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