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Cool Heat
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Title:  Cool Heat
                           Author:  Waddles52
                           Summary:  After a romantic weekend Mulder pays the 
                           consequences with hilarious results.
                           Disclaimer:  Property of CC, 1013 Productions, Fox 
                           Network, etc.
                           Rating:  PG13
                           Category:  MT, humor
                           Archves:  Yes, but please ask first
                           Feedback:  Yes, I'd love to hear from you at
                           waddles52@insightbb.com
                           
                           Mulder opened the door to the basement office bright 
                           and early Monday morning.  He had really hated for 
                           the weekend to come to a close.  Scully had kept him 
                           in bed almost the entire time from Friday evening 
                           until early that morning.  He couldn't suppress the 
                           satisfied smile that spread across his face when he 
                           thought of the many different ways they had found to 
                           practice the age-old interaction between male and 
                           female.
                           
                           The Kama Sutra was old news by the time he left 
                           Scully with that same, satisfied smile.  Perhaps they 
                           could write a whole new book on the subject.  He 
                           rubbed his neck.  It was a little sore after the 
                           weekend activities.  Ah well, it would be a perfect 
                           excuse for a Scully massage.
                           
                           The tired agent sank slowly into his chair and rubbed 
                           his neck again.  It seemed to be getting worse, but 
                           damn, it had been worth it!  With a sigh he booted up 
                           his computer and checked his email.  Crap!  A memo 
                           from Skinner greeted him, requesting the presence of 
                           Scully and himself at 8:30 AM, sharp!  Do not pass 
                           go.  Do not collect $200.
                           
                           Mulder groaned and pushed away from his desk.  Might 
                           as well start the coffee.  It looked like it was 
                           going to be one of 'those' days.  He unconsciously 
                           tried to rub away the pain in his neck as he searched 
                           for the coffee filters.
                           
                           Scully arrived at 7:45 looking happy and well rested.  
                           Mulder smiled.  The woman must have amazing 
                           recuperative powers because he had given as good as 
                           he got.  As she accepted the cup of coffee proffered 
                           by her partner, the petite agent couldn't help but 
                           notice the odd angle at which he was holding his 
                           head.  She grinned after her first sip.  "Was this 
                           weekend too much for your middle-aged body?"
                           
                           "I didn't hear any complaints from you at three this 
                           morning."  He rubbed his neck again.  Damn, this was 
                           getting to be a habit.  "Just a little catch in my 
                           neck.  We have a meeting with Skinner at 8:30 sharp 
                           and I'd like to be able to stare back at him without 
                           looking sideways.  Do you think those talented 
                           fingers of yours could work some magic before we have 
                           to leave?"
                           
                           "As long as you're referring to your neck and not 
                           another region of your anatomy, I think that can be 
                           arranged."  The lovely red head motioned him to take 
                           a seat in front of her.  After guzzling most of her 
                           coffee, she began to knead her partner's sore neck. 
                           
                           The groans of satisfaction coming from the male agent 
                           were reminiscent of some of the sounds she had been 
                           treated to over the weekend.  Wow!  She needed to set 
                           those memories aside or she might be the one looking 
                           sideways at their supervisor while she tried to keep 
                           her hormones under control.  "Better?"
                           
                           "I'll give you five minutes to stop, Scully," he 
                           breathed, trying to keep his eyes from crossing due 
                           to the pure bliss he felt in his neck muscles and 
                           elsewhere.
                           
                           "I think I've done quite enough."  She gave his neck 
                           another soft caress and then placed a light kiss 
                           where her fingers had been.  "Did Skinner tell you 
                           why he wants to see us?"
                           
                           "No, he . . ."  Mulder stopped abruptly when he tried 
                           to straighten his neck.  The ensuing pain nearly 
                           knocked him to the floor.  He grabbed the chair just 
                           in time to prevent further disaster.
                           
                           "Mulder, what is it?"
                           
                           "What did you do to my neck?" he gasped.  "It's a 
                           hundred times worse."
                           
