New! The BBQ Series 15: An (Un)invited Pest
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999
Category: Story, MSR, MulderANGST, LiteMulderTorture
Rating: PG-13 for language.
Spoilers: Let's just say through season 6, to be safe; minor one
specifically for Folie a Deux.
Summary: Mulder receives an unexpected request from an unexpected person,
and of course our hero has to deal with the aftermath.
Disclaimer: The names you recognize belong to 10/13 productions and Chris
Carter. I'm just borrowing them, and since I've learned to play nice in the
sandbox, I promise to return them in one piece.
Author's notes: It picks up in the Barbecue Series Universe and follows #
14. If you accept the duo's engagement you could probably follow the story
line without reading BBQ 1-14 first, but it would probably make more sense
if you knew what makes this universe go round.
The story was inspired by the fact that my students had to have indoor recess
(during the most gorgeous weather, of course!) for a week due to the threat
of sprays and bug bites. Talk about a teacher's nightmare! <g>
Thank you, Vickie, as always, and especially for the quick turn around!
You're the best, of course!
Feedback? Feedback? Yup, I *need* the stinkin' feedback! Feedback is
The Barbecue Series 15: An (Un)invited Pest
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
I walk into the office feeling every bit as grungy and disheveled as I look.
I'd left Greenwich around four-thirty this morning, and though it's the day
after the long Columbus Day Weekend, there was still way too much traffic on
Where the hell were all those people going at four-thirty in the morning,
I walk in expecting to see my partner (who is also my still very new
fiancée) working her little (but very beautiful) butt off, however the office is
I know she's probably not far away, but it doesn't make it any more pleasant
to know she's not close enough to take hold in my arms right this moment. I
need some 'TLC' and Scully is the only person I want it from. It's been a
very long weekend, and the stress from having to unexpectedly deal with my
mother is not been easily forgotten.
Neither Scully nor I believed she'd called. I hadn't spoken with her in
several months, so needless to say I was totally shocked when her phone call
came out of the blue. I'm ashamed to say I had suspected ulterior motives
for her call. After all, the smoking sonofabitch, whom I'm sure she had once
been intimately involved with, all but disappeared under our noses at the El
Of course, she'd made no mention of him; I never would have expected her to.
Didn't mean I trusted her though. Imagine, not being able to trust your own
Well, it's true. I didn't trust my mother.
Sad to say, I still don't, but I think I'm a little more forgiving now.
Even if she isn't.
I wish Scully were here.
The door opens suddenly, and I realize there must be a God somewhere, for in
she walks. She stops with a start for she didn't realize I've arrived, but
when she does see it really is me, she breaks into her patented hundred watt
Oh, it's a start, but I want more. I open my arms, and she's there in an
instant. I wrap my arms around her and she leans into me so far I think
we've become one body.
Well, I've always said Scully makes me a whole person, haven't I?
After several minutes of quiet snuggling and a few kisses here and there, she
finally breaks the embrace and looks me up and down. "Mulder," she begins,
"you look like hell."
"Nice to see you too, Scully."
We're both smiling; we both know she really is glad to see me, and I do look
like hell. Now, I know she's going to ask me about the weekend, but I don't
know if I'm ready to talk about it. I mean, there's not much to tell. It
wasn't great, but it wasn't awful.
To be honest, I'm not sure what it was. I still haven't figured out why she
called me. I don't understand her. I haven't for a while, a long while.
"How is she?" she asks. It's not the question I expected first, but it's a
reasonable one nonetheless.
"She's getting old, Scully. I don't remember her being this old," I respond
with a hint of sadness in my voice.
"Oh, she just moves more slowly, and she complains now. Aloud. I don't
recall her ever voicing her complaints before; it's as if she's seeking
sympathy. I mean, in the old days she'd remain stoically silent. Drove my
father crazy," I reminisce with a wry smile.
"I can imagine," she agrees. "How's her health?"
"She's arthritic and she resents the hell out of it. Like I said, she's a
lot more vocal in her complaints." I pause there, wondering if Scully will
move on to the next sixty-four dollar question.
