Subject: Thalia: A Pain in the Ass by Daydreamer

Title: The Muses: Thalia
Author: Daydreamer
Rating: PG-13 for language
Category: SAH
Spoilers: None
Keywords: MSRish
Archive: Yes, please.
Feedback: Yes! Please!

Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully are owned by Chris Carter,
1013 Productions, Fox Television Network, etc. They are wonderfully
brought to life by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.
I will make no profit from this, and neither will Fox if they sue
me, for I am exceedingly poor and have nothing material
they can profit from.

Summary: Part of a nine-part anthology of stories based on
the Greek Muses and the artistic field each represents.
Thalia is comedy. The working title on this piece was
"A Pain in the Ass."

The Muses: Thalia

"Scully," Mulder screamed, panic lacing his voice,
"he's in the house! I just saw him!" He ran down
a long hallway, ending in a great room with a huge
wall of windows looking out over the dark night.
"Scully," he yelled again, "be careful. He's armed,
and I lost him."

This house, built on a hill and overlooking a steep
incline, was supposed to be empty. All their intelligence
from surveillance on the suspect indicated he would
not be here at this time, on this night. But he was.
And Mulder had no idea where Scully was, and she
wasn't responding to his calls.

He skidded to a halt before the huge wall of glass,
staring mesmerized for a moment out over the
inky blackness of the night. From the way the house
was built, it appeared to float over nothingness, the
sky a velvet blanket glittering with diamond stars
above it.

There was a sound behind him, and he whirled,
his weapon coming up, but two hands struck him
firmly in the chest and he began to topple backwards.
He reached out, grappling with his attacker and
calling for Scully at the same time. "I've got him,
Scully, he's here!"

He could hear her steps as she came down the same
hall he had just moments ago, but the suspect was
pressing against him, moving him steadily backward.
He felt the windows shatter as he was pushed through
but he managed to hold onto the man, hauling him
through as well. Two more short, shuffling steps,
and then he heard it -- Scully's voice ordering, "Federal
Agent! Stop where you are!"

The suspect shoved again, desperately struggling for
freedom, and Mulder stumbled back, crashing through
a wooden railing and falling through what seemed to
be miles of empty air before landing heavily on a muddy
slope amidst the shattered remains of the windows. He
let out a loud "whuff" as he impacted, and then gasped,
sucking deeply as he struggled to fill his lungs with air
once more.

The suspect had his back to the former railing, and
Mulder could hear him clearly as Scully ordered
again, "Freeze!"

"And how do you plan to make me?" the man sneered.
"Tiny little thing like you?"

Bad move, guy, Mulder thought, and almost felt sorry
for the man.

He watched as Scully darted forward, and fired a single
shot just past the suspect's right shoulder. The man
jerked to the side, his feet slipping from beneath him,
and slipped over the edge. "Shit!"

Mulder looked up to see Scully staring down at him,
the concern in her face just visible from the light on
the now demolished deck. Their suspect was hanging
from the edge of the deck, and as he watched, Scully
knelt and he saw metal flash. Had she really just
cuffed their suspect to the railing, while he was
hanging from it? He shook his head. Incredible!

"Mulder!" she was calling him again. "You'd better
answer me, or the next call I make is to 911."

He waved at her, still gasping for air, glad she couldn't
see his struggle in the dark or she *would* call the damned
paramedics. He drew one more deep breath and managed
a feeble, " 'm OK, Scully," waving again, as he forced
himself to his feet.

He couldn't believe the pain. His nerve-endings felt as
if they were alive. His back and ass were literally
screaming at him, and he felt like joining the chorus.
What the hell had he done now? But with the threat
of hospitals and ambulances firmly in mind, he stuffed
the discomfort down and began the climb back up to the
house on the hill.

He reached the lower level of the house, and let himself
in. Climbing painfully to the next floor, his back
protesting every step of the way, he joined Scully on
the shaky deck.

He looked down over the edge at their suspect. The man
was clinging to the lower part of a shattered post, wrist
cuffed to the same post. His other hand surrounded the
next post over.

"Hey, man, help me up here," he begged, when Mulder
walked up. "She's not even listening to me!"

Mulder looked down at the man and smiled. "I have
that same problem sometimes," he said.

"Man, I'm sliding here. I'm gonna fall," the man

"You wouldn't want to do that," Mulder said seriously.
"I can tell you from personal experience, it's a long way
down. And contrary to what you might expect, that mud
does not cushion your landing."

"Give me your cuffs," Scully ordered, and Mulder handed
them over. He watched as she knelt and cuffed the other
wrist to the post the suspect clutched.

"Um, Scully," he asked, "not to be critical or anything, but
is there a reason you're leaving him there?"

"Shit NO!" the man responded. "She's just one mean bitch."

"*You* be quiet!" Mulder barked, "or you're liable to hang
there all night." He looked at his partner. "And I withdraw
the question. I understand now." He paused, then looked
back down at the man. He was visibly sweating and Mulder
could see the muscles of his arms bunch as he clung to
the posts.

"I couldn't very well pull him up, now could I? After all,
I'm just a -- what was it you called me before?" She smiled
down at the man, a sharklike expression that made Mulder
very glad it wasn't directed at him. "A tiny little thing?"
She looked up at Mulder and smiled. "No way a tiny little
thing like me could pull him up, now, is there?"

"Help me, man," the suspect pleaded. "I'm gonna be hanging
from my wrists in a minute here."

Mulder looked down gravely and said, "That is a dilemma. I
would not recommend letting that happen. Who knows
what it could do to your wrists?"

"Pull me up, please. Whadaya want? Ya want a confession?
I confess. There. Just get me up."

Mulder looked at Scully and realized he would be taking
his life in his hands if he tried to help the man. "No can
do, buddy," he answered. "Sorry. See, someone just
shoved me through these windows and off a deck and I
fell about thirty feet. My back just can't take the strain."

"Your back? Mulder, are you OK?" Scully was suddenly
concern personified. "Are you hurt? You said you were
all right."

She glared down at the man, and Mulder was reacquainted
with the term "to look daggers" as she stared at their suspect's
hanging form.

