The X-iles

Satchie's "On the Safe Side"

Sweeney Todd Review
NonEssential and NonExistent's NonsEnse
Push's Pad
Xtreme Unction's Labor of Love
Sacred Heart's Ambry
Satchie's "On the Safe Side"
Site Correspondence
Aye, There's the Rum

It's medical MT badfic gone nuts. LOL

On the Safe Side
By Satchie

RATING:  NC-17 for sexual references, crude humor and language.
SUMMARY:  Mulder's simple injury leads to an unusual emergency room visit.
DISCLAIMER:  In my wildest fantasies, the X-Files universe belongs to me, me, me.  Alas, in the real world, it belongs to Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen Productions and Fox.
FEEDBACK:  Feed the need.
ARCHIVE:  Gossamer and Mulder-in-Jeopardy.  All others please ask.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  Thanks to Jenna for the totally awesome beta.
DEDICATED TO:  My good friend and co-conspirator, Obfusc8er, who shamelessly encourages me to write, offers much needed moral support, and provides me with countless hours of "inspiration" and good clean fun.  Bwahahahahaha!

Scully sighed in exasperation at her whining partner
as he sat on the hospital gurney.  "Mulder, given your
propensity for developing bizarre complications, it's
important that you have this injury treated as soon as
possible.  You're way overdue for a tetanus booster. 
Do you realize how serious tetanus can be?  Minor
symptoms such as irritability, muscle cramps and
weakness can rapidly progress to trismus."

His jaw dropped in confusion.  "Trismus?"

"Yes, trismus.  Trismus, more commonly known as
lockjaw, results from spasms of the jaw muscles.  If
you develop trismus, you won't be able to drop your
jaw in confusion like that."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

She crossed her arms across her chest and lifted an
eyebrow.  "See?  You're already showing signs of
irritability.  Before you know it you'll be
experiencing muscle spasms so severe, your bones can
break or your joints can dislocate.  In extreme cases,
painful laryngospasms develop, seriously compromising
respiratory function.  You could suffocate and drop
dead within minutes."

Mulder's lower lip quivered as he displayed his most
impressive pout.  "Gee, Scully.  Aren't you going
overboard with this medical mumbo jumbo?  I can't
believe you dragged me to a hospital in the middle of
BFE because I had a mishap at the county morgue and
managed to embed a staple in my right thumb.  Besides,
the name of this facility gives me the willies.  Dick
Long Memorial Hospital?  It sounds like a treatment
center for porn stars."

Scully smugly smirked.  "You of all people should

"Like you're so pure as the driven snow.  I seem to
remember you checking out my video collection when I
had the flu a few weeks ago.  I was genuinely touched
when you volunteered to stay at my apartment and nurse
me back to health.  You fluffed up my pillows and
brought me chicken noodle soup in bed and everything. 
So when I called out for ginger ale in the middle of
the night and you didn't mystically and magically
appear, I thought you were exhausted from taking care
of me.  Riiiight.  I staggered out of my sickbed, only
to discover you thoroughly engrossed in the holiday
classic, "Pan Dulce Party."  I was shocked, I tell
you.  Just shocked."

"Um...ah..."  Scully fumbled for a plausible excuse. 
"You were running a high fever, which probably
affected your perception of events.  I was merely
applying standard investigative techniques.  I assumed
the videos could provide clues as to why your
temperature was elevated, or why your chest was
glistening with sweat, the damp sheets clinging to
your body, emphasizing your magnificent loins."

Mulder stared at her in stunned disbelief.  "Scully? 
I think the only thing elevated was your respiration

She barely suppressed a giggle.  "Um, I recall
something else was elevated, too.  You were hot in
more ways than one that night!"

Their exchange was fortuitously cut short by the
arrival of the emergency room physician and a very
shapely young nurse.  If Mulder had been exposed to
the bacterium Clostridium tetani, he had definitely
not developed lockjaw yet.  His mouth gaped wide open
as he gazed appreciatively at the buxom nurse's
enormous breasts.  Wow.  Those tits were to die for. 
He wanted to squeeze them like ripe melons, caress
them, fondle them, kiss them...

His partner leaned forward and whispered into his ear. 
"Mulder, they're not real."

He shot her a baleful glare.  "So?"

The ER physician extended his hand in greeting.  "Hi. 
I'm Dr. Enis.  Sorry to keep you waiting.  It's been
rather hectic this evening."

Mulder was somewhat dubious of that claim.  How busy
could an emergency room in the middle of nowhere be? 
His gaze drifted to the dark blue and white nametag
affixed to the doctor's lab coat.  The bold block
letters spelled out:  P. ENIS, M.D.  Great.  Had the
entire hospital gone nuts?