"What did she want?"
Kerchink, kerchink! Sixty-four silver dollars fall from the sky.
What did she want? That's a good question. The answer probably explains
why I'm so damned curious as to why she'd called me in the first place. We
didn't have any great, illuminating conversation. She didn't share any
secrets of any of the truths I'm so sure she's keeping from me.
So, what did she want from me?
She needed someone to weed and clean out her backyard. There's apparently
been some problem with disease carrying mosquitoes in Greenwich and the
tri-state area. I hadn't heard anything about it here in DC, but once I got
to Connecticut my mother gave me an earful on the subject. She complained a
great deal about the 'inconvenience' of it all.
She was quite vocal about how she felt the government was overreacting, and
now she and her friends had not only those damned dead crows and mosquitoes
to worry about, but now there were pesticides being sprayed all around them
I read some background stories on it in the local newspapers. Seems they
had to do some aerial and ground spraying to help alleviate the problem. My
mother claimed she wasn't able to find anyone to come and do the fall
cleanup because everyone was booked up due to an overreaction.
She couldn't get good help, so she called me. It's wonderful to know my
mother trusts me with her weeds, but not the truth about my father or
"She needed help with the yard. Weeding and raking. Just what every son
wants to do on one of the few three day weekends they have off," I say with
an edge in my voice. I don't mention the reason behind it; knowing Scully
she'd start checking every inch of my body for mosquito bites.
"Did you tell her about us? About us being engaged, I mean?" she asks
I look at her and really don't know what to say. Of course I told her; it's
my mother's response to the news that has me confused about what to tell
Scully. "Yes," I say quietly.
"Well?" When I don't respond immediately, she continues. "Was she
Upset? Angry?" she asks curiously, though I can tell she's a little anxious
too. She must sense my own anxiety.
I look at the beautiful woman now standing only a couple of feet away and
answer her as completely as I can. I wonder if she will believe me.
"I don't know," I begin. She looks at me with a hint of annoyance. I don't
know how better to explain it. I really don't know. I try to get her to
"Scully, she never reacted to it. She didn't say anything. In fact, she
pretty much ignored the news." Before Scully can ask me why I didn't pursue
the issue I say, "And I really tried to get her to express her feelings on
the subject, but every time I asked her, my mother simply went on with a new
line of conversation or she simply ignored me.
"God, Scully, it was maddening," I conclude.
"It sounds to me she let you know she doesn't approve."
"You know, that was my first reaction, too, but Scully, the more I think
about it, the more I wonder if that's truly the case. I honestly don't know
if she disapproves. It was odd the way she reacted, or rather _didn't_
react, but I honestly can say I didn't feel any real, true negativity
emanating from her. I know, it sounds a little crazy, but it's really how I
"Are you sure you're not just rationalizing this, Mulder?" she asks. She's
not angry, but I can tell there's a bit of hurt in her voice.
"No, I'm not sure," I admit honestly. "I mean, it's possible, but
if I go with my gut I have to say no, I'm not merely rationalizing this."
Suddenly, I don't feel so well. It was a long drive, I hadn't had much sleep
the night before, and I'd engaged in more physical activity in the great
outdoors than I had in a very, long time. I feel like crap, and that's
putting it mildly.
"I don't think I'm going to stay, G-Woman. I'm a bit under the weather."
"No shit, Sherlock. You look it, too."
"Scully, your bedside manner never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes me thinks
it's a good thing the rest of your patients are dead," I say dryly. I lean
over and plant a kiss on my beloved's forehead.
She reaches up to do the same, only I know she has reasons other than
romance for doing so.
"You're warm, Mulder. How long have you been running a fever?" she asks
having shifted over into doctor mode.
"It doesn't surprise me that I'm warm. I told you, I don't feel well."
"I know," she agrees, "but I need to have an idea of how long you've
brewing this little bug."