Mulder smiled to himself, then took Scully's elbow and
pulled her back toward the house.

"*Are* you all right?" she asked again, and he nodded
this time.

"Yep," he lied. "I just realized pulling him up would likely
give you an excuse to put me over the edge again. Once a
night is enough."

"What the hell was he doing here?" she asked, and he
could only shrug. "Well, backup is on the way. They
can pull him up." She reached out tentatively and touched
his arm. "Are you sure you're all right?"

He nodded again, and the guilt settled over him. He hated
to lie to her, but he was determined not to spend the night
in the hospital. "It just knocked the wind out of me, Scully.
I'm fine."

She cocked her head. "Now why don't I like the sound of
that?" she asked as they heard the first sirens in the


"After you," Mulder said with a small flourish, as he
nodded Scully into his apartment. She smiled and led
the way into his small living area. Dropping briefcase
and laptop down beside her, she plopped gratefully onto
the couch and immediately kicked off her shoes.

"Ahhhh," she sighed, "that feels so good."

Mulder frowned at her. "I don't understand why you
insist on wearing those shoes if they bother your feet
that much."

She looked up at him. "You wouldn't," she said. "It's
a girl thing."

He shook his head and made his way back down the hall
to his recently recovered bedroom. "Yeah," he muttered
under his breath, "a short girl thing."

"I heard that!" Scully called from the living room, and
Mulder muttered again, "Why am I not surprised?"

"You are digging a very deep hole there, G-man,"
Scully warned, and he decided he should change his
tack immediately. After all, she was here to do the
paperwork, and if he didn't play nice, he might end
up doing all of it, all by himself.

"I'm just going to get out of this monkey suit," he
called out to the living room. "Make yourself at

"What do you want on the pizza?" she called to him.

"The usual." His voice was muffled as he pulled a
sweater down over his head.

"We are not having pineapple tonight, Mulder,"
Scully informed him. "Pick again."

"I don't care, Scully," he called back, actually taking
time to hang up his suit coat and throw his shirt in the
hamper. The pants were a loss. Between the glass
shards, the wood slivers, and the mud, they were beyond

He limped over to the bed, and shuddered distastefully.
He hated this thing. If he was going to have a bedroom,
he had to get a normal bed. Where the hell had this thing
come from anyway?

Well, it did have one useful quality. He lay down across
the leopard skin spread, hitching himself into the middle
of the bed, and then looked up at the mirror-covered
canopy, and was rewarded with a fine view of his ass. In
dappled red and brown. He was bleeding all over the place.
Shit! No wonder it hurt so much.

He rose gingerly and pulled a used towel from the hamper
and began to wipe at the blood, watching as little crystals
of glass fell. He wrapped the towel around his waist and
made a dash for the bathroom, shutting the door quickly
behind him. Wetting a rag, he began to pick at the wounds,
and eventually managed to clean himself up. A liberal dose of
gauze and tape from the medicine chest, and he was soon
sporting a well-bandaged full moon. That still hurt like hell.
To say nothing of his back. The base of his spine felt as if
someone were digging tiny little knives in, and moving them
around with each step he took. He opened the medicine
cabinet again, and popped four extra-strength Tylenol,
grimacing as he swallowed without water.

He went back to the bedroom, slipped his jeans on and
emerged into the hall, still zipping as he reentered the
living room.

"Comfortable, Mulder?" Scully teased, and he grinned
at her, refusing to be embarrassed as he worked the button
at his waistband, then decided to leave it alone and pulled
his sweater down over it.

"Benefit of doing the paperwork at one's own pad,
Scully," he said. "*I* get to be comfortable while we

"Well, *you* get to pay for the pizza, too," she retorted,
though she did cast a rather wistful look at his casual
clothing, then sighed and shed her blazer.

"Hey, Scully," Mulder said, "cheer up. I can probably find
an extra pair of sweats for you somewhere."

She looked up, and he could see that the thought of
getting out of her suit was quite tempting. "That
would be great, Mulder," she answered, "I'd really
appreciate that."

He smiled. Sometimes he forgot how easy it was to
please Scully. She really didn't ask for much. "I'm
amazed at what's in my bedroom, now that I can get
into it. Let me go see what I can track down."

She smiled at him, and he padded back down the short
hall. He dug through drawers, finding a sweatshirt
immediately, but picking through the sweat pants,
trying to find something smaller than what he usually
wore. Though why he should expect to have something
small in his drawers he couldn't answer. But he looked
anyway. And was rewarded. There in the bottom of the
bureau was a pair of her sweat pants. He stopped for a
moment. He was sure they were Scully's. Whose else
would they be? But why did he have them? He shook
his head, then looked at the shirt. Did it match the black
pants? He wouldn't care, but Scully liked to match.
Another girl thing. Didn't black go with everything?
He shook his head again, then grabbed a second shirt.
Let her choose.

He wandered back out to join Scully, tossed the pants
to her, then held the shirts up. "Your choice," he said,
"Patriots or Boston Harbor?"

"Let me guess. Christmas from your mother?" she
said as she scooped up the pants and took the gray
Patriots shirt from him.

"Birthday, actually," he chuckled. "She thinks I don't
dress warm enough when I run."

"Moms are like that," she said absently as she headed
for the bathroom to change. The door shut behind her
and he sat carefully on the couch and busied himself
with pulling out the case file and notes.


He looked up and smiled. She just noticed they were her

"Why do you have a woman's small pants in your drawer,
Mulder?" she called, and he could feel the blood congeal
in his veins just from her tone. Maybe she didn't realize
they were hers after all.

"Uh, they're yours, Scully," he called back.

"I think I would remember if I left my *pants* at your place,
Mulder, and these are not mine." Whew - he didn't know
a voice could be that cold.

"They must be yours, Scully," he responded weakly. "Whose
else could they be?" That made sense, right? He certainly
hadn't been entertaining anyone else in the past, oh, six years
or so.

"Who, indeed, Mulder? Who indeed?"

Amazing. He hadn't realized you could *hear* an eyebrow
arch like that.

She padded back out to the living room, and fell back on
the couch. "Exactly how long has it been since you've
seen your bedroom?" she asked.