Dr. Enis reviewed the chart the triage nurse had
assembled.  "Hmm.  It says here you sustained a
puncture wound to the right thumb.  When was your last
tetanus shot?"

"Approximately 6 years ago," Scully chimed in.  "But
he tends to spend a lot of time in hospitals, either
due to unusual illnesses or injuries.  He's a human
disaster magnet."

"Hmm," he repeated.  "Sounds like we can't be too
careful then."  Dr. Enis addressed the curvaceous
nurse.  "Anne, we're going to need to perform a
*complete* physical on Mr. Mulder, just to be on the
safe side."

She cooed sweetly.  "Yes, doctor.  Let me gather the
supplies and I'll be right back."  Anne playfully
tossed her head back, causing her long sable tresses
to bounce about her shoulders.

Dr. Enis placed a hospital gown on the gurney beside
Mulder.  "Sorry about the size.  There's been a
problem with the linen service, so only pediatric
attire is available."

Grudgingly acknowledging the garment decorated with
Looney Tune characters, Mulder scanned the room. 
"Where can I change?"

"Right here."

"What?  Don't you have a bathroom or a privacy curtain
or something?"

"'Fraid not," the doctor replied.  "Budget cutbacks
and all.  Besides, I'm going to see it all anyway. 
What difference does a couple of minutes make?"

Scully nodded in enthusiastic agreement.  "He's
absolutely right, Mulder.  In fact, let me help you. 
That thumb has to be sore, and additional activity
could hasten the spread of nasty pathogens.  I'd never
forgive myself if you developed sepsis because I
allowed you to engage in unnecessary physical
exertion, causing poisons to pulse through your
engorged veins..."  Her conversation trailed off as
she hastily unbuckled his belt and unzipped his pants. 
Under her determined guidance, the trousers quickly
slid over his hips and dropped around his ankles
within nanoseconds.

"Whoa, whoa!" Mulder yelped.  "I notice you're not
helping me with my shirt."


"Yes, my shirt.  If you can get off your knees long
enough, maybe you can help me with these buttons. 
That is, if you aren't too busy."

"Be right there," she panted, "as soon as I pull these
boxers off your lily-white, tight muscular ass."

"Um, Scully?"

"Yes, Mulder?"

"Is there any particular reason you can't do that
from, uh...another angle?  I feel kind of
uncomfortable having your know."

"Oh."  Scully tried to hide her disappointment.  "I
simply surmised I'd be in a better position to
unbutton your shirt if I was right in front of you." 
She grasped his shirttails and pulled herself up.  If
he thought Scully was anxious to remove his trousers,
she had another surprise in store for him.  Howling
like an Amazon she-beast, Scully ripped his shirt
open, sending buttons flying through the air.

A small white projectile struck Anne on the face as
she returned with a cart of supplies.  "Ow!" she
squealed.  "What was that?"  She stopped in her tracks
when she saw her naked drop-dead gorgeous patient
standing fully erect.  Well, not erect in the sense
she would have preferred, but the sight was still
breathtakingly spectacular.  Anne felt a bit guilty
admiring this finely chiseled Adonis, but nonetheless
hesitated to remind him of the gown lying at the foot
of the gurney.

Mulder nervously cleared his throat.  "Scully...could hand me something to wear?"

"Wear?" she blinked too innocently.

"Yes, in case you haven't noticed, I have a little
problem here."

Scully snorted.  "I wouldn't exactly call it

Anne murmured knowingly.  "She's right.  I know a lot
about these things.  I didn't make the July cover of
"Celebrity Skin" for nothing.  I got paid a thousand

Thoroughly exasperated by the women's unprofessional
behavior, Dr. Enis grabbed the gown and shoved it at
Mulder.  "Ladies, this is a hospital emergency room,
not an estrogen brigade.  Control yourselves!"

The beleaguered man gratefully accepted the small
bundle of cloth, and hurriedly donned the flimsy
garment.  To his chagrin, the gown barely covered his
manly attributes.

As if anticipating his distraught patient's complaint,
Dr. Enis shrugged apologetically.  "Sorry.  It was
either a gown from pediatrics or nothing.  Your HMO
doesn't cover fig leaves."  He smiled sympathetically
and gestured toward the gurney.  "Why don't you sit
back down so we can get started?"

Mulder hopped on the narrow table and concentrated on
trying to keep warm.  The small threadbare gown
provided little protection from the emergency room's
frigid temperature.  He felt like he had been stuffed
into a meat locker, and goose bumps erupted all over
his shivering body.

"Hmm."  Dr. Enis was obviously absent when vocabulary-
building exercises were covered in school.  "This
onset of chills was sudden and severe.  Do you feel

"No, I'm freezing my buns off."

