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Chicken Pox

TITLE: Chicken Pox
by Mulderache

SPOILERS: NOT REALLY

DISCLAIMER: REALLY THEY ARE NOT MINE, EXCEPT MAYBE DAVID.(I WISH)
THEY DO BELONG TO CHRIS CARTER AND 1013 PRODUCTIONS.

ARCHIVE: WELL, ANYWHERE IS FINE.

MULDER'S APARTMENT (0400AM)

The pain awakened him from his sleep. He had taken Tylenol before
he went to bed. He had a fever of one hundred and one point two
and a headache that would be only be considered on a scale from
one to ten a mere five. But now his head really hurt and he felt
nauseated. He pulled himself to the side of the bed and tried to
get the strength to go to the bathroom and retrieve some more
Tylenol or aspirin. Nix the aspirin, Scully would ring him for
taking it on an empty stomach. Slowly he lifted his tired body
from the bed and shuffled to the bathroom.

He flipped on the light and walked over to the medicine cabinet
and opened it, pulling out the medicine bottle he glanced at the
label, Tylenol. He opened the cap and flipped a couple into his
mouth and reached for the glass on the sink. He filled it up and
drank the cool water with the pills. He bent over and grabbed a
washcloth and when he lifted his head he was met with his
reflection in the mirror. He was startled, his face was covered
with a rash. The rash was like pimples and his face was flushed.
"What the hell?" he asked himself out loud. He looked at his arms
and chest and the white little blisters were scattered throughout
his body. He also noted some flat, red, splotchy dots in several
places also. He would call Scully but she was out of town
visiting her brother Bill and he would not call there. He started
to feel itchy and grabbed the Benadryl; maybe it was something he
ate. He took fifty milligrams of the medicine and placed the
bottle back into the cabinet. He felt terrible, his head hurt and
he was itching all over, he decided to go back to bed. He would
go to an urgent care in the morning. Scully would be proud of his
ability to take care of himself.

He slipped back under the covers and tried not to think about
scratching. After a long while the Benadryl kicked in and he was
sound asleep. The next morning he awakened and he felt worse than
hell. The blisters were now in his mouth and on his hands. He
picked up the phone and called information. After retrieving the
urgent care's number he called and got an appointment.

He walked into the urgent care and took a seat, noting a woman
with a small child quickly grabbed him and headed across the
room. He hadn't thought about the possibility of being
contagious. He filled out he required history, at least a
revised, simple version. He noticed out of the corner of his eye
that the mother was giving him a very disdainful look.

The nurse at the front desk spotted the man with the rash and
decided that he probably needed a little quarantine. "Mr.
Mulder?"

Mulder walked up to the desk and acknowledged his name, "I'm
Mulder." She looked up and saw the red rash with blistering
areas. "We need to get you a room." He nodded and followed her to
the back.

The nurse handed him a gown, took his information and left the
room. The thought of putting on a piece of thin paper was not a
welcoming thought but he knew the routine and shed his jacket and
shirt. Hesitantly he shed his pants but kept his boxers intact.
He was shocked to see that the rash had actually worsened. He
lifted his tired body up on the examination table.

His hands were unconsciously scratching at the rash when the
nurse returned. "Hey stop scratching!" her voice shrilled through
the small room. He stopped immediately and looked up at the nurse
shyly. " It really itches a lot." His was voice low and pitiful.
She smiled and nodded then pulled the aural thermometer off the
wall and placed it into his ear. She waited for the tone and read
the number, one hundred and two point four. What are your
symptoms Mr. Mulder? He thought for a second then answered, "
This rash, a headache and fever." He wanted to lie down and
sleep, he felt so tired. She nodded again and wrote the
information on a chart. " The doctor will be in shortly, don't
scratch. He nodded and when she shut the door he was scratching
again.

He was feeling worse, if that were possible and he lay down on
the exam table, his feet sticking over the edge. The knock on the
door was a welcomed sound and when the door opened the physician
walked into the room carrying his chart. "Good morning Mr.
Mulder, my name is Doctor Michelle Lee. She looked down at the
spotted, flushed patient and shook her head. Mr. Mulder, have you
ever had the chicken pox? Mulder thought for a moment and shook
his head, " I don't know. Maybe." The doctor pulled out her
stethoscope and placed it on his chest. "Do you feel like sitting
up for a minute?" He nodded and sat up for her and took some deep
breaths. After a few more questions she told him to lie back
down.