Ah! An out! That was his Scully -- ready to roast him,
but willing to let him slide if he'd play nice.

"God, Scully, years, at the very least. They could have
been there when I moved in for all I know."

The eyebrow was up again, and he thought perhaps he'd
gone a little too far, but then she smiled and patted his

"You're so easy, Mulder," she grinned. "You always
take the bait."

"I'm not easy, Scully," he teased back, "I just know
what's in my best interest."

"Best interest? Fox Mulder and best interest? Are those
two phrases that can even be used in the same sentence?"

He was getting nervous again, but when he looked at her,
the smile was still in place and he felt himself relax. He
was searching for just the right witty response, and coming
up empty, when he was saved by the bell. Quite literally.
The doorbell. He pushed himself up, trying to keep from
wincing and moved to the door. Scrambling for his wallet,
he finally produced the right amount of cash and returned
with the pizza box.

"Dinner is served," he announced, and they fell to with


Three days later

Scully looked at the clock. Almost 10:00 a.m. Where the hell
was Mulder? Tuesday after a three day weekend, and he was
late. They didn't really have anything pending, but it just gave
her a strange feeling. She'd spent the long weekend in Baltimore,
visiting her mother, and hadn't talked to her partner since their
infamous run-in with their last suspect, the man she had left
hanging from the ruins of the second story deck.

She'd thought Mulder would be stiff enough from his
fall that he might actually stay home and rest this weekend,
but it appeared now that he'd taken off again, leaving her
to cover his ass. She clamped down hard on her first
inclination to be angry, and decided to give him a call
and see if he had an excuse. She was so convinced he'd
taken off without her, that she was shocked to speechlessness
when he actually answered the phone on the third ring.

" 'lo?"

He sounded sleepy, groggy, just not quite right. "Mulder,"
she asked, "are you all right?"

"Scully?" he answered.

"Yes. What's wrong, Mulder?"

"Not feeling too good," he mumbled. " 'll be OK."

"Are you coming in today?" Scully demanded. "Do
you realize what time it is?"

"Time?" Mulder muttered. "Why does it matter what
time it is?"

Scully was quiet for a minute, thinking. Then she asked
quietly, "Mulder, what day is it?"


She could hear the wheels spinning as he contemplated
how much trouble the answer to that one was going to
get him into. Before he had a chance to say another
word, she cut in. "I'm coming over," she said, and
hung up.


He woke again, feeling muzzy. What time was it?
He kicked the covers off again, and wiped sweat from
his face. He was laying on his sofa, flat on his belly
and he'd been here for a while. He thought he might
be running a fever -- he was alternately hot and cold.
And dizzy. When he got up to go to the bathroom,
he was dizzy. Good thing he hadn't had to go in a while.

His back hurt so badly! Every little movement sent
spikes of pain up from the small of his back and down
through his legs. The mere thought of getting up
was beyond him. He'd forced himself up several times
to tend to necessities, and to pop painkillers, but in the
last twelve hours or so, he just hadn't been able to
move at all.

And his ass. The cut on his behind ached like the fires
of hell. He was afraid it might be getting infected,
especially if he really was running a fever. But to look
at it he would have to get up, and there was no way he
was moving. Thank God it was a three day weekend!

He shivered violently, suddenly chilled and reached
behind him to pull the ragged blanket back over his
sweat-soaked body. He really needed to get up and
do something. Shower, eat, take some pills, something.
He started to move, but his back exploded again, and he
lay still, panting as he waited for the pain to recede.

He had almost fallen asleep again, when the phone
rang, jarring him back to wakefulness. He reached
out and grabbed it, mumbling a hoarse " 'lo?" into
the mouthpiece, and wondering why his throat was
so dry.

It was Scully and she wanted to know what was
wrong with him. Jeez, Scully, how should I know?
You're the doctor in this partnership. But, knowing
she would worry, he told her he was fine, just not
feeling himself. He could hear her thinking. It
always surprised him that he could tell what was
going on in her mind at some times, and didn't
have a clue at other times. For now, he could
definitely tell. She was worrying and he needed
to put an end to it at once. " 'll be OK," he said,
trying to sound forceful.

Now she was asking him the time. Your watch
broke, Scully? You have to call and wake me up
to ask the time? He looked at the clock. The
digital display blinked 9:52 at him. He frowned.
Morning or night? A quick glance at the window
confirmed it was morning. So he slept in, so what?
It was a long weekend. He was entitled. He
thought back, trying to sort the days out.

He'd crashed hard when Scully left about midnight.
Since then, he'd been up twice, both times to use the
bathroom. So it couldn't be more than Sunday, right?

"Mulder, what day is it?" Scully said in his ear.

Damn! How did the woman do that? Could she
hear him thinking too?

"Day?" he muttered into the phone, still wondering
how she managed to unsettle him so often. And then
he heard the words that made his blood run cold.
Not that they were such bad words. Actually, he liked
hearing these words. They were good words when his
partner Scully said them. And they were even better
words when his friend Scully said them. But these
words? These were not good words now.

Before he could think another thought, or speak another
word, his own personal doctor person spoke, and they
were not good words at all. Because he knew he was
in trouble now.

"I'm coming over," she said, and the line went dead.

End part 01/03


The Muses: Thalia 02/03

He reached out and replaced the receiver on the
hook, then groaned. Oh, God, Scully was coming
over. Correction -- *Doctor* Scully was coming
over. He needed to get up and take a shower,
pull himself together so he could convince her
he was OK.

He started to sit up, but the pain washed over his
back and legs, and he collapsed back onto the
couch, panting. He lay stiffly for a minute, trying
to avoid any movement whatsoever, and suddenly
felt terribly overheated. He pulled the blanket
off his back, letting it drop on the floor beside
his erstwhile bed. Ahhh, that was better. The
cool air brushed against his back, and he could
feel sweat drying against his skin. His ass felt
like it was on fire. He could almost feel the angry
red streaks radiating from the gash on his buttocks.
Had to be infected.

He needed to get a shower before Scully got here, but
he was so tired. His eyes slid shut again. He would.
He'd get up and take a shower in just a minute. He
was just gonna rest here for a minute more, and then
he would shower and be ready for Scully.
Just a minute more ...