The doctor laughed.  "Actually, you probably feel cold
because you're hot."

"He's hot all right," Scully muttered.

Ignoring the horny, redheaded FBI agent, Dr. Enis
spoke to the nurse.  "We need to get his temperature. 
Did the new shipment of aural thermometers come in to
replace the ones that were recalled, or are we still
having to use the rectal ones?"

"Rectal thermometers?!" Mulder shrieked.

"Hmm.  I'm not sure I like the sound of your voice. 
It must have gone up an entire octave in less than a
minute.  Whatever organism we're dealing with must be
mutating at an alarming rate."

"What?  Wait a minute!  I'm fine.  There's nothing
wrong with my throat.  And you're not shoving a
thermometer up my..."

"The new thermometers just arrived," Anne said with a
touch of regret.  She had been *so* looking forward to
that particular aspect of his work up.  Parting her
mouth, she rolled her tongue around her full, sensual
lips in exaggerated motions while she placed a
protective cover over the thermometer probe.  Shit. 
Realizing his partner was standing nearby, Mulder
reflexively shoved his hand into his mouth to stifle a
whimper of pleasure.  That seemed like a logical
solution until he bit his knuckles.

Scully violently yanked his fist away from his mouth,
causing his teeth to scrape the back of his hand. 
"Mulder, good grief!  Do you know how many germs
thrive in the mouth?  Do you know that human bites are
as dangerous as animal bites?  You could develop an
infection in that hand so severe it could affect the
tendon sheaths.  We're talking major surgical incision
and drainage.  Tissue damage or scar formation could
permanently compromise normal functioning of your
hand, and you'd never be able to return to field
status."  With a flourish, she added, "And that's not
counting any potential long-term disability from your
initial injury, assuming you don't die of

While Scully ranted, he silently counted to ten...and
then to twenty.  Mulder wondered if all doctors were
required to take courses in "Doom and Gloom 101" and
his personal favorite, "How to Really Scare the Shit
Out of Your Patients by Presenting Worst Care

He suddenly felt something shoved into his right ear. 
What the hell?  Oh, yeah.  A thermometer.  An *aural*
thermometer.  Woo hoo!

Anne solemnly pronounced the results of the handheld
device.  "Doctor, his temperature is 98.7."

"Hmm.  We need to get that fever down as quickly as
possible.  If we don't, you could develop febrile
seizures or brain damage.  As soon as I complete my
examination, perhaps we could apply some ice packs to
your armpits and groin to hasten the process."

Mulder was still reeling from the doctor's statement
when Dr. Enis reached for the box of disposable
gloves.  The crisp snap of latex sent shivers down his
spine.  The ER physician rummaged through a drawer,
and his face lit up when he located the desired item. 
Squeezing the tube, he applied a liberal amount of K-Y
Jelly to his gloved fingers.  "Mr. Mulder.  For the
next part of the exam, I need for you to step over

"A rectal?  In front of these women?"  Mulder's eyes
widened in trepidation.

The doctor looked confused.  "Who said anything about
a rectal?  I was going to lubricate the sturdy,
flexible, steel measuring rod attached to the scale so
I can record your height.  It has a tendency to become
stuck during cold weather."

"Oh."  If a person could die of embarrassment, Mulder
was likely to become the first recorded casualty.  He
struggled to cover the distance to the scale while
keeping himself covered with the skimpy attire. 
Scully was enjoying his predicament entirely too much. 
Mulder leaned back slightly and tugged at his gown in
hopes it would cover his bare ass.

Dr. Enis frowned.  "Mr. Mulder, you need to stand up
straight.  In order for me to obtain a proper
measurement, you need to be in a completely upright

That was all the encouragement Scully needed. 
"Oooooh. Can I be of any assistance?  Purely for
diagnostic purposes, of course."

Mulder wondered if anyone had ever been strangled with
a pediatric-sized hospital gown before.  If not, she
was about to make forensic history.

"I'm six feet tall," Mulder tersely informed the
doctor.  "You can either take my word for it, or check
my driver's license issued by the Virginia Department
of Motor Vehicles."  Pouting petulantly, he sniffed,
"That's assuming my partner will let go of my pants
long enough to let you find my wallet."

Scully sulked.  "I'll save you the trouble.  I peeked
at his license.  He *is* six feet tall, and his weight
is listed at 170 pounds.  The contents of his wallet
also revealed that his dry cleaning will be ready for
pickup on Tuesday, he checked out a copy of 'Steel
Magnolias' before we left D.C., he charged a package
of new boxers on his American Express card last week,
and that McDonald's gift certificate book better not
be my birthday present."