Mr. Mulder, I need to run some blood work but I feel like I have
a pretty good idea what is going on with your rash. He looked up
at the young physician, "What is it?" She shook her head and
looked down at her patient," I believe you have the chicken pox.
Do you remember being exposed to anyone in the last few weeks
that may have had the virus?" he thought for a moment and nodded.
" A couple of weeks ago we were on a case and I was talking with
a family and the little boy, I think was recovering from a bout
of them, but that's a kids disease." The doctor shook her head,
"Mr. Mulder anybody can get the chicken pox. If you did not have
them when you were a child then you probably have them now. Can
you call a parent or sibling that would remember?" the question
made him quiet for a few minutes," My family is dead. I have a
good memory though and I don't remember ever having the chicken
pox." The doctor nodded and made a note on his chart." I'll send
Danielle in to get some blood then I will be back." She left the
room and found the nurse.

He lay quietly on the table feeling like he would go crazy from
the itching. He knew the nurse would be in any moment so he
refrained from scratching his itchy skin. When the door opened he
sat up on the table. "Hey. Dr. Lee wants me to get some blood
work. She also wanted me to give you something for your fever."
she sat the med cup on the table and retrieved a paper cup and
filled it with water. She picked up the med cup and handed both
to her patient. He sat up and swallowed the meds with the water.
He felt like crap. The nurse quickly placed the tourniquet around
his left arm and found a vein. "Okay Mr. Mulder take a deep
breath, you're going to feel a little stick." He obeyed and felt
the needle enter his skin but the pain only lasted a few seconds
and she was finished. She placed the blood into two vials and
labeled them." The doctor will be back in a few minutes." She
took the tubes and was out the door again.

Within minutes the doctor was coming through the door again. " I
am sending your blood work to the hospital to be done stat. I am
basically checking to see if you have had the virus and I'm doing
a test to check for infection. I'm concerned, given your medical
history." He looked up at the doctor, "Which part?"    his voice
was raspy. His mouth was hurting from the blisters. The doctor
noticed that he was drooling some also and she reached into her
pocket and pulled out a penlight. "Open up Mr. Mulder." He obeyed
and the doctor shined the light inside his mouth. "Looks
painful." She stated as she put away her light. He shrugged and
tried not to talk.

"Okay let me give you the low down. Do you have someone you can
stay with for a few days?" he shook his head. Scully wouldn't be
back for a few more days and the gunmen were at a convention in
Raleigh, North Carolina. She reached down to her chart and
started making notes. " It looks that you have a few choices. One
is hospitalization." Mulder eyes grew wide at the mention of the
word hospital. "No way!" he stated, his sore mouth making his
eyes water. " Well then, I know that Quantico has an infirmary. I
would highly suggest that you stay there for a few days. There
are some complications that you need to be watched for and I
would feel better giving you meds to help you get through this
ordeal. He nodded reluctantly and she handed him a piece of paper
to write down A.D. Skinner's number at the bureau to make
arrangements.

The doctor left the room to call the assistant director. He felt
like running out the door. Only he could get chicken pox. He sat
up on the table and a wave of dizziness hit him so he decided to
stay still for a few minutes. He was itching again and his head
was still hurting. He gave another thought to calling Scully but
he quickly gave it up when the image of Bill flashed in mind." I
can stay at the infirmary, not a problem, at least for a day then
I will find a way to get discharged." He mumbled to himself.

