming in with the choppy current. It knocked Samantha down into the sand. Sascha was smaller.
It knocked him down, too, but when the water receded, it took Sascha along with it.

He yelled, of course, and I screamed for Tatiana. I have no idea where the lifeguard was; probably off looking for a date. Tati heard me, but so did Teena's son. And he saw Sascha first. He swam ahead of Tati, grabbed hold of Sascha, who was delighted to be saved by his hero, completely overwhelmed.

I have no idea if Sascha knows that Fox saved his life back then. I'm sure that Fox doesn't remember a bit of it, from what Sascha tells me. He usually tries to kill Svetlana Krycek's son these days. Poor Sascha, he's always been just a little bit in love with Teena's son.

In my philosophy class at Leningrad, my professor posed the following problem: suppose you are shown a lovely child, then given a gun and ordered to kill it. Say that you refuse, because it is wrong to kill a child in cold blood. Then you are told that the future is known; this child will grow to be Adolph Hitler. Is it then right to kill the one child to prevent the probable death and suffering of millions? Our families had lived through Hitler's attack on the Motherland; we all said yes, of course.

I wonder if Fox ever studied that problem at university. I wonder how he would feel if he remembered that he saved the boy who later killed his father. If I were Sascha, I wouldn't remind him.

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