Damn.  He was saving that for a special moment,
certain a five-dollar coupon book would cover the cost
of a salad and a Diet Coke.  Sometimes Mulder forgot
how hard it was to surprise a partner trained in
investigative techniques.

Dr. Enis looked at his patient with sympathy.  No
doubt he was regretting purchasing a five-dollar
coupon book for the special woman in his life, too. 
"Well, there's no need to waste our time measuring
your height and weight.  Let's get your vital signs,

Mulder sat back down and dangled his long legs over
the side of the gurney, careful to keep his knees
together.  Anne winked flirtatiously at him as she
wrapped a blood pressure cuff snugly around his arm. 
To reduce the chill of the stethoscope, she excitedly
rubbed the bell between her hands.  Back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth...faster and faster. 
Then she exhaled onto the metal disk and observed it
steam over from her warm, moist breath.  Satisfied,
she placed the head of the stethoscope over his artery
just below the cuff.

The earpieces now in place, Anne vigorously squeezed
the rubber bulb to inflate the pressure of the cuff
until the bar of mercury rose higher and higher. 
Mulder was sensitive to the mounting pressure, and
needed relief...soon.  He was totally mesmerized by
Anne's heaving breasts as she continued to pump him
up.  Finally when the mercury reached 210 millimeters,
she began to deflate the cuff.  The constriction
around his arm dissipated, and he groaned in
satisfaction.  He was vaguely aware of her fingers
wrapped around his wrist.

"His blood pressure is 168/92, pulse 114 and
respirations are 30 and shallow," Anne reported.

Scully leapt out of her chair.  "That's abnormally
high for him.  Do you plan to perform a full
cardiovascular workup?"

Dr. Enis scratched his chin.  "Hmm.  This could be
more serious than I thought.  My initial impression
was that the elevated temperature could be attributed
to an infection, but clearly we're dealing with a more
complex process.  Under the circumstances, it would be
prudent to admit him and perform the standard battery
of cardiac function tests, just to be on the safe
side.  I'll arrange for a routine EKG, 2D echo with
Doppler, nuclear stress test, cardiac catheterization
and colonoscopy."

"Colonoscopy?  I'm sorry.  I know my specialty is
pathology, but how will a colonoscopy be helpful?"

"Oh, it won't.  But the radiology department got some
new diagnostic equipment last week and has been dying
to try it out.  The ER bathroom budget was sacrificed
to help fund the expenditure, so you could say I have
a vested interest."

"What is it with you people?" Mulder demanded.  "Ever
since I've been here, someone has wanted to shove
something up my butt.  Are you all a bunch of

The doctor leaned toward Scully and spoke in hushed
tones.  "Must be the fever.  He's clearly delirious."

She sadly nodded.  "Tylenol suppository?"


Anne discretely noted the order Dr. Enis was writing
in the chart, and quietly left the room.  Returning
from her errand, she snapped on a latex glove and
prepared to dispense the medication.

Mulder panicked in response to the noise.  "What are
you doing?"

"Sir, you're running a fever..."

"You can't be serious.  I'd hardly call 98.7 degrees a

Dr. Enis interrupted.  "Mr. Mulder, you've obviously
contracted a fast-acting infection from your wound,
and you're not behaving rationally right now."

"Like hell I'm not!" he yelled.  "You'd be pitching a
fit too if people were threatening to stick things
into sensitive bodily orifices!"

Scully plucked a glove from the box.  "Here, let me do
it.  I'm his partner.  I've been watching his ass for
seven years."

Mulder couldn't believe his ears.  "Scully, you were
supposed to be watching my *back*."

"Back, front, ass.  What's the difference?  Pretty
damned nice view from any direction, if you ask me."

Miffed at the intrusion into her territory, Anne
clenched her fists and stamped her feet.  "He's mine,
mine, all mine!"

"Look, you shameless hussy, don't argue with me.  I'm
an armed federal agent, and I know how to defend
myself.  Besides, I have first dibs."

The sultry brunette lifted her uniform top and proudly
displayed her surgically enhanced assets.  "Oh, yeah? 
These babies are registered as lethal weapons.  I've
accidentally smothered three men to a blissful death,
and put a couple of eyes out just from long-distance
ogling.  I even have a black belt in booby boxing. 
Your puny tits couldn't go one round with me."

"Bring 'em on!"  Scully tossed her jacket on the floor
and began unbuttoning her blouse.

