Title: How To Avoid a Boring Seminar Without Even
Author: Waddles 52
Summary: Mulder has to deal with a migraine and a
Category: MT, Mulder/Scully friendship
Disclaimer: Just for fun. Not for profit. No
copyright infringement intended.
Archives: Ask me and I'll probably say yes.
Feedback: I'd love to hear from you at
Thanks: To my wonderful beta, Lisa. She's always
there for me with plenty of great suggestions and
encouragement. Additional thanks in author's notes
at the end.
Mulder closed the last file on his desk with a
flourish as Scully hung up the phone. He looked at
"That was Skinner's office . . .again! Just a
reminder that we are expected in the third floor
conference room at 8 AM sharp."
"I will be sooo glad when this seminar is over.
Skinner turns into a real bear when he's in charge of
"I'll say," Scully agreed as the fax machine stirred
"Don't tell me," Mulder sighed.
Scully peeked around him and laughed. "It's the
latest revised agenda."
"How many does that make for today? Three or four?"
"You're slipping, Mulder. This is number five."
"Ah, must have missed one when I went to the
"Come on. Let's get out of here before number six
materializes," Scully suggested.
"Good idea," he agreed, grabbing his suit jacket from
the back of his chair.
"Is your presentation ready to go?" she inquired as
she threw the last file into her briefcase.
"Pretty much. The slides are in order and loaded. I
just need to check out a few references on the
"Very good. I'm sure you'll make Skinner proud. We
could use the brownie points."
"We? Scully, you're the one bright spot in this
division. You don't need brownie points from
Mulder held the door for her as she exited their
office, then turned to lock the door. "Where did you
park this morning?"
"The usual," Scully replied, as they reached the
elevator. She pushed the up button.
"I'm down at the end of the row. I couldn't get my
regular slot when I got back from the cleaners."
The elevator opened and the ride to the parking
garage was spent in comfortable silence.
When they reached Scully's car, she turned to Mulder
and said, "Try to get some sleep tonight, okay?
Remember, we have to be here bright and early."
"Yes ma'am. Seven in the AM," he grinned.
"Good. I'll see you then." She unlocked the door
and got in. After closing the door, she buckled up
and turned the key in the ignition. Instead of the
familiar sound of the engine turning over, she was
greeted with silence.
Mulder was still beside her car, waiting until she
was on her way before continuing the trek to his
vehicle. "Scully?" he questioned as she rolled down
"I think the battery is dead. I'll have to call the
auto club for a jump."
Mulder consulted his watch. "It's late. Why don't
you let me take you home and give you a ride in
tomorrow morning? By the time the tow truck gets
here it will be too late to get another battery
anyway, and the old one probably won't hold a charge
"I don't want to put you out, Mulder. It's really
out of your way."
"I don't mind, Scully. You know that."
"I have a better idea. You picked up some suits and
shirts from the cleaners during lunch didn't you?"
"And your overnight bag is in your car. Correct?"
"Why don't you come home with me and we can go in
together in the morning. I have some frozen lasagna
that I can put in the microwave, and you can use my
computer for your research. I'll even fix
breakfast," she offered brightly.
"Would that happen to be homemade lasagna?" Mulder
""Yes, it would. I even have garlic bread to go with
"Well, when you put it that way, I would be delighted
to attend your slumber party," he agreed, opening her
"Slumber is the operative word, Mulder. I'd like to
see you get to bed at a reasonable hour and get a
good night's sleep," she said as they walked toward
"You'll get no arguments from me. Dinner, no more
than an hour on the Internet, then to bed and
hopefully some serious Zs. Skinner has been riding
us like crazy these past few days, and to tell the
truth, I'm dog tired."
Mulder unlocked the door for her, and closed it when
she was safely inside. After he got himself situated
behind the wheel, he turned the key in the ignition
and listened to the engine roar to life.
"Home, James," Scully directed with a smile.
Dinner was wonderful, and Mulder found exactly what
he needed on the Internet in no time. Now, he was
laying on Scully's spare bed, watching her crappy,
older TV. Despite the lousy TV reception, life was
There was a light rap on his door and Scully stuck
her head in. "Mulder, I'm going to bed now. I put
extra towels in the bathroom for your shower in the
morning, and breakfast will be on the table at 6 AM
on the dot."
"Thanks, Scully. I'll be there."
"Don't stay up late, okay? You really look tired."
"I am tired, Scully. I'll be turning in soon," he
"All right. Good night, then."
"Sleep tight," Mulder added.
Scully smiled broadly and shut the door.
"Yes, indeed," he thought. "Life is good."
He rubbed his eyes, trying to clear away the squiggly
lines he'd been seeing all evening, with no success.
Deciding that he was more tired than he thought, he
hit the power button on the remote and crawled under
the covers. Turning off the bedside lamp, Mulder
settled in and was asleep almost immediately.
