Title: All The King's Horses
Rating: PG 13
Summary: Mulder has a really rotten day with a
series of minor but embarrassing injuries.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Used without permission for
my enjoyment and yours too, I hope.
Note: Written for the November Fic Challenge at
Mulder's Refuge. Thanks to Super Beta Lisa for her
usual quick and thorough work.
After quieting the third assault on his eardrums in
the past half hour, a tired hand threw the covers
back even though its owner desperately craved more
sleep. However, the alarm clock didn't lie. It was
time to get up and dress for work.
Fox Mulder glanced at the offending timepiece with
blurry eyes. At the same time he wished he were a
drinker. At least then he'd have an excuse for the
vise-like pain enveloping his head.
Most people would just call in sick, but the higher-
ups in the FBI tended to frown on that, especially on
the day of the quarterly review. While Skinner most
definitely would not crack a smile, his partner Dana
Scully would most likely maim him for life.
After spending hours over the past few days
accounting for every mile flown or driven, every
penny spent for food, lodging or fuel, and every
criminal incarcerated as a result of their
investigations, Special Agent Fox Mulder's attendance
was not only expected, it was mandatory.
The coffee pot in the kitchen clicked on and started
its repertoire of slurps and groans, sending even
sharper pain signals to his sore head. Mulder
flipped the light switch in the bathroom and opened
the medicine cabinet hoping to find relief in a
little green bottle. Bingo! The Excedrin Migraine
was right where he'd left it the last time his head
threatened to explode. Trembling fingers struggled
with the childproof cap as tired eyes watched the
only two tablets in the bottle roll down the drain
after the cover finally yielded.
His mouth spouting expletives far too early in the
morning, Mulder made his way to the toolbox he kept
in the closet. By hook or by crook those headache
tablets would soon find their way to his stomach to
ease his pain.
A few minutes later the trap had been taken apart and
the treasure rested in the palm of his right hand.
As he rose up to exit the dark underworld beneath the
sink, his head once again exploded in pain
accompanied by a brilliant fireworks display when his
cranium connected with the sink.
If he could have seen past the sparkling lights in
his field of vision, Mulder would have noticed the
air turning blue as he let loose another string of
offensive words. What did he care? The instruments
of his relief were gripped tightly in his right hand.
Just as he swallowed the precious tablets, the agent
heard a plink and the bathroom was thrown into
"Of all times for a light bulb to go out," he groaned
as he made his way back to the closet to get a new
Flipping the lid down on the toilet, Mulder climbed
up to change the light bulb. He noticed that the
seat was loose and made a mental note to fix it over
the weekend. Just as he gave the bulb a final turn,
the seat wobbled sending the unsteady agent flying
into the wall. He heard a sharp crack as soft-tissue
met unyielding plaster.
"At least I landed on my feet," he thought as he
rubbed the ugly looking bruise that was forming. The
shoulder pain did serve the purpose of taking his
mind off the now full-blown migraine.
Downing a cup of coffee as he showered, shaved and
dressed, Mulder began to feel more like he could face
the day. With one last check to make sure he had his
keys and wallet, he took the steps to the ground
floor. With the way his morning had already unfolded
there was no sense in taking the unpredictable
After settling himself behind the wheel of his car he
turned the key and was greeted with the sound of
silence. He muttered poisonously under his breath
and popped the hood latch. He wanted to determine if
the battery cables were clean and in place and they
would have been if someone hadn't taken the battery.
The special agent slammed the hood down and kicked
the right front tire out of frustration over the fact
that he forgot to lock his car. Limping heavily, he
went back to his apartment to call a cab. Was it too
early in the day to have a nervous breakdown?
Fortunately, the cab arrived quickly and rush hour
traffic was fairly light. Mulder paid the driver as
a heavy rain began to fall.
Considering himself lucky to have missed most of the
flooding rain, he made his way into the building.
Despite all of his earlier mishaps, he had managed to
arrive with time to spare.
His long legs carried him the length of the lobby.
The elevators were just in sight when he felt his
feet begin to slide on the wet floor. Before he
could regain his balance, he found himself falling
hard onto his ass. For a second or two he felt
nothing and then the pain hit along with the peculiar
feeling of an electrical shock down his spine and
To make matters worse people who ordinarily wouldn't
give him the time of day appeared, offering to help
him up. He grabbed the nearest hand and Agent Smith
from white-collar crime helped him to his feet.
After assuring everyone that he was fine he limped to
the stairs. The last thing he wanted was to put up
with questions about his wellbeing while he waited
for the lift. This day just kept getting better.
Mulder took the steps very slowly, giving in to the
pain in his lower back. At the same time his
migraine decided to make an encore appearance.
"Crap!" The last word was forced from his mouth
quite loudly as he missed the last step and landed on
his tailbone once again.
The pain took over for a few seconds and he was
unaware of anything but the excruciating misery in
his lower spine. When it finally eased up enough for
his other senses to return, he noted a familiar
figure standing over him.
"What the hell happened to you?"
Ah, the voice of his partner. Usually her vibes were
akin to heavenly music to his ears. Today her tone
fit right in with the hellish morning he'd already
experienced. He gave her a pain-filled grimace.
"What do you think happened to me?" he snapped. His
voice was anything but friendly. "Do you think you
could give me a hand here?"