The unfolding scene was surreal.  It was like passing
the scene of a horrific traffic accident.  Mulder felt
guilty and ashamed for watching, yet strangely excited
and thrilled.  In fact, he almost forgot *why* they
were fighting until the doctor intervened and grabbed
the foil-wrapped suppository.  Shit.  He should have
escaped while he had the chance.  Maybe it wasn't too
late.  Mulder slipped off the gurney and stepped onto
the cold tile floor.  He had scarcely cleared the
supply cart when he felt a firm pressure on his upper
arm.  Busted.

"Going anywhere, Mr. Mulder?"

Mulder sheepishly turned around to face Dr. Enis. 
"Um, I need to take a leak."

"Sorry.  Memory problems, too?  Hmm.  Could be the
early signs of dementia.  If you'll recall, we don't
have a bathroom in the ER.  Since we're going to need
a urine specimen anyway, have a seat and I'll harvest
a sample."

"Harvest?  What do you mean by harvest?"

Dr. Enis mentally searched for the layperson's
definition of the term as he steered his unwilling
patient back to the examination bed.  "I'll insert a
catheter through your urethra to obtain a urine sample
directly from the bladder."

Mulder blushed furiously.  "Why can't I just pee in a

"Because a sample collected in that manner might
contain contaminants that could artificially skew the

"No one has ever complained before."

The emergency room doctor massaged the back of his
neck and looked at Scully.  "Is he always this much

"You have absolutely no idea," she replied dryly.

Mulder absently picked at his colorful gown.  A loose
thread marred Marvin the Martian's face, and he tried
to smooth it over while he struggled to regain control
of his emotions.  "Does anyone care that I came in
here for a simple wound from stapler accident?  Has it
occurred to anyone that maybe all I need is a Band-Aid
on my boo-boo?  That none of these tests or
medications are necessary, and this is all a big

The doctors silently conferred and rendered their
verdict in unison.  "No."

"Is this one of those ambush reality TV shows, or am I
trapped in a Twilight Zone episode?"


Mustering his most reassuring professional demeanor,
Dr. Enis attempted to calm his skittish patient.  "Mr.
Mulder, we're only trying to help you.  Penetrating
wounds are extremely susceptible to virulent
infections.  It's absolutely critical that we
accurately establish an accurate diagnosis so we can
provide appropriate care as soon as possible.  You
know the old saying, 'An ounce of prevention is worth
a pound of cure.'"

"Great.  Next you're going to tell me something
equally trite like, 'A stitch in time saves nine,'"
Mulder griped.

"Now that you mention it..."


"Oh, my God!" Scully exclaimed.  "Are you in pain?"

"I'm FINE.  Perfectly fine."

"'re not fine.  That's why we're here,

"Hmm."  Dr. Enis glanced at Scully.  "These memory
lapses are extremely disturbing.  Does he have a
history of short-term memory loss?"

Scully tucked a stray lock of copper hair behind her
ear.  "Now that you mention it, he frequently forgets
to inform me of his whereabouts, but I always assumed
he was deliberately ditching me.  He also doesn't
remember to submit 302 forms and other appropriate
case related paperwork.  Oh, no!  How could I have
been so blind?"

The doctor gave her a compassionate hug.  "Don't blame
yourself.  Mental deterioration is usually so gradual
it's easy for friends and family members to miss the
early symptoms.  We'll perform MRI and PET scans, as
well as some other tests.  But as you know, an autopsy
is the best way to determine the type of dementia."

Her expression immediately brightened.  "I'm a
pathologist.  I could..."

"Don't even go there," Mulder warned.  "I'm not dead
yet.  I'm here because I have a staple stuck in my
thumb.  I do not have a fever or Alzheimer's or any
exotic disease."

Dr. Enis smiled condescendingly.  "Of course.  Let's
take a look, shall we?"

The distraught patient extended his right thumb,
although he was sorely tempted to extend a specific
finger instead.

Carefully examining the injured digit, Dr. Enis
murmured his observations.  "Hmm.  There's slight
edema and erythema surrounding the wound.  This could
represent the initial stages of tetanus, blood
poisoning or even gangrene.  Yup.  We absolutely need
to perform a thorough assessment, just to be on the
safe side."  Releasing Mulder's hand, the doctor
removed an otoscope from the wall mount.  After
inspecting the ears and nose for signs of inflammation
and drainage, the physician unwrapped a tongue
depressor.  "I need you to open wide and say

Mulder rolled his eyes in frustration, but nonetheless
complied with the doctor's request.

"You have some slight irritation..."

"No shit."

Ignoring his patient's remark, the doctor continued. 
"You could be developing a streptococcal bacterial
infection.  Potential complications can include
necrosis of the skin and deep tissues, scarlet fever,
endocarditis or renal failure.  We'll get a culture to
determine the causative organism, just to be on the
safe side."  Palpating Mulder's neck, Dr. Enis asked,
"Is this sore?"