Mulder's travel alarm screamed in his ear, tempting
him to throw it across the room. He slowly reached
over to turn it off and opened one eye in the
process. He quickly shut it.
"Damn! What a day for a headache," he groaned as he
sat up. "Not a good idea," he decided as his stomach
flipped, threatening an exit.
After a few deep breaths, the FBI agent felt well
enough to stand. "Shit!" That was the only word
that came to mind when his headache ratcheted up a
notch. "This is not good."
Despite the ever-increasing pain in his head, he was
able to gather up his clothes and head for the
bathroom. Once there, he was forced to drop
everything and hang over the toilet as his stomach
After the heaving stopped, Mulder flushed and flipped
the toilet seat down. He sat there for a few minutes
until the trembling stopped, then scrambled to pick
up his clothes and hang them up before the wrinkles
He hoped that a hot shower would ease the pain of the
worst headache he could ever remember. Mulder
climbed in, adjusting the water temperature to as hot
as he could stand it. He leaned over, putting both
hands palms up against the wall as the water sprayed
forcefully against his neck and shoulders. Although
it felt great, the headache was a stubborn one.
He stepped out of the shower and dried himself off,
but it was no use. It felt like someone had taken a
drill and was trying to carve a tunnel straight
through his head, starting in his right temple.
The agent stood in front of the mirror and was
shocked at his reflection. He was extremely pale,
and had shadows beneath his eyes. "Damn, I look as
bad as I feel."
He searched through his shave kit for the items he
would need. First, he wanted to brush his teeth.
After squeezing some toothpaste onto his toothbrush,
he began the familiar task only to find his self
positioned over the toilet again, heaving for all he
After recovering from his second bout of vomiting, he
decided to search Scully's medicine cabinet for any
medication that he could use. "Jackpot!" he
exclaimed under his breath.
There, sitting next to the rubbing alcohol was a
bottle of Pepto Bismol and some Tylenol. With
shaking hands he removed the dosage cup from the top
of the Pepto Bismol and opened the bottle. After
pouring the correct amount into the cup, he choked it
down, then struggled to keep it in his stomach.
After a few deep breaths, he was ready for the
Tylenol. He took three, cleaned the dosage cup and
returned both Pepto Bismol and Tylenol to the
The Pepto began to help his stomach, and the
trembling in his hands eased off. He decided he was
steady enough to shave.
He was just tucking his shirt in when Scully knocked
on the door. "Breakfast in five minutes, Mulder."
"I'll be there in a minute," he told her as he
gathered up his shave kit and dirty clothes.
At 6 AM sharp, Mulder strolled into Scully's kitchen
feeling somewhat better. Though far from perfect, at
least his stomach had calmed down a bit. His head
was another story.
"Mulder, didn't you sleep well?" Scully asked as she
put a plate filled with scrambled eggs and bacon on
"I slept all night. Why?"
"Forgive me, but you look like hell."
"And good morning to you too, Scully."
"I'm sorry, Mulder. Are you feeling all right?" She
motioned for Mulder to sit and placed a steaming mug
of coffee in front of him.
"I'm feeling as well as I possibly could with that
seminar hanging over our heads."
The oven timer dinged and Scully pulled out a pan of
biscuits. "I know what you mean. I hate being
cooped up in that conference room all day, listening
to all of those ridiculous presentations."
After putting a plate of biscuits in front of Mulder,
she put her plate and coffee on the table and settled
down across from him.
"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Scully."
"Oh! I'm sorry. I wasn't referring to your
presentation. You're always informative and very
entertaining. I was thinking of Winslow. You know
how boring he is."
Mulder nodded in agreement, then wished he had kept
his head still. "Bad move," he thought, as he tried
to keep his discomfort from showing.
"The last revised agenda had him speaking first.
Maybe things will move along faster after that."
Mulder took a sip of his coffee. "When do I give my
"You were scheduled last on every revision, Mulder.
Skinner's not about to give you a chance to skip out
Mulder had been hoping that maybe he would be able to
do just that. The Tylenol wasn't helping his
headache at all. "Just put it out of your mind," he
told himself. "You were able to travel to Antarctica
after being shot in the head. You've worked with
broken bones, concussions and even pneumonia. A
little headache shouldn't get you down."
The problem was that this headache wasn't so little.
"Mulder, quit daydreaming and eat. I want to leave
by 6:30." Scully got up and scraped her plate out
and put everything in the dishwasher. "When you're
finished, put your things in the dishwasher. I'm
going to finish getting ready."
"Sure, Scully. I'll meet you in the living room."
Phew! At least he didn't have to eat anything. His
stomach was still feeling a little uneasy despite the
Pepto Bismol. This was one day when he would be glad
to put in his eight hours and leave. He gathered up
his untouched breakfast and headed for the sink.