"It started last night," I admit. "I had a bitch of a headache and went
bed early." Now she looks at me incredulously. I remind her, "Scully, are
you forgetting I've spent a weekend with my mother? The two of us don't
exactly get along too well. Going to sleep early can be construed as a
"Early? Mulder, early for you would be one a.m. instead of two or three in
the morning," she says sarcastically.
"Yeah, well, it was a little earlier than that," I counter. When I see she
doesn't settle for that as my answer, I mutter, "Around eight-thirty."
"What?" Her mouth is actually gaping. I know I shouldn't, but I start
laughing out loud at her expression. "Mulder," she responds, "I don't think
I've ever seen you go to sleep before midnight unless it was because you
were up all night from the night before, or you were deathly ill.
"I want you to take your temp," she demands.
"Scully, I don't usually carry a thermometer around with me," I remind her.
"Yes, but I do," she says and immediately goes to her purse and actually
pulls one of those little digital models out.
"You've got to be kidding," I say.
"Shut up, Mulder and close your lips."
A few minutes pass, and the damn thing beeps. Before I can even think of
reaching for it, Scully pulls it out of my mouth.
Damn. She doesn't look happy. Damn.
"How high?" I ask.
"Too high, Mulder." I look exasperated at that moment, and she realizes she
hasn't answered my question. "A hundred-one and a half."
"Oh." Well, that's not as bad as I thought she was going to say. I mean,
I've had over a hundred and four, and obviously I've survived. Actually,
I'm feeling a little relieved.
"Mulder, it's early. It'll probably spike higher later on today."
So much for feeling relieved.
"You need to go to the doctor to find out what this is," she says.
Shit. Going to the doctor is the last thing I want to do at this moment.
All I really want to do is sleep. I'm that tired. In fact, I'm so tired, I
don't think I want to drive myself home, but I'm afraid to say that to
Scully. I fear she'd assume I'm ready for the ER instead of our bed at
"I'll call Skinner," she says. When she sees the question marks written all
over my face she explains, "Mulder, I'm not letting you drive yourself
I simply nod, thanking the powers that be that allows me to get away without
having to admit I need to be chauffeured. I listen to Scully explain to our
AD that I'm in no shape to drive home, and that she is going to take me. I
hear her say a few 'yes, sirs' and 'no, sirs,' and wish to hell Walter
wouldn't be quite so chatty at this very moment and just let the woman hang
up so she can take me home and tuck me into our nice, warm bed.
"Mulder?" Scully calls out suddenly. I look at her, but I don't understand
what she needs. "Oh, Mulder, you're shivering. C'mon, let's get you home,
unless I can convince you to go to the doctor's office."
"Home," I say determinedly. Scully nods her head and escorts me out of the
By the time we make it home I feel so badly, I'm about ready to suggest we
go to the hospital. Scully grabs my suitcase from the car and helps me
upstairs. I'm holding on to her for balance; the headache I've been
fighting for the last several hours has come back full force and is definitely
winning this round.
"Scully," I whisper.
"We're just about home," she says reassuringly. "C'mon, G-Man, let's get
you inside and into bed."
I don't do anything; I'm afraid to even nod my head, it hurts so much. All
I can do is follow her into the apartment and allow her to lead me to the
bedroom. She drops the suitcase on the floor in the hallway and takes my
hand and leads me to the bathroom first.
"Do you need me to stay with you?" she asks.
"Umm, I don't think so," I reply, however I quickly add, "but don't go
She nods and steps outside. I notice she only closes the door part way and
I'm amazed she hasn't turned us right around again to leave for the hospital.
Of course, she just might still do it, but right now my only concern is to
relieve myself and crawl into bed. Any bed.
I turn the water on and wash my hands, as well as splash some water onto my
face. It feels a little better, but not much. I call out to Scully, but she
doesn't respond. I then realize it probably would be more helpful to call
out to her aloud, instead of in my head.
"Scully," I call again.
"Right here, Mulder, I'm right here." She takes my hand and places one of
her arms around my waist.
I can't believe how tired and weak I feel all of a sudden. "I'm sorry," I
mumble. I'm afraid I'm hurting her, but she doesn't seem to in any pain.
