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It itches

TITLE: IT ITCHES!



DISCLAIMER: NOT MINE, BECAUSE IF THEY WERE THINGS WOULD BE A

WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT.THEY DO HOWEVER BELONG TO CHRIS CARTER AND

1013 PRODUCTIONS AND ESPECIALLY THE PEOPLE WHO MADE ME WANT TO

WATCH FOR SEVEN YEARS, DAVID AND GILLIAN.



ARCHIVE: SURE, JUST LET ME KNOW WHERE SO I CAN COME AND VISIT.



SPOILERS: THROUGH SEASON SEVEN, EXCEPT REQUIEM

RATING: PG



SUMMARY: MULDER HAS AN ITCH AND A FEVER.



CANTON CRIME SCENE/KNOXVILLE, TENN



They had been called in this case due to Mulder's profiling

skills. It was a serial murder case and Mulder, as usual, chose

to not eat or sleep. Mulder's profile had led to the killer's

capture and Scully stood by their rental car awaiting Mulder to

finish with the report. She glanced over to her very tall,

slender partner. His slumped shoulders told a story. He had

complained earlier of having a headache and had asked for

Tylenol. Two weeks of chasing this monster down would have made

anyone sick, she thought to herself.



As he approached the car he almost stumbled. He was exhausted and

she knew that he needed to sleep. " Mulder, are you okay?" she

asked taking hold of his arm to steady him. He nodded and

continued towards the passenger side of the rental. She opened

the door and he crawled inside and buckled his belt. Scully

walked around and got into the driver's seat and pulled the seat

forward and readjusted the mirrors. His silence was unusual,

because he never missed an opportunity to tease her about her

'short little legs'. She started the car and headed for the hotel

a few miles away.



"Scully do you have anything else for a headache?" he asked with

his eyes closed and his head leaning against the headrest. She

glanced over and saw that he was not going to offer her any other

symptoms. " Mulder, you just took the Tylenol a couple of hours

ago. Maybe we should stop at the emergency room. He shook his

head, " Scully, it's just a headache," his voice more a whisper

than his normal tone. She looked back towards the road; they were

only a few miles up the road from the local hospital. "I'm just

tired." She nodded and proceeded to open up her purse with her

right hand," "Here Mulder." She handed him another Tylenol and a

bottle of water. " Take another Tylenol and see if that won't

help." He took the offered med and tossed it in his mouth and

swallowed it with the water.



When they reached the motel Scully assisted her partner to his

adjoining room and pushed back the covers on the bed. " I can

undress myself Scully." He smiled and waggled his eyebrows, a

little bit of the old Mulder shining through his pain. She placed

a hand against his warm skin," Mulder, you have a fever. Are you

sick at your stomach." He had been feeling nauseated for the past

couple of days. "I'm fine, really. Just tired." He lied. She

reluctantly gave up the fight to find out anything else and if he

was still running fever in the morning she would take him to the

hospital, even if she had to handcuff him and carry him there

herself. She took the Tylenol out of her purse and sat them at

his bedside, " You can take three more of the regular strength

Tylenol in a couple of hours, do not exceed the dosage Mulder."

He nodded and she closed the door and he slid off his pants. The

rash that had started at his ankles was starting to travel up his

leg and boy did it itch. He probably had stepped into some poison

ivy. He scratched at the leg and finally fell back on the bed. He

slid under the covers and fell asleep.



Scully was awakened by the familiar sounds of someone dry

heaving. She got out of bed and pulled her robe around her and

slid her night shoes onto her feet. She went through Mulder's

open door to find him sitting in the bathroom almost hugging the

toilet bowl." What's wrong Mulder?" she asked as she wet a wash

cloth and placed it on his head. He shook his head slowly, so as

to not make himself pass out," Think I have the flu. I don't feel

good." She reached for his hand and assisted him back into his

room and onto the bed. She started to help him dress, pulling on

his dark blue sweat pants, pulling a tee shirt over his head and

slipping his sneakers on his feet. She noticed the rash on his

ankles and legs." Mulder, how long have you had this rash?" she

asked as she slid his right shoe on his foot. He shrugged and

looked down at the red flat rash on both legs, "Don't know. It

itches though." She pushed him down on the bed and placed a trash

can beside of the bed." I'll be back in a few minutes."





