Title: The King Of Pain
Summary: Mulder suffers the consequences during
Scully’s annual spring cleaning spree.
Rating: PG 13
Classification: MSR, MT
Disclaimer: Not for profit.
Archives: Two weeks exclusive to VS 11 then
anywhere, but please contact me first.
Spring was definitely in the air. The cherry trees
were blooming and the tourists were flocking to the
capital city in droves. During a noon walk on the
mall, Scully felt that familiar itch begin and there
was only one way to scratch it. No, it wasn’t an
allergy, although Mulder might think so. It was an
annual thing with only one cure—–spring cleaning.
Scully thought about hiring a cleaning crew and just
turning it over to them, but a clean house was
important to her and that feeling of accomplishment
when everything was finished and sparkling clean just
couldn’t be replaced. She chose the first weekend in
April as her target date.
Mulder hoped for a long, complicated out-of-town
case. Since he practically lived with Scully now, he
was expected to help with the annual ritual. Why
couldn’t she have an annual softball game, or a
hiking trip? Well, staying in her good graces was
essential to him these days. His lover could be very
generous in the bedroom when she was pleased with
him, and he felt the need to receive a bit of her
generosity. Now, what had she asked him to pick up
from the store?
He took the list from his shirt pocket and unfolded
it. He could tell it was going to be a hellish
weekend. The list started with ammonia and ended
somewhere near the bottom of the page with window
cleaner. Wait, the instructions said to turn the
list over. He promptly obeyed and smiled at the next
request—-wine, red and white! There might be a pot
of gold at the end of this rainbow after all.
Mulder was awakened at the crack of dawn Saturday
morning. Scully handed him a cup of coffee. When
his eyes finally focused he noticed that she was
dressed in an old pair of sweats and a t-shirt.
“Mulder, you are seriously underdressed for this
party,” she grinned, noting that a pair of boxers was
all he had on. Put on the clothes I laid out for
you. They’re on the foot of the bed.”
“Those? I thought they were rags.” He took a swig
of the strong coffee in hopes that it would jump
start him into consciousness.
“Don’t worry. I’m sure they will be rags by the time
we get finished. Hurry up and finish your coffee.
Daylight’s burning, agent.” She gave him a swat on
the butt and busied herself by gathering cleaning
If it hadn’t been for the swat on the butt, Mulder
might have opened an X-File right then and there. It
sounded like Scully was channeling Skinner. He
yawned loudly, scratched his hind end and shuffled
back to the bedroom to change into his work clothes.
After only an hour, Mulder knew that it was going to
be the longest day of his life. He had already taken
down all of the mini-blinds to soak in a bathtub full
of acrid smelling cleaning solution, swept the
ceiling for cobwebs, dusted the top of all of the
cabinets and his next assignment was to clean the
light fixtures. He could tell that he would have a
very sore neck by the end of the day. “Scully,
where’s the step ladder?”
“I’m using it right now.” She was humming a happy
tune as she washed the walls in the bathroom. “Just
grab one of the kitchen chairs.”
“Sheesh, how can anyone sound so thrilled to be
scrubbing walls?” he grumbled as he passed by one of
the exposed windows and noted the beautiful spring
day he was missing. “Might as well start in the
kitchen.” He sighed loudly as he made his way there.
At least, the view wasn’t as nice in there. It
wouldn’t remind him so much of what he was missing.
He positioned the chair under the ceiling fan and
hopped onto the seat. As he began to remove the
light bulbs, he noted that the paddles of the fan
could use a good dusting. That was actually the
first sign of dirt that he had seen all morning. He
reached for his trusty dust rag in the back pocket of
his jeans and began to clean the fan. Dust began to
filter down directly into his eyes. “Damn it!”