Through clenched teeth, Mulder hissed, "It wasn't
until you started poking around."

"We'll run some thyroid function tests, just to be..."

"So help me, if you utter that phrase one more time,
I'm going to shove that stethoscope up your ass.  Then
*you* can have the privilege of being the first
patient to try out that fancy new equipment the
radiology department is so eager to play with."

Before his irate patient had an opportunity to make
good on his promise, Dr. Enis removed the stethoscope
from his neck.  "Um...I need to listen to your heart and
lungs.  Unlike Anne, the doctor didn't bother to warm
the metal disk, and placed the icy cold object on
Mulder's chest.  Listening intently, he moved the
stethoscope around several times as Mulder took deep
breaths.  The chilly air triggered a tickle in his
throat, and he reflexively coughed.

Dr. Enis appeared perplexed.  "That's odd, your lungs
sound clear.  We'll get a chest x-ray to make sure
we're not overlooking the early onset of pneumonia or
tuberculosis.  Your heart rate is still elevated,
perhaps a precursor to a life-threatening arrhythmia."

"Of course my pulse is racing," Mulder sputtered. 
"I'm pissed.  P-I-S-S-E-D.  Pissed."

"Ah, yes.  Irritability.  A classic sign of tetanus. 
Have you experienced any muscle cramps or weakness?"

Didn't he already have this conversation with Scully? 
"No.  My only problem is an itty-bitty staple embedded
in my thumb, remember?  Or maybe you're the one
suffering from memory impairment."

Handing his agitated patient a blue paper sheet, Dr.
Enis patted the gurney.  "We'll take care of that, I
promise.  Right now, I need for you to lie down so I
can complete your exam.  It will only take a minute."

Mulder grudgingly followed the doctor's instructions,
and settled into a supine position.  While the doctor
palpated his abdomen, he stared at the ceiling.  What
the fuck?  Directly above him was a full-length mirror
with writing in the lower right hand corner.  On
closer inspection, he was able to make out the faint
writing:  Objects in the mirror are larger than they
appear.  What kind of a hospital was this?!

As he performed his examination, Dr. Enis dictated his
findings to Anne.  "Hmm.  No masses or rigidity of the
liver or spleen."  Lifting the flimsy paper drape, he
noted approvingly, "And definitely no inguinal

Scully couldn't resist the urge to sneak a peek, and
pulled the sheet back more than was medically
necessary.  Grinning like a Cheshire cat, she mused,
"I'm in love...or at least in lust."

Totally mortified, Mulder wrestled for control of the
sheet from his resolute partner, finally ripping it
out of her hands.  While Scully dejectedly surveyed
scraps of blue paper in each fist, Mulder repositioned
the mangled drape in a feeble attempt to restore his
dignity.  In a low voice, he mumbled, "Kill me now."

His brow furrowed in concern, the emergency room
physician reached for the chart.  "In view of the
sudden onset of depressive symptoms, I'll order a
psychiatric consult, just to be on the safe side.  In
the meantime, we'll do some tests to rule out an
organic etiology."

After a brief conversation with the doctor, Anne set
up the appropriate laboratory paraphernalia.  Smiling
at her apprehensive patient, she wrapped a tourniquet
around Mulder's arm.  "Don't worry, I usually find a
good vein on my ninth or tenth try.  With these huge
boobs, it's hard to see what I'm doing sometimes." 
Satisfied she had located a suitable vein, she
energetically rubbed the area with an alcohol prep pad
before penetrating the skin with the needle.


"I'm so sorry," Anne apologized.  "Silly me.  Let me
try this again."

"Shit, that hurt!"

Anne bit her collagen enhanced lower lip in
concentration.  "Maybe third time is the charm." 
Plunging the large bore needle into the bulging vein,
she squealed with pleasure when his blood forcefully
pumped through the tubing and into the receptacles. 
"Wow.  You can really squirt that stuff out!"  Once
she had collected and labeled the appropriate number
of vials, she unwrapped a large cotton swab.

"What is that?" he asked suspiciously as he propped
himself up on his elbows.

Scully firmly pushed him back onto the gurney.  "She's
going to culture your throat so they can determine if
you have strep throat or not.  Early intervention is
important in these cases, otherwise..."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he grumbled, "or I'll develop some
hideous life-threatening complication."

She playfully tugged at his toes.  "At least your
memory isn't totally shot yet."

The nurse waved the giant Q-tip in front of him. 
"Sir?  I need you to open wide."  Resigned to the
situation, he submitted to the inevitable procedure. 
Cupping his jaw in her left hand, Anne carefully
tilted his head back and thrust the long object down
his throat, inch-by-inch, pushing it deeper and deeper

Aaaaaccccckkkkk!  Mulder struggled to simultaneously
suppress a violent coughing spasm and quell the rising
nausea that threatened to overwhelm him.  "Damn it! 
Are you...trying to...choke me to death?"