                           "I just tried to get the kinks out."
                           
                           "Didn't work.  What time is it?"
                           
                           "8:10."
                           
                           "We don't have time for this.  Do something," he 
                           wailed.  "I can't walk into Skinner's office like 
                           this!"  His panic face was beginning to appear.  As 
                           usual, he hadn't been in Skinner's good graces and 
                           turning up in his office with his head lying on his 
                           shoulder wouldn't help matters.
                           
                           "Mulder, what else can I do?  I think you probably 
                           need to go to the ER and get this checked out.  You 
                           could have a ruptured disk or worse."
                           
                           "No ER!"  A look of intense concentration mixed in 
                           with the pain and panic already evident on his 
                           handsome features.  "I've got an idea.  There's a 
                           tube of sports cream in my gym bag.  It's not 
                           supposed to have an odor.  Could you please get it 
                           for me and smear some on?"
                           
                           "Okay.  What could it hurt?"  She located the bag in 
                           its usual place and pulled out the cream.  Squeezing 
                           a generous amount onto her fingers, she began to 
                           massage it in.  "I thought you said it was odorless."
                           
                           Mulder took a good whiff.  "Damn, I forgot that was 
                           in there.  You got the wrong tube.  That's Cool Heat, 
                           and it is definitely not odorless."
                           
                           "I'll say."  She held her fingers as far away from 
                           her nose as possible and was still almost overcome by 
                           the strong wintergreen, menthol smell.
                           
                           "We've got to try and get some of this off.  Skinner 
                           won't appreciate us stinking up his office."
                           
                           "I can't argue with that."  Scully grabbed her purse 
                           after a quick peek at her watch.  "Make it fast, 
                           Mulder.  We only have a few minutes to spare."
                           
                           "I'll meet you there," Mulder promised as he made his 
                           way out of the office, his head still almost touching 
                           his left shoulder.
                           
                           XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                           
                           Scully sat in Skinner's outer office looking 
                           apologetic as Kimberly informed the AD that Mulder 
                           still hadn't arrived.  Suddenly, the door burst open 
                           and the wayward agent entered, still smelling like 
                           the training room at a gym, his neck now a brilliant 
                           shade of red.  He flopped down beside Scully and 
                           hissed as the movement brought searing pain to his 
                           neck.
                           
                           "What happened?"
                           
                           "I accidentally used hot water.  My neck is on fire!"  
                           Before his partner could comment, Skinner appeared in 
                           the doorway and beckoned them into his office.  
                           
                           There were several items on his list of complaints 
                           about their most recent case.  He was in no humor to 
                           put up with any foolishness that morning.  He had 
                           awakened with a Texas-sized headache and his sinuses 
                           were stuffed to the rafters.  The AD couldn't help 
                           but notice the odd tilt to Mulder's head along with 
                           the considerable redness on his neck.
                           
                           Amazingly, Skinner's sinuses cleared as soon as 
                           Mulder passed by.  With the new clarity came the 
                           awareness of the heavy, liniment-like smell.  He 
                           wrinkled his nose and nodded for the agents to be 
                           seated as he took his usual position behind his desk.
                           
                           The assistant director noted that Mulder was more 
                           fidgety than usual.  This should be a great meeting 
                           he thought sarcastically as Kimberly brought in a 
                           pitcher of ice water and sat it on his desk.  He 
                           nodded his thanks and poured himself a large glass of 
                           the cold drink.
                           
                           Mulder eyed the pitcher longingly as the fire on his 
                           neck ratcheted up a notch.  He ran his finger around 
                           his collar in an effort to lift it away from his 
                           burning skin.
                           
                           Skinner straightened the stack of papers on his desk 
                           and leveled a displeased look at his most troublesome 
                           agents.  He wrinkled his nose again and was just 
                           about to ask about the odor when Mulder leapt from 
                           his chair.
                           