"... Mulder?"

Oh, man, he'd fallen asleep again. And Scully was
here. He was in trouble now. He made a sound,
something between a grunt and a groan, and a soft,
cool hand touched his face.

"Shhh, Mulder," she said soothingly, and he felt
himself relax. She might be Doctor Scully now,
but she was using her Friend Scully voice. "What
have you done now?" she asked sadly. That made
him frown. He didn't like Scully to be sad.

Her hand stroked his face, and then he heard her
footsteps as she went away. He didn't like that
either. He didn't want her to go away. Just having
her near seemed to help with the pain. And if he
really was sick, she would know what to do.
His eyes were still closed, and he let himself start
to drift away again. Scully would take care of him.

He woke with a start moments later, when a wet
rag was wiped softly across his face.

"Mmmm," he mumbled. "Feels nice."

"I know," she murmured.

She continued to bathe his face, and then he felt
the cloth on his back, sponging away the grime
of his sweat filled night. He could live with this.
Heck, he might even tell her the truth, she was
being so nice. Tell her how his back hurt, and
about the pain in his butt.

The cloth stroked over the small of his back, and
he jumped, a little groan of agony slipping out.
"Hurts," he whimpered, as she lifted the cloth.


Uh-oh. That was Doctor Scully. The nice lady
who had been here a minute ago was gone. But
he didn't have the energy to try and avoid her at
this point so he merely said, "My back."

Her hands were on his back now, very lightly,
very softly, running over his skin. He shivered
at her touch, and she asked, "Are you cold?"

"Sometimes. Sometimes hot. Scully?"

"Hmmm?" She had pulled his blanket up, covering
his bottom and legs.

"I hurt myself more than I told you when I fell
last night."

"Last night? Mulder, that was three days ago!"

He thought hard for a moment, trying to figure out
if she was mad or not. Finally he decided she was
exasperated. Maybe frustrated. But not mad. Good,
if she wasn't mad, then maybe he could do this.

"Oh. Well, Scully? It still hurts."

"Your back?"

"Well, yeah, that and," he could feel himself blushing
and he hoped she'd think it was the fever, "a little
lower. I, uh, cut myself."

"Cut? The glass, Mulder? You cut yourself on the
glass? Where?" She had pulled the blanket off him
again, and he could feel her hands on his legs now.

"Not there," he muttered.

"Oh." Her hands lifted and there was a long pause.
"I'm going to have to look."

He nodded miserably and buried his face in his

He felt the elastic in his boxers stretch, then the
material slid down over his ass, and he gasped
as her hand pressed against his homemade

"When did you bandage this?" she asked, and
he could almost see her nose wrinkling.

"Um, last night?" He paused, his thinking still
not clear. "No, not last night. When you were

"Friday? You haven't changed this since

"Hurt too much to get up," he mumbled into
his arms.

"It's all right," she said softly. "Let me take the
bandage off." Her voice was soft again, and he
felt himself relax. He really didn't like to upset
her. "The tape may pull some," she warned.

He nodded and then gritted his teeth as the tape
did, indeed, pull, and then it was over and he heard
Scully's sharp intake of air, followed by a little
cough. He drew in a breath, and then he coughed
as well. Man, what was that odor?

"Mulder," Scully was talking again, and he had to
force himself to pay attention. "This is badly infected,
and I do mean badly. We need to get you to the
hospital and let them irrigate this. They may have to
lance it to get it to drain -- I think it's abscessed."

Mulder groaned. "Can't you do it, Scully?" he begged.
"Please don't take me to the hospital."

"Hush," she said softly. "It won't be so bad. But, Mulder,
this is beyond me."

"Please, Scully," he pleaded again.

"Shhh," she repeated, her hand touching his forehead.
"Let me take your temp before we go."

There were footsteps, and he could feel her absence,
even without opening his eyes. In a few minutes, she
was back, and her hand was on his head again, this
time stroking his hair away from his ear. She cooed
a warning sound, and then he felt the aural thermometer
touch his ear. There was a wait, then it was removed,
and once again, Scully took a deep breath.

"OK, Mulder," she said, and though her tone was soft,
he could feel the steel in her words. "Let's see if we can
get you up."

He gritted his teeth, and with Scully's help, tried to rise.
For the first time in his life, he thought he really understood
the meaning of the word debilitation. He understood it, he
experienced it; hell, he could even conjugate it.

I am debilitated.

The pain is debilitating.

The wound will debilitate me.

My debilitation is complete.

He paused, trying to think if he missed any, and was
surprised to feel the rag on his face again.

"MULDER!" Why was Scully shouting at him?
Was he in trouble again?

"Shhh, Scully," he whispered, "I can hear you."

"Mulder, I called you four times before you answered.
That's it. I'm calling for an ambulance."

Panic! Ambulance! Hospital! It was all coming
back to him now. He fought to get focused, and
realized he was laying on his couch, with his ass
hanging out for the world to see -- for Scully to
see -- and she wanted to invite more people over to
take a look. Hell, maybe she could sell tickets,
make some money.

"No!" he cried. "No ambulance."

"No choice, Mulder. I can't lift you, and I don't think
you could bear to sit for the drive to GW anyway."

Hmmm. She had a point. He didn't think he
could sit either. He could hear her on the phone,
but the words weren't registering. He was so
tired. There was a click as she put the phone down
and then she was back, the cloth bathing the dirt
and sweat from him, and he relaxed beneath her
touch. Before he knew it, he was asleep again.


They wanted him to move again. Sadists. He'd yet
to meet a medical professional that hadn't trained
under that infamous Frenchman. Where was Scully?
Maybe she could make them leave him alone. He
thought a moment. Probably unlikely. She'd
cooperated with Frick and Frack here when they
insisted he get off his couch and onto this gurney.
He grunted in disgust, then opened his eyes to
peer about blearily.

They'd reached the hospital, that much was sure.
Ms. Perky, the bottle-bleached blonde was smiling
encouragingly at him now, and Frick -- or was it
Frack? -- was telling him to move over to the bed.