Scully immediately sensed the impending doom, and
shoved an emesis basin under his chin.  While her
miserable partner threw up the meager contents of his
lunch, she rubbed his back in soothing circular
motions until the heaving stopped.  "Are you okay

"I'm fine.  Positively fucking wonderful."  Seeking to
alleviate her concern, he hastened to clarify the
reason for his reaction.  "I have a sensitive gag
reflex, Scully.  I am *not* sick."

Anne gestured for Scully to hand her the nearly full
emesis basin.  "Dr. Enis has written orders to
strictly monitor his intake and output, so I'll need
to measure that."

The hairs on the back of Mulder's neck stood on end. 
Intake and output?  That would mean the dreaded Foley
catheter.  Before he had an opportunity to protest,
Anne placed a plastic specimen cup and a couple of
tattered current issues of pornographic magazines on
the small stand beside his gurney.  Was she about to
propose what he thought she was?

Even Scully was taken aback at this unusual
development.  "Um...Anne?  I don't understand how a
semen sample could possibly prove diagnostically
useful in Mulder's case."

"Oh, it won't," Anne admitted.  "I'm still trying to
establish the paternity of my eighteen-month-old son,
and figured it wouldn't hurt to obtain another DNA
sample.  However, after 1013 negative results, I'm not
as optimistic as I used to be."  Reaching into the
cabinet, she retrieved a sterile kit.  "Mr. Mulder,
I'm going to need to harvest that urine specimen now."

"Over my dead body!"  Snatching the plastic cup from
the bedside table, he positioned it under the sheet. 
"Excuse me, can I have a little privacy here?"

A puzzled Scully started to reach for the paper drape. 
"Mulderrrrr...what are you doing under there?"

"I'm going to pee in this cup.  No one is going to go
prospecting for my liquid gold."

"Mulder, you're crazy.  For heaven's sake, you didn't
even wash your hands or anything else first.  Do you
realize how many contaminants..."  Her voice faded away
as the implications of her words sank in. 
"Contaminants!  Mulder, your hand!"

Dr. Enis jerked off the blue paper sheet, exposing
Mulder in all his glory.  The physician immediately
inspected the injured digit, and did not appear
pleased with his findings.  "Hmm.  Obviously the wound
has been exposed to additional pathogens.  It would
probably be best to amputate the thumb immediately,
just to be on the safe side."

Mulder bolted upright.  "What?  You can't be serious!"

His medically overcautious partner advised, "He tends
to respond adversely to general anesthesia."

"Hmm.  Then I suppose we'll have to perform surgery
without it."  Dr. Enis examined the injury again and
grimaced.  "No doubt the infection has spread far past
the point of entry.  Perhaps we should amputate the
entire arm all the way to the shoulder, just to be on
the safe side."

Scully cringed.  "Ooooh.  Without anesthesia that will
be excruciatingly painful.  If only he had something
to take his mind off the pain."  Suddenly a logical
solution occurred to her.  Climbing onto the gurney,
she straddled herself across her recumbent partner.

"Scully, you can't let them do this!  Help me!" 
Mulder thrashed violently as Dr. Enis and Anne wrapped
Velcro restraints around his wrists and ankles and
tied them to the gurney.

"Shhhh.  It's okay," Scully purred kittenishly.  "I'll
keep your mind off your pain."


"Yes, Mulder!  I want to hear you shout my name again
and again!  She gently traced the line of dark hair on
his abdomen until she reached her destination.  "I
want to take you places you've never been!"

"Scully, the only place I want to be is off this
gurney!  I want to get off now!"

"Of course, Mulder!  You know I'd do anything for
you!"  Embracing his impressive manhood in her small
hands, she passionately began stroking him.

Frustrated by the huge misunderstanding, he rolled his
head back and forth.  "Fuck, Scully!"

Delighted with this turn of events, she practically
drooled in anticipation.  "You mean you want to come
inside me?"

"No!" he gasped.  "I mean, yes, but not like this! 
Don't let them cut my arm off, Scully!"  His desperate
attempts to free himself from the restraints were
interrupted by the loud buzzing of a Black and Decker
saw.  No, this was *not* happening.  He uttered a
series of raw, primal screams before he mercifully
passed out.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

The incessant screeching of an alarm pierced the air,
and Mulder instinctively opened his eyes.  How odd. 
This certainly didn't look like any hospital room he'd
ever seen, and the dreadful pastel painting of a
lighthouse was an exact replica of the one in his
motel room.  Wait a minute...everything was identical,
down to the discarded pizza box precariously balanced
on the trashcan.  Thoroughly confused, Mulder ran his
fingers through his hair with his right hand.  What?