"I don't know. Are you going to bite it off?"
Scully sighed and helped him up, keeping her arm
around his waist all the way to their office. Once
there she helped him remove his overcoat and cringed
as he tried to sit in his chair.
When he had finally settled into the most comfortable
position available to him at the moment she dared to
speak. "Having a rough day?"
Mulder nodded yes making his head hurt a little more.
"Care to fill me in?"
Her partner managed to hit the highlights while
trying to maneuver around the most embarrassing parts
as Scully started the ritual that brought the
coffeemaker to life. All the while Scully listened
intently, noting how miserable her partner looked.
Scully felt duty-bound to examine his injuries and
Mulder ignored her for the most part, supplying a
groan here and there as she touched a particularly
sore spot. His attention was drawn back to her very
quickly when he heard the words "tailbone" and "drop
"My tailbone is fine. No need to examine me," he
countered, his face turning a lovely shade of red.
Any other time that set of demands would have sent
his imagination into overdrive and produced a leer
but this morning he just gaped at her stupidly.
"If it is so fine then why did I practically have to
carry you in here?"
"It was just a culmination of everything that
happened this morning. I'm a little sore but I'll
His words didn't sound that assuring to Dana Scully.
Before her sat a man who could whine all day over a
mere paper cut and be back to work less than twenty-
four hours after a bullet wound. She was sure he was
hiding a fairly painful injury or two.
"If you're so fine, you can find these files. We may
need them for the meeting and you've changed your
filing system again." Scully handed him a post-it
with the names of several files.
"Sure, no problem." With a smug look on his face he
attempted to rise from his chair. He was halfway up
when the pain hammered into his lower back and
tailbone. All of the air rushed from his lungs with
the sudden explosion of pain. Despite his best
effort he couldn't move.
Scully observed him with a knowing look.
"Um, I think I'm stuck," he managed to gasp.
"Well, I won't say I told you so." Scully stepped
back in to help him. "Maybe you'll let me examine
With Herculean effort, Mulder managed to pull himself
up and carefully walk to the file cabinet. "And
maybe I won't."
The look of triumph on his face lasted until he had
to squat to reach the last file in the bottom drawer.
She hated to see him in pain, could almost feel it on
his behalf, but Scully decided it would be best not
to interfere. Sometimes Mulder had to discover
things the hard way.
Beads of perspiration appeared on his forehead as
Mulder tried to complete his task. He finally gave
up and laid his arms on top of the file cabinet,
resting his head on them. "Scully, if they gave out
awards for the shittiest morning, I would win hands
down." He took a deep breath and filled her in on
everything that had transpired since he got out of
bed. She helped him move gingerly toward his desk as
he recounted every embarrassing detail.
He flinched in pain as Scully found the evidence of
his collision with the sink top. She checked his
pupils for signs of concussion. "That's quite a
goose egg you've got. You probably need to put some
ice on it."
Mulder groaned in response.
"You need to have that tailbone examined." She held
up her hand to block her partner's response. "You
need to get an x-ray to make sure there's no bone
"This is embarrassing, Scully," he sighed, leaning
heavily against his desk. "Besides, we have that
meeting with Skinner."
"I'm sure he can juggle his schedule and see us
later. I don't think you could sit through a meeting
Scully picked up the phone and explained the
situation to Skinner's secretary. After a few more
words she replaced the receiver. "It's not a
problem, Mulder. Skinner is re-scheduling all of his
appointments. He woke up with a migraine and called
While he was generally sympathetic to the plight of
others, at that moment Mulder felt like calling
Skinner at home and demanding his presence. By
golly, he'd made it in and anyone in the same
condition should do likewise. Since he usually
enjoyed his job he opted to mutter, "I can't believe
this." Then he turned and vomited into the
A few hours later Mulder was declared the owner of a
non-displaced fracture of the coccyx. Nothing could
be done but go home to lie on his stomach or side and
take the strong painkillers that the doctor had
prescribed. After downing two of them as soon as
Scully pulled out of the drugstore parking lot, the
battered agent began to get over his embarrassment.
After all, it was just another bone in a long string
of fractures and he had earned it honestly, if not
heroically. He would remind himself of those facts
every time he considered sitting down on the light
blue, inflatable plastic do-nut that would be his
constant companion for the next few weeks.
Scully had managed with great difficulty and a lot of
swearing from him to get him up to his apartment and
on the bed. She suppressed a chuckle as she blew
into the blue ring in order to inflate it.
Ah, Scully. If he didn't already love her with every
ounce of his being, this whole episode would have led
him to that conclusion. While she could have teased
and embarrassed him, she took his pain seriously. He
could forgive the slight giggle while blowing up that
stupid cushion. It did look funny.
Once he was situated on his stomach and as
comfortable as possible, she brought him an ice pack
and placed it gently on his sore bottom. Her offer
to stay and look after him for the next few days was
The pain pills did their job and made him so sleepy
that he began to forget the torture of his injuries.
As his eyes closed he began to recite something so
softly that Scully just caught the tail end of it.
"All the kings' horses and all the king's men
couldn't put Humpty together again."
He drifted off to sleep knowing that if his partner
had taken care of Humpty Dumpty he would have been
back together again in no time.