He eyed the bed cautiously. They were always too
narrow and way too short for his long legs. He looked
around once more, hoping his partner would come
and rescue him but she was nowhere to be seen.
Beelzebub's buddies were nudging him now, trying
to get him to move, but his mind was on Scully.
She was nowhere to be seen. That penetrated the
fog in his head, and he croaked, "Scully?" suddenly
concerned over her absence.

He could feel Ms. Perky and Frack exchanging looks,
and then she leaned down and told him Scully was
filling out paperwork for him up front. She'd be
back in a few minutes.

"But you *have* to move over to the bed, Mr.
Mulder, before your wife can come back."

Damn! Ms. Perky had a spine after all. Blackmail.
He could respect that. Without another complaint,
he pushed himself up and slid over to the bed,
biting his lip so hard in the process he drew blood.
But he'd be damned if he'd tell them that.

He lay quietly on the bed, breathing in shallow
little gasps, waiting for the pain in his back to
subside again. The nurse was talking once more
and he heard himself giving automatic answers,
but he was still confused on when things had
happened and how long things had been going
on for. Christ, she even wanted to know when
he'd had his last bowel movement.

"Scully'll tell you," he mumbled. Ha! That'll
show her! Drag me to the hospital when she's
a perfectly good doctor. She could have popped
that boil on my butt at home and saved both of
us this trip through hell.

The woman was tugging at his shorts now,
and he managed to find the strength to grab
onto them pretty quick. Scully may have made
him come here, but he'd be damned if he was
going to willingly display his ass to all and
sundry. Nope, they could just devise another
plan. The shorts stayed on. Ms. Perky was
saying something about a gown and he was
shaking his head. Apparently, the message
got through because she desisted in her quest
to depants him and pulled a sheet -- a sheet!
It had to be subzero in here and she gives
him a sheet! Definite student of the Marquis.
-- over him and told him, "Doctor will be here
shortly." As if "Doctor" was a name, not a
a job description.

He tuned her out, settled onto the bed as best
he could, and refused to speak again. Scully
could deal with the evil people here. She was
one of them. Let her talk to them. Eyes
closed, head on the flat scrap of lumpy material
they jokingly called a pillow, he resolutely
sought for sleep, and it didn't take long to find


"Mulder? Mulder? C'mon, you need to wake
up now."

That was Scully. She was shaking him gently,
forcing him back amongst the living. And he
didn't like it. It was warm and peaceful where
he'd been. And Friend Scully had been there.
Well, all right, he could admit it. More-than-
Friend Scully had been there, and it had been
*very* nice.

"Lea' me alone, Scully," he mumbled as he
bunched the pillow into a bit more noticeable
hump beneath his head.

"No can do, partner," she answered. "Rise
and shine. The doctor is here."

He pried open an eye in time to see her wave
another woman over to him. This one was short,
with dark hair, and she bent slightly to meet
his eyes. Her stethoscope swung from around
her neck and he found himself almost mesmerized
as it moved back and forth, back and forth. Then
he realized where he was staring, and blushed
furiously. He looked around to see if Scully had
seen him and saw her watching him with an
amused expression on her face. He frowned at
her. She had no right enjoying this -- not any
of it!

The woman was talking again. "... is Dr. Gonzalez.
What can I do for you today, Mr. Mulder?"

"Well, as I told the people in admitting ..."

Good old Scully, just jump right in. Mulder let
his eyes close as he listened to Scully repeat the
events of the night he fell.

"Does that sound about right, Mr. Mulder?" the
doctor was asking.

He hadn't been paying attention, so he just nodded
briefly and turned his head away.

"All right," she said. "Let me examine you."

She had him move his head back and forth, then
up and down, while she watched carefully. That
wasn't too bad. Then she ran her hands over his
back, pressing firmly over his shoulders and rib
cage. That wasn't too bad either. Actually it was
rather nice. She had a nice touch. Maybe Scully
should take lessons from this nice lady.

Her hands dropped lower, pressing in the small
of his back, and the firestorm of agony exploded
once more. "Fuck!" he gasped out and was
immediately hushed by Scully. Forget taking lessons
from her, Scully. She trained with Satan's sickos
like you did.

"Ah, found the source of the discomfort, did we?"
the doctor asked lightly, and he found himself
wondering if "we" would object if "we" pulled
"our" weapon and shot "us." That sparked another
train of thought. Who did he want to shoot? The
evil doctor, thus saving others from her far from
tender mercies? Or himself? Ending the tortures
of hell of the last few days? Hmmm. Maybe

Damn! Her hands were moving again. Over his
arms, over his legs. And then she was speaking.
Roll over? I don't think so, Queen of Darkness.
I am quite content to lay right where I am, and you
and your evil minions can just work around me.
He gave a smug, self-satisfied smile. The pain in
his back was receding. He could just lay here and
they could bring that portable x-ray thing, and
give him some good drugs and send him home.

Wait a minute -- what did she say? No pain meds
if he didn't roll? Shit! Did they train all these
women in blackmail techniques? What was it?
Some required med school thing only the females
got? Was that even legal? Fuck it! He rolled
onto his side, good buttock down, and glared at
the sweetly smiling Hispanic woman.

She just reached out and felt his chest and belly,
then told him he could lay back down. Make up
your mind, O Wicked One. He rolled again, back
onto his belly, and grunted.

"I'm going to look at the wound on your buttocks
now, Mr. Mulder."

"The pants stay on," he growled warningly.

Scully laughed softly, but then her hand was on his
cheek and she was speaking in that nice, soft voice
that he liked.

"She's just going to lower them, Mulder. You can
keep them on for now."

He felt the waistband slide down and stop just below
his cheeks. Prying his eyes open again, he took in the
room. Female partner - check. Female doctor - check.
Female nurse - check. Hell, there was even a female
orderly or something digging in a cabinet between his
cubicle and the next. And him with his ass hanging
in the wind. Didn't they hire men anymore?
What the hell kind of hospital was this anyway?

"Doctor" was pressing on his ass now. Oh, yeah,
that impresses me, Doc. Surely you can tell that's
not the injured side. Oops, too soon. She found
the wound. "Shit!" he exclaimed, and once more
Scully was fussing at him about language. Well,
Scully, you try having someone poke your butt when
it's been cut to shreds and said shreds seem to have
gotten infected.