He heard a small knock on the door and another nurse entered with
a couple of syringes. " My name is Rachel and I need to give you
a couple of injections. They will help the itching." He did not
question the nurse but to get relief he turned over on his side
and raised the gown high enough to allow the nurse access. She
approached the patient and tugged down the boxers enough to
expose the hip, after rubbing the alcohol on the area she pushed
the needle into the skin and pushed the plunger. After
withdrawing the needle she pushed up the boxers and pulled down
the gown. "Roll over Mr. Mulder, one more." He obeyed, anything
to help relieve the itching. She repeated the process except this
time when she pushed the plunger the medicine burned and he felt
that he might need to bite his sore tongue to help deal with the
pain. "Okay, I'm done." He rubbed at the sore area and looked
over to the nurse, who was disposing of the dirty needles and
washing her hands. "What did you just give me?" She looked over
to the patient," Dr. Lee wanted you to have Benadryl and some
Valium. She doesn't want you scratching those blisters, they can
get infected." He shook his head," I have my car outside. I won't
be able to drive." The nurse turned and smiled, "I believe Dr.
Lee has taken care of the situation. She will be back in a few
minutes." He could already feel the effects of the drug hitting
his blood stream and the desire to lay back down was
overwhelming. He thought he would rest a few minutes and when his
doctor came back in the room he would talk to her about his car.
Within a few minutes he was drifting off to sleep.

The next thing he remembered was a familiar voice talking to Dr.
Lee. They were talking about possible complications of chicken
pox, such as encephalitis, pneumonia, staph infections and on and
on but his mind was tired and he could not concentrate. He was
too sleepy and he drifted back to sleep.

Dr Lee instructed Walter Skinner on Mulder's care, " I am going
to write out a prescription for Acyclovir, it is an anti viral
med that will help the disease process not last as long. He will
also need medicine for itching, I have given him some
intramuscular Benadryl and Valium but I am also writing out a
prescription for Atarax and Valium, give as directed. If he
develops any cough or if the fever is not gone by tomorrow then I
will need you to call. If he worsens tonight please call his
primary care physician. Skinner took the scripts and the papers
on the care of a patient with chicken pox. He looked down at
Mulder's sleeping form. He would be surprised to find out that
his nurse for the next few days would be his assistant director.

The nurse assisted Mulder back into his clothes. He was extremely
lethargic and he seemed to be a little bit confused. They helped
him into a wheelchair and took him out to the car. Skinner almost
had to pick him up and place him into the backseat of the car; he
would definitely need assistance getting him up into his
apartment. He picked up the cell phone and dialed his neighbor.

The neighbor and Skinner got Mulder up the elevator into his
apartment and placed him in the guestroom. He helped strip off
his clothes down to his boxers and placed a sheet over his quiet
form. Mulder opened his eyes, they were clouded with confusion. "
Where is Scully? What am I doing here sir?" His voice slurring
the words. Skinner bent down and touched Mulder's warm skin.
"Listen Mulder, I need to go and get your medicines. You are at
my apartment. Will you be all right?" he nodded and seemed to
understand but he was back to sleep within seconds. Skinner felt
uncomfortable leaving his charge. He decided to ask his neighbor
to stay for a while.

He awakened again with a series of coughs. He opened his eyes and
looked around the unfamiliar setting. This was definitely not
Quantico. He tried to lift himself up in bed but fell back onto
the pillow. The itching was back with a vengeance. He started to
scratch but knew that he might get caught," What the hell." He
started scratching the terrible rash and felt little relief.
"Mulder. Are you scratching?" a voice came from out of nowhere.
He looked over to the door and saw A. D. Skinner. " It's really
bad." He walked in carrying a tray. " I thought you might be
hungry. Here, I will get your meds and then I will be back in a
few minutes." Mulder sat up slowly on he side of the bed but the
weakness was bad and he felt tightness in his chest. He let out
another series of coughs and tried to eat the soup. His sore
mouth felt punished by the warm broth but he managed to get some
down before he crawled back under the blanket. Skinner brought in
the meds and a glass of water. " Thank you sir. I was suppose to
go to Quantico for a few days." Skinner nodded and handed Mulder
several pills," I will take care of you Mulder. Take your meds."
Mulder nodded in understanding and took the pills. I will get you
some calamine lotion and see if we can't stop the itching." He
picked up the tray and carried it out of the room.

" Now I know how a dog with flees feels." He spoke out loud. He
was miserable and he wanted to scratch. The calamine lotion was
helping but not enough. It would be time for the Valium soon and
he could sleep. The fever had returned and Skinner had made him
take a tepid bath, he had added some baking soda for the itch but
he still felt terrible. He would feel better if he could see
Scully. She would make it better. He rolled his eyes and tried to
sit up for a few minutes but quickly found that he did not have
the strength. He coughed again and lay back down into the bed.
Within a few minutes Skinner was at the door," Mulder, were you
coughing?" he nodded and let out another series of coughs. "I'll
need to talk to your physician. Do you need anything right now?"
Mulder shook his head and wondered why Skinner needed to talk to
his doctor.