She leads me to the bedroom and helps me unbuckle my belt and jeans. Next,
she pulls the pants down so I'm just wearing my boxers and tee shirt and
gently pushes me down onto the bed.
I lay there like a lump and watch her through half closed eyes pull off my
running shoes and then tug the jeans off my feet. I can't believe how
quickly she has me under the covers, though I feel her pulling the heavier
comforter off of the bed.
"Scully? But I'm cold," I whine. I hate it when I whine, but at the moment
it's the only response I can come up with.
"I know, but you have a fever and it's not good to keep you too warm. I'll
get you some Ibuprofen and that should help some, okay?" She quickly goes
back into the bathroom for the medication and returns with a bottle and a
glass of water.
I accept the medicine and swallow it down with the proffered water. "I'm so
tired," I moan. I realize I've become the master of the obvious here, but
I'm in too much discomfort to make sensible chitchat.
"Go to sleep, Mulder. I'll be nearby in case you need me," she says.
"Work?" I'm now speaking in monosyllables; that's how crappy I feel.
"No, G-Man, I'm gonna stay home to cover your back for a while, okay?" She
leans down and kisses me gently on the forehead.
"Okay," I murmur, knowing this is but one of the many reasons I love this
woman. I fall asleep almost immediately.
I know I'm dreaming because I'm watching myself do things, so I must be
It's a very strange thing to watch yourself the way others see you. I wonder
if this is how Scully sees me. The sun is shining and I've taken my shirt
off. The sweat is glistening off my back and my chest, and damn, I look
Okay, so maybe Scully doesn't see me like this. I suspect I'm dreaming the
new and improved version of me.
Anyway, I've been working in the yard on Saturday for a few hours when my
mother comes out holding a spray can. I say, "Hello," but all she does is
stare at me for a moment or two. Then she speaks.
"Here," she says as she offers me the can. "You should spray this on
And then she returns into the house. I look at it and see that it's bug
repellent. I haven't had any problems with bugs, but since Mom has told me
about the virus scare, I don't see the harm and I spray myself.
I get ready to go back to working in the garden when I suddenly feel nips
and bites on my back and my arms. It feels as if I'm being covered with
insects; they're feeding off of me! The bug repellent my mother gave me is
attracting them to me instead.
I look up towards the window and see her peering out at me. I can't tell if
she's smiling or not; I don't know if she's showing any reaction at all.
She just continues to stare in my direction.
All of a sudden, a huge, giant of a mosquito hovers over me. I fear it's
going to not just bite me, but devour and swallow me whole. I start to
scream for my mother to help me, but she remains planted at the kitchen
Next, I do the only logical thing I can think of.
"SCULLY!" I scream.
I feel myself being lifted and wonder how Scully manages to do this. I open
my eyes and see faces that I do not recognize; I wonder where is Scully? I
don't see her, though I think I hear her.
Scully? Why doesn't she answer me?
Oh. I've gone and done it again. I've tried calling her telepathically, so
I next try the old-fashioned way.
"Scully?" I call out. I'm astounded at how weak my voice sounds. I then
realize I've got an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth. I try to reach up
to remove it so I can call for my partner, but stronger hands hold my own in
place. It's then I hear her voice.
"Mulder, I'm here. I'm here, my love. Lay still and let the paramedics do
their job, okay?" she says so tenderly.
Sure, Scully. I'll let anyone do anything to me as long as you're there to
supervise it. But what's going on? Where am I going?
"Why?" is all I can manage to say.
"You're temperature spiked to a little over 104, and you started having
fibrile seizures. It's time to go to the hospital, G-Man. I'm sorry it's
taken me so long to realize it," she says with guilt.
"I'm okay," I say in an attempt to comfort her, but we both know I'm lying
through my teeth.
"Right, Mulder. You're perfect," she says knowing we both realize I'm
talking bunk. She looks at me a bit pensively, and then asks, "It was
scarier this time, wasn't it?"
"Scarier?" I echo. I'm not really too sure what she's referring to.
"You're latest encounter with a giant bug, Mulder," she says gently.
don't seem to have too much luck with them, G-Man."
