The King of Pain

Title: The King Of Pain

Author: Waddles52

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

materials.

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

his eyes.

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?”

“No.”

“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.”

“Damn!”

“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?”

“Uh-huh.”

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

off?”

“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

exponentially.

“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

laughed loudly.

Mulder came to a few seconds later, surprising Pain

who had stepped into the background again. “What

happened?”

“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

hospital.”

“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

vacation.”

“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

temporary setback.

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

soon enough.

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

questions?”

“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

immediately.

“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

any more.”

“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

your medication.”

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

of.”

“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

comfortable.”

“Thanks.”

Scully found herself back at Mulder’s side, grateful

that she wouldn’t have to see him suffer through

another attempt.

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

apartment.”

“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

regularly.”

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

up.”

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

an epidural.

“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.

End

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