The woman patted the good side of his ass, and
covered him with a sheet, saying, "OK, Mr. Mulder,
just one more thing and then we can see about some
orders for you. I need to do a rectal."

"Fuck, NO!" he breathed. "No. No. No. And in
case you misunderstood, let me say it again -- NO!"

"Look, you have a serious abscess here, sir, and I
need to be sure the rectal tissue isn't involved. I'm
also concerned about your back, and I can get a feel
for what has happened there through the rectal exam."

"You're not getting a feel for anything in my ass,"
Mulder swore. "Scully, tell her. That's a definite
'no contact' area."

Scully had a smirk on her face, but she erased it
quickly when he looked at her. Not quick enough.
Traitor. He could tell already. He was sunk. She
was telling the doctor to give her a minute to
talk to him. Fuck, fuck, fuck! She was going to
make him do this.

"I'll be back in a few minutes then, Dr. Scully,"
the ER doctor said.

Why did everyone suddenly start calling Scully
"Doctor" whenever they were in a hospital?

"I've got an ER full of patients. I can see someone
else," -- she turned and looked at him and he wondered
if that glare was taught to the women in med school as
well -- "someone who *wants* to cooperate, then I'll
come see if your partner is ready to play nice." She
swished through the curtain, Ms. Perky right behind.

Satan's spawn. They were all Satan's spawn.


Uh-oh. Scully was using *her* doctor voice now.
No nonsense, clinical, no time to waste. He hated
this voice.

"You have to have this exam."

"I don't think so, Scully." Ha! Let's see them force
me to take this one. This, dear *Doctor* Scully, is
not some pill you can force down my throat.


Oh shit! Doctor Scully was gone. There was a soft
hand on his brow, pushing his hair back, and his
traitorous body was responding hungrily to her
comfort. He leaned into her touch and was rewarded
when she ran her fingers through his hair and then
gently rubbed his shoulders. The slightest moan
slipped out from his lips.

"Shhhh," she murmured. "I know you don't feel
good. And I know you don't mean to be this difficult."

Her hands were still rubbing his shoulders, stroking his
arms, returning every now and then to touch his face.

"But Mulder, this is serious. Dr. Gonzalez needs to
do the rectal. You don't have an option here."

Wrong! There are always options. Hey, that's a
good one. Let's try that, shall we?

"Scully, there are always options. You should know
that," he chided her gently.

She was silent for a moment, her hand stilled, and
he wondered if he'd really pissed her off. He hoped
not. Even though she was advocating for Lucifer's
lackey, she was still being nice while she did it. The
hand began to move again and he sighed.

"Well, you're right, Mulder. In this case, there is another

"Great. I'll take Door Number Two, Monte," he quipped,
amazed he'd actually won this round.

"OK, then," she said. The hand left his cheek. "Let me tell
Dr. Gonzalez to go ahead and order that surgical consult."

Shit! Surgery? Damn, this woman was good!

"Uh, wait a minute, Scully." He opened his eyes and forced
his head up, finding her standing by the curtain, a half-smile
on her lips. He dropped his head and groaned. "I hate you,
you know that," he muttered. "I hate you all."

Her hand was back and she was chuckling, but there was no
malice in it.

"I know, Mulder, but I tell you what. You be a good boy
for the rectal, and I won't even say 'I told you so' about
not 'fessing up to your injuries the night they occurred.
How 'bout that?"

Hmmm. A guaranteed pass on supercilious Scully? That
wasn't such a bad deal. He guessed he could deal with
having these healers from Hades venture 'where no one
had gone before.'

"Fine," he gritted out. "Just get it over with." He buried
his head, then added, "And you *do not* get to watch."

She chuckled again. "All right, Mulder. Let me get
Dr. Gonzalez."

End part 02/03


The Muses: Thalia 03/03

"Pain here?"




"Mr. Mulder, you need to be a little more
forthcoming. I need to know if this hurts."
The doctor moved her hand again. "Here?"



Ah shit! Now Scully was getting in on his
torture session, even if she had been banished
to the other side of the curtain.

"You need to work with Dr. Gonzalez," she said

Dr. Gonzalez. Mulder looked at the small,
Hispanic woman, locked in an embarrassingly
intimate position with him. He frowned. More
like Dr. Torquemada, head of his own private
little version of the Spanish Inquisition.

The woman moved her hand again, and asked,
"How about here?"

He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth.

"Cooperate, Mulder, or I'm coming back in."

Another shift from the woman and --

"Oh, damn, what the fuck!" Mulder writhed
in agony as his back exploded again, this time
from the inside. He was sucking hard, trying
to draw air in through his clenched teeth.

Torquemada was laughing, he just knew it.
He opened his eyes and looked up to see her
frowning down at him. Well, damn it, she
was laughing inside. He could tell.

"Enough cooperation for you?" he spat at

"Mr. Mulder, please," the doctor said. "Let me
finish the exam."

She pressed several more times, and he returned
to his monotone grunt. *Finally,* his torment
was over and she withdrew her hand. He groaned
as she covered him once more, then pulled the
glove off her hand.

God, he was tired. He was hot, and miserable, and
in pain, and nobody was doing anything to make
him better. He curled up into an even tighter
fetal position, pulling the sheet up under his
chin and sought desperately to shut everything
out and sleep. If he could just sleep, maybe it
would all go away.

"Mr. Mulder." El Diablo was shaking him now,
insisting he respond. "We need to discuss your

"Talk to Scully," he muttered, then rolled onto
his stomach and turned his head away. He could
hear a buzzing in the background and then there was
a hand on his face, brushing back the hair.

"Hang in there, Mulder," Scully whispered. "We're
on the right track now. Just a little longer."

He nodded miserably. "Stay, Scully," he said, and
her hand stroked his arm.

"Shhh, of course. You rest now."

He was drifting, half asleep as he listened to
Mephistopheles' minion issue her orders.

"Pre-op labs; wound culture -- some of the
lacerations are suppurating; blood culture;
IV with normal saline, one liter, wide open;
morphine, 5 mg IV push; and Ancef, 1 gm IV
after cultures."