Within a few minutes she returned with car keys in hand. "Mulder

do you think you can stand?"  She asked as she tugged at his arm.

He nodded and stood unsteadily," I think I'm going to get sick."

He mumbled then started dry heaving again. Scully picked up the

trash can and held it under his chin. After the bout of nausea

she helped him out to the car. He lay down in the back seat with

a plastic bag that she had retrieved from the closet.



When she pulled up at the hospital emergency room her partner had

fallen asleep. She walked in and retrieved a wheelchair and a

nurse and an orderly. "Mr. Mulder, wake up we need to get you in

the emergency room." His eyes opened but he felt dazed. He could

not react to the words that were being directed at him. Scully

walked around the car to the other door and opened it and slid

inside beside Mulder. " Hey Mulder, we need to get you inside. Do

you think you can help us?" she asked as she stroked his sweaty

forehead. He finally nodded and tried to sit up but then the dry

heaves started again and the orderly almost lifted him out onto

the wheelchair. " Mr. Mulder, my name is Linda. I need to check

your vital signs before I take you to the back." Linda pulled out

the blood pressure cuff and took his pressure noting that it was

a little high. He was breathing a little bit faster due to the

fever and the vomiting but his chest was clear. She then slid the

thermometer into his mouth and timed four minutes then took it

out and read the mercury, it was one hundred three point eight."

Okay, I am going to take you back into the back now and let you

lie down. Scully started to follow but the nurse stopped. " Do

you mind getting him registered with the front desk first? It

will take me a few minutes to get him ready for the doctor."

Scully nodded and reached over to let Mulder know where she was

going." I'll be with you in a few minutes Mulder. I need to get

your paper work done." He nodded and closed his eyes as Linda

rolled him to the back.



They reached the small cubicle and the nurse helped Mulder shed

his shoes and shirt and when she went for his sweat pants he held

up his hand," I won't be staying that long." She smiled and let

him keep the pants. He rolled over to his side and got into a

fetal position and watched the nurse exit the room. Another nurse

entered shortly with a wristband with all the information that

Scully had given. He wondered what was keeping his partner but

the fever was making him really tired. His head was killing him

and he felt like he might need to find a bathroom really soon.



Within minutes he was out like a light. Scully walked in to find

her partner sound asleep. But even in his sleep he was scratching

the rash on his ankles and legs. She topped the hand from tearing

up his skin and held it tight. He was restless and he was tossing

and kicking at the sheet. Finally she had to halt his movements

by calling out to him," Mulder, you are going to fall off the

gurney if you don't lie still." His eyes opened and he felt

confused. After a few seconds he recognized his partner, "Scully,

where have you been?" She smiled and looked down at her boyish

partner, "Filling out your paper work Mulder. The part where it

asks if you have ever been hospitalized and reasons for

hospitalizations was like writing a book." He grinned, " What

would I do without you Scully?" his voice low and husky. They

were interrupted from their conversation by the entrance of the

physician, " Are you Mr. Mulder?" he nodded without a verbal

reply. " My name is Dr. Georgia Rollins, I'm going to take a look

at you and see what we can do to make you feel better." Mulder

opened his eyes and looked up at the physician," I need to go the

bathroom first. He started to sit up but the doctor put a hand on

his chest and pushed him back down," Sir, we will get you a

bedpan. You are too unsteady to try to go to the bathroom."