"No more than you," I rasp. Though she wasn't privy to this particular
encounter, it still hurts to know she refuses to acknowledge our last run-in
with a giant bug. Follie`a deux, indeed!
"Touché, Mulder," she replies without malice, and leans down to place a
gentle kiss on my forehead.
"Ma'am, we've got Mr. Mulder stabilized, so we'd like to get going," the
"I'd like to ride with you, please," she says.
"Call Mom," I croak out.
"Mom and Walter are going to meet me at the hospital, Mulder," she says. She
smiles at me, and I'm relieved she knows exactly which Mom I mean. It never
ceases to amaze me at how she's able to understand my shorthand
And with that we're off to GUMC.
Oh God, I think I'm in hell. No. I know I'm in hell. I can't believe
they're putting me through this. I'm laying in this crouched up, fetal
position, so they can jam this mile long hypodermic into my back.
I am willingly consenting to this? I can't believe I'm not on any drugs
Oh, God. I can't remember ever feeling this uncomfortable. This shit hurts!
I'm trying so hard to remain stoic about this, but God damn! Now, not only
does my head feel like it's going to explode, but my back feels likes it's
"Easy does it, _Mr._ Mulder, we're almost done here," the doctor says to
Right. That's what the bastard said eons ago. Pull that damn thing out
already. Oh God, please. Damn you all, that hurts! Damn it to hell!
"Okay, _Mr._ Mulder, we're just about finished," the doctor, in effect,
He does this a lot. He must have said a variation on that theme about a
dozen times already, and no matter how many times I ask him to call me just
Mulder, he continues to call me "Mister" Mulder. Damn, at least call me
_Agent_ Mulder. I swear, if the sonofabitch says, 'Mister' Mulder one more
time I will definitely be up on murder charges.
"Alright, _Mr._ Mulder, I'm going to be pulling the needle out now," he
Definitely more information than I needed at the moment. Just do it, damn
it! And when I can stand up again, I am going to strangle this man!
"Argghh," I groan while my body shudders at the sudden shock of cold on my
"I'm just swabbing your back with some antiseptic, _Mr._ Mulder, okay?"
No. No, damn it, it's not okay. Please, someone just put a bullet in me
and put me out of my misery. Scully. I want Scully. Now. Oh, God, please,
someone get Scully.
"Nurse, would you inform Miss Scully we need her in here, okay?" the doctor
Okay! Now, how the sonofabitch knows I need my Scully in here is beyond me,
but as long as he brings her to me, I can almost forgive him for putting me
through this excruciating experience.
I hear the door open; I don't see anything as my eyes are still squeezed
shut in an attempt to deflect the pain. I hear the doctor say, "Ahh, Miss
Scully. Thank you for coming in. _Mr._ Mulder was calling for you."
Oh. So that's how he knows. I was calling for her. Aloud. Go figure.
"Scully," I rasp out. "Hurts."
"I know, I know," she murmurs comfortingly. She starts rubbing my shoulder
a bit as she and the doctor converse a bit. I don't catch everything, well I
_do_ hear Scully correct him on the 'Miss' thing. "It's Dr. Scully, Doctor,"
she informs him, and then continues on to inform the ass it's not _mister_
but _Agent_ Mulder.
I knew there was at least a hundred reasons why I love this woman. This is
one hundred and one.
"Oh, yes, _Agent_ Mulder. Of course." He then pauses and directs the rest
of the conversation towards Scully, which is fine by me at this point.
"Doctor," he begins, then goes on to give some ridiculously long-winded
explanation of what he's been doing and looking for. Hell, I wouldn't know
what he was talking about even if I weren't feeling like I was dying here.
I think I zone out. It's another one of my survival tactics.
I wake up and see Mom and Walter straight ahead of me, murmuring softly,
while I feel Scully's hand entwined in my own to my right. I turn my head
slightly and see she's fallen asleep in yet another hospital chair at yet
another of my hospital bedsides.
It's a wonder the woman doesn't get a chair with her name embroidered on the
back; she uses them often enough.