At last. She was quiet. He'd wondered how long
it would be till the fiends with the needles would
show up. Hospitals always attracted the needle

The dark-haired doctor was speaking again. "Last
things: call for his admission, and get Surgical down
here for a consult."

"Surgery?" Mulder shifted to a half sitting position.
"No way!" He glared at the doctor then turned to
look pleadingly at Scully. "I took Door Number
One, like a good boy, Scully, remember? No

Gonzalez and Scully exchanged looks again and
the ER physician excused herself.

"Look, Mulder," Scully began, only to be cut

"I don't want to look, Scully," her partner whined.
"And I don't want anyone else looking either. Just
get me out of here, OK?"

He was struggling to rise now, fighting the pain in
both ass and back and it was embarrassing how
easily Scully pushed him back onto the bed.

"The good news is there is no involvement of the
cellulitis in the rectum, Mulder. The bad news is
that it looks like you have a coccygeal fracture."

"Coccy what?"

"Coccygeal. Your tailbone."

"And that requires surgery?"

"No, actually, if that was all, you could go home
today." She frowned, then reached out and touched
his arm gently. "It's the cellulitis, Mulder. It's --
bad. You're going to have to be admitted to get that
under control, and since you're being admitted, it's
just easier to I & D the abscess in the OR."

At his confused look she elaborated. "Incise and

He stared at her. She was on their side. It was
written all over her face. She was going to make
him stay, and she was going to let them loose on
his behind with sharp instruments. He narrowed
his eyes at her. Someday, Scully, someday.

She laughed at his expression, then leaned
over and felt his forehead again. "Fever's way
up, partner. Know how my mom used to check
us for fevers when we were kids?"

She was smiling at him now, and he found himself
starting to forgive her.

"Let me show you." She leaned close, her voice
dropping as she murmured, "Maggie Scully's
patented fever detector."

And then he felt it. Her lips brushed his forehead.
They skimmed across his brow, then settled just
above his left eye, and she was kissing him. And
suddenly, surgery didn't seem like such an awful
thing after all.


He woke slowly. It was dark and he was in a bed.
Not his bed. He tried to look around but it was too
dark. Hospital? He squinted. Yeah, that looked
about right. He did a silent inventory. Nothing was
really hurting right now, but that just meant he was
on the good stuff.

He looked around again, then croaked, "Scully?"
No response. That wasn't like Scully. She was
always there when he woke up in the hospital.
Oh well. Maybe she had gone for a bite to eat
or was talking to the doctor or something.

He had a sudden flash of a short, Hispanic woman,
dressed in medieval garb, her hand holding a red
hot iron as she leered at him. He shivered
violently, then wrote it off as a reaction to the
meds he must be on.

He gave one more good look to the room. Still
no Scully. God, he was hot! He kicked at the
blanket, using his feet until he finally had it off.
As the blanket fell behind him, he heard a clunk
and looked around. The call button. The damn
call button had slipped over the side, out of his

He stared at it in frustration. What was he
supposed to do now? No Scully, and he was
hot and thirsty and he had to go to the bathroom.
At the thought of the bathroom, he quickly pulled
his gown to the side and breathed a sigh of relief.
No catheter. Damn, that was close.

Well, nothing for it but to deal with his situation
on his own. He scrabbled at the guardrail, his
hands uncoordinated, arms heavy. Must be the
drugs. His bladder was sending more and more
urgent signals to him, and he was getting frustrated
with the rail. He pushed up from his side, rising
to sit and then shifted quickly off his ass. What
the ...? Oh yeah, right. Abscess. That's why he
was here.

He rolled onto his knees, then pulled up till he was
kneeling in the bed. The damn gown made everything
difficult -- how did women deal with dresses on a
daily basis? -- but he managed to get one leg over
the rail. He was searching for a toehold, when he
was overcome with a wave of vertigo and began
to lose his balance. He reached out, grasping
frantically for anything that would stop the fall.

He grabbed the IV pole, which promptly began
to roll, so he clung to it tighter and it began to
tip, which upset his balance even more and then
he was going over the side, over the rail, headfirst,
legs tangling in the sheets, useless for control.
His arms were flailing madly, and he could feel
the IV pull from his hand. The gown snagged
on something and he heard a 'rrriiiiipppp,'
then his wrist struck hard floor and he could hear
the 'crack' as the bone gave way.

The last thing he remembered thinking, before
his head connected with the bedside table,
was, "Scully is gonna be so pissed at me."


The next time he woke, Scully was there, and
he barely opened his eyes before she was standing
beside the bed, one hand gently holding him in

He smiled up at her, feeling warm and fuzzy,
and like everything was right with the world.
"Hey, Scully," he slurred happily and was
rewarded when she smiled back at him.

"You're awake," she said. "How are you feeling?"

He thought about that for a minute. "High,"
he finally responded, and she laughed.

"Yeah, well, you are pretty doped up."

She nodded to his arm and he noticed the cast
that came halfway to his elbow. He frowned up
at her and she explained.

"You woke up, and for some still unknown
reason, decided you needed to get out of bed.
And you fell. And, of course, you being you,
it couldn't be a simple fall." She pursed her
lips as she looked at him. "You broke your wrist
in two places and got a pretty nasty bump on your
head." Her hand reached out and she gently
touched a bandage over his right temple.

" 's OK, Scully," he said, trying to make her
smile. "Doesn't hurt."

"I should hope not," she responded tartly, pulling
her hand back. "At least not right now. But
you're probably going to be uncomfortable in a
day or so, when they take you off the morphine."

"When can I go home?" he asked plaintively.

"When your doctors agree." She seemed
annoyed with him now, and he wasn't quite
sure what he'd done.


"Yeah, *doctors,* Mulder. You have the enviable
distinction of being in the care of three separate
services: Medical, Surgical, and Orthopedic."

Ah, that was it. She didn't like him to be hurt;
she seemed to feel it reflected on her and her
ability to take care of him. Teamwork. Well,
here's teamwork, Scully.

"So, when do we get them together and make 'em
cut me loose?"