Mulder shook his head," Hate bedpans. I need to go now." He again

started to get up and try to go again but was met with the

physician's hand. She reached over on the shelf and brought back

a bedpan," Either do it in the pan or we'll be cleaning up a

mess, because you are not walking anywhere." Her voice was

authoritative and her bedside manner was direct. He finally

nodded and glanced over at his very quiet partner, "Privacy

partner." she nodded in understanding and left the cubicle. The

doctor helped her stubborn patient onto the bedpan and opened his

chart and started reading. " Looks like you get into a lot of

trouble. You must keep your partner very busy." Mulder turned

facing the doctor," I'm a challenge." The doctor nodded and

pulled out her stethoscope. " What type of symptoms having you

been having besides headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and

diarrhea?" She asked as she waited for him to finish. " I have

the flu and I have poison ivy. I will be fine if I could just

sleep for a while." He moved around under the sheet trying to

find a comfortable spot on the plastic toilet. She figured out

quickly that she had a stubborn one and that she was going to

have to be strict and to the point. " Let me diagnose. Now what

other symptoms have you been experiencing?" she was writing down

the symptoms when she heard him groan out loud." I have a rash on

my ankles and legs." She walked over and pulled the sheet up from

around his ankles. She noted that the rash was spreading up his

legs. " Is the rash anywhere else?" He nodded and showed her his

wrists. The rash was pink and raised. " It itches a lot" he

complained and tucked his arms back under the sheet. " Mr. Mulder

have you been bitten by a tick lately?" he thought for a moment,"

Not that I remember." His head was starting to pound and he just

wanted something to take for it and go back to the motel. His

irritability was not lost on Dr. Rollins. She reached over and

started feeling around in his head with a gloved hand. Then she

felt something on the crown of his head. " I think I found

something."



The nurse came in and took the bedpan and discarded of its

contents. Dr. Rollins took some tweezers and removed the tick and

sent it to lab. " Mr. Mulder, I am going to order some blood

work then I will be right back. Scully reentered the cubicle and

looked down at her partner. " Hey. How are you feeling?" he

looked up with squinted eyes," Like hell, my head is killing me

and they are pulling critters off my head." She looked puzzled,

"What critter Mulder?" he pointed towards the tweezers which sat

on the bedside table," A tick." She shook her head, " What does

the doctor think is wrong Mulder." She already knew the answer.

He shrugged and nuzzled down into the pillow," She didn't say but

she said that she wanted to get some blood. Don't they always."

He was feeling grumpy and the urge to vomit was there again and

his head hurt." Do you think they can give me something for this

headache or do I need to get it myself." His voice was hoarse

from the vomiting. Scully patted his arm, "I'll see what I can do

for you Mulder." She left the room to go and talk with Dr.

Rollins.



Dr Rollins and Scully reentered the cubicle together with a

nurse. " I have been informed that you like to be called Mulder.

So Mulder I need to discuss your plan of treatment." He looked

over at his partner, who gave him the 'watch your attitude' look.

He then noticed that the nurse was pulling out the IV

paraphernalia and was setting up a bag of fluid. " I hope that is

for someone else because I am going home." He started setting up

and Scully reached over and stopped his movements. "No you are

not Mulder. Lie down." He looked like a sad little puppy but that

did not work with her, she had faced down vampires and alien

bounty hunters, puppy dog look didn't phase her a bit. Dr Rollins

continued when he lay back down," I believe you may have Rocky

Mountain Spotted Fever. It is indicative of this area. It is

predominant here in the southeastern states, you probably picked

the tick up a few days ago but it already has you pretty sick. I

am going to start you on some intravenous fluids to help your

hydration status and start you on an IV antibiotic, Doxycycline.

The blood work should all be back in a couple of days. I also

want to perform a spinal tap to help diagnose the Rocky Mountain

Spotted Fever. Mulder was sitting up again and shaking his head,

his color had turned green and then he started throwing up. " Not

going to have a spinal tap." He croaked out between the dry

heaves. The nurse and Scully was holding onto his shaking form.