He tried to swipe the annoying particles away from
his sensitive eyes but it was too late to prevent the
dust from settling in his left eye. Both eyes
clamped shut and tears began to flow due to the
irritation. He needed to get to the sink and wash
Disoriented due to the stinging pain, he misjudged
the boundary of the chair. He took a step back and
met thin air. He managed to utter a few expletives
before he landed on the floor—-hard!
His tears continued to flow, effectively washing out
the dust. Even more tears flowed as he fought to
control the pain in his right shoulder and ankle.
Did he hit the counter on the way down? He wasn’t
sure, but one thing was certain, Fox Mulder was
through cleaning for the day.
Scully heard the chair scoot and the sound of
Mulder’s body hitting the floor. She hastily climbed
down from her perch on the ladder and was by his side
in a flash. “Mulder, don’t try to move!”
Move? Was she serious? He managed to get his right
eye open and just stared at her unable to do anything
other than let his involuntary muscles do their job.
Pain was in charge right now and it wanted his full
attention. Good thing, because that’s all he could
handle at the moment.
After a few seconds, Pain eased off enough to let him
move his mouth. He tried to say, “Scully,” but it
sounded like a gurgle and drool ran from the right
side of his mouth. Pain didn’t like relinquishing
any part of its hold on its newest victim. It
clamped down on Mulder again, allowing him a tiny
grunt before taking over completely.
Scully was on her knees beside him trying to judge
his level of consciousness. He squeezed his right
eye shut again as the tears continued to fall. He
felt his partner gently wipe them away as he fought
with Pain for control of his voice.
“Mulder, can you hear me?”
Pain was a formidable foe, but he kicked it aside
long enough to grunt an answer. “Mmph.”
Pain charged right back and almost kept him from
hearing Scully’s next question. “Are you injured or
did you just get the wind knocked out of you?”
Did she really expect an answer? Pain laughed. It
would win this round easily. To its surprise, Mulder
blurted out, “Hurt!” causing Pain to scramble for
complete control once again. Although still strong,
Pain had lost its overwhelming edge. With one last
try, Pain realized that his victim was stronger at
the moment. It decided to linger in the background
and wait for another chance to rule the day.
“Where are you hurt?”
“Right shoulder, ankle.”
“What about your neck or back?”
“Okay, let’s have a look.” Scully felt along his
collarbone and then his shoulder joint.
“Oh! Stop! Hurts!”
“I imagine it does, Mulder. Did you hit the counter
on your way down?”
“Not sure. Why?” He gritted his teeth as Pain tried
to surge in and take over again.
“Your shoulder is dislocated.”
“Just relax. We’ll get you to the ER and they’ll put
it back in place in no time.” She smiled. “It won’t
be that bad. I promise.”
Mulder looked at her warily. Something told him it
wouldn’t be that easy.
“Now, let’s check out your ankle. It’s probably just
a slight sprain. I assume it’s your right one?”
Pain saw an opportunity to show its dominance once
again as the woman began to unlace the victim’s
sneaker. Yes, it would definitely be large and in
charge again by the time his sock was off.
“Son of a bitch, Scully! You trying to tear my foot
“Sorry, there’s already a lot of bruising and
swelling. I’ve got to move your foot a little bit to
check out that ankle joint. It could be fairly
painful depending on how badly your ankle is
injured,” she warned.
“Go ahead,” he gasped. “Couldn’t hurt any worse than
it does now.”
Pain nearly went into convulsions of laughter. What
an idiot! Well, Fox Mulder was just about to find
out just how much more it could hurt. Although the
woman was being as gentle as she possibly could, Pain
couldn’t be happier. The slightest movement of the
injured joint caused the victim to cry out, and in
just a few seconds his discomfort would multiply
“When Scully rotated his ankle, Mulder felt a little
click in the joint. The ensuing pain overloaded his
senses. Scully was shocked when his eyes rolled back
into his head and he lost consciousness. Pain
Mulder came to a few seconds later, surprising Pain
who had stepped into the background again. “What
“You passed out on me! It was just for a few seconds
but you gave me a good scare. Don’t do that again!