The seminar was everything that it promised to be.
Boring! Pastries, coffee and juice were available at
their first break. Mulder grabbed a bottle of apple
juice and headed for the basement office. He knew
that Scully kept some painkillers in the small first-
aid kit in his desk. If he could just find something
to take the edge off of this headache, then perhaps
he could make it past lunch.
He barely made it back in time for the second
session, earning a piercing look from Skinner as he
took his seat. Mulder settled in and tried to look
interested as he attempted to discreetly massage his
aching right temple.
Scully carefully slid a note his way. "Headache?"
she asked in her unmistakable scrawl.
Mulder gave her a slight nod of affirmation, sliding
the note back her way.
"Go to the office and rest during lunch. I'll make
sure you get back in time," the next note said.
"Bless you! I'll dance at your wedding," he
scribbled in reply.
She smiled at him and turned her attention back to
Mulder was beginning to think that time was standing
still. It seemed that noon would never arrive. The
Tylenol that he had taken earlier had done absolutely
nothing to ease the pain. Although he didn't think
it possible, his headache had gotten worse.
When they were finally released for lunch, Scully
followed him down to their office. Mulder collapsed
in his chair while his partner observed him with
"When did this start?" she inquired.
"I woke up with it," he answered, rubbing his right
She felt his forehead and was relieved that he didn't
have a fever. "Any nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to
"All of the above."
"On a scale of one to ten, rate your pain."
"About a 15."
"That pretty much describes it," Mulder agreed,
clearing a space on his desk and laying his head on
"When was the last time you took anything for it?"
"At the break. I took three Tylenol."
"Did they help?"
"Not a bit," he sighed.
Scully pulled out the desk drawer and rummaged around
in the first-aid kit. She found a sample pack of
Motrin and tore it open. "Here. Hang on to those
while I get you some water."
After she returned with the water, Mulder took the
tablets and laid his head back on the desk. "What's
the verdict, Doc?"
"I think you may have a migraine. Have you had any
trouble with them in the past?"
"Nope. Only the occasional tension headache."
"You need to be home in bed."
"Skinner would love that. As soon as I get through
with my presentation, we're out of here."
"Maybe I can ask Skinner to move it up," Scully
"No! Don't do that!" Mulder exclaimed, then
instantly regretted it as his voice echoed through
his head, causing the pain to increase. "My head
hurts badly enough without having to listen to him
yell at me for messing up the order of his seminar."
"All right, I won't talk to him. Do you feel like
"No! No food!" he stated emphatically.
"Okay. Rest, then. I'll be here ten minutes before
we're due back."
She lightly rubbed his shoulder in empathy and
Mulder leaned into her warm touch. "Feel better," she
whispered, turning off the light and closing the door
Mulder managed to doze off despite the pain. Too
soon, Scully was shaking his shoulder to wake him.
"Feeling any better?"
"Unfortunately, no," he moaned, rubbing his eyes.
"Are you sure you don't want me to speak to Skinner?
"No. I can handle this, Scully. Give me a minute to
splash some water on my face, and I'll meet you at
He staggered a bit as he struggled to stand, every
muscle in his face reflecting the intense pain in his
Scully worriedly watched as he made his way down the
hall, grabbing on to any object along the way just to
keep his balance. "Mulder, you'll never last until
your presentation," she said under her breath, hoping
he would prove her wrong.
They took their seats at the conference table seconds
before Skinner closed the door. Despite the AD's
attempts to keep the presentations moving along, they
were running behind.
Mulder looked at the agenda, then his watch. Taking
a deep breath, he attempted to look interested in the
next speaker. Though he had napped briefly at his
desk, the pain in his head hadn't let up a bit. To
make matters worse, his stomach was beginning to feel
very unsettled again. Every passing second only
served to intensify his feeling of distress.
Scully was trying to discreetly keep an eye on
Mulder. She was concerned that he was becoming quite
pale, with a thin sheen of perspiration above his
Mulder scribbled something on his notepad and slid it
over to her. "Be right back."
He stood rather unsteadily and made his way to the
door, gaining a stern look from Skinner who was
standing by the exit. Mulder pushed past him without
Scully looked at her watch and tried to look
unconcerned as the minutes passed. When 15 minutes
had elapsed without her partner's return, she decided
that she needed to check on him.
As she exited the conference room, she thought she
had escaped Skinner's eagle eye until she sensed
someone behind her. "Agent Scully, what seems to be
She thought about making an excuse but finally
decided that honesty was the best policy. "Mulder
isn't feeling well and I'm a bit concerned that he's
been gone for so long."
"Would you like for me to check on him?" Skinner
"If you wouldn't mind, sir."
