Title: One of Those Darn Clumsy Uber-Mulders
Category: Mulder Torture, Angst.
Spoilers/Timing: Season 7
Summary: A nice drive in the desert to meet a source has Mulder suffering severely.
Archive: Gossamer, any other nice home. Please ask first.
Disclaimer: They both belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen and Fox Studios. But they're free right now, so we can dust them off for a bit and play!
Author's Note: This story was written for the May Challenge at Mulder's Refuge.
"Another long drive into the Nevada desert. So, Mulder, when do we get canned so we can live a normal life?" Scully was feeling the heat and made no effort to hide her resentment that the agents were once again chasing one of Mulder's leads on aliens.
"C'mon, Scully. It's so warm and sunny out here. Besides, Kersh hasn't given us anything interesting lately." Mulder mopped his brow. "I thought we could use a nice drive anyway. Beats fertilizer fraud and profiling, doesn't it?"
"In the Nevada desert. Mulder, if he gets wind that we're out here again, we're out for good. The thought that my next resume will read "kicked out of the F.B.I. for alien hunting" just never entered my wildest dreams."
"Gotta learn to dream, G-woman. Besides, I've heard some of your, well, less than tame dreams through thin motel room walls."
"And you thought I was sent to spy on you." she laughed. "Yeah, I guess the heat is getting to me, Mulder. So, who is this source this time?"
"He... wants to remain anonymous."
"Of course. Another psycho from the Rachel Psychiatric Ward. Look, I know how you want to get all the evidence you can. Believe me I do. But sometimes, we've been out here for God-awful nothing, and come back with nothing." she remained silent for a few moments. Mulder was high on the anticipation that he could have a plausible piece of evidence to justify re-opening The X-Files. She wasn't going to deny him his wish. He just seemed fatigued. His face was pale and he was sweating much more than she was. "Mulder? Are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah, yeah Scully. I'm okay. Why?"
"Just being your partner as well as your doctor. You don't really look as well as you did when we left the Lariat lot."
"Maybe it's just been a long drive. A few more miles and we'll get a motel... "
Just then there was the familiar sound of a tire going flat.
"Stay on the shady side Scully. I'll take care of it."
"Why don't you have some water before you do," Scully insisted, handing him a bottle.
"Thanks." He caught the bottle, took a sip, then opened the car trunk. "Scully, did you ever wonder if we should check for a jack and a spare when we take these rentals out?"
"Aww, Mulder!" Scully was enraged. "Why now? All the way out here! God knows how far the next town is and here we are stucK in the... " She went on for quite some time before she realized Mulder was slumping against the trunk he'd just closed. She ran around to the rear of the car and just eased him into the shade at the side of the sedan. "Okay. Take it easy. I want to get my medical bag and check you out."
"Well, I'm not going anywhere, am I?" he muttered. "Sorry, Scully. I guess I should have told you I was feeling something coming on."
"Yeah, well, let's just take your temperature here, and do a blood pressure reading. Then I want a look at your throat." She felt the lymph nodes in her partner's throat. They were swollen. Badly swollen. "Well, you do have a pretty high fever, and a very red throat. I think you should get into the car. We can put on the air conditioning, and flag someone down for some help. Can you try to stand?"
Neither of them were aware that there was a rattlesnake crossing the road. He was on his way underneath the car, and when Mulder suddenly moved, the instinct for self-protection in that rattler kicked in. He nabbed Mulder on the outer side of his left calf.
"Aaaahhhgh! Damn!" Mulder shouted. He had been bitten on his right calf, as well!
"Don't move. He'll do it again!" Scully shot the offending snake. "Aren't you glad I'm a good shot? Mulder, we have to work fast here. I don't have any anti-venom in my bag, so just bear with me. Now, I'm just going to give you a topical anaesthetic, make an incision right here, and suck the venom out. DO NOT MOVE!"
"Just... just hurry, Scully. Do what you have to and get it over with." The grimace was enough to say he was in sheer agony.
Scully applied a tourniquette to stop the snake venom from travelling far from the bites, then went to work, spitting out the contaminated blood as her partner lay watching her. He was in awe of her tolerance for the blood and guts of her profession. He was in awe of her inventiveness when given a challenge. The topical anaesthetic must have been the mild brand, because he was still feeling the sharp bite of that rattler.
"Aaaagh! AUUUGH!!!" When she had finished the job, he felt rather sheepish, especially about the position he had just put her into. "Scully, I'm... "
"I know. You're sorry." Scully took a swig of Mulder's bottled water and washed the remaining blood out of her mouth. "Drink this. Then we'll get you into the car. I'll put on the emergency flashers. We've got to get out of this sun." At least the car had air-conditioning.
By the time help did arrive, it was 3:00 in the afternoon, three hours after the tire had flattened. A pick-up truck was headed for the next town, and dropped them off at a motel in Rachel, Nevada.
Scully checked them into their rooms, and called the nearest garage to have the car repaired.
"Well, the tow truck should have picked up the car by now," she said over cold beer and warm pizza. There was a monster movie playing in Mulder's room. The clock read 7:54 pm. "Guess you'll just have to meet your source some other time, Mulder."
"Yeah, I guess. Hey, Scully?"
"Why is my neck so swollen?"
"Oh, well, the doctor I brought in while you were napping said it's the mumps."
"Mumps? Yeah, I sorta feel like The Blob on the screen right now."
"Mumps. Don't worry. A mild case really. Just hope it doesn't..."
"Scully, never mind. I know where it can go, I really do. But I'm fine... down... down there."
"I think I should check you out, Mulder. It could affect your fertility should you want to... "
Mulder pulled his blanket up to his neck. "No, um, that's all right.Besides, who'd want to have a father who's paranoid, runs around after aliens, and ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time?"
"One of those darn clumsy Uber-Mulders, I guess," Scully scowled.
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