Dr Rollins pulled out a vial and drew up some clear fluid," I'm

going to give you something for the nausea Mulder and then we can

get you to a room after we get your tests done. He fell back into

the bed and shook his head, " I would rather vomit than go

through another spinal tap." He kept his tired eyes on the

syringe she held in her hands. She motioned for the nurse to

start the IV and she proceeded to wrap the tourniquet around his

arm. Dr Rollins raised his gown and prepped the area with an

alcohol swab and jabbed the needle into his hip. He grimaced and

tried to roll away but was held firm by Scully and the nurse." My

head really hurts," he moaned seconds later. His skin was very

warm and he was flushed. The nurse finished the Iv while Scully

and Dr. Rollins talked in the corner of the room. He was feeling

very sleepy from the medicine but at least the nausea was better.

He rolled towards the IV ,careful not to pull the tender skin.

The nurse appeared again a few minutes later with another bag,"

What is that?" he asked as he pointed towards the new bag. " Your

antibiotic. You will start to feel better soon." She started to

hang it but was interrupted by Dr. Rollins,"Let's hold that just

for a few more minutes. Give Mulder Valium five milligrams and

Demerol fifty milligrams IV. Also set up for a tap." He looked

around and saw Scully staring at him with those big blue eyes, "

No, Scully!" he shook his head," No more needles, especially in

my back." She took his hand and caressed it gently and stroked

his forehead with her other hand. " Mulder, do you trust me?" he

looked up with sad eyes, "Only you Scully." His voice was just

above a whisper. " Then trust me now. You need the test. Dr.

Rollins is going to give you something to help you rest and then

we will get it over with and get you to a room." He shook his

head again. " Take me home Scully. I'll be fine." His eyes were

drifting closed and Scully motioned for the nurse to put the meds

into his IV line. She continued to soothe his head until he was

asleep. " Everthing will be fine Mulder. Go to sleep now." She

whispered. They started positioning him and prepping his back for

the procedure.





When he awakened again he was in a room and the television was

playing softly and Scully was asleep on a cot beside his bed. He

felt somewhat better. He felt that his fever was doing better and

that the nausea was not as bad as before. He was flat on his back

and he felt the familiar IV fluid pumping into his veins. He let

out a big yawn and turned over and faced his partner, his back

was sore and he was careful not to move too quickly. His partner

must have heard him stir and her eyes were now open and they lay

there staring at each other. "Hey, how do you feel?" she asked,

raising herself off the cot and walking over to Mulder's bed. "

Like someone put a needle in my back." She smiled a small Scully

smile; " You have rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Mulder. You've

been pretty sick the last forty-eight hours. He made a frown,

"I've been out for that long?" she nodded and caressed his face;

"You are doing better. How does the rash feel." He looked down at

his wrists and looked back up," It itches. But I do feel better.

Now when can I leave?"



(THE ABOVE SYMPTOMOLOGY IS CORRECT FOR ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED

FEVER. A FEW YEARS AGO I HAD A PATIENT WHO DIED FROM

COMPLICATIONS OF NOT GETTING DIAGNOSED SOON ENOUGH: IF YOU FIND A

TICK, DO NOT REMOVE IT WITH YOUR FINGERS, USE TWEEZERS AND DO NOT

JUST PARTIALLY REMOVE, GET IT ALL OUT. KEEP THE TICK IN A JAR FOR

TESTS IF SYMPTOMS DEVELOP.RECORD THE DATE YOU FOUND THE TICK. THE

SYMPTOMS USUALLY OCCUR WITHIN 3-12 DAYS AFTER TICK EXPOSURE. THE

SYMPTOMS TO LOOK FOR ARE FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS: NAUSEA, VOMITING,

DIARRHEA, HEADACHE, RASH (WHICH USUALLY STARTS AT THE ANKLES OR

WRISTS AND WORKS UPWARD.) IT CAN BE FATAL IF NOT TREATED WITH

ANTIBIOTICS!

(FEEDBACK: IT MAKES ME WRITE A WHOLE LOT FASTER!)


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