His right arm was still miraculously attached.  It had
all been a horrible dream!  Thank God!  He gleefully
flexed his fingers before silencing the digital alarm
clock.  An exuberant Mulder jumped out of bed,
knocking the empty grease-stained pizza box onto the
shag carpeting in the process.  He glared at the
object with contempt.  That damned pizza was probably
the source of his nightmare.  How on earth did Scully
ever convince him to forego the usual traditional
toppings in favor of roasted garlic chicken, red
peppers, pecans, mango and pineapple?  Surely that
combination would make anyone have night terrors. 
Staring in the mirror, Mulder held up his right hand
and made an oath to hereby stick with pepperoni and
cheese from this day forward.  No more living la vida
loca for him.

A familiar voice on the other side of the connecting
door intruded upon the solemn ceremony.  "Mulder, it's
me.  Are you decent?"

For the first time since he had awakened, he realized
he was wearing the same t-shirt and jeans he had worn
yesterday.  He must have passed out from exhaustion
before he could strip down to his usual sleeping

Without waiting for a response from Mulder, his
bedraggled partner stumbled into his room.  Scully's
usual porcelain complexion was ghastly white,
accentuating the dark purple circles under her eyes. 
Her hair was sticking in every conceivable direction,
giving a whole new definition to the term "bad hair
day."  Collapsing into a faux velvet covered chair,
Scully massaged her aching temples.  "I feel like

Immediately concerned, Mulder knelt at her side. 
"Scully, are you okay?"

"I had the most horrible nightmare last night.  It
must have been that damned pizza."

"Pizza?"  So he hadn't been the only victim of the
gastronomical abomination.

"Yeah.  I was up half the night with indigestion. 
Then when I finally managed to fall asleep, I had the
dream from Hell."

Mulder cleared his throat and solicitously rested his
hand on hers.  "Want to talk about it?"

Scully hesitated for a split-second then blurted out,
"I married Frohike."

"You did what?"

"I dreamed I bid for Frohike at a charity bachelor
auction as a joke."  Shuddering at the memory, she
confessed, "He licked my entire body like I was a
postage stamp, sucked my toes and everything.  I fell
completely under his spell, and begged him to marry me
so I could be his sex slave."

Recalling his own dream, Mulder laughed nervously. 
"No wonder you look like something the cat hacked up
this morning.  That must have been a scary

"You have absolutely no idea."  Noting her partner's
haggard appearance, she asked, "What about you?  Did
nightmares keep you up last night?"

He shrugged his shoulders and tried to appear
nonchalant.  "You know me and my insomnia."  An
annoying tickle in the back of his throat provoked a
violent bout of coughing, and he covered his mouth
with his left hand.  When the attack subsided, Scully
was staring at him.  There was something in her
expression that made him uneasy.  "What?  Did I forget
to zip my pants or something?"

She grabbed his left hand and carefully examined a
deep gash on his forearm.  "Geez, Mulder.  How did you
cut yourself?"

"Huh?"  He had been so relieved that his right arm
hadn't been amputated he hadn't noticed the injury to
his other limb.  Crap.  He probably hurt himself
during the throes of his pizza-induced nightmare.

Immediately shifting into her infamous doctor mode,
Scully raced to the bathroom and fetched a couple of
towels.  Wiping the partially dried blood from the
wound, she delivered her professional opinion.  "This
is pretty deep.  The edges are jagged and inflamed. 
You're definitely going to need stitches and probably
antibiotics.  Mulder, given your propensity for
developing bizarre complications, it's important that
you have this injury treated as soon as possible."

The familiar phrase evoked an eerie sense of deja vu,
and chilled him to the core of his soul.  Without
thinking, he abruptly pulled his arm away from his
bewildered partner.

"Mulder?  What's wrong?"

"Nothing," he lied.  "I'm just convinced all doctors
overreact to every little bump and scrape, that's

"I suppose we do tend to envision worst case scenarios
sometimes, especially in my field."  Setting the
soiled towels aside, Scully lightly squeezed his hand. 
"There's a small hospital not far from the county
morgue.  I'm sure you can get in and out fairly
quickly."  Inexplicably, she erupted into a fit of
convulsive giggles.

"What's so funny?" he asked warily.

"You're going to love the name of the facility.  Dick
Long Memorial Hospital!"

Mulder's jaw dropped in astonishment.  Hmm.  He
briefly considered his options and decided under the
circumstances he should forego treatment and risk a
tetanus infection...just to be on the safe side.