                           Scully and Skinner both stared in disbelief as the 
                           crazed F.B.I. agent grabbed the pitcher of water and 
                           splashed the entire contents on his neck, then 
                           staggered out of the office.
                           
                           "I think, um, I think I'll just go and check on him."  
                           Scully stammered and hurriedly followed her partner 
                           out of the office.
                           
                           Skinner could only stare after them, wondering what 
                           crazy explanation they would come up with to justify 
                           that floorshow.
                           
                           XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                           
                           Georgetown Memorial ER, several hours later-
                           
                           Mulder groaned softly as he emerged from his drug- 
                           induced slumber.  "Please tell me that I just had the 
                           craziest dream ever."
                           
                           "I wish I could, Mulder."  Scully rose from the chair 
                           beside the stretcher that held her partner.  "How's 
                           the neck?"
                           
                           He gingerly moved it to see how the pain was.  The 
                           muscle soreness had improved slightly, but the 
                           burning pain was still there, although considerably 
                           less than it had been in Skinner's office.  He looked 
                           at Scully with questioning eyes.
                           
                           "Better?"
                           
                           He nodded yes very carefully.
                           
                           "You have a moderate muscle strain and some second 
                           degree burns from the liniment.  The next time you 
                           need to wash something like that away, please double-
                           check the water temperature before starting."
                           
                           "I definitely will.  I assure you."  Mulder grimaced 
                           from the pain and the memory of the fiasco in 
                           Skinner's office.  "Do I still have a job, or did 
                           Skinner decide to can me and commit me?"
                           
                           "You got lucky.  You were neither canned nor 
                           committed.  In fact, AD Skinner asked me to thank you 
                           for the entertainment.  He said it was the best 
                           Monday morning he'd ever had."  Scully tried to keep 
                           a straight face but couldn't quite manage it.
                           
                           "Go ahead and laugh, Scully.  I deserve every bit of 
                           it."
                           
                           "Well, it's either that or give you an award for the 
                           best comedy act in an Assistant Director's office."
                           
                           "Ha, ha.  When can I get out of here?"
                           
                           "You got lucky again, Mulder.  Get dressed and I'll 
                           find the nurse to come in and go over your discharge 
                           instructions.  The doctor said to take it easy for a 
                           few days and prescribed some muscle relaxants and 
                           pain pills."
                           
                           "Wonderful.  Did you ever find out why Skinner wanted 
                           to see us?"  Mulder slowly sat up and Scully handed 
                           him the bag containing his clothes.  The strong smell 
                           of Cool Heat assaulted his sinuses, almost making him 
                           gag.
                           
                           "No, he said it would keep and that we should re-
                           schedule as soon as you return to work.  "Is there a 
                           problem, Mulder?"  Scully grinned at the look of 
                           distress on his face.
                           
                           "I can't wear these clothes.  The smell is making me 
                           ill."
                           
                           "Well, I suppose you could go home in that lovely, 
                           stylish, threadbare hospital gown."  A look of 
                           disbelief crossed his face.  "Or, you could wear 
                           something from the travel bag in your car."
                           
                           Mulder heaved a huge sigh of relief when she knelt 
                           beside her chair to retrieve it.
                           
                           "Hurry and get dressed.  The doctor suggested bed 
                           rest, and I know just the place to do that."
                           
                           Mulder's eyes lit up as he gingerly pulled a t-shirt 
                           over his head.  "Yeah?"
                           
                           "Yep, your couch should do just fine."
                           
                           The light immediately left his eyes as he pulled on 
                           his jeans.  "Great.  Abandon me in my time of need."
                           
                           "Who said anything about abandonment?  I'm with you 
                           every step of the way . . .at your place," she 
                           emphasized.  "At least until you no longer reek of 
                           horse liniment."
                           
                           "You gonna throw in another massage?"  Mulder looked 
                           at her hopefully.
                           
                           "Of course."
                           
                           "Then, it was all worth it," he grinned as he began 
                           to think of ways to make the smell linger.
                           
                           
                           
                           End