How are you feeling now?”
“Not so good,” he sighed.
“I’m going to call 911. We need to get you to the
“No, you drive me.” Pain cheered him on. That would
be wonderful. Even getting him off the floor would
feed its need for quite some time.
“Mulder, your ankle is broken and there’s no way I
could support you. Your shoulder will make it
difficult to get in the car and I’m not 100% sure
that I could even help you to get off the floor.”
“What about your neighbor? You know, the trainer
with the Redskins? Couldn’t he help?”
“I’m sure he would if he was at home, but he’s on
“Damn!” Pain was sneaking back in form its hiding
place. Although it was disappointed that the woman
was going to call an ambulance, it could still get in
a few good licks until they got there. Mulder felt a
twitch in his nose signaling only one thing. He was
going to sneeze. He had to stop it! He raised his
left hand and placed it under his nose. Too late!
The sneeze caused his entire body to convulse, making
his injured shoulder jerk. The resulting pain almost
made him lose consciousness again.
Pain giggled. Yes, that would do nicely until the
paramedics came to move him.
Pain was absolutely delighted. Even though it was
resting in the background once again, it knew that it
could get in a few more good licks when they reached
the hospital. The paramedics had been very
cooperative at first. Just as the victim had started
to relax, they arrived and began their own
examination. Pain had put on a stellar performance
and the paramedics rewarded the victim with a hefty
dose of morphine. Pain just shrugged its shoulders
and grinned wickedly, realizing that it was only a
At the hospital, Mulder dozed through his transfer
from the stretcher to the gurney. Pain was a bit
disappointed but realized that the morphine was
beginning to lose its effect. It would be show time
The doctor arrived within a few minutes. The ER
wasn’t yet busy. They were expecting an onslaught of
sports injuries later in the afternoon, but for the
time being things were pretty quiet. The MD did a
quick exam, enough to make Mulder squirm, but he was
still rather heavily sedated from the morphine. The
patient was on his way to radiology before the drug
really started to fade away. Pain began to prepare
for its re-entry. X-rays could be such fun!
The technician was nice and tried to be gentle, but
Pain made the process a living hell. Each time one
of his injured joints had to be positioned for a
different view, Mulder cried out in agony. The only
thing that kept him going was the promise of seeing
Scully and getting more pain medication once he was
back in the examining room. The technician even
called ahead to let the ER know he was coming back.
The nurse was waiting when he returned and quickly
injected additional pain relief. Pain was even ready
for a little rest. The patient torture in x-ray had
been a real hoot, but it knew it would have to return
full force very soon. It knew that it would have to
put on quite a show when the doctor tried to put the
shoulder back in place. “Yeah, hang in there, Mr.
Mulder. We both need our rest,” Pain giggled. “The
best is yet to come.”
After half an hour, Mulder was awakened from his
comfortable slumber when the orthopedic surgeon on
call came in to look at the x-rays and give Mulder
and Scully the low down. Thankfully, the ankle
fracture wasn’t serious but the doctor expressed
concern because Mulder would not be able to use
crutches. “You really need to stay off of that ankle
for about two weeks. We’ll put you in a cast before
you leave, but it will not be a walking cast. You’ll
need to secure a wheelchair.”
Mulder groaned his disappointment and Scully gave his
left hand a squeeze to show that she sympathized.
Pain was a bit disappointed. It had planned to
linger while Mulder was on crutches. Oh well. The
most intense pain was still waiting in the wings.
“Now, as you so painfully know, your shoulder is
dislocated. I’m going to add a little more medicine
to your IV so that you’ll be really relaxed. I’m
going to find one of my residents to assist me while
you’re getting relaxed and we should have that
shoulder back in place in no time. When we’re
finished we’ll have to completely immobilize your
shoulder for a couple of weeks to give those
ligaments a chance to heal. Do you have any
“Why can’t you just knock me out?” Mulder asked.