"Fox? You're awake!" Mom says with equal amounts of happiness and
trepidation. "How are you feeling sweetheart?" she asks as she quickly
comes to my side.
"Okay, I guess, but kind of muzzy," I reply. I reach up and feel the nasal
canula, which of course helps explain my slightly nerdy sounding voice.
I suddenly realize I have no idea of what day it is; I don't know if I've
been out for a couple of hours or a couple of days. It's a little
frightening knowing the world may has gone on rotating without you.
"What time is it?" I ask, hoping someone will understand my real question.
"It's about ten fifteen, Friday night," answers Walter.
"Friday?" I echo incredulously. I can't believe I've been down for the count
for four days. I guess I must have been one sick little pup, but I have no
clue as to the cause.
"What's wrong with me?" I ask nervously. I want to know, but I don't want
to know. I still feel as week as a newborn, but my head doesn't hurt quite as
much, thankfully. We won't discuss the gaping hole the S.O.B. put in my
back when he did the lumbar puncture.
"They thought it was encephalitis," began Walter.
"St. Louis encephalitis, to be exact," clarifies the beautiful redhead who
is now wide-awake in 'her' chair.
"Hey," I greet.
"Hey to you, too," she repeats. "Welcome back to the land of the living."
I nod my appreciation and ask her, "They thought it was this St. Louis
thing, but it's not?"
"No. Turns out it's a something called West Nile Virus, and it's similar to
the St. Louis encephalitis. It's spread by birds and the mosquitoes that
bite them like the St. Louis strain, but the good news is it's not nearly as
serious as the St. Louis strain.
"The bad news, of course, is it can still weaken the hell out of your immune
system and cause your body to become susceptible to all kinds of other
infections," explains my Scully.
"You gave us quite a scare, Fox," says my Mom. Speaking of mothers, I'm
almost afraid to ask; in fact I know I'm an idiot for asking but I do
"Anyone call my mother and find out if she's okay?" I ask. I can't bear to
ask if she's considered coming to see me. I figure asking about her health
It's not necessarily more comforting, but definitely safer.
"She's fine, Fox. I phoned her and she says she wasn't affected in the
least," Mom answers with a tone of naiveté. Bless her for not realizing the
true intent of my question.
Of course, Scully picks up on it immediately, and hastens to add, "But I told
her we would keep her informed on your condition, Mulder. We were concerned
about her traveling by herself, especially since you'd mentioned to me how
difficult she'd been finding it to get around due to her arthritis. Right,
Mulder? You remember telling me about that, right?"
"Yeah, Scully. I remember," I say. I smile and mouth distinctly, 'Thank
you,' for her eyes only.
Neither Mom nor Walter have a clue as to what the true nature of my
relationship is between my mother and me. Of course, neither does Scully.
Sadly, I don't either. I don't know if I ever will; at least not until my
mother decides to share what she knows of my father's work and his role in
the consortium. I suppose she too played some sort of role, though I don't
know for sure if she was a major player or not.
But if I learned anything this past weekend, it's the realization of just how
human my mother is. She's nothing more than a mere mortal; fallible and
subject to life's greatest practical joke on mankind, the aging process.
I don't think my mother likes having to deal with it, though I'm not sure if
it has more to do with her having to admit it to herself she's getting old or
having to admit it to me.
I suspect she resents the hell out of both scenarios.
I know, for the moment at least, I can understand it a little better.
And even though if it was just to be the hired help to get rid of the
uninvited weeds and pests in her backyard, I was at least welcomed back into
my mother's home.
What irony, since I was just the invited 'pest;' pun intended, thank you
I feel Scully lean down and kiss me gently on my very dry, chapped lips. As
much as I want some water, I am suddenly too exhausted to even think of
requesting it, much less vocalizing my desire for some. But magically, my
Scully holds a straw up to my lips and I sip.
"Sleep, Fox," she says gently.
I decide to follow this wonderful woman's sage advice and close my eyes to
invite more promising dreams of tomorrow.
End of 1/1
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