"You're going to be in a good bit of pain, Mulder.
You've had a lot happen and you need to let your
body heal."

Scully wasn't buying the teamwork bit. And now,
he was feeling annoyed.

"I can heal at home."

"You are the most stubborn, frustrating, infuriating
man ..." She took two steps away from his bed,
glaring back at him. "Why do you always have
to push so hard?" He was astonished to see tears
hovering in her eyes as she stared fiercely at him.

He extended his hand, the cast making the arm
feel heavy, and when she didn't come to him, he
made a little mewl of discontent. That reached
her and she stepped back to the bed, gently taking
his hand and cradling it in both of her own.

" 's OK, Scully," he said again. He puffed up his
chest and tapped it lightly with his good hand.
"I'm tough. I can take it."

She laughed at that, shaking her head slowly.
"Mulder," she said between little giggles, "what
am I going to do with you?"


Four days later

Mulder leaned against the car window, eyes
closed, trying to let the motion of the vehicle
lull him into sleep. His wrist was throbbing,
the cast chafed and his arm was itchy beneath
the heavy plaster. His back was still achy,
though the muscle relaxants helped some.

Even worse was his ass. It was embarrassing
enough to have broken his *coccyx.* More
embarrassing to have broken his wrist in that
ridiculous fall. But, the worst, the absolute
worst, was this damn donut pillow he had to
carry around with him. For both his abscess,
and to keep the pressure off the broken tailbone
while it knit.

He and Scully had gone straight from the hospital
to court, testifying against the man who had been
responsible for the fall that had started this whole
chain of events. He was miserable in his dress
shoes, wool suit and the required 'male dress code'

He snorted in disgust, then hid a tiny smile
when Scully reached out and patted his arm.

"Does it hurt much, Mulder?" she asked

"Some," he muttered. "The whole thing is
just so absurd." He snorted again, then added,
"I hate this."

"I know," she said softly. "Why don't you
try to rest. Traffic's a bitch, and it'll take a
while to get home." She glanced at her
watch. "You'll be due for meds when
we get there."

He grunted acknowledgment, and closed
his eyes again, trying to find a comfortable
place to lean his head. One good thing in
all this. Scully was being *very* nice to
him. No lectures, no recriminations, just
her steadfast care and concern. He smiled
slightly starting to feel the sleep creeping
over him. He could get used to that ...

"... Mulder?"

She was shaking him gently, and he slowly
roused beneath her touch. "Hmmm?"

"C'mon, partner," she said, "we're here."

He opened his eyes and looked around. The
area was familiar, but he couldn't place it
right away. And it certainly wasn't his
neighborhood. He turned and looked a
question at her.

"You're staying with me," she said firmly.
"I don't want any more problems."

He was shaking his head. "No, Scully,
that's OK. I don't want to be trouble."

"You already are trouble, Mulder," she
said sharply, but she smiled as she spoke,
taking some of the sting from her words.
"This just lets me keep track of the trouble
a bit more easily."

She smiled at him then, and he knew he
couldn't refuse. And really didn't want to.
With his arm in a cast, and a back that
protested at the slightest hint of exertion,
he was going to have trouble taking care
of himself. If Scully *wanted* to do the
job, who was he to argue?

He nodded gratefully, murmuring thanks
through the slight flush that colored his
cheeks. She patted his shoulder, then hopped
out and got his bag from the back seat.
He climbed out more slowly, each move
a carefully considered action, always taking
the back into account.

He was finally erect and starting to close the
car door, when she cleared her throat, and he
looked up, waiting.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" she asked,
a good-natured tease in her voice.

He stared at her blankly for a moment, then
looked down at the pillow on the seat. He winced --
he hated this thing -- and started to bend to retrieve
it, but was caught by a twinge in his lower back.

Scully must have seen his sudden grimace,
for she scooted around, grabbed up the pillow,
and took his arm, all in one fluid motion. She
kicked the door shut, and began leading him
towards the door to her apartment.

Once inside, she helped him get settled on the
couch, then went back to her bedroom and
emerged a few minutes later in a sweatsuit.
He looked enviously at her casual clothing,
then toed the dress shoes off in disgust.

"Hey, Mulder," she said, an actual twinkle in
her eye, "cheer up. I could probably find an
extra pair of sweats around here for you."

He quirked an eyebrow at her, then nodded
and smiled when she laughed. She disappeared
for a minute, then returned, a US Naval Academy
sweatsuit in her hands.

"Why do you have a man's large sweatsuit in
your bedroom, Agent Scully?" he teased.

"Why, Agent Mulder," she simpered back,
"are you sure they're not yours?"

His voice dropped as he stood and took the
clothes from her, saying, "I think I would
remember if I left my *pants* in your apartment,

Something had shifted in that too short moment,
and he wanted to reach out and touch her, hold
her, tell her how important she was to him, but
before he could find the words, the doorbell
rang and the moment was gone.

She jumped, then gave an embarrassed smile.
"That's the pizza. You need help changing?"

He shook his head and moved slowly down the
hall. When he emerged, she had the pizza and
two sodas on the coffee table in front of the couch.
His hated donut had been placed conspicuously
before the pizza box. He groaned, but let himself
down gingerly. There were two small pills by
his soda, antibiotic and painkiller, and he
swallowed obediently.

That done, he looked at the pizza. "Pineapple,"
he said happily, lifting a slice and beginning to
munch. "You're the best, Scully," he said,
and though the moment had passed, the words
were from his heart.

She rewarded him with a smile, then clicked
the remote, flicking through the channels until
she found a basketball game. He sighed
contentedly, reaching for another slice of the
pizza, and said, "You'll spoil me, Scully."

"Yeah, well, don't get too used to it, Mulder,"
she said warningly, but he could hear the pleased
tone she tried to hide, and it brought a smile
to his lips.

He finished the pizza, then leaned back, dividing
his attention between the game and his partner.
She finished eating, then looked at him and he shook
his head. Taking the box, she padded out to
the kitchen, returning with two more sodas. She
settled in next to him, then turned and caught
him staring.

"Are you all right, Mulder?" she asked gently.

"Well, Scully," he said, a smile in his eyes. "I
think you may need to check me for fever again."