After a while Skinner reappeared at the door with a paramedic in
tow." Mr. Mulder, my name is Charlie. Your physician wants us to
bring you to the hospital." Mulder looked up to find Skinner but
he was at the door talking to someone. " I need to start an IV
and then we will get you to the hospital." Mulder sat up in the
bed," I don't want to go to the hospital." His voice sounded weak
and raspy. The paramedic continued pulling out IV equipment and
preparing the solution. He started coughing again and this time
he was bringing up specks of blood. He looked down at the blood
and then at the paramedic. " Hey I know it is scary but a
complication of chicken pox in adults is pneumonia. We really
need to get you to a hospital." As much as he hated hospitals he
let the paramedic have his arm and the sting of the needle made
his stomach turn." He held on to the soup he had eaten earlier
and soon they were transferring him onto a gurney.

The paramedic gave him oxygen by nasal cannula and something for
the itching and soon he was sleeping again. He was transported to
Georgetown University Hospital and admitted directly to ICU, the
isolation ward. When he awakened again the nurses were wearing
masks and he was connected to oxygen and he had several bags of
fluid hanging above his head. He rolled over on his side and
looked around. He actually felt a little better than he had when
he had been awake last. The nurse walked in with a tray of meds
and syringes. She was amazed that her patient was awake," Why
aren't you sleeping Mr. Mulder?" he kept his eyes on the tray and
spoke softly, "Mulder, just Mulder." She patted his shoulder and
continued working with his IV bags." Okay Mulder, why aren't you
sleeping?" he looked at his busy nurse and shrugged his
shoulders, "Feeling better. I don't itch as bad." He let out a
couple of strong coughs and noted that the blood was sprayed onto
his sheet. The nurse responded quickly and assisted him to a
sitting position. He felt short of breath but recovered and fell
back down into the pillows. "That isn't normal." His voice was
raspy. She couldn't help but smile," Unfortunately it's not
uncommon with pneumonia associated with chicken pox. You are
going to feel worse before you feel better." He looked at his
masked nurse, "You sure are honest." She nodded and helped him to
get comfortable, removing the soiled sheet. " I'll replace this
after I give you a bath." He grimaced and closed his eyes. He
sure is a sweet one she thought to herself as she finished with
his meds.

After the bath he had fallen back to sleep. The doctor had
written an order for inhaler treatments. He was getting his
second treatment when he awakened but he was not alone. He looked
over in the chair and saw the bulk form of his boss. He waved at
him and continued breathing in the mist from the treatment. He
was closing his eyes when he heard a familiar voice," Mulder,
it's me." He quickly turned his head and on the other side of the
bed stood his partner. She had that worried look and she was
holding his hand tightly. "How do you feel?" her voice sounded
tired and by her appearance was haggard. Surely he had not
worried her again. He was feeling better, maybe weak, but better.
" He nodded and squeezed her hand. Hopefully she got the message,
he would tell her after the breathing treatment. Unfortunately he
fell asleep again. The meds were doing their job at keeping him
quiet and rested.

The next time he awakened was the worse and he had a tube snaking
down his throat assisting his breathing. He was calmed by the
presence of her hand holding his and comforting him. She gently
stroked his forehead and lulled him back to sleep. "Go to sleep
Mulder, I'm watching after you, just rest."  And he did what she
told him and slept.

He heard the soft voice of his partner calling him, maybe she was
in trouble. He pushed open his eyes and when he could focus he
could see her blue eyes looking down at him and he smiled. "Ummm,
did I die and go to heaven?" she laughed, "Mulder, you don't
believe in heaven, remember." He rolled his eyes," I never said I
didn't believe. I just don't think God can be defined through
ritualistic motions. God is like an umpire Scully. When you have
had three strikes he calls you out and if you are safe then he
gives you something to remember the moment." She smiled then
remember this Mulder." She bent down and kissed his lips gently.
He looked up at her with questioning eyes, "What was that for
Scully?" She smiled and rubbed his sweaty hair," For not leaving
me."  He nodded, " I would never leave you Scully,never."

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