“It’s going to hurt no matter how relaxed I am.”
“True, but I’m trying to prevent an overnight stay.
If we give you a general anesthetic we’ll have to
take you to surgery, intubate you, and keep an eye on
you for a while. I’m just trying to do what will be
easiest for you and your wallet.”
“We appreciate your concern,” Scully put in. “How
long before you can get started?”
“I’ll write the order for the meds right now and
round up some help. We should get started in less
that 30 minutes.”
Pain was delighted. Getting that shoulder back into
place was really going to be entertaining. It
couldn’t resist digging in just a bit.
“Ow!” Mulder exclaimed.
“Are you okay? Should I get the doctor back in
here?” Scully jumped up and was at his side
“No, just had a really sharp pain in my shoulder.
It’s better now.”
“Probably a muscle spasm. The meds you’re going to
get should relax you enough so that you won’t have
“Meds indeed!” Pain chortled. There wasn’t a
medicine on earth short of general anesthesia that
would mask the pain Mulder would feel when they tried
to put his shoulder back into place. “Oh, this is
what I’ve been waiting for these past few hours.
Bring it on, doctor! I’m more than ready to defeat
The additional medication sent Mulder off to
dreamland. He laid on the gurney with a contented
smile on his face. He didn’t even notice when the
two doctors entered the exam room and put a rolled up
sheet under him.
Scully had seen the procedure done several times
during her training, but had never taken part in one
because the doctors usually wanted someone pretty
strong to keep the patient in place. She moved to a
corner of the room to give the doctors plenty of room
to maneuver. She wanted to stay by Mulder’s side but
knew that she would only be in the way. She hoped
that the medication would be strong enough to keep
him fairly comfortable. She knew that the procedure
was going to be painful no matter how much medication
he had on board.
The resident pulled on the sheet as his supervisor
began to manipulate the joint. Mulder’s eyes shot
open immediately and he almost bit through his lip as
he tried to keep from screaming. Whatever the doctor
was doing was killing him! He kept waiting for the
joint to go back into place signaling the end of his
torture, but it didn’t happen.
The doctors stopped to take a break and let Mulder
catch his breath. Scully urged her partner to slow
his breathing down.
Pain was ecstatic! If they gave awards for this sort
of thing, it would have a mantle full from this
injury alone. Even so, it felt the need to push on
and do an even better job the next time the doctors
tried to manipulate the joint. That poor man was
such fun to torture. He tried so hard not to give
into to the excruciating pain. Even though Mulder
had gained the respect of his torturer, Pain decided
it would not be satisfied until he was a quivering,
defeated human, begging for mercy.
The doctors were ready to try again. “We’re going to
give it another go, Mr. Mulder. Try to relax as much
as you possibly can. Ready?”
No! He’d never be ready, but he still managed to
grunt out an, “Okay.”
Pain gave the performance of a lifetime. Mulder was
perspiring with the effort of trying to cope with the
agony in his shoulder. Finally, he decided he’d
reached his limit. “Stop! No more! Put me to
sleep! I don’t care if I have to stay overnight!
I’ll pay anything!”
Pain took a bow for the best performance yet. By the
time the doctors tried a third time, he’d have Mulder
right where he wanted him. He was so close! If they
thought he’d been begging for relief before, that was
nothing! The best was yet to come.”
Pain stopped patting itself on the back to listen in
on the doctor’s conversation with the patient. “All
right, Mr. Mulder. I agree. You’re in too much pain
to even consider going on. I’ll arrange for an OR
and an anesthesiologist and we’ll get this taken care
“I’m sorry. I tried.” Mulder was close to tears.
Somehow he felt like he’d let everyone down,
especially Scully. He was such a wimp.