Skinner made his way down the hall to the men's
restroom and went in. Less than thirty seconds
passed before he opened the door and motioned for
Scully to come in.
When she pushed the door open, she found Skinner
helping Mulder to a sitting position against the
wall."I found him lying on the floor trying to get
up," he reported. "I think he hurt his wrist when he
"Mulder, what happened?" Scully asked as she began to
check his head for bumps and bruises.
"I didn't hit my head. My right wrist got the worst
of it," he answered, attempting to push her hands
away with his left hand.
"That still doesn't explain what happened."
"I got sick and then felt lightheaded. I lost my
balance and fell. Just let me rest a few minutes,
"No, it's not okay. This has gone on long enough.
You need to be home in bed." Scully protested.
"What's wrong with him? Skinner questioned.
"Agent Mulder woke up with a migraine but insisted on
staying here so that he could make his presentation."
"Mulder, go home and rest. You can give your
presentation the next time around. I used to have
frequent migraines in my early teens, and still get
one occasionally. You need to be in a darkened room
with an ice pack."
"I'll be fine in a few minutes," Mulder sighed.
"Mulder, you won't be fine and you know it. Look at
your wrist. It's already turning black and blue,"
"Agent Mulder, go to the emergency room and get that
wrist looked at, and while you're there get that
migraine treated as well. That is an order."
"But . . ."
"No buts. Agent Scully, make sure he gets there and
stays until he's released."
"I will, sir," Scully acknowledged. "Mulder, do you
think you can stand?"
"Yeah, I'm okay."
"Sure you are," Skinner said as he helped Mulder to
his feet, catching him as he swayed. "I want you to
go straight to the emergency room. Do not pass "Go".
Do not collect $200. I want a note from the doctor
stating that you were treated. Understand?"
"I'll be sure to ask for one," Scully promised.
"I just want to be sure you get treatment. I don't
want you back at work until you're 100%. I
appreciate the effort you made by sitting through
that seminar. Agents Winslow and Baker gave me a
headache just from listening to them drone on and on.
Take care of yourself, Mulder."
"Yes, sir," Mulder replied, his voice sounding
"Will you need help getting to your car?" Skinner
"No, sir. I can make it," Mulder assured him.
"I'll get back to the seminar then. Even though you
have a migraine, I envy you Agent Mulder. You have
an excuse to miss the rest of that boring meeting."
"My presentation would have knocked your socks off,
sir," Mulder winced as he moved his injured right
"I hope that isn't broken. Agent Scully, please keep
me informed as to Agent Mulder's condition. As much
as I hate it, I'd better get back."
The two agents waited until their supervisor was gone
until they spoke.
"Mulder, what am I going to do with you?" Scully
"At least I got you out of that miserable excuse for
a seminar," he said, managing a smile.
"That you did," she agreed, smiling back. "Let's get
you to the hospital."
Mulder was lying on Scully's spare bed, watching her
crappy, older TV. The ER doctor had agreed with
Scully's diagnosis. He did indeed have a migraine,
but an injection of Imitrex worked like a miracle.
Within an hour, the headache was gone. He still felt
wiped out, but anything was better than the sensation
that someone was trying to drill through his skull.
He looked down at his right wrist, splinted and
wrapped in an elastic bandage. Mulder had got lucky
there, too. It was a pretty bad sprain, but it had
earned him a few more days at Scully's apartment.
There was a light rap on the door, followed by Scully
carrying a glass of iced tea and an ice pack.
"Mulder, how's the wrist?"
"Throbbing to beat the band," he answered.
"This ice pack should help," she said as she sat on
the edge of the bed and placed it gently on his right
wrist, propping it on a pillow.
Scully reached into her right pocket and brought out
the bottle of pain pills that the doctor had
prescribed. She opened it and shook out two, handing
them to Mulder, leaving the bottle on the nightstand.
"Take these now," she directed as she handed him the
"Thanks," he acknowledged after he swallowed them
with a big gulp of iced tea.
"Dinner should be ready in about half an hour. Can I
get you anything?"
"No, I'm good. Thanks for putting up with me,
She grinned, ruffling his hair with her fingers as
she got up. "Not a problem, Mulder. Yell if you need
anything," she directed, closing the door behind her.
Mulder grinned as he took a deep breath, smelling
something delicious coming from the kitchen. He let
the comfort of being in Scully's home wash over his
sleepy brain. Yes, indeed. Life was good.
Author's notes: The idea for this fic came out of a
conversation in the Mulder's Refuge chat room. I was
suffering with a doozy of a migraine and Mindy
suggested that I use my pain as the basis for a
story. Of course, the MT freak in me could see some
definite possibilities. So, after my nasty migraine
finally went away, I got busy and transferred my pain
to Mulder. The result was this piece of
Muldertorture. Hope you enjoy!