“You did just fine, Mr. Mulder. Your muscles are in
spasm and we just can’t work around that. It’s not
your fault. Just hang in there for a few more
minutes and we’ll get you upstairs and make you
Scully found herself back at Mulder’s side, grateful
that she wouldn’t have to see him suffer through
Pain was stunned. Doctors always tried three times
before giving up and going to surgery. It felt
cheated. One more try would have satisfied its need
for complete dominance. Pain looked back on
everything that had happened and decided that his
performance had been outstanding. Perfect! It
couldn’t have been any better! Then, Pain realized
that it had been too good!
Pain was so busy congratulating itself that it didn’t
notice that Mulder was moving to the OR, room 8. It
barely had time to get in one last lick when the
patient was transferred from the gurney to the table.
As the anesthesia began to enter Mulder’s body, Pain
bade him farewell. It had been a good, satisfying
couple of hours, but it needed a new victim. It was
sure that Mulder would be in its clutches once again
in the not too distant future, but it needed
something to do until then. This was a hospital
after all. A visit to post-op should begin to
satisfy its needs.
Several hours later, Mulder was lying in his hospital
bed glad that the worst was behind him. Damn! He
couldn’t remember ever being in that much pain
before! It was pretty scary when he looked back on
it. He didn’t like losing control like that, but he
would have done just about anything to rid himself of
the all-consuming agony that had set up in his right
shoulder. If it hadn’t been for Scully helping him
work through it . . .where was she anyway?
Mulder couldn’t move very well due to the shoulder
immobilizer, but he did the best he could to look
around the room. Scully chose that moment to return.
He visibly relaxed.
She made her way over to his bed and leaned over the
railing. “I’ve been making arrangements for a
wheelchair rental and talking to Mom. Since the
apartment’s pretty much a mess right now we’re going
to spend a few days at her house.”
Mulder perked up. If he was going to be forced into
a period of recuperation from these stupid injuries,
the thought of Scully’s mom and her mouth-watering
meals made it a lot easier to take.
“I’ve also decided to hire a cleaning service to
finish up the apartment. I decided I’d rather spend
every minute with you instead of worrying about that
“Thanks, Scully. I know how important cleanliness
and order is to you.” He thought to himself that it
was quite a big step that she had taken.
“You’re more important than that apartment any day.
By the way, I booked the cleaning crew for your
apartment too. I hope you don’t mind.”
Mulder groaned silently and considered telling her to
cancel. He wouldn’t be able to find a thing once
they finished. Suddenly he realized that he felt the
same as Scully. She was much more important than his
apartment. “Thanks, that’ll give us lots more time
together since I won’t have to worry about clearing a
path through the clutter every time you come over.
If I like their work I may get them to come
Scully was surprised, but thrilled that he hadn’t put
up a fuss. “How are you feeling?” she asked warily,
afraid that he was too high on pain meds to realize
what he was saying.
“I’m okay. I’m a little tired but the pain is much
better. I haven’t had to use the pump since I woke
Scully breathed a sigh of relief. Things were
looking up. This recuperation period should go
rather smoothly since her partner seemed so
cooperative right from the start.
Mulder held his left hand out to her. She took it
gently so she wouldn’t disturb the IV, then settled
into the chair by his bed. She was glad that her
part in her spring cleaning was over and was looking
forward to the next few days at her mom’s where she
could give Mulder the TLC he deserved.
Mulder felt a slight twinge in his shoulder but it
faded fast. He was thankful that his pain was so
much better. He wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
In another part of the hospital, Pain had found the
perfect place to camp out. Labor and delivery was
the greatest find! It could make lots of women
miserable for a few hours and then move to another
area if things got slow. It thought of giving its
old friend Mulder a visit but a new patient came in,
already in considerable pain and screaming her head
off. Ooh, she was going to be a great victim. She
seemed to have a very low tolerance for pain and she
still had several hours to go before she could have
“Thanks, Mr. Mulder. We had a great time but I think
I’ll leave you alone for a while. I’ll be back if
you ever decide to help your girlfriend with her
spring cleaning again,” Pain cackled as it approached
its newest victim.